Nonfiction Recommendations [#NonfictionNovember]

If you asked me about nonfiction a few years ago, I would have said that I didn't read it. Thankfully, over the past couple of years I've discovered that nonfiction is just as varied as fiction and that there really is something out there for everyone. So hopefully you can find something of interest in this pretty wide range of nonfiction recommendations!

Books Mentioned:
Fun Home / Alison Bechdel
Are You My Mother / Alison Bechdel
My Beloved World / Sonya Sotomayor
Spinster / Kate Bolick
Not For Sale / David Batstone
Farewell to ManzanarJeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston
The Girls of Atomic City / Dennise Kiernan
Japanese Homes and LifestylesKazuya Inaba & Shigenobu Nakayama
A Brief History of England / Jane Austen
Love Will Voltaire Us Apart / Julia Edleman & Hallie Bateman


Q&A: The Answers

When I first put out a call for questions, I was slightly concerned I wouldn't get enough to actually make a video. Then when I finally got around to answering the questions I got, I talked for nearly an hour! So, to make a long story short, I tried to edit this down into an easily digestible little video and failed miserably.

Hope you enjoy anyways!


Howl's Moving Castle [#YearofMiyazaki]

Howl's Moving Castle
written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki
originally released in 2004 as Haoru no Ogoku Shiro


Library Sale & Indie Publisher Book Haul

"I won't buy any more books until the end of the year." Yeah, right! Between some generous indie publishers and one fantastic library used book sale, I ended up picking up quite a bit of new reading material this month.

Books Mentioned:
One Hundred Shadows / Hwang Jungeun
The Scarlet Letter / Nathaniel Hawthorne
Surfacing / Margaret Atwood
Deja Dead / Kathy Reichs
Snow Falling on Cedars / David Guterson
The Hours / Michael Cunningham
The Crimson Petal and the White / Michel Faber
Middlesex / Jeffrey Eugenides
Under the Tuscan Sun / Frances Mayes
Families Among Us: Stories / Blake Kimzey
The Following Sea / Marcel Jolley


October Reading Wrap Up

After having such a good reading month in September, I was really hoping to keep that momentum going through October. Instead, I ended up discovering one of my least favorite reads of the year!

Books Read
The Girl on the Train / Paula Hawkins
Out / Natsuo Kirino
  > Check out my review of Out on AprilMag.com!

Currently Reading
The Sellout / Paul Beatty


Go-To Comfort Reads

To say that this week has been stressful and overwhelming would be a gross understatement. It's at times like these, when reality becomes a little too much, that being a reader is like having a super power that allows you to jump into alternate worlds and realities (can you tell I just saw Doctor Strange?). Returning to a favorite book is often the mental equivalent of wrapping yourself up in a cozy blanket, so today I thought I'd share my go-to comfort reads.

1. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
If I had rules for selected the perfect comfort read, the first rule would be to return to a childhood favorite. There's nothing like nostalgia to immediately block out whatever is going on in the real world and make you feel safe and untouchable. And for me, that describes Tolkien's The Hobbit perfectly. It was a book that was read aloud to me as a kid and always brings me back to the feeling of being completely enveloped in a story.

Meet Bilbo Baggins, the little Hobbit who joined a company of dwarves on a mission to reclaim the ancient dwarf kingdom of Erebor. Throw in an ancient wizard, huge spiders, an arrogant Elf-king, and a dragon and you've got one of the most iconic fantasy stories of all time. Looking to escape reality for a bit? There's no better place to go than Middle Earth.

2. Inkheart - Cornelia Funke
If you've followed my BookTube channel for a while, you probably already know that I have very strong feelings for the Cornelia Funke's Inkworld Trilogy. Although I was rather disappointed by its conclusion, Inkdeath, the first two books are amazing fantastical adventures. This is a series for book lovers of all ages about the magic of books.

Meggie has always shared a deep love of books and stories with her father Mo, a bookbinder, but wonders why he's never read aloud to her. Then one night, a character straight out of one of Meggie's books shows up on their doorstep and Meggie learns the truth about her father: he can read things out of books and into the "real" world.

Pulled into a world of magical readers, mystical creatures, and flame-throwing jugglers, Meggie soon learns that real danger isn't as exciting as it is within the pages of a book.

3. Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen
I'm sure quite a few people would rank Jane Austen high on their comfort read list. There's just something cozy about the home life of her heroines, evenings entertaining the neighbors, letters shared between potential lovers.

Almost any Austen will do for this warm, cozy feeling, but I personally think Pride & Prejudice takes the cake. This is the story of the iconic Lizzie Bennet, a clever young woman who finds herself butting heads with the handsome and proud Mr. Darcy. If you want some witty social criticism about something other than our current political climate, I would definitely recommend Pride & Prejudice.

4. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
This might seem like an odd choice for a comfort read, as there is little to no comforting subject matter in Never Let Me Go. All the same, it is one of those books that I return to all the time, for any reason at all: because I'm in a funk, because I don't know what else to read, because I've had a bad day and just want to return to a book I know and love.

In the remote English countryside, Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth grow up at an isolated boarding school surrounded by kids just like them, kids with no families or pasts. As they grow up, the friends struggle to figure out their place in the world and who they truly are.

These are some of my go-to comfort reads. What do you read when you need to escape reality for a while?


#NonfictionNovember2016 TBR

Although I wasn't initially planning on participating in this year's #NonfictionNovember readathon, I'm actually quite excited about the books I've picked to read. No, demonic possession isn't the most normal of reading topics, but hey, curiosity is curiosity! What do you plan on reading?

Books Mentioned:
Bird by Bird / Anne Lamott
The Devil Within / Brian P. Levack
American Exorcism / Michael W. Cuneo
Lucifer Ascending / Bill Ellis
Japanese Ghost Stories / Catrien Ross

Check out Olive's announcement video |  Check out Gemma's announcement video


The Cat Returns [#YearofMiyazaki]

The Cat Returns
written by Reiko Yoshida and directed by Hiroyuki Morita
originally released in 2002 as Neko no Ongaeshi


The Monster Mash Book Tag

I know, I know, Halloween was back on Monday! Better late than never, right?

The Questions:
1. I was working in the lab late one night. What’s a book that kept you up at night?
2. My eyes beheld and eerie sight. What is the weirdest or creepiest shit you’ve ever read in a book?
3. Get a jolt from my electrodes. Name a book that completely shocked or surprised you.
4. The guests included Wolfman, Dracula, and his son. Name your favorite monster or villain from a book.
5. Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist? Name a book that was super hyped when it came out, but no one talks about anymore.
6. They did the mash. Name your favorite book that is a mash up of two or more genres.
7. It was a graveyard smash. What is your favorite horror novel?
8. The scene was rockin’, all were digging the sounds: What’s your favorite song based on a book?
9. Tell them Boris sent you: What is your go-to book recommendation?
10. For you, the living, this mash was meant too: Who do you tag?

11. Bonus question: What is your favorite thing about Halloween?

Check out Bree Hill's video |  Check out The Restricted Section's original tag video