Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Well, here I am to share my first monthly wrap up of 2019. It seems like this month has gone slow, but also thrown by for me. I saw my first snow fall of the season, started playing around with programming and painting once again. I feel refreshed as well as have a drive I have not had in some time. I am not sure why the new year sparked this in me, but it has and I am happy about it.

So, as before, some of these books have been previously shown in Middle Mark | January 2019, but I wanted to post a comprehensive wrap-up. If you wish to skip over the books I already talked about I have no problem with that, but I have quite a few more books I read because I ended up reading 11 books.

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Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: REVIEW | Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle / Zainab Khan. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

5stars

I wrote an entire review of this book, but I will sum it up here. I really enjoyed this novel. I loved how period accurate it was and how the author used real names from the year that this is taking place. I also enjoy how she embodied the time period, but also exposed the issues that and pointed out how unfair the system was towards particular people. It is safe to say that I am preordering this novel. (Originally found here REVIEW | The Familiars by Stacey Halls)

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven

3stars

Overall, this was a really good short eerie short story. I can see why it is a classic that people talk about time and time again. But, it also did not wow me like other eerie stories  I have read in the past.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

5stars

This was an amazing read, I am kinda mad at myself for putting it off so the last few months. I really loved the conversation that book brings to the forefront. How it shows a different perspective that I really appreciate being shared with me. I also loved how I could relate tot the it me period this book takes place in. I remember the walkmans, start of the iPods and I really relate to the high prices text messages and minuets used to be. I feel like the mixture of highly relatable aspects as well as seeing a new perspective really  made this such a wonderful book. I highly suggest you picking this up. I feel like I am not articulating myself quite right, but I loved this book.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them

4stars

I really enjoyed the fact that this book had so many voices and talked on so many topics. There was a mixture of playlists, lists, essays, poetry, interviews and more. It was a wonderful read that allowed me to read the thoughts of some people I know, but also expose me to others I will now be looking into their work.

Another thing I loved was the continued reading section where books are recommended and also a section to workout your own thoughts on feminism. This book doesn’t just talk at you, it starts a conversation. (Originally found here).

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

4stars

I really loved how this seemed to be more of an anthropological look at death as apposed to her other book. I really enjoyed how she explored how cultures within the US and around the world pay respect to their loved ones with no judgement. It really is eye opening how we are all the same species, but we have our own ways we pay respect to those we love. It is comforting that we can all find a way to honor those who came before us. I hope to see more writings by her because I have enjoyed both of her books immensely. (Originally found here).

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

5stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took. (Originally found here).

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

4stars

This book is such an adventure, it starts with a young boy, age 11. Sadly, he is a slave on a sugar plantation in Barbados run by two brothers. The author wrote a beautiful book that shows the ugly that is slavery. It talks about awful psychological games played by owners and the bad treatment many had to endure unfairly. I also like how the author showed abolitionists and aspects of the underground railroad. The dangers of faced by those who escaped and freed those who did not belong to them. I also really enjoyed the science, art, and almost steampunk elements. I am honestly not doing this book justice, but I will say it was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018 and it is well deserved. I also have to agree with the quote on the front of my book calling it a masterpiece.  (Originally found here).

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Hauls

Book Haul | December 2018

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So, the last month of the year between buying myself goodies and others being so wonderful and gifting my books has led to me having the largest haul since bookcon in June of this year. So, it is safe to say I will be doing a lot of reading in the new future. I don’t want to ramble on because I have quite a few books here, but I will say some I have been wanting a while and a few were gems I just happen to learn about fairly recently and felt like I needed to have them.

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Gifts

Brining Down the Colonel by Patrica Miller

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington

This book was a huge surprise! I got it from one of my friends as an early present and I have to say she picked a great one. This book follows the events that were considered scandalous at the time. A young women was accusing a Colonel of sexual assault. This book talks about how it was received and what happened. I am really curious to see the social ramifications at the time since it seems to mirror a lot of what we see today.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sit Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes

I absolutely love Sherlock Holmes and I had the complete collection in a collection of ripped paperbacks. Well, I am luck to receive this fo-leather bound editions for Christmas. It was a wonderful gift and I am so happy with the upgrade. From what I have seen about this edition it seems to be chronological, but time will tell as I make my way through it.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo

This is a book I have been hearing a ton about this year. I think there was a read-along going on on twitter and I know I have been talking to my friend Jenna about reading this in the future. I asked for the book so I would be ready to go, but I did not expect this beautiful edition. It is bright and beautiful, even the sprayed edges are gold and it has a ribbon bookmark. I am going to love reading this.

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The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

The Far Field

This was my December Book of the Month pick, I am really curious to see how this book plays out. I did not really look at the description before picking up the book apart from it being set in Asia. I want to read more books from around the world in the upcoming year so I thought this would be a wonderful way to start the journey.

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

This is a non-fiction novel I have been hearing a ton about in the last few months. While I was in school I studied the Russian Revolution among a few other topics and when I heard such good things about this I thought I would expand my own edition by learning about the family of one of the most notorious Soviet Russian leaders. You always hear about the person or the people living under their reign, but to learn about their daughter, that is something new to me. So, I am very excited to jump into this book.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

This was a book I knew I needed to get since I am doing a bit of a challenge in the new year, Reading Goals |Reading a Shortlist. This was the first book on the list I came across in the wild to I scooped it up to take home with me. I have heard some wonderful things from those I trust when it comes to book reviews so I think I will end up very impressed.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies: Amazing Women on What the F-Word Means to Them

I  originally saw this book in a post by Amy, where she explored her favorite bookshop and I felt like I needed to have it. I ended up putting in an order for it and then I actually picked it up on the way to my friends wedding. Let’s just say, they know my love of books and would have understand if I was a few moments late. lol. I really like that this explores the meaning of the word feminism and how this word means so many different things to each person.

Milkman: A Novel by Anna Burns

Milkman

So, this was another book from my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist list and I saw it when I ran into the store to pick up the previous book. Since it was on sale I grabbed it without thinking about it and added it to my order. I am so exited to now have two books on the list to start off the year. I feel like this is going to be a very atmospheric book and I hope I am correct.

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House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

4stars

I cannot believe I have finished this book! I was totally thinking this read would follow me into 2019, but I pulled a late night because this book serious hooked me. I totally understand why this is considered a favorite by many. I may or may not have read the last 300 pages in one sitting. This is a very interesting horror book that is is more creepy than outright scary. It seems like it is more a mind game than anything else. I really enjoyed how this unorthodox book was put together and how it was more than one story. It was refreshing to read something so different. I will mention I tried to read this when I was in middle school, when it first came out. I am glad I never finished it then, because I know I would not have appreciated it as much. There are layers and layers and you need to dissect this book a little bit.

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What was the last book you acquired?

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Reviews

REVIEW | Women of Resistance by Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan

BookReview12:17

Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description 

A collection with a feminist ethos that cuts across race, gender identity, and sexuality.

Creative activists have reacted to the 2016 Presidential election in myriad ways. Editors Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan have drawn on their profound knowledge of the poetry scene to put together an extraordinary list of poets taking a feminist stance against the new authority. What began as an informal collaboration of like-minded poets—to be released as a handbound chapbook—has grown into something far more substantial and ambitious: a fully fledged anthology of women’s resistance, with a portion of proceeds supporting Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Representing the complexity and diversity of contemporary womanhood and bolstering the fight against racism, sexism, and violence, this collection unites powerful new writers, performers, and activists with established poets. Contributors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Sandra Beasley, Jericho Brown, Mahogany L. Browne, Danielle Chapman, Tyehimba Jess, Kimberly Johnson, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Maureen N. McLane, Joyce Peseroff, Mary Ruefle, Trish Salah, Patricia Smith, Anne Waldman, and Rachel Zucker. –goodreads.com 

What I Liked

One of the main thing I like about this collection of poems is the fact that you can tell it is written by a wide array of women. You can tell they all have different life experiences and circumstances. For me, that is a sign of a well rounded collection. Due to this the poems are very different from one another, but they all share that single thread with one another. Feminism, strong women. This also led to there being so many different voices and I found myself really enjoying the scope of styles and stories that these individuals wrote.

