Goals

Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In

Reading Goals NEW

It is mind boggling to think that we are already halfway through 2019. It feels like it only just begun if you ask me. I almost totally forgot that I needed to do another check in on my year long goals. I felt like I had all the time in the world. Turns out, I only have another 6 months to meet all of these. If you want to see where I was. 3 months ago, you can see my previous check in here; Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 First Quarter Check In.

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-My Goals-

  1. Read all of the short listed books for the 2018 Man Booker Prize
  2. Read a book set in each of the 7 continents
  3. Read 50 books
  4. Read 30,000 pages
  5. Read at least one book per month from the library
  6. Read 12 non-fiction books
  7. Read a book recommended by someone I look up to
  8. Read my classic of 2019, War and Peace
  9. Take part in 2019 Beat the Backlist
    • My backlisted books are here.

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-My Updates-

  1. I recently did an update post on this goal in particular, Revisiting | Reading a Shortlist. To summarize I have read/DNFed 3 books out of the 6 on the list. If you want to see my reasonings and such, please look at that post I go into a lot of detail.
  2. At this point in the year I have read a books that take place on 4 of the 7 continents. I am still working on South America, Asia (already have a book picked), and Australia. If you have any reconditions from these continents please share!
  3. As of writing this June 10th, I have read a total of 38 books, I am very close to reaching this goal.
  4. At this point in time I have read 16851, so I am once again in pretty good shape and on track to hit my goal!
  5. So far I have read a book from the library for Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, and Jun! So I am sticking to this one for sure!
  6. I am happy to report that I am ahead of schedule on this goal, I have read a total of 11 non-fiction books this year. So, more than 25% of my read books are non-fiction. It is my most read genre.
  7. So, this goal I am a little on the fence about, I tried to read a book reccoemnded by Megan Mullally, Milkman, but I ended up DNFing it. So, I kinda did and kinda didn’t meet this goal? I am going to maybe try one more from this list since I only need to read one.
  8. So, reading War and Peace is progressing slowly, but surly I am currently on Book 7 out of 17 sections. I am a little behind, but I plan on catching up over the summer when I will have more time outside taking care of my plants.
  9. So, beat the backlist I have been keeping track of in my monthly wrap ups, As of writing this I only have 9 books still to read from 2018. I stared with 34, so not to shabby.

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-Bujo Spreads-

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How are your goals progressing so far?

Have you changed any of your goals?

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TBR

April TBR | 2018

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Happy April everyone! This month I think I am going to be reading a lot. I am not sure if it is because I read so much in March, but I just have a good feeling about April. This month I am buddy reading two different books, one a non-fiction and the other a thriller. I am also finishing up a non-fiction and a starting a fantasy series. I also am taking part in the Magical Readathon: OWLs Exams. I made a separate TBR a few days ago and explained the readathon a little bit as well. You can find that here: TBR | Magical Readathon OWLs Exams.

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The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

This month I will finish  reading The Wicked Boy with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and  Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring!

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past.

  • goodreads.com

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Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Unraveling Oliver

This is another buddy read with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and  Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring. What can I say, we love reading and discussing books with one another?

I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver is “a page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense” (Sunday Independent) that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.

  • goodreads.com

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

I have been interested in starting this series for a long time now and I think it is finally time. I have heard awesome things about this series and what I love most is that these books are so short. They are a great break in-between the larger books I read.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

  • goodreads.com

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Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38

I started this non-fiction account of Eleanor Roosevelt last month and I would like to finish it this month. This is the second book in a trilogy written by Cook, I am hoping it lives up to the first one. Fingers crossed!

Historians, politicians, feminists, critics, and reviewers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook’s monumental Eleanor Roosevelt as the definitive portrait of this towering female figure of the twentieth century. Now in her long-awaited, majestic second volume, Cook takes readers through the tumultuous era of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the gathering storms of World War II, the years of the Roosevelts’ greatest challenges and finest achievements. In her remarkably engaging narrative, Cook gives us the complete Eleanor Roosevelt— an adventurous, romantic woman, a devoted wife and mother, and a visionary policymaker and social activist who often took unpopular stands, counter to her husband’s policies, especially on issues such as racial justice and women’s rights. A biography of scholarship and daring, it is a book for all readers of American history.

  • goodreads.com

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What are you reading this month?

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Goals

Reading Goals | 2018 | 1st Quarter Review

Reading Goals

Since the third month of the year is coming to a close, that means it is time to check in with my yearly goals for my reading and my blog. I cannot believe that we are already a quarter of the way through 2018. I feel like this year is just flying by. Anyway, without further delay here are the updates on my 2018 goals!

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Update my blog post headers

I am happy to say that I have redesigned all of my banners and post headers. I love how them came out. This is one is a check!

Read 50 books

Currently I am ahead of schedule on this goal by 7 books. Woohoo!

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Read 30,000 pages

I am currently at 6519 pages. So that means if I continue on this path I will have 26,076 pages by the end of the year. So while I am making great progress I need to up my reading a bit, but I will admit this does not include books I am currently in the middle of so I might actually be on track. I guess we shall see.

Try new things

I think I am doing good with this one as well. I have started a few new series on my blog. The first being Operation Find a Hobby where I try a bunch of different hobbies to see if I like them or not. I also started a series where I have others pick out the books I add to my TBR.  If you wanted to see what I have tried so far or added to my TBR I shall link them below.

Operation Find a Hobby

Operation Find A Hobby | Introduction

Operation Find A Hobby | Embroidery

Operation Find A Hobby | Puzzle

_____ Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

Complete the 2018 POPSUGAR reading challenge

I would say that so far I am doing pretty good with this goal. I have 16 down and only 24 more to go according to my spreadsheet.

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How are your 2018 goals going?

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Hauls

Haul | March 2018

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Hello everyone! This months book haul is a lot smaller than it has been over the past few months so I decided to just post a picture of them instead of making a 30 second video. I hope you don’t mind. I have to admit I am a bit proud of myself for only picking up four books, it is very unlike me. I tend to go a little over board with discount books, but this month I kept myself in line. Anyway, here are the books I bought for myself in March!

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Late edition, oops! Cleopatra: A LifeDivider

The Books

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

Fingerprints of Previous Owners by Rebecca Entel

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What book(s) did you add to your TBR recently?

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Lets Talk

Lets Talk | Preordering Books

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Hello and welcome to the March discussion post. I have been loving these the past few months. Being able to hear your options and talk about books just makes me want to blog more. I started bookishluna because I wanted to talk books and to see all the support through comments and taking part in my polls has been great. Thank-you for talking books with me. If you want to read my previous discussion post you can find them here; Lets Talk | Reading Formats Lets Talk | Big Books.

Last month we talked about big books, this month lets talk about preordering books. But, before we move on to this months discussion topic I want to go over the poll results.

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The Results


The poll this month shows that most people like big books. I will admit I was thinking that more people would say no because they can be intimidating. Either way, if you like big books or not, we can all agree that books are amazing.

What do you think about the poll results?

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When you preorder a book, you are taking a chance, it could work out in your favor or not. A big fear of mine is preordering a book and absolutely hating it. We have all been there, we read a book description or review on a fell bloggers page and thought, “This book is for me”.  We preorder it and wait. When it finally arrived we happily open it and maybe share our bookmail on our social media accounts. Then when we go to read the book it falls flat for one reason or another. This is large con when it comes to preordering books. There is no guarantee we are going to like the book.

The pros to preordering are numerous. Sometimes there are preorder goodies, I know when I preordered The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon I was sent a beautiful full colored map of the world. I still have it displayed. Other times there may be exclusive covers, extra art, stickers, and other bookish goodies. Another bonus of preordering books is they are sometimes cheaper. This is not guaranteed, but in some cases if you preorder in advance online they prices may be cheaper. But, I will admit I am an advocate of preordering at a physical books store, chain or independent if you have access to that. When you do this, chances are you will not get a discount.

Another pro, which I find the most powerful is that it supports the author. It helps them get better release day/week numbers which helps them gain support for publishing another book. Now obviously, you can do this by going to the store on opening day, but I am horrible about remember release days. This way you don’t need to remember, it either shows up at your door or you get a phone call saying you can pick up your book.

If you want to hear it from an author you can see that Melissa Albert herself says the best says to support an author when you preorder or buy it in store on the appropriate date. Buying them before release date  does not support authors. So if you see a book out before their release date, it does not help their numbers. If you want to ensure you get a copy asap preorder it online or at a bookshop. I myself have seen them out before their date and have gotten super excited because I feel like I have found buried treasure. After realizing it does not help authors I will no longer buy books early.

Thanks again for letting me use your tweet! 

Now I want to take a moment to say that you can support authors by requesting their books at the library, I don’t always have money for book and I know a lot of people are also in the same boat. Now, I did a bit of reading and the amount of financial support authors get from library sales differ from author to author. I recently read a great post on the topic, How do authors make money from library books? I was curious because I wanted to know that these authors still get the support they deserve when I put a book on hold. It seems that they do, but in different ways. Divider

For me preordering books is something I do when it meets my criteria. For me to preorder a book it has to hit at least 2 of the following; I have read 1 or more of the authors works already and enjoyed them, the description of the books pulls me in, and/or I read a review by someones I trust or know I have similar tastes too. Having this criteria has helped me greatly. I am very rarely disappointed by books I preorder anymore.

Of course there is an exception, if I have read the book as an ARC and I loved it, I am going to preorder it as well. While I do want to support authors, I want to be as sure as I can be before spending money on a book. They can be expensive and sometimes my disposable income in limited.

(Some) Books I have Pre-Ordered and the Criteria They Met

  • Illustrated editions of Harry Potter: I read them all in original format
  • The Hazel Wood By Melissa Albert: Received as an ARC and reviewed
  • Review | The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: I read 2 books by her and the description sounded amazing.
  • The Dire King: A Jackaby Novel by William Ritter: I read the other books in the series and loved it, plus the description sounded like it was going to continue being amazing. (P.S this series is one where I loved every book) 
  •  I currently have Stephen Kings newest book The Outsider that comes out May 22nd, 2018 preordered. I have read at least 8 of his books and really enjoyed them. On top of that the description gave me the creeps, which is the point of a Stephen King book.

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What do you think about preordering books?

Do you preorder books? Let me know in the poll below.

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Wrap Up

Currently Reading | March 2018

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Hello everyone, March is already halfway through and I am just astonished. Time feels like it is just getting faster and faster. Anyway, I wanted to take this time to share with you the books I am currently reading. I hope you enjoy!

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Yes, I am still reading this book. It is not because I am no liking it, in fact I am enjoying this book quite a bit. So, when I want to read it I don’t want to be distracted. This leads to there being less reading opportunities.

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Fingerprints of Previous Owners by Rebecca Entel

Fingerprints of Previous Owners

I just started this and I am really loving it so far. If you want to know more about the plot/description you can see that here: March TBR | 2018Divider

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

I am currently buddy reading this book with 3 of my friends. I will not be finishing it this month, but that does not mean I don’t want to. I keep having to force myself not to get ahead of the buddy read. Once again you can check out my March TBR | 2018 for the description.

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What book(s) are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

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So last month I posted Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books which was a ton of fun. I thought it would be fun to continue having other people pick out my books. This month I decided to go to my local independent bookstore and see if I could ask someone to pick out a few books for me to add to my TBR. Without further ado, here is what happened!

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So I ended up going on a nice Saturday morning before I had to do anything. I stopped a little coffee shop and got a nice iced mocha, a recent favorite of mine. I walked the few blocks to my local bookstore.

Now with my previous _____ Picks My Books it was my boyfriend. I was comfortable enough to give him rules. I was about to walk up to a stranger and ask them to help me, I couldn’t give them rules. To me doing this sounded rude so I decided to ask them if they could recommend two of their favorite books.

