Junebugs go Bookworm:
Our Current Book Recommendations

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hello, bookworms.

 So, as you guys have probably gathered from our correlating Harry Potter tattoos and the fact that we sneak a book into almost all of our Friday Favorites posts, we are huge bookworms.  June swears by audiobooks and neither of us will ever be found without a book in our purse.  We thought it was about time that we embraced our inner bibliophile and shared some of our current recommendations with you guys.

 June's Recommendations

My mom is a teacher and avid reader so growing up, I spent a lot of time in the library or curled up in her lap while she read to me or I read to her.  To this day, nostalgia + stubbornness compel me to refuse to "update" to e-reading books and I purchase a paper copy of everything I read (even via audiobook) because I love the old book smell.  I am one of those people who make notes to myself in the margins and highlight my favorite lines so I can see what I was thinking every time I re-read a book.  Good fiction has a direct affect on my heartstrings and little makes me cry more than one of my OTP's ending up together and this next book, is the perfect example (the pages of my copy and permanently tear-stained haha.)


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is truly magical.  I've picked up dozens of books since I finished reading TNC trying to match the momentum I was left with and have been completely unable to do so.  Erin Morgenstern is such a talented author and has such a knack for description that if you close your eyes you FEEL like you're in her stories and can imagine the sites, sounds and smells she describes.  This is Erin's only book and I find myself reading her short stories, Flax Golden Tales, every week when she updates them, regardless of how busy I am to get my fill of her writing.

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their instructors. Little do they know, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance."


 
Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne is  a dark comedic love story about, you guessed it, zombies!  I've read all of S.G. Browne's books and every single one of them is FANTASTIC!  This book is sort of like a swiss army knife because Browne's writing still utilizes satire, romance, the repetition of phrases reminiscent of Palahniuk and of course, enough gore to please the typical zombie novel reader.

This story follows Andy Warner's death... or rather "undeath." Andy was killed in a car wreck, but like a small percentage of the population, he reanimates as a decaying zombie.  These aren't the kind of zombie's needlessly shuffling around moaning about brains, either.  Andy is having trouble adjusting to the whole "zombie thing: his parents are disgusted and begrudgingly dealing with him, society finds him revolting and society doesn't acknowledge him as "living" or "human.'

All that changes when he goes to an Undead Anonymous meeting and meets Rita, a bombshell recent suicide with a taste for the formaldehyde in cosmetic products, and Jerry, a car crash victim with an exposed brain and a penchant for Renaissance pornography. "When the group meets a rogue zombie who teaches them the joys of human flesh, things start to get messy, and Andy embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will take him from his casket to the SPCA to a media-driven class-action lawsuit on behalf of the rights of zombies everywhere."


Amelia's Recommendations

My relationship with literature is my longest relationship to date.  I was the nerdy 7 year old with glasses reading every book she could get her hands on, while simultaneously trading Pokemon cards and talking about wrestling.  Reading was always my first love though, but that's because it was in my blood.  My grandmother was an English teacher and librarian, and as soon as I learned to read she made sure my hands always had a book in them.  From science fiction to graphic novels to non-fiction I'll love and read it all.


I've never met a book with more mixed reviews than The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.  In my opinion, the people who don't like The Bell Jar are the people who cannot relate to it.  When I first read The Bell Jar I was at a point in my life where I related to Esther. The novel focuses on so many issues that women faced at the time, and that women today still face...but less so because electro-shock therapy is generally frowned upon now.

Esther is a teenager in the early 1950s who has won a summer internship in New York, but it's less of what Esther is doing and more of what she is going through.  Esther is discovering who she is evolving into as a person, while falling into a depression that no one understands.  The events of The Bell Jar closely resemble the life of Sylvia Plath, which adds another layer of depth to the novel.  The Bell Jar is a novel I suggest to any 17/18 year old who is finding out who she is, and who might relate to Esther's struggles.


One of my other favorite novels that just so happens to have been published in the same year as The Bell Jar is Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.  Cat's Cradle is a satirical novel that delves into the world of science fiction...or is it a science fiction novel that dabbles in satire?  That is up for you to decide!

Cat's Cradle starts off with the narrator, Jonah, intending to write a novel about what people were doing on the day that Hiroshima was bombed.  This leads him to the Hoenikker household where he learns about an interesting substance--Ice-Nine.  Ice-Nine is what sci-fi dreams are made of.  When a crystal of ice-nine hits liquid it turns it into a solid.

From there the novel progresses to a small island where the religion Bokononism rules.  The events on the island San Lorenzo are at time dark, at times hilarious and always interesting.


We are incredibly curious to hear what you guys think!
More future book posts occasionally, yay or nay?
Also, what are your book recommendations + have you read any of ours?

59 comments:

  1. Love this post!! I'm also a HUGE Night Circus fan (let's be Reveurs!!) and am yet to find anything remotely similar. I've also recommended it to so many people and bought it as gifts. I haven't read any of the others on your list (aside from Harry Potter) but I'll be sure to add them to my list! :)

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  2. I am a HUGE reader - doorstop novels, to be exact! LOL! I read a lot of historical fiction with John Jakes and Philippa Gregory (Tudor series, Cousin's War series) as my favourites. I also love Maeve Binchy - The Copper Beech and Firefly Summer being my two faves.

    Yes, please MORE book posts!

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  3. I have never read historical fiction, but I absolutely love watching it in movies, etc. so I don't know why I've never though to pick it up when book browsing! I might check out one of your recommendations! : )

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  4. YES, LETS! The book leaves you with so much momentum and you just have no where to put it! I tried reading "Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician" because it was recommended to me after I finished TNC and it was TERRIBLE. I've bought like 4 copies since my original purchase as gifts as well haha I just feel like everyone needs to read it at least once! I'm about to "re-read" it via audiobook!


    We'd fully intended on writing way more then we realized the post was already a bit long... you mention books to us and we both get a bit carried away haha

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  5. I need to re-read The Bell Jar personally, I know Sylvia is Amelia's spirit animal but I've neglected her books since my women's lit classes in college. What an amazing recommendation! I'm going to add this to my half.com wishlist right now! Amelia doesn't have a goodreads but I use my loyally! My "read" is what I've read and my "to read" is what I own but haven't read yet! haha my name on there, of course, is ModernJuneCleaver, friend me!

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  6. Karen Harper has written a great mystery series about Queen Elizabeth I which is really good! Elizabeth Peters writes another great mystery series about a female archeologist, Amelia Peabody, which I think you may like. :)

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  7. Victoria AndersonMay 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Thanks for the recommendations- I just finished a stack of books and was unsure what to read next, but I'll go put The Night Circus on hold at the library. One of my favourite books is Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. It's a book I want to start over again as soon a I finish it.

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  8. Do either (or maybe, hopefully both) of you guys have goodreads accounts?

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  9. Chelsea Summer WineMay 14, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    I'm a huge fan of the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, it and Harry Potter are my favorite book series! Then again I am a real huge fan of cheesy urban fantasy..

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  10. oh my bad I saw that this has already been answered

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  11. Chelsea Summer WineMay 14, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Oh yeah and the Song of Ice and Fire series too of course!!

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  12. Yes to more book posts - I love this! I was the kid who would sit outside at recess reading books, ha!


    I loved The Bell Jar (I love Sylvia Plath) And, I just read the Harry Potter series a few months back for the first time. I can't believe I never read them before as a kid, I loved them! And I have recently been sucked into the world of HP fanfiction, ha.


    Have either of you ladies read House of Leaves? Soo good, it's my absolute favorite book!

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  13. Oh!!!!! They're on my "to read" list, I love urban fantasy!!!!! Have you read the "Magic Bites" series by Ilona Andrews? (It's a husband and wife team who write under a pseudonym) if you love cheesy, urban fantasy, this series is for you haha I think there's 5 on the series and they're good, easy reads so that could help you with your number

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  14. No totally OK, feel free to hunt me down on there : )

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  15. OH those both sound right up my alley, I'll half to throw them on my half.com wishlist for my next big book order!

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  16. The Night Circus definitely won't disappoint! I'll have to go read a plot summary for Animal Dreams, anytime someone says they can't put a book down that's enough for me to want to immediately go pick it up haha

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  17. Haha oh, I did that too! The book fair coming to school was the most exciting thing my tiny heart could handle!


    I can't believe you missed out on childhood Harry Potter love, but I'm SO GLAD you found it! How's fanfiction reading going? I read for a while but haven't in a long time. But, SPEAKING OF FANFICTION! I just finished an AMAZING book about fanfiction last week! Have you read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell?



    It's about a girl who writes fanfiction for a series called the Simon Snow series (which is basically like Harry Potter) and about her starting college, her twin, her lovelife, REALLY REALLY GOOD!


    I can tell I've found some kindred spirits in this comment section because a lot of people are mentioning books on my wishlist! I haven't read it, but it's on my list, maybe I'll move it up a little closer to the top now that's it's been recommended!

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  18. Chelsea Summer WineMay 14, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    I haven't read Magic Bites yet but I will, thanks! Patricia Briggs is a great writer and story teller which is one reason why I love the Mercy Thompson series. I read a lot of these type of books and while many authors have great ideas their actually writing style doesn't blow me away. Mercy is actually portrayed as a very strong woman compared to many female characters that have a tough exterior but in the inside still think like teenage girls. I just finished Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series and it got better and better as it went on. Rachel could be guilty of acting like a silly girl at times but overall is a well written, entertaining series where you get to enjoy the evolution of Rachel as a character/person.

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  19. I have a Harry Potter tattoo as well! Mine is on my side and it says, "Always" and the A is the Deathly Hallows symbol. You guys should definitely have more book posts; that is what brought me to your blog.

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  20. It gave me the warm and fuzzies and I almost never get that from urban fantasy, of course, I will admit, she gets a little silly sometimes as well, but still manages to be a badass. I haven't read a good UF series in a while now so I think I might grab one of the Mercy Thompson books and make it my next read, i really respect that about the strong leading lady though, some authors aren't good at keeping their women strong as the seris progresses.



    Have you read the Anita Blake series by Laurel K. Hamilton? I got tasked with reading it for a women's lit. class in college and thought it was pretty good, well there are like 20+ of these books (they're urban fantasy as well) but the more you keep reading the more you're like WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHY AM I STILL READING THESE?!?!?! I really wanted to finish them all so I could say I did, but they basically turn into romance novels. Strong female character? Yes, Everything else? Not a fan.

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  21. Oh! I love meeting fellow "potterheads", especially permanently branded ones! haha. I have a feeling we would've ended up continuing to do them regardless because we had so much fun doing this one, but I am so happy to get positive feedback about it!

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  22. Do you ladies ever read fiction? If so I recommend the wonderful Mary Roach. :)

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  23. Oh! I love hearing the stories of other people brought up on books! Neil Gaiman is my ADDICTION! He was initially in this post, but it got too long so we narrowed it down to two books each. I've read everything he's ever written and lately, I've taken to listening to it all via audiobook because, for the most part, he narrates them himself. Which... to hear an author narrate his own novels.... my heart just skipped a beat haha. I actually listened to Ocean at the End of the Lane before buying my paper copy and I loved it both ways. It's probably my favorite book of his by The Graveyard Book and Stardust make for close seconds. <333

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  24. My first audiobook was Breathers, the book I mentioned above a few years ago driving the 6 hours to visit my family and Amelia in Georgia... It was phenomenal company. And now addicted! Haha

    I know exactly what you mean! Literally, a cereal box! I just love the reoccurring appearances of the Hempstock clan throughout his books, you can tell when he reads about them he had an affinity for the characters.

    I even listen to the "interview with the author" at the end of all the audiobooks he narrates because... I mean... Who wouldn't? Haha

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  25. Colleen ElizabethMay 14, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    I love these posts! I just got my masters in literacy and am also a certified elementary teacher. The Harry Potter series will always be the love of my life so I'm always happy to find fellow crazy fans :) I'm currently reading Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell and it's adorable. It's a young adult book that takes place in the 80s. It's a story of what it's like to be young and in love and about fitting in. I love how it incorporates a love for music and comics into it. Very relatable and cute

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  26. We read a lot of fiction! There's some Mary Roach in my collection, actually. : )

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  27. Oh! Congratulations! What an amazingly fun career, I wish offices had story time so I could sit around reading Possum Come A Knockin' and The Very Hungry Caterpillar to people. haha. I always love finding fellow crazy fans as well! It's harder to spot them now that it's "over" (it's never over for us true blue fans though ;) )


    Also That is on my "to read" list! I just finished another of her books last Friday, it's called Fangirl, have you read it? It's amazing! It;s about a girl who writes fanfiction for a series called the Simon Snow series (which is basically like Harry Potter) and about her twin, her lovelife and starting her first year of college. Seriously SO GOOD! Couldn't recommend it more.

