October was a crazy busy month! While I did not particularly get a lot read a lot of novels this month I did got stuff read. I was able to read 3 graphic novels reads, 2 books, and 1 audiobook. They were all pretty quick reads that took me a few hours to read. I did enjoy all the books I read this month for the most part.
Now for a quick wrap-up and spoiler free review of the titles I read. Let me know if you guys want to see more in-depth reviews of any of the titles.
Pumpkin Heads was adorable graphic novel. It centered around two friends and their last season at a local pumpkin patch. It was a cute read about friendship, love, first jobs, and growing up. The artwork was super cute, and each scene flowed together smoothly.
Fangirl the Manga was cute and familiar. I had read the original novel version of this book when it first came out and loved everything about it. I did have fun reading this but did not realize that it was Part 1 of the story, so I was disappointed when the story was not completed by the end. I also thought the artwork was good but after reading a few other graphic novels I did wish there were some color. I did receive this as an ARC through NetGalley so there may have been some changes between that and the final version.
Hotel for a Lost was an interesting read for me. I did not expect to like it nearly as much as I did. The story centers around a family who finds themselves staying a few nights at the Hotel Ruby. They are forced to confront the loss of their mother and what that means going forward for the family. They are also pulled into the mystery and history of the hotel and they must decide what their future will look like. It is not necessarily a creepy read but there are some “ghost story” aspects to it.
Dreamfall was our book club pick for October. It was a good read but PICK UP BOOK TWO BEFORE STARTING! The synopsis of this story is that a group of 7 teenagers are apart of a sleep related clinical trial that goes wrong. As they are fighting their way through, they must face their nightmares and fight for their lives. Unfortunately, that does not end at the end of book 1 and you need to read book 2 for the conclusion. I have started book 2 and so far, I am enjoying it more than the first.
Agent 355 was a short, novella style audiobook. It was a quick story about the Culper ring in during the revolutionary war. While it did enjoy it, I do wish it were longer and more in-depth. It does make me want to find more books on the Culper ring and learn more about it though which was a benefit from reading it.
Mera: Tidebreaker was a graphic novel about the “origins” of Mera from DC’s Aquaman comics. I enjoyed this story. It was cute, quick, and the art was done really well. I do not know much about the Aquaman franchise, that being said I am not sure how much this is canon. I did end up watching the Aquaman movie after this cause I was more interested in it after reading this. If you are a DC comic person you may or may not want to pick it up, but if like me you are not familiar with the comic series it was a cute origin story.
We hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween this year. We are now ONE month closer to 2021 and that means we have another month of new releases. While there are quite a few books coming out this month, there were not many that truly caught my attention. There are quite a few very popular authors with new books coming out this month that I have included.
My most anticipated book this month is a historical fiction novel. That book is: The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein. I preordered this title right when I found out about it and it is actually coming out tomorrow, the 3rd. Like I mentioned this is a historical fiction that takes place in 1940 Scotland during World War 2. It follows 3 characters as they try to make a difference in the war and they end up with a key that would turn the events of the war. They stumble upon an Enigma Machine that can help translate German code. With this discovery of this machine they can help with the war but they also put themselves in the cross-hairs. I also strongly recommend her other titles : Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, and The Pearl Thief. They all do an amazing job describing events of World War 2.
While that is the only book I am eagerly anticipating the below titles also release in November:
Hopefully this brings you some good book recs this month! While we probably won’t have these titles right away you can always check out our Bookshop page and support us on there if you just can’t wait to have these titles!
Visit us at: https://bookshop.org/shop/randbusedbooks
November is almost here. Fall is in full swing and families are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving in a new way this year. November usually brings my reading taste more focused on Historical Fiction. I love a good historical fiction and tend to read stuff related to World War 2. I do prefer books that are well researched for the time and based on true events, it adds a level of realness to the stories in my mind. These are the books I am hoping to get to this month.
I am trying to patiently wait for my copy of the Invisible Life of Addie La Rue. I got a special edition and it is set to be shipping by the end of the October. I can not wait to get to this book! If you want a summary of what is about take a look at the New books of October post from earlier this month.
Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The story centers around 3 very different young women and how their lives intersect at the Triangle Waist Factory. It is more importantly about how their lives would be impacted on that day in March when the factory caught fire and destroyed the lives of my workers.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
At the end of WW2 the lives of 3 children converge on the ship the Wilhelm Gustloff, which was their key to safety. Forced to unite when tragedy strikes they all need to fight for their survival.
Sepetys does an amazing job researching the events of her books so I am excited to try this book by her.
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict
This books is focused around the life of Mitza Maric, brilliant physicist and the wife of Albert Einstein. She was at studying physics at an Elite Zurich university, focusing on math not marriage when she caught the eye of Albert Einstein. His interest would turn her world around and impact both of them. Their marriage becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage. But did she contribute to the special theory of relativity is more than what was said? Was she simply Einstein's sounding board, an assistant performing complex mathematical equations? Or did she contribute something more?
The last book is our book Club pick for the month. For more information on this title take a look at our book club section on our event page.
Let us know what you are planning on reading in November!
October has been a crazy busy month in store! We have been getting a lot of books in and have been sorting them which has taken us away from our lovely blog friends! We have had a wild year to say the least, but we have almost made it to the end. That means that Christmas is right around the corner! Christmas shopping is going to be a little bit different this year between online shopping and between limits in stores and buildings it is going to take a little bit more time and patience than normal. Since supply lines and shipping companies are going to be working extra hard this year, a new campaign has started within the Indie Books community.
We are putting together a fun post with Christmas present ideas and bundles for your families for early November! We are also working on trying to figure out the best way that we can keep you safe and still be able to host our Annual Hardcover and Non-fiction sale. There are a lot of challenges that we are working on balancing to make sure that we are not putting you all at risk this year. We appreciate all your support during this time and we want to make sure you guys are taken care of too!
We are keeping this post short and sweet!
I cannot believe it is already October! 2020 is almost over and I am sure most of us are hoping 2021 has some major improvements! Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, mostly because October just happens to be my birthday month and there are some AMAZING book releases that are coming out this month so Happy Birthday to me! There are also some spooky reads on my TBR that should make for a perfect fall read but we already talked about those.
The first one that I am most excited about is: The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V.E. Schwab! I was even luck enough that I went and got a special edition box from OwlCrate that includes the book and items specifically curated for it by the author! This book comes out on October 6th and is about a girl who made a deal to live forever but she is cursed to be forgotten by all. Keep an eye out for a review of this ones because I have high hopes for it and can’t wait for it to reach them.
The second book that is coming out is a holiday one. It is a little early for me to read a holiday book, but this author is an insta-buy for me. I have almost every other book that this author duo and know they are great at what they do. The book is: In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren. It sounds like a cute holiday read with comedy, a time loop, and a chance to find what will make you happy. It releases on the same day as the earlier book so October 6th is looking like a good release day!
Those are my top two releases for October. There are lots of other books coming out in October but we do not want to overload you with those titles. We do have some Christmas themed books starting to come out by contemporary authors this month.
Here is a short list of what we think are going to be the most popular release for you guys!
Hopefully this brings you some new books to look forward too! We probably won’t have these titles right away in store but you can always check out our Bookshop page and support us on there if you just can’t wait to have these titles! Visit us at: https://bookshop.org/shop/randbusedbooks
We are just about to the end of September! Which means we are one month closer to the end of the year which is a major plus. But that also means we are entering October, the month of Halloween and spooky, atmospheric reads. This is our very first TBR Tuesday post! TBR Tuesday will be the last Tuesday of every month and gives us a chance to show you what we are thinking of reading the following month. The number of books will vary and the books might not make it to the Reading Wraps at the end of the month, but it gives you a peak inside our bookshelves. I will be including short summary of the plot and will have them on our bookshop page if you guys are interested in any of them.