Now, I will admit I am very shy person. I tend to get other people to ask questions for me when it is appropriate or put in a takeout order for me. So me going up to a stranger and asking them to do this was a big deal. I ended up taking a large sip of my drink and opening the door, causing the bell dinging away. I was greeted right away and ended up loosing my nerve.

I ended up looking up and down the shelves for about 15 min. before the nicest woman in the world came up and asked me if she could help me. I ended up finally asking, “Actually, would you be able to recommend two books that you really liked?” Without any delay she smiled and said she had just the thing. She went to the back of the store and pulled out two books. I bought them without hesitation, as she checked me out she gushed about both of them and gave me mini reviews.
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The Books 

She ended up giving me Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Everything, Everything I have heard so much about in the past. I have heard both good and bad things, so I am curious what I will end up thinking. The Second pick I never heard of and I kind of like that. What I think is best about this “series” is that it is getting me a bit out of my comfort zone. When I read the description when I got home I was intrigued and I will admit I put a hold on the audiobook at my local library since it is so long.

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

goodreads.com

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett  

The Pillars of the EarthEverything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

goodreads.com

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Have you read either of these books? What did you think of them?

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TBR

March TBR | 2018

ToBeRead12:17

Happy March everyone! I hope it has started off on a good foot. This month I am very excited to read a few of the books off of my shelf. Especially with #IndieAthon happening all month and the #CroneBookClub happening on March 18th! Click the link for more details on all the fun.

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Fingerprints of Previous Owners by Rebecca Entel

My #IndieAThon Pick!

Fingerprints of Previous Owners

At a Caribbean resort built atop a former slave plantation, Myrna works as a maid by day; by night she trespasses on the resort’s overgrown inland property, secretly excavating the plantation ruins that her island community refuses to acknowledge. Rapt by the crumbling walls of the once slave-owner’s estate, she explores the unspoken history of the plantation—a site where her ancestors once worked the land, but which the resort now uses as a lookout point for tourists.

When Myrna discovers a book detailing the experiences of slaves, who still share a last name with the majority of the islanders, her investigation becomes deeply personal, extending to her neighbors and friends, and explaining her mother’s self-imposed silence and father’s disappearance. A new generation begins to speak about the past just as racial tensions erupt between the resort and the local island community when an African-American tourist at the resort is brutally attacked.

Suffused with the sun-drenched beauty of the Caribbean, Fingerprints of Previous Owners is a powerful novel of hope and recovery in the wake of devastating trauma. In her soulful and timely debut, Entel explores what it means to colonize and be colonized, to trespass and be trespassed upon, to be wounded and to heal.

-goodreads.com

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The Fandom by Anna Day

This is the #CroneBookClub pick!

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They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands …

A fast-paced, genre-flipping YA fantasy adventure from a brand new author, writing in homage to the best YA fiction.

-goodreads.com

 

 

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I am going to continue reading this amazing book.

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As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.

-goodreads.com

 

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Christine by Stephen King

A continuation from February as well.

Christine

It’s love at first sight for high school student Arnie Cunningham when he and his best friend Dennis Guilder spot the dilapidated 1958 red-and-white Plymouth Fury for sale—dubbed “Christine” by its original cantankerous owner—rusting away on a front lawn of their suburban Pennsylvania neighborhood. Dennis knows that Arnie’s never had much luck in the looks or popularity department, or really taken an interest in owning a car . . . but Christine quickly changes all that. Arnie suddenly has the newfound confidence to stick up for himself, going as far as dating the most beautiful girl at Libertyville High—transfer student Leigh Cabot—even as a mysteriously restored Christine systematically and terrifyingly consumes every aspect of Arnie’s life. Dennis and Leigh soon realize that they must uncover the awful truth behind a car with a horrifying and murderous history. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and heaven help anyone who gets in Christine’s way…

-goodreads.com

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The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child MurdererThis month I am reading The Wicked Boy with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and  Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring!

