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REVIEW: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
Category: JUST A GIRL
Tags: the sixth extinction climate fiction elizabeth kolbert book reviews

It is apparent Kolbert invested hours upon hours, as well as, endured uncomfortable physical duress to explore all the research that went into this work. Kolbert takes you across the globe where she consults with paleontologists, herpetologists, geologists, stratigraphists, and astrophysicists who are all diligently working to understand the past five great extinctions, as well as the current great extinction period - ours.

Of all the ideas mankind adopts and the ingenuity we possess as a species it is baffling how little society does to ensure mankind's existence. The Sixth Extinction explores the acidification of the oceans, the mass extinctions that have occurred since the Industrial Revolution, the effects of carbon on the world, the impact of deforestation on vital habitats, and history's lessons of extinction rates. Kolbert did all the leg work so that we have a clear picture in one book of what took scientists hundreds of years to amass. Like an intricate puzzle, Kolbert refreshingly explains how the web of life interlocks, how species depend upon each other, and how the most destructive species-mankind-is exacerbating the rate of extinction to unparalleled levels.

When you and I are gone, when both the people who agreed and laughed at Ms. Kolbert are long dead, somewhere in the dust of the world we know now, some thing will find a copy of this book and shake their head that we had all the answers and did nothing.

The Sixth Extinction is not a conspiracy theory or overzealous hypothesis, but a collection of the hard work of people who are actually sensible enough to realize the world only allows every species a small window on this planet, to include mankind. Kolbert objectively explains how mankind is closing their own window and the windows of thousands of others species on this ever-changing planet.

17 Things for your Booknook
Category: Best of Lists
Tags: booknook reading corner lists best of home decor shopping reading corner ideas decoration ideas

When I go to book signings and author events, I like to bring a healthy heap of book swag to giveaway to visitors and passersby as a way to say thank you for stopping by to check out my table. I've included some of the items I use in my giveaways in this window shopping list. If your book obsession is as severe as mine - the kind that causes you to become giddy when you see book decor to adorn your reading corner - then you may enjoy some of these bookish finds.

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Book Lovers Coffee Mug

This coffee mug has been a big hit at my shows and is a great conversation piece for your book shelf. It has images of book ends on it with classic titles like Pride and Prejudice and Little Women.

As we get older, the number of coffee mugs in our house seem to increase. I have so many they can't all fit in my kitchen cabinets, so I started using them as bookends and decorations for my bookshelves.


Library Card Kit

This was the most sought after giveaway item at my last book show. I love it because when I think about why I love it, it has to be attributed to our childhood fancies of playing pretend. My daughter has a toy cash register and scans her plastic groceries like she is playing cashier.

This library kit appeases all our book loving desires to play librarian in our home, cataloging and organizing our personal libraries. And if you're afraid to loan your books out due to the fear of them not being returned, this kit is a sure way to keep track of which delinquent friend is overdue!



Paddywax Candles

Paddywax Candles has a line of author-themed soy candles with vintage looking labels that each have a quote on them. The right scent can help to set the mood for an evening of reading and emit that serene sensation of calm and solitude that readers crave. This Jane Austin candle's label reads, "There's nothing like staying at home for real comfort." With a good book, that most certainly is true.

Book Throw Pillows

How many times have I told my boyfriend this? Unfortunately for him one more chapter usually turns into three...or four.

Do you have the perfect chair for your booknook? Something comfy that hugs you like a nest or a warm blanket? There's something about surrounding your reading corner with things like these that makes the room say all the more, "This is MY space! And it was meant for reading."

Here are a few more that caught my eye., but their listings are just for the covers, not an actual pillow. You can find pillow inserts, however, at places like Walmart in the fabric section or at Joann Fabrics.

"Every book is an adventure" gives a fairy garden look with its light pastels and feather image. It speaks to me of some of the childhood classics and the fantasy genre.

"Happiness is a cup of coffee and a good book" - too bloody right...but they should add, "and no distractions" to that list. Do you get angry when someone continually asks you questions while you have a book open? I don't know what that level of rage is called, but I know I've been there before. 


If you want to see some creative booknooks and bookshelfs, just take a gander on Instagram and search for #bookshelfie or #bookshelf or #booknook I have a few signs actually on my bookshelves, leaning against my books which protect the books from fading due to light exposure and it's not much trouble for me to pick up a sign and set it on top of the books if I want a book behind them. If you have more wall space then I do, these might interest you for your book cave:


A lot of people make use of LED lights or "fairy lights" in their booknook photos when sharing them on Instagram or their blogs. Here's a cool "Read" sign that has battery powered lights.

The Perfect Reading Chair



No nook or library is complete without the perfect cozy reading chair. My reading chair of choice is a papasan chair that I've had for years. It allows me to curl up, knees up to my chest where I can rest my book and lounge back. While I still have a few miles and novels left on my old standby, here's a few I found that I'm going to put on my wishlist:


Nick Nacks



One of my favorite authory/bookish items in my reading room are my typewriter key coasters. Reading requires hours, which requires hydration. So you'll need some coasters, or shot glasses, or tea bags...I could go on. And since you already need those things, why not use ones that go along with your reading theme like these:


Figurines and action figures - always welcome on the shelf! They're adorable, touching, and can help to hold up your books.

Creative Bookends

And last but never least, bookends are a must. If you're like me, you never have enough bookshelves or room on your shelves. I get creative bookends that have drawers in them where I can store things like bookmarks, trade cards, concert tickets, buttons/pins, obituary/memorial cards, and memorable trinkets that I don't know where else to put. What better place to stow them than with my most cherished items - my books.

In lieu of bookends there are also fake books that are like jewelry boxes. They even appear to have a spine, so you can stand them up next to your other books and those without a discerning eye may not even notice they aren't a book. Plus, they just look cool!


What's on your shelf or in your nook? Share you photos to give your fellow page turners some inspiration. For more reading corner ideas, you can see other collections here

Happy reading!



Drea Damara is the author of The Weeping Books of Blinney Lane and other novels. She is also an occasional blogger of useless information and the founder of the bookblogger club PageDropper.

REVIEW: The Beast of Beswick by Amalie Howard
Category: JUST A GIRL
Tags: romance beauty and the beast review Amalie Howard
I can't pass up a Beauty and the Beast adaptation. While this never claimed to be and strays far from that storyline, it certainly satisfied that love of B&B I hold. Charming, sexy, fun, suspenseful, and gallant. It was everything I look for in a historic romance. My first read by Howard and it didn't disappoint.

The damsel in the novel takes a bold move in an effort to save her sister from being forced to marry a lecher. While her proposition is unwanted by the Duke of Beswick, he soon feels obligated to protect her and finds it more and more difficult to keep his distance from the innocent beauty who needs his help and doesn't seem to mind his scars or his foul temper.
Highly recommended!
The Kindle edition is 384 pages. 
You can find it on Goodreads here
REVIEW: Highland Fire by Tanya Anne Crosby
Category: JUST A GIRL
Tags: highland fire guardians of the stone tanya anne crosby review historic romance scottish romance

After reading Crosby's Highland Brides series, I was hooked and happy to find yet another of her series that centers around 12th century Scotland. Highland fire is full of fascinating folklore, treachery, personal struggle, and enticing sexual attraction.

It is a suspenseful historic romance about a woman named Lileas who is forced to wed a reclusive pecht warrior, Aidan dun Scoti. As if an arranged marriage isn't difficult enough, her father murdered his parents. She isn't expecting much from Aidan other than perhaps him killing her on site and is unsure why he even agreed to the arrangement.

Two people desperate for peace in their lives and country - it is the story of personal challenges, mythic Scot legends, and political struggles that result in a well-deserved romance. People often turn their nose up at romance, but this is a story with bones. The romance is just a plus. Ms. Crosby's characters have life breathed into them in a way I have never seen. And her description paints a vivid Scottish village without boring the reader to death with explanations or unnecessary details. I love when a book can transport me and Highland Fire certainly did that. The character building also sets this up to be an entertaining series that worms the characters into your heart. I am already rooting for them all and anticipating what their fates will be.


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When everyone else fails to bring her daughter home from a high-powered human-trafficking ring, a widowed mother determines what she must do to rescue her child.

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