Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing, I am not going to do a huge introduction to this post today, but I am excited to share what I picked this month. This month I added an add on book, which is great because you get to add a hardcover to your order for about $10, don’t quote me on that because I don’t remember the exact amount. But, I. ended. up getting aa horror and a contemporary romance that takes place in Italy. Since traveling this year is not a thing, maybe I can through a book! Anyway, on to he unboxing!


Books pictured on top of piece of wood

The Books

The Whisper Man by Alex North

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window… –goodreads.com

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

A trio of second-born daughters set out to break the family curse that says they’ll never find love on a whirlwind journey through the lush Italian countryside by New York Times bestseller Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List.

Since the day Filomena Fontana cast a curse upon her sister more than two hundred years ago, not one second-born Fontana daughter has found lasting love. Some, like second-born Emilia, the happily-single baker at her grandfather’s Brooklyn deli, claim it’s an odd coincidence. Others, like her sexy, desperate-for-love cousin Lucy, insist it’s a true hex. But both are bewildered when their great-aunt calls with an astounding proposition: If they accompany her to her homeland of Italy, Aunt Poppy vows she’ll meet the love of her life on the steps of the Ravello Cathedral on her eightieth birthday, and break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all.

Against the backdrop of wandering Venetian canals, rolling Tuscan fields, and enchanting Amalfi Coast villages, romance blooms, destinies are found, and family secrets are unearthed—secrets that could threaten the family far more than a centuries-old curse. -goodreads.com


Why I Picked These Books

The Whisper Man was mainly added to my TBR because I felt like I should read it before I read The Shadows by the same author. While you don’t need to read the other first, I have heard that there are some nods and I wanted to make sure I got the most out of my reading experience. On top of that I have heard really good things about this book so it can’t hurt to give it a go.

As for my other pick, Star-Crossed Sisters in Tuscany, the blurb said family curse and I was sold. There are a few phases that make a book an insta pick or buy for me and that is one of them. I am really curious to see where this book and plot take these sisters. I have never read a book by this author as well, so it will be fun to give their work a go, especially since their other books have been given pretty decent ratings.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Does this book sound interesting to you?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | November 2020 | Celebrating 0 Books on TBR

Hello and welcome to a book haul post! This book haul has been a long time coming because I have not done a book haul for months. The reason I am finally doing one now is because my owned TBR finally hit 0 books and I could not have been more excited. I never thought that it would happen, but it did! But, of course as a book lover I had to celebrate by buying some books. I do plan on keeping my TBR on the lower side, never going above 10 books, but I would like it to sit more around 5. Anyway, here are the books I decided to buy to celebrate.



Books stacked on a green chair.

The Books

First I want to start off the the JRR Tolkein boxset of the hobbit and Lord of the Rings. This is not actually adding to my TBR, but I have always wanted these small leather (faux I am pretty sure) editions. I figured since this was a celebration and I had a coupon I would treat myself to them as well as a reread soon!

Now, these are the books that are now my owned TBR. Some of these were actually gifts, but I figured I would just add all of the books all together. I will follow the image above from top to bottom.

The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I decided to pick up this book mainly because I just recently read Between the World and Me and I really liked it. I didn’t know this author had another book, but it was on display in my local bookstore and I picked it up without a second thought. His other work that I have read mentioned and hinted at the content in this book, but I very much looking forward to exploring it even more.

Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker, I happened to come across with in a recommendation list on the side of goodreads. It talks about objects around the world that are thought to be cursed. It would have been a perfect Halloween read, but I never was one to stick to seasonal reading. Anyway, this shares the story of these objects and the myths that surround them.

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas, I have heard a ton about this book and I am curious to see if I enjoy this one. So, when Jenna from JK I’m Exploring asked me if I wanted it , I jumped at the chance. I don’t know too much about the plot, but I feel like that might be the best way to read this book.

The Law of Color by Richard Rothstein. I saw this book on a lot of anti-racist reading lists this year so I really wanted to get my hands on it. I was going to get it from the library, but I am happy to say that the waiting list for this book is still really long. So, I decided I would get it for myself. This book takes a close look at how our country and government have segregated the US. I think it mainly discuses housing policy, but other subjects are also brought up from my current understanding.

