Books!, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (16)

Hey all, Dani here.

This past week was actually pretty darn productive for me, at least when it comes to reading and such. Of course, this is because of an extended holiday weekend in a place where I wasn’t really able to play around on my phone or the internet for most of it. I packed 5 books with me, and I ended up spending quite a bit of time reading, which was actually really nice.

Okay, so let’s just jump into my weekly post where I talk about what I’ve recently read, what I’m currently reading, and what I hope to start reading very soon.

My weekend of reading included starting and finishing The Fandom by Anna Day, The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde, Furyborn by Claire Legrand, and Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody. Then I continued working on reading more of Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Galbadon, but I didn’t make it all that far at all. Oh well, it isn’t a high priority read for me, just something I’m casually reading when the mood strikes.

Currently, I am reading Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, because it has been taunting me from where it was shelved in my library. This book just sounds really interesting, and I’m not really a fan of zombie books, movies, or TV shows, so I’m hoping it is as awesome as the cover makes it look.

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Pretty soon I think I am hoping to start some of my reads for GLBT Book Month, but I haven’t decided which one I’m starting with. It depends on my mood after I finish my current read.

Well, that is all for today, and I will be back soon with more bookish content. Let me know in the comments if you have any great books you’re reading now.

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Books!, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Why Are These Still On My TBR?!

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so today’s post is maybe a bit different from some of my other ones, mostly because I just wasn’t in the mood to prep up a couple more book reviews. Instead I want to talk about the bane of a book lover…the never-ending TBR. Because it is a growing problem for many of us.

More specifically, today I want to talk about a few of the books that I really REALLY wanted to read before they were released (or as soon as I found out about them)…and yet somehow they are still sitting on the shelves of my home library, just waiting to be picked up and read.

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I put off books that I’m pretty certain will be amazing to read? I don’t know. And I’m sure that is actually a long conversation–likely a rambling one–for another day.

Today I’m going to talk about five reads (and one re-read) that I probably need to try and squeeze into an upcoming monthly TBR or something.

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Each of the books on this list is intimidating for one reason or another, so let’s just get talking about them. Obviously they are all pretty much an intimidating size–I think they are all at least 500 pages, but book size isn’t that big of a deterrent for me. It just makes me enjoy the book longer.

I suppose I’ll start with the re-read: Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. I read this one a number of years ago, and it actually took me a few months to finish, and I had to pretty much force myself to keep going so I could finally reach the end. But see, here’s the thing, I had really been enjoying it before I put it down for a couple months. I think if I gave it another go, and tried to read through the whole thing without weeks between the beginning and the end, I would probably enjoy it enough to continue on with the series. This would also be really good considering that I already have books two and three sitting on one of my shelves.

Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley is the next book I’ll talk about here. For a few years now I have heard many in the fantasy realm rave about Hurley and her apparently amazing epic fantasy, so I picked up the first one…and I still haven’t read it. I love fantasy, and I really enjoy epic fantasy, so why haven’t I read this one yet? Honestly, I have no clue, but maybe I can try to squeeze that in sometime soon-ish (like maybe I can try to read all of these before the end of this year).

Next up, I have to talk about A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. First off, technically I have started reading this one. Well, all right, I read something like 100 pages last year, so I’ll probably need to re-read them now. Why did I never finish this? Well, at the time it was because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters and this world. But then I heard the announcement that there would be more books set in the world. So what excuse to I have for putting off this book even longer? I need more Rhy in my life, so I’m hopefully going to read this one very soon.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor was definitely a hype buy, though the cover is really nice, and I think the concept sounds interesting. But this book has pretty much been sitting on my shelf since shortly after release day. For this one I know why I keep putting it off. I was not a huge fan of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and though I have decided to give that book a reread to see if I just wasn’t in the right mood to read it, I’m still worried that this book might end up disappointing me. But, with the sequel coming, I might need to get over that worry and just read it.

Fine, so this next one is actually probably the most recent release and that is Renegades by Marissa Meyer. I’ve actually still never read a single Meyer book, so it’s possible that I should have put the Lunar Chronicles on here instead. Maybe I’ll do a post for series I still need to read. But I actually read the first few chapters of this book thanks to a sampler I received at Book Expo in 2017, and I liked what I read, so I was looking forward to reading this when it came out. Only, it has just been sitting on my shelves instead. Of course now it has been announced that this will be a trilogy instead of a duology, so I probably need to read this before the second one comes out so I don’t fall even farther behind.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is the final book I’ll talk about today, and I haven’t started reading this one because I’m worried that I’ll love both it and the sequel, and then be stuck waiting like pretty much every other fan, hoping that the announcement will come that Rothfuss has finally completed the trilogy. But I keep hearing everyone talk about how great this book is, and Rothfuss seems like an awesome guy, and I just want to read it. Plus, look at the 10th anniversary edition. It is absolutely stunning. Why wouldn’t I want to read such a gorgeous book?

That’s all for me today. I’m curious though, are you in the same situation as me? Are there books you’ve been wanting to read but they’ve just ended up sitting on your bookshelves for months, and then you wonder why you put them off for so long? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be back on Monday with another Manga Monday review. Have a great weekend everyone!

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Reading Challenge, Recommendations, Signal Boost

GLBT Book Month is coming!

Hey all, Dani here.

What I love about the online book community, about so many of you amazing readers/reviewers/bloggers/vloggers, is that we have seen this increase in the past couple of years of a desire to read more diversely and to expand our reading habits. We try books outside of our preferred genres and we try books with characters we might not have otherwise picked up on our own. We read more books about different cultures or races and certainly we have seen more books coming out with main characters who are POCs or who have a different gender or sexual identity. And that is great. I love that we can expand our world by taking in the stories of people who are different from us (or the same as us).

It is fantastic, and so once again, I plan on for the most part, focusing my reviews in June to GLBT book month, and highlighting reads that have characters and/or authors who fall on the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum. GLBT Book Month started in the early 1990s as National Lesbian and Gay Book Month. Starting in 2015, the American Library Association branded it as GLBT Book Month, though honestly that name doesn’t quite do the month justice as it excludes many in the community.

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The main point is that it is a celebration of the authors and writings that reflect the lives and experiences of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. I expand that out to aesexual, pansexual, intersex, queer, those who are questioning their identity, and more.

Right now I have two books that I have read in May where I am setting up the reviews to be released in June, as they feature characters who are questioning their sexuality and I think they will be great stories to highlight for GLBT Book Month. And I have a few other books already planned for my June TBR that should also be in the spotlight a bit more.

If you are looking for books that fall on the LGBTQIAP+ spectrum, you can always look up the Rainbow Book List, or the Over the Rainbow Books. There are a lot of great suggestions and recommendations there. I made a recommendations post of my own last year, so you can check that out as well if you’re interested.

Now, to make sure we are all on the same page with my June blog posts, I will still be doing my Manga Mondays review posts, and my What I’m Reading posts on Wednesdays. You’ll just find that at least one day a week–probably Fridays–I’ll be posting reviews for GLBT Book Month reads. I know the reviews for Ship It and Final Draft will be coming on Tuesday June 5th and Friday June 8th.

Other books I’m hoping to get to in the month of June include:

Of course, I will also take any recommendations from all of you wonderful book friends for books that also fit in this amazing and diverse category of reads.

And I do believe that is all I have to say for today. Have you read any great LGBTQIAP+ books this year? Are you planning on reading some in June? Let me know in the comments. Have a fantastic weekend everyone, and I’ll be back soon with more bookish content.

Books!, Graphic Novel, Manga, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (11)

Hey all, Dani here.

First thing to mention in this post…please help me decide on my TBR for Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I have a poll attached to my post here, and it will be open for two more days.

Next up, let’s jump into what I’ve read recently, what I’m currently reading, and what I’m hoping to read soon.

First up, today was laundry day, so I actually did manage to do some reading today. I read all three volumes of Avatar: the Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow and it was wonderful. I’ve really missed Aang and Katara and Zuko and Sokka. It was missing Toph, but it was still a great story.

Oh, I also managed to read the first volume of The Ancient Magus’ Bride, which I was really intrigued by. It was a strong first volume, and I plan to read more of it soon.

As for current reads, I’m still working on Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. I will blame my recent illness for me not accomplishing a lot of reading in the past couple weeks. Hopefully I am actually on the mend and will be getting back into the swing of writing up more posts and reviews and such now.

Finally, in the column of what I’m hoping to read soon, I am planning on a lot of reading this weekend on account of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. In the past, 24 Hour Readathons have been typically very productive for me, so I am super hopeful that it will be a great weekend. Plus my fiance is planning on reading a bunch of manga, and my best friend–Signy Cullen–is also coming to visit and will be reading as well. I am actually pretty excited about hosting a reading party.

