Tags

Liebster Award | Vol. 4

TagTimel12:17Thank you so much for the tag Meeghan, you should all check her out! Her blog is wonderful! This is my 4th time doing this award, but I have to say I really enjoy that each time the questions are different and it keeps things interesting. If you want to see my previous ones I will list them for you to check out.

Rules

  • Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions
  • Let them know you’ve nominated them

Questions

  1. What are you currently reading, and are you enjoying it?
    • I am currently reading 4 books; War and Peace, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Clockmaker’s Daughter, and the Familiars. I am enjoying them all, I am actually very surprised by how much I am liking The Count of Monte Cristo.
  2. Who is your all-time favourite character?
    • Jo from Little Women, she is smart, kind, brave, and not afraid to be herself.
  3. What are your thoughts on love triangles?
    • If done right they are alright, but the majority of them are annoying and seem forced.
  4. What is your fave book to re-read?
    • I really enjoy rereading the Little Women series and the Harry Potter series.
  5. What was the last book you DNF’ed?
    • I think it was Emergency Contact, I really did not like the main character and I could not make it past 18 pages.
  6. What is your fave fictional animal?
    • Mogget the “cat” from Sabriel.
  7. How many books are on your TBR?
    • My currently at 44 books.
  8. Which book has been on your shelf the longest (read or unread)?
    • The book I have had on my tbr the longest is From Here to Eternity. It has been on my tbr for a year.
  9. What is your fave book to movie adaptation?
    • The Harry Potter series.
  10. Which character would you swap lives with?
    • None, we only see a small part of a characters life. I enjoy my life and would like it keep it.
  11. What do you do when you’re in a reading slump?
    • I read a small book, a graphic novel, or reread a favorite.

My Questions

  1. What book/s can you not live without?
  2. Your first favorite book?
  3. Goodreads challenge/reading goal for this year?
  4. Favorite series?
  5. Do you read Fanfiction?
  6. Where is your favorite place to read?
  7. Are you a fast or slow reader?
  8. Do you use bookmarks?
  9. What book do you recommend the most to others?
  10. Where do you buy your books?
  11. What book do you dislike that everyone seems to love?

I Nominate

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Reviews

REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls

BookReview12:17

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

The FamiliarsDescription

Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft.

Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

Rich and compelling, set against the frenzy of the real Pendle Hill Witch Trials, this novel explores the rights of 17th-century women and raises the question: Was witch-hunting really women-hunting? Fleetwood Shuttleworth, Alice Grey and the other characters are actual historical figures. King James I was obsessed with asserting power over the lawless countryside (even woodland creatures, or “familiars,” were suspected of dark magic) by capturing “witches”—in reality mostly poor and illiterate women.

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What I Liked

I would like to start off by saying, this is going to be one of these reviews where I just want to gush about a book and ramble. I am going to do my absolute best and actually write a review that makes sense.

The main thing I like about this historical fiction novel is the fact it doesn’t just take place in the past. I have read so many historical novels that just take place during a time period, but this novel really encapsulates the events, social order, societal expectations. The author embedded characters and people who were alive during the time period and even though this is a work of fiction you can tell that she did a lot of research and in knowledgeable about this period.

One part that I really like is how accurate she was when showing how women were treated during this period in time. I have read a few reviews that said that the main character is meek, but I have to respectfully disagree with this. During this period in time, if you were not meek and subservient as a women, SADLY, your life could be in serious danger depending on who your husband was. I found that even though that this character was controlled to an extent, she was also free and really pushed the barriers. A lot of women would have been deathly afraid or just did not think of doing a lot of the stuff Fleetwood has done. This historical fiction novel, like I said earlier, is pretty darn accurate historical fiction. Do I think this was good? No, but regrettably it is a great representation.

I also liked how class prejudices were lightly touched on, especially with the witch themes throughout this book. I felt that this book not only was accurate, but it also tried to show how wrong these social norms were.

