Friday, February 24, 2017

*Movie Review* 50 Shades Darker

So I did it. Tonight I went to see 50 Shades Darker with a friend. There were supposed to be more than two of us, but everyone else got sick, I think. Now, I didn't go see the movie because I desperately wanted to see the movie. I would have been just fine waiting until it was available on DVD and renting it from the shoppette. But when my friend invited me to go with them to watch it, the invitation included dinner at a super amazing sushi restaurant beforehand, and I basically never get to eat good sushi because my husband does not like seafood, especially raw seafood. I would have agreed to go see a Barney the Dinosaur movie if it came with the promise of sushi beforehand.

So I was less than impressed by this movie. That's not surprising though. I don't really like either Dakota Johnson as Anastasia or Jamie Dornan as Christian, and I'm not a major 50 Shades fanatic to begin with. (Again, I was there because of sushi.) While watching the movie, I checked the time at least a half dozen times, just trying to figure out when it would be over already. It would have helped if I'd figured out how long the movie was supposed to last in the first place, but it's too late for that now. If it had been thirty minutes shorter, that would have been just fine by me. There were several scenes that would not have suffered much from a little trimming.

But the movie wasn't all bad. There were a few lines that had me cracking up, like Ana's line early on when Christian asks her to go to dinner with him where she says "Okay. But because I'm hungry." It was a great, well-delivered line. And it wasn't the only one, but I wasn't sitting there taking notes so I can't directly quote any of the others off the top of my head.

Another bonus for the movie, at least for the straight men in the audience, was that there was about 300% more boob-time than in the first movie. And there is not a doubt in my mind that decision was made in part to appeal to the men dragged along to the movie by their significant others. Also, almost every single time Christian and Ana have sex, Christian keeps his pants on. (He does however take his shirt off, a lot.)

Would I see this movie again? No, probably not. Unless by some strange twist of fate my husband wants to watch it after it comes out on DVD because of the extra boob-time (but that's not likely.) If you haven't seen it already because you're like me and interested but not THAT interested, you'll probably want to skip paying the outrageous ticket prices to see it in theaters and just wait to rent it on DVD. - Katie

Thursday, February 23, 2017

*Review* #BeatTheBacklist - Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Genre: Memoir
Published: November 15, 2016
Pages: 304


A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch PerfectUp in the AirTwilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).


I listened to the audiobook version of Scrappy Little Nobody, and I highly recommend it if you are an Anna Kendrick fan. The narrator sounds just like her (you know, because it is her.) I would not recommend listening to it around young children, however, unless you do so with headphones. Kendrick talks about many things you may not want to have to explain to your kids just yet, or ever really.

I've got to admit that I have not always been a Kendrick fan, in fact I was rather the opposite for a while when my only exposure to her was in Twilight. I did not like the character she played at all (in the books or the movies) and while I realize that not liking Kendrick because of her character in Twilight is absurd, it is what it is. And it's very possible that I would appreciate her portrayal of Jessica more now that I've read this book, so that's kind of a win I think.

As I listened to Scrappy Little Nobody, I came to the realization that Anna Kendrick is basically my spirit animal. I desperately want to be best friends with her, not because she's a celebrity, but because we seem to have a similar sense of humor and she appreciates Harry Potter (the movies at least). Also, she just seems like a really cool chick. At one point she describes various types of potential parties she has planned, and I legit want to attend all of them because they just sound like so much fun. I'm certainly left feeling like I really know Kendrick personally now, and I like her in all her glorious awkwardness, and I'm even going to give her another chance in Twilight.

I am quickly coming to the conclusion that celebrity memoirs are best listened to rather than read, as long as the celebrity is the one doing the narrating (and I have yet to encounter a celebrity memoir where that is not the case). I'm even coming to the conclusion that I really like listening to celebrity memoirs, and I used to think that I just hated audiobooks in general. But honestly, if you're going to read a book about a celebrity, you may as well have them read it to you. So I definitely recommend springing for the audiobook here.

Overall I give Scrappy Little Nobody 5 out of 5 stars because it was thoroughly entertaining. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Born and raised in Portland, Maine, Anna Kendrick made her Broadway debut at the age of twelve in her Tony-nominated performance for the musical High Society. Since her Academy Award–nominated role as Natalie Keener in Up in the Air, she has made numerous theatrical appearances, including starring roles in Into the Woods, the Twilight saga, and the Pitch Perfect film franchise. In 2013, she achieved musical success with the triple-platinum hit song “Cups (When I’m Gone),” featured in Pitch Perfect. She lives in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

*Book Movie Match-up* #BeatThe Backlist - Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

Book Published: September 13, 2012
Pages: 300
Genre: YA Fiction

Movie Premiered: July 27, 2016
Length: 1 hour, 36 minutes
Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, and Emily Meade



Vee doesn't know if she has the guts to play NERVE, an anonymous online game of dares. But whoever's behind the game knows exactly what she wants, enticing her with lustworthy prizes and a sizzling-hot partner. With Ian on her team, it's easy to agree to another dare. And another. And another. At first it's thrilling as the Watchers cheer them on to more dangerous challenges. But suddenly the game turns deadly. Will Vee and Ian risk their lives for the Grand Prize dare, or will they lose NERVE?


Big Brother meets The Hunger Games in Nerve by Jeanne Ryan.

I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review.

This book completely sucked me in. Like I was legit supposed to be proofreading a book, but I put it off for a day just so I could plow through Nerve. And I needed that. Reading was starting to feel way too much like a chore and this book renewed me. 

The story was intense and exciting, which is strange because the dares weren't really that dangerous, at least not at first. Like they are absolutely the kinds of things that I would agree to do when drinking and playing truth or dare with my friends. But I was so deep in Vee's head that her emotions were my emotions. It helped some that Vee is an introverted wallflower type, much like me. Still, I was just as nervous as Vee was about dumping a cup of water over my head in the middle of a coffee shop (yeah, that was really one of the dares.)

When Vee reached the finals, things got more intense and felt more dangerous. The addition of five more players contributed to the intensity greatly. There was much more animosity from the new players than we'd been exposed to up to that point, and the situation started to feel legitimately dangerous.

I was also totally shipping Vee and Ian for most of the story, although that made me feel a bit sorry for Tommy, but only for a minute. There are a few reasons why I don't feel too sorry for Tommy. The least of which is that I'm working on not expecting women to date guys just because they're nice to them, even fictional women.

Overall I give Nerve 5 out of 5 stars. 

Alright, so the movie is basically nothing like the book, like at all. About the only thing that is the same is that Vee is playing a game where she gets rewards for completing dares that she receives through her phone. That's where the similarities end. I'm serious. 

But the changes were not a bad thing overall. I mean a girl having to dump a cup of water over her head in a coffee shop would not really make for good cinematography, and it would inspire a lot less nervous energy in the audience because in the movie we're not so much in her head. I even actually liked how the movie made it easier for other characters to take part in the game prior to the finals. It added a fun element to the story.

So the movie was exciting, but in a different way than the book. The book was much more cerebral excitement. The movie was more action packed excitement, so much more visually appealing, you know, like you expect from a movie. As an adaptation, the movie gets an F, but it gets an A- on it's own merit. I thoroughly enjoyed it in spite of all the differences between the book and movie. I can actually recommend watching the movie even after reading the book, and that doesn't happen often. - Katie

About the Author

I’ve lived all over the world, raised in a family with eleven brothers and sisters. I spent my early childhood in Hawaii and the rest of my growing-up years trying to figure out a way to get back there, with stops in South Korea, Michigan and Germany along the way. Before writing fiction, I tried my hand at many things, including war game simulation and youth development research. But I decided it was much more fun to work on stories than statistics.

These days, I still love Hawaii, but have found my home under the moody skies of the Pacific Northwest.

Note, I post news on Twitter @Jeanne_Ryan and on my FB page:

You've Got Mail. Not.

Guess what! Once again IABB Confessions have given me something to talk about. As a reminder in case you are not aware, neither IABB nor the graphic artists who create the images for us are responsible for the contents of the confessions. They merely provide the platform for their airing. The confessions themselves are entirely anonymous. This just happens to be one that I took particular issue with, partially because I feel like it is directly targeting me (I don't think it was necessarily written about me specifically however.) 

I operate one of those websites where I clearly state that I will only reply to your email if I have chosen to review your book and the review is posted. I've even gone into detail with the reasons behind that decision. If you want to see them, simply click on the Review Policy tab above. But the fact of the matter is that I have been very straightforward letting anyone who chooses to send me an email know not to expect a response from me. I feel like I have done my part to be professional in the matter because that information is readily available. If you miss that information because you skipped over that part of the page to simply grab my email address to submit a request, well that's a you problem.

And I'm not prepared to set up an auto-response on my email at this time, because there are far too many people that ignore my guidelines and request to not receive blog tour sign ups and the like. I have no desire to have my email send an auto-response to promo companies that have failed to do their due diligence saying something along the lines of "Your request has been received and will be taken into consideration" because those people need a response more along the lines of "This email address is for review requests only. Please remove it from your promotional mailing list." When did it become okay for promo companies to send unsolicited emails for promotion? (It didn't, that's called spam, but it still happens all the time.) So you will get no auto-response from me because some people are dumb and I refuse to encourage them.

Now I get a lot fewer emails than most bloggers (probably partially because I refuse to send replies to review requests, but mostly because I don't get the daily requests for release blitz sign ups from a dozen or more promo companies. Seriously, those things will get your inbox out of control in next to no time. I scrapped the email address I originally used for this blog because it was easier to just get a new email address when we decided to no longer sign up for blog tours and stuff.) I probably could take the time to send a personal message to every person who sends a review request to me. But I check my email on my phone or iPad, and typing anything on a mobile device takes me at least twice as long as typing on a computer does. Also, I just don't want to. That is not something I want to spend my time doing, and that is my decision to make.

Which brings us to the "okay not to be professional" aspect of the confession. You wanna know why I feel like it's okay to not be professional where emails are concerned? Because this is not my job. This does not pay my bills. Blogging does not put food on my table or clothes on my back. This is a hobby. This is something I do in my free time (or that I make time to do because I enjoy doing it.) For most bloggers, blogging is just that, a hobby.

This is the point where authors argue that we bloggers need you. I've discussed this topic before, but I'll briefly do it again here. The relationship between author and blogger is an unequal relationship that favors the blogger. The fact of the matter is that we bloggers don't need individual authors nearly as much as indie authors need us bloggers. As bloggers, we just need there to be authors, and traditional publishing guarantees that there always will be (not that I think indies are going anywhere any time soon, and I wouldn't want them to. But authors will always exist.) For instance, I won 412 books through Goodreads First Reads giveaways last year alone. I read between 120-150 books a year. I'll let you do the math. So far this year I've won 46 books on Goodreads, and I've only read 14 books for the year so far. As you can see, I could read entirely for free without even being a blogger. So as shitty as it sounds, I don't need you. I would be sad if you stopped writing, because indie authors produce some very entertaining books, but I don't need your free review copies to continue blogging. I can do that without you.

So to this confessor, I see what you're saying. I get that it may be frustrating for you. But all of the above is exactly why I personally feel no shame at all for not responding to emails as a blogger. After all, this is my blog and I do what I want. - Katie 

*Book Movie Match-up* #BeatTheBacklist - The Martian by Andy Weir

Book Published: February 11, 2014
Pages: 385
Genre: Science Fiction

Movie Premiered: October 2, 2015
Length: 2 hour, 24 minutes
Starring: Matt Damon


A mission to Mars.
A freak accident.
One man's struggle to survive.
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, Mark won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.
But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book. I felt like the narrator did a decent job with the voices. I don't remember cringing at the female voices, feeling like they were caricatures, and the accent for Vogel, who is German, is consistent with my experience of speaking to Germans living in Germany. Granted most of the narration was for a single character, the focus was on Watney after all, but it was still always clear who was speaking when it wasn't Watney. And he had a great wry tone for Watney's humor.

The story got off to a slow start for me, although some of that may be because I listened to the audio rather than reading. Endless descriptions aren't quite as interesting to listen to as dialogue and action, and there wasn't much action to start. But about a third of the way into the story, things started to pick up and get interesting.

I thought that overall this story was hilarious. The way Watney approaches issues made this fun to listen to. I mean there is talk about space pirates for crying out loud. And Watney isn't the only one in the crew who's got jokes, although some of the humor from the rest of the crew could be response to Watney's jokes. Although it may also just be a personality trait NASA looks for in astronauts. 

There was also a fair amount of suspense in the story. There were several times where it seemed all was surely lost. Obviously it wasn't for some of them. Those times had me on the edge of my seat wondering how Mark would get himself out of that scrape. 

5 out of 5 stars.

I think I may have set this movie up for failure by listening to the audio as opposed to reading myself. I mean, I knew the voices would be different in the movie, but I wasn't prepared for Vogel to basically have no accent at all. And that probably wouldn't have stood out to me nearly as much if I'd read the book myself. This was a much bigger problem for me while watching that it really should have been. 

So the movie changed a lot of things, but most of the changes made a certain amount of sense, up until the end at least. At the end they removed book suspense to replace it with slightly different suspense a little later on, and that change just made no sense to me. There was also an exchange between Watney and Lewis that was altered to be about 75% less funny in the movie, that since I had just finished listening to the book earlier that day, really stood out to me as a major disappointment. But aside from those two things, the changes really did make sense, and I didn't mind them much (although I obviously still pointed them out, because duh.) 

All in all, I would say that this was a decent adaptation of the book, although I would recommend not watching it immediately after finishing the book so that exact conversations have a chance to get a bit muddled in your head (you'll probably be less irritated that way.) This movie gets a B+. - Katie 

About the Author

ANDY WEIR was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age fifteen and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

*Review* Her Dark Past by Alexandrea Weis

Genre: Erotic Romance
Published: January 23, 2017
Pages: 326


Brynn Adler is a writer with a unique ability—everywhere she goes, images of the past haunt her. 

After taking over the estate of her murdered ex-husband, Nathan Cole, Brynn is at the center of a mystery. A mystery the ruthless members of the Corde Noire Society want solved. Sent to discover Brynn’s secret, Declan Corinth plans to arouse her former submissive ways. There’s just one problem … he knows nothing about being a Dom. If Declan doesn’t get what the Corde Noire requires, Brynn Adler could become its next victim. Can he win her trust in time? The clock is ticking. 

To uncover the past, embrace the darkness.


I was hired to proofread this book. The only aspects of the story that I influenced were the spelling and grammar. If you feel that my connection to the book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest review.

When I started reading this book, I thought I knew how it was going to end. Honestly, I thought I knew how this book was going to end when I finished reading the previous book in the series. I was wrong. I was so very wrong. Now that's not a bad thing, the book just went in a different direction than I had been imagining it taking for all the months between books. I definitely liked the actual ending, and it was very satisfying for the story, and even makes more sense because of information that is revealed throughout the course of the story. But in spite of me being wrong about the direction this book would take, it was still the book in this series that I most needed. 

This book was almost like a classic romance novel, where it's obvious the two main characters are supposed to be together, but they just don't see it because they're both so freakin' busy pretending to be something that they're not. You just want to grab them and yell at them to force them to see it too, but you can't because that's undignified, and they don't actually exist. It made me feel reminiscent of the romance novels I read back in middle school though, and that was nice. 

Overall I give Her Dark Past 5 out of 5 stars because it was thoroughly engrossing. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. 
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*Review* The Blessed Knights by Mary Ting

Genre: YA Paranormal
Published: October 28, 2016
Pages: 234


***Silver Medal Winner for Readers' Favorite International Book Award for Young Adult-Fantasy*** 2016

Above a small hill lay a home.
And green men peer out under the dome.
Thirteen crisscrossing arches behold,
with angels singing must be told.
Cubes like teeth thus showed,
pierce one and the door shall glow. 
Part the sea like Moses, 
to see the bundle of red roses.
Only then you shall see,
what is destined to be free.
But beware, if you are not the heir,
for damnation you shall declare, 
for the false burden you shall bare.

Eli, Lucia’s half-demon love interest, has been stabbed with a true-cross dagger and captured by Cyrus, master of the possessor demons. The Chosen Knights must work together once again not only to save Eli, but also to decipher a clue to find the second missing page of Jacques de Molay’s journal. Meanwhile, Uncle Davin informs Crossroads’ Divine Elders of the danger ahead and learns there is much to fear. Countless children are being taken from all over the world to be turned into demons. Michael has no choice but to intervene. The Chosen Knights track down Mortem, the demon who is the key to finding Cyrus, and learn they must travel deep into the pit of a Hawaiian volcano. When they astral travel to the past in search of a clue and follow Jacques de Molay to Rosselyn Chapel in medieval Scotland, what they find will rewrite history.


