Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “Angela Kulig

Sunday Post #14

Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the amazing Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It is a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

I love participating in Sunday Post because I can provide a recap of books I read, talk about what is coming up next week, and discuss any books I received in the past week!

Books I Bought

I went a bit crazy this week, but it was a needed pick-me-up because I’ve been sick for ~2wks and it’s getting to me. Here we go!

POMI cover Pigments of My Imagination by Angela Kulig – I’ve read and reviewed this already (loved it), but I needed a physical copy.

 Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando – Heard mixed things about this one but I’m a sucker for school settings.

 Winger by Andrew Smith – School settings again, also a lot of people have been raving about it lately.

not a drop to drink  Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis – Too much hype from Epic Reads during Tea Time, had to.

 The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – This is all Kat from Katytastic, check her channel out!

 Vitro by Jessica Khoury – Saw it highlighted in new releases somewhere.

 The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe – Same as Vitro & awesome premise!

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Last Week on the Blog

Monday – Bout of Books 9.0 Recap

Tuesday – Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m Excited For

Wednesday – Waiting on Wednesday #15

Thursday – Killing My Kindle: Jenny Pox by J.L. Bryan

Friday – Frodo’s Frisky Friday: The Wicked Woods by Kelly Apple

Saturday – Book of the Week: Pivot Point by Kasie West

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Books Read Last Week

The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney – 4/5 – MC was mildly frustrating at times but beautifully written.

The Wicked Wolf by Kelly Apple – 3/5 – Fun at times but during “happy time” it felt off, weird.

Fungus of the Heart by Jeremy C. Shipp – 5/5 – Review on Monday!

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons – 4/5 – MC whined/obsessed over love interest a bit much, but great story.

Pivot Point by Kasie West – 5/5 – (Review above)

Coffin Nails and Other Beasts by Angela Kulig – 4/5 – Enjoyed it quite a bit, definitely worth checking out.

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This Week on the Blog

Monday – Mini Review Monday – Fungus of the Heart by Jeremy C. Shipp!

Tuesday – Top Ten Tuesday – Reading Wishlist!

Wednesday – Waiting on Wednesday #16

Thursday – Killing My Kindle

Friday – Frodo’s Frisky Friday

Saturday – Book of the Week

Sunday – Sunday Post #15

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This was a tough week as it was my second battling sickness, but book-wise it was another excellent one. I am still a tiny bit ahead on my challenges, this was the first week of the spring semester for college (I got ahead and did my homework for the month), and I enjoyed all of the books I read. Pivot Point made the week by itself, so freaking good!

Stop by tomorrow for Mini Review Monday to read about one of the best anthologies you’ve probably never heard of! Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a link to your Sunday Post or whatever other bookish meme you partake in over the weekend and I will be sure to check it out! Enjoy your Sunday! ^.^


Pigments of My Imagination by Angela Kulig: Frodo’s Review

Pigments of My Imagination

Summary From Goodreads

From the moment Lucia steps into Bayside Art Academy, she is fed a steady stream of lies, but it’s not until she meets William that she begins to question the people she trusts. Unraveling fact from fabrication seems impossible until Lucia finds her first painting, and discovers the dead do not lie–at least not to her.

A dozen lifetimes ago, Lucia started a war. Not a war with armies or guns, but a bloody war nonetheless. The path leading Lucia to the truth is hidden within lovely art that spans the ages. In this life, however, Lucia doesn’t know where to look. Lost, she turns to the one thing she knows with certainty–she is in love with Leo, and has been before.

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I received an eBook copy of Pigments of My Imagination from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Pigments of My Imagination (from now on abbreviated as PoMI) is a book that I needed time to fully process, which, if you know my normal reviewing style, is pretty strange. You see, PoMI is unlike any book you’ve ever read. No really, if you can find me a book that is legitimately similar I’ll give you a cookie or something, but mostly I’ll just be very surprised. It’s original, so much so that I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, until now.

PoMI is a seamless blend of artistic expression, beautiful writing, and a bittersweet romance. It has elements that I’m still not sure if I would categorize as science-fiction or fantasy, maybe it is a bit of both melded together. The book is mystery and suspense, friendship and the deepest of true love, and maybe above all, discovery of one’s self.

PoMI asks what a lifetime is really worth and what is the best way to spend it. It examines bonds and which are the strongest. Is it familial, friendship, love? Can they all be one and the same? Who is your real family and what would you do for them no matter the cost?

Pigments of My Imagination is such a fitting title because as I read it I felt like I was in an artist’s dream, a fantasy of what the world might be like if all of the art forms in your head could become reality. The imagery is vivid and described in such a way that I couldn’t help but be drawn in. The academy is only the beginning, though it is lovely, and from alleyways to tunnels, from the city in the present to forests of the past, all of it is wondrous and depicted beautifully and in such detail.

I’m fully aware that this review isn’t my normal style, where I break down my main elements and summarize at the end, but that’s because PoMI isn’t a typical read. The word to describe it, if there is one, is more. It’s more than a book. The story is more than just a tale of lovers reunited. The characters are more than teenagers, deeper somehow, richer, and more vibrant. The area around them is magical both in the literal and figurative sense, filled with wonderment, and yet its darkest corners and crevices might be filled with just as much evil as our own world.

While PoMI had some minor flaws, nothing stood out enough to overcome how amazing and original the piece is. I encourage you to read it, you’ll never see anything else like it anywhere, trust me. This is art. This is magic. This is Angela Kulig at her finest. Thanks as always for reading.

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #138/200

Five Smiling Frodos w Background


Auto-buy Authors: Randomness by Frodo

Auto-buy Authors

Grabby Hands Gif

I saw the always entertaining Gaby at Queen Ella Bee Reads do a Top Ten for authors on her auto-buy list and decided to talk about my own, why I consider them “auto-buys” and a bit about auto-buying authors in general, thanks Gaby!

First a bit about auto-buying books from authors. In a follow up post Gaby took a step back and after really looking at her list realized she didn’t have (at least as many) authors she really auto-bought. Whether this was because of genre changes or jumps from one target age range to another (MG/YA/Adult/etc.) it altered that immediate “Must Buy NOW!” mentality. That’s where I differ. I really do have a bunch of authors where it doesn’t make a difference what they are writing about, what age they target or really any qualifier out there, if they write it I will come.

A lot of that has to do with my reading tendencies. I don’t stick to genres or often even to YA, Adult or what have you, I bounce from one type of book to the next at random and that works for me because it keeps the reading experiences fresh and makes each book stand out more. So the following authors are ones that I either own their entire collection (in print or eBook format) or that when I have the monies to I will and that will continue as long as they write. Here we go!

