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text 2018-07-31 03:46
Good-bye July!
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World - Rachel Swaby
Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders
A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile's Compendium - Alex Johnson
100 Books That Changed The World - Scott Christianson,Colin Salter
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions - Thomas McNamee

Well, I needed to read 22 books this month if I was going to pull myself out of the TBR-reducing-hole I'd dug for myself in June, and thanks to a reading binge, I pulled it off.  My total this month was 28 books.  6 of those were re-reads, but either way you interpret the parameters of my challenge, I still pulled it off.

 

I had 1 5-star read this month: Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby and I recommend it to anyone - in either print or audio - that has an interest in women, history or science.  The bios are brief, but 90% of these scientists are ones you're likely to have never heard of before, so it's all new stuff and well-written.

 

I had 4 4.5-star reads too, including one Man Booker Prize winner; a first for me.  Lincoln in the Bardo was also the only fiction to make the cut this month.  

 

For July, since I was feeling chart-y this month:

 

 

  

 

(I just realised that second chart is mis-labeled; it should read "fiction/non-fiction" but I can't be bothered opening the program back up and fixing it.)

 

 

TBR Challenge update: 

 

July budget: -11

Books bought in July: 3

Books read in July: 28

Deficit brought forward to August: 0

# of books pre-ordered for August: 6

August budget: 7*

 

*: by my admittedly dodgy mental rules, because I went into July at a deficit, clearing it should start me back at zero, as though I'm starting over. So this month's budget is based on half the number of books I read in July *after* clearing that deficit.

 

So it would appear I have 1 book left to buy in August, except I don't.  I've placed an order for 5 books from Mysterious Books, which means I'm in the hole again by 4 books.  So far.  Hopefully it'll stay at 4; Halloween Bingo is coming up, but I have loads of books on my TBR I should be able to make work, so I'm semi-confident I won't need to buy any - at least until September.

 

How was your month?  :)

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text 2018-06-30 11:13
June Reading: Meh.
At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails - Sarah Bakewell
Book: A Novel - Robert Grudin
Elizabeth and Her German Garden (The Penguin English Library) - Elizabeth von Arnim

I seem to be in a recurring/remitting slump.  Last month was my low point so far, but if not for a concerted push over the last week, June wouldn't have been much better, but I did manage to pull out 21 reads.  A very respectable number for anyone except the person who's just gone on a mother of a book buying binge - but more on that later.

 

Of those 22 titles, only 1 was a five star read: At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails - Sarah Bakewell  which I listened to on audio and it was truly outstanding.   Two 4.5 star reads: Book: A Novel - Robert Grudin  and Elizabeth and Her German Garden (The Penguin English Library) - Elizabeth von Arnim.  No real bombs, but a fair sprinkling of mediocre books; I was probably due some mediocrity, as I've had some pretty fantastic luck this year overall.

 

Some basic stats:

14 women authors

male authors

 

7 were easily classified as mystery

3 were science

the rest were all over the place

 

My TBR project:

In 2018 I decided to try reducing my TBR by allowing myself to buy half as many books in a month as I read off my TBR the previous month.  If I bought less, the difference could carry over.  This was working far better than I expected until I decided to give the finger to the Australian Tax Office and go on an unprecedented (to me) buying binge before new taxes kick in (tomorrow).  Most of these are pre-orders, so they'll go against my 'budget' for the month they're released in, but I also bought a fair number of books currently available - enough to completely derail my June budget of 14 books.  Which means I'm in the hole until I read myself out of it.  That hole is 21 books deep.  So the math ends up like this:

 

Books bought in June: 35

June budget: 14

Deficit brought forward to July: 21

# of books pre-ordered for July: 1

July budget: 11 (half of 21 books read in June - rounded up.  Don't judge!)

July deficit:  -11 

 

What this means for my project?  I have to read a minimum of 22 books in July to "break even" - doable if I can knock this slump out for good.  Luckily I'm on 2 weeks break from work starting Monday, which may, or may not, help.  

 

Nothing like a little pressure; I blame the government.

 

 

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text 2018-06-02 05:40
May Reading
3 Thirds of a Ghost - Timothy Fuller
Sleepyhead: Narcolepsy, Neuroscience and the Search for a Good Night - Henry Nicholls
The Secret Library - Oliver Tearle
Browse: The World in Bookshops - Henry Hitchings

14 books read this month.

