Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan


Brilliantly told and full of old-fashioned fun, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore won me over from the page one. We follow the young, talented, yet unemployed Clay Jannon as his new job as a bookstore's night clerk leads him (along with a medley of characters) on a quest to decode the book, unveil the secret pasts of its bizarre clientele, and unlock the key to everlasting life. Funny and thrilling, we are quickly drawn in to Clay's 21st century San Francisco and thrust into a world full of century old cults, hidden messages and Google. One part suspense, two parts adventure, one hundred percent entertainment, at the end of the ride we are left with warm smiles, open eyes and a heart left pounding from all the excitement.


After that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this:
A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.”
― Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore


Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes


Engaging, helpful and honest (of course), I loved reading this book. Even with the lack of pictures that generally fill the pages of most beauty books, I still managed to clearly understand what she was describing. If you are looking for a step-by-step explanation of how to apply makeup, then this book isn't for you. However, if you are searching for the tidbits of wisdom about all things beauty related, then you've chosen wisely. In the end, it was the author's personality that shined through and made her advice truly sink in. Frank, funny, and full of amusing anecdotes, her suggestions flowed with the rest of the prose, making me feel as if I was talking to a wise older sister, rather than some guru. Her lessons were more than just skin deep, proving once again that it takes more than a few stokes of lipstick to reveal your inner beauty.


We are not rehearsing here. We are alive now and deserve to look and feel great. Buy the neon lipstick, pour the luxury bath foam with abandon, light the candle for no discernible reason and wear Chanel No5 to the Co-op. Lovely things deserve too be seen, use and enjoyed, not hidden away. And you deserve to live well and feel great now, not later. Life is really bloody short, so stop saving things for best today.
~ Sali Hughes, Pretty Honest 

~Alexandra XO

What are you reading this fall?