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1001 Book Review: Kidnapped Robert Louis Stevenson

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It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed a classic so today Book Worm and I are going back in time to review and old classic that happens to be on the 1001 list of books to read before you die: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. Next monday we’ll be posting our top ten list of books published in 2016. Keep reading to see what we thought of Kidnapped. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Power Naomi Alderman

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In less than two weeks, we’ll be starting our winter reading challenge. Our challenge page is currently up and in the next 5 days we’ll be updating the page with our official game board. If you want to join in for a fun chutes and ladders based reading game, sign up in the comments on this page and send me your TBR list. In the meantime, we’ll continue with our regular book reviews and features. Book Worm read a book she would like to recommend to our readers: The Power by Naomi Alderman. Here’s her review… Read more

November Monthly Recap

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It is finally time for our November Monthly recap! Find out which books were favorites and which were duds. We’ll end our wrap up with a a list of books due out this month and a glimpse of our upcoming content. We also want to hear from you so let us know what you read this month and what you look forward to reading in December as we wrap up 2016.
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Winter Reading Challenge

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It’s time to officially announce our next reading challenge! Keep reading to see what were are planning and to sign up. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: Small Great Things Jodi Picoult

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Jodi Picoult’s book is a timely release since it tackles issues of racism in America. Book Worm reviewed the book and here are her thoughts… Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: Zero K Don DeLillo

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Don DeLillo has several books on the 1001 list and a few of us predicted that his latest book would make the Man Booker longlist. One of our contributors hated the book and another contributor loved it. Let us know what you thought of it. Here’s my (Book Worm’s) review of the book. Read more

Literary Inspired Candles

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Looking for some good gift ideas for the book lover in your life? We may have the answer. I’ve been working hard on developing a new line of soy candles inspired by literary works. Each candle is handmade with all-natural soy wax, and inspired by a book that I have personally read. When possible, I’ll try to add bookish candles based on novels that we’ve featured on the blog.

You can purchase these candles on my Etsy store: Off the Page Boutique.

Why this new endeavor? First, I personally love candles. Plus, unlike standard candles, soy wax candles are clean burning with no toxins or carcinogens that are found in paraffin candles. They also are longer lasting (burning 30-50% longer than standard candles) and help support local farmers. While there are a variety of literary candles out on the market, very few are inspired by classic literature and children’s books.

Second, I wanted to help raise a little money to give better prizes out on our blog. We host several reading challenges throughout the year and I’d like to avoid having to pay for prizes out of my own pocket. Selling these candles on Etsy will help me raise money for the blog so we can up our game on prizes.

So I hope you check all check it out my store and maybe even buy a candle. Unfortunately we are currently only selling in the U.S. and Canada but may expand to international shipping if there is enough demand. We have 5 different candles currently listed including a chocolate fudge candle inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a Lemon Pound cake one inspired by Alice in Wonderland, a Christmas Hearth one inspired by A Christmas Carol, an English Garden candle inspired by The Secret Garden, and a Midnight Spice (citrus with indian herbs) inspired by Midnight’s Children.

Future bookish candles will be arriving soon and include the following books as inspiration:
Memoirs of a Geisha – Bamboo, lemongrass, and green tea
Sense and sensibilities by Austen – Lavender & vanilla
Winter by Marissa Meyer – Apples and Maple Bourbon
To Kill a Mockingbird – Caramelized pralines
Brief History of Seven Killings – Caribbean Teakwood
The Sellout – Cinnamon buns & coffee
A Fine Balance – Cinnamon chai
Anna Karenina – love spell (apple, lilac, & musk)
James and the Giant Peach – peach nectar
Anne of Green Gables – Meadow (cut grass and floral)
Cider House Rules – Mulled cider and chestnuts

Which books would you like to see adapted into candles? You can visit our store here: Off the Page Boutique

Five books for today

Here are five books that are well suited for today (now please excuse me while I go cry in a corner)… Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: Swing Time Zadie Smith

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I was hoping to get to this book so that Book Worm and I could post a joint review. Unfortunately life got in the way and I stunningly have read nothing in the last week. I have been working out some details for our next reading challenge so stay tuned to learn more about that (coming very soon). I’ve never been a huge fan of Zadie Smith’s work. I think she is brilliant and clearly very intelligent but I’ve never really connected with her novels. Keep reading to see Book Worm’s review of Zadie Smith’s newest book coming out this month.  Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: Under a Pole Star Stef Penney

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Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney
Published in: 2016
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: Under a Pole Star

This ARC was provided by Quercus Books (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from Goodreads: Flora Mackie was twelve when she first crossed the Arctic Circle on her father’s whaling ship. Now she is returning to the frozen seas as the head of her own exploration expedition. Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan, but his yearning for new horizons leads him to the Arctic as part of a rival expedition. When he and Flora meet, all thoughts of science and exploration give way before a sudden, all-consuming love.

The affair survives the growing tensions between the two groups, but then, after one more glorious summer on the Greenland coast, Jakob joins his leader on an extended trip into the interior, with devastating results.

The stark beauty of the Arctic ocean, where pack ice can crush a ship like an eggshell, and the empty sweep of the tundra, alternately a snow-muffled wasteland and an unexpectedly gentle meadow, are vividly evoked. Against this backdrop Penney weaves an irresistible love story, a compelling look at the dark side of the golden age of exploration, and a mystery that Flora, returning one last time to the North Pole as an old woman, will finally lay to rest.

Book Worm’s Thoughts: Having read and enjoyed The Tenderness of Wolves, I was excited to read this latest book by Stef Penney. Although it sells itself as a romance novel, that aspect of the book was actually the least interesting for me. The best parts were the details of exploration and survival.

Under a Pole Star is set in the early days of Artic exploration when the pole was yet to be discovered and there were miles of land just waiting to be claimed by the plucky British or Americans (yep they totally disregarded any claim that the native people might have to the land).

The frozen landscape is central to the story, showing how hardy the Inuit have to be to survive there year round and how tough the conditions are on those who are not native to the land. It also shows how English and American greed leads to tragedy for everyone involved with the exploration.

The book is scattered with Inuit words and with details and images of the stars used for navigation. This is an ambitious book that doesn’t really deliver on the romance, but that transported me to the frozen lands of the North.

Who would enjoy this? This is a long and detailed book so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for a light romance, instead if you are interested in details about polar exploration and survival with romance as a sideline then this could be the book for you.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: Under a Pole Star

 We want to hear from you. Do you plan to read this book? Why or why not?