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past.

DividerWhile I know I am going to be reading more than 5 books, well hoping I read more than 5 books these are the main books I would like to finish this month. I wish you all the best in March and I hope you read some awesome books!

What is an Indie book you loved?

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Lists & Recommendations

March 2018 | Books I Am Excited About

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Happy March everyone! I hope it is a great one just like some of these books that are coming out this month. This month I am looking forward to true crime, historical fiction, and some Y.A. releases.

The Balcony by Jane Delury

The Balcony

Release Date : March 27th 2018

What if our homes could tell the stories of others who lived there before us? Set in a small village near Paris, The Balconyfollows the inhabitants of a single estate-including a manor and a servants’ cottage-over the course of several generations, from the Belle Époque to the present day, introducing us to a fascinating cast of characters. A young American au pair develops a crush on her brilliant employer. An ex-courtesan shocks the servants, a Jewish couple in hiding from the Gestapo attract the curiosity of the neighbors, and a housewife begins an affair while renovating her downstairs. Rich and poor, young and old, powerful and persecuted, all of these people are seeking something: meaning, love, a new beginning, or merely survival.

Throughout, cross-generational connections and troubled legacies haunt the same spaces, so that the rose garden, the forest pond, and the balcony off the manor’s third floor bedroom become silent witnesses to a century of human drama.

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Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha RaoGirls Burn Brighter

Release Date: March 6th 2018

A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, about a once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls who are driven apart but never stop trying to find one another again.

When Poornima first meets Savitha, she feels something she thought she lost for good when her mother died: hope. Poornima’s father hires Savitha to work one of their sari looms, and the two girls are quickly drawn to one another. Savitha is even more impoverished than Poornima, but she is full of passion and energy. She shows Poornima how to find beauty in a bolt of indigo cloth, a bowl of yogurt rice and bananas, the warmth of friendship. Suddenly their Indian village doesn’t feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond the arranged marriage her father is desperate to lock down for her. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend again. Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India’s underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle. Alternating between the girls’ perspectives as they face relentless obstacles, Girls Burn Brighter introduces two heroines who never lose the hope that burns within them.

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I Was Anastasia

Release Date: March 27th 2018

Russia, July 17, 1918
Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed.


Germany, February 17, 1920

A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal in Berlin. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia.

Her detractors, convinced that the young woman is only after the immense Romanov fortune, insist on calling her by a different name: Anna Anderson.
As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre, old enemies and new threats are awakened. With a brilliantly crafted dual narrative structure, Lawhon wades into the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory yet: the nature of identity itself.
The question of who Anna Anderson is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov creates a saga that spans fifty years and touches three continents. This thrilling story is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.

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Are You Sleeping

Release Date: March 20th 2018

Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a megahit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay.

The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a megahit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.

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The Manson Women and Me: Monsters, Morality, and Murder

Release Date: March 27th 2018

In the summer of 1969, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel carried out horrific acts of butchery on the orders of the charismatic cult leader Charles Manson. At their murder trial the following year, lead prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi described the two so-called Manson Women as “human monsters.” But to anyone who knew them growing up, they were bright, promising girls, seemingly incapable of such an unfathomable crime.

Award-winning journalist Nikki Meredith began visiting Van Houten and Krenwinkel in prison to discover how they had changed during their incarceration. The more Meredith got to know them, the more she was lured into a deeper dilemma: What compels “normal” people to do unspeakable things?

The author’s relationship with her subjects provides a chilling lens through which we gain insight into a particular kind of woman capable of a particular kind of brutality. Through their stories, Nikki Meredith takes readers on a dark journey into the very heart of evil.

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The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Broken Girls

Release Date: March 20th 2018 – I already own because it was listed as a BOTM choice for me  last month.

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

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Are any of these books on your TBR? Are there other books coming out this month that you are excited about?

