Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Bookmarks

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is:
Favorite Bookmarks

I LOVE collecting bookmarks, probably as much as I love adding books to my shelves, lol! And just like choosing my favorite books, it was also tough to choose my favorite bookmarks. Quite a few of them, like the Lisa Simpson bookmark in the photo below, have grown in sentimental value over the years because I've had them for so long. Often I'll try to find bookmarks of my favorite characters, and not just from books, but from movies and TV, too, as you'll also see from the photo. :D

1. The Millennium Falcon
A Star Wars bookmark is an absolute must have for this fangirl.

2. The Avengers
This bookmark was a tie-in for Endgame. It's currently holding my place in Neal Shusterman's Scythe.

3. The Raven Cycle
I got these adorable bookmarks of the characters from Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Cycle from Happy Hello.

4. Lisa Simpson
I've been a Simpsons fan from the beginning, and I love the inspirational quote on this bookmark.

5. YALLFest
I just picked this up over the weekend during YALLFest 2019, and this bookmark features this year's artwork for the festival.

6. Ron Weasley
How cute is this bookmark of Ron?!

7. Keep Calm and Read On
What I tell myself all the time. :D

8. Dumbledore
I know I included two Harry Potter-themed bookmarks, but this is my favorite Dumbledore quote and one of my favorite quotes from the whole series.

9. The Infernal Devices
Another set from Happy Hello, featuring Will, Jem, and Tessa.

10. New York
I got this at The Cloisters museum a few years ago during a trip to New York to always remember my hometown. ♥

What are your favorite bookmarks?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Book Loot (38)

Yikes—it's another Book Loot post already! I've dubbed this my Pre-YALLFest Haul because I'm taking some of these to hopefully get signed at YALLFest in Charleston this weekend. :D

I'm about halfway through Neal Shusterman's Scythe, and all I can say is: why didn't I read this book, or any of Neal Shusterman's books, sooner?! It's definitely going to be one of my 2019 favorites.

What books have you added to your shelves lately?


Won:

Angel Mage by Garth Nix
Much thanks to Epic Reads!

Bought:

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
Reveal Me by Tahereh Mafi

Thursday, October 31, 2019

October 2019 Recap

Wow! There's actually a recap this month because . . . there's some stuff to recap, lol!

Last week I got to see the touring production of Les Misérables at the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando. I first saw the show about 20 years ago on Broadway when I was living in New York. I'm a bit of a Les Miz nerd, lol; I've watched the anniversary concerts and the movie adaptation of the musical with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway more than a few times. ;) When I found out that the current tour was making a stop in Orlando, I jumped at the opportunity to see the show again.

I admit that I got chills when the orchestra began playing the opening notes! This was a wonderful production; everything from the performances to the sets was amazing! If you're a Les Miz fan and have the chance to catch this tour, don't miss it!

On the bookish side, I read 2 books this month, and both were 4 star reads. I'm trying to keep that momentum going and am currently reading Neal Shusterman's Scythe, which has been very, very good so far.

Yesterday the temperature here in Florida was 90 and felt like 97. Um, hello? Tomorrow's November? We're hoping to finally experience some sweater weather when we head to Charleston next week for YALLFest.

How was your October?

Reviews Posted:

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Spookiest Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

It's a Halloween Freebie this week, so I've made a list of the spookiest books I've read. My list is actually a little short because I'm such a wimp when it comes to reading horror or anything close to it, lol.

1. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


It's a really good thing that the protagonist, Cas, is hilariously snarky because this is one scary book, and I probably would've been too much of a chicken to read it otherwise.

2. The Diviners by Libba Bray


I do most of my reading at night, and when I read this, I couldn't go to sleep right away because I was afraid of having nightmares from it, lol.

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling


The scene where Harry and Dumbledore fight the Inferi creeps me out more than anything else in the series, including any scene with Voldemort.

4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson


This falls under mystery, but the sense of foreboding that pervades the book is as chill-inducing as a horror story.

5. Sabriel by Garth Nix


The title character is a necromancer, and although she's a heroine, this book is still filled with plenty of scary moments.

6. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff


This novel about a changeling features some very creepy supernatural beings.

7. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson


Another Maureen Johnson title, this one about a Jack the Ripper copycat terrorizing modern day London. The paranormal element gives the book an eerie twist.

What are some of the scariest books you've read?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)
By Jenny Han
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster BFYR
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Lara Jean’s life is about to change in some big ways—the start of a new school year and the departure of her beloved older sister for college abroad in Scotland. Nothing can prepare Lara Jean, however, for the horror of seeing the secret letters she’s written to every boy she’s loved somehow mailed out to the recipients. In an equally bizarre twist, Lara Jean finds herself pretending to be the girlfriend of one of the addressees, Peter Kavinsky. At first she thinks she’s long over him, but as their supposedly fake relationship continues, Lara Jean realizes that she just might want it to be real.

Review: Once again, I’m way behind the curve in reading a massively popular book, in this case Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. This book had been on my radar even before the release of the equally popular Netflix adaptation, in part thanks to the gorgeous cover. I don’t read much contemporary and so didn’t make this much of a priority read until Twitter exploded with all the love for the film. And then it still took me a while to finally read the book.

Seeing all of that love for the movie on social media made me feel like I already knew Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky before reading a single page. It took reading maybe five pages to fall in love with MC Lara Jean’s narrative voice. It was instantly engaging, and I also loved the immediate sense of closeness between her and her sisters. When the novel opens, eldest sister Margot is preparing to head off to college in Scotland, leaving Lara Jean to step up to being a mother figure for their younger sister, Kitty. Margot took on the role of looking after her sisters and their father a few years before after the death of their mother. Taking on more family responsibilities, having her sister in another country, and starting a new school year end up being the least of Lara Jean’s worries, though, when something unthinkable happens. The letters she’s written to every boy she’s loved and keeps hidden in a hatbox her mother gave her somehow get mailed to each boy.

Enter Peter Kavinsky, a past love of Lara Jean’s and therefore the recipient of one of her letters. In order to do damage control with another letter recipient, Lara Jean enters into a pact with Peter to fake being a couple, an arrangement that benefits Peter, too. At first Lara Jean finds him to be true to his reputation around school—arrogant, egotistical, and the kind of guy who eats the last slice of pizza. Peter is also pretty unfiltered and unapologetic about it, which may not appeal to everyone, but which I often found hilarious.

Part of Lara Jean’s growth in the novel is discovering that there’s more to Peter K.’s handsome face and too-cool-to-care attitude. He does, in fact, care about a lot of things. I thought that Lara Jean’s character development was well done. She can be petty and even mean at times and makes some less than wise decisions, but she has the self-awareness to call herself out.

I was very much enjoying this book until the end. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with how things were left. I’m not into Hallmark Channel Christmas movie-perfect endings, but I felt this one could have some more closure, even if it is the first book in a series. On the upside, now I absolutely have to read the sequel to see if my questions are answered.

All in All: I typically don’t go for contemporary YA romance, but this was a sweet, winning read. Perfect if you love breezy novels like Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)
By Maureen Johnson
Publisher:
Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: True crime buff Stevie Bell has been admitted to Ellingham Academy, an ultra-exclusive school with a tragic history. Its namesake and founder, Albert Ellingham, was a wealthy industrialist whose wife and daughter were kidnapped. Although someone was arrested and convicted of the crime, Steve doubts his guilt. So she’s at Ellingham to solve the case and finally discover the real identity of Truly Devious, the author of a threatening letter that Albert Ellingham received shortly before his family was taken. Soon, however, Stevie finds herself with two possible cases to investigate when another death occurs at Ellingham Academy and the clues increasingly point towards murder.

Review: Having very much enjoyed Maureen Johnson’s Shades of London books, I was eager to check out Truly Devious, the first novel in a new series. I’m not a huge mystery reader, but after finishing this expertly plotted book, I have a new appreciation for the genre.

