Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Lovely Wordy Covers 😍

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 typographic covers. Covers where words are the winner, and that’s all there needs to be. Covers where the title is the focus, and maybe it’s done creatively or just smashed in huge letters so you can’t miss it. I ADORE this topic because I think making an attractive, interesting cover without any usual visuals is an impressive skill, and can be done so well. I found a bunch below!! 😀

The books

The covers are more giant than usual this week since the focus is entirely on the cover!

That’s it for this week! Have you read any of the above books? Link to your posts this week in the comments as well 🙂

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Where We End & Begin

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 Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo!
Expected Release: September 27, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE! The stories of people reconnecting after years apart and finding that their love still holds true just makes me swoon and cry happy tears every time. I want Dunni and Obinna to fall in love all over again… while I watch. 😅
  • I also love stories of women making hard decisions to go after what they truly want in life. Dunni certainly seems to be doing that, abandoning the fiance approved by her parents in hopes of a chance to see where things go with Obinna. 🥰
  • I’ve read and/or added several other books by Jane Igharo to my list, and I generally really enjoy them. Part of it is learning about Nigerian culture through the characters, but I also find that her approaches to love stories don’t shy away from painful truths, giving her love stories some realistic pain with the love.

Summary

Dunni hasn’t seen her high school boyfriend, Obinna, since she left Nigeria to attend college in America. Before their devastating separation, they vowed to find their way back to each other one day.

Twelve years later, and their vow is a thing of the past. Dunni works as a geneticist in Seattle and is engaged to a man she doesn’t love but one her parents approve of. Her future is laid out for her, and everything is going according to plan until she returns to Nigeria for a friend’s wedding and runs into Obinna. The shy, awkward boy she loved as a teenager is now a sophisticated, confident man. Things have changed, but there’s still an undeniable connection between them.

As they rediscover each other, their days filled with desire and passion, Dunni is reminded of the beautiful future she once planned with Obinna. But when devastating secrets are revealed and the reckless actions of their past bring new challenges, she’s left questioning everything, including if the love that consumed her as a teenager is still worth holding on to.

Posted in Book Talk

Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign

Ugh.

If you use Goodreads and haven’t seen it yet, the book page on their website has been redesigned! Personally I’m not a fan overall, but I tried really hard to think of some positives about it too. 😂 Below are my lists and overall thoughts. Vote below on if you like it or not and drop a comment about why!

Love!

  • The fact that they redesigned it means they’re giving Goodreads more attention than it’s gotten in like a decade. Maybe that will bring some good changes soon!
  • The spot that shows how many people have the book marked as “currently reading” is really cool! It feels more like a community thing with that.
  • It remembers your settings for whether the book page should show the edition&book details or have it collapses by default.
  • The reviews show a breakdown of people you’re friends with or following and how each of them rated the book.
  • The book cover, status, and rating in the left sidebar stays with the main page as you scroll through sections.

Haaaate.

  • The reading status / tags button. I hate that it’s popped into the middle of the screen now — why make me go somewhere else from where I just clicked? I also hate having to select reading status, THEN tags on a new screen. Again, more clicking. Ugh.
  • Everything is HUGE! Why is it all so giant!
  • I can’t get to my individual review page from my review on the books page — only through the “My Books” listing. EDIT: Misty noted that you can see the review page by clicking the date on the review. Added a photo below! Thanks Misty!
  • If you’re looking for other books in the series, you have to scroll WAYYY to the bottom of the page in order to find them. WHY.
  • The book details button to collapse it when it’s open is not intuitive to find as it’s buried under a bunch of stuff instead of remaining at the top as a coherent “open/close” toggle.
  • There’s just SO MUCH on the page and I have to scroll so far to get to any of it. God forbid I’m at the bottom and want to return to the top. A floating Table of Contents with links to each section or TOC embedded in a sidebar would help navigate the page a ton. Even a standard “Back to the top!” floating button! SOMETHING!
  • Randomly get an error saying it cannot load reviews under the Friends and Following section, and retry doesn’t work. Kind of also a pro though, because now I have less scrolling to do!
Continue reading “Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign”
Posted in Book Talk

20 Books of Summer 2022 – Complete!

Hey y’all! In early June, I started my first year challenging the 20 books of summer goal that’s hosted at 746 Books. The goal is to read and review 20 books from June to September 1. The reviewing is the key part!

In my sign up post, I chose to go for 15 based on specific prompts that I wanted to fulfill. I did hit all 15 prompts, as well as a lot of other books that I read and reviewed outside of it! Below is a list of the books I completed for each prompt, as well as the other reviews I posted during the summer. 😊

The 15 prompts & their books

Continue reading “20 Books of Summer 2022 – Complete!”
Posted in Reviews

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments Book 1)

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Recommended: sure
For people who read and enjoyed it when younger, for people who haven’t read much paranormal ya fantasy yet but enjoy it, for people who are under 23 years old and/or remember vividly what it’s like to be fifteen

Summary

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know… 

Thoughts

When I first read this series years ago as a much younger me, it was easily my favorite new series and style and author, et cetera. Now… not so much. I still enjoyed it, but boy is it a bit shaded for me now. Here’s why.

Due to knowing how some key elements of the plot resolve, there are moments in this first book that were both better and worse to me for knowing how the play out. Some were reassuring, and some were unimpressive. I’ll get into spoiler talk below, but overall the re-read experience was kind of win-lose with how it impacted key scenes.

Continue reading “Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments Book 1)”
Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Happyish by Jeanette Escudero (9/20/22)

Happyish by Jeanette Escudero
Expected Release Date: September 20, 2022
Recommended: yep
For a story with “last day to live” vibes, for a lot of character reflection, for lovely settings and journeys that’ll make your feet itch to wander

Summary

It was supposed to be a good day.

On the one-year anniversary of her divorce, Alex Martinez is getting closure—and margaritas with her two best friends. But just before the celebratory meetup, Alex is clobbered by life once again. Damping the cheer is the diagnosis of a brain tumor she can’t pronounce, a procedure she’d rather postpone, and the prospect of what to say to an already heartbroken mother. Not that Alex plans to tell her anything anytime soon.

Going from blissful to blindsided in one afternoon, Alex has other plans: to be impulsive and embark on an adventure she’ll never forget. Expected destinations: the Grand Canyon, Puerto Rico, and zip-lining through Costa Rica. Unexpected companion: a hiker named David who’s found a woman after his own heart. But no matter how enriching the journey, how long can Alex keep running?

It’s time to accept past griefs, reconnect with her mother, and find her way back to happy. For Alex, whatever the future holds, maybe everything she really needs to face is right where she left it. 

Thoughts

Key point to jump straight to because there’s one big, obvious question when the blurb and point of the book is about a woman learning she has a brain tumor: the ending was unexpected, but in a good way. I felt like I learned a lot about myself through the way the ending was handled, and that was an interesting (and maybe humbling) experience in itself. I won’t say exactly what happens, just that it was done well and added to the rest of the story building up to that critical moment.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Happyish by Jeanette Escudero (9/20/22)”
Posted in Chatty

Word Origins: from fact to compliment with “handsome”

Hey y’all! As I was feeling appreciative of my lovely boyfriend, I was thinking to myself how handsome he is and then started getting distracted thinking about how weird a word that is to mean attractive. And it’s usually in a masculine way these days, but I’ve definitely read older books where it was for women and was mostly a compliment as far as I could tell. And yet the word itself by rights sounds more like an action or request to give an item to another person. So what happened here??

Origins of “handsome”

When did it first get used?
1400s

What does it mean?
modern day meaning of attractive, usually for men or strong featured women

originally, though… it meant easy to handle or readily at hand. So my instinct was right: it did have more to do with being given something or an object being held!

and then in 1580s it started to track with the meaning of an attractive or pleasing thing (or person)

and then in 1680s to extend the 1580s meaning to items to mean generous more broadly, as in “I’ll reward you handsomely”

And you know when it finally started to mean heavily that something was “agreeable to the eye” as they used to phrase it? Not until 1848!!

Continue reading “Word Origins: from fact to compliment with “handsome””
Posted in Chatty

Why I try to keep an open mind about authors

A month or so ago, I started a book that I’d seen a few times and thought sounded like one I might enjoy. Not long after, I ended up abandoning the book because of how unlikable the characters were to me. With a plot that was focused on redemption, I was lost without being able to cheer on and support the character. I put it aside and thought, “well that was a waste.”

Around the same time, I requested an ARC on NetGalley for a book about a woman whose life is turned upside down so she tries to live to the fullest while coming to terms with recent changes. I finished that one recently in just a few days and really enjoyed it the whole way through, already planning out how I would write the review and what moments in the story I wanted to focus on.

So color me surprised when I turned to the last page and the author’s bio mentioned their previous book, which you might have guessed already is the one I had abandoned a month before! Maybe it was subconscious that I had recognized the author’s name on one book after seeing the other when looking through titles.

The book I disliked was the author’s debut, so maybe their style had shifted a bit in the time between books that let me enjoy it. Or maybe I would have liked the first one more if I had been able to get past the character issues I was seeing at the start. Who knows? But I took this as a reminder to myself not to write off an author just from one book, because another they have might completely resonate with me.

This is your reminder too, if you need one. 🙂

Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Recommend for Classroom Reading

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 a freebie that can be school themed. As a teacher in the past with a lot of friends who still teach, I’m often thinking about what books I’d recommend to them to use with their students or have in the classroom for any free reading time. I’m going to try to list books for multiple classes, because “English class” is such an easy obvious one and there can be so much more range!!

The Books

The classrooms

History: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I don’t know about y’all, but I had never heard about the Wilhelm Gustloff, but this book is a piece of history where you know the ending and the stories to get there are so bittersweet because of it.

Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Recommend for Classroom Reading”
Posted in Reviews

My thoughts on Throne of Glass the first time I read it

Hey y’all! Can you believe it, another post about Sarah J Maas. Will I ever learn? xD But in this case, I’m looking back in time a bit. I found a short post I made years ago after stumbling upon Throne of Glass, my first ever Sarah J Maas read. My comments made me laugh and smile, and I just thought I’d share it here. This is a relatively old series now, but just a heads up there’s a spoiler in there for the first book!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This was one of the books I found by browsing through books that were available as an e-book through my library at home. What a find! While it wasn’t anything insane or totally new, it was enough to draw me in and keep me in until I finished it. I almost let myself be late for a dinner date so that I could finish it! I managed to put it down for a few hours though, and finished it in about a day. So, definitely a solid book. An 18-year-old female assassin of incredible renown is taken from a slave labor camp and entered into the king’s competition for royal assassin, basically. There’s some magic sprinkled in, and of course a love story with a handsome prince.

► View spoilers
    LUCKILY, their love story was ended before the end, thank GOODNESS, because I didn’t really like that direction. It ended as well as it could, but the prince was all dramatic and “I could never be with someone else now that I know her!” so we’ll see how he does with it, I guess. I’m glad she’s going for the guard instead. He’s more real, and I suspect he has ties to magic somehow…maybe he can see it too? He also has a way cooler name.


Anyway, I’m currently waiting for a copy of the next one in the series. It made for a nice day’s light read in a time of turmoil (so much work for finals!!).

Amazing how much character name mattered to me 🤣