December 2016 Reads

  1. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Graphic Novels
  1. Rick and Morty: Lil' Poopy Superstar Volume 1 by Sarah Graley, Marc Ellerby (Contributor), Mildred Louis (Illustrator)
  2. Dog Man (Dog Man #1) by Dav Pilkey Love Volume 4: The Dinosaur (Love #4) by Frédéric Brrémaud, Federico Bertolucci (Contributor)
  3. I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. about Everything. by Orli Auslander
  4. Dog Night at the Story Zoo by Dan Bar-el, Vicki Nerino (Illustrations)
  5. One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale
  6. Charlaine Harris' Grave Surprise (Harper Connelly Graphic Novels #2) by Charlaine Harris, Royal McGraw, Ilias Kyriazis (Contributor)
  7. Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Unliving Undead by Steve Bryant, Mark Stegbauer (Contributor), Jason Millet (Contributor)
  8. The Slanted Life of Emily Dickinson: America's Favorite Recluse Just Got a Life! by Rosanna Bruno

  1. Daddy Long Legs by Nadine Brun-Cosme, Aurélie Guillerey (Illustrations)
  2. Mr. Postmouse Takes a Trip by Marianne Dubuc
  3. Clearful and the Queen by Mel Exon
  4. Remarkable Animals by Tony Meeuwissen
  5. The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Edition by Clement C. Moore, Charles Santore (Illustrations)
  6. Here Comes Santa Cat (Here Comes Cat) by Deborah Underwood, Claudia Rueda (Illustrations)
  7. The Queen of the Frogs by Davide Cali, Marco Somà (Illustrations)

Misc. Genres
  1. Journal Sparks: Fire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking by Emily K. Neuburger
  2. The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
  3. I Love My Love by Reyna Mays

  1. Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1) by Julia Quinn

November 2016 Reads

  1. We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Graphic Novels
  1. Animals of a Bygone Era: An Illustrated Compendium by Maja Safstrom
  2. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  3. It's All Absolutely Fine: Life Is Complicated So I've Drawn It Instead by Ruby Elliot
  4. Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings (Illustrations), Damian Duffy (Adapted by)
  5. Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt: A Narwhal and Jelly Book by Ben Clanton
  6. Brave New Girl: How to Be Fearless by Lou Hamilton

Children’s / Illustrated Books
  1. My Name Is Zedonk by Jia Han
  2. The Fog by Kyo Maclear, Kenard Pak (Illustrations)
  3. Little Blue Chair by Cary Fagan, Madeline Kloepper (Illustrations)
  4. Harry and Clare's Amazing Staycation by Ted Staunton, Mika Song (Illustrations)
  5. Count Your Chickens by Jo Ellen Bogart
  6. A Pattern for Pepper by Julie Kraulis
  7. There, There by Tim Beiser, Bill Slavin (Illustrations)
  8. Princess Lemonella by Saarein te Brake, Sassafras De Bruyn (Illustrations)

Misc. Genres
  1. The Dim Sum Field Guide: A Taxonomy of Dumplings, Buns, Meats, Sweets, and Other Specialties of the Chinese Teahouse by Carolyn Phillips
  2. Samu-Shamu: The Sonam Stories by Suzie Sims-Fletcher (Editor)

  1. Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1) by Erin Summerill
  2. Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher

Book Review: Samu–Shamu by Suzie Sims-Fletcher

Let me preface this review by saying that this is not a book I would usually read or would naturally pick up if I saw it on a shelf, but when a publicist asked if I was interested in reviewing it for my blog, I thought, “why not?” I’ve been meaning to read more books about cultural experiences outside of my own. So if this book seems out of place on my more YA-oriented book review blog, that’s why.

Pub Date:
November 11, 2016
Publisher: MapleInk Publishing
Format: PDF


On a remote campus in the Black Mountains of the Himalayas, students at the Institute of Language and Culture Studies, Royal University of Bhutan, were asked to recall stories of their childhoods. Suzie Sims-Fletcher, their English lopen, taught them how to move from the oral tradition in Dzonghka to written composition in English. These selected tales are at once uniquely provincial yet poignantly universal. The collection offers striking memories of family and community, learning and growth, illness and death, tradition and celebration. An adaptable lesson guide to the story project (ESL, listening skills, writing), glossary of Dzongkha words and phrases, as well as vibrant full color photos of Druk Yul, Land of the Thunder Dragon, round out the 156 pages. Whether you are a tourist, teacher, or culture collector, Samu-Shamu: The Sonam Stories, captures the mist and earth of this magical kingdom in the sky.

