Wrap Up

Middle Mark | October 2019

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid month check in! I am so excited to share some of these books with you. I have read a few five star reads, which is all I can ask for while reading!

I  will say that this month I do have one book I technically read in September, but I finished it on the last day of the month and it did not make into my wrap up.


Read 2
The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script BookThe Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was so nice to read this script. I am a huge fan of the original novel by Gaiman and Pratchett and I have to say that Gaiman did a wonderful job with this adaptation along with all the cast a crew involved. It was such fun visiting this story for third time this year.

If you enjoy reading scripts and enjoy this story, I suggest you give this a go as well.

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In the Tall GrassIn the Tall Grass by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very imaginative, gruesome novella. It was so vivid in my mind while I read it and I can see the influence of both Stephen King and Joe Hill. It is very dark and twisted and if gore doesn’t bother you, I suggest this quick read.

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The OverstoryThe Overstory by Richard Powers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read for sure, I can see why it has won awards and shortlisted for others. The idea is very thought provoking, involving individuals who have a very strong with nature and more specifically the trees. At first all these stories seem unconnected, more like a short story collection, then slowly they start to come together as the need to protect the forest grows larger.

I have to say, I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the second half. The first half has so much of a personal connection with nature and trees and it was great learning about all of these families and individuals. For me it started to get less interesting when things got mushed together. I am not sure if it is because it seemed to be more “preachy” or the individual stories that drew me in kinda for the most part fell to the side and were only a plot device instead of the story. It seemed to loose the magic and the soul of the story.

With that aside the writing was done very well, I am curious to get into other works of this author.

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The Tea Dragon FestivalThe Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was once again another wonderful graphic novel by Katie O’Neill. I love the artwork, but the story is beautiful as well. I always want more after reading her works, this is no exception. I really loved the fact that sign language was used in this book, how everyone was so different, but everyone cared so much.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)I am about 45% through this book, I am enjoying it so far and I am curious how it is going to progress and end. I have to say I really loved this nighttime edition from Barns and Nobel. It makes it seem much more dark especially since one of the main characters is a vampire.

The Institute

I am exactly 50% though this book and I am loving it so much. I am really excited and worried about what it to come because I stopped reading at such a cliff hanger part. Also, I really love this edition and I am learning more and more of what is represented on the cover.

Mapping the Interior

I am about 32% through this short story. It is a very eerie story so far and I am LOVING the atmosphere so much. I am also really enjoying the story being written by a Native American and having those ties within it. I am very much looking forward to seeing how this author is going to finish this book and honestly, I hope this author has more works because I want to read them.


What has been your favorite read so far this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | September 2019

Middle Mark

Hello again and welcome to my Middle Mark post where I give mini reviews of the books I have read in the first half of the month. This one is actually going to include a book I finished on the last day of August as well since I didn’t finish it in time for my wrap up post. Anyway, here are the books I have read so far in September!


Read 2

The Turn of the KeyThe Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

* I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.*

This is my parcial overall review, if you want to see all of my thoughts please see my post: REVIEW | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Overall, I think this is a fantastic thriller. It has the atmosphere, the setting, an unreliable narrator, and wonderful characters in addition to a wonderful plot. If you enjoy thrillers or any of the things I mentioned in this post, I really think you should give it a try. I will also add, that I liked it so much I bought a final copy of this book so I can tell more people about it.

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Tin ManTin Man by Sarah Winman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tin Man was a story I kept walking away from and coming back to. I unhauled it thinking it couldn’t live up to its description only to buy it again a year later and actually reading it within the month after purchasing it. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this story. It is a mixture of heart breaking and heart warming. I really liked how the author touched on some pretty hard topics and it had a bit of a historical fiction feel to it and gave me a look into society only a few decades ago. I have to say, this book gave me the bug to view more of van Gogh’s work as well.

I feel like if you like the description, this book will not disappoint you.

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The Tea Dragon SocietyThe Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute graphic novel with a very sweet message to it. On top of the wonderfully cute story, the illustration style was beautiful and just perfect for this story. If you enjoy happy feeling, cute, and wholesome stories I feel like you would really enjoy this graphic novel. The only downside was I think it was kinda rushed and I would have loved to know more about the lessons and the society.

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The Salt PathThe Salt Path by Raynor Winn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I picked this book up last month and read it already, I don’t know who I am anymore. Anyway, the main reason I read it so quickly is due to the fact that this was such an interesting sounding memoir. I have to say I really enjoyed learning about Raynor and Moth and their journey and following along with the hard time and the victories.

While I did like this book and I feel like it is a beautiful memoir and I am glad I read it. I just felt that the last 4th for some reason dragged for me. It might be the pacing or my mood changed in general, but I did enjoy this book and if you like nature, adventure, and want to read a memoir I suggest it.

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Coffey's HandsCoffey’s Hands by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This 3rd one was emotional as hell. I was sad, horrified and completely irate at times. Since this is the 3rd one, that is all I am going to say. Well, maybe I will tell you to read this.

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Aquicorn CoveAquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very cute graphic novel with a very good message. Also, when I call it cute I am referring to both the illustrations, but also the story. While it does have a dark element I found myself thinking or saying awe. Wonderful graphic novel.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Coffey on the MileCoffey on the Mile (The Green Mile #6) by Stephen King. I am currently working my way through my serialized editions of The Green Mile. I am really enjoying my experience so far, but this is the last one so I am really excited to finish because I am curious about how the ending will go. 

Also, can I just point out that this is cute mouse on the cover, if you have read any of this you will know the significance of this adorable critter.


What has been your favorite read so far this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark August | NEWTs Readathon 2019

NEWTS 2019

We are officially coming to the middle mark of the #NEWTsReadathon! I cannot believe it is already halfway through this fun adventure of a readathon. I have been having so much fun with my exams, I have been liking my reads more than I had anticipated. Now, I don’t want to make this introduction to long, but I am going to review the NEWTs I have passed, my current scores, and give some mini reviews of the books I have read. I hope you enjoy!

OWLs  Passed: Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Muggle Studies, Charms, Transfiguration, Arithmancy


-Mandatory-

Herbology

  • A: Audiobook: Supermarket by Bobby Hall
  • E: Between 350-390 pages: Bringing Down the Colonial by Patricia Miller
  • O: Flowers on the Cover: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson 

Potions

  • A: Friends Fav: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman *cough* Jenna, Reg *cough*
  • E: Yellow on the Cover, Yay Hufflepuff!: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 

Care of Magical Creatures

  • A: Book that stars with A: The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  • E: Under 300 Pages:

-Bonus-

Arithmancy

  • A: Ends in an even number: Needful Things by Stephen King
  • E: Standalone: Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Charms

  • A: Beautiful Cover: Smashed by Junji Ito
  • E: Read a Comic:

-Current NEWT Scores-

Herbology: O

Potion: A

Care of Magical Creatures: A

Charms: A

Arithmancy: A


-Reviews-

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2)Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t think I could say this about a series, but I liked this book better than the first. I am not a big romance in books lover unless I specifically pick up a book looking for that. I was happy to say that this book had a lot of action and a lot of stuff going on and love took a back seat. I don’t want to say too much, but the writing was good and I really enjoyed where the story went. I am looking forward to the next one coming out.

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The Alienist (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #1)The Alienist by Caleb Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was not disappointed by this 1800s historical classic mystery. The length was perfect, I didn’t feel like there were parts that could have been cut. On top of that the pacing was also wonderful. The array of characters of our main group are great great chemistry, but also realistic.

There are some strong characters in here and some you don’t always feel like you can trust. I love when I find characters I adore, but there is just something a little unsettling. I find that leads me to question a lot more and read more intently to see if I can catch anything. I also loved the use of real historical figures and characters in this book, it really made this historical fiction feel like it was real. I have to say it is one of my favorite things when a historical fiction surrounds people who actually lived.

Overall, this was a great adventure and I am very, very happy that this is a series.I recommend it to anyone looking for a good on your toes mystery. I will warn there is some graphic treatment of children in this story. So if that bothers you this might not be for you.

View all my reviews


SupermarketSupermarket by Bobby Hall

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I hate to say this, but I did not enjoy this book really at all. The writing was almost childish and gave me Catcher in the Rye vibes, but not in the good way. At first I was enjoying this, but as I read more and more I became bored and kinda just stopped caring pretty early on. I only finished this because the blurb sounded interesting and I was hoping it would turn around and this would just be a lull in the writing.

It is jumbled at times and idk, I feel like it needed to be more flushed out before being published. It also needed a better editor.

I feel like Hall with some practice, studies writing, and has a good editor could write something good in the future, so I am not writing him off.

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Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “Powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this nonfiction account of the trial of Madeline Pollard vs Colonel W.C.P. Breckinridge, which took on the inequality in morality between men and women within US society. The author made this case accessible and I was interested throughout reading. I liked how the author described the history of moral judging through US history how it shifted from equal blame during colonial times, to mainly being a woman’s problem. The coverage of the court case was detailed and I also really liked how the author covered the holes and inconsistencies in both arguments. On top of that, I enjoyed how the author described the effects of the court case on women, Madeline, Breckinridge and the futures they lived.

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Everything UnderEverything Under by Daisy Johnson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is going to be a really weird review. I liked the story, but the way it was portrayed irritated me. There are no ” marks, “You” is used so much, the POV was personally aggravating to read. Now all of these are personal preference and does not in any way mean that the book is bad, but it was very much not for me. Also, why do chapters have the same names? I didn’t know these things mattered go much to me until now.

If you read the first chapter of this book or a sample I feel like you will know right away if this book is for you or not.

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Smashed: Junji Ito Story CollectionSmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.

TW: suicide

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Needful ThingsNeedful Things by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another wonderful novel by Stephen King. I really liked the slow build of this novel that intertwines the entire small town. It is very dark at times and can be quite gory from time to time, but physical horror is not all that is present in this novel. There is a psychological aspect to this that really makes you think about human nature and how easily some people can loose their values and morals especially when their hearts desires are on the line.

TW: suicide

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What is your favorite book so far this month?

How are your NEWTs going? Which exam are you taking now?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | July 2019

Middle Mark

I feel like my reading was dragging so much this first half of the month. I had a lot going on and I was pretty stressed out that I didn’t really want to read, which says a lot since that is normal what I do when I want to destress. Anyway, I did manage to read some and I found myself kicking myself for not reading some of them sooner. Also, I am doing better in the stress department so the rest of the month will hopefully will be better reading wise. Here are the books I have read the first half of the month.


Read 2

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This held true to the little blurb on the cover, “Grisly World of Victorian Medicine”. This book goes into great detail into what victorian medicine was, so if medical talk and such bother you, stay away from the book. If you would love to learn more about the progression of science and medicine, please read this.

Lindsay Fitzharris I think does a great job turning this non-fiction topic into a narrative. It read very nicely and flows. I never felt bogged down by fact and stats, even though I learned a ton. The way she broke the novel into chapters also made a lot of sense and were natural breaking points, not that I stopped I read this in one sitting.

I also appreciated that the end notes were organized by not just in order, but labeled by chapter as well. The only thing I wished was that were labeled by a number or letter and not just by the page number since there can be three or more from a single page and I had to flip back and forth from the chapter to the end note to make sure I was looking at the correct source.

Overall, I recommend this book if medicine, history, victorian era and science are something you are interested in, I actually already have this going to a friend of mine.

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War and PeaceWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am finally getting to this review, thanks for waiting!

I have to say, this novel is long, but It not one that can be read slowly. If you take your time details will begin to fall away and it may leave you lost and confused. It is helpful while reading to have a list of characters, I know I needed mine.

I have previously read works by this author, such as Anna Karenina, and loved it more and more as time passed. I found myself thinking about the characters and empathizing and realizing more and more. I really don’t think that will be the case with War and Peace. While I did enjoy reading this and I do not regret it in the slightest, I just feel like I wont think about this book again. I could very well be wrong.

At times I was bored and kept saying, “alright get on with it already” while other times I was laughing so hard at something or very really engrossed. This book was a bit all over the place in that sense for me, that is why I decided to give it 3 stars.

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Mort (Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am kind of mad it took me so long to read a book by Terry Pratchett. The sense of humor, characters, and world are so unique and fun. His take on the character of death is really interesting and I found that even though that this is a story about Death, I laughed a bunch. Mort is a really fun and interesting character as well, it is interesting to think about how a human would react to the situation and choices he was given. It really make you think. I really enjoyed this story and I will be continuing to read the death books within the Discworld series. I don’t really know what else to say because I loved this story and if you enjoy fantasy and a good laugh, I feel like you will really enjoy this.

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The Two Dead GirlsThe Two Dead Girls by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The feeling of this book is really haunting. Part one has really set the tone of this serial (6 parts). It depicts a pretty horrendous crime so you know what type of people our narrator is dealing with, but I am thankful that he has not shared more than he has needed to. I really am enjoying the narrators voice, it is oddly calm, but I can tell something big is going to be shown to me. I am going to be jumping into part 2 as soon as I can.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1)

I just started reading this book last night since I somehow managed to finish two books yesterday, woohoo! I have not started a new series in sometime so I am in a way excited to be reading this, but also not looking forward to the wait  for the next book.  So far I am enjoying the world that I have seen so far. Like I said, I started this book pretty late last night so I am not very far in, but so far so good and I don’t see that changing unless something ridiculous happens.

 


What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | June 2019

Middle Mark

I have to say that June is off to a wonderful start. I was a little bit worried on how my reading would go because at the end of May I powered through The Stand. I really feared it was going to put me into a slump, but that was not the case! So far, I have not done such a great job at sticking to me June TBR, which you can view here:June TBR | 2019, but I am really enjoying the books I picked up. I even found a new favorite and might just end up in my top books of 2019. Only time will tell. Anyway, here are the books I have read so far this month!

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Read 2

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had read this sooner. The characters were fun, the story thought provoking in a way, and all around a great read I read within 3 days. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the works of the two authors, but also someone looking for an end of the world story with some interesting characters.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

re-read May 29th-June 8th/Spoilers Ahead

Just as intense as the first time I read it, things are starting to get very real and dangerous. The one thing that really stands out to me in this book is how each character reacts to the news at the end of the book. How The Order just jumps back into their ways so seamlessly. I also love that Harry gave the twins that money to start their shop, seriously heart warming after all the bad that has happened.

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The House of the Seven GablesThe House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, I did not have very high hopes for this book. The main reason being I read The Scarlet Letter and hated it. I thought it was the writing style. Turns out it was just the story itself. I felt like this was very well written and I really enjoyed a bit of a peek into life during this time period, but also a look into a family and their home with a bit of a mystery at some points and a curse thrown in for good measure.

View all my reviews

Currently Reading 2

The Woman in the DarkSo I just started reading The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage, which is my buddy read this month. I am really excited to see how dark this thriller/mystery gets. I feel like it has the potential to be a psychological thriller, but maybe also a ghost story of sorts? I am really looking forward to read more of it. Also, can I just say. I know we are not meant to judge a book by its cover, but that cover just makes me want to know what in the world is going on in this house!

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What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | May 2019

Middle Mark

So, this month I am reading big books, but also reading some smaller books in-between to keep up my momentum. I always need to pause a big book and finish a quick read or I end up getting bogged down, am I the only one who feels this way from time to time?

Anyway, this Middle Mark is mainly going to be a few of the small books, hopfully my monthly wrap up will have some of the larger books. Fingers crossed.

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Read 2

Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday TroublesAsk Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles by Taisia Kitaiskaia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very adorable and helpful book. This advice centered book is a mixture of fun, thoughtfulness, and folklore. I plan on reading more from this author because the writing was lyrical, but not annoying. The advice was useful, but not full of itself.

I see myself picking it up again from time to time.

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Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women WritersLiterary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers by Taisia Kitaiskaia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute and quick read. I really enjoyed how each section was set up. A little story create by the author, a little non-fiction blurb about the “literary witch” and then recommenced reading for each one. This truly is a wonderful celebration of women writers from a wide array of backgrounds and time.

This little blurb and short little story really gets you in the mood to explore these women and it is so wonderful that she gives you 3 or more recommendations. On top of that the illustrator, Katy Horon, has a wonderful style and you can see how individualized and meaningful each of the pieces are.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

I picked up this novel while at my local indie bookstore. I am ashamed to say and admit I never knew Stalin has a daughter. I honestly just through he was so evil that I cannot fathom that he could be a father. I am currently about 74 pages into the book and I think is he is a horrible husband, horrible person, and I think he was a messed up dad already. Mainly because of foreshadowing and some comments here and there, but I am interested in seeing just how low he goes in his personal life.


The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand

I have finally started this huge book, I am not too far into it, but I can already see why it is a beloved book of his. It has a very interesting start and I normally don’t like apocalyptic  dystopian writings, mainly because YA was/is just pushed them way to much for me, but I will say that this one seems very different and I am curious to see how he pictures a world after our world collapses.

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What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | December 2018

Middle MarkSo, the last few months I have been doing weekly checkins with my reading. I don’t think I am going to be doing that anymore. It took me a bit of thinking to come to this conclusion. The first reason I am doing this is because it put a lot of pressure on me to read at least one book a week or more. While, I normally don’t feel bothered by it I just didn’t feel right about posting the same blog post pretty much with only different dates. So I would wish through a book and a few I may have not really remembered as much as I should have because of it. The second reason is because I want to start doing more reviews on here. So moving into 2019, Sunday will be review day.

So from now on I am going to be doing a check in on the 15th of the month to name some of the books I have read and the books I am in the middle of and where I see my reading going for the second half. On the 30th or whatever the last day of the month ends up being will have a full revisit of the books I have read with links to the full reviews I have written. So without more of my ramblings here are the books I have read the first half of the month.

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Books I Finished

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry

4stars

The first book I read this month was Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Overall I really liked this book more than I thought I would. If you want a more detailed review you can find that here: Let’s Talk |Fall Book Recommendation Test & Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Review

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful

4stars

Alice Hoffman has never disappointed me.I have previously read Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic by her this year and I loved the books. This book was no different, her focus was on family, but in a different way this time around. I was really invested in this story, so much in fact I read this in a single day. It was great breaking at times and other times I smiled as I read. It really was a beautiful emotional rollercoaster.

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

I have to admit I did not fully read this book. I ended up DNFing this about 20% through. It was not a bad book, it just was one I was not really feeling so I did not want to push myself all the way through it. It was an interesting story set up and such. I ended up passing this book on to my friends daughter who is getting into horror.

A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood

A Meeting by the River2stars

This is the 4th Christopher Isherwood book I have read over the years and this one was eh. While, it is not my favorite of his works, my favorite is Christopher and His Kind, I still enjoyed the writing and the ride he puts you on. If you have ever read one of his books you will know that his writing style is unique. You feel like you are drifting along on a ride watching the main character.

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I am Still Reading

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains

I am reading this with a few of my friends, Amy, Jenna, and Reg. So we are reading it in chunks. The plan is to be done with this book by the end of the year. This book is often compared to the Secret History, which I really enjoyed, so this should be really interesting. As of right now I am enjoying the story. I am not that far into it so I can’t really say too much.

Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood

Down There on a Visit

I am very close to the start of this book as well. So I don’t have many thoughts on it, but I am enjoying his writing as I always do. I think this book is going to be a tad bit more emotional than the one I read earlier this month. This book is told in parts that are based off of significant points in the characters life so I am very much looking forward to see what those significant points end up being.

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What is the last book you have read?

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