hefty tomes + cozy children’s books // the Curious Wren’s winter TBR tower

Whenever I write my seasonal TBR lists I usually have a few books that, to me, are most suited for specific times of the year: The Wind in the Willows for spring, The Phantom of the Opera for autumn, etc. Winter, on the flip-side, is the only season when it’s not so much about specific books (although, I do re-read A Christmas Carol every December) but rather literature that’s quintessentially cozy + hearty. The biting cold + howling winds are perfect for making me want to burrow in a nest of blankets while I indulge in hefty classics, and children’s books that I’ve loved since I was a tiny munchkin. I’ve already re-read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and, even though they’re not written on the list, I’ll also be enjoying Agatha Christie mysteries (when am I not) and Angela Thirkell’s slice-of-life British stories.

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(optimism and enthusiasm intensifies)

Les Miserables (Victor Hugo). I’ve promised myself I’ll finish Les Mis this year. That sounds like I’m struggling to read it or not enjoying it when I do, but I promise you when I pick the book up it’s amazing. The problem is I haven’t been reading it steadily and every time I tuck it back on my shelf I forget about it. Maybe I’ll have to lug it everywhere with me (never going to happen since it’s a massive doorstopper) or keep it somewhere conspicuous in our house.

The Great Divorce (C.S. Lewis). I’ve never read any of Lewis’ nonfiction books even though I’ve wanted to for years. Nonfiction (particularly the theological sort) intimidates me and makes me feel very smol + as if I possess only a single braincell. BUT I realise discomfort in growth is an important part of the process so I’m being brave this year. My plan is to read TGD in as hygge-like a setting as pos. (think cozy blankets, spiced apple tea, and fairy lights) because if my mind is wrestling with deep books I am absolutely going to be comfy whilst doing so. And after The Great Divorce, I have a whole list of intellectual reading to dive into.

Every time I discuss my plans to read nonfic books, I feel like Emma Woodhouse, “… so that I might not be so uneducated compared to Jane Fairfax.”

Sugar Creek Gang series (Paul Hutchens). ack, these books! I love, love, love them. They’re deeply relatable, humorous, easily devoured in one day, and probably taught me more about friendship + people + life truths growing up than anything else I read. It’s one of those series that’s so close to my heart, and influenced me in so many ways it’s difficult to put into words. I gifted myself a goodish portion of the series after Christmas–thus far I’ve already re-read two books and been bowled over by the happy feels.

Louisiana’s Way Home (Kate Dicamillo). Just thinking about reading another DiCamillo book gives me warm fuzzies. I’ve already heard such high praise for Home from my sisters (also this lovely) and I’m only waiting for the perfect day to make a cup of decadent hot chocolate + crack open my copy (it’s signed by the author. yes, I cried happy tears when it was gifted to me).

The Pickwick Papers (Charles Dickens). Good, old Dickens. I miss his books like missing a dear friend when you’ve gone months without a meet-up. Since I’ve never actually read Pickwick (I can hear Certain Friends of Mine sputtering in disbelief as I type this) I think it’s high time I change that before my badge as a Dickens fan is taken away.

A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens). No explanation required, but let me say that Sydney Carton breaks my heart, and this book is a masterpiece I will cry over for the rest of my life with no regrets.

The Wonderful Garden or The Three C’s (E. Nesbit). E. Nesbit’s books are the epitome of coziness + childhood nostalgia with lovable, heart-warming characters everywhere. I’ve only ever heard the audiobook of Three C’s (which is pure magic) on LibriVox, however, one of my sisters owns a copy which I’m going to stealthily transfer to my bookcase as soon as I have the opportunity.

Anne of Ingleside (L.M. Montgomery). I finally finished re-reading Anne’s House of Dreams in December (hopefully next time reading it will be less arduous) and Ingleside is next up in my read-through of the Anne books. It’s one of my favorites in the series–the children are all darlings–and the shenanigans and humor are wonderful. Montgomery’s books are a gift to this world, lovelies.

