Blogger Influences: Books I’ve Read Thanks to Blogger Recommendations

I know that lately there have been many bookbloggers who feel like they aren’t being read, or that their voice doesn’t matter. I think it’s easy to look at follower stats, or compare the number of comments on a post vs. what is on someone else’s . I wanted to add my two cents’ worth, in the only way I know how: by listing just a few of the books I’ve picked up and enjoyed, all thanks to the recommendation of a wonderful bookblogger.

Take heart, friends! Your opinions are needed!

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I credit The Irresponsible Reader for this one. I picked it up based on his fantastic review (I did read them out of order, though: sorry).

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I picked this up thanks to an awesome review by Paul at Pauls Picks. It’s one of my absolute favorites of this year.

Image result for two like me and you This is another book that I read thanks to Paul.

Image result for middlegame   Middlgame is a direct result of an excellent review by Beth at Before We Go.

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I saw reviews for this one floating around on several different blogs, prompting me to pick it up. I loved it.


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Last, but most certainly not least, I’m currently tearing through this book. I’m well aware that I’m going to be incredibly emotional at the end of this one (there have already been a few sniffly moments). Jeez, guys!

These are just a few of the books that I’ve read thanks to you awesome bookbloggers. I’ve got many, many more on my to be read list that I’m excited to dive into. I hope this post encourages you to keep on doing what you love: reading and writing!

**There are so many other book blogs that I love reading. I can’t include all of you in this post because it would turn into a novel, but a few that come to mind at this particular moment are:
Off The Tbr
Devouring Books
Hooked On Bookz
The Tattooed Book Geek
Way Too Fantasy
Fiction No Chaser
The Orangutan Librarian
First Book Love
Like Herding Cats
Grimdark Dad

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Conversations with Authors- Suzie Plakson

The absolutely wonderful book, The Return of King Lillian, is being released on July 9th. When reading it, this lovely story found a place in my heart.

Imagine my happiness, then, when I was fortunate enough to be able to interview author Suzie Plakson.

How did this world, these characters, and this book come about? **

“Decades ago, when I was in a place of frustration and despair, I first saw Lillian in a flash of a dream, galloping uphill on a big chestnut horse, disappearing into an archway of giant trees. And from that moment on, over a period of many years, the story and the world grew through dreams, trials, errors, and, finally, collaboration.”

You mentioned being in a state of frustration and despair when Lillian was conceived. Was writing this book a therapeutic process?

“Perhaps it was, in a subconscious, soul-level, decades-long sort of way! I had a series of flash-dreams about it over a span of years, all along trying and failing and failing and trying to find the form. And then, once the form was found, it’s been processes within processes within processes. So, therapeutic? Likely yes, in countless untraceable ways, I imagine- kinda like Life!”

Can you talk about the importance of having a strong female protagonist? **

“Ever since The Epic of Gilgamesh- which was the first hero’s journey in Western mythology-the star of the show was always a fella, usually with a lot of “I am the conqueror” kind of energy going on. So, with respect to balance, I’m hoping it’s an auspicious time to tell the tale of a seeking soul from the other side of the psyche.”

Lillian has so many positive personality traits- determination, self-confidence, and honesty. Did you have positive role models that embodied those things in your life growing up?

“Well, in parts and pieces, I suppose, in certain people, and in certain fictional and historical characters. And I was always so inspired by the women in old movies, like Kate Hepburn and Rosalind Russell and Judy Garland.  I loved their moxie, and their innocent hearts, and their grace and their humor.”

I love that Lillian is mainly recounting her adventures to her Book, instead of having ongoing conversations. What made you decide to tell the story that way?

“One of the dreams prompted me to try writing the story in diary form. Amidst all the odd bits of material that I was accumulating, there was one file in which I played with Lillian speaking in direct address, very conversationally. Her voice came through fully formed, as if she’d always been there.”

I always want to ask authors: do you have favorite books that have helped shape you as a person?

