FOMO: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

FOMO posts are blog posts about the books that have been buzzed about, made the bestseller lists, won all the awards, are constantly cited as life-changing or industry shaping…and I haven’t read a word of them. These posts are my chance to explain why I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, and your chance to tell me if I should. The book I’ve chosen for today has been mentioned on Anne Bogel’s much lauded podcast What Should I Read Next? and was featured in all the glossy magazines for their must read summer 2017 lists. Even fellow By Her Shelf contributor Alex of CatFairy Books can’t stop raving about it and recommending it. So why haven’t I read it yet? 

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoSeven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Why I have FOMO: This book has been talked about and recommended by both glossy magazines and “serious” publications. It has glitz, glamour, and the backdrop of the golden era of Hollywood. The book smacks of Elizabeth Taylor and other starlets of old Hollywood. The buzz for the book is strong, but the premise is a stronger draw for me: an aging icon who chooses an unknown reporter to write her biography. There promises to be secrets, a look at the sacrifices of one woman to be the best, and some gut wrenching revelations. I should be all over this.

Why I haven’t read it yet: As I said, this book has been recommended in several places, and some of the recommenders have hinted at what the revelations might be, and let me tell you, nothing ruins a book (or movie) for me faster than hints or spoilers at the book’s central mystery. Not only does this ruin the reading experience for me, but this particular hint/spoiler is not something I’m interested in reading. I know I’m being vague, but that’s so I don’t ruin it for anyone else thinking of reading it (I’m a giver that way).

Also, a book with a mystery at its core always runs the risk of the mystery not living up to all the foreshadowing and hype around it. You get to the end and go “that’s it? I spent umpteen hours reading and speculating for that?”

Another reason I haven’t read it is because books with a historical element are hit or miss for me. Sometimes I can get into them, and sometimes I lose interest. I don’t mean books that were contemporary when they came out a long time ago (somehow this doesn’t bother me at all, especially if I love the premise), but stories that are contemporary that “harken back to a ‘simpler’ time.”

Here’s Alex’s endorsement of Evelyn Hugo:

This is the kind of book that I will never forget about. I have to say this book left a profound effect on me. Mrs. Reid’s book made me realize the fragility of life and that we must live our lives now. This book taught me to hold the people that I love close and to never take them for granted because even though we all want to be successful in life it shouldn’t be in the expense of others.

Evelyn Hugo taught me that we must take chances in our lives and that we don’t get many chances to make a mark in this world.

Evelyn Hugo is more than Evelyn Hugo the starlet and the one that America worships in cinematic history… This is about a woman that literally grabbed life by the balls and made incredibly hard decisions. She hardly apologized for the choices that she made in her life and she has ne regrette…(No regrets)…

Your turn: What do you think? Am I missing out by not reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?

Get in My Kindle: Well Read Black Girl

Happy Monday, fellow book lovers! If you’re a lover of essay collections, today’s Get in My Kindle might be right up your alley. This book will also appeal to those seeking to add more diversity to their reading list.  *Thus far, Get in My Kindle is not a sponsored post, and I haven’t been given an advance reader copy of the book featured. I’m simply sharing the books I’m interested in reading as soon as they come out. 

Title: Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering OurselvesWell Read Black Girl

Author: Glory Edim

Release Date: October 30, 2018

Description: Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives—but not everyone regularly sees themselves on the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all—regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability—have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature.

Contributors include Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and Barbara Smith (Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology)

Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her book club–turned–online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves.

Why I Can’t Wait to Read: I’ve been watching what the Well Read Black Girl brand has been doing for quite some time. As a well read black girl myself, I’ve loved using their website and book club to find books recommendations I wouldn’t have come across otherwise. I was very excited to see that founder Glory Edim was putting together a collection with many contemporary authors whose work I admire. When I learned the focus of the collection was on representation in literature and included stories of when these amazing authors first saw themselves in literature, I knew I had to get my hot little hands on it. I’m a reader who loves reading about when others fell in love with books and reading, when they first saw themselves in a story, and when they first became a reader or writer, and the fact that this collection includes stories of women of color gave it a special twist for me. I wonder if any of the books that changed me will make an appearance in the essays, and if my new favorite writers have a personal connection to the works of my favorite classic authors. I’m fascinated by other authors’ influences, so I’m counting the moments until I get to devour this one.

Amazon Associate links:

Paperback:


Kindle version:

Are you a fan of essay collections? Will Well Read Black Girl make your TBR pile? Any other essay collections or diverse literature you’re looking forward to this fall? Let me know in the comments section!

Alex’s FOMO Book List

TGIF, fellow book lovers! Erica here to introduce a fun post from Alex of CatFairy Books all about FOMO books. As you know from my previous post, a FOMO book is a buzzed about book that you haven’t read and aren’t sure if you’re missing out or not missing a thing. You, the readers, get to tell us which books we should absolutely read and which ones we can totally pass on. Which books on this list should Alex read? Let her know in the comments!

My Fomo Books…
Guys if you know me I am always experiencing the feeling of FOMO! (FOMO stands for Fear of Missing Out.) Now I am a huge YA fan but I personally feel like I hopped on the YA train a bit too late! I started to really delve and obsess over the world of YA about two years ago. What I discovered is that there are so many books that were published about two or three years before I discovered YA that still have so much hype and unfortunately I haven’t read any of these books! And then there were books that were published back when I was in the late teens that I should have read and finished a very long time ago! This is when the FOMO feeling breaks in…

Here is my list of FOMO Books! (Prepare yourselves, don’t yell at me!)

The Harry Potter Series…

harry-potter-series

I know gasp! What is wrong with me?! I started to read the Harry Potter series back when I was 19 and stopped when I got to the third book!

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I am known to be absolutely terrible when it comes to finishing a book series! Fortunately, I am now officially catching up to the Harry Potter series! I just finished the audible version of Order of the Phoenix and I only have two more books left to go! Audible has been a lifesaver for me when it comes to catching up on books!

ACOTAR Series

The_ACOTAR_series

When I first got into YA all I would hear about on BookTube was Sarah J. Mass and the ACOTAR series! I was so intrigued to read it because they described The Court of Thorns and Roses to have a Beauty and the Beast vibe! Beauty and the Beast retellings are my jam and I will read any well-written Beauty and the Beast story! Unfortunately, I just never got a chance to read it because I kept getting distracted by other books that were recently released already! (Recently released books are evil!) Now I am actually FINALLY picking up the ACOTAR series! I just started reading the first 50 pages of The Court of Thrones and Roses and so far the story is very intriguing!

Fangirl

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Honestly, it doesn’t many any sense that I haven’t read this book yet because I am a complete SUCKER for YA contemporary books! I gobble them up like I gobble up my pastelitos de guayaba!

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Fangirl is about a blogger who writes Harry Potter like fanfiction! I mean really…I need to read this because this book has me written all over it! Although I did read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell thinking it was a good start to introduce myself to the world of Rainbow Rowell but now I want to kick myself! Eleanor and Park wasn’t a favorite for me to say the least and I wish I started with Fangirl! TBR goals!

The Sun is Also a Star

the-sun-is-also-a-star

This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for way too long! I read Everything, Everything last summer and I completely fell in love with it! I couldn’t stop reading it and even though I wasn’t thrilled with the ending I am in love with Nicola Yoon’s writing! See my book review about it here.

The Sun is Also a Star got amazing reviews and it looks like the perfect contemporary read to get you out of those dreaded book funks! The book is essentially a romance of two strangers meeting in the bustling city of New York and falling in love but it’s not only about romance. One of the main characters finds that her family is going to get deported to Jamaica and this is when the conflict ensues… Nicola Yoon is a gifted writer and I can’t wait to finally read this!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Are these books worth a read?! Have you experienced FOMO when it comes to books?! What books are they? I would love to hear your opinions!

