A Large TBR & a Small Haul: Books for My YA Literature Class

Remember how around this time last year, I was worried about how much I would be reading come graduate school? I won’t have to worry about that Fall 2019.

In my reference services class last fall, one area of library and information science we covered was reader’s advisory. As the name suggests, these librarians recommend books to patrons as well as select books for the library stacks, among other things. It was my favorite section of the whole course. When I mentioned to my advisor, who also happened to be the professor that taught the reference services class, that I was interested in reader’s advisory, she recommended I take the Collections and Materials Young Adult course.

The professor teaching the course (which is online) released the reading list for the course last week. If I am reading it right, for each section we will have to read at least two books a week: the required book and one out of the five or six others she recommended. Fortunately, I own a lot of them. Some are even on my TBR or I have already read. Even better, there are some on this list I’ve wanted to own for a while. Now, I finally had an excuse to buy them.

However, unfortunately, there are a lot of really good books on this list I am interested in. I’ve already gotten some of them from the library, and will likely get more

throughout the semester.

So, yeah, I don’t have to fret about not reading this semester.


The book haul

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry was a book I had marked as “read” on Goodreads since summer of 2016. I got it out from the library back then. However, at the time I “read” this book, I was recovering from an unexpected health scare. I was in a lot of pain and the medication made me very sleepy. In other words, I’m not sure if I finished The Passion of Dolssa. While I do want to read it again, there are other books in the historical fiction section of the course that I want to reread. (The struggle is real for this class.)

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a book I’ve heard so, so many good things about. I see it in the bookstores, along with Elizabeth Acevado’s sophomore novel, With the Fire on High, resisting the urge to buy them. Now, I finally had a reason to buy The Poet X. Even though I need to read it for school, I’m pretty positive I will still really love this book.

March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin is the required read for the nonfiction section of the course. I’ve seen this graphic novel floating around, only I never paid much attention to it. All I know is it’s about the Civil Rights movement.

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater is one of the recommended books from the nonfiction section. I bought it mostly because, of all the ones on the list, it was the only one I recognized. I mentioned before that I struggle with nonfiction sometimes. The 57 Bus, though, I think I might like. It is a true crime story about two teenagers, one being accused of committing a hate crime against the other.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman was a book I intended to get out of the library, due to my conflicted relationship with dystopian. However, with the finale of the trilogy coming out around the same time my class will get to this book (which is the required read for the final section of the course), I didn’t want to chance a possibly long library waitlist. Despite whatever apprehension I feel, Scythe will definitely be an intriguing book to study.

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins is the required read for the historical fiction section of the course and another book I’ve wanted to get for myself. It has one of my favorite tropes: intergenerational family stories. It follows five women of the same family as they come to terms with their identities while also still holding onto their Indian culture.


TBR Books I Will Read for the Course (or might not, depending on my mood)

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy is a book with a plus-size teen heroine that I have wanted to read for ages. When I saw it on the list for the recommended reads of the first section, I got really excited. Problem is, there are other books on the list I’ve already read that I want to reread from an academic perspective. I still might read Dumplin’, just because I want to.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds is one of the recommended reads for the same section as The Poet X. Jason Reynolds is an author so many people sing praises for. Long Way Down is told in verse during an elevator ride where a grief-stricken, angry teenaged boy on his way to commit murder encounters people from his life that have passed on.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is one of the recommended reads for the final section. Though there is a reread on that list I think would be fascinating to study and other books that have peaked my interest, if I am being honest, I will likely pick Children of Blood and Bone. Mostly because it has been on my TBR for longer than it should and the sequel will be close to release by then.


Other Books on the List I’ve Already Read and will be (or not) Rereading

 The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is the first required read of the class for the semester. Looking forward to finding out what my classmates have to say about this one.

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson was on the same list as Dumplin’ as part of the first section of books to read for the semester. Though Dumplin’ and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli were also on this list, I’ve wanted to reread The Impossible Knife of Memory. Also, of these books, it would be the most intriguing to discuss in an academic setting, due to topics covered like PTSD and children living with mentally ill parents.

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is the one I’m torn between for the historical fiction section. Like The Impossible Knife of Memory, I have wanted to reread Salt to the Sea and I think it would be a good book to study academically. However, I also want to read The Passion of Dolssa…I’m in such a predictament at the moment. Hell, I might end up reading both.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer is one I had no idea if I wanted to add to the “possibly reread” list. At first, I was not going to. Like two other books on the recommendations lists, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia, I initially thought it too early to reread. I only read them last year. On the flip side, I can’t deny the academic appeal. Fortunately, I have until the near end of the semester to make up my mind.


Other Books on the List I Want to Read

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle is part of the same section as The Sun is Also a Star and The Impossible Knife of Memory. Though not one of the ones I bought, I could not help myself when I saw my local library had a copy. A closeted gay budding filmmaker struggles to come out of his shell following the tragic death of his sister. Then, he meets a guy that inspires him to take back the starring role of his own life.

Burn, Baby, Burn by Meg Medina doesn’t come up until the historical fiction section in a few months but a book I felt like I needed to read right this second or I might die. It is set in New York City during the terror that was Son of Sam while a teenaged girl is still trying to live her life in fear of getting shot with her new boyfriend. I don’t need to know anything else beyond that, honestly.

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy another book on the recommendations list for the first section of the course, I, Claudia was a book I had seen floating around but never paid attention to. When I saw it on the list, realized it followed a girl who never wanted power is suddenly thrusted into power, and my library had a copy, I felt more compelled to read it. And I already checked it out of my library.


The rest of these I have saved onto a list on my library account. A lot of them are part of later sections in the course. Like I said, this class offers a lot of great choices. I actually would not read them for school, if I ran out of time to use them for their respective sections.

#Not Your Princess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I’m Just Me by M.G. Higgins

The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric L. Gansworth

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal

Frogkisser! By Garth Nix


Have you read any of these books?

Which ones do you think I should or should not read or reread?

Do I make library school sound fun?

Recommending Books I Did Not Love, But You Might #2

As a reader, I do not like hating or even disliking books. Because I know for every person that hates a book, another loves it. Because I know authors put all this time and effort into a piece of art. But not everyone reads the same book.

As I think I have mentioned before, one of the fields I am most interested pursuing in library science is reader’s advisory. In the library and information science profession overall, we are urged to be neutral. Just because I liked a book does not mean other people will. So, if a patron ever comes in asking for a book recommendation or asking about a book I did not necessarily love, I still want to give them the recommendation.

The same can be said for my blog. There are books I gave a low rating to, but they were not without their qualities. I’ve wanted to do another unique recommendations post since the first one I posted back in January of 2018. But since then, I guess I have gotten more critical in the books I choose to read, because I have not found books for these types of recommendations.

Still, a book is a book. It should be read by someone who can appreciate it.


Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Let's Talk About Love

Let’s Talk About Love follows an asexual college student who is done with dating after a bad break-up. Now, all she wants is to hang out with her best friends, work in the local library, and figure out what she wants to do with her life while meeting her family’s extremely high expectations. The writing style in Let’s Talk About Love is super simplistic and the book is not hard to get through. Just be aware of a lot of parenthesis.


Girls on the Line by Jennie Liu

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Girls on the LineGirls on the Line is a book I would classify to fall under the new adult genre, just without the sexy times. It is set in 2009 China, following two girls that get wrapped up in the country’s bride and child trafficking rings. The plot goes in all different directions. Also, one of the girls definitely qualifies as an unlikeable narrator. The author tries to cover all sorts of topics, particularly those relating to women in China. If you are interested in learning more about issues women face in other countries or social issues in other countries, I recommend Girls on the Line.


Where I Live by Brenda Rufener

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Where I Live

Continuing along the line of social issues, this one closer to home, Where I Live deals with teen homelessness. The main character tries to hide from her friends that she is living inside their high school and hiding from a traumatic past. When a classmate gets in trouble, she risks exposing her situation to help. If you are looking to educate yourself on how teenagers live on the street and what society can do to prevent such a situation from ever happening, I would recommend Where I Live.


Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Still Star-Crossed

Still Star-crossed is a “sequel” of sorts to Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, set right after the events of the play. When someone threatens to break the fragile truce between the Capulets and the Montagues, the prince makes Rosaline, Juliet’s cousin, marry Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin. To prevent this, the two reluctant newlyweds try to find out who is committing the heinous crimes across Verona. If you like Shakespeare and are looking for more retellings of his works, Still Star-crossed is one you should look into it.


Freeks by Amanda Hocking

Screenshot_2019-08-29 Freeks

Freeks is one of those books I would recommend for someone who loves paranormal romance. It follows a travelling freak show that gets swept up in a murder mystery in 1980s New Orleans. There is a strong element of insta-love, so that is something to be wary of if that is not your thing. Besides that, the atmosphere with spooky and an easy, entertaining read. Reading Freeks can be compared to something like eating chocolate cake: it’s too yummy to stop.


RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Screenshot_2019-08-29 RoseBlood

The main positive thing I have to say about RoseBlood is that the writing is beautiful, borderline flowery. It is a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. I know a lot of people are looking for more retellings based on classics, instead of fairy tales. RoseBlood takes elements of the source material and puts it in a modern Paris setting with a fantastical twist. If you don’t mind long descriptions, or plots that tend to tell more than show, RoseBlood is a dark, romantic retelling.


The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass

Screenshot_2019-08-29 The Life and Death Parade

The Life and Death Parade has an intriguing concept. A grief-stricken teenaged girl tracks down a group of charlatans that claim to be able to move through the veil between life and the afterlife following the tragic death of her boyfriend. She meets the psychic that told her boyfriend he will never have a future, then meets another member of the group that lures her and the rest of the boyfriend’s family into a twisted game of dark magic. If you like really scary and/or depressing books, The Life and Death Parade might be something you will enjoy.



What is a book you did not love but might recommend someone who might?


Top 5 Tuesday: Six TBR Books I Do Not Talk (or Think) About Enough

There are a lot of books that I have read I don’t talk about, like Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. However, over the last couple of weeks, I noticed there are many unread books on my shelves that I somehow seem to forget I have. Most, admittedly, I bought on impulse.

This week’s Top 5 Tuesday got me thinking about my reading goals for next year…but more on that in December. Right now, here are six (because one I felt I had to mention) randomly selected TBR books that I do not talk, or think, about enough.


The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Screenshot_2019-08-13 The Notebook (The Notebook, #1)

Yes, you read that right….

In hindsight, I’m not sure why I bought this tiny mass market paperback from Rite Aid back in 2015. The Notebook, in case you live under a rock, is a love story between a rich girl and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who are separated by circumstances. Nicholas Sparks has had virtually every single one of his books made into a movie. That says something about his writing, right? Even though I’m trying hard to forget how he tried to stop his school from hosting a LGBT book club….(Google it)


The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Screenshot_2019-08-13 The Casual Vacancy

I bought The Casual Vacancy during the same trip to Rite Aid as The Notebook. With this one, I know the main reason I have not picked it up was because of polarizing reviews. People said it was “boring” and “not as good as Harry Potter.” Now, having read her Cormoran Strike series, I know J.K. Rowling is a good writer regardless of genre. I’m still going into The Casual Vacancy with mediocre expectations, knowing that not everything can be compared to Harry Potter. Because Harry Potter is in a class all his own.


Love Story by Erich Segal

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Love Story (Love Story, #1)

In college, my friend took a romantic literature course and, when she couldn’t sell certain books back to the school bookstore, I offered to take them off her hands. Love Story by Erich Segal was one of them. It was interesting to me, similar to The Notebook only in a more modern setting with an ending not nearly as hopeful. What really pushed me to read this book was the movie Dark Shadows, as it is the book the two lovers of the film bond over.


The Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepard

There is no excuse I can give as to why I have not read The Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepard. Each is a retelling of classic Gothic literature: The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Frankenstein. The protagonist, Juliet Moreau, is a genius in her own right struggling with her presumably inherited madness from her father.

In other words, why have I not read these books yet?


A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Screenshot_2019-08-13 A Tale of Two Cities

Before someone asks: no, I did not buy A Tale of Two Cities because of the Infernal Devices trilogy. Over a year after completing my Bachelor’s in English literature, I felt compelled to read classics again. It was embarrassing to me how little I’ve actually read, since mainly the only time I read them was for school. A Tale of Two Cities, which follows a love triangle set during the French Resolution, seems like something I might enjoy. Not just because it was mentioned in the Infernal Devices trilogy.


My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier

Screenshot_2019-08-13 My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel is the book I could not resist the urge to add this list. I read Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca when I started using my local library. I enjoyed it, though I have yet to buy my own copy. I bought My Cousin Rachel impulsively while having a bad day at Target. But it sounds a little more interesting than Rebecca, anyway.

Philip Ashley takes in Rachel, the widow of his recently deceased favorite cousin, but rumors surrounding his cousin’s death make him suspicious of her. As he searches for answers, Philip cannot deny his attraction to Rachel. Except he can’t figure out if she’s a conniving murderess or a victim of circumstance. If Daphne Du Maurier is the writer I think she is, it’s both.


What books on your TBR do you forget you have? 

The Book Snob Tag

I never understood how a “book snob” could exist until I met one. You know the type—the ones that only read Pulitzer Prize winners or consider reading primarily classics as “real reading” or say their favorite book is something outrageous like Dante’s Inferno.

Considering readers have gotten bad rep over the years, this is just wrong.

I was trying to avoid tags and make use the creativity I won an award for in college. Then, earlier this week, I saw Heather of Bookables do this tag. Mainly what drew me to it was that I did not have to think of a book for each answer. It is specifically an opinion piece.

I like giving my opinion.

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Let’s find out if I am a book snob. (Spoiler alert: I’m totally not!)


Adaption Snob

Do you always read the book before you see the movie?

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If I can and if I want to. One example is Fifty Shades of Grey. I have no interest in reading the books. I did want to see the movie though, out of curiosity to see if I liked erotica at all. However, there are times I do want to read the book before seeing the movie or TV adaption. This was the case with Good Omens. I didn’t want to watch it without having read the original material. But my dad wanted to watch the show and when he finds a new TV show he wants to watch, he binges the show. So, of course, I got sucked in. If anything, it made me want to read the book Good Omens even more.


Format Snob

You can only choose one format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which do you choose: physical books, e-books, or audiobooks?

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The only format I can, and want, to read is physical books. I’ve tried e-books, but I’m uncomfortable reading on my phone or computer. Audiobooks were spoiled for me in grade school, with storybook narrators that put you to sleep. It also does not help that I love the look of bookshelves.


Ship Snob

Would you date or marry a non-reader?

beauty and the beast books GIF by Disney

Absolutely yes. It makes me sad when bookworms give prospective partners a hard pass just because they don’t like reading. I also do not like it when they try to force said prospective partners to like reading. To me, dating or marrying a reader is more of a bonus than a requirement. As long as he does not look down upon my love of reading or outright hate it and try to make me stop, it’s fine if he himself does not enjoy it.


Genre Snob

You have to ditch one genre—never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

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Nonfiction is a genre I would give up. However, this one is a cop-out. I rarely read anything from this genre. Most of the times I did read it was for school. I doubt I would miss it much, honestly.


Uber Genre Snob

You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

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Fantasy, which is another easy answer. It’s mostly what I read and what I am drawn to. Plus, the genre itself is so vast, I doubt I would get bored.


Community Snob

Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

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It’s a tie between romance and adults that read young adult literature. I am 26; the majority of what I read is young adult. Though I personally have not dealt with it (yet), I know many adult readers of YA get crap about “reading their age.” Truth is, most adults read YA because they are easy to get through and we need something to help us decompress from daily adulting.

Romance I know is a genre that gets snubbed a lot. I know I am one of those people that would not touch romance novels for years. This was mostly because I thought they were all about relationships and sex without any actual plot. Now, having read blogs and watched BookTube, I know better. With my own lack of love life, as well as overall new interest, I’m drawn more and more to picking up romance novels.


