Norse Mythology Book Tag

 

Birdie Bookworm tagged me for this Norse Mythology book tag that looked too fun to pass up. If you love books and/or Norse mythology def. keeping reading. And make sure you check out Birdie’s blog for more bookish fun. She’s one of my fave book tag suppliers and terrific in general.


The Rules:

  • Link back to the original post on Kyera’s Library so she can see all your answers! (Be sure to do this via pingback, I don’t get notified if you just tag my URL)
  • Thank the person(s) who tagged you… show the community some love!
  • Obviously, come up with your wonderful answers!
  • Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going!

ODIN – Favorite Standalone

Odin is the All-Father, the leader of the Norse Gods. He is the god of wisdom, poetry, battle, death, wine, and war, among other things.

10515068This one was kinda hard because most of my favorite books are actually part of a series or at least have a sequel of some kind. I decided to go with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because it was a stand alone story to the author even if countless people have added their own take on the material.

So many love stories take their cues from Pride and Prejudice – it’s been rewritten intentionally and unintentionally for an incredibly long time and even though it was written so long ago and shows up on school required reading lists, etc. It’s actually 100% deserving of the hype.


THOR – A Book that Hits You in the Feels

Thor is the god of thunder, weather, warriors, strength, and storms, so his might packs a punch. He is married to the beautiful Lady Sif.

15749186To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is basically all feels all the time. If you need a feel good chicken soup for the soul style love story that is fresh and relevant – Jenny Han is the girl for you. She’ll take you on an emotional roller coaster that you won’t really want to disembark from at all.

This is a YA love story but it’s also about family and growing up and the main character cooks so much good food that you will be starving basically the entire time you are reading.

Good news: It’s the first in a series and the newest book just came out this year.


LOKI – Biggest Book Plot Twist or Character Betrayal

Loki is the god of mischief, thieves and thrives on chaos.

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This might seem like an odd selection for this category if you haven’t read the book yet but I’m guessing that anyone who has read it is nodding their head with me right now going, “Seriously. Did not see that coming.”

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon is a sweet YA love story starring a girl who is literally allergic to everything and basically living that bubble girl life until a new book moves in next door and shit goes down.

It’s supremely well written and a seriously fast read because you will be unwilling to put it down once you start.


FRIGG – OTP (One True Pairing)

Frigg is Odin’s wife, the goddess of love, marriage, fertility, and fate.

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Anne and Gilbert for the win. Honestly Elizabeth and Darcy would work well here, too, but I already talked about Pride and Prejudice so I figured it would only be fair to talk about one of my other fave couples of all book-time. Of course they are basically babies in Anne of Green Gables (or, you know, tweenagers) but over the course of L.M. Montgomery’s series they seriously come to define #relationshipgoals

I didn’t read Anne of Green Gables until I was a grown assed woman so I’m here to tell you it’s never too late if you haven’t read it yet. I get just as much out of this story as a mom to a precocious daydreaming girlie as I did when I was a tweenie myself.


HEIMDALL – Favorite Second Book in a Series

Heimdall is the god of loyalty, faithfulness and he is who protects the bi-frost, the bridge that connects all nine worlds.

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Pretties is book two in a series by Scott Westerfeld. You want to read Uglies first. This series came out twelve years ago and seems to be more of a cult favorite than a global phenomenon but if you like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Lunar Chronicles, etc. then this series will definitely be up your alley.

In a world where ugliness is literally cured on your sixteenth birthday with an operation that will make you – you guessed it, pretty – things are of course not all that they seem.

This series absolutely sucked me in from the get go and book two holds up just as well as the first. It’s iconic dystopian and heartbreaking at times but soooo good.


SIF – Most Beautiful Book Cover

Lady Sif is known for her beautiful golden tresses, although she is also the goddess of the harvest and is married to Thor.

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I read a lot of pretty books but The Selection series by Kiera Cass have some of my favorite covers. This is another great series for fans of YA Dystopian. It’s kind of a blend of The Hunger Games and The Bachelor and it is seriously so addictive.

Follow America Singer who is rather reluctantly taking part in a competition to win the crown prince’s hand in marriage for the sake of her family. Love triangles, political intrigue, fancy ballgowns and gossip for days. This is a book to lose yourself in on a long summer day.


FREY – Book/Series that Makes You Happy

Frey is the Lord of weather, god of light, summer, master of agriculture, fertility, and brother of Freya.

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My daughter discovered The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin last year in the form of these new graphic novels and I have to admit they are adorable. It pains me a little that she’s mostly only interested in the graphic novel versions that are out right now but I get over that when we get to talk about which Babysitter we love the most and which one we relate to the most, etc. My darling girl has declared Dawn as her favorite. I always loved Claudia but I’m a total Mary Anne.

I cannot wait until she starts diving into the rest of the series which should keep her pretty busy what with there being over 100 of them.


FREYA – Favorite Book Setting

Freya is the goddess of love and beauty, fertility, war, wealth and growth, and sister of Frey.

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I mean, really, who amongst us doesn’t want to go to Hogwarts? The Harry Potter universe has been one of my favorite places to escape to for a very long time now. I love this illustrated edition of the first book – it is absolutely stunning. And a bit cheaper than going to the Harry Potter world at Universal or flying to London.

For the record, I’ve long considered myself a Ravenclaw though occasionally I have Hufflepuff tendencies. How about you?


TYR – Favorite Book with a Big Upheaval/Epic Fight Scene

Tyr is the god of war.

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I just read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas recently so the big throw down at the end is still pretty vivid in my mind. I am extremely anxious to return to the series but I’m in Book Club Mode right now so it will have to wait along with all of the other books that I am extremely anxious to read (I won’t lie, it’s a long list).

This is the first book in a series about an 18 year old assassin who is released from a prison sentence early by the crown prince but only if she agrees to enter a competition to become the king’s champion and royal assassin.


ULLER – Character Death that Affected You the Most

Uller is the god of death, winter, archery and hunting.

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I know I already mentioned Harry Potter but seriously were any of us okay after this book? I won’t even say the words on the off chance that you haven’t read the series (who even are you?) though I’m guessing the rest of the Internet wouldn’t be as kind.

I recommend this series with every fiber of my being but I won’t lie and say that it won’t break your heart a few times.


NJORD – Favorite Book that’s an Epic Journey on Water/Ocean Setting

Njord is the god of the wind and the sea.

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Okay I know this one is a serious stretch but I don’t read a lot of books that fit this category. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple definitely involves an epic journey and a cruise ship is involved.

It’s also an Epistolary novel which means it’s written in the form of letters, emails, etc. rather than in a traditional narrative form. Sometimes this format is terrible but occasionally it is awesome. I think this one falls more in the line of awesome.

It’s about a SAHM who basically loses all of her cool about living that suburban soccer mom life and disappears. Her family has to go through her online correspondences to figure out what happened and where she went. Funnier than it should be and relatable if absurd.


VALKYRIE – Favorite Strong Female Character

The Valkyries, much like the Amazons, are strong female warriors.

book one of the Lunar Chronicles

There is literally no other appropriate answer to this question. Like it would be a crime against humanity not to say Cinder and all the other leading characters of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. If you are looking for kick ass female characters to root for, this series is here for you.

I am starting to feel less silly telling people that they need to read this book about a cyborg Cinderella who goes on to team up with other fairy tale characters that are totally futuristic dystopian retellings of stories you thought you knew really well. But everyone I have recommended this amazing series to has loved it so I recommend it in full earnestness now: YOU HAVE TO READ THESE BOOKS. THEY ARE EVERYTHING.


AESIR/VANIR – Favorite Book “Crew”

The Aesir and the Vanir are the two groups of Norse gods, believed to be the old and new gods.

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In addition to some of the other great series I’ve already mentioned that feature an incredible cast of characters (Harry Potter, The Lunar Chronicles), My Lady Jane was written by a great book crew –  Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. And it features a pretty stellar group of characters. Everytime I thought I knew who I was rooting for, the authors would add in more people whom I absolutely wanted nothing but good things for.

If Cinder seemed like an odd book to recommend to people, brace yourself. Because now I have to tell you that you absolutely must read this historical retelling of the story of Lady Jane Grey who is married off to a stranger, briefly the Queen of England, and also falls in love with a horse. Okay only some of those things actually happen. Or do they?


SEIPYRTS – Favorite Sidekick (Non-Human Character)

Seipyrts is Odin’s trusty eight legged steed, yes you heard that correctly – eight legs.  I promise that he is the god’s horse companion and not a giant spider that he rides around on… although that would probably strike more fear in the hearts of his enemies than a pretty horse does.

29772863So I convinced you to read The Lunar Chronicles and you were there for it but then the series ended and now you are feeling a little angsty and aren’t sure what to do with yourself. Good news! Meyers wrote a graphic novel continuation called Wires and Nerve that picks up where the final book left off and it stars our favorite android sidekick, Iko.

This is a super quick read that lovers of the original series will probably really enjoy but if you haven’t read the O.S. then you might be confused and not get much out of it. So start at the beginning like a good little doobie. I promise it’s worth it.

Wires and Nerve is going to help you scratch that itch that just wants to live in the world of The Lunar Chronicles forever. You’ll get to see what everyone is up to and also SEE them for basically the first time. And there is a second one coming out in 2018 so maybe this never has to end?


TAG YOU’RE IT

I’m a filthy little rule breaker and don’t feel like tagging people today but if you read this whole post then you are definitely tagged. If you skimmed through it to see if you were tagged then you are tagged but please go read the post, too. Then leave a comment with your favorite YA novel that I didn’t mention yet.

PRINTABLE | A Quick & Easy Summer Reading Challenge

Our summer vacation is coming to a close – two more weeks until my kiddos go back to school. I was looking over the summer reading bingo sheets today and thinking about what’s working and what isn’t working.

I love a lot of things about this set up – my kids didn’t seem to get much use out of the coupons that you can win at our library’s summer reading program and keeping track of reading minutes or titles all summer sounded a lot like homework. Thus my bingo sheets were born.

Fast forward two years though and I feel like the bingo sheets are met with enthusiasm for the first week or so and then mostly forgotten. Every so often I’d go over the sheet, asking them questions like “Did you read any books about animals?” or “Did you start reading a new series this summer?” and even though the answer might have been yes, they were often unsure having forgotten exact titles.

My kids have been reading a ton this summer – quantity has not been an issue. If anything, our system just seems to be unnecessarily complicated. And we’ve been busy enough to not have time for unnecessarily complicated systems. So I decided to make a pared down reading challenge that highlights our favorite aspects of the current system.

Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy does an annual reading challenge that I love and this year’s challenge included a handy bookmark to keep tucked in your current read. I loved this idea and decided to incorporate it into a new reading challenge for next year.

I know a lot of you still have several weeks of summer left and thought I’d share this here in case you want to motivate your kids to squeeze in some extra reading time before school starts.

BEHOLD: The Summer Reading Challenge For People With No Time For Summer Reading Challenges

2018 summer reading

Print it as a bookmark or open up your favorite photo editing site and make your own – I use picmonkey.com to make all my graphics and highly recommend it. It’s all online and has tons of graphics and fonts and flexibility. / Plug

The ‘How I Choose My Books’ Tag

Another day, another tag stolen mercilessly from Birdie Bookworm. This one is all about what draws you to the books you buy. I decided to make all my selections from books on my kindle because it’s probably where most of my impulse book purchases happen. Let’s take a look at the results, shall we?

1. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

20416427The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas jumped out at me recently because I just bought the kindle edition after much urging from one of my fave IRL book friends who turned me onto the series. This is a prequel apparently and will tell you about Celaena and Sam’s relationship before she was sent to prison.


 

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

5126Ao2n1PLMap to the Stars by Jen Malone didn’t have me at hello you could say. Initially I found the main character kind of annoyingly dense and stubborn and the premise seemed a little contrived. It wasn’t until a few chapters in, when the love story starts to pick up and witty banter ensues that I really got on board and then suddenly I was loving it, contrived story and all.


 

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random. How did you discover this book?

51DLU1l6MFLWho Thought This Was a Good Idea by  Alyssa Mastromonaco is about Alyssa’s time working as Obama’s former deputy chief of staff. I think I discovered it in one of those kindle books on sale roundups either goodreads.com or Modern Mrs. Darcy.


 

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

16034235I know I basically just mentioned this series but Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas came highly recommended to me by two different friends and I’m so glad they were persistent because I loved it. If you are into YA fantasy, this one will definitely do the trick. It’s fairly popular in the blogging circles and deservingly so. If you read The Lunar Chronicles after fifteen people insisted you do so (or maybe it was just me fifteen times), this is your next assignment.


 

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

30653853The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Allbertalli has been a social media darling for awhile now. Everyone I knew online was reading it. Sometimes this makes me leery of a book but the premise sounded like my kind of adorable – geeky shy girl thinks she won’t find love but of course does find love. This was such a sweet story but also felt very real – it was like reading your old diary from high school except that when I was in high school none of the pop culture references in this book existed. Shhhh…. no tears now.


 

6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

28226592Wanderlost by Jen Malone – I read this one before reading Map to the Stars and honestly it took me a minute to fall for this one, too. Malone’s characters are kind of clueless initially but this makes for more character development. In this one Aubree is coerced into running a European tour for senior citizens for her big sister and if the pages of descriptions of European travel don’t do it for you, the love story definitely will. I puffy hearts adored Sam.


 

7. What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

17975954Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams was turned into a pretty amazing series on BBC last year. I haven’t actually read the book yet but couldn’t resist picking it up in case my husband or I need a good read. Douglas Adams is one of the funniest writers of all time – but it’s the best kind of funny. Smart British Sci Fi Nerd Funny.


 

8. Think of your all-time favorite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

Okay I’m going rouge for this one and not worrying about whether it’s on my kindle. Favorite books include: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen which I read in 2008 about a year before my daughter was born. I was late to the party and probably feeling guilty about being an English major who hadn’t read Jane Austen yet. I’m glad I rectified this because this story especially completes me and I consider it my favorite love story; Harry Potter series by JK Rowling which I started reading sometime in high school or college and finished reading when I was a married mother to a toddler. My husband and I pretty much met and fell in love over Harry Potter and we’re both such big fans of the series that we each ordered our own hard cover copy of the last book because we refused to share. I could go on but I’ll refrain because then we’ll be here literally all day. If you want to know about more books I love, just go here.


TAG, YOU’RE IT!

Now for the serious business of tagging. Because I’m a tag renegade, I’m tagging all the other tag renegades. The ones who always wait impatiently to be tagged and are perhaps obsessed with talking about books. You, sir or madam, have been tagged. Report to me in the comments section when you’ve finished your list!

 

Would You Rather? | a book tag

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While I have a few short minutes, here is a short and sweet tag that I stole from Birdie Bookworm (she’s basically my tag pimp these days). A bookish would you rather that you can tackle in twenty minutes – what could be better to fill in that awkward chunk of time between kids’ activities and empty tummies?

Would you rather…

1. Have unlimited money for Ebooks, or a $5000 B&N gift card?

I’d have to go with the unlimited ebooks – I could make that go a LOT further in the long run and as an added bonus the books I would horde with that deal wouldn’t take up any room in my home. I could use my own cold hard cash for the books that I really want to own a physical copy of. My bookshelves would breathe a sigh of relief, honestly.

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2. Meet any deceased Poet, or J.K. Rowling?

I’d rather meet J.K. Rowling. I like plenty of poets but I probably like her more and we could talk about writing, parenting and of course Harry Potter. With any luck she’ll adopt me as her protege or at least invite me to go get Butter Beer with her sometimes.

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3. Write the world’s most famous book, or visit the world of your favorite book for one day?

I’m not in it for the fame. The big advantage to the first choice would simply be that I wrote a book that I’m hopefully proud of. Visiting the world of a favorite book would be extremely tempting but I’d have such a hard time choosing. Hogwarts? The Lunar Chronicles? Civil War era Atlanta? Pemberly? I’m just going to need the ability to travel through books period, okay?

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4. Choose___or___? (Insert characters from your favorite fictional love triangle.)

Joey w/ Pacey vs. Dawson

Buffy w/ Angel vs. Spike

Celaena w/ Dorian vs. Chaol

Hermione w/ Harry vs. Ron

Bella w/ Edward vs. Jacob

Elena w/ Damon vs. Stefan

Katniss w/ Peeta vs. Gale

Lady Brienne w/ Jamie Lanister vs. Tormund

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5. Experience Hogwarts in a very realistic and accurate virtual reality, or travel around the world for a year, at no cost.

If I can travel around the world for free, I will make time for both Kings Cross, London area AND the Harry Potter world at Universal in addition to all of the other places on my bucket list which is VAST. I will be basically trampling Europe and Asia like it’s my job in addition to seeing more of the US, Canada, South America, etc. and well you know what I’ll just try to get all the continents in for good measure.


Tags:

 

If you read this whole post and maintained interest through all 5 questions – consider yourself tagged. If you play along or already have, leave me a comment so I can check out your answers!

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Slip Covers: Do you LOVE or HATE them?

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I kind of hate slip covers. Like, I understand the practical aspect of protecting the books to ensure long book lives. And I know that most books only have the fancy picture covers on the slipcover. BUT.

Once I am reading the book, I do not care what the cover looks like – I’m immersed in the inside of the book and don’t want to think about the outside at all. And most slip covers do the slip and slide game while I am reading, forcing me to think about them until I rip them off in frustration. Then they live on my bedroom floor until I’ve finished the book and remember to reunite them afterwards.

So last week I decide to experiment with freeing all of my hardcovers from their slip covered embrace. I spent like fifteen minutes taking off all the slip covers and then reorganizing my books by color of course because when you are being OCD, you go all the way with it. I’m still tentative about actually getting rid of them so the covers are all tucked into an empty corner where I’ll pretend they aren’t feeling abandoned and lonely.

Things of note:

  • Some of my books actually look better without the slip cover. I loooooove when you discover a beautiful book with interesting details on the actual book underneath. Ree Drummond’s book is genuinely beautiful with or without the slip cover.
  • Some of the other books are kind of boring without their covers. Amy Schumer’s book is absolutely lacking in all pizzazz without that awesome cover art and it does make me a little sad.
  • Aesthetically I am loving the lack of slip covers. The books like more bookish and the colors all meld together so nicely without all the varying patterns vying for attention.
  • In a weird way, I have an easier time finding a book to read – I’m looking at the actual titles and not getting as distracted.
  • But so many of the books are black or grey! The chunk I photographed are the only hardcovers I have that aren’t a very dark or neutral hue. It’s my bright spot after a long row of muted hues. Sometimes the colors feel indicative of the book but some seem like the publisher just didn’t want to pay for a colored spine that was destined to be covered.

Are you PRO or CON when it comes to slip covers?

The Mid-Year Freak Out! Book Tag

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I commandeered this book tag from Birdie Bookworm because it looked too good to not play along despite my not having been technically tagged. Birdie is one of my favorite sources for fun tags and book reviews. If you aren’t familiar with her blog yet, I implore you to get acquainted.

So anyway this tag is all about the midway point of the year in regards to all things books and reading. Lots of fun categories. Read to dig in?

1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2017!

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This is kind of tough to choose but I’m going to go with Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. It’s got a killer plot, lovable characters, a love story to indulge in, great writing, a surprise twist ending and it manages to touch on tough subjects without making you feel incapable of standing up afterwards.

2 – Your favorite sequel this year!

26074181The Crown by Kiera Cass is book 5 in the Selection series and it completely redeem the book before it which I think left everyone feeling kind of angsty and disappointed. This one totally brings this back around and right again and justifies book 4. If the last one left you with a bad taste in your mouth, fear not, book 5 will set things right and reredeem the whole series really.

3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to!

30653853The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli has been getting so much good buzz lately and I even own a copy! How have I not read this one yet? I think it deserves a spot on my nightstand immediately. I just need to remember to bring the darn book upstairs already.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

4 – Most anticipated release for the second half of the year!

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There are a lot of good books on the horizon but I’m most excited for Renegades by Marissa Meyer which is coming out in November of 2017 which is feeling impossibly far away right now.

“The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.”

5 – Your biggest disappointment!

31285568Twisted Palace by Erin Watt is book three in a series that I started out being quasi-obsessed with and then for some reason this book just fell horribly flat for me to the point that I didn’t even bother to finish it despite a lot of loose ends left untied I suddenly found that I didn’t even care anymore.

6 – Biggest surprise of the year!

