January Wrap Up

I’m going to be honest, it’s been all I could do to get this short post up. My brain has not been in the right place to do…well, pretty much anything this past month, as I’ve been sick with flu and pneumonia and then went through losing my dog a couple of weeks ago.

I certainly wasn’t in the frame of mind to read, so I don’t have much to show for a wrap up (too bad this isn’t a TV wrap up because I’d have met a yearly goal with how many shows and movies I’ve watched in the past month), but I thought I’d share what I did manage to finish in January.

 

Little Women

december3.jpg

Years ago I had read the abridged version, but reading the unabridged version was such a treat. Though I was familiar with the story (having also grown up watching the Winona Ryder movie version), I fell in love all over again with this story, the characters, the charm, and the honesty.

While it wasn’t a “perfect book” — there were far too many authorial intrusions for my taste, including what felt like lesson essays to the reader on particular moral issues, and one of the main storylines was wrapped up in a rush towards the end — I loved every moment of it. It was casual, engaging, and true-to-life, which was a refreshing change from some of the books I’ve been reading lately. My attention has never been so captured by such a classic a coming-of-age story.

 

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds

women.jpg

I’m not a huge fan of devotional books, but every once in a while one comes my way that I’ll read, and then, rarity among rarity, like.

This little book, more of a Bible study tool than devotional, is great if you’re needing a “pick-me-up” in your Bible study time. Wilkin takes you through the 5 P’s — purpose, perspective, patience, process, prayer — and shows you how each element can help you delve deeper into the Bible. She focuses on the actual meat of studying rather than the frills that can come with idealized devotional time, and redirects your thoughts of, “what can I glean for myself in my daily life” to rather “who is God and what can I learn about Him.”

I wouldn’t say the information is revolutionary, but it makes you take a step back and reexamine your Bible study habits/methods without feeling like you are being chastised for your current routine.

(Let me add that while this book is marketed to women, it could’ve easily been an all-inclusive book simply with a word taken out here and there. It’s not your typical book for the “busy housewife” or “working mother;” I feel the information in this study is relevant and helpful to all. [There is one chapter dedicated to women who desire to become Bible study teachers, and while a whole twenty pages was devoted to this subject, I felt even this chapter could’ve should’ve been cut from the book and developed into a different study or at least tagged onto the back for those interested rather than make it such an integral part of the book.] I didn’t buy this book for the reason of it pertaining to “women,” so I wasn’t upset, but I just wanted to give someone else the insight I didn’t have.)

 

Was January a month of reading for you, or did you fall behind as well?

SaveSaveSaveSave

2017 Reading Wrap Up

My reading goal that I set on the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2017 was 50 books.

I read 34.

I will not be disappointed, I will not be disappointed…

I have to think of it as that’s six books more than the previous year.

I won’t deny I’m upset that I didn’t reach my goal. But between sickness, migraines, and honestly reading a lot of thicker books this past year that slowed things down, I should be pleased.

I was going to set another goal of 50 books for 2018, but I’ve decided to keep things realistic, and so my goal is to read 40 books in the next twelve months. That’s another six book jump, and so I feel rather confident that I can keep on top of this goal.

I won’t go through every single book I read in 2017, but I wanted to be sure to highlight a few of my favorites.

BeFunky Collage.jpg

One of my goals for 2017 was to expand my reading horizons. For years I have gravitated solely towards fantasy, with a lot of Christian fiction in my teenage years. While I did read a substantial amount of fantasy this past year, I managed to read four auto/biographies, two contemporary fiction thrillers, a couple of educational books, a western, and a historical fiction.

 

tbr2Favorite in Non-Fiction: Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin

If you aren’t into non-fiction and view biographies as a chore to read, I’d encourage you to read this book. I used to think this way, but I gobbled up Mrs. Kennedy and Me and only wish there was more to read. This book will take you through every emotion imaginable and change your view on the first family and Secret Service agents who protect them.

 

 

 

read4.jpg

Favorite ReRead: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

While I absolutely loved rereading The Secret Garden, I can’t not choose Jane Eyre. I always liked the story, but I fell in love with the book this year…and might have become slightly obsessed (I have a bookshelf dedicated to Jane Eyre which I will showcase at some point). The character of Jane is progressive, strong, and tormented, and the story is a masterpiece.

 

 

 

 

Favorite in Fantasy: The Kingfountain Series by Jeff Wheeler

Okay…is this a surprise to anyone? This fantasy series stole my heart. I chose to listen to the first book on audiobook, thinking it would be a quick filler, enjoyable but nothing special. I instantly fell in love with the characters and Jeff Wheeler’s writing style. The first three books were my favorite of the series (of which I still have two left to read), and I would recommend this to anyone who loves YA fantasy or wishes to start reading the genre.

 

tbr

Unexpected Favorite: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman 

I avoided reading this book for a while because…I hated the cover. But my preferences tend to change drastically overnight, and one day I saw this book and thought, “Wow, that artwork is amazing. I guess I’ll pick up the book.” (I’m doing nothing to refute my shallowness here, am I…) I ended up enjoying the story, loving the main character, and greatly admiring the use of western dialect the author artfully created.  This YA western was a perfect dip for my toes into the genre. (Heads up, while this is labeled YA, there are dark themes and some adult language in this book.)

 

 

true

Worst Book: True Honor by Dee Henderson

I’m picky about Christian fiction, but Dee Henderson doesn’t usually disappoint. She usually weaves clean stories that keep me engaged, creates fun characters with great chemistry, and focuses on the story rather than writing a sermon hidden behind the label of “Christian fiction.” But this book…oh, this book was terrible. I was bored, I was angry, I was cringing. There was zero chemistry between her characters, she led readers down one path and veered sharply off at the end of the book without addressing the change, and there was absolutely nothing believable about the story.

 

 

Favorite Book of 2017: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

read14.jpg

This was a bit of a tough choice, but in the end, A Monster Calls won. A graphic novel/children’s literature/dark, intrusion fantasy, this book captured my heart and holds more than a few tear-stains between its pages. I literally sobbed after I read this book, it affected me so deeply. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t expecting it. Maybe it’s because I finished it at midnight, when emotions are at their most fragile. But I think it was because Patrick Ness knew what he was doing and wanted to shatter the emotional stability of his readers. Thanks, Ness. I will never be the same.

 

I’m curious: Did you have a reading goal for this past year? What were your favorite books of 2017? Do you have a goal set for 2018? Happy reading!

 

 

2018: A Clean Slate

You know that feeling you get when you need a change? That unsettling feeling brewing inside of you, pushing against the walls you put up, causing your head to ache. You may be able to ignore it for days, months, even years. But then the day comes when you just can’t put it off any longer, you open yourself up and admit what it is that needs to change, and a tremendous lightness hits your chest.

Why are we so afraid of change? What is it inside of us that screams at any little disturbance in our “perfect” worlds — because let’s be honest, none of our worlds are perfect. We could all do with improvement, with change, but to stand up and declare war against comfortable routine is sacrilege.

Well…I am ready to go into war.

The one time of year change is all around acceptable is New Year’s Day. Goals, resolutions, job changes, risks…they are welcomed with open arms…but not often a permanent resident.

So, how can we take our desires, whether they be hidden deep within our hearts or pinned onto the wall as a daily reminder, and nurture them for more than one month?

For me, the first step is to start with a clean slate.

You know how on old blackboards when you wipe off the chalk, there is still a white residue clinging to the slate? Even if you give it a good scrub, you have to wait a while before writing on it or else the chalk will dry and become difficult to wipe clean again.

You cannot simply say, “I’m going to begin the new year with a clean slate!” and go about your new year’s resolutions. If you want a clean slate you have to work for it and exercise patience.

It’s a bit of a process, but that shiny, bold black slate is a marvelous thing to behold.

Patience is not my forte. When I get something into my brain, I want to act on it and take very little time to consider the consequences. I had several moments like this in 2017, from starting this blog to purchasing a proofreading course online that turned out to be a bit of a scam. I had been thinking of creating a new blog for over a year, but I hadn’t done any work on the idea until the end of December 2016. I hadn’t thought much about a career in editing, but when I saw the proofreading course “on sale,” I made a last-minute decision that cost me a lot of money and a bit of embarrassment.

I have something mulling around in my mind at the moment, and I desperately want to jump the gun and get started on this “project.” But I’ve decided to do my best to give the idea a year (no promises, but good intentions). If I’m still passionate about it at the end of 2018, then I will act on it. If my desire has dwindled, I’ll know for certain if it was a passing phase.

This “clean slate” is not only for 2018. 2018 is just the starting point, the cleaning step. I want to be making decisions today, January 1, 2018, that will produce good effects on the rest of my life.

You may have noticed one change I already made — the blog looks a bit different. I didn’t hate my old blog theme, in fact, I loved it. But I knew from the moment I created it that it wasn’t “me.” I prefer a minimalist style, clean-looking, white… I’m not 100% satisfied with the new look, but it’s what I could do at the moment, and I already feel that much more confident. In a sense, I had to change the look of the blog so I could start being me again.

I gave it a year…and change was needed.

In my last post about speaking honestly and my desire to stick true to who I am and what I want to write about, I revealed I wanted to do more than just write about books I’m reading and stories I’m writing. I’ve stuck to one subject, one interest for so long that I’m at a crossroads: does “this and that” really interest me, or am I just conforming to the image others have created for/expect of me? For so long my one constant, my one automatic reply, my easy-out,  has been Books. Words. Writer. Anything revolving around those three ideas. I haven’t grown sick of them, but I am tired of being the same.

In 2017, I didn’t have a specific theme chosen for the year (though I was all about accomplishing different set goals),  but if I were to choose one word to describe my ambition for this new year, it would have to be GROWTH.

I learned a lot this past year, but I don’t feel as though it all came together until just the past couple of months. I want to continue cultivating what I’ve learned and start applying it to life.

I discovered this poem at 12:10AM and thought it put to words perfectly how I want to face this new year and many more to come:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Rumi

 

Do I Hate Blogging?

How many times have I started and abandoned this post? Three drafts still bravely stand in my draft box, collecting dust, mocking me, but I can’t bear to reopen them… and many more have been simply trashed.

Something about this post, this particular subject, has kept me from regularly blogging the past few months. I wrote so many posts for the holidays, and none of them saw the light. I’ve had my cursor hovering over “Publish,” and instead of just taking .05 seconds to click, the top of my laptop has come crashing down.

I have since forced myself to confront the question:

Do I hate blogging?

Or perhaps I should ask myself:

Do I love blogging?

The answer to both… no.

I had a plan at the beginning of this year. You early followers remember my plan — I had every month, every blog post planned and scheduled with exactness. I knew what I wanted to blog about, I needed structure, and the twelve months were going to be a breeze.

But here’s the thing:

I. hate. restriction.

I’ve never been good at writing on assigned topics. Grammar classes in school were monstrous; my mom couldn’t understand why I struggled so in English class because I loved to write, but when it came to writing assignments… the salty flood gates would open and I’d be launched into panic attacks. I despised being told what to write…I despised someone else reading my writing…

So, with my twelve-month plan, not only did I have someone (albeit, myself) telling me precisely what topics to write about, but I also had people — strangers, friends, it mattered not — reading every single word.

(Honestly, what the heck am I doing blogging?)

Okay, so I needed that structure at the beginning of 2017. I was feeling stuck. I had (have) no job, very little structure in my personal life, and I wanted something to give me a purpose. For a few months, this blog served that purpose. But like every creative, I began falling into ruts. I was crashing into paranoia, depression, just little bouts at first, where I wouldn’t blog for a couple weeks, then I’d bounce back. But within the past five months, I’ve published eight blog posts and have written twenty-one others.

What stirred passion in me at the beginning of 2017 wasn’t stirring anything towards the end of the year. I wanted to branch out, write about other things, but I felt as though I had chained myself to a narrow spectrum and to step outside the lines would be a betrayal to those following who thought they followed a blog strictly on writing and books. So, I stayed silent, and at the same time dried up my inspiration well.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m still passionate about writing, about reading. But there are other things, big things I’m passionate about that are instrumental in my life, such as mental health, and it was hurting not being able to write freely about them. I didn’t want to cast aside my beloved rantings about books and writing, but not to have the option to expand my horizons?

Boring.

Finally, I realized something. This is MY blog. Yes, I hope others see it and read it and love it. I love the community of bloggers and getting to know others who love to write. But, no matter how much you write for others, when you write a blog, I believe you are first and foremost writing for yourself. Who cares if others read it and don’t like it? They can move on to something else. It won’t kill me to lose followers. I’ll just gain others.