Another thing I liked about this was the fact that this was a collection labeled as feminist and was truly feminist. It talked about equality of all. There were poems that dealt with race, violence, and of course gender issues. It was a nice seeing a collection and a book labeled as feminist saying “All. All. All!” instead of “Us. Us. Us!”

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like, which is more me being unprepared than any fault of the book itself. Some of the poems were difficult, which I think they need to be to be true to themselves. But, this being unexpected made some of the reading difficult. But, as soon as I knew what some of the poems might be exploring I was fine. It was just the initial surprise. So just a warning, some of these poems explore very difficult situations.

Overall Thoughts

I would have to say I enjoyed this poetry collection. It explored the voices of an array of writings giving it a distinct feeling of authenticity. It also gives a voice to those who have gone through difficult experiences. It really makes you think outside of your own bubble and forces you to face it. If you enjoy feminist literature and poetry I would say you should pick this collection up. It was wonderful.

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Author Links

Danielle Barnhart

Danielle Barnhart

Twitter: @dani_barnhart

Iris Mahan

Image result for Iris Mahan editor

Website for both: villageofcrickets

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Book Information

Publisher: OR Books

Publication Date: March 13th 2018

List Price: $14.95

ISBN: 9781944869793

Pages: 204 pages

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I want to note that I received this book from Netgalley for this review. My review is honest and all thoughts are my own.

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Hauls

Book Haul: May 2017

Book Haul.jpg

Even though I had a book haul already this month, for my birthday, I wanted to share the books I picked up for myself for the fun of it. If you have read any of these let me know what you thought!


The Circle by Dave Eggers

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I mainly picked this book up because I have been hearing some great things and it has been made into a movie. Even though I know a lot of movie adaptations are not nearly as good I always enjoy seeing them. When you see a movie adaptation two things can happen. The first is that you get to see a book “come to life” before your eyes not just in your head. The second is you can see a different story that may be good on its own.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

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This has been a book I have been intrigued by for a while, but for some reason I did not want to buy it myself. So when I won RAVEN AVERY milestone giveaway I finally picked it up and I am so happy I did. I am saving this for the summer when I have time to read a trilogy. P.S. thank you again Raven!


The Last Days of Magic: A Novel by Mark Tompkins 

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I love reading books about magic, so when I saw the title and read the description I had to have this book. It has a wonderful mixture of myths, magic, and mysticism. All things I  cannot ignore. So in my basket to checkout it went.

“What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons? Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.”

– via goodreads.


Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie 

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I picked this book up because I have been on a Whose Line is it Anyway? kick. If you are unsure of what I am referring to it is an improve comedy show that has been around since the 1990s. I grew up watching it and I have been watching a lot of the old episodes lately. So of course I wanted to read a book by one of these guys. I already read this book and write up a little review you can find here: Not Quite The Classics by Colin Mochrie. Over all I enjoyed it, I had a few good laughs and read it pretty quickly.


Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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I picked this book up for a few reasons. The first being it had to do with law, the second it talks about a strong woman, and lastly the name caught my attention then the description sealed the deal. I have read this already and enjoyed it. It had some cool graphics and images from all periods of her life. It told an amazing story of a strong woman breaking barriers and giving the future woman of the U.S. an opportunity to do great things.


One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays by Scaachi Koul

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This book I did not really know that much about when I picked it from my BOTM (Book of the Month) dashboard. From what I have read on the little blurb it seems like it is going to be an interesting read and I am looking forward to reading it in the future.


Waking Gods: Book 2 of The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel 

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I read the first book in this series last year, I think I also got it from BOTM. I loved the series and when I knew this was coming out I went to the bookstore on release day to get my hands on. Since this is the second book in a series I don’t really want to say much more.


What books have you picked up this past month?

Have you read any of these?

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TBR

MAY TBR: 2017

TBR.jpg

This month I am giving myself a small TBR for two reasons. The first reason is that this month is my birthday month and I am seeing friends I have not seen in quite some time over the next few weeks ends. If you have read my post: My Reading Routine you will know I read mostly during the weekends. The second reason is work is generally a bit overwhelming this time of year so I take quite a bit home with me. Regardless, I plan on reading some good books!

