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!

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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!

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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.

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!

 

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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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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)

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“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

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“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!

 

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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

 

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

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“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!

 

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