Waiting on Wednesday: Paper Girls vol 2

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine. It’s an opportunity to spotlight upcoming releases I’m eagerly anticipating.


Paper Girls, vol 2
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Genre: Comic

Back Cover Description: The smash-hit series from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG continues with a bold new direction, as intrepid young newspaper deliverers Erin, Mac, and Tiffany find themselves launched from 1988 to a distant and terrifying future…the year 2016.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books on my Fall TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is top 10 books on your fall TBR pile.

Listed below are the books I’m planning to read this fall. You’ll see quite a bit of horror titles since I tend to get in the mood to read that genre in the fall/winter.

crooked kingdom

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
 Six of Crows #2

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.


Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix
Genre: Horror

Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom. Continue reading

10 Challenged/Banned Classic Books

Red Epic Reads Badge

Today kicks of Banned Books Week, which goes until Oct 1 this year. In support of the initiative, here’s 10 classics that are often banned/challenged that I highly recommend people read.

Instead of writing mini-reviews on each title, I’ve listed the most frequent overall reasons each book has been challenged/banned and some interesting facts about the challenges. Please note that what I have listed below is in no way comprehensive of all the reasons why the books have been challenged. Some (like “Catcher in the Rye”) have been challenged an absurd amount of times.

Also, a quick note on the difference between challenged and banned books. Challenged refers to books that were challenged but not banned. Banned refers to books that were challenged and removed from library shelves, reading lists, classes, etc.

the awakening

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Challenge/Banned Reason: Sexual content

“The Awakening” was highly shocking when it was first published, which led to it being banned for decades. In 2006, it was challenged by a school board member in Illinois who objected to it due to their religious beliefs.


Beloved by Toni Morrison
Challenge/Banned Reason: Themes regarding slavery and violence

Frequently challenged for reasons ranging from sex to profanity. The most absurd case I could find was the one where parents complained about the book because of its portrayal of racism and sex. The complaints led to school administration removing the book from the curriculum and replacing it with “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Can we talk about the fact that “The Scarlet Letter” was deemed appropriate while “Beloved” wasn’t?

Continue reading

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Audio Books and Web Series


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is an all about audio freebie.

Honestly, I don’t listen to very many audio books and I didn’t want to pad out this list. So, I’m cutting this week’s list into two top fives. The first half of the list will be my five favorite audio books. And, since I watch a ridiculous amount of YouTube, the second half of will be my top five favorite web series (at the moment).

breakfast at tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Narrator: Michael C. Hall

Truman Capote’s writing is gorgeous and Michael C. Hall did a truly spectacular job of narrating this one. This is my all time favorite audio book. If you get the opportunity, it’s definitely worth a listen.

Back Cover Description: It’s New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany’s. And nice girls don’t, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly ‘top banana in the shock department’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.


The Martian by Andy Weir
Narrator: R.C. Bray

I expect this one will make it onto a lot of audio book lists this week. R.C. Bray nailed Mark Watney in his narration of “The Martian”. The way this one is written makes it so excellent to listen to since it feels like you’re hearing to recordings Watney is making while stranded. This is one book where I’ll actually suggest someone listen to it vs. read it.

Back Cover Description: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars’ surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, Mark won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark’s not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.

As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.

But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.

Continue reading

Read it or Ditch it: The Catch-Up Post

read it or ditch it

“Read it or Ditch it” is a new weekly feature I’ll be doing each Monday on the blog. The goal is to force myself into making a decision regarding some titles on my TBR pile. Each week I’ll select a book that has sat unread on my shelves for longer than a year and ask the question “Read it or Ditch it?”. If I still want to read it, then by posting it here I’m claiming that I’ll read it by the end of the year. If I’m no longer interested in the book, then this is a send off to the title since I’ll either be donating or selling it.

At the end of the year, I’ll do a round-up post to see how I did. If there are any titles that I said I’d read, but still didn’t, then I’ll either donate or sell those. Hopefully, doing this will help me reach my goal of only 100 books sitting unread on my TBR pile by the end of 2016.

Since we’re inching closer to the end of the year, I figured I should do a check-in on the status of my “Read it” and “Ditch it” selections.

Read it

In total, I’ve committed to reading 13 books on my TBR pile before the end of the year. From that list I’ve read 2 (yikes!). I obviously need to get rolling on these before I run out of time. Here’s the books I said I’d read (the titles that are in bold are the ones I’ve finished). Continue reading

ARC Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

vassa in the night

Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter
Release Date: Sept. 20, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fairytale Retelling
Series: N/A
Rating: B+

Brooklyn is cursed and people barely seem to notice. A single night in Brooklyn can last for what amounts to days in the outside world. Vassa and her step-sisters spend the long nights fighting off boredom with movies and books. When all the lights suddenly burn out in their apartment, Vassa is sent to the only store that remains open the whole night, BY’s.

BY’s dances on chicken legs within a circle of decapitated heads. A warning to potential shoplifters of what will happen to them if they attempt to steal anything. For Vassa, who has always been wrongfully perceived as a kleptomaniac, it’s suicide to step inside. Wanting to prove everyone wrong, she takes the chance.  When Vassa is inevitably accused of shoplifting, the owner of BY’s makes a deal. If Vassa can work three nights in the store without messing up, she’ll be free go home. Vassa quickly learns that the store and it’s inhabitants has no desire to play fair. To survive, she’ll need to rely on some unlikely allies. Continue reading