Hello, hello Internet World!
I have severly neglected this blog which is a crime because when I don’t do it I forget how much I love to write about books. It is, at times, difficult to convey the true levels of passion that one feels through the written word, BUT, like my foremothers before me I shall do simply that.
So what has changed since my last post 8 months ago?
Well, I graduated from Simmons College with a Masters degree in library science! Sometimes dreams do come true, but only with a lot of hardwork and determination–and a willingness to get into a bit of student loan debt, but that’s another story for another blog. In July, I started a position as a Children’s librarian in Lexington, MA WHICH if you know me is quite the surprise. I was confident that after leaving New England I would never return, but this job is such a dream. I couldn’t pass it up, and I am thankful to work in a place that encourages me to grow.
But you came here for information on great books, and I’m rambling about life! I’ve been keeping a journal filled with quotes and random thoughts on all of the books I am currently reading. It’s cathartic and where I tend to focus all of my attention these days in the realm of bookish writing. Okay! Without further ado, I will reward your patience with a list of some of my favorite reads in 2017! You can check out my “full” list of 2017 reads on my Goodreads page!
Favorite reads of 2017
Who didn’t love this book last year? Man, realistic fiction is generally not my favorite, but Angie’s story was timely and SO well told. I was hooked from the first chapter, and my heart raced until the ending. Please do yourself a favor and pick up if you have not already!
“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”
Oh, Lazlo Strange, how I adore thee! The story of a young librarian literally shaped by books. I cannot describe this book in a way that doesn’t give away a bit of the plot, but it was simply goregous. One of the most beautiful I have ever encountered. I started this as an audiobook, and after two chapters insisted on stopping at the first bookstore we encountered. I ran inside, grabbed the book, and whilst clutching it possesively to my chest proceeded to tell the bookseller at the register how much I adored it. She promised me she’d grab a copy herself, and I spent the rest of the evening locked in my room reading, and I intend to read it again this month with my book club.
That’s the best recommendation I can give you.
“You’re a storyteller. Dream up something wild and improbable,” she pleaded. “Something beautiful and full of monsters.”
“Beautiful and full of monsters?”
“All the best stories are.”
Well…this book left me crying on the T so there’s that.
Beautiful story, excellent adventure, and the cover art is just stunning. Book 2 in this duology was sweet, but not as enthralling as this one!
“It was easy to be good and kind in times of plenty. The trying times were the moments that defined a man.
And love? Love was something that did much to change a person. It brought joy as it brought suffering, and in turn brought about those moments that defined one’s character. Love gave life to the lifeless. It was the greatest of all living powers.
But, as with all things, love had a dark side to it.”
I finished this book in August, and I still find myself thinking about it. A world where death has…well, died, and the only way to keep the population under control is to have a class of people called scythes that are responsible for weeding the population. Dark, fascinating, and wholly original. The sequel came out earlier this month, and I am eagerly awaiting my copy!
“Human nature is both predictable and mysterious; prone to great and sudden advances, yet still mired in despicable self-interest.”
Based on the invention of the first typewriter and yet it reads like a modern fairy-tale. This book left me with a deep longing to know more. It was hard for me to say what I wanted to happen because no outcome seemed particularly good, but it did beautiful things for my imagination and my heart. I’m intrigued to know the true story–even though I know I never will because all that we have to go on are the things that were later fantasized about in this book.
“His small compliments and offhand remarks formed a new scripture, and in breathless conversations and lonely, dream-drunk nights they built whole theologies from them.”
Darkly gorgeous. If these stories are any indication of what the rest of the Grisha Verse is like then I know that I am in for a treat. Bardugo weaves words in the most spellbinding of ways. Each story makes you question the nature of story as well as the world around you.
Recommended for anyone because who doesn’t need folklore to remind us of why we live?
“You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that hollow place can never be filled – not with all the good food or sunshine in the world. That emptiness cannot be banished, and so some days we wake with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it as the boy did.”
Cora’s husband dies, and she heads off from society in London to live in Essex only to learn about some mythical serpent that’s terrorizing the lands. Fascinated by natural history, Cora, of course, goes off to investigate. Along the way she meets and forms a friendship with Will, a young priest who has no time for the sacrilegious stories of country folk. You don’t read this story just for the plot. You read it because Cora is the heroine my heart unknowingly yearned for!
“The point is not what I see, but what I feel; I cannot see the ether, yet I feel it enter and depart, and depend upon it. I feel that something is coming; sooner or later, my words be marked. It has been before, as well you know, and it will come again, if not in my lifetime in yours, or in your children’s, or in your children’s children’s, and so I will gird my loins up, Parson, and if I might make bold a moment, I would recommend that you do similar.”
If you adored The Bear and the Nightingale (which I did! It was my favorite book of 2016!), this sequel will leave you swooning. Vasya is back with a vengeance. Arden sweeps you immediately into this world, and leaves you not wanting–yearning for more! I won’t say more on the off chance that you haven’t read The Bear and the Nightingale . Just read it, and please gush about this series with me!
“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”
We got this book in my library, and before we’d finished processing it to share with the public we passed it around to EVERYONE else. We all just gushed, and swooned and sighed. Focusing on the simple beauties that make life truly worth living, this book filled me with such joy. I wanted to lose myself entirely in this world forever.
Katie O’Neill, please grant us the gift of reading more about The Tea Dragon Society. My heart needed this moment, and I’m sure I am not alone.
This book is simply sweet. That’s all there is to it. In a world filled with chaos and dischord, I need a book just like this to help me escape.
“I thought about how many elements it took to create the simplest of things – a pink sky an unusually perfect day, a happy family, a deep friendship, a moment of pure delight. I wondered, too, what it took to undo these things. It seemed to me that undoing something was far easier than creating it.”
- Honorable Mention: The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
If you just want your heart to be lightened by a feel good read. This is it. Your protagonist, Nina, has a gift for finding the perfect books for her readers, but when her library gets a tech update there’s little room for Nina. Trying to find her purpose, she buys an old van and drives out into the Scottish countryside–selling books from her bookmobile. It’s lighthearted, and the sort of story many of us just yearn for!
“Some people buried their fears in food, she knew, and some in booze, and some in planning elaborate engagements and weddings and other life events that took up every spare moment of their time, in case unpleasant thoughts intruded. But for Nina, whenever reality, or the grimmer side of reality, threatened to invade, she always turned to a book. Books had been her solace when she was sad; her friends when she was lonely. They had mended her heart when it was broken, and encouraged her to hope when she was down.”
My heart summed up in a quote.
Until next time!