Reading, StephReads2018

Summer Lovin’ had me some books!

Hello Booknerds!

Today I am going to recommend some amazing and wonderful summery books!

But Steph, you might be wondering, It’s still May, which means it’s still Spring! Why not do a Spring book recommendation?

Well dear smol summer child, because in the MidWest (where I live) we only get spring for exactly 2 days here, and then the temperature jumps to the 90’s and we swelter and die for 6 months. So no, spring has actually already passed us by, and considering this past week was up over 95 degrees every single day, it’s now summer.

Now for these recommendations, not all of them take place during summer. And I know a lot of people tend to go more toward contemporaries during the hot months, which I sometimes do as well. Of course, I also tend to go towards murder mystery books, fantasy and also anything lighthearted and fun during the summer…so there’s that (and also the fall, winter, and spring but you know…)

So, on to the books!

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1- The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord.

Friends to lovers, cute sweet geeky boy and cute sweet shy girl, what’s not to like? Not to mention that even though this book is set in high school, there is no mean jocks or horrid cheerleaders? Like, seriously, everyone is so nice in this book and it makes me just so happy because I love seeing people break tropes and this is just such a cute read!

2-Love Fortunes and other disasters by Kim Karailus

A town where magic actually exists and true love is waiting for you in the form of a love fortune, well except for the slender few who get a fortune stating that they will never have love. This book has humor, fun, love (obviously) and a group of rebels that you would never guess. I adore this book and the companion novel, and if you aren’t craving some sweet chocolate pretzels at the end of this, well, maybe you should try again.

3-Girl against the Universe by Paula Stokes

I recommend this book pretty much all the time to people who are looking for a good read. Maguire is convinced that she is cursed. Mainly because it feels like every time something good happens, life spirals out of control and causes people she knows to be hurt and even die. She is going to therapy and meets Jordy who is also seeing the same therapist. But here’s the thing, there is good representation here, as well as the boy who meets the girl does not cure her- and that is such a good thing that I love it whole-heartedly.

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4-My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows

This is a hilarious retelling of Jane Grey, the girl who was queen for 9 days during the Tudor period of history. However, instead of them making her lose her head (literally she got beheaded in actual history) they made this period of history a time where there was shape-shifters and magic. There are some of the best lines in this book and with the next novel they are writing coming out in June, now is the best time to fall in love with the Lady Janeites as they call themselves

5-The careful undressing of love by Corey Ann Haydu

The girls of Devonairre Street are cursed. For decades, the old women of the block have told the younger generations that any boy they love will die too soon. To fight the curse the girls wear their hair long and always wear a key around their neck, even though the curse has just become more of an accessory then an actual thing, except when Jack suddenly dies, Jack the boy that everyone loves, even without trying. And Lorna needs to decide if she is going to live with a curse like that, or try to break it. Absolutely creepy and fantastic.

6-The weight of feathers by Anne-Marie Mcelmore

Maybe you don’t want something funny? Maybe instead you would like something a bit darker and mysterious and while lyrical also dealing with prejudices and problems? Have I got the story for you: this is centered around two competing families, the Palomas who take to the water like they were born there, and the Corbeaus who flit among the trees like they have wings. Both sides hate each other, but when Lace and Cluck fall somehow in love, they must learn what is really important, and what is worth giving up.

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7-I believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. Student body president, varsity soccer star, and how she plans to get into Stanford. However the one thing that doesn’t seem to be a part of the plan is her getting a boyfriend, even though she decides that maybe the Korean dramas her dad is always watching will help guide her to be able to land Luka, the boy she’s liked for ages. However, love seems to have a thing or two up its’ sleeve and it doesn’t seem like Desi will ever find a boyfriend or true love.

8- Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Strangers to friends, cross country road trip, and maybe a hint of something more? What was supposed to be a pretty straight shot from California to Connecticut, turns into a road trip for the ages, giving Amy and Roger a chance to look where they might be going and what detours they need to have in order to not be staying the same.

9-The Colour Project by Sierra Abrams

Bee has a secret that she doesn’t want anyone to know, her name. That is, until she meets Levi who has started the Colour Project which is a charity organization. When an unexpected illness swarms her family and drains her summer of everything bright and possible, she is pushed to the breaking point and has to choose between keeping it together or letting someone in to see the mess her life has become.

10-Jackaby by William Ritter

You only thought that you would get through a list without some mention of Jackaby didn’t you reader? *insert maniacal laughter* Nope! Jackaby is one of my favorite books of all time, and I will never stop talking about it. Jackaby is like a mix between Supernatural and Sherlock, with a dash of Buffy set in an alternate 1900’s. I freaking love this book and series, and easily could read it any time, and well, I need to reread it this year I’m thinking.

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*Bonus*

Ok it was so hard for me to limit myself to only 10 books, but I realized that I had this whole list planned out and somehow I forgot Pride and Prejudice? Like, my all time favorite book of ever, I just forgot to mention? Nope. Sorry, I’m adding it on as a bonus feature. I could have said any of Jane Austen’s because I think for the most part all of them have some sort of summer scene but in reality my heart will always stop at the scene of Elizabeth visiting Pemberley and seeing Darcy….le sigh.

So there you have it, a list of 10 (ahem 11) books that I feel everyone should at least put on their radar for the summer. Or for fall. Or actually for the next week. Ok in reality, these are ones you should read as soon as you can.

What about you fellow booknerds? What are some books you love to read during the summer? Did I mention any of your favorites? Have you read any of these? Let me know below!

 

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Have a great day and happy reading! And remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Always Reading~

Stephanie

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Reading, StephReads2018, Weekly Wrap Up

April 1-7 wrap up!

Hello friends!

I didn’t mean to go MIA on you but life took quite a few unexpected turns and I ended up taking an unplanned hiatus. Which was interesting to say the least.

I have come to the conclusion that I am trash for getting monthly wrap ups done in a timely manner and posted so I thought for this month at least I would try to do some weekly wrap ups, just to see if these actually work better for me. (I have a feeling they will because they will be shorter, and the books will be fresh so I won’t have to think if I liked that book or what rating I gave it)

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This week I only read 3 books, but I’m sure that I will be reading more this week, I’m joining up with the O.W.L.S Readathon, in which you read 12 books corresponding to the 12 classes, and 2 of the 3 books I read this week were for that. As you can see from all the books up there, I’m planning on shooting for Hermione levels (aka finishing all the books).

 

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First book I read: Midnight Jesus by Jamie Blaine.

This was a nonfiction Christian book with small stories about how to find grace and God, even when you didn’t think that was where they would be. I personally thought this was a pretty good book, though I would have liked it to go a bit deeper in each chapter but, still over all pretty good. I gave it a 3.5 star rating. I really did enjoy a lot of the stories told in there.

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Next book was the Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde.

I had read this book before but it was years ago, back probably in high school.

I forgot a lot of it, though it was short, which I didn’t expect. This book also got a 3.5 star rating from me, though I think I would have given it higher, but it had a pretty dry portion in the middle, which was surprising because again it was so short. And the cover is just gorgeous! (I adore all these penguin English classic editions, so expect to see a lot of them in the future!)

 

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Final book I read this week was The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning.

This was also a nonfiction Christian book about grace and mercy and holiness. It was a reread for me, and funny enough when I was reading Midnight Jesus this is the book that I kept thinking about reading next so I guess that works out.

 

All in all, not a bad reading week. I did work quite a bit at my second job, and in between that I’m trying to pack and get everything sorted to get ready to move (in less then 3 weeks now) so hopefully I can get everything ready before then.

Anyways, hope y’all are having a good day!

Remember, Life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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monthly wrap up, Reading, StephReads2018

January 2018 wrap up (well, I’m late)

Hello fellow booknerds!

So I’m not really sure what happened to the month of February, but seeing as it ends tomorrow (!?!) I thought it would be about time to wrap up January. Yes, I am a whole month and some odd days behind on where I want to be, but on the nice part, that means that during March, you might just get more than one post. (I really am going to try to get better at updating, pinky promise)

So back to January….which was a definitely good reading month for me. But before I start getting into the pics of what I read and what I thought,I wanted to share how I’m doing on my bookish goals:

*2018 goals*

-Read 200 books this year (50 reread, 100 mine/new, 50 library): I read 31 books in January so I think this is one that I will have no problem accomplishing.

-Read 85,000 pages this year: This is a new goal that I decided to start in February because I am joining up with some of my friends that are tracking pages not just books. (I mean I’ll be the first to admit there is something about reading books that are huge but they don’t count for anything more then just one book…so yeah) I read 8,145 pages in January, so this is one that should be pretty good for me too.

-Read all of Charles Dickens works by 2019: This is something that was a slight goal of mine last year but I didn’t get to read all of them, so I’m giving myself one more year to get through them. I’ve read so far, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, the Pickwick Papers and a Christmas Carol. I’ve got Great Expectations warming up on my TBR shelf and will probably get the rest as I go on through the year.

-Read at least one non-fiction book per month: I actually read 3 non-fiction last month so again, a goal that should be easily filled by the end of the year.

-Read at least six books where the author is from outside of the US/is translated from a different language: I read 3 books in January where the author was from a different place, and one that was translated from French. This one takes a bit more to decode and I kinda like the mystery of finding out where an author is from.

So now, with that out of the way: To the books!!

In January I read 31 books, how I’m not exactly sure, I think witchcraft might be involved in some way. I also participated in the #24in48 readathon, which I completed with having read 14 hours and read 6 books I think? (I really can’t remember, it started blurring all together)

 

~Stats~

~The Great (4.25 stars and above)~

 

The majority of these were rereads this month. And honestly I’m ok with that. I would rather reread a fabulous story then get a meh book, which is happening with alarming regularity, and I’m not alright with that.

 

~The Pretty Good (3 to 4 stars)~

 

(Realizing that next month I’ll have to separate the 3 and 4 stars because there is a vast difference between “I really enjoyed this and it was something I would recommend” to “it’s ok and I finished it but there wasn’t much else there” But I’m not doing that tonight because…no…)

Also I’m noticing that my 3 stars are always right on the fence. There are 2 of the books up there that I could easily be talked into as a 2 but I decided to go with a 3. So, yet another reason for me to separate the 3 and 4 stars next month.

~The Meh (2-2.75 star rating)~

 

There are some on there that A LOT of people recommended me to read, stating that I would love them, and sadly…I didn’t. These books got the 2 star rating because they were boring. Or dull. Or too cliche. Or pointless. Or there was no plot. Or too much of one. Basically they weren’t written well enough to rate above a 2 but they weren’t the worst either at below. These books are just ones that aren’t worth it.

 

~The Hard Pass (Anything below a 2 star)~

 

Nope. These books failed me in so many ways.

-The sacred lies of Minnow Bly-This was a book about a girl caught in a cult, who ends up in jail. And I actually should have DNF’d this book because those are 2 things that I’m not into at all. It was graphic and disgusting and I want to really know if the person who designed the cover even read the book because Minnow HAS NO HANDS, and this is something that bugged me through the ENTIRE book when I would look at the cover.

-Brooding YA hero-this had SO MUCH potential. I was hoping that it would be snarky and sassy and hilarious. Instead what I got was…dull and excruciating boredom. Pages about shallow self-adsorbed jerks who I couldn’t care less about. The twitter feed is hilarious…but when you stretch those 280 characters into a full book, yeah the humor is pretty much non-existent.

-Fly on the wall- It’s a retelling of Metamorphosis about a girl who wishes she was a fly on the wall of the guys locker room. And it happens. (I don’t know why because it was never explained, ever). And this is one of the absolute WORST books I’ve read in the entire time that I have read YA. This girl not only becomes a fly but decides to basically become the worst type of voyeur ever. Like I’m talking she went on for almost 15 chapters about the differences between guys “gherkins” (I am not making that up, the author had EVERYONE calling the guys junk “gherkins” and the girls chests “muffins”; like seriously??) this book was disgusting and pointless.

 

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So that’s all the books I read this past month! How is your reading going this year so far? What books have you read that you loved? Hated? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great night and remember, life is too short to read mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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Books, Reading, StephReads2018

Reasons BookNerds need large TBR’s

One thing I’ve noticed with being in the bookish community is that right around this time of year we all start thinking about our large/huge/mountianious TBR’s that we have. And it doesn’t help that most of the publishers want to see us die a slow and painful death and therefore make sure we either have this lofty goal of “zero by whatever” or getting rid of a lot of our books. (Nothing at all against getting rid of books that you are no longer excited for or that you are going to rebuy-I literally just did that this past month and got rid of over 30 books, and it was so freeing!)

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But with the new year, a lot of people like to start things fresh. They want to have that blank space (cue some old T-Swift y’all) to really do some great reading, or get to some of their backlist books (I’m all about that! Most of my books this year that I’m going to be reading are from 2017 and prior)

And one of the most asked questions I get is “Why don’t you get rid of all your books? How are you going to read all these books? Maybe you should stop buying books”

And since hurting people (outside of my novel) is kinda frowned upon, this is my response to why BookNerds need a large TBR: (Enjoy!)

-We are mood readers. Which means that we will read what we want when we feel like it. There are so many times when I start several books trying to figure out what my mood is, and once I find it (usually from my TBR) I am so happy when I find it! And mood readers really don’t go with set TBR’s, instead we tend to set a “tentative” TBR meaning it will change when we want.

 

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-Comfort. There is a level of satisfaction  we get when we look at our bookshelves that are arranged how we want and we are surrounded by books. My worst day is always improved by me coming in my room and looking at my beautiful shelves.

-There is such a thing as free shipping. Of course you do have to pay for a few extra books to get it, but dude, FREE SHIPPING to a bookworm translates as “WE WILL PAY YOU TO GET 2 MORE BOOKS” and of course we do, because if there’s one thing we know is we have very low self control.

-Cousins to the free shipping, is the booksales. Buy 2 get one free, well, why not? I mean, basically you are getting a free book so you might as well right?

 

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-If something happens and you have to stay barricaded in your room for weeks on end, such as the zombie apocalypse or a snowstorm, you never run out of things to do. TV and phones require electricity, and if you are like most bookworms you have a plethora of candles so therefore you will still be able to read!

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-Cover love is a real thing and how most of my TBR grows.

-There might not be books you touch for YEARS (totally true story, I legit just finished a book I have had on my TBR for 4 years this past month and it became one of my new favorites!!) and in that case it is such a great satisfaction that you can look at it and smile, knowing you beat the book, not the other way around.

-Sometimes in your huge TBR you discover new favorites. I know for me, when I shop on BookOutlet I know next to NOTHING about say 98% of the books I buy, but when I read them, they turn into some of my most read and most loved books. (Actually I go into most books blind because when I’ve read the synopsis that usually spoils me for it)

-Most of my friends are talking about it, and all of the things that they say are amazing and therefore instead of just chancing it at the library (though I do that a bit too) I basically buy it if I find it pretty cheap, because…why not? (again I have very little self control when it comes to books)

 

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-I’m determined that 2018 is the year I turn into an actual BookDragon, and like any good Dragon, I need a shiny hoard to keep and sleep in, gold is really uncomfortable so therefore I need some new shiny books to sleep with and near and under….and shoot just build me a little book igloo. I can sleep in there. (as long as there’s a blanket and pillow because even though I’m trying to be a Dragon, I do want some comfort)

So those are some of the reasons that BookNerds need a large TBR. What do y’all think? Where do you fall in the TBR scale? Do you hoard them, or release them? Do you have a large TBR?

