Thursday, October 31, 2019

TBR Time

Hi reader friends!  I thought I would take time to show you the books on my TBR right now.  Loose TBR - you know how it is with books: I have one I am currently reading (and loving), but we'll see how I feel when I really start getting into the rest of them.

(Also, for some of these books, it seemed totally appropriate to show off the mug I won in the Supernatural room at Fargo CoreCon earlier this year!  Totally awesome, right?)

Currently Reading:

Coming Up Next:

Okay, reader friends - your turn. What's on your TBR right now?  Share some books with me down in the comments.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Book Blog Post Ideas

Good day reader friends!  If you are a book blogger. chances are, at some point you've found yourself wondering what the heck to post about.

So, I've put together this lovely post full of idea you can use any time you're searching for ideas and just don't know what to do!

(And yeah, like these are geared towards bloggers, since I am a blogger as well - but they'll also work for booktubers if that's what you do!)

Anytime Of The Year
* Get to Know Me Posts - Perfect for new blogger
* Book Hauls
* Library Book Hauls 
* Kiss, Marry, Kill 
* Monthly Wrap-Up Posts
* If you liked ________, Try _____________!
* Who are your favorite fictional characters?
* Bookish giveaways
* Soundtrack Posts - which songs would it really well with whichever book you are reading?
* Favorite reading positions
* Favorite bookish snacks
* Bookshelf Tours
* Book Club Book Ideas
* Favorite Book Quotes
* Favorite fictional characters (can be series specific, or random based on any characters you really love)

Weekly Memes:
* Mailbox Monday: Hosted By Mailbox Monday, this weekly meme gives you the chance to talk about books you've gotten in the mail over the past week
* Top Ten Tuesday: Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, this weekly meme gives you a chance to post your top ten books based on a certain topic. 
*Can't Wait Wednesday: Hosted by Wishful Endings, this weekly meme gives you a chance to talk about upcoming book releases that you just can't wait to read! 

* Beginning of the Year Book Haul
* Books You are most looking forward to reading in the new year
* January 2 is Science Fiction day: Write about your favorite science fiction books

* Favorite Romance Books 
* Favorite Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends/Theyfriends
* A couple days in February have been named "food themed holidays." What are you favorite books that revolve around food?

* Mid Year Book Wrap Up
* New book releases you are most looking forward to for the rest of the year
* Summer Reads you are most excited about!

* Favorite Summer Romances

* Favorite books about school, that feature school, etc

* Favorite horror books
* Favorite Halloween-ish/Scary Characters  

* Books/Authors you are especially thankful for

* Books you are hoping to get as holiday gifts
* End of the year wrap-up
* Favorite books featuring a December Holiday (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or others)

Okay, reader friends - now it's your turn!  If you have any other ideas your fellow book bloggers can use on their blogs, post some ideas in the comments below. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Doll Bones - Holly Black

Title: Doll Bones
Author: Holly Black
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 2 Stars


Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice.

But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . . 

Zach, Poppy, and Alice are three kids who have been friends their entire childhood.  They have played a game of piracy and adventure for years.  Then Zach's dad gets angry, tells Zach that, at 12 years old, Zach is "too old to be playing these games," that it's time for Zach to grow up, and then he throws away Zach's action figures.  Keep in mind that Zach is 12 YEARS OLD!

Ok, so this leads Zach to shutting himself off from his friends - oh no, wait, just Poppy.  He still thinks Alice is the shit and wants to hang with her.  But Poppy and her friendship and the insistence on playing the game are just too much for him.

So, after a few days, Poppy says that the Queen, this bone china doll in her home, has been sending her dreams that the person she was created from needs to be buried and given a proper funeral so she can stop haunting people.  This leads to Alice, Poppy, and Zach leaving their home at like 2 in the morning to go running off on a bus to some town hours away to bury a doll.  And they are 12 YEARS OLD!

Anyway, rambling about the fact that they are 12 aside, let's talk about what I thought.

I wish that Poppy would have been the main protagonist.  She drove the story, but Zach was the narrator.  Everything they did in the story revolved around Poppy, though, and she was the one who made everything they did happen.  She should have been the narrator.

