My Fall 2016 TBR List


Top Ten TuesdayHow’s your week been, friends? Thanks to a half day yesterday, mine is zipping right along, and, before I know, the weekend and with it, October, will have arrived! Cue all the pumpkin recipes, cozy sweaters, and Halloween classics {It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, anyone?} your heart desires – it’s such a fun time of year :) In other news, you may be double-checking your calendar, curious as to why I’m sharing a Top Ten Tuesday on a Thursday. It’s a bit odd, I admit, but with how senior year is rolling, I’ve had to put blogging on the back burner, hence the few days late post. Nevertheless, I love crafting my seasonal to be read list, and The Broke and the Bookish’s weekly feature provides the perfect opportunity to do so. All that said, here are the releases – and a few backlist titles! – I’m anxious to read this season, in rainbow order, no less. {Late to the party as well? Find all of the details on how to participate HERE!}.

heartlessI’m still steadily making my way though the Lunar Chronicles, Fairest and Winter still waiting on my nightstand, but in the meantime, I might as well add another Marissa Meyer novel to my TBR list. Her newest series kicks off with Heartless, named for the protagonist: Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts. I’m excited to dive into the backstory of such an interesting character, and knowing Meyer, I’m certain it will be an excellent read. {out November 8}

where-am-i-nowMatilda, Roald Dahl’s charming story about a plucky young genius, is a classic, a label that’s supported by its expansion across other forms of media. I’m still waiting for tickets to the musical, but in the meantime, I plan to pick up a copy of Where Am I Now?, a memoir written by Mara Wilson, the actress who played Matilda in 1996 film. If it’s anything like her Twitter account, I’m in for a treat. {already out}

sometimes-we-tell-the-truthWhen I look at the illustrations that surround the title of Kim Zarins’ debut novel, I’m nothing short of intrigued. What do a dolphin, playing card, and baby doll all have to do with one another? Questions aside, Sometimes We Tell the Truth sounds right up my alley, bringing The Canterbury Tales to a high school setting in a story that one reviewer describes as “brave and honest and raw.” That’s a combination that can’t be beat. {already out}

when-the-moon-was-oursI tend to stay away from pure fantasy, the lengthy sagas and mystical quests rarely capturing my interest. Mention magical realism, however, and I already have my library card in hand! Anna-Marie McLemore is known for her work in the genre, but I have yet to read any of her books: her debut, The Weight of Feathers, or her sophomore novel, When the Moon Was Ours. Here’s hoping my reading this autumn will change that. {out October 4}

howard-wallace-piWhile the rate of my reading ebbs and flows throughout the year, one thing’s for certain: I can’t let a season go without one middle grade mystery in my library pile. For this fall, I have my eye on Casey Lyall’s Howard Wallace, P.I. This debut has received nothing but rave reviews since its publication, and furthermore, the premise – a middle school detective finds himself with a new partner and case – sounds all sorts of adorable. Sign me up! {already out}

trouble-makes-a-comebackStephanie Tromly is hilarious. I don’t know her personally, of course, but such a fact must be true for her to write such a funny, quirky read as Trouble is a Friend of Mine. She follows in the debut’s success with Trouble Makes a Comeback, bringing back the memorable duo of Zoe and Digby in a new set of antics. Its publication falls in between my college application deadline and my first grading period, all of which is to say that I’ll want the laughs. {out November 22}

the-candymakers-and-the-great-chocolate-chaseThere are several authors whose work I first began in my childhood and continue today. Wendy Mass is one in the bunch, her whimsical stories never failing to bring a smile to my face, even as I grow older! With that said, I can’t wait to read another adventure with the Candymakers crew as trek across the county to promote a new chocolate bar – and perhaps, solve a few problems along the way. The six-year wait was worth it. {already out}

this-adventure-endsEven if it weren’t for the intriguing synopsis and wide acclaims from publishers and other bloggers alike, I’d pick up This Adventure Ends on its stunning cover alone. Art direction aside, I’m anxious to get my hands on Emma Mills’ second book, a contemporary novel that highlights “intense and important friendships [and] a wonderful warts-and-all family.” I don’t know about you, but I think it’s the perfect read to kick off October. {out October 4}

a-room-with-a-viewI haven’t read as many classics as I aimed to in the beginning of the year, but never to fear: I have a few I want to fit in before the holidays roll around, one of which is E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View. Since reading the modern adaptation Love, Lucy by April Lindner a few years ago, my interest in its inspiration has only grew, and it should only be a matter of weeks before I’m learning more about Lucy, George, and Cecil. {already out}

the-last-true-love-storyFrom his provocative debut, The Gospel of Winter, to his important and well-written collaboration with Jason Reynolds, All American Boys, Brendan Kiely has quickly proven a new favorite author of mine. He’s sure to win me over again with his third release, The Last True Love Story, in which teens Hendrix and Corrina take a sudden road trip along with Hendrix’s ailing grandfather. Fingers crossed I’ll have a copy in my hands soon! {already out}

girls-in-the-moonJen at Pop! Goes the Reader had another successful year of Her Story this past summer, the posts all worth a read if you have the time, and it was through her feature that I came across so many talented debut authors, one of which is Janet McNally. Her first book, Girls in the Moon, hits shelves in November, and needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading it. Who can resist a well-written contemporary novel? Not me. {out November 22}

iron-castFinally, the skull on the cover of Destiny Soria’s first novel, Iron Cast, in addition to the premise of gangsters and illusion and mystery, leads me to think only one thing: it’s meant to be read around Halloween. With comparisons being drawn to Libba Bray’s The Diviners – a wonderful, atmospheric read I’m always recommending – I’m finding it hard to imagine my dislike of this spooky-sounding book. Only time, I suppose, will tell. {out October 11}

Have a terrific Thursday!

Currently: September 2016

Hi friends!

What a long few weeks it’s been! I’m so happy this weekend has given me the chance to pop in and say hello – I’ve missed sharing posts here on Ciao Bella on a more frequent basis and being more active in the book and blogging communities. While school will always be my first priority, I decided to take a quick break from my homework to draft up a “Currently” post; I did a round back in the spring, and it was great fun not only to write, but also to hear a little bit more about your lives too! How has your September been?

andra-day-cheers-to-the-fallListening: Andra Day’s Cheers to the Fall | All credit goes to my sister, Lulu, for this grabbing Andra Day’s album from the library – it has quickly grown into my new playlist favorite! Nominated for a Grammy just this past year, this R&B singer is such a talented artist; even after only one listen to her debut, I was already made a fan. I have a few favorite tracks – “Rearview” and “Rise Up,” in particular – but with a voice so similar to vocal powerhouses like Amy Winehouse and Adele, I’d happily listen to the entire album more than once while working on the computer or on homework. In short? She’s an artist to follow, and, needless to say, I can’t wait to see what she releases next! What have you been listening to lately?

Enjoying: New Classes | While I can’t say I’m a big fan of the workload, I absolutely love the courses I’m taking this year. My school’s new seven-class schedule allowed me to take a healthy balance of academics and electives, which means I can go from AP Calculus and discussions on trigonometry straight to Yearbook, where I can design and format pages to my heart’s content. Add many wonderful teachers and classes with friends, and I’m a happy senior! Next semester, I’m looking forward to my Advanced Technical Theater class – I think it will help to have an elective I love if, or perhaps better said, when senioritis hits :) How is your school year so far? Do you have a favorite class?

the-little-princeWatching: The Little Prince | Another wonderful class I’m taking and adoring this year? AP French – I’m not too good at it speaking the language, but that’s part of the fun! That said, after reading Le Petit Prince in French last year, I was delighted to see the animated – English! – version added to Netflix. My sister and I watched it for a late summer movie night a few weeks ago, and by the film’s end, we were both smitten. The stellar cast, including actors Rachel McAdams and Jeff Bridges, brought the story to life to create such a charming adaptation. If you haven’t given it a watch yet, I’d encourage you to do so – perhaps this weekend?

Needing: To finish college apps | Fellow high school seniors will understand the stress that is college application season, currently in full swing! I’ll pass in my essays and forms soon enough, but on the more fun side of spectrum, I’m putting together a stage management portfolio for scholarship purposes, which means gathering my old rehearsal scripts, programs, and notes to send to the theater department. When the process becomes overwhelming, I’ve found it helps to keep things in perspective: it will be so exciting to see where my friends and I end up and furthermore, I’m so lucky to have such a wide range of schools available to me – results will be here soon enough! Have you gone through the college application process before?

eurydiceReading: The Clean House and Other Plays by Sarah Ruhl | This fall, one of my best friends is directing a play that we can later use for competition in the state one-act play festival. Her show of choice? Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl. I’m so, so excited for her, and I cannot wait to stage manage such a technically-oriented show! In preparation for rehearsals, I read Ruhl’s collection of plays earlier this month – and immediately fell in love with her work. If they’re this funny and heartwarming on the page, I can only imagine how wonderful the plays are performed on the stage {my favorite happens to be Melancholy Play}. Are you involved in a show at all right now?

