Book Haul from Philcon 2017

Hello everyone, I hope you all are having a fantastic day!

A few weeks ago (November 10-12) I went up to Cherry Hill, New Jersey with my boyfriend and his family to attend Philcon. No, Philcon is not a convention where a bunch of Phils get together to have some drinks and catch up. Instead, it’s a science fiction convention that has a huge focus on literature and it is the oldest science fiction convention on the East Coast! It’s the second year that I’ve gone and I find the con to be pretty laid back and relaxing.

Like last time, I come back from that weekend with a ton of books, though they are not all for me. I actually got a good stack of books for my dad for Christmas because he’s an avid reader himself, I swear the man can get through a high fantasy doorstopper in a single afternoon if he had the chance! I just wanted to share with you guys all the neat books that I found, a lot of which were actually free.

One of the things that I really like about Philcon is that their dealers’ room is normally full of books. They invite local authors and small publishing groups to sell their books, and they’re generally really nice people to talk to. That weekend I met some guys from Realm Makers, which appears to be a Writers Conference. They were really nice guys and they told me that all the books they were selling were from authors who have won awards at their conference and that most of them were local-ish to the area. They had a really nice collection books, but sadly my wallet could only afford so many of them. Pictured here we have:

  • Breakwater (Broken Tides #1) by Catherine Jones Payne
  • Tainted (The Soul Chronicles #1) by Morgan L. Busse
  • The Gold Son by Carrie Anne Noble
  • The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrier Anne Noble
  • Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul
  • Wrath and Ruin by C.W. Briar
  • Curio by Evangeline Denmark
  • Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch by Pam Halter


Not only did the dealers’ room have a bunch of authors selling books but just general book sellers too. From these guys I had found an assortment of books, from new to decades old. One guy even had a bunch of really nice hardcovers, but they were way too expensive for my wallet. But most of them had really good book deals and they had titles that were either out of print or not normally found in the major book stores. From them I got:

  • The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • At the Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • The Moon Men by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • The Copper Crown by Patricia Kennealy-Morrison
  • The Throne of Scone by Patricia Kennealy-Morrison
  • Slow Fall to Dawn by Stephen Leigh
  • The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Get off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey
  • Bard: The Odyssey of the Irish by Morgan Llywelyn
  • Through the Darkness by Harry Turtledove
  • Into the Darkness by Harry Turtledove
  • Darkness Descending by Harry Turtledove
  • Like a Mighty Army by David Weber
  • Fortune’s Blight by Evie Manieri
  • The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
  • The Lord of Castle Black by Steven Brust
  • The Cat who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein
  • Mother of Storms by John Barnes


The rest of the books came from one of the greatest (and possibly most damning) inventions in the literary community: the free table. This year I checked the free table regularly because there was a constant stream of interesting things being placed on it. There were tons of various magazines, books, cheap jewelry, and even special cereal boxes and backs of action figure boxes. Saturday night we even found a dress that someone had left there. From the table I picked up:

  • Wonder Women by Sam Maggs
  • A Death in the Family by James Agee
  • Star Wars Del Rey 2016 Free Sampler
  • Hawke by Ted Bell
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  • Lifelode by Jo Walton
  • The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders
  • In the Shadow of the Gods by Rachel Dunne
  • A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
  • Alice by Christina Henry
  • A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge
  • Black Powder War by Naomi Novik

Bottom line, if you want to add a large number of books to your collection or if you’re looking for books by small press and/or self-published authors, this is the con to go to. Philcon is a nice laidback con that I highly recommend to anyone who loves science fiction and fantasy. Also, pro-tip: if you’re a book blogger, don’t be afraid to let authors know because they’ll usually open up more to you and will be more willing to give you a deal!

PS: sorry for the terrible photos, I tried really hard to get them right but I don’t quite have a place set up to take pictures yet and it was a cloudy day (I prefer natural lighting to light bulbs). Thanks for reading!

January in Books

Hello everyone, and welcome to the January Wrap-up! This month has been a rather interesting start to 2017, to say the least, and I’d like to say it was rather productive for Of Books and Pen. For those of you who are new or haven’t been around for a while I’ve added some new things to the blog. I’m happy to announce that I have a co-blogger with me now, my friend Jill! She’s a lover of books just as I am and has done a wonderful job so far reviewing books. We will try to diversify our reviewing selection more, such as reviewing more manga, comics, or more of the various genres out there. We’re both working hard at our day jobs and so the reviews will come as quickly as our free time will allow.

For any author reading, I am hoping to post more author interviews and more guest posts. I will write you an interview whether or not I’ve read your book, so that you can get some publicity even without a review. As for the guest post, if you have some already written you can shoot them my way, if not I will try to provide a wide range topics that you may enjoy writing about.

Book Hauls:

dsc_0200I have an important PSA: For anyone looking to buy books for cheap, GO TO OLLIE’S BARGAIN OUTLET! I got seven books, four of which were hardcovers, there for less than 20$. They have a ton of books there, multiples of more popular books, and they’re all in pretty good condition too. So if you want to buy a new book but don’t want to spend too much, then please save your money and go to Ollie’s. Seriously, when I went to the one near me I thought I died and went to heaven and my wallet wept for joy.

I also got a few books from Target when we went out for other stuff. Honestly, I need to stop walking by the book section. Once I start walking past those shelves I swear (not really) that I hear little muffled voices call out “Pick me up! Buy me!”.dsc_0201

mms_img14447598761Earlier this month B&N also had a pretty cool sale going on, in which every third manga you bought was free. So Jill and I bought an insane amount of manga for a lot less than we would normally. Jill bought 9 of the Fruit Basket’s big volumes, and those were pretty heavy, while I can’t remember what all I bought. Hopefully, B&N will have more sales like this in the future because there are tons of manga that I am behind on!

Books Reviewed:

temptation-of-dragons rebel-of-the-sands kimi-ni-todoke-vol1 soft-on-the-devil chis-sweet-home-part-1 the-golden-spider 3 kyle-evans-is-shit


What’s Next?

In February we’re going to try and get more reviews out weekly, though depending on time it may be a lot of Manga reviews in between book reviews. We will also be going to Farpoint, a convention in Maryland the weekend of the 17th.  There we will work as volunteers for the con and hopefully try and help small time authors as best as we can.

What have you guys bought or read this month?

Book Haul: The Christmas Edition

As the title suggests, this is a special edition of the classic book haul post where I talk about the bookish things the loving people in my life got for me this Christmas.

imageThis stack of books mostly came from my mother, who supports me way too much in this hobby of mine. But let’s get real, she’s an author herself, so she kinda has to support her daughter who enjoys to read, especially when there are coupons involved! The comic though, was given to me by my boyfriend, who has been easing me into the comic book world.

Anyways, here’s the list of books in the picture just in case you can’t actually see the finer details! From left to right:

  • Mystic by Jason Denzel
  • Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
  • The Girl Who Could not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst
  • Koko be Good by Jen Wang (which is actually a graphic novel that I first found in a library a few months back)
  • The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  • The Avengers: Vision and the Scarlet Witch by  Steve Englehart and Bill Mantlo with pencils by Don Heck and Rick Leonardi


As you can see, there are no books in the above picture. However, there are bookish things, including items of humor from my boyfriend’s family, who also supports my reading addiction. On the far left is a pair of socks that are designed as library check out cards. Next to them is an “old book” scented candle made of soy, and it actually does smell similar to old books if they were kept in a pristine library. Too bad I’ll have to wait to move out of the dorm before I can actually use it! Finally, there are three Doctor Who bookmarks that my mom bought from a local artisan from a con she went to. The first is a Weeping Angel that reads: Don’t Blink. The second is just a shot of the tardis, and the last one is River Song’s “Hello Sweetie” with a lipstick mark.

There may be more books to come. These are just the goodies I got on this rainy and unusually warm Christmas. I’m blessed to have so many people that support my reading addiction, and I love every one of them! I hope your holidays have gone just as well!

October in a Nut Shell

Outside of reading, October was pretty hectic for me with some major tests, papers, and traveling that took up a lot of my time. However, I was able to read and get some reviews out for people to read, even if a few of them were late…oops!

020This month I decided to read some of the mysteries and paranormal/spooky books that I’ve gotten recently. I didn’t read anything super scary because, well, I’m not the biggest fan of those! However, I did read some books that got me into the spirit of Halloween this year! The first two books of the month weren’t really spooky, instead they were suspenseful mystery thrillers! The Golden Day was an interesting read, mostly because it was the first Australian book that I’ve read. I am Princess X was alright, it could have been better. However, the story was unique enough to keep me reading! Existence was the first book that I’ve reread since starting this blog, so it got a little bit of a different review compared to the others. It has a very simple, straight story that was fun to reread, even though the grammar wasn’t the best and the research could have been better. Finally, Ghostlight was the last book that I read in October and finished literally on the Eve of Halloween. Spooky and mysterious, this book definitely got me in the mood without making me want to sleep with a light on, by far my favorite read of the month!

Just in case you’ve missed the reviews, here are some links to get you there fast!

