Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading in Early 2017

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To For The First Half Of 2017.  For me, this list includes not only 10 upcoming 2017 releases, but also a couple of books where I’m playing catch up on series in anticipation of their latest installments coming out this year.  I’m sure this list will grow, but as of right now, these are my most anticipated reads for 2017.

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To Reading in Early 2017

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1. Gilded Cage by Vic James 

(expected publication:  February 14, 2017)

gilded cage

Goodreads Synopsis:   Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?   (Read more…)

 

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2. The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

(expected publication:  May 16, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  Lucy Hansson was ready for a perfect summer with her boyfriend, working at her childhood Bible camp on the lake. But when her mom’s cancer reappears, Lucy falters—in faith, in love, and in her ability to cope. When her boyfriend “pauses” their relationship and her summer job switches to a different camp—one for troubled kids—Lucy isn’t sure how much more she can handle. Attempting to accept a new normal, Lucy slowly regains footing among her vibrant, diverse coworkers, Sundays with her mom, and a crush on a fellow counselor. But when long-hidden family secrets emerge, can Lucy set aside her problems and discover what grace really means?  (Read more…)

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3. A Gathering of Shadows & A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

(expected publication of 3rd book:  February 21, 2017)

One of my primary goals for early 2017 is to get caught up on this series before the third book comes out in February.

Goodreads Synopsis: The battle between four magical Londons comes to a head in this stunning finale to the New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic trilogy by rising star V. E. Schwab

London’s fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.  (Read more…)

 

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4. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaram

(expected publication:  January 10, 2017)

lucky boy

Goodreads Synopsis:  Solimar Castro Valdez is eighteen and dazed with optimism when she embarks on a perilous journey across the US/Mexican border. Weeks later she arrives on her cousin’s doorstep in Berkeley, CA, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. But amid the uncertainty of new motherhood and her American identity, Soli learns that when you have just one precious possession, you guard it with your life. For Soli, motherhood becomes her dwelling and the boy at her breast her hearth.

Kavya Reddy has always followed her heart, much to her parents’ chagrin. A mostly contented chef at a UC Berkeley sorority house, the unexpected desire to have a child descends like a cyclone in Kavya’s mid-thirties. When she can’t get pregnant, this desire will test her marriage, it will test her sanity, and it will set Kavya and her husband, Rishi, on a collision course with Soli, when she is detained and her infant son comes under Kavya’s care. As Kavya learns to be a mother–the singing, story-telling, inventor-of-the-universe kind of mother she fantasized about being–she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.

Lucky Boy is an emotional journey that will leave you certain of the redemptive beauty of this world. There are no bad guys in this story, no obvious hero. From rural Oaxaca to Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto to the dreamscapes of Silicon valley, author Shanthi Sekaran has taken real life and applied it to fiction; the results are moving and revelatory.  (Read more…)

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5. A Court of Mist and Fury & A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

(expected publication of 3rd book: May 2, 2017)

 

Goodreads Synopsis: Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. (Read more…)

 

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6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

(expected publication:  February 28, 2017)

Goodsreads Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star(Read more…)

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7. Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

(expected publication: January 3, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to her death.

High school senior Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good citizen. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death on the opening night of her high school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of her small town community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a family friend of the Hoffmans, vows to find her killer, but trying to solve her murder yields more questions than answers. It seems that Hattie’s acting talents ran far beyond the stage. Told from three points of view—Del, Hattie, and the new English teacher whose marriage is crumbling—Everything You Want Me to Be weaves the story of Hattie’s last school year and the events that drew her ever closer to her death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?  (Read more…)

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8. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

(expected publication:  January 10, 2017)

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I recently received an e-ARC from Netgalley and this one also piqued my interest because of the praise from Anthony Doerr.

Goodreads Synopsis:  A captivating debut novel for readers of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You and Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep, The Most Dangerous Place on Earth unleashes an unforgettable cast of characters into a realm known for its cruelty and peril: the American high school.

In an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher Molly Nicoll becomes intrigued by the hidden lives of her privileged students. Unknown to Molly, a middle school tragedy in which they were all complicit continues to reverberate for her kids: Nick, the brilliant scam artist; Emma, the gifted dancer and party girl; Dave, the B student who strives to meet his parents expectations; Calista, the hippie outcast who hides her intelligence for reasons of her own. Theirs is a world in which every action may become public postable, shareable, indelible. With the rare talent that transforms teenage dramas into compelling and urgent fiction, Lindsey Lee Johnson makes vivid a modern adolescence lived in the gleam of the virtual, but rich with the sorrow, passion, and beauty of life in any time, and at any age.  (Read more…)

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9. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

(expected publication:  January 17, 2017)

Goodreads Synopsis:  Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another. (Read more…)

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10. The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney

girl before

Goodreads Synopsis:  In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.  (Read more…)

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Question:  What books are you most looking forward to reading in 2017?  Playing catch up on any series like I am?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

New WoW“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.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran.  I was drawn to this book because it just sounds like it’s going to be a moving and emotional read.  I also think it’s going to be a timely read based on how much immigration, and especially illegal immigration, has been in the news recently.

ETA:  I actually just won an ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway last week so I’m stoked that I’ll get to read this sooner rather than later.  Thanks to Goodreads, the publisher, and the author!

Lucky Boy

by Shanthi Sekaran

lucky boy

Publication Date:  January 10, 2017

From Amazon:

A gripping tale of adventure and searing reality, Lucky Boy gives voice to two mothers bound together by their love for one lucky boy.

Eighteen years old and fizzing with optimism, Solimar Castro-Valdez embarks on a perilous journey across the Mexican border. Weeks later, she arrives in Berkeley, California, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. Undocumented and unmoored, Soli discovers that her son, Ignacio, can become her touchstone, and motherhood her identity in a world where she’s otherwise invisible.

Kavya Reddy has created a beautiful life in Berkeley, but then she can’t get pregnant and that beautiful life seems suddenly empty. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention and Ignacio comes under Kavya’s care, Kavya finally gets to be the singing, story-telling kind of mother she dreamed of being. But she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.

“Nacho” to Soli, and “Iggy” to Kavya, the boy is steeped in love, but his destiny and that of his two mothers teeters between two worlds as Soli fights to get back to him. Lucky Boy is a moving and revelatory ode to the ever-changing borders of love.

Check out this Advance Praise for Lucky Boy!

“A fiercely compassionate story about the bonds and the bounds of motherhood and, ultimately, of love.” –Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans

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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 WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – 10 Authors New to Me in 2016

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read For The First Time In 2016.  This is a fun topic for me because one of my goals with starting my blog this year was to branch out and read a lot of new authors this year.  These ten authors were some that I found to be the most entertaining, but this list is just the tip of the iceberg for me.  I also read so many phenomenal debut authors as well, but I’ll share those in another post sometime.

Ten Authors I Read for the First Time in 2016

 

1. Emma Donoghue

25989448  the-wonder

I had never read Emma Donoghue prior to 2016, but I enjoyed her writing so much that I not only read both Room (Click to read my Review) and The Wonder (Click to read my Review), but I also just recently purchased a copy of Frog Music.

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2. V. E. Schwab

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I don’t know how V.E. Schwab was not on my radar prior to 2016, but thanks to winning a copy of A Darker Shade of Magic (Read my review here), I’m now a huge fan of hers.  I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in this series because I just adored Lila and Kell, and then I also have This Savage Song on my TBR for 2017.

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3. Colm Tóibín

brooklyn

Colm Tóibín is another author who I read for the first time this year.  I read his novel Brooklyn and just thought it was such a lovely coming of age story.  I don’t have a proper review for the book up on my blog because I actually read it before I started blogging, but you can read the Goodreads synopsis here.

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4.  John Connolly

27276293

Another new author to me in 2016 was John Connolly. I read one of his Charlie Parker novels, A Time of Torment, and reviewed it for my blog (Read the review here) . I enjoyed reading it enough that I’ve since added The Book Of Lost Things to my TBR for 2017.

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5. Colson Whitehead

underground railroad colson whitehead

I’m actually reading Colson Whitehead for the first time right now.  I had purchased a few of his earlier works at a book fair this summer, but decided to dive into his latest work instead since it has become such a big hit.  It’s a great read so far.  Read the Goodreads Synopsis.

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6. Sarah J. Maas

acotar

I’m probably the last person on the planet to get around to reading Sarah J. Maas, but I finally bit the bullet and dove into the ACOTAR series. LOVED it!  You can read my review for that here.  I enjoyed this book so much that I’ve gotten the second book in the series and plan to read that as soon as possible. A couple of the Throne of Glass books are also in my TBR so 2017 promises to be the Year of Maas for me.

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7. Curtis Sittenfeld

eligible

I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, so what drew me to Curtis Sittenfeld for the first time was her novel Eligible, which is a modern retelling of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  This was such an entertaining read for me (My Review) that I’ve since gone out and purchased Sisterland and really look forward to reading it soon.

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8. Rainbow Rowell

fangirl-cover

I had my first experience with Rainbow Rowell this year as well, and boy was it amazing?!  I read Eleanor and Park prior to starting my blog and fell in love with that book, but by far, one of my favorite reads of 2016 has to be Fangirl.  As you’ll see from my review, I just loved everything about it. I have Landline in my TBR pile now so there’s definitely more Rowell in my future.

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9. Pierce Brown

red-rising

2016 was my first exposure to Pierce Brown as well.  I finally read the first book in the Red Rising series and thought it was amazing. (Read my review here).  I recently snagged the second book in the series for a great price at a local book fair, so I’m looking forward to continuing the series soon.

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10. Haruki Murakami

haruki

I read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle prior to starting my blog, so I don’t have a proper review up for it. Murakami was a challenging read for me, and at times, I didn’t particularly care for the writing but at other times, I very much enjoyed it.  The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle wasn’t really for me, but I still purchased a copy of IQ84 because I’d like to continue to explore this author’s whimsical writing style.

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Question:  Were any of these authors new for you in 2016?  If not, who did you read for the first time this year?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

New WoW“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.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth.  Okay, honestly, even though I very much enjoyed the Divergent series, especially the first two books, I have to admit that what really has me excited for Carve the Mark is because the blurb says that fans of Star Wars should love this book. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan for most of my life, so I’m all about giving Roth’s new book a shot when it comes out in January.

Carve the Mark

by Veronica Roth

carve-mark-th

Publication Date:  January 17, 2017

From Amazon:

Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

Check out this Advance Praise for Carve the Mark!

“Roth offers a richly imagined, often-brutal world of political intrigue and adventure, with a slow-burning romance at its core. Roth’s fans will be happily on board for the forthcoming sequel.” (Booklist)

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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 WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Gifts Guaranteed to Please the Book Lover in Your Life

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Holiday Gift Guide freebie (ten books to buy the YA lover in your life, 10 books to buy for your dad, etc.)

Since I’ve been busy with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shopping and gift ideas are really on my mind right now so this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is very timely.  I couldn’t decide on a list of books to suggest so instead I decided to go with bookish-themed gift ideas for all book lovers.  (And just a little hint for you shoppers out there –  Society6.com and etsy.com are gold mines for book-themed gifts, so even if you don’t like my suggested gift items, be sure to check them out!)

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Top Ten Gifts Guaranteed to Please the Book Lover in Your Life

 

1. Bookmarks!

Bookmarks are a guaranteed popular gift item for book lovers.  Not only do we use them in the books we’re reading, but many of us also collect them, especially if they’re unique.  Below are a couple that I saw online and really liked.  I’m especially fond of that Queen of Hearts one. So cool!

Click to Buy. Sold by LuckyBookmark on etsy.com

Click to Buy. Sold by LuckyBookmark on etsy.com

 

Click to Buy. Sold by IngrainedInc at etsy.com

Click to Buy. Sold by IngrainedInc at etsy.com

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2. Bookish Themed Mugs!

It’s almost a sure fire bet that the book lover in your life is also a lover of warm beverages – be it coffee, tea, cocoa, whatever, especially if it’s in a cute bookish-themed mug.  Here are a couple of cool ones I found on Society6 and Etsy.

Click to Buy. Sold by Risa Rodil at Society6.com

Click to Buy. Sold by Risa Rodil at Society6.com

 

Click to Buy. Sold by LennyMud on etsy.com

Click to Buy. Sold by LennyMud on etsy.com

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3. Cute Tote Bags for Hauling Around Our Books!

