Save. Spend. Splurge.

What I read: The Spring 2021 Edition

Little Bun Reads:

He has started:

Creature Campers Series

This is on the app Epic, and it’s a custom (?) book series made by Epic. I think he’s ready for chapter books now, I am seeing he is understanding / reading pretty big paragraph books, even if he is only able to do 5 chapters or so in each.

I am giving him my old e-reader so we can get new books all the time as the library is not open (and we wouldn’t go anyway), and I started him on my favourite series.

  • January: 41
  • February: 24
  • March: 24
  • April: 17

What I am reading

Braiding Sweetgrass

[ Science, Environmental, Native American History, Ecological, Anecdotal ]

One of the best books I have read all year. If you never pick up any of the other books in my recommendations, please read this one.

It is a lesson in history, plants, the environment, life, and is profoundly life-changing, with the writing being so incredibly easy (and full of clearly explained science) to boot.

I cannot recommend it enough. By page one, hearing about the pecan anecdote, I was hooked.

Daisy Jones & The Six

[ Narrative, Rise of rock and roll band, Rock bands, Fiction ]

Are you into rock and roll? Bands? Reading salacious “tales” of the past and what it was like in the brains of rising rock stars? Then this book is for you.

The writing is phenomenal. I was just blown away by how GOOD it was, and I came in with a dreaded expectation of it bombing by chapter one because books that win awards and make it to bestseller lists, tend to tank with me. It all read SO REAL to me that I started googling: “Daisy Jones songs” or “The Six Songs” because I thought it was a real band and I wanted to hear them sing.

I have never felt such a connection to a book to the point where I want the (fake, mocked up) “Band” tee of what it would have looked like, based on the book’s description.

Paddle your own Canoe

[ Memoir, American Male, Swearing, Hard Topics ]

It is so refreshing to read a memoir that makes me laugh, but also talks about very difficult topics like racism, homosexuality and the like, WITH PURE AND SUCCINCT HONESTY. He is an actor who plays a typical white American male, and to read his words coming off the page telling it bluntly how it was in the past and what he believes in (just be a good person), resonates quite deeply with me.

I found myself nodding along saying: YES TO THIS.. when he pointed out very clear things that I talk about all the time like how religions can condemn homosexuality to the point of even insisting on death to two people who have, as he puts it “different plumbing and love differently”.

Highly recommended. Lots of swearing and laughs.

The Gilded Ones

[ Youth, Fiction, Feminist, Fantasy, Action, Patriarchy ]

Wow. I had very low expectations (again, another book winner), for this book particularly that it’s considered “Young Adult Fantasy”, but by the first chapter I WAS HOOKED. It basically describes the patriarchy but in a fantasy setting and had some reminiscent pieces of my other favourite dark fantasy writer – Anne Bishop, so I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Had a lot of adult content – sexism, rape, abuse – which surprised me for a “youth” book but they are at that age, if I am assuming “youth” is 13 or older.

Excellent read. Gripping to the end, I really wanted to know how it turned out.

The Phantom Tollbooth

[ Youth, Fiction, Life Lessons, Fantasy, English Language Wit ]

I have heard so much about this book that I had to read it, it’s meant for pre-teens, but the wit in this book is astounding. I loved reading it peppered with so many cleverly done idioms, a bit like Alice in Wonderland but with the English Language as the theme.

Bright Young People

[ History, Debutantes, Jazz Age ]

It was an okay read. I liked it, but it didn’t grip me. I’ve forgotten most of it to be honest.

[ Chick-Lit Section starts now ]

Stuck on you

I found another chicklit author winner!!! This was one sweet, obviously still unrealistic to some extent, but more believable and heartwarming than others. I really enjoyed it. I am going to devour all of her other books.

The Accidental Honeymoon

The Time of Our Lives

Truth or Date

Home Alone on Hope Island

Summer Secrets at the Apple Blossom Deli

It’s not you, it’s them

Make or break at lighthouse B&B

MEH to all of these above books. The plot, the writing, the ideas, the characters… it wasn’t as good as the Stuck on You book I was so enamoured with.

Honeymoon for One

Okay this one was halfway decent. I liked reading it.

Don’t you forget about me

I normally love her books and writing, but this was a terrible plot. The only redeeming moment was near the end when she addresses a very difficult situation many women like myself have faced – sexual assault. Otherwise, in terms of reading, I’d give this a pass.

If I never met you

Same with this one. It was just okay. I liked it enough, especially since her stories are very feminist which I think is something we all need to read more of these days.

FAQ about my reading

I get these questions a lot here, and also via Instagram, etc so:

What else have you read?

Here are all the other books I’ve read in the past including mini reviews of each. I also very recently started doing a do a book roundup at the end of every year.

Here they are for the 2 years I did the summaries:

A lot of the books I read, I interspersed into the things I bought or watched. I finally started separating it out in 2019.

How do I read so quickly?

