All Booked

Hi all!
I’m finally back from the hiatus I’ve been on recently. My husband and I  bought home which took SO much out of us I couldn’t summon the energy to read or post anything here for a few months. However, now that we are (mostly) set up in our new place I am beginning to go back into a patterned life that keeps me stable.

So, let’s start off 2019 with a Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and the next few TTT’s are looking promising so I cannot wait to do a few of them. Check out her site if you want to participate in any of the suggested Top Ten Tuesday post ideas.
This week’s post is: Best Books I read in 2018

I went with my top 9 books from 2018 instead of top 10 so let’s take a look at those!

The only one on here that surprised even me was Otherworld. Overall it wasn’t the greatest story ever told but it’s a book I haven’t stopped thinking about for months so I figured that meant something and added it to this list.

Did any of these make your best books of 2018?
If you haven’t read any of these yet, are any of these in your 2019 TBRs?


Hi book world!

I’ve always tended to lean away from TBR lists as I’ve worried my mood-reading attitude would make it hard to stick to any books I “planned” to read. However, going in to the new year I’d like to give it a try and see how it works and if it will help increase my reading in 2019. Read More

Book Unhaul

Well, hello.

As I was cleaning many-a-things in my life recently I was sorting through my books and I realized the time has come for some sort of unhaul. Granted, most of these are school-related. However, I thought that getting rid of SOME books is better than not getting rid of any (and that idea used to make me feel too guilty at all).

I’d like to do the normal disclaimer of “don’t be offended if you see a book you like” but honestly I just don’t want these books on my shelves. Many, even the school ones, I enjoyed, but will never pick up again so they gotta go. Let’s go.


  • Desperation by Stephen King
  • House by Frank Peretti & Ted Dekker
  • Our Mothers’ War by Emily Yellin
  • To Tell the Truth Freely by Mia Bay


  • The American Promise by a variety of authors
  • Teenagers by Grace Palladino
  • A History of Medieval Heresy and Inquisition by Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane
  • The Witchcraft Sourcebook by Brian P. Levack
  • The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich


  • Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier
  • A Fierce Discontent by Michael McGerr
  • Byron’s Poetry selected and edited by Frank D. McConnell
  • America’s Women by Gail Collins
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer


  • Torment by Lauren Kate
  • That Summer by Sarah Dessen
  • Wicked by Gregory Macguire
  • Deception Point by Dan Brown
  • Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
  • Christine by Stephen King


  • Asylum by Madeleine Roux
  • Velocity by Dean Koontz
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche
  • Blood Game by Iris Johansen

Phew. I feel better. It’s a little cleansing, you know?

Hi book fans –

In October I did a few things. Some of those stem from wandering thrift stores unnecessarily. Some of them stem from drunken choices I made many moons ago. Either way. I collected more books. Here they are for our enjoyment to stare at:


  • A Spark of Light by Jodi PicoultMy NUMBER ONE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE ENTIRE YEAR. My BEST FRIEND in the whole wide world (go say hi here) sent this to me and it is a signed copy. What an amazing soul he is and I am SO excited to start reading this (probably not until after the holidays so I can fully enjoy it).


  • Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd.From the October Shelflove Crate.


  • Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan.

I had listened to this on audio in December of last year after I bought it on Audible on a whim. It had my favorite thing: WWII. Of course I fell in love instantly and wanted all of my friends to read this book ASAP. When I found a brand new copy for $2.00, I would have regretted not picking it up so I did. Now I can re-read it’s tragic beauty with my bare hands at some point.


  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

A book that has been discussed EVERYWHERE in the book world recently and when I saw this for $1.50 – well, I had to get it. Sorry. Not really.


  • A Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

There comes a point in every woman’s life where she accidentally drinks 4 bottles of wine with one of her good friends and pre-orders a novel that isn’t set to come out for about 6 months. That’s me. Those are my choices. Here we are now so let’s just set it and forget it. But really, I am thrilled to own this signed copy I ordered while highly intoxicated many months ago as The Book Thief is one of my favorite books of all time (WWII. Told from Death’s perspective. Basically my dream book.) so I’m excited to see Zusak’s next novel.

  • Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

One is from the October OwlCrate.
The other is from the October Unicorn Crate.


  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi

From the October OwlCrate.


  • The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

From the October Beacon Book Box.


  • Did anyone pick up any of these books in October?
  • Favorites? Least favorites?


Helloooo. It’s meeeeeee.

Time for another “I’m way too far behind once again” unboxing. LET’S GO: Read More

Hi all –

I’ve got a lot going on that I’d rather wait to discuss until another time but my days have been non-stop action from 3am-8 or 9pm most days and I barely have time to sleep let alone pretend I have time to post here right now. Hopefully I can share good news eventually, but until then, I am taking this rare moment in time to update on an unboxing I received recently! Read More


I was SO excited for this month’s OwlCrate for a few reasons. 1. They said they were featuring two different books. 2. It’s “bookish” themed. What is not to enjoy?!

OwlCrate is an amazing box with a lot of cool and unique features so I’d highly recommend you check them out sometime.

This month’s theme is:
Lost in the Bookstore


Spoiler Card


Book nerd socks which are so cute. When I first started getting socks in book boxes I thought it was slightly cool but also odd. Now, I love them. A lot. These were created by Out of Print and Underlined.


A Mirror of Erised art print. Very obviously inspired by the wonderful Harry Potter series. Created by Michelle Gray.



Choco mint truffle flavored tea. What a unique blend and I’m excited to see what this one is (sorry, Jacob, I’m not giving you this one haha). Made by The Tea Spot.


An OwlCrate exclusive item made by Team OwlCrate. This is a tea strainer which was also thought into creation with the help of Michelle Gray. Perfect to try out that teaaaaaaaa!

I LOVE THISSSSSS. SO MUCH. It’s described as “canvas clutch purse” but is made to carry medium and smaller books which is amazing. One of the books from this month’s box definitely fit nicely in there. What an amazing thing to have in a box! Created by Bookworm Boutique.


First book of the month is Pride by Ibi Zoboi.

THIS INSIDE IS GORGEOUS. The entire cover is all pink, too, which isn’t a common thing to see on books so that’s amazing. Also, it is signed by the author.


It came with a bookmark that is created after the book itself as well as a note from the author.


Comparison of the OwlCrate cover versus the regular cover. I enjoy both, so I would have been OK with either in this case!


Second book of the month is Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa.


Also signed! Woohoo! Such an amazing touch to these books.


This also came with a themed bookmark and note from the author.


This book is just an inverted version from the original. I like the OwlCrate more only because black is a very common color of YA books and I enjoy that this one is a little different!


I’d say “that’s all” but, this was a packed box so I’m really happy with it all!

  • Thoughts?
  • Favorite things?
  • Have you read either of these books or recently hauled either?!
  • Which covers do you like more: OwlCrate or originals?


Hi all!

I’ve been a little MIA because, per usual, life. Just life. However, I have a few unboxing and reviews that I need to get up so let’s get this party STARTTTEEEDDD.

Beacon Book Box came to be because of Cameron, a young teen who loves books. He and his family put these boxes together and include a lot of their own things in their boxes along with personal touches I am obsessed with. Check them out!

This month’s Beacon Book Box theme is:
Maidens of Mayhem


Spoiler Card


A note from Cameron which, honestly, is growing to be one of my FAVORITE touches on any book box. It really is a personal touch that other book boxes don’t quite have and I LOVE it so much. Thank you, Cameron!


A Novelly Yours candle inspired by Throne of Glass. It smells AMAZING. It’s not too intense and smells perfect for a fall-themed candle.


This orange cooler with a quote that says “It is a condition of monsters that they do no perceive themselves as such” which comes from A Daughter of Smoke and Bones (on my long TBR list, duh). Created by Heather at Little Bearries. I 100% thought this was a fanny pack and let me tell you I was completely on board with that idea. While it is not a fanny pack, I still have been searching for something to bring my lunch to work in so this came in at a perfect time! Plus, it’s a cool item you don’t see…ever.


Also created by Heather at Little Bearries is this soft beanie. This was inspired by Sky in the Deep (need I even say this is on my TBR? Probably not. You get how this whole thing works).


A Halloween-themed booksleeve! THIS is precious. My friend watched as I unboxed this and squealed at how much they loved this booksleeve. It’s a little glittery but very beautiful and made well. Created by Team Beacon – I loveeeeee it.


The book of the month is Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke.


It came with an author note and a signed bookplate which has a cute drawing on it. The cover on this book is insanely gorgeous. I’ve seen this book cover a few months ago and always was drawn to how much I love the cover. I hope it’s a good read!


That’s it for this unboxing!

  • Do you receive this box?
  • Have you read/received this book recently?
  • How about that booksleeve, though?!


It’s me. Hi. How are you today?

Time for another review. My mood reading has been a little erratic and I wanted something that required little brain power, a hopefully happy ending, and a little bit of curiosity or love involved. I LOVED What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum and thought I’d give her other story a chance. Tell Me Three Things came before What to Say Next, but I was still excited and picked this up on audio. Let’s discuss!

