Sunshine Blogger Award – on books, swimming, and fun facts

I love being tagged in book tags, and this one feels even more special because it has the word “award” in it (yes, I’m one of those people). Huge thank you to Amelia for nominating me–y’all should go check out her blog for sure πŸ’œ

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How does it work?

  • Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

What was the book that made you fall in love with reading?

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November 2019 TBR (or, an attempt to read what’s actually on my shelf)

It’s the first of November, and there is snow on the ground. There has been since yesterday, and I am both cold and unhappy about this. What I am happy about, though, is that cold weather is great for reading inside, curled up under a blanket…and that I have a great TBR this month.

I’m participating in a TBR Jar event this month with a group called We Be Book’n. The goal is to cut down on your existing TBR by having someone else pick the books from your list for you. I asked my partner to choose 8 books for me, from a much longer list, and these are the ones she selected:

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Writing book reviews still makes me anxious (or, insecurity in the book blogosphere)

Okay, folks, time to talk blogs and recommendations and big-time insecurity. I started writing this ramble a few days ago and realized that maybe, just maybe, some of y’all have had similar thoughts from time to time. And, as yesterday marked my 50th post here (!!!), this seemed like an apt time to wax philosophical.

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World Mental Health Day – 8 Books Depicting Mental Illness

As you all may know, I am a huge advocate for mental health awareness. So when I saw a post on Rae’s Reads and Reviews all about books featuring mental illness, since today is World Mental Health Day, I realized I could easily do the same. Here are some of my favorite books about various mental health conditions. (And you should definitely check out Rae’s list as well, because we only have one book in common!)

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Fierce Reads Fall 2019 Tour – quotes, pics, and more

Last night, as part of its fall tour for this season, Fierce Reads (a YA branch of Macmillan) came to a bookstore near me. There were four featured authors, and they answered questions about everything from writing advice to fall must-reads to Twilight. I took some notes during the presentation (I hope they didn’t think I was texting…), and from those (which were an absolute mess to reread this morning), I’ve compiled a short list of memorable moments so that those of you who weren’t there can, you know, pretend that you were or something.

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Thoughts on a Thursday: Banned Books Week edition!

In honor of this being Banned Books Week, this week’s Thoughts on a Thursday will be specifically focusing on topics related to banning books. Hopefully these won’t be the same points everyone shares all week, about intellectual freedom and all that jazz, though those are very important things to consider. Instead, I have some personal quibbles with, queries about, and quizzical glances at some specific titles and concepts in the world of challenged and banned books. Brace yourself. There’s some hot tea here.

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A Very Bookish Sculpture

Today, I went to the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair with my grandma. It’s a big event my city holds downtown every fall, with around 180 different artists from all around the US in a variety of both 2D and 3D mediums. There are things to see, things to buy (if you actually have money lol), and some really friendly artists to talk with.

One of this year’s highlights for me, though, was this one particular sculpture by Thomas Yano. It cost more money than I could afford (which is not surprising), but it was so beautiful and so wonderfully bookish, I thought y’all might like to see it. Without further ado, a few pictures:

Things like this make me really look forward to the day when I’m a full-time professional with the money to actually patronize artists, because this is the sort of thing that a) I would love to support, and b) I would love to have in my house/apartment! Again, the artist is Thomas Yano. I haven’t been able to find a website for him, but if I come across one, I will update this post accordingly!

That’s all I really have for today; this was just a quick fill-in post while I get more reading done and reviews written for this week. Do you all love this sculpture as much as I did? 😍😍😍

(Also, how has your reading been this week? Anything good? Let me know!)

Much love,

Kathryn (“K-Specks”)

WWW Wednesday – 9/18

Trying out something new today! WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam atΒ Taking on a World of Words, and I’ve seen a lot of fellow bloggers doing it, so I figured I would take a stab at it as well. There are three W questions to answer, so here they are along with my answers!

What are you currently reading?

I’m actually doing two books right now: listening to the audiobook for Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay (I love it so much so far!!), and reading my eARC for The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (which I can already tell will be a powerful read once I get into the real meat of the story).

What did you recently finish reading?

