Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
Genre: Fantasy, YA
The title of this book is unusual. It reads more like the heading of a tabloid article about a celebrity disappearance than a book title, which is unfortunate as this book is neither tabloid nor about a celebrity disappearance. It is so much better than that, weaving elements of Victorian mystery with folklore and myth in a well-developed, ever-expanding world where witches born with the ability to write magic into being are drowned, strange, possibly-wolfmen are locked in basements, but regular girls like Julia should not be able to vanish.
Continue reading “Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan”
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Genre: Historical Fantasy
I love historical fantasy. Particularly Regency/Victorian/Edwardian era fantasy. Give me magic and wizards and worlds colliding with our own and you don’t need to ask me twice to read. When I first stumbled upon Alix E. Harrow’s AMA on Reddit, I was so excited that I immediately ordered her book. The cover is gorgeous, the title intriguing, and historians are often fantastic novelists because the two mediums are so intertwined.
Continue reading “The Ten-Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow”
Hello lovely readers! I’m finally at a point in this project where I can make this announcement!
I have started a freelance editing business! It’s called Songbird Editing, which is a play on my new last name (I got married in July to my wonderful husband Mike) and I also just think it’s adorable.
Editing is something I have wanted to get in to for a long time, but never found the appropriate avenue. Right out of college it seemed an impossible industry to break into, so I taught English in China for a few years, before settling back in Michigan working administrative jobs. While I have learned a lot about the corporate world (and how to run a business), assistant-ing is not my passion. But writing, reading, and storytelling has always been.
I am a natural born critic (when I was 12 I would critique the rom-coms my friends and I watched, much to their chagrin) so it was simple to create a book blog because I was already doing that for fun. I also have a BA in English Literature, was an editor for multiple literary magazines, worked for my campus’s writing center, and have done my fair share of beta reading for published authors. This seemed the next appropriate step.
I am so thankful to have had a few clients now (while still working full time) and I have never been so excited for work as when I am editing!
Thank you all for coming on this journey with me and don’t hesitate to let me know if you or a friend needs copyediting, proofreading, or content editing done for a novel, article, blog, or anything else word related.
I created a tab on this blog dedicated to all things Songbird Editing related. You can also check out and like my Facebook page too!
A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl
Genre: Historical Fiction
If there was a book written with my exact brand of whimsy in mind, it was A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl. Regency era women looking for husbands in a location with no men? Heavy handed allusions to Jane Austen? Convenient plot devices to throw men into the girls’s paths? Sign me up! Continue reading “A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl”
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
This was my first Agatha Christie book. I have somehow gone 27 years of my life without reading a single line by her. What a page turner! I honestly couldn’t put it down. For the first time, I understood why Christie is considered one of the best mystery authors of all time. Not only was she prolific, but her mysteries are legitimately thrilling.
One fateful evening, ten people with seemingly no connection arrive on an island. As one by one, the guests start dying, it becomes clear that their mysteriously absent host knows more about them than they bargained for–and he will not rest until they are all dead. Continue reading “And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie”
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Genre: Fantasy, YA
I don’t like books about angels and demons.
But I liked this one. And I’m kind of mad about it.
Laini Taylor has taken a genre full of annoying tropes and turned it on its head. The book opens with Karou at art school in the gritty streets of Prague, and slowly, deceptively, transforms into a lyrical fairy tale. Continue reading “Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor”
I’m a picky reader. If a book doesn’t hold my attention, I put it to the side and start something else. Then I end up in a situation where my Goodreads tells the world I am reading eight books at once. After a few months, I clean it out before it starts building up again. Today, I am only at three books, which isn’t too bad. But here they are and here are my first impressions. Continue reading “3 Books I’m Reading”
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
I really, really wanted to like this book. I really did. At the same time, I don’t want to downplay the importance of Okorafor’s work. The need for non-Eurocentric fantasy, and especially African based fantasy, in today’s publishing world cannot be overstated. Okorafor’s world, her folklore, had so much potential, but I found that potential was waylaid by overused fantasy tropes, awkward pacing, and a rushed ending. Continue reading “Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor”
Howl’s Moving Castle
“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.”
Diana Wynne Jones is a legend in the fantasy genre. But, like many younger readers, Miyazaki’s animated version of Howl’s Moving Castle was my first glimpse into Jones’s work over ten years ago. I was enchanted by Miyazaki’s interpretation of Howl, Sophie, and the strangeness of their world. Continue reading “Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones”
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Genre: Historical Fiction
Twelve-year-old Rill and her four siblings live an enchanted life aboard the shanty boat their family calls home. Moving from place to place, living off whatever the river provides, to Rill, life on the river is all she has ever known. When their parents are forced to rush to the hospital one night, the five children are snatched from their home and find themselves forced into a life more horrible than they could have ever imagined at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society Orphanage. Continue reading “Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate”