Literary Holidays for July

Are you celebrating any of these?

Do you celebrate any literary holidays? There are several each month and while my family celebrates a handful each year, I must say that some of the ones I've never heard of look fun, too! July 4,5 and 6, for example, are National Tom Sawyer Days. Given that my family lives in Missouri and we spent a weekend in Hannibal studying Mark Twain, this is an interesting holiday for us.

The 16-21 are Hemingway Days, which I could take or leave. Not a fan. How about you? July is also Read An Almanac Month, which I thought was odd until I learned how many Almanacs there are. In addition to the Old Farmer's, there are also year books, holidays, astrological and many other types of Almanacs. July 30 is also Paperback Book Day, and several other authors have birthdays this month, including Beatrix Potter (July 28), Dean Koontz (July 9), and E.B. White (July 11).

Do you know of any other literary days to celebrate this month? Share them in the chat.

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Martin Says Final Book Will Feature Different Ending

Will you be reading it?

Author George R. R. Martin, who wrote the Song of Ice and Fire saga that the TV show Game of Thrones is based on, says that he regrets the way the show turned out on HBO and that the end of the saga will differ from the show's ending. To be clear, he hasn't yet finished writing not only the final book, but the second to the last book as well.

Does this news make you want to read the last two books? I'm in the tired of waiting camp myself. I did appreciate the books more than the show--the books are actually less violent towards women, something that HBO embellished way too much, adding sexual violence to many characters' stories that didn't even have it in the first place--but I also like to read things one after another lest I forget what happened. It's been MANY years since I've done that and I'm not sure I'd want to re-read them.

What about you? Will you be reading the books? What kind of ending do you hope for? I don't think we'll get the one that many fans had wished for but you never know.

Summer Goodreads Check-In

How's your challenge going?

This morning I checked my Goodreads challenge and saw that I was 15 books behind on my 121 book goal. Then I noticed I had neglected to add many of the books my teen and I read together (and I always include those, which is why my goal is high), added them, and now I'm just a few books behind. Yay!

This week I read My Favorite Half-Night Stand (not my favorite book) and The Soulmate Equation (a bit better but still not a favorite), and I've started reading Freedom is a Constant Struggle and Why Bother, which are both much better. I have a bunch of other books still in progress that I read little by little and, if I'm being honest, that I have to re-read a bit to refresh my memory much of the time!

How is your Goodreads challenge going? How many books have you read and which have been your favorites so far?

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Summer TBR

What are you anticipating most?

How's your June reading going so far? Like every summer, I have a pretty varied TBR and way too many to actually read, but I'm reading Why Bother? and I'm Still Here right now and enjoying both. I'm also reading A Queer History of the United States and I brought home a bunch of books from the library about psychology and trauma--ranging from Siegel to Beckwith to Van Der Kolk--because I'm training to work a helpline and am feeling super interested in these subjects as a result.

As far as fiction goes, we're finally reading The Hunger Games aloud as a family, which I sort of wish we'd already done even though I never get tired of it. My teen just doesn't enjoy family read-alouds as much anymore. My partner and I actually read the trilogy when he was laid off years ago and really enjoyed that time together.

I just downloaded the new Talia Hibbert and Christina Lauren releases from the library and can't wait to devour both. Once you start anything by those authors, you really can't stop.

So what are you reading? What are you anticipating most this summer? Share them in the chat!

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Kid Del Toro

This may be the cutest picture book EVER.

If you are a fan of Guillermo del Toro, his books, movies and other works, you may love this as much as I do. Artists Chogrin and Pakoto are teaming up to make this adorable picture book about the artist! Chogrin is the person who designed the cute gold Del Toro collectible figure so this new project definitely makes sense.

The book is already available for pre-order and you can take a peek at how cute it is. I'm in love with it and I'll have to get copy for myself! You're never too old to love picture books.

How about you? Will you be getting a copy, or have you seen any similar projects in the works lately? Share them in the chat!

