Bookish Things To Do In Fall

Hi, readers!

Happy first official day of fall! I love fall, mostly due to the changing leaves, sweater weather, and signs of the winter season to come. The weather is still above 85 degrees in Colorado, so it doesn’t feel like fall yet even though it now is fall.

Today I’m sharing ten bookish things that are great to do this time of year. These activities will have you reading books and loving reading all season long!

1. Read a book set in fall. Need recommendations? Check mine out here.

2. Build a reading nook in your home, or outdoors!

3. Head to the park, find a comfy spot under a big tree, and read poetry. Maybe read some out loud to the squirrels?

4. Make a literary Halloween costume! Maybe Mary Shelley and Lord Percy Shelley for a couples costume?

5. Take a leaf peeping drive and listen to an audiobook.

6. Make caramel apples a la Snow White. But maybe don’t poison them?

7. Start a book club with your friends! It can be virtual or IRL.

8. Attend a book signing at your local bookstore! Be sure to snag a selfie with your favorite author.

9. Throw a literary party! BookRiot has some great ideas to get you started.

10. When cooler weather hits, curl up on the couch and watch some literary film adaptations! I shared my five favorite books to film/tv here.

What bookish things do you like to do in the fall?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Tome Topple Update & Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon TBR

Hi, readers!

Today I’m covering two topics: my Tome Topple project for 2018 and the upcoming Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. That’s right, I finally (finally!) finished The Odyssey! I’m also really looking forward to the readathon this weekend as a means to make some serious progress on my reading for the month. In April, as you’ll see in my forthcoming April Wrap Up post, I finished two big books this month, each of which were over 500 pages. While I’m definitely proud of this accomplishment, it has impacted the quantity of books I read this month. I’m hoping to boost that number this weekend!

But first, let me share some thoughts on The Odyssey. I am not at all ashamed to admit this book took me months to read given its impressive page count and detailed story. I especially enjoyed this translation because Emily Wilson provided fantastic notes and book summaries that really went a long way to help me understand the story and countless references. Also, Wilson’s text is very straightforward, which made the language much easier to understand. I definitely recommend Wilson’s translation for these reasons. The Odyssey is lyrical, epic, tumultuous, moving, and intense. If you’ve never read it before, you should definitely try reading it soon!

As for my next Tome Topple choice, I think I’ll read Jane Eyre. To be honest, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’ve never read this one! I’m looking forward to reading it at last. You can also read my Tome Topple TBR post here, in which I highlight the four big books I want to read this year.

Finally, I’m sharing my TBR for the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. It starts this Saturday, April 28 at 8:00AM EST. The goal for this readathon is to read as much as possible in 24 hours! This weekend I plan to read…

American Panda by Gloria Chao

I’ve had an ARC of this for awhile now and am excited to finally read it!

Every Other Weekend by Zulema Renee Summerfield

This is a newly released library hold that I discovered courtesy of Book Riot’s Ready, Set, Hold series.

She Caused a Riot by Hannah Jewell

This is also an ARC. It’s full of short entries about famous, infamous, and not at all known women throughout history. I think this book will be a great way to break up my reading throughout the day!

That’s it for today! Are you participating in the readathon this weekend? What book(s) will you read?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

On Rereading Books

Hi, readers!

As you probably saw in yesterday’s post, I recently reread Little Women. It was great to revisit that classic novel and remember why I love it so much. While writing my review of Little Women, I got to thinking more about rereading books

I know some people think that rereading books is a waste of time. There are so many books to read and never enough time, so why “waste” time rereading? In my opinion, rereading books is fantastic. I don’t do it often, but I always enjoy it. Rereading a book is actually easier for your brain because your brain doesn’t have to work as hard to process entirely new information. When you already know the plot and characters, it’s more fun to focus on smaller details, broader themes, and other details.

I also think that when we reread books at various times in our lives, we can have different responses. For example, reading Little Women as a teenager might elicit one emotion and one favorite March sister, versus reading it as an adult. As we move through life, we as readers can better connect to various books.

And speaking of rereading, here are three books that I’d love to reread this year:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

That’s it for today! Do you like to reread books? Which ones would you recommend?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Currently Reading: April 2018

Hi, readers!

Today’s post is going to be a quick one. I’m in the midst of moving, which is understandably taking up most of my time. However, today I’m going to share the two books I’m currently reading.

Let’s get right to it!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This is a reread for me and I’m enjoying it just as much now as I did before! I’m reading it now for a little book club I have with two friends from college and neither has read it before. I’m really looking forward to our discussion! I’m about halfway through and need to finish this book in the next week and a half.

The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

Yep. I’m still reading this one. But I am determined to finish it before April is over! Wish me luck, everyone.

