It’s Monday What Are You Reading #74

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 8 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #65

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Finished in Print

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

This 0ne languished on my shelf for way too long. I admired Ruth Bader Ginsburg before I read it and I admire her more after reading it.

Paper Girls Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

Paper Girls Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

This one is such fun. Time travel, 1980’s nostalgia, science fiction and just the right touch of humor.

The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker

The Fade Out, Act One by Ed Brubaker

1948 Hollywood. A noir mystery story that takes place around the making of a noir movie. So good and I can’t wait to continue with the trilogy.

Continued in Print

The Likeness by Tana French

The Likeness by Tana French

I loved her first book and have had this one on my shelf for way too long. I’ve been kind of hit and miss about reading it but I’m enjoying it and hoping to get some quality time with it this week.

 

Continued on Audio

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

This is absolutely not my normal reading/listening fare. I heard so many good things about the narration by the author of the audio edition that I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did. Her narration of her memoir is wonderful.

 

Reviews since my last update:

The Last Kingdom (DNF’d) by Bernard Cornwell

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Paper Girls Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

The Fade Out Act One by Ed Brubaker

What are you reading?

Read More

Weekend Update – The Bookish Nostalgia January 2017 Edition

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia, Weekend Update | 8 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia January 2017

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

Most of these are pre-blog so the links take you to Powell’s for more information. Links for 2007 and later take you to my review.

2004:
The Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
I remember it seemed like everyone was reading this at the same time. I never saw the movie adaptation. Is it any good?

Homestead by Rosina Lippi
This ‘novel’ is structurally a series of connected stories. They take place over a period of 80 years in a tiny village in Austria. Still one of my favorite books of all time. I loved it.

2006:
Hell at the Breech by Tom Franklin
This is proof that I was reading Tom Franklin long before Crooked Letter Crooked Letter hit the bestseller lists. I always describe this book as a brutal story beautifully told. I think it’s brilliant but I mean it when I say it’s brutal. It’s not for the faint of heart but it is just excellent.

2007:
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
From my review: “This book has it all. Of course, at 1463 pages long there’s room for plenty.” It took me a whole month to read this but I am so glad I did. It will remain near the top of my all time favorites list.

2008:
Leavin’ Trunk Blues by Ace Atkins
This is the second in an early series by Ace Atkins. The hero is Nick Travers a former pro football player turned detective who is also a blues historian teaching at Tulane.
From my review:

he takes his Southern Noir style away from the Mississippi Delta and on the road to the South Side of Chicago. He visits both the rich blues history of its past and the danger of its present.

There is a graphic novel adaptation of a short story by Atkins featuring Nick Travers that I need to get my hands on. I’ve seen a few images and it looks good.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Read More

Reading Tracking Spreadsheet Nirvana

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Fun | 6 comments

I believe I have found reading tracking spreadsheet Nirvana

 

I have used a variety of excel spreadsheets over the years to track my books and reading.

 

I have one master that is all the books I’ve read or listened to since October of 2003

I also have a badly outdated TBR spreadsheet where I used to keep track of book I want to read and series I’ve started. I need to purge that one of these days. There are a lot of books and series on there that I’m no longer interested in reading.

For the past five or six years, I’ve used a variety of spreadsheets shared by other bloggers to keep track of my yearly reading stats. Some have worked better than others.

The one I’ve used for the past few years tracked most of what I wanted to track but there were a lot of columns on it that didn’t matter to me.

Earlier this week I started browsing for other reading tracking spreadsheets that might be available. Book folks love to share what they read and how they keep track of things so I knew I’d find options. Why recreate when I can take advantage of someone else’s expertise with excel formulas?

I found several. Some of which I quickly dismissed because they didn’t include audiobook listening time. Others were only focused on a couple of statistics.

 

Then I found Reading Tracking Spreadsheet Nirvana

Crini at All About Books  is a spreadsheet geek after my own heart. She has all kinds of posts about the spreadsheets she uses to track reading, books accumulated, series, review books, etc.

Seriously if you check through the posts for her spreadsheet category you’ll find all kinds of great stuff.

Her latest 2017 spreadsheet is fabulous.

First of all, it’s easy. You only have to enter the data on one sheet. All the overviews and specific stats are linked. It’s in Google Docs so all you have to do is save a copy of the empty spreadsheet.

The reason I love it is that not only does it track all the basic stuff I want but it’s also flexible. If there’s something I want to keep track of that’s not already set up it’s easy to do with tags. She’s got a column where you can enter any tags you want or need. There is a tab set up where you can filter your reading data by the established columns and also by your personal tags. So, If I want to track something not already on the spreadsheet I can do that. I have a Library tag for books I check out from the library.

Reading Tracking Filter

click on the image for a larger version

I did some minor renaming of a couple of columns. The original tracks hardcover, paperback, ebook and audio. I changed that to print, ebook, both, and audio because I often switch between print and ebook formats when I’m reading a book.

I like the output of the stats information more than my previous spreadsheet.

Reading Tracking Statistics

Click on the image for a larger version

As with any tracking spreadsheet set up by someone else there are parts of this I won’t use. I don’t intend to track acquisitions and money spent on books. What The Hubster doesn’t know is good for him.

Seriously. If you want easy tracking with a bunch of different statistics all set up for you go check out this spreadsheet.

Read More

It’s Monday What Are You Reading #73

Posted by on Jan 23, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 13 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #65

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

After a couple of weeks of not feeling well and having trouble concentrating on my reading, I’m better and ready to kick start my reading again.

Abandoned in Print

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

We enjoyed the television series based on the first few books in this series. The Hubster read and enjoyed the first four books. Unfortunately the more I read the less I cared so I set it aside at about the 2/3 point.

 

Finished in Print

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling Illustrated by Jim Kay

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling Illustrated by Jim Kay

I loved it. It’s gorgeous except for that one two page spread of spiders. That was skipped quickly.

Started in Print

The Likeness by Tana French

The Likeness by Tana French

I loved her first book and have had this one on my shelf for way too long. It’s time.

 

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

This is another one that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I’m glad to finally be reading it.

 

Finished on Audio

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst

I liked this one much more than the previous book in the series. This was back to what I expect from Louise Penny. I enjoy Robert Bathurst’s narration.

 

Started on Audio

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald

This is absolutely not my normal reading/listening fare. I have heard so many good things about the narration by the author of the audio edition that I decided to give it a try.

 

Reviews since my last update:

Fables Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition by J.K Rowling

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst

What are you reading?

Read More

It’s Monday What Are You Reading #72

Posted by on Jan 9, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 6 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #65

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Holiday prep and all the associated stuff has really put a damper on my reading for the past couple of weeks.

Finished in Print

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

I enjoyed the first two books in this series more than I expected to. I’m looking forward to getting the third one soon.

May Day by Jess Lourey

May Day by Jess Lourey

This is the first in a cozy mystery series set in a small town in Minnesota. It was short. I don’t plan on continuing with the series.

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

The graphic adaptation of the classic short story is by Shirley Jackson’s grandson. In some ways it wasn’t as chilling as the original and other ways it was more so.

Fables, Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham

Fables, Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham

I love this series and I am so glad it has moved beyond the Mr. Dark story line.

Started in Print

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

We enjoyed the television series based on the first few books in this series. The Hubster read and enjoyed the first four books. I need to catch up.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling Illustrated by Jim Kay

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling Illustrated by Jim Kay

 

Continuing on Audio

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny narrated by Robert Bathurst

I still miss Ralph Cosham who narrated this series until his death but Robert Bathurst is doing a fine job.

What are you reading?

Reviews since my last update:

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

May Day by Jess Lourey

Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”: The Authorized Graphic Adaptation by Miles Hyman

What are you reading?

Read More

Weekend Update – 2017 Reading Plans

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Weekend Update | 6 comments

Weekend Update
2017 Reading Plans

I like to keep my reading plans rather nebulous. If they’re too specific or extensive it starts to feel like homework. It’s the same reason I no longer accept review copies. I get resentful when I feel like I HAVE to read this book.

That said, I do have some plans for this year.

Five books this season
I will continue to do my quarterly seasonal “Five Books I Want to Read” lists. Sometimes I read all five and sometimes I don’t but I like picking a few books I want to read in the next few months.

What’s in a Name 2017
I am participating in the What’s in a Name 2017 Challenge. It’s the only challenge I do. This year’s books will be a bit tricky to find but it’s going to be fun.

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!):
• A number in numbers (84, Charing Cross Road; 12 Years A Slave; 31 Dream Street)
• A building (The Old Curiosity Shop; I Capture The Castle; House Of Shadows; The Invisible Library; Jamaica Inn)
• A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it (The Girl Next Door; The Running Vixen)
• A compass direction (North and South; Guardians Of The West; The Shadow In The North; NW)
• An item/items of cutlery (The Subtle Knife; Our Spoons Came From Woolworths)
• A title in which at least two words share the same first letter – alliteration! (The Great Gatsby; The Luminous Life Of Lilly Aphrodite; Gone Girl; The Cuckoo’s Calling)

Bout of Books
I’m wrapping up the first Bout of Books for 2017 today. There are two more planned in May and August.
It’s a low key week long readathon that gives me a great excuse to say “not today, it’s my reading week.

Nonfiction
Lastly, I’m going to try to read more nonfiction this year. I have quite a bit of nonfiction on my shelves. I know I hesitate to pick them up because most of them are chunksters, I’m going to set a goal of reading one nonfiction book a month this year.

Do you make reading goals? What are yours?

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

Read More