Category: Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Our Earliest Reviewed Books

Posted April 23, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 1 Comment

These do not have to be formal reviews. A small sentence on a retailer site or Goodreads counts, too!


I am notoriously bad about adding reviews to Goodreads, so basically all of my oldest reviews are from 2015 when Kate and I and our friend Caitlin attempted the PopSugar reading challenge together. I didn’t stay on that bandwagon for very long, but I did try!

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Date reviewed: January 5, 2015

This is the first book I’ve completed for both my 50 Books in 2015 challenge and my own personal reading “to-do” list. I picked this book up to complete my “A book set in high school” requirement, knowing nothing about it other than a few people said it was good.


If you have any sort of mental illness, or if you have any desire whatsoever to know how it can feel to some people, pick this book up. Despite being 400 pages long, I finished in just two reading sessions because I wanted to know that, for Craig, the main character, things get better.

Just go ahead and give it a read and find out for yourself.

I honestly don’t remember what this book was about, but reading this little baby review kind of makes me want to revisit it. I’m also wondering how my 2019 self would view the mental health rep compared to how my 2015 thought it was great. ALSO this book was written in 2006, so there is some potential for yikes. Maybe I should watch the movie?

1984 by George Orwell

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Date reviewed: January 12, 2015

Book #2 of my 2015 Reading Challenge – both a banned book and a book with a number in the title.

I am too shell-shocked to write a proper review, but suffice it to say that this book could have also fit the criteria for “a book that scares you.”

I still like this book! And it’s nice to know that procrastinating on reviews is something I’ve been nice and consistent with.

Bossypants by Tina Fey

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Date reviewed: January 15, 2015

Book 3/50 of my 2015 Challenge, both my “funny book” and “book by a female author.” Tina Fey’s existence, let alone her book that feels like she’s speaking directly to my soul, reminds me that even us weirdos can be successful.

I mean, definitely still true.

God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Date reviewed: January 19, 2015

My “Book You Can Read in a Day” for book 4/50 of my 2015 reading challenge, which I decided to interpret as “Book You Can Read in Between Pizza Deliveries” since I tend to read too quickly for my own damn good. If you’ve never read any Vonnegut, this is a good place to start. You get a glimpse of his humor in a bite-sized package, trimmed of any of the grimness of some of his other books. After that, you must then read more Vonnegut because everyone needs his brand of humor and evaluation of the world in their life.

I still agree with this, and I can definitely still remember the day I read this. I devoured it on a slow day at work, which seems pretty par for course with me.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Date reviewed: January 24, 2015

Potentially book 5/50 of my reading challenge, a memoir. I have loved and admired Cheryl Strayed ever since I stumbled upon her advice column, Dear Sugar, during a low and lost time of my life. Reading more about the woman behind the heart-wrenching advice was beyond captivating. She was and is so open about herself, whether it be her feelings or her faults or anything in between. She is unapologetically herself, and it only took her several hundred miles of intense hiking to figure that out herself. Please, go read her book Tiny, Beautiful Things, let it destroy you, and then let Wild put you back together.

I also still agree with this one! I adore Cheryl Strayed. Her advice was there for me during my struggles during college, and reading her memoir was also a really important experience for me.

Looking back on these reviews is kind of funny – these 5 books definitely aren’t in line with what I read now, that’s for sure! Where’s the fantasy? Who reads this much nonfiction? Apparently Past Paige did.


Digging into the dregs of Amazon and Goodreads for this was fun and hilarious and a little frightening. Full disclosure: these aren’t the true first five, because I used to review everything I read for class, and I was an English major. No one needs to see me bitch about eight Shakespeare’s in a row, because I hated the professor. That being said…

Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare

  • Rating: 2 stars
  • Date Reviewed: March 13, 2011

I appreciated the social message Shakespeare was showing, but I found the play itself rather dull. This makes me sad as a Shakespeare lover, but I suppose loving an author’s entire catalog is unlikely.

This was really, truly my first written Goodreads review, despite my disclaimer above. The rating is throwing me, because I remember liking it better than that. Maybe I was letting my opinions on the professor cloud the class even more than I remember.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Date Reviewed: May 17, 2011

Although the book itself was very good, I was disappointed that Cassandra Clare felt the need to add to the Mortal Instruments series. The ending to City of Glass was AMAZING, and now I’m totally thrown yet again. I wish the story could have been told as a different trilogy with different characters.

This book still pisses me off, but I’ve only read it the one time. Maybe I should do a whole Cassandra Clare reread to reassess my opinions. It is a little funny reading this review now knowing how much this universe has expanded.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Date Reviewed: June 11, 2011

This book was everything I wanted it to be. As a long time fan of Rob Lowe, it was great to read about his life and gain a little insight to him as a person, instead of just him as an actor.

I would recommend this to any of his fans or to anyone who enjoys a good, heartfelt autobiography.

Honestly, I forgot I read this. I still own it, though, so I must have enjoyed it.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Date Reviewed: July 6, 2011

This is one of the most valuable stories I have ever experienced. And it was truly an experience. As a student of both literature and German history and language, there are few books that have affected me as this has. I would ugly cry recommend this book to anyone. The end is far from happy, but there is a sense of peace upon finishing it, and there are valuable lessons to be learned from the story. Beautiful, terrifying, and wonderful-a true must read.

