Categories
books memes & carnivals

WWW Wednesday | August 26th

It’s Wednesday so it’s time for WWW Wednesday. This is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, where you answer three questions:

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

Miraculously I actually have enough to update you with since last week to justify a new post! Anyone else feel like they are either reading a million things a minute or slogging through one book for months with no middle ground? Just me?

Last Read

I’ve finished four books since last week! I finished Prose and Cons by Amanda Flower shortly after my last WWW post. I’m officially obsessed with this series.

I also finished reading The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell with time to spare before the school year starts! This one picked up in the second half with more action happening and I’d finally settled into the writing style. I’m looking forward to discussing it with my daughter next month.

And I read two children’s graphic novels recently at the insistence of said daughter. Karen’s Roller Skates, a BSC Little Sisters book that brought me right back to my childhood.

And Stargazing by Jen Wang which was way deeper than I was expecting but luckily had a happy ending. It’s another amazing graphic memoir for tweens – highly recommend.

Currently Reading

I’m continuing to read way too many books at once. My book club is discussing section one of Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight tomorrow. Then we’ll read section 2 next month.

Since I finished The King’s Fifth, I started reading The Ghost at Tokaido Inn by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler, the second independent reader for our school year. I thought about waiting since I’m ahead of schedule but figured I aught to hold onto my momentum while I can. Especially in case my reading time diminishes once school starts.

I also started reading Homeschool Basics by my new idol, Kristi Clover, yesterday. I’ve been watching her videos on YouTube (among others) to get myself mentally and practically ready for this fall. So far this book seems like exactly what I needed. A mix of practical advice and encouragement.

And for my bedtime reading I’m absolutely devouring The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary. Like reading way way too late three nights in a row please send coffee kind of situation. Obsessed.

Next Up

I’m planning to start on book 3 of Amanda Flower’s magical bookshop series after I finish The Flatshare. Alternatively, I might read some of the other books I’ve been getting from the library. They have been sending them faster than I can read lately as all my holds seem to be coming through at once.

I am also keen to see what other books Beth O’Leary has written.


What about you? What books have you been spending time with lately?

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books books & reading memes & carnivals reviews

WWW Wednesday | August 19, 2020

I thought I’d hop in on WWW Wednesday this week. This is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, where you answer three questions:

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

Last Read

The last book I finished was The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone

This book was heavier than I expected, but engrossing. I thought the premise was really interesting and the characters were so inspiring. We should all be Unlikelies.

Currently Reading

Right now I’m reading three different books. My book club is sloooowwwwly discussing Calm the F*ck Down by Sarah Knight over the rest of the year. We are not exactly overachievers lol but I’m excited to discuss the first couple chapters with them at the end of the month and the book seems super timely this year.

I’m also reading The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell which my daughter will be reading independently next month in our reading curriculum. I’m trying to stay one book ahead of her so that we can have good discussions.

And my current bedtime story is Prose and Cons by Amanda Flower, book two of her magical bookshop series. I’m kind of obsessed with this series and planning to deep dive into her backlist.

Next Up

When I finish The King’s Fifth, I’ll start reading The Ghost of Tokaido Inn by Dorothy Hoobler. I also plan to read Stargazing by Jen Wang soon – a graphic novel that my eleven year old just put in my hands. And I’ve already got the next magical bookshop book, Murders and Metaphors, on my nightstand.


What are you reading right now?

Categories
books books & reading reviews

What I’m Reading in July

My current TBR stack, including the book I’m currently reading before bed, The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone

Here are the books I’ve read since the last time I did a recap. A few from late June, but mostly July.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord | Sort of a modern YA You’ve Got Mail. There are multiple layers to this adorable love story that eventually all come together beautifully. This one kept me up late reading several nights in a row. 😍😍😍😍😍

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston | I blew through this one. The premise is fun and wacky. The characters are easy to root for and the love story is everything. Loved it. 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰

Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon | This was a fun premise. I’m a sucker for a good retelling and this loose take on Beauty and the Beast was a lot of fun. Menon has created a great cast of characters and I spent several nights staying up too late to finish it. The only thing keeping it from 5 stars was that I found the characters to be almost too much sometimes, if that makes any sense. 😻😻😻😻

Witchy by Ariel Slamet Reis | Very intrigued by this story. Hoping there will be a second book. I thought the artwork was amazing but I frequently felt like I had been thrown into the middle of a longer story. 💖💖💖💖

Crime and Poetry by Amanda Flower | I really got into this one. A cozy mystery set in a magical bookshop? You had me at hello. I really liked the overall writing style and definitely plan to continue the series. 💞💞💞💞💞

Babysitter’s at Shadow Lake by Ann M. Martin | I reread this with my eleven year old and really enjoyed experiencing it a second time. A lot of stuff I’d honestly forgotten. I love super specials because you get to see the same experience through multiple eyes, including some of the younger kids this time. 💕💕💕💕💕

Honestly, just a lot of good reading. No duds to speak of. I also read a couple of Babymouse chapter books at the request of my eleven year old, which were adorable but they took me about twenty minutes to read each. She loves the series though so if you are looking for more graphic novel recommendations for your young girls, this looks like a great series.


I’m still reading The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman and honestly can’t figure out why I’m not loving it. As a huge Practical Magic fan, I had really high hopes. I don’t know if it’s the writing style, the pace, or if I just have an aversion to required reading. My book club is discussing it this weekend in theory but tbh I think quarantine is getting the best of our little club. I’m going to have to think about what I want to do about that.

And like I said at the top of this post, I’m also reading The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone. I’m about halfway through this one and my initial impression was just that it was a LOT heavier than I was expecting, but so far not too heavy. Interested to see how it all ends, waiting impatiently to see if my ‘ships pan out.

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books books & reading top 5 tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday : The Alphabet Challenge (KLMNO) Middle Grade Classics That Stand the Test of Time

It’s time for Top 5 Tuesday hosted by Bionic Bookworm and we’re still making our way through the alphabet challenge. For this week’s post I thought I’d share some favorite books from my childhood that hold up to the test of time (and one book that my kids love because there was bound to be a gap eventually). I’d recommend any of these for the bored tweens in your life that can only watch so much YouTube. Right?? Asking for a friend. 😉

I looooved this book as a kid and frankly I haven’t met anyone who didn’t. My kids read it for school and also loved it. Honestly I think I’m probably due for a reread.

“When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it?

Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.”

Thanks to the new movie, A Wrinkle in Time is gaining popularity again but the book is quite different from the movie and definitely worth a read if you haven’t gotten around to it.

It was a dark and stormy night.

Out of this wild night, a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe on a most dangerous and extraordinary adventure – one that will threaten their lives and our universe.”

You can’t mention amazing children’s books and not talk about Anne of Green Gables. It’s absolutely quintessential and worth all the hype. I didn’t read this one until I was an adult but my inner child loves it completely.

As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she’ll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination.”

I’m breaking the rules and mentioning two authors for the letter M because Childhood Jen probably read more of the Babysitter’s Club series than anything else in the entirety of my adolescence. I was 100% infatuated and tore my way through the 100+ book series at top speed. Despite my best efforts, I’ve only been able to hook my ten year old on the graphic novels which, to be fair, are pretty great.

Surprisingly I couldn’t come up with an author for the Letter N for this theme that I’ve read but I spotted Rascal by Sterling North and remembered that both my kids read and loved this one for school as well.

Nothing’s surprising in the North household, not even Sterling’s new pet raccoon. Rascal is only a baby when Sterling brings him home, but soon the two are best friends, doing everything together–until the spring day when everything suddenly changes.”

Last but not least is Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell which I recall being infatuated with when I was my daughter’s age.

In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind. — This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs.”


What are some of your childhood favorites?

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books books & reading quick lit

Quick Lit | March 2020

It’s midway through March and perhaps the strangest March I’ve ever witnessed. We got word Friday night that the schools will be closed until April 5 in response to this whole Kovid-19 situation. But why talk about that when we could talk about books instead?

I’m linking up with Anne’s Quick Lit series to share the books I’ve read in the past month. That’s actually a pretty short list for me. I’ve finished two books but I really enjoyed them both so that’s a pretty good success rate.

My book club read and discussed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman last month. This was my second attempt at reading the book, but I ended up really enjoying it this time. A few more chapters in and I finally got immersed enough to enjoy. I listened to the audio book at the recommendation of a friend and that also helped. The narrator’s accent was a delight. I will say that I did not love the big reveal at the end. It felt kind of forced and unsatisfying for me.

I also read I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella. This was my nightstand read in between listening to the book club audio book during the day. The premise of this book is borderline insane but once I got over that it was a lot of fun. The banter and chemistry is great and there’s a whole subplot that borders on action adventure. A crazy, fluffy delight.


Right now I’m reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, which will be our next book club discussion at the end of the month. Although it looks like it might have to be a virtual group chat discussion the way things are going! What a crazy time! Reading a book centering around World Wars helps to put things in perspective though. 😉


What are you ready right now?

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books books & reading top 5 tuesday

Top 5 Yet to be Released Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2020

I don’t normally keep up with prereleased books but I noticed that I have a handful of them on my Amazon wishlist right now from some of my favorite authors. Then I counted them and realized there were exactly 5, perfect for this week’s Top 5 Tuesday hosted by Bionic Bookworm!

So here are the five yet to be released books that I’m looking forward to reading this year.

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass | I just found out about this book today because Goodreads sent me an email about a giveaway for this one. Much like her famous Selection series, this one centers around a potential royal engagement and the pitfalls of dating a royal. Expected publication May 5th 2020

American Royals 2 by Katherine McGee | coincidentally I am also eagerly awaiting the next book in this new series by Katherine McGee. The first book imagines a world where George Washington had agreed to be king after winning the revolutionary war. It takes place in the present day of that future and follows the current American Royal family. I loved the premise and plowed through the book and was then despondent when I realized how long I’d be waiting for book 2. Expected publication Autumn 2020

Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel | I already preordered a copy of this book because Anne is one of my favorite bloggers and because overthinking things is basically my part time job so I probably need this book in my life. Book to be published March 3rd 2020

My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows | Yup the next Janie book is due out this year and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be getting my hands on a copy. “Welcome to 1876 America, a place bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou —better known as werewolves. And where there are garou, there’re hunters: the one and only Calamity Jane, to be precise, along with her fellow stars of Wild Bill’s Traveling Show, Annie Oakley and Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler.Book to be published June 2nd 2020

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins | I just found out about this a couple weeks ago. This book will be a prequel to the Hunger Games story, telling the story of the 10th annual Hunger Games when Coriolanus Snow was eighteen years old and acting as a mentor in the games. Book to be published May 19th 2020


What prereleases are you looking forward to?

Categories
books

Book Review: My Lady Jane

22840421

My Lady Jane by coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

Page Count: 512 (hardcover)

Published: June 7, 2016

I read a lot of books. Some of them I really enjoy, some of them I have to kind of drag myself through for one reason or another. Other books literally consume me from start to finish and I find myself gushing to people about them any chance I can get and I get a little foot stampy until they promise me they will read them. My Lady Jane was one of those books. You may think you know the tragically short story of Lady Jane Grey, but I promise you this book will surprise and delight.

5 Signs This Is a 5 Star Read

  1. It took me only a handful of days to read it despite it’s 500+ page count. I’d say on the whole it takes me about 2 weeks to read a 250-300 page book and I finished this one in about a week.
  2. I read it when I probably should have been reading my book club’s pick for the month. It was so good I couldn’t help myself once I’d peeked inside. It definitely turned me into a book junkie staying up way past my bedtime so I could finish just one more chapter. This was one of those books with so many funny lines and OMG moments that necessitated waking up my sleeping husband so I could dish on what had just happened. I’m sure he loved that.
  3. When I first got the book (through OwlCrate) I stood in the kitchen pouring over every inch of the dust jacket and squealing with delight. Most of my favorite books seem to have those 8 million little details lurking around the outside of the book, letting you know that the author and publisher was just as giddy about the book as you are about to be.
  4. I need a good character to root for and this book gave me at least five of them along with two relationships to ship. I was a little bit concerned after reading the first few chapters because I genuinely loved Jane, Edward and Gifford and I really wanted them to all have a happy ending but wasn’t sure how that was possible. Even the fact that some of the people involved occasionally turn into horses and other less than kissable creatures didn’t deter me rooting for them from page 1 to 512 and I wasn’t disappointed.
  5. There are a lot of elements to this story that sound a little absurd when you say them out loud but when you put them all together magic happens. Fiances turn into horses sometimes. Girls are basically old maids by sixteen and sometimes get married to people they have never met. The book starts out as a historical fiction novel, then goes kind of science fantasy, then goes completely off the rails but somehow ends up back in historical fiction territory as long as you ignore all the middle bits. Everyone manages to fall in love with the right person by the end and the moral of the story seems to be listen to your heart and all your problems will  go away. But despite a really crazy premise and a lot of characters to get to know, it all totally comes together and works and you do the rooting and by the end of it you kind of wish it were a true story. Horses and all.

Have you read this one yet? What did you think?

What’s the last 5 star book you fell in love with?

Categories
books meme tag

The Mid Year Book Tag 2016

I’m stealing this book tag from Mom’s Radius because I just got back into town after a long vacation and my brain is too fragged to think of something extraordinary to write about. A mid year review seemed like just the ticket. Steal in kind if you are feeling the same need.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2016

Winter41VgvI2digL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_ by Marissa Meyer – This was such a satisfying end to an amazing series that seriously took over my life for awhile! I think Meyer did an amazing job of weaving all these tales together into one cohesive plot that never disappointed. This book felt like the fireworks finale that it should be with #allthefeels all over the place. Every moment you were waiting for finally happens and Meyer only tries to break your heart eleventy billion times so it’s all good.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2016

26074213The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson– I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. Something in the writing felt fresher and tighter and it probably helps that I’d grown accustomed to the cast of characters. I also really loved Oliver – probably more than I’d liked Keith in book one.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

615s-d3gm7L._SY346_Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany – The internet kind of exploded when this title came out (hell, it exploded when it was first whispered about) and the reviews have been mixed. My husband wrote it off immediately after realizing it’s the written screenplay and not in novel form, and I’ve heard some reviews that it just isn’t up to Rowling par. But… I’m so jonsing for a Potter fix that I’m likely to read it anyway, I’m just waiting for the right moment / price.

4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year

heartlessHonestly there are a few, but I think Heartless by Marissa Meyer is probably at the top of my list because I’m still riding the Lunar Chronicles wave, you know? November is feeling so far away. I’m also looking forward to books by Amy Schumer and Anna Kendrick.

5. Biggest Disappointment

13449693I thought I was going to love The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater a lot more than I did. This was probably an instance of hype ruining a good thing, I might have had lower expectations if the bookstagram universe weren’t loving it so hard. Something about the book just never let me settle into it desp

ite being intrigued by the premise.

6. Biggest Surprise

18770398I read a murder mystery horror story of sorts and loved it.  Night Film by Marisha Pessl is such a departure from the types of books I normally read and there were definitely times I thought, “This book is too dark for me, I should walk away,” but because it was a book club pick, I soldiered on and I’m glad I did. Somewhere around the middle the plot really picks up and the last 150 pages I read in basically one day. I found the overall story to be really fascinating and the pictures and clippings were a nice touch. I was kind of disappointed that the google play app at least doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Unless Cordova got to it.

7. Favorite New Author

18079710Richelle Mead is a recent new fave. I read The Vampire Academy in like two sittings despite having seen the movie like a year ago. This is unheard of guys. Seeing the movie before reading the book is a rookie move that never works in my favor but I could not put it down! I also really enjoyed reading books by Kathleen Ernst, Maureen Johnson and Heather Cocks this year.

8. Newest Fictional Crush

Dimitri from The Vampire Academy is definitely up there and certainly qualifies as most recent.

9. Newest Favorite Character

22840421I’m reading My Lady Jane by coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows right now and I love Jane and Edward and really everyone. It’s such a funny book and so cleverly written. It’s kind of historical fiction but the original premise has been entirely turned on its head to the point of being unrecognizable in all the best ways.

10. Book That Made You Cry

I’m honestly not sure. I feel like I must have cried at some point reading several but I don’t remember any specific scenes. Likely contenders include The Royal We by Heather Cocks, Winter by Marissa Meyer or maybe Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld because Pride and Prejudice always gets to me.

