My Christmas Gifts ūüéĀ

I hope everyone who celebrates had a Merry Christmas! I am enjoying my time at home, surrounded by books and baking and (very cute) babies (my cousins’ kids :P). I will be heading back to my sofa and blanket by the Christmas tree in a moment. Just wanted to share the wonderful books I received from my parents yesterday!

I finally have a copy of The Boy Who Lost Fairyland! This is my second favourite book in Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series. I read and¬†reviewed it over two years ago. For some unknown reason, it was never available in stores where I live.

Flora of Middle-EarthFlora of Middle-Earth is the book I was most excited to receive, as I wasn’t expecting to find it under the tree and I haven’t read it yet. It is a lovely book, well-designed and larger than I anticipated.

When the Sea Turned to Silver

Here is another lovely middle grade novel I’m happy to add to my shelf (which will entirely need rearranging with the addition of these two books). I reviewed¬†When the Sea Turned to Silver¬†earlier this year and was blown away by the design and illustrations (and of course the writing!).

Did you receive any books for Christmas? What books are on your wishlist?
Jenna's signature

All the Books I Purchased in 2017

Relatively speaking (in book blogging terms), I don’t think I buy many books.¬† I’ve always been selective about which books deserve a place on my shelf. I used to only buy books I considered my absolute favourites. In the past few years, I’ve been able to take advantage of my sister’s staff discount and buy a few more books – books that are new releases I think I’ll love or books that I want to support financially. Here’s a rundown of all the books I purchased in 2017. All books purchased new from Chapters unless otherwise noted. Titles link to reviews where applicable.

  1. Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Mabinogi and Other Medieval Welsh Tales by Patrick K. Ford (used, from Mortlake & Company)
  3. Celtic Fairy Tales edited by Joseph Jacobs (used, from Mortlake & Company)
  4. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer (new, from Elliot Bay Book Co.)
  5. A Gentle Madness by Nicholas A. Basbanes (used, purchased on credit from Bison Books)
  6. Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw by Will Ferguson (used, purchased on credit from Bison Books)
  7. Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nation, Inuit and Métis Issues in Canada by Chelsea Vowel
  8. One Native Life by Richard Wagamese (used, purchased on credit from Bison Books)
  9. A Two-Spirit Journey by Ma-Nee Chacaby
  10. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
  11. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  12. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
  13. Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller
  14. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  15. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
  16. Strangers by David A. Robertson (new from McNally Robinson)
  17. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  18. The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld
  19. The Good People by Hannah Kent
  20. Tolkien at Exeter College by John Garth (online)

Did you buy many books this year? Which ones are your favourites?

Jenna's signature

Book Shopping in Seattle

A couple weekends ago, I went down to Seattle to see Depeche Mode (look how much restraint I’m exercising in not gushing about the show…….). I took time to check out a couple of neat bookstores.

Elliot Bay Book Company

Elliot Bay Bookstore Co.
Photo from Elliot Bay website

Website | 1521 Tenth Avenue

Why you should visit:

  • Stunning architecture
  • Extensive selection
  • Cozy cafe
  • Great hours
  • Lots of events

My experience:

Elliot Bay Bookstore Co. from second level
View from the second level (my photo)

As I only had about 48 hours in Seattle, Elliot Bay Book Company ended up being my number one bookstore to visit. It ranked high on recommendation lists; it was relatively close to where I was staying; it was open late on Friday when I had no other plans. Thirst was plaguing me, so for literally the second time in my life, I bought (and enjoyed :O) a tea from the cafe in the back to drink while browsing. As for books, I bought an autographed hardcover copy of Jeff VanderMeer’s¬†Borne¬†(which my sister and I previously discussed for Family Reads). The hardcover has a design element that the paperback doesn’t have. See the rabbit?

Borne hardcover

Mortlake & Company

Mortlake and Company bookstore
Photo from Mortlake & Company’s Facebook

Website | 117 Prefontaine Place

Why you should visit:

  • Elegant shop
  • Well-curated
  • Rare books and curiosities
  • Good prices on used books
  • Gallery with monthly exhibits

My experience:

Mortlake & Company cardI stumbled across this wonderful little shop during my many walks from my accommodation to downtown. I kept forgetting I had seen it, but I made an effort to stop in just before I caught the bus back home. I imagine I could return to this shop many times and find something new and intriguing on each trip. Too bad it isn’t in Vancouver! The selection ranges from folklore and mythology to alchemy and magic. I picked up¬†Celtic Fairy Tales¬†and¬†The Mabinogi.

Celtic Fairy Tales and the Mabinogi

What are some of your favourite reasons to visit a bookstore? Do you have any bookstore recommendations for Seattle?

Jenna's signature

Top 10 Tuesday: Recent Middle Grade Fantasy/ Speculative Fiction TBRs

Top 10 Tuesday banner
Hosted by The Broke and Bookish

Middle grade fantasy is supposedly one of my favourite genres, yet it’s one I don’t seem to get around to reading very often! That¬†genre’s the theme of this list, though I’ve decided to add¬†the term ‘speculative fiction’ here so I include a few books¬†that aren’t quite traditional fantasy. (Last summer I wrote a blog on my understanding of the term spec fic.) Links to GoodReads, followed by a brief note on what about the book appeals to me.

Bone Jack A Single Stone The Painting Prisoner of ice and Snow In Darkling Wood

  1. The Jumbies¬†by Tracey Baptiste –¬†Caribbean folklore
  2. The Whipser in the Stone by Kamilla Benko Рunicorns
  3. In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll Рa wood with secrets
  4. Prisoner of Ice and Snow¬†by Ruth Lauren –¬†“fantasy that’s equal parts Prison Break and Frozen” (via GoodReads)
  5. The Painting by Charis Cotter Рghosts and friendship
  6. A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay Рmountain mines with a sinister backstory
  7. Bone Jack¬†by Sara Crowe – dark Celtic myths (via¬†Charlotte’s Library)
  8. The Doll’s Eye¬†by Marina Cohen – creepy¬†house and spooky dolls
  9. The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente РValente wrote it
  10. The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis Рdragon loves chocolate

The Whisper in the Stone The Jumbies The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart The doll's Eye The Glass Town Game

From which genre have you added the most books to your TBR lately? Are any of these books on your list?

Jenna's signature


TBR – On the Side Table

I have a little table in my reading nook where I pile up my high priority TBRs. This pile is usually two or three books high. Mostly it consists of¬†new releases I’m excited about or library books due back soon.¬†Lately, the pile has grown faster than I can keep up with it so I thought I’d do a run down of what’s waiting for me.¬†The stack in the photo below is sorted by source: borrowed (from a friend), borrowed (from the library), and owned.

April on the side table

  • When Breathe Becomes Air¬†by Paul Kalanithi (friend) – I’ve been interested in this book since it was released. I think it will add another unique perspective to the books I’ve read on mortality and death.
  • Birdie¬†by Tracey Lindberg (friend) – Added to be my TBR because it’s Indigenous Canadian literature and was a choice for 2016 Canada Reads.
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian¬†by Sherman Alexie (library) – A book I really need to get around to reading.
  • The Midnight Sun¬†by Cecilia Ekb√§ck
    (library) – New release from the author of¬†Wolf Winter! My library has labelled this Canadian…not sure how accurate that is? I know the author lives in Alberta now.
  • The Anchoress¬†by Robyn Cadwaller (library) – This has been on my TBR for awhile because I heard it has a similar atmosphere to¬†Burial Rites. Recently¬†I’ve been in the mood for a story like that.
  • If I Was Your Girl¬†by Meredith Russo (own) – One of two books I bought the day my sister had 40% off at work. An own voices narrative about a transgender teenager.
  • A Conjuring of Light¬†by V.E. Schwab (own) – The final book in the Shades of Magic trilogy. I received this for my birthday at the end of February ^^; My bff has finished it and wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it, so I’m not feeling very motivated…
  • When the Moon Was Ours¬†by Anne-Marie Mclemore (own) –¬†This book received a lot of praise in the book blogging community and I am excited to check it out (magical realism + Pakistani trans MC + gorgeous purple cover). I won a copy from Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf.
  • Drift & Dagger¬†by Kendall Kulper (own) – Companion novel to¬†Salt & Storm.¬†I won an annotated copy from Kendall back in October.¬†Then Cybils happened and I kept having other reading priorities these past few months. I¬†think I can promise to finish before the end of June….
  • Every Heart a Doorway¬†by Seanan Mcguire (own) – The other book I purchased on my sister’s discount. Another book I’m excited to read because of blogger buzz, a gorgeous cover and an ace MC.

Which books would you prioritize out of this list? How are you managing your physical TBR at the moment?

Jenna's signature