Wrap Up

March & April 2017 | WRAP UP

While the last two months I have not read a great deal, but a majority of the books I did manage to finish were very enjoyable. Although, I will say I DNF’ed two books. But, I still read some great books I am excited about!


Five Stars

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

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In March I finally got to another Jennifer Niven book. I read Holding Up The Universe, which did not let me down. I surprisingly wrote up a review for this, I say surprisingly because I rarely write reviews. I only write them if I get a review copy or if I feel like I need to share something with the world. P.S. This was not a review copy!

Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

 

 

 


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

30555488This was one of the books I was most looking forward to reading this year. I was a bit worried when I saw some reviews saying the language/writing was difficult to get through so I put it off a little. But, I finally picked it up. I just have to say Colson Whitehead did a great job with this historical fiction novel. He took what every kid things of when they first here the term “The Underground Railroad” and mixes in the true horrors that many people faced. I found it interesting that he would take such a “childish” way of thinking of the underground railroad and telling such a serious and heart wrenching story. I personally did not find any fault with the writing style and I actually read this rather quickly.


The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkle 

30687200I loved this non-fiction account of the “Last True Hermit”. I loved how Finkel approached this story both interviewing Christopher Knight as well as research. I don’t really want to say much because this is such a short book, I don’t want spoil anything. Even though this book was so short it was very interesting. I was absorbed in the story within pages. I do talk a bit more about this book in my post entitled The Cake Book Tag. Take a look if you want to hear a little more of my thoughts.

 

 

 


Four Stars

The Radium Girls by Kate Moor

31409135This is a nonfiction book that I received from Netgalley for an honest review. I will link the full review below,  but I will say I did enjoy this story. Kate Moore did an excellent job talking about how Radium was used, how these women were exposed to it, and the aftermath. She made something that seems so distant come to life from the pages.

 

 

REVIEW: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

 

 


A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

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A wonderful classic, I really don’t know why it took me so long to start reading these stories. While these are classics they are very easy to read and didn’t seem to be work. I know for me some classics can feel like work when I read them so I was very happy.

 

 

 

 

 


The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

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All I can say is I am already waiting for the next book! This is the third installment in the
Bone Season series. I find it very enjoyable, fast face filled with interesting abilities, political chaos at times…it keeps me on my toes when I read. I feel like anything is possible.

 

 

 


Euphoria by Lily King

18467802I found this gem in my local used bookstore and read the description on the back and was intrigued. When I finally got around to reading it I soared through it. It is BASED upon the lives for three anthropologists who form a bit of a love triangle while out in the field. While I don’t usually love, love triangle (you see what I did there?) I enjoyed this book anyway. Now as I said earlier it is based upon a true story, but it is not a historical account. Which, for me only intrigues me more, what really happened? I talked about this book a bit in my The Cake Book Tag, if you are interested check it out.

The Cake Book Tag


Three Stars

none.


Two Stars

none.


One Star

none.


What was your favorite read in the last two months? What are your thoughts on the books I have read?

 

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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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To Be Read

April TBR: 2017

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Aprils TBR is going to be a short one, mainly because it is going to be a very busy month and I do not want to overwhelm myself. But, the four books I have picked I am very much looking forward to. In fact, I am going to pick up The Radium Girls as soon as I finish writing this post!

Both The Radium Girl by Kate Moore and A Short History of the Russian Revolution by Groffrey Swain are books I received from Netgalley to review. Both are historical, nonfiction. The Radium Girls follows the stories of various women who painted clock faces with the element radium to make them illuminate before the heath risks were truly know. It explores their stories and the effect their work had on them as the years passed. I have started reading this one already and it is historical, but also personable. It does not take away the humanity of these women with endless facts and figures.

A Short History of the Russian Revolution is something I studied while at school and I continue to be interested in.  So, when I saw this on Netgalley I submitted a request right away and was thrilled to get approved.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle I have gotten myself. Both are books I have very much wanted to get to. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses when it first came out and enjoyed it, but sadly I have not gotten to the second book in the series, I plan to correct that before the next book comes out. Fingers crossed I succeed!

On a more classic note I recently have been on a Sherlock Holmes binge and I am reading all of the stories and short stories in publication order and The Sign of Four is next in line. I have to say I was expecting the writing to be dull and difficult, but it read very modern. I have been devouring the stories.


What are you reading this month?

 

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To Be Read

March TBR: 2017

1

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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To Be Read

#ReadThemAllThon TBR Pile

 

 

ReadThemAllThon

This read-a-thon runs from August 14th – September 4th, an entire 3 weeks to read some glorious books.

For more info on the Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon go to readingatmidnight’s original post. Here you will find more info on CP and leveling your pokemon.

Chosen Pokemon: Abra 10 CP

A three stage pokemon which means at 150 CP he will turn into Kadabra and at 400 CP will evolve into Alakazam.

 

TBR Pile:

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder

For the Boulder Badge I plan on reading Night from the Night Trilogy by Elie Wiesel. I am going to extend this and read the entire trilogy because of I have this bind up.

352 pages, potential +35CP.
ReadThemAllThon-Badge02-Cascader

For the Cascade Badge I am going to read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes because from what I hear it leaves many readers teary eyed.