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I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. As much as you can “enjoy” a book this heavy. The varied narrators forced me to get inside the minds of people from many different walks of life, even when I didn’t want to, even when it was uncomfortable. I liked that every person in this story was coming from a different place, had different things going for them or against them, but none of them were perfect, none of them felt like they had the upper hand in life. This is an emotional and uncomfortable story but it was also important and I’m so glad that I read it.

7 – Favorite new to you or debut author!

Jenny Colgan was a new for me author this year and has quickly become a favorite. I read The Bookshop on the Corner and Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe in quick succession and I’m eager to read more of her books soon. She writes sweet romances that are perfect for anyone obsessed with books, desserts or the UK or just a good love story. I just need to decide which of her books to read next.

8 – Your new fictional crush!

28226592Sam from Wanderlost by Jen Malone is kind of all the things. His extreme optimism and confidence in every situation is a perfect contrast to the book’s main character, Aubree. He’s also kind, funny, a little geeky and super sweet. His character was one of my favorite things about this entire story.

9 – New favorite character!

25795281I guess it should come as no real surprise that I adored Charlotte Holmes in A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro almost as much as I adore Sherlock Holmes. I would love to see Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock in the same room as Charlotte. That interaction would basically complete me as a person. Charlotte is a lot like Sherlock in so many ways but she’s also a little bit vulnerable and a teenage girl which causes people to underestimate her even more than the character she’s based on.

10 – A book that made you cry!

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A lot of the books I’ve already mentioned had their tear jerker moments, especially Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. In the interest of attempting to mention another book though, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead also qualifies as not remotely a laugh a minute, definitely going to make you go looking for tissues.

11 – A book that made you happy!

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Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer made me happy just in that it felt like getting together with old friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. And thanks to the graphic novel format I got to literally see them which was such a treat. This is a total must read for anyone obsessed with The Lunar Chronicles like me. It stars our favorite android sidekick Iko but features cameos from literally everyone.

12 – Your favorite book to movie adaptation you saw this year!

9780525435006_p0_v1_s192x300I know it’s a miniseries and not a movie but I feel like I have to give props to The Handmaid’s Tale here because it’s incredible and perfect and moving and painful and funny and just literally all of the things. You need to read it and watch it basically immediately.

13 – Favorite book post you’ve published this year!

1st2ndreadingThis post about the books that 1st and 2nd graders are reading was a lot of fun to write. I was the class librarian for my daughter’s class last year and after observing their reading habits for the school year I decided to share my findings. If you have a 1st or 2nd grader looking for a new book or series to devour, definitely check out my list. And if you have more suggestions leave them in the comments section below!

14 – The most beautiful book you have bought/received this year!

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber came in one of my Owl Crate boxes this year. I still need to actually read this one but I’m blown away by the gorgeous cover at the very least. Birdie picked it for this category, too, so clearly great minds think alike.

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

15 – What are some books that you need to read by the end of the year?

I always have too many books on my TBR pile so that kind of question is daunting to say the least. I mentioned a few in the categories above and my bookshelves and Amazon wishlist could add dozens more to the list. I’ll stick with some of the Kindle editions I purchased this year for my answer. Here are six books I’ve bought for my kindle this year that I still need to read:

At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider | Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco | Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher | Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom | The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Map to the Stars by Jen Malone

Tag, you’re it:

A Book. A Thought. | Opinionated Book Lover | Hardcovers & Heroines

Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf | Let Me Give You Some Advice | Girl, Defined

Birdie Bookworm says the secret to her book tags is to go through her notifications and choose six blogs she has recently chatted with. I’m going to do the same. If you loathe tags, feel free to ignore this. If you are like me and sadded to find your name isn’t on the list, OMG YOU, TOO!!! I TAG YOU, TOO!!!!

Either way, let me know if you do decide to play along!

10 Best Books I’ve Read This Year (So Far)

Because we are now halfway through the year (craziness), this week’s prompt for Top 10 Tuesday is the 10 Best Books You’ve Read This Year (so far). I have only read 15 books so far this year but most of them have been pretty terrific. Here are the creams of the crop, two of which I haven’t technically finished yet but I’m far enough in to know they deserve a place in this grouping.