That’s it for today! Have you read either of these books? What are you reading lately?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

2018 Reading Goals: Update

Hi, readers!

Now that March is almost over, I thought today would be a great time to check in on my reading goals for this year. I like the notion of re-evaluating goals periodically throughout the year, as opposed to a set it and forget it mindset. As I was writing today’s blog post, I realized that this review is coming at the perfect time. While some goals are moving swimmingly along, others have definitely fallen by the wayside. I’m using my yearly goals to guide my reading choices for the next several months, and then I’ll post another check in here on the blog.

And now, let’s take a look at my goal progress!

Read at least 50% women authors.

As of the time I wrote this blog post, I have read 28 books so far this year. Of these 28, all 28 were written by women. So I’d say this goal is going pretty well thus far! I tend to read books by women anyway, based on the kinds of stories I prefer to read. So I’m honestly not surprised that this goal currently has such a high success rate. We’ll see if I pick up any books by men this year!

Read at least 50% authors of color.

Of the 28 books I’ve read so far this year, 7 were written by authors of color, or 25%. While this is by no means bad, it really reinforces for me the need to choose more books by non-white authors. What I love about tracking my reading progress is that it provides me with hard numbers. Looking at the numbers for this goal, I can clearly see that even if it feels like I’m reading a lot of books by authors of color, I’m not doing so as often as I think. I’m excited to pick up the pace for this goal!

Read four large classic novels. #TomeTopple

You can read about my #TomeTopple selections for the year in this post. I am very slowly making my way through The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson. I’m really enjoying it, but it’s not a book I’m sitting and reading for a few hours at a time. Also, because of the hefty weight, I’m not throwing in my bag and reading out of the house. I should be finishing this book over the next few weeks!

Complete the Reading Women Challenge.

Of the 26 prompts for this challenge, I have completed 5 of them, or about 19%. In order to complete this challenge this year, I need to pick up my pace. I’ve really enjoyed the books I’ve read for this challenge and am looking forward to picking more up in the months to come.

Complete the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge.

Of the 24 prompts for this challenge, I have completed 1 of them, or less than 1%. Clearly, I need to pay more attention to these prompts if I want to complete this challenge this year! I’m really glad I checked in on this particular goal. I always enjoy Book Riot’s reading challenges, and I want to at least get relatively close to completing the challenge this year.

That’s it for today! How are your reading goals going so far?

Currently Reading: March 2018

Hi, readers!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was pretty quiet, which is always nice. I did a lot of reading and flew through the book See What I Have Done, which is a creepy and well written story about Lizzie Borden. On a far less eerie note, anyone else see A Wrinkle in Time? I did and really enjoyed it! It’s not getting great reviews but I thought it was a fun kids’ movie. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Today I’m sharing what I’m currently reading. I typically read several books at the same time and I do this for a few reasons. It ensures that no matter what kind of reading mood I’m in, I always have a book to pick up, which means I’m reading pretty frequently. Also, there are some books that I’m much more likely to read in just a few sittings, as opposed to a book that I will pick up and set down and read over a longer period of time.

Here’s what I’m currently reading…

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

I only just started this book yesterday. This is the March pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. It’s about a young woman named Nikki who starts to teach a creative writing class in order to help support her family financially. But there’s a mixup and she ends up teaching her students basic literary. And when they start to write their own stories, they end up being much sexier than expected! This promises to be a heartwarming and fun read and I’m really enjoying it so far! I expect this to be a pretty quick read.

Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts

This is definitely one of those books that I like to read slowly. It’s a nonfiction read that applies a black feminist lens to the ways in which black women’s bodies are controlled and oppressed. This book is difficult to read at times in terms of content, but I think that just makes this book that much more necessary to read.

The Odyssey as translated by Emily Wilson

And here’s another slower book for me! I read The Odyssey in high school but didn’t love it. I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology, though, and am really enjoying Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey. This is such a long book and it lends itself well to multiple reading sessions. I’m reading this book as part of my Tome Topple Project, which you can read more about in this post.

Reading People by Anne Bogel

Here’s another nonfiction read! This is a fun little book by the creator of the blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy. It’s a great take on a variety of personality tests and how to use your personality types to interact better with your friends, coworkers, and significant others. I’m really enjoying this book and have already learned a lot about myself! This is a great read for me right now because I can read a chapter, and set it down for a few days without forgetting any story details.

That’s it for today! What book(s) are you currently reading?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

On Reading: The Dreaded Reading Slump

Hi, readers!

Originally I planned to share a review post with you today. Clearly, that’s not happening. As you may have noticed from my Instagram, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. I hit a slew of books that i wasn’t loving and it’s made for some challenging reading. But what’s also challenging is figuring out how to break out of said slump.

I’ve written before on why I mark books as DNF because there are far too many books to read and not nearly enough time. And often I feel pressured to read something in order to have enough books to review here on the blog and also to ensure I’m making my way through enough of my TBR list.

So this week I’ve slowed down my reading. I’ve been slowly making my way through two books this week, and I’m actually not loving one of them. I’m not forcing myself to read or to pick up a book I’m not enjoying. I’m choosing to relax in front of Netflix or the movies more often. And these changes have been refreshing!

I think it’s good to take the pressure off reading. I read because I enjoy it. I even read as much as I do because I love to read. But it’s important not to stress in order to keep the enjoyment factor alive and well. I never want to be in a position in which I dread picking up books! And so I’m challenging myself to read only books I want to read. No more reading because I “have” to or because I “should.” Only pure enjoyment from now on!

That’s it for today! What do you do when you find yourself in a reading slump?

On Reading: Ten Books I’ve Never Read

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing a different kind of overview. Below are ten books that, somehow, I’ve never read. Many of these are books that most people read in high school but my English classes did not. And others are “classics” that I was never very interested in reading. In either case, I’m sometimes a bit embarrassed to admit these ten books remain unread by me. Please let me know if you really enjoyed any of these and maybe I’ll actually read them!

I have a few comments on a few of these, but now onto the books…

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

I’m reading this one this year, I swear! I featured Jane Eyre in my Tome Topple TBR post.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Not gonna lie, I’ve always been pretty okay with not reading this book.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I actually tried to read this one. I read something like 20 pages and Tolkien was still describing the road that lead to Bilbo’s home, and I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? Which ones do you recommend I finally read?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

On Reading: A Few of My Favorite Books

Hi, readers!

Today is my birthday! I’m turning 26 today and I’m feeling pretty good about it. In celebration of today, I thought I would share five of my favorite books. These are books that really resonated with me either as an adult or while growing up.

Now without further ado…onto the books!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

This is probably my favorite book of all time and definitely the saddest one on this list. I love Plath with a burning passion. I reread The Bell Jar every year and am constantly in awe of how brilliantly Plath writes about growing up as a young woman and struggling with mental health. I think this book should be required reading for everyone, but especially for women. Plath puts words to feelings I’ve only ever had.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I had an abridged version of this book growing up and I always loved reading about the March sisters. I finally read the full text a few years ago and loved it even more. There are so many great characters, morals, and vignettes in this book. Alcott wrote a tremendous family and their love for one another gets me every time.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Midsummer is my favorite Shakespeare comedy. I love all the different groups making trouble in their own ways and I always enjoy when the fairies decide to intervene! Midsummer is full of clever wordplay and physical comedy, making it one of the most fun Shakespeare plays to perform. There are an awful lot of characters in this, which can make it slightly confusing. But it’s oh so worth the trouble!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Okay, so I may have only actually read this book for the first time early last year. But I grew up knowing the story and watching film adaptations and have always adored P&P. I love the dynamic of the Bennet family, Darcy’s stern demeanor, and Elizabeth’s witty replies. Happy endings abound in this book and I always feel good every time I read or watch it. This is a beautiful story about a loving family.

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene

I LOVE me some Nancy Drew! I read so many of these growing up, including some of the spin-off ones with a younger Nancy, and reread them still. These books haven’t always aged well and are at times rife with stereotypes, racism, and sexism. But these were some of the first books I ever read in which the protagonist was a young woman who achieved things. I still have quite the collection of Nancy Drew books and loved playing the spin-off computer games, too!

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? What were your favorites growing up?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

On Reading: My Struggles with Nonfiction

Hi, readers!

Today I’m talking about nonfiction books. Personally, I’ve always struggled with reading nonfiction. I find it’s often very dry, slow moving, too technical, or difficult to read. I’ve had a bit more success with nonfiction books directly related to some of my interests, but even then it often takes weeks for me to slowly make my way through a book.

One trick I have recently discovered is that I seem to do well with memoirs. Memoirs are nonfiction but can often read more like fiction, as they are recounting a moment or series of moments in someone’s life. And when it comes to nonfiction about, say, feminist texts or biographies, I’ve learned that it helps me to break up the reading and finish a few pages every day. This prevents me from feeling bogged down while still making progress and keeping the information fresh in my mind.

Here are five nonfiction recommendations:

1. The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

(book is available here)

2. Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy

(read my review post here and book is available here)

3. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

(book is available here)

4. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

(book is available here)

5. Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee

(read my review post here and book is available here)

That’s it for today! Do you enjoy reading nonfiction? What sorts of nonfiction books do you like to read?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!