Books I Read in November | November Wrap-Up

Books I Read in November | November Wrap-Up

Happy December, everyone! November was a pretty good reading month for me compared to what the months before were like. It’s also the month I cam back to book blogging after a little hiatus.

I read five books! Which is about average for me. I saw someone post their wrap-up saying they were upset they only read six books last month–like, girl, that’s a great month for me! Just goes to show that everyone’s reading habits are different. Don’t compare your reading to someone else’s! We all have different lives and different capacities for free time. That said, I think the most important thing I have continued to work on is making that time for reading. There are lots of times when I will be on TikTok when I could be relaxing with a book. I’m not saying TikTok time isn’t also important, but sometimes it’s good to go offline. And if I’m finding that I’m not getting much reading done, it’s because I get stuck on social media for two hours and forget about my books. ANYWAY, let’s get to the books!

What was most surprising for me this month was the number of YA contemporaries and really great NetGalley ARCS I finished. I don’t normally read YA contemporary–usually I just can’t connect like I once was able to. Everything is so dramatic when you’re a teen, and that really translates in YA contemporaries. These two–In the Wild Light and Everything Sad is Untrue–were so beautiful, though. I also typically have really bad luck with NetGalleys. For some reason, I just find it hard to get into a lot of the eARCs I’m approved for. I realized I need to stay away from romance and YA fantasy ARCs because they can be so hit or miss. Winterland and The Light Pirate were so, so stunning. I highly recommend them.

This was a really good reading month for me. Going into December, I’m really in the mood for some wintery fairytale stories. If you have any recommendations that fit this description, leave them below!

What was the best book you read this month?

Top Ten Cozy Reads | Top Ten Tuesday [11.28.22]

Top Ten Cozy Reads | Top Ten Tuesday [11.28.22]

Happy Tuesday! This is the first Top Ten Tuesday I’ve done since the summer, and it’s a fun one for me. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl) is Cozy Reads! Some of these might not seem like obvious choices, but they’re cozy to ME.

LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB BY MALINDA LO

I’m not sure if it’s because the two girls are always sneaking out at night or if it’s because the story is just so sweet, but this book is cozy to me. It just feels warm and lovely overall.

LITTLE THIEVES BY MARGARET OWEN

For some reason, fairytale retellings are just inherently cozy to me. Especially when they take place in cold settings. Because of these two factors, this one is doubly cozy.

TWICE SHY BY SARAH HOGLE

Pretty much everything Sarah Hogle writes has cozy vibes, but this one is especially cozy because it involves renovating a home. Making a home livable and comfortable–what’s more cozy than that??

ASH BY MALINDA LO

Some might say I shouldn’t include Malinda Lo twice, but I am going to say that those people are wrong. Maybe Malindo Lo just writes really cozy books, or maybe she just writes books that my young queer self would have loved. Regardless, this little gay fae tale is cozy.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

This one is just so sweet and tender that it can’t NOT be cozy. That’s all.

THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE BY KATHERINE ARDEN

Again, something about fairy tales and cold climates. SO cozy. Someone needs to do a study on this.

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND BY CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN

I’ve put this on so many lists, probably because it’s one of my all-time favorites, but this one has that sneaking-out-at-night aspect. It’s also a gothic romance, so those are just inherently cozy as much as they are creepy, right?

SPINNING SILVER BY NAOMI NOVIK

Fairytale, cold, need I say more?

ALONG FOR THE RIDE BY SARAH DESSEN

Seriously, why do I think sneaking out at night = cozy? I think summer nights for me are just cozy, and that is what this novel reminds me of. Another one of my all-time favorites. Sneaking out + romance = COZY

TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD BY EOWYN IVEY

Another cold climate one, but this time involving more of a nature theme which is also super cozy to me.

What do you think of my requirements for a cozy book? What’s your favorite cozy read?

If A Young Patron Comes in to the Library Looking for a Humor Book That Can Also Make Them Cry… | Everything Sad is Untrue [REVIEW]

If A Young Patron Comes in to the Library Looking for a Humor Book That Can Also Make Them Cry… | Everything Sad is Untrue [REVIEW]

At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls “Daniel”) stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much.

But Khosrou’s stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment he, his mother, and sister fled Iran in the middle of the night, stretching all the way back to family tales set in the jasmine-scented city of Isfahan, the palaces of semi-ancient kings, and even the land of stories.

We bounce between a school bus of kids armed with paper clip missiles and spitballs, to the heroines and heroes of Kosrou’s family’s past, who ate pastries that made them weep, and touched carpets woven with precious gems.

Like Scheherazade in a hostile classroom, author Daniel Nayeri weaves a tale of Khosrou trying to save his own life: to stake his claim to the truth. And it is (a true story) [From Goodreads].

If you listen, I’ll tell you a story. We can know and be known to each other, and then we’re not enemies anymore.

One thing I hear from a lot of Youth Services librarians is that they are looking for more humor books to recommend. There are lots of YA books, but most of them, at least in my experience, are very serious or romances or something else. But, I have finally found THE book. The book I would recommend if a young person came into the library looking for something funny to read. Somehow, Nayeri manages to juggle humor and sensitivity in a way that only makes sense for a story about a middle-school-aged Persian boy living in Oklahoma.