It’s an eclectic mix: poetry, graphic novels, mysteries, young adult, historical fiction, essays, light and fluffy love stories, science fiction… Whatever you are in the mood to read, it’s quite possibly on this list:

 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult – This timely novel is going to force you to think about uncomfortable things but you’ll be glad you did.

Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling – A commencement speech by JK Rowling – a quick read that will leave you feeling inspired.

A Circle of Quiet by Madeline L’Engle – My favorite book to read by the pool. Essays on her life, writing and society that make me feel like a better person (and a better writer) just for my proximity to her words.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Historical fiction that brings you to the front and center of the underground railroad but with an added twist.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – A science fiction story about multiverses that will make your head hurt in a good way.

 

Wires & Nerve Vol. 1 by Marissa Meyer – Fans of The Lunar Chronicles especially need to check out this graphic novel continuation starring Iko. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go read this. NOW.

Envelope Poems by Emily Dickinson – Scraps of poetry written, literally, on envelopes. Enjoy hidden gems and the inside mind of one of the world’s most famous poets. Then go write some of your own.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – This is like Sherlock Holmes meets John Green. Extremely readable and fans of Sherlock will especially enjoy this take on the world of Arthur Conan Doyle.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon – A love story starring a girl who is allergic to literally everything. You won’t guess where this one is going.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan – Part love story, part finding yourself. This one is for the ladies with wanderlust who kind of want to drop everything, move to Scotland and open a bookstore.

Have you read any from this list? What is the best book you’ve read so far this year?

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Top 10 Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish

Book Review: The Bookshop on the Corner

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The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan 368 Pages | $7.99 on Kindle

Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Meg Donohue, Sophie Kinsella, and Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan scratched several literary itches of mine. It features a bookish main character, Nina, who is struggling to decide what to do with her life. After losing her library job, she decides to move to Scotland and run a bookshop out of a gigantic van. This isn’t as crazy as if I decided to move to Scotland because she lived in London before whereas I would have to cross an ocean and obtain a work visa but the end result is that she finds herself surrounded by Scottish accents and idyllic countryside. She soon finds herself in a total Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennet style romance which is basically my favorite kind.

The story is a good balance between Nina deciding what she wants out of life, literary references and much talk of book loving, exploring a new place and a solid love story. I enjoyed every little second of it and when I finished I went on a ‘What Else Has Jenny Colgan Written?’ wish list spree. My only complaint is that the title and book cover totally make you think it’s about a book store or possibly related to You’ve Got Mail. 


READ THIS NEXT

So you read this book and loved it (or anticipate doing so) and now the question is what to read next. Here are my suggestions:

 

For More Jenny Colgan: Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe is another solid Colgan title. Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that – Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. So when she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment and open up her own cafe.

For More Scottish Romance: The Highlander’s Hope by Cali MacKay is a perfect blend of romance novel / legit story with plot. It’s slightly more racy than Jenny Colgan but definitely a solid story. When Dr. Catriona Ross discovers clues to a long lost highland treasure, her only hope of finding the jewels is to obtain the help of Scotland’s most eligible bachelor and playboy, Iain MacCraigh.

For More Sweet Love Stories: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han has that same kind of sweetness and another narrator who is shy and a little bit clueless in love. 16 year old Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed.

Your turn! What books would you recommend to fans of Jenny Colgan?

What John Mayer Album Do You Need Right Now?

John Mayer just released a new album so you know it is living in my car and my kids are gradually learning every word to every song. Basically nothing has changed because over the years John Mayer has always been the background music to my life. In between fads and new favorite artists, he was always there to help me through whatever relationship stage I found myself in.

Fast forward to today and I’ve been happily married for ten years. John hasn’t caught up to me yet so now it’s more like we’re reminiscing together about the relationship stages of years past. I was thinking the other day about the sort of singular feeling that you can find in each of his albums. They all tell a pretty clear story in my opinion and they each serve their own purpose. Depending on what kind of relationship or break up you are in right now, John has an album for you.

For instance…

If you are in those warm and fuzzy days of new love you need:

Room for Squares

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An oldie but a goodie. Your relationship will resonate well with some of the top hits like Your Body Is a Wonderland, City Love, Great Indoors or Why Georgia.

