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A Late Fave of the Months – June & July

Hi everyone! I am not dead! But Summer Reading Club is out to kill me and I come home happy and tired every night. So much so, that I haven’t been turning my computer on when I get home from work. It’s funny for me, as someone who loves to surf the web or play PC games that all of a sudden I come home from my full-time job and go “No thanks.”

Despite it being quite here on the blog, I’ve been reading A LOT. I just haven’t had the energy to post. You are going to see me try to get active again, and come fall I feel like that will be a million times easier when I have less programs on my plate and more time to focus on my collection work.

For now, let’s play catch up with two faves of the month!

June

Ghost Boys
by Jewell Parker Rhodes (April 17th 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
One of the last books I read in June, but easily the most important, Ghost Boys looks at two entwined lives: the ghost of a recently murder 12 year old boy, Jerome, and the ghost of Emmett Till, the famous boy who was killed by white men for supposedly cat-calling a white woman. The parallels between Jerome and Till’s life are super important in this story, as the author, Jewell Parker Rhodes reminds readers that white cops are still killing young black people and this shit needs to stop. I want to stress how heartbreaking this book is, as well as the constant anger I felt towards the cop who “just felt like he was doing his job” but still insisted on killing a young black boy. The audiobook for this is phenomenal and highly worth the listen, and I feel this middle grade gem is going to continue to be important for generations to come.
July
Tilly and the Bookwanderers
(Pages & Co. #1)
by Anna James (Published September 18th 2018 by HarperCollins)
This adorable, funny, clever, book. I had to write my first middle grade book review for work and this ended up being my selection. I kept passing it every time I was helping customers and finally decided one afternoon to take the plunge.
I read it very quickly.
Tilly and the Bookwanders is a book lover’s book. It focuses on adventure, with gentle and sweet characters, and offers a sense of wonder in the familiar. Tilly is able to wander through her favourite books such as A Little Princess or Anne of Green Gables and she befriends the characters and helps solves their problems. I am beyond excited for the sequel when it releases, because Tilly and fairy tales is going to make for an interesting adventure.
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Fave of the Month – May

I saw a lot of change in May, particularly, I started a full-time job in a new library system. The month was mostly spent flailing about and trying to keep up with all my new life changes. It’s been amazing so far, and I definitely come home tired for the right reason. However, May also saw my reading turn into a haphazard mess, and I found myself trying to learn when I had free time for my hobbies. That is still a new and I’m getting used to it. Plus, summer is here, and I am ready for adventures.

As always with “Fave of the Month,” I try to choose books I didn’t review or get an advance copy of. While I read and reviewed some amazing books in May (which I don’t feel like I am caught up on), here was my favourite for the month of May:

Like No Other
by Una LaMarche (Published: Published July 14th 2015 by Razorbill)

This book was addictive and reminded me of a thriller at times. This star-crossed lovers story is enlightening as well as scary at times. There were genuine parts where I gasped because I couldn’t get over what was happening. LaMarche is super respectful about the Jewish faith in this story, and if anything through Devorah’s character, I learned a lot about what it means to have a Hasidic upbringing and yet I couldn’t help myself but cheer for her and Jaxon to be together. An excellent read!

Fave of the Month – April

April has come and gone, but I did read a lot of fantastic books during the month. I feel like my mojo is coming back with a vengeance, which makes me pretty happy given April was a huge month of change for me. I start a new full-time library gig on Monday, I’ve made better choices regarding what goals I want to achieve in my life — lots of positives. I also cry because April is also the month where the most money has to get spent because yay taxes and car insurance!

Anywho, let’s see the favourite book of the month.

Shout
by Laurie Halse Anderson (Published: March 12th 2019 by Viking Books)

This is an auto-biographical look at Laurie Halse Anderson’s childhood and a look back at when she was sexually assaulted as a child. This book, written in verse, is a haunting and chilling experience where Anderson pulls no punches and opens up about what it means to have had been raped and how she still keeps going and survives. I read this book in a few hours and I appreciate how uncomfortable at times it made me feel, but also the moments it instilled hope in me as well. There’s some amazing lessons in this book and it’s worth checking out.

Fave of the Month – March!

March was such an up and down month for me. I didn’t feel like I accomplished as much as I had hoped, but my bullet journal reminded me otherwise. I went on some adventures, I worked and worked out, I’m in the process of digitizing a lot of my old paper files because the clutter is getting to me (more in a different blog post). However, as always, with the end of a new month comes a favourite book. My favourite book of the month was All The Ways Home by Elsie Chapman, which doesn’t release until May. Let’s just say, it is one of the best middle grade books I’ve read this year outside of Ruby in the Sky. Both those are worth putting on your TBR if you love middle grade.

My favourite book of the month was an adult literary novel. The book itself was a pleasant surprise from an author I fell in love with last year. Let’s reveal it, shall we?

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Published July 9th 2013 by Washington Square Press)

This is the story of a woman who asks her husband to by her Fruity Pebbles and he ends up not coming home because he is killed by a truck driver. Elise has barely been married to her husband and he is sudden taken. This book is an amazing look at grief and how we cope. I found myself understanding Elise’s actions all too well, if I’m being honest. I also loved the bits that were set in the past where Elise and Ben met and how they fell for each other. I’m somewhat of a closeted romantic, but bits of this book did have some swoon, but mostly I cried my eyes out. This is my second Taylor Jenkins Reid book and I know I am smitten with he writing now after this one and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Let’s see what April brings me!

The Scott Challenge – January and February Selections

My husband Scott is as much an avid reader as I am. He’s always encouraging me to try different kinds of books, while also picking buzzwords for items that he knows I will read and likely love. This year, I asked him to pick a book each month that he wants me to read, whether it’s a science or fantasy novel that he knows I’ve been meaning to get to, or something he’s recently loved and wants to share. Every two months, I’ll share with you my experience of reading books my husband selections for me.

January Pick:

Red Country
by Joe Abercrombie (Published: October 23rd 2012 by Orbit)

I LOVE Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series, though hilariously I managed to skip this book and accidentally read Sharp Ends first. Red Country is, in a lot of ways, a weird Western, which I am a complete sucker for in a fantasy setting. Shy South may be my new favourite protagonist in the series (and her short story was my favourite in Sharp Ends), as she is full of gumption and grit. All the elements of a good Western are present in the story, from lawless cowfolk to gold rush fever. This book did take me awhile to get into just due to setting and style, but overall I quite loved it. 4/5 Stars.

February Pick:

Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell
by David Yaffe (Published: June 13th 2017 by Sarah Crichton Books)

My husband knows I am a huge Joni Mitchell fan. I’ve read a few books regarding her bio information in the past, but Yaffe’s book seems to be the definitive text when it comes to creating a portrait of who Mitchell was over the years. Strong in personality, her songs are a reflection of her past and the world around her. She also comes across bratty, stubborn and even callous at times, which made this book all the more interesting to read. There was so much I didn’t know regarding her illness, her depression, and even reading about her marriages was fascinating stuff. I’m really glad my husband gifted this to me two years ago and only made me read it now! 4/5 Stars.

And that’s it for now! Next update will be in May when we find out what March and April’s reads are!

Fave of the Month – February!

It’s the beginning of March, which means it’s time to check in with what I read. I would say that hands down the best book I read in February was Ruby in the Sky, but given I did a full review on it, I thought I’d share a different read worth noting as well.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (Published February 5th 2019 by Balzer + Bray)

I feel like this book isn’t getting the same level of hype that The Hate U Give did. This book is fantastic, focusing on family and rap music. Bri creates a song that ends up going viral for the wrong reasons, and she goes on an internal journey of understanding the reactions she receives. I love this book because it’s rare in a YA book for a female character to have the level of anger that Bri does and get away with it. She’s furious, raw, and when she screws up, she’s allowed to make the mistakes and worth on self-reflection and forgiveness. Her song is also hella catchy, and I cannot wait until the film is made to hear what Bri’s song is actually going to sound like. I also loved her family, her desire to want to help her family in any way that she can. Garden Heights continues to be such a memorable place, and I cannot wait to see who Angie Thomas introduces readers to next.

All Checked Out – February 18th, 2019

Welcome to “All Checked Out,” where I share books I’ve borrowed from my local library (aka where I work).

So for those who are not aware, I am a Library Services Associate with a local library system in Ontario. A lot of my work entails technology requests, reader’s advisory, research, committee work, baby wrangler, and performing programming duties at our branch. I LOVE my job. Words cannot describe how much I love what I do for a living and the job I feel when I help patrons with any kind of request. I also work with some amazing men and women who constantly inspire me to be better every day. Library is intense and rewarding.

I thought it would be fun to once in awhile when I have a stack of library materials to show off what I’ve got in my reading queue. Here’s the first one for the year. 🙂

Here’s what I have on the stack:

I am currently reading “On the Come Up” which I am enjoying very much. Not sure if I love it as much as The Hate U Give, but I am trying to remind myself this is a very different story. Bri is wonderful and I adore her.

Have you read any of these? Comment down below and let me know if any of these are not worth my time and which ones I should prioritize. 🙂