I think I was laughing and tearing up within five minutes of each other while listening to this audiobook. Khosrou’s story is so heartbreaking yet hopeful and light at the same time. i think the quote above really sums up the experience of reading this book. As is mentioned in the synopsis, this is a series of true stories based on the author’s life. This story is so important for everyone to consume, young and old, about the immigrant experience in this country.

I want this book to be in every school’s curricula, on every library’s recommended reads display. I’m grateful the cover of this one is so beautiful, otherwise I might not have picked it up originally (I saw it from afar while eating brunch at our local BookBar and looked it up later).

I don’t have much else to say about this one other than it is a hilarious and inspiring read I need everyone to recommend to the young people in their lives.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Recent, Current, and Future Reads | WWW Wednesday [11.23.22]

Recent, Current, and Future Reads | WWW Wednesday [11.23.22]

This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words that asks us to answer the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Happy Wednesday before Thanksgiving! I’m going to my cousin’s for lunch tomorrow and then my partner and I are seeing the holiday Festival of Lights. I don’t love what the holiday represents, but I do love to spend time with my family! What are your Thanksgiving plans (if you live in the US)?

I just started both Gilded (audiobook) and The Light Pirate (eARC). I’m a little iffy on the writing style of The Light Pirate, but it’s still very early on. I have hope. Gilded is a lot of fun already. I’m still slowly working through my physical copy of The Whispering Dark. I’m hoping to do some reading in the car tomorrow over to my cousin’s.

I finished two the other day: Winterland (eARC) and Everything Sad is Untrue (audiobook). Both were beautiful and I loved every second of them. Reviews to come, but I highly recommend.

I just picked up One Dark Window at Barnes & Noble the other day. The description sounded so good, and someone on my Instagram also recommended it. So, I think that one is calling to me.

What are you reading today?

Five Books I’m Thankful For | Top Ten Tuesday [11.22.22]

Five Books I’m Thankful For | Top Ten Tuesday [11.22.22]

Happy Tuesday! This is the first Top Ten Tuesday I’ve done since the summer, and it’s a fun one for me. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl) is a Thankful Freebie, so I’m going with the top five books I’m thankful for (I do not have the energy to do ten, I apologize). These can be books that were very influential in my formative years, books I read at a really important moment in my life, things like that. Let’s get to it!

TWILIGHT by STEPHENIE MEYER

I mean, could I start the list any other way? Twilight was the book that got me, and I’m sure many of you, into YA. Twilight has so many problems, so many concerning and problematic elements, but I’m so thankful for this series. I could get emotional about this one.

THE GIVER by LOIS LOWRY

This one is very similar to Twilight for me. This is the first book I ever read in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. Now, I know it’s a fairly short book, but I was in the fifth grade, and this had never happened to me before. A couple semesters ago, my professor tried to tell me that this book was some kind of propaganda–I have no idea. All I know is that I read this and discovered books could capture my attention so well that I sit on 300-year-old hardwood floors for three hours to finish it.

A TALE FOR THE TIME BEING by RUTH OZEKI

I think this was the first adult fiction novel I really connected with. Before then, I just kinda thought all adult fiction was too serious (which I still kinda believe). I had never really seen a novel accurately depict what depression and loneliness felt like. For me, at the age of 15 (16?), knowing someone else knew how I felt, made me feel so much less alone. Ruth Ozeki is actually an alumna from my alma mater, and she taught a creative writing class while I was there which was incredible. I’m thankful for this book and her writing and her mind.

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN

I don’t have any memories of my life while reading this book. This book was meaningful for just how beautiful the writing was. I’m thankful for this book for the writing alone and the wonderful story they tell. That’s all.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by JANE AUSTEN

I need to end this list with the original enemies-to-lovers story. I love this story with all my heart. To be honest, I watched the movie long before I read the book. But, without the book, there would be no movie, so it still counts. I’m sure there were enemies-to-lovers stories before this one, but this is the first one I can remember consuming. I was considering a lot of books for this, many of them romances, but I had to go with the original here.

What books are you thnakful for?

Appalachian Grief and Beauty in a YA Novel | In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner [REVIEW]

Appalachian Grief and Beauty in a YA Novel | In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner [REVIEW]

CW: SA, Addiction, Overdose

Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He’s been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen.

But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he would have to leave behind [From Goodreads].

I found this book while searching for titles for a Collection Development course project. It was on YALSA’s list of best teen fiction. I haven’t been reading too much YA recently, but the Appalachian setting is one I don’t see very often, and had to pick this one up. I listened to the audiobook of this one which I highly enjoyed.

This novel was such a beautiful representation of growing up in Appalachia. Zentner does a really great job of capturing the wonder of the setting’s nature along with the more tragic side. The first part of the novel might have been my favorite with all the scenery descriptions of the region.

Delaney’s and Cash’s characters were so wonderfully written with little quirks and insecurities. They felt so real to what my experience of teendom was. The way Cash’s grief in dealing with losing a grandparent really spoke to me, too. It was so accurate and so well done.