Okay, well I think that is about all for today. I’ll be back soon with another bookish post.

Books!, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon TBR – April 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

It is almost time for one of my favorite readathons again. The next round of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon will be taking place this weekend. You can find your exact start time by using this link here. For me, the readathon will begin at 8:00am on Saturday, April 28th and it will end at 7:59 am on Sunday, April 29th.

Thankfully, since this is one of my favorite readathons, I have convinced my fiance to give me a reading day instead of our normally scheduled Dungeons & Dragons.

This naturally means that I need to figure out what I’m going to read, and here is where I would like the help of all you lovely people. I have a few different options for what to read, and I can’t decide which one I’d rather do right now, so I’m going to share the options with you and then you can vote at the end of this post. The poll will close at midnight Friday, April 27th, so when I wake up on Saturday morning, I’ll be able to see the results and can just start reading.

All right, let’s just go over the options.

Option #1: Animorphs series read

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Okay, this picture contains literally the entire series from my childhood (mostly because there is another row of books behind the front row. I’ve been talking about wanting to read through the series again, because this was one of my major childhood obsessions, and I want to see how the books hold up after all these years. If this is the option chosen, I want to see how many of them I can read in the 24 Hours. Since they are pretty much about 120 pages or so each, I’m thinking I can make it through a good portion of the 63 books of the series–this includes the specials because the main series is just 54 books.

Option #2: Iron Druid Chronicles series read

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I read the first few of these rather quickly, and then it got to the point where they were coming out in hardcover for a year before finally coming to paperback. And I love that it means Kevin Hearne is becoming more successful, but as a fan that has been with him since the early paperback days, and who has to have matching sets on my bookshelves, this success also feels like I’m being punished for being a fan because then I have to wait longer. Anyway, I want to reread the first few so that I can continue on with the series, especially since the final book just released in hardcover. Plus these books are hilarious and include a lot of folklore and mythology.

Option #3: Finish April TBR

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These are the books from my April TBR that I still haven’t read. They all sound really interesting, and this would probably be a good time to try and read them so I can be very productive with this month’s TBR. Plus, I still have this feeling that I should just sit down and read Children of Blood and Bone without interruption, so a readathon would be a good choice. And I just received my copy of Ace of Shades in the mail, so it really is a good time to pick it up.

All right, so there you have it…the three options I am giving you lovely readers. Now vote and help me figure out which books to read this weekend. My Dewey’s TBR is in your hands.

 

I do believe that is all for today. I will be back soon with more bookish content.

Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, Graphic Novel, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Review: Lumberjanes – Unicorn Power by Mariko Tamaki

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome to another Middle Grade March review post. Was this a book I read in March? Well, no. Technically this isn’t even a book I read in 2018, but it is still a Middle Grade book, and I’ve also been trying to play catch up on a rather large stack of to be written reviews, so this will help me out with all of that.

Technically I read this book during Diverse December, a reading event hosted by my buddy Kathy over at Books & Munches. As always, I recommend checking out her blog because she is awesome, and the munches photos she puts on her posts always make me hungry.

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Summary

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries.

Today is no exception. When challenge-loving April leads the girls on a hike up the TALLEST mountain they’ve ever seen, things don’t go quite as planned. For one, they didn’t expect to trespass into the lands of the ancient Cloud People, and did anyone happen to read those ominous signs some unknown person posted at the bottom of the mountain? Also, unicorns.

This hilarious, rollicking adventure series brings the beloved Lumberjanes characters into a novel format with brand-new adventures.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

I saw another blogger I follow review this book around the time of its release, and I remember that she raved about how great it was. Even with that glowing review, I was still a bit wary going into the book. Honestly, as someone who loves the comics/graphic novels, I worried that this novel format with the same characters would try to alter them in some way for the middle grade novel.

I don’t know why I worried. It had the same diversity and the same weirdness that I’ve come to expect and love from the Lumberjanes. Not to mention, actually, the adventure the group goes on in this book references earlier adventures from the comics. So this isn’t a reboot or anything like that. No, this is just another way to enjoy the world and the characters, which I really loved and appreciated.

Now for me it was a bit of an adjustment to get used to the format, because I’m so used to the visual experience of a comic, but I think it would still be a fun story for someone who doesn’t already read Lumberjanes, and perhaps this would inspire them to check out the previous adventures as well.

