Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Misty’s Book Space

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another Someone Picks My Books post! I am really loving and enjoying this series so much and I am happy that you all seem to be enjoying it as well. This month I am reading a book that is picked by the wonderful Misty over at Misty’s Book Space. She is one of the nicest people I have talked to online, she is supportive and kind, and has a great taste in books. This month she picked Between Shades if Gray by Ruta Sepetys.


Book Description

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive? – Amazon.com


So, going into this book I was pretty certain I was going to like it for a few reasons. The first being, as I said earlier, Misty has a wonderful taste in books. So, I felt like I was in very good hands. The second being I love history and historical fiction. The third reason being I have heard a lot about Ruta Sepetys, all good things. I have always heard that she is a very talented writer and her work is well researched and quality. Quality when it comes to historical fiction is important to me since I studied it so when something is off it tends to ruin the entire book for me.

I just finished this book the day I am writing this and I wrote a quick review over on my Goodreads account, but I just wanted to elaborate on a few things in this post. First and foremost is that the author really lives up to the expectations that were set. You can clearly tell she has done her research due to the details that are present within her novel. I have read about this topic countless times and for her to add so much of the real world into this book, just made it is much more powerful and in my opinion a superior historical fiction novel. Her writing of this topic was wonderful and you can tell she was passionate and cares about the topic. I do not want to come out and say this is a beautiful book because the topic is just so heart breaking, but it is written so well.

As stated in the description this story follows a 15 year old girl named Lina who has fallen victim to the horrid campaign of Stalin during WW2 towards his own nation. This book depicts the horrible events that many faced who were educators, librarians, and anyone else who happened to have the wrong career. I don’t want to really say much about what happens in this novel and while I highly suggest this novel, it can be a very difficult read. I suggest doing a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you to read.

As I said in my goodreads review, this book felt like I was listening to a first hand account of the things that happened because of the not well known actions of Stalin against his own people. Lina had such fight and spirit within her, but this book isn’t just about her. This book shows how a wide range of people responded to the events. It shows how they react and respond to not only the horrible treatment of them, but of others. It really shows the wide range personalities and mentality of human beings. This book is hard to explain and do justice because it is so much more than just a story, it is the story of hundreds and thousands of people. While this was a very heart breaking read, I really enjoyed it. I will certainly be reading another book by this author in the future.


Next month I am excited to say that I will be reading a book that was picked by Meeghan from Meeghan Reads. I am very excited to be reading her pick this April. It is a book written by an author I have read in the past and really enjoyed, but it is not a genre I have read in a while. So, I am excited to see how it goes, but I have high hopes!

Have you read this book? What is another book I should read by Ruta Sepetys?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | January & February 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to a post that is a mixture of a bookhaul and a challenge update. This time I will be diving a bit into my Read 5, Buy 1 that has been going on so far this year. I will admit, this will not seem like much of a success, but I think it is.


  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Dutch House
  • Widow Weed and Weeping Veils
  • The Morrigan
  • Mythos
    • Quichotte
  • Farmhand 1
  • Farmhand 2
  • The Wicked King
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Bonhoffer
    • The Magicians Trilogy
  • Where the Crawdad’s Sing
  • God Country
  • The Langoliers
  • Ducks, Newburyport
  • The Unhoneymooners
    • Prodigal Son
  • No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference
  • Little Children
  • The Starless Sea
  • Othello
  • Cujo
    • Blood of Elves

-All Books Added-

  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert – PreOrder before challenge started.
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz – Buy 1
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • One Voice, Two Lives: From Auschwitz Prisoner to Airborne Trooper by David Wisnia – Bought before challenge started
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie, Buy 1

  • The Magicians Trilogy – Buy 1
  • Imaginary Friend – Broke Challenge for signed copy

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd – BOTM

The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James – BOTM

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski – Buy 1

How to Read Literature by Terry Eagleton – Gift

They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru – Gift

A Matter of Interpretation by Elizabeth  – Won in a giveaway


So, I would have to say overall I am doing pretty darn good. I only broke by Read 5, Buy 1 only once since my BOTM does not count or at least I am not counting it. I decided early on that I am only going to get one book box now, since I limited it to only one book I decided that my BOTM would be a pass. As for my gifts and won giveaway, I can’t really count that because I did not buy the books. Also, I am aware I am cheating a bit when I count a trilogy as one, but it was a single purchase and I am buddy reading the entire series with Reg and Jenna. I can’t not have the books.

As I said, overall I am feeling pretty well about this challenge, I have not been perfect about it, but I feel like my buying has certainly gone down and I am saving money and my owned and unread books are getting a bit more love and attention. If you want to see a list of all my owned and unread books, you can find that here: Bookish Luna’s Owned TBR Shelf.


Anyway, Out of all of these books, which one do you think I should read first?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | January 2020

Wrap Up

Wow, the first month of the year is a wrap,  2020 is off to a great start reading wise. I managed to read a total of 11 books, which is just an amazing reading month over all. On top of that I think I might have found a contender for one of my favorite books of the year already. I know it is too soon to really tell, but I really truly loved a book I read this month, more details about that below and mini summaries of all the books I read this month along with some fun stats I am keeping this year.


Read 2The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)The Wicked King by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit I am totally that person that puts off reading the second book in a series because I always think it is going to be a filler book. I was convinced that this too was going to be a filler book, but I was wrong.
This was a real whopper of a book, I buddy read this with someone and I have to say our conversation did not dampen on most days. A lot of stuff happens in this book and it really kept me guessing. Holly Black takes her riddles and truth spinning to the max and I am always trying to figure out what the characters are really saying. She is so talented with her words.
As for the actions in this book, let me just say wow. I don’t want to ruin anything, but you can bet I have the third book here ready to read.

View all my reviews


Where the Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“So, am I am writing this I just finished this book and I have to say I absolutely love it. This is actually my first 5 star read of 2020, which is super exciting. I am also going to take this time to apologies about the gush fest this post has now turned into.

First thing I really liked was the choice of time period. While it does have a wide range and is told by jumping back and forth, I think the time period was a great choice for a few reasons. The first being alluding to civil rights and Jim Crow laws. There were a few time in this book that I just teared up or flat out cried at. The second aspect being the hard topic of abuse. I feel like the author did a good job of handling such a hard topic. It didn’t shy away from it, it was a hard honest look at it. I really liked that the author didn’t just comment on one social issue, but a few.” More at Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

View all my reviews


A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“I have to start this off by saying I am really happy to have started this year long challenge with this play in particular, the main reason being I actually enjoyed it. Yes, I am surprised to say that, but so grateful. I really was worried going into this thinking I was going to dislike everyone of his works, but that was not the case. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was actually really enjoyable and has made me more excited about this entire process.” – More at 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

View all my reviews


Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an absolutely remarkable story about a very remarkable person who went and did something that many did not and would not do during WW2. I really enjoyed learning about Bonhoeffer and his life. I have already recommended it to quite a few people in my life because it was such a powerful read and so well done.

View all my reviews


Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2019: 51

Current: 43


Reading Stats

  • Number of Books: 11
  • Number of Pages: 3,195
  • Fiction: 8
  • Nonfiction: 3
  • DNF’ed: 0
  • Ebook: 0
  • Audiobook:  1
  • Paperback: 6
  • Hardcover: 4
  • Library: 2
  • Owned: 9
  • 5 Stars: 1
  • 4 Stars: 7
  • 3 Stars: 3
  • 2 Stars: 0
  • 1 Star: 0

What was your favorite read of the month?

What was the last book you read in January?

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Hauls

Blogmas | Book Haul | November & December 2019

BookHaul12:17

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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TBR

June TBR | 2019

ToBeRead12:17

Hello everyone and happy June, the halfway mark in the year. So weird saying that, but it seems to be true we are officially halfway through 2019. This month is shaping up to be the month of rereads. Half of my tbr is rereading two of my favorite series and the other half are standalone novels from two new to me authors. I think I am going to really enjoy myself this month!


-The Books

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

  • This is one of my rereads, I read this 4 or 5 years ago for the first time and with Tolkien the movie coming out it has really made me want to reread and jump into his world.

The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer

  • This was my Book of the Month pick, I was pulled toward it because it is based off of the life of Varian Fry who tried to save the lives of Jews during WWII.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

  • Do I really need to explain myself with this one? I miss the magic and I want to go back to Hogwarts!

