Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

This month has been a really interesting reading month for me. I feel like my reading was all over the place, but at the same time not. I have read a lot of non-fiction or very large books the past few weeks, with only a sprinkling of thrillers from a buddy read and a novel from one of my 2019 reading challenges.

I am not quite sure why I tended to read a lot about Russian history or Russian influenced books, but I think I was really craving non-fiction and historical fiction. As to the big books, I think I have been in a mood to just pick up a book and just dedicate myself to reading it and really absorbing it, not just reading something and flying through it. Either way, I am really happy with the books I have read this month, without more of my ramblings and reflection, here are the books I read!

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Read 2
Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana AlliluyevaStalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wonderfully written non-fiction account of the daughter of one of the worlds most notorious men. It was really enlightening to read about her relationship with her father for a few reasons. The first being it really gave insight into Soviet Russian elite, which to me seemed to not be so different with how the elite lived under the tsars, and how Stalin was as a husband and a father.

I also liked how this novel tracked her life following the death of her father and beyond. I think it was a very good nod to her because it seemed like she tried hard to be seen as her own person and this novel really does just that.

As I said earlier, this is well written. The style of writing is story like with a great deal of information, I think this is great for those who want to read more non-fiction but are intimidated by books being to “academic”. In addition to this, the organization and execution of this biography is wonderful. The flow was very natural and I never felt like I was jumping around in her story, even though we cover an entire lifetime in a single book.

This book also inspired me to look into Svetlana’s own books about her story and also read more from this author.

View all my reviews


BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her story in her own words. If you have any interest, I highly recommend.

View all my reviews


Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very thought out thriller and I can really appreciate that. I just wish one aspect of the story was more explored throughout the novel. While this was a well planned thriller, it is by no means bad, but it also isn’t one of my top ones.

The story will keep you on your toes and just like the dust jacket says, if you think you can guess the ending. I think your guess most likely will be wrong.

View all my reviews


The StandThe Stand by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am still surprised I was able to finish this book in a single month, but I am so happy that I read it. While it was long, I was not once bored and I never wanted to skip a particular part.

Overall, I really liked the wide array of characters in this novel. I was expecting to get them all confused and turned around, but they are so distinct and their motives for their actions are always true to them so I did not have a problem keeping them all straight. There were characters in here that I cried for and I cheered for. There were those I did not care for in the slightest. It really is interesting to see all the different ways humans deal with something like this.

I really enjoy this type of story from king, it is a mixture of ghosts, monsters, but also human nature and what it could be. Making is just enough real to make you uneasy. Also, whenever anyone sneezed I got anxious. I had to laugh at myself a bit, but according to the Stephen King subreddit, I am not the only one who this happened to.

View all my reviews

Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to read my review of the following books, please see my post; Middle Mark | May 2019.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 38

Current Backlist TBR: 9Divider 2

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul | April & May 2019

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Hello everyone, it has been some time since I posted a bookhaul. I didn’t realize it has been two months until I ran out of room on my cart where I put the books I need to haul officially. Then, I realized I put some on my shelves without actually hauling them… oops. It turns out I acquired more books that I thought I did between treating myself and my birthday this month. The good news is I already read some of the books I hauled and some are replacement copies. So my overall TBR isn’t being completely bogged down.

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-The Books-

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, birthday gift and read.

You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman, unread.

If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley, unread.

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides, unread.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston, Thank-you Reg! Unread.

Blaze by Richard Bachman aka Stephen King, unread.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, replacement copy and gift

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien, replacement copy and gift.

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick, unread.

Peace and Turmoil by Elliot Brooks, unread.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan, gift and unread.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, unread.

Classic Penguin by various editors, read.

The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey, read.

The Things I Would Tell You edited by Sabrina Mahfouz, read.

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill, read.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, birthday gift and read.

Divider 2So over the past two months I acquired 17 books, not to bad for a birthday month and for such a long period of time. Plus, I already read 8 of them already.

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Have you read any of these books? Which one should I read first?

What book have you acquired or borrowed this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update

20191

So I have been blown away at my progress with the OWLs Readathon so far. I am not complaining in anyway, but I had no idea I would have read so much already. I think taking part in the Magical All Nighter really helped me make a lot of progress as well. Anyway, I am going to hurry and tell you the OWLs I have passed, ones I am working on, and the ones I still need for my profession of choice. Then, underneath will be my mini reviews. Also, if you have no idea what I am talking about, you can read about the readathon and my goals here: April TBR | OWLs Magical Readathon 2019.

