Can’t Wait Wednesday – SLAY by Brittney Morris

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in for over a year now, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll just be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is SLAY by Brittney Morris.  That fantastic cover for Slay was what first caught my eye but the blurb moved this book right to the top of my must-read list.  I mean, seriously, Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give, plus a female main character who is a video game creator and who has designed a Black Panther-inspired video game?!  That’s pretty much all of my favorites all rolled into one story!

 

SLAY by Brittney Morris

Publication Date:  September 24, 2019

 

From Goodreads:

Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther–inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for black gamers

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically black in a world intimidated by blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

 

 

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – First 10 Books I Ever Reviewed

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is First 10 Books I Ever Reviewed.  Okay, I’m using the term “reviewed” very loosely here since these titles come from around the time I first joined Goodreads.  I joined back in 2008 and when I first started out, I rarely ever wrote more than a sentence about a book, if I even did that much.  I think I set up my account, “reviewed” a couple of current reads, and then got sucked down the rabbit hole of rating books I’d read in order to supposedly get better book recommendations generated by GR.  I also must have only been interested in putting ratings on books that I liked because as you can see, these first books reviewed are almost all 4 and 5 star reads.

My, how my review style and my taste in books has changed over the years…

 

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First 10 Books I Ever Reviewed

 

WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen  (4 STARS)

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen  (5 STARS)

THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield  (4 STARS)

THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini  (5 STARS)

ANGELS & DEMONS by Dan Brown  (5 STARS)

THE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE by Pat Conroy  (5 STARS)

A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS by Khaled Hosseini  (5 STARS)

BLEAK HOUSE by Charles Dickens  (5 STARS)

ONE FOR THE MONEY by Janet Evanovich  (4 STARS)

1ST TO DIE by James Patterson  (3 STARS)

 

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What are first books you remember reviewing?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – HOPE AND OTHER PUNCHLINES by Julie Buxbaum

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in for over a year now, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll just be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is HOPE AND OTHER PUNCHLINES by Julie Buxbaum.  I read my first book by Julie Buxbaum last year, Tell Me Three Things, and really enjoyed it.  As soon as I read the synopsis for her latest, I knew it was a book I wanted to read.  I’ve read a few other novels that have dealt with 9/11 but this sounds like a perspective that I haven’t seen covered yet so I’m looking forward to seeing what the author does with it.

 

HOPE AND OTHER PUNCHLINES by Julie Buxbaum

Publication Date:  May 7, 2019

 

From Goodreads:

Sometimes looking to the past helps you find your future.

Abbi Hope Goldstein is like every other teenager, with a few smallish exceptions: her famous alter ego, Baby Hope, is the subject of internet memes, she has asthma, and sometimes people spontaneously burst into tears when they recognize her. Abbi has lived almost her entire life in the shadow of the terrorist attacks of September 11. On that fateful day, she was captured in what became an iconic photograph: in the picture, Abbi (aka “Baby Hope”) wears a birthday crown and grasps a red balloon; just behind her, the South Tower of the World Trade Center is collapsing.

Now, fifteen years later, Abbi is desperate for anonymity and decides to spend the summer before her seventeenth birthday incognito as a counselor at Knights Day Camp two towns away. She’s psyched for eight weeks in the company of four-year-olds, none of whom have ever heard of Baby Hope.

Too bad Noah Stern, whose own world was irrevocably shattered on that terrible day, has a similar summer plan. Noah believes his meeting Baby Hope is fate. Abbi is sure it’s a disaster. Soon, though, the two team up to ask difficult questions about the history behind the Baby Hope photo. But is either of them ready to hear the answers?

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Perfect Rainy Day Reads

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Rainy Day Reads.  This was a surprisingly hard topic for me, I guess mainly because as a book nerd, I think pretty much every book is great for a rainy day. So I got to thinking about it and decided to focus in on books I think would consume readers so thoroughly they would actually forget it was even raining outside.  For me, that list contains both some old favorites and some new ones that have sucked me in and kept me reading all day.  Both Kristin Hannah and Taylor Jenkins Reid feature prominently on my list as I’m currently addicted their their books.  Harry Potter of course made my list.  I picked one book for here but honestly any book would be perfect.

 

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10 Perfect Rainy Day Reads

 

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah

THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah

DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid

THE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morganstern

 

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What are some of your favorite rainy day reads?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – SCREEN QUEENS by Lori Goldstein

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in for over a year now, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll just be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is SCREEN QUEENS by Lori Goldstein.  There’s just something about girls kicking butt in the male-dominated world of STEM that I find very satisfying so this novel really jumped out at me. I was also intrigued by the blurb’s description calling it ‘The Bold Type meets The Social Network.’

 

SCREEN QUEENS by Lori Goldstein

Publication Date:  June 11, 2019

 

From Goodreads:

The Bold Type meets The Social Network when three girls vying for prestigious summer internships through a startup incubator program uncover the truth about what it means to succeed in the male-dominated world of tech.

This summer Silicon Valley is a girls’ club.  Three thousand applicants. An acceptance rate of two percent. A dream internship for the winning team. ValleyStart is the most prestigious high school tech incubator competition in the country. Lucy Katz, Maddie Li, and Delia Meyer have secured their spots. And they’ve come to win.

Meet the Screen Queens.

Lucy Katz was born and raised in Palo Alto, so tech, well, it runs in her blood. A social butterfly and CEO in-the-making, Lucy is ready to win and party.

East Coast designer, Maddie Li left her home and small business behind for a summer at ValleyStart. Maddie thinks she’s only there to bolster her graphic design portfolio, not to make friends.

Delia Meyer taught herself how to code on a hand-me-down computer in her tiny Midwestern town. Now, it’s time for the big leagues–ValleyStart–but super shy Delia isn’t sure if she can hack it (pun intended).

When the competition kicks off, Lucy, Maddie, and Delia realize just how challenging the next five weeks will be. As if there wasn’t enough pressure already, the girls learn that they would be the only all-female team to win ever. Add in one first love, a two-faced mentor, and an ex-boyfriend turned nemesis and things get…complicated.

Filled with humor, heart, and a whole lot of girl power, Screen Queens is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Ways I Squeeze a Little Extra Reading Time into My Day

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually supposed to be Outrageous/Crazy/Uncharacteristic Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books (i.e. skipped meals, camped outside a bookstore, broke up with someone because they don’t like to read, traveled long distances to bookish events, etc.  After sitting here staring at that topic for way too long and drawing a complete blank, I decided to take a slightly different route.  Today instead, I’m going to share some random moments throughout my day where I try to squeeze in a few extra minutes of reading time.  Some are pretty normal, but several of them have been known to garner weird looks from my friends, family, and from complete strangers.  Whatever, people. A bookworm’s gotta bookworm, right?!

 

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10 Ways I Squeeze a Little Extra Reading Time into My Day

 

1. Reading While Cooking

 

via GIPHY

Whether it’s listening to an audiobook or having my Kindle propped up on the kitchen counter,

it’s not uncommon to find me sneaking in a few pages of my current read while I’m preparing meals.

 

2. Reading While Getting Ready for Work

 

via GIPHY

Pretty much every morning, my Kindle is propped up on the bathroom counter so that I can read a few pages while I’m getting ready for work.

Yes, this often leads to me running behind schedule, but it’s totally worth it, lol.

 

3. Reading While in the Bathtub

 

via GIPHY

This one is a little tricky since it’s so easy to ruin a book or e-reader, but what a perfect time to relax and get a little reading done…

Minus the creepy green ghost in the gif, of course, haha!

 

4. Reading While Eating

 

via GIPHY

Okay, so I do behave myself and put the books away while we’re having a family meal,

but if it’s just me eating alone, like for breakfast or for lunch, it’s a guarantee my nose will be in a book.

 

5. Reading While Driving

 

via GIPHY

If I’m in the car alone, it’s audiobook time!

 

6. Reading While Doing Chores

 

via GIPHY

Let’s face it…chores suck, right?  I can’t think of anyway to make them more enjoyable to turn on an audiobook

and squeeze in some reading time while folding laundry, ironing, or doing the dishes.

 

7. Reading While at the Soccer Field

 

via GIPHY

Anyone who has been following my blog for a while knows that I’m a soccer mom and that my son lives and breathes soccer.

We have practice 4 times a week, plus games.  I’m a good soccer mom and pay attention during all of the games,

but I confess to reading my way through most of those practices.

 

8. Reading While Waiting in Line

 

via GIPHY

Lines bore me, so while I’m stuck waiting in them, I almost always pull out a book and read.  It doesn’t even matter what kind of line, honestly.

At the grocery store, the pharmacy, the post office, DMV, restaurant drive-thrus, you name a line and I’ve probably read a book while waiting in it.

 

9. Reading in Waiting Rooms

 

via GIPHY

Along similar lines, I always read when I’m waiting for a doctor’s appointment.  I’ll even continue to read once they call my name

and take me back to the exam room because I know I still have time before the doctor actually shows up.

 

10. Reading While a Passenger

 

via GIPHY

Whether it’s public transportation of any kind or even if I’m just the passenger in a car, if I’m not the one driving, it’s party time!

And by party time, I mean it means I have more time to read.  Woo Hoo!

 

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What are some ways you manage to squeeze in a little extra reading time each day?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in for over a year now, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll just be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker.  This one caught my attention because it just seems so timely because of the Me Too movement and more and more women feeling empowered enough to fight back against men who behave inappropriately.  I also read on Netgalley that it has a humorous angle to it as well, which immediately brought to mind the old 9 to 5 movie with Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin.  (BTW – If you haven’t seen that movie, you are really missing out. It’s hilarious!)

 

WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker

Publication Date:  July 2, 2019

 

From Goodreads:

Four women learn their boss (a man who’s always been surrounded by rumors about how he treats women) is next in line to be CEO—what will happen when they decide enough is enough?

Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita are four women who have worked at Truviv, Inc., for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Ames is a complicated man, a man they’ve all known for a long time, a man who’s always been surrounded by…whispers. Whispers that have always been ignored by those in charge. But the world has changed, and the women are watching Ames’s latest promotion differently. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.

Sloane and her colleagues set in motion a catastrophic shift within every floor and department of the Truviv offices. All four women’s lives—as women, colleagues, mothers, wives, friends, even adversaries—will change dramatically as a result.

“If only you had listened to us,” they tell us on page one, “none of this would have happened.”

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Things That Will Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Things That Will Make Me Pick Up a Book.  This was a pretty easy topic for me because I definitely have some “go-to” qualities that I always seem to gravitate towards when I’m looking for new books.  This of course is not an exhaustive list because let’s face it, as a book nerd, just about anything will at least make me pick up a book and give it a second look, lol.

 

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10 Things That Will Make Me Pick Up a Book

 

1.  Kick Ass Heroine

I’m all about girl power, so it’s pretty much a guarantee that I’ll be interested in a book if it features a pretty epic heroine.

 

 

2.  Location, Location, Location

If a book is set in a city I love or in some place I’ve always wanted to visit, it’s going to automatically pique my interest.

 

 

3.  WWII

I love pretty much all historical fiction, but the books that are almost always guaranteed

to grab my attention are those that are set during WWII.

 

 

4.  Dual Timeline

I’m such a sucker for a book that features a dual timeline.

 

 

5. Retellings

If it’s a retelling, it’s going on my TBR, especially if it’s a retelling of one of my favorites like Beauty and the Beast.

 

 

6.  A Focus on Family and Friendships

I’m all for a heartwarming read about the importance of family and/or friendship.

 

 

7. Time Travel

I don’t know what it is about time travel that appeals to me so much, but it’s guaranteed to make me pick up a book.

