Bookish Gift Guide ๐ŸŽ

Having trouble with your Christmas shopping? Not quite sure what to get your loved ones this year? If you know a book lover, you’re in luck! I have provided a small guide of recommended books separated by genre. If your receiver likes a certain book, I have done my best to recommend more like those reads. At the end you’ll find more bookish items that your bookworm is sure to faun over. I hope with this busy season upon us I have been able to make this process a bit easier on you. Happy shopping! May the odds be ever in your favor.

Sci-fi/Fantasy

  1. The Walking Dead comics by Robert Kirkman

These comics are great for your family and friends who love the all the zombies, action, and gore that come along with an apocalyptic world. If they’re a fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, this is the perfect gift to give!

If you’re looking for a TWD fandom gift look HERE to find the official cook book and survival guide!

2. The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson

This book is sci-fi, steampunk, and historical all wrapped into one. It intertwines both past and present. Anyone who is a fan of HBO’s Westworld will find all the joy in reading this mystery filled story. We uncover secrets–machines living as humans among us for how long? Constantly brining you to turn the pages to discover more and about these automatons.

3. White Flag of the Dead series by John Talluto

This series certainly falls right in line with The Walking Dead. If you have any loved ones who are like me–caught up with TWD comics–this will be the greatest series for them to start! Being a zombie lover myself, this surely helps when experiencing those fandom withdrawals!

4. Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin

Say no more! I know exactly what your GOT lovers are looking for. The box set which you can find right here is currently only $35.95 on Amazon. What. A. Steal. This book set is perfect for anyone looking to either A. Read them before the show ends or B. Read them after the show ends!

Fandom gifts come in all shapes and sizes for this series. My favorite site is Valaryian Steel for your GOT lover. Replica swords, helms, armor and more! You’ll have trouble in choosing just one.

5. The Rosebush Series by Christina Hart

This series is Alice in Wonderland meets Narnia! The perfect escape for your family and friends. Join Ethelyn Jaslove and her adventures that spread throughout three magical books. Purchase them on Amazon and now for a short time only, the kindle editions are free! While you explore Christina Hart’s page also check out Fresh Skin; the perfect novel for those vampire lovers you may know.

6. The Bird and the Sword series by Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon writes fantasy!? And she does it well! You may have seen her name fall under many Romance novels but she tested a genre, ran with it, and SLAYYYED. What you will find in The Bird and the Sword and The Queen and the Cure is unlike anything you will ever read. Do your bookish friends and family love themselves a strong, romance-filled magical fantasy? They’ll thank you later for these reads!

7. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

This book is my #1 recommendation for sci-fi fans. A multi-verse, sci-fi thriller will keep your loved ones occupied for hours. Don’t interrupt them though! Blake Crouch will take you on the ride of your life–in hopes this scientific theory really doesn’t exist out there. If this book has been read and you want more like it, be sure to check out Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

8. The Martian and Artemis by Andy Weir

Are your friends and family obsessed with the unknown O U T E R S P A C E? Andy Weir tells The Martian with so much humor, you’ll forget you’re currently on Mars. There’s a plus here! Once you come down from The Martian hangover, you can start them back up on Artemis; Andy Weir’s new release. Want to add some bookish charm? NASA t-shirts are the perfect side gift with these reads!

If you have family and friends who love Harry Potter and looking for similar reads, I have been recommended The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman! It’s still in the works for me, but I’ve heard only good things and wouldn’t recommend it myself if I didn’t trust the source. Other sci-fi fantasy reads to check out would be Midnight Lily by Mia Sheridan; this books has a Shutter Island feel to it–sci-fi meets thriller. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan for more apocalyptic lovers, Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris for those loved ones who miss HBO’s True Blood, and Lastly How to Hang a Witch and Haunting the Deep by Adraina Mather; be taken back in time to the Salem Witch trials and sail on the deadly Titanic ship as it once sailed!

