Hauls

Blogmas | Book Haul | November & December 2019

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Hello and welcome to my my book haul for both November and December. I fell a bit behind with my haul last month so I decided to just put everything together. I don’t want to ramble too much, so here are the books I picked up in one way or another!


I received A Christmas Carol through Coffee and a Classic Box, which I have been subscribed too for months at this point. The Queen of Nothing I picked up at Barns and Nobel it is a signed edition because I could not resist.  Bonhoeffer is actually my mothers and I wanted to read it for a while so I am borrowing it from her because she is very supportive in my reading habit. Last, but not least is Gwendy’s Magic Feather which was a pre-order and a sequel to Gwendy’s Magic Box.

Great Goddesses is my latest purchase, I feel like Nikita Gill is one of the few poets I auto buy their works. I decided to pick up two of Shakespeare’s plays for a project I am working on for next year, I decided on Midsummers Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night. You should hear about that project very soon if you have not already. The Light Between Oceans is actually from my library, but I borrowed it this month for my book from Australia read, Bury What You Cannot Take is also for for that challenge, but takes place in China. Last in this pile is The Glittering Hour, this was my BOTM pick for December, if you want to see why I picked this one you can see my post here:BOTM Unboxing | December 2019.

My Best Friends’s Exorcism I picked up from a library sale, I know a lot of people were reading it during Halloween this year so I wanted to give it a go. I finally caved and picked up Alexander Hamilton that inspired the play. I also have my BOTM from November, if you want to know my reasonings you can see that here: BOTM Unboxing | November 2019.

Lastly I have The Morrigan, which is tales of a Celtic Goddess, I have always loved lure and myths so I wanted to explore more. I also picked up a book called Muse with the Moon, which is almost like a reflection activity book that has specific prompts during a particular phase of the moon. You all will be seeing that a lot, I am thinking about starting a series with what I put in that book each month until it is full.


What was your most recently acquired book?

Do any of these books sit on your shelf or have you read them already?

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Reviews

Review | The Way Back to Florence by Glenn Haybittle

Book Review

The Way Back to Florence by Glenn Haybittle

*I received this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

18302455If someone asked me to describe this book I would say it is poetic, passionate, and fast paced. It went by way to quickly for my liking, I wanted it to never end. In this historical fiction novel you follow the lives of  Freddie, Isabella, and Oskar against the backdrop of  in Italy during World War II. What I enjoyed the most is that their personalities are distinct, they do not feel generic at all. Isabella is a strong individual, she puts herself in so much danger to help others as well as project art. I went to art school for a few years and for me personally art is culture. It is a way to show how a group or individual feels, but also shows what they see around them. Art is very important. Freddie is a pilot during the war. His does gruesome work and is faced with danger often. During this time he bonds very well with his crew mates and you experience his point of view of the bombing, which I found interesting to read. Oskar, whose story is not really described in the description so I wont say much, but he is also a very distinct character who has a very important non-passive role in this book. I felt that this novel described a lot of the various roles citizens could have taken during the war.

I could easily go on about this, I honestly REALLY enjoyed this. It has all of the elements of a historical fiction that I look for. It takes place during an active time in history, the characters are involved in the events in different ways, and I genuinely connected with these characters. For me a bonus of this book was that it took place outside of Germany, France, and Britain. For me personally I had not read a WWII historical fiction that took place in Italy so it caught my eye even more than a historical fiction normally would. Over all I would say if you enjoy historical fiction, art, WWII related books, and you enjoy reading about characters that feel like real people you need to pick this up. I give this book an easy 5 stars!

Description

In 1937 Freddie (English), Isabella (Italian) and Oskar (a German Jew) become friends at an art school in Florence where they are taught by the dictatorial but magus-like Maestro and his sinister fascist assistant Fosco. When war arrives Freddie returns to England to become the pilot of a Lancaster bomber. Oskar, now a dancer, has moved to Paris where he escapes the 1942 roundup of Jews and arrives in Italy with his young daughter Esme. Isabella remains in Florence where she continues to paint. Until she is called upon by Maestro to forge an old master painting, apparently at the behest of the Führer himself, and as a result is seen as a Nazi collaborator by her neighbours.
The murderous skies over Germany and a war-torn Italy in the grip of Nazi occupation provide the setting for this novel about the love of a separated husband and his wife and the love of a man for his young daughter. Freddie and Oskar both hope to find their way back to Florence. But Florence’s heritage of preserving the identity and continuity of the past has never before been so under threat.


Book Information

Publisher: Cheyne Walk

Publication Date: (This edition) July 06, 2017

List Price: $13.99

ISBN: 9780993286308

Pages: 490 pages


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Hauls

Birthday Book Haul!

Book Haul

Some of you may have know, but my birthday was a few days ago and I was lucky enough to get a few books for my birthday this year. Normally my family and friends just pick out gift cards from Barns and Noble or Amazon so I can pick some stuff for myself, which is great. But, it is very nice when someone picks a book or books out just for you. Here are the books friends and family got me this year.

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The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf

The first book my Mom picked up for me is The Invention of Nature because she knows I enjoy science, nature, and non-fiction. Even though in my picture you can only see the spine, click the title to look at the actual cover. It is absolutely beautiful. Not only does it have a beautiful cover, I read the description (below) and it sounds really interesting. I cannot wait to eventually pick it up and read it.

Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. In North America, his name still graces four counties, thirteen towns, a river, parks, bays, lakes, and mountains. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, whether he was climbing the highest volcanoes in the world or racing through anthrax-infected Siberia or translating his research into bestselling publications that changed science and thinking. Among Humboldt’s most revolutionary ideas was a radical vision of nature, that it is a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone.

– via goodreads


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

This is the second of three books my Mom picked up for me. I have been really into suspense/thriller reads as of late. Once again I read the description and was very happy with this pick. There is a great mixture of mystery and history. I am very excited to see what unfolds in this book.

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace.

– via goodreads


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This is the last book my Mom picked out for me. I read The Goldfinch and generally liked it overall, but found faults with it. You can read a little bit more of my review in my post  #TBRTakeDown: Wrap Up. Anyway, my mom picked this up because I have mentioned I have wanted to try another book by her. This one is much shorter so I am more confident this book will not have the same large flaws, fingers crossed!

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.

– via goodreads


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

One of my best friends picked this up for me because I LOVED The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I was so happy when I finally got it open. My friend loves to wrap presents in a way that makes it very difficult to open so she can watch people struggle. She put it in a box, surrounded it by two bags, and then wrapped it completely in duct tape. I was not allowed to use scissors. Anyway, I was so excited to get it open AND it to be this book.

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

– via goodreads


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

My wonderful boyfriend bought me a personalized autograph copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin. I am so grateful and excited! I am so worried to actually read this because I don’t want to ruin it. I may put in a call to the library and carry that one around instead.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court.

– via goodreads


I am so happy with the book I received for my birthday and I wanted to once again thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday. It meant so much to me. Have a great day and happy reading!

What book would you pick to read out of the ones mentioned?

 

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Reviews

REVIEW: A Short History of the Russian Revolution by Geoffrey Swain

Book Review

I wanted to start off by saying that I received an ebook copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for my honest review.


A Short History of the Russian Revolution discusses the Russian Revolution that ended the Tsarist monarchy and ushers in the communist regime in Russia during 1917. Now I will 30897399say that someone can easily write a 1000 page book on this topic so when I requested this I knew that some things would be missing. When I did finally get to reading it I laughed a bit when the author himself said, “much has to be left out” because this is such a complex period of history.
I will say that Geoffrey Swain did a good job summing up such a complex event(s). For someone who does not know a lot about the Russian Revolution they will benefit a lot from reading this. Swain knows his topic well, he discusses a wide range of related events and organizations which I find important. A historical event did not happen in a vacuum, society prior to the event let to the Russian Revolution and it impacted a lot of events, policies, and individuals following it as well. I will say that this book is very academic, since this is a short history it is jammed packed with facts. So if you are looking for a non-fiction account that reads like a novel this is not for you. This is more of something you would read if you are interested in learning about the event or need a good resources for research. I wish I had read something like this years ago when I took a class dealing with this topic. On another note I really enjoyed was the short timeline in the beginning of the book. It really showed a quick summary before getting into details.

Overall, I think that this is a good book. I ended up giving it a 3.5/5 stars. This is a great book for those who are studying the Russian Revolution, have a serious interest, an introduction to the topic, and a good resource for research, but it is not something I feel many individuals will pick up a read “for the fun of it”. But, to restate what I have said, this really is a well written “short” history of the Russian Revolution.


Book Information

Publisher: I. B. Tauris & Company

Publication Date: March 30th 2017

List Price: Varies – $10.60 on Kindle $29.00 on Nook

ISBN: 9781780767925

Pages: 256 pages


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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30897399-a-short-history-of-the-russian-revolution

 

TBR

MAY TBR: 2017

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This month I am giving myself a small TBR for two reasons. The first reason is that this month is my birthday month and I am seeing friends I have not seen in quite some time over the next few weeks ends. If you have read my post: My Reading Routine you will know I read mostly during the weekends. The second reason is work is generally a bit overwhelming this time of year so I take quite a bit home with me. Regardless, I plan on reading some good books!

 

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The first book on my TBR is 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Stephen King books are my happy place I have realized. Lately, I have been DNFing a lot of books. I’m not sure if my reading tastes have changed or I have just become horrible at picking books. Regardless of the reason I have decided to pick up a book by an author who has never let me down. This book is a mixture of history and time travel, how can that not be good?

 

 

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The Next book on my list is Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik. This non-fiction books discusses the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I want to read this for two reasons, one I love learning about other peoples lives and experiences. The second reason is because it discusses the civil rights and U.S. government policies since she has been a Justice. Flipping through the book it has copies of documents, photos, cartoons, and other graphics that seem intriguing.

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The last book I plan on reading this month is SPQR by Mary Beard. This is a non-fiction book that discusses the history of Ancient Rome. Even though I have studied history, I have realized that this is an area I am not that well versed in. So I plan on fixing that. Now, this one is one is a large one. So even if I only get half way through it this month I will be proud of myself.

 

 

 


So, those are the three books I plan on reading this month, chances are there will be a few more sprinkled in between. Especially with all the non-fiction, but we shall see what happens. Just so you know all titles are links to each books goodreads page incase you want to know more about these books.

Happy Reading!


What books are you reading this month? Have you read any of the books I have mentioned?

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TBR

April TBR: 2017

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Aprils TBR is going to be a short one, mainly because it is going to be a very busy month and I do not want to overwhelm myself. But, the four books I have picked I am very much looking forward to. In fact, I am going to pick up The Radium Girls as soon as I finish writing this post!

Both The Radium Girl by Kate Moore and A Short History of the Russian Revolution by Groffrey Swain are books I received from Netgalley to review. Both are historical, nonfiction. The Radium Girls follows the stories of various women who painted clock faces with the element radium to make them illuminate before the heath risks were truly know. It explores their stories and the effect their work had on them as the years passed. I have started reading this one already and it is historical, but also personable. It does not take away the humanity of these women with endless facts and figures.

A Short History of the Russian Revolution is something I studied while at school and I continue to be interested in.  So, when I saw this on Netgalley I submitted a request right away and was thrilled to get approved.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle I have gotten myself. Both are books I have very much wanted to get to. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses when it first came out and enjoyed it, but sadly I have not gotten to the second book in the series, I plan to correct that before the next book comes out. Fingers crossed I succeed!

On a more classic note I recently have been on a Sherlock Holmes binge and I am reading all of the stories and short stories in publication order and The Sign of Four is next in line. I have to say I was expecting the writing to be dull and difficult, but it read very modern. I have been devouring the stories.


What are you reading this month?

 

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up: January 2017

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5 star reads:

This book has a mixture of beautiful pictures and words that will leave you thinking about the world you live in.


4 star reads:

Volume two left me on the edge waiting for Vol 3, don’t want to share much because it is the 2nd volume, but there is a lot going on. All I have to say is if you like action and fun pick it up.

This book was just the right mixture of creepy and interesting. I read this book in a single day. If you like books that are creepy, eerie, or are a commentary on the human soul pick up this book!

This collection of poetry was enjoyable and I nearly loved every single one.

This was a fun sequel to The Rosie Project, I will say at times it seemed like the characters weren’t acting like themselves. Don’t let that stop you from picking up this short series, I throughly enjoyed it. I was connected to the characters throughout both books and was always cheering for them to get a happy ending because there were quite a few hiccups.

The Grownup is fun and fast paced, it really made me think. I have to say the ending to this book messed with my mind a bit. I highly recommend this thriller since it is short,”fun”, and under 100 pages.


3 star reads:

I picked this up mainly to learn more about Stephen King, it was a mixture of his life and writing advice. I personally did not pick it up for the writing advice, while it is very good, it broke up the story of his life for me.

This was a mixture of short letters in the last few days of WWII. Some of the letters were very enjoyable while others didn’t really tell me much about life at the end of the war. Some just happened to be written then, but did not discuss it.


2 star reads:

I have learned something about myself this month, I do not enjoy love poems. If you love…love poems it would be a nice little collection to add to your TBR. Side note, without the dust jacket it is gorgeous!


1 star reads:

The story was disjoined and just ridiculous. I did not enjoy at all.


 

Well, those are the books I read in January. I have to say I am proud of what I read especially since this month was very busy for me. I hope you all had a great reading month as well.


What did you  read this month and which was your favorite?

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