Reading For The Heck Of It

Gosh, I love books. I love the way they feel in my hand, the way they smell, the way they look piling up all around me as I drown amongst their pages...I really, REALLY like books.

 

Favorite genres: nonfiction (especially science), sci-fi/fantasy, classics, and children's literature.

 

Unread/unloved genres: romance and seafaring odysseys.

Reading resource

Excellent Books for Early and Eager Readers - Kathleen T Isaacs

Excellent Books for Early and Eager Readers by Kathleen T. Isaacs is more or less a giant bibliography of books for children. It's organized into different categories such as transitional books (between picture books, easy readers, or short chapter books), quests, talking animal stories, and books about magic. I ended up taking down so many titles to add to my TRL that I had a stack that was nigh on teetering to the ceiling (18 books before I stopped counting). Needless to say, this is an excellent resource for anyone who is either a professional working with children or a parent trying to encourage their child to reach their maximum potential. (It doesn't beat the Read-Aloud Handbook though.) This isn't a book one would generally read cover-to-cover (although that's exactly what I did) but rather one you'd dip in and out of for ideas on books you and the children in your life could read. 8/10

 

What's Up Next: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Lumberjanes Vol. 4: Out of Time by Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, & Brooke Allen

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Self-deprecating hilarity

Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection - Sarah Andersen Big Mushy Happy Lump: A Sarah's Scribbles Collection - Sarah Andersen Herding Cats - Sarah Andersen

Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen marks the beginning of her illustrated web comic being released in book format. Andersen's art is full of humor about her day-to-day life as a single lady who'd rather stay at home than socialize. [A/N: If you're not into jokes about menstruation then this isn't the book for you.] A lot of her jokes focus on how she doesn't want kids, in general doesn't like people, and prefers to stay at home to eat and sleep. (Some of these things seem eerily familiar to me...) Her art style is quite cartoon-y and definitely keeps the feel of her beginnings as an Internet comics artist (in the best way possible).

 

Good ol' menstrual humor featuring my legs.

 

Who among us hasn't done this?

 

 

Her sequel, Big Mushy Happy Lump, showcases relatable female humor at its best. She really leans into the jokes examining her introverted/socially awkward personality traits. She added an end section to this book where she talks directly to the reader about how she feels/acts in social situations. She also discusses at length why she's a sweater thief forever and always. It's really cute and I think it's a great way to connect more with her audience. 

 

I think you get why I took a picture of this one.

 

#truestory

 

I didn't choose this life. This life chose me.

 

And finally there's Andersen's Herding Cats which (surprise surprise) features a lot of cat comics. In Big Mushy Happy Lump Sarah talks about how she has never been a 'pet' person but after she cat-sit for her mom this completely changed and this book examines her obsession with all things feline. This book has a phenomenal end section about navigating the Internet as an artist. Biggest takeaway: Keep making art. 

 

I laugh every time I see this.

 

That last one is how I feel during storytime at work.

 

What's Up Next: Excellent Books for Early and Eager Readers by Kathleen T. Isaacs

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo with illustrations by Mike Lowery

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

When the past catches up

Three Things About Elsie - Joanna Cannon

You may recall my review of one of my favorite books of 2017 titled The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon which centered on a small cul-de-sac in England and the mystery of a missing child. While I was discussing this book with a patron she asked, "Have you read her newest book?" then grabbed it off the shelf to show it to me. I took Three Things About Elsie  home that very night and began it with pretty high expectations. I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed. 

 

The main character, Florence, is an elderly woman living in an assisted living facility called Cherry Tree. The reader discovers that she's fallen down in her apartment and is awaiting imminent rescue. (What a way to start off a story!) The chapters flip flop between her lying there fantasizing about who will come to her aid and remembering incidents from the last several days and the distant past. Florence's best friend is Elsie and she talks at length about the reasons why she values her friendship beyond all others but over the course of the book she adds to her social circle Jack (retired military man and fellow inmate), Handy Simon (groundskeeper and handyman), and Miss Ambrose (second in command of the facility and at first Florence's sworn enemy). As with Cannon's previous book, this is a mystery set within a confined location (with a few brief journeys away) with one doozy of an ending. (I worked out one vital piece of the puzzle halfway through and agonized up to the very end that I had it wrong.) This book is not only about a mystery but also gives the reader a peek into the world of the elderly and what it's like caring for them. Topics like dementia, mental illness, loneliness, and self-worth are rather obliquely worked into the narrative. [A/N: Check the tags to this post if you want a bit of a spoiler-y sneak peek to another theme of the book.] This is a great book for a cozy weekend at home where you're happy to just sit and read for hours. The characters are fully realized and it's obvious that Joanna has a gift for localized mystery and drama. 8/10

 

What's Up Next: Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Redwall by Brian Jacques

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

What a journey!

Elfquest Archives, Vol. 4 - Wendy Pini, Richard Pini

Before you read today's review you probably want to catch up by reading my review of Volumes 1-3 of the Elfquest Archives

 

Elfquest Archives Volume 4 by Wendy & Richard Pini is the final book in the Grand Quest (original 24 issues of the series) which follows the Wolfriders as they make their way from their familiar home in the forest to find others of their kind. This book is the epic conclusion which sees our heroes meeting their last tribe of elves called the GoBacks who have been at war with the Trolls that live in the mountains. These Trolls are the final barrier between themselves and their ancestral home, The Palace. Those who have undertaken to read all these volumes finally see some big questions answered like why Two-Edge has both hindered and helped Cutter's tribe in their fight against their enemies and the biggest mystery of all is revealed: Why and how they reached this planet in the first place. Additionally, Leetah discovers that her powers while very powerful have severe consequences. (Up until this point her healing abilities have almost been like a Get out of Jail Free card so this is an interesting development.) 

 

Also, a suspicion I've long held about a certain relationship was totally verified (at least I feel that it was and no arguing will sway me). I'm being purposefully vague because I don't want to spoil anything.

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Resurrection and rebirth

Once Upon a River - Diane Setterfield

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield is a difficult book to categorize because it doesn't fit neatly into any one genre. It's historical fiction looked at through the medium of magical realism with a healthy dose of the supernatural. All of the interwoven narratives (of which there are 4 main ones) center on the River Thames with quite a few factoids about that body of water sprinkled liberally throughout. [A/N: The author's notes section at the back details Setterfield's research which is unsurprisingly thorough.] The opening scenes of the book take place in The Swan on a dark and stormy night with the arrival of a mysterious stranger who is injured and carrying a little girl who is dead...until she isn't. The biggest mystery morphs from how she could possibly come back to life into who exactly she is and subsequently which family can call her their own. Flipping between a couple grieving for their child who has been lost for years, a disturbed woman who thinks the little girl is her dead sister, a man who believes she might be his grandchild, and a doctor (and her would-be suitor) this is Drama (capitalization necessary). 

 

Frankly, I think Diane Setterfield has knocked it out of the park again. Once Upon a River is another work of beautiful writing with interesting characters (very different from those in The Thirteenth Tale which affirms my belief that Setterfield is a magician). This book is more adult in tone so be aware there are some explicit scenes but they are by no means overused or detracting from the overall story. And if magical realism and the supernatural aren't your thing then you're probably not going to fully get this book but I encourage you to give it a shot anyway because the writing is just so dang great. 10/10 

 

What's Up Next: Elfquest Archives Volume 4 by Wendy & Richard Pini

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

So hard not to give spoilers

Hilo Book 5: Then Everything Went Wrong - Judd Winick

HiLo: Then Everything Went Wrong is the 5th book in the continuing series by Judd Winick about the boy who fell to earth and turned out to be a superhero robot. [A/N: If you've been around for a while then you might recall that I reviewed the other books in 2 separate posts (1-3 and 4) so if you need to catch up then go read those posts first.] Winick is notorious for his cliffhangers in this series and the end of book 4 was no exception but fear not because MANY questions are answered in this book (although several more are posed). The true history of Razorwark and his creator are revealed. It's actually quite believable based on real life events (I'm talking Robopocalypse of course). Additionally, HiLo uncovers more about his past and how exactly Izzy and Dr. Horizon fit in (you're going to be shocked so prepare yourselves). This continues to fit the bill of 'excellent middle grade graphic novel for sci-fi nerds' so no complaints from me on that point but the gaps between books are lengthening. The next book doesn't hit the stands until January 2020!

