Book Menus

Book Menus

Feeling hungry? Then you are about to get ravenous!

While rereading the Harry Potter series this month, I became acutely aware of the vast number of scenes in the books that either feature food, talk about food or showcase characters whose hunger pangs rival my own (I’m talking about you Ron!). Now I should probably point out (if you haven’t noticed already) that I love a sumptuous dinner as much as I love an overflowing bookshelf and whenever I come across a food scene while I’m reading, my stomach starts to growl like my next door neighbour’s dog! So I decided to write a blog post that features some of my favourite books and the types of food that are mentioned in them. I think it’s incredible to read about the different kinds of cuisines across literature, and how much these scenes add such a unique taste to the story!


Purple Hibiscus   Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus is set in Nigeria and it features different kinds of Nigerian cuisines throughout the story. Interestingly enough, Nigerian cuisine involves a great variety of colourful and aromatic dishes, using various herbs, spices, beans, meat and rice. Adichie’s writing conjured such vivid images of these luscious dishes that I was constantly hungry while I was reading it! To mention a few:

  • Fufu: A Nigerian staple food that is mentioned quite a lot in the novel. It is a dough-like dish made of boiled or ground plantain, cassava or yam that is rolled into a ball to go with soups. In fact Kambili eats it by rolling it and dipping it in the Onugbu soup.
  • Ofe Onugbu: Also known as the Bitterleaf soup, it is the most traditional Igbo soup. Apparently the name is quite misleading since the soup is not bitter at all. The leaves are washed and squeezed until all traces of bitterness is gone.
  • Egusi Soup: It is a popular Nigerian dish made from ground egusi (melon) seeds.
  • Nigerian Fried Rice: This is probably one of my favourite dishes mentioned in the book and it usually consists of rice, vegetable oil, chicken, curry with several vegetables and seasoning.
  • Utazi: It is an African herb that has a characteristically sharp taste and is used in soups and herb teas to add a bitter taste.

The Grisha trilogy Leigh Bardugo

In an interview with Wendy Darling (click this link for more info), Leigh Bardugo concurs that food forms an integral part in a story in the way it makes the fictional world more familiar and real. But authors also have the ability to twist the familiar into something extraordinary, so while you still feel at home within the fictional place, you also realise that you have been transported into a fantastical place.

If I could live on a carbs-only diet, I would! So when I read about Ravka’s Butterweek Sweet Bird-shaped Rolls, I couldn’t help imagining myself eating a whole basket! The bird-shaped rolls mentioned in Shadow and Bone are inspired by those that are still made today in Russia to celebrate the coming of Spring and the prosperity that it brings with it. These sweet buns, also called zhavoronki, are baked in the shape of larks, as a symbol of harbinger of Spring. They honestly look and sound delicious!

“‘I still have the roll,’ I offered lamely, pulling the squashed, lint-covered lump from my pocket. It had been baked into the shape of a bird to celebrate the spring flocks, but now it looked more like a rolled-up sock.

Mal dropped his head, covering it with his hands, his elbows resting on his knees. His shoulders began to shake, and for a horrible moment, I thought he might be crying, but then I realised he was laughing silently. His whole body rocked, his breath coming in hitches, tears starting to leak from his eyes. ‘That better be one hell of a roll,’ he gasped.”

 Dinner at the Grand Palace in Os Alta doesn’t sound bad either!

 “The food was less alien than I’d expected, the kind of food we’d eaten on feast days at Keramzin: sweet pea porridge, quail roasted in honey, and fresh figs. I found I was hungrier than I’d ever been and had to resist picking up my plate to lick it.”


The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern 

The Night Circus is one of my all-time favourite books. Le Cirque des Rêves for me embodies everything that I love: from the food, to the attractions, and the palpable magic in the air. I was constantly imagining myself wandering its paths and weaving around the tents the whole time I was reading it, smelling the cider in the air and licking chocolate off my fingers. Just picture yourself eating some of these:

Caramel apples, black and white striped paper bag of chocolate or caramel covered popcorn, chocolate mice with almond ears and liquorice tails, cinnamon rolls covered in icing, spiced cocoa and cider.

“Apples dipped in caramel so dark they appeared almost blackened but remained light and crisp and sweet.”

One also cannot fail from mentioning Chandresh Christophe Lefèvres’ famous Midnight Dinners. They were famous for having no menus just to add to the experience, and while some dishes were recognizable, others were more enigmatic, hidden beneath sweet sauces or inside pastries. Chandresh himself admits that not knowing all the ingredients gives the dish life and ‘makes it more than the sum of its parts’.