-Passed-

  • Charms
  • Herbology
  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Muggle Studies
  • Transfiguration

-In Progress-

  • Potions

-Magical All Nighter-

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Read 2

The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women WriteThe Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write by Sabrina Mahfouz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the wide array of perspectives that were present in this book. Not did the editor bring together a wonderful collection of writings, the writings were created by an assortment of women of different ages as well. I felt like that created a very interesting dynamic in the writing, but also illustrated that deep feelings can be felt at any age. I felt passion and many deep emotions while reading this book. All the writers are very talented. I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Islamic Tinder by Triska Hamid.

On top of the quality of writing, I also enjoyed that there were different forms of writing present; short stories, poetry, and plays as well.

View all my reviews


Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your SoulFierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second collection I am reading from this author, I am happy to say that I still love her work. Her theme throughout this book was wonderfully represented, but I also liked how the classic fairytales were shifted to tell a unique story as well. The illustrations throughout were very complimentary as well. If the description interests you or you want to try a collection of poems and stories I highly recommend.

My favorites were Lost Boy, The Step Mothers Tale, Shoemakers Son.

View all my reviews


The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the title you can tell that this book deals with the very difficult topic of suicide. If any discussion of this topic is a trigger for you, I do not recommend you picking it up. If this is not a triggering topic, I highly suggest you read it.

Having personally dealt with a family member who has gone through this, I went into this book a bit worried that it would handle the topic badly. I was very pleasantly surprised that it handled not only the girls well, but also those left behind very well. I don’t really want to say much about the story itself, but I thought the writing was well done, the characters done well, and I was very much enthralled by the plot.

View all my reviews


My Sister, the Serial KillerMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a page turner with twists I did not expect. I read this in one sitting and I will be looking out to read more from this author in the future. If you want a fast paced family centric thriller I highly suggest this one.

View all my reviews


ElevationElevation by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really wonderful science fiction novella. I will openly admit I teared up at the end, which surprised me because I did not expect to become attached to any of the characters in the slightest. The novella is so short I expected it to be a good story, but not one that made me feel. This was a very interesting idea and done very well. But, please know this is not a horror, it is science fiction.

View all my reviews


The Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious ObjectsThe Englishman who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects by John Tingey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a well written and feel good fun story of a man who wanted to test the mail system. He ended up being known for this hobby and being one of the “fathers” of mail. The story was fun to read and I found it very interesting and fast paced. The images thorugh the book were beautifully copied added and great detail could be seen.

If you like reading about “oddities” and want a fast paced and interesting non-fiction to read, I highly suggest.

I will say I was drawn to this at first because I collect postcards from around the world, but I feel like anyone would enjoy reading this. It truly is about a man following his hobby and having fun.

View all my reviews
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Currently Reading 2

Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)

I just started reading the third book in the Wayward Children series, I don’t want to say too much for fear I will spoil something, but I am excited to continue with this series and see what world we are taken to next. The book will cover the requirement for Potions, my last required OWL for Herbology.

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What are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Book Haul | January & February 2019

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So, this year I restarted by read 5, buy 1 and so far it has been going really well last month I didn’t really haul many books so I decided to combine January and February. I will say that the challenge is going really nicely. My owned TBR is currently sitting at 37 books, which I am very proud of. I am well on my way to get into the teens, which is my ultimate goal. Anyway, I am going to stop blabbing on and on and get to the book!

-Pre Read 5, Buy 1-

The Wicked King by Holly Black

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

So I love Holly Black and I really enjoyed reading the first book in this series, The Cruel Prince. I had this book preordered and it was placed before the new year and also because I was really excited about it I needed to preordered it. Anyway, I am really excited to get to it in the near future.


-Post Read 5, Buy 1-

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black

I decided to pick this up for Black History Month… oops I read it in January because I could not wait and I really liked it. If you want to see my full review of it please go to my Monthly Wrap Up | January 2019 it was really enjoyable  and I really do suggest it.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)

So, I have been eyeing starting this series for some time and I finally decided to pick it up. I have been wanting to get more into adult fantasy and right and left people have said to give Robin Hobb a try and I read the description and it sounds really interesting.

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

Early Riser

So this book is from my Book of the Month | February 2019 post I did a few weeks ago. Like I said in the post, this book is a science fiction read nothing like I have read before. It reminded me of a recent movie with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence where they wake up in space and everyone else is asleep. On top of that I would really like to hibernate sometimes so I can live through the characters lol.

 

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Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your TBR? Which one would you read first?

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TBR

February TBR | 2019

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Hello and welcome to my February TBR, my first one of 2019. Last month I didn’t feel like making a TBR because I wanted to focus on reading some classics and finishing the books I started. Since I am finished with those I thought it was time to make one. I am going to make this post short and sweet so without more of a delay, here is my TBR!

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Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Save the Date

This book I am kinda ashamed to still have on my TBR. I picked it up when I met Morgan Matson at BookCon 2018. She was so nice and lovely, we had a great laugh about my corgi lanyard. I have read and loved previous books by her, but for some reason I have not picked this up. I think it is because I have not been in the mood for a contemporary. I think I am finally in the mood for it though. I want something light after all the intense reads of last month.

World Without End by Ken Follett

World Without End (Kingsbridge, #2)

This is the next book in the Kingsbridge series, which I started last year due to the Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books post I did. I ended up loving the first book, a very large historical fiction. I ended up going out right away and getting the second book, but I did not feel like reading such a large book right away. So, I decided now is finally the time since the 3rd book has finally came out in paperback and I can get that if I end up liking this one just as much.

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The Stand by Stephen King

So it seems that I will be reading quite a few large books this upcoming months and I am not sure how well that is going to go, but I am going to do my best to at least finish this TBR jar pick. I have been wanting to read this for sometime, but since it is so large I have been putting it off because I felt like I did not have the time to dedicate to it. While I do have the paperback edition, the cover you can see below, I think I might get the ebook edition so I can carry it around with me without having the weight of it.

The Stand

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What are you reading this month?

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Revisiting

Revisiting | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

revisiting

So it has been some time since I mentioned by ______ Picks My Books series I did in 2018. I honestly got so caught up in my own books and just kept putting the books off for one reason or another. But, I am happy to say that I can finally do a bit of an update. If you want to read the rest of the series,  I will link that below for you.

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Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 3

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books Vol. 2

Revisiting| _____ Picks My Books

Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books

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The Books

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Huge

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I ended up liking this book so much more than I thought I would. I normally rarely read about celebrities or actors I like in real life, so I always thought, “Why would I care about one that didn’t even exist?”. Well, I have to say that this book proved that point wrong. Within the first chapter I was already hooked. They methods used by the author to tell Evelyn Hugo’s story were wonderful and made it feel so tangible. Not only did the author tell an addicting story of this woman, but she told a story of so much more than that. That is the part of the story I did not expect and loved. The author did some great things with this book and I highly recommend. Review first published here: Weeks in Review | November 4th-November 10th.

5stars

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

So, I need to admit something here. I ended up DNFing this book. I read about 50 pages of it and while I enjoyed it very much while reading it. Once I put it down I just did not want to pick it up again. I cannot pin point the reason why, but I just didn’t feel the need to. Like I said, I enjoyed what I read, so I am even more confused. The writing was good, the story was interesting. I just think it was a case of the right book at the right time. I think I may try it again in the future, we shall see. I would suggest that you try it for yourself, I am a huge mood reader and in this case I think I was simply not in the mood.

DividerOverall, I am so happy with Jenna’s choices. I absolutely loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I was in shock at how much I liked it because I usually don’t enjoy books like this at all. While I DNF’ed the other book, I still think it is a good book, I just think I read it at the wrong time and I may give it another shot later on when I am more in the mood for something like that.

Anyway, thank-you for reading and thank-you so much Jenna for picking books to add to my TBR!

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | January 2019

Middle Mark

I don’t know about you, but I am still have a really hard time writing 2019 and we are a full 15 days in. I feel like I am going to be writing 2018 for the next few weeks too. Anyway, I am happy to say that I am really enjoying my reading progress this month. I have surprised myself by being able to track somethings with my 2019 goals, but also I feel like the quality has been good so far as well. For me that is the ideal way to start off a year. Without more of me rambling, here is an update on my reading so far this month.

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Books I Finished

Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic

A Journey Through a History of Magic by The British Library

4stars

This is a beautiful book, it details so much of the history of magic that influenced Harry Potter’s world as well as a peek into early drafts, edits, and early doodles of the book. Even though I went to the exhibit I still read through this book cover to cover and really enjoyed it. (Originally found here).

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

5stars

I absolutely loved this book, I was raw, emotional, and heartbreaking. If you are looking to read a memoir I highly suggest you pick it up. The writing is amazing, there is something about this book that just appalls you, but also inspires you due to the life that Tara Westover has lived. (Originally found here).

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll

3stars

Best for beginners and those who are not happy with their current bullet journals. If you already have a bullet journal you are happy with you can pass on this book.

For those who are beginners this is a great way to learn about the process and find out what a bujo actually is. It is well organized and I like the take what works for you and leave the rest mentality of the book. (Originally found here).

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

3stars

I have read and reread quite a few Sherlock stories. I will admit at this point some stories I will continue to rereading, but others I will never pick up again for one reason or another. Mainly because I did not enjoy the  the thrill of the story. It is a wonderful collection to have. (Originally found here).

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World

Kawaii Doodle Cuties: Sketching Super-Cute Stuff from Around the World by Pic Candle 

4stars

I recently wrote an entire review of this book, you can find that here: _______________________. But, I will say overall I think this is a really fun drawing book. I think it gives great practice when it comes to learning to draw basic shapes and developing better hand control while drawing. While some of the tutorials take up jumps in the steps as stated before, you can figure it out with some time. As with anything new you are learning with practice, you improve. If you are looking to learn to draw or just want to play around, I think this is an adorable option for you. (Originally found here).

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The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

So far I am reading enjoying this buddy read with Jenna, Reg, and Amy. I have quite a few post-it notes throughout the 94 pages of this book. I really love the feel and atmosphere about this book. I also really enjoy how it is organized. I am looking forward to continuing on with this read.

War and Peace

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

If you have read my post, Lets Talk | Classic of the Year 2019, you will know it is one of my goals to read this book in 2019. So I am happy to report that I am enjoying the read very much, especially the nods to class specific behaviors of fads during this time frame in history. I also really like the time frame that Tolstoy wrote this book in, full of history and historical figures. I wont be adding updates to this book every middle mark, but I will give an update during my monthly wrap-ups.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed this little reading check in!

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What is the last book you read?

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Hauls

Book Haul |Boxing Day 2018

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So, this will post likely be the last huge haul you will see for some time. I tend to stay away from the website bookoutlet, but boxing day always pulls me in. It is not that the website is bad or anything like that. I just tend to buy more books than I need or ones that are not really on my radar and then months pass and I end up unhauling them. I try not to do that so my wallet is a bit happier. But, every year on boxing day, day after Christmas, I put in an order of books that have piled up in my cart that I have had my eye on for some time. Without more of a delay, here are the books I picked up on Boxing day! Divider

DividerThe Books

The Good People by Hannah Kent

Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent’s startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious community.
Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheal, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nora just as rumors begin to spread that Micheal is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways.

Set in a lost world bound by its own laws, THE GOOD PEOPLE is Hannah Kent’s startling new novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers. -goodreads

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision. -goodreads

Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson

London was still recovering from the devastation of World War II when another disaster hit: for five long days in December 1952, a killer smog held the city firmly in its grip and refused to let go. Day became night, mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and some 12,000 people died from the poisonous air. But in the chaotic aftermath, another killer was stalking the streets, using the fog as a cloak for his crimes.

All across London, women were going missing–poor women, forgotten women. Their disappearances caused little alarm, but each of them had one thing in common: they had the misfortune of meeting a quiet, unassuming man, John Reginald Christie, who invited them back to his decrepit Notting Hill flat during that dark winter. They never left.

The eventual arrest of the “Beast of Rillington Place” caused a media frenzy: were there more bodies buried in the walls, under the floorboards, in the back garden of this house of horrors? Was it the fog that had caused Christie to suddenly snap? And what role had he played in the notorious double murder that had happened in that same apartment building not three years before–a murder for which another, possibly innocent, man was sent to the gallows?

The Great Smog of 1952 remains the deadliest air pollution disaster in world history, and John Reginald Christie is still one of the most unfathomable serial killers of modern times. Journalist Kate Winkler Dawson braids these strands together into a taut, compulsively readable true crime thriller about a man who changed the fate of the death penalty in the UK, and an environmental catastrophe with implications that still echo today. -goodreads

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

A journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today—guided by the owner himself.

Bestselling author Daniel Tammet (Thinking in Numbers) is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life and able to explain what is happening inside his head.

He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him the most unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man.

Fascinating and inspiring, Born on a Blue Day explores what it’s like to be special and gives us an insight into what makes us all human—our minds.  -goodreads

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.– goodreads

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard

There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians. -goodreads 

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.

Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences. -goodreads

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What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Life, DIYs, & Cooking

DIY Tested | Creating a Serialized Book

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Hello and welcome to another attempt at me recreating a DIY! This time I am trying to serialize a novel. I first came across this DIY on instagram posted by Sarah on Book50Blog. When I first saw this back in August I was first shocked by the methods used, but she made a really good point. Doing this to a huge, mountainous book into something really manageable.

Now, because this was on Instagram stories, it disappeared in 24 hours, so thankfully I thought it was a great idea and I wanted to try it right there and then. I screen shotted the steps so I could try when the time was right. That time has just now arrived, but before I get into the DIY I want to explain what a serialized novel is.

This was very popular during the victorian era, many books that are now published and full novels were once realized in chunks on a set schedule. This could be once a month, once every two months, or sometimes every other week. It really depending on the magazine or paper that the story was published. Some of the popular books that were originally published in the manner were The Women in White by Wilkie Collins, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Bleak House by Charlies Dickens. I tend to read a lot of classics like this in their original form thanks to a website called Victorian Serial Novels. I suggest checking them out, it really give you a whole new reading experience, you get cliff hangers in places you wouldn’t even believe.

Now, the book I am testing this out on was partly published like this, but then was turned into a novel part of the way through. You can read all about that here. So I am taking a little bit of liberties with breaking it up for a few reasons. The first being I wanted to try this on a big book and the second was because I had a cheap version of this classic so I would not be horribly upset if it all went wrong.

The book I decided to try this on was War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy because I plan on reading it in 2019. So, here it goes, the doing part of DIY.

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Supplies

  • Book
  • Cutting device
  • Washi tape
  • Adult supervision-if you get hurt it is not my responsibility ask a responsible adult to help you cut. Using a knife or cutting device can be dangerous do this at your own risk!

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The DIY

First you need to find the sections, I decided to break the book down into 17 sections. Book 1-25 then he first and second epilogue. I think in herLes Misérables by Victor Hugo if I am not mistaken.

This is the part I was most worried about, I really thought I was going to butcher the edges and the entire book would fall apart page by page. But, I have to admit seeing the little bits of the spine actually looks kinda cool… did I just say destroyed book looks cool? Who am I?

The last step I think was the best part of this for a few reasons. The first being it kinda made me less worried about the book just falling apart and it made it look more uniform.

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This is such a wonderfully straight forward DIY, thank you Sarah! Three steps with not a lot of fluff, it gets right to the point. I think that is why it caught my eye right away.

Overall, I really liked this DIY. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I would say I did have to cut the sections two times to really get a clear cut. The first to open up the pages to get to the binding, then the second actually cut the binding. I am really looking forward to reading this now serialized edition of War and Peace in 2019!

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I hoped your enjoyed me testing out a DIY.

Which ones should I try next?

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Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Megan Mullally Book Recommendations

ListsSince I was young I have been a fan go Megan Mullally. I remember sitting up late at night and watching her on Will and Grace and loving her funny character. I have seen many interviews of her throughout the years but since the release of her book with her husband Nick Offerman I have been seeing a lot more. One I saw in particular made me adore her even more.

She was on USA Today and did a book specific talk with Nick. You can find the video online here.  I watched the entire interview and I did not realize that she was an avid reader and kept a list of books she adored on her phone. As a book nerd I can relate to having one of those.

In the interview she was asked what books would you recommend and she pulled out her phone and read off a list that she loved and Nick even commented on enjoying quite a few of them. I thought it would be fun to share the ones from her list that I am interested in reading.

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Stoner by John Williams

Stoner

I found this one interesting because this seems like a wonderfully heart breaking book. I feel like it would be beautifully written and I would be very connected to the main character. I would feel empathy for him and want only his happiness while his like takes some turns.

Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman

I feel like this book would be an interesting read that looks into gossip and how it could be dangerous. I also want to know what happens with the milkman because the description just tells you the main character just has a “encounter”.

We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed

We Begin Our Ascent

This books seems like it is about a couple with a bright future that take a turn that no one expected. For some reason I enjoy reading these types of stories not because I want to see successful people fail, but to remind myself that anything is possible and things don’t always look as they appear. I find myself thinking that this book could represent that from the description.

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Flights

I have found that over the years I have not read a lot of translated books, and while this list is filled with them, this one sounded really amazing. I find it hard to put into words what this book is about. It seems almost mythological and whimsical, but also has a deep story to tell.

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While this is not the complete list of books that she recommends, please go watch the interview, it is a great list of books to try. I find that reading books that people I admire read helps me find gems that I would not have found on my own. I am hoping that this idea translates well from my friends and family members, but also to those I have watched as a fan for some time.

Have you ever read a favorite book of a celebrity?

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