Let's Talk

Let’s Talk | Best Books I Have Read so Far in 2021

Hello and welcome to a little chatty post where I put together a little list of the best books I have read so far in 2021. I decided since we are already in the 6th month of the year, I would take some time this month to reflect on the year so far in a few posts throughout the month, but this is the first!


The Books

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa

Lady Killers by Tori Telfer (Not Pictured, Loaned Out)

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad (Not Pictured, Loaned Out)

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu


What has been a few of the best books you have read so far this year?

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Lists & Recommendations

Let’s Talk | My Favorite Romance Novels

Hello and welcome to a quick post where I am going to share some of my favorite books that have a bit of romance in them. This is not all of the romance books I have enjoyed over the years, the list might end up being 100s of books long, but these are the ones that popped into my head when I started to write this post.


Red White & Royal Blue Casey McQuiston, a great LGBT+ romance that goes from enemies to lovers.

Beach Read by Emily Henry, two polar opposite writers challenge themselves and swear they will never be in a relationship with one another.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, a classic love story.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory, an adventure and an adorable love story of older characters.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki, a wonderful LGBT+ graphic novel that has a wonderful story and a wonderful art style.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, a magical realism novel that has a bit of a cute romance, but is also a bit of a thriller or sorts.

The House on the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, a beautiful LGBT+ story of opposites just falling for one another, but isn’t the main part of this beautiful story.



What is one of your favorite novels that have a bit of romance?

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Let's Talk · Lists & Recommendations

Let’s Talk | Wintery Books

Hello and welcome to a post where I talk about a few of my wintery themed books. I am not usually a seasonal reader, but I feel like there is nothing better than snuggling up next to a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa with a winter read. It is just so relaxing during the long nights. Anyway, here are the books I think wold be great to read in the winter.


NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

While this is a horror novel, it has a large wintery and Christmas theme throughout. I mean it has a place called Christmasland in it, it doesn’t get more christmas-y in a horror novel than that. On top of this it really is a really enjoyable horror novel on its own that I recommend to quite a few to my friends to read this time of the year. I feel like the mixture of horror and the holiday season really is a great tie in between Halloween and Christmas.

One by One by Ruth Ware

If you are in the mood for a thriller and a wintry backdrop, this is a wonderful option. This thriller/mystery takes place at a ski retreat where the characters are trapped and cut off the from the rest of the world at the top of a mountain in the middle of a snow storm. This is a great option to read as soon as the temperature starts to drop.

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

Now, this one is a really atmospheric read. It is a really great thriller with a very big dark feeling to it that is hard to explain. It is not dark in a way that is evil, but the novel just reads like it takes place in the time of year where the nights are long. On top of that it takes place in a really small lovely town where everyone is really close, but also it a historical fiction. It has a lot going for it.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Does it get more wintry than a classic Russian novel? This novel is a classic for a reason, this book covers themes and such that are still relevant in todays world. While there is a lot of drama in this book, a lot of the issues the characters face are still feelings that a lot of us still feel during 2020. When I first read this novel I gave it 3 stars, but as time past I realized that I liked it more and more.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

I just finished this very cute romance last night, I have not stayed up this late to finish a book in a while, but this book had me needing to know what happened next between the two main characters. The main character, Vivian, travels with her daughter, Maddie, across the ocean to spend Christmas with her while working for the royal family, then the story builds from there. It is an adorable setting, the characters were wonderful, and takes place the week surrounding Christmas.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

These two collections of short stories that are about 200 pages are so wonderful and heart wrenching focus on making connections with those in our lives and celebrating and making the most of the time we have together. With all of the holidays where family is the main focus I feel like this really is a wonderful time to read both of these. Plus, a cafe where you can travel in time, I mean, this is just a great addition!


I hope you found a book that you might enjoy reading over the long nights this winter or holiday season!

Are there any wintery themed books you are enjoying currently?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | July 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my monthly TBR, where I name some books and chances are I wiill end up reading others ones because I am a total mood reader. Anyway, there are two that I must read for a few challenges, but the other three that are listed here I really want to read. But, as I said I am a mood reader, so let’s see what happens. Here are the books I plan on reading!


The Books

The Tempest by William Shakespeare, this play is my July pick for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I really have no idea what it is about, so I don’t have an opinion on how I am going to feel or a prediction.

March by Geraldine Brooks, I picked this up on vacation in December and lately I have really wanted to read it. I have high hopes because it is Little Women inspired, it is meant to be following the father of that story during the Civil War. Plus, I feel like it will remind me of my vacation and I really miss traveling at this point, even day trips.

The Five by Halle Rubenhold, this was a gift from Reg for my birthday and I am really excited to learn about Jack the Rippers victims because I honestly have no idea who they were, but I know a lot about the crime.

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, this was picked for me to read for my Someone Picks My Books series on my blog. I have read books by this author in the past, but I have not read her last one or two. So, we shall see how this one fairs!


What are you planning to reading this month?

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Let's Talk

Let’s Talk | Try a Chapter November 2019

LetsTalk12:17

So, earlier this month I posted an unhaul where I got rid of a huge number of books from my shelf. Well, now I am going to be doing a try a chapter to really target the books on my TBR shelf. Now, I have noticed that my reading taste is changing again and stuff I normally feel I would like, I am not enjoying anymore. So, I thought I would read the first chapter of a couple of books and decide if I want to keep them or add them to the donation pile.


The Bone House by Emily Lloyd-Jones (standalone)

The start was pretty interesting, but already had a cliche that kinda lost me. I really liked the idea of this book, but big sister who has to take care of family after an event is played out in my eyes and I bores me. I think I am going to pass on this, unhaul. 

Peace and Turmoil by Elliot Brooks (series)

I read the preface and the first chapter since the preface was only a few pages. I have to say I am intrigued as to what is going to happen, but there seems to be interesting family dynamics in here that I hope the author explores more. I am a little torn on this, because the writing style isn’t really mine. I decided to unhaul this book after reading the first chapter of the others. 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (series)

I think I am going to like this one, I really liked how the story started with folklore of sorts, but also a bit of grim foreshadowing. It seems like it is going to be very interesting and atmospheric. While it is promising, it didn’t really pull me in too much, but I am intrigued. After reading the others, I decided to unhaul. 

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (standalone)

I think this is the one  I am most interested in and I think I am going to be jumping into this a reading it right away. I really like the personality of the main character and the fact it is a historical fiction is just a wonderful bonus. Keeping

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson (series)

This book seems so unique and really started with a bang. This is another one I know I wont be able to put down long. The writing is amazing and from what I read in the prologue (13 pages) is very imaginative and unafraid to be emotional. Keeping

Dear Haiti, Love Aline by Mika and Maritza Moulite (standalone, BookCon was 2019 Gift)

I really like Alaine’s voice, she seems like a really awesome character. I also had no idea this book was written in a diary type format, which I am totally here for. I ended up reading 21 pages, I didn’t stop at the first chapter oops. Keeping

Middlemarch by George Eliot (standalone)

It is really hard to tell if I am going to like this book or not, the main reason being the formatting and mistypes I already found in the first chapter. It made it a but hard to read. I am going to give this another try, but with an audiobook. Keeping


Keeping: 4

Unhauling: 3


Have you read any of these books?

Should I give any of them a second chance?

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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Stephen King

Recs

So I have never done a recommendation post and I thought I would give it a try. This post is going to be sharing my favorite Stephen King novels and maybe help steer you in the right direction. If you don’t know already Stephen King has A TON of books out and is still writing. In fact he came out with a new book this month, 2 this year. So with such a large collection it is hard to find a place to start. So I am hoping that this might help you if you are interested in his books, but are lost on where to begin.

Bag of Bones (Standalone)

Bag of Bones

Four years after the sudden death of his wife, forty-year-old bestselling novelist Mike Noonan is still grieving. Unable to write, and plagued by vivid nightmares set at the western Maine summerhouse he calls Sara Laughs, Mike reluctantly returns to the lakeside getaway. There, he finds his beloved Yankee town held in the grip of a powerful millionaire, Max Devore, whose vindictive purpose is to take his three-year-old granddaughter, Kyra, away from her widowed young mother, Mattie. As Mike is drawn into Mattie and Kyra’s struggle, as he falls in love with both of them, he is also drawn into the mystery of Sara Laughs, now the site of ghostly visitations and escalating terrors. What are the forces that have been unleashed here—and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

It is no secret that King is one of our most mesmerizing storytellers. In Bag of Bones, he proves to be one of our most moving as well. -goodreads

This was the first Stephen King book I ever read and I stand by it even after reading more than 10 of his books. It paranormal in essence, but also the story itself has a ton of backstory that is explained. I found myself loving the “history” behind the story. It also has characters that you find yourself really caring about and invested. I would start with this one if you either like domestic thrillers or ghost stories in general. 

11/22/63 (Standalone)

11/22/63

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful. -goodreads.com

This is great if you like historical fiction. While it is a retelling of historical events like many historical fiction novels, it has a Stephen King twist. Loving history I read/listened to this book quickly. I listened to parts, the audiobook is done very well, and read others. I felt that it was a great mixture of historical and science fiction. It also had a few parts that made me reflect a bit on society and human nature a bit. I would start here if you like historical fiction or science fiction. 

Mr. Mercedes (Trilogy) 

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1)

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with two new, unusual allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. -goodreads.com

This trilogy is another great place to start. After reading a bit of his work you can see that overall his story always have a sinister and not so human twist, but he has different types of writing. Some that focus on humanity (thriller like) and others that focus a lot on the paranormal (ghost and monster like). This trilogy is more a human focused and I would recommend starting here if you really like thrillers or mysteries.

The Shining (Duology) 

The Shining

This tale of a troubled man hired to care for a remote mountain resort over the winter, his loyal wife, and their uniquely gifted son slowly but steadily unfolds as secrets from the Overlook Hotel’s past are revealed, and the hotel itself attempts to claim the very souls of the Torrence family. Adapted into a cinematic masterpiece of horror by legendary Stanley Kubrick — featuring an unforgettable performance by a demonic Jack Nicholson –The Shining stands as a cultural icon of modern horror, a searing study of a family torn apart, and a nightmarish glimpse into the dark recesses of human weakness and dementia. -goodreads.com

Now The Shining for me is “classic” Stephen King. I don’t mean classic in the way that it is one of his first published works, but rather that it has a little bit of everything that he has to offer. Especially more so since it has in the more recent years been expanded more on.  It is creepy, has both his humanity style and his paranormal style. This for me is one of my favorite stories I have read for him. I may be a little bit biased because when I was little I was obsessed with the 6 hour TV version of this, but I think it is a great story and a good way to test to see if you like his work. Overall, I would say that if you want a sample of his work it is good to read this. Divider

I hope that some of you find this post helpful and interesting. I had a lot of fun going through my collection and picking a few of his books that I thought were good starts. Aren’t you glad I did not recommend It as a place to start? If you have anymore questions or idea please let me know I would be more than happy to hear.

Have you read Stephen King? What book was your favorite by him?

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T5W | July 5th|Books Without Romance

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In the past I have never done Top 5 Wednesday, but this week I decided to give it a shot. This week the prompt asks us to list the top five books without romance or have a tiny bit of romance. I went to the Top 5 Wednesday goodreads group to get this weeks prompt. You can also find all of the prompts for this upcoming month.

Jackaby by William Ritter

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I cannot speak more highly of a book/series. I love Jackaby and all the other cast of characters. Now, this book has some lingering eyes, but it barely even in the book. I will say there are a lot of people who want to see some of the characters shipped, but there is no romance in this book. Just  glorious supernatural adventure.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

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Sabriel is way to busy trying to save her father Mage Abhorsen in the Old Kingdom. She is dealing with free magic and a companion that might not actually be on her side to worry about a true romance.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

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This books is a wonderful story. Honestly a must read in my opinion.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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This is one of my favorite books. A high fantasy adventure following Bilbo Baggins. There is magic, orcs, elves, an angry dragon and much more…apart from romance.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

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This books main focus is on Jonas and his internal struggle becoming Receiver of Memory. Being given this role causes him to question the society he has grown up in.


Can you think of any other books without romance?

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