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

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 […]

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 […]

Books, Lately [April]

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.

pages of the book as a bird flying away

I realize that this is about where I say things about the month’s books that are basically some variation of, “I didn’t read much” or “Wow, got a lot of reading done.”

I mean, if I didn’t say those things, I would just be going on every post about how “I love books!” and “Isn’t Goodreads grand?” I already go on about those things sometimes, so it’s quite tricky to come up with something clever. I could update you on my life! But I should save that for those posts that mostly just say, “Hmmm. Adulting is hard.”

Actually, I think I just summed up my blog.

Being an adult is hard, but at least there’s a lot of books.

Jenny Han

I was expecting some relaxing fluff, and I got it—& I really liked this piece of relaxing fluff YA . Lara Jean’s distinct personality is nothing like my own, but I could relate to her position of the edges of high school high society (but not, thank goodness, the particular bit of scandal she finds herself in.) I’m looking forward to the sequel, and have another Han series on library hold for the next time I need a light YA fix (which is relatively often).


bad-feminist-roxane-gayBAD FEMINIST
Roxane Gay

This book was so good, halfway through it I stopped reading my library e-copy and ordered a paperback off Amazon.

And then took over a month to get around to finishing it.

Gay’s essays on her life, feminism, race, and entertainment were great. Enjoyable, but challanging. I find myself wanting to understand more what intersectional feminism means, and this was a good place to start.

Ellie O’Neill

I recieved an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I requested Reluctantly Charmed completely at random. I don’t remember doing this, but it’s obviously true because I never would have picked this based on the cover or title. From a reader standpoint, frankly it’s a bit boring.

But the book is not! It wasn’t five-star worthy, but I would have given it a 3.5 if I could have. I liked the protaganist, Kate, though she wasn’t highly memorable (I barely remembered her name just now.)The faerie premise could have been quite cheesy, but I felt it worked well. Come to think of it, it reminded me of the fairies on Torchwood: seemingly innocent, friendly, etc, but quite creepy and awful in reality.

Marissa Meyer

I’m not sure if Fairest should really be called 3.5, as it’s 100% a prequel. There’s only on barely-there mention of Cress to neccesitate reading it in that order, but to be fair, it definitely needs to be read after at least the 1st book.

Fairest gives us a peek at Levana’s past, her adolesence specifically. She’s never been exactly likeable, so this isn’t your typical make-them-sympathetic villain backstory. No, she’s always a bit out of her mind, and never really understands the purpose of empathy. But it’s well constructed, and while I didn’t love reading about someone I didn’t really like at first, once I got into it the shortish book flew by quickly. And while Levana is hardly a sympathetic character, Meyers brought me this close to sympathizing anyways.

Rob Thomas

Listening to this was the result of the convergence of my addiction to Veronica Mars  and my new-found desire to give audiobooks a real shot. When I saw on blog post elsewhere that Kristen Bell (who plays Veronica in the show) was the narrator, and that she was fabulous at it, I went for it—and was not disappointed. So good. Bell’s narration was a great bridge moving from show to book, and I’m disappointed that she doesn’t narrate #2. I’ll be checking that one out on ebook!



Is it nerdy that, in addition to being particularly excited to read all of these next books, I’m also pretty thrilled at how I inadvertendly am reading a bunch of books that look great together? 

lostlake ms-marvel-2014-cover At-the-Waters-Edge 518viL-OPsL 22574709 22511168 68428 22522808


What are you reading?

#bookwormproblems [one]

Being a bookworm has never been something I’ve minded. How could I? I loved reading too much to care if I was teased for it, and I really wasn’t. (Unless I blocked it out. This is always an unnerving idea.) I did get in trouble […]

Quick Lit [March]

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.After 10-book-January, I really wasnt suprised to hit a lull month right away. I am a little bit perplexed […]

Top (Thirteen) Tuesday: Spring Reading

Every Tuesday, The Broke and the Bookish hosts a top ten linkup, and this week’s is “Top Ten Books On Your Spring TBR List.”

But rules are hard, so mine has 13.



 Lena Dunham >>> I’m reading this because it’s trendy. No shame.

DAMAGED GOODS Dianna F Anderson >>> I follow @diannaeanderson on Twitter and am looking forward to her take on Christian purity culture.

BLOG, INC. Joy Deangdeelert Cho >>> I’ve practically done no real research into how to blog properly, or better, or profitably, so it may be time to actually read this book that’s been gracing my shelves for some six months now.

SEARCHING FOR SUNDAY Rachel Held Evans >>> I would give this a shot regardless, but the copy for Held Evans new book sounds super good and, for me, timely as I’m meandering through the process of figuring out and finding church (like pretty much all of my millenials peers who didn’t jump straight from Moody to ministry.)

ALMOST FAMOUS WOMEN Megan Mayhew Bergman >>> It just sounds fantastic.


 Sarah Addison Allen >>> I’m still one behind with Allen (haven’t yet read Lost Lake), but First Frost is a sequel to (the lovely) Garden Spells, so it’ll lure me in first.

TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE Jenny Han >>> I’ve seen this YA novel given thumbs up by enough bloggers to put it on my Overdrive holds. (And then suspend that hold indefinitely because, ehmm, I’m way behind on reading my Overdrive books.)

I CAPTURE THE CASTLE Dodie Smith >>> Apparently this is basically a classic, and also YA, which sounds like a nice gateway drug for me to get into some classics later this year.

MISTBORN Brandon Sanderson >>> Isaac’s been reading these and really liking them, so I thought I’d give them a shot. I doubt I can catch up before he gets around to starting the fourth book, but I can always use a good fantasy series in my life.

