Track Your Reading: Goodreads or Story Graph? #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2022

May 27, 2022

How Do You Track Your Reading?
Or Do You Track Your Reading?

How Do You Track Your Reading (white text over a young woman holding a towering stack of books)

Image Source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight. Finally, Bec @ Bec&Books has also inspired me to share my experiment and thoughts about Goodreads and Story Graph.

Let's Talk Bookish graphic

2022 Discussion Challenge (meme)

In my opinion, tracking your reading is a satisfying part of the reading life. Why?

  • Tracking allows you to notice how your tastes and habits change over time
  • Tracking encourages you to balance your reading life (fiction vs nonfiction, diverse reads, etc.)
  • Tracking holds you accountable (in the very best ways)
  • Tracking appeals to readers who love stats and lists
  • Tracking encourages reflection

How do you track your reading?

  • Some readers track their reading by creating a unique hashtag on Instagram for their pictures
  • Some readers use a commercial Reading Journal (like this one for example)

Book Journal Sample Page

  • Some readers make their own reading journals using a blank notebook like this one  (Bullet Journal approach)
  • Some readers use an app such as Goodreads
  • Some readers use an Excel spreadsheet
  • Some readers take screenshots and save them in their camera rolls
  • Some readers simply make a list somewhere

There is not one preferred method for tracking. It’s whatever works for you. I use Goodreads, Story Graph, and an Excel Spreadsheet. Overkill?!?!

Tracking Apps: GoodReads Vs. Story Graph

For years, I have used Goodreads (GR). Other book tracking platforms have attracted my attention from time to time, but I was never tempted until Story Graph (SG).

Story Graph seems to be gaining a great deal of traction in the book community, so I devoted last year to using BOTH Goodreads and Story Graph to compare and contrast.

Pros and Cons of GR and SG:

(more…)

10 Memorable Bookish Characters #TopTenTuesday #BooksAboutBooks

May 10, 2022

10 Memorable Bookish Characters

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Memorable Bookish Characters (white text in a coral text box over a background of wild poppies)

I’m linking up today with #TopTenTuesday: That Artsy Reader Girl: Bookish Characters.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

Memorable characters make books memorable!

I LOVE wonderful, memorable characters! And I especially love the opportunity to talk about bookish characters and share them! Books about books and books, bookshop and library settings, and bookish characters are my favorite subgenre.

If you are looking for a wonderful summer read, consider one of these titles!

In no particular order, here are 10 of my most memorable bookish characters…I love each one!

(Titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links.)

Cussy from The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Cussy is a pack-horse librarian in the mountains and hills of Kentucky and a determined, compassionate literacy advocate and difference-maker.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (cover)


Mukesh from The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

Mukesh discovers the joys of reading and makes an unexpected friend.

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (cover) white text overe a graphic image of scattered open books


Grace from The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

Grace falls in love with reading and meets the love of her life in a dusty old bookshop during WW11.

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin (cover) Image: a young woman stands near shelf lined books next to a window holding an open book


Madeleine from The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Madeleine finds a fresh beginning and new friends as the new owner of her beloved aunt’s bookshop.

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay (cover)


Emilia from How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

Emilia returns to her seaside home to save her late father’s beloved bookshop.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry (cover)


Dita from The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Real-life Dita Kraus is a daring and feisty teenager who bravely risks her life to bring literacy to the children of Auschwitz.

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonia Iturbe (cover)


Fikry from The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Quirky and opinionated, Fikry is changed forever by an abandoned baby and a sales representative. 

 The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (cover)


 Juliet and Dawsey from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Juliet and Dawsey and the book club members become found family. (epistolary)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society y Mary Ann Shaffer (cover) Image: black text on a postcard....a woman dressed in a red coat stands at a railing overlooking the ocean


Helene and Frank from 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

This is actually a memoir revealing a true bookish (long-distance) friendship. (epistolary)

84, Charing Cross Road by Jelene Hanff (cover) Image: sepia toned picture of a London bookstore


Evie from The Jane Austen Society

A quiet young woman, Evie plays a crucial role in the preservation of Austen’s work and is a member of the first Jane Austen book club.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (cover) Image: five people (backs to camera) walk with arms linked


There are sooooo many more, but these are the first 10 that came to mind. If bookish characters could recommend books, they would certainly highly recommend each of these!



QOTD:

Who is one of your most memorable bookish characters?



