October 2021 TBR

October has always been a comforting month for me. I’ve always been happiest in Autumn, although it’s also the month when I feel the most homesick for the North Carolina mountains.

This month, I wanted to choose books for my TBR that have a cozy autumnal theme to them or that remind me of home. Most people likely think of October TBRs as the perfect place for horror books because of Halloween, but I actually prefer to read the spookier stuff come winter.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books, and also what books you’re planning on reading this month!

Let’s start with the three books that take place in and around Asheville, NC.

First up, we have Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel. I’ve been to his grave a few times and I’ve drank sake on the porch of his house (which is now a museum) at 3 am on an autumn night, so it seems obvious that I should read one of his books. Look Homeward, Angel is considered to be semi-autobiographical and follows the life of the main character, Eugene Gant, from birth to the age of nineteen.

I took an English class in college where we read Ron Rash’s The World Made Straight and I adored it. Rash is actually a professor at the university where I went, although I never had the pleasure of meeting him. The Cove is one of his more well-known novels. Laurel Shelton is believed to be a witch by the townspeople and lives tucked away in the mountains. One day a mute stranger stumbles into the woods and she nurses him back to health.

Denise Kiernan’s The Last Castle is a non-fiction book about the Biltmore Estate, the lavish mansion built by George Vanderbilt in the mid-1890s. The Biltmore Estate is a lot of fun to visit, and this book has been on my TBR for awhile.

I just finished reading Frank Herbert’s Dune and have become completely obsessed with it, so I want to read its sequel, Dune Messiah, this month.

When I was at Barnes and Noble to pick up Dune Messiah, I also grabbed the Barnes and Noble edition of Isaac Asimov’s The Foundation Trilogy. I’ve always wanted to read one of his novels, and since the Apple TV adaptation of the series is currently being released, it seemed like the right time.

Leigh Bardugo’s King of Scars has been on my TBR for the past two months and I’ve just failed to get to it. Following King Nikolai, King of Scars and it’s sequel Rule of Wolves picks up where the Shadow and Bone trilogy leaves off.

Kurt Vonnegut is one of my favorite writers, but I’ve never read any of his non-fiction. Armageddon in Retrospect is a collection of essays on war and peace. It was published posthumously.

I haven’t heard many people mention Paula Brackston’s The Witch’s Daughter, but I came across it at a thrift store and it sounded pretty interesting. The tagline was enough to hook me: “My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. Each new settlement asks for a new journal, and so this Book of Shadows begins.

Like Vonnegut, Salman Rushdie is one of my favorite authors. Every one of his books that I’ve read thus far have become favorites. I’ll admit that Midnight’s Children, one of his better-known novels, intimidates me, although I can’t quite put my finger on why that is. 1,001 children were all born at midnight and each of them has an extraordinary gift. The novel takes place in 20th century India.

Rosamunde Pilcher’s A Place Like Home is a collection of fifteen romantic short stories. I don’t know too much about any of the individual pieces, but I’ve heard good things about this collection. Plus, the cover is gorgeous.

Finally, we have All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, the first book in The Border Trilogy. Up to know, the only McCarthy book I’ve read has been The Road, which I consider one of my favorite books of all time. This novel is much different from The Road, however, as it follows the story of the last in a long line of Texas ranchers.

As always, I’ve chosen an ambitious TBR, but I’m really excited about reading all of these books. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you’re planning on reading in October!

24 Books to Understand Racism in America

black lives matter

I’m pretty sure that I don’t need to go into a lot of detail about why I’m posting this article today, nor why it’s important to understand its importance.

Here’s a great website that maps police brutality across America. Here’s an article that explains that black Americans are 2.5 times more likely than whites to be killed by police, and another about a leading cause of death among black people being getting shot by police.

If you’d like to support the protestors or the Black Lives Matter movement, check out these resources:

Below are plenty of books that will help you understand further how we got here as a nation, why the Black Lives Matter movement is important, and how you can help.

If I’ve forgotten or missed any, please leave links in the comments below.

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The Worst Books I Read in 2019


While I wish that every book I read was amazing, that’s an unrealistic goal. Unfortunately, I read some books this year that I hated. I also DNFed a good number of books, which you can read about here.

Let’s get to it. Here are the worst books that I read in 2019.


10. (TIE) Let’s Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry & A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher

When I was putting this list together, I couldn’t decide which of these two books I liked less, so a tie it is. The reason I didn’t enjoy Let’s Call It a Doomsday was primarily due to feeling like the synopsis was misleading. I thought I was going to be reading a post-apocalyptic novel, but it wasn’t that at all.

As for A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, my feelings changed over and over while reading it. There were times when I enjoyed it, but more often than not the story didn’t work for me.

The Sacrament Olaf Olaffson

9. The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson

This was a very recent read for me, and one that I actually requested from the publisher. The story and dueling timelines were not laid out in a way that made sense, and I found myself confused and frustrated during much of the book.

Again but Better Christine Riccio

8. Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Oh my gosh, this book. I’m not even sure why I read it, as I’m not a fan of YA or new adult contemporary literature, but the only way I can think to describe this book is with a cringe. There are characters with names like Pilot Penn and Babe Lozenge, and the main character, Shane, is most definitely based on Christine. While I enjoyed reading this book in a guilty pleasure sort of way, it was in no way good literature.


7. The Municipalists by Seth Fried

I kept forgetting the name of this novel’s main character while reading it. Everything about this story was forgettable, and, even though I read this in July, I would have trouble describing the plot to you. It was disappointing considering how cool the cover is.


6. Binti by Nnedi

I really wanted to enjoy this novella, but I don’t think Nnedi Okorafor’s writing is for me. While there were things I enjoyed, like the main character’s development, there was just no real story here. I struggle with novellas in general because I’m a huge fan of elaborate world-building in my fantasy and science fiction. This story definitely could have used more of a buildup.


5. If We Had Known by Elise Juska

This novel is about a mass shooter, told from the point of view of one of his old teachers. There was quite a bit I struggled with in this novel. The main character, Maggie, makes a lot of bad decisions and has a bit of an ego problem. It also frustrated me that none of the characters (the story is told from multiple perspectives, Maggie’s being the main one) actually knew the shooter personally, making the story feel irrelevant. The plot was convoluted and there was no real theme to the story that I could determine. I definitely would not recommend this novel.


4. The Protector (Men of the North #1) by Elin Peer

This novel receives my award for the most disgustingly sexist book of the year! Yay? I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, and I found this book via Kindle Unlimited. I felt like trying out romance, and since this was a romance story combined with a post-apocalyptic setting, I thought it would be a great choice! As you can guess from its inclusion on this list, it wasn’t. The world-building was weak, the story and plot are offensively sexist (which I think was intentional to be edgy, but it didn’t work), the main characters all act like spoiled children, and it was horribly predictable.

Echo North

3. Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

It’s such a shame when beautiful books have such terrible plots. My issue with this book, and the reason I gave it a low rating, is that the main character has an extremely problematic relationship with the love interest. He treats her poorly and she’s his prisoner, and yet, of course, she still falls for him. He literally takes everything from her. It’s such a terrible message to put in a young adult novel.


2. Infected by Scott Sigler

If you’re a fan of this novel or of the author, Scott Sigler, then ignore what I’m about to say: I thought this book was garbage. It was so terrible. I’m not even sure how to classify the genre of this novel. Comedic body horror sci-fi, maybe? The plot of this story felt ridiculous to me. There are blue triangle alien rashes on people, that talk to the victims in their heads and then burst out of their bodies when they’re grown. Yeah, I know. Also, the story was boring, the characters were bland, and the writing was bad.


1. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

This might be a controversial opinion, I’m not sure. I think there are people who really enjoy this book and the film based on it. I have a fundamental problem with this book that prevented me from enjoying any of it – its representation of mental illness is offensive. The two main characters, one of which has a brain injury and the other having depression, talk and act like children. Guess what? People with mental illnesses or brain injuries can still act and think like adults. Especially for the character with depression, her character and issues were written off overly-simplistically and her depression was displayed as just a “quirky” personality trait. I recommend clicking on the title to read my full review if you want to know more about why this is my least favorite book of 2019.

What were your least favorite books of 2019? Let me know in the comments!

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Autumn Colored Books – #SixforSunday


This is the second time this month that I’ve discovered weekly prompts hosted by other book bloggers. I love that this is a thing and will take any chance I get to participate in the bookish community.

This morning I was reading Sarah Withers Blogs and came across her list of autumn-colored books. The post was part of another blogger’s weekly prompts, from a lovely blog called A Little But a Lot.

