Literati June Book Club | Malala’s Box

Hello! I thought I’d hop on here and share with you something exciting I’ve joined for the next three months starting this June.

Literati reached out to me not too long ago and since I’m intrigued by the concept of their brand, I’m sharing with you my box!

First off, what’s Literati?

Literati is basically a book club subscription box that you get monthly. However, unlike other boxes, these book clubs have “Luminaries” or book club leaders like Roxane Gay, Malala, Cheryl Strayed, Stephen Curry, Susan Orlean, etc.

You can participate in book club discussions with these luminaries about the book they choose for the month.

As you can already guess, I chose Malala so I got her June box! Here’s her June pick:

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

25104465

“Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the music hall phenomenon Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury. Through a friend at the box office, Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine. Soon after, she becomes Kitty’s dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Square where they begin a glittering career as music-hall stars in an all-singing and dancing double act. At the same time, behind closed doors, they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begins.”

Read reviews over on Goodreads (opens a new tab)

When I shared this over on my Instagram stories, one of my friends reached out and said they love this author so I’m excited to read this one!

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The book comes in a special edition with a printed stamp showing it’s Malala’s book club, a bookmark, a note from Malala about her pick, and an info card with a quote! I genuinely thought this book box was unique and more interesting than others so I’m excited to see next month’s pick already! I need to get to reading this one, though.

Do you subscribe to any book boxes? Have you heard of Literati?

** I’m not paid to promote Literati

While this box was gifted to me, all opinions are my own! **

My Nana’s Copy of Life of Pi

This is my nana’s copy of Life of Pi. When I last saw her in 2014, we were cleaning out her house and she told me I can take whatever books I wanted. I took this one — not because I wanted to read it, but because I had a distinct memory of her bringing this down to Florida to read while she stayed with us. My nana suffered from a stroke in 2014 and had to move out of her old home because she was paralyzed. My nana didn’t change much after that. She still loved being outside, learning, and getting her hair done. I remember her nails always being an iridescent dark purple/red like the wine she always had with dinner. I remember before her stroke, she always made sure to take me on walks after dinner and occasionally I’d go with her to church the next morning. She told me to always use lotion and make sure to wash under my nails. She lived in Canada and would come once a year to visit us before her stroke. As a kid, she always brought little gifts like picture books and my favorite Canadian cereal, shreddies. I was supposed to fly all the way from Florida to Vancouver to see her last year but because of COVID, I couldn’t. She hasn’t seen me since I was fourteen. I was different the last time she gave me a hug. I was shorter and my hair was dyed brown. I wore too much makeup and I didn’t want to leave Canada. I wish I could’ve seen her one last time. She may have never physically lived here and my times spent with her were limited to two weeks, but losing her feels like she’s been here the entire time. And now she’s not. I’ll probably keep this book forever, with her bookmark of my brothers preschool photo in the place that she left it. I know this is personal but my nana loved my bookstagram and my blog so much. She read my blog constantly. I think she might’ve been the only one who read it so often. I’ll miss her so much.

Life + Reading Update | May 28th, 2020

Wow, I haven’t posted on here in months. This is the longest I’ve officially gone without updating my blog since 2016. I apologize for randomly not posting however I’ve been active on my instagram so if you follow me there, you can get updates more often.

I guess the recent I haven’t been posting as much is because I haven’t been reading much either. When I do read, it takes me forever to finish something. I’m slowly making my way through Songbirds & Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I’m only about 200 pages in but I plan to read more tonight.

The bookstore I used to work at is closing and I haven’t had a job there since early March. I moved onto to working at Barnes & Noble but I unfortunately got laid off at the end of March. I haven’t gone back yet because our stores still aren’t open yet. I have no idea when it’ll open again. It’s been tough but I’m lucky enough to have my family here for me.

I also just went through a breakup that was hard. We had been dating for 4+ years and I’m not going to say it’s been easy, but I’m not hurt anymore. I feel pretty good about it, actually. The timing just sucks, though.

I was actually tested for COVID-19 recently as well and my test came back negative, thankfully. I’ve just been dealing with my asthma/anxiety lately. Because my asthma has been worse, I was recommended for both COVID tests. However, I’m very lucky my test came back negative.

I’ve been listening to a lot of music recently, as well as watching films here and there. I’m going to make a whole post dedicated to the films and stuff I’ve been watching recently. I hope you’re looking forward to that. 🙂

I hope you all are staying healthy!

 

 

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Books by Black Authors Coming Out in 2020

Listen, we need to be reading more diversely. I know so many people who are making it a goal to read more poc authors in 2020. Every year, I share with you some of the biggest releases and I always want to make sure I’m doing this diversely. So, here’s a list of 2020 releases written entirely by black authors.

1. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

43923951“A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living showing other women how to do the same. A mother to two small girls, she started out as a blogger and has quickly built herself into a confidence-driven brand. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night. Seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, a security guard at their local high-end supermarket accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make it right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone “family,” the complicated reality of being a grown up, and the consequences of doing the right thing for the wrong reason.”

* this book actually came out December 31st but listen, it’s close enough lol

 

2. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett [June 2nd, 2020]

48189975“From The New York Times -bestselling author of The Mothers , a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passingLooking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.”

 

3. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi [September 15th, 2020]

48570454 “Yaa Gyasi’s stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.

Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith, and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanain immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut.

 

4. Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar Giles [January 21st, 2020]

43520622In his first contemporary teen novel, critically acclaimed author and two-time Edgar Award finalist Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a “real man.”

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.

With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?”

 

5. Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi [February 4th, 2020]

42515198. sy475 “Following the fate of one family over the course of two decades in Nigeria, this debut novel tells the story of each sibling’s search for agency, love, and meaning in a society rife with hypocrisy but also endless life

“I like the idea of a god who knows what it’s like to be a twin. To have no memory of ever being alone.”

Twin sisters Bibike and Ariyike are enjoying a relatively comfortable life in Lagos in 1996. Then their mother loses her job due to political strife, and the family, facing poverty, becomes drawn into the New Church, an institution led by a charismatic pastor who is not shy about worshipping earthly wealth.

Soon Bibike and Ariyike’s father wagers the family home on a “sure bet” that evaporates like smoke. As their parents’ marriage collapses in the aftermath of this gamble, the twin sisters and their two younger siblings, Andrew and Peter, are thrust into the reluctant care of their traditional Yoruba grandmother. Inseparable while they had their parents to care for them, the twins’ paths diverge once the household shatters. Each girl is left to locate, guard, and hone her own fragile source of power.

Written with astonishing intimacy and wry attention to the fickleness of fate, Tola Rotimi Abraham’s Black Sunday takes us into the chaotic heart of family life, tracing a line from the euphoria of kinship to the devastation of estrangement. In the process, it joyfully tells a tale of grace and connection in the midst of daily oppression and the constant incursions of an unremitting patriarchy. This is a novel about two young women slowly finding, over twenty years, in a place rife with hypocrisy but also endless life and love, their own distinct methods of resistance and paths to independence.”

 

6. Real Life by Brandon Taylor [February 18th, 2020]

46263943“A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice.

A novel of rare emotional power that excavates the social intricacies of a late-summer weekend–and a lifetime of buried pain. Almost everything about Wallace, an introverted African-American transplant from Alabama, is at odds with the lakeside Midwestern university town where he is working toward a biochem degree. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends–some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with a young straight man, conspire to fracture his defenses, while revealing hidden currents of resentment and desire that threaten the equilibrium of their community.

Real Life is a gut punch of a novel, a story that asks if it’s ever really possible to overcome our private wounds and buried histories–and at what cost.”

 

7. the Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi [August 4th, 2020]

50186188. sx318 sy475 “This is the tale of Vivek Oji. It begins with his end, his naked body shrouded on his mother’s doorstep, and moves backwards through time to unpick the story of his life and the mystery surrounding his death.

As compulsively readable as it is tender and potent, this is a fresh, engaging novel about the innocence of youth and how it clashes with culture and expectation. The Death of Vivek Oji is the story of a Nigerian childhood quite different from those we have been told before, as Emezi’s writing speaks to the truth of realities other than those that have already been seen.

‘Emezi’s surreal prose shines . . . extraordinary.’ Ayobami Adebayo, on Freshwater”

 

8. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo [May 14th, 2020]

43892137. sy475 “Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.”

 

9. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance by Zora Neale Hurston [January 14th, 2020]

44890071 “In 1925, Barnard student Zora Neale Hurston—the sole black student at the college—was living in New York, “desperately striving for a toe-hold on the world.” During this period, she began writing short works that captured the zeitgeist of African American life and transformed her into one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Nearly a century later, this singular talent is recognized as one of the most influential and revered American artists of the modern period.

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture. Brought together for the first time in one volume, they include eight of Hurston’s “lost” Harlem stories, which were found in forgotten periodicals and archives. These stories challenge conceptions of Hurston as an author of rural fiction and include gems that flash with her biting, satiric humor, as well as more serious tales reflective of the cultural currents of Hurston’s world. All are timeless classics that enrich our understanding and appreciation of this exceptional writer’s voice and her contributions to America’s literary traditions.”

 

10. The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin [March 26th, 2020]

42074525. sy475 Five New Yorkers must come together in order to defend their city in the first book of a stunning new series by Hugo award-winning and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin.

Every city has a soul. Some are as ancient as myths, and others are as new and destructive as children. New York City? She’s got five.

But every city also has a dark side. A roiling, ancient evil stirs beneath the earth, threatening to destroy the city and her five protectors unless they can come together and stop it once and for all.”

 

 

 

Which one are you looking forward to the most?

Find any of these at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

A Guide into Classics

This is an archived post. I mean, really, this post is super old. I just thought it could be useful to some people! The original post has been deleted. Enjoy!

So many people in the world are extremely intimidated by classics and for so many different reasons. Classics can be scary due to the difficult vocabulary, their length, the essential meaning, age, or even from when they were forced to read them in high school. Too many great novels are ruined this way but that shouldn’t stop you! Sometimes it’s better to read a novel at an older age. You’re able to focus the novel with extended amount of time to read it and truly understand it’s purpose. That’s why I’m here today to explain a simple guide into reading classic novels. I’m going to start off with some basic guidelines,

  • Don’t let high school assignments ruin you! I know several people who have let reading classics in high school ruin classics for them all together. I’m sure you were forced to read How to Kill a Mockingbird or 1984, right? Shakespeare, as well! Try re-reading any of those novels now and see how you like them, but only if you really enjoyed the writing style and theme. These novels are not as bad as you think they are, especially without having to analyze them and do pages of work on them.

Those high-school classics you were required to read aren’t the only classics in the literary world. There is hundreds of fantastic classics up for grabs, you just have to do your research! I’ll be listing several classic books and authors near the end of this post.

  1. Don’t force yourself to read a book just because it’s a classic. If you’re willing to read a classic, make sure it’s a classic that has a plot and topic that peeks your personal interest. I’ve made the mistake of reading a classic for the sake of it being one, and I dreaded it. Read for your personal interest! I’ll put the main topics after some of the titles I mention below.
  2. Don’t let high vocabulary scare you away, or the language! For example, Shakespeare can be quite confusing to some but there are ways around it! No Fear Shakespeare is a perfect example, you can find them online and in-store. While reading a classic with higher vocabulary than what you usually prefer, look them up! Write these words down and look them up as you go. You won’t regret learning so many new words, trust me.
  3. Make sure you start off short and with something basic. You don’t have to, but it’d be easier to get into and enjoy if you do so. Near the end of this post, I’ll be putting separate lists of the lengths of each novel.
  4. Fear not, you’re allowed to watch the movies first. Many classics have movie adaptations and sometimes, it helps to understand a novel better! They may not be exactly the same or at the highest quality, but it really helped me enjoy reading the novel more. Once again, I’ll make a list of a few I know of.
  5. Surprisingly, sometimes a time era can throw you off. I know I prefer certain time periods when I’m reading books more than others. Find a time era that interests you the most!  

                                              THE CLASSICS

Novels under 300 pages:

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell – 102 pages
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – 238 pages
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 192 pages
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – 277 pages
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut – 287 pages
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – 266 pages
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – 194 pages
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding  – 182 pages
  • Anthem by Ayn Rand – 105 pages
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – 76 pages
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – 104 pages
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells – 118 pages
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – 251 pages
  • 1984 by George Orwell – 298 pages

*These aren’t the only classics I recommend, check these authors*

POPULAR CLASSIC AUTHORS:

  • Charles Dickens
  • Ayn Rand
  • Harper Lee
  • The Bronte Sisters
  • Jane Austen
  • George Orwell
  • Mark Twain
  • H.G. Wells
  • Oscar Wilde
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Sylvia Plath
  • J.D. Salinger
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Ray Bradbury
  • William Golding
  • Kurt Vonnegut
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Shakespeare (how could I not mention?)
  • John Steinbeck
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Elie Wiesel
  • Homer
  • Shirley Jackson
  • S.E. Hinton

&

SO MANY MORE!

Here are classics listed by genre for those just starting to read them! 

FICTION  

  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • Adam Bede by George Eliot
  • The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

 

  • Action/Adventure

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

Children’s
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Comedy
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Three Men in a Boat and Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Most Of P.G. Wodehouse by P.G. Wodehouse

Crime/Mystery
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
The Complete Sherlock Holmes: All 4 Novels & 56 Short Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Fantasy
The Barsoom Series by Edgar Rice Burroughs by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Iliad & The Odyssey by Homer
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White
The Once and Future King by T.H. White

Historical
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Horror/Gothic
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dracula by Bram Stoker
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Psychological/Philosophical
The Plague by Albert Camus
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

Romance
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
Emma by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen ~ Forbidden romance
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte ~ Forbidden romance
The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
A Town Like Alice Nevil Shute

Science Fiction
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams ~ A comic novel
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury ~ Dystopian
Lord of the Flies by William Golding ~ Dystopian
1984 by George Orwell ~ Dystopian
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand ~ Dystopian
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: WITH The Mysterious Island AND Journey to the Centre of the Earth AND Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

Short Stories
Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe

Poetry
The Complete Poems by William Blake
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Complete Poems by Banjo Patterson
Ariel by Sylvia Plath

Plays
The Plays of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
The Complete Works by William Shakespeare
Complete Works of Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde ~ Includes the novel ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, poems, and essays

NON-FICTION
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell ~ A comic autobiography
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
The Fall by Albert Camus
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Here are some good links I’ve found online about classics:

 

Happy Birthday, Haruki Murakami!

Today is Haruki Murakami’s 71st birthday! He was born in Kyoto, Japan in 1949. For those who don’t know who he is (I’d be surprised!), he’s an incredibly well-known and loved Japanese writer. His work has been translated in 50 different languages and remains on bestseller lists internationally. He has over ten fiction works and two non-fiction books. Some of his most popular books are: Norwegian Wood (1987), 1Q84 (2009-2010), Kafka on the Shore (2002) and a Wild Sheep Chase (1982).

  • Norwegian Wood (1987)

Image result for norwegian wood“Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A magnificent blending of the music, the mood, and the ethos that was the sixties with the story of one college student’s romantic coming of age, Norwegian Wood brilliantly recaptures a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.”

 

  • 1Q84 (2009/2010)

10357575A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.”

 

  • Kafka on the Shore (2002)

4929Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.”

 

and to share with you the book I am currently reading by him, it’s called the Colorless Life of Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage! It came out in 2013.

