Meet the Writers: Bookshelf Tour with Samantha Velie

A bookshelf tour is one of the easiest ways to get to know a person. You can see the different genres someone enjoys, the fantastical worlds they like to escape into, and even the topics they choose to learn about. Today I’ll be giving you a look at some of my favorite books in my own collection!

As a student, a lot of my collection is made up of books that I’ve been assigned to for class, but regardless I’ve enjoyed so many of them. I’ll admit that I don’t have a beautiful bookshelf to show off yet… my books are arranged in stacks in my closet and inside my nightstand, but thankfully it’s what is inside the pages that counts!

A Peek At My Collection

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson is one of the first books that piqued my interest in fantasy. With its beautiful world-building and intricate supernatural characters, this book transported me into the lush Kingdom of Austermeer, where Elisabeth dreams of becoming a warden for the Great Libraries that house grimoires. Elisabeth grew up believing that sorcery is wicked… until the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn offers her assistance in unraveling the lethal crime that she is unrightfully accused of.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This book captures the story of two teenage boys, both who happen to have quite peculiar names. Aristotle and Dante are both Mexican-American teenagers who are trying to find themselves in 1987 El Paso. Ari is plagued with self-doubt, struggles to connect with his war veteran father, and is frustrated that no one ever mentions his older brother in prison. His friend Dante is nearly Ari’s opposite, as he’s openly himself and wants to break down Ari’s walls. The two struggle with identity and what it means to be Mexican-America. This story may make you cry with its honest and simple writing style and its sweet LGBT coming-of-age plot.

No Parole Today by Laura Tohe

Although a short read, No Parole Today is undeniably profound. Laura Tohe writes of her experiences at a boarding school for Native Americans, along with the effects of assimilation in every part of herself. Tohe writes in a mixture of poetry and prose and captures the thoughts and beliefs of her younger self, who was being taught that being Diné was wrong and that behaving the way Americans wanted her to was crucial in growing up. I’m thankful that I was assigned this book as it is told from a perspective I don’t often hear. I encourage you to read it over and over and to never stop reading about the Diné and their experience.

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

I only recently picked up Iron Widow so I can’t give a full-fledged personal review yet, but I can say that so far I’m loving it! The cover art alone would make me pick this book up, but I was recommended this read by one of my classmates with extreme urgency and the online reviews had only good things to say. This novel follows Zetian as she battles against aliens threatening her home. When her older sister along with countless other girls are sacrificed to the giant robots, Zetian sets out to assassinate her sister’s killer and earns the title Iron Widow. This story’s blend of Chinese history and science fiction has me itching to read more!

Final Thoughts

I hope this article gave you a glimpse into my reading preferences and that it helps connect us more! Maybe you even found a book to add to your 2023 reading list! I can’t wait to keep reading and recommending books for you to enjoy! I hope you are staying warm and enjoying the holiday season with a cozy blanket and a book in your hand. Until next time, stay curious and happy reading!

Images were taken from

Published by samanthavelie

Hello! I'm currently a Senior studying English and Creative Writing while interning as a blog writer for Our Future Reads!

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