Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | November 2020 | Celebrating 0 Books on TBR

Hello and welcome to a book haul post! This book haul has been a long time coming because I have not done a book haul for months. The reason I am finally doing one now is because my owned TBR finally hit 0 books and I could not have been more excited. I never thought that it would happen, but it did! But, of course as a book lover I had to celebrate by buying some books. I do plan on keeping my TBR on the lower side, never going above 10 books, but I would like it to sit more around 5. Anyway, here are the books I decided to buy to celebrate.



Books stacked on a green chair.

The Books

First I want to start off the the JRR Tolkein boxset of the hobbit and Lord of the Rings. This is not actually adding to my TBR, but I have always wanted these small leather (faux I am pretty sure) editions. I figured since this was a celebration and I had a coupon I would treat myself to them as well as a reread soon!

Now, these are the books that are now my owned TBR. Some of these were actually gifts, but I figured I would just add all of the books all together. I will follow the image above from top to bottom.

The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I decided to pick up this book mainly because I just recently read Between the World and Me and I really liked it. I didn’t know this author had another book, but it was on display in my local bookstore and I picked it up without a second thought. His other work that I have read mentioned and hinted at the content in this book, but I very much looking forward to exploring it even more.

Cursed Objects by J.W. Ocker, I happened to come across with in a recommendation list on the side of goodreads. It talks about objects around the world that are thought to be cursed. It would have been a perfect Halloween read, but I never was one to stick to seasonal reading. Anyway, this shares the story of these objects and the myths that surround them.

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas, I have heard a ton about this book and I am curious to see if I enjoy this one. So, when Jenna from JK I’m Exploring asked me if I wanted it , I jumped at the chance. I don’t know too much about the plot, but I feel like that might be the best way to read this book.

The Law of Color by Richard Rothstein. I saw this book on a lot of anti-racist reading lists this year so I really wanted to get my hands on it. I was going to get it from the library, but I am happy to say that the waiting list for this book is still really long. So, I decided I would get it for myself. This book takes a close look at how our country and government have segregated the US. I think it mainly discuses housing policy, but other subjects are also brought up from my current understanding.

Tomie by Junji Ito, I have read about 4 or 5 of his horror mangas and I have to say I have never been disappointed so I picked up another one of his works. His stuff is thought provoking, disturbing, and beautifully illustrated.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, I have been hearing amazing this about this book left and right. But, the thing that made me really want to read this is the fact that the dynamic of the two main characters was compared to the dynamic between Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens and for me that is an auto buy dynamic.

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, I cannot believe I am finally this far into this series, but I am really happy with how it is going. I wanted to just pick up the next book so I could continue. I need to know what happens to Clare and Jamie!

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, I read and loved this author s previous work and when I saw that this book was available I knew I needed to get my hands on it. I really enjoyed his writing style and the twists of his previous work, so I have high hopes.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, This was on a display for anti-racist reading so I decided to add it to my pile. I will be honest, I do not know too much about this book, but from what I read from the description it is taking a closer at the past and present of American society and how it ties into a caste system and how it influences daily life and opportunities.


What was the last book you added to your TBR? Have you read any of them, if so what did you think?

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Lets Talk

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Holiday Reads

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Hello and welcome to another blogmas post! I am excited to share some of my favorite Christmas / Holiday Reads. Some of these are very short, some are longer. Some of these are older and some of them are more recent. They are a little all over the place, so I hope you can find something fun to read!


A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott

A Merry Christmas and Other Christmas Stories

A very short 148 pages of family focused christmas story, which for me is the focus of the holidays. I love spending time with my family, catching up with them and just hanging out. This collection of stories is very similar and feels so warm and welcoming, I fall into these stories every single year.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

Now, I am always in the mood to read or watch The Chamber of Secrets or Harry Potter in general. This book in particular makes such a wonderful show of Christmas and I just love the idea of visiting the castle over winter break, running around while the other students are at home. It just seems so magical and fun.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot, #20)

Another short classic of a story, sitting at only 192 pages. This festive themed mystery is one that pulls you into it right away. When I read it, I read it in nearly one sitting. It would have been one if I didn’t need to go somewhere. But, I love Agatha Christie’s writing and this does not disappoint.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

Mr. Dickens and His Carol

This is a fun twist on the life of Dickens and the development of A Christmas Carol. I really loved the use of actual facts twisted into the fiction making this feel tangible. I really recommend this one.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Letters from Father Christmas

It is no secret that I love the works oof J.R.R. Tolkien, this one is is no different. How this 111 novella/collection of letters came into being is such an adorable one. These letters fun, quick, and just heartfelt. This is a really great read for Christmas Eve, you will fly through these letters quicker than you think you will.

T’was the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Account of the Visit from St. Nicholas

I cannot make this list without mentioning this wonderful poem. It is short, sweet, and magical. I feel like this is always a wonderful one to read on Christmas Eve no matter your age.


What is your go to Christmas or Holiday read?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Top 5 Books I Have Read So Far This Year

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I was watching youtube, as one does and I recently subscribed to a booktuber called Katie Wismer. Her newest video, at the time of writing this, popped up into my feed and I loved this little addition to a midyear check in. Last month I went over all of my goal. updates and such in my post called Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In, but after watching her video I thought it would be fun to share my favorite and least favorite reads so far this year. I am going to start with  a gush fest, I hope you don’t mind!


-The Books-

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

I mainly read this because I was hearing so many great things. Then after I picked it up my boyfriend happened to watch the first episode of the Prime series and said I would really liked it. So, I decided to read this and it has easily become a favorite for me. I read this in two days. If I didn’t have work it would have been a single day.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This was such a well planned out and very well organized thriller it was able to surprise me so many times along the way. The description I think sells it sort because the plot is so much more. I don’t want to say too much, but wow. I have to say I am really lucky to have been given an ARC for a book that ended up being 5 stars. It is wonderful when that happens.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

This was such a cute LGBTQ+ graphic novel. I actually read a free sample from the publisher on their website and I read the sample then walked into the library because I needed to know what happened next. The artwork and the words were both beautiful. Sadly not pictured because it was from the library.

Elevation by Stephen King

This is a wonderfully weird novella from King. It was not horror, but more science fiction and I loved that! Even with its short size I became connected to the characters and felt for them. I will admit I teared up at a particular point. This was a very unique story and I will reread it again.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Now, there is not much to say about this high fantasy novel/series that has yet to be said. I am started a reread of this series and I am enjoying the adventure so much. I can’t  wait to continue and maybe implement a hobbit style eating habit along the way. The world, the language, and the songs created by JRR Tolkien are all amazing and so detailed it feels so real.


What has been your favorite read of 2019 so far?

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To Be Read

TBR | July 2019

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We are officially in the second half of the year, I can’t get over it. But, I am excited to share another TBR with you. This month I am reading a few books by adored authors, continuing a reread of a series I love, and then throwing in a few books written by new to me authors. In other words I am reading a little bit of everything. Without a huge introduction, here are the books I am going to do my best to read this upcoming month.


-The Books-

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

Each month I have been trying to read the book I have had on my owned TBR the longest. At this point in the that would be The Bird’s Nest. I picked it up in July, so this would be a year so it is time to read it because I don’t really keep books over a year because I have not read it by then I am never going to read it. I do love Jackson’s work, I just know I read a lot of them last year and that is most likely why I have put this one off.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

Last month I started my reread of the LOTR series and this month I wanted to continue along with that. I feel like reading one a month leaves me at a good pace while not neglecting the rest of my TBR.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

I was lucky enough to get this as an eARC via netgalley. Ruth Ware is one of my top thriller writers so I am very excited to get to this and review it for all of you. Thank-you Gallery Books!


-TBR Jar Pick-

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

This is a fairly recent addition to my TBR I got it as my bonus book of the month book in May since I was gifted a free book from them since I have been a member for so long. I am very interested to see where this novel goes because I opened the inside flap and it says “A Girl…A Prince…A Monster” in large type, how could I not want to know how these three fair together?


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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To Be Read

June TBR | 2019

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Hello everyone and happy June, the halfway mark in the year. So weird saying that, but it seems to be true we are officially halfway through 2019. This month is shaping up to be the month of rereads. Half of my tbr is rereading two of my favorite series and the other half are standalone novels from two new to me authors. I think I am going to really enjoy myself this month!


-The Books

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

  • This is one of my rereads, I read this 4 or 5 years ago for the first time and with Tolkien the movie coming out it has really made me want to reread and jump into his world.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

  • This was my Book of the Month pick, I was pulled toward it because it is based off of the life of Varian Fry who tried to save the lives of Jews during WWII.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

  • Do I really need to explain myself with this one? I miss the magic and I want to go back to Hogwarts!

The Women in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

  • This is the June buddy read for Amy, Jenna, Reg and myself. I am very excited to jump into this haunting thriller I happened to come across in the bookstore a week and and half ago.

-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I actually had my boyfriend pick my TBR jar pick and he did not disappoint! He picked The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, which I already talked about above. I am really excited to jump into this tome and I think it is going to give me some hope in humanity and I feel like it might also be an emotional roller coaster. He picked very well indeed.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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Lists & Recommendations

Annotating My Bookshelf | III

BOOKSHELVES

Hello and welcome to the third installment of  Annotating my bookshelf! This time we are taking a look at my somewhat color coded shelf. I am not sure how must some of my shelves are color coded and the others aren’t, but this one ended up being a shelf of black and gray books. I hope you enjoy!

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The Books

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

DividerHave you read any of these books? Are they on your TBR?

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Lets Talk

Lets Talk | Big Books

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So last month I posted my first discussion post and I want to say a huge thank you to those of you who read, commented, and voted. It really meant a lot to me. It is always a little nerve-wracking to try something new and the support was great. Now this month I wanted to talk about something near and dear to my heart, big books. But, before we move on to this months discussion topic I want to go over the poll results. If you want to see last months post you can find it here: Lets Talk | Reading Formats

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The Results

 I have to say I was a little surprised by the answers. I guess I just always assumed people always wanted hardbacks. I think because I see them the most in book hauls and such. I was also surprised that paperbacks and Ebooks tied. I was really expecting there to be a clear winner. What do you think about the poll results?

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Now lets talk about big books. I used to absolutely be afraid to read big books. I think for me there were a few reasons for this. The first stems from when I was little. I had a very difficult time learning how to read, I had extra help throughout my schooling, but specifically when I was in elementary school. I dreaded being picking on in class even reading a sentence. I clearly remember finding out the order that the teacher was calling on us to read and seeing how many kid there were so I can find my sentence and practice.

Another reason was I was impatient. I wanted the gratification of finishing a book. So I kept reading smaller books because I was able to say I read x amount of books. If I read bigger books that number would be smaller. That is a bit of a problem I have with goodreads. I think it focuses to much on the number of books overall, not necessarily the amount someone reads. But, I move away from my point.

I am not sure when my view point changed, but in the last 2 years I have been craving bigger books. I think it started with someone from my work telling me to read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I also think it may be related to me not having as much assigned reading since leaving Uni. Also, if I look back at my goodreads page to compare my biggest books of each year, you can see a gradual change in my reading as well.

2014: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare 541 pages

2015: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton 834 pages

2016: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 1,216 pages

2017: It by Stephen King 1,156 pages

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So with everything there are pros and cons, the same is true about big books. Some of the  bonuses of reading big books is you get to spend more time in a world and on an adventure. You can spend multiple sittings binge reading and get lost. I find that the world building and details in larger books are more plentiful. This may be because the authors have more room to be more in-depth and explore more. Another thing I have found is that you can see the characters grow and evolve. While you can do this in a shorter book it is usually either abrupt or there is a huge time jump. With larger books you get to see what events led the character to change and grow. Additionally, you get to spend more time with the characters. Now that point could also be a negative as well.

If we are going to explore the negative aspects of big books you cannot ignore that fact that some big books just drag. Sometimes I feel like the publisher give authors page goals and they just fill them up with words and nothing really happens. Also, they are a pain in the butt to carry around with you. Unless you have an ereader, which according to last months poll you most likely have. Another drawback is that they tend to cost more money because they require more paper and ink.

Even with these prominent faults, I still love big books and I cannot lie.

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What are some pros and cons of big books?

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

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