Ain’t No HollerBACKLIST

Ain’t No HollerBACKLIST

“Why should [new releases] get to stomp around like a giant, while the rest of us try not to get smushed under his big feet? What’s so great about [new releases]? Hm? [backlist books are] just as cute as [new releases]. [Backlist books are] just as smart as [new releases]. (starts talking quickly) People totally like [backlist] just as much as they like [new releases]. And when did it become okay for one person to be the boss of everybody, huh? Because that’s not what [bookstagram] is about. We should totally just STAB [new releases]!” – Gretchen Weiners, Mean Girls

Can you tell I am feeling goofy today?

Anyway… let’s talk about some of my favorite backlist titles, friends. 😉

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

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Love the idea of a cranky but lovable bookstore owner with a story that will warm your heart? This book is a sip of hot chocolate on a cold day.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

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Fantasy at its finest and most unique, this book is the first in a beloved fantasy series that is a huge favorite among bookworms everywhere!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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The fact that Reese Witherspoon is starring in an upcoming adaptation of this book MAY have something to do with the fact that it is at the top of my mind for this list! Family drama that transcends the idea of the “perfect American family” and kicks your heartstrings is in store for you in this read, so buckle up!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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If you are a fan of historical fiction (or even if you aren’t), you NEED to read this book. As a lot of historical fiction novels do, this book takes place during WW2, but the characters (two sisters who are polar opposites) and their coming together and falling apart kept me hooked and wanting to keep exploring.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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With so much constant hype surrounding the TV show, it’s hard to believe that the books the show is based on first hit shelves almost 30 years ago (the first book, Outlander, was published in 1991). Heed this warning, though: If you easily fall in love with hot Scottish gentleman, you WILL become obsessed with Jamie Fraser.

Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith

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This book is overlooked FAR too much despite is beautiful prose and heartwarming premise. I highly recommend this book to those who love books about love, but are also not afraid to cry a little (lot) while they read.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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If you’re looking for a story that will unsettle you and creep you the hell out, I highly recommend you give this book a try.

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

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The Bill Hodges trilogy’s gripping and stomach-hurt inducing genesis is one of my favorite books I have ever read. This book isn’t King’s typical “straight up scary horror” type of novel, but it will give you the creeps. Also, if you have been loving the new show The Outsider on HBO, this series is the “prequel” to the novel that The Outsider is based on! You’ll even recognize some familiar characters from the show in this series. If you like thrillers/mysteries/books that make you cringe, pick this book as your next read!

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

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Easily one of my favorite romance novels of all time, this book brings the best of the best when it comes to “teen love gone awry to second chance at love as adults.” I LOVE stories that have “second chance romance” vibes to them so much. Something about the idea of the power of love defying the odds is so cozy and inspiring to me. Love love love this book!

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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If you ask me what my favorite book of all time is, I may just end up telling you it’s this one. I credit this book for helping me to fall deeply in love with high fantasy, and for that, I will be forever grateful. Yes, it is longggggg, but TRUST me when I tell you that the journey is so so so SO worth it.

 

As an avid backlist reader, I know there are other favorites I am missing, but I hope that these add just a few more titles to your TBR (which I am SO sure you needed lol…).

What are your favorite backlist titles? Do you try to prioritize reading backlist books or do you mostly stick to new releases?

My Favorite ASMR Rooms for Reading Time

My Favorite ASMR Rooms for Reading Time

Hello, friends!

If you follow me on instagram (@worldswithinpages), you may have seen me raving endlessly over the last two weeks about ASMR rooms and the fact that they have GREATLY improved my reading life. I know so many people on Bookstagram love to have them on in the background while they read, but many people have been messaging me asking me what an ASMR room is, where they can find them, and if I have any favorites. Ask, and ye shall receive!

Let’s start with the basics:

What is an ASMR Room?

If you don’t know what ASMR is, you maybe haven’t spent your life on Youtube over the last couple of years like me. ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is “a feeling of well-being combined with a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck, as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound.” (dictionary.com) I normally don’t have a super crazy reaction to ASMR triggers, but I do find a lot of sounds MEANT to be ASMR triggers very soothing and satisfying (i.e a quill scratching on paper, rain, someone turning pages, etc.).

ASMR rooms capitalize on the “well-being” and cozy feelings associated with standard ASMR videos with the added bonus of having a visual aesthetic that makes you feel like you’re in the room with the sounds you’re hearing. For those who are unfamiliar with this concept, this will make more sense once you dive into the links below!

Where Can I Find ASMR Rooms?

YouTube is my main source for ASMR Rooms. I am sure that there are a few other places you can find them, but I find that YouTube has a great range of ASMR room videos across all sorts of genres and themes!

book open on a bed with a laptop open next to it.
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Why I Like ASMR Rooms

One of my favorite things about ASMR rooms is that they allow my brain the background noise it needs to be able to focus on reading versus allowing my brain to “make up noise,” think about other things, or just plain wander. As life keeps getting busier and busier, focusing on reading and my books has been more and more difficult. When I do have the energy to read, I want to make sure I am as focused as possible and really allowing myself and my mind to sink into the story.

My favorite way to enjoy ASMR rooms is in a big cozy chair with blankets, a hot cup of tea, a few lit candles, my book open on my lap, and my TV playing the ASMR room very softly in the background. The videos are also varying lengths of time, so if you wanted to make it a goal to read for 20, 30, 60 mins (etc.), you could use the video as a great “timer” to make sure you’re getting that reading time in!

My Favorite ASMR Rooms

Now for the good stuff! I wanted to compile a few different lists for people across different genres and levels of tolerance to background noise and movement while reading. There are some people (like me) who really don’t like to have a lot of movement happening on the screen or have music playing too loudly over ambient noise. I will note in the description next to the link a “warning” if there is a lot of that happening in the video so, if you think you won’t like that, you can avoid it. If there is no note next to the description, you can assume it doesn’t have those things.

 

Favorite Harry Potter ASMR Rooms:

Harry Potter inspired Ambience – Christmas at 12 Grimmauld PL – Holiday Instrumental Music 1 Hour (Unintelligible talking in the background, minor movement on screen, and soft music)

Waking up in Shell Cottage – Harry Potter Inspired Ambience – Bill & Fleur’s seaside home

Harry Potter Inspired ASMR – Hufflepuff Common Room – Hogwarts Ambience – 1 hour HD Cinemagraphs (very slight, but not distracting, movement on screen)

Beautiful day on Hogwarts Grounds – Great Lake Daytime Ambience – Harry Potter Inspired Soundscape (very slight, but not distracting, movement on screen, unintelligible talking in the background)

Harry Potter Inspired ASMR – Valentine’s at Madam Puddifoot’s Tea Shop – Hogsmeade Ambience (unintelligible talking in the background, slight movement on screen)

Harry Potter Inspired Ambience – Hut on the Rock – 2 Hours Ocean Thunder Storm and Fireplace sounds (movement on screen)

Harry Potter Inspired ASMR – Hogwarts Express train – Ambience and Animation HD 1 hour

Hagrid’s Hut REMAKE – Harry Potter Inspired ASMR – Cozy fireplace, Thunderstorm, Fang and Dragon! (movement on screen)

 

Favorite Lord of the Rings ASMR Rooms:

Gandalf’s Fireworks [ASMR] Lord of the Rings Hobbit Ambience The Shire New Year’s Celebration (unintelligible talking in the background, slight movement on screen)

House in The Shire [ASMR] Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit Fantasy Ambience / Nature sounds (very slight movement on screen)

Rivendell Night [ASMR] Hobbit & LOTR Ambience 2 Scenes Waterfalls Moonlight -Nature Sounds (slight movement on screen)

Fantasy Magical Forest House (ASMR) Nature sounds/Cozy Cabin • The Hobbit/LOTR Ambience (some light music and movement, but not distracting) 

Favorite Games of Thrones ASMR Rooms:

Game of Thrones Inspired ASMR – Cersei’s Chamber – King’s Landing Red Keep 1 hour Ambience (slight movement)

Game Of Thrones Inspired ASMR – Castle Black Ambient Sound White Noise and Animation – wind & fire (very loud wind)

Game of Thrones Music & Ambience | Godswood of Winterfell – Beautiful Relaxing Music and Snowfall (this one is 100% music-based, but only instrumental)

 

Favorite Disney ASMR Rooms:

ASMR – Rapunzel’s Tower (Tangled ambience/soundscape)

ASMR – The Little Mermaid’s Underwater Castle (Atlantica soundscape) – For sleep/meditation (music, but not distracting)

Disney’s Haunted Mansion Yule Log Christmas Fireplace 4K (very very faint background music)

ASMR – Elsa’s Ice Palace (“Frozen” by Disney ambience/soundscape)

 

Favorite Random ASMR Rooms:

Avatar Ambience – Pandora at Night (Bioluminescence, Forest Sounds and Occasional Rain) (movement on screen, but not distracting)

Sherlock Inspired Ambience – 221B Baker St. ASMR | Violin, Fire, London White Noise (some music, instrumental only)

Wood Cabin Ambience | Heavy Snowstorm and Crackling Fireplace Sounds

VAMPIRE’S READING ROOM AMBIENCE: Rain Sounds, Fireplace Sounds, Writing Sounds | ASMR (slight movement on screen)

Graveyard | Ambience | 2 hours (great for if you’re reading a spooky scary book!)

HD Christmas Tree Log Cabin Screensaver Scene – fire crackling sound – Cosy living room Snow falling

The Chronicles of Narnia [ASMR] The Wardrobe Magical Ambience Snow and Howling Wind Soft music (as it says, soft music)

Coffee Shop Ambience Cozy Rainy Day [ASMR Study & Relax] keyboard typing + Light Rain + people (some screen movement, but it’s not distracting)

 

 

I will plan on making this an ongoing list where I update it if I find something new, but I figure these should keep you busy for quite a bit lol!

I would really love to know if you end up liking and of these as well, so please comment or message me on instagram @worldswithinpages.

Until next time, happy reading! 🙂

My Absolute Favorite Bookish Things

My Absolute Favorite Bookish Things

The thing about being a hardcore bookworm is that, somewhere in the midst of constant Google searches and talking for hours to your bookish friends, you find a plethora of bookish resources and tools that help you be the #bookwormgoals of your dreams!

Thankfully, my 2+ years book blogging has meant that I have had ample time to discover the best of the best bookish resources. From apps, to podcasts, to email newsletters, I am constantly surrounded by bookish content, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I wanted to share with you some of my very favorite resources for finding new books, new recommendations, or just enjoying some bookish content. Once you take a look at my favorite picks, let me know if you have any recommendations I should add to my list!

The Best Book Podcasts You Should Listen To

All the Books by Book Riot
All The Books
LISTEN HERE>

If you are looking for a podcast to listen to that will keep you in the know of new book releases happening each week, All the Books should be your go to. Liberty Hardy (aka who I want to be when I grow up) is one of the hosts of this stellar podcast and I always trust her commentary and reviews on books of all genres. I also particularly love Liberty’s All the Backlist episodes where she talks about her favorite backlist titles, usually following a particular theme. It also helps that she opens each episode with “I’m little in the middle, but I’ve got much backlist.” I never fail to smile at that one.

He Read She Read Podcast
HRSR
LISTEN HERE>

I may be a liiiiittle biased here in listing the He Read She Read podcast, I will admit that upfront. This podcast is SOOO much fun and is hosted by a sweet friend of mine, Chelsey, and her husband Curtis. What I love about this podcast is that Chelsey and Curtis bring their relationship, and marriage as a whole, into the forefront of a lot of their discussions. As someone who is also married to a bookworm, I love listening to Chelsey and Curtis chat about books and using what they’re talking about as conversation starters for me and my husband. I also love that my reading tastes are a good blend of both Chelsey’s AND Curtis’ picks. Chelsey, if you’re reading this, I love your love for historical romance and fantasy, meaning you probably would accept my love of Outlander with open arms! Curtis, if you’re reading this, I see your love for Patrick Rothfuss and I would gladly buy you a drink at the Eolian if I could!

What Should I Read Next?

LISTEN HERE>

I think I would be messing up BIG time if I didn’t mention “What Should I Read Next?” in this list. Anne Bogel is a literary legend/superstar and many book bloggers look to her as the pioneer of bookish content online. What I like about Anne’s podcast is that she frequently introduces topics that are outside of the norm of what we tend to see on other podcasts. You can tell that Anne works really hard on creating content that will entice people to listen and think about their bookish lives in a whole new way. I also really enjoy that Anne features TONS of different special guests on her show. It’s always refreshing to hear so many different perspectives!

The Stacks Podcast

LISTEN HERE>

The Stacks Podcast’s “About” page on their website describes why I love this podcast better than I probably could on my own: “Listening to The Stacks is like a smart, bookish brunch with the literary pals you’ve been waiting for.” This podcast completely transports me into intelligent book chat that always leaves me feeling full of questions and self reflection. Traci, the podcast host, is, in my opinion, one of the most well-spoken, well read, and intentional podcasters in the game. What I appreciate about Traci, in addition to the aforementioned, is her fierce dedication to reading, promoting, and discussing diverse literature and having conversations that don’t shy away from addressing societal bullshit like racism, sexism, and homophobia. My favorite recent episode of Traci’s is her episode featuring another dear friend of mine, Allison from @allisonreadsdc. Make sure you check it out!

 

The Best Book Newsletters You Should Subscribe To

Book Riot

BOOK RIOT

Book Riot is the BOSS of the newsletter world. What I love about Book Riot newsletters is that, no matter what genre you are into or what kind of content you are looking for, Book Riot has a newsletter for you. I personally enjoy their Science Fiction and Fantasy newsletter!

Check out the newsletter picks here>

Girls Night In

Girls Night In

While this newsletter isn’t ONLY about books, it’s deeply centered on the idea that reading great books can be an integral part of your self care routine. If you are looking for a female-focused, empowering weekly newsletter that asks you to take a step back and take care of yourself, this newsletter might be a good fit for your inbox!

Check out the newsletter here>

Literary Hub

Literary Hub

The Literary Hub is one of THE most conclusive book blogs and newsletters I have ever seen. Truly. If you are looking for an article about books OR are not even really sure what you are looking for, Literary Hub has it. Reviews, comparison posts, author interviews, staff picks, listicles as far as the eye can see, and etc etc etc etc. Trust me. you will find what you never knew you needed!

Check out the newsletter here> 

 

The Best Bookish Merchandise Stores You Should Buy From

Melvis Makes

Melvis Makes

There are a LOT of book sleeve makers out there nowadays, but I stand by the fact that Melanie of Melvis Makes sews THE most high quality book sleeves (or, Book Buddy as she calls them) I have ever purchased in my life. I also love that she adds unique elements to her sleeves including front pockets, snaps, and, more recently, a strap so you can wear your book sleeve like a cute little purse! My most recent Book Buddy purchase from Melanie was this PHENOMENALLY cute Wizard of Oz booksleeve!

Check out the shop here>

Ink & Wonder Woodmarks

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There is something SO cool about the idea of a wooden bookmark (aka “woodmark”) to keep your spot in your current read. Ink & Wonder Designs has SUCH cool options to choose from including designs based on some bookstagram faves! I love their Game of Thrones woodmarks SO much. Crap… now I feel like I need to go look and see what’s new lol. They also sell a few different other types of products, so feel free to take a peek!

Check out the shop here>

Out of Print

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I am sure that about 90% of you have already heard of Out of Print, but hey, I can’t not mention them here. I LOVE Out of Print and have quite a few different products from them. I am not really sure what they make their sweaters out of, but it’s the SOFTEST fuzziest coziest material EVER. Love. Big love.

Check out the shop here>

Frostbeard Studio

Frost Beard

Have you ever wanted to take a big freaking whiff of what your favorite book might smell like? Or even the very IDEA of a bookish concept such as “Sherlock’s Study” or “Beach & Books”? Then Frostbeard Studio may have what you are looking for! This is also a great idea for anyone who is looking for a holiday gift idea for their favorite bookworm.

Check out the shop here>
Well, those are a few of my favorite (bookish) things! I hope I listed something new to you that maybe you’ll get just as excited about as I have been. Like I said above, if you have any recommendations that I should add to my list, please let me know and I will check it out! 🙂

Happy reading, bookworms!!

 

*Note: All company logos are the property of the accompanied website/podcast/etc. owner which I found on their respective websites. Please do not distribute these images in any way without crediting the owner.*

Exciting Reading for October!

Exciting Reading for October!

Hey friends!

This may be a bit premature, but I’m getting extremely excited for October. Despite the fact that it’s only August, I’m already incredibly excited to pick out spooky horror reads and deeply sink into the excitement of Halloween and crispy leaves.

If you follow me on Instagram (@worldswithinpages), you’ll maybe know that I’ve decided to use October as an excuse to host a month-long readalong of various horror novels. I always keep readalongs super laid back, so I’m really excited to introduce this new format! I’ll be using the hashtag #WorldsWithinSpooktober to track both my and posts and the posts of those who would like yo join in with me.

I’m going to choose 4 books and everyone will be welcome to pick however many they’d like to read along with me. I’m still deciding on how to set up discussion posts, but I’m hoping that by hosting this readalong, people will be more open to experiencing the horror genre. It’s so underrated, in my opinion, and I hope more people can fall in love with it.

Curious which books I might pick? Like I said, I am going to choose four, but here are a few on my list at the moment which I will narrow down in September:

  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  2. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  3. Macbeth by Jo Nesbø
  4. Ghost Story by Peter Straub
  5. The Good House by Tananarive Due
  6. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  7. The Passage by Justin Cronin
  8. Fledgling by Octavia Butler
  9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  10. Bag of Bones by Stephen King

See any you’ve read and loved? Any you’re dying for me to include? Let me know, and let’s get SPOOKY! 👻

5 Horror Recommendations for “Wimps”

5 Horror Recommendations for “Wimps”

*Sits down to type this post in my Haunted Mansion shirt from Disney World*

Hello, foolish mortals, and welcome to one of the THE most requested post/list I get from people on the reg over on Bookstagram (shameless plug, go follow me on insta @worldswithinpages).

 

Over the last few months on bookstagram, it seems like I have developed a bit of a reputation. That reputation has been based on my newly found love of Stephen King as well as the endless number of books I have picked up in the last few months that fall under a genre that is often avoided at all costs: horror.

Let me put this out there, I used to think I would hate horror novels! I thought I would get way too scared and would have nightmares and spend hours at night peering around at the shadows in my room, just waiting for a murdery ghost to try and kill me. BUT… I have since learned that, not only can I handle horror novels way better than I thought I would (better than scary movies, for sure), but I LOVE them and I can’t seem to get enough!!

So, the question you all came here to have answered, if you are a wimp and normally hate scary things, where should you start if you’re feeling just a little brave and want to dip your toe into the “horror” genre? I have five suggestions for you, but first, a big fat disclaimer:

*Horror novels, including the ones I am about to mention, often have very graphic scenes varying from general blood and gore to psychologically disturbing content. I will tag TW’s down below along with the titles, but please be warned that I do not recommend the horror genre for those who are unable to process disturbing themes safely.*

Here we go…

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

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Bird Box was actually the very first horror book I read that made me realize “hey, I actually like this stuff!” If you’re into atmospheric stories that contain an air of supernatural mystery, this book is for you!Bird Box follows a woman named Malorie and her two children (called Boy and Girl) as they struggle to navigate life in a post-apocalyptic world where ~something~ is lurking. Seeing this ~something~ causes extremely gruesome acts of violence against others, and/or against yourself, which means closed eyes and blindfolds are mandatory at all times. This is the life that Malorie has been forced to raise her children in since the moment they were born, and one that she has suffered to survive while everyone else around her is dead. If there is ANY good news in this situation, or even a glimmer of hope, Malorie has become aware of a location where she and her children can maybe find safety and protection from the “monster.” The only problem? She isn’t positive where it’s located and, obviously, she will have to be blindfolded the entire way.Side note: The book is 400x better than the movie, so if you have seen the movie and were “meh” on it, don’t hesitate to give this one a go!

 

*TW for gore, suicide, and intense descriptions of disturbing things*

 

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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The Winter People would be a PERFECT introductory read to the horror newbie. While there are *~spooky~* things that are happening, it is the atmosphere of the setting that McMahon builds that really gives you the creeps. If you’re into books that suspend your satisfaction until the very end, this is a GREAT choice for you.

Description via Amazon (because it’s hard to describe on my own lols):

“West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter.

Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked into the historical mystery, she discovers that she’s not the only person looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.”

*TW for very mild gore and violence*

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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It’s fairly likely that you have heard of this book, or the show that was inspired by it that had everyone sleeping with the light on during the winter months after it aired on Netflix. The funny thing is, this book is NOWHERE near as scary as the show. Not even close. Does it give you all the ghosty goodness that a haunted house story should? Of course! But don’t use the show as a barometer of how badly this book will scare you because the book and the movie are like your eyebrows should be: Sisters, but not twins.

In case you’re not up to speed on what this book is about, it’s basically your formulaic haunted house story. A group of people are invited to stay at a mansion with a mysterious past and haunting ensues. What makes this book slightly more disturbing than most is that it combines external ghosty hauntings with internal mental hauntings (I don’t know what else to call it, okay? You’ll see…). This book would also be a good choice if you are trying to read more classics this year, but you don’t want to get bogged down by “ye olden tyme” syntax.

Carrie by Stephen King
Image result for Carrie book

Despite the fact that Stephen King is known for his unstoppable and uniquely disturbing prowess in horror, a few of his books sit very comfortably on the “mild side” when it comes to really getting under your skin. Carrie is one of those books. As King’s first novel, Carrie serves as a pinky toe dip into the cold pool of horror novels for his readers AND his own artistry.

This book, in true King fashion, reveals creepy themes in multiple layers. It’s like an onion of fear (or an ogre). You’ll get unsettling flashbacks of teenage high school bullying, telekinetic violence, extreme religion-based manipulation and abuse, and disturbing scenes that bring you into the moment and inside the mind of Carrie as she deals with some pretty rough things.

  *TW for very mild gore and violence*

 

The Grip of It by Jac Jemc

If you want to dive into more of a spooky haunted house setting that’s just slightly more brave than The Haunting of Hill House, The Grip of It by Jac Jemc will deliver. The cover art alone is a bit unsettling, and sets the tone for the entire novel.

A young married couple, Julie and James, decide to leave the “big city” behind and settle into a house in a secluded wood that will allow them to focus on mending their tumultuous relationship and have a fresh start toward a new life. Little do they know, the house they move into has other plans, which makes sense, as it becomes very clear that it has a true mind of its own. Rooms disappear, disturbing smells and stains drift in and out of focus, bruises appear overnight on Julie’s body, and their off putting next door neighbor is just the icing on the creepy cake. When the pieces of the puzzle start to come together for what happened in the house that caused such unrest within, Julie and James, and their sanity, begin to unravel. What really happened in this house? Are the random labyrinth of rooms that appear and then decay really there or just a hallucination? Who is the next door neighbor and why does he keep watching their every move?

 

 

Hopefully this list gives you a good place to start on your spooky horror journey! As someone who has been getting deeper and deeper into the horror genre, I will definitely be offering up more recommendations and reviews in the future, so be sure to keep an eye out for that post if you’re interested!

In the meantime, be sure to follow me on instagram at @worldswithinpages to keep up with what I am reading and all my random adventures! 🙂

Ta ta for now!

 

5 Ways to Get Away With Reading at Work

5 Ways to Get Away With Reading at Work

 

If you are a bookworm after my own heart, you will know that reading and consuming literature is a full-time grind. This is not a hobby for the weak. If you aren’t thinking about books 24/7, you can’t sit with us.

Just kidding, you can sit with us, but just know that we are going to ignore you and not make eye contact in favor of finishing our third book for the week.

One of the things that get in the way of being able to read every day and all the time is this weird adult trapping mechanism called a “job.” Most of us work at least 40 hours a week, precious time that could be dedicated to our novels. So what can we do to make sure that we still have time to read at work without jeopardizing your paycheck (that will ultimately be used to buy more books)? Here are a few of my creative ideas:

