Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

5 Ways to Work Your Working Vacation

I'm spending my spring break doing pro bono work in Atlanta. In between business hours, there's a bit of breathing room to have a little vacation time. A working vacation! :)

I came with a majorly long to-do list--so the trick is making myself work during my free time--but the same principles can be used for better, more fun purposes.


It's super tempting to spend every possible second in bed and not face the work day until you absolutely have to (aka, every day at home). Here's the thing: don't. Set your alarm for an hour or two earlier, wander down to the continental breakfast (with or without your phone/laptop), sit down and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. What says vacation like a relaxed breakfast?

Bonus: now that you're up, leave for the office early and do a little exploring. See the sights on your way, take a detour through a park or just enjoy the walk.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner (3 stars)

I'm torn about Hunted. It's kind of like a jalapeƱo BLT with buffalo sauce? You love the taste while eating, but your stomach isn't quite as pleased after.

This eARC was provided through Edelweiss for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Series: n/a
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Fairy tale retelling
Published on March 14, 2017
Published by HarperTeen
Final Rating: 3 stars
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Hunted takes a familiar fairy tale and injects it with danger and vengeance. This Beauty is more Katniss than bookworm. She has a bow and she knows how to use it.

The Forbidden Fortress by Diana Peterfreund (2.5 stars)

I reviewed the first book in this series, Omega City, a while back and really enjoyed the mix of conspiracy theories and adventure. (I also loved Peterfreund's YA Persuasion retelling, For Darkness Shows the Stars, if you want to check that out.) Unfortunately, The Forbidden Fortress didn't quite live up to its predecessor, but there are definitely weird things ahead for the next book.

Spoilers for Book 1 ahead.

This eARC was provided through Edelweiss for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Forbidden Fortress by Diana Peterfreund
Series: Omega City #2
Genres: MG, Sci-fi, Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller
Published on February 14, 2017
Published by Balzer + Bray
Final Rating: 2.5 stars
Gillian Seagret is not having a great summer. Her mother’s come back from Asia with plans to move Gillian and her brother across the country, and her conspiracy theorist father is away promoting his new book on Omega City—without her! Though Gillian and her friends were the ones to find the lost doomsday bunker, no one seems care about their thoughts on the whereabouts of its creator, Dr. Aloysius Underberg, or even learning the truth about the Shepherds, a mysterious organization ready to stop at nothing to keep Underberg—and Omega City—a secret.

All that changes when Gillian and her friends are invited to speak at a lecture series at Guidant—an advanced technology company. Gillian feels like they’re finally being recognized for their adventures. The Guidant campus is full of wonders, from self-driving cars to robot waiters, and the future-focused employees seem like worthy heirs to innovators like Dr. Underberg.

But there are secrets here, too—a radio station that plays nothing but coded numbers, and an island that doesn’t appear on any map. And when Gillian and her friends uncover evidence that the Shepherd conspiracy goes deeper than anyone suspected, it’s up to them to infiltrate the Shepherds’ secret base and expose them… before it’s too late.

Gillian and friends reprise their role of meddling kids in the follow-up to Omega City with touches of The Jetsons, Interstellar and Planet of the Apes.

How to Make Money Buying Books

If you're a book buying addict, you love books. You love getting them, reading them, re-reading them!

You may love spending all that money a little less. But just a little. Books are worth it.

But, just in case your wallet has you in tears, here are a few ways to make a little money while buying all those books. So you can buy more books! ;)

Disclaimer: I'm not being paid for any of the following referrals. They're just services I've used and not hated. :)

Ebates is probably the easiest way to get money back from a variety of places. If you haven't used them before, you sign up for free, start your shopping trips at their site and get a percentage of your purchase back. The amount varies per store. It's small, but it adds up, especially if you buy a ton of books. (Side note: definitely start here for bigger purchases like flights and hotels. 2-5% of that is huge.)

The bad news: Amazon only offers cash back on a few categories, and books aren't one of them.

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year, everyone! It's that time again--the time when we all make resolutions that, by and large, we either can't keep or don't intend to. :)

Image source
I have a couple of completely doable resolutions this year, like putting a stamp in my passport (which I need to renew...). I'm always worried about unnecessary spending and time, etc., but I've decided I want to make this a priority. I want to rediscover that love of wanderlust. And I want to do something with the present, not just plan and save for the future.

Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round by Watanabe & Ogawa (4 stars)

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've dabbled with bento lunches and food art. Some of my better efforts looked like this:

So when Quirk Books offered me a book by bento experts, I was excited to see what the masters could do.

This book was provided by the publisher for review. Thank you, Quirk Books!
Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round by Crystal Watanabe & Maki Ogawa
Series: n/a
Genres: Nonfiction, Cooking, Bento
Published on December 27, 2016
Published by Quirk Books
Final Rating: 4 stars
Yum-Yum Bento is back with 52 more easy seasonal-themed bento lunches.

From the depths of winter to the height of summer, a beautiful lunch can brighten any day. Japanese bento boxes are portable and pretty meals packed with healthy portions and plenty of cheer. And they re outrageously cute! With Yum-Yum Bento All Year Round, you ll fall in love with 52 tasty, in-season lunches. Spring into make-ahead action with packing tips, tutorials, side dish recipes, and more. From summer Sunshine Smiles to Christmas Gingerbread Friends, there s a bento just perfect for your lunchbox today.

The thing I love about this book, besides the super cute pictures, is that it's a great starting point for people interested in cute bento lunches AND a great seasonal/holiday activity book for those who want ideas for special occasions.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (3 stars)

I'm a sucker for fairy tales, and after loving Uprooted, an adult fantasy inspired by Eastern European lore, I was psyched to try this. Historical fantasy filled with Russian lore? Count me in!

This eARC was provided through NetGalley for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Series: [Untitled Series] #1
Genres: Fantasy, Historical
Published on January 10, 2017
Published by Del Rey
Final Rating: 3 stars
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

The Bear and the Nightingale is a lovely winter's tale of magic and madness.

3-Year Blogoversary

Booked til Tuesday passed the three-year mark in December!