Apart from the historical aspects of this novel, I really enjoyed the writing. I sat down in 3 sittings and I flew through this. It was fast paced, but did not jump in a way that made you think you missed something. I also enjoyed that it did not feel like the writing was modern, it was a nice touch and really added to the atmosphere of the book. I also felt genuine anger at some parts of the book and I felt myself tearing up at others. I really was rooting for Fleetwood and Alice.

What I Didn’t Like

The only fault I could even think about is not knowing more of what happened to a particular a character.

Overall Thoughts

If you could not tell, I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel.

Thank-you for listening to my gushing rambles!

5stars

Tweet showing how much I wanted to read this in less time:

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Author Links

Stacey Halls

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Book Information

Publication Date: February 19th 2019

Publisher: Mira Books

List Price: $26.99

ISBN: 9780778369189

Pages: 352 pages

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | January 2019

Middle Mark

I don’t know about you, but I am still have a really hard time writing 2019 and we are a full 15 days in. I feel like I am going to be writing 2018 for the next few weeks too. Anyway, I am happy to say that I am really enjoying my reading progress this month. I have surprised myself by being able to track somethings with my 2019 goals, but also I feel like the quality has been good so far as well. For me that is the ideal way to start off a year. Without more of me rambling, here is an update on my reading so far this month.

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Books I Finished

Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle 

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: _______________________. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

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The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

So far I am reading enjoying this buddy read with Jenna, Reg, and Amy. I have quite a few post-it notes throughout the 94 pages of this book. I really love the feel and atmosphere about this book. I also really enjoy how it is organized. I am looking forward to continuing on with this read.

War and Peace

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

If you have read my post, Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019, you will know it is one of my goals to read this book in 2019. So I am happy to report that I am enjoying the read very much, especially the nods to class specific behaviors of fads during this time frame in history. I also really like the time frame that Tolstoy wrote this book in, full of history and historical figures. I wont be adding updates to this book every middle mark, but I will give an update during my monthly wrap-ups.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little reading check in!

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What is the last book you read?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan

BookReview12:17

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

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the WorldDescription

Prepare for the cutest world tour ever with Kawaii Doodle Cuties! YouTube celebrity artist Pic Candle will show you how to draw kawaii characters from every stop on the map!

The Japanese word kawaii translates to “cute,” and this how-to book is chock-full of super-adorable images from your favorite spots around the globe. From animals and nature to fashion and food, you will learn to draw cute artwork from countries all over the world!

Learn how to draw a cute Eiffel Tower and kawaii macarons from Paris. Master how to draw natural beauty like Holland’s stunning tulips and monuments like the Taj Mahal in India. Or sketch fashion fun with a cute K-pop skirt from South Korea or a kimono from Japan. The simple, step-by-step illustrations and instructions make drawing these characters perfect for beginner artists or anyone who wants to add a heaping spoonful of cute to their art.

Thanks to this adorable crash course in doodling all things kawaii, you’ll soon be enhancing your notebooks, stationery, artwork, and everything with unbelievably adorable illustrations!

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What I Liked

Right off the bat, I really liked the overall look of this book. It is cute, just like the title says. The authors style is really defined in this book, when it comes both to color pallet and technique. I also like how simple a majority of these are. While you do need to be able to draw ovals, circles, triangles, and other shapes to follow the instructions, with practice you will be able to follow most of these with ease.

I also loved how this book had adorable doodles from many, many countries. Including, USA, Mexico, Australia, Spain, Cuba and many more. They ranged from buildings to foods, a very wide array to represent each country in there.  I will admit I was a bit partial towards the foods, what can I say?  I love food and they were just too kawaii. They truly lived up to the title.

What I Didn’t Like

Some of the step by step recreations kinda take weird jumps. One example is the crepe. You go from adding. a few simple lines to then in the next stop add in all of the cream and. strawberries without giving a starting point. While the author does say to fill it with your own favorite toppings, it would be nice to practice drawing the ones in the book with more guidance to get better with perspective and layering. I do appreciate the author trying to give the reader more control, while learning there need to be more guidance,  then once mastered move on.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you.