The Thief Lord (Cornelia Funke). This is here primarily to please my two younger sisters. They’ve been telling me I need to read it and I keep on forgetting the book exists so on the list it goes to remind me. I like Funke’s writing style and the Inkheart trilogy (Dustfinger! Be still my beating heart) and since Thief Lord is set in winter it seems apropos. also if I don’t read it soon I might never be heard from again, and you’ll know who the culprits are.

The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett): Have I ever mentioned how much I adore this book? It’s another of those childhood books that I’ve read multiple times, heard on audio during car rides, seen various adaptions of, and sat listening breathlessly with my siblings while Mother read it aloud. It’s woven into my soul in a special way that only books that came alive to you in your childhood can be. Technically it’s a book that ought to be read in the springtime, but I miss it. (If you’ve never read or owned Secret Garden before, gift yourself a copy of the edition illustrated by Tasha Tudor. They’re perfection.)

What books are you enjoying right now? Do you have specific reads you re-visit every winter?

mayhem and whimsy // the Curious Wren’s summer TBR tower

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Despite the fact that it’s already mid-July how can this be possible say it isn’t so I’ve finally written down a list of books I’m eager to read over the summer. Some are special favorites, some are brand-new (as in Just Published) and others are books I’ve been intending to finish for weeks now and this is my final nudge of “Annie, stop prevaricating (such a good, stimulating word) and READ THE bOoKs ALREADY.”

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is one of my traditional summer reads–it has all the essence of childhood nostalgia, dripping glasses of ice-cold lemonade on sultry afternoons, cicadas singing, the low hum of a battered, oscillating fan, sepia-colored tones, and learning how to understand pain & people & hope.

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes. I actually pre-ordered it which tells you everything you need to know about my level of excitement for this magical twist on the story of Guy Fawkes. Plus Nadine Brandes has the sweetest heart for her fans + she’s highly relatable so I’m over the moon about being able to support her. It’s a nice thing when one has favorite authors that are actually, y’know, alive and in the same century that felt dark oops.

The Unmapped Sea by Maryrose Wood. It’s the last book I have to re-read before I can pick up the finale of the series (silent flailing). The Incorrigible Children and their brave, kind governess “Lumawoo” are such precious gingersnaps, ohmyheart.

The Long-Lost Home by Maryrose Wood. (see above) I’ve loved this series since the first book caught my eye at the library nine years ago. I’ve counted down the days as each book was released, and I’m high-key emotional at the thought of the series ending. Excuse me whilst I go have a smol moment of weeping.

Joshua L. Chamberlain: The Life in Letters of a Great Leader of the American Civil War by  Thomas A. Desjardin. Chamberlain is one of my favorite historical heroes, to put it mildly. Since I might have the chance this year to visit some of the key locations in the life of this incredible man, I figured a bit more knowledge about him wouldn’t be a bad idea. Really though, the writer-side of me is squealing at the thought of reading someone’s private letters (a thing I’ve never done) and having the opportunity to discover fascinating insights about their character; how they thought, and felt, what their dreams and fears were. It’s like a treasure hunt, but better.

Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery. I’m re-reading the Anne series and I am Stuck. I devoured the first four books & loved them more than ever, but for some reason Anne’s House of Dreams aggravates me every time I pick it up. Even my perennial favorites, Captain Jim and Miss Cornelia, are not enough to entice me to finish the book. It’s terrible.

Mossflower by Brian Jacques. Per my Youngest Sister’s recommendation I’m reading the Redwall books for the first time BUT I’m reading them in chronological order. So far I’ve read Lord Brocktree and Martin the Warrior (this one scarred me forever but I love it). Now I’m in the middle of Mossflower and currently my favorite character is Gonff the King of Mouse Thieves… which probably means he’ll die by the end of the book. Brian Jacques is a cruel, cruel author, lovelies.

Crowning Heaven by Emily Hayse. a) portal fantasy with one of my favorite heroines, b) I had the privilege of beta-reading this when it was still in the refining stage–there’s something special about holding a book in your hands and knowing you helped it become the best version of itself.

