Lists & Recommendations

February 2018 | Books I Am Excited About

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This month I am overly excited about four awesome books. I have a mixture of young adult contemporary, LGBTQ+ anthology, historical fiction, and women fiction. I cannot wait to share them all with you.

Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties by Camille Pagán

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Release Date: February 27th , 2018

At fifty-three, Maggie Harris has a good marriage and two mostly happy children. Perpetually anxious, she’s also accumulated a list of semi-reasonable fears: falling air conditioners, the IRS, identity theft, skydiving, and airbag recalls. But never once did Maggie worry that her husband of nearly thirty years would leave her.

On the day Adam walks out the door, everything that makes Maggie secure goes with him. Only then does she realize that while she’s been busy caring for everyone else, she’s become invisible to the world—and to herself.

Maggie cautiously begins to rebuild her life with a trip to Rome, a new career, and even a rebound romance. But when a fresh crisis strikes and an uncertain future looms, she must decide: How much will she risk to remain the woman she’s just become?

The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis

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Release Date: February  13th, 2018

London, summer 1763.

At nineteen, Anne Jaccob is awakened to the possibility of joy when she meets Fub, the butcher’s apprentice, and begins to imagine a life of passion with him. The only daughter of well-to-do parents, Anne lives a sheltered life. Her home is a miserable place. Though her family want for nothing, her father is uncaring, her mother is ailing, and the baby brother who taught her to love is dead.

Unfortunately her parents have already chosen a more suitable husband for her than Fub. But Anne is a determined young woman, with an idiosyncratic moral compass. In the matter of pursuing her own happiness, she shows no fear or hesitation. Even if it means getting a little blood on her hands.

A vivid and surprising tale, The Butcher’s Hook brims with the color and atmosphere of Georgian London, as seen through the eyes of a strange and memorable young woman.

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages Edited by Sandra Mitchell

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Release Date: February  27th, 2018

Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens.

From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.

Don’t Forget Me by Victoria Stevens

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Release Date: February  13th, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Hazel Clarke is no stranger to heartbreaks, and being sent to live with a father she’s never met is the latest in a string of them. Even the beauty of eastern Australia isn’t enough to take her mind off her mother and the life she had to leave behind in England. But when Hazel meets the friendly, kindhearted Red and his elusive twin, Luca, she begins the slow process of piecing together a new life—and realizes she isn’t the only one struggling with loss. As friendships deepen and love finds its way in, Hazel also learns that when you truly love someone, they are always in your heart.

This sparkling debut novel is a touching testament to coming of age, falling in love, and finding home in unexpected places.


What books are you looking forward to this month?

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Reviews

Review | The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Book Review

18302455*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Description

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

What I Liked

First off I will say that The Hazel Wood is nothing like I have read previously. I was expecting a generic fairytale laced story turned evil, but I got something different…better. I will add that the fairy tale aspect does not overly come out to play right away. I know for some people who have read the description are under the impression this will happen, but I enjoyed the slow build. For me this made the story better. The way the story was structure I was waiting for it, waiting for those who live at The Hazel Wood to strike. The suspense I felt throughout this book was immense.

Another thing I enjoyed were the characters and their relationships. I felt like the characters stayed true to themselves even when the plot took twists and turn down the rabbit hole. When I was surprised by their actions or their reactions, it still felt like something the character would do. I also enjoyed the relationships and dynamics between Alice, her mother, Finch, and many more characters  I don’t want to spoil. The relationships felt real because they showed their faults and everything wasn’t perfect. I find that sometimes relationships are not realistic in books because they are just so perfect. But this book showed dynamic relationships, both over all positive ones and negative ones. I will admit I found myself hating a particular character and I was not expecting myself to feel that strongly.

Lastly, Writing was beautiful – I could picture everything. I could picture Alice riding in cars, sleeping in motels and bedroom. I could see The Hazel Wood and all the normal and magical twisted places she visits. Her writing was laced with imagery and it worked very well. A nice little bonus is that Melissa Albert makes references to many literary works, both modern and classic works. I appreciated each ones of these from Harry Potter to Wilkie Collins.

What I Didn’t Like

One of the negatives of this book was there were a few times I felt that things were a little to easy, but I felt it did not take away from the story in any way. This was the only fault I found and as you can see, it is a pretty minor one.