You Oughta Know: Book Vloggers

Happy Thursday, fellow book lovers! Erica here. Today’s post is from Christina, and it’s a good one. If you’re a reader who loves to watch videos about books and reading, or if you’re curious about what sorts of videos are out there for readers, be prepared to log a ton of hours on YouTube! Christina has compiled a list of her favorite BookTubers. Are there some booktubers you love that Christina didn’t mention? Share them in the comments!

5 Vloggers Who Will Change the Way You View Books

Several years ago, I fell into a YouTube rabbit hole. I clicked on a random recommended video showing a book haul and discovered a whole corner of the video platform dedicated to people who love all the bookish things. One recommendation led to another and suddenly I was subscribed to over 50 channels where I could spend hours getting lost in recommendations, analysis, and videos dedicated to anyone with a literary heart.
I began watching all these videos on a regular basis and I’d be lying if I said they didn’t influence my reading choice and my book buying habits. I quickly grew to love this community that prided itself on connecting with others over their literary adventures. It wasn’t like a book club, per se, but it felt like a conversation with friends who dearly love the same things I did. For a while I even created my own BookTube videos and learned to appreciate the camaraderie from all sides. After all these years I still have favorite BookTube vloggers whose videos I watch instantly. They all have their merits and styles, but what they have in common is a love of books and reading that could make a reader out of anyone.

1. Jen Campbell – Jen is an author, poet, podcaster, bookseller, and fairytale love. Her channel was one of my first BookTube finds. She shares book hauls, intimate reviews, recommendations, and so much more. While she’s a literary judge of several book prize competitions, she’s extremely down to earth and makes books approachable by everyone. Check out her fairytale video on the history of Sleeping Beauty!

2. Jean BookishThoughts – Jean made me fall in love with antiquity. She studies Greek and Roman works of literature and brings such a young eye to works we might otherwise dismiss. She runs a book club through Goodreads called “The Feminist Orchestra” and it’s incredible. Not only does she share recommendations, but she also gives in-depth looks into her university studies and her Ph.D. program. Check out her review of “The Gracekeepers.”

3. Climb the Stacks – I consider this to be a very academic channel, but that’s why I love it! When Ashley shares her reviews and analysis of different books it’s like talking to the most awesome English teacher ever. She just has a way of making the most difficult literature feel approachable. While she doesn’t upload as frequently as others, her videos are worth waiting for. Check out her playlist on different book genres.

4. Books and Pieces – Elizabeth is an amazing vlogger, bringing such a fun energy when she talks about books. Much of her channel focuses on Science Fiction, but she does an amazing job sharing aspects of books in general. She is also one of the few vloggers who gives a realistic view into the ‘behind the scenes’ side of the book industry. Check out her playlist on bookish jobs and careers.

5. Elena Reads Books – Elena is like the mom friend we all wish we had! She is outgoing, fun, and covers such a variety that it’s hard to put her into one category. She makes such great reading choices and rarely do I watch one of her videos without adding at least a couple books to my wish list. Check out her best books of 2017.

There are so many wonderful vloggers bringing books to the front and center. Show these BookTubers some love and I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you end up down the bookish rabbit hole, however, I take no responsibility!

Happy Watching!

Writing Wednesday: Critique Partners

Happy Wednesday, fellow readers! Erica here. I don’t know about you, but this week has been super busy for me. Yesterday I focused on finding some job opportunities that might get me started in my dream career, something that brings me closer to full time writing and publishing work. For this Writing Wednesday, I wanted to focus on the unsung heroes of the publication journey: critique partners. 

Critique partners are often the unsung heroes of the publication journey. It’s difficult for me to give you any advice on how to find these everyday superheroes because I found my critique buddies in a unique way. My two critique partners and I all entered a writing contest sponsored by a publisher and subsequently joined a Facebook group for writers seeking publication with this particular publisher. Within the group, everyone who wanted to find critique partners added their name and writing genre to a list to be matched. Dana, Christina and I were matched because we all wrote inspirational romance, although at the time I wrote contemporary, Christina wrote historical, and Dana wrote suspense.

Starting in December of 2013, we exchanged chapters on a weekly or bi-weekly basis until we shared our full manuscript. There are several benefits to having a good critique partner:

  •  Accountability. I knew I had to work on my writing every week to prepare for  chapter swaps. To this day, I know I can count on them to hold me to my deadlines and goals.
  • Work Ethic. Knowing I had to send my chapter each week pushed me to polish my work carefully. I went over my work several times for consistency, continuity, and voice in addition to copyediting and proofreading. I learned how to revise and self-edit effectively through my relationship with my critique partners.
  • Feedback. My critique partners provided me with invaluable feedback. Not even a beta reader could have done a better job. Because we were targeting the same publisher, we could read each other’s work with their guidelines and wish list in mind. As fellow writers and readers, we could read for enjoyment and the story as well as read as writers.
  • Support. It has been a great support to me to have people in my life who understand the joys and struggles of the writing life. They are there to celebrate contest wins or manuscript requests and commiserate when rejections come in. They make themselves available for writing sprints. They listen to me talking through my current struggles with a story. Having someone in your life who “gets it” and is interested in the ins and outs of your story makes the load a little bit easier.

Many people know the benefits of having a critique partner, but how do you find one? How can you find a trustworthy person to share your work with? We’ll discuss this next week.

Do you have a critique partner? If so, how did you find them? If not, would you like to find one?

Get in My Kindle: The Reckoning by John Grisham

Happy Monday, fellow readers! I had to work this weekend and didn’t get a chance to read until yesterday afternoon. Even though I didn’t get much reading done this weekend, I’m still eyeing books for my ever growing to be read pile. What better way to start a Monday than looking forward to an intriguing upcoming release? If you’re a kindle reader, heads up: you can have this one in your Kindle tomorrow! Paperback readers will have to wait longer, but it may just be worth the wait. *Thus far, no Get in My Kindle feature is a sponsored post, and I haven’t been giving an advance reader copy of the book. I’m simply sharing the books I’m interested in reading.

Title: The Reckoning
Author: John Grisham
Release Date: October 23, 2018
Description: October 1946, Clanton, Mississippi

Pete Banning was Clanton, Mississippi’s favorite son—a decorated World War II hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning he rose early, drove into town, walked into the church, and calmly shot and killed his pastor and friend, the Reverend Dexter Bell. As if the murder weren’t shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete’s only statement about it—to the sheriff, to his lawyers, to the judge, to the jury, and to his family—was: “I have nothing to say.” He was not afraid of death and was willing to take his motive to the grave.

In a major novel unlike anything he has written before, John Grisham takes us on an incredible journey, from the Jim Crow South to the jungles of the Philippines during World War II; from an insane asylum filled with secrets to the Clanton courtroom where Pete’s defense attorney tries desperately to save him.

Reminiscent of the finest tradition of Southern Gothic storytelling, The Reckoning would not be complete without Grisham’s signature layers of legal suspense, and he delivers on every page.

Why I Can’t Wait to Read: The first time I was exposed to John Grisham was when someone gave me a copy of A Time to Kill. I was immediately immersed in this legal thriller. The detail with which Grisham related the trial gripped me. I can remember really enjoying this book, and then never picking up another Grisham novel. I don’t know why I didn’t. Maybe it was because I began to focus on reading books in the genres I wanted to work in. Whatever the reason, when I saw the description for this book, I was intrigued. It reminded me of what I loved about A Time to Kill. I can’t wait to figure out why the faithful member of the church killed the reverend, and why he wouldn’t give his motive.

