Selection Fan Cast!

In honor of me finally finishing the Selection series, I have decided to finally share with you a post I have been drafting for weeks. Enjoy 🙂

okay, so I did the thing.  The thing that everyone has been doing ever since it was announced that The Selection movie rights have been purchased.

I made a fan cast.  Mostly I just did this because I have seen so many that are just so wrong that I had to fix it and set the universe right. Part of me wants to hide in shame, but part of me also wants to show of this list with pride because it is perfection in my eyes and I will always love it forever.

Here we go…

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Holland Roden as American Singer.  I seriously debated this… as I know that I would not be the first to cast Holland as American (also, there is the irony that her name is already a country…), and I am trying to be original.  However – looking at this picture, I see exactly what I imagined from the radiant smile that won America a spot in the Selection.  Holland is a gorgeous redhead, and I honestly think that she has a strong enough acting style and personality that she could pull off America really well.

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Sam Claflin as Maxon Shreave.  I feel like Sam Claflin is not a person who would come to mind immediately when thinking of the best person to portray Maxon.  But after an enormous amount of thought – he was my final pick for several reasons.  He has the ability to portray deep and passionate love, which is so important.  Through The Prince novella by Kiera, we see that Maxon fell in love with America basically at first sight.  You would need a very sensitive actor to present those feelings in an accurate light.  Also, I think Sam would do a wonderful job depicting Maxon’s light and playful side.  And can’t you just picture him with a camera in his hand?  Not to mention he looks fabulous in a suit.  It’s basically meant to be.

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Tyler Hoechlin as Aspen Ledger.  Okay, I know what you are thinking.  Yes, I can actually read your mind.  “Oh, well why don’t we just have a Teen Wolf cast reunion while you are at it?”  And I’m so very sorry but I can’t help it that two cast members that are PERFECT in every way just happen to come from the same TV show.  But seriously, Tyler is 100% how I always imagined Aspen.  Dark and brooding, but with a hidden, tender side.  You can’t deny that it is kind of brilliant. (If you are denying it, just look at those eyes and rethink your life decisions)

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Chloe Grace Moretz as Marlee Tames.  This was an easy pick for me.  Marlee is one of my favorite of the Selected girls, and Chloe is one of my favorite actors of all time.  She is just so quirky and sweet, and I feel like she could bring out the very best in Marlee’s character.  Plus, again she is just looks so much like I imagined Marlee as I was reading the books.

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Blake Lively as Celeste Newsome.  After much deliberation, I suddenly opened my eyes and wondered why Blake hadn’t occurred to me from the beginning.  She perfectly fits the image of Celeste.  She is strong, confident, beautiful – model worthy.  But, she also has a human side, which is so important to the character of Celeste.

also – bonus,  if I were casting the younger Clarkson and Amberly as portrayed in The Queen novella, they would definitely be Aaron Tveit and Emily Blunt

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There are so, SO many characters remaining to cast – America’s family, the other selected girls, the maids… and I could go on and on.  Not to mention all the lovely characters from The Heir and The Crown.  If you enjoy posts like this, I might to a part 2 or “next generation” cast post someday soon!  Also, let me know what you think of my choices.  Do you agree?  Who would you cast in these major roles?  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts ❤

 

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Five Books to Read in an Afternoon

Have you ever had one of those lazy summer afternoons when you want nothing more than a cold lemonade and a good book?  I know – doesn’t it sound wonderful?  Today, I have decided to share with you my top picks that are good one-sitting reads for a perfect lazy day
1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.  I kind of don’t want to share any details of this story with you.  When I picked up We Were Liars, I choose it based on the cover and the intriguing title alone – but the fact that I knew nothing of the story going into it made this book so much more of an enjoyable (yet heartwrenching…) experience.  At just over 200 pages, this book will fly by, leaving you to pick up the pieces of your soul before you even realize it is over.
 
2. The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis.  This is a somewhat lesser-known installment in the Chronicles of Narnia series.  The story is a rare glimpse into Narnia that takes place during the reign of the four young heroes of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  However, the magically land is given a new twist as we follow around a servant boy known as Shasta – and see his perspective on the realm of Narnia.  This novel, while it might be small, is overflowing with beautiful writing and masterful storytelling.  The Narnia sage might be considered children’s stories by some – but by choosing The Horse and His Boy, you will be responding to CS Lewis’s own observation that “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
3.  Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon.  I sped through this story in just a couple of hours.  Everything Everything combines an incredibly unique and engaging storyline with masterful illustrations.  Much of the story is told through instant message conversations between the two main characters – causing the length of the book to be a bit deceiving.  It is a very quick read, while at the same time being one of the most satisfying and moving stories I have read in a while.
4. November 9 by Colleen Hoover.  I hesitate to share this one for the reason that it is just so good.  Yes, I realize that this makes little sense – but let me explain.  I read this rather short novel in a matter of 2 hours for the simple reason that I actually did not have the ability to put it down.  It tells the story of an aspiring novelist who meets a girl that inspires the novel he was born to write.  They meet on the 9th of November – but through a series of circumstances, the two have to part ways at the end of the day.  They decide to meet up again on November 9th next year, and the story follows each November 9th for several years – revealing so many unexpected twists along the way.  It is just such a beautiful, gripping story that I had to read it all at once and find out how their story came out.  The reason I hesitate to share it is because, when it was finished, I almost wished I could pick it up and experience it all over again, or that I hadn’t rushed through it so quickly because of how completely wonderful it was.  So – you have my official warning.  Read at your own risk (I dare you to put it down once, actually.  I’ll bet you won’t be able to).
5. Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs. This book is a little different from the others on my list – in that it is an inspirational non-fiction book.  Annie F. Downs is one of my favorite authors of all time, and Let’s All Be Brave is full of personal, real stories from her life that she shares to encourage her readers to step out of their comfort zone and make the ‘brave’ decision in every situation.  Sitting down and reading this book from start to finish is basically sitting down with Annie for a few hours over coffee, and it is such an encouraging read.

November 9 Review

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November 9…. this book.  I opened November 9 expecting an intriguing storyline and maybe some good writing.  I have never read Colleen Hoover before, but I have heard enough good things that my expectations where fairly high.  Despite this, I was not prepared for the incredible story I discovered inside the pages of this book – I was gripped from the very beginning, and I could not put it down (though I will admit I was tempted to throw it out the window at a couple of different points).  November 9 is one of those books you will devour, yet when it is over you will wish you had taken the time to savor it.  And you may not be able to accept any other book for a few days afterwards because the story is just so good that nothing else can measure up.

So, now that you know my opinion about the beautifulness of this book, let me give you a quick glimpse of the story inside 🙂

The story opens on November 9th, the two-year anniversary of a fire which terribly scarred aspiring actress Fallon (last name), ending her acting career.  She meets Ben, a college student with a passion for writing.  Ben sees two things in Fallon – her deep, genuine beauty, and the insecurity she projects due to the scars that the fire left on her face.  Ben makes it his goal to help Fallon regain her confidence and see herself as beautiful again – and in the process, she becomes the inspiration he needs to write a brilliant story.

The day Fallon and Ben meet happens to be the day before Fallon moves to a new city.  Even though they are about to be separated, Ben and Fallon determine to meet up again – same place, same time – on the next November 9th.  The story follows the incredible ups and downs their lives take on over the course of several years.

There is so much beauty and creativity in this plot, and I’m pretty sure I experienced every emotion a book can possibly producing different points of the story.

If you are looking for a book that is impossible to put down, characters that refuses to leave you long after the story is finished, and a plot that grips you from the first page – November 9 should find a spot at the top of your TBR for sure.

 

 

 

 

INCONCEIVABLE! by Tegan Wren

Hi everyone,

Today I am very excited to introduce to you one of my favorite books so far in 2016: Inconceivable by Tegan Wren.

I can honestly say that it is a rare thing for me to encounter a book that I am as completely satisfied with as I was with this lovely read.  (plus, this cover wins over just about every single book on my shelf right now, don’t you agree?)

So, to start out, here’s a quick In-Anna’s-Words rundown of the story:  Hatty, native of Missouri but currently living as a successful journalist in Europe, encounters and wins the heart of a certain Prince John.  Their relationship begins under the guise of an interview – but quickly blossoms into something more, eventually moving to marriage.  There is a certain element of irony that comes along with an American journalist marrying into a royal European family – and it brings just the right mix of conflict and humor into this romantic tale.  But soon, being in uncomfortable territory for a journalist is the least of Hatty’s concerns as she discovers that she is struggling to bear children.  Beyond the desire to be a mother, there is the added pressure of the fact that Prince John must produce an heir.  This story weaves together a beautiful romance with a very real struggle, painting what would seem like an unbelievable life of an instant-royal into a surprisingly relatable journey.  I won’t give away the ending of this beautiful story, as it is something that must be experienced for itself.  However, I will close my little description with the words that Tegan inscribed in the front of my copy of Inconceivable: “The best happy endings are the unexpected ones!”