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Wrap Up

WRAP UP | February 2018

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Can you believe another month has passed? I still have trouble not putting 2017 on everything. Anyway I have to say that this month has been a great month. For some reason I had such drive to improve things in my life and it has made me so much happier. If you have previously read my decluttering blog posts, you know I was trying to simplify my life and get rid of the things I don’t need. Well, I kinda fell off the wagon half way through and I ended up getting the drive back to continue and it has made me happier. If you want to check those out you can find them here: Decluttering | The Start of it AllDecluttering | Daily ClothingDecluttering | My Books.

Anyway, with that I actually ended up reading more. I am not sure, but clearing things out got the cobwebs out of my head and I read nearly every day this month, I am proud to say I only didn’t read one day. A personal record, I think in March I want to try a 30 day reading challenge.

Anyway, without anymore delay here is my February wrap up!

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Books I Finished

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Death Note, Vol. 1: Boredom by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (Illustrator)

I absolutely fell in love with this Manga, I have been eating it up ever since.  I love the fact I am learning about some Japanese culture and how the story line deals with good in evil in such a way that makes you question, is a person good or bad based upon their thoughts behind their actions or is the outcome of their actions define them. I ended up giving this volume 4 stars.

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Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

 by Reni Eddo-Lodge

This was an absolutely amazing read. I am so happy I picked it up on a whim. It was written so well and it was so informative. I can easily say I learned so much while reading this book. Another thing I liked about this book was the fact that this book discussed race outside of the United States. Most books that discuss race are written about the U.S., but reading about the history of race issues in the U.K. was enlightening. As I said in my very short goodreads review, this book will stay with me for a very long time. I gave this book 5 stars, easily.

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The Miniaturist

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

I have to say that this book is not for me, but I can see why people like it. I would suggest that you click the title (it goes to goodreads) and read some more on it to see if it is something up your alley. I do have The Muse by Jessie Burton and I hear more positive things about this book of hers so I am going to give it a try. I will say Jessie Burton’s writing itself was not the problem, just the story line was not for me. I hope that makes sense.

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The Secret History

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

From the first pages I was so drawn into this novel. As in Goldfinch, Donna Tartt’s writing is grand. She writes characters you can actually hate, but seem so real. She has the ability to create made up characters seem so lifelike, it really is a talent. Another talent of her is making me go “WAIT WHAT?!” when I read her books. So many unexpected things happened in this book I have to say I lost count of the amount of times I was shocked. Since I was reading this in a readalong with some wonderful ladies it took a great deal of self control not to read ahead. I ended up giving this story 4 stars.

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Prater Violet

Prater Violet by Christopher Isherwood

This is the third book I have read by Christopher Isherwood and his works continue to impress me. His writing is relaxed even though a bunch happens. This novel has to do with a young writer, fictionalized Isherwood being hired to help write a Vienna based movie with an Austrian director just as WWII begins. Even though you have the story revolving the film industry at the time, you also see a lot of the history seep into the story itself. I ended up giving this story a very strong 4 stars.

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Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence (Death Note, #2)

Death Note, Vol. 2: Confluence by Tsugumi Ohba and

Takeshi Obata (Illustrator)

As you can see I was not joking when I said I enjoyed this manga. I ended up reading this very soon after finishing Vol. 1 and I read it in one sitting. Since this is a second book I don’t want to give to much details so I don’t spoil anything. I will link to the goodreads page though if you want to know more. I ended up giving this 4 stars.

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I am Still Reading

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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I am so close to finishing this amazing book, but I ran out of time near the end of the month and I honestly wanted to savor this book. It is well written and it has made me take time to think and reflect upon some of the events that happen in this books.  I will be finishing this in the near future and I will be picking up more of her books. I already put in a few requests at my local library.

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Christine by Stephen King

This month I started reading my next Stephen King Book, but I ran out of time to read it. Darn February only having 28 days. This classic Stephen King book has been on my radar for a very long time and I am so happy to finally be reading it. Even before I started reading Stephen King I knew about him and this car. I don’t want to say more for fear of spoiling a few things. Just know I am enjoy this book and I plan on finishing it soon.
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What was your favorite read of February?

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