Sunday, March 25, 2018

Fortnightly Update #42: Life, The Universe, and Everything

It has been a good two weeks. I have yet to enact my plans for world domination, but those things take all sorts of time, and so far I haven't lost any of mine. My plant minion army is progressing steadily, although I have thrown it a few wrenches by clumsily dumping over one of my units of tomato seedlings. It's been raining here, and I must admit the earthworm per square foot ratio is grossly abundant.  

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

Future Shock (Future Shock #1) by Elizabeth Briggs
Future Threat (Future Shock #2) by Elizabeth Briggs 
I think I signed up for these from one of Shelf Awareness's newsletters, but I'm not sure- but they arrived quickly and I hadn't expected them. These are both YA, but futuristic YA with time travel elements, and I hope I'll enjoy them as much as I like the covers. The third book in this series is being published April 1st of this year.

Leia inspecting the book mail- it met with her eventual approval

the-invisible-pile Additions:


Currently Reading:

Expected publication: March 27th 2018
I'm hoping to read and review this before its publication, but who knows if I'll make it!

Finished These Books:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I'm feeling much more book-blogger-ish now that I've finally started reviewing books again, starting with this one, which was my second five star read of 2018 (and I've only read three books so far, so...).

In My Life:

Let's address the black hole in the room: Stephen Hawking. 

Stolen from Barnes & Noble's FB
When I first started having trouble walking (and as I began to mentally adjust to it) I looked for examples of people who kept going and loving life with their disabilities to model myself after. Stephen Hawking was one of those people- and as much as I hate to inspiration-ize him- looking at his life and how he kept pursuing his passions with significant disabilities? It helped me a lot, especially when his disabilities (physically, at least) were more limiting than my own. I will miss him.

In addition to Stephen Hawking's death, lately I've acquired another issue: eating.

My brain-shaped Irish Soda Bread
If you know very much about me, you'll know I'm a fan of food- specifically baked goods like bread and cake. For St. Patrick's Day I made myself a loaf of Irish Soda Bread and fully expected to enjoy it. Although it tasted good (really good, actually), I could barely swallow the small pieces that I was able to eat. Once my mom got home, I asked her if it was difficult for her to swallow. It wasn't.

I've actually had this problem for a while now (a while being since July, at least), but I've been putting off going to the doctor over it, because, well.... doctors and I have issues, for one. Secondly, even if I have had issues swallowing, it didn't seem to affect my weight (which I knew would be thrown in my face to discredit me). I've actually lost approximately 30+ pounds since October, so I suppose that theory is also out the window. 

I've finally decided it's to the point I need to re-see my doctor (which I hate doing) because people in my syrinx group have told me that there are no real home remedies for this sort of thing other than avoiding sticky/dry/dense foods, and it can get dangerous (you can get aspiration pneumonia). My least favorite pastime is visiting with my doctors or being tested for things by them because I also have lovely memories of spending most of my teen years waiting for a cure that never came. But still, as I regret to inform myself every time my symptoms worsen- doctors are my only hope for a semi-normal life, so I must see them sometime.

In other news, my new Kindle Fire cover matches my bathroom decor. I only found that out when I brought it in there for the first time. Ah, mint green, violet, and white make for a relaxing retreat.

Also, this pup: ten human years old. She acts more like she's six human years old. For her birthday, she received a nice stuffed log with three little chipmunks. Leia promptly commandeered every chipmunk, and left her with the log. Luckily, Torrie is not one to complain, though she did begin dismantling the log.

If you were wondering what picture guest comments on my blog end up with, it's this one- Gustave Doré's Depiction of Satan from John Milton's Paradise Lost c. 1866. That's not because I think my commenters are evil, but rather because this is the only Victorian-esque public domain image I had on my hands when I set up my Disqus. I am taking suggestions for any public domain image to use as a "guest commenter" image, and I will host a poll during my blogiversary month to see which one is favored. Since my blogiversary is in April, if you have a suggestion, please comment it below (public domain images only)!

Here are some more illustrations that I favor:

"The Raven" by John Tenniel, from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, in which I am the man standing at the window, and the commenter is the raven, disturbing my reverie.

"Geraint and Enid Ride Away" by Gustave Doré from Idylls of the King by Tennyson, in which I am the Ent-ish tree in the background, clinging to the hill while the commenter rides away with their true love on a feisty-looking mount.

Have you gotten any book mail lately? Which images do you suggest for the guest commenter avatar?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic Prequel)" by Alice Hoffman

Disclaimer: I was given a free advance ecopy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher, Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. My opinion remains as forthright as ever.

