Saturday, March 10, 2018

Update 1: Booktube SFF Reading 2018

We are now one week into my BooktubeSFF Reading Plan for 2018. Let's look at how I did...

My plan for last week was to:
  • Start 2 titles for the March Readalongs
  • Read 1 of the prereq books
  • Finish off any other science fiction and fantasy books I'm reading
  • Decide on if I want to buy The Bear and the Nightingale on Kindle or as a physical book

I did finish off a current science fiction read: The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Halderman. It was a fun, fast-pace SF book about a graduate student who uses a time machine to go to the future, and the adventures (and challenges) that come along with it. I quite enjoyed it, and it was really nice to read something that wasn't a part of a series. Now, I feel like I can kind of check off this task, but I ended up also starting (but not finishing) Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, a kid's fantasy novel that's been made into a film. I'm quite enjoying this one too, but am surprized it's taking me over a week to finish a kid's book. So, I didn't quite clear the decks for new books. Oops. C'est la vie!

One unexpected thing that happened this week was that my library hold for The Bear and the Nightingale came in! One day there were 10 people ahead of me in line, next day.. there it was ! So I don't have to make any decisions on what version to buy, I can just... read it! I will be starting that one soon.

That's as far as I got on any completes. I did start the prereq book of Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (it's sequel, Waking Gods, is nominated this year), and am surprized I didn't finish it because it is quite fast paced in it's interview format style. That said, I'm really enjoying it as it's quite mysterious, has cool science fiction elements and also has fascinating reflections on human nature. I have no idea where it will go. I'm trying not to be gr-rr that I'm not finished, nor that I didn't start ANY of the March readalong reads yet. This is in part because I like to only read 1 book per genre at a time, and I have both a scifi and fantasy title going. That said, I am shocked I didn't start My Favourite Thing is Monsters because I have been looking forward to it sooooooo much.

Current Status
Total Works to Read: 0 of 14
Pre-Reqs to Read: 0 of 2

So... no change for overall status, but I am still slowly moving forward. It's weird not to get at least one thing checked off yet. I did read a lot less than normal this week because I kept falling asleep a good hour and a half earlier than normal and that's when I usually read. From that perspective, it's extraordinary I got any reading done!

My plan for this week:
  • Finish Howl's Moving Castle (not on the list, but still a goal)
  • Start The Bear and the Nightingale
  • Start any of the Graphic Novels
  • Read one of the Short Works
  • Say HI in the Good Reads Group!

For the upcoming week, I think I will set a combination of specific and open ended goals. Last week was pretty generalized, and maybe having specific options will get some good progression going. I also want to participate more in the GoodReads Group, so I am adding that to the list. If nothing else, I should be able to do that!

More info on: BooktubeSFF here and their GoodReads Group is here.

I chat about books every more on my YouTube Channel and on GoodReads.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Friday Reads for March 9, 2018 | A March Mystery Madness Update, SciFi Reads and Shakespeare

In this vlog I share all about lots of the books I am reading, from March Mystery Madness selections to some SciFi Goodness (especially of BookTubeSFF) and of course my my Shakespeare pick of the month.

** Please note that I forgot to mention that some of the dialogue in Black Rock by John McFetridge is in French (with no translation). So far it's usually been short sentences, that I've been able to understand from either with my Grade 12 French), or by the the character reaction/re-iteration. Just wanted to put that out there for anyone who is completely unfamiliar with listening to or reading French.

Reading Troilus and Cressida on the subway was quite an exercise in concentration, my friends!

What are you reading this week?

I mention:
March Mystery Madness GoodReads Group
#BookTubeSFF Website
Rita Awards

Books Mentioned:
Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare
Hadrian's Wall story by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel | Illustrated by Rod Reis
Black Rock by John McFetridge ( An Eddie Dougherty Mystery) | Narrated by Nicolas Van Burek
The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Surrender to an Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham (MacEgan Brothers #6)

A Week of Art Goals ~ Week 1 | The Plan, The Action, The Art

Recently I decided to make a vlog were where I followed a week of art goals. This included brainstorming ideas, making a plan, and than checking in throughout the week to see how it went. Overall, it was a lot of fun to do, and very insightful into what worked and what didn't. There were some things that were easy to do, and a fair amount of frustration on days that were harder.

I plan to continue doing vlogs like this, although in future I think I will do them as a set of shorter vlogs, because this ended up being really long! But that is all part of the learning process, trying stuff out and adjusting along the way (or after reflection!).

I hope you find the video interesting, and it helps in working on your own creative goals and practices.

All the things mentioned...

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Update 0: Booktube SFF Reading 2018

It feels a little odd to share an update so soon after my first post about what I plan to read from the BooktubeSFF Shortlist. But hey, if I am going to reflect on how things go I need something to look back to!

Current Status
Total Works to Read: 0 of 14
Pre-Reqs to Read: 0 of 2

My plan for Week 1:
  • Start 2 titles for the March Readalongs (and hopefully finish one!)
  • Read 1 of the prereq books
  • Finish off any other science fiction and fantasy books I'm reading
  • Decide on if I want to buy The Bear and the Nightingale on Kindle or as a physical book

This is your basic clear-the-decks and make-a-start goals lists.

I think the first title I will dive into will be All Systems Red by Martha Wells (The Murderbot Diaries #1). This is a science fiction work that is about a murderbot that's not so great at doing it's job (disclaimer: that the description I've heard through the grapevine, the GoodReads description sounds totally different!). This is a short work, so I think reading it first will be a good kick start to the project. I am also toying with the idea of listening to it being narrated by my Echo. There is something a bit surreal and fun with this idea, although I’m not the best at listening to books. It’s also a bit different, because it’s not an audiobook per se, as it’s literally a computer reading a Kindle book. I think it might be an interesting experiment. That said, starting this project with an "interesting experiment" might be a horrible idea if it doesn't go well. We'll see!

Another book I want to get a start on is My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris, which is a 400+ page graphic novel. I've heard several people mention that this one takes longer to read, so I would like to get into it and see if I feel the same way. If it's going to take a long time, I will tab it off and work through it weekly during March. Or I might read the whole thing, who knows?

The Prereq I hope to read this week is Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Themis Files, #1), it is in interview format so I hope it will be a one-week read. I also am in the middle of The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Halderman, which I want to finish before diving into other works. I can read a lot of different books at the same time, but I find it's best to stick to one-per-genre at a time, especially science fiction, so that the ideas and concepts of each world stay separate.

If it's possible to get to another shortlisted title this week, I will dive into Borne by Jeff VanderMeer as that's one that I have available. I would love to get my hands on The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, but for some reason I'm stymied on whether to get the physical or Kindle edition. But by the end of the week I plan to have decided one way or the other. Wow. That's bizarre to PLAN to DECIDE something later. I should just decide now. Harmph.

There you have it. That’s my plan for this week. I am not sure if it's too ambitious or just right.  We'll just have to see how things go. What are you reading this week?

More info on: BooktubeSFF here and their GoodReads Group is here.

I chat about books every more on my YouTube Channel and on GoodReads.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

BooktubeSFF Reading Plans 2018

It's the BooktubeSFF time of year again! The shortlist was released a few weeks ago, and now that the readalongs have officially started I feel like it's time to share my plan for this year.

My 2018 Goal: Read the books nominated in the Science Fiction, Debut, Short Work and Graphic Work categories (and then vote on the awards!).

Is this ambitious? YES! Will I be able to do it? Only time will tell!

After much hmm-ing and haw-ing, I decided to go with reading the 4 complete categories of Science Fiction, Debut, Short Work and Graphic Work. Although I would absolutely love to read all seven categories (which also include Best Fantasy, Best YA and Best Middle Grade), I decided to pair down for a few reasons. One is simply volume. All of the tiles add up to 24 books, and Fantasy, YA and Middle Grade have many books that are later in series for which I've not even started. I have a feeling my chances of success dwindles when I need to read double the number of books to catch up with these series. So those book will go on my want to read list, but I will work on them after the awards.

This brings me to the opportunity to jump in at the beginning of series, with exploring the debut novels. It also just so happens that all the debut novels *are* fantasy, so if I pick debut and science fiction, I have both genres covered. Adding Graphic Works was pretty easy as they generally are faster reads and half of them I can get on Hoopla. Short Works were another easy in because they were either pretty available or pretty affordable. I also decided to go with trying to read entire categories, as opposed to just the books I was already interested in, as this will make me a more confident voter when it comes to the voting in June.

I am going to do my best to read the books to the schedules of the readalongs on Goodreads. That means I will be reading 4-ish specific titles a month, each month, for 3 months. That's a lot of books!

My 2018 BooktubeSFF Reading Plan

Total Works to Read: 14
Pre-Reqs to Read: 2

March 2018

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer (Science Fiction)
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Debut)
All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Short Work)
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Graphic Work)
Everyone's an aliebn when your an aliebn too by Jomny Sun (Graphic Work)

April 2018

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (Science Fiction)
Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames (Debut)
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (Short Work)
Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Graphic Work)

May 2018

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Science Fiction)
Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee (Science Fiction)
The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty (Debut)
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor (Short Work)
Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson (Graphic Work)

Pre-Req’s Still to Read:

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

There are so many titles in here that I’m excited for, and were on my radar before the shortlist was even announced. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is a fantasy novel that draws from Russian folklore and I’ve heard such great things about it. My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris is a HUGE graphic novel that is all done in pen and looks absolutely fascinating. Add to that books like Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames, which wasn't even on my radar but looks like so much fun!

There are also some more challenging works here too, I have a feeling I might not be a super fan of the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire and The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty looks interesting, but it's quite long and I wonder if I will be fizzled out by May. A few of the science fiction books are second in series, so I still have to read the first book first, and I hope I enjoy them enough to want to read the shortlisted book! All that said, I feel committed to the decisions I made of reading entire categories, because I feel that I will be a more confident voter if I do. And there could be treasures lying in wait that I may not have read otherwise!

One thing I hope to remember during this process is that I want to have fun, enjoy awesome books and engage in great conversations. I hope to chat about the books as a part of the readalongs in the Goodreads Group, and many of the people I enjoy watching on YouTube are reading along with the shortlist this year including Anita Lind, Beck's Books, Dee from Books and Quirks, Amy from Zoe Beck and I’m sure I will find many more as time goes on.

I hope to update here and on my YouTube channel regularly with how my reading experience is going, from getting my hands on the books to planning out the reading, to of course how I feel about the actual books! Bring on BooktubeSFF 2018! I think this is going to be a really fun experience.

Love reading? Let's hang out on GoodReads and YouTube!

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