Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Misty’s Book Space

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another Someone Picks My Books post! I am really loving and enjoying this series so much and I am happy that you all seem to be enjoying it as well. This month I am reading a book that is picked by the wonderful Misty over at Misty’s Book Space. She is one of the nicest people I have talked to online, she is supportive and kind, and has a great taste in books. This month she picked Between Shades if Gray by Ruta Sepetys.


Book Description

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive? – Amazon.com


So, going into this book I was pretty certain I was going to like it for a few reasons. The first being, as I said earlier, Misty has a wonderful taste in books. So, I felt like I was in very good hands. The second being I love history and historical fiction. The third reason being I have heard a lot about Ruta Sepetys, all good things. I have always heard that she is a very talented writer and her work is well researched and quality. Quality when it comes to historical fiction is important to me since I studied it so when something is off it tends to ruin the entire book for me.

I just finished this book the day I am writing this and I wrote a quick review over on my Goodreads account, but I just wanted to elaborate on a few things in this post. First and foremost is that the author really lives up to the expectations that were set. You can clearly tell she has done her research due to the details that are present within her novel. I have read about this topic countless times and for her to add so much of the real world into this book, just made it is much more powerful and in my opinion a superior historical fiction novel. Her writing of this topic was wonderful and you can tell she was passionate and cares about the topic. I do not want to come out and say this is a beautiful book because the topic is just so heart breaking, but it is written so well.

As stated in the description this story follows a 15 year old girl named Lina who has fallen victim to the horrid campaign of Stalin during WW2 towards his own nation. This book depicts the horrible events that many faced who were educators, librarians, and anyone else who happened to have the wrong career. I don’t want to really say much about what happens in this novel and while I highly suggest this novel, it can be a very difficult read. I suggest doing a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you to read.

As I said in my goodreads review, this book felt like I was listening to a first hand account of the things that happened because of the not well known actions of Stalin against his own people. Lina had such fight and spirit within her, but this book isn’t just about her. This book shows how a wide range of people responded to the events. It shows how they react and respond to not only the horrible treatment of them, but of others. It really shows the wide range personalities and mentality of human beings. This book is hard to explain and do justice because it is so much more than just a story, it is the story of hundreds and thousands of people. While this was a very heart breaking read, I really enjoyed it. I will certainly be reading another book by this author in the future.


Next month I am excited to say that I will be reading a book that was picked by Meeghan from Meeghan Reads. I am very excited to be reading her pick this April. It is a book written by an author I have read in the past and really enjoyed, but it is not a genre I have read in a while. So, I am excited to see how it goes, but I have high hopes!

Have you read this book? What is another book I should read by Ruta Sepetys?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | January & February 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to a post that is a mixture of a bookhaul and a challenge update. This time I will be diving a bit into my Read 5, Buy 1 that has been going on so far this year. I will admit, this will not seem like much of a success, but I think it is.


  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Dutch House
  • Widow Weed and Weeping Veils
  • The Morrigan
  • Mythos
    • Quichotte
  • Farmhand 1
  • Farmhand 2
  • The Wicked King
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Bonhoffer
    • The Magicians Trilogy
  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing
  • God Country
  • The Langoliers
  • Ducks, Newburyport
  • The Unhoneymooners
    • Prodigal Son
  • No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
  • Little Children
  • The Starless Sea
  • Othello
  • Cujo
    • Blood of Elves

-All Books Added-

  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert – PreOrder before challenge started.
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz – Buy 1
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • One Voice, Two Lives: From Auschwitz Prisoner to Airborne Trooper by David Wisnia – Bought before challenge started
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, Buy 1

  • The Magicians Trilogy – Buy 1
  • Imaginary Friend – Broke Challenge for signed copy

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd – BOTM

The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James – BOTM

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski – Buy 1

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton – Gift

They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru – Gift

A Matter of Interpretation by Elizabeth  – Won in a giveaway


So, I would have to say overall I am doing pretty darn good. I only broke by Read 5, Buy 1 only once since my BOTM does not count or at least I am not counting it. I decided early on that I am only going to get one book box now, since I limited it to only one book I decided that my BOTM would be a pass. As for my gifts and won giveaway, I can’t really count that because I did not buy the books. Also, I am aware I am cheating a bit when I count a trilogy as one, but it was a single purchase and I am buddy reading the entire series with Reg and Jenna. I can’t not have the books.

As I said, overall I am feeling pretty well about this challenge, I have not been perfect about it, but I feel like my buying has certainly gone down and I am saving money and my owned and unread books are getting a bit more love and attention. If you want to see a list of all my owned and unread books, you can find that here: Bookish Luna’s Owned TBR Shelf.


