Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Bookstore Travels

A few weeks ago I drove a few hours to Princeton University and walk around the historic campus and downtown. To my amazement when we were walking around the downtown I found a cute little bookstore that I HAD to go into. Let’s just say I spent an hour in here easily.

The Bookstore: Labyrinth Books 

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What cause my eye first about this bookstore was the fact that they had 6 or 7 tables out front piled high with books. Not only were there so many outside they were ALL on sale! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE when books are on sale. It means I can buy more and not feel as guilty about spending money on them.

When I finally combed through all of the sale books I headed inside dragging my friend along. The inside was bright and beautiful. There were books on two floors. There were displays by subjects, new releases, ancient texts, and classics. What I liked the most was the wide range of non-fiction that I don’t normally find in my local bookstores. So jealous of people who live a reasonable distance away from this place. Here are a few pictures I was able to take inside the shop.


After spending about an hour in this store I ended up leaving with three gorgeous books. Still so sad I have to travel hours to get to this place!

The Haul:

 


I think I want to plan some more day trips to far off bookstores. On a side note, this campus is just as beautiful as the bookshop!

What is your favorite bookstore you love to visit?

 

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TBR

April Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

This is one of my favorite readathons, the reason being it is only 24 hours long. It is an entire day just dedicated to reading and nothing else. One day readathons I can tell people, “Hey, I’m not going to answer your phone calls, texts, or go out, but I will get back to you tomorrow”. You can’t do that for an entire week, people get a bit upset. Anyway, I just wanted to share with you that I am doing this readathon, what this readathon is, and what book/books I plan on reading.


 

What: This readathon is a 24 hour reading marathon or a day dedicated to reading. There are optional mini challenges that will be posted on their blog throughout the day, twitter sprints, and activities. Physical, e-books, and audiobooks all count, which I love. There is a lot going on with this “small” readathon, I encourage you to check out their blog and visit their FAQ section.

When: This readathon takes place on April 29th, 2017 , but be warned this one does not start at midnight your time. It starts at the same time around the world, but I did find this nifty link that tells you when it will start in your timezone. You can get that helpful information here, thank you Little Book Owl for sharing this link!

 

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The Ordinary Spaceman by Clayton C. Anderson

23493952The Ordinary Spaceman puts you in the flight suit of U.S. astronaut Clayton C. Anderson and takes you on the journey of this small-town boy from Nebraska who spent 167 days living and working on the International Space Station, including more than forty hours of space walks. Having applied to NASA fifteen times over fifteen years to become an astronaut before his ultimate selection, Anderson offers a unique perspective on his life as a veteran space flier, one characterized by humility and perseverance” via goodreads. I actually met this amazing guy and he was so nice and kind, I can’t wait to read it.

One Day We’ll All Be Dead And None Of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul

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“Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada” via goodreads. I received this book in my bookofthemonth box about a week ago and I am very excited about it and can’t wait to dive in.

 

Readathon Links: Wesbite – Twitter –  Instagram


 

I know that this TBR is a bit short, but I do not plan on staying up the entire 24 hours, just dedicate an entire day to ready. If you are joining in please let me know, I plan on being very active on Twitter during this readathon and would love to chat.

 


Regardless if you are participating or not, what are you reading this weekend?

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Tags

The Cake Book Tag

So I was watching some booktube instead of reading today and I saw PeruseProject do this tag and I thought would be fun to do. I did make it a bit more challenging by making myself stick to books I have read in the last 12 months. Time to mix all the ingredients together and make a great book cake! P.S. All titles are linked to go to the books goodreads pages if you are interested in learning more about the books. 

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source: Princeton Public Library

 

FLOUR: A book that was a little slow to start, but really picked up as it went along.

Euphoria by Lily King 

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Euphoria by Lily King is a great book, when I finished it I knew it would be a book I would revisit. But, it didn’t start off that way. At first it was a little slow even though it was interesting, but I almost put it down for good. Then, the story picked up and I couldn’t put it down. Talk about a 180. 

Blurb: “Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is the story of three young, gifted anthropologists of the 1930s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.” via goodreads

BUTTER: A book that had a rich, great plot. 

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

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Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel was one of the best books I read last year. I was so engrossed in the story and invested. It had an interesting concept and the plot took unexpected twists and turns. The sequel, Waking Gods, came out not that long ago and I cannot wait to get to it. 

