Bookworm Blogging, Readathons, TBRs

Transathon TBR

Transathon is taking place over the entire month of July! The goal is to read books about trans characters and/or by trans authors. I have a large possible TBR shelf on Goodreads and will be trying to read as many of these books as I can. Feel free to recommend anything else you think I’ll enjoy. I’d also love to read some more books by Black trans authors, if anyone has recommendations there as well! 🙂

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Bookworm Blogging, Readathons, TBRs

The 2020 Women’s Prize Squad Longlist

Last year I made an effort to read the entire Women’s Prize longlist, along with some friends. I ended up reading 10 of the 14 longlisted books and had a blast doing it! We’ve kept up our Women’s Prize Squad group chat and have added some members as the year has passed. This year I decided not to read the longlist along with the group (they kindly kept me in the chat, ha!), as I’ve been working through grad school and (my real reason) had little-to-no interest in the books longlisted. I chose well, as most everyone has found it a struggle to read through the longlist. Since we felt our thoughts on the best books of the year were not aligned with those of the judges, we thought why not make our own longlist!

Without further ado, I present to you the 2020 Women’s Prize Squad Longlist! Using a draft, each of us chose 2 books to come up with the 16 book longlist. We used the Women’s Prize rules so that our list would be somewhat comparable and plan to vote on both a shortlist and a winner. I’ll run through the list here and give you all my thoughts. I am planning on reading all of the books (ideally before we vote) and have already knocked out one since we made the list on Saturday (I’m writing this on Monday)! I’ll hopefully also be making a wrap-up post once I’ve finished most or all of these.

My full list with no commentary is here (and you can find my ratings and reviews there as they’re updated). Fellow Women’s Prize Squad members are (in no particular order):

Posts by the rest of the squad:

Books I’ve Already Read

These were both 5-star reads for me, which bodes well for the rest of the list (I hope!). My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and did not disappoint and The Body Lies by Jo Baker blew me away in January and will definitely be one of my favorite books of the year.

Already on my TBR

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I really liked the SoC duology and already had a copy of this out from the library!
  • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. I already have a copy of this since it was the one WP book I wanted to read (give me the polyam rep!!) and tried it last month while on vacation. I couldn’t focus enough to get through it so I put it on pause, but plan to pick it up again soon!
  • The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Inspired by real events?? Queer?? Witch trials?? Sign me tf up.
  • Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman. Emily has been stanning this since she read it for the Booker prize (you’ll never guess whose pick this was) and I have been intending to read it but am… intimidated. Understandably. Still tentatively looking forward to it!
  • Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips. Another book I put on my TBR because of Emily, I’m looking forward to this one as well.
  • Bunny by Mona Awad. I love dark New England books!
  • My Name is Monster by Katie Hale. Added this to my TBR because of Molly Elizabeth Marcelle’s review; I think I’ll either love it or hate it. Hopefully love it!
  • Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater. Another book I put down during a slump with the intention of picking up again. Hopefully now is the time!
  • Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson. I love Jeaneatte Winterson. The formatting of my eARC made this absolutely impossible to read and I wasn’t sure whether I’d give it another try, but… guess I will!

On My Radar

  • The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy. Most of my friends loved this, but I wasn’t sure it was my cup of tea. Guess I’ll find out!
  • The Fire Starters by Jan Carson. I’m not particularly into Irish lit, unlike someone I know, but I’m up to giving this a shot.
  • Actress by Anne Enright. This feels fairly well-liked by the WP Squad, so I’m okay with giving this a shot as well!

New to Me

Discussions, Readathons

Nonfiction November Week 5: New to My TBR

Week 5: (Nov. 25 to 30) – New to My TBR (Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction): It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

It’s time for Nonfiction November! For the final week I’m sharing new additions to my TBR. I apologize because for most of these, I don’t have someone specific to link back to but I will where I can!

