Category Archives: Readers’ Advisory

Nonfiction November – Book Pairings

Nonfiction November 2015

I’m super excited to be participating in Nonfiction November again this year. Last year, I read some great books that I would have otherwise never picked up, so I’m thankful that this event exists to expand my knowledge base. Week 2 is hosted by Leslie over at Regular Rumination, who asks readers to create book pairings (nonfiction/fiction, nonfiction/nonfiction, etc.) that go really well together.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) Like This Read That The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss

I feel like Felicia Day and Dahlia Moss could be the same person. They’ll both admit that they’re a little awkward, they both get a little addicted to online gaming, and they both like conventions. Also, geeky-themed clothing. The only difference is that Dahlia Moss is a fictional character trying to solve a murder.

Displacement: A Travelogue Like This Read That Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

Both are graphic novels that deal with aging and mortality, albeit in a slightly different manner. Displacement is Lucy Knisley’s story of chaperoning her grandparents on a cruise, with all the worries and hijinks that ensue. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is all about denial, in addition to highlighting the importance of spending time with aging parents.

The State of Play: Creators and Critics on Video Game Culture Like This Read That Ready Player One

Video games and their impact on society. The State of Play is a collection of essays concerning feminism, race relations, and game culture. Ready Player One is the ultimate video game scavenger hunt and love letter to the 80s. Both are really, really good.

That’s it for this week. Off to read more nonfiction!



Filed under Jancee's Thoughts, Readers' Advisory, Reading Challenges

If You Enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss, You Should Read…

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

I’m about to start Lola and the Boy Next Door for the Isla is Coming read-along, but I love Anna and the French Kiss so much that I can’t move on just yet. In fact, as I was reading through it, I stopped several times to wonder what exactly about the book made me love it so much. After approximately 30 seconds worth of thought, I realized it wasn’t just one thing I loved, but three. You may recall these three things from my review post, but if not, I’ll lay them out again here:

1. I am a sucker for books set in boarding schools. Coop up a bunch of teenagers in a dorm setting and hilarious antics/heartbreak/drama will always ensue. I love reading about how a character’s life plays out against the backdrop of a school setting. Call me weird, but if I read a blurb and it mentions that the book takes place at a boarding school, you can bet I’ll read it eventually. I think this is because I secretly always wanted to go to boarding school myself.

2. I love to read about characters who attend school in/travel to Europe. The many countries of Europe are used in books to introduce an element of excitement, adventure, the unknown. A foreign, exotic element. Maybe I love reading about European culture. Maybe I wish I could be there. Maybe I just want to salivate over descriptions of food. I don’t know, exactly. But when a character decides to travel Europe, I want to be right there with them.

3. You know those adorable, quirky love stories? Yeah, those get me every time. Internally, I’m fighting for the characters to overcome the obstacles that are keeping them apart. I’m angry when they make stupid decisions and sad when the timing isn’t right. I rejoice when the two characters finally become a couple and (hopefully!) go on to live happily ever after. I just can’t resist a good love story.

These three story elements are my favorites. Chances are, if even one of these elements can be found in a novel, I’m going to read it. Anna and the French Kiss was perfect because it had all three of these things. And while love stories can be found in a plethora of books, boarding schools and Europe can be trickier. So in honor of Anna, here are my top 10 books set in boarding schools or Europe (or both!).

Looking for Alaska The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1) Winger (Winger, #1) Sex & Violence Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

1. Looking for Alaska – John Green

2. The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater

3. Winger – Andrew Smith

4. Sex & Violence – Carrie Mesrobian

5. Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling

Conversion The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1) The Fault in Our Stars Just One Day (Just One Day, #1) 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)

6.  Conversion – Katherine Howe

7. The Name of the Star – Maureen Johnson

8. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

9. Just One Day/Just One Year – Gayle Forman

10. 13 Little Blue Envelopes/The Last Little Blue Envelope – Maureen Johnson

For the reasons above, these are some of my favorite books of all time. These are the books I am likely to reread, the ones I savor and recommend to everyone I know. What are some of your favorite elements in books, and what are some your favorite books with those elements? And did I miss any boarding school/Europe books that you think I NEED to know about? Let me know!

Oh, and btw, #IslaIsComing!




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Filed under Jancee's Thoughts, Readers' Advisory