4stars

Some of my doodles from the book!

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Author Links

Twitter: @PicCandle
Youtube: piccandle

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Book Information

Publication Date: November 6th 2018

Publisher: Race Point Publishing

List Price: $21.99

ISBN: 9781631065682

Pages: 144 pages

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Top 9 Books I Want to Read in 2019

Lists

So every year there are always a few books I am really excited to read. I make it a semi-goal to read them by the end of the year because I have a very good feeling I am going to like them all very much. While a lot of people have been posting the 19 books I want to read, I am going to keep mine at 9 because I don’t want to just throw some books in that I am not nearly positive I will love. So, where are the books I really want to read in 2019!

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange TreeThis is a book I am very much interested in. I have read a few of Shannon’s books in the past and I really enjoy her creativity and her writing. When I found out she was writing a standalone I was very much excited. Between the teasers and cryptic tweets from her as well as the mention of forbidden magic, I was pulled in and I preordered the book.

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington

So, this is a little sneak peak or a throw back to my Christmas Haul. I am unsure of when I am actually going to post this so it could go either way. Anyway, I received this from someone at work and I have to say they really surprised me by picking a book I love the sound of. This is a nonfiction account of one of the first women to sue someone of power during the gilded age in the USA. I am curious to see how this topic is handled and if it becomes biased.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

This is another book I have preordered and I am excited to get it in the new year. I have always liked Holly Black and I read the first book in this series a few months ago. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would and decided I was going to jump into this continuation. I want to know how two characters in particular deal with one another. I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

This is a novel I picked up in my local independent bookstore. I just happened to be roaming and I came across it. This book has a bit of buzz around it and I read the description and I am very much interesting in learning more about the daughter of one of histories more notorious figures. It seems to be pretty straightforward and I am judging on its size is going to be very detailed.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter

I picked this up from Book of the Month a few months ago and I really want to get to it. It seems like a mix between a historical fiction and a thriller and I am excited about it. I mean, I love history and I have been really enjoying thrillers, how can I not like this book? On top of that I have been hearing quite a few wonderful things about it.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

So this book has a very interesting dejcitption. There is mentions of scientists, near death experiences, strangers, and talking trees. While that seems all over the place, it kind of is, but when you read the entire description it sounds a lot better. Anyway, I picked this up on a whim mainly because it sounds like it has to do with nature and protecting the last of the forests on Earth. Plus, how can you not be pulled in when all those things are mentioned in the same description?

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

This is a kinda historical fiction, at least I think it is. It talks about women throughout history doing this they feel they need to for one reason or another. While this is not nonfiction I have heard that they author has done a very good job of bringing a lot of the feelings and events that plagued women during various time periods. I am keen on reading this very soon and I have heard great things.

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

The Bird's Nest

This is the next Shirley Jackson I really want to read. Last year I have discovered her works and I have enjoyed all and some I absolutely loved! This book seems to follow a girl who is gaining more and more personalities that are more and more extreme. I am unsure if this will be about mental illness or not since the author writes horror and its could be possessions, but I am very curious to find out how Jackson is going to shape this story.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Murder mystery, Freaky Friday, and thriller all mixed into one has me very interested. The description of the book just says there are 8 days and 8 witnesses and the. main character needs to figure out who the killer is by reliving the day over and over again, but from different bodies. I am think this is very clever and interesting way to write a murder mystery/thriller and I am really excited to see how it was executed.

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What book do you want to read this year?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | 100 Books Bucket List

Lists

I don’t know about you, but I have seen a lot of ‘100 Books You Must Read in Your Lifetime!’ articles. All of them seem different, some focus on more modern books and others on classics. In November 2018 I happened to come across a poster on amazon while shopping for my friends and families and I really liked that it had some classics and more modern books on the list as well. It was called, Gift Republic 100 Books Bucket List Poster (not an affiliate link). So of course, I ended up buying it for myself. 

While this is not the best picture in the world of the poster, you can see that I have read 20 21 of the books already on this list, I missed The Time Machine on my first look through. Overall, reading 21 books is not a horrible start if you ask me. I thought it would be fun to share my progress on this poster throughout the year and see how much progress I make on this bookish bucket list.

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  • American Gods
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Siddhartha 
  • Sophie’s World
  • A Brief History of Time
  • The Great Gatsby
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird
  • Matilda
  • The Complete Art of War
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • Long Walk to Freedom
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Shoe
  • Noughts & Crosses
  • In Cold Blood
  • Frankenstein
  • The Secret History 
  • Wuthering Heights 
  • 1984
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Norwegian Wood
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • The Color Purple
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Lolita 
  • Great Expectations
  • Harry Potter Series
  • His Dark Materials Trilogy
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Road
  • Ulysses
  • Bad Science
  • I Capture the Castle
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • Les Misérables
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • Wind in the Willows
  • Wild Swans
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe
  • Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy
  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Poisonwood Bible
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • Anna Karenina 
  • Freakonomics
  • A Game of Thrones
  • The Help
  • Flowers for Algernon
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • American Psycho
  • Notes From Small Island
  • Macbeth
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
  • A History of Venice
  • The Selfish Gene
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • A Wild Sheep Chase
  • Schindler’s Ark
  • London Fields
  • The House of the Baskerville
  • My Man Jeeves
  • The English Patient
  • The Mill on the Floss
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Commitments
  • Gladys Aylward,: The Little Women
  • Midnight’s Children
  • Tess of the D’urbervilles
  • The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • Hamlet
  • Goodnight Mister Tom
  • Dissolution
  • The Time Machine
  • Winnie the Pooh 
  • Animal Farm
  • The Diary of a Young Girl
  • The Enchanted Wood
  • Dracula
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • The Kite Runner
  • Pride and Prejudice 
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Memoirs of a Geisha
  • Misery 
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Watership Down
  • The Odyssey
  • War and Peace
  • Bird Song
  • Tell No One
  • Moby-Dick
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • Middlemarch
  • Jane Eyre 

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What book is on your bucket list?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2019 Edition

Reading Goals NEW.jpgI still cannot believe I am writing the year 2019, it feels so weird to be thinking we are kinda close to 2020 which used to be put in the titles of so many futuristic and science fiction shows, movies, and such. Anyway, as always I set goals for myself each year and then we see what happens as time progresses. Last year I did not follow through on all my goals, but I am still proud of what I accomplished. This upcoming year I am excited about the things I am going to try to do.

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  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
    1. Reading Goals |Reading a Shortlist
  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
    1. Lists | Megan Mullally Book Recommendations
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
    1. Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    1. My backlisted books are here.

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Bonus Bujo Spread!

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There you have it, my 2019 goals. While they are not too over the top I think they are the right amount of challenging and put me out of my element as well as not to over ambitious like I was with the Pop Sugar challenge I tried to do last year.

What are the goals you have for yourself in 2019?

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Hauls

Book Haul | December 2018

BookHaul12:17

So, the last month of the year between buying myself goodies and others being so wonderful and gifting my books has led to me having the largest haul since bookcon in June of this year. So, it is safe to say I will be doing a lot of reading in the new future. I don’t want to ramble on because I have quite a few books here, but I will say some I have been wanting a while and a few were gems I just happen to learn about fairly recently and felt like I needed to have them.

