January TBR

Hello Everyone!

2018 ended up being a great reading year, and I am looking forward to seeing how my reading year goes in 2019. I have a lot of different posts coming up in the next few weeks about my goals and anticipated reads, so stay tuned for those! Here are the books I am planning on reading in January:

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano


Fame, Fate and First Kisses by Kasie West 


Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean 


Zodiac by Romina Russell


Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy 


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling


I’m also taking part in three read-a-thons this month:

January Jam Jar – Jan. 1st-31st.

Read two books that you chose through a TBR jar.

Late-a-thon – Jan. 1st-31st

Read any ARCs you’ve been meaning to read, but haven’t.

Biannual Bibliothon – Jan. 12th-19th

This read-a-thon has 7 challenges:

  1. Read Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (the group read).
  2. Read a host’s favorite read – either Summer of Salt or Strange the Dreamer
  3. Read a book that got you into reading.
  4. Read an adult genre book.
  5. Combine your favorite genre with your least favorite format.
  6. Read a book with a cover you don’t like.
  7. Read a book by an author you’ve never read before.

I will have a wrap up in my January Wrap-up.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Modern Mrs. Darcy Wrap-up

Hi Everyone!

Here is my wrap-up for the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge:

A classic you’ve been meaning to read – The Wind in the Door by Madeliene L’Engle. 


A book recommended by someone with great taste – Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson.


A book in translation – Dead Before Dying by Deon Meyer. 


A book nominated for an award in 2018 – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.



A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection – The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur.



A book you can read in a day – In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham. 


A book over 500 pages – Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. 


A book by a favorite author – Renegades by Marissa Meyer. 


A book recommended by a librarian or an indie bookseller – Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire. 


A banned book – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeliene L’Engle. 


A memoir, biography, or a book of creative non-fiction – The Radium Girls by Kate Moore


A book by an author of  different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own – I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo. 



Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Sourdough by Robin Sloan

Hello Everyone,

Today’s review is on Sourdough by Robin Sloan.


I had been intrigued by this book when I heard several BookTubers talk about the synopsis, especially since it is basically a book centered around the making of sourdough bread, as well as engineering. Needless to say I was very curious to check it out for myself.

Lois is an engineer who is so busy that she barely has time to eat proper food. However, one day she discovers a flyer for a local takeout restaurant that serves the best sourdough bread. But then the owners of the restaurant are forced to leave abruptly, however they leave part of their sourdough starter for Lois because they knew how much she loved it. She then embarks on journey of caring for the starter, which is no ordinary starter either, learning how to bake sourdough bread and eventually trying to get a stall in some of San Francisco’s farmer’s markets. After being rejected by the majority of the farmer’s markets, she gets an invitation to a mysterious underground farmer’s market where each of the stalls incorporate some form of science into the making of their products.

This book does not get the readership that it deserves! I loved it, even though I was somewhat skeptical about what it would actually be about. However, Robin Sloan does a great job of drawing readers in and making them stay for the whole story. Once I read about how the sourdough starter was “singing” I was instantly hooked, and then there was the whole section dealing with Lois trying to get a robotic arm to make sourdough bread when the software for the arm was previously faulty.

One of the flaws of Sourdough is that there isn’t a whole lot of character development for Lois, except for the fact that she becomes a healthier person in general, and less stressed, but other than that she is still the same character at the end of the book as she was at the start. I did enjoy her relationship with the brothers who gave her the starter, especially with Beoreg and his encouragement for her to keep at it with the care of the starter, as well as her baking adventures. I really think that they would make a cute couple.

Another interesting aspect was this whole other people group – the Mazg – that the author created in order to properly explain the somewhat magical properties of the sourdough starter. There are even sections of the book where Beoreg emails Lois and tells her the story of the Mazg people in several snippets, and it was really fascinating to read and I would love it if there was a book all about the Mazg!

Overall, this book is perfect for readers who want something a little bit different from the typical slice of life book. If you are into baking or science or both, then you need to give this book a try. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Hello Everyone,

Today’s review is on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


I had been curious to read this book ever since I heard the title. I was further intrigued when I watched the trailer for the Netflix movie based on the book, and then I watched the movie and knew I had to read the book. Another big selling point after I got a copy was the fact that it was told in epistolary style, which is one of my favorite novel formats.

The novel follows Juliet Ashton, a writer in London in 1946. She is struggling to come up with an idea for her next book, until she receives a letter from a Mr. Dawsey Adams telling her that he enjoyed reading her used copy of a book that used to belong to her. Through this letter she discovers the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society that was created in order to keep a secret from Nazi soldiers during the Nazi occupation of the island of Guernsey. After hearing about the birth of this society, Juliet is instantly fascinated by it and won’t rest until she knows every single detail about it and decides to go to Guernsey to meet with all of the society’s members.

I really enjoyed this book, it was short but it packed a punch. I loved that the authors chose to tell the story in a series of letters, because not enough books are written in that way! I appreciated that the letters were not just from Juliet’s perspective, but we got it from a series of other characters as well, which made for the story to be more reliable.