Well, it's time to think back to all the things I loved about The Rules of Magic, because letting it sit without a review irks my perfectionism to no end, especially when the book was as powerful as this one is. It follows three siblings through their adolescence and into adulthood- choosing their own paths, while still trying to avoid the family curse.

I have read many of Alice Hoffman's books. This one, for me, was the best of the bunch- the only two that come close are Turtle Moon and The Dovekeepers. I think the reason this one is 5 stars while the others I mentioned only garnered 4.5 stars is because I read this one precisely when I needed it. My grandmother passed away last year on October 3rd, and I'd only begun to read this book a few weeks prior (and slowly, as I was trying to savor it). This book has themes of death, grief, and injustice that resonated with me as I side-stepped through my own familial dramas.

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'Find your magic
'For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.
'Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.
'From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.
'The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.'

What the future would be was yet to be discovered. As for the past, they already knew it too well.
            ~The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, 73% Kindle edition

Whether you love, hate, or feel some sort of apathy toward your family members, they shape the way you grow up, and The Rules of Magic explores that avenue. I developed an immediate like for Franny and Jet, and a disgust for Vincent, who does typical teen boy stuff (or at least, what some of the typical teen boys I knew did). All of them are a bit lost in the world, and they cope with it in different ways, but in the end I found myself relating more to Vincent than any of the female characters (which I consider quite the miracle due to my initial dislike of him). 

Another of my favorite parts of this book is the fact that all of the Owenses have their own distinct plotline- and yet I never got bored or disinterested, even when most of their behavior was predictable. There was something delightfully operatic about this book that kept me reading even though some of the themes felt a bit too painful for me to touch at the time. Ms. Hoffman brought tears to my eyes and made me smile, even when I didn't want to.

The Rules of Magic is the sort of book you need when you don't know what to do. It is not, by any means, a self-help book, but it helped me nonetheless. Sometimes fiction is a much easier medicine than nonfiction to share ideas and stories, and I feel that is the case with The Rules of Magic. I recommend this book to everyone, whether you want to read it or not. Too bad, it's now my favorite, and therefore will be ruthlessly mailed as a gift to acquaintances and friends near and far for all occasions. 

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars for an extraordinary novel that helped me navigate 2017!

Age Advisory: Ages 16+ for sexual content, drug use, violence, swearing, and themes of grief.

Page Count: 369 pages

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"The Hobbit, or There and Back Again" by J.R.R. Tolkien

I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited for the first time this month because they were running a special (the first two months for $0.99) which I couldn't pass on, given Elizabeth Hunter's Irin Chronicles books are available on it. But then, I noticed The Hobbit was also available on it (a book I've always wanted to read) so I chose to read this one first.

I was a bit ambivalent about reading this book because though I love Tolkien, it was also my father's favorite (and he and I are not friends). Luckily, though, it seems the charm of Tolkien's writing and the audiobook narration (which was free with Kindle Unlimited) really helped overcome my negative feelings about this book. It's fairly hard for me to dislike any book, regardless of reason, if it's well written, and I will say the same of this one. The Hobbit is phenomenally composed and sweepingly atmospheric.

To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf's hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more.
              ~The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, page 21 of the Kindle edition

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
'Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.'

I always thought I was most like Eowyn or Galadriel in Tolkien's books, and while I may have some similarities in personality to those feisty women, I am also very like Beorn and Smaug. Beorn is a Skin-changer who can take the form of a black bear, has control over animals, and is surprisingly a vegetarian! I'm not a vegetarian, but I do have fairly good control over my trio of beasts, and I'm also less than enthused with guests like Beorn.

Smaug, on the other hand, is technically the villain of this book. To be honest, though, Tolkien paints him rather neutrally- Smaug is just being a dragon, and dragons kill people and animals and collect shiny things. I may not kill people, but I certainly keep to myself and I notice when my shiny things are touched and dislike it immensely. It was just a joy to read and hear the conversations between Smaug and Bilbo!

The Hobbit is an epic journey in one small, unassuming book. It's often hard to judge a book by its page count, but this one seems like it's longer than it is even though it's a short read (in a good way). If you've ever wanted to follow a wacky heist with a bevy of strange characters, this book may be for you.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars for a book that made me feel like a dragon again!

Age Advisory: Ages 12+ for violence, general reading comprehension, and tricksy hobbitses.

