Category: Books/Writing

Nov 26

Indie Bookstore Spotlight #1 – Parnassus Books

Books/Writing 0

If you are buying all your books online, you are seriously missing out. I understand it, I really do – Amazon is almost always (like 98% of the time) cheaper than buying new from a local shop. However, as chain bookstores continue to shrink (here’s looking at you, Barnes & Noble, indie bookstores are actually growing, in part because while they may not be able to compete with the prices offered by Amazon and Barnes & Noble, they offer something worth much more, and that money can’t buy – community.

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(photo from Parnassus)

Parnassus Books is located in Nashville, TN, and owned by author Ann Patchett and Karen Hayes. It has now been open for 7 years, and is one of the most beautiful bookstores I’ve ever had the privilege to set foot in – not because of its size, because the store is truthfully only a moderate size – but you immediately have the vibe that yes, books are loved here, and when you speak to any of the employees you know that they, too, love books. Only a few years ago people were declaring local bookstores to be a thing of the past, but to quote Ann –

You may have heard the news that the independent bookstore is dead, that books are dead, that maybe even reading is dead—to which I say: Pull up a chair, friend. I have a story to tell.

Books, books, books…

Lovely collection of books from native Tennessee (Tennesseean?) authors.

Special event space! Which normally is somewhat more hemmed in, but on this particular day I was at the store a Maggie Stiefvater book event. EEEEEEEP yes.

Spectacular children’s section!

And the YA selection that nearly stopped my heart. Like my entire TBR was on these shelves. It was with GREAT difficulty that I didn’t empty my entire bank account. I still have some vague regret over that but I’m sure my utilities providers thank me.

THEY HAVE SHOP DOGS. Yes, plural. I’ve only ever seen one at a time, though (when I lived in Tennessee I went to Parnassus semi-regularly). You can meet them all if you read this page. If I have correctly identified, this particular shop dog is Bear.

Me with Maggie Stiefvater at the event (for All the Crooked Saints, obviously). It was PACKED, naturally, and so you handed off your phone to a lovely staff person who took your photo while she signed your books. This picture still makes me inordinately happy. Hehe.

Parnassus also has a fabulous event program! I swear every month there are at least three events I wish I could go to, and I only ever made it to two when I lived in the area. One of which was the before-mentioned Maggie Stiefvater event, and the other the launch party for When Dimple Met Rishi – YES, THAT BOOK. Even though I sadly do not have pics of that particular event. There is also a frequently updated blog, and they have TWO monthly book box programs, one of which is YA specific. Be still my heart…

Oh, and the decor is also fab. They have Elizabeth Hartman pattern pillows and enough bookish merch to fill my entire house. Sadly I forgot to take pictures of THOSE shelves. Also, my photos are about a year old, so if you visit now it is possible things may have changed…but I think I can say with confidence that the heart and soul of Parnassus will be the same. 🙂

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This post is the first in what I plan to be a monthly (or so) feature, as I live within 100 miles of over 20 locally owned bookstores. If you want to find local indie stores near you, use this lovely tool from Indiebound – though I warn you, it is NOT comprehensive. Within 15 miles of me I know of two local bookshops that don’t show up on my map. Indiebound doesn’t list very many used bookstores, at least not ones from my area. So be sure to check Google and local pages to see if there are any near you!

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Nov 14

Top Ten Bookish Candles

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The Top Ten Tuesdays meme was started by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! I don’t usually play anymore, but the theme for this week was “top ten bookish merch items you’d love to own” and OH MY. I love bookish stuff. Candles, jewelry, bookmarks, art…the list continues. My main obsession though, is with bookish candles! There are so many talented and amazing shops out there, I still haven’t managed to try all the ones I want to but I am slowly working on it.

All photos are courtesy of their respective shops unless otherwise noted!

@bentbookworm

In the Wick of Time  – this was one of the first places I ordered a bookish candle from! They have such an amazing lineup, especially for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Diana Gabaldon, and several other popular fandoms. They have some general bookish scents as well.

Wick and Fable – I only have the sample size candles from Wick and Fable, but they are just. so. gorgeous. And there are so many to choose from! I am in love with their aesthetic and so many of the books represented by their candles. They also make teas.

Canterbury Road Co.  – another one I haven’t bought yet, but just look! Almost every single one of their candles is such a MOOD. I love them. I need some of these in my life. They focus more on general bookishness than fandoms, though they have a few related to specific books.

The Leaky Candle – I bought two candles from them EONS ago, and they are still a couple of my favorites! The Hufflepuff one was AMAZING (but had their old label, so I’m showing the other one I got). It looks like the shop is kind of empty right now but I’m sure that will change.

The Melting Library – SO MANY amazing ones to choose from! Haven’t managed to try them yet, but they are on my list! Just look at the Anne of Green Gables inspired line, and the Hogwarts ones…

Novelly Yours – where to even start? I think I have about 15 different scents from this shop on my wishlist, haha. Novelly Yours is run by Brittany of The Book Addict’s Guide. She also has general home scents, along with the HUGE bookish line. Ahem, there are Audrey and Thomas candles…just shut up and take my money, ok?

Flickerink – I see this shop on Instagram all. the. time. Their candles are so beautiful and sound like they smell amazing. I desperately want some, but they are in the UK and of course international shipping is outrageous, and candles are heavy. Check them out though!

LiberdeStella – another one that I’ve had on my list to try for ages. She has bookish jewelry and bookish mugs, too! Also some fandoms you don’t see that often from other makers, like Six of Crows and the Grisha trilogy.

BriarWick – yet another store that makes me want to just buy them out. LOOK. THEY HAVE RAVEN CYCLE INSPIRED CANDLES.  Ack! My heart. I need these.

Frostbeard Studio – another one of the first bookish candle companies I found! They are more into the general bookish scents, but still have some HP and other fandom types available from time to time. I have their Sassenach scent and oh my.

I hope you enjoyed this look through my candle favorites! If you have a favorite candle shop I didn’t mention please leave me a comment! I’m always looking to grow my list. 😀

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Nov 06

Bookworm Buddy Secret Swap – Round 2!

Books/Writing, Life 0

Hi everyone! Just wanted to post an announcement for this here on the front page, but you can check out all the details OVER HERE. Any questions, comment or message me!

What’s This?

The Bookworm Buddies Secret Swap is essentially a Secret Santa but all year round, in rotations of 1 month off, 3 months on. It’s focused on books, bookish talk and bookish stuff. Whatever your partner likes! We do ask that you keep it BOOK RELATED – and yes, we know lots of fandoms have books, that’s all okay. 🙂 The goal here is to make new friends, discover new books, be a bright spot in your buddy’s life.

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Aug 30

Cover Reveal: The Wolf of the Baskervilles

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I am unfortunately a couple of days late on this post – had some life issues come up and it didn’t get scheduled as it was supposed to! Regardless, this sounds like a really interesting take on the whole Sherlock Holmes thing and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out.

The Wolf of the Baskervilles
Majanka Verstraete
(The Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #3)
Publication date: June 25th 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Who is Marisol Holmes?

She’s a teenager.

Detective.

Jaguar shifter.

And don’t forget, she’s also the descendant of the great Sherlock Holmes.

Our heroine had been in some pretty tight spots before, but now? She’s about to face her biggest challenge yet: a powerful shifter with a taste for blood. No one has faced down the deadly wolf of the Baskervilles and lived to tell the tale.

Even so, Marisol Holmes plans to do just that.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Google Play / iBooks

 

Author Bio:

Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels. At MHB, Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Aug 14

Stacking the Shelves [2]

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I’ve decided to join in with the Stacking the Shelves meme from Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality! Probably not every week, as I often go weeks without buying books at present, but it’s fun to see what deals I’ve managed to find and what stuff I get to splurge on.

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We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

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Again with the ebooks this week! No new NetGalleys, but I did snag quite a few freebies! A lot of the free ones are outside my usual tastes, but I like to get them so I have choices for every possible reading mood that might strike. Hehe!

     

The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress (free) – a bluestocking is something like a scholar, so I’m intrigued. When I feel the need for a romance I might pick this up.

Conjure (The Hoodoo Apprentice #1) (free) – hmmmm. Pirates, soul eating, demon dogs?

The Replacement Crush (free) – IT’S ABOUT A BOOK BLOGGER. Therefore I must read it regardless of content. I don’t think I’ve heard of any other books about book bloggers specifically!

Royally Screwed (Royally #1) – I’ve wanted to read this ever since it first came out. But I’m too embarrassed to carry around books with shirtless men on their covers…so I finally bought the ebook.

Mountains Beyond Mountains – I was turned onto this book in my anthropology class last semester. A medical doctor who travels the world learning and caring for other cultures? Sounds like a role model to me.

A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #1) – because it was on sale for $1.99, and I occasionally get a burning need for cozy mysteries.

Flight of a Witch (Felse Investigations #3) – see above reason. Also,  did NOT realize this was #3 of this particular series when I bought it. Whoops.

 

And that’s it for this week! Yes, I’m a couple of days late posting…oops. Oh well. What sort of deals and steals have you found for your shelf lately?

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 08

Ask a Reader Tag

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I decided to play along with the Ask A Reader tag from Charis Rae over at Reading. Writing. Wandering. I saw this a couple of weeks ago and it reminded me of WHY I got into blogging in the first place – because I love books and reading, pure and simple! So here we go.

      1. What sparked your love for reading?

I have literally loved books for as long as I can remember. My mom and dad taught me to read when I was three years old, and I remember the first “real” book I read being some little easy reader about a little boy and a snowman or a snowstorm. Sadly I have no idea what book it was! But I was off to the races and I’ve never stopped ever since!

        2. Where do you get your books?

Anywhere I can! If I’m buying, usually Amazon, but I much prefer to support my local bookstore when it’s not something I need right here right now. I do hate that local stores are usually more expensive…I’m pinching my pennies so paying an extra $2 makes me cringe…but I do really try!! My ebooks are all from Barnes and Noble since I have a Nook.

         3. Where do you read?

My favorite place is in a comfy reading chair, in a secluded corner of my house. Or in my bed. Or in a porch swing on a warm day with a slight breeze and lots of sunshine.

         4. When do you read?

Whenever I feel like it and DON’T feel guilty that I should be doing something else!

         5. What genres do you read?

Mostly YA at present. Within that I enjoy fantasy, historical, steampunk, mystery, and occasionally some contemporary. I also enjoy historical and mystery novels in general.

         6. What are your favorite childhood reads?

This is a hard question. My reading choices were severely limited growing up (yay fundamentalist cult…the fear of ideas is a powerful thing and it’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about the Read Banned Books projects). I did read Johanna Spyri’s Heidi over and over. Also Anne of Green Gables. I got my hands on some of the American Girl books at one point, but my mom quickly decided those were giving me “rebellious ideas” and they got taken away. Harry Potter was burned in one of the church groups my family was in…I didn’t read those until I was in my late 20s. I still feel like I missed a huge chunk of childhood.

         7. What are your favorite books?

Oh god, this question. So many. The Raven Cycle, the Lunar Chronicles, Dublin Murder Squad, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings…here, just look at my favs shelf on GoodReads! LOL

         8. Do you read fast or slow?

Pretty fast. I just don’t have enough time to do it!

         9. Do you set reading goals? What are they?

I usually set a numbers goal every year (52 for 2018), and I try to participate in some challenges. I’m not always successful, haha. I have more luck with just the numbers.

       10. How do you track your reads?

Just on GoodReads, really. I catalog my physical library on LibraryThing.

       11. Do you binge-read?

Not really anymore! I used to. Sometimes I get the urge, but again, time.

       12. Do you fall in love with characters?

Oh hell yes. Jamie Fraser, Rhysand, Ronan Lynch, Mr. Knightley…

       13. Do you buddy-read?

I really don’t! I feel like it’s so much pressure. What if I take forever to finish the book, or if I finish waaaaay before them…what if we have vastly differing opinions…gah.

       14. Do you re-read?

Absolutely. Re-reading is the best comfort food available.

       15. What’s the best thing about being a reader?

Getting to see the world from someone else’s viewpoint, experiencing to some extent different places in the world, seeing that people are people regardless of their religion, sexual orientation, or color.

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Well, that was fun! I hope you enjoyed reading my version of the Ask a Reader tag. If anyone is reading this and wants to join in and reminisce about all the reasons we love reading, consider yourself tagged. 🙂

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Aug 04

Stacking the Shelves [1]

Books/Writing 0

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I’ve decided to join in with the Stacking the Shelves meme from Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality! Probably not every week, as I often go weeks without buying books at present, but it’s fun to see what deals I’ve managed to find and what stuff I get to splurge on.

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We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

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This week everything I got was an electronic version! Which is absolutely fine, I love stockpiling my Nook and of course NetGalley copies are always fun. If a copy was free or a review ARC I’ve noted it – no guarantees the ebooks will STILL be free, but they were when I got them.

The 19th Wife – Have wanted to pick this up, at some point, for a very long time. One of these days I’ll get around to reading it.

The Crooked Path – This just sounded interesting at the time.

The Bonesetter’s Daughter – I’ve wanted to read something by Amy Tan for ages! Now I have no excuse other than there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Ella, The Slayer (free) – Errrrm…so sue me, I thought the cover was pretty. Also I can’t resist free ebooks.

More Than Friends (free) – This sounded like a cute, fluffy read, so I snagged it even though it’s the second in a series. All the reviews I read said it wasn’t necessary to read the first.

Annie on My Mind – Planning for Banned Books Week. Apparently this book just caused people to go apoplectic.

Beneath a Highland Moon (free) – You never know when you might need a good bodice-ripper.

The Royal Runaway (review) – This sounded cute and funny.

Toil and Trouble (review) – And THIS, sounded awesome! I can’t wait!

Improper Cross-Stitch (review) – I love to make ALL the things, and quirky cross-stitch is one of my favs. Super excited to read this.

Fizz, Boom, Bath! (review) – Again, making stuffs! I actually got to try one of the bath bombs these girls made for a long ago OwlCrate, and it was amazing. I really should learn to make my own.

That’s it, folks! Kind of an odd mashup, and not my usual YA fare, but interesting books nonetheless. I hope you enjoyed seeing what I’ve added to my shelf recently. Any of these on your TBR?

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

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Jul 24

Changing Things Up

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Yes, the blog is coming back to life! You can look for more regular reviews and profiles starting in August, but for now here are two big changes:

An Actual Email Newsletter

I’m super excited about this! I’ve had this as an idea kicking around for QUITE some time, but just hadn’t had the time to put into setting it up. NO MORE! There will be a weekly or less newsletter (so less e-mails than if you subscribed via WordPress), also with exclusive content that won’t appear on the blog. You can, of course, still subscribe to the blog feed through WordPress, or Bloglovin (links in the sidebar over there>>>), but this way will have all the barebones info about reviews, profiles, and giveaways in one place – and you can always click through to the blog for more details. So make sure you subscribe. 😉 Look for the first newsletter around August 1st!

Disqus Commenting

I’m giving the Disqus comment system a try. Kind of by accident…something happened when I did some updating and reformatting, and suddenly Disqus was the only comment system there. Whoops. BUT, after doing a little research, I decided to keep it! At least for a few months. I like the CommentLuv system for sharing posts with comments, but it seems finicky (I only get it to work on other blogs, for myself, about half of the time), where Disqus seems much more dependable and consistent – AND, you don’t have to have an account. It’s nice to have one, because then you can see all your comments, along with any replies to them, in one place! Let me know what you think, and what other comments systems you like.

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Jul 19

2018 Books I’m Dying to Read

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This year has not been a great one for my reading! I’ve been reading…but reading required stuff for school. I had sort of forgotten about that aspect of college classes. 😛 Very inconvenient, that. So basically, all these fabulous new books have come out and I HAVEN’T READ A SINGLE ONE. Not even the ones I pre-ordered!

I keep reminding myself that this is a temporary – albeit going to be a VERY long temporary – season and one day I will have time to read all the things I want again. I’m actually enjoying school very much and it’s going very well! I just have to prioritize my time and energy and…well. I care too much about my GPA to put anything except my family in front of it. That said, AUGUST IS COMING. And with August is coming a month-long break from classes.

I have SO earned it, people. Hopefully during that month, I will get to at least a handful of these amazing-sounding new 2018 books! All covers link to GoodReads.

 

 

THIS BOOK. Viking shield-maidens, betrayals, forbidden love? YES PLEASE. On my shelf since release, it’s coming with me on vacation. It sounds amazing and I keep seeing new great reviews for it!

 

 

 

 

Another one already on my shelf. This one seems to turn ALL the stereotypes for historical and even alternate history books on their respective heads. I can’t wait. It, also, sounds amazing! Sorry, you’ll have to bear with me repeatedly using that word because these are all just making me squeal with anticipation like a little kid.

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another one that is already on my shelf…still unread. Ahem. I had to get this one because I loved Marsh’s YA debut, Fear the Drowning Deep. Necromancy, bisexuality, and monsters…sign me up. Must. Read. Faster.

 

 

 

 

 

I have been waiting for this book since I finished When Dimple Met Rishi – which was fabulous, and I am sure this one will be just as fabulous. OMG. Why can I not have a 48 hour day? And keep my sleep needs the same, thankyouverymuch.

 

 

 

 

 

EEEEEEEEE!!! It’s finally here, it’s finally here! I snickered and guffawed my way through My Lady Jane, so I am delighted to read these awesome authors’ take on Jane Eyre. I’m convinced it will be just as amazing, lighthearted, and fun.

 

 

 

There are TONS more books that sound phenomenal out this year. If you want you can check out my entire 2018 release list on GoodReads, and please share some of your favorites – whether you’ve read them already or still waiting – in the comments!

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[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.]If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

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Jun 05

Still Here!

Books/Writing, Cats, Life 0

Hello folks! Yes, I am still here. Mostly. 😉

However, going back to college full time has been a real adjustment. I had SO MUCH HOMEWORK last semester, I really struggled juggling home, family, and school. In my little bit of spare time, I mostly tried to be creative. I did a lot of knitting. Unfortunately, I did almost no reading that wasn’t for class. Ok, let me be completely honest.

NONE.

I miss it. So much. Missing my books is not helping my stress levels. But I came out of this first semester with a decent GPA, so it was worth it. I do really want to work my “fun” reading back into my day to day life, and I’m hoping  this summer will let me do that. I’m still taking classes this summer, but not as many (phew).

There have been so many amazing new books that have come out this year – not a SINGLE ONE of which I have managed to read, even though I had a couple on pre-order. I’m going to try to put a post in the next few days highlighting some of these, so stay tuned!

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