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Anybody acquainted with me knows how much I adore Alice in Wonderland and, therefore, is likely as perplexed as I am that I haven’t read the sequel yet. Bring on the mayhem & whimsy.

Am I being overly optimistic with this list?

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Am I hyped to take it on anyways?

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What’s on YOUR summer TBR list? Let’s chat!

 

 

In the mood for Gothic! Nostalgic! Whimsical! Magical! Mystery! Cozy Reads! // #AutumnTBRTower

  

Autumn. The nip of chilly air. Trees blushing rosy red. Dead leaves rustling like paper in the wind. The scent of bonfires and ripe, sweet apples. Something about the Fall season always makes my bones tingle with the longing to read, read, read….

— Me from this post last year.

I adore fall. Everything about it. The crisp air that makes you snuggle deeper into your flannel and pull out your wool socks and mitts and cozy things. Brilliant tones of scarlet, gold and orange painted across the landscape by a generous hand. Hayrides and pumpkin pie and cider so hot it feels like it burns your bones, art exhibitions and mission conferences and cute, heeled boots and geese flying off into the horizon.

I could go on for ages, but I shall refrain because a) you might fall asleep over the laptop and that would be all the sads + highly uncomfortable + Not Recommended, or b) we would never get to the truly important part of this post which, obvs, involves BOOKS and LISTS and (you guessed it) BOOKS.

Since after all, what is fall without a delightful, pretty stack of books that you probably won’t even read half of, but just looking at the stack and your list of said stack gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling right down to your toes?

#AutumnTBRTower

(aka. all the excite + hyperventilating because FALL and GLORIOUS BOOKS TO BE HAPPY WITH)

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Jane Eyre — ugh, excited to re-read this, Booklings. So very excited. The atmosphere is perfect for autumn, all deliciously mysterious and creepy and simply overflowing with old English castles and foggy days and dark secrets and brooding masters-of-the-house. Jane is a heroine dear to my heart and her story is beautiful. #allthelove

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Dracula — I blame the Oldest Sister for this. She read Dracula this January and proceeded to rave all over the house about it like a cute, but hyperbolic maniac, and then bought me a copy for Valentine’s Day (we buy books for each other on this holiday. it’s great). Clearly I must read it for the sake of my safety from sisterly terrorizing, at least. she is the most lovable human, tho, really. i promise.  To be strictly honest–always a good thing–I started reading it during our recent holiday trip, but then I decided to wait until fall because for certain books ambiance is key. Actually, I am thoroughly looking forward to digging into it because the instant October arrived I’ve been in the mood for melodramatic, Gothic books and I want to read them allllll. The good ones, obviously.

Also, I have an allegorical vampire high fantasy in the planning stages which means research needs to happen. SO RIDICULOUSLY THRILLED ABOUT THIS STORY/PLOTSY THING. It’s been in percolations for a while + I want to smash all the sparkly vampire cliches to dust and show vampires for the dark, twisted, unlovely creatures they were. Not something to glamorize and swoon over, y’all. *gently nudges soapbox away from Self*

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Rebecca — speaking of Gothic literature, I have heard lots of good things about this from several friends and it sounds just like my cup of tea.

Jane of Lantern Hill — This was on last year’s list too… well, then, apparently I like re-reading favorite books in the fall. Nostalgic, cozy reads are in high demand currently, that’s for sure. I can’t wait to snuggle up with this book and immerse myself in the wonderful world of Jane and Dad and the ice-queen Grandmother, and cats with special names, and food descriptions that make me hungry every time I read them. I love this book so much it hurts.

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The Sherlock Holmes stories — for obvious reasons.

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The James Herriot books — I’ve known about this WWII era Yorkshire veterinarian all my life, we grew up on his books for children, and just recently my entire family fell in love with the BBC TV show (disclaimer: it has a goodish amount of swearing and some inappropriate moments, but other than that it’s wonderful). My Older Sister has read the All Creatures Great and Small series and I decided it’s high time I do too. They sound full of all manner of hilarity and good-old British culture and loveliness, and if they’re anything like the TV show I’ll not regret I picked them up.