Thrillers

  1. Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

I will forever recommend Tarryn Fisher books. She’s dark, brutal and quite amazing. If your bookish friends love thrillers and tough ass lead women this is the woman to buy from. Marrow, Mud Vein, Bad Mommy, F*ck Love, The Love Me with Lies series, Atheists Who Kneel and Pray; seriously click on the link above and buy them all! Your book lover will join the PLN’s and be eternally grateful.

If your bookworm is already a PLN and doesn’t know what to read next I would recommend Obsession by Amanda Robson; this read has a Bad Mommy feel to it.

2. Cemetery Girl by David Bell

Are your friends looking for that page turning thriller? Stop right here, you’ve found the book. When Caitlin Stuart disappears at just 12 years old her parents don’t know what to think. Was she kidnapped? Could that little voice in the corner of their mind be correct–would she purposely run away? The lengths that Caitlin’s father Tom goes through, may not be worth the answers he needs…but he needs to have them. There is so much pain lying in the unknown. Pick up your copy of Cemetery Girl here!

3. It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Do you know fans of Mean Girls? Are they book lovers too? It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell is a dark and twisted version of Mean Girls. You can throw away the pink clothes and the burn book–this read will show you what real backstabbing looks like.

4. The Girl on the Train and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Have you read one but not the other? Have you watched The Girl on the Train movie but still haven’t read the book? Did you plan on reading Into the Water but never got around to it? Now’s your chance to give the gift! These books, both different in their own ways will make you a Paula Hawkins fan for life.

5. You by Caroline Kepnes

This soon to be Lifetime drama series is worth the read before the show premieres! Book lovers unite at the bookstore, unless Joe works there.. As much as you’ll find yourself hating these characters, they’ll make you laugh. Most importantly they will terrify you. Do you really know people or just the show they put on for you? Give your friends the gift of a great thriller before the release of the show and keep your eyes open for Kepnes new release Providence a novel coming out June 2018. What is better than a fictional serial killer in your hometown?

6. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Have your book-loving friends watched HBO’s Big Little Lies featuring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley? Have they “been meaning to read the book“? Here’s your chance to make it happen for them! Big Little Lies is the funniest, mystery-filled thriller you will ever come across. Your loved one will devour this in one sitting. If they’ve already completed this book, give them the gift of Liane Moriarty, seriously. Choose their next victims!

A few more thrillers I would recommend would be The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena; the fictional tale of the most f***ed up baby napping ever. How well do you know who’s sleeping beside you? Good as Gone by Amy Gentry. If you love Cemetery Girl by David Bell–this is your next read–another child missing returns home..or does she? Lastly I recommend, The Night She Won Miss America by Michael Callahan. This read is based on true events. Will we ever truly know what happened the night she won Miss America?

Romance

With the amount of romance I read, I’ll keep it simple for you guys. These are the authors I highly recommend. They are my auto-buys and have broken my heart and (sometimes) placed it back together. The hangovers each book has given me are addicting, and that is why I return for more. If you love love, I’m doing you a favor here.

  1. Colleen Hoover. We will skip all the praising and get to it. If your bookworm loves a ‘not your average’ love story, mixed with humor and just all around phenomenal writing–Colleen is your go-to girl. You will find all her books right here! Don’t know which one to start with? Try the beginning with Slammed, Point of Retreat, and This Girl.
  2. Amy Harmon. You may have noticed I mentioned her in Fantasy. She does it all and holy hell she does it well. Every book on my shelf has tear stained pages. From Making Faces, to The Law of Moses and The Song of David, from the wonderful fantasies The Bird and the Sword and The Queen and the Cure, to the heart-wrenching historical fiction From Sand and Ash. Your loved one will never read these books without tissues! All her books can be purchased here.
  3. Renee Carlino. I haven’t been a fan for that long but when I opened the first book of hers my fate was sealed. If your book lover enjoys the hangovers of fantastic romance stories–Renee is your first stop. Each book individually different will take a piece of your heart only to never return it, but it’s okay. These are the kinds of stories you want to give it away to. Purchase books here.
  4. K.A. Tucker. Get your bookworms ready with these stories. She offers Contemporary Romance, Romanic Suspense, and Young Adult. There will be something about the way K.A. Tucker’s writing speaks to your book worms, that they’ll be a forever fan of hers. Find her books here.
  5. S.D. Hendrickson. I found this gem on a whim. Find her with me too! Your bookworm will love this indie author and all the love and heartache she causes you to feel. Every book of hers, I know I have to prep myself for. The damage is real but like me, your book lovers will come back for more!
  6. Mia Sheridan and Brittainy C. Cherry. These ladies KILL the romance game. Your family and friends will find their book boyfriends easily when it comes to their books. You’ll fall hard and even harder tor their writing. Mia Sheridan’s books can be found right here, and Brittainy C. Cherry’s books will be found here!