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Tell Me Three Things
By: Julie Buxbaum
Pages: 328
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Audiobook

Book Synopsis:

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

My Thoughts:

I adored this book so much. Perhaps I just like Buxbaum’s writing (thus far I have), but I loved this story. It wasn’t super heavy, it wasn’t something that I felt had extremely troubling problems. It was simple, fun, and I could not stop listening. Buxbaum’s conversation at the end discussed how she dealt with the death of someone in her own family at a young age and how she put pieces of herself into this story. This made it so much sweeter when I was done with this story.

Jessie is struggling with the death of her mother and counts in days how long it’s been since she was taken from her and her father. However, she is not only coping with this loss, but with being moved to L.A. after her father marries someone he met through a bereavement group. Her new stepmother is extremely rich and Jessie’s new home feels sterile yet her new step-brother seems flashy and mean.

Jessie doesn’t know how to fit in at this new prep school where everyone is rich and she feels out of place. She gets an e-mail from “Somebody/Nobody” (SN) a few weeks into starting school who offers to help her in exchange for keep his identity a secret. While she’s hesitant at first, she wants to stop feeling so alone and takes the advice SN gives. She starts making new friends and has a confidant who she desperately wants to meet.

She goes through a wide range of emotions in this book: how the loss of her mother affects her; finding herself with crushes on boys she doesn’t think will ever notice her; despising and feeling sorry for her dad; feeling sorry for herself yet wanting to improve her life; navigating bullying; losing her home and friends. I mean, for how short this story was there was a lot jammed into it and I devoured it all eagerly.

I loved Jessie. I truly did. I also loved her new friendships with other females which I feel like we don’t see enough in books. I loved those new friends of hers. I also enjoyed the variety of boys Jessie interacted with in a pretty innocent way. I loved most of this story.

The only parts I didn’t enjoy (yet did?) are the very trope-y things. Mean girls dating the most popular boys. Girls bullying girls and no one doing anything about it. Jessie’s dad randomly marrying someone without telling her and making her suddenly move to a new state? I mean. What? Other than that, though, if you’re willing to not let any of those things really bother you and just enjoy a fluffy book, I’d recommend this. Cute. It was cute. I like.

  • Ok. Who has read this?
  • What did you think?
  • Have you read either of Buxbaum’s stories?


Time for a short and sweet book haul for September. Again, I’ve been TRYING so hard to not buy books so most of these are from my book boxes this past month. Let’s check it all out!







Hello. Good morning, afternoon, or evening.

For several months I have always gone straight to this book when I walk into a bookstore because I’ve been wanting to read it so much. I decided I didn’t want to purchase it so I borrowed it on audio from the library. Let’s talk. P.S. This is long-ish.

The City of Brass

The City of Brass
By: S.A. Chakraborty
Pages: 533
Rating: ★★★★☆(3.75/5)
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Audiobook

Book Synopsis:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

My Thoughts:

Perhaps listening to this on audio was a mistake for me. I somewhat wish I had read it in physical book form instead. There were parts of this book I was DEEPLY invested in. Then there would be parts I would be so glazed over for 45 minutes I’d have to go back and re-listen once or twice to the same thing so I didn’t lose the story line. I struggled but I also had fun. Does that make sense?

Nahri is a character I actually enjoyed. She was witty, somewhat sarcastic (which I’m finding is a quality I adore in characters), and figuring out life no matter the circumstances she finds herself in.

Dara. Well. Dara I actually loved. I loved Dara. When we first see him enter the story I thought “Oh great, here comes this asshole”. But, as the story went on and I tried to figure out if he was a good or bad guy, I realized he is neither. I enjoyed his affection for Nahri, his conflict over his very, very long life’s history and the future, and the way he is still able to love despite it all.

Ali is neither love-able nor hate-able. He is bound by blood to maintain the laws and rules his ruling family creates even though his heart and head tell him to act differently. While being on the more emotional side made him likeable, he did feel like a character who was constantly unsure of himself and therefore his development felt like a non-stop journey of going up and down hill after hill. Honor and blood. Compassion and caring for others. Finding a middle for him was difficult and while I could understand his position it left me feeling simply “meh” about him.

The parts I struggled with the most in this story was times where not much was happening or was usually when one of these characters and someone else were interacting with each other. Nahri and Dara were fine. But Nahri and Ali. Meh. Ali and Dara. Meh. Often in this situations nothing was really happening and even character development in these spots was low or nonexistent which made it hard to keep following. Hence the glaze fell over my mind and eyes.

