Knowing (and reading) your genre

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For a really long time, I just basically read whatever came my way. You give me a title, I’ll check it out. I never considered any genre to be my go-to genre and felt the bookish world to be my oyster. I wanted to read all the books.

However, you find out at one point or another that not all books are made for you. I think it’s at some point in every reader’s life they discover the genres that they enjoy the most. Sometimes it’s a gradual pull towards it. Other times, it just finds you. It’s always good to know what genres you like because then of course, you’ll never get bored.

But what if you don’t know what genre you’re interested in? How do you discover it for yourself? This I learned recently while trying to get into thrillers and mysteries.

I kind of shied away from mysteries and thrillers because I have some pretty bad anxiety when it comes to those reads. I think the last book I read was Gone Girl and that not only scared the crap out of me, but I think I remember throwing the book across the room. Thrillers have been a mystery to me, so I decided I wanted to take a deep dive into the genre.

I picked out a few books from my Book of the Month Club and I agreed to review a few mystery novels. I wanted to get a sense of the genre and see if perhaps this is for me. Sadly, it wasn’t. I didn’t find the thriller genre to be as fun and interesting as what I normally gravitate towards.

Now I know that thrillers and mysteries don’t really get me reading more, but I don’t know what I like to read.

I took a deep dive into my Goodreads account to see. I’ve been keeping a record of my books since 2011, so I knew I would find some good stuff there. There were a few patterns I can easily find and I think that this quickly decided what my favorite genres were.

It appeared that my favorite genres were Literary Fiction, YA, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and a little Romance. Of course I’ve also been reading a ton of diverse reads over the past few years as well.

It didn’t really shock me that I read these genres specifically. I guess I didn’t see this pattern before because I’m so used to reading whatever came my way. Perhaps there were more of these genres that came my way than others. It’s kind of funny when you dive into something like this and figure out that you’ve been running patterns you’re entire life.

Oddly, I felt empowered. I knew exactly what genres I loved reading, but the new challenge I came across was understanding what the basics are of these genres. No one wants to be the guy that announces their favorite genres and hasn’t read the “staple” novels. Would other genre-readers be able to identify with you or are you just a “poseur” pretending to like something you have no understanding about?

I’ve finally come to terms with the genres that I love, so now I’m on the quest to find the books that make up these genres. I’m pretty sure I’d get the proverbial shit kicked out of me for not reading the definitive works that defined the genre. I mean, I might have tried to read Lord of the Rings, but those movies came out and were so conveniently easier to watch than read.

I’m looking to expand my own universe by reading books in genres I actually like. I’m going to start with some staples and then work my way through other books. It’s so great to find something that you’re interested in. It’s like pulling from an endless library where every book is something your heart would desire. 

I’ll be updating you on the progress I’m making and creating some definitive guides to the genres in the future. For now, I’m happy knowing my genre and now I get to read from it.

I’m on Booktube now!

Hey everyone!

This is more of a PSA than it is a post about anything. I’m here to tell you that I’m now on Youtube/Booktube!

That’s right, you get to hear me rant and rave about authors and books IRL or as IRL as I can be without being in front of you. I don’t know, I was thinking about some of the stuff I talk about here and how it impassions me. I found myself talking to myself a lot these days and I wanted to share those thoughts in front of a camera.

My first video isn’t much more than an introduction of who I am. I plan on posting a new video every week, but that cadence may change depending on how much I can get done. Remember, I work a full time job all day long so all of this is happening on the weekends and at night.

I hope you enjoy this first video and I’ll probably have another video up in a few days. Let me know what you like and what you’d like to see. I’m taking questions, comments, suggestions, and anything to make this a fun and creative place to share reads without any judgment.

I hope you enjoy!

Little Fires Everywhere to Celeste Ng

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I know this review is a long time coming. I’ve been mulling over this book for the past couple of weeks. I don’t know how to describe my feelings for this book, but I know they are good. I just don’t know how to explain it the best way possible. I’m going to at least try.

I don’t know where to start with this book. There were stories within stories and some of them I wanted to know more about and there were others that I could have done without. There were stories that randomly popped up and ones you followed throughout the book.

Have you ever been the new person in town? I’ve never been new and when I’m new, I’m already assimilated to the town the best that I can. However, some towns are just too small and too friendly that if you’re slightly different you may be facing some serious backlash.

In Little Fires Everywhere, you follow Mia and Pearl as they arrive in Shaker Heights, Ohio. It’s considered one of the most idyllic towns in the suburbs of Ohio and we all know that with idyllic towns there’s always something hiding under the surface.

This was my official first book by Celeste Ng. I’ve tried reading books by her in the past, but I had some trouble with them. Mostly because of the I’m really bad when it comes to death and dying and her first book was all about that.

Little Fires Everywhere feels like a combination of stories. It’s almost like watching a play where all the characters are important and all of them have a background that needs to be discussed and discovered to help with outlining the bigger theme of the book; the sacrifices mothers go through.

I’m not sure if it was Celeste Ng’s intention to make a book about being a mother, but it happens to be that way. And for some reason I’ve been reading a lot of books about mothers and what they do for their children. Perhaps it’s a sign that I should call mine?

But the story is a culmination of different stories. Themes covered from sex as a teenager, pregnancy, abortion, adoption, surrogacy, sacrifice, suffering, struggle, all the words that start with the letter S. Honestly, I thought the book could be longer since there was so much covered.

So Mia and Pearl arrive in this town and you’re curious as to where they came from. What made them move here? Why did they decide on Shaker Heights? All these questions kind of rise up while you read the book. The further you read, the more you find out.

However, I think the most important part of the book and probably the catalyst for everyone’s secrets revealed is when a young couple tries to adopt an abandoned Asian baby. Without giving too much away, the birth mother realizes too late that she didn’t want to give the baby away and the couple who wanted to adopt her was already in love with the baby. You can imagine the tension between the two families and what will happen next.

What’s interesting is that Celeste Ng takes on every major character in this book and starts to unpack their lives. It’s expertly laid out throughout the novel so that with every chapter that goes by, you learn a little bit more. Perhaps it’s more like watching a serial TV show than a play where each episode shares with you more about the people involved.

But the amazing part is how everything is sort of attached to the lives they chose, the decisions they made, and the actions that took their lives and changed who they are and why they did what they did.

It’s really hard to talk about this book without giving it away. I will say that if you’re a mom and you know the struggles and sacrifices you’ve made for yourself and for your children, then this will be a good book for you. And if you’re a person without kids, you might wonder what your mom went through in order to let you grow up in a good and loving home.

I received this copy of the book at BookCon. You can find Little Fires Everywhere on Amazon.

Dreamology by Lucy Keating

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When I was a little girl, I used to have these amazing dreams about this guy. I would first fly through the air around my childhood home and watch the sun set orange and red across the lawn. I would finally land and sit down on our front stoop.

Suddenly, he would walk over to me. He’s always wearing an oversized sweater and well cut jeans. His smile made me melt and his dark hair was always in his eyes. Because it’s a dream, there’s always some strange quirks about what you see. For example, he was an alien from another planet.

I don’t remember all the details now that I’m older but I do recall that we would kiss under the street light before he headed back up to his home planet.

While the details of the dream are a little hazy, for some reason, I’ve never forgotten that dream and that dream boy and I think fondly about that time when I was a kid.

Have you ever had that dream before where it was so amazing and so memorable that even as an adult you can’t get it out of your head?

In Dreamology by Lucy Keating, you get to experience the same feelings for the main character Alice, who has been dreaming about her dream boy since she was a kid. All she knows is that the dreams were vivid and ended when she woke up. It was a surprise to her when she began school in a new city and found her dream boy in reality.

Of course, Max isn’t who he was in the dreams. In fact he appears to be rude, indecisive, and already in a relationships. You can see how a girl who has been in love with her dream boy for so long could be disappointed by the real thing. I mean, I would never want to meet my dream boy in real life worried about the same results.

From this point on, the story begins to get a little weirder as their dreams start to bleed into reality. They visit this dream lab to get it fixed and it’s something out of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where the main characters’ brains have been altered to allow for their dreams to meld together and then have their dreams become a reality.

I love books like this sometimes. The premise is pretty simple, the story is easy to read and follow along and you finish reading it in a few days. You get to feel that rush of love when you first fall for someone. It makes you feel good and sometimes you need a little bit of sugar in your life.

But I think what I love most about this novel is how they chase each other and their dreams. If I dreamed of my dream boy every single night, I would be worried that one day he would just disappear. It’s kind of the same here. What if Alice woke up and never dreamed of Max again? Would she be okay with the real Max or would it never be the same again?

You can find Dreamology on Amazon.

Banned Books Week: Be Proud to be Banned

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Today, I’d like to highlight one of my favorite authors: Toni Morrison.

Toni Morrison’s work to me has been these haunting tales of loneliness, sacrifice, desperation, and turmoil. Set during some of the most difficult times for black Americans, Toni Morrison has this incredible way of making you feel and understand what it must have been like for black and African American people. You’re transported there and you gain more consciousness.

And obviously, her works have been banned or challenged.

I absolutely love banned books week. I think it’s because I’m a perpetual questioner of the rules of engagement. I always have to test things out for myself and go against what the popular thinking is. I blame my mother, who has been subversive my entire life.

But I love banned books week and I love checking out all the books that have now been banned. Can you imagine in 2017 books are still being banned because they have themes like homosexuality, teenage girls getting pregnant, drug abuse, mental illness, and…magic?!

I’ve been going through the list of books and there are so many favorite authors where everything they write is banned or challenged. Toni Morrison happens to be one of them where most of her books have been challenged or banned in some way.

I thought to myself what must authors think to see every single book they’ve written is challenged or banned?

In my mind, I hope it’s a state of pride. I imagine them puffing their chest and standing very tall knowing that they challenge something for people. They make adults uncomfortable. Their books are deemed inappropriate even if they’re written for children. And not just one book. All of their books.

Authors like JK Rowling who’s books were deemed too magical and magic is some form of satanism so that’s bad. John Green’s books are also banned or challenged too. It’s probably all those kids dying of cancer and falling in love in the final days of their lives. Who knows?

It must give them a sense of pride to know their books challenge the way people think.

And if they aren’t proud, they should be. We’re creating a world where what we say can influence what other people think. It’s a massive form of power and while not every book needs to hone that power in, those who have been judged and misunderstood should continue to do what they do.

Keep pushing the envelope and talking about those taboo topics people are so keen on sweeping under the rug. It’s important to the kids in the world and the adults who are interested to know that someone is speaking up.

Be proud of your work! Be proud to be banned or challenging. Continue to challenge the social norms of this country or your country and hopefully we’ll be all proud to say they’re not longer challenged or banned books.

Welcome to Banned Books Week!

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Happy Banned Books Week and it’s going to be a good one.

This year’s theme is “the freedom to read,” which feels oddly relevant given that everyone has been talking about. Censorship is always around us telling us what to do and what to think and how to say things. It’s the faceless folks that tell us that something is too edgy and pushes the envelope. It’s the inability to discern for yourself if something is good or bad for you. It’s the fodder for amazing books that make you think for yourself and that’s a wonderful feeling (as long as you can cope with the anxiety).

On Instagram each day this week, I’ll be posting a book that’s been consistently banned or challenged in the past. While I’ll be highlighting one book, they’re representative of the many books in that genre that undergo scrutiny everyday. I know that the people who make these decisions aren’t doing it to harm young readers. In fact, they would argue that they are protecting them from it.

The choice for children to stay children, but sometimes you have to understand that children grow up. When they grow up without exposure to these banned and challenged books, then they face a world where it isn’t friendly and it isn’t kind and what they think could possibly be more dangerous than helpful.

Of course, I come prepared with an infograph from the American Library Association website on who these big whigs tend to be:

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Freedom should be celebrated. We do it every year in July where we remember our fore fathers who came to this country to free themselves from the censorship and persecution. We can pray to whatever God we want, but we can’t read books? Bit of a double standard.

So let’s celebrate our freedom to read! We’re one of many countries that allow it, but I do want to remind people that that’s not the case for a lot of people and still a concern for us as a country. So let’s ring those bells of freedom and get to reading.