Every word of this is still true. My only addition now would be, “Oh, for the love of God, please don’t EVER watch the movie.”

Fifty Shades series by E.L. James

  • Rating: 3 stars each
  • Dates Reviewed: July 21, 22, and 25, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

I understand why people are so enthralled with it, because it’s a pretty steamy read, to say the least. That being said, it’s poorly written, the vocabulary is exceptionally limited, and there are definite issues of gender roles/submissive women if that is a subject you are sensitive to.

I’m glad I read it, but I never need to read it again.

Fifty Shades Darker

I read this book mostly because I was curious to see how exactly the story would play out. I have to say that I was pleased, but my complaints about the first book are still relevant here. If these books were well edited and it didn’t seem like there were sections on loop, it could have been much better.

Fifty Shades Free

A predictable end to a predictable series. I have other thoughts, but I don’t really know how to share them at this point.

So, I read these during my study abroad summer, because I burned through everything else on my Kindle, and one of my friends recommended them to me. I knew relatively little about consent and the types of relationships portrayed in this series, and I’m a little ashamed that I was as tolerant of these as I was. It was also pre-movies, so I was definitely not as critical as I would have been otherwise.

If it weren’t for that last bit, I’d be pretty proud of past me, honestly. Good variety. Pretty honest thoughts. A little outside of where I landed comfort zone wise, but that’s just good for you right?

If you’d like to stick around for any more random book thoughts from either of us, especially for things we don’t end up reviewing, check out our Goodreads accounts: Paige and Kate.

What were some of your earliest reviewed books? And what did you think of your old reviews? We’d love to hear all about it!

Thanks for reading! 💜💛

TTT is a weekly meme of bookish countdowns. It was founded by The Broke and Bookish in 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. Check out all the upcoming prompts and links to past posts to join in!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Rainy Day Reads

Posted April 16, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 4 Comments

This week’s prompt comes from Clockwork Bibliotheca.


I love a good rainy day! I’m a big fan of being snuggled up at home on any given day, so sometimes it is nice to have an excuse!

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

This one isn’t out yet, but Kate and I both received early copies and ADORED IT, and the gloomy and atmospheric island setting makes it a perfect rainy day read. It feels like a magical mystery story set on the Iron Islands from GoT!

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio

This is another super atmospheric mystery-style book, and I cannot sing the praises of the audiobook enough. This is a dark, moody story with intrigue, murder, and Shakespeare sprinkled through it, and it would be perfect for a dark and stormy night.

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

I know we squawk about these books all the time, but the Goblin Marketplace just SCREAMS rainy day to me, especially when compared to the nonsensical candyland of Confection from the previous book. Really any of these books would probably fit the bill, but Iike this one best.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Apparently moody settings with mystery elements are what evoke a rainy day for me, and this story is no exception. It is diverse and gripping and TERRIFYING, and I would die for any of the main characters.

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

I definitely don’t talk about this book enough. It is a French and Asian inspired colonial fantasy where the main character struggles with bipolar disorder, and it is even own voices for the Asian and bipolar rep. This book tugged at my heart, and I would love to curl up with it again on a gloomy day.


Rainy days are best days, especially for a book and a fluffy blanket.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Not to go against Paige on this one, but I think The Moors is the rainiest to me. From the name itself to the events that transpired there, the mood is the perfect rainy day read for me.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Honestly, either would do, but The Cruel Prince just felt right. Something about the forest setting and dark motivations of the characters really fit the mood and aesthetic of curling up to read on a rainy day.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Reading this book always feels like watching a spy movie – it starts in a bright vacation setting and quickly devolves into a dark and twisty mystery. Dark and twisty mysteries are my favorite things to read on dreary days, and the sinister nature of this book definitely fits the bill.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Again, any book in this series would do, but the last one is that special kind of sad that makes you feel every like everything is beautiful and terrible all at once. Talk about a rainy day emotion.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

In my mind, even though I know it’s not true, it was raining for the entirety of this book. Both timelines. Whole thing. It just had that heavy, dark feel from the first page through the last.

What are some of your favorite rainy day reads? There are SO many great ones for this topic, we know we aren’t anywhere near finding them all. Let us know some of your recommendations in the comments.

‘Til next week! 💜💛

TTT is a weekly meme of bookish countdowns. It was founded by The Broke and Bookish in 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. Check out all the upcoming prompts and links to past posts to join in!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Outrageous Things We’ve Done for the Love of Books

Posted April 9, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 0 Comments

–i.e. skip meals, camped outside a bookstore, broke up with someone because they don’t like books, etc.

This week’s TTT prompt was submitted by Aggie’s Amygdala. Thanks for giving us something so fun to write about!

We aren’t really outrageous people, but we are weirdly dedicated to our craft and have been for a very long time. And now, with husbands who are supportive to a fault, egging each other on, and expendable income, it’s hopeless. We will always find something ridiculous to do in the name of our reading habits.



