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The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo

Susan Perabo, who is best known for her short story collection, recently released her breakout novel and I was lucky enough to receive a copy for review. If you enjoy contemporary fiction that centers on family functioning, this novel may be perfect for you. Keep reading to check out what I thought.  Read more

The Sunshine Blogger Award


Veronica of The Thousand Book Project nominated us for the Sunshine Blogger Award! To be perfectly honest, we don’t normally respond to these (although we appreciate the sentiment) because they can clutter up the blog and we have so many book reviews we try to squeeze in.  However, we’re making a decision to respond to one of these per year (thanks in no small part to us both being consumed by Infinite Jest and having fewer book reviews to post in the last month). Thank you to Veronica for thinking of us. You should check out her blog if you aren’t following it already. We love her blog.

The rules of the award are: 1) Thank the person who nominated you, 2) answer 11 questions posed by the person who nominated you, and 3) nominate 11 bloggers to receive the award.
We love Veronica’s questions so without further ado here are the questions and our answers:

1. If you could meet one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
BW: Margaret Atwood the woman is a genius.
Jen: David Foster Wallace. I have s many questions.
2. Do you hoard books or do you buy/borrow, read, and then let them go?
BW: I am a buy, borrow and let them go type of reader. Only books I really love get to stay on the book shelf once read.
Jen: I buy/borrow too many books to hold on to all of them. Like Book Worm, I only keep the books I either envision rereading or that I want to save for my daughter when she grows up. The rest go into my Little Free Library.
3. Do your books look read when you’re done with them or do you keep them in pristine condition?
BW: My books definitely look read!
Jen: Pristine condition. I’m ridiculous with the books I read. I don’t bend the covers, don’t dog ear pages, and when I’m not reading them, I place them between heavy items so the covers don’t get wrinkles.
4. If you couldn’t use your phone for a day, would you panic or would you feel free?
BW: One day I would be fine…I think.
Jen: Free. I use my phone way too much but I’d like the freedom of leaving it behind for the day.
5. Could you live without social media?
BW: Yes
Jen: No. I am constantly on social media. I have instagram, Litsy, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads accounts. I grew up in both England and Costa Rica and my social media accounts are how I stay in touch with my international friends.
6. If you could recommend one tv show for people to watch, what would it be and why?
BW: Nashville. I love the stories and the music and Deacon Claybourne is sooo hot.
Jen: The Wire. It’s smart, realistic, and all-around the best tv show I have ever watched. I’ve heard it described by some as a visual novel due to its amazing dialogue and brilliantly written scripts.
7. If an author, or other artist, makes a comment you don’t agree with, does it change how you feel about their work?
BW: I would like to say no but have never encountered this situation.
Jen: I think it depends on the comment. I don’t have to agree with authors to enjoy their work but if they came out with something really sexist/racist/homophobic, it would probably change how much I would want to buy future novels.
8. Sweet or salty?
BW: both together I adore sweet and salty popcorn.
Jen: Sweet.
9. Romance or adventure?
BW: both.
Jen: Adventure. Romance is my least favorite genre.
10. Breakfast for breakfast or breakfast for dinner?
BW: breakfast for breakfast.
Jen: I’d rather have dinner or lunch for breakfast. I’m not a big breakfast person. I love coffee but I don’t love other traditional breakfast foods (eggs, cereal, pancakes, etc).
11. If you could pick one person to narrate every audiobook, who would it be?
BW: I have never listened to an audio book and don’t really intend to, so no comment.
Jen: Neil Gaiman. I’d listen to him narrate a phone book.

We are not going to officially nominate any other bloggers to answer questions but we would like to mention a few blogs that we think you should check out and deserve all the awards (in addition to Veronica’s blog mentioned above). We follow and love quite a few blogs but here are a few of our very favorites:

Naomi from Consumed by Ink
The Book Stop

A little blog of books

What I think about when I think about reading 

Any blogger who would like to participate in answer questions, feel free to join with the following questions:

  1. Favorite place to read?
  2. Ebook or paper book?
  3. Which book character would you most like to meet and why?
  4. Have you ever seen a film that was better than the book, which film and why?
  5. Which fictional place do you most want to visit.
  6. Tea or coffee?
  7. Who is your author crush?
  8. Literary pet peeves?
  9. What do you do when you’re not reading?
  10. First book that made you cry?
  11. Last book you bailed on?

March Madness Challenge Update

The basketball tournament is officially over but our reading period is still going strong so we won’t know who wins the reading challenge until April 30.

