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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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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!

 

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