Blurb: “A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.” via goodreads

EGGS: A book you thought was going to be bad, but actually turned out quite enjoyable. 

The Picture of Dorian Gray

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While the description of this classic sounds interesting for some reason I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it at all. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed it. It was the perfect mixture of having the classic critiques, gothic style, and it can still be related to the modern world. 

Blurb: “Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890” via goodreads

SUGAR: A sugary, sweet book.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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Ah, the sugar in this book cake, The Rosie Project. I have to say I just adored this book, I think mainly because it speaks a lot to my personal life and I made a connection to it. I fell in love with this book nearly right from the beginning. 

Blurb: “Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project.” via goodreads

ICING : A book that covered every element that you enjoy about a book.  

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter 

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The Jackaby series is an auto buy series for me, I even have the next book on preorder. From the three that are currently out I have loved every single one. For my personally, that has never happened before. Even with my beloved (and most likely a lot of other peoples) Harry Potter series. There are books I am just meh about, but still enjoy. But Ghostly Echoes is great and so is the rest of the series, it is a mixture of Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes. I know I should not be comparing this series to other series (TV and books), but it really is. 

Blurb from book one: “Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose.” via goodreads

SPRINKLES: A book series that you can kind of turned back to for a little pick me up when you’re feeling down.

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

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Do I really need to explain this one? lol.


THE CHERRY ON TOP: Your Favorite book you have read so far this year.

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel 

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So far The Stranger in the Woods has been my top read. Mainly because it has a sense of adventure, justice, psychology, and a wonderful story that is not intimidating at all to read. This book is with well researched and has personal touches that make a great narrative. 

Blurb:”In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries.” via goodreads

If you have made it this far into this post I congratulate you, it was a bit of reading for sure. This posts question is…

What book would be your butter in your Cake Book Tag?

Thank you for reading, have a great day and happy reading!


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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

Funny Book Stories

Since this weekend is filled with family I thought it would be fun to share some funny book related stories or antidotes dealing with my family.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling

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So when I was younger for some reason I refused to read the Harry Potter series. I am not sure why I did not want to read it, but I was determined not to read it. On the other hand my Aunt Patty who I called Uncle Patty, because it sounded better, was determined to get me to read it. She started reading them as they were published and recognized them as something I would love, I was just a suborn child lol. She bought be a different edition nearly every time she came over. I had a first edition, large print, UK edition, mass market paper back, paper back, and probably more. She was trying her best to get my to read my now beloved series. Then one year she decided to take another approach. She bought me to a midnight release party at a legit castle. It was the most magnificent thing I have seen. The castle was lit up just like Hogwarts, everyone was in costume, and there was even a Diagon Alley set up where you could buy pets, brooms, and your supplies for Hogwarts. It was here I began to want a pet toad so I could be like Neville. My Aunt rightfully said, “I think you should ask your mom first”. Sadly, I was so young I cannot remember if it was the 4th book or not, but I do know that it was a magical night that bought the books to life for me and I have absolutely loved the books since. So moral of the story is, I am stubborn and the only way to make me read something is to bring me to a castle.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

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Alright, so this one is another story of where I boycott a book also dealing with my Aunt Patty. When I was younger I would spend weekends at my Aunt’s house. At this time she did not have her son, but often watched my older cousins and I. Even though she LOVED to read, she only had one children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Well, every night that I slept over she would read it to me. Once I was all tucked in she would pull it out and sit  beside me a read. Week after week, month after month, quite frankly even though I have “heard” the story so many times I cannot remember what happens, I think I tuned it out. Anyway, it got to a point I would pretend to go to sleep so she would stop reading the story. I would put my head facing away so she could not see my eye, incase them moved. In my defense, you can only listen to the same story so many times before it gets boring. The funny part is my Aunt and I talked last year about this and she had no idea I was pretending to sleep. Then she told me I never really heard to entire story because she would change a particular part as she read because she didn’t want to scare me. So as it turns out we were fooling each other in a way. When we finally talked about it we had a really great laugh.


I hope you enjoyed this funny little stories, do you have any funny bookish stories? If you do I would love to hear them!

