Stacking the Shelves: June in Books

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

2015-06-01 - Queers destroy SF Rewards

At the beginning of the month, my rewards for the QUEERS DESTROY SCIENCE FICTION! kickstarter began to roll in. Along with the June 2015 Queers Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue of Lightspeed, I received enough credits to choose six back issues from the Lightspeed store.

Also coming are the special issues Queers Destroy Horror! (October) and Queers Destroy Fantasy! (December). In the meantime, I also got to choose three back issues each of Nightmare Magazine and Fantasy Magazine. Among my top picks? The special Women Destroy issues of each from last year. (I was totes late to that party.)

As if this prize package isn’t epic enough, I also received electronic copies of the annual gay and lesbian speculative fiction anthologies Wilde Stories and Heiresses of Russ. I KNOW RIGHT!

2015-06-05 - Sunshine Girl - 0001 [flickr]

2015-06-05 - Sunshine Girl - 0002 [flickr]

As for book mail, I was lucky enough to win an autographed copy of Paige McKenzie’s The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, courtesy of Teens Wanna Know!.

2015-06-27 - Book Mail - 0002 [flickr]

And brand new just this morning: book mail for review and for pleasure from @penguinrandom and @StMartinsPress: In Wilderness: A Novel, by Diane Thomas (won through Library Thing) and Torn (The Feuds Series #2) by Avery Hastings.

(More below the fold…)

2015 Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenges: May Roundup

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

This month’s Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenge roundup comes with the usual disclaimer: In several instances, I’m not 100% certain that the book’s diverse enough to be included in the challenge (for example, how to judge a book of short stories? Is one or two diverse tales out of a dozen or more acceptable?) – so I’ve included a brief note about each book’s qualifications at the end of the post, so you can judge for yourself.

Pro tip: these notes may contain spoilers.

 

null null null null null
null null null

 

null null null

(More below the fold…)

Stacking the Shelves: Birthday ed. + Kelly Joins Edelweiss

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

2015-05-11 - Birthday Book Haul - 0001 [flickr]

2015-05-11 - Birthday Book Haul - 0005 [flickr]

So my birthday was two weeks ago, and even though I’m well into my 30s now, my mom still insists on buying me gifts. I’d just as soon she make a donation to an animal rescue group in my name, but she never does, so I’ve long since stopped suggesting it. Instead, I send her a wishlist populated with books, usually comic books. I think my lack of interest in adult items, like china and nice sweaters, frustrates her just a smidge, but she’s learned to deal. She humors me, anyway.

This year she got me volumes 1-5 of Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman run (I already have #1 and #6 has yet to be released in paperback), along with Volumes 1 and 2 of Ms. Marvel. My sister got me a swanky X-Files hoodie, and my mom and dad also gifted me a no soliciting/vegan cookies welcome sign from etsy.

(More below the fold…)

2015 Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenges: April Roundup

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

This month’s Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenge roundup comes with the usual disclaimer: In several instances, I’m not 100% certain that the book’s diverse enough to be included in the challenge (for example, how to judge a book of short stories? Is one or two diverse tales out of a dozen or more acceptable?) – so I’ve included a brief note about each book’s qualifications at the end of the post, so you can judge for yourself.

Pro tip: these notes may contain spoilers.

 

null null null null null null null null
null null null null null

 

null null null null

 

(More below the fold…)

2015 Real Book Challenge: April Roundup

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015


 

null null null null
null null

 

  • Vegan’s Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (2011); review coming soon
  • Capture the Moment: Inspiration and Techniques for the Modern Photographer by Sarah Wilkerson (2014); reviewed here
  • The Shark Curtain by Chris Scofield (2015); reviewed here
  • Church of Marvels: A Novel by Leslie Parry (2015); review coming soon
  • City of Savages by Lee Kelly (2015); review coming soon
  • Go Ahead & Like It by Jacqueline Suskin (2015); reviewed here

     

