November Book Haul

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Another month has come and gone and here we are…it’s DECEMBER. DECEMBER. The last month of 2017!!! I mean, what?

Posting was tidge bit (yes, I said tidge bit. It’s a thing. Get with it) sporadic in November as I was really buckling down on my novel (pesky NaNoWriMo and all that). It was quite a learning experience and I am still actively working on it, but you can expect to see me back here with regular blog posts again!

November, despite flying by faster than the speed of light, was a pretty decent month! I got a lot of writing done, went on a four day trip to Big Bend National Park to camp, explore, and hike over Thanksgiving vacation, and most importantly, got a bunch of new books!

Because let’s be serious, that’s what we’re all really here for.

So without further ado, my November Book Haul (in no particular order, because I can never remember exactly when in the month I acquired them).

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

This was my Book of the Month selection for November, and it was probably the first time I saw the options for the Book of the Month selections and immediately knew which one I wanted without even reading the synopses or reviews. I’ve been wanting to check this one out for a while, so it wasn’t even a contest. It seemed like it took quite a while to get me, and unfortunately I haven’t read it yet, but you can bet your butt I’ll be posting a review when I do! Bonfire is a suspense/psychological thriller novel that follows Abby Williams, an environmental lawyer from Chicago who is forced to return home to the small town she grew up in to look into a case, and begins uncovering links to the disappearance of a young woman from years ago. It looks twisty and turny and maybe a little spooky, so I’m pretty excited to check out Ritter’s authorial debut (it may even be my next read).

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Bookmark from InspiredInkCo

Winter is the fourth book in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, focusing on the stepdaughter of the dreaded Queen Levana in a loose, space-y retelling of Snow White (following the retellings of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel leading up to this finale). Yes, I could have waited until January when the paperback version of this would have been released so that I would have had a matching set, but I really didn’t want to wait that long to find out what happens to Cinder, Thorne, and the rest of the Rampion crew, so I went ahead and grabbed this one from Barnes & Noble when I stopped in one day to pick up the next book on this list.

(Stars Above candle from Novel Heartbeat Creations)

The Mythological Creatures Bible by Brenda Rosen

In the process of currently penning my own fantasy novel, I ran across an instance or two where I really wanted a solid reference for some mythological and magical creatures and their lore. Sure, I could have waded through several pages across the Internet, but there’s nothing like having a good, solid reference book to give you the little push you need when doing research for your own novel, so I scoped this one out on bn.com and then reserved it so I could pick it up in store the next day. It’s a solid little volume, much like the more traditional Bibles found in motel drawers across America, replete with information, folklore, and tons of awesome illustration that I love checking out.

Like this one, for example. Does this not look like a Kardashian crossed with a mythical beast of some sort??? Or is it just me??? Just me? I’m crazy? Okay.

The Skyrim Libraries Volume I: The Histories – Bethesda

This book is so gorgeoussss.

I’m totally obsessed with this edition. I picked this one up on a whim the same day I picked up the mythological creatures bible mentioned above. I was just wandering the aisles of Barnes & Noble, you know, like one does, when I wandered into the gaming aisle and spotted THIS beauty. So in case you didn’t know, I’m kind of basically obsessed with Skyrim and think it’s like the most fun game ever and I love playing it. But one thing about me playing Skyrim is that even in-game, I’m still a total book nerd. There are tons of books you can pick up all around the in-game world, and I’m constantly tempted to just stand around and read them rather than fighting dragons or seducing a certain ginger-hair-sporting, accent-having member of the Thieves’ Guild—wait, what? I also always want to take the books with me—all the books. Which you can imagine is not great for my carrying capacity, and there are probably a lot more important things I need to be carrying. This forces me to build a house early in the game so I can build shelves so I have somewhere to keep all the books I’m unnecessarily lugging around—it’s a whole thing, guys.

Enter: The Skyrim Libraries. Contained within are physical copies of all the in game books that I can read at my leisure—and not have to carry everywhere with me in my invisible but apparently unnaturally strong pack. It also includes a lot of additional illustrations and maps—and we all know bookworms love fictional maps.

Is this something that you would find particularly interesting if you’re not into The Elder Scrolls? Heck, no. Is it something that I’m totally obsessed with? Heck YES. And I’ll definitely be getting volumes II and III (Man, Mer, and Beast & The Arcane, respectively). They’re very high on my birthday/Christmas wish list! (if I don’t buy them before then…you know, as a present to myself…and because I have no self-control).

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box is a post-apocalyptic horror novel set in the not-too-distant future which follows a mother and her two children making their way down the river in a terrifying journey in which they have to avoid a mysterious presence which can drive a person to horrible violence. It all sounds very mysterious and shady and I can’t wait to find out all the nitty-gritty details. I have heard some mixed reviews about this one—it seems a bit like an either love-it-or-hate-it situation—but when I recently found out it’s being adapted into a movie starring Sandra Bullock and one of my favorite musical artists of literally all time—Machine Gun Kelly. I mean. Sandra Bullock. And Machine Gun Kelly?!?!

I MEAN WHAT.

I am so excited for the movie (which I think might be a straight to Netflix release) that I knew I had to read the book ASAP because I can’t commit the Bookworm Cardinal Sin of seeing the movie before reading the book!!!

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

The Glass Spare was the book in the November OwlCrate. It’s a YA fantasy (the first in a duology, I believe) about a princess named Wilhelmina (she goes by Wil for short, and to be honest, I probably would, too) who discovers she has a dangerous power—the power to turn the people she touches into gemstones. Think King Midas but with diamonds and emeralds. I don’t know too much about this one and haven’t heard a lot of reviews, but it sounds like it will have lots of family drama and politics and magic. I’ll let you know what I think, of course!

What I Didn’t Post on Instagram: A Collection of Essays on Real Lives and What We Filter Out – edited by Chrissy Stockton (e-book)

Does it count towards the book haul if it’s an e-book? I’m not a big e-book person, but I picked this one up after seeing Cici Ford aka @therusticwindow mention it several times in her Instagram stories. This book of essays from Thought Catalog about the carefully curated facades we put forth on social media definitely seemed intriguing, so I picked up the e-book one night and read through the whole thing in one sitting. It’s a super quick read at only 70 pages or so, but the essays are very relatable and even humorous at times. It’s worth a look to remind us that what you see on social media is, in no uncertain terms, everyone’s highlight reel, and serves as a helpful reminder of the psychological effect that can have on us if we fall prey to the slippery slope of comparison.

Death in Big Bend: Real Stories of Death and Rescue in Big Bend National Park by Laurence Parent

A universal bookworm truth is that a bookworm can go anywhere and find books they want, which is exactly what happened to me during our four day camping trip to Big Bend National Park over Thanksgiving break. In a little trading post turned bookstore/mini gift shop in the middle of the desert, I spotted this book with DEATH IN BIG BEND emblazoned across it in big black letters and hell, what’s not to want? Stories of horrendous deaths in the exact locations where I’ll be camping and hiking ALL WEEKEND? Sign me up!

So, of course, I bought it, and then read it over the rest of the day and night and on the drive home, starting with the stories which took place in spots where we had been or were planning to go during our stay. Because if you’re not sufficiently freaking yourself out, what are you even doing?

The writing in this book is pretty basic and straightforward and at times a bit redundant and the editing leaves a little something to be desired, but the content is extremely interesting. Causes of death in the park range from dehydration and heatstroke to freak accidents to murder, so there was never any lack of morbidly fascinating material to devour. It also serves as a sufficient—if not terrifying—cautionary tale about being prepared and hiking or climbing safely.

Images of America: Big Bend National Park & Vicinity

Another souvenir from my trip to Big Bend National Park that I just couldn’t resist. I always see these “Images of America” books and their sepia toned covers pretty much everywhere I go, but I rarely pick them up. However, each time I’ve been to Big Bend so far, I’ve found myself wondering what it looked like when it was ranch land or when the Mariscal Mine was still active, for example, so I grabbed this one up so I can see history in action. Yeah, yeah, I’m a nerd. But come on. You knew that already.

I think that about wraps up all the books I acquired for the month of November! What books did you get this month? Do you have a favorite? Have you read any of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments! You know I’d love to talk. <3

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