Samu–Shamu: The Sonam Stories, Narratives of Childhood in Bhutan are stories written from childhood memories by students in Bhutan for an assignment by the author. It is a representation of final projects created by first year students in the author’s 2012 Academic Skills classes at ILCS (Institute for Language and Culture Studies, Royal University of Bhutan). It also documents the change in culture due to the introduction of technology and exposure to international influences (including the import of goods, availability of entertainment, and opportunities to travel).

One of my favorite aspects of this book is all of the photographs of the people of Bhutan. It gives insight into their economy, careers, fashion, architecture, religious celebrations, food, and overall culture. I found myself eagerly flipping through the pages to see more to better understand the book and the Bhutanese.

I think SamuShamu is a hard book to read all in one sitting, but it is written through narratives in a way that makes it easy to jump from one story to another without feeling like you are missing anything. All in all, this isn’t my personal cup of tea, as I do not gravitate towards non-fiction in my spare time. But even though it’s of a genre I tend not to read very often, I found myself enjoying this book. It gets a solid 3 out of 5 stars from me. I’d probably recommend Samu–Shamu to educators, as it has a more academic-bent to it. But whoever you are, it definitely won’t hurt to read it; you may even walk away a better person for having read it.

About the Author:
Suzie Sims-Fletcher is an international communications consultant and accent reduction specialist. She has previously published a teacher's guide to Voice and Articulation (Crannell), an encyclopedia entry on Betty Page, and countless stories and poems. An intrepid explorer and collector of stories, in addition to her unusual journey from Boston to Bhutan, her experiences range from extreme desert camping to racing hermit crabs, and wearing handmade costumes in national parades to spinning fire on an island beach. When not traveling the world practicing radical self-reliance, she hikes up to her fifth-floor apartment in New York City.

October 2016 Reads

  1. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  2. The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3) by Mary E. Pearson
  3. Sugar by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Graphic Novels
  1. Disney Manga Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas by Jun Asuka
  2. The Trouble with Women by Jacky Fleming
  3. The Snow Queen: A Tale in Seven Stories by Hans Christian Andersen, Sanna Annukka (Illustrations), Jean Hersholt (Translator)
  4. Lunch Witch #2: Knee-deep in Niceness (Lunch Witch #2) by Deb Lucke
  5. Goodnight Batcave by Dave Croatto, Tom Richmond (Illustrations)

Children’s / Illustrated
  1. You Belong Here by M.H. Clark, Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator)
  2. The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas, Erin E. Stead (Illustrations)
  3. Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, Yuyi Morales (Illustrations)
  4. This Is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From by Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura Cornell (Illustrations)
  5. I Love You with All My Butt!: An Illustrated Book of Big Thoughts from Little Kids by Martin Bruckner
  6. The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation (The Princess in Black #4) by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illustrations)
  7. Wade's Wiggly Antlers by Louise Bradford, Christine Battuz (Illustrations)
  8. The Thing Lou Couldn't Do by Ashley Spires
  9. Spork by Kyo Maclear, Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrations)
  10. A Horse Named Steve by Kelly Collier
  11. Stop Feedin' da Boids! by James Sage, Pierre Pratt (Illustrations)
  12. The Last Tree by Ingrid Chabbert, Raúl Nieto Guridi (Illustrations)
  13. The Way Home in the Night by Akiko Miyakoshi
  14. Miss You Like Crazy by Pamela Hall, Jennifer A. Bell (Illustrations)

Misc. Genres
  1. Traditional Jewish Baking: Retro Recipes Your Grandma Would Make… If She Had a Mixer by Carine Goren
  2. Walt Whitman's Guide to Manly Health and Training by Whitman

Beautiful Book Quotes II

I was feeling creative and I had a little time to spare, so I made some more shareable book quote graphics. You can see the ones I made in the past here or on my portfolio site.

What do you think? Should I make more? Any quote requests?

Please feel free to share them on your social media channels!

Waiting On Wednesday: Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly book meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Poison's Kiss (Poison's Kiss #1)
Expected Publication: January 10, 2017


A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive—like a poison kiss—and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya, a poison maiden, is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

I have to say, this book sounds a bit like Robin LaFever's Grave Mercy—you know, with the whole femme-fatale assassin vibe—but it seems to have enough of a spin on it to make me want to read it.

Which books are you waiting on?

September 2016 Reads

  1. The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny #1) by Jeaniene Frost
  2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams
Graphic Novels:
  1. Light by Rob Cham
Children's/Illustrated Books:
  1. Sloppy Wants a Hug by Sean Julian
  2. Whose Poop Is That? by Darrin P Lunde
  3. Dreaming of Mocha by An Swerts, Eline van Lindenhuizen
Misc. Genres:
  1. Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History's Great Cat-loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen by Sam Kalda
  2. Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga by Jennifer Croll, Ada Buchholc
  1. Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2016 TBR List

The last TBR list I drafted up was also for a Top Ten Tuesday, in which I talked about my Spring 2016 TBR. Guess what? I read ZERO of the ten books I listed. It seems to always play out that way. I make a list, and then promptly ignore it. It's mostly because I am a total mood reader, and I can't force myself to read books if anyone tells me to, even if that person is ME. 

This time, though, I made a commitment to read books for a Mock Printz Award, which I am really jazzed about. I think that's really going to hone my focus. Plus, I am accountable to someone other than myself, so that also helps motivate me.

Without any further ado, here are the top ten books on my fall TBR list:

  • The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3) 
    by Mary E. Pearson 
    I read the first two books of the series and really enjoyed them, so I bought this final book to end the series. I wasn't counting on it being utterly massive and double the size of the previous two books, so I've been dragging my feet on picking it up.

  • With Malice
    by Eileen Cook 
    This book was gifted to me by a dear friend for my birthday. I've heard a lot of great things about it, so I'm looking forward to cracking it open sometime in the fall season before someone spoils it for me.

  • The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold #1)
    by Traci Chee 
    Here is one of the books I am going to read for the Mock Printz. I got an ARC of it at BEA, though a friend cautions me that it may not have all the elements that are in the final book, which is very important to the overall enjoyment. 

  • The Sun Is Also a Star
    by Nicola Yoon 
    I loved Everything, Everything, so I was thrilled to get a copy at BEA. This is another book I am going to read for the Mock Printz.

  • We Are the Ants
    by Shaun David Hutchinson 
    This one comes highly recommended, and is also a Mock Printz contender. After reading the premise, I decided this one is going to be my next read. Actually, I plan on starting it tonight...

  • The Lie Tree
    by Frances Hardinge 
    This one has been out for a while, but I hadn't heard of it until I became involved in the Mock Printz. From what I understand, it has a big shot at winning this year.

  • Salt to the Sea
    by Ruta Sepetys 
    I actually met Ruta at BEA, and she signed a hardcover copy of this book for me. I've wanted to read it for ages, and now that it is a Mock Printz hopeful, I finally have a reason to pick it up already.

  • Caraval (Untitled #1)
    by Stephanie Garber 
    This is another book I was lucky enough to snag at BEA. It pubs in January, so I'd like to read it before then.

  • The Witchcraft of Salem Village
    by Shirley Jackson 
    So here is one of two books about Salem that I'd like to read this fall. Because I work in Salem, and because I've been obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials since I was a kid, I figured it's time to read more about them. I'm hoping I can get to this book right around or a bit before Halloween.

  • Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials
    by Marilynne K. Roach 
    Here is the second Salem book and the final book in my fall TBR. I actually bought it two years ago during my first visit to Salem. I have no idea why I haven't read it yet. Well, actually, it's probably because I am more of a fiction than nonfiction reader. But this is a book I can see myself loving.

So, there you have it. Ten books to read before December. Think I can swing it?

What's in your Top Ten Tuesday?

2016 YA Fantasy Wish List

It's been such a long time since I've formally compiled an actual wish list, that I figured I'd draft one to keep track of the books I don't own yet but desperately want to. Each of these books has already pubbed this year, and though I entered giveaways for all of them, they never actually ended up in my hands. 

Maybe by writing out this list, the universe will somehow get these books to me without me having to personally buy them. Yes, I'm on yet another book buying ban. I actually haven't purchased many books for myself in the last two years, but I still want to keep my book-spending to a minimum. At least, that's the plan. We'll see how much self-control I can muster.

Which books are you wishing for?

Book Review & Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Storybook Night (#storybookknight)

Two reviews and giveaways in a row! So much fun stuff going on on the blog lately. Again, a big thank you to the Sourcebooks team for making this possible.

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published September 6, 2016


Even dragons can’t resist a good story…

Even though Leo would rather sit at home and read, his parents send him out into the world in the hopes that Leo will become a famous knight. But when Leo comes up against the land’s most fearsome beasts, he soon discovers that scary monsters enjoy a good book as much as anyone…

This children's book is FANTASTIC. I gave it an immediate 5 out of 5 stars. The storyline is super-cute and meaningful, with the message being that you don't have to resort to violence to solve problems-- you can use your brains! I also think this book is especially beneficial for the young bookworms of the world who may get (wrongfully) judged or teased for being bookish. It's a truly delightful read that both parent and child will enjoy. Highly recommend!

Now for the fun part: enter for a chance to win an original sketch of Leo and Ned by illustrator Thomas Docherty! 