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Discussions, Readathons

Nonfiction November Week 4: Favorites

Week 4: (Nov. 18 to 22) –Nonfiction Favorites (Leann @ Shelf Aware): We’ve talked about how you pick nonfiction books in previous years, but this week I’m excited to talk about what makes a book you’ve read one of your favorites. Is the topic pretty much all that matters? Are there particular ways a story can be told or particular writing styles that you love? Do you look for a light, humorous approach or do you prefer a more serious tone? Let us know what qualities make you add a nonfiction book to your list of favorites.

It’s time for Nonfiction November! This week I’m sharing some of my favorite nonfiction books.

I feel like I haven’t stopped talking about American Predator since I read it but it is so unbelievably enthralling! I really cannot recommend it enough.

Similarly, I’ve brought up Evicted a lot this month. This is such an insightful book that really opened my eyes to aspects of poverty I hadn’t been educated on before.

I spent most of my childhood idolizing Monty Roberts. In his memoir, The Man Who Listens to Horses, Monty details his life and how he’s learned to communicate with horses using their own language. I think I’ve read this probably 4 or 5 times over the years and believe I even have an autographed copy!

Mara Wilson’s memoir Where Am I Now? is interesting, entertaining, and accessible. It was a quick and enjoyable read and I highly recommend it!

Ask Me About My Uterus was really the first time I had heard much about endometriosis. I read an ARC of it almost two years ago and was earlier this year diagnosed with endometriosis. I’ve been meaning to reread this book — part memoir, part educational — through the lens of what I’ve experienced since my first time through. Even if you don’t suffer from endo, I think this is a quite important, and engaging, read.

I read NurtureShock for a Psych class in college. I was impressed by the different points it made. Each chapter reads like an essay on a different topic, and the format really works.

Whipping Girl is written by a trans woman, and discusses the discrimination that trans women tend to face. This book was the first thing that helped me really get what people meant by “transmisogyny” and I found it really eye-opening in a lot of ways.

A Cat Named Darwin made me cry my damn eyes out, but I loved it.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was fascinating, terrifying, and ultimately heartbreaking. I don’t think you need me to hype it up any more for you.

I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a lot about Lessons from a Child, but I read it for my Teaching Writing class in college and found myself heavily impacted by it. I think it’s an interesting read even if you don’t intend on teaching one day.

While Sex at Dawn had its criticisms, I found it quite interesting and felt validated by it as a polyamorous woman.

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Discussions, Readathons

Nonfiction November Week 3: Be the Expert

Week 3: (Nov. 11 to 15) – Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert (Katie @ Doing Dewey): Three ways to join in this week! You can either share three or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

It’s time for Nonfiction November! This week I’ve chosen sort of a broad topic in the “Be the Expert” challenge: social justice in the United States. Looking through my nonfiction shelf, three different books that I wanted to share stuck out to me, and they all had in common criticisms of various aspects of America today.

Evicted is disturbing book about how the landlord/tenant relationship works. It’s super well-written and absolutely infuriating.

Dopesick is also infuriating and disturbing, but it’s about the immorality of some pharmaceutical companies — specifically in the lens of drug addiction. I didn’t quite finish reading this one, but that was definitely a me thing.

Policing the Black Man is an eye-opening look at the history of racism and criminal justice in America. It’s actually a collection of essays, so part of its strength is the breadth of viewpoints it’s able to provide.

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Discussions, Readathons

Nonfiction November Week 2: Fiction/Nonfiction Pairing

It’s time for Nonfiction November!

Week 2: (Nov. 4 to 8) – Fiction / Nonfiction Book Pairing (Sarah @ Sarah’s Book Shelves): This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be a “If you loved this book, read this!” or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story.

Lilli de Jong is about a young woman who is forced to leave her family and hide away in order to cover up for her pregnancy, after which she is expected to give up and forget her child. I believe the author had mentioned The Girls Who Went Away as one of the books she read while researching her novel. It’s currently on my TBR so I’m hoping to get to it at some point, but this is pairing makes a lot of sense to me.

