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. 


Read 2

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.

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews

 


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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Hauls

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

REVIEW | With Ballet in My Soul by Eva Maze

Book Review

cropped-iconw1.jpg*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Description

A life spanning close to 100 years is noteworthy, if only because of its longevity. The rich life of a woman committed to a professional vision ahead of its time, filled with glamour, excitement, and adventure, is truly remarkable. Narrated in her own words, this is the story of such a woman, Eva Maze, who, from the time she left Romania as a teenager in 1939, dreamed of being a ballet dancer, and through a series a circumstances, became instead one of the most successful theatrical impresarios in Europe – with a career spanning more than 40 years.

What I Liked

Eva’s memoir is a mesmerizing story of overcoming difficult situations and making the best of them. Not only do you get to learn about an impressive individual you get to see her throughout her life. While many memoirs are accompanied by photos Eva goes above and beyond by providing many images from different times in her life. It made the story more personal because there was so many, but because they were placed throughout the text. I often read non-fiction and memoir and the images are bunched up eight in the middle of the book and the context is lost. Another thing I liked about this novel is the fact that you almost instantly feel a connection to this amazing woman. She doesn’t talk at your, but explains her life as if you are sitting with her at a table drinking some tea or coffee.

What I Didn’t Like

One thing I did not like was that I could not relate to wanting to be a performer or dancer as much as Eva. While this is not fault at all by the author or her story I can tell for my reading if I had an interest in this I would have enjoyed the story even more. Even though I am not interesting in performing or dance I enjoyed Eva’s story because her story is a wonderful one.

Overall Thoughts

I thought this was a wonderful written memoir. I can tell a lot of thought and heart when into it. This is a story of a strong and inspiring woman who have lived through so many modern historical events. You see things through her eyes and while she tells you her story you feel like her friend. Her story shows that no matter what happens in your life, you can still succeed. I would say if you want to read about an inspiring woman, read memoir, or you enjoy reading about ballet you should pick up this book. I want to say thank-you Eva for sharing your story, it was amazing to read it.


Book Information

Publisher: Moonstone Press LLC

Publication Date:April 1st 2017

List Price: $24.95 (Amazon.com)

ISBN: 9780983498384

Pages: 200 pages


*You may have noticed that I have not added a star rating to my review. I did this on purpose. I want to remove the star ratings from my reviews and focus on discussing the things I like and things I didn’t instead of trying to force my opinions into a box.

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Reviews

Quarterly Co. Literary Box: February 2017

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Quarterly Co. is one of my favorite book boxes that I have tried over the years. For me personally I like that it is seasonal. It gives me time to read the books, when  I used to get a few monthly boxes I would get overwhelmed and that led to my TBR getting totally out of hand. I also like the fact you can pick YA or Literature. I like YA don’t get me wrong, but it was nice to find a box that was Adult Literature. Lastly I love how the box picks an author, they write notes throughout the book and then adds in a few books they enjoyed. It’s like having a book club with the author!

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This quarter was curated by Kayla Rae Whitaker. When I opened the box there was a typed note from the author explaining her book and an explanation for the other two books she included in the box. Not only do you get to read books chosen by an author, but you learn their significance to the author as well.

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This is what I love about this box, author notes! There was sticky  notes all over the pages in the book. I always get excited when I get to a page where I see one poking out a bit.

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The books that were included in this box are the curators debut book The Animators, which I am very exited to read. I read the description a while back and it sounded like fun. If follows two women who meet at a private college and follows them to a decade later where they are “now an award winning animation duo” (It is taken right from the description, no spoilers here). It seems to be a book following great friends through their ups and down, just a much needed feel good book since I have been on a thriller binge as of late.

The second and third books in the box I have never heard about. The first of these two books is The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which is a memoir that discusses diversity and love. Now that I have looked up the description I am very happy to have it to read in the near future. The final book in the box is The Annie Year by Stephanie Wilbur Ash. This book follows a well known patron of the arts in a small town. But, Annie does something that has serious repercussions on her life. Was it worth it? I’m not sure, but I will read a find out.


I hope you like my little unboxing*. You can find more information on this box by clicking the link right here. To find out more about the books mentioned simply click on the title, I linked to all of their goodreads pages.

What book or bookish subscription box do you subscribe to?

 

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*This is not an affiliate link or sponsored post. I buy this box happily with my own money.
TBR

#ReadThemAllThon TBR Pile

 

 

ReadThemAllThon

This read-a-thon runs from August 14th – September 4th, an entire 3 weeks to read some glorious books.

For more info on the Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon go to readingatmidnight’s original post. Here you will find more info on CP and leveling your pokemon.

Chosen Pokemon: Abra 10 CP

A three stage pokemon which means at 150 CP he will turn into Kadabra and at 400 CP will evolve into Alakazam.

 

TBR Pile:

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder

For the Boulder Badge I plan on reading Night from the Night Trilogy by Elie Wiesel. I am going to extend this and read the entire trilogy because of I have this bind up.

352 pages, potential +35CP.
ReadThemAllThon-Badge02-Cascader

For the Cascade Badge I am going to read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes because from what I hear it leaves many readers teary eyed.

400 pages, potential 40 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge03-Thunder

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is one of the most hyped books that is still on my TBR list so I plan on reading this to earn the Thunder Badge. I hope it lives up to the expectations.

416 pages, potential 41 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge04-Rainbow

To gain the Rainbow Badge I plan on reading Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I have heard a lot of good things about it and I can’t wait to get to it.

320 pages, potential 32 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul

For the Soul Badge I plan on reading Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, I mean it had a huge engagement ring and is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice how can it not be an epic romance?

512 pages, potential 51 CPReadThemAllThon-Badge06-Marsh

For the Marsh Badge I plan on reading The Shining by Stephen King one of the most supernatural ghost stories I have on my TBR. When I was younger this was actually my favorite movie, it still is high on my list, but I never read the book. So I think it is finally time.

464 pages, potential of 46 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge07-Flame

For the Flame Badge I plan on reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the sequel to The Shining. How can I not read both?

560 pages, potential of 56 CPReadThemAllThon-Badge08-Earth

For the Earth Badge I plan on reading Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, I know this is an alternate history type book, but I am pretty it is an apocalyptic type setting.

400 pages, potential of 40 CP

Potential Points If I Finish ALL Books (includes completed book bonus) = 501 CP


 

All I know is I am very excited that I will be able to participate in this read-a-thon after all. I mean it combines reading and Pokemon, how can anyone not be excited?

Have you read any of these books? Are you planning on participating? Let me know down below!

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Uncategorized

Bookish Photo: July 31st, 2016

Reviews

Christopher and His King by Christopher Isherwood

4

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Christopher and His Kind is a memoir that follows Christopher Isherwood between the years of 1929-1939. During this time he traveled in numerous countries, mainly Germany and wrote numerous novels. I picked up this novel to fulfill a challenge during a read-a-thon recently and I have also watched the movie adaptation in the past and felt it was finally time for me to pick up the book.

This novel is very interesting for numerous reasons. First, Isherwood is a very accomplished novelist. He has published over forty different works, there may even be more than what I have found. Second, this describes his time in Germany during the rise of Hitler and how it affected his friends and loved ones. Lastly, Isherwood is a homosexual and openly discusses his relationships and sheds light on the local scenes related to this.

Isherwood discusses how he was drawn to Germany because he could be more of himself, find something so un-English, so unlike from where he is from. Even though he is English, he tends to spend most of his time outside of his home country going to other European countries, Africa, Asia, and North America. All of the trips he takes he describes the adventures with his friends, the good and the bad, which I enjoy because it makes this seem so much more sincere and truthful. I also like how the author reflected on his own actions and at times admitted to acting irrationally or improper.

One common thread though most of the book was his relationship with Heinz, whom he met in Germany pre-Hitler. They were in a relationship for a good amount of time and Christopher cared for him dearly and you can see that Heinz felt the same way. Now when Hitler came into power you witness Christopher struggle to keep Heinz away and out of the country so he would be away from the violence and not be forced to fight. I found myself looking forward to their next trip and to what country they could get Heinz a visa for. It was like a tale of two lovers on the run. Now I will admit I am leaving a lot out because if I write anymore of the things I like of dislike it would end up giving away bits and pieces of Christopher’s story.

I will say I enjoyed the book greatly, I would say it is a very solid LGBTQ+ book. I ended up giving the book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. The reason this is not a 5 star book is because at times the book seemed to drag a lot and tended to be erratic at time. Which I understand s a writing tool to show and reflect his own erratic and worried thought processes he was going through, but it made it difficult to read at times for me personally. If this is not something you find difficult I would say it is worth looking into.

Happy Reading!

Uncategorized

Bookish Photo: July 28th, 2016

Wrap Up

Booktube-a- thon 2016 Wrap-Up

Booktube-a-thon is a week long read-a-thon where you read as much as you can. I usually find these fun and challenging because it gives me an excuse to escape into books and participate in challenges.

This year I decided to participate in Booktube-a-thon, which had 7 challenges. The challenges were read something with yellow on the cover, read a book only after sunset, a book you got because of book tube, read a book by a favorite author, read a book older than you, read a book with a movie adaptation then watch it, and read seven books.

I previously made a post with my TBR (To Be Read) which you can find Here.

During the week I read:

Persuasion by Jane Austen: 1/5 Stars (book older than me)

Christopher and His Kind by Christopher Isherwood: 3/5 stars (book to movie)

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes: 5/5 stars (book tube made me do it)

Deadpool Vol. 1 Millionaire with a Mouth by Gerry Duggan: 4/5 stars (after Dark)

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub: 5/5 stars (yellow on the cover)

Oops, I did not get to finish my 7th book, but over all I am proud of my progress. I read in total 6 books that equals 1587 pages. 0.0 woah.