Review: The Geek’s Guide to Dating by Eric Smith

Hey all, Dani here.

This book was an impulse buy for me while I was at BookExpo this year. The cover looked cool and the concept sounded interesting. Did it matter that at the time I saw this book I was already two months into an amazingly geeky romance with my boyfriend? Not at all. I thought he would be amused by the book as well. It is all sorts of tidbits and advice for a player one looking for that compatible player two.

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Summary

You keep your action figures in their original packaging. Your bedsheets are officially licensed Star Wars merchandise. You’re hooked on Elder Scrolls and Metal Gear but now you’ve discovered an even bigger obsession: the new girl who just moved in down the hall. What’s a geek to do? Take some tips from Eric Smith in The Geek’s Guide to Dating. This hilarious primer leads geeks of all ages through the perils and pitfalls of meeting women, going on dates, getting serious, breaking up, and establishing a successful lifelong relationship (hint: it’s time to invest in new bedsheets). Full of whimsical 8-bit illustrations, The Geek’s Guide to Dating will teach fanboys everywhere to love long and prosper.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

Now I’ll start this review off by stating that this book is more specifically targeted towards a geek guy looking for a girl (geek or non-geek), but honestly I feel like most of the tips could be applicable to geek girls looking for a guy as well. The obvious exception being the tip about trimming up the beard, but anyway. The beginning of this book even acknowledges that the author is a man and so is writing from that perspective and he wouldn’t want to assume how a woman would think or feel in each situation so that is why it is not written as a more gender neutral book.

Still, I thought the format was cute, and the 8-bit graphics throughout were adorable. I highly recommend getting the hardcover and taking the dust jacket off, because it is a beautiful naked hardback.

There are sections about approaching and starting conversation with this potential player two, planning for the first date, planning beyond the first date, and even a leveling up the relationship section (which also includes a brief segment on dealing with heartbreak should the relationship end).

Considering where I am in my life and my relationship, most of this book did not apply to me, but I can see merit in the clean simple way the information is presented. And yes, several of the tips also talk about a respectful reining in on your geeky passions so as not to overwhelm or scare off your date. Luckily I found someone just as geeky as myself who actually enjoys seeing how love of a fandom excites me. Granted, I also enjoy seeing him geek out over things as well. So if you’re lucky enough to be able to let your geek pride fly free, then you have really hit the jackpot.

So yes, I would have liked there to have been more about the intricacies of inter-geek relationships, because a lot of the book seemed to imply that the partner you find wouldn’t be quite so geeky, but otherwise I enjoyed this.

At BookExpo I may have also bought a similar book, but geared towards geek parenting. So thank you Quirk Books for having titles that called out to me, just wanting to be read. I appreciate that you have several geeky titles in your arsenal. It makes my geek girl heart very happy.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this geeky guide from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

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Review: Writing With Style: An Editor’s Advice for RPG Writers by Ray Vallese

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s review is an interesting one, because it is a non-fiction book that is actually a grammar/style guide for writing up books for role playing games. Considering that I spend a lot of time with my boyfriend brainstorming and planning out the world and magic and overall story for our campaigns for both D&D 5th Edition and for Pathfinder, this seemed like a book that could be helpful for us.

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Summary

A Style Guide with Style

Writing With Style: An Editor’s Advice for RPG Writers presents 45 pages of concise tips on simple ways to make your roleplaying game writing cleaner and clearer. This guide doesn’t show you how to structure adventures, build stat blocks, or create worlds. Instead, Ray Vallese looks at some of the most common and easily fixable grammar and style issues he’s encountered in over twenty years of editing RPGs.

Rookie freelancers, industry veterans, and self-publishers alike can benefit from this (mostly) jargon-free guide, which addresses such topics as:

Recasting passive voice into active voice (and when you might not want to)
Dangling participles and other misplaced modifiers
Gender-specific and gender-neutral language
Commonly confused words, empty words, and clichés to avoid
Choice and possibility in player character actions
Final things to check before submitting your manuscript
Tighten and polish your text with these quick and easy tips!

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This book gave me serious flashbacks to school. It was a whole 45 pages of grammar logistics. There were basically four pages alone going over common word swaps and homonyms. You know, the kind of mistakes that won’t be caught by the spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Word because the “misspellings” are actually words as well.

