Thursday, February 26, 2015

Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

Format: Audiobook

Pages: NA

Series: NA

Source: Own (Audible)

Genres: Non fiction, Memoir

Publisher: Harper Audio

Publication date: October 28, 2014

First impression

I've like Amy Poehler for a while now; I first saw her on SNL and enjoyed most of her characters, but mostly her and Tina Fey on Weekend Update. I read Bossypants and enjoyed it, so when I first heard about Poehler getting her own book out I knew I was going to read it. That said, I am very happy I went for the audio, since it is read, not only by her, but she has several guest narrators, that made the experience even more delightful. The book is funny without being solely that, it has very honest moments and a lot of heartfelt messages, about her career but also her personal life.
If you are lucky, there is a moment in your life when you have some say as to what your currency is going to be.
Final thoughts

I liked this book better than Bossypants , and I truly believe is because it didn't go just to be funny. Bossypants has parts that are thoughtful, but always with the hint of funny with it. And this is a good thing, but when you get a bit of both spectrums, funny and serious, I feel like it's more of a complete package and hence you receive more from the book.

I've noticed a lot of other reviewers in GR that were surprised with the fact that the book touched them so personally. I had the same feeling. I was a couple of minutes in the book and I knew I was in for an emotional ride, almost like what I felt with Tiny Beautiful Things, except less tears on the horizon.

With guests like Patrick Stewart (reading an amazing haiku), Kathleen Turner and Amy's parents; the book takes extra tones that make it even more fun to listen to. She talks about her childhood, about her career path, from humble beginnings to where she is now. She talks about regrets, and admitting to errors (the whole situation about her Hurricane Mary sketch in SNL showed me a whole different side of her) and trying to repair them.

If you are looking for juicy bits of gossip...this is not the book for you. I loved how she mentions and talks about Will Arnett; and the fact that, very matter-of-fact she establishes that she will not be discussing her divorce except from the fact that they are being there for their kids. Her kids! The way she talks about them is very sweet and endearing, and listening about their traditions is absolutely endearing. I think most of the people that disliked the book were either hoping for more funny stuff or more of the nitty-gritty of her personal stuff. But for me, it was a good balance of entertaining stories and personal thoughts (don't want to call it necessarily wisdom) about going through life and taking what it gives you. I've already recommended it for people who enjoyed Bossypants or to people who I feel would appreciate the bits of insight she offers.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I woke up to this

In the past week I've seen a lot of bloggers speaking out about plagiarism and a lot of us opened up about the type of stress we all have to our side (here is my post) and how even then, there is no excuse to steal other people's posts and use them as your own.

Now, some might tell me, Caro, what do you know? you've only been blogging consistently for less than 4 years. But as a relative new book blogger here are some of the things I do know:

1. It takes time to find your voice

You know something? I am still struggling to find my right voice in this community, not only because we are so many, but because finding what makes you unique takes time and work. My posts have changed over the years, and that is a good thing, I am only now starting to really like the way I talk about a book and the way my discussions take place. Would I love to be as eloquent as some of the big time bloggers? Sure I would! So I read them, and I learn from them. Taking their posts wouldn't improve my style, it would just make me a copycat.

Having original content is hard, sure. Sometimes it feels like all the subjects have been already discussed, that doesn't mean that you don't have something to say about it. As with reviews, not all posts are (nor should) be the same. We can gather inspiration from others, always giving credit where credit is due, but we are all perfectly capable of building something different from it. We all have different experiences everyday and this shapes our posts and our reading. Don't lose that.

2. It shouldn't be about the pageviews/followers

I will admit I look at my stats way more than I should. But I started this blog to have fun with it, to have a record of what I read, not to have a mass of adoring fans. It is fun to have followers, especially those who comment and then spark and good discussion on your site. I know some people have publicity on their sites (I chose not to) and hence have a small income from it, so I guess I understand the pressure or desire to have more followers, more clicks, etc. But guys, I don't know you, but for me there is a lot of excitement when I get a new follower solely because this person liked my site, because they honestly found something interesting that I made. Buying followers just increase some of your numbers, is it really worth it? I certainly don't think it does. 

We all try to get more viewers, we check infographics to know when should we post, and what makes a post more interesting, and what can we do to get more clicks...but it really shouldn't defeat the idea of doing this for us, not for the clicks!

3. Making it "big" in this community takes time

Again, the big time bloggers I follow, they've been at it for years, 10 or more! So they've built their audience, they have worked at it. I said it before, but we are a big community, and hence not all of them will make it "big". But that shouldn't be the point either, finding that niche that makes you grow as a reader and as a blogger is always a plus, but don't do it to be "famous", do it because you are having fun and you want to share your voice.

You know what I've always said to people who asked me about the book blogger community? That people are supportive, that they are sweet as can be, and funny and that so far I hadn't encounter that much nastiness. 

And then these things happened and some people are being just plain bitchy (say it Trish!). So you are being called out for doing something that is plain wrong, and your answer is to be like that? No, no I say!. This hurt me a lot, and in my way to work all I could think is, we are better than this aren't we? We have the tools to have a better conversation, to no fall into just calling names and meanness.

As I said, I knew eventually I would see a not so pretty side of the community, but golly, this has been so much in so little time. I still think that most of us can have a better conversation as to why these things are happening; and informed and well constructed conversation, not one where we are just yelling at each other.

That's all I have to say for now. That and that I am so sad to see this happening to our happy place.

Las Hijas de Juarez (Daughters of Juarez): Un auténtico relato de asesinatos en serie al sur de la frontera by Teresa Rodriguez

Format: Paperback

Pages: 368

Series: NA

Source: Own (Book Depository)

Genres: Non fiction, True Crime

Publisher: Atria books (Simon and Schuster)

Publication date: June 26th 2007 (first published March 27th 2007)

First impression
I stumbled upon this book on Book Depository almost by mistake, while looking for something interesting in the nonfiction section. A gruesome subject, I felt like I barely knew anything about the mass murders that happened in Juarez, so I decided to read it. While I did get more information on the subject, the delivery was far from what I expected. Partly, I believe due to the translation to Spanish, but mostly because there was a serious lack of flow and abrupt cuts between ideas and paragraphs.

Final thoughts

I won’t talk much about what the book is about, since the title pretty much explains it. A case study beginning with the first murders in the early 1990s, the book will not only tell the story of some of the women killed and their families, but also of some of the people involved in the investigation and alleged culprits. I say alleged for every time the authorities seemed to catch the murder(s), women continued being attacked and horribly killed.

The smaller issue I had with the book was the translation. While Teresa Rodiguez is from a Cuban family, she wrote the book originally in English, and then it was translated by Vicente Echerri. But the translation wasn’t consistent, sometimes using the English acronym and sometimes using the translated one; sentences like “las muchachas fueron muertas” made no sense in a Spanish construction, rather it should’ve been “fueron asesinadas”. I realize this might seem like a picky thing to point out, but when similar issues appear constantly it affects the reading experience.

Either from the original manuscript or during the translation, there was also a big lack of consistency when referring to people or institutions. As rule, if you are going to refer to a person by a nickname or use the acronym of an institution, you should at least use the full name when they are first introduced. This was not the case in the book creating a lot of unnecessary backs and forwards when reading it.

While the author wanted to give a voice to the women who lost their lives, the lack of organization, the unnecessary repetition and lack of flow made their names and voices felt really faint. One thing that is for sure transmitted through the book is the lack of a proper investigation through the years and the insane amount of corruption lurking in this town.

If anyone else is interested in the book, I wouldn’t recommend this translation. Maybe without this factor, I would’ve given the book a 3, since it did give me more information about the subject, albeit in a very all over the place manner.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Salon: A bit of Sharing

I was going to post today about how tired I am of winter…but then, as you probably know, there has been a huge conversation around book bloggers starting with plagiarism and now going to the fact of unrealistic expectations. The thought that we are Super Women (or Men) and can do 5 posts a week, not just reviews, do great at work, have a Pinterest worthy house…is just too much! On this I would suggest you read Andi’s post (she is great by the way) on how this is just not right.

As I mentioned on Twitter, I feel very lucky as a relative young blogger to see examples like Andi or Trish (visit her here)  Examples of wonderful bloggers that are witty, entertaining, share a bit of their lives and are perfectly ok with saying: you know what? I am not perfect. But still, the pressure can add up. You want to have more readers and more page views and more galleys and be able to say that you read that book before it was officially out…so you strain yourself and post, and post…and then life catches up, you can’t post for a while and for sure, your next post will be: I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but you know, life. We shouldn’t be sorry about this, and yet we are. I think we feel guilty mostly with ourselves and then a crazy circle starts.