GLITTERING IMAGES Susan Howatch >>> This is another book where I don’t know much about it, but it’s well recommended enough that I got it from paperback swap a couple of months ago and it’s been waiting for me ever since.

STONE MATTRESS Margaret Atwood >>> I need to read more Atwood, and her newest short story collection has gotten a few rave reviews from bloggers I trust.


 Sara Gruen >>> Loved Water for Elephants, and looking forward to trying another Sara Gruen.

HAUSFRAU Jill Alexander Essbaum >>> I’m still newly thrilled that ARCs are a thing I can do. I requested this mostly because it popped up on the Goodreads New Releases in my genres page for March, and, well, it was gorgeous. I think I read the marketing copy too. Maybe.

Happy Spring Reading!

That weekend, tho. (Tales of the very specifically Chicagoan version of an Irish holiday.)

That weekend, tho. (Tales of the very specifically Chicagoan version of an Irish holiday.)

So apparently when they turn the river green for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s actually pretty cool. I expected to be underwhelmed, but the only disappointment was the devatating lack of sun. People, if it’s going to be nine AM and it’s still March, just wear […]

Life, Currently // Two

Time //  Lunch break on a Thursday. I don’t normally work in the office Thursdays, but the infamous Kristi Joy is visiting this weekend (AKA getting here at an ungodly early hour tomorrow morning), and so this is one of the times when my flexible work schedule […]

Learning styles (and challenging my own with audiobooks)

This is more-or-less part of my slow-updating Newly-Minted Adult series. Technically it’s just another way for me to talk about books, but it still counts. It does!

I am not an auditory learner.

Not even in the slightest. I used to feel lacking, or lazy, or disrespectful when I had so much trouble paying attention to lectures, sermons, lessons—you name it, I struggled with focusing in it.

It helped when I began understanding it about myself. I realized that it probably explains my being a better student in high school than in college (in addition to the general lack of time for studying after running around Chicago every evening). I no longer feel guilty that I don’t get a ton from sermons, or feel bad at how many chapels I slept through in college, and I can allow myself to feel fine about needing to not yet even consider going back to school.

And if I want to work on any of those things, that’s fine–but I finally let myself off the hook for being how I am in the first place (most of the time). Maybe that’s part of  adulting: learning to work on your flaws, but in healthy ways that don’t involve beating yourself up for them. (Or maybe I just wanted to say adulting again.)


Not being an auditory learner also means that I’ve never really cared to be read to (although if I ever did as a small child, I just don’t remember.) And that means I’ve never considered audiobooks as desireable, or even an option.

Which is exactly why I finally decided to give them a shot.

(Well, that, and all the other cool book-blogging kids are listening to them!)


Maybe it won’t actually work this way, but I realized that probably the only sensible way to improve my auditory learning would be to, well, use it.  And since listening to lecture recordings or even a lot of podcasts sounds like a surefire way to make me not bother, audio books are clearly the superior option.

And I’m not sure which came first: the idea of audiobooks as a way to train my sucky auditory learning skills, or the need to read books in all of the ways books can be read.

& I also felt left out when reading blog posts about audiobooks. Let me in the club!

So I am just  trying it all out now. Sometime in the last year I started trying to do library audio books, but I didn’t like the feel of the Overdrive app, or having a limited check out period (something that doesn’t bother me as much with Kindle books).


Sometime before Christmas, Isaac pointed me to a fantastic trial-period deal on Audible (because if a deal exists, he will find it).

I’m often hesitant to go for trials because I am awful at cancelling things. I had a credit score checking subscription for about 9 months longer than I wanted it because their process for canceling was horrible… not that I’m much better when the process isn’t horrible.

Anyways. The trial offer was for three months at their gold level: 1 credit each month. And since it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I missed canceling in time and hit a fourth month at 1 credit for $14, I signed up and downloaded Amy Poehler’s Yes, Please. 

Which is a fabulous book so far.
Which I have only listened to 5% of in three months.

Clearly I needed to start somewhere more basic (for me) than non-fiction.

Enter my obsessive marathoning of Veronica Mars and the subsequent movie. After finishing I discovered the results of one very obsessive fandom: There’s a book too?!?!!

It was a good move: I’m much more interested in opening my audible app when it’s fiction. I’m more likely to be thinking ahead to times I can take advantage of my headphones when it’s a story I’m really interested in (and has great narration!). I’ve even opened it to listen before going to sleep a few times.

It’s still slow, it’s still not instinct in the slightest to want to listen to a story, but that’s hardly a surprise. The surprise is that it’s tentatively working, no matter how slowly.

The other day I bought Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warnings because I though he might narrate it himself (he does, and it’s great) and that short stories would be a curious thing to try listening to. I like short stories, but I tend to forget I’m reading a collection of them—so if listening to them turns out to be a bust, it’s not a great loss.

And Neil Gaiman is fantastic, and I was going to have to read it in some format eventually. (Seriously. Go read something by Gaiman.)


I’m starting to “get” the appeal. I can listen on the bus if I don’t feel like reading (or need both my hands for stability) or walking around. It’s not like I’m not willing to read my kindle while walking, but this is probably safer.

And while I don’t drive often and can’t multifocus well enough to listen while doing chores, I totally get how perfectly suited Audible would be for both.

So I’m not quite sold yet, but when I finish 8 hours of Kristen Bell narrating her very own Veronica Mars, I might be.

Life, Currently // One (& a review)

I completely stole this format from Cassie over at Nose Stuck in a Book. She’s significantly less long-winded, so there’s a good chance you’d rather be reading her blog right now. Time //  A super lazy Saturday night. Reading // I’m in a bit of […]