5 Great Bookish Gifts

Do you have a book lover in your life that you can’t figure out a gift for? I know a number of people who run into this dilemma at the end of the year and have been asked what I think they should get, so if you’re wondering the same thing here are some great gifts that the book lovers in your life may love.

Reading journal – A lot of people create their own bullet journals or planners for this, but some people like journals that are pre-made and already set up, such as this one on Amazon.

These often have room set up for reviews, reading challenges and more. It’s worth looking through a few different ones before you find what you are looking for.

Bookmarks – A bookworm will typically have an unending supply of bookmarks, so picking them up is never a bad thought. Plus they come in a wide range of styles and function. I personally love the bookmarks from Book Art Bookmarks and wish I had the money to buy a bunch of them. Her designs are beautiful and fit books perfectly. You can position the focal over the spine of the book or over the cover.

Supplies for Annotating – A lot of readers like to write in their books and annotate their thoughts and feelings. I am not one of those people. The most I do is use page flags (which I have a large supply of) but some people go full out with their annotating. Great gifts would be post its, page flags, highlighters and special pens (packages of multiple colors).

Lapdesk – Readers love to read in bed or on the couch, we love to have beverages and possibly our computers or electronic devices nearby. Also, if we’re bloggers or we like to take notes, we need to be able to multitask. A lapdesk is a great tool to have and would be multipurpose. You could use it with your laptop, tablets, books and more. I personally have this one and love it.

A Book Subscription Service – There are so many bookish subscription boxes out there right now that you can really find one that could easily appeal to your book lover. Many of them have gift options of just a few months if you just want to give them a trial of it to see if they like it. My personal favorite is Book of the Month. I love their selection and then fact that you can do add ons so that if you see books from past months that you want you can pick those up. (Full disclosure, the link above is my referral link, if you sign up you get to do so for $5 and I get a free book credit).

So there you go! Hopefully that helps you find gifts for the book lovers in your life. Happy reading!

Amazon Wishlists: My Take

Anyone who’s been a member of Book Twitter or Booktube knows that a few years ago a number of booktubers put up their wishlists after they (at least some of them) were asked to by fans. This resulted in backlash from people who took it as those content creators pushing for gifts, when in actuality most of them never even mentioned their wishlists, just included then in their info boxes.

So let’s dissect this a bit – in my perusal of different channels at this time, I never once saw a booktuber pushing for gifts (I’m not saying there weren’t any, just that I never saw it). Also, in a lot of cases when it was mentioned it was usually “People have asked me for it, so it’s in my description box.” Then came the mob of people calling them entitled and saying they were asking or pushing for people to buy then things, so pretty much all of them removed the links and stopped mentioning it.

I’m sure there were some people who may have been pushing and such, but the overall reaction and mob mentality that occurred was really uncalled for in the grand scheme of things. If a fan chooses to buy their favorite booktubers a gift that is their decision, I never saw any kind of pressuring or demands for people to buy things. Over time the wishlists have come back and thankfully there hasn’t been as much backlash as before.

I’m all for people sharing their wishlists and don’t see a problem with it as long as there isn’t any pressure to try and make people buy things. Heck, my wishlist is linked in my twitter profile, but I haven’t otherwise advertised it. A lot of people ask for the lists because they want to give gifts, they want to give people they admire or like a little bit of happiness and I don’t see a problem with that.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I personally don’t mind people sharing their wishlists. They aren’t forcing anyone to buy them things, just allowing them to if they want to. What are your thoughts on it?

Happy reading!

Review: Ivy in Bloom

Ivy in Bloom captures the weariness of a young girl tired of a long winter. “I stare out the window,” she says on the first spread of brown and gray, “looking for birds or flowers / or even warm showers / but I don’t see any such thing.” But then Spring comes when “March is out of breath snow melting to flowery waters and watery flowers spring rose from its wintry rest.” And Ivy’s “heart dances with daffodils.” As these words also dance across each spread, Ivy’s world erupts into a riot of color.

Ivy in Bloom is an adorable children’s book that melds the author’s own words with poetry from famous poets. All of the poems are woven together to tell a story about a girl lamenting for spring and the time it takes to arrive.

I loved the way the poems were mixed together and another great feature is that all of the poems used and their authors are explained in a section at the end of the book, making this not only a great children’s book, but a way for the reader to seek out and find classic poets and their work.

Happy reading!

Review: Snug

Why bother getting out of bed when you could stay bundled up with that special someone and a book of cozy, cute comics. From the author of the bestselling Little Moments of Love comes Snug, a collection of comics that perfectly captures the honest, playful, and relatable snapshots of romantic life.

Chetwynd’s second book has the same charming and inviting style as her first and includes 50 percent new, never-before-shared comics. Snug is a celebration of the quirks and peculiarities of every one of us—and the magic that happens when we find our matching puzzle piece.

I’ve followed Catana Comics for a long time on Instagram so I was very excited when I saw that there’s a book coming out. I love her art style and the little vignettes into her relationship which funnily enough is a lot like the relationship I’m in. It’s a perfect representation of being in a loving relationship with someone who is not only your partner but your best friend who you are (for the most part) on the same level with.

This collection is a fun read that would make almost anyone feel warm fuzzies and put a smile on their face. If you’re looking for something that will be uplifting and cute, pick this one up.

Happy reading!

Review: Dark Carousel

A balmy summer night in 1994. Four teenagers out for an evening of fun on the boardwalk take a ride on the “Wild Wheel” – an antique carousel with a shadowy past – and learn too late that decisions made in an instant can have deadly consequences. What begins as a night of innocent end-of-summer revelry, young love, and (a few too many) beers among friends soon descends into chaos, as the ancient carousel’s parade of beasts comes chillingly to life to deliver the ultimate judgment for their misdeeds.

