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October TBR

October is my birth month and so I’ve decided to re-read some favorites. These titles have been gathering dust on my bookshelves for… well, longer than I care to admit, lol.

Mercedes Lackey is one of my all-time favorite authors and her world of Valdemar is absolutely wonderful! Brightly Burning is one title that is sure to make me sob, it’s inspiration and heart-break all rolled into one amazing book. As for Caught By Surprise? Well, now I know it’s a romance and I don’t generally read them, but this is such a cute book that I had to buy myself a copy after I first came across it!


Fantasy

Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey

Sixteen-year-old Lavan Chitward’s world is turned upside down when his mother is selected as a textile guild representative in the small rural community where he was raised.

Moving to the capital city of Haven rips him away from his friends and boyhood pleasures, and nothing in Haven seems to fill that void. Unable to fit into the nouveau riche society, and unwilling to follow his parents into the textile guild, he finds himself adrift and depressed. His father enrolls him in a special school that will allow him to choose a trade that interests him, rather than be apprenticed against his will.

There he finds himself terrorized and tortured by the boys in the sixth form until, with an awful roar, the gift of fire awakens deep within him and extracts revenge for his sadistic treatment…

With the help of a unique herald, an empathetic healer and a special companion, Lavan soon learns to keep his gift under control and eventually, to direct his awful firestorm as far as he can see. When the kingdom of Karse attacks, Lavan is hurried to the border to assist his king and country by repelling the invasion. During the final battle Lavan earns the name Firestorm and becomes one of the most famous heralds in the history of Valdemar.

Goodreads


Romance

Caught By Surprise by Sandra Paul

He’d make her pay…

…for luring him to her ship and having her men imprison him.

Yes, the beautiful American had sealed her fate, for Saegar, the royal prince of Pacifica, would claim Beth Livingston as his wife, brand her with his passion and make her his forever….

What had her father’s crew discovered?

Whoever–whatever–he was, Beth knew the prisoner with the chiseled face and chest of a Roman warrior directed his anger at her, and if she didn’t convince her father to release him, she would one day feel the full wrath of his fury–and his heart’s desires….

Goodreads

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September TBR

Well, I’m back in school so of course my TBR should have at least three books on it! I’m getting back into classics, hence The Scarlet Letter, and found some really interesting nonfiction and historical fiction titles for September.

Wish me luck in both studying AND fun reading!!!


Nonfiction

Grace O’Malley by Anne Chambers

She was married twice, divorced once, took a lover when she wanted, and gave birth to one of her sons on the deck of her own ship. She was Grace O’Malley, the sixteenth-century Irish woman who provoked awe, anger, admiration, and fear in the English men who, by persuasion and by the sword, came to conquer the land of her birth.

She was literally “disappeared” from the pages of history, ignored by the official chroniclers and omitted from the great books of Irish and English history. Obviously, a woman who challenged the might of England and the traditional power of men — a woman who did not let religious, social, or political convention get in her way — could not be tolerated.

But Grace O’Malley could not be erased from the hearts of her countrymen. Granuaile became a beloved figure in Irish folklore, the subject of countless stories, songs, and poems (several of which are included in this book’s appendix).

Goodreads


Historical fiction

The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd

An incredible story of dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

The year is 1739. Eliza Lucas is sixteen years old when her father leaves her in charge of their family’s three plantations in rural South Carolina and then proceeds to bleed the estates dry in pursuit of his military ambitions. Tensions with the British, and with the Spanish in Florida, just a short way down the coast, are rising, and slaves are starting to become restless. Her mother wants nothing more than for their South Carolina endeavor to fail so they can go back to England. Soon her family is in danger of losing everything.

Upon hearing how much the French pay for indigo dye, Eliza believes it’s the key to their salvation. But everyone tells her it’s impossible, and no one will share the secret to making it. Thwarted at nearly every turn, even by her own family, Eliza finds that her only allies are an aging horticulturalist, an older and married gentleman lawyer, and a slave with whom she strikes a dangerous deal: teach her the intricate thousand-year-old secret process of making indigo dye and in return — against the laws of the day — she will teach the slaves to read.

So begins an incredible story of love, dangerous and hidden friendships, ambition, betrayal, and sacrifice.

Based on historical documents, including Eliza’s letters, this is a historical fiction account of how a teenage girl produced indigo dye, which became one of the largest exports out of South Carolina, an export that laid the foundation for the incredible wealth of several Southern families who still live on today. Although largely overlooked by historians, the accomplishments of Eliza Lucas influenced the course of US history. When she passed away in 1793, President George Washington served as a pallbearer at her funeral.

Goodreads


Classic fiction

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A tale of betrayal, revenge, loyalty, and redemption, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a true classic. 

Hester Prynne settles in a little town in Puritan-era Massachusetts while awaiting her husband’s arrival from England. Hester becomes pregnant, exposing her sin in the eyes of the townsfolk. Her penalty: wearing an embroidered “A” on her bosom for the remainder of her life. 

When Hester’s husband arrives in the town anticipating a joyous reunion with his young wife, he instead begins a cankering quest to uncover the father of Hester’s child.

With The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne became the first American novelist to forge from our Puritan heritage a universal classic, a masterful exploration of humanity’s unending struggle with sin, guilt and pride.

Goodreads


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TBR Graveyard

I’ve been meaning to weed my TBR list down a bit, but only recently did I actually sit down and get to work on this daunting project! Working a few at a time, I thought it might be fun to share the titles I remove and my thinking behind the removal thereof.

Enjoy!


Seven Stories About a Cat Named Sneakers by Margaret Wise Brown… Probably added to my list when I came across it while shelving books at my library. Not really feeling like reading kid books right now.

Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson… Same as above, discovered while shelving and just not interesting to me anymore.

Dark Horse by Kate Sherwood… Probably suggested on a listserv or newsletter asking for reviews. It’s been ages and I think it’s time to take it off the list.

Red & the Wolf by Kailin Morgan… Let me be entirely honest, here, I have NO idea why this was on my TBR. So, we’re going to remove it and carry on.

Struck By Lightning by Chris Colfer… Added when it was published and I was still interested in Glee.


Have you removed titles from your TBR?
Which ones and why?

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August TBR

Just the one book on my TBR for August.

I’m sorry for the unplanned and entirely unannounced hiatus I took in July… things got tough and I needed a break, but I’m hoping to see improvement and continue to share my thoughts and ideas through this blog.

Anywhos! This one book is about a megalodon, which as you all know is basically a HUGE shark! So, just one book will be alright, I think. 😉


Graphic novel:

Carthago by Christophe Bec

The megalodon, the prehistoric ancestor of the great white shark was the most ferocious predator of the seas, an 80 foot killing machine extinct for millions of years.

But when divers drilling in an underwater cave are attacked by this living fossil, oceanographer Kim Melville discovers that this creature may not only have survived, but thrived, and is reclaiming its place at the top of the food chain.

Goodreads


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July TBR

I’m really enjoying these animal-related biographies, so when my sister suggested Wesley the Owl I could hardly refuse!

As for the other two titles on my list for July, I came across The Sakura Obsession while browsing the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble and Dawn came up in a work discussion that reminded me how much I wanted to go back and re-read the Xenogenesis series.


Nonfiction:

Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien

On Valentine’s Day 1985, biologist Stacey O’Brien first met a four-day-old baby barn owl — a fateful encounter that would turn into an astonishing 19-year saga.

With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet’s ability to fly was forever compromised, and he had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O’Brien, a young assistant in the owl laboratory at Caltech, was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home.

Wesley the Owl is the funny, poignant story of their dramatic two decades together.

Enhanced by wonderful photos, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heartwarming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. It is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.

Goodreads | Amazon


Nonfiction:

The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe

Each year, the flowering of cherry blossoms marks the beginning of spring. But if it weren’t for the pioneering work of an English eccentric, Collingwood “Cherry” Ingram, Japan’s beloved cherry blossoms could have gone extinct.

Ingram first fell in love with the sakura, or cherry tree, when he visited Japan on his honeymoon in 1907 and was so taken with the plant that he brought back hundreds of cuttings with him to England. Years later, upon learning that the Great White Cherry had virtually disappeared from Japan, he buried a living cutting from his own collection in a potato and repatriated it via the Trans-Siberian Express.

