Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Evolving Reader

Image courtesy of adamr at
After starting up the blog again, I got to thinking about how my reading habits and tastes have changed over the years.

When I started my first blog, Biblioharlot's Bookshelf, I was reading mostly YA, I was still in college and still identified with a lot of the issues and themes addressed in YA lit.

Gradually, I began delving into the romance genre. This was during graduate school when I had a ton of reading to do for school and wanted light, easy reads that all ended happily. Romances are always good for an HEA!

Currently, I find:
  • I'm getting too far removed from being a teen that I seem to have difficulty enjoying contemporary YA fiction. I'm still good with sci-fi/fantasy YA though.
  •  I'm reading less romance. I have a few authors that I always look forward to their books, Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins are at the top of my list. 
  • I'm gravitating more toward mystery, urban fantasy, and sci-fi/fantasy.

As far as my reading habits went, I hated not finishing books. Even if I wasn't enjoying it. I was determined to finish everything I began reading. I found, however, that this often led to reading slumps. If I wasn't enjoying a book that I wouldn't quit, I just avoided it. I also didn't read more than one book at a time. Hence, a reading slump.

Both of these reading habits have changed for me. Somewhere along the line I realized life was too short to waste reading something you didn't enjoy. I still feel a little guilty when I give up on a book but I do give up on books now. I also read more than one book at a time but so far it's usually only two books at a time.

I've also listened to more audio books over the years. Audible and the library make it really easy to listen with apps for my phone!  Also, e-books are amazing. Don't get me wrong I love me some actual books but e-books have made traveling and reading so much easier. Not to mention if I get them from the library, no fines!

Things that have always remained pretty constant in my reading habits:
  • Not lending out personal copies of my books. People dog ear them, spill shit on them, lose them, etc.. I just don't lend books. That's what the library is for. 
  • Utilizing the library - Free books, e-book, and audio books? D'uh. No brainer.  
  • Reading books in order. If a book is part of a series I HAVE to read them in order. I remember one time, years ago, being half way through an SEP novel before realizing it wasn't the first book. I had to stop and go back to read the previous book before I could finish it.  
So, friends, tell me how have your reading tastes and habits have changed over the years?! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Catching up on 2015 Reads

As it turns out a few of you are still following me! Yay! I thought I'd catch you up on what I've been reading so far this  year.  I've read 27 books of my 75 book goal for 2015. I've read a lot of really great books this year but these were some of my absolute favorites:
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand - This was the heartbreaking and inspiring story of Olympic athlete and POW, Louis Zamperini during WWII. I don't know how one person could survive so much. Also, this was about 1000x better than the movie. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Edward Herrmann (the grandfather on Gilmore Girls!) who was a fantastic narrator!
  • Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews - Ilona Andrews. 'Nuff said.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - This was so much fun. I listened to the audio book, narrated by Wil Wheaton which really upped the nerd factor. The story takes place in 2044 when the world has gone to shit and the majority of people spend their time in the Oasis, a virtual reality utopia. People go to school, work, and spend their leisure time in this virtual reality. The creator of the Oasis, a Steve Jobs type, created intricate puzzles hidden within this world, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with 1980's pop culture and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. It's the story of Wade Watts and his adventurous race to win the ultimate prize and to stay alive. It's a really, really fun book.
  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold is one of the best contemporary YA novels I've read of late. It's quirky and sweet. As my Goodreads "review" stated it made me "feel all the feels!"
  • The Martian by Andy Weir was another book I loved. It was the first book in a long time that I started, read, went to bed then had to get up and read more because I HAD TO KNOW what would happen next. It's about an astronaut that accidentally gets left behind (his crew though he was dead) on Mars. It chronicals  his struggle to communicate to NASA that he's alive and to survive until the next mission can pick him up (FOUR YEARS AWAY). It has a lot of science-y stuff that can get a little old but the main character, Mark Watney is so funny, self-deprecating, and sarcastic yet through his whole ordeal he has hope and fights to survive. I just really loved this one. They're making a movie based on it too. I'm glad I didn't look up information about the movie until after I finished because the cast does not match up to the characters I'd imagined. Although I'll probably end up seeing the movie! 
I would say those are the highlights of what I've read thus far in 2015. I've really enjoyed almost everything I've read so it was difficult to just highlight a couple! 

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Burn for Me
Then Came You
The Darkest Minds
All the Light We Cannot See
Mean Streak
Still the One
I Was Here
Ready Player One
Not a Drop to Drink
Paper Towns
The Martian
Get A Clue
A Game of Thrones

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Long time, no post....

Helllooooooooooo! Is anyone out there still following me? It's been nearly four years since my last post. GULP.

FOUR YEARS. Wow. I stopped blogging because I was pursuing a Master's degree and could not keep up with reading and reviewing.

Since that time, I've left the job I was at (as a librarian at a technical college) for a librarian position at a newspaper. After a year and a half at the newspaper, I was let go (budget cuts) and was unemployed for 6 months before getting a library position at the Health Sciences Library at a local university. I have been there a little over a month now. I've been reading a lot more and had been considering blogging again. So, I figured I'd say hello and see if anyone is still following me!

Recently read:

Naked In Death - Finally started this series. Loved the first book and am looking forward to reading more in the series.
The Passage by Justin Cronin - This was my book club's selection and I really liked it. Reminded me of a Stephen King or Dean Koontz. I'm looking forward to reading the follow-up, The Twelve.
Currently, I'm reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie and wanted to get the book read first. I'm not too far into it so I haven't really formed too many opinions on it yet!

Whew, ok my first post in four years...not great but give me time to get back into the swing of things, folks! If you're still out there, say "Hello" below!
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