October 3, 2015

Around the World in YA Book Tag!


I saw this bookish tag on The Candid Cover and wanted to do my own!
It apparently originally came from Josie's Book Corner, but I couldn't find the original post. 

The rules for this tag are quite simple. List a country, and then show which favorite book of yours is set in that country. You can use any countries that excite you, but I am personally listing books for places already been!

It's fun to do bookish tags once in a while.
If you'd like to participate, I tag YOU. :)

October 2, 2015

Book Blogger Shoutouts #45 - Banned Books Week Faves, Spooky Events, Readathons, Trilogies, & More!

 In Shout Outs you will find book reviews, discussion posts, blogger events, and giveaways from bloggers across the web. I read a lot of blogs and I like to give love when I find a post I really like or admire. I also like to make you abreast of events and giveaways because those are awesome, too.  If you leave a comment during the week, I will give you a personal shout out on this post each Friday. Commenters are also eligible to receive a bookish prize pack.

 PLEASE NOTE: I am no longer disregarding posts I missed in the last 2 weeks and only giving shout-outs to those this week alone. I often don't have time to comb through every single blog every week. So, announcement made, carry on.

I hope you find something interesting, exciting, and thought-provoking in the posts below!  

-xoxo Becca



1. What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler @ Candace's Book Blog
 "I just finished reading What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. It’s such an important topic and the book is done SO well. If you are a parent or teacher read this. If you are a teenager, read this. Really, if you’re a human, you should read this. It’s not easy. It’s painful, sad, frightening. It’s not pretty. But it’s real. It’s even based on real events. I picked it up kind of random but once I started reading I really couldn’t stop. I read it in a day."

2. A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan @ The Gilmore Guide to Books
 "For the main character, Alice, it’s life and for the reader there is moment after moment of recognition—we’ve all been there and if we had the skill to write with such insight and dry humor we would, but for now, Egan says it far better than we could."

3. Mini-Reviews: Faceless and Dumplin' @ YA Romantics
Jen has me interested in both of these, even though she had trouble with one of them.

4. The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood @ A Girl That Likes Books
"As has been the case on any other book I’ve read from Atwood, characters are deeply flawed, making them even more human and involving. Unbelievable world building, and once again incredible speculative talent, particularly where it comes to science advances make this trilogy one of my favorites."

5. This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee @ My Friends Are Fiction
"The setting was so eerie and vivid it was easy to visualize the time period as well as the setting. I loved all the little details that were included in the descriptions."

6. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler @ A Great Book Study
Ruth reads Mein Kampf. Great explanation of the man's ideologies, and a great example of being allowed to read books by people you don't agree with (my banned book week rhetoric) - even if they suck at writing books.

7. The Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib @ Literary Hoarders
"Hassib has written a debut that was a winner from the very first pages." 

8. Audiobook Review: Reawakened by Colleen Houck @ Mostly YA Book Obsessed
"With ancient Egyptian mythology used as the inspiration for this story, my inner nerd was geeking out while listening to this one.  Was it accurate?  No, but who the fuck cares, it was a hell of an entertaining book and I will for sure be coming back for the sequel!"

9. Literary Quiz on The Fictional 100 by Lucy Pollard-Gott @ Words and Peace
Clever way to entice me to read the book, although I already can't wait to do so!

10. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton @ BookNAround
"He manages to raise moral, political, and social issues without preaching, wrapping a heart warming grandfather and grandson relationship story around such troubling things as homophobia and mining rights; the concepts of guilt, blame, and forgiveness; the hopefulness of healing, both of an individual and a community; and the value of the long, slow process of justice."

11. The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo @ A Bookworm's World
"Oh, do you ever get that delicious little frisson of excitement when you read the first few chapters of a book and realize you've stumbled across what is going to be a really, really good read?"

12. By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomas Avila Laurel @ Biblioglobal
 "Like Stone in a Landslide, it is the narrative voice that is really memorable about By Night the Mountain Burns.  The narrator is telling the story of his childhood on Annobon, a remote island that is part of Equatorial Guinea."

13. Five Frightening Facts from The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert @ My Book Strings
"In geologic time, words like “recent” or “quick” often mean thousands of years. But when these words are applied to our future, “soon” really means “soon,” and that’s frightening. Need proof? Here are some examples..."

If Ralph Ellison’s invisible man had no voice thirty years before the publication of The Color Purple, then Walker has located in Celie a person whose presence is even less acknowledged by society: the black, poor lesbian. - See more at: http://www.bibliofreak.net/2015/08/review-color-purple-alice-walker.html#sthash.oLGdy4Y1.dpuf
If Ralph Ellison’s invisible man had no voice thirty years before the publication of The Color Purple, then Walker has located in Celie a person whose presence is even less acknowledged by society: the black, poor lesbian. - See more at: http://www.bibliofreak.net/2015/08/review-color-purple-alice-walker.html#sthash.oLGdy4Y1.dpuf

1. Teaching My Children to Think for Themselves @ Lit and Life

2. Grimms' Fairy Tales @ True Book Addict

3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury @ Quixotic Magpie

4. Nonfiction Books for Banned Books Week @ Doing Dewey


1. How I Will Improve Goodreads When I Rule the World @ Paper Fury (Spoiler: She reads all of our minds.)

2. It turns out I can kinda deal with Romance. Occasionally. @ The Broke and the Bookish

3. Interview: A conversation with Juliette Wells for 200th Anniversary of Emma @ Savvy Verse and Wit

4. #SupervillainSquad: Spoilsport @ Readers in Wonderland


#15in31 October Event
@ Estella's Revenge

The Little Princess Read Along
for October

blogging, planning, blog ahead
October Blog Ahead 
@ Herding Cats and Burning Soup

31 Days of Halloween
@ Me, My Shelf, and I

Salem's Lot Readalong
with Melissa of Avid Reader's Musings, Trish of Love, Laughter, and Insanity,
and Care of Care's Online Book Club

Autumn's Dewey's 24-hour Readathon
October 17th!!!

  A More Diverse Universe 2015
@ Booklust 

Community Calendar


devil in jerusalem
The Devil in Jerusalem by Naomi Ragen
@ Julz Reads
Ends Oct. 3rd

Death at the PrioryA Murder at Rosamund's Gate
5th Blogiversary Giveaway
@ Words and Peace
Ends Oct. 9th

Devil and the Deep cover
Excerpt of book, Giveaway of Various Fun Items
@ About to Read
Ends Oct. 6th
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King
@ Roof Beam Reader
 Ends Oct. 31st

the hard times book covercopygirl book cover
The Hard Times by Russell Scott
Copygirl by Anna Michael and Michelle Sassa
@ Luxury Reading

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
@ A Bookworm's World
Ends Oct. 9th

2 copies of Dream On, Amber by Emma Shevah
@ Of Stacks and Cups
Ends Oct. 29th

 Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
@ Traveling with T
Ends Oct. 10th

  Top Commenters of the Week are in Bold.

Alise (Readers in Wonderland)
Belle Wong
Bermudaonion (Kathy)
Cait @ Paper Fury
Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy
Fictional 100/Lucy
Freda Mans-Labianca
Judy B.
Julie Merilatt 
Katherine P.
Laurel-Rain Snow 
Lindsay Brambles
Lory @ Emerald City Book Review
Melinda @ West Metro Mommy
Melissa (My World in Words and Pages)
Michelle @ That's What She Read
Sheila DeChantal
Stephanie Ward
Sue Jackson 
Tasha B.
Ti Reed
TJ @ My Book Strings

 Thank you for leaving me comments this week! I appreciate it so much! 


The top six (6) winners at the end of the year will receive fun bookish swag! The top two (2) winners will receive a paperback book from Indiebound or The Book Depository! Just my way of showing my appreciation!

