Some Months Are Less Exciting: June 2015 Round Up + Library Book Sale Haul

It is July and July is so summer that I am not even going to apologize that this post is late. I’m just going to be chill about it.

I actually didn’t read so much in June, or at least it didn’t feel like I did. I am currently 7 books behind in my Goodreads challenge, and screaming on the inside.

I started the month reading Bodily Harm by Margaret Atwood, and it wasn’t bad. I think I need a break from Atwood at the moment, actually, even though The Handmaid’s Tale is up next and I love that novel. I am still going to try to read all of her novels this year (especially since she has a new one coming out in the fall), but I find that it takes me a little longer to get through her books, and I am in the mood for quicker reads now that it’s summer.

Bodily Harm is about a journalist recovering from breast cancer who accidentally travels to a politically dangerous island where shit starts going down. It was a definite maturation in plot than her earlier novels. As always, I love how Atwood writes female characters who are chronically unsatisfied by men. #realism

While I was reading Bodily Harm I also read Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout as, you know, some light reading. I reviewed it here. Then, I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee over father’s day weekend. There’s some problematic aspects of To Kill a Mockingbird being the ‘quintessential’ racial justice novel in the U.S., but, on the other hand, Atticus is a DILF and I still love this novel. Hopefully I’ll be able to review Go Set a Watchman within the next few weeks, and I will discuss this more. I’m already annoyed by all the Atticus hand-wringing that’s happening online. Just because it takes place in the future doesn’t make it a damn sequel!

I finished out the month with Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown, which is one of the only self-help books that changed my life in real time. It helped me realize that when things feel scary or uncomfortable, that’s actually a good thing. When I want to run is when I should sit still with what’s scaring me. That’s being vulnerable and open, and it leads to everything good.

So, four books last month. I feel like I’m slacking! But, like I said, it’s summer. As for the SWBR summer reading challenge, To Kill a Mockingbird counts for the classics by women challenge.

I’m hoping July will see more books crossed off my list. Also, I went to a library book sale today, so here! A bonus haul!

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The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr / Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (this paperback was in poor shape, but I have been hankering to re-read this so I had to grab it) / The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice / Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood / American Pastoral by Philip Roth / Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times

Well, that was boring. Now I have to go read. Or watch Orange is the New Black. Either/or.

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Haul(s) and ereaders

Apologies for the erratic posts. I’ve been busy having summer fun and looking for a job. And sleeping–a lot. Also, reading a lot! And, what brings us here: I’ve been buying a lot of books. For me, anyway. I already have a lot of books so I try not to buy very many books unless I absolutely need to. The thing about summertime, though, is that there are so many great opportunities to buy books!

First–I went to the Friends of the C.H. Booth Library book sale in Newtown, CT, in July, where I got these books:

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Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison [If you remember from my last post, I bought Beloved at my local library’s book sale. I can’t decide which one to read first, since I’ve  never read any Morrison before.]

The End of Alice by A.M. Holmes

Cherry by Mary Karr

Black Boy by Richard Wright

Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg [This one was not from this particular book sale, but was given to me by my brother, who had to read it for a class and was trying to get rid of it. I got it around the same time as the others so I included it in the same photo lol]

I go to a lot of library book sales during the summer time, and the C.H. Booth book sale is the one I look forward to the most each year (this is truly a small haul compared to years past). It’s a huge sale. If you live nearby I definitely recommend checking it out next July.

Last week I took a trip to the Book Barn in Niantic, CT with my friend Andy. It was my first time going there, and it was awesome! It had almost every book you could possibly want. I go to book sales because I can’t afford buying books in book stores, but I love the physical experience of browsing for new books. I have deep appreciation for used book stores like the Book Barn that are around all year long and provide a book store experience for cheap. There’s also a myriad of cats that live on the premises. I can’t wait to go back! Here’s what I got this time:

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Candy by Mian Mian

The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Native Son by Richard Wright

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Selected Stories by Alice Munro

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde [the only book in this haul I have already read–I felt like I should have a copy since it’s one of my favorites!]

Ulysses by James Joyce [I am terrified to read this!]

The Missing Ink: The Lost Art of Handwriting by Phillip Hensher

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origin of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera

I bought the Kundera book mostly because the message written on the title page made me laugh:

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Goddamnit, Peter.

Finally, I bought one new book! The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer (the sequel to The Wishing Spell, which came out last summer), because I’m a Glee/Chris Colfer fangirl, whatever, sometimes you just want to read fairy tale fanfiction written by a cute guy with really great hair, okay?

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So that’s all for the hauls–I know this might be small for some people, and if you asked me a few years ago, I would have agreed. But when you only have one bookshelf and no place to put new books, you’d understand how I like to keep my hauls to a manageable size, only including books I know I really want to own. I’m really excited to read some of these! I’ll try to review as many as possible, but as you can tell, sometimes I’m lazy about reviewing the books I read.

I have been reading quite a bit lately, though. Right now I’m doing research about ereaders. Yep, I’m finally giving in. I know I’ll always prefer reading actual pages, but I think it’s impossible to ignore how convenient ereaders are. I’ll probably wait until Christmas and ask for one, but I want to make sure to get a good one. Right now I’m thinking either a Kindle Fire or something like a tablet that can be used as an ereader, like an iPad mini. Although it seems like it’d be rife with distractions, an ereader/tablet I can easily read a book and browse the internet on would be ideal, so I can use it to read articles and blogs online (reading long articles on the computer can be uncomfortable for me, so I avoid them, unfortunately). So, those of you with ereaders–what do you have/prefer? Tell me all about your experience in the world of ereading in the comments!

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Goodreads challenge: 42/70
Currently Reading: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling