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Thursday, September 27, 2018


It's that time again!
Join me for the #30DayBookBinge, the most low-key, low-presh book "challenge" ever.

More info here at bit.ly/30DayBookBinge
(post with printables will be live on the 1st)
or follow along on social media with the hashtag #30DayBookBinge!

Hope to see you joining in this month!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Time for another backlist love! This one is another deviation from the norm, in that we're looking at books I *haven't* read, but just had to have, for some reason? And yet they're just sitting untouched on my shelves... Also, Amazon informs me that I actually own multiple copies of not 1, but TWO of these books!

(Amazon also informs me that two of the three are on sale! So that's probably why...)

Thief's Covenant, Ari Marmell, vlog, backlist love, book blog, ya books, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
Once she was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escaped destitution and climbed to the ranks of the city's aristocracy in a rags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horrid night, when a conspiracy of forces--human and other--stole it all away in a flurry of blood and murder. Today she is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon's underbelly with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshippers but Widdershins herself. It's not a great life, certainly nothing compared to the one she once had, but it's hers.

But now, in the midst of Davillon's political turmoil, an array of hands are once again rising up against her, prepared to tear down all that she's built. The City Guard wants her in prison. Members of her own Guild want her dead. And something horrid, something dark, something ancient is reaching out for her, a past that refuses to let her go.

Widdershins and Olgun are going to find answers, and justice, for what happened to her--but only if those who almost destroyed her in those years gone by don't finish the job first.

Angelfall, Penryn, Susan Ee,  vlog, backlist love, book blog, ya books, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with Raffe, an injured enemy angel. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco, where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

Sweet Venom, Tera Lynn Childs, vlog, backlist love, book blog, ya books, The Book Rat, BookRatMisty
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they’re triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful Gorgon maligned in myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I Do Not Trust You by Laura J Burns and Melinda Metz | excerpt

I Do Not Trust You, Laura J. Burns, Melinda Metz, excerpt, blog tour, ya book, adventure books, Egyptian mythology, YA romance

Today, I'm joining the blog tour for I Do Not Trust You, a globe-trotting, Egyptian god -wielding adventure / slash / romance-ish thing, which I will be reviewing in short order. But until then, I've got an excerpt to share with you, so you can get a taste of the style!
Check it out below, let me know your thoughts in the comments, and whether this book is on your to-read list, and keep an eye out for my upcoming review!

