Unboxing: August Owlcrate!

Something wicked this way came… The August Owlcrate! 

Spoilers beyond this point…

This month’s theme is Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the box is filled with wickedly wonderful goodies (though weirdly no Ray Bradbury or Macbeth inspired items). Without any further ado…

My faithful raven Edgar was particularly interested in this box and wanted to be included


I’m kind of in love with the print on this month’s spoiler card!


Poe-ka Dot socks from Out of Print Clothing! I LOVE these! They’ll match my Poe-ka Dot tote bag from the same company. Edgar is delighted.


Ooly provides a “Splendid Pen” a fountain pen with extra ink cartridges… good for penning wicked missives in the dead of night… mostly I’ll just pretend to be Jo March.


Harry Potter inspired “Dark Arts Roast” by Happenstance Coffee… I don’t drink coffee but I’m sure I can find someone who will enjoy it. 


A This Savage Song sticker by Evie Bookish and a Six of Crows bookmark by Treehouse Books. I’m a little ambivalent on these two… they’re pretty but I haven’t read the Monsters of Verity books and I have taken a break from Six of Crows because it got really boring. 


A BEAUTIFUL edition of Sleepy Hollow and Other Short Stories by Washington Irving by Rock Paper Books.


And finally… The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones with an Owlcrate exclusive cover! I knew this would be the book because I stalk Korinna on Goodreads… Other than that I haven’t heard much buzz on this book (not like Gentleman’s Guide)


There it is all laid out and lovely! I’m excited to read this month’s book and try out the items!

Next month’s theme is Mythical Creatures and I have skipped that box, because based on the hints I feel strongly that I’ll have no interest in what’s in it. I’ll probably try out a different box.

Forgive Me Readers for I Have Sinned…


It’s been forever since my last confession… but this one’s a doozy. It’s not a secret that I’m am a passionate lover of books. I devour them, inhale them, drown in them. My love for literature is also very physical. The weight, the smell the paper quality, the feel of a book in my hand is among my chief joys in life. That said… there is a darker side to this declaration of love. In my fits of passion, I confess that I have been guilty of acts of book violence.

The Dog-Ear


Least among my transgressions, is the generally harmless dog-earing of pages to mark my place. I know I should use a bookmark, and I really do try, (I’ve tried all sorts, tradition, cloth, metal, magnetic, post-its, etc.) but I always go back to turning down the corner of the page, There is something uniquely satisfying in the act of folding the page. It’s almost as though I’m making my mark in the book, leaving physical evidence of my journey through that world. Those little creases are my footprints… footprints I couldn’t leave with a bookmark.

The Broken Spine

As with my penchant for dog-earring, my physical relationship with reading has led me to fold my paperbacks to the point that creases and cracks weaken their bindings. There is no excuse for this beyond the fact that I have tiny hands with short thumbs, and for the sake of reading a few more chapters, I allow comfort to supercede my desire for a pristine bookshelf.
The Fling


I am a passionate reader, I love hard and I hate hard. Books that disappoint me (The Marriage Plot  by Jeffrey Eugenides and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart), books that annoy me (The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline), and and books that infuriate me (Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz, Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer, or anything by Chad Kultgen) tend to meet a grizzly fate. I throw books that betray me. I will throw them across the room, hurl them to the floor, toss them over the side of the loft. If I pour my time and heart into a book, I want something back out of it. I want to be satisfied, fulfilled, at the very least I want to not have my intelligence insulted. I throw books without any care for their well-being, and without thought to how much I spent on them. This has, of course, resulted in torn covers, damaged pages, and on one occasion a broken window. There is catharsis is throwing a bad book… I cautiously recommend trying it out.

The Turnpike


I once so violently hated a book that I threw it out the passenger side window of the car while traveling on the Ohio Turnpike. That book was Ahab’s Wife, or The Stargazer by Sena Jeter Naslund. That book is trash. I have no regrets.    

What bookish sins are you guilty of?

Unboxing: Book of the Month Club

My August Book of the Month box came today!

Unfortunately there was no surprise extra this month BUT I am excited about the books!


The selection was pretty good this month. I ended up choosing the much anticipated YA novel Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert as my primary book.


But because I have no self-control, I chose Clockwork Dynasty as my extra book… I basically had to, it’s on LibraryReads top ten for August…


So yeah, it’s a mini update, but look at the pretty books!

ARC, ARC, and Away!

All my unread unreviewed ARCS… not really but yeah.

As I mentioned in my update post, I’m participating in ARC August this year. I’m setting aside the month of August (along with other book bloggers and booktubers) to read only (or mostly) some of theadvanced readers copies that I’ve been accumulating and get some of that NetGalley feedback in.

