Hauls

Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

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Hello and welcome to a very exciting post. I am so happy to be bringing back a series I had on my blog over a year ago. Due to a lot of things going on in my life I needed to put it aside, but I am thrilled to be starting it again. This time around I am planning on doing this once a month, where the person picks a book for me and then I read it and review it all in one post.


Since I knew I wanted to restart this series, I decided to start it with a book my aunt has been trying to get my to read for the past few months, even today as of writing this I saw her and she asked if I had read it yet. The answer was no and she gave me a look that said “READ IT ALREADY YOU WILL LOVE IT”. Truth is, she knows my taste in books, ours are pretty similar so I should have read it already, but this gives me the kick in the butt I needed. Anyway, that book is Where the Crawdads Sing  by Delia Owens.


Book Description

“For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.” –goodreads.com


So, am I am writing this I just finished this book and I have to say I absolutely love it. This is actually my first 5 star read of 2020, which is super exciting. I am also going to take this time to apologies about the gush fest this post has now turned into.

First thing I really liked was the choice of time period. While it does have a wide range and is told by jumping back and forth, I think the time period was a great choice for a few reasons. The first being alluding to civil rights and Jim Crow laws. There were a few time in this book that I just teared up or flat out cried at. The second aspect being the hard topic of abuse. I feel like the author did a good job of handling such a hard topic. It didn’t shy away from it, it was a hard honest look at it. I really liked that the author didn’t just comment on one social issue, but a few.

On top of the commentary on the U.S. and relationships during this range of time, I really liked how much of nature was a center role of this novel. I love nature, I love just going on long walks in the woods and watching the animals so I connected just a bit with the main character. I can see why the marsh was so important to her. The book really made the marsh tangible, the writing was poetic and the world really came to life. I could easily picture the shacks and the surrounding area with little little delay. This was also true of the characters.

The characters created by Delia Owens were just wow. The complexity and the detail that went into many of the characters showed. It has been a long time since I have read a book where I have cared so deeply for so many of the characters. I want to name so many of my favorites, but I fear I might spoil something so I am going to resist.

While, I did love this book and give it 5 stars, like I said earlier there are tough topics within this book. This includes abuse (physical and sexual), of a few kinds attempted and fulfilled. As said by the description Kya is abandoned in the marsh and is by herself for so long, but this is not the only thing that is done to Kya. While she is a strong character and very bright, she goes through a lot, things one human being, let alone a child should go through.

Overall I felt that this was a beautiful and surprising read. I really recommend it anyone who would not have a trouble with the topics within this book. It is beautifully written and you just fall into the story and have a hard time climbing out. I am so happy that my aunt recommended me this book, I am going to be asking her for more in the future. I will also be reading more from this author.


I am so happy to be bringing this series back to my blog with a bit of an update. I am going to be reading, reviewing, and discussing a book recommended to me every month for the year. For February I have the wonderful Reg over at Bookish in Bed picking my book and I am truly excited about it.

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it or do you think you would enjoy it?

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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM January 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another post! I am excited to share my Book of the Month this month because I ended up with three books. Oops! Since I am a BOTM BFF ( I have been subscribed for more than 12 month, time flies when reading good books!) I get the to pick one of the Book of the Year Nominations for free as a thank you from them. Then I decided to add an extra book, because I had such a hard time deciding on just one. Anyway, here are the books!


As I said, I had a hard time choosing between two books, these two were Things in Jars by Jess Kidd and The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James. Simone St. James wrote the The Broken Girls and I read it last year and I ADORED it, so when I saw another one of her books on here I wanted it. But, I then read the description of Things in Jars. This book is a combination of macabre with ghosts, supernatural elements, but also a Victorian mystery led by female detective. I was sold, so I ended up picking both books, one of thee beauties of BOTM. Now, Recursion by Blake Crouch was my free pick from their Book of the Year finalists. It sounded really interesting and different, so I am also excited to give this one a go as well. Below are the descriptions of all three of the books.


Things in Jars by Jess Kidd Description 

“Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jarsis a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.” –goodreads.com


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James Description 

“The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…” –goodreads.com 


Recursion by Blake Crouch Description 

“Memory makes reality.

