TBR

To Be Read | March 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month I am keeping my TBR nice and small so I can have some random picks as the month goes on and also not put too much pressure on myself because as many of you know I am starting to study a new language. But, I still want to keep reading and I am really excited about the books on my list!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman, I am buddy reading this with reading this with Reg and Jenna this month. This has to be a series I have been interested in this series for what feels like years. I am expecting to love this book so much I actually bought the series bundle.

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo, I have been reading this book on and off since January. The main reason I have been reading this book for so long is because I thought I lost this book, turns out it was in my trunk. When I was reading it, I was really enjoying it so I am happy to have found it.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, this is my March Shakespeare of the month for my Shakespeare challenge, if you want to know more about this, check out my most recent installment, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February. I am a bit worried about this one, I feel like the tragedy were my most disliked. plays when I read them in high school, but this is one of the most popular one of them all. So, I am hoping that this one wont be as bad as I think it is, fingers crossed.



What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are starting the month with?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the second month of 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. The first month went so well, I ended up really loving I also have a goodreads group going if you want to join in on the challenge, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


The Book

This months book was Othello, chosen via a poll on my twitter account. This play is thought to be written around 1603. I will say, this is one of the play I am more nervous about this book because I have read this before and I did not enjoy it very much. Going into this I was really hoping that my view on it has changed.


My Review

So, coming into this month I felt both better and a bit worried about reading Othello. I felt a bit more at ease because I really enjoyed a Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I remember reading Othello and really disliking it. So, I really saw things going either way.

I have to say, the start of this book kind of made me feel like The Count of Monte Cristo. It starts off with a man feeling wronged by not being promoted and is newly married. Very much sounded very familiar, which for Othello is a good thing because I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Another work I made a connection to is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The father in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was so upset and would not accept his daughter marrying for love and was so dramatic about it. The same happened in this story pretty much, which was kind of annoying. Only two books into this challenge and already recycling characters in a way.

But, with that aside I will say I did enjoy this one more so than I remembered the first time I read it years ago. What I did like about this was how it was organized and how it created such a villain. Even at only about 40 pages in I already hated a character and I wanted him to get lost at sea or something. The fact that I felt so much in that way saved this play in my eyes. If I didn’t dislike that person so much I would have rated it a lot lower honestly. Also, the ending is just so tragic and I felt so horrible for the jerks wife, she knew she was doing wrong, but not as wrong as she actually did. She most likely felt sole responsible for what occurred.


Next months play is going to be Hamlet as voted on by my wonderful twitter followers! If you want to join in with me please do by jumping into the conversation here or over on the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


What did you think of this play?

What play do you think I should add to the poll for April? 

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TBR

To Be Read | February 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my February TBR! This year is leap year, which means we get an additional day in February to read. So, this month I am thinking about taking on some of my larger books, with one in particular being a goal.


Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann is my Man Booker short list book of the month. As I am writing this I have not finished Girl, Woman, Other, but I am putting the next one on the list on my TBR. This one is truly a hefty book, I could probably use it as protection against a bad person. It is a bit intimidating, but the description sounds really interesting and I am excited to jump in.

Little Children by Tom Perrotta, is on my list this month due Reg picking it out for me to read for my relaunched Someone Picks My Books series. In January I read a book recommended by my aunt, Where the Crawdads Sing and it was a total win, I think this one is going to be as well. If you want to check that out, you can do that here: Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

Othello by William Shakespeare, this is another book I am reading for a series this year. Othello is going to be my Shakespeare play of the month. I have decided this year to read a Shakespeare play a month and really determine if I hate his works because I was forced to read them, or they truly are not for me. Last month I read A Midsummers Night’s Dream, you can see my thought on it here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

The Langoliers by Stephen King, last but not least is a horror I picked up in January and I am very excited to read it this month. Something about the setting being an eerie train just pulled me in. It also just feels like the classic scary monster vibe I have been missing as of late.

While I have only picked four books for my TBR this month, I am planning on reading more, but these are my priority. After I get through these my mood reading can really take off!


Bonus Books

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, this was a leftover from last month, I started it and still have to finish it, but so far so good! 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, I was meant to read this last month, but I ran out of time sadly so I want to get to it this month.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman, I am buddy reading with Jenna and Reg, which I am super excited about. I have been wanting to read it for a long time now and I finally get the chance to read it with two awesome people. 

 


What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are you currently reading?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to my first month of 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. As for a quick explanation, I am reading a Shakespeare play a month to see if I truly do not like Shakespeare, or I hated it because I was forced to in school. I also have a goodreads group going if you want to join in on the challenge, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


The Book

This first months book was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, chosen via a poll on my twitter account. This play was written in 1595 and is one of the rare ones I remember kinda enjoying, but I didn’t remember much about it.


My Review

I have to start this off by saying I am really happy to have started this year long challenge with this play in particular, the main reason being I actually enjoyed it. Yes, I am surprised to say that, but so grateful. I really was worried going into this thinking I was going to dislike everyone of his works, but that was not the case. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was actually really enjoyable and has made me more excited about this entire process.

I really liked the drama that was in this play, while it was series it was also kind of comical. It seemed very outlandish and it really dated itself with its treatment of women as property, but I expected that. I really liked the fact that there were some supernatural entities playing games on humans, for better or for worse. It was a very classic example of fae and their involvement with humans, but a bit less dark. I always enjoyed a supernatural spin on this, if you couldn’t tell of my love of paranormal reads and Stephen King.

As for the characters themselves, they were larger than life, but that is pretty typical of a play. I was not a huge fan of Helena if I am honest or Demetrius. Demetrius was very cruel and Helena just acted like an annoying child. On the other hand I really adored Hermia and Lysander, I was rooting for them the entire time. Throughout the story I was writing notes in the margins and a lot of the time I was writing “NO!”. “Are you serious right now?!”, I felt like I was reading a soup opera in a good way.

Overall, I thought this was a very good start, I really enjoyed this play and I am less apprehensive about this entire experiment of sorts. The one main gripe I have with this is what is done to  Demetrius at the end. While I did not like him, I thought of what happened to him was a bit unethical.


Next months play is going to be Othello as voted on by my wonderful twitter followers! If you want to join in with me please do by jumping into the conversation here or over on the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


What did you think of this play?

What play do you think I should add to the poll for March? 

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | January 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to the first Middle Mark post of 2020! I cannot believe that we are already halfway through the month. If you are new here, Middle Mark is where I talk about the books I read the first half of the month with mini reviews and what I am currently reading.

I have to say, I am starting 2020 on a really good note. I have been doing a ton of reading and I have been so inspired to just keep going. I have read a wide array of genres from graphic novels to Russian classic literature and nonfiction of mythology. I am truly all over the place with my mood reading and I am embracing it fully. Now, without more rambling, on to the books!


Read 2

Crime And PunishmentCrime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Going into this novel I new it was well known, but had no idea what it was about. Having now finished it I will say I did not expect such a start to the novel. With that surprise out of the way I really enjoyed how the novel explores guilt and morality. It was a very interesting read and I did not feel like there was too much fluff in it. The ending was a bit much, but it was nice to see as well. Overall, a good book to start off 2020.

View all my reviews


The Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and MightThe Morrigan: Celtic Goddess of Magick and Might by Courtney Weber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very good insight into the Celtic goddess who I previously knew nothing about. This book was well written and broke down the subject matter very nicely. I really like the history aspect of this book, the main reason behind picking it up, but it was a lot more. I love reading about individual experiences and thoughts on her as well.

View all my reviews


The Dutch HouseThe Dutch House by Ann Patchett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a story filled with family grief, journey, and things coming full circle. It is written beautifully and the characters for the most part were interesting. I will say I did not enjoy the story of the mother for some reason and I was angered at the whole college situation, but I don’t want to say more than that. I don’t want to spoil anything. I can see why so many people love this book, it was good, but I feel like some things were too perfect if that makes any sense.

View all my reviews


Revised Widow's Weeds and Weeping Veils : Mourning Rituals in 19th Century AmericaRevised Widow’s Weeds and Weeping Veils : Mourning Rituals in 19th Century America by Bernadette Loeffel-Atkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fascinating read. While today this is not an easy topic to discuss it is interesting to explorer just how much mourning played in the lives of humans only a few hundred years ago. This small book covers quite a bit from clothing, food, home decor, and more. It goes into symbolism, ways to remember loved ones, I honestly could keep going. It is apparent that the author is knowledgeable.

