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Book Related Topics

End of Year Housekeeping: We Want Your Feedback!

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It’s been a year since we started this blog and we hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it. It’s been a labor of love, library runs and book acquisitions this past year. Also, a learning process for us, as we try to build an audience and make a space on the internet for ourselves and our love for reading.

We want to always check in with you guys to make sure we are giving you the best we can on this blog. As this is our last post of the year, we are using this opportunity to give you guys a chance to let us know what you would like to see from us next year.

Are there any particular type of reviews you would like?

If we started a book club would you participate and how would you like us to conduct it? Via twitter? or comment sections? How often would you like to have it?

How can we make our posts more interactive? What would make you more likely to leave a comment?

How can we improve our social media presence? Is there something you’d like to see on our instagram or twitter that we are not doing now? (please follow us on instagram @nightstands2 and twitter @2nightstands and tell a friend to tell a friend)

Any personal questions you’d like to know about us? Get to know us as bloggers!

Let us know in the comments because we want this blog to be your go-to destination to express your love for books and your feedback will help us build a better community of like minded people.

Thank you!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Hope you guys come back next year for a wonderful year of all things books!

P.S We were a little disappointed that no one shared their best and worst books of the year 😦 We were looking forward to seeing what everyone else thought and also adding to our TBR lists. So if you so feel inclined, it’s never too late to let us know 😀

Leggy & Taynement

Uncategorized

Our Best and Worst Books of 2018

That time of the year, full of year end lists and reading recaps. You can see our best and worst of last year here. Here’s what we thought for this year:

OUR BESTS

Taynement:

18

I had to beg Leggy to let me cheat. I have been mulling and mulling all year trying to pick which I liked better of these two and I just can’t pick one over the other. Considering my favorite book last year was Backman’s Beartown, I guess you could say I am a fan girl. You can see what we though of American Marriage, here and Us Against You, here. That being said, I am such a stingy bitch. I don’t think I gave a single book (not even my faves) 5 stars this year.

Other favorites:

  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama

Leggy:

Image result for a place for us

My favorite book this year was A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza. I knew immediately I read this that it would be my favorite of the year. I just enjoy the slow burn of this book, how it builds and how well written it is. You can see me gushing about this book here.

Other favorites:

 

OUR WORSTS

Taynement:

 

Windfall -  by Jennifer E. Smith (Hardcover) - image 1 of 1

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith. I don’t even know how I made it to the end of the book.  It got a 1-star from me and reminded me why YA isn’t always my favorite genre because the mindset is completely far removed from me. She buys her crush a lotto ticket for his birthday, he wins and wants to give her some and she declines and makes such a big deal about it. I mean who declines $20 million? Anyways, its my fault for reading it.

Leggy:

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I couldn’t decide between Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool by Peter Turner. You can see what I thought about Emergency Contact here, but I didn’t think the relationship was romantic or appropriate for an 18 year old freshman. I wrote a full review on it on the blog and it’s worth a read, I gave it one star on good reads.

My other pick, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool was just terrible. It’s not a well written book and there was no point to the story. At the end, I was like okay, what was the point of this book? He writes about a movie star he once had a relationship with and spending the last days of her life with him in Liverpool but she was not conscious for most of the book so it really wasn’t about her or her life at all. There was a movie about  it and I definitely didn’t watch it.

We’d love to hear what your best and worst books were for the year. Let us know in the comments!

 

leggy and taynement

Fantasy, Fiction

Book Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

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The premise of this book is amazing. It’s 1969 and 4 siblings go see a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell people when they will die, right down to the age and exact date. With this information – Daniel, Varya, Klara and Simon- go ahead and live their lives with this information with Varya the only one who shares her age. They live their lives not knowing whether it was living out a destiny or a self-fulfilling prophecy. The book follows the life of each sibling and gives more insight into how they live.

With such a captivating cover, I feel like I saw this book everywhere and I had high hopes for this but unfortunately, this book was a let down. It had my interest in the beginning and I was curious to see how they would go ahead with life having an alleged expiration date, especially getting the info as teenagers. I feel like the first sibling story was quite interesting and captivating but as we progressively went through each sibling, it became more boring. By the time, we got to the story of the last sibling, I was bored out my skull and uninterested. There was so much focus on their work too, and while I got the connection, I just didn’t care.

Nothing about the writing stood out and it’s quite forgettable. I don’t have much to say about it to be honest. If this is on your TBR list, I honestly let you know that you won’t be missing much if you skip it.

Taynement

Book Related Topics

‘Tis The Season – Gift Ideas For The Book Lovers In Your Life

Christmas is right around the corner and with Thanksgiving over, this is the perfect time to talk about Christmas gifts! Finding gifts for that friend of yours who has an obsessive reading hobby with their head always in a book, it can be tough sometimes to figure out what to get them, especially when you don’t want to keep giving them only books year after year. We’ve come up with some gift ideas that we hope makes your gift shopping a little bit easier

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Giving your friend subscriptions to literary services is one of the best gifts you can give because they can use it to get books that they actually like and eliminates you having to guess and decide for them. Our recs:

COOKBOOKS

I love cookbooks (Leggy here!) and I have a ton of them that I read and do not even make a single recipe out of. I love the ones where the authors take the time to write the background of each recipe where I feel like i’m reading a book instead of just a set of instructions. I like funny and literary books from professional chefs and home cooks from all around the world, it gives me an insight into various cultures through food. Some of my favorites (and recs)for the year:

  • Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings books (the first is better than the second but they’re both still very accessible to the average cook)
  • Ina Garten’s “Cook Like A Pro” is super good (you can never go wrong with Ina)
  • Magnolia Table by Joanna Gaines (Taynement actually got me this for my birthday!)

Also, there are plenty of cookbooks that are exclusively dedicated to recipes from books. How fun is that!:

  • The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinal Bucholz
  • The Jane Austen Cookbook by Maggie Black 
  • The Book Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That Feature Them by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen

  • If cocktails are more of their thing hit them up with Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Ferdele. Besides the fun title, it is a fun cover.

STATIONERY 

Every book lover I know loves them some stationery. Our recs:

  • Beautiful journals for the beginning of the year, actual book lover’s journals that lets your loved one record their books and reviews for the year.
  • Personalized pencil and book websites that’ll let you print their favorite book quotes on any item you get. There are book lover’s post it notes, note cards, note pads, calendars.

So much you can do in this category. You can’t go wrong with this! Oh and etsy is a huge gold mine for gifts like these, they are a tad bit on the expensive side but on the plus side, you’d be supporting small businesses.

COFFEE TABLE BOOKS

Coffee table book add such beautiful visual components to fascinating subjects and interests. I love coffee table books and if I were a grown up I’d have one too! There are so many insightful, educative and funny coffee table books to choose from. Our recs:

  • The Barack Obama Pete Souza picture book is still one of my favorites and is a throw back.
  • The Diary Of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-portrait by Carlos Fuentes
  • The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big and Small by Kath Stathers
  • Buckingham Palace: The Interiors by Ashely Hicks (especially since people haven’t come down from the high of the Royal Wedding!)
  • Havana: Split Seconds by Abe Kogan
  • I Too Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 

JEWELRY 

Yes, we love the finer things in life too. There are so many literary inspired jewelry out there that are beautiful and so unique. Diamonds and books are forever so why not put them together? There are so many everyday accessories your loved ones wear that can be customized to show off their book nerd pride in really unique ways – bracelets, rings, necklaces, watches etc. Once again, Etsy is a gold mine for things like these. Our recs:

HOME DECOR

This is for your friend who likes book and more books and would love to be surrounded by them at all times. Our recs:

GOOD OL’ REGULAR BOOKS 

If you are brave and want to take a chance on getting your loved one an actual book that they’ll love, it’s good to do your homework first. Try to find out what their favorite books and genres actually are before giving them a book you think they’d enjoy. When gifting books it is very necessary to not just give books that you enjoyed but consider if this is a subject they are interested in. Our recs:

  • We have so many recommendations on our blog by genres like cozy mysteries, romance novels, fantasy that you can’t go wrong as long as you do your homework.
  • Celebrity memoirs by people you know they like, for example the new Michelle Obama book “Becoming” is currently the best selling book of the year, Gabrielle Union’s “We Are Going to Need More Wine” is still one of my favorite collection of essays.
  • Anne Bogel’s “I’d Rather Be Reading”
  • A book about their favorite TV show like Kelsey Miller’s “I’ll Be There For You – the one about Friends”.
  • For the Beyonce lover in your life – Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley

BONUS

If you decide to give the gift of Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”, you could go all out and complete it with this journal and candle (below) that will provide inspiration for your loved one. These can be found here.

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This was a fun post to curate for us and we really hope you find something your loved ones will truly enjoy. Have a lovely holiday season!

 

leggy & taynement

 

 

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Chick-Lit, romance

Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory + GIVEAWAY WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT!

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“I’ve spent so long being afraid of love, because the last time I was in love, the man I loved only loved one part of me, but not all of me, and I thought love meant having to sacrifice a part of yourself”

I quite enjoyed The Wedding Date earlier this year and like most romance writers who write multiple books a year, Jasmine has just dropped another one in the same series. This book came out a couple of weeks ago and it was my Book of the Month pick for November. Even though I added this book BEFORE it came out, I was no. 126 in my library. 126?! I just couldn’t wait.

It was such a delight to read. The main female character, Nik, is completely blindsided when she is publicly proposed to at a baseball game by her boyfriend of just 5 months. She says no, is rescued by the main male character, Carlos, and goes viral. Guillory is very big on having a lot of diversity in her books. Nik is an African American freelance writer while Carlos is a Hispanic doctor who is cute, polite, smart and loves to cook – the absolute total package. We get to see the two of them build a friendship, with a dash of sex. Neither of them wants anything serious and Nik is just looking for a rebound so they keep it casual for most of the book. You get to see the slow burn of their relationship and this is what I love about this book. You actually feel them falling in love and there is no mention of love at first sight or instant love which is a trope I can’t stand in romance novels.

“Deciding to spend your life together shouldn’t be a surprise”

I know a lot of people didn’t like the amount of sex in The Wedding Date and I think the editor or author listened and kept this to a minimum. There was more insinuation than actual sex.   The female friendships in this book was another thing I liked. Nik had a strong support system in her friends – Dana and Courtney- and they almost stole the show. They looked out for each other and were there every time she needed them. I also enjoyed how both the characters were already fully formed individuals who communicated very well. I hate miscommunication in romance novels. I’m reading about adults not teenagers!

I did not particularly enjoy the last 50 pages of this book. The way the author wrote the final declaration of love, especially the scene where Carlos realizes that he loves Nik, was bleh to me. It was hard to believe because it just didn’t jive with the character she spent more than 250 pages building. Carlos acted questionably and that part dampened my enjoyment of the book because I expected more from him. Her editor should have had her rewrite the declaration. It took my rating down a star.

You do not have to read The Wedding Date to read this. Yes, we know Carlos is Drew from The Wedding Date‘s best friend and the couple shows up a couple of times in this book but they don’t have prominent parts in this story so you should be fine. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would totally recommend it if you’re looking for something light and well written to combat this bleak weather we’re currently having. I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads.

Leggy

GIVEAWAY WINNERS

Now for the exciting part.

*Drumroll please*

 

The winners are:

 

Estti E. and Edirin!!!!!! 

Congratulations guys! Please visit www.theluxecandles.com and DM via twitter or instagram to let us know what scents you would like and where to send to. Thank you all for your participation. Till the next giveaway, have a happy Thanksgiving!

