Now it’s no secret, if you’re following me on social media, that #ImWithHer in the upcoming Democratic Smackdown 2016. I do however try to keep my contributions to The Bookish Blog as apolitical as possible. But this past week saw something truly amazing happen on Twitter.

This week the Presidential election and the internet’s literature lovers created one the funniest mashups I’ve ever seen and made #TrumpBookReports trend for at least the last five days. People from all over (yours truly included) took on the voice of the GOP Candidate and tried to explain and review works of literature in a way they imagine her would.

And the results were spectacular.


And here are some of the best (plus mine)…

The Chronicles of Narnia


A Tale of Two Cities

Diary of a Young Girl (The Diary of Anne Frank)

The Jungle

To Kill a Mockingbird

Catch 22

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Bible

Gone With the Wind

The Harry Potter Series

James and the Giant Peach

Little Women

The Great Gatsby

Even I got in on the fun…

Booked Goods…

If there is any hobby of mine that comes close to my love of reading, it would have to be baking. As soon as the air turns crisp and the days get shorter, I can’t stop myself from dreaming up recipes (as I write this I’m baking chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread and apple cider pumpkin harvest cake) to fill my house with warm and cozy autumn aromas. And let’s be honest, there are few things better than curling up with a good book and a tasty treat on a chilly night.

It’s a special joy when I find a book that marries my love of baking AND my love of a good story. This week I thought I share with you:



The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

GoodReads Synopsis: When Olivia Rawlings—pastry chef extraordinaire for an exclusive Boston dinner club—sets not just her flambéed dessert but the entire building alight, she escapes to the most comforting place she can think of—the idyllic town of Guthrie, Vermont, home of Bag Balm, the country’s longest-running contra dance, and her best friend Hannah. But the getaway turns into something more lasting when Margaret Hurley, the cantankerous, sweater-set-wearing owner of the Sugar Maple Inn, offers Livvy a job. Broke and knowing that her days at the club are numbered, Livvy accepts.

Livvy moves with her larger-than-life, uberenthusiastic dog, Salty, into a sugarhouse on the inn’s property and begins creating her mouthwatering desserts for the residents of Guthrie. She soon uncovers the real reason she has been hired—to help Margaret reclaim the inn’s blue ribbon status at the annual county fair apple pie contest.

With the joys of a fragrant kitchen, the sound of banjos and fiddles being tuned in a barn, and the crisp scent of the orchard just outside the front door, Livvy soon finds herself immersed in small town life. And when she meets Martin McCracken, the Guthrie native who has returned from Seattle to tend his ailing father, Livvy comes to understand that she may not be as alone in this world as she once thought.

But then another new arrival takes the community by surprise, and Livvy must decide whether to do what she does best and flee—or stay and finally discover what it means to belong. Olivia Rawlings may finally find out that the life you want may not be the one you expected—it could be even better.

Recommended For: People who like a sweet story about finding fulfillment in a simple life, filled with good people and good food. If you love the movie (or musical) ‘Waitress’ this is definitely a book for you. It wouldn’t hurt if you’ve also got a soft spot for Hallmark Channel style movies.


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Amiee Bender

GoodReads Synopsis: On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.


The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

Recommended For: Lovers of Magical Realism and people with an empathetic soul.  


The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

GoodReads Synopsis: In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Recommended For: Those who love a good romantic comedy and a little love/hate tension.


Semi-Sweet: a Novel of Love and Cupcakes by Roisin Meaney

GoodReads Synopsis: Hannah Robinson is just about to open the doors to her new shop Cupcakes on the Corner when out of the blue her boyfriend Patrick announces that he's leaving her for another woman. Faced with starting a business on her own, Hannah begins to wonder if her life-long dream has just turned into a nightmare. So her best friend Adam sets his birthday as a deadline - seven months to make her shop a success, or walk away from it all. And as Hannah immerses herself in her new business, she soon discovers that she's too busy to think about Patrick and his now pregnant girlfriend ...or to notice an increasingly regular customer who has recently developed a sweet tooth for all things cupcake. But while Hannah is slowly piecing her life back together, family friend Alice's is falling apart. Her husband Tom's drinking is getting out of control and things are about to get a whole lot worse. As the seven-month milestone approaches, Hannah must decide her future. And while she's figuring out what's really important, it becomes clear to everyone that happiness in life, and in love, is all in the making.

