Two Week Read-a-thon (August 17th – 30th, 2020)

Hello Bookworms!

As I mentioned in my most recent post, I have been feeling a wee bit burnt out when it comes to all things bookish – reading, blogging, etc. So, as a way to motivate myself to get back into the swing of things, I have decided to challenge myself to a two week Read-a-thon!

During the two week period from Monday August 17th, 2020 to Sunday August 30th, 2020, I will be doing my very best to read as many of the books in my To Be Read Box as possible. I will post daily updates on Twitter and Instagram, and I will also post a one week check-in and a wrap-up here, on my blog!

So, you’re probably wondering – what books are currently hanging out in my To Be Read Box? Well, most of the books in said box have been in there since June (since I received them as birthday gifts), with only a couple of newer additions from throughout July and August. These books include:

  1. The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski (Release Date: March 3, 2020)
  2. Thorn by Intisar Khanani (Release Date: March 24, 2020)
  3. The Silence of Bones by June Hur (Release Date: April 21, 2020)
  4. The Archer At Dawn by Swati Teerdhala (Release Date: May 26, 2020)
  5. The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor (Release Date: May 26, 2020)
  6. A Peculiar Peril by Jeff Vandermeer (Release Date: July 7, 2020)
  7. The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning (Release Date: July 7, 2020)
  8. The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen (Release Date: August 18th, 2020)

I won’t be reading these books in any particular order. Instead, I will more so be leaning towards what I am in the mood/motivated to read – beginning with The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning. I have been excited to read this one for quite some time, so I think that it will be a great place to start this impromptu read-a-thon!

Remember – you can stay up to date on my two week read-a-thon by following me on Twitter and Instagram, where I will do my best to post daily updates!

A Note: Returning to Blogging

Dear Bookworms,

I must be honest – when I wrote my last post on June 11th, I truly didn’t expect to find myself here, on August 10th, having gone two months without posting on here. I truly didn’t anticipate the toll, both emotional and physical, that would descend upon me once the school year ended.

Now, two months later, I find myself struggling to post again. In part, it is because I am still feeling a wee bit burnt out; but another part of it is fear, if I am being entirely honest with you all (and myself). Having been “out of the game” for so long, its intimidating the rejoin the blogging community. 

Despite this, I have made it my goal to slowly but surely work my way back into all things bookish; reading regularly, blogging and reviewing, engaging with the community on Bookstagram. Because I love this community, and I honestly do miss it.

Love Alanna

 

#BlackVoices in Young Adult Literature

These past few days, I have been thinking long and hard about what I, a white woman from Canada, have to offer to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I desperately wanted to offer my support, but was unsure how I could do so in a meaningful way. Then one night, I realized that I already had a platform – this blog, my Bookstagram, and my other social media accounts – that I could use to support and promote books written by black authors.

This post, focused on #BlackVoices in Young Adult Literature, is the third in a series of posts highlighting literature created by black authors and illustrators. It is by no means a comprehensive list of books, but I hope that it inspire readers of all ages to bring more diverse books into their own lives. This list, in comparison to my previous lists about Black Voices in Kids Literature and Middle Grade Literature, is longer, if only because this is the demographic I read most often, and I wanted to include as many of my favourite reads by black authors as possible.

I look at books as being a form of activism. Sometimes they’ll show us a side of the world that we might not have known about.

– Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The Hate U Give and On The Come Up
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#BlackVoices in Middle Grade Literature

These past few days, I have been thinking long and hard about what I, a white woman from Canada, have to offer to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I desperately wanted to offer my support, but was unsure how I could do so in a meaningful way. Then one night, I realized that I already had a platform – this blog, my Bookstagram, and my other social media accounts – that I could use to support and promote books written by black authors.

This post, focused on #BlackVoices in Middle Grade Literature, is the second in a series of posts highlighting literature created by black authors and illustrators. It is by no means a comprehensive list of books, but I hope that it will give readers a place to start, and inspire readers of all ages to bring more diverse books into their own lives.

“It’s important to have diverse characters in books because books give kids mirrors and windows. Books create empathy. If we don’t have diversity, if we’re only showing things from one perspective, how are we creating empathy? It’s important beyond just children’s books — it’s important period. I think that the more diversity we have in books the better. Give kids options. Who wants the same thing over and over? Let’s show other lives. Let’s show other perspectives and other marginalizations. It goes a long way in creating empathy.”

– Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give and On The Come Up
Continue reading “#BlackVoices in Middle Grade Literature”

#BlackVoices in Kids Literature

These past few days, I have been thinking long and hard about what I, a white woman from Canada, have to offer to the Black Lives Matter Movement. I desperately wanted to offer my support, but was unsure how I could do so in a meaningful way. Then one night, I realized that I already had a platform – this blog, my Bookstagram, and my other social media accounts – that I could use to support and promote books written by black authors.

This post, focused on #BlackVoices in Kids Literature, is the first in a series of posts highlighting literature created by black authors and illustrators. It is by no means a comprehensive list of books, but I hope that it will give readers a place to start, and inspire readers of all ages to bring more diverse books into their own lives.

“Research from Harvard University suggests that children as young as three years old, when exposed to racism and prejudice, tend to embrace and accept it, even though they might not understand the feelings. By age 5, white children are strongly biased towards whiteness. To counter this bias, experts recommend acknowledging and naming race and racism with children as early and as often as possible. Children’s books are one of the most effective and practical tools for initiating these critical conversations; and they can also be used to model what it means to resist and dismantle oppression.​”

Embrace Race (2020)
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June 2020 Reading List

Hello Bookworms! Despite the unrelenting insanity going on in the world around us, I hope that you are all well, and finding some solace in the fictional worlds of your favourite books, whether they be Fantasy, Science Fiction, Contemporary, or something else entirely. With much of our daily lives changed for the foreseeable future, I have found myself struggling to commit to reading – or to anything really. Instead I have been spending time exploring some of my other hobbies, including photography and painting!

Another big change to my life was the launch of Distance Learning for public schools here in Ontario, which was both a welcome challenge, and a huge learning curve. Teaching Kindergarten online is not something that I ever imagined I would be doing – and yet here I am! Initially, I managed to balance my time between work and “play” (so to speak) relatively well, but as the weeks wear on, I find Distance Learning engulfing more and more of my time – so much so that I have almost completely ceased doing much beyond teaching and preparing to teach. It has been exhausting, to say the least, yet rewarding – as teaching always is.

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May 2020 Reading List

Well Bookworms, this month has certainly been a month to remember. With much of our daily lives changed for the foreseeable future, I have found myself struggling to commit to reading – or to anything really. Instead I have been spending time exploring some of my other hobbies, including gardening and painting! Another big change in April was the launch of Distance Learning for public schools here in Ontario, which was both a welcome challenge, and a huge learning curve. Teaching Kindergarten online is not something that I ever imagined I would be doing – and yet here I am!

While I didn’t get as much reading done as I had hoped to this month, I did finish The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon! This is hugely exciting, because The Priory of the Orange Tree had been sitting in my to be read box since June 2019. Some other books that I read include The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiThe Silvered Serpents (ARC) by Roshani Chokshi, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, and Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. That being said, I really do have to catch up on my book reviews as well!

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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Released on January 15, 2019, The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi is a YA Fantasy novel set in an alternate-Paris during a time of extraordinary change – one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires…

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them. It’s 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood. Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history – but only if they can stay alive.

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1) by Roshani Chokshi

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Havenfall by Sara Holland

Released in North America on March 3, 2020, Havenfall is Sara Hollan’s newest Young Adult Fantasy novel. In Havenfall, Sara Holland has taken the lush fantasy that captured readers in Everless and Evermore and woven it into the real world to create a wholly captivating new series where power and peril lurk behind every door.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return. For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle. But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…

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