Truly Devious follows Stephanie “Stevie” Bell, a true crime fan who is about to begin her first year at the super exclusive Ellingham Academy, a private school that was once the scene of an infamous crime: the kidnapping of the wife and daughter of the school’s wealthy founder, Albert Ellingham. While an arrest was made and the case seemingly closed, Stevie is among those who do not believe that the authorities found the actual Truly Devious, the author of a threatening letter that Ellingham received days before the abduction of his family. Stevie arrives at the school ready to solve the case and uncover the real identity of Truly Devious.

The book shifts between the present, where Stevie’s story takes place, and the past, where we witness firsthand, sometimes in agonizing detail, Albert Ellingham’s life unravel from the moment he receives the terrifying phone call that his wife and daughter have been taken. Johnson intertwines the two timelines brilliantly. Both Stevie’s sleuthing, which is the real thing and not amateurish at all, and the backstory behind her whole reason for applying to Ellingham Academy in the first place are equally compelling. If the entire book had been set during Albert Ellingham’s time, I still would have read it.

As much as Stevie is driven to solve the Ellingham case, she also finds herself dealing with adjusting to a new school that her parents don’t exactly approve of as well as managing her anxiety. The latter was something that I could absolutely relate to, and I thought it was portrayed very realistically.

Another layer is added to the plot when death strikes Ellingham Academy again, and Stevie starts to suspect that it wasn’t accidental. As she tries to piece together the full picture of the victim’s life, both Stevie and the reader learn that not everything is at it appears with her classmates. I love how the tension and suspense build around both cases. Who’s responsible for this latest death? Could one of Stevie’s own classmates be the culprit? Who was really behind the kidnapping of Iris and Alice Ellingham back in the 1930s? Could the two crimes possibly be related?

The answers to these questions are not fully resolved by the end of Truly Devious. I wasn’t disappointed by this, however. Quite the opposite—I liked that there were no easy solutions wrapped up in a bow here. One minor thing that I wasn’t so keen on was the romance. It felt rushed, and I wasn’t as invested in it as I was in seeing all of Ellingham Academy’s dark secrets revealed. I’m definitely hooked on this series now and can’t wait to dive into the sequel, even if it only deepens the mysteries surrounding this seemingly unfortunate school.

All in All: An absorbing mystery/thriller with just the right amount of suspense. You can really feel the ominous shadow of Truly Devious that hangs over Ellingham Academy. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Book Loot (37)

Hello, friends! So I've been amassing books again, lol. Some of these, like The Rise of Kyoshi and Reticence, were pre-orders that I had been eagerly waiting for, and I also had a Barnes and Noble gift card that I finally put to good use.

I had to show off the absolutely stunning cover for The Ten Thousand Doors of January. It's even prettier in person!

What books have you added to your shelves lately? Have you read any of these?


Bought:

Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee
The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee
Reticence by Gail Carriger
Cruel to Be Kind: The Life and Music of Nick Lowe by Will Birch
The Institute by Stephen King
A King's Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Monday, September 16, 2019

Review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1)
By Victoria Schwab
Publisher:
Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: Cassidy Blake’s parents may write books about ghosts for a living, but for Cass, ghosts are all too real. After being saved from drowning by a ghost named Jacob, who becomes her best friend, Cassidy can step into the Veil, the curtain between the living and the dead. When her parents are given the opportunity to film a TV show about haunted places around the world, the family packs their bags for Edinburgh, Scotland, where Cassidy is about to discover that not all ghosts are friendly like Jacob.

Review: Victoria Schwab has become an auto-buy author for me, so of course I had to check out her middle grade novel, City of Ghosts. In it we meet Cassidy Blake, a girl whose near-death experience has given her the ability to cross into the Veil, the barrier between the worlds of the living and the dead. Cass’s best friend is Jacob, a snarky, comic book-loving ghost who saved Cass from drowning. Cass and Jacob’s friendship was definitely the highlight of the novel for me; I loved the banter between them.

Overall, though, I’m bummed to say that I just wasn’t feeling this book. While I loved the concept and the wonderful, thoroughly detailed descriptions of Edinburgh, the story itself seemed to be missing something. As spooky as some of Cass and Jacob’s forays into the Veil are, the sense of danger doesn’t feel all that palpable.