As far as characters go, I really enjoyed getting to know Juliet, especially since she is a book lover. Also, minor spoiler alert, I loved how she broke off an engagement because her ex-fiance moved all of her books into the basement! I honestly don’t blame her, no one messes with my books! I loved watching her develop as a character, especially as she tries to move on from the horrific events of the war, and growth as a writer. And then there is Dawsey, who I honestly wish we got more from because I really wanted him to be more swoon-worthy than he wasas and that was partly because we don’t get enough from his perspective. I also loved getting to know all the other society members, even the tragic story of Elizabeth McKenna who stood up for what was right.

Concerning the plot, I really liked it, although there were certain areas where it seemed to slow down quite significantly. However, readers will appreciate that we get to learn about the society along with Juliet as she continues to make new discoveries up until the very end. One thing that I wish could have been featured a lot more is the romance, however, I guess that is also a selling point for a lot of readers is that it isn’t so romance heavy.

Overall, this is the perfect book if you are into Post-World War II fiction, fiction told in letters and books about books. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Shape of Water

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro and Daniel Kraus.


Set in 1962, the novel follows Elisa Esposito, who has been mute since birth, who works as a janitor a government facility in Baltimore. One night, while she is cleaning, she sees a glimpse of a top secret asset that is being kept secret by those in charge. However, she finds herself drawn to the strange creature especially as she tries to communicate with it through sign language. Over time she grows to love the creature and tries to come up with a plan to free it from its captivity before it is forced to undergo some nasty experiments. But she is also up against a crazed soldier who will stop at nothing to make sure that the creature remains under his care, even if it results in its death, in order to prove himself to his general.

I’ll admit that these kinds of books are not something that I would generally gravitate towards, however I was intrigued by the synopsis of this particular book. I both enjoyed it, but also disliked certain aspects of it for reasons that I am still unsure about, but overall I do think it was good.

When it comes to characters, Elisa was interesting to get to know and follow around throughout the book, especially because she was mute and couldn’t talk. It was interesting to see her interact with various characters and how some of them tried to understand her. Her relationship with the creature was also interesting to watch grow and develop into something more passionate. The creature itself was interesting, although I do wish that we had gotten more from his perspective besides the two short section that we do get. I also enjoyed learning more about Richard Strickland and how the reader follows him as he tries to prove his humaness by becoming more of a monster than the Creature is, and how in the end his madness consumes to the point that he is beyond all rationality. I also enjoyed getting to know some of the other characters and their backstories and struggles that they face throughout the novel, each of which is necessary to the plot’s development in some way or other.

Plot-wise this book was okay, except it got slow in some sections, but it also tries to deal with a multitude of different issues such as research during the Cold War, muteness, the Civil Rights Era, the whole exploration of otherness, as well as ableism and abuse that is seen throughout the novel. I think readers will enjoy this, especially if they are fans of the movie because it does had some extra scenes and perspectives that fleshes it out even more. 3.5/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.


Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl move to Shaker Heights, Ohio, which is the picture perfect community in the mid-90s’. They rent a house from the Richardsons, who are an example in the community of what the perfect family ought to be, except for their youngest daughter Izzy. But Mia further shakes things up when she gets involved with a court case regarding  child custody battle, which pits her against the Richardsons. Her involvement also leads Mrs. Richardson to dig into Mia’s past and she discovers that not everything is as it seems.

It was interesting reading a book set in the mid-90s’ because it seems so far in the past, but yet also feels like we are not that far removed from it. It was interesting see the reactions to different major events that took place during that era, especially the Bill Clinton scandal, etc.

I liked how each of the characters is developed, especially Mia and Pearl and the secrets that Mia has hidden from everyone, including her daughter. Pearl, however, was the complete opposite and just wants to settle down after living a nomadic life with her mother, for reasons that she does not understand. She especially wants to plant down roots after finding good friends in the Richardson children. It was also interesting to see her relationship with them and how they start to change as a result of Pearl’s entrance into their life.

Mrs. Richardson was also an interesting character and it was interesting to see how she desperately tries to keep in control of everything in Shaker Heights. It was also interesting to see how mistrustful she is of Mia when she starts to see that her kids like her more than their own mother.

Plot-wise, Little Fires Everywhere was interesting because it causes readers to think about uestiosn regarding motherhood, parenthood, custody, etc. In fact, they are issues that will stay with readers for several days after the finish the book.

As far as audiobooks go, this was an okay one to listen to. The narrator didn’t do to bad of a job keeping my interest in the story, however there were times that her voice was nasally which is one of my personal pet peeves when it comes to audiobook narrators.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

October and November Wrap-Up

  1. Dead Before Dying by Deon Meyer 
  2. Worried about the Wrong Things by Jacqueline Ryan Vickery 
  3. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  4. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  5. Take Four by Karen Kingsbury 
  6. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaeffer and Annie Barrows
  7. Merchandising Made Simple by Jenny LaPerriere and Trish Christiansen
  8. Ah-Ha by Jeff Mack
  9. The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus
  10. Sourdough by Robin Sloan
  11. The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
  12. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  13.  Binti
  14. Law of the Desert Born
  15. What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
  16. Before We Visit the Goddess
  17. Quinn’s Promise Rock 
  18. ABC: What Can She Be? 
  19. Owl Love You
  20. A Hundred Kisses Before Bedtime 
  21. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  22. Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette 
  23. Ozy and Millie by Dana Simpson