2017 · books

Gift Guide For Your Bookish Friends

It’s that time of year again! Everyone is scrambling to find the perfect gift, or maybe they’re just scrambling to get a gift. Maybe you just want something for yourself. Never fear, I have a few suggestions!

A bookish subscription box – There are hundreds of you to choose from. I’m a personal fan of Owlcrate, but it’s also the only subscription box I’ve had. I also want to try Unicorn Crate and Fairyloot

cards against muggles

Cards Against Muggles – A for-you-to-download Harry Potter themed version of Cards Against Humanity.

Anything from Out of Print Clothing. T-shirts, jewelry, pencil cases and sweatshirts galore, all inspired by awesome literature.

Candles inspired by your favorites. I love A Court of Candles first because the name is inspired by the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (I think!) and second because the designs are gorgeous. Both of these images are from the A Court of Candles site, because I don’t have any of my own yet!

Bookish Tea. There are lots of shops to choose from. First Edition Tea Co. is the first I’ve tried!

noveldestinations2

Novel Destinations: Second Edition: A Travel Guide to Literary Landmarks From Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West – This literary guide takes you around the world to different places that exist in real life, but you may be familiar with them because of novels.

Even though I’d like one of all of these, I’m also trying to be mindful of my possessions and pare down what I down a bit. So I’d have to say the best gifts are experiences. Buy you girl tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, take your guy friend on a tour of Shakespeare’s house, plan a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Make memories, take pictures and enjoy yourself. I find having experiences, especially with people you love, are so much better than buying something that’ll sit on a shelf. (And yes, I realize all these experiences are very BIG. Instead you can use the Novel Destinations book you bought to find something more local and explore!).

What would you like for the holidays?

xo.
Melanie

2017 · books · favorites · melanie kristy

Stories in November 2017

I started so many novels in November, and I barely finished any. That doesn’t fare well with my Goodreads challenge, but this is the last year I’m doing the challenge for now anyone so overall I don’t think that matters. I’ve liked the books I started, too! I just couldn’t get my head in the reading game. Actually, I just checked my Goodreads challenge and even though I read 3 books in November, I’m 1 ahead for the year! That means I only need to finish 3 in December, which I think I can probably do.

I set my goal to 52 books this year. One a week. Last year I was only a few books shy of my 75 book goal. We will talk about book goals at a different time, though. Right now we are just talking about November stories.

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Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki

I started off November reading this book. I’ve been enjoying reading about minimalist and decluttering but let me tell you, this book isn’t the book to read. The writing was mediocre and it was quick to fly through. What I really didn’t like about this book, however, was that the author made broad generalizations, used quotes a “proof” of her methodology while pulling them completely out of context, and did little research in this area. I cannot even remember the bad examples she used, aside from claiming that minimalism will make you thin. She says that no minimalists are overweight. There’s no research in that aside from her “observations” of minimalists she’s encountered. I stopped reading at that point and flipped through, skimming to see if anything else was worthwhile in the book and decided there was no anything of substance. I gave it 2 starts on Goodreads.

tower of dawn
Tower of Dawn
by Sarah J. Maas
When Tower of Dawn first came out I was disappointed to learn it was sort of a companion novel in the way that it takes place at the same time Empire of Storms does. I put it down in my disappointment by the lack of Aelin and Rowan, and didn’t return to it for a few months. That being said, the novel is excellent. I love Chaol, and I’m happy his story is going in the direction is does in Tower of Dawn. I think this novel is necessary to read as part of the Throne of Glass series, I just don’t like that it takes place with different characters at the same time as Empire of Storms. 5 stars regardless.

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They Both Die At The End
by Adam Silvera
If you read my November favorites you’ll see I marked this novel as my favorite for November. It’s about two guys, Mateo and Rufus who learn they’re going to die within 24 hours, and they don’t know how. From this comes a beautiful connection, and one last. This is a book about life, and how you should spend it.

books · story

Stories in Books: May 2017

I started a few books this month that I’m still reading. There are three I haven’t finished (you’ll see them next month!) and one I decided to put down. I was halfway through Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple and nothing had happened yet in the entire book, so I was too bored to go on.

In May I read five books. A classic. A Keto cookbook/”diet” book and a trilogy.

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

I somehow managed to not read this in high school. We picked it for my book club book and I read almost all of it in one night, without realizing I was almost finished with the novel. Half of the edition I had was essays. I especially loved the introduction by Neil Gaiman.

keto

The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel

I’ve been following Leanne Vogel on YouTube and online for over a year. Her new book is very comprehensive, has lots of recipes and lots of different ways to do the Ketogenic Diet. What I love about Leanne’s philosophy is that everyone is different. While this can make trying out keto difficult, it also makes it easier. There’s less pressure and more love. She’s great at explaining the diet and how eating ketogenic works. She also explains different ways to modify this diet and make it a lifestyle for you.

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Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield

I couldn’t stop reading this. The writing is beautiful, the story is heartbreaking. I can’t even say anything else about it, you just have to go into it knowing beauty, love and heartbreak.

aco

A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Wings and Ruin

I almost wish this trilogy had a different title. The first book is good, but as a title it’s not a good representation of the rest of the books. I listened on audio to the first two books, then read A Court of Wings and Ruin in two days – in the airport/ flying to Tulsa, and on the way back. I dove straight into fangirl mode somewhere in the middle of A Court of Mist and Fury. I’ve been trying to keep myself from immediately rereading. Something about the characters, something about finding a book boyfriend when I haven’t felt that way about characters in a while. Something about the magic and the characters, the words and the core friendship group (the “inner circle” as you will). I love it so much. I love it in ways I haven’t loved a series in a long time. There are more books coming in this world, but they’re companion novels. I can’t wait. (Until then, I will go for Sarah J Maas’ other series Throne of Glass).

What did you read in May?

x. Melanie

books · story

Stories in Books: April 2017

I’m making it a point to read more. There are times when I forget how much I enjoy books. Times when I can’t be bothered to pick up pages, or finish books, or continue to listen to audio discs. I’ve started so many books this year and just let them be, mid-way through. Here are the stories I read from April of this year.

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Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr

I had no idea about this novel until I decided to look up a few author’s names to see if they had anything coming out, and BAM here’s this beautiful novel about two sisters and their different experiences living with poverty and a mother who isn’t quite what the girls’ need. Years ago I was paired with Sara to do this author/ wannabe writer mentor program and we e-mailed back and forth for a few months. A couple years ago I had the pleasure of meeting her after a panel at the AWP Writer’s Conference in Seattle, WA.

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American Street by Ibi Zoboi

I decided to read more Own Voice novels this year and American Street was one of them. It was coming back in transit from another library when I took it and checked it out to myself. It chronicles a girl from Haiti who moves to America and lives with her aunt and cousins.

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Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

This was a reread for me, done via audiobook. Sarah Dessen’s new book comes out next month and I find that reading her novels brings me back to high school and into summer mode.

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Girl Goddess #9 by Francesca Lia Block

Another re-read, this is one of the first Francesca Lia Block novels that I ever read, back when I was in high school. The short stories are short and sweet, varying in content. One of them  was the inspiration for a nickname between myself and an old online turned real life friend.

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Namaslay by Candace Moore

Yoga & Memoir combined, this book tells you Candace’s story while teaching you about the power of yoga. It also has tons of asanas and suggestions for your own practice.

What did you read in April?