Tomie by Junji Ito, I have read about 4 or 5 of his horror mangas and I have to say I have never been disappointed so I picked up another one of his works. His stuff is thought provoking, disturbing, and beautifully illustrated.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, I have been hearing amazing this about this book left and right. But, the thing that made me really want to read this is the fact that the dynamic of the two main characters was compared to the dynamic between Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens and for me that is an auto buy dynamic.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, I cannot believe I am finally this far into this series, but I am really happy with how it is going. I wanted to just pick up the next book so I could continue. I need to know what happens to Clare and Jamie!

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, I read and loved this author s previous work and when I saw that this book was available I knew I needed to get my hands on it. I really enjoyed his writing style and the twists of his previous work, so I have high hopes.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, This was on a display for anti-racist reading so I decided to add it to my pile. I will be honest, I do not know too much about this book, but from what I read from the description it is taking a closer at the past and present of American society and how it ties into a caste system and how it influences daily life and opportunities.


What was the last book you added to your TBR? Have you read any of them, if so what did you think?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | OwlCrate Edition of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab

Open box with enamel pin and card explaining this is the owlcrate special edition box.

I have yet to read this book, but I have heard both good things and more critical. Before I get into this unboxing I want to link one of the more critical reviews for your reference, The Invisible Life of Addie Larue Review by Read at Midnight. I preordered this book months ago and I am glad to finally have this in my hands, but when I read it, I will have this review in the back of my mind. Now, without more of an introduction here is the unboxing.


Here is a picture of the items I am really thrilled with, I will review from left to right. First we have the enamel pin that is a picture of an open book and a it says ” a story is an idea, as wild as a weed”. I already added this to my pin display. Next is a three year memory journal, the cover says, “What a luxury to tell ones story. To be read. Remembered.” from the book. It is well made and bound nicely, I have no doubt that it will last the three years. Next is the special edition book which is a card cover and just pictures the title on the front. Place on the book is a wooden ring page holder, which I used once and it seems very useful for me personally. It has vines and the words, “il ètait une fois once upon a time” engraved into it. Lastly is a candle that goes along with the story.

Here is a quick picture of the back of the book that have layered diamond shapes and a banner. It has the words, “Never pray to the gods that answer after dark” embossed in rose gold.

Here is a quick peak into the three year memory journal. I really liked the rose gold touch on the edges of this journal as well as the smoky effect on the pages. Each page gives 3 lines for three different years for two days, which I think is a fair amount to jot a quick memory at the end of the day.

Now, on to the things I am indifferent or disappointed with. Now, this water bottle is well made and has a really nice quote that says, “Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives – or to find strength in a very long one” in white text on the black bottle. just have so many traveling bottles that I can’t use as it is that adding one to my collection is not bad or good. But, I will say it is amazingly made and the printing is great.

Lastly, we have the one item I am actually really upset in the quality. This item is a wooden perpetual calendar, painted black with rose gold sides made of wire and the text is also in the rose gold color. The part that I am disappointed with mainly is the quality. I put the date of the unboxing and you can see all the scuff marks and chipped paint already. Even the base itself you can see the sloppy glue job to put it together. In addition to the bad craftsmanship, can you see the “beautiful” quote that is featured on this item? Me either, they placed it behind the blocks, which is pretty pointless in my opinion. Why even bother adding it?


Anyway, that was my unboxinig of the Owl Crate special edition box for The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab. As you can tell I am really happy with a few of the items in the box and others I am not happy with at all. But, I will say over all I am happy. Now, the question is will I be ordering one of these types of boxes again? I am honestly not sure. What do you think?


What are your thoughts on this book? Do you subscribe to OwlCrate?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | October 2020

Hello and welcome to another BOTM unboxing! I think this month was the first month where I saw a book title and added it as my BOTM without looking at the other books. The book I picked I have been looking forward to for month since it is connected to a movie I love and have sentimental attachments to. Now, let’s talk about the book!


Picture of Magic Lesson by Alice Hoffman with a bookmark that says “Get Lost (In a story, that is).” propped up on pillows.

Description

“Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back.

When Maria is abandoned by the man who has declared his love for her, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.” – goodreads.com


Why This Book

I already hinted a bit as to why I picked this book. But, incase you did not know this book is the prequel to the book Practical Magic. Now, since I was young I watched the Practical Magic movie that is based off that book with my mom and we continue to watch it from time to time. We always had a great time and made wonderful memories surrounding it. So, you can see why I jumped at the chance to know more about the background of the family. It is just one of those tales for me that is ingrained in my memories and has been a part of my life for some time.

Who would have thought sentimental reasons would be the cause for me to pick a BOTM? I sure didn’t think that would ever happen, but here we are. I am hoping to read it before the month is through. October is a good time to read a story about a witch!


Are you interested in the prequel to Practical Magic?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | My Local Indie Bookshop

Hello and welcome to a tiny little haul. Once a month or at least as close to that as my schedule allows I take a drive to my local indie bookshop to support them. This time around I picked up more than a just books since they got in a bunch of bookish items and I went a little overboard with that I wanted to spend, but not too much. Now, on to the haul!


The Nickel Boys, bookish candle, two wooden bookmarks and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

The Books

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, I read The Underground Railroad by this author years ago and really enjoyed it. On top of that my Uncle has read it and said it was good as well and he enjoyed his previous works. So, I added it to my basket.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, I picked up this one because my mom kept thinking I read it because she thinks it would be something I would like. So we always have the conversation, “did you read it yet?” “no” “I’m surprised”, it is kinda funny. Well, it turns out when I walked in and went to the horror/classic section this beautifulPenguin Classics edition.

Other Goodies

When I was checking out I saw two bookmarks I just fell in love with. They are wooden bookmarks that feature Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. The Austen bookmark features the quote, “I declare after all here is no enjoyment like reading” and an illustration of her face. Alcott’s bookmark says, “I like good strong words that mean something” with an illustration of her likeness as well.

Lastly. I picked up a bookish candle. I have always wanted a candle that is inspired by a literary figure, but I only ever saw them online, but I never like to buy candles online unless I have already smelled them in person. Anyway, I ended up picking up Charles Dickens by Paddywax Library ex libris. It has a lovey tangerine and clove small that I just adore.


Do you have a favorite candle scent or novel that I should check out?

Have you read either of these books? If so what did you think?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | September 2020

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of my subscription of BOTM. This month I am happy to say I actually picked two books for my box and both just sound amazing! I honestly had a really hard time between all the awesome choices. One good things was they had Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson and if I had not bought it the day before I would have picked that one so I was able to pick another as well as a book from a previous month. Now, on to my picks and why I chose them!


Descriptions

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith, and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanain immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut. -goodreads

The Shadows by Alex North

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again… -goodreads


Why I Picked These Books

When it comes to Transcendant Kingdom, I picked it because I have been really enjoying hard hitting emotional reads as of late. This book really tells the story of a woman who is spending her life trying to find a way to help her family while they suffer from mental illness, addiction, and loss. I think it will also explore the pressure this puts on Gifty and her struggles that come from this. Not only does this book peak my interest, so does the author. I have heard such wonderful things about this authors outstanding gift when it comes to writings and I just felt like I needed to pick up a book by them.

The second book I picked, The Shadows, was added to my book because I have been into true crime and horror a lot lately and this seemed like a fictional combination of these. On top of that, I have heard promising things about this authors works and I have not read anything by them before.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Does this book sound interesting to you?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | The Happy Failure of July 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my happy failure! I say happy because I added some really awesome authors to my TBR this month. I added 16 books to my TBR to be exact, that is why it is a failure. But, I have to say even with adding 16 books, my owned TBR is still only 26 books.


This first book stack features…

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

The Beauty of Breaking by Michele Harper

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

American Sherlock by Kate Winkler Dawson

Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This second stack features…

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

G’morning, G’night! by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Johnny Sun

The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Himself

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

Flowers of Mold by Ha Seong-nan

Teen Titians Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo


I am truly pleased to be able to have these books on my shelf waiting to be read. I am for the most part still on schedule to finish my TBR by October as planned as well. I did not see that still being the case after being able to go into a bookstore and browse the shelves again. That is what lead to me getting all these books, I really missed just walking around the store and finding books I have not heard of before.

How did the Read Rush go for you? What have you read this past week?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month| August 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month! This month I am very excited about the book I picked for a few reasons, the major ones I will get into more so later in the post, but one I will share up front is that I was able to find this new to me author! As soon as I read the description, I knew I needed to pick it as my book this month.


Description

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader. –goodreads.com

Why I Picked This Book

The main reason I picked up this novel is because it seems to have a huge focus around relationships, which is something that we all have. But, I always find it interesting to learn about how others balance their relationships. I also have not read an emotionally charged book in a while and from the description, I am picking up that this will be a heart wrenching one.

Also, I did happen to read a blurb of this book already, just to give myself a look into the authors style. From what I have read already, I think I am going to enjoy their form of writing. I can’t wait to get to it!


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Does this book sound interesting to you?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | New eReader!

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to a bit of unboxing of my newest eReader. In the past I have used Nook when they first came out, then I transitioned to Kindle years later. Well, I decided I did not want to have a kindle because they are WAY over priced for what they are and I am not throwing my money away at Amazon. Due to this I started to look around for other options. There were a few things I was looking for specifically; a larger screen, backlight, physical buttons, work with my library. That is the thing about eReaders, they need to be fit for the user and you need to do your own research before purchasing to make sure it is right for you.


I ended up looking back at nook since I have used them in the past. To be honest I was not sure why I left, it was so long ago. I looked at their options and I was looking at the model called the NOOK GlowLight Plus and it was $200.00, which I found too much and didn’t even have the physical buttons I wanted.

I then decided to do a general search for eReader and came across Kobo. I decided to take a closer look and came across Kobo Libra H2O. It checked all the boxes for me personally, it had an internal light, had built in OverDrive(library), and had physical buttons and a larger screen than my kindle. The bonus on top of that it was cheaper then the Nook I came across. I decided to purchase this model for myself and waited for it to arrive.

When my eReader arrived I was so excited, it came in a simple box and I opened it right away to get it all set up and ready to go.


The packaging was simple, but it was more than sufficient to keep it safe. I was just as happy when I opened it and it seemed to be exactly what I needed and wanted. When I did take it out it was a good weight, not too heavy, but not too light that it felt fragile. The buttons felt sturdy and were not loose, which is something that always bothered me. I really dislike when a button wiggles.


My Kobo was really easy to set up, I was fairly surprised. When I switched from Nook to Kindle ecosystem there was a bit of a learning curve, with this it was very intuitive for myself personally. I added my library right away and I was surprised and delighted that I could see my holds and how long they thought it would take my to get them. I could also request books from from my Kobo without having to go on another device like with my Kindle. I will be honest, I don’t buy a ton of ebooks, I mainly use the library so this is a huge deal for me.

I also was able to also add my pocket account, which I was also excited about. I always find blog posts and articles I want to read later on and I have used pocket for a while. Well, turns out these are now automatically sent to my ereader now too! I am really thrilled with what this Kobo can do and I will continue to play with it and I am thinking I might do an update post later to share how I feel after a few weeks or months of use.


Do you have an eReader? If so, which one?

What are your musts when it comes to an eReader?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my Read 5, Buy 1 post, If I am being honest with myself I should be calling this a book haul because wow, did I totally ignore this in June. I am not sure why, but I really had the buying itch in June. I figured since I have done so well and my TBR was under 20 at the time, why not have some fun. So, here is my break down of the books I read since the last check in, but also the books I bought this past month.


The Breakdown

  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
    • Bought Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
    • Bought Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Books Added To My TBR

I added, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, The Incarnations by Susan Barker, Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz, The Changeling by Victor LaValle, Before the Coffee Gets Coldby Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, The Hungerby Alma Katsu, Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, and LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer and David Deschamps to my TBR.


As you can see, I bought quite a few extra books this month. I am thinking it might have to do with that fact that I was not really in the reading mood in May and maybe it was because I didn’t really want to read any of the books I owned. I am a total mood reader. Regardless of the reason, I added an extra 7 books. Oops! Good thing I have been in a reading mood!
Over all, my TBR is now sitting at a total of 26 books, so my owned TBRhe  stayed about the same, but thankfully it decided to not go up with all the buying I did.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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