“One more hour until I prove to Visidia that I’m meant to be their heir… Two more hours until I’m engaged to a man I’ll never love… Three more hours until I give the command to ready a ship to set sail tomorrow, and demand to know every secret about this kingdom that’s ever been… Continue reading All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace
Winter is approaching quickly! The last part of 2020 seems to be flying by and the holiday season is almost upon us. The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork is a perfect addition to this winter’s TBR. It’s a music-laden and intriguing twist on the nutcracker story. I was going to wait until December to… Continue reading Review: The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork
Where Light Enters is a powerful and moving debut by emerging author Noel Silvia. Read on for my review and a mini Q+A with the author where he shares his inspiration for the novel and his favorite authors! After a lifeless body is discovered by the river, readers are led back in time to meet… Continue reading Where Light Enters & Q+A with Author Noel Silvia
The Maiden of the Storm by Michelle Deerwester-Dalrymple My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Maiden of the Storm by Michelle Deerwester-Dalrymple is a fast read full of depth, developed characters, and researched content. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and this story really delivers with the historical details, such as clothing, vocabulary, and scenery.… Continue reading The Maiden of the Storm – My First Adult Romance Review
Kya lives alone in a shack by the marsh, cared for from a distance by a handful of people, all the while earning the title of Marsh Girl – although not earning the harsh treatment that comes with it. Her path crosses with Tate, her first love, and Chase, former high school athlete. They feel… Continue reading Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing
“What would the world look like if she made it her own, even temporarily, for a moment, fleeting, so that she could experience again the throb, the hunger of being alive, eyes wide, teeth showing?” The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim is a gripping tale. It’s addictive, edgy, and so full… Continue reading Book Review: The Last Story of Mina Lee
Follow my blog with Bloglovin What’s more important – being a bestseller or being lauded as the latest celebrity book club selection? On the one hand, your book sales have satisfied – if not exceeded – the requirements to be added to a prestigious list. On the other hand, your book was preciously hand-selected and… Continue reading Are Book Club Picks the New #1 Bestseller?
This post is not sponsored and I am not affiliated with any authors or companies mentioned. Opinions are my own. Happy September, friends! The end of 2020 may be in sight but my TBR pile keeps on growing. This fall, in addition to some first-time selections, I want to re-read Daniel Mason’s The Piano Tuner… Continue reading Coming Soon in 2020/2021! My Anticipated Book Releases
Cara is a traverser – jumping between worlds by both the mercy of Goddess Nyame and the intentional hands of science. She spends every day with a woman she loves from afar while trying to reconcile the present with the past… That is, until a powerful announcement is made and Cara begins to believe that… Continue reading Book Review: The Space Between Worlds
What’s the difference between being happy and living a joyful life? How can we incorporate nature into a joyful life? Happiness is fleeting –whether we want to admit it or not. A joyful life is overall content with the way things are while recognizing the moments that bring peace into your heart. We all know… Continue reading 10 Ideas for Including Nature in a Joyful Life
Hi, friends! To commemorate my first month of blogging, I wanted to write about my experience and five things I’ve learned so far. Oak + River Books is not a blog about blogging. I will probably never write a post on how to make a six figure salary while working from home and raising a… Continue reading 5 Things I Learned in My First Month of Blogging
THICK and Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD, was one of my August Book of the Month Club selections. It is eye-opening, descriptive, and academic (the 20 pages of notes and references rocked my world). THICK is not a history book. While McMillan Cottom draws on personal experiences, it is not specifically autobiographical enough… Continue reading Book Review: THICK and Other Essays
This is Part 3 of a three-part Botanical Garden series, featuring gardens that are members of the American Horticulture Society’s Reciprocal Admissions Program. A membership at one of these gardens includes eligibility for free or reduced admission at 300+ participating locations across North America. Always call ahead of your visit to verify what special admission privilege is offered by… Continue reading Obtainable Orchids feat. the South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
How would you live if you carried a secret that someone would hurt you for? More, how would you die? What would you do if you lost your only child? How would you weep? Resigned and silent… Loud and unforgiving… In The Death of Vivek Oji, author Akwaeke Emezi shares sections of Vivek’s life and… Continue reading Book Review: The Death of Vivek Oji