026 Towards the beginning of the month I had a three day weekend, which my school calls Fall Break…Anyways, I had the opportunity that weekend to go visit my boyfriend and some of his family in the mountains. The cute little town they lived in was really quaint and they had a used bookstore that I just to check out. Like any other time that I step into a bookstore, I carried out a few good catches that had great cheap prices!

036This next haul came from the weekend in which I went hunting for R.C Lewis’s  newest book Spinning Starlight. There I found a few more books, including some neat redone illustrated fairy tale books (not included in the picture was my mom’s birthday present, which was a story on kid Arthur). I also picked up an interesting looking comic and the newest edition of The Nightmare Before Christmas poem, complete with a DVD of Christopher Lee reading the poem to 2-D animation!

My final boo041k haul was purchased when I was going to Barnes and Noble for a journal. I told myself that I was only going to get the journal and one book, Lost Stars…As you can see there are three more books in the picture. Let’s just say that my will is weak when it comes to marked off books and beautiful covers…

Here are some of the most anticipated releases of Young Adult fiction this month!

  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  • The Rose Society by Marie Lu
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
  • Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
  • A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
  • A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
  • Persuasion by Martina Boone
  • The White Rose by Amy Ewing
  • The Immortal Heights by Sherry Thomas
  • Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis (Bought this one!)
  • Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith
  • Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass
  • These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
  • First & Then by Emma Mills
  • Girl Online On Tour by Zoe Sugg
  • Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul
  • We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean
  • A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern
  • The Storm by Virginia Bergin
  • The Sleepwalker (CHERUB) by Robert Muchamore
  • The Edge by Roland Smith
  • Endgame: Sky Key by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
  • Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

What books have you bought/read in October?

Book Haul!


Heyo, everybody! I hope the weekend has been fabulous for everyone reading, I know mine has been pretty nice, even with the rain rolling in as I type this. So my parents decided to come visit me this weekend and they brought a few Barnes and Noble coupons. You know what that means? They decided to help me with my ever growing addiction to books, aren’t they just the best? Anyways, listed in this photo are all the books I got at Barnes and Noble with them, there’s a few newer releases and also some older ones that have been marked down a bunch, so BONUS!

Shown here are (in order, left to right):

  • The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tam
  • The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
  • Horimiya (Vol. 1) by HeroXDaisule Hagiwara
  • The Anatomy of Curiosity by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (Vol 1-2-3) by Hiromu Arakawa
  • Besieged (Book 1 of the Outcast Chronicles) by Rowena Cory Daniells
  • Bright Lights, Dark Nights by Stephen Emond


After I bid my parents farewell after breakfast I went to the store to find some odd, but much needed, things. While I was there I found this comic that I saw last weekend when I went to visit my boyfriend. When I first saw it, I didn’t bother picking it up. However, when I saw it today I decided to look through and give it a try. Let’s just say, it flew into my basket for more reasons than the marked down price…

When I figure out how I’m going to review comics, graphic novels, and manga, this will be one of the first that I’ll review! And yes, that is a tiny plush wampa that was at one time a Burger King kids toy.

Book Haul: October 18, 2015

011Today was quite eventful book wise! I went to Barnes & Noble with a group of friends to find Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis, which I’ve been waiting for a while now. Well, like always, when I go into a bookstore I rarely leave with just one book. I left the store with six books…It would have been more if my friends didn’t remind me that I have a huge stack of books already and that I was a poor college kid. So I did put a few back, but still got a majority of them! And yes, the picture does have a tiny pumpkin with vampire teeth, my roommate made it for the apartment. And no, we are not sick, just a little bit twisted around Halloween time!

001Speaking of Halloween…I also found The Nightmare Before Christmas written and illustrated by Tim Burton. The book also came with a DVD of Christopher Lee (may he brighten up the Heavens) reading the original poem by Tim Burton. In a few words the DVD was eerily beautiful. Christopher Lee did a wonderful job.

We also went to help find our friend, an international student from China at our university, some books to read because she wants to improve her English. I absolutely died when they asked for my help; I love to help people, especially when they want to find books to read! I would have lent her some of my books, but she’s more interested in Science magazines and the original fairy tales, which I unfortunately don’t have at school with me. So she ended up finding some cool non-fiction books about animals and a collection of National Geographic topics, and I was also able to talk her into getting a collection of Greek Myths that were also illustrated.

006When our international friend found the Greek Myths I found a lot of classic books and fairy tales, with beautiful shiny covers and their classic illustrations. I wanted to get a few more, but I was talked out of it and encouraged to get them later!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! What have you found so far this month?