 

This month's relatively low number is a direct reflection of RL distractions, stress and what I hope is a mini-slump.  Things are looking up; here at the house of feathers, fur, and fins we had some medical uncertainty last month, but now have names to hang on everything, and treatment plans in place, so I have high hopes that June will be more SOP, and I can get back to avoiding real life by hanging out in books.  Also, a trip to Uluru next weekend is MUCH anticipated.  There will be camel-riding, an art exhibit and if I'm really lucky, I'll get to see one of these little guys:

 

A thorny devil, and it drinks with its feet. It places them in a puddle and water moves up by capillary action along grooves to the corner of its mouth.  How cool is that??

 

Quick stats (no charts this month):

 

Four 4.5 star books, but no 5 star reads this month.

6 male authors

8 female authors

 

6 mystery

6 non-fiction

1 audiobook

2 re-reads

 

 

 

TBR Project

 

My experiment in TBR reduction:  I can only buy 1 new book for every 2 I read off my TBR piles, tallied monthly.

 

I bought 6 books this month out of my allotted 13.  So I carry 7 books over to add to my 7 books budgeted for June (50% of books read the previous month - May).  Total book buying budget for June:  14 books. 

 

Hope everyone is pleased with their reading for the month - and bring on June!

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text 2018-05-01 04:25
April Epilogue - Reading in Review
The Broken Girls - Simone St. James
The Secrets of the Bastide Blanche - M.L. Longworth
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library - Sue Halpern
The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA - Doug Mack
Lake Silence - Anne Bishop

23 books read this month.  A very happy surprise for me; had I been asked to guess, I'd have said no way would this be a great reading month by numbers.  My Christmas subscription of NewScientist magazine started arriving at the end of March and I read each weekly issue cover to cover - some articles more than once (*cough*quantum time*cough*).  

 

MT has also had a spectacularly bad run - even by his standards - of small, non-serious, but debilitating injuries: first minor surgery to his left wrist, immediately followed by an injury to his right wrist; just after the dr.'s all-clear, he sprained his ankle.  A day or two later, he severely sprained his right wrist (and arm) dragging a heavy trolly uphill.  As these injuries ALWAYS happened on Thursday or Friday, a girl could be forgiven for giving him the side-eye at this point, but it really is bad luck.  Both his and mine, because I am picking up the slack, including laying down a stone pathway that has to be done before we have a new garden fountain delivered.   For the record, I've always excelled at doing nothing, so I'm knackered!  But proud (about the path - stuff the housework).

 

All of that excess of info to say that I can't believe I read 23 books!  1 5-star read and 4 4.5-star reads amongst the lot. A few disappointments, but no outright bad books to speak of.  

 

Two charts this month - all the books were printed except 1 Audiobook:

 

 

 

My TBR project:

I've set a book buying budget for each month that = 50% of the total books I read the previous month.  Any books not bought carry over to the next month.  

 

I have to cry Force majeure for May, because this happened, and since I make up the rules for this little experiment, those books don't count. 

 

Moving on...

 

Last month I bought 14 out of the 16 budgeted, leaving me with 2 to carry over to May.  My total books read in April being 23 leaves me with a budget of 11 (rounding down for a  small error of margin). 

 

total books I can buy in May:  13

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text 2018-04-01 10:27
March marches out...
The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars - Anthony Boucher
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life - Ed Yong
Burn Bright - Patricia Briggs
One Corpse Too Many - Ellis Peters
The Uncommon Reader - Alan Bennett
Miss Silver Comes to Stay - Patricia Wentworth
Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions - Amy Stewart
The Moving Toyshop - Edmund Crispin
The House of the Cats: And Other Traditional Tales from Europe - Maggie Pearson

Either I was feeling generous, or I had a great reading month.  Since my RL wasn't as nice as my reading month, we'll go with great reading!

 

My total for March was 26 books.  Moonlight Reader's inspired reading version of the game Clue! (Cluedo to those in the Commonwealth), Kill Your Darlings, certainly helped keep my reading pace up, and as always, worked particularly well at getting the veterans off my TBR stacks.  

 

Of the 25 books, 2 were 5-star reads:

The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars by Anthony Boucher 

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong 

 

I had 8 4.5 star reads too:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs 

One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters 

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett 

Miss Silver Comes to Stay by Patricia Wentworth 

Miss Kopp's Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart 

The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin 

The House of the Cats: And Other Traditional Tales from Europe by Maggie Pearson 

 

 

 

Some stats, gussied up:

 

My TBR project:

I've set a book buying budget for each month that = 50% of the total books I read the previous month.  Any books not bought carry over to the next month.  

 

Last month I bought 11 out of the 15 budgeted, leaving me with 4 to carry over to April.  My total books read in March being 25 leaves me with a budget of 12 (I always round down; I figure this way, if I go over one month, there's a small error of margin). 

 

total books I can buy in April:  16

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