Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Book Blogs & Bookish Websites


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Favorite Book Blogs & Bookish Websites

I really like this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. In no particular order, I’m listing my top ten favorite book blogs and websites. Click on the links to take you directly to these resources. Hope you guys enjoy!

  1. Literary Hub. This website holds a special place in my heart because it is the very first bookish website I found. It is the best website for finding articles about literary fiction. They also keep on top of new releases, current literary trends, and perhaps the best thing about it, it leads you to other bookish websites! I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out on any new happenings in the literary world.
  2. Book Marks. This is the review portion of Literary Hub’s site. Is that cheating? Ah well, go check it out anyhow!  Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.33.12 PM
  3. The Bibliotheque. I love the aesthetic of this blog! It’s so pretty 😀 It also has a great mix of book talk, lifestyle posts, and helpful tips for newbies on things like Bookstagram.
  4. BookRiot. Another bookish website I found early on, and again, I recommend signing up for one of their newsletters. I’m partial to this website’s yearly challenge — Read Harder. I also really like their comics and young adult sections. Their writers seem young and forward-thinking, so I always enjoy what they have to say. Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.34.51 PM
  5. Howling Libraries. I discovered Destiny on Goodreads first, but then HAD to check out her blog. Honestly, it was her amazing pink hair that drew me in. But it was her thoughtful (and frequent) book reviews that kept me coming back.
  6. Fiction No Chaser. This one is a new discovery. The blog is run by Jess & Teagan, and what I love about it most is that their reviews come with a “pairs well with” section (for those of you 21 and older!). In their most recent post, they tell you how to make a painkiller to go along with their review of The Ruthless Gentleman. So clever! I ❤ it!: Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.36.14 PM
  7. One Book Two. Two ladies. One book. Two reviews. At least, that’s how it is most of the time. They don’t always get two reviews for the same book. BUT, I just really like that they try to give two points of view. Plus, they usually have a recommendations section at the end of the reviews where you can find similar books that you might enjoy.
  8. Simply A Book Drunkard. I’m realizing I may have a thing for literature + cocktail themed blogs…A good place for short, concise reviews. The blogger, Milou, is Dutch, and her reviews are great! I also really like her series Down the TBR Hole. She’s currently on the sixteenth post in that series (as of the time of writing this).Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.37.36 PM
  9. CrimeReads. If crime is your thing, I hope you know about this site as it holds a plethora of information on all things crime lit. As you may notice, this is another offshoot of Literary Hub. I think I may be obsessed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  10. The Walrus. The link provided is to the Books & Fiction section of the website. Just trust me on this one. Most of the articles are thought pieces inspired by books. Check it out!!!

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As always, let me know your thoughts on the best book blogs or websites in the comments section. Or, link me to your TTT. Happy reading, loves!

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#TopTenTuesday – Books with Sensory Memories


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Books with Sensory Memories

Oooo, this is a juicy topic!

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Okay, now that I’ve distracted us all with that Emma Stone gif…. back to it! Sense memories! You know, things you see or feel or taste or smell that remind you of such-and-such time that your brother’s sister’s mother’s uncle did that one thing and everyone was like…

You get the idea!

The first book that popped into my head was Eclipse (Twilight #3). I was on a vacation with my parents and my sister when I was reading this. And, if I remember correctly, we were in an area where the only activities were 1) go out on the lake or 2) go shopping. So, I was able to do a LOT of reading! Anyhoo, I was on Twilight 3 and I devoured it and #4 in like a day and a half. So now anytime I see these books I’m reminded of that vacay!

This next book was a bit harder to come up with. Which books did I associate with other sights, sounds or smells!?!? I yelled at myself. Enter:  Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. You know those little tabby sticky notes, especially yellow ones, yeah. Those are what I associate Great Expectations with. When I was reading it in high school, like the little precocious thing that I was, I kept sticking those little yellow tabs (on nearly every page!) in the book so now anytime I see a package of them, I think of Dickens. Weird, right?

This next sense memory is NOT so pleasant. Roach spray. Yep, you saw that right. Roach spray. When I was living in Texas those things were the scariest, hugest, bane of my existence ever! And when I was trying to read The Hunger Games, those MFers just kept coming at me. The odds were NOT in my favor. I really hope my books don’t smell like roach spray now… 😦 Stupid Texas cockroaches!

Uuuuh, uuuuh, apparently I don’t have many sense memories.

Any time I smell hot cocoa or feel the warmth from my gas fireplace it reminds me of when I was reading Queen of Shadows by SJM. There’s actually a photo of the particular night this whole sense memory came together on my IG. I was in my jam-jams. It was cold out so I had on my fuzzy booties too. I turned the fire on low, got my cup of cocoa and just read all night. Of course, that’s not the first time I had done that (book, cocoa, fire), but for some reason (maybe because there’s a picture of it) Queen of Shadows is what I associate with those smells and feels now.

Salty tears remind me of when I was reading Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Terrible movie by the way! Just awful, but the book really got me in the feels. I read it after I’d gone through a really hard time, and I will probably always associate it with salty tears on my cold cheeks on a hot summer day.

Lumberjanes vol. 1 is the next thing that comes to mind. My old office, think dungeony and soul-sucking, is what I associate with this delightful girl-power romp. Weird juxtaposition that!