Happy Reading Book Worms

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© WWW.ReadingLadies.com

 

What Genre Can You Identify by Looking at the Book Cover? #TopTenTuesday

April 26, 2022

What Genre Can You Identify by Looking at the Book Cover?

 

Swirl and Thread blog header (a white pitches filled with purple and white lilacs, a tea cup, glasses resting on an open book)

I’m linking up today with #TopTenTuesday: That Artsy Reader Girl: Books With [_____] on the Cover.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

I don’t often create a post of book covers. However, for this week’s top ten prompt I couldn’t resist drawing your attention to historical fiction covers!

I don’t usually choose books based on covers, but I know many others do!
I’m curious……..Are you able to determine a genre by looking at the cover?
For example, Romance/RomComs usually have cute graphic covers such as these:

But what about historical fiction? Have you noticed a trend in histfic covers?

In recent years, historical fiction can often be identified by a woman with her back to the camera as seen in the following selections. I’ve gotten to the point of inwardly groaning when I see another hisfic cover featuring a woman’s back!

(in no particular order)



QOTD:

What genre can you identify by the cover?



Happy Reading Book Worms

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© WWW.ReadingLadies.com

 

To Annotate or Not to Annotate [Discussion] #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2022

April 20, 2022

Do You Annotate?

Pros and Cons

To Annotate or not to Annotate (white text over the background of a stack of hardback books)

Image Source: Canva

Some readers annotate and some do not.

What is annotating?
What is the purpose of a
nnotating?
How do you annotate?
Why annotate?

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. Do you love discussion posts?

As I reflect, think about your experience. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

Let's Talk Bookish graphic

2022 Discussion Challenge (meme)

What is Annotation?

Annotation is simply interacting with the text to find meaning as you read.

What is the difference between Annotation, Highlighting, and Note-Taking?

All three are forms of interacting with the text for the purpose of increasing comprehension and constructing meaning. All three facilitate communication between the author and the reader.

Annotation occurs right on the page and involves a system of symbols. Love something? Put an exclamation point in the margin. Confused? Add a question mark in the margin. Don’t know a word? Circle it.  Love a thought. Add a heart to the margin. Want to remember a quote? Underline and put a star in the margin. Disagree? Place a sad face in the margin. Do you see steps or a list of reasons? Number them. Do you notice a potential theme developing? Mark it with a “T.” Etc. In the days when I was reading physical books, I always read with a pencil in hand (except for library books of course!). You can make up your own set of symbols for annotating.

a poster of annotation symbols

Highlighting: Use a highlighter or different color highlighters to highlight certain sections, words, phrases, and concepts. The danger of this is that you might not remember why you highlighted a certain part. Or you might be a 5th grader who loves to use a highlighter and indescriminately highlight an entire page or pages! (Come on! I know you remember doing that!) If you are reading on a kindle, you can use the highlighting tool (and actually export these highlights!). As an alternative to a highlighter you could use book darts to mark a line or a post-it to mark a page or write a note. If you are an audio book listener, you can bookmark a certain location (or write the location in a note on your phone) and put it in physical note form later.

Note-Taking: When I take notes, I like to divide my paper into sections for characters, setting, themes, quotes, etc. Downsides to taking notes: it’s more laborious than other methods and they can be misplaced! So I recommend a spiral you can use as a book journal for note taking. In theory, it’s more difficult to lose an entire journal than a scap of paper.

Do I Annotate?

Absolutely!
Well, this needs a clarification. When I used to buy physical books, I annotated them all. Now I read digital books and need to rely on highlighting or note-taking. However, of all the methods I love annotating the most. I love picking up a book I’ve read and seeing all the annotations! Have you ever bought a used book filled with annotations?

Why Do I Annotate?

The main reason I annotate is to promote comprehension and construct meaning. In other words: to retain, question, react, or respond. When I taught 5th grade, I required my students to annotate. I loved that we had “consumable” social studies textbooks so that I could teach them to use an annotation system of special marks. There are charts of marks you can access or simply make up your own! Annotation is a form of communication with the author and the best comprehension tool. Related: When I was a student, I always took extensive notes and often I came home and rewrote my notes. The act of physically moving the pencil on paper builds comprehension and meaning. Have you found that to be true in your life? This same principle applies here!

Reviewing Tip

For writing reviews, it is imperative that I use one of these three methods for interacting with the story. My notes, annotations, and/or highlights jog my memory of the reading experience, jump start my review, and give me examples to site or quotes to highlight.