The only thing I took issue with [minor spoiler ahead] was the presence of SA to further Cash’s development in the story. I think it was mostly there to deal with Cash’s gross roommate, but I think it could have been handled in a different way. I just don’t really like the use of SA of a girl as a plot device, especially when written by men.

Aside from that, I really loved this story and was just overyjoyed by the setting, the characters, everything. Also, anything with girls in STEM is a win for me.

Highly recommend if you’re looking for a YA contemporary novel with so much heart.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Recent, Current, and Future Reads | WWW Wednesday [11.16.22]

Recent, Current, and Future Reads | WWW Wednesday [11.16.22]

This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words that asks us to answer the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Let’s all pretend I haven’t been gone for 3 months, and this isn’t the first time I’m posting since then. Nope, let’s ignore that. Work and school have been so busy. We got a new head for our library. She’s been great, but so so different than our old Head. Now that fall break is next week, I have a bit more time to read and to write. So, here goes!

Currently reading: I’ve been listening to the audio version of Jeff Zentner’s In the Wild Light. I found this one while doing a Collection Development assignment and am so glad I picked it up. I really love that Appalachian setting. Please let me know if you have any recs with this setting!! I also just started an eARC I have of Winterland by Rae Meadows. I’m not very far at all since I just started it last night, but I’m really enjoying the writing. As for my physical read, I’ve been in the middle of The Whispering Dark by Kelly Andrew. I love the disability rep, but it’s been a bit confusing so far. I really need to push through to see where it goes.

Recently finished: The last book I read was Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of Butterflies. Wow. What a beautiful book. Cannot recommend this one enough.

Reading next: I saw the cover for Everything Sad is Untrue at the bookstore this weekend, but I’m on a hardcover buying ban and left without it. The cover really grabbed my attention, so I immediately looked for it on Libby. I plan on borrowing the audiobook next because there are some really good reviews for it on Goodreads.

What are you reading this week?

Recent, Current, and Future Reads | WWW Wednesday [8.24.22]

Recent, Current, and Future Reads | WWW Wednesday [8.24.22]

This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words that asks us to answer the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I am going to very honest today. I did not want to make this post. I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression for the past few weeks, and I barely have the motivation to do the work I’m actually payed for.😂 HOWEVER, I know that if I leave my blog for too long I will never come back to it, so here I am! Powering through!

Currently reading: I ran out to Barnes & Noble yesterday to pick up Love on the Brain, and of course I’m already loving it. Ali Hazelwood is absolutely one of my favorite authors now. I want to take this one slow though because I’ll be devastated when I finish and have none of her novels left to read.

Recently finished: I JUST finished my audiobook of The Last Olympian today because it was the last day of my library loan. I love this series to death. It’s not listed here, but I plan to go onto the Heroes of Olympus series next.

Reading next: I have a review copy of A Dreadful Splendor to read. I think this has some romance in it which is what I’m really in the mood for, so hopefully that goes well. I’ll get started on this one this weekend when I’m on my flight to visit some friends.

What are you reading this week?

Recent, Current, and Future Reads | WWW Wednesday [8.3.22]

Recent, Current, and Future Reads | WWW Wednesday [8.3.22]

This is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words that asks us to answer the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Happy Wednesday! I’m going to the bookstore in a bit with my dad to pick up a copy of the book I just finished (I’ll get to it!), and I plan on going to read on the porch for a while. So its shaping up to be a good bookish day for me!

Recently finished: I just finished my audiobook of John Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed today. I teared up a few times listening to this. I know the Green brothers are very polarizing people, but I have always been more on the side of loving them. I’ve always enjoyed John Green’s voice, so this one was just a lot of really enjoyable essays.

Currently reading: I’m working on my ARC of Bend Toward the Sun right now. I love when STEM is incorporated into novels, especially biology or horticulture. I’m still undecided on how I feel about the actual romance, but I hope to finish this one in the next couple days.

Reading next: Bend Toward the Sun and Bronze Drum are both releasing next week, so I need to get Bronze Drum in as well once I finish the former. I don’t know too much about it, but I love a good tale of sisters. I’ve never read anything set in Ancient Vietnam before either, so that should be exciting.

What are you reading today?

Books I Read in July | Wrap-Up

Books I Read in July | Wrap-Up

COVID hit me hard this month! I’m still having breathing issues 4 weeks later! On top of that, my best friend from college came to visit this week. Both of these made for a not-so great reading month. But! I am looking forward to a relaxing August (aside from having to go back to school and work) filled with lots of reading!

I read five books this month, so not too bad. Not great, but not bad at all.

Emotional, adventurous, and lighthearted were my top moods. I don’t usually go for lighthearted, but I think those mostly correspond to Percy Jackson books which I’m really enjoying reading through! Emotional and adventurous are much more my speed, so those make sense.

Historical isn’t something I pick up too often–I didn’t realize I had two historical books this month. I really enjoyed them both, so maybe it’s a sign I need to start reading more historical fiction.

Here are the books I read! Click the covers to see my reviews 🙂

What’s the best book you read in July?