Snobbery Recipient

Have you ever been snubbed for something you have been reading or for reading in general?

season 5 netflix GIF by Gilmore Girls

When I was younger, I was definitely snubbed a lot for liking to read. I was made fun of for “reading too much,” too. Nothing truly nasty happened to me, but still, the scorn was there. And it wasn’t just kids either. A lot of adults in my life did not like my reading so much. They thought I should be more “social.” But I became a deeper introvert after forcing myself to put the book down. More often than not, I still found myself sitting alone at lunch anyway. Thankfully, at college I met people who appreciated my love of reading as a part of who I was.

Now that that therapy session is over, I tag:








Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Backlist Dystopian Novels on My To Be Read Pile

I read dystopia back when dystopian novels were a thing. I liked the genre and I didn’t. I loved The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I overall enjoyed The Darkest Minds trilogy by Alexandra Bracken, though in the end I was left disappointed. And I’m not going to waste more time by discussing the Divergent trilogy.

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Despite my on-again, off-again relationship with dystopian, lately, it has been drawing me back in. I’m drawn to dystopia with more adult themes. There are books that came out back in the day that I never got around to reading for one reason or another. I would likely still read them now when I need something light and entertaining to hold me over during a slump.

Of the series on this list, I own two of them. The other I plan to check out from the library or buy my own copies, whichever comes first. Most of you have probably already read these books, so you can let me know if they are good or not.

Those backlist dystopian series are:


Matched trilogy by Ally Condie

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Matched (Matched, #1)

From what I remember, the Matched trilogy is set in a world where everyone is assigned a romantic partner based on science and the government controls what poetry or artwork people can look at. If I’m being honest, it was the latter that made me want to read this series more than the former. I also remember someone mentioning that the main character’s inner rebellion begins when her grandfather recites a forbidden poem on his deathbed. I also heard this series goes downhill after book two, but that is the case with most young adult dystopian.


Legend trilogy by Marie Liu

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Legend (Legend, #1)

I’m not sure why I never read the Legend trilogy when it first came out. The best (worst) explanation I can offer is that the trilogy came out during a time where I didn’t have my own income to buy books, relying mostly on gift cards. I had to be selective with what I bought. Then again, I didn’t seem to think to use the library, either. Somehow, the Legend books fell to the wayside, even though I was drawn to the idea of a criminal and a socialite teaming up to take down the government.


Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Delirium (Delirium, #1)

Thinking about it now, I’m almost positive I had no interest in reading Delirium during the height of its popularity. At the time, it seemed too romance-heavy for my liking. In recent months, though, I have been drawn more and more to Lauren Oliver’s books. I also heard that the Delirium trilogy has an interesting ending regarding the love triangle of the series, which had me more intrigued.


Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

I checked the Shatter Me series out from the library to read for two reasons. First, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, especially once Restore Me came out. Second, because I felt like I should read the author’s original work before picking up her contemporary, A Very Large Expanse of Sea. As you can guess, I did not read the series. I wanted to check them out from the library again, since I’ve heard less than ideal things about the writing and plot. But, I have to admit, those new covers are super pretty….


Forget Tomorrow trilogy by Pintip Dunn

Screenshot_2019-08-13 Forget Tomorrow (Forget Tomorrow, #1)

I first heard of Forget Tomorrow on Benjamin of Tomes YouTube channel a few years ago and that was the only place I saw or heard of it again. It is set in a world where, on your seventeenth birthday, you are given a vision from your future self. The main character, Callie, receives a vision of her murdering her younger sister and is then arrested. The rest of the trilogy is her trying to figure out why and if she can change her future before becoming the criminal everyone thinks she already is. I really hope these books are as good as they sound.


Which of these dystopian series have you read?


Where I Find Books I Want to Read

As I’m sure you all can understand, books pretty much take up my life. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my career in library science.

One of the areas of library science that is high on my list is reader’s advisory. This has gotten me thinking about where I get my own reading recommendations. This was probably one of the easiest lists I ever made.



Screenshot_2019-08-16 Recent updates Goodreads

I joined Goodreads in high school, the Facebook for bookworms. To this day, it’s the only social media I can actually say I like. I’m constantly adding books to my TBR on that site. I read the lists people make as well as the recommendations Goodreads gives based on other books I added. I know Goodreads has gotten a bad rep over the years, but I can’t shake my loyalty. I would forget so many potentially great books if it were not for Goodreads.


Book of the Month and other subscription boxes I can’t afford

Screenshot_2019-08-16 Book of the Month       Screenshot_2019-08-16 OwlCrate - Monthly Book Subscription Box

This one is kind of random, I’ll admit. I signed up on their website, though I technically have not subscribed to the service. Despite this, I look forward to the Book of the Month selections, as well as the Book of the Month YA selections, each month. Most times, they have books I probably would not have found on my own. And they cover a multitude of genres. I’ve gotten some interesting recommendations since I started following Book of the Month on their website. The same goes for services like Owlcrate, which I was subscribed to years ago but sadly had to cancel due to lack of funds.


Browsing bookstores, libraries, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble and Books a Million online

Screenshot_2019-08-16 Online Bookstore Books, NOOK ebooks, Music, Movies Toys

I have found some really good (and not so good) recommendations while casually browsing my local library. I spend my lunch breaks browsing the bookstores near my work (one of which has a great café, by the way). There are books that I found I’m really interested in reading, so much so I have had to refrain myself from buying them all at once. Particularly since I would have to carry them all on the train, then walking to the bus, and then walking home after getting off the bus.

I also spend a lot of time browsing on Amazon and the websites for Barnes & Noble and Books a Million. Amazon gives me recommendations based on books I have bought as well as books I added to my wish list. Barnes & Noble has a lot of backlist titles on sale and I keep up with new releases on there as well. Books a Million somehow finds all these new releases that no one else knows about, introducing me to cool books to add to my TBR.


Watching BookTube videos and reading book reviews on blogs

Screenshot_2019-08-16 YouTube

Nowadays, BookTube is where I get the bulk of my book recommendations. While browsing the library and bookstores in person as well as online introduce me to more hidden gems, BookTube keeps me up-to-date with the popular releases, as well as somehow manages to hype up books I might not have picked up otherwise. I even recommended BookTube as a source of finding book recommendations in my reference services class last fall.

The same can be said about book blogs. Many of you guys have a knack for finding those hidden gems. BookTube, as well as book blogs, have also introduced me to genres I thought I would read. Mainly, adult romance. Watching Smut-a-thon vlogs and reading romance reviews, listening to people rave about Christina Lauren and Tessa Dare and the Reluctant Royals series has convinced me to give the genre a chance. Enough that, the next time I’m at the bookstore, I might just stock up on those romance mass market paperbacks.


Where do you guys mainly find your recommendations?

Round Two of Summer 2019 Book Haul

Fun fact about library school: part-time jobs and internships are hard to come by.

While the field is expanding, it is also super competitive. I learned that the hard way this past spring, when my once shiny resume lost its sheen. Then, when I got this temp job for the summer, I threw myself headfirst into the work, not bothering to take any sort of break until now.

To be honest, at first I was looking forward to the end of this assignment and taking a much-needed break. Then, we started a new project two weeks before my contract was supposed to end. My overwhelming need to be helpful, combined with the panic I felt after being turned down for a paid internship I applied for, I offered to stay longer until said project is completed.

Under the terms and conditions regarding temps, I can only stay as a “light” worker, which means working no more than fourteen hours a week. With a new semester a few weeks away, this works out well in my favor. Best part, I still have easy access to great bookstores.

Well, great for me. Not so sure about my wallet.

Since the last round of my summer book haul, I’ve bought fourteen books. And, I must admit, I’m running out of steam—and space. Like I said, these bookstores are awesome. My wish list is huge, and only getting bigger. Deciding what to buy next has become a problem. This will likely be the last round of my summer book haul. I don’t know when the next one will be either. Especially since I’m taking a week off at my new boss’s insistence, I have the itch to utilize my local library again.

We will see how long that lasts. Take your bets now.

In the past few weeks, I bought:


We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson


I know everyone and their mother was obsessed with Netflix’s adaption of Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House when it came out. I have read her short story The Lottery, only it’s not my favorite. Of all her works, We Have Always Lived in the Castle was the one I was most intrigued by. From my knowledge, it is about two odd sisters living with their odd uncle in the family’s mansion and the younger sister is accused of killing the rest of the other members of the family.


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith


A good friend, one who does not read a lot, told me she loved A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. All I knew about it was that it was one of those “modern classics.” Admittedly, I bought it after seeing it on the “top 100” something books on Goodreads. I do want to read more classics, though.


I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith


Another modern classic, I Capture the Castle is set in 1934 and told through the diary entries of seventeen-year-old Cassandra. She lives with her eccentric family in their dilapidated castle. It takes place over the course of six months, covering major changes within the family, including Cassandra’s first love. I only expect great things from a book J.K. Rowling blurbed.


Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill


Fierce Fairytales is a book I had my eye on for a while. I was further enticed to pick it up after reading snippets of Nikita Gill’s writing in The Mermaid’s Voice Returns in This One by Amanda Lovelace. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I found it randomly at Target, while looking for another book.


Kingsbane by Claire Legrand


Kingsbane is the sequel to Furyborn, which I have not read yet. So, naturally, I don’t know anything, since it’s a second book.


Shadow & Flame by Mindee Arnett


Shadow & Flame is another sequel, this one to Onyx & Ivory. I don’t know much about this one, either, besides the first book not getting the best reviews.


Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


I read Aurora Rising from the library a couple of months ago. I had to get my own copy because I liked it so much. I actually have this book facing front on my bookshelves.


A Darker Shade of Magic

A Gathering of Shadows

A Conjuring of Light

by V.E. Schwab

After reading Vicious and Vengeful this year, I asked myself why I was waiting on the Shades of Magic trilogy. It is like one of V.E./Victoria Schwab’s most popular works, after Vicious. When Barnes & Noble had an online sale, I bought the boxed set.


The Merciless II: The Exorcism of Sofia Flores

The Merciless III: Origins of Evil

The Merciless IV: Last Rites

By Danielle Vega

I bought The Merciless by Danielle Vega a few years ago, during a phase of love for young adult horror. It’s about teenaged girls performing an exorcism on a classmate they think is possessed. Three more books came out of it. I’m not sure if I made the right choice buying all the books before having read the first book. We will find out.


13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad


This book practically shouted my name from the display table at the bookstore. It is a collection of short stories following a plus size woman as she works through body issues and deals with not-so-helpful advice from loved ones. It’s all about coming into her own and embracing herself, and her body, for what it is.


Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Favorite Bookmarks

Apparently, I can’t function without posting a Top 5 Tuesday anymore. Since Shanah is on vacation, there was no topic provided for this week. You would think that would mean a little less extra work (if you consider blogging work). Then, I had this somewhat random idea.

I probably have as many bookmarks as I do books. When I start a new book, one of my favorite things is matching a bookmark to it before I begin reading. It’s a whole process. Often times, I know exactly which bookmark I want to use for a book. Other times, I will literally dump all my bookmarks on my bed, then shift through them until I find the one I deem perfect.

I almost did a bookmark collection—I still could, in the future, if you guys are interested—but for now, I stuck to some of my favorites.


My collection of Happy Hello Art bookmarks from Etsy


I learned about the Happy Hello Art store on BookTube and, late last year, finally caved in. Not only are these bookmarks super cute, they are good quality and affordable. Happy Hello Art covers a variety of fandoms. Most of what I own are bookmarks inspired by Sarah J Maas and Disney characters, as well as a few other favorites. I plan to add to my collection soon enough—once I figure out which ones I want next.





Harry Potter quote bookmarks


These in particular are recent additions to my bookmark collection. I found these at one of the bookstores near my work. Do I really need to explain why I love these?


