Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Published by Penguin Press, 2014. Hardcover, 264 pgs.
Goodreads Description
       The premise sounded like a mix of two of my favorite thrillers-You by Caroline Kepnes and Misery by Stephen King. I acknowledge this is unfair because of the high pedestal I've placed them upon. Unfortunately, because those two are so exceptionally strong, this paled a little in comparison.
    I found the story a little lackluster. While immediately finding Teo repulsive, his character seemed slightly flat. I love character studies and wanted more of his inner monologues, not just the basic rundown of his day or how he was transporting Clarice around in a suitcase....which is apparently possible if the woman is petite enough and the suitcase is extra large. Ick. I wanted her perspective as well, even though her feelings are abundantly clear due to the torturous circumstances.
      The pace picks up in the middle, with a few truly messed up details that bumped up my rating. I wish the ending had taken a different direction for several reasons....but obviously can't say because of spoilers. I loved a bit in the Author Acknowledgement where Montes says his mother wanted him to write something less violent after his novel, Suicidas. This was his answer, a love story of sorts. HA. This is a super fast read at 264 easy pages.


Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. Hardcover, 352 pgs
Goodreads Description
      I have so many adjectives for this story. It's hypnotic, sometimes pretentious, occasionally vulgar, honest, insightful, surprising, poetic, and memorable. I don't think this is for everyone, but I found it an addictive and quick read. I have limited food service experience, despite holding a Hospitality and Tourism Management degree. I worked at Cracker Barrel for a hideous summer, and a dining hall at Virginia Tech. Upon graduating, I decided the late night lifestyle wasn't for me. Regardless, I will always be interested in those who work the grueling service industry hours.
      I'm quite in love with this cover and premise. Combine that with the praise of one of my favorite YouTubers (who works in the restaurant industry), and I had to get on the library hold list. If you're interested, you can check out Erika's awesome video review here. Highly recommend!
      "They were dining, shopping, consuming, unwinding, expanding while we were working, diminishing, being absorbed into their scenery. That is why we- The Industry People- got so greedy when the Nine-To-Fivers went to bed." Danler's depiction of the staff after closing was unsurprising and raw, filled with drug/alcohol abuse and sexual entanglements. From my short summer as a waitress, I heard many rumors of forbidden hookups among management/staff, even if half was untrue...still a pretty high number probably occurred!
      The writing felt disjointed at times, like a bizarre stream of consciousness. I'm sure this style was intentional in showing the fast-paced nature of an upscale New York City Restaurant, but occasionally I felt  held at a distance.  
       The fine dining aspect was fascinating. As someone who doesn't live in a big city or spend several hundred dollars on a meal, I found the dining presentation, wine knowledge requirements, back of house environment (always frenzied and brutal, even in the most basic kitchen) and staff hierarchy to be the strongest parts of the story. The actual interaction with customers is given minimal focus, with just a few examples of specific people. That worked well in focusing the story on the life of the workers.
"Service is a structure that controls chaos. But the guests, the servers, have desires as well. Unfortunately we want to disrupt that order. We produce chaos, through our randomness, through our unpredictability....We are humans, aren't we? You are, I am. But we are also the restaurant. So we are in constant correction. We are always straining to retain control." 
        I have the utmost respect for people that can handle this lifestyle and thrive. It is all-consuming, and the personal sacrifices of time (and often health) are required. You must love the art of service and creating masterpieces with food to make it a long-term career. This book was unique from all other food memoirs or fiction I've read. I recommend giving it a try.   

