NYT Bestsellers Birthday Challenge 1997-2000

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

For my September books I chose to read The Bridges of Madison County, Like Water for Chocolate, Politically Correct Bedtimes Stories, and Primary Colors. I read 3 out of the 4; I DNF’ed Primary Colors around 50 pages in. It was confusing, and I couldn’t really get into it. I may pick it up to read again one day, but right now my time is too limited to be focusing on books that I’m just not into. My favorite book of the choices was Like Water for Chocolate.

In October I’ll be reading four books from 1997-2000. 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 to keep you from getting bored and clicking on a different post!

NYT Hardcover Bestsellers Week of March 23, 1997


#1: The Partner by John Grisham
26 weeks on list: The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Already read: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks


#1: Murder in Brentwood by Mark Fuhrman
50 weeks on list: Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
Already read: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

I’m super psyched to have already two books off the list this year. Granted, they’re pretty popular books but I’m holding onto this confidence booster and gripping it until my knuckles turn white! The Celestine Prophecy is also still sitting on the NYT Bestsellers a comfy 154 weeks later. Honestly, that gigantic three digit number is urging me to read but I just honestly don’t think I’ll like it and I don’t want to waste my time reading it. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is also still sitting on the Bestsellers List a year later. I’m disappointed to find none of these four books truly interest me this go-round. By process of elimination I’ve chosen The Deep End of the Ocean. It seems like something I might enjoy, but I’m not entirely sold on it.Read More »


Get Graphic Readathon TBR

In middle and high school I went through a “graphic novel phase;” I probably spent literally thousands of dollars on manga (I had a discount card at the local Japanese bookstore–if local is 45 minutes away). Then I got smart and started borrowing manga in stacks from the library, which only fueled the fire.

I put quotes around “phase” because it never really ended; I just went to college and didn’t have easy access to the library anymore and spent less money on books because I had to spend more money on textbooks 😭

SO, I was beyond excited when I came across the Get Graphic readathon!

The Get Graphic readathon (#GetGraphic or @GetGraphicThon for twitter) takes place from October 6, 2017 starting at 5pm (your local time) and lasts until October 8, 2017 at midnight (your local time). It’s hosted by Kristin (@whatskappening), Kayla, (@BOOKadoodles7), Samantha (@thoughtsontomes), and Adriana (@perpetualpages).

There’s 6 reading challenges for the weekend:

  1. A new-to-you series
  2. Two installments from the same series
  3. Read a work over 300 pages
  4. Read black & white art
  5. A recommendation by a friend
  6. Read 5 things

I’m going to try to aim to complete all six, but in between ordering some books off Amazon and waiting for my library holds to come in I’m not entirely sure how successful that will be.Read More »

September Reading Wrap Up: Insomnia, Ghosts, and Stew

Books Bought:

  • Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
  • Maximum Ride #1-9 by James Patterson
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
  • The Lost Summer by Kathryn Williams
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • Little Bee by Christ Cleave
  • The Last Illusion by Porochista Khakpour
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis

Books Read:

September was a long, draining month. I wrestled with heavy insomnia since the middle of August, which left me dreary around 8pm. I was fortunate to rediscover the joy my library card brought to me and how easy it was to place holds on line, and it rendered buying books almost unnecessary!

Or so I thought, until I walked into two used book stores. In the same afternoon. I was doomed.

I read two really incredible works this month: Meddling Kids and The House of the Spirits. I juggled reading both at the same time only because they were so vastly different but equally enjoyable.

Read More »

NaNoWriMo Prep #1: 5 Steps to Planning Your Writing Vacation

Well, it’s almost October, which means it’s almost November, which means NaNoWriMo season is upon us.

I’ve been struggling with NaNoWriMo for the past two years but I’ve decided that this will be my 👏 year 👏 and I will finally win this stupid thing.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month which has been taking place since 1999 every November. It’s sponsored by a non-profit organization that runs NaNoWriMo, as well as Camp NaNoWriMo in the summer. NaNoWriMo encourages writers to write an entire 50,000 word novel in a month by providing support, resources, and a great community.

In the NaNo community, writers are often divided in three categories:

  • Plotters: writers who need to meticulously plan out their characters, world, and plot before the even begin to write
  • Pantsers: writers who like to “fly by the seat of their pants” and start writing with a vague idea and see where it goes
  • Plantsers: writers who are a mix of both

Participating in NaNoWriMo is kind of like taking a vacation. If your vacations are usually oodles of mental exercises that eventually lead to tears of exhaustion.Read More »

Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

General Information

Page Count: 336 pages
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Age Range: Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Meddling Kids

TW: suicide, sexual assault

Official Summary

“SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.” (Source)Read More »

Seasonal Reading Guide: 5 of the Best Books for Fall

After WEEKS of cringing every time I saw an “it’s fall!!!!” post on social media, I can finally join the rest of the world in my excitement for cooler weather and beautiful scenery.

Fall used to be my favorite season before summer stole it’s rightful spot in my heart. Still, the months of June through December are the best months of the year (fight me).

Fall is the perfect time to snuggle up on the couch with a cat or two, a cup of tea, an oversized hand-me-down sweater, and a nice brick.

I’m an hardcore mood reader; often my reviews on books depend on whether or not it was the right time for me to read it. Fall is the perfect time for me to read those books those denser picks that I’ve been putting off reading during the summer in favor of something lighter. It’s like when restaurants put away their summer salads (aka light, fruity books) for some nice tomato soup and maybe a grilled cheese (something warmer, heavier, and maybe a little savory).

In the fall, my go-to picks are usually something long, weird, and/or suspenseful. Read More »

Down the TBR Hole #01: Books 1-10

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.

Date added: Sept 15, 2012

[I physically gasped when I saw the date added. I am officially ancient.]

I actually have the art journal version of this book, but honestly I definitely have read and purchased some better artist inspiration books to boot this one. If I haven’t read it in five years, I’m over it.

conclusion: remove

Date added: Sept 15, 2012

I am not a huge Tina Fey fan and/or follower, but a few years ago I bought a copy of her book at a used book store. It’s survived my many unhauls, and hopefully I’ll eventually get around to read it one day.

conclusion: keep (physical TBR)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 »