Summer Reads – Nonfiction Edition

summer reads

Hello, precious bookworms,

June has been filled with a few book lists. Why? Because summer is upon us and that means days that you’ll spend lounging around, reading a great book, or many great books.

I’ve already gotten the YA Edition and the Fiction Edition up. I bring you my final list this month and that is the Nonfiction list.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson

astrophysics

On the NYT Bestsellers List, get a fast lane knowledge on the cosmos, because who has time to contemplate them lately? I wish I had the time, especially now that it’s summer, the perfect time for looking at the stars. Questions you’ve always wondered about like, the nature of space and time and how does the universe fit within us, are answered and in a timely fashion. Whether on the bus on your way to work or on a lunch break, you’ll get your moment to think about the meaning of life or at least the search for planets. I don’t read much nonfiction. I much prefer the YA genre, but this book is on my list.

Amazon

Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance

Hillbilly Elegy

A powerful analysis of a culture in crisis and the disintegration of the demographic of white working-class Americans. I feel like this is a touchy subject, yet one that should, and is, discussed wonderfully in this book. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this bestseller. Vance’s story is personal and passionate from the POV of him and his family, starting in postwar America with his grandparents and moving forward through the change of America from there.

Amazon

BRAVE
Author: Rose McGowan

Brave

Rose McGowan, a powerful, feminist icon, was born into one cult and came of age in another, more prominent one—Hollywood. If you’ve kept up with this woman then you know she has no filter and that makes her powerful. She’s stood alongside women who have suffered from abuse and harassment. She stands with them and in this memoir, she shares her own experiences as only one actress who’s lived under constant exposure from the spotlight and over-sexualization. Here, she speaks up, no, she shouts and screams. This powerful book reaches out and encourages men and women to step up and be strong and be brave. Expect expletives, folks. This is another book on my list that I want to read. I am a big fan of Rose and ever since she’s comes forward and been loud and strong about her stance in Hollywood I’ve loved her even more.

Amazon

The Last Black Unicorn
Author: Tiffany Haddish

last black unicorn

A stand-up comedian, and breakout actress, Tiffany Haddish brings something brand new to memoir.  Edgy, hysterical and no holding back with her personal essays. From one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, she learned to survive by making people laugh. Through tough times, Tiffany kept her dream alive, something she found worth living for: comedy. These accounts of how she was brought up is unique and filled with laughs as well as showing how humble and grateful she is for being able to get her dream.

Amazon

#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line
Author: David Hogg, Lauren Hogg

Never Again

On February 14, 2018, David and his sister Lauren Hogg went to school and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They believed it was going to be like any other day. It wasn’t. That day, the school experienced a shooting and by the next morning seventeen classmates and faculty were dead. David and Lauren have joined the movement for this to end, that never again should something this terrifying happen again. Never again should kids be afraid to go to school These siblings step forward with this manifesto with strong voices, they’re saying, Enough.

Amazon

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic

Elizabeth Gilbert shares her unique wisdom and perspective on creativity. She goes over the attitudes, approaches and habits we need and what fuels our creativity. Encouraging for us to find what makes us sparkle, our ‘strange jewels’, in yourself. Whether embarking on a dream or infusing it with everyday life, this gem is sure to open you up in ways you didn’t think of.

Amazon

In Cold Blood
Author: Truman Capote

In Cold Blood

For those who love the true crime variety, Truman follows the story of two men who murdered the Clutter family. No motive. Almost no clues led to the killers. With incredible empathy and suspense, Truman follows the murder, investigation, trial and execution. This insight to American just and violence is shudder worthy.

Amazon

There you have it, loves. You’ve got YA, Fiction, and Nonfiction. A wide variety. I know I’ve been expanding my interests lately and I’ve been surprised a few times. What are you reading this summer?

More to come soon…

-K.

Find Me:

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Thought? Tell me in the comments below.

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Sundown Rundown – February, 2018

ezgif.com-crop

Good twilight, my precious book clan! Hope February has been good to you.

Right now, the sun is setting behind that beautiful horizon, you are currently relaxing with some good food or a glass of wine (or pop if you’re below the legal age *wink*) and you’re checking around social media because it rules our ever-loving brains. This is the Sundown Rundown. The place where I recap all I’ve read this month and you get a chance to check out a book review you might’ve missed. I also do this rant thing where I talk about my month.

I hope the month has gone well for you. It has been a decent month, even with Valentine’s Day. I’m not a major fan of the holiday. I believe that it can get overdone and is a little ridiculous because there are 365 days to woo and spoil your special human and I feel like it’s ridiculous to focus on one day for it. Seriously. 365 days in a year, guys.

Jumping off of Valentine’s Day. I know it’s really important to some people so I don’t want to entirely crap on it. I just have that small thought on it. I wholeheartedly believe that it’s special to have somebody you love deeply and that you want to spoil them. I can’t wait to have that person in my life. I will put in that sometimes I’m crazy, I make pterodactyl noises sometimes, I’m a total klutz, and socially awkward. REALLY socially awkward. I flipped off a guy who gave me chocolate once. *facepalm* I know. I’m an asshole. BUT, I’m not good at the whole receiving gifts part. I’m not used to it and never know how to react because I’m overwhelmed. That voice in my brain that is supposed to help just flies out of my brain. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the gesture. I just don’t react appropriately. Again, I’m awkward. That’s life.

I do have to say though, I love the day after Valentine’s Day. 50% off on chocolate. I got a massive Hershey’s Kiss for $2. Pretty happy about that. I’m a chocolate fiend.

chocolate

I didn’t do much of anything exciting aside from ordering my new laptop. It’s intimidating me too. Super techy. Mostly, it’s been a busy work month. I am rather happy about the books I’ve read. I’m still currently working on Crime and Punishment. Some books take longer than others. No shame with that. Below are the books I’ve read this month and the reviews with them.

This month has been exciting and adventurous in reading. It’s also been heartbreaking. Gotta love when a book completely destroys you. We all have that one book….

Without further ado:

Diary of a Sex Fiend

Diary of a Sex Fiendhere

Author: Abby Lee

Spunky, fun, intellectual and hell-a hot. This memoir is NSFW, but definitely addicting. I’ve enjoyed this, learned how to be more comfortable with myself, and thrown shame right out the window because that’s the way sex should be and I couldn’t be happier to have read this one woman’s year documenting it.

Entrance

Entrancehere

Author: JJ Sorel

An erotic fairytale. Guilty pleasures abound, friends.

Arcana Rising

Arcana Risinghere

Author: Kresley Cole

I can’t get enough of this series. Apocalypse. Young love. Strong possibility of dying from heartbreak? Torture me and crush me. I’ll lay down and let it happen.

The 100 Day 21

The 100: Day 21 – here

Author: Kass Morgan

Being ejected down to earth to figure out if it’s inhabitable sucks.  I liked getting a chance to see where the TV show stemmed from. There were so many differences.

The 100 rebellion

The 100: Rebellionhere

Author: Kass Morgan

The final installation of The 100. The colonists are trying to create a life for themselves now, but one last obstacle could threaten and destroy everything, including those they love. This book wasn’t that bad. Did wish I could’ve gotten more out of it, though.

Wither

Witherhere

Author: Lauren DeStefano

Vivid, haunting, and beautiful. This dystopian world that Rhine Ellery lives in really pulled me in and didn’t let go. The writing is so deep. I felt like I was there in this world where the people die young.

Fever

Feverhere

Author: Lauren DeStefano

Rhine’s story continues here and the world of this book is expanded threefold! So phenomenal. Just the way I got lost in the words…they’re enchanting on such an unnerving level. This delves deeper than before. Secrets and plot twists wrapped up around me like vines. Oh man, so good.  I need to get the final book.

Dark Calling

The Dark Callinghere

Author: Kresley Cole

The feels are real. Real freaking serious. I’d been waiting for this book to be released and read it on my day off. Curled up, on the edge, reality was nonexistent. This whole entire series has twisted me up and ripped me apart. There is one final book left and I can’t wait for it to come out…but I’m scared. I’m in the complete dark, with no predictions about how it will end.

Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lothere

Author: Thomas Pynchon

Not going to lie. I hurt my brain reading this one. It was really great, but there were times i had to go back to retrace some parts. Everything is deeply intertwined with clues. While that was tricky, the entire adventure was a blast. I laughed a lot.

There were a lot of reads this month and a great variety among them. Post-Modern Fiction, Supernatural YA, Memoir. I feel pretty darn accomplished.

I have to say, my favorite book this month was The Dark Calling. I’d been waiting a month for it to arrive. Just like the ones before it, I was pushed even farther and my emotions were completely rolled over. My heart didn’t quit pounding even after the last page. Kresley Cole just keeps amping up the emotions and the stakes with every book in this series.

My least favorite book this month? Entrance. I was really intrigued when I’d read about it, but when I finally got to read it I was disappointed. I couldn’t get attached to anything in the book. Not the characters, setting or even the plot. I was just thrown off by its entirety, which was terrible, because the story was interesting.

I want to say thank you to everyone who’s been tagging along for my reviews. I would love to hear from you. I certainly encourage it! I’m curious on what you think if you’ve read these books. I know my crazy talk can only go so far. Talk with me.

Moving into March, there’s more reading on the way. I’d like to say that my collection of books that need to be read is shrinking, but that would be a lie. No complaints. LOL. See you in March.

More to come soon…

-K.

 

Find me:

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comment section below.

Let’s Talk About S-E-X Baby (Diary of a Sex Fiend – A Book Review)

Diary of a Sex Fiend
Author: Abby Lee
Published: 2014

Diary of a Sex Fiend

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

What makes someone a sex fiend? How do you not screw up a friendship with sex? How do avoid confrontation with your parents on the subject of sex? Is too much sex a bad thing, especially if you enjoy it? Abby Lee answers all kinds of unimaginable questions through her sensuous and sexual adventures. Questions you never thought about and never knew were questions that would make an peach blush. In this spunky, fun, and utterly honest memoir Abby Lee celebrates her sexuality and explores her needs as a woman who enjoys sex and what she wants in a relationship.

Over the course of an entire year she chronicles her sexual life from exploring same sex encounters to experiencing her BDSM side to engaging in a swinger’s club. Abby is not shy about sharing every tid-bit. Shocking and fearless, guides to dating and the enjoyment of sex comes in such a unique form. There is no sugarcoating. This is the full monty for a woman who has no shame and enjoys her sexuality.

“An erotic version of Bridget Jones.” –The Sunday Times (London)

 

This book was a shock to the system. But so not in a bad way. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I was expecting some Fifty Shades of Grey shit. NOPE. Honestly, it’s so much better. So much more. You’re not just getting an understanding of great sex. You’re also getting a one on one experience about exploring what you may want. Abby is figuring out herself, asking some interesting questions that led me to ask my own questions about aspects of my life.

The writing follows the traditional diary entry, dating the entry and discussing the day’s adventures. It’s pretty straight forward and easy to follow through her POV. I was never one for diaries. Lord knows I’ve started over a dozen in my life and I’d get about a month in before quitting. I’m terrible! Even a professor I had in college said so. Well, she didn’t come right out and say so, but you know those social queues where a person wants to be completely polite about saying you suck. I apparently suck about writing about my own life. That’s okay. It’s a confusing, blurry mess anyway.

The way Abby talked about her experiences, that weren’t always in the bedroom, was something entirely new for me. My eyes bulged from their sockets on more than one occasion while reading her entries. I don’t go about reading sex all the time. And if I did, who cares? This book wasn’t just erotic. It was intensely informative. Sex can be a strange and blush-inducing topic to approach and Abby does a stunning job. This is the front seat of a roller coaster about sex and the dos and don’ts and the wild ride of finding the great orgasm. Besides the great orgasm there’s the exploration of wanting what the heart wants-a good relationship. (Maybe that’s too straightforward. I never guaranteed reviews that were strictly PG-13.)

At the end of each chapter, which encapsulates a month, she gives a list to follow that she pulls from her personal experiences and discoveries. My favorite is The Girl’s Top Ten Guide to Chatting Someone Up. I’m socially awkward. Like seriously socially awkward and nervous. This list was deeply enlightening. My last date was last February (it’s a loooong time, I know, but this is a small town and I don’t trust a lot of people here, anyway,) and…it didn’t go very far. He was nice. He had what I call the Hoechlin grin. If you know who that is then you know what I’m talking about. It was a great smile. Buuut, me as myself, I rambled like a complete moron. I honestly can’t help it, especially when the man is good looking and super sweet. It takes a bit to get comfortable. He seemed to think it was adorable. Plus for me since I’m usually a fidgety mess. By the third date however, I still hadn’t got much of anything out of the guy. I don’t know about anybody else, but that bugs me. You can’t be a complete stranger and expect to crawl down on me, which he did. I do not work that way. He also did this thing where he’d laugh at me. Not with me. At me. Deeply discomforting, especially since that’s all he’d do. Like I said, we didn’t move far. Yet, he still follows my snapchat. Awkward. (Didn’t expect to share, but books will do that-make you relive a couple memories.)

grimace

That’s when you realize that you aren’t like every other person out there. That’s also what this book did for me. Sex is different for everyone and Abby even talks about that a little. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. For me, I’m not searching for that quickie fix. I attempted in college. Was unsuccessful. I can do bad all by myself anyway. But damn! If you’re hoping for something I’ve got to know you some. Stranger danger and all that. Plus, I like to talk and have a good time. Stimulate me more than just with your…wits. Because trust me, it’ll get your farther. I’m not saying I’m abstinent. I’m not waiting until marriage. Hell, I’m sure we don’t have to be in a relationship. But work with me. I’m like a puzzle. Work the pieces.

This is a personal exploration. Of course at this point in the review, I’m sure you’ve gathered that much already. How many people can honestly share something like this and to the public? It’s nerve-wracking and completely brave. I never would’ve dreamed of doing it, yet anymore-and partially because of the courage I’ve gotten through this book-I find myself more open about what I want, but not so much as going for it as being there to admit it. There are a lot of things I don’t know about and some I do. I’m working on being comfortable with myself.

Diary of a Sex Fiend

 

This is such a fun book for people who are looking for guidance or maybe not looking for guidance, but a place to relate to with their own personal experiences. Hell, even if you’re just looking a romp of fun, read this. It’s not your typical memoir. This was new and revolutionary for me. It was exciting and made my heart ache. Things I have thought about before, but never truly gave much thought, were explored in this book and I’m so glad for this great find.

 

The author does have a Twitter and even a Patreon blog going, which I hope to join one day. It costs a bit and I’m still living in student dept, so it has to wait. I’m happy to follow her on Twitter though.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Crash Into Me by Dave Mathews Band.

 

Find me:

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Thoughts? Tell me in the comment section below.

n o-d a m s e l-h e r e (the princess saves herself – A Book Review)

the princess save herself in this one
Author: amanda lovelace
Published: 2016

Princess Saves Herself in This One

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Follow Amanda Lovelace as she lets you in on her life journey and what’s made her who she is today. Through her four-part book of poetry she discusses loss, abuse, imperfections and being able to come out on top after all of it. This book holds nothing back about the dark parts that haunted her, which not only makes this a book of poetry but also a memoir.

At the same time, she strives to empower people with her words and encourage bravery in the face of fears that society brings down on a person, like the standards of beauty for example.

princess saves herself

One of the beautiful things about poetry is that it doesn’t have to rhyme. It doesn’t have to be a super long piece or even more than a word. It’s a work of art that is to be felt and pondered and explored. You put a personal part of yourself in it and then share it with others. It’s a reason I can’t discriminate against any poetry piece. The most I can say if a poem doesn’t reach out to me is that I don’t get it. I can even say I don’t like it. But I’ll never go as far as to say it isn’t poetry.

 

The language of the book is very simple, but it’s easily buffered by the waves of emotions that are in each word or lack thereof. Even more was the way the words took shape on the page, emphasizing what Amanda was getting across to me. Some words were spaced, some vertical. There wasn’t a single word that was upper case, which created a sense of equality among it all. In some cases the poetry was scattered to show give off that she felt that way. So there was a very nice balance. Everything had its place and really reached out to me.

