Welcome to June’s Monthly Minutes at Midnight– Plus my ALA Recap! 

 Here’s the deal: I’ll share the books I’ve obtained, posts of interest from others, giveaways I have happening, and just general random shenanigans. You know I love a shenanigan.  Also, covers all link to Goodreads, because I am awesome. And extra special this month, an ALA recap!! 

The Books

For Review/From Publishers:

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

Impostors by Scott Westerfeld

Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

Dear Heartbreak edited by Heather Demetrios

Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City
by Phillip Hoose

Huge thanks to HMH, Scholastic, & Macmillan! 


Huge thanks to Berkley & Tachyon Publications!!


I didn’t buy any physical books! I did, however, take advantage of a couple awesome Kindle Daily Deals, so here we are. 


I actually did trade for a book, but it’ll be listed below. And I won a book but was too lazy to take a picture so… next month, friends! 

Shenanigans Since Last Time:

I read 9 books this month. That is a sad state of affairs, but what are you going to do? I had places to go, people to see.

The good news is, this was a pretty good batch of books, so yay! 

Giveaways: Click Here, or on Sidebar

Blogosphere Bulletin

Here are some of the loveliest/most entertaining/super helpful/just plain interesting posts I found this month! It’s a slow month because I was gone for part of it, sorry guys- but at least these are still some great posts! 

ALA/NOLA Recap!! 

Who here has been to New Orleans? If you haven’t, you really should. This was the most fun bookish trip I have ever been on! We had so much amazing food, stayed at a lovely place, encountered a ton of fabulous people, and for goodness sake, you can walk around with alcohol! How can it get any better!?! Oh and I guess books were involved too ha.

I figured the best way to share all the fun was via a slideshow- that way, this post wouldn’t be infinitely long, and I could describe the pictures, yay!

And a few fun highlights! 

  • I got to meet Neal Shusterman (and his son Jarrod; they were signing Dry which I could not be more excited about!) which was kind of a life goal, so yay!
  • Val was really sad that the rest of us refused to accompany her to Hunk Oasis.
  • Beignets.
  • Seriously, in general we had so many amazing meals!
  • Val cared more about a cat in a tarot shop than literally anything else we did the entire time.
  • Okay fine it might have actually been hotter than hell but… worth it anyway.
  • Popsicle Rashika‘s leg fell off and I didn’t have any glue so… amputation it was. At least she had enough drinks to dull the pain?
  • Midnight Beignets. This is different from regular Beignets. We met up with Michelle at some bar, then found Café du Monde, where I basically covered Holly in powdered sugar and then “cleaned” her repeatedly. I might have had a little bit to drink, shhh.
  • There was so much pretty art all over the streets! And as a person who isn’t usually big on art, I think me being impressed by it says a lot.
  • Holly and I put Val and C.J. to actual sleep by having The 100 discussions.
  • We accidentally stalked Eric Smith– but we told him about it on Twitter which made it seem either more or less creepy.
  • We met a ton of super nice people in lines and such! And bonded with just about every single person over She Who Shall Not Be Named (but you all know exactly what I am referencing, so). Chatting with people I’d never have met otherwise? Such a favorite! Hell, I even made Uber driver friends! (I was our Designated Extrovert, so.)
  • I was much more selective about books, and I am very proud of me. Here’s most of them (C.J. has the rest, because airlines, I’ll post them next month!)

The one book I  desperately wanted but didn’t get was Light Years by Kass Morgan (for obvious reasons) but the lovely Chloe on Twitter traded me, and since it got home around the same time as I did, I added her to the pile! 

Fancy & New Since Last I Saw You!

I love looking at pretty covers! So here are some new ones that I have fallen in love with since our last update!


Things we need to talk about at this juncture:

  • It’s really hot and I haven’t any motivation. I just don’t. It’s supposed to hit 100° this weekend, and I mean, no one likes that. I thought I left the hellfire behind in NOLA, but apparently I was incorrect. 
  • I’m kind of bummed that ALA is over and I haven’t any fun stuff to look forward to. Although, The 100 has been kind of incredible, so there’s that! 

Happy July, loves!

Posted June 30, 2018 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Recaps / 47 Comments


47 responses to “ALA Recap + Monthly Minutes at Midnight: June 2018

  1. shooting

    I totally forgot you were going to NOLA/ALA. I’m so jealous; I really would have loved to have gone this year. Maybe next year…I forget where it’s at though. lol It sounds like you all had a wonderful time though! And you got some fun books. I’m currently reading Fatal Throne and it’s really good!!

    As for the heat? yeah, it’s ridiculously hot and if I’m not in a pool, I can’t handle it. hah


    • It was seriously amazing! Next year midwinter is in Seattle, and Annual is in Washington D.C. I was saying that I wouldn’t be going next year but… D.C. is honestly so close that I almost have to, right? Hhaha. OOH I am so glad you are liking Fatal Throne- it is one of my all-time favorites and I basically gushed at the authors hahaha.

      The heat is GROSS. Apparently by the weekend it’s supposed to calm down here- I hope it does for you, too!

  2. Clearly NOLA is a fabulous setting for a book con! 🙂 And those 12 Monkeys masks (I’m convinced they are) are the BEST. Olivia, where are u?

    Seriously nice haul of books too.

    An anatomy of Beasts looks pretty amazing.

    Impostors looks kinda good? And hope you like Blackfish City- I’m still reading it and have been, it’s a little different, plus I leapfrogged other stuff over it. I need to tackle it more this week…

    Bring Me their Hearts looks SO good, and both Contagion and Sanctuary have me kinda for some sci-fi.

    Thanks for linking my post. 🙂

    • It IS the best- certainly the best one I’ve been to, anyway! And right!? They had even more Monkeys-ish masks, but I didn’t want to get kicked out haha. I was very tempted to buy one honestly but… what would I do with it? Actually I may regret not buying it…

      I’m on the fence with Anatomy of Beasts (as much as I love the cover!) because book 1 was okay but didn’t blow me away? You are STILL reading Blackfish City!?! Holy crap hahah. That’s okay, I have been slogging away at the same stupid book for a week now- mostly because 12 Monkeys and Humans have been calling my name, but I suppose that doesn’t exactly say great things for the book, does it?

      Bring Me Their Hearts was AWESOME. It was one of my faves of the year so far. Contagion was pretty good- kind of like space zombies? I had hoped to get you a copy but they didn’t have it, I think because it publishes so soon? Sanctuary… okay the beginning, I was rolling my eyes. But it did get good, even if it requires suspension of disbelief? Like, I couldn’t NOT read it, you know? OH speaking of though, I DID pick up a couple books for you, but they are with CJ still, because I didn’t have enough room and she will mail them to me… someday hahah.

      • Oh my gosh you should have bought one! Well I say that not knowing the price… I imagine they weren’t cheap. And TBH they’re kinda freaky… I mean what do you do with that shit when you’re not, you know, out for Halloween or cosplaying? So yeah… probably not a typical home decor idea. And yes… today’s the 4th and I’m STILL not done. Although to be fair I’ve been doing other stuff… like having my internet go DOWN and whatnot. And watching Humans lol.

        My daughter got Bring Me their Hearts on vacation. I may steal it and read it… and aw thanks! You didn’t have to do that, but it was super nice as usual. 🙂 Ooh can’t wait to see what ya got…

        • They actually weren’t *that* expensive- the 12 Monkeys were only like $25? I was more worried about getting it home in one piece- I can’t imagine it would have packed well, nor did I want to try putting it in my carry-on, can you imagine the TSA screening nightmare? Hah. I actually DO regret not buying one though, it would have been a fun souvenir. Hell, I could probably just buy one online somewhere.

          Ooh very good life choice she made with Bring Me Their Hearts! The MC is like… funny, but also really self-deprecating, and the relationships she has (and makes) during the story are fabulous. Clearly, I am a fan, so steal it!! (Also- it doesn’t say on Goodreads, but it’s a series, just a heads up for you both!)

          I feel you with the reading though. I have been reading a 262 page book for about 5 days now? Because… reasons. Mostly Humans- I don’t even have the internet as an excuse. Hell, when I had a few minutes before Humans, I just turned on Future Man rather than read! I think the book may actually be the problem in this case? It’s The Other Side of Lost which is kiiiind of sad.

          • Hmm, now you kinda have me wanting one of those, creepy as they are. They would be the bomb on Halloween! Ha ha yes the TSA might have… issues w/ those lol.

            Ah good to know! I may do that. She steals my stuff, after all?!?

            Ugh bummer. I’m toiling through Blackfish City…

            • I mean, I DEFINITELY need to go back to NOLA at some point so I suppose I will just have to get one. It WOULD be great on Halloween, I could just be Olivia!

              YES I mean- you don’t even have to STEAL-steal it, you can just borrow? I mean, you probably paid for it anyway, right? Is it even considered stealing at that point? ?