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Gifts

Brining Down the Colonel by Patrica Miller

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington

This book was a huge surprise! I got it from one of my friends as an early present and I have to say she picked a great one. This book follows the events that were considered scandalous at the time. A young women was accusing a Colonel of sexual assault. This book talks about how it was received and what happened. I am really curious to see the social ramifications at the time since it seems to mirror a lot of what we see today.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sit Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes

I absolutely love Sherlock Holmes and I had the complete collection in a collection of ripped paperbacks. Well, I am luck to receive this fo-leather bound editions for Christmas. It was a wonderful gift and I am so happy with the upgrade. From what I have seen about this edition it seems to be chronological, but time will tell as I make my way through it.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo

This is a book I have been hearing a ton about this year. I think there was a read-along going on on twitter and I know I have been talking to my friend Jenna about reading this in the future. I asked for the book so I would be ready to go, but I did not expect this beautiful edition. It is bright and beautiful, even the sprayed edges are gold and it has a ribbon bookmark. I am going to love reading this.

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The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

The Far Field

This was my December Book of the Month pick, I am really curious to see how this book plays out. I did not really look at the description before picking up the book apart from it being set in Asia. I want to read more books from around the world in the upcoming year so I thought this would be a wonderful way to start the journey.

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

This is a non-fiction novel I have been hearing a ton about in the last few months. While I was in school I studied the Russian Revolution among a few other topics and when I heard such good things about this I thought I would expand my own edition by learning about the family of one of the most notorious Soviet Russian leaders. You always hear about the person or the people living under their reign, but to learn about their daughter, that is something new to me. So, I am very excited to jump into this book.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

This was a book I knew I needed to get since I am doing a bit of a challenge in the new year, Reading Goals |Reading a Shortlist. This was the first book on the list I came across in the wild to I scooped it up to take home with me. I have heard some wonderful things from those I trust when it comes to book reviews so I think I will end up very impressed.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them

I  originally saw this book in a post by Amy, where she explored her favorite bookshop and I felt like I needed to have it. I ended up putting in an order for it and then I actually picked it up on the way to my friends wedding. Let’s just say, they know my love of books and would have understand if I was a few moments late. lol. I really like that this explores the meaning of the word feminism and how this word means so many different things to each person.

Milkman: A Novel by Anna Burns

Milkman

So, this was another book from my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist list and I saw it when I ran into the store to pick up the previous book. Since it was on sale I grabbed it without thinking about it and added it to my order. I am so exited to now have two books on the list to start off the year. I feel like this is going to be a very atmospheric book and I hope I am correct.

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House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

4stars

I cannot believe I have finished this book! I was totally thinking this read would follow me into 2019, but I pulled a late night because this book serious hooked me. I totally understand why this is considered a favorite by many. I may or may not have read the last 300 pages in one sitting. This is a very interesting horror book that is is more creepy than outright scary. It seems like it is more a mind game than anything else. I really enjoyed how this unorthodox book was put together and how it was more than one story. It was refreshing to read something so different. I will mention I tried to read this when I was in middle school, when it first came out. I am glad I never finished it then, because I know I would not have appreciated it as much. There are layers and layers and you need to dissect this book a little bit.

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What was the last book you acquired?

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Hauls

Unboxing | Blind Date with a Book

Unboxing

I think about a year ago I came across a website called Blind Date with a Book and I thought the idea was very interesting and fun. Pretty much the company has a bunch of books listed on their website that you can order for (GBP) £7.99 or (USD) $10.17, the shipping for me was only £3.99 or $5.08. The only catch is you have no idea what you are going to get. You scroll through the website and all the books are wrapped up beautifully with a few key words or phrases marked on the front of the book. I eventually settled on one.

  • All the feels
  • Romance
  • Heartbreak
  • Parents
  • Boyfriends
  • Young Adult

With only knowing that I placed an order and awaited its arrival.

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The Unboxing

So when I opened this up I just started laughing. I have already read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell on November 3rd, 2014 according to goodreads. Kudos to goodreads for keeping track of everything for me! Anyway, I started to laugh because I always try to get my tbr stay lower than 40 books and because I already read this it will not grow. I also started to laugh because I borrowed it from the library when I first read it because I did not have any money at the time to buy it. So not only did I not add to my TBR I was able to add a book I enjoyed in a beautiful edition to my collection.

