The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello, reader!

For today’s post, I’m tackling catching up on tags and participating in a fun blogger award at the same time! I’ll be doing The Sunshine Blogger Award and I’ll be doing it big! Because I was tagged by not one, not two, but three of my wonderful blogging compatriots. Seriously, Leah @ Leah’s Books, Livy @ Shelves of Starlight, and Danni @ _ForBooksSake are some of the best folks in the blogging community 💖 I love each of their bookish blogs, so you should definitely check them out!

So I’m sure if you’ve been around the blogging community for any amount of time, you know about The Sunshine Blogger Award. It was created to boost those in the community who are “creative, positive, and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.” I personally love it because I love learning more about the various bloggers I follow! Before I jump into answering Leah, Livy, and Danni’s questions, though, let’s take a look at…

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog (Thank you, Leah and Livy and Danni!)
  • Answer the eleven questions prompted by the person who nominated you
  • Nominated eleven new bloggers to receive the award and write them eleven new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog

Leah’s Questions

#1. If you could travel to one historical period, when would it be?

Honestly, being a Black woman, this question always makes me pause. Because if we think racism is bad now… That being said, I’d love to visit the Renaissance period when artist like Da Vinci were at work. There was just so much beautiful and creative work done during that time period! Or if I could go see a Shakespearean play at The Globe during the height of his fame, that would be incredible!

#2. What drew you to your favorite genre initially?

Gonna be honest and say the dragons. One of my favorite series as a kid was the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. I was obsessed with those books and, once I had finished them, I snatched up anything dragon/fantasy adjacent. I haven’t looked back since! Fantasy is and will probably continue to be my favorite genre of all time.

Also, the princess in this series is legitimately one of my favorite heroines ever. Cimorene is awesome!

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Down The TBR Hole #4

Hello, reader!

I realized last night that I didn’t do a Down the TBR Hole round last week. I also added quite a few books to my TBR last week. I think I’m doing this wrong, lol. Let’s take a look at the numbers, shall we? On my last round of Down the TBR Hole, I ended up with 608 books on my Goodreads ‘Want To Read’ shelf. Today, I have 614 books… 😬

Let’s just be upfront, this is going to be an on-going theme, y’all 😂 Every time I finish one book, I feel like I add four more to the TBR! But it’s time to focus and see if we can pare the list back down a bit. On to round four!


Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Y’all, I don’t know why this book is on here. I mean… I do because I added a lot of classics to my TBR when I first joined Goodreads. At the same time, though, I really don’t know why I went with this particular one. I started yawning just reading the synopsis.

Hahaha, just kidding! But only a little… Though this book may be absolutely delightful, I’m just not feeling it.

Verdict: Remove

PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren

Do you remember PostSecrets? Anyone? It was is (I didn’t realize it’s still a thing!) a website where people send in postcards with their deepest, darkest secrets. It was wildly popular a few years ago which lead to this and other books getting published. I always thought it was such an interesting concept, which is how it ended up on my TBR. As someone who spent a lot of time on the website, however, I feel like I have probably seen the postcards that would be found in this collection. Reading it at this point would be kind of redundant 🤷🏾‍♀️

Verdict: Remove

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#5OnMyTBR – Nonfiction

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

We’ve arrived at another Monday, which means it is time for another 5 On My TBR! I always have such fun doing these because it makes me look at my TBR and remember some of the books that have been on there far too long. This is especially true for the books that fall into the theme for today: nonfiction books. I can enjoy a good nonfiction, but it is definitely not my go-to genre. I could probably count on one hand how many nonfictions I’ve read this year, heh. It’s basically the exact opposite of my preferred genre, so I have to be truly interested in the topic for a nonfiction to land on my TBR. With that said, I actually have quite a few that have piqued my interest! So let’s take a look at five nonfiction books on my TBR that I’m excited to read.


#1. The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is definitely one of my favorite nonfiction authors. A Walk in the Woods is one of my all-time favorite books, period! He has a way of writing with humor and heart that I absolutely love. That’s why his book about travelling through the various small towns that are littered throughout the United States. I love reading about travelling and I know I love his writing style, so I feel like this one is gonna be a hit!

#2. Around the World in 80 Days by Michael Palin

Sticking to the travelling topic, this is one that has been on my TBR for ages! Little known fact about me: I’m a HUGE Monty Python fan. My dad absolutely loved their show so I grew up with them. I’ve seem almost all their movies and pretty much every episode of the show. So when I discovered this book written by one of my favorite members of Monty Python, I wanted to read it immediately! I love Michael Palin’s sense of humor and this book is also a companion to the PBS series that actually shows his adventures. Hopefully I’ll get to this one sooner than later.

#3. The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr

Another little fact about me: I love true crime shows. When we had cable, my favorite channel was the ID (Investigation Discovery) Channel. I’m slowly working my way through all the true crime shows on Netflix. It’s just my jam! Which sounds super morbid to say, but here we are 😅 I came across this book on Goodreads at one point or another and it sounded like it would be right up my morbid little alley! I haven’t read anything by Douglas Starr before so I’m not sure how I’ll get along with his writing style. Still, this book sounds incredibly fascinating!

#4. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Y’all know how much I love a book about books, so you know this had to be on this list! It’s a book that is built on the corresponding between the author and a used-book dealer living in London. I feel like it would be so interesting to watch two people bond over the written word. I mean, that just speaks directly to my book-loving heart! I’ve heard great things about this one, as well, so I’m excited to give it a shot.

#5. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

I’ve owned this book for awhile and have wanted to read it for even longer. I’ve read a few essays by Roxane Gay and really enjoyed them, so I’m sure I’ll get on with the writing in this one. And the topic is so interesting! The way we view our bodies and our relationship with food just seems like it’ll be a really intriguing read. I’ve also heard great things about this book, so that makes me even more excited to read it! If I can get myself to stop buying more books and just read the ones that I already own, this will be one of the first ones I pick up!


What are some nonfiction books on your TBR that you can’t wait to read? Have you read any of the books on mine? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

The Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Hello, reader!

Like a lot of 80s and 90s kids, I’m a big fan of Disney animated movies. I grew up on movies like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. I remember when the movie Beauty and the Beast came out… I was OBSESSED. Seriously, I think my brother and I made our parents suffer through that movie more times than should be acceptable 😂 It was our Frozen. So I was super hyped when I was tagged to do the Beauty and the Beast Book Tag! Thank you so much to Riddhi @ Whispering Stories for tagging me. You should definitely go check out her blog, it is tons of fun!

Alright, let’s get started!


Rules:

  • Link back to the original creator (Kirsty @ Kirsty and the Cat Read) and the blog you first saw this post (I first saw it on Riddhi’s blog!)
  • Answer all the prompts
  • Tag at least 5 other bloggers
  • Have fun!

#1. Tale as Old as Time – A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get bored of

BOOKS ABOUT BOOKS! Which, let’s be honest, is very on brand for this tag 😂 Y’all know Belle would love a book with bookish themes! Seriously, though, I cannot get enough of books that have some kind of bookish theme. It’s probably because I find it easy to connect with the bookish main characters and the themes just speak to my nerdy soul. Whatever it is, books about books are my happy place 💕 Some recent favorites would be The Starless Sea, Tilly and the Bookwanderers, and The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

#2. Belle – A book you bought for merely its cover that is just as beautiful on the inside

I knew next to nothing about The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen when I first spotted it at the library. The cover completely hooked me and I checked it out immediately. Thankfully, the book turned out to be just as amazing on the inside as it was on the outside! This book and the second in the duology, The Faithless Hawk, are now two of my favorite books of all time. I can’t wait to read whatever Margaret Owen writes next!

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WWW Wednesday: November 18, 2020

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday! This is a bookish meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer the 3 Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

If you’d like to learn more about any of these books, click on the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page.


Current Reads

  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang: The sequel to The Poppy War, which put me in such a massive book hangover last month that I couldn’t even get into this one! I’m eager to continue Rin’s story, but my brain apparently needed to fully digest the first book first. Thankfully, my reading has picked back up and I think I’m ready to go back in. Now I’m nervous that this book will cause another book hangover 😅
  • Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier: Look at me reading a classic and actually enjoying it! I’m reading this “classic tale of romantic suspense” for a book club and I think they are part of the reason I’m liking it so much. Our conversations about this book are so much fun and, frankly, hilarious 😂 Still, I can admit that I’m liking the writing style, even if I want to fight half the characters. I’m looking forward to this getting steadily more creepy!
  • Shadows of Winterspell by Amy Wilson: Y’aaaalllll, this book is so whimsical, I love it! This is the Middle Grade Monthly pick for November and it is such a delight. I find it hard to stop myself after reading the section for the week, lol. I mean, I know I could keep reading, but I have a bad habit of immediately yeeting book information from my brain once I finish it. I’m trying to stick to the schedule so I can actually participate in the chats! This is definitely one of my favorite picks, though, and I never would have heard of it if it weren’t for this book club 💖
  • Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin: I finally got a library card for our new local library (we moved in the middle of lockdown, so I couldn’t go and pick one up as soon as we were settled) and I picked up my first hold the other day! I was interested in reading this book as I enjoyed the first one, Serpent & Dove, but not enough for me to actually purchase it. So I’m glad I was able to borrow it and give it a shot. So far, I kind of want to slap every. single. character. Or shake them so they will stop being RIDICULOUS! But I am enjoying myself so… *shrug*

Recently Finished

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • No Truth Left to Tell by Michael McAuliffe: This is one of the books that had been on my Currently Reading shelf the longest. The sense of accomplishment I felt when I finally finished it was immense! It wasn’t like it was a long book or even a bad one… it was just in a genre that I’m slowly learning is not my cup of tea. Still, I enjoyed the plot and I thought the end packed a punch. You can read my full review HERE.
  • Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee: This was the Middle Grade Monthly pick for October which I, unfortunately, didn’t finish until November 😅 Book hangovers are no joke, y’all! Once I shook off the funk and dived back in, though, I practically flew through this book! It was so good! I was rooting for Min from beginning to end and I loved watching her on her journey. I’m a little sad this is a standalone because I would love to follow Min on all of her adventures!
  • The Black Sky by Timothy D. Minneci: This was the other book that was on my Currently Reading list for an embarrassingly long time, heh. Though I ended up enjoying it, I think it suffered from the same thing as No Truth Left to Tell… it wasn’t my cup of tea. I mean, it is sci-fi, but it has a more militaristic leaning that, while interesting, kind of turned me off. I dunno… I’m still compiling my thoughts on this one.

What’s Next

  • White Fox by Sara Faring: In an attempt to work on my Netgalley shelf (😬), I want to pick up this creepy sounding book soon. I wanted to read it during spooky season, but time just got away from me. It sounds properly frightening, though, and I’m looking forward to finally picking it up! A missing mom, a mysterious island, strange clues hidden in screenplay… it promises to be an interesting ride.
  • The Cousins by Karen M. McManus: Ooooohhhh yeeeaaaaah, it’s time for another #TheWriteReads tour! And this time it’s for one of my most anticipated books of the year! Karen M. McManus is swiftly becoming one of my favorite thriller authors. I’ve heard nothing but good things during this tour, so far, so I’m extra excited to read this one!

That’s it for another WWW Wednesday! What have you read recently? What are some books up next on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

#5OnMyTBR – Death

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

We have finished with the spookiest month of the year and find ourselves in November. You wouldn’t know that by the topic of today’s 5 On My TBR, though! Today, we will be talking about books that deal with death. Now, I kind of did a loose interpretation of this theme (as you’ll see), but the five books I picked are ones that I’m incredibly excited to read. They are all at least death-adjacent, so I think they work, lol.

Anyways, let’s get to my picks, shall we?


#1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I feel like I’m one of the only souls that hasn’t read this book, lol. It’s an obvious choice for this list as the narrator of the story is Death. I know I’ll probably love this story… there’s a bookish element which is one of my favorite things! I also know that this book will probably devastate me. I mean, the narrator is Death! This can’t have a happy ending…

#2. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

This is a non-fiction book that I’ve been wanting to read for what feels like ages! I work in the medical field and, while I was in training, I got to witness an autopsy. It was both sad and incredibly fascinating. So when this book appeared on my radar, I was excited to pick it up. My TBR, however, is where books go to be forgotten, apparently 😅 I’m still excited to read this book, but it’ll probably be awhile til I get to it.

#3. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I couldn’t compile this list and not put this book on it. The whole plot revolves around a corporation of grim reapers, after all. I love the concept of this story, with the world in a state of seeming utopia where no one dies, so there are people trained to cull the population. It sounds so twisted and intriguing! I’ve heard great things about this series and I can’t wait to pick it up.

#4. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The book with two very slightly different titles. I cannot tell you how confused I was when I initially went to add this to my TBR 😂 But this is a mystery novel that had really piqued my interest. It has a bit of the fantastical mixed into a murder plot and it sounds incredible! And it’s clearly centered around a death, so is perfect for this list. Will I love it? Will it leave me completely confused? Who knows, but I’m more than willing to find out!

#5. Dead Voices by Katherine Arden

I bought this book almost immediately after finishing the first one in the series, Small Spaces. I absolutely love that spooky little book! I’m waiting until we’re more into winter to read it, but I cannot wait! There are ghosts, my three favs are back, and it just looks like it’s going to be just as creepy as the first one. Give me all the horror, no matter what age group! Also, look at that cover. Just… 😍👻


What are some books centering around death that you want to read? Have you read any of my choices? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Down the TBR Hole #2

Hello, reader!

I’m continuing my TBR cleansing journey today with another Down the TBR Hole! Down the TBR Hole was originally created by Lost in a Story. As a reminder, here are the guidelines:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 20 or however many you’re feeling) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Last week, I ended with 619 books. This week, I’m starting with 620 books… so apparently I added a new book sometime within the last week! I honestly don’t even pay attention to when I add books, I swear. Let’s see if I’ll be cutting anything out this round!


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

I’m realizing that I have a lot of Gaiman on my TBR. I tend to get along better with his middle grade fiction (I love Coraline!), so I’m pretty exciting about reading this one. Besides, the premise is so interesting… a boy raised in a graveyard by ghosts? Yes, please!

Verdict: Keep

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

I can’t really remember why I added this book in the first place. Perhaps because I had a vague interest in Bladerunner, the movie based on this book? Perhaps because it’s a sci-fi classic? Maybe it filled a prompt for a readathon? Either way, I have about zero interest in this book now.

Verdict: Remove

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The Liebster Award

Hello, reader!

I have an exciting post for you today. I was nominated/tagged to do the Liebster Award! I’ve seen this tag floating around many bookish blogs and I’ve always loved seeing the unique questions and reading everyone’s answers. Now I get a chance to answer and make up some of my own!

I was tagged by the wonderful Danni @ _ForBooksSake. Her blog is my go-to if I’m on the hunt for a thriller or something spooky. You should definitely go check her out! Also, her pets are super cute and there are pictures on her Liebster Award post, so you gotta at least read that one. I haven’t a clue who originally came up with the Liebster Awards, but thank you, random blogger!

Alright, let’s get to the post, shall we?


Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to their blog (Thank you, Danni!)
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked of you
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers
  4. Ask your nominees 11 questions
  5. Notify your nominees once you have uploaded your post

Questions:

#1. What is your favourite book of the year so far?

There is no way I can talk about this book nearly enough, but I’m sure if you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you knew the answer to this question 😂 My favorite has to go to Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko! I’ve already re-read it, which is something I rarely do… especially in the same year that I first read it! I own two copies (so far) and was super stoked to get a free download of the audiobook in my October OwlCrate. This book is just incredible and I will be shouting it’s praises until I can shout no more. Now I’m not-so-patiently waiting for the sequel, which comes out next summer!

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#5OnMyTBR – Halloween Freebie

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

Happy Halloween week! In honor of the spookiest time during spooky season, today’s 5 On My TBR is a Halloween freebie. There’s so much potential here, but Imma be honest… I’ve just gotten home from a busy shift and my brain is feeling particularly fried. With that being said, we’re gonna be basic here and go with five horror books on my TBR that I can’t wait to read!

Time for some frights!


#1. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Gotta start out with a classic! I’ve wanted to read this book for awhile, but it always ends up on the backburner. Now, with the Netflix adaptation and this being the perfect time of year, I just have the urge to pick it up. Of course, I would actually need a copy first, but I am due a bookstore run 👀👀 I do love a good haunted house book and this novel is one of the quintessential ones!

#2. Horrid by Katrina Leno

Speaking of haunted houses… I just received this book in my September OwlCrate box and it looks perfectly creepy! I don’t know much about this book, though I have seen it around the bookish internet. I have heard there are ghosts involved, so I’m in! I want a good ghost story to chill my bones. Any excuse to wrap myself in a blanket and sip hot cocoa while I read, amiright?

#3. The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

I do love a horror novel that also has some social commentary. This is what is promised in the synopsis for this book. I’ve also heard nothing but amazing things about it! I’ve been interested in reading something written by Stephen Graham Jones for a minute, now, too. Why not make it something scary? I can’t wait to read this one!

#4. Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Another book that centers around a supposedly haunted house! Are we sensing a favorite trope of mine? We most certainly are 😂 That being said, I’ve also been dying to actually read one of the three books I own that are written by Riley Sager. Because, for some reason, I keep buying his books but haven’t read a single one. It makes no sense any way you look at it, lol. Let’s hope I love his writing caaaaaauuuse…

#5. It by Stephen King

And now we’re ending this list with another classic! I started reading Stephen King books with the sole purpose of working my way up to reading It. It’s a chonky boy. It features a murderous clown. And I saw the original movie at a probably inappropriate age, so there is a long history of me being freaked out by It, lol. But I do want to read it eventually and I know it’s gonna freak me out. Probably won’t be getting to it (hahaha) this Halloween, but perhaps next year? Yeah… that’s what we’ll go with 😅


What books are you planning on picking up this week? Any spooky reads to get you in the mood for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Down the TBR Hole #1

Hello, reader!

In an effort to get my Goodreads Want to Read shelf under some kind of control, I’ve decided to join in on a post I’ve seen around the blogosphere: Down the TBR Hole! I first came across this post on Ellie @ Read to Ramble’s blog, though quite a few people in our Twitter group chat participate, as well. After reading their posts and watching my TBR swell, I thought it was time to join in on the fun.

Down the TBR Hole was originally created by Lost in a Story and here is the basic premise:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 20 or however many you’re feeling) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Sounds simple, right? Hopefully, this will help me to clean up my TBR a bit because I know there are books on there that I don’t even remember adding, lol. It’s time to curate my space and make my Want to Read shelf a little more reflective of books I actually plan on reading.

Currently, my Goodreads TBR has 621 books on it. The plan is to do 10 books with each post and, hopefully, bring that number down. With that being said, let’s get started!


Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

I don’t need to read the synopsis for this one to know it’s staying. This is my TBR white whale, that book that will forever stay until I finally conquer it. I love the musical and I think I’ll love this book, as well.

Verdict: Keep

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I’m noticing I have a fair amount of classics right at the beginning of my TBR. I was apparently in some kind of mood when I joined Goodreads back in 2011, lol. Anyways, this is a classic that I’m actually still very much interested in reading. I do love a good book about books, even if this one is based in a world where book burning is sanctioned.

Verdict: Keep

Atonement by Ian McEwan

This is a historical fiction that got on my radar because of the movie… that I never watched. Look, I never said my TBR additions made sense! I distinctly remember one of my best friends loving the movie, reading the book, and loving that, too. So… I bought it. Which is pretty much the only reason Atonement is staying on my TBR, tbh. I’m determined to get through all the books that I own!

Verdict: Keep

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