May 31, 2019

Random Friday: Summer 2019 Reads

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It's time to list the books publishing this summer that I'm most looking forward to, plus a few I really hope I read soon.

1. If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

2. Maybe This Time by Kasie West

3. The Last Word by Samantha Hastings

4. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

5. Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

6. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

7. The Silence Between Us by Allison Gervais

8. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert

9. Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

My Rory Gilmore Challenge picks for the summer:

10. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende

11. The Completed Works of William Shakespeare
(a.k.a. I'm finally going to at least skim-read all the plays I haven't already)

And then...I plan to try and tackle a bunch of the classics I've bought in the last six months. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for a poll to help me decide which to prioritize!

What about you? What are you planning to read this summer?

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May 30, 2019

Sorcery of Thorns Blog Tour and Review

Y'all, when I got asked to be on the blog tour for Sorcery of Thorns, I was SO excited. This was definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2019, and I kept hearing lots of good things from other bookish people. And, as you're about to read in my review, it definitely lived up to the hype.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
Grade: A
Release date: June 4, 2019
An ARC was provided by Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I always tell people I like fantasy books, and the end of the year when I do my round-ups, my favorites tend to be contemporary. But it's books like Sorcery of Thorns that are the reason I do still love fantasy.
I fell in love with Margaret's first book, An Enchantment of Ravens, and her sophomore novel is more of the same. It has straightforward but beautiful prose. The writing is never overly flowery, but Rogerson knows how to describe things well. For example, early in the book, she describes a moss spirit, and I could picture it so well. Rogerson has created such a lush world that is almost steampunk at times, and a bit more modern than the typical fantasy.
If you're a fan of enemies-to-lovers romance, Elisabeth and Nathaniel's relationship sort of follows that pattern. Elisabeth has been taught all her life that sorcerers are dangerous and to be avoided, so when she must work with one, it creates interesting dynamics. Other great relationships: Silas and Nathaniel, Silas and Elisabeth (Silas swears he doesn't/can't care for any human, but he is a LIAR), and Elisabeth and Katrien. I did want a little more of Elisabeth and the Director's background, because the Director is kind of a driving factor for Elisabeth.
Sorcery of Thorns is really a love letter to libraries and book lovers everywhere, and it feels masterfully done. Some of the plot beats are a bit predictable, but I cared so much about the characters that the book continued to keep me on my toes.

Content warnings: violence, blood, psychological abuse, mind invasion

The Verdict: If you're looking for a solid, non-Fae YA fantasy, you need to read Sorcery of Thorns.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: YES!!!

Margaret Rogerson is the author of the New York Times bestseller An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses. Visit her at

The Rest of the Blog Tour

Monday, May 27 – Alexa Loves Books
Tuesday, May 28 – The Novel Knight
Wednesday, May 29 – Adventures of a Book Junkie
Thursday, May 30 – Awkwordly Emma
Friday, May 31 – Mel to the Any
Monday, June 3 – The Fox’s Hideaway
Tuesday, June 4 – The Starry-Eyed Revue
Wednesday, June 5 – The Bookish Beagle
Thursday, June 6 – Super Space Chick
Friday, June 7 – Flying Paperbacks
Monday, June 10 – Bookshelves & Paperbacks
Tuesday, June 11 – Nightly Reading
Wednesday, June 12 – Novel Heartbeat
Thursday, June 13 – Hammock of Books
Friday, June 14 – The Everlasting Library
Monday, June 17 – The Eater of Books!
Tuesday, June 18 – Beware of the Reader
Wednesday, June 19 – This Dark Material
Thursday, June 20 – That Artsy Reader Girl
Friday, June 21 – SimplyAlly Tea

May 29, 2019

New York Adventures, the Last Month

This is a bittersweet post. I always assumed I'd probably stop them after I reached the one-year marker, but I was hoping it wouldn't be because I was leaving New York. Alas. 


1. Last few weeks of work. I tied up some loose ends and hopefully the next intern won't be too overwhelmed when they start.
2. On my last night, I went out for empanadas with several of the other interns, which was special.


