6 Non-Christmasy Books for the Winter Holidays

At this time a year I always see a lot of Christmas books, especially Christmas romances, going around the blog-o-sphere. You know the kind, Hallmark movies in book form. A lot of people really love them, but if I’m being honest they are not for me. But I do like to read wintery books at this time of year. So I thought I would share some of my favorites for anyone who, like me, is looking for something a little less Hallmark-y this Holiday Season.

Okay, so half of these books are fantasy. That’s what I like, get over it. 😛

The Bear and the Nightingale

If you’re looking for atmospheric books set in winter, it doesn’t get much colder than the Winternight Trilogy! This book is lyrical, lush, and nuanced. Though the entire book isn’t set in winter, it’s sure to give you the desire to curl up with some hot coco by the fire (and maybe leave some toast in the grate for a domovoi). This has become one of my favorites these last few years. Read it!

Continue reading “6 Non-Christmasy Books for the Winter Holidays”

The Dreamy Covers Book Tag

I saw this post on Darque Dreamer Reads MONTHS ago. I don’t think she tagged me, but I liked it so much that I bookmarked it. There are so many PRETTY covers out there, and I just want to share them with you all! Then I can go awkwardly hug all my books… Because that’s not weird…

Rules

  1. Thank the lovely person who tagged you, spread the love!
  2. Mention Tiana @ The Book Raven as the awesome) creator of this book tag!
  3. Use the original tag image in your post. (However, Feel free to add whatever other graphics your heart desires!)
  4. At least tag 1 fellow blogger for this tag. Even if your like me sometimes and feel a bit lazy 😉
  5. List the rules

“No Ideas But in Things”

A book cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside it

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo

The cover designer completely nailed this one. I love the color, I love this pose from Evelyn. This cover caught my eye and then the writing caught my heart. Continue reading “The Dreamy Covers Book Tag”

Review: The Winter of the Witch

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

the winter of the witchSeries: The Winternight Trilogy
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Maturity Level: 4
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.


What a great end to this amazing series! The Winter of the Witch was everything I hoped it would be. It answered all my questions, gave my favorite characters good arcs and development, fleshed out the magic a bit more, and went in a completely different direction than I was expecting! Continue reading “Review: The Winter of the Witch”

Sorting Hat Sunday: The Winternight Trilogy

Sorting Hat Sunday (1)

Vasya looked around her nervously. Could it really be true that all these other children were special too? She was used to being different, to being the only one who could see the creatures around her. But these other children were all looking at them too. And none of them seemed afraid.

This strange contraption she was riding on was nice as well. Much warmer than a sledge. And it moved so quickly! Yet she wondered why it was such a vivid red. Was there a purpose to that, somehow?

One boy, however, looked at her angrily. She glanced away quickly, unsure what she had done to offend him. When she chanced to peek at him again a few moments later he was still staring at her, fire in his eyes. She stole a look at her sister out of the corner of her eye. Olga didn’t seem to notice anything was wrong. Vasya tried to ignore the boy, but that horrible feeling in the center of her chest would not go away.

“Olga, can we go sit somewhere else?” Vasya whispered to her sister.

“Of course not. Hush,” Olga scolded, eyes never leaving her book.

Vasya crossed her arms and slouched in her chair. Exactly as she thought, this place would be just like every other place she’d ever been, full of silly rules. Fine, she’d run away before, she would just run away again.


Vasilisa

Hmmm, this is interesting. Because Vasya is, without a doubt, very courageous. Often to the point of acting without thinking. But while she might not always think things all the way through, she is incredibly wise in the old ways. Her open-mindedness allows her to see and understand things other people miss. She also refuses to be constrained by society’s expectations for her. While she could go in either house, I imagine she would have looked up to Rowena, a fellow woman breaking the mold.