The Cons of Annotating

Well, the obvious con is that you don’t want to write on the pristine pages of your book! I promise it’s ok to mark up your book! Permission granted! Annotating will make your reading experience more meaningful and increase the sentimental value of your book. Another con might be the investment of time. However, if time spent results in a more satisfying reading experience, isn’t it worth it? Honestly, I can’t think of another con. Can you? If you don’t annotate, can you share why?

TL;DR

Interacting with the text in whatever way possible adds meaning to your reading experience.
Highly recommended!

QOTD: Do You Annotate, Highlight, or Take Notes?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

National Library Week 2022 #BooksAboutLibraries #NationalLibraryWeek #TopTenTuesday

April 5, 2022

National Library Week: April 3-9

National Library Week (image: a hand chooses a book from library shelves)

Image Source: Canva

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday “Freebie.” In celebration of National Library Week, my “freebie” topic is Books About Libraries and Librarians.

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

Do you have a library card?

Do you have more than one library card?

Do you have fond childhood memories of bringing home a pile of books from the library?

As a child, did you participate in a summer reading program at the library?

Have you ever taken your child to storytime at the library?

Have you ever gone to the library to study or research or for some quiet time?

Do you belong to a book club at the library?

Do you consider yourself a heavy library user?

Is your library card one of the prized possessions in your wallet?

Did you use your library more or less during the Pandemic?

What percentage of the books you’ve read this year are from the library?

National Library Week Graphic

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Even though I’ve switched over to reading digitally, I consider myself a heavy library user. In fact, over 50% of the books I read in a year are from the library.

The BEST feature of using your libraries digital lending app (like Libby or Overdrive) is that there are NO library fines because the book automatically disappears (is returned) on the due date.

Another benefit is that you can link up multiple library cards. I have two library cards linked, one for my local library and one for my county library.

Do you borrow books physically or digitally from your library?

Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore, achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.
~Sidney Sheldon

giphy



Books About Libraries and Librarians



The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

5+ Stars. My Review Here. (the main character is a packhorse librarian)

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (cover)


The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

5 Stars. My Review Here. (a teenage girl assumes responsibility for the underground library of Auschwitz)

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonia Iturbe (cover)


What You Wish For by Katherine Center

4 Stars. My Goodreads Review. (the main character is a school librarian)

What You Wish For by Katherine Center (cover) Image: bright flowers and the edge of a gold ferris wheel bordering a bright blue background


The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

4 Stars. My review here. (multigenerational library friendship and one special book list)

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (cover) white text overe a graphic image of scattered open books


Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

 4.5 Stars. My review here. (libraries of the past, present, and future)

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr


The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

4  Stars. My review here. (saving a library)

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson (cover) Image: white block text on a blue background....the letters represent three bookshelves holding books and scenes from the library


The Library Book by Susan Orlean

(narrative nonfiction account of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library). Not reviewed.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean (cover) Image: Gold lettering on a red background


The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

4 Stars. My review here. (a library and the French Resistance)

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles (cover) Image: a woman sits on a wall with her back to the camera overlooking the Eiffel Tower in the distance


The Night of Many Endings by Melissa Payne

4.5 Stars. My review here. (surviving a blizzard in a library)

The Night of Many Endings by Melissa Payne (cover) white text over a background of shelved books


The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

3 Stars. My review here. (the iconic New York City Public Library is the setting for this histfic story)

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis (cover) Image: a woman in a yellow dress stands with an open book inside a large museum type room



QOTD!

Do you have a library card?

Do you use Libby or Overdrive?

What is your favorite book about libraries or librarians?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© Readingladies.com

Meet the Blogger [Book Tag]

March 22, 2022

Meet the Blogger Book Tag

a graphic picture of a blond girl holding an open blue book

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Between the dire and heartbreaking news from Ukraine and concerns about my 6 week old granddaughter who is in the hospital with RSV (she’s doing better today!), my reading/reviewing/posting mojo has suffered. So, I think a change-of-pace book tag might be needed!

A huge thank you to Esther @ Cozy With Books for tagging me in this!
Shoutout to Bibliomavens as the creator behind the Meet The Blogger Book Tag!

If you enjoy this tag, feel free to join in and definitely check out Esther’s blog too

Rules

  • Nominated bloggers can nominate ten other bloggers.
  • Use the same questions from the tag.
  • Tag the original creator (Bibliomavens) and the blogger who tagged you (Thanks, Esther!)

