Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That Lori Would Like To Own

To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!

1.  To the Lighthouse Book Cover T-Shirt--I LOVE this shirt!  (And so many other shirts from Out of Print Clothing).  I will totally buy it one day...but I feel like I need to actually read the book before I buy the shirt.

2.  She is too fond of books Necklace--I saw this piece on a book blog I follow.  I absolutely love it!  You can buy it on Etsy.

3.  We do things My Way or the Hemingway shirt--Why would I not want this?  My friend owns it and he let me borrow it for my MA thesis defense.  Unfortunately, I was unable to style the t-shirt with something acceptable for such an occasion.  But I totally dig it.

4.  Book Clutch--I cannot remember which ones, but I know that Kate Spade at one point had several different classic book clutches.  I was able to find a picture of A Tale of Two Cities.  I think it's a fun way to carry some of your essentials.  Definitely a great conversation starter!

5.  Alice in Wonderland Flask--Uh, awesome!  I totally have to get one!  These are available on Etsy.

6.  Bookish Cardigan--I love cardigans!  I wear the all the stinking time.  Even in the summer because my office is freezing!  This is a really fun print, but it's not totally overwhelming, so you could totally wear it a lot of places.

7.  Leo Tolstoy Library Diffuser--So I'm not usually too big on scents, but I think it would be pretty cool to see what scents certain authors might evoke.  Currently, they have Dickens, Tolstoy, Austen, Wilde and a few others.  I hope they expand their collection to include more authors.  I would love an Ernest Hemingway one...but they have to make it first!

8.  Game of Thrones Mug Set--I'm not into Game of Thrones, but my boyfriend is.  I saw these mugs and think that they're super cool.  And I know he'd appreciate them because of the GoT theme.

9.  Harry Potter Title Hoodie--I've seen a few things listing the titles in order, but I really liked this one the best.  Maybe it's that the text is on the back.  I don't know.  Anyway, this is really cool and it's on Etsy.

10.  Clear Book Weight--This would be super handy.  Whenever I try to read, I frequently set my book down because I need to use my hand or hands and this would be a great way to not lose my place and keep reading.  Also good for windy days.

What sorts of bookish things are on your wishlist??

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jen Reviews Leap of Faith by Jaime Blair

Leap of Faith by Jaime Blair

Published: September 2013, Simon & Schuster

Source: Library

Rating: 3 stars


This is the first book in a really, really long time that I read in one sitting (disclosure: I did get up a for a snack and a few times for a bathroom break). I was hooked from the first page.

Faith doesn't have the best family life. Her mom is a drunk, a drug addict, and a sleeps with men for money. Her current scheme is getting paid $10,000 to carry another couple's baby (but they're gross and also drug addicts). Faith doesn't want the baby growing up in the same kind of environment she did, so once the baby is born she kidnaps her.

This was my favorite part of the book, her journey from Ohio to Florida. Faith is sixteen years old and you can tell she has no idea how to take care of a baby (even though she prepared reading books and buying diapers, formula, etc), she has no first hand experience with a newborn. She's petrified every time a police car drives by her, certain she's been caught. Once Faith and baby Addy are in Florida she realizes how difficult things are going to be for her. She tells everyone her name is Leah and that she's a couple years older than she really is. Getting a job is going to be almost impossible, no one to watch the Addy and how will Faith/Leah fill out all of the paperwork without potentially getting caught? Interesting...but it seemed like everything came too easy for her, she caught too many breaks.

Plus, the relationship with Chris moved too fast, it didn't feel realistic to me. Too fast, too serious, too quick. Two teenagers met two months ago and are already bringing up marriage? And the whole thing with Chris's mom and sister seemed out of place.

The ending. One of the most frustrating endings, especially because I don't think there is a sequel planned. When I finish a book I like it to end...not wonder who is on the other side of the door or what the reactions from your fake Florida family are. I felt like the whole book was building up to something and then it faltered at the end.

I enjoyed the overall concept of the book...it just did not live up to my expectations.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Broke and Bookish Book Haul for 3/30 - 4/12

Daisy's Book Haul

-The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas: OBVIOUSLY I had to have this pretty bind up of the novella's!
-The Program by Suzanne Young: I've heard good things about it and I really like the cover! (Though I'm sad that they changed the cover for the sequel, because UGH now my books won't match when I buy it!)
-Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott: this sounds AMAZING! So I had to snatch it up :)
-Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier: I've been eyeing this for a while because I LOVE the title! And I've been meaning to read more fantasy novels.
-The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White: it's Egyptian mythology. Consider me fascinated.
-Wolfking aka Heer der Wolven
The Lost Prince aka De Dolende Prins by Bridget Wood: I kept stopping and staring at these two books in the second hand part of the book store, they're not being printed anymore and I read them when I was about 12 or so, it's mostly for sentimental value that I bought them. And because they kept staring at me.

Egalleys for Review:
-The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead: I really enjoyed Gameboard of the Gods and am excited to see what will happen in the sequel!
-Unmasking Juliet by Teri Wilson: I recently read Unleashing Mr. Darcy by the same author and it was a light, fun romance, so I'm hoping for the same with this one!
-Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne: SO MUCH EXCITEMENT! This sounds like the start of an awesome fantasy series!
-Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington: two lives, switching between them every 24 hours, YES PLEASE!
-The Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy: another YA fantasy series that sounds promising :)
-Ignited by Corrine Jackson: this is the final book in the Sense Thieves series and while I have some issues with it, I really want to know how it ends and if she ends up with the guy I'm rooting for.
-Fall With Me by Julie Particka: college romance that sounds like it could be REALLY GOOD.
-How To Lose A Lord in 10 Days or Less by Elizabeth Michels: I like the title and I'm always down for a good historical romance!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bookish Deals (33)

Hello! Happy Saturday, everyone! Welcome to today's biweekly edition of Bookish Deals where I (Julia) try to scour the Internet to find you guys an array of deals to fit in with any budget!

It's a beautiful day where I am so I am only going to do a few. If you are interesting in browsing here at all the nookbooks $2.99 and under

Green Rider by Kristen Britain - $1.99
On her long journey home from school after a fight which will surely lead to her expulsion, Karigan G'ladheon ponders her future as she trudges through the immense forest called Green Cloak. But her thoughts are interrupted by the clattering of hooves as a galloping horse bursts from the woods, the rider slumped over his mount's neck, impaled by two black-shafted arrows. As the young man lies dying on the road, he tells Karigan that he is a Green Rider, one of the legendary messengers of the king, and that he bears a "life and death" message for King Zachary. He begs Karigan to carry his message, warning her not to read it, and when she reluctantly agrees, he makes her swear on his sword to complete his mission "for love of country." As he bestows upon her the golden winged-horse brooch which is the symbol of his office, he whispers on his dying breath, "Beware the shadow man..."

Karigan's promise changes her life forever. Pursued by unknown assassins, following a path only her horse seems to know, and accompanied by the silent specter of the original messenger, she herself becomes a legendary Green Rider. Caught up in a world of deadly danger and complex magic, compelled by forces she cannot understand, Karigan is hounded by dark beings bent on seeing that the message, and its reluctant carrier, never reach their destination.

The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen - $2.99
Welcome to the world's most exciting foodscape, Spain, with its vibrant marriage of rustic traditions, Mediterranean palate, and endlessly inventive cooks. "The New Spanish Table" lavishes with sexy tapas --Crisp Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Goat Cheese-Stuffed Pequillo Peppers. Heralds a gazpacho revolution--try the luscious, neon pink combination of cherry, tomato, and beet. Turns paella on its head with the dinner party favorite, Toasted Pasta "Paella" with Shrimp. From "taberna" owners and Michelin-starred chefs, farmers, fishermen, winemakers, and nuns who bake like a dream--in all, 300 glorious recipes, illustrated throughout in dazzling color. "Estupendo!"

Friday, April 11, 2014

Bookish Craft Round Up!

Hey Everyone! 

Now that spring is (basically here) I know I have caught the crafting fever. Maybe it goes along with Spring Cleaning- but I want to update my wardrobe with cute outfits and spruce up my house with cute projects. I thought that as a crafter and a reader I would make a mini-round up of book related crafts!

This one has been on the top of my craft to-do list for awhile now. I have the book and the fabric all picked out all ready. I just have to hit play on my netflix and get going!

 When you don't know what to do with all the left over pages that you carved out for the clutch above... may I suggest turning them into flowers? I am thinking that this is exactly what I'll do- and then I can feature them next to my shelf of antique books!

If flowers aren't your decor ideal- maybe candles are! Here is another way to reuse old pages and other ephemera around your house. Maybe old maps or old letters?

I have made this craft twice- and I love them! Once featuring Runaways and once featuring The Walking Dead. And you don't just have to use comic books- You can decoupage book pages or sheet music if that's what floats your boat! Side notes though: This craft is time consuming! These Runaways heels took 10 hours! Thankfully I had wine and friends over- but just something to consider before you start. Also- be careful when you wear them. Even though I put sealant on them- I wore my Walking Dead shoes when it was damp without thinking about it.... and the pieces started peeling :( (It's fixable- but again... time consuming)
I know these are just a few things- but I hope they've inspired some creative thoughts. If you don't want to cut up favorite books- maybe these are some uses for books that you just can't seem to get rid of ("Please used book store just take the ARC I don't want it anymore!") Give the old forgotten book in a corner a new way to bring joy into your life! Happy crafting and happy spring!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tahleen reminisces and reviews: "Roomies" by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Title: Roomies
Authors: Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, 2013 (print available from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Narrators: Becca Battoe, Emily Eiden

Rating: 3.5 stars

When Elizabeth (EB) gets the email with her roommate assignment for college in the fall, she immediately shoots off an email to introduce herself and ask about logistical things like microwaves and mini fridges. She is excited and very ready to leave her suburban New Jersey town for UC Berkeley in San Francisco, especially since her mother is driving her crazy. Plus, she might be able to finally see her gay father who moved to SF years ago. Lauren, on the other hand, is disappointed when she gets the email, since she had requested a single. She just wants to get some peace and be alone for once, as she is the oldest of six by at least 12 years. So their correspondence does not get off on the right foot, but eventually they start to open up to each other—perhaps too much.