Did we drive to Chattanooga on a weekend just to see V.E. Schwab at a Barnes and Noble for a casual signing? Did she potentially tack on an impromptu Q&A because people were coming from so far away? Did we impulse buy several more books for her to sign there on top of the giant stacks we had brought?


That was a great weekend. 10/10, would do again. Also, V was a champ. That event ended up being much more than anyone anticipated, I think.

That One Time We Blew A Tire


Once upon a time, Laini Taylor did a signing at Anderson’s Bookshop in Napierville, IL. We set out from Indy super early, pre-ordered our pizza for dinner, and were making great time, when my tire blew out an hour away from the store. Over the course of the next hour, we were graced by the kindness of a visitor center host who let us in a minute (literally) before closing to use a bathroom and offer advice on where we might be able to get a tired replaced/repaired after 5PM, the world’s most efficient AAA tow truck driver, and a group of tire shop employees who were willing and able to help out two clearly stressed and maybe-a-little-crazed women. Then, after the event, our waitress took pity on us and comped our drinks and appetizers. We were throwing around $20+ tips like you wouldn’t BELIEVE. The real MVP of that evening, though, was Paige who fronted me the money for my tire, since I had used all of my last check for bills and hadn’t exactly budgeted for my car exploding while I was out of town. Laini was amazing, of course, as well as all the Anderson’s employees as they worked with us to get us our stuff, after we rolled in after the Q&A had already started. I wouldn’t want to do it again, but it makes for a great story.


10/10, would do again. But maybe no explosions?

Bloomington Barnes and Noble Closing


My local Barnes and Noble is closed until next year while they attempt to find a new and better location, and that was just…so hard for me. I like to get the exclusive editions for books I know I’m going to love, and I have no chill, so I can’t just wait for it to come in the mail, because B&N ships SO SLOW. When King of Scars came out this year, my Barnes and Noble didn’t get ANY copies, because they were offloading all their stock of books to other stores. Kate bought me a copy and drove an hour and a half to come bring it to me and have dinner with me. FWIENDSHIP.


And I’m sure I’ll do it again! Happily! Honorable mention in this same vein for meeting in the middle to shop in Greenwood while Jessica picked up her preorder. I’m excited for what other silliness the B&N closing inspires, even while I mourn your (hopefully very temporary) loss.

Harry Potter Reading Rituals


I’m sure everyone had their own ritual for reading the Harry Potter books if they consumed them as they were coming out, and I was no exception! My mother would preorder the book (starting from the 3rd one, I believe) for me from the only bookstore in town, we would pick it up (while I was wearing a HP shirt), and I would hole up in our family room with the book and sustenance. There was a giant green overstuffed chair, and the door directly across from the family room was the bathroom, so I would only emerge for that or to top off my snacks. Nobody bothered me, there were no expectations for me to rejoin the living until I was done, and I am so thankful my parents realized how serious it was for me.


My HP release rituals were much the same. I’d go with my mom to pick up my preorder and then I would hunker down and get to reading. I wasn’t dedicated to doing it in one session, and my summers were usually too busy to allow for it, but I savored the time.

I’m going to add a second one to this section, too. Half Blood Prince came out the summer between 8th grade and freshman year for me, and the week it was released, I was going on a service trip with my youth group. Our housing was at a church with several other youth groups taking part in the same program. Our pastor let us bring our HP books, but it was DEFCON One the whole week, because he didn’t want any of the other youth pastors to know we were allowed to have it. It was ridiculous and more than a little funny.

Staying Up Too Late


I’ve done this A LOT, but there is one instance that feels more outrageous than the rest. I was in high school and City of Bones was new. I had to retake the SAT, because I was 20 points short on my verbal section for some scholarship I was applying for. Well, 17 year old me thought it would be a GREAT IDEA to stay up until 6AM to read my book to catch up to my friends who’d finished it before me before going to take my test. I got those 20 points, though! And since I don’t think she knows this but will probably read this post, sorry Mom.


I can’t think of any exceptional times, but I did read Deathly Hallows in its entirety during band camp during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. I told myself I would be responsible and not binge it AND not ruin my sleep, but it was a damn lie.

Time Off Work


I reserve two or three of my PTO days a year for major releases, so I don’t have to wait to read them. It’s totally worth it, and it has the nice side effect of feeling like I’m being a little rebellious even though I’m totally not.


I haven’t done this yet, but it’s happening. Looking at you, Darkdawn and The Starless Sea.

Husband Editions


This all started when Ethan finally got around to reading Nevernight. He was reading my UK hardcover, which I had gotten for about $9 at a Half Price Books. I started to realize that those books had a cult following and were long since out of print, so I told him I would buy him his own paperback because he wanted to take my valuable edition to work and read it during his lunch breaks. After seeing his battered NN paperback once he was done with it, I’m glad I did it. He now also has Godsgrave and Vicious to read in a doomed paperback form.


I would do the same thing. 1000%. And I will the first time one of my books comes back with so much as a bent corner.

Shower Audio Listening


I might have gotten my brother to go splitsies on a waterproof bluetooth speaker for our shower so I can listen to audiobooks while I shower. This seems especially important during readathons.