41022133. sy475 “A New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and one of the Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slate, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, and BookPage’s best books of the year

An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the remarkable story of a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. Here Haruki Murakami—one of the most revered voices in literature today—gives us a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.”

 

I originally went to the used bookstore to find Norwegian Wood but it’s so popular that they didn’t have any and it’s not available to order right now either. I settled on this one because the first page was so interesting and I needed to know what happens next. It does seem sad but the writing is so beautiful so I can’t put it down. I’m not very far into it yet but I hope to finish it this weekend.

I decided that even though this book has mixed ratings, I’d let it be my first Haruki Murakami book because it was so captivating. I rarely ever pick up books I know nothing about and after reading that first page, it was hard to say no.

If you’re wondering why I am just now reading his books, I decided I would start reading more Japanese translated works since I’m learning Japanese and Haruki Murakami is an absolute legend when it comes to translated fiction. I also just wanted more books set in Japan!

 

Have you ever read anything by Haruki Murakami? What book was it and how’d you feel?

 

Find any of these at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Upcoming YA LGBT+ Books in 2020

A new year, new LGBT+ books to look forward to. Here’s part one of my lists of upcoming YA reads:

  • Loveless by Alice Oseman [July, 9th 2020]

42115981. sy475

The fourth novel from the phenomenally talented Alice Oseman – one of the most authentic and talked-about voices in contemporary YA.

Georgia feels loveless – in the romantic sense, anyway. She’s eighteen, never been in a relationship, or even had a crush on a single person in her whole life. She thinks she’s an anomaly, people call her weird, and she feels a little broken. But she still adores romance – weddings, fan fiction, and happily ever afters. She knows she’ll find her person one day … right?

After a disastrous summer, Georgia is now at university, hundreds of miles from home. She is more determined than ever to find love – and her annoying roommate, Rooney, is a bit of a love expert, so perhaps she can help.

But maybe Georgia just doesn’t feel that way about guys. Or girls. Or anyone at all. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe she can find happiness without falling in love. And maybe Rooney is a little more loveless than she first appears.

LOVELESS is a journey of identity, self-acceptance, and finding out how many different types of love there really are. And that no one is really loveless after all.”

 

  • Music From Another World by Robin Talley [March 31st, 2020]

44786181. sy475 “It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.

Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.

A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley once again brings to life with heart and vivid detail an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.”

 

  • Infinity Son by Adam Silvera [January 14th, 2020]

34510711. sy475 Balancing epic and intensely personal stakes, bestselling author Adam Silvera’s Infinity Son is a gritty, fast-paced adventure about two brothers caught up in a magical war generations in the making.

Growing up in New York, brothers Emil and Brighton always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. While the Spell Walkers and other celestials are born with powers, specters take them, violently stealing the essence of endangered magical creatures.

Brighton wishes he had a power so he could join the fray. Emil just wants the fighting to stop. The cycle of violence has taken a toll, making it harder for anyone with a power to live peacefully and openly. In this climate of fear, a gang of specters has been growing bolder by the day.

Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own—one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be.

Brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test, and no one will escape the fight unscathed.”

My review is coming soon!

 

  • The State of Us by Shaun David Hutchinson [July 21st, 2020]

44564984. sy475 (no official description yet)

“David Linker at HarperCollins has bought We Are the Ants author Shaun David Hutchinson‘s The State of Us, the story of Dean and Dre—the 16-year-old sons of the Republican and Democratic candidates for President of the United States—who fall in love on the sidelines of their parents’ presidential campaigns. The book is planned for summer 2020; Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights.”

 

 

 

 

  • The Gravity of Us by Phil Stemper [February 4th, 2020]

44281034

“As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.

Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch.”

 

  • Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales [March 3rd, 2020]

38898560. sy475 Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless, inspired by Grease.

When Ollie meets his dream guy, Will, over summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself one prince short of a fairytale ending. To complicate the fairytale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country—Will’s school—where Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted—and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship. But as Will starts ‘coincidentally’ popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.

Right?

Right.”

 

  • We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia [March 31st, 2020]

39297951. sy475 “Nandan’s got a plan to make his junior year perfect. He’s going to make sure all the parties are chill, he’s going to smooth things over with his ex, and he’s going to help his friend Dave get into the popular crowd—whether Dave wants to or not. The high school social scene might be complicated, but Nandan is sure he’s cracked the code.

Then, one night after a party, Dave and Nandan hook up, which was not part of the plan—especially because Nandan has never been into guys. Still, Dave’s cool, and Nandan’s willing to give it a shot, even if that means everyone starts to see him differently.

But while Dave takes to their new relationship with ease, Nandan’s completely out of his depth. And the more his anxiety grows about what his sexuality means for himself, his friends, and his social life, the more he wonders whether he can just take it all back. But is breaking up with the only person who’s ever really gotten him worth feeling “normal” again?

From Rahul Kanakia comes a raw and deeply felt story about rejecting labels, seeking connection, and finding yourself.”

 

  • Date Me, Bryson Keller! by Kevin Van Whye [May 19th, 2020]

47550830“What If It’s Us meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on a ’90s rom-com!

Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.

Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.

Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

Kevin van Whye delivers an uplifting and poignant coming-out love story that will have readers rooting for these two teens to share their hearts with the world–and with each other.”

 

  • You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson [June 2nd, 2020]

44651744. sy475 Becky Albertalli meets Jenny Han in a smart, hilarious, black girl magic, own voices rom-com by a staggeringly talented new writer.

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?”

 

  • All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson [April 28th, 2020]

48678512. sy475 “Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy.

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.”

Which one are you looking forward to the most?

 

Stay tuned for part two!

Find any of these at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

the Perfect Reads for New Years

Happy New Year’s Eve! New Year’s Eve/New Years are for some reason my favorite days of the year. I just love the feeling of something new even though it’s just a date. I love feeling so hopeful about the upcoming year. I love setting goals for myself and feeling as if I can really achieve them. I also love reading cheesy self help books at the beginning of the year. We sold a lot of these types of books last year in January and I get it. They’re just so much better when you read them at the beginning of the year because you feel like you’re ready to take on the entire year after reading them. I made this little list of books that I feel like you could benefit from reading at the beginning of the year.

I revisit a few of these books at the beginning of the year because they make me feel so good. I also added some new interesting ones that may be good for this time of the year!

  • Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey

45754997“For readers of Rachel Cusk, Lydia Davis, and Jenny Offill–a compact tour de force about sex, violence, and self-loathing from a ferociously talented new voice in fiction

Miranda Popkey’s first novel is about desire, disgust, motherhood, loneliness, art, pain, feminism, anger, envy, guilt–written in language that sizzles with intelligence and eroticism. The novel is composed almost exclusively of conversations between women–the stories they tell each other, and the stories they tell themselves, about shame and love, infidelity and self-sabotage–and careens through twenty years in the life of an unnamed narrator hungry for experience and bent on upending her life. Edgy, wry, shot through with rage and despair, Topics of Conversation introduces an audacious and immensely gifted new novelist.”

This book comes out on January 7th, 2020!

  • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

43848929. sx318 Malcolm Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers — and why they often go wrong.

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Do television sitcoms teach us something about the way we relate to each other that isn’t true?

While tackling these questions, Malcolm Gladwell was not solely writing a book for the page. He was also producing for the ear. In the audiobook version of Talking to Strangers, you’ll hear the voices of people he interviewed–scientists, criminologists, military psychologists. Court transcripts are brought to life with re-enactments. You actually hear the contentious arrest of Sandra Bland by the side of the road in Texas. As Gladwell revisits the deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, and the suicide of Sylvia Plath, you hear directly from many of the players in these real-life tragedies. There’s even a theme song – Janelle Monae’s “Hell You Talmbout.”

Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.

 

  • the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

22318578

“Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international best seller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home – and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.”

Money Diaries by Lindsey Stanberry

37707358

“Does it feel like you’re NEVER going to finish paying back your student loans?
Do you spend more on coffee per month than you put into your 401(k)?
Do you avoid looking at your bank balance because it’s easier to live in denial?
The first step to getting your financial life in order is tracking what you spend.

Money Diaries, the breakout series from Refinery29, offers readers a revealing and often surprising look at the personal finances of others: what they spend, how they save, and even the purchases they hide from their partners and friends. Featuring all-new Money Diaries, valuable advice on how to get rich (and afford life in the meantime) from a handpicked team of female financial advisers, and money challenges that will save you up to $500, Refinery29 Money Diaries will empower you to take immediate control of your own money.

With a vision of what your dream bank account balance looks like, some expert advice to help you achieve it, and the support of a powerful community with the same goal, you’ll be a step closer to taking control of not just your wallet, but your life.”

  • No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg

48188086“The groundbreaking speeches of Greta Thunberg, the young climate activist who has become the voice of a generation, including her historic address to the United Nations

In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day in order to protest the climate crisis. Her actions sparked a global movement, inspiring millions of students to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across the globe, from the United Nations to Capitol Hill and mass street protests, her book is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.”

 

 

Do you read motivational books in the beginning of the year?

 

Find any of these at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

My Year of Reading | 2019

Screen Shot 2019-12-29 at 8.46.46 PM

This was a really great reading year for me. The past two years, I’ve averaged around 30ish books but this year, I finished my reading challenge and read more than I was planning!

Here are some of my stats:

Screen Shot 2019-12-29 at 8.47.41 PM

Screen Shot 2019-12-29 at 8.47.50 PM

Here are all the books I read this year:

  • Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
  • Song of the Dead by Sarah Glenn Marsh [REVIEW]
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama [REVIEW]
  • Saga vol. 9 [REVIEW]
  • This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins [REVIEW]
  • Again, But Better by Christine Riccio [REVIEW]
  • What Makes Girls Sick and Tired [REVIEW]
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
  • Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid [REVIEW]
  • Where I End & You Begin by Preston North [REVIEW]
  • the Great Alone by Kristin Hannah [REVIEW]
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  • Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
  • We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar [REVIEW]
  • the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
  • Vengeful by V.E. Schwab
  • When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
  • Anne Frank’s Diary: the Graphic Adaptation
  • Book Love by Debbie Tung
  • Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune by Roselle Lim
  • She Must be Mad by Charly Cox
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina vol. 1
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren [REVIEW]
  • Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
  • My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell [REVIEW]
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath
  • Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky [REVIEW]
  • If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood [REVIEW]
  • Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  • Why I March
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer [REVIEW]
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: the Illustrated Edition
  • Generation Friends by Saul Austerlitz
  • Opal by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition
  • Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
  • Love Com vol. 1 by Aya Nakahara
  • Frankly in Love by David Yoon
  • The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • No One is too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thungberg

How many books did you read this year?

 

 

 

Find any of these at your local bookstore!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

My Top Ten Books of 2019

IT’S FINALLY HERE. It’s time to list my top ten books of this year. This list was so hard to create and I sat down last night writing out possible picks and narrowing it down. I think I finally have a finished top ten list that I can share so without further ado, here are my favorite books I read in 2019 in order!

Honourable Mentions:

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I really started to read more horror/thriller this year and I found that I really enjoyed Gillian Flynn’s writing. I read Sharp Objects by her and the Grown Up (a short story) and liked them both but they were nothing like Gone Girl. It was so enticing and I loved reading it!

  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Listen, I had a hard time not putting this in my top ten. This was the one Rainbow Rowell novel that I hadn’t read yet because I was waiting to see a used copy in my local bookstore. Eventually, I scored a copy at a newer bookstore near me and decided it was finally time to read it. I ended up loving it, so much so that it’s higher up on my favorite Rainbow Rowell book lists.

  • Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Reid Jenkins

This book was so well done and creative in the way it was written that I couldn’t ignore it this year. If you like Almost Famous the movie, you’ll probably love this book.

  • Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

This was one of my favorite romance novels I read this year. I love the characters in this book and I could seriously see myself re-reading this book for pure joy. However, it didn’t make my favorites list because the ending wasn’t my favorite. But, everything before the ending deserves to be on this list!

AND NOW ONTO MY ACTUAL LIST!

10. Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

You guys, I read more thrillers/horror this year than I ever have. I couldn’t believe that I even read Imaginary Friend, a 700 page horror/thriller and I LOVED IT. I have an entire review here.

9. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

This was one of my highly anticipated books of 2020 even though I hadn’t read the Handmaid’s Tale at the beginning of the year. I pre-ordered this book and drove to pick it up right when my manager had called me to tell me it’s in. I binge read it in like three days and I loved every minute of it! I think it’s much more entertaining than the first one. I have a review for it here.

8. Frankly in Love by David Yoon

I just recently read this book and I was amazed at how much I ended up loving this book. It was marketed as a rom com but it’s soo much more than that. It’s a beautiful story of living in a Korean family in America with a bit of relationship stuff in it. I totally cried reading this book and I highly recommend it!

7. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

I finally finished Throne of Glass this year and I can’t believe it’s over…This series might be one of the biggest fantasy series of the decade for me. I loved it so much at the beginning and I was growing away from it near the end but honestly, this finale was everything I wanted and more.  I’m so glad it ended on such a great note. If you haven’t read this series yet, it’s truly worth it.

6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I also FINALLY got around to reading the Hate U Give this year and like all the other books on this list, I loved it. I listened to most of it on audio and it made me laugh at times but also sob in other parts. This is a book everyone should read.

5. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

YOU GUYS! This is the last book I read this year and I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I’ve had it for awhile and I try to save my historical fiction reads for the winter because that seems to be my favorite time of the year to read them. I knew this book was sad but I didn’t know it would make me cry so much. I loved Isabelle as a character — she’s so strong, independent and outspoken. Seeing such a strong female character like her during WWII was inspiring nonetheless. I understand why everyone has read and loved this book now.

4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I’ve been meaning to read this classic for awhile now and I finally got around to it this year. I’ve read and loved other things written by Sylvia Plath but somehow had never read her only novel. This book doesn’t read like a classic honestly and I was shocked at how oddly relatable the main character is. It is a really sad book (like most things she writes) but it kept me entertained throughout. I actually read this mostly in one sitting so that definitely says something about this classic.

3. The Great Alone my Kristin Hannah

This is the book that introduced me to Kristin Hannah near the very beginning of this year. I had gotten a copy of it on super sale from Book Outlet and decided to start the audiobook. I would listen to the audiobook on my hour long drive to work and it’s all I would listen to. I never really listen to audiobooks in the car because I prefer singing to music but this book had me HOOKED. I love books set in Alaska or the Pacific Northwest so the setting was absolutely perfect. I have a review for it here if you want to know more about how I felt.

2. We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

I requested this book the day it had went up on Edelweiss because I was in love with the cover and I saw that it was comparable to Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. If any of you know me, you know that’s one of my favorite stories. I ended up reading this book with my close friend Amber and we both really loved it. I could go on and on about this book but I have an in-depth review that you can read here.

1. The Library Book by Susan Orlean

This is kind of a weird favorite book of the year for me but I think it really was. I don’t own a copy of this book (sadly) because I got it from the library (hehe see what I did) and I really loved it. I picked this book without knowing what it was even about but I remember working at b&n when it was really popular. It’s also a part of Reese’s book club which I tend to enjoy books from so I gave it a shot. This book was so well written considering it’s a non-fiction that I absolutely devoured. I wanted to know what happened next even though it was a cliffhanger type of book. I just loved reading it so I wanted to keep reading. This book isn’t just about the Los Angeles Library fire, but about the histories of libraries themselves and some other library fires in history. She also writes about the case of figuring out who did start the fire but I found the information about libraries so fascinating. It made me want to be a librarian even more…I even just recently applied to volunteer at my library because I love everything librarians do. I want to contribute to my local community in the way that librarians do. So, in a way, this book changed my life a bit. I highly recommend it!