Amazon Associate links:
Paperback:

Kindle version:


Are you a fan of legal thrillers? Will The Reckoning make your TBR pile?  Any other legal thrillers you’re looking forward to this fall? Let me know in the comments section!

Review: Cowboys Need Not Apply by Robert Tate Miller

Happy Monday, fellow readers! I’m experiencing a bit of a binge hangover after watching a full season of TV show in one evening (a show gone much too soon, by the way), but I wanted to share another review with you. Entangled Publishing sent me an advance copy of Cowboys Need Not Apply by Robert Tate Miller because I requested it. I couldn’t miss this opportunity. What romance lover wouldn’t want to read the story of a cowboy and a prima ballerina? It was only after I requested it that I realized Cowboys Need Not Apply would unique in another way: it’s written by a man. I haven’t read any Nicholas Sparks or any other big name male romance writers, so I was interested in seeing the spin a guy would put on a romance. You can get your copy of Cowboys Need Not Apply and draw your own conclusions starting today, August 13, 2018.

Title: Cowboys Need Not Apply

Author: Robert Tate Miller

Release Date: August 13, 2018

Review: Rodeo rider Matt “Mad Dog” Walker is on the fast track to being All Around Cowboy, the best bronco rider in the world when one bad ride tears his ACL. The rodeo doc is convinced Matt should retire, or at least sit out the rest of the season, but Matt is too close to achieving his dream of being the best and fulfilling a promise he made to his father before he passed to sit out the Big Ride. Matt’s uncle and manager Harry is convinced he should take the doctor’s advice, but knowing his stubborn nephew, he finds the best rehab facility in the country to give him a shot at a full recovery before his foolhardy ride.

Prima ballerina Jessica Carmichael knows something is wrong as soon as she lands a sauté in a performance. The doctors confirm she’s torn her ACL. All Jessica knows is dancing, and she refuses to miss the Rite of Spring performance where she made her debut at age sixteen. If she’s going to dance again, she has to be able to trust her knee one hundred percent, and the only way she’ll do that is if she works with the best rehabilitation clinic in the country.

When Matt and Jessica both arrive at the clinic, their competitive natures cause them to push one another in therapy to good affect. They came to heal their damaged knees and get back on top of their game, but could these two competitors win at the game of love as well?

Robert Tate Miller has crafted a Cutting Edge-esque romance that’s funny and witty, but most of all heartwarming. Jessica and Matt are both natural born competitors who love what they do. Neither one is ready to walk away from their career, even in the face of such a serious injury. Although the Manhattan born and bred ballerina and the Montana ranch owning rodeo rider live in two different worlds, they share a grit and determination, and a mutual attraction, that makes their burgeoning romance fun to watch. I also enjoyed the supporting characters of Jessica’s sister, Kat, and Matt’s uncle, Harry. They injected much needed realism and sound advice into the headstrong duo.

In addition to a man’s name being on the cover of the book, there were a couple other things that were different about this romance. The hero and heroine didn’t meet until I was about 12% into the book, and they spend a sizeable amount of time away from each other in comparison to other category romance titles. There were also a few points where I felt like the narration turned more clinical and distant than it should have been for the poignancy of the moment the characters (and the reader) were in. Lastly, if I never hear the term “in the footlights” again, I think it will be too soon.

Overall, I enjoyed the crisp, concise language and the way Miller unfolded the story. Miller does a great job of establishing the characters of Jessica and Matt in the readers’ mind and bringing the New York and Montana settings to life.  I loved the banter between Jessica and Matt, and I couldn’t wait to see how the Big Ride and the “big dance” went. I would recommend this opposites attract romance to anyone who loves their romance with witty banter, loveable characters, settings that become characters, and cowboys who can ride a bucking bronco and jeté, plié, and sauté.

Star Rating: 3.5/5

Page to Screen: The Fault in Our Stars

Happy, Friday, fellow readers! Today we have another  post by the lovely Alex of CatFairy Books, a Page to Screen post all about The Fault in Our Stars. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but Alex makes a great case for both. Have you read the book, seen the movie, or both? Do you plan on reading or watching them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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The Fault in our Stars is one of the first books to reintroduce me to the world of YA. I wrote a book review of The Fault in our Stars when I was a baby reviewer! Read my review of the book here. If you have never embarked into the world of young adult think of John Green as your official starter pack! Since I have about a zillion books I am reading, unfortunately, I don’t have time to do an official reread of The Fault in our Stars but I can tell you that this book is still one of my favorite books in YA till this day and I consider it a classic!

John Green wrote the kind of book that is unequivocally devastating and uplifting all at the same time. The Fault in our Stars is not just your stereotypical weepy story about two kids with cancer who learn to live their lives like “each day is their last.” If your looking for this storyline then this isn’t the book for you. This is a raw, emotional, introspective, thought-provoking, and a sometimes humorous story about two kids that are doing the best they can! They are not in denial about their cancer in the slightest, in fact, they are one of the most self-aware characters that I have read about. Not only are they self-aware, they are quirky as quirky can be! I actually think if you looked up quirky in the YA world you would find Mr. Green as the master of quirk! I was completely fascinated by the unreal intelligence of Hazel and Augustus and their unfiltered way of viewing the world around them in relation to their cancer. I am full of nostalgia when I think about this book because it’s the book that changed my life because it made me fall head over heels over the YA genre and that led me to write book reviews to blogging a few years later!

Film Adaptation
I felt that the film adaptation is actually equally just as good as the book! There were many little details in the book that are left out of the movie adaptation but it didn’t affect the story in a significant way. The movie really captured the full essence of the book! The characters that played Augustus and Hazel were pure perfection and they captured the heart and pain of these two characters.
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Watching the film adaptation brought out the same emotions that I felt when I read the book and this is a rare occurrence for me when it comes to adaptations! I had a few ugly cries throughout the movie that I wasn’t prepared for even though I knew what was coming. The actors in the movie were born to play Hazel and Augustus and you can see that the chemistry between the actors wasn’t the least bit forced. I was touched by the raw emotions felt between these two characters and I loved how their love was pure without any angst or bullshit behind it. They were truly meant to be Augustus and Hazel for the rest of their lives. This is the kind of story that will make you realize the importance of the little things in life and how we all take them for granted until it’s too late. My heart will always have a special spot for Augustus and Hazel and it was truly a privilege be a part of their fleeting world.

Even though, the film adaptation is just as satisfying as the book I still highly recommend that you read the book so you can bask in all the quirkiness of these adorable characters and fall completely in love. (And when you ultimately fall in love with them you can look forward to a few ugly cries afterward!) If you have never read a contemporary YA book before this John Green back should be number one on your list!

Ok…bye

You Oughta Know: What Should I Read Next Podcast

What Shoul I Read NextHi, fellow readers! I’m happy to introduce one of my favorite features, You Oughta Know. This is where I share all the cool reading related things I find online or in real life that I believe other readers should know about. It can be a podcast, blog, YouTube channel, book related merchandise, or another cool thing related to the reading life. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite finds: What Should I Read Next?, a podcast that answers the question that plagues every reader. 

If you’re a reader, you oughta know about Anne Bogel. I first found Anne through her interview with Jamie Ivey on The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey podcast. Anne Bogel is a reader’s dream. Between her book-related blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy, and her books, Reading People and I’d Rather Be Reading (you can read my post on this book here), Anne is a treasure trove of bookish delights. By far, the jewel in her literary crown for me is her  podcast, What Should I Read Next?