Anyway, Out of all of these books, which one do you think I should read first?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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TBR

To Be Read | #AnimalCrossingReadathon

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to a very last minuet post. I was scrolling through twitter the other day and came across the Animal Crossing Readathon hosted by @ambooklife, @medusareads and @paperbackjedi over on twitter from March 9th-20th. I am very much looking forward to this game so I wanted to give it a shot! If you wanted to check out the twitter account for this readathon you can see that here: @acrossingread Now on to my TBR!


Prompts

Image

Resetti: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

K.K. Slider: Audiobook of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Able Sisters: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Tom Nook: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Animal Crossing Gamecube: Leaving Open


Thankfully a lot of the books that were already on my monthly TBR for challenges and such fit into this readathon, which never happens to me. The only prompt I am at a loss for is Animal Crossing Gamecube. I am not sure if I want to reread something or read a the book I have had sitting on my shelf the longest. But, I figure I have time to make a decision and it will allow my mood reading a choice in the matter.


Are you excited about Animal Crossing?

Are you taking part in this readathon?

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Hauls

Unboxing | BOTM March 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of BOTM. This month I was very much in the mood for a  relationship centered romance type of read. I have no idea why, but I just wanted something cute to read. It might be because I am reading a lot of bigger books that have some darker elements to them, or it is just my mood reading kicking into full gear to mess up my reading plans. So, when I saw they had a romance pick this month I had to have it!


Book Description

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible.

But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life–and perhaps even love–again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay. –goodreads.com


While this is a really sad and almost horrifying way for a person to become single. I am curious to see where this book goes because it does not seem like a typical romance or sorts, but it is labeled as. So, we shall see what will happen. I read the first few pages of this when I went to pick it for my BOTM and I feel like the writing style is up my alley as well. I am also intrigued because this author wrote One Day in December and I know a lot of people have read and loved it. So, I feel like this is going to be an overall good reading experience.


What is your favorite fully read?

Does this book sound like something you would pick up?

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TBR

To Be Read | March 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month I am keeping my TBR nice and small so I can have some random picks as the month goes on and also not put too much pressure on myself because as many of you know I am starting to study a new language. But, I still want to keep reading and I am really excited about the books on my list!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman, I am buddy reading this with reading this with Reg and Jenna this month. This has to be a series I have been interested in this series for what feels like years. I am expecting to love this book so much I actually bought the series bundle.

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo, I have been reading this book on and off since January. The main reason I have been reading this book for so long is because I thought I lost this book, turns out it was in my trunk. When I was reading it, I was really enjoying it so I am happy to have found it.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, this is my March Shakespeare of the month for my Shakespeare challenge, if you want to know more about this, check out my most recent installment, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February. I am a bit worried about this one, I feel like the tragedy were my most disliked. plays when I read them in high school, but this is one of the most popular one of them all. So, I am hoping that this one wont be as bad as I think it is, fingers crossed.



What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are starting the month with?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Try A Chapter January 2020

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to another Try a Chapter post! So looking at my TBR I noticed there were a few books I wasn’t so much drawn to read as of late and I wanted to either unhaul them or reignited my want to read them. So, the best way for me to make a decision is to read a the first chapter of each of these books and decide if I am going to keep them on my owned TBR, or unhaul them and send them to a friend or donate. Now, on to the books!


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Honestly, I felt like skipping ahead and I was only reading the first chapter. Which, for me is a bad sign. I was already bored, which is a huge shame because it sounds really interesting, but it didn’t personally pull me in at all. I am going to unhaul this.

Outside the Gateby Molly Gloss

This is a very interesting take on a Dystopian for sure. It is a quite short story, not even 100 pages, but the way it was narrated it moved very slowly for me personally. With it being so short I thought it would move quickly, but 12 pages felt like 50. I am going to unhaul this one as well.

Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

This shows great potential for me, we are placed right into an event. It flows nicely and it seems more alive than the previously two I tried to read. This seems to feel bigger in a way. I am going to be keeping this one on my owned TBR.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Eh, I didn’t think what I read was bad, but it wasn’t great either. A very middle of the road first chapter. I think I am going to unahul it because honestly I don’t see myself picking it up.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

All I have to say is WOW. This book really starts off with something heart wrenching and devastating. It can be very triggering to some though, trigger warning for suicide. Reading that first chapter, I need to know more about what has happened in this world. Due to this, I am keeping this book on my owned TBR.

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

When you start a book talking about Rigor mortis …. I am going to continue reading it. I don’t know why I even put it in this list, I love Liz Nugent, I think just wanted an excuse to read part of it honestly.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Uh, wow, this book is so imaginative. I don’t want to say too much, but I really want to continue reading this so much so that I am pretty sure it is going to be my next read after my required reading this month. KEEPING!

