#BBAW Day 3: Great Books Recommended by Great Bloggers

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Today’s questions is: What have you read and loved because of a fellow blogger? And the truth is, between my blog feed, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads, my TBR pile has increased exponentially since I started blogging myself in June. Here are just a few of my favorite reads and the bloggers who recommended them:

Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson (my review here)

This book was recommended to (and given to) me by Monika at The Lovely Bookshelf. Shortly after she helped me setup on my blog, she invited me to a book swap, and told me how much she liked this one. And did I, too. This is one of those books where the beautiful writing outshined the storyline; the authors use of words was simply delicious, that’s the best way I can describe it.

Dietland by Sarai Walker

I saw several people reading and reviewing this right around the time I started blogging. I knew that April at The Steadfast Reader thought very highly of it, and that it was being discussed by the lovely ladies at The Socratic Salon, all of whose opinions I greatly value. At the time I didn’t know how to navigate NetGally or Edelweiss, so I placed it on my TBR and kind of forgot about it. In December I found it at my local library, and decided to check it out, and it really hit the spot. I loved the main character, strongly related to her struggles, and I think about her often when I want to disparage my own appearance.

The Library At Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

This is another one that several fellow bloggers read, but I associate this book with Andi at Estella’s Revenge. I loved it; is a perfect mix of horror and supernatural and interpersonal struggles and it just hit all the right buttons for me. It also contains one of my favorite books quotes:

“‘Oh,’ she considered this. ‘Are you a Buddhist?’

‘No, I’m an asshole. But I keep trying.'”

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

No one really recommended this book to me. My IRL spirit nerd, Allysia, told me about the television show and that it was based on a book. I found out this series was available on my local library’s audiobook app, and decided to look it up on Goodreads. Once again, it was Andi who sold me with her short review. It only contained two sentences, the first of which was: “I’m sad that I can never read this book for the first time again.” I think that’s one of the best things that you can say about a book. And, not surprisingly, it was great.

I could really go on and on. For the most part, the books I’ve been reading since launching this blog have been good, if not great, and I have yet to be led astray by a fellow blogger. For that, I say


Books That Made Me Buzz in 2015: A Year End Review

I can’t say I’m disappointed to be viewing 2015 in the rearview (SN: this post is late because our washing machine flooded the garage on NYE – one last “screw you” from the year….), but I will say that I had the best reading year I’ve had in a long time. I managed to read/listen to 41 books this year, which isn’t too bad considering I didn’t really start reading until May.

This year I was introduced to NetGalley and Edelweiss, and numerous book bloggers who have made me fall in love with my Twitter feed all over again and who inspire me to read books that I would once have thought were too long to try or that I wasn’t smart enough to understand. My fellow bloggers also led me back to my local library, and I’ve been darkening the local branch’s door on a weekly basis for the last few months. I’ve marked some books off my TBR, and added many more, and I am excited to be in the thick of things during Tournament of Books, embark on reading challenges, and make time everyday to read in 2016.

I’d also like to give shout-outs to my dear friends, April (The Steadfast Reader) and Monika (Lovely Bookshelf). They were the force behind starting this blog, and have been my fairy blog-mothers behind the scenes when I had issues with Blue Host or plugin difficulties. These are two fantastic women who impress be both with their copious reading as well as their remarkable daily lives. Thanks again, y’all, for tag teaming me that night in June. Much love to you both! <3

In celebration of a good year in books, I’d like to share some of my favorite reads from 2015.

Dietland – Sarai Walker

I just read this book a few weeks ago, and I’ve thought about it just about every day since I finished it. I found Plum’s journey to self love and empowerment intoxicating, and, as someone who shares her lifelong struggle with weight, I found a lot of myself in those pages.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

This book has been on my bookshelf for years. Like since I was a blushing bachlorette. Shameful. The Handmaid’s Tale is another book that has really stuck with me. I found it was terrifying, and so close to reality that it made me nervous. It’s amazing how this book is 30 years old yet extremely relevant, having heard words uttered in debates that would be better suited for the Republic of Gilead than America in 2015. That’s some scary shit, bro… Nevertheless, if you haven’t read it yet, do it. Now.

The Martian – Andy Weir (my thoughts here)

I knew I’d love this book from the first sentence: “I’m pretty much fucked.” Mark Whatney was witty and brilliant, the story was incredibly entertaining, and never failed to capture my attention.

Of Things Gone Stray – Janina Matthewson (my review)

I got this book from a book swap (thanks Monika). The characters were interestingly interwoven into a strange and fascinating story about losing things, but what I loved about this book was the writing. It was beautiful and delicious and drank in the words like honey.

Harry Potter series (audio) – JK Rowling (author); Stephen Frey (narrator)

I was first introduced to Harry Potter in 2001. At the time, the first four books were already published. I ate them like food and was an instant fan. I even got to cosplay for the Order of the Phoenix release in 2003.

Me as Molly Weasley (left) with Moaning Myrtle.

The rest of the series I read when it first came out, but never managed to reread (despite it being a favorite). I started the audiobooks in September. It was intended to be exlusively driving entertainment, but then I started listening at the gym, during chores, and eventually each night as a fell asleep. Stephen Frey narrated these books with perfection. Not only did his glorious accent add an extra-special layer of Britishness to the story, his vocal characterizations were spot on.

So there it is. Bring it one, 2016! And Happy New Years, readers!!!