Also consider: Some of his live albums like As/Is or Any Given Thursday. If you aren’t listening to the live albums, you have barely cracked the surface of John. Come for the audience interaction and stay for the guitar solos.

If you are thinking it might be time to break up, you need:

Battle Studies

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This album is like an ode to love gone wrong with angsty tracks like Heartbreak Warfare, All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye and Friends, Lovers or Nothing. Let it fuel your resolution to move on or perhaps make you go, “Oh never mind. We’re nothing like that. I must just need a Snickers bar.”

When you are licking the wounds from an ugly breakup, you need:

Where The Light Is

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This is my favorite of his live albums and in my opinion you need it regardless of breakup stage but if you are in this way there is no album better to rage against the audacity of a horrible ex. Who Did You Think I Was, Out of My Mind, Vultures, Everyday I Have The Blues, Slow Dancing in a Burning Room. This is two discs of perfection that will soothe your heart and distract you from the desire to go key your exes car. Cheaper than therapy.

When you need to literally reinvent your whole life, it was that bad, you need:

Born & Raised

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Get a hair cut, start listening to a new genre of music, maybe change towns all together. John has got you. This album has more of a country western vibe but it’s still the John Mayer you know and love. Shadow Days, Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, Queen of California, Whiskey Whiskey Whiskey. Whether you are tucking in your tail because you know your behaviors were prettttty bad or maybe you are in witness protection program and you are hiding in Florida with a new name and a longing for home (remember that episode of Brooklyn 99?) Whatever is causing this need to reinvent yourself, this album should do the trick.

When you are just working on yourself and trying not to think about relationships at all, you need:

Heavier Things

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You have more important things to do than think about some ex. You are jamming out to Clarity, New Deep, Bigger Than My Body, Something’s Missing. You are busy and I totally respect that. For added measure, grab a copy of Waiting on the World to Change and get on with your bad self.

When you are second guessing that breakup and missing someone in a bad way, you need:

The Search for Everything

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This is John’s newest album and it’s retrospective and quiet in places but a little dancey and a little different. It’s got this vibe that makes you kind of pump your shoulders up and down involuntarily and feel sad in an almost good way. There’s no anger here, no venom. A little regret maybe but also kind of a serene calm that feels like acceptance and hope. It feels like full circle. Still Feel Like Your Man, Moving on and Getting Over, Changing, and Emoji of a Wave are all great places to start.

So what album do you need when you are happily married and kind of on the other side of all this business?

That’s easy, you need all of them. You won the war, you deserve half a dozen quality albums to reminisce with and memorize to the chagrin of your spouse and children.

7 Brilliant Quotes from Margaret Atwood.

I first read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood in college. Okay fine, I read part of it – the whole novel wasn’t required for the class I read it in and then I got busy and didn’t get back to it even though I was seriously enjoying it at the time. Then I kept being busy and then I graduated, had babies, got married and got busier.

Spring forward to the Spring of 2017 and The Handmaid’s Tale has been turned into a tv series on Hulu!!! I finally get to go back to Offred’s world and hear her whole story and see it with my eyeballs. It’s heartbreaking and wonderful and has me feeling like all kinds of a Margaret Atwood fangirl. Somehow I fell down a spiral of looking up her other books on Amazon and then looking at famous quotes that she has said or written. And oh my goodness, they are good.

Here are 7 of my favorite quotes that make me wish I was into crocheting things on pillows.

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“Don’t let the bastards grind you down,” is one of many awesome quotes from The Handmaid’s Tale.

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“A word after a word after a word is power.” This is a line from Spelling – Poem.

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“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” – from Cat’s Eye, 1988

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“You may not be able to alter reality, but you can alter your attitude towards it, and this, paradoxically, alters reality. Try it and see.” – This is a quote from a commencement speech given to graduating students at the University of Toronto in 1983.

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“We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.” – Margaret Atwood

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“War is what happens when language fails.” – The Robber Bride, 1993

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“I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed, and that necessary.” – Variation on the Word Sleep, from Selected Poems II: 1976-1986 by Margaret Atwood

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I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this week.

Answering the prompt: 6. Share a quote you love.

Let me know if you are playing along in the comments section!