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...

    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...

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...

Flame in the Mist
Book Review / August 27, 2017

Title: Flame in the Mist Series: Flame in the Mist, #1 Author: Renee Ahdieh Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Penguin Teen Release Date: May 16th, 2017 Format: eARC Pages: 393 Source: First to Read The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished...

#AnneReadAlong2017 : 5 Adventures I Would Join in with Anne Shirley
#AnneReadAlong2017 , List / August 25, 2017

After reading Anne of Green Gables, it’s obvious that Anne gets up to all sorts of antics. Some of them are just silly things manifested from her imagination and others are just zany circumstance. Regardless, they all make for wonderful stories. Wouldn’t it be magical to join Anne Shirley on one of these adventures? How about five?! Therefore,  Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf and I thought that it would be fun to identify which...

#AnneReadAlong2017 : Halfway and Giveaway!
#AnneReadAlong2017 / August 24, 2017

WOW! Can you believe we’ve hit the halfway point in our Anne of Green Gables read-along already? I can’t. It’s been such an amazing journey and I feel so honored to be partnering with Jane @ Greenish Bookshelf. 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 support you’ve provided u...

Sleeping Giants
Book Review / August 22, 2017

Title: Sleeping Giants Series: Themis Files, #1 Author: Sylvain Neuvel Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Del Rey Release Date: April 26th, 2016 Format: eBook Pages: 304 Source: Borrowed from Lexi A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her ...

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...