books to read with autumn colors

I wasn’t sure if it would be super extra to make a post basically sharing covers with the colors of my favorite season, but I have ultimately decided this is my blog, and I love fall, and you all deserve to feast your eyes on some autumnal-colored covers, because fall is a beautiful season.

Behold, some awesome fall-colored books:

This book is criminally underhyped. I loved Jane Sinner’s sarcastic, darkly funny voice and the reality TV element (she moves out of her parents’ house by agreeing to participate in a reality TV show hosted by her local community college). I truly wish more people in the book community knew about this book.

I love WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI so much. Dimple is such a strong character and I love her journey throughout the is book.

I haven’t read this one yet but I keep meaning to since I really liked Emma Mills’ second book, THIS ADVENTURE ENDS.

I am an embarrassment to the trans/nonbinary community because I haven’t finished this book yet. However, it ticks all the Mel-book boxes being magical and diverse, so it’ll happen.

I know I just wrote about this book but I am not going to be shutting up about it any time soon. CHARMING AS A VERB is, in fact, utterly charming and worth a read (or 5).

I’m kind of curious about this book even though I haven’t read Young’s other books. I love books about pirate-y ocean-y things and adventures, so this one should be right up my alley.

I adored the first book in this series, THE RIGHT SWIPE, and totally intend to read the second book, GIRL GONE VIRAL, and this book when it comes out, at which point I will buy the whole trilogy.

I loved Sarah Henning’s debut, SEA WITCH, which I have a mini-collection of, so I was pumped to hear she was coming out with another fantasy. Even though I have yet to read it, it’s definitely high on my TBR.

Oh, Felix, how I love thee. Reading this book was so empowering to me, because it deals a lot with finding your gender identity and discovering yourself even after you “come out,” which just really speaks to me because I am still very much dealing with that in my own life. A+ book.

The way sapphic book twitter talks about this book, omg. It was already on my list at the beginning of the year, but the sapphics of book twt have definitely moved it up the tbr.

I have tried to read WILDER GIRLS three times, but unfortunately that book was not for me. I want to like Rory Power’s writing so badly, so hopefully I will like it more in Creepy Corn Book, aka BURN OUR BODIES DOWN.

Have you read any of these?

the fall time, cozy time tag

I was tagged for the Fall Time, Cozy Time tag by the lovely Caro! I love doing tags and I love fall, so really, this is the perfect tag for me!

crunching leaves–a book that has reds/oranges/yellows on the cover

I knew instantly I had to pick When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon for the answer to this prompt. I have always adored this cover and probably would’ve read it based on cover alone if I hadn’t known anything about it when it came out. This cover is just so happy and joyful and makes me smile every time I take it off my shelf.

cozy sweater–what book gives you the warm fuzzies?

Am I allowed to pick a book I read only this month? I must, because Charming as a Verb is so delightful and made me feel all kinds of fuzziness. Henri is such a witty, and yes, charming character, but is also so genuine and I just want to hug him and tell him as long as he does his best he’ll be okay. I also LOVE the romance in this story, because Corrine, the LI, is so powerful and Henri is continuously amazed by her and reading about their romance made me so happy.

fall storm–choose a book you’d like to read on a stormy day

I am ashamed to say I haven’t finished this yet but Cemetery Boys definitely gives me stormy night vibes, as it is about witches and cemeteries and dark magic. Maybe I’ll read it for Mabon this year…

cool crisp air–who’s the coolest character you’d like to trade places with?

I would LOVE to be Leo from the Love, Sugar, Magic series by Anna Meriano. Leo is a little girl whose family runs a magical bakery and discovers all the women in her family are brujas, or witches. I would absolutely love to help out in a bakery, especially a magical one!

hot apple cider–what underhyped book do you want to become the next hottest thing?

I’m actually really surprised the book community didn’t hype up When We Were Magic more when it came out. It’s about a group of teen girls who all have mysterious magical abilities. I loved the friendship and sapphic dynamics in this book and the magic system and how dark it was (the story starts out with the MC accidentally killing a guy at a prom afterparty with her magic). This book is so good and sapphic book twitter needs to GET ON IT.

coats, scarves, and mittens–what’s a book cover you don’t like?

The colors on this make my eyes bleed. Not a fan.

pumpkin spice–what’s your favorite fall time foods/comfort foods?

