Time to catch up!

Hey guys!

I did this with the last blog I had. I write some stuff and then decide to try and not be on social media as much so then my writing declines.

I’m going to shoot for one post a week and go from there.Maybe that will get me into the swing of things and take some of the pressure I feel with this off.

So what’s been happening? My coworker and I hosted our second Silent Book Club meeting and it was great! I think. We had 10 people show up which I think is a good number. There aren’t a ton of places that 1) are well lit for evening reading and 2) that are big and quiet enough to house a group of like 30 people. We gave away some books, enjoyed some beer & wine. We’ve made some flyers and hopefully will see some new folks come around for our future meetings.

I just finished “Act of God” by Jill Ciment and it is mainly about how four characters handle and react to a mold infestation that causes them to lose everything and even some loved ones. I thought it was well written and reminded me a lot of “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel which I also really enjoyed.  As much as I wanted more answers about the mold infestation, it was a great reflection on relationships and responsibility and makes you think about what is really valuable to you, especially in a time of crisis. Do you turn to material things or do you depend on your loved ones and your own strength to persevere and survive.

I don’t like to do spoilers so I won’t go on about it anymore. It’s a short book, less than 200 pages so if you need a quick read, then give it a try!

And here’s a quick list of the podcasts I’ve been HEAVILY listening to. Seriously guys, if you haven’t listened to any of these yet, you need to stop what you’re doing and pick one right now.

Until the next post…happy reading,

Jade

Review: Hillbilly Elegy

Hey guys!

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post, got a bit busy with doing social media for my library. I’ll work on it, I promise.

Anyways, just finished “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis” by J.D. Vance today for one of our book clubs at work. It is such a good read. I don’t know that I would have picked it up if I didn’t have to read it for book club because I don’t normally read nonfiction but I am so glad I did. It’s so relevant to what’s going on today and gives us a really insightful look into this culture that we know exists but maybe just forget about.

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J.D. Vance describes growing up as a hillbilly, living in the Appalachian region in Kentucky as well as in a poor town in Ohio. Even though Vance’s grandparents moved to Ohio to escape the poverty they experienced in Kentucky, Vance reveals that many in his family, his grandparents, his mother, his sister and aunt and uncle struggled to escape their vices and keep up with their new middle-class life. Vance has a strained relationship with his mother as she brought numerous men into his and his sister’s lives and was in and out of rehab. A lot of the times, his sister and grandmother or “Mamaw” were more like a mother to him than she was.

Though he struggled in school, his grandparents knew he had a better life waiting for him and never let him give up. His grandfather, “Papaw,” helped him with his math and Mamaw was such a tough old-bird that there was no way she’d let him fail. After an incident with his mother after his freshman year of high school, he decided to live with his grandmother for the remainder of his high school years and that could not have been a better decision. He got his grades up and graduated on time but while he would have been able to go to college, he realized that he wasn’t ready for the college life just yet and so he went into the Marines.

Not that I had a negative view of our armed forces but I didn’t realize just how much they do for our men and women and I really enjoyed reading this particular chapter where he discussed how the Marines, apart from his training, helped him grow up and become an adult. He didn’t know the first thing about balancing a checkbook or how to buy a car and he was able to learn basic adult things like that from the Marines.

College was a bit of culture shock for him and while he overexerted himself sometimes, he went on to graduate summa cum laude from Ohio State University and got a degree from Yale Law School.  While at a dinner, trying to impress some prospective law firms, he spat out sparkling water because he didn’t know what it was and had to call his girlfriend because he didn’t know which forks to use and in what order, it just wasn’t something he’d learned. Don’t worry, he did well for himself and works for a firm in Silicon Valley, living with his wife and two dogs.

*Note: in book club today, someone said he is returning Ohio and starting a nonprofit but I haven’t had a chance to find an article yet.*

I did not mean to make this a long post but I just want to say that if you are considering reading it or have to read it for a book club, do it. While I found it to be a sort of call-to-arms for the white working class Americans to realize that hard work pays off and the choices they make matter and can have real consequences, I think some (ok a lot) of the statements he makes can be applied to all of us. The world isn’t set against you and even though you might be stuck between a rock and a hard place and some people are luckier than others, it’s possible to do better for yourself. Don’t stop trying and don’t undervalue yourself. If you’ve read it or get a chance to read this, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Reading,

Jade

Read this!

Now don’t get excited, it’s just a list of online articles I’ve been reading this week. Sorry that it’s been a while, I’ve been listening to a ton of podcasts (more on that later) and Neil Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology” – which is fantastic! Pick it up. The book or the audiobook, just check it out.

Also when I say articles, I don’t necessarily mean full on articles, some of these are just web pages. Guess I should’ve just said that, huh?!

Anyways….back to the list of articles – here are 5 to keep you busy!

Happy Reading,

Jade

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BBC Radio 4 Adapted “Underground Railroad” Audiobook (written by Colson Whitehead)

NPR Grad Student Discovers A Lost Novel Written By Walt Whitman – Glen Weldon

From Book Riot: (also I’m obsessed with Book Riot, I love EVERYTHING they do)

First Trailer for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks –  by Jeff O’Neal

SIX BAD ASS LIBRARIANS FROM POP CULTURE – by Jessi Lewis

BOOK GROUP RESOURCES – Need some book club ideas, trying to find a book club? Then check out this resource page from Book Riot!

Read 200 books in a year!

So I came across this awesome article on Quartz by Charles Chu about how to read 200 books a year. In the time we watch TV or are on social media, we could easily read at least that many books! It’s crazy to think about and yet it’s totally right. I like to think I’ve cut back on my social media use and I have read quite a few books this past month, but I think I’ll be lucky if I can get to 100 books this year. After reading this article, I will definitely be aiming for 200!

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So the math was broken down and to read 200 books in a year, you just need to spend 417 hours on reading! Sounds like a lot, right? The author compared it to time spent on social media: 608 hours and time spent on TV: 1642 hours. So 417 hours really isn’t that much. There’s about 8736 hours in a year! 417 is only about 4% of 8736. Mind blown.

I wanted to take the math even further and see how much time you’d need to read per day to have read for 417 hours in a year and it’s…..wait for it…..

1.15 hours per day.

1.15 hours = 69 minutes!! That’s not hard at all. And that’s just if you aim for 417 hours in a year. If you cut back on your social media and TV usage, then it could be so many more books.

So if you can, try to read for 69 minutes per day. There are a ton of good books out there, just find one at your local bookstore or library, turn off your phone and TV and start reading!!

Happy Reading,

Jade

Here’s the link to the article in case the one up top didn’t work:

https://qz.com/895101/in-the-time-you-spend-on-social-media-each-year-you-could-read-200-books/

Happy National Reading Day!

Hello readers!

It’s National Reading Day! What are you reading this week?

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I’m working on Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson, it’s a YA novel, so far about 2 women who have become fast friends online through bonding over fanfic. Looking forward to reading more.

Just finished How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball and The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. More on those later.

Hope you all had a nice weekend. Happy Reading!

Jade

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Book review time! Read on if you like thrillers!
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I thought this book was going to be fairly similar to B.A. Paris’s Behind Closed Doors, but boy was I wrong! While I didn’t like how it ended, the plot twist was awesome.

I won’t say much for fear of giving it away. Adele and David are a handsome couple and seem to have the perfect marriage. But from the beginning, it’s unclear who is the bad person in this marriage. One minute you think it’s David but the next it could be Adele.

Louise, a single mother, gets drawn into their lives and the more entangled she becomes, the more she realizes there is something really wrong going on. But the more she digs into their past, the more she puts herself in danger.

I haven’t read a good thriller in a while, so this was a welcome change of pace as I couldn’t put it down. It will leave you guessing and the ending will surprise you. (I don’t know, some of you may have guessed it, I don’t try to predict too far ahead so I can enjoy being surprised.) You’ll soon understand why people are using the hashtag #wtfthatending when it comes to this book.

Big thanks to Flatiron Books & Macmillan Publishers for the ARC!

If you need a good thriller, pick this one up on January 31st!

Happy Reading,

Jade

2016 Favorites

Wow 2016 really fly by! So much went on at work, ranging from a multitude of children’s programs as well as my feeble attempt to increase the adult programming (more on that later). But for now, here are a few of my favorite things from 2016.

A little late, but Happy New Year folks! Looking forward to blogging more in 2017.

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Books – This was really hard to narrow down but here are my top 10 books that I read last year (in no particular order):

Podcasts – Keeping this list to 10 so as to not overwhelm you but this was probably one of the hardest lists I’ve had to make! Again in no particular order :

  • King Falls AM – 2:00am radio hour, abductions and more strange things occur in this hilarious podcast!
  • MarsCorp – E.L. Hob wakes up hundreds of years later and struggles in this amazing comedy podcast in her first year as Station Supervisor.
  • The Black Tapes – 12 black VHS tapes…are they connected? Listen to find out!
  • Lore – An exploration of the history behind folklore. It’s amazing!
  • TANIS – Is TANIS a person? a thing? No one knows!
  • Mabel – Family secrets, a strange house, lots of voicemails.
  • The Bridge – The crew on Watchtower 10 each have their secrets and are protectors of an even bigger one at their station.
  • Darkest Night – A recently found favorite! Project Cyclops. Company conspiracies and more. If you want to get creeped out (in the best way), then listen to this one.
  • The Bright Sessions – Dr. Bright has some pretty interesting clients and an intriguing past too.
  • Archive 81 – Daniel is missing. Check out recordings he sent his friend while working in Archive 81.

What were some of your favorite things from 2016? What are you looking forward to reading, listening to or doing in 2017?

Happy Reading,

Jade

Amazing Giveaway!!

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Read It Forward is first and foremost an awesome site.

They are also hosting an absolutely awesome giveaway!! Check out their “Ultimate Shelfie Sweepstakes” – they are giving away 50 books, a bookshelf and other cool bookish items with the help of Chronicle Books and Out of Print (who are also super cool!).

Here’s the link to enter their giveaway:

http://www.readitforward.com/giveaways?rf=aa19403e777cf8513321b228528d2510

Good luck and happy reading!

Jade

Book Giveaway Sites!

Hi!

If you’re like me, your inbox is overloaded with emails. But there are some great bookish ones that you should be following if you like entering in book giveaways!

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(I wish my desk looked this neat! – Got this on Unsplash – it’s one of my favorite free photo sites!! – check it out!)

Here’s a quick list of sites besides Goodreads (which I love) that are worth checking out and signing up for their email newsletters or checking out their site for giveaways (at least, I think they’re worth it).

Current & Specific Giveaways:

Okay and this isn’t a giveaway but scifi/fantasy lovers! – did you know Tor gives out a free eBook each month! Check that out here. They do, though, have giveaways so be sure to check out their site!

Alright I think that’s enough for now. Don’t want to overload your email too much more than it already is!

Thanks for reading and best of luck with the giveaways!

(P.S. I wasn’t asked to promote any of these sites, I really just love them)

Happy Reading!