Reads & Recs: summer and fall new releases!

New 2016 book releases for ya! All of these books are ones that I’m dying to read. One has already been released, and the others are shortly coming to a bookstore/e-reader near you. I love the excitement of finding and reading an amazing new book, so here are my recommendations for summer and fall new releases in fiction!

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Reads & Recs // On the dreaded book rut

Do you ever have periods of time when you just can’t seem to sit still book-wise? When nothing you want to read actually seems appealing to you, and other things, like watching masses of Food Network, are infinitely preferable? Yeah, that’s what I’m going through now. I love reading more than I love most things (except maybe food) but there are these two competing aspects of my personality: one that loves to do nothing but sit at home and read, and the other that hates to be stuck in the same four walls day after day, and would much rather get all dressed up and do something fancy and/or adventurous.

Since around August, it’s been hard for me to sit still with a book. I’ve been restless, busy with a social life, and recently, overwhelmed with Christmas obligations (not complaining), traveling, and work stuff that’s been stressful. I began reading Edward Rutherfurd’s聽London in December, and only made it to page 400 in three weeks. Pathetic, Lisa. 馃槈

So in an effort to get myself back on track, here are the books I’ll virtually inhale during the month of January, and wish me heaps of luck! Because despite what it seems like here, I am a notoriously slow reader.

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Reads & Recs: Books about ballet

I have a mini obsession with聽ballet. It’s mesmerizing to me, from learning about the craft of it, the history of it, and watching it. And since I’ve always wanted to do ballet but never took a class, I also would like to do that. But in the meantime, I’ll do what I like to do best: read.

Here are some books on my TBR list, about ballet:

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Misty Copeland’s Life In Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina

Misty Copeland is one of the world’s most successful and recognizable ballet dancers, but she’s been through a lot to enjoy the position she’s in now. I’m reading her memoir now, and am blown away by her strength and passion.

Ballet Shoes, by聽Noel Streatfeild

I watched the film adaptation with Emma Watson in it a few years ago, and now I want to get my hands on the original book! It’s an eccentric book about three orphaned girls adopted聽by a mysterious traveler named Gum. The three girls eventually enter acting school, and learn who they’re going to become.

Bunheads, by Sophie Flack

Bunheads is about a 19-year-old dancer at the Manhattan Ballet Company, who has to decide between her commitment to ballet and a potential love. (I say鈥攚hy choose? 馃槈 )

Can’t wait to get into these! Have you read any and would like to give feedback or any recommendations of your own? Let me know below.

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September Reads & Recs

Colder months are approaching, a.k.a. the months that I sit and read 87% of the time. Can’t wait. After reading almost nothing for the month of August (and instead watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix obsessively and spending too much money on admittedly awesome events), I’m really itching to start reading some of these books.

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The first book I’m currently reading:聽Helen of Troy: Beauty, Myth, Devastation聽by Ruby Blondell. It’s a critical analysis of the figure of Helen of Troy throughout literature from聽the ancient, classical world to today, and what she means for culture. As a figure, Helen of Troy is perhaps the single most interesting “character”聽ever. I studied her in college and used this book as a resource, and now I’m going back to read the whole thing.

The second is collection of short stories about “loving and leaving New York”:聽Goodbye To All That. I love New York-inspired literature and I’m excited to get into these essays and short works of fiction.

And a classic:聽Villette by Charlotte Bronte. I bought this book a few years ago fully intent on reading it within the month, but alas, life happened. I can’t wait to read a Bronte novel I haven’t read yet. It’s giving me all kinds of bookish feels.

What are you all reading this fall?

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These are the books I’m dying to get my hands on this fall

Alas, it is almost the end of August and come September, a whole slew of new books and new music will be released, and I can’t wait for any of them. I’m the kind of person who buys half a dozen new books and then lets them languish on my shelves for months while I read through my extensive back catalog of books, and the cycle continues ever on and on. But this fall, I’m so looking forward to ushering in a new, multi-hued season with these books.

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The Girl In The Spider’s Web

I don’t know how I feel about this one, to be quite honest. I was totally in love with the聽Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series a few years back, but the trilogy satisfied me enough, and I’m not a huge fan of new authors continuing the thread of other authors’ stories. It feels somewhat disrespectful, and in any case, “sequels” like this are never as good as the original. Even so, I’ll have to stop by my library and peek into this one, and maybe I’ll be proven wrong!

Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray

I’ve been a huge fan of YA author Libba Bray since I was 12 or 13 years old, and it took her over three years to get her sequel to 2012’s聽The Diviners to a release date! She’s notoriously terrible with deadlines so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I’m still beyond impatient to read this YA novel. The first one is a supernatural historical thriller set in 1920s New York City. If that doesn’t sell you on this novel, nothing will!

The Girl From Krakow, Alex Rosenberg

This is a book I just heard of. It tells the story of a young Polish woman named聽Rita Feuerstahl who moves to the University of Krakow as a student in 1935, and it’s set against the looming presence of Nazism in Europe and World War II. Sounds like my kind of historical novel!

What is everyone looking forward to reading this fall?聽signoff

Summer Reads & Recs || Plane & Beach Reads!

We’ve all seen the displays at our bookstores: whole tables weighed down with books with a placard that says “Beach Reads” or “Summer Reads” (not to be confused with聽summer reading). The general idea is that beach reads are fun, easy to blow through and frivolous. Plane reads are similar: something like a romance or a thriller that will help melt away those long, uncomfortable hours spent on a plane. And that’s true, but why should plane or beach reads be limited to easy reads?

During summer, I like to re-read, or challenge myself with something more difficult or a classic, because I know I have more time to devote to it. But I’m also one of those people who plonks down on a beach chair and talks to no one for hours. But if you’re like me, check out these stellar beach/plane/summer recommendations!

90619Little, Big聽by John Crowley

This book was recommended to me by my sister, who has been pestering me to read it since I can remember. Since she also recommended聽I Capture the Castle聽to me, which is one of my Top 10 Favorite Books of All Time, I tend to trust her.

Little, Big聽is magic realism, about a man called Smoky Barnable who travels to another world to marry a woman named Daily Alice Drinkwater. According to my sister, it’s both elegantly written and strange, filled with unexplained magic. Sounds like just my type.

 

 

7190The Three Musketeers聽by Alexandre Dumas

Of course I want to read this one! I also have the sequel,聽Ten Years Later that I thrifted for like a dollar last year. Score.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7603Reading Lolita in Tehran聽by Azar Nafisi聽

Ever since I actually read聽Lolita, I’ve wanted to read this book. It’s pretty well known and it’s tucked away in one of my shelves, but I want to take the time to read it. It’s about a teacher who secretly teaches this book to her students in Iran, and a true story.聽


 

 

 

103575751Q84聽by Haruki Murakami

Ach, I’ve been wanting to read this one for over a year, but it’s daunting. I also didn’t much care for Murakami’s聽Norwegian Wood, the only other novel I’ve read by him, so I’m strangely reluctant.

One of these days I’ll pull this one off my shelf and hunker down, and what better time than the dog days? Long, warm nights and long books go so well together!

 

 

 

17262100The Lowland聽by Jhumpa Lahiri

I was a big fan of Lahiri a few years ago and even though I much prefer her short stories (especially聽Interpreter of Maladies) to her novel, I have to read this one. It’s also somewhere in my bookshelves ready to be dusted off and read.

So what are you all reading this summer? Sound off in the comments!

 

 

 

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Reads & Recs | Spring Fever

SPRING WHERE ART THOU? As I write this, it is 21 degrees out, the last day of real winter weather. Yesterday was the last snowstorm of the season (I’m guessing) and tomorrow begins warmer weather which will continue (at least) into next week. I’m always sad when winter ends because so does my solitary confinement/hibernation. I love spending endless hours with hot chocolate and a book, but spring also reminds me that there is, in fact, a world beyond my couch. -___- Here’s what I’ll be perusing this season:

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Gillian Flynn:聽I recently bought the Gillian Flynn collection and am excited to read her other novels, since I loved Gone Girl so much. Apparently, her other works are more twisted and dark than Gone Girl, so I’m pretty excited. Has anyone read these and would like to share their thoughts? (And read my review of Gone Girl here.)

Star Wars:聽I’ve been obsessed with Star Wars since I was a little kid, and aside from a few chapters of聽Revenge of the Sith (which was not the best experience), I’ve actually never read the novel versions of the original trilogy. I’m ridiculously excited to read it. Star Wars has a huge part of my heart.

What are you reading this spring?

My Winter in Books

Winter sees me lying motionless for hours at a time, reading. When the weather turns cold and it starts to snow every week, all I want to do is make hot chocolate and cuddle up and read. This January saw a lot of re-reads for me: I re-read Twilight to great effect and experienced emotional upheaval, and right now I’m re-reading one of my favorite books ever, The Crimson Petal and the White. Still, I have a huge stack of new books I got for Christmas still languishing on my shelves, so here’s what I’m eager to read this winter, accompanied by a very large mug of something delicious:

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S.聽

This rather strange book was conceived by JJ Abrams and written by Doug Dorst. It contains a sequential story as well as handwritten margin notes written by the readers of the novel. It’s somewhat labyrinthine and definitely a mystery, and not just because I have no idea聽how to start reading it. I seriously can’t wait. The book itself is a wonderful object, made to look and feel like a library book much graffitied upon and containing loose pages and pictures and notes. It’s going to be an adventure.

And Then There Were None

I’m a total sissy when it comes to scary movies and books, but I’ve always wanted to read the original novel ever since I saw聽Ten Little Indians when I was just a kid. I anticipate having to stick the book in the freezer if I get too afraid. It’s also my first Agatha Christie novel.

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

I’m so so excited to finally read this. These are the聽original fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, before they edited them six times to suit a younger audience. This is the first English translation ever of the gory, gruesome, gross Grimm stories in their original form! I have the last edition in English, and I can’t wait to compare the stories. #dork.

Reading anything special this winter?

December Reads & Recs // The Theme of Magic

I go crazy this time of year with Christmas. So when I thought about what books I’d like to read to make the season merry and bright, I thought of magic. But not Harry Potter-type magic, but rather the kind of magic that’s related to fate and love. So for the month of December I’d like to read these three books:

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1. In Sunlight and In Shadow聽by Mark Helprin

I tried reading this book three times and didn’t get far, for some reason. But it has everything I love: a romantic story, a cheesy magical plot, history, war, flashbacks, et cetera.

2.聽Forever聽by Pete Hamill

I first started reading this book when I was a senior in high school. I think my bookmark is still wedged somewhere around page 100. Even though I stopped reading it inexplicably halfway through, the story stuck with me. I have been meaning to read it again for the past couple years, and I think December is the perfect time.

These two books also have another thing in common: New York. I’ve been on a New York-themed kick this year with my reading and I’m eager for it to continue. It also reminds me of Christmas in New York, which is a magical experience鈥攄espite the man-eating crowds. Nothing is more poetic to me than a snow-blanketed New York, when even the stoplights look festive and everything glitters with twinkle lights from every window. Christmas in New York is one of my favorite feelings.

And lastly:

3.聽A Christmas Carol

This is my yearly tradition, reading Dickens’s classic story right before Christmas Day. It gets me thinking about the true spirit of the season.

What’s on your reading lists this month?

Reads and Recs: A Bookish Halloween

Trying to get into the holiday spirit? If you’ve carved pumpkins and made your costume, gone apple picking and are glued to 13 Days of Halloween, reading a Halloweenie book is another great way to spook yourself into the holiday spirit. So I’ll be checking out these books this month!

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Gone Girl

Isn’t everyone reading this book nowadays? I’ve had this book on my Kindle for over a year and have yet to read it. The opportune release of the movie right near Halloween is the perfect time to finally get to it!

The Diviners

This book…is the scariest thing I have ever read. There’s this horrible murderer on the loose in 1920s New York who whistles before he kills you…and then he eats your body parts. I CAN’T EVEN. But still鈥擨 love this book because it was written by one of my favorite YA authors whom I’ve been reading since I was 12 years old, Libba Bray. Bonus photo of her signing my circa-2004 copy of聽A Great and Terrible Beauty at this year’s BookCon:

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The Shining

I’ve never read this book, but I always remember that episode of聽Friends when聽Joey stuck the book in the freezer when he got too afraid. I am anticipating a similar recourse from my terror.

What are you guys reading this Halloween?