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Currently | Coloring is for Grown Ups

currently april 17 2016

Briefly | It’s been such a fun weekend! Last night a friend and I went to an adult coloring event, Color and Cork, hosted by a local arts organization. It was surprisingly fun, a cool way to get out and meet people that felt less awkward because there was this self-directed activity to do at the same time. Plus, snacks and wine! Afterwards, we met up with the boys — who were hanging out at friend’s house for a Diaper Party (dude baby shower) — and stayed up way too late hanging out. My hangover this morning is minimal, so I think it’ll be a good day.

Reading | I battled my case of the Gobbledybooks pretty successfully yesterday. I woke up super early (not on purpose…), so I spent the morning getting through Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee for our local library book club. Man, I did not like that book… it was so, so unpleasant. After that, I decided to tackle The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales — I’m making really good progress there. If I get done with that today, I think The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee will be next on the list (yeah, I know I’ve been saying that for weeks).

Watching | I coworker and I went to see Zootopia this week. It was so great, smart and funny enough that I laughed out loud in place. I would 100 percent be on board with a buddy cop TV show starring Officers Judy Hopps and Nick Wild of the Zootopia Police Department.

Listening | Now that I have a car with a working CD player (technology!) I’ve been pulling out my old CDs. High school/college Kim was very into Nine Days and Jimmy Eat World (and, let’s be real, all of the boy bands you can think of).

Making | I’m working on this blanket as a baby shower gift for a friend expecting a little boy in May. It’s a really simple pattern that’s great while sitting in front of the tv.

Promoting | Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is coming up this weekend! YAY! I got so excited about it that this week I shared some of my best tips for Readathon success. I’ll have a book pile to share sometime later this week.

Hating | We didn’t make it to the grocery store yesterday, so the fridge is pretty bare of breakfast choices. Present Day Kim is pretty annoyed by Past Kim for that decision.

Loving | Hamilton: The Revolution (a big book all about the making of Hamilton) came in the mail this week and it is gorgeous. I’m so glad I splurged to get it.

Avoiding | I need to make new blog business cards for BEA, but I can’t seem to settle on a design for them and I’m running out of time to get them printed… lame.


Anticipating | The weather this week has been really beautiful. I’m hoping to get outside this afternoon for  nice long walk around the neighborhood. I also need to start breaking in my summer shoes… this time of year is always rough on my feet.

Happy Sunday! What are you reading today?

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links through Amazon. If you make a purchase through any of those links, I will receive a small commission.

I have a wicked case of the gobbledybooks.

Andi (Estella’s Revenge) and Heather (Capricious Reader) came up with delightful phrase to to describe the phenomenon when you want to read all of the books and so read none at all. Whomp whomp.

Since my marathon read of Spinster by Kate Bolick over the weekend, my reading has been pulled in all sorts of different directions. I’ve also been running around a lot this week, so my brain feels like it’s having a hard time settling down. It’s especially hard when there is so much good tv on right now — the finales of The Magicians and iZombie were so great! Oh, and I finally got an epic post done for Book Riot — I can’t wait to share this one.

Anyway, when my brain gets this scattered I like to make a list… hence, this post: all of the books I wish I could be reading right now.

  1. The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee — This one is going to be due back at the library soon and I really want to get it done so I don’t have to try and take out another hold.
  2. The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales — My pre-order of this exciting book arrived on Tuesday and I want to crack it open really bad!
  3. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter — HAMILTOME! I actually cracked this beauty open when it arrived on Tuesday and stayed up well past my bedtime skimming through the first half… it’s a delight.
  4. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee — Our library has started a book club and I’m trying my best to be a good participant. This is the next read, which I am trying to have done by next Wednesday.
  5. The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson by Jeffry Toobin — I didn’t watch the recent FX series about the O.J. Simpson trial, but seeing previews and reading reviews made me super curious to revisit that case. This highly recommended book was a total impulse buy.
  6. Walking Portland by Becky Ohlsen — We’re taking a trip to Portland later this summer for my cousin’s wedding, planning to turn it into a long-ish weekend to explore the city. I found this walking guide to the city online and got super excited about it!

Ugh, man. It’s already 8:40 p.m. as I’m drafting this post on Wednesday night. I have to get ready for bed and finish my chores and then, maybe, I will try to get my brain into a book. So many books, so little time… Happy Thursday!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links through Amazon. If you make a purchase through any of those links, I will receive a small commission.

Five Tips for Readathon Success

readathon tips

The spring edition of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is just around the corner on Saturday, April 23. The Readathon is truly one of my favorite reading/blogging events since my first one in spring 2009.

I feel like I’m even more psyched than normal for this year’s Readathon. No joke, I’ve been scoping out books and thinking about snacks since the beginning of the month. In honor of all that excitement, here are some of my best practical tips and strategies for a successful Readathon.

1. Short books, big fonts.

Everyone has different strategies for picking books for their Readathon stack. In the past, I’ve focused on books that were already on my TBR pile in some way, without limiting too much based on length. This spring, I am really feeling quantity — I want to finish a bunch of books during the event. To increase my chances of finishing four books (my Readathon history suggests this is possible, but difficult), I’ve decided to focus my stack on books that are less than 300 pages long and don’t have a tiny font. I’m hoping that this way I can feel like I’m moving through books briskly and keep my momentum going through the day.

2. Start small.

I find it really satisfying to finish a book within the first four hours of the Readathon. This means I need to start with a book that’s less than 250 pages (or has a really big typeface). My current front-runner for first book is The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson — memoir/true crime, 224 pages, decent font size. Winner!

3. Mix genres and formats.

I love to have a mix of fiction and nonfiction in my stack, as well as a good variety of reading formats. This means also having comics, ebooks, and audio books at my disposal. Last spring I took a break in the late afternoon for a long walk outside listening to an book from Audible — it was great and gave me a ton of energy going into the evening.

4. Mostly healthy snacks.

It is super tempting to stock up on a ton of junky snacks to fuel your Readathon. In my experience, that’s not a great idea. I always have gummi bears and crackers, but also need to make sure to have fruits and veggies, proteins, and lots of good things to drink so I don’t crash after dinner.

5. Friday night clean up.

Taking some time on Friday night to get our house in order has become one of my best lifehacks. It’s especially great before the Readathon so there aren’t any piles of dishes or laundry or random papers sitting around being distracting while I’m trying to read. I also make an effort to get my morning reading nook set up (books, computer, notebook, pens) so I don’t have to scramble on Saturday morning.

Other than that, the most important thing (obviously) is to just have fun. Whether you read half a book or six books, the point is to set aside a little bit of time for books and have a fun day connecting with other readers.

Fellow readers, what are some of your best Readathon tips? I’d love to hear more in the comments.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links through Amazon. If you make a purchase through any of those links, I will receive a small commission.

Currently | Weekend Reading and Writing

currently april 10 2016

Briefly | In direct response to last weekend being really full (so full that I didn’t even get around to a Currently post), this weekend has been deliberately and almost entirely empty. Last Sunday was really fun though — the boyfriend and I met up with my siblings for brunch, shopping and other shenanigans in a town about midway between where we both live. Sibling shout out!

Reading | Yesterday I saw down and read nearly straight through Spinster by Kate Bolick, a fascinating (if sometimes frustrating) memoir/meditation on what it means for a woman to remain single by choice. I feel like I haven’t gotten to just spend an entire day reading for awhile, so that was nice. The other book I’ve been making my way through the last week or so is Rain by Cynthia Barnett, a cultural history of precipitation. It was lovely, but not the kind of book that has a lot of forward momentum, which made for slow going. Oh yeah, and I also finished Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein — that one gave me a lot to think about. I’m not sure what’s on the agenda for today, I’m thinking probably The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee.

Listening | I finally finished an audio book this week — American Housewife by Helen Ellis. These short stories were dark and weird and funny and wonderfully produced for the audio book.