If you’d like to participate in Banned Books Week with me, here’s some ways you can easily join in!

1. Read and share a banned book

While for some people this is easy as pie, for others it might not be that easy. It could be because their families don’t like it when you read these kinds of books or it could be because you don’t know what books are on the banned books list.

If you’d like to read a book that’s been banned or challenged in the past, check out this comprehensive list of books provided by the American Library Association.

The most important part about this one is to share those reads. If you learn anything from the book you choose or if it opens your eyes in ways you didn’t think it would, then share that love! Books aren’t meant to be stuck on a shelf and kept to yourself. They’re like living and breathing animals that need to let go and available for someone else. Don’t let what you’ve learned only stick with you.

2. Donate to ACLU or to ALA

While you may not be a reader, reading is considered one of the many freedoms protected by our first amendment. If you believe that we should have the freedom to read or even the freedom of speech, then donate whatever you can to the American Civil Liberties Union.

ACLU is doing everything they can to ensure that we, as a people, continue to speak freely, practice religion without any issues, and always always read books that may make you look at your world a little bit differently.

If you’re not into civil liberties, then perhaps you’ll be into reading books. The American Library Association is also always taking donations to help with keeping libraries across America open. If you ever complained that you don’t have enough money for books, then obviously you haven’t been to a library. Free books! All you need is a plastic laminated card.

3. Share with the bookish community

I emphasized this once, but I’ll emphasize this again. We should all be sharing our love of books with each other. It’s so important to share especially when it’s considered a community. Don’t be afraid to read your books and don’t be afraid to talk about them.

I hope that we’re loving and open enough to accept anyone and their beliefs. The only way our community will be able to make a difference is to share these reads and be empathetic to those who don’t want to read them and hope that they will.

Don’t keep your books locked up on a bookshelf. These may be yours, but the written words are for everyone. Buy another copy of your favorite banned book and leave it on the train or in the park. Donate your old copies of banned books to the local library. Books are physical copies of an amazing journey and you can always take that journey again. Let’s let someone else walk down that path for the first time.

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas

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I picked up Joan from the bookstore the day before it was supposed to appear on the shelves of every bookstore in the country. I searched through Strand because it wasn’t something displayed just yet on the mounds of book tables in front of the store. No, Joan was a little secret left to those who already knew the book was about to publish.

Throughout the weeks beforehand, I had heard rumblings across the bookish universe about how amazing this book was. How insightful and surprising it is for a first novel from an unknown author. I felt intrigued by that alone and as the stubborn mule that I am, I had to check it out for myself before I can make a discerning comment.

What I found to be a compelling novel about a writer and obviously a book written for writers. I’ve always believed that I would one day become a published author.

I did myself a huge disservice by trying to read this book too quickly. I was trying to be as quick about reading this because I had so many others waiting for me to read them, so I panicked. However, Joan is not the type of person to be rushed. I think that can be clearly expected from her, but I rushed her and the following points I bring up which brought my review to a 4/5 are probably because I didn’t give her the full, calm, and extended attention she deserved.

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is the story about a woman who already had a promising writing career ahead of her. The book begins with article clippings of praise for Joan’s already published short story collections. Then all of a sudden, she disappears from public eye and this is where her story begins.

This is an extremely detailed story of a woman who struggles to find balance between the dreams she made for herself prior to having a family and the reality of raising two kids with an almost absent husband. Suffice it to say, this wasn’t Joan’s plans for herself.

I know a lot of women who would argue that you’re able to have a fulfilling and lasting career even with having kids. I’m pretty sure Beyonce is one of those women. However, if you’ve ever written anything and aspired to be a writer there’s a certain amount of sacrifice you make in order to write that book. The few years I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo I don’t remember going out with friends or having conversations online. I would just sit at my desk and type words that would fall out of my head in hopes of making heads or tails of it in the future.

And it’s completely possible to be a writer and be a mother. I think this is just one truth Joan Ashby refused to see and it was clear she never saw that throughout the story. It really is the novel for writers about writers and writing. It’s about the sacrifices you need to make in order to let your art shine. What I found to be a really interesting style I’ve never seen before is how Cherise Wolas spent so much of her time writing several different stories into one giant behemoth of a novel.