 

 

 

8.  Pretty Covers.

I know, I know, never judge a book by its cover right?  But sometimes I totally do and if a cover is pretty, I automatically want to know more about the book.

 

 

 

9.  Books or Book Lovers are featured

If your book features book or book lovers, it’s basically written for me so of course I’m going to pick it up. 🙂

 

 

10.  Relatable and Realistic Romance

If you want to entice me to pick up a book that features a romance, make it something relatable and realistic like a first love,

a second chance romance, or even something like enemies to lovers.

 

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What kinds of things are guaranteed to make you pick up a book?

Can’t Wait Wednesday – ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER by Hazel Prior

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which encourages fellow bloggers to spotlight upcoming releases that we’re excited about.  It is a meme that I have  loved participating in for over a year now, but as Jill is no longer actively posting, from now on I’ll just be linking to Can’t Wait Wednesday, hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings, which is a spinoff of the original WoW meme.

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My selection for this week is ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER by Hazel Prior.  The beautiful cover for this book caught my eye right away, but the story itself really appeals to me as well. It just sounds so sweet and Dan sounds like a character that I’m just going to love so much.

 

ELLIE AND THE HARPMAKER by Hazel Prior

Publication Date:  August 6, 2019

 

From Netgalley:

A rich, heartwarming and charming debut novel that reminds us that sometimes you find love in the most unexpected places.

Dan Hollis lives a happy, solitary life carving exquisite Celtic harps in his barn in the countryside of the English moors. Here he can be himself, away from social situations that he doesn’t always get right or completely understand.

On the anniversary of her beloved father’s death, Ellie Jacobs takes a walk in the woods and comes across Dan’s barn. She is enchanted by his collection. Dan gives her a harp made of cherrywood to match her cherry socks. He stores it for her, ready for whenever she’d like to take lessons.

Ellie begins visiting Dan almost daily and quickly learns that he isn’t like other people. He makes her sandwiches precisely cut into triangles and repeatedly counts the (seventeen) steps of the wooden staircase to the upstairs practice room. Ellie soon realizes Dan isn’t just different; in many ways, his world is better, and he gives her a fresh perspective on her own life.

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I’d love to hear what upcoming book releases you’re waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your link in the comments below and I’ll stop by and check out your CWW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Audiobooks to Try Even If You Think You Don’t Like Audiobooks

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is audiobook freebie.  Now in year’s past, I’ll be honest — I probably would have skipped this topic because audiobooks have historically been a struggle for me.  I’d lose track of what I’m listening to because I was trying to listen to them while I was working or else I’d just zone out because the narration was too slow for me.  It always bummed me out because I loved the idea of audiobooks and everyone else I know seems to love them.  Well, this past year, something finally clicked with me and now I can’t get enough of them.  Instead of trying to listen to them while I’m at work, now I listen to them in the car, or while doing chores, or even in the evenings just before I’m ready to go to sleep.  I also changed up the genres I was trying on audio and found that contemporaries were the best fit overall for me.  Technology helped quite a bit too.  Now that I can get audiobooks as mp3 files, I can speed up the narration to 1.25x, which really helps keep me focused on what I’m listening to.

Below are ten audiobooks that I’ve really enjoyed this past year.  If you’re struggling to get into audiobooks, I’d definitely recommend giving any of these a try.  I thought that the stories themselves were very compelling and that the narration in each case really added so much to the stories.  I was an especially big fan of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. The audio version just really helped make Evelyn seem larger than life.

 

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10 Audiobooks to Try Even If You Think You Don’t Like Audiobooks

 

THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid

GEEKERELLA by Ashley Poston

CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan

WHAT IF IT’S US by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

CATWOMAN: SOULSTEALER by Sarah J. Maas

I HAVE LOST MY WAY by Gayle Forman

LOVE & GELATO by Jenna Evans Welch

GIRL OUT OF WATER by Laura Silverman

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS by Agatha Christie

 

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Do you enjoy audiobooks?  Have you listened to any of these?