11. Book That Made You Happy

41C+ffCh5dL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling because she is so funny, she always makes me laugh. I think I liked this book even more than the original. It was funny, informative, dishy and inspiring jut like Mindy. I’m a sucker for these celeb memoir humor books but this one was really, really good.

12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year

26067879I saw Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and it was allllllllll the things. Talk about making a girl ugly cry, the plot is just heart breaking but the casting was brilliant and everybody was on point. Of course when you bring the Mother of Dragons onto your set, you know it’s going to be good.

13. Favorite Review/Post You’ve Done This Year

booksuggestionstweenI wrote a list of book suggestions for your reluctant tween reader and I enjoyed it so much that I wrote another list of book suggestions for 10 year old boys. Being a huge book nerd who worked in a book store for several years and spends an inordinate amount of time talking about books and recommending books to friends, these posts were kind of an excuse to just delve into my recommendations and keep digging without worrying that my friend is going to implode trying to retain all the suggestions.

14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year

51MIi4p2YyL._SX418_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve indulged in some beautiful hardcovers this year like Eligible, The Girls or Rich and Pretty, but the Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is just stunning and continues to be stunning page after page after page. It really enhances the read aloud quality of the book as well.

15. Books You NEED To Read By The End Of 2016

I still haven’t read The Girls or Rich and Pretty because you know, so many books so little time. I’d also really like to read After You, the sequel by Jojo Moyes and of course the other eleven hundred books on my bookshelves upstairs (not to mention my kindle). I’m going to refrain from making a thorough list because it will give me a migraine but really I just want to dig into my stacks a little more and thin the herd.

What is the best book you have read so far this year?

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books top ten tuesday

Ten Reasons I Love Rainbow Rowell

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they post a new Top Ten list prompt. This week’s prompt is… Ten Reasons you love “X”.

I wasn’t sure which author to base my top ten list off of so I started this post by trying to write ten things I loved about several authors like Jane Austen and Jasper Fforde and then I got to Rainbow Rowell and the list started to come more naturally and I knew I could get to ten things easily. Once I started reading old interviews with her, my list far exceeded ten things.

Rowell has quickly became a trusted entity for me. I have loved all the books I’ve read of hers to the point where I don’t even question whether or not to read her books now. They are Must Reads by default. Here are ten reasons why:

  1. She understands the heart of socially anxious girls everywhere. AKA me. Her characters are just the right amount of broken in a way that makes them feel real and easy to relate to and root for.
  2. She fangirls all over the place just like the rest of us. “I’ve always been a very fannish person. When I like something, I usually love it, and when I love something, I CAN’T GET ENOUGH.
  3. My fave novel of hers, Fangirl, was originally a Nanowrimo project! I love that this massively successful author has experienced the joys and frustrations of National Novel Writing Month just like the rest of us and actually made something amazing with it.
  4. Her take on YA literature: “A lot of people look at something popular, and they’re dismissive of it because they don’t understand it. If you think YA is simple, you probably haven’t read a lot of it. But YA is not a genre. It’s just this really loosely defined category of books. If YA had always been this popular category, a lot of books we think of as classics would be YA. The Catcher in the Rye? Without question.”
  5. Her response to the question of whether or not Eleanor is actually fat is just perfection. I couldn’t decide on a single quote to share – just go read her whole response.
  6. Nostalgia reigns supreme in Rowell’s novels. Each of her books seems to single out a generation and a pinpoint in one’s coming of age and she captures the essence of those times spectacularly.
  7. She’s a champion for so called “girlish interests”: I think anything that predominantly women like is discounted, and anything that teenage girls like is absolutely reviled. It’s the lowest of the low. If teenage girls like something, everyone feels like they can — and maybe should — hate it, even the girls themselves.
  8. Her Instagram feed looks like everyone else’s Instagram feed. Rowell actually seems like she manages to be a real person even in spite of her fame. Like you could go out for frozen yogurt or watch a Star Wars marathon with her.
  9. This quote: “I don’t think ideas are as clean and separate as we think they are. Everything is derivative in a way. What you write is often a reaction or a response to the things you’ve read.”
  10. She wrote fictional fanfiction within a novel that became so good that it ended up getting its own novel. I think this makes her a rockstar.

OK so let’s take a vote? What’s your favorite Rainbow Rowell book?

What author would you share ten favorite things about?