The Lovely and the Lost is a YA mystery about a family who raises search & rescue (SAR) dogs. It honestly made me want to drop my life and go train SAR dogs (not happening). So, obviously it makes the most sense to pair it with a book about actual SAR dogs. Scent of the Missing is a nonfic book about SAR dogs that I JUST added to my TBR but am now excited about picking up!

Is this cheating? Yes. Do I care? Absolutely not. The Pisces was potentially my top book of 2018 and I will not stop raving about it. So Sad Today is a collection of essays written by the same author. Lucy is sad. Melissa is sad. Need I say more? I haven’t even read So Sad Today yet but I WILL and I am positive these two will go together wonderfully.

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Discussions, Readathons

Nonfiction November Week 1: Year in Nonfiction

It’s time for Nonfiction November! I didn’t have time to participate last year, but am quite happy to this year. 🙂

Week 1: (Oct. 28 to Nov. 1) – Your Year in Nonfiction (Julie @ Julz Reads): Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions – What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

I’ve read fifteen nonfiction books this year, over a variety of topics, but I’d guess there were a lot of memoirs. One of the exciting things about nonfic books is that they often include references to other books, which I sometimes end up adding to my TBR. It’s fun when a book allows you to develop a specific interest, and then gives you some other reading material to try out!

Some of my favorites this year:

American Predator was a very recent read that absolutely blew me away.

What Doctors Feel discussed doctors’ emotions and how they impact patient care.

Sex at Dawn took a different perspective on human sexuality than one usually sees.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark was a great albeit heartbreaking read about the Golden State Killer.

Evicted shed light on the absolutely unreal housing system in America today.

Throughout Nonfiction November, I’m hoping to find some more nonfiction books that draw my attention (not that my TBR needs anything added to it) and am also looking forward to checking out what other bloggers have to say. Let me know if you’ll be participating in Nonfiction November, and what some of your best nonfic reads have been this year!

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Bookworm Blogging, Readathons

Short-a-thon 2018 TBR Shortlist

Several weeks ago, I shared my Short-a-thon 2018 TBR with you. I’ve decided to whittle it down to a (randomly selected) shortlist so that I can make an attempt to actually get the books I plan to read! Throughout this year I’ve averaged about 60 pages a day, so my goal is to pull books until I have a total of approximately 600 pages (the readathon is 10 days, BUT there are holidays packed in there so I’m not sure how much reading will get done!). So, without further ado, here is my shortlist:

  • May We Shed These Human Bodies – Amber Sparks
  • The Stepford Wives – Ira Levin
  • Ariel – Sylvia Plath
  • Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live – Sacha Lamb
  • The Buddha in the Attic – Julie Otsuka

Obviously I may read more, but this is my starter list. I’m SO excited for this readathon and hope some of y’all participate with us. 🙂

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Bookworm Blogging, Readathons

Short-a-thon 2018

I can’t remember the last time I participated in a readathon (I’m so bad at them!) but Destiny @ Howling Libraries and Kathy @ Books and Munches have put together this super fun one that I just had to join. 🙂

Here’s all the important info, snagged directly from Destiny’s post:


Short-a-thon is a readathon that is going to take place from 12:00AM December 21st to 11:59PM December 31st. (You can go by your own time zone!)

The goal is simple: to focus on reading the SHORTEST books in your TBR! These can be short stories, novellas, graphic novels, manga—if it’s got a low page count, it works! Of course, our ideas of “short” books will all vary, so go by whatever YOU consider short!

We liked the idea of hosting this readathon for two reasons:
1) It’s unique!
2) BOOST THOSE READING CHALLENGE NUMBERS! Your December end-of-year wrap could look amazing with a big stack of short books thrown on top!

Here’s how you can join in…

Create a TBR in a blog post, tweet, or whatever else you like to use. We recommend making a list of your TEN (10) shortest books!

