Friday, August 11, 2017

Next week I will be officially relaunching my book blogging at! I am excited about this change. These old reviews will be here for a few more weeks before I archive them for good. This decision was not taken lightly, but I recognized a desire to start fresh and with focus. I have drive and a desire to book blog that I did not previously known and have within myself. As I have joined into the larger book blogging community I feel that I have slowly found a place within it and that I feel like the most potential for growth in this community comes from me joining wordpress at this time. I appreciate and love this site for what it has done for me, it has given me room to find myself, as a blogger, but sometimes you have to grow in ways you did not originally expect to happen. Now I am moving forward and upwards towards where I want to be within this community, regardless of numbers, stats, or anything else. This just feels like where I belong!

Please go to and follow me there! I love you all!


Monday, August 7, 2017

Archiving soon?

Well, it is official. I am making the move to WordPress. Yes, I am going to a self-hosted WordPress site because I feel that it allows me to have more potential for growth within the book blogging community. I will be "archiving" this site and using it to primarily show where I have been with my blogging, but it is time for a new chapter in my blogging life. That chapter is now at:


This will be, hopefully, my last time I move or have to make this drastic of a change, but as I have developed further into the book blogging world I have recognized the direction I want to go and WordPress meets those demands. I thank everyone that has followed me on this journey on this site and I hope you will follow me onto the next leg of it.

Love you all!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Old Blog Post Saturday- "For One More Day" by Mitch Albom

Once Upon A Time...

Cassie used to do another blog, as "Optimistic Reader". 
These are those reviews:
(These are formatted as best to their original view as possible to show my own progression with reviewing)

If you could have one more day with someone you loved would you take it? What would that day look like? For "Chick" Benetto that wish has been granted with one more day with his mother. The story tells us about how his life went from one of promised grandeur to one of desperation at the end of a neck of a bottle.

Albom creates a story filled with hope even in the darkest of times and how we as humans can return from that darkness to live fulfilled lives. He is one of the masters of this type of uplifting story, another master is Coelho for another example of this particular type of story. Albom creates realistic and believable characters here because he roots them some firmly in reality, while allowing for the mystical elements to shine through as well. He lets the otherworldly elements not be so boldly shockable that they feel organic in the context of the story. He never makes a bigger deal of them than he should, which provides the right touch for such an enjoyable read.

If you have ever felt down and out in your life this is a book that you need to read. There are millions of people similar to "Chick" out there and to have someone tell such a story will help you connect with others that have shared similar experiences. For a brief moment it does help to recognize that we are not the only ones that go through struggles in this life. People can become overwhelmed by their own individual struggles that they feel they are alone, but we are not. There are those of us out there that have struggled and Albom taps into that. So if you are struggling read this and recognize you are not alone, but afterwards take the first steps like "Chick" does to recuperate that lost life you want back. It just takes one single step forward because unlike "Chick" most of us will never get "One More Day" to make the things right, so do what you can today. It is a powerful book with a strong message that will engage a reader that understands it. Share that message with the world.  

Until next time... Stay Optimistic!!!

Sunday, July 30, 2017


I liked doing the tag yesterday, so I wanted another tag for this weekend (since I did five books in three days for the Disney week thing). I wanted an easy going weekend.

My friend, Sarah, from Book Hooked Nook tagged me in this tag, so here it is!

Q1: How do you keep track of your To Be Read pile?

I have a small TBR on Goodreads, but for the most part I feel like I do not keep track. I just keep buying books with little or no to direction. I would say I do not keep track and just purchase books that I know I want to eventually read. I think keeping a more organized list would help me greatly in getting through my books, since I have massive amounts on shelves right now that are part of my TBR that are organized in no logical manner.

Q2: Is your To Be Read mostly print or E-books?

I am starting to move towards e-books slowly because I like having one place that holds all my books. It helps me to stay a bit organized in a manner that print books do not allow. I also find that I read quicker on e-books, so I am moving towards that. Right now though I definitely would say it is mostly print books though. About four or five bookshelves full of books I need to read. Yes, I have a book problem! I have to admit it here, but this will be the ONLY time!

Q3: How do you determine which book from your To Be Read to read next?

