Current Reads and WIPs

Current WIPs and Reads | May 2022

Hello and welcome to a midmonth check-in! I just wanted to take a moment to share what I am currently reading and what I am currently working on craft wise as well. This month has already flown by, I have already finished a few books and projects that you will see in my Monthly Digest post for the month, but I am still reading and working away on other projects and books currently.

My Current Reads

Berserk Deluxe Edition Volume 1 by Kentaro Miura, Jason DeAngelis (Translator), I just started reading this so I am not too far into it , but the illustration style is great! It can be graphic though, so be warned! There is a lot going on so you just keep wanting to turn the pages and get sucked in for sure.

Other than this, I am planning on picking up The Baby is Mine by Oyinkan Braithwaite, who wrote My Sister, the Serial Killer, which I LOVED! So I am really looking forward to reading this because her thriller style is unique. Even if you know what you are picking up, she still manages to surprise you. For me, this is a HUGE plus. Even thrillers that don’t give away huge plot points I feel like I can easily predict since I read so many of them. Braithwaite on the other hand can tell you a ton about what is going to happen, but still takes me on a ride!

My Current WIPs

Body Language Cardigan by Knits N Knots, I am finally working on anther crochet project! I have not done crochet for a while, but I have missed it. I decided on this pattern because it looks nice and cozy, but also lets me practice some seaming since it is made in pieces. I am hoping to finish it before it gets too hot and I wont want to touch it and it will be ready for next fall. I am currently working on the back panel and the largest for this sweater. I feel like once I finish this panel the rest will fly!

Crochet project, showing the start of the back panel

My on the go project has been my Rainbow Vanilla Socks, no pattern followed for this. I am just knitting based off memory of knitting other socks. I am at the heel on both of the socks currently, I like to work both socks and keep them at the same sections so I finish them close together instead of getting with burn out when I have one totally complete sock an one not even started.

Rainbow knitted socks, in progress.

What are you currently reading or working on?

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Hauls & Unboxings

February Book Haul

Hello and welcome to the first book haul of 2022. Each year I have a list of books I really want to take the time to read throughout the year, most of which are from the International Booker Prize shortlist. Since my reading was so reduced in December I held off on picking any of them up. But, with my reading taking off in January with 9 books, I thought it was a good time to add these books to my tbr pile since I am activity reading a ton.

Stack of hauled physical books.

Physical Books

You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann, I read another book by Kelmann last year called Tyll and I loved how out there it was. Knowing this one of my friends off line picked this book for me to pick this year for my 12 in 12 challenge. This short story is a horror novel that follows a family that spends 7 days in a rented house. From the description I am getting Jack vibes from The Shining by Stephen King for the main character. Which, for me works because I love The Shining. I am curious how this short story is going to turn out because his other works were wild and out there, but also mesmerizing and I couldn’t put it down.

The Employees by Olga Ravn, this is a science fiction novel. This too was on the shortlist for the International Booker Prize, but I am intrigued due to the fact that in the description it mentions it follows those who were born and other who were created. That really piqued my interest.

Breast and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, I have read about 2 other works by this author and this one has been on my list for a bit. I finally decided to pick up a physical copy. This book takes a look at being a modern day woman in Japan. The story itself is fiction, but it touches on the experience of the author and others. At least that is my current understanding.

When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins, this one I added to my TBR because it was picked by Little Miss Booklover 87 for my 12 in 12 challenge I placed on twitter where I asked people to pick a book for me to read this year. All I know about this book at this point is that it is a thriller that takes place many years after a double murder. Where someone finally decides to break their silence. I have not read a ton of thrillers over the past few months so I though this would be a good time to read it.

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut, this is a nonfiction novel, but seems to have some fiction as well, that takes a look at science, discovery and those who make these breakthroughs. It appears that this book touches on Albert Einstein, Alexander Grothendieck, Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg.

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez, this is a collection of short horror stories that was also placed on the International Booker Prize shortlist. I love horror and it is refreshing to have some short stories on my shelf to grab when I don’t feel like reading an entire novel.

The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, is a horror novel that was placed in the shortlist for the International Booker Prize. It deals with inequality and takes place during 16th century in Europe. With the combination of horror and history I feel like this book will be a win for me personally.

Digital Books

Immune by Philipp Dettmer, I picked this up because I heard it mentioned on a twitch stream with Bob, Wade and Mark. I thought it would be a really interesting read and I do love myself a good nonfiction here and there.

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Reviews

Book Review | Trading Secrets by Rachael Eckles

*Book given by BOOK PUBLICITY SERVICES in exchange for an honest review*

Trading Secrets

Description:

William Anson is done with relationships, thanks. He’s starting the second year of his medicine degree single, focused, and ready to mingle with purely platonic intentions.

Celeste Donovan, a high-powered finance executive, seems to have it all–the penthouse apartment, the supermodel physique with a mathematician mind, and a trail of beautiful men she has loved and left behind.

But when her boyfriend Theodore is killed in a mysterious accident, she discovers Omar, her abusive ex she had hoped would never resurface, is behind his death.

Now she’s caught in a game of cat and mouse, trying to anticipate Omar’s next move, as she realizes he will stop at nothing to get to her. She sets out alone on a whirlwind journey to entrap him, determined to put an end to Omar’s destruction.

Soon Celeste is thrust in the middle of the largest financial scandal in decades. This time, however, powerful government officials are in bed with some of the world’s most dangerous men.

When she discovers that those she thought she knew best are involved in a secret society warring with Omar and his coconspirators, she must decide how far she will go to avenge Theodore’s death and whether she is willing to risk her own life to save everyone she loves.


What I Liked

One of the most prominent aspect of this novel was how fast paced it was. There was one thing after another and this can be a good thing for a novel because it keeps you as a reader engaged. There was no lull feeling in the middle of the book that many novels seem to suffer from. While this novel had a lot going on it wasn’t all just fluff and filler. It was all meaningful to the plot and moved the story along.

Another thing I took note of was the fact the author was not afraid to talk about graphic things, so just to give fair warning about some of those difficult topics, this book includes rape and abuse. A topic that is very much a tough topic that has unfortunately touched the lives of too many. The author left in these details to really get you to understand the feelings of the main character and understand their motives for their actions. I feel like without that Celeste might have come across as a very different character.


What I Didn’t Like

While I really liked the fast paced aspect of this book, I did feel that it was a tad bit over the top from time to time. It felt very unrealistic. For me this took me out of the story from time to time, but not for long. To be honest this might not be an issue for others. I think this dislike it a personal taste issue more than an issue with the book itself.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I thought this roller-coaster of a book was enjoyable. I read it quickly, never hit a lull in the story telling, and I found myself engaged in the plot and characters more than I thought I would. I feel like if this book is something that you are intrigued by after reading the description and the difficult and graphic content is not something that will bother you, I suggest giving this book a chance.


Author Links

Rachael Eckles

Book Information

Publication Date: May 2, 2020

Publisher: APHRODITE BOOKS LLC

List Price: $17.00

ISBN: 978-1734901818

Pages: 318 pages


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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | April 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a haul from the month of April. I went on my first day trip this past month after getting fully vaccinated. It was my first time doing so in over a year and it felt so great! On this trip I went to a really awesome bookstore that was new to me and found some gems to bring home with me and picked up a few books from my local bookstore and sent one by a friend. Anyway, here are the books!


The Books

Record of A Night Too Brief by Hiromi Kawakami and Ms. Ice Sandwich by Mieko Kawakami I picked up on a day trip to a Japanese market. They have a really awesome bookstore there and I always find gems like this I would not have found otherwise. Record of A Night Too Brief caught my attention because it seemed to have so much packed into such a small package. Ms. Ice Sandwich caught my attention because of its talk of starting something new and possible love.

The Orphan of Cemetery Hill by Hester Fox, was a gift from the amazing Adrianna. I am really excited to get to this historical fiction novel with a possible paranormal twist to it.

Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, I also picked up from the Japanese market. But, I have read this authors work quite a bit. He is a known horror manga writer. This book tells tales of his own life experiences as a dog person then owning two cats. It is quite funny and it was fun to read.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, this book has been on my radar for quite sometimes and I finally picked it up. I am really excited to get to it this month as well.

Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella, I will be honest the cover of this book really pulled me in. The cover alone has such a great atmosphere for a thriller and sets the tone so clearly. Then, when I read the description I added it to my pile before checking out from the store. This books talks about a girl going to Harvard to try and figure out what led her brother to suicide. There also seems to be ghosts possibly present in this story as well.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1 Update

Hello and welcome to my first checkin for one of my largest reading challenges of the year where I read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Prize. If you would like a breakdown of my challenge you can do so by reading my post, Reading Challenge | 2021 Reading Goals. Even though it is already February, I have already read 2 of the 6 books on this list so I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on these books before too much times has passed and the details begin to get fuzzy. Anway, on to the reviews!


The Books

The Memory PoliceThe Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels and have not been for a long time. I read this novel mainly because it was part of my challenge to read the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Award. I have to say I am thrilled it was on this list because I loved it. It was a dystopian novel, but was more. It had elements of science fiction and fantasy as well. The writing was grand and I give huge credit to the translator because it seems a lot of the magic of this novel remained in the tale.

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Hurricane SeasonHurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting read. The murder of the witch is told through the POV of multiple people. With each perspective you learn more about the past and the murder itself. I liked how it also was a social commentary with a mixture of a thriller.

View all my reviews


Overall, I am feeling very good about the books on this list so far. I enjoyed both of these books and even enjoyed loving one of them. Starting off the list by finding a 5 star read is just phenomenal. Last year, I didn’t have the best start to this challenge so this is a great contrast. I have very high hopes for the rest of these books and I am loving that my enjoying percentage is 100%!

Liked: 2

Hated: 0



Have you read either of these books? Would you add either of these to your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | March 2021

Hello and welcome to my middle of the month reading check in! This month my reading is kind of slumpy. I think because I have so much going on this month I am just so exhausted when I do have some down time. But, I have managed to make some progress in quite a few books. Anyway, here is what I read and what I am in the middle of.


This Little Dark PlaceThis Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A long winded dark tale told through letters that jumps around in time. I did a full review on this book as a separate post earlier this month. I was not a huge fan overall, but it had some good aspects to it.

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Royal Assassin: The Illustrated Edition by Robin Hobb, I am currently at 22% through this book and I am still enjoying this series very much. I might even pick up the second book in the series right after I finish this one. It is a very interesting world and I really like the characters as well. I am truly invested in this trilogy!

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, this is the 7th book in the Outlander series and what a tome it is! I am currently 13% into it this one and I invested it this one as well. I keep switching between the two of my current reads. Since this is the 7th book, I don’t want to talk about what is happening, but this series really is a blast because it touches on so much history.


What have you read so far this month or what are you currently reading?

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Hauls & Unboxings

Book Haul | February 2021

Hello and welcome to a bit of a book haul for February. This month was really great for my book buying and I am thrilled about that. I love when I read more books than add to my TBR. But, because I picked up so few books, I am really, really happy about the ones I did decide to add to my shelves. Anyway, here are the books I decided to add!


The Last Negros at Harvard by Jeanna Ellsworth and Kent Garrett, I picked this up at my local bookstore, but I had heard about it on twitter and thought it was a very interesting story. I really want to know the experiences of these very brave and intelligent men who attended Harvard during a time described as “between integration and affirmative action” in the description.

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, this was my BOTM pick for February. It follow a very young family who have traveled from to the US from Bogotá and stay longer than their visa allows because they want what is best for their family. It follows them as they move from place to place and the stress and hardships that follow.

What Would Frida Do? by Arianna Davis, I am going to be honest here, I don’t know too much about Frida and I saw this on BOTM so I decided to add it to my box this month. This is a nonfiction book about the artist and I have heard that you can really read the passion the author has for this prominent figure. It seems to not just talk about her art, but her life as a whole.

Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom, I have had this book on my to buy list for a very long time and I finally came across it in the bookstore so I picked it up. This is a grim book, but I find it to be a very interesting topic. This book dives into the history of books bound in human skin. The author, who is a librarian, goes through the myths and legends and uses science to see if the books that are claimed to have been bound in human skin, really are.

This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, I picked up this thriller for a series on my blog called, Someone Picks My Books. I don’t want to say too much, but I did post the review for this book already so you can find that here, Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch.


What book have you recently added to your shelves from the library or the store?

What book have you recently read?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Nicky from @cre8ive_nicky | This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks my Book! This month my book was picked by the lovely Nicky who you can find on twitter as @cre8ive_nicky. As you can see from the title, she picked This Little Dark Place by A.S. Hatch, this is a thriller which I have not read as much as I once did so I was both nervous and looking forward to reading their pick. Now, here. we are I read this picks and here are my thoughts

One Sentence Review

A long winded dark tale told through letters that jumps around in time.

Description

How well do you know your girlfriend?

How well do you know your lover?

How well do you know yourself?

Daniel and Victoria are together. They’re trying for a baby. Ruby is in prison, convicted of assault on an abusive partner.

But when Daniel joins a pen pal program for prisoners, he and Ruby make contact. At first the messages are polite, neutral – but soon they find themselves revealing more and more about themselves. Their deepest fears, their darkest desires.

And then, one day, Ruby comes to find Daniel. And now he must decide who to choose – and who to trust. – goodreads.com

What I Liked

This was a very interestingly set up thriller, one of the main things I liked was that it utilized written letters throughout. This is one of my favorite things found in a novel so I was glad to see it here. It is nice to see an author play with this.

Other than the utilization of letters, there was not a ton I enjoyed about this book. That is not to say it is bad, just nothing specifically stood out or made an impression on me to the point I feel the need to point it out. The writing was okay, the plot was a bit jarring, but interesting. I thought the author had a very interesting imagination.

What I Didn’t Like

This was kind of a confusing read, it jumped around in time quite a bit. On top of that, the chapters were quite annoying, they were VERY long and I need natural breaking points in my books otherwise I get worn down while reading. I hate just stopping in the middle of a chapter so this was a bit frustrating.

Overall

I am really not sure about this thriller. I didn’t hate it, but it was not my favorite either. I thought it did some fun things with writing letters and it was dark and kept me on my toes. Sadly, the actual formatting of the book really took away from it for me personally. Like I said I was confused a lot because it jumped in time abruptly and the long chapters made it drag for me. I feel like if this sounds like an interesting read and long chapters and jumping around in time a lot doesn’t bother you, I feel like this would be a win for you.


Next month I am reading a book picked by Annelies, who you can find on twitter as @AnneliesExpl or on their blog called Annelies Explores. I am really looking forward to reading the book they picked for me, it just sounds grand!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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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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Wrap Up

Middle Mark | February 2021

Hello and welcome to my mid-month reading check in! I am off to a wonderful start this month because I took part in the 24 in 48 Readathon that book place over the weekend of the 6th. I have really enjoyed a majority of what I have read, so I am excited to share a few of them with you. Without more of a delay, here are the books that I read!


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking GlassAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found I enjoyed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland much more than Through the Looking Glass. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland seemed more like a fantastical tale and adventures. The second, while still seemed like an adventure, it didn’t have the same feel or appeal.

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Sister OutsiderSister Outsider by Audre Lorde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This author really has a way with words. Their writing was beautiful and I really enjoyed this collection of essays. Her voice was unique, which I really enjoyed. I would really like to read more of her poetry because I feel like I would really enjoy it. The content of these essays revolve around many topics such as friendship, race, and sexuality.

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White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of ColorWhite Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color by Ruby Hamad
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a very interesting book, it examines our history and todays society in quite a few countries. It really examines the faults of feminism as a movement and as well as how white women use tears to hide and “protect” themselves instead of having meaningful conversations and a have a refusal to be uncomfortable. This not only is in response to just one minority, but a look at white women’s response and their role in racism when dealing with POC.

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Hurricane SeasonHurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting read. The murder of the witch is told through the POV of multiple people. With each perspective you learn more about the past and the murder itself. I liked how it also was a social commentary with a mixture of a thriller.

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World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other AstonishmentsWorld of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought this was a very unique way to organize a memoir. Throughout the book the author takes a plant or animal and relates it to a personal part in their life, both childhood and more current. While also doing that you learned about the animals or plants. I will say, if you know a lot about animals it starts to drag a bit and I would have loved to hear more about the authors life.

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Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout HistoryLady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I felt that this was a really well done book. It talked about quite a few women from different countries and time periods. They even mentioned some more that lacked accounts that they really wished there was more on so they could add them to this collection. Not only did this book talk about these serial killers, it also talked about how society viewed them with bias. They were not seen the same way as their male counter parts. Some were even allowed to go free because they were pretty or using their role as a mother to gain sympathy. It was also well organized and it read more like a narrative than a lecture.

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Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I am currently 46% though this reread and I am really enjoying it. For me this was one of my favorite books a year or two ago and honestly, it is still one of my all time favorite reads. The dynamics in this book are just great and I can’t wait to continue

Our Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent, I am current 30% through this thriller. I am reading it with Reg and Jenna, we have all read books by Liz Nugent together in the past and have loved her stuff. This one so far is living up the hype for me. I will say, it does not led itself to an audiobook though. I think if you do listen to the audiobook have the physical book in front of you because it jumps around in time and it can be a bit confusing.



What have you read so far this month or what are you currently reading?

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