Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Evelyn Reads | Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Evelyn over at evelynreads.com has picked my read. I was very excited when she picked this months pick because I have read other works by this author and really enjoyed it and I have seen many others have loved this book. I guess I should tell you that the book is Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. This is the first adult book I have read and the longest book I have read by this author so I am curious to see is her talent flows into this age group and length.


Book Description

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained. – goodreads.com


Review

I decided that I am going write this post more like my traditional review format where I talk about what I liked and didn’t like and then my overall feelings.

What I Liked

As with other works by Seanan McGuire the worlds she creates is very imaginative, but this is imaginative in a very different way than the there works I have read by her. One of the standout things in this book for me is the mixture of alchemy and science. While  I have read quite a few books with these aspects in them, I have never seen them combined in such a way. It was refreshing and interesting, part of my wishes that I saw more of it.

Also, if you know me science fiction isn’t really my thing…like at all. I don’t know what it is, but I am unlikely to enjoy a book with science fictions details in it with a few rare exceptions of 11/22/63, Jacky, and a few others. I have to say that this book also makes that list for me. I think the reason that it does make it on that short list is because it has an old world feel to it, which I love. It is almost like a spooky gothic modern science fiction book? It is really hard to pinpoint what this book truly is because I feel like McGuire melds together so many things so seamlessly.

On top of everything I also mentioned I found it really interesting the “rules” of this world when it came to particular characters interacting as well as the “government”. I felt like a lot of these aspects were shown and not told to me, which was great. Sometimes books that have such “out there” things in them the author can come across as if they are showing an unknowing child something. McGuire just goes through the story and you don’t miss anything.

What I Didn’t Like

One of the things I did not fully like about this book was that in the start I felt like one section of interaction could have been cut and not a ton would have been lost. This is just a personal thing and I feel like a lot of people enjoy seeing these sections interactions. They are still written in a really enjoyable manner and I didn’t feel like I had to seriously push myself to oread them, but I did find myself going “again?”

Overall

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am so happy that Evelyn picked this for my to read because honestly, while I enjoyed McGuire’s other works I am fairly certain I would not have picked it up. That is the beauty of this series. This was a very imaginative book with a very gothic/dark/old world feel to it that I was craving. On top of that it was well written had great characters.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Melinda at Basement Bookcase!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | #OWLsReadathon2019

WrapUp12:17

The OWLS are complete! I am both very happy and very bummed out. I truly had a wonderful time reading for this readathon, G did a wonderful job creating it. I am happy because I am very happy with the OWLs that I have passed. In total I passed 7, which I did not expect to happen in the slightest because the last few months I have not been reading like I normally do. It seems like this readathon was the kick in the butt I needed.


-My Results-

OWLs Passed: 7

Required OWLs:

  • Potions: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
  • Herbology: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Care of Magical Creatures: Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill

Bonus OWLs:

  • Muggle Studies: Elevation by Stephen King
  • Charms: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Transfiguration: The Things I Would Tell You edited by Sabrina Mahfouz
  • Arithmancy: Classic Penguin

Final Score: Exceeded Expectations


Read 2
Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3)Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This being the third book in a series I adore, I was expecting to finally hit a point where the story was going a little blah. I finally found that point in the series. I am not saying that this is a bad book, I still enjoyed it quite a lot. I just found it very different from the others and not in a good way. I would rather explore a single world specifically not see a glimpse of a few without really seeing anything.

The timeline used was interesting and I was happy about what happened to a particular character. Thew writing like the others was very poetic and the story was fast paced as the others. I just kinda found myself not as invested because we were jumping around so much.

Like I said, still a good reads, but so far is a “low” point in the series.

View all my reviews


Classic Penguin: Cover to CoverClassic Penguin: Cover to Cover by Paul Buckley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very lovely look at all of the editions penguins has come out with for the classics. Not only did I enjoy looking at all of the artwork, but I also really enjoyed hearing the backstory behind design elements and the creators thoughts in some cases.

I think my favorite section was a look behind Penguin Threads. I loved seeing what the other side of the cover was in the original needle point/embroidery.

View all my reviews


The Priory of the Orange TreeThe Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I did enjoy reading this book, I was very neutral about it. I am having a hard time pinpointing why I am so neutral about it. The plot was fun, I enjoyed the characters, and while it is large it is not slow paced.

Maybe it is just because I am not in a fantasy mood like I thought I was?

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to see my reviews in full, please see the post, Middle Mark | #OWLsReadathon2019 Update. On that post I detailed the books I read in the first half of the month. 


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 30 books

Current Backlist TBR: 11 books


What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | March 2019

Middle Mark

So far my reading month has been really good. I have read a lot more than I thought I would after only reading about 4 books in February. Another bonus is all the books I have read so far have been 5 or 4 stars, I have really been enjoying the books I have decided to pick up. I was thinking I was going to be entering a book slump since I have been reading slower than usual, but it seems that I have been able to avoid it for now. Anyway, here are the books I finished so far this month.

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Read 2Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the second installment of this series. It was wonderful to see more of the worlds beyond the doors and learning more about Jack and Jill. I have already told quite a few people to start this series. It is a fun retelling and reimagining of our beloved fairytales with a gruesome and interesting twist.

The writing is beautiful, the characters are unique, and overall I just loved this book as much as the first.

View all my reviews


If, ThenIf, Then by Kate Hope Day

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to start off by saying I received this book from publisher via netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. Also, if you want to know about the specifics on what I liked and did not like, please check out my post, REVIEW | If, Then by Kate Hope Day. I did a whole explanation of my rating and I would love it if you checked it out.

View all my reviews


The Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I ended up enjoying this novel a lot more than I thought I would. For it’s size it was very fast paces and things were happening constantly. There was love, betrayal, deceit, revenge, adventures, and travels. There were pirates, princes, and many other works of life. When I sat down to read this book I would fly through it. I really enjoyed seeing parallels through some of the characters as well as seeing people struggle with right and wrong, and trying to define justice. This was most definitely an adventure pushed by a mans need for revenge.

The one thing I did not like was at times it was hard to keep track of who is who. I ended up going onto spark notes and printing out the character list and it really helped. When/if you read this you will see why I needed to a little bit of help to keep track of this.

There are some dark themes in this book, so be warned. There is some gruesome stuff, stories of past wrongs that were a little detailed as well, and some talk of self harm. I do not have difficulty with reading about these themes, but I know that others might so I thought I would mention.

View all my reviews

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Currently Reading 2

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

I am slowly reading this historical fiction while I am on my lunch break at work. It surround the time of the onset of the black plague. I am really liking how this book is showing how confused, closed minded, and scared it is portraying those who saw the devastation. I also like how it gives a peak into life during this time for a majority of the peasants who were tied to the land. I am currently 61 pages in.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree

Sadly, I have only gotten to read about 35 pages of this book due to this month getting very, very busy. I look forward to diving into this fun fantasy novel as soon as I have more free time.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Neverworld Wake

I am buddy reading this very interesting thriller with Reg, Amy, and Jenna this month and so far I am really, really loving it. It is very interesting idea and so far the execution is done really well. I will admit I am bouncing between the ebook and audiobook from my library, but I am flying through it. I am currently sitting at 34%.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 39

Current Backlist TBR: 20

Divider 2What was the last book you read?

What are you planning on reading next?

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TBR

March TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello everyone, it is a new month. That means I write another TBR that I may or may not stick too. Last month I did not stick to my TBR in the slightest because I was on the verge of going into a book slump and I decided to be a full fledge mood reader instead of reading a mixture of mood and set TBR. Anyway, I feel much better in regards to the possible slump so I wanted to try something new. I decided to post a few polls to twitter to have you, my wonderful readers, to pick my TBR!

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The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours (Black Death, #1)

This book has been on my TBR since July of 2018 and it is about time I get to this book. The main reason I ended up with this book was because I got it as an ARC at bookcon. I explained the types of books I liked and I was given this as a recommendation. As soon as they said historical fiction and black plague I said “I’ll take that”. That does not speak well for my interests, but who cares. It sounds perfect.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Neverworld Wake

This book I am picking up because it was picked by my friend Jenna for our buddy reading group to read this month. I am excited to read this with Jenna, Amy, and Reg and talk about this thriller. As soon as I looked up the description I was so happy about her choice and I put a hold on it through my library at once.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

This was another book I put on the poll on twitter to have others help me pick my TBR. I really loved the first book in the series and I am really hoping to enjoy this one as well. I am also really happy that this one won because I feel like I am reading a lot of big books as of late and this small book I think will break them up wonderfully.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange Tree

I preorederd this book months ago and I really want to get to it sooner rather than later. I am excited for this adult fantasy from an author I have really enjoyed over the years. Also, how can anyone go wrong with a fantasy with dragons?!

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What are you reading this month?

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Tags

BOOKSHELF SCAVENGER HUNT 2.0

TagTimel12:17Hello everyone, today I decided to have a bit of fun and do a tag. This time I am doing one that lets me share a bit about the books on my bookshelf and what I thought about them. I will admit I wanted to reuse a book or two to answer multiple prompts, but I thought it would be fun to challenge myself and share more books on my shelf. Without any more delay, here is the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt 2.0 Tag.

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Find a book that starts with and “N”

Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

This was a great short non-fiction novel that I read earlier this year. I found it enjoyable and eye opening.

Find a book cover that’s mostly brown

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s by Temple Grandin

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's

If you want a bit of insight into Autism Spectrum Disorder, this is a wonderful book to read. I read it very quickly and found it enlightening.

Find a book that is based on a true story

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

This is my one of my two FAVORITE non-fiction. It is both informational, but I love how it is written. It id not bogged down by facts, but reads more like a narrative.

Find a multi perspective book

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Replica (Replica, #1)

I have yet to read this, but I can’t wait to try reading this interestingly formatted duel perceptive novel.

Find a book you read last year

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10

I love this thriller, It was one of my top 5 of the books I read last year. It kept me on the edge of my seat and took twists and turns I could not predict.

Find the most recent book that you bought

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi

I very recently picked this up on discount at Barns and Nobel. I mainly picked it up because I heard so many great things and I wanted to see for myself.

Find a book cover you don’t like

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The Nest

Okay, this one might sound wrong, but hear me out. The reason I don’t like this cover is because my copy the cover is ripped. That is why I don’t like the cover.

Find a retelling

All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother

This is a retelling of sorts of Cinderella’s Stepmother. I have yet to read this, but I cannot wait to get to it.

Find a book that is also a movie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

I have yet to see the movie adaptation, mainly because I don’t want to buy a copy but, I did enjoy the novel! I read it very quickly.

Find a book written this year

Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe

This was a book that came out pretty recently, but I read it and I read it in a single day. I found it interesting and I felt for Circe.

Find a non fiction book

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

The Witches: Salem, 1692

This is one of my top 2 non-fiction reads. Once again this non-fiction account of the Salem witch trials reads more as a narrative than a non-fiction. It is not bogged down by facts and quotes, but flows nicely.

Find a book you have told others to read

50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany by Steven Pressman

50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany

This is a magnificent story of a couple who required as many children from Nazi Germany that they could. Anyone who shows a slight interest in WW2 stories I tell them to read this.

Find a book with a tree on it

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

This is a wonderful series, if you have not read at least this first book I suggest you try it. They are short, but pack your bags for an adventure.

Find a book where the authors name is the same as yours – first, middle or last

I have nothing for this prompt

Find a book you have read more than once

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Do I really need to say anything? I mean it is Harry Potter.

Find a book you didn’t finish

If I DNF a book, I donate it right away. So I have none on my shelf.

Find a book with a king in it

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

While they do not use the term King, You can call a few of the characters kings in this novel/series/

Find a book that is purple with its dust jacket off

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

I had no idea that a purple colored book was so difficult to find. This was the only one that I could find on my shelf. Obviously, I love it.

Find a book you will read by the end of the year

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep

I got this very recently for my birthday, I am VERY excited to get to it! If you have read it, please tell me what you thought of it.

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I Tag:

Jasmine bookishwisps

thebookhamster

Justine bookishwisps

weavinglife

Abigail abigailstalesbooks

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I hope you enjoyed this little look at my bookshelf and maybe even found a book that might interest you. Have a great day!

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up| Magical Readathon OWLs Exams

OWLs Examination

Wow, this was such a fun readathon, I can honestly say I hope there is another one that is organized similarly in the future. This month long readathon was wonderful. I felt challenged, but not overwhelmed. It was perfect! Without further delay here is my wrap up!
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Required OWLs for my future profession

Charms: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, LOVED!

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

Potions: The Alchemist Paulo Coelho, surprisingly adored.

The Alchemist

Arithmacy: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, a solid enjoyable thriller, but was a little predictable.

The Lying Game

Herbology: Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart, a lot of knowledge, I really enjoyed this.

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities

Extra required to gain grade O

Muggle Studies: Eleanor Roosevelt Vol. 2 by Blanche Wiesen Cook, not as good as Vol.1, but I still enjoyed it.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38

Ones I did not complete

  • Ancient Runes
  • Astronomy
  • Divination
  • History of Magic
  • Care of Magical Creatures
  • Transfiguration

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This was such a successful readathon for me. Not only did I meet my requirements for my profession, potioneer, but I was also able to get an extra OWL examination under my belt to gain the best score, an Outstanding.

Did you take part in this readathon?

Would you take part if there was another one?

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TBR

April TBR | 2018

ToBeRead12:17

Happy April everyone! This month I think I am going to be reading a lot. I am not sure if it is because I read so much in March, but I just have a good feeling about April. This month I am buddy reading two different books, one a non-fiction and the other a thriller. I am also finishing up a non-fiction and a starting a fantasy series. I also am taking part in the Magical Readathon: OWLs Exams. I made a separate TBR a few days ago and explained the readathon a little bit as well. You can find that here: TBR | Magical Readathon OWLs Exams.

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The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale

The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer

This month I will finish  reading The Wicked Boy with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and  Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring!

Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building. When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read. In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past.

  • goodreads.com

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Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Unraveling Oliver

This is another buddy read with Amy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and  Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring. What can I say, we love reading and discussing books with one another?

I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver is “a page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense” (Sunday Independent) that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.

  • goodreads.com

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Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

I have been interested in starting this series for a long time now and I think it is finally time. I have heard awesome things about this series and what I love most is that these books are so short. They are a great break in-between the larger books I read.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

  • goodreads.com

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Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol 2, The Defining Years, 1933-38

I started this non-fiction account of Eleanor Roosevelt last month and I would like to finish it this month. This is the second book in a trilogy written by Cook, I am hoping it lives up to the first one. Fingers crossed!

Historians, politicians, feminists, critics, and reviewers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook’s monumental Eleanor Roosevelt as the definitive portrait of this towering female figure of the twentieth century. Now in her long-awaited, majestic second volume, Cook takes readers through the tumultuous era of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the gathering storms of World War II, the years of the Roosevelts’ greatest challenges and finest achievements. In her remarkably engaging narrative, Cook gives us the complete Eleanor Roosevelt— an adventurous, romantic woman, a devoted wife and mother, and a visionary policymaker and social activist who often took unpopular stands, counter to her husband’s policies, especially on issues such as racial justice and women’s rights. A biography of scholarship and daring, it is a book for all readers of American history.

  • goodreads.com

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What are you reading this month?

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Hauls

Haul | March 2018

BookHaul12:17

Hello everyone! This months book haul is a lot smaller than it has been over the past few months so I decided to just post a picture of them instead of making a 30 second video. I hope you don’t mind. I have to admit I am a bit proud of myself for only picking up four books, it is very unlike me. I tend to go a little over board with discount books, but this month I kept myself in line. Anyway, here are the books I bought for myself in March!

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Late edition, oops! Cleopatra: A LifeDivider

The Books

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein

Fingerprints of Previous Owners by Rebecca Entel

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

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