  • Stacking the Shelves #9

    Saturday, April 25th, 2015

    2015-04-09 - Blood and Salt Giveaway - 0003 [flickr]

    2015-04-23 - Ten - 0001 [flickr]

    In the three weeks since I last did a Stacking the Shelves post, Kim Liggett mailed the rest of my epic Blood & Salt spoils. I got to choose one title from each author who blurbed the book; so we have:

  • Between the Spark and the Burn (Between #2) by April Genevieve Tucholke
  • Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
  • Fade Out by Nova Ren Suma
  • A Cold Legacy (The Madman’s Daughter #3) by Megan Shepherd
  • Antigoddess (Goddess War #1) by Kendare Blake
  • Ten by Gretchen McNeil
  • 2015-04-14 - City of Savages - 0001 [flickr]

    SAGA Press was kind enough to send me a copy of Lee Kelly’s City of Savages upon request; spoiler alert, I have already read it, and it’s pretty great.

    2015-04-24 - The Gracekeepers - 0001 [flickr]

    MY PRECIOUS. I’ve been trying to snag an ARC of The Gracekeepers for months now, and Library Thing’s Early Reviewers finally came through. I wasn’t even expecting it for at least another month; it’s from the March batch, and < 1 month is super-fast turnaround for Crown Publishing.

    To put this in perspective: I also won The Library at Mount Char in the January batch, and am still waiting on it. The Girl in the Road took like four months to arrive, if I remember correctly. Not that I’m complaining, mind you; a book is a book!

    Last but not least, my latest NetGalley downloads:

  • The Well by Catherine Chanter
  • A Wolf at the Gate by Mark Van Steenwyk
  • Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
  • 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger
  • When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord
  • Look for reviews closer to the release dates!

    Stacking the Shelves: The “Kelly Discovers NetGalley” ed.!

    Saturday, April 4th, 2015

    So it looks like this is becoming a regular feature, which is pretty rad because this means I’m getting enough new books to make it so. Yay books!

     

    2015-03-21 - The Shark Curtain - 0003 [flickr]

    For review: Chris Scofield’s The Shark Curtain. (You had me at “the ghost of her drowned dog”!) Just this one and then I’m all caught up on Goodreads (phew!).

     

    2015-03-25 - Last of the Sandwalkers - 0002 [flickr]

    First Second was kind enough to send me a copy of Jay Hosler’s Last of the Sandwalkers upon request. I’ve already read it, and it was pretty awesome.

     

    2015-03-30 - Today was a good mail day - 0002 [flickr]

    I think three books is the official threshold for a good mail day. In this pile, we have:

  • A copy of Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer direct from the author, and featuring the most adorable autograph/inscription/doodling I’ve ever personally received.

    (More below the fold…)

  • 2015 Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenges: March Roundup

    Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

    This month’s Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenge roundup comes with the usual disclaimer: In several instances, I’m not 100% certain that the book’s diverse enough to be included in the challenge (for example, how to judge a book of short stories? Is one or two diverse tales out of a dozen or more acceptable?) – so I’ve included a brief note about each book’s qualifications at the end of the post, so you can judge for yourself.

    Pro tip: these notes may contain spoilers.

     

    null null null null null null null null null null

     

    null null null null null

    (More below the fold…)

    2015 Real Book Challenge: March Roundup

    Wednesday, April 1st, 2015


     

    null null null null null null null null null

     

  • Empress of the World (Battle Hall Davies #1) by Sara Ryan (2003); reviewed here
  • Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos (2014); reviewed here
  • Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and Tony Akins (2012); reviewed here
  • The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs (2015); review coming in May
  • The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman (2015); review coming soon
  • Your Family in Pictures: The Parents’ Guide to Photographing Holidays, Family Portraits, and Everyday Life by Me Ra Koh (2014); reviewed here
  • Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper (2015); review coming soon
  • The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons (2015); review coming soon
  • Last of the Sandwalkers by Jay Hosler (2015); review coming soon

     

  • Stacking the Shelves: First One of Spring ed.!

