Book Nerds Unite: A Sharing is Caring Giveaway

Tis the season…and all that jazz. You know how it goes. The holidays start (earlier and earlier these days) and it is all about giving. Well now it is time for some getting. With the help of 19 other bloggers we bring to you, Book Nerds Unite, a Sharing is Caring giveaway.

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It’s pretty easy to enter. Just click on the Rafflecopter link or the photo in this post and start following some great bloggers. For your trouble we are offering a first place prize of $150.00 Amazon or Barnes and Nobles gift card and a 2nd place prize of $50.00 Amazon or Barnes and Nobles gift card. Really you are the big winner either way as you get to add some fabulous new blogs to your blog feeds. Good luck!

 ENTER HERE

*Giveaway is US only. It runs from 11/24/14 to 12/11/14. Winners are selected at random. Please don’t mark a blog as followed if you haven’t in fact followed. All entries will be checked. Enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6edd7db620/

**Graphic by Rachel from Hello, Chelly

Monday Memories: And We Stay

Monday Memories is a weekly feature hosted by Miss Print and the Book Bandit. Just take a photo of a book from your personal library (or a library book that’s significant to you, etc.) and talk about why it matters. Is it your first ever signed book? The first book you reviewed on your blog? Whatever it is, write it up in a Monday Memories post and share it. Just please link back if you decide to join!

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This week for Monday Memories I’m talking about And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard.

And We Stay by Jenny HubbardI read And We Stay in January right after it published. I got a copy through Amazon Vine when I was taken by the cover and intrigued by the premise. When I saw that Elizabeth Wein also blurbed this book, I knew that this one would be a winner.

It did not disappoint. In the intervening months I have found myself thinking about this book often as I return again and again to the smart things Hubbard, through her characters, had to say about feminism and friendship in this story. The integration of poetry is also stunningly done.

This is a quiet book. Maybe even what could be called a slow burn. But it is also an exceedingly satisfying read whether you are a poetry lover or not.

If you want to join the Meme fun, just add your link below.

Week in Review: November 23

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This week on the blog you can check out:

Well, hello Sunday. I fell off last week with my blogger productivity because I had things to do at home, including this:

But now decorating is done and I am working to remember that having a buffer of reviews doesn’t mean that my other posts will write themselves. This week I did get two guest post features done and wrote up several other things so it’s a start. I think once I get a Monday Memories buffer going my life will be a lot easier too!

Work this week saw me spending one day in three boroughs, getting followed by Bartleby the Scrivener on Twitter, having a couple of hellish commutes and ordering over $800 worth of books for the YA section. The ordering took the better part of three days but I’m finally over the panic and feeling like the collection is going to be better for it.

I’m reading These Broken Stars at the behest of Kayla and I’m enjoying it but it feels like it’s taking longer than it should to finish. I also am starting to follow a plan for my reading to rotate between Want to Read, Committee/Prof Review, Old TBR and Amazon Vine. It’s helping me keep the reading fresh because I can bounce between categories and not get bored.

So that’s my week in a nutshell. How was yours?

Midwinterblood: A Review

“The sun does not go down.

“This is the first thing Eric Seven notices about Blessed Island. There will be many other strange things that he will notice, before the forgetting takes hold of him, but that will come later.”

Midwinterblood by Marcus SedgwickIn June 2073, Eric Seven arrives at Blessed Island chasing a story. It isn’t the first time his work as a journalist has brought him to the far reaches of society. Nor is it the first time he has encountered strange locals.

But as Eric investigates the strange island and a rare flower rumored to be found there, Eric also begins to feel a strange familiarity toward the island–especially toward a local woman named Merle.

As Eric and Merle come closer to the truth it becomes apparent that their journey, if it is a journey, is only just beginning. Or perhaps just nearing its conclusion in Midwinterblood (2011) by Marcus Sedgwick.

Midwinterblood was the winner of the Printz Award in 2014.

Midwinterblood presents seven intersecting stories of love, loss and rebirth in this deceptively slim volume. Although the stories vary in scope, all are grounded firmly in the landscape of Blessed Island where the more things change, the more some constants remain the same.

These stories span time and theme ranging from the unique problems faced by an archaeologist hoping to unearth a find to make a career to a story of two children in a viking colony plagued by an impossible monster. The loves presented here come in all forms with varying results for those involved.

Sedgwick presents a carefully plotted and delicate story over the course of this novel. It is very rare for a book to work as well when read forwards as it does read backwards, but Midwinterblood does just that. With plot points that transcend individual stories this is a rich, meditative story that begs to be read and read again.

Possible Pairings: The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher, The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton, Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox, The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan, Sabriel by Garth Nix, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Library Life: November YA Book Displays

I’ll be the first to admit these November displays are a bit off-the-cuff but they did teach me a bit about the collection along the way.

For my first “mini” display I did a Chilling Reads sign. The vision behind this was to have books that were set in the winter. It turns out we have blessed few books in the collection that are not checked out and set in winter.

IMG_1694This display will probably stay up through December because I am quite taken with the sign and it can have many permutations to fill in with books.

For my bigger display I was totally stumped for what to do until Karyn suggested a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) themed display. I’m not super happy with how it looks (the cover images are too small and I had sub-par tape to work with so you can really tell I was taping paper to a piece of foam core) but I do like the idea and I learned that many YA novels began life as NaNo projects. (In fact the only one on the sign that isn’t a NaNo project is Afterworlds but that one has a huge NaNo tie-in.)

IMG_1696And here’s a close up of the sign:

IMG_1697I am happy with the display in that the books on it have been moving which is, of course, one of the big points. The trivia aspect hasn’t gotten as much traffic but I do still want to have the option on there in some way.

I do plan on changing this out in December when I might do a Dynamic Duos display with some books about BFFs or otherwise great partners with a trivia aspect involving people naming the duo (like Maddie and Verity from Code Name Verity) with some quotes and cover images).

I’m also already looking ahead to January when I plan on having both displays involve books where characters seize the day.

What displays have you used in your library for the month of November?

Illusions of Fate: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten WhiteAlbion is dank and cold; a dreary, grey thing far removed from Jessamin Olea’s tropical island home of Melei. Even the people of Albion are different with their harsh, staid manners and so many of them obsessed with wealth or status.

With her dark hair and skin, Jessa never stood a chance of blending in here–even if she wanted to do such a thing.

No matter the hardships, Jessa knows moving to Albion will be worthwhile once her fancy Alben education is complete and she can use all of her new knowledge to help Melei and its people.

If Jessa hadn’t tried to walk down an alley on her way home from class, that might have been the end of the story. Instead, after a chance encounter with a strange and charming man named Finn Ackerly, Jessa’s life becomes something very different.

Soon Jessa is drawn into a magical power struggle between Finn and the sinister Lord Downpike. Weeks ago Jessa’s biggest concerns were keeping warm and trying to afford her textbooks while staying at the top of her class. Now, as enemies circle, Jessa will have to decide whether to stay on the path that will bring her home to Melei or bind herself further to Finn in Illusions of Fate (2014) by Kiersten White.

White offers a clever and original story here that is a fine historial-esque fantasy set in a well-realized world. With wit and humor aplenty, Illusions of Fate also features a nuanced commentary on what it means to feel and be seen as “other” along with the power that comes from claiming one’s heritage and identity.

Ideas surrounding feminism and imperialism are also handled as thoughtfully as race here. Jessa is a fierce heroine who knows exactly who she is and refuses to compromise that sense of self for anyone. Unapologetic, smart, and more than capable of saving herself, Jessa is sure to appeal to readers of all ages. Finn is her perfect foil as these unlikely allies bring out the best in each other with chemistry that is evident in every banter-filled exchange.

Illusions of Fate is a delightful blend of fantasy and romance with an action-packed plot with more than a few twists. The story builds slowly to reveal a story that is both engaging and thoughtful as Jessa tries to navigate the murky waters of Alben society. Although the ending is rushed in places, readers will finish this book with all of the pieces they need to imagine what other adventures might be in store for this truly wonderful heroine.

Possible Pairings: Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carringer, Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason, A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee, Sabriel by Garth Nix, For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevemer

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I’m Excited About

Top Ten Tuesdays img by Miss Print

At first I wasn’t sure I had enough books to talk about in this post. Then I started looking at my TBR shelves and realized that was wildly inaccurate. SO here are some sequels I’m psyched about.

  1. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman: I am spoiled rotten and have this in my hands (signed) even though it’s not out until March.
  2. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski: Again because I am spoiled rotten, I have read this already. But I am excited for March when I can get a hard copy to match my beautiful copy of The Winner’s Curse.
  3. Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan: This one has been out for a while but I managed to fall behind with the series. Now that Unmade is out and I own both, I really have no excuse to put off finishing the series!
  4. P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han: Is there anyone who isn’t excited about this one? I can’t wait to see what happens to Lara Jean next! Luckily I have Jenny Han’s Summer trilogy in the interim since it’s a series I missed when it first came out!
  5. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater: File under books I should have read 5 years ago.
  6. Black Heart by Holly Black: See above.
  7. Cybele’s Secret by Juliet Marillier: See number five.
  8. Split Second by Kasie West: There’s real no reason for me to not have read it yet. I guess I’m just worried it won’t live up to the first book.
  9. Dearest by Alethea Kontis: I love the Woodcutter books so this is one 2015 release I’m pretty excited about!
  10. Vengeance by Megan Miranda: Like Split Second, I’ve put this book off because I have concerns. And I don’t want Decker and Delaney’s story to be over.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

(Image made by me.)