January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Underrated Books I've Read Recently

Apparently I don't read as many underrated books as I hoped I had? Or maybe I don't like them... Who knows.

1. Rebel Magisters by Shanna Swendson
(The sequel to Rebel Mechanics. Just as good as - and in some ways superior to - its predecessor.)

2. Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

3. Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
(Despite the great sadness in this book at times, it most definitely makes me happy.)

4. Tumbling by Caela Carter

5. Wanderlost by Jen Malone

6. Lucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee

7. The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

8. Two Summers by Aimee Friedman

Any good underrated books y'all can recommend to me? 

January 16, 2017

From the Bookshelf to the Kitchen: Blueberry Tarts

A while back, I saw that a fellow blogger (Katie over at The Polished Page-Turner) made a blueberry tart for her post on the Queen of Shadows blog tour. Since I've been searching for another From the Bookshelf to the Kitchen post idea for a while, I decided that fit the bill - with a few adjustments.

Katie's recipe idea was inspired by this quote from the book:
"'If you want, I have a book or two that I think you'd like. Or'-she gestured to the kitchen to her right-'you might be able to find something delicious on the kitchen table-blueberry tart, I think.'" (quote from page 79 of Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas)
Goodreads  Read Between the Lynes  Barnes & Noble

My main adjustment was making mini tarts-specifically galettes-instead of one large tart. I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, of all places.

Mini Blueberry Galettes

1 package storebought pie crust (2 crusts)
2 c. blueberries
1/4 c. sugar, extra for sprinkling
2 T. cornstarch
1 t. lemon zest
juice from half a lemon
1 t. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 egg
1 T. water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take your pie crusts out and follow the package directions for thawing. Stir together the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, zest, juice, vanilla, and salt. Set aside.
Unroll the two crusts. Using a 4-inch round pastry cutter (or you can trace a knife around a 4-inch bowl), cut four rounds of pastry from each crust. Re-roll the scraps and cut as many more as you can. Place them on 2 baking sheets lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. Evenly distribute the blueberry mixture between the discs (approximately 1/8 cup or less per pastry). 
Gently fold over the edges of each crust, folding the dough in on itself to create a small rim of crust.
Make an egg wash by beating together the egg and water. Brush edges of each galette with the egg wash and then sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow them to cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove to a platter and allow them to cool the rest of the way. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream. Should make about 10 galettes.

Have a book/recipe suggestion for From the Bookshelf to the Kitchen? Leave it in the comments below.

January 15, 2017

Rewind & Review #77

~I listed some books I'm excited for on Twitter and then created my first ever Storify to collect all the tweets in one easy-to-find place: https://storify.com/emmathebookworm/2017-books-i-m-excited-for
~I experienced my first snowfall in Virginia since I was a toddler.
~I went back to school. The drive was long, and it felt weird being back.
~First week of classes and work. Things are already busy and stressful, but at least I don't have a TON of homework this weekend.

Books I Received for Review
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (from Random House Childrens via NetGalley)
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (from Abrams via NetGalley)
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett (from Simon and Schuster via NetGalley)

Books I Won/Traded for/was Gifted
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard (won from the publisher in a Goodreads giveaway)

Books I Bought
Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken

Books I Read
Yours Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
Much Ado About Anne by Heather Vogel Frederick (reread)
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (3 stars)
Dear Pen Pal by Heather Vogel Frederick (reread)
Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk (3 stars)
Pies & Prejudice by Heather Vogel Frederick (reread)
Pax by Sara Pennypacker (3.5 stars)
Mother-Daughter Book Camp by Heather Vogel Frederick (reread)
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (reread)
First Women by Kate Anderson Brower (3 stars)
RoseBlood by A.G. Howard (DNF)
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson
Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (reread)

Blog Posts You Might've Missed in the Last Few Weeks
   (from 1/2-1/7)
   (from 1/8-1/14)

January 14, 2017

Professor Emma Teaches The Theory of Time Travel and Parallel Universes

Another semester, two more classes I'm teaching at the Bibliophile University! This semester, I'm actually teaching science-y stuff, which is so not my usual thing. But I've found that the science fiction books I love most usually involve time travel or parallel universes, so obviously I wanted to teach classes on the theories of those and how different authors shape the theories for their uses.

First up, the reading list for Time Travel Theories.

Of course there are several other good YA time travel stories, but these seem to be the most solid to me. I also hope other authors will keep writing time travel books.

Now the reading list for Parallel Universes/Alternate Universes. I had a much harder time narrowing down this list because obviously I didn't want to assign too much reading. That's why I also have a couple recommended reading suggestions.

Recommended Reading:
What books would you teach if you taught a more science-y class at the Bibliophile University? (And are there any other classes you'd love to see me put together a reading list for?)

January 11, 2017

Review: Allegedly

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Grade: C+
Release date: January 24, 2017
An ARC was provided by the author as a giveaway prize. I received no other compensation for this review.
Summary: Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Allegedly is one of those books where I'm having trouble putting my thoughts into words. A lot of the plot was good, but there were several aspects that are just not my thing in novels so I struggled to love Allegedly.
I did really like Mary. She was well-written, and it was clear how she had been shaped by her childhood and having to grow up fast in jail. She had goals and plans for her life.
The other girls at the group home were interesting. I wanted at least one of them to be likable, and I didn't find a single one that I could by the end. There was one I started to like earlier, but her personality went downhill. I loved the lawyer character and the SAT lady (whose names are escaping me, even though I finished the book only two days ago); they were both strong adult presences in Mary's life. I couldn't stand Ted for the life of me, so I didn't enjoy any of his scenes with Mary.
I liked how the plot wrapped up. Looking back on Allegedly, I think all the pieces were there for this to be a good book; it just wasn't entirely for me.
There was a lot of foul language and some sexual content.

The Verdict: Good, really powerful, but I didn't love it.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Probably not.

January 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Releases I Haven't Read Yet

Ah yes, the post where I shame myself for not having read certain books.

1. The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May

2. Nemesis by Anna Banks

3. Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers

4. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

5. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

6. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

7. Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

8. You in Five Acts by Una LaMarche

9. The Diabolical by S.J. Kincaid

10. Interference by Kay Honeyman

What books did you mean to read last year and didn't?

January 8, 2017

Eighteen 2018 Reads

New year, new set of books I'm highly anticipating. And as always, here's hoping this titles don't get pushed back to a later release date (and that their Goodreads release dates are accurate).

1. The Radical Element by various authors and edited by Jessica Spotswood
More historical fiction short stories about heroines who rock!

2. Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Anything with star-crossed lovers and about comics has to be good.

3. Night Music by Jenn Marie Thorne
I love the music angle in this one, and I also love Jenn's words.

4. Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy
I always love books where grandparents are important. Also "Tolkien-styled high-fantasy trilogy"??

5. You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon
The premise reminds me just the teensiest bit of Rules for 50/50 Chances, which is great because I enjoyed that book. Also I'm always up for more Jewish YA protagonists.

6. Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare
Three things: 19th-century Italy, steampunk, and a magical book. That's all I need to know.

7. Swimming Lessons by Samira Ahmed
I'm always down for contemporary fiction dealing with culturally relevant topics.

8. My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows
If this is good as - or better than - My Lady Jane, then I am 100% here for that.

9. American Panda by Gloria Chao
Diverse contemporary stories are some of my favorites for some reason, probably because contemporary is my second-favorite genre.

10. Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter
Alternate realities are my jam.

11. Dear Miss Sweetie by Stacey Lee
Stacey is quickly becoming my favorite historical fiction author, and I doubt her latest will let me down.

12. His Fair Assassin #4 by Robin LaFevers
I never dreamed we'd be fortunate enough to get to revisit Ismae, Sybella, and Annith's world.

13. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Wolf Patronus
(For some reason the title makes me think of a wolf Patronus.)
Of course I'd add whatever Roshani wrote next to my TBR list, but the Paris setting really pulled me in.