The Women in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

  • This is the June buddy read for Amy, Jenna, Reg and myself. I am very excited to jump into this haunting thriller I happened to come across in the bookstore a week and and half ago.

-TBR Jar Pick-

This month I actually had my boyfriend pick my TBR jar pick and he did not disappoint! He picked The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer, which I already talked about above. I am really excited to jump into this tome and I think it is going to give me some hope in humanity and I feel like it might also be an emotional roller coaster. He picked very well indeed.


What are you reading this month?

Have you read any of these books before or are they on your TBR?

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Tags

BOOKSHELF SCAVENGER HUNT 2.0

TagTimel12:17Hello everyone, today I decided to have a bit of fun and do a tag. This time I am doing one that lets me share a bit about the books on my bookshelf and what I thought about them. I will admit I wanted to reuse a book or two to answer multiple prompts, but I thought it would be fun to challenge myself and share more books on my shelf. Without any more delay, here is the Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt 2.0 Tag.

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Find a book that starts with and “N”

Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge

This was a great short non-fiction novel that I read earlier this year. I found it enjoyable and eye opening.

Find a book cover that’s mostly brown

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger’s by Temple Grandin

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's

If you want a bit of insight into Autism Spectrum Disorder, this is a wonderful book to read. I read it very quickly and found it enlightening.

Find a book that is based on a true story

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles

The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

This is my one of my two FAVORITE non-fiction. It is both informational, but I love how it is written. It id not bogged down by facts, but reads more like a narrative.

Find a multi perspective book

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Replica (Replica, #1)

I have yet to read this, but I can’t wait to try reading this interestingly formatted duel perceptive novel.

Find a book you read last year

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10

I love this thriller, It was one of my top 5 of the books I read last year. It kept me on the edge of my seat and took twists and turns I could not predict.

Find the most recent book that you bought

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi

I very recently picked this up on discount at Barns and Nobel. I mainly picked it up because I heard so many great things and I wanted to see for myself.

Find a book cover you don’t like

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The Nest

Okay, this one might sound wrong, but hear me out. The reason I don’t like this cover is because my copy the cover is ripped. That is why I don’t like the cover.

Find a retelling

All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

All the Ever Afters: The Untold Story of Cinderella’s Stepmother

This is a retelling of sorts of Cinderella’s Stepmother. I have yet to read this, but I cannot wait to get to it.

Find a book that is also a movie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

I have yet to see the movie adaptation, mainly because I don’t want to buy a copy but, I did enjoy the novel! I read it very quickly.

Find a book written this year

Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe

This was a book that came out pretty recently, but I read it and I read it in a single day. I found it interesting and I felt for Circe.

Find a non fiction book

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

The Witches: Salem, 1692

This is one of my top 2 non-fiction reads. Once again this non-fiction account of the Salem witch trials reads more as a narrative than a non-fiction. It is not bogged down by facts and quotes, but flows nicely.

Find a book you have told others to read

50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany by Steven Pressman

50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany

This is a magnificent story of a couple who required as many children from Nazi Germany that they could. Anyone who shows a slight interest in WW2 stories I tell them to read this.

Find a book with a tree on it

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

This is a wonderful series, if you have not read at least this first book I suggest you try it. They are short, but pack your bags for an adventure.

Find a book where the authors name is the same as yours – first, middle or last

I have nothing for this prompt

Find a book you have read more than once

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Do I really need to say anything? I mean it is Harry Potter.

Find a book you didn’t finish

If I DNF a book, I donate it right away. So I have none on my shelf.

Find a book with a king in it

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

While they do not use the term King, You can call a few of the characters kings in this novel/series/

Find a book that is purple with its dust jacket off

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

I had no idea that a purple colored book was so difficult to find. This was the only one that I could find on my shelf. Obviously, I love it.

Find a book you will read by the end of the year

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep

I got this very recently for my birthday, I am VERY excited to get to it! If you have read it, please tell me what you thought of it.

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I Tag:

Jasmine bookishwisps

thebookhamster

Justine bookishwisps

weavinglife

Abigail abigailstalesbooks

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I hope you enjoyed this little look at my bookshelf and maybe even found a book that might interest you. Have a great day!

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TBR

#ReadThemAllThon TBR Pile

 

 

ReadThemAllThon

This read-a-thon runs from August 14th – September 4th, an entire 3 weeks to read some glorious books.

For more info on the Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon go to readingatmidnight’s original post. Here you will find more info on CP and leveling your pokemon.

Chosen Pokemon: Abra 10 CP

A three stage pokemon which means at 150 CP he will turn into Kadabra and at 400 CP will evolve into Alakazam.

 

TBR Pile:

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder

For the Boulder Badge I plan on reading Night from the Night Trilogy by Elie Wiesel. I am going to extend this and read the entire trilogy because of I have this bind up.

352 pages, potential +35CP.
ReadThemAllThon-Badge02-Cascader

For the Cascade Badge I am going to read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes because from what I hear it leaves many readers teary eyed.

400 pages, potential 40 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge03-Thunder

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is one of the most hyped books that is still on my TBR list so I plan on reading this to earn the Thunder Badge. I hope it lives up to the expectations.

416 pages, potential 41 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge04-Rainbow

To gain the Rainbow Badge I plan on reading Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I have heard a lot of good things about it and I can’t wait to get to it.

320 pages, potential 32 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul

For the Soul Badge I plan on reading Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, I mean it had a huge engagement ring and is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice how can it not be an epic romance?

512 pages, potential 51 CPReadThemAllThon-Badge06-Marsh

For the Marsh Badge I plan on reading The Shining by Stephen King one of the most supernatural ghost stories I have on my TBR. When I was younger this was actually my favorite movie, it still is high on my list, but I never read the book. So I think it is finally time.

464 pages, potential of 46 CP

ReadThemAllThon-Badge07-Flame

For the Flame Badge I plan on reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, the sequel to The Shining. How can I not read both?

560 pages, potential of 56 CPReadThemAllThon-Badge08-Earth

For the Earth Badge I plan on reading Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, I know this is an alternate history type book, but I am pretty it is an apocalyptic type setting.

400 pages, potential of 40 CP

Potential Points If I Finish ALL Books (includes completed book bonus) = 501 CP


 

All I know is I am very excited that I will be able to participate in this read-a-thon after all. I mean it combines reading and Pokemon, how can anyone not be excited?

Have you read any of these books? Are you planning on participating? Let me know down below!

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Reviews

Christopher and His King by Christopher Isherwood

4

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Christopher and His Kind is a memoir that follows Christopher Isherwood between the years of 1929-1939. During this time he traveled in numerous countries, mainly Germany and wrote numerous novels. I picked up this novel to fulfill a challenge during a read-a-thon recently and I have also watched the movie adaptation in the past and felt it was finally time for me to pick up the book.

This novel is very interesting for numerous reasons. First, Isherwood is a very accomplished novelist. He has published over forty different works, there may even be more than what I have found. Second, this describes his time in Germany during the rise of Hitler and how it affected his friends and loved ones. Lastly, Isherwood is a homosexual and openly discusses his relationships and sheds light on the local scenes related to this.

Isherwood discusses how he was drawn to Germany because he could be more of himself, find something so un-English, so unlike from where he is from. Even though he is English, he tends to spend most of his time outside of his home country going to other European countries, Africa, Asia, and North America. All of the trips he takes he describes the adventures with his friends, the good and the bad, which I enjoy because it makes this seem so much more sincere and truthful. I also like how the author reflected on his own actions and at times admitted to acting irrationally or improper.

One common thread though most of the book was his relationship with Heinz, whom he met in Germany pre-Hitler. They were in a relationship for a good amount of time and Christopher cared for him dearly and you can see that Heinz felt the same way. Now when Hitler came into power you witness Christopher struggle to keep Heinz away and out of the country so he would be away from the violence and not be forced to fight. I found myself looking forward to their next trip and to what country they could get Heinz a visa for. It was like a tale of two lovers on the run. Now I will admit I am leaving a lot out because if I write anymore of the things I like of dislike it would end up giving away bits and pieces of Christopher’s story.

I will say I enjoyed the book greatly, I would say it is a very solid LGBTQ+ book. I ended up giving the book a rating of 3 out of 5 stars. The reason this is not a 5 star book is because at times the book seemed to drag a lot and tended to be erratic at time. Which I understand s a writing tool to show and reflect his own erratic and worried thought processes he was going through, but it made it difficult to read at times for me personally. If this is not something you find difficult I would say it is worth looking into.

Happy Reading!