    Saturday, March 21st, 2015

    It’s been a few weeks – three, to be exact – so here you go!

    2015-03-20 - Vegetarian Flavor Bible - 0001 [flickr]

    My copy of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible arrived just in time for a little culinary experiment I have planned – yay! I swear this book weighs more than some of the dogs I’ve fostered. Many thanks to Dianne of Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen and publisher Little, Brown and Co. for sponsoring the giveaway!

    2015-03-19 - The Glass Arrow - 0001 [flickr]

    Tor Teen made my Thursday with this copy of The Glass Arrow for review. I’m a sucker for anything marketed as even remotely similar to a Margaret Atwood book, okay.

    (More below the fold…)

    2015 Dive Into Diversity & LGBT Reading Challenges: February Roundup

    Sunday, March 1st, 2015

    After careful consideration, I’ve decided to roll these two challenges into a single monthly wrap-up post, given that there’s just so much overlap. I’ll begin with each challenge’s logo, followed by a cover gallery for that month’s books. At the bottom of the post you’ll find a bullet list of titles, along with some notes on why I think they qualify (or might qualify; a few of the books are a little iffy) for the challenge. Easy enough, right?

     

    null null null null null null null null null

     

    null null null

    (More below the fold…)

    2015 Real Book Challenge: February Roundup

    Sunday, March 1st, 2015


     

    Ten books down, forty to go!

    By the way, Kindred? So good I can’t even. I should really write a review, but truth be told I’m kind of afraid to. There just aren’t enough words in the English language, okay.

     

    null null null null null

     

  • Diverse Energies edited by Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti (2012); reviewed here
  • Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (2011); reviewed here
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (1979/2004)
  • Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler (2003); review coming soon
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock (2014)

     

  • Stacking the Shelves: Wintery Book Mail ed.

    Saturday, February 28th, 2015

    I don’t usually bother with a weekly Stacking the Shelves feature unless I have a pretty epic book haul that I want to show off. But I’ve taken to tweeting my book mail lately – and the past few weeks have been kind to me, book mail-wise – so why not? Plus I took some purty pictures, so.

    2015-02-28 - New Friends - 0001 [flickr]

    New friends, just arrived for the weekend! I bought a copy of Pretty Deadly on Amazon (just $6.50, with a $1 credit back for no-rush shipping) and apparently won a copy of The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant through BenBella’s book tour. Gotta love those surprise wins that just show up in your mailbox unannounced.

    2015-02-27 - Bookish Mail - 0001 [flickr]

    Yesterday was also a good book mail day, thanks to Fettle Vegan and (in another unexpected score) Viking Children’s Books: But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner and Mosquitoland.

    2015-02-25 - Bookish Mail - 0001 [flickr]

    Wednesday’s mail! From top to bottom, there are two titles from Tor.com (Imager and The Outstretched Shadow); a used copy of Empress of the World, “purchased” on BookMooch, which I’m currently reading; an ARC of The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, courtesy of Fierce Reads; and a finished copy of The Country of Ice Cream Star, won for review through Goodreads (the hardcover more than makes up for its slow arrival).

    2015-02-05 - Candlewick Prize Pack - 0001 [flickr]

    Aaaaand a few weeks back I received a box o’ Candlewick’s Best Books, according to Time Magazine. Top to bottom, there’s The Tiger Rising; Boy Proof; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane; Feed; The Knife of Never Letting Go; and A Monster Calls. Thanks, @foreverliterary & @Candlewick!

    2015-01-26 - Dive Into Diversity Giveaway - 0001 [flickr]

    Last but not least is this ARC of My Heart and Other Black Holes, via a Dive Into Diversity giveaway hosted by @gone_pecan! I’m really looking forward to reading it, but not sure my heart can handle all the feels right now. (Peedee, man. THESE DOGS WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME.)

    Speaking of, my furkids got some new swag this week too!

