Hello, bookworms!

Hello, fellow bookworm!  I’m beginning the journey of transferring my Blogger book blog to WordPress.  Stick with me…hopefully soon my existing blog will be here and then new posts will (hopefully) follow.

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Like the bookshelf my husband made?  I display my favorites of the books I own.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they are my favorite stories, but physically they are my favorite books.  Some are just beautiful looking, some have sentimental value, and some are truly on my top favorites of all time list. There’s Poe, Bronte, Austen, Dickinson, Harper Lee, Alcott…

The Big Move

“Andrea’s Book Nook” has existed for eight and a half years on Blogger.  After creating a website on WordPress, I decided to take a big step and move from Blogger to WordPress.  Andrea’s Book Nook is becoming Carolina Book Nook.  Now that my young children are in school 4 days a week, I want to put more time and love into the Book Nook.  I hope it shows and that you have a good time browsing!

2016 Review

2016 was a pretty awful year for me, in both my personal and reading lives.  However, I did write a few review posts which was better than the previous year!  I’ll do the same thing I did last year and participate in the survey by The Perpetual Page-Turner as well as my general overview.

Challenges in which I particpated:
Full House Reading Challenge 2016  (finished 22 of 25)
Ultimate Reading Challenge 2016
What’s in a Name? 2016  (finished 2 of 6)
R.I.P. XI  (finished 4 of 4)

# of books read:
35
(down from 52 in 2015, 58 in 2014, 60 in 2013, 75 in 2012, 39 in 2011.  Up from 30 in 2010 & 28 in 2009.  Down from 48 in 2008 and 81 in 2007.)

Favorites (in order read):

The 100  by: Kass Morgan (young adult, sci-fi, #1 in series)
Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  (young adult, sci-fi, series)
Bone Gap  by: Laura Ruby  (young adult, magical realism)
Ready Player One  by: Ernest Cline  (young adult, sci-fi, post apocalyptic)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  by: Rachel Joyce  (adult fiction)
Black-Eyed Susans  by: Julia Heaberlin (adult fiction, mystery, suspense)
Crooked Kingdom  by: Leigh Bardugo  (young adult, fantasy, #2 in series)
Gemina  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff  (young adult, sci-fi, #2 in series)

Least favorite:
Nothing was awful this year, but my lowest rated were:
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall  by: Katie Alender
The Zookeeper’s Wife  by: Diane Ackerman

# of non-fiction:
4

Repeated authors:
Patrick Rothfuss (2) (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (2) (The Illuminae Files)

Number of books you read: 35
Number of re-reads: 0
Genre you read the most from: Adult fiction, young adult, fantasy
1. Best book you read in 2016: 
Young Adult: Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Adult: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry  by: Rachel Joyce
2.  Book you were excited about and thought you would love more, but didn’t: 
The Wrath & the Dawn  by: Renee Ahdieh
3.  Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read:
The Wonder  by: Emma Donoghue – I didn’t expect it to be so engrossing.  It sounds like a fairly tame story, but I couldn’t put it down.  It was a great book!
4.  Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did):
Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
5.  Best series you started in 2016? Best sequel of 2016? Best series ender of 2016?:
Best I started: The Illuminae Files  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Best sequel: Crooked Kingdom by: Leigh Bardugo (this could also be considered the end of the series since Bardugo called this “series” a “duology”.
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016:
This is a hard one since I read so many great things by authors I’d never read before.  But the two that were completely new to me (I had never even heard their names before) were Laura Ruby (Bone Gap) and Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry).
7.  Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone:
Shadows and Monsters  by: Grace A. Dow – short stories.  Books of short stories don’t normally hold my attention so I don’t read them very often.  I also tend to read them at the same time I’m reading novels so they are kind of squished between my regular reading.  Grace is a good friend of mine and so I read this for the annual R.I.P. Challenge.  There were a few stories in particular I loved and that have stuck with me, just like novels do.  
8.  Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year:
Illuminae  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
9.  Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to re-read next year:
I don’t usually re-read, but if I did re-read one, it would probably be Bone Gap  by: Laura Ruby
10.  Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016:
11.  Most memorable character of 2016:
Harold Fry from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

12.  Most beautifully written book read in 2016:
The Wonder  by: Emma Donoghue or Bone Gap  by: Laura Ruby

13.  Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2016:
Bone Gap

14.  Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read:
Ready Player One  by: Ernest Cline and The Name of the Wind  by: Patrick Rothfuss

15.  Favorite passage/quote:  
“She said, ‘Do you love me yet?’
He recoiled from her, from the look of her.  ‘You don’t love me because you can’t see me,’ she said.  ‘Look! Look! I am beautiful now. I am beautiful.'”  –Bone Gap  by: Laura Ruby

16.  Shortest & longest books you read:
Shortest: The Bears on Hemlock Mountain  by: Alice Dagliesh (64 pages)
Longest:  The Wise Man’s Fear  by: Patrick Rothfuss (994 pages)

17.  Book that shocked you the most:
There was a pretty shocking moment in Gemina  by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff.

