Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2019

Monthly Wrap Up

This month has been a really interesting reading month for me. I feel like my reading was all over the place, but at the same time not. I have read a lot of non-fiction or very large books the past few weeks, with only a sprinkling of thrillers from a buddy read and a novel from one of my 2019 reading challenges.

I am not quite sure why I tended to read a lot about Russian history or Russian influenced books, but I think I was really craving non-fiction and historical fiction. As to the big books, I think I have been in a mood to just pick up a book and just dedicate myself to reading it and really absorbing it, not just reading something and flying through it. Either way, I am really happy with the books I have read this month, without more of my ramblings and reflection, here are the books I read!

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Read 2
Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana AlliluyevaStalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wonderfully written non-fiction account of the daughter of one of the worlds most notorious men. It was really enlightening to read about her relationship with her father for a few reasons. The first being it really gave insight into Soviet Russian elite, which to me seemed to not be so different with how the elite lived under the tsars, and how Stalin was as a husband and a father.

I also liked how this novel tracked her life following the death of her father and beyond. I think it was a very good nod to her because it seemed like she tried hard to be seen as her own person and this novel really does just that.

As I said earlier, this is well written. The style of writing is story like with a great deal of information, I think this is great for those who want to read more non-fiction but are intimidated by books being to “academic”. In addition to this, the organization and execution of this biography is wonderful. The flow was very natural and I never felt like I was jumping around in her story, even though we cover an entire lifetime in a single book.

This book also inspired me to look into Svetlana’s own books about her story and also read more from this author.

View all my reviews


BecomingBecoming by Michelle Obama

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her story in her own words. If you have any interest, I highly recommend.

View all my reviews


Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very thought out thriller and I can really appreciate that. I just wish one aspect of the story was more explored throughout the novel. While this was a well planned thriller, it is by no means bad, but it also isn’t one of my top ones.

The story will keep you on your toes and just like the dust jacket says, if you think you can guess the ending. I think your guess most likely will be wrong.

View all my reviews


The StandThe Stand by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am still surprised I was able to finish this book in a single month, but I am so happy that I read it. While it was long, I was not once bored and I never wanted to skip a particular part.

Overall, I really liked the wide array of characters in this novel. I was expecting to get them all confused and turned around, but they are so distinct and their motives for their actions are always true to them so I did not have a problem keeping them all straight. There were characters in here that I cried for and I cheered for. There were those I did not care for in the slightest. It really is interesting to see all the different ways humans deal with something like this.

I really enjoy this type of story from king, it is a mixture of ghosts, monsters, but also human nature and what it could be. Making is just enough real to make you uneasy. Also, whenever anyone sneezed I got anxious. I had to laugh at myself a bit, but according to the Stephen King subreddit, I am not the only one who this happened to.

View all my reviews

Middle Mark Books 2

If you want to read my review of the following books, please see my post; Middle Mark | May 2019.

Ask Baba Yaga by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Literary Witches by Taisia Kitaiskaia, Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Beat the Backlist 2

Current TBR: 38

Current Backlist TBR: 9Divider 2

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | May 2019

Middle Mark

So, this month I am reading big books, but also reading some smaller books in-between to keep up my momentum. I always need to pause a big book and finish a quick read or I end up getting bogged down, am I the only one who feels this way from time to time?

Anyway, this Middle Mark is mainly going to be a few of the small books, hopfully my monthly wrap up will have some of the larger books. Fingers crossed.

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Read 2

Ask Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday TroublesAsk Baba Yaga: Otherworldly Advice for Everyday Troubles by Taisia Kitaiskaia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very adorable and helpful book. This advice centered book is a mixture of fun, thoughtfulness, and folklore. I plan on reading more from this author because the writing was lyrical, but not annoying. The advice was useful, but not full of itself.

I see myself picking it up again from time to time.

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Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women WritersLiterary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers by Taisia Kitaiskaia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute and quick read. I really enjoyed how each section was set up. A little story create by the author, a little non-fiction blurb about the “literary witch” and then recommenced reading for each one. This truly is a wonderful celebration of women writers from a wide array of backgrounds and time.

