Life Lately


When We Rise: My Life in the Movement by Cleve Jones | Born a Crime by Trevor Noah | The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman | I See You by Clare Mackintosh | The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer | Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard | Open Season by Linda Howard | Heartless by Marissa Meyer | Dark Possession by Christine Feehan | Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett | Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan | Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang & Matthew Wilson | The Sword by The Luna Brothers | The Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat


Sorry for the Harry Houdini act again. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind after the election results so I could neither read nor write much about anything. Yesterday’s post took two weeks to write but I felt like it was necessary for me to do so I can get my ass back to doing what I used to love (reading and blogging).

I have been in and out of blogging lately but have tried my best to visit. Some days, I’m able to sit and read your posts, but most days, I just didn’t have it in me. You have no idea how much I appreciate you all for being one of the constant things that I can rely on. Anyway, thank you, and I hope to move on from all the ugly things that’s been going on in the world in and outside of this community.

San Diego

Last week was our annual pilgrimage to San Diego. We watched a game, enjoyed the food and sunshine and bought some books (naturally). I was a little worried about the kind of environment we will experience so soon after the election but I’d forgotten that California is a blue state, so it was relatively anti-Von Clownstick.


Book Tube.

Gasps! I know, right? Basically, ever since that hullabaloo that happened a couple of weeks back (it seemed like years ago, really), I ended up checking out what it’s all about. And I’m not gonna lie, I’ve found some pretty entertaining, informative book tubers out in the wild.

Steve Donoghue: He is the most knowledgeable booktuber I’ve found so far. He’s a book critic who publishes written reviews on several e-zines. He’s prolific and he hauls books like it’s nobody’s business. His videos are raw and unadorned by distracting graphics but if it’s content you’re after, then he’s your man. He’s not a fan boy who gets over excited about the “feels”, or “characters he’d totally ship”. His giddy enthusiasm for books are genuine. It’s a pure joy to watch him get really excited in his subtle, gentlemanly way.

Climb the Stacks: She hasn’t updated in a while, but her book reviews are pretty prolific. I spent a good amount of time watching her vids and soaking up her recommendations in the literary fiction genre. If that’s something you’re interested in, you should check out her channel.

Unboxing Book Hauls. So addictive! One night, I spent a lot of time watching book tubers unbox their Book Outlet orders. At the end of the night, I ended up ordering 23 books in total! Good grief. I need to stop watching these videos for two reasons: 1 – I don’t need any more books! 2 – it’s giving me a sense of false confidence that I can actually film myself and do this book tubing thing. Not that I want to, really. I’m just saying that I could. Maybe.

Anyway, that’s what’s been going on in my life since my absence. I’d like to thank Penguin Random House Canada and Hachette Book Group for the review copies I’d gotten this week! Also, thank you all again. I’m going to do my absolute best to catch up on what’s been going on in your lives as well.

Happy reading, y’all!


  • Rachel

    Are you only becoming obsessed with BookTube now? I catchup while blogging or cooking dinner and follow quite a few! Are you going to do it yourself?? This might help:

    Also, I did a Bookish Gift Guide with 22 discount codes for online stores, so if you can’t buy books, buy merch! 😉

  • Ah Booktube…it’s like a foreign universe to me. I never know whose channel to watch or how to find new vloggers. I think I only keep an eye on a handful (like less than 10 channels), but somehow I’m even worse at keeping up with my those subscriptions than I am with my blog subscriptions.

    Also, I had no idea Stefanie Meyer was still doing the writing thing. I mean, I know it’s silly to assume she had stopped. And it’s an adult thriller? I can’t say I have any desire to read the book, but…I have to admit, I’ll be curious to read your thoughts on it if you end up writing about it.

  • Hugs. <3 Hope you are doing the best sweet girl 😀 Thinking of you; always. <3 And eee, yay for so many books 😀 I loved Heartless so, so much. <3 Happy reading Joy 🙂 Also, so jealous about The Dark Days Pact. Gah. I want it 😀 Hope you love it. <3

  • Ooh you got The Chemist! I’m thinking of getting it but not entirely sure.
    I’ve made some disappearing acts lately. I don’t want to but it’s like once I grab my laptop to write a review, the motivation goes away :/ I hope we get motivation back!

  • I don’t always have it in me to do as much online as I think I should be doing. I try to stick to doing what seems like fun. If it isn’t fun anymore then what is the point? You picked up some great books!

  • Karen

    I’ve barely been around for the same reasons. I just need a break from reality and for some reason even the blogoshpere and books aren’t providing that for me.

    We’ll get there eventually!

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • Jazmen

    I am right with you, I have been blogging very very sporadically. I just can’t seem to do it much. Just seems like a lot of work for me right now.

    Booktubing?! I just cannot get into it. I will watch makeup and hair tutorials until my eyes fall out, but booktube I just haven’t been able to do.

    Hope you get back into the swing of things soon!

  • Glad to see you are back! I think we were all sad and shocked and upset about the election results. I think I am still in a bit of denial.

  • Sara Walker

    Oh Booktube. I don’t think I could actually do it, but they certainly make it look easy. I could spend hour watch certain videos. I am glad to see you back in the blogging world. I hope it’s fruitful. San Diego looks lovely!

  • ChristinaBookAddict

    San Diego sounds amazing right about now. I’m glad you had a nice time. I can’t wait to read Heartless. I hope it doesn’t disappoint. I have never ordered from the Book Outlet stores and definitely don’t want to start. I could see how that’s a slippery slope and I have yet to watch a Booktube video…but definitely want to! I will have to check out your recommendations!

  • I’m glad y’all had a good trip! 🙂

    I’ve watched booktube videos before, but it’s really not my thing. I like to multitask–watching Netflix while I review or comment–so it’s not conducive to that. I don’t watch anything on YouTube, actually, so that’s probably part.

    I’m dying to get myself a copy of Trevor Noah’s book! I’m waiting for the extra discount at work… Which will then be painful. 🙂 And you got The Dark Days Pact! Have you read the first book? It was one of my favorites last year, and I’m SO excited to read it. Ooh, and I’ll be curious to see what you think of The Chemist. I’ve heard, like, nothing thus far.

  • shootingstarsmag

    I’m glad your trip went well, and you were definitely in a good are to avoid Trump supporters doing crazy things! Which is good. I live in a red state, but I haven’t personally witnessed anything yet…I’d like for it to stay that way, but my hopes are low. Sigh.

    anyway, I’m glad you found some book tubers to enjoy! Honestly, I just don’t like watching videos all that much. I can read a post way quicker than I can watch a video, so I’d rather just focus on blogs for now.


  • Awww, I’m a couple of hours north of San Diego in L.A. so I’m glad to hear that you had a great trip out this way.

    I’ve tried watching BookTube videos and I enjoyed them but not nearly as much as I like to read blogs and then go about my day. I have the same trouble with BookTube videos that I do with audiobooks. Too much time is involved with all that so I’m a read on my own kind of blog gal. Ha! I spend enough money visiting your blog, Nick’s blog, Gen’s blog so I should probably stay away from BT to save myself some money. 🙂

    I hope you have a great week, Joy!

  • Going to book tube? 🙂

    Btw, NY is also anti-Clownstick. AND that is his supposed home turf. 🙂 You also have some books I want to read. I am thinking of trying Trevor Noah’s book on audio though since he narrates it.

    Btw, if you feel up to it, you might want to read Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It speaks to so much going on right now and although I understood it from a historical perspective, it has brought me some current perspective as well. Nothing apparently is new. I may say something about this in a future blog post.

  • Ohh book tubing!…I could not do it though

  • I’m happy you had a good time on San Diego visit! Yay! And, Book Outlet is dangerous, lol!! I’ll be sure to checkout the booktubers you mentioned. Are you going to do a box opening for a video??

  • I’m glad that you’re back in the game! 🙂
    Your annual trip sounds wonderful! I love to do a little bit of traveling, and would love to make one location into a regular gig.
    I love Ashley at Climb the Stacks. She’s been a favorite of mine for awhile. As for the other two links, I am off to check them out.

  • Hahah I don’t think I could watch the unboxing hauls if it meant that I would be buying all the books they were getting! I’ve never actually watched much booktube, since it takes up a lot of time and attention, but maybe one day I’ll think about it. And yeah, as for the election, it really sucked out all my motivation. I pretty much do minimal work + play video games all day nowadays 🙁

  • kindlemom1

    I took an unexpected hiatus as well since my mom is moving and it has taken me more time than I thought to help her out. I’m exhausted and we aren’t even done yet plus the holiday is this week, so, no blogging for me this week on my own blog, I just don’t have it in me. I do hope you have a nice Thanksgiving!

  • I’m happy to hear your trip went well, Joy. Sounds like it was a blast. I don’t watch booktube, but hahaha Joy, you’re such a book addict. 🙂

  • I’ve never watched any booktubers…maybe I need to do that sometime. I’m glad you had a good trip to San Diego!

  • Now that I know booktubers is a thing and not just the one I had seen once(you actually told me this)I think I should check some of them out. You got quite the haul of books this time around. I look forward to reading reviews for these! Glad you had a good trip. Have a good week!

  • I can totally understand your disappointment on the results of the election. I bet the whole world is still not over it.
    I’ve been watching a bit of booktube vids lately as well and book haul posts are my fave!! 😁

  • Maybe! Yes, maybe :3 I am so happy you’ve been able to really enjoy all the booktube videos you’ve been finding and that community lately :3 Perhaps it is something you could delve into. I could just imagine the amount of book hauls which would be on your channel ^^ Also, I spy Heartless and The Chemist <3 Some of my fave authors right there. And I'm glad to hear you had a good time in San Diego! 😉

  • I’ve been feeling pretty much the same lately. Not angry, not exactly, but quietly sad. I haven’t even been able to read much, but I binge watched 3 seasons of The Arrow because that’s what one does when one is depressed. I guess it’s time to work my way out of it. Look at us trying so hard. I missed you, my friend.

  • that’s great that you found some great book tubeurs (sorry we say that in French but not sure in English). Good luck for everything, I’m glag you had a nice trip!