Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Belle Can Read | The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Hello and welcome to my August installment of Someone Picks My Books. This series is where fellow book bloggers pick a book, any book, for me to read and review. This month, as you can see from the title, the book was picked by Belle Can Read. Thank you Belle for volunteering for this series and picking this months book!


One Sentence Review

A determined woman fights for her rights and the rights of her fellow women with a paranormal twist.


Book Description

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

First and foremost, I really enjoyed the time period that this book was set in. Not only did it led itself to an enjoyable story, but the author truly did it justice in the historical sense. The suffrage movement in the US was not something that was embraced, and the author really did a great job in portraying this. Showing family turning against family and so forth. In doing this, the novel truly feels historical and does not just have the setting, which sadly can happen with some historical fiction novels.

I really enjoyed the main character in this novel, Olivia is such a strong determined woman and grew throughout the novel. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a character is stuck and is not dynamic. Winters does not do this, their characters are dynamic and show development. Another character that I found interesting was Henry. The relationship with Henry, was done really well, but at first I did not like him. As I read and the more I saw from him, the more I liked him and felt like he was a good partner, key word PARTNER, for Olivia.

What I Didn’t Like

Her father is a jerk and you wont change me mind. But, this is not really something the author did wrong, actually did quite right. It is not often where I actively dislike a character. It might be because I keep reading Shakespeare this year and that fathers are all like this and I get so mad. But, it is the time and it is a historically accurate depiction.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was a really well done historical fiction. It did a great job of representing the struggle of women during the early stages of suffrage in the US. Also, the novel feels like it is consistently within this time period it is set. If you like strong and determined women and sometimes a paranormal twist to your historical fiction, I would suggest looking into this book for yourself because I think you just might like it!


Next month I am reading a book picked by the wonderful Heidi from the blog, This is My Book Shelf Blog. I recommend checking out her blog and other social media accounts!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Tags

Let’s Talk | The Prediction Book Tag

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a tag I should have done months ago, I am so sorry Whitney, but better late than never. At least I am hoping. I was so happy when Whitney tagged me back in March, this is such fun tag and I am glad I am able to be apart of it. Now on to the rules and prediction prompts!


Rules

  • ping back to the creator of the tag, @bookprincessreviews
  • tag the person who tagged you
  • find an answer to match each prompt
  • have fun!

Each Prompt is a Prediction for My

Next Read

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

As I said in my post, To Be Read | August 2020, I planned on reading this book in August. I did come across some excerpts I read when I was in school and they were all annotated. I didn’t read the annotations, but I am curious of how my annotating will vary this time as opposed to last time when I am done reading.

Next 5-Star Read

After the Quake by Haruki Mauakami

After the Quake

I am not quite sure this counts as cheating, but I am about 50% done with this book already and I am really enjoying it. As long as nothing unforeseen happens, I am probably going to be giving his book 5 stars. It is a great collections of short stories with a unifying thread. It is whimsical, magical, and thought provoking.

Next 1-Star Read

Color Therapy Plain Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need by Nina Ashby

Color Therapy Plain  Simple: The Only Book You'll Ever Need

I am going to be honest with this one. I don’t really think it is going to be a 1 star read, but I think it is going to be the lowest rated out of my current TBR. The reason being it has a 2.4 rating on goodreads… that is the lowest one I have. I do have hope though that maybe I will like it better than others.

Next Love Interest

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and  Melissa de la Cruz

Jo & Laurie

This is the only book on my owned TBR that has a hint of romance to it. It is a historical fiction/retelling/continuation of sorts of he lives of Jo and Laurie from Little Women. Which, if you did not know is my all time favorite book and series. Yes, there are more Little Women books!

Next Book You’ll Be Buying

Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel by Lisa Unger

Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel

I think the next book I will be buying will actually be a pre-order of this book. It does not come out until October 6th, 2020. I went to a digital author book talk and the author recommended quite a few books, many I read, but this one stood out to me!

Next Book That Will Leave you With a Book Hangover

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon 

A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)

While I do enjoy this series I always have a book hangover of sorts when I finish ones of its tomes. I tend to read two per year because that is all I can handle. I am planning on reading this one at the end of August or in September. I still cannot believe I have made it to book 6 of this series.


I Tag

Erica

Ash

Celina

Jessica


What book do you think will your next 5 star read be?

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Lets Talk · Reviews

Let’s Talk | BuzzFeed Picks My Jane Austen Novel

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a hybrid of a post where I test BuzzFeeds ability to recommend a book and a mini book review. In May I was really in the mood for a classic and I had no idea what I wanted to read. I narrowed it down to Jane Austen and then had no idea what other book of hers to read, so I did what many of us do, I went to the internet for help. Here we go!


Like I said, I decided to go to the internet to see if I could be recommended a book to read of Jane Austen’s, because if I am being honest I didn’t really know about the plot of any of her novels outside of Pride and Prejudice. I ended up coming across this BuzzFeed Quiz called, “Which Jane Austen Book Do You Belong In?” So, I figured, why not give it a go? Here are my results.

As you can see, based upon my answers I belong in the novel Northanger Abbey. So, I ordered it from book depository and waited for it to arrive and then devoured it. Also, a bit of a side note, a lot of her novels are free from amazon as ebooks, as are a lot of classics. If you want a link to this book, you can find that here: Northanger Abbey (AmazonClassics Edition) , p.s. it’s not an affiliate link.


Description

“Catherine Morland is a young girl with a very active imagination. Her entry into the fashionable scene in Bath results in an invitation to stay with new friends at Northanger Abbey, but Catherine’s naivety and love of sensational novels lead to embarrassing and entertaining consequences”. –goodreads.com


My Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. One thing that really stood out to me was the use of novels and story telling throughout this novel and how it impacted the main characters imagination.  I also liked the narrators/authors funny comments about novels as well and how people hide what they are reading if they are embarrassed.

I really liked when our main character Catherine was adventuring through Bath, I felt the character interactions were wonderful and it really set the stage for her actions. Catherine is such a kind person and I really loved her taste in books myself. The second half has a totally different feel to it, which I enjoyed, but was a bit jolting at first because it went from a light and airy bath to a gothic abbey, which I think was the entire point because this novel really just likes to poke fun and exaggerate what the imagination can do to someone.

This was a very good novel and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I decided to keep this novel in my collection so I can reread it again and annotate it. To be honest, I might even like this more than Pride and Prejudice.


What is your favorite novel by Jane Austen?

Did you read Northanger Abbey, what did you think about it?

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Goals

Reflection | 2020 Goals, 6 Month Checkin

Reflection

Hello everyone and welcome to my 6 month 2020 goals check in. I cannot believe that wee are halfway through 2020 already. Anyway, I am going to keep this short and sweet and just get into the goal. The thing is I wanted to give you a bit of a heads up. I am writing this blog post in advance so my numbers might be a tad bit higher in real time.


The List

  1. Read a shortlist: Man Booker 2019
    • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, Not really excited about this one…
    • ✔️Ducks, Newburyport  by Lucy Ellmann
    • ✔️Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
    • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
    • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie Owned
    • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak Owned
  2. Read 50 books, 55 books read. 
  3. Read all backlisted books, 46 books in all. Down to 10.
  4. Read 30,000 pages. Read 20,068 pages so far. 
  5. Read 16 nonfiction books. Read 8 so far. 
  6. Read 16 books from the library. Read 7 so far. 
  7. Read a book from each continent
    • ✔️North America: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
    • South America
    • ✔️ Europe: Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • Asia
    • Australia
    • ✔️Antarctica: The Magicians by Lev Grossman 
    • Africa
  8. Read a book recommended by Joe Hill or Stephen King
    • The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
    • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman Purchased 
    • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
    • Frankenstorm by Ray Garton
  9. Read a Shakespeare play a month, you can join the fun by going to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.
    • January: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    • February: Othello
    • March: Hamlet
    • April: Macbeth
    • May: The Taming of the Shrew
    • June: Twelfth Night
    • July:
    • August:
    • September:
    • October:
    • November:
    • December:

Reflection

  1.  I read two of these books and did a review here:Reflection | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1. I picked up two more I am veery excited to get to. Two I still need to buy or get from the library. One I am really not looking forward to it The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I read the first book and I did not like it at all. I am technically a little behind on this one, but I am not too far behind.
  2. Did it!!
  3. I only have 10 more books to go, so I am very excited about that, I thought I was going to have a lot more left on my TBR.
  4. I am more than halfway to my page goal, yay! This is always the goal I am more worried about since I can’t just read short books, manga, or graphic novels to just pump up my numbers. I need to put in the reading work for this one.
  5. I am exactly at the halfway mark for reading 16 non-fictions books. I am really happy to be on track for this one. I have been really in the mood to learn lately and I feel like I will have this goal done very soon.
  6. With everything going on with a pandemic, my library was closed for a very long time so I was not able to borrow from them too much. I could request ebooks, but the ebook waits have sky rocketed since that is the only option for many people. I am not too worried about this goal though since I am not too far off.
  7. I am halfway through this one so I am very much on track. I also have the 3 books in mind I am going to be reading. So, I think this is another “win”.
  8. I picked the book I am going to read and purchased it, I just need to get my butt in gear and actually read it.
  9. As for this year long challenge I am very much on track. I was kinda worried I would have given it up at this point.

How are your goals going?

Have you decided to change any of yours or introduce new ones?

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TBR

My Owned TBR | June 2020

Owned TBRHello and welcome to my little post about my owned TBR. Last June I shared a post called My Owned TBR | June 2019, I figured it would be fun to look back and see how my list has changed over the last year. I am also going to be doing something a little new, so please let me know if you like it!


2019 Owned TBR

Here is my Owned TBR from last year. At this point in time I only had 44 books on my my shelf that needed to be read. Looking back at this list I can see that I read or unhauled every single one of these books and that kind of blows my mind.


My Current Owned TBR

  • Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman – A wonderful gift from Ariel!
  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore
  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore
  • House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas – suggested reading
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore

I hope you liked this type of writing and comment on my book stacks. I figured I have Procreate, I might as well use it now and again for my blog. Anyway, that is my owned TBR list. I have a total of 33 books, less than I had this time last year I feel like that is a win for two reasons. The first being my TBR is going down and second I want to get my TBR to around 5 by the end of the year. I decided to give To Be Read Time by Read it Forward to see how long it would actually take me to get my TBR to 0. According to this and if I keep up my reading pace of finishing a book every 3-4 days I will finish my TBR by October of this year. I am tempted to give this a shot so I might be posting more about owned TBR list.

What books are on your TBR?

Are any of these books on your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | June 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reading check in! This month is already off to a wonderful reading start. Last month I read so little I didn’t even post a Middle Mark post, but today I can happily say I read enough to warrant a post. At this point my reading has spanned both non-fiction and fiction as I make efforts to better educate myself and continue to grow. Now, on to the books!


Read 2

I'm Judging You: The Do-Better ManualI’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the descriptions says this book talks about “all of the topics your mama told you never to bring up at polite dinner parties.” There were a wide range of topics in this book from social media sharing to race. But, they were all important ones that needed to be addressed. The author does a really great job of writing no-nonsense and felt like a friend was talking to you. I realized a lot while reading this book and I highlighted so much that I want to go back on and reflect some more.

View all my reviews


 

The Glass HotelThe Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The major theme of this book is moral and moral compromise. Throughout this story many characters are faced with making a decision and coming to terms with their own morality or lack there of. This could be getting into a relationship with a wealthily man not for love, overlooking how greedy they really are. This was an interesting read for sure, but I thought it would not be so focused on the 2008 economic disaster. I thought it would have been more balanced between the three settings put forth in the description. Regardless of this, as I said, this was an interesting read and I did not regret it at all.