Just to mention a few: quail, rabbit or lamb served on banana leaves or baked in apples, garnished with brand-soaked cherries, berries bursting with creams and liquors, figs dripping with honey, sugar blown into curls and flowers and pastries lighter than air.


Harry Potter J.K. Rowling

It wouldn’t be right to forget the very books that inspired this post! I guess we can all agree that J.K Rowling is a wordsmith goddess, able to infuse the mundane with a touch of her own kind of magic. So naturally, the food mentioned in the books are exquisite and bound to make you hungry just by reading about them. There’s also something comforting to read about all those overflowing and scrumptious dishes, maybe because they remind me of family gatherings, Christmas dinners or my mum’s cooking, with the mouth-watering smell permeating every room in the house.

So let’s start off with the infamous food trolley on the Hogwarts Express:

  • Chocolate Frogs
  • Liquorice Wands
  • Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans
  • Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum
  • Pumpkin pasties
  • Cauldron Cakes

The Hogwarts Feast is always bursting with the most delicious food imaginable:

“He had never seen so many thing he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs.”

“Blocks of ice cream in every flavour you could think of, apple pies, treacle tarts, chocolate eclairs and jam doughnuts, trifle, strawberries, Jell-O, rice pudding—“

Nothing can rival the Start-of-Term Feast, except maybe…the Christmas Feast! It mainly consisted of hundreds of fat, roast turkeys, mounds of roasted and boiled potatoes, platters of fat chipolatas, tureens of buttered peas, silver boats of thick, rich gravy and cranberry sauce. And for dessert, flaming Christmas puddings with silver sickles hidden within.

I also cannot fail from mentioning Hagrid’s jaw-breaking rock cakes; shapeless lumps with raisins that often broke their teeth! Or his infamous birthday cake he made especially for Harry on his eleventh birthday.

It’s a personal dream of mine to one-day taste Mrs. Weasley’s cooking! If only I could receive her homemade fudge and toffee for Christmas! And I think we can all agree that there is no one able to whip up a delicious feast like Molly Weasley!

By seven o’clock, the two tables were groaning under dishes and dishes of Mrs Weasley’s excellent cooking, and the nine Weasleys, Harry and Hermione were settling themselves down to eat beneath a clear, deep-blue sky. To somebody who had been living on meals of increasingly stale cake all summer, this was paradise, and at first, Harry listened rather than talked, as he helped himself to chicken-and-ham pie, boiled potatoes and salad.

A trip to Hogsmeade will often lead you to Honeydukes, a store bursting with the most delectable sweets ever! 

“There were shelves upon shelves of the most succulent-looking sweets imaginable. Creamy chunks of nougat, shimmering pink squares of coconut ice, fat, honey-coloured toffees; hundreds of different kinds of chocolate in neat rows; there was a large barrel of Every Flavour Beans, and another of Fizzing Whizzbees, the levitating sherbet balls that Ron had mentioned; along yet another wall were ‘Special Effects’ sweets: Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum (which filled a room with bluebell-coloured bubbles that refused to pop for days), the strange, splintery Toothflossing Stringmints, tiny black Pepper Imps (‘breathe fire for your friends!’), Ice Mice (‘hear your teeth chatter and squeak!’), peppermint creams shaped like toads (‘hop realistically in the stomach!’) , fragile sugar-spun quills and exploding bonbons.”

And if you’re feeling chilled to the bone, you can always visit Madam Rosmerta at the Three Broomsticks for a glass of Butterbeer, Firewhiskey, gillywater, mulled mead, red currant rum, or cherry syrup and soda with ice and an umbrella.


That’s it for today but I will definitely write another similar post soon! I’m just going to nip downstairs for a bite to eat now…because I’m starving!

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things that make me happy

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Sometimes life can get quite overwhelming and I end up rushing through the week feeling scattered and exhausted. It becomes so easy to take things for granted, giving the things that matter barely a second glance and focusing instead on the issues that are actually causing me more harm than good. So it’s nice to have a list of reference to turn to as a reminder of the simple things in life that bring me indescribable joy or just a smile on my face. And who doesn’t love making lists anyway?!