First, she’s writing the story of Joan Ashby’s life, then she has long excerpts from the books Joan Ashby has written. She also has pieces of writing from Joan Ashby’s books while she was living her life. Finally, she also has the stories Joan’s children carried with them as they uncover the truth of their mother. Like how do you get yourself into the mindset of not only your own voice, but Joan Ashby’s voice, and then the voices of her kids. It’s an incredible dissection of a writer and what goes into writing and it’s almost the inception of books. A writer writing about writing and writing a novel while living her life. Anyone who writes can understand it and can resonate powerfully with it.

I think my favorite part of this book is when she finally takes her trip to India. She pulls an “Eat, Pray, Love” to escape from the ongoing life she’d been living at the most pivotal point in the story. Her time in India was inspiring; almost like hitting the reset button on your life and starting anew in a different world with different people other than the ones you’ve felt were damaging your spirit.

However, I will say that the passages including excerpts of Joan Ashby’s work were quite long. They’re all so expertly written and the story can’t really move forward without them but it almost felt like I was reading five books at once and I found it a little bit exhausting at times. For example, there’s an entire section of this novel read from the point of view of Joan’s son Daniel. He reads his mother’s work for the first time and not only do you read the perspective he gains from her work, but how that plays into some of the decisions he makes for himself. It’s really powerful, but something I could have done with less of or truncated. Why did Joan need to be such a verbose writer?

While I wish I can give this story a full five stars, there were a couple of flaws that I didn’t really like. One of which is the constant reminder to the reader that this life Joan Ashby was currently living was not the one she chose. She repeats throughout the novel how she didn’t want to get married, how she didn’t want to have kids, and how she was basically stymied the great career she could have had because of them. Yes yes, we understand that this isn’t the life Joan Ashby wanted for herself and I believe she tried to do her best as a disconnected mother, but I don’t think it needs to be repeated over and over again.

I think this book can resonate not only with writers but with women who may have sacrificed a little bit too much in order to take care of their children and raise their families. They’re all noble decisions to make, I assure you, but what happens when the kids are all grown up? What happens to the Beyonce lurking behind the 5AM wake up calls and the trips to soccer practice or violin lessons? That’s what I think this book is about.

I placed Joan up on the shelf prominently displaying amongst my other books, and one day I’ll have the time to sequester myself with her and her story. Don’t take the last two points I brought up as hugely disparaging of you reading this novel. I think you should and I think you’ll understand why everyone believes in Joan.

You can pick up a copy of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby: A Novel on Amazon.com

Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert

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Imagine you’re in high school.

Now imagine you’re in high school coming to terms with your sexual preference, your decisions for school, your religious identity.

Now imagine that you have a brother who is bipolar and you love him to death and you want to make sure he’s okay.

LITTLE AND LION by Brandy Colbert is a novel about mental health, understanding your sexual identity, being in love, feeling responsibilities of being an adult, being a teenager, and being yourself. It’s jam packed with excitement all within 250 pages.

Suzette (aka Little) is your narrator for the story and from her point of view alone you get a myriad of different questions and thoughts that I don’t even know I was thinking when I was sixteen.

The story begins with her returning from school in New England. She was sent there out of concern that her brother’s behavior will affect her. First, she’s struggling with her sexual identity. Is she gay? Is she straight? Is she bi-sexual? She can’t know for sure. Then, she’s struggling with her friendships with her friends prior to leaving for school. Finally, she’s struggling with protecting her brother who seems to have it together, but she believes she needs to be closer to him and help him out.

Lionel (aka Lion) seems like your average sort of guy, except last summer he was having a hyper manic moment leading to his diagnosis of bipolar disorder and testing out different medications before deciding that he was going to quit them cold turkey.

This was at the same time Suzette came back from school to finally spend a summer with her brother. They were very close for step-siblings, but Suzette’s concerns for Lionel pulled them apart eventually changing their relationship forever.

I’ve known some very bi-polar people in my life including my cousin who went from partying all night long to waking up and asking Jesus for forgiveness for the sins she committed during the evening (she just danced. I was there, God). I’ve dated people struggling with their anti-depressant medication and how the medication made them feel listless. They didn’t have any more interest in what they were doing. They hated the person they were without them.

The world for people struggling with mental illness is tough. I should know; I struggle with it myself. But in order for us to feel normal, we need to be treated normally. We need to feel that our diagnosis isn’t us; that we aren’t the mental illness people tell us we have. We need to feel that our medications don’t define us either; that anti-depressants are there to help us normalize not make us feel like monsters.

However, these are two areas that a lot of people who don’t struggle with mental illness don’t understand. This is where Suzette’s perspective comes in. I believe this story is great for a lot of reasons, but I think the most important reason is that it gives light to the perspective of those who have loved ones with mental illness. Suzette’s reactions to Lionel’s behavior feels on par with someone who hasn’t adjusted yet to knowing or being around someone with mental illness.

I think something valuable that you get out of this story is that you learn that people with mental illness are trying their best to put on a smiling face everyday and feel like the person they were before they were diagnosed. Our jobs as loving friends and family members are to always make sure they feel included; don’t approach us with kid gloves. We may be struggling, but we’re not fragile porcelain dolls.

It’s just so funny how Brandy Colbert approaches the topic. While yes, a part of the story is about Lionel, but a lot of the story is also about Suzette. I think in her own way, Brandy Colbert is trying to tell us that you should continue to live your own lives. Don’t get caught up in making sure your loved ones feel comfortable, fall in love and go out and have a great life. We’re trying to do the same thing too.

So if you’re new to knowing someone with mental illness or if you want to better understand why some people act the way they do towards people with mental illness, then I would recommend reading this book. It’s good to show you how people approach different challenges in their life and the most important lesson you can take away is that mental illness is an extremely personal struggle.

Buy it on Amazon: Little & Lion

My First Amazon Books Experience

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I was walking to the train the other day from a bridal shower my sister threw for me. The shower was a great time and we walked around and looked at expensive clothes I can never be able to afford.

And as I was making my way down to the train station, I walked across the Amazon Bookstore that recently opened. Oh whoa, this thing is already open? I asked myself as I moseyed to the front door. A security guard open the door for me and I entered the space. Of course I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to check out a major brand’s bookstore. I’ve been buying books with Amazon since Amazon was only about books, but now that Amazon is about everything it just seems a little short sighted to open just a book store.

Nevertheless, I continued into the brightly lit space. I felt like one of the new customers walking into Joe Fox’s “Fox Books.” Everything was beautifully displayed, clean, and covered in books. The coffee from the cafe connected to the store wafted through the air providing the atmosphere with some sort of sensory trigger. Paper and coffee; a deadly combination to any good-willed reader.

The entire experience made me think of You’ve Got Mail and the battle for bookish territory between an independent bookstore and a major corporate book outlet. However, there were some obvious differences between Fox Books and Amazon Books.

I didn’t get the vibe that Fox Books was trying to set up. Yes, there was coffee and books but the store was a little bit cramped. Given the fact that they’re right in front of the Empire State Building, they’re getting way more foot traffic than Joe Fox was getting at his store in the Upper West Side.

I was a little squished against some other book browsers. Moms and dads just watching their kids playing on the Kindle Fires. The aisles were a little cramped and not even two people can pass casually without a few “excuse me”s and “i’m sorry”s. There weren’t floors of books where you can hide out and read for hours without anyone interrupting you. There wasn’t a huge selection of novels from every genre here. I didn’t even see an Amazon Books mug! I would have been all over that.

But I think the biggest and most interesting thing about this store was the selection. I read somewhere that Amazon Books would only stock novels that have been rated and reviewed the most on Amazon and Goodreads. If you’re the social reader that reads a good book every six months, then this will be the store for you. You get to see a great compilation of best-reviewed novels throughout all the genres.

However, if you’re an avid reader getting in about 25-50 books a year you might find this store to be a little underwhelming. All the books I saw on display were novels I’ve already heard of and seen. Some I’ve already read. And as attractive as that is to the average consumer, it’s not that attractive for a daily reader.

