5 things not to do when your life is a bit overwhelmed

Why am I overwhelmed? Well, because I’m a 20-something. Wasn’t that a given? Do we even have a choice? But specifically, I’ll get to that at the end. Maybe. Unless I get too overtaken by feelings to finish.

1. Avoid putting things away, specifically clothes.

This is a broad one. We’re talking laundry, of course. But we’re also talking returns I need to get in the mail (that Nordstrom sale, seriously), and, even more space-consuming, my stacks of clothes to sell or donate. It’s great that I cleaned out my closet (and that I’m returning a lot of what I ordered!), but it all adds up real fast in a studio. After a couple of busy weeks and in the midst of a couple of big changes happening, my place is a mess, and at least half of it is stuff I’m trying to get out of here.

I need to get on this.

2. Feel like being social will help and then make too many plans

Ok, this one is obviously too much of a generalization. So often, being social does help, and working on building and connecting is great. Feeling isolated is typically a negetive, and I’ve learned that if I want to go have people to go bowling with on a Saturday, I might need to plan it and invite them (and they will come, and it will be great, and I will not win, unfortunately.) But I might have to accept that at the moment, my relationships might have to build a tiny bit more slowly, and that’s ok, and I can alway get back to planning things to bring people together after things calm down.

That said, I think we’re still going to go do karaoke two weekends from now, so let me know if you want in.

3. Ignore your dishes

The self-loathing isn’t worth it. Put on some music or an audiobook and go do them. (Or move somewhere with a dishwasher. Whatever works for you, though you probably don’t want to transport dirty dishes when moving. Obviously. Anyways.)

4. Start marathining a new show.

Ah, so I’m actually doing fine on this one for the moment, but I’m including it as a reminder, because I am so tempted to break my stress by finding something to watch mindlessly for a while. I’ve mostly been picking up a book instead, which should get me points. (Except that I read most of a 400+ page Brandon Sanderson novel yesterday, and maybe that wasn’t my best use of time, but it was Sunday for heaven’s sake, and it was restful!)

Aaaand, here’s the big one:

5. Apartment-hunt and job-hunt at the same time

Because really, these take so much time. Each. While neither process is pretty, neither is the end of the world.

Unless you need to do both at the same time, then it’s a little bit the end of the world.

And unfortunately there’s no way out of it, unless one of you has a fast-forward device to get me a few months ahead of this.

But where would the fun be in that?

Books, Lately [July]

pages of the book as a bird flying away
Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.

So apparently these posts become just as much about my life surrounding each book in question as about the book itself. Which may or may not be a good thing. I suppose those already reading my reviews get a better taste of who I am, but anyone who would read life-posts but doesn’t read book-posts probably isn’t going to read the latter to get the former.

If anyone reads anything here, that is.

Solution: blog more.

Obstacle: all of the excuses in the world.

Conclusion: indecision and writer’s block and I’ll probably just see you next month for another book post, kay?

THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR
Scott Hawkins

So sometimes you read something on a total whim, and sometimes you request books off NetGalley based on very, very little. And then sometimes those books are meh, and clearly you should choose more carefully.

And other times an awesome book reinforces your laziness. This is one of those.

Don’t you love when a fantasy author takes mythology you know of and goes a little crazy with it and gives you wonderful backstory and interpretation for that mythology? This *isn’t* one of those. I don’t recognize a single bit of the mythology in here (though that doesn’t mean much), and Hawkins doesn’t baby you through explaining. You’re tossed into a world of gods and ancient powers and a library with all of the knowledge of this age (as opposed to earlier ages, obviously) and pocket universes and suns that are made of a single pure emotion and lions.

So have fun and good luck figuring it out as you go.


SILVER BAY
Jojo Moyes

I don’t have a lot to say for this one. It’s earlier Jojo Moyes, and not nearly as good as her recent stuff. But judged on it’s own caliber and not against what we now know she can do with a story, it’s… still just decent. It moved sooo slooow and I wished Liza’s backstory was revealed sooner as the tragedy informed so much of her character. The slow reveal just added to the slowness. Did I mention this was a bit slow?


Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Robin Sloan

Time to talk book club, because book club is clearly not going to get its own post anytime soon.

So, I started a book club two months ago, because in the span of a week two different people told me if I started one, I should let them know. (Sometimes you realize the world just might be trying to tell you something.)

There were five of us (and now there are only four, so if you’re interested…) and we’ve only met twice, but it’s been pretty great. Fair warning: there’s not a *ton* to talk about with this book, especially as opposed to last month’s Peace Like a River, but I actually liked this book a lot better than last month’s. It’s a lot of fun, and goes quickly, and is all about books and secret organizations. So worth a book club that was mostly just wine and life-talk.


ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE
Anthony Doerr

Let’s just start with the confession, huh? I haven’t technically “finished” this book. I’ve read approximately 70%, and that includes the last 20%, so that counts for something!

Twas the night before morning work-book-club and all through the studio, I was frantically pulling up reviews with spoilers trying to decide if I should stay up all night finishing the book or just not go or go and pretend I’d read things I hadn’t.

The compromise: read some spoilery reviews, then read the ending. So how could I possibly have appreciated this book properly without that middle bit? Well, maybe I didn’t appreciate it “properly,” but I really did appreciate it. The massive amount of detail is exquisite and somehow didn’t even bore me–quite a feat.

I’m on hold for a renew of this to (maybe) go back and read what I missed!


WHAT’S UP NEXT

More summer reading, catching up on some eGalley’s, this month’s book club pick, and maybe finally actually reading Gaiman’s American Gods.

Summer Reading List (and beyond)

Note: WordPress glitched and I published a half-done version of this post! Hence the re-publishing. Woops.

I’ve learned from my Fall Reading List and Spring Reading List that setting myself up to read a set of pre-determined books for three months is one of the most untenable ideas I’ve ever come up with. Which, yes, probably speaks directly to some of my greater personality flaws, but there you have it. Reading plans are not my thing, and it’s also why I didn’t bother committing to any reading challenges besides a Goodreads number!

(Confession: That fall list from last year? I read two books from it. Woops. That’s what I get for not adding anything I could read on Kindle.)

That said, I do have a smattering of books I more-or-less intend to read over the next few months. Some are for book clubs, some are E-galleys, some are sequels that have just or will soon be released (that Tearling book!), and others are actually books that seem like they’d be good summer reads. (And others have just been on my book shelves for too long that it’s getting ridiculous.)

Summer Reading 2015

Obviously, if I’m averaging about 5-6 books a month, and I inevitably add in other books other than these as I go, there’s no way I’m going to read them all before September. And I’m saying ahead of time that that’s OK. In fact, it’s part of why I didn’t bother trying to cull this list back to something reasonable. These are the books I really want to read, and anyways, they do darn good together on my Goodreads list (seriously, check out that accidental color coordinating!)

I’m also getting smarter, and have learned to keep my non-fiction expectations to a minimum. Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant and How’s Your Drink? have both been on my shelves for awhile, and they’re begging to be read

I also made sure  that I wasn’t overwhelming my list with books I would expect myself to read on paper. I simply read more books and faster when I focus on Kindle books, so most of these are accessible from my library through Overdrive. (A few still aren’t available, through I’ve “recommended” them to the library, like the Jenny Han sequel and The Sea of Tranquility, so these will be dependent on availability or Kindle sales.) Only three of the fiction books (Invasion, Penumbra, and Life After Life) are ones I already own copies of, and they’re all books that I particularly want to read (or need to for book club!), so I’ll be more likely to be willing to cart them around in my purse as long as I have to, or actually read them when I’m home.

Probably the biggest challenge, though it wouldn’t be uif I read it on Kindle, is The Secret Keeper. I got it off Audible a couple of months ago and haven’t tackld it yet. Almost 20 hours of listening is seriously push my super lax (basically nonexistent) audiobook habit!

So I’m super looking forward to reading all of these (especially the second Tearling book and that new Vanessa Diffenbaugh!), but don’t be suprised if some of these turn up again this fall or something next year!

Happy Summer Reading!

 

Books, Lately [June]

pages of the book as a bird flying away
Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.

So this month we had our first book club, reading Peace Like a River, and it was great. The meeting, I mean. The book was good too, but, um, I didn’t quite finish it. (cough I read half cough). I’m thinking of a post about book club, as in I feel almost obligated to write one, so maybe that and finishing the book will have to go hand in hand!

Only four books this month besides that, but they were seriously all fantastic–and really different. Not like I read a happy clappy spiritual growth book, a bloody horror thriller, and Dosteovsky different, or Rachel Held Evans and Nancy Leigh DeMoss different, but different enough.

 

I CAPTURE THE CASTLE
Dodie Smith

I’d heard this was fantastic, a classic and a YA one at that. And I bought it, but it sat around until I lent it to Cristina on the whim that she imight like it (despite not even having read it myself.) And when she bought it back with a glowing recommendation, it did seem like it was time to pick it up myself. Which I did, but like two weeks later.

Castle  covers some six months of 17- and 18-year old life in the 1930s~ English countryside. It’s essentially a coming-of-age journal full of first love, family disfunctionality, and beautiful descriptions, and Cassandra is a great narrator. Smith captures the ebb and flow of trying to get life down into a journal, including the times when you’re saying, “Oh, I want to write about today, but I still need to write about all of last week first!” Thankfully, Cassandra is adapt at speed writing and I mostly enjoyed the pacing.


THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS
Vanessa Biffenbaugh

Do you have any books on your TBR lists that you know very little about, yet they’ve been on there for years? Language of Flowers was in that catagory for me.

I finally downloaded it from my library’s Overdrive one day, not really expecting much from it: maybe a lite women’s fiction or even something closer to chick lit. Definitely something rote.

So, so not the case. It’s deep, it’s a little dark (but thematically rather than plot-wise), and I know this is vague and kind of a cheat word but it’s quite compelling.

 


SAINT ANYTHING
Sarah Dessen

I’ve noticed, because how can you not, that YA contemporary (specifically with female protags) can get stereotyped as lite, fluffy, and overfocused on boy-crazy girls.

I have feminist feelings about this: the assumptions that, (1) teenage girls only care about vapid things and (2) that the things teenage girls care about are silly or irreleveant or not worth caring about. But it honestly might take a while longer and more reading before I try to put those thoughts and feelings down better than this.

Sometimes, of course, contemporary YA is lite and fluffy. (There’s a whole other conversation that could be had about the legitimacy of fluffy reading, but that’s not neccessary here.) But the stereotype is superficial at best, because these books so often deal well with everyday life–including some of the deeper, darker issues that neccessarily crop up. What I’m poorly trying to say is that I’ve found Sarah Dessen, among other YA writers, to create great, varied female protaganists who deal with some serious s—: abuse, depression, crippling social anxiety, etc. (Dreamland is a great example of this.)

What I’m also poorly trying to say is that I really, really liked this book.


THE HERO OF AGES
Sarah Addison Allen

I loved/hated finishing the three-book Mistborn epic. Loved, because it was fantastic. Hated, because it was over. But the love side gets a boost because Sanderson has books coming out this fall and next January that will complete a second triology set in this same world–just a few hundred years later.

I should read something different from him to be sure (Elantris is on my list of summer reads), but I think Sanderson might be one of my newest favorite authors.


WHAT’S UP NEXT

Theoretically, I’ll actually write a blog about the graphic I already made with my (theoretical)(possible) summer reading , but I might take advantage of the fact that the first day of summer is the 21st, instead of considering summer to be June-August!

Right now I’m reading The Library at Mount Char, an eGalley I nabbed a bit back that officially released a few days ago. It’s twisted and mythology-filled and great. And within the next week I’ll be reading All The Light We Cannot See  and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore as fast as possible for book clubs!

What are ten things you still want to learn?

learning
1. The first is entirely due to Netflix. Is it weird that I never cared about art history before watching White Collar—but now want to know all of it? I’m pretty much determined now to eventually take some sort of class on this.

2. Science. There is a lot that I’m missing. Because I went to Moody.

3. Kick-boxing. Is anyone in Chicago interested in taking a class? I’d need to find something really inexpensive, unfortunately.

4. Coding.

5. To use InDesign better, to know more about what Photoshop can do, and to know how to use Illustrator at all.

6. How to dredge up the energy every evening to keep up a clean apartment. Or cleanish, you know, whatever.

7. How to sew my own clothes: I’m starting to work on this one! As in, I have pretty much everything I need for a dress pattern, except printing out the pattern. And practicing on the machine I haven’t used in years, first.