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  28. Colleen ElizabethMay 14, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    I have that one on the to-read list! When I'm done with this one I'll be all over that. It's on my amazon wish list haha and Harry Potter will never be over ;) I'm overly excited for the new area to open at Universal

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  29. Colleen ElizabethMay 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    Oh and too bad you don't live in New York. I'm going to BookCon at the Javits Center in NYC

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  30. Samantha KreegerMay 14, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Oh the Night Circus is one my absolute favorites!! I'm actually re-reading it right now! And I saw someone else recommend Eleanor and Park, I can't agree enough. This was such a fun post, I hope you do another soon!

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  31. I have recently become a fan of Gillian Flynn. I have read 3 of her books, and have not been disappointed in them. I love the dark characters, and how her writing can pull such emotion from you for them, and then in a single sentence almost turn you on them...almost. lol

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  32. Haha my to read is also books I own but still need to get to, not because I don't love reading but just because I keep buying more even when I have no exaggeration about 30 in my bookcase waiting to be read. I can't help myself. I also have a charity bookstore in my neighborhood that sells books for $3 so I don't think that helps my shopaholic tendencies with books.

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  33. Jessica CangianoMay 15, 2014 at 4:13 AM

    Fabulous post! I'm a fellow bookworm, as is my husband (we lead us to launch our new book email notification website, Any New Books, in 2010) and always adore hearing about the reads that my fellow vintage loving ladies are passionate about.

    ♥ Jessica

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  34. Girls, I have to say that I discovered your instagram accounts a few days ago and I love your style, positivity and friendship.
    Also, we share the same glasses! :)

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  35. Oh, the book fair! True love! My daughter just started kindergarten this year, and they give the parents an option to come in during the book fair to shop with their kids. It's still totally amazing.


    It's going pretty good, I was just sucked into the Snape/Hermoine fanfic. It was, so entertaining! I haven't read that, but I will definitely have to look into it!


    HoL is SO good. I had it on my "must read" list for awhile because of all the good things I had heard about it, but kept putting it off because the storyline sounded so...weird. But then I finally read it and fell in love. By far my absolute favorite book.

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  36. Jennifer @ grimmricksenMay 15, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Bookworms unite!

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  37. I am a huge bookworm! My parents used to punish me by saying "No Books!" Ugh! It was horrible! ;) I love book series, and can't stop once I've started one. Just got caught up on all the Flavia de Luce novels. If you like mysteries and humor, READ that series! It is fantastic! You used the term kindred spirits, so you must love Anne! ;) My favorite character of all time! I am definitely particular though; big on mysteries, England, and anything 1940s. One more favorite, Rosamunde Pilcher's Coming Home. It seriously affected me. Great book! And this was a fantastic post! Yay to book lovers!!
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn (poodlesandpincurls)

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  38. I have a wishlist too! I love fellow bookworms! haha. And you're right it totally won't be, I refuse to admit it! Did you see the new stories about the new trilogy books/movies coming out in the Harry Potter-verse in a few years? Can't wait! We're actually going to the new area for my Bachelorette party! : )

    And I know, boo, nothing exciting happens in Nashville.

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  39. I am about to re-read it via audiobook this time! Sometimes I'm able to engulf myself in books a bit better when I'm listening to them after I've already read them once. I am going to pike up E + P ASAP now that's it's been recommended by several ladies! I think we're going to be doing one a month. : )

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  40. I've heard her books are so sad! But I really, really want to read though! I heard a million good things about Gone Girl! I love writers by that sort of talent. : )

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  41. YESSS! I was hoping you'd find your way to this post ; )

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  42. Aww, thank you so much, what a compliment! <3
    And yay, cateye glasses unite!