I also thought that the book took a while to get going, and even then, the plot is pretty straightforward. I think I expected more suspense and tension build-up given that this is a story about ghosts. I realize that this is middle grade, but I felt there was still room to add more layers to the plot and to the characters.

Perhaps I’m too used to the complicated characters of Schwab’s adult novels to fully appreciate City of Ghosts. This one fell a bit short for me, but I do think that the book offers plenty of chills to thrill younger readers who will enjoy watching Cassidy and Jacob grow as characters as they continue their ghostly adventures together.

All in All: Sadly, I didn’t love this as much as I’d hoped despite some snappy dialogue and an immersive setting. The plot was a tad thin for me to really get into the story. Middle grade readers, however, will very likely find City of Ghosts to be a promising start to the series.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Review: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

Vengeful (Villains #2)
By V.E. Schwab
Publisher:
Tor
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

To Sum It Up: It’s been five years since ExtraOrdinaries Victor Vale and Eli Ever faced off, with Victor seemingly killed and Eli captured. With the help of another EO, however, Victor is alive, though not well and deteriorating at an alarming rate. Meanwhile back in Merit, once the scene of Victor and Eli’s showdown, a new EO named Marcella Riggins is literally using her bare hands to destroy anyone who stands in her way of taking control of the city. Marcella’s power is so formidable that it may take turning to the currently imprisoned Eli for help in stopping her.

Review: I finally read Vengeful, the highly anticipated sequel to Vicious, one of the best stories about morally ambiguous characters EVER. I’d say THE BEST that I’ve ever read. And everyone continues to walk a fine line between good and evil in Vengeful.

Once again, Victoria Schwab jumps back and forth between the present and the past to unreel her narrative. Five years have passed since Victor and Eli met for what appeared to be the final time. Eli is now the prisoner of EON, an organization headed by Joseph Stell, the former detective who locked Victor up. Stell thinks that EOs might be rehabilitated into using their abilities for something other than wrongdoing. Eli, who once hunted EOs down and killed them in his belief that they were abominations, finds this notion preposterous and insists to Stell that heroes are not in an EO’s nature. When a new EO named Marcella Riggins threatens to destroy Merit in her quest for power, Stell reluctantly realizes that his best hope for stopping Marcella may be Eli Cardale. Watching Stell and Eli try to stay one step ahead of each other is absolutely riveting.

We also get some significant backstory for Eli that details the development of that carefully calculated veneer. I love how Schwab constantly challenges the reader, both in Vicious and in Vengeful, to rethink their views of the characters by making them so complex. You can’t help but wonder what Eli’s life would have been like if he’d had a different childhood, if he hadn’t ended up at Lockland University, and/or if he hadn’t met Victor Vale.

As for Victor, we discover that Sydney’s EO ability to bring back the dead isn’t without consequences, and Victor’s time to find a permanent fix for his problem is running out. Here again this series questions the definitions of good and evil as Victor takes lives in in order to try and save his own. As much as you may want him to survive, you’ll probably also ask, but at what cost?

While Vengeful is still Victor and Eli’s story, new EO Marcella Riggins commands an equally powerful presence on the page. After her mobster husband Marcus’s failed attempt to kill her, Marcella wakes up in the hospital with the ability to reduce whatever she touches to dust and ashes. She also awakens, understandably, in a murderous mood towards Marcus. What begins as a thirst for revenge quickly escalates into an insatiable hunger for power. She teams up with two other EOs—Jonathan, who can shield himself as well as extend the shield to another person, and the mysterious June, who can take on someone else’s appearance—with a very interesting twist. Alone, Marcella and her destructive touch are formidable, but working with June and Jonathan, she seems unstoppable. Marcella puts the “Extra” in “ExtraOrdinary,” reveling in making a spectacle of everything she does. I do think her grandstanding slowed down the book’s pacing at times, making Vengeful not quite the feverish page turner that Vicious was.

