Life Update #3

I’ve taken an indefinite break from blogging and have decided not to renew (it expires July 19th, 2017) — after then, this site will still be accessible via


Five Favorite: Series I Haven’t Finished

“Five Favorite” is a feature on thewasofshall where I lay out my five favorite “x”. Sometimes they’re relevant to a season or holiday, mostly they’re not. It’s an all-around fun excuse to give my 100% amazingly awesome opinion. To see previous (and future) topics, click here. To participate, scroll all the way down.

Do you know the feeling where you read a book and you’re so in love with it and need more and then you find out that it’s part of a series and you’re like, YESSSS?

Me, too. Except, for some reason or another, I start series and really, really love the books and then, just… stop. Put the rest of the series on my TBR and then move on to something else.

Below are some of my favorite series I haven’t quite finished.*

The All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
Series starter: A Discovery of Witches
I last read number 1

The Giver quartet by Lois Lowry
Series starter: The Giver
I last read number 1
Books are up to 4 — and the series is finished

The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin
Series starter: The Passage
I last read number 2

The Robert Langdon novels by Dan Brown
Series starter: Angels & Demons
I last read number 3
Books are up to 4 with a 5th coming this October

The Undead/Queen Betsy series by MaryJanice Davidson
Series starter: Undead and Unwed
I last read number 11
Books are up to 15

* I actually did a Top Ten Tuesday post on this same topic back in 2015 – and I still haven’t finished some of the series yet. LOL.

Have your own five favorite unfinished series? Share them! Post them to your blog, link back to this post, and then comment letting me know!

New to the Queue #6

Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner started this and I love it so I’m (politely) stealing it!

I add a lot of stuff to my TBR list, my Netflix queue, and my library holds list. Here’s stuff I want to actually seek out and consume right now.

Stuff I Want to Read

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Demon, Volume 1 by Jason Shiga

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

Future Sex by Emily Witt

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

I’ll Tell You in Person by Chloe Caldwell

The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North

The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind by Siri Hustvedt

Stuff I Want to Watch


Get Out

Hidden Figures

I Am Not Your Negro

Table 19

What did YOU add to your queue?? Let me know!

Review: Miss You by Kate Eberlen

Title: Miss You
Author: Kate Eberlen
Rating: ★★★★
Summary: For one day, the paths of an eighteen-year-old girl and boy criss-cross before they each return to England. Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and fate, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly . . . or is there?

The title of Kate Eberlen’s latest should be Just Missed You, as Tess and Gus’s story is hinged upon their lives touching for a moment and then spinning wildly away again with the force of contact. Told in alternating chapters and spanning more than a decade and a half, we get to follow these two people as each decision they make (or are sometimes forced to make) alter their lives into hitting different intersection points. (I think that the best thing – in that it’s the worst thing – is Eberlen gives us just enough of a hint that Tess and Gus would have met at critical points in their young adulthood, but instead pass alongside one another, never quite meeting (or even knowing that they should).)

This story sunk its tender melodramatic claws into me, and I stayed up late reading, buoyed by the hope that maybe this day fate would push Gus and Tess into each other’s orbit. That in this moment, they would finally become more than tertiary strangers just out of reach. But perhaps only because that moment is almost twenty years in the making does it mean all the more.

Miss You could have easily devolved into cliched mush, but in Eberlen’s hands, it feels real and raw. At the end of it all, I was so happy I cried.

Month in Review: March 2017

Um, hi?

Here’s what I’ve been up to in March!

Books I read

According to a Source by Abby Stern: Ella Warren works for celebrity news website as a club reporter, assigned to stake out Hollywood’s hottest clubs and spy on the celebrities inside. When Ella is pressured by her Devil Wears Prada-type boss to find an exclusive story to keep her job, she has to decide if being in Hollywood’s elite inner circle is worth jeopardizing her friendships, a budding romance, and her family.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: The story of a quirky yet lonely woman whose social misunderstandings and deeply ingrained routines could be changed forever — if she can bear to confront the secrets she has avoided all her life. But if she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship — and even love — after all.

Movies I watched

The AccountantBilly Lynn’s Long Halftime WalkDeep WebThe Magnificent Seven, and Moana

On my radar for April

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Understand Being Black in America

logo-TopTenTuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was a freebie!

31421117Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America came out last week and, let me just tell you, it is making me woke af to my privilege as an upper-middle-class white lady, living in a liberal part of a liberal state. In an interview for The New York Times Magazine, Dyson states that the book’s ideal audience is “the ocean of white folk I encounter who are deeply empathetic to the struggles of minorities — they are the ones who ask me, “What can I do, as a white person?” This is my attempt to address them in the most useful and, hopefully, edifying manner.” As one of those white folk, it’s my job to seek out and listen to black and POC voices, to hear what they are saying and understand. With me? Here are twenty-five books* I need to read asap about being black in America.


America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

The Crunk Feminist Collection by Brittney C. Cooper, Susana M. Morris, and Robin M. Boylorn, eds.


The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith


Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts

Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole

March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander


Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America by Tamara Winfrey Harris

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon


The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois

They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe L. Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, eds.

We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation by Jeff Chang

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson


* This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good place to start. And, I am always look for more suggestions!!!

Five Favorite: New Book Resources

“Five Favorite” is a feature on thewasofshall where I lay out my five favorite “x”. Sometimes they’re relevant to a season or holiday, mostly they’re not. It’s an all-around fun excuse to give my 100% amazingly awesome opinion. To see previous (and future) topics, click here. To participate, scroll all the way down.

As a librarian, keeping up-to-date on new releases is part of my job. (At least, that’s what I tell myself when I spend hours perusing review journals and websites!) So, here are my favorite ways to stay abreast of the (tens of) thousands of books that get published every year.

  • Book websites:
  • EdelweissNetGalley: online interactive digital frontlist book discovery tools
  • Franzen Comes Alive: Liberty is a reading machine (I don’t know anyone, online or off, who reads as much as she does). She co-hosts All the Books! as well as pulling together a weekly newsletter of, like, twenty books. (Seriously, every week.)
  • Goodreads: membership to the number one social media site on books has its perks – like monthly new releases; get an email sent to your inbox or just browse by genre or authors you already have on your shelves.
  • Review Journals:
    • Baker & Taylor’s Forecast: a monthly publication promoting forthcoming hardcover and paperback book titles
    • Kirkus Reviews: book reviews and recommendations from the most trusted voice in book discovery
    • Library Journal: previews of upcoming titles; access to timely reviews of books, audiobooks, DVDs, and other media; author interviews; conference updates; and other opinion and analysis from LJ staffers and contributors
    • Publisher’s Weekly: a weekly news magazine focused on the international book publishing business and offering feature articles and news on all aspects of the book business, bestsellers lists in a number of categories, industry statistics, and pre-publication book reviews

Have your own favorite ways to learn about new books? Share them! Post them to your blog, link back to this post, and then comment letting me know!