Book Haul #51: Birthday Haul…kinda

I’m considering this my birthday haul, though some books were bought before it and none were bought on my birthday.

I bought a good bit of books, so now I’m worrying about shelf space again. I’ve ran out.



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“To Night Owl from Dogfish” by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer

This was a sweet story and a fun read. I heard of it from Book Riot’s All the Books podcast and decided to try it because Liberty said it’s like The Parent Trap and I loved that movie (both the original with Hayley Mills and the remake with Lindsey Lohan).


Middle-grade contemporary


February 2019

Quick summary:

When Bett Devlin learns that her dad is conspiring with his new boyfriend to send her and his boyfriend’s daughter to summer camp, she reaches out to the boyfriend’s daughter, Avery Bloom, so that they can devise a plan to thwart their fathers’ intention.

The fathers are single gay dads who met at a conference and started to date. They’d like their daughters to get along, so they conspire to send them to the same summer camp; but Bett and Avery have other plans and instead vow NOT to be friends and definitely not let their dads date each other. But nothing goes as planned.

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“The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey

Sometime last year, I listened to an episode of Myths & Legends podcast (Ep. 96 – Russian Folklore: Cold as Ice) that discussed folktales about snow children. It got me wondering about Eowyn Ivey’s book The Snow Child. I wondered if Ivey’s novel was similar to the stories I heard on the podcast. I got curious and was tempted to read the novel, which I’d bought in the previous year because bloggers and booktubers were all speaking of it and saying how great the story and the prose are.

But I procrastinated on reading the book and didn’t do so until January this year thinking that winter may be the best time to read it. It was and it was pretty good.


Historical fiction
Magical realism


February 2012

Quick summary:

It’s the 1920s in America — the Jazz Age, the Roaring Twenties with great outrageous parties filled with pump and style. But we get none of that glitz and glamour of the 1920s in The Snow Child. Instead, the story sits us on a quiet homestead in Alaska where an old couple live.

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“Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris

Whenever I write a review of a book I listened to, the review becomes a reflection of my experience listening to the story told to me rather than my thoughts on the story. I always have to start with such a reflection because listening to audiobooks is still a new experience for me, one that I’m surprised I’ve stuck with for so long and have taken a liking to.

I would never have thought of myself as an avid listener of audiobooks, but the format is growing on me, especially since I mostly listen to it at work and most of my duties there are dull and repetitive so I look for other things to engage my mind. I surprised myself that I’m able to pay attention to and remember what’s said. I’m a visual learner and I struggle sometimes to focus when only listening, but it seems that my increasingly frequent use of audiobooks is training me to learn and remember things in a different way.

Unfortunately, this new turn in my learning development is slow and happened after I read Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.

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“The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais” (illus.), transl. by Jeremy Melloul

The first picture book I read this year gives me a story about a little wolf in a red cloak travelling through the wood to visit his grandmother.

What does that remind you of?


Children’s fantasy


June 2014

Quick overview:

The Little Red Wolf is a children’s picture book that’s inspired by Charles Perrault’s fairytale Little Red Riding Hood.

It was originally published in French but was translated to English by Jeremy Melloul. The English version was published in October 2017. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I borrowed this book from the library, but I was delighted by what I read. I became aware of the book through booktube so when I saw it at the library, I grabbed it.

The Little Red Wolf gives us a Little Red Riding Hood story with a twist — it’s from the perspective of a wolf. I don’t believe that’s a spoiler since you can deduce that much from the cover. It’s a sweet, charming tale about a little wolf travelling through the forest to his grandmother’s home to bring her some food since she has lost all her teeth and can no longer hunt.

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Comics Roundup #28: Baba Yaga & a Dam Keeper

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a review of a comic book. Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve read a comic book. I haven’t done so since October last year. Well, I’ll rectify that with this post.

Here I have two graphic novels. The first is a YA fantasy story about a girl seeking the witch from folklore, Baba Yaga, because she no longer feels welcome at home, and the second continues a middle-grade fantasy story about a pig who manages his town’s dam to keep back a deadly black fog.

Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola, illus. by Emily Carroll


YA fantasy


August 2015

Quick overview:

When Masha sees an advertisement for an assistant position with the fearful witch from folklore, Baba Yaga, she decides to apply. Masha had recently lost her beloved grandmother, her source of love and support, leaving her with just her dad, who has found a new family.

Masha grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about Baba Yaga, so she doesn’t balk at answering the advertisement and seeking out the witch. Afterall, Masha reasons, Baba Yaga may be a witch, “but she’s a grandma too.”

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Top Ten Tuesday #38: 2019 Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Books on My Spring 2019 TBR

For me, a TBR list often becomes a list of books I really want to read and tell myself to read but never actually read. So here are the books I probably won’t read this spring.

Umm…so I’m gonna cheat a little and list the books I’m currently reading. This way, I’m guaranteed to complete at least half the books on this TBR within the given time.

Currently Reading:

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“Behind the Canvas” by Alexander Vance

I forgot where I first heard of this book. It must have been on a booktube channel or while perusing Book Outlet for books to buy. It’s weird, but a few of the books on my Goodreads TBR were added because I saw them on Book Outlet but didn’t want to purchase them at the time. Basically, I was drawn to them because of the cover or, in this case, the title.

I love art and enjoy visiting art museums. I’ve often thought it would be cool to read a fantasy novel where the protagonist has to enter paintings and pictures; so when I saw the title of this book and read the synopsis, I got excited. It’s the type of story I’ve daydreamed about.


Middle-grade fantasy



Quick overview:

Behind the Canvas is a stand-alone middle-grade fantasy novel about a girl named Claudia Miravista who loves art but has no close friends. While on a fieldtrip to a local art museum in her hometown in Illinois, she notices a boy with bright blue eyes in a painting. But when she points him out to two of her classmates, she realizes he has disappeared.

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“Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow” by Jessica Townsend

Thinking Nevermoor was probably overhyped, I avoided reading it for as long as I could. But the book is mentioned so often by bloggers and booktubers I follow that I got curious. It wasn’t until I read the Captain’s review of it that I decided to give the book a try.

I placed the book on hold at my library, which had it on order, and was glad that I was first in line to receive it. I began reading as soon as I got it and was immediately sucked in. I enjoyed visiting Nevermoor.


Middle-grade fantasy


Nevermoor, book 1



Quick overview:

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow is a middle-grade fantasy novel about a girl, Morrigan, who everyone believes is cursed because she was born on Eventide, an unlucky day to be born. Children born on this day are blamed for everything that goes wrong within their vicinity…or town. (Morrigan is blamed for every misfortune.) It’s also said that cursed children don’t live past age 11 because they die at midnight on their 11th birthday when the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow comes after them. (Morrigan dreads this.)

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“Blood of Dragons” by Robin Hobb

And here we are at last: The final installment of the Rain Wilds Chronicles in which we see dragons return to Robin Hobb’s fantastic world. It’s been an exciting experience reading this book and learning about how dragons function in this world and who exactly the Elderlings are.

Blood of Dragons wraps up the Rain Wild Chronicles while leaving some plot threads untouched, hinting at more to come in other books. My buddy-reader for Hobb’s books, Emily at Embuhlee liest, and I plan to jump into the next stack of books – Fitz and the Fool trilogy – soon. But for now, here are my thoughts on the last installment of the Rain Wilds Chronicles.




Rain Wild Chronicles, book 4
Realm of the Elderlings, book 13



Goodreads synopsis:

The dragons’ survival hangs in the balance in the thrilling final volume in the acclaimed River Wilds Chronicles fantasy series.

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