To Be Read

To Be Read | First TBR of 2021

Hello and welcome to my January 2021 TBR. I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their year and I wish every single one of you a safe, healthy and fun 2021. This TBR is going to be quite a few books, but I currently feel up to the challenge.


The Books

TBR books stacked on a carpet in front of a basket and a plant.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones, I had this on a TBR a few months ago, but sadly I ran out of hours in the month. I really want to read this horror for a few reasons. I am in the mood for some horror, I have read something else by this author and loved it and it just sounds amazing.

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa – I am aiming to pick up my first book of reading a book off of my 2021 shortlist challenge, if you want to read more about that you can check that out here: Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021.

Flowers of Mold by Ha Seong-nan – I am picking this up because it is the oldest book on my TBR and I am still interested in it. This is a collection of short stories so I should be able to read it quickly and enjoy myself!

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb, as started in my 2021 goals, which you can read in my post: Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals, I want to read two of her trilogies this year, so I wanted to get a start on that. Especially since I have so many people telling me I am going to enjoy it.

The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans, this was one of my book of the month picks last month so I wanted to try and get to it this month. I look forward to reading this collection of short stories that touch on larger issues in modern day society.

Not Quite Out pictured amongst my plants.

Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham, I am so lucky to say I am on a blog tour for this book in February so I am planning on reading this gifted book in January so I can write up my honest review.


What are you planning on reading this month?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book of the Month | December 2020

Hello and welcome to my BOTM unboxing. This month I ended up choosing two books instead of the standard one book. They really are starting to make it harder and harder to just pick one book because their choices have improved dramatically from when I first subscribed. Anyway, on to the books I picked!

The Books

The Office of Historical Corracerections by Danielle Evans

Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters’ lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief—all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history—about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight. –goodreads.com

This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith

On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing on the side of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.

Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. But what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not the only one who needs healing — and she’s not the only one with secrets. –goodreads.com


Why I Picked These Books

The main reason I decided to pick The Office of Historical Corrections was due to the focus on relationships. As of late I have really been enjoying books that seemed to focus on relationships between characters to tells a larger story that is larger than the characters as well as the readers. I feel like it is more impactful and I make more connections between the story and other moments in my life, whether that be to another story or something in my own life.

As for This Close to Okay, the same is particular the reason. The main characters seem like they are going to make a strong connection to one another which will lead to very impactful dialog. I also have been in the mood to read a book where a single moment is a turning point for a character.


What was the most recent book added to your TBR?
Do these books sound interesting to you?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | November 2020

Hello and welcome to my mid month reading check in! I cannot believe there is only a month and half left of 2020. This year has gone both very slow, but also very fast. I am glad to share that I have read a decent amount of books already and I am hoping that this continues the rest of the month and beyond. Any who, here are the books!


The Night is Darkening Round MeThe Night is Darkening Round Me by Emily Brontë
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting collection of poetry. While it was good, it is not my favorite collection.

View all my reviews

Envelope PoemsEnvelope Poems by Emily Dickinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really loved this collection of poems for two reasons. The first being the fact that this book includes scans of the original writing on the envelopes and also a typed version that is in the same format. It really makes her work feel more tangible and keep its authenticity. The second reason I loved this was because the poems themselves. I have never read her poetry before, but I can see why she is so popular now.

View all my reviews

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the CaféBefore the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I never thought I could like a sequel as much as I loved this collection of stories. Toshikazu Kawaguchi is such a talented writer, being able to add so much atmosphere and elicit emotions so quickly is a true gift and talent.

View all my reviews

Transcendent KingdomTranscendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a lovely written book that deals with loss and an individuals journey to find answers and make sense of the world around her. This book talked about quite a few large topics, addiction, religion, and mental illness. I don’t want to say too much, but this author is very talented and I feel like this book will be one I think about from time to time and now just fade away.

View all my reviews

Clap When You LandClap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am currently having a hard time putting into words how great this book is. It explore the complexities of relationships and people, on top of that explore the life of two half sisters that have no idea they experience until a tragedy. More in depth review to come in my Someone Picks My Book series.

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The House in the Cerulean SeaThe House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved the setting, the plot, and the relationships within this story. The author did an amazing job in creating distinct and unique characters and giving them such great personalities. I felt like I was reading about actual people and not just characters. I have a feeling that this book is going to be at the top of the list for my favorite reads of 2020.

View all my reviews


I am currently reading Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. As I am writing this I am 20% into thee Cemetery Boys and I am already getting emotionally tied to the main character of this story. I am really looking forward to see what will happen. As for The Nickel Boys, I plan on starting it the day this post goes live. I really enjoyed The Underground Railroad a few years ago so I feel like I will enjoy this as well.


hat was the last book you read, did you like it?

How are your reading month coming along? 

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To Be Read

To Be Read | September 2020

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month I have a large stack of books to get through this month, but I am really excited about finally reading a lot of them. I am so close to getting my owned TBR down to the 10s and I am determined to do that this month, fingers crossed! Anyway, onto the books!


Book Stack of Tidy the F*ck Up by Messie Condo, Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami, The Test by Sylvain Neuvel, Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan, Shiver by Junji Ito, and The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi.

As you can see, I have quite a book stack for September. I plan on reading 7 books, but I hope for a few more. Also, a huge thank you to those who voted my on poll, it was really helpful!

Tidy the F*ck Up by Messie Condo, so a few years ago I read Marie Konodo’s books and I have been feeling the urge to do the method again, but I wanted to read something different to get the inspiration I need and I came across this parody book and I knew I needed to get it if not for the motivation, but for the laughs as well.

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami, I saw this floating around online a few months ago and after looking further into it, I wanted to read it. I have really been into short stories as of late so I think this will be perfect!

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel, was picked for me to read this month by Heidi over at This is My Bookshelf Blog. I am really looking forward to this one, I am so happy to finally be able to read it and not stare at it on my shelf. The summary I have read for this short story has me thinking I am going to be reading it in one sitting.

Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, now this book I came across by complete chance while browsing my local indie bookstore. The bright cover pulled me in and when I looked at the description my heart broke and I knew I needed to read this story in its entirely.

The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan, I picked this up recently because I wanted to learn more about finance and get better with my money. From my understanding, this is more of a starting point and I should in theory already know everything in here, but we shall see.

Shiver by Junji Ito, if you like manga and you like horror, you should look into this author. I read one of his collections and I really liked the creepy vibes, this guy has an imagination that might even put King to shame. I am really in the mood for some good horror so I am finally picking up another one of his works.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, this was my BOTM pick for August and sadly I was not able to get to it in August, but I really want to read it ini September, it really sounds like it is going to be a great story. Please see my post, Book of the Month| August 2020 for more information!


What are you planning on reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark |April | #OWLsReathaon2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my Middle Mark post for the OWLs Reeadathon! First I am going to be doing what I normally do in these posts, I am going to share my mini reviews of each of the books I read. Following that I will go through the OWLs that I have made progress on. Then, I will share what books I am in the middle of as of writing this post. I hope you enjoy the mini reviews and looking at my OWLs Reathon progress. I am actually quite proud of my progress.


Read 2

Full ThrottleFull Throttle by Joe Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Joe Hill continues to impress me with his writing. But, like any story collection there were some I loved, some I liked, some that were okay and one I ended up skipping.

Overall, this was a really good collection of creepy and disturbing stories. If you enjoy his other works you should enjoy this as well.

View all my reviews


The Girls of GettysburgThe Girls of Gettysburg by Bobbi Miller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really well created fictional novel that interwoven the tales of three different girls that all end up at Gettysburg. I really liked how the author told the experiences of many within these three characters. The writing was donee very well and it was an enjoyable read. I recommend to anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

View all my reviews


They Will Drown in Their Mothers' TearsThey Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am not really sure how to rate or review this book. I feel like something might have gotten lost in translation. But, from what I did read it was very intense sense and the beginning. Plus, reading it was a bit disorienting, but I think that was the point.

Overall, I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t really enjoy reading it either.

View all my reviews


Macbeth Macbeth by William Shakespeare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review to come shortly! I am saving this review for when I do my Shakespeare challenge post later this month, keep an eye out!

View all my review


Norse MythologyNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great collection of Norse Myths. Neil Gaiman is a talented writer and his style and strong voice is present in this collection. It mainly focuses on Thor, Loki and Oden with other Gods thrown in. The selection that Gaiman choose were a good introduction to Norse Myths, but also a good recap as well. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys mythology.

View all my reviews


The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)The Magician King by Lev Grossman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series continues to be vey interesting and engaging. It truly is a great second book to a series. In my eyes a great book in a series continues to demonstrate which I enjoyed about the first one and doesn’t seem like just a filler to get from book one to book three. This book continued to grow the world(s) of this series and maintained its appeal. I don’t want to say much, because it is the second book in a series, but the story has become more complicated and intense.

View all my reviews


Heart-Shaped BoxHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for almost a year and I am mad that it took my this long to get to it. This is a true ghost story, but the worst kind of one. It is brutal, but is perfect for a horror read. It has a monster, gore, and an interesting plot that kept me reading.

View all my reviews


Magical Readathon Update

Seer Profession

Ancient Runes – Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title

Astronomy – Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside

Divination – Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use random number generator

Animagus Training 

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside your favorite genre

Potions – Shrinking Solution: book under 150 pages

Transfigurations – Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shape shifting

Magical Shop Management 

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside your favorite genre

Bonus OWLs

History of Magic – Book that features witches/wizards 

  • The Magicians King by Lev Grossman

Graphics created by @ladette_M on Twitter!

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Currently Reading 2

I am currerntly 74% through Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I am liking this book a lot more than I originally thought I would. I have not been into this type of book for some time and I really only picked it up because I am buddy reading it, but I am so glad that that pushed me into reading it. I only have about a forth of the book to go, so we shall see what my feelings are later on. I am hoping they are good.


What was the last book you read, did you like it?

How are your OWLs coming along? 

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Hauls & Unboxings

Read 5, Buy 1 | September 2019 Fail

Read 5 Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my admittance of my Read 5, Buy 1 failure. This past month I have read a lot, but I had the itch to buy a bunch of books as well. I felt so bad about this, I actually did a bit of an unhaul so my TBR didn’t grow to much and I might even unhaul some more. I feel like I am in a spot where my reading tastes are changing again so a lot of the things on my shelf are not calling to me quite so much. Anyway, here are the books I read and the books I added to my Owned TBR.


Read 2

 

 

 


Books Added 2

-Gifted-


OWNED TBR COUNT

35 books!

Thankfully, only up 2 books from last month, so not totally horrific. I do think an unhaul is going to be in my near future though. Like I said earlier in the post my reading tastes are shifting and some of the titles are just not doing it for me anymore.


What’s the last book you added to your TBR?

SignOff12:17

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Reviews

REVIEW |Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Edited by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood

BookReview12:17Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Description

A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.

 

 

What I Liked

Both Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood did an amazing job editing this short story collection together. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single short story that I read. Normally, in a short story collection there are one or two duds that just lay flat or I disliked the authors writing style, but that is far from the case with this collection.

This collection of stories that revolves around witches was amazing for multiple reasons. The first being that each author had their own view of what a witch was. You can see that these authors come from different backgrounds and have heard myths from their cultures about witches. I loved this. Not only did I get to read about witches, but I got to read about different interruptions on what a witch is.

On top of there being different takes on what a witch is the stories in this collection are not just modern, but also some are written in the past. Being a history lover myself I loved that some of the stories were from along ago when in the United States were just colonies. Even if history is not your thing I feel like you would love those stories anyway due to the plots of the stories themselves. Even though these stories are short I felt connected with the characters I rooted for them.

What I Didn’t Like

The only fault I have with this collection is the fact that it ended. I wanted the book to keep going and going.

Overall Thoughts

I adored this collection of short stories so much. I have to openly admit that this short story collection has truly been a winner in my eyes. There was not a single short story that I did not love. All the authors writing was wonderful and the varying takes and time periods that their stories took place in were all done so well. Each story was its own and was wonderful.  I even loved that there was LGBTQ+ elements to this collection.  I know that I am going out to the store and buying this collection when it comes out in stores. I will be rereading it and annotating it so much. I highly recommend this collection of you love reading stories about witches from long ago to modern times.

5stars

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Editor Links

Tess SharpeTwitter: https://twitter.com/sharpegirl

Website: http://www.tess-sharpe.com

Jessica Spotswood

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessica_shea

Website: http://jessicaspotswood.com

List of Contributing Authors

  • Brandy Colbert
  • Zoraida Córdova
  • Andrea Cremer
  • Kate Hart
  • Emery Lord
  • Elizabeth May
  • Anna-Marie McLemore
  •  Tehlor Kay Mejia
  • Lindsay Smith
  • Nova Ren Suma
  • Robin Talley
  • Shveta Thakrar
  • Brenna Yovanoff

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Book Information

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Publication Date: August 28th 2018

List Price: $18.99

ISBN: 9781335016270

Pages: 416 pages

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* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Wrap Up

May 2017 | WRAP UP

Wrap Up

I can’t believe that May is almost over,  but it seems to be true so I thought it was a good time to share the books I finished this month. I have to say that this month overall was pretty average, but there were a few gems!

FIVE STARS:

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I LOVED this book. It was a perfect mixture of history, horror, and science fiction. It follows a high school teacher who is shown a portal into the past. His goal is to stop the JFK assignation. Once again Stephen King has written an amazing book. I will say this monster of a book is over 1,000 pages, but I got through it very quickly. I find him to write in a way that is easy to read and his stories are very gripping.

FOUR STARS:

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A Single Man was a very enjoyable read. I read through it very quickly and I found I was invested in the main character quite quickly. The ending had me thinking  a lot. It follows a man named George following the lost of his partner. There is also a movie adaptation and I plan on watching it very soon.

THREE STARS

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I wrote an entire review for this book you can find that here:Not Quite The Classics by Colin Mochrie. Over all I enjoyed this book and I plan on revisiting in the future. I found myself laughing and very much enjoying most of these short stories.

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This was a great read about the Russian Revolution. I read it quite quickly and I found it very informative. I will say because it is such a large topic there is a lot of facts crammed in. I wrote a review you can find it here:REVIEW: A Short History of the Russian Revolution by Geoffrey Swain

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Notorious RBG was an interesting read. I will say this is a great read about law, women’s rights, and a strong individual. I wrote a bit more about this book in my May book haul, which you can find here: Book Haul: May 2017. Over all if you are interested in law, women’s and social rights, or just want to learn about a Justice this is a good read.


I am happy to say I did not have any two or one star reads this month! I hope you reading was amazing this month!

What was your favorite read this month?


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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul: May 2017

Book Haul.jpg

Even though I had a book haul already this month, for my birthday, I wanted to share the books I picked up for myself for the fun of it. If you have read any of these let me know what you thought!


The Circle by Dave Eggers

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I mainly picked this book up because I have been hearing some great things and it has been made into a movie. Even though I know a lot of movie adaptations are not nearly as good I always enjoy seeing them. When you see a movie adaptation two things can happen. The first is that you get to see a book “come to life” before your eyes not just in your head. The second is you can see a different story that may be good on its own.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

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This has been a book I have been intrigued by for a while, but for some reason I did not want to buy it myself. So when I won RAVEN AVERY milestone giveaway I finally picked it up and I am so happy I did. I am saving this for the summer when I have time to read a trilogy. P.S. thank you again Raven!


The Last Days of Magic: A Novel by Mark Tompkins 

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I love reading books about magic, so when I saw the title and read the description I had to have this book. It has a wonderful mixture of myths, magic, and mysticism. All things I  cannot ignore. So in my basket to checkout it went.

“What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons? Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.”

– via goodreads.


Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie 

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I picked this book up because I have been on a Whose Line is it Anyway? kick. If you are unsure of what I am referring to it is an improve comedy show that has been around since the 1990s. I grew up watching it and I have been watching a lot of the old episodes lately. So of course I wanted to read a book by one of these guys. I already read this book and write up a little review you can find here: Not Quite The Classics by Colin Mochrie. Over all I enjoyed it, I had a few good laughs and read it pretty quickly.


Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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I picked this book up for a few reasons. The first being it had to do with law, the second it talks about a strong woman, and lastly the name caught my attention then the description sealed the deal. I have read this already and enjoyed it. It had some cool graphics and images from all periods of her life. It told an amazing story of a strong woman breaking barriers and giving the future woman of the U.S. an opportunity to do great things.


One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays by Scaachi Koul

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This book I did not really know that much about when I picked it from my BOTM (Book of the Month) dashboard. From what I have read on the little blurb it seems like it is going to be an interesting read and I am looking forward to reading it in the future.


Waking Gods: Book 2 of The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel 

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I read the first book in this series last year, I think I also got it from BOTM. I loved the series and when I knew this was coming out I went to the bookstore on release day to get my hands on. Since this is the second book in a series I don’t really want to say much more.


What books have you picked up this past month?

Have you read any of these?

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Reviews

Not Quite The Classics by Colin Mochrie

Book Review.jpg
Not Quite The Classics by Colin Mochrie

23330786This little book is a collection of short stories by improve/comedian/actor Colin Mochrie. Every story in here is a little twist on classic literature. Some of the classics he “plays” with include Sherlock Holmes (my favorite), Shakespeare plays, A Tale of Two Cities, and many more.

Now, I can break this book into two sections, stories based off the classics I have read and then ones I have not read. The short stories that were based on classics I was familiar with were amazing! I was laughing and engrossed right away. It was like revisiting the book with a little quirk. He was able to peg the characters personalities, but also change them in an appropriate way that did his little retelling without taking anything away. You can tell he put in effort while writing this.

Now, for the short stories that were based upon classics I was unfamiliar with. They were well written and were funny as well. Even though I enjoyed them I feel like I did not get as much or missed some subtle jokes. So if you do pick up this book you can easily read these short stories and enjoy them, even laugh out loud. Don’t let the fact you did not read the original get in the way. I plan on eventually reading most of the ones used in this collection and plan on rereading this as I complete them.

Over all I would recommend this book for those who enjoy classic literature, retellings, and funny books. It is a wonderful short book to break up reading more serious, intense reads, but also longer books as well. I gave this a 3 out of 5 stars. It was great and I really think as I reread this I will update the score to go higher.


Book Information

Publisher: Diversion Publishing

Publication Date: November 6th 2012

List Price: $14.99

ISBN: 9781626814554

Pages: 194 pages


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