Posted in book tags/memes

T5W: Books to Give Slytherins as Gifts

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

December 12: Books to Give _____ as Gifts
— Create a recommendations guide for a person. Be creative with this. It can be simple such as “books for parents”, more elaborate like “books for Ravenclaws”, or expert level like “books for -insert your favorite fictional character here-“. You can even take out the category completely and have all 5 be suggestions for different types of people!

So…I went the easy-ish route with this topic, lifting it straight from the suggestions/examples (basically).

I originally was going to try to come up with something unique, but I was way more excited for this because *pretend there’s a drumroll* I’m not a Ravenclaw anymore!

Quick story, then the book recs! I’ve been a Ravenclaw for 20 years. I’ve maybe gotten another house from a quiz like 10 times out of hundreds. But for the last, eh, 18 months or so, I’ve changed a ton. I thought I was becoming more truly Slytherclaw, but damn. I took a couple of quizzes (Pottermore again, and this one from Time) after getting Slytherin on maybe a Buzzfeed one or something recently, and I am very truly a Slytherin now. (With the Time quiz, I got 51% Slytherin and only 26% Ravenclaw :O

So, Slytherin is on my mind and when I reviewed this topic, I decided to go for it.

In no particular order…

Fates and Furies
A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle, #1)
The Martian

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff– This one is on the more manipulative-Slytherin side of things. All I’ll say, so I hopefully don’t spoil anything, is: unreliable narrator, ambition, determination. Plus, the writing is fantastic.A

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray– One of my favorite trilogies ever, and maybe not something one would immediately think, “Oh yeah, Slytherin!” about, I’m not sure. I’ll say this: ambition, feminism, friendship.

The Martian by Andy Weir– I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this one recommended for every house, and with good reason. Mark Watney is a little of every house. He’s brave, he’s creative, he’s resourceful, he’s patient, and so much more. So, this one is a cheat because I’d recommend it to anyone 😛

The Night Circus
If We Were Villains

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern– I’m not sure if I associate this so much with Slytherin just because it works, or because of Sam (Thoughts On Tomes on YouTube) 😛 Okay, it’s both, totally equally. There’s ambition and competition and loyalty and just…everything. All the Slytherin things ❤ Plus, come on. Tell me this aesthetic isn’t screaming Slytherin. (That’s not just me, right?)

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio– Again with the aesthetic, but omg this book! I still think about it pretty much as often as I think about The Night Circus, and it jumped out at me even while reading it almost 2 years ago as a very Slytherin book. There’s stubbornness, ambition, cynacism, power struggles and dynamics, just so much!

I really easily could have made this list so much longer. I ended up writing out way more than five while I was brainstorming, and then I had to narrow it down haha.

(Maybe next year I’ll do a series of posts with longer lists of book recs for each house. Is that something anyone would be interested in? Let me know!)

What are some books you would recommend for your Hogwarts house?

If you did this week’s T5W, leave me a link so I can see what you wrote about!

Posted in book tags/memes

T5W: Summer Reads

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

June 6th: Summer Reads 
–With summer finally kicking off, now is the time to recommend your favorite summer reads, whatever that means to you!

I kind of hate this topic :/ I have very, very few books that I associate with a particular season, and I hate the warm half of the year (horrible allergies, soupy southern air, temperatures in the 80s-100s, blech). I’m a mood-reader and will read pretty much anything, anytime. (The only book I completely associate with only one time of year is A Christmas Carol, which I’ve been re-reading every Christmas Eve–even though I don’t celebrate Christmas–for around 15 years :/

I did pretty much this same topic last year, which I’d forgotten until I was coming up with my list and thought it seemed familiar.

So, I scrapped that list and came up with these, in no particular order…

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath– Why do I associate this with summer? I don’t know. I can’t even remember now if it was set in summer, or if I read it during a summer, both, or neither. Maybe it’s just because I have the blue/pink cover edition and the colors make me think “Summer.”


Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson– This actually isn’t a favorite, but I did enjoy it. I feel like I expected waaaay too much based on the hype it was getting, though. But it was fun and entertaining. (And I know why I think of it as summer-y, because of the summer camp setting.)


Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard– I don’t even remember this book, now, but I loved it when I read it like 7 years ago, during the summer. I seriously doubt I’d love it now, but I did get hooked on the show, so who knows.



The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald– Even before I read it, this one just screamed “SUMMER!” to me. IT’s been so long since I read it that I’m not sure if it was set in the summer or not, but I’m like 98% sure it was. Anyway, I think of it as a summer-y read.



