Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2019

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Hello and welcome to another kind of blog post series I am adding to my blog. Nearly a year ago I shared by Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge, you can find that here: Lets Talk | My Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. In this post I explain how I challenge myself when I feel that my Owned TBR has gotten a bit out of hand. Well, This past month with Book Con I decided that having nearly 50 books at one point was way to high for me to be comfortable with. So, I decided to reinstate the Read 5, Buy 1 Challenge. In the linked post it goes into detail of what it is and what it entails, but I will give you a little summary.

Pretty much for every 5 books you read, you get to buy 1 book. No book buying bans needed with this, but it does help you cull your TBR and get it under control. I have used it quite a few times over the year. My last run of it I got my TBR down to the high teens, which is within my happy place of owned TBR. Anyway, each month I am going to give a little summary of how it is going and share the books I read and the book I bought.


Read

Buy


Since I started this in the middle of the month I only have one book hauled through this challenge. Now, I need to get reading so I can get my TBR down and buy some books! Any questions about this challenge I am happy to answer.

Divider 2What does your TBR look like?

Have you ever done a book buying ban?

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Hauls

Unboxing | Coffee and a Classic June 2019

Unboxing

This month I decided I would give a new book box a try. I have tried many in the past and only one to this point has been one I have kept for over a year. The others were wonderful, but I no longer read a lot of YA so I was on the hunt for a book box that fits my current reading habits. With my youtube and blog searches I came across this lovely box called Coffee and a Classic.

If you know me I love classic literature, I find it a wonderful way to look into the past without reading non-ficiton, which I also love. On top of that, you get some delicious coffee to sip while you read. An entire experience!

Now, this box has a few customizable things going for it as well. You can pick coffee or tea, and the type of classic you would want to read. They have children’s classic, classic literature, and then a non-fiction classic. Which, I love that they give the subscribers so much choice in the box. On top of that you can can pick from starter ($29.99)  or standard (40.99). Which, if you want to know more please check out their website. www.coffeeandaclassic.com.

Anyway, I picked the classic literature starter box here is what I got this month!


Can I just say I am a sucker for cute simplistic packaging? This logo is just so cute and I love it. I also loved how everything was packaged in a box that was appropriate in size. Everything fit safely and snuggly inside nothing was shifting all over and there was unneeded stuff.

I am so excited to try this coffee, I am also so happy that it happens to be themes as a Grand Adventure because I am currently rereading The Fellowship of the Ring and I feel like it would fit in perfectly. On top of that it smells heavily.

Here are the two bookish goodies I got this month. The first are two absorbent car coasters. I feel like these people are spying on me because I said a few weeks ago I needed some of these and I was on the look out for them. Looks like I don’t need to keep searching. The second is a beautiful lined notebook, which is in a beautiful blue color. I love that both of these have artwork that actual applies to the book that is in this book instead of just something generic. You can see the thought that goes into this.

Last, but certainly not least we have the bookmark and the book. Can I just say I love that they send  a bookmark with a book. I never understood when book boxes never came with a bookmark. Anyway, this bookmark is made of Sassafras and features art pertaining to the book. I have never had a wooden bookmark that I can remember, but I love the feel of this. Then, we have the classic! I am happy to say I have not read this classic, but I have heard quote a lot about it. I am excited to dive into this, sip my coffee, and maybe take some notes.

I have to say I am really happy with this book box. The items inside are usable and not just knickknacks and all have to do with the book that was sent not just a generic theme. I can see the hard work that was put into this and I want to say well done. I am going to continue on with this box!


What did you think of this book box?

Do you subscribe to any bookish boxes?

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TBR

TBR | July 2019

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We are officially in the second half of the year, I can’t get over it. But, I am excited to share another TBR with you. This month I am reading a few books by adored authors, continuing a reread of a series I love, and then throwing in a few books written by new to me authors. In other words I am reading a little bit of everything. Without a huge introduction, here are the books I am going to do my best to read this upcoming month.


-The Books-

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

Each month I have been trying to read the book I have had on my owned TBR the longest. At this point in the that would be The Bird’s Nest. I picked it up in July, so this would be a year so it is time to read it because I don’t really keep books over a year because I have not read it by then I am never going to read it. I do love Jackson’s work, I just know I read a lot of them last year and that is most likely why I have put this one off.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Last month I started my reread of the LOTR series and this month I wanted to continue along with that. I feel like reading one a month leaves me at a good pace while not neglecting the rest of my TBR.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

I was lucky enough to get this as an eARC via netgalley. Ruth Ware is one of my top thriller writers so I am very excited to get to this and review it for all of you. Thank-you Gallery Books!


-TBR Jar Pick-

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

This is a fairly recent addition to my TBR I got it as my bonus book of the month book in May since I was gifted a free book from them since I have been a member for so long. I am very interested to see where this novel goes because I opened the inside flap and it says “A Girl…A Prince…A Monster” in large type, how could I not want to know how these three fair together?


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Women Talking by Miriam Toews

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* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*  

Women Talking
Description:

One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.

While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women—all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in—have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?

Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, Toews’s masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide.

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What I Liked

The main reason I wanted to read this book was because it was based upon real events. I enjoy reading non-ficiton and historical fiction and I felt like this book would be enjoyable. This book tackles dark events dealing with an established religious group and how the women must either come to terms with the status quo or make changes. As you can see from the description the status quo is not something I think many of us would want to endure.

I really enjoyed that the author did put this struggle into words and I feel like it could be applied to many other situations. While this story very dark and very extreme in its content, if you are triggered by rape or the discussion of it please do not read it boils down to women in a very bad situation determining if it is worth living with the devil you know, or chancing it with the devil you don’t know in a world you don’t understand. In other words,  you can either endure traumatic treatment and stay with what you know and fear, or go off and try to get away for your hope of a safe situation in a world you have no idea how to navigate. On top of that the fear of what might happen if you are not successful. Obviously, every situation is different and each needs to be thought of on its own merits, but I can appreciate that this author was willing to have a discussion about this.


What I Didn’t Like

I didn’t like how slow paced this book was. I kind of had to push myself through it. I am not sure if this is because I was expecting a lot to happen based upon the description, but I felt that for the size of the book it was a slow mover. At times I felt it was rambling and I would grow bored.


Overall Thoughts

I feel like this was a good topic to discuss and should continue to be discussed. The topic was interesting for sure. I just don’t know if the topic was enough for me to fully enjoy this book. For me personally I do not enjoy slow moving books that are more talk than action. So, I feel like if you enjoy that type of writing style, you would easily like this book more than I did. 3stars

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Author Links

Miriam Toews

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Book Information

Publication Date: April 2nd 2019

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

List Price: $24.99

ISBN: 9781635572582

Pages: 216 pages

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Reviews

REVIEW | Little Guides to Great Lives: Anne Frank by Isabel Thomas

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* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*  

Little Guides to Great Lives: Anne FrankDescription:

Anne Frank was an ordinary girl living in extraordinary times. Forced to go into hiding to escape the Nazis’ persecution of Jews in World War II, Anne kept a diary that would become one of the most famous books in the world.

Meet one of history’s most inspiring figures in this beautifully-illustrated guide to her amazing life.

From artists to aviators and scientists to revolutionaries, Little Guides to Great Lives is a brand new series of small-format guides introducing children to the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible way.

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What I Liked

First off I have to say that the story of Anne Frank and the holocaust as a whole is not an easy topic no matter how you look at it. But, these are both important stories that need to be shared. I read this book two times before writing this review, for a few reasons.

The firs being that this author did a wonderful job telling this story. It is done in such a way that it does not hide the truth, but gently explains what happened to Anne Frank and others who were victimized during WWII. It explained the steps leading up to the labor and concentration camps in a factual way, but in a very respectful manner. I have to say that this is one of the most gentle, but truthful children’s book I have read on the topic personally.

The second reason I read this multiple times was the art style and illustrations that are present throughout. While I hate to say that this story is beautiful, because it is so heart breaking, this book is beautiful and is a work of art.

Another thing I loved about this book was that it just did not tell the story of Anne Frank, but it was so much more. It talked about the global economy and the rise of the Nazi to give the story context. There was also a lot of helpful information such as key character descriptions, timelines, and a glossary to aid young readers in learning and making sense  of the complex story. But, the best thing they had in there was further reading. You can tell the author cares about the topic and is passionate about learning when they share where readers can learn more.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, there is nothing bad I can say about this book. It was well structured, it covered a difficult topic in a very accessible way to children.


Overall Thoughts

Overall I really enjoyed reading this, even though I am not a child I found it to be informative and interested without being overwhelming. This is a great way to expose young children the the holocaust and the story of Anne Frank without being overwhelming in my opinion.  I even bought a copy for a friend of mine for her to read to her children.