Today a lot of my favorite bloggers are talking truths, about themselves and about book blogging life. And so I figure I would add some of mine too.
  1.  I don’t do a lot of personal posts. For a while it was because I felt I had nothing “interesting” to say and because in general I am a bit hesitant to open up. Now I am wondering more and more often about doing so.
  2.  I did open a new blog about PhD life, but I am trying very hard for it not to become a venting site, since there are already a lot of them. I want it to be a place where people thinking of doing a science PhD can get a bit more ideas of what it can be.
  3. That being said, I am happy with my life outside the lab, but in the past months I have cried so much due to the lab. Project has hit some walls, and the PI is not happy and hence…I am getting frustrated.
  4. I come from a country that has so many beauty pageants it would be an understatement to say that image is quite important…and so I have huge image issues. I still have some stress acne and since my body doesn’t fit a mold, it is very often that I feel simply ugly. Oh Trish had the most wonderful post about this and I want to take a moment to thank her for that. I try hard to improve my self-image every day, but it is a struggle.
  5. Besides my figure I doubt myself about my usage of English (or French since my institute is francophone). I started my blogs in English because I wanted to reach a wider audience, but you have no idea the amount of time it takes me to write a single post, and to check it over and over…and when I miss a mistake it can haunt me for days.
  6. I am addicted to checking my stats, even when I keep telling myself is not productive…I still do it.
  7. I don’t have kids yet…but I will be honest with you, I am terrified about being pregnant. Not being a mom, I had to raise my brothers when my mom died…no, the pregnancy is what scares me the most.
  8. While I try to act like I don’t care, it does affect me a lot the fact that a lot of people don’t like me at my lab...I know I am not easy to like, and I am happy for the people who have taken the time to know me, but in IRL, these “colleagues” just find me annoying and to tell you the truth, it hurts.
  9. Very often I feel that all the work I do at the lab passes unappreciated by my boss.
  10. I hate people seeing me cry because I don’t want them to think I am not strong enough…even though that is exactly why I am crying.

I am going to stop there. In part because it is getting harder to write this stuff and in part because I am sure you get the point. We are all humans, we are all fragile and we all have things going on besides our blogs. We cannot nor should we be perfect as bloggers or as humans. Let’s keep blogging because we like it, because it is a fun community to be part of. Let’s reach for help when we need it and let’s not forget to give credit where credit is due.

Have a lovely week!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Format: Paperback

Pages: 408

Series: The Sparrow #1

Source: Library

Genres: Science Fiction

Publisher: Ballantine Books (Random House)

Publication date: September 8th 1997 (first published January 1st 1996) 

There is a difference between being responsible and being culpable

First impression

When I first finished this book I needed some time to re gather my ideas. I fell for the narrative and continued reading because at every step of the book the typical interpretation of things is questioned. How relationships are built and what makes a sentient society. How we define culture and friendship and abuse. The end (no spoilers, don't worry) of Sandoz's story made me cringe uncomfortably mostly because it made so much sense and the sorrow and hatred he had developed suddenly fell right in place with all the context. While I liked this book in general, I cannot bring myself to go for the sequel. 

It's like all sickness [...] His heart desires something he cannot have

Final thoughts

The Sparrow jumps from different time points: Early in time the discovery of extraterrestrial life and the quest to find it in person and in the future the story told by the only survivor who makes it back to Earth, Emilio Sandoz. He is a changed man and through the book we learn what type of person he was before joining priesthood, while on Earth and after traveling to Rakhat.

As I advanced in the book I noticed that I just needed to know more about each character, even if at first they would feel secondary to the story; while I admit that the beginning was quite a slow start for me, once the pace picked up I was passing pages like there was no tomorrow.

My favorite characters were by far were Anne and George Edwards, not only as a couple (a very nice and complex couple) but as individuals they were so interesting. How I would love to have dinner parties like theirs all the time! Imagine the fun of it. I cannot say that there was a character that I didn't like, even the priest (and I just forgot his name) that was so against Sandoz. Because all of the characters come from such different backgrounds, they add to the complexity of the team in an intricate way that for me at least made it even more involving and more touching as I learned more about them.

I absolutely loved the way the author deals with the subjects of faith, love, friendship and off course, culture. Particularly when presented with the 2 main alien groups. Unlike a lot of other reviewers, I didn’t cry but I have to admit that it was a very emotionally charged book, for all the subjects I mentioned before. Every character that left the story did it in a way that you would remember them.

