#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks — My Only New Year’s Resolution

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As evidenced in my last post, I received a metric ton of books for Christmas this year, and, as evidenced in my #Shelfiehop picspam, I wasn’t exactly lacking reading material to begin with. (I’m a book hoarder, I admit it.) So, when I saw the #ReadMyDamnOwnBooks challenge/resolution over at Estella’s Revenge, it sounded like the perfect opportunity to get my TBR under control. Because it’s currently out of control. Unquestionably.

I went through my shelves and tried to count my number of unread books, but once I’d hit triple digits, I had to stop. Clearly, I collect books faster than I read them. The whole idea of the Read My Own Damn Books resolution is to place as feasible a book-buying ban on yourself as possible and, for 2016, read only what’s always sitting on your shelves. Because we all have those books which have been languishing on our bookcases for years, ignored, unloved, wondering why they’ve been consistently passed over for some shiny new release. 😦 Think of those books! Think of their hurt little book-y feelings!

(And now think of over a hundred of these books all gathered together on your shelves, grumbling to each other, watching you ignore them, plotting against you, and forming some kind of revolt — this is how you get yourself buried under a bookcase, I’m telling you.)

So, because all challenges need a little structure, here are the rules/goals I’m setting myself:

  • Read only from my shelves. There’s no set order, I can cherry-pick, use the TBR jar, whatever. But, if I’m stumped for a new read, I have to go alphabetically from the beginning, hit up that top shelf and pick the first unread book I find.
  • I’d love to set a limit of buying just ONE book a month, or even making a list of all the books I want and saving them for my birthday and Christmas wish lists. We’re gonna have to see how realistic that is, though. I have a notorious lack of self control when it comes to “OOH, BOOK, SHINY, MUST BUY, GRABBY HANDS.” We’re going to try for 1 a month, though. Fingers crossed.
  • Another big goal: cull my shelves of anything I either can’t get into the first time or am never going to reread. My collection is already bursting at the seams and I have no room for another bookcase, so if a book isn’t holding my attention by page 100 (though you can usually tell by page 20 with some duds), or I am so uninterested in the description I can’t bring myself to open the dang thing (this happens too often when you buy books during a flush of interest in a particular genre or theme, and then the phase passes and you’ve still got all these unread books based on some interest you no longer have.) I HAVE to put it in the charity pile, or, if it’s teen/YA, give it to my sister for her classroom library. Get these things out of my house!

Okay, there you have it. My main goal for 2016. Get my TBR under control and cull my collection to something manageable — and SHELVE-ABLE.

I’ve got some great books to look forward to. Just glancing at my book closet now, I see The Handmaid’s Tale, The Invisible Man, The Once and Future King, P.G. Wodehouse, Oscar Wilde — it’s gonna be a year of classics, I think. I’m going to set my GoodReads goal at 52, like I always do (aiming for a book a week), but around June or July I’ll readjust depending on how long some of the books are taking. (For example, I’d love to read The Count of Monte Cristo, but I highly doubt I’m getting through that in a single week…)

If you’d like to join the Read My Own Damn Books pledge, check out the original post here. And tell me in the comments, what are your reading goals for the new year? Are you going to place yourself under a book-buying ban, or do you, unlike me, actually have a hold on your TBR (and self-control)? What book are you MOST looking forward to reading in 2016?

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Illuminae | AKA THE MOST PERFECT BOOK

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The moment I took Illuminae out of the mail package, something about this book inherently excited me. It’s a chunky monster, with this really interesting plastic semi-sheer cover that peeks at what looks like censored documents underneath.

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And when you open it up, the book is sheer artistry, with pages devoted to the most interesting, chaotic, and artful typography. This is more than a reading experience, it’s a visual experience.

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Because I’m Nosy And Love Looking At Books — The ShelfieHop!

Crystal from Bookiemoji and Kristen from My Friends Are Fiction have put together The Shelfie Hop — a chance for everyone to share pictures of their books! I shared a room tour a while back and nothing has intrinsically changed, but I definitely have tons of new books that have required innumerable rearrangements of my shelves, so here it goes: the latest, not last, arrangement of my shelves (subject to change the moment I get a new book haul and have to move everything all over again.)

I have a bookcase across from my bed which is gorgeous to wake up to everyday.

Continue reading “Because I’m Nosy And Love Looking At Books — The ShelfieHop!”

More Happy Than Not | A Book So Good I Don’t Want to Review It

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My feelings on Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not accurately summed up in .gif form:

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This is one of those books you don’t even want to talk about, if that makes sense. I read this book during Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and knew basically nothing about it going in — I knew it was LGBT, kind of a contemporary SciFi, and there was something akin to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in the plot: an organization that is promoting a new “medical cure” — a procedure which erases people’s memories to cure them of PTSD, forget abuse, even change certain aspects of their personality by erasing the memories associated with them.

The basic story is this: while the main character Aaron is reeling from his father’s suicide, living in a crappy, impoverished inner-city neighborhood, and basically scraping to get by, he begins to question his sexuality. And as the stark reality of what this life means in a neighborhood like his really sets in, he decides he wants to have his memories erased in the hopes that he can chemically remove this part of him.

I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY EXCEPT THIS BOOK IS SO, SO, SO GOOD. I DEVOURED IT. CRAMMED HANDFULS OF IT IN MY MOUTH AND CRUNCHED IT UP AND GULPED IT DOWN. I didn’t want to close this book. I didn’t want to blink while reading. (Which, considering it was a 24 hour readathon, was kinda perfect.) This is one of those books you don’t want to be spoiled for, because the fun is in the journey, in discovering the rules and games and folds of this world, and wondering what the main character is going to do and how he’ll survive.

More Happy THan Not has been compared to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Memento, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe, and I think it’s a perfect mishmash of them all. Interesting, fast-paced, has Sunshine’s scary memory-deleting organization, that kind of Memento feel of the reader trying to piece the plot together as the character tries to do the same, and the Ari and Dante beauty of a wonderfully written LGBT read. I cannot recommend it more.

5/5 stars

The Marvels | Just Perfect.

I am a huge fan of Brian Selznick, absolutely loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, but I’ll admit I don’t closely follow his career. I found out about The Marvels while scrolling through Tumblr; someone had posted a book stack with a book that had the Selznick trademark spine — a beautiful illustration of a sliver of a someone’s face.

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guh. these things are so beautiful lined up together on a shelf. also, you can’t tell, but this book has gold-trimmed pages! GOLD. I love me some impeccable production quality.

I immediately went into a conniption fit of “HE WROTE ANOTHER BOOK????” and jetted over to Amazon to find it. To my shock, amazement, and suspicion, the book had terrible reviews. To my memory, Hugo and Wonderstruck were 5 star masterpieces and the reviews reflected this, but The Marvels had tons of 1 and 2 star reviews!

This struck me as strange, so I started reading through the poor reviews to see what was up. There, I encountered some … interesting complaints.

Things like “this is a children’s book, not Brokeback Mountain.”

Oh.

Apparently, this book had gay characters. And apparently, that was enough for a whole slew of people to leave hateful, distasteful reviews calling for the book’s banishment and boycott.

I’ve never bought anything so fast in all my life.

Continue reading “The Marvels | Just Perfect.”