Tuesday, November 24

literary junkies - november

Pink Heels Pink Truck

1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it. I just finished reading an ARC of The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss that I received from NetGalley. The cover art caught my eye (I think my exact thoughts were "is that a unicorn t-shirt and where can I get one?"), then I saw the blurb that recommended the book to "fans of The Guild, New Girl, Scott Pilgrim, Big Bang Theory, Veronica Mars, or anyone who has ever geeked out about something." As a geek girl, I felt it was my duty to check this one out. If Stephanie Plum had a baby with Amy Farrah Fowler, the result might be Dahlia Moss, whose life is very much not together. When a random dude in a ship captain's hat offers her a job as a detective, she's too intrigued - by the money and the weirdness - to say no. 
"'I have a proposition for you,' he told me. Admittedly, that does sound like the kind of thing a life-changing person might say. It's right up there with 'It's dangerous to go alone - take this!' and 'You are the chosen one.' But a plastic bubble pipe really takes the edge off this sort of thing."
When investigating a theft turns into investigating a murder, Dahlia gets in way over her head and is sucked into the world of online RPGs. Admittedly, I was expecting to identify with a geeky main character a bit more than I did with Dahlia - she is a very different kind of geek than I am, with her Pokemon hat and RPG expertise. I loved the voice Max Wirestone gave Dahlia - wry, sarcastic, and more than a little bit insecure - and found myself laughing out loud several times at the zany situations she got herself into and her commentary on them. The humor, as well as the unusual mystery, kept me reading to the end. My favorite line was probably this one:
"It was fun to be an oddball. And it was even more fun to be an oddball on a mission."

2. Now that we're coming up to the holidays, are there any books you like to return to or remind you of childhood? I always like to put a display of holiday books on my classroom library shelf during the winter season, and one that will always be front and center is The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson. Even though it was a Newbery Honor book in 1959, it's not a very well-known children's book today. My third grade class read it and I fell in love with the story. The subject matter is fairly depressing - three fatherless children whose mother is hiding them under a Paris bridge are "adopted" by a gruff old homeless man - but it somehow reads like a fairytale and has a happy ending. 

3. Do you have any new books on your wishlist? I don't usually put books on my actual holiday wishlist because my family knows that when I want books I either get them from the library or download them onto my Kindle! I do have several relatives that like to get me Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift cards for Christmases and birthdays, and those are always appreciated although they usually go toward classroom books rather than my own pleasure reading. This season I'd love to receive (or use a gift card to purchase) physical copies of Mindy Kaling's new book,  Why Not Me?, Felicia Day's book, or Winter, the last book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

4. Favorite book you've ever received as a gift? When I was a kiddo, my parents ordered me the hardcover, complete version of all the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and poems. I was probably past prime Winnie-the-Pooh age at that point, but A.A. Milne's stories and poems are so full of nostalgia and goodness. I know that when I eventually have children of my own, that book will have a place of honor.

5. Favorite book centered around the holidays? I look forward to seeing everyone else's responses to this question, because I always want to read books that take place during the holidays, but the ones I find always seem to be so cheesy. I will have to go with a classic, and it's probably cheating because it's a short story, but I try to read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol or at least watch a movie adaptation every year. I played Mrs. Cratchit in a really inauthentic elementary school musical play version of the story (seriously, I think my performance was based on Miss Piggy's portrayal of the character, but I was ten, so there), but ever since then, it's been one of my favorite stories. It's definitely become more meaningful to me as I get older and understand the element of looking back on one's choices with the possibility of regret. Also, Roanoke does a "Dickens of a Christmas" celebration where the downtown streets become faux Victorian London for the night, with carolers and actors and carriage rides, and it's always fun to visit - this year the city has added an outdoor ice rink in the park!

What have you been reading lately? Come link up with us at 
Pink Heels Pink Truck and Life with a Side of Coffee!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an ARC of The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss free from the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Definitely want to check out the first book :)

  2. I read Felicia's book and it was so much fun! I had to contain myself sometimes because I read it in my favorite coffee shop and this book made me laugh a lot.

    1. I can't wait to read it - I've got the ebook on hold from my public library - who knew there were so many geeks in Southwest Virginia?

  3. Just added The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss to my TBR list! Thanks for the heads up; it sounds like a lot of fun.

  4. I wasn't a fan of The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss. Just kind of missed it's mark for me a bit. Bummed too because I was sold by the cover and the preview. I would love to read Mindy's new book and Felicia Day's book! Both on my TBR list!