#SmashYourStack: Week 1 Update

The goal is eight books. So I should have read two…

I read two!


I started the week with Paper Girls: Volume 1 written by Brian K. Vaughn of Saga fame. There may be time travel and aliens and a group of bad ass paper girls. It rocked my world. I can’t wait for volume two.

the cover of paper girls volume one

Look at that beautiful art.

I purposefully chose short books to get through this weekend and jump start my reading stats for #SmashYourStack Week 2 and in preparation for #BoutofBooks. More on that in another post.

These are the shortest books I own (each under 200 pages). I decided to start with The House on Mango Street. It was the shortest, contained vignettes, and is set in Chicago. That sound you hear are all my bells ringing. Cisneros did not disappoint. Esperanza, the narrator, is so perfect. I totally identified with her. I knew that pain, that joy. Yes and yes.

I’m going with Sula next because I am in the mood to have my life changed. This is my fourth Morrison, after The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and A Mercy. I feel it my duty as a black person, a woman, a book nerd, and a Howard University alumna to read all of her books.

I met up with some of my book club people on Sunday afternoon for reading and general nerdy socializing and, of course, drinks. It was a great way to wrap up the week.

Here’s to two more books next week!

More Devices, Kindle Paperwhite

My Christmas was awesome! I hope everyone else’s was as well. This will be my last post of 2014, so Happy New Year too!

I got a Kindle Paperwhite. I was completely floored. I had been throwing the idea around, but I had no intention of anyone hearing it and thinking to buy it for Christmas. After reading an entire book on the device, I came up with a pretty rudimentary pro/con schematic.

Kindle Paperwhite 6 inch with built in light. Image and device belong to Dilane Mitchell.

The home screen of my Kindle Paperwhite.

On the pro side, the Paperwhite is very very light. I noticed while reading how much lighter it is than my iPad Mini. The backlight is genius and the link to the Amazon Store makes impulse buying a breeze. At the bottom of the Home screen Amazon shows you books you might want to buy based on your Goodreads shelf or your reading patterns.

It’s also extremely user friendly. The entire set up took about 7 minutes and was complicated because the Kindle tried to register to my mom’s account because she purchased it. It was easily fixed and then I was on my way.

On the con side, the screen is black and white. Maybe I should have realized that, but I didn’t. I was a little freaked out when I couldn’t see the covers of my books in color. The Goodreads integration needs work. There’s very limited visibility. I always start trying to do something and then have to switch to another device. That’s a little frustrating.

Kindle Paperwhite 6 inch with built in light. Image and device belong to Dilane Mitchell.

I sat and read on my Kindle all day for the last two days. I will admit I am quite pleased. I was hesitant to jump the reader bandwagon.

It’s a device that’s built for reading and on that front, it’s fantastic. I’ll keep you posted as I learn more about it.

The Librarians on TNT

Posting a day early this week!

I am LOVING TNT’s new series The Librarians. To see people who love books, history, Latin, museum artifacts, and research, not holed up in some dusty basement crunching numbers, but out kicking butt and saving the world, is amazerful!

Promotional poster for The Librarians a new show on TNT. It comes on Sunday nights.

The Librarians has become apart of my already crowded Sunday night lineup, along with Downton Abbey and Once Upon a Time, which thankfully, is on hiatus until March.

The basic premise is that there’s a huge old library that exists in its own dimension. It’s contains all of these old artifacts from the famous myths we all know. Image the breadth and depth of the Library of Congress plus all the Smithsonian Institute and the National Archives in one huge maze of a room.

Continue reading

Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

The reason I thought I should share my love for this book on my blog is because the characters, like many of my peers, are steeped up to their eye balls in new media. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is about a young man, Clay, who gets a job at a 24-hour bookstore, only the store is just a front for a secret society. His attempt to update the bookstore’s online presence and stir up more clientele sweeps Clay into a mystery as old as the printing press, with the bookstore and its proprietor at the center. Clay’s boss, Mr. Penumbra goes missing and Clay seems to be the only one who notices or cares. In his search for Mr. Penumbra, Clay discovers that the bookstores he works in is really a front for a secret society that has been working on the world’s oldest brain teaser. Clay, his best friend, and his girlfriend, Kat, who works at Google — that’s a awesome enough reason to read it right there– take some serious risks to figure it out.

Here are three reasons I think it’s a great read:

  1. The cover GLOWS!! It freaked me out at first but after a while, it is really really cool.
    The cover of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

    The cover of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore


  2. It’s like 007 for nerds and I’m a self- embracing nerd so I don’t mean that badly. Amazon calls it a “technothriller.” I think that’s a very appropriate description. Designers, hackers and engineers all get to be the hero in this story. It’s refreshing. Clay’s character is endearing. He is clearly still trying to find his way and life and is struggling with the idea that he is not as traditionally successful as some of his peers. This investigation of his boss’ disappearance seems to really be a journey for Clay to find himself. It’s interesting to see him grow up. I learned some things about myself along the way.
  3. Robin Sloan offers a behind-the-scenes look at Google. Like I said above, read it for just that. Kat offers to assist Clay on his quest by offering Google’s book scanner. So Clay goes to visit Google’s campus in Silicon Valley, CA. I was amazed. I’m not sure if Sloan’s description of Google is accurate but I’m certainly curious to find out now.

This book has a lot of technical jargon but don’t give up. It is also full of mysteries, twists, romance, and happy endings. It is so worth it in the end.