Alanna’s June Reading List

This post may be a few days late… But better late than never, right? June is sure to be a busy month for me, what with the end of the school year and the start of summer camp just around the corner, but there’s always time for reading! Even if it has to be done in the dead of night when I’m supposed to be sleeping.

But who could sleep with all these awesome new and upcoming releases? (Plus some older releases I’ve finally added to my TBR!) I’m also thinking that I may just have to camp out at the book store on June 13, because wow! – so many books coming out on one day!

  1. Roar by Cora Carmack (June 13, 2017)
  2. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (June 13, 2017)
  3. Now I Rise by Kiersten White (June 27, 2017)
  4. Obsidian and Stars by Julie Eshbaugh (June 13, 2017)
  5. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts (May 30, 2017)
  6. Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers (June 13, 2017)
  7. Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (June 6, 2017)
  8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (July 3, 2012)
  9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (July 1, 2014)
  10. Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien, illustrated by Alan Lee and edited by Christopher Tolkien (June 1, 2017)

Book Beren And Lúthien by J. R. R. Tolkien

Please note that the above release dates reflect North American publication dates; they in no way are guaranteed to reflect international publication dates! 

May 2017 FairyLoot Unboxing

FairyLoot is a monthly book subscription box that specializes in Young Adult Fantasy books, based out of London, England. Previous themes include Warriors and Legends (May 2017), Dreams and Wishes (April 2017) and Myths and Monsters (March 2017). Every month they have a different theme and select an exciting new title with 4-6 hand selected goodies – like book inspired teas, candles, bookmarks, tote bags, and more!

So, how can you get a FairyLoot box of your own (because once you see the awesome books and all the awesome loot in them, I know you’ll want one too)? For more information, check out http://www.fairyloot.com/

And, if you decide to subscribe? Use the code ONEPAGE5 to save 5% of your 3 or 6 month subscription! How cool is that?

So now, on to the exciting part – the unboxing! May 2017’s FairyLoot box was all about “Warriors and Legends”, and it featured some truly awesome stuff! Honestly this may be my favourite FairyLoot box ever – they just keep getting better and better! (Warning: Spoilers for box contents past this point!)

So what, exactly, was in the box?

  • A “Warriors & Legends” green tea blend by The Tea Leaf Co.

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  • A Metallic Feather Pen by Flora’s Wonder Emporium
  • Naondel Chapter 1 Sampler
  • World Mythology in Bite-sized Chunks by Mark Daniels

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  • A mini tin candle by In the Wick of Time – either the Flame or the Mist scent!

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  • Celtic Socks created exclusively by FairyLoot
  • The “One Ring Woodmark” by Ink and Wonder

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This month’s box also included a highly anticipated, newly released Young Adult Fantasy novel – Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. It’s a book I’ve been eagerly anticipating for awhile, so imagine my excitement when I opened my May FairyLoot box to find it! You can find my full review for Flame in the Mist here – but for those of you who don’t want to read an entire review, here’s a quick summary:

Overall, Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh was everything it promised to be – a very loose retelling of Mulan, smashed together with Japanese mythology, samurai, 47 Ronin and feudal Japan – which meant lots of action, intrigue and yes, romance. The characters were simply fantastic, and they, more than enything else, really made this book what it is. I loved every word of this book – from the well-paced plot, to the intriguing, morally grey characters, right down to the stunning prose that defines Ahdieh’s style. So, if you’re a lover of fantasy, retellings and/or Mulan, you’re not going to want to miss out on this one (4.5/5)!

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So I think it’s safe to say that I absolutely adored this month’s box! Everything in it was simply perfect, and as always, the lovely folks over at Fairyloot really outdid themselves!

 

Diverse and #OwnVoices Books

If you’re active in the book community, you may have seen this hashtag kicking around – you may have even read up about it. Especially after the recent outrage from the book community surrounding racist and ableist themes in Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark. Which is good – because this is an important conversation, and it’s not one that’s going away. In fact, it seems that the discussion surround Carve the Mark spread the call for more diverse, inclusive books to the wider community, and now, more people than ever, are recognizing the need for diverse books.

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Just look at these statistics (above) – and that’s just in regards to children’s books. The #OwnVoices movement calls upon writers to respect the voices of the characters they write – to not disrespect the diversity in the world around them. We Need More Diverse Books (WNDB) defines diversity as “all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.” It asks – can a white, upper-class author really write about the experiences of a minority teen living in poverty? Can a straight author write about the experiences of a LGBTQ2+ youth? And it calls upon the book community to respect #OwnVoices by respecting a diverse community of books, authors and readers, not just the one story of books they know. Respecting diversity in literature is not just a social trend; it’s critical to developing cultural literacy, and to overcoming long-held stereotypes. Susie Rodarme, of BookRiot, sums this up pretty well:

“If you don’t actually know anything about the lives of the people that you’re writing about, though–if you haven’t experienced anything like it in your real life and what you know actually does come mostly from TV and movies–it’s going to come out in cliches and stereotypes when you try to write it.”

