“Best Read With…” Quick Reviews

Hello Beautiful Bibliophiles!

So I’ve been pretty busy reading lately and I simply haven’t had the time to write reviews for all my reads. So I’ve compiled a kind of reading mood board for my recent reads. Here you can find my suggestions on the best location, drink or food pairing, atmosphere etc to read these books with, basically how these books made me feel 🙂 Consider it a recommendation list based on where the books take you

“The Odyssey” by Homer

Best read on a beach where you can hear the waves beating the shore and the salty breeze can make you feel as wind-swept as our hero.

“Wicked Lovely” by Melissa Marr

Best read in the spring, preferably in a meadow, but if you’re short on meadows your back yard with a picnic blanket will do just fine, while sipping on a light and refreshing white wine – I would suggest a sauvignon blanc.

“The Strange Library” by Haruki Murakami

Best read in a library (where else?). Read in one sitting with a box of warm fresh doughnuts and lemonade.

“A Study in Scarlet” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Best read in a cozy chair by a fire while drinking something to keep off the chill—I suggest an Irish coffee or English breakfast tea (hounds tooth hat optional).

“Stardust” by Neil Gaiman

Best read by candle light. Be sure to go star gazing when finished.

“The Magicians” by Lev Grossman

Best read in throwing range of a lake in Central Park so that the book can be easily tossed in at your earliest convenience.

“A Little Something Different” by Sandy Hall

Best read at the College of William and Mary on a bench just outside of the English department overlooking the Sunken Gardens with a Starbucks coffee.

OR: Best read at Starbucks sipping on a latte and dreaming of your college crush.

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

Best read in the Fall and in costume – black and white attire topped with a cozy yet fashionable red scarf. A bag of popcorn or a caramel apple will complete the experience.

“Hawksong” by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Best read on a balcony over looking a forest while listening to the songs of the woodland birds.

“Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter

Best read during a trip to Hollywood or Italy when your agenda is packed with nights at old cinemas and your days are full of antique shopping and dreaming of lost loves.

“Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett

Best read aloud with friends so you can laugh together.

“The Immortals” Series by Tamora Pierce

Best read in nature – in a wooded park where you can hear the animals or in a comfy mood for a fluffy easy yet genuinely enjoyable at all ages read.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Best read when feeling homesick when craving comfort, and a little bit of magic. Obviously in a warm fire-lit parlor of an English castle with a mug of butterbeer in hand.

   I hope you’ve enjoyed my little book mood board! Let me know if you liked it and I’ll continue to post more as my “to read list” become my “read list”!

Cheers,

Ann

 

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Hello book addicts!

Welcome to “A Court of Thorns and Roses” book review!

Maybe you’ve read this book, I keep seeing it all over social media lately so it seems probable, but maybe you haven’t so I will try to avoid *spoilers* in my review because I hadn’t read it until a week ago and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted any *spoilers* before finishing it!

(On a side note: Am I the only one that reads *spoilers* in River Song’s voice?)

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Sarah J. Maas’ book “A Court of Thorns and Roses” is definitely not a book I would have just picked up of my own accord. At first glance it appears to be just another YA fad and call me a snob all you want but I haven’t ever gotten into the whole YA reading trend, I just keep thinking I’m too old. I never read “The Hunger Games” or “Divergent” or any John Green book (please don’t come after me in my sleep!) However, my sister had already bought this book on her audible account and so when I was looking for a quick easy download to keep me awake on one of my numerous driving trips it was right there, I wasn’t expecting to really love it or anything just for it to keep me awake on the road (I’m a horrible driver).

In fact I was not particularly surprised or impressed by the beginning of the book. It has a plot very similar to “Beauty and the Beast” or “Tamlin” and I felt like I could probably anticipate the next action before the author even knew what was coming. But then, I was wrong.

Young girl gives up her life to save her ungrateful family and then falls in love with the beast that swept her away. Classic. The plot twists and character development. Remarkable.

 The story is part sexy romance, part adventure, and part court intrigue set in an intricate world torn in two by ancient conflict between humans and faeries. A separation that our human heroine, Feyre, may be the only one capable of mending, and hopefully before time runs out for both mortals and their centuries old foe. Nothing is what you think it is. “keep … your ears open… And keep your wits about you — even your senses will try to betray you here.”

I would recommend this book to everyone! It’s not simply a YA read but well (maybe better) suited to older audiences as well. I’m even currently rereading it with @chapter_chat on Instagram, despite the fact that it’s only been a couple weeks since finishing it, in preparation for the release of the third book in the series “A Court of Wings and Ruin” on May 2nd.

Happy reading lovelies!

Cheers,

Ann

Kindling My Reading

Hello darlings!