I was hired to proofread this book. The only aspects of the story that I influenced were the spelling and grammar. If you feel that my connection to the book makes my review untrustworthy, so be it, but this is my honest review.

I apologize in advance if this review seems a bit off the wall. You see, I read this book back in October, and while I largely remember the storyline, I have read a couple books from the Crossroads saga (for which this is a spin-off) since then, so my emotional experience is tainted somewhat. I promise to never make this mistake again. (I'm totally probably going to end up making this mistake again.) Moving on.

I really enjoyed returning to the mystery of the Knights Templar with Lucia's Blessed Knights. I did not particularly enjoy the rescue mission we had to go on to try and save Eli though. I really rather wish that rescue mission had not been necessary in the first place, although it was rather exciting and detailed at the time. I am also anxious to get to the next book in the story to see how the mystery will continue to play out. 

I also enjoyed the return of some old favorites from the Crossroads Saga. It was almost like spending a weekend white water rafting with friends from high school. The chance of dismemberment or death was definitely there, but it still felt relatively safe because of their presence.

While I wouldn't say that you HAVE to read the Crossroads Saga first, because this spin-off is definitely it's own story, I would recommend it because it lays the groundwork for the lives of Lucia and the other Alkins and the half-breeds that they meet in Hawaii. At the very least you'll have fewer questions about how that all works if you start with the Crossroads Saga. Just trust me on this. 

Overall I give The Blessed Knights 4 out of 5 stars because it was entertaining and exciting. - Katie 

Buy the Book

About the Author

International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Ways to keep in touch with the author:

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Twitter @maryting

*Deja Revu* 20 February 2017

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Is This Real Life or is This Just Fantasy

I recently had the following exchange with a Facebook friend, because that stupid Trump/50 Shades of Grey meme is going around again (probably because of the release of Fifty Shades Darker in theaters if I had to guess.) The exchange really got under my skin (I took screenshots for crying out loud!) and I would like to talk about it, and exactly why I feel like the comparison between things Donald Trump has said and the things described in 50 Shades of Grey is complete and utter bullshit. 

Now before I really get started, I just want to clarify that this isn't really about Donald Trump, his words and prominence are merely the catalyst that brought this issue to the forefront of discussion. What this is about is the argument that reading about something in fiction, condones the actions in real life. And, well, that's just bullshit.

As I said in the exchange, the first problem with the comparison is that everything in 50 Shades is consensual. There is even a freaking contract involved, a contract that Ana was allowed to make changes to. That is written consent and she is free to leave at any point in time, and she does at the end of the first book. Now I realize that there are arguments for there being many issues with how healthy Christian and Ana's relationship is, but the fact of the matter is that she consents to everything they do because she wants to be with Christian. To argue that one persons consent (especially a fictional person) to those kinds of actions condones similar non-consensual actions is absurd and it borders on kink shaming. The Hunger Games was rather popular, but that doesn't mean we think it's okay to send eighteen kids into a dangerous arena to battle to the death simply for our entertainment, does it?

The second problem with my friend's argument is that it assumes that what one finds titillating in print or film, one would also be interested in experiencing in real life, and that's not always the case. I personally find FMF threesomes titillating, but have no interest in bringing another woman into the bedroom with my husband and me. It's fun to read about it, but I have no desire to experience it personally. And what woman hasn't at some point fantasized about a rich man or woman sweeping her off her feet to take care of her every need? Just because Christian adds whips and paddles to the equation doesn't change the overall fantasy all that much.

But the part of the argument that really grinds my gears is that it equates a character with no political aspirations with a man who represents all Americans as president. Let's be real here, if Christian Grey were to run for President, the likelihood of one of his former subs ignoring the NDA and telling her story to the press is pretty high. And the details of that story would likely give many people pause, make them reconsider whether or not Christian Grey is really president material. And even though many people would say that what consenting adults do behind closed doors doesn't matter, he'd probably lose the election, because that is not the kind of person we want representing us as a nation. But current Christian Grey isn't running for president. He's a private citizen engaging in consensual kink in the privacy of his own home. He also doesn't actually exist, in case you forgot.

