How I decide on my next read.

I feel like I’m pretty structured when it comes to the books I choose to read each month, but when I look at the books I’ve been reading lately it’s clear that there are a lot of factors that go into making those choices. I tend to choose books based on book clubs, my mood, and if anything on BookTube or podcasts has piqued my interest.

I’m a member of two in-person book clubs and two online clubs through Goodreads. This could easily become overwhelming, so I make it a point to only make an effort with the books I’m sincerely interested in reading. In fact, the online book clubs are more of supplemental reading. I try to squeeze them in when I can.

My mood tends to change depending on the weather, the season, or just things that are going on in my life at the moment. For example, October is the one month where I read horror/thrillers or books about witches. Also, last week I attended a health education conference, so the book I took along was The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot.

Though I try to keep a running list of the books I intend to read each month, nothing is set in stone (unless I am leading the book club that month). I update the list often, but it’s more of a way for me to prioritize the books I’d like to get to first. Come to think of it, it’s just a 2016 TBR list broken down by month.

How do y’all chose what books to read next? Let me know in the comments below!


Books I love but haven’t talked about in a while.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Ten Books I Really Love But Haven’t Talked About Enough/ In A While”. Since my blog is less than a year old and I only really post about books on my TBR or books I’m reviewing, I feel like this list might give you a better idea of what kinds of books I’ve enjoyed:

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  2. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  4. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  5. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  6. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  7. Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  8. The Martian by Andy Weir
  9. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  10. Still Alice by Lisa Genova 

What are some awesome books you feel you haven’t talked about in a while? Let me know in the comments below!

Books I’m embarrassed I haven’t read.

I was looking through my to-read list on Goodreads the other day, and realized there are many books I feel like I should have read by now. It’s all in my head, of course, but I can’t help but feel a bit of shame when I see certain books on my list. Here are some of the books that bring me the most shame:

  1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – I’ve picked this book up twice in the past few years, and I just can’t seem to get very far into it. I enjoyed the writing, so I’m not sure what’s holding me back. I would like to try to listen to it as an audiobook this year (specifically the version narrated by Rosamund Pike).
  2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – Many of the people I follow in the bookish community absolutely love this book. I was never assigned this book throughout school, so I only started hearing about it recently. I also hope to get to this one this year.
  3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – I saw the movie and would love to experience the written story. I even bought the book, I just haven’t read it.
  4. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner – Another popular book that I purchased but never read.
  5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – I’m curious about this book and it was recommended by a close friend. I’m not sure when I’ll pick it up, though.
  6. Beloved by Toni Morrison – I’m actually ashamed that I haven’t read any of Toni Morrison’s work. She is an author that I just learned about in the last couple of years. I need to get to this one soon.
  7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This is also a book that was never assigned reading for me so it’s fairly new in my world. I went ahead and purchased a copy to read this winter.
  8. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – This particular book came up in many of my public health classes. I bought a copy while in college and just never got around to reading it. This is more of an academic shame and I plan to read it soon.
  9. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – This is one of those books that everyone and their mom has read. I’m not sure why my teachers never assigned this book, but I feel like I missed out on something. Now I’m a little afraid to pick it up in case I don’t like it as much as everyone else does.

These are just some of the books that I feel bad for not having read and I plan to read soon (in the next year or so). Are there any books on your TBR that you feel you should have read by now? Let me know in the comments below!

On rereading.

I used to reread books more often. I used to reread the Harry Potter books every summer in anticipation of each new book in the series. I used to also reread random books whenever I wanted to refresh my memory of the story. For example, I recall rereading A Solitary Blue and A Separate Peace. The only book I’ve reread in the past five years is Night and that was for one of my book clubs.

This past year I’ve been so busy binging on books and authors that are new to me that I hadn’t had the urge to reread anything. However, I recently realized that I fancy rereading Americanah. I also plan to reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Spanish (Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal), does that count?

I am totally OK with not choosing to reread books like I used to, I just have different reading priorities at the moment. I imagine that I will want to reread some of the amazing books I’ve had the chance to read recently. But that’ll be a little farther down the road.

How do y’all feel about rereading books? Are there any books you reread based on seasons, moods, or tradition? Let me know in the comments below!

Books I enjoyed recently that weren’t my typical genre/type

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list and everyone is welcome to join. This week’s theme is “Books I Enjoyed Recently That Weren’t My Typical Genre/Type”. This past year has definitely been a time of reading exploration for me. For a while I was reading mostly YA, literary fiction, and historical fiction. Last year I explored with more non-fiction, science fiction, and other genres and styles.

  1. Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-up by Grace Helbig
  2. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  3. American God by Neil Gaiman
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  5. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
  6. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
  7. Ms. Marvel, Vol.1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
  8. The Martian by Andy Weir
  9. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
  10. Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski

I read my first comic book last year, my first book based on science, several science fiction books, a book on a religious topic, and my first memoir type book. I loved exploring different genres, authors, and styles last year. The best part is a very much enjoyed most of them! What books did you read last year that were out of your comfort zone? Let me know in the comments below!

Rainy day reads.

Today was a lovely Sunday full of cool weather and light rain. I’m sad winter is over so quickly, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the cool breeze on my skin. This got me thinking about my go-to books for gloomy or rainy days. For me, gloomy weather puts me in a really good mood, so the books I choose for these days tend to be comforting and put a smile on my face.

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – this is my favorite of the series simply because of the happiness Harry Potter feels in finding out he has a guardian and someone who could possibly care for him other than the Dursleys.
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – this book simply gives me “the feels” and I love it.
  3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – this book has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. It’s a great story and I love Meg and Charles Wallace.
  4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – again, another favorite.

Do y’all have any rainy day reads? Or does any particular kind of weather get you in the mood for a certain kind of book? Let me know in the comments below!

Books I plan to read in February.

I know this post is a week late, but I’d like to write it now if you don’t mind. Somehow my January and February TBRs have been packed and I’m not sure how that happened. Originally, I hoped to read 2-3 books each month in 2016, but for these first two months it’s looking more like 5-6 each month. Yikes. So, these are the books I’d like to get to or finish this month:

  1. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem – I have been listening to (and loving) this on audiobook because of Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf book club on Goodreads. I hope to finish this in the next couple of days.
  2. Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski – I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time and I’m so happy to finally be reading it! I also hope to finish this book in the next couple of days.
  3. A House of My Own: Stories from My Life by Sandra Cisneros – This is the February pick for brunch book club. I’ve read The House on Mango Street and hope to read Caramelo later this year. I’m definitely excited to get to this one in the next couple of weeks.
  4. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – I have this checked out as an audiobook more out of curiosity than anything. I read Eat, Pray, Love and really enjoyed it. I thought this nonfiction would be a good audio read and it was finally available at my local library.
  5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – After reading and loving The Martian and Ready Player One with my fiancé, we’ve been looking for our next read. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, mostly that it’s hilarious. Again, I’ve borrowed this as an audiobook from my local library. It’s about 5 hours long which is perfect for our drive to our hometown next weekend!
  6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker – I’ve also been  meaning to get to this book for a good while and I just saw that it’s the February pick for Our Shared Shelf. That’s a good enough reason for me to pick it up now. I have this one as an e-book so I’ll be able to squeeze in reading here and there throughout the week.
  7. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler – This pick is from the Banging Book Club on Goodreads led by Hannah Witton and her two friends. I’ll admit, this one is last on this list because it won’t be a big deal if I don’t get to it. It’s mostly on here out of curiosity and in case I need a backup book for the month.

What are some of the books you’d really like to read in the month of February? Have you read any of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments below!