More than a religion questioning, I feel the main point of the book is an anthropological question. That said, and as interesting as I found this first installment, I can’t find it in me to go for the sequel. I keep feeling that The Sparrow moved me as much as it could and it genuinely scares me to ruin the experience if the sequel doesn’t live up to expectations. I would recommend this book for fans of Science Fiction with a lot of philosophical questioning behind.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys

Format: Paperback

Pages: 294

Series: NA

Source: Copy sent by the publisher for review.

Genres: Historical Fiction, WWII,

Publisher: Mariner Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Publication date: February 3rd 2015

The publisher contacted me and I received this book for free. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway. Thanks to Mariner Books for the book.

First impression

Being my first book by the author I wasn’t sure what to expect as writing style, but I am very happy to say that hers is a very fluid one while at the same time conveying a lot of sentiment from her characters. The story, or stories rather, follow the life of 4 main characters that are affected by WWII in very different ways. Is the third book I read almost consecutively this year that takes place in this period and I have to say, while they were all very different, this is without a doubt the one I enjoyed the most. Not a happy book by any means but gratifying as read.

Final thoughts

Starting in 1940, the author presents the life of 4 individuals: James Hunter, a POW captive in his first mission, taciturn and very reserved; Rose Hunter, his wife who while waiting for his return has started to question whether she married the right person or not; Enid Hunter, his sister, who loses everything after her apartment is bombed; The Kommander, a German officer that will affect James’ life even after the war is over.

There is a lot of sorrow and hurt in these stories, all pushed to confrontation under the war circumstances. What is more, after the war is over and presented in the second part of the book (starting in 1950) they all will have to deal with their new lives and forced to carry on without the things they took for granted before the war.

Using the war as an inevitable influence of the time, Humphreys explore what we usually consider is love and how this sentiment might change when bigger things are taking place. I have to say, at first the jump in time took me by surprise and it took me a bit to get into the characters again, they felt so different somehow…but as I continued reading it just felt normal that they had changed.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for lovely story about relationships and how they can be affected by war and peace.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Salon: Reading with music

Do you guys reading while listening to music? I do. Not always, but mostly when I am alone. I've realized over the years that I cannot concentrate if things are too quite and this applies both to when I am studying or just reading for pleasure.
Off course it cannot be any sound in the background. It all starts to when I used to live with my brothers, very noisy little fellas. They where always more active and loud that I ever was, so I got used to doing my homework or reading to their games and fights. When I first had to study with them around, the silence around was just distracting!
Now that I live with A, I don't always have music while I work or read, if he is in the room. Now, he is not loud, sometimes it will be just the sound of his keyboard. But today he had to go to the lab and I was trying to read and the house was so quite I just couldn't concentrate for more than a couple of lines... 

As I am writing this post I am listening to the Indie Rock post at Grooveshark. The only thing that I cannot use as background to read are podcasts. If the TV is on I can zone out and into my book or work; same if A is playing...well except when he plays Starcraft, the voice asking for minerals drives me crazy, even though our characters do something pretty similar when we are playing WoW and...oh wait, I just went out of topic, sorry, where was I? oh yeah, so I am listening to my music and even if songs that I love come up and usually I would start signing to them, they don't distract me. 

What is very interesting (to me at least) is that later, when I will revisit a certain book in my head it will pop up with the music I was listening too and I love this type of fusion of senses, don't you?

Tell me about your reading, do you need music or complete silence? any music in particular?
Listening to: The Only Thing I Know by Gotye

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A reflection on reading while commuting

This is a topic I’ve had in my head for a long time, and then when I get home I always forget I wanted to talk about it. Well not this time!

One of the big things that changed in my life when I moved out of my country was the fact that I could now, more easily at least, read while commuting. And this is before I started to listen to audio books or even have my Kobo.

While I have always carried a book with me since I can remember, when I was living in Colombia, it was there mostly to be read when I was stationary, say at a waiting room or recess. Reading in the car or the bus was just not great. I did it, and got nausea pretty fast. Even when the “mass transportation system” Transmileno started, the buses would shake a lot, potholes were a constant and more often than not, I barely had space for me and my bag, let alone to open a book.

Fast-forward to when I moved to Montreal. Every ride in the metro or bus, unless I am with someone, I get to read. And not just me, it is so common here, it is a beautiful thing. Sure, sometimes it will get crowded, and then I won’t but compared to what it was before this is a rare event. People sometimes complain here that the metro wobbles but people, you haven’t seen wobbling, believe you me. Saying that I feel like I should clarify that I am perfectly conscious that are far worst commuting conditions than the ones I have experienced.