 

What were some of your favorite books of the year? Have you read any of these? I’d love to know!

 

Find any of these titles at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Little Update

Hello friends! I haven’t been able to post much over on here because my laptop decided to break a few days before Christmas. I’ve been so upset about it considering the repairs cost around $500 and of course, I wasn’t ready to spend that kind of money. Especially around Christmas. Thanks to my family and friends, I was able to send it in and I should be getting it back in the beginning of January.

I had so many posts planned for the end of the year and beginning of 2020 so it breaks my heart I only have limited time to blog. I’m writing this while I’m at work and I’m going to try to schedule some posts but I don’t have photos for all of them. I’m really hoping to get all my planned posts out before I get my laptop back so they’re all on time.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and holiday to anyone who doesn’t celebrate. If I don’t get to post before the end of the year again, have a great New Years!

 

I’m still very active on my Instagram for anyone who is interested! Here’s the link.

12 Holiday Reads to Cozy Up With This Christmas

It’s that time of the year again and I’m here for some cozy Christmas reads! I’m at work and decided to do a little research about some of the best reads during the holiday season. Enjoy!

1. Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

5661151 “Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful colour drawing. They were from Father Christmas, telling wonderful tales of life at the North Pole.

From the first note to Tolkien’s eldest son in 1920 to the final poignant letter to his daughter in 1943, this book collects all the remarkable letters and pictures in one enchanting edition.”

Read more about it here on Goodreads.

 

 

 

2. One Day in December by Josie Silver

image “Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.”

Read more about this book on Goodreads.

 

3. Little Women by Louisaa cj May Alcott

“Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?”

Listen, I couldn’t NOT include this book. The new movie comes out this Christmas too!

Read more about in on Goodreads.

 

 

4. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

23472571. sx318 “Truman Capote’s boyhood Christmas memoir, rereleased with a beautiful new packaging.


The classic story of Truman Capote’s childhood Christmas ritual is more endearing than ever in this newly redesigned package.

In celebration of A Christmas Memory‘s enduring appeal, this repackaged edition retains Beth Peck’s evocative watercolors and Capote’s original text. First published in 1956, this is the story from Capote’s childhood of lovingly making fruitcakes from scratch at Christmas-time with his elderly cousin, and has stood the test of time to become known as an American holiday classic.”

Read more about in on Goodreads.

 

5. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

royal h

“One dollar and eight-seven cents is all the money Della has in the world to buy her beloved husband a Christmas present. She has nothing to sell except her only treasure — her long, beautiful brown hair. Set in New York at the turn of the twentieth century, this classic piece of American literature tells the story of a young couple and the sacrifices each must make to buy the other a gift. Beautiful, delicate watercolors by award-winning illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger add new poignancy and charm to this simple tale about the rewards of unselfish love.”

This is one of my favorite short stories ever. I remember doing this story in my junior high thespian’s group and I never forgot it.

Read more about it on Goodreads

 

6. Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

44300636. sy475 “From the New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal and “rising star in the romance genre” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a dazzling new novel about a spontaneous holiday vacation that turns into an unforgettable romance.

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can’t refuse. She’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality.

Malcolm Hudson has worked for the Queen for years and has never given a personal, private tour—until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling.

Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day. . .or are they?”

Read more about it on Goodreads.

 

7. My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

21531436. sy475 “If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.”

 

 

8. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

7741325 ““I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own”

 

9. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

3300121 “David Sedaris’s holiday collection is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy’s elf and the annals of two very competitive families, are Sedaris’s tales of tardy trick-or-treaters (“Us and Them”); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French (“Jesus Shaves”); what to do when you’ve been locked out in a snowstorm (“Let It Snow”); the puzzling Christmas traditions of other nations (“Six to Eight Black Men”); what Halloween at the medical examiner’s looks like (“The Monster Mash”); and a barnyard secret Santa scheme gone awry (“Cow and Turkey”)”

 

 

10. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

33290383. sy475 The New York Times bestseller!

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.”

 

11. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

“‘If I had my way, every idiot who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips, would be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. Merry Christmas? Bah humbug!’

Introduction and Afterword by Joe Wheeler
To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late.

Part of the Focus on the Family Great Stories collection, this edition features an in-depth introduction and discussion questions by Joe Wheeler to provide greater understanding for today’s reader. “A Christmas Carol” captures the heart of the holidays like no other novel.”

 

12. Amazing Peace: a Celebration by Maya Angelou

In this beautiful, deeply moving poem, Maya Angelou inspires us to embrace the peace and promise of Christmas, so that hope and love can once again light up our holidays and the world. “Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers, look heavenward,” she writes, “and speak the word aloud. Peace.”

Read by the poet at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the White House on December 1, 2005, Maya Angelou’s celebration of the “Glad Season” is a radiant affirmation of the goodness of life and a beautiful holiday gift for people of all faiths. ”

 

 

Are you reading any holiday books this season? Have you read any of these? I’d love to know! 

Find these at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

2020 Reading Goals (as of right now)

Listen, I always think ahead. This is both a good and a bad thing but for right now, I’m excited about my 2020 reading goals. It’s always exciting setting little goals for myself and I love books so of course I love a good reading goal (or a few). I decided recently to keep a book journal where I write about the books I want to read, books I’m reading, etc. It’s been so fun writing in and not worrying about how pretty the pages should look.

I suck at bullet journaling because I’m too self-conscious about how the layouts look but I’m just being straight up in this book journal and I am loving it. It’s giving me so many post ideas. Without further ado, here’s my current list of reading goals for 2020! I’m sure it’ll change but for now, here it is:

  • Read 70 books

I originally wanted this to be my goal this year but I’m being realistic with myself. I need to hit 60 books before I even think about hitting 70 read. I’m actually already pretty close to hitting 60 books so I guess 70 would be possible for this year but as of right now, 70 is my goal for next year. Pray I don’t get into a slump in 2020!

  • Read 1+ feminist book a month

I’ve been slacking on my feminist TBR so I decided next year, I’m going to make myself read a feminist book every month. Hopefully, I’ll read more than one a month but we’ll see! I’m going to be posting my feminist TBR for 2020 soon if anyone wants to do this challenge with me. In March for my feminist readathon (shhh still in planning), I’ll probably only read feminist books! We’ll see.

  • Catch up on all of Rick Riordan’s books

I have read and loved Percy Jackson and Magnus chase but I will admit I’m behind on Heroes of Olympus and the Trials of Apollo. I have all his books but I need to read them all! I’m probably going to have to re-read the beginning of Heroes of Olympus and then the rest of the series and then start Trials of Apollo. I also think I haven’t finished the last Magnus Chase book. UGH. So behind.

  • Read More Manga/Comics/Graphic Novels

I love reading manga, comics, and graphic novels but I don’t read them enough. I really want to get back into reading manga especially because I miss it so much! I just got a few manga from my library so I’m already starting again and it feels nice. 🙂 I might post a graphic novel, manga and comic TBR as well!

  • Read More Canadian Authors

If you didn’t already know, I’m a dual citizen with the United States and Canada. I was granted partial Canadian citizenship at birth (I don’t think they do this anymore). I love Canada so much that there’s a real possibility that once I’m financially stable and independent, I’d move there. I don’t know when this will happen but someday, it’s a dream. I really want to try and make myself read more Canadian authors because I feel like the only Canadian author I’ve read is Margaret Atwood. I want to expand my Canadian literature so I decided to make that a goal for 2020! I’ll be making a list for my blog soon.

 

If you’re wondering why this list doesn’t include “read more POC” authors or “read more LGBT+” authors, it’s because I already do and I already make an effort to read more diversely. I think I’ve been doing quite well at reading diversely so I don’t see a reason to add it to this list. It’s already a personal goal that I work on everyday!

 

Do you have any reading goals for 2020? Let me know some!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Books I’m Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving! I shared this on Instagram already but I thought it would only make sense to add it on here as well.

“I am doing the obligatory “books I’m thankful for” post because every year, there’s more and more books that I’m beyond thankful for. Yes, there’s some books that have been on the list forever (the Hunger Games, The Lightning Thief, etc.) but there’s some new ones! I think a Darker Shade of Magic and We Are Lost and Found are my newest editions. These books bring me immense joy, some made me cry, and some taught me things I could’ve only ever learned through reading. They showed me experiences of my own and experiences I’ll never truly know myself. This is a big reason on why I love books. Words are so easily capable of changing our lives.”

Here’s my list of books:

  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakaeur
  • The Lighting Thief by Rick Riordan
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

Don’t forget to #TAKEBACKBLACKFRIDAY by shopping indie tomorrow! Check out my post about it here

Find your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

It’s Time to #GoIndie and put #IndiesFirst

Gooood morning, book people! It’s getting closer and closer to black Friday and the holidays so we’re all spending our money. But, are we spending it at the right places or are we supporting giant corporations who really affect the planet in harmful ways? I’ve always made an effort to shop at indie bookstores but I think this is the time where it’s incredibly important to shop indie. Shopping local is wonderful too but I know that many people don’t have indie bookstores near them. Fear not! You can always shop indie online at several online indie bookstores. I’m going to be making an entire list for the US and I’ll list it right here when it’s done.

In this photo you see above, I have all the book I’ve ordered from indie shops and bought at the ones near me. This entire stack! I might’ve forgotten a few but that’s fine because there’s still SO many. I am so proud to be supporting these local businesses and the indie bookshop that I work at as well. I have had wonderful experiences visiting indie bookshops out of my state (see this post here) and I’m so lucky to have ones near me that I love.

“Nationally, new stores are opening, established stores are finding new owners, and a new generation is coming into the business as both owner/managers and frontline booksellers. For the ninth year in a row ABA bookstore membership has grown, with stores operating in more than 2,400 locations.
And, importantly, as a channel, independent bookstore sales are up. Overall book sales across indie bookstores for 2017 increased 2.6 percent over 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.4 percent over the past five years. And so far for 2018, sales in the indie channel are up approximately 5 percent over 2017. All of this is a result of the fact that indie booksellers remain a resilient and entrepreneurial group — and that independent bookstores offer a unique — and unparalleled — opportunity for the discovery of new authors and great writing.
While not every bookstore or community has seen this growth, the national trends are clear.
Because indie stores have vital and unique ties to their communities they serve as important community centers, connecting readers and book buyers more closely with authors, great writing, other passionate readers, and their neighbors.” (Source)

I often order from bookshops out of state online because so many indie bookshops do signed copies and sometimes even personalized copies! Many authors are willing to do this for their own indie bookstores near them (example: Rainbow Rowell and Bookworm Omaha). I have so many signed and personalized books because of this and I love them all so much. It’s so cool that my favorite author wrote a little personalized note to me in my favorite book by them. I’m going to make a list of authors that do this as well! Stay tuned for that.

But onto my point, I’m going to start doing A LOT of posts dedicated to indie bookstores and book shopping because I really want people to understand that if they keep shopping at big corporations like Amazon or Target for their books, these little precious bookstores are going to die. This is super personal to me as well considering the store I worked at was going to close. Below, I’m going to put an image of a very sad sign we had outside the store before moving. I’m a bookseller so I hear people say to my face they’ll just get a book on Amazon or that it’s cheaper online. I wish I could have Amazon prices at the bookstore I work at but unfortunately, we can’t afford to take a hit for low prices. But, we do try to lower prices with sales constantly so indies CAN be affordable and if you took a day to step inside one, you’d learn that.

FullSizeRender.jpeg

So many people are buying things in the holidays, especially black Friday, so please be aware of the places you’re buying from. Please at least take time out of your day to walk into the indie bookstore you might pass on the way to somewhere else. When you buy from your local bookstore, you’re putting money into your community and supporting it, helping it grow.

If you’re buying a book for your friend, try shopping at an independent bookstore. Bookstores often have so many lovely little gift items as well. It’s hard not to find something at an indie bookstore.

During the next few weeks, try indies first! I’m sure you’ll love it. 

If you want to take part in this little indie awareness thing we’re doing, use the hashtags #GoIndie and #IndieFirst! I’ll be sharing a bunch on my Instagram so make sure you’re following me on there for updates and more independent bookstore love! I have an entire highlight of stories if you want to see my past stories about this.
Here’s our Indie Bingo!

IMG_5062.JPG

If you want to order books to support the store I work at, please DM me over on Instagram! I can ship anywhere in the U.S. for free. I’m also wrapping books if they’re gifts ♡

Find your local bookstore!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Books I Want to Read That Nobody Cares About

I got this idea from Ariel Bissett’s videos where she just talks about books she wants to read. I’m aware that most people might not know these books but that’s okay. I still want to read them. Here’s a link to her original video!

  • A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

34313931This debut novel by an Arab-American voice, takes us inside the lives of conservative Arab women living in America.

In Brooklyn, eighteen-year-old Deya is starting to meet with suitors. Though she doesn’t want to get married, her grandparents give her no choice. History is repeating itself: Deya’s mother, Isra, also had no choice when she left Palestine as a teenager to marry Adam. Though Deya was raised to believe her parents died in a car accident, a secret note from a mysterious, yet familiar-looking woman makes Deya question everything she was told about her past. As the narrative alternates between the lives of Deya and Isra, she begins to understand the dark, complex secrets behind her community.”

I love reading books set in the Middle East so when I saw this from the library, I had to pick it up. I actually read the description and decided not to get it but I had to go back because I just really want to read it. It sounds so interesting and I actually remember a customer talking about this book so I have high hopes!

  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

 6490587 “THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.

The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.”

I’m reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie right now and it mentioned this book so I kinda want to read it. I’ve had it on my shelf forever and it seems like a book most people read and enjoy so maybe I’ll pick it up!

  • A Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

4069. sy475  “Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Based on his own experience and the stories of his patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. At the heart of his theory, known as logotherapy, is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful. Man’s Search for Meaning has become one of the most influential books in America; it continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living.

I was looking up inspirational/life changing book lists last night and this seemed to be on a lot of them. I’ve been having a tough time so I’ve been on the look out for just really inspiring books that make you think so I picked this one up today!

  • Where I Lived, and What I Lived For by Henry David Thoreau

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For by Henry David Thoreau“Thoreau’s account of his solitary and self-sufficient home in New England woods remains an inspiration to the environmental movement — a call to his fellow men to abandon their striving, materialistic existences of ‘quiet desperation’ for a simple life within their means, finding spiritual truth through awareness of the sheer beauty of their surroundings.”

This is another one of the books I got because I was searching for short, inspirational books. I love this edition by Penguin so I bought it at work. It’s from a set called Penguin Books: Great Ideas and I want all of them now. Anyways, the reason I picked this book specifically is because I love Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and in that book, Thoreau is mentioned a lot so I thought I’d finally read something by him.

 

Find any of these books as your local bookstore!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

a Little Life Update

Hello everyone! I know I’ve disappeared a bit in the past few months but I just wanted to let you guys know what’s going on. I haven’t been posting nearly as much and I want to — it’s just been busy.

