By far the best time to buy or receive books is when wrapping up a writing project.
Here at The Honest Bookclub, July has been a bit quiet only because we both chose to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, with the regular 50,000 words per month for our goal. NaNoWriMo was never meant to be easy, and easy it was certainly not. But the nearer the ending drew, the more did I begin to understand John Irving's sentiment of "Nearly everything seems a letdown after a writer has finished writing." I have completed NaNoWriMo before. And that high of finishing a project was in many ways unmatched.
Except, of course, by the high of finally being able to read again, and receiving amazing books to read from overly generous friends. Some people can juggle reading with the month of sprint-writing. But alas, such talents have escaped me. All I could allow myself to read during July have been graphic novels (which have admittedly been excellent). But now the writing portion of this mad exercise is nearly over, and I get back to reading. I get back to books. And what incredible books they are!
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas's new fantasy series is the prime example of just how overdue this book haul is. I actually received this book shortly after it was released... in May. And how I received it is a story worthy of publication in and of itself. My amazing, lovely co-blogger Natalie met the amazing, lovely Sarah J. Maas at a signing in London. Ever the patient soul, Sarah was willing to sign however many books people had brought to the signing. But one book was to be signed with a dedication - to a specific person. And instead of having her own name signed in the book... yeah, you guessed where this is going... Natalie had Sarah sign mine. And then sent the book to me. At which point I proceeded to cry for about a day straight. I love my co-blogger and I love Sarah, and I loved this book so, so very much! Natalie and I now have obligatory daily ACOTAR mentions via messages and texts. She's in love with Tamlin, I'm in love with Rhysand, we're both in love with Sarah, and it just works out phenomenally. We've also both joined Tumblr solely to curb our cravings for daily ACOTAR fangirling sessions with the legions of fans which this series has already amaased. (See what I did there? No? Moving on now.)
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
If you have been around this blog for a while, you'll know that we have a tremendously, ludicrously generous friend Dennis. If you haven't - hi, we have a tremendously, ludicrously generous friend Dennis. Dennis buys books with the same sort of abandon most members of BBA (Book Buyers Anonymous) do - except he does it for others instead of himself. When we beg him to just save up for a while instead of sending us books - he sends them to BookTubers! Or he gets us giftcards. Which is how I got myself this beautiful, beautiful edition of The Sky Is Everywhere. Jandy Nelson's work has been so highly praised since the release of this debut, and especially since the release of I'll Give You The Sun earlier this year. Now at the conclusion of Camp NaNoWriMo, I have been in a contemporary mood, and in a standalone mood - and this ticks off both of those boxes so well. The book only just arrived today, so I have nothing to divulge about the contents yet, but when I do... this blog will be the first to know. Review and all.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Now, think about this for a second. It's a book. With 80s pop culture references. About a video game. Set in the future. To anyone who has ever played vintage video games of any kind, or loved sci-fi in general, Ready Player One is a dream-turned-(virtual)-reality. (One day I'll ease up on the really puns. Today is not that day. I am sorry. And also not.) Alongside The Sky Is Everywhere, this also arrived earlier today, and I can't quite fangirl about the actual content of the book yet... but soon! Dennis, Natalie and I are actually contemplating hosting a read-a-long for this book on Goodreads. We're fine with it being just the three of us, but if you're interested in joining us and reading/re-reading Ready Player One sometime in the next few weeks, let us know in the comments and we'll happily invite you!
The Unbound by Victoria Schwab
Once upon a time, I was not the poor, grad student that I am now. I was still a student, that is. But I was ostensibly less poor. So when Jessethereader hosted a read-a-long for The Archived sometime a couple of years ago, I went ahead and bought the hardcover. Then I became a poor grad student that I am today, and obtaining the sequel in hardcover (because books obviously have to match) was a bit of a problem. Twice as much, considering I loved The Archived. It became one of my all-time favorite book series, oh, about three chapters into book 1. So I wanted a sequel, but I couldn't get the sequel. And if at this point you're thinking "tremendously, ludicrously generous friend Dennis" - you've figured it out way before I did. When Dennis informed me that he sent me a random book (which ended up being three weeks late), I didn't guess which one it was until just a few days before it arrived. And oh, the endless joy when it did! I have read everything Victoria Schwab has ever published, to my knowledge, including a novella which takes place after the events of The Unbound. Having the series on my shelf right now to re-read and peruse at leisure is just the most amazing thing ever. What friends I have!
Coffee Obsession by Anette Moldvaer
Natalie and I refer to ourselves as Chai Latte. (Not in public, though, because weird.) It's mainly because she is a particular fan of tea, and I am a particular fan of coffee. A chai latte being a little bit of both sums us up well. And by "particular fan", we mean it keeps us alive.
Caffeine. Our drug of choice.
So when DK publishers decided to publish Coffee Obsession and then The Tea Book, we... didn't know anything about it. But Dennis knew, of course! And rather than to get himself a copy - Dennis is quite the tea enthusiast himself - he chose to send one to each of us. Because why buy books for yourself when you can buy them for others, instead?
Coffee Obsession is absolutely every coffee-lover's dream. It is large, it is illustrated, it comes with everything from the history and the brands of coffee to worldwide recipes and ways of brewing. It covers everything. You think it, this book has it. And this is a completely unsponsored endorsement on my part. It's just too good not to shower with praise. But be prepared to have lots of coffee while reading it. The cravings! They're strong! (Like the coffee itself.)
That's all, folks! Except for the part where I thank my wonderful, wonderful friends Dennis and Natalie again for such a stunning, stunning haul. I have long since run out of words of thanks to offer, and I've never had words of thanks grand enough to begin with. I appreciate your friendship more than you'll know. You guys are beyond generous with your time, your patience, your presence and your love. To add books on top of that is just... outrageous. But you do it. And not all NaNoWriMos in the world will ever help me find the right words for it.
Natalie and I would also very much like to thank Sarah J. Maas: for being our queen, for being as amazing in person as she is in this virtual world, and especially for our fae baes.
IN MY MAILBOX: JULY 30TH
4/ 5Oleh The Honest Bookclub