September 15, 2014

Pretty in Print: Gone Reading


That deliciously, tantalizing crispness is beginning to fill the air.
The leaves are starting to slowly change into their rich, fall colors.
The kids are headed back to school, and pumpkin 
flavored everything is hitting the shelves.
In my opinion,

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

With the change of the seasons our thoughts begin to turn to 
hosting and attending festive parities, school events and activities,
Halloween, Thanksgiving, and, of course, Christmas shopping!

With all those fun filled events that are filling up your calendar 
you will be looking for the perfect:

-Teacher appreciation gifts
-Hostess gifts
-Party decor
-Gifts for all those friends with fall birthdays
-Table settings
-Holiday decorations
-Christmas presents

Friends, I have discovered the most marvelous site that will make 
all of you upcoming fall and holiday plans so much easier and 
is sure to make every event you host all the more magical.


Has a huge variety of gifts, home decor, reading accessories and more.
But what sets them apart is their inspiring mission:

"To spread the magic of reading in the developing world.  That’s why we’ve pledged 100% of after-tax profits to fund reading related charities, especially the work of our good friends at Read Global and Ethiopia Reads."

Photo Source: Read Global

Photo Source : Ethiopian Reads

Click the links above to learn more about these amazing organizations.  Gone Reading
is such a great site with such a sweet and wonderful mission.  I love knowing that 
all of my purchases are helping to spread the magic of reading to those who will
love and cherish it.

If that wasn't enough good news, I have even more good news
to share with you dear readers!  I have collaborated with the lovely 
people at Gone Reading, and they were gracious enough to
give our readers a special coupon code to get 

20% off all non-clearance items!

Simply enter in the code, DELREADS20 during the check out process to receive your special discount from now until the end of October.

Just to give you an idea of all the 
delightful things you can find on Gone Reading,
here are some of my favorite products 
you can find on their site. 
(Just as a side note, this entire article is something that I chose to write, I 
wanted to spread awareness about the good people at 
Gone Reading and the uplifting and fulfilling mission
they are out to accomplish.  I approached them
about writing an article about their purpose, and they
were nice enough to give us a coupon code.  This 
is in no way a sponsored or requested post from them, these
are all my own thoughts and opinions.) 

These beautiful posters are comprised of the actual text, 
 more than 18,000 words, from the books they
represent.  The two pictured below are 
Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion.




Gone Reading has numerous items
to help make your home look and 
feel great.  I adore these floating bookshelves, 
but they also have a wide variety of candles and diffusers and
all sorts of reading accessories to make your favorite 
pastime all the more comfortable and relaxing.

Floating book shelf


Gone Reading organized different gift collections
that make finding the perfect present 
so easy.  Some of their collections include:

-Book club gifts
-Jane Austin Gifts
-Librarian Gifts
-Edgar Allen Poe Gifts (Perfect for Halloween!)
-Shakespearean Gifts
-Gifts for Families and Kids

These are stunning postcards 
found in the Jane Austin gift collection


My all time favorite items that I have found 
thus far on Gone Reading are the 


The tea cup and saucers are hand down my favorite
Just look at how charming they are!

book tea cup

Thank you so much to the wonderful staff at Gone Reading for all the 
good you are doing to spread the blessing of reading around the world. 
And thank you so much for our very special coupon code!

Thanks for reading and 
happy shopping!

xoxo



September 5, 2014

Top 24 Books for Teen Boys

Boy reading books without titles

I love me a good cheesy romance or a cry-til-your-nose runs book. There's nothing wrong with fancy dresses and crowns and heart flutters. The young adult market is currently inundated with novel after novel of stories told from a teen girl perspective with ooey gooey romance on the side. Now, I'm not saying that these can't be read by the male population. In fact, many a young man could learn a lot by studying these manuals into a girl's heart and mind. Yes, there are several books out there that are great for any gal or guy to read and totally enjoy.