In January, A started his grown up job, which translated into us not going to the lab together and alternating with who gets the car. Now, if I haven’t mentioned it before, I really don’t like driving, but especially when I have to go to the lab on a weekend, it comes very handy to not depend on the bus schedule. However, because I am still a bit uncomfortable with driving (particularly in winter, my dislike has gone to hate) I cannot be listening to audio books yet. I have moved from music to podcasts, but that’s it for now.

So when I have to go to the lab by bus I get a bit more of reading time. It can even compensate for when is cold and windy and I my nose starts to numb…I am really not a winter person as you can see. But the point is that I get some extra reading time and for that I am grateful.

That’s all, hope you have a nice rest of the week.

Friday, February 6, 2015

As For Me and My House by Ross Sinclair

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 221

Series: NA

Source: Library

Genres: Canadian Literature

Publisher: New Canadian Library (Penguin Random House Canada)

Publication date: January 1st 1989 (first published in 1941)

First impression

On my "quest" to read more Canadian Literature I joined the Hello Hemlock book club and this was the first pick of 2015. Being the first time I read anything from the author I had no idea what to expect. What I found was a very raw, rather bleak image of Saskatchewan in the 1940s. This is not a bad thing mind you, I feel like the author managed to translate not only the coldness of the weather but the coldness of the people in his story. However, the story being told by the wife (she remains nameless all through the book) I was sad, albeit not surprised, to have it told in a submissive, almost weak voice that had let go of all desires and dreams.

It's a woman's way, I suppose, to keep on trying to subdue a man, to bind him to her, and it's a man's way to keep on just as determined to be free

Final thoughts

While I enjoyed the experience given by this story I did not enjoy the story itself, nor did I like the narrator. Our narrator was (in my opinion) the image of "her time" almost to the dot. Left her dreams of being a musician behind, bends to her husband's decisions even if she doesn't agree with them, and puts her down quite often. The book was originally published in the early 1940s, so I would think that she is a product of the woman image back then and the construction of a character that is meant to be sorrowful and heartbroken. As I mentioned, I haven't read anything else from Ross so I can't be sure if that's the way he always depicted women, but this fragile type of female character was pretty common for a long time, particularly when the author was male.

The narrator is a complex one, that I have to admit, but I just felt sad every time she would talk about herself. A couple of time she would try to take a stand, to afterwards either feel guilty, or just bend to others whims. Towards the end she sort of becomes determined, but for all the wrong reasons.

What did I enjoyed about the experience was mostly related to the landscape described by the author. It was very immersive; I could easily feel the emptiness of the landscape, the loneliness of the small town and more than the physical landscape, it is easy to understand the "feel" of the town: the lack any culture other than the one related to the Protestant church, the pettiness of some of the characters and off course, the dependence on appearances in such a small enclave as this small town is portrayed.

The part I probably liked the most is the cultural critique, namely: In the car, Paul said thoughtfully that that was the worst penalty inflicted by education, the way it separates you from the people who are really close to you, among whom you would otherwise belong. I chose this quote because it is something that, as any grad student has probably felt, the more specialized you become on one subject, the highest the risk to isolate yourself of other people whom, in other situation, you would enjoy immensely.

I guess I can see why this is one of the mandatory reads for many schools here in Canada. I can also see why so many readers found it heavy to read and ultimately not engaging, or boring even. I am not sure who I would recommend this book, other than to others like me that would like to learn a bit more of Canadian Literature.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lovetorn by Kavita Daswani

Format: Hardback 

Pages: 250

Series: NA

Source: Own (Book Outlet)

Genres: YA, Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: HarperCollins: HarperTeen

Publication date: January 17th 2012

First impression

I bought this book after Book Riot recommended it in their South Asian YA: 5 titles to read post. It had a very nice premise; a whole family moving from India to the States, the elder girl has been engaged since she was 3 years old and dealing in general with being a teenager. The book does all this things but I was disappointed with the end.

Final thoughts

Shalini is the main character of this book and she is telling the story of how her father found a new job in Los Angeles. As a dutiful daughter, she acts exited and supportive, but the truth is that she is not that thrilled of leaving everything she knew behind, including Vikram her fiancé. Arriving to LA and learning a whole different culture would be hard enough on her, but as it turns out her mother isn't taking the move so well and soon Shalini is taking care of the household, trying to deal with bullies in her class and, for the first time in her life, questioning what for so long was supposed to be her life plan with Vikram, even more so, when Toby comes to the picture.

