Valentine’s Day: Feel the Love!

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying this day with a loving heart and a content mind, whether you’re spending it with loved ones or by yourself. As I grow older, I enjoy Valentine’s Day a lot more because it’s a day I spend appreciating myself. (Which just means a day of lazing around and eating chocolate and not having to feel guilty, cue Bruno Mars’ The Lazy Song.)

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Paper Puffs (48): December Recap

newsI totally disappeared again this holiday break, and I think I’ll have to accept the fact that my winters will be mostly Internet-less – but not¬†book-less! I reviewed lots of wonderful books in December, and I’m so excited to list them all here. ūüėä

BOOKS, RANKED

DID NOT FINISH

Jessica Lemmon’s A Bad Boy for Christmas started off wonderfully (“Glitter. Glitter everywhere.”) but the pacing was too slow for me. I dropped David Sedaris’s¬†Me Talk Pretty One Day and came to the conclusion that I’m so much more engaged and interested when I listen¬†to humor audiobooks¬†compared to when I read¬†the physical books… I couldn’t get into Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You¬†– I quit a¬†few pages in, and now I’m doubting my interest in parallel universe stuff as a whole. The final book is one that I really, really wanted to continue but didn’t was Tanya Huff’s Sing the Four Quarters. I remember being obsessed with the second and third books of the Quarters series years ago, but never read the first book. This first book felt a bit convoluted, and I had a hard time immersing myself in the book-world. I guess I’ll try the second book, Fifth Quarter, and hope that I like it as much as I did before!

BOOKS TO READ IN 2016

Moving forward into the new year, I already know that I’ll be reading a lot less than previous years because of school, so I’m setting a very conservative goal of 52 books¬†(compared to 94 books in 2014 and 89 books in 2015).

How did your holidays go?
What books did you enjoy reading this month?
What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

Paper Puffs (47): November Recap

newsSorry for the super late November recap – I’ve been busy with school, and have somehow caught a very bad cold despite all of my hand-washing and germaphobe behaviors… my brain feels like mush, and mush isn’t really productive. But November was such an awesome book month in¬†the book community, especially with Sci-Fi Month and Nonfic November… my book ratings prove it! During Thanksgiving break, I also marathoned through the Cat Who mystery books like a fiend. I actually got behind in reading/ranting because of school, so I wasn’t present as much as I hoped, but thanks for still stopping by and sharing your opinions about the books I’ve reviewed! ūüėä

SCI-FI REVIEWS, RANKED

NON-FICTION REVIEWS, RANKED

DID NOT (AND WILL NOT) FINISH

I DNF’ed quite a lot of the books this month, and I don’t know if it’s because I was super busy or because I’m running out of patience. ¬†I tried really hard to get through Mindy Kaling’s¬†Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), but the book version just didn’t do it for me. I might try the audiobook at some point, since I seem to enjoy humor audiobooks more than physical books. And Silver Bells was the holiday book that I started but dropped after reading, like, 5 pages. The writing style was a little boring, and maybe it’s too early to start holiday books… Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? was also a no-go, because it seems as though the answers to the questions are provided by readers of the¬†New Scientist magazine, and sometimes one question has multiple readers’ answers/opinions and I don’t know if it’s pure fact or what. Also, this one might work better as a bathroom reader. The Avery Shaw Experiment was a¬†Friday Find, but I just couldn’t stand the oh-so-perfect male protagonist and the why-didn’t-I-realize-how-beautiful-she-was female protagonist.

BOOKS TO START IN DECEMBER

HOLIDAY BOOKS YEAHHH! Or, that’s the plan if my brain resolidifies itself sometime soon… ūüė∑

How did your November go?
What books did you enjoy reading this month?
What books are you looking forward to reading in December?

Looking Back and Looking Forward at Nonfiction

I didn’t read that much non-fiction this year, but now it’s full speed ahead! With each passing year, I feel like I’m drawn more and more to non-fiction – I hope this isn’t a sign that I’m getting bored of magic! (Non-fiction is magical in its own way though, isn’t it?)¬†So it’s Nonfiction November (#nonficnov)¬†again, the month that makes me doubt my spelling/hyphenation of “non-fiction”,¬†the month when I¬†get to read more books off of my to-read pile, and the month when I go crazy trying to juggle two genres at once ahhhhh.

Our co-hosts,¬†Leslie,¬†Kim, Becca, and Katie¬†have added¬†some new discussion topics this time, so I’m excited to discuss non-traditional nonfiction and participate in book pairings (if I can think of one)!¬†My nonfiction favorites of 2015 so far are¬†NurtureShock,¬†Bossypants, and¬†How to Raise the Perfect Dog. There are still two months left though, so I’m anticipating more fun reads coming up. ūüėÄ

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What I want to read more of: Memoirs! I’ve recently gained a new appreciation for them, despite having started with some that I didn’t really like. In the past, I wasn’t a big fan of the first-person narrative because that required putting myself in someone else’s shoes, and I just couldn’t relate.

My non-fiction reading pile for this month is one that includes books for yet another reading challenge, as well as books that’s been on my to-read list for wayyy too long. If you can make out the titles and have read any of these already, let me know if you liked them or not!

Here's #whereiread tagged by @maraiazoo! And a big stack of books to fall asleep to...

A post shared by Sophie (@papersophie) on

What nonfiction books are you looking forward to reading this month?

Sci-Fi November, Blast Off!

Sci-Fi November
November is a wonderful month that embodies post-Halloween-candy-high and pre-Christmas-music-anticipation. In the bookish world, November is the time of post-paranormal-books and pre-Christmas-romances – it’s the time for Sci-Fi November! This year, Rinn and Lisa will be co-hosting the event, and I’m looking forward to meeting new and old friends and bonding over science fiction together! ūüöÄ

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT SCIENCE FICTION:
Both science-fiction and fantasy books allow me to escape reality for a few hours, but sci-fi holds a special place in my heart because it shows what could be reality.¬†(I’m no mad scientist! yet)

SOPHIE WATCHES SCI-FI… MAYBE?
I have to admit that I don’t really “do” sci-fi things outside of books – there’s that one time in high school when my older cousin dragged me to the movie theatre to watch the newest Star Wars movie (which was really good!), and I watched Interstellar last winter, but that’s about it. This month, time permitting, I’m hoping to watch Ender’s Game, The Martian, and The Maze Runner… if I do, I’ll definitely tweet about it!

HOW I AM CELEBRATING SCI-FI THIS MONTH:

  • Sci-fi book reviews every Tuesday! (Ready Player One,¬†Ender’s Game, and others!)
  • Finish my first sci-fi book bingo BECAUSE IT’S BEEN TOO LONG
  • Discussion on various sci-fi topics (for real this year!)
  • Read sci-fi! (Because I still have that other¬†book bingo *coughs*) Here’s my tentative list:
    • Freedom’s Choice by Anne McCaffrey
    • Vicious¬†by V.E. Schwab
    • A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
    • The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson (I’m sneaking this in here to fulfill steampunk…¬†ūüĎÄ)

What are you reading for Sci-Fi Month?
What’s your favorite thing about sci-fi?

Paper Puffs (46): Octobrrrr Recap

newsThis was the month of the Brrrr. My hands were¬†Brrrr, my eyebrows were¬†Brrrr, and my toes were very very¬†Brrrr. But with the¬†Brrrr¬†came my favorite season of all: AUTUMN! I love the fact that I can now¬†read a book in bed under the fluffy comforter and not sweat to death, but that I can also sit outside on a bench with a book and a tea thermal and not turn into an ice cube.¬†ūüćā (Oh, and happy Halloween-brrrr!)

REVIEWS, RANKED

DISCUSSIONS, LISTS, CHALLENGES

BOOKS I DIDN’T FINISH

Mary Oliver’s Rules for the Dance¬†and Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members. These¬†just got boring very fast… I don’t think I’m the right audience in both cases.

SONGS OF THE MONTH

I usually listen to Internet radios rather than specific playlists so that I can hear conversations as well as music. (Not that I understand much, but I’m trying to learn!) This month I’ve been partial to European stations, although I feel a wave of Asian music¬†coming on next, haha. And, as always, I’m such a Kygo fangirl. ‚̧

How did your October go? (Did you freeze like I did?)
What books did you enjoy reading this month?
What books are you looking forward to reading in November?