I know you are going to love this book, regardless of your age. This is a timeless children's book I can easily see enduring through the years. Check out the landing page for The Storybook Knight for more info and fun stuff. Also, here are some author links for ya:

Thomas Docherty:
Twitter: @TDIllustration 
Helen Docherty:
Twitter: @docherty_helen

Book Review & Blog Tour + Giveaway: Ed Vere's Max at Night (#maxatnight)

As you know, I really love children's books. Not only do I like to read them to find books to buy my goddaughter, but I personally enjoy them myself. I believe children's books aren't just for children. They can bring joy to adults, too.

When the lovely folks over at Sourcebooks contacted me about participating in a blog tour for Ed Vere's Max at Night, I jumped at the opportunity. I really enjoyed the first book in this children's series (Max the Brave), and I may have liked this one even more.

Max at Night (Max)
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Published September 1, 2016


This is Max. Max is very sleepy. It's way past Max's bedtime. Max has drunk his milk. Max has brushed his teeth. Max has cleaned behind his ears. Now Max just needs to say goodnight...

 Max is tired and all ready for bed, but when he can't find the moon to say goodnight to, he sets out to find it. But that's not as easy as Max had hoped...

Witty and heart-warming, this stylish and beautifully illustrated book is the perfect bedtime read.

I'm going to keep this short and to the point: you need this for your child's library. As a grown human, this book made me chuckle, so I know a young reader would be entertained by it, too. It's adorable and sweet, and the illustrations are simple yet delightful and eye-catching. The bright color scheme is perfect for the playful vibe of the storyline. Check out the images below for a better idea of what I mean:

Now for the fun part: Enter for a chance to win an original sketch by author and illustrator Ed Vere and a copy of Max at Night!

I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. Check out the Max at Night landing page for even more info. I'm also including some author links for you to visit, if you are so inclined:

Twitter: @ed_vere

Waiting On Wednesday: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly book meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1)
Expected Publication: December 27, 2016


Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

This book sounds fantastic. So much intrigue and danger. I can't wait to read it!

Which books are you waiting on?

August 2016 Reads

Eh. Not proud of my reading this month, but I had a lot going on between travel, moving, and social engagements. Maybe September will be the month I get back on track.

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Graphic Novels
  1. Business Cat: Money, Power, Treats by Tom Fonder

Children’s & Illustrated Books
  1. Thérèse Makes a Tapestry by Alexandra S.D. Hinrichs, Renée Graef
  2. I'll Hug You More by Laura Duksta, Melissa Iwai
  3. Abigail the Whale by Davide Cali, Sonja Bougaeva
  4. Maxwell the Monkey Barber by Cale Atkinson

Misc. Genres
  1. Being a Girl by Hayley Long, Gemma Correll

Waiting On Wednesday: Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly book meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Expected Publication: April 11, 2017


Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, Spindle Fire is an enthralling, wholly original re-imagining of a classic faerie story.

Half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood, a Faerie Queen who is preparing for war, a strange and enchanting dream realm, and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

Spindle Fire is a tour de force fantasy set in the dwindling, deliciously corrupt world of the fae, and featuring two truly unforgettable heroines.

Fairytale retellings are so huge in YA right now. I wonder when this publishing fad will end, but until it does, I plan to continue to enjoy it by reading this book.

Which books are you waiting on?

July 2016 Reads

I had a great reading month! I read 6 full-length novels, 4 graphic novels, 4 children’s & illustrated books, and 4 books of assorted genres. I DNF’d one book I really thought I’d like, but it happens sometimes. Here’s hoping August is just as good if not better!

  1. Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake
  2. The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
  3. Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost
  4. Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) by Jeaniene Frost
  5. The Secrets of Wiscombe Chase by Christine Merrill
  6. Bound by Flames (Night Prince #3) by Jeaniene Frost

Graphic Novels
  1. Cat vs Human Fairy Tails by Yasmine Surovec
  2. Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson
  3. Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy by Doug Savage
  4. Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

Children’s & Illustrated Books
  1. What Color Is a Kiss? by Rocio Bonilla
  2. Sam and Emma by Donald Nelsen, Edward Gorey
  3. King Baby by Kate Beaton
  4. The Green Umbrella by Jackie Azúa Kramer, Maral Sassouni

Misc. Genres
  1. Grumpy Cat's All About Miserable Me: A Doodle Journal for Everything Awful by Jimi Bonogofsky-Gronseth
  2. Cat Selfies by Charlie Ellis
  3. Island Escape: My Caribbean Coloring Book by Jade Gedeon
  4. Rainforest Escape: My Island Animal, Exotic Flower and Tropical Plant Color Book by Jade Gedeon

  1. Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

How was your July?
Get any quality reading time in?

Stacking the Shelves: Romance Haul

I've been on a real romance kick lately. So far this month I've read three romances: The Secrets of Wiscombe Chase by Christine Merrill, Once Burned (Night Prince #1), and Twice Tempted (Night Prince #2) by Jeaniene Frost. I decided I wanted to get the third book in the Night Prince series, so I went to my local Barnes and Noble and proceeded to lose control of myself there, buying 4 more books on top of that. Some paranormal, some historical; all romance. What can I say? It's just what I seem to be in the mood to read.

From top to bottom: Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1) by Julia Quinn, Lady Bridget's Diary (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #1) by Maya Rodale, Bound by Flames (Night Prince #3) by Jeaniene Frost, The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny #1) by Jeaniene Frost, Stars of Fortune (The Guardians Trilogy #1) by Nora Roberts.

Buy any new books lately?

2016 Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

Originally created by ReadLikeWildfire, I spotted this meme on Piera Forde’s booktube channel. I thought it sounded fun, so here goes nothing!

  1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2016.
    Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. Yes, this book is over thirty years old and was written for second graders, but it is hands-down the best book I’ve read this year.

  2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2016.
    Siege and Storm & Ruin and Rising, the sequels to Shadow and Bone in the Grisha trilogy. They are also the only sequels I’ve read this year.

  3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.
    All of them. I need to read all of them.

  4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
    I have an entire Top Ten list dedicated to this question!

  5. Biggest disappointment.
    Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. There was SO MUCH HYPE surrounding this book. I think it fell way short of the mark.

  6. Biggest surprise.
    C.L. Wilson’s The Winter King. The cover is pretty but very cheesy, so I was expecting a run-of-the-mill romance novel (which I still love to read, btw), but this one is stellar as far as mass-market paperback romances go.

  7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)
    I don’t know if I have one yet. But Peadar Ó Guilín is definitely a contender. I’m obsessed with The Call.

  8. Newest fictional crush.
    The ever-so-complicated and brooding Kaz Brekker from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows. I was definitely crushing on him while reading this book, though I’m still undecided if I want to continue the series or not.

  9. Newest favorite character.
    Arsinoe from Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns. She is by far my favorite character in this book (and there are many [almost too many] heroines to choose from).

  10. Book that made you cry.
    Almost a Full Moon by Hawksley Workman. It’s a children’s picture book, but it is so beautiful that it moved me to tears. The words are literally lyrics from a song, and the illustrations of a diverse community coming together really affected me.

  11. Book that made you happy.
    The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I mean, overall this book was just OK for me, but the ending gave me everything I wanted, so I guess I was happy?

  12. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received).
    Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Yes, the cover art is beautiful, and so is what’s inside.

  13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
    I have so many ARCs from BEA that I need to read! Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige and Replica by Lauren Oliver are just a couple that come to mind.

  14. Favorite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)
    I don’t particularly like this question because I don’t want feelings to get hurt. And I absolutely don’t like popularity contests. Just know that I love interacting with everyone in the book community, whether it be here on my blog, on twitter, with publishing professionals, or other bloggers.

I had fun with this tag, especially because I’ve read so many books in the last 6 months that it helps to reflect on them in order to remember what I’ve read. If you choose to do this tag, leave your link in the comments so I can check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

It’s time for another very cool top ten list by The Broke and the Bookish. This topic is a new way to talk about underrated books, especially when calling a book underrated is subjective. An easy way to figure out your own list is to go to Goodreads, select your “read” list, and at the top of your read list where it says “settings,” you can add a column for “# of ratings.” From there, you can sort your list from least to most ratings.

So without any further ado, in order from least to most ratings, here are ten books I enjoyed with less than 2000 ratings on Goodreads:

  1. Yes, Let's
    by Galen Goodwin Longstreth, Maris Wicks
    183 Ratings

  2. Stories
    by Doris Lessing
    195 Ratings

  3. Spread, Vol. 1: No Hope (Spread #1-6)
    by Justin Jordan, Kyle Strahm
    222 Ratings

  4. Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula
    by Andi Watson
    533 Ratings

  5. This Monstrous Thing
    by Mackenzi Lee
    750 Ratings

  6. In the Shadows
    by Kiersten White, Jim Di Bartolo
    951 Ratings

  7. The Wind Blows Backward
    by Mary Downing Hahn
    957 Ratings

  8. A Curious Tale of the In-Between
    by Lauren DeStefano
    983 Ratings

  9. Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures (Pip Bartlett #1)
    by Jackson Pearce, Maggie Stiefvater
    1,066 Ratings

  10. Ethel and Ernest
    by Raymond Briggs
    1,201 Ratings

Have you heard of or read any of the books I mentioned? I’d love to talk more about them, especially because they are so very deserving of love and attention!