Yeah so I’m not sure if “kindling” is being properly used here either but hey I’ll do anything for a blog title!

Anyway this is just a quick and enthusiastic update for any of you following along. I did get “A Court of Thorns and Roses” on my kindle last night!!!!

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I simply can’t add enough exclamation points! It’s not a genre I usually read, it’s more along the lines of what my little sister reads and indeed I did discover it on her audible, but now I’m thinking I should branch out more because I’m kind of addicted. It even has me putting down “Les Etoiles de Noss Head” and “Anna and the French Kiss”, both really great and engaging books!

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So, it was my kindle that saved me and I thought I’d take this moment to let you all in on a little secret. I love my kindle! It will never replace a real book full of pages but as a Peace Corps volunteer I learned that nothing beats the ease of access and the portability of a kindle. Since coming back to the states I have certainly used my kindle less but in a pinch like last night when I simply had to have the book right then and all bookstores and libraries were closed my kindle is irreplaceable. So I won’t be giving up my kindle any time soon because it allowed me to stay up til 1 am reading last night! ❤

Have you read “A Court of Thorns and Roses”? No spoilers, but does it continue to be amazing? And are the sequels just as good?!

Cheers,

Ann

Tale as Old as Time

Hello book butterflies!

You don’t have to know me very well to be able to guess that my favorite Disney classic is “Beauty and the Beast”. It’s an obvious choice for a bibliophile.

You know those girls nights where you and all your friends get together and binge Disney movies while drinking three-buck-chuck wine and eventually you all decide it’s a great idea to figure out which Disney character everyone is, like a boozy real life Buzzfeed quiz? Well, I’m always Belle, and unlike whoever ends up with Snow White because we’ve had too much wine and can’t think of anything better, I am always happy to be the Belle of the group.

So, when Disney came out with a new, live action, “Beauty and the Beast” there was no question of me going to see it ASAP. A week ago I was lucky enough to do so with my darling younger sister, a fellow Belle lover herself.

Now, I know that there is some debate about this whole trend of live action versions of Disney classics, but I think it’s quite enjoyable. I loved simply how beautiful the new “Cinderella” movie was (and who wouldn’t love Jon Snow playing Prince Charming) and “Beauty and the Beast” was equally enjoyable. The visuals, costumes, scenery, and special effects, is perhaps one of my favorite aspects of these movies. And let’s face it Gaston (Luke Evans) was pretty great too!

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Though I certainly didn’t sneer at the Beast (Dan Stevens) either.

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Aside from the *scenery* the movie itself was good as well. Disney used the well known plot from the original film and even the same songs we all know by heart and then added a little extra to fill out the more 2D animated version. We got a background story on Belle’s life and an explanation as to why none of the villagers remember that rather large castle and it’s seemingly wealthy and powerful prince who lived basically on their doorstep. Have no fear, all of the changes were excellently done and none of them really felt out of place with the original story line. Though perhaps the most press worthy change was not in plot but in character. Gaston’s comical side kick Lefou is no longer the humorous ill-meaning fool  but rather a lovable well-meaning character following along with the will of his comrade out of loyalty and love. Much more relatable and so much fun!

Overall, I definitely recommend seeing this movie, even if it is for the nostalgia!

The “Beauty and the Beast” tradition as a whole is one that I have always adored, and not just for the large library. There is simply something very endearing about it if you don’t think too much about Stockholm syndrome. So, I’ve been listening on Audible to a rather good version of this well-known tale, “A Court of Thrones and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas. This work is actually a unique blend of “Beauty and the Beast” and one of my favorite tales of Irish folklore “Tam Lin”. I have seen this book everywhere lately so this week when I had to travel a long way for meetings I downloaded it and gave it a try. Now I love it so much that I wish I was reading it! I much prefer reading to listening when I really get into a book. I’m half-way through now so I’ll give you all a review when I’m finished but for now I’m going to run off and see how cheaply I can get it on my kindle ASAP!

Cheers,

Ann

Blogger, It’s Cold Outside!

Hello book lovers!

Goodness it is cold out today! I woke up to a chilly 28 degrees that feels more like 8, quite a shock when just earlier this week I was enjoying strolls with the dogs in comfy 70 degree weather. The weather here has become more fickle than ever. Today the dogs and I had to bundle up before daring to step outside and rushed to cuddle by the fire as soon as our morning walk was over.

Today is a day where a hot cuppa is an unquestionable necessity and where TV binge guilt is non-existent. I’m enjoying taking this frozen-in day to spruce up my blog space a bit, catch up on some reading, and check-in my favorite instagrammers and bloggers.