All right. Made it to six! Now for four more…

Here’s another not so fun one. Period cramps. I had a particularly bad case when I was on vacation in Florida one year, which happened to be the same year that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published. So, now I associate period cramps with defeating Voldemort. I think that’s fitting.

The first year of college is always full of memories, sense and otherwise. I think maybe our senses go into overdrive that year. Or maybe that was just me. Anyway, I still remember the way my room smelled (like hairspray and mold GROSS), and the feel of the cold tile floors on my bare feet, and my soft, fuzzy blue blanket on my way-too-tiny twin bed, and on and on. My RA that year invited several of us to read a book with her. It was my first foray into fantasy, and I will never forget it, The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.

Bubble baths and witches. Those obviously go together right? Well, for me they do. The scent of lavender bubble bath brings me back to when I was reading Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older. Also, whiskey. I was inspired by the cover art and spent one very interesting evening thinking I could be an artist. Silly ole liquid!

Iced coffee and Barnes & Noble Starbucks = Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. That may have been the only day I actually enjoyed this book. Hmmm.

Let me know about your bookish sense memories in the comments, or point me to your TTT.

Happy reading, loves!

 

 

 

#TopTenTuesday – Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

Well, I’ve only read 23 books so far, so that doesn’t give me much to choose from.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll just go in the order I read them rather than try to rank them. 😀

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Sky

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.

Sisters of Sorrow by Axel Blackwell.

The Dance Gods by Kenny Pearl.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham.

Darn it! I only made it to five. Well, that will have to do. These are the books, of the ones I’ve read so far this year, that I would recommend to others. I loved them all for different reasons:  the Russian setting in The Crown’s Game, the characters in A Torch Against the Night, the edge-of-your-seat writing in Sisters of Sorrow, the inspiration I felt from The Dance Gods, and the laugh-cry that was Talking as Fast as I Can.

I look forward to whatever else 2018 has to throw at me (literary and otherwise)! Let me know what you’ve loved reading this year in the comments, or point me to your TTT.

Happy reading, loves!

 

 

 

Operation Salazar by Dan Lawton — A Review

28246585Operation Salazar by Dan Lawton

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From Goodreads:  “A home invasion uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to overthrow a nationwide criminal enterprise.”

The above is a really great summary of this book. Home invasion –> Bigger criminal network than we originally thought –> Our characters are in too deep to get out. So, all you folks who like to binge on every variation of Law & Order ever…you may dig this. Or, maybe if you’re a fan of Breaking Bad or Narcos. This story is told from the perspective of the “bad guys” after all.

Operation Salazar is pretty typical mystery/suspense fare. I’m not sure if I was given an uncorrected proof or not, but the thing was riddled with enough errors to set my teeth on edge, and I almost gave up more than once. I didn’t though. I powered through. Why? I don’t really know. I didn’t particularly care for it. The plot was stale and overdone and it failed to ever really pull me in. But, it may be a pretty decent read for someone who likes mystery and suspense. Maybe? Or, if you need to tick another book read off your to-read list, this one will do. It’s pretty short and easy to read.

I wish I had some positive things to say about this…The ending was pretty decent. It was realistic. I appreciated that.

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I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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Sisters of Sorrow by Axel Blackwell — A Review

25348662Sisters of Sorrow by Axel Blackwell

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Summary:

Anna Dufresne lives in a factory that eats children. If the brutal machines don’t kill Anna, her guardians’ neglect and abuse probably will. The only thing this abandoned teen wants is out. But the factory is inside a stone fortress, on an island, where people are sent to be forgotten. It serves as a dumping ground — both for orphans who are not welcome at finer institutions, and for nuns who have disgraced the Church. The walls of Saint Frances du Chantal’s Orphan Asylum hum with secrets and buried scandal.

In the catacombs below the factory, something long dead, something almost forgotten, stirs. It offers Anna a key, and promises freedom, if she will seek it out when she escapes. She knows her plan will endanger the other children, but Anna cannot resist the call of freedom.

Her escape attempt triggers a chain reaction of chaos, shaking the orphanage to its foundation and laying bare its deadly secrets. As Anna flees into the night, she discovers that the evil nuns were the least of her worries. The swirling mist of the island hides terrors more dangerous than she could ever imagine.

Oh. My. God. Just, wow! I was surprised at how good this was! Very original. I did not want to put the darn thing down! Too bad I had to do things like sleep and go to work. Why are those things always getting in the way!?

Anyhoo, Anna. Poor Anna. What a truly awful hand she was dealt in life. The first bit of the book set up my expectations for a kind of Annie-like story where a beaten-down orphan may eventually overcome her life of misery and find some happiness. But. That’s not exactly what happened.

I do NOT want to give away any kind of spoilers for this because in my opinion, what makes this book work so well is that you are constantly wondering what is going to happen next. There is some serious edge-of-your-seat writing going on here.

It’s suspenseful, atmospheric, heartbreaking, scary, and wonderful. I highly recommend it.

If you like dark, moody, supernatural settings, this one is definitely for you! I now have to get my hands on anything else Axel Blackwell has written. Happy reading, loves!

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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