I am really looking forward to soup season. I have a lot of soup recipes bookmarked on the New York Times Cooking app. I also love hot apple cider and am definitely going to need to make a trip to Trader Joe’s soon because they have amazing cider. I’m also looking forward to it being appropriate tea weather (not that you can’t have tea all the time, but it’s just so much more satisfying when it’s actually cold out).

warm, cozy bonfire–who do you tag?

weekly rewind // 9-18-20

weekly happenings

This week was honestly an emotional rollercoaster. I had something SUPER GOOD happen that I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about, but it is publishing career related and I have never felt more validated in my pursuit of a career in that industry.

However, I was also really stressed for most of the week and have been feeling that way since the library where I work announced we’re considering reopening again. I did manage to get more information about what our procedures will be, which made me feel somewhat better.

on the blog

what i’ve read & currently reading

This week I mostly read picture books. I’m also still in the middle of ONE TO WATCH, but I’m not going to share thoughts just yet because I’m a little over halfway through and EVERY TIME I say I’m enjoying a book in a post I then immediately stop liking it so we are beating that trend.

www wednesday // 9-16-20

WWW Wednesday is a book blog meme hosted by Taking On A World of Words where book bloggers answer these questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you reading next?
  • What did you just finish reading?

what are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading one of my BOTM add ons, ONE TO WATCH. This book is about Bea, a plus size fashion blogger, who goes viral in a vitriolic take down of beauty standards on a popular dating show, Main Squeeze. She is then invited to be the titular Main Squeeze of the latest season, after dealing with her own heartbreak.

what are you reading next?

BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE was my Book of the Month pick for September since I opted to go with one of the selected member favorites. I’m really interested in reading this one because I’ve never given historical romance a try, and this one, which is about a woman in 1879 who is accepted to Oxford on the condition that she attract men to the suffragist cause. This is also a series, so I am happy to know if I like it there will be more books by this author.

what did you just finish reading?

I won’t lie: I pretty much ended up skimming this book. I liked it at first and was drawn in by Jamal’s friendship with Q and Autumn’s character, but I ended up not being hugely invested in it. I felt like the story read more like a movie, which for me meant that it felt a bit too overdramatic without a lot of development of each issue. I thought Jamal’s relationship with Autumn was tied up too easily, and didn’t believe that she’d stick around after some of the things he did and how much he lied to her. The friendship especially felt too easily resolved which was likely a result of the short timeline in which the story took place, but that aspect of the book had me feeling a bit let down by the execution of the concept.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading?

weekly rewind // 9-11-12

Hello, and welcome to the first Friday edition of the Weekly Rewind! I talked about doing a rewind on a day other than Sunday in a recent post about upcoming content plans, so we are giving that a try this week. This week’s rewind is basically going to be a rewind for September so far since I didn’t do one last week on September 4th.

weekly happenings

  • We got a target reopen date at the library. Originally, the library where I work had a reopen date of August, but because Covid cases were still high, they postponed it. We just got an email last week about the new date being October 8th potentially, and honestly, I’m really hoping they rethink that. As much as I know our patrons need library services, especially computer use, I’m just not comfortable working with people in person and I don’t want to risk exposure to Covid to help someone get on a computer even if it’s for an important reason. We will have social distancing measures in place of course, but I just have a lot of concerns, mainly not dying of Covid, and I’m really anxious about reopening.
  • My new work schedule was announced. Previously, the library had only been open Monday-Friday, but now they’re adding bi-weekly Saturdays, which unfortunately falls on my week. My main concern about this is that when we are open to computer appointments that I am not going to be able to adequately help everyone if I am the only librarian scheduled to work.
  • Basically, I’m really stressed about work. I’m trying to repeat positive thoughts about it to myself, and honestly the new schedule will be fine if we don’t reopen, but I’m really stressed about reopening because I DON’T WANT TO DIE. Even if we screen every patron before entering, they could still be asymptomatic and I also don’t want to end up in a situation like I’ve heard lots of librarians have faced where a physical altercation happens because patrons don’t want to adhere to social distancing guidelines. I did not sign up for this job to be physically assaulted.

on the blog

Here’s what I’ve posted so far in September:

what i’ve read

I’ve actually been doing super well on my proposed TBR this month so far? My initial goal was to read 4-5 September releases and I’m already on my fourth one! So far I have read:

