Theme Thursday: Witches

It’s time for another Theme Thursday! This month’s theme is witches, so I figured I’d do it on Halloween. 🧙

Theme Thursday is a new monthly feature created by Sophie @ Blame Chocolate where bloggers can share recs and newly found books featuring that month’s theme.

  • There will be a different theme (genre, trope, etc) every month. You can check the theme calendar here.
  • Those participating have to list titles that feature that theme in some way (doesn’t have to be the main theme of the book).
  • You can choose one of the four (or five) Thursdays of every month to post.
  • You can use the three main categories: Books I’ve Read/I’m Reading, Books I Want to Read, and Other Books That Fit The Theme but this isn’t mandatory.
  • You can repeat books in different themes, if they apply, and choose as many as you want.
  • You don’t have to take part every month! Just when you feel like it.
  • You can use #BlameThemeThursday on Twitter and other social media to make TT posts easier to find.
  • Finally, use this boxed text (or similar) in your post, as it doubles as a pingback.

If you have any theme suggestions, please leave them in the comments or email them to me!

Books I’ve Read

Books I Want to Read


Did you do your own Theme Thursday post this month? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! Have you read any of these books? What are your favorite witchy books? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tag: Spoopy Memes Book Tag

I’ve seen this one going around a lot but wasn’t actually tagged. (I’m just over here pretending I don’t have a ton of tags I was actually tagged in to do.) Anyway, I thought this was the perfect tag to do right before Halloween, and what can I say? I love spoopy memes. 🎃


Rules:

  • If you’d like to do this tag, please link back to this post so I can see your answers!
  • Feel free to use the banner above if you’d like, and I highly suggest you copy over the memes, as they give the questions context.

Time to get spooky! What books will you be reading to celebrate this time of year?

I’m not super into spooky books, but I did just finish Doll Bones by Holly Black. It’s middle grade but it’s definitely got some creepy stuff going on!

Do you put up decorations for Halloween? If so, describe them! Even better, show them!

Well, let’s see. On my front door there’s a sparkly spooky black cat. On my balcony, there’s some light up pumpkins and a real pumpkin. And at my desk at work, I have some Halloween garland. I don’t have pictures of my house (and I’m too lazy to get out of my bed right now) but here’s a corner of my desk:

Also, I was legitimately tempted to print out that meme to hang at my desk the first time I saw it, and honestly, I still might.

What is the scariest book you’ve ever read? What made it so scary?

You know, like I said, I don’t read a lot of spooky books. But one book that stuck with me was 172 Hours on the Moon. It’s psychologically scary.

What’s the last book you read that truly shocked you, made your jaw drop, or made you chuck the book across the room?

Does wanting to chuck the book across the room in anger because the ending was so horrible and ridiculous count? If so, Neverworld Wake. (And if not, I really have no idea.) If I hadn’t been listening to an audiobook at work and if I were a violent person, that book would have gone flying.

What’s a book that’s fallen out of the spotlight that you still really like and try get people to read?

There are two! For adult romance, definitely The Hating Game. (We all know I love The Hating Game.) And for YA, definitely Starry Eyes! Both books are so great and don’t have a lot of hype anymore.

Are you dressing up this year? If so, what as? If not, what would be your costume if you were?

I’m not going to go all-out, but I might wear a cat ear headband or something.

What is your opinion on the word ‘spoopy’, and memes that follow its theme?

I think it’s great, and I love memes.


Well, Halloween is tomorrow, so I’m not going to tag anybody, but please steal this tag! And link back to me so I can see your answers! Are you dressing up for Halloween? How do you feel about memes? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books featuring spooky creatures

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is a Halloween freebie and I’m going with books featuring spooky creatures! At first, like last year, I wanted to go with spooky books I’ve read, but then I realized there was no way I was going to get to ten with the tiny amount of spooky books I read. 🙂 So here we go! Ten books that, while not necessarily spooky, feature some spooky creatures.


a possibly haunted doll

Doll Bones by Holly Black

ghosts

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

werewolves

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu & Suzanne Walker

vampires

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

aliens

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

any creature you could think of is probably in this series

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan


Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! Have you read any of these books? Can you recommend any (not super spooky) books featuring spooky creatures? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Lumberjanes, Vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson

Lumberjanes, Vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Source: Borrowed

What a mystery!

Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are not your average campers and Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types is not your average summer camp. Between the river monsters, magic, and the art of friendship bracelets, this summer is only just beginning. Join the Lumberjanes as they take on raptors and a sibling rivalry that only myths are made of.

This New York Times bestseller and Eisner Award-nominated series is written by awesome all-star Noelle Stevenson and brilliant newcomer Grace Ellis, and illustrated by the tremendously talented Brooke Allen.

Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max includes issues 5-8 and the first fourteen pages of Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison.

The second volume in the Lumberjanes series is just as fun as the first one! This series is so, so cute and this volume had so much action! I love the characters, I love their friendships, and I love all of their adventures and antics. The feminist touches (the characters like to yell the names of famous women from history when they get exasperated or excited) were also nice.

Quite honestly, I don’t have a ton to say about this one. I really liked it, I read it in one setting, and I’d definitely recommend it. Also, “I wish everyone had a kitten” is definitely me with superpowers.


Have you read Lumberjanes? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: Doll Bones by Holly Black

Doll Bones by Holly Black
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Source: Borrowed

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice.

But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

I’ve read a few of Holly Black’s books now and I think that I can safely say that I really enjoy her writing style. Her books are always really readable (or, in this case, listenable? is that a word? I’m a linguist and I just made it one) and Doll Bones is no exception. I found this book while scrolling through my library’s Overdrive and figured it would be the perfect book to listen to during Spooky Season.

I was pleasantly surprised that Doll Bones is about more than just, you know, the doll bones. More than anything else, it’s a coming-of-age story about Zach, who, along with his friends, loves crafting stories featuring his action figures, until his father decides he’s too old to play like that and throws out all of Zach’s toys. While Zach’s flat-out refusal to communicate with his friends about why exactly he wouldn’t be playing anymore was frustrating, I had to keep reminding myself that he’s literally twelve years old. I couldn’t expect him to act like an adult, and I don’t know many twelve year old boys who are tuned into their feelings enough to openly discuss them with their friends. (That said, I admittedly don’t know many twelve-year-olds in general.) There’s some really good commentary on what it means to grow up and how scary it can be.

Then there’s the actual spooky story about a bone doll made out of the bones of a little girl who was murdered under mysterious circumstances. A number of things happen that could be real or imagined, and it’s never really clarified, which just makes things spookier.

One small critique is that I don’t think the romance was even remotely necessary and I was a little bit disappointed to see it even factor in to the plot. I guess a few people had paired off when I was twelve years old, but it definitely wasn’t a big part of my middle school life. More than anything, I think that particular plot felt a little forced.

Overall, I think this was a really well-written middle grade book! As an adult, there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way, but I really can’t hold that against the book since I’m far from its intended audience.

Previously: The Cruel PrinceThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown


Have you read Doll Bones? Can you recommend any spooky MG books?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

  • Review: Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d give different titles ratings to
  • Review: One More Thing by BJ Novak
  • Tag: Fall Bucket List Book Tag
  • Review: The Song Machine by John Seabrook

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing, thankfully

Blog hopping:

  • Mandy & Sha are doing a giveaway in honor of their THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
  • Rebecca’s Top Five Tuesday post about favorite audiobooks included two that I’ve really loved, so obviously I have to listen to the others. (I actually checked out Sadie because of this post.)

1 thing this week:

  • It’s been a pretty uneventful week (again!) but I finally got my Tennessee drivers license, which means that I was finally able to get a local library card!!

Song of the week:


How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book Review: The Song Machine by John Seabrook

The Song Machine by John Seabrook
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 5, 2015
Source: Borrowed

There’s a reason today’s ubiquitous pop hits are so hard to ignore—they’re designed that way. The Song Machine goes behind the scenes to offer an insider’s look at the global hit factories manufacturing the songs that have everyone hooked. Full of vivid, unexpected characters—alongside industry heavy-hitters like Katy Perry, Rihanna, Max Martin, and Ester Dean—this fascinating journey into the strange world of pop music reveals how a new approach to crafting smash hits is transforming marketing, technology, and even listeners’ brains. You’ll never think about music the same way again.

The Song Machine is one of those books that I’d seen at my library countless times but never got around to reading. But ever since I started listening to audiobooks while I work, I’ve had an extra, you know, 40ish hours each week for reading, so I added this one to the lineup. While I was listening to it, I thought it was moderately interesting. I didn’t hate it or anything. But after finishing it and thinking about it, I have some things to say.

The thing is, if you’re looking for information about the actual process of creating a hit song, this isn’t your book. This book is about producers and songwriters and that’s about it. The actual artists are glossed over, except when Seabrook has found an anecdote of someone being difficult that he’d like to share.

And, quite honestly, those “difficult” artists are actually pretty relatable for me. At least, I related to them a lot more than I related to the old men telling them what to do. I mean, if Kelly Clarkson really hated a song, why couldn’t they just have someone else sing it? After all, Seabrook devoted countless pages to talking about how songs that are meant for one artist frequently end up actually being recorded for another.

And don’t even get me started on Kesha. Seabrook has such disdain for Kesha while placing Dr. Luke on some kind of untouchable pedestal. He’s clearly chosen Dr. Luke’s side, painting Kesha as a terrible person who (although he doesn’t come directly out and say it, he strongly alludes to it) has falsely accused Dr. Luke of sexual assault for no real reason.

The chapter on Katy Perry was just gross. I’m not Katy Perry’s biggest fan (I haven’t really listened to her music since the “Teenage Dream” days) but I can recognize that there’s more to her than her body. It was insulting to read and made me feel so bad for her that she can’t escape men ogling her body even in this non-fiction book about how the music industry works.

The last thing I want to mention is the lack of structure in the book. Seabrook will talk about early pop music, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, etc, and then he’ll throw in some random anecdote about a modern pop star before jumping back to early pop again. He’ll mention Ester Dean in the middle of talking about someone else even though she gets her own chapter later in the book. It didn’t make a lot of sense and even just listening to it threw me off.

All in all, there is some interesting information here, but I can’t really recommend it.


Have you read The Song Machine? Can you recommend any good books about the music industry?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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