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February Monthly Recap


Time for our February recap. Find out which books were favorites, which were duds, and which ones we are most looking forward to in 2016. We’ll end our wrap up with a calendar of book-related events/facts coming up in February and a glimpse of our upcoming content.

One randomly selected follower (email or wordpress follower) will win a $10 amazon gift card. Scroll down to see if you are the winner. The prize is only awarded if you contact us with your email address so make sure to check these monthly recaps each month to see if you won! We also want to hear from you so let us know what you read this month and what you look forward to reading next month.  Read more

Book Survey: Final chance to help us out!


Starting March 1 we will be posting our Book March Madness brackets for anyone who wants to participate in our challenge but we need your help! This will be our last request and we’re hoping all our wonderful readers can pitch in and help us. Plus you’ll get a chance to win a $15 gift card!

A few of our challenge participants (the first 20 who signed up) nominated three books each. We’ve compiled a list of 64 books to correspond to each of the 64 teams who will make it into the NCAA basketball tournament. We need your help rating these books. The survey takes 10-15 minutes (less time if you are familiar with most of the books).

Help us out and you not only can win $15 gift card (entry for the raffle is at the end of the survey) but you can also help out some of our participants. And, if you choose to join the challenge, you get to play a role in ensuring the books you are most interesting in reading, get ranked highly. You may even find a few books to add to your TBR!

Thanks in advance! We love all our readers and know you’ll come through for us! You can find the survey here: March Madness Book Survey

Want to join our challenge? We’ll be posting the brackets for the game on March first and official play starts on the same day as the NCAA basketball tournament. Read more here.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

on beauty

I think I was the only person in the world to dislike Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. I read her debut when it first came out and I actively disliked it although I don’t remember exactly why I disliked it. Ever since then I’ve been meaning to give Smith another try. I picked up this book for our winter scavenger hunt since it fulfilled item #21: A book with no images on the cover. Here’s what I thought… Read more

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

mr splitfoot

Last week I reviewed the latest Indiespensables box from Powell’s Books that came with a copy of Mr. Splitfoot. This book has been on my radar for a while and I coincidentally had been approved for a galley of the book prior to receiving my book box. The novel is getting an incredible amount of buzz in the book world. Here’s my review.

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Non 1001 Book Review: The High Mountains of Portugal Yann Martel



The High Mountains of Portugal was released this month. It also happens to be one of the books on our march madness brackets. If you haven’t had a chance to vote in our march book madness survey, help us out and vote here. Here’s what I thought of the book. Read more

We need your help!


We are creating a list of books for our March Madness reading challenge. You can read more about that here.

Fellow bloggers and readers: Please help us out by rating our challenge books. The survey takes about 10 minutes and you’ll be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card. Books on the list were nominated by our challenge participants. You can still sign up to participate in the challenge which will begin on the same day as the NCAA basketball tournament.

We would be forever grateful if you could complete the survey and share with other readers so we can generate a fair ranking of all our books. These books will then be put into our reading brackets and you can all join us in making predictions.

You can find the survey here: March Madness Book survey.


Harper Lee passes away at age 89


It is being reported that Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird has passed away at age 89. You can read more about that story here

I have read TKAM multiple times. It was a childhood favorite of mine and I also enjoyed it as an adult. I was sad to hear the news although she has been struggling with a variety of health problems in recent years.

Please share any thoughts you have about her books or about the author. Did you love TKAM as much as we did?

Indiespensable Subscription #57


The Indiespensable subscription is Powell’s subscription club. Boxes ship out every 6-8 weeks at a cost of $39.95 per box including shipping. The website advertises these boxes as featuring “the best new books with special attention to independent publishers.” The boxes include a signed first edition, a booklet that explains the items, and a few extra goodies. I started the service in October 15. Last week I received my third box. Here’s what we got this month and my review: Read more

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor


Last November I attended the Book Riot Live convention (read my review here) and while I was there I signed up for the book match by Brooklyn library librarians. I listed my favorite authors as David Mitchell, Haruki Murakami, Chimamanda Adichie, and Margaret Atwood. and I listed my favorite genres: literary fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and international literature. Finally I mentioned that I particularly like books that focus on cultures and traditions that are different from my own. One of books they recommended was Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. I don’t typically go for children’s books so when I was looking for a book published in 2010 (for a reading group I belong to called Play book tag) and I came across this one by the same author, I thought I would give it a shot. Read more

Book-Beer Pairing: A Brief History of Seven Killings

If a book ever cried out for an alcoholic beverage, it is this one.  I wanted something tropical and refreshing so I selected Council Brewing Pineapple Tart Saison.

large-council beatitude pineapple sour

Saisons tend to be sour, low ABV (this one was only 4% making it wildly inappropriate for the book) are super carbonated, and often have some kind of a fruity component.  In this case Pineapple.  Supposedly this is killer on tap, but it wasn’t great in the bottle.  I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.  I got the sour, but didn’t get the pineapple at all.  I’ve had other Council Saisons I’ve liked much better than this, but it really would be a good beer for sitting on the beach in Jamaica….

And if you were a character in A Brief History of Seven Killings, you’d likely lift the bottle to your lips and be killed in some horrific fashion.  Bumbaclot!

I started reading this book right around the time the Man Booker Prize was announced and after 60 pages, I realized that the dialect was going to kill me, so I decided to do the audio.  I spent a lot of time in Jamaica in the ’80’s and I felt I had enough of a handle on the Patois that the audio would be a breeze.  It wasn’t.

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