Leave a comment here or on Kathy’s post with a link to your TBR so she can add you to our official participants list (you can do this any time between now and December 21st).

Use #shortathon18 on social media so we can all find each other and cheer one another one, and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @shortathon! We’ll be hosting reading sprints and challenges everyday.

My Short-a-thon TBR

I decided to choose the same method as Destiny: I’ll write out a list of shorter books on my TBR (all under 150 pages) and choose my TBR at random. I’ve also split them up based on number of pages, like Destiny did! Some of these may not be published yet, and some I may not be able to get a hold of. I’ll select and random and read whatever I actually can and skip what I can’t. 🙂 Here are the books I’ve selected as options:

1-50 Pages: 

  1. A Monstrous Love: Two Halloween Romances – Magen Cubed
  2. Wet Nails – Shira Glassman
  3. Heaven or This – Topaz Winters
  4. Hex Wives #1 – Ben Blacker
  5. The Goddess Collection – Ailie Wallace
  6. Waiting on a Bright Moon – J.Y. Yang
  7. Complementary and Acute – Ella Lyons
  8. A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters – Sam Sax
  9. Throttle – Joe Hill
  10. A Jury of Her Peers – Susan Glaspell
  11. Hunting Monsters – S.L. Huang

50-100 Pages:

  1. The Terracotta Bride – Zen Cho
  2. We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  3. New American Best Friend – Olivia Gatwood
  4. In the Tall Grass – Stephen King
  5. By the Bog of Cats – Marina Carr
  6. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – 
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  7. The Grownup – Gillian Flynn
  8. Sour Candy – Kealan Patrick Burke
  9. Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live – Sacha Lamb
  10. Rose – Li-Young Lee
  11. This Way to the Sugar – Hieu Minh Nguyen
  12. The Little Red Wolf – Amélie Fléchais
  13. White Nights – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  14. The Curse Catcher – Laura Thalassa
  15. Night Sky with Exit Wounds – Ocean Vuong
  16. Black Helicopters – Caitlín R. Kiernan
  17. Riding the Track – Kara Ripley
  18. Bingo Love – Tee Franklin
  19. Learning Curves – Ceillie Simkiss
  20. Don’t Tell My Mother – Brigitte Bautista
  21. I’m Afraid of Men – Vivek Shraya
  22. The Lost Path – Amélie Fléchais
  23. ApocalyptiGirl – Andrew MacLean
  24. Jealousy Survival Guide – Kitty Chambliss
  25. Bluets – Maggie Nelson

100-150 Pages:

  1. Pizzeria Kamikaze – Etgar Keret
  2. Ongoingness – Sarah Manguso
  3. The Atrocities – Jeremy C. Shipp
  4. Ariel – Sylvia Plath
  5. Some New Ambush – Carys Davies
  6. Heathen Volume #1 – Natasha Alterici
  7. Afterlife – Melissa Jennings
  8. The Black God’s Drums – P. Djèlí Clark
  9. Do/ Story/ – Bobette Buster
  10. Wenjack – Joseph Boyden
  11. Water Memory – Mathieu Reynès
  12. The Backstagers Vol. 1 – James Tynion IV
  13. The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion – Margaret Killjoy
  14. Heavy Vinyl Vol. 1 – Carly Usdin
  15. Evidence of the Affair – Taylor Jenkins Reid
  16. Women & Power – Mary Beard
  17. A House at the Bottom of a Lake – Josh Malerman
  18. Moonstruck Vol. 1 – Grace Ellis
  19. The Devil You Know – KJ Parker
  20. Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time – Hope Nicholson
  21. Taproot – Keezy Young
  22. Giant Days Vol. 1 – John Allison
  23. Stairway – Matt Hawkins
  24. Kingdom of Needle and Bone – Mira Grant
  25. Sex Criminals Vol. 1 – Matt Fraction
  26. You Should Have Left – Daniel Kehlmann
  27. The Murders of Molly Southbourne
  28. Written on the Body – Lexie Bean
  29. The Buddha in the Attic – Julie Otsuka
  30. Dead Leaves – Patrick Kealan Burke
  31. All Hail the House Gods – Andrew J Stone
  32. The Reason I Jump – Naoki Higashida
  33. Zodiac Starforce Vol. 1 – Kevin Panetta
  34. Mockingbird Vol. 1 – Chelsea Cain
  35. Spell on Wheels – Kate Leth
  36. Runaways Vol. 1 – Rainbow Rowell
  37. Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat! Vol. 1 – Kate Leth
  38. Oh Honey – Emily Austin
  39. My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness – Kabi Nagata
  40. The ABCs of Socialism – Bhaskar Sunkara
  41. Batgirl Vol. 1 – Gail Simone
  42. Almost Midnight – Rainbow Rowell
  43. The Stepford Wives – Ira Levin
  44. Cold, Thin Air – CK Walter
  45. The Melody of You and Me – M. Hollis
  46. Anarchism and Its Aspirations – Cindy Milstein
  47. The Man in the Picture – Susan Hill
  48. Roadside Picnic – Arkady Strugatsky
  49. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? – Martin Noble
  50. May We Shed These Human Bodies – Amber Sparks

