Taylor’s Gift Guide for Bookworms

With the holidays just around the corner, I’m super excited to be partnering with Redbubble to bring you my quick guide to shopping for the bookworms in your life (or yourself because sometimes you need to treat yo self).

If you’ve never heard of Redbubble before, it’s honestly one of my favorite online stores and truly a life saver when it comes to getting gifts for everyone on your shopping list. Redbubble was created in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia and has since become a platform for over 400k artists and designers across the world to showcase their unique designs for millions of shoppers. No matter what kind of design you’re looking for, chances are, Redbubble has it.

Now when it comes to shopping for the bookworms on your holiday list, it can be tricky. Buying books isn’t always an option because we might already have that book and no one wants to spend hours in a bookstore guessing what kind of book someone might enjoy.

I took to Redbubble to find some of the best designs to gift your favorite readers this year.

Between the Pages 

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Throw pillows are the perfect gift for anyone and a design like this one is a great match for any reader, no matter what kind of books they like to read.

Read More Books

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This is one of my favorite designs in my guild. I think it’s perfect for a mug but honestly, you could get it on anything.

Keep ReadingAlice

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Pouches from Redbubble are absolutely one of my favorite things to give. They’re so versatile! They work great as makeup bags, to keep things contained and organized in purses, and a ton of other things.

Hustle definition

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Laptop sleeves are a great gift for anyone on your shopping list but if you know any writers, these have their name all over them.

Books and Cats and Tea

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I think we all know at least one person that this “Books and Cats and Tea” design was basically made for. I’m a big fan of mugs (because who doesn’t want a super cute mug?) so I think this design is perfect for a mug.

BookshelfBetter than the MovieNow I lay me down

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Prints from Redbubble are very high quality and reasonable priced. They’re also perfect for readers who want to liven up their shelf area like I did.
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If you’re looking for a few smaller, filler gifts, stickers are where it’s at. They can be stuck on pretty much anything and are an easy way to show some reader pride.

The Reader’s Path

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Notebooks like The Reader’s Path design are perfect for anyone who needs to take notes for school or to quickly jot down ideas.

If you’d like snag any of the things on my gift guide or any of the thousands of other awesome designs on Redbubble, you can use “TaylorReads15” for 15% off your order (code is good until December 22)

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Cover Reveal: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

I’m so excited to be apart of the cover reveal for Nadine Brandes’ newest novel, Fawkes. Nadine’s Out of Time series is one of my favorite of all time and I’m so blessed to be able to call Nadine a friend. Nadine such a talented writer and is a wonderful person as well. I’m excited for the world to see Nadine’s newest novel!

 

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

 

Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow the Igniter King James and his Parliament sky high.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Expected release: July 10, 2018

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Enter to win an Advanced Reader Copy of Fawkes

 

About NadineNadine Brandes

Carol Award winner and two-time Christy Award finalist Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She’s been known to eat an entire package of Oreos by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living and other worlds soaked in imagination. When she’s not taste-testing a new chai, she and her hubby are rockin’ shalom, dorkiness, and board games with college students in the midwest.

Nadine’s website

 

Out of Time series

 

21795840A Time to Die

 

How would you live if you knew the day you’d die?

Parvin Blackwater has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside.

In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the crooked justice system. But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence.

What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

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24466484A Time to Speak (Out of Time #2)

What happens when you live longer than you wanted to?

Parvin Blackwater wanted to die, but now she’s being called to be a leader. The only problem is, no one wants to follow. 

The Council is using Jude’s Clock-matching invention to force “new-and-improved” Clocks on the public. Those who can’t afford one are packed into boxcars like cattle and used for the Council’s purposes. Parvin and Solomon team up to rescue the people. Instead, they find themselves on a cargo ship of Radicals headed out to sea. What will the Council do to them? And why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out?

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27230665A Time to Rise (Out of Time #3)

What more can you sacrifice than your life?

Parvin Blackwater is dead.

At least…that’s what the Council—and the world—thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Now she will rise again. Strong, free, and fearless.

Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world?

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Review: Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

32991569Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Published September 19th 2017

If you could change your story, would you?

