My second #ARCAugust review is actually for a book I read last year and never managed to post a review for… Honestly, that was a complete oversight on my part and totally not normal. Corrected now! Whew.   Kenneth Sherman is a Canadian poet. He’s been on my radar for a few months now, and when a copy of his newest book was available to request on NetGalley, I jumped at the chance to better understand his words. Unfortun...

  I really, really, really wanted to love this book. Reading all of the Anne of Green Gables books in a row is something I’ve really enjoyed. However, I was warned early on that the even number books are the more challenging ones to read. But Anne of the Windy Poplars? It’s not even a *part* of my Anne of Green Gables complete collection! Okay, okay. I can forgive that. After all, it was published in 1936, 17 years after the s...

  Woohoo! My first #ARCAugust review! I picked up this book from NetGalley thanks to the suggestion of Crystal @ Lost in a Good Book. Her review really captured me and I was lucky to pick up a copy.   Memoirs fascinate me. There is something about digging into the heart and soul of a person’s life which is incredibly gripping. Each human being has such different experiences in their lives– there are constant lessons to le...

  Upon picking up The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, I knew only a few things: 1) Obama AND Oprah picked this book as a Must Read for 2016. 2) It won both the National Book Award AND Pulitzer Prize. 3) I was intimidated by the prestige, hype, and content of this book. I wasn’t certain I would be able to appreciate this book in the way it was intended. The Underground Railroad surprised and delighted me. In the end, I coul...

  I love Sarah’s Scribbles. Sarah Andersen has been doodling the thoughts of everyone maturing as a late Gen-X’er/early-millennial since 2011. Starting as a web comic, Andersen captures vignettes of life focused around a singular female protagonist who more-or-less wakes up one day to realize she needs to Adult. Properly Adult. And she just is NOT prepared for this. Not only is she clueless as to how adulting happens, but she ...

  This semi-autobiographical novel is billed as one which melds the “entirely true” and the “wildly fictional”. As the 2012 Newbery Medal recipient, I don’t know what I expected– but it sure wasn’t this. I adored moments of this story, but overall I couldn’t connect to the characters or the themes. While I can respect this novel, and I even understand why it won, it’s definitely not my...

  This is a review for Morning Star, the third book in the Red Rising trilogy. Spoilers will be marked, but read with caution if you have not yet read the previous two books. You can find my others reviews here: Red Rising                         Golden Son   It took me almost a year but I finally finished the Red Rising trilogy. I will admit, there is a lot about this series which doesn’t suit me. That said, I appreciate what ...

  After reading, and being a bit disappointed with, Anne of Avonlea I wasn’t expecting much from Anne of the Island. I had expected that the magic and charm of Anne of Green Gables faded after book one; that it was all a fluke! Thank goodness I kept reading. What I found in the pages of Anne of the Island is a renewed focus on Anne, her growth, adjustments to the nomadic feeling of college life, and finally– to her love life. ...

If you can believe it, this is the first time I’ve ever read Fahrenheit 451. As an avid book reader, this is the sort of dystopian literature that begs to be read. What would you do in a world where censorship and book burning are common place? What would I, Jackie B, do? This is my first foray into the works of Ray Bradbury, and it was a great place to start. Strong prose and powerful themes guided me from page to page through this clas...

  Oh, Anne. You are so incredibly endearing. Continuing my #AnneReadAlong2017, I ventured into Anne of Avonlea. While I am still completely in love with Anne Shirley herself, as well as Miss Lavendar and Paul Irving, there are a few more things I struggled with in this novel compared to the first. First of all, the addition of Davy and Dora felt a bit forced. It was like Montgomery needed to replace the innocence and mischief of younger A...