 

P.S. The government finally figures out who the Comet is.

 

What's Up Next: Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Totally insensitive

Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson chronicles the walking expedition that the author took across Great Britain right before he moved back to the United States. I loved how his enjoyment of the countryside (particularly Yorkshire) came through in his beautiful descriptions. If he had only stuck to his descriptions of the idyllic countryside and the interesting monuments and things that he saw there I would have enjoyed this book. Instead he interjected his beliefs/prejudices/stereotypes about different groups of people and it really turned me off of the entire book. The first note that I wrote after reading this was simply "I don't like Bill Bryson."

 

What he poked fun of (a shortlist):

  • fat people (fat shaming a family at a restaurant and staring so much they moved tables)
  • Asperger's (a trainspotter widower he met was too excited about trains apparently)
  • Lewis Carroll (described him as a "poor perverted mathematician" when pedophilia was only rumored never proven)
  • Parkinson's (need I say more?)

 

The only good things that came out of this is that I'll probably visit Warwick Castle and Snowshill Manor in the future...and I'll never read anything else from Bill Bryson.

 

For another viewpoint, check out the critique of A Walk in the Woods by Mary Jean Ronan Herzog entitled "Including Appalachian Stereotypes in Multicultural Education: An Analysis of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods" in the Journal of Appalachian Studies Vol. 5 Issue 1. 

 

What's Up Next: HiLo: Then Everything Went Wrong by Judd Winick

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Excellent Books for Early and Eager Readers by Kathleen T. Isaacs

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

He's right about Halloween

Remember? Remember?  - Charles Beaumont

Described as 'mini obituaries for times gone past', Remember? Remember? by Charles Beaumont was exactly what I wanted it to be: Lots of fun. What I hadn't counted on was the excellent history lesson that I got as a bonus. This book is partly a history of life in America circa the early 20th century (nostalgic reminiscence being the preferred narrative lens) and partly a condemnation of letting this superior past be taken over by the clearly inferior pursuits of the present (1960s). His main concern seems to be that the adults of today's (1960s) generation have ruined the future of their children by doing away with the pleasures of yesteryear. 

 

Examples of ruination include but are not limited to: 

  • Charlie Chaplin's exile from America after being a prolific entertainer that created art in a time when the world was gray.
  • The spectacle of silent movies taken over by the sterility of 'blockbusters' in cookie cutter movie theaters.
  • Steam trains being replaced by diesel engines which were then supplanted by airplane travel. (Beaumont is all about the romance.)
  • Halloween no longer being a night of mischief but a highly sanitized and supervised few hours of getting candy from pre-approved houses before calling it quits before the sun has even sunk below the horizon.

 

Conclusion: This was a fun (and surprisingly educational) book which has me looking forward to ferreting out more work of his in the (not too distant) future. 10/10

 

 

What's Up Next: Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

I'm not the audience for this one

New Kid - Jerry Craft

New Kid by Jerry Craft is a middle grade graphic novel that tells the story of a boy named Jordan who has (against his will) been enrolled in a prestigious private school in the upscale (and predominantly white) neighborhood of Riverdale. While he didn't necessarily feel like he fit in among his peers at his old school in Washington Heights he really feels like the outsider at this school being one of only 3 students of color. (There's a lot of mixing up of names by the teachers + bullying by peers.) In classic 'rebellious preteen' fashion he feels that the world (i.e. good ol' mom) is set on ruining his life because she won't let him go to art school instead of this place where it seems like everyone is either rich, white, or both. To help him sort through his frustrations and rage he takes to working on a sketchbook detailing his experiences. [A/N:These comics are interspersed throughout the book.] New Kid is a coming of age story about classism, racism, and finding out where you truly belong. 

 

Honesty compels me to tell you that I didn't necessarily love this book because of its predictability and slow moving pace. However, this book wasn't written with me in mind as its audience and therefore I think for the young person who is feeling 'other' and beaten down by circumstances out of their control this could be quite an important book. I liked the illustrative style particularly how it worked so well with the sprinkling of Jordan's comics with their very different artistic approach so no complaints on that front. For me it's a 4/10 but in terms of readability for that audience I'd say 8/10.

 

Source: Amazon

 

An example of Craft's style. [Source: iTunes]

 

 

What's Up Next: Remember? Remember? by Charles Beaumont

 

What I'm Currently Reading: ElfQuest Archives Volume 4 by Wendy & Richard Pini

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Tracking down a killer

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer - Michelle McNamara, Patton Oswalt, Gillian Flynn

While perusing the New York Public Library's Winter 2018 Staff Picks  (an excellent recommendations list by the way) I came across I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. Since I have somewhat of an interest in true crime and especially serial killers (see my archive for the evidence) this seemed a natural choice for me. McNamara (who sadly passed away before completion of the book) covers the history of the Golden State Killer back to his beginning when he was still referred to as the Visalia Ransacker before upping his game to become the East Area Rapist. (Michelle actually gave him the moniker of the Golden State Killer.) He began as a peeping tom before graduating into a burglar, rapist, and then finally a serial murderer. His reign of terror in California where he committed more than 120 burglaries, 50 rapes, and 13 murders spanned about a decade from the late 70s into the mid-80s before abruptly stopping. His crimes crossed jurisdictions and so for many years police did not know that all of these crimes were the work of one single man...a man that at the time of this book's publication was still not identified. 

 

McNamara talks about her obsession with true crime and specifically with this man who she often referred to as her 'white whale'. She cultivated relationships with other true crime aficionados through online forums (and her blog) but also developed close working friendships with detectives both past and present who had worked on the case. By assembling all of the available evidence (of which there was an abundance) she began to comb through it hoping that she would see something that would help them find the man who many believed had either died or been imprisoned on unrelated charges. Although there was ample evidence including DNA there was no match in any database so detectives routinely fed his DNA markers into genealogy websites hoping for a match...and shortly after McNamara's book was published they found one. 

 

This book is as much a true crime novel about an unidentified killer as it is the memoir of the woman who devoted so much of her time to investigating his crimes. If you like watching shows like Cold Case or really anything on the I.D. channel you'll feel right at home with I'll Be Gone in the Dark. 8/10

 

What's Up Next: New Kid by Jerry Craft

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Phenomenally gripping narrative

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

For those who love an engrossing family drama steeped in mystery I have just the book for you: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I guarantee you'll be hooked by the third page (or perhaps even earlier). I had barely gotten a third of the way through before I was checking to see what else Setterfield had written and if I could get my grubby mitts on it. (She just released a book in December called Once Upon a River and I'm already on the library's holds list for it.)

 

When I was writing notes about this book after reading it I realized that I was basically regurgitating the plot because I had no idea how to sum up my feelings without divulging loads of spoilers. I'm still not entirely sure how to do it so I'll try to be as basic as I can be here. The story opens with a bookseller named Margaret Lea who upon returning to her flat finds a letter from an acclaimed author named Vida Winter. Despite being very well-read and what most would consider a true bookworm this is one author that she has never paid much mind to despite her abundance of novels and literary renown. This is rather awkward as it seems the esteemed lady wants Margaret to write her biography. There follows a meeting between the two women where Ms. Winter's true identity is revealed (no mean feat in itself as she's been dodging the truth for years with interviewers). We are then treated to some of the most amazing writing I've read in quite some time as Setterfield begins to weave a story that pulled me in hook, line, and sinker. Make no mistake, Margaret is simply the vehicle through which we are treated to the story of Vida Winter but without Margaret this book wouldn't be the well-rounded thing of beauty that it is (but it would probably still be pretty great).