1. Had my last trips to Books of Wonder and the Strand and bought three books, all lovely contemporary YA picks.
2. We renewed my NYPL card, so guess who's gonna be able to maintain access to so many e-books??


1. Maman has new waffles, which I was a little sad about because I loved the lavender cornmeal waffles. But I tried the new ones, which come with coffee butter, banana whipped cream, almond brittle, and what my friend and I decided were little bits of chocolate.

2. Sarah and I went to Smorgasburg! I so wish we'd had room to try more foods (specifically some fried chicken, egg waffles, poutine [I want to know how it compares to poutine in Quebec], and Japanese-style pancakes), but we had fun all the same and ate so many carbs lol. Pics with captions below.

Boston Cream Pie donut and butternut squash donut (the latter of which was Sarah's)

Vermont maple syrup lemonade (some of the best lemonade I've ever had) and frites with lemon garlic aioli

Bao (two pork, one lamb, one beef) and mint chocolate chip ice cream with Italian meringue

3. I don't know why I didn't try it sooner, but there's a deli in Brooklyn founded by Montreal ex-pats, and it has poutine!
4. My family and I went to Watty & Meg in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and I loved it. It was so neighborhood-y, and I shared salmon with my mom and roasted chicken and a short stack of these, like, savory pancakes with my dad, and then we got blueberry-peach crumble for dessert.
5. I also went to Cava for the first time ever, and went again later that week lol. There was a location right downstairs from my office, and I wish I'd known it was Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food sooner. So good.
6. An adorable neighborhood Italian place in Prospect/Crown Heights, Brooklyn called Cent'Anni. I got homemade pasta, and my mom and I shared crostini appetizers.

7. Went to Friend of a Farmer again, and had the blueberry pancakes this time. They're all so good. I'd love to try the waffles soon.

8. AYZA Wine & Chocolate Bar with my mom as a belated Mother's Day treat:

9. The big event on Monday was a food tour in Greenwich Village. We tried...Joe's Pizza, olive oil on bread, truffle oil and salt on popcorn, balsamic vinegar, arancini (deep-fried balls of rice and cheese), meatballs, eggplant rollatini, donuts, cheese, and cannoli. We also got a bite-sized lesson on the history of the Village and saw some cool sites, including where they took the exterior shot for the apartment from Friends. Here's a sampling of pictures: 

10. And then we went to Bubby's for our last brunch. Their pancakes really do live up to the hype.


1. We saw My Fair Lady. Laura Benanti is a treat.
2. My mom wanted to see Kiss Me, Kate, so we went to that our last night in town. I also tried one of the specialty cocktails. It had sparkling wine and lots of fruity and herbal flavors.


1. I went back to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and it's so lovely in springtime! The cherry blossom festival was the weekend before, and all the trees were still in bloom. It was a wonderful experience.

2. Our Airbnb was out in Crown Heights, so I got to see a different, diverse part of Brooklyn.
3. Mom and I went to the UWS and the Museum of Natural History for a bit on Sunday. The museum has an app which you can use to help you customize what you want to see, so we made sure to hit the Night at the Museum highlights. The hall of gems was closed though, which is one of the things I would've enjoyed, so we mostly saw LOTS of animals.
4. We ventured down to Battery Park on Tuesday, and we visited the Irish Hunger Memorial, which is very unique.

Maybe I'll have to start posting about my RVA adventures...

May 28, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books from the Last Ten Years

So this post is all about a favorite book from each of the last ten years! For the most recent years, it's definitely going to be hard to pick just one per year, so please forgive me if I list two...or three (or four), lol.

2018 - Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson and From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon

2017 - The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord, Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee, Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills, and Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

2016 - The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson and P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

2015 - Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

2014 - The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski and Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

2013 - Pivot Point by Kasie West and The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

2012 - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, and The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

2011 - Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

2010 - Heist Society by Ally Carter

2009 - Forest Born by Shannon Hale

Feel free to share the link to your TTT in the comments below!