Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Top 9 Books I Want to Read in 2019

Lists

So every year there are always a few books I am really excited to read. I make it a semi-goal to read them by the end of the year because I have a very good feeling I am going to like them all very much. While a lot of people have been posting the 19 books I want to read, I am going to keep mine at 9 because I don’t want to just throw some books in that I am not nearly positive I will love. So, where are the books I really want to read in 2019!

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange TreeThis is a book I am very much interested in. I have read a few of Shannon’s books in the past and I really enjoy her creativity and her writing. When I found out she was writing a standalone I was very much excited. Between the teasers and cryptic tweets from her as well as the mention of forbidden magic, I was pulled in and I preordered the book.

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller

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

So, this is a little sneak peak or a throw back to my Christmas Haul. I am unsure of when I am actually going to post this so it could go either way. Anyway, I received this from someone at work and I have to say they really surprised me by picking a book I love the sound of. This is a nonfiction account of one of the first women to sue someone of power during the gilded age in the USA. I am curious to see how this topic is handled and if it becomes biased.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

This is another book I have preordered and I am excited to get it in the new year. I have always liked Holly Black and I read the first book in this series a few months ago. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would and decided I was going to jump into this continuation. I want to know how two characters in particular deal with one another. I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

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

This is a novel I picked up in my local independent bookstore. I just happened to be roaming and I came across it. This book has a bit of buzz around it and I read the description and I am very much interesting in learning more about the daughter of one of histories more notorious figures. It seems to be pretty straightforward and I am judging on its size is going to be very detailed.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter

I picked this up from Book of the Month a few months ago and I really want to get to it. It seems like a mix between a historical fiction and a thriller and I am excited about it. I mean, I love history and I have been really enjoying thrillers, how can I not like this book? On top of that I have been hearing quite a few wonderful things about it.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

So this book has a very interesting dejcitption. There is mentions of scientists, near death experiences, strangers, and talking trees. While that seems all over the place, it kind of is, but when you read the entire description it sounds a lot better. Anyway, I picked this up on a whim mainly because it sounds like it has to do with nature and protecting the last of the forests on Earth. Plus, how can you not be pulled in when all those things are mentioned in the same description?

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

This is a kinda historical fiction, at least I think it is. It talks about women throughout history doing this they feel they need to for one reason or another. While this is not nonfiction I have heard that they author has done a very good job of bringing a lot of the feelings and events that plagued women during various time periods. I am keen on reading this very soon and I have heard great things.

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

The Bird's Nest

This is the next Shirley Jackson I really want to read. Last year I have discovered her works and I have enjoyed all and some I absolutely loved! This book seems to follow a girl who is gaining more and more personalities that are more and more extreme. I am unsure if this will be about mental illness or not since the author writes horror and its could be possessions, but I am very curious to find out how Jackson is going to shape this story.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Murder mystery, Freaky Friday, and thriller all mixed into one has me very interested. The description of the book just says there are 8 days and 8 witnesses and the. main character needs to figure out who the killer is by reliving the day over and over again, but from different bodies. I am think this is very clever and interesting way to write a murder mystery/thriller and I am really excited to see how it was executed.

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What book do you want to read this year?

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | September 16th-22nd

a week in review

This week I surprisingly finished 2 books. I am not sure how I was able to do that with all of the personal things that happened to me this weekend. I did not think I would be able to concentrate on anything or really find time to get on the computer, but it actually really helped me a lot in the few min. here and there that I found I needed to fill up.

Books I Finished

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

I was partially surprised that I liked this novel as much as I did, I also put the second book on hold at my library already. Oops! With all of the hype surrounding this book when it first came out I was a little worried. While, I have always enjoyed Blacks writing, when a book is hyped I always become suspicious. I am happy to say that in my eyes this book deserves the hype. I enjoyed that the character was not “saving the world” like a typical YA politically driven novel. Honestly, I hate when novels are like that now. Might be why I have moved away from reading YA. I also loved the use of myths and other folklore that was used to develop this world. Also, the ending make my head spin, I really came to care for and respect the main character and how human she felt.

