Monday, April 23, 2018

Bookish Quote of the Week

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Sometimes it really does feel like my reading list has been growing for as far back as I can remember. I recall making lists of books that I wanted to read while visiting the library with my mother when I was a little girl. Walking along the shelves and writing titles and authors on a piece of paper so I'd be sure to check these books out later! Eventually, I began a notebook of books - books that I'd read, books that I want to read, etc. And I still do that today ...  I keep a list electronically via Goodreads as well as one that I keep in my book journal. But, I know that I will never be able to read all the books that I'd really like to read. The list really is never ending ... but I'm not giving up! I'll keep adding to the list and reading from the list for the rest of my days! 

How do you track the books you'd like to read? Do you keep a list on paper or electronically ... or both?


Monday, April 16, 2018

Bookish Quote of the Week

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This is one of my all-time favorite things about BOOKS! I put the book down and I feel like I've made a friend. It's amazing how intimate reading someone's novel or book can be ... it gives you this feeling of knowing them even if you don't. For example, I met Richard Russo at an event once and I was amazed how I was in awe of him and yet felt like he was an old friend all at the same time. After reading so many of his novels, I felt like I knew him. And I'm convinced Hanya Yanigahara is exactly the kind of person that I want to be friends with ... her mind is an amazing place! Authors can just get into our hearts and souls with their work. 

Are there any authors who have made you wish they were personal friends after reading their books? If so, who? 




Friday, April 13, 2018

Bookish News: A Weekly Update

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83rd Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Announced

The winners of the Anisfield Wolf Book Award have been announced. This award recognizes literature confronting racism and examining diversity. 

The winners are:
Fiction: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Nonfiction: Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young
Poetry: In the Language of My Captor by Shane McCrae
Lifetime achievement: N. Scott Momaday

The 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award Winner

Weike Wang won the award, which honors a distinguished first book of fiction for her novel, Chemistry. Wang will receive $25,000, a month-long residency fellowship at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming (a retreat for artists and writers), a residency from the Distinguished Writers Series at the University of Idaho's MFA Creative Writing Program and a $5,000 stipend.

HBO Develops Docuseries Based on I'll Be Gone in the Dark

HBO has announced a docuseries based on Michelle McNamara's true-crime book, I'll Be Gone in the Dark. The book tells the story of McNamara's investigation into the Golden State Killer. On another note, McNamara was the wife of actor Patton Oswalt and died in 2016 before the book was published.  Oswalt and several of McNamara's friends made sure the book was published on her behalf!

Articles of Interest

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Recent Releases

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New Releases for Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World by Jennifer Palmieri was written by Hilary Clinton's former Communications Director and is full of inspirational and practical advice for women.

Faith: A Journey for All by Jimmy Carter is a look at the former president's spiritual life.

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian is a biography of the famous golfer.

Sociable: A Novel by Rebecca Harrington is about an aspiring journalist who ends up writing viral content.

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter is about a girl alone in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness as an assassin draws near.

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser is a domestic drama with a little suspense. I believe this was a recent Book of the Month selection.

New Release Paperback for Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

The Other Mother by Carol Goodman

New Releases for Tuesday, April 3, 2018


The Female Persuasion: A Novel by Meg Wolitzer follows a college freshman mentored by an acclaimed women's rights activist. I have been waiting for this one and bought it on release day at a local indie and was able to get a signed edition! I love Meg Wolitizer!

Varina: A Novel by Charles Frazier is historical fiction about Varina Howell, wife of Jefferson Davis. This is another one that I've already bought and cannot wait to read! Charles Frazier is an amazing storyteller!

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie is historical fiction about Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton.

Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story by Cecile Richards is a memoir by the President of Planned Parenthood. I have already picked this one up as well. Can't wait to read this one. I'm a Cecile Richards fan from way back!

The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers is a new literary fiction novel that connects several branching tales rooted by trees.

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery by Barbara K. Lipska and Elaine McArdle is an account of a neuroscientist's brush with melanoma that spread to her brain.

All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson is a novel about "a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder." I loved The Kind Worth Killing so I'm excited to read this one! He's a great storyteller!

Look Alive Out There: Essays by Sloane Crosley is a collection of essays that's getting a lot of buzz!

Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman is a novel about families that was also a Book of the Month selection.

New Release Paperbacks for April 3, 2018


Chemistry by Weiki Wang I loved this one and highly recommend it!

Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann  I've been hearing great things about this one so I also picked this one up this week.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Marlena by Julie Buntin 

Miss You by Kate Eberlen

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah 

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro

As you can see, I picked up a number of the new releases shown here. What about you? Did you pick any up?



