Closing Chapter 10: October 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! I know. I know! It’s near half into November. I’ve been excessively busy because Reasons but I’m here now. Let’s wrap up last month, shall we? πŸ˜‰

Books I Read

I honestly don’t remember all that much reading wise from October because my brain has far too much occupying it but here’s what Goodreads says I read. πŸ™‚

  • The Bear by Andrew Krivak πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›

Movies I Watched

I certainly didn’t do as much movie watching as I’d hoped to, but I did still watch a few good ones.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) 🍿🍿🍿🍿🍿 (I actually watched this twice. Oops!)
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) 🍿🍿🍿½
  • Little Women (2019) 🍿🍿🍿🍿
  • Coco (2017) 🍿🍿🍿🍿
  • Hocus Pocus (1993) 🍿🍿🍿🍿
  • It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966) 🍿🍿🍿½
  • Float (2019) 🍿🍿🍿½

Other Things I Did

WORK. A lot. It’s a bit exhausting because The General Public and Florida but I’m hoping not to burn out as hard as it seems like I’m going to. We shall see…..

SCHOOL. I’m getting closer to the end of the semester. I did a LOT of reading and writing and existing and I honestly don’t remember all too much of it but hopefully I’ve learned a bit.

Language Learning. I did a little but honestly I haven’t been intentionally setting aside time for it like I was before.

That’s all that I can think of just now. Happy reading, bookworms and dragons. πŸ–€

Closing Chapter 9: September 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! Here we are in the season of scarves and pumpkin spice and spookiness. October is one of my favorite months so let’s wrap up September so I can jump into October with both feet! πŸ™‚

Books I Read

Between work and school, I did not do very much reading. What I did read, I managed to write a full review for so… There’s at least that, right?

Movies I Watched

Similar to my lack of time for reading, I had almost no time for movies. I watched a few with the monsters on Saturday nights, but for the most part I haven’t watched anything. Luckily, the ones I have watched have been good.

Other Things I Did

WORK. I’m not really loving my job right now but I constantly remember how lucky I am that I even still have a job at this point. A lot of my dislike of it is situational caused by forces outside of the library so I’m hoping that the situation outside the library will shift so that the situation inside the library can improve.

SCHOOL. I constantly feel like I’m behind. Even writing this post, I feel guilt over not working on my projects for classes. I’m anxiously looking forward to next semester, which (fingers crossed!!) will be my last before graduation.

HOME. I’m finally moving! The place I found needs some repair work from the previous tenant but once it’s ready, I get to move. I am SO EXCITED!!

That’s all that my academic guilt will allow me to think of just now. Happy reading, bookworms and dragons. πŸ–€

Closing Chapter 8: August 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! The end of August has come (and gone–I know I’m just a bit late). Let’s go ahead and wrap this baby up properly so I can kick off September right!

Books I Read

August was a very light book month because it was chaotic and hectic and I just couldn’t find all that much time to read. Honestly, the fact that I read these books is a miracle, though I also managed to read quite a few picture books as well.

  • Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz πŸ›
  • Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›

Movies I Watched

I did watch a few movies, though not as many as I thought I might. It was still definitely at least a mostly good movie month.

Other Things I Did

WORK. I’ve started presenting virtual science programs and it is so great! I’m loving being able to science with the kids again and incorporate different books and scientific fields into it!! I’m trying to focus hard on that and the fact that I work with the most amazing and talented people because without those two things………..

SCHOOL. It has begun. I am already drowning and on fire at the same time. It’s totally fine.

Language Learning. This has kind of come to a bit of a standstill while I try to get the rest of my life all balanced out because… There is no balance. I need balance to my chaos.

I completed the MCU Movie Challenge! All 23 films (plus I plan to watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soon because it’s a great movie.) I have to admit that at one point in it, I was ready to give up. I even regretted starting the movie challenge. In the end though I’m kinda glad I watched all of those movies. It’s interesting to see how all of them are entwined and I’m really looking forward to seeing the lineup of new MCU movies that are set to come out over the next few years. Including, of course, the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse that’s due in 2022. Because yes.

That’s all that I can think of just now. Happy reading, bookworms and dragons. πŸ–€

Closing Chapter 7: July 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! How is it the end of July already? No clue. But let’s wrap this baby up anyway, shall we?

I Read

July has been a bit book light and movie heavy for me so this list is a bit of a short one. This is partially because I’ve started listening to language learning recordings on the way to and from work instead of audiobooks. I’ve mostly been reading physical and digital books this month.

  • Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • City of Night by Dean Koontz πŸ›πŸ›πŸ› Β½

I Watched

July has definitely been a very movie-heavy month for me! I’m still working on completing the MCU Movie Challenge and this month has seen a fair bit of progress on that. I also got to rewatch one of my favorite series with my monsters. It was their first time watching it, so it was extra special for all of us. Here’s the list of movies I watched this month!

I Did

WORK. Work has been… Well, it’s quite difficult to describe. Stressful and exhausting, for sure. I’m still hoping that some aspects of the job I used to love will reveal themselves at some point in the near future. At least one has–the amazing team of people that I get to call my work family. We’re basically carrying each other through this right now. I could not do it without them. ❀

SCHOOL. I technically finished my class for the semester, but my work isn’t finished. I’ve taken the extra time between classes to work on building my ePortfolio (essentially, a digital thesis) so that I’ll have less to do later on. This is an especially good idea, I think, because I only have two semesters left! 😁

Language Learning. I’ve been doing much better about practicing both Japanese and Ilocano every day, though in different ways. This is largely due to the level of availability of reference material. Japanese has a LOT of reference material, whereas Ilocano has nearly none. Either way, they’re works in progress.

Injury… I pulled a muscle in my back in the last week of July. Which is part of why I didn’t post this wrap up sooner. No worries though. It’s healing nicely and I think within the next week I’ll be back to my regular routine. πŸ™‚

That’s all that I can think of just now. Happy reading, bookworms and dragons. πŸ–€

Closing Chapter 6: June 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! I realized that we’re half into July and I never wrapped June up so… better late than never, I guess. πŸ˜… Let’s jump in!

Books I Read

Surprisingly, I did manage to get some reading in during the month of June. Mostly audiobooks, though I’ve also gotten into reading digital books on my breaks at work so that’s helped. Here’s what I read last month.

  • The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ› Β½
  • Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • When You Know What I Know by Sonja K. Solter πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›

Movies I Watched

June was not a movie heavy month for me. I’m still working on completing the MCU Movie Challenge, though apparently I took June off from it. πŸ˜… Here’s the list of movies I did watch!

  • Madagascar (2005) 🍿🍿🍿
  • The Boss Baby (2017) 🍿🍿🍿½
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012) 🍿🍿🍿
  • Sense and Sensibility (1995) 🍿🍿🍿🍿
  • Brian Banks (2018) 🍿🍿🍿🍿

Other Things I Did

WORK. I went back to work at the beginning of June and we have been open to the public since then. For those who maybe didn’t know already, I work in youth services at a large public library. It’s been… different. And quite stressful. And, honestly, I’m shocked I’ve managed to get anything outside of work done at all because I’m always exhausted at the end of the day. In short–I have no idea how our essential workers have managed. You are all amazing and worth so much more than whatever it is they’re paying you!

SCHOOL. It was a very condensed class, but I had an AMAZING group to work with for all of the group projects. Honestly, without them I probably wouldn’t have gotten as much out of the class. It was actually pretty great.

Language Learning. I didn’t do much with Ilocano during June, but I did start listening to Pimsleur Japanese on my lunch break every day. It’s helping but, to no one’s surprise, Japanese is difficult to learn. Still, I’m improving and really enjoying it. It’s such a beautiful language!

Working out. I’ve managed to turn this into an actual habit. So much so that my body refuses to accept “rest days” and I end up doing something on them anyway. Usually light yoga for beginners.

Long Distance Socializing. I’ve been video calling with my sister a lot. I also video call my monsters while I’m on my break at work. Technology does have its wonderful moments, doesn’t it?

I participated in a blog tour! The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth is such a fun book and I really truly love it. It was also a really fun one to create a Bookish Soundtrack for.

That’s all that I can think of just now. Happy reading, bookworms and dragons. πŸ–€

Closing Chapter 5: May 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! May has somehow come and gone and here we are so I guess let’s close it up properly.

Books I Read in May

This school semester is eating me and reading hasn’t been a priority this month so I didn’t read as much as planned, but I did read some! Here’s what I managed to get in…

  • Lu by Jason Reynolds πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘Ύ
  • P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ› Β½

Movies I Watched in May

I have decided to include the movies I watch each month in my wrap up posts. As with my book list, I will only include links to the ones that I’ve written my thoughts on, though they can hardly be considered actual reviews. I’m currently working on completing the MCU Movie Challenge, so some of the movies I’ve watched have been for that. You can read my initial challenge post here. Here’s the list of movies I watched this month!