A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin

A Fierce Glory: Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery

This past week I started and finished A Fierce Glory, overall I really liked it. I thought it was a well written and unique way to look at the Battle of Antietam. If you want more information and a full review you can find that here, REVIEW | A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin. I recommend this book to those who want to read more nonfiction because it is not a detailed account of troop movements, it focuses on the people and the big picture.

I am Still Reading

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

I am officially 74% through this novel and I am heart broken! This book has been such an emotional rollercoaster, I just want to take the main character and protect him from everything. Sadly, I can’t and I need to watch him make life decisions, some I agree with and others I did not and the unplanned happen. There are a few times where I cheered for the by chance things that happened while others I wanted to throw the book. John Boyne has written a great novel and if you are looking for something that is beautifully written and heartfelt I am already recommending this book, just get some tissues if books make you cry.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

HangsamanShirley Jackson’s Hangsaman has been such a great read, as I have said the past few weeks. Sadly, I did not get a chance to read more of it this week because I really wanted to. Life got in the way, but I really want to know what happens to the main character because of the description I know something will happen to her, but they don’t tell you what! It is like waiting for the shoe to drop and that really is adding to the story in my opinion.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star

I only just started this book, but so far I am really enjoying the novel. I really like the family so far and I like the formatting of the book. Also, can we just look at that cover? It is beautiful. Also, I wanted to yell already, why do people have to be so harsh and cruel for no reason at all? Nicola Yoon is great at writing novels that make you feel.

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NEXT BOOK

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome

So last week, or a few weeks ago I posted on twitter to ask what Stephen King book I should read and those that voted for the most part picked Under the Dome. I am very excited to get to this novel because I want to watch the adaptation and that fact that I have heard so many great things. I remember when I saw this in the bookstore and I needed to have it. The small little town looking peaceful and strikingly beautiful, while contrasting with the eerie dome over it.

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*A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin was given to myself by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and honest.

What did you read this week?

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | September 9th-15th

a week in review

This week has been very busy, but for a lot of great reasons. I started a new adventure, a few family celebrations are coming up, and a few other things that took up a lot of my time this week. Even with all that I was able to finish one book this week and I continue to make progress on the other three books I am reading.

Books I Finished

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The Tommyknockers

Finishing this long novel had me feeling like I conquered something huge. I will openly admit that if I did not have the audiobook I would never have finished this novel. While I love a lot of King’s writing, this one is a bit of a bust for me. I did a bit of researching to see if I was the only one or not, but it seems I am not. I have to admit that this article [link] explains my feelings as well as says my thoughts on this novel very clearly.

It is all over the place, longer than it needs to be by a lot, and just seems to loose the king flair that I enjoy.

I am Still Reading

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

I will say I have read another 100 pages of this novel and it is still hurting my heart, but it so good as well. It is funny to say something is so wonderful when it truly makes your heart ache. Also, that fact that it can affect me so emotionally is a true testament to this novel. I don’t find myself to be this affect by books often. I will be continuing to read this novel and I hope to give you all a small review soon.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

HangsamanShirley Jackson’s Hangsaman has been such a great read, this novel is different than the others I have read by her. But, because it is different and still wonderful it truly is a testament to her writing and story telling ability. I also really enjoy that the setting, at least up until about 50% into the book, is a college/university setting.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

This week I have finally picked up The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. At this time I am about 41% through the novel and I have really been enjoying it. I am really enjoying the political and social structure of this novel and I find that I really enjoy the main character. Normally with these types of novels I find the main characters annoying, but I find I can relate on some level as well as see that her motivation is more realistic in a sense.

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NEXT BOOK

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star

I was lucky enough to meet Nicola Yoon at bookcon this past year. Since then I have been wanting to read The Sun is Also a Star. A long time ago I remember hearing about this story, two young people meeting and having a budding friendship or more. Sadly, one is being deported. I found just that part of the description really intriguing because I can only imagine the impact of finding someone and then having them ripped away. Let alone, the stress of leaving a county, not because they want to, with your entire family when that is all that you know.

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | September 1st-8th

a week in review

This week I did not finish a single book, but I did do a great deal of reading. I started three different books, two are buddy reads so I will be reading those all month long. The last one I plan on finishing early next week. Anyway, even though I didn’t finish any books, but I did read a total of 607 pages.

I am Still Reading

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

I have been wanting to read this for about a year and I am so glad that I started reading it. So many people have told me that they have really enjoyed this novel, but it is heart breaking. Even though I am only 150 pages in, I can already see what they all mean. I am loving it so much, but it really and truly hurts my heart. I am looking forward to see where this story is going and to see if my predictions come true.

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The Tommyknockers

This book has been on my owned TBR shelf the longest of all of my books for a few reasons. The first being that it is one of the largest I have yet to read by Stephen King. The second reason being I was kinda on the fence if I would like it. The description of this novel leaves me intrigued, but I was not really drawn to read it right away. Now that I am 400 pages into it, I can safely say that I am enjoying it and I wish I did not put it off this long. I still have hundreds of pages left, but I do see myself continuing to enjoy it.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

Hangsaman

I am about a fourth of the way through this novel and so far I am really enjoying it. I only picked this up recently, with about 4 other works by her. I just love her work. So far this is not letting me down in any shape, way, or form. I am enjoying her plot and I can’t wait to read even more. Also, may I add that I love the covers of Penguin Modern Classics?

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NEXT BOOK

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

I recently received this audiobook from my Library after being on hold since it released earlier in the year. I have about another week and a half to listen to it before it returns itself so I want to get to it ASAP, but I wanted to finish The Tommyknockers first. I am really looking forward to reading another book by Holly Black. I have enjoyed her writing very much in the past and I don’t see how this one could be any different. Fingers crossed!

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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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Lists & Recommendations

January 2018 | Books I Am Excited About

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

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Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

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Release Date: January 16th, 2018

In the industrial 1860s at the dawn of the Carnegie empire, Irish immigrant Clara Kelly finds herself in desperate circumstances. Looking for a way out, she seeks employment as a lady’s maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie. Soon, the bond between Clara and her employer deepens into love. But when Clara goes missing, Carnegie’s search for her unearths secrets and revelations that lay the foundation for his lasting legacy. With captivating insight and stunning heart, Carnegie’s Maid tells the story of one lost woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world’s first true philanthropist.

The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

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Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

December 1348. What if you had just six days to save your soul?

With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and suffer in the afterlife. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last.

John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them in further unexpected ways. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived.

As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts through disease, progress, enlightenment, and war. But their time is running out—can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?

Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black by Catherine Kerrison

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Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

My Review: REVIEW | Jefferson’s Daughters by Catherine Kerrison

Thomas Jefferson fathered three girls: two white and free, one black and a slave. This book about Martha, Maria, and Harriet tells the fascinating story of their very different lives at Monticello and beyond, as daughters of one of our most brilliant and complicated Founding Fathers.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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Release Date: January 30th, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.


What books are you looking forward to?

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Reviews

The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black

 

the_coldest_girl_in_coldtown_cover

I was recommended this book a few times over on my tumblr account (http://bookishluna.tumblr.com) and I have to say I am not disappointed. To all those who recommended it to me thank-you!.

This is an Young Adult Urban Fantasy that follows a girl named Tana where our world experiences a vampire outbreak to the point the United States crated walled quarantined cities where vampires and newly bitten are forced to go or be hunted. Tana life takes a dramatic turn when she wakes up in a bathtub to find a party gone horribly wrong. She is driven to save two other survivors by going to Coldtown, where it seems anything can happen.

I over all enjoyed this book if you couldn’t tell from my opening. This book really starts with a very strong opening and I was instantly hooked. Throughout you are surprised by the unexpected, which I personally like because I really dislike predictable books. I do have to say that the middle does get a little slow, but the ending really picks up and through me for a loop. While I do personally prefer The Darkest Part of the Forest I find that Holly Black really delivered with this book. Additionally, I liked really liked how she handed vampires in this book. The focus was not on falling in love with one like so many vampire books are, but I wont say anymore about it because I do not want to spoil anyone.

I ended up giving this book a 4/5 stars, on goodreads it sits at 3.89 stars out of 34,305 ratings. So my rating is not to far off the general consensus. I think if you like vampires, urban fantasy, and a book that has constant turns  you should pick this up.