Posted in Reviews

Happy 3rd Blogiversary to me!

Hey y’all! My first post on this site was technically a review for Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake on January 19, 2019, but my first “hello” post and official setup of this blog once I decided to fully transfer was on May 25, 2019! So that makes today my 3rd anniversary! I’m going to keep this post kind of short, because I’ve had an exhausting day and it’ll be my present to myself. But I might do some more in depth stuff later this week. 🙂

Notable Firsts

Most Popular Posts

Bolded ones are the top popular posts of all time!

Thanks for being here, y’all! 😊

Posted in Chatty

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes from my favorite nonfiction books

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

This week’s prompt is listed as a quote-based freebie. I honestly had no idea where to start so I just started going through my reading journal for books I had quotes from. Once I realized I had a lot from nonfiction titles, I realized how much sense that made. I learn a lot in nonfiction titles, and authors usually have reign to be silly and include some humor. I will often highlight lines that made me laugh so I can return to them! So below are a collection of educational and/or amusing lines that I found in nonfiction books.

The quoted books

Travellers stick to their schedules. They travel to a plan and it’s rare that they’ll change it, even for something as magical as peeling away your onion layers and losing all your body weight and probably your hair just to make the jungle happy.

The Puma Years by Laura Coleman
Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes from my favorite nonfiction books”
Posted in Chatty

Word Origins: when a botanist has a giggle

Hey y’all! It’s been a while since I did one of these, but I was poking around on an etymology site again and was curious to see that orchid was listed as the top trending word. I have no idea why, but I figured, why not see what orchids are all about? Basically all I know is that it’s a big fancy flower that people seem to think is hard to take care of but then also say “just put an ice cube in it once a week” so I’m not sure what to think.

Origins of “orchid”

Word Origins: when a botanist has a giggle

When did it first get used?
1845

What does it mean?
The Latin name for a plant family, technically called OrchideĂŚ or OrchidaceĂŚ, the latter of which sounds like a dope ass rogue name I would use for a poisoner.

What did it come from?
As John Lindley was publishing the third edition of School Botany, he decided to give the schoolchildren something sneaky to giggle about — and maybe himself, as well. And so he named his favorite group of plants Orchid. The word comes from Greek orkhis, which is a very crucial and respectable word. What does it mean? Well…

Continue reading “Word Origins: when a botanist has a giggle”
Posted in Reviews

Review: Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti

Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti

Recommended: yes!
For a look at fame and legacy, for some play on gender norm flipping, for characters who go from unlikable to at least understandable, for a really interesting effect in the storytelling style

Summary

Dava Shastri, one of the world’s wealthiest women, has always lived with her sterling reputation in mind. A brain cancer diagnosis at the age of seventy, however, changes everything, as she decides to take her death—like all matters of her life—into her own hands.

Summoning her four adult children to her private island, she discloses shocking news: in addition to having a terminal illness, she has arranged for the news of her death to break early, so she can read her obituaries.

As someone who dedicated her life to the arts and the empowerment of women, Dava expects to read articles lauding her philanthropic work. Instead, her “death” reveals two devastating secrets, truths she thought she had buried forever. And now the whole world knows, including her children.

In the time she has left, Dava must come to terms with the decisions that have led to this moment—and make peace with those closest to her before it’s too late.

Thoughts

I’m not sure what I expected but it wasn’t this. What a pleasant discovery. I started off disliking every character, from Dava herself down to her grandchildren. As I saw into the minds and motivations of each of them, my understanding and sympathy grew. While I might still not be friends with all of these people, I no longer harboured my disdain for them.

I loved the way the past happened in this book. That might sound strange, but let me explain. There weren’t such clear moments of “that was then, this is now,” but at no time was it confusing. Dava is slipping between memories and her current experience so often as she deteriorates that we just slip along with her naturally. The feeling was akin to that of when you let your mind wander and end up recalling something you haven’t thought of in many years. All parts of the story were interesting and compelling, so I never resented moving from one moment to another.

Continue reading “Review: Dava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti”
Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I was pumped to get but… still haven’t read đŸ˜…

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

This week’s prompt is about books that you bought and were super excited about and just HAD to get your hands on a copy of your own because you were desperate to start it T H A T S E C O N D and now it has been many, many seconds and you have not read it.

I don’t do this often because I don’t buy that many physical copies of books. When I do, it’s typically used and it’s typically books I haven’t heard of before the moment I buy them. That means I’m hyped to read it because I have barely actually heard of it. When I DO buy new books, it’s usually one I’ve already read and would like to have a copy of for re-reads. So I already know the story. xD I don’t have a lot to work with on this prompt, but here are a few I could think of, arranged from most recently added to furthest back added.

The List of Shame

The Excuses…

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tales of Tamriel – December 20, 2021

I didn’t read it yet because it’s too pretty to take out of the package.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I was pumped to get but… still haven’t read đŸ˜…”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Dear Dana by Amy Weinland Daughters!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Dear Dana by Amy Weinland Daughters published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own!

Recommended: sure
For people who like to see the good in others, for a real story about human connection, for a story that makes you feel inspired and motivated

Summary

When Amy Daughters reconnected with her old pal Dana on Facebook, she had no idea how it would change her life. Though the two women hadn’t had any contact in thirty years, it didn’t take them long to catch up—and when Amy learned that Dana’s son Parker was doing a second stint at St. Jude battling cancer, she was suddenly inspired to begin writing the pair weekly letters.

When Parker died, Amy—not knowing what else to do—continued to write Dana. Eventually, Dana wrote back, and the two became pen pals, sharing things through the mail that they had never shared before. The richness of the experience left Amy wondering something: If my life could be so changed by someone I considered “just a Facebook friend,” what would happen if I wrote all my Facebook friends a letter?

A whopping 580 handwritten letters later Amy’s life, and most of all her heart, would never, ever, be the same again. As it turned out, there were actual individuals living very real lives behind each social media profile, and she was beautifully connected to each of those extraordinary, flawed people for a specific reason. They loved her, and she loved them. And nothing—not politics, beliefs, or lifestyle—could separate them.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Lesbiana’s Guide To Catholic School 5/17

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonoroa Reyes!
Expected Release: May 17, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • I don’t know much about Catholicism or Catholic school, but I do have a feeling non-straight-ness is not usually smiled at. I hope I’m wrong about that, but at least in Yamilet’s experience in this book, it’s definitely the case. So it’s probably going to be pretty uncomfortable navigating her Catholic school as a lesbian.
  • And also as a Mexican. Jeez, not only does this girl have to deal with the judgment of her outward appearance as a Mexican in a very white rich school, but her inner self as well (though can we all just get each other’s noses out of sexual preferences unless you’re being invited into those sexual preferences??).
  • Clearly she’s dealing with a lot, and I can’t wait to read the moment when she sheds her fear and is able to embrace her whole self without fear of repercussions. Plus that can’t-resist love is always a pull (though hopefully it’s not just a “she’s the only option” kind of scenario).

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers to be known for her killer eyeliner, not for being one of the only Mexican kids at her new, mostly white, very rich Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way.

After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend before transferring to Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and, most importantly, don’t fall in love. Granted, she’s never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami.

The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. So cute. Either way, Yami isn’t going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she’ll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do?

Posted in Chatty

My experience with Dune, via Pokemon Gifs

Today, I want to talk about Dune. It feels so known that even specifying that it’s by Frank Herbert feels unnecessary because honestly, what other Dune could I be talking about?

It’s this one. This Dune.

Y’all… I have been trying to read this book.

For over a year.

I bought a physical copy, to hold and enjoy and watch my progress through the pages.

I borrowed an ebook, to read a few pages any time I had a few spare moments.

I even got an audiobook — something I very rarely do — to listen to it, instead.

Current progress:

So it’s clearly not going well, and although I can sit here and tearfully shout “I don’t know why!!” I can probably think of a few reasons if I’m being honest with myself. And I think I need to be honest with myself.

Expectation

I thought this book would be one I would fly through because I enjoyed it so much. Here’s what put that thought into my head:

Continue reading “My experience with Dune, via Pokemon Gifs”
Posted in Chatty

May TBR: MAYbe I’ll read these! đŸ˜

Hey y’all! It’s about a week into the month, so of course my TBR is now becoming my ABR (already been read? no?) as I finish books early. Still, here’s the plan I came in to the month with… even though some of these are already checked off. 😂 I do have a habit of this after all…

Those ARCs I said I wouldn’t request

Look. I usually have very good self control with ARCs and am always sure to only request ones I genuinely think I’ll enjoy and can commit to reading and reviewing before the publish date if it’s not out yet. This time… well, I’ll still do all those things, but I was trying to clear out my shelf books that haven’t been read yet. 😂

Of these, I’ve, uh, actually already finished A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting by Sophie Irwin (FABULOUS, pub Jul 12 2022) and A Hundred Silent Ways by Mari Jojie (also FABULOUS). Luckily for you, A Hundred Silent Ways is actually already published, so you can go get a copy yourself which you totally should. I’m in progress with The Olympus Trinity!

The books I said I’d finish

And this is my batch of books that I’ve been in the middle of reading — some for a bafflingly long time that I planned to finish and… didn’t.

Continue reading “May TBR: MAYbe I’ll read these! đŸ˜”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Ghosts of Rose Hill, 5/10/22

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero!
Expected Release: May 10, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • What immediately grabbed me about this title (besides the cover) is that it’s written in verse & prose. I’m curious to see how the poetic elements will be included, and if it will blend seamlessly or have sharp divides or maybe somewhere between. I love books that have a bit of both, though, like If I Tell You The Truth and Other Words For Home.
  • I don’t read many books with Jewish protagonists, and I’d like to change that. This story happens to focus specifically on the character’s Jewish heritage, as Ilana travels to Prague and meets a young ghost boy in an old cemetery. So far, this is giving me major The Graveyard Book vibes.
  • Definitely some kind of mysticism in this one! Obviously there are ghosts, but the apparent villain of the story has some kind of magic, and I’m getting the feeling that it’s not the most benevolent kind.

Summary

Sent to stay with her aunt in Prague and witness the humble life of an artist, Ilana Lopez—a biracial Jewish girl—finds herself torn between her dream of becoming a violinist and her immigrant parents’ desire for her to pursue a more stable career.

When she discovers a forgotten Jewish cemetery behind her aunt’s cottage, she meets the ghost of a kindhearted boy named Benjamin, who died over a century ago. As Ilana restores Benjamin’s grave, he introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague, where ghosts walk the streets and their kisses have warmth.

But Benjamin isn’t the only one interested in Ilana. Rudolph Wassermann, a man with no shadow, has become fascinated with her and the music she plays. He offers to share his magic, so Ilana can be with Benjamin and pursue her passion for violin. But after Ilana discovers the truth about Wassermann and how Benjamin became bound to the city, she resolves to save the boy she loves, even if it means losing him—forever.