Month: June 2015

Top Ten Tuesday-Top Ten Books on My TBR for Summer

Posted June 17, 2015 by Ashley in Top Ten Tuesdays / 0 Comments

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This is my FIRST EVER TTT post, though I’ve been following along for a few months now. Here is my top ten books from my TBR pile in no particular order. I have to admit, they are all beautiful covers; though I do choose books by their covers, this is purely coincidence! I received most of these ARC’s at B.E.A. this year and I am determined to read them all before they come out this Fall. Without further adieu…

GoSetaWatchman         Girl Waits With Gun

1.  Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee–Well DUH! I am pretty excited to read this as To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorite books. Barnes and Noble has a beautiful dual slipcase box set coming out in October that is already on my Christmas list!

2.  Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart–This book first came across my radar at B.E.A. (where I was luck enough to receive an ARC). Once I read the back I knew I had to read it…  “A smart, romping adventure, featuring some of the most memorable and powerful female characters I’ve seen in print for a long time. I loved every page as I followed the Kopp sisters through a too-good-to-be-true (but mostly true!) tale of violence, courage, stubbornness, and resourcefulness.” — Elizabeth Gilbert. I mean COME ON! it sounds so good!

PlayingwithFire         Six of Crows

3. Playing with Fire by Tess Gerritsen–I have read every Tess Gerritsen book I could get my hands on and it’s safe to say that she is one of my favorite authors. This is a stand alone mystery.

4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo— Another B.E.A. ARC. The cover itself is gorgeous, even if I didn’t already have the book, the cover would have drawn me in immediately. A Convict, sharpshooter, runaway, spy, heartrender and a thief try to pull off an impossible heist. The six of them together are the only ones who stand between the world and destruction.

Zeroes         After Alice

5.  Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti–Oddly enough the first Westerfeld book I ever read was Afterworlds. I fell in love with his writing and the imaginative worlds he creates. I sure hope this book follows suit.

6.  After Alice by Gregory Maguire–This cover! Just look at the cover and you’ll want to dive right into the story. This is the story of Ada, Alice’s friend briefly mentioned in “Alice in Wonderland”. She comes to visit Alice but arrives moments after Alice’s decent into the rabbit hole–Ada inadvertently falls in too.

Hartgrove Hall         Curious Tale

The Song of Hartgrove Hall by Natasha Solomons–Just reading the back cover of this book draws me right into the story. Brothers return home from the war and try to save their home. Somewhere along the way a beautiful woman comes along leading to a “devastating betrayal”. This sounds like a story that sucks you in and never lets you go.

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano–A story of a young female introvert who reads a lot, has magical powers and a best friend who is a ghost. Yep, totally for me–though I may not read it alone at night!

Crown of Midnight         Strange and Ever After

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas–Okay, Okay OKAY! I know what you’re thinking; “How could you not read this whole series in one sitting?” I read Throne of Glass and I liked it, but I thought it was a bit slow to get going. I have sense heard that the series gets much much better after Throne of Glass so…I will read the rest of the series this summer.

Strange and Ever After by Susan Dennard–I am almost finished with A Darkness Strange and Lovely so this will probably be my very next read–I love Eleanor!

Have you read any books from my Top Ten Tuesday TBR list? If so, tell me what you thought!

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5 Classics I Want to Read Before August 1

Posted June 13, 2015 by Ashley in Classics/Re-Read, Top Ten Tuesdays / 3 Comments

Every summer, I vow to read some classic titles I’ve always wanted to read or re-read–I’ve never done it. I walk around the Require Summer Reading table at work pointing out all the books I’ve always wanted to read. Some of these books I read in school but feel like I would get more out of reading them again, now that I’ve experienced life. So before August 1st, I want to read 5 classic books that either I’ve never read or haven’t read since I was in school. Here are the 4 books I’ve chosen.

Born on the Fourth of July Ron Kovic

 

I picked up this copy at a used book store mainly because I remember seeing parts of the movie when I was a kid and I remember my parents talking about it for days afterwards. Born on the Fourth of July is an autobiography about Kovic’s time in the Vietnam war, he completed two tours of duty where he was shot, paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. In regards to writing the book Kovic says “I wrote all night long, seven days a week, single space, no paragraphs, front and back of the pages, pounding the keys so hard the tips of my fingers would hurt. I couldn’t stop writing, and I remember feeling more alive than I had ever felt.”

Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls

 

I read this book in 5th grade but I don’t remember much about it at all. My sister-in-law gave me this particular copy a few years back because it’s my husband’s favorite book. The back cover says “BIlly, Old Dan and Little Ann-a boy and his two dogs” I’m betting one or both of those dogs die, damit!

The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger

 

I have claimed this as one of my favorite books again and again, yet I haven’t read it in years. It’s time for a re-read. I don’t remember where I got this copy but it’s from 1951 and it’s falling apart. Holden Caulfield is one the most important characters in 20th century American Literature. The Catcher in the Rye sells about 250,000 books A YEAR, over 65 MILLION books total!

Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret Judy Blume

 

This book holds a special place in my heart. I discovered this book when I was in the 5th grade–my classmate Becky was reading it and since Becky always had the best books, I had to read it too. Once I finished reading it, I told my best friend about it and all the girls on my basketball team. Before I knew it every girl in my entire grade had bought it or checked it out from the library. I remember changing in the locker room for P.E.–at this point we all read the book and demanded our mom’s buy us bras, Becky looked at me and put her hands palm to palm…I think we managed to say “we must” one time before bursting into fits of giggles that lasted the entirety of  P.E. class. Now, my own daughter is nearing the age I was when I discovered Judy Blume and I feel I need to re-read to prepare myself for the inevitable questions to come.

Now I know I said I wanted to read 5 books earlier but I’ve only listed 4-so what gives? I want your help choosing book 5. What is your favorite classic novel? Is there a book you re-read every year? If you were walking by the Required Summer Reading display at your B&N, what would you buy? I will take your suggestions and recommendations and read the book that is suggested the most.

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BEA Year 1 2015

Posted June 5, 2015 by Ashley in B.E.A. / 2 Comments

My first year at Book Expo America. I was lucky enough to go with Lindsey and Laura, who are amazing bookish people. We drove up from Virginia a day early to check out the city and meet some bloggers. Now, I met them really did but I am terrible with names, I only remember a few, I am sorry! Please leave me a comment if I met you and I haven’t added you on Twitter or followed your blog.

I attended this year mainly for work. My main goal was to make contacts and promote my store. I feel pretty good saying I reached my goal! I prepared, I read blogs, joined B.E.A. groups on Goodreads, I made a spreadsheet for goodness sake-I hate spreadsheets! I was ready to go! I ended up with a pretty good haul altogether. All of the swag and a lot of the books I brought back will end up on the store Facebook page for my customers and loyal followers to win.  What an experience it turned out to be. I met great people, saw amazing things (and some not so amazing things). Here is my recap.

Jenny Han P.S. I Still Love You Release Party

The Powerhouse Arena-Brooklyn

JennyHan

What a fun party!  Jenny answered questions looking cute and adorable and read from her new book. I am still surprised I haven’t seen any pictures of her AMAZING shoes, they were bight pink! Anyway, champagne and cookies were had by all. Once Jenny finished with questions they opened the upstairs, which had makeup artists, nail artists and a photo booth that resembled Lara Jeans room. What an amazing idea! Here is a picture of us in the photo booth.

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Since Wednesday was a short B.E.A. day, we decided to walk to Central Park before heading to Javits. DUMB, DUMB, DUMB! This was a bad idea for 2 reasons. 1. We walked over 5 miles before ever stepping foot into Javits (we ended up over 10 miles at the end of the day). 2. We were sweaty and gross. I was supposed to be attending B.E.A. as a professional, instead I looked like a sloppy, sweaty mess!

Thursday was a crazy busy day. Between work meetings and my B.E.A. schedule, it flew by and left me exhausted! It was also my favorite day. I got to Javits early and experienced the mad rush when the doors open, which was madness, just madness. Since I was toward the front of the line, I didn’t miss out on much. Totes, totes and more totes! My first major event was the Tess Gerritsen signing of her new book Playing with Fire (October 27). I don’t get super nervous and excited meeting celebrities but I did with Tess because I love her! I was a nervous fangirl wreck. In this pic, I had to hold my hands because they were shaking so much…

The only conference I attended (though I had more on my spreadsheet) was Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges with Julianne Moore and Amy Cuddy. I learned a lot about body language and I am actually looking forward to reading Amy’s book when it comes out November 3rd.


One thing about B.E.A. that still amazes me is how you can just be walking along and this happens:

  

Lindsey and I were coming down the escalator and BAM! there was Susan Dennard. Jamie had introduced us earlier that day but I was too much in awe to ask for a photo and I didn’t want to seem like an asshat…

Thursday evening Lindsey and I were invited to The Frying Pan for a Riverhead Books party. The Frying Pan is a boat, docked on pier 66 that was turned into a bar and restaurant. We had a great time but this is the only good photo I took.

Friday was another chill day. I was able to meet Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff, their book The Curiosity of Anatomy comes out October 1st. From there, I got in the Six of Crows line, which was the longest line I stayed in all week but meeting Leigh Bardugo was well worth it. The only thing my daughter asked for from B.E.A., was Tui T. Sutherland’s newest Wings of Fire book Winter Turning, which comes out June 30th. While waiting in that line, I had the privilege of meeting Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. They are co-authors of the book Your Perfect Life which came out last year, and their new book The Status of All Things, came out June 2nd. They are lovely ladies and I am super excited to read their books.  I also got the pleasure of meeting Marissa Meyer and got a signed copy of Fairest-eep! I had another one of those Susan Dennard moments when I received a text telling me to come into the Penguin booth and BAM! Alexandra Bracken was just hanging out. So crazy and amazing all at the same time!

Over all, I had a wonderful time, I’ve decided I will be going to Chicago next year and I’ve already started saving my pennies. Oh, the “not so good thing” I saw…please remember if you choose to be a jerk while attending Book Expo America, your name and all your info is on your badge for all to see. Just because you get into a line to receive a FREE autographed copy of a book does NOT guaranteed you will actually receive said book; and this is not the fault of the publisher representatives or volunteers managing the line. If there is a book you really want to get, you must get in line early and patiently wait your turn. I wanted Truthwitch something fierce and did not get it, but I did not act like an overgrown toddler throwing a tantrum either.  These books are getting ready to be published people, really they are! Later this year (in my case January 2016) they will make their way into the wild for all to see and buy–end rant, sorry!

This is our hotel room after day 2

We stayed at The Row NYC by the way. The room was small but the service was excellent.

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The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Posted June 5, 2015 by Ashley in Book Review, Young Adult / 0 Comments

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee AhdiehThe Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1) by Renee Ahdieh
Format: Hardcover
Genres: Young Adult
on May 12th 2015
Pages: 395
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers Goodreads

One Life to One Dawn.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

Khorasan is ruled by an 18-year-old boy-king Khalid, who at each dawn takes a new wife then strangles her with a silken cord. When 16-year-old Shahrazad’s best friend is the caliph’s  latest victim, she swears her revenge and volunteers as the caliph’s next bride. She tells no one of her plan, not her father nor Tariq, the man she loves. Shazi knows her life is at risk but she can not allow any more girls to die at Khalid’s hands.

When Shazi’s plan to survive until dawn works, word spreads through the land and reaches Tariq and he hatches a plan of his own; one that will get Shahrzad out of the palace and Khalid to his grave.

Night after night Shahrzad and Khalid spend time together, day after day Shazi devises her plan to assassinate the murderous king, attempting to learn everything she can about him. Soon Shazi realizes Khalid is not at all who she thought he was and she feels herself falling in love with him. She feels confused and angry; how can she be in love with a murderous monster? As time passes, the sun rises and falls and Shahrzad is still alive and by now she has learned of the terrible secret that has cost so many women their lives. Now, deeply in love, Shahrzad and Khalid must figure out how stay alive while somehow managing to not damn the city.

I met Renee Ahdieh in Charlotte at a Sarah J. Maas signing right before her book came out. Just listening to her describe her book I knew I was going to love it. The Wrath & The Dawn reminds me of Arabian Nights only better. A bit frustrated with the names and terminology at first, it is uncommon and hard to pronounce. BUT Renee has provided a glossary at the end of the book and I Googled the names because it bothered me so much I didn’t know how to say them properly. I loved this story, I devoured it in a few sittings and I am patiently waiting for the second book “The Rose & The Dagger” to come out….next year I would guess (seems like that is SO long to wait).

My Favorite Line

“She was drowning in sandalwood and sunlight” page 167

I know it doesn’t sound like much of a line. But when you get to this particular part of the book…oh! i’m telling you…you will be swooning and reading so fast you’ll feel dizzy.

aladdinswoon

four-half-stars

Have you read The Wrath & The Dawn? If so, lets chat!

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