Let's Talk · Lists & Recommendations

Let’s Talk | Wintery Books

Hello and welcome to a post where I talk about a few of my wintery themed books. I am not usually a seasonal reader, but I feel like there is nothing better than snuggling up next to a fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa with a winter read. It is just so relaxing during the long nights. Anyway, here are the books I think wold be great to read in the winter.


NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

While this is a horror novel, it has a large wintery and Christmas theme throughout. I mean it has a place called Christmasland in it, it doesn’t get more christmas-y in a horror novel than that. On top of this it really is a really enjoyable horror novel on its own that I recommend to quite a few to my friends to read this time of the year. I feel like the mixture of horror and the holiday season really is a great tie in between Halloween and Christmas.

One by One by Ruth Ware

If you are in the mood for a thriller and a wintry backdrop, this is a wonderful option. This thriller/mystery takes place at a ski retreat where the characters are trapped and cut off the from the rest of the world at the top of a mountain in the middle of a snow storm. This is a great option to read as soon as the temperature starts to drop.

The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

Now, this one is a really atmospheric read. It is a really great thriller with a very big dark feeling to it that is hard to explain. It is not dark in a way that is evil, but the novel just reads like it takes place in the time of year where the nights are long. On top of that it takes place in a really small lovely town where everyone is really close, but also it a historical fiction. It has a lot going for it.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Does it get more wintry than a classic Russian novel? This novel is a classic for a reason, this book covers themes and such that are still relevant in todays world. While there is a lot of drama in this book, a lot of the issues the characters face are still feelings that a lot of us still feel during 2020. When I first read this novel I gave it 3 stars, but as time past I realized that I liked it more and more.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

I just finished this very cute romance last night, I have not stayed up this late to finish a book in a while, but this book had me needing to know what happened next between the two main characters. The main character, Vivian, travels with her daughter, Maddie, across the ocean to spend Christmas with her while working for the royal family, then the story builds from there. It is an adorable setting, the characters were wonderful, and takes place the week surrounding Christmas.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold and Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

These two collections of short stories that are about 200 pages are so wonderful and heart wrenching focus on making connections with those in our lives and celebrating and making the most of the time we have together. With all of the holidays where family is the main focus I feel like this really is a wonderful time to read both of these. Plus, a cafe where you can travel in time, I mean, this is just a great addition!


I hope you found a book that you might enjoy reading over the long nights this winter or holiday season!

Are there any wintery themed books you are enjoying currently?

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Let's Talk · Tags

Let’s Talk | Baby It’s Cold Outside Book Tag

Hello and welcome to a tag post, I was lucky enough to be tagged by Erin over at Reading on a Star, who also created it! As you can see they are creative and have a ton of fun stuff over on their blog and I really think you should check it out! I am very excited to share my answers and please feel free to complete his tag even if you are not tagged because it was certainly fun to answer.


Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post.
  • Display the banner(copy and paste).
  • Link to the original creator: erin @ Reading On A Star !
  • Answer the questions!
  • Tag however many people as you want!

Snow Day – What’s your “comfort” book? 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, this books I read and adored with my mom as a child. To this day it is a book I go back to time and time again. It has such great memories tied to it, but also I love the story and the relationship between the family members so much.

Snow Angels – What’s a book that you love so much you would want to be buried with it(a little morid, but…)? 

Well, I don’t think I can pick the same book again so, I will go with Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I once again enjoy the relationships within the story, but I also like the discussion of no one being truly good or truly bad and you are not always what you are defined to be. I also think it would be interesting being buried with a book that has to do with angels and demons. If ever found it might makes things a bit interesting.

Warm Socks – What’s a book that makes you feel warm inside?(The fluffiest, cutest romance you’ve ever read?) 

I think I will go with Beach Read by Emily Henry. I read though it so quickly, I adored the characters and I will always love reading books about authors.

Hot Cocoa – What winter-themed novels have you previously read? 

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon is a great horror read set in the winter. It has disappearance, legends, family secrets, and a bit of historical fiction thrown in. It is a wild ride and I was a book I was pulled into right from the beginning. Th best part is that it is just over 300 pages and is not too long, but has a lot going on.

