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.

DividerBooks I Finished

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.

DividerWhat is the last book you have read?

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | September 16th-22nd

a week in review

This week I surprisingly finished 2 books. I am not sure how I was able to do that with all of the personal things that happened to me this weekend. I did not think I would be able to concentrate on anything or really find time to get on the computer, but it actually really helped me a lot in the few min. here and there that I found I needed to fill up.

Books I Finished

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

I was partially surprised that I liked this novel as much as I did, I also put the second book on hold at my library already. Oops! With all of the hype surrounding this book when it first came out I was a little worried. While, I have always enjoyed Blacks writing, when a book is hyped I always become suspicious. I am happy to say that in my eyes this book deserves the hype. I enjoyed that the character was not “saving the world” like a typical YA politically driven novel. Honestly, I hate when novels are like that now. Might be why I have moved away from reading YA. I also loved the use of myths and other folklore that was used to develop this world. Also, the ending make my head spin, I really came to care for and respect the main character and how human she felt.

A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin

A Fierce Glory: Antietam--The Desperate Battle That Saved Lincoln and Doomed Slavery

This past week I started and finished A Fierce Glory, overall I really liked it. I thought it was a well written and unique way to look at the Battle of Antietam. If you want more information and a full review you can find that here, REVIEW | A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin. I recommend this book to those who want to read more nonfiction because it is not a detailed account of troop movements, it focuses on the people and the big picture.

I am Still Reading

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

I am officially 74% through this novel and I am heart broken! This book has been such an emotional rollercoaster, I just want to take the main character and protect him from everything. Sadly, I can’t and I need to watch him make life decisions, some I agree with and others I did not and the unplanned happen. There are a few times where I cheered for the by chance things that happened while others I wanted to throw the book. John Boyne has written a great novel and if you are looking for something that is beautifully written and heartfelt I am already recommending this book, just get some tissues if books make you cry.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

HangsamanShirley Jackson’s Hangsaman has been such a great read, as I have said the past few weeks. Sadly, I did not get a chance to read more of it this week because I really wanted to. Life got in the way, but I really want to know what happens to the main character because of the description I know something will happen to her, but they don’t tell you what! It is like waiting for the shoe to drop and that really is adding to the story in my opinion.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star

I only just started this book, but so far I am really enjoying the novel. I really like the family so far and I like the formatting of the book. Also, can we just look at that cover? It is beautiful. Also, I wanted to yell already, why do people have to be so harsh and cruel for no reason at all? Nicola Yoon is great at writing novels that make you feel.

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NEXT BOOK

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome

So last week, or a few weeks ago I posted on twitter to ask what Stephen King book I should read and those that voted for the most part picked Under the Dome. I am very excited to get to this novel because I want to watch the adaptation and that fact that I have heard so many great things. I remember when I saw this in the bookstore and I needed to have it. The small little town looking peaceful and strikingly beautiful, while contrasting with the eerie dome over it.

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*A Fierce Glory by Justin Martin was given to myself by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and honest.

What did you read this week?

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TBR

September TBR | 2018

ToBeRead12:17

Hello September! I don’t know about you, but September marks my favorite time of the year. I can start wearing sweatshirts and I have more of an excuse to stay inside and read instead of going outside to be social. It also is the time of year I feel more relaxed and comfortable. Not sure why, but this is just my time of the year and I always get excited about it.

Anyway, this month I am going to focus on reading a few of the biggest books that remain on my TBR. I was going to read these in August, but the NEWTs readathon was announced and that plan went out the window so fast. So without more of my ramblings here are the books I am determined to read in September.

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The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

This books I read the first chapter of a few months ago when I did a try a chapter tag. I LOVED the beginning and wanted to read it, but I didn’t have a ton of time to dedicate to it so I kept putting it off. Here is the post if you want my initial reaction: Let’s Talk | Try a Chapter April 2018.  Also, another bonus is I am reading this with my friend Amy.

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.

In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit. –goodreads.com

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Under the Dome by Stephen King

Under the Dome

This is one of the last over 1000 page Stephen King books I own and need to read. I have been reading my smaller ones the last few months as well as his short story collections because I have been doing a bunch of readathons and such so I am excited to finally read one of his larger novels again. I also want to watch this show badly so I need to hurry up and read this already.

Just down Route 119 in Chester’s Mill, Maine, all hell is about to break loose…

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day, a small town is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and rain down flaming wreckage. A gardener’s hand is severed as the dome descends. Cars explode on impact. Families are separated and panic mounts. No one can fathom what the barrier is, where it came from, and when—or if— it will go away. Now a few intrepid citizens, led by an Iraq vet turned short-order cook, face down a ruthless politician dead set on seizing the reins of power under the dome. but their main adversary is the dome itself. Because time isn’t just running short, it’s running out. –goodreads.com

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

So, this one I am very iffy about. I tried to read this a year or so ago and ended up unhauling it. When I recently went through my owned audiobooks in my post Lists | Un-listened to Audiobooks I realized I had this still in my possession so I should give it another go. I am hoping that I end up liking it as much as I enjoyed the trilogy.

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first. goodreads.com

DividerThe Stand by Stephen King

The Stand

This has been on my radar for a longtime and I finally got a copy of it a month or two ago I think. Maybe even three? I am not 100% sure, but I have been putting this off due to the size so I figured, now was a great time!

First came the days of the plague…
After the days of the plague came the dreams.

Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil.

His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms…

When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks. The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge–Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious “Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence. –goodreads.com

DividerThe Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The Tommyknockers

Like all of the other Stephen King books on this list, I have had them for some time and I really just want to read them and I am sick of putting them off. I think that really sold me I was watching a show about mining and the one man was talking about tommyknockers and how they are known to warn miners about a cave in. I am not saying that this is the same spirit of being, It just sparked me wanting to read to see if there was any connection between the two.

On a beautiful June day, while walking deep in the woods on her property in Haven, Maine, Bobbi Anderson quite literally stumbles over her own destiny and that of the entire town. For the dull gray metal protrusion she discovers in the ground is part of a mysterious and massive metal object, one that may have been buried there for millennia. Bobbi can’t help but become obsessed and try to dig it out…the consequences of which will affect and transmute every citizen of Haven, young and old. It means unleashing extraordinary powers beyond those of mere mortals—and certain death for any and all outsiders. An alien hell has now invaded this small New England town…an aggressive and violent malignancy devoid of any mercy or sanity… –goodreads.com

DividerHangsaman by Shirley Jackson

Hangsaman

So if you are new here, this year I have found a new favorite author, Shirley Jackson. This month I am buddy reading this novel by her with my friends Amy, Jenna, and Reg. I am really looking forward to it, especially since it was inspired by a real event.

Natalie Waite, daughter of a mediocre writer and a neurotic housewife, is increasingly unsure of her place in the world. In the midst of adolescence she senses a creeping darkness in her life, which will spread among nightmarish parties, poisonous college cliques and the manipulations of the intellectual men who surround her, as her identity gradually crumbles.

Inspired by the unsolved disappearance of a female college student near Shirley Jackson’s home, Hangsaman is a story of lurking disquiet and haunting disorientation. –goodreads.com

DividerWhat do you plan on reading this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul | December 2017

Book Haul

Hello everyone! I know the filming in this book haul is a little off, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. These are all the books I received from publishers to review, I bought for myself, or received as presents from my friends and loved ones. Which one do you think I should read first?


I Bought:

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Under the Dome by Stephen King

The Romanovs 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Strange Weather by Joe Hill

I was Gifted:

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

Publishers Sent:

The Last Girl by Nadia Murad

What book did you get this month?

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