Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount

official blurb
Book lovers, rejoice! In this love letter to all things bookish, Jane Mount brings literary people, places, and things to life through her signature and vibrant illustrations. Readers will:
• Tour the world’s most beautiful bookstores
• Test their knowledge of the written word with quizzes
• Find their next great read in lovingly curated stacks of books
• Sample the most famous fictional meals
• Peek inside the workspaces of their favorite authors
A source of endless inspiration, literary facts and recommendations, and pure bookish joy, Bibliophile is sure to enchant book clubbers, English majors, poetry devotees, inspiring writers, and any and all who identify as bookworms.

my blurb!
The perfect coffee table book for book lovers, and lovers of illustration.

5 out of 5

Okay, this one is a really weird one to rate because it is 100% a coffee table book.  The kind of book that you flip through once, but then might keep on the table (or in your bathroom) to skim through and read a page or two at any random point to spark your interest.  So if this is the case how could I have rated it 5 stars?  Well… what can I say, it’s a good coffee table book!

what i liked
The illustrations were gorgeous! I would LOVE to have Jane Mount draw a picture of me holding my favorite book (dream Christmas list item anyone?).  I almost wish some of the pages were perforated so that I could tear them out and frame them!  (Also, I should mention that I got this as a library book so I couldn’t do that if my dream became a reality).
I loved all of the lists.  Bookstores that are owned by authors, amazing libraries to visit, books recommended by authors or influencers, best books by genre, etc.  They were great ones to go through, and always kept my attention.  My personal favorite was definitely bookstores owned by authors.
I read the whole book in one sitting, it was easy to flip through and kept my attention.  I found myself taking pictures of quite a few of the pages because I wanted to remember what she was referencing.  I know, so lame (yes, I am a cheap genius). But it also made me realize that I wanted to buy this book. Hence the 5 star rating!
Ps. Since my initial read through of this book, I have received this book as a gift and I am THRILLED to add it to my library!

what i didn't like
No bookstore recommendations in my current hometown or my OG hometown!  But I can look past that.  Maybe that means I need to open one (not gonna happen!). haha.

while reading you should
Make: a list of all of the books you want to buy or check out from your library
Eat: anything you made out of a legit cookbook- not online.
Listen: The Pride and Prejudice Soundtrack (it just makes me feel all literary!)
Buy: this bibliophile journal or these notecards!  (I personally have two of Jane Mount’s vases and am *patiently* waiting to be gifted the third, cough cough).

if you would like to buy
Click here: Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

 

Are you interested in reading this book with your book club or having a “The Hating Game” themed party?  Check out my companion post to this review in Books & Baking.

official blurb

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. 2) A person’s undoing 3) Joshua Templeman. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude. Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

my blurb!
The perfect romance novel with love to hate you and hate to love you feelings screaming out of every page.

5 out of 5

First let me tell you – this is a 5 out of 5 romance novel! It IS a romance novel filled with steamy scenes. So if you don’t like romance novels- even though it’s 5 out of 5 stars, this book isn’t for you.

what i liked
I LOVED the trope. The whole – I hate this person, oh snap I like this person thing. Very enjoyable to read for me. I like that storyline so much that without the steamy scenes, I would’ve added this book to required reading fiction.
I read this book in 24 hours. I was loving every minute of it.
I am BRAND NEW to the whole romance novel scene. In fact, this is my fourth ever romance novel. But in my limited experience I think it did everything a romance novel should do! Solid love trope? Check. Characters you want to fight for? Check. Steamy love scenes. Check. Wondering how the book with end the whole time? Check.
I loved Josh our main guy.  He’s smart and gorgeous and has a strong scheme game.
I loved Lucinda- shout out to the awesome name choice by the way- her perspective throughout the book was hilarious.  Her train of thought was scatterbrained, unreliable and true to herself.  She wore amazing red lipstick throughout the book and she definitely influenced me to up my lipstick game.
(Update: since writing this review I have gone back and reread this book bringing my total times read to THREE – and a half… okay I started it again last night – times!)
You guys, I enjoyed this book so much that I joined the authors facebook group – the Flamethrowers.  And I don’t even have a facebook account! That’s right, I used my husbands facebook account to join this romance novelists book club.  To say I am obsessed is an understatement.

what i didn't like

Nothing! I loved it!

when to read
Really, anytime because this is a required read. But especially when you’re in a rut at your job and want to be inspired to try more.

while reading you should
Eat: cake
Play: Paintball
Watch: the smurfs
Listen to: Breathe In by Frou Frou

if you would like to buy

Click here: The Hating Game: A Novel

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How To Walk Away by Katherine Center

official blurb
Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment.  In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

my blurb!
A book about a woman who is faced with how to overcome when you really don’t feel like you have it in you.