  • Books. The feel of the rough pages between your fingertips. The earthy scent of old books prickling your nose. Reading while listening to the musical sound of the rain outside. Books that sweep you away into a new adventure. Book shopping.
  • Harry Potter. Rereading the books. Watching the movies on a Saturday night. Discussing theories with my best friend.
  • Tea. Chilly fingers wrapped around a steaming mug. Gulping down a melted biscuit after dunking it in a cup of tea.
  • Forests. A canopy of leaves. An illustrious display of colours, from green to orange-brown. Hidden trails and new discoveries. The sound of crunching leaves underfoot.
  • Sunsets. The sky painted an array of pink, orange and yellow. The pale moon peeking out amongst the stars.
  • Summer. Beaches. Local feasts. Fireworks. Picnics.
  • Autumn. Warm comfy sweaters. Orange-red hues everywhere you look. Drinking hot cocoa with a book propped up on your knees. Cuddling in warm fuzzy blankets. Pumpkin spiced lattes. Fall-scented candles. Combat boots.
  • Beaches. The sound of the lapping waves. Gritty sand between your toes. A morning swim. Ice-cream cones.
  • Stationary. Cards, notebooks, planners, pens, pencils.
  • Family gatherings. Sharing inside jokes. Fighting over a game of Monopoly!
  • Friends. Mutual respect. The feeling that you belong. Making each other laugh. Hilarious video chats.
  • The book community. Meeting so many wonderful and talented people. You make my life a thousand times more beautiful and meaningful.
  • Weekends. Saturday night in watching a movie. Sunday lunch.
  • Airports. The sound of airplanes taking-off/landing. Watching people leave and trying to imagine where their flight will be taking them. The anticipation of adventure.

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  • Music. Finding a new favourite song. Road trip playlists. Book playlists. Coldplay. Gregory Alan Isakov. Lord Huron. Hozier. Vampire Weekend. Florence + the Machine. The Travellers.
  • Memories. Looking at old photographs. Reading old diaries. Coming across a stash of long-forgotten letters.
  • Food. The smell of baking bread and ground coffee. The first bite into a piping hot cupcake. Licking the frosting off your fingers. Coffeeshops.
  • Sounds: crickets in the trees, rain pattering on the windowpanes, trees swaying in the wind, birds chirping, a distant thunderstorm, the sound of cake batter being mixed with a wooden spoon, wind chimes, horse’ footsteps on cobblestones. The sound of silence.
  • Photography. Capturing a perfect moment. Discovering new places. When your pictures turn out the way you wanted them to.
  • Shopping. Browsing online bookstores. Christmas shopping with my sister. When your order finally arrives in the mail.
  • Vacations. Not having to wake up early for work. Traveling to new places. Discovering yourself. Making new memories.
  • Animals. Memories of my dog: You are gone but you will always be in my heart.

What makes you happy? ❤

 

Bookish Pet Peeves: Annoying Tropes Edition

Bookish Pet Peeves: Annoying Tropes Edition

As much as I love and cherish books, there are so many awful tropes out there that make me question why I’m reading said books in the first place. Now I need to point out that certain tropes can make quite an interesting story…but not if every single book being published is using it, with no signs of creativity or originality on the author’s part. The point of reading a book is to discover something different, but if authors keep writing the same insta-love stories or the ‘cute yet mysterious boy next door’ shit, then we are defeating the purpose of reading in the first place.

 So today I present to you a list of some of the most annoying tropes I’ve come across so far in books [emphasis on some!]

Insta-Love

 Let me start with the most obvious and the one that makes my blood boil. There is no such thing as insta-love, not on this earth or any other planet (in my opinion anyway). Insta-like maybe but not LOVE…or the ‘Oh I just met you and this is crazy but I don’t want to live without you’ crap. If a guy tells me that he fell in love with me the minute he saw me I would be insulted, purely because he would have fallen ‘in love’ with my appearance not with my character or personality. It is quite sad to see these books constantly being published and putting forth a false message to all the young readers out there. Even fantasy books need to be realistic sometimes.

Unnecessary Romance

I finished reading Caraval recently and I found the romance in the book very unnecessary and off-putting. I don’t understand why many YA novels have to have romance in them, as if that’s the single most important thing in the entire universe. It’s also frustrating when said romance overshadows the main plot, leaving no room for any character or plot development. Also, why do the characters have to kiss and grope each other in the most unlikely situations? ‘Oh look they’re chasing after us…let us kiss’. I don’t need to add anything to that.

