Weeks in Review | November 11th-November 17th

a week in review

Wow, another week has passed, I can hardly believe it. I feel like since November has started the year is going faster and faster. This week I was only able to finish one book, but I made good progress in my buddy read and I did end up DNFing another book. Not because it was a bad book, but because I didn’t really feel like reading it currently. So I don’t want to mention it because I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading it. Without further wait, here are my stats and reading wrap up from the pervious week.

Pages Read: 426 pages

Time Read: 4 hours

Reading Speed: 93 pages and hour

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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

I absolutely loved this book! When I first started reading this book, I did find it enjoyable, but I did not expect it to be a 5 star read for me. While it was interesting the first few parts of the book were missing that spark that Practical Magic had. The by part 3 I was really dedicated to this book. I teared up, I felt for this family greatly. Then the ending came and I saw what Alice Hoffman did and I gasped “WHAT!?” when I realized who these characters were and answered so many questions that I had when I read Practical Magic is a wonderful show and not tell kind of manner. If you loved Practical Magic I highly recommend reading this, it does the story justice in my eyes. If you never read Practical Magic, you can start with this novel if you want a wonderful witch and magic filled read.

5stars

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A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

A Noise Downstairs

I finally am caught up with this buddy read. So far I am on the fence as to what I think about it, but I am excited to see what happens next. The cliffhanger that I felt off on makes me want to read ahead, but I am going to control myself for the time being.

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Books Added

The Witch Elm by Tana French

The Witch Elm

I have been hearing an awful or about Tana French and more specifically about The Witch Elm. I don’t know if it was because of all the witch talk around Halloween or just that it is a great book, but either way it caught my interest. Funnily enough I went to a few bookstores to find this book, so I am far from the only one interested in it.

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are. “-goodreads.com 

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Posts from the Week

Let’s Talk | TBR Jar Experiment

TAG | The Literary Dinner Part

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What was the last book you read?

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TAG | The Literary Dinner Part

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I was tagged by the wonder Whit over at Whit Reads Lit, you should all check her blog out and her other social media accounts, she is so kind and sweet and talks about some pretty awesome books. Anyway, when she tagged me in this I was so happy because it is such a fun tag and asks some pretty fun questions about a literary dinner party.Divider

1: One Character Who Can Cook/Likes to Cook

Sally from Practical Magic, she is always cooking good food for her family even at a young age so she has to be a pro by now.

2: One Character Who Has Money to Fund the Party

Feyre from the Court of Thorns and Roses, I mean she is a High Lady so she has to have some series resources.

3: One Character Who Might Cause a Scene

Weylyn Grey from Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang, I mean he lived with wolves and odd occurrences always seem to follow them.

4: One Character Who is Funny/Amusing

Fred/George Weasley from the Harry Potter series… they are one character because you cannot separate them!

5: One Character Who is Super Social/Popular

I honestly cannot think of a single character/person for this, fiction or nonfiction.

6: One Villain

Bellatrix Lestrange, once again from the Harry Potter series, because I feel like she may be a more controllable villain? Also, she is an aristocrat and probably knows a lot about dinner parties.

7: One Couple – Doesn’t Have to Be Romantic

I am going to go non-fiction here and pick Teddy Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. I would love you have them both at a tea party. Such interesting human beings.

8: One Hero/Heroine

Bilbo Baggins, from The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings series, because he is the best adventurer and hero! He would have loads to talk about.

9: One Under-appreciated Character

Raven from the DC comic book universe. I say she is underappreciated because I feel like they could throw her into more than teen titans. Although, lately she was given her own comic book, so many I am wrong here?

10: One Character of Your Own Choosing

May from Little Women, because she is such a nurturing and lovably strict character I think she would be able to keep everyone in line.

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Let’s Talk | TBR Jar Experiment

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So I know a lot of us book lovers have a huge owned TBR or TBR list and some of us in this community use a TBR jar. In the past I have made one or two of them, but I never really stuck with them for one reason of another. It might have been because I had so many incoming books I didn’t keep up with adding them, I am not really sure. Either way I always failed even though I have even posted a DIY for one a year or maybe even longer. You can see that DIY here: DIY | TBR JAR.

So for the month of October I decided that I would try the famious TBR jar once again and really commit myself to the process. So I went to the thrift store and picked up a small TBR jar and wrote down every book I owned that I still needed to read.