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

That’s what neuroscientist Helena Smith believes. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious memories. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?”- goodreads.com


So there you have it, the three books I received in my January BOTM! I am so excited about jumping in and read these titles this year.

QOTD: Have you read any of these books? Which one would you have picked? Do you subscribe to a book box? If so which one?

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Hauls

Book Haul | Last One of 2019

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Welcome to my last haul of 2019, I still cannot believe I am writing that. Anyway, before the year finished up I wanted to post my book haul from the second half of December, I went a little over board with my holiday money and used my gift cards well. From this point on I am officially back on my Read 5, Buy 1, which if you want to learn anything about, you can do so here: Read 5, Buy 1 Series. Anyway, here are the books I added to my owned TBR! 


American Dirt was a hand me down from a friend, I am so thankful for! I have been seeing so many people saying great things.  Girl Woman, Other is a book I am very excited to get to, I feel like it is going to be heart wrenching and powerful, it was also awarded The Man Booker Prize 2019. Civil War Wives is a non-fiction I am excited to jump into, it was an area that was much overlooked in my education and I wish to explore it further. Were the Crawdads Sing has been recommended to me so many times I lost count. Some of these you will be seeing in upcoming series, so keep an eye out!

The Girls of Gettysburg is along the same line as Civil War Wives, I really want to dive into the lives of women who witnessed or partook in the Civil War. It really was overlooked and I know there is a lot to explore. Agatha Christie collection was from my Coffee and a Classic Box, sadly the last one I will be getting. I loved the box, but I needed to make some cuts and save some more money. I will miss it greatly. I will say, I am happy to end with this box because Agatha Christie is one of my favorite mystery writers. Last in this picture is Mythos, I have been on a huge myth swing as of late so I needed to add another one to my TBR.

Here is a Celestial Atlas I picked up and I am in love with. It is so beautiful with stories about all the constellations. Next is a very short book no mourning in the 1800s, I have always been intrigued with how society deals with this topic and how it has evolved so when I saw this I added it to my pile. It also gives me Caitlin Doughty vibes and I just love her books and her youtube channel called Ask a Mortician.

Here are a few more Shakespeare plays I am adding to my collection and for the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, which I went on about in my post Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you want to join in on the fun I created a goodreads group or you can just follow along on my blog. In January I will be reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


What books did you acquire during the month of December?

Have you read any of these books? Do you think I will like them?

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Hauls

Blogmas | Book Haul | November & December 2019

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Hello and welcome to my my book haul for both November and December. I fell a bit behind with my haul last month so I decided to just put everything together. I don’t want to ramble too much, so here are the books I picked up in one way or another!


I received A Christmas Carol through Coffee and a Classic Box, which I have been subscribed too for months at this point. The Queen of Nothing I picked up at Barns and Nobel it is a signed edition because I could not resist.  Bonhoeffer is actually my mothers and I wanted to read it for a while so I am borrowing it from her because she is very supportive in my reading habit. Last, but not least is Gwendy’s Magic Feather which was a pre-order and a sequel to Gwendy’s Magic Box.

Great Goddesses is my latest purchase, I feel like Nikita Gill is one of the few poets I auto buy their works. I decided to pick up two of Shakespeare’s plays for a project I am working on for next year, I decided on Midsummers Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night. You should hear about that project very soon if you have not already. The Light Between Oceans is actually from my library, but I borrowed it this month for my book from Australia read, Bury What You Cannot Take is also for for that challenge, but takes place in China. Last in this pile is The Glittering Hour, this was my BOTM pick for December, if you want to see why I picked this one you can see my post here:BOTM Unboxing | December 2019.

My Best Friends’s Exorcism I picked up from a library sale, I know a lot of people were reading it during Halloween this year so I wanted to give it a go. I finally caved and picked up Alexander Hamilton that inspired the play. I also have my BOTM from November, if you want to know my reasonings you can see that here: BOTM Unboxing | November 2019.

Lastly I have The Morrigan, which is tales of a Celtic Goddess, I have always loved lure and myths so I wanted to explore more. I also picked up a book called Muse with the Moon, which is almost like a reflection activity book that has specific prompts during a particular phase of the moon. You all will be seeing that a lot, I am thinking about starting a series with what I put in that book each month until it is full.


What was your most recently acquired book?

Do any of these books sit on your shelf or have you read them already?

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Hauls

BOTM Unboxing | December 2019

Unboxing

Hello and welcome to yet another BOTM unboxing. This month I honestly had a hard time picking a book, I was kind of tempted to skip. Upon first glance, none of the books were ones I was interested in apart from one I already own, so that was kinda a bust. Then, as I took the time to read through the descriptions, I came across this months pick!


I don’t know about you, but when I was in high school I had to read The Great Gatsby. While reading the description for The Glittering Hour, for some reason it reminded me of The Great Gatsby, but also the life style of the Fitzgeralds themselves. These figures seem larger than life and walk a fine line between partying and loosing it all. I feel like the main female character might live a life style familiar to them, but I could easily be wrong.

In addition to sparking a connection to the 1920’s over the top partying, I also love a good forbidden love story. I know it is so beaten to death, but honestly if I can read about true love against all odds,  I am so there. Also, it doesn’t seem like it is going to be a quick burn romance, since the story takes place over a few decades. This, is also a selling point because it seems like there might not be an insta-love situation, I really hope there isn’t one.

I really am excited to see how Selina Lennox balances staying on the “right side of a scandal” and what type of decisions she will have to make when it comes to Lawrence. I am hoping for a slow burn read and hopefully I won’t be too mad at the main character for her choices. Fingers crossed, I feel like this could go either way and I am excited to find out.


Does this book sound like something you would read?

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Hauls

BOTM Unboxing | November 2019

Unboxing

Hello and welcome to another BOTM unboxing. This month I actually had a very hard time picking between two of the books  this month. I ended to just adding the two books to my box because I was going back and fourth for two days and I really could not decide. Anyway, here are the books I picked for my BOTM box this month.


So, in the past I have read Susannah Cahalan’s first book Brain on Fire, I really fell in love with her ability to tell a story. I knew she was a journalist and a writer, but I was never sure she was going to write again. Lo and behold, I sign into Book of the Month’s and saw she wrote another. I needed to pick it as my book, no if ands or butts. Honestly, if you have not read her first book, I highly recommend it. It is her own account of her brain turning against her and how she was able to gain back her life. It is really heart wrenching, raw, and fascinating. I can only guess that this will be just as good of not better.

The second book I picked was Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I really excited so see what she does with an adult novel. I have read some of her other books and really enjoyed them so I know she is an author I “get along with”. I have heard that there are some trigger warnings with this one, but I don’t know the particulars.

Overall, I am really excited by both of these books and I am so happy to have them on my TBR!


Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

Are either of them on your TBR?

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Hauls

Unboxing | Coffee and a Classic October 2019

Unboxing

Hello and welcome back! I am here to share another Coffee and a Classic unboxing with you today. I don’t know about you, but getting book mail, even if it is from myself, is one of the most exciting things. When I saw this on my doorstep I ran inside and had to open it right away, even if the lighting was bad, blog pictures be damned! Anyway, here is what I found inside.


The red colors used in this months artwork and bookish item really caught my attention. Also, as you can see this months book is the Scarlet Letter, so it makes complete sense.

This months coffee is a maple sundae flavored, which just sounds amazing to me. I have a huge sweet tooth, so I feel like I am going to very much enjoy this brew. I will say, I did switch next months box over to hot chocolate so I could see what fun ones they send as well as having a backlog of coffee from this box. It is all delicious, but I can only drink so much coffee!

Next is a pot holder with the quote, “We dream in out own waking moments, and wake in our sleep”, which is a quote from the book. It is a lovely quote, but sadly this is not something I would use in my kitchen since red would clash quite a bit.

The bottom two items I will talk about next.

As you can see a bit better in this picture, it was so hard to get the ceramic warmer to stop rolling over/away to take this picture. But, this mini warmer is powered by the cutest little tea light, which was provided by them. Also, they added some essential oil, which I think you just place in the top, I think you might have to mix it with water as well, not 100% sure. I do enjoy the smell of eucalyptus to this was a very nice treat to get. I also love lighting candles so having a little warmer use a tea light is just up my alley.