18.  OTP (one true pairing) of the year (you will go down with this ship!):
Nik & Hanna in Gemina

19.  Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year:
Parcival & Aech in Ready Player One  by: Ernest Cline

20.  Favorite book you reading 2016 by an author you’ve read previously:
Crooked Kingdom  by: Leigh Bardugo

21.  Best book you read in 2016 that you read based SOLELY on a recommendation from someone else/peer pressure:
Frozen Heat  by: Richard Castle

22.  Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016:
My crushes on Jamie from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and Kaz from the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo were just further cemented in the second books I read this year.

23.  Best 2016 debut you read:
I don’t think I read any debuts.

24.  Best world building/most vivid setting you read this year:
Ready Player One or Crooked Kingdom

25.  Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read:
Bone Gap

26.  Book that made you cry or nearly cry:
The Nightingale  by: Kristen Hannah

27.  Hidden gem of the year:
Bone Gap

28.  Book that crushed your soul:
The Nightingale  by: Kristen Hannah
29.  Most unique book you read:
You  by: Caroline Kepnes

30.  Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it):
The Nightingale by: Kristen Hannah just because it’s about the German occupation of France during WWII and how helpless the whole situation was.
1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016:
none
2.  Favorite review you wrote:
3.  Best discussion/non-review post:
none
4.  Best event you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events. etc):
none
5.  Best moment of booking/blogging life in 2016:
I actually posted 4 reviews!
6.  Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year:
I went through a very hard time personally over the summer and it really stalled my reading for pleasure.  Also, I started (and then gave up) a lot of self-help books that really didn’t help at all.
7.  Most popular post this year on your blog (either comments or views):
8.  Post you wished got a little more love:
My Bone Gap review
9.  Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc):
10.  Did you complete any any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of the year?:
I completed one challenge (R.I.P. XI), and didn’t finish the others.  I definitely didn’t complete my overall goal of reading 60 books!
1.  One book you didn’t get to in 2016 that will be your number one priority in 2017:
Nothing in particular.
2.  Book you are most anticipating in 2017 (non-debut):
The third book in the Illuminae Files and The Thorn of Emberlain by: Scott Lynch (#4 in the Gentleman Bastard series)
3.  2017 debut you are most anticipating:
None
4.  Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating:
I don’t know if one of my answers to question 2 will be a series ender.
5.  One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2017:
Read more (my goal is 50 booiks) and blog more than 4 reviews.
6.  A 2017 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone:
None

2015 Review

I’m going to do something a little different this year and participate in a survey by The Perpetual Page-Turner that looks like a lot of fun!  I’m not doing much blog-wise, but maybe 2016 will be different?  So the beginning of this post will be my usual end of year review questions that aren’t in the survey, and then I’ll include the survey answers.

Challenges in which I participated:
Full House Reading Challenge
What’s in a Name? (finished 6 of 6)
R.I.P. X  (finished 4 of 4)

# of books read: 
52
(down from 58 in 201460 in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, up from 39 in 2011, 30 in 2010, 28 in 2009, & up from 48 in 2008.  Down from 81 in 2007.)

Least favorite:
The Alphabet House  by: Jussi Adler-Olsen

# of non-fiction:
3

Repeated authors:
Stephen King (2)
Leigh Bardugo (4) (including The Grisha)
Sarah Addison Allen (2) (Waverly Family)

Number of books you read:  52
Number of re-reads:  1 (Cold Sassy Tree)
Genre you read the most:  Fantasy and Young Adult

1. Best book you read in 2015:  The Martian  by: Andy Weir

Followed by:
Bird Box  by: Josh Malerman
The Shining  by: Stephen King
Six of Crows  by: Leigh Bardugo

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn’t: The Little Paris Bookshop  by: Nina George

