January Book Club

Back to Reading!

I did not have a lot of time last year to read, and when I did I often didn’t make the time, focusing instead on other things – or just playing on my phone. That’s a habit I want to break! I don’t know about anyone else, but a lot of my new year’s resolutions are about breaking bad habits instead of forming new ones. I don’t know what that says about me, but I’m just going to work as hard as I can to fix a few pesky little problems that cropped up last year. Any one of them is that I didn’t make time to read! I’m not one of those people who feel like you have to read, or read books just for the sake of meeting a goal, but I’m always happier when I read. I love getting lost in the stories, and I think reading a lot makes me a better writer, too. So! I’m taking my book club off hiatus, and really devoting serious time to it.

This Month’s Book

For January, I actually have three books I already have to read! Four a month is usually my goal, so what could it hurt to add another one! (She says, blissfully ignoring the stress that might cause. Ha.) So this is one that I’ve been interested in since it was released, but I haven’t gotten a chance to pick it up yet. So for January, I’ll be reading

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo


Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug-dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. In fact, by age twenty, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. Their eight windowless “tombs” are the well-known haunts of the rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street’s biggest players. But their occult activities are more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive. They tamper with forbidden magic. They raise the dead. And, sometimes, they prey on the living.

I hope you’ll read with me!  I’ll be posting updates throughout the month – hopefully! – probably on twitter.  I’m @craftymodmom if you want to follow me there.  

Happy reading, everyone! 

November Book Club!

This month, I am so excited about the book club choice. This is a book I’ve been waiting for ever since I heard it was coming out, and you can be sure I preordered it so I’d have it waiting for me after work on the day of release! For November, I have chosen…

The Stareless Sea by Erin Morgenstern!

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

I love this sort of book – literary braided with the fantastical – and I have so excited to get my hands on this. Now, contrary to my usual tendencies, I haven’t read any reviews. I want to go into this with a totally blank slate. I don’t want to know anything about it – I want it to be a completely fresh experience.

You might know Erin Morgenstern from her first book, The Night Circus, which is one of my favorite books. Probably one of my top twenty books of all time, to be honest.

If you read The Starless Sea let me know what you thought! I’ll be posting updates on my Goodreads as I read.

October Book Club Pick!

Since October is when you can really start to feel the crisp bite of fall, and because it’s Halloween, I wanted to choose a ~spookier~ read. Don’t worry – nothing too scary! But for this month I have chosen a classic from a titan of American literature: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I really like Jackson’s work – you’re probably at least familiar with her short story The Lottery.”

Shirley Jackson’s beloved gothic tale of a peculiar girl named Merricat and her family’s dark secret

Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis,We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.

There was also a movie put out recently, but I haven’t seen it! It might be fun to watch it with the book, though, right?

Keep an eye out for my review of September’s book soon! I’m trying to be really thorough and write up a really good review, so it has taken me longer than I expected.

September Book Club

September Book Club

My goodness, it seems that for the past few months, read-alongs just haven’t worked out! Because of how awful August was when my mom passed (which still doesn’t feel real, I still haven’t come to terms with my loss), I didn’t read very much. Reading is something I enjoy, and a great distraction because of how absorbing it can be, so I’m trying to get back into my reading habits! So! A new September book! For this month, I have selected…

Continue reading “September Book Club”

July Book Club

July Book Club

I was going to write a long post about what’s been going on, and why I’ve been gone for so long, but I’ve honestly been stressed enough and I don’t think rehashing it is going to do me any good! Luckily my blog is still new enough that it’s not really going to affect any loyal readers because… I don’t have any loyal readers yet? I’m definitely looking forward to interacting with any visitors for this book club, though, so drop a comment if you’d like to read along!

And without further ado, the July pick is…

Continue reading “July Book Club”

Book Club – Announcement!

So, if you read this post, you know that I’m a working mom. Parenting really can feel like a second full-time job all on its own, though it’s infinitely more rewarding. But sometimes it can be nice to have a break from work, from the kids, from the stresses of life in general. And for me, that relaxation often comes in the form of a book.

Because of that, I wanted to start a book “club” and share with my readers here some books I’ve enjoyed, and maybe have a discussion for any interested fellow bibliophiles!

My credentials for leading a book club? I’m so glad you asked! I’m actually a librarian. I have my master’s degree in library science and I’ve been a supervisor/manager at my library for three years. I lead one of our monthly book clubs for our patrons, and I give a two minute monthly book talk about new releases for a local tv station to promote the library. So not only do I love talking about books, I’m at least partially qualified to do so! One of the wonderful things about reading, too, is that it connects so many different people. Even if you’re reading a novel for the very first time, you still have your own valuable thoughts and impressions, and I always love hearing what people think! I’ll post which book I’ll be reading at the beginning of the month, and then at the end of the month I’ll have a big discussion post where I’ll share what I think, and anyone else interested is welcome to share their thoughts, too!

This month I’ve been reading The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley, which is a retelling of Beowulf. I’m not sure I like it, though. To be honest, it’s been kind of hard to get through! It’s for a book swap, though, so I have to finish it by the end of the month – just a few days! I’m sure I can do it, but I don’t know how much I’ll enjoy it.

If you’re interested, look out for the banner at the top of this post. I’ll announce my first book pick either March 31 or April 1, and I’m really looking forward to reading along with everyone!