Who is your all-time favorite book character?

The first book characters I remember loving include Jo from Little Women, Scarlett from Gone With the Wind, and Nancy from Nancy Drew.

(more…)

Have You Lost Your Heart in a Book? 10 Books Too Good To Review Properly #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2022

February 15, 2022

Have You Lost Your Heart in a Book?
What Makes a Book too Good to Review Properly?

10 Books Too Good to Review Properly" (white text over a background of a tall stack of hardback books)

 

I’m linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Books Too Good To Review Properly. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

 

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)2022 Discussion Challenge (meme)

Have you lost your heart in a book?
Have you been at a loss for words?

lose your heart in a book (white text above and below an open book with the center pages forming a heart...all on a lilac pink background)

Quite often when I attempt to write a review for a book I’ve really REALLY loved, I have a difficult time finding the right words to convey my thoughts. I’m lost for words! Whether you are writing a review or telling your best friend about a book, can you relate to my feelings? Which reviews are the most difficult for you? Which reviews are the easiest?

Why do I find it difficult to write reviews for books I’ve loved? It seems that writing a review for a book I loved should be the easiest to write. This is my reasoning for why it isn’t: I form an emotional connection with books I really really love. I leave a piece of my heart between the pages. A connection we make with a book is personal and when your heart is involved, it makes expressing thoughts coherently in a review more difficult. I fear you won’t feel the same connection or understand it.

The following list is a sample of the types of books I find it difficult to review because I’m lost for words. They are all 4.5-5 Star reads and are on my lifetime favs list and highly recommended. (reviews are linked)

What is one book you feel is too good to review?
Join the discussion in comments.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

(in no particular order)

1

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)

…difficult to review because…
all the poignant themes that gripped my heart….and that last father/son section…all the tissues

2

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (cover) text on a dark background...vignette of a rowboat on the water

…difficult to review because…
uniquely personal and affects every reader differently

3

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede

The Day the World Came to Town

…difficult to review because…
the amount of kindness, sacrifice, and generosity is too much to list…also because it could have been any one of us on one of those planes that day…how many of you have received kind help from a stranger?

4

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (cover) Image:

…difficult to review because…
poignant end of life reflections

5

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)

…difficult to review because…
all the love for brave Eleanor and you have to experience the ending for yourself (IYKYK)

6

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell (cover) Image: head shot of a young boy wearing a felt hat and a large feather lies horizontally across his eyes

…difficult to review because…
so very emotional!

7

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (cover) Image: an astronaut floats in space tethered to a gold and black object

…difficult to review because…
can’t give away the sacrificial friendship aspect…and BOOM (!) I’ve already said too much! (IYKYK)…
(trust me, you want the audio format for this one!)

8

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

…difficult to review because…
Backman and the heartfelt and emotional content

9

The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom

…difficult to review because…
memoirs (how do you review someone’s life experience?)

10

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (cover)

…difficult to review because…
(representative of all the incredibly difficult and emotional WW11 fiction I’ve read)
memorable characters, poignant themes



QOTD:

Have you read or reviewed any of these?
What’s one book you have found difficult to review?



Happy Reading Book Worms

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© WWW.ReadingLadies.com

 

Are You a Rereader? What Makes You Reread A Book? #EleanorOliphantIsCompletelyFine [Book Review] #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2022

February 2, 2022

Are you a rereader?

What makes you reread a book?

Are You a Rereader? Rereading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (white text over a background of a stack of hardback books)

 

Image Source: Canva

Some avid readers are rereaders and some are not. Which are you?

How do you decide what to reread? What makes you want to reread? Are you a frequent rereader or an occassional rereader? Maybe you’ve never reread a book and can tell us why.

I’m reviewing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (a reread) in today’s blog post.

I was going to clean the house, but then I realised.l..this book isn't going to read itself (Image: a young woman sits on the floor leaning against a cabinet reading a book)

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. Do you love discussion posts?

As I answer the questions, think about how you would answer them for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge (this is also my sign up post), hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

2022 Discussion Challenge (meme)

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Am I a Rereader?

Not really. I seldom reread. So many books, so little time! The few books I have reread are on my lifetime favorites list. I can’t envision rereading a book I didn’t absolutely love. Are you a rereader?

What Motivates Me to Reread?

