Mid-Month Book Look: What I’m Reading

aprilHappy Saturday, readerkins! It’s a little later than I had planned, but I’m checking in with a quick mid-month reading update.

So far this month I’ve read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, both of which were fantastic. I’m currently reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, which isn’t something I probably would have picked up without the numerous recommendations from trusted sources, but I’m loving it! Also, whenever I think “Jesuits in space” in connection to it, the “Jews in Space” song from A History of the World, Part 2 pops into my head. (I know it’s not a real movie). So, there’s that.

I’ve also taken a kind of accidental two-week break from blogging. I’ve just been feeling uninspired to write, so I’ve been totally neglecting this space. Thank goodness for a few pre-scheduled posts, so it hasn’t been completely quiet. It’s been a nice break, and now I’m coming back with gusto!

Book Review: Judging a Book by Its Lover by Lauren Leto

Book Review: Judging a Book by Its Lover by Lauren LetoJUDGING A BOOK BY ITS LOVER
by Lauren Leto

Essays
Harper Perennial; Oct. 2, 2012
Paperback; 269 pages
Source: Book Riot Quarterly Box

Have you ever needed to pretend that you’ve read an author whom you haven’t gotten around to yet? Are you curious about the rules for bookstore hookups? Do you wonder what your favorite author says about you? Are you aware of what your child will grow up to be if you read him/her The Giver? Do you just love reading intelligent, funny writing about books by a person who is clearly passionate about them? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Judging a Book by Its Lover is for you.

This relatively slim volume contains essays about the many facets of being a bookworm — including Leto’s proposal to change the term to bookcat. Some pieces are personal essays about her own life as a reader, from her no-shame enjoyment of The DaVinci Code to her childhood spelling bee flub to trying to obtain a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on its release date while teaching in Japan. Other essays are bookish rules and how-to’s. I’ll share a few examples: Continue reading

Literary Links: March 22 – 28

Happy Saturday, readerkins! Start off the weekend right with five literary links from the last week.

1. Amy Poehler will serve as honorary chairwoman for World Book Night 2014! Her cool points are off the charts, and this makes me love her even more.

2. Alice Munro was honored with a commemorative Canadian coin to celebrate her being the first Canadian to win the Nobel in literature. Although it’s a silver five dollar coin, this limited edition coin is being sold for $69.99. I don’t entirely get the concept of special “coins” that cost exponentially more than they are worth, but it’s cool that Munro is being honored.

3. Reed Exhibitions announced BookCon, a show within a show that will take place on the last day of BEA. Replacing Power Reader Day, BookCon will appeal to a younger, non-trade demographic. This will be my first year attending BEA, so I can’t compare BookCon to Power Readers Day, but I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out — especially since Amy Poehler will be speaking!

4. Verso Books announced that they are now selling ebook/paper book bundles on their website. I’m so excited that someone is finally doing this! Bundles are the future, and it will be interesting to see how Verso handles it.

5. A judge announced two new rulings in the Apple ebook price-fixing case. She granted class action status and rejected two of Apple’s expert witnesses for trial. I don’t have too many thoughts on this, but it’s a nice update — and it will certainly be nice for customers to receive damages if (when) Apple loses.

King’s March: The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining by Stephen KingI am a huge scaredy-pants. As a kid, I changed the channel as soon as Are You Afraid of the Dark came on TV. I steered clear away from the Goosebumps books at the library. In jr. high, I shook violently all through The Ring 2. When my friends decided to watch Saw at a high school sleepover, I spent most of the next two hours with my head under a blanket. For the next week, I slept with a night light. I scare easily, and I don’t like being scared. For this reason, I’ve never read a horror novel.

That said, 2014 is my Year of Reading Adventurously. I’ve read a romance novel and a graphic novel… so why not try a horror novel as well? When Wensend and Fourth Street Review announced King’s March, a month-long Stephen King reading event, I decided that now was the time to step outside of my comfort zone and read something scary. I chose to try The Shining because I’ve seen the movie (I actually love it, despite my usual aversion to anything scary) and I thought the book would be less scary if I already knew the story. Continue reading

Mid-Month Book Look: What I’m Reading

Mid-Month Book Look

Happy Monday lovelies! Just thought I’d check in with an update on my recent reading.