 

The book is touted as a mystery because the reader is alongside Margaret as the story of Ms. Winter's life is slowly and inexorably revealed and she finds herself having to hold her tongue as the flow of questions becomes almost too much to bear. Who exactly is this woman? What kind of connection do twins have and can one live without the other? By hearing Vida's story will it irrevocably change the course of Margaret's life? You have to read The Thirteenth Tale to find out (or to come up with even more questions). This is one that you don't want to miss, guys. 10/10

 

**SPOILER ALERT** If allusions (subtle and not so subtle) of incest are too much for you to handle then you'd better give this one a miss and maybe take a look at one of her other books because Diane's writing is excellent.**SPOILER ALERT**

(show spoiler)

 

What's Up Next: I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

 

What I'm Currently Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson

 

**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Witch-hunt

Strange Magic - Syd Moore

I love the happy accident that was Strange Magic: An Essex Witch Museum Mystery by Syd Moore. A patron dropped this book (and the next one I'm reviewing) at the circulation desk and the covers (and her effusions of pleasure) led me to checking them out for myself. This is the first in a series about (you guessed it) mysteries at the Essex Witch Museum. Our protagonist, Rosie Strange, has just inherited the museum from her deceased grandfather and she has plans for its renovation and immediate selling. (Rosie is immediately characterized as a no nonsense take charge lady.) However, soon after meeting the somewhat pompous curator, Sam Stone, she finds herself embarking on a search for the lost remains of an accused witch from the 16th century. [A/N: The accused witch they seek named Ursula Cadence is based off of an actual woman from this time period and location in Essex named Ursula Kemp who was accused, tried, confessed, and hanged for the crime of witchcraft.] Why the urgency to find these bones? Well, a little boy possessed by the son of the dead woman is losing the fight against the spirit within and the bones hold the key to his exorcism. No biggie. It's obvious that Moore has done her research on the history of witches and witchcraft in Essex because a ton of facts are thrown at the reader in this little volume (and I'm sure that's why it's spawned a series). But this isn't high brow literature by any means so please don't be deterred from giving this a shot. If you liked the nonfiction book Witches then you'll probably dig this historical fiction/mystery as it's based on true events and discusses how occult practices still occur today. It had been a while since I delved into the supernatural and I enjoyed my time with these characters so I'm sure there'll be a future review of the sequel Strange Sight. 7/10 for Strange Magic.

 

What's Up Next: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

 

What I'm Currently Reading: I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Elfquest Archives Part 3 of 3

Elfquest Archives, Vol. 3 - Wendy Pini, Richard Pini

And then came along Volume 3 where Cutter and his best friend (and possibly lover if you read between the lines) Skywise (my favorite character) are on a quest to find the rest of their Elvin kinfolk and the home of the High Ones (if such a place exists). Their quest leads them to foreign lands where they are met by humans who view them as gods instead of enemies and who speak of others who look as they do with pointy ears (but much taller). When they finally locate those that call themselves the High Ones (and who ride on giant birds) they are not welcomed with open arms but with scorn, distrust, and outright hatred. The group's elder wishes for them to stay but his adviser (and the power behind the throne) has other plans in mind. Winnowill possess the opposite of Leetah's gifts (Leetah is Cutter's mate) which means she has the power to hurt and even to kill so her threats are anything but empty. #dangeraplenty

 

This series looks in depth at these characters and examines their relationships, philosophies, and general way of life. We learn that appearances are deceiving because these so-called warriors are at their core simply a resilient little family just trying to find their place in the world. Full of romance, bloodshed, redemption, and definitely suspense I was shocked at how quickly Elfquest worked its spell on me. 10/10 and can hardly wait for Volume 4.

 

On with the Quest!!

 

What's Up Next: Strange Magic: An Essex Witch Museum Mystery by Syd Moore

 

What I'm Currently Reading: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Elfquest Archives Part 2 of 3

Elfquest Archives, Vol. 2 - Wendy Pini, Richard Pini

Right off the bat, I was blown away by Wendy Pini who is an absolutely phenomenal artist. The entire thing is rich with color and a distinctive flair that I came to appreciate as Wendy's signature style. Another reviewer said that this series is born more of the heart than of the mind and I totally agree with them. [A/N: If you're looking for a cerebral sci-fi then you have made a wrong turn and need to look at your directions a little more closely.] Pini has created a true fantasy epic that is about the people just as much (maybe more so) than the journey they undertake.