Page Count: 366 pages

Saturday, March 17, 2018

One Lovely Blog Award

A doe and her fawn I came upon while walking, circa Montana years

Thanks to Stephen (of Stephen Writes) for nominating me and tagging me! Although I still have more (older) tags to attend to, this is a nice short one that I could finish more quickly.


Thank the person who nominated you for the award;
Share seven facts about yourself;
Nominate 15 other bloggers and inform them.

Seven Bookish Facts About Me

  • Every "which literary character" are you quiz ends with me being Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games fame, even though she's not exactly my personality type (my personality type being INTJ). I think it's probably something to do with the fact that we had gritty childhoods and will do anything to survive, but I could be wrong.

  • Although I am obsessed with J.R.R. Tolkien, for years I had only read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yesterday I read The Hobbit and it was another of my 5 star reads of 2018!

  • I remember after reading and watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I decided I would write my own books. I was 12, so I've been a book writer for 13 years! Before that, I was a short story writer who wrote about unicorns living in a subterranean environment to get extra credit for 4th grade English class.

  • I would love to go to author signings, etc., but I'm afraid the crowds might freak me out. Of course, this year I went to the Killers concert and waited in line for an hour with a bunch of people, so maybe my fear is less relevant than it used to be.

  • If I could only choose one book to bring to a desert island with me, it would be the Bible. Basically, although I find parts of it grotesque (i.e. parts of the Old Testament) I really enjoy the variety of stories it offers- and it's technically one book.

  • Although I read a ton of romance, I'm a bit of a coldly logical person when it comes to romance IRL. Sometimes it makes me feel a bit like a robot/female Spock, but I don't believe most couples will be together forever and ever... but it's nice to read about that happening!

  • I haven't read any poetry since I was about 18ish until 2017, when I started to read Rupi Kaur's work. It's powerful!

My Nominees

Since rules are made to be bent, I am going to just leave this open to anyone who would like to tag themselves. If you tag yourself, feel free to drop a link to your tag in the comments!

Which books have inspired you? Have you gone to any author/bookish events?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Fortnightly Update #41: Let's Try This Regularly Blogging Thing Again!

I may not be the most efficient blogger, but I feel like blogging (particularly about books) helps keep me on track with my goals and helps keep track of my health, so I'd better start again. Lately I've been on an ARC-acquiring binge because it gives me something to look forward to (even if the publication dates have begun passing me by on a few of them).

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

Some to speak of, but I'm too shaky-handed to take decent pictures now.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
An anonymous blogger is threatened with having their gender fluidity outed in this YA book- I just thought it was an interesting topic. Because of my past, I sometimes find YA books triggering, which is why I typically avoid them, but of course, not all YA books are that way for me.

Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue
I feel like if my aunt were alive, this would be something that she'd read. She was very neo-pagan-ish for a Catholic woman.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X, Alex Haley, & M.S. Handler
I have a movie about Malcolm X's life, but I think the autobio ought to be more fascinating. He was an incredibly complex man.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Both this book and Dear Martin are YA, which as I stated above, I typically avoid, but... the descriptions of these both made me want to read them. This is about a girl who allegedly killed a baby.

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
This YA also revolves around crime and justice, this one more involving the current state of affairs between the public and the police.

 Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie
The worst thing (by far) about being a book blogger is that if you see a book mentioned enough times (positively or negatively) and you're curious, you'll probably want to read it. This one is one of those for me- I've seen positive and negative reviews and I'm very curious about which end of the spectrum I'll end up on.


School for Psychics (School for Psychics #1) by K.C. Archer
Expected publication: April 3rd 2018
I couldn't resist this one's description- and as a twenty-something, I must read books about my fellow twenty-somethings sometimes.

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable
Expected publication: May 29th 2018
This is supposedly lighter historical fiction with a romantic bent about the relationship between John F. Kennedy and Alicia Corning Clark- I was intrigued, so I clicked Read Now.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Expected publication: July 17th 2018
I'm not into thrillers... but something about the description of this one hooked me. I hope it's as good as it sounds.

Currently Reading:

I am very slowly munching on this book, but I'm still loving it. It's a hard book to read, in some ways, because the magic system is intricate. I don't like to compare books (especially across age ranges), but it does remind me of Harry Potter.

Expected publication: March 27th 2018
I read the first in this series, How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced #1), last year, but I haven't read the second yet. Although I skipped one in the series, it still makes sense to me, though if you plan on reading this series (which is fantasy/paranormal romance) I would recommend starting with the first one and reading sequentially.