As you can see from the picture above my little jar was VERY full. I might have needed to get a larger one or I need to hurry up and get reading. Now, once I wrote down all the titles It was time to pick my next book.

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So this was the first book I picked out of the jar I picked a very recent addition to my TBR, Salem’s Witch House. I read it pretty quickly and I am glad I picked it up sooner rather than later. If you want to see what I thought in detail about this book you can read my post: A Week in Review | October 1st -October 6th. I will say I did not like it as much as I thought I would, but it was just not what I thought it was. It really stinks when a description was a bit misleading.

The next book I picked was a book my aunt lent to me and wanted to hear my opinion on. I was very happy to picked this book because I did not want to put it off since she is interested in hearing my opinion. I will say that this book was a wild ride and it was truly all over the place. If you want to know what I thought in a lot of detail you can read my post: A Week in Review | October 7th -October 13th.

When I picked this from the jar I was so happy and excited to pick this book. Mainly because I needed to read it for the BN book club and I did not think about that when I started this experiment. Sadly, I ended up loosing this book and needing to pick up another book.

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Reflection

So, upon having used this method for a few weeks. I can say it has its pros and cons. The first thing I liked about this was how easy it was to just pick a book and read. There was no staring at the bookshelf and being overwhelmed by choices. This happens to be from time to time and I can see that it really did cut down on that. The second pro is the fact that it really does show you how many unread books you own. Even though I have 2 book shelves that are pact with books, I mainly just see that I am lucky enough to have those books. I don’t see how many I truly have left unread because they are all spread out. This really forces you to see a visual representation that cannot be ignored and is more meaningful, at least to me, than just seeing a number.

Now, while there are some pretty serious pros to having and using a TBR jar, there are some cons as well. The first you can mainly see in my last pick. I was planning on taking part in the book club, but if I did not pick it there was no way I could have. So having books with a deadline would not work well with this format. Another con would be not really being able to pick what you are in the mood for. While this kind of helps in some situation when you are not in a specific mood, if you want to read a thriller and you picked a nonfiction or a general fiction book you would not be very thrilled. Being a mood reader, this was something I was really afraid of.

Overall I really think a TBR jar has its place in a bookworms life, especially for a mood reader like me. Sometimes I have no idea what I want to read and this could help me. Moving forward I plan on only using my TBR jar for when I am stuck on what to read next. I also think it would be fun to pick a book from the jar once a month just to get me to read some of the books I have been putting off.

I made the decision to kind of mix Books and Lala’s Closet unhaul series and My Reading is Odd TBR jar. Both of these youtubers are amazing and you should check them out ASAP! Anyway, I think I will be pulling a book per month, My Reading is Odd normally pulls more than this, but I don’t want to overwhelmed myself too much.  Now, if I do not read that book in that month off it goes from my shelves, kinda like Lala did in her series.

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What do you think about TBR Jars? Do you use one? How come?

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Weeks in Review | November 4th-November 10th

a week in review

So, I am still trying to get back in the habit of writing here, it is funny how 2 weeks without a computer gets you so out of wack. I should be picking up my new one within the next week, fingers crossed. While I am waiting for that and I was able to borrow one temporarily I thought I would continue on sharing what I read this week, what I acquired, some stats and what I have written.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I ended up liking this book so much more than I thought I would. I normally rarely read about celebrities or actors I like in real life, so I always thought, “Why would I care about one that didn’t even exist?”. Well, I have to say that this book proved that point wrong. Within the first chapter I was already hooked. They methods used by the author to tell Evelyn Hugo’s story were wonderful and made it feel so tangible. Not only did the author tell an addicting story of this woman, but she told a story of so much more than that. That is the part of the story I did not expect and loved. The author did some great things with this book and I highly recommend.

5stars

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

So, since I have been slowly collecting these Hufflepuff editions I have been wanting to reread these stories all over again and tab them up. Well, this week I finally did it because I stopped myself from feeling guilty about rereading when I have so many others I need to get to on my shelf. I am so glad that I stopped caring and did. This story continues to be a 5 star read.

5stars

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

So, not only did I reread one of the Harry Potter books, I reread this one as well. I read them both in two days and it was magical. I wish I had more time this week to continue. I think I will go for one a month at least in the next few so I can tab more of my books up. Then when more Hufflepuff editions come out I can transfer them.

5stars

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

If you have been around for any point on my blog you will know I love Little Women with all of my heart. This pasty summer I was lucky enough to visit the house in which it was written. While I was there I picked up this book and I finally read it for Nonfiction November. I found a lot of this book to be wonderful, I learned a lot about Louisa and her family even though I have read about her in the past. Part 2 and 3 are better considered a historiography of the story and how it was viewed as a book throughout time, which I loved! I think some parts I could have done without, but overall I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about this story and the women who penned it.

4stars

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

I happened to put this on hold at my library after watching an interview of these two. While I have been a fan of both of these humans for years I never really read much about them. When it became available I picked it up and dived right in. I really liked the way this book is told as if it is a conversation. You get true picture of their relationship and their personalities. It gives the story life and it made me fly right thorough it. I you are interesting in either one of these humans I highly suggest picking up this comedic memoir.

4stars

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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic

I have had this book on hold at my library since I read Practical Magic a few months ago. So far I am really enjoying this prequel and I am already mad because I am emotional about the events that have happened already. How does Alice Hoffman get me like this every time I read one of her books? Once again it is a magical story of a family that you can’t held but love and root for.

A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay

A Noise DownstairsI am barely into this book because I am a horribly buddy-reader this week. I have read about 9% and I am already curious to see where this novel goes. I have no doubt that this is going to be a wild book that will cause me to gasp in shock a few times.

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Books Added

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter
I decided to pick up this novel because I have been hearing so many great things about it. I also feel like I am going to want a larger read for the winter time. I loved that this teased a but of a mystery, but also the fact that it is set in the past and I love a good historical fiction.
“My real name, no one remembers. The truth about that summer, no one else knows.

In the summer of 1862, a group of young artists led by the passionate and talented Edward Radcliffe descends upon Birchwood Manor on the banks of the Upper Thames. Their plan: to spend a secluded summer month in a haze of inspiration and creativity. But by the time their stay is over, one woman has been shot dead while another has disappeared; a priceless heirloom is missing; and Edward Radcliffe’s life is in ruins.

Over one hundred and fifty years later, Elodie Winslow, a young archivist in London, uncovers a leather satchel containing two seemingly unrelated items: a sepia photograph of an arresting-looking woman in Victorian clothing, and an artist’s sketchbook containing the drawing of a twin-gabled house on the bend of a river.

Why does Birchwood Manor feel so familiar to Elodie? And who is the beautiful woman in the photograph? Will she ever give up her secrets?” –goodreads.com

Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing by Lauren Beukes

Slipping: Stories, Essays, & Other Writing

I came across this author a few years ago when I was either reading about Stephen Kings recommended books/authors or when I was looking at his twitter feed, sadly I cannot remember. Since then I have read 2 of her books and wow, they are a trip. She is a gift author and when I saw this edition on sale I knew I needed to get my hands on it. She is a great thriller writer and I feel like she is not talked about enough at times.

“A Punk Lolita fighter-pilot rescues Tokyo from a marauding art installation. A young architect’s life is derailed by an inquisitive girl who happens to be a ghost. Loyalty to a favorite product can be addictive when it gets under your skin.

In her edgy and satiric debut collection, award-winning South African author Lauren Beukes (The Shining Girls) never holds back. Ranging from Johannesburg to outer space, Beukes is a fierce and captivating presence in the literary landscape.” –goodreads.com

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

For Better and Worse

This was my Book of the Month pick of November, the reason I picked this book out of all the others was simply the description. How can I not want to read about a couple that plans the perfect murder and not want to read that happens and ensues from there? Also, I was curious to see how the author portrays their son who sadly is a victim of an awful crime.

Till death do us part

When they fell in love back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke joked that they were so brilliant, together they could plan the perfect murder. After fifteen rocky years of marriage, they had better hope they’re right.

Their young son Jacob’s principal is accused of molesting a troubled student. It’s a horrifying situation—and the poison spreads rapidly. One night before bed, Jacob tells Natalie he is a victim, too. In that moment, her concept of justice changes forever. Natalie decides the predator must die.

To shelter Jacob from the trauma of a trial, Natalie concocts an elaborate murder plot and Will becomes her unwilling partner. The Clarkes are about to find out what happens when your life partner becomes your accomplice—and your alibi. “-goodreads.com 

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Book Haul |September & October 2018

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So I have been a bit slow with sharing what books I have been adding to my TBR and collection. So I thought it was time to do a bit of a haul. When I looked back I realized that I have not done one since about August. So I am combining the months of September and October. Over this time I have added some YA, non-fiction, thrillers, and historical fictions into my life. Without more of a delay, here are the books.

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Novels

In the Hurricane’s Eye by Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

This was my Book of the Month pick for October, Nonfiction is not a category that is always present in the picks so I as soon as I saw it I picked on it right away and added it to my box. Yorktown has been a famous battle for many years and I hear it mentioned a lot, but I sadly cannot say I know what happened there in any great detail. I do know that it was something that was thought to be impossible and for that amount of coordination to happen during that time period was unheard of, sadly they did not have GPS or cell phones. I am excited to finally learn more detailed about this miraculous battle.

“Here is the story of the remarkable year leading up to the siege of Yorktown. It sets Washington against his traitorous nemesis Benedict Arnold and places him in impossible situations and constant acrimonious negotiation with his French allies, along with his young protégé, the Marquis de Lafayette and his energetic general Nathanael Greene. In a narrative that moves from the ship-crowded waters off Newport, Rhode Island, to a wooded hillside near North Carolina’s Guilford Courthouse, to the Dutch storehouses on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, Philbrick narrates the pivotal naval battle that brought the end of America’s long, elusive path to independence. It was an improbable triumph made possible by Washington’s brilliant strategy, leadership, and revolutionary use of sea power.” – goodreads.com

The Silence of Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

This was my Book of the Month pick for September. I was very interesting in this retelling, historical fiction if you will, of the impact of war on women. Throughout history women have been impacts by the wars and political upheaval. These women were were caught in the middle or right in the center of it. I thought it would be an interesting view point, in addition, I am interested in Greek myths and also history. While this is not a nonfiction read, it does pull from history and I am curious to see how she depicts how women were affected.

“The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, which continues to wage bloody war over a stolen woman: Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watches and waits for the war’s outcome: Briseis. She was queen of one of Troy’s neighboring kingdoms until Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles’s concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army.

When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and coolly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position to observe the two men driving the Greek forces in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate, not only of Briseis’s people, but also of the ancient world at large.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war–the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead–all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis’s perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker’s latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives–and it is nothing short of magnificent.” –goodreads.com

Into a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

I was so surprised when I was able to find this at the used bookstore by me. This was the last Ruth Ware book that I needed to read to be able to officially say that I have read every one that has been published. She really is one of my favorite authors and she does deliver a thriller. This one was very interesting since she made it feel more like a play than her other works, like we were watching one unfold. I love this.

“Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower I : The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

The main reason why  I ended up picking up this book was because I found it at a used bookstore and I thought for the price of $3 it was worth a try. I was very skeptical about it, but I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. I really thought it was going to be more like a western, but it really wasn’t. I am really glad I gave it a try and I think in the future I will be getting this series from the library.

“A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.” –goodreads.com

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

So, I picked up this book mainly because I wanted to take part in the BN book club that happens quarterly. I really enjoy going to those discussions and hearing all the different view points, that are respectful. I have read about 150 pages of this book and I really was enjoying it. I thought the style was interesting and it was well executed. Sadly, I ended up loosing the book! Since then I have placed a hold at my local library and I hope to have my hands on it soon.

“The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.” –goodreads.com

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

This month I finally decided to pick up A Very Large Expanse of Sea for a few reasons. The first being when I watched the interview of Mafi talking about this book I could feel her passion about its message very clearly in her words. I could also see that she put some of herself in the characters and I loved that as well. The second part being that I really have been wanting to hear a story like this and I am very happy to have it.

“It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.” –goodreads.com

 

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The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born

I will admit, I mainly picked this up to compare it to the novel. I thought it would be something interesting to do on top of reading a graphic novel. As of late I have finished my more “fluffy” less intense reads on my shelf. So I wanted to add a few more to my shelves. I came across this at a discounted rate so I am very pleased.

