[Favorites] Author’s I’d LOVE To Meet!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Broke and the Bookish, is a celebration of our favorite authors. There’s certainly a growing list of authors I’d like to meet, but today I’m sharing my most favorite authors, some who I’ve followed for years and some who are still semi new-to-me – either way, I’d be the luckiest girl in the world if I get to meet just ONE of them!

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Neil Gaiman: A creative genius – I would do almost anything to meet him! He’ll be in Houston this summer, but would you believe it, I’ll be out of state during his visit. 😦

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Ali Shaw: A new favorite, I fell deep for The Trees last year. His characters are so engaging and the atmosphere so intriguing – I would love to ask him my questions!

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Tom Robbins: An old favorite from my college days, he’s been on my list for a while now.


Lemony Snicket: I might have missed out on A Series of Unfortunate Events as a kid, but that doesn’t change my feelings on Lemony Snicket i.e. Daniel Handler. His writing can make me smile even on the worst day.

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Marissa Meyer: From The Lunar Chronicles to her latest retelling, Heartless, Marissa Meyer is one of my new favorite authors. A mix of fairy tales and modern sci-fi, how could she not!?

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Jeff VanderMeer, Blake Crouch, and Drew Magary: Masters of the craft, sci-fi wizards… they can tell a story unlike any authors I’ve read. Full of emotion and high-stakes action, their books are among my all-time favorites!

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Victoria Laurie: I’ve followed her work since high school, and I’d love to thank her for the years of happiness she’s brought to my life. Her humor might be a bit cheesy at times, but what can I say, it’s my kind of cheesy rom-com.


Cheryl Strayed: I’ll be honest, I’ve not finished reading Wild, but I absolutely adore listening to Dear Sugar Radio. Her strength and passion is overwhelmingly affective, and incredibly inspirational – I’d love to meet her!

Who would you like to meet?


[TBR Check-In] What Are You Reading?

Happy Monday, friends!

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My reading slump is finally over! Thanks in large part to Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige – would you believe I gobbled the ENTIRE thing in one week? It was that good! A continuation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Must Die follows Amy Gumm from living a teenager’s worst nightmare in Flat Hill, Kansas to her discovery of Oz. In this alternate version, Dorothy is not only a real person, but reigns as evil witch supreme, draining all of Oz’s magic and Technicolor splendor with it. Right away, Amy joins The Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, with only one goal in mind: to kill Dorothy and return Oz to its former glory.


I also finished reading The Wanderers by Meg Howrey, in which a group of hand-selected astronauts must prove their worthiness for a trip to Mars by spending seventeen months in a grueling, over-the-top, simulation. Compared to two of my favorite novels, The Martian and Station Eleven, I think it’s safe to say this one was built for disappointment. While much of The Martian is based on 1) here’s the problem and 2) here’s how he slays it, Howrey focuses on mental stresses and their effect on the astronauts’ interpersonal communications with each other as well as their families. A well written character study, The Wanderers is more than a race to space, it’s an introspective look at who we want to be and the people that get us there.

Earlier this month, I fell head over heals for Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, and this week I’m super excited to have the second book, Aerie, on audio! Truly one of the most unique series I’ve read, I can’t wait to read more! But, while my reading life is taking off, work is still getting the best of me. This month has been extremely busy an overwhelming with a never-ending theme of work, work, work, eat, read, CRASH! I’m hoping to carve out more time for myself, and for the blog as best I can, but there’s only so many hours in the day. Thanks to everyone who visits – I promise I’ll get to your comments soon!

What are you reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? Is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, a great place to meet up and share your reading plans for the week. I love finding new blogs and new books – so a link-up that helps me do both? Sign me up!


[Page-Turners] Ten Books I Read In One Day

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Broke and the Bookish, is all about the un-put-downable. From page-turner mysteries to emotional character dramas, they all capture our attention in different ways, but one thing is always clear – there will be NO REST until that book is finished! I’ve already posted my short reads TBR, a list of novellas you’ll WANT to read in one day, but here are my most memorable page-turners of recent. Is it any surprise they’re among my all-time favorite reads?

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Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer: An all-consuming tale riddled by fear and obsession. The only bad thing about Annihilation, is once you start, you won’t stop until you’ve read the entire Southern Reach Trilogy!

The Vegetarian by Han King: I never knew what all the fuss was about… until I actually sat down to read it… and finished it during a single lunch break.

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin: I had to read this one twice. My first reading was a non-stop emotional roller coaster, and my second was an OMG how did I miss that, and watch out! marathon.

Super Extra Grande by Yoss: Yes, it’s a bit raunchy, but following an intergalactic veterinarian who specializes in treating enormous animals (who sometimes encapsulate an ENTIRE planet), this one wins for most imaginative – no question.