Sledding – What’s a book with the best plot twists? Who’s an author that always keeps you on your toes? 

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, this book seriously kept me on my toes from start to finish. I don’t want to say too much, but this author is so talented and became an auto buy author because of it.

Ugly Sweaters – What’s a book with the ugliest cover?

The first book that pops up in my mind is the green edition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I enjoyed the book and the movie for that matter, but I always disliked the lime green edition of this book.

Movie Marathon – What’s the last book you binge read?

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, I sat down last weekend thinking I would read a few chapters. Well, I ended up reading the entire book in a single day and I was honestly tempted to reread it almost right away. I honestly loved the characters and the dynamics of their relationships. I also adored the touch of magic the author added, it was perfect!

I also want to mention The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, a very similar thing happened when I went to read this book. I sat down to read a chapter or two and ended up reading the entire thing. While this is a beautiful story of a family truly learning who their child is, but it is so heart breaking and emotional. I don’t want to give too much information because I don’t want to spoil anything but I HIGHLY suggest you check this one out. It is one of the few books that made me cry.

Letter to Santa – What’s a book that’s on your wishlist this year? 

As of right now I have a whole list you can see here, but the one book I want the most would be Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom, a librarian. It is a nonfiction book that discusses a ]very morbid, but interesting topic of books bound in human skin. The author explores the science as well as the historical significance that led to these books being created. I am curious to see how the author will discuss such a dark topic and if she will be telling the story of those who became victims.


I Tag

Misty @ Misty’s Book Space

Jenna @ JK I’m Exploring

Jenna @ Westveil Publishing

Noly @ The Artsy Reader

Tarra @TLC Book Nook

Aoife @ Pretty Purple Polkadots

Rebbie @ Rebbie Reviews

Sarah @ VoyageThroughWor(l)ds


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Reviews · Wrap Up

Wrap Up | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my October wrap up. I am so glad that I was able to fit in some spooky read this month and really found quite a few I enjoyed. A really fun experience this month was when I took part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, if you want to see a more in depth review of what that was like you can read my post called, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Recap | October 2020. Even outside of this readathon, I feel like I had a really good month. Now, on to the books!


The Order of the DayThe Order of the Day by Éric Vuillard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While the content and the writing overall easily warrants 4 or 5 stars I cannot give it this rating. The main reason being there are no footnotes or end notes to share any sources. Quotes that are in the text have no mention of where it is from, which is very disappointing. This is not acceptable for a nonfiction book.

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Teen Titans: Beast BoyTeen Titans: Beast Boy by Kami Garcia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another wonderfully cone graphic novel from the author and illustrator, I cannot wait for the next bind up. It was really fun to see this versions origin story for beast boy . The story was great, the art was beautiful, and he next installment is hinted at just perfectly.

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FrankensteinFrankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was really fun to read the source material for so many adaptations on screen and on the page. This book has been on my bucket list for a long time and I can now say I have read it and I enjoyed it!

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Between the World and MeBetween the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the great words blurbed on the front of this book by Toni Morrison, “This is required reading”. Honestly I cannot agree with this quote more.

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The Amityville HorrorThe Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great book to read during October, if you want a scary story this is a creepy one for sure. I read it mostly in a single day and it kept me engaged. I thought the way the story was organized and bounced between perspectives very well.

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UnboxedUnboxed by Briana Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great plot and writing, great horror aspect and I like the used of an online “celebrity”. I knew I would enjoy this play, but I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, I finished it in a single sitting.

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What was your favorite or least favorite read of October?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | September 2020

Welcome to my September wrap up, where I am going to be sharing all of the books I have read over the last month. This month I was so surprised that I have kept up my reading momentum and even got my physical TBR down to 10 books! I had some winners and some not so great reads, but overall a really good month!


Conjure WomenConjure Women by Afia Atakora
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderful read that not only followed generations within a family, but also talked about how these generations were affected by slavery in the US. The plot, characters, and the whole novel were so well written and I was pulled in by the magic within the book, but also the magic of the writing.