14. Dark of the West by Joanna Hathaway
Fantasy mixed with shades of 19th century Europe? Color me intrigued!

15. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevado
Poet girls are great.

16. Saving Major Tom by Meg Leder
I really appreciate when protagonists have anxiety, and I hope this is a good representation. (Plus contemporary fic, which I've already mentioned I love.)

17. Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Let's be real, I was super disappointed that this one's release date was pushed back almost a year, but at least it means I could include it on this list. (I also hope 288 pages is only a placeholder length because I like my Morgan Matson books long.)

18. The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton
The only middle grade title on this list, but it sounds like the MG books I liked ten years ago.

I know 2017 has just started, but I hope you'll join me in looking forward to these books that'll (hopefully) release next year.

January 7, 2017

Rewind to 2016: Books That Got Me Through Life

After thinking over my favorite books and reading habits last year, I realized there was a common theme for the books I'm about to list. All of them were wonderful escapes from the tediousness of homework, from summer boredom, and for when I was feeling down. I reread several of these multiple times (and a few were not new reads at all), and I made it through all the awfulness of 2016 because of these books.

This spring, I read The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You and immediately fell in love. I've reread it at least twice since.

This summer featured Rebel of the Sands, The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love, and P.S. I Like You, as well as rereading all of Morgan Matson's books. I also got to read The Unexpected Everything for the first time in May and I love it just as much as Second Chance Summer and Since You've Been Gone.

This fall, I read Some Kind of Happiness and it was the middle grade book I never knew I needed.
The conclusion to the Firebird trilogy, A Million Worlds with You, was heartbreaking and wonderful.
And then I finally started reading the Harry Potter books. I borrowed Elise's copies, and she lets me annotate them like she does, so that's been a delight.

Which books made 2016 better for you?

January 6, 2017

Rewind to 2016: Favorite Blog Posts

Here are some blog posts you might've missed last year - both from me and other bloggers. Feel free to comment on these older posts; I love to see what y'all appreciate.

January: Seventeen 2017 Reads (First post of 2017 releases I'm eagerly anticipating.)
February: I've Caught the Hamilton Bug (The obsession that has shaped part of my year.)
March: Why I Love The Start of Me and You (one of my favorite books of all time) and Making Time for Reading (a.k.a. how I manage to read so many books and do well in my classes and work two part-time jobs.)
April: Seventeen More 2017 Reads (More 2017 releases I'm excited for, although now minus The Continent because at the time, I didn't realize how problematic and terrible it would be.)
May: That Poetry Thing (I shared some of my favorite poems I wrote for my class this past spring.)
June: Top Ten Tuesday: Why I Love Joseph-Beth Booksellers (My favorite bookstore, apart from Read Between the Lynes) and Why I Love Since You've Been Gone (I made a lot of playlists for this post)
July: Dear Rising Sophomores (College is a time for learning and sharing lessons, after all)
August: Top Ten Tuesday: The Syllabus of ENG 313 (Literary YA) (Because, while commercial YA is wonderful, sometimes I think the literary-ness of some YA titles is ignored.)
September: So You Like... #33 (Books for my Hogwarts house)
October: Interview with Lily Anderson (One of my favorite author interviews this year)
November: The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge and New(bery) Reading Challenge (I'm starting two personal reading challenges!)


What types of blog posts would you like to see more of in 2017? What were some of your favorite blog posts in 2016 (both from me and other bloggers)?

January 5, 2017

Rewind to 2016: Books I Acquired

Get ready for a big number...

205 books.

*cue my mother telling me I need to stop buying so many books*
*cue me begging for another bookcase*

All the other book bloggers out there and I are the reason the book industry is still doing well.

But let's narrow this down a little more...


BOOKS BOUGHT: 75 books
(Granted, some were purchased with giftcards and coupons and Amazon discounts, but that's still a lot of money.)

Yeah, that's a lot of books.