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A Time to Die — How! Have! I! Not! Read! This! Yet?!! *crawls away in abject shame*

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Inkspell — I need more Dustfinger and Meggie and Mo and deliciously magical book quotes in my life.

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Scythe — I want this book for three reasons. 1) I love Neal Shusterman’s writing. He knows how to use the little details, how to grab a person’s attention and make them think. 2) have you even read that premise? NEED. BOOK. NOW. and 3) the cover is pretty. so pretty.

I fully intend to pre-order it at some point, but right now… *gestures at tweet*

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What is on your autumn reading list, Wrenlings?

 

mysteries and death and steampunk creatures and British comedy // #JuneJulyReadTower

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I read fifteen books in June and July. Cue happiness!

It’s been harder to fit in the time to devour books ever since I started working my day job back in March. Do any of you Wrenlings have a similar struggle? Listen up, bookworms. I have the perfect solution: read. on. your. lunch. break. I don’t know what I’d do without that precious half hour to eagerly drink in all the doings of good-natured Wodehouse characters and try to guess Whodunits.

(if I didn’t have that half hour I’d probably be smashed to dust by my toppling TBR tower. at least, this way I can keep it from tipping too far. danger is still imminent. protect your young.)

#JuneJulyReadTower

Might have mentioned this before, but I FOUND MY FAVORITE SERIES OF THE YEAR WOOT (why, yes, all-caps are completely necessary for this announcement). The Jackaby books make my heart sing because:

— Doctor Who-esque Sherlock Holmes.

— an amazing guy-girl friendship without a drop of romantic feeling.

— fantastical creatures, witty humor, chill-creeping-over-my-bones scenes, and more awesome that I can’t mention because spoilers.

I read Dreamtreaders. I liked it. I want to own it. I am going to start the Sequel this weekend. (take note, Youngest Sister. be pleased, Youngest Sister).

I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to read Behemoth except for the fact that it’s far too ginormous (in size, not number of pages) to stuff in a bag and read at work during lunch. Now that I’ve finally finished it, I like it more than the first book and also less. Which doesn’t make sense, I am aware. In a nutshell: more things I enjoyed (stronger steampunk vibe, new and fun characters, etc) and more things I didn’t like (the fabricated creatures continue to get on my nerves + a few squeamish moments when it comes to the romance. Barking spiders, they’re basically children still. Hold your horses.)

If you were wondering if it’s possible for me to be even more in love with Wodehouse’s books… yes, yes it is. Indiscretions of Archie is a book I actually had to stop reading at lunches since it made me laugh too hard. Archie’s well-meaning, lovable, irrepressible self is the best. I want to adopt him and take him everywhere with me. On second thought, that might be a bad idea. *carefully places all precious belongings in a seaworthy chest and anchors it in the ocean*

Give me all the Whodunits, please and thank you. Honorable mentions: Towards Zero I read in one day at the beach and the suspense was killing. Also pleasing to my mystery-loving self. The Secret of Chimneys  is aadventurous, fascinating book that i want to read again. Definitely recommended.

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One word: phenomenal. 

I am reserving all my thoughts and excitement and love for this book for another blog post, methinks.

More Whodunits. All delicious. Wodehouse at his best again in The Mating Season. Bertie sneaking into Madeline’s house to retrieve that letter is a scene I will never weary of.

 And last, but not least my favorite Wodehouse read of July: Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit. It has Aunt Dahlia which accounts for half of my affection for it already, but toss in Bertie making hilarious hash of situations, missing necklaces, imminent danger of being knocked out and/or engaged and you have the perfect read for a summer afternoon.

“Love is a delicate plant that needs constant tending and nurturing, and this cannot be done by snorting at the adored object like a gas explosion and calling her friends lice.”

Great Expectations was my most recent Dickens read and, although I didn’t like it as much as his other works, I’m glad I read it–if only for Pip and Herbert’s friendship, sweet Joe, and the eerie atmosphere of Miss Havisham. I learned a goodish amount about writing character arcs and that makes up for all the irritation I felt for Pip during the first half of the book. The ending leaves a warm glow in your bones.

Now I’m in the mood for a delightful re-read of David Copperfield. #alwaysloveDickens

Tell me, Wrenlings: what did you read last month and what books did you fall in love with? What books do I need to make my TBR tower still taller and more dangerous?

How the Wren reads // a good gab about things only bookworms will understand  

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I have a blog post all about epic villains in mind, but as soon as I sit down to type it up I inevitably want to chat about books. What is with this, I ask? Why is the Annie-in-the-glass giving me trouble? (if you’ve read Emily of New Moon you’ll understand.)

I’m currently curled up in the coziest corner of our faintly vintage couch and I can feel a gentle breeze from the oscillating fan across the room. Just beyond the archway leading out of the living room I see my Older sister moving about the table as she snips threads, adjusts soft folds of fabric, and busies herself creating a masterpiece of a blouse. The First Younger sister occupies the corner of the couch opposite from me (she’s deep in the world of Magic for Marigold by Montgomery), and the Youngest sister washes dishes–the faint clatter of pots and pans a comfortable background as James Newton Howard’s soundtrack for Peter Pan plays. If I listen hard enough I can only just hear Mum in the room above me, talking on the phone with one of my brothers about strawberries and the dramatics of toddlers and life in general.

Possibly the atmosphere right now isn’t exactly suited to discussions involving death and mayhem and evil genius? Either way I feel the need to have a good bookish chat. Let’s do this, Wrenlings.

(questions borrowed from Schuyler who borrowed them from someone else. Such is life.)

The Curious Wren reading habits

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

The corner of the couch I’m curled up in at the moment. Otherwise I will read on the Older sister’s bed… when she’s not home. If she is home I get special permission lest I’m sent flying out the window in righteous indignation for rumpling her blankets (she really is a darling older sister though. despite her reluctance to take pity on my predicament when I’m short of a good reading spot). 

We used to have a comfy Blue Chair that I would happily get lost in the depths of with a good book, but it aged à la the Velveteen Rabbit so we had to move it to the attic when I was about twelve.

It was a sad time for a young bookworm. 

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Whatever happens to be near me. I try to use bookmarks or bits of silky ribbon as often as possible, but 10 to 1 I forget and end up having to hunt all over the book for my last spot. I do have a delightful habit of finishing Agatha Christie books in one sitting so that dispenses with the necessity of bookmarks altogether. BUT. I never, ever, EVER dog-ear. Not ever

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

If I’m called away to help with supper/keep younglings from murdering each other/put away groceries, etc, I’ll stop the instant I’ve reached the end of my sentence. If I’m stopping just because I’m done reading for the moment, I wait until I’m at the end of a chapter. Unless I’m at work and my lunch break ends. Then it’s a mad scramble to fling my book back in the drawer and kick my brain back into busy bee mode. The struggle is real.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

I devour lunch and books equally at work. At home everybody eats lunch separately and we all always end up reading anyway–my family is strong on the bookworm front (ink flows in our veins). Supper is interesting; if Dad is home we all chat over the meal; if Dad isn’t home we generally agree unanimously to read. It’s a delightful set-up and everybody is pleased. I remember one time the Youngest sister and I both wanted to read The Horse and His Boy during supper, so we just sat next to each other and shared it. Thankfully, we both read at about the same speed–which is very fast in case you were wondering. 

My favorite snack for reading is either apples (Jo March is basically the literary Me) or some other fruit like oranges. Also, chocolate. Because chocolate.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Not TV while reading–too much clamour and chaos. Music yes, as long as it isn’t streaming through earbuds, so basically as background noise. I can read and put a baby to sleep. I try not to read and cook because tragedy that way lies–I am infamous in the family for burning things because I got too involved with my book. One of my favorite things to do when I read is walk up and down the beach along the edge of waves where the sand is wet and firm–in a word: glorious.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

One of the middle shelves on our family bookcase is dedicated solely to our family reading stack. Usually there’s about eight books on the stack and half are ones I’m in the middle of. I like to have a main novel and then several on the side. I balance out heavier, deeper tomes with lighter fiction and cozy reads or sometimes a non-fiction book.

Currently I am reading: 

— Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2).  A Wodehouse novel.  Dreamtreaders. Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl. I just finished two Agatha Christie’s this week and I have at least six books that I am in the middle of that I’ve put on “hold” because there is only one Annie and she can not read three books simultaneously in one sitting. Alas. 

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Everywhere. TAKE OVER THE WORLD, BOOKWORMS. 

Reading outdoors = fantastic. My favorite place to read is on the beach. Second favorite place: by a fireside with a snowstorm howling outside, Christmas music playing, and a mug of peppermint hot chocolate at my elbow. 

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Let’s put it this way, the only time I read out loud is if I’m reading to small humans. Then I do all the voices and accents and occasionally sound effects. Grand fun. 

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Goodness, no. I like suspense and I don’t like guilt or spoilers.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Sweet Ring of Sauron, why would anyone intentionally break a book’s spine? I know people do, but WHY. Don’t you feel slightly like a breaker-of-fine-china? *cringes at the thought*

11. Do you write in your books?

In rare moments, I will scribble a thought about the book along the margin in the faintest of pencil scratchings. I underline in non-fiction books and mark with tiny stars. And I black-out swearing with a fine-point pen. Unless it’s something like the Halo books in which case I hand it off to my brother or Mum and let them have at it. Family is so useful. ^_^

What about YOU, Wrenlings? What are some of your reading habits? Do any of mine mirror yours? And what’s one of the most unique places you’ve read in?

Lost Lake House, by Elisabeth Grace Foley // New Release

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(this is easily my favorite cover of 2016 thus far.)

Summary

The Twelve Dancing Princesses meets the heady glamor and danger of the Jazz Age

All Dorothy Perkins wants is to have a good time. She’s wild about dancing, and can’t understand or accept her father’s strictness in forbidding it. Night after night she sneaks out to the Lost Lake House, a glamorous island nightclub rumored to be the front for more than just music and dancing…in spite of an increasingly uneasy feeling that she may be getting into something more than she can handle.

Marshall Kendrick knows the truth behind the Lost Lake House—and bitterly hates his job there. But fear and obligation have him trapped. When a twist of circumstances throws Dorothy and Marshall together one night, it may offer them both a chance at escaping the tangled web of fear and deceit each has woven…if only they are brave enough to take it.

Novella, approximately 26,000 words.

My Thoughts

I don’t even know where to start with all the reasons why this book made me flail excitedly like a deranged penguin.

Let’s take it one at a time, shall we?

1). The writing has such vividry. It’s awash with vintage-movie glamour and lovely description and unexpected snappy bits of conversation that I loved. This is only the second novella of Foley’s that I’ve read, but I can safely say that she knows how to create the right atmosphere in a book and it’s wonderful.

And did I mention the descrip?

“On cloudy nights like this the lake and sky and island all melted into a uniform invisible black, so the blazing golden windows of the Lost Lake House seemed suspended in the middle of the lake like a floating fairy palace.”

2). You know a book is good when you have only two (extended) scenes where the main characters are actually together and you approve of them as a couple instantly. Dorothy and Marshall hit the perfect balance of a realistic friendship and attraction between two young people. The level of blunt honesty and bringing-out-the-best-in-each-other and chivalry and banter makes me happy. And how adorable and squee-worthy was it when Marshall gave Dorothy his sweater so she wouldn’t catch her death of cold?