  1. Read at your desk, but cover yourself with a blanket so that nobody can see you.This tactic worked really well for me as a kid. My mom would come into my bedroom to check on me at 10:00pm and lo and behold, there I was with my flashlight on and my book open wide. I would get scolded for not sleeping and have my book taken away, breaking my youthful, innocent heart into a million tiny pieces. This was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I am still scarred by it today and thank you for your thoughts and prayers. But as I got older and wiser and crept up on the ripe old age of 10, I discovered that if you put your blanket over your head, shielding your book and Barbie flashlight beam from view, your parents would be fooled into thinking you were sleeping and carry on with whatever Moms even did back in the day. Take that, Ma, I got you so good!!!My confidence that this will work with your coworkers is at LEAST 40%. I will take that chance.
  2. Copy your books onto 8.5×11” paper with the company copy machine, print it out, grab a highlighter, and tell all your coworkers that you need to “finish these reports by the end of the day.”There are very few people in the business world who would deny that deadlines are stressful, especially when there is a big stack of papers sitting on the corner of your desk waiting to be completed and judging you harshly every time you open Amazon.com or google “baby otters” instead of getting them completed. Because everyone can relate to this stress beast, this particular scheme works incredibly well. Someone walks into your office and asks for a financial breakdown? Not now, Linda, gotta get this report done by the end of the day. Your boss needs you to go drop off a super important binder to a client? Not now, Deborah, these numbers aren’t going to crunch themselves, pal, sorry. The building is about to be attacked by a modern day Godzilla that will likely cause major destruction and upset to the entire organization? Sorry, gotta figure out who Kendra picks in this insane love triangle. Priorities.
  3. Convince your officemates to hold your book up for you so you can expertly multitask.It’s pretty obvious to other people when you a reading a book. It’s in your hands, your head is down, and you’re in a state of ignorant bliss. This is not conducive to sneaky reading and your boss will know right away that you are not being a productive citizen (the horror). That’s why you need to enlist a book-holding buddy so that THEY are the ones who get in trouble for holding the book, not you. Seems like a simple concept right? Not only that, but you can do so many other productive things while they hold your book like finishing stapling those documents together or eating a steaming, sloppy cup of noodles. The choices are limitless! You may be asking yourself “but what do THEY get out of this arrangement?” The answer: Killer biceps and forearms. Have you ever held a book up for 8 hours straight? They will thank you later when they look like Gaston.
  4. Listen to an audiobook and obnoxiously scream “I AM SORRY, I JUST CAN’T HEAR YOU” every time someone tries to talk to you.This tip is pretty straightforward. If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by my office and ask me, but I probably won’t be able to hear you.
  5. Hide under your desk and claim you are getting ready for disaster preparedness.Remember those tornado drills they made us do in elementary school where you were forced to sit under your desk with a book on your head for an hour while sirens screamed through the classroom (aka the good old days)? Now is your time to shine! Get under that desk, surround yourself with military-grade tornado shields, and hoard some snacks and books to keep you occupied for 8 hours. If anyone laughs at you for doing this, kindly let them know that you will be the one prepared for the impending tornado disasters, not them, and then who will be laughing? Probably me, Richard, probably me.

I hope these tips and tricks help inspire you to be the best reader you can be despite having to work 40 hours a week. Let me know if you try out any of these tips, and please send pictures.

 

Best of luck,

Alisa

Confessions of a Bookworm

Confessions of a Bookworm

*Usher voice* “These are my confessions…”

Usher Confessions

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way…

It’s pretty easy to have popular opinions when it comes to books, or anything really. I suppose that’s what makes them “popular.” But, like any honest human being, there’s probably a little nagging troll inside your heart that is telling you things like “Okay, but really, the book wasn’t that great even though there are about 40 fanfic Tumblr blogs dedicated to low res gifs of actors and actresses who maybe look like what the characters are described as in the books making out on a loop” or “No, it really IS messed up that Bella chose Edward at the end of the series instead of Jacob and we all know it’s true but the only reason we won’t admit it is because we are so dedicated to choosing the wrong guy/person because it just feels RIGHT” (Don’t even lie to yourself, you know that’s the truth, friend. Listen to your heart troll…).

I wanted to share with you some of my bookworm confessions because I know I am definitely not alone in some of my feelings. Let me know if you are my heart troll soulmate!

Confession Number One: I can’t stand the dusty smell of old books.
This is a big one, I know. So many people love the smell of old books, but as someone who has suffered from dust and mold allergies since I emerged from the womb, I am not into it. Each time I smell an old book, it makes my body immediately throw itself headfirst into panic mode thinking that allergens are attacking my nose with the force of an Orc army, and my sinuses scream bloody murder “GET THE BENADRYL!!” Basically… old dusty books can exist, they can just exist the heck away from me.

Confession Number Two: If you mark up, dog ear, tear out, underline, sharpie, burn, cut up, snort, or otherwise deface your pages, go to jail right now and do not pass “Go.”
I don’t get it… Why would anyone want to destroy a perfectly good book by ruining its beauty with things such as that neon pink Sharpie highlighter you probably stole from your place of work? Leave the books alone!! Use a bookmark and some sticky notes!! Unless you are doing some serious college-level analytical breakdowns of the text, you leave that girl alone, she deserves better.

