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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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | November 2020 | Celebrating 0 Books on TBR

Hello and welcome to a book haul post! This book haul has been a long time coming because I have not done a book haul for months. The reason I am finally doing one now is because my owned TBR finally hit 0 books and I could not have been more excited. I never thought that it would happen, but it did! But, of course as a book lover I had to celebrate by buying some books. I do plan on keeping my TBR on the lower side, never going above 10 books, but I would like it to sit more around 5. Anyway, here are the books I decided to buy to celebrate.



Books stacked on a green chair.

The Books

First I want to start off the the JRR Tolkein boxset of the hobbit and Lord of the Rings. This is not actually adding to my TBR, but I have always wanted these small leather (faux I am pretty sure) editions. I figured since this was a celebration and I had a coupon I would treat myself to them as well as a reread soon!

Now, these are the books that are now my owned TBR. Some of these were actually gifts, but I figured I would just add all of the books all together. I will follow the image above from top to bottom.

The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I decided to pick up this book mainly because I just recently read Between the World and Me and I really liked it. I didn’t know this author had another book, but it was on display in my local bookstore and I picked it up without a second thought. His other work that I have read mentioned and hinted at the content in this book, but I very much looking forward to exploring it even more.

Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker, I happened to come across with in a recommendation list on the side of goodreads. It talks about objects around the world that are thought to be cursed. It would have been a perfect Halloween read, but I never was one to stick to seasonal reading. Anyway, this shares the story of these objects and the myths that surround them.

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas, I have heard a ton about this book and I am curious to see if I enjoy this one. So, when Jenna from JK I’m Exploring asked me if I wanted it , I jumped at the chance. I don’t know too much about the plot, but I feel like that might be the best way to read this book.

The Law of Color by Richard Rothstein. I saw this book on a lot of anti-racist reading lists this year so I really wanted to get my hands on it. I was going to get it from the library, but I am happy to say that the waiting list for this book is still really long. So, I decided I would get it for myself. This book takes a close look at how our country and government have segregated the US. I think it mainly discuses housing policy, but other subjects are also brought up from my current understanding.

Tomie by Junji Ito, I have read about 4 or 5 of his horror mangas and I have to say I have never been disappointed so I picked up another one of his works. His stuff is thought provoking, disturbing, and beautifully illustrated.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, I have been hearing amazing this about this book left and right. But, the thing that made me really want to read this is the fact that the dynamic of the two main characters was compared to the dynamic between Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens and for me that is an auto buy dynamic.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, I cannot believe I am finally this far into this series, but I am really happy with how it is going. I wanted to just pick up the next book so I could continue. I need to know what happens to Clare and Jamie!

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, I read and loved this author s previous work and when I saw that this book was available I knew I needed to get my hands on it. I really enjoyed his writing style and the twists of his previous work, so I have high hopes.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, This was on a display for anti-racist reading so I decided to add it to my pile. I will be honest, I do not know too much about this book, but from what I read from the description it is taking a closer at the past and present of American society and how it ties into a caste system and how it influences daily life and opportunities.


What was the last book you added to your TBR? Have you read any of them, if so what did you think?

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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

Middle Mark | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my mid month check in for October! So far I am overjoyed with the books I have read. I cannot believe that we are already halfway through the month, but I am still really happy with the four books I have managed to read. One was a tome too and another was nonfiction!


Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: And Other Questions About Dead BodiesWill My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: And Other Questions About Dead Bodies by Caitlin Doughty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again, Caitlin Doughty has written a very interesting and morbid book. This is much different than her previous two that I have read. It is set up as someone asks a question about death or death adjacent and she answers the question. Throughout the book she uses science, personal experience, and history to answer the questions which I enjoyed. Her voice is very similar to how she presents herself in her videos, which is great that her personality carries over so well.

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Strange Weather in TokyoStrange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not expecting to be so pulled into their companionship, but the writing and structure of their story was beautifully done. I really enjoyed seeing them find each other over and over again.

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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great installment of this historical fiction series. I don’t want to stay too much since this is book 6 in a series, but this one did not disappoint and it holds its own within this saga.

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If It BleedsIf It Bleeds by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another good collection of short stories by King. It was really nice to see Holly again from the Mr. Mercedes series. I think she is now no of my favorite King characters or at least in the top 3 easily. This collection has 4 stories, three I really liked, the second one I didn’t like too much.

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I am currently reading two books at this point in time. I am reading Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, I am really loving this book so much and I am so glad I am able to read it. At this time I am only 12% into it and I can tell it will be a contender for a top book of 2020. The second book I am reading is Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. I am about 8% into this and I am enjoying finally reading this classic horror.


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

How are your reading month coming along? 

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To Be Read

To Be Read | October 2020

Hello and welcome to my monthly TBR post. This month I am going to be keeping my TBR small and simple, especially since I now only have about 10 books on my owned TBR and my goal this month is to get it down to 5 books, I really hope I am able to do this! Anyway, here are the books I am planning on reading this month.



Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coats, I have been hearing about this book quite a lot over the last few months and I happened to come across this on discount at my local bookshop and I decided to pick it up. I will be honest, I don’t know too much about it, but I am quite excited to see what everyone has been talking about.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, this is a horror novel that was picked for me by the service TBR. I have read a short story by this author before and enjoyed it so I am looking forward to seeing if I will continue to enjoy his works.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, this book was picked for me to read by Maggie from Storme Reads a Lot for my Someone Picks my Books series I have here on my blog. I am really excited to take a deep dive into such a propionate ex-cold case.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I have not read this classic horror before, but I have watched so many adaptations and retellings that I feel like I could tell you what it is about. But, I decided for Halloween this year I am going to read this classic horror novel and put to the test how much of the story I actually know.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, I started reading this earlier in September, but my schedule got in the way of me reading this tome all the way through. I am about 50% through at the time of writing this so it should not take me too long to finish this tale.