Overall Thoughts

This was one of my favorite fairytale inspired stories. I ended up staying up past midnight to finish it and I have not done that in a long time. The writing was beautiful, the build up was perfect, and the characters and dynamics were done very well. If you are even slightly interested in this book I suggest you pick it up either from the store or your local library once it comes out. I would be surprised if you ended up disappointed.


I loved this book so much I actually made my first aesthetic for a book.


Book Information

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: January 30th 2018

List Price: $16.99

ISBN: 9781250147905

Pages: 368


*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

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Tags

TAG TUESDAY | The Entertainer Blogger Award

Tag Tuesday

Tag Tuesday

A big thank-you to Misty for tagging me, you should all check her out. Her blog is wonderful!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Add these rules to your post.
  • Answer all the questions below.
  • Display the award picture in your post.
  • Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most important of all ENTERTAINING!

Why Did You Start A Blog In The First Place?

I started my blog to have a place to talk books with others. While some of my friends read, they are not as into it as me and read different books than me. While I love hearing about books I never heard of and reading some of them sometimes I just want to fangirl about a book that my friends would have no interest in at all.

What Is Your Favorite Book?

I would say my all time favorite book is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. When I was younger I fell in love with the March family and it really sparked my creativity. To this day I reread it often and I still enjoy it immensely.

What Do You Dislike The Most?

I dislike when people are not considerate or compassionate towards other people. I often find myself getting mad when people are nice enough when people hold the door open for someone and they ignore them. For me it is not difficult nor does it take a lot of energy to say, “Thank-you”.

What Is Your Favorite Food A The Mall?

When I am at the mall I always eat Taco Bell. Tacos have been my favorite food since I was a little girl and while I make them at home Taco Bell is my go to when I am out and about.

What Is Your Favorite Past Time?

In my free time I am usually reading, watching youtube, or crafting something.

I Nominate: Anyone who would like to do this tag, I know it has been around longer than my blog so I am not sure who has or has not done it. If you haven’t and would like to please feel free to consider yourself tagged. 


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Tags

TAG |What Makes Me Happy

 

Tag TuesdayI was tagged by the wonderful Misty over at mistysbookspace, you should really check her out!

List 5 Things That Make You Happy

  1. My plants. I love nature and love being surrounded by it. I currently have a moon cactus, an ivory tower, a sunset jade, and a Zebra plant indoors. If you follow me on Instagram and/or twitter you have seen them in my story or in a tweet. Here is a picture of some of my plants before I repotted them.
  2. Going on walks with my boyfriend. I love going on walks it is a time where I can unwind and it is just me and my boyfriend without distractions.
  3. Finding a new favorite book!
  4. Decorating. I enjoy interior decorating I am always changing my room as well as other rooms around the house.
  5. Good conversations, to me there is nothing better than having a good conversations with another person.

List 5 Songs That Make You Happy

My music tastes are all over the place and depend on my mood, but lately these are the top five songs that make me happy. Each is linked to a youtube video so you can listen if you would like.

  1. Flyleaf – Set Me On Fire
  2. The White Stripes – ‘Icky Thump’
  3. Sia – Chandelier
  4. Imagine Dragons – Believer
  5. PSY – GENTLEMAN

 

I TAG:

Flavia @ flaviathebibliophileblog

Charlotte @ charlotteannelise

Plus anyone else who would like to do this tag. If you have done it please leave the link in the comments I would love to read them!


 

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY | Bookstagram Background

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Supplies:

  • wood
  • wood glue
  • Saw (optional)
  • pencil
  • tape measure
  • something heavy or vice grip
  • stain (optional)

Instructions:

Step One: Lay Everything Out and Plan

Now that you have all of your supplies it is time to get to work. Now I picked up a pack of  wood flooring so my wood snapped together for added structure. Using regular wood is also great, I just love things being very sturdy.

 

 

 

In this step is it very important to plan how you want your background to look. You have a few options you can have your wood planks all the same size like a picnic table or you can stagger them like flooring. In this picture you can see I lined up all of my wood and marked with a pencil where I want to cut my wood. Now I wanted the planks to be staggered so not only did I mark my planks to be cut  the same size, I also marked the random cuts I needed to make. Either way is great, just make sure you measure and plan because once the wood is cut you wont be able to change it.


Step 2: Cut, Be Careful!

