not a review

Books I Bought When I Was Sad

When I was a kid the scholastic book people would give you a flimsy little mailer and you could pick a book. What felt like 100 days later your book would arrive, right in the middle of class, and my teachers would hand them out like trophies. My Mom and Dad always made sure that I got to order a book so it was the happiest day ever. Usually, I couldn’t remember what I had picked out and so it was a present. Past me had picked out something for future me to enjoy. And enjoy them I did!

When I see a book that I love (not just like but really really want to own) I will add it to my online cart. I try to only do so if the book is unavailable at my library. Occasionally when I get really sad I will just blindly order the cart (this is a very good reason to only store gift cards on your account and not credit cards). A short time later a box arrives at my house full of books from me-in-the-past to cheer me-in-the-future immediately up.

Most of February and March I have been in a major funk. And, one day I ordered all of the books in my cart. When I opened the box it was just full of friends ready to cheer me up. Did it work immediately (like it usually has in the past)? Not really. So I boxed them carefully back up again until I got in the right headspace. Not that I have broken though the slump from hell I am ready to celebrate by getting out my new books. Here I give you…..the books I bought when I was sad!

I feel so lucky to be able to afford to buy books and to have the ones I want readily available to me. I have some slight remorse over not sticking to my book buying plan but not as much as the joy I feel at cracking into my new books.

Tell me, please!

Do you ever buy books to cheer yourself up?

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: March 27, 2019

It has been FAR too long! After weeks of reading either (1) nothing or (2) books that I didn’t love, I have finally gotten my book reading mojo back! This is the first week in forever that I felt like I had enough momentum to need to organize my books and participate in WWW Wednesday. Thanks, as always, to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for hosting this meme.

What did you recently finish reading?

I had every intention of waiting for all three parts of Penny Reid’s new Laws of Physics to be published before I started Motion but I was traveling and became desperate and downloaded it in the middle of the night. I wish I had waited – this book is just the first third of the story and it is supposed to have a cliffhanger at the end but it just kind of stopped. It felt like reading a very long free preview from Amazon.

I also listened to two audiobooks: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken. Manson’s book made a couple of good points but fell short of a book I would recommend widely but A New Hope was the spark that exploded me back into my reading. You can see my full review here.

I also read Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller which is the second in this series. Both of these books are fun and interesting and I am looking forward to the third book being published. I need to post my review but I have such a hard time reviewing incomplete series without

As you can see, it has been a ridiculously slow month of reading for me. During this time I picked up and DNFed so many books – I just couldn’t seem to finish anything! I put them all back on my TBR because I knew that it wasn’t the books, it was me. I tried everything – even ruining my buying ban – to snap out of it. Life has been chaos here and my brain just wouldn’t let me relax enough to read. Perhaps it is the precious few sunny days we are having here or the proximity of actual Spring, but I am feeling calmer and my reading has come back to life. THANK GOD.

What are you currently reading?

Now see? This big old load of books brings me joy. Two weeks ago I would have given them the side eye and felt overwhelmed but now I just feel surrounded by possible friends.

I am nearly finished with The Field Guide to the North American Teenager and about a third of the way through The Wonderling. I recently started Truly Devious as an audiobook, Good Omens on my Kindle and One Day in December as a physical copy. All of them together are balancing out to bring me joy!

What do you think you’ll read next?


I’ve had this book for quite some time on my shelf and just looking at it makes me feel happy and inspired. I’m going to crack into it this weekend and earn some badges.

Tell me, please!

What’s on your WWW list?

all ages · Audio Book · Science Fiction

A New Hope: The Princess, The Scoundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken

The worst thing about writing only positive reviews is when you go through a terrible dry patch. Combine that with a fairly deep and weird non-reading period and it looks like I have abandoned my reviewing completely! But, the good news is that I am baaaack!

princessscoundrelfarmboyI tried listening to a LOT of audiobooks over the past few weeks. I am burned out with a specific style and so I turned to a completely new genre. Well, a new audiobook book genre anyway. I borrowed The Princess, The Scoundrel and the Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken from my local library. Admittedly, I briefly considered not listening to it when the introduction marked the book as a re-telling of A New Hope but this whole mood reading can only go on for so long. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and finish a book! I am so glad that I persevered because this is an excellent audiobook.

Told in three parts by two extremely talented narrators, this book transported me back to the magic that was my first Star Wars experience. Aided by sound effects and selections from John Williams original score, the audiobook reminded me of my beloved Star Wars, A New Hope LP.  Here though, the author cleverly expands the inner thoughts and experiences of the three main characters to give me what all Star Wars fans want most: more Star Wars. Listening to Leia’s childhood reflections, her concerns regarding her usefulness to the Rebellion, Han’s growing admiration for both Leia and Luke and his fear of losing them, and Luke’s introduction and growing awareness of the Force stayed so true to Star Wars canon without becoming trite. It is glorious!

The whole time I was listening I could not stop thinking that this audiobook might be the perfect way to introduce young children (or older new fans) to Star Wars. The audiobook gives all the excitement and adventure, as well as wonderful character development, as the movies but without some of the scarier visual images that the film so masterfully uses. While there is no replacement for the first time you see Darth Vader’s cape fan out as he stalks down the corridor with The Imperial March thundering in your ears, this audiobook is an auditory treat. And, since I loved it after seeing the film countless times, it would be perfect for new fans and rabid older fans alike.

I have to mention as well that this book has a wonderful theme. Star Wars is my basis for explaining everything but I have never really considered how these characters break societal and self-imposed labels during their adventures. Leia is more than a Princess, Han is only a Scoundrel when he wants to be and Luke is SO much more than a Farmboy. How the world sees them and even how they label themselves changes and grows  during their time together and it is wonderful to behold. It is also an important message to send children – you can change who you are and you can change how you think about people.

I cannot recommend this audiobook enough! Whether you’ve enjoyed Star Wars since childhood or are a reluctant (but curious) fan, this is a wonderful retelling.

Tell me, please!

If you aren’t a Star Wars fan, what is holding you back?


not a review

Books Books Everywhere and Still I Didn’t Read.

I’m weathering a bit of a storm in my life. Nothing terrible, there just seems to be a constant stream of bad news in my neck of the woods. When the emotional winds started to pick up and toss me around I did what I always do – I bought books. I tried not to (I swear!) but I had already requested as many as I could from the library and Netgalley. Still, there were some I wanted to read that the library didn’t own. I ask you, what am I supposed to do? Just not ever read that book? I had to buy them. Ahem.

Suddenly, I found myself sitting surrounded by piles of books. But, I didn’t read anything. For a solid week, I didn’t even look at books. That is not good. That is not me. I don’t like me when I’m not reading. Mind you, this wasn’t a slump so much as an, “oops I forgot to eat for a week” aberration in my behavior. Not reading was making me sadder and I hadn’t noticed.

Last night I confessed my week of non-reading to my best friend in the whole world. And saying it aloud made me realize I needed to read. And really, this is a non-problem. This is like complaining about having too many things in your refrigerator. I have books just waiting to keep me company and transport me away. I just needed to pick one and get going.

So, I started reading I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella last night. And I felt almost instantly better. When I woke up (far too early this morning) there was my book on my bedside table ready to keep me company over a cup of coffee.

Books are friends. So, I am sorry to my book friends and to my bookish friends for falling into a hole last week. I see the way out now!

Tell me, please!

Have you ever experienced this before? What did you do to pull yourself out?