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  43. Oh, OH! I will be checking out and signing up for this site ASAP! I lvoe hearing what any passionate bookworm is reading, what about you Miss Jessica, current or all time favorites?! : )

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  44. Haha my mom never thought to do that but I always used to read when I was in trouble! I'm the same way, once I've started a series, I can't stop, if I don't have the next book I always rush out to Walmart in the middle of the night in hopes that they have the next haha. I'm going to have to look up a plot summaries on all those, thank you so much! I have so much reading to do before our next post! (I think we're going to do one a month!) Love hearing from so many fellow bookworms! <3

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  45. Colleen ElizabethMay 16, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    I have heard about the movies coming out. So excited! Can't wait to see what's in the making.

    You're so lucky that you're going to the new area for your Bachelorette party (congrats btw :D). I'm trying to convince my boyfriend to go with me this summer (my birthday's in the end of June).

    Oh and if you ever venture up north, I'd be happy to show you guys the city haha I live an hour and a half away. I'll let you know if the BookCon thing is any good.

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  46. I'm a huge book worm too! I have boxes of books I've collected over the years. I haven't got enough book shelf space to get them all out! Great recommendations! :) x

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  47. The first thing I built when we moved into our new house was bigger bookshelves! Best thing I could've done first! haha

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  48. I can't either, the Harry Potter-verse is my favorite and I know I'll love anything that happens in it!

    Thank you so much and I know I have the best maid of honor + bridesmaids ever. You will have so much fun if you guys go, I mean.... Grimmauld Place?!?! Eeep!

    And oh, I definitely will, we hope to do more traveling in the future if we can! And please do, I'd be excited to know if it was worthwhile. : )

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  49. Exactly! Definitely true love! My school always did that and it was so exciting! Your parents could come after school and walk you through. Books + knick knacks galore!


    Snape + Hermiione?! WHAT SORT OF FANFIC IS THAT! I feel like I need to read this! But trust me, you'll love that book, totally amazing.


    Ok, it is officially my next "to read" I am currently working on Warm Bodies, which is pretty good but a little odd, I'm curious about where the author is going with it.


    I love book chat so much! : )

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  50. My "to read" list is like over 100 books. I have this problem where I go to Goodwill or something on a day when they have sales on certain sticker colors, and I buy all of the books of that color.... because I also get a student discount. Which basically causes me to be somewhat of a book hoarder. lol. I've also gotten really good at buying used books online.

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  51. I think if the phrase "you can never have to many …. " is true for anything its definitely true for books. You can never have too many books!

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  52. It's called Heart over mind (https://www.fanfiction.net/s/1215092/1/Heart-over-Mind) I have been so sucked in to it!


    Have you read any books by Gillian Flynn? I heard so many good things about Gone Girl, and then I read it and I was so disappointed! Then I read her two other books and I wasn't too fond of them either. The start off really good, but the endings are just terrible. I keep hearing so many good things about them though!

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  53. Ok, I am officially reading that when I get off work.


    And I haven't! I picked up a couple of her books at Goodwill after seeing them on the NYT Bestseller's list for YA, but I was a little wary of the plot summary even before reading them.... now I know it's probably not worth my while haha

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  54. You're so sweet! Glasses twins fo life!


    xx

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  55. I am mildly convinced that I am Sylvia Plath reincarnated--I seriously have so much love for her it is probably not healthy. Yes! Better late than never on reading Harry Potter! The Wizarding World is a beautiful beautiful world!!


    Oh my gosh I love House of Leaves! It's such a challenging, rewarding book!

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  56. So happy to have discovered you two! I highly recommend Carter Beats The Devil by Glen David Gold, as well as The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. The first is a fictionalized account of the life of a real magician, Carter the Great, in the 1920's. It's the book that I read every couple years or so, and recommend to everyone. The Rook is a hilarious supernatural thriller about a young woman who wakes up in a park in the rain surrounded by dead bodies wearing latex gloves, with no idea who she is. Two of my favorites...

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  57. We're happy you discovered us too! OH MY GOD, both of these sounds absolutely amazing, I'm so glad you recommended them. I think they're probably the books that might be most up my alley out of all the recommendations in the comments haha

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  58. Hope you love them. For me they're both the kind of books that you make you want to chase people around, reading them big chunks of the book until they understand how good it is. :)

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