While cutting you can either have it done at a local hardware store if you know your dimensions or you can do it at home. You can use a hand saw or a power saw (use at your own risk), but I *highly advise you to ask someone who knows what they are doing* with these tools. They can be very dangerous. If you are younger ask an older family member to help you. Below you can see all my planks of wood cut up.


Step 3: Place the Wood Back Together


At this point place your planks back in the right order. If you cut your wood so it is staggered you can make this step easier by numbering your pieces of wood. This way they are easy to keep track of and you will not waste time trying to find the right pieces to put back together.


Step 4: Securing


To secure the pieces of wood together by cutting another piece of wood to run the length across both the top and bottom of the backside of your backdrop. To see a visual of this you can look at the picture below. You can either secure this by using nails, screws, or wood glue. I used wood glue. If you use wood glue as well make sure you follow the directions on the bottle.


Step 5: (Optional) Let it Dry

If you are using wood glue it is essential that you make sure the wood does not shift while it is drying. I used a vice grip and a very heavy bucket to ensure this. You do not need fancy tools for this, anything heavy will do. Once it is completely dry you are ready to take beautiful pictures on a brand new background.


Final Product

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY | TBR JAR

diyHello everyone, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just don’t know what to read next. Most of the time I pick my next read based off of what catches my eye, but sometimes that does not work. So I decided to make a TBR jar. Now of course I went to youtube to get some inspiration. I ended up getting inspiration from J. Bookish , although I did tweak it a bit because I did not want to wait overnight for it to dry. Now on to the DIY project!

Step One: Get the Supplies

 photo IMG_9761_zpsxld37w9d.jpgYou need a jar, Mod Podge, gel food coloring, a few paper plates, a paint brush, and any decorations you may want. I picked up wooden letters and a few small paper flowers. Depending on the decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun or super glue.

Step Two: Add Some Color


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For this step you are going to take your jar and add some Mod Podge, I recommend adding more than you think you will need. Then add a little bit of the gel food coloring. For the coloring I suggest starting off with a little and mixing it, then you can add more if you would like the color to be darker. Stir, stir, stir until everything is evenly mixed. This is important because it will show later on if it is not mixed correctly. P.S. don’t stir to quickly you will get air bubbles.

Step 3: Turn That Jar!

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Now that your color is mixed you need to slowly rotate while slowly turning it side ways. This will evenly distruble the mixture inside the jar. If done to quickly you may have uneven coverage and air bubble.

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Once your entire jar is covered continue to rotate it and pour the extra color mixture onto a plate. Get as much of this out as you can because it will speed up your drying time.

Step Four: Let it Dry

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When as much of the liquid is out you place it upside down on a plate. Now at this point you have two options:

  • You can leave it like this and let it dry over night and continue tomorrow
  • Set oven to warm or 175 degrees F. Place the jar upside down for 10 min. on top of wax paper or foil. When those 10 min. are up it is now time to flip your jar over so the opening is facing up and keep in oven for another 20-30 min. If you take it out of the oven and there is still streaking you may need to leave it in for a bit longer.

While it is air drying or you are baking it in the oven now is a great time to either print and cut out the books on your TBR or hand write them. Even though I did not add reading challenges I think that could also be a fun idea.

Step 5: The Fun Part, It’s Time to Decorate!

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Here are a few of the decorations I picked up, you can get whatever it is you like. I did not end up using everything.

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Sorry you cannot really see the color of my jar in this picture. I had to place it on an oven mitt to protect my floor. Yes, I was to lazy to wait over night, I wanted to decorate! Anyway, I suggest planning out what you are going to place on your jar. As you can see in the top left I picked out my letters and flowers and laid them out. Now depending on what decorations you get you may need a hot glue gun, use some more of the glue we used earlier, or you have picked something that already has adhesive on it.

Step Six: Put in Your TBR Titles

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Here is my final TBR jar. I really love how the color came out. It is light enough you can see all the papers inside, but dark enough that it colorful. I hope you enjoyed this little bookish DIY. I love this DIY because it is so customizable and does not require a lot of supplies. It can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it.


Do you have a TBR jar?

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Tags

TAG | The Unique Blogger Award

Tag Tuesday

Thank you Dawlyn and Krista from Little Blind Book Finds for the Tag! Today for Tag Tuesday I will be doing The Unique Blogger Award. I love tags like this because every person creates the questions for the people they tag so no one has the same questions.

