Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings Me

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The above image was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

I cannot believe that the Christmas season is here.  In the midst of all the holiday movies and the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping I’ve managed to come up with a (short) list of books I hope to find in my stocking.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

The Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

The Ravenous by Amy Lukavics

Sailor Moon Box Set Vol. 1 – 6 by Naoko Takeuchi

I normally could fill a whole sheet of paper with all the books I want for Christmas. But this year I decided to only put the books that I really, REALLY want! And with that said, those are the top books that I’m hoping Santa will bring me!

What books are on your Christmas wishlist? Please share!

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Freebie Friday: If You Liked This …. Read This

(The above image was created via Canva for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

Have you ever read a book, loved each and every moment of reading it, and when it was over wished that there was another book just like it?

I have.

Today, I’m going to be posting about two books (these are two that  I just happen to have read both), and will talk about if you read one, why you may want to consider reading the second one.

It was hard for me to figure out what book(s) I wanted to feature in this post … and than I thought about one of my fave books.

 

If  you have read (and loved!) Anna and the French Kiss by author Stephanie Perkins than I think you should read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by author Morgan Matson.

Why do I Think You Should Read Amy & Rogers Epic Detour if you loved Anna and the French Kiss? Well, because they are both very similar.

First of all they are both young adult, romance novels. And more than that they are super smart. I’ve read both, and I honestly feel that they aren’t typical.  I do not necessarily love straight up romance novels. I love a good story with elements of romance, but straight up romance … I pass. You’re asking yourself why? Well because I have strong feelings on romance novels.

And before I tell you these strong feelings, I just want to preface them with saying that my feelings are stereo-typical and judgemental … I know and recognize that.

In the past I’ve read a few romance novels, and no matter how much I have loved them I find that they were basically a warm and fluffy book that lacks in plot. I have found that the leading ladies in these novels are often cast as damsel in distress who fall head over heels in love with some dude who is kind of a jerk. And more than anything I always feel that plot and setting take a backseat to steamy kissing scenes.

Anna (from Anna and the French Kiss obviously) is smart. She’s fiercely independent. And she doesn’t fall head over heels with some dude just because he’s either there, or because he can take care of her. Anna does fall in love, but Etienne is her equal.

Like Anna, Amy is also a smart character. She isn’t seeking love.  And she certainly does not need anyone taking care of her. The only real thing she needs is a ride! And then there’s Roger, who is just doing a favor — not looking for love. Like Etienne he is also smart, equal to Amy.

Besides this, I like how they both have their own things – thoughts, ideas, and opinions.

Another reason you should read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour if you’ve read and loved Anna and the French Kiss is because of the setting. Both books are set against a backdrop that will fill you with wanderlust.

Perkins novel is set in Paris, France.  Meanwhile, Amy & Roger’s  Epic Detour is a tour of the United States (yes, it’s a road trip book). Through each respective setting, readers will be taken on an adventure without even leaving the comforts and confines of their own house.

As a reader, I read to escape reality.  Both of these novels will transport readers to a different time and place, and will make a great escapist read.

And lastly, quite possibly the most important aspect of any romance novel — the guys.   Both Etienne and Roger are definitely swoon-worthy characters. They are the kinds of guys that girls dream about. But more than that, they are the kind of guys that are just genuinely good guys – they are smart, strong, and supportive of their awesome female counterparts. More than that, like Anna and Amy they are completely independent as well.

Seriously, I could go on and on about these two books.  And I can’t seem to say it enough … but if you read and loved Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins than I think you should read (and ultimately love) Morgan Matson’s Amy & Rogers Epic Detour!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten (+ Some Extras) Favorites of 2017

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

Hello Readers!

It’s that time of year … again! That time of year where I post some of my top favorite books read in the year of 2017. In the past, when I have posted about my favorite books I generally always stuck to the my fave young adult books, mainly because that’s what I read mostly.

But this year, I think I’ve achieved my goal of stepping outside of my reading comfort zone! I’ve read manga and graphic novels, I’ve read middle grade books, I’ve read a plethora of picture books, and of course I read some beloved young adult books.

And this post will reflect that!

Favorite 2017 Picture Books Read:

The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea

When An Elephant Falls in Love by Davide Cali

Max at Night by Ed Vere

Favorite 2017 Middle Grade Books:

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Favorite 2017 Graphic Novels:

Akame Ga Kill Vol. 1 – Vol. 9 by Takahiro

Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn

Favorite 2017 Young Adult Books:

One by Sarah Crossan

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

So readers, what are some of your favorite reads of 2017?! Please share in the comments, I’d love to hear all about them.

(All cover images from GoodReads)

Freebie Friday: November Stars Hollow Monthly Box Review

Hello Readers!

As you know I’m a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan. So much so that I subscribe to Lit-Cube’s Stars Hollow Monthly, a Gilmore Girls themed subscription box.

Each and every month I receive a box full of Gilmore Girls themed goodies, admittedly some better and/or more useful than others.

And like clockwork November’s box arrived on my doorstop, and like normal I couldn’t wait to tear into it.

This month’s theme was all based on one of my most fave characters: Sookie. Now, let me preface this review by saying this: I fully expected it to have some sort of cooking related item in the box. What I didn’t expect was a box full of cooking related items.

Let me also say this: I am not a cook. I don’t cook nor do I necessarily enjoy it. With that, I’m sad to say that this particular Stars Hollow Monthly box most definitely missed the mark for me.

So what was in this box??

When I first opened it the first thing I pulled out was a bandana printed stretch headband. It was super cute, and normally I would be all over an item like this, but because of the kind of headband it was (the kind where the wearer would have to slide it over and up their head) I knew it wouldn’t work. Headbands like that just do not stay on my head. They tend to shift, and eventually slide off my head completely. Realizing this, I promptly gave the very cute headband to my cousin who would get more use out of it.

To be honest, this was the only item that a) I really liked and b)if it were a different style would have used.

The next two items were a brightly colored/patterned pot holder and oven mitt. The pattern on both of these items were varied vegetables and quotes. Both of these items are definitely usable, but honestly I don’t necessarily love the colors and the pattern. It’s very loud. For that reason, I wouldn’t use them. Which I realize is a really silly reason not to use a perfectly usable pot holder and oven mitt. But that’s my reason nonetheless.

The last item I found was a wood cutting board  with the Dragonfly Inn’s logo carved at the bottom right corner. The cutting board, while not large, is a decent size and seems like it’s a solid/sturdy cutting board. And that’s exactly what you want out of a cutting board. Besides that it’s a nice medium stained wood.

While I like the cutting board just fine, again it’s not an item I would use.

I think the box as a whole was fine, but fine for a person who would get use out of them. For me, I feel like it was just wasted money. Honestly, I didn’t like this box. So much so it’s made me consider cancelling my subscription. And I know I shouldn’t let one bad box spoil the bunch, but these boxes aren’t cheap, and the past few months the boxes haven’t been great. There have been one or two items (at most) in each box that I’ve liked, and would use. But the majority of the boxes the items I found inside weren’t what I expected, and didn’t seem up to par with past boxes.

As of now, I’m thinking that I’ll give Stars Hollow Monthly one more month. Fingers crossed for a good, useful box!

Freebie Friday: Free Christmas Cards!!!

Hello Readers!

Every year I want to send out Christmas Cards. But I never do. The reason why I never send these festive cards out is because I seriously only have two people I’d send them to. Yes, this makes me sad.

I decided that that was going to change this year. Since I so want to spread the holiday cheer I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Introducing ….

This year, I am asking any of my book-ish buddies, my online pals, and my faithful readers a simple question: would you like to receive holiday cheer in the form of a festive card? If the answer is yes, than I urge you to sign up!

Once you sign up, you will receive a fun and festive Christmas card from yours truly. But please note that this is NOT a card exchange. I expect nothing in return.

To sign up, all I need from you is your full name and your mailing address. Now, I don’t expect you to leave that information in the comments section of this post, so I’m going to try something new. All you have to do is comment on this post, making sure to leave a contact e-mail, I will reach out to you via e-mail and ask for your mailing address.  Once I have that I will get busy writing and sending out these cards.

Sign ups start today (December 1st) and will end at 11:59 pm on Saturday December 9th. To sign up simply leave a comment on this post telling me that you’re interested and that you want a Christmas card! When commenting please make sure to leave a valid e-mail address so I can reach out to you for your mailing info.  All cards will be mailed out on December 13th.

It’s seriously as simple as that.

I hope you guys like this new holiday project! If so, it’s something that I hope to do every Christmas season!

 

Around the Web (#15)

Who’s ready for a new book by the one and only Maureen Johnson?! I know I am! So much so that I can barely wait. If you’re as impatient as I am, check out these first two chapters!

Famous writers weigh in on the books they are most thankful for.

I couldn’t make it to Yallfest this year, but I can live vicariously through these photos!

Build a playlist, and let this quiz tell you which road trip themed book you should read! (I created my own list and it said I should read Looking for Group by Rory Harrison, which is about “A brave, timely YA about two misfit teens—one in remission from cancer, one in the throes of discovering her gender identity—who embark on a cross-country road trip.”)

Calling all Stranger Things fans! (I still haven’t watched Season 2)

I’ve always wanted to do a 24 hour read-a-thon. But I fear I wouldn’t follow through and it just wouldn’t work for me.  If you are like me, check out this interesting article.

YA books to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR List

Hello Readers!

In all honesty — I haven’t picked up a book to read in weeks. Seriously, weeks. I have no excuse as to why, I just haven’t. Maybe it’s because I’ve been super tired, maybe it’s because I’ve been preparing for my upcoming overseas adventure. Maybe it’s because I’m too lazy by the time I get home from work, so lazy that all I want to do is stare blankly at a television screen.

Whatever the reason, my winter TBR list has been piling up. But today, I’m here to tell you the top ten books I am truly hoping to get to this winter.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo: I never in a million years thought that I would want to read this book. Seriously, I generally do NOT gravitate towards superhero themed books.  But since seeing Wonder Woman with bff Emma (aka Miss Print) I’ve been obsessed with all things Wonder Woman related.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater : Even though I am wildly backed up on my Stiefvater reading, I’m excited to read All the Crooked Saints, so much so that I’ve bumped it up to the top of my ever growing Maggie Stiefvater pile.

The Possible by Tara Altebrando: Author Tara Altebrando does absolutely no wrong in my opinion. I’m looking forward to enjoying her latest.

Family by Micol Ostow: In light of recent event related to the family, it’s about time I read this book that has been on my to be read list since it came out!

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland: Honestly, this one just intrigues me. That’s more than enough of a reason to add it to my winter TBR list.

Warcross by Marie Lu: The more I think about this book, the more I really (really!) want to read it. I’m certain I’m going to enjoy it, even though it’s a book that generally does not scream “NICOLE!”

Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson: This has been on my radar for some time. Besides the plot, there seems to be something pulling me towards this book. I’m happy I purchased it, because it’s at the top of my TBR pile.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman: I don’t know a whole lot about this book. All I know is what Emma told me about it, and she said that it was a book that she thought I’d enjoy.  Emma knows me pretty well, and I completely trust her … so that it is why it’s on this list.

Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm: I recently read Sunny Side Up by Holm, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love her writing style, I love her brother Matthew Holm’s illustrations.

Akame ga Kill Vol. 10 & Vol. 11 by Takahiro: This is the first manga (series) that I picked up. And admittedly I picked it up because I liked the cover. But I read it, and I found that I was quickly engrossed in the story. So much so that I have actually read the first nine (9) volumes of it. I’m excited to continue on to with this series about a group of assassin’s trying to take down the government.

(All cover images from GoodReads)