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
  • The Willoughbys (2020)
  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Other Things I Did in May

SCHOOL. For some reason, I thought a shortened summer class was a good idea. 15 weeks worth of work in 6 weeks? No problem! I’m 2 weeks in and–yes, in case you were wondering–it is EXACTLY like I set a chaos demon on fire.

Language Learning. This has mostly taken space on the back burner because did I mention school is a huge thing? It’s a huge thing. I’m still working on Japanese but mostly because I’m helping the monsters with their learning of Japanese. I haven’t done much with Ilocano, which makes me a little sad because that’s the one I’d rather be focusing on of the two.

*Working out? I’ve only started this past week with a routine for getting up a bit earlier every morning to work out so I’m not sure how it will work out yet. So far, I’ve just been doing pilates but I’m hoping to start running again and maybe adding some yoga? What type of exercise is the most fun to you?

*Long Distance Socializing. I’ve been texting with my work family a LOT lately. I miss them so much! I’ve also been video chatting with my sister a few times a week. I can’t wait until it’s safe enough to see everyone in person again!

Blog Revamp. I’ve started adding content that I didn’t used to put on the Vicarious Bookworm blog (as evidenced by the Movies I Watched section above), but not really a whole lot. I’m still not sure where I want to go with the movies, but please let me know if you have any Opinions down in the comments! πŸ™‚

I wrote a review? I’ve been horrible about making sure to put reviews up of the books I read, even when I fully intend to do so. Somehow, I managed to put my thoughts and feelings about The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab down in some mildly coherent form. (Spoiler: I LOVED it!!)

That’s all that I can think of just now. Stay home and stay safe, bookworms and dragons. πŸ–€

Closing Chapter 4: April 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! April was kind of like a repeat of March because the world is basically on fire and chaos ensues. I have, however, officially been dubbed a chaos demon in real life so I’m focusing on that positive note. Let’s wrap this month up, shall we?

Books I Read in April

I didn’t read anywhere near what my conservative TBR asked for but I did read so here’s that list…

  • Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

Other Things I Did in April

SCHOOL. I had SO MANY big projects due over the course of this month that I’m so, so incredibly happy that the semester is over, even if I still have to work on my thesis project in between to keep myself from completely losing it later on.

Language Learning. I’ve continued trying to learn Ilocano. It’s still rough but I’m improving…. very slowly. I’ve also been learning to speak a little Japanese because my monsters are learning it right now but that is also… rough.

Working out? I’ve done a few work outs recently but not as much as I had planned to. I’ve also been eating a lot of carbs so… quarantine 15 is a very real thing.

Long Distance Socializing. I’ve been video chatting with my sister less, but we’ve sent each other videos of us talking instead of just texting so… basically the same thing, right?

Blog Revamp? I’ve thought a lot about changing up my blog, but I’m not sure exactly what that will look like at this exact moment. I will let you know as soon as I do. πŸ™‚

Crochet. Lots and lots of crochet. I’m working on a blanket for the family room at the moment. Unfortunately, I didn’t get all of the yarn I needed for the whole project when I bought it and because this is the way my luck works… the company has recently stopped making it. It’s going to be fine but I’ll have to get a bit extra creative.

Pokemon Go: Social Distancing Edition. The monsters and I have been driving through parking lots and around town once or twice a week. They get to play Pokemon Go in the back seat and I get to not be stuck in the same four walls 24/7. Win for everyone!

That’s all that I can think of just now. Stay home and stay safe, bookworms and dragons. πŸ–€

Closing Chapter 3: March 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! What the hell happened? February and March were such a global disaster that I didn’t even realize it’s already April. Let’s wrap them up, I guess? Even though apparently we’re at a stand still until people stop doing ridiculous things like throwing block parties (I’m looking at you, Brett!).

Books I Read in February and March

Since I didn’t wrap up February, I figure I’ll include the books I read in this post. I’ve continued having my wee book monsters rate the books that we read or listen to as a family, so their combined and averaged rating will be represented by this little book monster πŸ‘Ύ instead of my usual bookworm πŸ›.

  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Patina by Jason Reynolds πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘Ύ
  • The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Sunny by Jason Reynolds πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘Ύ
  • Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith πŸ›πŸ›πŸ› 1/2
  • Nyxia Uprising by Scott Reintgen πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ› 1/2
  • The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig πŸ›πŸ›πŸ› 1/2

Other Things I Did in February and March

SCHOOL. I know it’s obvious, but it’s so much work that it honestly deserves its own full paragraph.

I’ve gone back to trying to learn to speak Ilocano, which is one of the languages spoken in the Philippines. Because what better time to learn a new language than when you literally can not leave your house, right? I’m having a lot of trouble finding input material in Ilocano that isn’t meant for people who already speak Tagalog (which I do not) so if any of you happen to know of any or maybe have pointers, I would greatly appreciate any help. πŸ™‚

I’ve been doing a lot of video chatting with my sister. I miss seeing her every weekend, but this is better for both of us right now.

I’ve been thinking about doing a bit of bookish baking or cooking. Probably not right now, given that apparently flour and yeast are unicorns, but it’s something I’ve thought about doing for a while. I just don’t know what it would look like. Blog posts? A YouTube channel? And what would I even call it? I don’t know. If you have any preferences, ideas, or comments, please let me know!

That’s pretty much all that I can think of just now. Please stay safe, bookworms and dragons. The world would not be quite the same without you. πŸ–€

Closing Chapter 1: January 2020 Wrap Up

Hello there, bookworms and dragons! Is it just me or does it feel like January looked at itself before setting itself on fire and just kind of left us here? Let’s dive into this wrap up so we can officially put it behind us!

Books I Read in January

January was actually really good for me as far as reading. I also started having my wee book monsters rate the books that we read or listen to as a family, so their combined and averaged rating will be represented by this little book monster πŸ‘Ύ instead of my usual bookworm πŸ›.

  • It’s Alive! It’s Alive! by R. L. Stine πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘Ύ 1/2
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘Ύ
  • The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner: And Other Stories by Terry Pratchett πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘Ύ
  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›πŸ›
  • Flying Lessons and Other Stories an anthology edited by Ellen Oh πŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘ΎπŸ‘Ύ 1/2

Other Things I Did in January

I got exceedingly behind on homework. I somehow managed to catch up on the literal last day of the month and I’m hoping to keep it this way.

I’ve looked for a new place to live. Anyone who has done this knows what a horrible black hole it is in regards to time and money. I’m definitely not a fan and I’m ready for it to be over.

I’ve worked on planning out a few programs for work, though none to the extent that I’d like. I’m going to have to pick a few people’s brains before I can finish a couple of them so we’ll see.

I got to be part of my sister being proposed to and am now helping her plan her wedding. It’s going to be beautiful!

That’s pretty much all I’ve done this month that I can think of just now. What’s something you’ve done or seen this month that left you feeling inspired?

Closing the Book: 19 Best Books of 2019

Hi there, bookworms and dragons! Can you believe 2019 is basically over? It’s been such a great year for books! This list is of books I read during the year, regardless of when they were published. It’s a mix of Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult books but they’re all novels or graphic novels. Let’s dive in!

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

I listened to the audiobook version of Harbor Me back in January. It’s not often that I remember the format so long after consuming the book unless there was something I disliked about it (like a series using different narrators for different books in the series). This one though… it’s the story. The opening line comes back to me at random and rips me open anew. I love this book so much and I’m looking forward to rereading it with my nibling and monsters.

Add it on Goodreads

The Inkworld series by Cornelia Funke

I really enjoyed the immersive world, the characters, and the story of the Inkworld series. It is one of the series I didn’t like the narration for (they changed narrators between books 😬) but I’m already planning to reread the physical or digital version with my nibling and monsters.

Add it on Goodreads

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

I read The Crossover as part of an outreach book club for work and loved it. Kwame Alexander talks about some difficult topics during this, relating life to basketball. This really helped the group be able to discuss those topics together because basketball was something they can all relate to.

Add it on Goodreads

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

I read On The Come Up a while ago but I still remember loving it. Angie’s writing style is a bit like having a conversation. It’s really easy to fully immerse yourself in the novel, which was extra awesome because I will literally never be a rapper in real life. Literally never.

Add it on Goodreads

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard

I love this entire series, but each book is better than the last. So, it’s no surprise that Bloodwitch is one of my fave 19 books this year. The story from the previous Witchlands novels and novella is continued beautifully and I cannot talk much about it without giving spoilers so… just know that I highly recommend it.

Add it on Goodreads

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

I remember going into reading What If It’s Us with a good bit of curiosity because Becky Albertalli is known for queer Happily Ever After and Adam Silvera is a name I associate with intense emotional pain. I wasn’t sure how this novel would go since they cowrote it. Turns out, you can be happily anguished. Really though it’s a wonderful and somewhat bittersweet novel that fans of either author’s other works will enjoy.

Add it on Goodreads

The Fullmetal Alchemist series by Hiromu Arakawa

This is the only graphic novel on the list and really it’s quite a few graphic novels but… I reread the entire series while I was on medical leave from work earlier this year and it was an excellent introduction back to the world of manga. Which is good because now the monsters are getting into manga now and we can read them together! 😁 While we’re currently reading a different series, I’m planning to introduce them to Fullmetal Alchemist next.

Add it on Goodreads

I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver

It should come as no surprise that I Wish You All The Best is on this list. A POV character who is non-binary written by a non-binary author? Yes, please! This novel was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and it exceeded my already high expectations for it. Read it!! πŸ₯°

Add it on Goodreads

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I had not even heard of this book until my friend started talking about how awesome Casey McQuiston is on social media. It’s warm and fluffy but also painful and strong and so very queer and I love it SO MUCH. Related: I need to figure out how to get people to put me into their phone as “IRL Chaos Demon” but I’m still working on that…

Add it on Goodreads

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

This book… y’all. I listened to the audiobook because one of the YouTubers I’ve been watching for years narrated it and I thought it’d be nice to support her while also enjoying a book. Also, the premise of the book is pretty great. I was not expecting this to be such a cathartic read or to have such perfect representation of experiencing and escaping psychological abuse from a romantic partner. It’s… just read it. πŸ–€

Add it on Goodreads

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

The Grace Year has a fairly dark premise and I read it at just the right time when I was in just the right mood and I finished reading it faster than I’ve finished probably any other novel this year. It has a lot of The Handmaid’s Tale and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village vibes and I can’t recommend it enough.

Add it on Goodreads

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House was another very cathartic read for me because it openly discusses the trauma Alex has lived through. It is a book I can’t recommend to everyone because the list of triggers is long and they’re all very graphically portrayed. I listed all the ones I noticed while reading in my review. It’s quite a dark story and I’m impatiently awaiting the sequel now because…. cliff hanger.

Add it on Goodreads

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I went into reading The Starless Sea with high expectations because The Night Circus is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s just as magical and wonderful as I was expecting, though I’m still on the fence about the ending. I loved the world of it especially and I’ll probably reread it a time or two in the future.

Add it on Goodreads

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War is such a huge and intimidating book that it took me ages to pick it up but wow am I glad I did. This story hurt me in the best way and I’m still just not emotionally ready to read the sequel. After reading, I found out this is R. F. Kuang’s debut novel and I just can not imagine having this level of skill in a debut.

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The Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman

I know, I know. I read this entire series over the course of a month and I couldn’t just pick one of the books for this list so… It’s really interesting and immersive and well written. I also love the idea of socially accepted murder as a method of population control? In a novel setting anyway.

Add it on Goodreads

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I love that Lazlo is a reader. Through the beginning of this novel he does something that I do pretty frequently… he becomes so fixated on the city of Weep that it’s all he wants to talk about. He learns everything he possibly can and reads everything, whether he’s supposed to or not. It was incredibly relatable. I also love how lush and immersive the writing is and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

Add it on Goodreads

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

As one of my most anticipated books this year, I was so very excited to be able to read Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky early and even more excited to have been able to meet Kwame Mbalia. The book is a blend of West African and African American folk tales come to life together in the modern age. I loved it so much and I can’t wait to share it with kids at work for my summer book club.

Add it on Goodreads

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

I pre-ordered Children of Virtue and Vengeance the moment I finished reading the first book in the series, Children of Blood and Bone, so you know it was at the top of my most anticipated list for this year. It blew my expectations way out of the water! It must have been incredibly painful to write because I cried quite a lot. In fact, the entire epilogue was just me sitting in my car in a parking lot with tears streaming down my face. #VengeanceOnTheseHeauxs

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The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

I listened to the audiobook of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise with my monsters on our winter road trip. I also gave my nibling a copy so they read it too. It’s such an incredibly written story. It touches on the different ways that different people process grief, the difficulty of making friends, the joy that can be found in having a pet. It’s a book about adventure and relationships that’s brilliantly written for a Middle Grade audience.

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What are a few of your favourite reads from 2019?