Down the TBR Hole #01

I came across this meme by Lost in a Story and knew I needed to try it immediately. My TBR shelf on Goodreads currently sits at 1,103 books and it’s embarrassing and overwhelming. The gist is to set your list to organize by date with the oldest books first, check out the synopsis of the first ten books or so, and decide if you’re going to keep it or not.Read More »


Review: Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita

General Information

Page Count: 304 pages
Publication Date: May 1st, 2009
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Sleepaway Girls



Official Summary

“When Sam’s best friend gets her first boyfriend, she’s not ready to spend the summer listening to the two of them call each other “pookie.” Sick of being a third wheel, Sam applies to be a counselor-in-training at Whispering Pines camp in the New York Catskills. But what she doesn’t realize is that it’s not going to be all Kumbaya sing-alongs and gooey s’mores. If Ashley, the alpha queen of Whispering Pines, doesn’t ruin Sam’s summer, then her raging crush on the surfer-blond and flirtatious Hunter just might. At least she has playful Cole, who’s always teasing her, but is oh-so-comfortable to hang out with, and the singular gang of girls that become fast friends with Sam-they call themselves the Sleepaway Girls.” (Source)Read More »

Top 5 Recommended Books

In October 2016 I reached a lifelong dream of mine: to work at Barnes and Noble.

I ended up probably spending at least a third of my paycheck on books (while ringing me up one of the cashiers told me I bought the most books out of any other employee). My bookshelf took a dive for the messier (but also for the better, so whatever).

I spent a good chunk of time doling out book recommendations to customers and found out two main underlining lesson:

  1. I have weird tastes in books that basically no one understands or agrees with.
  2. Most people don’t read??????

Most of the time customers looking for recommendations had something along the lines of:

“The last book I read was Wild right when the movie came out.”

“I need a book for my niece/nephew but they don’t really read and I don’t really read either.”

“My teacher says I need a book that was written in the past 5 years but I only like to read books about high school girls.”

(These were all real events.)

In the end, I had about five go-to books in my back pocket to pull out for the most difficult customers.Read More »

NYT Bestsellers Birthday Challenge 1993-1996

Welcome back! If you’d like to catch up with my shenanigans, you can read my guidelines in this post.

For September, I’ve taken on the challenge of picking four books from 1993-1996. I’ve listed each bestsellers list, the four books I’m choosing from, any books I’ve already read, any runner’s up (books I find particularly interesting, or books that I’d prefer to read rather than the ideal four), and my entertaining commentary guaranteed to make you laugh (I’ve tested it out on myself and it works!).

NYT Hardcover Bestsellers Week of March 28 1993


#1: The Client by John Grisham
33 weeks on list: The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
Already Read: Along Came a Spider by James Patterson


#1: Healing and the Mind by Bill Moyers
33 weeks on list: Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

John Grisham is a name I’ve seen and heard floating around literally everywhere but have never tried to delve into his massive collection of titles. This would’ve been a good month to try and read it, but unfortunately Bridges of Madison County AND Women Who Run With Wolves both caught my attention. How am I supposed to choose now? After a quick glance at my beloved Goodreads and a chuckle over the incredibly 90s covers, I’m still torn. Bridges is a solid 400 pages shorter than Women, but Women has better ratings. Will probably take both out from the library and see which draws me from there. [Side note: I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve already read a book off the first set of lists! What a confidence booster lemme tell ya.]Read More »

Book Review: Camp Rolling Hills by Stacy Davidowitz

General Information

Series: Camp Rolling Hills #1
Page Count: 256 pages
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Age Range: Middle-Grade
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Camp Rolling Hills

Official Summary

“Finally, it’s summer! Stephanie—aka Slimey—has been counting the days until she can return to her favorite place in the entire world, Camp Rolling Hills. And this year she’s especially happy to be back—she’ll have eight blissful weeks away from home, where life has been decidedly rocky. New kid Bobby, on the other hand, is pretty sure he’s in for the worst summer of his life. He does not understand his weirdo cabinmates, the group singing, and the unfortunate nicknames (including his: Smelly). But he does understand Slimey, and the two soon fall in crush. This summer might not be so bad after all! But then a fight sets off an epic, campwide, girls-versus-boys prank war. Bunks are raided! Boxer shorts are stolen! And it’s up to Slimey and Smelly to keep the peace.”Read More »

Non-Required Back to School Reading

One of my favorite times of year was getting the summer reading list right before break. Even in elementary school, I would participate in the summer reading challenge at the library and read probably double the amount of books I needed to read for school.