Paper Puffs (45): September Recap

newsWHAT where did September go?!! Things that happened in September: I woke up to darkness and rain and gloom, and decided to motivate myself by reading books before I headed off to work. I started to curate holiday/birthday gifts for my friends because I’ve gotten Christmas gifts from them the last few years, but didn’t have time to send out gifts. I became less obsessed with peanut butter (GASP!) and more obsessed with popcorn. Also, I’m trying new things with the blog (like with this recap) – even after 2 years of blogging (okay, probably less because of haitus and breaks), I’m still experimenting lol. ūüėč

REVIEWS, RANKED

DISCUSSIONS

DNFed

For the first time (but not the last!), I’ll share the books that I did not finish reading. RIP, books.

  

SONGS OF THE MONTH

Because, y’know, I’m listening to music when I’m not reading books. (I’ve got plenty of time to do both when I’m running lab experiments, surprisingly!)

How did your September go?
What books did you read this month?
What books are you looking forward to reading in October?

Paper Puffs (44)

newsHappy Labor Day weekend to my U.S. friends! I hope everyone can enjoy this last peaceful weekend before the chaos of school and work starts again. I’m also taking this opportunity to relax and prepare some bookish things so that I don’t disappear off of the face of the Internet again, haha.¬†ūüėč

A surprising number of bookish things has happened since I last focused on bookish things. I finished my first book bingo!!!! (It wasn’t the first one that I started so, but let’s ignore that for a second.) I read quite a number of books (especially after I failed my first quals attempt – binge-reading > binge-eating) that¬†I now need to write reviews/rants for. And I’ve bookmarked some interesting articles (but kind of old at this point, sorry!) from the local book community and the world of Internet-ness that I will now share below.

PB NEWS

LOCAL NEWS

WORLD NEWS

  • A book that claims to make kids fall asleep using psychological techniques? Sign me up! Parents have been concerned about how “manipulative” it is though… (but I thought parents are supposed to be manipulative? Haha.)
  • The drinkable book project was publicized last year, but recently came up in the news again. Hoping to see more progress and implementation in the near future!
  • Oliver Sacks recently passed away.¬†ūüėü

Any new interesting bookish news that I missed?
Please leave them in the comments below!

I’m Back!

I JUST realized that I never officially went on haitus and just left with nary a word (except for Tweeting about it). Many apologies! For those of you who didn’t know, I was studying for quals, took them, didn’t pass them, and had to retake them. This is what that process looked like:

My entire summer was basically gone, and it was not a pleasant experience. I did read some books – especially after I found out I didn’t pass (Tamora Pierce novels for the win!) – but I haven’t been writing about what I’ve been reading or even thinking about doing so. But now that I’ve survived, I’m (kind of, sort of) back!

I say “kind of, sort of” mostly because I’ll still be taking classes this fall, and getting my thesis committee together, so THINGS ARE GETTING REAL. On the blog, I’ll still be posting reviews and trying to get my bingo cards filled out, but you may see less of bookish news and more rants, simply because I won’t have the time to compile everything that I’ve read and liked. (Watch out for my Retweets though, since I’ll be sharing other bookish news/posts that way!)

As always, thank you for sticking around or passing by – I really appreciate it! Blogging is never easy, especially when real life takes priority, but I enjoy the book community and reviewing books so much that I keep coming back, haha. ūüėä

Paper Puffs (43)

newsSo I had to push¬†a¬†REFRESH¬†button on myself after¬†the last few weeks¬†because I was getting bogged down again by shtuff. I had¬†an unplanned week of non-training for my half marathon (*gulps*) and it felt like all my plans unraveled after that – I didn’t read and write as often, kind of gave up on eating healthy, just lazed in bed doing nothing when I got home after work. Has anything similar happened to you before? I’m trying to kick myself into shape again by simplifying my schedule and time blocking more, so crossing my fingers that I can stay injury-free and demotivation-free as I run/work!

PB NEWS

LOCAL NEWS

WORLD NEWS