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging, Readathons

Make Me Read It 2017 Wrap-Up

This was my first readathon and I had a lot of fun with it! It was really great connecting with folks on Twitter who were also doing the readathon, and I participated in a couple of sprints. The books I chose were all from my owned-but-unread pile, because most of these books have been sitting on my shelves for a while and I needed some motivation to get to them!


The first book I attempted to read was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It had been gifted to me probably a year or two ago and I’d been putting off reading it ever since. This is definitely not a book I would buy for myself, the concept is somewhat interesting (I went to college in Burlington, VT and a lot of my friends were “localvores” so I sort of know something about that), but the potential for condescension was way too high for me. And that initial perception was correct–although I adored Kingsolver’s writing from the start, it was clear that she has a very high and mighty attitude on the matter, which I didn’t appreciate. DNF.


For my official book #1, I read Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley. It was honestly a breathtaking book and you can find my full review here. To summarize, let me just say that it is a beautiful graphic novel about a girl finding herself. Also, there are a lot of cats.


For my second book, I read Dancing After Hours by Andre Dubus. My full review is scheduled for Saturday, I believe, but this is a lyrical collection of short stories. To my surprise and delight, they almost all took place in the Boston area, which is where I live!


Next I tried to read Cats & Daughters by Helen Brown. I was not really impressed with the writing or the story. I didn’t make it very far in–not even far enough to meet the cat. It’s definitely less about cats and more a memoir. Which is fine, but I was really in it for the cats! DNF.


My next tried-to-read book was The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle. It was also not very well-written and from the start the plot seemed shaky to me. Perhaps it gets better, but I didn’t want to find out. I also felt really uncomfortable about the “cure for autism” aspect, although again I didn’t really read far enough in to get a real grip on that, so I can’t really speak to it. DNF.


Finally, book #3 of the readathon was Wicked by Gregory Maguire. This was a reread, as I read this for the first time in high school and didn’t remember essentially any of it. And I’m actually still working my way through it because it is just… not holding my interest at all. It’s kind of been dragging on and I’m not really enjoying it at all! But I’ve made it pretty far in, so I’m dedicated to finishing it.

Anyway! That’s my wrap-up for Make Me Read It. I (kind of) made it through 3 books and was able to remove 3 more from my TBR. Even though I didn’t read as much as I’d have liked to, I did enjoy the readathon and am glad I was able to pull 6 books total off my TBR list! At least I really liked 2 out of the 3 books I ended up reading through, although next time I do a readathon I should probably put on more books I expect to like instead of making it all books I don’t know much about!

Thanks for reading! Did you do the Make Me Read It readathon? Share your experiences and/or your thoughts on my reads in the comments. You can also find me on Twitter and Goodreads.