Friday, September 30, 2022

September Reading Wrap Up


𝗦𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗿𝗮𝗽 𝗨𝗽

I can’t believe September is over. It flew by for me. As for reading, it was a good month. My two favorites this month were Stephen King’s Fairy Tale and Richard Osman’s The Bullet that Missed (3rd book in the Thursday Murder Club series.) Thank you to Simon & Schuster Audio for the gifted copies of Fairy Tale, The Furies, and Bad Day Breaking. Thank you to Harper Teen and author Robin Roe for the digital review copy of Dark Room Etiquette. 

QOTD: what was your favorite September read? 

Here’s my September break down.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- loved them! 
🎧 𝗙𝗮𝗶𝗿𝘆 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲- a adventure story about a boy and a dog to a magical land. The narration is incredible. 

🎧 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝘂𝗹𝗹𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗠𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 - this series keeps getting better! I love the characters especially Joyce. She’s a star. The narration is perfection. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- really liked these! 

🎧𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗲 𝗦𝗼𝘁𝗼 𝗜𝘀 𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗸- a retired tennis champ mounts a comeback. Features an unapologetically competitive female athlete. Perfect choice for sports fans. 

📖 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝗶𝗲𝗹𝗱𝘀- a solid debut featuring an interesting female detective who investigates the brutal murder of a childhood friend. 

🎧 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗙𝘂𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀- the latest in John Connolly’s long running Charlie Parker series. A PI investigates two different cases infused with the supernatural. 

🎧 𝗕𝗮𝗱 𝗗𝗮𝘆 𝗕𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴- the latest in John Galligan’s Bad Axe County series. Sheriff Heidi Kick has her hands full when a sketchy religious group moves in & the local community starts calling it a cult. 

📖 𝗗𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗥𝗼𝗼𝗺 𝗘𝘁𝗶𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲- a rich high school boy is kidnapped by a man claiming to be his biological father. A raw look at the effects of trauma on teens and families. 

📖 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝗚𝗵𝗼𝘀𝘁𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗛𝗼𝗺𝗲- a sheriff, running for re-election, investigates the murder of a local man who was killed at the community’s small airport on the same night a mysterious plane landed and was then abandoned. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️- just ok for me but lots of love from other readers

📖 𝗛𝗶𝗱𝗱𝗲𝗻 𝗣𝗶𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀- a young woman in recovery is hired as a nanny to a precocious little boy. She soon discovers the boy’s imaginary friend may not be so imaginary after all. 

#monthlywrapup #readingwrapup #crimefiction #audiobooks #bookstagram #speculativefiction #tennis #historicalfiction 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

This Tender Land


Author: William Kent Krueger

Publisher: Altria Books

Year: 2020

📖 𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝘆 𝗦𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆! 📖

I’m probably 𝐧𝐨𝐭 the last person in the world to read This Tender Land, but it’s been around long enough that a full review from me isn’t needed. 

I really enjoyed this hero’s journey featuring four unforgettable characters. Odie is an unlikely hero with a big heart. His screw-ups turn into miracles for the people he tries to help. I was surprised at the fantastical turn the story took regarding Emmy. I’m not usually a fan of magical realism, but the whole story was a magical trip and I thought it did fit in seamlessly with the story. 

This was a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me and it was a nice change of pace reading from me. Thanks to @thereadingteapot and @rjs.readingnook for the buddy read and discussion! 

QOTD: what’s your most recent five star read? 

Mine is Stephen King’s Fairy Tale by Stephen King. The audiobook is excellent. 

#thistenderland #williamkentkrueger #atriabooks #historicalfiction #herosjourney #riverjourney #adventure #depressionera #runaways #magicalrealism  

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Fairy Tale


Author: Stephen King 

Narrator: Seth Numrich

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2022

🎧 𝐀𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐨𝐛𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 🎧

You guys- I broke one of my cardinal rules of reading with this one. 

That rule is never, ever read a book that features a dog. Because it’s usually heartbreaking. (Thanks Where the Red Fern Grows!)

But this audiobook was so worth my rule breaking! This isn’t a classic Stephen King horror story. As the title says, it’s a fairy tale. But King reminds readers that the original fairy tales were dark and violent stories before Disney rewrote them. This is a hero’s journey to a magical land that’s been taken over by evil & cruelty. Main character Charlie is a high school kid who only wants to save the life of an old dog. This desire leads Charlie to another world, an ancient evil, and an epic adventure. 

The storytelling and plotting are masterful. The characters are familiar amalgamations of classic fairy tale characters. Charlie is a great kid-smart, helpful, and kind. But he’s not perfect and he knows it.  And Radar, the dog, is perfection. 

This story is pure escapist fun. The audiobook is excellent and I highly recommend listening to it. Seth Numrich’s narration is pitch perfect and superb. This is definitely in my top ten books for the year. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Many thanks to for the gifted copy. Fairy Tale is available from all your favorite retailers. 

#fairytale #stephenking #simonaudio #sethnumrich #audiobook #audiobookreview #audiobookstagram #fivestarread #fantasyfiction #herosjourney #epicjourney #dog #magic #evilkingdom #bookstagram #giftedcopy #monarch #alwaysreading #booksbooksbooks #readerlife #bibliophile #bookworm #thedogdoesntdieinthisone 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Hidden Pictures


Author: Jason Rekulak 

Publisher: Flatiron

Year: 2022

📖 𝐁𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰 📖

This book has gotten so much love here on bookstagram. Now that I’ve finally read it, my question is- why? 

𝗦𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗱. 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.

I was expecting horror, but I didn’t even find it creepy. It’s a ghost story that isn’t scary. It’s a mystery that isn’t very mysterious. It was just okay. I liked the main character Mallory well enough, and Teddy was a cute kid. I really liked seeing Teddy’s and Anya’s drawings. That was a cool addition. If I was the ghost hanging around the house of the woman who killed me and stole my child, I would haunt the heck out of that biotch every single day. I’d possess Caroline every night and make her draw pictures of murdering me all over the walls of her house every single night. And why didn’t Anya just draw a picture of Caroline murdering her instead of that whole series of cryptic drawings that poor Mallory and the studly landscaper boy had figure out. It would have moved the story along a lot quicker that way. Ted, the husband, didn’t want to save Mallory’s life because it’s the right thing to do. He wanted to whisk her away and start a new life with her. Sure Ted, save the pretty young woman from being killed by your crazy wife by kidnapping her because you’re having some sort of mid life crisis. 🤦‍♀️ Too many flaws that I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief and enjoy this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I guess that’s enough salt for today. What’s your unpopular booksta opinion? 

#SaltySunday #BookstagramMadeMeReadIt #pictures #horrorfiction #ghoststory #bookstagram #crimefiction #badparents #cottageinthewoods #librarybook #lovemylibrary #booknerd #bibliophile #bibliophilelife 

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Weight of Blood


Author: Tiffany D. Jackson

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s

Year: 2022

🩸 𝐇𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐏𝐮𝐛 𝐃𝐚𝐲!🩸

A true crime podcast investigates a deadly high school prom night and attempts to discover if one girl was responsible for the destruction. 

Maddy Washington has always been the outcast odd girl at school who got teased and bullied. When Maddy’s closely guarded secret that she is biracial is revealed, the bullying ramps. Maddy learns to fight back with terrifying consequences. 

The Weight of Blood is author Tiffany D. Jackson’s homage to Stephen King’s Carrie. She dishes up a creepy horror story of revenge and uses it to examine racism and identity. I liked how Jackson constructed the story around a podcast. I thought it was a cleaver way to introduce background elements and characters and it kept the plot moving quickly. The characters are so well written. I loved Kenny, the school’s popular Black star quarterback and Maddy’s prom date. It was interesting to see his growth from popular jock who just smiles and overlooks his white friends’ casual racism to realizing he can’t just ignore it anymore- especially when Maddy is the target. 

Jackson’s take on Carrie does the original proud especially since the true horror here is not the bloodshed, but society’s deeply ingrained and unacknowledged  racism. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you NetGalley  and Harper Collins Children’s for the digital review copy. The Weight of Blood hits shelves today. 

QOTD: what’s the last horror book you read? 

 I think bookstagram is turning me into a horror reader. I avoided it for the longest time but now I seem to be on a streak. I finished the new Stephen King last night (fabulous!) and I started Hidden Pictures over the weekend. 

#theweightofblood #tiffanydjackson #harpercollinschildrensbooks #horrorfiction #horror #yahorror #horrorbook #carrie #stephenking #racism #segregatedprom #prom #promnight #telekinesis #identity #promdate #worstpromnightever #bookstagram #publicationday 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

National Book Festival 2022


The Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden

Ryan La Sala, author of The Honeys, was 
so fun and friendly!

The panel discussion for Blackout moderated 
by Dr. Hayden and featuring Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk, Dhonielle Clayton, and Nicola Yoon. 

We met Instructions for Dancing and Blackout 
author Nicola Yoon who who so 
very gracious and friendly. 

Tiffany D. Jackson and Ryan La Sala 
discussed their young adult horror books. 

📚 𝐇𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐒𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐲 📚

I had a very bookish day yesterday. If you looked at my stories, you know my daughter and I went to the National Book Festival in Washington DC. It was fabulous! It’s a free event put on by the @librarycongress and it was filled with presentations and panel discussions by an amazing array of authors. No matter your reading tastes or age, there was something there for everyone. 

My daughter and I concentrated on the young adult authors. We saw a panel featuring Donna Barba Higuera, Darcie Little Badge, and Malinda Lo discussing their award winning books. Then we watched Tiffany D. Jackson and Ryan La Sala discuss their ya horror books and the importance of representation. We caught the end of Nyle DiMarco’s discussion of his book Deaf Utopia. Our highlight was the panel discussion by the authors of the bestseller Blackout. The panel was hosted by the Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden. It was so great to hear Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Ashley Woodfolk, Dhonielle Clayton, and Nicola Yoon talk about how they worked together during lockdown to write a book of interconnected short stories celebrating black joy and love. The ladies were funny and thoughtful. I can’t wait to read the sequel coming out in November. 

I showed great restraint and only bought two books at the festival. I had to get Ryan La Sala’s The Honeys after hearing him talk about it. I also bought Nicola Yoon’s Instructions for Dancing. I loved her pervious books and just hadn’t gotten around to reading this one. I also got to chat with both authors for a moment while they signed their books. They were both gracious and friendly. 

It was an excellent day surrounded by books and authors. Kudos to the LOC, sponsors, and all the friendly volunteers for their hard work putting this festival on. My daughter and I already decided to go again next year. Book people are the best people!

#nationalbookfestival #nationalbookfestival2022 #nationalbookfest #washingtondc #booksbooksbooks #booksandauthors #signedbooks #booknerd #bookworms #yabooks #horrorbooks #blackout #shortstories #diversebooks #theimportanceofreading #thehoneys #instructionsfordancing #repeesentationmatters

Thursday, September 1, 2022

August Reading Wrap Up


📚 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗹𝘆 𝗪𝗿𝗮𝗽 𝗨𝗽 📚

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Audio for the gifted copies of  The Last to Vanish, Denial, and Please Join Us. Thank you NetGalley and Harper Collins Children’s Books for the digital review copy of The Weight of Blood. 

Where’d August go? I can’t believe it’s September already. August was a busy month. We spent the first week at the beach. After vacation, my daughter and I saw Hamilton at the Kennedy Center in DC. It was excellent! Then it was right back to work for me delivering books for library’s outreach program. On days I wasn’t working, I was visiting my mom. I did manage to read nine books for the month. 

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow- loved this character driven story of friendship and love. Shoutout to @rjs.readingnook for recommending this one! 

Remarkably Bright Creatures- if you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. It’s fantastic! 

The Weight of Blood - a creepy updated YA take on Stephen King’s Carrie that deals with identity and race. This one’s out on September 6th. It’s a perfect read for spooky season! 

This Tender Land- loved this hero’s journey. Thanks to booksta pals @thereadingteapot & @rjs.readingnook for budding reading with me! 

Please Join Us - an invitation to join an exclusive professional women’s group to smash the patriarchy turns insidious 

Portrait of a Thief- I do enjoy a good heist story! 

The Last to Vanish - long buried secrets and lies in a small tourist town

Denial - set in a future affected by climate change, a journalist tracks down a former company executive who was set to stand trial for crimes against the climate

Nice Girls- a small town girl who reinvented herself in college returns home after getting expelled & investigates the disappearance of a former friend

That was my August. Tell me something about your August. 

#readingwrapup #monthlywrapup #bookstagram #fivestarreads #crimefiction #herosjourney #octopus #horror #climatechange #heistnovel #smashthepatriarchy #booknerd #audiobook #librarybook #simonaudio #netgalley #harpercollinschildrens 

Under Your Spell

  Author: Laura Wood Narrator: Ellie Heydon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Year: 2024 🎧𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄🎧 Many thanks...