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The Death of Vivek OjiThe Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A powerful and heart breaking read that I read far too quickly. This is such a talented author, they were able to craft such a wonderfully heart wrenching novel about a family ties and LGBTQ+ treatment. This story from the first page pulled me in and I don’t cry often when I read. but this book had me tearing up. I don’t want to say too much because I feel like this book has a larger impact if you go in knowing less.

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The TestThe Test by Sylvain Neuvel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Overall, this was a very impactful book to me because it really makes you think about human nature, society, and a laundry list of other things such as prejudices and racism that are ingrained in society. I feel like this little story really packs so much into it that it shows the talent of the author. This will be a story I reread again I feel like and it will have a place on my bookshelf for the years to come.

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Stay with MeStay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story has so many layers to it and it ended up being so much more than I though it would be. This story had be filled with joy, sadness and anger. There are aspects of history mixed in with a the exploration of the marriage of Yejide and Akin. Yejide was such an interesting and compelling character, I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. I could feel her hurt, her joy, and so much more.

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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State KillerI’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am going to be writing a whole post dedicated to this book in the near future, but I really was enthralled with this book and I can’t wait to see the documentary.

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EmmaEmma by .Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I enjoyed this classic. It is not my favorite Austen novel, but I was pulled into the story despite how annoying and aggravating Emma can be.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 0


Reading Stats

What was your favorite book this month?

Mine was The Hunger by Alma Katsu or Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. 

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | August

Hello and welcome another check in for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you would like to learn more you can look at my initial post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. This month I read The Comedy of Errors and errors there where!


This book is just a mixture of mess ups and miscommunication. It kinda reminded me of the exaggerated outcome of the telephone game, if you are familiar with that. The main aspect of this play is mistaken identity, which has been present in quite a few of his other plays that I have read this year. In this play in particular it it comes from not one, but two sets of twins and their loved ones having no idea who is who and let the mayhem begin.

I have to admit, that this is one of the better plays when it comes to mistaken identity. There were a few times where I giggled to myself while reading this, which is great because not a lot of his comedies have actually made me laugh or feel humor. Maybe I am finally getting Shakespeare’s sense of humor? Either way, without giving away too much, there is a lot of misunderstandings, surprises, and puns galore!

This review isn’t that long due to the fact that I feel like a lot of the humor would be removed from this play if it is really discussed as much as I normally do. I would rather you read it for yourself and truly get the laugh out of it than being ruined by my review. But, overall I think this is one of the better comedies as I said earlier. I think it is worth checking out if you like his other plays or even has not read any of his comedies before.


Next month I am reading another comedy by William Shakespeare called Much Ado About Nothing, I have heard a great deal about this one so I am excited!

What are your thoughts on this play?

What is your favorite play by Shakespeare?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | August 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my Middle Mark post for August! This month has started off on a great note. I have read quite a bit and I hit a few of my year long goals as well. I finally hit 30,000 pages for the year as well as finished up reading a book from every continent. Now, to continue to chip away at the others! Any-who, here are the books I have read so far in August.


Read 2

Fever DreamFever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just the perfect eerie book I wanted to read. I actually got quite a few chills reading this horror and I am glad I happened to find it. The whole book felt heavy and it continued to get heavier as I read it. It is one of those rare books that really pulls you into the story and you almost feel like you are in it yourself.

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The DeepThe Deep by Rivers Solomon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As many other reviewers have said, this is a very unique read. It was imaginative, creative, but also painful. I say painful because it deals with a grotesque history of slavery and does not sugar coat it or hide some of the more horrendous actions. In addition, the main character battles with their peoples history, I don’t want to say too much because spoilers. I very rarely say this, but I feel like I would have enjoyed this story more if there was more of it. I wanted to explore this community in more detail and learn more about many of the characters. I feel like this was done on purpose though and when you read it that statement will make a bit more sense if it doesn’t now. But, I will say this, I am going to be looking into other works by this author.

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The Secret RiverThe Secret River by Kate Grenville

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is very apparent that this author knows a lot of about the history of Australia the movement of deportation of those not wanted in England. This book deals with social hierarchy, laws, exploration, as well as the stealing of lands of its native people. While this book as a lot of academic value, even though it is historical fiction and not non-fiction, it was difficult to get into. I felt like the authors writing style was just blah for me personally. It read more like a textbook than an actual textbook, I had to really push myself. For me, this is a bit out of the ordinary because I love reading non-fiction and rarely have to push myself to read them.

