TBR

To Be Read | April | #OWLsReathaon2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month I am super excited because it is April and that means it is time for the OWLs Examinations! If you are unfamiliar with the OWLs Readathon, it is a month long Harry Potter themed readathon hosted by Book Roast on youtube. She does an outstanding job, she puts in so much effort and I could honestly just gush about her for a while. She is a very smart, talented, and dedicated woman. If you want to hear all the information from the creator herself ; the magical careers, prompts and bonus trainings you can do so on announcement video here: Year 3 of O.W.L.s Magical Readathon – Announcement! | Book Roast and you can find the prompt and career information on the Magical Readathon website here: magicalreadathon.com – 2020 Magical Readathon Links


This round I am going to take it a bit easier on myself and I picked the career of Seer. This one only entailed reading three books for the OWLs and three books for the NEWTs later this year. I picked this one for a few reasons, the first being it is interesting. The second being it gives me the opportunity to go for a few of the “extras” this year. So, I will first explain the books I am reading for Seer and then go into the bonus stuff a bit more.

Prompts

Ancient Runes – Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title

Astronomy – Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside

Divination – Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use random number generator


Animagus and Magical Store things

Animagus Training 

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside your favorite genre

Potions – Shrinking Solution: book under 150 pages

Transfigurations – Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shape shifting

Magical Shop Management 

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside your favorite genre

 


Another Unrelated Book

I am buddy reading The Magicians series with Jenna and Reg and I will probably fit The Magician King by Lev Grossman into a prompt somewhere, but I did not just yet. Since it is something I plan on reading I wanted to share it anyway.


Are you joining in for the OWLs this month?

What career did you pick? 

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | March 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up for March. This month I was very happy with the amount of books I read, I am keeping up with my pattern of double digits! I don’t want to make a huge introduction because I am not really in the mood to write currently, but here are the books I read this month!


Read 2

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African StoryJourney to Jo’burg: A South African Story by Beverley Naidoo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*Book given by the publisher via aWunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review*

If you are looking into a read that would help expose your children to this part of history, I would say that I think this is a good option to explore further. It was a quick read, the plot was well done and I felt like it handled the explanation of this part of history well for the intended audience. Full Review: Book Review | Journey to Jo’Burg by Beverley Naidoo

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Angel MageAngel Mage by Garth Nix

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved the Sabriel series and his writing. Even in this book I enjoyed the writing a ton, but I just couldn’t really get into the story and I am having a hard time pin pointing why. It was a unique and unlike anything I have read so I wasn’t bored by the predictability or anything like that.

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Nothing to See HereNothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I just could not get into this book, it was a very interesting idea though. It just did not pull me in and I had to kind of trudge on instead of reading fully because I was enjoying it.

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The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)The Magicians by Lev Grossman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I was really expecting to not like this book so much because it is always said to be the “adult harry potter”. I mean a lot of people say a lot of books are like harry potter and I have always been disappointed. So, my expectations weren’t very high.

Well, I ended up really loving this book, that description was very accurate. I was surprised by how many years were in this book and how unlikable some of the characters ended up being, but I really enjoyed the ride. I also loved the nods to Terry Pratchett and Narnia. This really was a magical book and I am excited that I have the boxset waiting for me and that I am buddy reading the rest of the series.

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Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so glad I bought book 2 of this series. I will be honest the netflix adaptation didn’t really pull me in, but I really liked the idea so I gave the book series a shot. Well, I loved it so much more. The flow was a lot bette and I was able to track things.

Also, the writing is just wonderful and so imaginative. I feel like if I keep writing this review I will just keep blabbing on about how much I loved it.

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HamletHamlet by William Shakespeare

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Overall, I don’t regret reading this play. Did I love it? No. Was it my favorite? No. Did I absolutely hate it? No again. I did enjoy the creepiness and the exploration  such deep feelings, even if they were exaggerated for the sake of the play. This was very average in my book. Full Review: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | March

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Middle Mark Books 2

Queen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, my rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, my rating: 3 of 5 stars

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky, my rating: 2 of 5 stars

Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar, my rating: 4 of 5 stars


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 22


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 12
  • Number of Pages: 4,296
  • Fiction: 12
  • Nonfiction: 0
  • DNF’ed: 0
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook: 0
  • Paperback: 7
  • Hardcover: 6
  • Library: 1
  • Owned: 11
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 6
  • 3 Stars: 2
  • 2 Stars: 3
  • 1 Star: 0

What was your favorite read of the month?

What was the last book you read in March?

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Reviews

Book Review | We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib

Book Review

*Book given by the publisher via netgalley  in exchange for an honest review*

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir
Description: 

How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don’t exist?

Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. As an Ahmadi Muslim growing up in Pakistan, she faced regular threats from Islamic extremists who believed the small, dynamic sect to be blasphemous. From her parents, she internalized the lesson that revealing her identity could put her in grave danger.

When her family came to Canada as refugees, Samra encountered a whole new host of challenges: bullies, racism, the threat of poverty, and an arranged marriage. Backed into a corner, her need for a safe space–in which to grow and nurture her creative, feminist spirit–became dire. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women in her life had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved.

So begins an exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality, a journey that takes her to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within her all along. A triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one’s truest self.–goodreads.com 


What I Liked

This memoir is a journey to read. Samar Habib’s story is heart breaking and at times difficult to read, but I am so happy she told her story. She truly went through a lot starting in Pakistan where she face severe threats and even in Canada, where it was meant to be a safe haven, she faced even more challenges of bullying and more.

Her voice is strong in this book. Telling her life, but also the lives of those who are unseen in society, as hinted at in the title. It really was an engrossing read and look into her life and her experiences felt real and tangible. With some memoirs the writers feel distant and untouchable also unapproachable. This was not the case with We Have Always Been Here. What really made this stand out was the author truly shared, even the fact that the author has made mistakes.

Going back to the writing and layout of this memoir, the author talks in a very raw and approachable manner. I felt that it was organized very well and the author truly has a talent when it comes to writing. I was pulled into this book quite quickly and nearly nothing could get me to put it down. The authors voice is truly specular.

While reading this memoir there were quite a few things that she faced her life that have been hinted at, but there is one thing that truly stood out to me. Her determination to  find her identity. This is a struggle for her throughout this book for a wide range of reasons. I don’t want to give away too much because I feel like this is best read without knowing too much.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. This book was wonderful.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, this is one of the best non-fiction books I have read recently. When it comes to reading memoirs I like them to be real, this is real and raw and you can feel it on every page. The author truly puts herself out there with pride as she shares her experience in finding and exploring her own identity as well as the experiences she has had in her life. I know I will be buying a finished copy of this because I know I will want to reread it in the future, which is not something I do a lot when it comes to memoirs. If you want to read about a strong LGBT+ and Muslim figure I would say this might be a very good option for you.

5stars


Author Links

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Book Information

Publication Date: June 4th 2019

Publisher: Viking

List Price: $18.95

ISBN: 978-0735235007

Pages: 240 pages


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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | March

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the third installment of the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I have been really enjoying this challenge more than I thought I would have, but here we are, three months into the challenge and I was looking forward to giving Hamlet a try, something I really didn’t think was going to ever happen. Also, if you want to see what reads are coming up and what books I have read to can check it out in the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. Now, on to Hamlet!


The Book

This month was the very popular play of Hamlet, I feel like this is one of the more popular and referenced plays from my own personal experience. It is also a tragedy, up until this point I have been reading his comedies so, this could be interesting. Anyway, Hamlet was written around 1599.


My Review

While I have read Shakespeare before, I have never read so many so quickly before. I am beginning to notice a few things I am not too keen on. Why is it that Shakespeare always wants to punish a woman for loving? I get it, it is the time period, but isn’t there something else you can try to write about? I know that love and loss are always great plot lines when it comes to plays, but his ideas are becoming a bit too repetitive for my personal liking.

This is a very dramatic play with quite a few deep feelings that many can relate too. The thing with this play is that they are very amplified. There is quite a bit of passion in this story. We have loss, revenge, anger, dishonor and quite a bit more. This truly is a sad play. You watch a young man in grief become more and more erratic and many around him begin to question if he is truly alright.

This is murder and death, accidental and planned. There are plots within plots. This play really has a lot going on. I just wish some of these characters just talked to one another and weren’t so impulsive, a lot could have been avoided. While I know that wouldn’t make such a tragic play, but I think it would have made a better story personally.

Also, without really spoiling anyone I had to reread a few times how the ghost says he dies… that is the most interesting cause of death I have ever heard.

Overall, I don’t regret reading this play. Did I love it? No. Was it my favorite? No. Did I absolutely hate it? No again. I did enjoy the creepiness and the exploration  such deep feelings, even if they were exaggerated for the sake of the play. This was very average in my book.


Next months pick is Macbeth, which I kinda of think will have about the same rating as Hamlet. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I am very much willing to give this a shot. I just need to keep an open mind and hope that Hamlet doesn’t put a damper on future plays.


What did you think of this play?

Which play should I add to the monthly polls?

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Reviews

Book Review | The Learning Curve by Mandy Berman

Book Review

*Book given by the publisher via netgalley  in exchange for an honest review*

The Learning Curve
Description: 

A love triangle between two college friends and a charismatic professor alters the lives of everyone involved in this razor-sharp novel.

Fiona and Liv are seniors at Buchanan College, a small liberal arts school in rural Pennsylvania. Fiona, who is still struggling after the death of her younger sister, is spending her final year sleeping with abrasive men she meets in bars. Liv is happily coupled and on the fast track to marriage with an all-American frat boy. Both of their journeys, and their friendship, will be upended by the relationships they develop with Oliver Ash, a visiting literature professor whose first novel was published to great success at the age of twenty-six.

Now Oliver is in his early forties, with thinning hair, rugged good looks, and a checkered past–there is talk of a relationship with an underage woman, a former student, at a previous teaching job. Meanwhile, Oliver’s wife, Simone, is pursuing an academic research project in Berlin, raising their five-year-old son, dealing with her husband’s absence, and wondering if their marriage is beyond repair. This sly, stunning, wise-beyond-its-years novel is told from the perspectives of the three women, and showcases Berman’s talent for exploring the complexities of desire, friendship, identity, and power dynamics in the contemporary moment. –goodreads.com 


What I Liked

One of the major things that drew me to the book was the mention of a college setting. I really liked the section of time we witness the lives of the main characters Fiona and Liv. The college experience and time, especially the final year, are always filled with tough decisions and a lot of life changes and I feel like it really gives the characters a lot of opportunities of growth. But, I also liked that the author tied in another character at a different stage in her life. I felt like it gave the book a balance of changes and discussion you can face while getting ready to live college and the discussions you face while you have a life already built.

The writing in this book was really well done,  the style flowed nicely and when I read I read for a decent amount of time.  I also liked how the author dealt with some of the hard topics, such as a death of a sibling. It was done, in my opinion, a real way. When it came to some of the issues that these ladies faced, they weren’t the most relatable, but it was interesting to see how the characters reacted. Even though they were not personally relatable, they are problems that some people do face. Also, I would like to applaud the author for being able to keep track of all the obstacles faced by everyone, it shows the strength in her writing.


What I Didn’t Like

I am not a huge fan of dislikable characters, but I know there are a lot of readers who do. So, this is a book review where what I don’t like about it will actually draw you to this book. I love when that happens! But, my dislike of the character did not lead me to dislike this book, I still was invested enough to want to know how everything plays out.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was like reading a rollercoaster. There were times I really didn’t enjoy the characters, but I feel like this is a strength in some people eyes. Plus, for me the fact I still enjoyed the book with that really shows how wonderful of a writer the author is. I feel like this would be a good read for those who have no issue reading about some of the tough things talked about in this book and like a book with a lot going on, 4stars


Author Links


Book Information

Publication Date: May 28th 2019

Publisher: Random House

List Price: $27.00

ISBN: 9780399589348

Pages: 387 pages


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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | Testing White Pens

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to a little discussion/testing bullet journal supplies, this time around I am testing different white pens. I know for me personally I always use a white pen to cover up mistakes or add some highlights to a doodle I added. I feel like the white pen  has a lot of uses. I was using my go to one a gellyroll and I wondered to myself, is this one really the best? So I decided to compare a few of the ones that ones I see more frequently. Now, on to the white pens!


The Pens I Am Testing

  • Gelly Roll
  • Uniball
  • Pilot G2
  • Sarasa Clip

I just want to point out for the sake of this little experiment that I am using my Olive & Archer  notebook. So, how a pen interactions with the paper will vary some depending on the color and type of paper. This is just my experience with the notebook I use.

As you can tell on the picture above I tested four different whjte pens in this experiment. I decided to write with them on white paper and then try and write on top of blank ink.

With the first part of this experiment, just writing with the pen you can see some show up more than others. The uniball and gelly Roll really hold their own in this regard, even on white paper you can still make out the writing. The other ones just dissapear to my eyes.

The second part of this experiment for me is the most important. I tend to use my white pen over areas I have already written on to either correct or decorate my bullet journal. For this test I just added a line of ink and let it dry for about 3 min., following this I decided to go over the area a few times. As you can see from the picture above, most of the white pens tended to lift the ink a bit. The only one that did not mix with the ink under it seemed to be the uniball pen. I was quite surprised since my previous go to with the gellyroll pens, but after this experiment with the ink I use the paper I use, it seems that uniball is the one that works best for me and my uses.

I suggest giving these a go in your own bullet journal and seeing what works best for your circumstances, but here are the results I have found for me personally.


What is your go to white pen?

Is there a different one that you use or a different one I should try?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | #AnimalCrossingReadathon Wrap Up

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to a hybrid of a book post. This is my Middle Mark post, but also my wrap up for the Animal Crossing Readathon I decided to take part in last minute. Which, I ended up doing better than I thought I was going to do. What really helped me was the fact that I decided to do a bit of a personal readathon on March 14th. Anyway, on to the books!


Read 2

Gwendy's Magic Feather (The Button Box, #2)Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this second book in the series, it had a different vibe to it, but I very much enjoyed seeing the characters again.

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Imaginary FriendImaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so much enjoying this book for the first 400 pages or so. Then it just started to feel like there was a. huge ending coming, but there were 100s of pages left. I feel like this book went on for way too long and the pacing was just all messed up. I liked it less and less as it went on and it is a shame because I really was loving this book at the start.

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Animal Crossing Readathon!

HamletHamlet by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come.

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Between Shades of GrayBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first book by Ruta Sepetys and I am kind of mad it took my this long to read a book by her. The writing is just wonderful, but I don’t want to say this book is wonderful it is powerful and eye opening. The topic that is covered in this book is just heart breaking. I knew about the history, reading detached non-fiction during my studies, but this book just makes this story so much human than I have come across it in the fast.

This book felt like I was hearing the story of a young girl and the fight/spirit she had in her when she was surrounded by horrid things. Her story was heart breaking, but I cannot get over how power and strong she is. It really makes you think of all the people who wee affected and mistreated during this time period and the events are rarely talked about or discussed. It is a tough read, so I would research the topics and events that happen in this book because I feel like it might be triggering to some.

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A Knife in the Fog (Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle #1)A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just as wonderful on the reread. If you want to read my full review from my first read, you can see that here: Blog Tour Review | A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper.

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Queen's GambitQueen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very wonderful sequel to A Knife in the Fog. I continue to enjoy the authors well researched writing, plot, and characters. It was a very enjoy ride and I read it in a single day I was so pulled into it. Will be keeping an eye out for more books from this author!

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Promp Recap

✔️Resetti: Queen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper DONE

✔️K.K. Slider: Audiobook of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys DONE

✔️Able Sisters: Hamlet by William Shakespeare DONE

Tom Nook: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

✔️Animal Crossing Gamecube: A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper DONE


Four out of the five prompts in my book is not bad at all. I really was lacking on reading The Magicians. It isn’t that I am not liking it, I just want to read it when I can’t be distracted. It is too good for its own good! Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this readathon.

I am a bit sad that I preordered the game in a physical store and they are closed, so I wont be playing today or for a while most likely. But, I am glad that everyone is being safe. It is just a game and I will get my hands on it as soon as I can. It is always nice to have something to look forward to.


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Reviews

Book Review | Journey to Jo’Burg by Beverley Naidoo

Book Review*Book given by the publisher via aWunderkind PR in exchange for an honest review*

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story Description: 

Mma lives and works in Johannesburg, far from the village thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother, Tiro, call home. When their baby sister suddenly becomes very sick, Naledi and Tiro know that they need to bring their mother back in order to save their sister’s life. Bravely, secretly, they set off on the long journey to the big city to find Mma.

It isn’t until they finally reach Jo’burg that they see up close what life is like for black citizens across South Africa—and begin to really question the unfair and dangerous laws of apartheid. –goodreads.com 


What I Liked

This is a middle grade novel for children ages 8-12. This story following a sister and brother on a mission to find their mother and bring her home when their sibling is very ill and not getting better. I really liked that this story focuses on family connections and the young children determined to find their mother and help.

I also liked that this book opened up children to the lives of others and what they go through. One of the things that stuck out to me is the fact that these children walk an to school. I felt like this was something many children in this age range could relate to and it really brings the contrast to light. It would really help children understand that not everyone lives the same way.

I also liked that this book did not shy away from tough discussions, but did it in a way that children could understand. This book takes place during the apartheid in South Africa, which ran from the 1940s till 1990s. It was a time of extreme oppressiona and systematic racism. This book talked about the need of passes, the miss treatment of individuals regardless of their pass was right or if they were the right age. It also talked about segregated buses and the like. It did this through the eyes of the young children coming into the city for the first time so as the characters are learning about this injustice so are the young readers. 


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, there was not something I can pick out that I did not enjoy about this book. I thought it was a very good way to explain the treatment black citizens in South Africa during the apartheid. It gave a peek into the world and framed it very nicely. It didn’t just show that their was unjust treatment, but also commented on it and a major event as well.


Overall Thoughts

If you are looking into a read that would help expose your children to this part of history, I would say that I think this is a good option to explore further. It was a quick read, the plot was well done and I felt like it handled the explanation of this part of history well for the intended audience.