Book Related Topics

Giveaway! – The Luxe Candles

Hi Guys!

The Holidays are practically around the corner and in the spirit of thanksgiving, we would like to say thank you to you guys who are kind enough to read and support us by working on a giveaway with The Luxe Candles. Made in the USA with a Nigerian entrepreneur, The Luxe Candles is a line of hand poured scented candles. Made with a blend of paraffin and soy wax it allows for a long lasting, cleaner burn and the quality fragrance oils allows for amazing fragrances.

Okay, so about the giveaway. There will be 2 winners and they will be receiving 3 candles each. 2 of them will be the scent of their own choice and the last candle will be the lime-basil-mandarin scented candle inspired by the novel, Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan.

How To Enter:

  • Follow @theluxecandles on Instagram
  • Follow @nightstands2 on Instagram (if you are already following that’s fine, just do the step above)
  • Leave a comment on this post letting us know what book you are currently reading. Be sure to also leave the handle you used to follow on instagram, so we know who to contact if you win!
  • Visit www.theluxecandles.com to pick out the scents you’d like
  • The giveaway is open to everyone but you MUST have a U.S mailing address for your candles to be mailed to you.

Eazy peezy, right? The winner will be announced on Monday, November 19. Don’t forget to share and tell a friend and feel free to make purchases. Never too early for Christmas shopping! Good luck!

romance

Book Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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The Kiss Quotient is a debut romantic novel by Helen Hoang with protagonists, Stella and Michael. Stella is on the spectrum, she has Asperger’s syndrome and struggles with all that comes with being autistic. She has a hard time socializing with people, struggles with touch from other people, obsessive over things etc. With all of this, it’s no surprise that Stella struggles with romantic relationships. All her sexual encounters have been torturous for her and her mom decides to let her know that she is ready for a grandchild. A coworker makes a passing remark to Stella that she needs to learn how to seduce a guy and she takes it seriously.

Cue Michael. The escort Stella hires to help teach her how to be good in bed. Michael is not an escort by choice. He is in over his head in debt. Devoted to his family, especially since his Swedish dad left (his mom is Asian) and mired by personal baggage. As an econometrician, Stella is used to being able to predict behavior but all that is out the window when she meets Michael.

I liked this book. It usually won’t be a book I’d pick on my own but a friend recommended it to me and I needed something very light. It really is basically a rom-com in book form. For those familiar with Mills & Boons, it’s a modernized version. Meaning it followed the basic formula of boy meets girl, they hit it off superbly, misunderstanding drives them apart and they eventually get it together. This is not a spoiler because this is not hard to figure out when you start the book.

The book reads like it is YA because honestly it comes off a bit juvenile. For example, phrases like “he palmed her sex” or “he tried to control himself from spilling” are used BUT it is definitely not YA as there were very many sex scenes that were graphic. The author only referred to penis as cock in the entirety of the book and some how that made me laugh.

If you read this book, you are going to have to HEAVILY suspend belief. Because as soon as she meets him, she suddenly has no issues with touch or tongue in her mouth and is a sex pot. It’s a little unbelievable that they liked everything about each other and nothing annoyed them about the other. I kept wondering whether Stella was Asian but eventually figured out she was white.

I will say though, we constantly say representation matters and sometimes when it doesn’t apply to ourselves we forget all the kinds of representation that matter. The author Helen Hoang was just recently diagnosed as being on the spectrum 2 years ago at age 34 and it helped her in writing the book. I saw a review in which a reader only via reading this book did she associate the symptoms mentioned with herself and she felt so seen. I thought that was such a great thing.

Overall, I recommend this book. As Leggy would say, “It’s a good palate cleanser”. I read this book in two days and I am not a fast reader. If it matters to you, The Kiss Quotient was a finalist in the romantic fiction section of Goodreads Year End Awards. Not surprisingly, the film rights to the book has been optioned. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Taynement