Today is the last day of the school year, so for me, summer has officially started! I’ll admit, I’ve yet to go to the library and pick up a massive check-out stack, which is probably for the best, considering I’ve still got 17 books on my nightstand that I have to read. But a hefty TBR pile won’t stop me from having some fun getting through all of those books (or maybe sneaking in one or two more new ones from the store…) Playing Book Bingo last summer with Kards Unlimited was such a great way to track my summer reading, and a challenge to branch out and read books I may not normally read. This year, though, I figured, “Why not create a Book Bingo” of my own? Voila! Download the bingo card above, print it out, and play along! The rules are similar to pretty standard bingo: fill all of the spaces in a row, either up, down, across, or diagonally to win! Four corners is also fair game. When you get a bingo, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@noveltea.books) with what books you read. For each bingo you tally you’ll be entered to win a little book-themed prize bundle that includes a $20 credit to Book Depository, a POP Funko figure, and more! I know, I know, you want to see the goods. That’s the exciting part. It’s a mystery (not really. Things are just still in the mail/in the works). I’ll update you with a photo soon. So whether you’re looking for a fun way to tackle your unmanageable TBR pile or want an excuse to stop at the bookstore, join in on the Summer Reading Bingo fun!
What did I do to make the book gods smile upon me this month? I don’t think I’ve gone a full month basically loving all of the books that I’ve picked up in a very long time. February was a great month for reading, in that regard! Not only did I enjoy every book that I picked up, I managed to pick up a lot! Chalk that up to a weekend of plane travel (I’m guaranteed to read at least one book in its entirety every time I set foot in an airport), in my opinion. On with the mini reviews! (Which are Amazon affiliate links – help a girl out!) Read Sailor Moon vol. 3 and vol. 4 by Naoko Takeuchi – For some reason I’ve been on a kick with reading the rereleased manga these days. I might’ve accidentally bought two copies earlier this year, but now that I’ve got that all sorted out, I can enjoy the series. Spoiler alert: it’s still good. Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger – I’m a big fan of Gail Carriger and read the first in the series, Etiquette and Espionage, a few months back. This series isn’t my favorite, but I feel like book #2 really delivered. It’s like a fun, hour-long jaunt through a steampunk, supernatural girls’ school with lots of snark and pastries. Always a yes in my book. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – I blew through the February NovelTea Book Club pick and was pleasantly surprised. It gets a little spiritual at times, but overall is one of the best creative non-fiction I’ve read in a long time. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari – Sometimes it’s hard to separate the character from the stand-up comedian from the real person, so I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with Ansari’s book. I was delighted to find myself with an immensely funny yet academic take on dating in today’s world, mainly because I, like everyone else, wanted to know what the standard rule is for how long to wait in between sending text messages. Started Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – IT CAME IN THE MAIL! YESSSSS! Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – eBooks I’ve downloaded tend to be the first books I forget about. Luckily, being on a plane seems to be a prime time for rediscovering those books you bought for $2.99 months ago. I’ve been meaning to read this and was feeling some fantasy after all of that non-fiction Caretaker by Josi Russel – I was asked to review the second in this sci-fi YA series but felt weird not having read the first. It sounded like an interesting concept, involving space travel, stasis, and alien lingustics, so I figured what the heck. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – I bought this on Black Friday for $5 and used it to help me hammer together my bookshelf. I figure it’s about time I read it. I think it’s been a good hiatus from YA post-apocalyptic novels, so I’m willing to jump in again. Still Reading Vengeance Road and The Familiar vol. 1 are still sitting on my shelf. Oops. I’ll get there, but not this month. Overall, not a bad month. All of this cold weather gives me an excuse to stay in and read! My top Recommendation for This Month UK Casinos has always been a very attractive place for me. They represent a world of fun and entertainment, valuable rewards, casino bonus and taking a chance. Gambling books are trendy among slots games enthusiast, offering them exciting viewpoints and tips, and also some incredible stories that happened to the luckiest ones. I have been reading this genre a while back after I returned from an enjoyable weekend in Atlantic City, so I present you my personal favorites in this category Ballad of a Soldier by Prabhu Chayka – A paperback book about a 26-years-old boy serving in British Army as a soldier, won a staggering 16 Million USD on Mega Moolah while playing off at 25 dollars stake back in October 2015. He could not believe it when he saw the numbers on the screen. He then spent his real money on his dad medical treatment. Very emotional book. Life as it is by Kira Spurling. This e-book is about punter from Finland who won 18,6 Million USD while playing Mega Fortune on PAF Casino back in January 2013. He started playing with a $7 no deposit bonus and was playing on 14 dollar stake when he won the jackpot. It was the highest amount that someone has ever won on the slots games. This was fun to read. Leap of Faith by Mira Younge. This one is on the top of my list, and it is about a female player who played Mega Moolah on 7 dollar stake and won a whopping 22 Million dollars jackpot. She took the money and hid it in the basement of his house and then something incredible happened, but I will not reveal any spoilers, cause you should read it. Its a great story about women casino players and the online casinos that cater to women.
