October 31, 2014

The Monthly Digest: October 2014

Welcome back to The Monthly Digest here at Late Nights with Good Books. With these posts I hope to recap everything reading- and blogging-related for the past month.

The Books

Favorite Read from October:
I'm actually not sure. I enjoyed a number of these, but nothing really stood out to me. If I had to pick, I'd go with Starglass by Phoebe North.

Notable Quote from October:
And there comes a time in your life when you realize that if you don't take the opportunity to be happy, you may never get another chance again.
Richard Russo, Empire Falls

October Features:

In My Life
Unsurprisingly, October was a pretty busy month for me. So much has been happening that's required me to keep moving that I haven't had much of a chance to reflect on all the changes.

First off, I was offered a part-time youth reference assistant job at a public library. Yay! It's been a wonderful experience so far, and has really helped justify my desire to become a public librarian (not to mention it's now making me strongly consider becoming a youth librarian in particular). It's also been really nice to finally start practically applying all that I've been learning from my classes.

Because my job is focused on children, I am going to make some slight reading and reviewing adjustments. I haven't read many books targeted at an audience younger than YA recently, but now I'm going to start reading more MG fiction. I want to be able to give recommendations for books I've actually read, after all. So expect some more MG reviews on here (though probably not books for any audiences younger than that).

Between the new job, my classes, homework, and splitting my home between two locations, blogging's kind of had to take a backseat, and this trend will probably continue at least until the semester ends. However, I am participating in SciFi November. I plan on having about five reviews and two or three other posts going up throughout the month (just have to write them up), so be on the lookout for them!

How was your October?
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October 23, 2014

Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Published: 2011, Plume
Genre: Adult Romance, Realistic Fiction
Source: Purchased

Money and time, those were the two things that he always heard people complaining about, and he had plenty of both. There wasn’t anything Lincoln wanted that he couldn’t afford...

What more did he want? Love, he could hear Eve saying. Purpose. Love. Purpose. Those are the things you can’t plan for. Those are the things that just happen. And what if they don’t happen? Do you spend your whole life pining for them? Waiting to be happy?

Lincoln, Jennifer, and Beth all work for the Courier newspaper during the end of the twenty-first century in Omaha, Nebraska. Beth and Jennifer are good friends and continue their conversations through their work emails during the day. Neither of them knows Lincoln, but he’s getting to know each of them very well, as his job for IT is essentially reading through all the work emails that get flagged and issuing warnings to the senders.

When Jennifer and Beth’s emails start getting flagged, Lincoln knows that he should send them both warnings, but the messages are so interesting that he doesn’t at first. He loves their friendship with each other, and is starting to fall for Beth himself. But he’s never even met Beth, and certainly can’t introduce himself as the person who looks forward to reading her private messages each day.
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October 21, 2014

Top Ten Newer Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the BookishThis week we're discussing new series (those that started being published within the past two years) that we'd like to start reading ourselves.

Born of Illusion series by Teri Brown — I love it when authors can convincingly intermix historical eras/events with the fantastical. And this is about Houdini and magicians.
Of Metal and Wishes series by Sarah Fine — A Phantom of the Opera retelling taken in new historical and cultural directions? That's all I need to know.
Just One Day duology by Gayle Forman — I feel as though I may be unfairly prejudiced against Forman after not loving If I Stay. I want to give her a second chance by reading her newer series.
Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith — No matter how uninterested I am in the subject matter of this series, it's written by J.K. Rowling and so will get read eventually.
The Young Elites series by Marie Lu — The Legend series grew on me over time, and I love the premise of Lu's newest series. I'm hoping that no adjustment period will be necessary here.

Blackthorn and Grim trilogy by Juliet Marillier — I haven't read anything new by Marillier in years. Here's to fixing that problem with her latest historical fantasy series.
All Our Pretty Songs trilogy by Sarah McCarry — I desperately want to read this modern, feminist retelling of the "Orpheus and Eurydice" myth.
Not a Drop to Drink duology by Mindy McGinnis — I have high hopes that this post-apocalyptic story will be as refreshing an addition to this genre for me as it has been for so many other readers.
The Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarity — I love how whimsical this series sounds! Seriously, sentient colors?
Reboot duology by Amy Tintera — I really like the premise of this duology. Even more, I like that this is a duology.

What newer series are you hoping to start soon?
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October 17, 2014

Ready to Become a Fan of... Katherine Longshore

Ready to Become a Fan of... focuses on those authors new and old whose works I have every intention of eventually reading, but haven't been able to devote the time to just yet. By discussing authors and their works that I'm sure I'll love, given the chance, hopefully I can be more easily compelled to take the next step in not simply acquiring one of their books, but actually take the time to read it.

This month I'm putting on record that I am ready to become a fan of Katherine Longshore.

About the author:
According to her Twitter profile, Longshore is a "YA writer, world traveller, author of the GILT series and MANOR OF SECRETS. [She likes] books and history (and chocolate). (source)

Work I'm most looking forward to reading:

In the court of King Henry VIII, nothing is free--and love comes at the highest price of all.

When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head. (Goodreads)

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October 14, 2014

Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're essentially listing our top ten bookish locations. We were given latitude over whether to choose real or fictional places, so I chose to select five in these two subcategories.

Real Destinations from Books:

Tarpon Springs, Florida from Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Paris from The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand
Central America from Wanderlove by Kirstin Hubbard
North Star, Texas from Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
Prague from Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor  

Fictional Destinations from Books:
The Realms from the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray
Tortall from the Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce
Lyra's Oxford from His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
The wizarding world from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Middle-earth from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Please let me know what bookish destinations you'd love to visit!
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October 13, 2014

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
Published: October 14, 2014, Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Olivia Mead’s life in 1900 Oregon is slowly but inexorably undergoing a sort of social turmoil. A number of states have already granted women the right to vote, and, although a recent vote again repudiated their hopes for suffrage, the fact that the presidential election is upcoming and women from other states have equal rights has kept the campaign going strong. Livie is interested in the efforts, but doesn’t necessarily consider herself to be a full-blown suffragist.

That all changes when her father, after hearing how easily she was hypnotized at a local show, hires the hypnotist to transform her into the perfect domestic woman. But the hypnotist slightly alters her father’s request; instead of giving Livie the ability to see the world as her father and anti-suffragists think it should be, he tells her to see the world as it truly is. Now Livie has the ability to see the good and evil in people, and to see how the lack of women’s rights is causing her fellow females to literally fade away. Far from turning Livie into a model woman, her father’s wishes make Livie a rebel who is no longer content to allow things to remain the way they’ve always been.

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October 7, 2014

Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, #1
Published: 2014, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: Purchased

Margot would say she belongs to herself. Kitty would say she belongs to no one. And I guess I would say I belong to my sisters and my dad, but that won’t always be true. To belong to someone—I didn’t know it, but now that I think about, it seems like that’s all I’ve ever wanted. To really be somebody’s, and to have them be mine.

Lara Jean’s family is at a good place. But nothing good lasts forever, and Lara Jean is dreading the day her older sister Margot goes off to college in Scotland. Margot, who has held their family together ever since their mother died back when they were little. Margot, who has taken care of Lara Jean, their younger sister Kitty, and their father for so many years now. Lara Jean knows that it’s now her turn to take charge, but she’s not looking forward to her sister and best friend leaving her.

And, to make matters even worse, Lara Jean discovers that somehow the letters she’s written to her crushes over the years have actually been sent out. Those secret crushes? Not so secret anymore. Her most unfortunate crush was the one that Lara Jean harbored (and perhaps still harbors) for Margot’s now ex-boyfriend Josh. To save herself from further humiliation, Lara Jean makes a deal with another one of her letter recipients, Peter K. “Dating” Peter K. is the perfect plan: Josh will think Lara Jean’s truly over him, and Peter K.’s ex-girlfriend Genevieve will get so jealous she’ll come crawling back into Peter’s arms.
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October 5, 2014

Showcase Sunday #18

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicki at Books, Biscuits and Tea. Its aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

It may look like I spent a lot of money on books, but only two were full price here. The rest were free or only a few dollars each.

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Thank you to Delacorte Press and Netgalley! I've been meaning to read some of Jay's works for a while now, and this story about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, who is a warrior and dresses as a boy, sounds like such a me book.
Part of my birthday haul from my parents. Thank you! I love this premise and am  really excited to read this one. Plus, I think it will be perfect for some writing research.
A Darkness Strange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly, #2) by Susan Dennard
Part of my birthday haul from my parents. Thank you! I read the first book via my Kindle, purchased the third book at a signing, and needed a copy of the second to round out the trilogy and my reading of it.
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Part of my birthday haul from my parents. Thank you! I wasn't the biggest fan of Throne of Glass, but I've only heard the series gets better, so again after purchasing a third copy for Sarah's signing, I asked for a copy of the second.
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Part of my birthday haul from my parents. Thank you! I feel like I've been waiting for this book for years now. I love retellings and I love that this mixes the historical fiction surrounding the first "Rapunzel" retelling with the fairy tale itself.
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October 2, 2014

Review: I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai & Christina Lamb 
Published: 2013, Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction
Source: From my university

Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.

Most people know who Malala is, at least on some level. As the subtitle states, Malala is the girl who continued to promote the importance of female education in a Taliban-controlled country, who was considered enough of a threat to ultimately get shot, and who now has become a major symbol in education and gender rights movements. But she is so much more than simply a symbol, but a daughter, a sister, a Swat Valley resident, a Muslim, a girl unafraid to stand up for her values. We all know the superhuman side of Malala, and this memoir gives readers the chance to see Malala’s human side.

When my university offered me the opportunity to receive a free copy of this book to read so that I could then lead some book discussions in the surrounding community, I jumped at the chance. Nonfiction memoirs especially are not my typical choice in reading material, but every once in a while I find they can open my eyes to current global events in new and important ways, and that was certainly the case here.
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