I have two suction hooks on my shower wall, so I can hang my phone in there with me. I’m not giving up 5-20 minutes a day of book listening time. It’s too valuable! Maybe the speaker option would be more responsible, though.

Multiple Editions


I have…5 copies of The Night Circus? The entirety of Throne of Glass in US hardcover and UK paperback? The Nevernight Chronicle in US and UK hardcover? Don’t get me started on my 4 copies of Strange the Dreamer. It’s a thing.


If you don’t have multiple editions, do you even really love it? I know that’s not actually how it works, but when I love something, I just can’t help it. My Schwab, SJM, and Tolkien shelves in particular are getting out of control. If you wander around my home, I do believe you’ll find multiples up to 10 of everything from Gone with the Wind to The Golden Compass, and that number is only that low because I don’t allow myself to buy anything not published in English or German.

TTT is a weekly meme of bookish countdowns. It was founded by The Broke and Bookish in 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. Check out all the upcoming prompts and links to past posts to join in!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Things That Make Me Want To Pick Up A Book

Posted April 2, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 0 Comments

Check out the description on her blog!

Paige went through her Goodreads, skimming across her favorite books to try and see what they have in common. She also looked at some of her most anticipated releases to see what makes her excited about them! She came up with some amazing things!

Portal Worlds


This one takes many forms. My first favorite was Alice in Wonderland – I loved the Disney movie as well as this (now creepy-seeming) live action Adventures in Wonderland Disney show back when I was small, and that really took root in me. Some of my favorite books involve travel between worlds: Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children Series, the Shades of Magic series, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone, to name a few.


I didn’t know this was something I loved until recently, and then I realized just how much of it I read. Once I started the Wayward Children series this year, it completely sealed the deal. My favorite, forever and always, will always be Shades of Magic, though.

Books About Books


This seems like a given for a lot of readers, but there is nothing more exciting than seeing yourself and your interests reflected in books. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, The Book Thief, and People of the Book are a few of my favorites!


I love this, too! But what really draws me in are specific characters that can’t get enough of books. Or who have to learn to read. Or who find some kind of sanctuary when surrounded by books. Aelin Galathynius has a world to save, but she openly carries and purchases more books than she’ll ever need. That’s my kind of character.

Fairytale Retellings


I am a sucker for these – double points if they bend the genre a little. My favorite retelling is Beauty and the Beast, but I’m pretty equal opportunity as long as I’m familiar with the source material. I love to see how cleverly the author weaves the old narrative into the new. Some of my favorites are The Lunar Chronicles and Heartless by Marissa Meyer, A Court of Mist and Fury, and (sadly) Enchantment by Dumpster Fire Scott Card.


I think my love for this has been pretty well established. I did an embarrassing amount of splooshing about both The Lunar Chronicles and A Court of Thorns and Roses last year, and that only scratches the surface. A Curse So Dark and Lonely, The Sleeper and the Spindle, and Ella Enchanted are some of my other favorites.

Red and Black Aesthetics


This is a little more literal, in that I tend to pick up a LOT of books with these darker colors when I’m physically browsing a store. Maybe it’s because I’m obsessed with V.E. Schwab, who is the queen of these colors, but I can’t help it! Red Rising and The Night Circus also come to mind.


We aren’t as edgy as it probably seems like we are, but we sure do like a good edgy aesthetic. Black and red is good for everything. Decor. Clothing. Bookshelves. Paige covered the bases pretty well in her blurb, but let us not forget the GORGEOUS special edition of Six of Crows.

Assassins and Thieves


Hello, yes, welcome to our brand. I don’t think this needs to much more elaboration, but Celaena Sardothien, Mia Corvere, and Lila Bard have my heart. And I guess Jean and Locke from the Gentleman Bastards series, but the ladies are the most important.


Ditto. My most recent DnD character is Celaena. I don’t mean modeled after her. I mean I did everything in my power to turn my rogue into Celaena. It’s alarming.

Cutesy Art Styles


I read SO MANY middle grade/YA graphic novels because I pick them up due to their cuteness and then discover that I’m actually REALLY interested in the story. My current favorite is Space Boy by Stephen McCranie.


I found something we disagree about! It’s a National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day miracle! And sadly, I’m not kidding about the holiday. Look it up. ANYWAY, the whole red and black thing kinda carries over for me here. I like dark, angry artwork in my graphic novels and cover art. Blacks, reds, shadows, hard angles. I really only want enough light to be able to see what’s going on. Lookin’ at you, Locke and Key.



I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention these. You probably realize now that we’re a little less Tinkerbell and a little more “dance until you die” when it comes to our fae, but who is surprised? I’m currently rereading ACOWAR.


I think Cardan is delightful, and that’s really all you need to know. And, of course, our lord and savior, Rhysand.

Sentient Non-Human Characters


I won’t get too spoilery, but the Illuminae Files, Skyward by Sanderson, and The Way of Kings are the most recent books I’ve read to fit the bill here.


Another one where we differ slightly. This time it’s an International Children’s Book Day miracle! Much better, yeah? I enjoy these characters, but they aren’t really anything special to me. I do love how excited Paige gets about them, though. Her enthusiasm is infectious.