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Running by Cara Hoffman: Following a group of teens who live in the slums of Athens, Greece and unexpectedly tangle themselves in an act of terrorism. Haunting and deeply sad, Running is best kept for a rainy Sunday.

Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall: The novel opens with the main character, who’s an agoraphobic, caught “fishing” for her groceries, followed by an adorably sweet romance. Yes, she falls in love, but don’t expect it to be the magical cure for her illness.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough: I still can’t believe that ending! I’d picked up on a few clues throughout the novel, but I never imagined it would turn to that!

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle: To say Universal Harvester is unsettling is an understatement. After several movie rentals are returned for a disturbing series of cut-ins, including blindfolds and night-time escapes, Jeremy decides to investigate, finding an unexpected path to reconciliation over the loss of his late mother. The ending is less than satisfying, but the emotional journey is well worth the read.

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Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan: Yuki is a downright train-wreck, but I couldn’t stop reading, waiting to see what misstep she’d make next!

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige: My current obsession. How did it take me so long to find this!?

What books did you read in one day?



[TBR Check-In] What Are You Reading?

Happy first day of spring!!

Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut – my workdays have been busier than usual, and the weather’s been so nice, I just haven’t felt like reading. Instead, I’ve been watching the Food Channel and planting flowers! It finally feels like spring!

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Thanks to Houston’s own independent bookstore, Brazo’s Bookstore, I got to meet Lindy West last week! As funny as her writing is, she’s even more hilarious in person. Her reading quickly turned into a poll as to whether pineapple is an acceptable pizza topping, which of course, led to hearty debate. If you’ve already read her book Shrill, I highly recommend checking out the newly released paperback version to read her new intro!

This week I’ll (hopefully) be reading The Wanderers by Meg Howrey in which four astronauts must prove their worthiness for a trip to Mars by spending seventeen months in a grueling simulation. The writing style is short and to the point, a complete opposite from my usual reads, but after being compared to two of my favorite novels, The Martian AND Station Eleven, I’m giving it a try.

What are you reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? Is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, a great place to meet up and share your reading plans for the week. I love finding new blogs and new books – so a link-up that helps me do both? Sign me up!


[TBR List] 10 Books to Read This Spring

This week on Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Broke and the Bookish, it’s all about Spring. We might be experiencing a last-minute cool down this week, but believe it or not, this coming Monday is the first official day of spring! Besides the lovely weather and gorgeous blooms, this spring promises one of my best TBR line-ups! It’s been a while since I’ve shared up-coming releases, so without further ado, here are the books I’m most excited to read this spring:

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4321 by Paul Auster: A verbose choice for spring at 800 pages, 4321 is an innovative work full of promise and prose. Archibald Isaac Ferguson is born nearly two weeks early on March 3, 1947 in Newark, New Jersey, but from a simple beginning comes a story of four “simultaneous and independent” Fergusons as four copies of the young boy lead very different lives after leaving the hospital.

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter: My TBR just isn’t complete unless there’s at least one World War II novel. Following a family of Polish Jews separated during the war, the novel shares their struggle to survive, driven by hope and sheer tenacity to persevere against all odds.

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach: A gripping tale told first-hand by the fiery Ava Antipova as she uncovers the clues left behind by her deceased twin sister Zelda. Was the fire really an accident? Or was it something more sinister… a punishment? A game? Zelda never forgave Ava for running away to Europe, leaving her to deal with their drunken mother, alone, but at what lengths would she go to bring her back?

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid: Set in an unknown country on the brink of civil war, Nadia and Saeed embark on an unlikely love affair countered only by the city’s unrest. Soon, the city morphs to an unfamiliar playing ground of check-points and bombs, but when rumors of a magical doorway spread, the pair must make the ultimate sacrifice to save themselves, risking it all for a new life at an unknown destination.

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All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg: Everyone seems to be reading this one! Unmarried, but successful, Andrea Bern struggles to make life work. Despite having a fulfilling career, she drinks a little too much and regrets a lot more, watching everyone but her live their ideal life. What do they know that she doesn’t? But when her niece is born with a heartbreaking ailment, she’s forced to reconcile her dreams with reality, hopefully in exchange for a life lived on her own terms and without judgement.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs: A new YA science fiction series cited as a cross between Orphan Black and Lord of the Flies. Every two years, on her birthday no less, Min is hunted by a mysterious stranger and murdered, only to wake, unhurt, in a clearing outside of town. Meanwhile, Noah is plagued by nightmares of death and destruction, sending him into a downward spiral, but as an asteroid plummets toward Earth, there’s little time left to worry over two troubled teens until they take matters into their own hands. (Published March 21st)

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti: After spending years on the run, Samuel Hawley moves back to his late wife’s hometown with his teenage daughter, but after rumors of her mysterious death resurface, Samuel is haunted by the past. A thrilling father-daughter epic, spanning across America, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley studies the choices we make and the cost we pay to protect our family. (Published March 28th)