The plot was usually interesting but sometimes a little slow. It continued this way throughout the entire story and at times left me wanting a little more than I got. Like many other books I kept wondering “Ok. But how is this going to end? Ok. But how is this going to help this person? Ok. But…why? Ok. But. But. But.“.  I understand looking back that the entire story wasn’t meant to be quick paced, but at many points I wished it was anyway. How Nahri is important in this world, how Ali and Dara play into this, and how the world could one day be made or broken because of them all was much more clear at the end, but it did take a while to get to that understanding. Nahri’s gifts are interesting. Dara’s past was intriguing. I did appreciate how the two of them found each other, rocked the core of Ali’s city, and were plotting ways to change their futures.

Let’s switch gears here and talk about the parts that made it impossible to stop listening. The world. This story starts in Cairo and the travels that occur stem from Cairo outward. To hear about somewhere other my own backyard was truly refreshing. The dust, the landscapes, the way people lived based on these things – great. Check, check, and check.

Additionally, the amount of diversity in magic, creatures, and things I’m not familiar with made me SO happy. Daeva. Tanzeem. Shafit. Nahids. Djinn. YAS. I learned so much about other beliefs, creatures, worlds, and ideas from this story (whether real or not) and I applaud Chakraborty for this. Thank you for the diversity I didn’t know I needed but am so happy I received from this story.

Overall, the world and what is inside of it is wonderful. Diverse. Beautiful. Unique. Interesting. The characters, though, not as much. While I struggled in some parts of this story I will still be eager to see what happens to these character’s fates in the next book since we left off on a somewhat sad, cliff-hanging spot.

  • Thoughts, anyone?
  • If so, what are your thoughts on the location and magic of this world? The people? The characters?


Hi Book Lovers!

I recently listened to this story and I want to briefly discuss!


The Lost City of the Monkey God
By: Douglas Preston
Pages: 326
Rating:  (4/5)
Genre: Non-fiction
Format: Audiobook

Book Synopsis:

A five-hundred-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world’s densest jungle.

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn’t until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.

My Thoughts:

To begin, I want to briefly summarize to everyone that I am pursuing majors in World History and Anthropology. I am obsessed with three things (take it as you’d like):WWII from a European standpoint, American Indian history, and the history of the Southwest including histories in North and South America such as the Aztec, Maya, so on and so forth. The majority of classes I’ve been taking the past 3 semesters have all been around the histories of the Southwestern regions and this story fell in line with that learning. Also, it can be quite fairly assumed I picked this book up for the reasons mentioned above. I did.

I had not heard of this tale, legend, or whatever other fanatical word you’d like to use. Perhaps what drew me in mostly to this story was hearing the first hand experiences of the people involved in this journey (the good, the bad, and the ugly). Preston journeys with researchers and others to see if they can uncover anything about the rumors that have lasted for centuries over the supposedly lost city based on the Monkey God.

Starting with stories drifting through history enters a man named Theodore Morde who, in the early part of the 20th century, claimed he had found this city that had been lost to its people and the past. However, he eventually takes his own life without telling anyone of the things he supposedly found.

This book traveled through it all. It started with the train of people who have talked about or previously attempted to search for this place and how they got to the point of doing this in their lives. However, once we finally got to how it all connected to today’s story was important in my opinion. Then we follow this new team going out in to the wilds of the jungle which features one of the most venomous snakes in the world as well as other creatures that have never seen humans before.


The learner in me was so ecstatic to hear the most mundane things: how they prepped to go into the jungle including their supplies and expectations; the way the wildlife works; how researchers have attempted to use different technology to find the right locations; digging up the past including old journals and stories from people who claim to have gone; the trek through the jungle and the sounds, sights, and thoughts everyone had while taking this journey. I couldn’t get enough of it all. This is what I want to do. Highly venomous snakes and all.

The other part of this story I enjoyed was Preston discussing how deforestation and looting are damaging not only the jungles and all that live there, but history as well. It kills me that such sites lose their context, information, and history because of looters. It kills me that all the creatures in these areas who have never interacted with the destruction of humans are dying off and losing their homes due to carelessness.

The only part of the story that I didn’t enjoy as much was the extensive conversation around the disease at the end. While I am not trying to discredit its importance for not only the crew who got sick or anyone else who has the disease mentioned, it did take up a lot of time at the end and didn’t tie in as well to the main story of the lost city which bummed me out at the end.

  • Has anyone read this story?
  • Does this topic interest anyone?
  • How would you feel about venturing into the depths of an unknown jungle knowing you are risking your life?