2020 End of Year Book Survey

Hosted, as always, by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner

(Also, I cannot believe I did not post this last year! I may have to do last year’s anyway. I started it but never finished, which ruined my streak. AND ALSO I DON’T KNOW HOW I FELT ABOUT BOOKS. What a tragedy.)

I’m trying something new this year, which is not repeating answers. So even if a book fit more than one category, I put it in the one I felt it best fit.

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 48
Number of Audiobooks: 6
Number of Rereads: 4
Number Unfinished/Abandoned: 6 (2 of these were audiobooks)

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2020?

The Vanishing HalfThe Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, this was just awesome. I loved the narrative voice, the seamless transitions from past to present, and the characterization. That Stella is something else, but I think Bennett deftly shows how though her world seems larger, it’s actually just as small–if not smaller–than Desiree’s. I also appreciated the skewering of moderate racist White people.

All the characters here are sympathetic, and this just further proves my point that fiction can be a better entry point into anti-racist teaching than nonfiction. Also, as always, all Black lives matter and the reminder that “unimportant men were killed to make the point that they were unimportant–that they were not even men” (179) was as true in the 1960s as it is now.

The title works on ~levels~ and I am here for it.

View all my reviews

Continue reading “2020 End of Year Book Survey”

2018 End of Year Book Survey

Hosted, as always, by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner. I am also cross-posting this with the #AMonthofFaves blog event. Today’s prompt is squee worthy reads, and I think I more than cover that in this post!

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 75
Number of Audiobooks: 10
Number of Rereads: 4
Number Unfinished/Abandoned: 12 (3 of these were audiobooks)

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

The Mother of Black Hollywood: A MemoirThe Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jenifer Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio version of this, which I highly recommend. It’s like sitting in a room with her while she tells you her story. Plus, she sings! So that’s fun.

I appreciated Lewis’s honesty here, especially as she spoke of her sex addiction and bipolar disorder. I *loved* all the stuff about how she came to terms with her childhood and how she learned to forgive her mother. The story about the white man coming to the door and insulting her mother? WHEW.

Lewis makes liberal use of the f-word and isn’t shy about detailing her sexual history (there’s a chapter called “Dick Diva,” for example). If these are things that may offend you, probably don’t read this. But if you want a brutally honest account of working in show business while learning to accept and manage a mental illness, then definitely check it out.

Also, I totally want to hang out with Jenifer Lewis and Brandy. How do I make this happen?

Read Harder 2018, Task 12: A celebrity memoir

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Continue reading “2018 End of Year Book Survey”

2017 End of Year Book Survey

via Perpetual Page Turner

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 66
Number of Audiobooks: 13
Number of Rereads: 1
Number Unfinished/Abandoned: 6

Continue reading “2017 End of Year Book Survey”

2016 End of Year Book Survey

via The Perpetual Page Turner

Reading Stats

Number Of Books You Read: 92
Number of Audiobooks: 6
Number of Rereads: 5
Number Unfinished/Abandoned: 8

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and ScientologyTroublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, so I listened to this on audio, which I think made it just that much more amazing.

Leah is a complete badass and spills ALL THE TEA. All of it. Every last drop. My girl names names and everything. ALL OF THE NAMES.

I love this book. Love, love, love. Remini is fierce and funny and also a little hood, which I completely appreciated.

Read Harder 2016: Read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)

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Continue reading “2016 End of Year Book Survey”

2015 End of Year Book Survey

via The Perpetual Page Turner
via The Perpetual Page Turner




Number Of Books You Read: 103
Number of Audiobooks: 12
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Continue reading “2015 End of Year Book Survey”

Favorite Reads of 2015 (So Far)

Today’s A Month of Favorites topic is Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2015. There are still two days left in the year, so I feel like this may be too early, but! It is close enough to the end that it’s not weird. Also, if I’m being completely honest, I may not finish another book before the year is over. SO! These are the books I gave five stars on Goodreads. Click here if you can’t see them that well. That’ll take you directly to the list on Goodreads. Also: there are TWELVE.

5 stars, part 1

5 stars, part 2

That’s a pretty good mix of fiction, nonfiction, picture books, kiddie lit, middle grade, YA, and adult. I don’t think it usually works out that way.

2014 End of Year Book Survey Part II

See my answers to Part I here. Questions still from The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Bloggish/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?

The most recent book blog I’ve discovered is Thoughts and Afterthoughts, and I am finding all the posts delightful. Joey has a great style. I don’t actually keep track of WHEN I find blogs to follow, so that’s why the most recent blog will always win.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?