Thankful for: Yoga | Between rehearsals, work, and family commitments, my summer was not friendly to yoga practice, but with a more consistent schedule this fall, I couldn’t be happier to return to my weekly yoga classes. It’s my favorite way to decompress, and it’s such a nice break to look forward to after school. I’ll admit, though, that I was not feeling Downwards Dog after so many months off – I’ll need to practice a bit this week! Do you do yoga at all?

bodenExcited for: The Boden Sale | Finally, the Boden Sale is one of my favorite events of the year, and I can’t believe it’s already here again! I’m all sorts of excited to head into Boston today for the sample sale – my mom, sister, and I now consider it a tradition – and I have my fingers crossed I can treat myself to a few new goodies for the fall {If you’ve never heard of my favorite British brand, hope on over HERE}. And, of course, I’ve brought Frannie and Tru to read while waiting in line – you never know when you’ll need a good book.

Have the most wonderful weekend!

High Five / 08

Hello, hello!

high-five-08Happy Sunday! Anything fun planned for the day? I myself have several homework assignments to finish up this morning, in addition to a few extracurricular preparations for the week ahead – all signs that the school year has started once again – but I have my fingers crossed that the night will be free to curl up with Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ The Fixer and watch the last episode of Quantico on Netflix {guilty pleasures at their finest}. In the meantime, the start of a new month, I felt, deserved a new edition of High Five; it’s been far too long since I last shared one. How was your week?

[1] First up, if you’re looking for your next movie night selection, may I suggest A Royal Night Out? My sister and I watched it just last week, and it’s all sorts of adorable! Inspired by the nighttime adventures of the queen-to-be in England, the film follows Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, played by the terrific Sarah Gadon and Bel Powley, when they take to the town on the night of VE Day. Shenanigans ensue, romance blooms, and, believe me, your smile only grows bigger as the movie goes on. It came out in the US this past December following its release in the UK, but if it escaped my notice, I’m sure you could have missed it too; here, then, is my recommendation to watch it soon :)

[2] The fall television season will be starting soon, but a few episodes still remain of summer favorites, mine being So You Think You Can Dance. The talent of those competing never fails to amaze me, and even more so this season, when the dancers are all between the ages of eight and thirteen. My sister and I have enjoyed the stunning weekly routines over the summer, along with Cat Deeley’s impeccable wardrobe, and we’re anxious to see how the competition will wrap up. While the two of us were bummed that our favorite dancer Tahini was eliminated right before the finale, we’ll still be rooting for the other four kiddos, J.T. , Kida, Emma, and Tate, when a winner is announced tomorrow night! Do you watch So You Think You Can Dance at all?

[3] It’s been so long since I last shared a High Five that this recommendation is long overdue, but I couldn’t let Sing Street escape without a mention! With a talented cast led by acclaimed director John Carney, Sing Street premiered to great success last spring and for good reason: the movie effectively brings the pop-rock music scene to 1980s Dublin. While the film itself is worth a watch, I also hope you’ll give the soundtrack a listen; it’s become my music of choice whenever I’m driving to and from school {my favorite tracks, if you’re curious, include “The Riddle of the Model” and “Drive It Like You Stole It”}. Carney also directed films Once and Begin Again, if you want further entertainment {and music to add to your Spotify playlists!}.

[4] As I mentioned above, I started my senior year of high school this past Wednesday! Cue the excitement. While I’ll need a couple of weeks to find my groove {my school’s new rotating schedule is an adjustment} and I’m certainly not a fan of the early wake-up time {I’d happily stay on the summer timeline}, I think the year is off to a strong start and there’s only more fun things ahead. All that said, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my senior photos, taken by my sister, Lulu. We made a day trip out of it with a drive to Colt State Park – it’s lovely and quite peaceful if you’re ever in the area – and took several winning shots. Now it’s just a matter of picking which one to submit! If you’re in school, how is the new year going?

[5] Finally, I didn’t bake too much in the summer – apologies for the lack of recipes! – only because the heat and humidity don’t make for a very welcoming kitchen. Fortunately, fall weather is on its way, and I’ve been stocking up on cookbooks and recipes galore for the occasion. A favorite from the bunch? Baking with Less Sugar, developed by Flour Bakery owner Joanne Chang. I’m all for making baked goods healthier, and Chang provides her expert advice in a clean, well thought-out format. I haven’t made anything from it yet, but I do have my eye on the apple crisp recipe – perhaps it will be this coming week’s dessert – and if all goes well, I hope to make the stop into one of the Boston Flour bakeries this fall.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!