my week in pictures: two-week edition!


My city basically consists of Eastern European families and every year we have Nationality Days, a three-day bash full of music, games, crafts, and – of course – deeeeelicious food! Lots of haluski (my all-time FAVORITE food and my dinner pick every. year. for my birthday), pierogies (a close second!), Russian dishes, Ukranian dishes, you name it, it’s there! The highlight of it all, though, are the gyros. A few streets away from me is a teensy tiny little Greek place (seriously, it’s so small you can’t eat inside!) and they’ve become relatively famous in the tri-state area. Matt and I make it a point to grab gyros and this year we just made it. They were starting to take down their stall when we ran up and snatched two. Not the most appealing picture, I know, but my goodness it was fantastic.

Ava graduated preschool! I am a very proud auntie but I AM NOT READY FOR THIS. Not only did she graduated this week, but she now has two loose teeth! She is NOT big yet she is NOT big yet she is NOT big yet. Haha while my sister (Ava’s mom) had an actual camera, my brother and I only had our phones and five-year-olds are squirmy. This was the best picture in the bunch. She had just received her diploma and sash and was walking down the aisle with her classmates.

Like pretty much the rest of the world, Matt & I were beyond pumped for Godzilla. …talk about a bummer! We went opening weekend and we knew it would be packed. We ended up having to sit in the second row, way off to one side. While it was pretty uncomfortable, I would have been okay with it had the movie been decent. It wasn’t. You’d think a Godzilla movie would actually have Godzilla in it! NOPE. Instead it’s a family drama. And let’s not talk about the way Godzilla looked. Yikes. A few nights later we went to see the new Captain America and the nearly-shirtless scene made the $17 tickets worth it.

So I bought some books this week! Excluding The Fault in Our Stars (which I bought for my sister and was only $7) my grand total came to $9 which I’m way okay with!
The Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus
I’ve mentioned before that I’d love to be a beekeeper! Unfortunately I can’t right now (my backyard isn’t big enough – there are requirements for how far away the hives have to be from sidewalks, roads, and neighboring houses), so my time is spend reading about other beekeepers instead – and y’all know I love me some non-fic. It’s been stated that without bees, the world doesn’t stand a chance and with the bee population in serious decline, pollination has become harder than ever. A beekeeper has taken to driving around the country, bringing millions of bees to farmers.
The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
This one was fairly popular a few years back and it’s been on my To Read list since then. Guests at a dinner party seek shelter after an accident. Gothic, a touch of paranormal, historical fiction, this is such a Leah book!
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Maybe you’ve heard of this one? Ha. This isn’t for me – I actually have no interest in reading it, don’t hurt me! Instead it’s for my youngest sister. She’s not much of a reader, so when she expresses ANY interest in a book you bet I’ll get it for her!
Necessary Errors by Caleb Crain
Another one that had been on my radar for a while. A man arrives in Prague in 1990, a year after its revolution. This one sounds like it could be extremely character-driven.

Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick
I’m a HUGE Romanov buff. Two years ago I compiled a tiny list of some Romanov-related books (including some featured on the blog) that badly needs updated. Tsarina caught my eye, but I’m a bit worried. It seems that there have been some liberties taken with the historical aspect, so we’ll see how it goes.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. This is a novel I urge everyone to read – my review is linked below!

The Boost by Stephen Baker
Not entirely sure what this one is about, but it involves supercomputers implanted in brains and a hacker on the run. Could be fun!
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
A “reimagining of the fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as flappers during the Roaring Twenties in Manhattan.” Um, yes. Also, it’s published by Atria, one of my go-to imprints.
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
I’ve been on a huge graphic novel kick lately and this one caught my eye. A girl is a big fan of an online game and everything’s swell until her avatar meets another player. Over time Anda realizes this kid is doing something considered highly illegal in the game, and soon it’s affecting people in real life.
Spirits of Ash and Foam by Greg Weisman
I really enjoyed last year’s Rain of the Ghosts and am looking forward to this sequel. Middle Grade + magical realism + an island in the Bermuda Triangle.
The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar
I was so fond of Accidents Happen that I immediately bought The Playdate the moment I saw it. The Hidden Girl is another psychological thriller and I cannot wait to read it.

In Case You Missed It
I was so excited for Bellweather Rhapsody, but it ended up being a huge disappointment. Too many characters, storylines that are forgotten about, and a reliance on pop culture references earned this one 2.5/5 stars.
Thankfully Jojo Moyes was there to make things right. Silver Bay was lovely and it should come as no surprise that it received 5/5 stars.
A few recent reads have had some eerie similarities and I discussed them in Coincidental Reading.
Are you a fan of historical fiction? Do you like novels set during WWII? Do you prefer your characters fully-fleshed? Are you a fan of really, ridiculously amazing books? Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See blew me away. I laughed, I cried, I was terrified. This is one I’ve already recommended to coworkers and customers and you can bet it’ll show up on my end-of-the-year Best Of list. As if I would give it anything other than 5/5 stars.


4 thoughts on “my week in pictures: two-week edition!

  1. I liked The Uninvited Guests a lot, but I think I got really swept up in the writing style. The story itself is different and not what I expected, but that’s not a bad thing.

    I’m VERY curious to see what you think of Tsarina. I almost picked it up at the library yesterday, but I put it back because I was afraid of historical liberties (if I’m not sobbing at the end, things are changed) and a “softer” view of the communists.

  2. I’ve been nervous about Tsarina for the same reasons! I’ll be curious about your thoughts. Have you seen the new non-fiction called The Romanov Sisters? I *think* it’s from Little Brown. I spotted it at the bookstore this week, and it looks excellent.

    I’m SO excited to read All the Light We Cannot See! You’ve got me really looking forward to that one :) Also, I laughed at you not being interested in reading The Fault in Our Stars. I wasn’t a fan of that book at all – I just read it because everyone else was. I hate when I end up reading stuff just because of the hype and then it lets me down.

    I just read The Girls at the Kingfisher Club this past week! It was so fun. I wanted a little more character development, but the setting and overall story was such a delight. Also, I’ve noticed that I really love a lot of books from Atria too. I’ve started paying more attention to publishers/imprints ever since your post about it.

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