The Booktube community, like most communities online, is a wonderfully magical place for people of a common interest to unite and chatter excitedly about the things that they love, to create and make and share. But just like any online community, just like any anything, for that matter, there comes with that idyllic outlet a sense of guilt and comparison. I’m not huge in the Booktube community, and frankly, am too busy with my own life, blog, and business to spend the amount of time required to try to “make it big”. Those community “celebrities”, or bloggers and vloggers who have made a name for themselves in this niche? Awesome! I’m glad for them! Even though that’s not where I’m at and I recognize the need to do what’s best for me, there’s still a silly little nagging comparison that crept out of the woodwork when even I didn’t expect it: book buying guilt. Shiny new, hardcover pre-orders. Perfectly maintained, yet overflowing bookshelves. Multiple copies of books. All my life I’ve enjoyed my local library for the access it’s given me to books — old, new, obscure, popular. It was a community resource that meant that I never had to be without a book I wanted. I’m not going to get into the value of libraries as community resources in general today, but it’s worth noting that libraries do a heck of a lot. But for some reason, when I started filming Booktube videos and reviews, the little call number sticker on the spine of my book started bothering me. No one else’s videos had library stickers on them. It’s not like I couldn’t afford buying the books, or didn’t have the space. Every time I read a book, it became a race to film the review before I had to return the books. Excuses, excuses. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was dropping ridiculous amounts of money on new books at the bookstore. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local stores — it didn’t matter where. About a solid year later: I haven’t noticed a difference. My channel isn’t more popular because I own a copy of a book versus borrowed it. I haven’t magically been able to read more books or be a more awesome person. I just own more books. What do I really get out of owning more books? Sure, I love my bookshelves. I like collecting books. But having a physical copy of a book I end up not even liking doesn’t mean a thing. And like it or not, one day I will run out of space. And you know what? The more I think about it, the more I realize I miss my library. With the library, I don’t have to commit to buying books I’m not sure if I’ll like. I don’t have to clear room on my bookshelf. I don’t have to spend money unnecessarily. I can check out mostly anything on the planet. I have some added motivation to finish books. The book isn’t “better” because I own it. That’s not to say I won’t ever buy a book again, it just means I’m becoming more mindful and selective of what I buy. The next book in a series I already know I enjoy? A special collector’s edition or signed copy of a favorite? A book that the local libraries don’t carry? I’m not saying buying books is bad. Don’t get me wrong — I love the Booktube community, and what people decide to spend their money on is their business. I know I’ve had feelings of guilt, however, through my time participating, just because comparison is a thing that we humans do. I know I’m not alone in feeling this “buyer’s guilt”. But feeling as if you can’t participate in a community or aren’t good enough because you don’t have the means to/want to/alien abductors won’t let you buy a book versus check it out from the library shouldn’t cripple your desire to want to participate in a community. Guilt shouldn’t dictate what you do.
