Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Unboxing: Book of the Month November Box Review

It's here!! We'll it's been here for a while, but I'm just now getting round to posting about it. Here is my first ever Book of the Month box! About a week ago I wrote about subscribing to the 3 month service. This is a monthly book subscription service where a panel of judges plus one guest judge pick 5 new hardcover releases that came out the previous month. You choose which book you want or you can choose to skip that month if none of the books appeal to you. You are effectively getting access to brand new hardcover releases for less than the price of the paper back. Not a bad deal.

  This month's picks were
  1. Nicotine by Nell Zink
  2. The Trespasser by Tana French 
  3. Every man a menace by Patrick Hoffman
  4. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  5. A Gambler's Anatomy by Jonathan Lethem (picked by special guest Anthony Bourdain)
My final pick which was "Every man a Menace" by Patrick Hoffman. I also added a backlist pick (you can add up to 2 backlist picks for $9.99 each) "Behold the Dreamers" by Imbolo Mbue which I had been dying to get my hands on ever since I heard about it on Book Riot.

Several days later (I got expedited shipping because I added an extra book) the books showed up at the door. I felt like a five-year old opening a Christmas present, here is what was inside!

Apple and coffee not included in the box

The first box you receive comes with a cute navy tote with "Book of the Month" on one side and the logo on the other, your book(s), and a magnet which is now proudly on my fridge. The tote is of great quality and I've already gotten great use out of it. No flimsy bags here! Something that I didn't realize was that the book dust jacket and spine comes emblazoned with the Book of the Month Logo as you can see in the picture. The back of the book also does not contain any blurbs or summaries but just states "Book of the Month" along with the month and year in which that book was originally offered. This didn't bother me but then again I'm not too picky about how my books look on the shelf. Lastly there was a note from the judge who had selected the book you chose that month.

Overall I am very happy with my Book of the Month box and I'm already anticipating next month's box!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Tome Topple Read-a-thon! (Nov 18th - Dec 1st)

This year has been the year of bookish firsts in many ways for me, first year doing the Goodreads challenge, the first time I've subscribed to a bookish box, the first time writing into a bookish podcast and now...*drumroll* my first time participating in a read-a-thon!

I will be participating in the Tome Topple read-a-thon from midnight November 18th to 11:59pm November 30th. The point of this read-a-thon is to make a dent in those big books you've had on your shelf for a while, in other words you can only read books that are over 500 pages. There are also 5 challenges if you choose to accept them to get you started on your TBR. They are:

  1. Read more than one tome
  2. Read a graphic novel
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series
  4. Buddy read a tome
  5. Read an adult novel

I don't think I will be attempting to complete all of the challenges but I have a good idea of what my TBR will be: I will be attempting to finish 3 books total, 2 Fiction and 1 Non-Fiction, the books are:

1. The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

I am so excited about this book! I've been wanting to read this book ever since I heard about its release on the All the Books podcast. And now that it's out in paperback I can't wait to finally read it! This is a historical fiction novel that revolves around the life of Parisian-acclaimed opera singer Lilliet Burne who is offered the starring role in an original opera, the highest honor for an opera singer but soon discovers that the new opera narrates her life story and unearths secrets she wants to keep hidden.

Opera+Mystery+Beautiful narrative language= Yes Please!

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Between the popularity of this series and the STARS TV series I feel that this book needs little introduction. Honestly, I've had mixed feelings about this book which is why it has remained on my shelf for such a long time. I am always weary of overhype and have heard lots of opinions regarding this series, good/bad/feminist/anti-feminist etc. but I also like give a books a chance so I've decided to take the plunge and read this book at last and form a judgement for myself.

3. The Village: 400 Years of Beat and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues by John Strausbaugh

I thought I'd throw a non-fiction book into the mix to keep things interesting! I plan to read this book throughout the read-a-thon along side my fiction pics. Ever since I moved to New York, I've been wanting to learn more and more about the local history and neighborhoods. Where better to start that with a biography of one of my favorite haunts: Greenwich Village!

For more information about the Tome-Topple Read-a-thon I will leave the links to the host's youtube/blogs and the goodreads group

Goodreads group:

Also follow @tome_topple for updates as well as using #tometopple!

Adriana -
Sarah-Jane -
Sheema - IG: dreamthiefs &
Caz -
Bethany -

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

#RiotReads Sorcerer to the Crown Review

Author: Zen Cho
Publisher: Ace
Publication Year: 2015
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fantasy/Speculative Fiction 

  The first #RiotReads pick is what would happen if a dragon and Jane Austen's work had a woke baby together:


Zacharias Wythe is the Sorcerer to the Crown in an alternative England where magic is a profession and the Society of Unatural philosophers is tasked with the maintenance of England's magic supplies. But there is trouble afoot. Napoleon is taking over Europe, something is causing England's magic reserves to dry up, strange magical assassination attempts are occurring, and as the adopted black son of the previous Sorcerer to the Crown who died under mysterious circumstances, Zacharias has his work cut out for him. Things get particularly interesting when he meets Prunella Gentleman when giving a speech at a school for gentlewitches. Prunella is a powerful mix-raced sorceress, a combination that is not particularly favored in a society where magic is not seen as a suitable endeavor for women. 


This book was a thought-provoking joy to read! First of all, it's a regency era comedy of manners but with magic. Basically if Jane Austen's works had a love baby with Gail Carriger's and a dragon this would be the result. I completely see how this might not be for everyone, but this rang so many of my bells.

Before I started reading this book, I scrolled through some of the Goodreads reviews something which I normally don't do but for some reason felt compelled to do so this time. The overall view was that it was a great book, the most common gripe was that it was a bit slow to start but it hooked you if you stuck with it. I would say that there is a point in this, the pacing of the plot seems to meander a bit even though the plot calls for urgency, whether this is a product of the genre or the author's first novel it's hard to say but it does not detract from the overall readability and engagement of the book.

 One of the reason that this book has gotten a lot of buzz is that it deals with the topic of race and microagressions in an interesting way by placing a black man and a mixed race woman at the center of a narrative that takes place in colonial-era England. Zacharias not only has to deal with all the hi-jinks that come along with the politicking of his post, familiars, fairies and curses, but also with the scorn of some his peers who look to delegitimize his claim to the staff of Sorcerer to the Crown because of his ethnicity.  Overall, although this book has some rough patches (it is a debut) it is funny, witty, thought provoking and a breath of fresh air. 

Zacharias is one of my favorite characters of any book I have read this year and really made me fall in love with the story. Prunella is more of a mixed bag but definitely has her charm and her feminist moments that slay. Can't wait for the next installment of the series!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Reading along with #RiotRead

It's no secret that I love it's basically an online community of diverse and awesome readers that posts great content daily. They have everything from book recommendation podcasts, to think pieces to givaways. It's basically a treasure trove for book nerds! There's a little bit for everyone, no matter your reading taste, but it also has broadened my reading horizons by introducing me to new material I never knew was missing from my life, in short BookRiot always has your back when you are in search of new books to discover.

So when they announced that they were starting a read-along I knew that I had to join in! Their first pick for October/November is Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho!

Sorcerer to the Crown is basically:  Austenesque comedy of manners + magic and sorcery + kick ass commentary on race and gender + awesome characters. Basically its everything in my wheelhouse <3

I am about a third of the  way through and I am loving it! Book riot has also release content related to the read-along if you have already finished the book including further reading and an interview with the author.

Let know if you are planning to participate too!