Fates and Furies
by Lauren Groff– Well, the cover makes me think of summer, at least, even if the book isn’t set in summer. I think I read this about a year ago, so I kind of associate it with the humid, hazy, unpredictable weather days of early summer in the south. (I think the book opens on an event in May, which isn’t technically summer, but close enough, right?) Oh, and I reviewed this one.


What are some books you would pick for this topic?

Do you associate any books with a particular season?

Posted in book recommendations, books

National Poetry Month

It’s the 18th and I just realized I never posted book recs for National Poetry Month :/ Oops…

I made a post last year, so I won’t add all of those to this post. This post will be for poetry I’ve read since last April, or forgot to include last time. All the links (and covers…if they’re working properly) take you to the Goodreads page for each book.

Love, and You
by Gretchen Gomez– This was one of my favorites last year, and I highly recommend it if you’ve enjoyed books by Rupi Kaur, Amanda Lovelace, etc. (Reviewed here)



I Am More Than a Daydream
by Jennae Cecelia– I liked this one a lot, but haven’t bought more of her books yet. This is one I would recommend if you want a “feel good” poetry collection.




Tell Me Where it Hurts
by J.R. Rogue– This is what you read when you want to ache and ugly cry your way through a book. It is raw, emotional, and beautiful and I loved it.



Throes by Kat Savage– Ok…I read a couple of Kat Savage’s books really close together, so I’m not sure what my exact thoughts on this one were. I just know I gave it 5/5 stars and Kat has almost become an “auto-buy” poet for me.



La Douleur Exquise
by J.R. Rogue– Rogue has also become a favorite. Like the idiot I am, I also never reviewed this one. But I gave it 4/5 stars and remember really liking it.



The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One
by Amanda Lovelace– This one had to make the list, right? If you want to get pumped up to fight the patriarchy, check this one out. (Reviewed here)



by Cyrus Parker– This one basically ripped out my heart. I loved this debut, and I can not wait for more from Cyrus Parker. (Reviewed here)




Mad Woman by Kat Savage– I think this was the first of Kat’s books I read, and oh wow did it hit me hard. (Reviewed here)



Blue Horses by Mary Oliver– I actually don’t remember anything about this one, other than enjoying it and wanting to buy more of Oliver’s books. She’d been on my TBR for like a decade anyway, but this was the first book of hers I got my hands on and I gave it 4/5 stars.



Last year, I don’t think I really talked about novels in verse, but this year, I am. Some of these I read waaaay back in high school, some I’ve read recently.


The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo– I just read this one and abso-freaking-lutely loved it. It’s contemporary and very good. I highly recommend it, 5/5 stars. (Reviewed here)



by Melanie Crowder– I read this one last year and devoured it, too. It’s historical fiction, but based on a real person (Clara Lemlich) and her fight for equality. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.



What My Mother Doesn’t Know
by Sonya Sones– Ok I read this one ages ago, like…probably 13+ years ago? (It came out in 2001, so I probably read it between then and 2005.) I don’t remember anything about the book itself, I just remember that I loved it when I read it. And instead of listing the other Sonya Sones books I read as a teen, I’ll just generally recommend looking into them.


Out of the Dust
by Karen Hesse– I probably read this one around 1998/1999, so–again– I don’t really remember it. But I did immediately remember that I’d read it when I accidentally came across it on Goodreads, so that’s something, right? I’m pretty sure I liked this one back then. I think it’s kind of pre-YA, but suitable for maybe ages 10+ (the protag is 14ish I think).



There are a lot more out there, and several I’d like to read, but this is all I can think of right now. (Although I think I could also include a couple I tried and hated, but…this is a post for recommendations to read, not avoid.)

And then we have…”other.”

The Divine Comedy
by Dante Alighieri– Confession: I haven’t finished this >.< I started it about 11 years ago when my then-fiance-now-husband bought a copy for me, and I made it like halfway through Paradiso before getting distracted by the last HP book coming out :/ Oops. But, I now have an edition that I am in love with (both the aesthetic and the translation), so…sooon!



The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer– I remember devouring these in the school library in 6th and 7th grade, and now I’m dying to re-read them, but I sadly do not have either 😦 But I have to recommend them, because they’re epic 😉 (See what I did there? I know, I’m not funny. Sorry.)



The Poetic Edda
No author on this one because the poetry was compiled and probably changed quite a bit by multiple people over the course of who knows how much time. These poems were originally passed along orally, probably as poetry or songs, before eventually being collected in writing. Anyway, if you want to know about Norse mythology, and want something closer to the original stories than some modern retellings and the like, check this out.

Aaaannnd….that’s all I have right now. I am thinking about making another post with the poetry books at the top of my wishlist, so if that’s something any of you would be interested in, definitely let me know 🙂

What are some of your favorite poetry books?

Have you read any novels in verse that you loved?

How about epics, myths, etc.?

Posted in books, reading challenges

2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge Book Recs

**Edited April 4th to include a few more books**

I’ve been doing the PopSugar Reading Challenge since 2015, which might have been the first year. Usually, I try to have an idea of what I plan to read as soon as the list is posted (I actually have pages of scribbled ideas in my reading/blogging binder right now). This year, I realized I’ve already read a lot of books that would work for the prompts, so I thought I would share a few, for anyone who’s doing this challenge and might want some suggestions.

I can’t suggest things for a lot of the topics, really, because I don’t know what other people have read/seen, favorite colors, birth years, etc., but I’ve got recommendations for some, and I hope someone finds this post helpful. (There will definitely be some books appearing in multiple categories, too.)

Regular Challenge

True Crime: This one is going to be hard for me this year because I don’t read much true crime, but I will suggest The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It has some other historical stuff mixed in, but I would count it.

A novel based on a real person: If you want to stretch “novel” to include “novel in verse,” try Audacity by Melanie Crowder. There’s also Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith, possibly the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder (I want to say these were based on her family, but double check), an argument could be made for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

A book with a time of day in the title: Ok, I’m stretching this one to be more vague, so something like The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern would fit for me. It’s harder to find books with a specific time in the title, but something like Twilight by Stephenie Meyer would work. Think “twilight,” “dusk,” “dawn,” “evening,” “morning,” “noon,” “midnight,” etc.

A book about a villain or antihero: I already know exactly what I’m reading for this one (Vicious by V.E. Schwab). Well, probably. Other suggestions: Macbeth by William Shakespeare would work…I think, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (I never finished it, but I think it counts), The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

A book about death or grief: I have to suggest Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (non-fiction) by Mary Roach for this one. I vaguely remember reading Death Be Not Proud (non-fiction) by John Gunther waaaay back in middle school (I liked it then, but that was like 14 years ago, eek :/ ). I want to say The Stoning of Soraya M. (non-fiction) by Freidoune Sahebjam might count, too. For fiction, there’s The Crow by James O’Barr (graphic novel), Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt,  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (I think counts), Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and maybe The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.

A book with alliteration in the title: Cozy mysteries are probably a great place to look for these. I would count things like Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.

A book about time travel: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is an obvious choice. Ages ago, maybe in high school, I read Time & Again by Nora Roberts (I think it’s two novels in one volume?) and it’s still the only Nora Roberts I’ve ever picked up. But I liked it then. You could probably count A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs, probably any Doctor Who novel, and I want to say maybe Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (but it’s been a long time since I read those books).

A book with a weather element in the title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer-Bradley (does “mist” count as a weather element?), The Tempest by William Shakespeare (another one I’m not 100% sure counts),  Storm Front by Jim Butcher, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen, Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, Soldier of the Mist by Gene Wolfe, Lightning by Dean Koontz, and Frostbite by Richelle Mead.

A book with an animal in the title: The Soul of an Octopus (non-fiction) by Sy Montgomery was a favorite of mine from last year. I also really liked Releasing the Wolf by Dianna Hardy (this is definitely an adult book), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Crow by James O’Barr, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Bird Box by Josh Malerman, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, Blue Horses by Mary Oliver, The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, and Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. Oh and of course The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

A book set on a different planet: The Maritan by Andy Weir is an obvious one. I also liked 27 Hours by Tristina Wright (I think they were actually on a moon of a different planet, but whatever), and loved Saga, vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, and I’m pretty sure you could count at least some of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books by Douglas Adams for this one.

A book with song lyrics in the title: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill (Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana), Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas), Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something), One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis), Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris (Dead to the World by Nightwish), Wildflower by Drew Barrymore (Wildflower by The JaneDean Girls), Seize the Night by Sherilyn Kenyon (Seize the Night by Meat Loaf), Neverland by Shari Arnold (Lost Boy by Ruth B).

Advanced Challenge

A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen, Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman, James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Blacker the Berry by Wallace Thurman (I haven’t read this one…I’m assuming “berry” counts, and this is what I plan to read), Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (this one is making 3 appearances on this list).