Most of us take books with us everywhere we go, so a cute tote bag is always appreciated.  This is just one of several that I saw and wouldn’t mind having.

Click to Buy. Sold by sevenonesixdesigns on etsy.com

Click to Buy. Sold by sevenonesixdesigns on etsy.com

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4. Bookish T-Shirts!

Yes to all the ways we can pledge our loves for books and reading, especially if they come in the form of stylish tees.  With just a quick glance around etsy, society6, and several other shops, I saw at least a dozen book-themed shirts that I would totally wear. This one was probably my favorite though.

Click to Buy. Sold by ChrisetteDesigns on etsy.com

Click to Buy. Sold by ChrisetteDesigns on etsy.com

 

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5. Bookish Jewelry!

There are endless options out there when it comes to jewelry for booklovers. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, even keychains.  Below are a couple of my favorites.

 

 

Click to Buy. Sold by TheMonkeyCharmer on etsy.com.

Click to Buy. Sold by TheMonkeyCharmer on etsy.com.

Click to Buy. Sold by ArtfulSunshine on etsy.com.

Click to Buy. Sold by ArtfulSunshine on etsy.com.

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6. Pretty Books!

If money is no object in your gift buying, books with beautifully designed covers are sure to please. Check out this gorgeous Jane Austen Boxed Set.

Click to Buy. Sold by Barnes & Noble.

Click to Buy. Sold by Barnes & Noble.

 

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7. Bookish Candles!

Wonderful smelling candles inspired by our favorite books and characters?  Yes, please!  This one is inspired by Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses, and I liked it because it’s purple (my favorite color), but there are many other varieties out there.

Click to Buy. Sold by BookandNook on etsy.com.

Click to Buy. Sold by BookandNook on etsy.com.

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8. Bookish Pillows!

 

We bookworms love to curl up with a good book and read for hours, so anything that furthers our comfort so that we can read longer is always a winner. You can find pilows and even blankets that are book-themed.  I loved the simplicity of this one.

 

Click to Buy. Sold by MudpiesandDaisies on etsy.com

Click to Buy. Sold by MudpiesandDaisies on etsy.com

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9. Bookish Themed Covers for our Gadgets!

Yes, we bookworms love our books but we love our technology too, especially when we can put our own bookish spin on it.  For example, check out this absolutely gorgeous smartphone case designed and sold by Evie Seo at Society6.com.

Click to Buy. Sold by Evie Seo at Society6.com

Click to Buy. Sold by Evie Seo at Society6.com

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10. Gift Cards to Bookstores! 

 

A gift card to a bookstore is guess what?  A reason for a book lover to visit the bookstore!  Not that we need another reason, but hell, we’ll take it!  Amazon is great since you can get more bang for your buck there when it comes to books, but a lot of us love to support our Indie Bookstores too so keep those in mind as well.

Click to see Amazon Gift Card Options.

Click to see Amazon Gift Card Options.

 

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Question:  Do any of my gift ideas for book lovers appeal to you?  What would you add to my list?  I know my list is filled with items that women would probably enjoy more than men, so do you have any more “manly” suggestions?

Waiting on Wednesday – Spotlight on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

New WoW“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.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  The Hate U Give is Ms. Thomas’ first novel and I’m looking forward to reading it because it sounds like it has the potential to be one of the most powerful reads 2017 has to offer.  The subject matter is so very relevant right now, and if the advance praise I’ve read thus far is any indication, Thomas’ writing is superb.   Can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

the-hate-u-give-th

Publication Date:  February 28, 2017

From Amazon:

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Check out this Advance Praise for The Hate U Give!

“As we continue to fight the battle against police brutality and systemic racism in America, THE HATE U GIVE serves as a much needed literary ramrod. Absolutely riveting!” (Jason Reynolds, bestselling coauthor of ALL AMERICAN BOYS)

“Angie Thomas has written a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time.” (John Green)

“Fearlessly honest and heartbreakingly human. Everyone should read this book.” (Becky Albertalli, William C. Morris Award-winning author of SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA)

“This is tragically timely, hard-hitting, and an ultimate prayer for change. Don’t look away from this searing battle for justice. Rally with Starr.” (Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of MORE HAPPY THAN NOT)

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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 WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Things I’m Thankful For This Year

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Thanksgiving freebie — tell us what you are thankful for! Books you are thankful for!, etc.

