20 Best Book Deals for 10/17/19: Jackaby, Dear Martin, Quiet, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $1

The Language of Spells by Sarah Painter

Waking up in Vegas by Romy Sommer

The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble

Gilded by Christina Farley

Less than $2

Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener

The Sisters Hemingway by Annie England Noblin

Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid

Jackaby by William Ritter

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

A Dangerous Duet by Karen Odden

Double Exposure by Bridget Birdsall

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

The Collector’s Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Less than $3

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

The Science of Discworld by Terry Pratchett with Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen


Recommended from this post:

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills [Review]

Famous in a Small TownSophie’s marching band has been invited to march at the Rose Parade. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they’re going to be able to raise enough money to actually get there. That’s when Sophie comes up with a genius idea–if she can get hometown celebrity Megan Pleasant to come to a local festival, they might just be able to raise enough funds to make the trip. Sophie enlists her friends and newcomer August in this mission to get Megan Pleasant to come home at last.

TL;DR – Characters feel like characters rather than real people and the main character’s kind of taken for granted, but still a really enjoyable read.

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

I absolutely tear through these books. Emma Mills is really good at writing characters that are enjoyable to read. Even though her characters are a little too witty almost all of the time, I still find myself enjoying the banter. You kind of just have to accept that these are obviously characters–not real people. One thing I liked about this book is that Sophie already has an established group of friends. I’ve noticed a trend in YA Contemporary where the main character is kind of this misfit and/or a really introverted girl who gets absorbed into this quirky friend group and is handed a love interest. I thought Sophie’s group of friends was interesting and I felt that their shared history gave the group depth.

On the other hand, there were a lot of times when I felt like Sophie was being completely taken advantage of and the rest of the group was acting really selfishly. Sophie cares so much for other people–ESPECIALLY HER FRIENDS–and I felt like she was repeatedly getting trampled on (figuratively speaking). I mean, how hard is it for her friends to care about the Megan Pleasant thing for TWO SECONDS just because it’s important to Sophie?!? TWO SECONDS. I just wish they’d been more supportive of Sophie.

The plot takes some interesting turns, but I don’t want to spoil anything. I’ll just say that one of the twists had me bawling and the other seemed…a little bit of a stretch. How everything played out just seemed a bit questionable and maybe a tad too convenient?

Overall, I liked this book as much as Mills’ other ones and will definitely continue to pick up her stuff. I had some minor issues with it, but nothing that really prevented me from enjoying it.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Heavy

Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Moderate

 

15 Best Book Deals for 10/9/19: The Boys in the Boat, 99 Percent Mine, Medium Raw, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $1

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Less than $2

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable–And Couldn’t by Steve Volk

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Otherworld by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Less than $3

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Time Bomb by Joelle Charbonneau

Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


Recommended from this post:

Holly Black Mini-Reviews

Let’s be honest, this is probably only part 1 of a series of Holly Black reviews (I’m on a binge) but I need to get these reviews out. I read the Tithe books years ago in junior high (I think I was just a tad too young to be reading them, but here we are) and haven’t really picked up any Holly Black since. I remember really liking that series and I just hadn’t gotten around to picking up anything else by her even though I kept adding her books to my TBR. This month I finally took the plunge and I am HAPPY to be back.

mini-reviews

The Cruel Prince

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this book. I remembered Black’s version of Faerie, but I didn’t know anything about this series specifically. I’ll be honest–I don’t LOVE Jude as a protag. I guess she’s supposed to be an anti-hero? Perhaps I’ve just been extremely spoiled in my anti-heroes, but I didn’t find her as likable as some others that I’ve read. She was just a little much for me. I really wanted her to slow down and think a little bit more and for her to be less chippy. One thing I loved about this book were Black’s previous character cameos. THIS is how you do a character cameo *cough*LeighBardugo*cough*. It felt natural and not at all name drop-y. To be honest, I wasn’t totally sure that the cameos were happening–I had to go look up Black’s other characters. In the end, I did quite enjoy this book and was happy to find that I could immediately check out the next one. 4/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

 The Wicked King

Just a quick spoiler warning for this one: this mini-review may spoil some of the events from the first book–just a warning.

