Book Bingo

It's been a while since I checked in with my 2017 word of the year -- intentional.

One of the ways I planned to incorporate that into my life was through my reading. Well, we're nine months into the year and I definitely have read a ton, and most of it has been intentional. As of this writing I have read 73 titles this year, which is a significant increase over the 48 or so I have read every year before since I started tracking.

This summer our local bookstore, Page 158, ran a Book Bingo promotion. It started on Memorial Day and ended on Labor Day. Everyone got the same card, and you earned store discounts based on how many titles you read. I came up three books short from completing my entire card, but we had a busy summer so I'm rather pleased with how much I read. It's been a while since I geeked out about books with you, so I thought I'd share some of my favorites from Summer. Now I realize that all of these are new releases, but between visiting the bookstore and library every week with Pasha and getting a Book of the Month box most months I was susceptible to new titles.

A Book Written by Someone Under Thirty -- Chemistry, Weike Wang

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I got this in my Book of the Month box despite the fact that I was a little apprehensive, but I ended up loving it so much I read it within 24 hours. This is a fairly quick read, all written from a unique first person perspective.  At first the narrative flow made no sense, but the more immersed I became in it the easier it was to follow. I found myself really connecting with the fact that the narrator is a grad student and all of the pressure and apprehension she has, even though my field was History and hers is Chemistry.

A Book Based on a True Story -- American Fire, Monica Hesse

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This was another quick read for me, probably because I listened to the audio version. I've been taking a narrative tour this year of what I like to refer to as "overlooked and oppressed America", starting with GhettosideEvictedHillbilly Elegy, and now American Fire. I find that these investigative nonfiction books are easier for me to take in as audio rather than print because I can listen while chasing Pasha. Because the author is a journalist it was more like listening to an extended NPR story than a heavy work of nonfiction.

Free Square / A Book with Non-Human Characters -- Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire

I'm combining this with the sequal (prequal?) Down Among the Sticks and Bones because I read them both in quick succession. These are very quick YA reads that I don't know how I missed, but they were a ton of fun. In the creepy, cannot put them down kind of way. I was a morbid child growing up, at times much to my mother's dismay. I had an illustrated copy of Hans Christian Anderson stories (that Chris has been reading to Pasha and then coming downstairs horrified by the "real" Cinderella), and as soon as I could read chapter books I devoured books like Mary Poppins (much darker than the film version). These books filled that need in my reading life without going full Gillian Anderson dark.

A Funny Book -- Brush with Death, Ware Wilkins

Probably my favorite book of the summer was Brush with Death. This got filed as my funny book, but it really could have gone into a lot of categories. You guys know I love Urban Fantasy, though I'm rather hesitant to start new series, and I've been at loose ends for a new one since The Hollows ended a few years ago. Well, turns out I was just waiting for this book. Full disclosure, Ware is the pen name of a friend of mine, but she's a newer friend and we had not gone full book nerd with one another just yet. Brush with Death is about Sadie Salt, a paranormal dentist who lives in a small town in the North Carolina mountains. She is in debt to some scary magical folk, has the necessary tragedy in her past, and finds herself becoming more entangled with the secret magical community as the book goes on. Where this book really shines is the witty writing, which I can attest continues into book two. How do I know this? Well I can't really disclose, but I may or may not have gotten a sneak peek at Bad Impression, which should be published next week. If you are in our area Ware will be doing an author event at Page 158 and she'll have copies of both her books there.

What have you read lately? I'd love to hear your recommendations.