I can see this being a very helpful resource for attempts at writing up any of our stories into an RPG format. And again, as it is only 45 pages, it did not take long at all to read it. Now, I will say that most of the book was not quite as useful for me, especially when it reminded the reader to look at the style guides used by each company you plan to pitch your idea to. Having a degree in literature and also having worked for four years on my university’s newspaper, I am quite familiar with the popular style guides: MLA, APA, Chicago, AP. Also, being a writer and researching traditional publication paths, I already know that you should research a company before approaching them with a query or submission so you know what requirements they have. But for the average person these bits of advice are very helpful.

I actually appreciate the concise nature of this book though. After writing out an entire book or a campaign for an RPG, the last thing a writer would want to do is struggle through a lengthy and/or complicated book on writing and editing for RPGs.

What I think will be useful for me now is a book about the actual writing and plotting of a campaign book, as that seems to be something my boyfriend and I might be interested in attempting soon. So, if you have any recommendations on that topic, feel free to share them with me in the comments below.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Open Gaming Store or RPG Now.

Gen Con Wrap Up

Hey all, Dani here.

This past weekend was a crazy yet fun weekend of reveling in being a geek. Okay, I guess I should be specific and say that Saturday was a day filled with thousands of other geeks all trying to stock up on games and more in Indianapolis for Gen Con.

For those who don’t know, Gen Con is a gaming convention that started back in 1967 and was originally held in Wisconsin. Since 2003 though, it has been held in Indy and is scheduled to remain there at least through 2021. It brings together many companies and designers and such to celebrate gaming. There are panels and demos and such at the Indianapolis Convention Center, but there are also events going on in hotels and other buildings around the city, so that it is actually 4 complete days of gaming. Yes, you can find wonderful geeks playing games any time of day or night during the convention.

While I was in Indy during the weekend of Gen Con in 2016, I was there for a Dungeons & Dragons live stream, not for the convention itself. So this year was my first experience at this particular Con, and I was lucky enough to attend with my boyfriend and one of our other geek friends.

We woke up at 6:00 am on Saturday morning, loaded our things into our rental car and set off for the 3.5 hour drive to Indianapolis. After a pit stop at an IHOP for breakfast, and checking in at our hotel, we drove towards the convention center, parked the car at one of the many parking garages, and headed into the Con.

It was packed! Seriously, getting around the exhibitor hall was sometimes a bit of a struggle. Then again, this was the big 50th year of Gen Con. We did manage to see quite a few awesome booths, and collected a few business cards for the places we plan to shop from in the coming months, and of course we did buy quite a few supplies for D&D and Pathfinder. (And yes, I bought myself 7 new sets of dice. Did I need them? Not really. I already owned like 14 sets. But I wanted them and they looked really cool. Also, the one set is actually gemstone, turquoise to be specific).

When we were at the Lone Wolf Development booth, which also featured displays for Syrinscape and Kobold Press, we were actually approached by one of the new guys on the crew and he told my boyfriend and I that if we had any ideas for a book or a campaign to get in contact with him and pitch the idea. That naturally led to he and I exchanging business cards. So that was pretty cool.

We also made sure to stop at the booth for Green Ronin Publishing, and grabbed our pre-ordered copies of the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book based on the show Critical Role.

After several hours of wandering the floor and hauling bags that got heavier as we added more and more merch, it was time for us to go to Lucas Oil Stadium for the Critical Role signing. So we dropped our bags off at the car, grabbed a quick drink at Starbucks, and then headed over to a football stadium to wait in line for a few hours.

Waiting in line actually wasn’t that bad, honestly. Because we had purchased tickets in advance, the three of us were able to sit in the stands, and the Gen Con staff brought us down one row at a time to go through the signing line.

I know a bit about sports, but obviously I am not a huge follower of them. But I will say that it was so awesome to see the home of the Indianapolis Colts filled with geeks playing board games and talking about geeky things.

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Now, I had met most of the Critical Role cast last year during my trip to the live show, but Liam O’Brien was absent then. This year he was there, but Ashley Johnson wasn’t due to filming for the show “Blindspot.” So I was able to get Liam’s signature in my Player’s Handbook, completing my set. I also was able to get everyone to sign my Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book.

And because the cast are amazing people and actually spent a minute or so talking with each of us, I was able to tell Matthew Mercer, the Dungeon Master for the show the story of my boyfriend and I getting together. You see, we met playing Dungeons & Dragons, with me as a player and my boyfriend as the Dungeon Master. But more than that, when we had our first date, I introduced him to the Mythica series of movies, and we watched all five of them on that date. This is relevant because Matthew Mercer played Szorlok, the villain in the series. And Matt being the amazingly big-hearted geek that he is, feels so touched when he hears stories like that.

Oh, and when I talked to Sam Riegel (who plays bard Scanlan Shorthalt in the show) again, I actually gave him a copy of a book I thought he’d enjoy. The book in question: Pop Sonnets. It is a collection of popular songs that have been turned into Shakespearean sonnets. What was really cool about that interaction was that Sam said he would use it for inspiration. See, bards have an ability where they can inspire other characters by playing music, singing songs, reciting poems, etc. And in the past Sam has used poetry books and books of jokes, so it’s entirely possible that he might use my gifted book on the show.

The cast (from left to right): Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey, Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Taliesin Jaffe, and Matthew Mercer.

Needless to say it was an absolutely wonderful and geeky day, and myself, my boyfriend, and our friend are already planning to go for all 4 days of the convention in 2018.

AMA Answer Time!

Hey all, Dani here.

Thank you so much to Michelle and Elaina, who each asked me a question over the past few days. I really appreciate it. Let’s not waste any time with introductions. I’m jumping into the answers right now.

michelleltaylor94 asked: What are your must reads right now?

I think there’s two possible answers here: the must reads I can recommend for you all to read, and the must reads meaning books that I desperately need to read right now. For the first part, my go-to recommendations include: Dreamworld by Rachel E. Kelly, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. To answer the second part: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss are all books that I really want and need to read soon.

Elaina Lucy asked: What is the number one book that you’ve read that has the deepest emotional hold on you? It could be either that the book itself is amazing, or for other reasons (a gift from someone special, the first book you ever read, etc).

Wow, this is a fabulous question, and I’d love to know how all of you would answer it as well. Okay, so I’m going to try not to constantly answer with the same books, so I’m actually going to go with a non-fiction choice: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. This book was so lovely and inspirational for me. Follow that up with getting to meet her during her book tour for the paperback release (Yes, I own a first edition hardcover, and a first edition paperback of this book) and this book will always hold a special place in my heart. Meeting Felicia Day, considering how long I’ve followed her awesome nerdy career and how much I loved the book, is definitely one of the top moments of my life. You can read more about my fangirling and the signing at these links.

This was a fun idea, and I’ll probably try this again in the future, but if at any time you have a question, feel free to ask. I’m pretty much an open book.

Just for fun though, I’ll also throw in a few random fun facts about me, because I know sometimes people probably wonder about it.

Danielle Thamasa is a pen name. I chose it by taking all the letters from my legal birth name and rearranging the letters. (Okay, fine. I had to add in an extra ‘l’ and ‘e’ or else I would have been Daniel). I’ve been using this name for book related things on the internet for around a decade now so I answer to Dani as easily as I do my birth name.

Some of my other hobbies include board games, RPGs (like D&D, Pathfinder, Fantasy AGE, etc), LARPing, comic and gaming conventions, photography, ghost hunting, and traveling (though I don’t do as much as I’d like).

I’ve started watching anime and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m into My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, Death Note, Trigun, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. When I was younger I watched Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Fullmetal Alchemist, and in college I watched Inuyasha because of my roommate.

I’ve already surpassed my original reading challenge goal on Goodreads. I started the year with a goal of reading 75 books, but now my goal is 100 because I have finished 77 books so far.

Okay, well that’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my time in Indianapolis over the weekend for Gen Con 50.

Ask Me Anything!

Hey all, Dani here.

I have been posting to this blog for almost two years now, which is awesome and a little crazy. In that time I’ve shared a lot of posts about books and other nerdy interests. And in the past few months I have watched as my comment counts and my follower counts rise and rise. Thank you for joining me here.

Anyway, I feel like sometimes it is good to take a step back and just chat. The book community is great and we spend a decent amount of time talking to each other.

