The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….

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TBR At A Glance – 3/16/18

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m actually ahead of my reading schedule. Everything I wanted to read this month I finished up this week, which is shocking and unusual. So I’m actually going to get a jump-start on the books I have planned to read for April, mostly because those books are 300/400+ pages each.

You can follow me on Goodreads to stay up-to-date on what I’m reading. Are you on Goodreads? Let’s connect!

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Currently Reading

  • Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan (Brotherband Chronicles, book 5)


Reading Next

  • The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan (Brotherband Chronicles, book 6)
  • The Caldera by John Flanagan (Brotherband Chronicles, book 7)
  • Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega, book 5)


Recent Reviews


Reviews Coming Soon

  • March 20 – Blood Veil by Megan Erickson (ARC review)
  • March 22 or 29? – The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee by Deborah Abela (ARC review)

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Women’s History Month 2018: My Favorite Female Characters

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For today’s post, I wanted to recognize female characters who I admire and view as trailblazers in their own way.

Encompassing a wide span of ages and circumstance, these character have shaped not only how I see things but the world in which they live in. Within their stories, they have proven to be resilience, courage, and heart in the face of adversity that would have otherwise kept them in a prescribe box.

I love these characters for their strength and vitality. I am fascinated by how they choose to navigate the world. I admire how they are able to rise up after being knocked down countless times in order to overcome – not just for themselves but for others. And I respect the good – big and small – that they leave behind long after their stories are over.

*I left out the why to avoid spoilers but included my reviews posted for if you wanted an inkling of why I put certain characters on this list.


Alanna of Trebond
from Song of the Lioness quartet – Tamora Pierce

Keladry of Mindelan
from Protector of the Small quartet – Tamora Pierce
Lady Night (book 4)

Thayet jian Wilima
from Torall universe – Tamora Pierce

Beka Cooper
from Beka Cooper trilogy – Tamora Piercce
Mastiff (book 3)

Yelena Zaltana
from Study series – Maria V. Snyder
Shadow Study (book 4) | Night Study (book 5) | Dawn Study (book 6)

from Study series – Maria V. Snyder

Irys Jewelrose
from Study series – Maria V. Snyder

Miranda Grey
from A Shadow World Novel series – Dianne Sylvan

from Star of the Morning, The Mage’s Daughter, Princess of the Sword (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms series) – Lynn Kurland

from Snow Like Ashes trilogy – Sara Raasch
Snow Like Ashes (book 1) | Ice Like Fire (book 2) | Frost Like Night (book 3)

Rhoma Grace
from Zodiac quartet – Romina Russell
Zodiac (book 1)| Wandering Star (book 2) | Black Moon (book 3)

Libby Strout
from Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven

Sorcha of Sevenwaters
from Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters series) – Juliet Marilier

Maeve of Sevenwaters
from Flame of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters series) – Juliet Marillier

from Mustaches for Maddie – Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

My question to you: Who are your favorite female characters and why?

And, As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Reading 2017: Best of Middle Grade & My Favorite Book of the Year

by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Image via NetGalley

Read my ARC review here.

I’ve mentioned this book a lot since the summer. Mustaches for Maddie just left such a profound impression on me that it was a no brainer as to which book I thought was the best middle grade book and best book of 2017. I highly recommend this book. It’s incredible.


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2018 TBR List (SNEAK PEEK)

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These are all potential reads but I really would like to read them all over the course of next year.

This list doesn’t included manga as I’ve already talked about them in a previous post, and nor does this include any NetGalley ARCs as those aren’t guaranteed (but I do I have a list of ARCs I’m interested in when the time comes). I do have one ARC I’ll be reviewing next month – Baby, I’m Howling For You by Christine Warren. My 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge was 30 books, which I surpassed, so I’m thinking my 2018 goal should be between 40-50 books.

I’m excited for the possibilities and adventures this list holds.