 

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

My Reading Routine

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When:

Most of the time my reading is done on the weekends. During the week I am working 98cbe271faf500e149e14f5527fc035b
everyday and when I come home I am tired. I just want to come home and turn off my brain for fear that it might overload. So, this leaves me with a lot of reading on the weekend. Now, since I don’t have work on the weekends, most weekends. I read anytime of day I can. If I have I have plans in the afternoon I will read in the morning and at night. If I have plans at night I read from the moment I wake up to the moment I need to start getting ready. I love reading and I make time for it, any time.

Where:

woodsI tend to read in two different places. Out of the two I prefer to read outside. I love reading outside, I find it relaxing and it removes me from a lot of the distractions in my life. Now, since this is outside I can’t only read here, but I wish I could! I tend to read outside in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, as long as it is not raining out or very windy. There is nothing more annoying than the wind turning the pages for you and you accidentally get spoiled.

The second place I like to read is in my room. I read either in my bed, or in my arm chair. I enjoy reading here is because it is my space, I can turn off the T.V. burn a candle and control the atmosphere. I can once again remove distractions from this room. The only down side is that sometimes you cannot tell other people to turn down the television. So I still get distracted or side tracked.

 

What I “need”:

When I read I personally do not “need” much. I say “need” and not need because if I did af4e46320371bdd4737232150cfd25abnot have these things I could still read. When I read I love to be comfortable, I tend to read for long periods of time. So I usually throw on my PJs or some yoga pants before I crack open my book. I also need quiet, now when I say quiet I do not mean the absence of sound. I mean I need to not hear people talking, that sounds so harsh, but is it true. Sorry! Hearing conversations or lyrics of a song distracts me personally and it stops me from getting involved in my book, which takes away from the reading experience. On the other hand, I do love listening to classical or instrumental music and the sounds of nature while I am reading.

When I am outside I really only need a comfortable place, my book, and a source of music. When I am inside I light a candle, get a comfortable blanket to wrap myself in, and put on some music. The candle I pick is usually something I think would go with the book. I am fortunate enough to have family and friends who make candles so I get gifted them often. Lighting a candle and changing the smell of the room, helps me feel like I am entering the world that was created between the pages. Also, another bonus to this is that when I light the candle outside of reading it reminds me of the story and characters.

So there are my reading habits/reading routine. I hope you enjoyed!


What is your reading routine?

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Reviews

Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

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Holding Up the Universe is the second book I have read by Jennifer Niven. I read All The Bright places with my Penpal Raven so we could discuss it and let me tell you, that book wrecked me. I was left crying and wanted more. Due to the fact I was so affected by this book I set out to read another book by Jennifer Niven.

*Any information mentioned about the characters or plot are mentioned in the blurb.

28686840Holding Up the Universe is a duel point of view book that follows Libby Strout and Jack Masselin. Libby is a strong character, she is fierce, strong, and yet vulnerable which makes her come across as real. Prior to the start of the book she has been through a lot, even has been given the title of “America’s Fattest Teen”.  Jack comes across as someone who just fits in with no problem. He has friends, a girlfriend, and seems to not have a problem in the world. But, that is not the true. He hide a secret from everyone, even his family. He cannot recognize anyone, even when he sees himself.

As you read the book you explore what Jack and Libby are currently going through, but you also learn a lot about their past. You explore the whys of Libby getting the title of “America’s Fattest Teen”. You also  explore Jack’s relationship with prosopagnosia. I have to say the one thing I enjoyed most about this book is that is explores relationships. Not just romantic relationships, which there are, but also friendship, parent-child, and also being a good citizen. When you start the book not all of these are present, but as the characters grow you begin to see the humility and the good that comes from just being nice to one another and respectful.

Additionally, this book sheds light on a topic that is not really discussed. Prosopagnosia, which I have heard about, but I did not understand what it actually was. I am grateful that Jennifer Niven took this and decided to share it with others through her writing. Throughout the book there are definitions, statics, and resources. All of which I found helpful.

Throughout this book there are good times and bad. You see the characters grow and become stronger. My favorite part of this book is not a specific moment, but how it made me feel. Jennifer Niven has the ability to make you so invested in her characters that you cannot help but get excited when good things happen to them, get anxious when something wrong might happen, and mad when something bad happens. Let me tell you I felt all of those emotions. I recommend this book, I enjoyed it from page one all the way until the end. If you enjoy reading about high school romances, a little of adventure, self discovery, explore relationships, and the idea of knowing this book is for you. Once again Jennifer Niven has me wanting to buy another book of hers and read it right away.