I was looking forward to reading it because of the title and cover (I know, I know) and also the description, but it wasn’t nearly as great as I was hoping.  A second book that would fit in this category is Go Set a Watchman by: Harper Lee.
3. Most surprising (in a good or bad way) book you read: Life in Outer Space  by: Melissa Keil
Surprised in a good way because I expected it to be a silly contemporary young adult novel and I ended up really enjoying the way it was written and the story line.
4. Book you “pushed” the most people to read (and they did): The Martian  by: Andy Weir
My husband and mother-in-law read it after I recommended it and I gave a copy to my brother for Christmas, so he will probably read it soon as well.
5. Best series you started in 2015? Best sequel of 2015? Best series ender of 2015?: Best series was Six of Crows…I think!  I only read the first book in the series, but I enjoyed it most of all the series I started this year.  The best sequel was Siege and Storm from The Grisha series by the same author (Leigh Bardugo).  A new character was introduced in this book and I just loved him.  The only series ender I read was Ruin and Rising from The Grisha and it was a good ending!
6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2015: Leigh Bardugo
7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone: The Devil in the White City  by: Erik Larson
I typically don’t read historical non-fiction/biography type books although I read two this year and enjoyed this title by Larson.  I had no idea that the first world’s fair in Chicago influenced our current society so much.
8. Most action packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year: Bird Box  by: Josh Malerman
9. Book in 2015 that you are most likely to re-read next year: The Shining  by: Stephen King is one that I would possibly re-read within a year.  It would be interesting to read it after knowing the entire story and how it ends.
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015: Illusions of Fate  by: Kiersten White
11. Most memorable character of 2015: Mark in The Martian and Kaz in Six of Crows.

12. Most beautifully written book of 2015: The Buried Giant  by: Kazuo Ishiguro 
13. Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2015: House of Leaves  by: Mark Z. Danielewski
14. Book you can’t believe you waited until 2015 to finally read: The Shining

15. Favorite passage/quote from a book you read in 2015: “For some reason, I’ve been thinking more and more about my mother and the way her life failed her, humiliated her with impulses beyond her command, broke her with year after year of the same.” –House of Leaves  by: Mark Z. Danielewski
16. Shortest and longest book you read in 2015: A Dance with Dragons  by: George R.R. Martin (1,125 pages) and The Little Prince  by: Antoine de Saint Exupery (98 pages)
17. Book that shocked you the most: I can’t think of anything in particular, but probably something in A Dance with Dragons!
18. OTP (one true pairing) of the year: Hook & Stella in Alias Hook  by: Lisa Jensen or Nyx and Ignifex in Cruel Beauty  by: Rosamund Hodge (I know it said ONE, but oh well!)
19. Favorite non-romantic relationship of the year: Willow’s relationships with all of her friends in Counting by 7s  by: Holly Goldberg Sloan
20. Favorite book you read in 2015 from an author you’ve read previously: The Shining

21. Best book you read in 2015 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else/peer pressure: Bel Canto  by: Ann Patchett (recommended by my mom)
22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015: Nikolai from the second and third books in The Grisha.
23. Best 2015 debut novel you read: Serafina and the Black Cloak  by: Robert Beatty
This story took place in my home state of North Carolina in an amazing house I’ve visited a couple of times (The Biltmore) and I thought it was a fun book.  I’m not sure I’d recommend it for a child even though it’s a children’s book because it’s a little scary.
24. Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year: The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo
25. Book that put a smile on your face/was the most FUN to read: Someday, Someday, Maybe  by: Lauren Graham
This is written by the actress who played Lorelai in the TV series Gilmore Girls.  It was such a fun book and I found myself laughing out loud a few times.
26. Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2015: The Buried Giant  by: Kazuo Ishiguro
27. Hidden gem of the year: Life in Outer Space  by: Melissa Keil
28. Book that crushed your soul: If I Stay  by: Gayle Forman
29. Most unique book you read in 2015: Sand  by: Hugh Howey was very unique and I really wish he had developed the story more for this reason.
30. Book that made you the most mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it): Probably Go Set a Watchman  by: Haper Lee.  I was frustrated with both Atticus and Scout at different times throughout the book.  I wish it had been different, but I understood where they were both coming from and am not letting this book taint my view of To Kill a Mockingbird.  I honestly don’t think that Watchman was meant to be published.
1. One book you didn’t get to in 2015 but will be your number one priority in 2016: The Wrath and the Dawn  by: Renee Ahdieh
2. Book you are most anticipating for 2016 (non-debut): The Thorn of Emberlain  by: Scott Lynch (#4 in the Gentleman Bastard series)
3. 2016 debut you are most anticipating: I don’t really keep up with debuting authors.
4. Series ending/a sequel you are most anticipating in 2016: The Thorn of Emberlain like I already mentioned and Crooked Kingdom  by: Leigh Bardugo (the second book in the Six of Crows series)

5. One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2016: I hope I read more and blog more (I mean, even one review would be an improvement!)

6. A 2016 release you’ve already read and recommend to everyone: I haven’t read any ARCs! 

2014 Review

Challenges in which I participated:
Where Are You Reading?  My Map
What’s in a Name? (finished 1 of 5)
Dystopia Reading Challenge (finished 4 of 7)
R.I.P. IX (finished 3 of 4)
# of books read:
58
Down from 60 in 2013, down from 75 in 2012, up from 39 in 2011, 30 in 2010, 28 in 2009, & 48 in 2008.  Down from 81 in 2007.
My favorites (in the order I read them):
Trim Healthy Mama  by: Serene C. Allison
The Fault in Our Stars  by: John Green
Room  by: Emma Donoghue
Big Little Lies  by: Liane Moriarty
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend  by: Matthew Dicks
All the Light We Cannot See  by: Anthony Doerr
Outlander  by: Diana Gabaldon
Most recommended:
Room  by: Emma Donoghue
Least favorite:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane  by: Neil Gaimon
# of non-fiction:
3

Repeated authors:
Cassandra Clare (6) (Mortal Instruments)
AnnaLisa Grant (3) (The Lake)
Maggie Steifvater (5) (including The Wolves of Mercy Falls)
Liane Moriarty (3)
Amanda Hocking (4) (Watersong)
Lauren Oliver (2)
Alice Hoffman (2)

2013 Review

Sure enough, I didn’t read as many books this year as I did last year since I wasn’t reading while nursing, but I still managed to read more than in previous years. I read more non-fiction this year than I ever have before (not including school).  
Next year I’m hoping to read at least as many books as I did this year and will hopefully complete more challenges.
What’s in a Name? 6  (finished 4 of 6)
The Dystopia Challenge  (finished 10 of 15)
50 States Challenge  (finished 14 of 50)
R.I.P. VIII  (completed 4 of 4)
# of books read:
60
Down from 75 in 2012, up from 39 in 2011, 30 in 2010, 28 in 2009, & 48 in 2008.  Down from 81 in 2007.
My favorites (in the order I read them):
A Storm of Swords  by: George R.R. Martin
Most recommended:
Least favorite:
Proof of Heaven  by: Eben Alexander
# of non-fiction:
10

Repeated authors:
Allie Condie (3) (Matched series)
Lauren DeStefano (2) (The Chemical Garden series)(Internment series)
Gillian Flynn (2)
Hugh Howey (2) (Wool series)
Marie Lu (2) (Legend series)
George R.R. Martin (2) (A Song of Ice and Fire series)
Kate Morton (2)

Dark Places

Dark Places
By: Gillian Flynn

Challenge:  RIP VIII

Published: 2009

# of pages:  345

Official description:
“I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.”

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.
The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club… and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.
As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.


My opinion:  I couldn’t put this book down!  I was afraid it would be too sad or gruesome for me since it is about a family that is murdered, but while it was a little graphic, it wasn’t too much.  I also didn’t think I’d like the character Libby after reading the first chapter, but I ended up really liking and respecting her.  Not only was this a good mystery, it was also very thought provoking on the subjects of peer pressure (especially in high school) and on raising children.  Patty, the mother, was doing the hardest job there is, on top of being a single working mother, and it was sad reading about her depression while raising 4 kids.

I recommend this to lovers of mystery and also to anyone looking for a well written novel that is a good pace.  It does have some language, but not as much as one of Flynn’s other novels, Gone Girl.


Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Well written, likable main character, good pace, good mystery / a little graphic with bad language

Other reviews:
S. Krishna’s Books

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post yours as well.

The Lake

The Lake
By:  AnnaLisa Grant

Series:  The Lake

Published:  2013

# of pages:  306

Official description:

At 17, Layla Weston is already starting over. Having lost both her parents and grandparents, and with nowhere else to go, Layla is moving from Florida to a small town in North Carolina to live with the only family she has left: her estranged uncle and aunt. The last five years of Layla’s life were spent appeasing her less- than-loving grandmother, followed by being her grandfather’s caretaker. Growing old before her time, Layla lost her identity, she must learn how to allow herself to be loved and cared for once again. Life takes an unexpected turn when Layla meets Will Meyer. His breathtaking good looks are enough to catch her eye, but his sincerity and passion are everything she needs to find the strength and confidence she lost — and lead her into love. When tragedy once again strikes Layla’s life, her hope is all but completely crushed. Through it all, Layla learns what it means to truly love and be loved.

My opinion:  These days I don’t often read young adult books that take place in modern times unless it’s a fantasy or sci-fi.  I know AnnaLisa Grant and so when she published her first book, I bought it.  I was excited about the story and I wasn’t disappointed!  This review is written many months since reading the book, but the story has stayed in my mind and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series (maybe I’ll get those for my birthday!?).

The writing style and story are definitely written for young adults, but adults can very well enjoy it too.  Like I said before, the story is interesting and sticks with the reader long after the book is over.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Interesting, great characters, often has a young adult feel to the writing

Other reviews:
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post yours as well.