There was so much to love in this brilliant story.  Maybe it was the fact that both Hatty and myself are natives of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, or it could have been our shared journalism roots.  But I experienced a connection with this character that I haven’t encountered in a very long time.  It was something that went beyond just our shared circumstances.  Tegan brought this character to life in a very real, down to earth way – a way that would allow anyone who picks up this story to connect in the same way that I did.

The same clear, relatable style of writing that brought Hatty to life brings to life every element of this story, from the landscape, to the gorgeous palace, to each character you meet along the way.  As I read, I found myself questioning… how is it that this story seems so real to me, even though I have never experienced marriage, or meeting a prince, or the struggle with infertility?  The answer, I discovered, is a simple one.  This story is so real to me because it is real to the author.  Tegan really experienced living in the Ozarks, she really worked as a journalist, and she has really felt the hardship of infertility.  However, rather than dwelling in bitterness  – Tegan has chosen to move on in many ways; through becoming an adoptive parent, and through taking her story and sharing it through this incredible book.  Inconceivable touched me deeply.  It is incredibly rare to find an author who will pour their personal story into a book like Tegan has done, and I am so thankful to have discovered her writing through Inconceivable!

To find out more about Tegan and her story, check out her website: a great resource for book info as well as more of her infertility journey. teganwren.com

And, of course, here is the link to find her book for yourself.  I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.  And, just remember, “The best happy endings are the most unexpected ones!”  INCONCEIVABLE! on Amazon

Remember Me?

Hello all 🙂  Yes, it’s me… the girl that laid out a ton of ambitious goals and then took a slightly extended hiatus due midterms and a week of sickness and an unhealthy obsession with Gilmore Girls, among other things.

But, here I am again, excited to jump back into this whole blogging craziness with both feet.  In the past couple weeks, I have been busy planning upcoming content to share with all of you, and I thought I would give you a little peek at what is to come.

First off, I will be catching up on my book reviews, featuring some of my favorites so far this year – including authors like Gayle Foreman and Sarah J. Maas.  I will also be revealing one of my newest favorite genres, and putting together a list of recommended titles.

I am also very excited to introduce to you some of the indie authors I have had the privilege of working with in the past couple of months.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to stay faithful to this little blog throughout my absence.  I am so excited about all of the new content I have to share with you very soon! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Instareads: App Review

So, I have come across this interesting new resource for readers and bloggers, so I thought I would take a moment to share it with you!

It is an app called Instareads.  The Instareads app takes book summarys (previously available on Amazon for around $2.50 each) and provides their unlimited library to you for $2.99 per month.

Instareads is such a great concept!  Basically, each book is summed up in a few pages, and then each chapter has its own summary.  The instareads library has a huge selection of fiction, non-fiction, self-help books, science-related books, biographies and more.  The summaries in each of these genres provide a different resource for a different audience.

If you are a book blogger, you can use the fiction section (or virtually any section, for that matter) to refresh your mind about a specific book before you review it.

If you are looking for a book on a particular subject – from science to business to history – these summaries are more in depth than Amazon blurbs, but you don’t have to take the time to seek out and flip through the book to find out if it is what you are looking for.

For the biographies and autobiographies, these summaries provide a fantastic overview of someone’s life, choosing to highlight the most important details from the book – saving you the trouble of reading through yourself.

With that said, I would like to break this app down into its pros and cons for your consideration:  (:

Pros:

  • Fantastic resource for bloggers, or anyone doing general research
  • Clear, concise summaries
  • Large selection of popular, new releases
  • User friendly
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Limited selection of older, classic books.  (I realize that the purpose of this app is to provide summaries of current releases, but I think it would be a great platform for the classics as well)
  • This app might be confused with an avenue through which you can read fiction books.  It is not.  Reading the summary of non-fiction, scientific books before you have read the original?  That is fine.  But DO NOT read the summary of The Fault in Our Stars (as an example) unless you have read the book, and are using the summary strictly as a refresher.
  • Room for improvement.  This is true with all new apps – but little things, like a flaw in the menu option, and the voice over not working on iPad are little areas that could be improved to make this app more effective.

 

So…. is it worth $2.99 per month, you ask?  That is a question that you will have to answer yourself.  They do provide a month long trial, if you would like to give it a try before purchasing a subscription.  However, this would be my advice.  If you are strictly a fiction reader – I would skip this app.  As I mentioned, it is not to be used as a fiction reading replacement.  But if you are a blogger or you are looking for a research resource – or even if you are trying to choose books to purchase for a library, this app would be an excellent investment.

Thank you for taking the time to read this little review.  As I hope you all know – I do not choose to review a book or service that I don’t find interesting, and I try to make my reviews relevant to my readers as well.  If there is something out there – an app, or any kind of product – that you would like to see my opinion, please let me know and I will gladly consider it!