And as white, middle-class university student from Canada, do I really have any right to be writing about this? I might not, which is why I’ll keep my judgments on the topic short, but I wanted to make my readers aware of the movement, and I wanted to challenge all of you to make yourselves more aware of the growing diversity in literature, and the need for it.

“So when we call for more diverse stories, I think this diversity must come from diverse authors. It’s not enough to have the same group of primarily white, cis, hetero, able-bodied authors writing more diversely; even with good intentions, they may not get it right. The call for diverse stories comes from groups of people who want to see themselves depicted in stories. That call isn’t answered if we read someone else’s depiction of us and we find that it isn’t true to life” – Susie Rodarme, Book Riot

Books are a type of media – like newspapers, like social media, like the 6 o’clock news, thy perpetuate stereotypes and norms to society, and they dictate our everyday lives, whether we realize it or not.

So the next time you pick up a book, try checking out a #OwnVoices book – I’ve taken the liberty of including some recognized #OwnVoices books below, and I’d love to hear what you think of them, or if you have some that should be added to this list!

And if you’re looking for more information about #Own Voices, please check out WNDB

You can also find my recent post regarding the importance of including diverse books in the classroom on my education blog, titled Miss Vosper.

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Alanna’s Top 16 of 2016

To celebrate the end of what has certainly been a tumultuous year, I have decided to create this little list featuring my favourite books of 2016. In order to qualify for this list, the book must have been published between January 1st 2016 and December 31st, 2016.

In addition, all books featured on this books are books I have personally read – meaning that any books I have not read were not taken into consideration during the creation of this list. That being said, most of these book are Young Adult, Fantasy and/or Science Fiction novels!

Reviews for books I have previously reviewed can be found by clicking on the links below – if there’s a book on this list that does not have a link to a review, don’t worry! I will be posting even more reviews in the New Year! 

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  2. An Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Spoiler-free review can be found here)
  3. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  5. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  6. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
  7. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  8. Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
  9. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
  10. Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott
  11. Morningstar by Pierce Brown
  12. The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
  13. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  14. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
  15. Spindle by E.K. Johnston
  16. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Christmas Wish List

Normally I make a TBR for the month, but this month, in celebration of the holiday season, I decided to make a Christmas Wish List instead (since I’ll be saving my money to give gifts, not buy books, this month)!

  1. Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley
  2. Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliot
  3. The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
  4. Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson
  5. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnson
  6. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
  7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  8. The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby
  9. Broken Prince by Erin Watt
  10. The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

I’ve also been stocking up on books for my family (because what else would I be gifting for Christmas?), so keep an eye out for not only my own Holiday Book Haul, but my stack of Gift Books!

What’s on your holiday wishlist this year? 

 

#Bookstagram

Until my school term concludes in exactly one week, I have made the executive decision that I am simply to busy with final papers to produce any quality book reviews.

I am, however, still regularly posting to my Bookstagram account @onepageatatimebooks. You can find a sneak peak of some of my most recent photos below!

The Bookstagram Community (which is essentially just a collective of book lovers on Instagram who share their love of books through photos) is a great way to find new books, rediscover old books and connect with like-minded book lovers – so be sure to check it out!

 

November 2016 Reading List

It’s that time of month again (a.k.a. the start of the month) which means another book list, and another pile of books to add to my never ending TBR pile! I’m slowly falling behind on my TBR’s as school consumes more and more of my life (if I’m being honest, I’m spending most of my time reading textbooks nowadays!), but reading, writing and photo taking remain fun hobbies of mine. Basically, writing this is my break from the daily grind!

If you missed my October Reads, be sure to check out my Instagram page (@onepageatatimebooks) or visit my Book Reviews page to see a summary of my most recent posts! 

This month, the following books are on my TBR:

  1. The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby (released October 25th)
  2. The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid (released November 1st)
  3. Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley (released November 22nd)
  4. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosemund Hodge (released September 27th)
  5. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (released October 18th)
  6. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (released January 19th, 2016)
  7. The Reader by Traci Chee (released September 13th)

In addition, I’ve decided to add a little section to these monthly Reading Lists wherein I list my Top 3 Books from the previous month as recommendations! Please be sure to let me know what you think of these books! Links lead to my reviews of these books – please be aware not all reviews are spoiler free! 

  1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

What’s on your November TBR?