Reviews

Wrap Up | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my February wrap up. Another month down, can you believe it? I know February is a short month, but I felt like it went faster than usual. I did manage to read quite a bit this month and found quite a few I really enjoyed.


Our Little CrueltiesOur Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First off, I really hated all of the characters of this book. But, like always Liz Nugent was a wonderful writer.

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Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a reread for me, this time around I still really loved the dynamics between Aziraphale and Crowley as well as the version of the world that Pratchett and Gaiman have created. It is fun, pokes fun, and at times just turns ideas on their head. This was one of my favorite books of 2019 and it is still a gem and I am so glad I took the time this month to reread it and was so happy to have read it with Lauren.

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This month I read a total of 8 books, not bad for a shorter month! In total that was 2,383 pages, which tuned out to be 4 fiction and 4 nonfiction. I read an ebook, an audiobook, 2 hard covers, and 4 softcover books. One of my reads was from the library and the others were from my own shelves. The rating broke down to: 3-5 stars, 2-4 stars, and 3-3 stars.

What was your favorite book you read this month?

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To Be Read

To Be Read | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my TBR post for February. I am going to try to keep this TBR small so I can have some mood reading throughout the month as well, but we shall see how that goes. I have really been enjoying nonfiction lately, so this TBR could go out the window, but I have a few books I would like to get to regardless of my mood.


The Books

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Hurricane Season Fernanda Melchor, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Royal Assassin by Robin Hobbs

White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad, I was recommended this book on twitter by Amy when I recently put a post out to ask for nonfiction recommendations. As I mentioned I have been on a huge kick for nonfiction so I really want to get to this. I was so happy to see it sitting in my local bookstore.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, I want to read this book for a few reasons, the first being it is the book that has been on my TBR the longest. The second being it was my late aunts favorite book. I figure it would be a good book to throw into this months reading plans because all the other books are a bit more dense with world building, tough but essential conversations, and horror.

Hurricane Season Fernanda Melchor, here is a book that is tied to one of my 2021 goals. You can see more details on it on my post entitled, Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist 2021. This is a book I have heard nothing but wonderful things and was placed on the Man Booker Shortlist last year. I am really excited to finally get to reading it.

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I am rereading this as a buddy read with Lauren this month and I could not be more excited. I loved this book the first time I read it and I loved the show. Now that I am writing this out I kinda want to rewatch the show this weekend. lol.

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb, as some of you know, if you read my post Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals, I want to read two of Robin Hobbs series this year. I read the first book last month and I really want to keep up the momentum and read a book a month so I am not tying to stuff them into my reading and not enjoy them as much as I know I will.


If you are looking for a recommendation for Black History Month please see this tweet posted by Ibram X. Kendi on twitter. You can also check out this thread by Lane that showcases new releases by black authors.

What do you plan on reading this month?

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Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | Books I Want to Read in 2021

Hello and welcome to a list or challenge of sorts. I wanted to share some of the many, many books I want to read in 2021. I thought it would be fun at the end of the year to look back and see if I ended up reading this books or if I ended up liking them. I will be completely honest, there is a reread on this list of one of my favorite books so that one I know I will already love. Anyway, on to the books!


The Books


What books do you really want to read in 2021?

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Lists & Recommendations

Blogmas | Let’s Talk | Best Books Of 2019

LetsTalk12:17This year I have read some pretty amazing books, I have found quite a few new favorite authors, series and stand alone novels that I really want to share with everyone. At the point of writing this, I have read 103 books this year, a lot more than I thought I would. So it was difficult to narrow down my choices down to 5, but I did manage to keep this list under 10, so that’s good. Anyway, on to thee top books I read in 2019! P.S. my favorite book of 2019 is at the bottom of the list, as they say, “Last, but not least!”


Mort (Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am kind of mad it took me so long to read a book by Terry Pratchett. The sense of humor, characters, and world are so unique and fun. His take on the character of death is really interesting and I found that even though that this is a story about Death, I laughed a bunch. Mort is a really fun and interesting character as well, it is interesting to think about how a human would react to the situation and choices he was given. It really make you think. I really enjoyed this story and I will be continuing to read the death books within the Discworld series. I don’t really know what else to say because I loved this story and if you enjoy fantasy and a good laugh, I feel like you will really enjoy this.

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Red, White & Royal BlueRed, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book made me laugh, tear up, grunt in frustration, and even sing some Panic at the Disco. This was a really enjoyable novel that is in fantasy land, but also showcases the hard discussions that people sometimes have to make. I was rooting the entire time for our main characters and for reelection.

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Smashed: Junji Ito Story CollectionSmashed: Junji Ito Story Collection by Junji Ito

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had found this sooner. It is just the right mixture of good imagery and scary plots to fly through. Each story stands out on its own, even the few that are related. I can say that I really enjoyed each of the short stories in this collection, which never happens for me. I normally hate or dislike at least one. Some of these are gory so if you don’t like seeing blood, I would not recommend. I will be picking up more of his work in the near future. I am so happy I found some horror manga.

TW: Suicide
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The Tea Dragon Society (Tea Dragon, #1)The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very cute graphic novel with a very sweet message to it. On top of the wonderfully cute story, the illustration style was beautiful and just perfect for this story. If you enjoy happy feeling, cute, and wholesome stories I feel like you would really enjoy this graphic novel. The only downside was I think it was kinda rushed and I would have loved to know more about the lessons and the society.
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The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleThe 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book to be a mixture of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and something else I cannot quite place at this time. I really liked how this book was written, it flowed really nicely and the voices of the characters were clear and definite. The way that the author was able to weave this jumping time frame is masterful! Also, I was surprised quite a few times while reading it. The ending really shocked me and I loved the twist it took.
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The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women WriteThe Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write by Sabrina Mahfouz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the wide array of perspectives that were present in this book. Not did the editor bring together a wonderful collection of writings, the writings were created by an assortment of women of different ages as well. I felt like that created a very interesting dynamic in the writing, but also illustrated that deep feelings can be felt at any age. I felt passion and many deep emotions while reading this book. All the writers are very talented. I think my favorite, if I had to pick, would be Islamic Tinder by Triska Hamid.

On top of the quality of writing, I also enjoyed that there were different forms of writing present; short stories, poetry, and plays as well.
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The Virgin SuicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From the title you can tell that this book deals with the very difficult topic of suicide. If any discussion of this topic is a trigger for you, I do not recommend you picking it up. If this is not a triggering topic, I highly suggest you read it.

Having personally dealt with a family member who has gone through this, I went into this book a bit worried that it would handle the topic badly. I was very pleasantly surprised that it handled not only the girls well, but also those left behind very well. I don’t really want to say much about the story itself, but I thought the writing was well done, the characters done well, and I was very much enthralled by the plot.
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The Colorado KidThe Colorado Kid by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say this work is very different from what King normally writes, but I enjoyed it so much. I think it was a combination of where I read this book and just the way it was presented. I feel like I will be thinking about The Colorado Kid trying to picture Stephenie today. Anyway, I am glad King look at those news clippings and thought of this story. It really is interesting and makes you think.
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Favorite Book of 2019!

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had read this sooner. The characters were fun, the story thought provoking in a way, and all around a great read I read within 3 days. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the works of the two authors, but also someone looking for an end of the world story with some interesting characters.

Update: as the end of 2019 has come to an end, I have realized that I have read this book two times this year and I often want to read it a third. It truly has a great friendship, a wonderfully inventive storyline, and great humor. This is my favorite book I have read in 2019.
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What was your favorite read or reads of 2019?

Do you have a book you think I should read next year?

Are any of these books on your list?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | October 2019

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my mid month check in! I am so excited to share some of these books with you. I have read a few five star reads, which is all I can ask for while reading!

I  will say that this month I do have one book I technically read in September, but I finished it on the last day of the month and it did not make into my wrap up.


Read 2
The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script BookThe Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was so nice to read this script. I am a huge fan of the original novel by Gaiman and Pratchett and I have to say that Gaiman did a wonderful job with this adaptation along with all the cast a crew involved. It was such fun visiting this story for third time this year.

If you enjoy reading scripts and enjoy this story, I suggest you give this a go as well.

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In the Tall GrassIn the Tall Grass by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very imaginative, gruesome novella. It was so vivid in my mind while I read it and I can see the influence of both Stephen King and Joe Hill. It is very dark and twisted and if gore doesn’t bother you, I suggest this quick read.

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The OverstoryThe Overstory by Richard Powers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting read for sure, I can see why it has won awards and shortlisted for others. The idea is very thought provoking, involving individuals who have a very strong with nature and more specifically the trees. At first all these stories seem unconnected, more like a short story collection, then slowly they start to come together as the need to protect the forest grows larger.

I have to say, I enjoyed the first half of this book more than the second half. The first half has so much of a personal connection with nature and trees and it was great learning about all of these families and individuals. For me it started to get less interesting when things got mushed together. I am not sure if it is because it seemed to be more “preachy” or the individual stories that drew me in kinda for the most part fell to the side and were only a plot device instead of the story. It seemed to loose the magic and the soul of the story.

With that aside the writing was done very well, I am curious to get into other works of this author.

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The Tea Dragon FestivalThe Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was once again another wonderful graphic novel by Katie O’Neill. I love the artwork, but the story is beautiful as well. I always want more after reading her works, this is no exception. I really loved the fact that sign language was used in this book, how everyone was so different, but everyone cared so much.

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Currently Reading 2

Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)I am about 45% through this book, I am enjoying it so far and I am curious how it is going to progress and end. I have to say I really loved this nighttime edition from Barns and Nobel. It makes it seem much more dark especially since one of the main characters is a vampire.

The Institute

I am exactly 50% though this book and I am loving it so much. I am really excited and worried about what it to come because I stopped reading at such a cliff hanger part. Also, I really love this edition and I am learning more and more of what is represented on the cover.

Mapping the Interior

I am about 32% through this short story. It is a very eerie story so far and I am LOVING the atmosphere so much. I am also really enjoying the story being written by a Native American and having those ties within it. I am very much looking forward to seeing how this author is going to finish this book and honestly, I hope this author has more works because I want to read them.


What has been your favorite read so far this month?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Top 5 Books I Have Read So Far This Year

LetsTalk12:17

I was watching youtube, as one does and I recently subscribed to a booktuber called Katie Wismer. Her newest video, at the time of writing this, popped up into my feed and I loved this little addition to a midyear check in. Last month I went over all of my goal. updates and such in my post called Reading & Blog Goals | 2019 Mid-Year Check In, but after watching her video I thought it would be fun to share my favorite and least favorite reads so far this year. I am going to start with  a gush fest, I hope you don’t mind!


-The Books-

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

I mainly read this because I was hearing so many great things. Then after I picked it up my boyfriend happened to watch the first episode of the Prime series and said I would really liked it. So, I decided to read this and it has easily become a favorite for me. I read this in two days. If I didn’t have work it would have been a single day.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This was such a well planned out and very well organized thriller it was able to surprise me so many times along the way. The description I think sells it sort because the plot is so much more. I don’t want to say too much, but wow. I have to say I am really lucky to have been given an ARC for a book that ended up being 5 stars. It is wonderful when that happens.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

This was such a cute LGBTQ+ graphic novel. I actually read a free sample from the publisher on their website and I read the sample then walked into the library because I needed to know what happened next. The artwork and the words were both beautiful. Sadly not pictured because it was from the library.

Elevation by Stephen King

This is a wonderfully weird novella from King. It was not horror, but more science fiction and I loved that! Even with its short size I became connected to the characters and felt for them. I will admit I teared up at a particular point. This was a very unique story and I will reread it again.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Now, there is not much to say about this high fantasy novel/series that has yet to be said. I am started a reread of this series and I am enjoying the adventure so much. I can’t  wait to continue and maybe implement a hobbit style eating habit along the way. The world, the language, and the songs created by JRR Tolkien are all amazing and so detailed it feels so real.


What has been your favorite read of 2019 so far?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | July 2019

Middle Mark

I feel like my reading was dragging so much this first half of the month. I had a lot going on and I was pretty stressed out that I didn’t really want to read, which says a lot since that is normal what I do when I want to destress. Anyway, I did manage to read some and I found myself kicking myself for not reading some of them sooner. Also, I am doing better in the stress department so the rest of the month will hopefully will be better reading wise. Here are the books I have read the first half of the month.


Read 2

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This held true to the little blurb on the cover, “Grisly World of Victorian Medicine”. This book goes into great detail into what victorian medicine was, so if medical talk and such bother you, stay away from the book. If you would love to learn more about the progression of science and medicine, please read this.

Lindsay Fitzharris I think does a great job turning this non-fiction topic into a narrative. It read very nicely and flows. I never felt bogged down by fact and stats, even though I learned a ton. The way she broke the novel into chapters also made a lot of sense and were natural breaking points, not that I stopped I read this in one sitting.

I also appreciated that the end notes were organized by not just in order, but labeled by chapter as well. The only thing I wished was that were labeled by a number or letter and not just by the page number since there can be three or more from a single page and I had to flip back and forth from the chapter to the end note to make sure I was looking at the correct source.

Overall, I recommend this book if medicine, history, victorian era and science are something you are interested in, I actually already have this going to a friend of mine.

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War and PeaceWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am finally getting to this review, thanks for waiting!

I have to say, this novel is long, but It not one that can be read slowly. If you take your time details will begin to fall away and it may leave you lost and confused. It is helpful while reading to have a list of characters, I know I needed mine.

I have previously read works by this author, such as Anna Karenina, and loved it more and more as time passed. I found myself thinking about the characters and empathizing and realizing more and more. I really don’t think that will be the case with War and Peace. While I did enjoy reading this and I do not regret it in the slightest, I just feel like I wont think about this book again. I could very well be wrong.

At times I was bored and kept saying, “alright get on with it already” while other times I was laughing so hard at something or very really engrossed. This book was a bit all over the place in that sense for me, that is why I decided to give it 3 stars.

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Mort (Discworld, #4)Mort by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am kind of mad it took me so long to read a book by Terry Pratchett. The sense of humor, characters, and world are so unique and fun. His take on the character of death is really interesting and I found that even though that this is a story about Death, I laughed a bunch. Mort is a really fun and interesting character as well, it is interesting to think about how a human would react to the situation and choices he was given. It really make you think. I really enjoyed this story and I will be continuing to read the death books within the Discworld series. I don’t really know what else to say because I loved this story and if you enjoy fantasy and a good laugh, I feel like you will really enjoy this.

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The Two Dead GirlsThe Two Dead Girls by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The feeling of this book is really haunting. Part one has really set the tone of this serial (6 parts). It depicts a pretty horrendous crime so you know what type of people our narrator is dealing with, but I am thankful that he has not shared more than he has needed to. I really am enjoying the narrators voice, it is oddly calm, but I can tell something big is going to be shown to me. I am going to be jumping into part 2 as soon as I can.

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Currently Reading 2

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1)

I just started reading this book last night since I somehow managed to finish two books yesterday, woohoo! I have not started a new series in sometime so I am in a way excited to be reading this, but also not looking forward to the wait  for the next book.  So far I am enjoying the world that I have seen so far. Like I said, I started this book pretty late last night so I am not very far in, but so far so good and I don’t see that changing unless something ridiculous happens.

 


What are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | June 2019

Middle Mark

I have to say that June is off to a wonderful start. I was a little bit worried on how my reading would go because at the end of May I powered through The Stand. I really feared it was going to put me into a slump, but that was not the case! So far, I have not done such a great job at sticking to me June TBR, which you can view here:June TBR | 2019, but I am really enjoying the books I picked up. I even found a new favorite and might just end up in my top books of 2019. Only time will tell. Anyway, here are the books I have read so far this month!

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Read 2

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I had read this sooner. The characters were fun, the story thought provoking in a way, and all around a great read I read within 3 days. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys the works of the two authors, but also someone looking for an end of the world story with some interesting characters.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

re-read May 29th-June 8th/Spoilers Ahead

Just as intense as the first time I read it, things are starting to get very real and dangerous. The one thing that really stands out to me in this book is how each character reacts to the news at the end of the book. How The Order just jumps back into their ways so seamlessly. I also love that Harry gave the twins that money to start their shop, seriously heart warming after all the bad that has happened.

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The House of the Seven GablesThe House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit, I did not have very high hopes for this book. The main reason being I read The Scarlet Letter and hated it. I thought it was the writing style. Turns out it was just the story itself. I felt like this was very well written and I really enjoyed a bit of a peek into life during this time period, but also a look into a family and their home with a bit of a mystery at some points and a curse thrown in for good measure.

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Currently Reading 2

The Woman in the DarkSo I just started reading The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage, which is my buddy read this month. I am really excited to see how dark this thriller/mystery gets. I feel like it has the potential to be a psychological thriller, but maybe also a ghost story of sorts? I am really looking forward to read more of it. Also, can I just say. I know we are not meant to judge a book by its cover, but that cover just makes me want to know what in the world is going on in this house!

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What are you currently reading?

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