September Wrap-Up

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Happy October everyone! Fall is my favorite season, and Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I am always so happy when this time of year rolls around.

Even though I was busy, I was determined to read at least something last month so I didn’t fall too behind on my goal of reading 100 books this year. I managed to squeeze in one book and two graphic novels at the very end of the month. I read:

  1. Room by Emma Donoghue
  2. Gotham Academy, Vol 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl
  3. Saga, Vol 5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

I enjoyed all three of these. I picked up Room because I had seen a trailer for the movie and thought it looked really good. It turns out the trailer spoils a lot of the book, so if you are interested in the book then do not watch the trailer until after you have finished reading it. Though, to be fair, watching the trailer is what made me pick up the book, and I still enjoyed it even knowing what happens.

I am currently reading The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma with the hopes of finishing it before the Man Booker Prize winner is announced on Tuesday (as it is on the shortlist). I have also been reading The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero as an October spooky read, and I would like to pick The Martian by Andy Weir up again soon because I want to see the movie, and I never finished the book from when I started it over the summer. 

What did you read in September? Are you reading anything spooky this month for Halloween? Let me know down below!

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A Very Special Day

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a peek at my main bookcase

Today is the one year anniversary of Forrest of Books! During the past year I’ve had the chance to interact with an amazing and welcoming community of people who have been so encouraging of all of my reading goals. I’m so glad that I decided to start this blog last fall, and even though I am reading for fun a little less now (thanks law school!), I am still determined to keep this blog going for another great year.

Looking back at the posts I have written this year, here are some of my favorites:

Go Set a Watchmen Review 

Top Ten Books I Think Make Great Beach Reads

Girl On The Train Review 

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum 

September and 18 Books, 3 Weeks Wrap-Up

I also have to say it was a great coincidence that the National Book Award for Fiction longlist was announced today. Some people have a lot of love for the Man Booker, but the National Book Award is my favorite literary award. I won’t have time to read all of the fiction books on the list before the winner is announced (I mean, A Little Life is over 700 pages long!), but I would love to get to some of them. If you have read any of the books on the longlists (all of them, not just fiction) please let me know what you think about them! Also, I am the creator of the list on Goodreads with all the nominees so I encourage you to vote for your favorites there as well.

I just want to end this post by thanking everything that has followed, commented on, visited, and/or supported this blog over the past year. You are all why I keep this blog going even when I’m in a slump or busy with work. The book community is just so warm and kind, and I appreciate all of you so much. Thank you!

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August Wrap-Up

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I’m doing my wrap-up a little bit early this month because there is no way I am finishing another book in the next two days. I had very ambitious plans for reading this month, and they just did not happen. I mentioned in a previous post that I started law school this month, and so the last week or so has been very busy with reading my textbooks and just adjusting to the heavy workload (as well as spending some time getting to know my new classmates). Figuring out how to balance reading for class and reading for pleasure is something I’m going to have to work on during the next few months. I think I’m going to try to read a little bit before I go to bed every night, but the amount that could be could vary greatly.

Anyway, here is what I read in August (before I started school):

  • S.H.I.E.L.D., Vol 1 by Mark Waid
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker

I would recommend all of these books (although only SHIELD for fans of the tv show Agents of SHIELD, which it is based on).

I am also partway through Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Shore by Sara Taylor and The Martian by Andy Weir (I feel like I read a good amount of pages this month, but I just didn’t finish anything). I really want to finish Jane Eyre next because I’m over 100 pages in and this is the second time I have started it. After that, I’ll move onto The Shore and The Martian (which I want to finish before the movie comes out). Then I would like to read last year’s Man Booker Prize winner, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, as well as the one nominee for this year’s prize that I already own, The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma.

What did you read this month? Any tips on how to sneak reading time into your busy day?

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Bout of Books 14.0

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So I’ve made a kind of last minute decision to join Bout of Books 14.0. I participated in Bout of Books 12.0 and 13.0, but I wasn’t sure I was going to do this one because I have my orientation for law school this week and won’t have as much time to read. However, I decided it doesn’t matter, and I should just try to read as much as I can and not stress about it.

So, if you don’t know what Bout of Books is then here is the official description:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Here is my short TBR for the week:

Ok, so that’s it. Are any of you joining in the read-a-thon? Regardless, what are you planning on reading this week?

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July Wrap-Up

Happy August! Hopefully everyone is managing to stay cool in these hot summer months. Here is what I read in July.

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  1. Bleak House by Charles Dickens Review 
  2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle Review 
  3. Headstrong by Rachel Swaby Review 
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee I read this for the first time in seventh grade, so I wanted to reread it again before Go Set a Watchman came out. I think I definitely got a lot more out of it this time around, and reading Go Set a Watchman made me appreciate it a lot more. 
  5. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee Review 
  6. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut This was both fun and tragic, a hard combination to get right. It’s easy to see why this is a classic. 
  7. City Lights Pocket Poet Anthology edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti Review 
  8. The Captain’s Verses by Pablo Neruda Review 
  9. Paper Towns by John Green Review 
  10. What Pet Should I Get by Dr. Seuss I had to read the new Dr. Seuss. I could see why this one never got around to being published because it’s not as good as as his classics, but it’s still a cute, and very brief, story that children should enjoy. 

