Friday Fiver | January 2019 Literary Highlights

Happy Friday and happy February, book friends. Snow is falling, the weekend is here, and I could not be any more at peace.

Today, I’d like to share some of my reading-related favorites from the month of January.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones


This should come as no surprise. I am still completely floored by how much I loved this book and I am so grateful that my supervisor encouraged me to finally give it a shot. And to think, I might have not read this and would have completely missed out on a well-crafted German-folkloric fantasy inspired by classical music. Read my full review HERE.

Echo Dot for playing music

image source

No, I don’t use my Echo Dot for playing audiobooks (but don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind). How is this book-related? Well let me tell you, Alexa, has been the perfect background accompaniment for my Wintersong reading experience. I had her playing some classical music (mostly German) while I read and somehow, every song played complemented each scene in the book–it was strangely and serendipitously satisfying. (P.S. Alexa in whisper mode is my favorite Alexa).

Merline’s review of The Gilded Wolves

If you don’t follow Merline’s blog already, you absolutely should. She is an absolute gem. I was fortunate enough to have picked up an ARC of The Gilded Wolves before it came out and I admired its extremely diverse ensemble, including a half-Filipino, half-Spanish character (I am Filipino with a little Spanish blood on both side of my family). I was so happy when Merline read it herself and I was elated over her elation with the Haitian representation seen in the character, Hypnos. Of her favorite character, she smartly points out this:

And he’s not just some throw away character. He’s interesting and has his own motivations and agency and he’s a whole ass character. Friends, this is why representation matters.

Be sure to read her full review for more interesting insights.

Ares & Aphrodite: Love Wars by Jamie S. Rich, ill. by Megan Levens


Although this wasn’t the most amazing graphic novel or love story ever, it is a great example of exactly what I’ve been looking for: contemporary romance graphic novels. I have much appreciation for comics as both a format of literature and an art form. But superhero and fantasy comics don’t generally appeal to me as much as I’d like them to. The afterword for this graphic novel focuses on the longing for more romance graphic novels and I am all for that!

→ Discussion: Issues surrounding ARCs and the relationship between Authors and Bloggers

I have said it before and I will say it again, Twitter often becomes a breeding ground for negativity and book Twitter is no exception. Among the various discussions that became heated over Book Twitter, there was one focusing on the wrongness of ARC selling as well as the unfortunately disrespectful attitudes of some authors toward the blogging community.

During this discussion, the topic of reviewing ARCs came up and this tweet pretty much sums up my thoughts:

And my message to authors regarding how they can positively develop relationships with book bloggers who review their work:

That last part of the review relates to my being a librarian. We receive boxes of ARCs each month from our vendor. We do not get to choose what ARCs we get, we don’t always have time to read them, and we cannot ensure that they get into the hands of readers who will take the time to read and review them.

Let me know some of your favorite books or book-related things in the comments below.

love, jasmine

Twitter: @jasminesreading
jasminesreading @singprettyreadbooks
*2019 Reading Challenge Update: 17/175

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