Updates: The Blog is Back!

Hi y’all!

It’s been a long while since I’ve been in the blogging sphere, partially because of all the moving and partially because I haven’t been reading enough between jobs and Etsy to make time for the blog.

But I’m back!  With a new schedule and a promise to never abandon you again, hopefully.  So here it is:

  • Twice a week will be new book related pieces.  This includes books I’m excited for, how to get out a pesky reading slumps, bookshelf organizations, the list could go on!
  • Once a week will be an adorable book DIY project.  These will be either paper projects, knit or crochet.  If it is knit or crochet, the finished product will be over on my Etsy shop for purchase for those of us who love looking at crafty things but can’t ever muster up the courage to get into it.
  • Last but certainly not least will be book reviews.  My goal is to post one of these every two weeks since I work in a bookstore and finding time to read really shouldn’t be as hard as I’m making it.

If you have DIYs that you want to see definitely let me know!  Feel free to leave any book recommendations in the comments to! See you guys tomorrow for an awesome bookish post!

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BOOK REVIEW | The Secrets of Life and Death

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Rating: 4/5 stars

Find the Book!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

**I received this book as a review copy through Random House’s Blogging for Book program**

Summary from Barnes and Noble:

In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret–She’s Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won’t rest until they’ve taken the magic that keeps her alive….

In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess’ malady, is the magic that might be able to save her…
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee’s assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying.

Review:

It took me a while to pick this book up off my shelf.  After initially requesting it I found myself not terribly drawn to it like I thought I would be.  But I was pleasantly surprised when I did pick it up.  I flew through this book in a matter of days and although it did drag in some places (let’s be honest what book doesn’t)  I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Some of the things that worked the best in this book were the shorter chapters, which made the novel flow better and the twining together of the themes of the book.  From magic, alchemy and the occult I thought that the author did a phenomenal job of bringing each of these pieces together.  The only other book that I have read that accomplished a task like this was Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and that book is now one of my must-reads for all of my bookish friends.  I felt that the fact that her book covered topics that have had a strong pull for people over a large span of time made the transition between the two time periods in the book much easy to comprehend.  Normally in books with time travel, or split time frames, it gets difficult to transition seamlessly from one time period to the next.  So I applaud this author for taking the time to make sure that her plot was not only interesting but was something that was relevant and intriguing for both time periods.

The other thing I really enjoyed about this book was the characters.  While sometimes I found the characters to be a bit dull, for the most part I was very drawn to all of the characters in this book.  The fact that each of the characters had desires, strengths, flaws and weaknesses that were very apparent in the way they acted and handled situations made the more interesting and allowed me to relate to the characters themselves.  These characteristics are what brought them to life and made them fly off the page.

Overall I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in it!  Definitely a great read.

READ-A-THON TBR | Winter Re-Read-a-Thon

THE READ-A-THON IS UPON US!

There were a series of challenges to complete during this read-a-thon.  For me I’m going to be relying a lot on books that I have on my Kindle due to the fact that I am currently in the process of packing up all of my belongings before I make the move to Texas early in January.  Either way I will be hosting Twitter sprints tomorrow so be sure to check that out!  I will also have some fun challenges of my own and a giveaway for people to participate it.  So if reading your favorite books again wasn’t enough incentive NOW THERE IS ALSO A GIVEAWAY FOR YOU!  I will also hopefully be doing more giveaways in 2015 for you all to participate in so that’s cool!

Here is my TBR for this read-a-thon:

1. Re-read a stand alone book: This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

2. Re-read the first book you remember reading (that you own): A Horse Called Wonder by Joanna Campbell

3. Re-read a book by your favorite childhood author: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (or any of the Harry Potter books really)

4. Re-read at least 6 books: To fill out this portion of the challenge I will also be re-reading the First Comes Love trilogy by Katie Kacvinsky

What books will you be reading?  Link me to your TBR’s below and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the first Twitter Sprint tomorrow as well as the opening of the giveaway tomorrow! 😀

READ-A-THON NEWS | Winter Re-Read-a-Thon

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So I have some very exciting news to share with everyone (or at least I think it’s exciting)…….myself, Alma from Diary of a Booklover and Anna from Unquenchable Reads will be hosting a read-a-thon this month called the Winter Re-Read-a-Thon!  This read-a-thon focuses on having the participants re-read the books they have deemed their favorites.  We will have giveaways, twitter sprints and some other really cool challenges for everyone to do during the span of the read-a-thon.  So here is the information on when it’s happening, where to find us, and how to join!

WHEN? December 22nd – January 2nd

WHERE CAN I FIND EVERYTHING?  The Re-Read-a-Thon has it’s own Twitter page where all of the information about challenges, twitter sprints and giveaways will be!  There is also information on my YouTube channel, Anna’s YouTube channel and Alma’s blog!

HOW DO I JOIN? There is a sign-up blog post on Alma’s blog that you can join and see who else has joined the Re-Read-a-Thon as well.  There is also a Goodreads page so you can chat with the other people involved in the Re-Read-a-Thon and make some new friends before all of the madness starts 🙂  Don’t forget to connect up with us on YouTube and Twitter to make sure you get all of the information when it’s out!

5 Must Visit Bookstores Around the World

After about a month of being absent from the blog I am making my reappearance! Although this reappearance comes around the time of finals it still counts!  This last month has been crazy busy and I hope that I will be able to update much more regularly now that the crazy busy month has ended.  So here is this Thursdays awesome update!

As Christmas approaches many of us book lovers are looking to make lists of books and bookish items that we want from our friends and families.  Now this post isn’t about bookish Christmas gifts for the book nerd in your life, that post will be happening though, but it is about fabulous places to take the book lover in your life.  I found that instead of getting bookish items for Christmas I really just want someone to take me traveling so I can explore these absolutely amazing bookstores.

So here are the top 5 bookstores around the world that I would love to visit at some point in my life!

5. Libreria Acqua Alta | Venice, Italy

If this isn’t the most gorgeous little hole-in-the wall book shop that you’ve seen then I don’t know where you have been looking but you should direct me there.  This book shop is located right on the canal and the owner keeps the books in boats and various other objects that float.  This is because every year the canal next to the shop floods and he wants to protect all his books.

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I literally have no words to describe how gorgeous this shop is to me.  Anyone want to take a visit to Italy?

4. Shakespeare and Company | Paris, France

Once again, another hole-in-the wall bookshop.  I love the feel of walking into a store and seeing piles upon piles of vintage books.  This store has a long history as a hangout for famous authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound and James Joyce.  After closing in WWII the store re-opened in 1951 and is still a favorite to all those who visit it.

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3. Atlantis | Santorini, Greece

At first when I was looking at pictures of this bookstore I thought that it was just a little shop on the side of the street.  There are bookshelves built into structures of a house and it looks adorable at ground level.  However the most spectacular portion of this shop isn’t above ground, it’s below ground.  The book store was started by too men who were visiting the island and noticed a distinct lack of a haven for readers and writers.  Not only is this wonderful location a bookstore but they also host festivals and sunset readings out on their terrace which has a beautiful ocean view.

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2. Book People | Austin, TX

Now I’m going to venture a guess and say that this bookstore made it this high up on my list not only because of it’s awesome atmosphere and look but because I am moving to Austin next month and that makes this bookstore a viable option to visit. (If you have any awesome Austin hangouts feel free to let me know so I can explore them when I get down there).  The Book People is the largest independent bookstore in Texas and for that reason it made my list.  I love visiting and supporting bookstores that aren’t huge chains like Barnes and Noble.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there is a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that you are helping keep independent bookstores alive.

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1. Barter Books | England

From a young age my mother instilled a love of two things in me. Books and trains. In my parents basement we have a collection of model trains and train tracks and other odds and ends that we swear will be set up eventually into a model train display for our house.  So when I found Barter Books I instantly fell in love and started planning my imaginary trip there.  This bookstore is well known for it’s discovery of the lost wartime catchphrase that many of us have seen on the internet, Keep Calm and Carry On.  Even though this is the claim to fame for this bookstore, for me the draw is in the model train that runs along the top of the bookshelves.  It acts as a connecting force for each shelf and runs just over the heads of the visitors.  I don’t know when, if ever, I will be able to visit this shop but one day it will happen hopefully.

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The Introduction

College Student.

Artist.

Book Lover.

As with many blogs an introduction is always required!  So here it goes!  I’m Emily, a junior in college, Arts Management major, Etsy Shop owner, and book lover.  I have found myself getting lost in the fictional world since I was little and found that I much preferred exploring in the fictional world that I did exploring in the real world.  Although my love of exploring has now expanded to the real world as well (who doesn’t love roaming through the woods and seeing what magical little spots they can find?), my love of the fictional world hasn’t diminished over the years.  I decided to start this blog to review books, keep updated on what I want to read with TBRs and do some book haul vlogs.  I’m super excited to start this and can’t wait to share my love of books with the rest of the internet!