“‘The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.’ With those words, millions of readers were introduced to Stephen King’s Roland ‘ an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower, powering his way through a dangerous land filled with ancient technology and deadly magic. Now, in a comic book personally overseen by King himself, Roland’s past is revealed! Sumptuously drawn by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove, adapted by long-time Stephen King expert, Robin Furth (author of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Concordance), and scripted by New York Times Bestseller Peter David, this series delves in depth into Roland’s origins ‘ the perfect introduction to this incredibly realized world; while long-time fans will thrill to adventures merely hinted at in the novels. Be there for the very beginning of a modern classic of fantasy literature!” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home

Would you believe me if I said that I also got Vol. 2 on discount as well. I really had a lot of luck with finding discounted books this past two months and I could not be more excited about it. I figured while I have not read Vol. 1 yet, in case I did it was better to get it now.

“The second collection of the best-selling comic-book series, inspired by Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower! Gunslinger Roland Deschain has seen the death of his lover Susan Delgado. And the Big Coffin Hunters who burned her at the stake are now in pursuit of Roland and his ka-tet Cuthbert and Alain. The friends are forced to flee into the desert with the deadly posse in hot pursuit….and Roland is in a coma! Don’t miss the next chapter in the saga of the Gunslinger whose quest for the Dark Tower will shake the foundation of reality itself!” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower: Treachery by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: Treachery

Surprise! I found Vol. 3 on discount as well, for all three I paid less than the original price. I would call that a win. Once again I am taking a huge shot on this and I am curious to see how they relate to the novel series or if they follow the story line at all. I do know that I am happy to take the chance on these graphic novels.

“The ka-tet of Roland, Alain, and Cuthbert have returned safely to their home in Gilead. But all is not well. Roland has kept the evil Maerlyn’s Grapefruit and has become obsessed with peering into its pinkish depths despite the deadly toll it’s taken on his health. And what the young gunslinger sees brings him the darkest of nightmares. Meanwhile, Roland’s father has led a posse in search of those who threatened his son’s life in Hambry – John Farson and the Big Coffin Hunters. And in this encounter, Stephen Deschain’s life may be forfeit.” –goodreads.com

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Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach

Gazelle in the Shadows

I was approached by the authors publicist to get a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I accepted this book because I was interested in the thriller aspect that is given in the description.  I am happy to tell you that I just finished this book and I will be posting a review in the near future.

“In the mid 90s, Elizabeth Booth is a young British college student studying Arabic at Durham University. With some travel and work already under her belt, she excels at her studies and is sent to Damascus to immerse herself in the language. Taken aback by the generosity and kindness of the people there, she easy slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and even a handsome boyfriend. But things aren’t always what they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are commonplace, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals, and even murder involving MI6, deadly terrorist factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police.” –goodreads.com

Caleb’s Window by John J. Siefring

Caleb's Window

This book I am really excited about sharing with you. I was approached by the author to read and give an honest review his book. I accepted this because the story seemed like a wonderful coming of age story, but also the story of a family taking changes. I am about halfway thought this book currently and as soon as I am finished I will have a review up for all of you.

“Born in the village of Easkey, Ireland just before World War II, Cara Brannan dreams of becoming a nurse and starting a new life in America. Her mother, an Irish suffragette, encourages Cara to set goals and be fiercely independent. She moves to Dublin and begins nurses training at Saint John’s Hospital, forging friendships and encountering obstacles as a young single woman. Then she meets Aiden Whyte. Like-minded, Cara and Aiden join forces, marry, and journey to the States as newlyweds.

Welcoming their son Caleb into the world, Cara embraces motherhood. As a new mother and nurse in New York City, she struggles, facing class conflict, gender and career barriers, as well as loneliness. Cara endures because of her strength of character, compassion, and an irrepressible joy of life.

As Caleb comes of age, it’s his turn to carve out a place for himself during the late 1960s—a time of turbulence, protest, and incredible change. He finds New York to be a challenge but filled with opportunity.

Caleb’s Window will quietly move into your heart and mind, remaining long after you turn the final page.” –goodreads.com

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What was the last book you acquired?

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DIY Tested| Hollowed Out Book

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So, I have seen this around the internet for some time and I thought testing some DIYs would be really fun. I have always loved crafting and making stuff with my own hands so I thought to myself, “why not?” I will only be making ones I really an interested in and not just doing DIYs for the sake of doing them though. So I am starting off with one I have been wanting to do for some time.

Since I was young I wanted to have a box made out of a book. I don’t know why, but I always thought it was the coolest thing. Over the years I have seen them in the store, but they always looked so fake and I never really liked what the outside looked like. So, many years later I am finally deciding to make my own.

