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.
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.
* I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 Magicbrilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
This 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.
Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter was the only 5 star read I had this month. I loved it and you can find my review of this bookhere.
Four Star Books:
This month I had 4 books I rated 4 stars. Maybe it was meant to be? You decide. 🙂 Anyway, you can find the reviews for Z and A Gentleman in Moscow here. The Bazaar of Bad Dreams was wonderful. It reminded me of how much I love short stories. I liked all of the stories aside from one, which I think is great for a collection.. Most of the time I find myself only liking about half or a little more. The Doctor Who box set was also a collection of short stories. Each book was roughly 40 pages or so. Each one was a retelling of a popular fairy tale with a Doctor Who twist. Sonic screwdriver and aliens included.
Three Star Books:
These two books were overall enjoyable, but had a few faults. You can find a detailed review of these books here.
Two Star Books:
After Alice was my lowest rated read of the month. I found it hard to get into and just fell flat. The reason I gave it two stars instead of one is because I can see why other people may enjoy it more so than I did. If you enjoy Alice in Wonderland look into other reviews, you may like it.
I cannot believe the first month of 2017 is already behind us. It seemed like it flew right past me. Anyway, I wanted to take this time and reflect on the pictures I have taken on instagram over the past month. Man, were my tastes all over the place! I had graphic novels, horrors, classics, thrillers, and some non-fiction books. Some of my photos were full of color while others were in black and white. I think my instagram page is like my taste in books, all over the place.
Below I have added two of my favorite of the month. One is an old edition of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and the other is The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. Now comes the reflection part of the post.
What I liked:
There are a few things about this picture that make me enjoy it. The first is that I love this book. I first read this book when I was a little girl and have reread it numerous times throughout my life. Even though so much has changed for me I still enjoy the story and it continues to resinate with me. Second, I love the worn look of the book as well as the natural look of the wooden chair. This makes me want to add some more natural elements into my photos.
What I did not like:
One thing I did not like about this picture is the color. For me it feels like the blue of the book is fighting with the deep brown of the chair. To me the main focus is the book not the chair.
What I love the most about this picture is the intensity of the red and blue of the book. Even though my eyes are torn between looking at both of these colors they are both on the main focus of the photograph. The contrast of the color saturated book and white simple background works well in my eyes.
What I did not like:
When I took this photo it was boring. There was minimal challenge in balancing the photo. I don’t know, I guess I just like a little bit of a challenge. I enjoy setting up and staging photographs that are dynamic, but not overwhelming.
I have been looking forward to The Song Rising ever since I finished The Bone Season and The Mime Order. I read both of these during the #TBSReadalong on twitter with some amazing people which made the books even more fun. I received an ARC copy so I want to get it read before its March release date. Eh, I’m not kidding you guys, I just can’t wait any longer!
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
I started this book months ago and loved it, but I rented it from the library and it was in high demand so I ran out of time to read it. I finally have a copy of my own and couldn’t be more excited. It can get pretty dark from the 200 or so pages I have already read, but it continues to be a beautiful story. Fingers crossed it continues.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
I picked this up at my local bookstore, it just caught my eye. It just seemed like a great mix of fiction and history to me. From the blurbs I read quickly in the bookstore it has promise.
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
Last year I finally read some horror… I loved it. So when I saw this collection of short stories by Stephen King instantly picked it up and went to the register. I personally find his writing to be eerie, full of personality, and oddly refreshing. I say odd, because who would feel refreshed about horror other than me? Anyway none of his books have let me down yet so I don’t see how this one could.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
This book was another bookstore find. It just caught my eye. Once again this seemed like a great mixture of fiction and history. The little description got me before I even finished it. It seems like it will be an emotional read, which I can appreciate. If an author can take something historical and make someone emotionally invested, I say you my friend are a great author. I hope this book is up to my personal hype.
What books are you looking forward to reading this year?