4th Annual Miss Bookshelf USA

Whoops.

The Miss USA pageant completely passed by my notice.

But I couldn’t let May end without a pageant more to my taste. Yes, it’s time for the super prestigious event where I take all the books I read the previous year off their shelves, dress them up, spruce up the dust jackets, and parade them around. They love it. I promise. Miss Bookshelf USA

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the 4th Annual Miss Bookshelf USA…

According to my Goodreads, I read 10 adult books, 5 YA, 9 middle grade, 4 anthologies, and 3 picture books (which is super way off because the kiddos and I read at minimum one book a night at bedtime.) It was difficult to pick my TOP TEN DELEGATES as there were so many great books to choose from.

3kamjWmXCassie Beasley’s TUMBLE & BLUE

Emily Blejwas’ ONCE YOU KNOW THIS

Shannon & Dean Hale’s THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL: SQUIRREL MEETS WORLD

Darby Karchut’s DEL TORO MOON

Watt Key’s TERROR AT BOTTLE CREEK

Jaclyn Moriarty’s THE EXTREMELY INCONVENIENT ADVENTURES OF BRONTE METTLESTONE

Jewel Parker Rhodes’ BAYOU MAGIC

Ruta Sepetys’ SALT TO THE SEA

Jeff Zentner’s THE SERPENT KING

Miss Amity goes to… BAYOU MAGIC! Maddy is such an earnest, caring protagonist. I love how she grew to care so much about Grandmere, Bear, the Bon Temps bayou, and Mami Wata.

Miss Style is awarded to… THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL! I mean, it has footnotes, how cool is that. I enjoyed Doreen’s story so much that I actually dressed up as Squirrel Girl for Halloween, chikkt! (Yes, I am awesome, thanks for noticing ;))

Most Photogenic Cover goes to… TUMBLE & BLUE. Look at those woodcuts! The dreamy colors! Alligators! I like to pet it, it’s so pretty.

 

Second Runner Up goes to… DEL TORO MOON! The war stallions took me back to my childhood love of horse stories. This middle grade had the perfect blend of heart and legend. Of creepiness and bravery.

For First Runner Up, I dithered. I waffled. I couldn’t make up my mind. Then I thought, hey! This is MY bookish pageant! I can pick both SALT TO THE SEA and THE SERPENT KING to tie. They’re so different. SALT is a YA historical fiction set in 1945 about the Wilhelm Gustloff maritime tragedy, and SERPENT is a YA contemporary with Pentecostal tendencies. But both have a super strong cast of characters which is why they’re my 1st Runner Up picks, and interestingly, both authors live in Nashville. How cool is that?

 

And now, the moment you all have been waiting for…

Miss Bookshelf USA is…

ONCE YOU KNOW THIS cI4UE-Ja

Absolutely gorgeous and important book. It hit me right in the feels. You’ll want to hang out with Brittany and observe the world through her eyes just like I did.

I hope y’all enjoyed my little pageant! If you have recommendations for next year’s contestants, let me know.

(Thanks to Mermaid Girl for letting me borrow her Rapunzel tiara once more!)

Third Annual Miss Bookshelf USA

This Monday was the 67th annual Miss USA pageant. Congrats to Miss Nebraska on her win, making her the first lady from her state to wear the crown. Now if y’all know me at all, you know my interests have a bit more bookish lean to them. Hence my 3rd Annual Miss Bookshelf USA pageant, where I scour my previous year’s bookshelf to bring you some of my favorites.

My Goodreads shelves say I read thirty books last year. Eight more than last year and that doesn’t count the books I beta read and the three I haven’t finished yet. Interestingly, a third of those are adult books which I blame mostly on my sister. Here’s the full list and my reviews if you want to check it out.

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A stack of some of the Miss Bookshelf USA contestants

For my TOP TEN delegates in no particular order (Ok, twelve. I did fudge the numbers just a bit because of sequels. Hey, it’s my contest and if the sequels are as awesome as the first, them I MUST include them):

The Broken Earth #1 & #2 by NK Jemison

A SHADOW BRIGHT & BURNING by Jessica Cluess

Princess Academy #1 & #2 by Shannon Hale

STARS ABOVE by Marissa Meyer (specifically “The Little Android”)

HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD by John Tiffany & JK Rowling

THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White

BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE and THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

THE KEY TO EXTRAORDINARY by Natalie Lloyd

RAVENCLIFFE by Carolyn Goodman

And out of these beautiful books and talented authors…

Miss Amnity 2018!Miss Amnity goes to… Miri of The Princess Academy, for always listening to her heart and her head equally!

Miss Style goes to… THE FIFTH SEASON and THE OBELISK GATE because whoa…Essun has a certain style about her. And that thing Ms. Jemisin does with Hoa’s POV–blew my mind, people.Miss Style 2018!

 

 

MrMr Photogenic Cover 2018! Photogenic Cover goes to THE ADVENTURER’S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES. I mean, you know it’s going to be fun just looking at it.

 

 

2nd Runner Up Miss Bookshelf USA!

Second Runner Up is…. STARS ABOVE! So many of the stories in this Lunar Chronicles collection are great but “The Little Android”, Ms. Meyer’s version of “The Little Mermaid”, tugged on my feels just as hard as the original fairytale.

 

 

 

FFirst Runner Up Miss Bookshelf USA!irst Runner Up is this sweet hopeful book…THE KEY TO EXTRORDINARY. Seriously, I’ll read everything Natalie Lloyd writes. She has an extraordinary way with words.

 

 

 

 

 

AND OUR 2018 MISS (AND MISTER) BOOKSHELF USA GOES TO…BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE and THE RAVEN KING! Kind of fitting right? The Raven Boys and Blue looking for royalty all along 😉

So what do you think of my picks? What was your favorite book you read last year?

For the curious and who’d like more book recommendations, check out my 2017 pageant contestants.

Second Annual Miss Bookshelf USA

I realize y’all have been waiting all year for this pageantry of books that follows Miss USA. I did better this time around, woke up from my celebratory Mother’s Day nap just in time to watch Miss District of Columbia straighten her wobbly tiara.

The books eligible for this prestigious award (yes, it’s fine, go ahead and snort at that)  are the twenty-two books I reviewed last year on Goodreads. You can find the complete list here.

In a book slump and need some recommedations on what to read next? Check out my spoofy Miss Bookshelf USA lieterary pagent to see some of my favorites, from middle grade to adult!

After much deliberation and only three hardbacks falling off my bookshelf onto me (they were immediately disqualified for unruly behavior), here are my Top Ten Delegates in no particular order:

Ronald Smith’s HOODOO

Karen Russell’s SWAMPLANDIA!

Marissa Meyer’s CRESS

Kristen Lippert-Martin’s TABULA RASA

Angela Quarles’ MUST LOVE CHAINMAIL

David Mitchell’s THE BONE CLOCKS

Melanie Benjamin’s THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE

Sarah Glenn Marsh’s FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP

Shannon Hale’s THE GOOSE GIRL

Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s GOOD OMENS

Once again, a nice, eclectic mix. Be sure to check out my Goodreads reviews to see why they made it on such an awesome list.

Without further ado… Miss Amity goes to GOOSE GIRL

ggIsi is such an amazing and brave character for believing in herself and her aunt’s stories when others refused to.

Mr Photogenic goes to MUST LOVE CHAINMAIL

thThere are no mipples that Ms. Quarles is fond of, but the cover is electric all the same, and in my head, Robert is indeed photogenic *swoon*

And Miss Style was a no brainer one–this book positively oozed with style… THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE!

I must say, we were quite stylish too at the 50’s Cocktail Party.

Second Runner-Up is THE BONE CLOCKS!

and it didn’t hurt its chances one bit when David Mitchell actually responded to me on twitter. Total fan-girl moment!

First Runner-Up goes to GOOD OMENS

go (which I cannot wait ’til it hits the screens. Loving what I’ve seen so far of American Gods)

And now… the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Miss Bookshelf USA is FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP!

Nt5KvertThe Isle of Man and it’s folkloric inhabitants have always been fascinating to me.

So what do y’all think? I’d love to know who you would have crowned from your list of read books. And if you’d like to see which books made it into last year’s pageant, check out that blog post here.

Miss Bookshelf USA

Last night was the Miss USA pageant. I didn’t watch it since I was catching up on Outlander but all the chatter about it on social media got me thinking…

How much fun would it be if I held a bookish pageant of sorts?! Miss Bookshelf USA

(Oh, you didn’t realize I’m a big dork? When it comes to books and random fun facts, then yes. Yes, I am.)

I read twenty-one books last year that I reviewed on Goodreads (I realize that’s not a lot but when you factor in the amount of picture books I read to my kids and manuscripts I beta read, my plate is full.) You can find the complete list here.

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These are some of my Miss Bookshelf USA delegates.

After much deliberation, (i.e. rereading random chapters, getting lost in stories until I abruptly recall why I’m in here) here are my Top Ten Delegates in no particular order:

Laura McNeill’s CENTER OF GRAVITY

Maria Semple’s WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE

Marissa Meyer’s SCARLET

Carrie Dalby’s FORTITUDE

Yuval Noah Harari’s SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND

Carol Goodman’s BLYTHEWOOD

Jane Nickerson’s THE MIRK AND MIDNIGHT HOUR

John Green’s THE FAULT IN OUT STARS

Maggie Stiefvater’s THE DREAM THIEVES

Laini Taylor’s DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT and DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS

As you can see, a pretty eclectic mix. Be sure to check out my Goodreads reviews to see why they made it on such a prestigious list (I know, I snorted at that too).

Without further ado, or weird commercials…

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Miss Amity goes to FORTITUDE! Seriously, Claire O’Farrell is one of the nicest characters out there.

Miss Photogenic goes to THE MIRK AND MIDNIGHT HOUR! Gorgeous cover, absolutely brimming with atmosphere.

And Mr Style goes to SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND! Yes, it’s an odd award for nonfiction, but it’s written so well and engaging. I mean, I chortled. Who chortles while reading nonfiction??

Second runner up is THE DREAM THIEVES with a tie for first runner up because there’s no way I could choose between the two: DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT and DREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS!

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And now… the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

Miss Bookshelf USA is BLYTHEWOOD!!!

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I was sucked into this book from the first page, as surely as if I had played a game of Go Fish in Faerie.

So what do y’all think? Did I pull a Steve Harvey? I’d love to know what your favorites are!

(Special thanks to my daughter for sharing her Rapunzel tiara)