Being ‘Cured’ by a Love Interest

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella instantly comes to mind when I mention this trope. Honestly this needs to stop because the message these books are sending is so awful and problematic. No love interest can ever cure someone from a mental illness. They can obviously help by offering their support and being there for them but it does not mean that you are instantly ‘cured’ just because you’ve fallen in love with someone. Mental illness is not a joke to be messed around with. If an author does not feel competent to write about it then they should stop what they’re doing and do their research instead of writing such damaging stories.

Romanticising Bad Boys and Abusive Relationships

The heading should speak for itself. This is such a disgusting message to be sending to young readers and even readers in general. People do not need to read these problematic books but rather books that makes them understand how much they deserve better than to be with someone who does not respect them. Everyone is worth more than the value their ‘significant other’ puts on them. I also hate it so much when authors try to justify the abusers by writing about the struggles of their past which leads to the reader excusing their behaviour and outright ignoring their actions. These books are making people of all genders believe that abusive relationships are actually not bad and that abusers should be idolised. People need to realise how dangerous these books can be, especially to the ones who are actually living in an abusive relationship.

‘You’re Not Like Other Girls’

I don’t know why people find the idea of belittling other women just to make another character more likeable, even remotely appealing. When an author differentiates a female character from others, as though women are this monolith category, we are reducing the very beauty of what makes us different. Rather than priding ourselves in all the ways that make us who we are, people are making us hate on each other as if we are in a competition that we didn’t sign up for. There is no ‘wrong’ way of being a girl. There are girls who love wearing make-up and others who don’t, girls who love to read, watch sports, get drunk; girls who hate going to parties and other who do. And they are all amazing. It would be a compliment if someone told me that I’m like other girls because all of us are wonderful and beautiful. And if some man tells me otherwise I will send him back home to look up the definition of an actual compliment.

Lack of Diversity

There is no going around the fact that there is an awful lack of representation of LGBTQ, POC, disabled people or people living with a chronic illness in books. Having said that, readers are becoming more informed about this and are pointing it out on various social medias, which in turn helps to raise awareness. Why do we need diverse books? Because the world IS DIVERSE and when you’re not including diverse characters in your books, you are actually putting a blindfold on yourself and your readers. Everyone should have a chance to be represented in the stories that we tell, no ifs or buts. I also need to add that we need more diverse characters as protagonists and not just as secondary characters just so authors can say that they have included a diverse character in their story.

Convenient Endings

 ‘The character dies in the last couple of pages.’

‘The Happily Ever After.’

‘The defenceless character who suddenly finds a knife on the ground to kill her enemy.’

‘The new character that is introduced in the end just to tie everything up nicely.’

These are just some annoying ways a story could end that will without doubt ruin the whole tone of the book. A bad ending for me is a sign that the author has lost interest in the story, which is quite sad especially when the rest of the book is really interesting and fascinating. The ending is as important as the introduction.

The Ordinary Characters Who Suddenly Gain Superpowers

This trope is getting way too old. It is so unrealistic to have characters that are suddenly able to wield a sword (and are the best fighters amongst their peers) without having been taught before. I have been seeing this quite a lot in YA fantasy books lately. While I applaud the idea of having a character represented as a warrior who fights for what is right, many are written without any personality, as if their fighting skills are the only thing that defines them. A strong character does not necessarily mean having physical strength. We need to see more characters that are also flawed (because no one is perfect), intelligent or have a strong personality.

 Unfortunately the list is way way longer and I will definitely write a continuation post in the near future. What are some of your bookish pet peeves? Feel free to comment 🙂

x.

Beauty and the Beast // Book Tag

Beauty and the Beast // Book Tag

I was tagged by the lovely audreywritesabroad for the Beauty and the Beast Book Tag –  perfect timing since the movie adaptation is now in theatres! I cannot wait to see it…and I’m especially looking forward to see the magnificent library that I have dreamt about since I was a kid! So thank you so much Audrey! I’m tagging everyone who wants to do this .x.

(I do not know the original creator of this tag, but if you do let me know in the comments)


“Tale As Old As Time” – A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get bored of reading

The Unexpected Hero: I love a good story where the main character learns something life-changing about his/herself and is ‘burdened’ with a quest…not necessarily to save the world, more so a quest of self-discover. I have to point out though that sometimes I get bored of this trope, especially if the author does not deal with it in a creative way. But this kind of setting gives more room for character development, and even more importantly, the reader grows along with the character.

