A BOOK : You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

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Whew! So if you are interested in a brain workout, read You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman. I chose to read this based off of the So Many Damn Books podcast and goodness, it is quite the trip. 🙂

I’d say You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is good for people that like more challenging pieces revolving around idea rather than story. The first 2/3s is more focused on gathering your bearings and A’s slow descent into a different person, and then the last third picked up a lot for me as more things start to happen. Some things I liked:

– the relationship between A and B. At one point, A is asked, “Tell me, is there someone in your life who’s been sharing your life too closely?”, which essentially is their relatioship. The effects of extreme envy and how that changed A throughout the story was super interesting to me.

– B’s characer. B was such a grotesque character, but dang was she interesting.

– The overall discomfort the book gave me. Kleeman did such a great job with fully fleshing out this weird disjointed setting and getting inside of A’s not quite stable mind. It was a world where everything felt slightly off, discolored, and hollowed– at least through A’s eyes– and as a result it just gave that same feeling to me as I was reading it.

– The Wally stores. Kleeman took normal business practices, took them to the extreme and distorted them to create this really creepy store. My favorite part was the idea that the associates can’t really help the customer out by telling them where the product they are looking for is, but if you work the question the right way and you get the right associate you could get clues for where your desired item is (although I would hate that if that was real life!).

– On a side note, Booooooo C.

Kleeman is definitely a good writer with a bright [sorry, not sorry :P] creative streak!

Add You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine to your to-read list!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Tuesday, September 27: Books on my Fall TBR List

Fall for me this year is hopefully going to be cleaning out my room in regards to reading whatever physical books I have that I haven’t yet, plus continuing reading like normal. So here’s what my list is like:

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1. Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff

I bought this a long time ago because it looks and sounds adorable!

 

 

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2. Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger

People say it has reminiscent of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

 

 

 

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3. Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

This is actually for a book study I’m in… but Lizzie Borden has an ax!

 

 

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4. Miss Jane by Brad Watson

This is up for the National Book award… and something about it really draws me in.

 

 

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5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

A spoooooky book for October!

 

 

 

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6. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

I get to read this for work!

 

 

 

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7. Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

A Goodreads friend of mine mentioned this is one of her favorites of the year, making me really want to try this.

 

 

 

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8. Today Will be Different by Maria Semple

A new Maria Semple book! I’m so curious to see how that one goes.

 

 

 

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9. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I still can’t believe I haven’t read this!

 

 

 

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10. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

I got like 100-200 pages into this a while ago, stopped reading and haven’t finished it. Definitely want to change that!

A BOOK : Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

B L O G M A S  D A Y 20

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This is the book series that took my coworkers and I by storm for some odd reason this year!

I started it because I was craving a fast paranormal series and was asking my coworker for suggestions. She suggested this and paired with knowing my other coworker really likes this author I was like heck yea! Now that you have the back story that you probably don’t care about as to why I started to read this…

So Some Girls Bite is set in modern day Chicagoland area in a world where people know vampires exist and they kind of live together peacefully. Of course there is going to be TENSION because vampires need blood to survive and all, but for the most part everyone has their shit together and while the peace dynamics are on shaky ground, they are somewhat stabilized.

Now enter Merit, our main character. She’s living with her roommate happily going about life, whennnnn she is turned into a vampire. Without her permission. This is a big deal, because in this society you NEED a human’s permission to turn them, plus, Merit comes from a pretty fancy-pants family (however, she is not on good terms with them).

From there she is quickly introduced to the world of vampirism and all of the facets she never paid much attention to. As she is sinking into this world, there is still the mystery as to who turned her, as well as why she is… a little bit different than the other vampires.

It’s that difference that made me really like the series and also drove me a little bit nuts in the book. Because she is a little bit *too* special, you know? But it makes for an interesting story PLUS there is one facet about her that I’m REALLY curious about, that I don’t want to go into.

The series is a little bit sexy and a lot of fun and very much a good escapism read. At least this book! I’m not going to lie, I haven’t progressed much further into the rest of the series yet.

So if you’re looking for a good vampire series book to TAKE YOU AWAYYYYYYY try Some Girls Bite!

A BOOK: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone

B L O G M A S  D A Y   19

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I would classify The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia as just plain and simple fun. It’s set in St. Louis (hurray Midwest!) and is about a girl who doesn’t really have her life together given a mission to solve a mystery. Why is she chosen out of all of the real life detectives and non-detectives of the world? Dahlia isn’t really sure. But she’s getting paid, so she’ll take it!

This is a pretty straight forward mystery as she starts with trying to solve the first issue (who stole a super-powered sword in the online game Zoth?), which eventually leads down a very tangled mess that involves MURDER. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn

What’s unique to this book is all of the gaming references. Because it deals with a mystery that deals inside of the virtual game as well as bleeds out into the physical realm, some of the story also takes place in the game which is neat. Also you get the fun and interesting tension of how the characters in the book do or don’t overlap with the characters they play in their game. In that aspect, there is a little bit of similarity with The Guild where you explore the group dynamics.

On top of the mystery, there is a little bit of romance thrown in, plus super strange characters that you aren’t sure are strange because that’s who they are or if it’s because they have SECRETS!

So if you like mysteries that are a little bit more cozier, like millennial characters, and/or are interested in online gaming… The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss might be for you!

A BOOK : Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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This little beauty snuck its way into my life, and ended up being a top favorite for the year. It’s about a girl who is basically allergic to the world and needing to stay in an uncontaminated environment. As a result, her life is pretty limiting. At the start of the book she has turned 18, and she has lived her entire life in her house with just her mother and her nurse for company. She has managed to make a life out of her life, but when new neighbors move in next door she realizes she might want more out of her life– whatever the cost.

So time to parse everything out!

1- I love the formatting. Included throughout the story are just little scraps from inside Madeline’s head- diagrams and definitions and an “insert” of a few journal pages from when she is 8. It fit with the flow of the story so well and as a result it didn’t feel gimmicky. It helped crystallize Madeline’s character and what she was going through.

2- The tone of this was beautiful. At its core it’s about living– what constitutes it, and what doesn’t? What happens when you want more than what you’re given? What do you do?

“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.”

3- In many ways, it was so so so sad. I think I mentioned this in my top ten tuesday which featured this book on that list, but I was most definitely crying in public. But it’s not the most depressing book in the world, because….

4- MY GOODNESS CUTENESS OVERLOAD. There were lots of cute moments with a certain boy… and some surprisingly some extremely attractive moments over little things.

5- Speaking of which, I LOVE the dialogue between Olly and Maddy. It was adorable. Especially because since the girl is trapped in her house, they can’t do much else than talk and their conversations are so much fun.

Everything, Everything is definitely a must read if you like interesting characters put in interesting places.

Take a look at it on Goodreads!

Top Ten Books I Read in 2015

B L O G M A S   D A Y   15

Every Tuesday The Broke and the Bookish hosts Top Ten Tuesday in which they ask a question and you list your top ten answers.

Today’s Question:

Top Ten Best Books We Read In 2015
Originally I was trying to participate in #libfaves15 where librarians count down their top ten favorite books of the year however I have learned I’m bad at tweeting daily so that fizzled for me quickly. One of the stipulations of that is it has to be published in 2015. I however am going to choose things published any year.
In order of when I read them, starting with the beginning of 2015….
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Red Rising by Pierce Brown
It was such awesome world-building and I love the undercover aspect of this. If you’re looking for great dystopia/sci-fi with underdogs, battle, and revenge read this!
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Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabe Quintero
Gabi is one of my favorite characters of the year. This is told in journal format and it just felt so achingly real. All of Gabi’s worries and insecurities and hopes and joys and issues were down on paper. It’s a girl who loves to write trying to navigate her way through high school dealing with terrible family stuff, confidence, friends, and romance. So good!
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The Family Life by Akhil Sharma
This just did so many interesting things. It’s a story about guilt and immigration and family. This also had one of my favorite “resolutions” of the year. If you have read it, that might sound weird, but I feel like it was just very much an echo of life in a way and for this that worked. A lot!!
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Becoming Abigail by Chris Abani
Well this book will wreck your heart. But goodness, gracious, if you love beautiful writing you should read this.
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Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
I did not think I would have a book about cannibals on my top favorite list…. but this was so good! Love LOVE the main character and I’m not going to lie, but the ending is one of my favorites. Is it spoiler-y to say you like the ending? I don’t know. If so, I’m sorry!
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The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
This is a really sad sad sad sad middle grade book about a little boy who decides to run away to the mountains with his dog. It will make you cry.
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The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth
Just so stinking beautiful!!
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Barbara the Slut by Lauren Holmes
One of those stories features a woman who starts pretending to be a lesbian so she can work at a lesbian sex shop. It’s an eclectic story collection and loved what it explored.
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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
 Just finished this YA book this week– WOW. I. Loved. It. so. stinkin. much. Cute and I started to cry in public as I was reading because terrible things were happening and I was that emotionally invested.
THIS WAS SO HARD.
I read so many good books this year!  I hope you did too!

