Pick-For-Me • November

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.


October Thoughts

October Picks

Isa: Those were some neat picks! Since I can barely manage to read one book per month these days, I opted for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I liked it well enough, too!. Obviously I didn’t get around to Patrick Ness. Ren is not the first one to tell me to read it, so I swear I’m not going to just kick it off my TBR one day. It’s going to be read. I swear.

Ren: After last month’s picks were posted, I saw two or three reviews about Salt and Storm that were less than positive; in particular they said that the story was very romance-heavy, and since I was mostly interested in this book for the magic and the adventure, I’m not sure I’m going to read it any more. I did start The Kneebone Boy but unfortunately I’m not fond of the narrator so it’s slow reading. On a more positive note, though, I finally finished The Heiresses from August’s Pick-For-Me! It was hilariously terrible and I’m going to post a review soon!

Goodreads Links:
The Knife of Never Letting GoThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieSalt & StormThe Kneebone Boy


November Picks

Ren for Isa

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Witch for Hire

On Goodreads:
Witch For HireThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

Ren: Since it was Halloween and all, I thought Isa might like a book about witches. And, er, one about wallflowers, which has nothing to do with Halloween at all. I only have a vague idea of what The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about, so I’m hoping Isa will read it and tell me. I hope those books are short enough that you’ll find the time to read one of them!

Isa for Ren

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas

On Goodreads:
Moon CalledThe Midwife’s Tale

Isa: Ren requested short books, so I picked these because they are short. Ish. They’re shortish, Rennie. I’ve been eyeing Moon Called for a while now, though not necessarily for myself, so I hope to get Ren’s opinion on it. The Midwife’s Tale I chose because midwives. I dunno why but I connect midwives with you now, Ren.


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren

Pick-For-Me • October

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.


September Thoughts

September Picks

Isa: Oh my god, I actually managed to read a book! Work and school and tiredness and all the stress are hell on my reading time (I would read more but I tend to fall asleep after half a page, so it’s a slow-going process these days), but yay I read a book! Out of Ren’s picks I opted for Rivers of London, because that one’s been on my TBR for ages. Well, not any longer! There were some really frustrating things about it, but I liked it all the same. I didn’t get around to Austenland, however. :( Sadface. Well, maybe some other time, right?

Ren: I’ve been a terrible reader this month. Out of the two picks, I only started The Princess Curse and I haven’t finished yet. A big part of it is that the book is very slow-moving, and since I’m familiar with the tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses that the book is based on, I already know what’s going on with the curse and there’s no suspense. Starting from next month I’ll have a long commute, though, which means a couple of hours every day just for reading. So I’m hopeful I’ll manage to finish a lot more books.

Goodreads Links:
Rivers of LondonAustenlandA Thousand Pieces of YouThe Princess Curse


September Picks

Ren for Isa

The Knife of Never Letting Go The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

On Goodreads:
The Knife of Never Letting GoThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Ren: A lot of bloggers seem to hold Patrick Ness in high esteem, but neither of us have read any of his books, so I’m curious as to what Isa’s opinion will be. Second… I’m sorry Isa for always picking mysteries for you, but you have so many in your TBR. I’m curious about this 11-year-old detective.

Isa for Ren

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter

On Goodreads:
Salt & StormThe Kneebone Boy

Isa: I very nearly chose Abhorsen since Clariel is coming out soon, but knowing you, you won’t even attempt to read my picks, so I don’t want to waste this one. ;) (I’m kidding. I know you’re trying very hard!) So instead I shall throw these two on you. The Kneebone Boy looks a bit like an Addams Family cover except that there are no shiny Wednesday braids. Sounds good, too! I hope you’ll enjoy it. And oh, I picked Salt & Storm because it has such a gorgeous cover, but also because witches!! Historical romance!! Sailors!! It should be right up your alley, amirite. (Well, obviously. You put it on your TBR, so there.)

Ren: That just makes me want to read Abhorsen instead… (Kidding, kidding. PFM is serious business.)


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren

Pick-For-Me • September

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.


August Thoughts

August Picks

Isa: This month was so hectic with my new apprenticeship and everything that I only got around to reading one of Ren’s picks — The Little Lady Agency. Unfortunately I didn’t get around to writing a review and I probably won’t do so in the future either. Ren and I were going to review it together, because I really really liked it and Ren actually didn’t and we wanted to share our thoughts on it. However, time is just not on our side this month and it’s not going to happen. I did start reading her second pick as well but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue. It’s not some awful DNF but idk the main character isn’t very relatable and I don’t really like her or the others in the book. I think maybe Harris’ writing isn’t for me because I struggled similarly with the Sookie Stackhouse series.

Ren: Unfortunately, The Friday Society was a DNF for me. The first sentence is: “And then there was an explosion. It was loud. It was bright. It was very explosion-y.” The writing just goes downhill from there. It’s like the author tried too hard to be funny, and ended up with something that isn’t funny at all, and is actually painful to read. I don’t have a good excuse like Isa (I’m still unemployed and it’s not like I was job hunting this month because everything is closed down in August) but I haven’t finished reading the second book either. I’m slogging through it because the writing is kind of meh and the characters are just sitting around and angsting instead of getting anything done.

Goodreads Links:
Grave SightThe Little Lady AgencyThe HeiressesThe Friday Society


September Picks

Ren for Isa

Rivers of London Austenland

On Goodreads:
Rivers of LondonAustenland

Ren: I’ve had my eye on Rivers of London for a while because the cover is absolutely gorgeous, so I’m curious if it’ll live up to the expectation. Austenland is Shannon Hale doing Jane Austen, and I’m hoping Isa will like it since she’s enjoying chick lit lately. Hopefully it’ll keep her mind away from work for a while!


Isa for Ren

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell

On Goodreads:
A Thousand Pieces of YouThe Princess Curse

Isa: As is often the case, I went by shiny covers. I know you like a bit of fantasy, so I hope The Princess Curse works in our favour on that one. As for the other one, I am really intrigued by the parallel universe bit of the summary, so I hope it’s good. :D


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren

Pick-For-Me • August

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.


July Thoughts

Jule Picks

Isa: Ren was pretty lucky this month with her picks for me! I liked both books. :D In fact, I really loved Graceling which was very compelling and a super quick read for me despite the length. The Nightmare Affair wasn’t as awesome but still alright. The paranormal bits were pretty cool but I didn’t really dig the slights against ~nerds.

Ren: Isa wasn’t quite as lucky… I couldn’t get into Allegiant at all, the ~big plot revelations~ made no sense and the characters were boring. I did read quite a bit of it before giving up, though, so I’ll be posting my thoughts on it very soon. As for Havemercy, I’m still reading it. It’s slow going, because from the cover and the summary I was expecting MAGICAL MECHA DRAGONS and so far there isn’t any. The lack of magical mecha dragons is hampering my enjoyment of the book.

Goodreads Links:
The Nightmare AffairGracelingAllegiantHavemercy


August Picks

Ren for Isa

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne

On Goodreads:
Grave SightThe Little Lady Agency

Ren: The Little Lady Agency has such an interesting premise and glowing reviews that I’m tempted to read it myself. I hope it won’t disappoint! I’m not so sure about Grave Sight, paranormal romances have a good chance of being terrible, but the cover grabbed my eye and if the book is a trainwreck there’s always the chance that it’ll be an entertaining one.


Isa for Ren

The Heiresses by Sara Shepard The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

On Goodreads:
The HeiressesThe Friday Society

Isa: New approach this time: I’ll just go by shiny covers that caught my eye, maybe that’ll bring you back from your reading slump, darling. The Friday Society looks very fab, I think. Kick-ass ladies? Yum! I hope you’ll enjoy it since you like historical fiction. And then I chose The Heiresses because the cover is very lovely. I love that font and I’ve read the first installment of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, which I thought was very good but more teen than YA. So I hope you’ll like this one, since it seems a bit more mature.


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren

Pick-For-Me • July

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.


June Thoughts

June Picks

Isa: Out of the two books Ren picked for me, A Spy in the House was a mix of good and bad, especially in terms of the inevitable romance. I was definitely interested throughout the whole read, though. Not so much with The Ivy Tree, which I DNFed after… three pages. I’m not even sorry. The prose was so purple, it was difficult to see anything beyond the excessive use of adjectives and weird descriptions. (“High cauliflower clouds” or “mobile mouths”, anyone?)

Ren: I was a complete failure this month. Lady of Ashes was so bogged down with historical details (the protagonist couldn’t take a single step without first spending ten pages on a history lesson) that I DNF’d it after five or six chapters. I think the author should have decided whether she wanted to write a book of fiction or a non-fiction account of Victorian undertakers; either would have been fine, but a mix of the two just doesn’t work for me. As for Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, I dithered and procrastinated and never got around to reading it.

Goodreads Links:
A Spy in the HouseThe Ivy TreeLady of AshesMemoirs of an Imaginary Friend


July Picks

Ren for Isa

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett Graceling by Kristin Cashore

On Goodreads:
The Nightmare AffairGraceling

Ren: Isa has a fondness for boarding schools (as do I) so I’m hoping she’ll appreciate The Nightmare Affair, which is set at a boarding school… with magic. Also, I really like that cover and I’ve been wanting to read the book myself, so Isa can give me her opinion. As for Graceling, I just really like the cover and I saw that a mutual friend rated it highly, so I hope it’s good — I haven’t had much luck lately with recommending Isa books I liked.


Isa for Ren

Allegiant by Veronica Roth Havemercy by Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett

On Goodreads:
AllegiantHavemercy

Isa: Yeah, I’m totally picking Allegiant because it’s kind of a trainwreck in my opinion (though I did give it three stars on goodreads, huh? I swear I’d give it less now, but I guess I didn’t hate it and was very amused by the lack of logic in it) and I can’t wait to hear Ren’s thoughts on it. Aaaaand because I’m a nice friend and co-blogger, I’ve also chosen Havemercy, which I hear has dragons. Ren loves dragons, so I hope she enjoys this!

Ren: Confession, I was probably never going to read Allegiant any time soon because I’ve heard things about the trainwreck-ness of it, so well played Isa.

Isa: I figured as much, which only encouraged me, mwahahahaha.


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren

Pick-For-Me • June

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.

May Thoughts

May Picks

Isa: Last months picks weren’t half bad! I really really enjoyed Keeping the Castle because it was very lighthearted and fun! I enjoyed it so much that Ren promptly read it as well and we wrote a joint review about it. Tragically, The Square Root of Murder was not as good, but it provided lots of amusement in the form of people who do not know how phones work.

Ren: Isa picked Lirael for me last month, because she thought I’d never read it otherwise, and I really liked it! I’m going to read Abhorsen as soon as possible, though that might be not very soon at all because my TBR pile is huge. Unfortunately, I tried to get into A Great And Terrible Beauty but I had to DNF it at 20% because I found it boring and the characters annoying. Disappointing, because I liked other books by Libba Bray and I thought the premise was very interesting.

Goodreads Links:
Keeping the CastleThe Square Root of MurderLiraelA Great and Terrible Beauty


June Picks

Ren for Isa

A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart

On Goodreads:
A Spy in the HouseThe Ivy Tree

Ren: I know Isa likes books about all-female spy academies, so A Spy in the House should be right up her alley! Plus it’s set in the Victorian era, and that’s right up my alley! As for The Ivy Tree, I also have it on my TBR because someone recommended Mary Stuart to me ages ago. But I’m not sure if I’d like it (it’s set in the 1960s, which always sounded a bit boring to me, maybe because that’s my parents’ generation?) so I’d like to hear Isa’s opinion.

Isa for Ren

Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

On Goodreads:
Lady of AshesMemoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Isa: As Ren sad, she likes ye olde times, so I think Lady of Ashes should be right up her alley and I hope she enjoys it (and if she doesn’t I hope she finds amusement in her unenjoyment). It even has a mystery and stuff and things! And a compelling cover as well. Which also goes for Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend. It totally caught my eye and it sounds very interesting from the premise, so I’m very curious about Ren’s opinion of it. :D


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren

Pick-For-Me • May

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.


April Thoughts

April Picks

Isa: I got Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson and The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross. Nickerson’s retelling of the Bluebeard fairytale was very interesting, though I wouldn’t recommend it to the age group that the publisher is marketing it to. I never really managed to pick up The Girl in the Steel Corset, sorry Ren. I started it once in like 2012 and moved it to the “currently abandoned” pile because I couldn’t get into the characters and just about everything in it either bored me or pissed me off. Suffice it to say that it now lives in the DNF pile.

Ren: Last month’s book were hit and miss for me. Ultimately one hit, and one missed. The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke had an interesting setting and a kickass heroine; the love interest was kind of a wet blanket, and I’m annoyed at how abruptly the first book ends, but I’ll definitely read the second book to find out how Ananna’s story will end! Unfortunately, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder wasted an interesting premise with a generic setting and even more generic characters. The interesting bits weren’t enough to keep up my interest.

Goodreads Links:
Strands of Bronze and GoldThe Girl in the Steel CorsetPoison StudyThe Assassin’s Curse


May Picks

Ren for Isa

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl The Square Root of Murder by Ada Madison

On Goodreads:
Keeping the CastleThe Square Root of Murder

Ren: Keeping The Castle is also on my TBR (regency era! pretty cover!) but I never got around to reading it, so maybe Isa can tell me about it. It’s been so long, I don’t even remember what the plot is supposed to be about. Also, Isa has a ridiculous amount of cozies in her TBR, so I think it’s high time she started reading them. I picked The Square Root of Murder more or less at random — I have a degree in maths so I was like, yay numbers!


Isa for Ren

Lirael by Garth Nix A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

On Goodreads:
LiraelA Great and Terrible Beauty

Isa: Let’s be honest here, I picked Lirael because knowing Ren, she’ll just read all the other things before finally getting to Lirael, just to spite me because I’ve been bugging her to read it for a while now. :P Besides, I am almost 100% certain that she’ll like Lirael because it’s just that good. (You better like it, Ren, or else!) As for A Great and Terrible Beauty, I picked that one because it sounds interesting and it used to live on my (now cleaned out) tbr. I’m actually too lazy to read it myself. >.> I like relying on Ren’s opinions, heh.

Ren: I’d never do it to spite you! Though it’s true I would probably never get to Lirael otherwise, there’s just so many books to read…!


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments! (Agreement on the topic of Lirael and prophylactic flailing over the upcoming Clariel are much appreciated.)
Isa and Ren

Pick-For-Me • April

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.


March Thoughts

March Picks

Isa: I got The Alchemyst by Michael Scott and The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd. Sadly The Alchemyst was rather hit or miss for me — in fact, it was mostly miss. Disappointing, really, because I was rather excited for it. However, The Madman’s Daughter made up for it with its creep factor and I really enjoyed that one.

Ren: I got The Diviners by Libba Bray and Pantomime by Laura Lam. I enjoyed both books, Pantomime in particular was very different from what I expected and I’m looking forward to the sequel. On the other hand The Diviners had too many unrelated subplots and that detracted from my enjoyment of the story.

Goodreads Links:
The AlchemystThe Madman’s DaughterThe DivinersPantomime


April Picks

Ren for Isa

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

On Goodreads:
Strands of Bronze and GoldThe Girl in the Steel Corset

Ren: I love fairytale retellings but I haven’t read any Bluebeard retelling yet, so I’m curious about Strands of Bronze and Gold. I’ve read different opinions about The Girl in the Steel Corset, some people loved it and some people loathed it, so I want to hear what Isa has to say. I hope she’ll like it because she wanted to read steampunk books, and also the book has a pretty cover and she’s partial to pretty covers.

Isa for Ren

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

On Goodreads:
Poison StudyThe Assassin’s Curse

Isa: I always have a hard time picking books for myself and tend to look at what my friends have read. Both of these books are on my own TBR pile, but I just haven’t decided yet if I really want to check them out. Thus Ren must read them! She’s incredibly fast with her reading (I’m pretty sure she reads five times as much as I do, if not more), so I can get a quick verdict on these books. I’m very selfish that way. But also! The Assassin’s Curse promises pirates and I know Ren likes pirates.


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren

Pick-for-Me • March

Pick For Me



What is the Pick-For-Me book club?

Like all book lovers, we both have books sitting around that we’ve been “meaning to read” for years, and our TBR lists are so long that we have no idea what to read next. A couple of months ago Amy (amyofaquitaine on LiveJournal) came up with an idea: a book club where people are paired up and pick two books for their buddy to read during the month. It’s all very relaxed, finishing the books is not mandatory (real life happens, or you might find out that one book is just too awful) and there’s a sharing post at the end of the month where you can talk about what you read.

For those interested, March sign-ups went up a while ago at pick-for-me and will stay open until March 1st. Unfortunately the community is for LJ users only, but that shouldn’t deter you from doing your own pick-for-me’s with a partner of your choice, like we did. If you’re not on LJ but still want to get a little idea of it, we’ve screencapped what this month’s sign-up comment looks like.

febthoughts

February Picks

Isa: I got Boneshaker by Cherie Priest and The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I’m afraid Boneshaker wasn’t quite for me due to a multitude of reasons, but it was an interesting read nonetheless. I didn’t get around to reading Hound because I am a lazy lazy person.

Ren: I got Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnel. I really liked Shadow and Bone (thank you for picking it, Isa!) but didn’t get around to reading the other book yet.

Goodreads Links:
The Hound of the BaskervillesBoneshakerShadow and BoneThe Death of Bees


March Picks

Ren for Isa

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

On Goodreads:
The Madman’s DaughterThe Alchemyst

Ren: It looks like this month the theme is “books neither of us has read”. Not really, I just made that up. I picked The Madman’s Daughter because I’ve seen it around a lot and people seem to either love it or hate it, so I want Isa’s opinion because she has good taste. I don’t know much about The Alchemyst aside from the backcover blurb, but I’m interested in alchemy and it’s not something that comes up often in books. I hope they’re better than February’s picks!


Isa for Ren

Pantomime by Laura Lam The Diviners by Libba Bray

On Goodreads:
PantomimeThe Diviners

Isa: Yes. Well. I’m gonna be honest and say that I chose both books solely based on their covers. I’m extremely shallow that way (and many other ways). To be fair, though, I started The Diviners a while ago and then forgot all about it and I really do want Ren’s opinion on it to see if maybe I should pick it up again.



Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren