Dec 26, 2021

Building the Book Pile #363

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Hello Online Friends - it has been a bit since I recapped a week... I have just been too busy to really blog regularly. I have been trying to read in between all the busy though so that is something. 

So I have been MIA because we closed on our new house (and hopefully will never move again) in NH. We then had to demo and redo a bathroom (bc there is only one and it was very old and only had a bathtub - no shower. We are still working on the bathroom. We are about half way there I think. Lots of tiling and grouting, and weird cuts because a house built in 1902 is not square anymore (or was it ever?). 

Work is wrapping up for the year though and I am off from now through the new year. Love a good break. Love working for a university that just gives you the time off. Good times. During the break, I plan on doing anything that I can do in the bathroom project, reading/ listening to books, playing with Charlie (the pup), and still working on the unpacking/organization process. Oh yea... and Christmas shopping and prepping... 

How are you doing? Do you have all your shopping and wrapping done yet?

If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi

Coming up on the Blog

Not sure... it will surprise us all.

Books Received Recently...

Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Dec 25, 2021

Merry Christmas!!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„Merry Christmas πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

From Steph (and family) at Cover2CoverBlog 

Hope that your holiday is filled with love, wellness and happiness!

Dec 15, 2021

Blog Blast w/ Giveaway! -Violets are Blue by Barbara Dee

About the Book
Violets are Blue by Barbara Dee
Publisher:‎ Aladdin 
Publication Date: October 12, 2021

From the author of the acclaimed My Life in the Fish Tank and Maybe He Just Likes You comes a moving and relatable middle grade novel about secrets, family, and the power of forgiveness.

Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.

So, when Wren and her mom move to a new town for a fresh start, she is cautiously optimistic. And things seem to fall into place when Wren meets potential friends and gets selected as the makeup artist for her school’s upcoming production of Wicked.

Only, Wren’s mom isn’t doing so well. She’s taking a lot of naps, starts snapping at Wren for no reason, and always seems to be sick. And what’s worse, Wren keeps getting hints that things aren’t going well at her new job at the hospital, where her mom is a nurse. And after an opening night disaster leads to a heartbreaking discovery, Wren realizes that her mother has a serious problem—a problem that can’t be wiped away or covered up.

After all the progress she’s made, can Wren start over again with her devastating new normal? And will she ever be able to heal the broken trust with her mom?

You can purchase Violets Are Blue at the following Retailers:


"Dee addresses with aplomb important topics such as opioid addiction, divorce, bullying, and moving. This inspired novel deftly depicts the self-doubt and loneliness that many children (and adults) feel." —September 2021, School Library Journal

“Dee again successfully tackles tough topics, making them relatable for middle-grade readers.” —Booklist

“A touching, realistic story about a mother-daughter relationship and its ups and downs.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Weaving two very different but timely topics–makeup tutorial videos and opioid addiction–Dee’s frequently poignant middle grade novel depicts the ways that both adults and children can feel out of control. … With flawed, realistic characters and dynamics, this reconciliatory novel is a believable balm for young people at the mercy of adult choices and scenarios.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Barbara Dee is the author of eleven middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including My Life in the Fish Tank, Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have earned several starred reviews and have been named to many best-of lists, including the The Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books, the ALA Notable Children’s Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten. Barbara lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York.

Find the Author

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*

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Dec 13, 2021

Recent Reads: If the Fates Allow: A Short Story by Rainbow Rowell

If the Fates Allow: A Short Story by Rainbow Rowell 
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories
Publication Date:  November 18, 2021

Format: Ebook
Source: Borrowed from Amazon Prime Reading Library.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
After a long, lonely year, two people stumble toward each other in this holiday short story by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.

Social distancing came easily to Reagan. Maybe a little too easily. She’s always liked people better from afar. But Reagan doesn’t want her grandpa to be alone for Christmas this year—he’s already spent too much time on his own in 2020. So she heads back to her hometown with a dish of holiday Jell-O salad, hoping they can have a little normalcy. Hoping it will be safe…

She isn’t expecting to run into the boy next door. Mason is all grown up now. He’s considerate. He’s funny. He doesn’t mind how prickly Reagan is—he maybe even likes it. And it makes Reagan feel like her defenses are falling. She needs her defenses, doesn’t she? In a time when six feet is close enough, how long can they keep their distance?

I really enjoy Rainbow Rowell's books, theya re always fun and I relate to the characters. If the Fates Allow is a short story about a girl names Reagan headed to her grandfathers house for Christmas during the pandemic. She is very nervous about infecting her grandfather and very upset that her family is not taking anything seriously. 

This book hit very close to home. We are all still living during the pandemic and many of us had family or friends that we don't agree with their stances about it. It felt a little too soon to read about the pandemic while still living it it, but imitating real life is a nice touch.