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Summer Graphic Novel Sagas

And no, not just Saga itself!

Oh, Saga. I won't give spoilers but as much as I want to re-read it this summer, I may have to pass. I don't think my heart can handle it. Brian K. Vaughan is even promising it will be "worth the wait," which makes me even more nervous about it returning "soon" after a three-year hiatus. Has it really been that long?

Instead, I'm looking for other graphic novel sagas to peruse this summer. I'm thinking of trying Fable again since I made it about halfway through and never finished the series. I just finished the second volume of Spell on Wheels, which also had a lengthy break between it and its predecessor, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as the first volume, which was filled with action and fantasy. One summer I read all of the Lucifer comics so I'm thinking of catching up on Sandman, but that is SUCH a vast volume and I don't remember where I left off, either!

Are there any graphic novels you're planning on reading this summer? Which ones are must-reads?

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Relaxing Reads For Summer

What's on your TBR?

Summer is rapidly approaching--where I live, it already feels like summer!--and with it comes the long, heat-filled days. Many people love it but I'm not among them. One thing I do usually like about summer is the summer library reading challenge, which my family and I often get ahead on by either listening to books in the car on trips or reading a lot at home while we avoid crowds. Given that so many of our activities are online now and we aren't taking trips, we seem to have less reading time lately.

That means when I do read, I tend to turn to more light-hearted fare that doesn't require me to think too deeply about a new society with a bunch of world building. We already read a lot of nonfiction in our homeschooling so I'm not reading a lot of that on my own, either. For the first time in my adult life, I'm turning to contemporary romance more often than anything! It's oddly comforting and so breezy you don't have to concentrate to get what's going on. If you're new to the genre, I highly recommend the books Bromance Book Club, The Unhoneymooners, Red White and Royal Blue, Get a Life Chloe Brown, and The Kiss Quotient.

What books are you reading to relax right now? Share them in the chat!

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Antiracist Reading

Share what you're reading

Every week there is a new antiracist book out and I just want to devour them all. My family and I have been learning so much through our reading, classes and podcasts. Even though we've considered ourselves as allies for years, there is always so much more to learn, unpack and decolonize. There always will be. If you're open to staying curious, making mistakes and taking actual action in your community, you can definitely do this very necessary work.

This week I'm reading I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown, which has been just as eye-opening as other books we've been reading. But I'm also reading the different works of Krissy Coggins, who offers parenting advice from a de-colonizing perspective. This week I learned more about whiteness, which includes so much toxicity that harms not only people of color but white people themselves (just like toxic masculinity!). For example, perfectionism and individualism are both examples of whiteness.

What antiracist books are you reading right now? Share the authors, books and things you've learned in the chat.

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Books That Changed Your Life: 2020

Share the ones that left an impact!

During 2020, there were so many important books recommended for people to read during quarantine that it's highly likely we all read at least one that changed our lives. From abolitionist and antiracist material to relationship advice, parenting books to philosophy and psychology, I know I did.

To pin down a single book would be really difficult. Reading An Indigenous History with my teen was definitely life-changing, as was In the Shadow of Liberty. I also read a bunch of fluffy books that ended up being more eye-opening because they were Own Voices books with totally new perspectives to me.

What books changed your life last year? Share them in the chat. 

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Click To Give At The Literacy Site

Do you visit The Literacy Site?

There are several websites where you can click to generate donations from their sponsors to fund various causes, but did you know that there's one that helps to promote literacy? The Literacy Site has funded more than 5 million books for kids in need and you can help participate just by visiting to click for free every day. You can log in and track the difference you make every day, set up reminders through the site so you don't forget and share it on social media, too.

If you want to do more, you can also buy items from the site store or make donations. I really like buying gifts from these sites because you know they're going to a good cause and you can find really unique items for people you care about.

Do you know of any other projects that are promoting literacy and how to help them? Share your links in the chat! 

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