reading recap: march 2018

March is over and it feels like it was both fast and slow for me. I’m getting back into a good routine with drawing, practicing bass, and working out and it feels great. I’m so happy to be out of my unusual (for me) depressing funk of January and February. I read some fantastic books this past month, too:

My favorites of the month were One Summer: America 1927Altamont, and  Homegoing. No book was straight-up bad, but if I could go back I’d probably have been okay skipping Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and (maybe) Radical Hope. I had a wonderful discussion of Homegoing with Anthony for our Best Friends International Book Club! Bonus: Homegoing was also on my 2018 TBR Pile Challenge list, as well as The Summer That Melted Everything, so I’m on pace there which is good. Anthony and I chose The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara as our next book club choice and I can’t wait to dig in. I’m really enjoying Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark right now, and just started The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn on audiobook.

Otherwise, next week I’m looking forward to participating in The 100 Day Project again, my second year in a row. Last year I had to quit around day 65, when I went on my month-long summer trip back home, and that’ll probably happen again, but that’s okay. I really like the low pressure of this global online art and creativity event, and love seeing everyone’s varied projects and progress.

monthly recap image

tbr pile challenge 2018

I’m excited to join the 2018 TBR Pile Challenge next year! Host Adam of Roof Beam Reader is reviving the challenge after a two-year hiatus. I tried it in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and hilariously failed each time. I went on a bit of a book-buying bender in 2016, so this will (hopefully) be the perfect project for me in 2018.

The rules are pretty simple, just read 12 books that have been on your TBR for more than a year within the 2018 calendar year. So that means no books published on or after January 1, 2017 are eligible. You can have two alternates in case something from your main list is a DNF for you.

As I finish the books I’ll write a review post here on the blog, and then check them off and add the review post links on my master list page under the Book Challenges tab in the menu here.

Before the Fall … Noah Hawley (2016)
Buried in the Sky … Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan (2012)
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation … Michael Pollan (2013)
Dark Money … Jane Mayer (2016)
Dead Wake … Erik Larson (2015)
Homegoing … Yaa Gyasi (2016)
The Mothers … Britt Bennett (2016)
No Country … Kalyan Ray (2014)
Sugarbread … Balli Kaur Jaswal (2016)
The Summer that Melted Everything … Tiffany McDaniel (2016)
White Line Fever … Lemmy Kilmister with Janiss Garza (2002)
The Wonder … Emma Donoghue (2016)

Pushout … Monique Morris (2016)
Snowing in Bali … Kathryn Bonella (2012)

dewey’s 24-hour readathon: april 2017

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon returns this weekend! After years of not participating due to work, gigs, or travel, I have the free time now to join in this year. Okay technically this is not my first Dewey’s Readathon; I did join the October 2016 one, but that was a last-minute decision and I didn’t have any sort of plan. This time… is still sort of a last-minute decision. Oops! I don’t know why these things always sneak up on me. But I’m excited anyway and hope to be a more proactive participant this time.

I’ve picked out four books to work on, with few expectations for what I actually accomplish. I’d like to keep this readathon as chill as possible:

My main focus will be on The Teacher Wars, which I actually would love to finish this weekend, or at least get a nice significant chunk read. Parable of the Sower is the recent pick for my “international book club” (just me and a buddy of mine back in Kansas City, we read the same book and have a Skype date to discuss), and What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky came in on ebook through my library holds just this morning. The Lathe of Heaven was a recommendation from another KC friend, and it’s a short audiobook so I thought it would be perfect as my next listen while I continue working on my current drawing.

The readathon’s 24 hours starts at the same time across the globe, which means 8 p.m. Saturday night for me here in Singapore. That means I’ll end up really getting into it when I wake up tomorrow morning, around hours 11–12, realistically doing only about half of the readathon in earnest. I made one post on Instagram, and this one here on my blog, but I’ll likely use Twitter as my main vehicle for participation. I’ll include my final readathon thoughts and accomplishments in my April recap post!

bout of books 15 wrap-up

Here are my results from the Bout of Books 15 readathon. I wasn’t as active in participating this time around, but I still had fun and did feel good about getting my long-waiting review posts published.


Day 1: Monday, January 4
Nothing! I saw Star Wars (finally) and worked on a drawing.

Day 2: Tuesday, January 5
Published blog post: what if

Day 3: Wednesday, January 6
Published blog post: one more thing

Day 4: Thursday, January 7
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: read 39 pages (pgs. 137–176)

Day 5: Friday, January 8
Published blog post: the heart goes last
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: read 67 pages (pgs. 177–244) Finished!

Day 6: Saturday, January 9
A Little Life: read 65 pages (pgs. 1–65)

Day 7: Sunday, January 10
A Little Life: read 12 pages (pgs. 1–77)

183 pages read
1 book finished
3 blog posts published
0 challenges completed
0 Twitter chats

bout of books 15

It’s once again time for Bout of Books!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week-long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4 and runs through Sunday, January 10 in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books  blog.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++—The Bout of Books team

I think I’m looking forward to this one more than any before. I don’t exactly want to say I’m in a slump, because I do want to read and the stuff I have in my queue or have dipped into already a little are great—I’m just having trouble finding and making time to read. I have a lot of books on my shelf I want to get through in 2016! Bout of Books is usually a great method to start the new year off in a good reading groove.

I have been really enjoying Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl but had to return it to the library yesterday. I ended up ordering it so I could finish; it’ll arrive after Christmas which is fine by me (not like I get any reading done when visiting family anyway—that’s a good thing!). Same thing happened to me with The Heart Goes Last a couple weeks ago. These will be my first reads of the new year! I’d love to at least finish these two over Bout of Books 15 and catch up on some blog posts I’ve had planned for a while.

Are you joining in on Bout of Books? What book are you planning to read first in 2016?


Credit: Abigail LarsonWelcome to September! I can’t believe how fast August flew by. I’m excited to join in with RIP X this year, R(eaders) I(mbibing) P(eril)’s tenth anniversary event, this time hosted by the Estella Society. I’ve never participated before, but I did see it for the first time around on other blogs last year.

The guidelines are easy: 1) Enjoy literature or films in the mystery, horror, suspense, thriller, gothic, dark fantasy, supernatural, or other sufficiently creepy genre; 2) Have fun reading and watching; and 3) Share that fun with others. RIP X officially runs September 1 to October 31, but you can join in anytime.

There are several levels of participation in RIP X:

  • Peril the First: Read four books of any length that fit within the broad RIP genres
  • Peril the Second: Read two books
  • Peril the Third: Read one book
  • Peril of the Short Story: Read short stories any time during the challenge
  • Peril on the Screen: Watch \scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare—TV or film
  • Peril of the Group Read: Lauren Owen’s The Quick

I’m certain I’ll watch plenty of TV shows and movies that apply to Peril on the Screen, and I’ve selected some books I’ve had on my shelves for a while that will work well:


I’m not sure I want to fully commit to Peril the First, but I can manage Peril the Second, and at least one short story from Get in Trouble for Peril of the Short Story. I also remember seeing around the blogosphere that there will be a read-along of Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot coming up and I’d love to get in on that—I will investigate further!