What's in your Top Ten Tuesday?

June 2016 Reads

Wow, I read a TON of children’s books in June. I think I was unconsciously using them to get back into the flow of reading every day. I did manage to read two full-length novels that I really enjoyed. I can feel myself wanting to read again, which is great, because I was so uninterested in settling in with a book in May. Here’s to hoping this is just the beginning of a summer filled with reading!

  1. Three Dark Crowns (Untitled #1) by Kendare Blake
  2. The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

Graphic Novels
  1. Ghostbusters International by Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening
  2. Ghostbusters: Who Ya Gonna Call? by Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening

Children’s and Illustrated Books
  1. The Branch by Mireille Messier, Pierre Pratt
  2. The Pruwahaha Monster by Jean-Paul Mulders, Jacques Maes, Lise Braekers
  3. Metropolis by Benoit Tardif
  4. The Day I Became a Bird by Ingrid Chabbert, Raúl Nieto Guridi
  5. Lucy and Company by Marianne Dubuc
  6. You Belong to Me by Mamoru Suzuki
  7. Mr. Matisse and His Cutouts by Annemarie van Haeringen
  8. Pug Man's 3 Wishes by Sebastian Meschenmoser
  9. Little Kong by Freya Hartas
  10. Baby Bear's Not Hibernating by Lynn Plourde, Teri Weidner
  11. Henry Hodges Needs a Friend by Andy Andrews
  12. Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp
  13. The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold by Maureen Fergus, Cale Atkinson
  14. The Storm by Akiko Miyakoshi
  15. Pablo Finds a Treasure by Andrée Poulin
  16. Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard
  17. The Fox Who Ate Books by Franziska Biermann
  18. A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen

Misc. Genres
  1. The Art and Craft of Handmade Books by Shereen LaPlantz
  2. The Night Voyage: A Magical Adventure and Coloring Book by Daria Song
  3. 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings: How to Get By Without Even Trying by Sarah Cooper
  4. Overview: Unexpected Images of the World We've Shaped by Benjamin Grant

  1. The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen

How was your June?
Get any substantial reading time in?

Waiting On Wednesday: A Shadow Bright and Burning

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly book meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:  

Expected publication: September 20, 2016  


I am Henrietta Howel.
The first female sorcerer in hundreds of years.
The prophesied one.
Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she's shocked when instead of being executed, she's invited to train as one of Her Majesty's royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.
As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city—and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess's spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettably heroine, and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal. Hand to fans of Libba Bray, Sarah J. Maas, and Cassandra Clare.

This sounds so good! It has an original spin to it I haven't really heard before. And the cover is purty.

Which books are you waiting on?

Stacking the Shelves: the Harvard Book Store Summer Warehouse Sale 2016

This weekend, the Harvard Book Store had their annual summer warehouse sale. I went last year and loved it, so I knew I had to go again, even though I have absolutely no business buying any more books. But I'm only human. So yeah, I bought 11 books for a steal to the tune of $30. Most are remaindered, some are used, and all are beautiful.

Left: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers, Hild by Nicola Griffith, Dracula by Bram Stoker

Right: Frederica in Fashion by M.C. Beaton, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken, Love and Friendship by Jane Austen, The Witchcraft of Salem Village by Shirley Jackson, The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman, The Lancaster Witch by Carol H. Behrman, A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos

I'm really jazzed about all of my finds, especially the used ones from the '90s. They are all books I would have ordered in my heyday from a Scholastic or Troll Books catalog!

Get any good books lately?

I designed a book!

Big news, everyone! The book that I typeset and designed is finally available to purchase online. I put my heart and soul into it, and I am so proud of how it turned out. If you use Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, you'll see how much effort I put into making the book look pretty and perfect.

I have been obsessed with L.M. Montgomery since I read the Anne of Green Gables series as a child, so I knew bringing one of her lesser known works to light would be the perfect first book design project for me.

Check it out, and if you like it, please buy it! You'll be helping me pay back my student loans that I took out in order to learn how to do this stuff.

Let me know what you think!

Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Anticipated Book Releases for the Second Half of 2016

I love Top Ten Tuesdays. I don't know why I don't participate in this book meme more often. I love love love making lists, especially book lists. This week's TTT is about my most anticipated releases for the second half of the year. Obviously, this list does not encompass every single book I am excited about that is going to pub in 2016, but it's a good start! 

  1. Replica (Replica #1)
    by Lauren Oliver
    Expected publication
    : October 4th 2016 by HarperCollins
  2. Three Dark Crowns (Untitled #1)
    by Kendare Blake
    Expected publication: September 20th 2016 by HarperTeen
  3. The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart
    by Lauren DeStefano
    Expected publication: September 13th 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  4. Ghosts
    by Raina Telgemeier
    Expected publication: September 13th 2016 by Graphix
  5. Dark Matter
    by Blake Crouch
    Expected publication: August 2nd 2016 by Crown
  6. The Forgetting
    by Sharon Cameron
    Expected publication: September 13th 2016 by Scholastic Press
  7. The Sun Is Also a Star
    by Nicola Yoon
    Expected publication: November 1st 2016 by Delacorte Press
  8. Moo
    by Sharon Creech
    Expected publication: August 30th 2016 by HarperCollins
  9. King Baby
    by Kate Beaton
    Expected publication: September 13th 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
  10. The Graces (The Graces #1)
    by Laure Eve
    Expected publication: September 6th 2016 by Amulet Books

Luckily for me, I already have ARCs for most of these on this list. I wish I had copies of Moo and The Graces, but I'll just buy them when they pub. It's not as if I don't have enough books to keep me occupied in the mean time.

What's in your Top Ten Tuesday?

Stacking the Shelves: BookExpo America & The BookCon 2016 Haul

Hi everyone! As I mentioned last month, I went to Chicago for BEA & BookCon 2016! It was simply a fantastic time. I met tons of authors that I love and admire, and I got nearly 200 books (not all of them are pictured below because some were sent out in the mail at the time. I also gave some away). 

I shared pics of my haul each day on twitter, but I realized I never officially posted about them here. I apologize for the photos' poor quality; they were taken with my camera phone on a hotel room floor. Not really #bookstagram material. If you'd like to see a list of most of the books I got, check out the Goodreads shelf I created.

I still haven't read a single book from this haul yet. I attempted to read one, but I ended up hating the writing style, so I DNF'd it (more on that another time). I'm actually dealing with a terrible reading slump right now. I'm hoping that I can decide on a book to read soon and just settle in with it. In my experience, I just need to ride slumps out. 

Get any good books lately?

May 2016 Reads

Oh May, you were such a fabulous month for me, just not in terms of reading time. I finished my publishing graduate program, got my Master's degree, became co-chair of a prestigious book show, got hired at a cook book publisher, and traveled to Chicago for a week to attend Book Expo America and the BookCon! I am exhausted (and elated) just thinking about it all again. But all that big life stuff left very little time to read. I read 8 books, none of them full-length novels, putting me at 144 books in 2016 (so far).

  • NONE!

Graphic Novels:
  1. The Lion (Love #3) by Frédéric Brrémaud, Federico Bertolucci
  2. Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats by Georgia Dunn
  3. I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1: Madly Ever After by Skottie Young, Jean-François Beaulieu

Illustrated/ Children’s Books
  1. Me and My Cat by Michael Dahl, Zoe Persico
  2. The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
  3. It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee
  4. I Will Always Be Happy to See You by Ellen Delange, Jenny Meilihove

Other Genres
  1. You Had One Job! by Beverly L. Jenkins

How was your May?
Get any substantial reading time in?

Stacking the Shelves: Independent Bookstore Day 2016

Last Saturday, April 30, was the second annual Independent Bookstore Day. The event was originally created to drive traffic into independent bookstores. More than 400 bookstores nationwide offered promotions like music, food, drinks, readings, and scavenger hunts, and some even offered exclusives.

Luckily for me, I live in an area that had a plethora of independent bookstores partaking in this joyous day. I decided to visit a bookstore I've never been to before: Papercuts J.P.

The space is small but inviting, and the walls are lined with books from top-to-bottom. As an Independent Bookstore Day treat, Jesse Andrews, author of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was there signing books. I was clueless to this fact, and I walked right by him, not realizing I was missing out on meeting a very talented YA author! The regret is so real.

I ended up buying an exclusive bookstore cat zipper pouch, a set of two super-cute notebooks designed by Lotta Jansdotter, a paperback copy of Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, and a hardcover copy of the Pulitzer prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Did you celebrate Independent Bookstore Day 2016?