  • John Green – Most of you know who this is, best seller, Vlogbrother, leader of Nerdfighters, Crash Course teacher, master of the emotional sucker punch as well as all around funny guy, John Green is all of these things and much more. I’ve seen all his videos (and Hank’s too of course) so it is only fitting that I love his books. I’ve never given a book by Green less than 5 Smiling Frodos and that isn’t because of any bias, they are just that good. An Abundance of Katherines remains one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read. The only piece by him I don’t own is his collaboration with Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle, Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (yes I even own one of the prizes he gave as a perk Double On Call and Other Stories) and that is one I’ll likely get when I get paid on Friday. Not sure why I put that off. So ya, I’d recommend his work to anyone.
  • Sarah-Jane Lehoux – Sarah-Jane is pretty much the opposite of John in every way. He’s contemporary she’s fantasy with an edge to it. She’s an indie author. You (sadly) may not have heard of her unless you have been following my blog/Twitter for ages where as Green is like crazy huge in so many communities. Green writes brainy characters and complex relationships, Sarah-Jane creates incredibly detailed and amazing worlds and kick-ass heroines. You get the picture. Something else you may not realize about Sarah-Jane? She’s just as amazing a writer as Green is. I want EVERYONE to know that and to check out her work, but for now her collection will at least reside on my (virtual and real) shelves. I can’t wait for more of her work in the future!
  • Ann Aguirre – Back to an author that needs no introduction. It all started with Enclave which I won in a giveaway and devoured and loved immediately upon arrival. Fast forward to about a month or two ago where Twitter is buzzing over a post Ann wrote, This week in SF, which received both incredible support and infuriating backlash. I made a few comments on Twitter and decided I would do one of the two things I believe are the best ways to support authors in any fashion, I bought her entire collective works. At once. I wish I could say I read them all already, but alas there are seemingly infinite books out there and only so much reading time for this hobbit. (In case you are wondering the other way I feel is best to support authors is to review.) She now has a section all to herself on my Wall O’ Books and I can’t wait to dive into each book as well as any she writes in the future. She happens to be one heck of a writer (I gave Enclave 5 Smiling Frodos and called it the benchmark for Dystopians). ^.^
  • Leigh Wilder – Every now and then I like to get a bit naughty and that includes my reading. I discovered Wilder completely at random on Twitter and decided to check out her work. I now own every sexy piece she’s written that I could get my hands on, virtually at least since hers are all eBooks. She usually writes either short pieces or novellas and each leaves me craving more. I’d recommend her to any fan of Erotica. I’ve rated three of her works so far and they’ve always been a 4 or 5. That says a lot. Check her out!
  • Rick Riordan – Here is another author you’ve all heard of. I don’t technically own all of his work (yet), but I do own box sets for Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles as well as books 1-3 of The Heroes of Olympus with book 4 on pre-order. Pretty good right? I’ve actually only read The Lightning Thief and The Sea of Monsters by him, but as with Aguirre he has his own section of my Wall O’ Books and I can’t wait to read more of them when I can. Not much more to say, he’s just really, really talented.
  • Zoe E. Whitten – An author of some of the most controversial books I’ve ever read, Whitten is an author you may never have heard of but definitely should check out. She writes about taboo subjects and refuses to hold back, something I give her major credit for, and if you can handle that I urge you to give her a shot, she deserves it. Her writing level is incredible, some of the best prose I’ve ever seen and the emotions she elicits (at least from me) are the strongest I’ve ever felt while reading a book. Her characters are dynamic, their personalities unique yet relatable and I love them all for different reasons. I won’t gush further but seriously, just go read her stuff and thank me later. Oh, and I own every one of her ~35 pieces, ya she’s that good.
  • Malcolm Gladwell – While the authors I have mentioned so far span a variety of genres this is the first where I am tearing you right out of fiction and thrusting some non fiction goodness onto you. Gladwell is brilliant and makes me use all of my brainpower which, to be honest, I don’t do often enough. Sure some books make me think about a variety of issues, but Gladwell’s books force me to view the entire world in ways I never would have considered. The inner workings of society, how people achieve success, chance and the people that benefit from it and why, so many aspects of life I never would question otherwise I have because of him. Give your brain a workout and check out one of his books. I own them all and have his newest, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants on pre-order. ^.^
  • Angela Kulig – If you follow my blog you’ve seen me review her work, talk about her awesomeness and squee over how excited I am to read her upcoming work. Angela is incredibly talented, jumping from the creepy to the hilarious and back again, sometimes in the same piece, with an ease that few can match. I own and have read all her work and look forward to sharing more of it with all of you in the future. Much of her work has a darker side to it and I love that. It isn’t morbid by any means, but it isn’t happy-go-lucky either, and sometimes I think we need that dose of reality. Check her out!
  • Jeremy C. Shipp – I feel like the Adam’s Family song should play here…oh well. Shipp’s books are definitely creepy and spooky, kooky, and yes sometimes downright ooky, and I love them all. His Attic Clowns pieces are the best Horror/Bizarro Fiction I’ve ever read and always leave me laughing and wishing there was more. I don’t own all of the anthologies he has been a part of (because of the sheer volume) but if it’s just him I’ve got it in one format or another. One of my favorite authors and Twitter follows, Shipp is just a great writer plain and simple. Can’t recommend his work enough.
  • Sean Beaudoin – Similar to Shipp but with a lighter side, Beaudoin examines the human condition in every one of his pieces at a different angle. The Infects shows our inner animal, for some prey and for others predator, and brings them to light. Going Nowhere Faster is the vast majority of teenagers personified by Stan, the MC, and his attempt to get out of neutral and at least into first gear with hilarious results (and far less car puns). Fade to Blue is insane in every way and I loved it, examining the world around us and the potential worlds we can create (in our heads and in reality). Beaudoin is talented, creative and always packs his books with more laughs than I thought possible. I own all his books and have his newest, Wise Young Fool, on pre-order. Go take a look!

So those are my auto-buy authors. Somehow I ended up at a nice round ten auto-buys though I assure you the list wasn’t padded or cut down in any way, these are my favorites and I happen to have ten of them. ^.^ There are a bunch more that are borderline for me. I either own almost all of their work and just haven’t gotten to a few, love their work but some of their pieces don’t interest me or I’m just not quite as obsessed with them (yet). Some of those are: John Grisham, Stephen King, D.J. MacHale, Larry Kollar, Jill Archer, Christopher Paolini, Brigid Kemmerer, Maureen Johnson, David Levithan, Samantha Durante & Tina Folsom. There are plenty more but I don’t have all day and neither do you I’m sure. Thanks as always for reading and it would mean the world to me if you would at least click on those 10 author links and just check out their work when you have time. They are worth it and then some. ^.^


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 11

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 11

15-Day-Challenge

The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!

Today’s Challenge is: Show off 5 of your best blog posts!

From reading some of the other blogs that are participating in this challenge it seems like this is one of the harder ones, and I can understand why. It involves tooting our own horn, something a few of us either aren’t especially good at or don’t really like doing. Share an awesome new book? Heck ya! Talk about a cool new author about to debut? Love to! However, get us to say how awesome we are and some of us clam up so tight you need the jaws of life to pry us open. In my case I just wasn’t sure which posts I thought were my “best” and sifting through my reviews (really the only ones worthy of consideration, I’m not going to pick a meme post after all) was the only way I could think of doing it. So, these may not be the best, but I liked how they turned out for one reason or another.

  • Day 70: Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger: Let the horn tooting begin! (Not a phrase you hear every day…) When I did this review I was still coming off that natural high you get after reading a book you know has become one of your all time favorites. Giving it less than five smiling Frodos wasn’t even an option in my head. So maybe it was the book’s awesomeness seeping into my review, but I felt like this was one of my better ones, especially out of the positive ones (which for whatever reason I have more trouble with than the negative). I’m happy with how my writing was at the time, the flow of the review and if someone were to read it I would imagine this could push them right over the fence they were on and make them read the book. I give Etiquette & Espionage, and Gail Carriger of course, full credit for the quality of the review, without her amazing piece I couldn’t have so many great things to say. ^.^
  • Interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux: What’s this? A non-review post? Of course! You thought this would be all about me? I loved doing the interview with Sarah-Jane. Coming up with those questions and trying to be original wasn’t easy for me since this was my first attempt at an interview on the blog and I didn’t have any stock questions to fire off. Somehow they seemed to be a lot of fun for her to answer and the answers she gave? Interesting, informative, hilarious and a bit snarky, which pretty much sums Sarah-Jane up too. Seriously though, this was just a blast and I’m so glad we set this up (especially because I almost backed out of it due to nerves) and would happily do it again.
  • Day 59: The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton: While I don’t enjoy torching a book  because I know how much work goes into it, sometimes I have to. This was one of those times. The reason why this makes my “best” blog posts is because, while it wasn’t necessarily my most fun to write, I felt the review I did was actually pretty good. Humor was incorporated seamlessly, the analysis was strong and I didn’t trip over my own words (which I have a tendency to do at times). Also, the review gives a potential reader of my blog a good idea of elements in books I really don’t like and if they don’t mind them or even, in fact, like them then they know our feelings toward books probably won’t mesh well. Conversely, if you hate what I hate, you likely will love the elements I love in books too. The review just worked despite having to be harsh at times. I tried to be constructive, attempted to bring up what few positive elements I could drag out of this piece, but overall it was mostly just a Hulk smash of negativity.