Upon reading the last page of a book I really really loved, I put it on my lifetime favorites list. These are the books that I choose from if I’m going to reread.

I realize that rereading can have a different purpose from the first read. Maybe in a reread I can pay closer attention to the author’s writing and style; maybe I’m looking for clues that I missed or evidence for why the author chose a certain ending; maybe I’m looking for evidence for a conclusion I drew from the author’s open ending; maybe its to revisit certain themes or beloved characters; or maybe the book was just so beautiful that I want to immerse myself in that world again. I’m a fairly fast reader, so rereading helps me focus on other elements (besides a pageturning plot).

What motivated me to reread the book I’m reviewing today?

  • I LOVED it!
  • The jaw dropping ending had me immediately contemplating a reread some day so that I could appreciate the way the author constructed the story and developed the characters.
  • A few members of my online book club chose to read this book in January and I thought it would be fun to reread and discuss it with others.
  • I read it before blogging and have never written a formal review (which you’ll receive today!).

My Biggest Drawbacks in Rereading:

  1. Because I only reread books from my lifetime favorites list, I’m always afraid that I won’t love it as much as the first time.
  2. So many books, so little time.
  3. I suffer from FOMO and I’m distracted by the new and shiny, so the pleasure of rereading gets pushed to the back burner.

Can you relate to any of my drawbacks?

What Books Have I Reread?

See? It’s not many! There are so many books and so little time that I seldom feel I have the time to invest in a reread. The reason I reread the last three MG books is that I’m in a MG book club and I wanted to reread the selections before I made the recommendations. How many books have you reread?

What Books Would I Like to Reread Next?

  1. A Place For Us
  2. Anxious People
  3. The Hiding Place

Do you have a reread planned?

Today’s Review and My Recent Reread:
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)

My Summary:

Eleanor has a carefully constructed life and daily routine, avoids close relationships, and says exactly what she thinks. Her weekends involve frozen pizza and vodka. Every Wednesday she talks with Mummy. The day she meets easy going and big-hearted Raymond, the IT guy, things begin to change as she opens her heart to friendship.

My Thoughts:

(I think this is a story best read without reading reviews first, so proceed with caution as I might reveal more than you want to know.)

Common Misconception: I frequently hear Eleanor Oliphant described as humorous and quirky. My opinion differs. Yes, Eleanor is outspoken and her observations and comments are candid and at times snarky. Many times, her behaviors and observations brought a smile to my face. However, there’s obviously so much more going on that I wouldn’t describe it as humorous or quirky. I think of it more as a story of trauma and survival.

The Hero: Raymond is the hero in the story. He’s kind, nonjudgemental, accepting, encouraging, consistent, persistent, understanding, thoughtful, and patient. A true friend. A “foil” to all the unkind people at work. I hope that you have a Raymond in your life and you are a Raymond to others. #ChooseKindness

I LOVE brave Eleanor. I admire Eleanor and her ability to carve out the life she does in spite of her past trauma which is alluded to throughout the story. She is a survivor. I love that Raymond is her friend (and I hope much more!).

“I felt the heat where his hand had been; it was only a moment, but it left a warm imprint, almost as though it might be visible. A human hand was exactly the right weight, exactly the right temperature for touching another person, I realized. I’d shaken hands a fair bit over the year–more so recently–but I hadn’t been touched in a lifetime.”

Guaranteed UNFORGETTABLE. This is a difficulty story to review because it’s best “to discover for yourself.” After I read the last page, I KNEW that this story would demand a reread. I was engaged as much on the reread as I was the first time even though I knew the big reveal. The way Gail Honeyman constructs the story and develops the character is masterful!

Compelling Themes: loneliness, bravery, honesty, survival, unconditional love, healing, acceptance, friendship, and restoration.

***contains spoilers***
Content Considerations: past spousal abuse and domestic violence, past childhood neglect and violence, suicide attempt, alcholism, workplace harassment (bullying)

Highly Recommended: I realize that this might not be a book for everyone, but Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is on my lifetime favorites list and I highly encourage you to give this unique story a try. Recommended for readers who appreciate complex personalities and complicated lives. I’ve heard Eleanor Oliphant compared to other “quirky” reads and characters, but for me she is in a category all her own and can not be compared. Have you read it?

My Star Rating: 5 Stars

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)

Eleanor Oliphant Information Here.

Meet the Author, Gail Honeyman

Gail HoneymanGail was born and raised in Stirling, Scotland. Her mother was as a civil servant and her father a scientist. Gail was an avid reader in her childhood, visiting the library “a ridiculous number of times a week” due to her passion for books.

She studied French language and literature at the Glasgow University and continued her education at the University of Oxford, starting a postgraduate course in French poetry. However, Gail realised that an academic career was not for her and she started a string of “backroom jobs”. She worked at first as a civil servant in economic development and then as an administrator at Glasgow University.

While working at Glasgow University, Gail enrolled in a Faber Academy writing course, writing the first three chapters of what would become Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Cambridge’s Lucy Cavendish College was running a competition for unpublished fiction by female writers and it was just what she was looking for to fulfill her lifelong passion for reading, so she submitted her work and the rest is history. The novel was published in 2017 and earned numerous awards, sold millions of copies, and received wide critical acclaim.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine won the 2017 Costa First Novel Award.

 



QOTD:

What makes you reread or not reread? What is the last book you reread?

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine?

If you are a rereader, what has been your favorite reread?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
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Instagram
Goodreads
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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Books About Books and #TheReadingList [Book Review] #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge

January 21, 2022

Do you love Books About Books?

Favorite Books About Books (white text alongside a tall stack of hardback books on a blue painted wood table)

Today for the #WhatsOnYourBookshelfChallenge I’m focusing on “Books About Books.”

Do you have a favorite Book About Books?

I fall hard for Books About Books and it’s one of my favorite and most read categories! Following today’s review, find a list of a few of my favorite “Books About Books” titles.


For today’s review, I’m highlighting my most recent “books about books” read:

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (cover) white text overe a graphic image of scattered open books

Genre/Categories/Settings: Contemporary Fiction, Books About Books, Ode to Books and Libraries, Multi-Generational Friendship, London (suburb)

My Summary:

The Reading List is a memorable debut novel about a list of library books, the magic of reading, and unlikely friendships. A widower, Mukesh longs to connect with Priya his bookworm granddaughter. He ventures into the local library and meets Aleisha, a lonely and sometimes surly teenager who is a volunteer at the library for the summer. Aleisha has discovered a reading list in the back of one of the books she was shelving and decided she would read the books on the list. When Mukesh asks her for a reading recommendation, she remembers the list and recommends the first book on the list. Mukesh and Aleisha strike up an unlikely friendship and connection through discussing the books on the list as they read them (she reads one book ahead of him).

My Thoughts:

Debut: The Reading List is a beautifully written and all around wonderful debut novel. Sara Nisha Adams is definitely on my “new authors to watch” list!

Main Characters: Mukesh and Aleisha are both lonely and start out as nonreaders. Aleisha begins to read books on the “found” list out of curiosity and boredom while Mukesh thinks he “should” read because his late wife was a reader and now his granddaughter is a bookworm. He hopes that reading will help him keep alive the close connection he had with his wife and make new connections with his granddaughter, Pirya. Mukesh and Aleisha form a bookclub of sorts as they look forward to sharing their thoughts about the recent book that Aleisha has recommended for him (from the list). Their conversations are sweet, a friendship forms, and reading becomes a lifeline for both of them.

Other Characters: The story includes other colorful and interesting characters from the library and the community. However, when the author devotes an entire chapter to a random character, I found it to be a distraction that took me out of the story and away from the main characters. Each one is an interesting character and the sections of random characters exhibit the same quality of writing, but I’m not sure of the purpose except to establish the sense of a broader reading community.

The Reading Life: The author captures so much of the magic, satisfaction, and enjoyment of the reading life! Books have the ability to create strong connections between people….even strangers! How many times have you been in a public place and found yourself trying to read the title of the book the person next to you or across from you is reading? Or when you notice a person reading a book you loved, do you feel compelled to start a conversation? Do you ever feel that a book is recommending a person? I.E. if this person is reading that book, they must be a great person! Book people really are the best people, and I think this a universally recognized fact!

Favorite Quote:

“Priya was reading a book he knew all about. He knew the world Priya was in right now. There was something magical in that…in sharing a world you have loved; allowing someone to see it through the same pair of spectacles you saw it through yourself.”

A Mystery: There is a bit of intrigue in the story, also. Where did the list come from? Who created it? For what purpose was it created? Is there a reason that certain books were selected?

Structure: The story is loosely structured around the actual reading list as Mukesh and Aleisha work their way through. Each book is discussed to varying degrees and your reading enjoyment will be enhanced if you’ve read some or all of the books (but it’s not necessary to have read any of them). However, there’s more to this story than a simple reading list. It’s a story of found family, community, grief, connection, and moving forward.

