Can Libraries Cut You Off?: The July Wrap-up

Hi there, it’s been awhile. Things got away from me over the past… 6 months (seriously it’s been that long?!). I kept meaning to write wrap-up posts but, well, down time could always be better used as reading time. (That philosophy explains so much about the state of my entire life, really.)

July’s reading was all over the place, though I refuse to take the blame for that. This year my library rolled out the weirdest summer reading program I’ve ever regretfully participated in and it completely derailed my summer reading plans. For some reason they decided bingo would be a good idea? But getting bingos is not the goal, the goal is to do all the squares? Then they made all of the squares terrible things like ‘read a biography’ (why) and ’email us program ideas’ and ‘check out a board game’ and ‘check out a movie based on a book’.

Was this reading program even about reading? No, no it was not. The librarians were clearly trying to get circulation numbers up for some things (board games, cookbooks, etc) and trying to get people to actually interact with them. As a frequent library goer who is also an introvert, I will remember this and quietly hold it against them forever. I did manage to make a re-read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone count for 4 squares though, so I’m counting this as a win anyway.

BOOKS READ: 26!

July was a record month in books read this year, though the page count is significantly lower than it could have been (5,755). The library made me read genres I hate (biography whhhhy) so I broke up that reading with short fiction titles. The number of short stories and novellas upped the numbers without significantly upping the page count, though it did average out to a nice 185 pages/day. The format split ended up being far closer than normal between print (14) and digital (12). Prose continued to dominate (20) with comics slowing down (6) and verse dropping off the map entirely (0). Genre was all over the place, but fiction continued it’s domination (21) over non-fiction (4).

Some of my favorite reads this month with a short description:

  • A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia’s War with the West by Luke Harding – non-fiction that reads like a spy thriller (with very bumbling assassins), very enlightening about Russian espionage under Putin.
  • The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle – 1920s Harlem collides with the Cthulhu mythos, a Nebula (2016), Shirley Jackson (2016), and Hugo (2017) nominated novella
  • The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian – Regency era fixer reluctantly falls for retired gentleman soldier, determined to be difficult about it.
  • Appetites by Anthony Bourdain – fantastic cookbook that is exactly what you’d expect from Bourdain and excellent for it.
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells – A self-aware cyborg known as Murderbot reluctantly cares about the people it’s forced to protect while trying to save them all.
  • Giant Days Vol 4 by John Allison – College friends exist and are funny and the explanation on this one falls apart. Just read this series, it’s amazing.

BOOKS PURCHASED: ??

Somewhere around May I realized there simply isn’t enough time in my life to keep up with my current reading pace, real life obligations, and track everything I’m buying. I buy too many books! Kindle has too many ebook sales! (I know, I’m terrible.)

This month I’ve traded out bookstore trips for pre-ordering a bunch of books that are all probably going to end up showing up at the same time, because that’s how my life works. I added a book to my Book of the Month subscription, but haven’t read the last four month’s selections anyway. I accidentally bought a book that I’d won an ARC for and forgot about, though in my defense the ARC showed up 3 weeks after the book came out. (I also did not read that book this month either.)

Book purchase highlights that I really want to read and swear I will get to I promise:

BOOKS BORROWED: 15 read…

I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve taken out of the library. I’ve borrowed so many books I actually bought bookends to contain them. At one point I think I had every new release in the fantasy genre out. I might have a problem.

Here’s my current library borrows (plus Timekeeper and It which aren’t pictured):

librarytbr

BOOKS ABANDONED: 1

I just couldn’t get into Tana French’s The Likeness. Tried reading it twice, but it simply wasn’t working for me. Eventually I will attempt it again, just needed a bit of a break.

Question, does a book count as abandoned if you checked it out of the library and then didn’t manage to read it and so you returned it (Six Four by Hideo Yokojama which I really really do want to read but I’m struggling through It right now and that is a lot to handle already)? Or because you hated the very thought of reading it so passionately that you couldn’t even bring yourself to open it before the due date (3 biographies)?

I’m going with no. Let’s just stick with the 1.

CURRENTLY READING: 6 er 7

… or 15 16 if you look at GoodReads but you already know about my inability to finish books sometimes.

  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) – My current lunch book. I have been absolutely devouring this series. The only reason I haven’t read them faster is that I borrow the ebooks from the library through OverDrive and there is always a wait list.
  • Timekeeper by Tara Sim – This has been rec’d to me so often that I finally borrowed it from the library just so people will stop telling me to read it.
  • Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee – Bought this one last year but didn’t read it for whatever reason (laziness probably). Then my pre-order for the sequel came in and I still hadn’t read it so now a month and change later I’m doing it.
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe by Ryan North – The other night during a lull in nibling watching I dug out my iPad to try and get a few chapters of Career of Evil in. This is, of course, the instant my 5 year old nephew decided we should cuddle and I could read to him from the book I was reading. Needless to say I switched over to this one, which he loves so far. So much giggling!
  • It by Stephen King – Every time I try to read this I fall asleep? It’s so slow. Possibly the slowest novel I have ever read and I spent a year reading nothing but Russian classics. Why does everyone love this book. What am I missing (other than 1300 pages I haven’t gotten to because I’ve been asleep)?
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Full disclosure this is good but I did the weird thing where I got halfway in and stopped reading it for unknown reasons. This is my current carrying around in my purse with me book because surely I will magically come upon free time to finish it, obviously.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – Just remembered it’s Harry Potter (and Rowling)’s birth day(s) and so clearly I must pause all of the other things and immediately read the next book in the series. This will obviously be the next book I finish.

Hope all of you are having wonderful summers filled with high quality summer reading programs from your amazing libraries and beach vacations filled with nothing but lazy days reading in the sun!

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