 

2016 Bookish Goals

Good afternoon book friends 🙂  I hope you all are having a happy Wednesday!  I just wanted to start out by saying thank you to everyone who has followed, commented, or reached out to me through email since I started this little blog a few weeks ago.  You all just make me so very happy!

Today, I though I would share with you a few of the book-related goals I have for myself and for this blog in the new year.  I have seen just how fast a new blog can grow in a very short amount of time – and I want to form a game plan, so that I can take full advantage of the incredible adventure this little blog will take me on in 2016 🙂  So here we go:

  1. Read (at least) 50 books (yay for my first ever Goodreads challenge!)
  2. Reach 500 bookstagram followers
  3. Review at least one self-published/indie book each month.  This is where you all come in!  If you are an author (or you know of one) with a newly released, independent book, I would love to support you!  To submit a book for review, email me at mylittlebluelibrary@gmail.com.
  4. Host my first ever bookish giveaway (either here on the blog, or my bookstagram)
  5. Make some fabulous new friends through my blogging journey who genuinely understand this passion for books 🙂
  6. Become a regular book reviewer for a small publishing company.
  7. Finish writing (and maybe even editing) my current WIP novel, Stealing Forever.  (This novel is a loose Peter Pan retelling – let me know if any of you would like to see creative writing related posts, because I would love to share!)
  8. Go to a book signing to meet one of my (many!) favorite authors
  9. Maintain a consistent blog, posting (at the very least) once per week – sharing all of my favorite bookish news with all of you.
  10. Fill up my all the shelves of my first ever bookshelf (you can keep up with my programs on my bookstagram @littlebluelibrary.  I love sharing pictures of lovely new books!)

I know that I am a bit late in the game with this list – January is already nearly over!  What?  This year is going to fly by, and I can’t wait to see what fun adventures it brings!  What are your goals for the new year?  Let me know in the comments or through my email – I love interacting with all of you.  I think that each of my goals for this year can really be wrapped up into one ultimate goal – to grow in this book loving community.  I love that this community exists, and I am so happy that my little blog can be a part of it. ❤

 

 

 

2016: The Year of The Series

Hello all!  I hope you have had a fabulous start to your 2016.  I have personally spent the first full week of this year working 40 hours in a library.  Which was wonderful 🙂  Also, during those long hours in a library, I had lots of time to think about what books I want to spend my time reading this year.  I set my Goodreads goal at 50 books for this year, which may seem small, but this is the first year I have ever set a challenge like this for myself, and I have discovered that small goals are the best way to start.  Hopefully I will far surpass my little goal, but we shall see 🙂

When I was thinking about what fifty books I want to spend my year with, a lot of series kept popping into my mind.  So I thought I would share with you the top five series that are on my TBR list for this year, and why I am choosing to read (or reread) each one.

First up is the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.  As I am writing this post, I have already been through the first three of these books since the beginning of 2016 (another reason why working in a library is awesome.  Lots of reading time).  I originally read this series my sophomore into my junior year of high school, which is kind of ironic, because I am going to finish my sophomore year and start my junior year of college in 2016.  Also, since I read the series the first time, I have seen all of the movies several times – but I have never done the thing where you watch each movie as you finish each book.  So that’s what I am doing, and after finishing these first three books and movies, I can just say that I forgot how incredibly amazing this series is – and I am so excited to experience Harry Potter’s adventures again this year.

The next series is The Selection Series by Kiera Cass.  I just have such fond memories of these books.  I read them all as they came out, and I just want to reread all of the in preparation for the release of The Crown in March.

Next, I have The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.  I recently discovered that I have not actually read all of these books.  I have read the books that became movies – but as a child, my family had these fantastic audio-books of the Narnia series, so I was content to listen to those.  I got the collection of Narnia books for Christmas, and I am so excited to dive into that series.  Also, I think it would be so amazing to be able to pass that collection of books on to my children some day.  There is just something so special about reading the same copy of a book that someone close to you also read.

The forth series on my list is a brand new series for me, and one that I have heard such good things about from the booktube/bookblog community.  And that is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas.  I had never read any of her books until I discovered A Court of Thorns and Roses (which, unfortunately I was reading from my library back home – but I had to return it before I came back to school.  I ended up buying it for myself but I have not picked it up again because Harry Potter.  But, all that to say, it is fantastic so far).  I came to love Sarah’s writing through that book – and I have really been getting into high fantasy in the past few months, so I am very excited to dive into this new-to-me series.