Monday, April 9, 2018

Bookish Quote of the Week

book-reading-read-bookish-quote

This quote really resonates with me because I've read a few books lately that really transported me to another time and place. It was a reminder that one of the best things about reading is that it transports the reader to a new place, introduces the reader to new things, and opens the reader's mind to new people. This is one of the most amazing parts of reading ... opening a book is the equivalent of opening your mind to new experiences.

Have any books recently transported you to another time and place? Tell me all about it!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

March 2018: Monthly Reading Review

read-reading-books-monthly-review

I'm sorry that I'm a few days late in posting this but here is my monthly reading review for March! I'm pretty happy with how this reading month went! My March Reads page from my reading journal is posted below if you want to see the details.

book-reading-books-month-review


All in all, I finished 14 books in March. Three of them were 5-star reads - An American Marriage, Pachinko, and Beartown. I highly recommend all 3 of those (detailed reviews for the last two are coming soon)! I read 5 literary fiction novels and 8 romances. 9 of the 13 books that I read were advanced reader copies from the publishers. And, I've read 44 books so far in 2018. All in all, I'm happy with my stats so far in 2018!

How many books did you read in March? 

Of the books you read, what was your favorite read?



Monday, April 2, 2018

Bookish Quote of the Week

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I remember the first time I read this Anna Quindlen quote and sighing to myself ... because I really hoped that my future children would love books as much as I do. And now, years later, I have three kids and only one of them is what I'd call a true reader and lover of books. Our 13-year old twins aren't particularly interested in reading ... they will read but only for school. They never read for pleasure and never seem interested in going to the library or a bookstore. This is really hard for me but I'm really hoping that they will grow into readers. I need to believe that! Until then, I'll focus on covering my own house with books since that makes me happy. I just really hope that my kiddos will all end up being book people ... who I truly believe tend to be the best people!

Do you have children? If so, do they love books and reading? 



Sunday, April 1, 2018

10 of My Favorite Bookstagram Accounts

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Are you on Instagram? If not, you are missing out ... especially when it comes to the world of books and reading. I love what a wonderful place Instragram has become for those of us who love all things book and reading! I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite bookstagram accounts - the accounts that I follow closely and have come to rely on for great bookish content.

@annebogel and @whatshouldireadnext


Anne Bogel (also known as Modern Mrs. Darcy which is the name of her popular blog) is the host of the What Should I Read Next podcast which is one of my favorite books and reading podcasts. Anne's content is fantastic! She explores so many aspects of the reading life and I'm always excited to see a new post in my feed! She also wrote a really good book (Reading People) and has another book coming this fall titled I'd Rather Be Reading which I've already pre-ordered!

@leighkramer


I adore Leigh's account because she has a great mix of two of my favorite things - books and personality (particularly the Enneagram). I've learned so much about both from her account (and her blog). I love seeing what she has to share about her reading life. I find her tastes to be quite similar to mine and she reads a good mix of genres including romance and young adult which I love! I find myself adding books to my TBR on a regular basis as a direct result of following Leigh on Instagram!

@anniebjones05



Annie is the owner of The Bookshelf which is an independent bookstore in Georgia (which I'm dying to visit one day). She also runs a podcast, From the Front Porch, which I regularly listen to and recommend! Her feed is full of great content around books and reading ... she has great recommendations and I love her reviews! I find myself adding a ton of books to my TBR from her reviews more and more! I also love getting the occasional glimpses into the owning and running of a bookstore ... as a wannabe bookstore owner she gives me such inspiration!

@theloudlibrarylady


Kate Olsen is a fairly new to me but she has quicly become one of my favorites! She is a K12 librarian as well as an avid reader and reviewer. I was looking at my list of books to read in my book bullet journal and it's amazing how many new books that this instagram account has introduced to me! If you love learning about new books, you can't go wrong with Kate's account!

@veronikellymars


Kelly Jensen may be familar to you if you frequent Book Riot (and if you aren't frequenting Book Riot, you need to) but if she isn't, then you definitely want to check her out. Her Instagram account is fantastic - you'll find a lot of different things including books, yoga, bunnies and cats!  I always look forward to seeing what Kelly has shared since I was on the app last. She's smart and interesting ... and I learn about a lot of different books through her account.


@topshelftext


Madeline's account is pretty new to me but I've become a huge fan of her account! She is a teacher and a blogger (her blog is fantastic). She offers fantastic content - diverse, interesting and compelling reading choices. Her photographs are beautiful! This is another account that will fill your TBR fast! She is also the founder of the Diverse Book Club which I'm LOVING! Each month, the group reads along a theme that helps them explore a diverse set of books. Recent themes have included women in science, chronic illness, adoption/foster care, and LGBTQ+ Pride. I am always trying to increase diversity in my own reading so I love being a part of the group.


@theunreadshelf


I began following Whitney earlier this year when I heard about the #theunreadshelfproject which she is leading. Her account is full of great book recommendations but what I really love is how much I find her content inspiring to me as I try to read more of the books I already own instead of always reading only new releases. If you want to read more of the books you already own, you will love the tips, tricks and inspiration she provides to that purpose.