Jude continued to be a confusing character for me. I don’t totally understand her constant lust for power. I felt like maybe I needed more backstory from her featuring the times when she felt most powerless. How did she get to this point? I also don’t love the relationship between Jude and Taryn. They’re twins that went through this really traumatic thing together and I wish they were closer. I really wanted them to be on the same team. I guess the argument could be made that Locke essentially turned them against each other? But I think if they’re relationship had been stronger, it would have been able to withstand that. Mostly, I just found myself a little confused throughout this book over characters and even sometimes over plot. I felt like I would have benefited from one or two other POVs. As it was, I didn’t feel like I completely understood everything that was happening. Without spoiling this book, I 0% understand why the person who betrayed Jude did. They gave minimal reasoning, but it still doesn’t make sense to me. Lastly, Valerian cursed Jude when she killed him towards the end of the last book and that literally hasn’t come up once. Just wondering if that’s ever going to come into play… Regardless, I will clearly be reading the last book and anticipation is HIGH. 4/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback (preorder) | Kindle

 The Darkest Part of the Forest

This book mostly takes place in the human world which was both good and bad. I find the faerie world that Black has created to be extremely fascinating so I love getting to explore it. With that being said, I also thought it was really interesting how this mortal town has accepted the Folk and have learned to live around them. I really liked Hazel as a character right away. I thought she was tough and I felt like I could understand her as a person and why she made certain choices. In contrast, I felt like Severin got almost no development as a character and the romantic relationship that involves him also had zero development–it just kind of happened. Literally, Severin declared, “I love this person!” and we’re all just supposed to go along with it. Ummm…okay, I guess? One part of this that I especially liked was the relationship between Ben and Hazel. I liked that they were a monster-fighting team. They were friends and siblings and their relationship felt super pure. I’d love to see these characters (but especially Hazel, Ben, and Jack) in future/other books. 4/5

Order: Paperback | Kindle

9 books my baby loves

My baby just turned 1 1/2! It’s crazy how fast that time has gone by, but I also simultaneously know that 18 months is no time at all. My baby does NOT like my reading to him (goodbye dreams of snuggling up before bed reading a book together). He doesn’t like me holding books or turning the pages, but then he turns pages too fast for me to actually read so… It’s been a struggle–he’s just too independent I guess. Regardless, I wanted to share with you guys some of the books he’s loving lately.

Baby books

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst – The board book version has black and white illustrations with Alexander being the only character in color. There’s a lot more text compared to some other children’s books too, so it surprised me that D likes this one so much, but I find him paging through it all the time!

Don Quixote: A Babylit Spanish Language Primer by Jennifer Adams – We got a few of these classics for babies, but D especially loves this one. It has words in English and then the same words in Spanish on the opposite page. A lot of times with books, D will pick out one page especially that he likes, and this one has a page with goats that he always turns to.

I Love You, Blankie by Sheryl Haft – D is rather attached to his own blankie so I guess this one resonates with him? This is a special favorite of his. If I ask him if he wants to read a book, there’s a more than 50% chance that he’ll pull this one off the shelf. It’s such a cute read too, so I don’t mind! (Not that he actually lets me read it to him, but it’s cute to page through).

Baby Shark by John John Bajet – My mom found this as a board book somewhere an sent this to us. D really likes the song (obviously) and will make little pinching motions with his fingers when he wants to read this book. It’s pretty cute. His favorite page in this one is the Great White Shark page.

Baby Touch and Feel: Baby Dinosaurs by DK – We have like three of these books and he loves them all, but he’s been really into the Baby Dinosaur one recently. They’re great because they have both soft and rough textures. For a while D was super into rough textures, so these were perfect.

Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions by Abrams Appleseed – D has always loved this book ever since he was a little(r) baby! He loves the mirror in the back and looking at all the other babies. I also saw a pic where one of Beyonce’s twins was reading this so…you know it’s got to be good if Beyonce’s giving it to her babies.

That’s Not My Panda by Fiona Watt – There are other books in this series, I believe, but this is the one we have. They all look super cute though! D loves scratching the panda’s back and feeling the soft belly at the end.

Never Touch a Monster by Make Believe Ideas Ltd – This is just one more touch and feel book that has super fun textures. We also have the dragon one and it looks like there are others in the series as well!