What are you planning on reading this month?

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Tags

Let’s Talk | The Prediction Book Tag

Let's Talk

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


Rules

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

Each Prompt is a Prediction for My

Next Read

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

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

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

Next 5-Star Read

After the Quake by Haruki Mauakami

After the Quake

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

Next 1-Star Read

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

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

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

Next Love Interest

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and  Melissa de la Cruz

Jo & Laurie

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

Next Book You’ll Be Buying

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

Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel

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

Next Book That Will Leave you With a Book Hangover

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon 

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

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


I Tag

Erica

Ash

Celina

Jessica


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

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to this months reading wrap up! This month has been a stand out for me for this year and not for the best reasons. This year I have managed to read double digits every single month before this month, this month I struggled to read what I did read. I am not really sure what the reason was, I was not in a reading slump. I think I was just tired, I am not really sure how to explain it. I tried to turn it around in the later part of the month by doing a challenge, you can read about that in my post called, Challenge | One Week Reading Before Bed. This was nice because it kind of restarted my habit of reading, I am thankful I gave it a go. Well, even though this was not the best reading month, I still managed to read a few books and here they are!


Read 2

The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since this is the fifth book in the series, I don’t want to say so much. But, I will say that this is a wonderful continuation of the series. As always the writing is wonderful, the research put in is apparent, and the characters are still written amazingly.

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The Taming of the Shrew (Barnes  Noble Shakespeare)The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, this was a pretty alright read. There were parts that I really disliked about this play. First how t8765423533523242e “shrew” is treated really kinda pissed me off to no end. I might have annotated this with a few “WTF!” throughout. I did like the other aspects such as the “pretending”, I wont say more than this because I don’t want to ruin this play for others. Honestly, part of me wants to rate this lower than I have as more time passes. Might come back and do that.

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MooncakesMooncakes by Suzanne Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderful graphic novel. I loved the relationship characters, a plot through and through.

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MiddlegameMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I actually wrote up a whole review on this book for a my series called, Someone Picks My Books. If you want to hear all of my thoughts and why I enjoyed it so much please check out my review here: Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

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The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3)The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic end to the series and it took some surprising turns and new characters. I felt like a lot of growth happened between book 2 and 3 for quite a few characters as well. I really liked how a lot was resolved, but also the ending leaves a lot open as well to let you think of what might have happened.

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Northanger AbbeyNorthanger Abbey by Jane Austen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved the use of novels and story telling throughout this novel and how it impacted the main characters imagination. This was a very good novel and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I might even like this more than Pride and Prejudice.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 10


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

How did you do in your OWLs? 

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Wrap Up

JULY 2017 | Wrap Up

Wrap Up

5 STARS:

The Way Back to Florence  by Glenn Haybittle

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I really enjoyed this book if you could not tell from my 5 stars. I did a review of this book, you can find it here: Review | The Way Back to Florence by Glenn Haybittle

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story by Marie Kondō

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This is the first book I read by Marie Kondo and I had to go to the library right away and get the first book she wrote right away.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō

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I loved this book and the manga version of the book very much. I even decided to give KonMari method a try. I started a short series on this. You can find the first post I wrote on the book and my experience here: Decluttering | The Start of it All

4 STARS:

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

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I have to say I enjoyed this book much more that I anticipated. Don’t get me wrong Stephen King is my favorite author, but I love him for his horror. This series isn’t horror, but it gets you freaked out and on edge anyway. I would say it is more suspense.

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

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This was better than the last book in the series, I have to say while I enjoyed this I had to push myself through the book. At times it just felt too long.

Drums of Autumn byDiana Gabaldon

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Another good edition to this series, there were definitely  a few turns in the story I was not expecting to happen. While I enjoyed it I might not read the next one in the series for some time because I think it put me into a bit of a book slump.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

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This was a cute read that I got through very quickly. It tugged at my heart strings and took a look at human nature and family dynamics.

BINGO UPDATE:

I have not had a single bingo yet, but I have set myself up to get quite a few during the month of August. If you have any recommendations for the squares that are not open please share them with me in the comments.


WHAT DID YOU READ THIS MONTH?

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Reviews

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

gabaldon-dragonfly-in-amber-220x332

This is the second book in the Outlander Series written by Diana Gabaldon. I would say that it definitely added to the series, it expanded the world and on the characters we love and hate, while added a few new ones.

I have to say, over all I did enjoy the second installment. I will say this book starts off on the slower side; I had to push through the first 75 pages or so. I am glad I pushed through and didn’t give up. You follow Clare on a new adventure and you hear and see characters you never thought you would hear from. Diana Gabaldon is good at surprising readers in this way. All I have to say is I did not expect what was coming when I started this book and honestly it is refreshing to be surprised by books lately, because so many have the same troupes. That is not to say that this series is free of them, but is it less predictable in that way.

I would say if you enjoyed the first one in the series you will enjoy this one as well, but do be warned it does start a tad bit slowly so it might be a little difficult to get into right away. I gave this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Wrap Up

Currently Reading: May 30th, 2016

The last month or so have been very busy indeed. I have taken on quite a bit of responsibilities and I am loving it. I am finally starting to fully find my new balance between these responsibilities, family & friend time, and me time.

I thought I would share what I am currently reading since I am actually read again.

  1. Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics, I am about 21 pages in and I am really enjoying the style of this poet.
  2. Poems of Osip Mandelstam Translated by Peter France, I am 15 pages in and I am still on the fence as to how I feel about these poems.
  3. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, I have about 100 pages left. I do love the story of this series, but from time to time I feel like there is a bit to much “fluff”.

What are you currently reading?