Wrap Up

Wrap Up | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up, can you believe that the 11th month of the year is already behind us? I sure can’t I feel like November went very quickly this time around and we are already getting reading for the last month of 2020. This past month I didn’t do as well reading wise as previous months, but still feel like I read some great books and found a few new favorites.


Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A SelectionDecisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection by Ruth Bader Ginsburg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful collection of RBG’s ideas and thoughts on major topics such as equal rights and womens rights.

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Venus in the Blind SpotVenus in the Blind Spot by Junji Ito
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again Junji Ito has made a wonderful collection of short manga horror tales. As always the art is great, the tales eerie and horrific and I read them quickly. I will continue to pick up more from him.

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Cemetery BoysCemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was just a wonderful read. I laughed, I cried, and a bunch of emotions in-between. I really loved Yadriel, Maritza and Julian as individual characters, but also how they interacted with one another. It really focused on acceptance, love, and family, blood or otherwise. It really was such an emotional read in the perfect way.

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The Nickel BoysThe Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Colson Whitehead has done it again, he has written another amazing book. He is certainly turning into one of my auto buy authors. This story was dark, raw, and emotional, but it was also beautifully told. Sadly, this story is based off of real events and many have had these experiences. I certainly is thought provoking and will be a book I think about in the future.

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What was your favorite or least favorite read of October?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Olivia’s Catastrophe | Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books! For November I was lucky enough to have Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe pick my book for me. She is very active over on her youtube channel, which is amazing, and twitter @oliviascatastro. I was so happy when she picked Clap When You Land, I heard nothing but amazing things and she even said she gave it 5 stars. I felt like this month was going to be a huge win.


One Sentence Review

A beautifully written exploration of the complexities of relationships and people, on top of that it explores the life of two half sisters that have no idea existed until they experience a life changing tragedy.

Description

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive. -goodreads.com


What I Liked

Just a warning, this review is just going to be me gushing about a book I loved. This book is so beautifully written. I am actually surprised that I am saying this. Going into this book I had no idea that it was written in verse before I actually went to read it. I normally don’t do well with books written in this manner, but Acevedo really made it count in this book and not just a gimmick. The words were powerful, meaningful, and beautiful. You can see the authors care when it came to constructing each sentence and picking each word.

As for the two main characters, I really felt that the dual perspective worked wonderfully and we really were able to explore the lives of Camino and Yahaira. I really appreciated the fact that the author didn’t just tell us how different these half siblings lived, but showed us. I felt like while exploring the grief they had the author really opened up their worlds and made them dimensional. I really loved their personalities and I really enjoyed following them both. Normally when I read a dual or muliple perspective book there is one I am not too fond of, but in this book, I really enjoyed them both. I would not be sad to see another book with these two, I would love to see how they are doing. When I put down this book initially, I was thinking of all the possible situations they could be in now.

I also want to take a moment to appreciate that this author talked about a very difficult topic that in my opinion was very respectful, but also did not shy about from the difficult aspects as well.

What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. I really enjoyed reading this book and I am so happy that Olivia picked this one for me. I can see why she also gave it 5 stars.

Overall

Overall, I loved and adored this book so much. I have already recommended it to a few people in my life and will continue to do so. This book is a beautiful exploration of relationships, people, and family.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Erica who you can find on twitter as @2020hines_sight or on her youtube channel The Broken Spine. I am beyond thrilled to read her pick, I have been holding myself back from reading it too early for months!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Lets Talk · Tags

Let’s Talk | Baby It’s Cold Outside Book Tag

Hello and welcome to a tag post, I was lucky enough to be tagged by Erin over at Reading on a Star, who also created it! As you can see they are creative and have a ton of fun stuff over on their blog and I really think you should check it out! I am very excited to share my answers and please feel free to complete his tag even if you are not tagged because it was certainly fun to answer.


Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link to their post.
  • Display the banner(copy and paste).
  • Link to the original creator: erin @ Reading On A Star !
  • Answer the questions!
  • Tag however many people as you want!

Snow Day – What’s your “comfort” book? 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, this books I read and adored with my mom as a child. To this day it is a book I go back to time and time again. It has such great memories tied to it, but also I love the story and the relationship between the family members so much.

Snow Angels – What’s a book that you love so much you would want to be buried with it(a little morid, but…)? 

Well, I don’t think I can pick the same book again so, I will go with Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I once again enjoy the relationships within the story, but I also like the discussion of no one being truly good or truly bad and you are not always what you are defined to be. I also think it would be interesting being buried with a book that has to do with angels and demons. If ever found it might makes things a bit interesting.

Warm Socks – What’s a book that makes you feel warm inside?(The fluffiest, cutest romance you’ve ever read?) 

I think I will go with Beach Read by Emily Henry. I read though it so quickly, I adored the characters and I will always love reading books about authors.

Hot Cocoa – What winter-themed novels have you previously read? 

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon is a great horror read set in the winter. It has disappearance, legends, family secrets, and a bit of historical fiction thrown in. It is a wild ride and I was a book I was pulled into right from the beginning. Th best part is that it is just over 300 pages and is not too long, but has a lot going on.

Sledding – What’s a book with the best plot twists? Who’s an author that always keeps you on your toes? 

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, this book seriously kept me on my toes from start to finish. I don’t want to say too much, but this author is so talented and became an auto buy author because of it.

Ugly Sweaters – What’s a book with the ugliest cover?

The first book that pops up in my mind is the green edition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I enjoyed the book and the movie for that matter, but I always disliked the lime green edition of this book.

Movie Marathon – What’s the last book you binge read?

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, I sat down last weekend thinking I would read a few chapters. Well, I ended up reading the entire book in a single day and I was honestly tempted to reread it almost right away. I honestly loved the characters and the dynamics of their relationships. I also adored the touch of magic the author added, it was perfect!

I also want to mention The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, a very similar thing happened when I went to read this book. I sat down to read a chapter or two and ended up reading the entire thing. While this is a beautiful story of a family truly learning who their child is, but it is so heart breaking and emotional. I don’t want to give too much information because I don’t want to spoil anything but I HIGHLY suggest you check this one out. It is one of the few books that made me cry.

Letter to Santa – What’s a book that’s on your wishlist this year? 

As of right now I have a whole list you can see here, but the one book I want the most would be Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom, a librarian. It is a nonfiction book that discusses a ]very morbid, but interesting topic of books bound in human skin. The author explores the science as well as the historical significance that led to these books being created. I am curious to see how the author will discuss such a dark topic and if she will be telling the story of those who became victims.


I Tag

Misty @ Misty’s Book Space

Jenna @ JK I’m Exploring

Jenna @ Westveil Publishing

Noly @ The Artsy Reader

Tarra @TLC Book Nook

Aoife @ Pretty Purple Polkadots

Rebbie @ Rebbie Reviews

Sarah @ VoyageThroughWor(l)ds


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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | September 2020

Welcome to my September wrap up, where I am going to be sharing all of the books I have read over the last month. This month I was so surprised that I have kept up my reading momentum and even got my physical TBR down to 10 books! I had some winners and some not so great reads, but overall a really good month!


Conjure WomenConjure Women by Afia Atakora
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a wonderful read that not only followed generations within a family, but also talked about how these generations were affected by slavery in the US. The plot, characters, and the whole novel were so well written and I was pulled in by the magic within the book, but also the magic of the writing.

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The Death of Vivek OjiThe Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A powerful and heart breaking read that I read far too quickly. This is such a talented author, they were able to craft such a wonderfully heart wrenching novel about a family ties and LGBTQ+ treatment. This story from the first page pulled me in and I don’t cry often when I read. but this book had me tearing up. I don’t want to say too much because I feel like this book has a larger impact if you go in knowing less.

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The TestThe Test by Sylvain Neuvel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Overall, this was a very impactful book to me because it really makes you think about human nature, society, and a laundry list of other things such as prejudices and racism that are ingrained in society. I feel like this little story really packs so much into it that it shows the talent of the author. This will be a story I reread again I feel like and it will have a place on my bookshelf for the years to come.

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Stay with MeStay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story has so many layers to it and it ended up being so much more than I though it would be. This story had be filled with joy, sadness and anger. There are aspects of history mixed in with a the exploration of the marriage of Yejide and Akin. Yejide was such an interesting and compelling character, I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. I could feel her hurt, her joy, and so much more.

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I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State KillerI’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am going to be writing a whole post dedicated to this book in the near future, but I really was enthralled with this book and I can’t wait to see the documentary.

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EmmaEmma by .Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I enjoyed this classic. It is not my favorite Austen novel, but I was pulled into the story despite how annoying and aggravating Emma can be.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 0


Reading Stats

What was your favorite book this month?

Mine was The Hunger by Alma Katsu or Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. 

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | July 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up! I missed out on my middle mark post for the month so be prepared for quite a few mini reviews and well as my monthly stats overall. I think I did good overall this month, I even found a few books I love. The main driving force in my reading amount was The Reading Rush that book place between July 20th-26th. In that readathon alone I ended up reading ___ books that week alone. Anyway, on to the books, the reason you clicked onto this post.


Read 2

LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the NumbersLGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very interesting, the name is very accurate, this book is a lot of questions being answers via data collected via census and polls. It is best read in chunks a little at a time because it reads like a textbook.

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The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the RipperThe Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed learning more about these women instead of just hearing about how they died. It was a very interesting read that I just flew through. I feel like you should give this a try if non-fiction is not really your thing because it does not read like a textbook, which in my eyes is a huge compliment to the author when it comes to non-fiction.

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Civil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent GrantCivil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent Grant by Carol Berkin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very interesting and good look into the wives of a couple of the most known individuals during the civil war. It was interesting to have a peak into their lives before, during, and after the war and see if and how they supported their partners, but also if they felt the same as their husbands. In addition, you can learn about the efforts made by some of these women on their own. The writing itself is done very well and the extent of sources is encouraging.

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The TempestThe Tempest by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are a few things I really liked about this play in particular the first being a ship wreck that reminded me of Odyssey in a way. I am not sure if this was the purpose, but I enjoyed the connection I made. I also liked that in this play there was also magic and magical creatures. As I said about Twelfth Night, I am always a sucker for it. I ended up giving this play 4 stars because I was a bit more into actually reading this and it kept my attention for than Twelfth Night did. It is one of the Shakespeare plays that I actually would not mind reading for a second time, I think Macbeth is the only other one on that list.

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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to start off by saying that this is one of the most inventive and unique books I have read based upon the idea alone. But, this book is penned by a very talented writing and it just makes the book that much better. The first part of this book follows the 10 min. after death of a woman named Leila, who lived a very interesting life. You learn about her life through various memories that come to her in her last moments of life. It really hits home the “life flashes before your eyes” idea.

The second part discusses humility, society, and just being a decent human and how a system takes that away. How some individuals in life and in death can be discriminated against. It was a very interesting book that not only showed you the life of the characters, but also talked about society and highlighted how friendship can be such a powerful thing. I feel like this is a book I will be rereading because I feel like I can get even more out of it.

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Mexican GothicMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is just amazing and I really think it is going to be one of my favorites for this year. It was a wonderfully written horror that had me flipping pages faster than I have in a bit. It reminded me of a few movies and novels, but even with that it was unique and all its own. If you enjoy horror I really think that this is something you might enjoy.

The writing was amazing, the main character was wonderfully written as well as the side characters. Usually side characters are just there, but Moreno-Garcia establishes them so well and they truly are part of the story. On top of the characters the atmosphere was spot on. It reminded me of crimson peak, haunting of hill house, and others. But, like I said, this is truly unique to is all the authors own.

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House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am going to be honest, I really went into this book thinking I was going to enjoy it quite a bit. The idea sounded interesting and the world created sounded very interesting, but I was kind of bored reading this… okay very bored. The weird thing is, things were happening, some pretty intense stuff. So, I am not sure how or why I was bored, but I was. I might go back in the future and give this book another go, I might not have been in the right mood for it.

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The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful ending to the series, did not disappoint! Holly Black as always does a great job of writing about fae and does wondering with writing in riddles and such. I give her a lot of credit in doing this because sometimes I can’t figure out the loopholes myself. In other books where there are fae characters I usually can figure it out easily.

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Celtic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and HeroesCeltic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes by Philip Freeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I never thought that some Celtic Myths would make Greek Mythology seem boring. This was a really well done collection of myths that cover a good deal of time and area. I felt that the author framed them very well with giving some historical context as well as organized them well. I enjoyed reading these tails and chances are I will read them again in the future.

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The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2)The Night Country by Melissa Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great story by Melissa Albert. This was a really enjoyable continuation in this series. A lot was going on and it still held the same magic for me as the first one did. The only downside was there were a few pacing issues for me personally. I am excited to see what happens in the next book!

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Don't Touch My HairDon’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished reading Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, it is a nonfiction that discusses racism and prejudice against blanks historically. The main vein that this particular book follows is based upon hair. I found it to be really interesting and it was a general history of racism touching on three different continents (North America, Europe, and Africa), but it was also a memoir of the author as well. I really annotated this book, I wrote on nearly every page.

The blurb said it best, ” intellectual investigation into black women and the very serious business of our hair, as it pertains to race, gender, social codes, tradition, culture, cosmology, maths, politics, philosophy and history”

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Teen Titans: RavenTeen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really great graphic novel, I really enjoyed seeing this side of Raven. The plot was great, the art work and color scheme was wonderful. I am really glad that the author is adding to this series in September with Beast Boy!

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FirestarterFirestarter by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I was not into this story in the slightest, but I decided to try for a little bit longer. I am glad I stayed with it because I ended up enjoying this quite a bit. It is almost like a different version of The Institute or a precursor to it. It is very different, but has a similar vibe to it if that makes sense. Charlie was a great character and her dad is amazing.

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Home Before DarkHome Before Dark by Riley Sager

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting thriller and ghost story. There was a real eerie feeling to this novel, which a horror lover like myself really enjoyed. On top of that the writing was great, you can tell the author really planned this novel out. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future

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The Girl from Widow HillsThe Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such an amazing thriller, I could not put it down once I picked it up. The writing is top notch, they methods used to tell the story and build the world were wonderful. I recommend anyone who enjoys thrillers.

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The Tale of Mrs WestawayThe Tale of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wild ride of a short story, it was really interesting to learn more about Mrs. Westaway.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 2


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my June wrap up, wow it feels so weird typing that. Already halfway through 2020. This month was quite an improvement reading wise for me, I actually did some reading. I am not quite sure what happened in May and what put me out of the mood to read, but thankfully it has passed and I ended up reading quite a bit. Here are the books I read, my backlist checkin and my monthly stats!


Read 2

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

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UntamedUntamed by Glennon Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very interesting collection of stories to make up the author’s memoir. I found the stories shared to be heart warming and raw. The author really sharers herself with her readers, but also gives them something to reflect on.

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Twelfth NightTwelfth Night by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come!

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Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this novel has a lot of potential, it was dark, twisted and let’s face it inspired by one of the most popular horror novels of all time. I really enjoyed a lot about this book, but what lost me was the characters actions. Sometimes I just felt like, wow, they are meant to be detectives? Their actions just were not believable. That aside, I did enjoy parts of it and I am curious enough to be thinking about continuing this series. That is a big deal for me, because I tend to hate series.

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Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1922-5/5 psychological and dark real world horror

Big Driver-2/5 the assault is r*ape.

Fair Extension-3/5 – interesting, but I wasn’t really feeling it.

A Good Marriage-5/5 Just when you thought you knew someone completely, another story were man is the true monster.

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Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really interesting story sett in the same world as American Gods. It was a twisting tale and as always Gaiman has a way with words. As always the writing was done very well and the story was imaginative to say the least. The reason I took a few stars off it because there were a few parts I became bored with, but over all I really did enjoy it. If you liked American Gods, I think you will like this as well.

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Before the Coffee Gets ColdBefore the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and I really want to read more from this author. I really liked how the author mixed the magical with the mundane to create such a heart warming story.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 6


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Unboxing | BOTM May 2020

Hauls & Unboxings

Hello and welcome to another unboxing of Book of the Month! This month was exciting because I have been a member long enough to get a free book for my birthday! I love this little bonus they have for its members after a certain period of time. It is a really nice was to give back I feel like, plus who can say no to a free book?! Anyway, on to my two picks for May!