*In no particular order


Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan (Brotherband, book 5)
The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan (Brotherband, book 6)
The Caldera by John Flanagan (Brotherband, book 7)

River of Dreams by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 8)
Dreamer’s Daughter by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 9)

Slathbog’s Gold by Mark Forman

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughley (Effigies, book 2)

The Winter King by C. L. Wilson (Weathermages of Mystral, book 1)

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, book 3)

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (book 1)

Slammed by Colleen Hoover (Slammed, book 1)

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen, book 1)

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Wild Orchids by Jude Deveraux


The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (The Books of Bayern, book 1)

With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland
A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland
The More I See You by Lynn Kurland

Shadowflame by Dianne Sylvan (A Shadow World Novel, book 2)

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan (Ranger’s Apprentice, book 1)

Mister Monday by Garth Nix (Keys to the Kingdom, book 1)

Fire by Kristin Cashore (Graceling, book 2 | Prequel)

Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Touch, book 1)

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (The Heir Chronicles, book 1)

The Green and the Gray by Timothy Zahn



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NetGalley Book Review: The Song of Seven by Tonke Dragt, Translated by Laura Watkinson

Thank you to NetGalley and Pushkin Children’s Books for providing me with an e-copy to read and review.


Image via NetGalley | First Published in 1966

Genre: Middle Grade, Children’s Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes


Summary (via NetGalley):
An exciting new stand-alone adventure by the internationally bestselling author of The Letter for the King.

Seven paths, seven unlikely friends, and one extraordinary adventure featuring magicians, secret passages, conspiracies, hidden treasures, a black cat with green eyes and a sealed parchment which predicts the future.

At the end of every schoolday, new teacher Mr Van der Steg entertains his pupils with tall tales of incredible events, which he claims really happened to him – involving hungry lions and haunted castles, shipwrecks and desert islands. One day, when he can’t think of anything suitably exciting to tell them, he invents a story about a very important letter which he’s expecting that evening, with news of a perilous mission. Evening arrives and so, to his surprise, does an enigmatic letter…

And so Mr Van der Steg is drawn into a real-life adventure, featuring a grumpy coachman, a sinister uncle, eccentric ancestors, a hidden treasure, an ancient prophecy and Geert-Jan, a young boy who is being kept prisoner in the mysterious House of Stairs.


My Review:
The Song of Seven by Tonke Dragt was a true joy to read. It is perhaps the most exciting fairytale mystery/adventure I have ever read.

Yes, it is that good.

So good that the only thing I felt compelled to do was sit back, relax, and read – and write down names here and there (there are a lot of names to remember!). I constantly had to know what would happen next.

The story is compelling right from is ordinary and humble beginnings. The main character, Frans van der Steg (love his name!), goes from teaching and telling stories to his young class to finding himself in the middle of what could only be described as a story come to life. And certainly not something Frans could ever conjure on his own. The whole thing is ridiculous and wild (in a good way), as Frans would agree, but even he can’t escape the magic and mystery of the events that unfold.

The only thing I’m still confounded about is how someone (Frans) could forget a certain something of particular importance for 300+ pages time and time again. It was funny at times but, my goodness, I felt bad for the man.

Truly, The Song of Seven is an unexpectedly wonderful story of truly unimaginable proportions.



(My) Top Favorite Stand-Alone Novels (Not A Part Of A Series)

Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris, Shelly Brown | To Be Published: October 3, 2017

My ARC Review: “Mustaches for Maddie is everything: charming, imaginative, funny, beautiful, heartwarming. Based on a true story about the authors’ daughter, Maddie, this novel will give you strength in your darkest times and prove that mustaches make everything better and funnier.”

The Green and the Gray by Timothy Zahn

Summary via Goodreads: Tree-hiding Greens and mountain-hiding Grays hide in Manhattan, alien refugees from a cataclysmic war, until two teens from opposing sides find both species have survived. On a cold October night, Roger and Caroline Whittier accept an unexpected burden at gunpoint: Melantha Green 12, the Peace Child ready to die, prevented by NYPD Detective Thomas Fierenzo.

All Things New by Lauren Miller

My ARC Review: “What Jessa is going through is unfortunately more common than not. How she thinks, feels, behaves, and perceives things is exactly what someone with panic attacks and anxiety experiences. It’s an honest and raw portrayal of teenage mental health issues and mental health in general. She is a very relatable character even if you haven’t fully experienced all that she has.”