“You should’ve seen Miss Memphis here get into it with Nick last period,” Brianna said, squeezing in between M and Inez at their usual spot in the cafeteria. “She shut him down with her crazy ancient cultures voodoo.”
“He’s an ass. He’s lucky he’s hot,” their friend Ayana commented, waving her spork in Nick’s direction.
M shrugged. “I wouldn’t try to debate him in Physics. I just know more about Rome than he does.”
“What about AP Chem? Would you debate him in that?” Inez asked in a fake-serious voice. “Would you debate him in German class?”
“She’d debate him in German, in German,” Brianna joked. “And if he tried to fight back, she’d switch to Greek.”
M threw a French fry at her. “I can’t help it. I grew up speaking different languages.”
“And learning about pharaohs. And becoming well versed in the history of the Etruscan people,” Ayana said, putting on a fake accent that was probably supposed to be British. “Oh, and setting broken bones in the bush.”
“That only happened once,” M muttered. Her friends laughed.
“Anyway, it was epic. Thanks,” Brianna said. “I can’t stand fighting with people, and Nick always goes after me.”
“He knows you hate it,” M pointed out. “That’s why he does it.”
“An ass, like I said.” Ayana shrugged.
“You think he’s coming to the party tonight?” Brianna asked.
“Probably. Everyone else is,” Inez replied. “Even Memphis.” M made a face. “Anything to get out of the house. Bob and Liza would expect me to play board games with them otherwise.” Her friends exchanged a glance. M winced. “No offense.”
“Oh, were you offending someone?” Nick piped up from behind her. “Good girl.”
Immediately Bri looked down, while Ayana rolled her eyes. Inez just smirked, glancing back and forth between M and Nick.
“I was not offending anyone. I only meant I don’t like parties,” M said. She didn’t bother to turn toward him. It didn’t matter; he inserted himself onto the bench next to her anyway. A little tingle ran up her spine as the scent of his cologne hit her nostrils, spicy and warm.
“Mmm, they’re boring. Everyone talking about the prom or the senior trip or whatever. I’m over it,” Nick said.
Me too, thought M, wishing she didn’t agree with him. She loved her friends, but even they were all about high school. M just didn’t care. High school was nothing more than what she had to get through before she could leave. After the crash, after the shock of Bob and Liza becoming her guardians, she’d asked if she could go off to college early, either Boston University or the University of Sheffield in England. Both had the kind of archaeology program she wanted and would’ve let her in with no questions. They knew her father. They knew high school was a waste of time for someone like her.
But her guardians said no. They said she needed stability and normalcy after losing her dad. Never mind that traveling the world and taking care of herself was normal for her. While she and Dad technically lived in Boston, she’d never spent more than a few months there during the school year. They traveled. Half the year spent on digs. She missed it.
“What’s with this thing, anyway? Is it to fight off bad guys?” Nick teased, finding an excuse to touch her. He reached for M’s collapsible bo staff, tucked in the inside pocket of her jacket like always. But before he touched it, be- fore his flirty smile registered in her mind, M had already grabbed his hand, twisted it back to the breaking point, and used the pain to push him off the cafeteria bench and onto the floor. With her other hand, she whipped out the stick and shoved it up against his throat.
M froze. He’s just hitting on you. Her friends were aghast, and everyone nearby watched, openmouthed. Nick’s eyes were wide with panic.
“Sorry.” M stood up, leaving Nick on the floor. “I’m really sorry.”
“Freak,” he muttered, climbing to his feet. He glanced around, noticing the barely concealed laughter from onlookers. “Jeez, I just wanted a fry,” he joked, as if he hadn’t been humiliated, then hurried out of the cafeteria.
“What. The. Hell?” Inez asked. “He was flirting with you and you beat him up!”
“I know.” M groaned, shoving her staff back into her pocket. “I didn’t mean to. It was just reflex.”
Her friends were silent. She’d freaked them out. Should she explain the years of self-defense and  martial arts training? That she and Dad ended up in some rough places? Her friends lived in a city, they understood danger. Sort of. In a nice, upscale Boston kind of way.
M sighed. There was no point in trying to explain. No- body understood her life.
“You kinda push all the guys away,” Brianna pointed out quietly. “Maybe not like that, but still . . .”
“I don’t do romance,” M replied. She was done with love, period. She’d loved her parents, and they were both gone. Love hurt too much. It was better to steer clear of it.
They all ate in silence for a minute.
“I mean, he is an ass,” Ayana said finally. And everybody laughed.

M: You up?

MIKE: It’s a 12 hr time difference. Of course I’m up.

M: Like you never sleep in on weekends.

MIKE: Fine, your text woke me.

M: I don’t think that glyph is a lotus. It’s bending the wrong way.

MIKE: It has to be a lotus. If it’s not, the whole phrase is wrong.

M: The rest of the phrase never sat well with Nefertum anyway.

MIKE: Your dad said it was a lotus.

Excerpt copyright Laura J Burns and Melinda Metz, 2018. 
Shared courtesy Wednesday Books. 
In stores now.

I Do Not Trust You, Laura J. Burns, Melinda Metz, excerpt, blog tour, ya book, adventure books, Egyptian mythology
<b>I Do Not Trust You
  by Laura J Burns and Melinda Metz 320 pages
Published September 11th 2018 by Wednesday Books
Memphis "M" Engle is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she's awesome.

Ashwin Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father who she thought was dead isn’t and needs her help.

From the catacombs of Paris to lost temples in the sacred forests, together they crisscross the globe, searching for the pieces of the one thing that might save her father. But the closer they come to saving him—and the more they fall for one another—the closer they get to destroying the world.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Forgive me if this is a repost, but I came across this while searching for a link for my Keeper of the Bees review, and I've looked and looked and can't see that I ever posted this video here, which was uploaded to my youtube channel back in May... Dropped the ball on this one.

Anyway, today's video brought to you by Casper the Friendly Ghost... Sorry about that. But here are some things that I can't get enough of, that make a book auto-buy/add.
Let me know some of yours in the comments!

