quick Reams of Rereads update!

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So far I’ve read the Lunar Chronicles (minus Fairest and Stars Above) and To Tame a Land.  The books were all good but they weren’t as good as I remembered and it’s really disappointing.  It’s like I remembered stuff about them differently and it wasn’t as awesome when I actually read them. *sigh*  I was actually about to give up on Winter because it was so long and boring but I stuck it out and actually liked it the best, so that’s good.

I haven’t been able to stay away from new-to-me books, though.  I read Thief of Corinth and The Last Battle and really enjoyed them.  I’m currently reading a book on writing that I’ve never read before.  And I reread a book that wasn’t on my official challenge list – The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. (I wanted to read it again because I recently watched the movie for the first time and the book got bumped from three to four stars on Goodreads because Lewis’ writing style is incomparable and EDMUND and yessss.)

Overall, the challenge is going pretty well.  I think I’ll read Mockingjay next.

How are your rereads going?



the outsiders read-along: chapter 11

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Another very short, sad chapter, but I have some thoughts and favorite quotes and discussion questions this time.  Yay?

Honestly, nothing much happens in this chapter besides Ponyboy ruminating about Bob and Randy showing up for a quick chat.  I think it really goes to show what a great person Ponyboy is that, even though he’s reeling from Dally and Johnny’s deaths, he’s still trying to understand Bob.  Still trying to figure out what he was really like.  Ponyboy goes beyond blind prejudice and tries to see who people are on the inside as well as the outside.  Kind of reminds me of Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird.

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Then when Randy comes over, at first Ponyboy’s cracking jokes and being all cheerful and everything…he’s trying to escape from realities.  Realities like him and Soda and Darry having to go before a judge to see if they’ll be separated.  Realities like Johnny and Dally.  And he takes that one step farther because he ends up convincing himself that he killed Bob and Johnny’s not really dead.  It’s wrenching to read, really.

But at the end of the chapter you get a lighthearted interaction between him and Darry that actually manages to make me smile.  It’s a nice moment in the middle of a bunch of sad ones.

Quotes I like:

I’m not the kind that can lie around looking at the ceiling all the time. (p. 161)

…nobody ever looks a whole lot like his picture in a yearbook anyway. (p. 161)

A Soc, even, worried because some kid greaser was on his way to a foster home or something.  That was really funny.  I don’t mean funny.  You know what I mean. (p. 165)

Discussion questions!

-On page 162, Ponyboy says, “I’d rather have anybody’s hate than their pity”.  Which would you rather have?

-Why do you think Ponyboy doesn’t care less what Randy thinks of his house?


the bibliophile sweater tag

Hamlette opened up this tag for anyone who wanted to join in the fun and since I love tags, here we are!


Give the person who tagged you an endless supply of cookies.  (Well, I wasn’t exactly tagged and cookies would probably be ruined if I mailed them to Hamlette, so yeah.)

Answer the questions and use the tag graphic.

Pass along the tag. (If the last book you read had a character whose name started with ‘E’, consider yourself tagged!)

Wear a sweater.  (I’m all comfy in my chair and I don’t want to get up and grab a sweater.  I am wearing layers, so I guess that kinda counts.)

Fuzzy Sweater — The Epitome of Comfort

Anything by Lynn Austin or Lucy Maud Montgomery.  Both those authors write beautiful, cozy books and every time I read one of them it’s honestly like slipping into a worn, comfy sweater.

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Striped Sweater — A Book You Devoured Every Line Of

Room.  I couldn’t stop reading it.  So intense and engrossing.

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Ugly Christmas Sweater — Book with a Weird Cover


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There are so many things wrong with this cover.  I can’t even.  The cigarette!  The tag-line!  The fact that it’s Colin Firth on the cover but it’s NOT a movie tie-in, just a weird pulp classic edition!  Darcy’s weeeeird complexion!  UGGGGH.  And the cover isn’t a parody – I’ve seen this edition in a thrift store and it’s completely legit.

Cashmere Sweater — Most-Expensive Book

I purchased a copy of Little Women at a thrift store for $4…but it was from Easton Press, a publishing house that specializes in leather-bound, gilt-edged editions of classics.  So I think my copy would have cost about $60 from their website.

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Hoodie — Favorite Classic

I could say Gone With The Wind or Emma or The Outsiders.  But those are favorite books, not just favorite classics.  So I’m going to say Lord of the Flies by William Golding because I read it every single year without fail, and each time I’m awed all over again.  The writing is simple, yet profound and realistic.  Each character has made an indelible mark on my mind.  It’s an insanely good read.

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Cardigan — Book Purchased on Impulse

Most of the books I get from thrift stores and used book stores…?  I can’t pinpoint anything exact.  I have bought some ebooks on Amazon that were impulse buys, like The Redemption of Chauvelin (never, ever read because UGH and GROSS).  I’ve regretted pretty much all of them.

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Turtleneck Sweater — Book from Your Childhood

Assassin and most of the subsequent books in the Lady Grace Mysteries.  I adored that series and read it over and over again, even though my library only had the first six books.  I’d still recommend the series today.

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Homemade Knitted Sweater — Indie Book

I really enjoyed Dissemble by Sarah Addison-Fox.  Definitely the best of the series and the twist near the end was the best.

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V-neck Sweater — A Book that Didn’t Meet Your Expectations

Indie books enthusiastically recommended by the Goodreads community that ended up not being My Cup of Tea: Disowned, Kiera, and Counted Worthy. 😛

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Argyle Sweater — Book with a Weird Format

The Book Thief hops around in the timeline quite a bit so that was weird and hard to understand the first time.  Also, Code Name Verity.

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Polka Dot Sweater — A Book with Well-Rounded Characters

This is a series, but the Underland Chronicles is definitely my answer.  Thanks to Suzanne Collins’ writing skillz, even the most minor of characters are real people that you’d want to be friends with (or enemies, depending on who it is).  I cannot get over Collins’ ability to create deep, relatable characters.

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That’s the end of the tag. 🙂 Have an awesome autumn, everyone!  October really is the best month.  Well, that and December.


the Reams of Rereads blog event is here!

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I don’t have time for more than a super quick post so I’ll list the details really fast…

  • If you haven’t joined yet, you can still join anytime during October.
  • Comment on THIS POST with all your blog event related links so I can gather them in a huge post at the end of the month.
  • I’ll link to this post through the blog event graphic on the sidebar so y’all can find this post really easily to add your links.

I’m reading Cinder right now and loving it.

Happy reading!


cover reveal: ROMANOV by Nadine Brandes


Nadine is one of my favorite authors and I was thrilled to participate in the cover reveal for her upcoming YA historical fantasy stand-alone, Romanov, which releases on May 7th, 2019.  It’s a retelling of the story of Anastasia, which I think is insanely cool.  Take a look at the story blurb and be blown away…

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her…

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

That last sentence? *chills*  Now, to be honest, it does sound a bit more ‘magic-y’ than I tend to be comfortable reading but I’m going to wait and see how big a part the magic plays (it looks like it’ll be pretty big, but you never know).  Anyway, Romanov sounds fantastic and I’m so excited for Nadine.  And it’s already available for pre-order here!  You can also check out Romanov on Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, and add it to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.

And now for what we’ve all been waiting for: the actual cover reveal!

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ISN’T IT GORGEOUS???  I love it so, so much. ❤

I’ll get out of here so y’all can bask in The Epicness uninterrupted.

(Just don’t forget about pre-ordering Romanov!)


the outsiders read-along: chapter 10

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This is a short, sad chapter.  I don’t have any favorite quotes or discussion questions or quirky observations to make this week.  I’ll just say a few things…

Earlier, Ponyboy said that he lies to himself all the time but he never believes those lies.  Well, this time he does.  He keeps telling himself that Johnny isn’t really dead – and he believes that lie.  He’s hurting so much that he convinces himself that his pain isn’t real, that the reason for it isn’t true.  It’s heartbreaking.

