Friday, September 30, 2016

Favorite Female Superheroes | Fandom Friday

Welcome to another installment of Fandom Friday! Last week, I posted a video discussing why I chose to break up with JK Rowling, so I decided to take a different approach for this week’s blog post. Today, I’m talking about my favorite female superheroes – those badass women from comic pages and movie screens who embody that iconic Nicki Minaj lyric: “you could be the king, but watch the queen conquer.” I almost exclusively read comics about female characters, so these ladies are the real heroes in my book.

1. Gwen Stacey, Spider-Gwen. One day I will write an ode to Gwen Stacey properly explaining why I love her character so much, but suffice it to say that Spider-Gwen is one of my all-time favorite superheroes. She’s sassy and tells bad jokes, but at the heart of this character is a young woman who’s struggling with who she is, both with and without the cowl. Plus, she’s a drummer in the band The Mary Janes (yep, fronted by good ol’ MJ herself!), and Gwen was definitely the star of the Spider-Women crossover event, although I do have a spot in my heart for Cindy Moon and Jessica Drew now.

2. Natasha Romanova/Romanoff, Black Widow. An assassin turned Avenger, Natasha may not scream superhero at first glance. But for me, it’s always been Black Widow’s character arc that’s the most intriguing. Natasha is concerned with redemption, erasing some of the red from her ledger. Since I’m a big MCU fan, I can’t mention Black Widow without giving a shout out to how excellently she’s played by Scarlett Johansson (except that weird romance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which we will not speak of). I’ve only read the first volume of Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto’s series, but I fully intend to read that entire arc, plus the current story.

3. Diana Prince, Wonder Woman. Come on, I can’t talk about female superheroes without mentioning the feminist icon that is Wonder Woman. I admittedly am new to the Wonder Woman scene, and have never read a solo WW comic. DC Bombshells and the forthcoming WW movie next year have convinced me that needs to change. If you have recommendations of a great series to start, let me know! I’m insanely excited for the Wonder Woman movie in 2017, and the fact that Leigh Bardugo (of Grisha & Six of Crows fame) is writing a Wonder Woman YA book that’s out August 2017! Could you imagine what damage the patriarchy would sustain if Diana waved her lasso of truth around at a Trump rally these days? Just saying. Plus, it was recently announced that Diana is bisexual, so all the yes for LGBT representation in comics!

4. Barbara Gordon, Batgirl. I’m very new to the DC game, so I don’t have a lot of exposure to these characters and their storylines. But I did read Batgirl of Burnside this year, and I loved this modern reimagining of Babs Gordon as Batgirl. Babs is a STEM genius, and I really appreciated how much focus the writers put into that, to the point where Babs is pretty much a nerd and that was amazing. The art style in this new series is absolutely incredible, and the ways bodies are drawn is such a refreshing break from the overly sexualized, porn-level comic art that dominates this medium. I’m definitely excited to learn even more about Batgirl.

5. Kamala Khan, Ms. Marvel. Kamala Khan is the first Muslim, Pakistani-American character to headline a superhero comic, and she’s basically amazing. I enjoy how realistically Kamala is portrayed – she’s a teenager adapting to these new, crazy powers, not a seasoned veteran. I think it’s incredibly important that Marvel is including more diversity in their comics, especially since Ms. Marvel is Own Voices (writer G. Willow Wilson is a Muslim woman). So many superheroes are of some indiscriminate age, usually 20s – 40s, but Kamala is young, and she acts appropriately for her age. She’s worried about her shape shifting abilities, AND the boy she’s got a crush on. I think Ms. Marvel is an excellent entry point for new comic readers, especially younger girls who want to see themselves represented.

There are so many amazing female superheroes that I adore, so I’m going to name a few honorable mentions: Kate Bishop/Hawkeye, Jean Grey, Cindy Moon, and Jessica Jones.

But of course, I have to give a special shout out to my OG favorite female superheroes…the Sailor Scouts! Moon prism power make up!

Who are some of your favorite female superheroes? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

ARC Review: This Adventure Ends

Title: This Adventure Ends
Author: Emma Mills
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (Macmillan)
Format: eARC*

“Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida―especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines―and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.”

Emma Mills is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA contemporary authors. I was so pleasantly surprised by her debut First & Then, which combined Friday Night Lights and Pride and Prejudice into a wonderfully heartfelt read. This Adventure Ends, her sophomore novel, takes all the best parts of First & Then – relationships of all forms, snappy dialogue, and a true-to-life cast – and creates an incredible story.

This Adventure Ends focuses on what I think is the most important part of being a young adult, and doesn’t get nearly as much focus as romance: friendship. While there is romance (and oh, it is very cute with lots of snarky moments), the real focus of this book is the intense love we all have for our friends, a love that is different than familial or romantic love, but just as important. Sloane joins a group of friends, and the bond between them becomes everything. The best way I can describe the friendships in This Adventure Ends is to quote one of my favorite books, Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater: “they were all in love with one another…Blue was perfectly aware that it was possible to have a friendship that wasn't all-encompassing, that wasn't blinding, deafening, maddening, quickening. It was just that now that she'd had this kind, she didn't want the other.”

That’s the type of friendship at the heart of this book, and I absolutely loved it. Sloane struggles at times with this intensity, unsure if she’s really capable of being caring or even admitting that these people mean so much to her. There were so many moments while reading this book that caused me to think of my own friends from college, how we spent nearly every moment together (seriously, we took communal naps), and how they remain the most important people in my life. This Adventure Ends highlights the true importance of friendship, of a found family, and the love you share. I wish this theme was more prevalent in YA. So much focus is put on romance, which is fine and fun, but friends are infinitely more important than hooking up with the cute person in your class. Just saying.

I loved that the reader sees not only the overall group dynamic, but also each person’s relationships with the others. While the focus is of course on Sloane, you feel connected to Vera, Gabe, Remy, and Aubrey and what they’re going through. There were so many small moments between them that just made their friendships feel so real to the reader. Plus, Emma Mills gets all the gold stars for the Gilmore-Girls level banter and witty retorts throughout this book. They kept me on my toes, and giggling the whole time.

Sloane’s family was pretty interesting, especially her Nicholas Sparks-esque father who gets hooked on fanfiction for a Teen Wolf inspired TV show. Sloane as a protagonist was great, even though she is a bit distancing at times. She’s trying to figure out how to connect with people, and you really see her struggle at times with how to be a friend, or be affectionate. I definitely appreciated seeing that in her character.

The only thing that kept This Adventure Ends from being a 5-star read is that it lacked emotional depth. There’s a lot of potential, especially with Sloane’s dad’s apparent depression, and the fact that Vera and Gabe’s father is moving on after their mother’s death. But somehow Mills never strikes the right emotional chord for me to give this a full five stars. That being said, I am someone who likes a more than healthy dose of angst, so I wouldn't let that comment dissuade you from reading this book. Grab your best friend and pick up This Adventure Ends on October 4th!

This Adventure Ends is the friendship love story I’ve been waiting for, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5 stars

*I received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free & honest review.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ARC Review: Stealing Snow

Title: Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Format: ARC*

“Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she's not crazy and doesn't belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn't what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid--her true home--with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she's sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she's destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything . . . including Snow's return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.”

Remember last month, when I discussed my fairytale fatigue? Stealing Snow is a perfect example of why I’m over fairytale retellings. I can’t even sugar coat this review – I did not like this book.

To tackle the fairytale element first, Stealing Snow is supposed to be a retelling/reimagining of the Snow Queen, the same fairytale that inspired Frozen. You wouldn’t know that unless you were explicitly told though, because Paige mixes so many elements from different fairytales together that it becomes nonsensical. Snow White, the Snow Queen, Narnia, and Alice in Wonderland all pop up, and those are just the most obvious ones. The plot was a series of events that never felt tied together. Snow is here doing this. Now she’s here doing this. And now here. And now here! Rinse, repeat.

Looking back, the biggest problem I have with Stealing Snow is how Danielle Paige treats mental illness. Snow has lived in an asylum since she was six and tried to walk through a mirror (which…seriously?), and is constantly medicated because…she gets angry sometimes? We’re told that she goes crazy and is apparently capable of hurting people, but the one scene of this we actually see does nothing to justify these claims. So not only has this minor spent the majority of her life doped up in a psych ward, but the VERY MOMENT she passes into Algid she’s MIRACULOUSLY CURED. We never see that bad attitude or violent tendencies again. She’s no longer “crazy.” This is just so incredibly problematic and honestly disrespectful of people who actually suffer from mental illnesses. This book is a giant step backwards for mental health representation in YA. I’m going to stop talking about this because I’m becoming actively enraged, but suffice it to say that this is a trope I loathe.

