Revisiting

Revisiting | Short List 2019 Continued and Wrap Up

revisiting

Hello everyone and welcome to another update on one of my bigger 2019 goals. Reading the entire shortlist of the 2018 Man Booker Prize. If you want some more information on this goal, you can read my first on the topic here: Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist 2019.

Anyway, this past year I have been slowly reading the 6 books on this short list and I previously shared my reading experience of the first 3 books I read, which were Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, Milkman by Anna Burns, and The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner. You can find my full thoughts on these books on my first update post called; Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist 2019. But, for the abrivated verson I will say I really enjoyed Washington Black, but was not thrilled by Milkman and The Mars Room and I was kinda starting to question this challenge/goal I had for myself. But, since I already owned two more of the books on this list, I decided to continue on. On the to the reviews and reflection!


Everything UnderEverything Under by Daisy Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is going to be a really weird review. I liked the story, but the way it was portrayed irritated me. There are no ” marks, “You” is used so much, the POV was personally aggravating to read. Now all of these are personal preference and does not in any way mean that the book is bad, but it was very much not for me. Also, why do chapters have the same names? I didn’t know these things mattered go much to me until now.

If you read the first chapter of this book or a sample I feel like you will know right away if this book is for you or not.

View all my reviews


The OverstoryThe Overstory by Richard Powers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read for sure, I can see why it has won awards and shortlisted for others. The idea is very thought provoking, involving individuals who have a very strong with nature and more specifically the trees. At first all these stories seem unconnected, more like a short story collection, then slowly they start to come together as the need to protect the forest grows larger.

I have to say, I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the second half. The first half has so much of a personal connection with nature and trees and it was great learning about all of these families and individuals. For me it started to get less interesting when things got mushed together. I am not sure if it is because it seemed to be more “preachy” or the individual stories that drew me in kinda for the most part fell to the side and were only a plot device instead of the story. It seemed to loose the magic and the soul of the story.

With that aside the writing was done very well, I am curious to get into other works of this author.

View all my reviews


The Long TakeThe Long Take by Robin Robertson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that this is one of the better books shortlisted for the Man Book Prize in 2018. I really enjoyed the format being utilized, it really set the feeling of the story for me. This book really talks about a very difficult topic that many have to deal with PTSD and having known someone who suffered with it first hand, I feel like the author did a great job portraying how it can affect some people. PTSD affects many, but can affect each person differently.

This book really had a feel to it that I think sticks to a reader, I feel like I will bee thinking about it for sometime. It is encompassing and consuming in a way. I also like how the author portrays the internal feelings struggles of the main character to the external society/city. It was veery interesting to read. There are many dark topics in this novel/poem, so if PTSD, drug use, and other dark themes are something that can bother you, I would stay away. If that is not the case it is a powerful read for sure.

View all my reviews


-Reflection-

I feel like this second bunch of books from the short list I had a bit more success with over all. My last post I couldn’t even give star ratings to two of the books. I would say that  in this group there are now two books I would recommend to people, The Long Take and The Overstory, but I would have to feel confident in the fact I know their likes and dislikes when it comes to reading. I feel like that is a pretty decent turn around. I find it ironic that I liked the books I put off more than the ones I was excited about.

That being said I would 100% do this challenge again, in fact I already added a lot of the books from the 2019 short list to my TBR and put in a wishlist at my local library. One thing I learned from this challenge is that I should get these books from the library. While  there is no denying that they are well written books, I cannot say that I will enjoy the content every time. So, while I enjoy exploring new things, the library is my friend when it comes to this challenge.


Have or would you read any of these books?

Are you excited about the 2019 Man Booker Shortlisted books?

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Revisiting

Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist 2019

revisiting

Hello everyone today I wanted to share my progress with one of my 2019 goals/challenges. We are in the 5th month of the year, I can’t hardly believe it. I thought it was time to do more of a in-depth look at this goal because it is a bit more than a checklist type goal to me. I see it more as an experience or an experiment of sorts. I personally have never much been one to follow book awards and let them dictate my reading or sway my reading choices. This year I kinda wanted to see if I had been missing out because of this. If you want to see my reasoning for why I picked this reading award, you can see that in my original post; Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist.

Without more of a delay here are my reviews and my reflection on this experience so far!

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-Reviews-

Washington Black

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.

View all my reviews


MilkmanMilkman by Anna Burns

I wont give this book a star rating because I could not finish it, it was not for me in the slightest. I picked it up and I was bored nearly right away. I can see how other might enjoy this book, but I did not.

View all my reviews


The Mars RoomThe Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

I can’t give this book a star review, because I did not finish reading the book.

I had such high hopes for this book for a few reasons. The first being the description sounded amazing and it seemed like something I would normally gravitate towards. The second reason being is that it was short listed for the man booker prize as well as other noted literary awards.

The main reason this fell short for me was that it didn’t really capture my attention. That is not to say it was not dramatic, because it very much was, but it just was not something I wanted to pick up again after putting it down.

