Wrap Up

A Week in Review | September 23th-30th

a week in review

This month has been a roller coaster of reading. Some weeks I read next to nothing and other weeks I finished  more than one book. I am happy to say that I feel like I am ending this month on a good note. If you want to go through all of the wrap ups for this month I will link them for you to explore.

A Week in Review | September 16th-22ndA Week in Review | September 9th-15th, and A Week in Review | September 1st-8th

Books I Finished

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

This book was so beautiful and yet so heart breaking. I think this is going to be a book I think about from time to time in the future and it may even be one of my favorites from this year. This novel brings you through a very interesting time of history through the eyes of a man and his mother. There were references to WWII, the AIDS epidemic and the stigma that came with it, and much more. I felt raw emotions while reading this and I really cannot recommend it enough. I truly wanted to take the main character in and take care of him.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

HangsamanShirley Jackson is one of my favorite writers, she wrote one of my all times favorite books, The Haunting of Hill House. This book is very different from that. It follows a young lady that is a very unreliable narrator during her first few months of college. Now I will say I was not blown away by this book and I cannot pin point the exact reason. I don’t know if it was due to the story line not living up to the description or is it just not a great story written. All authors have a book here and there that is not as great as their others. I will admit I did really enjoy the fact I felt that at times I was reading something akin to The Yellow Wallpaper and the atmosphere at times. I also found myself really disliking a character so much I wanted someone to throw an encyclopedia at them, ahem Jenna.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star

I found myself enjoying this book for the most part, but I also felt that a lot more could have been done. I am not sure if this is because I was mad at a particular character, I may have yelled a bit, or because I just did not like the insta love so much. I have not read YA in a long time and I think that is part of the reason why I don’t. A lot of YA has a lot of tropes I just am sick of. But, I will say that the over arching or underlying, depending on how you look it, theme is an important one to have seen.

The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember

The Navigator's Touch (The Seafarer's Kiss, #2)

Now, I don’t want to go into too much detail here because I wrote an entire review, REVIEW | The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember. But, I will say that I really enjoyed this retelling that pulled from Norse mythology and Peter Pan. It was unique, had flawed unreliable characters, and the world that Ember created had just the right amount of magic. Also, I want to add that I received this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. DividerI am Still Reading

The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider

I have 50 pages left and I need to type this and then go to sleep. So be prepared to see this book cover one more time with my full thoughts. I will say I am loving this book so much more than I thought it would. I loved seeing past characters from King’s other books pop up and the mixture of our world with a little bit other is just great in this one.

 

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NEXT BOOK

To Be Determined!

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What did you read this week?

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | September 16th-22nd

a week in review

This week I surprisingly finished 2 books. I am not sure how I was able to do that with all of the personal things that happened to me this weekend. I did not think I would be able to concentrate on anything or really find time to get on the computer, but it actually really helped me a lot in the few min. here and there that I found I needed to fill up.

Books I Finished

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

I was partially surprised that I liked this novel as much as I did, I also put the second book on hold at my library already. Oops! With all of the hype surrounding this book when it first came out I was a little worried. While, I have always enjoyed Blacks writing, when a book is hyped I always become suspicious. I am happy to say that in my eyes this book deserves the hype. I enjoyed that the character was not “saving the world” like a typical YA politically driven novel. Honestly, I hate when novels are like that now. Might be why I have moved away from reading YA. I also loved the use of myths and other folklore that was used to develop this world. Also, the ending make my head spin, I really came to care for and respect the main character and how human she felt.

A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin

A Fierce Glory: Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery

This past week I started and finished A Fierce Glory, overall I really liked it. I thought it was a well written and unique way to look at the Battle of Antietam. If you want more information and a full review you can find that here, REVIEW | A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin. I recommend this book to those who want to read more nonfiction because it is not a detailed account of troop movements, it focuses on the people and the big picture.

I am Still Reading

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

I am officially 74% through this novel and I am heart broken! This book has been such an emotional rollercoaster, I just want to take the main character and protect him from everything. Sadly, I can’t and I need to watch him make life decisions, some I agree with and others I did not and the unplanned happen. There are a few times where I cheered for the by chance things that happened while others I wanted to throw the book. John Boyne has written a great novel and if you are looking for something that is beautifully written and heartfelt I am already recommending this book, just get some tissues if books make you cry.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

HangsamanShirley Jackson’s Hangsaman has been such a great read, as I have said the past few weeks. Sadly, I did not get a chance to read more of it this week because I really wanted to. Life got in the way, but I really want to know what happens to the main character because of the description I know something will happen to her, but they don’t tell you what! It is like waiting for the shoe to drop and that really is adding to the story in my opinion.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star

I only just started this book, but so far I am really enjoying the novel. I really like the family so far and I like the formatting of the book. Also, can we just look at that cover? It is beautiful. Also, I wanted to yell already, why do people have to be so harsh and cruel for no reason at all? Nicola Yoon is great at writing novels that make you feel.

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NEXT BOOK

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome

So last week, or a few weeks ago I posted on twitter to ask what Stephen King book I should read and those that voted for the most part picked Under the Dome. I am very excited to get to this novel because I want to watch the adaptation and that fact that I have heard so many great things. I remember when I saw this in the bookstore and I needed to have it. The small little town looking peaceful and strikingly beautiful, while contrasting with the eerie dome over it.

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*A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin was given to myself by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and honest.

What did you read this week?

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | September 9th-15th

a week in review

This week has been very busy, but for a lot of great reasons. I started a new adventure, a few family celebrations are coming up, and a few other things that took up a lot of my time this week. Even with all that I was able to finish one book this week and I continue to make progress on the other three books I am reading.

Books I Finished

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The Tommyknockers

Finishing this long novel had me feeling like I conquered something huge. I will openly admit that if I did not have the audiobook I would never have finished this novel. While I love a lot of King’s writing, this one is a bit of a bust for me. I did a bit of researching to see if I was the only one or not, but it seems I am not. I have to admit that this article [link] explains my feelings as well as says my thoughts on this novel very clearly.

It is all over the place, longer than it needs to be by a lot, and just seems to loose the king flair that I enjoy.

I am Still Reading

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

I will say I have read another 100 pages of this novel and it is still hurting my heart, but it so good as well. It is funny to say something is so wonderful when it truly makes your heart ache. Also, that fact that it can affect me so emotionally is a true testament to this novel. I don’t find myself to be this affect by books often. I will be continuing to read this novel and I hope to give you all a small review soon.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

HangsamanShirley Jackson’s Hangsaman has been such a great read, this novel is different than the others I have read by her. But, because it is different and still wonderful it truly is a testament to her writing and story telling ability. I also really enjoy that the setting, at least up until about 50% into the book, is a college/university setting.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

This week I have finally picked up The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. At this time I am about 41% through the novel and I have really been enjoying it. I am really enjoying the political and social structure of this novel and I find that I really enjoy the main character. Normally with these types of novels I find the main characters annoying, but I find I can relate on some level as well as see that her motivation is more realistic in a sense.

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NEXT BOOK

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star

I was lucky enough to meet Nicola Yoon at bookcon this past year. Since then I have been wanting to read The Sun is Also a Star. A long time ago I remember hearing about this story, two young people meeting and having a budding friendship or more. Sadly, one is being deported. I found just that part of the description really intriguing because I can only imagine the impact of finding someone and then having them ripped away. Let alone, the stress of leaving a county, not because they want to, with your entire family when that is all that you know.

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Hauls

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

BookHaul12:17

So last month I posted Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books which was a ton of fun. I thought it would be fun to continue having other people pick out my books. This month I decided to go to my local independent bookstore and see if I could ask someone to pick out a few books for me to add to my TBR. Without further ado, here is what happened!

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So I ended up going on a nice Saturday morning before I had to do anything. I stopped a little coffee shop and got a nice iced mocha, a recent favorite of mine. I walked the few blocks to my local bookstore.

Now with my previous _____ Picks My Books it was my boyfriend. I was comfortable enough to give him rules. I was about to walk up to a stranger and ask them to help me, I couldn’t give them rules. To me doing this sounded rude so I decided to ask them if they could recommend two of their favorite books.

Now, I will admit I am very shy person. I tend to get other people to ask questions for me when it is appropriate or put in a takeout order for me. So me going up to a stranger and asking them to do this was a big deal. I ended up taking a large sip of my drink and opening the door, causing the bell dinging away. I was greeted right away and ended up loosing my nerve.

I ended up looking up and down the shelves for about 15 min. before the nicest woman in the world came up and asked me if she could help me. I ended up finally asking, “Actually, would you be able to recommend two books that you really liked?” Without any delay she smiled and said she had just the thing. She went to the back of the store and pulled out two books. I bought them without hesitation, as she checked me out she gushed about both of them and gave me mini reviews.
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The Books 

She ended up giving me Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Everything, Everything I have heard so much about in the past. I have heard both good and bad things, so I am curious what I will end up thinking. The Second pick I never heard of and I kind of like that. What I think is best about this “series” is that it is getting me a bit out of my comfort zone. When I read the description when I got home I was intrigued and I will admit I put a hold on the audiobook at my local library since it is so long.

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

goodreads.com

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett  

The Pillars of the EarthEverything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

goodreads.com

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Have you read either of these books? What did you think of them?

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Hauls

Haul | February 2018

BookHaul12:17

This month I have to say I found a ton of awesome books. All of them I am very excited about and I cannot wait to read them. Some of these books are from my Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books and others were recommended to me by friends or strangers who I ran into at the bookstore. If you have read any of these please let me know what you thought of them. Also, are any of these on your TBR as well?

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The Books

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.

The Fandom by Anna Day

They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands …

A fast-paced, genre-flipping YA fantasy adventure from a brand new author, writing in homage to the best YA fiction.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

Hiddensee recreates the backstory of the Nutcracker, reimaging how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how it magically guided an ailing little girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a snowy Christmas Eve. It also brings to life the mysterious godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toymaker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism a migrating strain of a Hellenic mystery-cult, and ponders a profound question: how a person who is abused by life, short-changed and challenged, can access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless. Ultimately, Hiddensee, offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized on the eve of a winter holiday, has something precious to share.

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata (Illustrator), Pookie Rolf (Translator)

Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami, a death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note’s powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily, Light’s father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father’s files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn’t know?

By Gaslight by Steven Price

London, 1885. In a city of fog and darkness, the notorious thief Edward Shade exists only as a ghost, a fabled con, a thief of other men’s futures — a man of smoke. William Pinkerton is already famous, the son of a brutal detective, when he descends into the underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of a new lead. His father died without ever tracing Shade; William, still reeling from his loss, is determined to drag the thief out of the shadows. Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. When he receives a letter from his lost beloved, he returns to London in search of her; what he learns of her fate, and its connection to the man known as Shade, will force him to confront a grief he thought long-buried. What follows is a fog-enshrouded hunt through sewers, opium dens, drawing rooms, and seance halls. Above all, it is the story of the most unlikely of bonds: between William Pinkerton, the greatest detective of his age, and Adam Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.

The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett

Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

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What book(s) did you add to your TBR recently?

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