3). Father/Daughter relationships in stories are my favorite. This particular one twisted my emotions every which way and I loved it so. *rewards Story with chocolate chips*

4). Dorothy is, hands down, one of the most relatable characters I’ve encountered in awhile. She is girlish and worries about things like shoes and friends and is so reminiscent of my own sixteen-year-old self more than four years ago. I remember clearly that frantic feeling of “I must taste life now” and being afraid that it would end up just leaving me behind without having properly participated in it. Her mad, unquenchable longing for something she loves (dancing) resonated with me deeply. As did her emotions halfway through the book of feeling trapped in a vicious cycle and not having the courage to break out of it. That hit me hard because, in essence, she was caught in both an addiction (which I would liken her desperate hunger for dancing to) and her own web of fear and lies. I’ve been in that position before as a sixteen-year-old girl and the memories Lost Lake House awoke were unsettling, but I know it helped me connect with the story and especially with Dorothy on a deeper level than I had before. It’s what made Dorothy’s choice and the book’s ending even more moving and beautiful to me than I anticipated. (Actually, I would go so far as to say that if you know someone who struggled/struggles with an addiction of some sort this book is one they should read.)

Lost Lake House is not shallow by any means, neither is it oppressively heavy. Rather it tells its story in a simply, beguiling way that makes an impact without ever going unnervingly dark. The book tugged me in with its magical essence and glamour, slowly wound me up into a state of unease and discomfort as the secrets behind Lost Lake House are revealed and Dorothy begins to feel her trapped position, and then the apprehension and anticipation (plus my sympathy for the poor girl) kept me glued to the plages until the world began to turn right-side up again and I reached The End with a lump on my throat and the best feeling of contentment only a bookworm can understand.

Lost Lake House was satisfying, folks. I can’t wait to read it again, and this time I will go slowly and savor it like I would a cup of particularly well-brewed mint tea.

*I received a free ARC from the author in exchange for a honest review

Books I Long to Dig into this Spring // Top Ten Tuesday

It’s beginning to be deliciously warm in my corner of the world. Well, I say warm, but in reality it’s like Spring has whisked back the curtains and waltzed out in a blaze of finery. I feel so alive, folkies! Everything is awash with that fresh, clean, wild feel of the world waking up again, and it has affected me unexpectedly. I want to read and read and read… more so than usual that is.

I want to devour ALL THE BOOKS.

I’d been planning on sharing my TBR for this Spring and then, lo and behold, I found it is the prompt for today’s Top Ten Tuesday. Never ignore a coincidence, humans. Unless you’re busy, in which case, always ignore a coincidence. (extra chocolate chips if you know what I just quoted.)

Shall we talk books then?

(from left to right)

Red Rising. Basically I’ve been wild to read it ever since Suzannah Rowntree shared her persuasive review.

Winter. Oh, the irony of having this on a Spring TBR list! I’ve already started it and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Cinder & Co. (Thorne and Cress are the cutest and I will never stop saying that.)

Storm Siren. Gifted to me by the sweet Schuyler, I’ve saving this elemental delicacy of the fantasy genre for my roadtrip in May. It’ll be my first time reading it. EEEP.

Dreamtreaders. My youngest sister is head-over-heels in love with this book and begs me to read it at every opportunity (I’m holding out to see if she’ll resort to bribes. Kidding. Ish). Since Youngest Sister has good taste in books it should be ’mazing.

Jane Eyre. A re-read of this is loooong overdue, methinks.

Illuminae. The villain is an AI, people (I thought of it first. *wail*). Plus, sci-fi… and it just sounds all-around smashing.

Storming. I blame Schuyler for this one too. I read her review and was caught, hook-line-and-sinker. Buy this one, I will.

—  All the Sherlock Holmes of ever. I need to re-acquaint myself with the awesome once more. I miss Holmes and Watson and the fascination of a baffling case and the thrill of the unexpected twists. *hugs all the books*

Unwind. Because DYSTOPIA. MORAL DILEMMAS. LOVABLE CHARACTERS.

Will I be alive after I finish all these or will I be an emotional wreck? We shall see, my friends. We shall see.

What’s on your Spring TBR?