Friday, June 17, 2016


Published by Nan A.Talese, 2016. Hardcover, 306 pgs.
Goodreads Description   
 ****3.5 STARS
      The major snapshot I took away from this novel was the complexity of human nature. From bizarre wartime behavior to unordinary love, Amend highlighted people who tried to accept circumstances and snatch happiness when it was made available- especially when life deviated from plan.
      The story wasn't what I expected from the blurbs and internet chatter. At it's heart, this is a character study. The island setting, while a lush and exotic backdrop, is definitely secondary to the internal personal struggles. I enjoyed the sections talking about the inherent pleasure of working with nature."There is a strange serenity that comes with only having to worry about your basic needs. It makes me think that primitive man might have been better off than we are today." The sense of foreboding on the island due to impending war permeated the narrative too.
       I loved the nursing home humor! The story opens on Rosalie and Frances musing on their current surroundings. "The few men in residence are even more decrepit than we old hens. They are cocks of the walk. The younger women mill about, fawning over those toothless skeletons as though they were meat worth catching." Amend was great at creating scenes with wit and humor. I liked that the story was told from present to past, as well as the incorporation of historical facts (such as President Roosevelt's real visit to the Galapagos).
      Ironically, the strengths of the novel were also some of the reasons I didn't jive with it. I wanted a little more for some characters. However, if Amend had written this in that fashion, it probably would have set the wrong tone for the characters- especially with their personality quirks. There is an underlying sadness in the story, and it felt realistic.
       I also wanted more Galapagos history and description. The writing is fantastic, and the fictionalization of real explorers was an interesting concept indeed. I think this boils down to how much you enjoy hearing about this couple's unconventional life, and fraught female friendships. It's certainly beautiful and different, and I think lots of people will find it a good, solid read.




Saturday, June 11, 2016


Published by Knopf, 2004. Hardcover, 323 pgs
      I was on my neighborhood swim team in elementary school. I wish I'd had the opportunity to continue, or enough self-awareness to ask my parents to find an indoor pool at the end of the season. Fast forward to this summer when I joined the YMCA and began lap swimming again as my kids go through swim lessons.
      I'm embarrassed it's taken me this long to get back to the water. My form needs work and my breathing is atrocious, but I'm thrilled to be experiencing the joy of swimming again. This had me digging for swimming books! This one popped up as highly rated, as well as topping many lists. Do I want to swim in the ocean or do long distances? Absolutely positively no! I'll take my lap pool at 75 degrees thank you very much. I just find it exciting to read about top performers in their field, particularly when it's an area of personal interest.
      THIS BOOK. It's just about everything. Cox is the rare athlete who has incredible writing chops. Combined with a near photographic memory (and I'm assuming extensive journals or diary entries- or she's a freaky savant), the descriptions of her channel swims were so evocative, I felt like I was in the boat beside her- many times holding my breath or feeling chilled right along with her. This passionate writing made me interested in all the details. There are too many points of interest to name, but my top favorites were how she procured a swim pilot, what tides were acceptable for swimming, the navigational systems used before GPS to help chart the course, the tests done on her uncanny ability to maintain necessary core body temperature in frozen waters, the affects of salt water on the body....this book was bonkers.
         Cox somehow manages to sound humble and gracious- no small feat when statistically you are superior to all distance swimmers, and also swimming where no attempts have previously been made. Her 1987 swim of the Bering Strait was literally hailed by Gorbachev as "diminishing tensions between Russia and the United States."
         There is also careful acknowledgement and deep gratitude for race officials, mentors, family, friends, and native residents of the places she swam. She says "no one ever achieves great things alone." Many of these accounts are nothing short of miraculous. It's truly hard to envision surviving these conditions, much less setting records or charting new paths. If you want to read a jaw-dropping memoir about a super athlete, look no further. Lynne Cox is truly a class act. I can't think of anything she could have added or deleted. Plus, the good vibes from her triumphs make it the perfect summer read:-)

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Published by Image Comics, 2014, 2015, 2015 Respectively

      It's tough to be a human. When Alex's Grandmother gifts him a Tanaka X5 android (Ada) to ease the loneliness after a harsh breakup, he's less than pleased. Quickly after accepting responsibility, he becomes bothered by her lack of opinions and consciousness. Attempting to create a better life for Ada, (and to appease his complicity in robot ownership), Alex seeks out a way to awaken her sentience. This obviously presents various problems that are explored throughout the three volume story arc.
      Some might find the artwork "plain" but I thought it was a beautiful, simplistic style for this subject. It was extremely conducive to showing the emotions of despair and happiness on their faces, particularly Ada's as she adjusted to her new life. I really appreciated Alex's gentle, compassionate character. He consistently tried to make the best of the situation, and was a genuinely nice guy who didn't want to take advantage of his dominant position. 
      What does it mean to feel? What are the basic rights of all living things? When do corporations go too far? How do we enact change? What are the long term ramifications for behaving inappropriately based on fear of the unknown?  
      This graphic novel explores technology and humanity in an extremely intelligent fashion.. It brings up moral and ethical dilemmas that advanced societies face without sounding preachy or heavy handed. I was impressed with the amount of scientific backstory concerning the androids- I felt like I got all the necessary facts I would receive from a novel in the well-articulated speech bubbles, all with the benefit of fantastic illustration. I can't think of anything I would have changed. I wish there were more of these, but I congratulate the author and illustrator for not dragging things out for popularity's sake. I will be seeking out more from this pair. It's taken me a long time to understand the appeal of graphic novels, and these have been my favorite so far. I enjoyed them all the same, hence the one rating.



Published by HarperCollins, 1969 (first published in 1963). Hardcover, 192 pgs

      I'm usually the sentimental, gushy cat memoir type. This is a straightforward, coming-of-age story about a boy and his pet cat set in late 1950's New York. The book reads like a love letter to the city, as well as an ode to a bygone era- complete with terms like golly, stickball, being sore at someone, and 30 cent coke mentions. The illustrations are delightful, and the language makes you long for black and white TV and movies. Also, it's one more novel about cats that confirms their general air of condescension towards us. However, we humans keep on loving them just the same, quirks and all (well, most of us:-). 
       Again, this book is definitely a snapshot of a time period. It's so dated that little can be found of current relevance. It's still enjoyable, but the nostalgia held most of the charm. If you're interested in traveling back in time for a charming, quiet story about the everyday life of a teenager, I think this would suffice. Not quite as memorable as I'd hoped, but it was a quick, easy pick during a reading slump.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Goodreads Description
Published by Random House, 2013. Hardcover, 453 pgs
One of my favorite quotes:     
 "It was one of those moments, thankfully rare, when you can spot another person's core needs, almost by accident- absolutely by accident since those needs are almost graphic when blatant, like seeing the musculature and tendon required to prop up hope."
          This is a family melodrama with nuanced and unstable characters, bookish references, symbolism, details on the arduous writing process, unreliable narrators, and the meaning of life and legacy. New York City is a main character, with it's iconic smoky room/high society lifestyle and literary scene. It takes some analysis, and while initially frustrated at my pace, I was glad that I took my time and absorbed the chapters slowly. I felt my humanity while reading this book- connecting with the realization that, deep down, we are mortal and have a finite time on this earth to accomplish our goals and form meaningful relationships. It's also a fascinating reflection on the futility of fighting the family we are born into, and accepting the circumstances of our relationships while trying to find our own identity.
       This book is extremely meaty, and forces you to slow down with the writing, particularly the interspersed cursive letters between Dyer and his friend Charlie. The documentation pulls you into the story unapologetically, falling deeper into the history of these men and their fates. I alternated between being touched at the sentiments, then frustrated by the unspoken and careless treatment of their families. It felt like reading a classic, and I don't mean that in a negative way. The themes and rich language, along with the coming of age aspects (thwarted ambitions and flashes of success) make it feel like a period piece that readers fifty years from now will appreciate.  
       This was my first Book of the Month club selection! I've heard about it on podcasts for ages and was torn on whether or not to read it. The writing was stellar, and when I read the blurb by the judge who nominated this selection as a May pick, I was finally convinced.      I'm glad this club allowed me to leap the hurdle of my initial prejudice. Isn't that the greatest? When all your preconceived notions turn out to be incorrect and you sink into a marvelous story? From the moment I read Andrew musing "They were hopeless without their women", I knew the story wasn't going to be  misogynistic as I had feared. Even if females weren't the main characters, the kind acknowledgement was nice. I felt in good hands with the author. This might be controversial, but I don't get furious if men don't write women perfectly. Yes, most authors have a mom, wife, sister, or mentor that should serve as some example. As long as an appropriate attempt is made with respect, I'm usually okay. As women, we are very nuanced creatures- writing a woman well can be extraordinarily hard to do if you haven't walked in our shoes. This doesn't mean I excuse crappy writing. However, I would be curious to read a novel by this author from a female perspective.
       I hope this rambling review will convince you to pick up this work of literary fiction. While not incredibly plot heavy, the character study is extraordinary. I think Gilbert is immensely talented, and the interview with Curtis Sittenfeld at the end of my edition further convinced me of his brilliance. Happy reading!