 

Volume 2 introduces us to a new clan of elves by the name of the Sunfolk who live (predictably perhaps) in the oasis of a barren desert and who are very different from their Wolfrider kin. Not only are they brown skinned (The Wolfriders are quite pale as they dwelt among the canopies of trees and hunted by night.) but they are peaceful, spiritual, and live much longer lives. (Possibly due to the peacefulness of their people or something else? Yes, this is explored later.) They also possess different gifts from the Wolfriders and have among them a spiritual leader who resembles the mythologized High Ones. These two clans clash immediately and explosively as Cutter finds himself entranced by their leader's daughter who has a relationship with a male of her own clan. #drama

 

Cutter in all his glory.

 

Did I mention they can communicate telepathically?

 

On the left is Skywise, Cutter, and Leetah holding a skull (with Wolfriders in the background)

 

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Elfquest Archives Part 1 of 3

Elfquest Archives, Vol. 1 - Wendy Pini, Richard Pini

Right off the bat, I was blown away by Wendy Pini who is an absolutely phenomenal artist. The entire thing is rich with color and a distinctive flair that I came to appreciate as Wendy's signature style. Another reviewer said that this series is born more of the heart than of the mind and I totally agree with them. [A/N: If you're looking for a cerebral sci-fi then you have made a wrong turn and need to look at your directions a little more closely.] Pini has created a true fantasy epic that is about the people just as much (maybe more so) than the journey they undertake.

 

Volume 1 introduces us to the Wolfriders, a tribe of forest elves, who are led by their young chief, Cutter, who is brave, strong, and dedicated to his people. At the start of the first volume (after we're introduced to quite a few of the Wolfriders and their wolf allies (actual wolves that they ride)) we discover that there has been a longstanding rivalry (and much bloodshed) between the elves and the humans that live nearby. This is partially why they've developed such a close relationship with the wolves and why they've developed into such powerful warriors. A determined human decides that the only way to win against their fierce adversaries is to burn down their forest home...and as a result the Wolfriders begin their quest to find a new home in lands unknown. #backstory

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Sap candy sounds like something a bully would yell at me

Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods - Will Staehle, Tania del Rio

And thus continues what is possibly the slowest reading year I've experienced in a verrrrry long time. Since I really enjoyed the first book in the Warren the 13th series (and reviewed it a few weeks ago) I thought I'd be safe reading its sequel Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods by Tania del Rio & Will Staehle. I was totally right. (Thank goodness for middle grade fiction when you're in a bit of a reading slump, ya'll.) After the events of the previous book, the hotel has become wildly popular as the world's only traveling hotel. However, trouble is brewing right around the corner in the Malwoods where the Witch Queen Calvina has decreed that she must have the hotel and its occupant Beatrice (remember she vanquishes witches). While Warren and his friends are unaware of the trouble brewing in their mists, Warren has set out on his own quest to find something to repair the hotel's control panel and lands himself in one mischief after another. (Ever heard of a snake oil salesman? How about one that literally sells snake oils that he procures himself?) Unforeseen dangers, new allies, scarier enemies (in larger numbers), and the resilience of a hotel manager pack the pages of this fun little book. Once again, I need to note that this book has amazing illustrations that I'd be more than happy to frame and put on the walls of my apartment. This is a really great series to use as a bedtime readaloud with a slightly older child because reading aloud isn't something you should stop once your child can read to themselves. #librarianrant2k19 10/10 for this sequel and I'm excited to continue with the third book Warren the 13th and the 13-Year Curse which is due out on March 26th of this year. 

 

 
In the Black Cauldron with Witch Queen Calvina.                [Source: Entertainment Weekly]

 

What's Up Next: Elfquest Archives: Volumes1-3 by Wendy & Richard Pini

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Strange Magic: An Essex Witch Museum Mystery by Syd Moore

Source: http://readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com

Currently reading

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories by Tim Burton
The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
Lumberjanes Vol. 3 by Shannon Watters
Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbø, Jo Nesbø, Mike Lowery, Tara Chace
Lumberjanes Vol. 2 by Noelle Stevenson
Locomotive by Brian Floca
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, Melissa Sweet
Marilyn Singer,Josee Massee'sMirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse [Hardcover](2010) by M., (Author), Massee, J., (Illustrator) Singer
Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins, Paul O. Zelinsky
Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery