7-12, Books, Children, YA (Young Adult)

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud Review

Another of the backlist reviews, this time a book that I read out loud to my best friend.  We both happen to be adults, and we both happened to really enjoy this book.  We had many a giggle and fell a little bit in love with the banter found within.

Series Title: Lockwood & Co.
Book Title and #: The Screaming Staircase #1
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Page #: 381
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Middle-Grade, Ghost Story

Adult, Books, Comics, Musings, YA (Young Adult)

Summer Reading Wrap Up

So it has been a while since I have wrapped up the books I have read.  Not only has it been difficult for Gretchen and I to get together all summer for various reasons (time conflicts, mental health, internet being actual butts) so you weren’t getting weekly wrap ups in any way but I have been completely nonexistent on the blog.  Which we all know I am attempting to change here and now… hopefully forever, but no promises.

In any case I am going to try and talk a bit about all of the books I have read in June, July, and August.

This was the first book for book club this season so there is a full discussion on it here!  I loved this.  I still feel that way.  It did seem to check all of the boxes of things that Michaela would like though.  So if you feel very strongly that we are akin then definitely check this out.


This was an ARC review I did back in June.  It wasn’t my favorite book I’ve read this year but I definitely did enjoy it.  I had heard of Lisa Jewell as an author and this was my first of hers.  I think that I will look into some of her other work.  She is a bit more commercial than I usually go for but not bad by any means.

The second book club book was Gretchen’s pick and I was super not a fan.  That could have been due to the fact that I was super ill at the time of reading it but I kind of hated it.

Next we kicked off the second season of Nostalgia Junkie.  Unfortunately the unanimous decision on this was that we weren’t super huge fans.  It may be that we just aren’t the target audience but we all had issues with it.

Taylor’s pick for the first round of book club was a debut and we all really liked it.  It was surprising because it takes a really good book to win all three of us over.  This one did it so you should definitely check that out!

Gretchen and I read Nimona together and we did a video review of it for you guys.  It was super cute and sweet and we completely understood why so many people loved it.  I have followed Noelle Stevenson for a while and new she is a cookie to pay attention to in comics.  Watch her.  She will do great things.

I started the second round of summer book club picks with Middlesex.  Taylor was the one who liked this book the most, Gretchen and I had a bit of an issue with the way it was laid out. You should watch the whole discussion to find out more.

I have to say that I do so love Patton Oswalt.  I haven’t spoken about this anywhere else.  It was a pick for my pop sugar challenge and I listened to it on audio, read by the man himself.  It is always great to listen to autobiographical works when written by the author and especially so when he is as awkward and nerdy as you.

Now we find ourselves in the books I read for booktubeathon.  This was my pick for the book I would only read at night.  I both read the physical edition and listened to parts on audio.  I actually wound up enjoying it more than I thought I would.  It also fulfilled the requirement of a book that is more than 100 years older than me for the Pop Sugar challenge.

This was listened to entirely on audio.  I was conflicted with this.  I was expecting a bit of a funnier story from Steve Martin.  That isn’t to say I wasn’t a fan of his writing style, it just caught me off guard.  It was about a community that I haven’t spent much time learning about so I did enjoy that aspect of it.

This one will be featured in an upcoming post so look out for that.  It was a book with yellow on the cover and a book I learned about from booktube.  I ended up really enjoying this one though it took me a while to decide that.  It was definitely one the the end justified the rest of the book for me.  I like what it was saying politically.

This was both Taylor and my own book to movie adaptation and we both came out of it feeling like … welp that was a mess.  I think it was meant to be a mess.  It was really entertaining but all over the place.  We both enjoyed it but were mildly disoriented by the experience.  Which I think is apt.

I reviewed this one on the blog yesterday actually!  So here we have an interesting new comic coming from Image.  We all know how much I love Image.  If you like robots and stories that ask what it means to be human then definitely give this one a go.

Gretchen and I did a discussion of this one but the audio ended up being a bit borked.  Over all I enjoyed the experience.  It read a bit like fanfiction but it was nice to dip back into a world that I loved as a child.  I am curious to see if watching it as a play would be better than reading it if I ever get a chance to do so.

David Wong is a comic god.  Well, he is.  This one isn’t my favorite of his works but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book and he isn’t a good writer.  I loved hearing from a female protagonist it did change the way the story progressed for me.  If you like science fiction and laughing, give this one a go.

There will be a future review of this one on the blog as well.  Gretchen and I have already filmed it, it just needs to make its way out into the world.  We enjoyed listening to the audio book but we didn’t feel like it ended up doing for us what it was trying to. It was a delight to listen to though so there is that.

This book is most likely going to be in my top 10 books of the year.  It honestly blew me away.  It will also be featured in an upcoming review.  I went into this book skeptical and came out just amazed.  She was able to do so much and so well.  I loved it.  A must read in my opinion.

This was a comic that I picked up based on Taylor’s recommendation.  He had really enjoyed it or had heard good things about it, I am not certain which at this point but I picked it up.  It wasn’t my favorite comic but it did go somewhere entirely unexpected and I give it props for that.

