Lists & Recommendations

Lists | Top 9 Books I Want to Read in 2019

Lists

So every year there are always a few books I am really excited to read. I make it a semi-goal to read them by the end of the year because I have a very good feeling I am going to like them all very much. While a lot of people have been posting the 19 books I want to read, I am going to keep mine at 9 because I don’t want to just throw some books in that I am not nearly positive I will love. So, where are the books I really want to read in 2019!

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The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The Priory of the Orange TreeThis is a book I am very much interested in. I have read a few of Shannon’s books in the past and I really enjoy her creativity and her writing. When I found out she was writing a standalone I was very much excited. Between the teasers and cryptic tweets from her as well as the mention of forbidden magic, I was pulled in and I preordered the book.

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington by Patricia Miller

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington

So, this is a little sneak peak or a throw back to my Christmas Haul. I am unsure of when I am actually going to post this so it could go either way. Anyway, I received this from someone at work and I have to say they really surprised me by picking a book I love the sound of. This is a nonfiction account of one of the first women to sue someone of power during the gilded age in the USA. I am curious to see how this topic is handled and if it becomes biased.

The Wicked King by Holly Black

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2)

This is another book I have preordered and I am excited to get it in the new year. I have always liked Holly Black and I read the first book in this series a few months ago. I ended up liking it more than I thought I would and decided I was going to jump into this continuation. I want to know how two characters in particular deal with one another. I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to spoil anything.

Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva by Rosemary Sullivan

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

This is a novel I picked up in my local independent bookstore. I just happened to be roaming and I came across it. This book has a bit of buzz around it and I read the description and I am very much interesting in learning more about the daughter of one of histories more notorious figures. It seems to be pretty straightforward and I am judging on its size is going to be very detailed.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker's Daughter

I picked this up from Book of the Month a few months ago and I really want to get to it. It seems like a mix between a historical fiction and a thriller and I am excited about it. I mean, I love history and I have been really enjoying thrillers, how can I not like this book? On top of that I have been hearing quite a few wonderful things about it.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

So this book has a very interesting dejcitption. There is mentions of scientists, near death experiences, strangers, and talking trees. While that seems all over the place, it kind of is, but when you read the entire description it sounds a lot better. Anyway, I picked this up on a whim mainly because it sounds like it has to do with nature and protecting the last of the forests on Earth. Plus, how can you not be pulled in when all those things are mentioned in the same description?

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

This is a kinda historical fiction, at least I think it is. It talks about women throughout history doing this they feel they need to for one reason or another. While this is not nonfiction I have heard that they author has done a very good job of bringing a lot of the feelings and events that plagued women during various time periods. I am keen on reading this very soon and I have heard great things.

The Bird’s Nest by Shirley Jackson

The Bird's Nest

This is the next Shirley Jackson I really want to read. Last year I have discovered her works and I have enjoyed all and some I absolutely loved! This book seems to follow a girl who is gaining more and more personalities that are more and more extreme. I am unsure if this will be about mental illness or not since the author writes horror and its could be possessions, but I am very curious to find out how Jackson is going to shape this story.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Murder mystery, Freaky Friday, and thriller all mixed into one has me very interested. The description of the book just says there are 8 days and 8 witnesses and the. main character needs to figure out who the killer is by reliving the day over and over again, but from different bodies. I am think this is very clever and interesting way to write a murder mystery/thriller and I am really excited to see how it was executed.

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What book do you want to read this year?

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Hauls

Unboxing | Blind Date with a Book

Unboxing

I think about a year ago I came across a website called Blind Date with a Book and I thought the idea was very interesting and fun. Pretty much the company has a bunch of books listed on their website that you can order for (GBP) £7.99 or (USD) $10.17, the shipping for me was only £3.99 or $5.08. The only catch is you have no idea what you are going to get. You scroll through the website and all the books are wrapped up beautifully with a few key words or phrases marked on the front of the book. I eventually settled on one.

  • All the feels
  • Romance
  • Heartbreak
  • Parents
  • Boyfriends
  • Young Adult

With only knowing that I placed an order and awaited its arrival.