Let’s just get the big stuff out of the way first! I’ve been having really bad stomach pain the past month and I finally went to the doctor for it. It’s unlike any pain I’ve had before so I was worried. They thought maybe my appendix was irritated since it does happen on the right side often. I got a CT scan and my appendix was fine however, my lungs weren’t. They had seen a teeny tiny nodule on my left lung and decided I needed a full lung CT scan to make sure that’s what it really is. I went the next day for my lung CT scan and found out two days later that I actually have three nodules (or lumps) on my lungs. They’re not cancerous which I thought so considering I’m quite young and don’t even smoke. I was kind of shaken up by this because how do you not panic when you find out there’s things on your lungs that shouldn’t be there? Why are they even there? They said it could be from a lot of things but that I need to get routine CT scans every year to make sure they’re not growing. This is because if they are growing, they’ll start to cause problems with my breathing. They’re very small so I try to not worry about it but I’m seeing a lung specialist soon so still kind of worried. I have no idea why they’re there or if they even affect me already so I’m hoping I’ll find more out Tuesday.

Now, onto the other big thing that’s been upsetting me. One of my precious cats, Baby, passed away a few days ago. He had been struggling with his health for awhile since he had a category four heart murmur. If you know anything about heart murmurs in cats, that’s pretty dang bad. He actually lived much longer than he should have since we took great care of him and gave him medicine. Unfortunately, his medicine hadn’t been helping his breathing at all. You could tell it was hard for him to breathe and he was working extra hard to do so. He also has had seizures for the past year or so but they slowed down a lot after awhile and they didn’t worry us anymore. But, unfortunately, they started coming back and he had three in one day before he had to be put down. He started to pee himself every time and he seemed miserable. He wasn’t acting himself anymore and there wasn’t much we could do for him. His medicine stopped working and if we did an X-ray on him to find out more, he would’ve probably ended up on oxygen and in a hospital. It’s not the life he wanted to live and we know that. He was struggling so much in the end but it was still very hard to let him go. Losing a pet is so difficult because one moment they’re there and the next, they’re gone.

Now, onto the little things… I had to take the Fall semester off due to personal reasons so I haven’t been in school. I’ve been bored without school but this had let me read much more and focus on other things. I’m still working at the indie bookstore but I’m losing hope that I’ll have this job very long. I don’t want to share much about it but it seems like our store isn’t doing as well as it did before so I’m just praying that we stay open for now. It’s stressful working in a store that isn’t doing it’s best because you feel as if there’s something you should be doing but you can’t. I’m just a minimum wage bookseller with truly not much control at all. I just sell books.

I don’t have much more to update you on but if you wish to be updated more often, I’m way more active on my Instagram (@uponthepages). I try to post daily excluding Fridays and Saturdays. I hope to see you on there!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Everything I Read in October | WRAP UP

I totally forgot that a wrap up was a post I needed to write so here I am, at 7pm after work, writing this. I’m also listening to Christmas music because it’s almost my favorite time of the year. It was below 65 today and it was glorious. October is finally over so here’s all the things I read in the last month:

  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

This year I realized how much I love Gillian Flynn’s books. I read Sharp Objects and Gone Girl and loved them both. I decided to give this short story a chance because it was all they had by her at my library. It was SO good. I’m not huge on short stories but this one is worth the read, especially if you want something short and spooky.

My rating: ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (4/5 stars)

  • Why I March: Images from the Woman’s March Around the World by Emma Jacobs

I got this at my library because I wanted to buy it when it came out but couldn’t. It’s essentially just pictures from the Women’s March but I sat and read all the protest signs and it was lovely. I don’t quite know how to rate a book that’s only pictures but I liked it!

My rating: ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (4/5 stars)

  • the Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

I got a bunch of graphic novels from the library and I loved this one the most. The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is the cutest thing in the world.

My rating: ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (4/5 stars)

  • Carrie by Stephen King

I wanted to get in the spooky mood so I read Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie. I wish I had read the book before the movie. I knew what was going to happen and the movie didn’t seem to differ much. Glad I can say I’ve read Stephen King now though!

My rating: ★★★ out of ★★★★★ (3/5 stars)

  • the Library Book by Susan Orlean

Ugh, I loved this book so much. I really wish I had my own copy because I loved it so much. It’s about the Los Angeles library fire, the mystery of it all, and the history of libraries as well. I learned so much from this book and her writing is impeccable. There’s some passages from this book I just want to read over and over again because they’re so good.

My rating: ★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (5/5 stars)

  • Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

You can read my review for this book here.

My rating: ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ (4/5 stars)

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

I really wish I could give this five stars and obsess over it like everyone else is. I just couldn’t get into it. I was bored most of the time and I barely wanted to pick it up when I had time to read. Personally, I don’t think enough happened in this book for me. It’s not bad writing and the story itself isn’t bad, but the pacing wasn’t my favorite and I struggled with it because of that.

I also don’t agree with people saying this is an “adult Harry Potter” (lol I think Stephen King said that) but to me, it’s not. Just because it has magic in it doesn’t make it comparable. Also, I was kinda thrown off that this entire book essentially about drug use and selling? lol

My rating: ★★★ out of ★★★★★ (3/5 stars)

  • To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace

I read this at like 11pm last night because I couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t my favorite work by her but I think that’s just because I couldn’t relate to it. It’s not bad by any means — Amanda is a great writer and I think if you’re grieving, you’d find immense solace in this book.

My rating: ★★★ out of ★★★★★ (3/5 stars)

 

and that’s it! I read 8 books in October. What did you read this past month? I’d love to know. 🙂

 

Find any of these books as your local bookstore!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

5 Perfect Reads for Halloween

It’s the spookiest day of the year! Here are some commonly tagged “Halloween” books from Goodreads that should make a perfect Halloween read.

1. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

40024139“Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.”

 

2. Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chobsky

43522576 “Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground.” 

You can read my review for Imaginary Friend here!

 

3. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

35403058. sy475 “Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.”

 

4. There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephen Perkins

15797848“Love hurts…

Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.”

Read my old review for There’s Someone Inside Your House here!

 

5. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert Hack (Artist)

23308488. sy475

“On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress Sabrina Spellman finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda. Archie Comics’ latest horror sensation starts here! For TEEN+ readers. Compiles the first five issues of the ongoing comic book series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

 

 

 

6. the Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd

36524503. sy475

“Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.”

 

Find these books at your local bookstore!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

On My Radar | It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

On My Radar is a series I’ve been doing since I started blogging in 2016. I share with you books that may not have as much hype that I’m excited to read. I like sharing debut novels or books I just don’t think enough people are talking about. I usually find these books on Edelweiss and try to provide a review closer to the release date. I love doing these posts so I can boost some great books and help others find their next read!

9781250219268_2e934Becky Albertalli is “all-caps OBSESSED” with this tender, funny, and compulsively readable love letter to teenage romance in all its awkward glory, perfect for fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day—in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed… and nothing is quite making sense.

Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

It Sounded Better in My Head is a tender, funny, and joyful novel about longing, confusion, feeling left out, and finding out what really matters, from an exciting, fresh voice in contemporary realistic fiction.”

Release Date:  April 7th, 2020 

ISBN: 9781250219268, 1250219264

Publisher: Flat Iron Books

Edition: Hardcover

Page Count: 272 pages

 

Related image

Feminist Friday | Aphrodite Made Me Do It [MINI REVIEW]

feminist friday logo

“Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite will make you believe in the possibility of your own healing.”

 

 

  • Edition: Trade paperback
  • Release Date: October 1st, 2019
  • Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
  • Page Count: 224
  • Genre: Poetry
  • ISBN: 9781771681742

My Rating:  4 stars ★★★★ out of  ★★★★★ stars (4/5)

I was kindly sent an e-arc of this book by the publisher through Edelweiss. Thank you, Central Avenue Publishing!

 

I’ve never been a huge fan of modern poetry. I’ve read Rupi Kaur’s book and I’ve loved Amanda Lovelace’s books. I received Honeybee by Trista Mateer as a gift and have yet to read it but that might change. I had already heard such good things about Aphrodite Made Me Do It so I decided to snag it for review and WOW, that was a great read.

I read poetry quickly so I sat outside in the nice weather (it finally hit the low 60s!) and devoured this book. I love how this book connects the story of Aphrodite but also intertwines personal writing in there as well. If anything, this poetry book is a perfect feminist read. It immediately reminded me a bit of Sylvia Plath’s writing (not her poetry) and that’s a compliment. This book manages to show so much growth while still remaining consistent with it’s theme and creating a beautiful story with poetry.

I highlighted several different poems, but here are some of my highlighted quotes/poems:

  • “They called me a hundred different names, an epithet for everything. Couldn’t even bother trying to comprehend it all together– that I could be bloody and beautiful, that I  could be divine and approachable.”
  • “Aphrodite tells me that love is like wine. If your cup is already full and you try to add more, it will just spill onto the carpet. Some people try and try and just stain everything. Their fingers are purple with want.”
  • “To love something deeply is only to know that you will go to great lengths to protect it.”
  • “She says, if you were only meant to be beautiful, we wouldn’t have put you down here in the dirt.”

and so many more. The writing is so lyrical and gorgeous that it’s easy to love. Anyone who loves a good feminist poet or is interested in mythology will love this! I’ll be looking forward to this author’s next releases!

*please note I read an unfinished copy so these quotes might have been changing within the original copy*

 

 

 

 

Find Aphrodite Made Me Do It at your local bookstore!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Books Set During 1920s (or earlier)

This is an archived post. This original one has been deleted since it was on my old blog. Enjoy!

I decided I’m going to do an entire time periods recommendations tag starting with the 1920s because I’m about to pick up the Diviners by Libba Bray! I decided to share descriptions of only three books because this post would be way too long if I shared all of the ones mentioned. If any of these are wrong, feel free to let me know! I’m pretty quick to change them. 🙂

1. The Diviners by Libba Bray

 

7728889. sy475 “Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.”

 

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

6519719“Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach. Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing, and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby—young, handsome, and fabulously rich—always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.”

  • Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star….

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined — and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for…and someone will.

“The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.”

 

 

3. The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain

8683812

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling ozf everything they’ve fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley. ”

 

4. Z by Zelda Fitzgerald

15994634

“A dazzling novel that captures all of the romance, glamour, and tragedy of the first flapper, Zelda Fitzgerald.

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame.

Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.”

 

5. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

14942. sy475

“Mrs. Dalloway chronicles a June day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway—a day that is taken up with running minor errands in preparation for a party and that is punctuated, toward the end, by the suicide of a young man she has never met. In giving an apparently ordinary day such immense resonance and significance—infusing it with the elemental conflict between death and life—Virginia Woolf triumphantly discovers her distinctive style as a novelist. Originally published in 1925, Mrs. Dalloway is Woolf’s first complete rendering of what she described as the “luminous envelope” of consciousness: a dazzling display of the mind’s inside as it plays over the brilliant surface and darker depths of reality.

This edition uses the text of the original British publication of Mrs. Dalloway, which includes changes Woolf made that never appeared in the first or subsequent American editions.”

6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

482976“The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.”

 

7. the Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

16158600

“A haunting debut novel set against the background of New York City in the 1920s…

Confessions are Rose Baker’s job. A typist for the New York City Police Department, she sits in judgment like a high priestess. Criminals come before her to admit their transgressions, and, with a few strokes of the keys before her, she seals their fate. But while she may hear about shootings, knifings, and crimes of passion, as soon as she leaves the room, she reverts to a dignified and proper lady. Until Odalie joins the typing pool.

As Rose quickly falls under the stylish, coquettish Odalie’s spell, she is lured into a sparkling underworld of speakeasies and jazz. And what starts as simple fascination turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.”

8. Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

30640834. sy475

“Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.”

 

 

if you want more, feel free to check out the Goodreads list I found!

 

Three Women GIVEAWAY + Life Update

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a bit since I last posted on my blog. I’m going to be posting again soon but for now, I just wanted to give you a little update. I’m currently just working and doing side jobs each week. I’ve been reading a TON and posting daily over on my Instagram. I’m about to sign up for the Spring semester and I’m super excited to be in school again. If you didn’t know, I had to take a semester off for personal reasons. I’ve been going to the library so much so I’m getting closer and closer to my Goodreads goal! I don’t know why I haven’t posted since I do have time, but I’ve been focusing on my Instagram and my writing whenever I have free time. I really need to blog again though so I’ll be back!

Anyway, onto the giveaway! I am hosting a giveaway for the book “Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo. If you’re interested, you must enter over on the Instagram post.

 

This giveaway ends on OCTOBER 20th at 3pm EST. All entries must be in before this date and time.

TO ENTER, CLICK HERE.

Make sure to follow all the rules to be entered! Good luck 🙂

September Playlist | 2019

It’s a new month aka time for a new playlist. Here’s all of the things I listened to on repeat in the month of September. Enjoy!

xi. septembre

cinnamon girl – lana del rey

slide away – miley cyrus

false god – taylor swift

comfort crowd – conan gray

dont call me angel – lana del rey, ariana grande and miley cyrus

die trying – michl

home – cavetown

the king – conan gray

hug all ur friends – cavetown

boys like you – dodie

 

 

*the photo isn’t mine, i found it on pinterest but it had no credit

I read TEN books this month? | September Wrap Up

Yes, you heard that right! I managed to read ten entire books this month. This is above my average (it’s around 4) and I’m so excited to be reading again! Let’s get into all the books I managed to read in the month of September.

1. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell + Faith Erin Hicks

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 9.51.25 PM.pngI read this at the very beginning of the month and I absolutely ADORED it. It’s the perfect Fall read and I totally plan to read it again. I ended up giving this book five out of five stars. I have a review here for anyone who is interested in knowing more! ★★★★★

Edition I read: Paperback

Page Count: 368 pages

Date Read: September 5th, 2019

Find it at your at local bookstore!

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

19288043

I decided to pick this up on audio because last month, I listened to Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and really enjoyed it. I’ve always heard about Gone Girl and I know people love this book so I wasn’t worried about not liking it. I’m new into thrillers and I found this book SO entertaining. The audiobook is magnificent. I ended up giving it five out of five stars. ★★★★★

Edition I read: Audiobook

Page Count: 415 pages

Date Read: August 28th-September 5th
Find it at your at local bookstore!

3. Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath

42614095. sx318

I decided to listen to this on audiobook since it’s like 40 something minutes long and to be honest, I don’t remember a thing. I did enjoy it, though? I ended up giving it three out of five stars. ★★★

Edition I read: Audiobook

Page Count: 48 pages

Date Read: September 4th
Find it at your at local bookstore!

4. Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI’ve never had so much fun reading a book. I wrote an entire review for this release, so here’s the link. I loved it and gave it a solid four out of five stars. ★★★★

Edition I read: E-book (arc copy)

Page Count: 720 pages

Date Read: August 26th-September 7th
Find it at your at local bookstore!

5. If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

tumblr_fc69049a59aff2dfa82036fbb41dd5c4_4876b6dc_500.jpg

So many people love this book but I just wasn’t feeling it. While it’s atmospheric and the characters are somewhat interesting, the plot bored me to death. I also found it kind of predictable. I gave it three stars! ★★★

Edition I read: Hardcover

Page Count: 368 pages

Date Read: September 8th-September 12th
Find it at your at local bookstore!

 

 

6. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I cracked open this book the moment I picked it up from the bookstore. I got it on release day and absolutely devoured it. I found this one way more entertaining than the first one! It might be an unpopular opinion, but I like it more than the first. If you want to know more of my thoughts, here’s my review! ★★★★★

Edition I read: Hardcover

Page Count: 422 pages

Date Read: September 12th-September 14th
Find it at your at local bookstore!

7. Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

39352771. sy475

This was another one of my audiobook picks this month and it was so good! It’s a newer release so I’m shocked I got it at my library so quickly but it was lovely. I can’t wait for the next book! ★★★★

Edition I read: Audiobook

Page Count: 304 pages

Date Read: September 8th-September 14th
Find it at your at local bookstore!

8. Kingdom Of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

33590260 What a finale. I’m so sad that these books are over. I’ve been reading them as they released and it’s been one hell of a ride. I’ll miss Chaol, Dorian, and Aelin so much. Until I read it again! I gave this book five out of five stars. Absolutely excellent. ★★★★★

Edition I read: Hardcover

Page Count: 984 pages

Date Read: September 16th-September 18th
Find it at your at local bookstore!

9. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I’m so glad I finally got to reading this book. It’s on my Fall TBR so I planned to read it but wow, it was amazing. I love Angie Thomas’ writing so much and I already have On the Come Up checked out from the library. This should be required reading. I, of course, gave it five out of five stars. ★★★★★

Edition I read: Hardcover

Page Count: 444 pages

Date Read: September 19th-September 22nd
Find it at your at local bookstore!

10. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 11.26.33 PMI have a lot of feelings about this book but I can’t really put them into words right now. I might write a mini review but as for now, know that I did love it but I just have minor issues with it. I missed Rainbow’s writing so much and reading this was such a relief. It was the writing I love dearly and also, Simon and Baz. I ended up giving it four out of five stars. ★★★★

Edition I read: Hardcover

Page Count: 984 pages

Date Read: September 25th-26th
Find it at your at local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

October Book Releases | 2019

Ah, it’s finally October. The best month of the entire year. With the wonderful season of Fall comes amazing book releases. October is no exception! Here’s a list of some popular book releases coming out in October, 2019:

ADULT

  • Ninth House (Alex Stern #1) by Leigh Bardugo [October 8th, 2019]
  • Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky [MY REVIEW] [October 1st, 2019]
  • Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren [REVIEW TO COME] [October 22nd, 2019] 
  • Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris [October 1st, 2019]
  • Find Me by André Aciman [October 29th, 2019]

YOUNG ADULT

  • The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh [October 8th, 2019]
  • The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys [October 1st, 2019]
  • Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett [October 29th, 2019]
  • Rebel by Marie Lu [October 1st, 2019]
  • I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi [October 22nd, 2019] 

 

Pre-order any of these at your local bookstore

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Banned Book Recommendation | DAY SIX

It’s banned book week! This week, September 22nd-28th, I’ll be sharing with you some banned book recommendations. If you don’t know what a banned book is, here’s a little definition: A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. I’ll be highlighting one book per day and telling you why they’re banned.

Here’s the tag for all my banned book week posts!

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

15745753

“Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 328 pages
Published on: February 26th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 1250012570 (ISBN13: 9781250012579)

Why is it challenged?

I literally had no clue that this book was challenged and considered a banned book. I’ve read this book twice and I genuinely love it. But, it’s considered a banned book. Here are the reasons:

  • profanity
  • pornography
If I remember clearly, Eleanor and Park is far away from smut. But, it was pulled from schools for it’s “vile” and “nasty” language and it’s “trash” content. (You’ve got to be kidding me, right?)

Here’s what some articles say:

“During the 2013 challenge in Minnesota, Anoka High School principal Mike Farley explained to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the novel mirrors some of the same situations students find themselves in.

Author Rainbow Rowell
Photo credit: RainbowRowell.com’

“We did acknowledge some of the language is rough, but it fits the situation and the characters. I deal with this stuff every day working in the school with students. Did I think the language was rough? Yes,” Farley said. “There is some tough stuff in there, but a lot of the stuff our kids are dealing with is tough.”

The parents challenged the book’s selection for school libraries, calling it “vile profanity.” They cited 227 uses of profanity or the Lord’s name in vain, including 60 instances of the “F” word.

“It’s is the most profane and obscene work we have ever read in our lives,” said one parent, Troy Cooper, to the Star Tribune.

In 2016, incensed Chesterfield parents were joined by Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase in demanding that Eleanor & Park be removed from voluntary summer reading lists, calling the books “pornographic” and filled with “vile, vile, nasty language.”

Ultimately, based on the recommendation of the review committee, Superintendent James Lane concluded that the book would not be banned. But it also can not be recommended. No books can be recommended by anyone in the Chesterfield County School District. Summer reading lists can no longer be distributed to students by teachers or librarians.”

 

 

Rainbow on Eleanor & Park being challenged: 

“Kids here have the right to read. They have the right to think and imagine. To see their own world in books. To see other worlds in books.” – Rainbow Rowell

She also shares a bunch of links here that I found on her website (I copied and pasted her exact words and links so by I, it mean’s Rainbow):

 

Source: https://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=9248

the Testaments [MINI REVIEW]

feminist friday logo

42975172“More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” –Margaret Atwood”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 432 pages
ISBN: 0385543786
Published: September 10th 2019
Publisher: Nan A. Talese / Double Day Books

 

“As they say, history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.” ― Margaret Atwood, The Testaments

 

As some of you might know, I finished The Testaments shortly after it’s release! I got my book in the day of it’s release (the same day I miraculously sprained my ankle leaving the bookstore)  and I absolutely devoured it. My copy is full of green sticky tabs because there was SO many things I felt I needed to tab.

I decided to make this a mini review because I didn’t critically read it and write notes like I do with books that I usually will write longer reviews for. I just read this one for pure enjoyment and it was wonderful. I ended up giving it five out of five stars over on Goodreads because it was that good. Let’s talk about the things that I loved:

I thought the writing in this book was impeccable. I recently read the Handmaid’s Tale this year and I loved Margaret Atwood’s stand out writing in that novel as well. But, WOW. The writing in this novel makes it so much easier to binge-read. I found it much more entertaining and I didn’t feel like I had to stop and re-read the page like I did with the first book. I don’t know if it’s because the Handmaid’s Tale is such a popular feminist classic that it was daunting or I just simply enjoy this second book more. I definitely think there’s a shift in the writing style so if you’re looking for that same writing in the Handmaid’s Tale, I don’t think it’s here.

Another thing that made this book even more entertaining is that we get three POVs instead of one. I was ecstatic when I realized this. You get to know Gilead much better because you’re experiencing it in the eyes of three very different women. We follow a young girl growing up in Canada with a secret and mysterious link to Gilead, one girl growing up in Gilead (although to a wealthy family) and Aunt Lydia — a character we know from the first book. As much as I loved reading Aunt Lydia’s POV, I found the other girls POVs just as interesting and intriguing.

There’s a few scenes in this book that almost felt too real that it was scary. I think that’s a huge reason why Margaret Atwood wrote this book because so many of these things you’d expect in Gilead, are happening here in the United States. For example, there’s an Aunt Lydia scene where she’s been questioned about her past life (abortions, divorces, etc.) by a man essentially hiring her and I was so on edge the entire time. It’s upsetting how this way of thinking is real.

If you loved the Handmaid’s Tale because of how feminist it was, I think you’ll LOVE this novel. While the writing style isn’t as dramatic as the first book, I think the impact is still the same and this book proves it’s point. Also, if you’re wanting to know more about Gilead, this is definitely the book for you!

 

 

Buy the Testaments at your local bookstore

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Imaginary Friend [REVIEW]

9781538731338GCPChboskyImaginaryFriend002

 “A young boy is haunted by a voice in his head in this “haunting and thrilling” epic of literary horror from the #1 NYT bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (John Green).

Christopher is seven years old.
Christopher is the new kid in town.
Christopher has an imaginary friend.

We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her child. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Twenty years ago, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower made readers everywhere feel infinite. Now, Chbosky has returned with an epic work of literary horror, years in the making, whose grand scale and rich emotion redefine the genre. Read it with the lights on.”

On Sale Date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBNS: 9781538731338, 1538731339
Edition: Hardcover (I read an ARC e-copy)
Page Count: 720
Genre: Fiction / Horror 
TRIGGER WARNINGS: sexual assault, child abuse/abuse in general, alcohol abuse, violence against women

My Rating:  stars ★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (4/5)

 

I was kindly sent a physical copy of this book by Grand Central Publishing in exchange for a review. Thank you, Grand Central Pub! Any opinion stated is my own.

 

This review is SPOILER FREE!

I’m just going to start this review off saying that I’m not your usual horror/thriller reader. In fact, I’ve only recently started reading more thrillers. I’ve never really read horror before. These books just scare me so I would stray away from them. I’ve been picking up more and more Gillian Flynn and loving them so I decided that maybe I should give more horrors and thrillers a chance. So, what perfect timing! It’s the spooky season and Stephen Chbosky is releasing his second novel, Imaginary Friend.

I’m not going to lie, this book is a bit daunting. It’s a horror novel (something I don’t read often like I said) and it’s around 700 pages. Any 700 page novel is daunting to me but a horror novel?! I could never. But, HERE I AM. And I loved every bit of it. The main reason I decided to request this arc is because I am a huge fan of Perks of Being a Wallflower. I know, this book doesn’t seem anything like that but hear me out. I’m also quite the reader so I’m not afraid of reading things that make me uncomfortable and I’m also aware that an author’s writings aren’t going to be the same. I knew this whenever I requested Imaginary Friend that this isn’t my type of book but I trust this author so I’m going to read it anyway.

If you’re worried about this book due to the genre, the fact he only has one other novel that’s entirely different, or the size — That’s okay! Don’t give up on this book, though. I’m about to write an entire review about why I think it’s worth it and why I, someone who doesn’t even read horror novels, loved it.

If you don’t know what this book is about, the description probably won’t help you either. I think it’s best you go into this novel basically knowing nothing. It’s way more exciting that way. I realized after I had finish it that even though I did read the description, I still wasn’t expecting what I got. This isn’t a bad thing, though. I loved not knowing what was going to happen next. It’s 100% a page turner. The chapters are incredibly short and usually end with that sentence that leaves you shocked and wanting more. You’ll end up flipping through the entire book not even knowing how close you are to the end.

It’s a haunting story of Good vs. Evil, a story full of biblical references, and a story that really makes you THINK. There was a point in this novel that I got out a pen and paper to jot down notes and letters that ended up making a key sentence to the story. Once you read it, this will make sense. I also noticed while reading how EVERYTHING in this novel is important, even the time stamps because they relate to the story. I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in so long. I’m usually the type to figure out what’s going to happen next but once I finished this book, I couldn’t believe the amount of things I missed. I understand why it took so long for this book to eventually be finished. It’s genius. Stephen Chbosky’s writing style works seamlessly with a horror/thriller. The amount of foreshadowing and connections I didn’t realize at first blows my mind. It’s definitely a book I’ll pick up to re-read once it’s actually published.

There’s so many different characters within this novel but their storylines all intertwine and connect throughout the book and it was so satisfying to watch that happen. The cast of characters in this book kind of remind me of those in Stranger Things. I think this is the only reason this book reminds me of Stranger Things is because of the young cast of characters, the sheriff who plays a major role, and the mother being a main character as well. I also think this book reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s storytelling but Stephen King’s writing style. I can’t really explain why but isn’t that enough to make you want to pick it up?

I also want to quickly talk about why I think this book is still fitting to those who want to explore more of Stephen Chbosky’s writing after loving Perks of Being a Wallflower. While this is a horror novel, I would definitely call it a psychological thriller as well. This book portrays raw human emotion and sometimes, that can be scary. The amount of intellectual depth in this novel astonishes me. It’s a horror novel that feels so real because the role emotion plays and how it talks so openly about both love and fear. I think that’s why most Perks fans would love this. Also, it’s just a great story so technically, if you like good books, you’ll like this one.

I really can’t say much without spoiling this novel and trust me, I want to ramble on about this book with someone who’s read it. Jenna at @JennaClarek was actually reading it at the same time and it was SO fun to send each other reactions. We also had so many different realizations after this novel which is why it would make a great re-read. I can’t wait to get my hands on the physical copy so I can annotate the heck out of it.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky is an absolute page-turner, a complex and captivating novel at it’s best. If you’re looking for a spooky book to read this season, I HIGHLY recommend this one!

 

Find Imaginary Friend at your local bookstore!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Banned Book Recommendation | DAY FOUR

It’s banned book week! This week, September 22nd-28th, I’ll be sharing with you some banned book recommendations. If you don’t know what a banned book is, here’s a little definition: A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. I’ll be highlighting one book per day and telling you why they’re banned.

Here’s the tag for all my banned book week posts!

99561Looking for Alaska by John Green

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.”

Why is it banned?

John Green will forever fight against the book being banned. This book being banned is quite shocking because I’ve read it and couldn’t exactly come up with a reason on why it was taken out of schools and challenged over and over again. It’s banned for reasons like:

  • inappropriate language (cursing)
  • use of drugs + alcohol
  • pornography
  • “unsuitable for age group”

If you want to watch John Green talk about these, he has an entire video about it on the Vlogbrothers! Here’s the link. It’s a great video!

For more in-depth reasons on why it’s banned, here’s a few paragraphs I got from this website. You can see their sources there.

“2008 – New York – Challenged, but retained for the 11th grade Regents English classes in Depew despite concerns about graphic language and sexual content. The school sent parents a letter requesting permission to use the novel and only 3 students were denied permission.

2012 – Tennessee – Challenged as required reading for Knox County High Schools’ Honors and as Advanced Placement outside readings for English II because of “inappropriate language.” School Superintendent Dr. James P. McIntyre, Jr. said that a parent identified this as an issue and the book was removed from the required reading list. He didn’t say whether the book was still in the schools.

2013

Colorado – Parents of Fort Lupton Middle and High School challenged the books use in a 9th grade classrooms for sexual and alcohol content

Tennessee – Banned as required reading for Sumner County schools by the director of schools because of a sex scene that was “a bit much” and  “inappropriate language.” The book was retained in the libraries.

2014 – New Jersey – Challenged in the Verona High School curriculum because a parent found the sexual nature of the story inappropriate.

2015 – Wisconsin – Challenged, but retained in the Waukesha South High School despite claims the book is “too racy to read.”

2016

Kentucky – Marion County parent complained about book being included on 12th grade english, “calls the novel “filth” and lists his fear that the book would tempt students “to experiment with pornography, sex, drugs, alcohol and profanity.”” The book was removed from circulation until the school committee reached a decision. “Another resident has written to the local paper describing the novel as “mental pornography” and detailing the number of times the “‘f’ word” is used (16) and the the “‘sh’ word” is used (27).”

New Jersey – Challenged, but retained in the Lumberton Township middle school despite a parent questioning its “sexual content.””

 

Have you read Looking for Alaska? Are you excited for the Hulu show? Let me know your thoughts!

 

Over on my Tumblr, I asked you guys to share with me the banned books that make you MOST angry. Here’s the link to that post!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Banned Book Recommendation | DAY THREE

It’s banned book week! This week, September 22nd-28th, I’ll be sharing with you some banned book recommendations. If you don’t know what a banned book is, here’s a little definition: A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. I’ll be highlighting one book per day and telling you why they’re banned.

Here’s the tag for all my banned book week posts!

9516Persepolis: the Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

“A New York Times Notable Book
Time Magazine “Best Comix of the Year”
San Francisco Chronicle and Los Angeles Times Best-seller

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.”

I read this book whenever I was in high school because it sounded interesting and I loved the fact it was a true story told within a graphic novel. I ended up loving it and I think I gave it around 4 stars. I had no idea the book was banned until recently!

Why is it banned?

“The day after Dignam’s email, district CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent another email to principals claiming that the intention was never to remove the book from libraries, but only from classrooms due to “graphic language and images that are not appropriate for general use.”” (source)

“Possibly as a result of publicity from the 2013 CPS ban, Persepolis faced three more school challenges in 2014, landing it the #2 spot on the American Library Association’s Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books for that year. First, a parent in Oregon’s Three Rivers School District demanded the book’s removal from high school libraries because of “coarse language and scenes of torture.” After some contentious school board meetings, the graphic novel was ultimately retained in the school libraries without restriction.” (source)

 

Here’s some interesting articles about this book being banned:

 

Find Persepolis at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Happy Release Day! | Wayward Son + The Tyrant’s Tomb

Happy release day Tuesday! So many lovely books are coming out this month and these are some of my most anticipated. Please note these are both sequels so there might be SPOILERS in the descriptions!

 

Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell

44017627

“The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…

With Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell has written a book for everyone who ever wondered what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day. And a book for everyone who was ever more curious about the second kiss than the first. It’s another helping of sour cherry scones with an absolutely decadent amount of butter.

Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero’s journey might be over – but your life has just begun.”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 368 pages
Published on: September 24th, 2019
ISBN: 1250146070 (ISBN13: 9781250146076)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

I’ve already read some of Wayward Son because our copies were here early and it is EVERYTHING. I can’t wait to receive my copy in the mail and binge read it. I’ve been needing a new Rainbow Rowell novel.
If you want to follow along with my reading updates, here’s my Goodreads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan

28006109. sy475 “In his penultimate adventure, a devastated but determined Apollo travels to Camp Jupiter, where he must learn what it is to be a hero, or die trying.

It’s not easy being Apollo, especially when you’ve been turned into a human and banished from Olympus. On his path to restoring five ancient oracles and reclaiming his godly powers, Apollo (aka Lester Papadopoulos) has faced both triumphs and tragedies. Now his journey takes him to Camp Jupiter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the Roman demigods are preparing for a desperate last stand against the evil Triumvirate of Roman emperors. Hazel, Reyna, Frank, Tyson, Ella, and many other old friends will need Apollo’s aid to survive the onslaught. Unfortunately, the answer to their salvation lies in the forgotten tomb of a Roman ruler . . . someone even worse than the emperors Apollo has already faced.”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 448 pages
Published on: September 24th, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
ISBN: 1484746449 (ISBN13: 9781484746448)

                                                                                                                                                                   

I have yet to read the Trials of Apollo but I’m still excited for this release! I know how many people have been waiting for this book so I’m glad they’re all going to be receiving their copies soon! I can’t wait to read these books. I think I might re-read all of Riordan’s books in 2020!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Are you going to be picking any of these up? Let me know!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Find these at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Banned Book Recommendation | DAY TWO

It’s banned book week! This week, September 22nd-28th, I’ll be sharing with you some banned book recommendations. If you don’t know what a banned book is, here’s a little definition: A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. I’ll be highlighting one book per day and telling you why they’re banned.

Here’s the tag for all my banned book week posts!

 

32075671. sy475 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 444 pages
Published on: February 28th, 2017
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 0062498533 (ISBN13: 9780062498533)

This book surprised me whenever I found out it was first being challenged. Eventually, it was considered a banned book. In fact, it’s one of the top most banned books of 2018. I think it’s also important to note this book has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for weeks on end. As of right now, it’s on it’s 133rd week on the list. It’s spent most of that time at number one.

The impact of this book is also significant. This book talks openly about police brutality, racism, and the black lives matter movement. Angie Thomas even said that black lives matter movement is what inspired this book. It’s not hard to wonder why this book is banned but it is frustrating. This book is so important to have in schools and libraries yet it’s been banned for that exact reason.

 

I also just finished reading this book and ended up giving it 5 out of 5 stars. 

Why is it banned?

“In late 2017, The Hate U Give was banned by school officials in Katy, Texas, where it was challenged for “inappropriate language.” District Superintendent Lance Hindt pulled the book from shelves during the review process in violation of the district’s own review policies, claiming he did so based on its “pervasive vulgarity and racially-insensitive language…not its substantive content or the viewpoint expressed.” The move drew widespread condemnation from free expression advocates, but the actions of a teen in the district helped save the day. Ny’Shira Lundy collected 4,000 signatures on a petition calling for the restoration of the book. The district relented and put it back on shelves, but it wasn’t a total victory. Students are required to get parental permission to check it out.” (source)

“This story is likely familiar for any librarian who has received a book challenge. It’s not even the first time that THUG has been challenged. What is surprising in this situation is the challenger. It’s not just a parent or local conservative group. The challenger here is the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in Charleston County, South Carolina. John Blackmon, the president of the FOP Tri-County Lodge #3, said they’ve received a number of complaints from parents and community members regarding the inclusion of these books on the summer reading list. He also states, “It’s almost an indoctrination of distrust of police and we’ve got to put a stop to that. There are other socio-economic topics that are available and they want to focus half of their effort on negativity towards the police? That seems odd to me.”” (source)

Angie Thomas has talked about it being banned several times on Twitter and here as well. Here’s some of her tweets:
Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 5.12.58 PM
Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 5.12.29 PM

Find The Hate U Give at your local bookstore!

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Banned Book Recommendation | DAY ONE

It’s banned book week! This week, September 22nd-28th, I’ll be sharing with you some banned book recommendations. If you don’t know what a banned book is, here’s a little definition: A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves of a library, bookstore, or classroom because of its controversial content. I’ll be highlighting one book per day and telling you why they’re banned.

Here’s the tag for all my banned book week posts!

401608 The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

“Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is an inspiring and tragic account of an ordinary life lived in extraordinary circumstances that has enthralled readers for generations. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler, translated by Susan Massotty, and includes an introduction by Elie Wiesel, author of Night.

‘June, 1942: I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.’

In Amsterdam, in the summer of 1942, the Nazis forced teenager Anne Frank and her family into hiding. For over two years, they, another family and a German dentist lived in a ‘secret annexe’, fearing discovery. All that time, Anne kept a diary. Since its publication in 1947, Anne Frank’s diary has been read by tens of millions of people. This Definitive Edition restores substantial material omitted from the original edition, giving us a deeper insight into Anne Frank’s world. Her curiosity about her emerging sexuality, the conflicts with her mother, her passion for Peter, a boy whose family hid with hers, and her acute portraits of her fellow prisoners reveal Anne as more human, more vulnerable and more vital than ever.”

Why is it banned?

“In 2010, the Culpeper County, Virginia school system banned the 50th Anniversary “Definitive Edition” of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, due to “complaints about its sexual content and homosexual themes.”[45] This version “includes passages previously excluded from the widely read original edition…. Some of the extra passages detail her emerging sexual desires; others include unflattering descriptions of her mother and other people living together.”[46] After consideration, it was decided a copy of the newer version would remain in the library and classes would revert to using the older version.

In 2013, a similar controversy arose in a 7th grade setting in Northville, Michigan, focusing on explicit passages about sexuality.[47] The mother behind the formal complaint referred to portions of the book as “pretty pornographic.”[48]

The American Library Association stated that there have been six challenges to the book in the United States since it started keeping records on bans and challenges in 1990, and “Most of the concerns were about sexually explicit material”.[46]  (Source)”

I found this interesting! I wouldn’t of guessed her diaries were banned but apparently, they are. If you’re interested, I also recently found out that Anne Frank wrote about liking girls?! Here’s that article.

If you’re looking for a quick read about Anne Frank, the illustrated edition of her diary is wonderful. Here’s the Goodreads link.

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

Why Do We Have Banned Books Week?

It’s that time of the year! Tomorrow starts banned book week, a week where we celebrate and discuss banned books. What is a banned book you might ask? Banned books are books or printed writing that has been removed from libraries, schools, bookstores, etc. due to controversial content. A book can be challenged by a parent whose child is attending a school and has a book on their curriculum/in their library. While these books do become banned, there’s a large population of people who disagree. A challenged book, however, is different.  According to the ALA, a challenged book is any book that someone has made an attempt to remove or restrict books or written material, based on that person’s opinions and perceptions of the book or material. This means they although some tried to remove it, it didn’t get banned/removed.

Why do we have banned book week? 

We celebrate banned book week annually every September because the freedom we have to read all different types of books! It’s important to read these banned books, talk about them, and advocate for them. This week allows us to remember that there’s books every year getting challenged, banned, or censored in libraries and schools. It allows people like librarians, teachers, publishers, readers, etc. to discuss ALL books! Whenever we talk about these books in September, it lets everyone know, not that bookish people, that books are still being censored and we need to talk about them. This is a worldwide event, not just in North America!

When did we start banned book week?

Banned Books Week began in the 1980s when books were endlessly getting challenged. There had been many protests involving banned books, specifically due to the Island Trees School District, v. Pico in 1982, a Supreme Court case that eventually ruled that schools can’t ban the books in their libraries simply because of their content. That same year, banned books were shown at the American Booksellers Association BookExpo (sound familiar?) in a large case near the front of the convention. It basically portrayed that people found these books dangerous.

What causes a book to get banned?

There is many different things that can allow a book to get banned or even challenged. Here’s a list of the most common reasons books are banned:

  • sexually explicit content
  • cursing
  • violence
  • lgbtq+
  • religious affiliations or blasphemous language
  • witchcraft and the occult (lol)
  • drug use/abuse
  • age inappropriate

Reasons for book challenges: LGBTQIA+, political viewpoint, obscenity, profanity, nudity, violence, sex education, cultural insensitivity, religious viewpoint, dirty magazines, teen suicide, pornographic, glorifies criminals

Who bans books?

Who initiates challenges in 2018. 13% board/administration 10% librarians/teachers 6% political/religious groups 3% elected officials 3% students

What books are banned?

Here’s the most popular banned books:

  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

& MANY, MANY MORE. I’ll be highlighting some and writing several blog posts about books that are banned this week! Stay tuned for those. 🙂Image result for banned book week display 1982

Sources:

 

Over on my Tumblr, I asked you guys to share with me the banned books that make you MOST angry. Here’s the link to that post!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

WWW Wednesday | September 18th

This is essentially a tag created by Taking on a World of Words! You just answer the three W’s:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So, let’s get into it!

  • What are you currently reading?

Right now, I’m currently reading Nevernight by Jay Kristoff! Everyone seemed to be reading it so I wanted to join in on the fun. My audiobook pick right now The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas!

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished the Testaments by Margaret Atwood and I loved it! I ended up giving it five out of five stars.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
@uponthepages on insta

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Hopefully, Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff!

Autumn/Fall Book Tag 🍂

Rules should you choose to accept this tag… 🍂

  • Thank the lovely person who tagged you
  • Please link back to Bionic Book Worm, as the creator of this tag!! She wants to see your answers!!
  • Use the graphics – if you want 🙂 (like me, as they’re amazing)
  • Have fun!

fall tag 1

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks! I just read this not long ago and it felt like a breath of fresh air. Truly a lovely graphic novel set during the Fall. You can find my review for it here.

fall tag 2

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky literally blew me away. I was left SPEECHLESS after reading this book. It’s not my usual type of read but wow, it was worth it! It’s not out yet and I’ll have a review for it soon. It was genuinely so fun to read and it was full of twists and turns. I have a mini review of it on Instagram here!

Am I allowed to say Pumpkinheads twice? Because it’s Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks. JUST READ IT ALREADY!

34810320. sy475  Sadie by Courtney Summers! I read this book last month and it was so good. I listened to the audiobook and I’ve never loved an audiobook experience more. It has an entire cast that reads and since part of this book is a podcast, they recreated the podcast! It’s by far the most entertaining audiobook I’ve ever read and I think anyone would enjoy listening to it. I got it through my library but I’m sure it’s on Audible or Scribd as well!

 

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab! This is the finale to the Shades of Magic trilogy and it was insane. I want to re-read these books already because I love them so much. This book was one of the best finales I’ve ever read, I swear. There was absolutely nothing disappointing about it. If you’re looking for an amazing, well-rounded Fantasy series, definitely check these books out!

I am so excited to finally get my heads on Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve been waiting for this book since the moment I finished Carry On. It wasn’t even announced that there was a sequel but I was waiting for it anyway because I loved it so much. It comes out SO soon (a week from today!) and I am so ready. I’ll be disappearing off the internet on it’s release date just to devour it completely.

 

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTube | Instagram | Twitter

My Impossible Fall TBR 🍂

Watch my Youtube video talking about these books here!

 

This blog post is gonna be a LONG one. My Fall TBR is never ending. I keep adding to it every day but as of now, here’s what I want to read this fall:

I’m going to start off with the books I’ve already read on this TBR!

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (5/5)

★★★ ½ out of ★★★★★ stars (3.5/5)

★★★ ½ out of ★★★★★ stars (3.5/5)

★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (4/5

★★★  out of ★★★★★ stars (3/5)

★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (5/5)

★★★★½ out of ★★★★★ stars (4.5/5)

  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Scythe by Neal Schusterman
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca
  • Vanity Fair’s Women on Women
  • The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
  • Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer
  • Shades of Magic vol. 1 by V.E. Schwab
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  • Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

If you want to keep updated with my Fall TBR and how I’m doing, here’s my Goodreads list!

What are you reading this Fall?

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | BookTubeInstagram | Twitter

Feminist Friday | The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Feminist Friday Announcement!

Image result for the testaments margaret atwood marketing“More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

“Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” –Margaret Atwood”

Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 432 pages
ISBN: 0385543786
Published: September 10th 2019
Publisher: Nan A. Talese / Double Day Books

 

Happy Feminist Friday! I decided there’s no other book that I can shout out this week than the sequel to the Handmaid’s Tale. I’m currently reading it (about 103 pages in) and I’m already enjoying it much more than the original. I love that she did this book in three different perspectives — it makes this book 10x more immersive.

It’s been in the news recently since Amazon broke the embargo and released this book a week before the release date. I’m not shocked that they did this but it definitely kills the release day hype when everyone’s already reading it. This is why you should shop indie instead!

It’s also been in the news recently because it made the short list for a Man Booker Prize!

Image result for the testaments margaret atwood marketing

You can see the entire list here. I think the winner will be announced in October!

If you want to follow along with me as I read it, I will be updating Goodreads while reading! I’m also recording an entire vlog of my reactions while reading. I’m sure that’ll be up in a few weeks! I’m aiming to edit and post it right when I finish but I have no idea when that’ll be.

Have you read this book? Are you planning to? Let me know!

 

If you would like, here’s a little button to add it to Goodreads: 

Related image

Buy this book at your local bookstore

Pumpkinheads [MINI REVIEW]

Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 8.18.40 PM
9781626721623_fad6a
“Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?”

On Sale Date: August 27th, 2019
Publisher: First Second (MacMillan)
ISBNS: 9781626721623, 1626721629
Edition: Paperback & Hardcover
Page Count: 224
Genre: Graphic Novel / Young Adult Contemporary

My Rating:  5 stars ★★★★★out of ★★★★★ stars (5/5)

 

This review is SPOILER FREE!