Free bookmarks from the library


Aside from the fact I didn’t have to spend money on these and the librarians didn’t bat an eye to how many I took, these bookmarks are super cute. They are made of slightly cheap paper, but so far, they have withstood the abuse that comes with being inside a book that gets moved around a lot in a cramped purse. And can we just take a moment to appreciate the cats?


Magnetic bookmarks


I really, really like magnetic bookmarks. They stay where they are in your book and there is zero chance of them falling out or getting caught in between pages. I have a lot of them—two little boxes worth. My favorites are these cupcakes, butterflies, puppies, and owls.


Metal bookmarks


These metal bookmarks are a more recent discovery. Up until now, the only one I had was this silver hook with butterfly charms my friend gave me for my birthday a few years ago. Then, at one of the bookstores near my work, they had a beautiful selection that I found myself drawn to. My favorite that I’ve bought so far is this green one with a dragonfly charm on the green ribbon. On the front is a quote by Josephine Billings (whoever that is): “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”


What is your favorite bookmark that you own or favorite kind of bookmark?

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Books Under 300 Pages

I have to say Shanah, this topic was a little random. I almost didn’t do it. I was too lazy to have to go through my bookshelves to find books under 300 pages. Turns out, there is a handy little feature on the Goodreads phone app to organize your books by page numbers. Good old Goodreads….

I picked five books I don’t talk about often. Some of these I don’t think I have ever mentioned on my blog. Five books under 300 pages are:


Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (117 pages)

Screenshot_2019-08-05 Death of a Salesman

I read Death of a Salesman for the first time junior year of high school. We were supposed to read Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, but the school didn’t have enough copies for all the English classes. The teachers were allowed to pick whatever book they wanted to teach the rest of the semester. Mine chose Death of a Salesman, which is a play about a struggling salesman, Willy, whose two grown sons come home for a visit and the family starts to unravel as Willy’s sanity does.


Animal Farm by George Orwell (122 pages)

Screenshot_2019-08-05 Animal Farm

I read Animal Farm right after reading 1984, also by George Orwell, for my Banned Books and Dangerous Ideas class junior year of college. Between the two, I enjoyed Animal Farm more. George Orwell got his point across while still providing an entertaining read. I also had this book stolen from my dorm room that year. I still don’t know how or by who, but I could not find it. Thus, I’m convinced my junior year dorm room was haunted. In addition to the disappearance of my first copy of Animal Farm, my best friend and I heard weird noises in that room. When I got another copy of Animal Farm, I kept it in my desk until I brought it home one vacation.


The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (128 pages)

Screenshot_2019-08-05 The Tales of Beedle the Bard

I’ve never mentioned The Tales of Beedle the Bard on this blog. Until this Top 5 Tuesday, I didn’t see any reason to. While I enjoyed the wizard fairy tales, I am of the belief that J.K. Rowling needs to retire any and all things related to Harry Potter. I would much rather she focus on her Cormoran Strike series or do something else.


Prey by Lurlene McDaniel (196 pages)

Screenshot_2019-08-05 Prey

Prey is one of the books I unhauled a few months ago. It is an older work, published in the early 2000s. It centers on an illicit relationship between a fifteen-year-old boy and his beautiful new history teacher. It is told from three perspectives: the boy, Ryan; his best friend Honey; and the teacher, Lori. Lori is without a doubt a predator and, the thing I remember most about reading Prey, was that reading the teacher’s chapters made me deeply uncomfortable.


Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red by Joyce Reardon (277 pages)

Screenshot_2019-08-05 The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer

I read Diary of Ellen Rimbauer: My Life at Rose Red long before I started my blog. It is told through the diary of a fictional heiress, Ellen, whose sinfully wealthy and unfaithful husband built her a huge, glamourous estate called Rose Red. Strange, frightening events happen throughout the years at Rose Red, including several disappearances and unexplained deaths. Through the diary, Ellen is shown slowly going insane, believing the house is protecting her from those that want to do her or her family harm. It’s been weird since I read it, though I do remember it being extremely weird.


Have you read any of these books?