This was a short story, so it was a quick and easy read. Reagan was a very realistic character and I understood a lot of her intention, although the 'romance' portion, if you can call it that was too rushed and practially non-existant. 

I enjoyed the story and it was definitely relateable. If you are looking to get back into the world of Fangirl with something that is simple and swift, this could be for you.

Dec 10, 2021

Recent Reads: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood 
Series: The Love Hypothesis #1
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date:  September 14, 2021

Format: Hardback
Source: From Book of the Month.


Goodreads Synopsis: 
As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn't believe in lasting romantic relationships--but her best friend does, and that's what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor--and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford's reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive's career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding... six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.
I have really been enjoying rom coms lately and this one was so wonderful. Nerdy, fake-relationship, academia focused – all swoon worthy in my opinion. 

The book follows Olive as she throws herself at an unsuspecting passerby in order to convince her friend that she is dating… and that unsuspecting person was actually the grumpiest Professor in her department. Lucky for Olive, he doesn’t immediately report her to the college, but instead agrees to go along with her fake relationship. 

Olive is such a good representation of a Ph. D candidate (I have worked with a lot of them in my roles in academia). She is all over the place, tight on funds, tired, and just trying to move through her program at a somewhat normal pace. She is in the lab a lot and students around her are all anxious about their own programs and research being completed. I really liked Olive, she was fun and funny.

Adam, the grumpy professor, is also wonderful. He is moody and mysterious, and apparently hot but since he is an ass, no one really likes him. Olive is impressed to find out that he can be tolerable, and their banter and her smart-ass comments are life in this read. I loved their relationship build up, it was amusing and swoon-y. Although this started as a fake relationship, Olive was true to herself and who she was the whole time. She kept it real with Adam and that was refreshing. Adam was oblivious to how curmudgeonly he was and being with Olive really pulled him out of his shell. 

Overall, this was a fun, spunky rom com with a little spice. I really loved this read.

Dec 9, 2021

Recent Reads: Nick and Noel's Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall

Nick and Noel's Christmas Playlist by Codi Hall
Series: Mistletoe Romance #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date:  October 5, 2021

Format: Ebook and Audible Audiobook
Source: From Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review. (I also downloaded the Audible Audiobook).


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Curl up this Christmas with a sparkling romance filled with:
• Irresistible friends-to-lovers romance
• The kiss that changed everything
• Warm nights on the family Christmas tree farm
• All your favorite Christmas songs!

Nick Winter is just out of the military, and his Christmas homecoming is not going as planned. What was supposed to be a memorable holiday with his long-time girlfriend goes sour when he learns she cheated on him while he was stationed overseas. At least Nick can rely on his usual shift at the family Christmas tree farm with his best friend, Noel Carter, and her endless supply of Christmas tunes to lift his spirits. A night of fun together is just what he needs to forget about his ex.

But then they kiss. And it right.
If Noel can turn Nick’s Blue Christmas merry and bright, this might be the last Christmas Nick spends with a broken heart. This year, they’ll be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree as a couple―as long as Nick’s ex doesn’t go standing under any mistletoe.

“Codi Hall brings all the feels.”—Monica Murphy, New York Times bestselling author

I received this book for review but grabbed it off Audible as a freebie so that I could listen to it while moving and unpacking. It was not what I expected but it was very entertaining either way. I fully expected a cozy romance with some affection in the friends to lovers’ side of things and snarkiness of an ex. This book brought the extremes. I got very spicy love scenes and full-on violence between the characters. So, forewarning - if you don't like spicy romance, this book is not for you. If you don't like woman/woman hate and violence, this book also isn't for you.

Noel and Nick have been friends forever. The book is told from both POVs, and we alternate back and forth throughout the story. Noel has been adamant for years that love isn’t for her and she doesn’t want to be married or have kids, there is just too much loss in her past for her to do that. Nick is a kind-hearted hero who comes back from serving to get dumped on the spot by his long-term girl. When the ex makes an appearance while Nick and Noel are out with friends, Noel makes a rash decision and kisses Nick and then we spiral into a slow burn, friends to love romance. The complications to their plan are that they are stuck close friends and Noel is so scared to connect and really have a relationship and Nick and his family have become her family over the years since her parents passed away. The story is cute with a lot of will they/won’t they moments.

I enjoyed the banter and I think Nick and his friends were a lot of fun. I also liked the spiciness of romance and the anticipation; the overall build was fun and light and well done.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Noel; she was a little self-absorbed and liked to talk about her issues/baggage a lot and that was a little off-putting. I also wasn’t a fan of the girl/girl cattiness and violence. I understand bad blood and grudges but this one went above and beyond, and it was a little hard to listen to.

Overall if you are looking for a quick, fun, holiday rom com, this one could be it for you. If you are a fan of music, it also includes a playlist at the end that you can follow along with. It was quirky and cute, and had some drama as well. 

Dec 3, 2021

Early Reader Review: Oddball by Sarah Andersen

Source: From Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in now way alters my opinion or review.

Oddball by Sarah Andresen
Series: Sarah's Scribbles #4
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date:   December 7, 2021

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
The newest Sarah's Scribbles collection from New York Times bestselling author Sarah Andersen

The fourth book in the enormously popular graphic novel series, the latest collection of Sarah's Scribbles comics explores the evils of procrastination, the trials of the creative process, the cuteness of kittens, and the beauty of not caring about your appearance as much as you did when you were younger. When it comes to humorous illustrations of the awkwardness and hilarity of millennial life, Sarah's Scribbles is without peer
I loooooove Sarah Andersen, so to see a new book pop up had me squealing and giggling with excitement. I was even more excited to see that it was a longer book than in the past as well. Yay for all the pictures!!

Let me just say that if you are into contemportary comics, you probably know Sarah's work. You might have also seen it online somewhere even if you are not into comics. Her work is simple yet realy relatable - especially for your nerdy populations (ahem, myself included). If you have seen her work - you might get a few duplicates and know them already but I love a good compelation. 

Sarah's scribbles have a variety of themes, like friendship, anxiety, pets, books, and awkwardness, and are short and simplistic but so real and fun. Each page houses a strip, some play off of one another or continuations but most of them are their own stand-alones. This makes the book easy to read and you can pick it up and stop easily. If a strip isn't for you, you can pass it by or skim, but I am not sure why you would want to do that because they are all fun and funny. 

If you are looking for smiles or laughs - this one is a fun one to choose. I highly recommend all of Sarah's work that I have read thus far and she will always be on my to read list.

Dec 2, 2021

Blog Tour: Review - One Book Away by Debbie Ioanna

One Book Away by Debbie Ioanna

Publisher: Debbie Ioanna
Publication Date:  December 3, 2021

Format: Ebook
Source: From Zooloos Book Tours in exchange for review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

About the Book
She's just a girl, standing in front of a bookcase, looking for her happily every after...

Charlotte's love of romantic literature and 'happily ever after' is a far cry from reality. Putting her own ambitions to one side and settling with her university sweetheart, it has not been a decade of bliss. Changes need to be made, and quick.

At a book signing for her favourite author, she meets the handsome and chivalrous Ross. He immediately charms her and wants to see her again. Could this be the romantic, happy ending she was looking for?

Debbie brings us her latest romantic comedy where dating and new romances warm our hearts... and give us a little bit of dating fear.

I have been really enjoying romance lately, the cozy ones that warm your heart and make you swoon. Once Book Away is a cozy romance but also a story about growth, happiness, and self-love. Charlotte is a romance reader and lover and her relationship with Sam was all love and romance in the beginning but now they have just settled into life, and she is very unhappy. Charlotte makes the decision to work on herself and get her life back in order, starting with her weight and then by writing the romance novel she has always dreamed of writing. 

Charlotte is a wonderful lead character - she is determined, hardworking, sensitive, and down to earth, and it made for a fantastic and realistic story in some ways. As for the plot of the book, I really enjoyed the pacing, although sometimes the jumps in time were a little confusing in the eBook copy that I received. It was a quick and pretty light read overall. I liked that the focus was on self-care and growth versus just the romantic relationships. I also liked that Charlotte knew her boundaries and was hesitant at times in a new relationship, that was refreshing. I also enjoyed that it covered some harder topic: mental health, physical health including weight loss, and adoption. It was light-hearted but also very well done. I wasn’t sure about the ending, it was nice and an enjoyable wrap up, but I felt like it was a little rushed for me. 

Overall, if you are looking for a light romance read that really focuses on a woman rebuilding her happiness, this is a perfect quick read.

About the Author

Debbie is a Yorkshire born indie author who dabbles in all genres. 
She lives with her family and loves nothing more than hunting through antique bookshops for some literary treasures to add to her collection. 
Debbie has just graduated from the Open University after spending six years studying History and Creative Writing, her two biggest passions, and is looking forward to her next venture and publishing more books for her readers to enjoy. 

Find the Author

Dec 1, 2021

Happy Holidays from Cover2CoverBlog

Happy December and Happy Holidays! 

I know that 2021 has been a long and rough year for many...

However you will be celebrating this month, I would like to say Happy Holidays!!!

I hope you have a love-filled holiday season that is happy and healthy. 
Stay well my friends.

xoxo- Steph