@imamandanelson


I've been following Amanda for ages ... I found her via Book Riot where she is the Executive Editor. I love her Instagram account for a lot of reasons beyond the amazing book content - she has twin boys (I have twins), she lives in Richmond (I live in Richmond), and we align politically. Our reading tastes often converge and she often introduces me to books I don't know if I'd hear about otherwise. I love how honest and bold she is each and every day. She inspires me on a regular basis!

@words.between.worlds



Words Between Worlds is the account for a book club that I am so enjoying. The account is fantastic at introducing me to good reads and other bookstagrammers. It's a fairly new group and they've read two books, both of which are sitting on my bedside table! They describe their book club as being "for anyone interested in expanding their diverse reading, sharing intimate stories and experiences of their own diversity, and welcoming new friends." I highly recommend this one!

@katereadsbooks_


Kate is the CUTEST! I love her account ... I learn about so many books. But, even better, I just think she's adorable and funny. I love following her account, seeing what she's reading, what she's doing. She just makes me happy! And books just jump onto my TBR  every time I look at her posts! She has great taste in books and her account always delivers great content and inspiration!

OK, I hope that I've been able to introduce you to a few new Bookstagram accounts. I highly recommend all of them ... you will not be sorry if you check them out!

If you're interested in connecting with me on Instagram, I'd love that ... you can find me @anrobe. What is your Instagram handle?

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Bookish News: A Weekly Update

book-news-reading-bookish-books

Jaime Green Named New York Times Book Review Romance Columnist

Jaime Green has been named the romance columnist for the New York Times Book Review. This column will be released on a quarterly basis and will debut in the Summer Reading issue of the Book Review in June. I love that the NYTBR is finally embracing romance. I hate the idea that romance is viewed as 'less than' in the literary world. I'm so glad that romance fans will now have the opportunity to hear more about the genre from a the New York Times Book Review! 

Shortlist Announced for the International Dylan Thomas Prize

The International Dylan Thomas Prize recognizes the "best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under." The winner will be unveiled on May 10, 2018.


I've read one of these (My Absolute Darling) but two of them are sitting in the stack on my bedside table - Her Body & Other Parties and Idaho. There are some amazing books on this list! 

Barnes & Noble Summer 2018 Discover Great New Writers Program

Barnes and Noble has announced the 22 titles they have chosed for the Summer 2018 Discover Great New Writers program. There are 15 novels and 7 works of non-fiction on the list. All of them are being published between April and August 2018. You can read more about the books on the list here.

That is it for me this week ... Have you heard of other bookish news you'd like share with us? We'd love to hear about them in the Comments! 





Monday, March 26, 2018

Bookish Quote of the Week

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I tend to be a collector ... of things ... all sorts of things. I like to have things around me that make me happy. Especially books. I completely de-cluttered almost all of my books a few years ago - I was reading mostly e-books and thought less book clutter would make me happy. Unfortunately, it didn't make me happy. In fact, I missed them. A LOT! Seeing books in my living spaces makes me happy and it also makes me feel at home. And so I've slowly been working on rebuilding my library ... one book at a time. And it does feel in some ways that I'm collecting happiness ...

Do you collect books? Do you collect other things?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Bookish News: A Weekly Update

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PEN/Faulkner 2018 Finalists


PEN/Faulkner has announced the 2018 finalists for its PEN/Faulkner award. The winner will be awarded the final prize at the award ceremony on May 5th. For more details, visit this link.

The five finalists are -

The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt

Improvement by Joan Silber

In the Distance by Hernan Diaz

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

The Tower of the Antilles by Achy Obejas

Man Booker Prize Longlist

The thirteen book longlist has been released for the Man Booker International Prize. This prize celebrates the best works of translated fiction from around the world. The shortlist of six books will be released on April 12th with the winner named in London on May 22nd.

This year's longlist titles include -

The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet (France), translated by Sam Taylor

The Impostor by Javier Cercas (Spain), translated by Frank Wynne

Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes (France), translated by Frank Wynne

Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), translated by Susan Bernofsky

The White Book by Han Kang (South Korea), translated by Deborah Smith

Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), translated by Sarah Moses and Carolina Orloff

The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), translated by John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet and George Szirtes 

Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), translated by Camilo A. Ramirez

The Flying Mountain by Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), translated by Simon Pare

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), translated by Jonathan Wright

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), translated by Jennifer Croft

The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), translated by Darryl Sterk

The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), translated by Natasha Wimmer

Book Cover Art

Meet the designers of your favorite book covers is a great article about cover art designers. And they showcase a few of my favorites such as Rachel Willey and Rodrigo Corral. 