Looking at my list, I think the unifying theme here, aside from the obvious thankfulness, is that the people and things on this list also just bring me great comfort and happiness.

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Top Ten Things I’m Thankful For This Year

 

1. My Family

family-portrait-proof-1

Sometimes I want to hide from them for a few days so that I can read in peace, but I honestly don’t know where I would be without these guys.

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2. My Friends

for-blog

I seriously could not ask for a better group of friends.  We’ve been best friends for nearly 10 years now and I just can’t imagine my life without them.  They’re the most epic travel companions ever too. I wouldn’t have traveled to half the places I’ve been in the world if not for them pushing me out of my comfort zone.

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3. Ninja

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I hadn’t planned on getting another pet after my dog passed away last year, but this little guy turned up on our doorstep one day and has been my constant companion ever since.  He especially likes to come and sit on top of my books while I’m trying to read them.  If I had known he would do that, I probably would have named him Bookmark instead of Ninja.

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4. Books

book haul

You knew these guys had to make the list.  On the list of inanimate objects that I’m thankful for, books definitely score the number one spot. They bring me joy, help me to escape reality for a while, and of course, my love of books is what made me start this blog and start interacting with the bookish community, so I’m especially thankful for them (and for you guys!)

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5. Disney Movies

fox-and-the-house-1

I’m definitely one of those people who thinks you’re never too old for Disney movies.   The stories are timeless, so it has brought me so much joy to watch the same movies I watched as a child with him and to see him enjoy them as much as I did (and still do).  Disney movies are guaranteed to make me laugh, make me cry, and because I’ve loved them all my life, seeing any of the old Disney movies like The Fox and The Hound, just makes me feel so nostalgic.  Whoever came up with the phrase “The Magical World of Disney” really hit the nail on the head.

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6. Feel Good Sitcoms like The Golden Girls and Friends

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I think shows that can make me laugh are more important than ever, and so I’m thankful for classics like these. You’re guaranteed to forget your troubles while watching them.

 

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7. Comfort Food

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I don’t think this needs any further explanation, haha!

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8. Coffee!

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I’m thankful for coffee, not just because I love it, but also because I don’t think I’d be a functioning human being with the caffeine jolt.

 

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9. Music

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I’m thankful for music because of the fact that no matter what I’m feeling, what kind of mood I’m in, there’s a song out there that fits it.

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10. Libraries and Bookstores

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Bookstores and libraries are the ultimate escape for me.  I love to just wander and peruse the shelves and see other readers doing the same.  There’s something very calming about it for me.

 

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Question:  What are you thankful for this year?  Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating!!

givethanks

Waiting on Wednesday: Spotlight on Gilded Cage by Vic James

New WoW“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.

My “Waiting On” Wednesday selection for this week is Gilded Cage by Vic James.  I was sold on this one as soon as I read that fans of the Red Rising and Red Queen series should enjoy it.  I tend to enjoy dystopian novels because they’re always so thrilling and action-packed. Just from reading the book blurb, I think it’s safe to say Gilded Cage will be a wild ride. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy and find out for myself if it’s as amazing as it sounds!

Gilded Cage

by Vic James

gilded cage

Publication Date:  February 14, 2017

From Amazon:

For readers of Victoria Aveyard and Kiera Cass comes a darkly fantastical debut set in a modern England where magically gifted aristocrats rule—and commoners are doomed to serve.

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

Check out this Advance Praise for Gilded Cage!

Gilded Cage is a heart-pounding combination of dark magic, political revolution, and forbidden romance that had me addicted from the first page!”—Danielle L. Jensen, USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Trilogy

“Devious and deliciously dark with lashings of magic, mystery, and mayhem, this juggernaut of a book will keep you hanging on by your fingernails until the very last page.”—Taran Matharu, New York Times bestselling author of The Summoner Trilogy

“A dark and intriguing vision of an alternate, magic-drenched Britain, Gilded Cage kept me up long into the night.”—Aliette de Bodard, author of The House of Shattered Wings

“Brisk plotting, sympathetic characters, and plenty of intrigue will keep readers on the edges of their seats, eager for the next book in a very promising series.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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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 WoW selection for this week. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Movies guaranteed to distract me from books

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Movie Freebie — top ten all time favorite movies, top ten foreign films, top ten rom-coms, top ten 90’s movies, top ten action flicks, top ten tear-jerkers, top ten movies your favorite actor/actress is in, top ten movies with PoC leads, etc.)

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I decided to go with what basically amounts to my all time favorite movies.  I adore the movies on this list so much that no matter what I’m in the middle of, including my beloved reading, I will immediately stop whatever I’m doing to watch them if someone else in my house is watching them.  As you’ll notice, my favorites are heavy on classics by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.  I think Spielberg and Lucas are two of the most brilliant filmmakers of all time, and their movies really shaped my childhood and young adult years.

The Star Wars films, the original trilogy, are probably my all time favorite movies. I hardcore shipped Han and Leia for years, loved the Han/Chewy bromance, and really wanted my very own R2-D2 droid.  That said, just like my tastes in reading, my tastes in films are also very eclectic.  I love comedies, dramas, musicals, fantasies, animated films, sports films, and even some science fiction. You’ll also notice that no horror films appear on my list. I’m a big chicken and truly hate to be scared, haha. 🙂

So, anywho, here’s this week’s Top Ten Tuesday!

Ten Movies Guaranteed to Distract Me from Books

 

1. Star Wars – The Original Trilogy

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2. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

05

 

 

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3. The Princess Bride

01

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4. Dead Poet’s Society

03

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5. Remember the Titans

04

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6. Grease

02

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7. Raiders of the Lost Ark

08

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8. The Breakfast Club

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9. Pitch Perfect

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10. Beauty and the Beast

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Question:  Are any of these favorites of yours?

Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

Review: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi MeadowsMy Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Also by this author: My Plain Jane
four-half-stars
Published by HarperTeen on June 7th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 494
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne.  But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about.  Jane is about to become the Queen of England.

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My Review:

What an entertaining read this was! If you like humor and storytelling in the vein of The Princess Bride and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, then My Lady Jane is a must-read for you! I was thoroughly amused by this refreshingly hilarious and perhaps slightly irreverent re-inventing of the drama surrounding Henry VIII’s offspring.

And if you’re thinking “Wait, wasn’t Lady Jane Grey only Queen of England for nine days? And wait, wasn’t she then convicted of treason and subsequently beheaded? What could possibly be funny about that?”, let me assure you that you’re not alone.  I had the exact same reaction when I initially heard about this novel. Needless to say, the fact that I was already laughing before I even finished the prologue: “Some names have been changed to protect the innocent (or not-so-innocent, or simply because we thought a name was terrible and we liked another name better)”, I was sold. That’s my kind of humor right there and couldn’t wait to read this tale of how Lady Jane Grey’s life should have gone.

 

What I Loved:

 

  • A Fantastic Main Cast of Characters:

Jane.  I loved so many things about My Lady Jane that it’s hard to decide where to start, so I’m going to start with Jane herself.  These authors have re-imagined young Jane as my ideal protagonist – she’s smart, sassy, and a total book fiend, which endeared her to me right away.  Jane is Books-Over-People all the way, and so the marriage-to-a-complete-stranger situation that she finds herself in at the beginning of the story is all kinds of awkward for her.  And so when she and her new husband prepare to depart on their honeymoon, Jane packs so many books that she runs out of space and so decides, being the practical young lady that she is, that the ideal traveling solution is to build a book wall between herself and her new husband in the carriage. Brilliant!

Gifford.  Now even though I’m laughing at Jane’s treatment of her new husband, Gifford (or ‘G’ as he prefers to be called), let me just say that My Lady Jane is filled with loveable characters and G is most definitely one of them. As you will quickly learn once you begin reading, this retelling of Lady Jane Grey’s history really isn’t history at all – it’s pure fantasy and thus has a fabulous magical thread running through it.  The magic? Some of the characters have the ability to transform into animals at will.  I mention this here because G is one of those characters.  The catch, however, is that G apparently has no control over this gift (or curse as he calls it) and for most of his life, he has transformed into a stallion with the sunrise and only returns to human form once the sun goes down.

Needless to say, Jane was not made aware of this prior to their marriage, thus making for some awkward (and oh yes, truly hilarious!) moments in their first few days together.  There are several battles of wits early on where Jane and G reminded me of Benedict and Beatrice from William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.  As funny as their initial encounters are, I really loved watching Jane and G’s relationship blossom as they get to know each other better and realize how much they have in common.  Even though G is actually related to some who are conspiring to steal the throne, his heart and his loyalty clearly lie with Jane.

Edward.  Edward is the King of England at the beginning of the book. He is such a  likeable character, especially when it comes to his relationship with his cousin Lady Jane Grey, that when we learn there is a conspiracy to remove him from the throne, we can’t help but cheer for him as the underdog because nice guys should always finish first!

  • Supporting Characters

The supporting players in My Lady Jane are just as awesome as the main characters.  Some of my favorites were Gracie and Pet, who play a large part in helping Edward in the battle for England’s throne.  Gracie is a young Scottish thief who becomes a potential love interest for King Edward. She’s smart, feisty, incredibly resourceful, and she’s always up for a good adventure.

Then there’s Pet, short for Petunia.  Pet is a loyal friend to Edward, fiercely protective, and at the same time, a bit of a free spirit. In that way, she reminds me a lot of Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series.

  • The Humor!  

I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed so much while reading a book.  It’s equal parts silly, witty, and just downright absurd at times, and I loved every minute of it!  As I mentioned earlier, if you like humorous stories like Monty Python and The Princess Bride, you can’t go wrong with this book.

One of the scenes that amused me the most (and made me fall in love with both Jane and G) was when Jane and G were laying out the ground rules for their marriage. Because a girl must keep her priorities straight, Jane’s rules are of course all about protecting her books:  ” Number one:  no touching my books…Number two:  no chewing on my books…Number three:  I will never find hay in my books.”  G counters with his own set of rules for a happy marriage:  “There will be no riding of the horse…There will be no bridling the horse…Number three: there will be no saddling of the horse” and there are to be “No horse jokes.”

These “ground rules” immediately lead to this hilarious bit:

“No horse jokes,” he said.

“My lord, I apologize for the horse joke.  If you put down the book — unharmed! — I will give you a carrot.”

He brandished the book at her. “Was that a horse joke?”

“Neigh.”

Seriously, tell me you aren’t giggling right now…

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Anything I didn’t care for?

 

My only quibble with My Lady Jane was that I thought there were too many narrator interruptions in the closing chapters.  At first the interruptions were very amusing because, again, they reminded me so much of The Princess Bride, but the closer I got to the resolution of the story, the more frequently the narrators butted in and stopped the action. I REALLY wanted to find out how the story was going to end, so having the ending prolonged by so many narrator interruptions was a bit torturous for me.  That said, I still loved the overall story though. It was just so much fun!!!

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Who would I recommend My Lady Jane to?

 

Well, again, I think this book’s appeal lies squarely in its humor. That humor is the key to making this such a refreshing and unique read.  I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who can appreciate that humor.

If you’re a history buff and would consider a fantasy retelling of Lady Jane Grey’s life in poor taste, then I’d probably tell you to steer clear.

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Rating:  4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

About Brodi Ashton

From Brodi Ashton Writer (In Ms. Ashton’s own words):

Because of two parents who were Greek myth geeks, I grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, “So, which mythological character do you most resemble?” Despite these social shortcomings, I found a great husband who’s always my first reader. We live in Utah with our two young boys, who still have no idea why I’m at the computer all the time.

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

 

About Cynthia Hand

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series with HarperTeen: UNEARTHLY, HALLOWED, RADIANT (an enovella) and BOUNDLESS, and the NYT bestselling contemporary, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE. She lives with her family in Idaho, where she teaches courses in creative writing at Boise State University. Her latest book, MY LADY JANE, (cowritten with Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows) was released on June 7, 2016.

About Jodi Meadows

Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy, the ORPHAN QUEEN Duology, and the FALLEN ISLES Trilogy (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), and a coauthor of MY LADY JANE (HarperTeen). Visit her at www.jodimeadows.com.