5 stars!

P.S. There may or may not be a little shout out to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on page 211.

Here is a link to the Goodreads page.


Book Information

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: October 2016

List Price:$17.99

ISBN:978-0-385-75592-4

Pages: 391


If you have read this book, what did you think? If not do you plan on reading it?

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TBR

March TBR: 2017

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This month I decided to give a TBR a try. While this list only has 4 books on it, one of them is well over 1,000 pages, by definition a tome. So I decided to keep this list short and sweet, listing the books I am most excited to read. If you are interested I have linked all books to their goodread pages. There you will find a summary and some reviews. Happy reading!

It by Stephen King (Horror)

Patient H.M. : A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich (Non-fiction)

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven (Young Adult)

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon (Young Adult)


What are you reading this month?

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Wrap Up

February2017 | Wrap Up

Five Star Books:

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Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter was the only 5 star read I had this month. I loved it and you can find my review of this book here.


Four Star Books:

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This month I had 4 books I rated 4 stars. Maybe it was meant to be? You decide. 🙂 Anyway, you can find the reviews for Z and A Gentleman in Moscow here. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams  was wonderful. It reminded me of how much I love short stories. I liked all of the stories aside from one, which I think is great for a collection.. Most of the time I find myself only liking about half or a little more.  The Doctor Who box set was also a collection of short stories. Each book was roughly 40 pages or so. Each one was a retelling of a popular fairy tale with a Doctor Who twist. Sonic screwdriver and aliens included.


Three Star Books:

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These two books were overall enjoyable, but had a few faults. You can find a detailed review of these books here.


Two Star Books:

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After Alice was my lowest rated read of the month. I found it hard to get into and just fell flat. The reason I gave it two stars instead of one is because I can see why other people may enjoy it more so than I did. If you enjoy Alice in Wonderland look into other reviews, you may like it.


What was your favorite read this month?

 

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Reviews

Quarterly Co. Literary Box: February 2017

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Quarterly Co. is one of my favorite book boxes that I have tried over the years. For me personally I like that it is seasonal. It gives me time to read the books, when  I used to get a few monthly boxes I would get overwhelmed and that led to my TBR getting totally out of hand. I also like the fact you can pick YA or Literature. I like YA don’t get me wrong, but it was nice to find a box that was Adult Literature. Lastly I love how the box picks an author, they write notes throughout the book and then adds in a few books they enjoyed. It’s like having a book club with the author!

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This quarter was curated by Kayla Rae Whitaker. When I opened the box there was a typed note from the author explaining her book and an explanation for the other two books she included in the box. Not only do you get to read books chosen by an author, but you learn their significance to the author as well.

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This is what I love about this box, author notes! There was sticky  notes all over the pages in the book. I always get excited when I get to a page where I see one poking out a bit.

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The books that were included in this box are the curators debut book The Animators, which I am very exited to read. I read the description a while back and it sounded like fun. If follows two women who meet at a private college and follows them to a decade later where they are “now an award winning animation duo” (It is taken right from the description, no spoilers here). It seems to be a book following great friends through their ups and down, just a much needed feel good book since I have been on a thriller binge as of late.

The second and third books in the box I have never heard about. The first of these two books is The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which is a memoir that discusses diversity and love. Now that I have looked up the description I am very happy to have it to read in the near future. The final book in the box is The Annie Year by Stephanie Wilbur Ash. This book follows a well known patron of the arts in a small town. But, Annie does something that has serious repercussions on her life. Was it worth it? I’m not sure, but I will read a find out.


I hope you like my little unboxing*. You can find more information on this box by clicking the link right here. To find out more about the books mentioned simply click on the title, I linked to all of their goodreads pages.

What book or bookish subscription box do you subscribe to?

 

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*This is not an affiliate link or sponsored post. I buy this box happily with my own money.
Reviews · Wrap Up

#TBRTakeDown: Wrap Up

Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [COMPLETE]

7181920One of the most gripping classics I have read. It is the story of Walter Hartright, Laura Fairlie, and Marian Halcombe. Told from many different points of view. There is love, lies, a possible ghost, and villains that I grew to hate. If you are looking for a strong female character look no further than Marian Halcombe, she is fearless and a strong woman. She will do anything for those she cares about.