The romance in this story was small, but it was there, and it was completely unnecessary.  About 3/4 of the way through the book, Zach suddenly decides out of nowhere that he wants to go on a date with Alice, who's wanted to date him for a while, and again I feel I must point out THEY ARE 12. This little snippet did nothing for the story and plot and the nothing would have been different in this book had the romance not been there.

I found it hard to believe that these kids just took off and nobody was looking for them while they were running around god knows where trying to bury a doll in some cemetery in East Liverpool.  Don't you think there parents would have had people searching for them?!

The ending, to me, was just a bit too convenient and wrapped up a bit too nicely.  Poppy and Zach spent a lot of the books fighting - I still don't really know why, but from what I gather it was just because Zach was annoyed that she wanted to play the game, and even though he did too he pretended he didn't because his dad threw away his toys.... So, like he was sort of just annoyed with his dad and taking it out on Poppy.  Anyway - the ending!  THE ENDING!  It was just off to me.  They get to this graveyard after sneaking out of the library (where a librarian conveniently showed up on her day off and forced the kids to call their parents.)  So, anyway, they are out of the library, they find THE GRAVEYARD they've been looking for.  And in a span of just a few pages, they bury the doll, their parents show up and DON'T SAY A DAMN THING TO THEM, and everything between Poppy and Zach is wrapped up nicely by the simple act of burying a doll.  In fact, one of the things that happens on the last page is one of them asking the other "Wanna play?" And the other agreeing.  Like no talk about all their tension, all their anger towards each other, nothing.  I mean, it's been a long time since I was 12, but I just think there would have been more talk about them being mad - I don't know that they would have gotten over it that quickly.

Anyway, this book ended up being a bit more of a dud for me than I thought it would be. If you've read it, let me know what you thought in the comments!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Dating Profile Friday - Arya Stark

Name: Arya Stark

Likes: Sharpening Needle, tormenting Sansa, Becoming a Faceless Woman
Dislikes: Joffrey Lannister, Whoever killed Nymeria

About Me: When I first started learning the art of combat, nobody believed I could become a good fighter.  I proved them wrong, and showed them that a lady can do anything. I have killed, but only when necessary, and would do anything to save Winterfell from outsiders.

I plan to take over the world, lead the charge against any living Lannister, and become a powerful queen. If that doesn't intimidate you, you can find me at Winterfell. I'll be creating a plan for the Stark's to rule everything.

If you've created your own fake dating profiles for fictional characters, I'd love to see them. Drop a link in the comments.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark - Alvin Schwartz

Title: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Author: Alvin Schwartz
Illustrator: Brett Helquist
Format: Paperback
Rating: 3 Stars

This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz's popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright. There is a story here for everyone -- skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney. Stephen Gammell's splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories -- and even scary songs -- all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.If You Dare!

When originally published, the illustrations were done by Stephen Gammell, but the version I read had updated illustrations by Brett Helquist - also known as the guy who illustrated the Series of Unfortunate Events books.  Just thought I'd put that out there.

I read this as a group read with a facebook group I am in (The Booket List - come check them out if you're in the mood to join a really fun great book group!)

So, you can imagine that these stories are about as scary as a hangnail for grownups.  If you read the book as an adult, you are probably not going to be scared.  That being said - this was a fun and quick book to read.   The stories are fun and at some points even funny.  Yes, I said it - I laughed at some of these stories.  But I am 38, and was reading this book for fun and not really expecting to be scared.  

If you have kids who love to be scared and who love a good spooky story, this would be a great book to read with them!  

There is literally no character development here, and no plot to anything because these stories are all less then 5 pages.  So don't go into this thinking you're going to be reading some deep stories here, because you're not.  Just go into this with the expectation of having some (rather cheesy) fun.  While you're at it, use this as an opportunity to be like me and try to scare some kids you love.  (IF you feel they can handle it.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Extraordinary Book Titles

Hi everyone - Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday - a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This weeks topic is Extraordinary Book Titles. The titles I've picked are either books I've read and loved, or books that I have on my TBR that I am super super excited to read.

