book review, historical fiction, reading recommendations

Review: All the Light We Cannot See

What do we call visible light? We call it color. But the electromagnetic spectrum runs to zero in one direction and infinity in the other, so really, children, mathematically, all of light is invisible.

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

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Click link to purchase on Amazon.

This book is probably the single thing that kept me from going insane during my second semester of my senior year of high school. Instead of procrastinating and refreshing my college application sites every three minutes, I was transported to the wonderful world of this novel instead.

AUTHOR: Anthony Doerr

GENRE: Historical Fiction

WHERE DID I GET THIS BOOK: I got this for my birthday

RATING: 5/5 stars

SUMMARY: Marie-Laure is a French, blind, adolescent girl whose father is employed by a museum. Her father is forced to flee with her and they go to live with her uncle, who is pretty much a recluse, in a French sea town. Her father is in possession of a jewel that has mythical powers and is said to be protective against physical dangers. The Germans are after this particular jewel and therefore, after Marie-Laure’s father. Werner is an bright adolescent in the German countryside with a knack for trigonometry and technology; he joins the Hitler Youth and eventually the Nazi Army as the expert in technology. These two live through the realities of World War 2, and eventually their two paths converge in a tragically beautiful way.

THOUGHTS: I honestly don’t have many criticisms of this novel, except I might argue the necessity of a few plot points? However, I absolutely loved the rest of this novel- the language, the style, the set up of the book, the motifs, the plot, etc. It was all very beautifully crafted and so unlike anything that I had read before, especially from the genre of historical fiction.

I must dedicate some time to praising Doerr’s unique and ethereal style of writing. Doerr beautifully marries vignettes and the novel form, and it is so unlike how I have seen these styles combined in other novels (like in The House on Mango Street). Also, the figurative language, especially the metaphors and the imagery, felt fresh and not at all cliched- they were refreshingly new and at the same time, felt familiar and made sense, as if they had been cliches.

Doerr is also one of those writers that can make you sympathize with a Nazi and only feel slightly guilty about it. There is such a beautiful humanity given to Werner, who became part of the German army because that was the only way he could pursue an education that he so desperately craved. It is such a twist to experience the events of World War 2 from the perspective of adolescents.

Marie, who is also an adolescent experiencing the horrors of war as formative events during her childhood, is also beautifully fleshed out and is such a sweet and sympathetic character. She has all the frustrations of a recently disabled young girl and all the imagination of a child, something that she does not lose as she loses her innocence.

The themes of technology in war (which is discussed in the form of radio), adolescence, morality, nature, health, power, and myth are mixed together so that it feels like a contemporary story, even though it takes place in the past. If you are a fan of historical fiction, as I am, as well as a fan of a bit of fantasy mixed with your history, this is the book for you!

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book tag

HARRY POTTER BOOK TAG!

HI ALL HI Y’ALL! Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate. I thought today was a perfect day to do the Harry Potter Book Tag and talk about all things Harry Potter because a) of course I’m a fan and b) what better day to talk about Harry Potter than on the day he became The Boy Who Lived?

So without further ado…

THE HARRY POTTER BOOK TAG:

  • Favorite book

Deathly Hallows. I just like how the finality came about, and because I’m a masochist, seeing Harry and his gang lose their innocence in a brutal yet honest way was nice to see for me, especially from a more adult perspective. I think how all the loose ends were tied was masterful and it kept you on your toes from the beginning to the end. I also have the best memories associated with this book, like preordering the book and attending its nightmare premiere with my friends, so that might have influenced how much I love this installment of the series.

  • Favorite movie

Goblet of Fire. I love what the filmmakers did with the Triwizard Tournament, the Yule Ball, and the other two magical schools. Out of all the Harry Potter books, I just think the plot of this one leant itself most to the movie medium.

  • Least favorite book

The Half-Blood Prince. I just really dislike Snape, okay; also, this is the book when Harry was probably the most annoying to me. I know I am not alone in terms of not-loving this particular Harry Potter book.

  • Parts of the books/movies that made you cry

I’ll admit- I’m an emotional reader (and just an emotional person in general). The two most heartbreaking moments of the series is when Dobby died and when Fred died. I mean- come on. Sure, Dobby’s death was the perfect end to his relationship with Harry Potter, and it only speaks to Dobby’s character that he sacrificed so much for Harry Potter and his side in the war. But this only added to the sadness of the moment for me, and only enhanced my grief over Dobby’s death. Also, are we going to talk about the fact that Fred’s death happened in the middle of his reunion with Percy finally standing up to the hierarchy he was entrenched in? It is a moment both cruel and fitting- he died having reconciled with his brother, but he still did not live to reap the benefits of that reconciliation. Also George’s and Ron’s emotions over the death made the passing that much more heartbreaking. J.K. Rowling- she sure knows how to make you love a character and then rip it away from you in the worst of moments.

  • If you could hook up with any Harry Potter character who would it be?

Dean Thomas. I mean there’s a reason Ginny dated him y’all.

dean thomas

Gif gotten from here.

  • Favorite character

Hermoine Granger. Smart, frumpy, and at times, a little high-spirited. What else could a girl want from a lead female character?

  • What would your Patronus be?

Pottermore dictates that it would be a Ginger Cat. I find this pretty interesting since I am not a cat person at all, and a cat would not be the pet that I’d take to Hogwarts with me.

  • Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?

I am not emotionally strong enough to deal with the Resurrection Stone, nor am I confrontational enough to make use of the Elder Wand, so I’ll have to go with the Invisibility Cloak. Trust me, there is many a time when I wish I could’ve disappeared into  the background (or snuck out of the house without my parents noticing).

  • What House would you be in?

I took the Pottermore test ages ago, and it dictated that I would be in Hufflepuff, which makes sense to me. Last year, I retook the test because the website had a new test (I think?) and I got sorted into Ravenclaw. Both are viable possibilities, but if you ask me I’d probably say that I was more Ravenclaw than Hufflepuff.

  • If you could meet any member of the cast who would it be?

Definitely Emma Watson. Feminist icon, all around lovely, and now a real, breathing Disney princess?? Sign me up.

  • Have you played any of the video games?

I played the Lego Harry Potter games on the Wii because I got them for Christmas but that’s about it!

  • If you were on the Quidditch team which position would you play?

I don’t think I’d be on the Quidditch team at all, especially in a house that is a competitive as Ravenclaw is. I’d be the chaser if I had to pick a position, mostly because avoiding running into people/ frantically trying to avoid people coming at you is a skill I’ve already acquired in real life due to my shorter-than-average stature.

  • Were you happy with the ending?

Yes, I was. I am of the opinion that A Cursed Child was not part of the original, actual plot line. I know I might be of a minority in saying I actually would rather there never be another Harry Potter book. I’m content with how it ended.

  • How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

I love Harry Potter. I was part of the club in high school. I had a Harry Potter themed birthday party when I was twelve. My friend wrote me a fake Harry Potter acceptance letter. My family sits around and binge watches the movies whenever a weekend marathon is happening. I’ve been to the Harry Potter worlds in both Orlando and Los Angeles. Suffice to say, this is a series that was close to my heart and close to my childhood, as the series is only a year older than I am and I read all of the books under the age of eleven. It only fanned my passion for reading and my empathy, I’d like to think, for everyone else around me. And now as an adult, I can appreciate the subtle politics that it advances. Truthfully, I love and will love Harry Potter, always.

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book review, book tour, young adult

Book Tour: Transcend Time

Author: Michelle Madow

Narrator: Andrea Emmes

Series: The Transcend Time Saga, Book 1

Length: 7 hours 5 minutes

Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing

Released: Jul. 31, 2017

Genre: Clean Romance

They’re reincarnated soulmates. So why is he pushing her away?

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from 1815, England … but she doesn’t know it until she meets her soul mate from the past and he triggers her memories to gradually return.

When Drew Carmichael moves to Lizzie’s town, Lizzie feels a connection to him, like she knows him. But he wants nothing to do with her. She knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, but that gets harder and harder as memories of her past life return. And the more Lizzie remembers, the more she’s determined to unravel the mysteries of the past … no matter how deadly those secrets might be.

A romance with a fantasy twist that listeners of all ages will love!

Michelle Madow is a USA Today bestselling author of fast paced fantasy novels that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!
She grew up in Maryland and now lives in Florida. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

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Narrator Bio

Audible Best Selling Narrator, Andrea Emmes was born in Hollywood, FL and grew up in both Tennessee and Rhode Island, started her career in musical theater. Cutting her teeth at The Trinity Arts Center in Rhode Island, Andrea eventually made her way to Orlando and began her eclectic career singing/dancing in various shows at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Pirates’ Dinner Adventure, performing as a magician’s assistant, headlining on the Las Vegas Strip and touring Los Angeles as an L.A. Award winning artist with her album, “I’m On My Way”.

Having worked in tv, film and video games, Andrea, a total Book Nerd, now enjoys narrating audiobooks at her home studio in San Jose, California.

Her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in, and has versatility and charisma.

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Andrea Emmes. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

RATING: 3.5/5 stars

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes fantasy and young adult! It has your classic tropes: the love triangle, the dark and handsome love interest, the conflicted girl, etc. It is a feel-good, kind of book that I’m sure many people would enjoy.

I liked listening to this book rather than reading it ( and not just because the narrator, Andrea Emmes, did a terrific job) because it was a lot easier to imagine the details of setting while listening to the book.

The book did a great job in sticking to the historical accuracies of the other time era it was describing other than present day, though I was left wishing that more of the book was spent in the “past” because that era is truly one of my favorites to study and know more about.

Lizzie, the protagonist, navigates through the classic high school issues: whether she really likes her current boyfriend (he’s a class-A jerk, which was nicely done), whether she should be taking AP classes when she is struggling in the subject, and whether she should be loyal to her best friend or loyal to her love interest. These struggles took up most of the book and that is why I would recommend this book to readers who like young adult. Many of Lizzie’s issues are valid ones that many a teenager deals with, and her immaturity in dealing with some of these issues only goes to show that she is the age she is supposed to be in this book. I believe anyone who remembers being a confused teenager will have no issue in relating to the protagonist.

There are also many, many references to Pride and Prejudice, which I enjoyed because it is truly one of my favorite books. If these elements sound appealing to you, then I would definitely recommend this series to you!

Goodreads

Audible

Q&A with Narrator Andrea Emmes
  • When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
    • Well, I kind of fell into audiobooks in 2014 and haven’t looked back since. I’ve been a professional performer (actor/singer/dancer/VO) for over 20 years but in 2006 I got hurt in a stunt show and had to retire due to a disabling pain disorder called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy aka CRPS. I’ve always been an avid reader and during my recovery I read about 8-12 books a week. I went back to college and got a degree in Game Art and Design and was a game designer for Disney Interactive for a couple of years After the layoffs, I had to figure out what I should do next as I can no longer dance, etc. anymore and my husband suggested I look into audiobooks. He’s brilliant and I researched it, set up my equipment, studied with coaches and have enjoyed every minute of it!!
  • Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
    • That’s a great question. Yes and No. When looking into how to get into audiobooks, I found ACX. Audiobook Exchange which is owned by Amazon/Audible. It’s a really great marketplace for self-published indie authors/small publishers to put their books up for auditions and for narrators to find work. This is where I got my start. It was great cutting my teeth on the amazing books that were listed but since this is a full time thing for me, I’m always looking how to grow my business and extend my reach as a narrator. So, I started looking into how I could work with the big publishers. This takes some time as there are a ton of amazing talent out there that are vying to be noticed and cast. So, I immediately starting coaching with Sean Allen Pratt, who is an incredible coach and began learning techniques for Non Fiction and narration in general which really gave me a solid foundation moving forward. I still hear Sean’s advice in my head while in the booth 3 years later!! I’ve also studied with Paul Alan Ruben, Patrick Fraley, PJ Ochlan, Joel Froomkin, Andi Arndt. Each one offered such nuggets of wisdom that has made me a better narrator and I look forward to learning from other coaches as you should always be honing your craft. Each book I do, I learn so much and finally this year, after networking, working on my technique and studio sound, I’ve started working with some publishers and am so excited to see what lies ahead!
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I, too, have a background in theatre and though I think that it was 100% helpful for me in bringing those acting techniques to my narration, it’s not a MUST. But it does help. Audiobook Narration is an acting job. You are cast to not only bring the book to life audibly, but you must vocally and emotionally embody each character, the tone of the book and entertain at the same time. It’s no easy feat. So for those who don’t have any acting background and want to be a narrator, it can be learned with really great coaching. I know many successful narrators who didn’t come from the acting world but put in so much work to be the best at what they do.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I’ve been studied the art of acting and performing for more than half my life. I’ve taken singing lessons to not only bring a higher quality to my singing voice, but to help with breath control, mic techinques and vocal upkeep. I’ve studied with the best of the best for voice over work for commercials, animation, video games and of course audiobooks. What’s interesting is that the technique for voice over (commercial/animation/videogames) is different for audiobooks. There is a different approach you need to take with NonFiction (which is still acting) and with Fiction. How you approach different character voices but not be over the top cartoony, keeping the narration genuine and engaging to keep the listener immersed. Sometimes, I enjoy the training just as much as the actual narration.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • That is a great question, but narration can be tedious. Especially because you have to learn a ton of tech and engineering besides just speaking into the mic. It’s important to take lots of small breaks. Especially because it’s not good to be sitting or standing for too long. Because of my disability, I have to narrate sitting down, so it’s important for me to stretch or lay down every once in a while. Also, it can be hard to maintain your enthusiasm because, yes, I have a wicked cool job that I LOVE, but sometimes it’s hard to get into the emotions of the book. But I remind myself that I’m so blessed to do what I do; to have authors and publishers who believe and trust in me to bring their book to life and I don’t take that honor lightly. If I’m struggling or just not feeling it, I’ll step away, play some video games or watch TV or go for a walk and then come back fresh and get back to work!! As long as I hit my deadline, my daily schedule is flexible.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I AM! I love them. I’ve always loved story time as a child and in a way, it brings me back to when my parents would read to me. Audiobooks allow you to dive into the world of a good book and amazing characters, hear them come to life with the different voices, etc. and just let your imagination soar. When I’m listening, I can see the world that the narrator is describing. Also, it’s great to keep me entertained while I’m driving, cleaning or going for a walk. I’m a book addict and a total audiophile!
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • Hmm. I think my favorite parts of narrating is when I first read the book, make all of my notes and really work on the characters. I also really love emotional stories, where the characters are going through a hard time, some kind of trauma, or whatever and I can dive into what they are feeling. It can be hard emotionally on me as sometimes I’ve had to stop recording because I have to ugly cry for a moment, but it’s so fulfilling to actualize these moments in a hopefully genuine manner that will touch the listener. The best feeling is when the book is complete and gets approved ☺. My least favorite part of narration would be if I have to edit/master my own book. That is a very tedious process and whenever I can afford to high a professional engineer I jump at the chance. (plus, they do a way better job than I do so they are worth every penny!)
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • Wow. That’s a hard question. I think for me, really getting into the mindset of a character, especially an angst-y young adult character and bringing them to life in a believable way is something I feel confident with.
  • Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
    • I honestly am happy to narrate any genre, but because I have a youthful voice, Young Adult and Children’s books are a strength for me and what I do mostly. And I love it. I read young adult books for pleasure so it’s pretty awesome to be able to narrate them! I have declined a few projects because I didn’t feel I was right for it. And often times, I’d submit other narrators that I thought would be better suited for the book.

The Transcend Time Saga Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card

Remembrance, Book 1

Oct. 22nd:
The Audiobookworm

Loves Great Reads
Lisa Loves Literature

Oct. 23rd:
AudioSpy
The Writing Train
Lilly’s Book World
Hall Ways Blog

Oct. 24th:
Jazzy Book Reviews

Oct. 25th:
Literature Approved
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Oct. 26th:
Haddie’s Haven
It’s Novel to Me
The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Oct. 27th:
Chapter Break
Here’s to Happy Endings

Oct. 28th:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest
My Creatively Random Life

Vengeance, Book 1.5

Oct. 29th:
The Audiobookworm

Haddie’s Haven
Lisa Loves Literature
Lilly’s Book World
Jazzy Book Reviews

Oct. 30th:
AudioSpy
The Writing Train
Chapter Break
Here’s to Happy Endings
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
Hall Ways Blog

Oct. 31st:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
Literature Approved
Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest
My Creatively Random Life

Timeless, Book 2

Nov. 1st:
The Audiobookworm

AudioSpy
The Writing Train

Nov. 2nd:
Lisa Loves Literature

Nov. 3rd:
Lilly’s Book World
The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Nov. 4th:
Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog

Nov. 5th:
Haddie’s Haven
Jazzy Book Reviews

Nov. 6th:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
Literature Approved
Chapter Break
Here’s to Happy Endings
Hall Ways Blog

Nov. 7th:
Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest
My Creatively Random Life

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book review, young adult

Review: We Are Okay

There are degrees of obsession, of awareness, of grief, of insanity.

We Are Okay, Nina LaCour

GENRE: Young Adult

WHAT FORMAT: audiobook

RATING: 4/5 stars

SUMMARY: Marin is a freshman in college, stranded in the dormitories for winter break. She has not talked to anyone she knew back home since her grandfather had passed. Her best friend, Mabel, comes to visit her at her school in New York. Though the two friends had spent months not talking to each other, they rediscover and re-map out their friendship during Mabel’s three-day visit. Also, Marin explores what it might mean to be “okay” for the first time since she lost her grandfather.

THOUGHTS: This novel is so surprisingly poignant. As I started to read, I grew bored pretty instantaneously because not a lot was happening. However, by the last words of the books, I was left in more tears than I really care to admit on the Internet. Something should be said by the fact that I finished this book in less than 24 hours. I will also mention a small spoiler: this book features a biracial, LGBTQ relationship so yayyy diversity and representation!!

I always prefer carefully constructed characters over an exciting plot, and this means that We are Okay was just my book-type. Marin is so complex, and so relatable to me personally. She is a girl that finds every aspect of her life reflected back to her in the novels that she reads, and she has a special and deep relationship with Jane Eyre (as I definitely do). Marin is also the kind of girl that would rather flee from her issues and use coping mechanisms rather than talk about them and deal with them in concrete ways, which is too relatable.

I adore LaCour’s use of setting to advance her plot and her characterization, which is something that is pretty lost in Young Adult, or even Contemporary Adult novels. And no, this is not English class where you have to search out the significance of every little description. The aiding of the setting of snowy New York City, of a desolate dormitory room (where I know melancholy can reside so easily), of a sketchy motel, of foggy San Francisco, and of sunny Southern California enhanced the story so much that if setting was left out, the story would lose much of its meaning. LaCour achieves this effortlessly though.

This is definitely not a feel-good, Young Adult novel. It is filled to the brim with melancholy, and explores the topics of the grieving process and loneliness in depth. This endeared the book to me, because of its relevance in my personal life and because I think that grief is a topic that should be tackled more often in contemporary literature. Normalizing grief and death in media is so important because it is such a universal experience and yet no one ever seems to want to talk about it.

If you enjoy a thought-provoking, entertaining, and heartbreaking read, then I would recommend this novel to you!

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book review, short story sunday

Short Story Sunday: Me Talk Pretty One Day


For those of you who find it hard to set time aside to read, but still love the pull of a good novel, I introduce to you Short Story Sundays! Basically, I will review a short story or even an essay that I loved each Sunday (most of them will be recommendations) instead of a full length novel or play that you can easily pick up, read, and digest in the span of an hour.

The Short Story this Sunday is not really a short story and more of an essay and it comes to you from the one, the only, David Sedaris. I have actually read Sedaris’ Naked and highly enjoyed it so I will definitely get around to writing a review for it later on. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Sedaris, he is a humorist who writes essays based on events of his own lives. If you have never read The Santaland Diaries, drop what you’re doing and go read it now!

SUMMARY: This essay is about Sedaris taking a French class in France itself, and its awful, unsympathetic, strict teacher. It is a humorous glance into what it is like to take a class with a horrid teacher, and anyone who has been in a similar situation can sympathize with the terror of not knowing the right answer and knowing you will be punished for it, or the tendency of students in a terrible class to bond together and make strong friendships over a shared, scarring experience. Per usual, Sedaris takes a miserable situation and manages to turn it on its head so that it is heartwarming and hilarious.

REVIEW: Sedaris’ trademark style is on display here and I wouldn’t recommend another, better way to be immersed in Sedaris’ world and works. While this essay is rather simple and does not present a situation that is too out of the ordinary, the satire that is involved, the comic archetypes of characters present in the story, and the exaggerated atmosphere of the whole situation portrays Sedaris’ talent at making a real experience more fictionalized, but this fictionalization only makes the story more accessible to his audience. There is not much to be said about it, because it is so short and simple in a lovely way, except to say that sometimes Sedaris’ worldview is baffling to me, and that is what makes his stories and essays that much more interesting.

RATING: 5/5 stars, would definitely recommend.

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challenges, reading goals

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge


If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen every episode of Gilmore Girls. Twice. You love to drink coffee and talk fast and you maybe (just maybe) stalked the Netflix premiere party of A Day in the Life because it was happening on your own campus and DUH you couldn’t just not go and gape at all the stars passing you by!!

And maybe you relate a lot to the protagonist Rory Gilmore, a bookish teen who’d rather read than party, like I do. (the one in the original series, not the lost twenty-something in A Day in the Life though I’m sure that’s in my future!)

Here’s my own personal progress on the Rory Gilmore reading challenge in my quest to emulate every part of the character that I can; I will keep this updated as I slosh my way though my TBR pile. I probably won’t read all of them (ESPECIALLY The Shining. I hate horror and Stephen King is just too good at what he does) but its fun to keep track!

Legend: bolded are books that I possess; striked out are books that I have read; I will include links to reviews if I have reviewed that book on my blog

  1. 1984 by George Orwell
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
  5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  8. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  9. Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
  10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
  11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
  15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
  17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
  18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
  23. The Bhagava Gita
  24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
  25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
  26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
  27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
  30. Candide by Voltaire
  31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
  32. Carrie by Stephen King
  33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
  37. Christine by Stephen King
  38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
  41. The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
  42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
  43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
  44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
  45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
  46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
  48. Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
  49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
  51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  52. Cujo by Stephen King
  53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
  55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
  56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
  58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
  59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  61. Deenie by Judy Blume
  62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
  63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
  64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
  65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  66. Don Quijote by Cervantes
  67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
  68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
  70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
  71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
  72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
  73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
  74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
  75. Emma by Jane Austen
  76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
  77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
  78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  79. Ethics by Spinoza
  80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
  81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
  82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
  84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
  86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
  87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
  88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
  89. The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
  91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
  93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
  94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
  96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
  99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
  100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
  101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
  102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
  103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
  104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
  105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
  106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
  107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – started and not finished
  108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
  109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
  111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
  112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
  113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
  117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
  119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
  121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
  123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
  124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
  125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
  126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
  128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
  129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
  130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
  131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
  133. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
  134. How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
  135. Howl by Allen Gingsburg
  136. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  137. The Iliad by Homer
  138. I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
  139. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  140. Inferno by Dante
  141. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
  142. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
  143. It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
  144. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  145. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  146. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  147. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
  148. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  149. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
  150. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
  151. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
  152. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  153. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  154. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
  155. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  156. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
  157. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
  158. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  159. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
  160. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  161. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  162. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
  163. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
  164. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  165. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  166. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  167. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  168. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  169. The Love Story by Erich Segal
  170. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  171. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  172. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
  173. Marathon Man by William Goldman
  174. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  175. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
  176. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
  177. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  178. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
  179. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
  180. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
  181. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  182. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  183. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
  184. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  185. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
  186. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
  187. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
  188. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
  189. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
  190. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  191. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  192. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
  193. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
  194. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
  195. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
  196. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
  197. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  198. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  199. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  200. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  201. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
  202. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
  203. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
  204. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
  205. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
  206. Night by Elie Wiesel
  207. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  208. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
  209. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
  210. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
  211. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  212. Old School by Tobias Wolff
  213. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  214. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  215. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  216. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
  217. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
  218. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  219. Othello by Shakespeare
  220. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  221. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
  222. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
  223. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  224. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  225. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
  226. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  227. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  228. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  229. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
  230. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
  231. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
  232. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
  233. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  234. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
  235. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
  236. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  237. Property by Valerie Martin
  238. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
  239. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
  240. Quattrocento by James Mckean
  241. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
  242. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
  243. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
  244. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
  245. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  246. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  247. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
  248. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  249. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
  250. The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien
  251. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
  252. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
  253. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
  254. Roman Fever by Edith Wharton
  255. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  256. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
  257. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
  258. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
  259. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
  260. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
  261. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
  262. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
  263. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
  264. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
  265. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  266. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
  267. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  268. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  269. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
  270. Selected Hotels of Europe
  271. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
  272. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  273. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  274. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
  275. Sexus by Henry Miller
  276. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  277. Shane by Jack Shaefer
  278. The Shining by Stephen King
  279. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  280. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  281. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  282. Small Island by Andrea Levy
  283. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
  284. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
  285. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
  286. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
  287. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
  288. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
  289. Songbook by Nick Hornby
  290. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
  291. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  292. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  293. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  294. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
  295. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  296. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  297. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
  298. Stuart Little by E. B. White
  299. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  300. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  301. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
  302. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
  303. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  304. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  305. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
  306. Time and Again by Jack Finney
  307. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  308. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
  309. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  310. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
  311. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  312. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  313. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
  314. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
  315. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  316. Ulysses by James Joyce
  317. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
  318. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  319. Unless by Carol Shields
  320. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  321. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
  322. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  323. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
  324. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  325. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  326. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  327. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
  328. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  329. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
  330. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
  331. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
  332. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  333. Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
  334. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
  335. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  336. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
  337. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  338. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
  339. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

So far I have read 35/339..which comes out to around 10%. I guess I better keep reading!

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book tour

Book Tour: Air and Ash

 

Author: Alex Lidell

Narrator: Kaitlin Bellamy

Length: 6 hours and 57 minutes

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Released: Sep. 8, 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy

Master and Commander meets Sarah J Maas in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess’s quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.

After a lifetime of training, 17-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission – and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battle worthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

Air and Ash is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and David Weber.

 

Alex Lidell is the author of Amazon best sellers AIR AND ASH and WAR AND WIND (Danger Bearing Press, 2017) and an Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books.

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Narrator Bio

Kaitlin Bellamy is a freelance performer and acting coach residing in Central Florida, with a theatrical history spanning more than twenty-five years.

Since relocating to Orlando in 2012, she has worked at multiple theme parks and various theatrical venues, in a career style she calls “Buffet Performing:” or, the idea of keeping several jobs active at any given time, so she may pick and choose where to work, and life never gets boring. Her specialties include Shakespeare, Voice Acting, and Puppetry. But above all, she is passionate about the performing arts, and all they stand for.

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Q&A with Author Alex Lidell
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • At the time I was writing AIR AND ASH, no. But now that I am on the third book in the series, having heard Kaitlin narrate AIR AND ASH, I do hear the characters speaking in her voice as I write.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I listed to sample reels of many narrators and then invited Kaitlin to audition. I really like the range of emotions and undertones she has within each character’s voice.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Very closely! I was really shy about sending her an audio file of my voice pronouncing some words, but it worked 🙂 We also have a shared google doc with character descriptions and we spent some time on the phone “auditioning” character voices. It was one of my favorite parts of the process and the reason I SO love working with Kaitlin.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Often by listening to audiobooks or watching some TV shows with the right atmosphere, and then analyzing the story/plot. What did I like about it? Why did I keep watching and listening? How can I apply that fun thing that got me excited to my own writing?
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I’m a HUGE listener. I fell in love with audiobooks listening to Master and Commander, where the narrator helped me understand some of the technical seamanship. My favorite narrator (aside from Kaitlin of course!) is Jennifer Ikeda
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I say Safety First! When I get into a book, I can’t pull away from it – so I end up walking down the street, reading my phone (yeah, i’m one of those horrible people). With audiobooks I can walk and listen!
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I have a habit of traveling to meet people who I’ve e-met during the writing process. After finishing WAR AND WIND (TIDES book 2), I went to see Rachel E Carter in CA. And in October I’m going to go see Kaitlin to celebrate AIR AND ASH audio.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I think YA fantasy fans are often comfortable with a series – I know I am – and expect it. Other genres have different fan bases. From an author perspective, a series lets me tell more complex overall stories, but makes logistics difficult. IE in book one, the distance between A and B might not matter so I say “umm, half a day by horse, sure, why not”. And then in book 3 it becomes vitally important that it take a WEEK to get from A to B,… and I have to somehow deal 🙂
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Talk to your narrator and make sure you click as professionals. I really lucked out with Kaitlin because of her excitement level and flexibility – but some people prefer to have more “distance”. It was a match with Kaitlin herself, not just her voice, that finally closed the deal for me
  • What’s next for you?
    • WAR AND WIND (Tides 2) comes out in audio in December. SEA AND SAND (Tides 3) comes out in print/ebook in January!

Oct. 18th:
The Audiobookworm

Adventures thru Wonderland

History from a Woman’s Perspective

My Creatively Random Life

Oct. 19th:

Lomeraniel

Jazzy Book Reviews

It’s Novel to Me

Oct. 20th:

Notes from ‘Round the Bend

Here’s to Happy Endings

Kasia Burlakoff

Oct. 21st:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Turning Another Page

Oct. 22nd:

What Is That Book About

Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog

Lilly’s Book World

Loves Great Reads

Oct. 23rd:

Spunky N Sassy

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Oct. 24th:

My World…in Words and Pages

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Smada’s Book Smack

Zach’s YA Reviews

Pregnant, Barefoot, in the Kitchen

 

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