I tend to pick my next read based on where I am at in my reading. What type of book I want to read and what genre is speaking to me at that moment. My TBR has also been greatly effected by what I am doing on my blog as well, such as this last week I ended up reading more Disney books because I set that up as my theme for the week. It was great to do it though and I enjoyed it. It allowed for me to have a focus and drive to read a bit more in that particular thematic.

Q4: A book that has been on your To Be Read the longest?

I bought two books on the exact same day. Neither have I read. They have both been on my TBR the longest.

 Goldie Hawn's "A Lotus Grows in the Mud" and Gregory Maguire's "Wicked". These have both been on my TBR since pretty much publication. I believe I finally packed up the Goldie Hawn book and said I was getting rid of it because realistically I know I am never going to get around to reading it in this lifetime, but I simply could not do it with Wicked. I have to read this book eventually!

Q5: A book that you recently added to you To Be Read?

I saw a couple of reviews on other book blogs and I thought that it sounded like something that I would LOVE to read! The story involves magic and African culture. This is the synopsis from Amazon:

"Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?"

It just sounds like my type of book and something that I would greatly enjoy! I can't wait to get around to reading it.

Q6: A book on your To Be Read strictly because it has a beautiful cover?

While I do want to read this book, after I read the review, I initially added it because I was like OH THAT COVER! It was weeks later that I finally read the synopsis and went okay this is something I will eventually read. It was about to be removed because I realized I had impulsed TBRed it.

Q7: A book on your To Be Read that you never plan on actually reading?

Nope, sorry I want to read all the books. ALL OF THEM! I don't add them to my TBR without having at one point planning on reading them. I also pruned my list to make it more realistic to what I will eventually read on GR, so it has already been gone through to showcase what I will eventually read.

Q8: An unpublished book on your To Be Read that you're excited for?

I find that I love reading books about any type of diversity and this feels like a book that definitely would be appropriate for me to read. I think this book is going to speak greatly to the real life experiences of the African-American male experience, which is a perspective that I have not had a lot of contact with. I think this is going to be vital reading for me, even if it is a fictionalized book. I believe it will touch upon some very important themes.

Q9: A book on your To Be Read that everyone else has read but you?

I have heard so much about this book. I want to eventually read it, but I haven't yet. It always seems like people are saying "I read that already." I feel like an outcast for not having read this already. Am I even a book blogger? ;-)

Q10: A book on your To Be Read that everyone recommends to you?

People who know me recommend this book greatly to me. They say, "Cassie, this is a book that speaks to everything that you talk about and everything that you are interested in studying. READ IT!" and these people are lucky because right now it is the book that is winning for my #MakeMeRead readathon poll (which is here). I will be reading it then! I also moved this up because it appears that Angie Thomas is going to be a visiting professor on my local college campus.

Q11: A book on your To Be Read that you are DYING to read?

What is sad is there is NO reason for me not to have moved onto reading this, since it is already released. Hmm, maybe after the readathon I will go into this! I have heard such wonderful things about this book and how good it is. It incorporates elements of history, but it makes it also surrealistic. Also it has the Oprah seal of approval, which is good enough for me. ;-)

Q12: The number of books on you To Be Read?

My TBR on Goodreads is only 55 books, but that is because I pruned it by literally moving to one for my blog exclusively. It was easier than trying to make my old one work for me. It also was related to my transition, since I didn't want to have to change everything over and explain the transition to people.

If I added on my physical shelves I would probably be in the several hundred category. It might be time to read my own books and stop reading those that are either coming out or that are new. I keep hearing about new books and pushing off my own, even though they are books I really want to read as well. I may need an intervention soon!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Book Blog Newbie Tag

I never really get tagged in anything, so when I saw Linda from Linda's Little Library post this and basically state that anyone reading it that wants to do it should consider themselves tagged by her, I was like okay. So here are my answers to this tag! (I consider myself still fairly new since I am focused entirely on books now instead of different things)

1. Why did you start this blog?

I wanted to connect with others that love reading. I have always felt that I was not part of any particular community. I was living through someone else's love of something, instead of having my own enjoyment of whatever it was (largely geek culture). It wasn't until this year that I realized that I had an obsession with books and felt that it was a great way to spend some of my time to talk about books with others that enjoy them as much as me. I also wanted to bring something to the book blogging conversation that seems to be not focused in on, which is diverse non-YA reads.