“Wow. So many, and yet, in this moment, what leaps to mind is “Alice In Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” (I’m more of a fan of “Through the Looking Glass,” actually). I suppose it’s the travelling through a world that feels fascinating but foreign and encountering seemingly mad creatures and belief systems and yet being unafraid to question any of it. Alice trusted the verdict of her own mind over anybody else’s. She was a powerful, polite, independent heroine.”

Finally, do you have another another book in the works (I ask hopefully)?

“Ahhh, well, thank you kindly for being hopeful, but after decades of getting this thing born, for the moment, the only thing in the works is a celebration and a nice, long nap. There is a character that wasn’t in the world of the book, who may well have a story to tell, but first…champagne.”

**Questions with asterisks taken, with permission, from the author’s press kit.

2019 Mid-year check-in

It’s been a pretty dang good reading year so far. Sure, there have been some less than satisfactory reads, but those have been few and far between. Being a newbie blogger (less than a year old), I’m still getting into my groove, but a mid-year post sounds fun and encouraging. So, without further ado, here goes:

According to the lovely Goodreads page, I’ve finished sixty nine books so far this year. I haven’t been counting books I read to my kids, or anything I’ve read for school, but it’s a pretty accurate count of my “me time” progress.

I’ve seen other posts listing top three books read, or even one favorite, but I don’t think I can possibly pick just one. Instead, I’m listing my top reads below, complete with links to any posts I’ve written. These are not in any particular order.

Duckett and Dyer: Dicks for Hire by Ganesh Nair: blog post forthcoming.

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The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parr: you can find my blog post here.

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Two Like Me and You by Chad Alan Gibb: You can read my glowing review here.

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Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan: I waxed enthusiastic about this book. You can read my post here.

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Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky: Read the many wonderful things about this book here.

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For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds Extraordinary Characters, and More by Graham Tarrant: The only thing I didn’t love about this book is its name. Read my review here.

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: This book has shown up on many lists of favorites I’ve seen, for good reason. Here is one more glowing review.

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Changeling (the Oddmire Book 1) by William Ritter: This book is fantastic and I loved every minute of it. Read why here

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The Return of King Lillian by Suzie Plakson: The one is wonderful! Its release date is next Tuesday and I highly recommend it. Read my review here.

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The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge: This was a fun, spooky book. Check out my blog post here.

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There are several other books I’m looking forward to reading this year, not to mention any unexpected treasures that I’m sure to meet. Happy reading!

Firefly Book Tag

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I thought I’d try my hand at a my own book tag, for the first time. Of course it has to be Firefly-related, to make my nerdy heart happy. So… take me out to the black, tell ’em I ain’t coming back!

Malcolm Reynolds- A Book with a Conflicted Character

“Mercy is the mark of a great man.” (stabs defeated opponent) 
“I guess I’m just a good  man” (stabs opponent again)
“Well…I’m alright.”
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The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman: Tanis is a very conflicted character. He’s often at war with himself, just like Mal. He’s also in a leadership role and feels that weight immensely.

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Zoe- A Book With a Hardcore Female Character:
Mal: “Well, look at this! Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What does that make us?”
Zoe: “Big damn heroes, sir!”
Mal: “Ain’t we just.”

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Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: Each of the three queens is strong in her own way, although at the moment Katharine (the poisoner queen) comes to mind.

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Wash- A Character or Book With a Good Sense of Humor:

“We’re all doomed! Who’s flying this thing?! Oh right, that would be me. Back to work.”

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Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

This book is so stinking funny, and its sequel is even better. I love clever humor and this book has it in spades.

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Jayne: A Violent Book or Character
“You know what the chain of command is? It’s the chain I go get and beat you with ’til ya understand who’s in ruttin’ command here.”

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown
One of the many things I love about this series is that no character is safe. The body count builds rather quickly. When revenge turns into revolution, things tend to get messy.

