Pick Me Up Monday: The Starless Sea

SUMMARY

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood.

Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.


PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2019


This book.

Oh, THIS BOOK.

I was thoroughly enthralled with Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, swept away on a dizzying, swirling, spinning display of carnival magic. How do you follow that? How do you conjure that kaleidoscope of glorious enchantment for Project #2?

Ever since then, I’ve been waiting. Patiently and not-so-patiently in equal measure. Masterpieces cannot be rushed. But at long last!!!! It’s time to be swept away on Morgenstern’s tidal wave of illusions once more, bewitched by her prose and the images she weaves together like brightly colored ribbons.


What whimsical read are you looking forward to for the dreary winter months? Let me know in the comments!

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Pick Me Up Monday: Winterwood

Summary

Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.


PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 2019


Halloween might be over but there will always be room on the shelf for another witchy read! What atmospheric, spine-tingling books have you read this year? Let me know in the comments!

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The Librarian’s Bookshelf: Pumpkinheads

S’mores and autumn leaves, soft over-sized sweaters and pumpkin spice everything, caramel apples and bonfires. Rainbow Rowell has captured the starry-eyed joy of Halloween in this cozy, adorable, and sweet graphic novel. The very definition of “heart warming”.

REVIEW

Every year throughout high school, Deja and Josiah work at the Pumpkin Patch together during the Halloween season, manning the Succotash Hut. They’re seasonal friends – when Halloween is over, they don’t keep in touch, they don’t do anything together. But when Halloween rolls around, Deja and Josiah are attached at the hip.

Changes are on the horizon though. Next year: college. No more Pumpkin Patch. And Deja and Josiah are determined to make the most of their last night together.

Deja, the spunky best friend, is dead set on pushing Josiah to finally stop mooning over the cute fudge shop girl and actually talk to her. But things go haywire, again and again and again. Will Deja and Josiah’s last night together tear them apart?

Continue reading “The Librarian’s Bookshelf: Pumpkinheads”

Pick Me Up Monday: Pumpkinheads

Welcome to the season of the pumpkin! Today’s Pick Me Up Monday features a cozy, heart-warming graphic novel to get you in the fuzzy hug-me-soft sweater feeling of fall: “Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

SUMMARY

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different―Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if―instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut―they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years.

What if their last shift was an adventure?

PUBLISHED AUGUST 2019

Get your copy here!

Literally anything by Rainbow Rowell will never disappoint. She has such a heart-felt, vulnerable, refreshing quality to her writing, settings, and characters that you want to crawl into the book, curl up, and never leave.

This is storytelling at its finest. With an inundation of media relying on shock value – gratuitous violence, trauma, etc. – to serve as conflict, Rowell’s voice is clear, crisp, and gloriously satisfying. Nothing is extraneous, aka shallow prose that boosts word count, and conflict flows naturally, rather than fabricated from toxicity, abusive and manipulative relationships. Her characters are organic and down-to-earth in a way that feels like looking in a mirror. It’s as close to seeing yourself in a book as you can possibly get.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m more than ready to escape into this book!


What new releases have you read in 2019? What releases are you looking forward that will get you in the seasonal spirit? Drop a line in the comments and tell me about it!

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Weird Friday Reads

Happy Friday the 13th! To celebrate this superstition-wreathed day, I’ve gathered some of my favorite book recommendations – teen and middle grade – for some spooky, eerie, and just plain weird story telling!

Doll Bones

by Holly Black

For some reason, dolls hold a long-standing tradition of creepy potential. Maybe it’s the glassy, unstaring eyes. Or the ones that blink (shudder). Either way, Holly Black does an excellent job of balancing the creepy with the heroic and heart-warming in this book. A dead girl’s restless spirit has taken up residence in a doll and three kids have to bring the little girl’s ghost some peace. So begins an adventure of fantastic tales, conjured from the boundless imagination of children.

Grab a copy here!


The Diviners

by Libba Bray

In The Diviners, Libba Bray weaves several story lines together into a glittering masterpiece of the roaring ’20s. There’s champagne, fashion, music, spirits, seances, speakeasies, murder, and a haunted house that breathes. Not a dull moment passes in this action-packed story and that’s just book one. The eerie saga continues in The Diviners series here.


The Screaming Staircase

(Lockwood & Co Book 1)

by Jonathan Stroud

All manner of eerie things happen in this saga, from specters and wraiths to ghosts and spirits. Psychic Detection Agencies pop up all over London to handle these spooky scenarios, including Lucy Carlyle and Anthony Lockwood, of Lockwood & Co. After a particularly harrowing mission, Lucy and Anthony find themselves caught in one of the most haunted houses in all of London, with a legendary Red Room and a Screaming Staircase.

Grab a copy here!


Thornhill

by Pam Smy

In this middle grade graphic novel, every page is filled with chilling suspense and bone-chilling dread. Ella is the quiet, lonely new girl in town. Across the street is an old, abandoned, forgotten house, overgrown with weeds and falling down. But then…a girl appears in the yard. And she looks right at Ella, beckons her over to come play.
How can Ella resist? And what secrets will she find in the crumbling walls of Thornhill?


Scary Stories for Young Foxes

by Christian McKay Heidicker

Nothing says eerie like H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Bram Stoker. Those names are the inspiration behind this haunting tale for children, where two foxes are separated from their families and find that the world is full of monsters. This book is divided into sixteen continuous tales for the reader who might like some bite-sized spookiness, including witches, zombies, ghouls, and other creepy beasties.


What superstitious tales would you recommend for Friday the 13th? Drop a line below in the comments and tell me about them!

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