Monthly Wrap-Up for September 2016

September is my favorite month– it’s also my birthday month– and I had the opportunity to review some excellent books. I also received my first OwlCrate shipment, which was incredible! My husband ordered me a six month subscription for my birthday. Here’s what my first box looked like:

20160919_194443

I also received one of my new favorite things ever as a gift from a super awesome friend. It’s a stamp that embosses a book page with my blog name. So from now on, if you enter a giveaway that I’m hosting (not ones hosted as part of a blog tour) and you win, your book will have this fancy stamp inside! Exciting. And so thoughtful and clever! I never would have thought even to look for something like this. Here’s a picture of the stamp and what the embossing looks like:

The Story Sanctuary Stamp

In addition to all the birthday fun, I also received some great books. Some will probably be featured in my next giveaway!

20160930_105828_burst03

September was also a big month for blog tours. I participated in a whopping SIX blog tours. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Tom Crosshill posted a list of top ten things which inspired his fantastic novel The Cat King of Havana via Irish Banana Blog Tours. See the list.
  • Dusty Crabtree posted a list of her top ten favorite book quotes from her novel Shadow Eyes. Read the quotes.
  • Cat Clarke joined me for an interview about her book The Lost and the Found via Irish Banana Blog Tours. Check out the interview.
  • I posted my review of Swan Riders by Erin Bow as part of an Irish Banana Blog Tour. See it here.
  • I posted my review of The Last Messenger of Zitol as a part of a blog tour organized by author Chelsea Dyreng. Find it here.
  • My review of The Second Season was yesterday’s stop on a blog tour organized by author Heather Chapman. My review is here.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing author Monica Lee Kennedy about her trilogy of books that begin with The Land’s Whisper in which the land is sentient and different countries have different personalities. Congrats again to Theresa, our giveaway winner! Find out more here.

Last but of course not least, here’s the recap of my reviews this month. If you’re looking for a great family read, I recommend The One and Only Ivan. My favorite book is probably This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills, but The Cat King of Havana is a very close second. Both were excellent, though both contain some mature content. See my review for details.

The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill

The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Rick Gutierrez, known as the founder of a highly successful cat video site, is out to craft a new identity for himself. He falls for a gorgeous salsa dancer, convinces her to visit Cuba with him, and hopes for the romance to blossom. This was such a great story and I loved the Cuban setting.

For This Life Only by Stacey Kade

For This Life Only by Stacey Kade

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

After surviving a car accident that killed his brother, Jacob reevaluates everything once believed, including everything he believed about his twin brother. This was a really emotional read for me. I liked that it explored a church family and asked some hard questions about faith and doubt.

Freedom's Just Another Word by Caroline Stellings

Freedom’s Just Another Word by Caroline Stellings

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Caroline Stellings is one of my favorite authors, and I loved this story. She had me at Janis Joplin and a young blues singer. I could not wait to read the book, and I was not disappointed. I love the way it pulled a lot of different layers and ideas together, and the way things worked out in a completely different way than the protagonist expected. So much like life.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

I’d been meaning to read this book for a long time, and I’m so glad I finally had the chance. It reminded me of John Boyne’s Stay Where You Are and then Leave plus Disney’s Fox and the Hound.

George by Alex Gino

George by Alex Gino

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

This is a book about a transgender girl who finds the courage to talk to her family and friends. I felt like it was important to review this book that so tenderly reaches into these issues.

Wrecked by Maria Padian

Wrecked by Maria Padian

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

A girl is raped at a college party. The story follows her roommate and the boy’s roommate as they try to piece together what really happened that night. It’s dark and mature, but I liked that Padian dove into the question of consent and forced us to sift through the things people say, well-meaning or otherwise, in the wake of a situation like this.

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan McGovern

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee and Susan McGovern

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

An incredibly moving story about a boy who grows up in North Korea and eventually escapes. This is the first young adult memoir about someone from North Korea, and definitely worth adding to a history or current events curriculum.

Swan Riders by Erin Bow

Swan Riders by Erin Bow

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

After reading the first book in this series, The Scorpion Rules, I knew I had to read this one. Greta has become AI in order to save her friends and possibly her world. But a new threat rises against the AI, and even Greta’s new abilities may not be enough to stop it. If you like complex political sci-fi, this is probably right up your alley.

The Doorway and the Deep by K. E. Ormsbee

The Doorway and the Deep by K. E. Ormsbee

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

I loved the fun cast of characters in this story. Lottie and her friends just want to return Eliot to the human world, but an evil king bars their way and threatens Lottie’s life. They must outsmart his most deadly assassins in order to stop him from destroying the land of Limn.

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

I really enjoyed First & Then by Mills, so when I saw this one available to review, I had to jump on it. This Adventure Ends is all the things I loved about First & Then— the quick banter, absurd situations, angsty romance– only MORE.

30 Days of Goodness, Love and Grace by Faithgirlz

30 Days of Goodness, Love and Grace by Faithgirlz

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

This was a tough read for me. I’d hoped to complete this study with my eleven year-old daughter, but found the content to be better suited for older girls since much of it focuses on marriage and dating. So instead, we’re exploring some other options for study.

Irena's Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

Irena’s Children follows events during World War II in Warsaw as a young woman and her associates fought to rescue 2,500 children from Jewish ghettos and death. An incredible story about bravery and courage.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

My family and I listened to this story on the way home from vacation, and it was a hit with all of us. While some parts moved slowly, the characters were interesting, and I loved learning that Ivan was in fact based on the story of a real gorilla.

The Second Season by Heather Chapman

The Second Season by Heather Chapman

Review | Amazon | Goodreads

This was a bit off my usual path, but I find that I usually like historical fiction, so I was excited to read this one. It reminded me of the types of romances I used to read in seventh grade or so, which was pleasantly nostalgic.

Have you read any of these books?

If you’ve read these titles, what did you think of them? Which ones on this list look most interesting to you?

Save

Save

Save

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Kasey Giard

Kasey is a mother, reader and aspiring author. When she's not reading or writing, you might find her out on the water fly fishing, pretending she can keep houseplants alive, or talking with the family rescue cat.
Tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Monthly Wrap-Up for September 2016

  1. Karen Blue says:

    Happy Birthday Month!
    That embossing stamp is pretty awesome, such a unique gift. The Owlcrate for September looks pretty cool as well. I actually got this book at BEA this year, so I am glad my subscription fan out. That reminds me that I need to renew it. It is nice that your husband knew you would love the Owlcrate boxes.

    • Kasey Giard says:

      Thanks, Karen! 🙂 He may have had a few not-so-subtle hints, but he is a very thoughtful guy and a great gift-giver. He makes me feel quite lucky. 🙂 It looks like the OwlCrate for October has a fairytale theme, so I’m really excited to see that one, too. Hope you enjoy it if you do renew!

  2. Colleen says:

    May I just add that I used the word “good” way too many times in that comment? Just sayin’.

  3. Colleen says:

    Wowza. That subscription looks amazing!!!! Good on Brandon! Love your reviews. I always look forward to them when they arrive in my Inbox. Glad September was a good month for you. Keep up the good work, friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *