October Wrap-up & November TBR

Welcome to another monthly wrap-up and TBR post!

October was a pretty good month for me. I finally got my Little Free Library installed and it’s been a huge hit with kids in the neighborhood. I’ve been trying to keep it stocked with lots of children’s books and I’ve even had some friends who were kind enough to send donations. This ended up going up just a few days after the Little Free Library founder, Tod Bol passed away. I was sad to hear of his passing but honored to be a part of something beautiful that he started. I love Little Free Library’s mission and it’s been so lovely to see kids getting excited about reading.

I also attended a Barnes and Noble book club night for the first time. There were a grand total of three attendees at the location I picked, but it was a pretty good discussion even so. It was definitely a big change of pace from my normal book club, which normally has around 20 girls attending. And I won a signed copy of the book club’s selection, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green!

Now on to the recap of October’s reviews! All hyperlinks in book titles will lead to my reviews.

Books I reviewed in October…

The standout books for this month were Not That Bad for nonfiction and Muse of Nightmares for fiction.

Not That Bad is a collection of essays about rape culture, and Roxane Gay took great care to select people from a wide variety of backgrounds. This is the epitome of intersectional feminism.

Muse of Nightmares is the sequel to Strange the Dreamer and I’ve been dying to read it since the moment I finished the first book. Laini Taylor’s writing is absolutely gorgeous and I loved how this book explored a characters other than Lazlo and Sarai more deeply than the first installment did.

And now on to November…

I don’t actually have a ton planned ahead of time this month, but there are a few ARCs I’d like to finish in November.

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The Gilded Wolves, by Roshani Chokshi (young adult fantasy)
The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict (historical fiction)
Before We Were Strangers, by Brenda Novak (mystery/thriller novel )
The Girls at 17 Swann Street, by Yara Zgheib (fiction, CW for anorexia)

But right now my #1 priority is my most anticipated 2019 release: Daisy Jones and the Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid! I’d pretty much given up hope on getting an ARC of this one, but BookSparks and NetGalley came through for me and I’m so excited to read it!

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 And as always, I have this month’s Girly Book Club selection, On a Cold Dark Seaby Elizabeth Blackwell. Here’s the blurb:

“On April 15, 1912, three women climbed into Lifeboat 21 and watched in horror as the Titanic sank into the icy depths. They were strangers then…

Con artist Charlotte Digby lied her way through London and onto the Titanic. The disaster could be her chance at a new life—if she hides the truth about her past. Esme Harper, a wealthy American, mourns the end of a passionate affair and fears that everything beautiful is slipping from her grasp. And Anna Halversson, a Swedish farm girl in search of a fresh start in America, is tormented by the screams that ring out from the water. Is one of them calling her name?

Twenty years later, a sudden death brings the three women back together, forcing them to face the impossible choices they made, the inconceivable loss, and the secrets they have kept for far too long.”

Lastly, a few links to some great content I saw around the web this month!

Author Shannon Hale’s Tumblr post on gendered assumptions when it comes to how we treat children’s literature.

The Radical Notion of Afro-futurism and Blackness in Sci-Fi, by jasmineshea1992.

The Girly Book Club’s author talk with Balli Kaur Jaswal, author of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows. This book was such an unexpected delight for me. I don’t read erotica, and there were sections of that in this book. I thought it’d take away from my enjoyment of the book, but it was such a lovely character-driven story. It was wonderful to get to hear the author talk about her work.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading! What was your favorite book that you read in October? Are there any new releases you’re looking forward to reading in November? Share in the comments!

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September Wrap-up & October TBR

Welcome to another monthly wrap-up and TBR post!

September has been a wonderful month for me and my blog! I signed up to be a #bookshark over on Instagram and received my first book from BookSparks in that role: Tilda’s Promise, by Jean P. Moore. I’m starting to put a lot more focus on Instagram and convincing myself that I kind of know what I’m doing when I take book photos.

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40919597_3532518026764140_7721455577267699712_nMy very first author interview also went live this month! I want to again extend my thanks to Tara Lynn Masih, who has been wonderful to work with. You can read my interview with Tara here. Her new YA novel, My Real Name is Hanna, came out this month. My Real Name is Hanna is an inspiring coming of age story which takes place during the Holocaust and was inspired by true events. It has been featured on GoodReads’ Ultimate Fall Reading List for YA Fans and is a worthwhile read for any fan of YA or historical fiction. It was absolutely wonderful to get to interview Tara and learn more about the real-life inspiration for Hanna’s story.

974154I posted a discussion on book to screen adaptations that take the story past the end of the source material, specifically on The Handmaid’s Tale. I talked a little about how the continuation of the story alters some of the themes from the original story. The novel ends Offred’s story at a purposely ambiguous moment, leaving the reader to wonder about her fate. The Hulu adaptation removes the mystery. Definitely check it out if you missed it, as I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts in the comments!

Now for a quick look back at the reviews I posted this month, in case you missed them.

Reviews Posted in September…

tumblr_pet3mdYYfN1xuuvabo1_1280The standout book of September was probably Vox. I was actually a bit hesitant to read this one because it was getting kind of mixed reviews, but I was in love with the concept so I decided to give it a chance. Vox is a feminist dystopian novel in the vein of The Handmaid’s Tale. Women have been forcibly removed from the work force and are limited to speaking 100 words per day. The protagonist was a respected scientist prior to the collapse of American society as we currently know it.

“I wonder what the other women do. How they cope. Do they still find something to enjoy? Do they love their husbands in the same way? Do they hate them, just a little bit?”

And now on to October…

Oooooookay. October is looking like it’s going to be a busy reading month for me.

I’ve had several requests from NetGalley come through recently, so those are a huge priority on my TBR: House of Goldby Natasha Solomons (coming October 23, 2018), The Dreamersby Karen Thompson Walker (coming January 15, 2019), and The Girls at 17 Swann Streetby Yara Zgheib.

I also have an ARC of Dead Ringerby Kate Kessler (coming October 23, 2018) which I won through GoodReads.

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Author M. C. Frank was kind enough to send me an ARC of Salt for Air (also coming October 23, 2018.)

I have a couple of physical ARCs to read this month as well. I received a copy of The Sisters Hemmingwayby Annie England Noblin (coming February 12, 2019) through the blogging I do for The Girly Book Club, and I won a GoodReads giveaway for a copy of The Gilded Wolvesby Roshani Chokshi (coming January 15, 2019).

Finally, some bookish content from around the web that caught my eye this month!

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading! What was your favorite book that you read in September? Is there anything you’re especially looking forward to reading in October? Share in the comments!

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August Wrap-up & September TBR

Welcome to another monthly wrap-up and TBR post!

I’ve had a busy and pretty satisfying reading month. You’ll see lots of four star ratings below, and a few five star ratings that I cannot recommend strongly enough.
All hyperlinks in book titles will lead to my reviews!

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Books I read in August…

  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. The Dinner List, by Rebecca Serle
    (ARC – review to come Sept. 10th)
  3. On Burning Mirrors, by Jamie Klinger-Krebs ⭐⭐⭐
  4. Goodbye, Paris, by Anstey Harris ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  5. The Book of Speculation, by Erika Swyler ⭐⭐⭐
  6. One of Us Is Lying, by Karen McManus ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  7. Hunger, Roxane Gay
  8. The Grownup, Gillian Flynn ⭐⭐⭐
  9. Nightingale, Amy Lukavics
    (ARC – review to come Sept. 25th)
  10. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  11. Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert⭐⭐⭐⭐
  12. The Book of Essie, Meghan Maclean Weir ⭐⭐⭐
  13. An Untamed State, Roxane Gay ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  14. Tin Man, Sarah Winman ⭐⭐⭐
  15. No One Cares About Crazy People, Ron Powers ⭐⭐
  16. The Psychology of Time Travel, Kate Mascarenhas
    (ARC- review to come Feb. 2019)
  17. Sometimes I Lie, Alice Feeney ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  18. Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  19. The Witch of Willow Hall, Hester Fox
    (ARC – review to come Oct. 2nd)
  20. Rust & Stardust, T. Greenwood ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  21. The Woman in the Window, A. J. Finn
    (review to come ASAP)

Rust & Stardust and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo were definitely the standout books of this month. (I guess I’m on a historical fiction kick right now?) Both had outstanding characterization and handled sensitive topics with great love and care.

And now on to September…

I’m still making it my mission to catch up on my Book of the Month selections, but other books keep getting in the way. Here’s what I still have:

Ghosted, by Rosie Walsh
Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik
The Air You Breathe, by Frances De Pontes Feebles

I’m also working my way through a couple of novels that were sent to me by the authors:

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead, by Charlie Laidlaw
Silent All These Years, by T. A. Massa

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading! What was your favorite book that you read in August? Is there anything you’re most looking forward to reading in September? Share in the comments!

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July Wrap-Up and August TBR

Where did July go? Asking for a friend. It seems like I was just writing up my June wrap-up post, and here we are again.

July was a pretty good reading month for me. While I read some pretty mediocre books, I also discovered some new favorites and had time for some ARCs.

In July I read…

The standout book of this month was easily Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineThis book had me ugly crying in my living room on at least three separate occasions. Eleanor will stay with me for a very long time.

The biggest flop for me was The ChemistI really wanted to give Stephenie Meyer another chance. She’s so wildly successful while at the same time being on the receiving end of loads of criticism. I thought she may have taken some of that criticism to heart and improved as a writer, but The Chemist was simply cringe-inducing for me.

Review Links, in case you missed them: The Favorite Sister ~ Battle Royale ~ The Wife Between Us ~ I’ll Be Gone in The Dark ~ The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper ~ The War of the Worlds ~ Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine ~ The Chemist ~ Before I Go to Sleep ~ The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Review are still to come for the following: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle ~ When Elephants Fly ~ Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom ~ Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating ~  Eliza Hamilton: The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Wife of Alexander Hamilton ~ Good Me Bad Me

On to August…

I’ve been trying to work through my ridiculous shelf of unread books lately, so I’ve been choosing book titles at random from a jar (with the exception of the audio books I get from the library and my NetGalley ARCs.) This month, I’m taking a break from that to dedicate some time to my Book of The Month picks, which I haven’t had time to touch yet. Here’s what I have so far…

I also have a couple of galleys read to read this month:

I got The Rule of One through my book club’s blogging program, and I won Goodbye, Paris in a GoodReads giveaway.

Finally, there’s this month’s pick for my book club, Tin Man, by Sarah Winman.

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This is all I have planned for August so far. Hopefully I’ll have some ARC requests come through on Netgalley as well, and of course there will be library books, as always!

Thanks for reading! Did you find any new favorites in July? What are you most anticipating in August? Please share in the comments!

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June Wrap-Up and July TBR

Hello again, friends! How did June go by so fast?!?

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far! I have a birthday coming up on the 4th and I don’t have to work (yay for birthdays on national holidays.) I’m looking forward to sleeping in and grilling out. And hopefully curling up with a good book for a few hours, of course.

In June I read…

Most of these books were given full reviews on my blog this month; links are below. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and Tied to Deceit will also be up at later date. Stay tuned! 🙂

This Is How It Always Is
Strange the Dreamer
Not Her Daughter
Swear On This Life
The Space Between
My Real Name Is Hanna 
The Hate U Give
Circe
The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
The Death of Mrs. Westaway 

My Real Name is Hanna probably made the biggest impression out of all of the books I read this month. This was a YA historical fiction novel about a young Jewish girl surviving during the Holocaust. It deals with a lot of difficult topics but still never feels overwhelmingly dreary; it feels like a story primarily about hope.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway was perhaps the biggest disappointment. Ruth Ware, I love you, but please pull back a little bit on the foreshadowing. I don’t need flashing neon signs leading me to the conclusion of a mystery novel; a whispered hint here and there is enough. This was particularly disappointing because I loved a lot of other aspects of the novel, particularly the protagonist.

On to July…

This is (hopefully) far from all-inclusive, but these are the books next up on my TBR. I (finally) started Battle Royale, which was on last month’s list before I got sidetracked with ARCs. Oops. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is my book club’s selection this month. I’m not sure it’s something I would have picked out for myself, but I’ve seen it recommended to anyone who enjoyed A Man Called Ove, and I adored that book beyond words.

I’m most looking forward to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I bought this one after telling myself  I’d stop buying any new books until I got a bit more caught up on all the unread books I already own. I saw too many glowing reviews and I couldn’t help myself. Call it an early birthday present to myself.

I also recently got my first Book of the Month shipment, so hopefully I’ll find time for these books this month:

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Happy reading, everyone! What was your favorite book you read in June? What are you most looking forward to reading in July? Share in the comments!

May Wrap-up

 

Hello, all! I’m going to keep this short and simple. Here are the books I finished this month.

Five Star Books:

 

Four Star Books:

the women in the castle

Three Star Books:

 

 

Two Star Books:

One Star Books:

 

 

Books I reviewed on my blog:

A Man Called Ove

Girl Last Seen

All The Missing Girls

What have you been reading this month? Feel free to comment or link to your own wrap-up post. 🙂 Happy reading!