Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Have you found a book that you'd like to share with the club? Fabulous! Here at Bookishly Delighted, it's all about member choice. 

As you add books, I'll fill up this lovely bookshelf. 

On the 12th of each month, I'll choose three that fit the theme of the following month and let you vote! All books that are not chosen go straight back onto this shelf to live another day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Updates: Post #1

It's a new year, and that means it's time for another set of amazing reads! First though, we need to get some 2015 announcements out of the way. This is the first of three posts that will detail what is coming up in 2015. You'll see the site change soon too, so be ready for that!

#1 - Check In!

I need to know how many of you are seeing these blog posts, so please just give a little shout out in the comments! You can sign in as a guest if you don't want a Disqus account (although I highly suggest signing up!), but just let us know you're out there. Next year, this is going to count towards monthly drawings, so get in the habit of just saying hi even if you aren't reading with us that month!

#2 - Email List

The main way that I communicate with all of you is through our bi-monthly newsletter, so make sure you sign up! You can sign up here and it only takes a few minutes! Please make sure you fill in your first and last name. That information is how I identify you, and will also count towards monthly drawings in the new year!

#3 - Community Bookshelf

Previously, we spent each month submitting book picks, voting, and then scrambling to get the books before it was time to start reading them. This time around, we're going to be more prepared! I wanted to give you all the opportunity to submit the reads you'd like to share with the group right when you stumble across them. After all, isn't it so easy to loose track of newly found books?

From now on, each time you find a book that you think the book club will love, enter it in The Community Bookshelf. On the 12th of the month, I'll pick three at random for you to vote on! The two that don't win will go back into the bookshelf to be picked again at some point later in the year! Refer to this article if you need help picking a book.

Let's talk about our reading schedule for 2015. 

Discussion posts are now on Friday evenings, so on this list they'll be on the second date that you see. 
Here breakdowns for the first six months!

This won't change, it's set in stone:

January 2015 - Women's Fiction
Week 1: January 4th to January 9th 
Week 2: January 11th to January 17th
Week 3: January 18th to January 24th
Week 4: January 25th to January 31st

February 2015 - Novella Month
Book 1: February 1st to February 6th
Book 2: February 8th to February 14th
Book 3: February 15th to February 21st
Book 4: February 22nd to February 28th

March 2015 - Fantasy
Week 1: March 1st to March 7th
Week 2: March 8th to March 14th
Week 3: March 15th to March 21st
Week 4: March 22nd to March 27th

April 2015 - Middle Grade
Week 1: April 5th to April 11th
Week 2: April 12th to April 18th
Week 3: April 19th to April 25th

May 2015 - Science Fiction
Week 1: May 3rd to May 9th
Week 2: May 10th to May 16th
Week 3: May 17th to May 23rd
Week 4: May 24th to May 30th

June 2015 - Romance
Week 1: June 7th to June 13th
Week 2: June 14th to June 20th
Week 3: June 21st to June 27th

Friday, December 19, 2014

Our first read of 2015!

We're very close to 2015! I hope you've been having fun taking a break from reading, and instead completing challenges and chatting it up with your fellow bookworms! I really hoped that it would get people fired up for our new reads in the new year.

Are you ready to find out what we'll be reading in January? Our first read will be Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen.

From the author of the beloved bestseller Garden Spells comes a beautiful, haunting story of old loves and new, and the power of the connections that bind us forever…

The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.

That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.

It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she’s all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.

One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren’t sure they needed in the first place: love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it’s too late?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.

Get your copy ready to go! We'll start reading on Sunday, January 4th. 
Make sure that you sign up for our mailing list so that you'll receive the breakdown of chapters for the month :).

New Member?

Looking for this book?
Check out this post on some great places to find the books we read!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Great Big Holiday Giveaway!

Well my darling bookworms, another year is winding down. Before we know it we'll be staring 2015 in the face! I have to say that I've had a blast being your moderator all of 2014. We've had some amazing conversations about books, bonded over awesome bookish paraphernalia, and made some new friends who don't mind our affinities for fictional boys. Having someone to talk books with is amazing. Having a lot of someones? Well that's even better!