1. Freda Mans 
2. Bermudaonion (Kathy)
3. Tasha B.
4. Belle Wong
5. Michelle @ That's What She Read

6. Sarah's Book Shelves

YOU! Could be on this list and win for 2015!
Leave comments, win prizes as thanks! 

Which posts/links are you going to/did you visit?  

October 1, 2015

Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon - Autumn 2015


Word to your book-lovin' mama, it's Readathon time!

I love readathons and Dewey's is one of the best.  There are tons of people, which is what makes a readathon so great.  I have loved Dewey's since I began blogging in 2009.  Dewey, very unfortunately, passed on before I began blogging, but I feel like I have gotten to know her somewhat through the wonderful friends who have carried on her brilliant idea in the years since. I could only hope to make such an impact on the lives of my fellow bloggers! 

In the past few readathons I have stuck mainly to Twitter because
a) Twitter is my jam
b) It's easier to keep Twitter updated than the blog during the day

I want to try going back to this platform again.
I am going to use this post as home base and update it throughout the event.
In the past, I made a new blog post each time, but that's not only more work, it's super annoying when you are going through your feed reader and everyone has 15 Readathon update posts.  I don't want to be that person.  

So the readathon is October 17th.

See you then!


September 30, 2015

Lessons in Censorship: Banned Books Week 2015

Click for details

Censorship implies that what one person thinks and believes is more important than what another thinks and believes. Newsflash: It's not.

I don't know about you, but I don't have the hubris to think that I know what is best for an entire population of people.  I also don't have the ignorance to think that just because someone reads a book I don't approve of said person will automatically buy into all of the messages (and don't forget made up messages given as reasons for censorship) that a book proffers or insinuates.

Wait a second.  You mean to tell me that you can read a book and not internalize the messages it contains?  And if someone does, not only is that okay, but it is none of your business if they do or don't?

I know.  It's shocking.  To think a person can read The Scarlet Letter and not suddenly be okay with adultery, or read a religious text and not automatically convert, or read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and not become a wizard/witch. I mean, I don't know who wouldn't want to go to Hogwarts, though. That's baffling.


You should have the freedom not to read Harry Potter and I should have the freedom TO read Harry Potter.  You should have the freedom to read whatever you want, I should have the freedom to read whatever I want.  It's as simple as that.  One of the basic tenets of freedom is that censorship should not exist.

Censorship is about fear.  When you want to ban a book, you are telling the world that the book scares you.  Just because you don't like something, you don't understand something, or you don't agree with something, it doesn't mean it is scary.  I have read books that completely counter my beliefs, and do you know what happened? I learned something.  Oooh! Terrifying. If you do read something that challenges you and you feel freaked out? That's called cognitive dissonance. I promise it won't kill you.

Even if you have no desire to read something that challenges your beliefs, there is no reason why your neighbor, friend, loved one, coworker, or complete stranger should not be allowed to read the book that you don't like/agree with/understand.  If your neighbor wants to read about Islam, that should be okay.  If your coworker wants to read about a bloody and violent description of war, that should be okay - that is what war is, you know.  If a teenager wants to read a story about a young girl who was raped because it helps her to empathize or helps her deal with her own assault or helps him understand why it is wrong, that should be okay. In fact, it could be a blessing in disguise.

So, in conclusion: 

1) Censorship implies that what one person thinks and believes is more important than what another person thinks and believes.  Try imagining someone banning books you love and believe are important.  How does that make you feel?  Does it make you want to shrug and give in?  Or does it make you feel oppressed?  Unimportant?  Stifled?

2) Freedom and the censorship of reading materials do not exist on the same side of the coin.  Censorship is the restriction of freedoms.

3) Censorship is about fear, misinformation, and ignorance.  It is more important we challenge these than it is the books.

4) Just because you don't like/agree with/understand something, it doesn't mean it is wrong and should be censored.

Here are some articles on banned/challenged books.  Read one today!

Top 10 Books Americans tried to ban last year

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books by Decade

List of Books Banned, by Government

Banned Books That Shaped America


Leave your thoughts and feelings about censorship and banned books below.