In the years that followed, Ingram sent more than 100 varieties of cherry tree to new homes around the globe. As much a history of the cherry blossom in Japan as it is the story of one remarkable man, The Sakura Obsession follows the flower from its significance as a symbol of the imperial court, through the dark days of the Second World War, and up to the present-day worldwide fascination with this iconic blossom.

Goodreads | Amazon


Science fiction:

Dawn by Octavia Butler

Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war.

Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth.

Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before.

The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations—whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.

Goodreads | Amazon

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June TBR

Where did May go?

It feels like March and April lasted forever and then I blinked at it was June!

I’m really, really looking forward to getting my hands on The Dawn of the Future because Final Fantasy XV was the game that got me back into playing video games AND for which I purchased a PS4, lol.

The other two titles on this TBR were suggested to me, but they sound good so I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy them as well. What are you planning to read?


Light novel:

Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future by Jun Eishima

To oppose the gods or yield to fate?

That is the question confronting each of the characters in The Dawn of the Future.

Ardyn, having saved countless lives from the Starscourge, means to become the Founder King of Lucis and instead is cast into tragic exile.

On the day the Empire falls, as the imperial capital collapses around them, Commodore Aranea is entrusted with the life of a singular young girl.

The Oracle Lunafreya, upon awakening from the slumber of death, discovers that her body has undergone an extraordinary transformation.

And after gazing upon the eternal, Noctis, the True King, finally comes to terms with his destiny. Herein lie the stories of the dawning of a new world in Final Fantasy XV.

Goodreads | Amazon


Comic book:

Star Wars: Obi-Wan & Anakin by Charles Soule

Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star, they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his young Padawan, Anakin Skywalker.

Now join them a few years into Anakin’s, “chosen one” training. Teacher and student have grown closer over time, but it’s been a difficult road. And things aren’t about to get any easier. In fact, when they’re called to a remote planet for assistance, the pair may be pushed to their breaking point.

As they find themselves stranded on a strange world of primitive technology and deadly natives, will they be able to save themselves?

When war breaks out around them, master and apprentice will find themselves on opposite sides!

Goodreads | Amazon


Non-fiction:

My Knitting Book by Frances Lambert

The examples of knitting, contained in the following pages, have been selected with the greatest care, -many are original, -and the whole are so arranged as to render them comprehensible even to a novice in the art.

Knitting being so often sought, as an evening amusement, both by the aged and by invalids, a large and distinct type has been adopted, -as affording an additional facility. The writer feels confident in the recommendation of “My Knitting Book,” and humbly hopes it may meet with the same liberal reception that has been accorded to her “Hand-Book of Needlework.”

The numerous piracies that have been committed on her last mentioned work, have been one inducement to publish this little volume; and from the low price at which it is fixed, nothing, but a very extended circulation, can ensure her from loss. Some few of the examples have been selected from the chapter on knitting, in the “Hand-Book.”

Goodreads | Amazon

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May TBR

Due to the Covid-19 craziness, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get my hands on these books from my usual vendors. I try to support local as much as possible, so if they can’t get the nonfiction and inspiration titles I have on my May TBR, then I’ll just have to wait. Totally not sad about that… except for how much I am.


Nonfiction:

Joy at Work by Marie Kondo & Scott Sonenshein

The workplace is a magnet for clutter and mess. Who hasn’t felt drained by wasteful meetings, disorganized papers, endless emails, and unnecessary tasks? These are the modern-day hazards of working, and they can slowly drain the joy from work, limit our chances of career progress, and undermine our well-being.

There is another way.

In Joy at Work, bestselling author and Netflix star Marie Kondo and Rice University business professor Scott Sonenshein offer stories, studies, and strategies to help you eliminate clutter and make space for work that really matters.

Using the world-renowned KonMari Method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work will help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that comes with a tidy desk and mind.

Goodreads | Amazon


Comic book:

Little Nightmares by John Shackleford, et. al.

A nine-year old girl named Six is kidnapped from her home and taken to work in The Maw – a surreal underwater resort that caters to the whims of the powerful elite, and where everything is built to towering and frightening proportions.

The Maw is a grim feeding trough for the swollen, corrupted souls of the world. A place where excess is encouraged and dark secrets kept far out of sight.

When an unexpected twist of fate offers her a chance at freedom, Six takes a journey through the bizarre and unpredictable world of The Maw, and catches a glimpse at the corrupt heart of modern happiness, in a thrilling new story that delightfully connects to the deranged video game.

Goodreads | Amazon


Inspiration:

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked the mole.

“Kind,” said the boy.

Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this beautiful book based on his famous quartet of characters. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse explores their unlikely friendship and the poignant, universal lessons they learn together.

Radiant with Mackesy’s warmth and gentle wit, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse blends hand-written narrative with dozens of drawings, including some of his best-loved illustrations (including “Help,” which has been shared over one million times) and new, never-before-seen material. A modern classic in the vein of The Tao of Pooh, The Alchemist, and The Giving Tree, this charmingly designed keepsake will be treasured for generations to come.

Goodreads | Amazon

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April TBR

It’s all nonfiction, all the time, in April!

I did choose to cut my #TBR down to just the one book because of my upcoming O.W.L.’s and the fact that I’ve been kind of obsessed with knitting… can’t hold a book and knitting needles at the same time. So frustrating!


Nonfiction:

The Vanishing Fleece by Clara Parkes

Join Clara Parkes on a cross-country adventure and meet a cast of characters that includes the shepherds, dyers, and countless workers without whom our knitting needles would be empty, our mills idle, and our feet woefully cold. Travel the country with her as she meets a flock of Saxon Merino sheep in upstate New York, tours a scouring plant in Texas, visits a steamy Maine dyehouse, helps sort freshly shorn wool on a working farm, and learns how wool fleece is measured, baled, shipped, and turned into skeins.

In pursuit of the perfect yarn, Parkes describes a brush with the dangers of opening a bale (they can explode), and her adventures from Maine to Wisconsin (“the most knitterly state”) and back again; along the way, she presents a behind-the-scenes look at the spinners, scourers, genius inventors, and crazy-complex mill machines that populate the yarn-making industry. By the end of the book, you’ll be ready to set aside the backyard chickens and add a flock of sheep instead. Simply put, no other book exists that explores American culture through the lens of wool. 

Goodreads | Amazon


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Blog | 2020 Magical Readathon O.W.L.’s

So, what is this thing?

The Magical Readathon was created by the book-tuber, Book Roast, in 2018 as a fun Harry Potter themed reading challenge. Held during the month of April, there are many different levels for the O.W.L.’s so readers of all ages, time constraints, etc. are able to participate and I’m hoping to convince some of my gal pals to join in the fun!

With this particular challenge, you choose your career and then complete the reading prompts required to pass each of the subjects. For my career as a Librarian (IRL and for the challenge, lol), I must pass five separate O.W.L.’s, so I must read five books.

Here you can see the subjects that Librarians are required to study and pass in order to gain employment within the wizarding community.

Some of the key traits for this career are to be knowledgeable, brave, adventurous, and resourceful… I think I have those covered. 😛

Continue reading “Blog | 2020 Magical Readathon O.W.L.’s”
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March TBR

In terms of reading goals, I’d say that February was pretty successful for me. I was able to read both fiction and nonfiction, listen to audio books and read paper ones, and just enjoyed learning more about the world through reading.

Let’s see if I can keep up the pace in March!


Nonfiction:

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Goodreads | Amazon


Young Adult:

Running With Lions by Julian Winters

Bloomington High School Lions’ star goalie, Sebastian Hughes, should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing and he’s got a coach who doesn’t ask anyone to hide their sexuality.

But when his estranged childhood best friend Emir Shah shows up to summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him. Determined to reconnect with Emir for the sake of the Lions, he sets out to regain Emir’s trust. But to Sebastian’s surprise, sweaty days on the pitch, wandering the town’s streets, and bonding on the weekends sparks more than just friendship between them.

Goodreads | Amazon


Science Fiction:

The God Engines by John Scalzi

Captain Ean Tephe is a man of faith, whose allegiance to his lord and to his ship is uncontested. The Bishopry Militant knows this — and so, when it needs a ship and crew to undertake a secret, sacred mission to a hidden land, Tephe is the captain to whom the task is given.

Tephe knows from the start that his mission will be a test of his skill as a leader of men and as a devout follower of his god. It’s what he doesn’t know that matters: to what ends his faith and his ship will ultimately be put — and that the tests he will face will come not only from his god and the Bishopry Militant, but from another, more malevolent source entirely…

Goodreads | Amazon