1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
2. All The Light we Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
4. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix - Julie C. Dao
5. 100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
7. The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
8. Between Shades of Grey - Ruta Sepetys
9. The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World - Amy Reed
10. The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn

Your turn reader friends - what book titles do you just absolutely love?  Let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Rules of Magic - Alice Hoffman

Title: The Rules of Magic
Author: Alice Hoffman
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Find your magic

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

The Rules of Magic is a prequel to the book Practical Magic, and follows the stories of Jet, Frannie, and their brother Vincent while they are young.

This novel had many magical aspects that made it very enchanting and fun to follow.   There was one thing that happened near the beginning of the novel that nearly made me stop reading though. One of the characters has this trait of being irresistible to others romantically.  So many people are attracted to him,  and one of his aunts neighbors uses that to her advantage and does stuff with him that no adult should ever do with a 14 year old child.  The authorities have used this as a chance to speak out against rape and sexual abuse against minors, but she didn't.  She should have because iny mind there is no reason a grown ass adult should ever be doing that with a child.  A leaning opportunity was sorely missed.

All that being said,  there were many things I did enjoy about this book.  I feel that the way the siblings learned about their magic in their own ways was good.  Their learning about who they are and coming of age as witches was well developed.

There were many different layers to this story - the side characters, the interactions between those characters and the main characters, the way we learned about the main characters and what they liked, and what they were like when they were young and as they got older.  The story is just filled with so much stuff that adds depth to this story and really makes you want to finish reading it.

I liked that this book had different settings and that the kids traveled and spent time at their aunt's house as well - I think having the story split between NYC and their aunt's house was good for the development of this story because it gives readers the chance to see what they kids are like in their home and in a different place.

Overall, I don't know that I would read this again, but it was a decent book and if you like magical realism you will probably enjoy this book.

Monday, October 7, 2019

My Zombie Apocalypse Team

Hey reader friends!  HAPPY OCTOBER!

Today, I am bringing you Literary Characters that would be on my Zombie Apocalypse team!  This post idea came from a list of prompts by Kelly over at Another Book In The Wall!

1. Tom Imura - Rot and Ruin Series.  If you've read these books, you know what happens to Tom.  That being said, I'd still have him on my team to fight the zombies.

2. Mad Eye Moody - Ok, so we all know Mad-Eye is, well, mad.  BUT, let's face it - having one of the best auror's ever on your side?  SO WORTH IT.

3. Baghra - sure, she was, you know, the Darkling's mother. But she's one bad ass lady, and she'd kill some zombies like it's going out of style.

4. Nina Zenik - I don't think I need to go into the details.  She kicks ass, and she has to help kill all the zombies.

5. Inej Ghafa - the baddest badass of all badass ladies - she'd be killing zombies before we could even know what was going on.

Ok, reader friends - your turn. If you had to pick some literary characters to be on your zombie apocalypse team, who would you pick?

Friday, October 4, 2019

Dating Profile Friday - Harry Potter

Name: Harry Potter
Education: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Job: Auror
Status: Divorced

Likes: Quidditch, brooms.
Dislikes: Haters, the Malfoys

About Me: I was a student at Hogwarts and though I didn't complete my NEWT's, I have gone on to become a successful auror with the Ministry of Magic.  I married my school sweetheart, and that didn't work out well, so now I am seeking one that I truly can spend the rest of my life with. I killed the worst dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. I guess you could say I'm still pretty amazing. 

If you send an owl, they'll always know where to find me, even when I'm traveling for work. 


If you've created your own dating profile for a character, post your link in the comments below - I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Can't-Wait Wednesday

Hi everyone - welcome to Can't Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings.

Now, you'll have to forgive me, because 2 of the books on my list have already been released (SHOCK AND AWE!) But to be fair, they were released yesterday, and it might be a while before I get to them because my TBR is HUGE!

The third book I am super super excited for right now is a romance by one of my FAVORITE YA authors -

I have to sit on my hands and wait because this book isn't being released until February 18, 2020!  But I am SO EXCITED. 

Your turn reader friends.  What upcoming books are you really excited to read right now?