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MythosMythos by Stephen Fry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is such a wonderful retelling of the classic Greek Myths. While I am very familiar with a lot of these stories, the random comments and little additions of Fry make them magnificent. This is well organized and Fry tells these in a way a Greek Myth beginner can easily jump into the tails. I highly recombined this collection of tails of you are interested in it, even slightly. The humor is spot on.

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Farmhand, Vol. 1: Reap What Was SownFarmhand, Vol. 1: Reap What Was Sown by Rob Guillory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A dark and imaginative science fiction tale. For me, this was a very original graphic novel that explore a medical break through and its impact on a family. The plot line was great and the art was beautiful. I really am enjoying how they are exploring different aspects of how this breakthrough could impact this family, this world, and their relationships with each other and others. Like I said, this a dark one and I can see it getting even more grim. I can’t wait to jump into the next volume.

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Farmhand, Vol. 2: Thorne in the FleshFarmhand, Vol. 2: Thorne in the Flesh by Rob Guillory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am very glad that I had the second volume ready to go after reading the first and this did not disappoint. The plot continues to be interesting and imaginative and thee artwork continues to really lend itself to the story. The story has gotten a bit more dark and family relationships continue to evolve. I am excitedly and impatiently waiting for the release of Vol.3. I can easily say this graphic novel series is one of my favorite I have read.

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Currently Reading 2

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, 39%

The Wicked King by Holly Black, 28%

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, 3%


What was the last book you finished? What book are you currently reading?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2020 Edition

Reading Goals NEW

Hello and welcome to my 2020 reading goals. I am so excited about writing this blog post.  I am not sure why, but I feel like 2020 is going to be an amazing reading year. Like last year, I am going to be keeping my goals pretty general, but also challenging. Some will be repeats, but I also changed a few up as well.


  1. Read a shortlist: Man Booker 2019
    • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
    • Ducks, Newburyport  by Lucy Ellmann
    • Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
    • An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
    • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
    • 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
  2. Read 50 books
  3. Read all backlisted books, 46 books in all
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read 16 nonfiction books
  6. Read 16 books from the library
  7. Read a book from each continent
    • North America
    • South America
    • Europe
    • Asia
    • Australia
    • Antartica
  8. Read a book recommended by Joe Hill or Stephen King
    • The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
    • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
    • Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican
    • Frankenstorm by Ray Garton
  9. Read a Shakespeare play a month, you can join the fun by going to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.

So these are my goals reading wise for the upcoming year. I am excited to jump in and I am very much motivated. I feel like this year I might have the hardest time with my continent challenge because of needing to find another book that takes place in Antartica. If you have any suggestions let me know!


What are the goals you have for yourself in 2019?

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Goals

Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge

Reading Goals NEW

Hello and welcome to a little my little chat about one of my goals for 2020. In the past I have been adamant about hating Shakespeare. I never enjoyed any of his plays that I read, I found them dull and just boring honestly. But, the last time I read one of his works, any of this works honestly, I was always told to read them.

Now, I don’t know about you, but even though I am a book lover and avid reader, the fastest way to not get me to read a book is to make it required. I hate being told what to read. In fact, I didn’t read this much until I went to college, high school made me hate reading because they were never anything that interested me. Now, that is an entire other discussion I can get into another time. For now, let’s get back to Shakespeare.

So, I am not sure why, but I want to give Ol’ Shakespeare  another go and see if my tastes have either changed or simply not making his work required changed me view.

While going to my local indie bookstore I was looking at the classics, my go to there for some reason and I saw a bunch of Shakespeare’s plays. For some reason the idea for this challenge hit me. Currently, I think this is a wonderful idea. In the future, past me might be a huge jerk. Only time will tell. So, this is my plan, every month I will read 1 Shakespeare and review it. Nice and simple right? Wrong, I honestly have no idea what plays might be interesting. I picked up the ones pictured above because A Midsummers Night Dream was one I was able to tolerate reading all those moons ago and the second, Twelfth Night I have never even heard of and I thought I would give it a go.

So, there is my year long classics challenge for myself. If you have a favorite play or work by him please comment below the name and why you liked it. I could really use the help!

Also, I will be starting off with reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream, thanks to those who voted for the first month! Also, please feel free to join me in this challenge. It would be a ton of fun to read along with you! In fact, I created a goodreads group so we can all connect and you can see which plays are coming up, you can find that group here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge Group.


Which one of Shakespeare works did you enjoy reading?

Which one did you detest?

Have you read any of his works?

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Hauls

Blogmas | Book Haul | November & December 2019

BookHaul12:17

Hello and welcome to my my book haul for both November and December. I fell a bit behind with my haul last month so I decided to just put everything together. I don’t want to ramble too much, so here are the books I picked up in one way or another!


I received A Christmas Carol through Coffee and a Classic Box, which I have been subscribed too for months at this point. The Queen of Nothing I picked up at Barns and Nobel it is a signed edition because I could not resist.  Bonhoeffer is actually my mothers and I wanted to read it for a while so I am borrowing it from her because she is very supportive in my reading habit. Last, but not least is Gwendy’s Magic Feather which was a pre-order and a sequel to Gwendy’s Magic Box.

Great Goddesses is my latest purchase, I feel like Nikita Gill is one of the few poets I auto buy their works. I decided to pick up two of Shakespeare’s plays for a project I am working on for next year, I decided on Midsummers Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night. You should hear about that project very soon if you have not already. The Light Between Oceans is actually from my library, but I borrowed it this month for my book from Australia read, Bury What You Cannot Take is also for for that challenge, but takes place in China. Last in this pile is The Glittering Hour, this was my BOTM pick for December, if you want to see why I picked this one you can see my post here:BOTM Unboxing | December 2019.

My Best Friends’s Exorcism I picked up from a library sale, I know a lot of people were reading it during Halloween this year so I wanted to give it a go. I finally caved and picked up Alexander Hamilton that inspired the play. I also have my BOTM from November, if you want to know my reasonings you can see that here: BOTM Unboxing | November 2019.

Lastly I have The Morrigan, which is tales of a Celtic Goddess, I have always loved lure and myths so I wanted to explore more. I also picked up a book called Muse with the Moon, which is almost like a reflection activity book that has specific prompts during a particular phase of the moon. You all will be seeing that a lot, I am thinking about starting a series with what I put in that book each month until it is full.


What was your most recently acquired book?

Do any of these books sit on your shelf or have you read them already?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Try a Chapter November 2019

LetsTalk12:17

So, earlier this month I posted an unhaul where I got rid of a huge number of books from my shelf. Well, now I am going to be doing a try a chapter to really target the books on my TBR shelf. Now, I have noticed that my reading taste is changing again and stuff I normally feel I would like, I am not enjoying anymore. So, I thought I would read the first chapter of a couple of books and decide if I want to keep them or add them to the donation pile.


The Bone House by Emily Lloyd-Jones (standalone)

The start was pretty interesting, but already had a cliche that kinda lost me. I really liked the idea of this book, but big sister who has to take care of family after an event is played out in my eyes and I bores me. I think I am going to pass on this, unhaul. 

Peace and Turmoil by Elliot Brooks (series)

I read the preface and the first chapter since the preface was only a few pages. I have to say I am intrigued as to what is going to happen, but there seems to be interesting family dynamics in here that I hope the author explores more. I am a little torn on this, because the writing style isn’t really mine. I decided to unhaul this book after reading the first chapter of the others. 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (series)

I think I am going to like this one, I really liked how the story started with folklore of sorts, but also a bit of grim foreshadowing. It seems like it is going to be very interesting and atmospheric. While it is promising, it didn’t really pull me in too much, but I am intrigued. After reading the others, I decided to unhaul. 

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (standalone)

I think this is the one  I am most interested in and I think I am going to be jumping into this a reading it right away. I really like the personality of the main character and the fact it is a historical fiction is just a wonderful bonus. Keeping

The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson (series)

This book seems so unique and really started with a bang. This is another one I know I wont be able to put down long. The writing is amazing and from what I read in the prologue (13 pages) is very imaginative and unafraid to be emotional. Keeping

Dear Haiti, Love Aline by Mika and Maritza Moulite (standalone, BookCon was 2019 Gift)

I really like Alaine’s voice, she seems like a really awesome character. I also had no idea this book was written in a diary type format, which I am totally here for. I ended up reading 21 pages, I didn’t stop at the first chapter oops. Keeping

Middlemarch by George Eliot (standalone)

It is really hard to tell if I am going to like this book or not, the main reason being the formatting and mistypes I already found in the first chapter. It made it a but hard to read. I am going to give this another try, but with an audiobook. Keeping


Keeping: 4

Unhauling: 3


Have you read any of these books?

Should I give any of them a second chance?

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Hauls

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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