 

The book is a quick read if all you’re doing is reading. However, it’s a long one if you’re taking a moment to allow the words to sink, allowing yourself to imagine what Amanda has been through. So I definitely found myself rereading a few and also losing myself in them.

 

Below are a couple of the poems that really reached out to me.

 

where
do all the
memories go,
the ones we
hide away
with
lock &
key yet
continue
to shape
us all the
s a m e?

did it really happen if i can’t remember it?

(p. 13)

This poem really posed an important and personal question to me. A lot of bad things happened to me when I was younger and so I repressed it. So much so that I don’t really remember anything from ten years old and back. I rely on what my mom tells me and my gut feeling on what to believe. So when I read this, there was one nasty pang in a both my heart and gut because I don’t want to remember what’s lost, but I know that alone shapes me and it’s been for the best. Sure, I’m excitable, nervous, and super awkward, not to mention I can have a short temper, but if anything, not remembering things has made my life better.

 

his talent:
he never
once
had to use
his hands
to touch
each & every
part of
me.

-he could touch me across highways

(p. 120)

This is one I think is relatable in one way or another. We’ve all been hurt by someone that didn’t even need to raise a hand. Words are twisty that way. After reading this one, I only had silence and a nod that said-I get it, I know. It’s okay.

 

 

i am
a tigress
who has earned
her softer-than-velvet
stripes

-ode to my stretch marks

(p. 152)

This one made me smile so much. There are times to accept your beauty and thrive in the imperfections of life. I started getting stretch marks in the tenth grade. I also weighed 80 lbs. and approached the final height of 5’2’’. I know, 80 lbs. and stretch marks? How!? Well, it happened and at the hips. For years they bother me and it wasn’t until my sophomore year in college that I started accepting it because at that point they’d trickled halfway down the back of my thighs and I only came out to 107-112 lbs. Today, I’m only 110 lbs. and haven’t grown another inch taller. My skin only does what it can and so I have stripes. Reading this poem made me so fuzzy and warm inside because I totally get it! There are just some things you say ‘to hell with it’ and laugh because you have no control. In fact, I found this amazing tattoo idea for stretch marks!

 

 

trees
have words
the wind
cannot carry,
so we must
write
on them
their stories
until there are
none left
for them
to tell.

write the story

(p. 161)

Reading this one, I can still hear the breeze in the summer twilight as it rustles the leaves. It’s dropped to 70 degrees and a small shiver falls over my shoulders, making smile as I sit on the stoop with my bare feet in the cool grass. Looking up, the stars are peeking out one by one. Fireflies are on the edge of the woods, twinkling, searching for their other half. They look like the stars themselves that have decided to visit us little humans down here. I have this moment every summer. It’s my favorite one and when I hear the breeze ruffling the leaves I swear it’s the trees talking. Maybe that’s cheesy, but it’s so beautiful. It’s a moment when I can just be. And that’s important. Having moments like that means my head isn’t clogged with stress. And to write stories is my passion. It’s why I went to college. I’m not out give underlying motivations or understandings. Readers will find that on their own. I just want to give someone the opportunity to lose themselves because every once in a while we need that. Having a place to go in books helped me survive high school. So when I read this poem, it was really drawing back to all of and reminding what I’m working toward and keeping me tethered to a moment that I want to always have.

 

Obviously, this book really spoke to me. So I’ve decided to be brave. Below are a couple of the poetry pieces that I’ve worked on.

 

Fruit:Human

Rigid teeth drag over the soft and fuzzy surface
Scratching until bitter juice trickles down my arm
A nasty shutter

Another bite
There’s no taste

Another bite
There’s no satisfaction
No feeling of fulfillment to be had
But the teeth marks remain.