This book starts off nice enough it was cute and lovely, then the women in white shows up and things get weird. There were times I was generally mad at this book, not because it was written badly or because it was bad. I became so emotionally attached I was mad that Collins put these characters thought certain events.  Let me tell you, they go through some heart breaking and shocking things. Other times I was so excited I actually jumped out of my chair in excitement. I may or may not have also yelled in triumph. All I have to say is if you like classics I really think you will enjoy this. On the other hand, if you are “new” to classics I would say look into the story. It is interesting and it might intrigue you and pull you in.

Quote: “My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody.”


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles  [COMPLETE]

29430012A Gentleman in Moscow is a wonderful historical fiction story that takes place in Soviet Russia. Amor Towles story follows a man named Count Alexander Rostov or to most just Count as he is locked away in the Metropol by a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922. He is placed under house arrest because he is an aristocrat in a time where aristocrats are often thought of as better off dead.

I loved this book, it was wonderfully written and I was very attached to the Count and his friends. Each character was distinct and full of life. They all seemed and felt real to me. Additionally, it was amazing to see how Towles is able to tell an entire story from the inside a hotel following a single person and still bring in the social and political ideologies of the area. This book spans decades, you see characters grow old, characters you meet at children grow into adults, and ideologies and wars come and go. If you enjoy historical fiction, pick up this book. It is written beautifully. I will be looking into other books written by Towles.

Quote: “A king fortifies himself with a castle,” observed the Count, “a gentleman with a desk.”


Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo  [INCOMPLETE]


Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter  [COMPLETE]

28110857Since this book is a third in a series I wont say much about the plot. However, I will say that is series has never disappointed me. Is is always fast paced and I can never guess what will happen next. Jackaby and Abigail are amazing characters to follow. Their personalities have continued to stay true to themselves throughout each book. I highly recommend this series. If I were to describe it, I would say it is a mix between Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes. Filled with supernatural phenomenon and creatures.

William Ritter is a great author. His writing is addictive and flows freely. He paints a beautiful town, story, and creates great characters.


Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler  [COMPLETE]

15994634Therese Anne Fowler is a great story teller. Reading this book felt like Zelda Fitzgerald was reading me entries from her diary or telling me about her life over a cup of coffee or tea. One thing I would like to make it clear that this book is a historical fiction, not a biography. I feel like it could easily come across as a biography, which is good and bad. Good because you get so attached to Zelda and her story and the author’s writing is so confident and sure. The bad because people could take this as historical fact when it is not. Which, can cause a little confusion if you read a biography in the future.

This book tells many stories. The story of a woman, a wife, a mother, married life, the 1920s, and so much more. I picked up this book  because I always enjoyed reading about the 20s. This shows that even if you are not interested in F. Scott Fitzgerald or his wife directly, it is a good story. I enjoyed it so much I already told a few of my friends to pick it up. Also, a nice bonus is this has been adopted into a show by Amazon. So, I will be watching that in the near future.

Quote: “No writer should be the same as another, that’s not art.”


Other Reads

The Goldfinch by Danna Tartt

18655998When I first started reading this book I was in love with it. It is well written and follows the life of a child as he grows following losing his mother in an awful way. His life takes a horrific turn and he often finds himself in unsettling positions. But, as I read I started to become bored. Characters I once enjoyed became annoying. The book was full of action and somewhat fast pace began to slow to an annoying pace.

Danna Tartt’s writing is very good,  but this book was 200 pages to long. At this point it felt like she was just putting Thoe through stuff, just to have him suffer more. I think this book has its merits, it is different from a lot of the books you hear about and it does make you question and think. But, when I read a book I read not long to learn and to think, but also to be entertained. By the end of this book I was no longer entertained. This was upsetting because the first 500 or so pages were great. I’m still undecided if I will be picking up any other books by this author.

Quote: “When you feel homesick,’ he said, ‘just look up. Because the moon is the same wherever you go.”


Challenges that have been met: 4/5

Books Read: 5

Pages Read: 1586*


Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

 

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*I am not counting progress made before the read-a-thon