Recommended For: People with passion and goals and romantic spirit... Again it doesn’t hurt if you’re found of Hallmark Channel’s Saturday Night Romantic Comedies.

I hope these sweet books satisfy your sweet tooth… not if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some cookies in the oven.

Make Reading Fun Again

After I hit my book goal for the year, I felt a sense of relief. It's not that I thought I was in danger of not completing my goal of 50 books for the year, but I almost couldn't read enjoyably until I hit my goal. So while I felt a sense of accomplishment when I reached it, and it certainly encouraged me to read more this year than I have in years past, I don't think I'm going to be setting a goal for myself next year.

No more obsessively checking how many books I've read, or how many more I have to go. No more unspoken competitions with my friends and family to see who's reading the most. I want to be able to enjoy what I'm reading while I'm reading it with no sense of obligation. Don't get me wrong, I still want to read a lot. I still want to keep track of how much I'm reading. But I don't want to feel any pressure about it.

Since I've stopped keeping a mental tally, I've been doing a lot of rereading, which I used to feel guilty about doing. I recently picked up a series that I really enjoyed in high school called Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan, and I've been enjoying re-immersing myself in that world. This week I decided to give The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath another chance. The first time I read this book, I was a junior in high school, and I thought it was just okay. To be honest, I think I just didn't *get it*, if that makes any sense. This time through, I'm finding it to be one of the most beautifully written and poignant novels I've ever read. I'm relating to Esther Greenwood far more than I did the first time, which is both moving and kind of scary.

I love that books can mean totally different things to me at different points in my life. I'm learning that rereading can be just as, if not more powerful than reading something for the first time. And I don't feel even a little bit guilty about reading a book for the second or third or twentieth time even though I have dozens of unread books on my shelves. Rereading can be just as rewarding as reading something new.

So I guess the point of this post is for me to tell you all that it's okay to read silly things. It's okay to repeat read. It's okay to take a break from reading altogether. Don't feel constrained by your unread book pile, or your self-imposed reading goals, or what everyone else is reading. Don't be embarrassed by your choice of reading material. Pleasure reading should be just that: pleasurable, not a sense of obligation.

Bye, Bye Bookish...

It's with a heavy heart that I type up my very last post for the bookish blog. At least for now. There are a lot of stuff going on in my life right now, and I kind of feel like by having so many ongoing projects as I have at the moment, I'm only putting half an effort into everything I do just to get things done. And for a perfectionist with an incurable need for every teeny, tiny detail to be impeccable, that's downright painful. My personal book blog thefictionfaery.com has also been thoroughly neglected, mostly because since entering Bookish I've always put this blog first. I've got no regrets, of course, but my personal blog is, in fact, very important to me too. 

So I needed to cut something loose, and after much consideration, my decision fell on Bookish. Which sucks, I know. 

Being a part of Bookish has been such a great experience, and I'm so lucky and grateful to have gotten to know all the wonderful ladies behind this blog. Girls: you're all so talented, kind and just plain awesome! You've made me feel so cherished and supported, and you've all made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. Thank you for accepting me, supporting me and for brightening up my everyday life. You rock!

As for you readers: you're welcome to pay me a visit over at thefictionfaery.com and my Instagram The Fiction Faery. I update the latter every day, and with a bit more free time on my hands from now on, I'll be focusing a lot more on my blog as well. 

Hugs and kisses and lots, and LOTS of love -




September Confession and October Redemption…

Dear readers, I have a confession…

I didn’t read a single book last month.

I had a great summer of reading because I was temporarily laid off. I mean, I was a monster. I crushed my GoodReads reading challenge for the year (I’m currently at 80 out of 50). I was unstoppable... or at least I thought I was.

The moment the new semester started and I suddenly had the academic fates of 100+ college freshmen in my hands, all of the energy I threw into reading dried up. At the end of every 15 hour day I’ve pretty much collapsed onto my couch and watched ‘Gilmore Girls’ reruns until I fall asleep. I tried to read, I kept a book at my side at all times, one in my bag, and I tried to listen to audiobooks instead of podcasts. But something wasn’t there. I couldn’t focus or find anything truly enjoyable in any of the dozen books I purchased after break my book-buying-ban… so I gave up on every single one I picked up. It was a bummer.

But October is going to be different. It has to be… If for no other reason than it is ‘The Night Circus’ season.

When the air turns chilled and nights get longer, there is nothing that can stop me from picking up my, now fairly battered, copy of Erin Morgentstern’s ‘The Night Circus’. It’s the book I turn to when I need to be reminded why I love reading and when I want to get lost in a book. But there is something about October nights that are particularly suited for sitting curled in a warm blanket with hot chocolate and this perfectly autumnal book.

October is also the month I find myself drawn to dark books of a creeeeeeeeeeepy nature.

The Halloween season gives us a great excuse to indulge our desire to be scared albeit in a very safe way. Every year I stock up on horror, hoarding it for those four weeks when the atmosphere is totally perfect dipping a nervous little toe into that chilling world of ghosts, and monsters, witches and vampires.

I can’t stop myself from being seduced into haunted houses or forbidden forests, which makes October the perfect month to reenergize my reading habits… that and I’ve finally settled back into a teaching rhythm that allows me more time and space to dig into a good book.


This year my October TBR list is loose (I have stacks of haunting tales to choose from but no official list), I refuse to set myself up to fail. The only book I’ve settled on (besides ‘The Night Circus’) is ‘Slasher Girls & Monster Boys’ a collection of thrilling and chilling YA short stories put together by April Genevieve Tucholke. I’m taking my time with it, allowing for each story to settle into an appropriate rhythm… I want to be scared. I’ll let you know whether or not I recommend it later this month when we focus specifically on our Halloween reading recommendations!


What are your October Reading Goals?

September Book Haul

September was not a good month book-wise for me. At all. After reading 11 books in August (and purchasing 36), September felt like a long, drawn-out bookhangover. Ugh. It was like I needed those 30 days to recover and regroup before diving into something new, resulting in me reading only 1 book in September. Disappointing, I know.

(I read Sidecar my Amy Lane, by the way, and I gave it ★★★☆☆, which was a total bummer because the synopsis sounded SO awesome). 

Anyway. Moving on.

I still managed to purchase 7 books, though. Which isn't much in my book (YES, PUN DEFINITELY INTENDED), but my wallet isn't half-starved for a change. 

2016-10-02 06.44.25 1.jpg

Boy, am I looking forward to diving into my new beauties! Hopefully this month will put a real dent in my TBR-list (one can only hope), and I've also committed myself to review a few ARCs in October. I've long since admitted defeat where my Goodreads reading challenge is concerned (I've read 40 of 77 books), but I'm hoping to at least reach 50 by the end of the year by reading the slimmest books I can get my hands on. Ha. ha. haaaa. 

Have you read any of these? And if so, which rating did you give them? 

Q&A: Katy

A Bookish Q&A


In keeping with the tradition of the week I sent my feelers out into the world seeking questions and the world (or you know Facebook) responded with some exceptionally interesting bookish questions, I’ll try my best to answer as many as I can.

So here we go!


Matt (@mrmatttorres on Instragram): In Fahrenheit 451, do you believe that Guy Montag stood for some something?

It’s been a suuuuuuper long time (like two years) since I last read ‘Fahrenheit 451’, but I’ve always believed that Montag represents potential. That even if Bradbury wasn’t writing about censorship, or totalitarianism, Montag stands for every person’s often times untapped ability to change and grow no matter how entrenched in a system they may be. But he also serves a warning that while change is spiritually rewarding, you can’t force others to do it with you, so it can often times be extremely alienating.

What Character in The Great Gatsby do you feel had a major impact on the story other than the main character and Gatsby himself?