First 100 Words by Roger Priddy – This book is so great! It’s really basic with words and pictures grouped together in categories. D used to love the bath time pages with all of the babies, but lately he’s been gravitating more towards the animal pages.

12 Best Book Deals for 10/3/19: Dear Martin, 99 Days, The Lady from the Black Lagoon, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $1

Halsey Street by Naima Coster

Less than $2

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani

The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara

Less than $3

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman


Recommended from this post:

Weeding my TBR | sharing tips and my own progress

I don’t know about you guys, but when I first started blogging, I threw everything on my TBR! Okay, not everything, but basically any book that got any amount of hype. Here I am, almost five years later and my TBR has grown immensely. There are so many books on there that I have no recollection hearing about. And every time before now that I’ve tried to weed my TBR, I’ve become overwhelmed. Goodreads doesn’t have a very good weeding feature that I’ve found–every time you remove a book from your “Want to Read” shelf the whole page reloads and then you have to rescroll to where you were…it’s a process. So every other weeding attempt has found me giving up after deleting like 10 books, max. But I think I’ve finally found a way to clean up my TBR!

Weeding my TBR

Sort your TBR first

One of the biggest difficulties with my previous weeding attempts is that it’s hard for me to remember what I’ve already taken a look at and decided to keep. When I was still working at the library, we would divide big group weeding projects (thousands of books) up into sections that made it a lot more manageable, so I did something similar here. I alphabetized the titles in my TBR list and just took it one letter at a time–I didn’t have to do everything all at once. There are a ton of different ways you could sort it–author, publication year, page count, whatever! Just pick a way that works for you and stick with it throughout the whole project.

Figure out your weeding standards

Another thing I learned from library weeding–you don’t have to look at every book. If there was something that was in good condition and was circulating well, then we just left it on the shelf. Similarly, if there’s a book on your shelf that you already KNOW you want to read, then just go ahead and leave it.

But for the books you do want to look at, you’ll have to decide what determines if it will stay on your list. Here’s the process I go through:

  1. I reread the synopsis–does it grab me? This is the most important step for me because if it doesn’t sound interesting to me anymore, then I’m probably going to remove it.
  2. I consider the overall star rating. Anything under 3.75 may act as a little warning flag for me.
  3. Last, I consider my Goodreads friends ratings. Most of my Goodreads friends are other bloggers that I interact with and I trust their ratings more than the overall Goodreads rating. If the Goodreads rating is low, but my friends are giving it 4 or 5 stars, I’m more likely to keep it.

You can obviously use whatever standards you want, this is just how I’ve been doing it.

Remember the sunk cost fallacy

Sunk Cost Fallacy is something that we talked about in my Econ classes A TON. Humans act in this really irrational way where we’ll do something even if we’re not enjoying it because we feel like we have to for whatever reason. For example, people will overeat to a point where they’re super uncomfortable at a buffet because they feel like they need to “get their money’s worth”. In my case, I’ll keep a book on my Kindle even if I’m not interested in it anymore because I paid for it. This has been a huge sticking point for me, but finally I think I’ve gotten past it. Don’t let the fact that you bought a book make you keep it on your TBR if you’ve lost all interest in reading it!

How well did it work?

This is the first year that I’ve been trying to keep track of my TBR growth. At the beginning of the year, my TBR was at 383 books. By the beginning of August, I was at 469 books which is an 86 book increase. That’s not even taking into account books that I’ve read from my TBR, so with that in mind I’ve probably added over 100 books to my TBR so far this year.

I started this project towards the end of August, so I’ll use 469 books as my TBR starting point. It’s taken some time to get through it all and even though I’ve been adding books in the meantime as well, I’ve gotten it down to…..drumroll….306 books! That’s a difference of 106! It’s crazy to me that I had so many books chilling on my TBR that I wasn’t interested in reading anymore. It’s almost like I’m starting over fresh! I can now move forward with my lighter, more concise list. It feels like I can actually go to my TBR to pick my next read now instead of feeling crazy overwhelmed by it! I know that I’m actually interested in every book on my list. I was reminded of so many books that I feel EXCITED about and I’m going to try to actually use my TBR in the future instead of just adding books to it.