The Books: Mukesh’s reading experience starts with The Time Traveler’s Wife (a book Mukesh found while cleaning after his wife died). He wants to read the book she had last read before he returns it to the library. This in turn leads him to meeting Aleisha and receiving his first recommendation.

(if you’re curious!) The Reading List:

To Kill a Mockingbird
Rebecca
The Life of Pi
The Kite Runner
Pride and Prejudice
Little Women
A Suitable Boy
Beloved

Themes: the joys of reading, connecting with others through books, the book life, friendship, support, loneliness, sibling relationships, mental health, grief, complicated family dynamics, connection, and community.

***contains spoilers***
Content Considerations: mental health, suicide, cancer

Highly Recommended: I’m enthusiastically recommending The Reading List for fans of books about books and the reading life, for those who appreciate an uplifting story (except for hard hitting issues as mentioned above), for readers who may have read any or all of the books on “the list,” and for book clubs.

Your Book List: If YOU were to curate a reading list to leave in random places for other readers or non-readers to find, what books would you put on your list and why? Wouldn’t it be fun to start finding book lists lying around?! Hummmm….perhaps this will be a future blog post!

My Rating: 4 Stars

twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams (cover) white text overe a graphic image of scattered open books

The Reading List Information Here

Meet the Author, Sara Nisha Adams

Author Sara Nisha AdamsSara Nisha Adams is a writer and editor. She lives in London and was born in Hertfordshire to Indian and English parents. Her debut novel The Reading List is partly inspired by her grandfather, who lived in Wembley and immediately found a connection with his granddaughter through books.



A Few of My Favorite Books About Books/Bookshops/Libraries

(the first section are my most favorite and most highly recommended)

The Printed Letter Bookshop
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
How to Find Love in a Bookshop
The Last Bookshop in London
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
The Librarian of Auschwitz
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
The Reading List

* * *
The Last Chance Library
The Paris Library
The Lost and Found Bookshop
The Jane Austen Society
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
The Library of Lost and Found
The Night of Many Endings
Cloud Cuckoo Land
The Personal Librarian
84, Charing Cross Road



 I’m linking up with Deb @ Deb’s World and SueDonna, and Jo for the January installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge.

Whats On Your Bookshelf Challenge



QOTD:

Do you love Books About Books?
Do you have a favorite?
Is The Reading List on your TBR or have you read it?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books That Changed My Reading Life #T5T

January 25, 2022

Top 5 Books That Changed My Reading Life

a graphic picture of a blond girl holding an open blue book

I’m linking up today with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads for Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books That Changed My Life.

***This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Top 5 Books That Changed My Reading Life

Of course, this is an IMPOSSIBLE TASK because almost every book I read changes my life in some way!

So for today’s prompt, I’m highlighting 5 books…well….maybe 6 books that were early influencers in changing the trajectory of my reading life.

1. The Book Responsible For My Love of Historical Fiction

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (cover)

 I immersed myself in Gone With the Wind early in my high school years. I don’t think I even knew what historical fiction was! However, GWtW was my first really big, substantial, adult book. I lost myself in that world, lived with those characters, and suffered my first book hangover. (I have no idea if it holds up to a reread and I’m afraid to find out!)

2. The Book Responsible For Introducing Me to Binge Reading a Series

Nancy Drew Mystery Series

Nancy Drew 10 Book Collection

I couldn’t get my hands on the next installment fast enough! Today, I have no self-control if I start a series.

3. The Book Responsible For My Love of Family Drama

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women

I loved this family and the dynamics between all the characters. I especially loved independent and feisty Jo! (I wouldn’t mind a reread!)

4. The Book Responsible For My Fascination With WW11

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (cover)

Before I started reading WW11 historical fiction, I read this compelling memoir.

5. The Book Responsible For My Love of Biography

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas (cover)

My fascination with ordinary people living extraordinary lives started here.

6. (you know I can’t stop at 5!)
The Book Responsible For My Love of Diverse Reads

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (cover) Image: gold and white text over a background of a city

This is the first diverse read recorded in my Goodreads database (2013). I may have read some diverse reads earlier in my life, but this was the year I committed to increasing my percentage of diverse reads.



QOTD:

Where did your journey and love of reading certain genres begin?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com