Going into high school, I tackled the summer reading list much like any other project: I did way too much planning and daydreaming about the amount of books I would read. (Sometimes I even made it my goal to read every book off the list. It never happened.)

However, high schools seem to miss the mark on what types of books we should be reading over the summer. Not everyone is going to gravitate towards the classic bricks like I did, and we can still pull great essays and presentations out of the books below.Read More »

Introducing the NYT Bestsellers Birthday Challenge!

I’m introducing my new and exciting personal challenge in which I will attempt to physically drown myself in books and hopefully get farther than I’m already anticipating!

First of, I’m going to start with an introduction:

Hi, my name is Cecelia and I love to come up with very elaborate ideas. I also love to intricately plan out these very elaborate ideas. However, my execution needs some assistance. I am working on it.

My initial thought for this challenge was to read modern classics, former hot book club books, or those books that everyone else and their grandmother read but I just haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I figured an easy way to do that was to check out the previous New York Times Bestsellers Lists.

My next thought was a solution to figuring out how to choose which weeks to pull from. I’m turning 25 in March, so I wanted to read one book of the list that was published on my birthday week each year.

Well. Little did I know that dividing 25 books by 6 months meant that I would have to read 4 books a month! (This is why I didn’t take math classes in college.) Oh well, I’m committed now.

So initially I figured I’d just read the #1 book each week. Then I ran into the slight problem that (duh) there were both a fiction list and a nonfiction list. How do I choose??Read More »

Book Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

General Information

Series: The Grisha Trilogy/Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1
Page Count: 358
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Shadow and Bone





Official Summary

“Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.”Read More »

Summer Reading Wrap Up: Camp-No-Rules, Secret Bookshelves, and Summer Fluff

Books Bought: 

  • The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
  • Crazy House by James Patterson
  • Island Home by Tim Winston
  • White Fur by Jardine Libaire
  • A Million Junes by Emily Henry
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  • Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong
  • Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert
  • The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Books Read:

  • In a Sunburned Country by Billy Bryson
  • What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  • Camp Rolling Hills by Stacy Davidowitz
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  • Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

I was about to get SO excited when I realized that I read an equal number of books over the summer to the number of books I bought over the summer, but then I realized I also bought the two remaining books of the Shadow and Bone trilogy back in June. 😐

I combined the months of June, July, and August into one post. I didn’t read that much each month, but I also didn’t buy a lot each month either. Also my summer went by like a whirlwind and I didn’t have time to write, think, and honestly I don’t know how I found time to read.Read More »

Reading Wrap-Up: March 2017

Books Bought:

  • The Comet Seekers, Helen Sedgwick (ARC)
  • The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Hannah Tinti (ARC)
  • Everyone Brave is Forgiven, Chris Cleave
  • Avenue of Mysteries, John Irving
  • The End of Our Story, Meg Haston (ARC)
  • Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo
  • Here We Are: Feminism for the Read World, Ed. Kelly Jensen
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Women, Lindy West (ARC)
  • An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back, Elisabeth Rosenthal (ARC)
  • The Light Between Oceans, M. L. Steadman
  • The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy
  • The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu
  • Gizelle’s Bucket List: My Life with a Very Large Dog, Lauren Fern Watt (ARC)

Books Read:

  • Ten Years in the Tub, Nick Hornby
  • Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson
  • Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo
  • Toradora! Vol. 1, Yuyuko Takemiya
  • Gizelle’s Bucket List: My Life with a Very Large Dog, Lauren Fern Watt (ARC)
  • Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shutterly (unfinished)
  • Brian’s Winter, Gary Paulsen (unfinished)
  • Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, Ed. Kelly Jensen (unfinished)

I read a whopping five books this month! A much bigger improvement from my one and three books the months before. I can feel myself moving up in the world. (Just don’t ask me how I managed to start and finish four books before finishing the two I started reading in February. I don’t know.)

I credit the success of this month to a solo challenge I made up and attempted in the span of about three hours. The goal was to read seven books in seven days (or #7books7days which I tagged my tweets with). Although I did not read seven books (clearly) I won’t right it off as a mega failure because I did manage to finish three books that week! Three! In a week! That’s the total of what I read in February!

Read More »