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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Hauls

Book Haul |Boxing Day 2018

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So, this will post likely be the last huge haul you will see for some time. I tend to stay away from the website bookoutlet, but boxing day always pulls me in. It is not that the website is bad or anything like that. I just tend to buy more books than I need or ones that are not really on my radar and then months pass and I end up unhauling them. I try not to do that so my wallet is a bit happier. But, every year on boxing day, day after Christmas, I put in an order of books that have piled up in my cart that I have had my eye on for some time. Without more of a delay, here are the books I picked up on Boxing day! Divider

DividerThe Books

The Good People by Hannah Kent

Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent’s startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community.
Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheal, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nora just as rumors begin to spread that Micheal is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.

Set in a lost world bound by its own laws, THE GOOD PEOPLE is Hannah Kent’s startling new novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers. -goodreads

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision. -goodreads

Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson

London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes.

All across London, women were going missing–poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left.

The eventual arrest of the “Beast of Rillington Place” caused a media frenzy: were there more bodies buried in the walls, under the floorboards, in the back garden of this house of horrors? Was it the fog that had caused Christie to suddenly snap? And what role had he played in the notorious double murder that had happened in that same apartment building not three years before–a murder for which another, possibly innocent, man was sent to the gallows?

The Great Smog of 1952 remains the deadliest air pollution disaster in world history, and John Reginald Christie is still one of the most unfathomable serial killers of modern times. Journalist Kate Winkler Dawson braids these strands together into a taut, compulsively readable true crime thriller about a man who changed the fate of the death penalty in the UK, and an environmental catastrophe with implications that still echo today. -goodreads

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

A journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today—guided by the owner himself.

Bestselling author Daniel Tammet (Thinking in Numbers) is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life and able to explain what is happening inside his head.

He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him the most unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man.

Fascinating and inspiring, Born on a Blue Day explores what it’s like to be special and gives us an insight into what makes us all human—our minds.  -goodreads

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.– goodreads

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians. -goodreads 

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences. -goodreads

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What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY Tested | Creating a Serialized Book

DIY12:17

Hello and welcome to another attempt at me recreating a DIY! This time I am trying to serialize a novel. I first came across this DIY on instagram posted by Sarah on Book50Blog. When I first saw this back in August I was first shocked by the methods used, but she made a really good point. Doing this to a huge, mountainous book into something really manageable.

Now, because this was on Instagram stories, it disappeared in 24 hours, so thankfully I thought it was a great idea and I wanted to try it right there and then. I screen shotted the steps so I could try when the time was right. That time has just now arrived, but before I get into the DIY I want to explain what a serialized novel is.

This was very popular during the victorian era, many books that are now published and full novels were once realized in chunks on a set schedule. This could be once a month, once every two months, or sometimes every other week. It really depending on the magazine or paper that the story was published. Some of the popular books that were originally published in the manner were The Women in White by Wilkie Collins, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Bleak House by Charlies Dickens. I tend to read a lot of classics like this in their original form thanks to a website called Victorian Serial Novels. I suggest checking them out, it really give you a whole new reading experience, you get cliff hangers in places you wouldn’t even believe.

Now, the book I am testing this out on was partly published like this, but then was turned into a novel part of the way through. You can read all about that here. So I am taking a little bit of liberties with breaking it up for a few reasons. The first being I wanted to try this on a big book and the second was because I had a cheap version of this classic so I would not be horribly upset if it all went wrong.

The book I decided to try this on was War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy because I plan on reading it in 2019. So, here it goes, the doing part of DIY.

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Supplies

  • Book
  • Cutting device
  • Washi tape
  • Adult supervision-if you get hurt it is not my responsibility ask a responsible adult to help you cut. Using a knife or cutting device can be dangerous do this at your own risk!

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The DIY

First you need to find the sections, I decided to break the book down into 17 sections. Book 1-25 then he first and second epilogue. I think in herLes Misérables by Victor Hugo if I am not mistaken.

This is the part I was most worried about, I really thought I was going to butcher the edges and the entire book would fall apart page by page. But, I have to admit seeing the little bits of the spine actually looks kinda cool… did I just say destroyed book looks cool? Who am I?

The last step I think was the best part of this for a few reasons. The first being it kinda made me less worried about the book just falling apart and it made it look more uniform.

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This is such a wonderfully straight forward DIY, thank you Sarah! Three steps with not a lot of fluff, it gets right to the point. I think that is why it caught my eye right away.

Overall, I really liked this DIY. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I would say I did have to cut the sections two times to really get a clear cut. The first to open up the pages to get to the binding, then the second actually cut the binding. I am really looking forward to reading this now serialized edition of War and Peace in 2019!

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I hoped your enjoyed me testing out a DIY.

Which ones should I try next?

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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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Wrap Up

Year in Review | 2018

Year in Review!

This year has been  a really amazing reading year for me. I found a few new favorite authors, read some books I have been dreaming of reading for years, and I met most off my reading goals, you  can learn more about that here: Reading Goals | 2018 Recap. Anyway, I have already posted a few blog posts talking about my favorite books, Lists | Best Books of 2018 , my least favorite, Lists | Worst Books of 2018, but I wanted to share more about my actual over all reading stats.

If you want to see all of these in detail, where all of my books are listed you can visit that here.

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How did your reading year go?

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Hauls

Book Haul | December 2018

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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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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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