Summer Vibes Book Tag

It’s hot. It’s humid. I’m sweating profusely and dying of thirst, but boy do love the constant sunshine and warmth. 😀

That’s why I’ve decided to do the Summer Vibes Book Tag, which I found over on Kristin Kraves Books. The tag was created by Deanna, the Comfy Reader.

Island Songs by Alex Wheatle

A historical fiction novel about two sisters growing up in rural Jamaica who later emigrate to the U.K. with their husbands. I read this a couple years ago and have forgotten much, but I do remember really liking it. It’s one of my favorite books, and one I need to reread to refresh my memory of it.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

This is Springsteen’s autobiography, which I listened to on audio. It’s so good! I actually consider it favorite, which surprised me when I was done listening to it because I had no idea who Springsteen was prior to reading it and had never listened to his music. I decided to listen to the book only because it was so damn popular and I needed something to listen to while working. But Springsteen was so inspiring. I’m glad I took a chance on his book.

The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince by Robin Hobb

This is a prequel to Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series, which begins with the Farseer trilogy. The first book in the Farseer trilogy is the Assassin’s Apprentice, a fantasy novel about the bastard son of prince who is trained to become an assassin. In the kingdom the story is set in, the Wit, which enables people to communicate with animals, is a taboo form of magic. The Wilful Princess and the Piebald Prince is about how the Wit became taboo. It’s only a novella, but it’s brimming with political intrigue and is filled with lots of juicy secrets. It was a good read.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

A fantasy novella about the descendants of slaves who were thrown overboard slave ships. The story focuses on Yetu, who is the historian for her people, and how she struggles with being the only person to remember her people’s traumatic past. I didn’t like the story as much as everyone else did (it’s very popular), but I think it’s an important read that everyone should try.

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall (illus.)

Children’s picture books are my guilty pleasure. I love reading them and I LOVE the illustrations. It’s the illustrations that drew me to them in the first place. But sometimes I do feel guilty because people will most likely assume I’m getting a book for a kid when I’m there browsing kids’ picture books for myself.

Hello Lighthouse is about the daily life of a lighthouse keeper. I learned a good bit from this book because I knew nothing about lighthouses prior to reading it. It’s the illustration on the cover that attracted me to it. I love colors. It’s a great read that I highly recommend.

Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares

It’s the fourth novel in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series, a YA contemporary series about four girl friends who share a pair of pants that fit them all well despite their different sizes. It’s a sweet, fun read that’s perfect for summer… since all the books are set in summer. I also like how strong the friendship between the girls is.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson

A middle-grade graphic novel about the friendship between five girls at a summer camp and the crazy adventures they go on. It’s a fun read, but I didn’t enjoy it much because I thought it was too silly. But that’s just me. Many other people love this one.

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

I watched the movie and was entertained by it, so I decided to read the book but couldn’t make it past the first page. I didn’t like it and regret that I even attempted it.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill (illus.)

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned this book, so I’m taking the opportunity here. The Tea Dragon Society is a sweet, fun, light middle-grade fantasy graphic novel about a group of individuals who care for tea dragons, small dragons that grow leaves out of their horns that can be made into a tea. I love the story and would like to reread it, and the illustrations are so great too!

Perrin & Faile

I HATE reading about their relationship. It’s one of the worst I’ve ever read about and they both annoy me SO much because of their constant bickering and bullying each other. Ugh!! Also, I don’t get why Perrin makes such a huge deal about such a cool ability as bonding with wolves. I get that it takes a while to get used to, but it’s been four books of him complaining. Ugh!!

Anyway, that’s it.
If you’d like to do the tag too, consider yourself tagged.


2020 Reading Wrap-Up: Second Quarter

The second quarter for the year was much better reading-wise. I kicked my reading slump to the curb, dove into some single-issue comics, and then the pandemic rolled in and grounded me so that all I had left to do was work, eat, sleep, read (and play some Sims, lol).

I read 31 things this quarter. 31! That’s a whole lot for me, although some were comic books that are as short as 20 or so pages. I’m amazed at myself.

Books | Audio Books | Comics | Picture Books

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Let’s Rewind: June 2020

Things ramped up in June. The movements and protests increased. Corona infections continued to rise (in the U.S.) despite earlier claims that things might get better by now. The wind brought the U.S. a sand cloud from the Sahara, and there was news that there’s a swine flu that could reach pandemic levels (sigh).

Let’s Rewind is my version of a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.

Is it just me or are the months starting to run into each other? In my personal life, not much happened in June. I worked. I slept. I ate. I talked to folks. I stayed inside, tried to stay 6 feet away from others when outside, and reminded myself not to touch my face when out and about, which is becoming increasingly difficult. Has that been happening to you?

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Half-Year Book Tag: 2020

I love doing book tags and also reflecting on my reading progress, so I’ve decided to also do the Half Year Book Tag, which was created by BexnBookx.

Favorite standalone book hauled and read so far in 2020

These weren’t purchased this year — I don’t think I’ve yet read a book I bought this year — but they were hauled at some point.

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (illus.)

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Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 10 | Totally Fantasy (begins)

Time for some fun stuff: Fantasy!! 😀 😀

We’re finally here at one of my favorite shelves, the overstuffed fantasy shelf that barely has room for the two books I just ordered. Ah, well. This shelf has only fantasy books, many of which I’ve never read. I thought I’d be able to blaze through a bunch of unread books during this corona quarantine, but somehow that hasn’t happened. I wonder what I’ve been doing.

I believe this shelf might hold more books than the others because many are mass market paperbacks, so they take up less room causing me to stuff more books on these shelves. (I love mass market books for that.) I am beginning to wonder if the amount of books my book database tells me I have (over 1000) will match up to the number I’ll get at the end of this tour (stats below). Of course, that 1000 number includes e-books and audiobooks, but I still wonder because I’m almost done with this 3-books-deep bookcase (I’m being hopeful), and I haven’t even gotten to the 500 mark yet. Maybe I’ll get there at the end of this shelf.

Anyway, here’s the bookcase we’re still touring.

And here’s the first row of the fantasy shelf, which is the fourth shelf from the bottom or the second shelf from the top:

Continue reading “Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 10 | Totally Fantasy (begins)”

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag: 2020

Yep, yep. It’s that time of year again when I do the Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag. It was created by Chami and Ely Jayne.

Best book I’ve read so far

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

A children’s picture book that does not have pictures. It’s probably my absolute favorite book so far this year. It was such a fun read. I loved it’s silliness. It was a delight!

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“First Frost” by Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen is now one of my favorite authors. I love her writing too much for her not to be. This is the second of her novels I’ve read and again I devoured the story as if hungering for it for days. It’s a sweet story. I enjoyed reading it, and I loved the characters and the town it’s set in for how quirky they are.


Magical realism; Romance


Waverley Family, book 2



Goodreads summary:

It’s October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree… and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

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“The Magic Thief” by Sarah Prineas, illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo

When I checked out the e-book of this novel from my library, it had been a long time since I’d read a middle-grade novel, and I missed them. It was also around the time of the OWLs Magical Readathon, a Harry Potter-themed reading event, and I needed a book to satisfy my Herbology requirement — a book with a title that begins with M.

I’d never before heard of the Magic Thief series or its author, Sarah Prineas, but the synopsis and the cover made me think of the Septimus Heap books by Angie Sage, so I knew I would enjoy reading it. And I did!


MG Fantasy


Magic Thief, book 1

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Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 9 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)

You know what? Although I own a lot of books, I have a good idea of what I do own and what I don’t. Only once have I unintentionally bought the same book twice and that’s because the copy of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist I first owned was the e-book version and I always forget what e-books I own, so I ended up buying the physical copy, which I think I got on discount.

But if it’s a physical book, I have a pretty good idea whether or not I own it. If it’s an e-book, I have no idea. It’s harder to remember if I own those or not. I guess it’s because I don’t have a sensory memory attached to them. With my physical books, I remember either pulling the book from the shelf in the store or touching or smelling the pages, or caressing the cover because I like the feel of it. Those sensations strengthen my memory of the physical book.

With e-books, all I do is look and click and move on to something else. The time spent with them is shorter and kind of impersonal. No wonder I don’t remember them.

Well, let’s get back to this 3-books-deep bookcase.

We’re wrapping up the third shelf from bottom, which has a variety of books but mostly fantasy. We’re now on the third row, which surprised me because of the amount of nonfiction that’s on it. (I was wondering where these books were! They were supposed to be in the last row of the second shelf from the bottom. I was a little worried when we toured that shelf and I didn’t see them there. I was ready to tear my house apart and harass my family (j/k) to find them.)

Continue reading “Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 9 | Hints at Fantasy (continues)”

Weekend Reads #106: On the Assumption That White Means Universal

There is an assumption in publishing (and in Hollywood, actually) that books by Black authors aren’t universal, that they won’t appeal to a wide (White) audience. I recently read two articles that touch on this topic (one on LitHub and another on and they reminded me of a blog post by notable sci-fi author N.K. Jemisin that I read a couple years ago on why she doesn’t want her books to be placed in the African American section of bookstores and libraries. I reread Jemisin’s blog post this morning and although it was published a decade ago, back in March 2010, it still applies today.

These days, the African American section of bookstores I visit contain sociology books and history books that pertain to Black experiences in America. No longer (it seems) is that section an amalgamation of books by Black authors no matter the genre or whether or not they are fiction or nonfiction; no longer (it seems) is it a place where all books written by Black authors are dumped. But despite this improvement, publishing still has a problem with how it promotes books by Black authors.

To me, it’s recently, within the past year or so, that publishing increased its promotion of books by Black authors somewhat. I may be wrong on the timeframe, but up until then, whenever I saw a recently published novel by a Black author, they were often pushed toward Black audiences only, unlike books by White authors that were promoted to everyone, regardless of race, because of their “wide” appeal.

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #106: On the Assumption That White Means Universal”