Buying | During the trip to the “big city” last weekend, I convinced by companions to make a stop at Barnes and Noble with me. I picked up some fiction I’m really excited about — American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, Some Luck by Jane Smiley, and Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Blogging | Since my last currently most, I reviewed The Secret Life of the American Musical by Jack Viertel, wrapped up my March reading, reviewed some historical fiction with intriguing leading ladies, and recommended five books to watch for in April.

Promoting | Are you a book blogger who will be attended Book Expo America 2016 in Chicago? Join the Facebook group we’ve started to help bloggers connect and ask questions before the conference. There’s been some good discussion this week about the autographing schedule — I can’t wait to start putting my plans together.

Promoting IIDewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is coming up on April 23! I remain super psyched… I’m already putting together my book pile (super nerd alert).

Hating | The process of building up calluses for summer shoes is so painful every year. I’m going to have some sandal blisters this week, I can already tell.

Loving | I am still loving the fact that I haven’t re-installed the Facebook or Twitter apps on my phone. I don’t think I realized how much my mood was being dictated by what came up on social media until I stopped going on both so much.

Wanting | I got my hair cut and colored last week (dark brownish red lowlights), and I totally love it. I wish that I could just freeze it exactly as it is now because the style is exactly what I want.

Anticipating | Since I spent nearly all of yesterday reading, I have quite a few writing/organizing tasks to get working on today. I did get laundry, dishes and the grocery store finished already, so really everything today is stuff I want to be doing, rather than stuff I need to be doing. I’m hoping it’ll be a good one!

Happy Sunday, everyone! What are you reading today?

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links through Amazon. If you make a purchase through any of those links, I will receive a small commission.

5 Books to Watch for in April 2016

This post originally appeared on Book Riot. 

Yay, April! From where I sit in the upper midwest is the month where the weather seems to turn and we finally get to feeling like spring – the chance of a late-season blizzard seems to go down exponentially as soon as the calendar flips to April 1. This means I start to shift my mood from dark, atmospheric reads to books with a sense of fun or playfulness. I hope the five books I’ve pulled out to highlight for April make you feel the same way.

Rise of the Rocket GirlsRise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia Holt by Nathalia Holt (April 5 from Little Brown)

During the 1940s and ‘50s, leadership at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California recruited a group of young, female mathematicians – “human computers” – to help transform the design of rockets and launch the first American satellites. How cool is that? Nathalia Holt tells the story of the Rocket Girls using extensive interviews with living members of the team, offering another perspective of the contributions of women in science.

The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel GonzalesThe Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales (April 12 from Riverhead Books)

My Book Riot colleagues have mentioned this book before, but it sounds so great it’s worth mentioning again. Super-powered female assassins square off over the fate of the Regional Office, the mysterious organization that recruited and trained them now under attack from one of their own. This one sounds like just seriously so much fun… I am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival in the mail. 

First Women by Kate Andersen Brower First Women by Kate Andersen Brower (April 12 from Harper)

The First Lady of the United States has a tricky job – part leader, part politician, part CEO, part wife and part mother. In this book, journalist Kate Andersen Brower takes a look at the 10 women who have served in this role since 1960, looking at their different approaches, challenges and styles in front of the public eye. I loved her earlier book, The Residence, and have high hopes for this one.

Hamilton The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter (April 12 from Grand Central Publishing)

The #Hamiltome is finally here! If you’re tired of just reading about Alexander Hamilton, make sure you get your hands on this book – an inside look at the development of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash musical that includes the full text of the show with footnotes and other goodies. Get in my hands now.

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (April 5 from Penguin Random House)

Apparently I’m on a kick for books about lady scientists. In this memoir, geobiologist Hope Jahren writes about her childhood in rural Minnesota, her love of plants and development of three laboratories where she studied the natural world, and her relationship with her lab partner and best friend. I’m excited about a book that mixes memoir with science writing, two genres that I love.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links through Amazon. If you make a purchase through any of those links, I will receive a small commission.