  1. Who I Was With Her – Nita Tyndall
  2. Charming as a Verb – Ben Philippe
  3. Horrid – Katrina Leno

My least favorite so far is WHO I WAS WITH HER, which wasn’t a bad book but hit me the wrong way, and my favorite is CHARMING AS A VERB, which I will definitely be recommending to everyone I know.

currently reading

I’m currently reading Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia’s book MISS METEOR. I’m a little nervous about it because honestly I haven’t liked any of Anna-Marie McLemore’s books that I’ve tried even though they totally SOUND like Mel books. However, I am hopeful that this book may work for me with their styles combined.

good readance 2020 check in

Since I’m participating in Shealea’s Good Readance 2020 challenge this month, I wanted to include a brief update post on what I’ve done for that challenge. So far, I’ve accomplished 3 of my Good Readance goals, including wittling my tbr from 400 to 200, getting rid of unnecessary shelves on GR, making a professional GR for children’s books, and unhauling my physical book collection.

sapphic saturdays reading possibilities!

Today is a very exciting day because I am going to be telling you about a few of the books I want to dive into for a really cool event called Sapphic Saturdays, a 24-hour readathon on September 12-13 dedicated to consuming sapphic content! If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out Arin and Brittany’s new blog for the event, on which you will find a plethora of EXCELLENT book recommendations. They also have an Instagram.

Without further ado, let’s get on to my TBR!

Now, I am most certainly not going to get to 6 books, or probably even 1 whole one, if I’m honest, because I SUCK at 24-hour readathons. HOWEVER there are just so many amazing sapphic books on my TBR that I want to read so you are getting a long, overly ambitious and impossible TBR.

  • You Should See Me in a a Crown – I am so embarrassed I haven’t read this one yet because I bought it in June and accidentally got approved for the eARC after publication AND it is easily my most anticipated book of the whole year. Sapphics doing their best? Prom court rivals to lovers? Musician MC? WE STAN!!
  • The Midnight Lie – Honestly, it’s the Midnight Lie Bot on Twitter that’s convinced me to move this up on my TBR because every quote makes me go *le gasp*. So obviously I have to read it. I still don’t entirely understand what the actual plot is, but I know it’s sapphic and sapphic twitter is in love with it and that’s really all the recommendation I need.
  • Watch Over Me – I have a wee confession to make: I HATED Nina LaCour’s last sapphic book, WE ARE OKAY. I know, I need to have my bookish sapphic card revoked. So, I am a little apprehensive about this one but the cover is so pretty and the synopsis says flowersfogwaves and it’s ghostie and I’m just gonna try it okay?
  • The Scapegracers – I saw this one on NetGalley quite a few months ago and almost requested it but hadn’t heard of the publisher so was unsure. However, this is another one that sapphic book twitter has convinced me to try because it has lesbian social outcast witches and there is honestly nothing better than sapphic witches.
  • The Dark Tide – Really all I needed to know about this book was that it is sapphic and described as a “dark fairy-tale.” Also, I love an ocean-y island-setting book.
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn – For some reason, this has become one of those books where I keep waiting for perfect reading conditions to read it. I am really pumped about this book, which is inspired by Persian mythology, plus I really liked the author’s first book, a sapphic retelling of Snow White. I am really excited to read this one AND it has an extremely reasonable page count even though it’s fantasy which makes my short-book-loving heart very happy.

I can still think of two more books I could easily add to this potential TBR, but for now I think I am going to try to stick with these to choose from. I am very excited about this event and so happy I actually get a weekend so I can participate before I go back to working on Saturdays.

5 reasons to read Charming as a Verb

Title: Charming as a Verb
Author: Ben Philippe
Pages: 336
Date published: October 13, 2020

Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University.

There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his “intense” classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself.

Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for. . . .