400 pages, potential 40 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge03-Thunder

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is one of the most hyped books that is still on my TBR list so I plan on reading this to earn the Thunder Badge. I hope it lives up to the expectations.

416 pages, potential 41 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge04-Rainbow

To gain the Rainbow Badge I plan on reading Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I have heard a lot of good things about it and I can’t wait to get to it.

320 pages, potential 32 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul

For the Soul Badge I plan on reading Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, I mean it had a huge engagement ring and is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice how can it not be an epic romance?

512 pages, potential 51 CPReadThemAllThon-Badge06-Marsh

For the Marsh Badge I plan on reading The Shining by Stephen King one of the most supernatural ghost stories I have on my TBR. When I was younger this was actually my favorite movie, it still is high on my list, but I never read the book. So I think it is finally time.

464 pages, potential of 46 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge07-Flame

For the Flame Badge I plan on reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the sequel to The Shining. How can I not read both?

560 pages, potential of 56 CPReadThemAllThon-Badge08-Earth

For the Earth Badge I plan on reading Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, I know this is an alternate history type book, but I am pretty it is an apocalyptic type setting.

400 pages, potential of 40 CP

Potential Points If I Finish ALL Books (includes completed book bonus) = 501 CP


 

All I know is I am very excited that I will be able to participate in this read-a-thon after all. I mean it combines reading and Pokemon, how can anyone not be excited?

Have you read any of these books? Are you planning on participating? Let me know down below!

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Reviews

Christopher and His King by Christopher Isherwood

4

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Christopher and His Kind is a memoir that follows Christopher Isherwood between the years of 1929-1939. During this time he traveled in numerous countries, mainly Germany and wrote numerous novels. I picked up this novel to fulfill a challenge during a read-a-thon recently and I have also watched the movie adaptation in the past and felt it was finally time for me to pick up the book.

This novel is very interesting for numerous reasons. First, Isherwood is a very accomplished novelist. He has published over forty different works, there may even be more than what I have found. Second, this describes his time in Germany during the rise of Hitler and how it affected his friends and loved ones. Lastly, Isherwood is a homosexual and openly discusses his relationships and sheds light on the local scenes related to this.

Isherwood discusses how he was drawn to Germany because he could be more of himself, find something so un-English, so unlike from where he is from. Even though he is English, he tends to spend most of his time outside of his home country going to other European countries, Africa, Asia, and North America. All of the trips he takes he describes the adventures with his friends, the good and the bad, which I enjoy because it makes this seem so much more sincere and truthful. I also like how the author reflected on his own actions and at times admitted to acting irrationally or improper.

One common thread though most of the book was his relationship with Heinz, whom he met in Germany pre-Hitler. They were in a relationship for a good amount of time and Christopher cared for him dearly and you can see that Heinz felt the same way. Now when Hitler came into power you witness Christopher struggle to keep Heinz away and out of the country so he would be away from the violence and not be forced to fight. I found myself looking forward to their next trip and to what country they could get Heinz a visa for. It was like a tale of two lovers on the run. Now I will admit I am leaving a lot out because if I write anymore of the things I like of dislike it would end up giving away bits and pieces of Christopher’s story.

I will say I enjoyed the book greatly, I would say it is a very solid LGBTQ+ book. I ended up giving the book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. The reason this is not a 5 star book is because at times the book seemed to drag a lot and tended to be erratic at time. Which I understand s a writing tool to show and reflect his own erratic and worried thought processes he was going through, but it made it difficult to read at times for me personally. If this is not something you find difficult I would say it is worth looking into.

Happy Reading!

Reviews

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

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

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

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

Wrap Up

Currently Reading: May 30th, 2016

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

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

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

What are you currently reading?

 

Reviews

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris

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Theodore Roosevelt has been one of my favorite historical figures since I have been a very young girl. I think it all started when I saw his funny mustache when I was in second grade. Now I think it is his go for it attitude that keeps me intrigued.

This book as stated by the title talks about Teddy’s life before he become President. He talks about how his father challenged and loved him even though he was a sickly child and his relationship with his family. Morris talks about his childhood, his years at university, his numerous stints at the Capital before becoming president and all the joyous and saddening life events outside of the limelight. I have not read many detailed biographies about this man, mainly short general overviews.

Morris goes into detail and I learned a lot of things I did not know previously. I learned about his time in the war, being in the West, and him as a husband and father. While this is the first of three books written about Teddy’s there is so much packed into the pages. Sometimes, even as someone with a history degree, history books can be dull and uninviting. Morris overcomes this by keeping the pacing at a good speed and does not drag out material to fill the pages.

I gave this book a 4/5 star rating on GoodReads it has a rating of 4.23 out of 23,034 reviews. The reason behind my ratings is that Morris I feel does not give enough footnotes for the amount of material presented. It may be “common knowledge” for professional historians, but for most I do not think that it is. I do look into endnotes frequently when I read historical books because I want to see the sources and see where the author got their ideas. Even with this I will continue on with Morris’ books on Theodore Roosevelt, in fact I have already purchased them.

I will say I went between an audiobook and a printed edition during my reading. I enjoyed the experience on both platforms.