Ugh, I’m not super in love with any of my book reviews this year. I think they’re all fine, but nothing stands out as a favorite. Skipping this one.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

5 Strategies for Reducing Student Email! Spring semester is about to start, so I’m really thinking about how to be as clear as possible in my writing so students can get their questions answered by the materials I provide.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I really had a lot of fun with A Month of Favorites. I found some new blogs to follow and actually posted some good content. Apparently, having predetermined topics to write about helps a lot because I can plan ahead.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Marissa Meyer did a talk at our local library and part of the swag she gave away was some awesome postcards. Since my friend’s daughter is a fan, I got one signed for her, and mailed it to her. The effusive thanks I received for that surprise gesture really warmed my heart.

Continue reading “2014 End of Year Book Survey Part II”

2014 End of Year Book Survey Part I

Questions courtesy of The Perpetual Page Turner

Reading Stats

  • Number Of Books You Read: 80
  • Number of Re-Reads: 2
  • Genre You Read The Most From: realistic fiction

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

I gave the following books five stars on Goodreads:

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page — I could only make it halfway through this book, alas.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn — I figured out the plot twist, but I was not prepared for the batshit insane stuff that happened in that book.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

I convinced my book club to give Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple a go. They did not like it, unfortunately.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

The only series I started that I’m interested in finishing is His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers. Oh wait! I forgot that To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han has a sequel coming out next year. Add that one on, too.

Best sequel would have to be a tie between Marissa Meyer’s Scarlet and Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Cracks in the Kingdom. Obviously.

Since Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan is the only series ender I read this year, it wins by default. I’m glad I liked it, though.

Continue reading “2014 End of Year Book Survey Part I”

2014: A Year in Books

Today’s topic for A Month of Favorites is a look at our reading over the course of this year.

A Month of Faves

I’ve tried this a couple of different ways, and I’m stuck, so I’m just going to go with the questions from the prompt.

What month did you…

1. …read the least?

January. Poor January. I only read two books. I think that’s largely because of the back to school blitz, which makes sense because my September reading was also pretty low (4 books).

On the plus side, I really enjoyed both books I read!

They were:

  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling)

2. …read the most?

July. I read 9 books in July, mostly because of my weekly book club, but also because I read a couple of graphic novels. To be fair to the other summer months, though, I read 8 in May, June, and August, so it was almost a four-way tie. But, you know, July won by a book.

3. …read the book you liked LEAST for the year?

Also, July! The book was Kick-Ass by Mark Millar. Great artwork and an interesting story, but there was some casual and obnoxious racism and misogyny that I just couldn’t overlook. Blech.

(I should point out that it’s the book I liked least that I actually finished. I’ve DNF-ed around five books so far this year.)

Continue reading “2014: A Year in Books”

2013 End of Year Book Survey

1. Best book you read in 2013?

I gave the following books five stars on Goodreads:

2. Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn’t?

Ash by Malinda Lo. I love a good Cinderella retelling but wound up being bored by it in the end.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

Permission Slips by Sherri Shepherd. I had zero expectations, and I had no idea Sherri is as funny as she is.

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2013?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

Apparently, A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty is the first of a trilogy, and I thought that book was just delightful, so that pleases me.

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2013?

Rainbow Rowell. Read two of her books (E&P and The Attachments), enjoyed them both.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Probably The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot best qualifies here. Super interesting and totally not my normal fare.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. Once I got past the first few chapters (too many characters! few of them that important!), I was wholly absorbed in the book and wanted to see how everything would shake out.

9. Book you read in 2013 that you are most likely to re-read next year?

I’m not a big re-reader, and I probably wouldn’t re-read any of these books next year. But the books I’m most likely to reread sometime in the future are Eleanor & Park and Book of a Thousand Days.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

The Selection by Kiera Cass   Aya in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

Tik Tok from Tiger Lily. Yes.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Eleanor & Park

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

Make Just One Change by Dan Rothstein (reviewed on my teaching blog) completely changed how I taught my course this fall.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?

Everything I read was either new to me or completely off my radar, so.

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2013?

None really stood out to me this year.

16. Shortest & longest book you read in 2013?

Longest was The House of Hades by Rick Riordan; shortest was Junie B. Jones Is (Almost) a Flower Girl by Barbara Park.

17. Book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

  • the ending & epilogue/final chapter to The Husband’s Secret
  • Eleanor & Park–just…everything

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)?

Eleanor & Park as well as Park’s relationships with his parents in E&P, Tik Tok and Tiger Lily in Tiger Lily, and James and Raleigh in Silver Sparrow.

19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you read previously?

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

20. Best book you read that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from somebody else?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple — I read it because Jasmine told me to.