To say thank you for a wonderful year, I'm gifting something we all love. THE POWER TO READ.

Yes, that's right. I'm giving away a shiny new Kindle to one of our lucky book club participants. I'll even throw in 3 of my favorite books once it gets you and you're all set up. I'm more than happy to start your library. Already have a Kindle? I'll gift you the value of the e-reader in books instead! You can choose to win $75 in books instead.

So how do you enter?

Here's the skinny.

All month long I'll be giving you opportunities to win entries into the raffle for this. You'll have 31 days of chances, so you'll have at least 31 entries into the giveaway! The trick? You must watch our Facebook group for the questions/challenges/scavenger hunts daily. If you miss a day, that just means you miss an entry. Each entry challenge is open for 24 hours. (Until 8pm PST the next day.)

On December 31st I'll tally the entries, and let the random number generator pick a winner! Then  your Kindle will ship straight to you, and you can cuddle it forever and always ;).

Ready for today's entry?

Head back to our Facebook page and leave a comment on the thread where this was first announced. Tell me what your favorite book of 2014 (so far) was! That's it. You'll get one entry. Then check back tomorrow for another.

Happy winning!

2014 Winter Wonder Swap

ARE YOU READY? You'd better be, because it's time to swap again!

To start, please make sure you read the General Guidelines post. If you get to the end of the document and still have a burning question, email me or comment here! I'm always happy to help.


This swap is Christmas themed, or Winter themed if that's better for you. I understand not everyone celebrates Christmas, so tweak it to whatever suits you. The theme is open to interpretation!

The following items are required in your package:
* One book of your choice. It can be Winter/Christmas themed... or not!
* One handmade item. That's right! You're going to make something. Make an ornament, knit a scarf, or bake some cookies. Your choice!
* One bookmark. This can also be handmade, or store bought. Give your buddy something to help mark their place!
* A note to your lovely swap partner.

Money Limit: 
Your box must contain items that add up to at least $15. Anything beyond that is your own personal choice, if you'd like to add extras. You may also add items that are not on the theme list if you so choose!
        * Some helpful hints:
                 - Check out dollar stores. You can get lots of fantastic and fun items there!
                 - Shop the dollar spot at local stores like Target or Walmart.
                 - Go thrift store hunting. This is perfectly okay! Just make sure the item is in good condition.
                    (A good rule of thumb is to think, "Would I want to receive this?")
                 - Re-gift something of yours (in good condition of course) that you think fits the box.
                 - Make something. It's cool to include something handmade. Again, just make sure it's something     
                    you'd like to receive yourself.

Shipping Information:
This swap is open to all our members, but please make sure to include if you are not located in the U.S. or, if you are in the U.S., whether you're willing to ship internationally. All delivery confirmation numbers must be in no later than December 19th. This also means your box should be shipped no later than this date. You must procure a delivery confirmation number when sending your package, and include it in the form located here. No delivery confirmation means you won't be eligible for future swaps.

Ready to join in?

Fill out THIS FORM completely to sign up. 

I'll match you with a swapping buddy and send out information as to who you will be mailing to. Please know I try to keep this a surprise, so you won't know who is mailing to you unless you specifically ask.

***Sign ups will be open until December 8th***

Late sign ups will not be accepted. I need that time to match people up and still give you ample time to go and do some shopping!

If you sign up, your are promising to send a package. Please make sure you can follow through! I never want anyone to end up without a box. Thanks!

Final Discussion Post - Shatter Me

So, a week was skipped. I hope all of you enjoyed the rest of the book though!

Let's talk Shatter Me!


Discussion Questions:

* Let's talk character development! How do you feel like Warner, Juliette and Adam have grown over the course of the book?

* We've met new characters. Give us your first impressions of Kenji, Winston and Castle.

* What are your thoughts on the ending? Ready for the next book?


My Thoughts:

Ah, this book! I have to say that my favorite part about the character growth is that it's only skimming the surface in this book. Juliette is finally starting to realize that she's strong. Adam is showing his true colors as an all out hero, and our darling villain Warner has a soft side. Well, not quite soft. But definitely filled with obsession. Finding out that he was also able to touch Juliette totally blew my mind the first time I read this book! This time around, it still hit home hard.

I LOVE Kenji, and I promise you that he only gets better. There's a lot of half truths flying around between the characters, but Kenji at least (so far) has had decent intentions. I love his snarky attitude, his carefree and cocky persona. He's hilarious. Is he actually on Adam's side? Should we trust him? Well, that remains to be seen. The fact is that he's a nice addition. Winston and Castle are a little more on the outskirts when it comes to me trusting them completely. They seem to have only good intentions in mind. At least, for the moment, our characters are safe.

THE ENDING! What do you think guys? I feel like this is one of the few books where the ending is relatively happy, yet satisfying. It's not quite a cliffhanger. It is, in the sense that it leaves you wanting to find out what happens next. It's not, in the sense that we don't have to worry about the well being of our poor characters hanging in the balance. I'm curious, how many of you think you'll go out and try the next book?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Discussion Post #2 - Shatter Me

Hello lovely bookworms! If you're keeping up with the reading schedule, you've probably hit a pretty evil cliffhanger at this point. (*cackles madly*) I'd love to say that was an accident, but it wasn't. I love keeping you on your toes!

Let's talk Shatter Me!


Discussion Questions:

* Now that you've witnessed what Juliette can actually do, what are your thoughts on her character?

* There's a discussion of Juliette's past life in these chapters. Specifically of the crime she committed to end up incarcerated. How do you feel that this experience has shaped her?

* In these chapters we get to learn much more about Warner. His personality is starting to come through. What do you think of his character? Do you believe he is at all redeemable?

* Adam and Juliette interact more in these chapters. Their relationship is starting to shift. Where do you feel like it will go?


My Thoughts:

So Juliette's big secrets finally come out in these chapters! I remember, during the first read through, that I was stunned. Sure, it's alluded to that Juliette can't touch other human beings. The measure of what she can do though, is so much larger than that. I was both amazed and appalled at her powers. Poor girl, there's so much for her to deal with. I feel like it puts her current personality well into perspective. She must be reserved because otherwise she puts others at risk.

Finding out what happened to Juliette as a younger girl also puts her personality into perspective. I remember tearing up at the mention of her mistake. It just shows how kind a person she is, and yet how much her curse hampers her. It's heartbreaking. Still, I feel like there's this iron strength inside her now that is just waiting to break out. Juliette may look like a shrinking violet, but she's definitely not.

Which brings me to Warner, because with him I truly believe that what you see is what you get. There's not heart in that chest. Warner may have once been a kinder person, but situations have turned him to ice. The cold, calculating way that he assesses people. The way that he figures out the optimum way to cause them pain. It's brutal. His fascination with Juliette might have made him human to me, if it wasn't for the fact that he wants to use her for his own devices.

Then there's Adam. Sweet, sad, lost Adam. I kind of love the fact that he's in the background during this part of the book. Juliette and her struggle take center stage, but at least we found out that he's not all bad. I have a feeling he'll be extremely important later on. For now, we'll leave him to watch over her while she sleeps. Read on, my friends. Read on!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Discussion Post #1 - Shatter Me

I have finally sat down at a computer, and so I can make this post pretty! I have to say, posting from my phone isn't as bad as I thought it would be. If you see an oddly edited post, it probably came from my phone.

Let's talk Shatter Me.


Discussion Questions:

*Juliette's isolation creates a very interesting narration style. What do you think of the writing so far?

*How do you feel about Juliette as a character?

* She alludes to a past life full of pain and loss. What do you believe Juliette's dark secret is?

*Adam has just made his appearance and we already know he lied. Where do you think his character is going?


My Thoughts:

Okay, so I know that many of you have already finished this book. I don't blame you. It's pretty amazing. Still, do your best to stick to the discussion questions, okay? :) Thanks in advance.

It's been about two years since I last read this book, and the narration style still jarred me at the very beginning. Being in Juliette's head is really odd. Her strikethroughs, as she changes her mind constantly, the way that she talks to herself and then to us as readers, it's kind of confusing at first. The more I read though, the more I felt like it was a perfect way for her to communicate. Her mind is jumbled, and it shows.

I love Juliette as a character. She's withdrawn right now, of course. Lack of human contact has made her the type of character who can be a little prickly. Still, I see this light inside her. I see this person who, because of what she has inside of her, has been made out to be evil. Juliette isn't evil though. I just know it. And it makes me want to follow her until I find out for sure. Which, as the next question asks, brings me to her dark secret. I've read this before so I know what it is, but I love that it isn't mentioned outright.

Oh, Adam. My darling Adam. This guy took Juliette's heart, gave it some hope, and then dashed it straight into pieces. Part of me believes that he's not actually bad. That he's actually hiding something important. Still, at this point in the book I can't help but have some malice towards him. Poor Juliette.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The November Book Pick is...

It's that time again! A new month means a new book, and since I was really busy last month I've decided to make an executive decision on our book this month. I hope that's okay with all of you! This book is one of my favorites. It's a little different, but a lot of fun to read. Best of all? It's the beginning of a trilogy, complete with novellas in between. You're welcome.

November's book is...
Click the picture for Goodreads!
I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I'm more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

I'm hoping this book makes it onto your favorite list as well. If you haven't already read it, you're in for a fun ride! Keep a look out for the newsletter with the chapter breakdown to come later today.

Here are some handy buy links:

We'll start reading this book on November 3rd. Until then, happy reading!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Member of the Month - Tricia Recommends...


Are you ready for Halloween? Even if you don't celebrate it, I still say that we should celebrate Fall! What's not to love about cozy sweaters, warm drinks, and fuzzy socks?

It's day two of our spotlight on Tricia who, in all her amazingness, has offered up some great reading recommendations for you! Don't forget to give some comment love to both this post and the previous one!

This is so hard....I'm going to deviate slightly, if that's alright. I'll give you a few favorite series and a few lone rangers :) And I'll leave out the Kate Daniels series since you all already read the first one and got a good feel for the awesomeness that is Kate Daniels!


1) The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

This is a fantastic urban fantasy series. It centers around a girl, MacKayla Lane, who is a pretty typical twenty something year old with a pretty mellow care free life, until her sister is murdered abroad at school in Ireland. From there MacKayla encounters more than she ever thought possible in search for answers about what happened to her sister. I love MacKayla, and I love the way she ultimately adapts to the situation as the books progress. I also LOVE the way the Fae are depicted in these books. They are not anywhere close to what Disney has led us to believe with Tinkerbell. They are cruel, ruthless, and have no humanity whatsoever, they aren't human and they don't suffer from a human conscience or way of thinking. Some of them are quite frightening! This series has some of the most incredible world building that I've ever seen. It's massive and fantastic. The plot is so well thought out, you never quite know what is going to happen next. There are twists and turns at every corner and never is there a dull moment. There is some romance in these books, but it is a slow burning kind. You do have to wait awhile for things to romantically take off, but it's there all along in the background building, and the pay off is well worth the wait in my opinion. There are 5 books, and 1 graphic novel in this series, starting with Darkfever. The author is also branching out and has come out with a separate series from the same Fever World too, so far there is only one book out in that spinoff.

2) The Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle

These are some amazing paranormal/horror books. I have to say that this series really gets better and better with each book. There are 9 full length novels along with numerous novellas in this series. The first of which is Darkhouse, which is currently free on Amazon. This series is about a girl named Perry Palomino, who can see spirits. Perry is your average young woman in a lot of ways, she's not the most beautiful woman alive, she has clear flaws and struggles with insecurity and other pretty common things (which I love about her), but damn does she do it with gusto. She is a complete smartass and kind of a nerd. She's unique, funny, brave and only gets better as she grows throughout the series. Once Perry accepts herself as she is, she is a force to be reckoned with. Sorry, I'm totally gushing right now. She ends up joining forces, inadvertently with Dex Foray (see above gushing in favorite male lead) who is trying to make a name for himself in the ghost hunting business. This series reads a lot like an episode of Ghost Hunters. They get into some seriously scary situations throughout the series, and become an unstoppable team. Some of these books literally gave me goosebumps and had me looking over my shoulder and hiding under the blankies like a child.

3) The Thoughtless Series by S.C. Stephens

This is a emotional romance series. There are 3 books total, starting with Thoughtless. Reading these was a gut wrenching, rollercoaster ride. I remember YELLING at my kindle throughout Thoughtless. I was so infuriated with the lead, Kiera. I really wanted to just shake her, or maybe drop kick her in the head. Funny thing was when I finished it and thought about it, I realized I wouldn't be so angry if I wasn't completely invested in this story. I couldn't put it down. And not to worry, ultimately I even ended up liking, or at least understanding Kiera better. This series also has one of the best male leads in it. I dare you to not completely fall for Kellan Kyle and all his tortured musician glory! This was one of the best realistic relationship stories I have read. Be forewarned though, those who can not stomach the reality of newly adult relationships, and subject material with cheating, this may not be the books for you. But if you think you want to try something a little raw and new, I don't think you will be disappointed.

4) The Stand by Stephen King

I'm sure you have all heard of this book, or at least the author so I won't break it all down for you. I first read this book (the uncut version) in my earlier years, somewhere around 13ish and I LOVED it, I've since read it again, multiple times. I could never tire of pretty much anything Stephen King. He was one of first favorite authors (aside from my very early childhood idols, Shel Silverstein, R.L. Stein, Dr. Seuss, etc) and still remains so today. I recommend pretty much any of his books, he is a literary genius. But in my opinion The Stand may have been his crowning jewel. This was maybe the most incredible world building I've ever read, and the characters are so multidimensional and real. It has one of the most epic showdowns and I love the look into good and evil, which side might you fall on? Everything about this book was great, if you haven't got around to reading it, you are missing out!

5) Defending Jacob by William Landay

I am throwing this one in because this book is completely different than anything mentioned above. A little diversity, if you will. This is I guess, a realistic fiction book. It is about Andy Barber, assistant district attorney in white collar suburbia, who finds himself in quite the predicament when there is a murder in his sleepy community, and signs start to point back towards his own 14 year old son. I think what I love most about this book, was the stark terrifying questions it made you think about your own life. How far are you willing to go for the people you hold dearest? What if your own child was guilty of a horrible crime, what would you do? It was awful even trying to think about these things for myself, which made Andy's story that much more riveting. I also love the nature vs. nurture element that comes into play! Are we all a product of the environment that we are brought up in, or are we predisposed to certain traits from the start thanks to genetics? It's funny how you hear so many people say things along the lines of "they must get it from their mom/dad" whether it be about their athleticism, smarts, or looks. So if they inherit these good traits, what about the bad ones too?? Maybe a temper, or violent tendencies? This book will make you think about so many interesting, controversial subjects, while at the same time telling a compelling and emotional story. Also this author was actually an assistant district attorney in real life, so his knowledge of court room proceedings and crimes and law enforcement procedures in general is very extensive and noticeably on point in this novel.

Phew. All done. Maybe I should have picked something along the lines of talkative, or long winded as my descriptive words lol. Thanks for indulging me.....hope you all found at least one thing that piqued your interest. Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October Member of the Month!


Sorry for the delay this month guys! Even the best moderators out there get a little flustered sometimes, and I may or may not have slacked off while I was on vacation :p. I hope you'll forgive me. It's a good time to get to know another one of our members though! 

Let's meet our October Member of the Month, Tricia!


You know her as TBalla, and as one of the main contributors to our discussions over here!

I met Tricia when I wandered over to BookLikes! For those of you who haven't visited that site, it's amazing. There's a wonderful group of people over there who chit chat about books, support one another, and just have a great time. If you're looking for a place to meet fellow book lovers? That's the place to go!

Tricia was one of the first people to respond to my plea for new people to join the book club. I was pleased as punch to have her too. If you ever have a chance, you should check out her profile over there! She's an awesome reviewer and a fun person to follow!

I'll stop rambling now, and get to her interview. Check back tomorrow for her book recommendations as well!

*If you had to describe yourself in just one word, what would it be?

*Okay now that you have us in suspense, elaborate! Why did you pick that specific word?
Haha funny I was quizzing my youngin' for her Great American Spell Check spelling bee, and jocularity happened to be one of the words. Somehow I, along with my daughter, and my guy had never come across this word before! Naturally I needed to know what it meant at that point, so for you fellow confused people (if there are any, totally could be just me) the definition is..."Fond of or characterized by joking, humorous or playful. Sounds appropriate to me, besides someone already used sarcastic :(

*Inquiring minds want to know, why did you join Bookishly Delighted?
I had been searching for a book club for awhile now. I tried my library, and even did a local internet search, and just couldn't find anything. I ended up joining Booklikes some time later, and after following Jessica's reviews saw a post about her book club. I checked it out and of course thought it sounded great, so here I am!

*What's your favorite type of book to get lost in?
Oh my gosh, do I have to choose?? I love so many genres! I guess if the pressure was really on though maybe fantasy or paranormal. I love that with those genres, mostly because there really are no limitations to what can happen, only to the author's imagination.

*Do you have any other bookish hobbies besides participating in the book club? 
Well I absolutely love reading, I typically read around 2-3 books a week on average. Other than that no more bookish hobbies, but I did recently teach myself how to crochet, clearly I am really about 90 years old at heart. So a little less than a year ago my friend, and fellow reading enthusiast, started a book review blog and when she asked me to join I said of course! Feel free to check us out over at

*Where might we find you reading?
Ummm pretty much anywhere I can! I ALWAYS have an ereader or physical book in my purse, that's why they make purses so big right?! I try to get in a little reading whenever I can, but I almost always read in bed at night.

*Who's your favorite male lead in a book? Your favorite female lead?
WHOA. 1 favorite did you people do this before me?! OK, I guess I would have to go with, for the female lead, Kate Daniels, whom you have meet recently in Magic Bites. I just love Kate! She's strong, inside and out, brave, smart, loyal and a total smartass. It may take her awhile to let people in, but once she does, she'll do anything for them and never turn her back on them. Never a dull moment with her.

As for my favorite male lead I think I'm going to go with Dex Foray from the Experiment in Terror series by Karina Hale. Oh sexy Dexy! He's fantastic! Dex is HILARIOUS, a total smartass, with a mouth worse than any sailor on the sea, he definitely suffers from what I like to call Peter Pan syndrome, he's a man who never wants to grow up (which I find mostly charming, I know, I'm a total weirdo) he's also brave, smart, and will fight to the death for those who he cares about.

*What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading, and loving, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. It's a fantasy book with a lot of heart. I'm about 60% in and things are really getting crazy now!

*Any final thoughts?
I really just want to say how much fun I have been having reading, and discussing, some pretty awesome books with you all! It's been great trying some new things that I probably would not have picked up on my own, and even better getting to talk about them with you gals! Thanks for having me!

Tricia's beagle, Charlie, would like to thank you for reading about his master!
Now, would someone please bring him some treats?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Discussion Post #1 - We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Hope that the first few days of October have been treating you right! I love this time of year, if for no other reason than the cheery atmosphere that it breeds :). Of course, there's also the completely opposite opportunity to get lost in something atmospheric for a different reason. Welcome to your first discussion post of the month!


Discussion Questions:

* After re-reading the opening lines below, share your opinion. Did they succeed at drawing you in?
My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all, I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise. I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cup mushroom. Everyone else in our family is dead.

