Saturday, August 7, 2021
new location for Snug Shelf!
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
review: the ten thousand doors of january by alix harrow
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
by Alix Harrow
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019
"When I was seven, I found a door."
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Monday, February 1, 2021
Leftovers (to finish from previous months)
1) Ashes (Seeds of America #3) by Laurie Halse Anderson
This was on my 2021 reading list for January, and I didn't quite finish, so we march on! It's great so far.
2) Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist
I have a list of places, people, and subjects I want to learn more about, and this year's focus place in New Orleans! I got this book while I was in NOLA last year, so I thought this was a great place to start.
3) Transcendant Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
4) White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
This was my anti-racism pick for January, and I expect to finish it in the next few days. I wanted to take my time with it, because there's a lot to unpack and think about. Very useful book for me.
5) Lore by Alexandra Bracken
6) The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
7) A Blade so Black (The Nightmare-Verse #1) by L. L. McKinney
Books from my 2021 list
1) Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
2) Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
3) White Oleander by Janet Fitch
This is the oldest book on my TBR, shelved on Goodreads in January of 2010. I hope it's worth the wait!
4) Escape from Disaster (Antartica #2) by Peter Lerangis
5) Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Garth Davis
6) Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
7) The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sunday, January 31, 2021
I haven't quite accomplished my reading goals this month, but I did get a few books finished, which is pretty good for me nowadays! Here are the books I read in January (covers link to Goodreads):
1) The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow
"I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider, so the light of other suns shines through; I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics; I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return."We started with a stunner! Ten Thousand Doors of January was such a beautiful and magical book. It centers on January Scaller, a girl who discovers doors between worlds, and learns more about herself and her family in the process. It also includes lots of underdogs fighting against old, evil rich men which I am always here for. I read this book this month because it had the word 'January' in the title, and I loved the section where January's learns why she is named after such a normally dreary month.
2) Little House (Little House, #1) in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
“She thought to herself, "This is now." She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”
I recently got the book The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books, so I decided to read the series alongside this book focused on the landscapes, practices, and history behind Wilder's real life. It's been quite a delightful experience, not only to dive back into a childhood favorite, but also to learn more about real frontier life.
3) The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
“The only glory to be had was the glory of surviving.”
This story centers on Carrie McGavock, a woman whose home is taken over as a hospital for Confederate soldiers after the battle of Franklin. Carrie is portrayed in this novel as quite grim, fairly selfish, and taken to fits of violence, it seems. I think this characterization does a disservice to the real Carrie McGavock. I could attribute my dislike for this novel to this or many other factors. For one, I've rarely been a huge fan of novels or nonfiction books set during war time. I picked this one up because it's set in Franklin, TN, and as a native Tennessean, I've been through there before. However, the setting wasn't much of a factor, other than being the place where the real-life story behind this novel took place. The romance in this book was super weird and felt forced. And, it's told from a white, Confederate/indifferent perspective, with the only Black voice in the book being somewhat of the "loyal slave" archetype. The novel seemed to be really pushing the futility and meaningless of war, portraying both sides as the same, and I just couldn't sit with that. I can still say I'm happy I finally read this, as it was the oldest book on my to-read shelf on Goodreads, added in 2010!!
4) The Burning (Guardians of Ga'Hoole, #6) by Kathryn Lasky
5) What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller
6) The Clue of the Tapping Heels (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #16) by Carolyn Keene
7) The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
my favorite holiday reads
1) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens. It was first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from a supernatural visit by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian era Britain, a period when there was strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions together with the introduction of new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens' sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.
It's a classic for a reason! This short and sweet story is great for a quick plot that you'll almost certainly be familiar with, and could double as an easy way to make your reading goal for the year, at just under 100 pages.
2) Let it Snow (anthology)
3) Ex-mas by Kate Brian
Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler's older brother, Beau, a.k.a. Lila's musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.
It'll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love...all over again?
A super cute and fluffy read, this book follows two exes who band together on Christmas Eve to track down their brothers. It involves road trips, hate-to-love relationships, and adorable siblings.
4) Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."
So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
5) My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories (anthology)
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
1) The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish: to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she'll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in eighteenth-century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.
As Nannerl's hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.
In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.
2) Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
3) Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
4) A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
As a prophecy of doom cuts across the sky—a comet the color of blood and flame—six factions struggle for control of a divided land. Eddard’s son Robb has declared himself King in the North. In the south, Joffrey, the heir apparent, rules in name only, victim of the scheming courtiers who teem over King’s Landing. Robert’s two brothers each seek their own dominion, while a disfavored house turns once more to conquest. And a continent away, an exiled queen, the Mother of Dragons, risks everything to lead her precious brood across a hard hot desert to win back the crown that is rightfully hers.
A Clash of Kings transports us into a magnificent, forgotten land of revelry and revenge, wizardry and wartime. It is a tale in which maidens cavort with madmen, brother plots against brother, and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside.
Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, the price of glory may be measured in blood. And the spoils of victory may just go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when rulers clash, all of the land feels the tremors.
5) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Monday, November 30, 2020
fable by adrienne young - the one where there really should be pirates but sadly there are none
by Adrienne Young
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020
"That bastard was leaving me again."
For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn't who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they're going to stay alive.
Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.
*Thanks to Wednesday Books and the author for the chance to read Fable before its publication date.