Falling in Love With My Book Collection

B L O G M A S   D A Y   9

Sometimes you get ideas.

And then sometimes this happens:

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Here is my idea.

Move one of my bookshelves into the living room for communal book shelving display purposes (which would then have a nice ripple effect with a different piece of furniture) and then I’ll have more nice, minimalism space in my bedroom area.

 

There are more ripple effects I could go into that involve desks and closets, but my point is as a result of trying to condense my shelving in my room I have been thinking obsessively about personal book collections and my relationship with mine.

 

I’m starting to transition from being a book hoarder, to a non-book hoarder I think. I say this and I have filled my bookshelf up in my bedroom, my books have bled into the living room, I currently have a nice-sized book tree as a decoration, and I still have piles of books hidden throughout my bedroom. BUT. Due to moving last year and my own desire for less stuff, I have been chiseling away at my collection and as a result, it is a LOT smaller than it used to be.

It’s been a process that has taken a lot of time for me, taking away a box of books one month and then taking away another box 6 months later. There are many reasons I have for bringing a book into my collection, and it takes a lot to let one leave. I’m not a fan of regrets, especially when it’s something that seems pretty easy to protect yourself from (basically, keep ALL the books! ;]).

But here’s the thing. Since I’ve been doing this over a long period of time and because I’m an utter nerd, I have started to fall in love with my collection in a new unexpected way.

When I had triple the amount of books I currently own, I definitely loved it. I loved how the shelves looked– I loved just having that presence. I loved that I had all of these books to read and all of these books I read recently and all of these books I collected through the years and it was just the best thing ever. Books! Books! Books!

I still love that. I’m not discounting that by any means. I love big collections of books dearly. Among many things, they are inspiring and beautiful.

But I also love what I am doing right now. I’m going to say a thing and it’s going to sound weird… but I feel like I’m building this intimate relationship with my book collection right now.

Every book has a purpose and a reason to be there. The reasons are different for each book. Some I’m keeping merely for sentimental reasons (Teen Idol by Meg Cabot) others because they have carved a place in my heart (The Onion Girl by Charles DeLint). Some books I’m keeping for a possible future child (The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce) and others because they just look so dang pretty (The Complete Works of Isaac Babel, anyone? Some light weekend reading?).

By no means am I done chiseling. There are a LOT of titles I know I will most definitely remove within the next 5 years. Heck, I could probably pass them along right now– but something is holding me back. I still have that connection with that book and maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to remove, but I’m just not ready.

And that’s okay. I will never be done refining and growing, and as a result neither will my book collection. I am turning this collection into a living, breathing thing and as time goes on, the books that have been shaking loose will eventually fall loose allowing for new ones to stick.

I like knowing that as I ride these reading roller coasters– whether it involves obsessively falling in love with a series or deciding I need every contemporary YA novel published– the most important piece will stick with me. I like being able to get in there, pull out some of the extraneous leaves, and see what has taken root.

So today I have learned not only have I completely changed my personal book collection methods recently, BUT I am also a little lot more… obsessive with it than I ever realized.

How about you?

Do you have your own methods behind what books you end up getting and keeping?

OR. Have you innocently gone to move some furniture around only to have it turn into a complete self-examination?! I never knew organization could be that powerful ;).