5stars

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Author Links

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Book Information

Publication Date: April 23rd 2019

Publisher: Laurence King Publishing

List Price: $11.99

ISBN: 9781786273987

Pages: 64 pages

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Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In

Reading Goals NEW

It is mind boggling to think that we are already halfway through 2019. It feels like it only just begun if you ask me. I almost totally forgot that I needed to do another check in on my year long goals. I felt like I had all the time in the world. Turns out, I only have another 6 months to meet all of these. If you want to see where I was. 3 months ago, you can see my previous check in here; Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In.

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-My Goals-

  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. Read 50 books
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    • My backlisted books are here.

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-My Updates-

  1. I recently did an update post on this goal in particular, Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist. To summarize I have read/DNFed 3 books out of the 6 on the list. If you want to see my reasonings and such, please look at that post I go into a lot of detail.
  2. At this point in the year I have read a books that take place on 4 of the 7 continents. I am still working on South America, Asia (already have a book picked), and Australia. If you have any reconditions from these continents please share!
  3. As of writing this June 10th, I have read a total of 38 books, I am very close to reaching this goal.
  4. At this point in time I have read 16851, so I am once again in pretty good shape and on track to hit my goal!
  5. So far I have read a book from the library for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, and Jun! So I am sticking to this one for sure!
  6. I am happy to report that I am ahead of schedule on this goal, I have read a total of 11 non-fiction books this year. So, more than 25% of my read books are non-fiction. It is my most read genre.
  7. So, this goal I am a little on the fence about, I tried to read a book reccoemnded by Megan Mullally, Milkman, but I ended up DNFing it. So, I kinda did and kinda didn’t meet this goal? I am going to maybe try one more from this list since I only need to read one.
  8. So, reading War and Peace is progressing slowly, but surly I am currently on Book 7 out of 17 sections. I am a little behind, but I plan on catching up over the summer when I will have more time outside taking care of my plants.
  9. So, beat the backlist I have been keeping track of in my monthly wrap ups, As of writing this I only have 9 books still to read from 2018. I stared with 34, so not to shabby.

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-Bujo Spreads-

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How are your goals progressing so far?

Have you changed any of your goals?

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Hauls

BOTM Unboxing | June 2019

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Hello everyone, if you have been around for a while, you will know that I have been a subscriber to Book of the Month for some time. If fact, I was able to find some stats, so here they are.

As you can see I have been a fan for some time and I just wanted to write a quick post to share the book I ended up picking for June. This post is a little delayed because I was at Book Con and it was so much fun! So much so that I needed to sort out my shelves before I could open this box. Anyway, here is the book I picked this month!

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-Blurb-

M.T. Edvardsson’s A Nearly Normal Family is a gripping legal thriller that forces the reader to consider: How far would you go to protect the ones you love? In this twisted narrative of love and murder, a horrific crime makes a seemingly normal family question everything they thought they knew about their life—and one another.

Eighteen-year-old Stella Sandell stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?

Stella’s father, a pastor, and mother, a criminal defense attorney, find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Familyasks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?

Source: goodreads.com 


Normally I am not a huge fan of legal thrillers. I have never really been a fan of them in general, my mom loves SVU and a lot of those thriller/legal/crime shows. I think the closest I have come was enjoying Bones, but I personally liked the people and the science aspect of it not the prosecution and courtroom stuff. Anyway, I digress. This one seemed different to me. I feel like this is more going to focus on relationships and how people might end up is situations they stumbled upon if that makes sense? But, I am curious how the family dynamic is going to handle this as well. So, I see is being more about the family.

Either way, I am really excited to now have this book on my shelves.

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | June 2019

Middle Mark

I have to say that June is off to a wonderful start. I was a little bit worried on how my reading would go because at the end of May I powered through The Stand. I really feared it was going to put me into a slump, but that was not the case! So far, I have not done such a great job at sticking to me June TBR, which you can view here:June TBR | 2019, but I am really enjoying the books I picked up. I even found a new favorite and might just end up in my top books of 2019. Only time will tell. Anyway, here are the books I have read so far this month!

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Read 2

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had read this sooner. The characters were fun, the story thought provoking in a way, and all around a great read I read within 3 days. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the works of the two authors, but also someone looking for an end of the world story with some interesting characters.

View all my reviews


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

re-read May 29th-June 8th/Spoilers Ahead

Just as intense as the first time I read it, things are starting to get very real and dangerous. The one thing that really stands out to me in this book is how each character reacts to the news at the end of the book. How The Order just jumps back into their ways so seamlessly. I also love that Harry gave the twins that money to start their shop, seriously heart warming after all the bad that has happened.

View all my reviews


The House of the Seven GablesThe House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, I did not have very high hopes for this book. The main reason being I read The Scarlet Letter and hated it. I thought it was the writing style. Turns out it was just the story itself. I felt like this was very well written and I really enjoyed a bit of a peek into life during this time period, but also a look into a family and their home with a bit of a mystery at some points and a curse thrown in for good measure.

View all my reviews

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The Woman in the DarkSo I just started reading The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage, which is my buddy read this month. I am really excited to see how dark this thriller/mystery gets. I feel like it has the potential to be a psychological thriller, but maybe also a ghost story of sorts? I am really looking forward to read more of it. Also, can I just say. I know we are not meant to judge a book by its cover, but that cover just makes me want to know what in the world is going on in this house!

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What are you currently reading?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Why Reading Only Digital Books is Harder Than it Seems

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Hi everyone, it has been some time before I have done a full Let’s Talk post. I haven’t really had anything I wanted to talk about until today, I am writing this May 22nd. I was walking around the bookstore looking for a book to peak my interest. Which, if you read my post Decluttering | Switching to Ebooks, is most likely VERY confusing and pretty much hypocritical.

In this post I talked about why I wanted to switch to ebooks, how I didn’t have room on my shelves and how I wanted to carry all of my books around with me on my kindle. I made the very bold statement of switching to ebooks and committing myself to it. That was before really researching it and realizing how difficult it could really be.

Now, for some there are medical reasons why this is not viable, there is also the price of the device, and a few other issues with this. But, in this post I really want to focus on one aspect that I found difficult/annoying and derailed me from my goal.

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So, like I said earlier in this post I was walking around a bookstore looking for a book to inspire me to pick it up. I received some great news and I wanted to treat myself in celebration. Now, I didn’t have a ton of money in my budget so I was looking strictly in the discount section of the store. I ended up finding a book I was really interested in called The Secret History of Twin Peaks, it appears to be a thriller/mystery told through documents and interviews. It kind of has a House of Leaves interview type feel, thankfully the pages aren’t as all over the place.

As you can see from the picture I posted earlier today, The book was under $7, I actually for it for under $5 because I have a membership. Now, as you know I was making the switch to ebooks so when I find a book I am interesting I look up the ebook cost, this is where once again I ran into my problem/issue.

When I first looked it up on amazon, where I get my ebooks for my kindle, at first I was excited to see what the hardback copy was going for.

I knew right off the bat that I was getting a very good deal. I then clicked on the book and then switched to kindle edition and was not as happy. 

The ebook was more expensive than the hardback edition in person as well as online. It was a whole $10 more… How can I justify spending $10 more on a book? I can buy a lot of food and other necessities with this money. How is it that something that is digital is more than something made of actual matter? This is the issue I have found myself running into time and time again. The digital editions of books costing more than physical and not by a few dollars.

Now I know, I can spend $0 on a book by using the library via ebook or even physical. While, I am lucky my library generally has books I am looking for. But, recently they have broken from the company they were working with and the choices have gone down. So, where I was able to get ebooks and audiobooks for nearly all of the books I wanted that is sadly, no longer the case.

So, I am left with spending the least amount of money. That means I am picking up a physical book. Thus, my ebook commitment has kinda gone out the window. On top of that, I have the problem of not wanting to keep my credit card bill high and less and less stores are carrying gift cards for amazon. So, there is another issue that is kinda related.

So, thanks for listening to my rant/possible discussion about ebooks.

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Have you ever run into this issue?

Do you know any other sites I can buy ebooks for my kindle?

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TBR

June TBR | 2019

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Hello everyone and happy June, the halfway mark in the year. So weird saying that, but it seems to be true we are officially halfway through 2019. This month is shaping up to be the month of rereads. Half of my tbr is rereading two of my favorite series and the other half are standalone novels from two new to me authors. I think I am going to really enjoy myself this month!


-The Books

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • This is one of my rereads, I read this 4 or 5 years ago for the first time and with Tolkien the movie coming out it has really made me want to reread and jump into his world.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

  • This was my Book of the Month pick, I was pulled toward it because it is based off of the life of Varian Fry who tried to save the lives of Jews during WWII.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

  • Do I really need to explain myself with this one? I miss the magic and I want to go back to Hogwarts!

The Women in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

  • This is the June buddy read for Amy, Jenna, Reg and myself. I am very excited to jump into this haunting thriller I happened to come across in the bookstore a week and and half ago.

-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I actually had my boyfriend pick my TBR jar pick and he did not disappoint! He picked The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, which I already talked about above. I am really excited to jump into this tome and I think it is going to give me some hope in humanity and I feel like it might also be an emotional roller coaster. He picked very well indeed.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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