Overall, though, Vengeful is a not to be missed sequel. Once again, Victoria Schwab takes the superhero story and flips it every way imaginable, creating an unpredictable, deliciously twisted tale that you won’t easily forget.

All in All: Although Vicious just edges this out as my favorite book in the duology, Vengeful is certainly not a sidekick of a sequel. These are some of the best flawed characters ever—perfectly imperfect and incredibly compelling to read about.

Monday, August 5, 2019

July 2019 Recap

Happy August, everyone! Hope you're all enjoying summer! It's been an extremely hot summer even for Florida, as evidenced by the monthly horror story I call my electric bill. :( Ah, well—at least we have air conditioning to stay cool.

I really slacked off in July, only reading 2 books and posting 1 review. :( I did finally get around to reading Victoria Schwab's Vengeful, which I was determined to cross off my 2019 TBR. Although I read consistently (I LOVE having a daily reading tracker in my bullet journal), most days I only got in a few pages either before work or late in the evening. Noticing this pattern has really made me think about how I spend my time and if there are any things in my daily routine that really aren't that high priority and which can be swapped out a few times a week for some extra reading and blogging.

I also lost the past week to a whopper of a cold that made it difficult to do very much other than sneeze, blow my nose, and sleep. I can usually fight this kind of thing off in a day or two, but I think I was really run down this time. I'm finally feeling like myself again and trying to get back on track with reading and blogging.

Have you read anything good lately? How has your summer been going?

Reviews Posted:

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Book Loot (36)

I don't know about you guys, but I have a hard time not tapping that 1-click button whenever the Kindle edition of a book that I really want to read goes on sale for a really good price, lol. That's how I arrived at this Book Loot post, with my mini, mostly eBook haul, lol.

Last month I also received my pre-order of the latest Shadowhunter short story collection, Ghosts of the Shadow Market. I also picked up this nifty Avengers: Endgame bookmark. I figured if they can save the world after The Snap/Blip, my place in my book should be in good hands haha.


Bought:

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link, & Robin Wasserman
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Here's to You, Rachel Robinson by Judy Blume
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
Time and Chance by Sharon Kay Penman
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Have you read any of these? I'd love to hear what you thought of them!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Review: The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta

The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta
The Place on Dalhousie
By Melina Marchetta
Publisher:
Ivy Press
Format: eBook
Source: Borrowed

To Sum It Up: Rosie Gennaro and Jimmy Hailler meet during a flood in Queensland, and their brief time together forever changes both their lives. Two years later, Rosie has moved back to Sydney and into the house on Dalhousie Street that her father, Seb, was supposed to renovate for her and her mother, Loredana. Now it’s Rosie’s stepmother, Martha, who occupies that house and whom Rosie has never accepted because Martha and Seb married less than a year after Loredana lost her battle with cancer. Meanwhile, Jimmy has also returned to Sydney and back among the school friends who are like family to him. He’s never been this close to having a family to call his own, though, and it’s Rosie who may be able to help him finally find one.

Review: First, let me say how absolutely wonderful it was to read one of the magnificent Melina Marchetta’s books again. Second, let me say that if you haven’t read any of her books, you need to fix that immediately because you’re missing out on sheer brilliance.

It’s been almost five years since I last read a Marchetta book, and that book was, fittingly, The Piper’s Son, one of two companion novels to The Place on Dalhousie. We first met Jimmy Hailler, one of the latter’s protagonists, back in the equally superb Saving Francesca. Two books later, we still didn’t know what happened to Jimmy, and finally, finally, finally, Marchetta has given us the answer. It turns out that Jimmy has been looking for his family, and this book sees him presented with the chance to truly have one that’s all his, though maybe not in the way he expected.

The Place on Dalhousie also tells the story of Rosie Gennaro, whom Jimmy meets amidst a flood in Queensland. Like Jimmy, Rosie originally hails from Sydney, where too many painful memories drove her to leave. Two years after their short time together in Queensland, Rosie finds herself back in Sydney and back in the titular place on Dalhousie Street. It’s the house her father, Seb, was going to restore for his family. Rosie’s definition of family was never meant to include her stepmother, Martha, whom Seb married eleven months after Rosie lost her mother, Loredana, to cancer. Martha lives downstairs and is considering selling the house, which infuriates Rosie even though Martha has offered to split the money from the sale with her. In Rosie’s mind, Martha has zero right to the home that was supposed to belong to Rosie, Seb, and Loredana. Selling it means losing another part of her parents.