Have a great day Dragons, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

 

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31DaysofBlogmas, Books

10 ways my reading habits have changed this year

Hello friends and welcome to my journey of blogging every day for December! Today I’m going to be talking about how my reading really has changed this year. (I was completely inspired by PaperFury’s blog post about how her writing style has changed, check it out here)

I used to be the person who would not only finish every. single. book I would start, but also give super high ratings to every single book that make me laugh. (Kid you not, when I have been going back and rereading some of these books, I shake my head and have to take down a star or two because past Stephanie threw those stars around like it was nothing!) And that made me think how much I have changed in the past year or so with my reading habits, I mean if ratings can change over the years, so have other things.

So in no particular order, these are some of the ways that my reading has changed over the past year.

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1- I have given myself full and absolute permission to DNF (do not finish) a book if I hate it. Or if I’m bored. Or if I just really don’t care. I have basically allowed myself to make reading fun again, because when I’m struggling through a book, it’s not fun. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of fun.

2- I have become much stricter on how I rate books. So instead of squeeing with delight at finding “A NEW ABSOLUTE MUST READ, THIS BOOK IS SO FANTASTIC ALL THE STARS”  like past Stephanie wrote on many Goodreads posts, (like girl just chill a bit) instead I try to read them critically. (Sometimes this process works, sometimes I still squee and flail) But for the most part I question, “Is this book really worth a full 5 star rating? Was there any parts that really irritated you or annoyed you or didn’t flow? Should it be more a 4 or 4.5?” and I go from there. Sometimes even the things that annoy me are still part of the strongest book, and other times they are the reason that it drops.

3- I have utilized my library SO MUCH more than I have in previous years. Pretty much every single Monday I have trounced over to the library, picked up my holds, dropped off books and happily made my way home where I have found either new favorites or a thankful heart (and wallet) that I haven’t spent money on this book because meh.

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4- I have found myself gravitating more towards annotating books and highlighting passages in them again. I try not to do this with books I’m unsure about, but the books I know I’m going to love and going to read, over and over again, I completely mark up. I figure honestly, if like 90 years down the road and I haven’t discovered the cure for mortality and someone is going through my books, I want them to find things out about me, like what my favorite passages were or what quotes stuck with me.

5- I have employed the “try the first chapter” method to a lot of these books that I’ve checked out from the library, simply because in deference to the first part, I am allowing myself to DNF (without feeling guilty) and I know what I like. If a character’s tone or the way things unfold are things I don’t like, I now don’t feel guilty for just tossing it in the reject pile. There are some rare times when I just keep going on in the book, hoping that it will change, but sadly it usually doesn’t.

6- I also have stopped reading a lot of the books that people have recommended to me. Or that I have seen on Booktube. Like I still might think about them, and probably get them from the library, but on a whole, I don’t rush out and get them right away because I have found that over hyped books tend to be ones that I dislike (or at least wish I had checked out from the library). So I either wait for the hype to go down, or I read books that are less hyped. This helps me in 2 ways, the first that I can actually read without so much emotion attached to the book and that the book is available easier from the library when you wait a bit. 🙂

7- While I am still a bookdragon who would prefer going into books blind (without knowing much about them at all) because the synopsis usually spoils me for the book, there is something to looking up the reviews on Goodreads. If I’m struggling to get into a book or trying to finish something and just not really feeling it, I’ll check my fellow readers reviews of this book to see if it’s just me or if there are others who feel the same way. If it’s getting only high reviews, I know it’s just me, but if it’s not, then I know it’s actually the book. Sometimes that will actually help me finish the book.

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8- With a few exceptions, I have decided that if I was only mediocre about liking an author’s work, I will not purchase it until I have tried it first from the library. That way I’m not set up for a huge disappointment when I start reading it and it’s just not great. I’ll still give them a chance but I decided that it’s really wasting my money to buy a book that I’m not sure I’ll like or not (especially since I probably wasn’t full on board with their last book I read) This isn’t an isolated incident: I can literally point to 6 different authors that I was “meh” about their previous works and still ended up buying their newest works…and regretting it deeply.

9- Every 6 or so months I have been looking through my shelves. What are some books I haven’t read yet/lost all enthusiasm for/probably will not get to this year (or ever)? I sort out those books and then set them off to the side for one month. When that month is done, if I haven’t read them, they get donated. But if I have read them, they get to stay on my shelf. (Unless it was like a 2.5 star rating or under and then they go). I used to never do this, and my shelves and TBR were pretty much out of control. I just don’t want to waste shelf space on books I know I won’t reread or read for the first time.

10- I have made it more of a goal to reread a set amount of books per year. I love rereading old favorites or falling back into slightly new worlds, discovering why they might just make my list of new favorite books. There’s just something about rereading that I love. In the past I would just try and reread certain books and that’s it. But this year I decided that I wanted to reread at least a third of all the books I read this year. This has helped me so much, and as an added bonus because I have put this into my goals list, I don’t feel guilty by rereading books, even when I have a TBR pile that is massive. It’s like because it’s a goal, my brain relaxes and even comments that I should reread more books.

 

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So that’s 10 different ways my reading habits have changed this year. Do you do any of these? Or has your reading changed in the past couple of years? Let me know below!

Happy reading Dragons, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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Books, Reading

September wrap up/book haul

Whoops, late again for another wrap up post. But it’s been a crazy and weird start to fall. Basically what happened in September (besides me totally not reading as much as I wanted to) was I got a second job, at Barnes and Noble. (I’m there all the time anyway and when the manager asked if I would be interested in getting a part-time job there, I had to bite my tongue to not scream out “YES PLEASE!” because I love working in a bookstore.)

So that happened, and with my weekends filled up thanks to that, and most of my evenings as well, this month I only read 19 books. Now that might not seem like a bad thing to most people, but my goal was 28 books; which was set before the job but still, failure here.

I did #SequelSeptember last month as well, and even though I didn’t get to any of the NEW sequels, which was actually kind of the point, I did manage to reread 6 books (5 that had sequels). The rest were new, but also were library books. So last month I didn’t make a dent in any of my TBR monster named Steve.

This month I also tried to take a pic of every single book I read, which was actually pretty fun and I’ll be continuing that this next month! (Plus it makes my post all pretty with pictures! (I’m not sure if I’ll show every pic for this month, or just a few highlights)

 

 

~Best: (4-5 star rating)~

 

Of my 4-5 star reads this month, only 2 were brand new to me: Around the world in 80 Days (which is actually now a new favorite) and the Attributes of God (again, a new favorite). The rest were rereads: Mere Christianity was the only reread that I read this month that was a stand-alone, everything else was a sequel/first of a series.

 

 

~Okayish(2.75-3.75 star rating)~

 

All of these were interesting, but not fully worth the full 4 stars (the road back to you I think I gave a 4 star, but it was more like a 3.75) There were some problems with all of them. Mostly it was the characters that got me in the end, in a Darkness Strange and lovely the main character swapped what character growth she had made in the first one, which made me not very happy. The weight of ink didn’t really know what tone it wanted to take with this historical fiction. And the Thief Lord was an interesting read but I couldn’t help but wonder if there was something missing because it seemed to read like 2 different plot ideas, and was rather loose on what should be happening/too many characters to really care about.

(not pictured: what Jesus demands from the world. It was a good book but it seemed to drag on for a long period)

 

~Skip! (1-2 star rating)~

All of these had major problems mostly with the plot and the characters. Book of speculation tried too hard to be magical realism; Beastkeeper had absolutely NO CLUE what the story was or what they really wanted to do with the “plot” (of which there was none); spellbook of the lost and found also tried too hard to be magical realism but just pretty much lost all of it when the author tried to tie it together. And honestly, I don’t like Shel Silverstein’s writing style at all.

(Not pictured: welcome to nightvale and words in deep blue. WTNV was super boring and not at all like the podcast. Words in deep blue was a huge disappointment by not having deep characters, a good plot or any sort of conflict.)

