Wrap Up

Middle Mark | August 2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my Middle Mark post for August! This month has started off on a great note. I have read quite a bit and I hit a few of my year long goals as well. I finally hit 30,000 pages for the year as well as finished up reading a book from every continent. Now, to continue to chip away at the others! Any-who, here are the books I have read so far in August.


Read 2

Fever DreamFever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just the perfect eerie book I wanted to read. I actually got quite a few chills reading this horror and I am glad I happened to find it. The whole book felt heavy and it continued to get heavier as I read it. It is one of those rare books that really pulls you into the story and you almost feel like you are in it yourself.

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The DeepThe Deep by Rivers Solomon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As many other reviewers have said, this is a very unique read. It was imaginative, creative, but also painful. I say painful because it deals with a grotesque history of slavery and does not sugar coat it or hide some of the more horrendous actions. In addition, the main character battles with their peoples history, I don’t want to say too much because spoilers. I very rarely say this, but I feel like I would have enjoyed this story more if there was more of it. I wanted to explore this community in more detail and learn more about many of the characters. I feel like this was done on purpose though and when you read it that statement will make a bit more sense if it doesn’t now. But, I will say this, I am going to be looking into other works by this author.

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The Secret RiverThe Secret River by Kate Grenville

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It is very apparent that this author knows a lot of about the history of Australia the movement of deportation of those not wanted in England. This book deals with social hierarchy, laws, exploration, as well as the stealing of lands of its native people. While this book as a lot of academic value, even though it is historical fiction and not non-fiction, it was difficult to get into. I felt like the authors writing style was just blah for me personally. It read more like a textbook than an actual textbook, I had to really push myself. For me, this is a bit out of the ordinary because I love reading non-fiction and rarely have to push myself to read them.

I will say, this book is best read with someone else, this book brings up quite a few topics that are best explored and discussed. As said, it has great academic value and I feel like it show cases society in London/England as well as the early settlement of convict in Australia and the impact on the indigenous inhabitants.

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Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and IllusionsSmoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a good and wide ranging collection of short stories. They are just a bit out there and at times a bit of a horror feel. I felt that every time I finished one I just wanted to read another one. I always find it hard to review a collection as a whole, but overall I enjoyed a majority of these tales.

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You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-AcceptanceYou Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance by Chani Nicholas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don’t feel like this is a beginner book, it does have a good amount of information, but if you are using this book just for yourself, most of the information is not usable/applicable. If you are going to do a chart for everyone and their mom, much more useful. Also, bring a protractor.

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The Comedy of ErrorsThe Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Here is a little preview of my review. Overall, this was an average play. I didn’t see anything that really stood out and I can already feel the details of this one slipping away. There is quite a few mistaken identities, which we have seen a bunch of times already from his works time and time again, just with another bow.

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Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & YouGmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Shel Silverstein esc type pep talks that I just adored! I will be picking this up from time to time, I can see it.

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After the QuakeAfter the Quake by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy Murakami’s writing style, the short stories were varied, but tied together nicely. Some I liked more than others, but there was not one I disliked. I normally don’t enjoy short story collections, but there is something about hims writing that I enjoy very much.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

As of writing this, August 12th, I am currently reading quite a few books. I was doing so well with reading one book at a time, for some reason this month I am having trouble doing that.

I just started reading me eArc of One by One by Ruth Ware that I received via netgalley. I am really enjoying it so far, I mean I expected to since she is one of my auto buy authors!

I am also 44% through Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer the newest addition to the Twilight books. Honestly, so far I am enjoying learning more about the Cullens and their family dynamics.

Last, but certainly not least I am currently reading Conjure Women by Afia Atakora. I am about 13% into this book. Conjure Women is a magical realism and historical fiction novel balled up into one. It follows a young girl from a young age until she is older, whose mother can do magic and she follows in her foot steps and acts as a healer for her community. The time frame and location are in the south during slavery and following after it. So, we get a story that not only of a family that is separated by slavery, but also a look into the practice of slavery. The author holds nothing back in their magical story telling and I appreciate that.


Wrap Up

Wrap Up | The Reading Rush 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my wrap up post for The Reading Rush! I am still floored at how productive I was during this readathon, I have not done this well in a while. I also had a ton of fun with the instagram challenges on top of the live shows, twitter sprints, and of course the reading itself! Here is how I did.


Pages Read

Above you will see a daily pages read graph; Monday-272, Tuesday-331, Wednesday-240, Thursday-182, Friday-192, Saturday-766, Sunday-366. I read a total of 2,349 pages!


Books Read

  • Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman
  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert
  • Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri (not pictured)
  • Teen Titians Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo
  • Firestarter by Stephen King
  • Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda
  • The Tale of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (not pictured)

Badges Earned

Made an Instagram, Participated in a read in live show, Participated in Twitter Sprint, Read a Book Completely Outside of Your House, Read a Book in a Genre You Always Wanted to Read More Of, Read a Book That Inspired a Movie You’ve Already Seen, Read a Book That Starts with the Word “The”, Read a Book That Takes Place on a Different Continent Than Where You Live, Read a Book with a Cover the Same Color as Your Birth Stone, Read a Five Star Book, Read Over 1000 Pages, Read the First Book You Touch, Overall 2020 Reading Rush Badge, Make a Booktube Video ( I made an bookstagram video, I don’t need more social media), and lastly Completed 2020 Challenges Badge.


I had such a blast reading all of these books this past week, I read so much more than I thought I would, I was only planning on four and here I ended up reading eight.

How did the Read Rush go for you? What have you read this past week?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my June wrap up, wow it feels so weird typing that. Already halfway through 2020. This month was quite an improvement reading wise for me, I actually did some reading. I am not quite sure what happened in May and what put me out of the mood to read, but thankfully it has passed and I ended up reading quite a bit. Here are the books I read, my backlist checkin and my monthly stats!


Read 2

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

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UntamedUntamed by Glennon Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very interesting collection of stories to make up the author’s memoir. I found the stories shared to be heart warming and raw. The author really sharers herself with her readers, but also gives them something to reflect on.

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Twelfth NightTwelfth Night by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come!

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Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this novel has a lot of potential, it was dark, twisted and let’s face it inspired by one of the most popular horror novels of all time. I really enjoyed a lot about this book, but what lost me was the characters actions. Sometimes I just felt like, wow, they are meant to be detectives? Their actions just were not believable. That aside, I did enjoy parts of it and I am curious enough to be thinking about continuing this series. That is a big deal for me, because I tend to hate series.

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Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1922-5/5 psychological and dark real world horror

Big Driver-2/5 the assault is r*ape.

Fair Extension-3/5 – interesting, but I wasn’t really feeling it.

A Good Marriage-5/5 Just when you thought you knew someone completely, another story were man is the true monster.

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Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really interesting story sett in the same world as American Gods. It was a twisting tale and as always Gaiman has a way with words. As always the writing was done very well and the story was imaginative to say the least. The reason I took a few stars off it because there were a few parts I became bored with, but over all I really did enjoy it. If you liked American Gods, I think you will like this as well.

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Before the Coffee Gets ColdBefore the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and I really want to read more from this author. I really liked how the author mixed the magical with the mundane to create such a heart warming story.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 6


Reading Stats


What was your favorite book this month?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | January 2020

Wrap Up

Wow, the first month of the year is a wrap,  2020 is off to a great start reading wise. I managed to read a total of 11 books, which is just an amazing reading month over all. On top of that I think I might have found a contender for one of my favorite books of the year already. I know it is too soon to really tell, but I really truly loved a book I read this month, more details about that below and mini summaries of all the books I read this month along with some fun stats I am keeping this year.


Read 2The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)The Wicked King by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit I am totally that person that puts off reading the second book in a series because I always think it is going to be a filler book. I was convinced that this too was going to be a filler book, but I was wrong.
This was a real whopper of a book, I buddy read this with someone and I have to say our conversation did not dampen on most days. A lot of stuff happens in this book and it really kept me guessing. Holly Black takes her riddles and truth spinning to the max and I am always trying to figure out what the characters are really saying. She is so talented with her words.
As for the actions in this book, let me just say wow. I don’t want to ruin anything, but you can bet I have the third book here ready to read.

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Where the Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“So, am I am writing this I just finished this book and I have to say I absolutely love it. This is actually my first 5 star read of 2020, which is super exciting. I am also going to take this time to apologies about the gush fest this post has now turned into.

First thing I really liked was the choice of time period. While it does have a wide range and is told by jumping back and forth, I think the time period was a great choice for a few reasons. The first being alluding to civil rights and Jim Crow laws. There were a few time in this book that I just teared up or flat out cried at. The second aspect being the hard topic of abuse. I feel like the author did a good job of handling such a hard topic. It didn’t shy away from it, it was a hard honest look at it. I really liked that the author didn’t just comment on one social issue, but a few.” More at Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

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A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I have to start this off by saying I am really happy to have started this year long challenge with this play in particular, the main reason being I actually enjoyed it. Yes, I am surprised to say that, but so grateful. I really was worried going into this thinking I was going to dislike everyone of his works, but that was not the case. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was actually really enjoyable and has made me more excited about this entire process.” – More at 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an absolutely remarkable story about a very remarkable person who went and did something that many did not and would not do during WW2. I really enjoyed learning about Bonhoeffer and his life. I have already recommended it to quite a few people in my life because it was such a powerful read and so well done.

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2019: 51

Current: 43


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 11
  • Number of Pages: 3,195
  • Fiction: 8
  • Nonfiction: 3
  • DNF’ed: 0
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook:  1
  • Paperback: 6
  • Hardcover: 4
  • Library: 2
  • Owned: 9
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 7
  • 3 Stars: 3
  • 2 Stars: 0
  • 1 Star: 0

What was your favorite read of the month?

What was the last book you read in January?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | November 2019

WrapUp12:17

So, this month was really a bad reading month, not because I read bad books, but I barely read. I have no idea what has happened to me, but I have not been interested in a lot of the books on my shelf and more interested in other things I have been putting off for a long time. While I am very happy with exploring those parts of me, I miss reading and the adventurers. Anyway, here are the very limited books I read this month and my thoughts with a bonus of what I am currently reading.


Read 2
It Would Be Night in CaracasIt Would Be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this novel from BookCon 2019 for free from the publisher.

This was such a powerful read. It was raw, it was powerful, and it told a very important story. It is filled with heart breaking content, it was an emotional roller coaster. I was sad, angry, and outraged so many times while reading this. The story is really one that needs to be shared because so many people around the world live in these conditions, whether it would be one aspects of the story or all.

The writing goes back and forth through a timeline of a young girl living in Venezuela during very uneasy times. She is faced with that seems like impossible circumstances. I read this book in a single day because I needed to know how Adelaida’s story ended. I will say that this is not for every reader if you find human suffering, violence, and tense situations unbearable to read about.

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Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #0.5)Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Book given for review by Wunderkind PR*

View full review here: Book Review | Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

“Overall, I really have to say I enjoyed this book. I really like the twist on the fairytale of declined marriage proposal where someone turns into a monster. I also really like the writing style and the main character and her protrayed as an ogre. I feel like the author did an amazing job merging the idea of the ogre with such a dedicated, self assured character. In my eyes if you read and were interested by the description you should give this book a try. It is an interesting story in a really interesting world created by a talented writer.”

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The Long TakeThe Long Take by Robin Robertson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to say that this is one of the better books shortlisted for the Man Book Prize in 2018. I really enjoyed the format being utilized, it really set the feeling of the story for me. This book really talks about a very difficult topic that many have to deal with PTSD and having known someone who suffered with it first hand, I feel like the author did a great job portraying how it can affect some people. PTSD affects many, but can affect each person differently.

This book really had a feel to it that I think sticks to a reader, I feel like I will bee thinking about it for sometime. It is encompassing and consuming in a way. I also like how the author portrays the internal feelings struggles of the main character to the external society/city. It was veery interesting to read. There are many dark topics in this novel/poem, so if PTSD, drug use, and other dark themes are something that can bother you, I would stay away. If that is not the case it is a powerful read for sure.

View all my reviews


Currently Reading 2

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore, so far I am really enjoying this historical fiction cute love story. I am currently at 43% and I can see this being a 4 or 5 stars at this point. I can see that the author knows about the time period and the writing style is wonderful.

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, since this is the 5th book in the series I am not going to say too much, but I am enjoying how I am just dropped right back into the world without missing a beat or too long of a reintroduction. I am only one chapter in, but since I have read this far, you can see that I enjoy the writing, even though it can be graphic at times. 

Bury What We Cannot Take by Kirstin Chen, this I am not far in at all, 6% total, so I don’t have much of an option either way. I will say that I am excited to continue so that is a good sign. I will also say that I think this story is going to get dark, but I feel like it will be really powerful as well. 

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, I am only 4% into this one. This is an ebook of mine so I wont be making my way through it too quickly, but from what I have read so far the author has really made an impression on me. The writing is beautiful and I am already kinda attached to the main character


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 34

Backlist TBR: 0


What was your favorite book you read this past month?

Did anything you read surprise you?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | Spookathon/October 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

Hello and welcome! This month I decided to put my readathon wrap up and my monthly wrap up together for a couple of reasons. The first being I didn’t want to post two wrap ups so close together and the second is that I don’t think I would have had enough in my posts on their own. But, either way I am going to fill you in on all of the reads I have read this month for general reading and readathon reading!