There are a lot of things I liked about this book and they are all related to Shalini and her family being in foreign land. The amusement of finding a place that sells the food you grew up with; the sort of challenge of explaining to others things that you've grown accustomed to; the fear of changing and losing your roots and at the same time, of not changing and losing your mind. All of these things are so real when you leave your comfort and yet they are so great to help you grow as a person.

Shalini's mom goes into a deep depression due to this move; her father tries to work hard but is afraid of what might have come of his family. Her little sister on the other hand, seems to adapt very well to her new life. All of these perspectives made the book even more enjoyable.

However it was the love story that made me hesitant to give this book a 4...for most of the book the only love interest is Vikram, and while I was interested in the idea of Shalini questioning this relationship now that they were no longer together all the time I wish it wouldn't because another boy. This made her look like a girl whose decisions revolve solely around boys and I can't like that, sorry. I think I would've rather her questioning the whole idea of being engage at 3 when being exposed to other views; if at the end of it all she felt that this was what made her happy, great! It is not? also great.

And then we have the ending. Don't worry; I will not give away spoilers. All I can say is that it felt extremely abrupt and rushed. What is worst, it felt like there was not conclusion at all. I still gave it a 4 because going to it gave me what it promised. To quote Book Riot: This is great because there aren’t a lot of South Asian YA novels that deal with this transitional period, coming to the United States as a teenager and trying to figure things out.

Monday, February 2, 2015

What am I reading this month: February

Hello everyone! here is what I will be reading this month...or at least what I am planing to be reading.

For my Diversifying 2015 challenge (you can sign up here), reading more in Spanish goal AND more nonfiction I will be reading: Las Hijas de Juarez (Daughters of Juarez): Un auténtico relato de asesinatos en serie al sur de la frontera by Teresa Rodriguez. An investigation about the mass murders that took place in Juarez, Mexico.

For the Sword and Laser Book Club, we will be reading Annihilation by Jeff VanDermeer, and I cannot tell you how exited I am to get to read it!

For my "reading more CanLit" goal, I am starting the MaddAddam trilogy with Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.

Another book for my nonfiction and Diversifying count will be Is Everyone Hanging Out without me? by Mindy Kaling, and also in audio I will be finishin Lock In by John Scalzi that I started in January.

And finally, review copies: from NetGalley I have Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (more diverse authors); from LybraryThing I received a copy of  Every Breath by Ellie Marney; I also got a copy of The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys from the  publisher.

Out of those 8 books, I own 6 of them, so I am also working on my "reading more of the books I already own" goal. 

I also have to finish Death in the City of Light, that I started in January but haven't finished yet!

What about your reading for this month? what are you reading? Let me know in the comments and have a nice week.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Challenges and goals update: How did I do in January?

Hello everybody! As you might know by now, this year I organized my own challenge, I’m participating in Book Riot’s Read Harder and I gave myself a set of goals that I wanted to accomplish. So, every month I will do this update, to see how am I doing. Let us start:

Diversifying 2015:

Of the 8 7 books I read on January, 2 of them where by a nonwhite author, and 3 books had POCs as main characters. Diversity in my reading during this month was more about race, although with Imago I was tempted to count it too as sexually diverse. Anyway, so far I am happy with this part of my reading.

Read Harder:

Theoretically, you have 2 books per month in this list, but this month I manage to cross 5 out of 24. I am a bit behind on my review posting, but I have already read a YA novel (#11), a Sci-Fi novel (#12), an audiobook (#16), a book that was originally published in another language (#19) and finally a book that was published this year (#24). Keep in mind that this challenge is not telling you to only read one book that falls in in each category, so it’s not like I will not listen to any other audiobook this year!.

My goals:

Read at least 1 POC author per month: Done with Imago and Lovetorn

Read at least 1 book in Spanish per month: Done with Solo en Berlín

Read CanLit book per month: Done with As for me and my House

Read at least 1 book of nonfiction per month: half done…last t week was very complicated at the lab, and so I haven’t finished Dead in the city of light yet :S

Finished series: Xenogenesis, and BTW, you should really give that one a try.

Keeping track of my reading (Country represented, Makomori test, etc): done, but this one I will do a total update at the end of the year.

Read more already owned books: 5 of the books I’ve read so far come from my own shelves.

Read the picks of the month for each book club: done!

So there you have it, I feel happy about this so far, I thought my reading was going to slow down, compared to last year, since I’ve been having crazy hours at the lab, but maybe because I need my time down even more than before I am reading almost as much as I was last year. We will see how this continues through the year.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday! Now I am going to keep reading about serial killers ;)