I will say, this book is best read with someone else, this book brings up quite a few topics that are best explored and discussed. As said, it has great academic value and I feel like it show cases society in London/England as well as the early settlement of convict in Australia and the impact on the indigenous inhabitants.

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Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and IllusionsSmoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good and wide ranging collection of short stories. They are just a bit out there and at times a bit of a horror feel. I felt that every time I finished one I just wanted to read another one. I always find it hard to review a collection as a whole, but overall I enjoyed a majority of these tales.

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You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-AcceptanceYou Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance by Chani Nicholas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t feel like this is a beginner book, it does have a good amount of information, but if you are using this book just for yourself, most of the information is not usable/applicable. If you are going to do a chart for everyone and their mom, much more useful. Also, bring a protractor.

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The Comedy of ErrorsThe Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here is a little preview of my review. Overall, this was an average play. I didn’t see anything that really stood out and I can already feel the details of this one slipping away. There is quite a few mistaken identities, which we have seen a bunch of times already from his works time and time again, just with another bow.

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Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & YouGmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shel Silverstein esc type pep talks that I just adored! I will be picking this up from time to time, I can see it.

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After the QuakeAfter the Quake by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy Murakami’s writing style, the short stories were varied, but tied together nicely. Some I liked more than others, but there was not one I disliked. I normally don’t enjoy short story collections, but there is something about hims writing that I enjoy very much.

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Currently Reading 2

As of writing this, August 12th, I am currently reading quite a few books. I was doing so well with reading one book at a time, for some reason this month I am having trouble doing that.

I just started reading me eArc of One by One by Ruth Ware that I received via netgalley. I am really enjoying it so far, I mean I expected to since she is one of my auto buy authors!

I am also 44% through Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer the newest addition to the Twilight books. Honestly, so far I am enjoying learning more about the Cullens and their family dynamics.

Last, but certainly not least I am currently reading Conjure Women by Afia Atakora. I am about 13% into this book. Conjure Women is a magical realism and historical fiction novel balled up into one. It follows a young girl from a young age until she is older, whose mother can do magic and she follows in her foot steps and acts as a healer for her community. The time frame and location are in the south during slavery and following after it. So, we get a story that not only of a family that is separated by slavery, but also a look into the practice of slavery. The author holds nothing back in their magical story telling and I appreciate that.


Wrap Up

Wrap Up | July 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up! I missed out on my middle mark post for the month so be prepared for quite a few mini reviews and well as my monthly stats overall. I think I did good overall this month, I even found a few books I love. The main driving force in my reading amount was The Reading Rush that book place between July 20th-26th. In that readathon alone I ended up reading ___ books that week alone. Anyway, on to the books, the reason you clicked onto this post.


Read 2

LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the NumbersLGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very interesting, the name is very accurate, this book is a lot of questions being answers via data collected via census and polls. It is best read in chunks a little at a time because it reads like a textbook.

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The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the RipperThe Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed learning more about these women instead of just hearing about how they died. It was a very interesting read that I just flew through. I feel like you should give this a try if non-fiction is not really your thing because it does not read like a textbook, which in my eyes is a huge compliment to the author when it comes to non-fiction.

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Civil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent GrantCivil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent Grant by Carol Berkin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very interesting and good look into the wives of a couple of the most known individuals during the civil war. It was interesting to have a peak into their lives before, during, and after the war and see if and how they supported their partners, but also if they felt the same as their husbands. In addition, you can learn about the efforts made by some of these women on their own. The writing itself is done very well and the extent of sources is encouraging.

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The TempestThe Tempest by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are a few things I really liked about this play in particular the first being a ship wreck that reminded me of Odyssey in a way. I am not sure if this was the purpose, but I enjoyed the connection I made. I also liked that in this play there was also magic and magical creatures. As I said about Twelfth Night, I am always a sucker for it. I ended up giving this play 4 stars because I was a bit more into actually reading this and it kept my attention for than Twelfth Night did. It is one of the Shakespeare plays that I actually would not mind reading for a second time, I think Macbeth is the only other one on that list.

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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to start off by saying that this is one of the most inventive and unique books I have read based upon the idea alone. But, this book is penned by a very talented writing and it just makes the book that much better. The first part of this book follows the 10 min. after death of a woman named Leila, who lived a very interesting life. You learn about her life through various memories that come to her in her last moments of life. It really hits home the “life flashes before your eyes” idea.

The second part discusses humility, society, and just being a decent human and how a system takes that away. How some individuals in life and in death can be discriminated against. It was a very interesting book that not only showed you the life of the characters, but also talked about society and highlighted how friendship can be such a powerful thing. I feel like this is a book I will be rereading because I feel like I can get even more out of it.

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Mexican GothicMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is just amazing and I really think it is going to be one of my favorites for this year. It was a wonderfully written horror that had me flipping pages faster than I have in a bit. It reminded me of a few movies and novels, but even with that it was unique and all its own. If you enjoy horror I really think that this is something you might enjoy.

The writing was amazing, the main character was wonderfully written as well as the side characters. Usually side characters are just there, but Moreno-Garcia establishes them so well and they truly are part of the story. On top of the characters the atmosphere was spot on. It reminded me of crimson peak, haunting of hill house, and others. But, like I said, this is truly unique to is all the authors own.

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House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am going to be honest, I really went into this book thinking I was going to enjoy it quite a bit. The idea sounded interesting and the world created sounded very interesting, but I was kind of bored reading this… okay very bored. The weird thing is, things were happening, some pretty intense stuff. So, I am not sure how or why I was bored, but I was. I might go back in the future and give this book another go, I might not have been in the right mood for it.

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The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful ending to the series, did not disappoint! Holly Black as always does a great job of writing about fae and does wondering with writing in riddles and such. I give her a lot of credit in doing this because sometimes I can’t figure out the loopholes myself. In other books where there are fae characters I usually can figure it out easily.

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Celtic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and HeroesCeltic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes by Philip Freeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I never thought that some Celtic Myths would make Greek Mythology seem boring. This was a really well done collection of myths that cover a good deal of time and area. I felt that the author framed them very well with giving some historical context as well as organized them well. I enjoyed reading these tails and chances are I will read them again in the future.

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The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2)The Night Country by Melissa Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great story by Melissa Albert. This was a really enjoyable continuation in this series. A lot was going on and it still held the same magic for me as the first one did. The only downside was there were a few pacing issues for me personally. I am excited to see what happens in the next book!

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Don't Touch My HairDon’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished reading Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, it is a nonfiction that discusses racism and prejudice against blanks historically. The main vein that this particular book follows is based upon hair. I found it to be really interesting and it was a general history of racism touching on three different continents (North America, Europe, and Africa), but it was also a memoir of the author as well. I really annotated this book, I wrote on nearly every page.

The blurb said it best, ” intellectual investigation into black women and the very serious business of our hair, as it pertains to race, gender, social codes, tradition, culture, cosmology, maths, politics, philosophy and history”

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Teen Titans: RavenTeen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really great graphic novel, I really enjoyed seeing this side of Raven. The plot was great, the art work and color scheme was wonderful. I am really glad that the author is adding to this series in September with Beast Boy!

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FirestarterFirestarter by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I was not into this story in the slightest, but I decided to try for a little bit longer. I am glad I stayed with it because I ended up enjoying this quite a bit. It is almost like a different version of The Institute or a precursor to it. It is very different, but has a similar vibe to it if that makes sense. Charlie was a great character and her dad is amazing.

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Home Before DarkHome Before Dark by Riley Sager

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting thriller and ghost story. There was a real eerie feeling to this novel, which a horror lover like myself really enjoyed. On top of that the writing was great, you can tell the author really planned this novel out. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future

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The Girl from Widow HillsThe Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such an amazing thriller, I could not put it down once I picked it up. The writing is top notch, they methods used to tell the story and build the world were wonderful. I recommend anyone who enjoys thrillers.

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The Tale of Mrs WestawayThe Tale of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wild ride of a short story, it was really interesting to learn more about Mrs. Westaway.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 2


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | June & July

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to my check in for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you would like some more details about the challenge you can find that in my post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I would like to apologize I missed posting this last night, but better late than ever. I decided to combined the past two months instead of making two separate posts. Anyway, here are my thoughts on Twelfth Night and The Tempest!



Twelfth Night

So, like many of his works, this one starts with a bit of a tragedy. I think this is one of my “ugh” things when it comes to Shakespeare, he reuses a lot of the same plot points, but dresses them up differently if that makes sense? Anyway, more on this specific play. This play was packed with mistaken identity, disguises, and of course a love story of sorts. This play really thrived on a bunch of misunderstandings and a lot happened that I don’t want to go into it because of spoilers. I will say this is not near the low bunch of the plays I have read by him. I cannot say no to some magic into a story, so that alone won some points for me. I also was not completely disappointed as to how it ended as well.

The Tempest

There are a few things I really liked about this play in particular the first being a ship wreck that reminded me of Odyssey in a way. I am not sure if this was the purpose, but I enjoyed the connection I made. I also liked that in this play there was also magic and magical creatures. As I said about Twelfth Night, I am always a sucker for it. I ended up giving this play 4 stars because I was a bit more into actually reading this and it kept my attention for than Twelfth Night did. It is one of the Shakespeare plays that I actually would not mind reading for a second time, I think Macbeth is the only other one on that list.


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What is your favorite work by Shakespeare?

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Let's 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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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | May

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the fifth installment of my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge! If you would like some more details about the challenge you can find that in my post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. It feels so long since I started this challenge and I have found some I really loved and some I really didn’t enjoy. May was an interesting one fore sure. Before we jump into this review/discussion/rant I just want link to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. And yes, I said rant this time around.


The Book

This months story The Taming of the Shrew. The title alone had me a bit apprehensive about this book, but my twitter followers picked it so I was going to follow through and read it. According to a quick search this was written around 1950.


My Review

I am going to honest, I am kind of torn on this one. This is really a cruel story in quite a few ways.  A well off man tricking a man into thinking he is a lord just for the fun of it. Taming a woman and making her not herself like she is an animal. Just all around manipulation in this book. I will say it was imaginative and like nothing I have read personally.

This starts off with a noble man of sorts feeling like they have so much power and influence they can just totally mess with someones life with fun. It put a really horrid taste in my mouth. I am really hoping Shakespeare was attempting to ridicule higher ups in society, if that was not the case I might actually hate him. The fact that this privileged person felt they could just do that was irritating and I was so irate while reading this. Everyone just went along with it like it was normal! I don’t understand.

Now the whole title of this play had me worried, like I mentioned earlier. Lexico describes one of the definitions of this word as “A bad-tempered or aggressively assertive woman.” I will also put forward when I hear the word tame, I think of a pet or animal, not a human being. So, I was kind of waiting for someone treating a lady as less than. Well, I was correct. The shrew in this story was treated like a jerk, only married to get her out of the way so others could marry her younger sister. While she was not nice I liked that she was strong willed and knew what she wanted. Well, her “husband” and I put it in quotations for a reason, he just was hired to marry her to get her out of the way treated her like garbage and manipulated her into being brainwashed and subservient. It honestly made me super mad and I hated every moment of this.

The more I write about this story and think about it, honestly the more I dislike it. Now, don’t get me wrong I know this was written around 1590, women had no place in society and her not seen as equals and it is apparent in many of Shakespeares plays where the father and husband have the final say and such, but I felt like this play just took it to a whole new extreme. IN the past plays I have read women were still allowed to be themselves and were not manipulated in the same manner and just seen as a creature that need to be moved out of the way so men could get to eh more desirable sister.

I really don’t want to say much more because I feel like this is already a rant. I really am hoping deep down that Shakespeare wrote the play with these two very troubling plot lines where two people are just totally manipulated as social commentary and didn’t just write it because it would be “fun” and “enjoyable”.


Next months pick is Twelfth Night, a huge thanks to those who voted in the poll!


Have you ever read The Taming of the Shrew? If so, what were your thoughts?

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