Sorting Hat Says: RAVENCLAW!

sorting hat Continue reading “Sorting Hat Sunday: The Winternight Trilogy”

Calendar Girls December Wrap-Up

calendar girls december

Oh my, it’s the last day of 2018! We’re wrapping up year two of Calendar Girls! I feel confident in speaking for both myself and Adrienne in saying we’ve had an awesome year with you all! December has been great talking about books set in winter, and I really like the new format for the #CGBchat that we tested this month. I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2019 will bring.

Best Book Set in Winter Picks

Landline – Katie @ Never Not Reading (that’s me!)
No Ordinary Star – Adrienne @ Darque Dreamer Reads
The Shining – Teri Polen
Let it Snow – Deanna @ Deanna Writes About
Witchwood – Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile
The Bear and the Nightingale – Dani @ Mousai Books
Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Madam Mim @ Mim Inkling
The Wolves of Winter – Lauren @ Two Birds One Blog
Let the Right One In – Lucinda @ Lucinda is Reading
Shadow and Bone – Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads

Our Favorite Pick is…

Continue reading “Calendar Girls December Wrap-Up”

Calendar Girls December: Best Book Set in Winter

calendar girls december

So before we do anything else, I HAVE to give a shout out to The Bear and the Nightingale, which I only didn’t pick for this theme for two reasons. 1) It was my December pick last year (favorite book of 2017) and 2) it’s sequel, The Girl in the Tower, was our winning pick for November (best middle book in a series). So picking it again seemed redundant. But guys, it’s SO GOOD! If you like atmospheric magical-realism/historical fiction mash-ups, The Bear and the Nightingale is the book for you!

Also, shout-out to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Because, well, obviously.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way… DECEMBER IS HERE! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I love December. Everyone is so jolly, there’s music everywhere, Christmas decorations are the only decorations superior to pumpkins, and it’s a time of giving and charity.

Given all of that, it’s no surprise that holiday-themed romances are big blockbusters in both the movie and book industries. I’ve seen so many romance novels with snow and holly on the cover on everyone’s blog this month, I don’t even know what to do with myself! While my pick isn’t quite on those lines, it does loosely fit into that genre. So, without further ado, my favorite book set in winter is… Continue reading “Calendar Girls December: Best Book Set in Winter”

Cross-Genre Books

Crossovers are like, my favorite thing EVER.

giphy (3)

Books, movie, TV, doesn’t matter. I especially like when characters from one story end up in another. Van Helsing, for example, has to be one of my all-time favorite monster movies. And if the Supernatural people gave Angel a cameo I would just flip my chips. (Okay, that’s not a thing. I made it up. Get over it.)

In the last year I’ve discovered that this love extends to cross-genre books. I really enjoy when a book can’t be just put squarely a box. If I’m going to have trouble figuring out where I’m going to put it in my bookshelf, I’m probably going to be grinning the whole time I’m reading. Continue reading “Cross-Genre Books”

Review: The Girl in the Tower

34050917The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Series: Winternight Trilogy
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction
Maturity Rating: 4
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆


Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop. 


The Girl in the Tower was not quite as amazing as The Bear and the Nightingale, but was still an outstanding read.

Continue reading “Review: The Girl in the Tower”

Discussion: Pacing

Since becoming a book blogger I’ve noticed a lot about other book bloggers. While there are sometimes mixed opinions out there, there are  a lot of things that most people agree about. For example, book bloggers on the whole don’t like “instalove”. They are tired of it. Another example, book bloggers on the whole DO like Warcross. These aren’t universal opinions, but they’re pretty dang popular ones.

There have been a few times since I’ve started blogging that I’ve been surprised to find books that I absolutely love that the blogging community on the whole doesn’t. Or, at least, can’t agree on it. The first time this happened was when I realized how many people absolutely hated The Night Circus. I was in shock because it’s one of my all-time favorite books, and it’s so gorgeous and romantic and magical, I’m not sure what there really is to hate…

Since then I’ve been surprised to find that I’m on the less popular side of Uprooted, The Bear and the Nightengale, and most recently, Renegades. And as I’ve been thinking about this I’ve noticed criticism for all four of these books have had one major thing in common.

Pacing.

Continue reading “Discussion: Pacing”