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Kaylee- An Optimistic Book or Character:
Mal: “I don’t think there’s a power in the ‘verse that can stop Kaylee from being cheerful. Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month.” 
Kaylee:  “I love my captain.”

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The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky:
Okay, hear me out on this one. This book deals with some incredibly heavy subjects. It makes me cry every time (and I reread this one a lot), but it ends on a feeling of hope. I can’t really explain it. If you read it, you’ll get what I mean.

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Inara: A Book or Character that’s mysterious:
Mal: “How’s business?”
Inara: “None of yours.”

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: One of the many things I love about this book is the air of mystery and impossibility of the Cirque Des Reves, as well as the characters.

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Shepard Book- A Book or Character involving faith
“You don’t fix faith. Faith fixes you.”

Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman: I don’t read a lot of faith-based books, just my Bible. But this book really resonated with me.

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Simon Tam- A Book or Character that’s highly intelligent:
” I don’t care what you’ve done, I don’t know what you’re planning on doing, but I’m trusting you. I think you should do the same. ‘Cause I don’t see this working any other way.”
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The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford-English Dictionary by Simon Winchester

This book is fascinating, and I definitely learned some things while reading it. Who knew the dictionary had such an interesting beginning?

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River Tam: A Book or Character that’s a bit creepy:
“Also, I can kill you with my brain.”

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chobsky:
I’m about two thirds of the way through this book, and I can honestly say it’s given me the wiggins. I am loving it so far.

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Well, that’s it for my first attempt at a book tag. If you want to try it with your choices, please be sure to tag me as the creator. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019: Bookish Opinions

**This post discusses mental illness and might include something upsetting. Please continue at your own discretion.**

Here’s the thing: I live with mental illness. Along with many, many others, I don’t often talk about it. Why? Stigma. It’s hard to talk about something that is often belittled or disbelieved. Over the years, I’ve gotten some seriously odd (and at times, harmful) comments regarding my bipolar. But I’ve realized something: there is absolutely no reason for me to feel ashamed or embarrassed by my mental illness. Yes, sometimes I am fighting a battle with myself. But I’m fighting, which I think I should be proud of.

Being me, I have several books that I’ve read over the years that portray mental illness in a way that helps me. Here are a few of them. And please know this: if you struggle with mental illness, you are not alone. You are not lesser than. You are not a burden. Not ever.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini : inspired by Ned Vizinni’s own mental hospital stay. It discusses suicide, depression, and finding hope.

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“People are screwed up in this world. I’d rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.”
Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story

If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For by Jamie Tworkoski : Written by the founder of To Write Love on Her Arms, these emails and poems discuss depression, drug use, faith, and accepting help.

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You are more than just your pain. You are more than wounds, more than drugs, more than death and silence.There is still some time to be surprised. There is still some time to ask for help. There is still some time to start again. There is still some time for love to find you. It’s not too late. You’re not alone. It’s okay –whatever you need and however long it takes- its okay. It’s okay. If you feel too much, there’s still a place for you here. If you feel too much, don’t go. There is still some time.”  -Jamie Tworkowski, If You Feel Too Much

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison : Jamison’s autobiography is incredibly uplifting because, not only did I completely relate, but she is a talented mental health professor despite (because of?) her illness.

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I have seen the breadth and depth and width of my mind and heart and seen how frail they both are, and how ultimately unknowable they both are. – Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chobsky: This beautiful book discusses ptsd, depression, possible unspecified mood disorder, and drug use.

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So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.- Stephen Chobsky, Perks of Being a Wallflower

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher: talks mainly about bipolar disorder.

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“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of.
They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.” 
― Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking


Are there any books that you feel portray mental illness well? What are they? I’d love to get a list going!