BUT, what about those guys out there who wouldn't be caught dead with a book in hand that shows that beautiful girl in the flowy dress or, heaven forbid, a boy and girl sitting next to each other on a bench? Or what about those tom boys out there who just want some great adventure and mystery, not to be bogged down with too many feelings and wardrobe changes? I know I'm probably going to get some flack for putting guys and girls into set categories, but, seriously, teen boys need to start somewhere and why not in a place where most can relate?

I have the answer to every male teenager out there. I give you THE LIST . . .


Now you will notice some classics here, including some made-into-movie books too. You may have seen the movie or heard all the hype. Don't let that turn you away.  There's a reason these books have been read by millions - they are that good! Several of these books are part of a series as well, but I have just listed the first book to get you started. Keep in mind that although these book are great ideas for teen boys, they are perfect for any adult males as well. So save this list - you might need it for gift ideas in the future!

Below I've included the book jacket summary of each book:


The cover of The Amulet of Samarkand

Nathaniel is a boy magician-in-training, sold to the government by his birth parents at the age of five and sent to live as an apprentice to a master. Powerful magicians rule Britain, and its empire, and Nathaniel is told his is the "ultimate sacrifice" for a "noble destiny." 

If leaving his parents and erasing his past life isn't tough enough, Nathaniel's master, Arthur Underwood, is a cold, condescending, and cruel middle-ranking magician in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The boy's only saving grace is the master's wife, Martha Underwood, who shows him genuine affection that he rewards with fierce devotion. Nathaniel gets along tolerably well over the years in the Underwood household until the summer before his eleventh birthday. Everything changes when he is publicly humiliated by the ruthless magician Simon Lovelace and betrayed by his cowardly master who does not defend him.

Nathaniel vows revenge. In a Faustian fever, he devours magical texts and hones his magic skills, all the while trying to appear subservient to his master. When he musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus to avenge Lovelace by stealing the powerful Amulet of Samarkand, the boy magician plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine

The cover of Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories—they're dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.


The cover of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . . There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes. There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised. And no one can stop it. In the end, there is a grave. Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.


The cover of The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander


Taran wanted to be a hero, and looking after a pig wasn't exactly heroic, even though Hen Wen was an oracular pig. But the day that Hen Wen vanished, Taran was led into an enchanting and perilous world. With his band of followers, he confronted the Horned King and his terrible Cauldron-Born. These were the forces of evil, and only Hen Wen knew the secret of keeping the kingdom of Prydain safe from them. But who would find her first?


The cover of The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima


Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for his family. The only thing of value he has is something he can't sell—the thick silver cuffs he's worn since birth. They're clearly magicked—as he grows, they grow, and he's never been able to get them off.

One day, Han and his clan friend, Dancer, confront three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hamalea. Han takes an amulet from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to keep him from using it against them. Soon Han learns that the amulet has an evil history—it once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece that powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.

Meanwhile, Raisa ana'Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. She's just returned to court after three years of freedom in the mountains—riding, hunting, and working the famous clan markets. Raisa wants to be more than an ornament in a glittering cage. She aspires to be like Hanalea—the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But her mother has other plans for her—including marriage to a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for. The Seven Realms tremble when the lives of Hans and Raisa collide, fanning the flames of the smoldering war between clans and wizards.


the cover of Divergent by Veronica Roth


In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
the cover of Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. 

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
the cover of Eye of Minds by James Dashner


Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery. The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.  And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team. But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever


the cover of The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen


In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.


the cover of The Giver by Lois Lowry


In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.


the cover of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen


ALONE. Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present -- and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent's divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair -- it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage 
than he knew he possessed, to survive. 


the cover of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone by J.K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He's never worn a Cloak of Invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry's room is a tiny cupboard under the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in ten years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter
the cover of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams


Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.


the cover of  The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves. Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo–alone and unaided–who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside . . .

This stirring adventure fantasy begins the tale of the hobbits that was continued by J.R.R. Tolkien in his bestselling epic The Lord of the Rings.


the cover of Holes by Louis Sachar


Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck going back generations, so he is not too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre. Nor is he very surprised when he is told that his daily labour at the camp is to dig a hole, five foot wide by five foot deep, and report anything that he finds in that hole. The warden claims that it is character building, but this is a lie and Stanley must dig up the truth. In this wonderfully inventive, compelling novel that is both serious and funny, Louis Sachar has created a masterpiece that will leave all readers amazed and delighted by the author's narrative flair and brilliantly handled plot.


the cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.


the cover of The Last Apprentice #1: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney


For years, Old Gregory has been the Spook for the county, ridding the local villages of evil. Now his time is coming to an end. But who will take over for him? Twenty-nine apprentices have tried—some floundered, some fled, some failed to stay alive. Only Thomas Ward is left. He's the last hope, the last apprentice.


the cover of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan


Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.
the cover of Lord of the Flies by William Golding


A group of English schoolboys are plane-wrecked on a deserted island. At first, the stranded boys cooperate, attempting to gather food, make shelters, and maintain signal fires. Overseeing their efforts are Ralph, "the boy with fair hair," and Piggy, Ralph's chubby, wisdom-dispensing sidekick whose thick spectacles come in handy for lighting fires. Although Ralph tries to impose order and delegate responsibility, there are many in their number who would rather swim, play, or hunt the island's wild pig population. Soon Ralph's rules are being ignored or challenged outright. His fiercest antagonist is Jack, the redheaded leader of the pig hunters, who manages to lure away many of the boys to join his band of painted savages. The situation deteriorates as the trappings of civilization continue to fall away, until Ralph discovers that instead of being hunters, he and Piggy have become the hunted.
the cover of The Maze Runner by James Dashner


"If you ain't scared, you ain't human."  When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone. Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive. Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
the cover of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson


In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more? In Brandon Sanderson's intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage - Allomancy, a magic of the metals.


the cover of The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice #1) by John Flanagan


They have always scared him in the past — the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied....


the cover of A Separate Peace by John Knowles


An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war. Set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.


the cover of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka. Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfill her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him. But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?



Headshot of Author Robin King


Happy Reading!
XoXo, 

August 28, 2014

Looks for Books: Ruin & Rising

This month we are reading Ruin and Rising, the 3rd and final book in the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. You can see our epic photos from our Shadow and Bone book club last fall HERE.
http://www.amazon.com/Ruin-Rising-Grisha-Trilogy-Shadow/dp/080509461X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395948546&sr=1-1&keywords=ruin+and+rising
This book revolves around a girl named Alina who must find the strength to defeat the Darkling by forming alliances and mending rivalries.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.


Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.The time has come for the ultimate battle of good versus evil, which side will be left standing to rule all of Ravka?

The Look:
When we read the first book in this series, Shadow and Bone, we themed our evening and our attire around the books traditional Grisha colors of black, red, blue and purple. 
But for Ruin and Rising, we choose to celebrate the main character Alina and her Saint-hood status of being the "Sun Summoner."
As I mentioned, the white in the outfit represents Alina the sun summoner saint, and the House of Harlow necklace I paired with this outfit represents an important symbol in the book.

I found it interesting that Leigh is not only an amazing author but also a makeup artist and band member in Hollywood. She attended Yale and is from Jerusalem. She is definitely someone I would love to meet, a mix of brains, creativity and coolness. Amazing!!!! 


Love, Jacque
P.S. Head to LooksforLovelies.com to see more Fashion, Beauty and Style

Denim - J Brand via Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Blouse - Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Blazer - Nordstrom Rack (similar)
Necklace - House of Harlow 1960 via Rocksbox
Cuff - Windsor Store (similar)
Heels - MIA via Nordstrom Rack
Watch - Capri Watch
Sunnies - Nordstrom

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