8. Pretty much all of the skills involved in being a spy, a con, a space pirate, Arrow, and/or a Time Lord. I’d also accept merely being outfitted with the Intersect in my brain like Chuck (but with better control), and/or allomancy.

9. To draw. A friend and I have started working through a “You can draw too!” sort of book, and by started, I mean we’re both terrible still. We also just sort of skipped a month (or so…) without planning to, so, this may or may not work out. (Sarah, oops?)

10. To be moderately successful at being a functioning adult.

This is not, by any means, all of the things I want to learn. But you have to start somewhere, right? Also, a longer list would become depressing, especially if I have to include stuff like “holding my breathe underwater properly” and other embarrasing things.

Yeah.

What are yours?

When you couldn’t be bothered to fix your old “About Me”

I wrote an “About Me” sometime in 2011 when I began this WordPress blog, and then never bothered after that. I left it up so long I finally added “from 2011” at the top to explain anything that felt out of date, and another time made a couple of tiny adjustments to make it less dated. And then, finally, I just removed the page entirely. I’ve only just gotten around to working on a new one. Or, you know, starting to.

I think it was easier to describe myself in my teen years because the need to be able to was so strong. That, and in a strange way I think I knew myself better then. I didn’t know who I would be. And I didn’t really have any idea who I should be. But I had an idea who I was, in those moments, and I ran with that.

Finishing school kind of screwed that whole thing up.

I still don’t know who I will be, I only have a slightly better idea of who I should be, and heaven knows I don’t always know who I am. To be honest, half the time I think the question and concept of “knowing who I am” is flawed anyways.

But the funny thing is, the way I described myself in 2011 isn’t half bad.

Overanalytical, argumentative, cynical, hyperactive, stubborn, indecisive, facetious, innapropriate, impatient. My failings.

My passions? Harder to define. Learning and knowing. In the past, and hopefully soon the present, my education. Showing people that most of life’s questions have more than one right answer and we should probably stop hating one another over them. Laughter, being overcome by it and causing it. Showing people love through words and actions. My faith. Words. Sentences. Punctuation and grammar.

Just like you. And you, and you, and you over there with the brown coat.

Now, I don’t think my failures or passions make me that much different from the general populace, but they do make me a bit different from the specific people I come into everyday contact with.

I’m less cyncical indecisive innapropriate… ok, actually, the failings I listed are still pretty accurate. If I were to write them now I might reprioritize them. I might add “listless” or “lost” (although I’ve learned that this one might just be a general symptom of being a 20-something.)

I still wouldn’t list successes or positive traits. I have them, but sometimes they fail me and and sometimes I don’t live up to them and sometimes I lose them entirely. I’d rather not set that standard for myself, here, in public. (I’ll save that for any future job interviews).

And my passions, though using “passions” feels overly passionate now, are a bit immaturely written, but still—there’s still me in there. But now I’d add books, and design, and good feminism, and a need for community.

And through learning about my passions and failings, and how they shape me, I get these glimpses of who I’m maybe, perhaps, potentially meant to be.

This blog is occasionally about that.

The rest of the time, I write to amuse myself.

And hopefully, once in while, you.

The biggest difference? Now I mostly write about books. I hope you don’t mind.

Life, Currently // Three

Time //  Wednesday night, finishing up a few posts that aren’t time sensitive that I can actually schedule. Blogging ahead? That’s a thing?!

Reading // Mistborn. I’m madly in love with this universe right now, and all my other books are just going to have to deal with it.

Watching // Lately I’ve just been keeping up with my usual shows, but I did catch up on a few months of Arrow last week. It’s one of the shows I just like better serialized, so I’m more likely to skip it week by week and then binge. Flash, on the otherhand, I can’t get enough of. I usually watch it the night it airs.

And has anyone else been watching iZombie and Younger? Both of these shows have been great so far in their first seasons, and I’m planning to keep up with them. I just really hope they don’t go the early cancellation way of last years A to Z and Selfie, especially considering Selfie was getting genuinely good towards the end.

Loving // Spring clothes. Short sleeves, new shorts, and I even made it into a bathing suit in Florida two weeks ago—outside!

