ARC August 2020 TBR

Happy August everyone!

If someone came up to me last year and said 2020 would be flying by while staying indoors, I would’ve said they were crazy. Yet here we are, watching summer fly by! Weren’t we just celebrating the beginning of summer??

Before work life takes up my September days (we’re set to return to the classroom…really hoping for the best…), I’m going to get as much reading done as I can!


ARC August TBR

We are now in ARC August, meaning it’s a great time to tackle the many reads in my NetGalley/Edelweiss list! Here are some stories to enjoy:

Tank, a bull mastiff, sleeps with teddy bear on blue couch

Tank’s Forever Home by Carol Kim

I’m finally going to read Tank’s Forever Home! This is such an endearing cover!


Alone Together: Love, Grief and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19, Edited by Jennifer Haupt

I’m so thankful that NetGalley granted my wish to read this anthology! It’s extremely relevant for our time, and many wonderful contributors took part!


Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann
Link: https://i0.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1589653905l/50634397.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann
I’ll finally have the chance to read this thriller!


August TBR:
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Link: https://i0.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1594059624l/52339313._SY475_.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

I’m so glad that I received this book through Edelweiss! I’m also reading this story for Hear Our Voices Book Tours next month!


Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz
Link: https://i2.wp.com/i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1585957242l/52697938._SY475_.jpg?w=620&ssl=1

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

It’s wonderful to have two books with Latinx representation! I’m looking forward to reading this delightful fantasy!


Those are the ARCs I have lined up for this month! What do you have planned in your TBR?
I hope everyone has a wonderful reading month!



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June 2020 TBR

The days are finally getting longer and warmer!

We’re still living in a semi-lockdown here in New Jersey, so this means that I can spend these long summer hours reading some good stories!

The following are in my TBR list for June:

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
Purchased a copy from Book of the Month

Never Turn Back by Christopher Swann
Received digital ARC from NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books

Guild of Tokens by Jon Auerbach
Received complimentary digital copy from Storytellers on Tour

The CEO, the Puppy and Me by Jennifer Faye
Received complimentary copy for Prism Book Tours

Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar
Received complimentary digital copy from author

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
Purchased a copy from OwlCrate

What books are on your TBR pile this month? Feel free to share!

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May 2020 TBR

Can you believe that it’s now May???

Given that everyone is living the quarantine life, I thought that April would crawl by slowly. Yet we take a breath and blink, and April disappeared!

Even though May appears to be another indoor month here in New Jersey, I love knowing that the days will begin to get warmer, which means I can spend some time out in the yard for some more reading!

Here are some of the books I plan on reading in May:

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
I’m in the middle of reading this exciting novel about a girl who fights for the kingdom she cherishes!

Until I Find You by Rea Frey
This is Rea Frey’s 3rd novel, coming out in August! I received this digital ARC through NetGalley

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
This novel written in verse shares the journey of grief and revelations through the eyes of two young women tied through a secret.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
This is a reread for me! I can’t wait to enjoy Maia’s story again!

Obit: Poems by Victoria Chang
This poetry collection was recommended to me by a dear friend and mentor!

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
I heard about the book’s plot and fell instantly in love! I can’t wait to read this book!

What books are you planning on reading during May? Feel free to share in the comments!



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April TBR/O.W.L.s Magical Readathon!

Happy April, everyone! Hopefully the start of a new month brings some positivity for us all. Even through all this social distancing/quarantine that we’re all experiencing!

The O.W.L.’s Magical Readathon is currently happening! The OWLs Magical Readathon is run by Book Roast. I’m going to give this readathon a shot. I enjoy Harry Potter, and taking part of the O.W.L.s would be something that I would love! I already have my career chosen…I’m following the Care of Magical Children path. Since I’m already an Educator, I figure that’s a fitting path for me!

Here are the books I chose for my TBR:

Charms: Read a Book With a White Cover
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Muggle Studies: Read a Contemporary
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendicks & Sarah Pekkanen

Defense Against the Dark Arts: A Book Set in the Ocean
All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Transfiguation: A Book with ShapeShifting
Lobizona by Romina Garber

Potions: Read a Book Under 150 pages
The Riot Grrrl Thing by Sara Larsen

History of Magic: Read a Book About Witches or Wizards
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Herbology: A Book Whose Title Begins with ‘M’
The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Arithmancy: Read a Book Different From Your Favored Genre
Silent Shadows by Natalie Walters

Those are my choices for the OWLs Readathon! Are you also taking part? Let me know in the comments!

March 2020 TBR

Happy 1st day of March! The days of Winter are nearly behind us!

I’ve yet to put out my February Wrap-Up post, and I will have that up very soon. For now, these are the reads that I’ll be reading during March!

We Ride Upon Sticks and Are There Presently by Quan Barry

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Pantheon Books. Since this book comes out on March 3rd, I’ll have my review posted within the week!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This novel is the March selection at my local library’s book club! I’ve heard so much about Where the Crawdads Sing, so I can’t wait to learn why it’s so popular!

Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot

I received a complimentary copy of Out of the Ashes from Revell Reads. It sounds like a romantic suspense novel set in the countryside. I’m curious to see what happens!

I’m sure I’ll add more to this list, but these are the selections are definitely a ‘must read’ for March!

What books are on your TBR list this month?

February 2020 TBR

While my life continues to bring chaos, reading has always brought peace to my soul. I have many books that wait for me to pick up and enjoy, and I’m determined to have my steady companions by my side through the storm (along with my husband Andy. I don’t know what I would do without him)!

Here are the books in my February TBR:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere is the February selection at my local library’s book club. I’ve heard so many great things about this one!

Honeybees and Frenemies by Kristi Wientge
Honeybees and Frenemies is an adorable Middle Grade tale that I acquired from NetGalley a while back! Since I want to catch up with all my current reads, I want to take this one on!

The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor
I remember watching the TV series on ABC a long time ago! I tried reading the book right afterward, but I was surprised how different it was from the film, so I put it down. Fast forward to December 2019, when I discovered the book again at an antique shop in Phillipsburg. I snatched it up right away. I’m not making that mistake of putting it down again!

These are my books for this month! What are you planning on reading for February?

Blogtober/Spooky TBR (and a comfort read)!

Happy October everyone! This time of year is so special: Autumn is in full swing, and with it comes Blogtober (posting a spooky/Autumn related post all month)!

I got the inspiration by reading The Library Looter & Anniek’s Library Blogtober ideas. While posting every day seems like a challenge, I’m up to the task! I can finally post my Halloween Peanuts characters for as long as I want! (Yes, I know that I can post them any time I want, but showing them during October makes it extra special)!

Along with this comes pairing dark themes and bookish content together, and I also have plenty to share! Here is my TBR pile (along with Trick-or-Treat Snoopy) for the month of October:

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
My name is Meredith ‘Merry’ Gentry, but of course it’s not my real name. I dare not even whisper my true name after dark for fear that one hushed word will travel over the night winds to the soft ear of my aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. She wants me dead. I don’t even know why…

I’ve been wanting to read A Kiss of Shadows forever! I’m a fan of the Anita Blake series, but have yet to dive into the sensual fairie realm Hamilton creates with the Merry Gentry series. Hopefully I can finally make the time to read it!

Keeping Her Close by Carol Ross
The job sounds simple: teach a businessman’s daughter how to stay safe. But former navy SEAL turned bodyguard Kyle Frasier has a personal motive, too. Harper Jansen is his late best friend’s fiancée. Loyalty demands he protect her, not that Harper looks in need of rescuing. In fact, it’s Kyle who needs help—balancing duty with his desire to build a life with the one woman he shouldn’t want…

Keeping Her Close is the designated ‘comfort read’ of the pack…while it doesn’t hold ‘scary’ content, I’m reading it for a blog tour this month. Bring on the light reads!

Jerusalem Maiden by Talia Carner
In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a young Orthodox Jewish woman in the holy city of Jerusalem is expected to marry and produce many sons to help hasten the Messiah’s arrival. While the feisty Esther Kaminsky understands her obligations, her artistic talent inspires her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, to dream of studying in Paris and to believe that God has a special destiny for her. When tragedy strikes her family, Esther views it as a warning from an angry God and suppresses her desires in order to become an obedient “Jerusalem maiden.”

Jerusalem Maiden is my local library’s book club pick for October. I’m curious to learn about Esther’s journey to find herself within the confines of duty and social mores!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

I received A Discovery of Witches through a recommendation from a friend and colleague of my poetry therapy community. It has everything I love in stories: witches, a library, and ancient spells. I can’t wait to get to this story!

A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney
Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she graduates) Alice must cross the Veil to rescue her friends and stop the Black Knight once and for all. But the deeper she ventures into Wonderland, the more topsy-turvy everything becomes. It’s not until she’s at her wits end that she realizes—Wonderland is trying to save her.
There’s a new player on the board; a poet capable of using Nightmares to not only influence the living but raise the dead. This Poet is looking to claim the Black Queen’s power—and Alice’s budding abilities—as their own.

I’m currently halfway through A Dream So Dark, and so far it’s just as addictive as McKinney’s first installment! I enjoy fairy tell re-tellings with a dark twist!

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

I received Lock Every Door as a Book of the Month club selection back in July. I’m can’t wait to find out if the story lives up to the hype!

I hope everyone is having a restful start to their October!

My Reading Rush TBR

I’ve been hearing so much about The Reading Rush (happening from July 22-28), I figured that I should give it a shot. Even though I don’t have a Booktube channel, I love taking part in readathons in general. I’ll blog about my progress throughout the week.

Here is my TBR list for The Reading Rush:

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 456 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Release Date: June 4, 2019

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.



The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Publisher: Scribner Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 371 pages
Release Date: March 21, 2017

In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.

The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—conceived with a man her parents consider a poor choice—she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.

As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.

A powerful story about circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond of family.


Small Country by Gael Faye
Length: 183 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Hogarth Press
Release Date: June 5, 2018

In 1992, Gabriel, ten years old, lives in Burundi in a comfortable expatriate neighborhood with his French father, his Rwandan mother and his little sister, Ana. In this joyful idyll, Gabriel spends the better part of his time with his mischievous band of friends, in a tiny cul-de-sac they have turned into their kingdom. But their peaceful existence will suddenly shatter when this small African country is brutally battered by history.

In this magnificent coming-of-age story, Gael Faye describes an end of innocence and drives deep into the heart and mind of a young child caught in the maelstrom of history.

Mid Year Book Freakout Tag

It’s amazing that 2019 is halfway through! I’ve been seeing this tag circulate throughout June, and I’m glad that I’m finally taking part in it. I see this as a way to relieve wedding planning stress lol!
I came across this book tag through Adventures of a Bibliophile‘s page.

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019
I really enjoyed Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I read the audiobook version of this story, and it was absolutely amazing. It felt like I was listening to an actual band’s rise and fall in history. The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faraqi was a close second in favorite reads thus far.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2019
I haven’t really read through a sequel yet! I’m currently in progress of reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. So far I’m enjoying it!

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half of the Year
I can’t wait to read A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney. I really love reading Alice in Wonderland reboots, and A Blade So Black was a lovely modern take on a classic story. The book features a strong, African-American character as Alice, which is very empowering.

Biggest Disappointment
I wasn’t particularly into Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. As much as it was refreshing to discover Nikolai, I found the story as mostly filler.

Biggest Surprise
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. I was pleasantly surprised in discovering how good this story was! The message of female empowerment in the face of a patriarchal society came through clearly.

Newest Fictional Crush
I would say that Joe Reynolds from Time After Time was very intriguing to learn about! He was hard-working and passionate at the same time, and that always wins me over.

Newest Favorite Character
Addison Hatta in A Blade So Black. He was a super cool individual!

Book That Made You Cry
Daisy Jones and the Six. The last hour of the story was heartbreaking!

Book That Made You Happy
Wish by Barbara O’Connor. It was so endearing, and the dog/child bond was adorable!

Favorite Book to Film Adaptation
Honestly, I haven’t watched too many book to film programs this year. I heard that Good Omens is amazing to watch on Amazon Prime, so I should catch an episode of that series.

Favorite Post You Have Done This Year
I would say that the post about ‘The First Book Series I Read’ was one that I really liked writing about. I love all the posts I’ve worked on, but I enjoyed looking back on what I read when I was younger!

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year
Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau-Preto. I received it through OwlCrate a couple months ago.

What Books Do You Need To Read By the End of the Year
Definitely A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney, and Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan. I’m looking forward to reading The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See as well.

June 2019 TBR list

For the month of June, I’m going to continue reading Asian themed novels. I received two new books as I was taking on the Asian , and just never got to them in time! My reading pace is just THAT slow, lol!

These are the books I’m planning on reading during June. I may add on as the month progresses:

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Length: 480 pgs
Farrar Straus Giroux
Genre: YA

Synopsis:
People lived because she killed. People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

The Buried: An Archeology of the Egyptian Revolution by Peter Hessler
Penguin Press
480 pgs
Genre: Non-Fiction/History

Synopsis:
Drawn by a fascination with Egypt’s rich history and culture, Peter Hessler moved with his wife and twin daughters to Cairo in 2011. He wanted to learn Arabic, explore Cairo’s neighborhoods, and visit the legendary archaeological digs of Upper Egypt. After his years of covering China for The New Yorker, friends warned him Egypt would be a much quieter place. But not long before he arrived, the Egyptian Arab Spring had begun, and now the country was in chaos.

In the midst of the revolution, Hessler often traveled to digs at Amarna and Abydos, where locals live beside the tombs of kings and courtiers, a landscape that they call simply al-Madfuna “the Buried.” He and his wife set out to master Arabic, striking up a friendship with their instructor, a cynical political sophisticate. They also befriended Peter’s translator, a gay man struggling to find happiness in Egypt’s homophobic culture. A different kind of friendship was formed with the neighborhood garbage collector, an illiterate but highly perceptive man named Sayyid, whose access to the trash of Cairo would be its own kind of archaeological excavation. Hessler also met a family of Chinese small-business owners in the lingerie trade; their view of the country proved a bracing counterpoint to the West’s conventional wisdom.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
Scribner Books
384 pgs
Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:
In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.

The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—conceived with a man her parents consider a bad match—she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.

As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins, and across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.