Sunday, October 28, 2018

{ The Sunday Post }: October 28, 2018

The Sunday Post is a weekly wrap-up meme hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to recap the past week on our blogs, share new books we've received, and talk about what's coming up on our blogs for the week ahead.

{ New Books }

These last few weeks have been full of chaos and grown-up responsibilities, leaving me not a lot of time for blogging or reading (thus, the recent dead air on my blog... sorry about that). Buuuut that doesn't mean that I haven't been adding to my book stash... muahaha...

{ From NetGalley } :

Aquicorn Cove just looks so precious... A middle grade graphic novel about sea-unicorns? I had to request it. It called to my soul. :3

The Cottingley Fairies is a picture book - I think it's nonfiction, but there are some reviewers who say it's more of a fantasy version of the actual events in 1918 where two young girls claimed to have captured photographs of fairies. Either way, I'm excited to read it. The whole Cottingley fairies affair fascinates me. 

Enchantée is a young adult historical fantasy, set at the eve of the French Revolution - but with magic. Oh yes. I've already dipped into this one and I'm really liking it so far.

One Day, So Many Ways is a nonfiction picture book that I "wished" for - and hooray, my wish was granted! I love these types of books where you get to see what kids all over the world are doing in a 24-hour period.

{ From the library } :

Ahh, I am drooooling over all the great stuff I got this week...

Harry Potter: A History of Magic - The book that goes along with the British Museum's exhibit. Twenty years in and I still can't get enough Harry Potter in my life...

Map: Exploring the World - I love maps. Not sure why. I'm just a cartography kinda girl, I guess.

The Time Traveler's Handbook - This was one I grabbed up randomly on my wanderings through the stacks. A guidebook for time travelers! What a fun idea!

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude
- A picture book about the lions, named Patience & Fortitude, that stand outside the New York Public Library. This looks adorable from the cover art alone!

National Parks of the U.S.A. - A nonfiction picture book about many of the US's National Parks. Personal story time! Gather round... One of my favorite jobs ever was an internship in environmental education. It's a passion of mine that has developed slowly, and I'm not sure where to go with it, but I'm thinking I might start doing some posts/reviews on nonfiction picture books that feature the environment & nature. A small step, but who knows where it might lead... :)

Pearl - I love Molly Idle's artwork, so every time she puts out a new picture book I just can't wait to get my hands on it. I'm so excited to read about this adorable tiny mermaid!

{ Latest Reviews }


{ Currently... }

Reading: Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky

Watching: Inception... it's one of my husband's favorites and I never got around to seeing it, so we're making it our stay-in date night movie.

Playing:  Rusty Lake Hotel - a really, REALLY bizarre point-and-click puzzle game with a kind of uncomfortable storyline (animals are staying at a hotel and each night you have to go into their rooms and murder one of them and then serve them for dinner?? to the other animal guests???), but I liked the puzzles. I just ... I mean, if you were an animal staying at this hotel, don't you think you'd notice if one fellow animal guest disappeared every night? And then you ate that same type of animal meat for dinner the next day?? And if you were the only animal left, would you really be like, "Hmm, I guess I'll stick around and see what's for dinner tomorrow..." ?!? ... This bothers me greatly. But I still played it all the way through, heh.

{ Last Week at the Book Nook }

{ Last Week's Goals }

For the blog...
  • Read and review at least 2 books.
  • - Nope :(
  • Participate in at least 1 new book blog meme.
  • - Nope :(
  • Post for Blogoween (?/13).
  • - This is a hard fail. I thought I could do 13 posts in the month of October... 31 days, 13 posts... that's not even one every other day! Piece of cake, right?? WRONG. Where has this month gone, I don't even... *deep breath* ... I still have a few days... I'm determined to get at least ONE Halloween-themed post in this year...

For real life...
  • Try at least 1 new recipe.
  • - ... We're going to a new restaurant tonight, does that count? :| 
  • Keep practicing mindfulness.
  • - Yeah, no. These past few weeks have been a stress-fest. Reeeally need to do better here. 
  • Take a little more time for self-care.
  • - Also a nope. I'm beyond burnt out. I know I need to do more relaxing for my own sake, and that of my poor husband and son who have to put up with me when I'm not at my best. (bahaha not even close right now) ... This is good, though... It's a weekend, I'm blogging while the little one naps (and the big one naps also, as hubby has a tendency to pass out on the couch whenever he sits down)... Baby steps...

{ Goals for This Week }

For the blog...
  • Read and review at least 2 books.
  • Participate in at least 1 new book blog meme.
  • Post SOMETHING for Blogoween. Just one thing. You can do this.

For real life...
  • Try at least 1 new *low-calorie* recipe.
  • - Gonna add an addendum to this one... I need to start watching my calories. I read that most people have no idea how many calories they take in everyday and IT'S SO TRUE. Holy crap, I counted one day I'm way over the 2000 calorie guideline... and that's without going out or bringing in fast food. I know everyone's calorie needs are different, but I know mine are not that high... I've had a hard time shedding baby weight and this is probably why. I know I'll probably never have the body I did before I was pregnant, but I do need to get healthier. I need to eat better and get more exercise. So here's step #1 towards that goal.
  • Keep practicing mindfulness.
  • Take a little more time for self-care.

That's it for me this week! How was your week? Link to your weekly wrap-up post in the comments - I'd love to come visit! :)

Friday, October 26, 2018

{ Spotted & Sampled }: Things that go bump in the Night, and a collection of kick-butt lady superheros/supervillains

Oh my goodness... October is almost OVER and I haven't yet posted a single Halloween thing! Or *any* thing!! I swear, it feels like I only skip a day or two of posting and all of a sudden I've missed 3 weeks! I'm sorry ... Sometimes being a mom, student, and blogger just don't all work together, and something has to go on the back burner... and unfortunately it has to be blogging. *sob*

But, getting back into it...

{ Spotted & Sampled } is a little weekly meme I started for myself to share books I've spotted that I'm excited about, and also books that I've been able to sample to get a taste of the plot and the author's writing style.

{ Spotted }

Beware the Night

by Jessika Fleck

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook, audioboook
Pages: 320
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Expected publication date: March 12, 2019
Suggested tags: young adult (ages 12-18), fantasy

From Goodreads:
"On the island of Bellona, life is peaceful--as long as the citizens dutifully worship the Sun, which protects them from all harm. Seventeen-year-old Veda knows that keeping the Sun happy will protect her and her grandfather from the Night, the dangerous people who snatch innocent citizens from their beds under the cover of darkness, never to be seen again. As long as Veda follows the rules, she will be safe.

But when Veda's grandfather is offered up as the next sacrificial offering to keep the Sun's favor, she starts to see that the safety she's been promised comes at a dangerous price. Maybe there is more to fear above than there is below.

With a mysterious young man, Dorian, at her side, Veda has to figure out if the scary bedtime stories she grew up hearing are real--or dangerous lies.

Reviewers are using phrases like "Roman society" and "plot twists" and "deception," and I couldn't be more ready to read this. I kind of love when a synopsis gives you just the smallest taste of what a book is about, but you can tell from the reviews that it is so. much. MORE. That sounds like what's going on here and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

{ Sampled }

DC Ink Sampler
by Mariko Tamaki, Lauren Myracle, Kami Garcia and Danielle Paige

Available as: paperback
Pages: 100
Publisher: DC Entertainment/DC Ink
Publication date: July 6, 2018
Suggested tags: young adult (ages 13-17), fantasy

From NetGalley:
"DC Ink is for readers 13 and up, and features coming-of-age stories that encourage teens to ask themselves who they are and how they relate to others. DC Ink features storytelling that focuses on real-world situations and relatable characters who are not perfect, but are nuanced and complex–just like our readers. "

Sampled from: NetGalley

This is a sampler of DC Ink titles coming out in 2019 featuring some amazing ladies who will go on to become the superheroes and supervillains that we know and love. (Or, for some - like me! - they will become the superheroes and supervillains that we are just now getting acquainted with, as we haven't read much in the way of DC comics before.) It has samples from Mera: Tidebreaker, Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass, and Teen Titans: Raven.

That synopsis from NetGalley doesn't really say a lot about what's inside, but my e-version had full-color samples of Mera & Raven, black & white for Catwoman, and kind of a mix for Harley (mostly B&W but with some color highlights). It seems like it's giving you the first 20-ish pages of each book, as they all seem to start at the stories' beginnings.

This is my first time reading anything about these characters... gasp! what?? I know. I just wasn't ever really introduced to superhero comics. My comics as a kid were Archie, Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck, Little Mermaid, Barbie, etc. ... So you can see that I've missed out on a HUGE chunk of the world of comics. And therefore I am going into this with no knowledge of these characters' backstories or origin stories or, really, anything about them. So keep that in mind as you read my mini-review...

Here's my take on which ones I'm most excited to read (with #4 being "meh, I'll get there when I get there" and #1 being "I will be first in line when this comes out"), just based on this sampler:

4. Teen Titans: Raven - I'm not not excited to read this... it just was the least interesting for me out of the four. Raven's story starts with a traumatic event, leaving her with amnesia and a new family taking her in. Later she falls asleep, and there's a huge 6-eyed red demon-looking thing standing over her saying their fates are intertwined. This probably means something to people who know her story already, but to me, it was just kind of a "meh" introduction to her and her story. Also, at some points, the expressions on the characters' faces seemed to not match what the characters were saying, which bugged me a bit.

3. Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale - Again, this wasn't bad - it just didn't really tell much of Selina's story. It showed how she had to put up with all the guys her mom has dated as she was growing up - really terrible, disgusting, violent guys. Now there's Dernell, one of the worst, and her mom is clearly not going to stand up for her. I did like the ending - it kind of left me on a cliffhanger, showing that she's about to make a big move in her life, and it did leave me wanting to read more to see what happens. I also liked the art in this one, especially when it was showing some of the things she imagined doing and becoming.

2. Mera: Tidebreaker - I liked this one a lot. I had never even heard of Mera before I found this sampler, so she is completely new to me. The plot was a bit confusing for me as a newbie, but I gather that she's the daughter of the king, who used to rule an underwater kingdom called Xebel, but now the Atlanteans have come in and become the new rulers? Maybe? Anyway, Mera is running around vandalizing Atlantean stuff and escaping Atlantean guards with her water-powers ... but then she has to get ready for a ball, since she's the daughter of the king, and he clearly wants her to marry someone named Larken ... I mean, I'm completely lost, but I'm intrigued and I want to read more! I also really liked the blue-green color palette, with Mera's red hair standing out starkly against everything else.

1. Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass - This was hands-down my favorite of the four. I loved everything about it!! The selection gives a great intro to Harley and what's going on in her story - she goes to live with her grandmother, but finds out she's dead, so she ends up staying with a gay man named Mama instead ... she starts at a new school, and meets a girl named *Ivy* (ok, even I know who that is!) ... I thought it gave a lot of detail in a short amount of pages, and it left me wishing the whole book was already out so I could just keep reading. The art style was also my favorite of the four - very detailed, and the characters' expressions and movements were spectacular. I usually prefer color to black & white, but I found that I didn't even notice the lack of color in this one. There are some panels that have a red/orange scheme, and I liked those too. Overall, definitely the strongest one for me! I can't wait to read it!

That's all for this week! Hope to see you next week for more spottings & samples!

Monday, October 1, 2018

{ Something Old, Something New } October 2018

Oh man, has it really been since APRIL that I did this last?? Gotta get this one going again!

{ Something Old, Something New } is a meant to help us focus on the new releases in our TBR piles and also hand-pick some older books that we've been meaning to read.

On my reading list for April 2018 was...

{ Something Old }

by Stephanie Garber

Publication date: January 1, 2017
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 407
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Suggested tags: young adult (ages 13-17), fantasy

You can read my review here! (3 stars)

{ Something New }

by Stephanie Garber

Publication date: May 29, 2018
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 416
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Suggested tags: young adult (ages 13-17), fantasy

You can read my review here! (2 stars)

On my reading list for October 2018 is...

{ Something Old }
Of Monsters and Madness
by Jessica Verday

Publication date: September 9, 2014
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 277
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Suggested tags: young adult (ages 13-17), horror, gothic, retelling

First in the Of Monsters and Madness series. From Goodreads:
"A romantic, historical retelling of classic Gothic horror featuring Edgar Allan Poe and his character Annabel Lee, from a New York Times best-selling author.

Summoned to her father's home in 1820's Philadelphia, a girl finds herself in the midst of a rash of gruesome murders in which he might be implicated. She is torn romantically between her father's assistants-one kind and proper, one mysterious and brooding-who share a dark secret and may have more to do with the violent events than they're letting on.

I love Edgar Allan Poe's writing - all of it, but perhaps especially Annabel Lee. I wanted to read this one a while ago, but I never got it done. It's really hard to find near me (had to do an interlibrary loan!) but hopefully I can get my hands on it in time for Halloween.

{ Something New }
Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe

Publication date: August 28, 2018
Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 405
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Suggested tags: young adult (ages 13-17), short stories, witches, LGBTQ*

From Goodreads:
"A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely--has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world.
Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored."

I've had this one on my TBR for a while, and now that Halloween is approaching, it feels like the perfect time to read it!

What's on your { Something Old, Something New} reading list for this month? Pick a book that you've been meaning to read but haven't yet (your Something Old) and a new release or soon-to-be-released book (your Something New), read and/or review them, and share a link to your posts here or tweet it at me @PidginPea! I'd love to share your books and reviews when I do my { Something Old, Something New } post at the start of each month. If you'd like to read/review more than 2 books, be my guest! I'm hoping I can do { Something Old, Something New } AND a "something borrowed" and a "something blue" in the future too!

Want to put a { Something Old, Something New } button on your blog? I'd love that! Just copy and paste the code in the box below. I made the button using DeviantArt stock resources from flameshaft, gimei, and spiritsighs-stock and fonts from and