Now on to the books!
Dream fall by Amy Plum
When a group of teens all enter into a drug-trial to help with their crippling insomnia they were hoping for some help with their problem. Unfortunately for them they are thrown into a dream world with no memory of the experiment itself. They are thrown into this world and now have to face their worst nightmares or risk not waking up.
This is a Book Club book for October!
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
This follows the story of 3 young people who want an escape to their normal life. And NASA has just the solution when they host an international worldwide lottery to send kids to the moon! But once they get there the trip may end a little more sinister than they expected. Maybe there was a reason we never went back.
Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne Young
Her family only planned on staying one night at the Hotel Ruby but they keep extending their stay. The hotel is strange and beautiful but it may also have a past darker than any of them could expect. She is pulled between the past, the present, and the future all in a place that is more than it seems.
This description reminded me so much of the song Hotel California so it got my attention.
The Breathless by Tara Goedjen
Mae has spent the last year thinking of her sister and the boy who took off after her death. Exactly a year after her death the boy shows up at her door step with no memory of the last 12 months or what happened to her sister. Mae knows that something just doesn’t seem to add up but the more she digs the more she finds out about her family and her sister. Some secrets are so dark they shouldn’t see the light of day.
Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda
“ The room is full of you, Jessa” Jessa is asked by her dead boyfriends bedroom after his death by his mother, who blames her for the accident. As Jessa goes through and packs up his room memories begin coming back to her that make her question her relationship and the events that took place on that day. Each clue propels her forward into the truth of what happened on that day.
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
One year after graduation a group of friends are reunited in a place that was filed with found memories except now one of them is dead and the rest have so many questions. When night fades to morning and a thunderstorm blows in along with a mystery man, he announces that they are stuck in time and they will be forced to make the harshest decisions to get out.
I am hoping that October will be a really good reading month and with most of these titles I am hoping there is enough intriguing that it just keeps the pages turning. I may have to pull a few more lighthearted reads in since these are all more spooky reads and thrillers. Let me know if any of these sound good to you guys!
“What does ‘I Read Banned Books’ mean?” This question is asked so often when they see this sticker on the counter. The idea of banned books is lost on me and makes me little confused. I think if you want to read a certain book, read it and if you do not agree with a certain book, do not read it. It should be as simple as that but to some people that is not the case. Today is the first day of Banned Books week. Banned Books week is the book community’s response to the increase of banned books and censorship that it brought on.
Banned Books week started in 1982 and was the response to the growing list of banned books that schools, communities, and other organizations were putting in place to prohibit the reading of certain titles in schools and libraries. Banning books is a form of censorship which is harmful. Most cases of “banning” books, luckily, do not make it past the challenges that are placed on certain titles. The American Librarian Association (ALA) has created the Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF) which helps to compile list of challenged books and provide resources for libraries and individuals learn of their freedoms. For more information please visit: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/banned
The ALA has complied list over the years of the most challenged books of that year and why they were challenged. Luckily they have also provided very useful infographics of this information so that this information can be shared with everyone. We have included the 2019 list of most challenged books in this post. we have also put together a collection of past books that have been banned in store for you guys! We will be sharing more this week about banned books and can't wait to see your thoughts!
We know it has been a crazy 2020 for everyone, us included. With all the uncertainty that this year has brought we are hoping to provide a little bit of regularity for all of us. We want to take the rest of 2020 to reconnect with everyone and give you guys a peak behind the scene. We love interacting with our community and want to let you into our little corner of the book world. We have a lot of exciting things and changes happening that we cannot wait to share with you. We will be to sharing our big updates here as well as what we are reading, what we are wanting to read, and what we are looking forward to reading.
One of the first updates that we want to give you is that there are now 2 of us in the store! If you have been in the store lately you would have seen Beth, your favorite local bookseller, and me! My name is Marissa! I can usually be seen shuffling around the store putting books away and organizing all the chaos of the store. (We have been getting A LOT of new books in). I have been around the bookstore since it opened and hope to help make it better for all of you! I love reading and buying books, which are two vastly different things. Sometimes I am better at buying books than reading them though but that is a whole different conversation. My favorite genres are: Romance, Young Adult, Historical Romance, and Mystery. I cannot wait to meet everyone and share my favorite novels with everyone!
We also wanted to let you guys know that Springer, our resident cat, is now officially retired! He is enjoying his retirement and is really taken to the pillow life.
Beth and I are excited for some of the changes that we are doing around the store. We are working on new ways to interact both in the store and online. This blog will evolve over time and hope it will grow with us! Make sure to let us know what kind of stuff that you want to see!
We are excited to be on Day 2 of the R & B Read-A-Thon! This is the first major Read-A-Thon that we are hosting and are still trying to figure out how it all works but we hope you all have been able to get some reading in! Yesterday was a GORGEOUS day, I (Marissa) spent most of the day outside reading and enjoying the sunshine. I was luckily able to read one of my readathon books and it was a pretty good start to this challenge.
Since we are still early in the Read-A-Thon I will add the reading challenges below if you wanted to join us!
Two years ago today...
I was giving an interview to a reporter from ABC12 who had heard of our struggles and took it upon herself to pitch the story to her station. I had spoken with a business professional about the next step in my business. I didn't know it at the time, but he was an investor and he thought I wanted money from him. I didn't. I just wanted guidance. What I got was a wake up call. Basically my business had gone under and I didn't even know it yet. I left that meeting devastated but by the time I made it back to the book store I was determined. My family had worked way too hard to support me and my dreams for me to go back and tell them I'd failed in the end. I came up with the idea to turn my end of year Thank You sale into an SOS sale and launched project Save our Store with a goal to sell 20,000 books for $1.00 and get out from under our accumulated debt. The community pulled together and bought a ton of books. We didn't sell the 20,000 books but we did sell enough to keep digging.
Last year, we posted another 20,000 book goal and brought out aaaaallllll the books at once. We wanted to finally put in the coffee shop to honor my mom who had put so much work and effort into the bookstore and had wanted to see the coffee shop come to life so badly because that was my dad's original dream. It turned out to be the worst Christmas sale we had ever had. The store was messy. I was depressed facing the first Christmas without my mother and quite frankly I was overwhelmed. I asked for feedback and man did I get it. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Thank you all for the Good. It overwhelmed the Bad and the Ugly. It sustained me and made me more determined than ever to do this thing. Thank you for the bad. It made me take a good look at things and make some significant changes. The ugly I just let go of. Needless to say, taking significant time off to be with my mom and then having a horrible December put us behind again. Not as bad as before but bad enough to have me sweating.
This year has been about reinventing as a single owner business, digging deep, and preserving the family legacy we started with. I set a 20,000 book goal this year and took a leap of faith by taking a large family for Christmas. Black Friday was awesome, but from then on it was looking pretty bleak. Our numbers were on pace to match or barely exceed last year and our donations for our family were trickling in rather slowly. It was beginning to look like this would be our last dollar sale and I was hoping we could survive two bad Christmas's in a row. Then this weekend happened. Donations poured in, books flew out. I was pretty much busy open to close Friday through Sunday and even got out late a couple times because there were still shoppers at closing time. So thank you. Thank you for believing in me when we struggled through the expansion. Thank you for saving me when we struggled after the expansion. Thank you for holding me up when I struggled after losing my mom. If it stays like it was this weekend than this is the year we make it. We can finally close the chapter on all of our struggles and take a deep breath. I'm honored to be a part of this community and look forward to the future and being able to continue to give back and support my community as much as you all have given to and supported me.
YOU are R&B Used Books.
Owner, R&B Used Books