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The Unboxing

So when I opened this up I just started laughing. I have already read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell on November 3rd, 2014 according to goodreads. Kudos to goodreads for keeping track of everything for me! Anyway, I started to laugh because I always try to get my tbr stay lower than 40 books and because I already read this it will not grow. I also started to laugh because I borrowed it from the library when I first read it because I did not have any money at the time to buy it. So not only did I not add to my TBR I was able to add a book I enjoyed in a beautiful edition to my collection.

This blind date with a book is going to be getting a second date in the next few months!

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Have you tried a blind date with a book? I would love to hear what book you ended up getting!

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Hauls

Book Haul |September & October 2018

BookHaul12:17

So I have been a bit slow with sharing what books I have been adding to my TBR and collection. So I thought it was time to do a bit of a haul. When I looked back I realized that I have not done one since about August. So I am combining the months of September and October. Over this time I have added some YA, non-fiction, thrillers, and historical fictions into my life. Without more of a delay, here are the books.

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Novels

In the Hurricane’s Eye by Nathaniel Philbrick

In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown

This was my Book of the Month pick for October, Nonfiction is not a category that is always present in the picks so I as soon as I saw it I picked on it right away and added it to my box. Yorktown has been a famous battle for many years and I hear it mentioned a lot, but I sadly cannot say I know what happened there in any great detail. I do know that it was something that was thought to be impossible and for that amount of coordination to happen during that time period was unheard of, sadly they did not have GPS or cell phones. I am excited to finally learn more detailed about this miraculous battle.

“Here is the story of the remarkable year leading up to the siege of Yorktown. It sets Washington against his traitorous nemesis Benedict Arnold and places him in impossible situations and constant acrimonious negotiation with his French allies, along with his young protégé, the Marquis de Lafayette and his energetic general Nathanael Greene. In a narrative that moves from the ship-crowded waters off Newport, Rhode Island, to a wooded hillside near North Carolina’s Guilford Courthouse, to the Dutch storehouses on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius, Philbrick narrates the pivotal naval battle that brought the end of America’s long, elusive path to independence. It was an improbable triumph made possible by Washington’s brilliant strategy, leadership, and revolutionary use of sea power.” – goodreads.com

The Silence of Girls by Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls

This was my Book of the Month pick for September. I was very interesting in this retelling, historical fiction if you will, of the impact of war on women. Throughout history women have been impacts by the wars and political upheaval. These women were were caught in the middle or right in the center of it. I thought it would be an interesting view point, in addition, I am interested in Greek myths and also history. While this is not a nonfiction read, it does pull from history and I am curious to see how she depicts how women were affected.

“The ancient city of Troy has withstood a decade under siege of the powerful Greek army, which continues to wage bloody war over a stolen woman: Helen. In the Greek camp, another woman watches and waits for the war’s outcome: Briseis. She was queen of one of Troy’s neighboring kingdoms until Achilles, Greece’s greatest warrior, sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Briseis becomes Achilles’s concubine, a prize of battle, and must adjust quickly in order to survive a radically different life, as one of the many conquered women who serve the Greek army.

When Agamemnon, the brutal political leader of the Greek forces, demands Briseis for himself, she finds herself caught between the two most powerful of the Greeks. Achilles refuses to fight in protest, and the Greeks begin to lose ground to their Trojan opponents. Keenly observant and coolly unflinching about the daily horrors of war, Briseis finds herself in an unprecedented position to observe the two men driving the Greek forces in what will become their final confrontation, deciding the fate, not only of Briseis’s people, but also of the ancient world at large.

Briseis is just one among thousands of women living behind the scenes in this war–the slaves and prostitutes, the nurses, the women who lay out the dead–all of them erased by history. With breathtaking historical detail and luminous prose, Pat Barker brings the teeming world of the Greek camp to vivid life. She offers nuanced, complex portraits of characters and stories familiar from mythology, which, seen from Briseis’s perspective, are rife with newfound revelations. Barker’s latest builds on her decades-long study of war and its impact on individual lives–and it is nothing short of magnificent.” –goodreads.com

Into a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

I was so surprised when I was able to find this at the used bookstore by me. This was the last Ruth Ware book that I needed to read to be able to officially say that I have read every one that has been published. She really is one of my favorite authors and she does deliver a thriller. This one was very interesting since she made it feel more like a play than her other works, like we were watching one unfold. I love this.

“Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower I : The Gunslinger by Stephen King

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

The main reason why  I ended up picking up this book was because I found it at a used bookstore and I thought for the price of $3 it was worth a try. I was very skeptical about it, but I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. I really thought it was going to be more like a western, but it really wasn’t. I am really glad I gave it a try and I think in the future I will be getting this series from the library.

“A #1 national bestseller, The Gunslinger introduces readers to one of Stephen King’s most powerful creations, Roland of Gilead: The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which mirrors our own in frightening ways, Roland tracks The Man in Black, encounters an enticing woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York named Jake.” –goodreads.com

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

So, I picked up this book mainly because I wanted to take part in the BN book club that happens quarterly. I really enjoy going to those discussions and hearing all the different view points, that are respectful. I have read about 150 pages of this book and I really was enjoying it. I thought the style was interesting and it was well executed. Sadly, I ended up loosing the book! Since then I have placed a hold at my local library and I hope to have my hands on it soon.

“The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.” –goodreads.com

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

This month I finally decided to pick up A Very Large Expanse of Sea for a few reasons. The first being when I watched the interview of Mafi talking about this book I could feel her passion about its message very clearly in her words. I could also see that she put some of herself in the characters and I loved that as well. The second part being that I really have been wanting to hear a story like this and I am very happy to have it.

“It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.” –goodreads.com

 

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The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born

I will admit, I mainly picked this up to compare it to the novel. I thought it would be something interesting to do on top of reading a graphic novel. As of late I have finished my more “fluffy” less intense reads on my shelf. So I wanted to add a few more to my shelves. I came across this at a discounted rate so I am very pleased.

“‘The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.’ With those words, millions of readers were introduced to Stephen King’s Roland ‘ an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower, powering his way through a dangerous land filled with ancient technology and deadly magic. Now, in a comic book personally overseen by King himself, Roland’s past is revealed! Sumptuously drawn by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove, adapted by long-time Stephen King expert, Robin Furth (author of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Concordance), and scripted by New York Times Bestseller Peter David, this series delves in depth into Roland’s origins ‘ the perfect introduction to this incredibly realized world; while long-time fans will thrill to adventures merely hinted at in the novels. Be there for the very beginning of a modern classic of fantasy literature!” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home

Would you believe me if I said that I also got Vol. 2 on discount as well. I really had a lot of luck with finding discounted books this past two months and I could not be more excited about it. I figured while I have not read Vol. 1 yet, in case I did it was better to get it now.

“The second collection of the best-selling comic-book series, inspired by Stephen King’s epic The Dark Tower! Gunslinger Roland Deschain has seen the death of his lover Susan Delgado. And the Big Coffin Hunters who burned her at the stake are now in pursuit of Roland and his ka-tet Cuthbert and Alain. The friends are forced to flee into the desert with the deadly posse in hot pursuit….and Roland is in a coma! Don’t miss the next chapter in the saga of the Gunslinger whose quest for the Dark Tower will shake the foundation of reality itself!” –goodreads.com

The Dark Tower: Treachery by King, Furth, David, Lee and Isanove

The Dark Tower: Treachery

Surprise! I found Vol. 3 on discount as well, for all three I paid less than the original price. I would call that a win. Once again I am taking a huge shot on this and I am curious to see how they relate to the novel series or if they follow the story line at all. I do know that I am happy to take the chance on these graphic novels.

“The ka-tet of Roland, Alain, and Cuthbert have returned safely to their home in Gilead. But all is not well. Roland has kept the evil Maerlyn’s Grapefruit and has become obsessed with peering into its pinkish depths despite the deadly toll it’s taken on his health. And what the young gunslinger sees brings him the darkest of nightmares. Meanwhile, Roland’s father has led a posse in search of those who threatened his son’s life in Hambry – John Farson and the Big Coffin Hunters. And in this encounter, Stephen Deschain’s life may be forfeit.” –goodreads.com

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Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach

Gazelle in the Shadows

I was approached by the authors publicist to get a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I accepted this book because I was interested in the thriller aspect that is given in the description.  I am happy to tell you that I just finished this book and I will be posting a review in the near future.