~Book Haul this month~

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Look at all these pretties!! Ok, so this month I ended up purchasing/receiving 10 books.

Hunting Prince Dracula, WonderWoman:Warbringer and Enchantment of Ravens were all pre-orders (we aren’t going to talk if I’ve read those yet or not), I bought Americanah and Station Eleven because I’ve heard really good things about them. I found the Goldfinch in our bargain section at work for $6, with my discount came down to $3 (and I couldn’t beat that) and I got Language of the Thorns because it was autographed and a total impulse buy.

The Color Project is actually the replacement copy because there were some issues in the production and those of us who preordered got an ARC, so this was a replacement copy. And Gypsy Moth Summer and the Lost Letter were books I won in a giveaway in May, and finally received at the start of summer.

So that was my month of September. I’m hoping for October to do more reading of my TBR but I’m not sure if that will happen or not.

How was y’all’s month of reading? What was your best book you read? What was the worst? Let me know below!

Happy reading Dragons and remember, life is too short to read mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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Books, Reading

You probably won’t like this…

I have been known to destroy books.

Not like ripping out pages or burning them or using them for modge-podge crafts or whatever.

Nope. I, a well known booknerd, someone who doesn’t like people borrowing her books, have done such evils as:

*Cracking the spines on paperbacks or hardcovers

*Dog-earring because I couldn’t find something to shove in it to save my place

*Splaying open the book also because I couldn’t find something to mark it

*highlighting several passages (so many all the time)

*making notes/writing in a book

*doodling on a page or two because I was on the phone and couldn’t get to a notebook

*accidentally dropping it in the ocean (I found it and it was saved but it did happen)

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The reason I’m telling you this? A couple of days ago someone posted a link to an article titled “11 things that will make bookworms angry” and every single one of them was about messing up the pages or writing in the books or cracking the spines. None of them were about the price, or the fact that some of the books are printed so cheaply that we cannot even shut them hard because the main cover falls off or about the stickers on books which are horrid to remove.

Nope, apparently what makes us angry as booknerds, is seeing someone mistreat their own property.

Which got me into a rabbit hole of thinking because when I was first becoming a lovely reader, I would frequent garage sales and thrift stores and library sales. I would scour the bookstore for the wonderful signs stating “Buy one get one free” because score, I get two books! Even when I started venturing into Borders (Oh I miss that place) I would still go for the massmarket paperbacks because they were under $6.00, so I could get about three of them at a time.

And to me, it didn’t matter if they became marked up and slammed back and forth in my bag, those marks were marks showing that I loved them and they were also recipients of my love.

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However, ever since I started doing my Bookstagram, I have noticed that pristine pictures of books have gotten better likes (well, as many as they can with that algorithm) and for some reason this has made me want to make sure that my books are perfect. That no visible scratch or dent or mark is showing and that the cover is gorgeous.

But does it really matter? I mean, the main reason I started falling in love with the cardboard and paste and glue and paper and ink was because of the stories that were inside it, not because they were “aesthetically pleasing” or “looked nice on my shelves” (though I won’t lie, it does make me happy when they look nice on there).

I actually like the look of used books better. I feel like there’s a connection between me and the person who read it last, a thin thread that we like the same book or the same author and for a brief moment in time and space were on the same page. That makes me happy.

I have friends on both ends of the spectrum. Friends who bend their covers of the books and all their books look second-hand (even if they were just bought that morning) and friends who have libraries that look like they were just unwrapped from the publishing. And that’s okay.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong to want to keep your books pristine, if that’s what you want.

Or crack those spines if you want.

What I am saying is that maybe we could stop judging other booknerds for how they read books. People have different ways of showing love, and we need to be okay with that. You might not think that someone is a “real” bookish person because of how they do or don’t handle their books, but in reality, if we are reading, they we are all booknerds. We all love the same thing, words that transport us to a different time and space.

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~To build up a library is to create a life. It’s never just a random collection of books (Carlos Maria Dominguez)

Happy reading and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

 

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