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I am continuing reading “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova today. I am loving this book, it’s part suspense, part history, part mystery, part romance. Such a dizzying combination of genres that only a truly gifted storyteller can weave together into a well crafted work. It follows three generations of historians in a pan-European search for the truth behind the ruthless Vlad the Impaler, a truth both terrifying and surprisingly believable in a work of historical fiction. Kostova clearly did a fantastic job of researching her subject matter and her hard work pays off in the intricacy and captivating nature of her book. It is rather dense and I won’t lie it is taking me quite a while to get through. I have been working my way through “The Historian” at the same time that I am diving into works of poetry and fun rereads. Mainly this is due to the fact that I can’t read it at night! I’ve never felt particularly jumpy but Kostova’s story makes me check my closet twice for Vlad and his minions before curling up in bed at night, so I’ve decided it’s best to read in the daylight.

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Along with this historical page-turner today I’m sipping on a particularly fancy cuppa. It’s a roasted almond mix from Capital Teas and it smells heavenly! I was told technically it’s not a tea but a fruit tisane which I assume means an decaffeinated hot beverage that smells like sugar, spice, and everything nice. Literally this tea smells and tastes like a freshly baked sugar cookie! I’m in love! Someone will have to break it to Mr. Darcy that I’m leaving him for a cup of tea! I hope he’s not to bitter, at least he’ll have Elizabeth to console him I suppose.

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But let’s leave my obsession for hot drinks for a moment and talk about other cozy, comfy loves, like these instagrams and blogs that I simply can’t get enough of:

Click and Wander

Muted Rose Mercantile

The Cottage Nest

A Clothes Horse

Coco Rose Diaries

These are some of my biggest inspirations when writing my own blog and starting my journey as a young twenty-something in the real world. So, if your enjoying this blog go and check out these, I promise you’ll be inspired too!

Cheers,

Ann

Literary Cravings

I haven’t been to a real bookstore in quite some time so yesterday I decided to treat myself while I was running errands in the city. I took the metro past the capitol and up to Eastern Market. If you’ve never been to this area of D.C. you really ought to take a couple hours to explore this lovely spot. Eastern Market is a quaint section of the city full of unique little shops, most locally owned, and of course the open air market that provides the area with it’s name (though of course it is relegated to it’s indoor property in the frigid weather). It is such a lovable section of our nations capitol that I couldn’t help but smile walking down 7th street, despite the thirty-something chill and the windy whipping my hair into a frenzy. Perhaps one of my must-visits here in Eastern Market is Capitol Hill Books. You may have seen pictures of this locally owned bookstore of pinterest or instagram like this I found on BookBub:

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This stores charm is easy to see. The windows are filled to the brim with books, blocking the sunlight from reaching the large collection inside, but for book lovers it is a welcoming sight. The inside holds true to the bookish promise displayed in the windows. This bookstore is simply bursting with literature! The shelves run from floor to ceiling, quite literally. Chaucer is notably tucked up near the rafters on the second floor above works such as James Fenimore Cooper and Lewis Carol. The stores selection runs the gamut from sci-fi in the basement to poetry in the attic. The selection is so dizzily packed in that finding that perfect book  can look like an intimidating feat, but have no fear! The shop is conveniently supplied with a multitude of signs, sometimes even humorous, that will point you in the proper direction. Oh, and of course we can’t forget about the shop owner, an equally charming individual if you have the time to talk with him, just remember to avoid the words “awesome” and “like”, they’re quite dull words anyway. And don’t forget every second Saturday of the month is free wine night with 10% off books for the evening, what’s not to love?!

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I got so absorbed in the maze of of literature and the smell of beautiful books I simply couldn’t resist picking up a couple (perhaps un-needed) works for my currently shelf-less collection. So, I snagged “Poem of the Cid” and “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte. I’ve been having a craving for “Wuthering Heights”‘s misty moors and tragically beautiful love story, an odd thing for me since I tend to avoid tragic endings at all cost. Perhaps my literary tastes are changing? Who knows. But for now I’m content to settle in with Heathcliff and a glass of red wine.

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Clearly I adore Capitol Hill Books, it has certainly worked it’s way up my list of favorite bookstores (though still not number one). Definitely a D.C. must see. I hope to stop by it’s nearby neighbor Riverby Books soon with equally glowing reviews.

Cheers,

Ann

Lost Words

I recently came across this poem while reading Lang Leav’s book “Lullabies” and fell in love. Review of the book will come later, but for now here are some “Lost Words” by Michael Faudet.

***

A midnight scribble,

a morning sigh;

you watch the words

curl up and die.

***

Madness lives

inside your head,

of poems lost

and pages dead.

***

A mind possessed

by unmade books

unwritten lines

on empty hooks.

***

Today, I’m letting my own lost words float around my head and simply relaxing with my notebook and a cup of tea.

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***

Cheers,

Ann