“In the mid 90s, Elizabeth Booth is a young British college student studying Arabic at Durham University. With some travel and work already under her belt, she excels at her studies and is sent to Damascus to immerse herself in the language. Taken aback by the generosity and kindness of the people there, she easy slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and even a handsome boyfriend. But things aren’t always what they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are commonplace, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals, and even murder involving MI6, deadly terrorist factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police.” –goodreads.com

Caleb’s Window by John J. Siefring

Caleb's Window

This book I am really excited about sharing with you. I was approached by the author to read and give an honest review his book. I accepted this because the story seemed like a wonderful coming of age story, but also the story of a family taking changes. I am about halfway thought this book currently and as soon as I am finished I will have a review up for all of you.

“Born in the village of Easkey, Ireland just before World War II, Cara Brannan dreams of becoming a nurse and starting a new life in America. Her mother, an Irish suffragette, encourages Cara to set goals and be fiercely independent. She moves to Dublin and begins nurses training at Saint John’s Hospital, forging friendships and encountering obstacles as a young single woman. Then she meets Aiden Whyte. Like-minded, Cara and Aiden join forces, marry, and journey to the States as newlyweds.

Welcoming their son Caleb into the world, Cara embraces motherhood. As a new mother and nurse in New York City, she struggles, facing class conflict, gender and career barriers, as well as loneliness. Cara endures because of her strength of character, compassion, and an irrepressible joy of life.

As Caleb comes of age, it’s his turn to carve out a place for himself during the late 1960s—a time of turbulence, protest, and incredible change. He finds New York to be a challenge but filled with opportunity.

Caleb’s Window will quietly move into your heart and mind, remaining long after you turn the final page.” –goodreads.com

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What was the last book you acquired?

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Wrap Up

Weeks in Review | October 21st – November 3rd

a week in review

So, I must apologies for kind of falling off the planet, but sadly my computer broke and I had no other device to go to to write up my daily posts. I would like to say that I am very proud of myself for sticking with #blogoween for 22 days, that is something I have never done and I am amazed that I was able to stick with it for that long of a time frame.

Since I was not spending so much time on the internet, I did some reading and did a few things I have been putting off for some time. So, a blessing in disguise I would say. So, with all the updating and the explanations out of the way, here are the books I ended up reading in the second half of October and the first few days of November.

Books I Finished

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

So I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would. It was interesting and thankfully it held off on the love interest. I am going to be holding off on reading the next book in the series though. I am letting a few people I trust read it first to tell me if a love interest is going to be part of the main plot or a big part of the story. I truly hope it is not because I really enjoyed the version of our world that was created by the author. It is different from what I have read in the past and it is refreshing.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

I can finally say I have read every single Ruth Ware books published to date. I cannot say that for most authors, but she truly is one of my favorites. I really loved the atmosphere of this book and how twisted it truly was. While I was able to guess the ending in a way, it did not unfold like I thought it would, if that makes sense. Her writing is remarkable and I highly suggest checking her out if you like thrillers or thinking about trying out the genre.

 

A Delusion of Satan by Frances Hill

A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials

I absolute hated this book and I am so upset by it. The writing had so much of the authors opinion in it and it could be very misleading if this is the only book you have read on the Salem Witch Trials. I also did not like how the end note were set up. In the back of the book it lists the chapters then what sources were used. That is not how end notes work. Which sources was used for which topic? This makes it very hard to go back and read the authors sources to compare and do your  own research. There are so many better books on this topic that I recommend. I really wanted to like this book, I had such high hopes. I read a view by Jon, and I have to say I agree with him on a lot of his points and I wish I could have explained myself as clearly.

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

So this one is going to be kinda hard to explain. I lost this book, I have no idea where it went and I have no idea where it could have been left. I searched every room in my house, my car, and a few of my friends houses that I bought it to. I still cannot locate it. I ended up putting it on hold from my library so I could finish it. Due to this I was unable to go to the BN Book Club meeting, which was a bit of a bummer. What I did read of it I was enjoying very much so. The style of story telling was a very good choice in my eyes and I am curious to see where it goes. I hope I don’t have to wait to long to get it from the library.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I have to say I am very surprised by this book. I normally do not like books like this, that follow a fiction movie star around and learn about their lives. To me that was normally boring and had no points, why do I want to learn about a made up celebrity. I barely even read biography about people I do admire, regrettably. Well, this book changed my opinion. The way this book it set up it is really so much more than learning about Evelyn Hugo and I really admire and love that. I am currently sitting at 50% complete and I know I am going to be finishing this book very soon after writing this blog post.

 

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NEXT BOOK

Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World by John Man

Searching for the Amazons: The Real Warrior Women of the Ancient World

Next I am going to picking up this non-fiction account of a man who is trying to find the true source of the famed Amazon women warriors that have been mentioned n some very historical texts. I have been interested in this topic since I was a young girl and it was funnily right after reading a collection of some old Wonder Woman comics. I wanted to find out more about these strong women and for some reason in my mind she was one of them. Anyway, I cannot wait to read this and hear about his findings.

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Books Added

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A Very Large Expanse of Sea

This month I finally decided to pick up A Very Large Expanse of Sea for a few reasons. The first being when I watched the interview of Mafi talking about this book I could feel her passion about its message very clearly in her words. I could also see that she put some of herself in the characters and I loved that as well. The second part being that I really have been wanting to hear a story like this and I am very happy to have it.

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What did you recently read?

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | October 14th -October 20th

a week in review

This ween in October, I started a few books, but I didn’t really finish any and that is alright with me. I have a lot going on and I had a lot of late nights working on projects and such so getting any reading is wonderful.

Books I Finished

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency Contact

I just wanted to update you from last week on this book. I was not enjoy it at all and I really did not like some aspects of this book in its use of slut shaming even if it was not “serious” I just didn’t think it did anything to further the plot and there were better ways a high school age individual could have been immature and worded things. I DNF’ed this and unhauled it.

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

Currently I am about 75% way through this book and I am still enjoying it. I am curious to see what happen to the two main characters and how the story ends. I was thinking about this when I started reading the book, but more so now. I really hope a love interest doesn’t become the main focus of this book or it will honestly most likely ruin it for me. I think that is one of the main reasons why I stoped reading so much YA, if I wanted romance I would read a romance novel.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

So I have about 2 more days to finish this book and I am only about 70 some odd pages in to this. I am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would originally. I am really glad that Hank decided to write an adult book because I feel like if it was YA the story would have been a lot different and I really like how the characters are in their early twenties and have graduated college or university. I always love reading about people in this age group.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

So my library audiobook became available for this book and I was so excited I could not wait to jump in a read it. So I have been listening to it every change I have gotten since. I am really loving the atmosphere of this book and the cast of characters. As I am reading this I feel like I am just waiting for the shoe to drop and find out what actually happened in the dark, dark wood. I can’t wait to finish this, but I will also be sad to see this book end. Ruth Ware is one of my favorite authors and I will have no more unread books of hers.

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NEXT BOOK

I just want to focus on finishing the books I have started at this point in the month honestly. lol.

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What did you read this week?

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | October 7th -October 13th

a week in review

Another week of October is complete, where is the time going? I keep feeling like every time I turn around it is a day later than I thought it was. It is also getting chillier where I am. I think it is officially indoor sweatshirt weather and fall jacket time. This week I went out and bought myself a new one and I am in love with it. I have been wearing it every day. What is the weather like for you currently, has the season finally started to change? Anyway, here is my weekly book wrap-up.

Books I Finished

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I have been hearing about this book since finding out Shirley Jackson was an author. I can see why We Have Always Lived in the Castle is one of her most talked about novels. It is eerie, but not in a traditionally sense. The truth can be a bit surprising and the atmosphere was just wonderful. Even though her novel is so short, she is a master of creating a setting that you can feel. I really enjoyed this novel and I suggest it for anyone who wants to be creeped out, but not by monsters.

4stars

Tropic Of Cancer by Henry Miller

Tropic Of Cancer

So, this was a really weird book. While I did read the entire thing I can’t really tell you what happened if that makes sense. As the story progresses it does get a little more coherent, but it never becomes tame in any shape way or form. I would never have read this book on my own that is for sure, the description is not something I would normally be drawn to. I honestly can’t really suggest this book to anyone though.

2stars

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

So I am buddy reading this book and at first I feel a little behind it. I did not think I was going to like it a lot so I kinda put it off and read 3 other books last week. Well, when I finally picked it up this week I read 200 pages mainly over one day. I loved one of the characters and the shock I felt at the twist left me floored! I need to keep reading this as soon as I can, but I don’t want to read too far head of everyone else.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency Contact

This week I started to read this book, I finally got up the courage because there was so much talk about this novel. So far, I am not thrilled at all. Literally on the first page there was already someone calling someone else a  slut. Are you kidding me? Then one of the main characters is aggravating and I just felt like all I was reading was whining.  I just don’t really want to read anymore of it. So, I might be DNFing this. I will update you on what I decide to do next week.

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NEXT BOOK

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

This month I need to read this as part of the BN Book Club, so I think it is about time to pick it up. I am a bit worried I wont like it because I know I like Hank Green from his videos and what not. I am also worried what the older individuals in the BN Book Club are going to say about this book mainly because it deals with YouTube and social media where I think some people are going to have a trouble adjusting to that point of view when it was something that many people did not grow up with or was not mainstream when they were younger.

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Wrap Up

A Week in Review | September 23th-30th

a week in review

This month has been a roller coaster of reading. Some weeks I read next to nothing and other weeks I finished  more than one book. I am happy to say that I feel like I am ending this month on a good note. If you want to go through all of the wrap ups for this month I will link them for you to explore.

A Week in Review | September 16th-22ndA Week in Review | September 9th-15th, and A Week in Review | September 1st-8th

Books I Finished

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The Heart's Invisible Furies

This book was so beautiful and yet so heart breaking. I think this is going to be a book I think about from time to time in the future and it may even be one of my favorites from this year. This novel brings you through a very interesting time of history through the eyes of a man and his mother. There were references to WWII, the AIDS epidemic and the stigma that came with it, and much more. I felt raw emotions while reading this and I really cannot recommend it enough. I truly wanted to take the main character in and take care of him.

Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

HangsamanShirley Jackson is one of my favorite writers, she wrote one of my all times favorite books, The Haunting of Hill House. This book is very different from that. It follows a young lady that is a very unreliable narrator during her first few months of college. Now I will say I was not blown away by this book and I cannot pin point the exact reason. I don’t know if it was due to the story line not living up to the description or is it just not a great story written. All authors have a book here and there that is not as great as their others. I will admit I did really enjoy the fact I felt that at times I was reading something akin to The Yellow Wallpaper and the atmosphere at times. I also found myself really disliking a character so much I wanted someone to throw an encyclopedia at them, ahem Jenna.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star

I found myself enjoying this book for the most part, but I also felt that a lot more could have been done. I am not sure if this is because I was mad at a particular character, I may have yelled a bit, or because I just did not like the insta love so much. I have not read YA in a long time and I think that is part of the reason why I don’t. A lot of YA has a lot of tropes I just am sick of. But, I will say that the over arching or underlying, depending on how you look it, theme is an important one to have seen.

The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember

The Navigator's Touch (The Seafarer's Kiss, #2)

Now, I don’t want to go into too much detail here because I wrote an entire review, REVIEW | The Navigator’s Touch by Julia Ember. But, I will say that I really enjoyed this retelling that pulled from Norse mythology and Peter Pan. It was unique, had flawed unreliable characters, and the world that Ember created had just the right amount of magic. Also, I want to add that I received this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review. DividerI am Still Reading

The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider

I have 50 pages left and I need to type this and then go to sleep. So be prepared to see this book cover one more time with my full thoughts. I will say I am loving this book so much more than I thought it would. I loved seeing past characters from King’s other books pop up and the mixture of our world with a little bit other is just great in this one.

 

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NEXT BOOK

To Be Determined!

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Reviews

Review & Blog Tour | Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

Keeper of the Bees*I received this book from the publisher for this book tour, which was Organized by YA Bound Book Tours. My options and review are my own and honest.

Description:

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse. Add to Goodreads

Before I Begin

I just want to let all my readers know that this is the second book in a companion series, you do not need to read the first novel first one to enjoy this one. The bonuses to reading a companion series!

What I Liked

First off I have to say how much I love the authors writing style. It flows so nicely and because of this I often found myself reading for longer than I had planned and one time I was actually late seeing one of my friends. Ooops! Even though the story takes place in our world her writing was magical and that really added to the setting and the over all feeling of the novel.

While the setting and feeling of the novel were wonderful, I also liked how Kassel wrote the characters in this novel. I often read books where internal tension is more surface and there just to move a plot, in Kassel’s novel that is not the case at all. The characters have true tension within themselves and go a lot further than a surface issue. It entwines itself around the core of the character. It is present throughout the novel and not just when it helps the plot, for that I am thankful.

The last point I would way I absolutely adored about this novel was the fact that it was unique from a lot of things I have read. The way she incorporates magic, curses, and aspects of ancient/historical events to aid in a timeline, which I really appreciated. It added more to the story than just saying he was ancient or centuries old. It makes his life and age more tangible because of it.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing I did not like, which I know many will not have an issue with is that sometimes the story just felt like it was too last. This did not happen throughout the novel. It only happened one or two times and didn’t last long at all. I know that this wont bug many people, I think it only bothered me because I was liking it so much honestly.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really liked this novel. I know I will be picking up the companion novel to this in the near future. Between the writing, characters, and use of magic this book really came to life for me. Every time I picked up this novel I fell into what felt like a new world. I would highly suggest this book to anyone who enjoys reading paranormal or a cute romances with a twist.

4stars

Books in the Companion Series

black bird of the gallows.jpg

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About the Author

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.
Website: http://megkassel.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/megkassel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seemegwrite/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megkasselauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8353652.Meg_Kassel

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Meg-Kassel/e/B0756Q8N2L/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524085261&sr=1-1

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Book Information

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication Date: September 4th, 2018

List Price: $17.99

ISBN: 9781640634084

Pages: 304 pages

Genre: YA Paranormal

Purchase Link: Entangled Publishing

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*I received this book from the publisher for this book tour, which was Organized by YA Bound Book Tours. My options and review are my own and honest.

YA Bound Book Tours

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | May 2018

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Another month as passed and I read a ton of books. I have no idea how I found the time to read 15 books. I think the reason I read so much it because of my Read 5 Buy 1 challenge I have been doing.  With such a high book count this month I am able to buy 3 books. Woohoo! So far it has been a win for me, I am spending less money on books and reading some great ones I might not have gotten to. Now, some of them I LOVED and others were just okay, but overall I am happy with the books I read this month.

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Books I Finished

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

Irena's Children: The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved 2,500 Children from the Warsaw Ghetto

This was a heart breaking non-fiction. It told the story of a social worker that aided many jewish children during WWII. She was able to take them out of the ghettos and get them into homes and teach them how to pass as christians so they would be able to survive in Nazi Germany. The toils and close calls that this woman went through, I just could not believe. She was so brave, intelligent, and compassionate. I highly recommend this book.

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

The Female Persuasion

I was looking forward to this book coming out in May, but what got me to pick it up this month was the fact that it was the first book of the Barns and Nobel book club. I will admit I was a bit bored with it, I think I would have liked it more if I did not read so much about feminism or books with feminist themes. I have read this story before and done better. It is bad? No. Is it the best? No. If you are interested I would suggest getting it from the library.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe

You may not know this about me but I LOVE myths about Gods and Goddess. I grew up reading and learning about both greek and roman myths so when Book of the Month had this as a pick I knew I needed to have it. I ended up reading this in a single day and I loved it. It was great hearing about Circe, I have never read a story from her point of view. The writing was great, the story was great, the subject was great. Did I mention that this was great?

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting of Hill House

So I have been hearing about this classic horror story a lot over the years, but I finally ended up picking it up this month and reading it. When I got it I realized it was so small. I was surprised, how could such a small novel be so scary? Well, now I know why Stephen King and his son both rave about it. This is one of my top horror novels of all time. The writing is was magnificent, the characters were interesting, the methods used to pull the reader in were mesmerizing. I very much suggest reading this if you like horror, even just a little bit.

