Upcoming Event

Beautifully Said: Quotes by remarkable women and girls, designed to make you think


On July 15, Saturday, at 11:00 AM, the Barnes & Noble, at the Tysons Corner Mall, will be hosting a Local Author Expo. At the Expo, new authors from the local community will discuss and explain the books they have written. This will be held on the first floor and will end at 8pm. At the Expo, authors Pauline Weger and Alicia Williamson, Ph.D. will be discussing their book Beautifully Said: Quotes by Remarkable Women and Girls designed to make you think, from 2 to 4pm. Beautifully Said contains quotes from amazing women from bygone eras such as Audrey Hepburn and Harriet Tubman. The book also holds quotes from contemporary figures such as Serena Williams and Malala Yousafzai. Another author that will be seen at the Expo is  D.M. Quincy. She will be discussing her book Murder in Mayfair: An Atlas Catesby Mystery. The Expo will be a great place to find freshly published books and meet new authors who are new to the public world of authorship.


Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue


By Aaryaman Akhouri

​Room is a book filled with emotion. It is sweet and innocent, yet dark and unsettling at the same time. Before I delve into the basic plot without spoiling, I will give some background information about the book. Room is a drama novel by Emma Donaghue released in 2010. It was adapted into a film that was released in 2015 to critical acclaim and Oscar buzz.
​The story of Room is about a woman who was kidnapped for 7 years. She had to live in a garden shed, and in that shed, she gave birth to a boy named Jack. Jack is a five year old boy who has never been outside the shed. The book is narrated by him. His mother and him refer to the shed as “Room”, which is why the book is titled that. Jack spends all of his life inside Room.
​He’s never seen trees, planes, or any other people besides his mother and the man who kidnapped her, referred to as “Old Nick.” I would like to commend the way this book was written. It’s beautiful and funny narration by Jack causes strong emotional affection.
​Although we never get to learn his mother’s thoughts, through skilled writing, it becomes very easy to care for her. Room is a sad book, but also a triumphant one that leaves you thinking about it for weeks. Overall, Room is a spectacular and original book that deserves the rating of 9.7/10.

Writing Fun with Chuck Cascio


(Image from Chuck Cascio’s Twitter)

On Thursday, May 25th, local author Chuck Cascio visited the Teen Advisory Board and told us about his adventures in journalism and fiction writing.

We heard about his experiences writing for multiple newspapers and mentoring multiple school newspapers, including Reston’s own South Lakes Sentinel.  He also lead us in a fun creative writing exercise and read us the first chapter of his new book, The Fire Escape Stories Volume One, which is on sale now.

His second book, The Fire Escape Stories Volume Two, also came out recently, and you can purchase it here.

Happy reading!


Book and Music Pairings Volume 3


(Images found on Google Images)

Since many of my more recent lists are shorter, I put off this post for awhile.

Book: The Apothecary by Maile Meloy

Music: Music Inspired By Alchemy: Faustus

Why They Go Together: The story includes a lot of alchemy, so this pairing makes a lot of sense.


Book: Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

Music: Dollhouse by Melanie Martinez

Why They Go Together: Everything seems perfect in Morgan’s world, until she finds the truth.


Book: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Song: I Just Can’t Wait to Be King from Disney’s “The Lion King”

Why They Go Together: Although Macbeth is not an adorable lion, he definitely can not wait to be king.


Book: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Song: Night Faeries by Brandon Fiechter

Why They Go Together: This music will transport you to the magical forest described in Shakespeare’s famous play.


Book: The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

Music: The Elixir of Life by Peter Gundry

Why They Go Together: This music is perfect for an epic fantasy like The Emerald Atlas with mountains, caves, villains, and mysterious books.


Book: Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Song: Gothic Ballerina by Derek and Brandon Fiechter

Why They Go Together: This song evokes images of pretty ghosts, just like Anna in Anna Dressed in Blood.


Happy (atmospheric) reading!



5 Paranormal Books Without Vampires, Werewolves, or Zombies

born of illusion4.indd

(Image found on Google Images)

If you’re not interested in Twilight, Vampire Academy, Shiver, World War Z, or the other popular, fun, but sort of cliched vampire/werewolf/zombie books, here are some paranormal books with other types of characters.

1. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (Soul Screamers series Book 1)

Kaylee Cavanaugh finds out that she is actually a banshee in this fun, quick paranormal mystery.

2. Die For Me by Amy Plum (Die for Me trilogy Book 1)

A girl moves to Paris and finds that her boyfriend is actually an immortal revenant who can come back to life repeatedly.

3. Firelight by Sophie Jordan (Firelight trilogy Book 1)

Three words (or two if you count hyphenated words as one word): human-dragon shapeshifters.  Although the dragon hunter plotline is a bit cheesy, the dragon part is pretty cool.

4. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood duology Book 1)

A ghost hunter falls in love with a mysterious ghost girl.  One of the few paranormal books with a male protagonist, Anna Dressed in Blood has a great voice and is perfect for reading late at night.

5. Born of Illusion by Teri Brown (Born of Illusion trilogy Book 1)

Set in 1920’s New York City, Anna discovers she has psychic powers when performing in her mother’s magic show.

6. The Apothecary by Maile Meloy (The Apothecary trilogy Book 1)

Two children must use a magical alchemical manuscript in order to save the world.  Although the characters could have been less stereotypical, the story was somewhat original and enjoyable.

Happy (supernatural) reading!


5 Books About Books


(Image found on Google Images)

What better to read about than books themselves?

1. Rex Libris: I, Librarian by James Turner (Rex Libris Book 1)

Rex Libris is a librarian-turned-superhero who must control rogue fictional characters in this humorous graphic novel.

2. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (Books of Beginning trilogy Book 1)

Kate, Michael, and Emma are orphaned siblings who must travel through caves to find a mysterious book that can control time.  The plot is somewhat cliched for a kids’ book, but heartfelt nonetheless.

3. The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman

Timothy Hunter travels through time and space in this artistic adventure.

4. The Center of the Universe by Anita Liberty

Based on the author’s real-life diary, this book chronicles the high school experience in a hilarious way.  It’s a really quick read that’s perfect for summer.

5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Also based on the author’s childhood, Junior transfers to a school off the Native American reservation on which he lives and faces prejudice while also learning to play basketball.  The format is similar to Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but the story is much deeper and more interesting, while still being a funny, quick read.

Happy (bookish) reading!



5 Short Stories


(Image found on Google Images)

If you don’t want to read a whole book, you may enjoy a short story.  Because these stories are so short, I’m giving only a genre and a 1-sentence synopsis.

1. The Landlady by Roald Dahl  (Genre: horror)

A young man checks into a seemingly normal bed-and-breakfast.

2. Tobermory by H. H. Munro (Genre: comedy)

A cat can talk, becoming the viral hero of the 1800s.

3. The Open Window by H. H. Munro (Genre: suspense)

A girl tells a story to a guest.

4. The Monkey’s Paw by W. W. Jacobs (Genre: horror)

A boy receives a mummified monkey’s paw that can grant three wishes.

5. The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne (Genre: science fiction/tragedy)

A man attempts to cure his wife’s birthmark.

Happy (short) reading!