I want to start out by saying that I absolutely and completely unexpectedly loved this book. It was not super high on my TBR list for most of the year, but something about it eventually really intrigued me and pushed me to read it and I’m so thrilled I did because it’s definitely one of my favorites for the year. Today, I want to gush about it and tell you 5 reasons you should pick it up:

  1. Henri’s voice. I love a good “voicey” novel and this for sure qualifies. Ben Philippe’s writing from Henri’s perspective is absolutely killer, full of wit, honesty, and of course, plenty of charm. Henri is such a unique character and I loved learning about him throughout the book, especially the discussion of what he calls the “Haltiwanger Hunger” that drives his every decision and where his need to be charming comes from. There are so many layers to this ultimately very soft boi and I loved reading from his perspective.
  2. The dogs. Okay, so maybe this shouldn’t be a full reason, but honestly, even the dogs in this book had so much personality. As far as mild scams go, walking dogs is a pretty cute one, and reading about how Henri interacts with and loves all his dog clients is adorable. Ben Philippe honestly could not have picked a cuter hustle for Henri.
  3. The family relationships. Family is a huge part of this book. Henri’s dad is the primary reason he has the goal of getting into Columbia in the first place. I also adored reading about his mom, who is super proud of herself because she recently quit her old job to be a firefighter. They are all so hardworking and reading about their relationships with Henri and with each other made his character so much bigger. I was also fascinated by the discussion of diaspora that came up in regards to Henri’s family, who are from Haiti, and how he related to that term and the way his family represented it. I also loved all of their relationships with Lionel, Henri’s uncle/cousin, who his father kicked out because he didn’t want him to negatively influence Henri, but who they all go to for advice anyway.
  4. CORINNE. I absolutely LOVED Corinne, the love interest. She reminded me so much of myself in high school because she is so blunt and outspoken and doesn’t know how to get along with her peers at the beginning. I loved watching her come out of her shell and to see how turned on Henri was by her strong personality. He’s often baffled by her, but in a really good way, and I loved seeing him start to notice her and wonder how he hadn’t before.
  5. The New York setting. There are plenty of books set in NYC, but this one made me realize that a lot of them show the more touristy version of NYC. This book read as such an authentic representation of NYC, and it was clear to me that the author had spent time there. This wasn’t a watered down or sensationalized version of NYC like it is often portrayed. It does show the high life of NYC because Henri goes to a fancy private school, but it doesn’t over glamorize or romanticize it. Everything about the setting was extremely detailed and made me see a different side of the city than I usually get in YA.

These reasons are only the tip of the iceberg in telling you why I adored this book so much. Again, I am really happy I gave this book a chance because it brought me so much joy while reading and was really unique. This is the first book I’ve read by Ben Philippe, but I’m definitely interested in going back and reading his first book now because I can’t wait to get more of his writing. Thanks for reading, and I truly hope I’ve convinced you to give this amazing, fun, unique book a try!

september tbr

I just went on Goodreads and…I have a problem. The pandemic has completely messed with my usually expert knowledge of when books are being released, and, as a result, I have way too many 2020 books I was supposed to read from previous months, and more from upcoming months that I need to get to. Fortunately, Fall/Winter tends to be pretty quiet in publishing following the month of September, so maybe that will give me a chance to catch up on all these reads.

My hope for September is to only read September releases and catch up on my TBR a little bit and read at least 5 books from this list. I am already reading CHARMING AS A VERB, so hopefully this will be an achievable goal.

SEPTEMBER 1

  • Fable – Adrienne Young
  • Cemetery Boys – Aidan Thomas
  • Punching the Air – Ibi Zoboi (not shown)

SEPTEMBER 8

  • These Vengeful Hearts – Katherine Laurin
  • The Summer of Everything – Julian Winters
  • Charming as a Verb – Ben Philippe (current read!)

SEPTEMBER 15

  • Horrid – Katrina Leno
  • Who I Was With Her – Nita Tyndall
  • Surrender Your Sons – Adam Sass

are any of these on your september tbr? which one should i read first?

september readathon round up

Because there were so many readathons taking place in August, I did a readathon round up highlighting a few of them. I wasn’t originally planning on making this a monthly feature, but I did really enjoy researching all the upcoming events and getting hyped for them, so I am at least going to do it for another month.

So, here we have some of the readathons happening in September! If I miss one you’d like to see included, you are more than welcome to let me know in the comments and I can edit them in later on 🙂

short readathons

queer lit readathon–9/26-27

This readathon is hosted by @shan_no_nosays and @kathytrithardt. It is a weekend-long readathon with the goal of reading intersectional queer lit. Queer Lit Readathon is also hosted several times a year, so if you can’t make this one, never fear! Another event will be just around the corner.

sapphic saturday–9/12-13

Arin from Tomes of our Lives is hosting this sapphic (wlw) readathon in mid-September! You can check out her announcement post here. Sapphic Saturday (&Sunday) is a low-key readathon focused on consuming whatever sapphic media your heart desires. You can also check out this readathon on Twitter at  sapphicsaturday and post about it using #sapphicsaturdays!

nancy drew readathon–9/27-10/10

Nancy Drew Readathon is, you guessed it, a Nancy Drew themed readathon with prompts and task lists based on different Nancy Drew books/cases. It is hosted by @backinbookshelf. There are a lot of fun prompts, with about 4 “tasks” to complete for each case.

latinx readathon–9/15-24

Latinx Readathon is focusing on reading Latinx-authored literature! There are 5 prompts to help inspire your reading, which you can find here.

longer readathons

latinx book bingo–9/15-10/15

This is another Latinx Heritage Month inspired readathon hosted from mid-September into October! This readathon uses a bingo board for book prompts to inspire your reading. You can find more information on Twitter.

not safe for workathon–9/1-30

NSFWathon uses prompts based on some very fun but very not safe for work themes. You can find the prompts here. I’m also pretty pumped about the group book, which I’ve seen around on book Twitter a lot.

stranger things readathon

I just discovered this readathon and am highly considering adding it to my ambitious readathon schedule because I love ST (even though I never finished season 3). For this readathon, you pick a team and read books based on the prompts for that team. You can find more info here.

here & queerathon–ALL YEAR

Hello, shameless plug for my own readathon, the Here & Queerathon, which runs until December 31, 2020! The goal is to read books by queer authors and/or featuring queer rep. You can find more info on the Here & Queerathon tab on my main menu.

a touch of whimsy

A Touch of Whimsy is an Alice in Wonderland-inspired readathon that you can find more info about here. The prompts are all based on different elements of the Alice in Wonderland story for this round. A Touch of Whimsy is a middle grade book club.

best books i’ve read out of my comfort zone

For the past couple of years, I’ve really made an effort to read books outside my usual comfort zone, which is typically YA contemporary and fantasies. Last year, I think a little over half the books I read were out of my comfort zone, and this year I’ve read 9 so far.

So, today I’ll be sharing some of my favorite books that I’ve read over the past couple of years that are outside my comfort zone:

the kiss quotient by helen hoang

THE KISS QUOTIENT was my first foray into romance, and I’m so glad I read this book on a whim. I didn’t even really know what it was about when I started, which turned out to be good, because I never would’ve thought I’d like a book where the love interest is an escort. I loved all the characters in this book and the romance was so swoony, and this book convinced me to try out more romances.

home before dark by riley sager

The first thriller for adults I read was Riley Sager’s other book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, which I enjoyed. I was definitely interested in reading HOME BEFORE DARK, his 2020 release about a woman whose father is famous for writing a memoir about their time in a supposedly haunted house. When he dies, he warns her to stay away from the house, which of course she doesn’t do when she discovers they never sold it, and goes back to find out why her parents have lied to her for her whole life.

This book was everything I wanted LOCK EVERY DOOR to be, with more of a horror bent but an equally shocking resolution. I haven’t been able to fully guess the outcome of a Riley Sager book so far and I hope that trend continues as I read his other books.

red, white, and royal blue by casey mcquiston

I tried to read this book 3 times before finally reading the whole thing. I think my main issue with this book was that I tried reading it while in reading slumps, which was challenging because the writing style is somewhat odd for a contemporary romance and my brain could not compute. I’m happy I stuck with this book, which is a romance between the first son of the US and a prince of England. This book is full of international shenanigans and squad goals characters and I seriously cannot wait to read more books by this author.

daisy jones and the six by taylor jenkins reid

Before I read this, I had seen TJR’s other popular book, THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO, hyped on book Twitter. I didn’t try that one because I still wasn’t sure about adult fiction, but when I read a bit of this one in the bookstore I instantly knew I had to buy it and am so glad I did because it is one of my favorite books of all time now. I loved the documentary/interview style and the amazingly complex cast of characters and all the music talk. This was such a Mel book and I still fully intend to read more by this author.

a dash of trouble (love sugar magic #1) by anna meriano

I actually really wanted to read this book when it came out a few years ago, but then I learned it was MG and at the time I wasn’t into reading MG. However, I ended up checking it out through OverDrive this year for a book talk video for work and I ADORED it. If you like your witches and magic with a side of sweet bakery treats on the side, I highly recommend this book. I am very much looking forward to reading the sequels.