So does the shame

 

 

First Cup

The cranes stand tall
I can’t help but imagine the smaller birds,
The ones I can’t see so well in the early hours,
As seagulls
I can only guess it’s my mind missing the ocean
I’m not an early morning kind of woman

The stone is chill as I lean against it,
Standing on my tippy toes
The graffiti on the other side of the river is as vibrant as I feel the day will be soon

The building behind us still block out the sun
But not its ever reaching rays that touch the river sands with its golden fingers
I contemplate jumping over so I can squish my toes in those grains
It’s an early morning thought
Which isn’t really a thought at all

As the city awakens, so do I
Or at least I try.
The sound of the rushing water could put me back into a slumber
I lay my head down on the bridge wall

I don’t drink coffee
I don’t see the appeal
However, I thought that this momentous occasion called for such circumstance
Like drinking champagne for an anniversary
Or shots for a special birthday

This place all on its own is no longer in the depths of my imagination
It now lingers in the vault of my memory
A peaceful place
Where the water rushes
The birds sing like seagulls
And that first ever cup of coffee tastes like water

 

 

Fireflies in the Garden

Some cup them in their hands
Making small wishes and release them to the sky
Others swing at them with rackets and fly swatters
Angry about the wishes that never came

From the porch,
With my chin in my hands
Watching
Waiting
Anticipating

Only for a moment
They fly around like stars
I am one of them
But only for a moment
It’s freedom

In a wisp
A swish
A buzz
A glowing ember returning to the sky
It’s gone and so am I

As I sit here on the porch

 

This was a phenomenal read for me. I will more than likely find myself coming back to it at some point. I recommend that if you haven’t read it that you consider it.

 

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Safe by Britt Nicole.

Midnight Tease

Midnight Tease - Giphy

 

Hello my bookworms! It is the witching hour and with that hour I bring the list of what’s coming up on my reading queue, what’s currently being absorbed by my eyeballs and brain and what is up for review.

I just realized that I got quite a bit done in August. 8 books. Like whoa!

I’ve got more reviews coming and even a book list that I’ve been working on. I’m very excited about this list actually. I’ve asked people across social media to tel me what their favorite book is and the answers are phenomenal and surprising.

Anyhow….

Here we go…

 

Coming soon…

Ghost_atniquity - LiveJournal

 

Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Author: William Shakespeare

I do love the occasional play and I have read this before. It’s my favorite by the famous playwright actually. I look forward to  rereading and reviewing this play.

 

Poison Eaters

The Poison Eaters and Other Stories
Author: Holly Black

I’m a fan of Valiant so I was curious about this book, but when I read the back cover I was intrigued. Holly has a knack for impressively bringing fairytales and fantastical creatures to the modern age.

 

Princess Saves Herself in This One

the princess saves herself in this one
Author: amanda lovelace

I’d heard about this book while I was browsing around on Goodreads. I became interested because of the theme of girl power.

 

Lord of Misrule

Lord of Misrule
Author: Jaimy Gordon

This book was a gift during the Christmas season last year. I received it from a professor of mine and I have been looking forward to reading it all year. It revolves around the horse track and I LOVE the races. It’s on my bucket list to attend the Kentucky Derby at least once.

 

Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman

I found this around the bookstore that I work at and after reading American Gods, I had to snatch it up. Neil Gaiman has proven to be a phenomenal icon in the world of modern literature. I suspect that I won’t be able to put this book down just like American Gods.

 

 

Currently…

Currently

 

 

Triple Moon

Summer on East End: Triple Moon
Author: Melissa De La Cruz

 

 

Twilight

Twilight the Graphic Novel: Vol. 1
Author: Young Kim

 

 

Diary of a Sex Fiend

Diary of a Sex Fiend
Author: Abby Lee

 

 

Up for Review…

Up for Review

 

 

Triple Moon

Summer on East End: Triple Moon
Author: Melissa De La Cruz

 

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Author: Truman Capote

 

Twilight

Twilight the Graphic Novel: Vol. 1
Author: Young Kim

 

Diary of a Sex Fiend

Diary of a Sex Fiend
Author: Abby Lee

 

Looks like September aims to be a busy reading month as well.

If you’d like to be a part of my next book list (I would certainly love it!) then tell me your favorite book and why it’s your favorite. That’s the only guideline. Genre doesn’t matter.

 

More to come soon…

-K.