Wintery Settings


Some of my most recent favorites for this particular subset of books are Echo North, Through the White Wood, Girls Made of Snow and Glass, and The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.


There’s something so cozy about a wintery book! I love them, especially when I get to have a nice warm beverage and read them by my fireplace when it’s also wintery outside. My favorite personal favorite is The Golden Compass, and I’m slating it for an re-read next winter, since I missed my window this year.



Bet you didn’t see this one coming! Some recent dragon-y reads of mine have been The Priory of the Orange Tree, Damsel, Before She Ignites, and As She Ascends.


We’ve written a lot of odes to dragons over the last 15 months, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! I haven’t read many dragon things lately, but I am re-reading Throne of Glass, so I’m getting a good Abraxos fix.

What are some of your very favorite things that draw you to books? This topic has endless possibilities, which made it such fun to write! Can’t wait to see what everyone else chose. Happy reading, friends, and we’ll see you next week! 💜💛

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books We’d Love to Re-Read Via Audio

Posted March 26, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 0 Comments

This week was an audio freebie, and we were wildly uninspired. Doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun writing it though! We decided to mix it up and both do comments on the same ten items instead of inundating you with 20. We hope you like it!



This one is bittersweet, because I’ve listened to the sample on Audible and just can’t get behind the narration. I have a hard time believing that whoever the narrator of the story is would sound really harsh. If the audio versions were better, I would definitely be using them for my reread before Darkdawn!


What she said. I can’t even bring myself to listen to the sample, because I’ve heard so many bad things about the audiobooks. So I’ll be using up regular reading time to re-read these pre-Darkdawn, unfortunately.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely


This came to mind for me when Kate mentioned getting it for #BATBathon, but then she was very sad to discover the audio version didn’t exist. Maybe if we complain enough, we will bitch it into existence?


HER OTHER BOOKS HAVE AUDIO!!! Why not this masterpiece?! I want it SO BAD.

Spin the Dawn


If you think I’m not pre-ordering this book and immediately tackling it on audio, you crazy.


Same. This book was magic, and July can’t come soon enough.



I binge-read the first two books in this trilogy earlier this year, and now that Shusterman has tweeted about finishing The Toll, I’m already looking forward to revisiting the story and seeing if they can make Citra sound as snarky as she is.


I’ve still only read the first one, but I think I would like to listen to it before reading Thunderhead. I loved it, but I read it before Thunderhead was out, and then I got distracted. Can’t wait to dive back in! I used one of my banked Audible credits to buy this, well, right now.

Sky in the Deep


Why haven’t I reread this yet???


Please see above.



I’ve reread Illuminae via audio before, and Kate and I are both tackling Obsidio right now, but I would love to listen to all 3 back to back and get some of that sweet, sweet space angst.


I’m definitely going to do an audio re-read of these, but it’s going to be a hot minute. Illuminae and Gemina both almost killed me, and I can already tell, just 85 pages in, that Obsidio is going to do the same.

The Ember Quartet


Why yes, I would love to listen to these at work in preparation for Ember 4 and play a game with myself to see if I can manage to not cry. I will lose. YAY.


Yeahhhhhhh you’re definitely gonna lose. I listed to these after reading Reaper last year. It was totally worth it, and I’ll do it again, but it puts you through the emotional wringer.

Throne of Glass


Kate definitely has done this already, but I only own the first one. Someday I WILL have them all and make my way through the series again.


Fun fact: Kate is doing this RIGHT NOW. I owned them all on Kindle, so I sprange for all the Audible addons last year. 200% worth it.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone


Have done this. Can confirm it is amazing. Would recommend.


I’m tentatively slating this for sometime in the fall. We’ll see if I make it happen. I want to listen really badly, and I loved the Night of Cake and Puppets audio, but I still haven’t committed to the full DOSAB saga.

His Dark Materials


This is also an excellent idea. Know what would be cool that just randomly popped into my head? Listening to these books being read by Neil Gaiman.


HOLY CRAP YES! They are full cast, though, and that’s pretty damn good, too.

Let us know some of your favorite audio reads in the comments, so we can add to our ever growing lists. Happy Tuesday!

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Top 10 Tuesday: Books On Our Spring TBRs

Posted March 19, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 1 Comment

DISCLAIMER: We are not springy people. We don’t read much contemporary, and we have little need for feel good stories. However, we both have hefty TBR piles to be attacked the spring, and we’re more than happy to share those with you!


Looking back on the post Kate and I did a couple of months ago about the books at the top of our TBRs, I’m happy with the fact that I’ve finished two! I read Echo North (loved it) and The Beauty of Darkness (also loved it). So here are the three remaining books plus seven more!

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

As I mentioned, this was a failed attempt during Tome Topple last round, but I’ve heard whispers that there will be a round in April! I can’t wait.

Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones

Last time, I mentioned the terrible reviews for this book. Thankfully I’ve seen someone talk about how much they loved it recently, so hopefully it will make it onto my immediate TBR soon.

The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta

I honestly have no idea why I haven’t reached for this yet, but SOON.

