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 ...

The Great Newbery Quest
Between the Lines , Reading Challenge / September 21, 2017

                is a series of posts focused on better understanding books, trends in writing, and the labels associated with these.   As some of you might have noticed, I read quite a bit of MG/YA literature. Why? I take part in two book clubs which tend to lean more YA/MG (one is exclusively for YA/MG books), but also I find that a lot of modern YA/MG books are addicting and brilliant. F...

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR List
Top Ten Tuesday / September 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the theme is: books on your Fall TBR For those of you who don’t know me, I am a mood reader. And sometimes, I feel like I’m the moodiest reader there is. I can’t seem to stick to a TBR list to save my life. I tend to pick up books on a whim. The only exception to this is my book club books; I will read those no matter what. I just need the sche...

Dumplin’
Book Review / September 17, 2017

Title: Dumplin' Series: Dumplin, #1 Author: Julie Murphy Genre: Contemporary Publisher: Harper Collins Release Date: September 15th, 2015 Format: Audionook Source: Library Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen,...

#AnneReadAlong2017 : Anne’s House of Dreams
Book Review / September 14, 2017

Title: Anne's House of Dreams Series: Anne of Green Gables, #5 Author: L.M. Montgomery Genre: Classic Publisher: Starfire Release Date: November 1st, 1993 Format: eBook Pages: 248 Source: Owned First Published: 1917 Anne's own true love, Gilbert Blythe, is finally a doctor, and in the sunshine of the old orchard, among their dearest friends, they are about to speak their vows. Soon the happy couple will be bound for a new life t...

#AnneReadAlong2017 : Giveaway Winner!
#AnneReadAlong2017 / September 11, 2017

  Wow– it’s hard to believe that we’re over halfway done with this amazing read along! To celebrate, and to thank all of you for your amazing support and wonderful participation, Jane @Greenish Bookshelf and I set up our first giveaway. It’s been an adventure figuring out how we want to work together, want we want to provide, and how we want to engage our community. We really appreciate all the wonderful suppor...

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’ve Accidentally DNF’d
Top Ten Tuesday / September 5, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the theme is: books you had a hard time with. There are a lot of directions I could take this. I could look at the hyped books I never really go into (probably most of them), the books I dragged myself through (mostly in school), or even the books I intentionally DNF’d. However, I have a small problem I’ve been hiding from the bookish world. I tend t...

Snow Crash
Book Review / September 3, 2017

Title: Snow Crash Author: Neal Stephenson Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Bantam Books Release Date: August 2nd, 2000 Format: Paperback Pages: 470 Source: Library First Published: June 1992 In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the...

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

Newsworthy No. Seriously. I know last month I said, “Where has summer gone?” But this month. Seriously. I feel like I was *just* writing this post for July! August flew by. Plus, it was much colder than usual here in Wisconsin. It’s like Summer never even showed up for August. Super strange. My boss has taken a 6-month leave-of-absence from work (she’s fine, everything is awesome!), which leaves me in charge o...

Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand
Book Review / August 30, 2017

Title: Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand Author: Leela Punyaratabandhu Genre: Cookbook Publisher: Ten Speed Press Release Date: May 9th 2017 Format: eARC Pages: 368 Source: NetGalley From one of the most respected authorities on Thai cooking comes this beautiful and deeply personal ode to Bangkok, the top-ranked travel destination in the world.  Every year, more than 16 million visitors flock to Thailand s capit...

Building Better Book Clubs: How to Start a Book Club
Building Better Book Clubs / August 29, 2017

          is a series of posts focused on all things book club related: discussions, listicles, how to’s and more!   Have you ever finished reading a book and immediately thought to yourself, “Oh MAN! I wish I had someone to talk to about ______! But there is no one around/ready to chat/available/etc. Worst.”? Have you already tried to seek out book clubs and found them wanting or compl...