2. What are some fun and unique things you can bring to book blogging?

Well, the first thing is I bring a very unique perspective of the world as a formerly homeless transgender individual. So I bring diversity to the book blogging community. This also makes me supportive of a wide variety of type of people, including different types of book bloggers that have a variety of focuses. I also bring that diverse voice to my book blogging. It is why I am focusing on having diverse conversations at least once a month here at the Library. I tend to be more detailed in my reviews as well, thanks to my academic background. There is so much I bring to this community and it brings a lot to me!

3. What are you most excited about this new blog?

The thing that I am most excited about is possibly connecting someone with a diverse book that helps educate them on the world that they live in. If it helps one person to see a marginalized group differently then I feel that my blog has served its purpose. I am also excited that it gives me the opportunity to meet with other bloggers from a wide variety of backgrounds.

4. Why do you love reading?

It is a great escape from reality, but I also love it because reading can be so educational. Even those books that are clearly set in a fictionalized world have meaning behind them that if understood can have a profound effect on the belief systems of an individual. People can be molded differently simply from reading a great book. Books are powerful!

5. What book or series got you into reading?

The book that got me into reading was "Uncle Vampire" by Cynthia D. Grant. I picked this book up from my local library when I was going what I would call my vampire phase. I went into it expecting one type of story, but it turned into something else entirely. It was the first time I understood that a book could be deeper and have an important message to it that could help form an individual's own thoughts. It has stuck with me for over 20 years. There was also a series that got me to stay in reading, which was the "Fear Street" series by R.L. Stine. I loved reading these books. They were fast reads and I loved the lore behind the street in Shadyside, Ohio. It involved magic, witches, and so much more. While the horror was of course not truly scary and it involved a lot of jump scares that resolved at the beginning of the next chapter they were truly formative to my love of mystery and scary things.

6. What questions would you ask your favourite authors?
I don't have that part of me that makes me want to ask authors that I enjoy questions. It is why I have yet to go to a meet and greet with one. I wouldn't have anything to say to them. I enjoy their books and love them, but the reality is that I do not need to ask them anything. I simply will keep enjoying their works from the sidelines, where I feel like I want to be. Enjoying whatever character they create for me to read about next.

7. What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome?

I think the largest challenge will be seeing what other people do and thinking that I need to be like that for numbers/views, but I have to recognize that we are all on our own path with book blogging. We each bring our own specialness to this field. We have different reasons for wanting to be part of this great community and we should do what we want to do, without worrying about fitting into some type of preconceived idea of what is right or wrong for a book blogger. 

I also worry about the entire schedule thing, especially next semester when I am in practicum for my masters of social work degree. I will have to find time in different places than I currently do, but if this is truly a priority that I want for my life then it won't be an issue. I am looking forward to testing myself and learning how to get content out appropriately.

8. When did you start reading?
My grandmother read to me as I was growing up (she raised me). As I grew up my father pushed reading onto me because he was an avid one. He always told me that books should be devoured and that you should never focus simply on one genre. You should read a variety and you should test out everything to see if you like it. If it wasn't for him I don't think I would be able to get through almost any type of book without cringing. He definitely formed my eclectic reading style.

9. Where do you read?
I read primarily on my couch, bed, or in my office chair. I unfortunately get very bad motion sickness, so I cannot read on the bus or in a car. I also cannot exercise and read at the same time for the same reason I cannot read in a car. This means that reading has become associated heavily with relaxation for me.

10. What kind of books do you like to read?
My favorite type of book isn't really a genre, I don't believe. I enjoy a book that has a bit of a social message to it. For example, Push by Sapphire is one of my favorite reads ever. I also enjoy reading a mystery book because I like to be swept up in trying to discover what happened to the usually dead individual and why they were actually killed in the story. I am finding myself pulled into the YA field naturally because I keep seeing everyone's reviews on various YA books, so I am trying to remember to look at fields out of YA as well. 

If you are like me and are not tagged very often then I TAG YOU! Do this tag and let me know your answers. I want to see how others that are new think and feel about their experiences in the book blogging community.