Wordless Wednesday: Decatur Book Festival Haul

Decatur Book Festival Haul

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books to Read If You Like The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Books To Read If You Like This Super Popular Book/Author

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I’ve decided to go with one of my absolute favorite books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, for this one. All of the books I’m recommending as readalikes aren’t necessarily exactly like Perks; instead, I’ve chosen books that have similarities in writing, plot, characters, feels, overall feeling while reading, etc. There’s a wide range of books here, so hopefully everyone can find something they’d like. I’ve got contemporaries, a bit of sci-fi, some non-fiction, and a couple of middle grades. Here we go (all covers linked to Goodreads):

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time     It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini     My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga     More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera      Mosquitoland by David Arnold     I'll Give You the Sun     The Humans by Matt Haig     Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig     Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer     Rain Reign      Wonder

Link me up to your TTTs!

The Picture Books I’ve Been Reading

You guys all know I’m a Youth Services Librarian, right? I mostly read YA and MG, but I also read a ton of picture books (through story time or just my own time) because I spend a lot of time recommending books to patrons. I adore picture books. Before I started working in the library, I never read them, but there’s something about the sweet messages, adorable illustrations, and short page length that is wonderfully satisfying and calming to read. SO here are a few picture books I’ve read recently:

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield MartinThe Wonderful Things You Will Be – Written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin (Find it on Goodreads)
Published August 25th, 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers

I checked this one out because I adore the cover. The illustrations inside are just as gorgeous and fanciful. I’m not a mom (yet) but I can just imagine reading this one with my future child – what wonderful things will they be when they grow up? A book about all the amazing possibilities a child has. The Wonderful Things You Will Be is sweet, gentle, and lovely. And seriously, I could frame some of the illustrations. They’re gorgeous.

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea BeatyRosie Revere, Engineer – Written by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Published September 3rd, 2013 by Harry N. Abrams

Inspiring and fun. “The only true failure can come if you quit.” This book is about the importance of failing but continuing to go on, continuing to try, and I really love that message. It’s all about having confidence in yourself and what you want even in the face of ridicule and failure. It’s a quick, fun read, but definitely powerful. Plus, it’s got some GREAT illustrations.

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea BeatyIggy Peck, Architect – Written by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Published October 1st, 2007 by Harry N. Abrams

This one is written by the same team who wrote Rosie Revere, Engineer. After I read that one, I HAD to read this one too. Iggy Peck, Architect is a really cute story with some seriously cool illustrations. It’s not exactly one I would read in story time at the library as there are some parts where the text is rather long, but this one would be perfect for some one-on-one reading with the little builder in your life. A great story about not giving up and doing the things you love.

(Thanks so much to Emma at Miss Print for recommending the last two books to me!)

Note-Able: The Neighbourhood

Note-able is my very, very irregular post in which I talk about songs, musicians, bands, concerts…in other words, any music that I find special or worthy to be discussed.

Note-Able Black & WhiteSpecial Black & White version of note-able graphic to fit The Neighbourhood theme. 🙂

I love The Neighbourhood. I’ve loved them since fall 2012, when I won tickets to see this band I had never heard of at this small, wonderful venue in Glasgow, Scotland. There were maybe 50 people there, my knees were touching the stage, and the band walked right off the stage and came to talk to us. This is one of the best shows I’ve ever been to, and I immediately fell for The Neighbourhood – I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve bought (or downloaded for free, in the case of #000000 & #FFFFFF) every single song they’ve released since then. I’ve seen them 3 more times since Glasgow, and now, today, I’m seeing them for the 5th time. They’re the only band I’ve seen this many times, but they put on an amazing show every single time. Plus, they’re some of the coolest musicians I’ve met.

So since I’m currently on my way to Atlanta to see the band, I thought I’d share some of their music with you guys. They recently released a new single called “R.I.P. 2 My Youth” and a video, and it’s pretty much perfect. Listen and watch below.

Some of my other favorite songs by The Neighbourhood (all linked to YouTube):

Afraid // West Coast  // Female Robbery  // Let It Go  // Jealou$y
And, of course, Sweater Weather

Check out The Neighbourhood’s YouTube page for more music – it’s ALL good.

I’ll see you guys on Monday, but until then…do you have a song you think is note-able? Link me up in the comments! I love discovering new music.

Guest Post: Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything (& Giveaway)

I am SO excited to bring you this super fun guest post from Everything, Everything author Nicola Yoon! If you haven’t heard the news, the rights to Nicola’s amazing debut have been optioned for film by MGM!! So freaking exciting! I asked Nicola if she’d tell us some of the songs she’d like to see on the soundtrack to the film. Plus, Nicola was nice enough to sign the copy of the book I bought when I met her at the Decatur Book Festival (she is SO nice) AND donated a copy of the EE audiobook for the giveaway, so you should definitely stick around to end of the post and enter to win it!

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I don’t listen to music while I’m writing​,​ but music definitely influences​ me​​​​. Usually when I’m writing a book, there are just a handful of songs or albums that I’m listening to on repeat. I’m a total lyrics person, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoonso a particularly good lyric can really inspire me. For example, when I was writing EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, ​I kept coming back to ​a few lines in Noel Gallagher’s “If I Had a Gun”​:

Hope I didn’t speak too soon
My eyes have always followed you around the room
‘Cause you’re the only God that I will ever need
I’m holding on and waiting for the moment for my heart to be unbroken by the sea

I love all​ the​ lyrics​ in this song, but it’s the “waiting for the moment for my heart to be unbroken by the sea” part that really gets me. It’s epic​. ​It’s a little bit mysterious. It speaks to a big, big love that can only be moved by something as vast as the sea. For me, it really encapsulates Olly​’s​​ feelings for Maddy.

I’ve always said if I could write a book that made you feel as intensely as a four minute song​ can​, I would be a very happy writer. Hopefully, I’m getting closer to this the more I write. Any type of art can influence any other, and inspiration can come from unexpected places. For me, music is definitely one of those places.

THE PLAYLIST

“​If I Had a Gun​”​ by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
​”​Pieces​”​ by Andrew Belle
​”​Four Minute Warning​”​ by Radiohead
​”​Videotape​”​ by Radiohead
​”​I Need My Girl​”​ by The National
​”​Graceless​”​ by The National
​”​Hannah Hunt​”​ by Vampire Weekend
​”​Rehab​”​ by Amy Winehouse
​”​This Place Is A Prison​”​ by The Postal Service
​”​Mezzanine​”​ by Massive Attack
​”​Angel​”​ by Massive Attack
​”​Extraordinary Machine​”​ by Fiona Apple

Unfortunately, the two Radiohead songs are not on Spotify, but you can find them on YouTube – listen to “Four Minute Warning” and “Videotape” for the full experience!

ABOUT NICOLA

Nicola YoonNicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads

THE GIVEAWAY

There are two prizes (a signed hardcover and the audiobook); the first winner chosen by Rafflecopter will have their choice of the two and the second winner chosen will get the second prize.

Terms & Conditions:

  • This contest is open to US residents only.
  • The giveaway will run until October 22, 2015 at midnight CST.
  • You must be 18 years or older, or have parents’ permission to enter.
  • I will check all of the entries for the chosen winner. If any of them have been given and you haven’t actually done them, you will be disqualified.
  • If the winner does not respond to my e-mail within 48 hours, I will choose another winner.
  • I am not responsible for any items lost in the mail, and I cannot replace anything that is lost. I’m sorry.

Giveaway Enter

Waiting on Wednesday: A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

A Madness So Discreet by Mandy McGinnisAuthor: Mindy McGinnis

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release date: October 6, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

In this beautifully twisted historical thriller, Mindy McGinnis, acclaimed author of Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust, explores the fine line between sanity and insanity, good and evil—and the madness that exists in all of us.

Why I’m excited: I’m excited because THIS BOOK SOUNDS AMAZING. Also, this line, “Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness” just speaks to me; I don’t know why. The description sounds fascinating, and I can already feel myself drawn to Grace. Plus, LOOK AT THAT COVER. I cannot wait to read this one, and you can bet I’ll be ordering it for my library.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard     Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti     The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner     Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman     Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Truthwitch // Zeroes // The Serpent King // Blackhearts // Illuminae

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel     Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith     An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir     Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman     Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

The Nest // Dreamstrider // An Ember in the Ashes // Legacy of Kings // Daughter of Smoke and Bone

What books will you read this fall?

Book Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Hello, I Love You by Katie M. StoutAuthor:  Katie M. Stout

Genre: YA, contemporary

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication Date: June 9, 2015

304 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Hello, I Love You was really cute. Grace is running away from her family, and she decides to head to the complete opposite side of the planet to a school in Korea, where she meets a Korean musician who is brooding and…even rude at times. Grace has to navigate a country and culture completely different from her own as well as potential love.

When I first finished this book I was kind of…angry? Grace is not a nice person. She was ignorant, patronizing, judgmental, and just flat out rude to a lot of the people around her because they were different than her. Now that I’ve had time to think about it though, I realize that a lot of that was because of how she was raised – her family shaped her and influenced her thoughts on other cultures. While I do think she began to break out of that by the end of the novel, I don’t think it was quite as much as I wanted her to. But it was a start.

The romance was cute at times. I got a little annoyed by Jason (the love interest) as he continued to flip flop about his feelings and I wanted to reach in and shake him. Well, honestly, both Grace and Jason were hot and cold for each other throughout the novel. There were several times when I questioned WHY they even liked each other. However, this did kind of remind me of KDramas a LOT, which I know Katie is a big fan of, so I guess it makes sense.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to you if you think this a book about KPop or Korean culture because those themes are almost non-existent. Differences in American and Korean culture/customs/food/etc. were mentioned occasionally but not explored in depth like I was hoping. I was pretty disappointed with that. However, if you’re looking for a book that really resembles a KDrama (emphasis on the drama bit), Hello, I Love You is for YOU! The end of the book will give you all the feels.

Rating: 5.5 – take it or leave it (some people could really dig this one)

Waiting on Wednesday: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Blackhearts by Nicole CastromanPublisher: Simon Pulse

Author: Nicole Castroman

Release date: February 9, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. This is their story.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England? 

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

Why I’m excited: It’s a freaking Blackbeard origin story. Do you really need me to say anything else? I’ve always been interested in pirate lore and mythology, so I’ve, of course, heard and read a lot about Blackbeard. This book is so exciting because it’s about who Blackbeard was before he was the terrifying pirate we know now. I just…I need this, you guys. It sounds incredibly interesting and creative. I’m super pumped that I was approved for an e-ARC of this one on Edelweiss! AND I met Nicole at the Decatur Book Festival and she is so wonderful. Even more excited to read it now!

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Met for the First Time at DBF

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

FREEBIE — your choice!

A week and a half ago, I went to the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA and had an AMAZING time. I met SO many incredible authors. Like, a ridiculous amount of authors. So I wanted to do a post about all of them. But then I realized I met way more than 10. SO I’ve decided to narrow it down to the top ten um, eighteen authors I met for the first time (because we all know if I did a list of authors I met/saw again, people like Becky Albertalli, David Arnold, Andrew Smith, Jeff Zentner, Renee Ahdieh would be ALL over it). My list is ten eighteen of the seriously wonderful authors I met for the first time at the Decatur Book Festival. BUT FIRST, here’s a pic from the PG-13 panel I moderated on Saturday (pic of my second panel farther down).

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Andrew Smith, Adam Silvera, me, Becky Albertalli, (sweaty) David Arnold

Okay, the authors I met for the first time (and just completely adored) were:

Adam Silvera, author of the incredible More Happy Than Not. Adam was on my PG-13 panel on Saturday. He’s wonderful and kind and funny and SO SO TALL. Just look at that picture of my panel above. So. Tall.

Nicola Yoon, author of the recently released Everything, Everything, which we all know I LOVED. Look how adorable Nicola is!

Nicola Yoon and me

Sarah Dessen, I MET SARAH DESSEN WHO NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION. I’ve been a fan of Sarah’s since I was FOURTEEN. I chatted with her (and some other wonderful authors) for about 30 minutes Friday night and it was amazing.

Check out the photobomb appearance by David Arnold and Ash Parsons.

Check out the photobomb appearance by David Arnold and Ash Parsons.

Drew Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit The Day the Crayons Came Home, two of my absolute favorite picture books EVER. Drew read the second book during his panel, and he was hilarious. Then in the signing line, he recognized me from Twitter, so that was cool. *tries to play it cool. fails*

I’m cheating and putting my entire Thicker Than Water panel as one: Una LaMarche (most recent book: Don’t Fail Me Now), Katie M. Stout (Hello, I Love You), Marie Marquardt (Dream Things True), Elizabeth Lenhard (most recent book: Our Song), who were all so welcoming and wonderful.

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Elizabeth Lenhard, Katie M. Stout, me, Una LaMarche, Marie Marquardt

Tommy Wallach, author of We All Looked Up, and Will Waltonauthor of Anything Could Happen. They were both on the Identity Crisis panel on Saturday and they were the coolest. So very sweet and kind.

David Levithan, another author who needs no introduction (but in case you need it, David has written A LOT of books, including Two Boys KissingEvery DayBoy Meets Boy, and co-authored several books like Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green).

Nicole Castroman, author of the 2016 debut Blackhearts, which I got an eARC of and I can’t wait to read it! I actually helped Nicole figure out her author signature which was a lot of fun.

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Libba Bray, the unbelievably cool author of The Diviners (and lots of other books). Libba freaking lip-synced to Bohemian Rhapsody on stage (and then actually SANG the song) for the YA Truth or Dare panel. Yeah, she’s awesome. And very nice.

Me, Nicole Castroman, Libba Bray, Adam Silvera, and Andrew Smith

Me, Nicole Castroman, Libba Bray, Adam Silvera, and Andrew Smith

I also met the lovely Sabaa Tahir, Aisha Saeed, Ash Parsons, Gwenda Bond, and Nic Stone, and I just want to take everyone home with me.

Holy crap, you guys. Now that it’s all written out, I can’t believe how incredibly lucky I was to meet all of these amazing authors. They were all so welcoming and…just seriously cool. I had an awesome time moderating my two panels, and I wish I could go back right now! The festival was so much fun and the schedule of panels (especially the children’s and teen stages, which are managed by Diane Capriola) were really interesting, diverse, and absolutely fantastic.

How did you use your TTT freebie?