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...

    Wow– I thought I would never see y’all again by mid-last-week. I came down with a summer cold (worst), and now with changes at work and some personal things we are deep in the busiest time of the year for me. But it feels good to get a review posted. Anyway– After reading Anne of Windy Poplars, I will admit I wasn’t all that excited to pick up Anne’s House of Dreams. But — oh– am I glad I...

  I am both in love and completely over Snow Crash at the same time. Talk about confusing. Snow Crash reads like watching The Matrix for the first time– it’s mind blowing, action-packed, brilliant, and annoying all simultaneously. That said, I couldn’t put it down. Stephenson rebooted the cyberpunk genre with this novel, and for good reason.  But it runs you over a bit like a steamroller. So, instead of my traditional re...

In right under the wire! My 4th #ARCAugust review! Finally making a dent in that TBR. 🙂 My Better Half and I love to cook and explore new recipes. We are constantly checking out new cookbooks from the library to see what we want to add to our collection.  It wasn’t until my friend, Dr. Cupcake started her own food blog that I realized I could post book reviews of the cookbooks I was reading. Going further down the rabbit hole, this has l...

  My third #ARCAugust review falls to the wonderful Flame in the Mist. As I’ve discovered happens often, this is the first book in a series, which I didn’t know when I requested the book! While I don’t often read series books before the series is completed, I have no regrets about reading Flame in the Mist. After all, this turned out to be a mash-up of Mulan and 47 Ronin focused on the origins of ninja. What could there ...

July in Review
Month in Review / August 1, 2016

Newsworthy The last month has been a bit melancholy, a bit bittersweet, and also super AWESOME. Weird month. I got some books read, as you can imagine. And my TBR list has grown a ton. I find myself thinking… is my blog really everything it can be? Not yet! But there is time to grow and improve yet! July is the height of Summer, and I have been super busy. I went on a weekend trip to Galena, IL (where I read The Outsiders for t...

Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths
Book Review / July 30, 2016

Title: Luke Skywalker Can't Read (and other Geeky Truths) Author: Ryan Britt Genre: Essays Publisher: Plume Release Date: November 24th, 2015 Format: PAperback Pages: 208 Source: Library Essayist Ryan Britt got a sex education from dirty pictures of dinosaurs, made out with Jar-Jar Binks at midnight, and figured out how to kick depression with a Doctor Who Netflix-binge. Alternating between personal anecdote, hilarious insight, ...

Iron Kissed
Book Review / July 28, 2016

Title: Iron Kissed Series: Mercy Thompson, #3 Author: Patricia Briggs Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Ace Release Date: January 2nd 2008 Format: eBook Pages: 287 Source: Owned I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a ...

City of Bones
Book Review / July 26, 2016

Title: City of Bones Series: The Mortal Instruments Author: Cassandra Clare Genre: Paranormal Fiction Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books Release Date: April 14th, 2009 Format: ebook Pages: 485 Source: Library First Published: March 27th, 2007 When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with stra...

Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Book Review / July 25, 2016

Title: Mr. Popper's Penguins Author: Richard and Florence Atwater Genre: Children's Publisher: Little, Brown and Company Release Date: November 2nd, 1992 Format: Audiobook Pages: 139 Source: Library Illustrator: Robert Lawson First Published: 1938 The Poppers unexpectedly come into possession of a penguin, then get a penguin from the zoo who mates with the first penguin to have 10 baby penguins. Before long, something must ...

Americanah
Book Review / July 21, 2016

Title: Americanah Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Genre: Fiction Publisher: Knopf Release Date: May 14th, 2013 Format: Audiobook Pages: 477 Source: Library From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, If...

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Book Review / July 18, 2016

Title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Author: John Berendt Genre: True Crime Publisher: Vintage Release Date: June 28th, 1999 Format: Paperback Pages: 386 Source: Owned Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shad...

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life
Book Review / July 8, 2016

Title: A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life Author: Brian Grazer Genre: Self Help Publisher: Simon and Schuster Release Date: April 7th, 2015 Format: Audiobook Pages: 320 Source: Library From Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer and acclaimed business journalist Charles Fishman comes the New York Times bestselling, brilliantly entertaining peek into the weekly “curiosity conversations” that have inspired Grazer to creat...

June in Review
Month in Review / July 2, 2016

Newsworthy Wow! It’s hard to imagine we are strongly into Summer and heading into Independence Day weekend. Sunny skies and warm days are luring me outside, and typically I read less in the summer, anyway. Yes, June was a challenging month for me and those close to me. A lot of unexpected things came up which really changed how my June was run. Honestly, it was a really tough month, and it shows in my reading. But! I still mana...

The Rithmatist
Book Review / June 30, 2016

Title: The Rithmatist Series: Rithmatist, #1 Author: Brandon Sanderson Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Tor Teen Release Date: May 14th, 2013 Format: Audiobook Pages: 378 Source: Library Illustrator: Ben McSweeney (Rithmatics Images) More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings...