feels like fall | a top ten tuesday post

I am 100% a situational reader. There are some books that I simply cannot read for no other reason than it happens to be 90 degrees outside. Case in point, Sarah J. Maas' third installment in the Court of Thorns and Roses series came out in May of this year, and I just COULD NOT get past the first few pages, because since I read the first two in the dead of winter, I couldn't get my mind place itself back in the world of Feyre and Rhysand. As a matter of fact, most fantasy requires cooler temperatures for my brain to process. I think it might have to do with the whole October thing I wrote about the other day. And of course, I always get a Harry Potter itch beginning the last week of July as we prepare for his birthday, and the start of a new Hogwarts term. (Like any true fan, and proper librarian, I observe those dates religiously.)

Today's TTT theme from the Broke and the Bookish being Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes  I'm gonna throw my twist on it by presenting you all with seven books that give me all the fall-ish feels. *titles link to Goodreads*

  1. The Door by the Staircase  - Katherine Marsh. This middle grade book is deliciously halloween-y in the best sort of way. A riff of the Baba Yaga tales of Russian folklore. 
  2. The Awakening of Miss Prim - Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera - it MIGHT just be here because I first read it in the fall of last year, but Miss Prim is a very fall-ish/christmas-y book. I vacillate between the two, but will keep it here because I want everyone to read it. Its cozy and home-y and references Little Women. 
  3. The Gone Away Lake books - Elizabeth Enright - Fall is the season of nostalgia, thus, despite the fact that these books are summer adventures, they land squarely in my fall-ish books pile. I crave reading them out of nostalgia for some of the best reading years of my life (oh Sonlight!) but also because they are themselves full of nostalgia for a long gone time. 
  4. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle - I'm in a constant state of thinking "I should read Wrinkle etc. again" but that thinking intensifies in the fall. Her books, like fall, are Thin Places for me. 
  5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her own Making - Catherynne M. Valente - This fairy story cousin of Alice in Wonderland is here because how wonderful would it be if your name was September? 
  6. The Story Girl - L.M. Montgomery - because I love it, and this cover looks the way today feels. 

What are your favorite fall reads? Do they actually take place in fall, or are they just inexplicably linked to fall in your mind? Do you have trouble reading different books in certain seasons? I want to know! Let me know in the comments or link your own post! 

why I don’t have a boyfriend | a top ten Tuesday post

Ok, so maybe the title is a little facetious, but when I saw that today’s top ten Tuesday post from the lovelies at Broke and Bookish was “book boyfriends/girlfriends-characters you crush on” I couldn’t help myself.
So without further ado, I present here (in order of first reading of their books) 7 of my bookish crushes. 
  1. Prince Caspian - Prince Caspian.  And NOT the swarthy dark-haired Ben Barnes PC as in the Walden/Disney movie, but the fair haired telmarine that Lewis describes him as. To an 8-year-old who was scared of the attic crawl space hole above her bunk bed, imagining Prince Caspian fighting off monsters helped a lot.  His character only got better in the later books. 
  2. Little House on the Prairie - Mr. Edwards. The Tennessee wildcat that swam the river with a bundle of goodies to make sure the Ingalls girls got their presents from Santa is too perfect. I just tried to find some historical data on him.. and he’s probably an combination of a couple of different real life people the Ingalls’ encountered, and the TV show version does NOT do the book character justice, so I’m sticking with my mental image of this crazy 20 something homesteader who would do anything for a passel of kids. 
  3. Anne of Green Gables - Gilbert Blythe. Let be real here. This is my One True Love. If I were to pit all these fictional dudes against each other for my heart, Gilbert would win EVERY time. Do I need to explain why? He’s perfect. He’s supportive, fun-loving, perseverant, and loyal. 😍 
  4. Anne of Green Gables (the later books) - Walter Blythe. Poor lost Walter. The sensitive poet of Anne’s sons, he was always my favorite. When he dies in France during the Great War, I didn’t think I’d ever recover. That was probably the first time I truly mourned a fictional death. 
  5. Lord of the Rings - Faramir. Y’all, Faramir is the most under-appreciated book dude in all of history. And I’m NOT just talking about his Dad’s strange obsession with his elder brother. Boromir wasn’t all that anyway. Even Eowyn overlooks him for hottie Aragorn in the beginning... but thankfully she comes around. He just seems so faithful and gentle and strong. Just... can I have one please? 
  6. Mrs. Mike - Mike Flannigan. Rugged Irish Canadian Mountie. Need I say more?  Also, if you HAVEN'T read this book yet. Get thee to Amazon and buy yourself a copy.
  7. Jane Eyre - Mr. Rochester. OKAY SO I KNOW HE’S AWFUL, BUT THAT BROODING SOUL! Doesn’t look half bad as Michael Fassbender portrays him either. ;) 
Sorry dudes... there’s just a lot of fictional guys with really great qualities that I’m kinda hung up on at the moment... though, if you think you make ups a good combination of these , and are a nice Christian boy, leave me a comment! 😉 

I'm So Glad...

As I get older, I agree more and more with Anne of Green Gables every time October comes around. The first of October this year brought the first true fall weather in Tennessee, and I think its here to stay. The end of September is when my email inbox starts getting barraged with NaNoWriMo emails reminding me that October is prep month, but even before those arrived, one pseudo-fall Saturday morning brought with it the return of my fall inspiration. Are other people's muses tied to a particular season? Is Autumn the most common? I want to write in the fall. Its easier to hear the thoughts in my head when the air is cool and crisp. That doesn't mean it's easier to put words to the thoughts though.

Last month I picked up Stephen King's novella, The Body, having decided to give him a chance with something non-horror. I finished it this morning, and this passage has been resonating in my mind all day. For context: the whole narrative of The Body is written from the perspective a man writing down the events of one weekend with his three best friends when he was an adolescent.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them—words shrink things that were in your head to more than living size when they are brought out. But, it's more than that isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure that your enemies would love to steal away. And you make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all or, why you thought that it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst I think. When a secret stays locked in not for want of teller but for want of understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, The Body

Do you get that? I do. And it "gets" me as well... right in the solar plexus. This is how it is to write for me -"words shrink things that were in your head to more than living size when they are brought out." This is how it is to talk about a book that won't let me go. (I will cry every time I talk about the Ainulindalë portion of the Silmarillion.) But this is also why I need to write. Those important things are the hardest to say, yet they beg, they long to be said. They seek incarnation as stories, as art, as music. And the writers, the artists, the music makers, they listen and try and fail and try again to give those thoughts a shape that might just live up to them.
After a long hot summer, the cool winds that come with October seem to blow away the sticky humidity in my brain, giving me the courage to try to put voice to my thoughts once again.

So, yes, Anne, I too am glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

p.s. No traditional NaNo for me this year, but I do have some projects forming. Wish me luck!

Reading People | The Library Girl Reviews

Reading People  by Anne Bogel 
Published by Baker Books
Genre: Self-Help/Personality
Source: Netgalley (through publisher's launch team)* 

Hi,  my name is Sarah, and I'm a personality fiend. Today, I have the privilege of introducing you all to a really great new book - Reading People by Anne Bogel. I'm just another stop on a blog tour this book is making the rounds on pre-release, and am excited to share it with y'all!

For those of you who *don't* know Anne... she runs this awesome little blog called Modern Mrs. Darcy, where she practices the art of literary matchmaking - among other cool, bookish things.

Reading People spawns out of another one of her loves: personality frameworks. This concise little book does wonderful job of presenting some of the most common and popular personality frameworks out there right now, from the ever popular Myers-Briggs Type Inventory to the Enneagram to even the basics of Introversion/Extroversion. Sharing insights from her own journey to figure out how *she* ticks, Anne gives an outline of these frameworks, as well as tools and tips for assessing yourself, and putting that new found information about your personality to work for you.

I finished reading my galley copy on the plane home from Boston earlier this month, and spent a good amount of flight time swiping back and forth  between the Myers-Briggs and Type Functions chapters, analyzing myself.  I used to type INTJ when taking the various freebie online type inventories. But I've had my doubts on that of late, and I think I resolved them that trip. That highly analytical, Sherlockian, "T" is not me. Anne pairs the types with characters from books (of COURSE she does...) and  Mr. Darcy is an INTJ in her estimation. I love Mr. Darcy, as we all do. I probably would be fine with marrying an INTJ. But I much more identify with the "tireless idealist" of INFJ (Atticus Finch, by Anne's reckoning). I think my past three years of work in libraries have brought that into sharp focus in me.    --- Anecdotally, when I got home from that trip I was eager to try typing my roommate, Meghan. She had gotten ENFJ on an online test but also, wasn't sure. So I was reading down the function stacks, and she was all pretty much in agreement with what they were saying, but not really getting any AHA! moments. UNTIL.... I told her that Anne puts Emma Woodhouse as an ENFJ. Her face lit up and she exclaimed "YAS. That girl GETS me." So yes. She's an ENFJ.

This book is a great jumping off point if you're interested in personality theory, but don't really know where to start... if you've seen "the types as" posts on pinterest and wonder which jumble of letters you really are... or if you're really into the softcore personality tests of Buzzfeed (Do YOU know what type of cheese you are?) Reading People will help you navigate the wide, wide world of personality frameworks, and help you get started.

Do you think typing your personality is a little wierd and out-there? Or maybe you're afraid of being put in a box. Perhaps what I most admire about Anne's approach to personality frameworks is that she recognizes that we as humans are dynamic, and as the title of the last chapter says, "Your personality is not your destiny".  AMEN.