Winter at Death’s Hotel by Kenneth M. Cameron

This seems like a really interesting read, but I am not pulled into this book. I am not really interested in Mrs. Arthur Conan Doyles wife playing Sherlock. I much prefer Bradley Harpers spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was first gifted a copy for a blog tour, it was great I even bought the second on that just came out a few months ago. As for this one, I am going to unhaul it.

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

It started off too poetic for my tastes and I didn’t really care honestly. I wanted to already start skipping ahead. This book just isn’t for me. I decided to unahul it.

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

I need to oread this right away as well. It really pulled me in right off the bat. It has a palpable atmosphere coming right off the page. I really want to know what happens at Pale Harbor and soon! I am keeping this on my owned TBR.


Keeping: 5

Unhauling: 5

Somehow this ended up being a 50/50 split. I ended up removing 5 books and keeping 5. I have to admit, the ones I am keeping I am really thrilled about getting too again. It is funny how we can be so pumped about a book, but then just leave it on our shelves and almost forget why we got it in the first place.


Have you read any of these books?

Should I give any of them a second chance?

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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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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Updated Annotating Kit

Let's Talk

Hello everyone! A few / a lot of *months* ago (sorry) I posted a poll on twitter to see if anyone was interested in an update on my current essentials for reading, reviewing, and annotating my books. I will say I was not really anticipating a yes, but it seems like it is something that at least a few people wanted to see. So, without more rambling, let’s get to business!


For a reference moving forward, in my previous post, my essentials were: bookmark, mini notebook, 2 mechanical pencils and post-it tabs. If you want some more detail, you can find that here: Writing | My Reading/Review Kit. I didn’t really have specific pencils or anything, but just whatever was available and I already had.

Over the course of nearly a year and a half I feel like a lot has changed when it has come to my review essentials. I feel like I whittled what I carry around and use because I carry so much around for my work. Since I am always carrying around a ton of things, I really tried to not add more, mainly to ensure I don’t break my back. While obviously a few pens and a mini notebook aren’t heavy, but every little thing adds up. Anyway, here are the things I carry around with me now.

My go to writing implement is no longer a pencil, but a pen. I came into the problem where things were getting smudged and I getting graphite everywhere! I now use a Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen in the color Salmon. It is a light pink in color, which is a perfect combination of grabbing my attention when I go back to look at my notes, but not enough to be to distracting if I was to reread.

A few of the other things to go are my mini notebook, bookmark, and post it tabs. I realized that the mini notebook was not essential and with the lighter color pen I was able to write my notes in the margin or use a notecard, which I was inspired by Waving Fiction’s post, Why I Use Notecards in My Books. But, I only use a notecard in some books, where I realize I am writing a bit too much to fit on a margin. I do note the page number for my notes if I do use a notecard so I can refer back to a quite if my note doesn’t make sense when I look over them.

The last thing I want to mention is a little addition to my essentials and this would be a mini ruler. I was driving myself crazy with lines that went crooked or I accidentally wrote in the middle of a line, so I picked up a ruler. Now, the one I got is metal, but has cork on the underside so I don’t feel like it could hurt my book any, which is great. The best part is I carry it around anyway because I use one in my bujo too! If you want to check my bujo out, you can look at my spreads and such here: Projects: Bullet Journal.

Thanks so much for reading about my annotating supplies, I know it isn’t as much as it used to be, but this is what works for me! I also hope that this little explanation helps you find what works for you on your reviewing and annotating journey!


Do you have any annotation go to supplies?

Do you write in your books or on something else?

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Goals

Year in Review | 2019 Final Check-In

Year in Review!

Hello and welcome to my little review of 2019. I love these types of posts, being able to reflect and look back on what you have accomplished. This post will be broken down into two parts, the first being reviewing my goals and the second will be my yearly stats, which will be taken from the data given on December 29th. So, with all of that information being packed into this post, lets jump right into it.


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

Yearly Reading Stats

Books Read: 106

Pages Read: 38, 421

Nonfiction: 17

Fiction: 89

Money Saved Using Library:

Average Rating: 4.0

Shortest Book: Quidditch Through the Ages

Longest Book: Death Note All-in-One

Most Popular:Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Least Popular: Independence Haul and the Liberty Bell

Highest Rated on Goodreads: Good Omens

If you would like to see all of the books I read in 2019, you can find all that information over on goodreads here: Bookish Luna’s Year in Review.


Yearly Blog Stats

Views: 13,872

Comments:1,226

Followers: 783

Likes: 3,724

Posts: 148

 


How did you do with your 2019 goals?

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Hauls

Book Haul | Last One of 2019

BookHaul12:17

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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