Marlena by Julie Buntin: After moving to a new town in rural Michigan, innocent and unsuspecting Cat is instantly drawn to her next-door neighbor Marlena. Beautiful and unruly, she’s a force to be reckoned with, turning Cat toward a life of teenage mayhem. But now, decades later, Marlena is found dead, drowned in six inches of icy water, leaving Cat haunted by the memory of the girl she once knew. (Published April 4th)

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Borne by Jeff VanderMeer: After flying through The Southern Reach Trilogy, I’m psyched to re-enter the wild imaginations of Jeff VanderMeer. Set in the future, after the polluted world has given way to mysterious creatures, Rachel survives as a scavenger, which is how she first discovers Borne. Nothing more than a green lump, Borne reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, the first spark of an unbreakable bond between the two. In a world of secrets, Rachel is overcome by emotion, the need to focus, the need for answers, but as the Company’s dealings are revealed, will it be a world she can escape? (Published May 2nd)

Salt Houses by Hala Alyan: On the eve of her wedding, Alia’s future is threatened by the Six-Day War of 1967, but the new couple soon finds peace in Kuwait and start a family. That is until the city is invaded by Saddam Hussein in 1990, and the family scatters to safety. From Beirut to Paris to Boston, Alia’s children build a new future for themselves as they struggle to assimilate to new cultures, giving a heartbreaking answer to the age-old question: Can you ever go home? (Published May 2nd)

What are you reading this spring?



[TBR Check-In] What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? Is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, a great place to meet up and share your reading plans for the week. I love finding new blogs and new books – so a link-up that helps me do both? Sign me up!

Happy Monday! Minus the hour lost, we had a pretty great weekend. Despite all the terrible wisdom tooth horror stories I collected over the last couple of weeks, everything went much better than expected! I didn’t have too much pain, and still made it to the Alan Jackson concert on Saturday!


Suffice to say, I didn’t get a whole lot of reading done over the week, but being in the middle of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, I had no choice but to finish it! An all-consuming story riddled by fear of the unknown and a hunger to learn more, each book was more un-put-downable than the last! I’m still thinking about the overall ending of the series, which is probably the point, but I can’t help but want to listen to the entire thing all over again. Especially since the first book, Annihilation, will be coming to theaters this September starring Natalie Portman! And to top that, Jeff VanderMeer will be in Houston this summer to introduce his new release, Borne!!

This week I’m finishing up Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart, known best for you YouTube series, My Drunk Kitchen. Her story is one of hardship, but told in an up-beat spirit full of can-do and positivity. I highly recommend the audio version, narrated by the author herself!

What are you reading?


[TBR Check-In] What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? Is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, a great place to meet up and share your reading plans for the week. I love finding new blogs and new books – so a link-up that helps me do both? Sign me up!

Another rainy Monday in Houston – all I want to do is stay home and cozy up with a good book! Oh well, at least it’s a short week for me since I’ll finally be getting my wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday. EEK! Originally planned for last week, we figured I’d have plenty of time to recover before going to the Houston Rodeo this weekend, but of course, plans do change. Hopefully I’ll be semi back to normal on Saturday because there’s no way I’m missing out on Alan Jackson! On the bright side, I have a fresh pile of library books to keep me busy.  🙂

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Back to my usual reading habits, I finished two World War II novels last week, The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff and Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit, both with amazing audio narrations. The Orphan’s Tale, set during the start of the war, follows a young woman, Noa, rejected by her community and family alike after becoming pregnant by a German soldier. In an unusual turn, Noa is unabashed by her actions. Throughout the novel, Noa takes on a childlike mannerism, looking at the world with big, puppy-dog eyes and buying into the glitz and glamour of the circus, but all the while, refuses to apologize for falling in love with the soldier. Full of emotionally complex characters and the budding friendship between Noa and long-time trapeze artist, Astrid, The Orphan’s Tale is not to be missed! Likewise, Anna and the Swallow Man, through its creative use of word play and symbolism, paints a curious tale of a young girl rescued by a mysterious stranger. Narrated by Allan Corduner, who voiced The Book Thief, the novel’s poignant mix of folklore and magical realism will leave you breathless for more, and ever so hopeful.

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This week, I’m hoping to get through Area X by Jeff VanderMeer, a compilation of The Southern Reach Trilogy, in audio. I’ve already finished the first book, Annihilation, and OMG, this series is going to be crazy! One book in, I’m still not exactly sure where the story is heading, or what Area X even is, but I’m so excited to find out! In print, I belatedly started reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang because it’s due back today. I didn’t have high expectations for this one, given the title, but I was so wrong. Rooted by mental illness, and only extenuated by sexual abuse, scandal, and estrangement, Yeong-hye’s nightmares are spiraling out of control, and into real-life in this truly Kafkaesque novella. I definitely see what all the fuss is about now!

What are you reading?