 

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The first book on my TBR is 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Stephen King books are my happy place I have realized. Lately, I have been DNFing a lot of books. I’m not sure if my reading tastes have changed or I have just become horrible at picking books. Regardless of the reason I have decided to pick up a book by an author who has never let me down. This book is a mixture of history and time travel, how can that not be good?

 

 

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The Next book on my list is Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik. This non-fiction books discusses the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I want to read this for two reasons, one I love learning about other peoples lives and experiences. The second reason is because it discusses the civil rights and U.S. government policies since she has been a Justice. Flipping through the book it has copies of documents, photos, cartoons, and other graphics that seem intriguing.

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The last book I plan on reading this month is SPQR by Mary Beard. This is a non-fiction book that discusses the history of Ancient Rome. Even though I have studied history, I have realized that this is an area I am not that well versed in. So I plan on fixing that. Now, this one is one is a large one. So even if I only get half way through it this month I will be proud of myself.

 

 

 


So, those are the three books I plan on reading this month, chances are there will be a few more sprinkled in between. Especially with all the non-fiction, but we shall see what happens. Just so you know all titles are links to each books goodreads page incase you want to know more about these books.

Happy Reading!


What books are you reading this month? Have you read any of the books I have mentioned?

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Reviews

REVIEW: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

4

*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

There are a few things I would like to start off with before I go into this book review. The first being is that this book really hit me hard. I had to set it down a few times because the emotional roller coaster it put me through. This book talks about not only extremely brave and courageous women, but also how they suffered. Secondly, I wanted to let you know that I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In this book Kate Moore talks about workers rights and women’s rights as humans. She tells the story of those “lucky” women who were picked to paint clock faces 31409135with the shining element Radium. She writes this historical book with support from documentation, but presents it in a humanizing way. I have to say as someone who studied history, this is one of the few books that made me feel. Many history based texts are filled with facts to a point the reader is disconnected from the events. That is not the case for The Radium Girls, from almost the start I saw these people as humans, not a statistic. In the beginning of the book Moore states “no book existed that put the radium girls center stage and told the story from their perspective” (location 22, netgally PDF version), well I have to say she succeed, she gave them a voice and a spotlight.

I really liked how much thought was put into this book. Moore not just read about these women in the archives, but traveled and visited their families, their  loved ones. She took the time to know them outside of the documents. This can be seen throughout the book. I also enjoyed that this book was written more as a narrative, like we were following these women, not just reading about them. I honestly found it refreshing. I also liked how raw it was, Moore not only wanted you to connect with these women and give them a voice, but to also showed everything they went through. Earlier I said that Moore discusses workers rights and women’s rights and that is true. These women were told that this element was not harmful in the slightest, to the point they put their used brushes into their mouths. They were lied to, as humans and as workers. Now I also said that this book discussed women’s rights, and it does. During this time period, women were seen as less, they were not valued. Regardless, they came together to fight for what was right. It really blew me away how brave these women were.

Over all I decided to give this book a 4/5 stars. It was a great read and I highly suggest it to anyone who is interested in learning about how Radium was used, its effects, workers rights, and those who are interesting in reading about strong women. But, as I stated earlier, this book can really affect you. It goes into detail how being exposed to Radium effected these women, which I think is important, but might not be for everyone. This book is expected to be published on May 2nd, 2017.

4 STARS!

If you are interested in finding out more about The Radium Girls by Kate Moore or reading more reviews click here to go over to the goodreads page.


Book Information

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017

List Price:$26.99

ISBN:9781492649359

Pages: 480


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Wrap Up

#ReadThemAllThon| Week One Wrap Up

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Reading overview of August 14th- August 20th

Finished Books:

  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Started Books:

  • The Feminist Utopia Project: Fifty-Seven Visions of a Wildly Better Future by Alexandra Brodsky(Editor) and  Rachel Kauder Nalebuff (Editor)
  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

My Pokemon:

My Abra evolved into Kadabra thanks to my progress into the started books!

Reflection:

This Readathon didn’t start off to an amazing start, but it is progressing so that is always a nice bonus. As I write this a few days into the second week I am happy to say I have made nice progress and have started a few more books.


 

How is your reading progressing? What are you currently reading?

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