Speaking of things that I loathe with the fiery passion of a thousand suns, Stealing Snow has an honest to god LOVE SQUARE. That’s right folks, Snow has four suitors in this book. Of course, I probably don’t have to point out that they’re all male, because even magical lands must ascribe to heteronormativity! The fact that she actually manages to develop feelings for each of these guys is astounding, considering she knows two of them all of five minutes before the pining begins. I can tolerate love triangles (albeit barely), but there’s seriously no damn reason for a love square.

Stealing Snow marks the third YA book I’ve read in the past month where our female protagonist is betrayed by a male character. While on one hand I’m glad that girls are learning to be wary of trusting boys (yes, this is who I am ok), it’s becoming such an unoriginal trope. And it’s always the same character, too. But lucky Snow is betrayed by not one, but TWO of her love interests! Oh the angst, how will this love square be resolved? Oh no, my eyes just rolled right out of my head.

To top it all off, Stealing Snow packs a one-two punch of lackluster writing and literally no world building. The brief insights we have into Algid are confusing, and none of these pieces seem to fit together. The writing was easy to read because it was so painfully simple and unremarkable.

I honestly can’t point out any one thing that I genuinely enjoyed about this book, and I wish that I would have DNFed it instead.

Rating: ⭐️

*I received this ARC from the publisher at BEA in exchange for a free & honest review.      

Friday, September 16, 2016

Top 5 HP Ships | Fandom Friday

Ok, so plans got a bit derailed after my first Fandom Friday post, but things are getting back on track with today's post - my top 5 Harry Potter ships!

Anyone familiar with fandom will inevitably know that the term "ship" is derived from relationship, and means that there are two characters you want to be in a relationship of one form or another. Shipping is a widely popular part of the fandom experience, and is a huge part of fanfiction. As someone who's been in many fandoms over the years, I've gone through my fair share of ships. Some have sailed, others have sunk, and still others were cracks hips that would never see the light of day and left me trawling AO3 for whatever I could find. One of the fandoms that I've been a part of the longest is of course Harry Potter, and my longest standing ships inevitably come out of the wizarding world. Since Harry Potter is largely what got me into fandom in the first place, I thought I'd share my top 5 HP ships with you today.

1. Hermione Granger + Draco Malfoy (Dramione)

Oh, the angsty ship of my dreams. Hermione punching Draco in Prisoner of Azkaban was a watershed moment for my young shipper self, and no one writes hate-to-love quite like Dramione shippers. This ship is also A+ when it comes to Draco Malfoy redemption arcs, and I'm here for it. Also, literally no other character can hold their own against Hermione when it comes to being witty and whip-smart like Draco can, and so their ship has the best banter by default. There is, admittedly, little to no canon evidence to support this ship but I honestly give no fucks about what JKR thinks anymore so I WHO CARES NOT ME. Basically I just love this ship and have read entirely too many fics where they're Head Girl & Boy and have to share a dormitory. 

2. Hermione Granger + Harry Potter (Harmony)

Arguably one of the most controversial ships in the HP fandom, I've always been a Harry/Hermione shipper and still to this day pretend that Hermione didn't end up with Ron. As much as I hate JKR retconning all over the place, even SHE acknowledged that Hermione should have ended up with Harry instead of Ron. I also don't like the fact that literally everyone ends up a Weasley at the end of the series, so Harry/Hermione breaks that up nicely. Plus, they just have a much closer relationship and the best H/H fics really highlight that. Hermione and Harry were my very first ship, so I have strong nostalgic feelings about this pair. Plus the films definitely play up their relationship, which is one of the best things about the adaptations. Also, that whole "I'll go with you" scene? Kills me.

3. Lily Evans + James Potter (Jily)

One of the most divisive issues in the HP fandom is easily Jily shippers verses Snily (Snape + Lily) shippers. Personally, I hate Severus Snape and think that Snily is a steaming pile of abusive trash, but that's a topic for another day. James and Lily, however, are everything. They embody the "hate-to-love" relationship trope, and I am yet to read a quality Jily fic that didn't have amazing banter between the two. Plus, James/Lily obviously takes place in the Marauders Era, which is my favorite because I really adore fandom about the war during Voldemort's first rise to power. This is a hard ship to explain why I ship them so much, but trust me...I do.

4. Albus Severus Potter + Scorpius Malfoy (Scorbius)

Literally the ONLY GOOD THING to come out of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is that I now ship Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, no matter what that queer baiting piece of trash play says. I've never been interested in the Next Generation, but Cursed Child made me realize that there's some prime ship material here. Scorpius, especially Cursed Child Scorpius, is an actual ray of sunshine and Albus Severus is angsty AF and together they make my new OTP. I just love the idea of Harry's troubled middle son and Draco's only child falling in love, forever forcing their fathers into awkward holiday dinners. 

5. Luna Lovegood + Neville Longbottom (Luneville)

This ship is 100% the fault of the movie adaptations. When suddenly-very-attractive Matthew Lewis says "I'm mad for her. I think it's about time I told her, since we'll probably both be dead by dawn!" in Deathly Hallows Pt. 2, the proverbial lightbulb went off. This is definitely a ship I prefer to read about as a secondary pairing in another ship's fic, but I still love them all the same.

What are your favorite HP ships? Let me know!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

ARC Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: jimmy patterson / James Patterson
Format: ARC*

“Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.”

I’ve never been a fan of murder mysteries, and reading suspenseful books usually causes me more anxiety than excitement. So when I picked up an ARC of Stalking Jack the Ripper at BEA, I had no idea what to expect. I nearly decided against reading this because I was so sure it would be too gory, too spooky for me. Thankfully I gave Stalking Jack the Ripper a chance, because this book blew me away.

Our protagonist Audrey Rose is a proper lady, but all the tea parties in the world can’t hold her attention when she’d rather be conducting an autopsy. Audrey spends her free time apprenticing under her uncle as a forensic scientist, and when one of the bodies she’s studying turns out to be the Jack the Ripper’s first victim, Audrey finds herself on the hunt for a killer.

My single favorite thing about this book is how powerfully feminist it is. Audrey pushes back against societal expectations placed upon her as a young woman, and is more concerned with determining cause of death than finding a husband. Audrey asserts herself and her aspirations, going so far as to attend her uncle’s lectures dressed as a boy. Female characters who are interested in STEM fields are still unfortunately uncommon in YA, so seeing Audrey’s passion for science before women were even largely allowed to study added to my appreciate for this book. Audrey has so much working against her, but she still fights for what’s important to her.

Weaving in the Ripper murders was an interesting premise, and I’m sure that readers who are better acquainted with Jack with get even more out of it than I did. Admittedly, I know very little about Jack the Ripper, so I wasn’t overly focused on those details. Maniscalco does play around with Jack the Ripper, and while it was told well, I didn’t love where she took that part of the story. The ending felt oddly detached from the rest of the story, and that lessened my overall enjoyment of the book.

I did enjoy the romantic subplot, especially for its snappy banter and competitive nature. That being said, I wish he didn’t swoop in to save Audrey quite so much. As fierce and capable as she is, I would’ve liked to maybe see Audrey save him a couple times.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper and would definitely recommend picking it up if you’re intrigued!

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

*I received this ARC from the publisher at BEA in exchange for a free & honest review.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mini ARC Reviews: Labyrinth Lost & Rani Patel in Full Effect

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alex is one of the most powerful brujas alive, but she hates magic and is afraid of her powers. In a misguided attempt to give up her magic, she ends up exiling her entire family to Los Lagos, a limbo world. With brujo Nova as her guide, Alex travels to Los Lagos to save her family and come to terms with her powers. The strongest elements of Labyrinth Lost were definitely the world building and the wonderful diversity of its characters. Nearly the entire cast of characters are people of color, and Mexican-American culture is represented not only with the characters, but within the bruja magic system as well. Our main character is also bisexual, and I loved seeing that, especially since it came across so naturally. That being said, for all of the positives I did have some pretty serious problems with Labyrinth Lost. Mainly, the writing feels weak and disjointed a lot of the time, and the author’s repeated use of nonsensical yet offensive phrases like “bipolar eyes” made the reading experience far from immersive. Nearly every other character in this book overshadows Alex, so by the end I still didn’t really know her voice, or feel connected to her as the protagonist. This is the first book in a series, but unless the writing improves I don’t think I’ll continue on. As much as I enjoyed the story, the actual story telling was too lacking for me to really enjoy it.

3.5 stars

I received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a free & honest review.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Set in 1990s Hawaii, Rani Patel in Full Effect was one of the most unique stories I’ve come across. Rani raps with her local crew as MC Sutra, and uses her raps to deal with what’s going on in her life – her father’s affair, the growing distance between Rani and her mother, and the years of sexual assault she suffered through. Rani has such a distinctive, powerful voice, and I loved reading about a female MC who looks up to Queen Latifah and Salt-N-Pepa. This book is Own Voices, and it really explores the expectations placed upon Indian women, especially in Rani’s Gujarati family. As much as I loved the different moving parts of this book, somehow it just didn’t quite work for me as a whole as much as I’d hoped it would. I think part of why I didn’t feel immersed in the story was because rap slang, Hawaiian words, and Gujarati phrases were used with little context or translation, so I was constantly referring to the glossary, even though many words weren’t even in the glossary. I know that Rani is 16, but the romantic subplot really diverted a lot of attention away from the family story and rushed Rani’s own personal growth instead of seeing it progress throughout the novel. I did enjoy this story, and especially Rani as a character, and loved that this book provided some much-needed representation of Hawaiian and Indian cultures, neither of which gets much attention in YA. Books are getting adapted into movies and TV shows left and right these days, but Rani Patel in Full Effect would make an amazing film. That has nothing to do with the merits of the novel, but I still wanted to share that opinion. I’d definitely recommend checking this book out, because Rani’s story and lines will definitely impress.

3.5 stars.

I received an ARC from the publisher at BEA in exchange for a free & honest review.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

ARC Review: The Graces

Title: The Graces
Author: Laure Eve
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Source: eARC*

“When a glamorous family of teenage witches brings a mysterious new girl into their fold, they unwittingly nurture a powerful black magic that could destroy them all. This paranormal YA fantasy features intrigue, spells, and a devastating twist. In The Graces, the first rule of witchcraft states that if you want something badly enough, you can get it . . . no matter who has to pay.

Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.

This fabulously addictive fantasy combines sophisticated and haunting prose with a gut-punching twist that readers will be dying to discuss. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars as well as nostalgic classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the 1996 movie The Craft, The Graces marks the beginning of a new wave of teen witches.”

Ah, The Graces. I had such high book that this book would be the second coming of The Craft, that iconic cinematic marvel of ‘90s. I adored The Craft when I was younger – probably too much for someone my age, but no one will be surprised to hear that I was a weird kid. I digress.

All of the crucial ingredients are there: an untouchable group of suspected witches, an outsider desperate for their acceptance, and the distinct feeling that something wicked this way comes. Unfortunately, what Laure Eve delivers is something decidedly less spectacular.

I had some major issues with The Graces, chief among them that roughly the first 80% of this novel is just…boring. An unremarkable girl (who has a real name I’ve since forgotten because she insists on being called River) climbs the social ladder with such thinly veiled desperation that made me so uncomfortable at times I wished she’d failed. The Grace family is pulled from the pages of Twilight, from their unnatural beauty to the distance they maintain from the rest of the town. River, of course, falls in love with the eldest brother and uses her friendship with the youngest sibling Summer, as an excuse to get closer to him. This book also commits the incredibly problematic “kill your gays” trop and it, unsurprisingly, left me enraged.

The best part about this book is the ending. The last few pages, and what will presumably occur after them, are what I wish this entire book had been instead.

* EDIT * Ok so I just looked this book up on Goodreads, and apparently it’s the first in a series. While that explains why The Graces was so boring and felt unnecessary, that’s because it was, all for the sake of setting up a second book that will actually have an exciting story and/or some real action! I’m going to stop myself from going on a “unnecessary series” rant, but suffice it to say that I think this is silly.

Ultimately, there was little to nothing that I actually enjoyed about this book. Nearly everything from the characters to the pacing to the magic system managed to annoy or bore me, and I will not be continuing on in the series. Instead, I’m going to watch The Craft this weekend bask in its witchy glory. If you’re super into witches and don’t mind a lackluster first book, then give it a try. But otherwise I’d recommend a hard pass on this.

Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️

*I received an ARC from the publisher at BEA in exchange for a free & honest review. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

August Wrap Up | Part 2

I tend to split up my monthly wrap ups into the midpoint and end of the month, because I read too much for a single video. That being said, this month's wrap ups have been INSANE. I read 16 or so items in the first half of the month, and 17 in the second half. My August Wrap Up, Part 2 is 13 minutes long and we've got a lot to cover, so grab a cup of tea and a snack, and settle in.

Let me know what you read in August, and what you think of the books I read!