Thursday, December 31, 2015

Books I'm planning to read in 2016 that aren't for book club!

When you're in three book clubs, you read a lot of books. However, they aren't always books you want to read, and sometimes you have to make time for others too! One of my New Year's Book Resolutions (more on this tomorrow) is to read these 14 books in addition to the 36 book club books I'll be reading. Hey, that equals out to an even 50, and I didn't even do it on purpose! :)

 1. The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - I am so excited for this! I can't believe I have to wait until April!

2. Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas - The first Veronica Mars book was great, so I have to read the second!

3. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare - The newest story in the Shadowhunter world!

 4. The rest of the Throne of Glass series - I read the first one and was blown away, but I've been bad at getting to sequels lately!

5. Second Chance Summer and Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - Recommended to me by the lovely Gnoming Librarian :)

6. I Hunt Killers - Dad was a serial killer and never bothered to hide it from his son, Jazz. Now Jazz is helping the police solve a murder! I'm in! (Update: I just found out I'll be reading this for a book club - so win!)

7. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy - I've been wanting to read this one for a while, and I own it, so I have no excuse.

 8. Gail Carriger adult series - Her young adult series is phenomenal, so I can only imagine how good the adult books are! 

 9. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin - Thanks to my darling Mommy, I became hooked to the TV series over my Christmas vacation. Now I want to read (at least) the first book.

 10. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde - This description. That is all.

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.(Summary from

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time. (Summary from

Saint Anything is a beautiful novel. Even if so much of Sydney's story hadn't pertained dead-on to my life, it would still have been a beautiful novel. Sydney isn't a girl looking to be saved by a bad-guy paranormal immortal. She doesn't need to be saved at all, but she does need to be seen. She needs to be seen as a person separate from her family, as a girl with her own likes and interests. She needs to be seen and loved for who she is.

But Sydney's story did hit close to home.
Like Peyton, my brother Zeb was also sent to prison. I sat through the trial and fought on his side, but he was sentenced to serve 8 years and currently has four of those years left before his release. 

Also like Peyton, my brother didn't intend to hurt anyone, but the consequences of his actions have been costly. Reading about how Sydney's family dealt with the fallout of her brother's jailtime was carthartic. Everyone dealt with it and grieved in their own ways, and it really is grieving. You have to learn how to cope with a complete transformation in your lives. Everything is different. 

I really commend Dessen's ability to show the different ways of handling grief through the family. It shows what an experience like that can do to a family by pulling it apart and bringing it closer together than it ever was. 

Read it. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top 3 Favorite Authors of 2015

I read fifty fabulous books by a lot of incredibly talented authors this year. These beautiful ladies were my favorites. 

Gail Carriger

Gail writes steampunk comedies of manners mixed with urbane fantasy in 3 series.  2 adult, the Parasol Protectorate and the Custard Protocol, and 1 Young Adult, the Finishing School series. She was once an archaeologist and is overly fond of shoes, hedgehogs, and tea. (Bio from

 Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Jenn received a degree in cognitive science from Yale, recently obtained a PhD, and it shows in her six Young Adult series and two standalone novels. She is a self-proclaimed comic book junkie, pop culture enthusiast, and lemur aficionado.  (Bio taken from

Maggie Stiefvater

She writes books. Some are about dead Welsh kings. Some are about werewolf nookie. Some are about neither. She has been a wedding musician (me too!), a technical editor, a portrait artist, and, fo a several fraught weeks, a waitress. She plays several musical instruments (most infamously bagpipes). She makes arts, and has a race car. She likes things that go.
(Bio taken from

Monday, December 28, 2015

My Books of 2015

I read a few books in 2015 and managed to meet my goal of 50 books. I'm aiming for 75 next year!

Here are the books I read :) 

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