Young Adult

Finding the perfect YA books can be tough, I’m here to help!

1. The Sun is Also a Star, and Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

These books are the greatest gift your young adult could receive. Nicola Yoon takes on strong topics for teens and portrays them beautifully. These books are filled with kindness, laughter, and real life issues.

2. Matched, Crossed, Reached Trilogy by Ally Condie

Dystopian books are my FAVORITE. If you have a bookworm out there who needs their fill of dystopian worlds, these are your trilogies!

3. Textorvert by Lindsey Summers

Your YA will love this light read, just for fun! It’s a great take on texting with a cute love story to follow. Lindsey Summers wrote this book first on Watpad for free reading. The reviews took this book home for a published copy.

4. The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

Where Textrovert is light, The Way I Used to Be is dark. My heart hurts as I write this. If your YA reader wants a serious topic, or even if you want to educate your YA on a serious topic this is the gift for them. Amber Smith covers the topic of assault and how a young teen deals with the aftermath. This read will teach us just how important it is to always speak up.

5. Wake, Fade, Gone Trilogy by Lisa McMann

Your bookworm teens will love these books that have a sci-fi feel to them. Make sure to buy them all and buy them here! They won’t want to start without having them all, just a tip! ๐Ÿ™‚

6. Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Did you want to take your family to the movies to see this adaptaion? Did you make sure they read the book first? WHAT? Halt right there and don’t you dare buy a ticket until you read this book. Make it fun, have a little family book club for this read. No matter your age you will feel the depths of the book so deeply in your heart. Stock up with tissues and let your heart flow with love. This book is a wonder. You should gift it

You think your book worm has too many books already? Okay, fine! There are other bookish items available for you to buy:

  1. Book Sac Boutique on Etsy offers your precise bookworm some comfort that their books will be safe thrown in a bag. The Book Sac helps protect your books from becoming damaged (i.e. in a purse, harsh weather conditions). I purchased my Targaryen House symbol Sac just a couple months ago, and I never leave home without it. They’re the perfect size made with fantastic quality. From simple colors, to fandom loves! Find yours today.
  2. LED Book Lamp. What’s so great about that? WELL, take a look for yourself! Just $32.88 on Amazon. This exact lamp was gifted to me just last year. It gives off the right amount of light without blinding you. The perfect desk accessory, all you need to do it plug it in from time to time for a charge! Your book lover will be o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d.
  3. Is your bookworm a tea drinker? Of course they are. I have just the gift for you. NovelTeas. Each tin is a book that comes with a bookmark. Make sure to check out their holiday special.
  4. Jewlery from Bookish Gifts should be your next stop. These creations are so beautiful, and book lover might cry at the sight of them! (I know I would) There’s nothing like showing off your love for books via jewelry.
  5. You’ll want to check out the From The Library Book Embosser for your bookish family and friends. You can customize your embosser with their name, to personalize every single book they own. I received one just last year from my mom and I screamed. My little library will always belong to moi!
  6. If you’re still looking for that special gift for your book lover, your last stop should be Out of Print. This site offers so many fun bookish items, you could be looking for hours. Does your bookworm relative/friend have a baby? Great they make literary onesies! In need of the perfect bookish socks? They got ’em. The amount of bookish garb you can adorn your bookworm from this site is REDIC. Have fun in there!

Shopping doesn’t have to be hard, especially if we know who we’re shopping for. With this bookish gift guide I hope to have provided you with enough options. Take a breather, and stop stressing. You can enjoy the gift of giving when you know a book lover!

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I’m pretty cool but I cry a lot

Good Saturday morning my loves! Today I wanted to talk about an important topic in my everyday life: crying to be exact. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this shirt, “I’m pretty cool but I cry a lot“. I instantly knew I needed to have it.

Anyone who knows me knows this.. I’m a cry baby who cries over anything and everything. I’m so overwhelmed with happiness? Bawl. Something sad happens in a movie? Gimme the tissues! Someone has made me so extremely angry? I channel that anger to tears. I’m nervous? Tears. I see someone else crying? More tears. I think you all get the point. I used to warn people, let them know ahead of time that I cry over absolutely everything and what others might consider ‘nothing’, worst of all I would say this like it was a flaw of mine. Do I really need to come with a warning sign for expressing an emotion? Hell, how else could I put it? Like it’s a positive thing? Everyone always made it seem like crying was such a bad thing. “Why are you crying?” “Please don’t cry.” “If you’re going to cry we won’t…” “Why are you so emotional?” How could someone possibly hear these comments all their lives and accept it as an acceptable thing to do? A reaction to be aware of, to be proud of, not to hide it or warn people in advance. Imagine you just won a new car! You’re happy, smiling from ear to ear and probably jumping up and down right? Now imagine that person also telling you to stop having a reaction to this news. “Please don’t be so happy.” “Stop smiling so much.” “If you keep up all that excitement…” Sounds kind of ridiculous when I put it that way, huh? So what exactly is the difference?

Charles Dickens once said, “We need never to be ashamed of our tears.” Crying is a reaction to a feeling just same as laughing is. But they’re not looked at the same. One is more appropriate than the other. One is done more than the other. Expressing happiness is better than expressing sadness! Why do we make one emotion ‘more okay’ than another? Just recently I’ve become so unbelievably comfortable with who I am as a person and all that comes along with me. Crying like a god damn baby over everything is one of those attributes. Don’t try to change me, I won’t allow it anymore. I cry because I feel. I feel more than your average person and there is not a damn thing wrong with that. Being an empath, I’m more in tune with not only my feelings but the feelings of others. It can be such an overload at times, so how can I release all these feelings I absorb? I CRY. I cry like a human being does. I didn’t ask for this gift, but I take it like any other and find the positivity in it. I’ve grown to appreciate and love this about myself.

A couple months ago, I was seeing a therapist. This is another thing people are afraid to share with the world, another “damaged” part of our self we feel we need to hide, but that is a whole different discussion for a whole different day. This therapist, in our short amount of time together taught me to start accepting and loving the parts of me I didn’t deem loveable. At one point she had stated because I’m a crier, people ultimately believe it’s a weakness. She went on to tell me, it’s not. It made me look at myself in a whole new way. She was right, just because I cried didn’t mean I was a weak person, it really meant the exact opposite. I read an article following our meeting that explained how healthy crying is for a human. You think you’re a strong person, a solid wall that never falters because you don’t cry? Think again. Crying is a natural reaction that can actually cause negative physical effects on our bodies if held restrained. This article also gave me 5 strong points as to why crying means you’re a mentally tough person:

  1. Meeting your emotions head on.
  2. Caring less about what others think about you.
  3. Helps you to release feelings that build up over time.
  4. The health benefits that come along with crying.
  5. Helping others to feel more comfortable expressing themselves.

Meeting your emotions head on is something others may have some trouble with. People tend to run away from their feelings instead of looking them straight in the face and dealing with them in the moment they surface. Showing others you don’t care if they see you cry shows a vulnerability that people are not usually comfortable with. You’ve rebelled against the social norms, realizing you are human and you are going to cry. Releasing your feelings with a good cry is much, much better than to repress your feelings and ultimately have a ticking time bomb blow out. Crying releases a feel-good hormone that will lower your level of stress and anxiety. Come on guys, who hasn’t ever felt much better after a long, hard cry!? You’d be lying! My last and final point is to help others feel more comfortable in expressing themselves. There are people out there who will continue to look at your natural emotional release as weak, negative, and something you just shouldn’t do. They couldn’t be any more wrong. I know we all tend to tell people not to cry, I used to myself. Since becoming more aware of just how okay it is to have this emotional reaction, I’ve stopped myself. Cry. Release. Feel better. It’s okay to cry. But even more important.. It’s okay to be you in a world that tells you otherwise.

The Attack

There are moments when that deeply rooted panic starts to surface, branch out and take control.

My body instantly becomes tense, painful, and full of worry.

It’s like I can feel death sitting right next to me in these moments.

Is it coming for me? Is it coming for someone I love?

Trying to remind myself, this is just a fear.

The tears give away my secrets, and my walls fall down flooding the place I’m in.

This feeling won’t go away.

There’s no way I will survive this.

It’s trapped me,

it’s pulling me down,

drowning me………

until I finally find the strength to want to breathe.

To tear the roots off and pull them out.

I start to feel the panic surrender.

Falling back into the dark hole inside of me,

awaiting the next attack.


Panic attacks. They’re not fun. If you have ever experienced one–I’m with you. I still remember as a little kid being afraid of almost everything, a constant worry. My sister’s are fighting? I’ll go cry in a corner plugging my ears, until the elephant on my chest gets up. My mother wasn’t going to one of my dad’s baseball games? My oldest sister stepped up and played the role of ‘mom’ to try ease my panic. My parents are going away without us? This tense pain in my body wouldn’t go away until their plane landed back in Providence safe and sound. I used to wear a locket with their picture in it while they went on vacations. Anytime panic would sink it’s teeth into me, I could open it and hold it until it subsided.

Once middle school rolled around I thought I was ‘cured’. I forgot all about the worry and the panic. I was a pretty rebellious teenager , you wouldn’t even believe I had issues with anxiety and panic attacks. Hell, I even pushed those memories so far back I fooled myself.

By the time I turned 20, they came back swinging with a purpose. I’ve never been knocked on my ass so fast and hard by an emotion. An emotion I felt I had absolutely no control over. I remember in 2013 when I could no longer try and keep in these feelings of panic. I was at work, making a customer’s coffee when I burst out in tears. The crippling feeling of doom washed over me and I ran in the back room. I thought I was dying. I did as I always do and called my mom. Just the sound of her voice alone was enough to suppress this invasive feeling.

I went to the doctors as they explained the science behind it all. Women’s frontal lobes reattach sooner then men, and our consequential thinking comes back into our lives. Hello, panic ๐Ÿ‘‹. This wouldn’t go away without some medication and self help working. I didn’t want the meds. I didn’t want to rely on a drug to make sure I felt sane. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I kept the meds on hand in case I experienced another attack like my first big one.

I’ve come so far from where I was. Managing my feelings, attacks, and worry have gotten easier but I’m not completely there. They will never be fully gone. I’m now comforted by knowing I have medication if I need it. I also know my mother is a phone call away to help me out of my own head. And as always, I escape into my greatest hobby: reading, to redirect my thoughts. There are moments–there are always going to be moments when that panic resurfaces. I try to make sure I am ready for them and that I can defend myself. It comes when I least expect it, and leaves just as quickly sometimes. Other days I can’t get out of my own head and I still wonder if I’ll ever recover from these feelings. The great news is–I always do.

I just recently found out I have OCD. You all must know by now that it’s not an organizational disorder. It’s deeper than what we make it out to be. I knew I had OCD for awhile but it hit me hard when I was told I actually do have it. The confirmation of it all scared me and made me emotional. We all want to be normal right? Didn’t I have enough to deal with in my own head? I’ve decided to chalk it up to..there’s no fun in being normal! It would be impossible to truly enjoy our journeys without obstacles in the way. How else would we appreciate it?

