April Literati Box

Adrian’s ninth Literati box arrived a few weeks ago (see boxes onetwo, threefourfivesix, seven, and eight). We kept all five again this month.

This month’s theme was Embrace the Wild. Look at all those gorgeous greens! In addition to the art and bookmark, it came with a Mad Libs and and an origami kit.

The origami kit has some really pretty colors. The directions seem to be pretty easy to follow. Quite a fun addition to the books.

The books this month were Very Bad People by Kit Frick, How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff, Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, and Forgotten City by Michael Ford.

April Owlcrate Box

April’s theme for our Owlcrate box was Peek Behind the Curtain. As soon as I opened the box I could see the colors were gorgeous.

The book is Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor. Her letter explains where she got the ideas for what she wrote. It sounds like a super fun book!

The printing on the book with the lock and key theme is really pretty as are the endpapers. The book is signed by the author, too, of course. The reverse side of the dust jacket is truly lovely. What an amazing picture!

The box included all sorts of fun book-themed stuff. There was some ground coffee that’s chocolate eclair flavor (I hate the smell of coffee, but this smelled really good). Ani took that home with her. Then there was a wax seal kit I can’t wait to use.

Look at that beautiful design on the stamp and the gorgeous pink wax.

There was a microwave popcorn maker. Just add kernels and fold the flaps down and pop it in the microwave. Ani claimed that. The clock is so pretty as is the mouse pad. Ani took those home with her as well. I always get the luggage tag pin.

I put the luggage tag pin right on my backpack. Ani went home and made herself some popcorn and a cup of the coffee (and then immediately started shopping for more flavors because it was so good).

April Reads

I read nine books and a total of 3913 pages in April. I started out with A Million Miles in a Thousand Days by Donald Miller. That was our book group book for the month. I gave it four stars, though the longer I think about it the more I think I should have given it three or even two stars. Next I finally finished Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. That was our book group book for March. I had so much trouble getting through it and never liked it much. I gave it two stars.

After that I read The Blackmail Club by David Bishop. While it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, it was close. Definitely in the top five. Some of the worst writing I’ve see with a note at the end saying not to tell him about any “imagined” mistakes (like… spelling a character’s name wrong?). I gave it one star. The next book I finished was Reached by Ally Condie. I read that to the boys for their bedtime story. It was just as good the second time around (a decade later) as when I read it the first time. I gave it five stars.

Then I read Genesis by Robin Cook. I always enjoy his medical thrillers. I just loves how he builds his stories. I gave that one five stars of course. After that I read One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. That’s one of Ani’s favorites and I can see why. I gave it five stars as well. My next book was Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffancy D. Jackson. After fifty pages it really picked up and I very much enjoyed the rest. I gave it four stars. Then I read Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards. That was an incredible book. I was so stressed through the whole thing. It was an easy five stars. Finally I read A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. It’s a new take on Holmes and Watson, though sometimes it tried too hard. I gave it three stars.

My favorite book of the month: Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

My least favorite book of the month: The Blackmail Club by David Bishop

Number of 5 Star Books: 5
Number of 4 Star Books: 2
Number of 3 Star Books: 1
Number of 2 Star Books: 1
Number of 1 Star Books: 1

46/100 book read for my goal of the year… 54 to go!

And a sneak peak at my overly ambitious TBR list for May…

March Owlcrate

Last month Ani and I decided to go halfsies on an Owlcrate subscription. Our first box was so much fun!

The book last month was A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson. I haven’t read it yet but it sounds like it’s going to be so good. The Owlcrate dust jacket is gorgeous (and reversible).

The edges are sprayed red. With the mostly black dust jacket those red edges are just gorgeous. It’s signed by the author, too.

The inside of the dust jacket is absolutely beautiful. The colors are so nice and the pictures so pretty. The outside of the book is embossed to match the outside of the jacket.

Along with the book we got a whole bunch of fun stuff inspired by various books. The hardest part was decided who gets what!

We got an art card binder. That is sitting on the shelf with the book (and lots of other books) with the March art displayed inside.

This is a book sleeve. Ani very quickly claimed that. Is so pretty and perfect for toting around a book inside.

This is a set of really neat bookish quotes stickers. Ani took it home to share with her roommates. Stickers and the littles don’t mix well.

The way age-defying face mask goes with The Picture of Dorian Gray is so perfect. We gave this to my mom to try out.

I claimed the literary luggage pin. It now lives on my mini backpack. I love how it looks on there. The colors go nicely together.

The final thing in the box was an embroidery kit. Haley was thrilled to be given it. Our April Owlcrate should be here any time. I can’t wait to see what it contains!

March Reads

In March I read a total of 4069 pages which was 11 books. I started the month out strong with Generation M by Scott Cramer, the third book in the dystopian Toucan Trilogy. That was an easy five stars. Next I read Beyond the Bougainvillea by Dolores Durando. That one is historical fiction set starting right around the beginning of the Great Depression. The author was 90 when she wrote it and it was her very first book! I gave it three stars.

My next book was The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat, a middle grade book with a main character who is thrilled to discovered Fairy exists and not just in her books. I gave it five stars. Then I read Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson. It’s a riff on Peter Pan, but focused on Tiger Lily in the time before Wendy arrived in Neverland. I gave it four stars. The next book I finished was Edgar Allan Poe: The Complete Tales and Poems. Let’s just say there is good reason we only know about the popular (good) ones he wrote. It took me exactly five months to finish that book. I gave it two stars.

Then I finished reading Crossed by Ally Condie to the big boys for their bedtime story. It’s the middle book of the Matched Trilogy and there’s just so much running. I gave it four stars. Next I read Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon. I’ve told anyone who will listen about this book. My only problem with it was that I read it too fast. I gave it five stars. After that I read The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I did not see the end of that one coming at all. Another five star book.

My next book was In a Dark Land by Christina Soontornvat. It’s the continuation of the series I started earlier in the month where the main character discovered Fairy exists. I gave it five stars as well. Next I read The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. She is one of my favorite authors and truly never disappoints. This story was not wrapped up and tied with a bow which somehow made it even better. I gave it five stars of course. My last book of the month was A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat. It was a sweet story inspired by Les Miserables. I gave it five stars. About half the month was a pretty awesome run of five star books. I love when that happens.

My favorite book of the month: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

My least favorite book of the month: Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems

Number of 5 Star Books: 7
Number of 4 Star Books: 2
Number of 3 Star Books: 1
Number of 2 Star Books: 1
Number of 1 Star Books: 0

36/100 book read for my goal of the year… 64 to go!

And a sneak peak at my much more realistic TBR list for April…

Book of the Month March and April

I finished off the three month Book of the Month subscription Ani gave me for Christmas in March with The Unsinkable Greta James.

I’ve liked the books I’ve gotten so much that I subscribed for a year so in April my pick was Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett. I didn’t even realize until it arrived and I noticed the author’s name that I’ve read another book by her, Hollywood Homicide, and quite enjoyed it.

March Literati Box

Adrian’s eighth Literati box arrived a few weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven). This was another keep all five month.

As usual the art was gorgeous. The colors are so nice. It also came with a constellation activity to do. Not sure which of the books is about space. There’s always something in a book or an overall theme that inspire the art.

Killing Time and Nine were easy yeses. When We Were Magic was a bit of a debate, but ultimately he decided it sounded good and he wanted to keep it.

Redemption Prep sounds quite interesting and didn’t require any debate, but The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor was a yes before I even read the synopsis to him. It’s a graphic novels and graphic novels are always a yes for Adrian.

February Literati Box

Adrian’s seventh Literati box arrived a couple weeks ago (see boxes one, two, three, four, five, and six). We only kept three of books this month.

The poster, bookmark, and bookplates were fun as usual. I love the colors in the poster. The bookmark’s colors are pretty nice, too.

These are the three books we’re keeping. The Initial Insult and Rule sound pretty great. When I read the synopsis of One of Us is Lying to Adrian he responded “wow!” I was pretty excited about that one because it was on my Amazon wishlist. This month’s yeses require no debate at all.

These are the two books we sent back. We have both on Kindle already. I read Be More Chill in January and it was pretty much horrible. I offered to let Adrian keep The Fowl Twins in paper form if he wanted but he decided against it. Be More Chill was going back no matter what, that’s how bad it is.

February Reads

In February I read 13 books (including one graphic novel). That was 5024 pages (not including the graphic novel). I started with Sleep, My Child, Forever by John Coston, a true crime book about a case from the 80s where the mother killed her kids for insurance money. I gave it five stars. Next I finished No Unhallowed Hand: Saints 2, another five star book. I had started reading it over a year ago and then forgot about it and finally finished it.

After that was Lovely War by Julie Berry. This was my real life book club pick for the month and was so good. Another five star book. My next book was Night Without End by DP Fitzsimons, the second book in a series I started almost five years ago. I gave it four stars. Then I read Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. It was my Book of the Month pick in January and it was so good. Another five star book.

My next book was the graphic novel, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff. I gave it 5 stars. It was just so well written and illustrated. It’s one of those books that has just stuck with me and I’ve found myself telling other people about it. After that I finished reading Matched by Ally Condie to the boys for their bedtime story. I gave it five stars. It’s still as good as the first time I read it a decade ago.

Then I read The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan. This one was a solid four stars, full of the humor expected ever since Percy Jackson came out. Next I read The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek. Such a great mind vacation fun book. I gave it five stars. After that was Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett. I gave it four stars. Humor, fun, predictability… everything I like in a cozy mystery.

My next book was Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover. I gave it three stars for the incredible lack of research into how foster care works or what happens when someone gives birth in jail during a relatively short sentence. After that I read The Family Next Door by John Glatt. I gave it three stars. It was fascinating and horrifying, but the second half was basically a rehash of the first half. My final read of the month was The First Round Table by Ben Gillman. It was in need of an editor and was long paragraphs of explanation making anything interesting much more dreadful so I only gave it one star.

My favorite book of the month: Long Way Down (graphic novel) by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff

My least favorite book of the month: The First Round Table by Ben Gillman

Number of 5 Star Books: 7
Number of 4 Star Books: 3
Number of 3 Star Books: 2
Number of 2 Star Books: 0
Number of 1 Star Books: 1

24/100 book read for my goal of the year… 76 to go!

And a sneak peak at my overly ambitious TBR list for March…