Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | April 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a haul from the month of April. I went on my first day trip this past month after getting fully vaccinated. It was my first time doing so in over a year and it felt so great! On this trip I went to a really awesome bookstore that was new to me and found some gems to bring home with me and picked up a few books from my local bookstore and sent one by a friend. Anyway, here are the books!


The Books

Record of A Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami and Ms. Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami I picked up on a day trip to a Japanese market. They have a really awesome bookstore there and I always find gems like this I would not have found otherwise. Record of A Night Too Brief caught my attention because it seemed to have so much packed into such a small package. Ms. Ice Sandwich caught my attention because of its talk of starting something new and possible love.

The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox, was a gift from the amazing Adrianna. I am really excited to get to this historical fiction novel with a possible paranormal twist to it.

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, I also picked up from the Japanese market. But, I have read this authors work quite a bit. He is a known horror manga writer. This book tells tales of his own life experiences as a dog person then owning two cats. It is quite funny and it was fun to read.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, this book has been on my radar for quite sometimes and I finally picked it up. I am really excited to get to it this month as well.

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella, I will be honest the cover of this book really pulled me in. The cover alone has such a great atmosphere for a thriller and sets the tone so clearly. Then, when I read the description I added it to my pile before checking out from the store. This books talks about a girl going to Harvard to try and figure out what led her brother to suicide. There also seems to be ghosts possibly present in this story as well.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | April 2021

Hello and welcome to my mid month reading check in for April! It seems I am still in a reading slump, probably one of the worst in years. I think stress and such in my day to day life is just leaving me so drained I am not really in the mood to pick up a book. I find myself coming home, watching something and crocheting. I am hoping the second half of the month I can beat this slump!


Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & MuJunji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu by Junji Ito
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a cute and funny piece from a person I never knew could be so humorous. Normally, this author writes horror manga, which I normally love. I happened to see this in the bookstore and picked it up because it was something different from him. I ended up really enjoying it and reading it on the ride home.

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What have you read so far this month or what are you currently reading?

Any suggestions to get out of this reading slump?

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Let's Talk · Lists & Recommendations

Let’s Talk | Series I Read or Started in 2020

Hello and welcome to a post where I share a few of the book series I finished or started in 2020. Now, to be honest I don’t read too many series so the ones I start I really have to be interested in. I have realized that series reading is not something to take lightly because of the commitment. I have realized that type of reading is generally not for me as the years have passed, but there are a few exceptions and here they are!


Series I Started

Assassination Classroom by Yūsei Matsui

Assassination Classroom, Vol. 01

Now, I will be honest here. I have watched the entirety of the anime and loved it. The next logical step for this reader was to read the manga. So, I finally decided to start reading them this year and at this point in time I have read the first two volumes and I have a few waiting for me on my shelf. This series takes place in a school where the students are tasked by the government to assassinate their teacher who seems to be a monster or alien that blew up the moon and promises to do the same to Earth. The funny thing is, this teacher is probably the best teacher ever and really cares about the kids and helps train them to try and get him. It really is hard to explain but I cried a few times and it takes a lot for me to cry.

Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #1)

This series I started as a buddy read with Jenna and Reg. We all read the first book, Prodigal Son, in the series together but we have all stalled funny enough. It was a good start for sure, but just something I am in the mood for currently. It has a mixture of horror with an immortal and also has aspects of a thriller with a serial killer on the loose. It really left off on a great point in the plot so I really do want to continue one day.

Series I Continued

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)

I have been reading this series over the last few years and I have been enjoying it, but I have been reading about two a year. At this point in time I am up to An Echo in the Bone, which his book 7. I am hoping to read it the last week of December or early January. I tend to read one in the Winter and one in the Summer. Since I am so far in the series I don’t want to say too much at this point.

Series I Finished

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café

I read the first two books in this series, that is all that is available in English at this time so I am going to count this as completed. I do hope the third installment of this whimsical, emotional, and magical collection of short tales. I don’t want to say too much about these because I feel like the less you know the better, but do know that these are amazing!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians Trilogy Boxed Set

This year I started and finished Th Magicians Series. I have to say I really loved this series throughout. If fact it got better as it went on. I really loved that the characters started learning magic in college and that it took place in a world hidden within our own. I also loved the fact that his fantasy novel is new adult as well. I also liked that the main character isn’t perfect, it really makes all of the characters feel like actual humans with flaws and all. I really feel like I might reread this series in the future as well. I also read these with Jenna and Reg!

Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle Series by Bradley Harper

Queen's Gambit

This last series I read this year because I was part of a blog tour of the first book, A Knife in the Fog. I then decided to continue the series because I enjoyed the first one. This fast paced historical mystery was a ton of fun and gave off a ton of Sherlock Holmes vibes.


What series have you read this year?

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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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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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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | August 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up for August!  This month I had a little bit of time off of work and I took full advantage by spending quite a few days sitting in bed reading, which I have not done in a while. As a result I read all these books and found a few I absolutely love! Also, a bit of a side note, this is my first post using wordpress’ new format and I have a feeling I might have messed up the formatting, it is really hard to tell. 


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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American SlaveNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

His well chosen and powerful words speak for themself.

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The HungerThe Hunger by Alma Katsu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very intriguing, imaginative and haunting horror. Not only was this horror atmospheric, but it mixed “real world” horror and monster based horror. This mixed with history only made it just seem even more real. The writing was well done, the pacing, characters, and relationships were all done so well. I will be trying more books from this author in the future.