“Belle”- A book bought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

I mean…just look at the cover! It’s GORGEOUS! And this edition has a matte finish that makes it even more beautiful.

In a few words The Miniaturist is about: 17th Century Amsterdam, a miniature dollhouse, an unwanted marriage, a sharp-tongued sister, innumerable secrets…and of course, an elusive miniaturst!

TheMiniaturist

“Beast” – A book you didn’t expect much
from but pleasantly surprised you

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandell

I am not a huge fan of sci-fi/post-apocalyptic stories, so when a book from this genre becomes a favourite of mine, it is always a surprise! It is basically a story about survival, both in it’s literal sense, but essentially a story of survival in a community, revealing both the beauty and horrors of human interactions. I loved this book mostly because it takes on a different approach towards a post-apocalpytic story. The plot is not the focal point of the story but is merely there for us to get to know the characters better and to provide us with a different view of the world around us. I also loved how the book focused on the importance of art in its various forms and in the way it brings people together, be it a simple comic book or Shakespeare’s works.

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“Gaston” – A book everyone loves that you don’t

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Whiny characters. An annoying love triangle. No signs of character development. A main character who loves to stick her tongue out to the point where you want to throw the book out the window. Unfortunately I made myself read all the books just so I would feel a little less guilty for buying the box set. [This is obviously my personal opinion]

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“Lefou” – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but
love more than their counterpart

Jules from Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

The story follows three sisters; three queens each with a distinctive gift, who are all heirs to the throne. But only one can reign. At the age of six they are separated and taken in by different families to grow and help them in their development of their gifts. Jules is part of the family that take in Queen Arsinoe. She is a loyal, strong and independent woman and I loved reading about her friendship with Arsinoe. I appreciated the fact that the book focuses a lot on Jules just as much as the queens…but I wouldn’t mind if Blake wrote a whole book just about her!

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“Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumière & Cogsworth” – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught
you something valuable

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey is a collection of poems concerning various subjects but mainly love, loss, heartbreak, abuse and femininity. It is divided into four main parts that emphasise the journey the poet takes from hurting, loving, breaking and ultimately to healing. Rupi Kaur’s words hold so much emotion and meaning that no matter where you’re coming from, you connect with it from the very first page. I experienced everything with the author; I loved, I broke, got hurt and healed with her. Her words are very empowering and helped me love and accept myself the way I am. I have always been that kind of person who has never appreciated herself or loved herself fully. And these poems helped me realise that I have always put myself down and never truly respected my true self. I feel so lucky to have come across this book because it has been a huge eye-opener for me.

“you tell me
i am not like most girls
and learn to kiss me with your eyes closed
something about the phrase—something about 
how i have to be unlike the women
i call sisters in order to be wanted
makes me want to spit your tongue out
like i am supposed to be proud you picked me
as if i should be relieved you think
i am better than them”

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“Something there” – A book series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

The Grisha trilogy is a wonderful and fascinating series that took me quite a while to get into. I enjoyed Bardugo’s writing style and how she made the world seem almost real and tangible. However there were times where the writing lacked that distinctive element and felt slightly put off by it. Having said that, her writing grew and flourished with each book (and was close to perfect in Six of Crows). Also, Bardugo throws the reader into the story with a very short introduction to the world, something I initially found quite confusing, and hindered me from connecting with the story in the beginning. But it does get better and while it’s not the best series out there, it is definitely worth reading!

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“Be our guest” – A fictional character you’d
love to have for dinner

KAZ BREKKER. Dirtyhands. Lieutenant of the Dregs. The love of my life.

KAZ BREKKER // A Playlist

KAZ BREKKER // A Playlist

Kaz Brekker. Dirtyhands. Lieutenant of the Dregs. 

My all-time favourite character deserved a playlist. So that’s what I did. May these songs call out to the words on those red-tainted pages and make him materialise next to me ….oh how I wish….

Human // Rag’n’Bone Man

Ain’t No Grave // Johnny Cash

Beat The Devil’s Tattoo // Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Mad World // Gary Jules, Michael Andrews

Staying Up // The Neighbourhoods

Short Change Hero // The Heavy

Hurt // Johnny Cash

Lose Your Soul // Dead Man’s Bones

Blood on My Name // The Brothers Bright

Blackbird Song // Lee DeWyze

The Preacher // Jamie N Commons

Seven Devils // Florence + The Machine

It Will Come Back // Hozier

Gold // Imagine Dragons

Glory // Jamie N Commons

[SPOTIFY]

x.