With that in mind, I’m going to offer you lovely people the chance to ask me anything at all…about me, my writing, my reading, my hobbies, literally anything. Have you wondered how I came up with my pen name? How I choose books to read? Here’s your chance to ask whatever you’d like.

I’ll take questions from now until end of day Sunday, August 20th. Then I’ll have my answer post up on Monday the 21st.

Let’s spend some more time getting to know each other.


Oh, and this weekend I’m traveling to Indianapolis with my boyfriend and another friend of ours, to attend Gen Con. Sadly we can only make it for one day on Saturday, but it should be a great time, and I’ll be picking up a couple gaming books and some other gaming accessories and such, plus I’ll be getting the Critical Role cast to sign my new hardcover copy of the Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting book. So I’ll have a fun little convention wrap up post coming as well.

Review: Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone

Hey all, Dani here.

I’ll be honest and admit that I have several middle grade book reviews coming in the next couple weeks. There were quite a few at BookExpo and BookCon that just sounded really cute. Now, today’s review is for an author that first came on my radar because of her time travel duology, but it was her YA contemporary that I truly loved. Her next release is her first middle grade book and I made sure that I made it to her signing so I could get a signed ARC for Click’d.

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Summary

Allie Navarro can’t wait to show her best friends the app she built at CodeGirls summer camp. CLICK’D pairs users based on common interests and sends them on a fun (and occasionally rule-breaking) scavenger hunt to find each other. And it’s a hit. By the second day of school, everyone is talking about CLICK’D.

Watching her app go viral is amazing. Leaderboards are filling up! Everyone’s making new friends. And with all the data Allie is collecting, she has an even better shot at beating her archenemy, Nathan, at the upcoming youth coding competition. But when Allie discovers a glitch that threatens to expose everyone’s secrets, she has to figure out how to make things right, even if that means sharing the computer lab with Nathan. Can Allie fix her app, stop it from doing any more damage, and win back the friends it hurt-all before she steps on stage to present CLICK’D to the judges?

New York Times best-selling author Tamara Ireland Stone combines friendship, coding, and lots of popcorn in her fun and empowering middle-grade debut.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a cute book, and a fast read. I like that it has a focus on girls interested in STEM fields of study; we need more of that in the world.

However, this book just didn’t grip me as fully as Stone’s previous novel. Every Last Word has had a lasting impact on my heart and mind. I still find myself thinking of it, and I only read it the one time. And yes, this is Stone’s first middle grade novel, and I think the next installment will probably still be a good read, but I could not rate it higher than 4 stars.

I need to talk about Allie and Nathan and the Games for Good competition. This book covers a week of time leading up to this contest. And basically on the first day back to school their teacher has them present their projects to the rest of the computer technology/coding class. Nathan’s project/game is set up so that you can build virtual homes and while doing that, sponsors for the game will end up donating money to build real homes for Habitat for Humanity. Then Allie presents her game and it is a scavenger hunt to make new friends. While yes, friendship is admirable and can do good for the world, I definitely feel like Nathan’s game does tangible good in the world.

I will say that I liked the idea of this story, and I liked that a decent portion of it focused on Alli and her friends, and how this game affected their friendship. The friendships and drama of middle school can be so volatile and changing, so it was nice to see that portrayed in the book.

Overall, I would recommend this book, and I did enjoy it, but I have read a number of really great stories this year and that does tend to affect ratings.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order Click’d from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. It hits shelves on September 5, 2017.

Review: All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis

Hey all, Dani here.

Today is the last day to vote for my reads for the Make Me Read It Readathon. The poll closes at midnight so please go here and vote now.

I am so excited about today’s review. This book blew me away, and I had not even heard of it before going to BookExpo. I guess I’ll start this post with a quick little storytime. It was the first full day of BookExpo and I had just gotten out of Maggie Stiefvater’s line and made my way to the other side of the hall to get in line for Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. I was lucky enough to get ticket #98 out of 100. Well, seated at the signing table before I reached Sasha and Lindsay was Mr. Katsoulis with his book, and I was asked if I would like a copy of his book as well. Still knowing nothing about it I said sure and was quickly given a nice signed ARC. Upon checking out the book a few minutes later, man, did the book synopsis sound so darn interesting. To the point where I read this book in June despite it having a late August release date.