The Rules

  1. Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  4. Ask them 3 questions

The Questions

1.What inspired you to start your blog?

Going right for the hard questions, huh? Well I decided to make my blog because I wanted to talk about books. Now some of you may know I have a bookstagram and I had that first. But, while I LOVE bookstagram and still use it constantly I noticed there is a lack of communication which upset me. So I decided why not create a blog. While I made it a while ago, I really started using it this past January.

2. What advice do you have for new bloggers?

Have fun and post what makes you happy because people who enjoy the same stuff will find you. Also, blogging is meant to be fun, make sure you are always enjoying the content you are creating and don’t put so much pressure on yourself.

3. Name a book that you’ve read or want to read that you heard about from the blogosphere?

This is a really great questions, hum. I think one of the main books/series I plan to read because of the blogosphere would have to be A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I heard about it on booktube, but a review I read, which of course now I cannot remember, and it really sold me on the book/series. Apparently, my boyfriends love of commas has rubbed off on me.

My Questions

  1. Is there a quote from a book that has inspired you/changed the way you view things? If so, what is the quote?
  2. Who would you cast as the main characters of a movie adaptation of your favorite book?
  3. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I Nominate:

Jess

Nikki

Kristina

Sarah

Misty

Also, anyone else who wants to join in on the fun!

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TBR

JULY TBR | 2017

TBR

The Sign of Four by Sir Arther Conan Doyle
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I have been slowly reading through all of the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories and I have started The Sign of Four and I really, really want to finish it this month.

A dense yellow miasma swirls in the streets of London as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson accompany a beautiful young woman to a sinister assignation.

For Mary Morstan has received several large pearls – one a year for the last six years – and now a mystery letter telling her she is a wronged woman. If she would seek justice she is to meet her unknown benefactor, bringing with her two companions.

Goodreads.com

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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I have a little bit of a funny story for this book. I was in the bookstore looking at new releases. Someone who worked there walked up to me and was so excited I had this book in my hands. She went on for about five minuets about  how much she liked it. While the premise of the book pulled me in this girls excitement sold me completely.

On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son’s body.

Goodreads.com

Joyland by Stephen King

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Once again I plan on reading a Stephen King novel. My aunt recommended this one to me and I already owned it so I decided to pick this one up next. What could go wrong in a theme park? Oh wait, Stephen King wrote it…everything. I am excited to pick this book up as well.

College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truths about life—and what comes after—that would change his world forever.

Goodreads.com

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What are you reading this month?

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Tags

TAG | The Goodreads Tag

Tag Tuesday

1. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS ‘READ’?

The Fireman by Joe Hill

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2. WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

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Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King

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Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

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3. WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS ‘TO READ’?

Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

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4. WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

I plan on reading The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.

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5. DO YOU USE THE STAR RATING SYSTEM?

Yes, I actually have it posted on my blog [HERE].

6. ARE YOU DOING A 2017 READING CHALLENGE?

Yes, I have a goal of reading 50 books this year. I currently have 41 books read, so I am well on my way.

7. DO YOU HAVE A WISHLIST?

Yes, but I keep track of my wishlist on amazon not goodreads.

8. WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO BUY NEXT?

I have no idea, I usually just buy whatever book I feel like reading. But, I am craving a non-fiction read.

9. DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE QUOTES, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE A FEW?

“Life is tough my darling, but so are you” Stephanie Bennett Henry

“Kindness is an act of bravery, I think, just as hatred is an act of fear” William Ritter

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth” Buddha

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship” – Louisa May Alcott

“He thought much but said little” J.R.R. Tolkien

10. WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

Stephen King, Louisa May Alcott, Rainbow Rowell,  and William Ritter are my top authors.

11. HAVE YOU JOINED ANY GROUPS?

I have joined a few, but I don’t always read all of the books the groups read.

Top 5 Wednesday

NonFiction Pulitzers

Our Shared Shelf

The History Book Club

Supporting Bookstores

Non Fiction Book Club

12. HOW MANY SHELVES TO DO YOU HAVE ON GOODREADS?

Apart from read, to-read, and currently reading I have genre shelfs. I put books on these when I am done reading so I can see what types of books I am reading.

 

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I tag: Kristina ,  Charlotte , Sarah , Misty , Nikki , and anyone else!

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