 

Marvel Avengers Book Tag


I have yet to see Endgame (please no spoilers!), but this tag looked like fun. I saw it over at theorangutanlibrarian’s blog. Check it out! If you know who the original credit goes to, please let me know so that I can add that to this post. Here goes:

Iron Man – a book that made you laugh out loud: I am America and So Can You by Stephen ColbertImage result for iron man  imagesImage result for i am america and so can you

It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but this book made me full-on guffaw.

Captain America- A Book that Sends a Positive Message: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

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“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.”

Having been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 several years ago, I find this book incredibly empowering. The fact that it’s also often hilarious is an added bonus.

Thor- A Book With a Character Whose Strength You Admire: Oddmire: Changeling by William RitterImage result for thor imagesImage result for oddmire changeling images

I love the twins’ mom in this book! She charges into the Wild Wood after her sons with no thought for herself or her safety, simply because they might be in danger. She’s a hardcore mom and I love seeing that kind of bravery represented in a book. Being a parent is definitely not for the weak.

Black Widow- A Book With a Hardcore Female Protagonist: Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Image result for infinity war black widow imagesImage result for crown of feathersVeronyka pretty much rocks. I mean, she is willing to disguise herself to join the phoenix riders, fight while on the back of a giant bird, as well as defy her very manipulative and controlling sister (which might be the scariest of all).

Hulk- A Book that Made You Incredibly Angry: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

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I went into the reasoning behind my absolute disgust with this book at length in its review (which I will link at the end of this post, if anyone is interested). Suffice it to say, it was so bad that it ruined the entire trilogy for me.

Hawkeye- An Underrated Book that You Think More People Should Pay Attention to: The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

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More people need to read this book. It’s a fast read, with a deliciously eerie feel to it. This is a great one to read on a stormy day.

Loki- A Book With a Twist or Surprise that Tricked You: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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I’m not sure I’d believe anyone who told me that they’d called every twist in this book. It was absolutely wonderful.

Reviews I’ve done:
Oddmire: Changeling by William Ritter
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

If you decide to participate, please link back to me. I’d love to see what your answers are!

World Book Day: celebrating the reading highlights of the year so far

 

We all know there’s a “day” for everything: garlic, bread, talking like a pirate…the list goes on. It just so happens that today is World Book Day. Yeah, I was unaware this was a thing too. However, it gives me the perfect excuse to talk about my favorite reads of 2019 so far.

It’s been a stellar start to my reading year. I’ve managed to read a lot more than expected, considering how busy my life gets. I also have started getting ARCs to read and discuss, which my nerdy reader self is incredibly excited for. Some of the books below are ARCs, meaning they aren’t available to purchase yet. However, I highly recommend either pre-ordering them or grabbing them when you see them on shelves. Everything in this post is fantastic!

The Oddmire Book 1: Changeling by William Ritter

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I can’t rave about this book enough. Intended for a slightly younger crowd, it is still highly enjoyable for adults. Read my post explaining what makes it so special here.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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I’d heard about this book constantly for a while before deciding to pick it up. I didn’t think it could possibly live up to all the hype. Trust me, it does. Here’s what I had to say about that.

For the Love of Books: Stories of Literary Lives, Banned Books, Author Feuds, Extraordinary Characters, and More by Graham Tarrant

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The only thing I don’t like about the book is the ridiculously long title. The book itself is absolutely engrossing. If you’re a reader (and I assume you are if you take the time to read book blogs), this is one to read.

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

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I was already a fan of Heilig after reading The Girl From Everywhere, but this book is above and beyond. A hardcore main character in a fantasy book who has a mental illnes? Yes please!

No Country for Old Gnomes (The Tales of Pell #2) by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne

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This book is hilarious. I laughed so hard at parts, it was dangerous (gothic sweaters!). Pick it up.

Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

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This was fantastic! The world is so well-realized, and the characters so interesting, adding phoenixes just served to elevate this author even further in my opinion. You can read my review of it here.

There you have it, the best books I’ve read so far this year. There are so many others that I’m looking forward to, as well as the unexpected gems I’m sure to come across. Help me find more to add to my very long tbr list: what are your favorites so far?

“I should have read that” Book Tag

I saw this tag on Mah’s blog. Check it out if you haven’t already! I truly love reading posts by so many bookish people! Without further ado, here are my answers:

  • Thank the person who tagged you, and link back to their post.
  • Link to the creator’s blog.
  • This was originally created by Beth from Books Nest.
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Tag 10 others to take part.

    A Book that a Certain Person is Always Telling You to Read-My husband is one of those ridiculously intelligent people. He loved E=MC2: A Biography of the World’s Most Famous Equation, but I was very intimidated by it. I’m planning on reading it eventually- it sounds fascinating- but I might have to ask him to explain it to me.

    A Book that has Been on Your To Be Read List Forever, that You Still haven’t Picked Up-I want to read The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. I know it’s one that I’ll only read once, so I’m waiting for my library to get it, instead of buying it.

    A Book in a Series that You’ve Started, But Haven’t Finished-A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab. It’s the second in a series, the first being A Darker Shade of Magic. I loved that one, but have yet to read the second. I have no idea why I haven’t gotten to it yet.

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    A Classic that You Always Liked the Sound of but I Haven’t Read-The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I quite enjoyed both This Side of Paradise and The Great Gatsby (this hipster reader says “I liked it before it was a movie!”, while pouting), but still need to read more of his.

    A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet-      Codename Villainelle by Luke Jennings. I absolutely love Killing Eve, the show that is inspired by the book series. I have to read the book because the show is so, so good!

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    A book you see all over Instagram, but haven’t picked up yet-     I don’t do the Instagram thing, but I keep seeing A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer all over Twitter. To be honest, I’m really not all that interested. I leave it to you, readers, to convince me to give it a go.

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    What about you? What are your answers to these questions? Weigh in!

The 80’s Movie Tag

I saw this tag on paperroyalty’s blog , which you should definitely check out, if you haven’t already. I just finished listening to the theme from The Breakfast Club, so it seems appropriate to write this post now. Here goes:

 Nightmare on Elm Street: A Book that Kept You Up All Night-

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I had the hardest time putting this one down, it’s so incredibly well-written! Read my review here.

The Princess Bride: A Wonderfully Quotable Book-

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If you haven’t read this book, you are missing out. It’s beautiful, heart-wrenching, and inspirational. My next tattoo will feature a quote from this book: “So this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
It’s going to be a very large tattoo. Ha ha!

Ferris Beuller’s Day Off: A Character Who Loves Breaking the Rules-

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The musketeers (plus D’Artagnan) have a rather contemptuous attitude towards the rules. They do meet during an illegal duel, after all.

4. When Harry Met Sally: A Book Couple that Took Forever to Get Together-

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Ron and Hermione took their sweet time, didn’t they?

Back to the Future: A Book Involving Time Travel- 

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I don’t read too books that involve time travel, because they have a tendency to feature some glaring plot holes, but I did read  A Map of Days not too long ago.

Pretty in Pink: A Character With a Unique Style-

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I have to go with the incorrigible Amelia Peabody. Sharply-pointed parasols aside, she also ends up wearing a belt with all kinds of “useful” items hanging from it, constantly clanking. By the way, this series is a blast to read.

The Karate Kid: A Book Involving the Mentor/Student Trope: 

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This is the most recent book I’ve read with a focus on the mentor trope. It’s a slower-moving fantasy, which I actually really enjoyed. I guess that’s a rather unpopular opinion, though.

Die Hard: A Book With a Trip that Doesn’t Go According to Plan- 

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I just started reading this yesterday. I can say with confidence, though, that Magnus was not planning on chasing down a murderous cult (that he may have started as a joke) while on a romantic getaway.

Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark: A Book With the Main Character’s Name in the Title- 

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This book belongs on your shelf, filed under “emotionally devastating books”. It’s available to purchase on the 16th. The books is told from Lenny’s point of view. 

Dirty Dancing: A Female Character Who Came Out of Her Shell-

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I read this to see what all the hubbub was about. Meh. It’s not my thing, but if you enjoy it, more power to ya.

E.T: An Ending that Left You Both Happy and Sad-

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The ending is perfect, as is the rest of the book, but why did it have to come so soon? I wasn’t ready to re-enter the real world! I wish I could read this incredible book for the first time all over again.

What books would be on your 80’s list?

O.W.Ls Readathon 2019

I admit: like a large part of the population, I’m a Harry Potter fan. Actually, at this point, I’m afraid I’m moving toward being a Harry Potter hipster (“I liked Harry Potter before JK Rowling started in on the constant retconning”). Either way, I’m participating in the O.W.Ls readathon for the first time this year. For those who don’t know what that is, here’s a link to the official video: video.

I’m taking the O.W.Ls required to work toward a career as a librarian. Seriously, it sounds wonderful. Here are the books I’m planning on reading to fulfill each subject requirement. I’m a huge mood reader, though, so these are all subject to change:

Ancient Runes- A Retelling: Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie Mclemore-

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The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.
But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts. (taken from Amazon)

I’m in the middle of reading this one right now. It seems to be a mash-up of Snow White and Rose Red and Swan Lake. Despite loving the tale of Swan Lake, I’m really not enjoying this book so far. It’s told from multiple points of view, but the chapters are so short that there’s really no time to get to know these characters and I’m struggling to connect with the story. Here’s hoping it improves.

Arithmancy- Work Written by Multiple Authors: The Big Book of Classic Fantasy edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer

The Big Book of Classic Fantasy ebook by

From the fairy tales we first heard as children, fantasy stories have always been with us. They illuminate the odd and the uncanny, the wondrous and the fantastic: all the things we know are lurking just out of sight–on the other side of the looking-glass, beyond the music of the impossibly haunting violin, through the dark trees of the forest. Other worlds, talking animals, fairies, goblins, demons, tricksters, and mystics: these are the elements that populate a rich literary tradition that spans the globe.
In this collection, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer explore the stories that shaped our modern idea of “fantasy.” There are the expected pillars of the genre: the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Mary Shelley, Christina Rossetti, Nikolai Gogol, Franz Kafka, L. Frank Baum, Robert E. Howard, and J. R. R. Tolkien. But it’s the unexpected treasures from Asian, Eastern European, Scandinavian, and Native American traditions–including fourteen stories never before available in English–that show that the urge to imagine surreal circumstances, bizarre creatures, and strange new worlds is truly a universal phenomenon. A work composed both of careful scholarship and fantastic fun, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy is essential reading for anyone who’s never forgotten the stories that first inspired feelings of astonishment and wonder. (taken from Amazon)

I’m also currently reading this book, since I tend to read two or three books at the same time. I’m odd that way. My fantasy and fairy tale- loving self is fascinated by this book so far.

Defense Against the Dark Arts- Reducto! A book starting with “R”: The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare

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All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping. (taken from Amazon)

The Shadowhunter books are guilty pleasures for me. I think we can all agree that the writing isn’t necessarily the most incredible ever, but the world is a lot of fun. This book releases on the ninth and I’m really hoping to be able to read it a.s.ap.

History of Magic- Published at Least Ten Years Ago: The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation

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The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation:  This will be a reread for me, and it won’t be the first time I’ve reread this amazing book. It’s National Poetry Month, though, so I figure that gives me the perfect excuse to dive right back into the fearless, creative writing that defined the Beat Generation.

Transfiguration: Sprayed Edges or Red Cover- Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

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You can’t get much redder than this gorgeous cover. I recently posted a review on this book, which you can check out here. This book was beautiful but very, very sad.

There you have it! Are any of you participating in this year’s O.W.Ls readathon? What career have you chosen? Oh, in case you were wondering: I’m a Ravenclaw.