I enjoyed that Ripley was still the fun wild child she typically is–to be honest, Ripley may be my favorite, though I like all of them. And I love how wonderfully distinct each girl is. They all have their own style, their own interests and specialities, their own fears and hopes, etc.

So pretty much I will be waiting to read the next Lumberjanes novel installment, because the second book isn’t set to be released until May. Of course there’s always the graphic novels to keep me busy until then…plus all the non-Lumberjanes reads I have waiting for me.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this Lumberjanes adventure at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Book Review, Books!, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Readathon by Zoe Wrap Up

Hey all, Dani here.

I’ve already read as many books in March as I did in the entire month of February, so I’m feeling pretty good about my reading so far. On Saturday, my fiance had a guys only hangout with his friends, which left me free to participate in a 24 Hour readathon, hosted by Zoe Herdt (readbyzoe on YouTube).

Anyway, though the readathon was scheduled to start at midnight in each time zone, I decided that getting a good night’s sleep in was more important. So I woke up a little before 7:00 am, grabbed my stack of books and something to drink, and settled in on the couch to read.

I decided this time around to randomly decide what I was reading, so each time I was ready for a book, I would grab one of the dice I typically use for Dungeons & Dragons, and roll it. The number rolled would be the one I read, starting at the top of my stack of books and counting down the spines.

So my first read of the day was The Master Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg…or at least I thought it was. I made it all of one chapter in before getting the feeling that I was missing something. A quick Goodreads search revealed that I had somehow mis-shelved my books, and I needed to be reading The Glass Magician instead. Thankfully I didn’t really notice anything spoilery, so it worked out all right.

I finished that book at 9:15 am, and then decided to make up a quick bite to eat before diving into my second book, which ended up being A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.

I finished my second book of the day at 11:00am, so I can honestly say that the readathon was really working for me. Both books I read were pretty good, and I was feeling like I could possibly make it through a few more books with the pace I was keeping.

The dice gods then decided that my third read would be The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, and I started reading that at 11:15am. Honestly this is about when the readathon started to slip away from me.

First I had to drop my fiance off at his friends’ apartment, so we wouldn’t have to worry about any chance of driving under the influence of alcohol–we’re both pretty responsible about that. But, after making a quick Starbucks trip, and then dropping him off, I decided to grab lunch from Chipotle.

Then it became pretty difficult for me to focus on my reading. The apartment started to feel quiet and empty, even when I had Netflix playing in the background. So I didn’t finish my Neil Gaiman book until 3:45pm.

I still thought maybe I could get back on track, and at 3:55pm,  I started Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I watched the movie several years ago, but the book had just sat on my TBR.

Not anymore. I will say that I did at least manage to get through the book…but it took most of the rest of the evening, with breaks to go to our local nerd store and get new miniatures for Dungeons & Dragons, and then I took a break to do a mini ghost hunt in the apartment, and then I made myself an adult milkshake (which was delicious), and then a couple hours after that I went and picked up my fiance.

Overall though I am pretty pleased with how I did with the readathon. I finished four books, for a total of 1179 pages read, in less than 24 hours. I’m going to try and have proper reviews up for some of these reads pretty soon.

Did any of you participate in Zoe’s 24 hour readathon–and how did you do? If not, did you read anything great recently? Thanks everyone and I’ll be back with another post again soon.

Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

What I’m Reading (3)

Hey all, Dani here.

I guess I’m just going to make this my regular Wednesday thing…to just briefly talk about what I have finished reading, am currently reading, or will be starting to read in the upcoming days. It is an easy post to put together, and it means I’m at least having some sort of regular content.

Obviously, what is weird about the post today is that it is the end of the month and my wrap up post will be coming tomorrow.

Oh well. It happens sometimes.

Anyway, let’s just jump into my reading discussion.

I am still currently reading Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins. It is a good read, but I’m not feeling like I want to read it every free chance I get, so I’m only about 40% or so finished right now. So maybe I’ll finish this week.

My other current read is Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker. I absolutely loved the first book, and with the third one out in just a couple more weeks, now is the perfect time to read this. Expect a review coming soon.

I really want to try and squeeze More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer in this week so I can have a review up by release day.

And if you haven’t checked out my post from Monday, it will give you an idea of all of the books I may or may not read this weekend.

But I am adding one more book to that readathon TBR…because I had an ARC waiting at my door when I got home from work on Monday.

I loved the first book and now I get to read book two early. Yay! I love being a reader and a book blogger.