Jogging with the Great Ray Charles
Book Review / August 19, 2017

Title: Jogging with the Great Ray Charles Author: Kenneth Sherman Genre: Poetry Publisher: ECW Press Release Date: October 11th, 2016 Format: eBook Pages: 88 Source: NetGalley A poetic masterclass from a writer at the height of his craft  Kenneth Sherman’s work has always displayed a vibrant lyricism, so it’s no surprise that his powerful new collection contains a number of poems with musical motifs. In such pieces as “Clarinet,” “Tr...

Between the Lines: Lessons Learned on Reviewing Writing
Empty Pages Writing Club / August 18, 2017

              is a series of posts focused on better understanding books, trends in writing, and the labels associated with these.   Over the last year, I’ve had the honor of getting to know a number of local writers. All of these writers have been connected to me personally in some way– budding new writers! No one famous, and no one with a fully published novel (I’m looking a...

#AnneReadAlong2017 : Anne of Windy Poplars
#AnneReadAlong2017 , Book Review / August 17, 2017

Title: Anne of Windy Poplars Series: Anne of Green Gables, #4 Author: L. M. Montgomery Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Turtleback Books Release Date: December 1st, 1983 Format: Paperback Pages: 288 Source: Library First Published: 1936 Anne Shirley has left Redmond College behind to begin a new job and a new chapter of her life away from Green Gables. Now she faces a new challenge: the Pringles. They're known as the royal family...

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book Recommendations for Those Who Poo-Poo Middle Grade Literature
Meme , Top Ten Tuesday / August 15, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the prompt is Ten Book Recommendations for _____. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of people talk down to young adult and middle grade reading level books. This has been really frustrating for me. Just because a book is at a lower reading level than you can read doesn’t mean it should be dismissed! Since we were given the option to select our recommen...

The Best We Could Do
Book Review / August 12, 2017

Title: The Best We Could Do Author: Thi Bui Genre: Graphic Memoir Publisher: Abrams ComicArts Release Date: March 7th, 2017 Format: eBook Pages: 330 Source: NetGalley Illustrator: Thi Bui An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam from debut author Thi Bui. This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for th...

The Underground Railroad
Book Review / August 9, 2017

Title: The Underground Railroad Author: Colson Whitehead Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Doubleday Release Date: August 2nd, 2016 Format: Audiobook Pages: 306 Source: Library Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood - where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from V...

#ARCAugust : Let’s Do This.
Read-a-thon / August 7, 2017

  Those of you who hang out here fairly often know that I am quite the mood reader. This is awesome because I rarely run into books that I am unhappy about reading. I might rate them with 2 or 3 stars, but I still enjoyed the reading experience. However, this is also TERRIBLE because I have a tendency to drink a bit too much champagne and request far too many books on NetGalley. Yup. I’m in a NetGalley ARC hole. And itR...

Building Better Book Clubs: In-Person or Online?
Building Better Book Clubs / August 3, 2017

          is a series of posts focused on all things book club related: discussions, listicles, how to’s and more! Check out all posts here. Growing up, I always thought of book clubs as something old people did. They got together in the early afternoon at the library and discussed a book they had read. It took me many years to realize the untapped potential of book clubs. But, what really makes a book ...

July 2017 Month in Review
Month in Review / August 1, 2017

Newsworthy I can’t believe we have already reached the end of July! Where has this summer gone? As you know from my June Month in Review post, I did quite a bit of traveling in July. I started my month in Croatia, which was AMAZING. You can see some details and photos in my …And We’re Back! post. I also traveled home for a week to do some wedding planning, and I went on my first camping trip. Yup– first ever. ...

Big Mushy Happy Lump
Book Review / July 29, 2017

Title: Big Mushy Happy Lump Series: Sarah Scribbles, #2 Author: Sarah Andersen Genre: Comic Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing Release Date: March 7th, 2017 Format: eARC Pages: 132 Source: NetGalley Illustrator: Sarah Andersen Sarah Andersen's hugely popular, world-famous Sarah's Scribbles comics are for those of us who boast bookstore-ready bodies and Netflix-ready hair, who are always down for all-night reading-in-bed parties and...