Wrap Up

Middle Mark | August 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my Middle Mark post for August! This month has started off on a great note. I have read quite a bit and I hit a few of my year long goals as well. I finally hit 30,000 pages for the year as well as finished up reading a book from every continent. Now, to continue to chip away at the others! Any-who, here are the books I have read so far in August.


Read 2

Fever DreamFever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just the perfect eerie book I wanted to read. I actually got quite a few chills reading this horror and I am glad I happened to find it. The whole book felt heavy and it continued to get heavier as I read it. It is one of those rare books that really pulls you into the story and you almost feel like you are in it yourself.

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The DeepThe Deep by Rivers Solomon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As many other reviewers have said, this is a very unique read. It was imaginative, creative, but also painful. I say painful because it deals with a grotesque history of slavery and does not sugar coat it or hide some of the more horrendous actions. In addition, the main character battles with their peoples history, I don’t want to say too much because spoilers. I very rarely say this, but I feel like I would have enjoyed this story more if there was more of it. I wanted to explore this community in more detail and learn more about many of the characters. I feel like this was done on purpose though and when you read it that statement will make a bit more sense if it doesn’t now. But, I will say this, I am going to be looking into other works by this author.

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The Secret RiverThe Secret River by Kate Grenville

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is very apparent that this author knows a lot of about the history of Australia the movement of deportation of those not wanted in England. This book deals with social hierarchy, laws, exploration, as well as the stealing of lands of its native people. While this book as a lot of academic value, even though it is historical fiction and not non-fiction, it was difficult to get into. I felt like the authors writing style was just blah for me personally. It read more like a textbook than an actual textbook, I had to really push myself. For me, this is a bit out of the ordinary because I love reading non-fiction and rarely have to push myself to read them.

I will say, this book is best read with someone else, this book brings up quite a few topics that are best explored and discussed. As said, it has great academic value and I feel like it show cases society in London/England as well as the early settlement of convict in Australia and the impact on the indigenous inhabitants.

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Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and IllusionsSmoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good and wide ranging collection of short stories. They are just a bit out there and at times a bit of a horror feel. I felt that every time I finished one I just wanted to read another one. I always find it hard to review a collection as a whole, but overall I enjoyed a majority of these tales.

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You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-AcceptanceYou Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance by Chani Nicholas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t feel like this is a beginner book, it does have a good amount of information, but if you are using this book just for yourself, most of the information is not usable/applicable. If you are going to do a chart for everyone and their mom, much more useful. Also, bring a protractor.

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The Comedy of ErrorsThe Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here is a little preview of my review. Overall, this was an average play. I didn’t see anything that really stood out and I can already feel the details of this one slipping away. There is quite a few mistaken identities, which we have seen a bunch of times already from his works time and time again, just with another bow.

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Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & YouGmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shel Silverstein esc type pep talks that I just adored! I will be picking this up from time to time, I can see it.

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After the QuakeAfter the Quake by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy Murakami’s writing style, the short stories were varied, but tied together nicely. Some I liked more than others, but there was not one I disliked. I normally don’t enjoy short story collections, but there is something about hims writing that I enjoy very much.

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Currently Reading 2

As of writing this, August 12th, I am currently reading quite a few books. I was doing so well with reading one book at a time, for some reason this month I am having trouble doing that.

I just started reading me eArc of One by One by Ruth Ware that I received via netgalley. I am really enjoying it so far, I mean I expected to since she is one of my auto buy authors!

I am also 44% through Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer the newest addition to the Twilight books. Honestly, so far I am enjoying learning more about the Cullens and their family dynamics.

Last, but certainly not least I am currently reading Conjure Women by Afia Atakora. I am about 13% into this book. Conjure Women is a magical realism and historical fiction novel balled up into one. It follows a young girl from a young age until she is older, whose mother can do magic and she follows in her foot steps and acts as a healer for her community. The time frame and location are in the south during slavery and following after it. So, we get a story that not only of a family that is separated by slavery, but also a look into the practice of slavery. The author holds nothing back in their magical story telling and I appreciate that.


To Be Read

To Be Read | August 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my TBR for August. My TBR is a bit larger than it normally is due to the fact I am taking part in a few challenges this month. One of the major ones is hitting 0 books on my owned TBR by October 6th, 2020. At the time of typing this I am on track to meet this goal, so I am excited about that. But, to keep this up I had to keep my reading pace high, but also enjoyable. To meet this goal and others I added all of these books onto my pile for August. I am really confident in reading these books and maybe even a few others, who knows? 


Book Stack Photo


The Books

The Secret River by Kate Grenville, I am reading this as part of my reading a book from every continent. This takes place in Australia being used to send convicts away from Europe as well as discussing those settlers forcibly taking land from local indigenous inhabitants . It is a historical fiction, but I think it will discuss a really important events that not only took place in one part of the world, but all over. From the reviews I am confident in the author giving such a topic the attention is deserves. 

After the Quake by Haruki Mauakami, I picked this up recently on my first visit to my local bookstore. It was the first time. I was able to actually go brows the shop in MONTHS so you will see a few more books on this list from that day. But, that being said I really was intrigued by the description of this book and I look forward to reading it. 

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Himself, I am ashamed to say that I never read this and I am rectifying that this month. I will say, I did read the first few pages at the end of July, but I did not want to rush through this mans words. 

You Were Born For This by Chani Nicholas, I picked this book up as a group read and I kinda forgot about that..oops. But, I am still intrigued so I still pan on reading this. 

The Hunger by Alma Katsu, I picked this book up because I was recommended it from mytbr.co. It sounded really interesting so I have to say first impressions with this service are pretty spot on. Will report when I have read all three books they recommened me. 

American Sherlock by Kate Winkler Dawson, I was really in the mood for some non-fiction last month and I came across this on my stroll around the bookstore so I picked it up. I am interesting in learning about the history of Forensics in the USA.

Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin, This is another book I picked up for my reading a book from each continent. This books takes place in Argentina. I will be honest, I don’t know much about this book. I saw that it took place in Argentina and that it had the phrase “nightmare come to life” in the description. 

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman, I have been slowly reading more and more books by this author and I have enjoyed most of them. I read the description of this novel while walking around my local bookstore and I had to pick it up. I mean how can I turn down a book that is described that can “transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders”. 

G’Morning, G’Night! By Lin-Manuel Miranda, I will flat out admit I bought this because I watched Hamilton on Disney+ in July and I wanted to checkout what else he was capable of. I have a feeling I am going to be slowly reading this throughout the month, but we shall see. It seems like a really uplifting book, which I feel like can only help. 


What are you planning to reading this month?

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Reviews

REVIEW | In Focus Astrology: Your Personal Guide Hardcover by Sasha Fenton

BookReview12:17In Focus Astrology: Your Personal Guide
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

In Focus Astrology provides the ins and outs of all the star signs, along with instructions to create your own astrology chart. Included with the book is a fully illustrated reference poster detailing each astrological sign. 

Who is your perfect mate? A Capricorn, Libra, or Virgo? Why are you not getting along with your coworker, who is a Gemini? Why are you constantly making the same mistakes? In Focus Astrology will give you a deeper understanding of your own nature, as well as those closest to you—and, perhaps, those you should keep at arm’s length.

In Focus Astrology answers every sun and moon sign question, including how how to create your own astrology chart. Packaged inside the book is an 18″ x 24″ illustrated wall chart with the main characteristics of each astrological sign.

This guide covers the full breadth of astrology topics, including the signs of the zodiac, sun and moon signs, astrological houses, the planets, and aspects. You will also learn how astrology relates to your body and health.

The In Focus series applies a modern approach to teaching the classic body, mind, and spirit subjects, using expert authors in their respective fields and featuring relevant visual material to smartly and purposely illustrate key topics within each subject. As a bonus, each book is packaged with index cards and/or a poster, to give readers a quick, go-to reference guide containing the most important information on the subject, for easy practice and retention. –goodreads.com

What I Liked

The first thing I noticed about this book was how beautiful it looked. Now, this might sounds a bit contrary to what you should write in a book review, but with this book the imagery throughout adds a lot. The reason I say this is because all images in this book serve a purpose. They either illustrate a star sign or they are a diagram of some sort. The style is cute, they are all informative, but not distracting in my option. Everything was very complimentary.

Now, this goes into my next point, this book is very informative. It talks about a wide array of subjects that are related to astrology. This include star signs, ascending and rising signs, the aspects and the houses as well. Even with all of this information and how in-depth it is, I was never confused. The language used to explain aspects of this field is very upfront, but done so in a way that is straightforward and not overly filled with jargon.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing I think that would be a negative with this book would be that you really need to want to explore astrology. This book is not a book that you just would just jump into to know what astrology is, it is for those who want to the topic more in depth. I feel like this is more of a perfect book for those who have read one already or are very dedicated to learning about this topic.

Overall Thoughts

This guide is great for those who are really interested in learning about astrology. It is a very well rounded guide that covers many aspects of the topic. Not only does it cover the more known topics such as the signs such as Cancer, Taurus, and the other 10 zodiac signs it goes houses, planets, and more. It is really a great book to read and have on hand to reference if you are committed to astrology and learning all there is to learn about the topic.

4stars

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Author Links

Sasha Fenton

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Book Information

Publisher: Wellfleet Press

Publication Date: July 31st 2018

List Price: $19.99

ISBN: 9781577151692

Pages: 160 pages

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