The Blog Tour Book clubs can get pretty involved. Which is why, obviously, I host one. As far as book clubs go, however, the NovelTea Book Club is pretty low key. While it may be impossible to read every book on every member’s list, the least we could do was kick off a new year of reading by declaring January’s selection a “free space” — your choice of book, to help you work towards your reading goals and spark a genuine and motivating desire to read what you love. The bonus in all of this is that members get a myriad of book reviews and recommendations from a smattering of genres! We’d be remiss to not share our thoughts on the books we each picked this month, and what better way to do that than a mini-blog tour. Peruse the list below this post to see what other NovelTea members read this month and add to your (surely growing!) list of books to read in 2016. My Recommendation: The Diviners I fell in love with Libba Bray when I read the Gemma Doyle Trilogy years ago. For some reason, I hadn’t picked up a Bray book since then, but knew I had to give The Diviners (affiliate link) a read when I saw the cover alone. This is one time that eye candy did not disappoint. Bored with YA lately, The Diviners provided a much needed break from rushed-feeling young adult clichés and brought together the paranormal, mystery, history, and compelling characters. It’s a daunting 500-odd pages, but with my little tolerance lately, it’s safe to say this didn’t disappoint. Evie O’Neill’s mysterious gifts are called upon when a serial killer starts making his rounds in New York City. Her story is just the tip of the iceberg, as more stories linked with the occult emerge. Against the backdrop of the 1920s, there’s just as much spirit to be found as trouble, and Evie is a master of both. I’m not going to spend too much time on my review today. All you need to know is this: The Diviners is awesome. It’s the questions, rather, that I think are the best part about the NovelTea Book Club. Here’s a sampling of what we discussed this month, and my thoughts on how The Diviners plays a role in all of this. How does this book fit in with your book goals for the new year? I upped my overall book count, actually, though I’m not ready to make the brave jump to 100 books quite yet. The Diviners is one that’s been sitting on my shelf for quite a while. I finally started it around the holidays but a combination of being spooky enough to not want to read at bedtime and the craziness of the holidays made me not get through this novel as quickly as I had hoped to. I finished it first this year, making it a point to cross off this book that had been eating up (in a good way!) so much of my time. Is this book out of your comfort zone? Not particularly. When I read young adult literature, it’s usually of the fantasy genre. I’ve been feeling disenchanted with YA books lately, though, so this was a nice breather from the clichés of the genre, as well as a return back to an author that I consistently love. What character speaks to you the most? What do you look for in a “good” character? The Diviners has so many great characters whose stories all intertwine; it’s hard to pick a favorite! Evie’s character I think really epitomizes the 1920s and the conflict of old and new that happens around the time of any ideological/physical change. It would be easy to focus on Evie though, as she’s the “protagonist”. The supporting characters may not have as central a storyline, but they’re fleshed out with enough emotion and personality that their interactions with one another feel entirely real. The Link Up Don’t stop here! There are plenty of other books reviewed on this tour. And make sure to add your link to the list below! Our members flock to books like cats to boxes!
“I want to read more this year.” How many times have we made that a goal, but watched instead as it got swallowed up by holidays, work, and the busyness of day-to-day life? Not everyone inherently loves reading and even those that do sometimes struggle to find the time. If you keep looking for the time, however, you won’t find it; unless you make the time to read, a book won’t magically appear in your hands, your eyes soaking up the ink printed on each page. I’m no psychologist, but changing your attitude towards reading and carving out the time to sit down with a book is something that can be done. Just like you can create habits of healthy eating and exercise, you can also create a habit of reading. A reading ritual, if you will. Because let’s face it: if you don’t enjoy doing something, you’re not going to want to do it at all. Here are my tips for creating a reading ritual that makes you want to pick up a book and read! Make time for reading. Reading time will never magically present itself to you; you have to seek it out. You don’t need to set aside an astronomically large portion of time to read, especially right off the bat, but choose a time and place to read and stick with it. Set aside 10 minutes before bed or with your morning coffee to shut everything else off and spend some quality time with a book. Associate it with something you enjoy. If you’re not someone who naturally enjoys reading, link it to something that you do love. Give yourself a small square of chocolate when you sit down to read a book. Light a candle with a particularly pleasant smell. Make that thing The Reading Thing. No book, no nice-smelling candle. No extra chocolate piece. Personally, I love hot beverages, so sitting down with a cup of hot tea or coffee and a book is something I look forward to. (I’d argue that making reading enjoyable and making reading special are two different things. Think about elementary school reading time: the kids all know where to go, what to do. There’s an air of magic that’s exciting, that gets them eager to read. The lights are out. Some lanterns or candles are lit. They get to sit on the floor!) Pick a book you like. It doesn’t do you any good if you’re dreading the book you’re reading. Don’t be afraid to swap out a book you’re not feeling for a different one. Maybe the put-down is temporary (I’m all for reading what I’m in the mood for that particular day!) or maybe it’s permanent. Whatever it is, if it’s not a book you want to read, you won’t want to read. Pretty simple, no? How do you keep yourself accountable to your books and make reading a little more enjoyable? *Again, I’m no psychologist or the like. I’m fairly confident, however, that opening up a book in a comfortable chair won’t cause you any negative ailments.
If you had asked me back in January of 2015 if I ever thought I’d be on YouTube, I probably would’ve laughed in your face. No offense meant, but I’ve never considered myself comfortable on camera or even with the physical act of recording and editing video. Yet somehow, here I am a year later with a YouTube channel of my own. Armed with a love of books and an inexplicable surge of courage, I dove in headfirst, not having the slightest idea of what I was in for. Vlogging and YouTube channels are certainly taking off in every corner of the blogging world these days, but knowing how to start can send any new vlogger’s head spinning. Do you have to memorize everything and record it in one go? Are you going to need fancy sound and lighting equipment? And don’t even get started on cameras… Luckily, getting started with YouTube is ridiculously easy. In fact, you could record your own video of surprisingly good quality right after reading this article, I kid you not. Camera // There’s a surprisingly low barrier to entry into the world of Youtube. These days, a decent camera is something that most of us already own. Look no further than — your phone. I can only personally speak to the iPhone, but the quality of recording on the device is crisp enough to film good quality audio and video with no other equipment necessary. You could certainly invest in a more high-tech camera, but if you’re just getting started and don’t want a costly commitment, an iPhone works just fine. The only piece of equipment I would recommend buying is a tripod or stand for your camera or phone. For filming with a cell phone, I recommend the GripTight GorillaPod* stand. It’s portable (making filming on the fly easy as can be) and can easily stashed in your bag when going from place to place. Backdrop & Lighting // While you and your content should be front and center, blank white walls aren’t the most interesting subjects when it comes to backdrops. Find a designated space to film and set up your space with relevant and/or interesting decor. It doesn’t have to be extravagant (it shouldn’t be cluttered; simple is fine!), but adding background decor can instantly elevate your video, making it more inviting than a sterile while wall. Some Youtubers who have killer backdrops? Bookables SuperSpaceChick MissTrenchCoat (stages her desk gorgeously when filming even flat-lay style videos!) As far as lighting goes, there are plenty of professional lighting kits out there, but all you really need is a place that is well lit with natural sunlight. Photography tips transfer nicely to the realm of video recording, so make sure you’re not filming in the dark. Natural light is best, though it can be understandably capricious depending on what the weather is doing. Stay on topic // It’s easy to get flustered or go off on tangents. Make sure that you choose a topic for your video, however, and stick to it. Just like with a written blog post, you wouldn’t just put fingers to a keyboard and unload a massive, rambling brain dump on your readers. Same with a vlog: have an idea of what you want to cover ahead of time. It’ll make your video easier to follow as well as make your video feel less like a teenager’s video diary and more of a polished piece of content. Make a script // No, you don’t have to memorize what you want to say, nor do you need to record your entire video flawlessly in one take. You should probably not, however, wing it. Have an idea of what you want to say ahead of time to make sure that you cover it all without rambling. I tend to make a list of points I want to make and keep my list off camera. The great thing about video is that you can stop and start, or edit out the bits where you pop over to check your list. No one will ever know. Learn video editing basics // Until I started filming for Youtube, I had never opened iMovie. It was a beast of a thing that I just assumed would pulverize me with fancy video editing terminology the minute I opened the software. Breaking news: it did not. I am still alive and well, and iMovie is surprisingly easy to use. There are surely more sophisticated editing programs out there, but for my purposes, iMovie got the job done as a new YouTuber. You can cut out the bits where you stumbled over your words or rushed over to check your notes, making it easy to edit down your video into something slightly more seamless. Aside from removing unwanted bits of video, learn your way around your editing program so you can become more familiar with all of the features it has to offer (editing video doesn’t have to be scary!) Once you’re feeling comfortable, play around with adding a catchy theme song to your videos (YouTube has jingles you can use for free) or logo to the opening. This list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what you can do with Youtube, but hopefully it gives you a place to start. Delving into a new medium can be terrifying, but it’s easier to get started with vlogging than it looks. Sure, it takes a while to get comfortable on camera and there’s plenty to learn along the way, but the first steps are all it takes. Thinking of starting a YouTube channel? I’d love to see what you’re vlogging about (leave a comment with your channel!)
Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner has been recapping her reading each year with this book survey, which got me thinking about my own reading habits. While I did reach my own personal book goal (52 books this year; I somehow surpassed that!), it felt appropriate to reflect on my larger habits and patterns than just the number itself. I did make some changes to Jamie’s original survey. For instance, I don’t really distinguish between debut and non-debut authors, nor do I usually track rereads. Otherwise, read on! What did my 2015 in books look like? Stats Number of books read: 84 Number of pages read: 23,976 Genre you read the most from: YA Fantasy (or so I guesstimate) Best Of… Best book you read in 2015? Oh god, this is so hard. It’s a tie between Andy Weir’s The Martian and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. They’re two completely different books but equally stunning in their own right. Book you were excited about and though you were going to love but didn’t? Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I had such high expectations but didn’t like this at all. I’ve been told the next few books are better, so I’m going to give it a second chance. Most surprising (good or bad) book you read in 2015? Station Eleven. It came out of nowhere and went from a book I didn’t know anything about to one of my all-time favorites. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did) in 2015? Carry On by Rainbow Rowell Best series you started? Sequel? Series ender? The Winner’s Curse/The Winner’s Crime. This series is still in the works, and I didn’t really read any other series this year, let alone end one. I’m excited to read the next installment, but not so much for the change in covers… Favorite new author you discovered in 2015? Patrick Ness (new-to-me, at least) Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/out of your comfort zone? I don’t usually do contemporary, and this topic wasn’t my normal pick, but I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios was great. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? The Martian by Andy Weir Favorite book cover of 2015? A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Most memorable character of 2015? Baz Pitch (Carry On) Most beautifully written book? Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Most-thought provoking/life-changing book? Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – I have fond memories discussing this book with my AP kids. Some of the most thought-provoking and mature intellectual conversation I’ve ever had. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2015 to finally read? Cinder by Marissa Meyer (so good!) Favorite passage/quote from a book read? I don’t really keep track of quotes, but anything from The Martian is lol-worthy (proof) Shortest book read? Longest? Wytches by Scott Snyder (30 pages); All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (530 pages) OTP of the year? Baz & Simon Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year? The ladies from Lumberjanes! Okay, so it’s really part of my weekly comic haul but still… Favorite book read in 2015 from an author you’ve read previously? Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman Newest fictional crush? From this year? Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door was adorable. I don’t usually like contemporary YA, but Perkins writes some adorable stories. Best 2015 debut? Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Best worldbuilding/Most vivid setting? A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. She’s consistently hard to beat in this category. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read? The Martian by Andy Weir. Hilarious. Book that made you cry/nearly cry? Station Eleven. Just beautiful. Hidden gem of the year? Meant to Be by Lauren Morill. I feel like this is an underrated contemporary YA that just won me over with its adorableness, realism, and charm. Book that crushed your soul? Station Eleven steals this one, too. My heart was so heavy after reading this. Most unique book read in 2015? The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – a total inversion of the popular and ever-present dystopian tropes in YA. Book that made you the most mad? Armada by Ernest Cline. See the review below: Reviews & Events Best bookish moment/event of 2015? Meeting Rainbow Rowell! Favorite review that you wrote/filmed in 2015? Uggggh, this is so tough. I don’t know. All of them? Most popular post/video this year? #PotterWeek: Ravenclaw Post you wished got a little more love?Real Life Geeks Who Inspired Me Best bookish discovery (store/sites/etc.)?I got an OwlCrate subscription? Does that count? It was pretty awesome. Complete any reading challenges/goals?52 book reading challenge Looking Ahead… One book you didn’t get to this year, but will probably be first priority in 2016? I’ve been so excited to read Libba Bray’s The Diviners, but kept getting sidetracked. It also didn’t help that it was a really thick book. I’m working on it, but am making a point to crank it out in January. Book you are most anticipating in 2016 (non-debut)? This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab Series-ending/sequel you are most anticipating? The Winner’s Kiss (except the cover) One thing you hope to accomplish in reading/blogging life in 2016? Take more bookish photos for Instagram. Goal: 1 per week. A 2016 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone? Surprisingly, I haven’t read any upcoming releases yet! I’m drowning in a pile of accumulated current TBRs… How was your 2015? Did you reach your reading goals?
For some reason or another, December has become synonymous with Harry Potter. Whether it’s ABC Family’s penchant for running Harry Potter movie marathons around the holidays or the allure of Hogwarts at Christmastime, December is magical. Which is why last year the NovelTea Book Club decided to reread all of the Harry Potter books during the month of December, under the guise of #HPDec. This year, readers wanted a Potter-filled month yet again, and so — you guessed it — #HPDec is back! We’re a pretty relaxed book club, and everyone seems to find something different to focus on during the month, from fanart to movie marathons. Interested in how you can participate? Reread the Harry Potter books this month! Share your favorite links on social media with #HPDec Watch all of the movies (in one sitting. I dare you) Talk Potter-topics on your Youtube channel Stop by the NovelTea Book Club on Goodreads or the Facebook group to stay up to date on the latest challenges and community findings. I’ll be reading some of the Potterverse books I’ve not yet ventured into, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Beedle the Bard. There’s no right or wrong way of participating in #HPDec — just share the Harry Potter love! To kick off the challenge, I thought it might be a nice introduction to find out what Hogwarts House everyone is in. The video below touches on some of the more specific House-related questions I’ve answered previously, but I will say I’m a Ravenclaw through and through. (Though, for most of my middle/high school career I was adamant that I was a Slytherin. I have no idea why. My version of being mean to someone is giving them the burnt cookie [not that Slytherins are mean]. I just wouldn’t do just anything for ambition.) What House are you in?
What. A. Month. I feel like I’ve run a marathon. A mental marathon. Real marathons and I don’t get along too well. For some reason or another, October and November are the busiest months in the entire year for me, melding into one long gauntlet of events, tasks, and deadlines. This year? The end of a marking period, professional development deadlines, an ongoing editing project, helping to produce a stage show, and that’s not including the little day-to-day stuff (like unpacking boxes from my move. Yes, still.) Nevertheless, I managed to finish two (two!) books this month, ones I very much anticipated reading. And also the Odyssey with my kiddos — that counts too, right? While I celebrate this little reading victory, I thought it might be worthwhile to share some mini-reviews of the books I read with you all. Maybe you’ll find a gem in the list! Psst! If you really dig these books and want to read, you can use the links below to purchase a copy, but note that these are Amazon Affiliate links. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | I’d been itching to read this book ever since it was mentioned in Fangirl. Luckily, Rowell decided to make it a real thing, and it did not disappoint. While not my favorite book of Rowell’s, it’s a fun, quick read while still having solid storytelling. “The Chosen One”, Simon Snow, must figure out a way to defeat the evil threatening the magical world all while trying to survive being roommates with his archenemy, who just so happens to be a vampire. For fans of: Harry Potter (which, speaking of, the #NovelTeaBookClub will be rereading during the whole month of December! Join us for #HPDec and all of the Harry Potter love!) Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor | The podcast translates into a book surprisingly well, capturing all of the oddities that you would expect. All your favorite characters make appearances, including Cecil and snippets of his radio show. Equal parts weird and touchingly truthful. If you wanted to know the mystery of the man in the tan jacket, here’s your chance. If you don’t know who the man in the tan jacket is, well… For fans of: the Welcome to Night Vale podcast…? Lovecraft. Orwell. Lumiere by Jacqueline Garlick | I tried so hard to like this, I really did. Actually no, I didn’t. I kind of gave up when things just started feeling awkward. The story itself has a strong premise: Eyelet is on the run, looking for her father’s invention — the Illuminator, the only thing that can save her from her seizures. But the story takes a sharp turn from interesting to unbelievable an un-endearing, reading more like an awkward and not-at-all-cute Beauty and the Beast (and normally I love Beauty & the Beast and fairytale adaptations in general). Did not finish. For fans of fairytale retellings, people with patience, those looking for a quick read with little commitment Comic books (single issue): Lumberjanes #19 (mermaids!), Gotham Academy #11, Batgirl #45 Don’t forget to head over to YouTube to watch my full-length reviews and stay tuned for an in-depth look at Carry On and Welcome to Night Vale! What books have you read this month?
It’s hard to believe that the second full year of the NovelTea Book Club is coming to a close. Reading with all of these wonderful folks has led to many thoughtful discussions, new book recommendations, and an endless source of reading motivation. Over the past year and a half, we’ve read everything from fiction to nonfiction, gushed over our shared love of Neil Gaiman, and swapped bookish goodies with a pen pal swap. Last month marked a “just because” celebration with the #BooksandTeacups photo challenge, and December will see the return of the annual Harry Potter reread with #HPDec. In other words, we’ve been busy! The great thing about an online book club is that we’re always accepting new members, and there’s no scheduling commitment! Pop by and comment when you can, and otherwise enjoy the reading! If you’d like to join us in December for Harry Potter or are looking for some new reads for 2016, you can find the NovelTea Book Club on Facebook and Goodreads. We’d love to have you! Speaking of the NovelTea Book Club, Shawna of Hello Quirky created some incredible book-themed stickers just for the group and I’ve been sticking mine on every surface imaginable. Not only are they a pleasant surprise peeking out of my work folders, they make for great Filofax decorations! We’re giving one reader a chance to win a pack of their very own, but if you can’t wait that long… Snag your own NovelTea Book Club stickers or give a set to your favorite book lover this holiday! Hello Quirky is giving readers 20% off with the code HOLIDAYCHEER through December 1st (order soon – not just so you’ve got some awesome stocking stuffers, but Hello Quirky will be on hiatus for the holidays!)