And now we reach the last book I read in August which happens to be Gretchen’s pick for the second round of book club.  This showed up on the blog earlier this week so you can find our discussion of it there.  I enjoyed it, even if much of that video is us picking apart the book.  Sometimes you just have to say, it was a fun experience.

Apparently I have read 19 books in the last three months… which honestly amazes me since I have been struggling to read.  A lot of them were audio books and a good chunk were thanks to the booktubeathon but hey they were things that I read.  I have been reading more in the last couple weeks so the hope is that I am feeling safer in myself again and will be able to read a whole bunch more and talk about it with you guys.  That is the hope anyway.

As far as my reading challenges go:

Goodreads: 66/50 surpassed!
Pop Sugar: 27/40 (13 left I think I can do it!)

How are you guys doing after the summer?  Are you excited for fall.  It is my favorite season and I am in the mood for all of the Horror books!  I need a bunch of cider and pumpkin bread and some crisp fall air and I will be a happy girl.

Talk to you guys tomorrow!

Adult, Books

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt Book Review

This was one of my top 5 most anticipated reads of the first half of the year.  I was lucky enough to get it from my library in January and finished it right as the month came to its end.  I wanted to talk about why I enjoyed the writing of this.  It definitely stood up to the blurb which likened it to Kelly Link.

Title: Mr. Splitfoot
Author: Samantha Hunt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Page #: 336
Genre: Mystery, Magical Realism

This review was short and sweet so if you have any questions or you read the book and enjoyed it and want to talk with me about it I would gladly do so!

I will be back on Sunday with the weekly wrap up as always!  Have a lovely weekend guys!

Adult, Books

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan Review

Book review, book review, I actually have a book review!

Let’s go!

Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Page#: 304
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Secret Society

While this doesn’t really have anything to do with The Martian Chronicles (which was our book club pick of the week: watch that here) other than perhaps a near future setting and my utter adoration of the text, I really wanted to talk about this book.

If you follow me on twitter (which you should because I’m delightful: here) then you probably saw two weeks ago when I spazzed out into the wee hours of the morning throwing up quotes from this beauty (two of which were liked by two different Reddit twitters despite having no hash-tags … they watch us all!).  I am finally ready to tell you exactly what I thought about this book.

Before I get started … let’s set the mood:

I’m sitting here sipping a steaming cup of Chai tea and eating a bowl of leftover bibimbap.  I have an hour until this post is scheduled to go up.  I have finished two other books in the past week that aren’t related to book club and am making my way through the book club book with record speeds.  I am, for all intents and purposes, in a really good mood.  I am going to blame this on my excitement over this book.

If you were to ask me what I thought about this book if you found me wandering around some book store.  The only thing I would think to say is: I love it, you should read it right away.  I will say the same to you here and now.

I love it, you should read it right away!

People often talk about certain genres of music or a specific film as the zeitgeist of a time.  I honestly feel that this book is the zeitgeist for myself and my particular group of friends as we are right now.  This book perfectly captures our perspective.  That is the perspective of nerds, and English nerds at that, in the age of electronics.  The main character played what would be considered the alt universe version of dungeons and dragons, a pass time that create a very specific perspective.  Not only did he make references that would make my heart squee and had a bunch of fantasy names that were so comically bad they could only have been thought up by dungeons and dragons nerds but it referenced what we as a generation have to look forward to.

Half of this book was discovering what was going down in an extremely eclectic book shop tucked away in San Francisco and half of this book was discussing whether the movement toward a Google-oriented (dare I say addicted or enraptured) world (one where people read on e-readers instead of books and use computers to solve problems that would have taken months or years to do only thirty or forty years earlier) is detrimental to the book industry.  It even touched on the way that conglomerates seem to rise and stamp out all the little businesses but how they too are not infallible.

It is more than just a book around a mystery.  It happens to be a mystery that every fantasy video game nerd or late night D&Der would cream their jeans over, but it is more than that if you care to think a little.

It is written in a way that I could have sworn some of the prose was stolen from my own mouth when talking to one of my friends.  This was unsettling at first, but it also made it seem like the characters in the book could be sitting at the table with me on Friday night.  It made us old friends quickly and I was ensnared.

I read the whole novel in one sitting, forgoing sleep, despite having work the next day.  It felt amazing.

This book in one night made its way into my top five books of all time.  It may not have made me think as hard as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which still holds the top spot, but it is up there.

It is beautiful.

I love it.

You should read it right away.


Now normally this is the point where I say that we will be reading John Dies at the End for next Tuesday, but since Gretchen is leaving for England on Wednesday, it may be a week or two before we get to it.  We may end up doing it without her, but with Rachel’s recent hiatus it would be Taylor and I alone … I have a few friends on retainer who have either read it or will try to read it in order to join us.  Just watch out.  Remember when I linked my twitter up at the top of the post?  No?  Well I did, and that is probably the best place to find out what is going on if you care to know.  Woo!

If we do have to post pone, like I said, I’ve read a lot this past week and have plenty to fill you in with in the time being.  Assuming I get to writing reviews for them. *nervous laughter*

I hope you guys have a great weekend.  I will see you on Sunday (for some K-Pop SPAM)!