  • Day 46: END: An Apocalyptic Anthology: This wasn’t my best review in terms of writing quality, it was short and not overly detailed because of the novella length stories and the breakdowns were simple, though not bad. So why does this make the cut? Impact. If you’ve followed my blog (especially long enough to see this many posts which I LOVE you for) you’d know I work with Angela Kulig on a semi-regular basis. Essentially whenever she has something new come out you’ll see a review here. Which makes it even crazier when she told me that this post was a major factor in her continuing to write. At all. I was floored because, especially at this point in the blogging experience, I didn’t think I had much impact at all. Small time blog and fine with it my reach wasn’t great so at most I’d impact a reader here or there and be fine with it. For this to happen…I’m still stunned.
  • Dewey’s 24hr Read-A-Thon: Why is a readathon post one of my “best” ones? I just had so much FUN! Dewey’s 24hr readathon was the first I ever took part in and kindled my love for them which at this point is borderline obsessive. I loved every aspect of the 24hr experience. Participating in sooo many challenges, reading three books and a novella all of which I enjoyed and tweeting with all of the other participants, again something completely new to me at the time, is an experience I’ll never forget. It is one of the longest posts I’ve ever done and yet reading through it again was an amazing treat for me. *hugs Dewey’s*

So there you have it, my five “best” posts! Honorable mention goes to “Review: Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson” because it was my first real review and my the first giveaway win I ever had on the blog. I feel that reading those five posts is a pretty good summary of what kind of blogger I am. Really the only thing missing is a Frodo’s Hobbit-Sized Review, but you can’t include everything. There is the high points, the very low, the impactful and the joyous. I hope that my content in the future can leave me even a fraction as happy as I am after looking back over these posts. Thank you so much for reading and feel free to share your thoughts on any of the posts or your own top five! ^.^


15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 9

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 9

15-Day-Challenge

The awesome people over at Good Books and Good Wine came up with the fabulous 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge!

Today’s Challenge is: Why do you blog about books?

This is something I touched on in challenge #7 when I spoke about my blogging quirks. Most of my posts are reviews, for a variety of reasons but mostly because I feel (and have been told) that they are the most helpful for authors. Will I do them in conjunction with a blog tour? Absolutely. Regardless of whether the review is part of something or just because I want to share my thoughts about the book the goal is to bring the book to a wider audience. This is true for both positive and negative reviews. If I loved a book I want more people to read it that may not be aware of the book or might be on the fence on if they want to read it. Conversely, if I am not a fan of the book I’d like to explain why so that other people can potentially avoid that one and spend their valuable time reading something else.

This is especially the case with indie authors. They work so hard to garner even a tiny fraction of what the “big boys” get and if I can help share their book to just a few people that wouldn’t have heard of it otherwise then it’s more than worth the time and effort spent. Plus, blogging has allowed me to connect with these authors when I likely wouldn’t have otherwise so I’m reading pieces I wouldn’t otherwise as well. Examples of some fabulous authors I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise and that I reviewed a piece (or a few) for: Zoe E. Whitten, Leigh Wilder, Angela Kulig, Larry Kollar, Starla Huchton, Sarah-Jane Lehoux as well a bunch more.