New Book Riot Podcast

I love all of the Book Riot podcasts but I'm so excited about their new non-fiction focused podcast called For Real which will cover all things non-fiction every other week! 

50 Books By and About Women of Color

I love this list from the Top Shelf Text blog (Madeleine has a great blog AND a fantastic Instagram account) which contains some wonderful books that you should definitely add to your TBR!

April Library Reads

Have you seen the April Library reads list? It's a great list and makes me eager to    You can find the full list in PDF format here. I find that these lists are always packed full of amazing reads! 

Science Tells Us Reading Books Should Be Your Priority

I have always known that reading should be a priority and this article just reinforces that knowledge!

That is it for me this week ... Have you heard of other bookish news you'd like share with us? We'd love to hear about them in the Comments! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Are Your Top 3 Favorite Books of All Time?

favorite-books-of-all-time-reading-book

Although I talk about my top 3 favorite books of all time on my About page, I thought it might be interesting to talk about this whole favorite book thing. There has never been a more difficult question for a reader ... we often try to delay answering it because there are so many different ways to slice your favorite books. Favorite fiction, favorite non-fiction, favorite YA, and so on. For many of us, it's really difficult to narrow the favorites down to just a few. It almost feels like an intimate act to state your favorites to someone. It gives them a look into your soul or something. I always try to remind myself that my favorite books of all time are MY favorites ... I'm not saying other books aren't amazing or even 'better' in that snobby, readerly way that some people talk about books. I always wonder if people are honest when they say their favorite book is a famous classic like Moby Dick or Ulysses ... it seems to me that sometimes a favorites list becomes more of a contest of who has read the 'best' books instead of what books were truly your favorites. Not that you shouldn't love a famous classic ... one of my favorites is certainly a classic. But, I truly love it and it's in my favorites for a very real reason.

Let's talk about my own favorite books ...

favorite-books-reading

Two of these novels have been on my list for YEARS. I read and fell in love with Little Women when I was a little girl and read it with my mom for the first time. It's been on my favorite books list since then. I was introduced to Beach Music in the late 1990s when my dad recommended it to me. I devoured it and have gone back to re-read it a number of times (which is rare for me since I rarely re-read). It just grabbed me and didn't let go. I still think about it on a regular basis - the characters, the storytelling, the themes. It's one of those go-to books that I recommend to almost anyone. And finally, the newer book on my list ... A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. Wow. My review over at Goodreads will give you a sense of all my feelings about this one. But, it just blew.me.away! I am still reeling from that novel and I read it in April of 2015. It immediately FLEW to the top of my favorite books list. It's not a book that's for everyone but it is one of those books that I will never forget, that made me feel things that no other book has. It's just amazing.

Now it is your turn ...

What are your top 3 favorite books of all time?


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Review: Not Quite Crazy by Catherine Bybee

review-read-reading-bookNot Quite Crazy by Catherine Bybee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is more of a quiet romance - it has much less sex than a lot of romances that I read these days. It's more wholesome but it does have a few sexy scenes. But, I really enjoyed this one. It was nice to have a romance novel focus on the relationships among people instead of just the chemistry among people. I loved the story itself. Apparently, this is the 6th in a series but I didn't feel like I missed anything by coming in at book 6. I am interested in going back and reading the previous novels.

This is such a nice, sweet story about love - family, romantic and otherwise. Very solid story. Great characters that I really enjoyed. I definitely recommend this one!

NOTE: The publisher provided me with this book for an honest review.


Review: Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London

book-review-reading-bad-bachelor-stefanie-londonBad Bachelor by Stefanie London
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A heroine who is a librarian with a passion for books, a primary storyline around saving a library ... um, yes, please! I love the character of Darcy - she's such a unique and interesting character. Add in Reed to the mix and you have the perfect set up for a great romance! I thought the story was delightful and I really found the overall vibe of the book to be witty and cute! The writing was clever with lots of humor and heart. All of the characters were fun, quirky and charming! I love the idea of an app that tells women who are and are not worth their time. That was a fun little wrapper to the overall story. There is a lot of depth to the characters and the story. I really enjoyed this one!

NOTE: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book for an honest review.

Review: From the Top by Dani Collins

book-review-reading-fromthetop-dani-collinsFrom the Top by Dani Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. This book delivered in so many ways - it's a great romance yet it explores a number of themes (parenting, pregnancy, sexual harassment, and more) that you don't always see in a romance. The characters have outstanding chemistry and that helped endear me to them. This is a book in a series but I didn't find it to be difficult to 'catch on' to the story. I fell into the world easily and totally. I found the elements of grief to be really compelling and realistic. I thought the relationship development in this one was so well done. It wasn't an 'oh hi, I love you' sort of story. They actually got to know one another slowly and realistically. All in all, I really enjoyed this one and plan to go back and read more of the series.

NOTE: The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book for an honest opinion.