Book Review: The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Published by Doubleday on November 5, 2019

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy

Format & Length: e-book, 487

Source: library, purchased

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Far beneath the surface of the earth, upon the shores of the Starless Sea, there is a labyrinthine collection of tunnels and rooms filled with stories. The entryways that lead to this sanctuary are often hidden, sometimes on forest floors, sometimes in private homes, sometimes in plain sight. But those who seek will find. Their doors have been waiting for them.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is searching for his door, though he does not know it. He follows a silent siren song, an inexplicable knowledge that he is meant for another place. When he discovers a mysterious book in the stacks of his campus library he begins to read, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, lost cities, and nameless acolytes. Suddenly a turn of the page brings Zachary to a story from his own childhood impossibly written in this book that is older than he is.

A bee, a key, and a sword emblazoned on the book lead Zachary to two people who will change the course of his life: Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired painter, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances. These strangers guide Zachary through masquerade party dances and whispered back room stories to the headquarters of a secret society where doorknobs hang from ribbons, and finally through a door conjured from paint to the place he has always yearned for. Amid twisting tunnels filled with books, gilded ballrooms, and wine-dark shores Zachary falls into an intoxicating world soaked in romance and mystery. But a battle is raging over the fate of this place and though there are those who would willingly sacrifice everything to protect it, there are just as many intent on its destruction. As Zachary, Mirabel, and Dorian venture deeper into the space and its histories and myths, searching for answers and each other, a timeless love story unspools, casting a spell of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a Starless Sea.

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Book Review: The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind, by Jonah Berger

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind, by Jonah Berger

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger

Published by Simon & Schuster on March 10, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): nonfiction

Format & Length: e-book, 272

Source: Netgalley

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From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind.

Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Could there be a better way?

This book takes a different approach. Successful change agents know it’s not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it’s about being a catalyst. Catalysts remove roadblocks and reduce the barriers to change. Instead of asking, “How could I change someone’s mind?” they ask a different question: “Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?”

The Catalyst identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You’ll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs.

This book is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you’re trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst.

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5 Lighthearted Books to Read for Spring

5 lighthearted books to read for spring

With lengthening days and warmer weather, winter is starting to come to a close. As much as I love cozying up on those chilly winter days, I’m itching for the transition into spring and happy to see it on the horizon. And my reading life is ready for some change, too. I’ll always love a good mystery or thriller, but with this new season I’m eager for some lighthearted fun. But I want my lighthearted books to also have a bit of depth, a little something I can sink my teeth into while offering easy reading. If this sounds like the type of book you’re looking for, this is the list for you!

Ready to see the books?

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Book Review: The Atlantis Bloodline, by C.A. Gray

The Atlantis Bloodline, by C.A. Gray

The Atlantis Bloodline by C.A. Gray

Published by C.A. Gray on March 2, 2020

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 480

Source: author

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When sweet Ada Edwards meets the mysterious Kaison Hughes, lead singer of the biggest band in the world, she can’t understand what he sees in her. Despite everyone’s warnings about him, she’s rapidly falling in love. But it’s obvious he has a secret, and he’s not all he appears to be.

Kai’s life isn’t his own, and his fame isn’t the half of it. As a member of a secret organization known as the Elioud, descended from the Atlantean daughters of the Pleiades, he’s been commissioned with a task: to reintegrate the lost line of Maia into their ranks. It just so happens that Ada is the one they’ve been looking for. He doesn’t know what they intend to do to her, and he doesn’t care. All he wants is the prize for a successful mission: one unqualified wish, which he intends to spend on his beloved sister’s freedom.

There’s just one problem: Kai’s falling in love with Ada, too.

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February Reading Wrap Up

February 2020 Wrap UpOh February, where did you go? Time seems to flex between slow motion and supersonic speed these days, with my entire life revolving around a tiny person and his ever changing routines. Some days seem to last forever… and others go by in the blink of an eye. And when the end of the month comes into view, I wonder, what have I actually done this month?

This month, I completed six books, one of which was an audiobook reread of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that I started back in November! As much as I love a good audiobook, I don’t think that format is working for me right now. Short form listening is the best I can do these days. But I did like all of the books I read and found a new favorite!

Ready to see the wrap up?

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Book Review: You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone, by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Published by St. Martin’s Press on March 3, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller

Format & Length: paperback, 352

Source: publisher

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You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

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8 Nonfiction Books That Have Stuck With Me

8 Nonfiction Books That Have Stuck With Me

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that the majority of books I read are fiction. I just love a good story! But I do enjoy nonfiction, especially when it is well written or is about a subject I find to be particularly interesting.

Today I want to mention some nonfiction books that have stayed with me over time. There is some variety within this list, but it does show some patterns in my own reading taste, with a couple books focused on sleep and more memoirs than I first thought would make the cut.

Ready to see the list?

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Book Review: Follow Me, by Kathleen Barber

Follow Me, by Kathleen Barber

Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

Published by Gallery Books on February 25, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 349

Source: Netgalley

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From the author of Are You Sleeping—soon to be an Apple TV series—comes a cautionary tale of oversharing in the social media age for fans of Jessica Knoll and Caroline Kepnes’s You.

Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.

Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.

But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.

With “compelling, suspenseful” (Liz Nugent) prose, Kathleen Barber’s electrifying new thriller will have you scrambling to cover your webcam and digital footprints.

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Infographic: What are you in the mood to read next?

What are you in the mood to read next?Are you a mood reader? I sure am! I try to loosely schedule out the books I have for review, leaving some room to account for all the things that like to pop up at the last minute, as well as room for books that I want to read just based on my current mood. With these books, I tend to follow a certain process that I explained in THIS post.

Today I want to share books that have made it to my list of favorites over the last few years. As I went back over the books I’ve rated a full five out of five, I realized there are certain themes I tend to gravitate towards. Three in particular jumped out at me: bookish books; twisty thrillers; and mind-bending elements. If these are themes you enjoy, check out my suggestions and let me know what you think!

Ready to see my recommendations?

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Book Review: No Bad Deed, by Heather Chavez

No Bad Deed, by Heather Chavez

No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez

Published by William Morrow on February 18, 2020 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 320

Source: Netgalley

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Packed with the electrifying pacing and pulse-pounding suspense of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, a thrilling debut about a mother desperate to find the connections between her missing husband and a deadly stalker who knows too much about her own dark family history.

Driving home one rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man and woman fighting on the side of the road. After calling 911, the veterinarian makes a split-second decision that will throw her sedate suburban life into chaos. Against all reason and advice, she gets out of her minivan and chases after the violent man, trying to help his victim. When Cassie physically tries to stop him, he suddenly turns on her and spits out an ominous threat: “Let her die, and I’ll let you live.”

A veterinarian trained to heal, Cassie can’t let the woman die. But while she’s examining the unconscious victim, the attacker steals her car. Now he has her name. Her address. And he knows about her children. Though they warn her to be careful, the police assure her that the perpetrator—a criminal named Carver Sweet—won’t get near her. Cassie isn’t so sure.

The next day—Halloween—her husband disappears while trick-or-treating with their six-year-old daughter. Are these disturbing events a coincidence or the beginning of a horrifying nightmare? Her husband has been growing distant—is it possible he’s become involved with another woman? Is Cassie’s confrontation with the road-side attacker connected to her husband’s disappearance? With all these questions swirling in her mind Cassie can trust no one, maybe not even herself. The only thing she knows for sure is that she can’t sit back while the people she loves are in danger.

As she desperately searches for answers, Cassie discovers that nothing is as random as it seems, and that she is more than willing to fight—to go the most terrifying extremes—to save her family and her marriage.

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