    Hello my wonderful book friends! I hope today finds you well. This year's trade publishing event was held at McCormick Place in Chicago (May 11-13). If you're in the publishing industry in any manner, I highly recommend attending at some point. Seminars, author breakfasts, and getting together with friends makes it one of the most anticipated events of my year! Book bloggers and YouTubers are welcome, and I went under the category Non-Editorial Media--> Blogger. Next year will mark BEA's return to New York City, and the dates are May 31 (Wednesday) through June 2 (Friday) 2017. Crossing fingers that I can make it my third year!
      I will break up the novels into their respective genres and give a 2-3 sentence synopsis, including a few tidbits surrounding books where I had a unique experience with the author. If there are Goodreads links available, I will insert them for conveniently adding to your To-Be-Read lists. I hope this is helpful and sparks excitement for upcoming releases!
       Since this is my first book haul on the blog, let me know if you enjoy this format or prefer I do it in a different manner. I'm open to all suggestions. To all my new blog subscribers, thanks for supporting my transition from YouTube to blog. I appreciate each and every one of you and hope to keep the interaction going.

Let's start with the category that most of these fall into....
THE WONDER BY EMMA DONOGHUE- Huge fan of Emma Donoghue, the author of the critically acclaimed Room (which is one of my favorite books of all time). This was a galley drop, which means copies were available to pick up, but sadly she wasn't in attendance. Goodreads Description Expected publication: September 20, 2016 by Little Brown

THE GIRLS BY EMMA CLINE- Goodreads Description I'm particularly interested in this one after reading a podcaster's blurb:   "A powerful page-turner filled with an incredible use of language, and suffused with details that bring to life the sweaty, dirty, and dangerous summer of 1969. I read the last 200 pages in one sitting." Also, Mercedes from the YouTube channel MercysBookishMusings had it on her anticipated releases. This one comes out very soon...June 14, 2016 from Random House.

LITTLE DEATHS BY EMMA FLINT- Goodreads Description This book is one of the BEA Buzz Selections, so is obviously given extra attention at the event with posters and galley drops. Scheduled for a January 2017 release from Hachette.

WE ARE UNPREPARED BY MEG LITTLE REILLY- Goodreads Description I usually think that most post-disaster/apocalyptic books have seen their day. However, I liked the idea of following a story from different survivalist strategies. Also, Reilly worked with the Environmental Defense Fund and was the Deputy Associate Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and prior was a spokesperson at the Treasury. I'm hoping these experiences can lend itself to an awesome story. Expected publication: August 30, 2016 from Mira. 

RISE THE DARK BY MICHAEL KORYTA- Goodreads Description The first thing that attracted me to this book was the deliciously creepy title. I also like the cover, but Rise the Dark? Instant chills. The author was also super nice and gracious. Expected publication: August 16, 2016 from Little Brown

A DEADLY AFFECTION BY CUYLER OVERHOLT- Goodreads Description This Historical Mystery cover made me nostalgic for several things. I got the steampunk feel of Gail Carrigher's Parasol Protectorate Series, the charm of certain Fannie Flagg books (not sure why, doesn't make a lot of sense!), and undertones of elements present in Alan Bradley's Flavia De Luce series. Anyways, I heard that this is the beginning of a series so there should be more to look forward to if this suits your fancy. Expected Publication: September 6, 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark.

BABY DOLL BY HOLLIE OVERTON:  Goodreads Description Yes, the front page shown here is just a blurb "Escape was just Beginning", with the true cover inside. I'm a little nervous about this one. We have the same themes as Donoghue's Room, with a girl being a captor for years, with the added trauma of having a child in captivity. However, it seems the differentiation is being marketed right on the front. The main portion of the story is the "after". The author's father was infamously involved in mob activities, so the story could benefit from that crime perspective. Expected Publication: July 12th 2016 by Redhook

THE CRYPT THIEF BY MARK PRYOR: Goodreads Description I think it's a right of passage to pick up a few second books in a series without being aware that you aren't getting in on the ground floor. In this case, this is book two in the Hugo Marsten Series. However, I've been wanting to read The Bookseller by this author, and apparently that's book #1. A win win! Expected Publication: It's been out since 2013 from Seventh Street Books, a wonderful press.

THE TRAP BY MELANIE RAABE: Goodreads Description "I know who killed my sister. I wrote this novel for him." JEEPERS! I needed it. This book came out May 19, 2016 from Pan Books but doesn't have a ton of reviews. I'm wondering if the publication was pushed back?

THE HEAVENS MAY FALL BY ALLEN ESKENS: Goodreads Description I was lucky enough to meet Eskens a second time- last year he was at BEA promoting The Guise of Another. I loved his debut novel, The Life We Bury. A la Tana French and the Dublin Murder Squad, this book isn't a sequel to The Life We Bury, but follows two of those characters in their own narrative. Expected Publication: October 4, 2016 by Seventh Street Books.


 INVINCIBLE SUMMER BY ALICE ADAMS: Goodreads Description This sounds like a friendship drama/saga. I imagine if you enjoy Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings, or any "the gang gets back together" book, this might be in your wheelhouse. Just in time for your summer beach/pool reading! Expected Publication: June 28, 2016 by Little, Brown and Company

FIRST COMES LOVE BY EMILY GIFFIN: Goodreads Description My 18 year old self demanded that I wait in line to meet one of my favorite authors from my high school/college years. I adored Something Borrowed even though I didn't dig the movie adaptation. Giffin looked exactly like her author photo. I've honestly never seen such flawless skin. If I'd had more than two minutes, I would have taken a piece of paper and written down all her skincare secrets/products. Looking forward to another fun summer read. Expected Publication: June 28, 2016 from Ballantine Books

MISCHLING BY AFFINITY KONAR: Goodreads Description This book, along with the aforementioned Little Deaths by Emma Flint, was all over the place on the show floor. Konar was also present signing. I read the first page of this in my hotel room and was captivated by the vivid description of two twins in the womb. I'm nervous about the emotional difficulty of this novel, but I anticipate some critical acclaim once this book is released. The writing is stunning. Expected Publication: September 6, 2016 by Lee Boudreaux Books.

THE EXCELLENT LOMBARDS BY JANE HAMILTON: Goodreads Description Hamilton's The Map of the World was my first foray into adult literary fiction. I told her this and she immediately laughed and said "I'm so sorry! That must have been traumatizing!" I love coming of age stories, combined with the nostalgia for this author and the apple orchard setting, I'm sold. Expected Publication: Already out!  April 19th 2016 by Grand Central Publishing,

THE ORPHAN MOTHER BY ROBERT HICKS: Goodreads Description This author has an interesting background as a musician in Nashville for over 20 years. I've also heard good things about his other works- The Widow of the South and A Separate Country. I appreciate the pop of color with the flower on the cover. Expected Publication: September 13, 2016  by Grand Central Publishing.

THE HOPEFULS BY JENNIFER CLOSE: Goodreads Description I feel like this book will satisfy The Real Housewives-loving-franchise part of myself. The "Readers Also Enjoyed" feature of Goodreads links this book with The Invincible Summer novel in this haul. So if you like one, you might want to give the other a go. This author has experience with the politics and culture of D.C, as she now lives there and teaches Creative Writing at George Washington University. Expected Publication: July 19th 2016 by Knopf.

PACHINKO BY MIN JIN LEE: Goodreads Description The description is slim on GR, but the story is basically a multi-generational family saga featuring events like the Korean diaspora through Japan. The few review bits I did see talked about the lovely writing, and how the sense of loss at the end- like the characters were friends or family. Aren't those the best books? Bittersweet. Along with Mischling, I predict this one will receive high praise upon release, and the buzz is already trending that way. Expected Publication: February 7th 2017 by Grand Central Publishing.

 PANCAKES IN PARIS BY CRAIG CARLSON: Goodreads Description This food-loving memoir chronicles Carlson's love of Paris and the opening of his Breakfast in America Diner in the famous French city. My brother-in-law owns a restaurant, and my degree is in Hospitality and Tourism Management- so I obviously find the subject interesting. Plus, PANCAKES! Expected Publication: September 6, 2016 by Sourcebooks.

THE GEEK FEMINIST REVOLUTION BY KAMERON HURLEY: Goodreads Description I find Hurley an extremely engaging, intelligent writer and speaker. She was part of the Bloggers Conference panel at last year's BEA, and her talk was fascinating. Her twitter feed cracks me up, and her books have garnered mostly positive reviews from my peers. Therefore, I was 100% excited to pick up this collection of essays based on nerdy culture and feminism. I'm hoping this will provide me with the greatest hits from her blog as well. Expected Publication: Already out! May 31, 2016 by Tor Books

 WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER BY GRACE LIN: Goodreads Description This is a companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky. I was excited to find a diverse selection that was Chinese Fantasy combined with folklore. Expected Publication: October 4th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

MISSY PIGGLE-WIGGLE AND THE WHATEVER CURE BY ANN M. MARTIN:  Goodreads Description Due to the popularity of Martin's Babysitter's Club book series, she was one of the high profile ticketed authors. This means that tickets were free, but due to demand and time constraints, a finite number were given away the morning of the event (first come, first served). I met a woman in line who wrote to Ann Martin several times as a kid, inviting all the characters in the Babysitter's Club to a sleepover and highlighting exactly what they would do. Martin wrote back, and the lady's mom still has the framed response. Said lady is now a children's librarian!!! I haven't read the original Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books, but a friend had enthusiastically recommended them to me for my daughters. I had this one dedicated to Natalie and Sophie, and am tickled pink to have received it. Expected Publication:  September 6th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

THE MYSTERIOUS ABDUCTIONS (THE NOCTURNALS) BY TRACEY HEICHT: Goodreads Description  I started reading it my hotel room. The first in a slated ten book series, the marketing and design is on point! The publicist discussed the importance of the illustrated naked hardcover. The design is purposeful because they realize kids often lose the dust jacket- but the publishers still want them to enjoy a beautiful book. This one is out now, and the rest will be released in short order. This is also strategic- if a reluctant (or even avid reader!) is enjoying them, they don't want any lost momentum due to waiting for the next installment. Stuffed toys of sugar gliders, foxes, and pangolins decorated the booth, and T-shirts were given away as promotion. This was one of my favorite displays at the event! Expected Publication: Already out, with The Ominous Eye (Nocturnals #2) being released September 20th 2016 by Fabled Films Press.

GERTIE'S LEAP TO GREATNESS BY KATE BEASLEY: Goodreads Description  This was one of my top five anticipated grabs when I made my pre-show plan! The illustrations remind me of the characters depicted in The Family Circus comics. The story sounds adorable and heartfelt, and I'm a fan of any story championing the strength of little girls. Expected Publication: October 4th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON BY KELLY BARNHILL: Goodreads Description I'm here for this story in many ways. First, the cover is awesome. Second, just go read the description. It sounds amazing, especially the baby being fed moonlight and becoming emmagicked. I would have loved having this literature available as a pre-teen. My kids don't know how lucky they are to have such an amazing plethora of choice in middle grade! Anyways....Expected Publication: August 9th 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers.

WORD OF MOUSE BY JAMES PATTERSON AND CHRIS GRABENSTEIN: Goodreads Description I can't help comparing this to the beloved Ralph S Mouse of my childhood, and hoping it measures up. This was a galley grab, and the illustrations inside sold me on it's potential adorableness. Expected Publication: December 12th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company

ELITE BY MERCEDES LACKEY: Goodreads Description This was one of those oopsies pick-ups at the conference. This is the second in her Hunter series, with the first being titled Hunter. I've heard amazing things about her Fantasy writing, and she's certainly prolific. Hoping this middle grade series will be a good entry to her other work. Expected Publication: September 6th 2016 by Disney Hyperion.

THE SECRET KEEPERS BY TRENTON LEE STEWART: Goodreads Description I picked this up because it was initially shoved at me during a frenzied galley drop. My father-in-law has this running joke with our family about his powerful watch, so when I read that little Reuben's special pocket gives him invisibility, I had to keep it. Expected Publication: September 27th 2016 by Little Brown.

THE INQUISITOR'S TALE BY ADAM GIDWITZ: Goodreads Description Okay, all I have to say about this one is I picked it for the dog. I mean....The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog? Why can't I think of these things? I like a good story about friendship and unlikely allies as well. Expected Publication: September 27th 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers.

 UNICORNS ARE JERKS BY THEO NICOLE LORENZ: Goodreads Description I have nothing more to add to the description except I found the entire coloring book extremely hilarious, and I have it handy anytime I want a good chuckle! Already out now:-)
CRAZY CAT LADY COLORING BOOK: Amazon Link to Purchase I didn't actually get this at BEA. My husband found this at one of the many Chicago bookstores, and I'm forever grateful. Although the quiz does confirm my status as said Crazy Cat Lady. Oh well, there are worse things. Right?
FREE DAYS WITH GEORGE BY COLIN CAMPBELL: Goodreads Description Any story about the healing power of animals is my jam. Also, George is very much alive!!!!! That's what holds me back from many animal memoirs- the dread at the inevitable pet death.  The relaxed and affable Newfoundland was even present at BEA with his owner, and had traveled there in his own tour bus. Talk about comfortable! It was a joy to see such a calming presence on the hectic show floor, and I can't wait to read this heartwarming narrative. Expected Publication: Out now!
THE PUG LIST BY ALISON HODGSON: Goodreads Description Another story about the therapeutic affects of pets. In this case, a fire destroyed the family home and this little Pug was the family's joy throughout terrible trauma. Oliver was also present with his owner (sort of)- adorably asleep sitting up on his stand. Expected Publication: Already out by Zondervan Publishing!
WOMEN WHO STILL LOVE CATS TOO MUCH BY ALLIA ZOBEL NOLAN, NICOLE HOLLANDER: Goodreads Description I don't think this needs unnecessary explanation. I have a problem. Also, I have the first book, aptly titled Women Who Love Cats Too Much. Now I can read them together! Huzzah!!! This nugget of awesomeness is out now.

TIME SALVAGER BY WESLEY CHU: Goodreads Description I have my BookTube buddy Yamini from The Skeptical Reader to thank for this acquisition! This is one of the rare cases where I did the reverse of my usual BEA behavior. I assumed this was the second in a series, when it was the first. Yay! Plus she saved me a spot in the long line, so this was a big win. Also, Chu's beard was impeccable. This has nothing to do with the book. Aren't you glad I'm including the Goodreads links? I thought so. Expected Publication: Already out from Tor Books. Time Siege (Time Salvager #2) is expected July 12th 2016 by Tor Books.

A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT BY SABAA TAHIR (AN EMBER IN THE ASHES #2): Goodreads Description This book won the award for "Longest Wait in Line". However, I got to wait with tons of friends so the time passed quickly. My mother-in-law got the first book for me as a Christmas present. I've been pickier with Young Adult lately, but the premise of this sounded unique. I'm curious to see if it will live up to the hype of book one. Expected Publication: August 30th 2016 by Razorbill.

DARK MATTER BY BLAKE CROUCH: Goodreads Description As well as enjoying the premise, I think Crouch is an interesting author. I know a lot of people who read Pines, and he created the Good Behavior series on TNT. I used to read lots of thrillers where victims were abducted and regained consciousness in captivity, and the ensuing disorientation tends to lead the story in any number of crazy directions. I'm hoping the addition of the Fantasy element will make me love this! Expected Publication: August 2nd 2016 by Crown.

I've heard of Kowal from her popular Fantasy series- Glamourist Histories, but also found out she was a puppeteer and voice actor for LazyTown, and various other shows.  Best-selling authors always have to be multi-talented, don't they? BEA was the first time she was signing finished copies of this book, so my novel has a #2 written with the dedication. Expected Publication: August 16th 2016 by Tor Books.

** I didn't receive any of these at BEA, but did get them in May! Just thought you'd like to see them as this is a departure from my usual reading. 
Goodreads Descriptions:
Lady Killer
Jessica Jones: Alias, Vol. 1
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1

I also picked up:
Goodreads Description
     Towles is well know for his bestselling novel, Rules of Civility. I've heard he's an exceptionally strong writer, and when I found out this is Russian historical fiction, I had to send it my YouTube friend ABookOlive, who loves stories in this setting. Towles signed books and used an iconic onion dome stamp on the title page as well. This appears to be a character study, as the protagonist must watch historic events while under house arrest. Expected Publication:  September 6th 2016 by Viking.

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Have a fantastically bookish day <3