After all, if you’re gutsy enough to have a public blog, you might as well blog.

So, I want to make changes to my blog. My favorite bloggers are those who speak from the heart on a wide range of subjects. Those blogs that read like a conversation, as though the blogger were sitting right next to you but thinking out loud, are my favorite. My friend, Meg (whom, by the way, I met through Tumblr blogging), is the author of such a blog. I am moved every time I read one of her posts, whether it’s about a new travel adventure, mental health, or a monthly favorites, because I can tell through her words that she puts her heart into every post and speaks with nothing but honesty.

This is what I want to do. I want to get away from the subjects I don’t care about. I don’t want to have to force myself to type out words; I want my finger to fly with each letter, my mind to go feverish until the post is done.

Whether it’s a post about books, writing, or mental health,

Or something unexpected

Such as a post like this

Where I finally admit I hate blogging

But am willing to make changes to make it work.

December TBR

I’m about sixteen books behind in my Goodreads Challenge of 50 books… there is no way I’ll make my goal this month, nor do I wish to stress myself out. So, I’m taking each book one day at a time and reading for pleasure.

However, as we are transitioning from fall into winter and the days become shorter, I do find it easier to cut off from the world and burrow down in bed with a book, so perhaps I’ll surprise myself.

I have picked out sixteen books I currently own (as, you know, it’s Christmas, not time to be buying myself any books!) that I want to read most:

 

december

The Light Between Oceans

I’ve had to edit this already as when I began the blog post I was halfway through this book and now I’ve just finished. I’ll give a more detailed review later on in the month.

 

 

 

 

 

ant4

Retribution Rails

I’m looking forward to reading the second installment in the Vengeance Road series by Erin Bowman. Nothing like a little YA western in the midst of cold winter nights.

 

 

 

 

 

december1.jpgThe Complete Chronicles of Narnia 

I nearly forgot I set the goal months ago to read the entire Narnia series in December, so I’d best get crackin’. I haven’t read through all seven books in years…and years… and Christmastime opens oneself to nostalgic feelings that are perfect for reopening the most beloved books. (Not gonna lie, there’s a hint of a tear in my eye right now.)

 

(There are seven books in all)

 

 

december2

Joyland 

After reading Stephen King: On Writing, I’ve been anticipating reading one of his fiction works. I picked up Joyland a while back at a library sale and it has been not-so-patiently waiting on my shelves for me to pick it up.

 

 

 

 

 

bookthief

The Book Thief

Another book that has been on my to-read list for far too long. Everyone raves about this book; I saw the movie first (I know, for shame) and enjoyed it, but it zapped some of my desire to get to the book. I really hope this makes it onto my list before the end of the year.

 

 

 

 

december3.jpgLittle Women

I grew up watching the 1994 adaptation of Little Women and read the book when I was younger. The character of Jo March was one of my first exposures, perhaps the first, to a writer portrayed in literary fiction and on-screen. I only recently discovered the book I read as a child was an abridged version, so I got my hands on an unabridged edition and cannot wait to curl up with some tea on a stormy night and read this.

 

 

 

 

december4 Charlotte Bronte: A Writer’s Life

I’ve been itching to reread Jane Eyre again, but as I read it just this past January, for the sake of my Goodreads challenge, I’m refraining. Despite loving Jane Eyre, I know very little about Bronte and hope this biography I picked up will shed some light on the woman who wrote my favorite book.

 

 

 

 

december5

The Elements of Style

One of the other goals that crashed and burned this year was to read a “writing” book every month. Turns out, I read through writing technique books very slowly. I know I’ll never get through all of these books this month, but I hope to at least get started. The Elements of Style is a popular little book that I haven’t heard one writer speak against and is often cited as the one writing and grammar book you should own.

 

 

 

december6 The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop

I started this book earlier in the year but somewhere along the way set it aside and honestly forgot all about it. As I have a head start, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can complete it this month.

 

 

 

 

december7

Crafting Novels & Short Stories

In going through my writing books, I was trying to decide which to choose that best fit where I am in my own writing at the moment. I’m once again in the throes of an intense planning stage, and this book goes through every stage: characters, plot, point of view, dialogue, description, revision, etc., so I though it best fitting to read in order to help prepare my stories for their best possible self.

 

 

 

 

What are you reading in December?

Fall Reading Wrap Up

Yes, I LIVE.

I had grand fall reading plans, and I fell flat on my face.

I read a whopping total of…five books this fall, one of them being a novella. *slow clap* Please, winter, be a good incentive for curling up under blankets with hot tea and a good book…or sixteen.

Kate & Jesse by Erin Bowman

kate

Author Erin Bowman brought out a novella to bridge her YA western Vengeance Road and newest release, Retribution Rails, a sequel set twenty years after the first installment. I received this novella as part of a promotion for the new book, and while I have yet to dip into RR, this novella reminded me how much I enjoy Bowman’s writing.

 

Bird by Bird by Ann Lamott

bird

My first audiobook of fall reading, I read this as part of the Writerly Reads book club I joined a few months ago. Bird by Bird is an autobiography/instructional book written by author Anne Lamott and is highly praised and well-known in writer circles. I’ve known about it for years but had never gotten around to reading it, so when it was chosen as the October read for the book club I couldn’t be more excited.

I was incredibly disappointed. Not a bit of this book was engaging and I took nothing away from it. I admire her resilience as a person and single mother, and her humor tickled my funny bone at times, but nothing in this book wowed me or inspired me to add it to my personal shelves. Perhaps if I gave it another try reading a physical copy rather than listening to an audiobook I might glean more, but I’m going to have to take a break before I can pick this one back up…

 

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walkeremma.jpg

 

Another book that left me feeling disillusioned. I received this book through the Book of the Month program, and chose it solely for two reasons: I loved the cover and the judge that chose the book is an actress I really like. I had also heard good things about it in the BookTube community, and so when it arrived in the mail I immediately settled down, ready for a dark, twisted, creepy suspense thriller.

Nope.

Don’t get me wrong. This book was good, I enjoyed it, and when I shut the book on the last page and turned to go to bed, a rather uneasy, creeped out feeling washed over me (granted, this book takes place not far from where I live). This is a psychological thriller, but don’t let the word thriller push your mind into expecting a high-octane, blood-pumping, no-rest suspenseful action story. This story was slow-moving.

 

 

The Silent Shield, Book Five of The Kingfountain series by Jeff Wheeler

kingfountain

My second audiobook and the fifth book in The Kingfountain Series I’ve been enjoying so much this year. But oh, Jeff Wheeler, this is the first book in the series that’s actually truly disappointed me. I never felt invested and honestly began to tire of the characters in this book, and the storyline lagged one too many times. Hopefully the next book brings redemption.

 

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.02.56 PM

First person present contemporary psychological thrillers…not a genre I usually gravitate towards, yet there are two in this list. Bonfire is written by debut author Krysten Ritter (ironically, the same judge who picked out Emma in the Night), though Ritter is not new to the genre. She is an actor well-accustomed to dark characters, most recently playing in Marvel’s Jessica Jones as the lead character tormented by the past.

Unfortunately, it appears Ritter is still deep in character.

When I began reading Bonfire, I felt like I was reading a Jessica Jones script. The style, the voice of the character, the character itself mirrored the popular TV show rather obviously. This immediately put up a red flag in my mind that kept waving for more than half of the book until I was finally able to separate the two stories and start enjoying the book for what it was. Bonfire took quite a while to grab my interest, not tugging at my emotions until the very tip of the end, which was a little rushed to the point I closed the book feeling a little cheated.

I think Ritter certainly has a gift for writing, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read more from her should she decide to keep writing novels. I’d like to see a little more originality in the future and really see what she can do with a story.

 

 

12 Most Anticipated Fall 2017 Book Releases

Anyone else find they read more in the fall? The invigorating air that also bids you snuggle up with blankets and hot apple cider, the dreamy, eerie moonlight shining upon spindly trees, the swirl of brilliant colors that send you into a reverie of pumpkins and bliss. Okay, enough daydreaming. Here are 12 fall book releases you should check out (granted, some of these have already been released, but they are worth a mention in case you’re not up to date).

 

The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente, Rebecca Green (Illustrator) 

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 2.28.44 PM.png

While this was published over a month ago on September 5th, I had to mention it as I had not heard of it before and so perhaps it is new to you as well. This middle grade novel thrusts famous Victorian authors Charlotte and Emily Brontë into a fantasy world they created call the Glass Town, but this wonderland is not all it seems. The two sisters will have to battle their own creations if they want to get back to England. I’m not usually one to pick up middle grade novels anymore, but I will be getting my hands on this.

 

The Illustrated Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator)

ant1

Scholastic, Inc. has been publishing gorgeous illustrated editions of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The third book of the series, and a fan favorite, is the most recent to be published having been released on October 3rd.

 

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan 

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.00.33 PM

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan has come out with a new novel centered around the Great Depression into World War II  and Brooklyn Navy Yard’s first female diver, who is on a mission to discover what she can about her father’s disappearance years ago. Egan promises a noir thriller and a female’s perspective on the political climate in the 1940s.

 

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 2.48.00 PM.png

Author of the popular fantasy series The Raven Cycle, Maggie Stiefvater has brought out a new stand-alone fantasy novel about a family who have the powers to perform miracles. But the cost of miracles is never what one suspects. This book released on October 10. (Also, anyone else obsessed with this cover?)

 

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) 

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 2.21.52 PM.png

This children’s book may seem a little sadistic…but seeing as your common fairy tales deal with grandmothers who eat their grandchildren, step-sisters who cut off their toes to fit their feet into a glass shoe, and a stepmother who hires a hunter to bring her the heart, liver, and lungs of her stepchild, you might find you have a more open mind to this story. When a mouse is swallowed by a wolf, he finds his life is not over; in fact, due to the wolf’s greedy, extravagant tastes, he is surrounded by luxury in the form of fine food, records, dancing, and another victim of the wolf’s appetite — a duck. Life in the wolf’s stomach seems pretty good until a hunter comes along. This book was released on October 10th.

 

UnCommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

ant2

Tom Hanks. Yes, you read that correctly. Tom Hanks. Woody. Joe Fox (F-o-x). He’s bringing out a book of short stories and I knew nothing about it. Tom Hanks is my favorite actor, but I didn’t know he also had a deep love for typewriters and collected them, and apparently each story in this book revolves around a typewriter. I am SO ready for October 17th.

 

A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney 

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.01.46 PM

This is the kind of book that sends my heart into overdrive. Midorikawa and Sweeney, real-life friends, explore the friendships that shaped some of the world’s greatest female authors, including Austen, Brontë, Eliot, Woolf, and more using letters and diaries never  before published. This book is due to be released on October 17th.

 

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 2.40.16 PM.png

A YA twist on A Christmas Carol sees Holly Chase visited by three Christmas ghosts — but rather than mend her ways, she ignores the warnings. Then she dies and finds herself a new job as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and she’s pretty miserable. But this year’s Scrooge may change everything. This book is set to release on October 24th, leaving plenty of time to grab a copy before the holidays!

 

Almost Midnight: Two Festive Short Stories by Rainbow Rowell

ant3

The perfect gift for a teenager or any fan of young adult, popular YA novelist Rainbow Rowell has collected two of her previously published short stories and combined them into this festive black and white illustrated collection. This book is available for pre-order on Book Depository, and apparently the first printing will feature a sparkly cover. Let the countdown to New Year’s (or rather, October 31st) begin!

 

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.02.56 PM

You may know Krysten Ritter from TV series such as Breaking Bad or Marvel’s Jessica Jones. She is a highly talented actress, musician, dog lover, and apparently a fan of dark, twisted thrillers. From the lucky few who have been given an advanced copy of Ritter’s debut novel, I’ve seen nothing but high praise for this psychological thriller about outrunning your past.  Bonfire releases November 7th.

 

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

ant4

Retribution Rails is the second installment in Bowman’s Vengeance Road series. I read the first book earlier this year and loved the author’s well-crafted use of backwoods Western dialect and plucky characters. Retribution Rails is set several years after the events of the first book take place, but thankfully the book is just set to release on November 7th.

 

Artemis by Andy Weir 

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.59.11 PM.png

Everyone has heard of The Martian starring Matt Damon that released in theaters two years ago. Hopefully you also knew this was a book, and Andy Weir is at it again with the space survival story — but not in the way you’re thinking. Set in the first city established on the moon, a criminal plans a heist that launches her into an even bigger conspiracy, and now she will have to play the game to ensure her survival. Artemis releases November 14th.

 

Will you be snatching up any of these titles?