This blind date with a book is going to be getting a second date in the next few months!

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Have you tried a blind date with a book? I would love to hear what book you ended up getting!

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Best Books of 2018

Lists

Early in the week I talked about the worst books I read in 2018, while that is not the most positive approach to talking about reading, I think it is important to share all aspects of the reading year and have some great discussions. But, I will admit I am must more happy to share the following books because these are ones that have stuck with me and I know will continue to do so. One I even finished on the first day of the year and I still recommend it all the time to everyone. I never thought that it would happen, but it did! Also, all of the books on this list I really do recommend you looking into, I loved every single one of them and if they are in a genre that you enjoy I don’t anticipate you being disappointed. Without anymore rambling and gushing, here are the books!

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Strange Weather by Joe Hill

Strange Weather

There has never been a short story collection where I have loved every single story, but somehow Joe Hill has managed to do that with Stange Weather. Each story was very unique and I can see myself rereading this again and again. I am actually kind of tempted to reread them as the weather conditions show themselves. I read this book in a single day, and when I first reviewed this on good reads I said “Have you ever liked something so much you couldn’t really express how why you like it so much all you can say is, “READ THIS, IT IS GREAT! JUST READ IT!”? Yeah well, that is me with this.” I am happy to say that this feeling has held up.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

I picked up this book mainly because Joe Hill and Stephen King both have raved about it. Well, because of them I found a new favorite author. Even though this is a short novel, it really is scary. I never had nightmares from watching to reading horror, but with this book I did. It was not really a full on nightmare, but I had a dream I was in Hill House. Even while I was in it I knew it was a dream and I started to laugh. The writing was magnificent, the characters were so distinct and interesting. and the style in which she writes is very effective.

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Unraveling Oliver

Of the multiple Liz Nugent novels I read this year, I would say that Unraveling Oliver is my favorite for a few reasons. The first being it was the first book of hers I read and she has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her writing is just enchanting. While I read this novel I was shocked, heart broken, irate, and heart warmed. It show cases how horrible and also how good people can truly be. This is really an amazing thriller even though you go into the book knowing what happens. In my eyes, only a really gifted author can pull that off.

The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider

I adored this novel. It had the perfect balance of the real world and monsters and paranormal features I look for in King’s novels. The monster he created was so interesting and I really liked how he pulled from myths and legends to do this. I also liked the fact that the characters felt real, also there was a nice bonus of seeing a character I never thought I would see again.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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. *copied from my original review*

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

The Witches: Salem, 1692

When it comes to those who are just getting into nonfiction, this is the first book I recommend them. The first reason being it is a well researched and presented work. The second being it written in a manner that reads like a story instead of a textbook, which is always hard to do when it comes to properly researched nonfiction reads. You can easily tell the effort that went into collecting all the articles and penning this work. Additionally, this book talks about the Salem Witch Trials in a way that respects those who were affected by it, but does not interject feeling or emotion into it. This truly is the best nonfiction I have read all year and continues to be one of my top ones of all time.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic

One thing I have to say about this book is the fact I did not expect for it to be rated so highly. I just thought I would enjoy it because I watched the movie adaptation long before I even knew there was a book. When I did read it, I learned that the book was very different, but I fell in love with it anyway. I loved how the sisters were more involved and the way the plot turned and twisted. It was beautifully written and really hypnotized me. When I picked up this book it was really hard to put down. I also saw some characters in new light. This look truly is a wonderful story of family, magic, curses, and secrets. In fact, I picked up and read the prequel The Rules of Magic, which I loved as well, but it made me treasure this story even more.

DividerWhile this was a really difficult list to make, because I was so fortunate to read so many great ones, I really enjoyed making it. I love talking about book and I love sharing the ones I really enjoyed hoping that you all will enjoy them just as much.

What books did you adore this year?

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