I cannot stop crying. Sepetys debut novel tells the chilling and lesser-spoken-of tale of the displacement, forced migration, and forced labor of Lithuanians (and Latvians, Estonians, and Finns…) into Siberia by the Soviets in World War II. While our narrator, Lina, is only 15 years old when our story begins, Sepetys refuses to shy away from the more horrific elements. This is not a pretty book. I might even describe it as unflinchingly...

  Somehow, in all my excitement in October (aka: Overwhelming Busyness), I never managed to post my review for Anne of Ingleside! Well, better late than never right? It’s hard to believe there are only two books left after this… The 6th book in the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of Ingleside finally introduces us to the Blythe children. It feels like a long time coming, but finally, Anne and Gilbert have their own little mi...

  Well. This book taught me something I can’t believe I didn’t know about myself until reading this book: I don’t like hard science fiction. Hard Sci-Fi waves technically accurate science into informed speculation by using intricate details to back-up the writer’s speculations.  While reading, when I found that I was incredibly engrossed in some parts and not others, I started to question why. I discovered two reas...

  I have nothing against short stories, but I tend to gravitate away from them when picking up a book to read. When I read short stories I am never disappointed. But for some reason, my fingers always itch for a novel. Perhaps it’s that addiction to character development? Who knows. What I do know, is that when my book club needed a last minute book added– I knew what I wanted on the list: A Tyranny of Petticoats. The story be...

  I recommended this to one of my book clubs for purely selfish reasons. A few different bloggers kept raving about this series over the past year on their blogs. It came up again and again– I knew I just had to check it out, but I didn’t want to read it in a vacuum. I was nervous this debut novel wouldn’t do anything for me. With such passionate followers for the series in the blogosphere, I wanted friends to help me se...

  I’m just going to get this out of the way — Yes, this 1940 Newbery Award winner certainly has some representation issues. Yes, Call It Courage does play on all the noble-savage action-adventure boy serial tropes, such as those in the Tarzan serials. Yes, it portrays sexism, bullying, and submitting to peer pressure in a positive light. Yes, it does fall into a bit of a predictable storytelling mode where our protagonist magi...

  I am a HUGE Rainbow Rowell fan. I am drawn to realistic characters, character-driven stories, and character/relationship development over the course of a story. This is what Rowell is known for! But I had never read her debut novel Attachments. Why? Part of it is that I didn’t want the magic to end. Now I have no more Rowell books to read! But part of it is also that it’s a debut novel– will I love it just as much? Wil...

  My Kids Lit Book Club met on Saturday, August 19th, the weekend of the Charlottesville white supremacist riots, feeling dejected. We had just finished reading an assortment of Dear America books, focusing on what young girl’s lives were like as America was coming of age. We felt dissatisfied with these books written by white men about women of color which didn’t feel authentic, and we felt like we were trapped in a world whe...

  One of my friends, Sarah Stern, is a comic artist. For her day job, mostly, she is a colorist and she is amazing (for real – check out her website!). Recently, Sarah announced that she will be doing the coloring for Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince. Obviously, that meant I had to immediately run out and read all the previous Zodiac Starforce comics to prepare for the Sarah Stern Coming. It was everything I had hoped it w...

  I firmly believe that there are times in your life when you read a book and it is perfect. Why? Because this is the exact moment in which you needed that book.  I might have found Dumplin’ at that exact right moment in my life. Willowdean’s journey of self-acceptance speaks to everyone who has ever felt insecure and frustrated with themselves. And perhaps… This journey was one I needed to see from the outside for once. All m...

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top 10 Books I’m Thankful For
Top Ten Tuesday / November 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the theme is: Top 10 Books I’m Thankful For Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. My whole family gets together in person. There are ~35 of us. We laugh and eat and drink and play games and just generally appreciate being together. And at the Thanksgiving dinner table, we all go around and tell everyone what we are thankful for. Last year, that&...