-Spookathon-

  1. Read a thriller– The Institute by Stephen King
  2. Read a book with red on the cover– Mapping the Interior, might I add this is a beautiful cover and an amazing story?
  3. Read a book with a spooky word in the title– Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Other Stories
  4. Read a book with a spooky setting – The Institute by Stephen King
  5. Read something you wouldn’t normally read– Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, not halloween like at all so I wouldn’t normally read it this time of the year.

I might have used a few books to cover more than one prompt, but I did it! Not against the rules in my opinion!


Read 2
Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell (Images of America: Pennsylvania)Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell by Robert W. Sands Jr.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of my favorite nonfiction series of sorts and this one was no exception. Images used and their accompanying descriptions and stories added to a wonderfully framed narrative of both Independence Hall and the Library Bell.

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Mapping the InteriorMapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was such an eerie atmospheric read, I can really see why it is compared to The Haunting of Hill House, but it is very much its own unique story as well. Even though this was such a sort story, I was attached to the main character very early on. Since this is so short I don’t want to say much, but if you enjoy horror I think you will really enjoy this.

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The InstituteThe Institute by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another wonderful King novel. It is different from his other works, but it is just as creepy. It did not take me too long to feel for the young main characters. The horrors that they saw and had to live through is just heart wrenching. There were quite a few times my heart sunk when I thought something bad was going to happen or if I thought something wasn’t going to work out.

I don’t want to say to much because I feel like this novel is best read when you don’t know too much. It is well written and the plot is a roller coaster and unique. I also felt true emotion while reading this.

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Moby-Dick: or, The WhaleMoby-Dick: or, The Whale by Herman Melville

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a very dense book, it was not 100% what I expected. I felt like it was going to be more of a tall tale, but it ended up being so much more explanatory of the progress of whaling. At times I just wanted it to get to the action, if that makes sense.

Other than this I can see why this book is a classic, it is an interesting tale, but keep in mind it is a product of its time.

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Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Other StoriesStrange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really love the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde so I was really excited to read some more by this author. I was really happy with my reread, I enjoyed the story as much as I have in the past. The other short stories varied, but overall I enjoyed them as well. If you enjoy Jekyll and Hyde, I think you will enjoy the rest of these stories.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 33

Backlist TBR: 0

I FINALLY FINISHED ALL OF THE BOOK I BOUGHT BEFORE 2019 STARTED!


Did you have any 5 star read this month?

Were you surprised by anything you read?

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | July 9th – July 15th

a week in reviewSo this past week I got to thinking of how to best share my reading. Sometimes on twitter and goodreads I update way too much, but I cannot stop myself from inputting my progress into goodreads someone because I love seeing the percentage going up. So I decided to put a poll on twitter so see what you all thought was the best way to share.

It turned out the majority of my followers preferred a weekly update, with a close second in updating only when a book is finished. So I think I am going to put a detailed update here on my blog and on Sunday I will be putting a short list of books I finished that week if I finished any at all. I figured that would be a good happy medium. When I was looking for a format for this I remembered a format I saw over on Ashley Rae’s blog, check her out and asked her permission to kind of use that as a guide, Thanks Ashley! Without more explanations, here is my Week in Review.

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Books I Finished

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary

5stars

This book was so much better than I remember the movie being when I was younger. I actually got angry and was yelling at the main character a few times, I was that invested. It was very raw and really drew on some aspects of human nature that I feel many of us truly fear and maybe worry about. Even though I thought this was going to take my sometime to get through I ended up ging through a majority of it in a single day.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War

2stars

So, I hate to have an unpopular opinion here, but I did not like The Poppy War. If you saw my goodreads review I made it clear that I do not think this is a bad book in anyway, but it was just not for me. I am not interested in a single individual taking on an Empire/Society. I used to love books in this genre, but not so much anymore. I also read this in a buddy read and a few of us agree that if you like the first part you may not like the rest of the book, or if you find the first part undesirable, you will like the rest of the book more. I also felt that things moved so quick sometimes that things seemed too easy or parts were missing from the story.

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I am Still Reading

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2

I have about two more weeks in this buddy read and I am really liking this book a lot. I cannot wait to get to the end of it. It is taking a lot of self control to not rush ahead of the reading schedule. I am currently 59% through this book.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

I am slowly making my way through this Russian classic, I am currently at 19%. I am really surprised at how timeless the story plot really is. It also is very easy to read, the translator did an amazing job! Divider
NEXT BOOK

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Clock Dance

I just picked this book up on Tuesday and I am very excited to read it. This novel is this seasons pick for the #bnbookclub, I had so much fun participating in the bookclub the last round that I decided to do it again. Click the title if you would like to learn more about this book.

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What are you currently reading?

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