After reading this I may never look at a carousel the same way. This was my first foray into Hill’s writing and I was not disappointed. It was the right mix of descriptive language, dark subject matter and a good dose of lingering fear for the narrator.

Since this is a short story I don’t want to say too much as almost anything beyond the blurb would be a spoiler, but it’s an interesting look at what a cursed carousel and its animals may do to those it feels has wronged it.

If you’re looking for a dark story that is a quick read, pick this one up.

Happy reading!

Review: Provocation

Doctor Victoria Ward has been killing men for over thirty years. Her victims all have one thing in common: they’re abusive. Righteousness is a close companion—it helps her sleep at night—and she holds the virtue closely as she defends the innocent, upholding the law when it won’t rise to protect those who need it most. When she meets a young girl named Kelly, and follows her down a twisted path of deception, Doc Ward finds herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. Never before has she wavered in her resolve—but can she defend another against someone she loves?

This book was definitely a wild ride and not what I expected. It was far more gritty and dark than I expected, so keep in mind that this includes murder, torture, abuse and assault of all kinds. I enjoyed the switching back and forth between the past and present as it really explained Victoria’s psyche and motivation for her actions.

Though the content is darker and there are a lot of heavy subjects, it could be an important discussion regarding domestic abuse in some ways, but the actions portrayed probably shouldn’t be used as the model of behavior. I did feel that the ending was very abrupt and wished it had been drawn out just a little bit more, a deeper look into the motivations of others besides Victoria.

If you’re a fan of Dexter or serial killer stories this would probably be right up your alley. Happy reading!

Review: Your Heart is the Sea

Let poetry help you examine the depths of your wounds. Let it remind you that no matter how deep it goes, you will be able to heal it because you have been able to heal every single wound inflicted on your heart and soul before. Let these words show you that you will be able to find the light at the end of the wound because you have always found your way before.

By now I’ve discovered that I’m just going to love everything Nikita Gill writes. I’m pretty sure this is the last of her collections that I hadn’t read it and again, I loved it.

The way she weaves topics such as assault, abuse, depression and more into things like mythology and stories is just beautiful. Her writing is both powerful and lyrical, with emphasis in the best places. For someone who doesn’t always love modern poetry, hers is the stuff I love.

She truly takes on hard hitting subjects head on, whether from personal experience or not, and makes each poem relateable to people who have gone through similar experiences. I can’t say enough good things about her poems, just make sure to go into them knowing that they will tug at the heart and sometimes physically hurt after reading.

Happy reading!

December Reading Plans

If you’ve followed my blog at all, you know the last few months have not been the best for me reading wise. I’ve struggled with a reading slump as well as been extremely busy in a time of year I wouldn’t normally be busy. It’s been a struggle in a year that has been amazing in the amount I’ve been able to read. With that being said, I’m hoping the last month of the year will allow me to pick up my pace again and end the year on a high note.

I have a ton of review books that I need to complete, some of which I’m in the middle of, so those are actually top priority for me. My reading slump definitely meant I wasn’t getting through as many as I needed to, so I need to correct that. I’ve already made decent progress as it is the 4th and I’ve finished three review books already.

Another priority is to finish up some of the books I’m in the middle of. There are a number on my currently reading shelf that have been there way too long. I would like to start 2020 pretty cleanly, I’m realistic enough that I know I won’t get to everything, but I’d like to be close.

So those are my plans for this month, no specific TBR just a lot of catching up. Fingers crossed.

Happy reading!

Review: The Crowns of Croswald

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic—and her life—is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

This book was such a fun adventure! I hesitate to compare any books to Harry Potter, because I know that such a suggestion can bring certain preconceived notions to mind, but if you’re looking for something about a magical world including a school setting then this will definitely fit the bill.

I love that a good chunk of this book is world building and that special attention was paid to fleshing out different aspects of the magic system. I’m super excited about the future books and getting to learn even more about the history of this world and its magic and creatures.

Ivy as a character is very impulsive, but driven by an inner purpose. Her moments of vulnerability are understandable and fitting for her situation. While she didn’t always full think through her decisions, she knew that there was a reason for the things she had to do and let herself be led by her instincts, which was both bad and good. While only a couple other characters were truly fleshed out, most of those who had a voice were distinct and individual.

All in all this was a great adventure full of twists and turns and I can’t wait to read more from this series!

Thank you again to Stories Untold and D.E. Night for sending me a copy of this book. D.E. Night’s books can be found on Amazon, or purchased through her website at DENight.com.

Happy Reading!

Review: The Hashtag Hunt

The only reason Lauren entered the Hashtag Hunt was for the $10,000 grand prize. She needed seed money for her startup, and it sounded easy enough: twelve hours to text twelve photos to someone called the Wizard. For hashtag number five, Lauren needs a #HottieInTheWild, and with the help of her best friend, Ivy, she finds the perfect subject.

The only reason Brenner entered Barkley’s Pub was to have beers with Scott, an Army brother back in town. The reunion is interrupted when a woman is caught crouched in a dark corner, taking pictures of Brenner. Lauren explains, and though embarrassed, she accepts Scott and Brenner’s offer to help with hashtag number six.

While hunting for hashtags, Lauren finds adventure and romance with her #Hottie, but she must stay focused to beat the clock and win the cash. 

I didn’t know much of anything about this going in, but it was an incredibly fun adventure that takes place all in one night. We follow Lauren who is competing in The Hashtag Hunt. Along the way she meets new people, has some adventures that are a little out of her comfort zone and finds new friends.

There are definitely some elements that you have to suspend disbelief for, but this book was so fun I had to give it five stars. It was that good based on enjoyment alone, while also briefly touching on some heavier subjects regarding the individual characters.

All in all this was a great time and I would definitely pick up other books by this author.

Happy reading!