Blog Tour: Giveaway: Books by Theme: In celebration of The Reader by Traci Chee, a list of books C.J. can't live without

books by theme                needlikeair

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

With overlapping stories of swashbuckling pirates and merciless assassins, The Reader is a brilliantly told adventure from an extraordinary new talent.

On September 13th, Traci Chee's debut The Reader will hit shelves!  It's a story of Sefia, who lives in a world where books are banned.  Seriously, I'm twitching just thinking about it.  While living without any books would suck more than whatever misfortune caused Michael Phelps to make that face during the Olympics (look at me being all on topic), there are a few I would trade my firstborn to keep.  Read about them below ... and then keep scrolling for more info about The Reader and a chance to win a copy and one of those snazzy tote bags.  Thanks so much to Penguin Random House, my partner for this awesome feature! 



Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

If you've only seen the movie, you're missing out.  Miyazaki's work is lovely, but (drumroll) the book is better.  Like mousy girl gets transformed into old lady and befriends a fire demon and a vain wizard cursed using a John Donne sonnet better.  The ultimate in whimsy and magical-feeling awesomeness.  I still reread it once a year, and grin like an idiot every time.  


Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

It'd take a whole year of blog posts to explain the depths of my love for this series, and how much it has meant to me.  The books themselves are a constant source of laughter, comfort, and escape.  When I had a rough time in high school?  Joined HP roleplaying sites.  In college?  Dressed up for the premiers.  Before starting internship?  Listened to the series over a whole summer on audiobook as a bedtime story.  Now there are going to be Fantastic Beasts, Pottermore Presents, and Cursed Child better freaking come to America TAKEMYMONEYALREADY.  I'll always be a Potterhead.  Always.


Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones

I mean, I could basically put all of Diana on here, including her fantastic Chronicles of Chrestomanci, but I'm limiting myself.  I can't believe more people don't know about this book!  It kindled my love of fantasy, inspired me to write fantasy, and is an all-around hysterical half-serious satire of fantasy itself in which a whole world is enslaved by an Earth-born businessman to put on elaborate fantasy adventure tours for Earth tourists.  As in, people from Earth come to this world to have a Tolkien-esque fantasy adventure, but really the inhabitants are just reluctant actors putting on a ridiculous show.  And, scene.


Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Forget the movie.  The book is a whimsical, magical feminist fairy tale with a badass heroine whose brain is her best weapon and some really awesome messages about social justice and self-worth.  Also it's just a fantastic tongue-in-cheek reimagining of the original story with enough original elements to feel old and new at the same time.  Will love forever. 


Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales

When I can't sleep, which is often, I read fairy tales.  One particular volume, in fact.  The pages are dog-eared and worn.  The stories are well-traveled from being thumbed through since I was too young to remember, when my mom had to read the stories to me because I couldn't read yet.  Yeah, my mom read me the real ones.  Because she's a badass.  They may be simple and short, but there's still something magical in the way these two awesome linguists wrote and retold stories.  Hans Christian Andersen's got nothing on Jakob and Wilhelm.

meet the author, traci chee

Traci Chee is an author of speculative fiction for teens. An all-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts, though she also dabbles at piano playing, egg painting, and hosting potluck game nights for family and friends. She studied literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog. The Reader is her YA debut.

win an awesome swag pack

To enter, post a comment about which books you can't live without!  Penguin Random House will send a copy of The Reader and a tote bag to one super lucky person.  

Read an excerpt of the first two chapters here!

Follow @TraciChee on Twitter


  1. Oh man, a world without books? That's crazy talk. As for what books I couldn't live without, definitely Harry Potter. I'm with you on that. And also probably Little Women. I have a copy that I got from Orchard House which is the Alcott family home that I cannot give up.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

  2. OH MAN, I couldn't live without Harry Potter! Or Pride and Prejudice, The Lunar Chronicles, Persuasion, or Fangirl!!

  3. I have yet to read Howl's Moving Castle, but I saw the movie and it is amazing. I know I have to get to it at SOME point, I just don't know when hahaha.

    And of course imagine if Harry Potter didn't exist. Where would we be?

  4. Some of the books I can't live without are A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury. Those books are LIFE. Email: caitlynmanuel(at)yahoo(dot)com.

  5. I would have to say Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, Harry Potter (of course), and Shatter Me series by Mafi.

  6. Hmm, I've consulted my favorites list on Goodreads, and it's extensive. Some I can't live without are The Lunar Chronicles, any Jodi Picoult book, and The Chemical Garden series.

  7. It def would be the Harry Potter series, the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman and Those Who Walk Away from Antinolia!

  8. Time Travelers Wife, Harry Potter, The Carpathian series and so, so many more