Books I want to reread in 2017

Books I want to reread in 2017

“There’s always another story. When you read a book again and let your imagination take over, it can take you to new stories, so it’s like a book inside the book!” ― Kate Westerlund, If You Wish

I love rereading books. I love revisiting my favourite characters and envelope myself amongst the pages I can call home. I always notice a new detail to the story, fall in love with a new character and just breath in the words that are able to make me feel a multitude of emotions.

Every year I make it a point to reread at least ten of my favourite books and that’s not counting the Harry Potter series which I reread every year. So here are the books that I’m planning to reread this year. I can’t wait! x


*The Martian // Andy Weir

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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. [Goodreads]

*The Book Thief // Markus Zusak

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It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an
accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul. [Goodreads]

*The Graveyard Book // Neil Gaiman

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After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the
ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family… [Goodreads]

*Saga // Brian L. Vaughan

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When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults. [Goodreads]

*Milk & Honey // Rupi Kaur

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milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look. [Goodreads]

*The princess saves herself in this one // Amanda Lovelace

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“Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.”

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations. [Goodreads]

*The Infernal Devices // Cassandra Clare

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In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them… [Goodreads]

*Atonement // Ian Mc.Ewan

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On a hot summer day in 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives—together with her precocious literary gifts—brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece. [Goodreads]

*Harry Potter // Jk Rowling

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Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come. [Goodreads]

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2017 Book Releases

2017 Book Releases

It’s a new year, which means a plethora of new books to look forward to, ready to indulge our literary fancies. So I have made a list of my most anticipated book releases that have given me something to look forward to this year. Honestly this year does not disappoint and that’s just from reading the synopsis. And let’s not talk about the covers or I would end up rambling for a week. I just hope we all end up enjoying them!

[The books are organized by release date]

Wayfarer (Passenger #2) // Alexandra Bracken  [Release Date: January 3rd]

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All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives. As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them. [Goodreads]

Caraval // Stephanie Garber  [Release Date: January 31st]

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Welcome, welcome to Caraval—Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. [Goodreads]

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)// VE Schwab  [Release Date: February 21st]

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London’s fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwa
b reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies. [Goodreads

The Hate U Give // Angie Thomas  [Release Date: February 28th]

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Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. [Goodreads]

Saga, Volume 7 // Brian K. Vaughan  [Release Date: March 28th]

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When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. (Saga Vol 1)

Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat and the refugee experience. [Goodreads]

Strange the Dreamer // Laini Taylor  [Release Date: March 28th]
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Strange the Dreamer is the story of:
the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular drea
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.
Welcome to Weep. [Goodreads]

Flame in the Mist // Renee Ahdieh  [Release Date: May 16th]

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The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known. [Goodreads]

Wicked Like a Wildfire (Hibiscus Daughter #1) // Lana Popović  [Release Date: August 15th]

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All the women in Iris and Malina’s family are born with a gleam—a unique way of manipulating beauty through magic. Seventeen-year-old Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, her twin sister Malina interprets moods as music, and their cold, distant mother Jasmina bakes scenery into decadent treats at her confectionery in Old Town Cattaro, Montenegro.

Jasmina forbids Iris and Malina to share their gleams with anyone, and above all, she forbids them to fall in love—being discovered could shatter the quiet lives they’ve built in their tucked-away, seaside town. But Iris and Malina are tired of abiding by their mother’s
rules and rebel in secret whenever they can.  Yet when a mysterious, white-haired woman attacks their mother and leaves her hovering between life and death, the sisters unearth an ancient curse that haunts their line—a wicked bargain that masquerades as a blessing, and binds the twins’ fates—and hearts—to a force larger than life. To save each other, they must untangle a thousand years of lies and reveal their own hurtful secrets. But even the deepest sacrifice might not be enough. [Goodreads]

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Illustrated Edition // JK Rowling            

[Release Date: October 2017]

Harry Potter is lucky to reach the age of thirteen, since he has already survived the murderous attacks of the feared Dark Lord on more than one occasion. But his hopes for a quiet term concentrating on Quidditch are dashed when a maniacal mass-murderer escapes from Azkaban, pursued by the soul-sucking Dementors who guard the prison. It’s assumed that Hogwarts is the safest place for Harry to be. But is it a coincidence that he can feel eyes watching him in the dark, and should he be taking Professor Trelawney’s ghoulish predictions seriously?