    (More below the fold…)

    African American Readathon: 2015 Wrapup

    Monday, February 23rd, 2015

    null

    null null
    null null

    So here’s the final count for the African American Readathon: I read three Octavia Butler books (Kindred, which is amazing, as well as the short story collections Bloodchild and Other Stories and the posthumously released Unexpected Stories). I also started (but didn’t quite finish) Janet Mock’s memoir, Redefining Realness. Reviews forthcoming.

    2015 LGBT Reading Challenge: January Roundup

    Sunday, February 1st, 2015


     

    Same deal as with the Dive Into Diversity challenge: a cover gallery, followed by a list of titles and a brief explanation as to why I included them on this list. May contain spoilers. Some of the titles, such as Winterspell and A Murder of Crows, are a little iffy for me, but you can be your own decider person.

     

    null null null

     

    (More below the fold…)

    2015 Dive Into Diversity Challenge: January Roundup

    Sunday, February 1st, 2015


     

    So I’m off to a strong start for the year – every single one of my January reads was diverse in some way! Occasionally the diversity came as an unexpected, pleasant surprise (such as in Stitching Snow and Winterspell), while other times I thought it was a good start, but one that had me yearning for more (e.g., A Murder of Crows). In some cases, I’m not 100% certain that the book’s diverse enough to be included in the challenge (for example, how to judge a book of short stories? Is one or two diverse tales out of a dozen or more acceptable?) – so I’ve included a brief note about each book’s qualifications at the end of the post, so you can judge for yourself. (Pro tip: these notes may contain spoilers.) I briefly considered making an “honorable mentions” category, but I’m just way too indecisive for that.

    Seeing as there’s so much overlap with the LGBT Challenge, I’ll just copy and post the relevant titles to that list; same deal.

     

    null null
    null null null
    null null

     

    (More below the fold…)

    2015 Real Book Challenge: January Roundup

    Sunday, February 1st, 2015


     

    I’ve been kind of stumped as to how to best compile the monthly roundups for all these challenges I’ve committed to, especially since there’s so much overlap. In order to keep things simple, I think I’ll try writing a post for each separately. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

    I managed five real books in January, which is a pretty solid start toward my overall goal of 50! I especially enjoyed Winterspell and These Walls Around Us. Spoiler alert: both will make an appearance on the diverse challenge lists (yay!).

     

    null null null null null

     

  • Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire edited by Amber Dawn (2009); reviewed here

  • Winterspell by Claire Legrand (2014); reviewed here
  • Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement (2014); reviewed here
  • A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev (2014); reviewed here
  • The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (2015); review coming in March
  •  

    Stacking the Shelves: Oops! There Goes My Book Buying Ban! edition

    Saturday, January 31st, 2015

    2015-01-23 - Book Mail - 0002 [twitter]

    Fun story: Two of my three most recent Book Outlet orders arrived last Friday…and then sat there all weekend, on account of I was nursing a cold and doped up on fun sleepytime medicine. Shane was like, “I can tell that you really aren’t feeling well, because you haven’t even touched your new books.” He knows me so well.
    ——————————

    So I know I said that I was instituting a book buying ban after that epic Book Outlet Boxing Day book haul, but.

    2015-01-26 - Book Outlet Orders (3) - 0005 [flickr]

    Book Outlet got Of Metal & Wishes back in stock, and I just couldn’t resist ordering it, along with a few other much-coveted goodies (some of which I lost in the mad rush to check out on Christmas night. Anya’s Ghost, I’m looking at you.)

    2015-01-26 - Book Outlet Orders (3) - 0011 [flickr]

    And wouldn’t you know it, the Very. Next. Day. Book Outlet announces a $5 promo code good for the weekend. So that explains order #2.

    2015-01-26 - Book Outlet Orders (3) - 0002 [flickr]

    As for order #3? Well, that was the result of yet another $5 code, which I think I got for answering a survey. I priced this last order so that I basically just paid for shipping, so score!

