Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2018

WrapUp12:17

We are officially more than halfway through the year, I am in awe of how fast time is going. This month I am happy to say I read or started books I have been putting off for some time. My reading was very much all over the place ranging from children’s classics to horror. Each book I wrote a little tiny blurb about my feelings, some have more written than others, but none left me unhappy and I did not DNF one book this month. Without any more delay, here is what I read in the month of June!

Books I Finished

Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill

Your Soul is a River
This was one of the best poetry collections I have ever read, it was wonderful and the imagery used was outstanding.

The Universe Has Your Backby Gabrielle Bernstein

The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith
This was not bad at all, but it was an average self help book. I didn’t really take anything much away from it, but I can see this being good for individuals who have never read a self help book.

Perdy Volume 1 by Kickliy

Perdy Volume 1

This graphic novel is very crude, mature audiences only. I found myself laughing throughout.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess

Very adorable story, at times it was heart breaking. I will admit the writing style was not my favorite, but I enjoyed the plot.

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Lying in Wait

I loved this thriller! If you want to see all of my thoughts, you can check out my full review: REVIEW | Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent.

In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult by Rebecca Stott

In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult

This was such a wonderful story to hear. I loved how this novel didn’t just tell the story of one, but the story of a family and their collective story. If you are looking for a non-fiction biography/memoir you should look into this book.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth

I finally did it, I finished this novel! I ended up very much enjoying it, the characters felt so real and I found myself really connected to them. I will warn you this historical fiction novel is very realistic to the point where many crimes that were sadly very common back during this time period are depicted such as rape, assault, and more. If this is not a problem for you I highly suggest picking this up.

 

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I am Still Reading

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2

I am currently reading this book with ___________. So far I am enjoying this novel so much more than I originally though I would. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

I am slowly making my way through this classic, I am very much enjoying it. It reads a lot easier than I have previously anticipate and the story line, at least so far, see like one that it timeless. I am so happy I finally got to reading this classic.

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What was the best book you read this month?

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Wrap Up

Currently Reading | June 2018

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Hi everyone! Once again I have got myself in a reading pickle. I am reading about 5 books at the same time. I thought it might help me to share what I am in the middle of and see if I can finish them all one by one before starting another book.

DividerIn The Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott

In the Days of Rain: A Daughter, a Father, a Cult

I am loving this non-fiction account of a young girl and her family living as members of a cult. I was recommended this book by Amy from tomeswithtea when I asked her to pick my books, you can see more information here: Haul | Book Buddy Picks My Books.

Description: Rebecca Stott was born a fourth-generation Brethren she grew up in England, in the Brighton branch of the Exclusive Brethren cult in the early 1960s. Her family dated back to the group’s origins in the first half of the nineteenth century, and her father was a high-ranking minister. However, as an intelligent, inquiring child, Stott was always asking dangerous questions and so, it turns out, was her father, who was also full of doubt. When a sex scandal tore the Exclusive Brethren apart in 1970, her father pulled the family out of the cult. But its impact on their lives shaped everything before and all that was to come. -goodreads.com

DividerAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

I am slowly reading this classic through the app called Serial Reader, I am not sponsored by them, but I love this app so much. They send you about 10 min of reading of a classic per day. You can pick from there ever growing collection and even better is that if you are loving the story you can skip ahead as well. This will take about 2 months to get through if I don’t skip ahead. Most likely, I will.

Description: Acclaimed by many as the world’s greatest novel, Anna Kareninaprovides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature – with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection of Tolstoy himself, often expressing the author’s own views and convictions.

Throughout, Tolstoy points no moral, merely inviting us not to judge but to watch. As Rosemary Edmonds comments, ‘He leaves the shifting patterns of the kaleidoscope to bring home the meaning of the brooding words following the title, ‘Vengeance is mine, and I will repay. -goodreads.com

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NOS4A2

I am currently buddying reading this horror novel with Amy, Jenna and Reg. I am loving it so much and I may or may not be reading ahead because it is so hard to hold off reading this one.

Descriptions: Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son. -goodreads.com

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The Pillars of the Earth

I feel like I have been reading this book forever, but I have been reading so much for buddy reads, a book for work, and other audiobooks that I have been getting from my library that have a time frame. Since this book does not have a time frame I keep putting it off. It annoys me so much because this books is so beautifully written and so much is happening. I NEED to finish this ASAP.

Descriptions: Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king. -goodreads.com

DividerThe Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

The Poppy War

I just opened up this book thanks to a twitter poll. I tend to not be able to pick between starting one of two books, so thanks to those of you who always vote, I really appreciate it. If you like answering polls and want to see what my reading is like you are more than welcome to follow me on twitter. I am @BookishLuna.

 

Description: When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late -goodreads.com

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What book(s) are you currently reading?

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Wrap Up

Currently Reading | April 2018

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Happy Spring! I know it has been Spring for some time, but lately it has actually started to feel like Spring. For me this is one of my favorite times of the year. The flowers are starting to bloom, I can read outside and not be freezing. I think this year I want to make it a goal to buy a hammock so I can lay down and read outside instead of just sitting on a blanket. Anyway, I wanted to touch base and share the books I am currently reading. Side note, I am surprised that I have gotten my currently reading from 5 down to 2. Woohoo!

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The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

The Female Persuasion

I am about 2 chapters into this book and so far I am very much enjoying it. The author has done a wonderful job building the “scene” and introducing the characters. Her writing is very beautiful and I easily got lost in it. I am looking forward to continuing this book.

DividerThe Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth

This is a huge book and I love it. I picked this book up a few months ago on the recommendation of a bookseller. You can see the details of that adventure in my post Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books . It was a great adventure. Anyway I am about 200 or so pages into this book and it is so elaborate and wonderful. I can see there are going to be a lot of plots intertwining and I love it. I am very excited to see where this goes. In fact I picked up the second book in the series so I can pick it up soon after.

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What book(s) are you currently reading?

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Hauls

Haul | Bookseller Picks My Books

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So last month I posted Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books which was a ton of fun. I thought it would be fun to continue having other people pick out my books. This month I decided to go to my local independent bookstore and see if I could ask someone to pick out a few books for me to add to my TBR. Without further ado, here is what happened!

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So I ended up going on a nice Saturday morning before I had to do anything. I stopped a little coffee shop and got a nice iced mocha, a recent favorite of mine. I walked the few blocks to my local bookstore.

Now with my previous _____ Picks My Books it was my boyfriend. I was comfortable enough to give him rules. I was about to walk up to a stranger and ask them to help me, I couldn’t give them rules. To me doing this sounded rude so I decided to ask them if they could recommend two of their favorite books.

Now, I will admit I am very shy person. I tend to get other people to ask questions for me when it is appropriate or put in a takeout order for me. So me going up to a stranger and asking them to do this was a big deal. I ended up taking a large sip of my drink and opening the door, causing the bell dinging away. I was greeted right away and ended up loosing my nerve.

I ended up looking up and down the shelves for about 15 min. before the nicest woman in the world came up and asked me if she could help me. I ended up finally asking, “Actually, would you be able to recommend two books that you really liked?” Without any delay she smiled and said she had just the thing. She went to the back of the store and pulled out two books. I bought them without hesitation, as she checked me out she gushed about both of them and gave me mini reviews.
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The Books 

She ended up giving me Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Everything, Everything I have heard so much about in the past. I have heard both good and bad things, so I am curious what I will end up thinking. The Second pick I never heard of and I kind of like that. What I think is best about this “series” is that it is getting me a bit out of my comfort zone. When I read the description when I got home I was intrigued and I will admit I put a hold on the audiobook at my local library since it is so long.

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

goodreads.com

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett  

The Pillars of the EarthEverything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

goodreads.com

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Have you read either of these books? What did you think of them?

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Hauls

Haul | February 2018

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This month I have to say I found a ton of awesome books. All of them I am very excited about and I cannot wait to read them. Some of these books are from my Haul | Boyfriend Picks My Books and others were recommended to me by friends or strangers who I ran into at the bookstore. If you have read any of these please let me know what you thought of them. Also, are any of these on your TBR as well?

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The Books

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face?

Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.

The Fandom by Anna Day

They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands …

A fast-paced, genre-flipping YA fantasy adventure from a brand new author, writing in homage to the best YA fiction.

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

Hiddensee recreates the backstory of the Nutcracker, reimaging how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how it magically guided an ailing little girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a snowy Christmas Eve. It also brings to life the mysterious godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toymaker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism a migrating strain of a Hellenic mystery-cult, and ponders a profound question: how a person who is abused by life, short-changed and challenged, can access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless. Ultimately, Hiddensee, offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized on the eve of a winter holiday, has something precious to share.

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata (Illustrator), Pookie Rolf (Translator)

Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami, a death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?

Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note’s powers as L and the police begin to close in. Luckily, Light’s father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father’s files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn’t know?

By Gaslight by Steven Price

London, 1885. In a city of fog and darkness, the notorious thief Edward Shade exists only as a ghost, a fabled con, a thief of other men’s futures — a man of smoke. William Pinkerton is already famous, the son of a brutal detective, when he descends into the underworld of Victorian London in pursuit of a new lead. His father died without ever tracing Shade; William, still reeling from his loss, is determined to drag the thief out of the shadows. Adam Foole is a gentleman without a past, haunted by a love affair ten years gone. When he receives a letter from his lost beloved, he returns to London in search of her; what he learns of her fate, and its connection to the man known as Shade, will force him to confront a grief he thought long-buried. What follows is a fog-enshrouded hunt through sewers, opium dens, drawing rooms, and seance halls. Above all, it is the story of the most unlikely of bonds: between William Pinkerton, the greatest detective of his age, and Adam Foole, the one man who may hold the key to finding Edward Shade.

The Pillars of Earth by Ken Follett

Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

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

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