              Is Blackfish City getting any better? I finished The Other Side of Lost and it was very underwhelming- definitely my least favorite of the Jessi Kirby books I have read, sadly.

              • Yes, I just want to stroll around with that bird mask or whatever it is on and freak people out. You know, I’ve always thought those things looked creepy AF and never liked em, and now 12 Monkeys has desensitized me to them I think. Damn Olivia… ?

                she actually bought it herself. Frickin miracle. ? But I will sneak it out and read it, for suresies.

                I’ve only read one Jessi Kirby (I don’t even know how many she’s written)- The sEcret History of Us- and liked it, but I don’t know anything about her other stuff. I guess I’ll avoid that one. Blackfish city is… Blackfish City. I don’t even know with this book, it’s okay???

                • Oh my goodness, SAME with the mask though! I used to be like NOPE, so much nope, but now? Yeah, 12 Monkeys made me need one hahahha. (Seriously, I am regretting my choice to not buy one more and more!)

                  WELL, maybe this time she did, but who like, provides for her to live? Because if you didn’t, sure, maybe she’d have a book, but she’d be living in a VAN down by the river (please tell me you know the reference?) This is what I tell myself when I steal my kids’ stuff. They don’t have cool enough crap like books yet, but you know, snacks and such haha.

                  Idk how many she’s written either- I know there’s at least a couple before Things We Know by Heart (that was the one I liked the best). This, IMO, was definitely not even at the writing caliber as Secret History of Us? Idk. I hope other people like it more but it was kind of a letdown for me.

                  Blackfish City has me SO curious now though- it’s like that silly show we were watching, I need to know out of some morbid curiosity/hope it sucks?

  3. I have always wanted to visit NOLA and attend an ALA conference, but sadly, this was not my year. It sounds like you had some well-deserved fun though. I am insanely jealous of everyone, who has Wildcard (already denied for the eARC) and The Cheerleaders (pending for months, it doesn’t look good). I hope they are both awesome!

    • Aww I am sorry! Hopefully there WILL be a time for you to do both things- since I definitely recommend both (especially NOLA, honestly!) UGHH why do they DO THIS? I might be pending for The Cheerleaders too, and I agree that it isn’t a good sign- I find that RH either accepts me, or leaves me in a purgatory state until the book is no longer on NG. Which.. just say no? Shrugs. Sorry about Wildcard too- I didn’t even attempt that one hahha. I get my feels hurt when I am turned down 😀

  4. I am laughing at all your ALA mischiefs! Popsicle Rashika sure had a lot of fun even though her other leg got amputated.

    AAAAHHHH! I don’t know if you’ve heard over there where you at but I am screaming with happiness at being linked in your Blogosphere Bulletin. ‘Coz it’s one of my many secret book blogging dreams to be able to produce a post worthy of mentioning here in your amazing book blog and now here it is! My sister just looked over my shoulder to find out why I screamed, haha. Wow, this is a big moment for me. AHHHH THANK YOU! #achievementunlocked

    • Hahahah right? She said she’s cool with being down a leg anyway 😀

      AWW that makes me SO HAPPY you have no idea! (And want to know a secret? I already included your post about Instagram on my July wrap-up too!! I start them early because otherwise I forget hah.) You have seriously made MY day too! ♥♥♥

  5. Ahhh that looks like SUCH a fun trip!! Flailing for you! Also how the heck did I not know about Dry?!? I am officially desperate for it (also wEEPING because what the heck, Thunderhead???? whaT AnDDD wHYYY.??) Also that is the most amazing book haul!! And those cover reveals are too gorgeous and designers need to settle on down because I swear covers get more pretty every year and then I need them all and this is true suffering.

    And UGH to hot weather. I always feel slumpy in it. I checked the temperature conversion and 100F is pretty hot for us too. *sympathy melts with you* I hope you get a cool change come through soon!

    • Aw thanks! It really was fabulous! And seriously, you are too busy being all famous in your own right so you were out of the loop about Dry! Don’t worry, I can be your unfamous friend forever and will keep you updated ?

      UGH it has been brutal this week but *hopefully* it will be more normal this weekend? It is winter there, is it actually cold? If so, we probably ought to switch just for a couple days 😀

  6. I’m so jealous! Sounds like ALA was all kinds of fun. I’m glad you had a good time. ? That’s an amazing book haul! You did well not to fill up every suitcase with just books, I would hehe. Stay cool!

  7. Danielle Hammelef

    Thanks for sharing! You are hilarious with the Popsicle! So many books–someday I have to attend one of these events.

  8. I only read 6 books in June, so you’re doing better than me. ALA looks like a lot of fun. I really want to go to a big book conference someday, and I’d love to see NOLA and eat all the food. Enjoy your new books. Have a great July!

  9. I got home from NOLA to basically the same hot, humid weather myself! It was a blast. You did a little better than I did with books. I told myself I wasn’t going to get a ton. But then I did. Looks like you guys had a fun time. Your Airbnb looks neat!

    • hahah well- CJ does still have some of mine! I did SO GOOD the first day… and little by little my self-control waned. Oops? But I still did better than I ever have with not over-grabbing haha. And yes, it was really fun! I hope you did too!

  10. Ooo I’m digging that photo slide show you’ve got, it looks like you guys had a great time (and got to run around NOLA a decent amount).

    I read Grace and Fury like yesterday, what were your thoughts? I had a lot of nitpicks. Haha.

    • Aw thanks! We really did get to spend quite a bit of time in the city- I think because we were MUCH more chill about the actual book part hah.

      So Grace and Fury. Here’s the thing- it’s suuuuper tropey. But I’ll be damned, I was into it anyway? Like- I saw its glaring faults, I just still enjoyed it? It isn’t a favorite or anything, but I was entertained. I am very curious to hear your thoughts!!

  11. Kel

    I’m so glad you had a great time at ALA! I’ve only been to New Orleans once (for work), and I had zero beignets while there so, does it even count? Gotta get back for that at some point. It looks like you had a great time and grabbed some fun books! And don’t worry about having nothing fun to look forward to. I’m sure something will pop up! And now back into the bar prep study hole! Only 3 weeks left to cram all this crud in my head. O.O

    • NOPE doesn’t count if there were no beignets consumed. Better head back! Seriously, I plan on it someday too, it was fun! Ugh, GOOD LUCK, I know you will do great, and I cannot wait until this studying hell is over for you!

  12. Ala sounds amazing and you got so many books! In that stack I see Fatal Thrones and that is one I really want to read. I have also read Night Owls, like you did this month and I loved it. I can’t wait to know what you think of it too. Nine books for a month is still a great amount. I’ve got a copy of Blackfish City as well, so if you want to buddy read or discuss, let me know x

    • It was SO fun! Fatal Throne is one of my FAVES. Read my (kind of gushy) review, I LOOOOOVED it. I was kind of gushing when I met the authors hahah. Night Owls was very cute! And YES we will definitely have to discuss Blackfish City- I hope I can get to it soon, let me know when you’re reaidng it, and if I am not too behind on review books, I would love to buddy read!

  13. Yes, I just want to stroll around with that bird mask or whatever it is on and freak people out. You know, I’ve always thought those things looked creepy AF and never liked em, and now 12 Monkeys has desensitized me to them I think. Damn Olivia… 🙂

    she actually bought it herself. Frickin miracle. 🙂 But I will sneak it out and read it, for suresies.

    I’ve only read one Jessi Kirby (I don’t even know how many she’s written)- The sEcret History of Us- and liked it, but I don’t know anything about her other stuff. I guess I’ll avoid that one. Blackfish city is… Blackfish City. I don’t even know with this book, it’s okay???

  14. It sounds like you had an awesome month. All your pictures look awesome. I really want to go to NOLA to eat. I just want to eat all the food and drink lol. You also got a ton of books! I hope you have a wonderful July.

    • Aw thank you SO much! Seriously, NOLA is worth it if for no other reason than the food and drinks hah- though I do want to go back and see more sights and such, it’s a really unique city! And thanks, hope you have a wonderful July too! 😀

  15. OH MY GOD IMPOSTORS. I might have gasped while seeing this, I’m so sorry hahaha. I loved the Uglies series so, so very much and I am way too excited to get my hands on that one. I hope you’ll love it, I can’t wait to hear what you think of it! 😀
    I’m so glad you had such a great time at ALA, would love to get to one of these events someday and WOW that haul is incredible. My eyes obviously spotted that new Lauren Oliver right away and AH I AM SCREAMING AGAIN. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it, Lauren Oliver is my favorite <3
    I absolutely love all of the covers you mentioned, especially We Set The Dark on Fire and We Hunt The Flame, they're gorgeouuuuuuuus.
    Hope you'll have a fantastic July, Shannon! <3

  16. Glad you had fun at ALA! I haven’t attended since Las Vegas several years ago. I love NOLA but even that wasn’t enough to entice me! Maybe you say this somewhere on your blog, I will have to look, but what kind of librarian are you? Looks like you had a fun month! Happy July reading!

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