An allegory: Ok, I’m not totally sure about any of these :/ The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood,  Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Pearl by John Steinbeck, Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, When She Woke by Hillary Jordan, and I think Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn would also count for this one (it was suggested several times in the goodreads group for the challenge).

A microhistory: I’m reading Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy by Hallie Lieberman for this one. I would suggest The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach, or Hidden Figures by Margo Lee Shetterly. I haven’t read much non-fiction until recently :/

A book about a problem facing society today: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp, and I’m planning to read (finally) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: Take your pick from anything I’ve listed 😛 If free-picks count for this (as in, not books that fulfill any other prompts), I’ll recommend a few more: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio, Love and You by Gretchen Gomez, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, The Valiant by Lesley Livingston, and My Invented Country by Isabel Allende.

Happy reading, everyone, and I hope this helps someone 🙂

Posted in book recommendations

Spooky Book Recs & Discussion: A Mixed Bag

So far, I’ve recommended Snack Sized Stories (novellas, short stories, etc.) and some for kids-teens (or anyone else who likes YA, MG, picture books, etc.), and between those two lists, I don’t have a lot of horror/thriller/otherwise spooky books left to recommend.

I have read a couple of things since writing those, though, and there were a few things that either didn’t fit with those lists or I looked over, so this is just a mixed bag of spooky book treats.

These will probably run the gamut from slightly creepy/darker setting (think gothic lit, or things that have a Halloween/autumn “vibe” to them, or are actually set in the autumn) to actual horror/thriller stories.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie– Gotta have some Christie in these recs lists ❤
Bird Box by Josh Malerman– I really liked this one. It actually creeped me out several times.
Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl– I don’t think I finished this YA series, but I liked the first 3(?) books.
Dracula by Bram Stoker– Classic vamp book is classic 😛
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley– Again, classic. Not my fave, but I liked it.
Generation Dead series by Daniel Waters– I really liked most of this YA zombie series.
Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott– This one is hard to describe, but I enjoyed the mild-eeriness it had going on.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill– I wanted to love it more than I did, but it was still good and a bit creepy at times.
Horns by Joe Hill– I really liked this one. (The movie was pretty good, too.) Book + Movie review here
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson– I saw the movie first, but I think I liked the book more.
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio– Kinda thriller? I will recommend this book every chance I get ❤ ❤ (Review of the audiobook here)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë– Gothic lit, so not terrifying, but definitely has a darker mood/vibe thing going on. Fave ❤
Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist– I really liked this, and highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet. (The Swedish version of the movie is also good.)
Living With the Dead series by Jesse Petersen– If you like comedy/horror, like the movies Zombieland, Dead Snow, etc., read this series!
Outcast vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman– I think I expected more from this comic series, so I’m on the fence about continuing it. This one was ok, though.
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman– Ok, I didn’t love the book :/ It was good, but I like the movie more.
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin– The book and movie are both great.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn– I have conflicting feelings about this, but I cautiously recommend it (just look up trigger warnings first if you need them).
Sweep series by Cate Tiernan– One of my favorite YA series with witches. Not super spooky, but I like re-reading it around autumn/winter.
The Funhouse by Dean Koontz (writing as Owen West)– I think this was adapted from a screen play (I can’t remember the movie well enough to be sure, though) and I loved it. Very campy, B Horror-ish.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson– Classic horror is classic. It’s good. Give it a read if you like haunted house stories.
The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine– These YA vamp books aren’t really terrifying, but there are some bits that are tense and they give me “autumn” vibes.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde– Just read it. It’s fantastic and gothic and creepy and funny and brilliant. (I’m in love with Oscar Wilde, ok?)
The Rose Master by Valentina Cano– YA gothic story that I really enjoyed (reviewed here) and can’t wait for the sequel (Of Bells & Thorns) coming out next month. (It’s also kind of a Beauty & the Beast retelling, and I really liked that aspect, too.)
The Shining by Stephen King– I’m not a Stephen King devotee, but I did like this one. I’m still not sure how I feel about his writing, overall :/
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon– I reviewed this one. I really liked it. Nice, spooky vibe throughout the whole thing.
The Witching Pen series by Dianna Hardy– One of my absolute fave indie/self-published authors and series. It’s not terror-inducing, but might be a good pick for people who like reading paranormal/PNR this time of year.
We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory– I also reviewed this one and it’s stuck with me. I don’t remember a lot about it, now, but I do remember enjoying it a lot.

See any favorites on this list?

Let me know if you check any of these out!