I’ve been getting ARCs for a while now, but recently, since I started working at a library, I’ve been getting approved and requested like crazy. My pile of books to read and review is HUGE. So I’m definitely going to take of the ARC August reading challenge. 

Here’s my highly ambitious ARC August TBR List

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng


 The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton


The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert


The Visitors by Catherine Burns


There you have it, my ambitious ARC August TBR!

I finished both Little Fires Everywhere and The Midnight Dance between the time I started this post and now… one was excellent, one was terrible. I’ll let you know which was which at the end of the month.

An Overwhelmed Update…

Me… if I were an adorable stock photo.

Okay, so Monday feels like it was a million years ago.

I’m in the middle of a long stretch of uninterrupted workdays (no weekends for two weekends) so I’m a little behind on everything.

Some Quick Updates!

  • I finished reading Moby-Dick for the 33rd time! I don’t know why I can still read it and love it, I just can.
  • My Book of the Month Club box is on its way. So maybe an unboxing soon?
  • I’ll be participating in ARC August. Basically I’m drowning in advanced reader copies (ARCs) and so I’m going to join my fellow book bloggers (and booktubers) in prioritizing reading ARCs this month. I of course came to this decision AFTER I put together my TBR for August, but that’s why pencils have erasers, right?
  • I’m finally reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve been putting it off for a long time so I just decided to make it my non-ARC this month.

I think that’s it for now. Fingers crossed for a decent post on… Saturday? Probably Sunday.

Happy Birthday Herman Melville!


Today is Herman Melville’s 198th Birthday! 

Without Herman Melville I wouldn’t have met my favorite professor, who helped me get into grad school! I wouldn’t have gotten my MA (wrote at least half my thesis on Moby-Dick)! And without my MA I probably wouldn’t have the job that I have! I owe a lot to Herman!

So celebrate his birthday by foolishly claiming mastery over nature! Do something blasphemous! Threaten the Sun! …or I don’t know, read something he wrote… I’m not your boss.

I Solemnly Swear That I’m Up To… THE ULTIMATE HARRY POTTER TAG!

So, I was supposed to write about my trip to seeing Moby Dick at Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago… but time got away from me and all of a sudden it was July 31st, Harry Potter and JK Rowling’s birthday, and what kind of book blog would this be if I didn’t mark the occasion?

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THE ULTIMATE HARRY POTTER TAG!

Books and Movies

1. Favorite Book? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban I’m a sucker for the Marauders… especially Sirius and Remus so this book is my jam.

2. Least Favorite Book? Harry Potter and The Order of Phoenix I have reasons (Hagrid’s Tale, Sirius’ Death, Dumbledore, Cho Chang etc.) and I just… ugh I love so many parts of it that the bad parts make me angrier.

3. Favorite Movie? Deathly Hallows Pt 2

4. Least Favorite Movie? Prisoner of Azkaban

Favorites

5. Favorite Quote? “When in doubt, go to the library.” …I may or may not be wearing a Harry Potter Alliance t-shirt that says just that at this very moment…

6. Favorite Weasley? Molly. No question. Molly Weasley is everything.

7. Favorite Female Character? Three way tie between Minerva McGonagall, Luna Lovegood and Molly Weasley

8. Favorite Villain? I don’t know if this counts, but Tom Riddle (not Voldemort) in Chamber of Secrets always gave me chills, a seductive, alienating villain. He was really well crafted. Umbridge is one for the ages… she’ll go down as one of the great villains of literary history.

9. Favorite Male Character? Another tie… four way Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Neville Longbottom and Arthur Weasley

10. Favorite Professor? McGonagall… hands down, no question

Image result for mcgonagall

Would You Rather?

11. Would you rather A) wash Snape’s hair or B) spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself? I’d rather listen to Lockhart rant about himself.  Snape is gross. And I could laugh about Lockhart later.

12.  Would you rather duel A) an elated Bellatrix or B) and angry Molly? Please… Bellatrix. Never cross Molly Weasley.

13. Would you rather travel to Hogwarts via A) Hogwarts Express or B) Flying Car? Why is this even a question? HOGWARTS EXPRESS! Harry and Ron didn’t want to take the flying car, they thought they had to. The Hogwarts Express is so cool! Magic, hanging out with friends, sweets trolley… so cool

14.  Would you rather A) Kiss Voldemort or B) give Umbridge a bubble bath? Give Umbridge a bubble bath… she’d probably be very uncomfortable with it… and maybe she might accidentally drown if I’m not paying close enough attention to her.