I’ve been waiting for this book since I came across a blank page, no cover listing on Goodreads titled “Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell. It was unclear what it was (obviously) and I didn’t find out until MUCH later that it was a graphic novel. To be honest with you, I love all of Rainbow Rowell’s books. She’s never failed me as a reader so I’m not hesitant to pick up a graphic novel written by her. Also, if you’ve ever read any of her books, you’d know her undying love for the Fall season. All of her books tend to take place in the Fall/Winter so it was no surprise she wrote an entire story based on a pumpkin patch.

As someone who also loves Fall more than anything, this graphic novel was a match made in heaven. I’m no stranger to a pumpkin patch and who knew I needed a romance set in one this bad? Rainbow Rowell was able to build the perfect seasonal friendship between Deja and Josiah. Not to mention, Faith Erin Hicks did a wonderful job illustrating them. I was rooting for them from the very beginning. This entire graphic novel is about Deja trying to be Josiah’s wingman because it’s their last shift at the pumpkin patch before college and he really wants to talk to this girl. Deja is the sweetest, most supportive friend in the WORLD so she spends her last day convincing him to talk to her and eventually, they look for her together.

If there’s any word for this graphic novel, it’s wholesome. The entire thing was enjoyable from start the finish. The illustrations make it 10x more captivating as they’re so beautifully done. I already want to re-read this graphic novel because it’s so adorable, witty, and again, wholesome. I also wanted to quickly add that even though this is a cute, light contemporary read, it’s also has so much intellectual depth. There’s a few pages in here where Deja and Josiah are talking about fate and how they both feel entirely different about the subject. Josiah thinks things happen for a reason and it’s just fates fault but Deja thinks otherwise. She talks about how these things happen because you make them happen and I just LOVED that entire conversation. They’re truly perfect for each other.

If you’re in the mood for a quick adorable and seasonal read, definitely pick up Pumpkinheads. I can’t imagine anyone hating this novel!

 

As I’m posting this, Rainbow is still doing personalized copies from Bookworm Omaha! You can check them out here.

Find Pumpkinheads at your local bookstore!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Things Not to Say/Do to Your Bookseller

I’ve been a bookseller for about a year now at two different bookstores (a chain and an indie) and there’s so many things I’ve heard that I wish I didn’t. As a bookseller, you learn a lot about your customers based on what they read and the endless conversations you have with them about these books. After a year of bookselling, there’s just some things that I want to advise you NOT to say to your bookseller.

  • “Are you sure you don’t have it? It says in stock right there.”

This was something that happened to me SO often at Barnes & Noble. The customer service desks faced out towards customers and this caused a lot of issues with customers thinking they know what they’re reading. Yes, while the computer says it’s in stock, that’s only at a warehouse. If I tell you we don’t have the book and we can order it, just order it and believe me.

  • “Don’t you have a cheaper version like a paperback of this new release in store?”

This was ALWAYS for new releases. Please understand that most of the time, publishers don’t release paperbacks until about a year after the release. This time frame mostly depends on how well the book is doing. If a book is flying off the shelves in a hardcover (For example: Where the Crawdads Sing), it’s less likely they’re going to release a paperback anytime soon. This is simply because they’re making more money off these hardcovers. So, if you don’t want to pay for the hard cover, you’re going to have to wait a year or so.

  • Please stop leaving your iced plastic cups on the bookshelves. You’re ruining our shelves and books.

Most bookstores with Starbucks or coffee shops attached know what I’m talking about. There were so many different occasions I’d find an iced drink leaking all over the shelf because someone decided just to leave it there. There’s trash cans, people. Also, maybe get a more environmentally friendly cup that you won’t leave everywhere? It’s just annoying when there’s rings on our bookshelves because of other people not having manners. I get it, sometimes you forget your drink and it’s an accident, but DAMN. This happened to often for everyone to be that forgetful.

  • You don’t have to whisper.

As an indie bookseller in a small store, it’s just awkward if you whisper. It’s not a library so you don’t need to be quiet. I can promise you I’m probably not even listening because I’m too busy reading my own book. It’s okay to talk to your friends or family while you’re book shopping!

  • While I do have an expansive knowledge on books, I don’t know that book that was mentioned on the news this morning or a magazine.

I wish that I knew these books that are promoted on TV or in the paper. But, unfortunately, I don’t have time to watch the morning news. I’m usually at work when that’s airing. I’m not mad if you ask about these books but it sucks when I’m not able to find them online when you’re looking for them. I really do want you to find this book! Try to take a photo of the news article or the TV screen whenever they’re promoting the book. I’ll definitely be able to find it then.

  • Print books aren’t dying and neither are the bookstores.

I hate it when people tell me this and remind me of their trusty e-reader they love so much. Don’t get me wrong, e-books are great. But, if you’re standing in the indie bookstore I work at, why would you tell me this? I’m aware of the popularization of e-books but it’s important to know print isn’t dying. If it was, we wouldn’t be a bookstore full of physical books. It is important to know that bookstores aren’t as busy as they were before but there’s new indie bookstores opening everywhere in America. In fact, there’s more newer indie bookstores than ever. That’s why it’s so important for you to shop at your indie bookstore. If you want to be able to linger around a bookstore for hours sipping on your hot coffee, you gotta at least get some books there!

  • “The last time I read a book was for high school reading. It sucked.”

I’m glad you’re bragging about being illiterate, Brad. Why are you even here?

  • “Do I HAVE to start with book one in the series?”

I can’t believe people really start in the middle of some series. Yes, I’m pretty sure if you want to understand most series: you should start with book one. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some series that you don’t really need to start at the beginning. But, if you ask me if you need to read the first book in Throne of Glass or A Darker Shade of Magic, I’m going to tell you: Yes. Definitely.

  • Please stop taking photos of our books to buy them somewhere else.

Man, I really hated seeing this because I knew most people do this to pick up the book somewhere else (Amazon, probably). Google exists for a reason! Don’t waste my time asking me to help you find a book if you’re not going to buy it here. I’m not an Amazon bookseller. I’m an indie bookseller! I could be helping someone who genuinely wants to read and buy the book they need help finding.

  • “The book you recommended me sucked.”

This hasn’t happened to me personally but it did happen to one of my old co-workers. I love giving recommendations to people but listen, I’m going to be bias. I’m going to recommend my favorite books to you if you ask, “What’s the best book you’ve ever read?” That question doesn’t let me help you find YOUR favorite book, it just lets me show you mine. If you’re going to ask for recommendations, please give us more on what you’re into. What was your last favorite book? What’s your favorite TV show? It helps us way more!

  • “Why would I read the book when I can watch the movie?”

I don’t know, why are you in a bookstore when you can just go buy some DVDs or something? Also, the book is ALWAYS better.

  • Don’t flip over or move a book that you don’t agree with or that you just don’t like.

I used to do this when I was a KID simply because it’s childish. It’s annoying when you turn over Donald Trump’s books or move them to an entirely different section. This causes customers to be mad at US for not being able to find the book you moved. I don’t like his books either but I’m also aware of the extra work that causes for booksellers. Not to mention, we don’t get paid enough to walk around the store looking for books customers moved. Also, even though I get bored, I don’t want to turn over a bunch of political books because a customer decided to be petty. It’s annoying so please don’t.

  • Don’t argue with booksellers if we say the book is in the back and we can’t get to it right now.

My first ever horrible experience at Barnes & Noble was with a dad who INSISTED on getting this book for his daughter. It was some obscure paperback that even I hadn’t heard of. This was during the holidays so we were so busy and the back was FULL of boxes. I couldn’t just go rip through all the 50+ boxes for this random paperback. He went to several booksellers about this saying, “Isn’t the title on the box?” like no, it’s not. If it was, I could’ve gotten it for you. Anyways, the manager had to rip through all the books to find it because this person couldn’t wait for the receiver to unbox it. RIP. Most of the time, the book is in the back and we can get it for you but you just have to be patient!

  • “I’m just going to buy it on Amazon. It’s cheaper!”

Why would you ever tell a bookseller that? Let alone, an indie bookseller? It literally hurts hearing people come in here and just say they’re going to buy it online. We can order any book you want, we offer discounts for teachers, our bestsellers are 25% off and we work much harder to help you than Amazon will. I know that books are cheaper on Amazon but don’t you want a bookstore near you to rely on? Don’t you want to have weekends where you linger around a little indie bookstore and end up finding your favorite book? I get it, some people will STILL shop on Amazon. But, there’s no reason to tell your bookseller that. I don’t think you’d walk into Wendy’s and say, “I’m just going to get food at McDonalds. BYEEE” like ??? I don’t get it. Have some manners, please.

 

To find an indie bookstore near you, check out this link.

 

I love being a bookseller but there’s just some things that make me giggle or that I had to get off my chest. If you’re a bookseller, HOLD ON TIGHT. You can do this! If you have more to add to list, comment! I’d love to see how others feel as well lol.

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

HAPPY RELEASE DAY | We Are Lost & Found

43298077A poignant, heartbreaking, and uplifting, story in the tradition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower about three friends coming-of-age in the early 1980s as they struggle to forge their own paths in the face of fear of the unknown.

Michael is content to live in the shadow of his best friends, James, an enigmatic teen performance artist who everyone wants and no one can have and Becky, who calls things as she sees them, while doing all she can to protect those she loves. His brother, Connor, has already been kicked out of the house for being gay and laying low seems to be his only chance to avoid the same fate.

To pass the time before graduation, Michael hangs out at The Echo where he can dance and forget about his father’s angry words, the pressures of school, and the looming threat of AIDS, a disease that everyone is talking about, but no one understands.

Then he meets Gabriel, a boy who actually sees him. A boy who, unlike seemingly everyone else in New York City, is interested in him and not James. And Michael has to decide what he’s willing to risk to be himself.”

Edition: Hardcover

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Source Books Fire

Happy release day to Helene Dunbar’s We Are Lost and Found! I have an entire spoiler free review for this book that you can find here.

If any of you remember, We Are Lost and Found was actually one of my ON MY RADAR picks and I’m so happy for it to finally be out in the world!

Find We Are Lost & Found at your local bookstore!

 

Are you looking forward to this book now as well? Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads to help the hype!

Related image

September Book Releases | 2019

 

ADULT

  • The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood [September 10th] **
  • The Institute by Stephen King [September 10th]
  • The Water Dancer by Te-Nehisi Coates [September 24th]
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca [September 3rd, 2019]
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House, #1) by Tamsyn Muir [September 3rd]
  • Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle, #3) by Jay Kristoff [September 3rd]
  • the Dutch House by Ann Patchett [September 24th]
  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson [September 17th]

 

YOUNG ADULT

  • We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar [September 3rd] ** My Review
  • Frankly in Love by David Yoon [September 10th] **
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell [September 24th] **
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1) by Shelby Mahurin [September 3rd]
  • Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzie Lee [September 3rd] **
  • Suggested Reading by David Connis [September 17th]
  • Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi [September 3rd]
  • The Lady Rogue by Jen Bennett [September 3rd]
  • The Infinite Noise by Laura Shippen [September 24th]

MIDDLE GRADE

  • The Tyrant’s Tomb (Trials of Apollo #4) by Rick Riordan [September 24th] **
  • Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab [September 3rd] **
  • Guts by Raina Telgemeier [September 17th]

 

** books that I’m anticipating myself!

What I’m Reading During Hurricane Dorian

WELL, it’s that time of the year again. It’s hurricane season and since I live in Florida, we’re already being hit. This time, the hurricane is called Dorian and it’s set to make landfall at a category 4. This is obviously a VERY bad hurricane and everyone here is getting prepared. They’ve changed the day it’s supposed to hit several times so I’m not entirely sure but I decided to share with you all the books I’m currently reading and will probably be reading if I lose power lol.

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

“On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.”

I have this as a downloaded audiobook so I’m not sure if I’ll be listening to it a lot since I have to save my battery power but who knows! I’m hoping we don’t lose power but we always lose power. I’m actually already like 33% into this book and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve never really been a fan of thrillers/mysteries but I recently read Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and I really love her writing style. I used to have a physical copy of this book that I thrifted but I got rid of it because I never thought I’d read it. I wish I kept it! So far, the audiobook is fantastic so I’m not too angry.

  • Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath

42980964 “Never before published, this newly discovered story by literary legend Sylvia Plath stands on its own and is remarkable for its symbolic, allegorical approach to a young woman’s rebellion against convention and forceful taking control of her own life.

Written while Sylvia Plath was a student at Smith College in 1952, Mary Ventura and The Ninth Kingdom tells the story of a young woman’s fateful train journey.

Lips the color of blood, the sun an unprecedented orange, train wheels that sound like “guilt, and guilt, and guilt” these are just some of the things Mary Ventura begins to notice on her journey to the ninth kingdom.

“But what is the ninth kingdom?” she asks a kind-seeming lady in her carriage. “It is the kingdom of the frozen will,” comes the reply. “There is no going back.”

Sylvia Plath’s strange, dark tale of female agency and independence, written not long after she herself left home, grapples with mortality in motion”

I also have this on audiobook and it’s only about 44 minutes long so there’s no doubt I’ll finish it this month! I recently read the Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and really enjoyed it so I thought I’d pick up one of her short stories.

  • Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Imaginary Friend “Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend. The epic work of literary horror from the #1 bestselling author of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER.

We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us.

Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with Christopher at her side. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Soon Kate and Christopher find themselves in the fight of their lives, caught in the middle of a war playing out between good and evil, with their small town as the battleground. “

I’ve been reading this for a bit now. I’m at like 17% through an e-arc that I have. I need to focus on it and only read this considering its like 800 pages but you know. I’ve just been reading bits of it at night. I’ll have a review for this near the release date!

If any of you are in the path of Hurricane Dorian, please BE PREPARED. Here’s a list of things you can get in order to be ready for this hurricane. I live in Florida and we got our supplies ready in case anything happens. Stay safe!

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

ON MY RADAR → Only Mostly Devastated

On My Radar is a series I’ve been doing since I started blogging in 2016. I share with you books that may not have as much hype that I’m excited to read. I like sharing debut novels or books I just don’t think enough people are talking about. I usually find these books on Edelweiss and try to provide a review closer to the release date. I love doing these posts so I can boost some great books and help others find their next read!

 

SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease.

Summer love…gone so fast.

Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.

Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most.”

Release Date:  March 3, 2020
ISBN: 9781250315892, 1250315891
Edition: Hardcover
Page Count: 288 pages
I recently found this on Edelweiss and it looks so CUTE. Grease and Clueless? Hand it over.

Pre-order this book at your local bookstore! Pre-orders help books out IMMENSELY.

We Are Lost and Found [REVIEW]

43298077A poignant, heartbreaking, and uplifting, story in the tradition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower about three friends coming-of-age in the early 1980s as they struggle to forge their own paths in the face of fear of the unknown.

Michael is content to live in the shadow of his best friends, James, an enigmatic teen performance artist who everyone wants and no one can have and Becky, who calls things as she sees them, while doing all she can to protect those she loves. His brother, Connor, has already been kicked out of the house for being gay and laying low seems to be his only chance to avoid the same fate.

To pass the time before graduation, Michael hangs out at The Echo where he can dance and forget about his father’s angry words, the pressures of school, and the looming threat of AIDS, a disease that everyone is talking about, but no one understands.

Then he meets Gabriel, a boy who actually sees him. A boy who, unlike seemingly everyone else in New York City, is interested in him and not James. And Michael has to decide what he’s willing to risk to be himself.”