5 out of 5

 

what i liked
Everything! This is required reading!
I loved the main character, Maggie.  She was strong, and real, and fragile and amazing! (I know, with that description, don’t you just want to be friends with her?!)
I loved her sister, Kit.  She was quirky, and resilient, and funny.
There were so many good characters in this book. The plot had some really funny elements in it (like accidentally attending an ex’s wedding. hah!)  As I’m describing this book I want to make sure I capture its genre so you know what you’re getting into. (I’ve heard a lot of people had this problem with Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – thinking it was a comedy).  I would call this book a drama with some comedy in it. Okay maybe it would be called a dramedy.
The writing was amazing. I’ve had some crazy hospital experiences myself- nothing like this, but the way that the author portrayed the way that time is different in the hospital – it was so realistic!  So much of her journey- it rang true!  I imagine Katherine Center did a lot of research for this to be the case and it paid off.
Overall this book had an amazing message in it that I loved reading and having reiterated throughout the novel.
I read this book in less than 24 hours, I would recommend it easily and would buy it and loan it out to friends. If that’s not a 5 star read, I don’t know what is!

what i didn't like
Nothing! I loved everything about this book.

while reading you should
Watch: Grease
Listen to: Let it Be
Eat: Indian food
Do: sing your heart out to a musical

if you would like to buy
Click here: How to Walk Away

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God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia J Newbell

official blurb
God’s very good idea is to have lots of different people enjoying loving him and loving each other. This stunningly illustrated journey from the garden of Eden to God’s heavenly throne room shows how despite our sinfulness, everyone can be a part of God’s very good idea through the saving work of Christ. This book will help children see how people from all ethnic and social backgrounds are valuable to God and how Jesus came to rescue all kinds of people. It will also excite them about being part of church.

my blurb!
A 32 page children’s book about God’s goal- to love everyone.

5 out of 5

what i liked
The illustrations are amazing! While reading this to my toddlers, I thought there was NO way this book would keep their attention with all of its words combined with its length. When I’m wrong, I’m wrong and well… I was wrong! (Sheesh, what do you want, blood?!)  The pictures in this book are amazing. You’ll love them.
The message! The whole point of this book is to reiterate to kids over and over again- that God loves EVERYONE and you need to too!

what i didn't like
Nothing! It was a great and easy read! And in my case with littles, it was a read that I will continue to read until I can read it no more.

when to read
All day every day! This book is required reading for kids!

while reading you should
Sing: Yes, Jesus Loves Me
Eat: popcorn (this suggestion is for no reason other than my littles love eating popcorn right now)

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

official blurb
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop. So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company. She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

my blurb!
Girl low on money and high on wit, meets VERY rich boy that she tries super hard not to like.

5 out of 5

 

So I’ve been doing some Kasie West rereads and reminding myself why I somehow had a crazy insta love with her as an author.  I do love how much she interacts with her fans on goodreads – I’ve never seen an author interact as often as she does! And that could be why I’ve kept reading her books after the insta love has tapered off for me.  But when I reread this book in ONE night AGAIN… well she cemented a spot as an “always read” author for me.

what i liked
First of all, let me state that this is my THIRD time reading this book. Every time I’ve read it, I have read it one sitting. Last night, I read it until 130am.  Why would I do that? I have two kids 3 and under. What was I thinking?! I wasn’t! I was just reading and loving every moment so much that I couldn’t stop reading!!
I LOVE Caymen.  She is the snarky high schooler I was, with the wit I always hoped I had.  She reacts very realistically to me, early in the book. Any main character who minimally annoys me- if at all- is a HUGE win for me.  (Am I the only one who finds a lot of main characters whiney and annoying??)
I love Xander. Though I don’t adore his name – she at least tells us how to pronounce it very early on in the book.
I love Mrs. Dalton. If i can be her when I’m old, I would be. (Well, except for collecting dolls.  Let me go ahead and set that record straight right now. Creepy dolls are not my thing).
I enjoyed Skye. She’s Caymen’s best friend and also has enjoyable wit and isn’t always out of the loop with what’s going on in Caymen’s life like a lot of YA friends are.