On her podcast, Anne seeks to answer the question that plagues every reader: What Should I Read Next? On each episode, she does some literary matchmaking with a guest. They tell her three books they love, one book they hate, and what they are currently reading. Anne in turn gives them three book recommendations. If having a practiced hand giving you personalized recommendations isn’t great enough, Anne’s guests are interesting. Anne has interviewed librarians, booksellers, audio book narrators, bookstagrammers, booktubers, authors, and other book podcasters, among others, who bring an interesting perspective to the conversation. Even those who are “regular readers” have fascinating stories of how they became readers, what books they like, and what fits with their current reading life.

I get a ton of book recommendations I never would have found through Anne’s podcast. I also found several of the future You Oughta Know subjects through the show. My favorite book finds through the podcast are A Man Called Ove and Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine, but there are still several more books on my reading list.

Do you listen to What Should I Read Next? What was your favorite episode, guest or book recommendation? Are you a fan of another bookish podcast, blog, YouTube Channel, or product I should feature? Let me know all the things in the comments section.

Writing Wednesday: Writers’ White Whales

Happy Hump Day! Today’s Writing Wednesday we’re talking about the illusive book of the heart–the book that a writer has in her heart for years that she just hasn’t written yet. I asked my writer’s think tank (aka my writer friends on Facebook) “what story is the book of your heart? How long has it been on your heart to write? Why haven’t you written or published it yet? Here are there answers. Have a book you know you’re meant to write but still haven’t written or published it yet? Tell us about it below! *My book of my heart is in the list as well. 😉

There’s one book. No title, I just call it Ryan’s book. It’s been maybe 10 years 🤦🏻‍♀️ and has gone through many, many rewrites and still isn’t finished. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to analyze why and the best I’ve got is this irrational need to protect it. It feels like my baby and I’m a helicopter mom 😂 I’m afraid to finish because then I have no reason to not put it out there. -Tanya W.

I always wanted to write a historical romance novel but very shy to write it. I would be more comfortable if I had a partner writing it with me. It’s a wonderful plot bunny about a young French Aristocrat becoming a dance master while falling in love with one of his rich students. – Theresa K.

It’s a fantasy novel based on Celtic mythology that I wrote TEN years ago. I love the characters so much, and the ideas behind it too, all the magic and romance. It stands at 60K, and funny you should ask, I got tired of having it weighing on my heart and mind, so I am rewriting it now– started four weeks ago. One of the reasons I’ve avoided it so long is that it needs a new opening. I just could not find the right place– my first chapter turned out to actually be chapter 2. That was a huge revelation when I finally found what needed to happen in chapter 1. And I, against my nature, broke down and asked for other eyes on it. Best thing I ever did, ask for help, something I don’t know much about doing. Glad I finally worked up the nerve to reach out. Gave me the perspective I knew I needed, being, as you said, too dang close to it. Having another writer helping you “see” what the story needs to have tweaked is so beyond helpful. – Shanda M.

I’ve always wanted to write a Scottish historical. For Camp NaNo this year I started it. Not sure if it will be a novella or category length but MacGregor’s Magic has begun. – Tambra K.

I have this idea…it’s not fully formed but it’s been in my head for a couple of years. It would be a more serious women’s fiction story with two generations of women in Ireland and Australia. I just don’t think I’m up to the task of writing it yet. And I havw a couple of other books to finish! – Cassandra O.

I have one I call Gabriel’s book about a musician with Asperger’s. I’ve wanted to write it for at least five or six years! -Laurel B.

The original title for my book was “How Pleasure and Pain Became Friends.” I started it as a teenager. The story has always been about a woman named Pleasure and a man whose last name is Payne (or Paine). Over the years, their backgrounds and relationship has changed but the idea has always been there. I even entered a version of it in So You Think You Can Write. My CPs have read a large chunk of it, and one in particular always asks me when I’m going to finish it, but I haven’t. I think I haven’t finished it because I’m so invested in the story. I love these characters and I want to tell their story perfectly. If I can get out of my own head, I might be able to have a finished story worth submitting. -Erica D. Hearns