And if you'd like to see dedicated videos with recommendations/favorites on any of these buzzwords, let me know, because I think that could make for a very fun new series!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel | review

Before I get into the review, can we talk about this cover, though?!?! *heart eyes emoji*

Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel
Fantasy/Magical Realism(ish), 304 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Entangled: Teen
KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

Keeper of the Bees has one of the more intriguing (and by intriguing I mean, potentially really, really odd) premises of any book synopsis I’d read this year, which in Misty-world basically translates to, ‘I need to read this and see.’ I needed to know if its oddness would be carried off, or would overwhelm the story; whether it’d be a magical realist bit of amazingness, or an absolute hot mess. Fortunately, it was the former.

Keeper of the Bees starts weird and stays weird, but it is that deft, writerly weirdness that works. From nearly the first moment, I was enthralled and half in love (with the characters, the world, the history, the backstory). It at once feels like a grand, sweeping saga and a small town quirky romance: an epic told on a small scale. If you’re familiar with my tastes, you’ll know these are both things I love – anything with the words epic, saga, quirky or ‘small town’ are pretty sure to end up on my TBR (thank you, lists (and lists) of buzzwords). This didn’t disappoint on any of those levels. It does have a bit of that isolated, small town feel, and it does have the weight of centuries-spanning history at its back, and the two meld together beautifully.

Aside from the exceptionally well-done weirdness, the real strength of the story is in its characters.  Dresden, the male MC, reads like the desert in a rainstorm, coming to life again after a century of drought; he’s old and drained and colorless and harsh, until something happens to reawaken him, who he is and who he was, little by little. His interactions with others like him are by turns intriguing, creepy and sweet, and the whole thing gives a feel that there is even more backstory in the author’s mind than we are being given on the page (which – assuming enough is given on the page – is a hallmark of good writing for me; I like an author who knows her world).

The female lead, Essie, feels fresh and wholesome in the least saccharine way. It may concern people to hear a book that deals heavily with mental illness be described as “quirky,” but where her family history and her dealings with mental illness could feel exploitative or cheap, they instead feel like simply a part of her. There are oddities, there is at times almost a whimsical nature to her illness and her hallucinations, but it’s never treated as a throwaway joke, and that, I think, makes all the difference. The duality of what is actually going on and what she sees, and her struggle to distinguish the two, works really well as a device to heighten the tension, and to give it a magical realist bent, but it never feels as if that is the sole purpose of her illness. She’s not just sick-as-a-plot-point, and it’s never presented as if, she’d be really super duper grand what-a-girl… if only she weren’t so crazy. Instead, she feels fully realized and dynamic, with an interesting personality independent of the often-bizarre landscape of her mental illness.

And of course, the romance is sweet and rootforable, with the story as a whole having a tension that leaves you wondering if everything could ever possibly come out alright in the end.
Highly recommended for fans of A. S. King, Sarah Addison Allen, and those with similar lists of buzzwords to my own.

Content warning:  mental illness, self-harm, violence, assault. And lots of bees, if that’s not your thing

Disclosure: I received a copy of this from the publisher for review consideration. This does not change my thoughts or review in any way. Affiliate links are used in this post. Thanks for helping support this blog!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Austen in August 2018 WINNERS!

I know this is the real moment you've all been waiting for when it comes to Austen in August: the announcement of winners! Below you'll find the list of those who won something in this year's Austen in August giveaways -- congrats to all our winners!!
Each giveaway is linked, so even if you didn't win, you can refresh your memory of the prizes on offer, and see which you want to go get your hands on yourself! Keep an eye on this space, just in case someone doesn't respond to claim their winnings, because in that case, new winners will be drawn.
BIG BIG THANKS to all of the amazing Janeites who offered up prizes this year! Austen in August would be nothing without you, and I am eternally grateful. Make sure you all support their work, whether that's buying it, checking it out from your library, adding it to Goodreads, or talking about it on Twitter!

Now, onto the winners: 

Kasia B!

DeAnne H! 
Thomas M! 

Sophia Rose!
Laura H!

Kelly W (choice)!
LĂșthien84 (ebook)!

Debbie F (choice)!
Kristen B (ebook)!

Denise H!

Darcy Bennet!


Patricia F!
Beth W!

Patricia N!

Agnes N! 

John S!

Felicia B!