Johnny was the heart of the gang.  Dally was the protector of the gang.  Even though they all protect each other, I think Dally had a protective streak that came out especially when Johnny was in danger.  But it extended to the rest of the gang as well.  Keeping his mouth shut so Two-Bit wouldn’t be arrested.  Helping Johnny and Ponyboy skip town.  Saving Ponyboy from being badly burned.  Joining the rumble even with some cracked ribs (though I’ll admit that a lot of that was probably Dally’s eagerness to fight).  Even what he says to Ponyboy about getting tough and then nobody can hurt you.

So now Johnny and Dally are both gone and the gang is reeling, especially Ponyboy.  At least the chapter ends with Ponyboy well and safe at home.  But, like I said, this chapter is short and sad and I’m going to leave it at that.


the outsiders read-along: chapter 9

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There is triumph and tragedy in this chapter.  No spoilers for those who are reading The Outsiders for the first time, but the ending of this chapter is an emotional kick in the stomach.  It was almost inevitable, but heart-wrenching nonetheless.

When Ponyboy and the others are preparing for the rumble with the Socs and Ponyboy keeps asking himself (and the others) why they’re fighting in the first place, I realized something.  I don’t think that, before Bob’s death, Ponyboy would have asked that (or at least been able to articulate his doubts so well).  But with Bob’s death he now knows that greaser versus Soc and the greaser lifestyle can get a person into serious trouble.  And he doesn’t want that so he’s questioning the logic of things that he’s always gone along with. (It’s also a sign of growing maturity.)

Though, if you’ll notice, he flip-flops between not wanting himself or any of the gang to participate in the rumble and “Oh no, I thought in mortal fear, I’ve got to be in it.  Right then the most important thing in my life was helping us whip the Socs.” (p. 134).  There’s some confusion there and that’s realistic as well.

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On the lighter side, the interactions between Ponyboy, Soda, and Darry are hilarious and legitimately how brothers behave.  And Two-Bit always makes me laugh with how he imitates The Typical Soc.

A few other things of note: it makes me happy how Ponyboy determines to go farther than most other guys in his neighbourhood and make something of himself. (According to S.E. Hinton, he went on to become an author.  But she also said that Soda died in Vietnam and Darry died of cancer so I’m not sure how accurate she is.)  It’s so cool how Dally shows up to the rumble and he and Ponyboy work together in the fight.  And the doctor in the hospital is awesome.  Just sayin’.

Quotes I like:

What kind of world is it where all I have to be proud of is a reputation for being a hood, and greasy hair?  I don’t want to be a hood, but even if I don’t steal things and mug people and get boozed up, I’m marked lousy.  Why should I be proud of it?  Why should I even pretend to be proud of it? (p. 132)

If everybody jumped in the Arkansas River, ol’ Two-Bit would be right on their heels. (p. 137)

If you want to see something funny, it’s a tough hood sticking out his tongue at his big brother. (p. 137)

I mean, you take a guy that calls a rumble “bop-action,” and you can tell he isn’t real educated. (p. 140) [The irony…]

“Stay gold, Ponyboy.  Stay gold . . .” (p. 148)

Discussion Questions!

-Ponyboy asks Darry, Soda, and Two-Bit why they like fighting (Steve volunteers his reason, unasked).  What answer do you think Dally would give?  Johnny?

-On page 141, Ponyboy says “…people don’t ever think to blame the Socs and are always read to jump on us.  We look hoody and they look decent.  It could be just the other way around – half the hoods I know are pretty decent guys underneath all that grease…but people usually go by looks.”  Have you ever judged someone by their appearance and then had to drastically revise that judgement later?