So there, that’s my random little storytime for you. This book is so good and it definitely ranks as one of my top reads of 2017.

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Summary

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks (“Sorry” is a flat ten dollars and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/sec), for every scream ($0.99/sec) and even every gesture of affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s unable to afford.

But when Speth’s friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family’s crippling debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speechrather than say anything at allshe closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I’ll be completely honest. This world absolutely terrified me. As someone who is a reader and a writer, having that massive disconnect from words is just something I never want to try and wrap my mind around. The fact that starting at the age of 15 you are charged for every single word you say and every gesture you make, is just an absolute tragedy.

This is a world where basically everything has been copyrighted and trademarked and so you have to pay the rights holder for using their word or gesture or whatever. Also, starting at 15 everyone wears a wrist cuff that keeps track of your words and gestures and charges you accordingly.

I think what is most horrifying is that practically every single person in this world is so sue crazy. Oh, someone said something you don’t like or they did something that you don’t approve of. No problem. You can send out an instant lawsuit via your cuff. The reality is that I see so many articles online in the current day with people suing others or suing companies left and right. This is a future that could happen, and I hope I never see it come about. I would not want to live in a world where I am billed for smiling or holding hands or hugging or kissing. I would not want to exist in a world where our freedom of speech has been stripped away and replaced with paying for every word.

So for me this felt like a scary possible future, and yet I was so interested in Speth’s story and how she found this tiny loophole in the system that ended up starting something nobody expected at first. It was interesting to read a book where the main character stops having dialogue after the first chapter or two. Everyone else tries to talk to her but because of her vow to not speak and because she can’t even use gestures to communicate, it is difficult for Speth to navigate the world. She can’t get into certain buildings; she can’t hold a job. So many activities in the world require a person to accept the terms and conditions, which of course requires verbal consent.

It was fascinating to follow this story and to see how everything unfolded.

This book was outstanding and it kind of makes me sad that I did not see this pop up in more BEA/BookCon book hauls from BookTubers. This is a story I think everyone needs to read; it would definitely make an interesting addition to school curricula across the nation. Just do yourself a favor and read this book.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order your own copy of All Rights Reserved from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. This amazing book hits shelves on August 29, 2017.

Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Hey all, Dani here.

Today I am pleased to bring you an early review for one of my most highly anticipated book releases of 2017. I love Adam Silvera’s books, and after hearing about this book I absolutely had to know just how true the title was.

So naturally as soon as I got my hands on an ARC during BookExpo, I had to read it…as in I had finished this book before BookCon wrapped. That would have been too early for a review so here we go. Yes, I wrote and then scheduled this post back in mid-June.

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Summary

New York Times bestselling author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called “profound.”

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Adam Silvera’s books just draw me in and I can’t put them down…or if I do put them down it does not take that long before I have to pick it up to read more. In 2016 when I received an ARC for History is All You Left Me in June, despite the book coming out in January 2017, I intended to only read a couple chapters and then put the book aside for a few months so it would be closer to the release day. Instead I had the book finished within a day.

It was basically the same with this latest novel. I wrote down all the ARCs I received at BookExpo and BookCon and pretty much decided to read them in order of publication date, just to make things simple. Yeah, right. I could not help myself. I was pulled towards They Both Die at the End, and so I just ignored the rest of my massive new TBR stack and dove in.

I was not at all disappointed by this book. It made me smile, and get cute little warm fuzzies, but there were also times where I was worried for the characters, and yes, of course there were also some points where I cried. Following Mateo and Rufus on the day they receive their call from Death-Cast was a roller coaster ride of emotions. And okay, fine, I admit it that I was already tearing up at the very beginning of the book when I read a letter from Adam about the writing of this book.

This was a beautiful tale and both boys had such unique voices. I also liked that there were interludes where we were given glimpses of rather minor characters who might have interacted briefly with the young men or just happened to be in the same vicinity at that particular time. It made for a different kind of story layout and I very much enjoyed it.

I really don’t want to say too much about this book because I don’t want to risk spoilers, but I will just say that it was a phenomenal read. There were a couple times where I thought I had figured out an intriguing possible plot twist, only to later learn that I was completely wrong.

So do both Mateo and Rufus die at the end? Now why would you expect me to answer that question. Go order a copy of this book for yourself and then you can find out how appropriate or inappropriate the title is. Seriously, I just highly recommend this book. Adam Silvera has definitely made it onto my auto-buy author list.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order a copy of They Both Die at the End from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. This book will be released September 5th, 2017.

BookTuber Recommendation

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so today is sort of another post related to BookExpo and BookCon, but it is more about the book community in general.

Now, I’ve had this book blog for almost a year and a half now, and it is by far the best book blog I’ve done. I had another one that I used for a few years back in college and I was lucky to get a few hits every month. But now I’m trying to be a bit more involved in the book community and make friends with other bloggers and such. That’s why I’m a part of Bookstagram and why I have several bookish people I follow on Twitter and Facebook as well.

There is one area of the book community though, where I’m just starting to be a little more active in, and it’s an area I’ve wanted to join but haven’t yet because I’m nervous about it. And that is BookTube.

I vaguely knew that there were people on YouTube who talked about books, but I had never explored that particular subsection until I started looking into bookish subscription boxes. I saw a few unboxings by BookTubers on the subscription box’s web site and that led me down the rabbit hole. Now there are eight BookTubers I am subscribed to and watch regularly. So I went from nothing to watching all of these great videos in the past year.

Today I want to talk about the BookTubers I enjoy following. I’ll also be including links to each of their channels in case you would like to check them out.

For me it all started with Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia). I was checking out the page for the subscription box Lit-Cube and they were featuring a few unboxing videos on the site and I happened to click on Sasha’s. I liked her energy and excitement and so I went on YouTube and started watching a few other videos and soon enough I had subscribed to her channel.

The next BookTuber I want to talk about is probably my favorite, mostly because I feel like our reading tastes are very similar, so I’ve gotten some really good recommendations from her. I am talking about Regan Perusse (peruseproject). Now, I found Regan because of Sasha. Together the two lovely ladies have a monthly book club called perusetopia, and hearing Sasha talk about her friend Regan, I found myself curious about other BookTubers. My TBR list has grown massive because of Regan, and it’s also because of her that I discovered the joys of buying books from BookOutlet.

From there I don’t know which BookTubers I discovered next but I feel like they all joined my list around the same time, which makes sense as they are friends and even have a monthly book club together. I’ll talk about them each individually in a moment, but for right now I’ll just mention their names: Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), Kat O’Keefe (katytastic), and Jesse George (jessethereader).

Christine’s videos are just so well made, and her energy and excitement are wonderful. I may be reading a bit more contemporary books mostly because of her but with a little help from other BookTubers as well. When I see a new polandbananasBOOKS video in my subscription feed I get excited, because I know that Christine’s enthusiasm is just going to burst out of the screen. Plus there’s all the book tags and bookish games and such she does on her channel as well. It’s just a lot of fun.

What I enjoy about Kat’s videos, though they are sometimes posted months and months apart, is that she also talks about NaNoWriMo. As a Wrimo myself, I find it nice to connect with others who join that marvelous and hectic writing event. Also, listening to her and a few others speak so highly of certain authors has gotten me to give some of them a second chance.

Then there’s Jesse. Now obviously it is clear that most of the BookTubers I follow are female; for the longest time Jesse was the only exception to this. I just enjoyed some of his skit videos and I liked how he talked about the books and bookish things. There’s a sweet adorableness to his channel. I don’t know how to explain it exactly but I just feel like watching Jesse’s videos is like having a bookish little brother to talk about books with.

Sometime after that I also added Zoe Herdt (readbyzoe) to my list as well. She has recently had a couple hiatuses on her channel, but I still like her content. Okay, I admit it, I may have been attracted to her videos because of seeing her bookshelves in a few of the video thumbnails.

While in a search for more book diversity, I came across Emma Giordano (emmmabooks). She is all about inclusion and diversity in her reading, and she has a big obsession with all the Shadowhunters books by Cassandra Clare. But I like that she features books that talk about mental health issues, and eating disorders, and racial issues or LGBTQIAP+ stories as well as own voices novels. She tries to spread more awareness about these types of stories and I just really appreciate that.

Finally, the reason why I consider this a BookExpo/BookCon relevant post. I saw each of these BookTubers at the convention, though I only really had a brief conversation with Sasha, and even shorter conversations (ie: one question about a book signing line) with Emma and Michael). It was actually seeing all of them at the Javits Center that got me started watching Michael D’Angelo’s (Michael BookLion) videos.

And now I feel bad for not finding Michael’s videos earlier; he is such a fun guy. I’ve lost count of how many of his videos have left me laughing. He’s a bit awkward in the most endearing way. I adore watching his book hauls and subscription box unboxing videos.

So there you have it…a bunch of awesome people who talk about books on YouTube. Are there any BookTubers you follow/like? Let me know about them in the comments.

Discovery @ BookExpo

Hey all, Dani here.

Yes, I realize that we are nearing the end of the month and BookExpo was at the beginning of the month, but there are just a few books I really want to talk about that I learned about while at the event. That’s why I am writing up this post today.

Okay, I’m just going to run through these books in order of their release dates. I’ll also be sure to link to the book’s page on Goodreads in case you want to learn more about it.

First up… All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis (August 29, 2017). Now, I’ve already read this book, mostly because it just sounded so interesting and I couldn’t help myself. Having read it, I can now say that I am sad that I have not heard more talk about this upcoming debut because it is outstanding and the topics and themes are highly appropriate considering how our world is nowadays.

Next, Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast (August 29, 2017). This sounds like an interesting post-apocalyptic tale which puts two people–I’m assuming young adults–who are technically on opposite sides in a position where they only way they survive is by working together and trusting each other. I don’t know. You have a male character named Eighth who was meant to protect his Offside until a human kills her. Then you have a female character named Raven who was at a summer camp when the invaders came and she was going to stay safe and hidden but then a Nahx kills her boyfriend. I’m curious to see what happens in this one.

Next is a middle grade novel, The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken (September 5, 2017). I didn’t know about this book until I arrived at the Javits Center and saw a huge poster in the entryway showcasing it. And then I didn’t know anything about it until I picked it up at the Disney booth and read the back cover. It follows a family who made a deal with a malefactor and now that the deal has been broken, the fiend is possessing young Prosper Redding with the intent of destroying everything the Reddings have. It sounds like a sort of dark middle grade novel, but I’m intrigued.

After that is Invictus by Ryan Graudin (September 26, 2017). Okay, so I have not read a single of Ryan Graudin’s books, which means I had no idea about this upcoming release. The basic pitch on the back of the book was Doctor Who meets Guardians of the Galaxy. So it’s about a group of people and they are involved in time travel. I really didn’t need to know more than that, really. I snatched up a copy and I look forward to reading it soon. This is also apparently a standalone novel so…

Then there’s The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli (October 3, 2017). Another book I had not heard of until I saw it in the daily show guide. But female dragon hunter was all I needed to sell me on this book. Basically we follow Asha as she goes on a mission to free herself from a betrothal she does not want. What does she have to do? Oh, only kill the most feared dragon in the lands. I have a feeling it will become more complicated than that, but I’m looking forward to reading this one.

There is a reason why this post talks about book discovery. None of these books were ones I knew about at all before going to BookExpo. Next up is an adult novel, The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (November 14, 2017). First, the cover is really pretty. Second, it is pitched as an alchemical combination of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and One Thousand and One Nights. A conwoman accidentally summons a djinn warrior to her side, and yep, just let me add this to my TBR. It sounds great.

This is the last discovery with an actual ARC available at BookExpo, but sadly I was unable to snag a copy for myself. Nevertheless I am excited to add this book to my TBR list. Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughan (January 30, 2018) which apparently follows a young woman who becomes Queen of the Bonelands in order to save her people. But she struggles because her husband wants to destroy the Elementae, and she is developing feelings for her husband’s brother. And naturally along the way she discovers that she is Elementae. I love fantasy books with elemental powers.

Finally, I have a book that I found out about while talking with a wonderful employee at one of the publisher’s booths while she was selling books during BookCon. I read Brigid Kemmerer’s Letters to the Lost earlier this year and loved it. I even commented that I would love to see a sequel/companion novel with some of the other characters. As it turns out, that is happening. More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer (March 6, 2018) will follow Rev and I am so darn excited about this. But man, March is so far away.

Okay, well that’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by. If you have learned of any exciting book announcements, I would love to know as well. Please leave the details in the comments.