what i didn't like
The anticipation of waiting for the other shoe to drop.  You know Caymen is going to get something totally misconstrued and you can’t help but keep reading. The suspense of getting to the moment is brutal!

when to read
Your junior or senior year of high school. Oh wait, I’m 30.  Okay, then anytime.

while reading you should
Shop at: Savers, or your favorite local thrift store.
Listen to: a random local band playing at a bar/ coffee shop near you
Drink: Hot chocolate
Eat: blueberry muffins (or if you’re like me and don’t like blueberries, lemon poppy seed. In my opinion, they are equally addicting).

if you would like to buy
Click here. (A friendly reminder, that this link is an affiliate link. It doesn’t cost you more for the book but it does give me a kickback!)

Ps. I’ve mentioned before that Kasie regularly interacts with fans on goodreads. Well, I finally sent her a question and she responded! Enjoy!
the distance between us kasie west

 

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The Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West

So I’ve been trying to go through some books that I’ve ranked as 5 stars on goodreads in the past to see if they really were as good as I remembered.  Plus a reread is super easy to do when you are on vacation (hello beach reads!)  I wasn’t super excited to read this again because my last two Kasie West books had been flops – so I wondered if maybe I was in a different mindset when I read her previous books and loved them so much.  Welp… the truth is, her previous books are just better!

official blurb
When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley. The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship

my blurb!
A girl with normal girl friend high school drama enlists the help of a handsome stranger to pretend to be her boyfriend.

5 out of 5

what i liked
Bec – hello GOOD girl friends! I LOVE a good supporting character! Please Kasie- write a companion book with Bec because she is amazing.
Hayden- amazing name. solid character with believable flaws.
Gia- she’s not the most amazing ever main character but she’s pretty relatable and she doesn’t drive you crazy as you read. I consider that a win.
The plot- it was a funny idea that I liked being along the ride for.

what i didn't like
Nothing! It was the perfect light easy YA read! Required reading for all YA light easy read lovers!  If you would like to check out more of my YA required reading list click here.

when to read
Summer or the end of the school year

while reading you should
Eat : m&ms and dried bananas (you’ll get it when you read it)
Watch: the wedding date
Listen to: Marry You by Bruno Mars

if you would like to buy
Click here.

Ps. I’ve mentioned on some previous posts that Kasie West interacts regularly with her fans on goodreads. Well, I decided to ask her a question about her book! Notice in my question I TOTALLY name the WRONG book… ugh! How embarrassing. In my defense I read two of her books back to back and submitted two questions at once. But still… Wow.  Anyways, enjoy!
kasie west the fill in boyfriend

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Almost Midnight by Rainbow Rowell


5 out of 5
                               ★ ★  

official blurb

Midnights is the story of Noel and Mags, who meet at the same New Year’s Eve party every year and fall a little more in love each time . . .
Kindred Spirits is about Elena, who decides to queue to see the new Star Wars movie and meets Gabe, a fellow fan.

my blurb!
A book with two short stories that must be read if you love all things YA.

 

I was SO excited to see that my library FINALLY ordered this little book!  I suggested this for purchase what feels like a lifetime ago.  But luckily, I browse my library’s “just ordered” section on the app like I would instagram, so I snagged it quickly!  I love Rainbow Rowell (although, full disclosure I haven’t read Carry On yet!) so even though this is two short stories, it had to be read!

what i liked
Both stories!  As I started the first story – Midnights- I knew I had read it before.  And I had, in the anthology series My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories.  It was one of my favorite stories in that series – so I read it again and loved it just as much.  The Second story – Kindred Spirits- was equally as enjoyable.  Rowell does have a knack for writing people who are obsessed with something and in this story it was Star Wars.  I’m not a die-hard Star Wars fan but I did used to sit through the originals while my mom braided my hair for HOURS and they helped pass the time, so that counts for something right?
This book is 127 pages long and can be read in one evening easily.

what i didn't like
The length! I loved them so much I wanted 10 more short stories in this book!

when to read
This book should be read over Winter! Both stories take place in December.

while reading you should
Eat: Chex Mix and Popcorn
Listen to: A Lot Like Love Soundtrack
Watch: Star Wars and/or A Lot Like Love

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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