Spell the Month in Books is a linkup hosted here on Reviews From the Stacks on the first Saturday of each month. The goal, inspired by a hashtag I first encountered on Instagram, is to spell the current month with the first letter of book titles, excluding articles such as ‘the’ and ‘a’ as needed. That’s all there is to it! Some months there are theme challenges, such as “books with an orange cover” or books of a particular genre, but for the most part, any book you want to use is fair game! To participate, simply make a post, comment, or picture of the books you choose. They can be books you physically own or simply titles you have come across. Most of the time I create a virtual bookstack from titles on my Goodreads shelves. If you make a list, please share a link to your post in the comments so that I and other participants can see! There is also a Spell the Month in Books button which you can use in your posts. To use it, copy the code from the box below my list and paste it into your blog editor in HTML mode (for WordPress users, insert a “Custom HTML” block and paste the code there).
Theme: Red or Pink Covers
F – First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
Contemporary Fiction/Magical Realism – Published 2018
Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections — rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds — are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.
Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby — a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.
Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to.. if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?
When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.
Comments: I know I mention this book a lot, but it is one of my favorites! It’s also on my mind these days as I am reading (and enjoying) the author’s latest book, Other Birds.
E – Elegy for Trains by Ben Myers
Poetry – Published 2010
Benjamin Myers’ poems range from Virgil through Shakespeare to Woody Guthrie.Just as facets in gems come to life when light strikes them, so do the themes, images, and tropes in Elegy for Trains when the brilliance of Benjamin Myers’ wit, sensitivity and intelligence illuminate his words. His poems make us see Oklahoma and the world afresh. You will read this book, then want to read it again
Comments: The author of this epic poem is a professor at the university where I got my Bachelor’s degree, and while I was there he collaborated with my choir director to turn it into a song. We only performed it a few times as it is an extremely long and rather taxing song, but the experience was so unique and one I am glad to have had.
B – The Boba Cookbook by Wendy Leung
Nonfiction/Cookbook– Published 2020
From its origins in Taiwan, bubble tea, or boba, has developed legions of ardent fans across the globe. Often topped with chewy balls of tapioca or other toppings, this sweet treat is colorful, fun, and personalized. Now, with this cookbook, boba lovers can make it themselves using all-natural ingredients! Wendy Leung describes how she began her own bubble teashop, Hello Always Tea, and shares 35 favorite recipes—from the homemade tapioca balls she sells, to familiar blended teas (milk tea, taro, and fruit-based), to adventurous options (brown sugar; trendy milk and cheese foam tea; teas made with plant-based milks; and carbonated variations). She also includes a few snacks to round out your boba experience. Illustrated by bright and cheerful photography throughout (including photos from Wendy’s travels in Taiwan), and packed with expertise about boba culture, The Boba Cookbook is a must for bubble tea enthusiasts.
Comments: Is that not the cutest cover? I liked flipping through this cookbook and getting “someday” ideas even though I didn’t end up making anything from it this time around.
R – Reached by Ally Condie (Matched #3)
YA Dystopian Fiction – Published 2012
After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.
Comments: Here is another book that I probably talk about more often than some would prefer. Condie’s Matched trilogy was my absolute favorite for a long time, and they are still books that I greatly enjoy!
U – Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper
Nonfiction/Memoir – Published 2019
At the age of five, Megan Phelps-Roper began protesting homosexuality and other alleged vices alongside fellow members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Founded by her grandfather and consisting almost entirely of her extended family, the tiny group would gain worldwide notoriety for its pickets at military funerals and celebrations of death and tragedy. As Phelps-Roper grew up, she saw that church members were close companions and accomplished debaters, applying the logic of predestination and the language of the King James Bible to everyday life with aplomb—which, as the church’s Twitter spokeswoman, she learned to do with great skill. Soon, however, dialogue on Twitter caused her to begin doubting the church’s leaders and message: If humans were sinful and fallible, how could the church itself be so confident about its beliefs? As she digitally jousted with critics, she started to wonder if sometimes they had a point—and then she began exchanging messages with a man who would help change her life.
A gripping memoir of escaping extremism and falling in love, Unfollow relates Phelps-Roper’s moral awakening, her departure from the church, and how she exchanged the absolutes she grew up with for new forms of warmth and community. Rich with suspense and thoughtful reflection, Phelps-Roper’s life story exposes the dangers of black-and-white thinking and the need for true humility in a time of angry polarization.
Comments: I read this a few years ago and appreciated the insight into a group which completely mangles the meaning and title of the church tradition I grew up in. It’s one of the more difficult books I’ve read, but I’m glad I got through it.
A – Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd
Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction Graphic Novel – Published 2021
At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur!
Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.
R – The Riverside Chaucer by Geoffrey Chaucer
Classic Literature – Published 1986
This peerless new edition of Chaucer’s complete works is the fruit of many years’ study, and replaces Robinson’s famous edition, long regarded as the standard text. Freshly edited and annotated, The Riverside Chaucer is now the indispensable edition for students and readers of Chaucer.
Comments: This book is a throwback to getting my BA in English. One of the classes I am most proud of taking was Chaucer, where we read the text in the original Middle English. I enjoyed it very much, although I know I was the odd one out of my classmates!
Y – The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin
Juvenile Fiction– Published 2007
When Pacy’s mom tells her that this is a good year for friends, family, and “finding herself,” Pacy begins searching right away. As the year goes on, she struggles to find her talent, deals with disappointment, makes a new best friend, and discovers just why the Year of the Dog is a lucky one for her after all.
This funny and profound book is a wonderful debut novel by award-winning and bestselling author and illustrator Grace Lin, and young readers will be sure to love and treasure it for years to come.
Comments: This is a book that I read in a class about children’s literature and library services. This author is so fun, and it was good to read something I wouldn’t usually!
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What do you think of moving the linkup to the first Saturday of the month instead of the second, Reader? It seemed like a lot of people were sharing Spell the Month posts before I had the official linkup ready, which is fine but means that there were a lot of posts that didn’t end up linking and therefore missed out on being seen by everyone! I’m hoping that this way more posts will be linked in the comments so we can go around to everyone’s pages. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and anything else related to the linkup!
Can you spell February with book titles?
Until the next chapter,
Very interesting covers as well as quite some interesting books of which I have to admit I didn’t read any. Yet.
I had a lot of fun finding books with all red covers for my Spell the Month Challenge. Thanks for the gerat idea.
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I don’t mind which Saturday it is on 🙂 I just have to remember they have specific themes, LOL! Here is my link: https://reviewsfromthestacks.wordpress.com/2023/02/04/spell-the-month-in-books-february-2023-linkup/
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I’ve just discovered this brilliant idea! Here is my link for January and February:
Ooo, I’ve seen this on other blogs in the past; I didn’t realize you were the creator! So cool! I’ll have to try it next month (first Saturday of the month works fine for me!)
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Hooray, I’m excited for you to join! See you in March!
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