Didn't win anything? Don't fret! This year's FREE printables are still available! Get them here:

THANKS AGAIN to everyone who contributed to this year's event, whether that be through a guest post, an interview, a giveaway, or plainly just reading, commenting and sharing! I couldn't do all of this without you (and it'd be pointless if I did!), and you all make the many, many hours of unpaid work worth it! ;)


One last note before you leave: I do want to give a heads up for next year: Because it will be the 10th anniversary of Austen events on this blog, I intend (or at least, hope!) to make a Pretty Big Deal about things, and that includes the giveaways. But I noticed a trend this year (that has been growing for some time), and that is using throwaway "burner" accounts for giveaways, which is something I am...not a fan of, to say the least. I didn't disqualify those who did so this year, because I didn't warn that I would, but I consider this akin to "gaming the system," which is forbidden in my giveaawys — so next year, expect to see a ban on "giveaway only" Twitter accounts and such. Sorry if this cuts anyone out of the prize-getting, but that will be how giveaways are run here in future.

THREE RECENT BOOK LOVES | Sadie, Dance of Thieves, The Raging Ones

I'm gonna be honest, I hesitated to put the word "love" in the title, because 1 of these... isn't quite a love. But it's one I know I'll be thinking about for some time, and the other two... AMAZE.

The excerpt mentioned for Sadie can be found here, and for The Raging Ones can be found here.


Sadie, Courtney Summers, ya contemporary, podcasts, roadtrip books, thriller, young adult, review
SADIE by Courtney Summers
Read this gripping novel about the depth of a sister's love with an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial—like podcast following the clues she's left behind.

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

Dance of Thieves, Mary E. Pearson, The Remnant Chronicles, ya fantasy, review
DANCE OF THIEVES by Mary E. Pearson
A stunning new adventure set in the kingdoms of the Remnant.

A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations.

A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power.

Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen's premier guard.

A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself.

A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent.

When outlaw leader meets reformed thief, a cat-and-mouse game of false moves ensues, bringing them intimately together in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

The Raging Ones, Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie, ya fantasy books, review
THE RAGING ONES by Krista & Becca Ritchie:
From New York Times bestselling authors Krista and Becca Ritchie, comes The Raging Ones, an edge of your seat sci-fi romance with twists and turns that you will never see coming!

In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds.

Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday.

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space—against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Sneak Peek of Sadie by Courtney Summers! | blog tour

Today I sort of have not one, but two, excerpts to share with you of Sadie by Courtney Summers.

You see, I had an excerpt in mind, so I recorded it, but then was also sent an excerpt to share, and though I should probably stick to one... Look, their both good, this book is good, the excerpts are back to back, and I did costume changes, okay?
I'm not cutting one.

So here, for your reading and viewing/listening pleasure, is Sadie. I'll be reviewing this (and a few other recent titles) later this week, so keep an eye out, but suffice to say: this book is excellent, y'all. You should pick it up.

So, right from the beginning:



Welcome to Cold Creek, Colorado. Population: eight hundred.

Do a Google Image search and you’ll see its main street, the barely beating heart of that tiny world, and find every other building vacant or boarded up. Cold Creek’s luckiest—the gainfully employed—work at the local grocery store, the gas station and a few other staple businesses along the strip. The rest have to look a town or two over for opportunity for them- selves and for their children; the closest schools are in Parkdale, forty minutes away. They take in students from three other towns.

Beyond its main street, Cold Creek arteries out into worn and chipped Monopoly houses that no longer have a place upon the board. From there lies a rural sort of wilderness. The highway out is interrupted by veins of dirt roads leading to nowhere as often as they lead to pockets of dilapidated houses or trailer parks in even worse shape. In the summer- time, a food bus comes with free lunches for the kids until the school year resumes, guaranteeing at least two subsidized meals a day.

There’s a quiet to it that’s startling if you’ve lived your whole life in the city, like I have. Cold Creek is surrounded by a beau- tiful, uninterrupted expanse of land and sky that seem to go on forever. Its sunsets are spectacular; electric golds and oranges, pinks and purples, natural beauty unspoiled by the insult of skyscrapers. The sheer amount of space is humbling, almost divine. It’s hard to imagine feeling trapped here.

But most people here do.

You live in Cold Creek because you were born here and if you’re born here, you’re probably never getting out.

That’s not entirely true. There have been some success stories, college graduates who moved on and found well-paying jobs in distant cities, but they tend to be the exception and not the rule. Cold Creek is home to a quality of life we’re raised to aspire beyond, if we’re born privileged enough to have the choice.

Here, everyone’s working so hard to care for their families and keep their heads above water that, if they wasted time on the petty dramas, scandals and personal grudges that seem to define small towns in our nation’s imagination, they would not survive. That’s not to say there’s no drama, scandal, or grudge—just that those things are usually more than residents of Cold Creek can afford to care about.

Until it happened.

The husk of an abandoned, turn-of-the-century one-room schoolhouse sits three miles outside of town, taken by fire. The roof is caved in and what’s left of the walls are charred. It sits next to an apple orchard that’s slowly being reclaimed by the nature that surrounds it: young overgrowth, new trees, wild- flowers.

There’s almost something romantic about it, something that feels like respite from the rest of the world. It’s the perfect place to be alone with your thoughts. At least it was, before.

May Beth Foster—who you’ll come to know as this series goes on—took me there herself. I asked to see it. She’s a plump, white, sixty-eight-year-old woman with salt-and-pepper hair. She has a grandmotherly way about her, right down to a voice that’s so invitingly familiar it warms you from the inside out. May Beth is manager of Sparkling River Estates trailer park, a lifelong resident of Cold Creek, and when she talks, people listen. More often than not, they accept whatever she says as the truth.

Just about . . . here.

This is where they found the body.

911 dispatch. What’s your emergency?
. . .

And then, a little further on:

about the book:

Sadie, Courtney Summers, ya contemporary, podcasts, roadtrip books, thriller, young adult, review
SADIE by Courtney Summers
Read this gripping novel about the depth of a sister's love with an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial—like podcast following the clues she's left behind.

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

Thursday, September 6, 2018


Ready to get back to regularly scheduled programming, now that AIA is over? Nothing more "regular" round here than a BOOK HAUL!


Keeper of the Bees
The Hidden Witch
The Storm Runner
His Good Opinion 
An Arden Affection
A Girl Like Her
The Unforgettable Mr Darcy

Let me know your thoughts on these books if you've read them, or have been wanting to, and if you added anything amazing to your shelves in August, I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Feed Your Reader: September 5th, 2018

You guys.
It has been far too long since we've had a good Feed Your Reader around here. I mean, I know I was doing mini FYRs during Austen in August, but I was seeing so many good book deals all August-long, and just didn't have the time or the space to share them — it was killing me!

And there is just something about September that is *BOOK MONTH*. Maybe it's the back-to-school vibes, but tons of books are published & everyone seems to be in the mood to dig into a good book every September.
So let me help you with that.

All of the books featured below are discounted right now for Kindle. These deals may not (and likely won't) last long, so if you see something you like, get it while you can! All of these are under $3, some are less than $1, and a few are even FREE!
Click through for the full list of amazing deals, and what *I* would pick if I had just $10 to spend!

Click on the book cover to be taken directly to the deal!
This post does use affiliate links, which means essentially nothing on your end, but does help support this blog on my end. Thanks! *


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Nevertheless, We Persisted anthology | blog tour

Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage
Non-fiction anthology, 320 pages
Published September 4th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, actress Alia Shawkat, actor Maulik Pancholy, poet Azure Antoinette, teen activist Gavin Grimm, and many, many more, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race, gender, or sexual identity--but persisted.

"Aren't you a terrorist?" "There are no roles for people who look like you." "That's a sin." "No girls allowed." They've heard it all. Actress Alia Shawkat reflects on all the parts she was told she was too "ethnic" to play. Former NFL player Wade Davis recalls his bullying of gay classmates in an attempt to hide his own sexuality. Teen Gavin Grimm shares the story that led to the infamous "bathroom bill," and how he's fighting it. Holocaust survivor Fanny Starr tells of her harrowing time in Auschwitz, where she watched her family disappear, one by one.

What made them rise up through the hate? What made them overcome the obstacles of their childhood to achieve extraordinary success? How did they break out of society's limited view of who they are and find their way to the beautiful and hard-won lives they live today? With a foreword by Minnesota senator and up-and-coming Democratic party leader Amy Klobuchar, these essays share deeply personal stories of resilience, faith, love, and, yes, persistence.

There has been a spate of non-fiction anthologies coming out over the last year or so, all on the theme of activism, resistance and finding – and using – one’s voice. Call it the Trump Effect: if nothing else, the current political climate has taught people the importance of caring, of showing up, of paying attention, and of getting involved.
Of giving a shit, basically.

The voices featured in these anthologies (collections such as How I Resist, Being the Change, #NeverAgain, Hope Nation, You Are Mighty and the upcoming We Are Here to Stay) are defiant, resilient, fierce and hopeful, and encourage you to be the same. Neverthless, We Persisted is another such collection. Taking its name from the infamous Mitch McConnell quote, “Nevertheless, she persisted," Nevertheless features 48 voices from a broad spectrum, sharing their own stories of persistence and resilience in the face of adversity, racism, sexism, homophobia, and any other obstacle they’re fighting to overcome.  Nevertheless actually features one of the broader spectrums of voices I’ve seen collected in one of these anthologies, ranging from a 12-year-old female boxer to a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor, newly-graduated teenagers to established political representatives, activists to athletes to astronauts, actors, musicians, commentators, photojournalists, correspondents, comics writers, people of all colors and genders – it’s a breadth of people you don’t often see featured or get to hear from all in one go.

The pieces they’ve shared are comparatively bite-sized: nothing is over 10 pages, by my estimation (and a look at the TOC), and most are far shorter. Many are simple, straight-forward narratives, but each takes their own approach, including an interview, a screenplay, and a short comic. Some of these stories you may have heard before – or heard of their aftermath, like the infamous “bathroom bill,” or the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement – while some of these contributors and their stories you may never have heard of, but they’re all, for the most part, conversational and approachable in nature. Not every story will be for every person, but that is essentially the nature of an anthology — there's (hopefully) something for everybody, but not everything for all people.

Setting aside that the book as a whole will never be for everybody – there is a whole segment of the population, after all, who will immediately dismiss anything with the word “resistance” or “persistence” or probably anything that rhymes with such, as “liberal propaganda” – some readers may find the approach and the collection as self-indulgent. But I have long said that reading is the surest way to grow empathy, and nowhere is that more true than in non-fiction narratives, where people are sharing their lived experiences with you, directly, like two friends chatting. It’s hard not to connect and empathize with an issue that before, may have been faceless and thus easily dismissable, when you’re hearing about the actual circumstances and actual repercussions and actual impact things have on people’s lives. I think that’s a big part of why these anthologies are finding a market right now, and (hopefully) finding an audience. Besides allowing people who have long been kept from it to use their voice, books like these are a great tool for understanding and starting much-needed discussions – even (maybe especially) if you disagree with their viewpoint.

Long story short, Nevertheless, We Persisted, as well as the other books I’ve mentioned here*, would make a great, potentially edifying and eye-opening, addition to any person’s bookshelf, but would be an especially great addition in classrooms and school libraries. Saying that, though, I want to stress: books like this, while a good fit for the classroom, shouldn’t be relegated to the classroom. We often give up the work of learning and growing and listening when we’re no longer being forced to, and anthologies that collect other perspectives – whether they reaffirm or challenge our own – are good, and even vital, for helping us to get back into the habit of learning and growing and listening, which is the only way to create lasting, positive change.

Nevertheless, We Persisted hits stores today!

* Yes, I know it’s somewhat frowned upon to mention and recommend other books in a review of a particular one, but in these circumstances, I think there’s room – and a need – for all.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Austen in August Post-Event Survey

And there you have it, my darlings! Austen in August has come to a close yet again!
I kind of can't believe it, because as much work as it is, this year flew by! I hope you all enjoyed yourself, and I hope you all found some new authors and works to dig into — don't forget, you can still enter to win all kinds of things; all of the Austen in August giveaways are open until midnight on September 7th!

I want to send out a big blanket THANK YOU to all of the amazing authors, bloggers and Janeites who were involved in this year's event! I couldn't do it without all of you, and even if I could, it wouldn't be nearly as interesting or fun! This includes all of YOU reading this, commenting on posts, sharing thoughts on twitter, snapping pics on insta -- you all helped make this what it is, too!

Before I let you go, I have one more thing I'd like to ask of you: I've made a survey to gather your feedback on this year, and see where you'd like me to go next year (our 10th anniversary!!). If you have a spare minute, please fill out the form below and let me know what you liked, what you didn't, and what you'd like to see!

Thank you all again, and until next time, READ MORE AUSTEN!

Jane Austen, Austen in August, blog event
Click here to return to the master list of Austen in August posts!


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