Jordan Baker. While, like Nick Carraway,  Jordan seems to float around the periphery of the story just being kind of rich and snotty, she’s literally the reason that there is any story to tell at all. She introduces Nick to Gatsby and she suggests that Nick arrange the tea with Daisy and Gatsby and without these two moments this would be a story about a guy who hung out on Long Island for a summer and occasionally hung out with his awful cousin, her even worse husband and their invisible baby. Jordan’s also interesting because she seems to be the only character who is truly upfront with how awful she is.

Opinions on Stephen King and Horror Novels?

A Horror/ Thriller Novel that is well written is an utter joy to read. Ira Levin’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘The Stepford Wives’ come to mind as horror stories that are exceptionally well written and legitimately terrifying. I usually steer away from horror in my books because I’m often let down by the fact that they don’t affect me in the same way a really good scary movie would. As for Stephen King, I find him to be an interesting writer. I mean his turn out is so exceptionally staggering it’s impossible for him not to have so really fantastic books out there. I dig his older books a lot more than the newer ones—he kind of lost me on ‘The Cell’—because they seem a little more grounded in the horrors of personal experience. This could be because King battled a lot of demons IRL back in the day, but ‘It’, ‘Pet Sematary’ and ‘The Shining’ are books that really chilled me, whereas the newer stuff just leaves me room-temp. All that said, I actually take his reviews of books very seriously, because while his writing is hit or miss, his taste in books is impeccable.

Jennifer: What do you think of [books that are] "spinoffs / extensions"?

I actually think that this is a fascinating trend in fiction, and has been for the past ten or so years. A lot of authors obviously draw from the books that have inspired them in the past… Some fairly subtly: ‘Little Women’ is Louisa May Alcott’s loose interpretation of John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrims Progress’ and ‘East of Eden’ is Steinbeck taking a crack at the first few chapter of the Book of Genesis and that’s just naming two. But, what we see today is almost like a sort of legitimized Fan Fiction. Writers who are so enamored with certain worlds (from what I see and you mentioned a lot of people are nuts for the Regency England of Jane Austen) and don’t want to leave them. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon and if I were to ever go back to get my PhD, this is a literary movement I would be extremely interested in making the center piece of my research.

What do you think led to this?

Short answer: love.

People love their fictional worlds. They love their favorite characters, and they want to imagine the kinds of lives that they lead after the original author puts the pen down. Some people feel like certain characters get the short shrift by the original author and so they set out to correct that (good examples of this are ‘March’ by Geraldine Brooks, which tells the story of ‘Little Women’s Mr. March while he’s away at war and ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’ by Gregory Maguire which gives a rich backstory to a largely unformed villain). Some writers can’t stand for the notion that the original author won’t fill in certain details about what happily ever after actually entails and so set to work filling in the blank spaces. And finally, a big reason this subgenre cropped up is sex. Readers and writers alike want their favorite characters to have real and relatable lives, and one real and relatable thing that classic novels don’t dip into is how it goes down on Lizzie Bennet’s and Mr. Darcy’s wedding night. There is a sense of titillation that drives some of these newer stories, a guilty little thrill that accompanies imagining our favorite characters getting vulnerable and intimate.

I also have a long winded answer to this question that delves into feminist reclamations and world-building… but I won’t bore you with it.

Do you see a current author having the same effect within next 100 years? Who? Why?

Yes. J.K. Rowling. People LOVE the Harry Potter Universe and it is overflowing with stories that people want desperately to read and write. I mean there is already a HUGE Harry Potter fan fiction community active on the internet and I don’t see it going away. The HP books have countless characters, each one positively brimming with potential to be the hero of their own story. The world that Rowling created is so distinct yet so much of it is left open for us to imagine and to build on to. I firmly believe that when we’re all dead, and the Harry Potter books have become dusty tomes that kids of the future will get to “discover” all over again, that someone is going to be inspired to write a novel that explores the life of and gives new depth to Professor Snape, or fully redeems Draco Malfoy (I’m also assuming that ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ will be rightfully forgotten). People will continue to be inspired by the Harry Potter universe and I have no doubt that writers of the future will make the most of the raw material that Rowling has left them.

Jeff: What bestsellers of the last 6 years do you think are most overrated? Most underrated?

