Review: Book Love

Book Love by Debbie Tung

Genre: Comic Collection
Maturity Level: 1
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Rating:
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Bookworms rejoice! These charming comics capture exactly what it feels like to be head-over-heels for hardcovers. And paperbacks! And ebooks! And bookstores! And libraries!

Book Love is a gift book of comics tailor-made for tea-sipping, spine-sniffing, book-hoarding bibliophiles. Debbie Tung’s comics are humorous and instantly recognizable—making readers laugh while precisely conveying the thoughts and habits of book nerds. Book Love is the ideal gift to let a book lover know they’re understood and appreciated. 


This is a very sweet book that is a collection of comics drawn by Debbie Tung on her tumblr. I should clarify that I mean comics as in web-comics or comic strips, NOT as in a comic book. Typically one page covers one day, although the occasional longer two-page comic is included.

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Least Popular Books on my TBR

It always gives me a chuckle to look at my tbr on goodreads. Some of the books on there are so random! Others have been there since I joined in 2014. Some of them I genuinely don’t even remember what they are about. Considering that I keep my tbr shorter than 100 books (and right now it’s actually less than 85), it’s really rather hilarious at how unusual some of the books on there are.

Of course, that also probably explains why I read so many books that aren’t actually on there… But that’s not the point of this post!

So I thought it would be fun to go to goodreads and sort my tbr based on the number of ratings each book has. Then go and see which books on there have been read by the fewest people. So, here we go!

For clarification, I am skipping books that haven’t been released yet. Obviously they have fewer ratings because, duh.

Best Friend for Hire

Author: Mary Carlomango
Goodreads Ratings: 98
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I honestly have no idea how I heard about this book. I just know I added it along with about ten others when I was looking for some cute Chick-Lit that was probably PG-13. It still sounds cute enough, but at this point it’s been on my tbr for like, three years, maybe it’s time to admit I’m not going to read it and just go ahead and delete it…

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The Dreaded Second Book Slump

We all know the drill. We read the first book in a new trilogy. We fall in love. We gush, we hype, we yell about the best book in creation at the top of our internet-lungs. Then, oh the torture, we have to wait a year (maybe even two!) for the sequel! So we wait, and we dream, and we imagine all of the things the rest of the series is going to be. Let’s be honest, we probably over-hype the book. Then, the day finally comes! We get our beautiful pre-ordered copy in the mail, and we don’t wait to dive right it! But… it’s just… fine.

Okay, even if it doesn’t go quite to that extreme, we all know that the second book in a trilogy is usually the weakest. Why?

The conflict has no where to go.

This is, I think, the main sticking point. I notice that often book 2 seems to be chasing itself in circles. So, a lot of times, the first book leaves us having firmly established the main conflict of the series, and has left the main character with a clear idea of what they need to do. But in the second book you can’t start resolving anything yet. So, what do you do? How do you continue to build when the main climax of the series isn’t even coming during this book?

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Review: All Systems Red

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Series: The Murderbot Diaries
Genres: Science-Fiction, Novella
Maturity Level: 4-
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Rating:
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In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.


What an enchanting read! All Systems Red was a perfect blend of sci-fi adventure with hard science fiction, all packed into a quick, light novella. It was funny, sweet, moderately thought-provoking, and entertaining as heck.

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10 Most Random Books on my Shelf

I don’t know about anyone else, but over the years I have acquired some seriously unusual books. Some of this is because back in my pre-blogging days, my primary method of finding a new book was to wander around the bookstore and just … choose. At random. Some of my strange books were given as gifts. Others, especially in the non-fiction section, are my weird husband’s books.

So I thought it might be fun to share the most random of the random with you all. These ten* books are unusual enough that I bet you wouldn’t find them at your favorite bookstore without special ordering. I’m going to go ahead and doubt that my library has any of these books but one or two either. (And y’all, my library system is BIG). So! In no particular order, here are my most random books.

*Why ten? Because no matter how hard I tried I could not narrow it down to five!

The Greyfriar

Author: Clay and Susan Griffith
Goodreads Ratings: 5,195
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This is a book I found back when I worked at Barnes and Noble. I was shelving books and the gorgeous cover caught my eye. I mean, look at it! Every time I was in that section I would pick the book up and just look at it. Eventually I caved, bought it, and read it. It’s fine if you’re in to the steampunk vibe and paranormal romance. Nothing too special, and the series really deteriorates as it goes on. But alright for a light, fun read.

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Review: The Library Book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Genre: Non-Fiction
Maturity Level: 3
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Rating:
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On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.


This book was completely different than I was expecting. Now that I’m re-reading the synopsis I see I can’t blame THAT for misleading me, but for some reason I had it in my head that this was going to be a true-crime book similar to The Orchid Thief. And while there were some elements of that present, that is not the proper way to characterize this book. Instead, this was Orlean’s love-letter to the Los Angeles Public Library.

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Calendar Girls January: Best First Book in a New Series

SURPRISE! We’re still here!!! I was over the moon when Flavia, one of the original creators of Calendar Girls, offered to take over when Adrienne and I were needing to take a step back. Long-time Calendar Girls participant Dani will also be taking over hostess duties for now. It is with the utmost excitement that I leave you in their very capable hands.

Our theme this month is New Beginnings: First Book in a New Series. That means, it’s a FANTASTIC book in a series, but none of the sequels have been published yet. This … isn’t easy for me. I much prefer standalones, and I rarely read the rest of a series. However, I read several great first books in a series in 2019!

Quick honorable mentions. These two books I technically liked better and rated higher on my list last year, but in both cases I felt like they don’t quite fit the prompt. Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey was my favorite rom-com OF ALL TIME, and has a new book in the series coming out in 2020. However, romance series are typically loosely connected, so I just didn’t like it for the prompt. Enchanteé by Gita Trelease was also a favorite, however it felt like a standalone novel to me, and I understand Trelease originally intended it to not be a series. Anyway, I highly recommend both!

So, here it is! My favorite first book in a new series. A series that I (and I can’t stress this enough) actually plan on reading.

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