What did you read in July? Let me know down below!

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What I Read This Weekend

Good morning! I hope everyone had a fun weekend. I spent mine reading two volumes of poetry  and a beloved YA novel. Two are worth recommending, and one was very disappointing. Here are my reviews:

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City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Last October I visited San Francisco and while I was there I went to City Lights Bookstore. City Lights is famous for being the publisher of a lot of beat poetry, including Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem Howl. It seemed appropriate while I was there to pick up this anthology of various poetry that City Lights has published over the years. As one would expect it included a lot of beat poetry dating from around the 60s to the 80s (a lot of the poems didn’t include dates). It included work by Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Pablo Picasso, Ferlinghetti himself, and many more.I left this unrated since it featured so many different poets and kinds of poems (some I liked, some I didn’t, and some I just didn’t understand), but this is a great collection to have if you are interested in beat poetry because of the wide selection.

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Books I Want To Read Before The End of the Year

I still have a lot of books left on my TBR. There is still plenty of time left in the year to read, but because I am starting law school next month I know that I will have a lot less time than normal to read for fun. That’s why I have decided to make a priority list of the books I really want to read in 2015. I have five classics and five other books that I want to get to.

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The Classics:

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  3. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. Richard III by William Shakespeare
  5. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Bonus: Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Rest:

  1. Euphoria by Lily King
  2. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
  3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  5. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • Bonus: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

Do you have any books that you want to read by the end of the year? Let me know!

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Review: Go Set a Watchman

So everyone knows what this book is about. It’s the “sequel” to To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee that is actually a draft that, with a lot of editing, morphed into the beloved classic we all know today. In this version a 26-year-old Scout returns to Maycomb and has a pretty disappointing visit.

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First off, Go Set a Watchman, should not be thought of as a sequel. It was never intended to be a sequel and reading it it’s very clear that it doesn’t take place in the same world as TKAMB. Many things are mentioned that are out of canon with TKAMB. One huge plot point from Mockingbird is completely different in Watchman. Characters are familiar, but are not the same ones we grew up loving. Some of them are missing, though a good amount of them show up in one form or another. It’s not a sequel. It’s a draft.

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Checking in With My 2015 Reading Goals

Earlier this year I set several reading goals for myself for 2015. Since the year is already half over I thought I would see how I was doing.

suff 41) Finish some of the series that I have been reading for the last few years. This includes The Lord of the Rings and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.

I did finish The Hitchhiker’s Guide series at the beginning of January, but I have yet to pick up another Lord of the Rings book. I read The Fellowship of the Ring at the end of 2013, so I need to get to the last two. Honestly, if I just read The Two Towers this year I would be happy.

2) Conquer a huge chunk of my TBR list. 

I started the year with 84 books. I then removed a bunch of the books that I was no longer interested in reading. I read a lot of books this year. I am now down to…71. That is not where I was hoping to be. I clearly need to go on a book buying ban. I would really like to get the number to under 50 by the end of the year.

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Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and The Bookish) is the last 10 books that made their way into my home. Can you guess what the (very obvious) most recent one will be?

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  1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte No, I haven’t read this. And, no, I haven’t read Jane Eyre either. I do want to read both of them by the end of the year. Does anyone have a preferred Bronte sisters reading order they think I should follow? Charlotte before Emily? Emily before Charlotte? Should I put them both aside and actually just read Anne first? Let me know.
  2. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll So I originally didn’t really have any intention of buying this book. I’ve been burned by books “like Gone Girl” before (also I hated Gone Girl). But, a couple of week ago I had a dream that I was in a bookclub, and we were reading this book. Then the dream changed, and I was like living the plot of the book. Which was strange because I didn’t really know what the plot of the book was. I woke up and had a B&N coupon in my inbox. So I had no choice in the matter. The universe made me buy this book. I hope it’s good.
  3. The Shore by Sara Taylor I bought this while checking out the independent bookstore in the town I just moved to for law school. Great looking store. Looking forward to starting this soon.stuff 2
  4. The Return of Sherlock Holmes/The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle I also finished off collecting the Sherlock Holmes editions I liked this month and these were the last two I needed.
  5. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde Found this in a museum gift shop. Read it in a day. Excellent.
  6. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters I found this in the bargain shop on The Book Depository while I was buying my Fitzgerald editions. Half off a hardcover book I already wanted and had heard great things about? Yes, please.
  7. stuff 3Flappers and Philosophers/The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald I love Fitzgerald, and these were the last two works I needed to complete my set of all his major works.
  8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle Thank you Barnes & Noble for throwing a 1960s party on Friday and having this at 50% off
  9. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut ditto
  10. 24817626Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee My newest arrival. Let’s see how this one goes.