Monday, June 23, 2014

ALA 2014

I'm prepping for ALA 2014 and traveling this week,
 so no new posts until July.

Have a safe and happy July 4th!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Kimberly’s Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is the weekly meme hosted by the excellent blog The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic has some overlap with the beach reads post from a couple of weeks ago: my Summer TBR!

A few months ago, I put together my Spring TBR list. When I initially wrote that post, I had about a million books (okay, maybe not that many) on my TBR and I just picked the ones I felt I was most likely to read. As it turns out, I only read 4* of them. Sigh. Of the six other books on that list, there is one I tried to read before deciding it just wasn’t for me (A Natural History of Dragons). I might pick it up later on, but right now it’s not what I’m looking for. I do still plan on reading the other five books on my TBR, so consider those tacked on at the end of this season’s list.

1)  To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – I judge all books by their covers, and this cover is a treat. I can’t wait to find out what’s inside!

2)  Open Road Summer by Emery Lord – I don’t generally get too excited about debuts, but this one looks charming.

3)  The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt – I loved Leavitt’s last novel, Going Vintage, and this one looks like a fun summer read.

4)  Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle – I have had this book borrowed from a friend for ages (I know, I know). I even started once, but wasn't really in the mood for the quirkiness of it.

5)  Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria – I met Ava Dellaria at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference this spring, and she was lovely. I also love, love, love epistolary novels, and this might partially fit the bill.

6)  Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy – I’ve read some conflicting reviews about this book, particularly about the main character, so it will be interesting to see how I relate to her.

7)  Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein – I LOVED Code Name Verity, but I never seem to be in the mood for a Holocaust novel. Maybe if I sandwich it with happy contemporary romances?

8)  Breakable by Tammara Weber – The companion novel to Easy, which I loved. This one is told from Lucas’ point of view and should be an interesting, possibly (probably) sad read.

9) The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins – An adult romance I’ve checked out at least on at least three separate occasions. Time to read it, I think!

10)  A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams – This author will be at a signing at a local bookstore this summer. That might be just the nudge I need to finally pick it up.

*For the curious, the four books I finished on my Spring TBR are:
1) City of Jasmine by Deanna Raybourn
2) Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James
3) Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue by Tom Angleberger
4) The Taming of the Tights by Louise Rennison

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of 2014…So Far

Top Ten Tuesday is the weekly meme hosted by the excellent blog The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is the best books I’ve read so far this year. We’re not quite at the halfway point of 2014 yet, but I just finished reading book number 50 last week. My reading this year has been a good mix of adult and YA, re-reads and new books, books I had to read and books I want to read. And, so far this year, I have given 11 books 5 stars on Shelfari, and only 7 books (mostly read for a tween book club I co-host where the kids and I don't agree on anything) 1 or 2 stars. That’s a pretty good spread for me. Last year I read a lot of mediocre books, and I’m thrilled that 2014 has been a much more pleasant reading experience.

1) Night Broken by Patricia Briggs – The newest Mercy Thompson book. Briggs had me worried for a few pages there, but this was an incredibly satisfying addition to the series.

2) Venetia by Georgette Heyer – Another charming Heyer romance, perfectly read by Richard Armitage. Venetia and Damerel’s relationship, which slowly built from a close friendship to love, was a nice change from the instalove in many contemporary novels.

3) The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins – A juvenile nonfiction book that I picked up after reading possible award buzz about it. It was an easy read, but the information was fascinating and the illustrations were gorgeous.

4) Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour – One of my favorite reads of the year so far. A perfect novel.

5) For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund – This post-apocalyptic retelling of Persuasion, my favorite of Austen’s novels, was amazing. A creative and compelling introduction to Peterfreund’s world.

6) Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James – So far, I have read and loved all three books Simone St. James has written. But her latest book is my favorite, by far. A riveting, emotional read.

7) Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – An interesting take on what might happen if some people were suddenly gifted with super powers, and chose to use them for evil. Sanderson certainly has the ability to take dark worlds and imbue them with humor and action.

8) Winger by Andrew Smith – For as crass as this book sometimes was (it was about teenage boys in a boarding school, after all), it certainly ripped my heart out and stomped on it. A well-written, if depressing, novel.

9) Easy by Tammara Weber – My first foray into New Adult. This book had a lot to say on a powerful subject, but Weber did a great job balancing a serious subject with a steamy romance.

10) The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – A highly enjoyable YA contemporary romance with a snarky heroine and a sweet, earnest love interest.

Honorable Re-read Mentions:

1) The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier – I hadn’t read this book in a few years, but it was just as perfect and beautiful as I remembered.

2) Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs – This book is one of the best in the series. Mercy and Adam are amazing together in this novel, and the pack figures heavily in the story. So, so good.

3) Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl – When I realized that I had read the book three times in less than two years, I decided it was time to buy it for my collection. It’s just such a happy book!

Come find me on Shelfari!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Top Ten Tuesdays: Kimberly’s Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is the weekly meme hosted by the excellent blog The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is beach reads!

Confession time: I hate the beach. It’s sandy and fishy and the beaches were I live are, frankly, kind of gross. If I’m being brutally honest, I don’t like pools either. In fact, I can’t really swim and I haven’t owned a bathing suit in years. Regardless, I love a good beach read. Something fluffy and fun that makes me happy for the time spent reading it.

The books below are divided into two categories: books I have read and recommend, and books I am planning on reading this summer on my imaginary beach. Enjoy!

Beach Reads I Love:

1) Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – This remains the YA romance by which I judge all
other YA romances, it’s that perfect. Also, Paris!
2) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – Another great YA contemporary romance. The whirlwind quality to the romance is perfect for a one-sitting summer read.
3) Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl – I’m actually reading this book right now. It will be my third time reading it in a year. It’s the perfect length and story for a quick pick-me-up.
4) The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot – My favorite chick lit novel, back when chick lit was still a thing. It’s a funny epistolary novel told through a series of emails – my favorite style!
5) Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt – An adorable premise and a colorful cover make this an easy pick for a summer reads list.

Beach Reads on My TBR:

1) To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – I’ve never read a Jenny Han novel before (I know, I know), but I couldn’t resist the premise of this one. I hope it’s great!
2) Open Road Summer by Emery Lord – A debut I’m excited to read. I met Emery Lord at Teen Book Con in April and she was incredibly sweet. Here’s hoping the book is just as charming!
3) On the Fence by Kasie West – This one has been on my list for ages. I’m excited to finally read it!
4) Breakable by Tammara Weber – This won’t be a particularly fluffy read, but I’m excited about seeing the events of the first book in the series (Easy) from Lucas’ point of view.
5) The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins – An adult romance novel that sounds perfect (no pun intended) for a lazy summer day. I loved the first book in the series (The Best Man), and the plot of this one sounds even better.

What’s in your beach bag this summer?

Monday, June 2, 2014

12 Interesting YA Book Covers

Book Covers can be works of art and I totally love how interesting so many covers have become. Here's my list (in no particular order) of the most intriguing recent YA Book Covers.

What are some of your favorite YA book covers?