When I started listening to this, I immediately was brought back to when I received my roommate assignment for college. It was a little different, as Facebook had just been released and you still needed a .edu email address to sign up for a page, and I didn't get an email address. I was just given a name and a phone number,  but I didn't have any qualms about calling Vanessa. As it turns out, I ended up talking to her mother for a while since she wasn't home when I first called, but eventually we caught up with each other and luckily we seemed perfect for each other. I still feel really lucky I got to have her as my roommate for two years! (Miss you, Vanessa!)

Anyway, back to the audiobook. Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando do a great job of creating unique voices for their characters, though I'm not 100% sure of who wrote which. My guess is Zarr wrote Lauren's part, and Altebrando wrote EB's. Each girl had very different situations and drama she had to deal with at home, and they shared a lot of this with each other through email. As we all know, it can be MUCH easier to talk about something in writing with someone you don't necessarily know in real life, especially since they might not know the other people you're talking about. But because each girl actually has her own personality and set of morals, things get hairy.

Honestly I was super annoyed with EB for almost the whole second half of the book. She really seemed to be a brat for a lot of that to me, but then again I have never had to deal with the situations she does. Still, I was glad (relieved?) when she came around.

As for the narration, I thought it was good. Becca Battoe reads Lauren's part, and Emily Eiden reads EB's. Both voices were different enough that I had no trouble distinguishing whose part was whose, and for the most part they were easy to listen to. I especially liked Battoe's narration; her voice is pretty soothing.

All in all, I do recommend this book if you like realistic fiction, dual-voice narrations, and/or are feeling nostalgic about college or are excited for your upcoming college experience. It's a good, easy read with a bit of drama and some nice character development.

Disclaimer: I got this digital audiobook via OverDrive from the library.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books We've Read


To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday or see a list of future topics click here!


 Jamie's picks

1. Liar by Justine Labarestier: OMG this book. I didn't really LOVE it but it was definitely one of the most unique (and frustrating for ME) books I've ever read. I don't know that I'll ever read something quite like it again.

2. Every Day by David Levithan: I have his other two books on my own personal TTT for today but I wanted to add this one in as well. I don't know that I've ever read a book where the MC whose gender was ambiguous. The story was amazing and unique but it also challenged me because the whole time I wanted to call the MC a he or a she. I had a hard time talking about the book without trying to attach a he/she to A. Also, hard to pin a genre to it which I love! It was just different and beautiful and a fave!

3. Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff: This one isn't unique in a WOW kind of way but it just FELT different? The MC is younger but it's not middle grade but it was just really quiet and reflective and smart. The plot wasn't anything unique but it just felt different to me if that makes sense...

Julia's Picks

4. The Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran - This is a historical romance (if you couldn't tell by the word Duke in the title), and a lot of those are pretty similar. But Duran sets part of this book in India during the British occupation. The main character (said Duke) is half white half indian and it is so interesting to read about him and his thoughts. The romance is great, too! This book has inspired me to read more unique settings in my historical romances.

5. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - This one wins for most unique narrator and story telling method with Death. The reason I read this book (outside of the glowing reviews at the time) was it intrigued me so much that the narrator was Death. It's also used as a story element that ties everything together. Great book. One of my all time favorites. It does bring the feels though. 

6. The Bridge by Rebecca Rogers Maher - This short story I stumbled into. It's a romance in the textbook sense, but it has some pretty deep underlying threads. You see the hero and heroine meet as they are about to commit suicide by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. They decide that they cannot kill themselves while the other is there because they could save the other person. They decide to spend the next 24 hrs together where each tries to convince the other what they have to live for. It's a heart wrenching novella but one that fully engrossed me in its unique charm.

Bridget's Pick

7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I didn't know much about this book before picking it up, but it was thrilling, surreal, enchanting, and humbling all at once. It was, in a word, beautiful. You should read it if you haven't yet.

Tahleen's Picks

8. Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. This was the Printz winner this year. There really is no telling what you're going to get when you jump in here, unless you've read a lot about it beforehand in reviews. I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling it, but I will say there are seven tales contained in here, and they all come together beautiufully.

9. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner. Another Printz book, this time an honor. Set in what seems to be an alternate history in the 1940s, we read about many terrible things. That it's narrated by Standish Treadwell in dialect just adds to the strangeness and surreality of this nightmare world. I would definitely recommend this one to fans of George Orwell.

10. Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. This might be THE weirdest and most disturbing books I've ever read. Rape, incest, bestiality, magic, and individual heavens all rolled up in a young adult novel. Of course, this is another Printz honor. The writing is beautiful, though.

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