This is Part 2 of a three-part Botanical Garden series, featuring gardens that are members of the American Horticulture Society’s Reciprocal Admissions Program. A membership at one of these gardens includes eligibility for free or reduced admission at 300+ participating locations across North America. Always call ahead of your visit to verify what special admission privilege is offered by… Continue reading Dating Yourself: An Afternoon in Denver feat. the York Street Botanical Gardens
Happy Friday, friends! Today is my 30TH BIRTHDAY! Despite social distancing, life still shows up in little ways – not only did I manage to get an AMAZING parking spot at work (we all now how good that feeling is!), I also received an appreciation award at work today! Then on the way home we… Continue reading 30 Favorites for My 30th Birthday
*ATTENTION* This is not a book review. It is a post about ecocritical topics within the novel. Do not read any further if you want to read Mexican Gothic with fresh eyes! Save this post to come back and delve a little deeper. 😊 To see a spoiler-free review, click here. Thanks! Synopsis reminder: Noemí Taboada travels to a mansion in… Continue reading Nature in the Novel: Mexican Gothic
GREETINGS: Already read Mexican Gothic? Check out Oak + River Books’ first Nature in the Novel post, exploring ecocriticism within Mexican Gothic. Noemí Taboada travels to a mansion in the misty woods to keep tabs on her questionably ill and confused cousin who was recently married to the son of an old-wealth family. After some… Continue reading Break Out Your Dustiest Earl Grey: A Review of Mexican Gothic
This is Part 1 of a three-part Botanical Garden series, featuring gardens that are members of the American Horticulture Society’s Reciprocal Admissions Program. A membership at one of these gardens includes eligibility for free or reduced admission at 300+ participating locations across North America. Always call ahead of your visit to verify what special admission… Continue reading San Antonio Botanical Gardens Offers Family Fun All Year Long
Summer is my favorite season. I love Wisconsin summer – Up North during the summer means family, beach time, and camping. And I love living in Texas, where even the sun seems bigger, and where it’s acceptable for everyone to be sweaty all summer long and not have to worry about being judged. No matter… Continue reading Summer, Sunshine, and Sunflowers
Texas travel and tourism has no shortage of small-town stopping points. One of my favorite things about Texas is that travel here often involves history, nature, or some combination of the two. Today’s post is about Castroville, “the Little Alsace of Texas” and a small town west of San Antonio. At first glance, Castroville seems… Continue reading Wine, Bread, and Hiking? Castroville, Texas Has It All!
Happy Sunday, friends! This is what I plan to be the first of many special guest Q+A sessions for Oak + River Books. Today’s is extra special because Mecca Ilminen – my sister, an eclectic spirit, and the family forager – is sharing her truths on growing up in the Midwest, edible plants, and creative… Continue reading Special Guest Q+A with Mecca Ilminen
Happy Friday, WordPress fam! My first week of blogging was fun! I’m excited to share more in the future, finalize my posting schedule, and really hone my thoughts and messages. I love sharing information with others and giving them the tools to explore on their own. This weekend I’m planning to post a special guest… Continue reading Happy Friday!
Find Your Peace of Mind
Anthropomorphism in Children’s Books
Me: Hey, do you remember when you asked me to watch your aloe plant while you were on vacation? Friend: Yeah… he never really recovered after that. Oops. My bad. I soooo wanted to be one of those people with a green thumb. I wanted vines hanging by the windows and giant fig leaf trees… Continue reading The Orchid Graveyard
Growing up in rural Wisconsin, I was blessed to be surrounded by trees, the sweet smell of hay, and some avid skiers. Thanks to my body’s sometimes-painful aversion to the cold, I didn’t quite take advantage of everything the outdoors had to offer, but the good news is there is much to be offered! Despite… Continue reading The Ecocritic
What is the deal with wanderlust? When I was briefly on the Tinder, it seemed like every guy was looking for a picture-perfect girl who would be up for spontaneous adventures to anywhere as if they had no other earthly obligations. In the wise words of Ariana Grande, “Thank you, next.” But there is something… Continue reading The Coveter
“Heather, you’re not very creative.” About six years ago, a friend said those words to me. And I just laughed it off. “Haha, I know!” It wasn’t funny, though. When I was a kid, I loved reading and writing. In the fifth grade I shared a short story with my teacher after I was inspired… Continue reading The Creator
Welcome to Oak + River Books! I am honored to be a part of your journey. Browse the Q&A below to learn more about what Oak + River Books means to me. What is Oak + River Books? This blog is a creative space to explore literature with a special emphasis on nature and the… Continue reading A Beautiful Beginning
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