Raving about // How sad is it to discover an amazing place mere blocks from my apartment when I’ve already lived here some 8 months? Or rather, how awesome, but lame to not find it sooner? The Panini Republic is on Diversey, three blocks east of Clark, and so, so, so tasty.

Working on // The same giant project I’ve been on for a while now, and I’m starting to really look forward to smaller projects with quicker turnovers. Outside of freelancing, I’ve itching to finish updating and polishing my resume for future use.

Anticipating // Two of my best and weirdest friends from home are visiting in a couple of weeks, and it’s going to be crazy good to finally show them around where I live now. I’m just praying for good weather, because Kelly’s a true wimp with the cold.

Considering // I’ve been thinking about the reasons I rarely get too serious here, and considering if that’s something I want to change. I think I do, eventually, but I’m not sure I’m in a place for it right now. Either way, I know I want to try my hand at a little more “everyday” blogging. We’ll see.

Books, Lately [May]

pages of the book as a bird flying away
Welcome to Quick Lit!
This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.

This month is also extra colorful. Literally, not literarily, colorful. I’m not actually sure what I think of it.

MS. MARVEL
G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

I don’t read a lot of comic books and graphic novels. But I actually really like them, I just find the vast expanse of what’s available to be completely overwhelming (and potentially expensive). So reading a new series from the start is really working for me. The second volume is out, but I’ve been saving it in my cart for the next time I feel the need for some Amazon retail therapy. Or when I’ve actually read more of the books I’ve already paid money for!


MISTBORN
Brandon Sanderson

I’m in love. The Mistborn series is everything I ever could have wanted in a long term commitment. And I mean long long term commitment. I’m currently on the third of the series, which technically ends this triology, but Sanderson has QUITE a few books set in the same universe, and in the next six months will be putting out two books which will finish the second trilogy on this particular world.

It’s intense.

But about these books specifically! Um, they’re great, and I’m in love. Is that enough? No? Well, it’ll have to be. When I finish the third book, I may try and summarize the series, but no promises. Suffice to say there’s a fantastical powers-system (calling it magic doesn’t feel quite right), characters I love, characters that are really enjoyable to dislike, and  and a couple of crazy-unique races, and plotting, and intrigue, and really cool powers (worth two mentions), and an intense mythology,

And I am such a sucker for a world with a good mythology.


AT THE WATER’S EDGE
Sara Gruen

Once upon a time I started watching the Water for Elephants movie with friends, and I never finished it. I really just didn’t care. But then I read it, and then I cared, because Gruen is quite good at what she does. I got At the Water’s Edge as an ARC from Netgalley (though I accidentally neglected it till it was out anyways, oops) because of how much I liked Elephants. And because of that cover, isn’t it gorgeous?

Water’s Edge is set primarily in Scotland and explores the myth of the Loch Ness monster through the lives of of three Americans who came monster hunting to escape their current situations (and to find a monster and be famous for it, of course). Maddie, a great character who someone described well as being both strong and naive at the same time, is married to Ellis, who just lost his Father’s favor (and money) and is also there to redeem himself to dear old Daddy (it’s complicated). While the boys try to capture a monster on film, Maddie gets to know the people of the town, and through that and seeing her husband and marriage for what they really are, Maddie has to decide what she wants, and who she even is.

It’s occasionally slow, and I can understand reviewers who called it thin, but personally I was into it from the start. The interactions are great: between Maddie and the maids, between her former identity as a socialite and her even more former identity as daughter of a scandal, and between Maddie and Angus. Themes of complicated infidelity and abuse might turn off some readers, but Gruen handles them well.


lostlake

LOST LAKE
Sarah Addison Allen

SAA ‘s world is that of southern contemporary magical realism. It’s not a subgenre I spend a lot of time in, which is part of why I put off reading her two most recent books for a while, but I’ve liked almost everything I’ve read from her. Lost Lake isn’t as good as my favorites (Garden Spells, Girl Who Chased the Moon, and even Sugar Queen), but it was a big improvement IMO from Peach Keeper. The setting kept Lost Lake from feeling too similar to her other books, and I felt like I could emphathize with Kate, the protagonist. On the meh side of things, I felt like the magic felt more… contrived than her other stuff? I still ended it feeling content, which is something I like with her books.


BURN FOR BURN
FIRE WITH FIRE
Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Highschool revenge drama with a twist. Like, a really big, unexpected twist that leaves you not entirely sure what genre you’re reading. I’ve never read Vivian, just Han, so the [spoilers!] element might have been less of a suprise if I was acquainted with both. Either way, I’m definitely not unhappy with the kind of twist these books throw out!  I really liked the elemtents of healthier female friendships (as healthy as you can get when you’re plotting big revenge together) to balance out the expected, but not too overdone, catty ones. I also liked that it dealt with heftier issues and was grittier than Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.


WHAT’S UP NEXT

Honestly? More Mistborn. I’ve still got a ways to go in the third book (these things are nice and long!). And when I’m done, it’s going to be a challange not to just jump into more books in that universe right away.

When I can tear my eyes from Vin and Elend, I want to finish Searching for Sunday and Moral DisorderAnd I really need to turn my eyes back to the rest of the books I promised myself I’d read this spring! There’s still too many to finish in May (Mistborn ruined everything!), but I’d like to at least try to tackle a couple of these: Glittering Images, I Capture the Castle, Almost Famous Womenand Damaged Goods.

Although let’s be honest. With the lack of restraint I’ve shown lately towards series, I should probably avoid Glittering Images and anything else with a #1 by it’s name!

When it’s possible to enjoy both ebooks and real books (and libraries for both!)

In my first year of college in Chicago, I fell madly in love with the main Chicago Public Library.

It’s huge and amazing and I just loved entering. It’s got gorgeous architecture, and it always felt like a shame that the North side of the building was flush against the elevated tracks of the Brown line. (In a contradiction I had no problems with, I did not think it was a shame that I could take the Brown line and be immediately outside the building.)

Public Library and State Street at night, Chicago, IL, US
Public Library and State Street at night, Chicago, IL, US [© Oleksandr Dibrova / Dollar Photo Club]

 

(Ok, really, being in love with the library was hardly a new thing in my life. But there had never been one this pretty before.)

Unfortunately, I was in school and I didn’t have as much time for reading-for-me as I would have liked—and I wasn’t making the time either. I was actually in a bit of a silly  reading drought brought on by a critical misunderstanding of what sort of books I was “supposed” to read now that I wasn’t of YA age [answer: it doesn’t have to be all classics (and classics don’t have to be Jane Austen!)!] But somewhere in there, in the midst of the bits of reading I was doing, I discovered how to use Overdrive for Kindle. [I can borrow books from the library to my Kindle? Whaaaat?] It is quite possibly my favorite discovery of the past 24 years. Even with only reading a handful of books a year, and still visiting the CPL for stacks of books that would likely become did-not-finish books, most of my reading switched over to Kindle.

Once I remembered how much I liked reading voraciously (finding new genres helped a lot) and ended my drought, I was a total Kindle junkie. Of course! Overdrive was free and took much less effort than multiple trips into the Loop, and in a tiny dorm room there simply wasn’t space for many paperbacks.

But, after graduating, there was space in an actual apartment.

Conveniently (inconveniently), I work just two blocks from a fabulous used bookstore, Open Books*. One of the greatest (worst) things about OB is how well they’ve uilize their giant windows for displays: over the past two years I’ve probably gone in a dozen times to buy something I saw in the window walking by on the way home.

I started accumulating.

And because I was buying physcial books, I knew I should probably re-learn how to read them. Which may sound silly, but I was so deep in an ebook groove that it has taken some intentional effot: remembering to take them with me, reading at home more, not minding the weight, not minding only having one book in my hands at a time.

I still finish my ebooks much faster, but the gap is slowly closing.

Yet even though I graduated a almost two years ago now, I’ve never taken advantage of the library two blocks from my first apartment, or, now, the one that’s a fifteen/twenty minute walk away.

But I should, right? I feel like I’m missing something in my life, with the only library I frequent being a webpage. Now that I’ve been pushing myself to put down my Kindle more and pick up hard copies instead, shouldn’t I be using the library?

This is a complicated question, which involves mentoning the dozen unread books already in my own used bookstore apartment.

But.

But libraries!

Hopefully I’ll give in soon—and fall in love again.

How does everyone else manage reading from so many different sources—digital and physical, puchasing and borrowing? Do you organize or prioritize somehow, or just read whatever suits you at the time?

 

*Open Books is moving quite a bit further away, and it is possibly the worst thing ever. My budget disagrees.

Dear author, I will read anything you write.

I didn’t mean it to be, but I ignored this draft long enough it’s now perfect for The Broke and The Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday weekly linkup, this week’s being top ten favorite authors!. Except I only have a top six. Forgive me?

I’ve considered the idea of listing my “favorite authors” for a while, but here’s a secret about me: I hate favorites. I’m bad at picking favorites, I’m bad at sticking to favorites. I know my favorite color is yellow, but I clam up at questions about favorite music, foods, memories, etc. I know what I like, but I still never have an answer. (And when I get really stuck on something, I often get sick of it before it’s been around enough for the high status of “favorite.” Like the ampanada place across the street: loved them, but right now, can’t stand them. (The empanada place way down the street it a totally different story. I’m too lazy to walk there enough to get sick of those!))

Anyways.

Books are easier for one reason, and only one: Goodreads. Using Goodreads means I’m consistently tracking what I’ve read and what I like and what I would recommend. I still could never answer, ‘What’s your ONE favorite book?”, but I can go on lenthy schpeals about a bunch of my favorites from a genre or whatnot.

Authors is trickier. I just haven’t read enough! I’m only 24! But I’ve also read too much. How could I possibly have a favorite?

But it’s like I said: I know what I like. And I know the authors whose books I have finished and thought, I will read the next thing you write, no matter what.

I know which authors I like enough to find their blogs and check their Goodreads and hunt for hints and reassurances that they are, in fact, working on something new. These are those authors.

I will read anything you write

Rainbow Rowell // Rowell’s books suck me in and spit me out at the end ready to start the next. I read Fangirl right at the end of 2014 and immediately found and devoured E&P. Landline didn’t leave me quite as in love as the others, but I’m still so ready for Carry On and anything she creates afterwards. @rainbowrowell
My reviews: Attachments, Fangirl, Eleanor & Park, Landline, 2014 Favorites

Neil Gaiman // Gaiman definitely falls into that same category, where everything I’ve read, I have loved. Weirdly, I still have one of his books on my shelf, unread, but it’s not a question that I’ll get to it (just when). I made the mistake of buying his latest, a short stories collection, on audiobook, and while I will finish it, I keep forgetting I have it. But his next novel, whenever it happens? I’m all over that.
My reviews: Neverwhere (Ocean at the End of the Lane is my favorite so far, but I never reviewed it.) also, Fortunately, the Milk.

Margaret Atwood // …Actually, how legitimately can I claim I’ll read anything someone writes if I haven’t even read a fraction of their backlist? Atwood has written so much that it will take me years to get through even half. She’s on this list because I plan to. (And because Handmaid’s Tale sold me for life.
My reviews: The Tent

Helene Wecker // Thankfully, not every author I’ve fallen hard for has an impossible backlist to make me feel inadaquate about how much I’ve read. The Golem and the Jinni, Wecker’s debut novel, was such a stunner that she would have to seriously screw up the next one to lose my heart. @helenewecker
My reviews: The Golem and the Jinni, Favorites 2014

Liane Moriarty // Moriarty is a bit different than the above for me: I may never bother to read the rest of her backlist. But her last three books have been lovely additions to the women’s fiction genre, and I anything she writes in the future will go straight on my Library holds.
My reviews: The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies

Jojo Moyes // Moyes, on the other hand, will go straight on my pre-order list.
My reviews: The Girl You Left Behind, One Plus One, Honeymoon in ParisFavorites 2014

 

Wait, those were all…

Fiction, yes. This post is pretty predominently about fiction. I’ve been trying to read more non-fic the last few years, but haven’t really gotten to an “I have favorites!” place yet. But there are a couple of non-fic authors I will possibly always read, not because they are favorites, per se, but because I want to learn from them. Sarah Bessey and Rachel Held Evans (Year of Biblical Womanhood review) and Shauna Niequist (Bread & Wine review) are three whose next books I will preorder—or have already done so.

 

What readers would you follow to the moon—or, let’s get crazy, to something outside their usual genre?