I don’t know either. I’ve been reading books for as long as I can remember. I feel like my sibling is the one who patiently taught me how to read one book, and from there, it exploded.

So, lots of practice? I have been reading for so long that words come easily to my brain, it’s like I see a picture of the word rather than reading the word individually. So “disastrous” would be a word that you read “dis-sas-trous”, but in my head it’s disastrous“, just one word, meaning imprinted. Makes sentences go a lot quicker.

Save for my parents, my entire immediate family is a family of voracious readers.

We read while eating, we read while walking, we read in bed… I guess I just followed what my older siblings did as they always had their nose in their books, and a few going at the same time (you know, the disrespectful way we read through half a book than leave it half open facing the table, spines cracked, no bookmark?).

I used to read 30+ books from the library a week – all young adult, easy stuff. I can read 2-3 books of young adult fiction in a current work day to give you an example, and as a child I had way more time than I do now, so I burned through books like a firestorm.

Our partners remark that they’ve never seen a family read so much, and I guess it’s true.

Where do I get my books?

A lot of you have asked and I generally don’t buy books unless they’re secondhand and in ebook format, for many reasons – price, environmental, space, and even then, I don’t buy books. I borrow them.

I read them on my Kobo ereader (also secondhand), and check out books from the library from Overdrive. If the book isn’t there, I generally don’t read it, UNLESS.. it is a book I REALLY REALLY want to read, then I MAY consider buying it if I cannot wait for it or find it. So far, I have only done this for Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Libraries are a gift, and we pay for them in our taxes yearly even if you don’t personally use them, so thanks.

How do I know what to read?

I don’t. I see recommendations and make notes, or put it on my Wishlist / On hold. I sometimes go into bookstores and browse, then decide if it is worth getting from the library. Or in secondhand stores, I pick up or buy books only if they’re photography / style-related where pictures and colour are a MUST (the one drawback to an e-reader).

I purchased only two physical books in 2020 that I couldn’t / didn’t want to buy in e-book format: Distinction (it was cheaper secondhand than the e-book), & Scoff (not available in ebook format at all).

Don’t you prefer physical books?

Who doesn’t!?

Aside from the cost, the space they take up, how heavy they are (we have a small bookshelf, most of it is Little Bun), I find them heavy to hold and hard to read in rooms unless there is bright daylight or very strong lamp light (I suffer from aura migraines and I’ve noticed dim light or lack of light triggers it when I am reading). I really like that the ebook illuminates the book.

I’d rather carry my entire library around with me in an ebook reader, plus be able to read with a backlight on.

I am currently considering a library option however only because we plan on buying a larger home in the future and I could allow a small library in my closet, perhaps.

Likely, it will only be filled with photography and style books however. Those are the only books I really want in physical copy and ebooks won’t suffice.

Where do I find the time to read?

I just make time for it. I have no other answer…

I’ve noticed if I am not watching TV shows, or aimlessly browsing on Instagram, I seem to have plenty of time to read if I am able to foist Little Bun off on my partner and/or keep him occupied otherwise.

I can go through a lot of books in a short amount of time if I am both interested, reasonably well-rested (or in a good mental state, not in limbo or stressed out) and the book itself is engrossing.

I read while brushing my teeth as you need to brush a full minute to two minutes (I have the reader on a stand), and I read while eating or drinking tea, I read while Little Bun plays or reads…. I read every time there is a spare moment.


  • PP Gal

    I like adding your recommendations on my Goodread’s to-read list. This year I like to read more and thinking of getting a Kindle or Kobo. I’m leaning more to get a Kindle but would have to do away with not having Overdrive since I live in Canada and would love to borrow books from the library in ebook format if possible.

    Libraries keeps on opening and closing (most of the time) this year. I can stay away from malls and wouldn’t mind but would love to stay for an hour in a library for several days if possible.

    May I know what model is your Kobo? I used to have one long ago but it was heavy and so slow. Thanks for reading a lot and having the time to share your reviews.

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You should go for the Kobo then.

      The one that I have now for Little Bun is the Kobo Glo. I just bough the Kobo Forma, but it’s super pricey. I will review between the two, but my initial thoughts are – if you only want Overdrive and you don’t mind about things like buttons to turn the page, go for the cheapest Kobo, it will do just fine.

  • HeatherC

    I just noticed I omitted a word- the book in deck is The American Royals. 🙂

    I agree she is a great author!

  • HeatherC

    I’ve been waiting for this post! I look forward to it each month. I loved Daisy Jones as well- I read somewhere it may be loosely based on Fleetwood Mac??
    I’m reading Destination Wedding right now and have The Royals on deck. Must be in the mood for lighter fare! Happy reading 😊

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      WAS IT!? I was so stupid I thought it was real. I was googling music by them just to hear what they were like before I realized it was all fiction. That’s how good of an author she is.

      I am in the mood for lighter reading considering the world today.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *