“The Book of Hidden Things” by Francesco Dimitri (transl.)

Atmospheric and suspenseful with prose that transports you to Puglia, Italy, The Book of Hidden Things is one of the most well written books I read this year. I was drawn to it because of this interview with the author. Both it and the book’s title made me wonder what exactly the story is about.


Fantasy, Literary


June 2018

Quick summary:

Francesco Dimitri is an Italian author who has written several books in his native language and has now done a superb job of writing a fantasy novel in a foreign tongue — English. The Book of Hidden Things is his debut English novel that he translated himself. It’s about four friends — Fabio, Tony, Mauro, and Art — who made a pact at the end of high school to return to the same spot in their home town in Puglia, Italy, every year on the same date. But this time, Art, who instigated the pact, does not show up.

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“The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells

I decided to revisit The Invisible Man a few weeks ago when I saw it on a feature shelf at my library.

I’d first read it when I was in high school and was so hooked on the story back then that I completed the book in a day. I wanted to know if my experience with the story would be the same or if the intervening years had dried the story for me and made it a bore, so I gave it another read.


Sci-fi; Classic



Goodreads summary:

This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows. (Goodreads)

My thoughts: (spoilers)

In short, I enjoyed the story. Again I was hooked just as I was when I first read it. But unlike my high school years, I now have responsibilities that claim my time, so it took a few days to complete the story, which is quite short at under 200 pages.

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BBC #4: Autumn Colors

This edition of BBC, a meme I started where I feature books with beautiful covers, will focus on the robust colors of autumn.

I love autumn colors. They are rich and majestic. When I walk among trees donned in fall colors, I feel as if I’m walking among royalty about to partake in autumnal festivities. I love the mustard yellows, dark greens, plums, burnt oranges, maroons, and rich, warm browns. Ahh… Autumn. It hasn’t yet fully arrived in my part of the world, but I feel tendrils of it in the air as it slowly creeps in.

To herald it’s coming, here are some book covers in autumnal covers.

Before the Feast by Saša Stanišić, trans. from German by Anthea Bell

cover art by Claire Scully

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I Heart Characters! #11: A Stylish, Scary Character

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani at Perspective of a Writer to share our love of great characters. Each week, Dani will assign a topic/type of character that we must find examples of in the various media we consume (books, TV shows, movies, comics, podcasts, etc.).

October 4 topic:

A Character with Style 

Showcase the look you would want to emulate.

Serena van der Wooden (played by Blake Lively) from Gossip Girls

Y’all! 😀 I love this topic. I immediately thought of Serena from Gossip Girls. I was a huge fan of Gossip Girls back in the day and never missed an episode. I didn’t care so much for the drama, though it was entertaining; I watched the show for the fashion. That’s what I was most interested in.

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Top 5 Wednesday #27: Favorite Villains

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey and now managed by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic:

Favorite Villains

I am so excited for this topic! I like quite a few of villains; here are the ones that immediately came to mind:


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Illustrated Books: “Sky High” and “Spot, the Cat”

I’m surprised at myself that I haven’t read much illustrated books or comics so far this year. I wonder what’s going on with me. These two books bring me to a total of 4 illustrated children’s books read so far. Hopefully I’ll read a few more before the year is done.

Both of the books I’ll discuss in this post where cover buys. I love looking at illustrations of architecture and both books have illustrations of buildings on their covers. Naturally, I picked them up, ran my hands over the cover, and convinced myself to purchase them. I bought them at two different independent bookstores and I’m glad to now know that both were good purchases.

Sky High by Germano Zullo, illus. by Albertine


Children’s Humor



Goodreads summary:

In this charming illustrated tale, two competing neighbors begin embellishing their mansions, only to find themselves caught up in a race to build the tallest, most decadent skyscraper featuring solid gold doors, diamond-encrusted pillars, grand ballrooms, expensive paintings, live tigers, and indoor swimming pools—with consequences inevitable, and not. Kids will love spotting the funny details hidden in this witty take on an age-old moral, while their parents—particularly any who’ve ever undertaken a remodel—will chuckle with recognition. (Goodreads)

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’90s Kid Book Tag

My book tags of late have all been ’90s focused. I guess I’m in a ’90s mood. I’ve even been listening mostly to music from the 1990s lately — some Tupac and Biggie and 112 and Mary J. Blige….good stuff. The ’90s, well the late ’90s, were my childhood years (born at the end of the ’80s), so I guess I’m just reminiscing.

I found this tag over on Kristin Kraves Books. I highly recommend you check out her awesome blog!

  1. Please, please, please steal this tag and spread it around! I only ask that you link it back to The Literary Phoenix so that I can see everyone’s answers!
  2. Freeze tag was all the rage in the 90s. Tag someone (or many) you think would have fun with this!
  3. Have fun!


A GBA game and trading card game where you battled pocket monsters and strived to catch them all. Back in the day, there were only 150 Pokemon.

Pokemon was fun. I enjoyed watching the show as a kid and these days I’ll rewatch an episode every now and then.

The author you need every book from

Robin Hobb

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Top 5 Wednesday #26: Favorite Magic Systems

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey and now managed by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic:

Favorite Magic Systems


Of course, the Harry Potter books immediately popped in my mind when I saw this topic. I’ve wanted a wand since I first read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a kid in middle school or high school (whenever it was when I first read it). Wands seem to provide almost limitless magic and I like that it’s a conduit for a person’s magic. Now that I think of it, I wonder where the magical energy comes from. It doesn’t seem to come entirely from within the person wielding the wand, so I wonder where else is this energy taken from.

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2018 Reading Wrap-Up: Third Quarter

Oh man! I read some great stuff this quarter, so it was difficult to choose books for “best of” and “favorites” categories below. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a problem, but I’m glad for it. It was a good quarter for reading.

Books | Audio Books | Comics

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What’s on Your Nightstand: September 2018

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

September was a much better month than August, probably because I didn’t do much in it. But this was good for me. I wasn’t as stressed, and I was able to relax and find confidence again in things I’m great at. So September was a great month for regaining my footing, my balance — though it ended with me fucking up my phone. GAH!!!

Books read:

I kicked off September with a series of quick, one-sitting reads, the first of which was Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell. It’s a humorous book of anecdotes recounted by booksellers around the world. The conversations overheard and scenarios witnessed were sometimes too comical for me to believe.

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