5stars


Author Links


Book Information

Publication Date: December 30th, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

List Price: $6.99

ISBN: 9780062881793

Pages:112 pages


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Goals

Reflection | 2020 Goals, 3 Month Checkin

Reflection

Hello everyone and welcome to my first post reflecting on my 2020 reading goals! I am excited to take a bit of a dive into my goals and see where I need to focus and where I am doing well. At this point of the year it is so early I am not too worried about anything just yet, but I feel like if I don’t keep an eye on it they will fall to the way side. So, here are my 2020 reading goals and where I currently stand on them.


  1. Read a shortlist: Man Booker 2019
    • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
    • ✔️Ducks, Newburyport  by Lucy Ellmann
    • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo Started
    • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
    • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
    • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
  2. Read 50 books, 21 books read. 
  3. Read all backlisted books, 46 books in all. Down to 27.
  4. Read 30,000 pages. Read 7,661 pages so far. 
  5. Read 16 nonfiction books. Read 5 so far. 
  6. Read 16 books from the library. Read 5 so far. 
  7. Read a book from each continent
  8. Read a book recommended by Joe Hill or Stephen King
    • The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
    • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Purchased 
    • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
    • Frankenstorm by Ray Garton
  9. Read a Shakespeare play a month, you can join the fun by going to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.
    • January: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    • February: Othello
    • March: Hamlet

Currently, I am feeling pretty good about my goals. I have at least made some little progress on every single one. The one I am currently the most concerned about is reading a book from each continent. A lot of the time when I pick up a book I have no idea where it is going to take place so this is the one that is more of a guess for me. I should search for a few books that I know for sure take place in the continents that remain, Antartica is always a fun one to try and do.

If you have any suggestion for books set around the world and Shakespeare places I would love to hear them. I have a bit of a list on Shakespeare from a few people. So, don’t worry if you have made a recommendation, I have written it down!


How are your goals going?

Have you decided to change any of yours or introduce new ones?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Misty’s Book Space

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another Someone Picks My Books post! I am really loving and enjoying this series so much and I am happy that you all seem to be enjoying it as well. This month I am reading a book that is picked by the wonderful Misty over at Misty’s Book Space. She is one of the nicest people I have talked to online, she is supportive and kind, and has a great taste in books. This month she picked Between Shades if Gray by Ruta Sepetys.


Book Description

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive? – Amazon.com


So, going into this book I was pretty certain I was going to like it for a few reasons. The first being, as I said earlier, Misty has a wonderful taste in books. So, I felt like I was in very good hands. The second being I love history and historical fiction. The third reason being I have heard a lot about Ruta Sepetys, all good things. I have always heard that she is a very talented writer and her work is well researched and quality. Quality when it comes to historical fiction is important to me since I studied it so when something is off it tends to ruin the entire book for me.

I just finished this book the day I am writing this and I wrote a quick review over on my Goodreads account, but I just wanted to elaborate on a few things in this post. First and foremost is that the author really lives up to the expectations that were set. You can clearly tell she has done her research due to the details that are present within her novel. I have read about this topic countless times and for her to add so much of the real world into this book, just made it is much more powerful and in my opinion a superior historical fiction novel. Her writing of this topic was wonderful and you can tell she was passionate and cares about the topic. I do not want to come out and say this is a beautiful book because the topic is just so heart breaking, but it is written so well.

As stated in the description this story follows a 15 year old girl named Lina who has fallen victim to the horrid campaign of Stalin during WW2 towards his own nation. This book depicts the horrible events that many faced who were educators, librarians, and anyone else who happened to have the wrong career. I don’t want to really say much about what happens in this novel and while I highly suggest this novel, it can be a very difficult read. I suggest doing a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you to read.

As I said in my goodreads review, this book felt like I was listening to a first hand account of the things that happened because of the not well known actions of Stalin against his own people. Lina had such fight and spirit within her, but this book isn’t just about her. This book shows how a wide range of people responded to the events. It shows how they react and respond to not only the horrible treatment of them, but of others. It really shows the wide range personalities and mentality of human beings. This book is hard to explain and do justice because it is so much more than just a story, it is the story of hundreds and thousands of people. While this was a very heart breaking read, I really enjoyed it. I will certainly be reading another book by this author in the future.


Next month I am excited to say that I will be reading a book that was picked by Meeghan from Meeghan Reads. I am very excited to be reading her pick this April. It is a book written by an author I have read in the past and really enjoyed, but it is not a genre I have read in a while. So, I am excited to see how it goes, but I have high hopes!

Have you read this book? What is another book I should read by Ruta Sepetys?

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