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American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSIAmerican Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my second book by this author and I am pleased that I still enjoy their voice. This was a very interesting look into not only an individual, but also the early field of forensics in the US. This was well researched and also commented on methods used in the past, but also today. It gave a wonderful broad picture of crime science, but it really put into perspective historical true crime that I have previously read. It dd this by going over key cases in Heinrich’s career. If you enjoy true crime, I think you will enjoy.

View all my reviews MarchMarch by Geraldine Brooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read that follows the father in Little Women through his young years where he meets Marmee and his time during the Civil War. I really loved this imagined way the enlightened parents met, combined in education, emancipation, and ideals.

They way the author explored Mr. March’s life was very interesting and explored the time period more so than Little Women could at the time. Not only did the book explore slavery and its affects, the underground railroad, survivors guilt, it explored the background to a book I didn’t know I wanted. The author is a talented writer and I will be looking into their other works.

View all my reviews Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness (A New Edition of the Tarot Classic)Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness by Rachel Pollack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the best if not thee best tarot book I have read. It explains the symbolism within the cards as well as relates the meanings of the cards to stories and tales. I think this is a great book for someone starting or someone who have read for a while and wants a very detailed and well done review of the cards meanings and history.

View all my reviews Assassination Classroom, Vol. 01Assassination Classroom, Vol. 01 by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not really sure how to review this because I watched the anime first so I already have a connection to the characters, but I still really enjoy the illustrations and sense of humor while reading it as a manga.

View all my reviews Assassination Classroom, Vol. 02: Time for Grown-UpsAssassination Classroom, Vol. 02: Time for Grown-Ups by Yūsei Matsui
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Continues to have a good sense of humor, good plot, and good characters.

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Middle Mark Books 2


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

Monthly Wrap Up | February 2019

WrapUp12:17

After reading so many books in January I was bound to read less this month for two reasons. World became really, really busy and I was overwhelmed and the month is only 28 days long. Three more days I feel like I would have read more, but oh well there is always next month.

Even though I did not feel like I read a ton, I did manage to read 4 books, so a book a week is not bad at all. Three of those books were taken right off of my TBR while the fourth was one I reread. So, not to shabby over all. Without more rambling and me wishing I was able to read more, here are the books I read this month!

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In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at YorktownIn the Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One thing I really liked about this was not only did it talk about Yorktown, it talked about what was going on right before and where the major players had their heads at. It explained things very well and had quite a few maps to help visually explain what was going on. This is a great addition if you ask me.

Being a history major I knew quite a bit of the information going into this book, but I did learn some new things and more details about the battle itself. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in the battle or in the revolution. Beginner and those who know a bit of the details.

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Save the DateSave the Date by Morgan Matson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed how over the top this book is. The main character was a little in a lala land and idealized everything and at times I found it really annoying from time to time. I feel like she needed some tough love sooner rather than later when it came to living her own life in the real world.

I loved that the setting was at a wedding, I thought it was a really good setting. I laughed at some of the events and can I just say I loved the puppy waffle. The comedic timing of the puppy was spot on as well as his mischievous time.

Overall, this was a really good contemporary that broke up the heavy reading I have been reading as of late. I read through it very quickly when I did pick it up.

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Middle Mark Books 2

I didn’t want to just rewrite my review, but if you want to know the details of my thoughts on these books please see my post, Middle Mark | February 2019. 

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Divider 2What is your favorite book you read this month? Have you read any of the books I have mentioned?What are you planning on reading next?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | February 2019

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid month check in! This month I feel like I have been doing a ton of reading between buddy reads with Jenna @JK I’m Exploring, Reg @Bookish In Bed, and Amy @ Tomes with Tea. The Co-hosting a Count of MOnte Cristo readalong on instagram with Jenna. All of which I have been LOVING. I had no idea I would love Monte so much! Anyway, between reading those I was able to read

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Read 2
The Clockmaker's DaughterThe Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that the description for this book does not give it justice. There is so much more to this book, but I don’t want to give details and ruin the surprise. It was really magical and I loved the intertwining of fairy tales, history, and a thriller all mixed into one. The authors writing style is very flowery and enjoyable.

If you find the description interesting, I think you will like it even more than you think because there is so much more.
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Death Note (All-in-One Edition)Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall I thought this was a very unique and interesting series. The artwork was fantastic and I felt that it was the perfect match to the story line. For the size of this I felt that I read it fairly quickly, that was mainly because a lot of stuff happened for the first. 60-70% of this book. I felt like the thought process and mental games that were played in here were very well done. The main reason why I did not give this series more stars is because once a particular character died the quality seemed to go down with the mental games and I felt like at times there was something for the sake of events, but it seems kinda random and forced at times. I also felt that the story slowed down all of a sudden at a point and I felt like I had to push myself through because I came so far already.

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Divider 2Currently Reading 2

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas-

The Count of Monte Cristo

I am currently page 298 at the time of posting this, but as I have said already in my into I am LOVING this book so much more than I thought I would. Due to its size I thought it would be slow, but I feel like so much happens each chapter. It is mind blowing. I highly recommend this classic.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy-

War and Peace

I am on page 154. Yes, I am making progress in my classic of the year while reading Monte as well. Since I am reading a book every 3 weeks, I have a lot of time to read others books. I have read one peace and one war section and so far I think I am enjoying the peace sections more. I think becasue I am seeing more class distinctions that I learned about when I was in college and I really love how the author made a point of adding those in there to showcase the class system in Russia, but also how they spoke more French than Russian.

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What are you reading? Have you read any of the books I have read or am currently reading?

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