The community. The book blogging community is just incredible. They’re intelligent, helpful, caring and willing to deal with each other’s obsessiveness, insanity and frequent squees. The joy I see in book bloggers when they are talking about a book they just read that they loved, a book they are super excited to get or really anything book related is like no other group. It’s infectious and uplifting how the community supports its fellow members through seemingly everything. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It’s freaking FUN! I get to talk about books all the time and people actually talk back to me about the ones they loved or their thoughts on whatever, how great is that?! I use it to participate in readathons which are always a blast (marathon reading + twitter chats + giveaways + challenges, heck ya!). Plus I get to record my progress and see how much I’ve read whenever I’d like, and with pretty cover pictures included! Plus it is (hopefully) helping my writing and helping me to understand what I like/dislike in books so that if when I write my own I’ll know what to look out for or what to utilize.

So that’s why I blog about books! Why do you do it? What parts are your favorites? Let me know and thanks for reading! ^.^


Day 56: Heroes & Vallenez by Angela Kulig

Day 56

Summary From Goodreads

Victor Vallenez might not be a villain, but that doesn’t make him a saint. At age 16, Vic could be a career criminal, but instead he spends his time lurking in corners and telling other peoples’ secrets—for a price. As a professional snitch, money is the only thing that talks more than he does. Still, as much as Vic hates to admit it, there are some things even blood money won’t buy—mainly Emily. So, when her chivalrous butthead of a boyfriend shows up and asks for his help, there is one very good reason he won’t turn him down—and that’s his angle.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! This is where I write a review in the time I have before I go to work or before I go to bed. Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Heroes & Vallenez is an interesting and humorous short story, but one that I have a hard time categorizing. For one thing, the main character, Victor, does not seem to be at all like a teenage character, and had I not known that he was going in I would have though that he was an adult who happened to be a snitch. That doesn’t necessarily detract from the story, but as this is intended as more MG, not even YA, it throws me off a bit. Also, I don’t want to spoil the story, so suffice it to say there are some certain “unreal” elements that are thrust at you in the latter half. Those elements seem a bit forced, if you take them away completely I don’t know that you really lose any of the major plot points or developments that occur which makes me wonder if it is simply because it is an MG piece that Kulig thought they were necessary. Not sure.

I did enjoy the novella overall. It was an easy read and the ending certainly was interesting. The humor used was easily my favorite part of Heroes & Vellenez and from reading Kulig’s other works that comes as no surprise. There were things I might have changed or left out, but the piece worked, and a MG reader probably wouldn’t even pick up on the subtle ticks that I found which might mean they’d enjoy it even more. Try it out for yourself! Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 57!

Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #56/365

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Day 52: The Skeleton Song by Angela Kulig

Day 52

Summary From Goodreads

Drowning might not be the way most adventures start, but it is the only way at Skeleton Lake. When Death is your only companion, darkness is always on the horizon.

In the prequel to SKELETON LAKE, Cassie chooses
the wrong brother. That leads to a series of events that take all of her choices away. For in a world of beautiful bones and false flesh, sometimes life after death is killer.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! This is where I write a review in the time I have before I go to work or before I go to bed. Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

In this prequel we find out more about both of the main male characters of Skeleton Lake, Raiden and Conrad, as well as much more about Cassie, the underlying current of the book. Where as in Skeleton Lake Cassie is but an ever-present whisper, in The Skeleton Song we see everything from her eyes. She has a powerful voice and a compelling one as well. She isn’t a very likable character because of the actions she takes, most notably romantically.

The writing is excellent per usual, the story is a nice one and does give the added depth that I was looking for. I can see why Kulig wants The Skeleton Song read after the main novel, it enriched the experience of Skeleton Lake, but didn’t overpower it. There is action, drama and romance in The Skeleton Song. It’s a wonderful short piece, if you liked Skeleton Lake you’ll love this too. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 53!

Mount TBR Challenge #40/150; 2013 TBR Pile #40/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #52/365

Five Smiling Frodos w Background