Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2017 TBR

I’m excited to announce that I’ve decided to participate in next week’s Summer Biannual Bibliothon 2017, which runs from Sunday, July 23 to Saturday, July 29, 2017.

Reading Challenges

1. Read the group book

This is The Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. I am not usually swayed by group reads in read-a-thons, but I just happened to activate my free 30-day trial of Audible, which grants you two free audiobooks so I’ve decided to use my second freebie on this one!

2. Read from the host’s favorite genre (Options: Kassie – Magical Realism, Caz -Historical Fiction, Brittni – High/Epic Fantasy, Emma – Diverse Books, Kelly – Dystopian/SciFi, Red – Paranormal, Momo – Urban fantasy)

For this selection, I’ve decided to read The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I gather is some combination of magical realism and/or high/epic fantasy.

3. Read a book that has been or still is banned

I’m a big fan right now of reading classic YA literature and have decided to reread The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger for this challenge. It’s been a good many years since I’ve read it and it’s one that really resonated with me in high school that I look forward to experiencing again.

4. Throwback challenge

For this challenge you can look back at past read-a-thon challenges and choose whichever suits your fancy. I’ve decided to go with “A book you’ve been putting off picking up.” One of my biggest personal pet peeves is putting books down that I haven’t formed a strong opinion about one way or another. I don’t like to dump books until I’ve decided I 100% do not want to ever continue reading it.

I started The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman a couple of years ago now and figure now is as good a time as any to revisit it as the read-a-thon environment will encourage me to read rapidly and just get through it.

5. Book to movie adaptation – read & watch

For this challenge I’ve decided to have another reread, this time of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. The movie adaption came out when I was in high school and I’d love to rewatch it for this challenge.

6. Read a book you’ve seen somewhere other than BookTube

I’m doubling up this challenge with challenge no. 1: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve not seen anyone I follow on BookTube ever talk about this book, probably because it isn’t YA.

7. LGBTQIA+ 

For this challenge I decided to utilize my free 30-day trial of Audible to listen to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, which features a gay (or bisexual) male protagonist. I recently discovered it from one of my favorite BookTuber’s recent read-a-thon vlogs and sounds like it will be a fun listen. Also, I’m really intrigued to give this a listen as I recognize the name of the narrator as the voice of the original Tom Riddle actor, Christian Coulson!

End Note

If you would like to participate in this read-a-thon, it is not too late. You may also be interested to know that there are also challenges on BookTube and #bookstagram if you find that appealing! I meant to film a video with all this information but it’s a little late to do now. Maybe tomorrow! I plan to participate in the blog challenges as much as possible too so look forward to me posting a bit more than normal this week ^_^

Thank you for reading!
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#MakeMeRead It Read-a-Thon Poll | Vote!

I wasn’t sure I was going to participate in the Make Me Read It Read-a-Thon this year as I’ve typically used this read-a-thon as an opportunity to read popular YA titles that I’ve been meaning to get to but the right time had just never come to pick them up (a.k.a. procrastination). Since I’ve burned through almost all my YA titles, I wasn’t sure it’d even be worth putting out a poll on the random literary fiction books high on my personal TBR these days. But, I’ve since had the idea I may use this challenge to knock some classics off my TBR, and therein lies my theme for this read-a-thon!

Read-a-Thon Info

The Make Me Read It Read-a-Thon is hosted by the lovely Ely @ Tea and Titles and Val @ The Innocent Smiley. The way this read-a-thon works is you choose a selection of books that you are willing and able to read this year between August 6–13, 2017, make a poll, and ask for your followers to vote to decide which books you will tackle during the week-long reading event. The theme of this read-a-thon is to force yourself to read books you just haven’t gotten around to yet. Maybe they’re overhyped online or a book that you were supposed to read for that one class…

After you’ve shared your post with the poll, search the tag #MakeMeRead on Twitter & Instagram to find others who need people to vote on their polls!

The Poll

Since I still want to participate as I’ve done very few read-a-thons in the past few months and definitely need to participate in more to catch up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, I decided to give myself more of a challenge by providing a collection of classics that are unofficially on my life bucket list TBR.  The thought of reading any of these books at the moment scares me, so it’s with a twisted sort of excitement that I look forward to seeing what books win!

Realistically speaking, I’ll likely only be able to read about two books during the read-a-thon, so make your vote count (And maybe only vote for about three books maximum)! Depending on how this experience goes, I may be turned  off of reading classics for at least another year 😉

End Note

I will announce the winners of this vote a day or two ahead of the read-a-thon’s start date in August with an official TBR. Meanwhile on this blog, you may soon find a TBR for the Summer Biannual Bibliothon, a read-a-thon which runs next week across BookTube, book blogs, and other bookish social media! I look forward to being more active on here and upping my reading game.

Thanks ahead of time for voting and please feel free to leave a link to your own poll if you’d like me to vote on it! I’m having fun blog hopping and voting wherever I can. 🙂

Thank you for reading!
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Writing Again // Introducing “The Log”

Sorry it has been a little while. Shortly after the excitement of the last post I had a crisis of self. Faced with so many things I wanted to do and needed to do, I wasn’t sure what to do and it was so easy to just do nothing. Does this happen to any of you?

Fortunately I’ve been taking care of myself and feel a bit more happy. I’ve been eating a plant-based diet and enjoying experimenting with new whole plant foods I can integrate into my daily diet. I’ve also made exercise a part of my daily routine that I enjoy and look forward to. These two lifestyle changes I credit for helping me feel more ambitious and motivated again to do even more with my day, including things that have always made me happy: reading and writing.

I decided to start this post because I wanted to announce my new writing project, but I figure I’ll also talk a bit about what I’ve read recently first.

Recently Read

So far this summer I’ve read four books. I reread A Court of Mist and Fury (★★★★★) and finally read A Court of Wings and Ruin (★★★★½), both by Sarah J. Maas. Love the final installment, although I can’t help but feel the ending was a bit rushed and too convenient. Then I decided to read something that was not fantasy, so I picked up The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (★★★★½) by Gabrielle Zevin, which was whimsical and easy to read. Then I decided to finally read Passenger (★★), which sounded really good. Unfortunately that book didn’t really click with me.

Currently Reading

I’m currently rereading The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope. I’ve owned thisbook since middle school and one I had begun to think about since reading Sarah J. Maas’ work because it also includes fairies, although a very different kind. It’s a nice reminder that you can be inspired by the old and make it into something new that is your own.

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I may talk about this book in more depth in the future as I think it may be lesser known YA classic and something that young readers today might truly enjoy. If you’ve read it before, please let me know in the comments!

I’m planning on participating in the BookTube-A-Thon next week in order to jump start some more reading so I’ll likely share my TBR for that soon.

What I’m Writing 

I’m writing a fantasy novel set in world kind of like ours in 1930s, but with magic and magical creatures. I think it could be considered somewhat steampunk as I want there to be a lot of alternative forms of technology. My protagonist is a young girl and…I don’t know how much more I want to say!

I’m in the beginning stages here and still need to do some major plotting before I properly get writing, but I have a beginning and end fairly well set in stone so I’m excited to see where this may go. If you’ve been following me for a while, you may know I have trouble finishing novel drafts. I’ve realized in addition to low confidence in my writing capabilities my biggest problem is probably getting lost by following plot bunnies.

I may soon try to set up a Pinterest mood board for the story and share if I do. From this point forward on my blog if I mention it, I’ll call this novel The Log.

End Note

That’s all I got for today. I don’t want to make any promises about what I’ll post next, but I’m feeling pretty confident right now that I’ll be doing more and thus have more to share that is hopefully of interest to you! Hope you’re doing well and see you soon!

Thank you for reading!
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May ’17 TBR // Agenda

Welcome back to Betwined Reads,

April was an incredibly busy month and, fortunately for me, things will be looking up very soon as the end of the semester is in clear sight. I will likely be unable to post anything new next week, but I wanted to make sure to do this post as I want it to become routine as these are my favorite blog posts to read!

The following includes an update on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, my May ’17 TBR, and my blog goals for the month.

Lori’s Goodreads Reading Challenge

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May ’17 TBR

In April I read a grand total of three books, which I briefly summarize in my April ’17 Wrap Up, and this month I hope not only to match that goal but exceed it to finally catch up on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. However, realistically speaking I’m only certain at this point of four books that I definitely know I will aim to read this month. Two books will help me tie up loose ends from this semester, one is a reread, and one is a new May release.

Hobbies by Steven M. Gelber | I was required to read a PDF chapter from this book about constructing a collector’s market for my ATEC class and I was so fascinated by the professor’s elaboration upon Gelber’s work that I decided to actually buy the book! The first five chapters, including the introduction, seem like they will really well inform the critical theory research paper I am writing for this particular class so I will likely get into this book very quickly this weekend. However, I already know I will be excited to finish the rest once the semester is over so this may be one of the first books I complete this month.

Identity is the New Money by David Birch | This may be one of the last books I finish this month as the main reason I feel motivated to complete it is that it is so short and I want to relieve my buyer’s remorse. It’s not related to my research focus right now in the slightest, but I still see a value to reading it as I am getting more interested in issues surrounding immaterial labor.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | I was able to pick up this book at the library on Wednesday! I have no business leisure reading until I finish all my papers, but since this is a book I’ve already read once before I’m hoping it doesn’t too badly distract me from my studies if I read a little here and there. I have no designs to try and finish it really quickly. I just know I want to be able to start the next book as soon as possible once the semester is complete!

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas | This is the last book I’m confident I want to complete this month. I’m not sure how long it will take me, since if memory serves correct it took me about two weeks last May to finish ACOMAF. Nevertheless, I’m pumped. This book will be my reward to myself after everything school-related is out of the way.

Blog Goals

It’s been a while since I tried to plan ahead for the blog, but I have a few blog posts that have been sitting on the back burner for over a month now and want to motivate myself to complete and finally share them with you, including a tag and writing update. Additionally, I’d like to write a few posts concerning my studies, including a post summarizing this semester, a post wrapping up my experience at UT Dallas as a whole, and a post about my plans for future studies.

End Note

This weekend I will begin moving out of my apartment and this coming Monday two of may final papers are due, so I will not likely be that active on the blog beyond responding to your lovely comments whenever I can. By next Saturday all my loose ends should be tied up nicely and I look forward to rededicating my efforts to reading, writing, and this blog.

In case you missed them, I had a few posts go up earlier this week, including:

April ’17 Wrap Up

A Very Fantastical Book Birthday to…

My YA Book Blogger Survey

Thank you for reading!
Follow my blog via Bloglovin’. Also find me on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram.

My YA Book Blogger Survey | Research

Hello!

This semester for my Capstone project, I have been working on a survey to measure what reasons people have for reading YA and blogging about YA separately to see what correlations I can find to explain the prevalence of the activity in the digital age when we are faced with so many other forms of entertainment online.

To make sure I surveyed people who I know both reading YA and blog about YA, I’ve spent the past few weeks compiling a list of YA book bloggers for whom I can find an email address listed somewhere on their blog. My search was very haphazard and random, which I believed would benefit the generalizability of my results. I would often start at YA book blogs that I already followed and browsed the comments sections to pick up new leads and discover other bloggers.

In case you are wondering, the factors that I used to determine whether a YA book blogger could be compiled in my list include:

  1. If the blogger declared themselves in their sidebar bio, About page, or Review Policy page as a YA enthusiast.
  2. If the most recent books I saw reviewed on the blog largely included popular YA titles.
  3. If the blogger has posted recently.

It has been a really cool experience to sift through so many diverse blogs on personal level because I consider myself a part of this community as a lover and defender of YA literature and what it means for literacy. I’ve also discovered so many great blogs that have inspired me to be a better blogger and community member.

End Note

If you are reading this post because you followed the link provided in the email invitation to participate in my survey, thank you for your interest! I hope you will consider taking time to participate in my graduate research. If you are reading this blog post simply because you already follow my blog, I hope you found it interesting! If you’d like to hear more about my research journey I’d love to talk more on this topic, and possibly the findings, here over the summer.

If you consider yourself a YA book blogger and would like to take part in this research and be entered into a raffle for one of five $10 Amazon gift cards, please email me at my school email loricanales@utdallas.edu!

Thank you for reading!
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A Very Fantastical Book Birthday to…

Hiya!

Welcome back to the blog! I’m still busy at work on my end-of-the-semester projects, but I wanted to make sure to wish Sarah J. Maas and her latest book a happy book birthday! Today, May 2, 2017, the third installment in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series debuts. I was so excited to learn last week that Amazon would ship me this book on its release date, meaning I could get reading straight away!

However, I am hoping to hold out until this semester is officially over until I start reading this tome, primarily because it would prevent me from being productive. But also because it would mean I wouldn’t have a chance to reread A Court of Mist and Fury (#2) which I’d really like to do before I read this one.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Released: May 2, 2017
Pages:
696 pages (hardcover)
Genre(s):
New adult / Romance / Fantasy / Fairytale Retelling
Age Group:
 14+ (Likely to be graphic)

Summary

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

End Note

It’s very likely this will be one of the first books I read this month. I’m hoping to have the patience so I can indeed reread the ACOMAF first. Later this week, I plan to work on my May ’17 TBR so stay tuned for that. My summer begins in about two weeks and I’m so pumped to read more and have the free time to write and blog as well.

Thank you for reading!
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April ’17 Wrap Up

Hiya!

I’m back to Betwined Reads today with my reading wrap up for April. Last week marked the end of all of my classes so now all I need to do is finish up some grading and my three papers due at the end of next week. Then I’ll be able to be more active online! Although I should be working on my assignments, I wanted to come on here and wrap up the month properly since I’ve finally had some reading progress to share.

This month I read three books, two of which were for class and one that I started mid-March during spring break. Looking back, I didn’t rate any of these books particularly high, although I did enjoy reading all of them to some degree.

Feed by M.T. Anderson | Feed is a young adult novel written in 2001 about a future in which people have technology put into their heads at an early age so that they can have a running feed in their heads at all times. The book was a very quick read (I think I finished it in one sitting of about 3-4 hours), and it was an interesting read in light of ongoing topics of the class in which it was assigned. However, it felt dated as social media wasn’t really a thing in this world.  ★★ 

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner | The final installment of the Starbound trilogy was a little disappointing for me. Perhaps, it suffers because I now read Kaufman’s latest (superior) work in The Illuminae Files. My biggest critique is the book seems disjointed. Unlike the previous two, this one only allows us a short time with the two main protagonists before all the old characters return. The first book set up a really exciting world conflict and in this book it just fizzled so fast for me.  ★★★

I Hate the Internet by Jarett Kobeck | I read this book for my the historical perspectives class I assisted with this spring and it was a really acerbic take on San Francisco and the tech scene from which major Internet companies arise. It provides some great historical background of exploited creators responsible for major intellectual properties we still see on the big and small screen today. My biggest critique of this book is that the author exaggerated and was unfairly reductive at times, which forced me to pull back a lot. There were laugh-out-loud moments, but just as often there were jokes fell flat. ★★★

End Note

This week will be spent primarily working on finishing up the semester strong. I have about a day’s worth of grading to complete for the three classes I assisted with this semester. But I’m nearly done with two of the three papers I have to write, primarily because those two papers have been somewhat scaffolded by the professor.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to receive Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval on a research study I’ve been working on all semester! It involves an online survey of YA book bloggers, so some of you reading this may receive an email soon inviting you to participate. I’ll have a formal blog post explaining the survey soon on this blog, so if you’re interested stay tuned!

Thank you for reading!
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