Confession Number Three: Books that don’t address how to pronounce a character’s name make me feel very insecure.
Here’s the truth: Names both in real life and in books are getting weirder and weirder and further away from the “norm.” This is totally fine, as I embrace individuality and encourage people to be creative. But if I have to read a 300 page book, let alone a SERIES, where I can’t figure out how to pronounce someone’s name, it is going to drive me NUTS. Why? Because it makes me feel stupid that I figure out the meaning of, and how to pronounce, floccinaucinihilipilification, but it took me until 2001, when the first Harry Potter move was released, after already reading the first three books in the Harry Potter series, to learn that Hermione was NOT pronounced “Her-mee-own”. Imagine my shock… (Fun fact: Apparently J.K. Rowling never intended for us to pronounce the “t” at the end of Voldemort, so I am told)

Confession Number Four: I judge books by their covers.
There, I said it. I do. I’m not sorry either!!

Confession Number Five: Romance novels always make me laugh, which I am pretty sure is DEFINITELY not the point of romance novels…
I get the appeal of romance novels, I really truly do. I can appreciate a good love story where two characters meet and fall deeply in love after seeing each other one time in a Starbucks and accidentally bumping into each other and somehow her skirt flies up and his shirt suddenly comes totally unbuttoned, revealing gleaming pectorals, but like he’s a single Dad so he’s a softie who just GETS HER too (as is what happens in real life, obviously). However, books like Fifty Shades of Grey (which I have never read) or books where there are oily, 14-pack having men on the cover with titles such as “Abs of FEELS” always make me laugh. Why do they always say such weird things that no human person would ever be attracted to in real life?

So there you have it. My weird albeit honest bookworm confessions. I hope they made you laugh and if you can relate to any of these, let me know!

Xoxo
-Alisa

The Best Christmas Gifts for Book Lovers

The Best Christmas Gifts for Book Lovers

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiime of the yearrrrr. Or, well, it ALMOST is. That means it’s time to start making a list (and checking it twice) of things your book loving friends would love to receive for the holidays. I have made that task just a little bit easier for you this year by compiling a list of Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Book Lovers that will help make your lovely bookworm buddies smile.

  1. Candles inspired by books from Frostbeard Studio
    Frostbeard Candles
    What better way to enjoy a book than with a candle whose scent truly transports you to the world it is inspired by? Frostbeard Studio candles are a favorite of my friends over on bookstagram (hint hint: follow me at @worldswithinpages) and their creativity is boundless when it comes to scent creation. (Image courtesy of Frostbeard Studio website)
  2. Book Buddies By Melvis Makes
    Sloth Buddy
    I bet you never knew that a Christmas inspired sloth book buddy was even possible outside of your wildest dreams, did you? Well surprise! Melvis Makes, an incredibly kind creator out of the UK, makes some of the cutest book sleeves ever. Your bookworm will love protecting their books in style this holiday season, so make sure you visit her site on Etsy! (Image courtesy of Melvis Makes on Etsy)
  3. Book tote designs made by Risa Rodilthousand-lives156247-bags
    Risa Rodil has the most gorgeous designs ever and my personal favorites are her book inspired tote bags featuring gorgeous colors and quotes from some of our favorite novels. Visit her store on Society6 and you can’t go wrong! (Image courtesy of Society6)
  4. Bookish Jewelry
    While I don’t have a shop I can recommend (please let me know if you have any favorites), there is a ton of jewelry inspired by books on Etsy. Some of my personal favorites include necklaces that contain quotes from my favorite books including Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Alice in Wonderland. Alex & Ani also just released a line of Harry Potter jewelry, so make sure to check that out!
  5. Fuzzy Socks (extra points if they are book-related)
    Socks
    Sock Sunday is a religion on Instagram and bookstagrammers come out in full force with their warmest, cutest socks to share along side photos of their current reads. Some of my personal favorites are from Modcloth and they are pretty inexpensive to boot and would make a perfect stocking stuffer!

 

I hope this guide has helped you make an awesome list of ideas for the people you love in your life who love books just as much as I do!

Did I miss anything that you want for the holidays that you will be getting for your bookworm friends? Let me know!

Happy Holidays!

-Alisa