My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel

This was a funny book my friend got me for my birthday, it was funny and since there are multiple ways to read it I may pick it up again in the future. Who knows?

Storm of the Century by Stephen King

Storm of the Century: An Original Screenplay

When I was younger I used to travel to see family where this movie was filmed. I figured it was time to read the screen play and then watch the movie. I have to admit it was fun to watch the movie because I actually recognized a lot of the places in the movie. It also made it even more creepy since it made it so real.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi

This was such a cute story! I don’t know why I waited so long to read this, but I am so glad that I finally did. I loved Dimple as a character, she was smart, dedicated, and just all around wonderful. I did realize I was so invested until the ending, I cried a bit. I normally don’t usually actually cry when I read books, so I was surprised.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Sleeping Beauties

This was a really good novel. I could not even figure out who wrote what characters or chapters. Their writing blended together so well. They story itself was just mind blowing. Leave it to Stephen King and Owen King to open your eyes and really make you think about the world with a horror novel. The scariest things are sometime the most real.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None

I love Agatha Christie, her mysteries are “classic”, “typical” mysteries that I actually enjoy. Normally I get bored of others, but her I can read through very quickly, in fact I read this in a single day. It was very interesting and I loved  the theme to it. It was eerie and creepy. It also left me guessing until the end.

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Every Exquisite Thing

I read this along withAmy from Tomes with Tea, Regina from Bookish in Bed and  Jenna from J.K. I’m Exploring! . Overall I felt that the story was average. I loved some parts of it, but others were just okay. I really cannot pinpoint any particular problem with this book, but nothing stood out. If you have read this I would really like to hear your thoughts on it.

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra: A Life

Earlier I read The Witches by Stacy Schiff and I loved that book so much. So I went out and picked up another book by her. Now I did look at the ratings of this book so I kinda knew what I was getting into. It was rated lower than The Witches, but not by much. I have to say I agree with the rating it has on goodreads. It is not bad, but it is nothing like The Witches. While I picked up this book to learn about Cleopatra, I ended up learning more about the people around her I feel like. She does open up with saying how there is not much on her, but I don’t know. I was left not totally satisfied. I still 1000% suggest The Witches by her. Still one of my top non-fiction reads.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

I don’t know why, but I had the urge to read a book that I read in high school. I think for two reasons. The first being, I didn’t really remember the story. The second being that I remember really liking it and I was curious to see if I still did. As it turns out I do still enjoy this novel.

The End of Watch by Stephen King

End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #3)

This is the final installment of the Bill Hodges trilogy. I will say the first half of the book moved a little too slowly for me, but the second half took turns I had not expected. Also, while the ending nearly killed me. It would not have been a Stephen King book with any other. Over all I really enjoyed this series. If horror is not something you enjoy but you like thrillers I highly suggest it.

The Red Pony by John Steinbeck

The Red Pony

This was not really a classic I enjoyed that much. I felt it was boring and I was not interested in the slightest. Thankfully it was only 100 pages and I stuck it out.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

I ended up absoultly loving this book, if you have not seen my full review on it you can find it here: REVIEW | The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware I go into detail on my thoughts about this book.

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I am Still Reading

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth

You can see details about both of these books here: Currently Reading | April 2018.

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What was the best book you read this month?

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Hauls

Book Haul |May 2018

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So this month is most likely going to be the last big haul for some time. If you don’t follow me else where or missed a previous post where I mentioned that I am currently participating in the Read 5 to Buy 1 challenge. I decided following my birthday it was time to slow down my buying of books and focus on reading what I already have.

While I limited my own buying of books this month, I did have a birthday so I ended up getting a ton of books from my friends and families. Without more of a delay here is a short video of the books I received and bought this month.

Also, I know these videos have been shaky so I have ordered a little phone stand to fix this, it has been bothering me and thanks to Charlotte, I have an idea of starting to do something new that it can be used for as well.

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The Books

Replica by Lauren Oliver

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

After the Fireworks: Three Novellas by Aldous Huxley

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Night Shift by Stephen King

The Stand by Stephen King

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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

Have you read any of these?

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