Calendar Girls January: Favorite Book With a Non-North American Setting

Happy New Year everyone! What better way to start off 2018 than with a Calendar Girls post? I’m particularly looking forward to this one because I read SO MANY books set in America and England, but I’m super interested in books about other countries. Especially when they are written by people FROM those countries!

First of all, I read a LOT of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, but it seemed like kind of a cop-out to choose one of those, so I’m ignoring them. Similarly, England also seemed a bit of a cop-out as it is so similar to America. In fact, I avoided everywhere with white people almost altogether for the purposes of this post. I only considered Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Once I started thinking about it, I realized that I have read SO MANY good books that take place in non-North American settings! The trouble is, these books are often heavy, so they don’t end up being favorites. Here are a few examples that came to mind:

  • The Kite Runner
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • Siddhartha
  • The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • The Alchemist
  • The Good Earth

Like, all brilliant novels, but none of them will I probably ever re-read. However, I highly recommend all of them, and most of them (keyword MOST) were written by folks from the countries they were writing about, which is part of what makes them so amazing.

But after I briefly struggled with thinking I was going to have to pick The Bear and the Nightingale AGAIN, one book sprang to mind. A book that completely changed my life and the way I look at books. I can only be talking, of course, about …. Continue reading

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Calendar Girls December: Favorite Book of 2017

It’s almost hard to believe that December is already here! Almost… And as we’re wrapping up the year it makes sense to think about our favorites of the year.

Full disclosure before I start, I don’t typically read a lot of new books. Since I’ve started this blog I’ve read a WHOLE LOT MORE new books than I usually do, but my final total for the end of this year still only comes out to 10.

I think it’s also worth noting that my absolute favorite book this year was not actually new. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell has so far been the winner, and at this point is unlikely to be be displaced. If you’re interested, you can check out my Top 10 books of the year here. I know people have mixed feelings about Rainbow Rowell books, and Fangirl in particular, but it just felt like it was written just for me. I adored it.

So, without further ado, my favorite book published in 2017 is… Continue reading

Calendar Girls November: Best End of a Series

I gave basically zero thought to this post because I figured it would be so easy. Then I went to look at my bookshelf and realized that I had no idea what book to pick. Turns out I don’t read all that many series. And the first book is almost always the best one! The only two good answers were both a little obvious.

So, get ready for not the most interesting choice for Best End of a Series, but a good, solid choice nonetheless! Continue reading

Calendar Girls October: Best Paranormal

IT’S ALMOST HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

I love October. It’s the only month of the year we really get nice weather here in Texas, I love Halloween decorations, I love costumes, and I love candy. Plus, college football. October is just the best.

It’s pretty fitting that our October theme is paranormal novels. Paranormal and Halloween go together like milk and cookies.

For me, personally, I like my paranormal creatures best when they’re monsters. I’m not a big fan of wishy-washy vampires with feelings, or werewolves who are “good guys”, or cutsie friendly witches. Except Harry Potter, obviously. I prefer creepy, scary, or at the very least evil. So that was something to keep in mind when choosing the best. Continue reading

Calendar Girls September: Best Contemporary

The Calendar Girls theme for this month is “Best Contemporary Novel.” I don’t really understand what people mean when they say Contemporary, so I did a tiny smidge of research. (Seriously, tiny.) I’m going with the boring definition of “set in modern times”. Hope that’s what we’re going for. Otherwise, I’m going to be a VERY odd-duck out.

In fact, maybe I’ll ask twitter. Hang on, be right back.

Since nobody responded within 15 seconds (what are their PROBLEMS????) I’m just going with that definition.

Okay. I’m ready. You ready? I’m ready.

Continue reading

Calendar Girls August: Best Historical Fiction

What are Flavia and Melanie trying to do to me?!?!?! How am I supposed to pick just ONE best historical fiction????????

Historical fiction. A fictional novel written in the actual past, containing real events, places, and people. The main character might be an actual person, or might be a made up person. It’s a cool genre because there is a lot of flexibility, but you still have to do your research and know your stuff.

I adore historical fiction. This love goes all the way back to my childhood and Laura Ingles Wilder. There’s just something so magical about reading a great novel where you also learn a little bit. Plus, and I’m just being honest here, the clothes! *swoon* I can’t even begin to count the number of historical fictions I’ve read just about Henry VIII, his wives, and his children. It’s probably my favorite genre, if I had to pick a favorite, because I’m a terrible person who picks favorites, get over it.

I’ve been thinking for weeks trying to decide between three of my favorites, which are all VERY different. In the end I am picking the one that I personally enjoy the most, even if it’s not necessarily the most representative of the genre.

So. Drumroll please. Continue reading

Calendar Girls July: Best Fairy Tale Retelling

I don’t think it’s a secret that I love fairy tales and magical stories of all sorts. I have a special place in my heart for retellings, especially movies. Really, any sort of retelling is good by me. 10 Things I Hate About You, anyone? I’ve read a couple of interesting ones, mostly YA or middle-grade, but it isn’t in anyway difficult to pick a favorite. Continue reading