I love the library. The aisles of books, the audiobooks for on-the-go listening, and even the occasional DVD, fill me with happiness. The Seattle Public Library held it’s biannual book sale, hosted by The Friends of the Seattle Public Library, and I walked away with one of the largest book hauls I’ve ever gotten. When each book was only $1 or $2, I couldn’t resist! My haul includes stories that I have already read, a couple books I already own, and many books on my TBR list. Here’s the haul:
- People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
- Love Water Memory – Jennie Shortridge
- The Alphabet House – Jussi Adler-Olsen
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
- Luckiest Girl Alive – Jessica Knoll
- The Third Angel – Alice Hoffman
- The Dressmaker – Rosalie Ham
- Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties – Renee Rosen
- Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty
- The Secret Life of Violet Grant – Beatriz Williams
- The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman
- Wicked – Janet Evanovich
- The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
- Spring Fever – Mary Kay Andrews
- Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
- After the War is Over – Jennifer Robson
- The Forgotten Garden – Kate Morton
- Faithful Place – Tana French
- Still Life – Louise Penny
- The Butterfly and the Violin – Kristy Cambron
- The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton
- The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
- The Orphan Master’s Son – Adam Johnson
- The Good Girl – Mary Kubica
- The Bat – Jo Nesbo
- Who Do You Love – Jennifer Weiner
- Still Alice – Lisa Genova
- Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult
Now that I’ve got these great books on hand, I just need to schedule a month-long vacation to read them all!
I’m back with another round of bookish podcast recommendations! There are so many great podcasts out there and I’ve listed the ones that I’ve recently been listening to below. Enjoy!
Beaks & Geeks by Penguin Random House
I’m honestly bummed that I didn’t know about this show earlier because I love their segments! It’s informal and conversational with author interviews, writing tips, and upcoming book releases. I’ve listened to quite a few at this point (each clip is pretty short) including interviews with Ernest Cline, Charlene Harris, Beatriz Williams (my favorite author!!!!), Tana French, Fiona Barton, and Sylvia Day. I really recommend this one!
World Book Club by BBC World Service
This show features longer segments covering a range of stories from classics to contemporaries. I listened to a panel discussing The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, a fantastic story loved by many around the world. The panel discussed the artistry in Fitzgerald’s language and the idea of reinvention. I thought it was really interesting when they discussed whether there are heroes in The Great Gatsby and if so, who can be categorized as one. This is a good show too.
Books & Authors with Cary Barbor
I enjoy the content of this show quite a bit. In an interview with Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, the host asks questions about how the idea developed for this post-apocolyptic story. An aspect of the book that I really enjoyed was that it’s not enough to simply survive, but that art needs to have a place in life too. The podcast also hosts interviews with literary agents and editors as well, both of which I found to be really insightful!
What about you all? What are you listening to?
Happy New Year’s Day! Because its the beginning of 2016, I’ve decided to do a bit of reflecting on this past year. Along with starting this blog in July 2015, I started an Instagram account filled with bookish photos. While the blog has been a great platform to share my words with the world, Instagram has been a way to show my photos. These photos are mainly of what I’m currently reading, my cozy socks, creamy lattes and mugs of tea!
In the past few weeks I’ve made some big jumps in the Instagram community that I am VERY excited about! It’s the type of excitement that has me literally jumping up and down. Here are the highlights of 2015:
1.Random House (@randomhouse) reposted my photo on their account for over 35,000 followers!
To make it even sweeter, my photo of Sara Gruen’s At the Water’s Edge, made Random House’s top nine photos of 2015 based on the number of likes!
2. Hachette Book Group (@hachettebooks) reposted one of my photos of After The Crash on their account.
3. Books and Beans (@booksandbeans) is a popular account with 126,000 followers and one of my photos was reposted on their account.
With just over 2,000 Instagram followers, I still can’t believe that this many people want to see my posts! Please feel free to look me up at @dreambyday_bookreviews, I would love to connect with you all on Instagram!
After much consideration, and some nagging from friends, I’ve decided to create a Facebook account for Dream by Day book reviews. Originally, I wasn’t sure whether or not Facebook would be a relevant platform for my blog, but I’ve decided to give it a try! This way many of my friends (yes, the same friends who wouldn’t join a book club) can view my reviews easily, especially if they don’t have WordPress accounts.
Click here to check it out for yourself! I would love to connect with you on Facebook as well as through the blog!
I also want to say thank you all for the support and interaction – this book blogging community is such a considerate and intelligent group of people and I have so enjoyed connecting with you all!
A light story, The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, is a quick read. I listened to this one as an audiobook while commuting to and from work. While it was cheesy at times, it was an entertaining alternative to the same five pop songs playing from the radio on repeat.
The Knockoff: A Novel centers around Imogen, the editor in chief of a fashion magazine based in New York City. When Imogen returns to her job after a six month medical leave she finds that her magazine has been transformed into a website. As Imogen tries to keep up with the advancing technology and an office overrun with millennial employees, she finds herself to be irrelevant.
I have some opposing opinions on this book. One the one hand, parts of the story were funny and I related to the feeling of falling behind in a tech driven world. On the other hand, many aspects of the book are very unrealistic. Would Imogen’s magazine really convert to an entirely web based venture in only 6 months with an almost entirely new staff? Probably not. And then there is Eve; Imogen’s former assistant who has returned to the company after graduating with an MBA from Harvard Business School and who now runs the business. Eve is the character that you love to hate. A raging sociopath, the character is completely out of touch with reality. I think Eve’s unprofessionalism and bullying tactics are very unrealistic as well.
While I found Imogen to be endearing, at times I was completely fed up with her lack of self-preservation and that no matter how much she was pushed and bullied by Eve, she wouldn’t stand up for herself. While reading, I was raging in my head about all of the things that she should be saying instead!
The Knockoff: A Novel isn’t my favorite story, but it gives an interesting and funny view of society as we depend more and more on technology.
I give All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven a big thumbs up. I went on a road trip for work last week and listened to this YA fictional novel and found it to be both touching and heartfelt.
The story begins when two high school seniors, Violet and Finch, meet on the roof of the bell tower at their school, both contemplating what it would mean to jump off. Violet has recently lost her sister in a car crash and Finch has always struggled to find where he fits into the world and why any of it matters. On top of the bell tower they both feel lost.
Through this story they save each other and their journey is really sweet. Violet learns how to live again and Finch learns to be comfortable as his wild and charming self. Both characters had been through so much and I was really interested to see how they each handled their grief.
This book is really good and I recommend it! One fun fact about the audiobook; the male narrator sounded a lot like John Mulaney, the comedian, which was a nice added bonus.
I have to hand it to Jim Dale, he does a fantastic job of narrating the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling on audiobook. While I prefer reading the books myself, I’m happy to listen to Dale narrate as I get ready for the work day or as I do chores around the house. The problem I find with many audiobooks is the narrator’s voice, which usually ends up distracting me from the actual story. I think that Dale does a great job of capturing each different characters’ accent and tone of voice really well. In this case I actually think he helps the book come alive because I get so sucked into the story that I honestly forget I’m listening to an audiobook
I’m currently listening the the fifth book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I had forgotten how funny the Weasley twins are and find myself cracking up at their pranks and experimental magical creations.
So if you haven’t tried listening to the Harry Potter series on audio – I highly recommend it. Not many people have time to sit down to read a seven book series, but listening to an audiobook is much more plausible. It honestly might be the only thing that makes cleaning the bathroom a not-so-bad task.
I’ve kept a book journal for the past few years and I really recommend it to all readers out there! During high school I was having a hard time keeping track of what I had already read, the plotlines blending into one large and complicated story in my head. Writing in a book journal not only helped me keep track of what I had read, it also allowed me to reflect on those stories and see how my reading choices changed over time.
Every book journal is different, and they should be because we’re all different, but here is what I find works for me. I jot down the book title, author and a quick bio of the storyline. I also give the book a rating from 1 to 5 based on how much I enjoyed it and whether I would want to read it again. Even though I’ve enjoyed many books, that doesn’t necessarily mean I want to re-read them all, especially when there are so many other great choices out there! Although I rate these books myself, I don’t publicly post a rating on my book reviews because they are so subjective and I want each reader to decide on a rating for himself or herself.
Do any of you keep a book journal? I would love to hear what works for you!
When a friend of mine asked for a mystery book recommendation before heading out on a road trip this weekend, one story instantly popped into mind. I told her that she needed to read (or in this case, listen to on audiotape) The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen right away. Despite reading this novel a couple years ago, I still find myself recommending it to many friends asking for recommendations because it is a story that has stuck with me.
For a haunting page-turner, choose The Keeper of Lost Causes. Jussi Adler-Olsen has written a seriously excellent page-gripping story here. This is the first book in the Department Q series centered around Carl Morck, a Copenhagen homicide detective whose life had been shattered when two of his fellow cops were shot on the job.
After finally coming back to his career, he gets to work on a series of old case files before becoming stuck on one in particular. A politician, who has all but disappeared into thin air and is thought to be dead, lingers on Carl’s mind. By following a hunch he finds something that has haunted me to this day. I don’t want to give anything away, but there is such a TWISTING finish here!
An incredibly thrilling mystery novel, The Keeper of Lost Causes is fantastic!
Where to start on this one? First of all, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley had me bursting into tears with a sudden plot twist that I DID NOT expect. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not uncommon for me to get emotional when reading, but I usually see it coming. You know a book is good when you are so invested in the story that you feel for the characters and their hardships and that’s what happened to me with this one.
The Winter Sea is a great book and I’m excited to have found it, it being the first novel I’ve read of Kearsley’s. This is an interesting story, the narrative switching between author Carrie, who is writing a historical fiction novel focusing on the 1708 Jacobite invasion into Scotland, and Sophia, the woman Carrie is writing about. In a twist of fate, it turns out that Carrie is more deeply entangled in Sophia’s story than she could have imagined. Carrie and Sophia’s lives seem to mysteriously mirror each other, both making a life for themselves and finding love along the way.
Kearsley has written a beautifully sculpted novel that portrays the passion an author has for her characters and how their story becomes engrained in her own life.
I really recommend this one, especially to all those historical fiction lovers out there!