Edition: Hardcover

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Source Books Fire

My Rating:  stars 5 ★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ stars (5/5)

 

I was kindly sent a physical copy of this book by Source Books Fire  in exchange for a review. Thank you, Source Books! Any opinion is my own.

 

This review is SPOILER FREE!

TW: homophobia (unaccepting parents)

We Are Lost and Found is one of the rare books that I found the day it was posted to Edelweiss and emailed the publisher immediately. It had everything that I love in the description — it was compared to Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, it’s a coming-of-age story, it’s set in the 80s and it follows LGBT+ teens during the AIDs epidemic. Not to mention, the cover is stunning.

Coming-of-age is one of my favorite genres for so many different reasons but I love how real the stories feel even if it’s fiction. There’s so much character development and personality throughout these types of stories. We Are Lost and Found was no different. As the reader, you follow Michael and his two best friends as they grow up in the middle of New York during the 1980s. Michael goes to this club often that’s called the Echo, where he finds himself always dancing and forgetting. He’s always hanging out with either Jamie — the performer and artist or he’s with Becky, an strong female character who’s going through a lot at home.

Helene Dunbar was able to write such an interesting and fully developed cast of characters in about 300 pages. I loved all of them — Michael, Jamie and Becky. They each had their own backstories and were nowhere near being flat side characters. They also felt incredibly realistic. I find that sometimes,  in YA specifically, friend groups just seem so unrealistic and have me thinking “these people would NEVER be friends in real life” but this set of characters makes perfect sense. Jamie and Becky are never toxic and are so supportive. They’re the most unproblematic side characters ever and I ADORE them.

Not only are the friendships in this book fantastic, but family is such a huge theme in this book. Michael’s relationship with his parents and his brother plays a big part in this book. His brother is such a great character and I feel as if I relate to both of them. A lot of the times in YA books, families are often nowhere to be seen or also just incredibly unrealistic. It was a joy to see his family play a part in this book, even if it wasn’t exactly for the best reason. I really enjoyed seeing Michael’s relationship with his brother. Seeing them grow and have a healthier relationship near the end of this book is so rewarding and refreshing. On the other hand, Michael has a tough relationship with his parents and he never knows where he stands with them after knowing what they did to his brother. He feels trapped and it’s so hard to read but it’s so well done. I think a lot of readers, especially LGBT+ and closeted readers, will appreciate this.

Since this was the first ever book I’ve read by Helene Dunbar, I had no idea what to expect in terms of her writing style. I opened this book and quickly realized, “There’s no quotations marks.” I had been buddy reading this with Amber and I texted her about it immediately because to be completely honest, I think this might be one of the first non-classic books I’ve read with no quotation marks. I love dialogue and I’m not going to lie, I find myself skimming pages and just reading dialogue. Since this had no quotation marks, I obviously couldn’t do that. This story is written in beautiful vignettes and yes, there’s no quotation marks but DAMN, is it wonderful. I quickly fell in love her way of writing. I ended up marking up my review copy with pencil everywhere. I underlined anything I found funny or lyrical. I have so many quotes that I adored from this book and can’t wait to like them all on Goodreads. Let me share some little quotes I underlined:

(please note that this is from an unfinished copy and that some of these quotes may be taken out, edited, or completely changed)

  • “Happy. And that’s the odd thing. Not being happy, but realizing it. Because how often, when you’re happy, do you have the chance to step back and notice?”
  • “Becky says to stay away. That sometimes wanting is better than having — Whatever that means”
  • In this scene, he’s talking about playing guitar. “Somehow, everything I play sounds like the same thing: longing.”
  • “It’s like I left some important part of myself at Pride, and I don’t know how to get it back.”

Also, if you’re wondering why she wrote her book this way, this is a great interview!

Now to talk about a significant part of this book, We Are Lost and Found is set during the 80s and the AIDs epidemic. I’m usually hesitant when it comes to books set during real life events that are as heavy and difficult to talk about like the AIDs epidemic. Let me just say this: This is such a well researched YA novel set during this time. Since I got to read this book so early, I’ve been able to talk to Helene Dunbar herself and she’s truly so passionate about this subject and the book itself. I strongly suggest you read both the Afterword and Acknowledgements when finishing this book. Also, read the interview I linked above. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know much about the AIDs epidemic besides the fact that it certainly did happen. This book exposes the most difficult and uneasy events that took place during the epidemic. There’s a few scenes in this book that I marked because they were truly excellent and captured the experience of a young, LGBT+ boy in the 80s. One of the scenes is near the beginning of the book when Michael is reading the newspaper and reading the statistics and result of AIDs. Throughout the entire book, Michael is so utterly scared of AIDs — whether it be him somehow obtaining it or his friends and brother. Another heartbreaking scene that captures the pure fear of the AIDs epidemic is when another side character ends up getting AIDs and his family doesn’t even visit him even though he’s dying because they’re scared they’ll get sick. These are such poignant scenes but they truly set the reader up for an eye opening read.

I’m planning to read more books about the AIDs epidemic since this one. I loved it even more than I thought I would. The writing was absolutely beautiful. Helene Dunbar wrote a book on such a complex topic and did it while being both poetic and light hearted at the same time. Don’t get me wrong — this book is a heavy read but it’s well worth it. There’s so much depth within this book that I didn’t quite expect but I really enjoyed it.

On a more random note, I think this would make the perfect book club book. I really love reading this along with Amber. It gives you so much to talk about and makes for incredibly interesting conversations! As a reader, you also learn so much about the AIDs epidemic from the point of view of an LGBT+ teen. Truly remarkable!

I can’t wait for this book to be released (I pre-ordered it right when I finished) so all of you can read it and hopefully love it as much as me! The description of this book seems quite accurate. I think this book has all of the things Perks of Being a Wallflower has so if you are a fan of that book, don’t hesitate to pick this one up! You might love it as much as I did.

Find We Are Lost & Found at your local bookstore! It comes out September 3rd, 2019.

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

the “Lover” Book Tag

I have no idea if someone has already done this. I tried to check but didn’t see anything. So, here it is! A book tag based on Taylor Swift’s new album, Lover! If you end up doing this tag, please tag me. I want to see your answers!

Here are questions with no answers:

  1. I Forgot That You Existed ↠ What’s a book you wish you forgot?
  2. Cruel Summer ↠ What’s your favorite book set during the summer?
  3. Lover ↠ What’s your favorite romance trope?
  4. The Man ↠  Who’s your favorite feminist character?
  5. The Archer ↠ Since this song discusses being imperfect, what’s an imperfect book you love?
  6. I Think He Knows ↠  What character do you know very well?
  7. Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince ↠ Favorite book set in high school?
  8. Paper Rings ↠ What bookish OTP you want to get married?
  9. Cornelia Street ↠ What’s a book set near or where you live?
  10. Death by a Thousand Cuts ↠ Who’s your favorite character who’s been through a lot?
  11. London Boy ↠ Listen, I can’t help it. Who’s your favorite British character?
  12. Soon You’ll Get Better ft. the Dixie Chicks What’s a book that’s made you incredibly sad?
  13. False God ↠  Since this song talks about her relationship being greater than them, name your ALL TIME favorite book?
  14. You Need to Calm Down ↠ What’s your favorite LGBT+ book?
  15. Afterglow ↠ What’s a book you think you rated too harshly the first time you read it?
  16. ME! ↠ What’s your favorite uplifting book?
  17. It’s Nice to Have a Friend ↠ What bookish character do you wish was your best friend?
  18. Daylight ↠ Since this song is already underrated, what’s your favorite underrated book?

And now for my answers:

Continue reading the “Lover” Book Tag

I Rank the Songs on “Lover” + Her Albums

I didn’t plan on making this blog post but I thought it would be a fun one to write so here we are! I just want to state that my rankings will change SO much considering the album just came out yesterday. I may do an updated one after awhile but as of right now, here’s my rankings for the songs on this album.

Disclaimer: I LOVE all of these songs. I don’t skip anything. I just listen to some WAY more than others.

  • The Man
  • Lover
  • Soon You’ll Get Better ft. the Dixie Chicks
  • Cornelia Street
  • I Think He Knows
  • London Boy
  • Cruel Summer
  • False God
  • You Need to Calm Down
  • Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince
  • I Forgot That You Existed
  • The Archer
  • Death by a Thousand Cuts
  • Afterglow
  • Paper Rings
  • Daylight
  • It’s Nice to Have a Friend
  • ME!

As for albums, here’s how I feel right now:

  • Red
  • Reputation
  • Lover
  • 1989
  • Speak Now
  • Fearless
  • Self-Titled

 

What are your top five? This was SO hard, especially rating the songs. I’m sure it’s bound to change but right now, I cannot stop listening to The Man. It’s my favorite song as of right now. Also, I’M SORRY DBATC FANS. I love the song, I really do, but I love others way more right now.

 

To hear my thoughts elsewhere, follow me on social media: Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Feminist Friday | Taylor Swift’s “Lover”

I know this post isn’t about books but I’ve been anticipating this album since she announced new music. I’ve loved every single she’s put out so far (ME!, You Need to Calm Down, the Archer, and Lover) so I had no doubt in my mind that this album was going to blow me away.

I debated staying up until midnight to listen to this album but of course, it’s released on a day that I have to work. I decided I would just go to sleep and wake up earlier than usual to hear the full album before work. I listened to it the entire time I was getting ready for work and I am so HAPPY for Taylor. This album is absolutely gorgeous. Here’s some of my favorite songs as of right now:

  • Soon You’ll Get Better ft. The Dixie Chicks
  • The Man
  • False God
  • Lover

“Soon You’ll Get Better” is a beautiful song but it’s so sad. This song is about her mother who’s going through cancer again and knowing this and listening to the song makes it so much more emotional.

“The Man” is one of the reasons I wanted to write this and post it today on Feminist Friday. This is 100% a feminist BOP and it’s so true. She basically writes about how her life would be different if she were a man. Here’s some of the lyrics:

  • “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can
    Wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man
    And I’m so sick of them coming at me again
    ‘Cause if I was a man, then I’d be the man”
  • “When everyone believes ya
    What’s that like?”
  • “They’d say I played the field before I found someone to commit to
    And that would be okay for me to do”
  • “If I was out flashing my dollars
    I’d be a bitch, not a baller”

Since I’m pretty sure this is her upcoming single, I can’t wait to see the music video that comes along with it. I’m so glad Taylor is speaking out about things like this. Her voice has such an impact and I can’t wait to see the rest of the Lover era. I’m praying that she announces the tour and the tickets go on sale in a month or two so I can save up before then. I’ve been a fan of Taylor since I was a little girl and here I am as an adult. Here’s to the Lover era!

If you haven’t listened to Lover yet, here’s some places where you can listen online! I have the second deluxe edition from Target. You can order these online or in store.

 

What’s your favorite song off this album?

 

Required Reading that I Loved

School is back in session and I’m so thankfully not attending high school ever again! I decided I would talk about some of the required reading that I loved in high school because it seems as if most people hated the books they read in high school. For me, some of these books became my favorites.

I want to clarify that I went to school in Florida and I took mostly advanced English, AP Lang, and a dual enrollment college course in high school. This means my required reading might be a little different than what some people may have read in high school. For example, I never had to read To Kill a Mockingbird. I know, shocker right? I’ve never read Animal Farm either! So, if you’re wondering why I might’ve not mentioned one of your favorites or ones you remember, it’s most likely because I didn’t have to read them.

1. Hamlet by Shakespeare

329519“Among Shakespeare’s plays, “Hamlet” is considered by many his masterpiece. Among actors, the role of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is considered the jewel in the crown of a triumphant theatrical career. Now Kenneth Branagh plays the leading role and co-directs a brillant ensemble performance. Three generations of legendary leading actors, many of whom first assembled for the Oscar-winning film “Henry V”, gather here to perform the rarely heard complete version of the play. This clear, subtly nuanced, stunning dramatization, presented by The Renaissance Theatre Company in association with “Bbc” Broadcasting, features such luminaries as Sir John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Christopher Ravenscroft. It combines a full cast with stirring music and sound effects to bring this magnificent Shakespearen classic vividly to life. Revealing new riches with each listening, this production of “Hamlet” is an invaluable aid for students, teachers and all true lovers of Shakespeare – a recording to be treasured for decades to come.”

Listen, I’m not a huge Shakespeare fan. But, I did read quite a few of his works throughout high school. I mean, didn’t we all? I’m pretty sure I had read: Romeo & Juliet, Othello, King Lear, and Hamlet. Hamlet was the last one I read since I read it in my Comp I class senior year of high school. When I tell you I loved Hamlet, I LOVED Hamlet. It’s actually on my Favorites list on Goodreads. Hamlet is such a great character. The play is actually intriguing, family drama, literally everyone dies, and it’s funny. What more could you ask for? Oh, and I know what he meant by “To be or not to be” now.

I also remember my English professor showing us this scene from the Simpsons to summarize Hamlet and it was golden. “Nobody out crazies Ophelia!” made me laugh so hard.

2. 1984 by George Orwell

40961427. sx318 Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life–the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language–and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.

 

I wanna say that I read this book during sophomore year of high school but honestly, I can’t remember a damn thing about high school. I just remember we read a lot of dystopian and the only Orwell thing I ever had to read was 1984. To be quite frank with you, I loved everything about this book. I read ahead like I usually do and I remember being excited for the discussions. I’m finally glad to understand this book and all the references made in 2019.

 

3. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

17250. sy475 “I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in human history,” Arthur Miller wrote of his classic play about the witch-hunts and trials in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts. Based on historical people and real events, Miller’s drama is a searing portrait of a community engulfed by hysteria. In the rigid theocracy of Salem, rumors that women are practicing witchcraft galvanize the town’s most basic fears and suspicions; and when a young girl accuses Elizabeth Proctor of being a witch, self-righteous church leaders and townspeople insist that Elizabeth be brought to trial. The ruthlessness of the prosecutors and the eagerness of neighbor to testify against neighbor brilliantly illuminates the destructive power of socially sanctioned violence.

Written in 1953, The Crucible is a mirror Miller uses to reflect the anti-communist hysteria inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch-hunts” in the United States. Within the text itself, Miller contemplates the parallels, writing, “Political opposition… is given an inhumane overlay, which then justifies the abrogation of all normally applied customs of civilized behavior. A political policy is equated with moral right, and opposition to it with diabolical malevolence.”

We actually read this out loud in class as if we were the cast of characters. I remember being picked to read Elizabeth and my only other friend in that AP class read John Proctor. I wasn’t usually excited to read aloud but it was so fun reading this play. Even though this events took place SO long ago, they were so fun to read about. I think I would probably re-read this today if I felt like it.

4. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

26238021

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Out of all the books I’ve read in my life, Into the Wild remains in the top three. It’s funny because I originally only rated this book four stars and in my review, I mentioned not loving it. It’s been a few years since I read this book (I think I read in it 2016?) and it still manages to stick with me. I think about it often and I like to re-read a few passages of this book whenever I’m feeling upset. I left this book feeling so much and learning so much from Jon Krakauer and Chris McCandless. This is my bookseller rec at work because I just want everyone to read it. I’ve seen the movie and it was okay but I’ll never forget the feeling of reading it for the first time. I love this book for so many different reasons — it’s so atmospheric, it reads like fiction even though it’s not, it brings up the topic of transcendentalism, and some of the writing is just truly unforgettable.

 

What was your favorite required reading? Sometimes they’re hit or miss but I ended up really loving these!