The other downside of having only best-rated or best-reviewed is that you’re not going to get those hidden gem novels. You’re not going to find the mid-list novel here. This is really a drawback especially since my mission in life is to share great diverse reads and some of those reads aren’t being read by the hundreds of thousands.

And of course, you can buy any of the Amazon products right at the store. That is if you can get an opportunity to pry a kid off the Kindle Fires to see how they work.

There was definitely one plus, though. You can pay with your Amazon account and if you’re a Prime member, you can get a discounted price. You know when you’re shopping for books on Amazon and you see the retail price  with a strikethrough and a discounted price? Well, that’s what you can get to pay here. To pay with your Amazon account, all you have to do is scan a QR code with your phone and then the cashier just scans your phone. I didn’t even take my wallet out once and contemplate the remorse I would feel from buying six books.

Overall, I think this might be a good hangout for me while I wait for the train. There’s coffee and books for me to browse, but it’s not going to be my go-to spot for books. It was fun and I’ll probably go in there again, but I’m not going to hold my breath that this will replace any other bookstore in the world.

 

Eight celebrities who love to read

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From Oprah’s Instagram

I love it when I find out that a celebrity is a book reader. Something happens to me where I light up and almost feel closer to that person even though I’ve never met them in real life. I do hope that one day that I do, but for now I can only dream. Perhaps even I’ll get famous and have my own celebrity book club. A girl can dream.

Over the years, I’ve been collecting these bookish celebrities who have been vocal about their love for reading. Some celebs have gone out of their way to create book clubs for their followers to read along with. Others are a little bit more on the downlow, but you can always catch them reading something. However, I wanted to share with you all the best of the best celebs with their awesome love for reading. Some you may already know while others you might find surprising.

1. Oprah (DUH)

I think everyone in the entire world knows that Oprah is a book reader. Aside from her infamous book club, she’s also starred in tons of movies based off of books. From Beloved to the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time (alongside Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling), Oprah loves books. I’m pretty sure she’s going to do a Weight Watchers commercial about it soon.

2. Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon is a new bookish celebrity I collected. I didn’t know that she was such a reader until I read an article about how she basically fought tooth and nail for Big Little Liars to be made for the silver screen. Reese also has her own bookclub where she suggested great novels written by some super strong woman. Many of her suggestions are thrillers, but sometimes you get a few more even-keeled stories.

3. Mindy Kaling

I think this one is another obvious celebrity in the bookish universe. Mindy Kaling has written two books about herself and each includes stories about her love of reading and spending time doing so. She’s also been seen reading and sharing her favorites online.

4. Ameriie

Ok, this one was a little out of left field but I love that Ameriie is also a reader. Like totally in love love love with her being a reader! If you don’t remember who she is, she sang a little song a few years back called 1 Thing and then disappeared from the spotlight. All of a sudden, she’s come out with a compilation of short stories written by various YA authors and some written by herself! I couldn’t believe it until I heard it and I’m so excited to check that out.

5. Britney Spears

I actually didn’t find out that Britney Spears was a reader until I read an article about it a few months back. Apparently, scattered through her Instagram feed, you can find little bookish gems hanging out. I think that’s incredible and it makes me so happy to know that she’s bookish!

6. Emma Watson

Ok, this is another given since everyone in the bookish world already knows that Hermione Granger loves to read. But seriously, Emma Watson has her own feminist book club where she not only reads the Feminine Manifesto, but other novels written by strong women.

7. Emma Roberts

This was another unbelievable one for me, but I recently came across the Belleist Instagram account and loved the book club choices. I started following them a little bit more earnestly and boom, there’s Emma Roberts sitting there with a book in her lap. It was her book club! Wow, I’m just so happy to see the Emmas reading.

8. Kat Dennings

The last one is Kat Dennings. This might have been one some of you know and others may not know, but she is a legit reader. I’ve read interviews where she gushes over spending her time surrounded by her books. Sometimes you’ll see her post about it, but I just find Kat Dennings to be this incredibly intelligent woman who probably only got this smart from reading books.

What other celebrities do you know that love to read? Leave a comment below!