Jane has lived a mostly ordinary life, raised by her recently deceased aunt Magnolia, whom she counted on to turn life into an adventure. Without Aunt Magnolia, Jane is directionless. Then an old acquaintance, the glamorous and capricious Kiran Thrash, blows back into Jane’s life and invites her to a gala at the Thrashes’ extravagant island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.”

What Jane doesn’t know is that at Tu Reviens her story will change; the house will offer her five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But every choice comes with a price. She might fall in love, she might lose her life, she might come face-to-face with herself. At Tu Reviens, anything is possible.

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Unsolicited ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher

I wanted to like this book so much. I tried and tried to get into this book but it’s just not happening.
I’ve spent months trying to get through this book but the writing style is so odd, it threw me off. I don’t want to say it’s bad writing but… it’s not for me at all. I spent a lot of this book confused, especially the first few chapters, and I actually double checked to make sure this wasn’t a sequel because I felt like I started in the middle of a series.
I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and I struggled to even like any of the characters.
I know some people who really enjoyed this book but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they managed to get through this book. Jane, Unlimited wasn’t for me at all but maybe you’ll like it more than I did.

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Review: Keepers by Sacha de Black

33297377Keepers by Sacha de Black

Published November 2017 

Eden’s life is balanced…
…until her soul is bound to her enemy.

When her parents are murdered, the realm of Trutinor is threatened. Then a mysterious human arrives and changes everything.

As Eden’s world spirals out of control, she doesn’t need a charismatic Siren from her past returning to complicate life.

Now, saving Trutinor is the last thing on Eden’s mind.


Three boys.
Two murdered parents.
One deadly choice.
 

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I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

This book is everything I want from a YA fantasy. It has awesome characters, great world building, a well thought out plot, and lots of action.
The world of Trutinor is so creative and such a refreshing change from the majority of YA fantasies I’ve been reading lately. Sacha built such an amazing world and she did it in a way that was easy to understand and I was able to picture everything clearly.
I absolutely loved the main character, Eden. She was so well written and complex.
There is a love triangle but I, hater of all love triangles, didn’t mind it at all. There’s just something about how Sacha wrote it that was so well done.
Overall, I really loved Keepers. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. If you’re looking for an action packed YA fantasy, I definitely recommend Keepers by Sacha da Black.

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Review: Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

33413926Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

Expected publication: November 7th 2017

REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE
When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece’s path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

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An ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Very rarely does my most anticipated books live up to my own hype but Retribution Rails lived up to my hype and more. It was everything I hoped it would be.
This book follows two very different characters. Reece is a well know outlaw and Charlotte is ambitious and trying to provide for her newly widowed mother. The two of them are unwillingly have their paths crossed and adventures follow.
Charlotte and Reece are such well written, complex, and amazing characters. I loved them so much.
Each of them had great qualities and wonderful character development.
The writing style was just as fantastic as it was in Vengeance Road. Erin is such a talented writer and I’ll always read whatever books she puts out.

Retribution Rails’ plot is completely different from Vengeance Road so it wasn’t repetitive at all. Even though RR and VR are companion novels, you can definitely read each on their own (But I totally recommend reading both because they’re so good).

Overall, Retribution Rails was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved everything about it and I’m undoubtedly going to be rereading it soon. If you’re looking for something fresh, creative, and extremely entertaining, I highly recommend Retribution Rails.

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Review: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

28421168Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Expected publication: November 7th 2017

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both. 

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An unsolicited ARC of this book was sent to me by the publisher. 

Marissa Meyer is a master at writing a bomb YA book. Each new masterpiece she puts out is so creative and actually adds to the Young Adult genre. I was fully expecting to love Renegades and Marissa did not disappoint.
I loved the concept for this book so much. It was really creative and I don’t see a lot of books in the same vein as Renegades in YA.
I also really enjoyed the characters, especially the main character, Nova. She was a lot of fun to read about and such a well written female character.
There was a lot of action through out the whole book and I didn’t think it was slow at all. The plot definitely kept my attention and I absolutely loved how the plot didn’t focus on romance. I’m pretty sure the next book in the series will have more romance in it but for being the first book in a YA series, Renegades was impressively bare of any unnecessary romance.

Overall, I would definitely recommend grabbing a copy of Renegades. It’s one of the best YA books I’ve read in a long time and I think it’s well worth your time.

 

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Review: Haven by Mary Lindsey

Expected publication: November 7th 2017

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for. 

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I was sent an unsolicited copy of this book from the publisher.

I wasn’t expecting much from this book so I was pleasantly surprised by Haven in a few ways.
I really like that this was a fairly unique take on Beauty and the Beast where the guy isn’t the “beast”. I’ve never seen anyone else do that so major props to Mary Linsey.
However, this book was slow for the first quarter or so. The first few chapters were a struggle to get through and I didn’t start to like the book until much later on.
I couldn’t really connect to the characters and they seemed a little lack luster to me.
The writing was pretty good though. I thought the style was nice and very clear.

Overall, Haven was good read but not quite my cup of tea. Even though I really liked the original spin on a very over done concept, my inability to fall in love with the characters was the downfall of this book. I think if you’re a less critical reader, you’ll enjoy Haven a lot more than I did, especially if you like retellings.

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Review: Note to Self by Connor Franta

31443393Note to Self by Connor Franta

Published April 18th 2017

In his New York Times bestselling memoir, A Work in Progress, Connor Franta shared his journey from small-town Midwestern boy to full-fledged Internet sensation. Exploring his past with humor and astounding insight, Connor reminded his fans of why they first fell in love with him on YouTube—and revealed to newcomers how he relates to his millions of dedicated followers.

Now, two years later, Connor is ready to bring to light a side of himself he’s rarely shown on or off camera. In this diary-like look at his life since A Work In Progress, Connor talks about his battles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and acceptance; his desire to maintain an authentic self in a world that values shares and likes over true connections; his struggles with love and loss; and his renewed efforts to be in the moment—with others and himself.

Told through short essays, letters to his past and future selves, poetry, and original photography, Note to Self is a raw, in-the-moment look at the fascinating interior life of a young creator turning inward in order to move forward.

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I really loved A Work in Progress so I was very excited to start Note to Self. I haven’t seen Connor’s videos so I’m not deeply invested in him which might be the reason I was so disappointed in Note to Self. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the photography in this book. Connor clearly has an eye for aesthetics and he’s work is really inspiring to me. But everything else in this book felt kind of boring and repetitive. I did like most of the poems but the essays just didn’t do it for me. Maybe because A Work in Progress was so open and Note to Self didn’t offer me anything new. I think people who are fans of Connor and love everything he creates will like this book much more than someone like me who just follows him on Instagram for his photography.

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Review: The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

35606560The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Published October 3rd 2017

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom

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I don’t know a lot about poetry and I don’t have a lot of experience reading poetry either so I don’t know how much stock can be put into my review. But I really enjoyed The Sun and Her Flowers, maybe even more than Milk and Honey. Even though I really liked Milk and Honey and could relate to many of the poems in that book, I felt like The Sun and Her Flowers was more my cup of tea. I was really inspired by a lot of the poems in this book and many resonated very deeply with me.
I do think The Sun and Her Flowers is worth reading, even if you’re not super into poetry.

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Review: A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

22886113A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

Published April 21st 2015 

In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation so far.

Here, Connor offers a look at his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.

Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don’t be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.

This full-color collection includes photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor and is a must-have for anyone inspired by his journey. 

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I’ve never seen Connor’s videos before and I’m typically disappointed in books by YouTubers. But I seen so much hype around this book that I picked it up and I actually really liked it.
A Work in Progress is very well written and in a style that feels conversational. I felt like I was friends with Connor and was just hanging out, listening to his stories.
It was really interesting to read about Connor’s life and he seems like a really cool person. All of his stories are well spoken and not overly detailed.
I really enjoyed the photos scattered throughout the book and how unique this book felt compared to other memoirs I’ve read.

Overall, I really enjoyed A Work in Progress and would recommend it if you’re looking for a great non-fiction read.

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