15. Would you rather A) ride a Hippogriff or B) ride a Firebolt? Neither. I’m scared of heights.

Movies

16. Is there a character you felt differently about in the movies? Yes. Hermione. I love book Hermione but the way she’s written in movies and  Emma Watson’s performance kind of ruins her for me. Ginny also suffers a similar fate. I actually like Seamus Finnegan more in the movies.

17.  Is there a movie you preferred to the book? Maybe Order of Phoenix depending on my mood.

18. Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore? I would have liked to see what Richard Harris would have done with the role if he had lived. But I think Gambon did a great job with a few exceptions (HARRYDIYOUPUTYERNAMEINTHEGOBLETOFFIRE)

19. Your top thing (person or event) that wasn’t in the movie that you wanted there the most? Well… SPEW would be high my list.  Meeting Neville’s parents would be another…um… I would have liked to see Potterwatch come into play more. I can’t really think of many off the top of my head because I think for the most part the movies are pretty good adaptations that cut what they did for reasonable reasons.

20. If you could remake any of the Harry Potter movies which would it be? Prisoner of Azkaban. 

General

Image result for ravenclaw

21. Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of? Ravenclaw. I held no delusions about being in Gryffndor. I knew what I was.

22. Which house were you actually sorted into on Pottermore? Ravenclaw. Obviously.

23. Which class would be your favourite? Transfiguration, maybe History of Magic

24. Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn? Accio… or Lumos.

25. Which character do you think you’d instantly become friends with? Luna or Neville or both.

26. If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be? Cloak of Invisibility. If I had access to the Hallows I think I’d know the story and know which one didn’t end up with me dead.

27.  Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change? I would love to see Hermione be canonically black, and a lot more explicit, obvious diversity at Hogwarts. Also, Harry… do NOT name your kid after Dumbledore and Snape… any of his father figures or friends deserve the honor more Remus, Arthur, Rubeus, Neville… hell even Dobby showed him more love, loyalty and friendship… name your son after Dobby.

28.  Favorite Marauder? Well, logically, I say Remus, because he is good and kind, and smart… and a lot of honorable wonderful things. But I’m always going to be Sirius Black’s girl…

29.  If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be? Fred. Come on, now. Fred didn’t deserve to die and the Weasley’s didn’t deserve to lose him.

30. Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows… I’m not interested in murdering anyone.

There you have it! Happy Birthday JK and Harry, thanks for all the magic!

Image result for hagrid's birthday cake

Book Quirk Confession: Favorite BOOK

This is a preface to a longer bit coming tomorrow about my trip to see Moby Dick at Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago.


I’m the kind of girl who has a favorite edition of her favorite book. The 2003 Dover Giant Thrift Edition of Moby-Dick is my favorite one to read. It fits my hands perfectly, the type isn’t too small, the paper is sturdy, I love the color blue it is. I wrote my first draft of my MA thesis using this book. It’s been across the country with me. I own MANY copies of this book, but this is the one I read and reread. I love it.

So Basically… I’m exhausted, or 24in48 Readathon Wrap-Up Post

Well, dear readers. We did it. I say “we” because a good number of you were with me throughout most of the 24in48 journey, and for that I’m pretty darn grateful.

I’ve now put roughly 48 hours between me and the readathon, I gone to work, I’ve watched a lot of The Great British Baking Show, and I think I’m recovered enough to reflect and wrap up.


It was definitely an experience. I mean I went into this assuming I would cop out around hour 12 and be proud that I made it that far. But somehow (I’m going to say that it was the much needed boost I got from reading Moxie) I managed to read for 24+ plus hours. Which is pretty cool. I read six books in the equivalent of one day. I managed to live blog pretty much the whole thing AND I won the Hour 42 challenge!

Before I close this chapter for good, I’ve got a few reflections:

Best Book I Read: A Million Junes by Emily Henry This book was so good and such a surprise. I cried ugly tears and hugged the book to my chest when it was over. Loved it.

Worst Book I Read: Universal Harvester by John Darnielle ugh… this book. I was so excited to read it! It had such a cool premise! But it was SOOOO boring! I just ugh… so bad.

Favorite Book I Read: Moxie by Jennifer Matheiu THIS BOOK! This book excited me so much as I read it. I listened to Riot Grrrl music and wanted to smash the patriarchy from start to finish. It’s not perfect, it isn’t as intersectional in its feminism as I’d like it to be. But I really liked reading it.

Highlight: All the awesome support from the online book community! It was amazing! 

Highlight 2: Finishing my 4th book and realizing I was kind of crushing it.

Lowlight: Losing my entire clock at 19:50 hours…I legit cried.

Lowlight 2: Being bit by a f@*#ing spider! BTW it still itches sooooo bad.

I had so much fun! Bonus, I earned my book buying ban relief day! I’ll share what I got when they arrive from Amazon.

I will totally do this again.