Cheers to the Weekend 12.7.18
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Around the Web

A roundup of 2018’s best debut novels, have you read any? I’ve been anxious to get to the second one!

If you’re looking to reach your reading goal by the end of the year, here’s a list of short novels to help you.

I absolutely love storylines with quirky old protagonists, this list just changed my TBR.

I’ll be cozying up this weekend with this fluffy heated blanket and a good book!

All the holiday books for the rest of the month for me please!

I don’t personally agree with this list of books that deserved hype and those that didn’t. What are your thoughts on it?!

Are you on the bookish naughty or nice list?!

Instagram

Corinne has a lovely feed, with so many good books, a cute kitty, and insightful captions

I love finding guys who aren’t afraid to share their bookish side, a stellar beard helps too!

When each book post feels like a little adventure into new and different books


What We're Reading

Michaela - War and Peace, I’m 350 pages from the end and I WILL FINISH this month!

Rikki - Still reading A Little Life along with Too Loud A Solitude, and then it’s on to my stack of holiday books!

Bookish Stocking Stuffers
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It never fails that every single year I am rushing to fill stockings with meaningful, useful gifts. There are a trillion lists out there, all promising to be something you’ll love, and still, they aren’t. If you’re anything like us, you’re rushing out to find those last minute gifts or stocking stuffers, and these are things we would (OR DO) genuinely purchase for ourselves or loved ones, and truly believe they’re worthy of mentioning.

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This set of Penguin Classics is my most treasured and I look forward to pulling out a book from it each and every year. I can’t recommend these enough! They can be wrapped all together or individually (they’re perfectly sized for a mid-sized stocking!

The prettiest way to mark pages with quotes you want to remember or simply as a bookmark, I use these constantly! Sometimes they pop up in the Dollar Spot area of Target, too.

Perfectly on trend and super cute, these can be found all over and are fun statements to pin onto coats, collars, totes, and bulletin boards. This is another good one!

You know how much we love cocktails and books, it’s only perfect to have these to choose from; a variety of authors and books, these are beautiful and unique statement pieces to add to your home barware collection to reflect your literary tastes.

All the cozy socks this time of year! Anyone else stock up on cute and comfy socks? Just me?! Surely not. I’m already stocking up on these literary ones and some for my kids, too! Banned books, Eric Carlile, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and these book stacks.

These is the classiest bookish phone case I’ve seen yet. Again, you can find pretty much any book or book themed case online if you poke around a little bit, and a case is useful AND cute. Win-win!

How perfect is this Kate Spade pouch? Keep all your accessories neat and together in your bag, or store extra bookmarks and page flags on your desk!

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Have any great ideas for stocking stuffers? Leave them in the comments!

Cozy Reader Bundle | Page One Books

We are fully into cozy season, friends! December has brought us cold days and colder nights, and frankly, all anyone around here wants to do is curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea and a book. When Page One Books reached out to us about trying out their Cozy Reader Bundle this season, of course we said yes, and honestly I think this is the one of the best boxes we’ve ever been gifted. Do you guys have any cozy essentials? We’ve been talking about ways to cozy up your reading space lately, and this box hit a lot of our must-haves.

A big box showed up, and after a few quick swipes of a knife, we had it open and found ourselves unwrapping perfect item after perfect item, all from brands we know and love. An Obvious State mug? Yes please! Coffee, bath bombs, bookish socks, chocolate and candles? Double yes! And a book, of course a book. Half the fun of Page One is that they hand select a book for you, and if you’ve already read it, or own it, no problem, just let them know and a replacement will be sent out at no extra charge.

We received a copy of Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie by Nancy Mitford, a humorous classic we are both excited to dive into this season. You all know how much we love a good classic!

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This box provided everything you could possibly need to have the warmest, coziest reading evening (or morning, if you’re Rikki) of your life. Plus, it’s available for easy holiday gifting if you have someone bookish on your list that could use some pampering and extra care. We love Page One for their ability to provide a true experience with their boxes, instead of just a random assortment of stuff you won’t really use.

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I can’t think of a better gift for a bookish friend or family member, especially if they’re the hard-to-shop-for type.

Be sure to use code BIBLIO for 10% off and grab one just in time for the holidays!

Wrap Up | November 2018
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Michaela

War and Peace | Leo Tolstoy- The end is drawing closer! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m still thoroughly enjoying this book, even if it’s taking me forever. I admit that I’m generally a pretty fast reader, and am very used to being able to knock out a book in a day or two. This book has been a little humbling, because not only do I kind of need to be in the right headspace to read it because of it’s density, it’s also much slower going than most books. Because of that, though I’ve really sat with these characters and their journeys in a way I don’t sit with most books, and I appreciate it. This one will definitely stick with me for a long time, I can tell.

Good Omens | Terry Pratchett + Neil Gaiman- While this was irreverent and fun enough, it was 90% dialogue which left no room for any kind of atmosphere or really any kind of actual plot. It’s going on my “meh” list and definitely doesn’t feel like the Gaiman I know and love. We went to book club for this one, which was actually helpful, and had it confirmed from Pratchett readers that the book sounded more like him. I give them credit for how much fun they apparently had writing it together, and try to remember it was written in the 1980’s—long before Gaiman really became himself. I’m looking forward to the TV series, because its style of humor should translate well to the screen.

Rikki

A Piece of the World | Christina Baker Kline - Having enjoyed Orphan Train, I had been looking forward to this book for awhile. It’s a very interesting story to say the least. However, I do wish I’d read this years ago. With the place I’m at right now in my reading life, this book didn’t hold up with the prose. I enjoyed it, but really wanted to love it, nor did I like the ending, which felt very unfinished.

Good Omens | Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman - Well, this book is certainly not representative of the Gaiman I know and love. It’s fun, a little offensive, and humorous, but wasn’t for me at this time. I do think it’ll make a fun tv series, so I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Update: A Little Life | Hanya Yanagihara - What more can I say about this book? I love it wholeheartedly. Yanagihara has an incredible talent for writing that is everything I want in every novel I ever read. The entire book is intelligent and clever, and despite the immense difficulty of abuse and heartbreak in this novel, I’d read it again and again. I’m down to the last third of the book and look forward to its conclusion next month.

Cheers to the Weekend 11.30.18
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It’s the last day of November. Is anyone else feeling complete disbelief that it’s nearly December?! I’ve been struggling to accept the changing seasons and holidays since early fall. I know, I need to get with it already! Thankfully, Christmas decor is slowly creeping out of hiding and taking over every open space, so it’s really only a matter of time. You just can’t ignore the warm ambiance of those twinkling lights! We both have plans to get Christmas trees this weekend with our families, and Michaela has the first holiday party of the season to attend on Saturday night. What are you up to this weekend, friends? Has anyone else started decorating?

Around the Web

Picture books for Christmas for the kiddos in your life. I love checking out a bunch from the library for mine!

Are you ready to scroll through winter book lists and find the perfect cozy tale to get you through? Ready or not, here it comes!

Do you agree that this is the most literary country?

Bad People Book Club’s November book pick, cocktail pairing, and a boozy afternoon.

Another round up of the best books of 2018. I can’t stop peeking at these selections!

Seasonal cocktails to get you through the busy holiday?! Yes please!

It’s time to tackle that Christmas shopping list, we’re here to help!

Instagram

I never tire of seeing how people place books in their lives. I learn of so many good, new-to-me books from Huda.

Looking down at new contemporary books with Melissa

Bookish adventures and solid reviews from Laur make us the happiest.

What We're Reading

Michaela - Broken record here….War and Peace! Still chugging away, still loving it, and the end is near!

Rikki - I’m so happy to be back to finishing the last half of Other People’s Love Affairs, along with the last third of A Little Life. Despite saying I didn’t want to pick up anything else, I’ve also started Uprooted and A Place for Us, we’ll see if I actually commit to finishing either one.

Bad People Book Club | November 2018
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*We were sent this box in exchange for an honest review, and of course, all opinions are wholly our own. You can see our policy right here

November’s book pick for the Bad People podcast (available wherever you listen to podcasts) is The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. This custom cocktail was easily one of our favorites; made with a tea cake, Pellegrino, spices, and whiskey. It was so delicious!

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We’ve said so many times how great it is to get together for a fun unboxing, always anxious to see what the book is, and especially what the cocktail is. Each drink card comes with a list of ingredients (which are included in the box), how to make it, and then details about how the drink relates to the book based on its origin. Interesting, right?!

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I have a few friends I think this box will be the perfect Christmas gift for. It’s such a fun, unique concept. Last year, my husband gifted me a subscription box that I’d had my eye on for awhile, and let me tell you, it is so fun to get gifts even after the holidays are over. There are so many good options out there, but Bad People Book Club is pretty perfect to send to just about any one, or even for yourself!

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If this sounds like something you need in your life (and you know it is), you can use our code ARDENT10 for 10% off your order. Cheers, friends!

Cheers to the Weekend 11.23.18
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*some links are affiliate, we deeply appreciate your support

Happy Thanksgiving weekend friends! We’re entertaining family and enjoying plenty of good, homemade food, while looking forward to breaking out those Christmas decorations. Have an amazing weekend. We are truly so thankful for you!

Around the Web

An excellent list of family stories to read over Thanksgiving break. Number six is a sure favorite!

If you have to take a break from reading, here are some fun games to play.

A lovely sentiment of thanks for the books we read and the people who write them.

A wonderful nod to Native American writers and the beautiful books they’ve put into the world.

Last minute Thanksgiving dinner inspiration and a look at a simple and lovely table setup.

Don’t forget to check out our gift guide while you’re Black Friday shopping!

NY Times has shared the most notable books of 2018. If I’m honest, I’ve only read one of them. Yikes!

Instagram

A fellow graduate student, writer, and reader of good books. I especially love her scenic countryside views.

Jane has such a simple and lovely feed, I find I’m always curious what she’ll post next.

Warm tones, coffee, and open books we’d love to crawl right into.


What We're Reading

Michaela - You can’t be surprised that I’m still reading War and Peace, and as you know, Good Omens for book club.

Rikki - I won’t even lie, I can’t stop reading A Little Life. It’s so beautiful and I’m anxious to know what the conclusion looks like. Meanwhile, I’m slowly reading Good Omens, hoping to fly through it post holiday festivities.

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Readers
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It's dark by 4:30 and raining most days here in the PNW, but this it the time of year our city feels the warmest and the lightest, because the holidays are just on the horizon. Wreaths on street lamps and decadent store front windows remind us that we are all suddenly facing the task of choosing gifts for our loved ones that they will actually enjoy.

Personally, we look at gift-giving as a chance to buy our loved ones some kind of luxury that they will use regularly, but wouldn't buy for themselves. We approached this guide with this in mind and came up with a list full of actually useful, wonderful things to enhance anyone's reading life.

Oh, and this list is 100% free of hideous randomness that was deemed "bookish" because it has an ugly picture of a book on it, we promise! 

*Some links are affiliate, we deeply appreciate your support!

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A Pretty Set of Books

Have you guys noticed the insane variety of absolutely stunning editions of classic novels that are out in the world recently? They’d be absolutely perfect on any book shelf.

We’re especially partial to these or these, and literally anything from Folio Society. Oh and did you notice that there are new Penguin Clothbounds out?? We want them all.

If you have a Harry Potter lover on your list, these are just the coolest. Or go for the more colorful set, which might even be more wonderful.