#ThanksgivingReadathon : Goals and TBR
Read-a-thon / November 20, 2017

I couldn’t be more excited to be hosting the #ThanksgivingReadaton this year with Ottavia @ Novels and Nonfiction. A little over a year ago, we got together and decided to make time for ourselves and our reading during a traditionally hectic time. Now– we share that with you! The #ThanksgivingReadathon is a stress-free way to get caught up with your reading and prioritize me-time during a family-packed week. If you’...

Between Shades of Gray
Book Review / November 16, 2017

Title: Between Shades of Gray Author: Ruta Sepetys Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Penguin Audio Release Date: March 22nd, 2011 Format: Audiobook Pages: 344 Source: Owned Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her fathe...

#ThanksgivingReadathon Announcement
Read-a-thon / November 13, 2017

  It was only last year when I really started putting myself out there in the blogosphere. When I started blogging, I was talking into the void and it satisfied me. I was a bit nervous that no one would want to talk to me, honestly. Am I thankful that I decided to put myself out there! One of the first bookish friends I made through blogging is Ottavia @ Novels and Nonfiction. She writes intelligent posts and is a considerate an...

#AnneReadAlong2017 : Anne of Ingleside
#AnneReadAlong2017 , Book Review / November 10, 2017

Title: Anne of Ingleside Series: Anne of Green Gables, #6 Author: L.M. Montgomery Genre: Classic Publisher: Starfire Release Date: June 1st, 1984 Format: Hardcover Pages: 274 Source: Library First Published: 1939 Anne is the mother of five, with never a dull moment in her lively home. And now with a new baby on the way and insufferable Aunt Mary visiting - and wearing out her welcome - Anne's life is full to bursting. Still, Mrs Doct...

Building Better Book Clubs: How To Decide What Your Club Reads Next
Building Better Book Clubs / November 5, 2017

          is a series of posts focused on all things book club related: discussions, listicles, how to’s and more!   One the most controversial topics when participating in a book club is deciding what book you will all read next. Depending on the group, this could lead to hours of debate, broken friendships, or even strange political dancing. Trust me, I’ve seen it all. For each group, the r...

October 2017 Month in Review
Month in Review / November 1, 2017

Newsworthy Wait. It’s November already?! October was a wonderful whirlwind of family visits, wedding planning, musical performances, new and exciting work projects, and helping Kurosh become a true member of the family (even though sometimes it feels like he is patiently grooming us to be members of his pack). I made a conscious effort to spend more time with my friends, and for the most part, I think I was quite successful! Da...

State of the ARC
Meme , State of the ARC / October 30, 2017

            State of the ARC is a meme hosted by Evelina at Avalinah’s Books used to track ARC progress and motivate us ARC reading slackers.   My friend Evelina at Avalinah’s Books and I have a problem: We tend to let our ARCs pile up. Yup, that’s right. Our Advanced Reader Copies quickly become Current Reader Copies. And in some situations, even become Old Reader Copies. ThatR...

#AnneReadAlong2017 : 5 Favorite Anne of Green Gables Characters
#AnneReadAlong2017 , List / October 27, 2017

As we are closing in on the conclusion of our read along (can you believe there are only two books left?!), it’s obvious Anne of Green Gables contains quite an amazing cast of characters. Sadly, but reflective of real life, these characters come and go from Anne Shirley Blythe’s life. Despite their waxing and waning that doesn’t mean they need to go far from our hearts! This month,  Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf and I e...

Ringworld
Book Review / October 24, 2017

Title: Ringworld Series: Ringworld, #1 Author: Larry Niven Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Del Ray Ballantine Random House Format: Paperback Source: Library First Published: October 1970 Pierson's puppeteers, three-leg two-head aliens find immense structure in unexplored part of the universe. Frightened of meeting the builders, they send a team of two humans, a puppeteer and a kzin, eight-foot red-fur catlike alien. Ringworld is 18...