So please, could we stop trotting this tired meme out every time there's a new 50 Shades of Grey movie release, acting as if the events in the books are at all comparable to the actions of a real life human being. - Katie 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

*Stacking the Shelves* 18 February 2017

(Titles link to Amazon via Amazon Affiliate links)

Stacking The Shelves is a feature/weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews in which you share the books you are adding to your shelves, both physical and virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Now, I already have a monthly post I do featuring the books I get in the mail (and it's a lot because I have a serious Goodreads First Reads giveaway addiction), and I'm going to try to start posting my monthly Read-A-Thon posts again too (even if none of the Platypires will be joining me), which will cover the books I receive through Netgalley. But I also go to my thrift store at least once a week, and often leave with a bag full of books. It's such a common occurrence that I'm known as The Book Lady to the frequent volunteers (and I suspect that they've started scheduling their $1 bag of books sales for Thursdays simply because that is the day I usually visit.) So my Stacking the Shelves posts are going to focus on my thrift store hauls, because this is my blog and I do what I want. 

On that note, here are the books I picked up this week.

GI Brides by Duncan Barrett & Nuala Calvi - I bought this book because I needed a book featuring a kiss for an upcoming Instagram challenge, and I didn't want to have to find one amongst the books I already own. But I also like WWII era historical fiction, and this book basically fits that. 
Kris Jenner...and All Things Kardashian by Kris Jenner - I have a probably unhealthy fascination with the Kardashian's, headlines about them are one of the few things that gets me to buy gossip rags at the store (and I know those things are full of lies and speculation.) 
Watermelon by Marian Keyes - I'm not sure now which of my blogging friends likes Marian Keyes, but I think it's one of the Platypires, so I buy her books any time I see them even though I haven't read anything by her yet. 
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr - It's actually odd that I haven't already read this book, because I read many notable WWII era historical fiction books targeted towards children as a child. I've always had a fascination with the Holocaust and learning about peoples lives during it. 
Ghosts Don't Eat Potato Chips by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones - I feel like I read a lot of the Bailey School Kids books when I was younger, this particular one was copyrighted when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, so it's very possible these made up a portion of the hauls that I'd get after every book order. With that in mind, I've been buying these for my kids to read. 
The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav Pilkey - My son likes comic books, so this will likely be right up his alley. 
Confessions of a Sponge by Sarah Willson - I like Spongebob Squarepants, and I like to at least pretend that my children do too. 
Chuckle and Cringe by David Lewman - This is a book of Spongebob's embarrassing stories. It's a nice short book for a reluctant reader. 
Charlie Bone and the Time Twister by Jenny Nimmo - This book made me think of Harry Potter, so I felt it was worth buying to see if it would be appealing in a similar way.
Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors  by Jenny Nimmo - I think I was able to get most of the series all in one go. 
Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo - If you want to read this series, this is the book you should start with. It's #1. 
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy by Jenny Nimmo - I hope this series isn't just a cheap knockoff of Harry Potter. That would make me sad. 
The Beach House by Jane Green - I think Jane Green was one of the featured authors for BookSparks a couple years ago when I was trying to take part in some challenge, so ever since then I've bought any of her books I've come across. 
The Heroic Sagas of Neuschwanstein by Markus Richter - This book doesn't appear to be available on Amazon (it's probably only sold at Neuschwanstein Castle and in the town of Hohenschwangau in Germany. I've been to Neuschwanstein though, so I wanted the book. 
Isle of the Dead by Emily Rodda - The cover of this book is shiny. That's all it took to appeal to me. Please don't judge. 
The Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda - The cover of this book looks like a cross between The Wizard of Oz and Frozen. I'm intrigued. 
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater - I think I've heard good things about this author, so the book was worth a shot. 
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater - I couldn't buy Lament and not buy Ballad too when they were sitting right next to each other. 
Charlie Bone and the Hidden King by Jenny Nimmo - Obviously this should have been listed sooner, but that's not how it ended up being bagged when I was shopping. 
The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks - I'm really not a very big Nicholas Sparks fan, but I know his books are good for when I need a truly heartwarming read that will also make me cry like a little girl. 