View all my reviews


 

QuichotteQuichotte by Salman Rushdie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I really liked this book it addressed a lot of issues in our society when it comes to both race and mental illness. I recommended this to quote a few people after reading this retelling of sorts of Don Quixote. But, it is more than a retelling, as I mentioned it address quite a few topics, but does so as a magical realism novel mixed with a couple other genres.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

I am currently reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I am enjoying it a ton and I should be finishing it today at some point.  I am sitting at around 60% and that chunk I read in one sitting, soo you can see why I am so confident it is going to be finished today. After I finish this I am going to be jumping into my buddy read with Jenna and Reg, we are reading Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz, I have never read a book by this author so I am really intrigued.


What was the last book you read, did you like it?

How are your reading month coming along? 

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TBR

To Be Read | June 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my June TBR! I am actually excited for the month of June for a few reasons. We are officially in the last month of the first half of the year, which is a bit mind blowing. On top of that I feel like it will be a nice fresh start for my reading since it was a bit subpar last month and I am actually not forgetting about my ebooks for once! I don’t want to ramble this month, but I really feel like it is going to be a great month. On to the books!


Physical Books

The first book is going to be a mystery one that was picked for me by Melinda from Basement Bookcase. It is a new to me author and something that is very outside my normal reading so I am excited to see how it works out.

The first book pictures is Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Last year I read my first book from him and I really fell in love with his writing style. Plus, one of my goal this year is to read a book recommended by one o my favorite authors and this was on Joe Hill’s list. So, I get to read a book by a great author and cross a 2020 goal off of my list.

Next I have Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King, which is the Stephen King book that I have had on my owned TBR the longest and I am in the mood for something scary so I am picking this up. I am not really sure what to expect because I completely forgot the description at this point. I just remember picking this up at The Strand in NYC at last years Bookcon.

Twelfth Night is my Shakespeare pick for June, I really don’t have a ton of thoughts on this just yet.

Lastly I am buddy reading Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz with Jenna and Reg this month. I have never read anything by Dean Koontz, but I know they are a popular author and I am always seeing their name everywhere so I am excited to give them a shot.


Digital Copies

I have really been neglecting my digital books as of late and I really need to get to them. So, this month I want to read three of these.

The first listed here is The Devil in the White City by by Erik Larson. This story shares some of what transpired around the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, including Americas first serial killer. It is a morbid one, but I really want to know more about the World Fair because I hear about it often, but also about this criminal history.

The second book is I’m Ju I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi. The tag line “Perfect for starting important and meaty discussions about all of the topics your mama told you never to bring up at polite dinner parties.” really sold me.

Lastly, we have Your Goddess Year: A Week-by-Week Guide to Invoking the Divine Feminine by Skye Alexander. I have always been interested in leaning about the gods and goddesses from a wide range of civilizations. I feel like a lot of them are not talked about a lot because they are not part of the major circles of gods we study in school so I am excited to learn about 52 new ones!

I just noticed that all my ebooks were nonfiction! This really excites me because I have been meaning to read more of it since I read none last month.


What are you planning to reading this month?

Have you read any of these books, did you like them?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Evelyn over at evelynreads.com has picked my read. I was very excited when she picked this months pick because I have read other works by this author and really enjoyed it and I have seen many others have loved this book. I guess I should tell you that the book is Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. This is the first adult book I have read and the longest book I have read by this author so I am curious to see is her talent flows into this age group and length.


Book Description

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained. – goodreads.com


Review

I decided that I am going write this post more like my traditional review format where I talk about what I liked and didn’t like and then my overall feelings.

What I Liked

As with other works by Seanan McGuire the worlds she creates is very imaginative, but this is imaginative in a very different way than the there works I have read by her. One of the standout things in this book for me is the mixture of alchemy and science. While  I have read quite a few books with these aspects in them, I have never seen them combined in such a way. It was refreshing and interesting, part of my wishes that I saw more of it.

Also, if you know me science fiction isn’t really my thing…like at all. I don’t know what it is, but I am unlikely to enjoy a book with science fictions details in it with a few rare exceptions of 11/22/63, Jacky, and a few others. I have to say that this book also makes that list for me. I think the reason that it does make it on that short list is because it has an old world feel to it, which I love. It is almost like a spooky gothic modern science fiction book? It is really hard to pinpoint what this book truly is because I feel like McGuire melds together so many things so seamlessly.

