The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….

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Scholastic Book Fair Mini Haul

I attended a Scholastic Book Fair and brought home a few goodies. There were so many fantastic things that it was difficult not to buy more. I haven’t been to a book fair in a very long time so this was one of the biggest things that I was looking forward to this month.

Here’s what I got:


Crock Pot recipe book for my Mom (which I don’t have a picture of)

Two very adorable bookmarks


A Harry Potter Platform 9 3/4 Journal


Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Summary (via Goodreads): Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.


and…..Positively Izzy by Terri Libenson

Summary (via Goodreads): . . . Middle school is all about labels.

Izzy is the dreamer. There’s nothing Izzy loves more than acting in skits and making up funny stories. The downside? She can never quite focus enough to get her schoolwork done.

Bri is the brain. But she wants people to see there’s more to her than just a report card full of As. At the same time, she wishes her mom would accept her the way she is and stop bugging her to “break out of her shell” and join drama club.

The girls’ lives converge in unexpected ways on the day of a school talent show, which turns out to be even more dramatic than either Bri or Izzy could have imagined.




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TBR At A Glance

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Currently Reading

  • Sahara Special by Esmé Raji Codell
  • S●A – Special A by Maki Minami (Volume 5)
  • With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland (MacLeod, book 7)


Reading Next

  • Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Van Emmich, with Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul
  • A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers
  • S●A – Special A by Maki Minami (Volumes 6 & 7)


Recent Reviews


Reviews Coming Soon

  • October 20 – Sahara Special by Esmé Raji Codell

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10 Things That “Terrify” Book Nerds

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It’s finally October, which means the Fall season, changing leaves, pumpkins, pie, and, of course, Halloween and horror movies. It’s also the perfect month to tell scary stories…like the things that commonly “terrify” book nerds.

Torn Pages

When Someone Mistaken The Identity Of A Popular Fictional Character

Finishing A Book And Having To Wait A Whole Year Or More For The Next One

Dried Food Stuck To Pages

Letting Someone Borrow One Of Your Books

Price Stickers Covering Up The Synopsis On The Backs Of Books

(most) Love Triangles

When A Character You Love Dies

Not Having A Book With You When You Go Out

As a fellow books nerd, what bookish things “terrify” you? What would you add to this list?”

As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Weekend Writing Prompt #15

Horror Themed Short Stories: Write a short story using one of the following prompts below to begin the spooky tale.


  • There’s a reason why nobody ever goes into the forest that backs the town.

  • A single bell is the last thing you hear before….

  • Forget everything you thought you knew about ___________. Its not as true as you’ve been led to believe.

  • It only took 10,000 years for the dead to finally march their way back to the world of the living.

  • Seeing is believing. But be sure to heed what cannot be seen.

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Writing Advice From Horror & Science Fiction Authors (w/ commentary)

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Image via Goodreads

Edgar Allan Poe

“Nothing is more clear than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before any thing be attempted with the pen. It is only with the dénouement constantly in view that we can give a plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points, tend to the development of the intention.”

I do think it’s a good idea to at least have a synopsis or a complete summary of your story before beginning. It acts as a guide to keep you on track. It does not necessarily need to be specific on every plot point but prompt you to fully answer who, what, when, where, why, and how.

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Stephen King

“While to write adverbs is human, to write ‘he said’ or ‘she said’ is divine.”

This is something I learned later in life. I always thought the use of adverbs in dialogue tags was necessary (of course not for every tag). But now I see the divinity of ‘he said’ and ‘she said.’ It’s helped to make my writing more clear and characters more real.

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Sarah Langan

“What readers fear in their fiction is specific to their own experiences. It’s as personal as their senses of humor…It applies to the characters, too. For horror to pay, it’s got to hit home by messing with a character’s fears, ambitions, loves…Horror fiction ought to be exactly that personal.”

The reason we connect to a character or setting or moment in a story is because it rings true to a real life experience we’ve had. By tapping into those real human emotions and experiences, turning them upside down, and forcing readers to face that ring of truth do we create a story that sweeps readers off their feet and eventually return to the ground changed.

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of a void but out of chaos.”

I was once taught in a social studies class that “Necessity is the mother of invention.” “Out of chaos” comes a solution or an idea from which a character may use for good or evil purposes. A character’s wants and desires stem from somewhere. And we as writers exploit that very real thing and turn it into plot and conflict…a story. Every idea, every invention, has its roots.

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Octavia E. Butler

“I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining.”

Imagination knows no bounds and it allows us to explore the possible and impossible without restraint. Truth is in the eye of the beholder.

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Ray Bradbury

“I absolutely demand of you and everyone I know that they be widely read in every damn field there is; in every religion and every art form and don’t tell me you haven’t got time! There’s plenty of time. You need all of these cross-references. You never know when you head is going to use this fuel, this food for its purposes.”

The more you read the more knowledge you acquire that can enhance your story’s authenticity – be it a real contemporary setting or some fantastical supernatural world.

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George R.R. Martin

“It’s different for every writer. It’s not a career for anyone who needs security. It’s a career for gamblers. It’s a career of ups and downs.”

We choose to play this game for reasons unique to the self. Most writers have a day job. The life a writer isn’t easy. But that shouldn’t stop you from writing to your heart’s content.

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Kendare Blake

“My advice is to let the characters do the heavy lifting for you. Know them, and know them well. If they behave true to themselves, it will read authentically, rather than forced.”

Readers want to read about real people. We introduced them to carefully crafted people shaped to be hated, loved or admired.

Image via Goodreads

Alastair Reynolds

“One of the big breakthroughs I had as a writer was when I stopped agonizing over every word.”

This I still struggle with. I can’t help but agonize over every word, every detail, every plot point because I want it to be perfect. The first draft isn’t perfect – good. The story will get to where it needs to be after many revisions, trash cans full of crumpled paper, and several cups of coffee.

Image via Goodreads

Andy Weir

“A story in your head isn’t a story. it’s just a daydream until you actually write it down. So write it down.”

I try to jot down (anywhere) ideas that come to mind, especially those that give me pause and excitement. The feeling that “Oh my goodness I love this idea and it would make a great story!” Memory – even the best – is fleeting sometimes.

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Book Review: S●A – Special A by Maki Minami (Volumes 1-4)

Volume 1 Image via Goodreads

Genre: Manga, Graphic Novel
Series: S●A – Special A
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes


Volume 1 Summary (via Goodreads):
Her whole life, Hikari Hanazono has been consumed with the desire to win against her school rival, Kei Takishima–at anything. He always comes out on top no matter what he does, and Hikari is determined to do whatever it takes to beat this guy…somehow!

At age 6 Hikari lost to Kei in an impromptu wrestling match. Now, at 15, Hikari joins “Special A,” a group of the top seven students at a private academy, for the opportunity to trounce the guy who made her suffer her first defeat.


My Review:
This was everything I imagined it to be and more! The art and story were well done and funny. I am one happy book nerd.

The story isn’t that much different from the anime (which I watched first and have at least 3 or 4 times by now). The new and old material is so captivating and exciting to read. However, I would recommend reading the manga before watching the anime. The manga has a been a bit more in-depth and has fleshed out some information. I feel like I know the characters a lot more.

My only critique is that after Volume 1 it still recaps basic info about the school where the story takes place and who the main characters are. I can see this maybe being repeated in Volume 2 but I think after that readers can infer these things based on context clues if they need a refresher.

But I’m loving these books and can’t wait to see how everything plays out!