    Hmmmm… well my most overrated books would probably be:

  • The Girl on the Train is DEFINITELY an overrated bestseller… I remember being SUPER excited to finally get a chance to read it and then being so let down. I understood what the author was doing with Rachel’s character, but I couldn’t get into her. I couldn’t muster up enough interest or sympathy to really enjoy the story. I still can’t really understand why people enjoyed it so much when it was basically a watered down Lifetime Original Moviesque version of stuff Gillian Flynn had already done better.

  • In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume… this may get me exiled, but while I enjoyed the novel it was NOT as good as its press would lead people to believe. I felt like it was unfocused and really, really slow.

  • The Fault in Our Stars (or really anything by John Green) I’m not say that it’s a bad book, it’s not, and it’s certainly Green’s best work to date, however it is not revolutionary in any way. It’s a sweet book, but it’s also emotionally exploitative in a way that makes me deeply uncomfortable. It’s definitely a meh book that happened to land at exactly the right time for it to become extremely popluar.

  • Go Set a Watchman… IT IS JUST A BAD FIRST DRAFT OF A GOOD NOVEL! There is no reason that this should have ever seen the light of day… I could rant about this all day.

As for underrated books I would say:

  • The Diviners by Libba Bray. I cannot believe that there are people out there that have not at least heard of this book/series. It is lush and creepy and such a late night page-turner. I assume it flies under the radar because it’s not quite YA enough and not Adult enough to really fit into either camp, and I can only imagine how hard it must have been to advertise it… but it’s SO GOOD!

  • The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender this is the book I will recommend to every human. It is one of the BEST books I’ve read in ages. It’s impossible to explain why it’s amazing… it just is. Read it, right now.

  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl. Unlike her debut novel, this thriller speeds along and drags you with it by your neck. If you like suspense and mystery this is a winner.

Do you prefer first person or third person narration? Why?

The answer to this entirely depends on the type of story being told. If it’s a deeply personal story, where the main objective is to sit inside the heart and mind of the protagonist then I prefer first person, but if it’s a story that is more plot/theme/concept driven then I think a work benefits more from being third person. This, however can change if the unreliability of a first-person narration is crucial to the experience of the story (see Nick Carraway in ‘The Great Gatsby’). So long answer short, I can dig it either way as long as it’s the best choice to serve the story.

If you start a book do you feel obligated to finish it no matter what?

I used feel obligated to finish a book no matter what. I used to suffer through books I hated just because I had paid for it… putting it aside would cause a crushing sense of guilt. But at some point in the last year and a half I realized that life is too short to finish books that are making you miserable. I rationalize this by reminding myself that every second I spend with a book I don’t like is a second that I could be falling in love with a book that I will like.

Sean: What quality/ies in Moby Dick make it something you esteem so highly?

This is actually a super complicated question to answer. It’s a novel that tells one simple story on the surface but is telling a deeply complex parallel story just beneath the first layer. It’s beautifully written, masterfully combining multiple genres and styles. It is utterly and completely original, no book before or since resembles it in any way. But I suppose that the quality that makes me esteem it so highly is its re-readability. No matter when I pick it up, it is a completely different book every time. I find a new story depending on who I am when open it. It somehow reflects the reader perfectly accurately… and I just don’t know how Melville did. I can’ begin to guess whether it was be genius design or mad fate.

Is there any other book that comes close, and if it does, why is it close and/or what makes it fall short?

Yes, ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern  and Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ come to mind. ‘The Night Circus’ comes close to recreating that sense re-readability. Now, I’m not suggesting that there is any universe in which it is on the same literary level as ‘Moby-Dick’, but both novels are extraordinary examples of immersive, complicated narratives that beg to be re-explored. It’s a complex multilayered story that takes a slightly new shape every time I read it. It falls short though, in that is doesn’t reflect each unique reader, the stories that live on those pages are not your story, ever those stories belong to Erin Morgenstern. You can relate to them but you cannot ever be a part of them… if that makes sense. Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’ also has a strong re-readability factor and it’s probably more on par artistically, philosophically and literarily, but again it’s reflective of the author not the reader.

Thank you to everyone who asked questions! I hope I answered them to your satisfaction.