North Carolina won the whole tournament which means that Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is the official winner of the tournament. Homegoing was nominated by Leah A (spiderfelt on Litsy) who wins $25 Amazon gift card & your choice of 1 book from the stack below. Half are ARCs and Here I Am is a signed ARC. All books in the stack are brand new, never been read.

book stack

Final (pre-reading scores) are listed on our CBS page. Our current top 10 contenders are:
Rachel N.
Jan H
Diane S
Jody S
Julie R.
Tanya D.
Jennifer L.
Emma L.
Laura L.
Dan P.

However, we have a few participants outside of the top 10 who have read quite a few books already so they may stand a good shot of winning if our top ten contenders fail to read enough.

We will announce the grand prize winner on May 1. Participants have until April 30 to read and must submit their final score as a comment on our challenge page to be considered for the prize. I will confirm final scores to make sure they are correct.

Are you participating? Which books have you enjoyed? Which books have been a disappointment for you? How did you did in your bracket? 

When a book is all consuming


You may have noticed a decrease in the frequency of my posting lately. Yet, I haven’t been reading any less than usual. In fact, I’m currently up to date on my Good Reads goal, having read over 35 books so far this year. The truth is that I’ve been taken hold by book that refusing to let me go and is impacting all my other reading.  Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: White Tears Hari Kunzru


We’re starting off the month with a book that gets a rare 5-star rating. Book Worm reviews White Tears by Hari Kunzru. Keep reading to see what she thought. Read more

March Monthly Recap


Time for our March 2017 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 April and the rest of 2017.

Read more

March Madness Challenge Update


Despite the fact that my bracket is essentially a sinking ship with no chance of being saved, I figured I’d post an update for those of you still in the running. After one week of the tournament we’ve had two rounds of play and the next round starts tomorrow. Here is what has happened so far and a list of the participants who are currently at the top. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Lonely Hearts Hotel Heather O’Neill


After a few weeks focused on wrapping up our winter challenge and setting up the spring challenge, we have finally got back in the groove of reviewing books again. Book Worm and I have been consumed by both challenges and reading through Infinite Jest which is tons of fun but impacting all our other reading. Book Worm is leading us off with a review of The Lonely Hearts Hotel, a book that others either seem to love or hate. Which side do you think you will fall into? Check out BW’s review.  Read more

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay

I follow Roxane Gay on Twitter and I have heard her speak a few times but Difficult Women is the first book of hers that I’ve read. Overall, I have mixed feelings about the book and here’s my review… Read more

March Madness Reading Challenge: Last chance!

Book bracket

Last chance to join our reading challenge where books will be paired with basketball teams and participants can earn points for predictions and reading. The winner will get a $100 book depository gift card and a box of bookish goodies for a total prize worth approximately $200.

You have 2 hours to sign up and complete a bracket. The full instructions are on our challenge page. You will need to fill out your CBS bracket for our pool before noon EDT. Here are the books/teams that will be playing today:

Princeton (The Sun is Also a Star) vs. Notre Dame (Another Brooklyn)
UNC-Wilm (The Return) vs. UVA (News of the World)
Winthrop (Take it as  Compliment) vs Butler The Mothers
SD st (The Red Queen) vs. Gonzaga (Hidden Figures)
Bucknell (The Undoing Project) vs. WVU (The Fishermen)
ETSU (The Regional Office is Under Attack) vs. Florida (Lab Girl)
MTSU (Black Wave) vs. Minnesota (The Refugees)
Vanderbilt (The Girls) vs. NW (Underground Airlines)
Xavier (Here comes the Sun) vs. Maryland (The Small Backs of Children)
MSM (My Best Friend’s Exorcism) vs. Villanova (Born a Crime)
VCU (My Name is Leon) vs. St Mary’s (Grief is the Thing with Feathers)
UVM (Sudden Death)  vs. Purdue (To the Bright Edge of the World)
FGCU (Sweetbitter) vs. Florida State (Lilac Girls)
Virginia Tech. (Atomic Weight of Love) vs. Wisconsin (The Fireman)
UND (First Love) vs. Arizona (Between the World and Me)
Nevada (Stamped from the Beginning) vs. Iowa State (The Essex Serpent

Participants: You may start your reading today! When you have finished a book post the link to your review in the comments section of the challenge page or if you are on Litsy, post your review with #marchmadness and tag me (JenP) Good luck all.