The Queen’s Resistance by Rebecca Ross

This is the sequel to a book I adored last year, and I am so excited to pick it up! I picked up a copy during a weekend trip with my lady friends, but then BATBathon happened, and I was swamped reading ALL of the Beauty and the Beast retellings.

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

This was the debut book I mentioned as my most anticipated debut for this year and I finally have a copy! I got a super awesome edition in my Owlcrate box, so I’m eyeballing all of my April readathon plans and hoping I can fit it in.

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks

We all know we’re binge-reading series fiends here on this blog, but it takes a lot for my husband to get super sucked in and absorbed by a series because he has 8,000 different interests. He read all four of the available books in this series in rapid succession, and he is convinced I’m going to love it. I gotta do the thing.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

Speaking of books that people I love want me to read…I gotta do this thing, too.

A Conspiracy of Truths by Alexandra Rowland

This was a cover buy during the previously mentioned trip (because my friends are dope and we go to bookstores on vacations), and that makes me feel like I need to read it STAT so I don’t feel like a dumbass for impulse buying something I’ll never read.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This is partially on this list because, as I’m writing, I’m also obsessively refreshing the Goldsboro website trying to get a shiny signed special edition. It doesn’t come out until May, but you bet your ass I’ll be reading it IMMEDIATELY.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

Maybe the best for last? Kate and I, as well as one of our best friends, are going to an event to see Queen V tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see her. I had wanted to be caught up on her works before I saw her again, but I didn’t quite make it. Regardless, I’m excited to hear her talk about her debut baby being resurrected back into the world. I hope we’re ready for it.


Well, if you were kind enough to click through the link at the top of this post, you’ll know that I have achieved none of my announced TBR from the beginning of the year. I’m bad at prioritizing, and really good at re-listening to Throne of Glass. That being said, I’ve been trying to come up with some more concrete goals, and I seem to be doing better. So here we go!

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

We’re going to an event to see her tomorrow, and I was really hoping to get this done. Unfortunately, I barely retained Vicious, so I had to re-read that, and it kinda screwed up my entire timeline. Oh well. I will still be reading it next-ish.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

So, fun fact, I really like Ms. Schwab. She’s my queen. Yet, I haven’t read all of her things. As you can see, I’m working on it, and I’m dying to dig into my super pretty re-released editions.

Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

HOLY SHIT. I finished Gemina yesterday. Technically, early this morning, and my brain is still fried. It was art, but it was dark, horrifying art. I loved every page of it, and I’m dying to find out how it ends.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

Psyched you out, didn’t I?! Last one, I promise. I recently read This Savage Song, but I was trying to get to Vengeful, so I didn’t read Our Dark Duet, and now we’re here. Our friend group has a saying that goes, “It’s not a problem if you don’t have a problem with it.” It’s invaluable in situations like these.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Honestly, I’ve picked this up several times this year, and I’m just not ready to be done with our dear Lazlo Strange yet. That being said, my need to know is starting to seriously outweigh my reservations, so it’s time is rapidly approaching.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand

I’ve been sitting on a copy of this since it came out, and I still haven’t read it. Since I want to be able to jump on the Kingsbane hype train, though, I figure I better actually read this sooner than later.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

On the list from earlier this year, I said I wanted to read The Way of Kings. And I do! But I also know myself well enough to know that I don’t think I can commit to anything of that girth right now. My brain just isn’t in a good place, and if I push it too hard, it will implode.

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

I’ve been reading these magical little novellas been my thicc reads this year, and I absolutely adore them. I just finished Beneath the Sugar Sky, and I’m so excited to pick up In An Absent Dream. I’m even more excited that there are four more coming, and a shiny Syfy TV show was just announced, too!

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

I binge-read Scythe before Thunderhead was released last year, went to Barnes and Noble on my lunch break to get a copy, and then promptly dismissed it from my TBR list for no good reason. Now that the third book has been announced, I need to prioritize getting it read.

The Darkest Bloom by P.M. Freestone

I picked this up when I was England last month, because Waterstones had signed editions, and the British cover is GORGEOUS AND SHINY. Literally. It has multiple colors of foil. Anyway. The premise sounds completely new and original, and I’ve been putting it off in the name of bigger goal reads, but I’m getting sick of that.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl!

Let us know some of your upcoming spring reads in the comments! We can’t wait to hear. Happy reading!

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Top 10 Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need A Sequel

Posted March 12, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 2 Comments

As it turns out, we both have a pretty firm belief that books written as standalones should stay that way. Neither one of us was able to come up with even five books to fit this prompt, so we decided to tweak it a bit.

There are SO MANY great standalone books out there, and many of them live in our TBR piles. So, without further ado…

Top Ten Standalone Books We’d Love To Read Next


Tomorrow by Damian Dibben

“A wise old dog travels through the courts and battlefields of Europe and through the centuries in search of the master who granted him immortality.”