April 2016 Reads

April was not the best reading month for me. In fact, it was my slowest one all year. I only read one full-length novel. This is all due to finals, job hunting, and finishing up a ton of projects culminating in the end of my academic career as a publishing grad student. I read a ton of non-fiction for school and work, but it doesn’t feel quite the same as getting a significant amount of pleasure-reading in. All in all, I read 25 books, down 5 books from the 30 I read in March

  1. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Graphic Novels
  1. Luna the Vampire Volume 1: Grumpy Space by Yasmin Sheikh
  2. Complete Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore, & Erica Awano
  3. Bob's Burgers: Well Done by Loren Bouchard
  4. The Fun Family by Benjamin Frisch
  5. The Toad (Disgusting Critters) by Elise Gravel

Illustrated/ Children’s Books
  1. Max at Night by Ed Vere
  2. Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
  3. Who Broke the Teapot?! by Bill Slavin
  4. The Liszts by Kyo Maclear
  5. Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems by Carey Sookocheff
  6. Counting with Barefoot Critters by Teagan White
  7. Not Today, Celeste!: A Dog's Tale about Her Human's Depression by Liza Stevens
  8. What Would It Be Like? by McArthur Krishna, Ayeshe Sadr, Ishaan Dasgupta
  9. Almost a Full Moon by Hawksley Workman
  10. Yitzi and the Giant Menorah by Richard Ungar

Other Genres
  1. The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
  2. The Clever Cookbook: Make Incredible Meals Fast and Stress-Free With Cooking Shortcuts by Emilie Raffa
  3. Recipes From Many Kitchens: Celebrated Local Food Artisans Share Their Signature Dishes by Valentina Rice
  4. Book Design by Andrew Haslam
  5. InDesign Type: Professional Typography with Adobe Indesign by Nigel French
  6. Ultimate Interview: 100s of Great Interview Answers Tailored to Specific Jobs by Lynn Williams
  7. The DIY Book PR Guide: The Happier Guide to Do-It-Yourself Book Publicity in Seven Easy Steps by Emma Noble
  8. The Savvy Author's Guide To Book Publicity: A Comprehensive Resource-- from Building the Buzz to Pitching the Press by Lissa Warren

  1. A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle #1) by Ursula K. Le Guin

How was your April?
Get any substantial reading time in?

NY Times "By the Book" Tag

The NY Times “By the Book” Tag was originally created by Marie Berg, who was inspired… by the book called… By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review. Wow that’s a lot of the phrase “by the book” in one paragraph. Let’s just jump right in.
  1. What book is on your nightstand right now?
    The Novl sent me an ARC of Matthew Quick’s Every Exquisite Thing, and I want to read and review before it pubs at the end of May. He also wrote Silver Linings Playbook, which I haven’t read yet, but I enjoyed the movie version.

  2. What was the last truly great book that you read?
    Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. This is one of those books I wished I read as a child when I supposed to. But despite it being for grade-schoolers, I LOVED it. It’s beautiful.

  3. If you could meet any writer–dead or alive–who would it be? And what would you want to know?
    I would want to meet Walt Whitman, author of my personal bible, Leaves of Grass. And then I would ask him to marry me. I mean, I know the answer would be a hard “no,” but I’d still ask him in order to be true to my heart.

  4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
    Anyone who knows me wouldn’t be surprised by my shelves at all. They are largely made up of YA, with a lot of classics and contemporaries interspersed. There’s also a smattering of romance, graphic novels, and children’s books. It’s a pretty eclectic mix…

    OH, I just thought of one—I had friends over recently, and one of them noticed a book on my leather-bound shelf: a signed copy of Donald Trump’s How to Get Rich. It has a certificate of authenticity and everything!

  5. How do you organize your personal library?
    For the most part, I have them grouped by genre, then by type (hardcover, trade paperback, mass market, etc.), and finally by height. Some are also grouped by color. Whatever, it makes sense to me.

  6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
    I have yet to read any novels by Dickens or Melville, and I am mildly embarrassed by it. They are both hailed as literary geniuses, and I somehow managed to get away without reading them during my undergrad. Both Great Expectations and Moby Dick are on my book bucket list.

  7. Disappointing, overrated, or just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
    Over the summer I tried reading an ARC of Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites, but had to put it down after only a few chapters. I was so bored and found the main character too unlikable. It was a disappointing DNF because a) I got it for early review and b) Alice Hoffman is kind of a big deal, but I just couldn’t get into it, no matter how great its description sounded.

  8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
    I am very drawn to the fantastical. I like magic, and mythical creatures, and imaginary worlds. Add some romance to it, and I am so there.

    I stay clear of murder mysteries, crime, espionage, war/military and horror books. I don't read anything that will keep me up at night (for the wrong reasons).

  9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?
    This is a tough question. It might be the cliché answer, but I really want to say To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Any future president should be ashamed of themselves if they haven’t read this brilliant American classic. I honestly believe that anyone who reads it will walk away a better and wiser person for having read it.

  10. What do you plan to read next?
    I have so many YA fantasies in the queue! Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh are just a few I’ve been dying to read.

Now, I tag… ALL OF YOU. If you are reading this post, you have officially been tagged to participate in this meme. 

Please feel free to share your version with me in the comments!

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