The last series on my list is The Maze Runner by James Dashner.  I read the triology a very, very long time ago – before there was even talk of a movie.  I remember loving it, and I was so happy with the first movie – because so much of it was just how I pictured in the book (not so much in the second movie tho…).  I want to relive this series, mostly just so that I can picture Dylan O’Brien’s face as Thomas, but also just because it is so different from most of the books on my TBR list this year.

What book or series on your TBR are you most excited to read in 2016?  It is going to be a fabulous year for books!

 

Top Books of 2015

<3It is hard to believe that today is the last day of 2015.  This has been a fantastic year in so many ways – and of course, I have read lots of lovely books this year.  I thought I would share a few of the best books I read in 2015, and for each of them I want to feature one of my favorite quotes from the main character of the story.  To me, each of these quotes sums up, in a sentence or two, the purpose of each of these books.  I hope you enjoy ❤

Best Middle Grade Book:  Wonder by RJ Palacio

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 “I think there should be a rule that  everyone in the world should get a standing ovation, at least once in their lives…”  -Auggie Pullman, Wonder

Best YA Contemporary: Paper Towns by John Green

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“It’s easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined” -Quentin, Paper Towns

Best Historical Fiction: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” -Liesel Meminger, The Book Thief

 

Best Inspirational Book:  Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs

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“Say yes to the situations that stretch you and scare you and ask you to be better than you think you can be.”  -Annie F. Downs, Let’s All Be Brave

Best Overall: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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“I’m finally learning my lesson.  Anyone can betray anyone.” -Mare Barrow, Red Queen

Overall, it has been a fabulous year for reading!  I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us.   Happy New Year everyone!

Red Queen Review

Hello all!  I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!  I have loved scrolling through Instagram the last couple of days, seeing how all of you are diving into your Christmas books 🙂  I will have a Christmas book haul up hopefully in a week or so, once I make it to Barnes and Noble to use some of my lovely gift cards.

In the mean time, I would like to bring you my thoughts on my most recent read, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard.  This book is just so many things in so many ways, and I’m not sure that I can do it put into words just how brilliant it is.  In fact, I have tried several times to sum up the plot in my own words, and I have been unsuccessful.  So, what I have decided to do is share the summary from the cover of the book, and then share a little tiny snippet of my thoughts while trying very hard to not include any spoilers.

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“Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood – those with red and those with silver.  Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods.  Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom.  A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own – an ability she didn’t know she had.  Except… her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of this own sons.  As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard – the leaders of a Red rebellion.  Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, putting prince against prince – and Mare against her own heart.”

The first thought that I have to share is something that greatly frustrated me about this book.  It was the fact that woven into this story are several very recognizable plotlines from endlessly popular YA books.  At the beginning of the story, a ‘Queenstrial’ is held to determine which Silver girl is most worthy to marry the crown prince.  The Selection, anyone?  But, this turned out to be somewhat of a minor plotline in the book, so I moved on.  But then there is a small snippet of the story where the Red rebels decide that Mare would make a wonderful symbol of the rebellion, using her Silver-given nickname (that she previously despised); ‘the little lightning girl’.  I’m sorry, but Mockingjay?  Familiar much?  But, that little rebellion plot line thing didn’t exactly pan out as planned, so I got over it.  But.  Then….  we have the whole thing about Mare being a Red but having abilities she shouldn’t have unless she was a Silver.  And there is a point about halfway through the book where she realizes that maybe this is an actual thing, and maybe she isn’t the only Red who should be a Silver.  But, no matter how many there are, this thing that she is is very dangerous and rebellious and bad.  “Tris, you’re Divergent…”.  I think that was the part that got to me the most.  But, the brilliant everything that followed it made up for all of that.

The world building and character development were stunning in this novel.  The world of Red Queen is so unique and it just comes to life through Victoria Aveyard’s writing.  The Stilts, the Kingdom, every location that we visited through the story was beautifully crafted.  And the world building was only topped by the character development.

Oh goodness, every character in this story was simply amazing.  Every connection that Mare formed to a character, I formed the same connection.  She felt the feels, and I felt the feels.  All the feels.  If Mare was attached to a character, I was attached to them.  If she hated someone, I hated them.  And I have to just say this now – you never realize how close a bond you have with a character until you realize that they aren’t who they claimed to be all along.

And on that note – if you need a reason at all to read this book, read it for the last 50 pages.  Until that point I was like “oh, yes, this is a good book.”  And then all at once I was just like “UM THIS IS world shattering and life changing AND WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT FOR GLASS SWORD??”

So, read the book.  It is up there with the top two or three books I have read this year for sure.  I highly recommend it.  5/5 stars for sure.