This little blurb and short little story really gets you in the mood to explore these women and it is so wonderful that she gives you 3 or more recommendations. On top of that the illustrator, Katy Horon, has a wonderful style and you can see how individualized and meaningful each of the pieces are.

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Currently Reading 2

Stalin’s Daughter by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

I picked up this novel while at my local indie bookstore. I am ashamed to say and admit I never knew Stalin has a daughter. I honestly just through he was so evil that I cannot fathom that he could be a father. I am currently about 74 pages into the book and I think is he is a horrible husband, horrible person, and I think he was a messed up dad already. Mainly because of foreshadowing and some comments here and there, but I am interested in seeing just how low he goes in his personal life.


The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand

I have finally started this huge book, I am not too far into it, but I can already see why it is a beloved book of his. It has a very interesting start and I normally don’t like apocalyptic  dystopian writings, mainly because YA was/is just pushed them way to much for me, but I will say that this one seems very different and I am curious to see how he pictures a world after our world collapses.

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What are you currently reading?

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TBR

May TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello and welcome to a new month! May is my favorite month of the year. The first being that the trees and flowers are finally fully alive, but pollen is no longer kicking my butt. The second is that it is my birthday month! I have always loved my birthday, it is a great excuse to have a fun experience with my friends and family. I love organizing fun things for us all to do, one year I planned a tour, another I planned a wonderful dinner. I just love spending time with those who are important to me. What is one thing you love doing on or for your birthday? Do you have a favorite birthday memory?

Anyway, with this month being my birthday month I am not quite sure how much reading I am going to actually be doing, but I know I want to get to a few reads for sure. Without more rambling, her is my TBR!


-The Books-

The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand

This is the book that has been on my phsyical TBR for the longest. I meant to read it a few months ago, but life became a bit crazy and I did not have the time to dedicate a great deal of time to this novel. It is 1327 pages, so this might take me some time. I am excited to read it though. I am also really interested to see how Stephen King handles a post apocalyptic world that dealt with an illness. I have read a few King books that had an apocalyptic theme and I am curious how different they are.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

The Mars Room

This is the next book I plan on reading for my Reading Goals | Reading a Shortlist. I am very interested in reading this novel. This fiction novel deals with the idea of women in prison and the hardships they face, both a physical and mental. I am very curious to find out what placed the main character in prison when she has a young child, said in description. I am also curious to see how this subject is handled. I am unsure of how graphic this read will be, but I am very much intrigued.


-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I want to bring back using my TBR Jar to pick at least one read a month like I have in the past. The past few months I have fallen away from it, but I miss the mini challenge of sorts.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

I added this book to my TBR in September of last year. It was my Book of the Month pick, I was really interested in this fictional novel that follows women on the sidelines of wars. It goes into detail of these important and often forgotten individuals who have to give up much, fight in their own way, and often be belittled and pushed to the side. I love history and I can tell you that one of my favorite quote is ” For most of history Anonymous was a woman”. I wish I knew who said it, but it is very true and I am excited to read this novel that give those anonymous women a voice and a story, even if it is historical fiction.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of my choices?

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TBR

February TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello and welcome to my February TBR, my first one of 2019. Last month I didn’t feel like making a TBR because I wanted to focus on reading some classics and finishing the books I started. Since I am finished with those I thought it was time to make one. I am going to make this post short and sweet so without more of a delay, here is my TBR!

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Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Save the Date

This book I am kinda ashamed to still have on my TBR. I picked it up when I met Morgan Matson at BookCon 2018. She was so nice and lovely, we had a great laugh about my corgi lanyard. I have read and loved previous books by her, but for some reason I have not picked this up. I think it is because I have not been in the mood for a contemporary. I think I am finally in the mood for it though. I want something light after all the intense reads of last month.

World Without End by Ken Follett

World Without End (Kingsbridge, #2)

This is the next book in the Kingsbridge series, which I started last year due to the Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books post I did. I ended up loving the first book, a very large historical fiction. I ended up going out right away and getting the second book, but I did not feel like reading such a large book right away. So, I decided now is finally the time since the 3rd book has finally came out in paperback and I can get that if I end up liking this one just as much.

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The Stand by Stephen King

So it seems that I will be reading quite a few large books this upcoming months and I am not sure how well that is going to go, but I am going to do my best to at least finish this TBR jar pick. I have been wanting to read this for sometime, but since it is so large I have been putting it off because I felt like I did not have the time to dedicate to it. While I do have the paperback edition, the cover you can see below, I think I might get the ebook edition so I can carry it around with me without having the weight of it.

The Stand

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What are you reading this month?

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Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up | December 2018

Monthly Wrap Up

The last wrap up of 2018, I just cannot believe it. Soon I will be starting my reading back at 0 and trying to reach my yearly goals. But, I have to say I ended the year on such a high-note I think 2019 is going to be a wonderful reading year. I read a lot of books I have been meaning to and some I absolutely loved. I also made it to a point where I have read all of the book I have owned for over a year. I have never been to that point before so I am very excited about it and I am going to do my best to keep it that way. So, without more of a delay I am going to share the books I read this month. Some of these books were featured in my post, Middle Mark | December 2018, so some of these are a recap.

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Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry

4stars

The first book I read this month was Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Overall I really liked this book more than I thought I would. If you want a more detailed review you can find that here: Let’s Talk |Fall Book Recommendation Test & Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Review

Faithful by Alice Hoffman

Faithful

4stars

Alice Hoffman has never disappointed me.I have previously read Practical Magic and The Rules of Magic by her this year and I loved the books. This book was no different, her focus was on family, but in a different way this time around. I was really invested in this story, so much in fact I read this in a single day. It was great breaking at times and other times I smiled as I read. It really was a beautiful emotional rollercoaster.

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

I have to admit I did not fully read this book. I ended up DNFing this about 20% through. It was not a bad book, it just was one I was not really feeling so I did not want to push myself all the way through it. It was an interesting story set up and such. I ended up passing this book on to my friends daughter who is getting into horror.

A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood

A Meeting by the River2stars

This is the 4th Christopher Isherwood book I have read over the years and this one was eh. While, it is not my favorite of his works, my favorite is Christopher and His Kind, I still enjoyed the writing and the ride he puts you on. If you have ever read one of his books you will know that his writing style is unique. You feel like you are drifting along on a ride watching the main character.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains

5stars

So I read this as a buddy read with some amazing ladies and I have to admit I ended up finishing it earlier than planned. The first reason being is the writing and how it is organized. I really enjoyed how the story flowed and the sections had some very good cliffhangers so I had no choice but to continue. I really enjoyed how detailed this was and how the story is told between two time periods. I highly suggest this thriller/mystery to everyone. A lot of people compare this to The Secret History, but I think I actually prefer this book over that one. Controversial? Maybe, but it is true.

Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood

Down There on a Visit

4stars

I finally read Down There on a Visit and I did enjoy it overall. As I have said 1000 times, his writing style is so enjoyable I think he could write about anything and I would enjoy it to some extent. I really enjoyed how this was broken down into sections based off of the main characters life. Also, this wrap up proves the point that you will not always love every book by an author you love and that is okay.

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

5starsI absolutely loved this book! It was hilarious and at times just made me shake my head. It is fun learning about some of the funny and creepy things that happen to librarians while working. The regulars, the weird interactions, hilarious things said by children. I loved how this was organized by topic and the introductions to each section really added to it as well. If this author came out with another book I would pick it up without thinking.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Broken Girls

4stars

I really loved how this book was set up in the past and more presents. It was a thriller/ghost story that went throughout time and if you know me anything with some ghosts is a win. The writing was so rich I was able to visualize everything with ease. I really enjoyed the fictional history the author created, it really felt genuine and not forced. I also enjoyed the time periods she used in telling this story, it added a lot to the plot, but also gives a nod to the strides our society has taken to be more understanding, but also why we need to continue to be more understanding. The only reason this did not get 5 stars was because I was one thing coming, but the rest of it was a complete surprise.

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

Fresh Ink: An Anthology

2stars

I really just think anthologies in general are just not for me. I am always disappointed because I want more. The mix of medium and the stories that were written well, but they are just too short.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves

4starsI cannot believe I have finished this book! I was totally thinking this read would follow me into 2019, but I pulled a late night because this book serious hooked me. I totally understand why this is considered a favorite by many. I may or may not have read the last 300 pages in one sitting. This is a very interesting horror book that is is more creepy than outright scary. It seems like it is more a mind game than anything else. I really enjoyed how this unorthodox book was put together and how it was more than one story. It was refreshing to read something so different. I will mention I tried to read this when I was in middle school, when it first came out. I am glad I never finished it then, because I know I would not have appreciated it as much. There are layers and layers and you need to dissect this book a little bit.

The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

The Lottery and Other Stories

4stars

I finally read The Lottery and Other Stories and I am so happy that I did. I read right through this collection in a single day. There is something about Jackson’s writing that is just hypnotizing to me. While most of these stories are very short, some only 3 pages. She packs a lot into those 3 pages. Her writing always has layers and leaves you thinking. I highly suggest this if you enjoy reading short stories that at times are creepy or just a little jabs at society in the 1950s.

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome

3stars

I felt like Under the Dome was the adult version of Lord of the Flies. I read Lord of the Flies when I was in high school and I HATED it. I can’t pinpoint why I hated it, but I was so bored by it and I just couldn’t get into any of it. Under the Dome I could get into though. Right off the bat big things happen that just hook you and the way that the cut off from society was well done, even thought it was really out there. I will say there were some points where I was bored and I just wanted to find out what was happening with another group of characters. For that reason I drifted in and out of caring about the story.

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TBR

December TBR | 2018

ToBeRead12:17

Hello and welcome to my December TBR… the last TBR of the year. I cannot believe I am typing those words. But, here we are none the less. This month I am not focusing on numbers to meeting goals or anything like that. I just want to read some books I have been wanting to get to and I have been putting off because they are slow burners or larger in size. So I am excited for these end of the year reads.

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Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

This is the oldest book I have on my owned TBR. I am slowly trying to get through my backlist of books so I can get my TBR to only a few months behind instead of a year. I started reading this when I did the #Blogoween | Try A Chapter October 2018 and I really enjoyed the first chapter so I am looking forward to reading it this month.

Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood

Down There on a Visit

I have wanted to read more Christopher Isherwood book for some time, but I have not given myself the chance. So I decided that I want to read not only this book. but the next book on the list as well. This book is like four stories in one and it is semi autographical because the author puts four characters that are meant to be him, but not quite.

A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood

A Meeting by the River

Like I said about the above book I have been wanting to read more of his works. So this one of a two brothers at odds. Once is living two lives and the other can’t seem to decide how he feels about the whole thing because he says two different thing. So I am curious to see how this family comes to terms or does not. Divider

What are you reading this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul |September & October 2018

BookHaul12:17

So I have been a bit slow with sharing what books I have been adding to my TBR and collection. So I thought it was time to do a bit of a haul. When I looked back I realized that I have not done one since about August. So I am combining the months of September and October. Over this time I have added some YA, non-fiction, thrillers, and historical fictions into my life. Without more of a delay, here are the books.

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Novels

In the Hurricane’s Eye by Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

This was my Book of the Month pick for October, Nonfiction is not a category that is always present in the picks so I as soon as I saw it I picked on it right away and added it to my box. Yorktown has been a famous battle for many years and I hear it mentioned a lot, but I sadly cannot say I know what happened there in any great detail. I do know that it was something that was thought to be impossible and for that amount of coordination to happen during that time period was unheard of, sadly they did not have GPS or cell phones. I am excited to finally learn more detailed about this miraculous battle.