Here is the DIY video I am following/testing:

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Supplies

  • Hardback book, at least 1½” thick
  • Mod Podge Gloss
  • Craft paintbrush
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler
  • Pencil 

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Overall this video really helped me a lot. It is very straight forward and simple. One thing I think I would change about this DIY is that if you have a larger book I would separate it into sections like I ended up doing. That way if you don’t have a very long or large craft knife you wont run into so many problems in the corner and the opening stays the same size instead of developing an angle.

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Which ones should I try next?

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Weeks in Review | October 21st – November 3rd

a week in review

So, I must apologies for kind of falling off the planet, but sadly my computer broke and I had no other device to go to to write up my daily posts. I would like to say that I am very proud of myself for sticking with #blogoween for 22 days, that is something I have never done and I am amazed that I was able to stick with it for that long of a time frame.

Since I was not spending so much time on the internet, I did some reading and did a few things I have been putting off for some time. So, a blessing in disguise I would say. So, with all the updating and the explanations out of the way, here are the books I ended up reading in the second half of October and the first few days of November.

Books I Finished

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

So I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would. It was interesting and thankfully it held off on the love interest. I am going to be holding off on reading the next book in the series though. I am letting a few people I trust read it first to tell me if a love interest is going to be part of the main plot or a big part of the story. I truly hope it is not because I really enjoyed the version of our world that was created by the author. It is different from what I have read in the past and it is refreshing.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

I can finally say I have read every single Ruth Ware books published to date. I cannot say that for most authors, but she truly is one of my favorites. I really loved the atmosphere of this book and how twisted it truly was. While I was able to guess the ending in a way, it did not unfold like I thought it would, if that makes sense. Her writing is remarkable and I highly suggest checking her out if you like thrillers or thinking about trying out the genre.

 

A Delusion of Satan by Frances Hill

A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials

I absolute hated this book and I am so upset by it. The writing had so much of the authors opinion in it and it could be very misleading if this is the only book you have read on the Salem Witch Trials. I also did not like how the end note were set up. In the back of the book it lists the chapters then what sources were used. That is not how end notes work. Which sources was used for which topic? This makes it very hard to go back and read the authors sources to compare and do your  own research. There are so many better books on this topic that I recommend. I really wanted to like this book, I had such high hopes. I read a view by Jon, and I have to say I agree with him on a lot of his points and I wish I could have explained myself as clearly.

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

So this one is going to be kinda hard to explain. I lost this book, I have no idea where it went and I have no idea where it could have been left. I searched every room in my house, my car, and a few of my friends houses that I bought it to. I still cannot locate it. I ended up putting it on hold from my library so I could finish it. Due to this I was unable to go to the BN Book Club meeting, which was a bit of a bummer. What I did read of it I was enjoying very much so. The style of story telling was a very good choice in my eyes and I am curious to see where it goes. I hope I don’t have to wait to long to get it from the library.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I have to say I am very surprised by this book. I normally do not like books like this, that follow a fiction movie star around and learn about their lives. To me that was normally boring and had no points, why do I want to learn about a made up celebrity. I barely even read biography about people I do admire, regrettably. Well, this book changed my opinion. The way this book it set up it is really so much more than learning about Evelyn Hugo and I really admire and love that. I am currently sitting at 50% complete and I know I am going to be finishing this book very soon after writing this blog post.

 

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NEXT BOOK

Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World by John Man

Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World

Next I am going to picking up this non-fiction account of a man who is trying to find the true source of the famed Amazon women warriors that have been mentioned n some very historical texts. I have been interested in this topic since I was a young girl and it was funnily right after reading a collection of some old Wonder Woman comics. I wanted to find out more about these strong women and for some reason in my mind she was one of them. Anyway, I cannot wait to read this and hear about his findings.

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Books Added

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

This month I finally decided to pick up A Very Large Expanse of Sea for a few reasons. The first being when I watched the interview of Mafi talking about this book I could feel her passion about its message very clearly in her words. I could also see that she put some of herself in the characters and I loved that as well. The second part being that I really have been wanting to hear a story like this and I am very happy to have it.

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What did you recently read?

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November TBR | Non-Fiction November 2018

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I have been really looking forward to the month of November for some time thanks to Amy over at Tomes with Tea telling me she is only reading non-fiction in November. Well, if you know me you know I love reading non-fiction. It is one of my top genres to read, it seems more so since leaving university. Since hearing about this I have actually had to hold myself back from reading some of these books because I wanted to save them for this months theme of sorts. Here are the non-fiction books I will be reading this month. Divider

In the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

So this non-fiction focuses on US history during the American Revolution. I have previously learned about the events at Yorktown, but I just feel like I don’t really know enough if that makes any sense. Anyway, I picked it right away as soon as I saw it was a BOTM pick because I know that for this victory to have happened a lot of things needed to line up.

A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials by Frances Hill and Karen Armstrong

A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials

A Delusion of Satan is a non-fiction account of the Salem Witch Trails this is not the first book I have picked up on the trials. In fact one of my favorite books, The Witches, is on this topic. But, when I went to Salem this summer I picked up this book and as soon as I read the first few pages in the cute little bookstore next to the hotel I knew I needed it. Also, can I just say that the cover is very striking.

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

So another one of my all time favorite books is Little Women and I was happy enough to visit the house in MA where it was written this summer. It was like a dream come true and you can really see the similarities in the book to the house it was written in. Anyway, when I was there I was in the shop and saw this book. It just came out the month I was there and the woman who worked there said she just read it and loved it. So I was sold right away. This book talked about the Alcott family and how the story of Little Women has impacted not only the author, but others as well. It is an interesting aspect of the book to write about.

Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World by John Man

Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World

So this book I happened to find browsing my local bookstore one day. I happened to go through the world history section and this caught my attention. I was always interesting in the Amazons. There are one of the few strong women groups that are talked about in history. As the quote goes “For most of history anonymous was a woman” I wish I knew who said this, but it is very true.

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

So this is not the first time this book has been on my TBR, but I really want to read this since reading the first book she has written. This one is less on a memoir and more about death and how other cultures around the world have their own views and customs when dealing with death. I am curious to see how other cultures view death.

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What are you reading this month?

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#Blogoween |Bonded, Bewitched, Drowned

Blogoween

Prompt:

Tuesday 23rd: Bonded, Bewitched, Drowned
A Halloween version of Kiss, Marry, Kiss with your favourite book characters!

The Three Characters

Jackaby from the Jackaby Series by William Ritter

Image result for jackaby

Sherlock Holmes from The Sherlock Series by Arthur Conan Doyle

Image result for sherlock illustration

William “Bill” Weasley by the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Image result for bill weasley

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The Results

Drowned: Sherlock Holmes

I know, I know this sounds horrible but, it is what I have to do with the choices I am giving myself. The reason I picked Sherlock Holmes is because he has done a lot with his life and his creator tried to off him, but the masses wanted him back. So ultimately I am trying to help Doyle.

Bewitched: Jackaby

I feel like being around Jackaby would be a lot of fun for a short amount of time. Being around him for a period longer than even an hour could be very dangerous for anyone because of the things that always seem to happen around him and the creatures that find him.

Bonded: Bill Weasley

He is a kind and caring individual and stands up for what he beliefs in. On top of that,  family is important to him and to me that is kinda important if you are going to marry someone. Also, he is mature enough to actually be in a place where marrying could be an option.

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What would be your Bonded, Bewitched, Drowned?

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#Blogoween |The Sacrifice

Blogoween

Prompt:

Monday 22nd: The Sacrifice
Which characters or creatures would die first if they were in a horror movie?

Amy from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Image result for young Amy alcott limes

While I adore Amy when she is an adult, as a child she is quite annoying and does not always listen to the rules. I feel like she would be sneaky and do something that she thinks would help her and then back fire pretty quickly. As you can see from this meme of the Little Women, this is a very famous quote of hers when she is younger, it kinda proves my point.

Cath from Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell

Image result for Cath from Fan Girl writing
Check out the awesome illustrator Susanne!

 

While I love Cath and relate to her a lot, I feel like her head might be plotting her fan-fiction while she should be on watch. This would lead her to be distracted and then end up being her downfall sadly. You can see in this awesome illustration by Susanne she is so engrossed in her fan-fiction and not thinking about anything else.

Amelia Bedelia from the Amelia Bedelia series

by Peggy Parish

Image result for amelia bedelia

While Amelia Bedelia is a very loved childhood staple that I can relate to, chances are she would be given instructions and would misunderstand by taking a phrase to literally and then end up in a not so good situation. As you can see by her image, she is a very happy and kind lady, I hope I am wrong about this one.

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What book character do you think would not make it through a horror movie?

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