IMMORTAL. DOG. There is nothing more on this planet that I would want than to be able to give my dog, Max, eternal youth.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

This is quite fitting, as today is the day that Queen V’s debut novel is being rereleased! It’s one of the last books of hers that I haven’t read, and I’m truly excited to dive in and read her first novel and marvel over how far she’s come.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Do I even really need to elaborate much here? I LOVE HER SO MUCH.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

This is CURRENTLY a standalone, although I’ve heard whispers that it might be getting expanded. Who knows? I’ve only read one Sanderson book, but I’m constantly itching for more.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I’ve technically already started this, but I haven’t gotten very far, and I put it on hold to participate in Beauty and the Beast-Athon this week, so I’m going to count it anyway! Dragons. Queens. Dragons. Female/female romance. Dragons. What else do you want?

A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

This is by the author of The Light Between Worlds, which I did a review for last year, and I am so excited for it! All I know is that there is going to be some sort of creepy manor house, and that’s all I’m allowing myself to learn. I am so ready.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Speaking of books with “thorn” in the title that are coming from authors for whom I did a review of their debut novel…yeah ok that’s really specific. This is another one where I don’t know a ton, but like…there’s a magical library guys. GIMME.

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

“Once, a witch made a pact with a devil. The legend says they loved each other, but can the story be trusted at all?”

I’ve seen so many people rave about this book, and I am chomping at the bit to get a copy and read it myself.

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck

This is supposed to be a paranormal fantasy with some romance, and the main character is a guardian of a portal to the mysterious and dangerous Otherworld. Another main character would very, very much like to go to this Otherworld. Chaos ensues. I love some chaos.

To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

This is another one that isn’t out yet, but the synopsis is just so intriguing. Elite boys-only school infiltrated by two girls. A mysterious disease. Female friendship. A SCARY MAZE. I’m excited for it to come out.


To Kill a Kingdom by Alexander Christo

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. I think I got it in a box last spring? Maybe? Anyway, I keep putting it off in the names of shiny new series, so it’s about time I pull it down off the shelf.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

I tried to read Winterspell, and I just couldn’t get into it. From what I’ve read of Sawkill Girls, though, it seems like it’s much more my thing. Horror, thriller, etc. aren’t usually my genres of choice, but whenever Sam likes something, I figure I should probably give it a shot.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

This book was brought to my attention when I started looking up Beauty and the Beast retellings for #BATBathon. It sounds great. Plus, there’s a companion novella, which I have decided doesn’t make it any less a standalone.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Everyone and their mother seems to be in love with this graphic novel. I scored and found it at Half Price Books last fall. I love the art. I love the synopsis. It’s probably time I figure out if I love the content, not that I’m concerned.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I haven’t read anything by Holly Black other than The Cruel Prince, and I love it. Logic would dictate I read some of her other fae creations. I’m holding out for the gorgeous bind up of Modern Faerie Tales this summer, so The Darkest Part of the Forest it is!

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

I grabbed this last fall, and I intended to read it right away. Paige did, and she has been speaking about its value ever since. I don’t know why I seem to be a bit afraid to pick it up, but here I am. It’s on my must read list for the year, and I hope I hold myself to that.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

I knew nothing of this book until Paige showed up at my house with a copy. From the synopsis (and Paige’s review), it seems to have some Secret History vibes, and I’m all about that.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

I’m a sucker for a book about books. Plus, it’s GORGEOUS. I was in the UK when it was released, and I didn’t get a copy in the name of frugality and saving luggage space, forgetting that it doesn’t come out in the US to April. Mistakes were made, and I regret it deeply. I’m foaming at the mouth to get my hands on this one.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern


The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I think this might be the only orange thing I’ve ever loved. I’m afraid to start it, because of its length in comparison to the rest of my TBR pile, but it’s taunting me from my Kindle screen. Its time is coming.

We hope you enjoyed the alternate topic this week! Let us know what some of your choices are – for either version!

See you next week, lovely humans 💜💛

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Top 10 Tuesday: Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

Posted March 5, 2019 by A Conjuring of Lit in Top 10 Tuesday / 1 Comment

As you’ve probably noticed over the last year, we really love doing tags and surveys. It’s a great way for you to get to know us, and they’re fun to do! When we learned about Top 10 Tuesday, it seemed like a perfect way to expand our content and interact with all you lovely humans.

TTT is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and she does a great job curating the prompts and nurturing the community. She has master posts for each week, takes suggestions for the prompts, as well as participating herself. This week’s prompt is from Sara at A Gingerly Review. Be sure to check both of them out!

For this week’s prompt, we both went about it from the characters you’d like to be angle, as opposed to the characters whose situations we’d like to inherit angle. These ladies are dealing with some SHIT, and while neither of us claims to be able to fill their shoes, it would still be pretty damn cool to be able to be them for a little while and inhabit their worlds.

All right, enough blabbering. Here we go!


Feyre – ACOFAS and Chapter 55 Feyre. I couldn’t survive Under The Mountain, but I would absolutely like to be romanced by Rhys. Not even sorry.

Gorgeous Feyre illustration by Alexandra Curte! Check out her Instagram and Redbubble 🌙

Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – I would absolutely like to go to my own wonderland. But definitely a traditional wonderland, not a Seanan McGuire wonderland. Those end so heartbreakingly.