* Merricat is what is known as an unreliable narrator. How much of what she says do you think is true? Do you trust her story?

* What do you think of Constance, Charles, and Uncle Julian? Do you think they are reliable narrators?

* Despite the townspeople who hate them, these characters are living a rather idyllic life so far. Does the opinion of the townspeople affect your outlook on these characters?

* Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In The Castle was first published in 1962. This means it is termed a classic, and has the writing style to match. What's your opinion on the way this book is written? Are you enjoying it?


My Thoughts:

So first off, I loved these opening lines. Obviously, since I made them a discussion question. They instantly show us what kind of person Merricat is, and that she might not always be the easiest narrator to follow. She's definitely an unreliable narrator. There's this aura of uncertainty, mystery, and a bit of insanity that seem to follow her around. I've noticed more than once that she takes pleasure in things that make other people squirm, and it makes me wonder how much of what she's telling us is true. 

In terms of the other characters, Constance seems a bit flighty to me. Like maybe she's not quite all there. She definitely loves Merricat though. Uncle Julian, because of his earlier internal injuries, is a little tough to stomach sometimes. The way he incessantly mutters about the event, repeating himself over and over, gets rough to follow. However he's also the only person who might actually be able to tell us the truth! If, that is, we can pull it out of the rambling. Charles? I'm not sure about yet. He seems to have ulterior motives for visiting and, although I don't know what they are yet, I don't forsee the being good.

I think the townspeople are an important part of this story, especially those from the rich families who actually take the time to visit with the Blackwoods. It's interesting how they shun the family now, as if they know there's something vile brewing beneath the surface despite the idyllic outside. I'm honestly intrigued! I'm wondering if it will be one of them who finds out the truth.

It's true that this writing took me a few pages to sink into, but I feel like it really builds the atmosphere around Merricat's story. It's dark, but funny at times, and full of this tension that tells me something big is coming. If it weren't for Uncle Julian, whom I am learning to deal with better, I think I'd have fallen in love long ago.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Final Discussion Post - The Enchanted

Final discussion post! Whether this was a book you loved, or didn't, I really hope it was at least something outside the box for you. I would have never picked this up if it hadn't been chosen, and I'm thankful that it was.


Discussion Questions:

Due to the short nature of this book, I'm going to keep the discussions very general, instead of giving you specific questions. This last chapter had a lot of revelations in it. A lot of things were wrapped up, the final pieces of the puzzle put into place. How do you feel about everything that happened? Were you happy with the ending?


My Thoughts:

I'm honestly kind of at a loss as to what to say at this point. This last chapter left me breathless, and the last pages especially just kind of blew me away. I would never have picked up this book on my own. I don't read a lot of adult fiction, unless it's something specifically suggested to me, or it's horror. So to read this? Something so dreamlike and prosaic? It was a treat. Something outside the box for me. Something new. I loved every little minute of it.

First off, all the emotions flowing through this chapter floored me. I felt sad at the passing of the new female prison guard and of York. Anger at all the things that were going on every day in this prison, on the fringes of public knowledge. The description of the food they were given hit especially hard. I felt pity. Pity for the broken boy and all the other prisoners like him. Then, a bit of glee when he took his vengeance. It was a cold victory, but one nonetheless. No one deserved to die more than Conroy. The best part though? The fact that our Priest and our Lady were able to make a life together. I so hoped for that.

The ending bit at me. I'm a soft-hearted person at the best of times, but watching Arden die just did me in. Despite anything else, our narrator was an honest man. Maybe a little crazy, perhaps a shattered man, but always honest about the way things were for him. I was sad, but also happy that he could be free at last. What can I say? Nothing else, really. This book wasn't perfect, but it was definitely something I'm glad I read.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Final Discussion Post - Side Effects May Vary

Final discussion post of the month! Wow, how time flies. Thanks for a wonderful month of discussions on this book :).


Discussion Questions:

* A lot happens in these chapters, especially at the beach house. How did you feel about what transpired between Harvey, Alice and her family?

* What do you think of Harvey's transformation in attitude? Does it change the way you feel about Alice at all?

* Here's the one you've been waiting for. The ending: yay, or nay?


My Thoughts:

Whether you love Alice, or want to throw her out a window, I know that the beach house will prove to be an emotional setting either way. This is a pivotal part of the book. A piece where things are said, and done, that can never be taken back. Hearing Harvey finally admit that there's a huge piece of him trapped with Alice always breaks my heart. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Seeing Alice broken, and hearing Deborah be there for her despite that? Heart shattered. And then the scene with Alice and her parents on the deck. Well, seriously it didn't matter that Alice and I aren't exactly buddies. All of that still got me.

In terms of Harvey's attitude, I'd have to say that's what really struck home. He finally knew how wrapped up in Alice he was, and how easy it was to let her manipulate him. He realized how many times he'd let himself get hurt by her because he cared. I think part of me still wants to be mad at him for completely ignoring her, but the other part totally understands. Harvey did what he had to in order to separate himself from that. He took the space he needed, even if he didn't necessarily want it at first.

So, on to the ending. While I wouldn't say it's my favorite ending of all time, it fits with the story. It was kind of Alice to do something so personal for Harvey. Especially after all the ways that she used him before that. I have to say that I liked this book a little more during this second read through. It's still one that I'm on the fence about, but I think this time I was more willing to try to understand Alice and her motives. I hope you guys enjoyed it too :).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

7 Places To Find That Book You've Been Wanting!

Hey there awesome reader friends! I was thinking about the fact that some of you out there might not know what resources are available to you when you want to snag our monthly books! I know I'm lucky, as a person who has a stellar library system. I've been on the other side of that though, and I know it's tough to locate books you might want to read without spending a ton of money. So get ready, here's your guide to all the places you can spend that bookish cash!

1. Your local library
As I said, I know that not everyone has access to a local library. If you do though, this would always be the place I'd check first. Remember, libraries exist because you support them!

2. Amazon
This is the next place most people think of when they're looking for a book. Yes, I know not everyone supports Amazon. Don't worry, there are more options coming. If you have a Kindle, or a tablet/phone with the free Kindle app, this is a great place to buy books. They'll automatically transfer to your device, and all you have to do is download them to read them. Don't have a smartphone or tablet? You can also download a free Kindle app for your computer! Or, read in the cloud and never download anything at all.

The last man standing in the big box book stores, Barnes & Noble is another great choice to find your book! If you're not in the mood to buy a brand new paperback, you can also buy ebooks through them as well. Own a Nook? This is your destination for easy to download, easy to read books. Once again, if you don't own an e-reader, Barnes & Noble offers free reading apps for phones, tablets and computers! They also have cloud reading available.

Not an e-reader person and want a paper copy? Well, at Abe Books you can probably get it cheaper! They list thousands of used copies of many of the books we read. Their site is easy to use, and has some great deals. Hey, look at that! Cycle of the Werewolf for only $3.50 and free shipping? Done.

Another great choice for inexpensive reads is Half Priced Books! I've ordered through them many times, and never been disappointed. Their price points are low for used books, and they run sales all the time on new ones too. Sign up for their newsletter! Every year they run a crazy 50-75% off sale. Your TBR pile has been warned. Here's We Have Always Lived in the Castle for about $2.34.

For those of you who want new books, but also want to support small bookstores, check out Indie Bound! Their website allows you to find a local bookstore near you, and shop with them through the website.

I love Book Depository. First off, they ship for free nearly everywhere. Their International is quick too. Secondly, they run sales all the time on even new books. You can get a brand new title for anywhere between 15% and 30% off normally and check out the bargain bin for books that are 50% off. Once again, sorry TBR pile. You've been warned.

Know of any other great places to shop for books? Shout it out in the comments! My whole point in doing this is to let you know that it's always possible to get the book you want. Most of the time, for cheaper than you think. So join us! We're all bookish here.