For the sci-fi lover, the Penguin Galaxy collection is stunning.

A Bit of Decor

Need something small and festive to hang on their tree?

Plus, how amazing are these vintage book planters??! 

If you have a candle snob on your list, check out my very favorite winter scented candle in alllllll the land. I love candles in my room for reading ambiance; it feels decadent and relaxing. 

Need more light? Try this seriously amazing lamp. Also, a simple, but highly functional little reading light is often best thing.

We've had our eye on these book letters for awhile now, and these are the most affordable ones we've seen yet!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a book lover is always in want of quality paper goods, and this is the one thing I have to have every year.

Literary Lifestyle Enhancers

A completely #bookstagram worthy mug or this tea set for two so they can cozy up with their book (this is one of our favorites) and favorite hot beverage this winter.

While we’re talking about mugs, check out this stay-hot-all-day contraption I’m coveting, or this lower tech version they can take on the go!

Trust us: some quality loungewear and a cozy blanket go a long way in creating a comfortable reading environment.

While you're at it with all the cozy vibes, why not slippers too and maybe this book that became an instant favorite this year?

Most bookworms we know track their reading, so try a pretty notebook or a bullet journal for them to log their TBRs. You could even get them a whole reading journal kit.

How about a convenient, sleek little thing that will hold your book open for you? It’s a game changer, and that rose gold is too gorgeous.

custom-made cover for their laptop/tablet/e-reader, etc can be both functional and beautiful. I have one similar to this and use it on the daily to transport my laptop.

Do they have a kick-ass tote bag to take to the library or to their local bookstore? We love all of the Obvious State totes, they're so pretty! Plus, their bookmarks are so good.

We cannot tell you how difficult it is to find modern book ends, and like most bookworms, we bet your loved one has many a shelf in dire need of them. And if you have little ones, I actually got my son some similar to these for Christmas last year and they're currently holding back a stack of his favorite pop up books

Enamel pins have been really trendy lately, and while there are a ton of really ugly ones, we think this one is perfect.

I've personally gone through 4 e-readers in the past 10 years, starting with Nook and moving to Kindle (which I vastly prefer) and while I'm primarily a physical book reader, I really really appreciate the convenience of my Kindle Paperwhite, especially for reading in bed at night and not bothering my husband. If you have an avid reader on your list who doesn't have an e-reader yet, it might be worth a look. Kindles generally go on sale for Black Friday, so keep an eye out! 

A protective case is a must-have accessory, in our opinion (maybe we're just clumsy). I currently have this simple one, but have got my eye on this elegant leather one. Cases can get as wild, colorful, and personalized as you want, if that's more their style!


What are you gifting the bookworms on your list this holiday season?



Rikki RiveraComment
Black Friday Book Deals
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If you’re going to be shopping Black Friday this year, check out our master list of the best book deals! Most online retailers are running sales all week, so it’s probably worth checking them out during the next couple days.

  • Barnes and Noble has a landing page dedicated to their Black Friday sale, that will reveal the deals! The in-store deals look like they will include signed copies, and 50% off a wide range of books. They’re also slashing the prices on their Nook e-readers and are giving you a $10 gift card for every $50 in gift cards you purchase.

  • Amazon has deals rotating hourly all week. Watch for book coupons and e-book deals especially, and for the Kindle to go on sale, because generally they do! I usually add items to my wishlist and then monitor them to see if they go on sale through the week.

  • Target made their Black Friday ad available online so you can peruse that and see if you spot anything you have to have. If you have a Red Card you can get early access to the sale, RIGHT NOW!

  • Half Price Books has 20% off everything with the code FRIDAY18 starting NOW online and in-store on Friday. They also are offering a free $5 gift card for each $25 gift card you purchase.

  • Book Depository is doing deals all week. Check out the separate deals pages for Wednesday, Thursday, and of course, Friday which was revealed this morning!

  • Thrift Books is offering 20% off $20 or more with the code SALE20

  • Book Outlet is running a site-wide additional 30% off deal starting Thursday morning!

  • Books A Million is running a bunch of different deals. Including BOGO on signed editions, buy 2 get 1 free on a wide variety of books, and some various discount codes. They’re doing a sliding scale, so $10 off $50 code 10SALE50, $20 off $100 code 20SALE100, and $50 off $200 code 50SALE200.

  • Better World Books has 30% off 3 or more used books with the code BOOKFRIDAY18

  • The Strand is offering 10% off $100, 15% off $150, and 20% off $200. Plus if you spend $75 you get a free holiday tote!

It’s also definitely worth noting that your local bookstore will probably have Black Friday or Small Business Saturday deals, so definitely check them out!

Cozying Up Your Reading Space for Winter
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Ready or not, cold weather is upon us. I mean that literally: it SLEETED this morning here in the PNW and we are looking at freezing temperatures at night this week. The gray and the cold and the rain really get me down in the wintertime, and I’ve found that the best guard against seasonal depression is making sure I really love being in my indoor space since I’m forced to spend so much more time in it. This season, there are a few things I did to really cozy up my reading space (and my house) for the gray days to come.

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Blankets

A good, cozy blanket can go a long way whether you’re curled up in your favorite chair, sprawled on the couch, or huddled in bed under the covers. I’ve been trending toward darker colors this season and recently picked up this one to add some color to my space, though this and this also look fantastically cozy.

Pillows

I’m always surprised at how much pillows can refresh a space! I recently upgraded my back pillows on my bed, and swapped out my couch pillows for some fun seasonal ones. I love this fun faux fur option, this cozy sweater one, and this classically festive one! I also own and love this one, it’s the perfect size.

Candles

This candle, though a bit of a splurge, has lasted me two winter seasons and counting, and I am legit obsessed with the ambiance the mercury glass gives when it’s lit. I love Illume candles the mostest most, and I’ve been eyeing this new scent for winter. I also really enjoy clustering candles together for the cozy feel of a big pool of candlelight. I wish I had a fireplace, but this does the trick when I need some extra cozy in my space! One scented candle is plenty, but I love this lantern, and these votives to put with it!

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Mugs + Tea

I can’t drink coffee past about noon (sob!), so an essential part of my cozy reading time is a comfy mug and a favorite caffeine-free tea. I like mugs that are rounded with good sized handles and that are big enough to have my drink last a while, but not so big that it goes cold while I’m drinking it. I recently ordered this one because it reminds me of the Metro, but my time tested favorites are a hodgepodge mix. I admit I am super tempted to try one of these though!

As for teas, Harney & Son’s have consistently produced some of my favorite flavors, and I especially love this cinnamon one, and this peppermint one. I swear by this bedtime tea, too. Valerian is no joke, friends! I use this tea to keep my sleep schedule on track when the dark days throw me off and I find myself staying up way too late reading.

Flowers

One of my favorite things to add are fresh flowers, they make my house feel so much more alive and cheerful. I’m obsessed with Farmgirl Flowers, but a few bunches from Trader Joe’s or a bouquet from the Farmer’s Market usually fit my budget much better. If you do have the budget for a florist, definitely look into some local options! Our local faves are Fleurae and Berges Blooms if you’re in the Tacoma area. A few cute new plants do a lot of good too, and Jade and Co. have an amazing and unique selection.

A Pretty Stack of Books

While my shelves are fully stocked, I love to have a stack of new books to keep near, or pretty editions to look at, or even a collection of short stories for easy reading. Nestled in next a warm cup of tea on the coffee table, on a side table, or wherever suits, it adds a bit of interest and always adds inspiration! I really love when company drops by and sifts through, bonus points if they’ve read one of the books! Plus, you can switch them out for new ones anytime. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, these are a must.

What are your cozy must-haves in the winter?





Michaela DevineComment