I want to let the world know they aren’t alone. There were scary feelings I experienced where I thought no one could possibly understand and no one in the world could be having these same thoughts. I was wrong. You don’t have to suffer alone. You don’t have to heal alone and I am hear to listen to your stories. In some ways we may be able to help each other.

Unloved by Katy Regnery

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“When she touched my face so tenderly, placing her hand on my cheek, part of me wanted to die…because I knew my life would never get any sweeter than it was in that moment.

But even that moment was surpassed by another–by the communication of two hearts that have broken and kept on beating. By the keen and consummate sympathy that is born only from surviving something that almost broke you and recognizing that journey back from hell in someone else’s eyes.”

Brynn Cadogan lost her fiancรฉ Jem two years ago. She’s become a homebody since and is comfortable in her habits. It’s not until she decides to open that evidence bag where Jem’s cellphone resides that something shifts inside of her. Brynn plugs in the phone, turns the power on, and hits the message bubble icon. The fragmented unsent message found to be sent to her read katahd. Immediately Brynn reacts to this message. She knows where she has to go and she knows what she has to do. Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine. And she needs to bury Jem up there.

Cassidy Porter is the son of Rosemary Cleary and Paul Isaac Porter–the sociopath serial killer who was responsible for the murder of twelve innocent women. Luckily for Cassidy he didn’t know his father well and rarely ever saw him. At just six years old, he knew there was something wrong that day he walked in the shed on his father dismembering a raccoon. Life changed for Cassidy and his mother that day the police showed up. Leaving them with no choice but to hide away from the world. Living with his grandfather (Rosemary’s father) was the only way. Cassidy was told, “Live quiet, and no matter what happens inside of you, you won’t never be able to hurt someone.” So that’s what he continued to do… live quiet. Until the day he saw Brynn…

Cassidy was by far my favorite character in this love story. My heart and soul ached to know him. There were times I would stop reading mid paragraph just to get ahold of my feelings. I wanted to reach out to Cass and let him know he’s not his father and those monsters do not exist in him. It actually hurt to see the suffering he put himself through for years. Paying the price for something he never did or planned on doing. The worst price of all: truly believing you are, and have to be unloved.

Unloved was my first Katy Regnery read and I am just speechless! It wasn’t only the storyline that kept the pages turning, but Katy’s writing. It’s obvious she can write a romance. She can also write a thrilling mystery with some serious plot twists.

The Punisher

This past Friday November 17, the new Marvel and Netflix show premiered; The Punisher. I’m into all Marvel and anything super heroic, but I haven’t reached a fandom level with it. I started the series knowing only what the previews showed me and I was instantaneously intrigued. Honestly, it doesn’t hurt that Jon Bernthal plays the role of Frank Castle either (I think they casted wonderfully).

I did not know the depths behind Frank Castle’s story. It’s rocked me emotionally, this series. And I sure as shit was not expecting what I’ve been watching. Please don’t take am that negatively. As an emotional human being I know that I’m enjoying something if it makes me feel. Weird, you might say but I’d like to disagree there. Do you continue to read a book if the plot is lacking? What if a movie didn’t make you laugh? All emotions are essential for getting an audiences attention whether it be an emotion you deem “normal” or not.

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Wish You Were Here by Renรฉe Carlino

“And as we kissed and kissed, I thought about what had changed. When a person is ready to fall in love, it happens fast. There is no looking back or in between to find empty space where water can put itself to freeze, to crack the two of you apart. There is no void. There’s no weighing of options or analysis of pros and cons. Everything is reduced to feelings and emotions and actions that don’t need explanation. …It doesn’t always feel like this, it doesn’t always feel easy or right, so when it does feel this way, you have to seize it. Love is a wordless secret; it’s an inside joke. Only the two of you have to understand it.”

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Temperature Drop

It’s 3AM and freezing cold

Like the hands you used to hold me with.

The frigid air stings my skin

Just as your words always did.

You think I’m cold now?

Congratulations, you made me this way.

I know when winter comes these days.

Never by the drop of temperature.

Always when the memories of you surface.

The reason I’ve grown so cold?

Your ice put out my flame.

Now I only wish you made me numb.