The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd Description

“In her fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.” – goodreads.com 

Untamed by Glennon Doyle Description 

“This is how you find yourself.

There is a voice of longing inside every woman. We strive so mightily to be good: good mothers, daughters, partners, employees, citizens, and friends. We believe all this striving will make us feel alive. Instead, it leaves us feeling weary, stuck, overwhelmed, and underwhelmed. We look at our lives, relationships, and world, and wonder: Wasn’t it all supposed to be more beautiful than this? We quickly silence that question, telling ourselves to be grateful. We hide our simmering discontent—even from ourselves. Until we reach our boiling point.

Four years ago, Glennon Doyle—bestselling Oprah-endorsed author, renowned activist and humanitarian, wife and mother of three—was speaking at a conference when a woman entered the room. Glennon looked at her and fell instantly in love. Three words flooded her mind: There She Is. At first, Glennon assumed these words came to her from on high. Soon she realized that they came to her from within.”- goodreads.com


Why These Books

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd, as you can see from the above description, is very different. I really think this take on such a propionate figure is very intriguing and that is the main reason I picked it up, I really just needed too see what it was all about. I have read one other book by Kidd and I did enjoy it, so I think I will like the writing style, but we will see about the content. I really just have no idea what to think! As for Untamed by Glennon Doyle, it sounds like a very uplifting memoir about finding your true self and your inner voice. I know for me I have been doing a lot of self searching as of late so this was appealing to me in this regard. On top of that I have not read a memoir in such a long time and I am kind of craving one, plus I have been hearing such wonderful things about it. Between those reasons I could not say no to it.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do either of these books interest you?

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Reviews

Book Review | We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir by Samra Habib

Book Review

*Book given by the publisher via netgalley  in exchange for an honest review*

We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir
Description: 

How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don’t exist?

Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. As an Ahmadi Muslim growing up in Pakistan, she faced regular threats from Islamic extremists who believed the small, dynamic sect to be blasphemous. From her parents, she internalized the lesson that revealing her identity could put her in grave danger.

When her family came to Canada as refugees, Samra encountered a whole new host of challenges: bullies, racism, the threat of poverty, and an arranged marriage. Backed into a corner, her need for a safe space–in which to grow and nurture her creative, feminist spirit–became dire. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women in her life had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved.

So begins an exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality, a journey that takes her to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within her all along. A triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one’s truest self.–goodreads.com 


What I Liked

This memoir is a journey to read. Samar Habib’s story is heart breaking and at times difficult to read, but I am so happy she told her story. She truly went through a lot starting in Pakistan where she face severe threats and even in Canada, where it was meant to be a safe haven, she faced even more challenges of bullying and more.

Her voice is strong in this book. Telling her life, but also the lives of those who are unseen in society, as hinted at in the title. It really was an engrossing read and look into her life and her experiences felt real and tangible. With some memoirs the writers feel distant and untouchable also unapproachable. This was not the case with We Have Always Been Here. What really made this stand out was the author truly shared, even the fact that the author has made mistakes.

Going back to the writing and layout of this memoir, the author talks in a very raw and approachable manner. I felt that it was organized very well and the author truly has a talent when it comes to writing. I was pulled into this book quite quickly and nearly nothing could get me to put it down. The authors voice is truly specular.

While reading this memoir there were quite a few things that she faced her life that have been hinted at, but there is one thing that truly stood out to me. Her determination to  find her identity. This is a struggle for her throughout this book for a wide range of reasons. I don’t want to give away too much because I feel like this is best read without knowing too much.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. This book was wonderful.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, this is one of the best non-fiction books I have read recently. When it comes to reading memoirs I like them to be real, this is real and raw and you can feel it on every page. The author truly puts herself out there with pride as she shares her experience in finding and exploring her own identity as well as the experiences she has had in her life. I know I will be buying a finished copy of this because I know I will want to reread it in the future, which is not something I do a lot when it comes to memoirs. If you want to read about a strong LGBT+ and Muslim figure I would say this might be a very good option for you.

5stars


Author Links

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Book Information

Publication Date: June 4th 2019

Publisher: Viking

List Price: $18.95

ISBN: 978-0735235007

Pages: 240 pages


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Reviews

Book Review | Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman by Laura Kate Dale

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*Book given by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman
Description: 

“So while the assumption when I was born was that I was or would grow up to be a neurotypical heterosexual boy, that whole idea didn’t really pan out long term.”

In this candid, first-of-its-kind memoir, Laura Kate Dale recounts what life is like growing up as a gay trans woman on the autism spectrum. From struggling with sensory processing, managing socially demanding situations and learning social cues and feminine presentation, through to coming out as trans during an autistic meltdown, Laura draws on her personal experiences from life prior to transition and diagnosis, and moving on to the years of self-discovery, to give a unique insight into the nuances of sexuality, gender and autism, and how they intersect.

Charting the ups and downs of being autistic and on the LGBT spectrum with searing honesty and humour, this is an empowering, life-affirming read for anyone who’s felt they don’t fit in. –goodreads.com

 

 


What I Liked

I have to say, I feel honored by being let into the authors life. This book is very raw, real, and powerful. Her writing pulled me in nearly right away and when I read this, I needed to keep on reading it. This book was really insightful and really gave me an understanding of the trials and tribulations of their live with being transgender as well as having been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

On top of sharing their story, the writing was wonderfully and refreshingly honest. This book faces all of their experiences both positive and negative. The author faces these in writing this story and I give the author a lot of credit for being so open. There were times where I was angry on her behalf at how she was treated. I also cheered with her for every victory she shared. I was very much pulled into the story.

I really don’t want to say much more about this book, I really feel like it is best read without knowing too much about it. I will say, there are very difficult topics discussed in the book, transphobia, suicide, depression, bullying, addiction, assault. So, if these topics or similar topics bother you unfortunately this book might be difficult to read. Please read other reviews and make your own decision, you are the only one who can make this choice for you.


What I Didn’t Like

At times the writing itself was a bit all over the place, but this is more a personal feeling than anything. I can see a lot of people not being bothered by it.


Overall Thoughts

Honestly, I think this is a very powerful book. It is brutally honest, insightful, and I think it is a great book to read to not only learn about the trans community or the autism community, but the life experiences of a very strong person. I recommend picking this book up either from the library, online or your local bookstore.

4stars


Author Links


Twitter: LaurakBuzz

Book Information

Publication Date: July 18th 2019

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

List Price: $18.95

ISBN: 9781785925870

Pages: 192 pages

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To Be Read

TBR | September 2019

 

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After all the reading and planning of the NEWTs Readathon last month, I honestly wanted nothing to do with picking my TBR so I decided I was going to let a few twitter polls and you lovely individuals pick my TBR this month. I did add the books I am most excited to get to, so I was excited with whatever the outcome may be. Without more rambiling, here are the books you decided I should read this month!



-The Books-

The Tin Man has been on and off my radar for some time. I actually unhauled it a while back because I didn’t feel like I was ever going to read it. Now months and months later I came across it in a independent bookstore and I reread the description and I felt like I needed to read it. That was last month, so I am so happy I am reading it this month and not putting it off again.

The Salt Path is brand new to me, I have heard nothing about it before picking it up while on vacation this year. I found a really adorable independent bookstore and was browsing the shelves and came across this one. It looks like it is going to be a heart felt story that will make me cry. This nonfiction novel follows a Husband and Wife who drop everything and go hiking across the US when her husband is told he is terminally ill. I feel like I am going to cry, but also feel warm because I feel like these two are very much in love and it will be touching.

Miracle Creek was my BOTM pick from April, I am really interested in this magical realism/ thriller. I have a feeling it is going to be one I am going to fall in love with because the idea of it is so out there and unique to me.

I will also make it a goal of mine this month to finally finish my serialized editions of The Green Mile. I have parts 3-6 to still get to and I am reading them with a lovely group of individuals over on instagram. I am really excited about it!


What are you reading this month?

Are they on your TBR?

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