Autumn has always been my favorite season. The temperature becomes chilly yet cozy, the color of the changing leaves is enchanting, and the season is perfect for cuddling up to someone you love with a cup of coffee and a good book.

Now that I’m living on the coast, I feel like I miss out on autumn a little compared to what I experienced every year while living in Asheville, NC. Autumn in the Appalachian Mountains is stunning, and if you’ve never experienced it, I recommend planning an autumn vacation there one day.



There are so many book covers that reflect autumn colors, and here are just a few of my favorites!


The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Goodreads | Amazon

I have a tendency to read a lot of fantasy in autumn, so it’s no wonder that The Priory of the Orange Tree was the first book that came to mind. The shades of orange that make up the sky along with the dark red of the tower roof are reminiscent of autumn leaves. I’m actually hoping to read this massive novel this fall, so it’s doubly fitting to be the first in this list.


Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads | Amazon
Read my review

One of the animals I frequently associate with autumn is crows. They’re lovely, intelligent creatures, and I have a particular appreciation for book covers with crows on them. It’s not only the crow on the cover of Crooked Kingdom that reminds me of fall, but also the color scheme itself.

The Fireman Joe Hill

The Fireman by Joe Hill

Goodreads | Amazon
Review coming soon!

I’m sorry if this is morbid, but the cover of The Fireman reminds me of a bonfire, and bonfires are best in the autumn. The book is actually about a virus that causes humans to spontaneously combust. I read this book requently and enjoyed it, so there will be a review coming soon!

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Read my review

Neil Gaiman’s writing is usually best read in autumn and winter, but The Graveyard Book should be required reading every October. This is my favorite book from one of my favorite authors and is set in a graveyard. I re-read this book every year near Halloween, and encourage you to do the same!

Enchantment of Ravens Margaret Rogerson.jpg

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Goodreads | Amazon

This cover screams autumn to me. The colors, the raven and its feathers, and the main character’s gorgeous dress. It’s beautiful.

Hallowe'en Party Agatha Christie.jpg

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

Goodreads | Amazon

Is this one a bit too obvious? Oh well. I’ve never heard anyone talk about this book, but I recently bought an ebook copy for my Kindle and want to read it in the next week or so. I don’t think I need to explain why this cover reminds me of autumn…

What are your favorite autumnal book covers? Let me know in the comments!

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10 Books to Help You Celebrate National Women’s Equality Day


Women’s Equality Day was first celebrated in 1973 when the U.S. Congress passed a bill to make August 26 a day to celebrate equality between men and women. For obvious reasons, equality between all genders is important and is always worth celebrating.


Here are ten books to help you celebrate feminism and women’s equality. If you have any other recommendations that you don’t see on this list, please let me know in the comments!

The synopses for these books are courtesy of Goodreads and the publishers.

A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft


Writing in an age when the call for the rights of man had brought revolution to America and France, Mary Wollstonecraft produced her own declaration of female independence in 1792. Passionate and forthright, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman attacked the prevailing view of docile, decorative femininity, and instead laid out the principles of emancipation: an equal education for girls and boys, an end to prejudice, and for women to become defined by their profession, not their partner. Mary Wollstonecraft’s work was received with a mixture of admiration and outrage – Walpole called her ‘a hyena in petticoats’ – yet it established her as the mother of modern feminism.

The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan


Landmark, groundbreaking, classic—these adjectives barely do justice to the pioneering vision and lasting impact of The Feminine Mystique. Published in 1963, it gave a pitch-perfect description of “the problem that has no name”: the insidious beliefs and institutions that undermined women’s confidence in their intellectual capabilities and kept them in the home. Writing in a time when the average woman first married in her teens and 60 percent of women students dropped out of college to marry, Betty Friedan captured the frustrations and thwarted ambitions of a generation and showed women how they could reclaim their lives. Part social chronicle, part manifesto, The Feminine Mystique is filled with fascinating anecdotes and interviews as well as insights that continue to inspire.

Women, Culture, and Politics by Angela Y. Davis


A collection of her speeches and writings which address the political and social changes of the past decade as they are concerned with the struggle for racial, sexual, and economic equality.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay


Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years and commenting on the state of feminism today. The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.

Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks


A groundbreaking work of feminist history and theory analyzing the complex relations between various forms of oppression. Ain’t I a Woman examines the impact of sexism on black women during slavery, the historic devaluation of black womanhood, black male sexism, racism within the recent women’s movement, and black women’s involvement with feminism.

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit


In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.

She ends on a serious note— because the ultimate problem is the silencing of women who have something to say, including those saying things like, “He’s trying to kill me!”

This book features that now-classic essay with six perfect complements, including an examination of the writer Virginia Woolf ’s embrace of mystery, of not knowing, of doubt and ambiguity, a highly original inquiry into marriage equality, and a terrifying survey of the scope of contemporary violence against women.

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West


Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible–like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you–writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.

From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.

With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss–and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf


A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women’s colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers of and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series of lectures, titled Women and Fiction, and hence the essay, are considered nonfiction. The essay is seen as a feminist text, and is noted in its argument for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock


In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Those twenty-three hundred words were life-altering for the People.com editor, turning her into an influential and outspoken public figure and a desperately needed voice for an often voiceless community. In these pages, she offers a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America.

Welcomed into the world as her parents’ firstborn son, Mock decided early on that she would be her own person—no matter what. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving yet ill-equipped family that lacked the money, education, and resources necessary to help her thrive. Mock navigated her way through her teen years without parental guidance, but luckily, with the support of a few close friends and mentors, she emerged much stronger, ready to take on—and maybe even change—the world.

This powerful memoir follows Mock’s quest for identity, from an early, unwavering conviction about her gender to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that saw her transitioning during the tender years of high school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world alone for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. With unflinching honesty, Mock uses her own experience to impart vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave girls like herself.

Despite the hurdles, Mock received a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned a master’s degree, enjoyed the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. She remained deeply guarded until she fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams. Love fortified her with the strength to finally tell her story, enabling her to embody the undeniable power of testimony and become a fierce advocate for a marginalized and misunderstood community. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness provides a whole new outlook on what it means to be a woman today, and shows as never before how to be authentic, unapologetic, and wholly yourself.

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins


From one of the fiercest critics writing today, Morgan Jerkins’ highly-anticipated collection of linked essays interweaves her incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism with her own experiences to confront the very real challenges of being a black woman today—perfect for fans of Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist, Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

Morgan Jerkins is only in her twenties, but she has already established herself as an insightful, brutally honest writer who isn’t afraid of tackling tough, controversial subjects. In This Will Be My Undoing, she takes on perhaps one of the most provocative contemporary topics: What does it mean to “be”—to live as, to exist as—a black woman today? This is a book about black women, but it’s necessary reading for all Americans.

Want to read some more feminist & women-positive books?

With the Fire on High | Pride and Prejudice | The Sun and Her Flowers | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy | A Very Large Expanse of Sea | Becoming

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A Toni Morrison Reading List


Author Toni Morrison died earlier this week August 5th, 2019. 

I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard of this influential author, but I wanted to talk about why she’s so important and leave a reading list of her books down below.

One of the reasons that Toni Morrison has been such a powerful figure in literature was her commitment to race equality and feminism.

When she first began writing in the early 1970s, she was one of the only authors writing strictly African American literature. She also had a role in publishing other African American writers while she worked as an editor for Random House. She essentially ushered in a wave of black literature into a society that desperately needed it.

Morrison won a dizzying number of awards during her lifetime, all of them much deserved, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Norman Mailer Prize, and the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Before I get into the reading list, I wanted to share a few of her quotes that you should definitely know:

“Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.”

“What I’m interested in is writing without the gaze, without the white gaze. … In so many earlier books by African-American writers, particularly the men, I felt that they were not writing to me. But what interested me was the African-American experience throughout whichever time I spoke of. It was always about African-American culture and people — good, bad, indifferent, whatever — but that was, for me, the universe.”

“Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.”

“The enemy is not men. The enemy is the concept of patriarchy, the concept of patriarchy as the way to run the world or do things.”

“Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind.”

Toni Morrison Reading List

While this is not a complete list of her works, here are ten of the most important books she wrote.

Did Toni Morrison have an impact on you? What are your favorite books of hers? Let me know in the comments.

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10 Fantasy Series I Want to Read


Fantasy has been my favorite genre of literature since I was a child. I love whimsy, new worlds, magic, swords, and so many other classic elements of fantasy.

It’s the genre that I read most frequently, but there are so many fantasy series that I still need to read. Here are the ten that I’m most excited about!

The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson


I discovered my love of Brandon Sanderson at the very beginning of 2019 when I read the first two books in the Stormlight Archives series, The Way of Kings and Words of RadianceAlthough I can’t imagine loving anything more than the Stormlight Archives series, I’ve heard that the Mistborn series is the favorite of many Brandon Sanderson fans. I know it’ll probably take me a long time to get through, as it’s a seven book series and Sanderson tends to write long books, but I know it’ll be worth it.

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan


The first book in this series, The Eye of the World, came out in 1990, and I’m surprised that I’ve never read this. There are fourteen books in this series, and it’s high fantasy, so I have a feeling I’ll really enjoy it.

The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski


Out of all the series on this list, this is the one that I’m most surprised I haven’t read yet. I was never a gamer growing up, but all of that changed when a friend introduced me to The Witcher 3. The game literally blew my mind. The landscape is gorgeous, the story is fascinating, the gameplay is exciting, and you can play the game over and over again and still not see everything. I purchased a PS4 just so I could buy and play this game. I have the first few books in the series, and I have absolutely no idea why I’ve been putting it off. I know I’m going to enjoy the series immensely.

The Broken Earth by N.K. Jemisin


I keep hearing really good things about this fantasy/science fiction series, and it has some post-apocalyptic elements, so I really need to read this. Plus, I keep hearing that N.K. Jemisin writes beautifully, and I want to experience that.

Legends of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong


Back when I first started this blog, I did some research on Chinese literature because it’s something that interests me. (psst, Meonicorn over at The Bookish Land did a great guest post on Chinese literature!) I came across this series and kept seeing the author referred to as the greatest Chinese fantasy writer. There’s a new translation of this series coming out starting with the first book, A Hero Bornbeing released in September. I requested and was lucky enough to receive an ARC from the publisher, so there will be a review coming within the next month!

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab


I recently read V.E. Schwab’s Vicious and adored it, just like I loved her middle-grade novel, City of GhostsThis series deals with parallel universes, which is a topic that I’ve always loved in fantasy, so I can’t wait to read this series!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber


Last year on Black Friday, Book Outlet had a massive sale and I bought a copy of Caraval, the first book in a trilogy. It’s been sitting in my TBR pile all this time and I haven’t found time to read it yet. The third and final book in the series, Finale, was released back in May 2019, and now that the whole trilogy is out it might be fun to binge through the whole thing.

The Witchlands by Susan Dennard


I’ve always had a soft spot for witchy fantasy books, so this is an obvious addition to the list. I first heard about this series from a few of my favorite fantasy-loving booktubers, and this is one that I definitely want to read sooner rather than later.

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss


This is one of those books that literally pop up in every single fantasy recommendations list. It’s a modern classic, and I know I’ll be reading this soon – I just bought a copy, so look for a review sometime in the next month or so!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman


Booktuber Chelsea Palmer introduced me to this series, and it sounds amazing! While most of the fantasy I read is high fantasy, this is urban fantasy, so it’ll be a subgenre that’s relatively new to me. It also sounds really dark, which is always a win for me!


Want some more fantasy recommendations?

Six of Crows | Roar | Furthermore | An Ember in the Ashes | The Light Between Worlds

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Happy Memorial Day! 5 Books to Help You Understand What Soldiers Live Through


Today is Memorial Day in the United States. This holiday was celebrated as long ago as 1868 and is meant to be a day of remembrance for the many, many members of the Armed Forces who have lost their lives.

Here are five books that will help you understand what the life of soldiers on the front lines are like.

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane


This classic novel is set during the American Civil War. It’s the story of one soldier, Henry Fleming, who finds himself in the center of a brutal battle and deserts. He does return to his regiment but has to learn to deal with the shame that follows deserting.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway


Part of what Ernest Hemingway is known for is writing about war. In this novel, an American ambulance drive falls in love with an English nurse during World War I on the Italian front.

Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel


David Finkel’s nonfiction book is about the lives of the US 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad. Not only do we find out what it’s actually like to be on the front lines, but Finkel followed them home to find out how the soldiers deal with what they saw and did during their time at war.

Dispatches by Michael Herr


Michael Herr wrote this book during the Vietnam War while he was on the front lines, and it’s a brutal look at what happened during those years when American troops fought there.

Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free: Memoirs of a Tuskegee Airman and POW by Alexander Jefferson


This memoir is one of very few written by African American soldiers during World War II, and also serves as his account of life in a German prison camp.

Do you know of any other books that examine the lives of troops on the front line, fiction or non-fiction? If so, let me know in the comments.

And if you’re a service member yourself, thank you for all of your service.

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The Five Best Adult Magical Realism Books


Magical realism is a genre that creates a bridge between reality and the slightly whimsical.

It differs from genres such as fantasy and science fiction by being firmly planted in our world, our reality. In magical realism, we recognize the world in which the story takes place, but there’s an element that is slightly unusual or magical.

One of the reasons I’m personally so drawn to magical realism is that I’ve always had a deep appreciation of surrealist art, and magical realism is its literary equivalent.

Magical realism is wonderful for people that don’t want to take the plunge into fantasy quite yet. Here are five of the best adult magical realism novels.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


Read My Full Review Here

The Night Circus is a beautifully written novel about a traveling circus and a magic competition. While some people think it’s a story that moves too slowly, I enjoyed the atmospheric setting and the whimsy that Morgenstern created.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez


Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude is considered the first magical realism novel. Released in 1967, it still defines the genre. The story focuses on seven generations of the Buendia family, whose patriarch founded the fictional town of Macondo.

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

White is for Witching - Helen Oyeyemi

Read My Full Review Here
(Note: This review was the very first for this blog!)

White is for Witching is a creepy story about a sentient, magical house. Mysterious things happen, and one of the house’s residents, Miri, seems to be falling down a deep hole of discovering the house’s secrets. It’s a beautifully written novel.

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie


Salman Rushdie is one of my favorite writers for quality of his prose. When I read The Ground Beneath Her Feet, I felt as though I was reading some of the most lyrically beautiful writing in the world. Midnight’s Children is about a man named Saleem, who was one of 1,001 children born at midnight on the eve of India’s independence. All of the children are endowed with special gifts.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger


Similar to One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Time Traveler’s Wife is widely considered a classic of the genre. It’s a story about love lasting throughout time. The couple in the story, Henry and Clare, try to lead a normal life while Henry is pulled back and forth throughout time.

What is your favorite magical realism novel? Let me know in the comments below!

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Puff Puff Pass: 10 Books About Marijuana for 420

10 Books about Weed for 420

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in nine states, weed is becoming more mainstream. April 20th, or 420 as enthusiasts refer to it, is a day that celebrates weed culture. What began with some teenagers meeting at 4:20 PM behind their high school has become embraced by a number of people who enjoy getting a little buzzed.

Here are ten books that celebrate the history and culture of marijuana.

The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook: More than 50  Irresistible Recipes That Will Get You High


The Cannabis Spa at Home: How to Make Marijuana-Infused Lotions, Massage Oils, Ointments, Bath Salts, Spa Nosh, and More by Sandra Hinchliffe51pDwGXS8+L._SX490_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The Little Black Book of Marijuana: The Essential Guide to the World of Cannabis by Steve Elliott


A Woman’s Guide to Cannabis: Using Marijuana to Feel Better, Look Better, Sleep Better – and Get High Like a Lady by Nikki Furrer51l2tUWvqQL._SX381_BO1,204,203,200_ (1).jpg

Ganja Yoga: A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery by Dee Dussault and Georgia Bardi


The ABCs of CBD: The Essential Guide for Parents (and Regular Folks Too): Why Pot is NOT What We Were Taught by Shira Adler41lvnuVvNrL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis by Julie Holland, M.D.


The Cannabis Manifesto: A New Paradigm for Wellness by Steve DeAngelo


Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed and Business by Ashley Picillo


Cannabis Revealed: How the World’s Most Misunderstood Plant is Healing Everything from Chronic Pain to Epilepsy by Bonnie Goldstein, M.D.51e4eJijppL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Know of any other books about 420 and marijuana that I left out? Let me know in the comments.

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Gorgeous Book Covers to Swoon Over

Like most book lovers, I am an absolute sucker for gorgeous books. As much as I don’t want to admit it, sometimes I can’t help but judge a book by its cover. Here are ten of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen recently.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


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Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng


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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley


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The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath by Ishbelle Bee

The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


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The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty


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The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig


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The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner


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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi; great books to read; best books of 2018; read yourself happy; book review; book blog

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Sunshine State by Sarah Gerard


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