    By the way, did you notice how they slipped a $5 off coupon in with the first order? TEMPTRESSES.

    I didn’t even stand a chance.

    Title list after the jump.

    (More below the fold…)

    African American Readathon, February 19th – 23rd

    Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

    null

    During Black History Month, the National Council of Teachers of English hosts an annual African American Read-In (#aari15), with events scheduled around the country. Luckily, for those of us who can’t attend, Meghann at Becoming Books is holding an online version from February 19th through the 23rd. You can sign up (as late as 2/23!) here.

    There’s no minimum on the number of books you can read, and any genre counts. The only stipulation is that the books must be authored by people of African (but not necessarily American) descent:

    Up for reading are any books authored by people of African heritage/decent. This includes African American authors and other who may identify as being Black without being American. All genres count! YA, MG, Adult, Fiction, Nonfiction, etc. For a list of book suggestions check out the NCTE website and Goodreads listopias.

    I’m hoping to use the opportunity to tackle a few more books in my Octavia Butler collection: so far I’ve yet to read Kindred, Fledgling, and Seed to Harvest. Ditto: her short story anthologies – namely, Bloodchild and Other Stories and Unexpected Stories. Not that I can tackle them all in just five days, but it leaves me with plenty of choices.

    And if I fancy more, there’s always Sherri L. Smith’s Orleans or Nalo Hopkinson’s Brown Girl in the Ring, both of which are on my Dive Into Diversity reading list.

    If you want to participate – or just learn more – go check out the sign-up post. There will be mini-challenges, prizes, and twitter chats. And hopefully lots of diverse book pushing.

    Stacking the Shelves: Book Outlet Boxing Day Sale edition!

    Saturday, January 17th, 2015

    Boxing Day was many, many weeks ago (okay, three – but time drags when you’re waiting for book mail!), but as everyone who placed an order with Book Outlet knows, turnaround was painfully slow for their epic Boxing Day sale. The last part of my order just arrived this week; and, if twitter is any indication, a few poor souls are still waiting on their packages. (Thoughts and prayers.)

    So this was my first time shopping at Book Outlet. I was lucky enough to see the 50% off discount code bouncing around twitter the week beforehand. Since I’m pressed for space and trying to buy e-books whenever possible, I was a little skeptical: 50% sounds like a sweet deal, but is it sweet enough to justify buying more “real” books? With a skeptical little huff, I hopped on over to their website to investigate. Within minutes I’d created an account and filled my shopping cart. Yeah. The prices really were that good.

    I spent the week leading up to Christmas going through my Amazon and Goodreads wishlists, purging them of no-longer-wanted items and searching for the more expensive titles on Book Outlet. Between Book Outlet and ruthless culling, I managed to make a sizable dent in each. By the time 10:59PM rolled around on Christmas night (11:59 Eastern), I was ready to go. It’s a good thing, too: the sale proved so popular that would-be customers quickly overloaded Book Outlet’s servers. After much swearing, hand-wringing, and page refreshing, I was lucky enough to get my order in. Before the start of Boxing Day official, even!

    2014-12-25 - Book Outlet Boxing Day Sale

    I’ll be the first to admit it: I went a little overboard. Just a bit. (Even though I managed to “lose” four or five books in the mad rush to submit my order before the stock ran out.) The first time around, I dropped a cool $200.65. But that includes shipping (which I’d mentally factored into the price per book as I shopped), and got me 71 books! That works out to about $2.82 per book, which is still less than the price of a used hardcover book at the twice annual library book sale. So it would have been silly of me not to buy all these books, is what I’m saying!

    2015-01-07 - Boxing Day Book Outlet Order - 0002 [flickr]

    2015-01-07 - Boxing Day Book Outlet Order - 0012 [flickr]

    I noticed some people complaining about the price of shipping, but I thought it was pretty reasonable: $38.49 for nearly 60 pounds of books. Of course this was for domestic shipping; I’m sure that overseas postage all but negates any savings.

    (More below the fold…)