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling - I love love love Harry Potter but have no actually read any of Rowling's other work. It's probably high time I remedied that.
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu - It's becoming quite apparent to me that I have it in my head that my children are going to love to read (or I will MAKE THEM!!!) Since we homeschool, they don't have the benefit of getting Scholastic book orders, so this will just have to do.
Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni - I try to buy books about diverse life experiences when I find them. 
Blaze the Ice Dragon by Adam Blade - It looked like a relatively easy read for a young reader (like my kids) and I might be able to use it to help score some points for the #BeatTheBacklist #HogwartsMiniChallenge too.
Stealth the Ghost Panther by Adam Blade - Again, looks like an easy but exciting read for my kids.
Revenge of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stein - My son has started to show an interest in Goosebumps books, so I will continue to buy them when I find them. 
Frankenstein Doesn't Plant Petunias by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones - I think the Bailey School Kids books look interesting. 
Scooby-Doo and the Carnival Creeper by James Gelsey - My kids have enjoyed watching Scooby-Doo on DVD, so I hope that will translate to wanting to read the books.
Scooby-Doo and the Masked Magician by James Gelsey - Same explanation as above. 
Scooby-Doo: The Case of the Lost Lumberjack by Jesse McCann - I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts.
Spongebob Squarepants Trivia Book by David Fain - I fully intended for my children to get this book, but see what people are charging for used copies on Amazon, I think I might wanna' sell it instead! 
Spongebob Naturepants by Terry Collins - I guess my kids can keep this one. It's available on Kindle for not a whole lot. 
Laugh'n'ride by David Lewman - This is a Spongebob Squarepants joke book...surely it's funny right?
Dear Spongebob by Steven Banks - This is basically a Spongebob Squarepants Mad Lib book. 
Spongebob Squarepants: Joke Book by David Lewman - I think this is self-explanatory.
Hall Monitor by Annie Auerbach - This is just a Spongebob Squarepants chapter book. 
Spongebob Superstar by Annie Auerbach - Another Spongebob chapter book.
Adventures in Bikini Bottom by various authors - This is a collection of read to read books. 
The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas - I really like the cover of this book. 
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller - I feel like this is a good educational book, the kind of thing I would have had to read as a child, so naturally in intend to require my children to read it. 
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner - I buy all of Weiner's books when I see them...One of these days I'll read at least one of them. 
My Dearest Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan - A continuation of Pride and Prejudice, sign me up. 
Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan - So, this should have been listed before the previous book. Pretend that's what I did.
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll - Wait, a different Pride and Prejudice continuation...I'm probably going to get quite confused. 
Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley by Linda Berdoll - Yes, going to get quite confused indeed. 
Home Front by Kristin Hannah - Ever since reading The Nightingale, I've bought every Kristin Hannah book I've found. 
Sexual Selection by Malte Andersson - Can't find this book on's a science book that maybe will be useful at some point. 
Winter of the World by Ken Follett - I probably don't have the first book in this series, but I might...I have at least two other Follett books, I think...maybe. 
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - I've done those writing style analyzer thingies online, and they consistently say that I write like I should probably read him at some point. 
DK Eyewitness Books: Mammal by Steve Parker - This book is absolutely for school purposes.
Star Wars Episode 1 Journal: Queen Amidala by Jude Watson - My kids like Star Wars, so they may enjoy this. 
Sandy's Rocket by Steven Banks - It's another Spongebob chapter book. 
Scared Silly by David Lewman - Spooky Spongebob jokes.
Lights! Camera! Action! by Jenny Miglis - This is another Spongebob Mad Libs style book.
Laughapalooza Joke Book by Kitty Richards - Phineas and Ferb jokes. This is one of the few current kid shows that I actually enjoy, so I fully encourage my kids to watch it.
Monkey Me and the Golden Monkey by Timothy Roland - I just thought this looked like an interesting kids book.
Treasure in the Graveyard by Roberto Pavanello - I always loved scary stories as a kid, so I try to provide them for my kids as well.

And that is all the books that I bought at the thrift store this week. This haul cost me a whopping $8.75, so it was kind of an expensive week for me, but I got a LOT of books, and most of them are even for my children. What did your book haul look like this week? Let me know in the comments. - Katie