On top of everything I also mentioned I found it really interesting the “rules” of this world when it came to particular characters interacting as well as the “government”. I felt like a lot of these aspects were shown and not told to me, which was great. Sometimes books that have such “out there” things in them the author can come across as if they are showing an unknowing child something. McGuire just goes through the story and you don’t miss anything.

What I Didn’t Like

One of the things I did not fully like about this book was that in the start I felt like one section of interaction could have been cut and not a ton would have been lost. This is just a personal thing and I feel like a lot of people enjoy seeing these sections interactions. They are still written in a really enjoyable manner and I didn’t feel like I had to seriously push myself to oread them, but I did find myself going “again?”

Overall

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am so happy that Evelyn picked this for my to read because honestly, while I enjoyed McGuire’s other works I am fairly certain I would not have picked it up. That is the beauty of this series. This was a very imaginative book with a very gothic/dark/old world feel to it that I was craving. On top of that it was well written had great characters.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Melinda at Basement Bookcase!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Hauls

Haul | Birthday 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to my birthday haul! This past week was my birthday, which was so weird since. could not do what. normally do. But, wow my friends came through with birthday messages, videos, and zoom chats. Once of my friends even was sweet enough to drop me off some delicious food! I am truly lucky when it comes to friends. I just wanted to take the time to share the books and such I got this year for my birthday.


So, if you follow me on twitter you know. I have a switch lite and play some animal crossing. But, what you might not know is I love classic Nintendo games. I have always had a Nintendo gaming system since I was younger. So, my family chipped in together to get my a carrying case for my switch lite, a set of joycons, and Super Mario Party. I am so thankful, it is comforting to go back and play an updated version of an old favorite!


Next up is the books! I will be honest,  I bought The Glass Hotel as a birthday present to myself since it was signed and I really wanted to support my local indie bookstore. Next is Mooncakes, which was gifted by Jenna and Celtic Mythology, which was gifted by  Ariel. Both are such sweet people! I also found out I have a delivery waiting for me from Reg, who is also amazing! The last two books were bought by my parents, Color Therapy and Korean Cooking Favorites. I am so excited to get into that cook book!


My grandmother was also very kind in gifting me a 3 month subscription to The Sill, so I will be getting 3 deliveries over the next three months of beautiful plants. A gift that keeps on giving!


Last, but not least is a new Kitchen Aid hand mixer from my boyfriend. He knows how much I enjoy to cook and such and wanted to get me a good one. I used it for the first time last night to make bread, IT CAME WITH BREAD HOOKS! It worked so wonderfully. I did not take a picture of it because I was way too excited to use it.


I know I am so fortunate to have received these things from such wonderful people.

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TBR

To Be Read | #stayhomereadingrush

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my Stay Home Reading Rush TBR. The Reading Rush, Ariel and Raeleen,  are hosting a bit of a bonus round from April 16th-April 19th, 2020. If you want all of the details you can check out their website here: thereadingrush.com. I don’t know about you, but April is turning into the month of readathons. But, I am loving it! Anyway, on to the TBR!


The Challenges & The Books

Read a book with a house on the cover.

The Window of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

Read a book in the same room the whole time.

The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan 

Read a book set somewhere you wish you could go.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Read a book that will make you smile.

March by Geraldine Brooks


I know this was a quick post, but I just wanted to pop on here and tell you all my plan. I will most likely be most active about this readathon on instagram since there are also some instagram challenges. I will most likely update my stories daily and hopefully complete the following challenges, but chances are I will be kinda sorta updating on twitter too. Both are linked at the end of this post!

Thursday: Take a photo of your favourite reading spot!

Friday: Take a photo of your favourite bookmark!

Saturday: Take a photo of your bookshelves!

Sunday: Take a photo of a book outside!


Are you taking part of this readathon?

What book are you currently reading?

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