Blogger Event:

From Here

In case you're looking for a challenge, Let's Book About It and That One Girl Who Reads are hosting a Lost-A-Thon in April from the Twitter account OurLostLibrary and from That One Girl Who Reads's blog. It looks like a lot of fun, but I'm not sure if I'll be up for the challenge.

P.S. If you have book blogger events that you'd like me to share, feel free to contact me to put them on my Fortnightly Updates. I try to share book blog posts, but sometimes fibro-fog is just a beast!

In My Life:

Pictures Taken From My Kindle (AKA not the best, but...)
I am tending to my minion army, which I started back in February. I was upset at George (the cat) because he decided that my schizanthus flowers I put in the back room were his to play with (or rather, destroy). I've started over with the schizanthus and also started tomato seedlings (which are more sensitive to frost). I'm hoping everything will turn out well.

Are any ARCs sparking your attention?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Get To Know Me Book Tag (Better Late Than Never!)

Jamie @ The Last Page tagged me with this Get to Know Me tag that she wrote the questions for way back in July. Since I'm having a bit of a hard time punching out reviews, I may as well complete some of these tags that I've put off for so long! Feel free to tag yourselves!

Me, feverishly happy after the Killers' concert, AKA best day of my life so far

About Me

Name: Litha

Birthday: July 6th

Eye Color: Blue, but going kind of gray lately

Hair Color: My natural hair color is light-ish ash brown, my chosen hair color is bordello red (AKA L'Oreal Paris's Feria "Cherry Crush"- it's darkish red with a hot pink undertone).

Tattoos: None, but I would consider a few of them.

Piercings: I used to have "normal" piercings in my ears, but I let them heal. I tend to overuse  bracelets and necklaces, so I probably don't need earrings too.

Torrie the Mini Direwolf


Eating / Drinking: Rooibos tea mixed with a bit of masala tea spice.

Wearing: Dark jeans, black ankle boots, and a mauve/subdued rose blouse with puff sleeves. For jewelry, I'm wearing my usual triquetra charm bracelet my aunt bought for me before she passed and a faux bling flower bauble necklace.

Single or Taken: Happily a bachelorette. 

Pets: I have Torrie the mini direwolf, George the mini sabertooth, and Leia the weirdest dog ever. They all came from the shelter, and they all are very... interesting.

Reading: I'm trying to get through The Philosopher's Flight by Tom Miller, which makes it sound onerous, but it's actually so fascinating that I am taking my time to soak up all the details.

Watching: Psych (season 1-rewatching), Bones (the last season- I'm trying to pace myself on this rewatch), and #MeToo Now What? on PBS (which can be streamed for free if you're in the States).

Oscar Wilde being Oscar Wilde

My Favorites

Color: Purple, blue, and red (choosing one would be impossible!)

Hobbies: Gardening, reading, listening to music, and occasionally gaming.

Authors: Margaret Atwood, Oscar Wilde, Octavia E. Butler, and too many others to name.

Book Genres: Fantasy, sci-fi, and historical (with an emphasis on Gothic books). I like most things with a romantic bent to them, but sometimes I get burnt out by it.

Food & beverages: Right now I've been only eating high protein things and drinking tea because I've been so nauseous that I don't feel like eating. However, the exception to that rule appears to be dark chocolate (70%+ proof).

Television Shows: House M.D., Bones, Inspector Lewis, Sherlock, and Psych. I am a detective show junkie.

Films: The Princess Bride, Moulin Rouge, Pan's Labyrinth, V for Vendetta, and Rent.

Leia being a porch puppy

Reading Habits

Where is your favorite place to read? In the summer I tend to read while out on my porch, in the winter I (boringly) read inside instead of gathering icicles as a frozen statue on my front porch.

Do you ever read ahead or skip pages: The only time I recall doing this was with the final Harry Potter book. I read the final page to reassure myself.

Physical Books or Ebooks? I love physical books, but with my syringomyelia I have a hard time grasping them properly. I love ebooks for the convenience, and for the fact that my tablet is easier to grasp and takes more hard falls gracefully than any of my pretty physical copies.

Audiobooks? I only "read" audiobooks when I buy them along with a Kindle book- I'm hooked on visual learning.

Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends: This is a tough one, so I will give my middle-school self answer: Luthe from The Hero and the Crown!

My Angst Post from 2017's SSEP

My Future

Marriage: I could take it or leave it. I think as a kid who saw many dysfunctional and unhappy marriages around me, I'm more into commitment than I am ceremonial commitment. Plus, the divorce rate in the U.S. is yikes!.

Children: I love kids, but with my disabilities I'd worry about keeping up. I'd definitely need a partner in crime if I were to have children, or just adopt older kids. I have, of course, considered becoming a cat "child" hoarder, but George would be unhappy with that decision.

Career: Someday (someday!) I will finish off some of my books and publish them. Because I have a shelf-full of semi-done manuscripts, but all of them need a harsh dusting with a flamethrower. Otherwise, I have no current prospects- college would freak me out too much (for reasons) and I have embraced autodidactism to the point I get into arguments with a lot of college folks for education shaming. Not everyone can afford college, and even if it were affordable, a piece of paper with my name on it would mean nothing to me hanging on the wall. A piece of my own art would mean so much more.

Where Do You Want to Live? I would love to live in a bigger city than the one that I live in now. I hate having to travel 4 hours (there and back again) for my medical care.

What are your pursuits/goals for 2018? Which books are your favorites so far this year?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

My Favorite Reads of 2017

I read a total of 85 books in 2017. Here are some of my favorites:


Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Rating: 5 Stars
This is poetry, and though I rarely read poetry anymore, it was exactly what I needed to help me get through 2017. Fair warning though- it does have themes of sexual assault.

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
Rating: 4.5 Stars
I loved how deeply the magical realism was interwoven with the Chinese culture and mythology in this book. I was on the edge of 5 Stars with The Ghost Bride, but I felt it could've had a little bit more to the book.

Windhaven by George R.R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle
Rating: 4 Stars
An interesting sci-fi fantasy mix that revolves around the concept of winged messengers- and what a concept! This one is good for when you need something interesting but familiar, because it has some ideas that remind me of other books.

Series Books:

The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic Prequel) by Alice Hoffman
Rating: 5 Stars
Sometimes you read a book exactly when you need it- I had put off reading this one because I thought it would take all of 3 days. Then my grandma died, and things got sticky. It was difficult to read this book because it deals with grief and growing up, but it was perfect for me at the time.

Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb
Rating: 4 Stars
If I had not read this book in 2017, I wouldn't have had the fortitude to write what I did in February. I think that this book, although most would label this entire series a silly romance with sci-fi elements, did as much work for me as Rupi Kaur's poetry. Heroines with difficult pasts help readers with difficult pasts. If you like romance and sci-fi, give this a read- as long as you are okay with violence and sex.

Parable of the Sower (Earthseed #1) by Octavia E. Butler
Rating: 4 Stars
I did a buddy read with this one, but never got around to a review. Suffice to say, as a Butler novel it was dark and dystopian, but it ended on an interesting note. I will have to read the next in the series soon.

Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews
Rating: Both 4.5 Stars
These books were so good I read them twice. If you like paranormal romance or urban fantasy with kooky creatures, I definitely recommend starting with Burn for Me (the first in this series).

Mockingbird, Vol. 1: I Can Explain (Mockingbird (2016) #1)
Mockingbird, Vol. 2: My Feminist Agenda (Mockingbird (2016) #2) by Chelsea Cain (Author), Kate Niemczyk (Illustrations), and Joëlle Jones (Cover Artist)
Ratings: 4 Stars, and 5 Stars
I don't read a lot of graphic novels, and typically I avoid superhero books, too, so when I ended up hooked on the Mockingbird books it was a surprise. When I ended up rating My Feminist Agenda 5 Stars (my first five star read of 2017), I was a bit confused. Nonetheless, if you like humor and action with a touch of romance, these books may be up your alley.

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal (Ms. Marvel TPB #1) by G. Willow Wilson (Author) and Adrian Alphona (Artist)
Rating: 4 Stars
Another solid graphic novel that helped me get through the dark days of 2017, Ms. Marvel is fresh, fun, and thought-provoking. If you've ever wondered what it might be like to be a Muslim teen, I think Ms. Marvel gives you a fairly accurate picture.

Honorable Reread:

Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Rating: 4.5 Stars
One night, I was having a very hard time with the fact that my grandma was continually in decline, and this book really helped stop that despair. As I wrote in my Goodreads review (linked above), I can only hope to someday write books powerful enough to stop tears in their tracks.

Since it's now March (and you've had adequate time to reflect), which books were your favorite reads of 2017?

(P.S. I switched all my comments to Disqus and I will be monitoring/previewing all of them before posting. Thanks for your patience!)
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