That’s all for today. Happy reading everyone!

Books!, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Readathon by Zoe TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

I’m sure by now most of you know that I love 24 hour readathons. I feel like they are usually so productive for me, so I look forward to them whenever I find out about them. Well, now is that time, because Zoe Herdt (readbyzoe on YouTube) just announced her next readathon date, and as it turns out, I’m actually going to be available to read.

It turns out that my fiance is going to go hang out with his buddies on Saturday, so that leaves me alone at our apartment and I can totally read while he’s gone. Of course that also means that I need to go to the store and get snacks and coffee/tea to keep me fueled for a reading marathon.

Anyway, you can find Zoe’s announcement video about the readathon here.

So this readathon will take place on Saturday March 3rd, from midnight to 11:59, and yes, it is that time for your time zone. Now, I don’t think I’ll be starting to read at midnight, but I’ll still be able to do some pretty good reading by waking up around 6 or 7 am.

The hard part for this is trying to decide what I’m going to read for this event, so I’m just going to choose a few books that I’d like to try reading, and then I’ll read from those books based on my mood during the readathon.

Now, since this is taking place in March, I’ll also say that I’m once again doing Middle Grade March, so I may have a few MG books on the TBR. I don’t know.

Okay, I’m going to pause in writing this and go look at my bookshelves to figure out what I might want to read.

Wow, that took a little longer than I thought it would, but I found eight books that I want to try and read during the readathon. Realistically I know that I’m not going to read all of them, but we’ll see what happens.

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I have a decent blend of books: Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult. They are all fantasy, but I’m just kind of in the mood for those right now.

Obviously with the movie coming out, I feel like it is the perfect time to read A Wrinkle in Time. I think I read it when I was much younger so I don’t really remember the book, but the movie trailers look great so I’m going to enjoy reading this.

Speaking of book to movie adaptations, I have never read Howl’s Moving Castle, but I saw the movie in college and I remember it being really interesting. Well, since my fiance and I recently bought a few Studio Ghibli films, including Howl’s, now seems like the time to read it, finally.

I read Stardust during a previous readathon, and I have been wanting to read more Neil Gaiman (aside from the Sandman comics that I absolutely loved), and with The Graveyard Book also being a Middle Grade, it will work for the readathon as well as Middle Grade March.

The Waking Land is a fantasy book I heard about last year in a B&N article about upcoming fantasy releases and it sounded really interesting, but I just now got around to adding it to my library. With the sequel coming out later this year, this will be a good time to read it.

I’m trying to reread the books in the Paper Magician series in anticipation of the upcoming release of the fourth book, so it is time to read the second one, The Master Magician. These are shorter books, so they are perfect for readathons.

I saw The Lost Rainforest in my local grocery store and it sounded so cute that I could not help but pick up a copy.

Now York is a book that came in I believe an OwlCrate Jr box last year, so I saw a bunch of BookTubers talking about it, and the concept just sounded so interesting that I went and bought my own copy.

Finally is new release Reign the Earth and I have been excited about it since I learned about the book last year at BookExpo.

So I do believe that is all for today, and I will definitely have a readathon wrap up.

Book Review, Books!, Diverse December, Inspiration, Reading Challenge, Signal Boost

Review: The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Hey all, Dani here.

So the book I’m reviewing today is one I read back in December as part of Diverse December, and it was such a powerful read, especially as it is a true story. I was sold on the book based on the title, then the cover, and finally the summary. Because it is so easy to get me to read books if it is about libraries or bookstores, etc.

Anyway, let’s just jump into the review.

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Summary

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

As I mentioned before, the title of this book caught my interest, and the summary drew me in even more. I appreciate stories like this, and getting to learn more about some of the experiences of those who lived through the Holocaust is something I consider to be important.

To read about Dita, who risked her life to protect just a few well used and battered books was nothing short of inspirational to me. It is also worthwhile to note that the author of this book actually had the opportunity to sit down with the real Dita and hear her tell her story, and to get details to help expand the story that he was writing. I appreciate that there was so much attention to detail, and I honestly feel like I am getting a story that is more like a biography in a partially fictional format.

Honestly the only reason I marked the rating down a little bit is because I think the book’s writing felt a bit distanced, but that is likely because it is a translated text. It is still a worthwhile read, and I definitely recommend it to those who enjoy historical reads as well as those who appreciate books about books.

Where to Buy

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