Just two days ago I finished “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell,” a Cosmere novella by Brandon Sanderson. It was exactly what I would expect from Brando Sando: creative, a little dark, full of badass characters, and with stellar worldbuilding. I really hope he writes a full novel in this particular world at some point!

In terms of full books, The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow was a beautiful and magical read. Would recommend; check out my review here.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The next two books I’m looking forward to reading are Crier’s War by Nina Varela and The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman. Just yesterday, I read a glowing review of the latter that has me even more excited about it. And the former just sounds right up my alley.

So what about you? What are you reading now? Read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments. And if you have your own WWW, feel free to share that link as well!

All for now,

Kathryn (“K-Specks”)

Thoughts on a Thursday – TBR, upcoming review, and more

It’s been a long week (despite having Monday off for Labor Day, and the fact that it’s not even Friday yet). I have some more legitimate posts in the works, but for now, I thought I might share some scattered things I’m currently thinking about. Most are book-related; a few are not. All are intended to be very casual updates, so don’t expect anything too fancy, but here’s what’s up:

  • First, something I found tremendously exciting: Quichotte by Salman Rushdie made the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize. I was fortunate enough to read a digital ARC of this book before its release this past Tuesday, and I absolutely loved it. It makes me happy to see great authors continuing to get the recognition they deserve! Check out my review here.
  • This month, I’m participating in a group reading challenge on Facebook called Reading Rivalry. We get sorted into teams, we have book prompts and posts to respond to, and we get points for things we get read. It’s pretty fun, and it helps me prioritize my TBR a little. This month’s overarching theme is Harry Potter, and I’m on the Marauders team!
  • Speaking of TBR, I still have so many books to read this month! I have eARCs of The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman, and The Bone Ships by RJ Barker, and I’m currently working through The Ten Thousand Doors of January. And these are just the ones I need to finish before they release this month! Plus all the September releases I’m hyped about, which either just came out or are coming in the next few weeks–Darkdawn, Five Dark Fates, Wayward Son, The Testaments, Serpent & Dove…why must so many good titles all come out at once??
Three eARCs, all coming out in September!
  • I’m currently interning/clerking at a medical malpractice law firm in Chicago, and I’m really getting into the swing of things finally. The attorneys really like me, and I’m working on some pretty cool cases.
  • Also on the law front…the LSAT is in just over two weeks, so I need to step up my game as far as prep work. I’m feeling pretty good about it, but still, it’s a tad overwhelming.
  • Been listening to a few audiobooks lately, and I think I’ll do a series of mini-reviews for them. Stay tuned for Shadow of the Fox, The Alchemist, and Nevernight (yes, that last one was a reread in preparation for Darkdawn).
  • Also in reviews to expect soon, The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier. I won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway, and wow. Just finished it last night. I hadn’t heard of her before, but found out she’s actually quite popular (many of her books came out when I was still too young to read them), and now I see why. Fantastic book, lovely characters, and great worldbuilding! Plus, like…musicians who are also kickass warriors? Totally my kind of story.

So…that’s all for now, folks! Have you read any of these? Of my three remaining ARCs for this month, which one would you most like to see a review for next? What did you have for breakfast this morning? Leave a comment and let me know!

What I’m Reading, Where I’ve Been, and a Poll for You!

Hey, friends! It’s been about a week since my last post, and I apologize for that. Had a couple personal things come up, including an unexpected medical problem, but I’m getting back on track and will have more reviews and fun stuff headed your way shortly. What to expect full reviews of soon:

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (5 stars, amazing nonbinary contemporary YA)

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson (4 stars, YA fantasy that will appeal to all book-lovers)

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (I’m just finishing up reading an ARC of this one, so my rating isn’t final yet, but suffice to say it is an incredibly well-written piece of literature)

Note that Quichotte isn’t YA–I swear, I read a pretty wide mix of titles; I’ve just been on a YA kick lately. Expect a more balanced distribution of genres and age ranges, going forward.

And while we talk about going forward, let’s go back for a second as well. I didn’t get full reviews posted for some of my reads earlier this month (gotta prioritize the ARCs and all that jazz…). Which one of these titles, which I’ve recently finished reading, would you most like to see a review of?

That’s all for now! See you soon with more quality bookish content!