I’ve been working my way slowly through The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt and Byron Easy by Jude Cook. They’re both very good books, but somehow neither of them are quite what I’m in the mood for at the moment. It’s made for some slow going.

However, I am GOBBLING UP Judging a Book by its Lover by Lauren Leto. It came in my Book Riot Quarterly box, and I was so excited about it that I had to start reading it immediately. It’s the perfect “read a few pages (or 20) before bed” book, and I keep cracking up while reading. Tom is probably getting really annoyed by my constant quoting it aloud.

I’m hoping to finish all three of these books this week, but I’m not sure what I’ll read next. There are so many things I want to read, it’s hard to decide!

Literary Love: Reading Romance for the First Time

Literary LoveLiterary Love 2014 is a week dedicated to all things book love-ish. Link up any post showing love to a book, author, etc and feel free to grab our button & use our hashtag, #LiteraryLove14.

Read more about this event at Love at First Book

I have never been one for romance. I don’t read romance novels, and I prefer the literary fiction I read to be light on the love. Call me a cynic, but boy-meets-girl stories usually just make me feel eye-roll-y. But one of my reading resolutions for this year is to read more diversely. I intended this to mean I would read more literature by people who aren’t white Americans, but it SHOULD also mean trying out genres I’m unfamiliar with. When I learned about the Literary Love event, I decided it was the perfect time to try reading a romance novel! I can’t TELL you how far out of my comfort zone this was, but I did it! Continue reading

Book Review: The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greengerg

Book Review: Burial Rights by Hannah KentTHE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF EARLY EARTH
by Isabel Greenberg

Graphic novel
Little, Brown; Oct, 3, 2013
Hardcover; 176 pages
Source: Purchased

I’m declaring 2014 the Year of Reading Widely. As I wrote in my Reading Resolutions post, I’m making an effort to read more diversely — reading genres outside my comfort zone, translated works, and books by authors who aren’t white. I’ve been doing pretty well so far! I’ve read a few books by authors of color, and I got three more from the library this week. I also read my first romance novel, and I just finished my first graphic novel!

I bought a copy of The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg after reading River City Reading’s review. I’ve never been interested in graphic novels because I associated them with comic books, so I was really interested to read Shannon’s review of this book. The Bookrageous Podcast has also made me interested in the form recently. To top it off, this month is Graphic Novels/Comics February! It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try reading something outside of my comfort zone. Continue reading

Jazz Age January: Week 5 Linkup and Wrap Up

jazzageHello there flappers and fellas! Can you believe this is the final linkup for Jazz Age January?! Thank you so much to everyone who has participated. When I came up with this event, I thought maybe five people would sign up. You guys blew my expectations out of the water. I’m excited to announce that 24 bloggers have participated, sharing a total of 52 posts about 22 different books!

I had a lot of fun with this reading challenge. It pushed me to read a few books on my Classics Club list, re-read an old favorite, and learn more about the jazz age and its authors. I hope Jazz Age January broadened some of your horizons, too! Continue reading

Literary Blog Hop Giveaway: Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Hello, and welcome to the Literary Blog Hop! This is a thrice yearly giveaway hop hosted by Leeswammes’ Blog. I, along with 41 other bloggers, am giving away a book of literary merit to one lucky reader!

If you’re a regular reader, it’s lovely to see you again, and if you’re visiting Books Speak Volumes for the first time, I’m thrilled to meet you! I’m super excited to participate in this giveaway for the second time. This time around I’m excited to offer a copy of Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed!

blog hop feb Continue reading

Jazz Age January: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FizgeraldTHE GREAT GATSBY
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fiction, Classics
Scribner, 1925
Paperback; 180 pages
Source: Purchased

I hadn’t planned on re-reading The Great Gatsby, but after finishing Careless People, a book about Gatsby‘s creation, I couldn’t resist! I’ve read this book twice before, and I was eager to re-read it hot on the heals of a book about the factors that influenced its writing.

I wrote about this book last time I read it, two years ago, but I thought I’d revisit it for Jazz Age January! This post contains spoilers.

Continue reading