One of Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Ildiko from Radiance – Again…the swoons. Go check out my February wrap-up for more thoughts on this fantasy romance book!

Look how beautiful that cover is!

Jasnah from The Stormlight Archive – Now granted, I’ve only read the first book, so maybe something horrifying happens to her somewhere along the line, but at this point…I would ABSOLUTELY love to be a badass heretical scholar. Sign me up right now. Thanks.

Found this beauty on the Official Brandon Sanderson Fansite, 17th Shard. Check out LittleGreyOwl’sbeautiful pieces.

Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone – If you haven’t read Night of Cake and Puppets, you’re missing out on maybe the most adorable romance ever. Also yeah, I’m referencing a lot of romances, but as a fantasy reader…yeah, most of my favorite characters don’t have a great life. I wouldn’t make it!

Zuzana in marionette form by Black Bird Ink. Scroll through her Twitter and Redbubble for more creations!

Isobel from An Enchantment of Ravens – Guess what, another swoony romance! I would also love Isobel’s artistic abilities.

Illustrations of Isobel and Rook by Iryna Khymych. She has a Twitter and Society6 page for you to peruse, at your leisure.

Rielle from Furyborn – Okay, so I know I wouldn’t be able to be as badass as her, but I would absolutely love to be the Avatar of this universe. I want to control all seven elements. I want the swoony romance. I could do without her inevitable future but like…I can’t NOT want to be her.

It’s been out almost a year, and this cover still takes my breath away!

Mia Corvere from Nevernight – Again, I couldn’t actually be her, but I would like my own shadow cat and assassin abilities, thank you.

This was a print in a FaeCrate box last year, and we both fell in love with it. Hard. Check out Gabriella Bujdoso’s other work on her website, Insta, and Society6 pages!

Cath from Fangirl – I would love to be a successful writer! I would love to be friends with her friends! I would love to have emergency dance parties!

Love this piece of Cath! We weren’t able to find the original source, so if you know, please let us know!

Sabriel from Abhorsen – Necromancy powers and a demonic cat, please and thank you!

Cover art from the Australian edition of Sabriel. By Sebastian Ciaffaglione.


Inej Ghafa from Six of Crows – She’s basically a rogue, and I love it. If I could merge her and Queen of Shadows Aelin Galathynius, I think I’d have my perfect woman crush. Speaking of…..

Inej illustration by Kate Wheeler of Rat Girl Studios. She has a website, DeviantArt, Redbubble, and Instagram for you to follow.

Aelin Galathynius from Throne of Glass – A queen and an assassin. A woman who must learn to humility and strength all at once. I just love her and all of crazy plotting and bravado.

Forever my favorite Throne of Glass cover! Fun fact: I modeled my favorite DnD character after this cover. She, like Aelin, is quite stabby, and doesn’t have a lot of patience for your shit.

Mia Corvere from Nevernight – It’s possible I have an assassin problem, but whatever. They’re fictional, so what does it matter? She’s such a badass, and I love her loyalty to a cause, even when it’s her downfall.

Mia on this PERFECT Darkdawn cover. Out September 3, 2019 – don’t miss it! Art is by Jason Chan.

Feyre Archeron from A Court of Thorns and Roses – I love everything about her, from her artistic talent to her warrior instincts to being mated to Rhysand. Plus, I’d be living with my best friends, which is basically peak success in my world.

I couldn’t pick my favorite, so you get them all. You’re welcome.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast – It’s the library. That’s the whole reason.

I’m a cliche, and I don’t care.

Arya from The Inheritance Cycle – Hello, she’s a dragon rider and an elf a fallen princess risen again. And all of that says nothing of her will of steel. She’s a true queen. In this case, literally.

Arya on a field of green to match Firnen. Check out Ustyzhanina Dasha’s tumblr for more beautiful art!

Lila Bard from Shades of Magic – My original sentence was rife with spoilers, so we’ll go with this: She’s a badass, and she helps save the world. Admittedly something a lot of these ladies have in common, but unlike most of them, she is no queen, she is not some great anointed one, she’s just a girl running from her life in search of something better, and she is INCREDIBLE.

Absolutely flawless Lila art by
Mélanie Bourgeois. You can find her on Twitter, Inprnt, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Cress from The Lunar Chronicles – I think I want to be Cress, because she reminds me of me. I love how she finds herself and leans into her skills even when she feels completely off kilter.

The Russian cover of Cress.

Laia from The Ember Quartet – I spent a long time debating between Laia and Helene or just throwing in the towel and choosing both of them. Ultimately, though, Laia won out. I don’t know why, exactly, it was just a gut feeling. Which I’m sure bodes very badly for me once I read what fresh hell Sabaa has concocted for book four.

Love, love, LOVE this illustration of Laia of Serra. Check out the rest of the artist catalog on DeviantArt!

Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings – It’s Galadriel, people. She is, in my humble opinion, the one true SFF queen. She is beauty, might, and majesty incarnate.

Galadriel is dreamy perfection in this digital art piece. See all of Celtica Harmony’s artwork on DeviantArt.

Well, there ya have it! Who would you want to switch places with? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll be back with another great prompt next week!

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