At its core, The Place on Dalhousie is a story about family. Rosie, Jimmy, and Martha all learn that family isn’t limited to one’s parents or siblings but also includes friends and even the family of those friends. Watching the extended family in this book grow and grow as they laugh, fight, and cry together is sure to melt your heart because Marchetta’s writing makes you so invested in these characters’ lives, whether it’s Rosie or Jimmy or Martha or Rosie’s formidable grandmother Eugenia or Martha’s sort-of-boyfriend Ewan’s father, John. And don’t even get me started on how emotional I got whenever the name of a member of the St. Sebastian’s crew from Saving Francesca, where it all began, popped up.

I knew as soon as this book had referenced Game of Thrones and Elvis Costello by the end of Chapter 3 that this was going to be an amazing read. I wasn’t wrong. Sometimes reading a book is like viewing a pleasing landscape painting. You enjoy it in the moment, but it’s not especially memorable. Then you read a book like The Place on Dalhousie in which the characters have been created with the detail of a Renaissance masterpiece that lingers in your mind long after you’ve had the privilege of viewing it. The latter experience is what reading a Melina Marchetta book is like—expert storytelling and unforgettable characters.

All in All: Another stellar novel from Melina Marchetta. While I think you can skate by reading this as a standalone, I highly, highly recommend reading Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son beforehand to get the most out of The Place on Dalhousie. After reading this, I wanted to reread the previous two companion books to relive their brilliance all over again.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topic is:
Childhood Favorites

This was a really fun topic to do! Once I started thinking about the books I loved as a kid, I ended up with more than 10 and had to narrow down my list, lol. I also had a lot of fun looking at the retro book covers, especially the ones from the 80s!

1. Just As Long As We're Together by Judy Blume


This is one of my all-time favorite books. I was about the same age as the characters when I first read it, and they were so relatable. I still have my copy, and it's well-worn from having been read so many times.

2. Sweet Valley Twins by Francine Pascal


I was kinda late to the Sweet Valley party, but once I started reading these, I couldn't get enough. Whenever I got some new SV books to read, I'd have one almost completely finished on the car ride home from the bookstore, lol.

3. Sixth Grade Secrets by Louis Sachar


I was in sixth grade when I read this, lol, and I tried, rather unsuccessfully, getting some of my classmates to read it because I thought it was such a cool book.

4. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder


The Little House books were another childhood reading staple, and this was my favorite out of all of them. I also loved watching the TV series.

5. Stage Fright by Ann M. Martin


I never read The Baby-Sitters Club, but I did really enjoy this Ann M. Martin book. I borrowed it from the library and was bummed when I wanted to reread it and could no longer find it on the shelves. I only remembered the title, not the author, and almost 25 years later, I found it on Goodreads and finally learned who the author was!

6. Say Cheese by Patricia Reilly Giff


I'm not a huge fan of this version of the cover, but I still love this book. This was part of a series, and sadly I only got to read about three of the books.

7. Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol


I LOVED seeing Encylopedia Brown pull a bunch of seemingly random clues together to solve the case. Every time.

8. The Berenstain Bears by Stan & Jan Berenstain


Another series that I loved! I think my mom was trying to give me some not-so-subtle hints when she read The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room to me, lol.

9. Richard Scarry's Great Big Schoolhouse by Richard Scarry


I borrowed this book from the library so often that my parents got it for me for Christmas so I could reread it as many times as I wanted, lol.

10. The Secret of NIMH by Seymour Reit


This is the graphic novel-esque adaptation of the movie. I got my copy through a school book club order, and it was another bedtime reading favorite, which is a little weird now that I think about it considering that the story is quite dark at times.

What are your favorite childhood reads?

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