Last, but not least we have the classic of the month, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I read this a year or two ago, so this edition is not getting onto my TBR, win for the TBR! It is such a beautiful edition so I am happy to have it. I will admit, I did not love this book the first time I read it, but maybe if I read it again I will like it more. I have since read another book by this author and I started off not enjoying the style, then slowly got into it. I feel like I might appreciate the authors style more now. Funny how things like this change.


What is your favorite classic? Have you read The Scarlet Letter?

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Hauls

Book Haul | October 2019

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Hello everyone and welcome! So, it has been a while since doing a “traditional” book haul in a few months since I have been doing my Read 5, Buy 1. I have decided to pause this for the remainder of the year due to the holidays coming up and such.

Even though I did not buy a ton of books this month, I still wanted to share the ones I did pick up. I am pretty surprised I didn’t buy even more since I let myself “off the hook”. Anyway, On to the books!


Books Added 2Bought

Subscriptions

Gifted


OWNED TBR COUNT

34 books!

Even with all of my book buying, I am still down a book from last month and quite honestly, that is a lot better than I thought it would be. I thought it was going to go up overall, so a small victory!


What book are you adding to your TBR? How many books are on your TBR?

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Hauls

Unboxing | Coffee and a Classic September 2019

Unboxing

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Coffee and a Classic! This month is something extra special since it is Halloween related. I know I am posting this a tad bit late, but better late than never! Anyway, I was so excited about this months pick because I have read the main tale that was sent out, and loved, but I did not read the “Other Stories” so I am excited to find more stories I adore. Anyway, on to the unboxing.


Here is the goodness I saw when I opened the box up. I do love that they really individualize every box to totally surround the box. It really adds to the experience for me.

Here are some of the goodies in this months box. I have to say I was so thankful to get the book light. Mine was starting to act funny and I was ready to go out and get a new one when my next paycheck came in, this could not have been more perfect timing! Also, this months bookmark is so adorable, I started using it right away. Plus, I can always find my books in the dark now with this glow in the dark potion.

I really loved the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, talking about the dual sides to each person and humanity as a whole. It is just as much as a monster story as much as a story about humans, which makes it even more eerie. Even though I really enjoyed reading this story, I for some reason have not picked up another one by this author so I am happy to see the & Other Stories on the cover of this beautiful edition.

Now, I think this is my favorite thing I have gotten from Coffee and Classic since being a subscriber. I took this pillow case and stuffed it full of teddy bear stuffing and put it right now my bed. It is a perfect little Halloween decorate as well as a literary one and that just makes my halloween book loving heart happy. Also, it is a pun and I LOVE puns.


Have you read this book?

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Hauls

BOTM Unboxing | October 2019

Unboxing

Hello and welcome to yet another BOTM unboxing. I would like to say that I was so excited about the possibilities that they could have had this month, but I think for once I was not torn between which book to get. Normally I am debating for an entire day which one to pick and looking at reviews. This month, I was only interested in one book mainly because I am in a spooky reading mood, none of the books this month really were “spooky” or “Eerie” to me. All, but one.


-Description-

Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Until now, when Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.

Thinking of her dead-end life at home, the life that has consistently disappointed her, Lillian figures she has nothing to lose. Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other—and stay cool—while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her—urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written his best book yet—a most unusual story of parental love. –goodreads.com


-Why This Book?-

This month I settled on Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, for two reasons. The first being that this was the only book that really fit into the reading I would want to do this month. I am all about creepy books and this has children that catch on fire when they are upset or mad, or something along those lines. So, it was odd enough for me to pick. Also, the cover really pulled me in initially. Why would a book have a person just standing in a hallway on fire? Well, I read the description and got my answer.

Another reason I picked up this book was because it seemed like it would be a really quick short read and since I am reading mostly larger books this month, American Gods and The Institution among others, it was a selling point for me. I am trying to read my BOTM picks the month I get them so this played a part in my choice.


Well, there you have it my BOTM unboxing. I hope you enjoyed finding out which book I picked and why. If you get BOTM I would love to know which book you picked this month. If you don’t I would love to know if this would be a book you would be interested in picked up from the bookstore or library.

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