Lets Talk · Lists & Recommendations

Let’s Talk | Series I Read or Started in 2020

Hello and welcome to a post where I share a few of the book series I finished or started in 2020. Now, to be honest I don’t read too many series so the ones I start I really have to be interested in. I have realized that series reading is not something to take lightly because of the commitment. I have realized that type of reading is generally not for me as the years have passed, but there are a few exceptions and here they are!


Series I Started

Assassination Classroom by Yūsei Matsui

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 01

Now, I will be honest here. I have watched the entirety of the anime and loved it. The next logical step for this reader was to read the manga. So, I finally decided to start reading them this year and at this point in time I have read the first two volumes and I have a few waiting for me on my shelf. This series takes place in a school where the students are tasked by the government to assassinate their teacher who seems to be a monster or alien that blew up the moon and promises to do the same to Earth. The funny thing is, this teacher is probably the best teacher ever and really cares about the kids and helps train them to try and get him. It really is hard to explain but I cried a few times and it takes a lot for me to cry.

Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #1)

This series I started as a buddy read with Jenna and Reg. We all read the first book, Prodigal Son, in the series together but we have all stalled funny enough. It was a good start for sure, but just something I am in the mood for currently. It has a mixture of horror with an immortal and also has aspects of a thriller with a serial killer on the loose. It really left off on a great point in the plot so I really do want to continue one day.

Series I Continued

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)

I have been reading this series over the last few years and I have been enjoying it, but I have been reading about two a year. At this point in time I am up to An Echo in the Bone, which his book 7. I am hoping to read it the last week of December or early January. I tend to read one in the Winter and one in the Summer. Since I am so far in the series I don’t want to say too much at this point.

Series I Finished

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café

I read the first two books in this series, that is all that is available in English at this time so I am going to count this as completed. I do hope the third installment of this whimsical, emotional, and magical collection of short tales. I don’t want to say too much about these because I feel like the less you know the better, but do know that these are amazing!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians Trilogy Boxed Set

This year I started and finished Th Magicians Series. I have to say I really loved this series throughout. If fact it got better as it went on. I really loved that the characters started learning magic in college and that it took place in a world hidden within our own. I also loved the fact that his fantasy novel is new adult as well. I also liked that the main character isn’t perfect, it really makes all of the characters feel like actual humans with flaws and all. I really feel like I might reread this series in the future as well. I also read these with Jenna and Reg!

Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle Series by Bradley Harper

Queen's Gambit

This last series I read this year because I was part of a blog tour of the first book, A Knife in the Fog. I then decided to continue the series because I enjoyed the first one. This fast paced historical mystery was a ton of fun and gave off a ton of Sherlock Holmes vibes.


What series have you read this year?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | #AnimalCrossingReadathon Wrap Up

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to a hybrid of a book post. This is my Middle Mark post, but also my wrap up for the Animal Crossing Readathon I decided to take part in last minute. Which, I ended up doing better than I thought I was going to do. What really helped me was the fact that I decided to do a bit of a personal readathon on March 14th. Anyway, on to the books!


Read 2

Gwendy's Magic Feather (The Button Box, #2)Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this second book in the series, it had a different vibe to it, but I very much enjoyed seeing the characters again.

View all my reviews


Imaginary FriendImaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so much enjoying this book for the first 400 pages or so. Then it just started to feel like there was a. huge ending coming, but there were 100s of pages left. I feel like this book went on for way too long and the pacing was just all messed up. I liked it less and less as it went on and it is a shame because I really was loving this book at the start.

View all my reviews


Animal Crossing Readathon!

HamletHamlet by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come.

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Between Shades of GrayBetween Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first book by Ruta Sepetys and I am kind of mad it took my this long to read a book by her. The writing is just wonderful, but I don’t want to say this book is wonderful it is powerful and eye opening. The topic that is covered in this book is just heart breaking. I knew about the history, reading detached non-fiction during my studies, but this book just makes this story so much human than I have come across it in the fast.

This book felt like I was hearing the story of a young girl and the fight/spirit she had in her when she was surrounded by horrid things. Her story was heart breaking, but I cannot get over how power and strong she is. It really makes you think of all the people who wee affected and mistreated during this time period and the events are rarely talked about or discussed. It is a tough read, so I would research the topics and events that happen in this book because I feel like it might be triggering to some.

View all my reviews


A Knife in the Fog (Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle #1)A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just as wonderful on the reread. If you want to read my full review from my first read, you can see that here: Blog Tour Review | A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper.

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Queen's GambitQueen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very wonderful sequel to A Knife in the Fog. I continue to enjoy the authors well researched writing, plot, and characters. It was a very enjoy ride and I read it in a single day I was so pulled into it. Will be keeping an eye out for more books from this author!

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Promp Recap

✔️Resetti: Queen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper DONE

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

✔️Able Sisters: Hamlet by William Shakespeare DONE

Tom Nook: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

✔️Animal Crossing Gamecube: A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper DONE


Four out of the five prompts in my book is not bad at all. I really was lacking on reading The Magicians. It isn’t that I am not liking it, I just want to read it when I can’t be distracted. It is too good for its own good! Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this readathon.

I am a bit sad that I preordered the game in a physical store and they are closed, so I wont be playing today or for a while most likely. But, I am glad that everyone is being safe. It is just a game and I will get my hands on it as soon as I can. It is always nice to have something to look forward to.


Sign Off 2020

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | October 2019

BookHaul12:17

Hello everyone and welcome! So, it has been a while since doing a “traditional” book haul in a few months since I have been doing my Read 5, Buy 1. I have decided to pause this for the remainder of the year due to the holidays coming up and such.

Even though I did not buy a ton of books this month, I still wanted to share the ones I did pick up. I am pretty surprised I didn’t buy even more since I let myself “off the hook”. Anyway, On to the books!


Books Added 2Bought

Subscriptions

Gifted


OWNED TBR COUNT

34 books!

Even with all of my book buying, I am still down a book from last month and quite honestly, that is a lot better than I thought it would be. I thought it was going to go up overall, so a small victory!


What book are you adding to your TBR? How many books are on your TBR?

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Reviews

Blog Tour Review | A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

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Before I get started with this review, which I am terribly excited about,  I wanted to state that I was gifted a copy of the book to review and be part of this amazing tour. Also, please check out all of the stops!


A Knife in the Fog Description

September 1888. A twenty-nine-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle practices medicine by day and writes at night. His first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, although gaining critical and popular success, has only netted him twenty-five pounds. Embittered by the experience, he vows never to write another “crime story.” Then a messenger arrives with a mysterious summons from former Prime Minister William Gladstone, asking him to come to London immediately.

Once there, he is offered one month’s employment to assist the Metropolitan Police as a “consultant” in their hunt for the serial killer soon to be known as Jack the Ripper. Doyle agrees on the stipulation his old professor of surgery, Professor Joseph Bell–Doyle’s inspiration for Sherlock Holmes–agrees to work with him. Bell agrees, and soon the two are joined by Miss Margaret Harkness, an author residing in the East End who knows how to use a Derringer and serves as their guide and companion.

Pursuing leads through the dank alleys and courtyards of Whitechapel, they come upon the body of a savagely murdered fifth victim. Soon it becomes clear that the hunters have become the hunted when a knife-wielding figure approaches.

Purchase links:

Amazon (US): https://amzn.to/2xMjcbV

Amazon (UK): https://amzn.to/2JGprn3

Indiebound (US): https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781633884861

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What I Liked

A Knife in the Fog is truly a wonderful atmospheric historical fiction murder mystery book that mixed the perfect amount of fact and fiction.

One of the most notable things about this book was the fact that it felt very accurate to the time period that was being written about. Not only does Harper take one of literatures well known figures, Arthur Conan Doyle, he embodies the time period. You can tell that author has done his research. He knows the use of language at the time well, clothing, customs, and social hierarchy. It is far from a haphazard combination of these vague ideas, which for me is a huge deal. In addition to being well versed in the time period, he is also very knowledgable about the Jack the Ripper case. This knowledge is essential since our three main characters are on the hunt for this vicious murderer.

While the author fuses fiction with the real life case of Jack the Ripper he also pulls from real world individuals such as, Professor Joseph Bell and Miss Margaret Harkness. In doing this it really brings this story to life for me. The characters were wonderfully written and had very distinct personalities. Professor Bell, the inspiration of Sherlock Holmes, was very much observant, interesting, and not afraid to speak his mind. Miss Harkness was a strong woman who was not afraid to do what she needed to do to tell her stories as well as help with this investigation. She was truly a wonderful strong character in this novel and I loved how bold she was.

Throughout the story the character acted true to themselves as different obstacles were presented to them. Between walking the unsafe streets, helping people in need, going to the police station, and murder scenes I was truly entertained by the story and plot. I laughed when they called themselves the Three Musketeers because I was actually thinking that were like the three musketeers before they said it themselves. Three great characters taking a very dangerous and risky mystery with some humor tossed in for good measure.


What I Didn’t Like

At times there were events that happened for the sake of happening to showcase something. But, it wasn’t out of character. It still felt like it belonged in the story and it didn’t take away from the story. But, a few things happened in the story were I was felt like it was kinda random just to show us something that needed to be established. While it might have felt random, the information gathered was needed and none of them were unenjoyable.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. I was very happy to find out that this is the first book in a series because I would be able to have another adventure this these characters, but also with this authors writing. I cannot stress this enough, this author does a wonderful job at building a very real atmosphere with what seems like minimal effort and that for me is a mark of a good writer. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, mystery, murder mysteries, or if you have an interest in the Jack the Ripper stories or Arthur Conan Doyle.

4stars

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About the Author: Bradley Harper

Bradley Harper

Bradley Harper is a retired US Army Pathologist with over 37 years of worldwide military/medical experience, ultimately serving as a Colonel/Physician in the Pentagon. During his Army career, Harper performed some 200 autopsies, 20 of which were forensic. 

Upon retiring from the Army, Harper earned an Associate’s Degree in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. He has been published in The Strand MagazineFlash Fiction Magazine, The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine and a short story he wrote involving Professor Moriarty in the Holmes tale of The Red Headed League (entitled The Red Herring League) won Honorable Mention in an international short fiction contest. A member of the Mystery Writers of America, Authors Guild, and Sisters in Crime, Harper is a regular contributor to the Sisters in Crime bi-monthly newsletter.

Harper’s first novel, A Knife in the Fog, involves a young Arthur Conan Doyle joining in the hunt for Jack the Ripper, and was a finalist for the 2019 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel by an American Author. 

Queen’s Gambit, the upcoming sequel to A Knife in the Fog will be released in September 2019.

ONLINE LINKS:

Website: www.bharperauthor.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bharperauthor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bharperauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bharperauthor

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Book Information

Publication Date: October 2nd 2018

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

List Price: $15.95

ISBN: 9781633884861

Pages: 288 pages

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