The book comes out September 19th, but you can pre-order it now. Just check out the book's website: Readingpeoplebook.com . If you DO preorder, Anne is throwing in a bonus audio version, and access to her Reading Personalities class!
While you're over there, take the reading personalities test. Its GREAT, and you'll even get an emailed list of recommended reads for your personality! I'm the Explorer. But that's another post for another day. (I promise) :D

*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts. This does not influence my review in the slightest.
Thanks Baker Books, and THANK YOU, Anne! <3

I'm Sold! | Ten Things That Will Instantly Make Me Want to Read a Book

I keep thinking, "Man, one of these days I'm actually gonna get my act together, and hop on board the Top Ten Tuesday Train" but I usually end up forgetting to check the theme for the week, or just getting busy and if just doesn't happen. :p
~Such is my life.~  

But today, you're in a for a special treat! (and by you I mean me, because I'm the one who really cares here.) Today, I not only have gotten my act together, but the theme is great.. and something I was just discussing off hand with my sister the other day. 
I don't know about you, but there are somethings that when thrown into a book description, will make my brain turn off all other thought process, and start screaming, MUST READ NOW. 
I mean, its basically just : 

Now, once I start reading the book, I'm often times sorely disappointed, but that doesn't keep me from repeating the process over and over again.

So, for all those publishing house marketers out there that are just trolling book blogs for new ideas to mass market, here's a free list of keywords, ideas, and general stuff that will get me to buy your books. 

1. Help! I'm Trapped in a Video Game! 
This was the one I was discussing with my sister the other day. I'm pretty sure it all stems back to this on Adventures in Odyssey episode where two kids get to play their favorite video game in the Room of Consequences, (which, now that I'm thinking about it, is totally just a fully immersive VR experience... I knew Eugene and Mr. Whittaker were ahead of their time!) and end up getting trapped and learning an important lesson about using time wisely (and video game addiction.) The lesson clearly went over my head, because all I took from it was how freakin' awesome the scenario was. Enter books like Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and You by Austin Grossman, and you have one captive audience in yours truly. 

2.Letters, Email, Texts: Narrative through passed notes and grocery lists
There is nothing more exciting than getting a letter in the mail. Nothing more romantic than the sound of AOL's standard "you've got mail" notification. No character study more fascinating than a fictional grocery list. That being said, if a book heavily features letters etc. more than straight up prose narrative, I'm there.
Bonus points if the book features a well designed graphic format, extra bonus points if it includes modern technology. Even MORE bonus points if the writing is plausible to the medium portrayed. (I want a letter to sound like a letter, not like a super polished piece of writing with "Dear {blank} Love, {blank}" bookending it.)
The Klise Sisters first got me hooked on this format when I was small, and are still my measuring stick in this department. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Attachments, and Rosie Dunne have been notables I've read as an adult
3.Jane Austen anything
This is the category I end up regretting the most, because most authors think they can take up Mr. Darcy and run with him and change thing and generally ruin a perfectly good satire of manners with just generally NOT getting the heart of Austen. But I will still give these books a chance... hopeful that this time, maybe, just maybe they haven't bungled things again. Austenland by Shannon Hale is the only one I haven't regretted terribly. and I am just now realizing there is a sequel! excuse me while I get myself to the library! 

5.NYC (just got here this morning. Three bucks! Two bags! One ME!)
This is a recent category for me, one that I blame 200% on Lin Manuel Miranda. I find in myself a burning need to experience life in NYC, though I live in Tennessee. I mean, I want to see the GWB from my front steps. I want FRONT STEPS as only brownstones have. I want to see Pizza Rat as I walk to the subway. I want walk past the dying bodegas and be sad about them dying, and remember when they were vibrantly alive. So I've been gravitating toward the earthiest NYC stories I can find. Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk was the best so far. 

6.Adulting is Hard
Clearly, I seek these books out as a mirror, so I can see my own life stage reflected back at me (I'm a librarian... this is how we talk). I like reading about twenty somethings moving to New York (yes... these categories often overlap) getting publishing jobs and trying to survive. I don't like reading about friends getting married, and having babies while main characters stay put and get depressed about it, yet somehow I end up there anyway. That's like a big magnifying mirror in which your pores look like moon-craters. Come to think of it, MOST of books on this theme make me depressed. Why do I read them? 

7.Funny Girls on the TV
If you have been on my favorite TV shows or movies and write a book about your life, Im gonna snatch that book up so fast. I want to know every thing about you and whether or not you like Mac and Cheese and if we could be BFFs. (I'm looking at you, Anna Kendrick). But this only applies if YOU actually wrote the book. If you hired a ghost writer, I don't want to talk to you. 

No really it is. Google and Facebook will join forces and take over the world! and if that doesn't happen, some upstart, startup millennial app company is going take over the economy! and if that doesn't happen, you're going to accidentally like your ex's photo from five years ago on instagram! Who needs thrillers when any of that could happen? If there's social media involved, I'm in.

9.Geek Life
people being unironically enthusiastic about the stuff they love? call it geekery, call it fandom, call it what you will. If it features extreme introversion, cosplay, fanfic, the works, I'm sold. put that book in my hot little hands. Also applies if the author is, in general, recognized as a certified Geek(tm). Here's my favorite:

10.I'm just a tender little bookshop, and my life is in peril!
Books about loving books. That's the true book lover's draw. I just want to crawl in to these books and live in their dusty messy bookshops! Even better if its a book shop about to meet it's demise. Has someone written a book based on the plot of You've Got Mail yet? cause I'd read the heck out of that. Let me know... Or maybe I should just do it! 

What about you? What are your MUST READ NOW topics? Let me know in the comments! also, if you know any books that fit these categories...please let me know. I always need recommendations!