“Here is the story of the remarkable year leading up to the siege of Yorktown. It sets Washington against his traitorous nemesis Benedict Arnold and places him in impossible situations and constant acrimonious negotiation with his French allies, along with his young protégé, the Marquis de Lafayette and his energetic general Nathanael Greene. In a narrative that moves from the ship-crowded waters off Newport, Rhode Island, to a wooded hillside near North Carolina’s Guilford Courthouse, to the Dutch storehouses on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, Philbrick narrates the pivotal naval battle that brought the end of America’s long, elusive path to independence. It was an improbable triumph made possible by Washington’s brilliant strategy, leadership, and revolutionary use of sea power.” – goodreads.com

The Silence of Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

This was my Book of the Month pick for September. I was very interesting in this retelling, historical fiction if you will, of the impact of war on women. Throughout history women have been impacts by the wars and political upheaval. These women were were caught in the middle or right in the center of it. I thought it would be an interesting view point, in addition, I am interested in Greek myths and also history. While this is not a nonfiction read, it does pull from history and I am curious to see how she depicts how women were affected.

“The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, which continues to wage bloody war over a stolen woman: Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watches and waits for the war’s outcome: Briseis. She was queen of one of Troy’s neighboring kingdoms until Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles’s concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army.

When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and coolly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position to observe the two men driving the Greek forces in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate, not only of Briseis’s people, but also of the ancient world at large.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war–the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead–all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis’s perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker’s latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives–and it is nothing short of magnificent.” –goodreads.com

Into a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

I was so surprised when I was able to find this at the used bookstore by me. This was the last Ruth Ware book that I needed to read to be able to officially say that I have read every one that has been published. She really is one of my favorite authors and she does deliver a thriller. This one was very interesting since she made it feel more like a play than her other works, like we were watching one unfold. I love this.

“Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower I : The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

The main reason why  I ended up picking up this book was because I found it at a used bookstore and I thought for the price of $3 it was worth a try. I was very skeptical about it, but I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. I really thought it was going to be more like a western, but it really wasn’t. I am really glad I gave it a try and I think in the future I will be getting this series from the library.

“A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.” –goodreads.com

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

So, I picked up this book mainly because I wanted to take part in the BN book club that happens quarterly. I really enjoy going to those discussions and hearing all the different view points, that are respectful. I have read about 150 pages of this book and I really was enjoying it. I thought the style was interesting and it was well executed. Sadly, I ended up loosing the book! Since then I have placed a hold at my local library and I hope to have my hands on it soon.

“The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.” –goodreads.com

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

This month I finally decided to pick up A Very Large Expanse of Sea for a few reasons. The first being when I watched the interview of Mafi talking about this book I could feel her passion about its message very clearly in her words. I could also see that she put some of herself in the characters and I loved that as well. The second part being that I really have been wanting to hear a story like this and I am very happy to have it.

“It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.” –goodreads.com

 

DividerGraphic Novels

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born

I will admit, I mainly picked this up to compare it to the novel. I thought it would be something interesting to do on top of reading a graphic novel. As of late I have finished my more “fluffy” less intense reads on my shelf. So I wanted to add a few more to my shelves. I came across this at a discounted rate so I am very pleased.

“‘The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.’ With those words, millions of readers were introduced to Stephen King’s Roland ‘ an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower, powering his way through a dangerous land filled with ancient technology and deadly magic. Now, in a comic book personally overseen by King himself, Roland’s past is revealed! Sumptuously drawn by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove, adapted by long-time Stephen King expert, Robin Furth (author of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Concordance), and scripted by New York Times Bestseller Peter David, this series delves in depth into Roland’s origins ‘ the perfect introduction to this incredibly realized world; while long-time fans will thrill to adventures merely hinted at in the novels. Be there for the very beginning of a modern classic of fantasy literature!” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home

Would you believe me if I said that I also got Vol. 2 on discount as well. I really had a lot of luck with finding discounted books this past two months and I could not be more excited about it. I figured while I have not read Vol. 1 yet, in case I did it was better to get it now.

“The second collection of the best-selling comic-book series, inspired by Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower! Gunslinger Roland Deschain has seen the death of his lover Susan Delgado. And the Big Coffin Hunters who burned her at the stake are now in pursuit of Roland and his ka-tet Cuthbert and Alain. The friends are forced to flee into the desert with the deadly posse in hot pursuit….and Roland is in a coma! Don’t miss the next chapter in the saga of the Gunslinger whose quest for the Dark Tower will shake the foundation of reality itself!” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower: Treachery by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: Treachery

Surprise! I found Vol. 3 on discount as well, for all three I paid less than the original price. I would call that a win. Once again I am taking a huge shot on this and I am curious to see how they relate to the novel series or if they follow the story line at all. I do know that I am happy to take the chance on these graphic novels.

“The ka-tet of Roland, Alain, and Cuthbert have returned safely to their home in Gilead. But all is not well. Roland has kept the evil Maerlyn’s Grapefruit and has become obsessed with peering into its pinkish depths despite the deadly toll it’s taken on his health. And what the young gunslinger sees brings him the darkest of nightmares. Meanwhile, Roland’s father has led a posse in search of those who threatened his son’s life in Hambry – John Farson and the Big Coffin Hunters. And in this encounter, Stephen Deschain’s life may be forfeit.” –goodreads.com

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Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach

Gazelle in the Shadows

I was approached by the authors publicist to get a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I accepted this book because I was interested in the thriller aspect that is given in the description.  I am happy to tell you that I just finished this book and I will be posting a review in the near future.

“In the mid 90s, Elizabeth Booth is a young British college student studying Arabic at Durham University. With some travel and work already under her belt, she excels at her studies and is sent to Damascus to immerse herself in the language. Taken aback by the generosity and kindness of the people there, she easy slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and even a handsome boyfriend. But things aren’t always what they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are commonplace, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals, and even murder involving MI6, deadly terrorist factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police.” –goodreads.com

Caleb’s Window by John J. Siefring

Caleb's Window

This book I am really excited about sharing with you. I was approached by the author to read and give an honest review his book. I accepted this because the story seemed like a wonderful coming of age story, but also the story of a family taking changes. I am about halfway thought this book currently and as soon as I am finished I will have a review up for all of you.

“Born in the village of Easkey, Ireland just before World War II, Cara Brannan dreams of becoming a nurse and starting a new life in America. Her mother, an Irish suffragette, encourages Cara to set goals and be fiercely independent. She moves to Dublin and begins nurses training at Saint John’s Hospital, forging friendships and encountering obstacles as a young single woman. Then she meets Aiden Whyte. Like-minded, Cara and Aiden join forces, marry, and journey to the States as newlyweds.

Welcoming their son Caleb into the world, Cara embraces motherhood. As a new mother and nurse in New York City, she struggles, facing class conflict, gender and career barriers, as well as loneliness. Cara endures because of her strength of character, compassion, and an irrepressible joy of life.

As Caleb comes of age, it’s his turn to carve out a place for himself during the late 1960s—a time of turbulence, protest, and incredible change. He finds New York to be a challenge but filled with opportunity.

Caleb’s Window will quietly move into your heart and mind, remaining long after you turn the final page.” –goodreads.com

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What was the last book you acquired?

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Lists & Recommendations

#Blogoween | 10 Characters, Hexed & Cursed

Blogoween

Prompt:

Wednesday 17th: Hexes & Curses
What 10 character would you curse, and why?

1. Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J K Rowling

Image result for Dolores Umbridge

Dolores Umbridge has to be one of the most vile villians I have ever read. The main reason being is she looks so sweet. As you can seen in the picture above she loves pink and all things girly. She does not have the traditional look of evil, but she is so evil. She tortures students and is just rotten. She does whatever she needs to for what she THINKS is right. Dolores should be cursed for her actions against the students of Hogwarts.

2. Agatha Trunchbull from Matilda by Roald Dahl

Image result for Agatha Trunchbull

I first met Ms. Trunchbull when I was very young and I went to go see the movie. The first time I saw her she looked like the picture above. She looked like she was in a military uniform and she was very unfriendly. The total opposite of what a principal should be. Then came what she did to her students. I still shivery when I think about the Choke-e, not really sure how you would spell it. Anyway, she really scared me I cried so much I needed to leave the theater. She is awful and should be hexed.

3. Count Dracula from Dracula by Bram Stoker

Image result for Count Dracula

While he doesn’t look totally evil in this picture, our caped villian, killer is evil and I think he would do well to get hexed. Tricking people, drinking their blood, and all manner of being sneaky and a monster. While he looks suave and well dressed, it is important to point out his fangs and inability to see himself in a mirror. While some see him as cursed as is, I think he should be hexed as well for the things he has done.

4. Professor Moriarty from The Final Problem by Arthur Conan Doyle

Image result for Professor Moriarty

Moriarty has had a bit of a modern renaissance, but the original was an older professor as you see above. He was severe and cold looking and it really matched his interior as best as it could. He was a criminal mastermind and evil. He often pulled the string and made a lot of other people do his dirty work for him. In addition to this, he also protected others who broke the law and hurt other people. He should be hexed.

5. Johnathan “Black Jack” Randall from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Image result for Blackjack Randall

Black Jack is just a monster in my eyes even though when you look at this character he is just a Captain in the British military who was stationed in Scotland. Someone who normally gets to this esteemed rank is usually a noble individual and has earned his uniform and rank. Contrary to his image, he is a horrible individual. He is violent, often goes to extreme measures and is very violent against women and men. HE IS SCUM. He gets his kicks by hurting others physically and emotionally. He should be cursed without a doubt in my mind.

6. The White Witch from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

Image result for The White Witch

The image above shows someone who is cure of themselves, strong, and noble. While externally she is beautiful, until she eats the apple to gain immortality and transforms into the White Witch. She is cruel and full of herself, hence wanting to be immortal. She is evil toward her family and others who live in Narnia. She should be hexed for the things she has done.

7. Bellatrix Lestrange from multiple book in the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling

Image result for Bellatrix Lestrange

Bellatrix Lestrange was from a noble family and was first described as well kept and an aristocrat. As you can see by the Harry Potter adaptation her evil is more in your face and apparent. Her hair is all over, she wears all black, and her wand is bent at a sever angle. She is a Death Eater and kills people without any remorse. She not only kills strangers, muggles, but she turns against some of her own family. She deserves to be cursed for the things she has done.

8. Charles Talent Manx from NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Image result for Charles Talent Manx

This graphic novel adaptation of Manx is a perfect visual representation. He is a very old man who has lived much longer than he should have. He goes after children and in my eyes that is true evil. Who goes after a damned child? Not only does he go after the children he tricked others into helping him, he is a manipulator. He is evil and should be hexed for the things he has done.

9. Annie Wilkes from Misery by Stephen King

Image result for Annie Wilkes

Annie Wilkes is a woman who dresses in simple dresses and takes good care of her self. She appears to be a normal woman, even in this picture. Until you see what is in her hands. She has no problem hurting others and controlling them when it is what she wants. When King wrote this character he made her his addiction that controlled him. She is controlling, not good for anyone, and hurts people, but she comes off as harmless. That is the farthest thing from the truth and deserved to be hexed.

10. Oliver Ryan from Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent

Image result for Oliver Ryan from Unraveling Oliver

While right off that bat you know that Oliver is evil, the more you read the more you end up hating this man. You learn about the manipulation, the stealing, and lying. In addition to those things he does so much more, but I don’t want to spoil this novel to much. Just know that he deserved to be cursed.

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What fictional character would you Hex or Curse?

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TBR

#Blogoween | Try A Chapter October 2018

LetsTalk12:17

Hello everyone so once again I am ignoring a #blogoween prompt. I am sorry about this, but I thought it would be fun to do a Try a Chapter with books that would be perfect to read during this spooky time of the year. So I went through my TBR and picked up some books that I have had for some time that had to do with horror, witches, or ghosts in some way. I hope you enjoy this Halloween themed edition!

Previous Posts: Let’s Talk | Try a Chapter April 2018Try a Chapter | August 2017, and Try a Chapter | June 2017.

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The Books

Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

Lisey's Story

  • goodreads rating: 3.66
  • pages: 513
  • genre: Horror

Outcome: I read a total of 14 pages, which is actually kinda short for a Stephen King chapter. The first chapter is really setting up the story and introducing the main character and fills us in on her recent live events. Overall, I think it was a good start to the novel and I think I will really enjoy reading it. So, I am going to be keeping this book.

Revival by Stephen King

Revival

  • goodreads rating: 3.76
  • pages: 405
  • genre: Horror

Outcome: I read about 5 pages, and I was already wanting to skip around and see what would happen. For me this is a bad sign. While I do want to see what happens, I only cared about what the guy did, not the aftermath or repercussions, which is the whole point. So because I already wanted to skip around I am going to be unhauling this book.

Gerald’s Game by Stephen King

Gerald's Game

  • goodreads rating: 3.48
  • pages: 468
  • genre: Horror/Thriller

Outcome: So I read about 30 some odd pages of this book. I will say I didn’t ever read the description of this book. When I first discovered reading King I just kinda bought a ton of his books without really reading the descriptions. So if I had I would never have bought it. So I am unhauling this book. It is NOT for me in anyway. x

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

The Dinner List

  • goodreads rating: 3.84
  • pages: 273
  • genre: Fiction/Magical Realism

Outcome: I read 14 pages of this book and I can see that I will pick up another book by this author from the library, but I don’t know if I would buy another book by this author. I thought her writing was beautiful, but the plot just isn’t exciting to me. I think if the desciprion sounds like something up your alley you will love this book, I am actually going to be sending it to my cousin as a present. So I am unhauling/gifting this book.

Insomnia by Stephen King

Insomnia

  • goodreads rating: 3.81
  • pages: 912
  • genre: Horror/Fiction

Outcome: I read about 15 or odd pages of this one and it was a very slow build that didn’t really pull me in a lot. So I don’t think I would really like reading anymore of this novel. So I am going to be unhauling it. I do think for those who enjoy a slow burn kinda book this would be great one for you.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep

  • goodreads rating: 3.85
  • pages: 308
  • genre: YA/Paranormal

Outcome: I read 13 pages of this book and I wanted to read more almost instantly. I love that there is a bit of folklore and “history” poured into the book so early on. I am also getting Sanderson sister vibes mainly because there are 3 witch sisters. I am going to be keeping this book and reading it hopefully this month since it is Halloween season, but I feel like it would be great to read in the next few months as well.

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What do you think about unhauling books? What is your TBR currently?

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Lists & Recommendations

#Blogoween | Horror Movie Recommendations

Blogoween

Prompt:

Saturday 13th: 31 Horror Movies in 31 Days
Throughout October I’ll be aiming to watch 31 horror movies and blogging about them. The number 2 there is because this will be a weekly feature I do where I look at the horror movies I watched that week.

So I am not watching 31 horror movies this month, but I thought it would be a fun time to share 3 of my favorite ones that I have watched and rewatched over the years. Some of these are considered classics and others not so much. But, to me they are a great example of a good horror. Some are based upon ghosts and others are more of a psychological another is both of these combined. I want to add, please pay attention to the ratings of these movies. If you are younger than the recommended age, get parent permission before watching. W

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The Shining directed by Stanley Kubrick

Image result for the shining movie cover

This is my all time favorite scary movie, even though I think the book is much better this movie was wonderful and it has all the things I look for in a scary movie. Ghosts, old hotels, and just the right amount of  “magic”. I have rewatched this movie many times over and it really is great. It is rated R, so make sure you are old enough to watch it.

Sleepy Hallow directed by Tim Burton

Image result for sleepy hollow movie cover

This is the first Tim Burton/Johnny Depp movie I think I ever watched. I always heard about Sleepy Hallow as a legend living in the North East, but I didn’t really know the story behind it so when I watched this I really liked it. While this is an adaptation and there is a Civil War Sleepy Hallow Legend which I like a bit better. I still really love this movie it is creepy, Depp plays a very interesting man of science in a time where there is little, and the magic and ghosts are great. Once again this movie is rated R, so once again make sure you are old enough to watch it.

The Secret Window directed by David Koepp

Image result for the secret window

If you are looking for soemthign that will just mess up your mind and really question what humans can do, this is the scary movie for you. This is another one I watched and rewatched and even have bought a few times because I wore out the dvd. It is a thriller that gets a bit over the time at times, but it really is made really well. This one is rated PG-13, so 13 and older.

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What is your favorite horror movie?

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