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Sumamry via Goodreads: As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin

My ARC Review: “Hannah Bucchin’s debut novel, Paintbrush, was a delightful story that had me falling in love with the characters, on the edge of my seat with its plot, and feel all the feels with its touch of romance. This was a big win for me. And I look forward to reading more from her.”

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My Review:Eleanor & Park is a fantastic story of acceptance and first love. It’s a beautiful tale, so raw and open about the emotions the two title characters go through as their relationship with each other and those around them progresses and changes.”

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Summary via Goodreads: The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given: to protect this young slaveholder until he can father her own great-grandmother.

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

Summary via Goodreads: After the Russian revolution turns her world topsy-turvy, Anna, a young Russian Countess, has no choice but to flee to England. Penniless, Anna hides her aristocratic background and takes a job as servant in the household of the esteemed Westerholme family, armed only with an outdated housekeeping manual and sheer determination.

Desperate to keep her past a secret, Anna is nearly overwhelmed by her new duties—not to mention her instant attraction to Rupert, the handsome Earl of Westerholme. To make matters worse, Rupert appears to be falling for her as well. As their attraction grows stronger, Anna finds it more and more difficult to keep her most dearly held secrets from unraveling. And then there’s the small matter of Rupert’s beautiful and nasty fiancé…

A Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson

Summary via Goodreads: For nineteen-year-old Harriet Morton, life in 1912 Cambridge is as dry and dull as a biscuit. Her stuffy father and her oppressive aunt Louisa allow her only one outlet: ballet. When a Russian ballet master comes to class searching for dancers to fill the corps of his ballet company before their South American tour, Harriet’s world changes. Defying her father’s wishes and narrowly escaping the clutches of the man who wishes to marry her, Harriet sneaks off to join the ballet on their journey to the Amazon. There, in the wild, lush jungle, they perform Swan Lake in grand opera houses for the wealthy and culture-deprived rubber barons, and Harriet meets Rom Verney, the handsome and mysterious British exile who owns the most ornate opera house. Utterly enchanted by both the exotic surroundings and by Rom’s affections, Harriet is swept away by her new life, completely unaware that her father and would-be fiancé have begun to track her down… 

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Summary via Goodreads: Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged… until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister’s Keeper is the story of one family’s struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, Illustrated by Patricia Castelao

My Review:The One and Only Ivan surprised me. It reads like a lyrical diary but the tone and simplicity of each chapter shows that Ivan is an intelligent gorilla, as intelligent as a human (if not more, in his opinion). Anything Ivan points out, describes, compares and contrasts comes off as wise and/or humorous. A very quick read, The One and Only Ivan is a fun read for all.”

What are your favorite stand-alone novels?


Links to Images Used (In Order):  ~  [Mustaches for Maddie]  ~  [All Things New]  ~  [Paintbrush]


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September Happenings!

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H A P P Y   S E P T E M B E R !

It’s back to business. My brief break last week was somewhat rejuvenating but necessary. I got some things done but not everything I wanted to. Summer may technically still be here but for me it always feels over come September. Which is fine because there is lots to do and accomplished during the next four months.

Here’s what’s happening this month:


The Blog
Last month I only posted on certain days and I kind of enjoyed having that particular posting schedule. So for September, I’ll only be posting Sun/Mon/Tues/Fri/Sat. We’ll see how that goes.

I made minor changes to the sidebar of the blog. And over the past month or so you may have noticed that my book reviews and Happenings posts are slightly different. It’ll take time to get used to but I like the changes I’ve made. I was going to make a few more changes to the blog but I think this color scheme and theme really works for me and what The Bookshelf Corner is.


The TBR List
Last week I finished my Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge and I have a new TBR list ready to go. Once I finish the two books I’m currently reading, I’ll be reading four books all by Tamora Pierce. I was going to set another book-goal for this year but I think my goal is just going to be to finish every book I want to read before the year is over.

Currently Reading: Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan | The King’s Champion by Xina Marie Uhl (ARC)

Reading Next: Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce (The Circle Opens, book 1)


Novel Updates
Sadly, none to speak of. But I’m not giving up on these ideas.


Book Recommendation of the Month

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
(The Books of Bayern, book 1)
Published by Bloomsbury, November 3, 2003

Image via Goodreads

As always, happy reading and happy writing!