Don’t get me wrong, this book had a lot going for it and I was rooting for it. It had a great concept of critiquing society and how economics have such an impact on individuals lives. I also felt horrible for the main character because no one should have to go through what she and some of the other women went through. I am glad light was shed on a lot of issues in this book. But, a main character that doesn’t really seem in the story, a plot that jumps around too much, and it all left me looking to do something else.

View all my reviews

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-Reflection-

So far my reading has been mixed with this experiment 1 book has been a win and one has not been a win. I am sitting at 1:2 or 33% success rate. Not the best of scores. I am hoping that it will rise higher the more I read. At this time I have 3 more books to go so there are a lot of chances for me to get a good reading experience.

I am expecting it to go up not just because I have more  books to read, but also because I am fairy interested in 1 of them and I already picked it up. So I am hoping since I own that one I like it. I feel like if I do not like this next one I am going to abandon this goal for 2019. I seem to not really like the types of books that they picked for their winner or their shortlist at this point. Fingers crossed this next one is a winner!

-Remaining Books-

The Long Take by Robin Robertson

The Overstory by Richard Powers – Owned

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? How do you think this experiment will go?

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Revisiting

Revisiting | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

revisiting

So it has been some time since I mentioned by ______ Picks My Books series I did in 2018. I honestly got so caught up in my own books and just kept putting the books off for one reason or another. But, I am happy to say that I can finally do a bit of an update. If you want to read the rest of the series,  I will link that below for you.

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Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 3

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

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The Books

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Huge

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. Review first published here: Weeks in Review | November 4th-November 10th.

5stars

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

So, I need to admit something here. I ended up DNFing this book. I read about 50 pages of it and while I enjoyed it very much while reading it. Once I put it down I just did not want to pick it up again. I cannot pin point the reason why, but I just didn’t feel the need to. Like I said, I enjoyed what I read, so I am even more confused. The writing was good, the story was interesting. I just think it was a case of the right book at the right time. I think I may try it again in the future, we shall see. I would suggest that you try it for yourself, I am a huge mood reader and in this case I think I was simply not in the mood.

DividerOverall, I am so happy with Jenna’s choices. I absolutely loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I was in shock at how much I liked it because I usually don’t enjoy books like this at all. While I DNF’ed the other book, I still think it is a good book, I just think I read it at the wrong time and I may give it another shot later on when I am more in the mood for something like that.

Anyway, thank-you for reading and thank-you so much Jenna for picking books to add to my TBR!

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Lists & Recommendations · Revisiting · Uncategorized

Revisiting | Un-listened to Audiobooks

revisiting

So back in August I made a post listing all of the audiobooks I owned and have yet to get to for one reason or another. If you want to check it out, you can find it here: Lists | Un-listened to Audiobooks. Well, since it has been a few months I wanted to update you on my progress. I will openly admit I have acquired more since August, it has been nearly 5 months, but I have also listened to quite a bit more since then as well. I am hoping it will kind of even out, fingers crossed!

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Stats

Un-listened 8/2018: 16

Un-listened 1/2019: 13

Books listened to from previous post: 13

New books added and not listened to: 10

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Updated List of Un-listened to Audiobooks

DividerWhich one should I read first?

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Revisiting

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books Vol. 2

revisiting

Hello all! Today I wanted to talk about my latest update with my ______ Picks My Books Series. In this blog post I will talk about my experiences with the books Amy picked for  me in my first Book Buddy Picks My Books, I promise Jenna and Reg I am slowly making my way through your books too! Also, if you would like to pick out my next books I have a few details at the bottom of this post. Without more of a delay, here we go!

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Previous Installments

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 3

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

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Books Amy Picked for Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first book I read was In the Days of Rain, a memoir of a family. I read through this book quickly, I was really interested in the story of this family and how they came to be prominent members of a cult through generations to then leaving and dealing with that. I also enjoyed the psychological implications that this book exposed me too through the authors own father. I felt it was interesting his feelings towards religion following the family leaving. I also loved how the author explored her own feelings and you can see her own feelings and how it affected her life in many ways, even in how she breaks up the novel.

4stars

The Second book I just finished buddy reading and I have to admit I read it a lot faster than I was meant to. I really enjoyed reading this magical realism novel. It was just the right about of magic and done in a ways that made it seem like it could happen in the real world. The main character and the supporting characters were well written and man was there one part where I got really mad, but the ending of the book made me feel a bit better about it. Additionally, the authors style was lovely as well. I highly recommend it if you are looking for something in the genre.

4stars

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Overall, you can see that I really ended up enjoying the books Amy picked out for me and I kinda expected it because out reading tastes are so similar. I just want to say thank you Amy for picking such wonderful books for me to read!

Also, If you would like to pick out my next or future reads please leave a comment down below saying you are interested and the your top two genres of books to read.

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Revisiting

Revisiting | Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge Vol. 2

revisiting

Once again I am here with an update to my Read 5, Buy 1 challenge, you can find the original post here: Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. I am still doing very well and I am very happy with my progress. This update I did find a bit of a loophole for my 5th book, but I am not mad about it since I still have removed 5 books from my TBR.

 

Books Acquired

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

Description: When the beautiful and precocious sisters Sally and Gillian Owens are orphaned at a young age, they are taken to a small Massachusetts town to be raised by their eccentric aunts, who happen to dwell in the darkest, eeriest house in town. As they become more aware of their aunts’ mysterious and sometimes frightening powers — and as their own powers begin to surface — the sisters grow determined to escape their strange upbringing by blending into “normal” society.

But both find that they cannot elude their magic-filled past. And when trouble strikes — in the form of a menacing backyard ghost — the sisters must not only reunite three generations of Owens women but embrace their magic as a gift — and their key to a future of love and passion. Funny, haunting, and shamelessly romantic, Practical Magic is bewitching entertainment — Alice Hoffman at her spectacular best. –goodreads.com

I had to pick up this book when I saw it was on sale. I have loved the movie that is loosely based upon this novel since I was a young child and I have been curious about the book since I found out it was a book.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency Contact

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other. –goodreads.com

I am curious to see if I end up liking this book. I hear either people are loving it or they end up really not liking it. This books seems like there is no middle ground.

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Revisiting | Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge

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What was the most recent book you have acquired?

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Hauls · Revisiting

Revisiting | Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge

revisitingSo not that long ago I shared my Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge and I wanted to update you guys on the progress. While you can see my reading habits from A Week in Review posts, but I don’t really posts hauls anymore because I don’t buy many books. So I figured this is my haul of sorts.

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While I said I was in the mood for a new adult book, I ended up opting for a very different type of book. This year I have found a new author I have been loving and that is  Shirley Jackson. Since reading A Haunting at Hill House I have been wanting more, so I ended up getting The Bird’s Nest.

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The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

The Bird's Nest

Description: “Elizabeth Richmond is almost too quiet to be believed, with no friends, no parents, and a job that leaves her strangely unnoticed. But soon she starts to behave in ways she can neither control nor understand, to the increasing horror of her doctor, and the humiliation of her self-centred aunt. As a tormented Elizabeth becomes two people, then three, then four, each wilder and more wicked than the last, a battle of wills threatens to destroy the girl and all who surround her. The Bird’s Nest is a macabre journey into who we are, and how close we sometimes come to the brink of madness.” – goodreads.com

While this content is something in the description alone has me interested, I know there will be more to the story. Jackson has a way of creating an atmosphere of creating a world that just makes you feel as the characters, so I am very excited. Having read a another book of hers and knowing how that book ended up playing out so differently than I thought my imagination is going all over the place with the possibilities. I am very happy with my choice.

DividerWhat was the most recent book you have acquired?

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Revisiting

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books

revisiting

So, the last few months I have had a series called “_______ Picks My Books”. This has been such a huge adventure for me. If you want to take a peak into my adventure you can read the posts in this series here: Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books and Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books.

I have been sharing my hauls from this series with you, but I never really shared the aftermath of the hauls so I though it would be fun to share what has happened since the books have been added to my shelves. In this post I am only going to be focusing on the first two of the series since I have had time to get to them. I am about to pick up one of the books from Book Buddy Picks My Books, I swear Amy! Anyway, without more of a delay here we go!

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Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books Revisited

In this haul my boyfriend picked out three books for me. The First Pick By Gaslight by Steven Price, the second pick was Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, and the last one was Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire.

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Death Note: Black Edition, Vol. 1

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Gaslight was featured in my post Let’s Talk | Try a Chapter April 2018. To focus on By Gaslight, I ended up unhauling this book. For me I was more into the idea of the book than the writing style. The writing style made it difficult for me to get into and I did not want to push through a 700 page book to see if I would like the story. The main issue I had was that it was difficult to tell if the person was having internal or external dialogue.

Hiddensee had much the same issue for me. I really like the idea of the book, but the writing style was not for me. I may in the future try the audiobook version, but who knows what will happen.

The last book my boyfriend picked for me was Deathnote… I LOVED THIS! I am still in the process of reading this series, but I am loving it I am currently on Volume 4. This was a total win for  him. Overall, while I did not like a majority of this haul I count it as a success because I found a series I really like.

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Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books  Revisited

In this haul the bookseller picked Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. This experiment was a bit harder for me since I was asking a stranger who has no idea who I was and what my reading tastes were. So I was anxious as to how this would unfold.

The Pillars of the Earth

Everything, Everything

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first book that she picked recommended to me was The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Now, if you follow me on goodreads you will see I am currently about 200 pages into this book. I have to admit this book is HUGE, but I am really liking it. The writing style is perfect and I love how there are so many intertwined stories. I even picked up the second book in the series because I knew I would want to continue. This was a total win.

The second book was a YA book I have been hearing about for years, but I never picked up for one reason or another. Everything, Everything was featured in my post WRAP UP | March 2018. Overall, I really liked it. While I can understand why some people have problems with it, I wont say more because…spoilers! But, I read it quickly, a single day in fact. So this was another win for this awesome bookseller.

DividerThis series has been so much fun and I am looking forward to doing more of then. I have gotten out of my book comfort zone and I have found some real gems. I also want to thank-you guys for enjoying them too. Anyway, let me know what you thought about this little revisit.

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