Shelf Control #9

Happy Wednesday! It’s time for another edition of Shelf Control hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan.

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses.

It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned–crime pays.

Her latest job is paying very well indeed. Julia is posing as a housemaid in the grand house of Mrs. Och, where an odd assortment of characters live and work: A disgraced professor who sends her to fetch parcels containing bullets, spiders, and poison. An aristocratic houseguest who is locked in the basement each night. And a mysterious young woman who is clearly in hiding–though from what or whom?

Worse, Julia suspects that there’s a connection between these people and the killer leaving a trail of bodies across the frozen city.

The more she learns, the more she wants to be done with this unnatural job. To go back to the safety of her friends and fellow thieves. But Julia is entangled in a struggle between forces more powerful than she’d ever imagined. Escape will come at a terrible price.

How I Got It: 

Book sale! There’s a children’s literature reviewer near my house. They have a book sale every couple of months selling books publishers give them for very cheap. I love acquiring books that way.

Why I Want To Read It:

I’ve heard a lot of buzz around the book community about this book. I don’t know a whole lot about it, but in general I’m into reading YA books.

When I Am Going To Read It:

I don’t know when I’m going to get to this. Maybe in the summer?

Until Next Time World…

Shelf Control #8

Happy Wednesday! It’s time for another edition of Shelf Control hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is The Veins of the Ocean by Patricia Engel.

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

Reina Castillo is the alluring young woman whose beloved brother is serving a death sentence for a crime that shocked the community, throwing a baby off a bridge—a crime for which Reina secretly blames herself. With her brother’s death, though devastated and in mourning, Reina is finally released from her prison vigil. Seeking anonymity, she moves to a sleepy town in the Florida Keys where she meets Nesto Cadena, a recently exiled Cuban awaiting with hope the arrival of the children he left behind in Havana. Through Nesto’s love of the sea and capacity for faith, Reina comes to understand her own connections to the life-giving and destructive forces of the ocean that surrounds her as well as its role in her family’s troubled history, and in their companionship, begins to find freedom from the burden of guilt she carries for her brother’s crime.

Set in the vibrant coastal and Caribbean communities of Miami, the Florida Keys, Havana, Cuba, and Cartagena, Colombia, with The Veins of the Ocean Patricia Engel delivers a profound and riveting Pan-American story of fractured lives finding solace and redemption in the beauty and power of the natural world, and in one another.

How I Got It: 

I purchased this book through Book of the Month. If you haven’t checked it out, you really should. It’s a cool subscription service.

Why I Want To Read It:

Roxane Gay was the person who recommended it, and I love her. The book also seems interesting in general.

When I Am Going To Read It:

Definitely going to be on my TBR in February.

Until Next Time World…

Shelf Control #7

Happy Wednesday! It’s time for another edition of Shelf Control hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is Scythe by Neal Shusterman.

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

How I Got It: 

My edition of this is an ARC that I received at BlogBound in 2016.

Why I Want To Read It:

Books about death always have a good premise. This is a series; so I’m not sure how much I’ll love it. I’m not a big series person.

When I Am Going To Read It:

This will probably get read in February. It’s a YA book; so it should be an easy addition to that month.

Until Next Time World…

Top “10” Underrated Books I’ve Read Recently-ish

Hi Friends –

Another week, another Top Ten Tuesday. This bookish meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish every Tuesday. This week focuses on books that I believe are underrated and/or hidden gems. I think that I talk about these types of books a decent amount, but since I haven’t consistently blogged on here. I’m going to reference from the ones I read in late 2016.

  • Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
    1. Sherman Alexie isn’t underrated, but I haven’t seen a lot about his books other than The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian. I enjoyed this collection of short stories, and recommend it to anyone who is looking to read some #ownvoices about indigenous people of the US.
  • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
    • This book got a little traction from BoTM and some NPR type lists. However, I do see it mentioned a lot in the blogging/booktube world. I think that the writing ended up being better than expected, and the story of family drama was interesting. It would have been a little bit better if socio-economic status was explored more, but overall this was solid 4 star read.
  • Puddn’head Wilson by Mark Twain
    • I read this book in college, and re-read it for a readathon sometime in the past couple of months. It’s amazing the complexity that Twain puts into this little story about an attorney. I believe I had to write a paper about this at one time, but if I had to now I would explore what Twain’s commentary on slavery/black Americans meant within the context of the children’s role switch.
  • A Murder In Time by Julie McElwain
    • I randomly picked up this book, but it ended up being a very interesting tale of a modern day officer stuck in the middle ages. It’s enjoyable and has fantastical aspects if you like things like that.
  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
    • I really, really liked this book. I don’t understand why I don’t see it on more blogs/book reviews. I think people should really pick up this #ownvoices work about a teenage trans girl trying to survive high school. It’s hopeful, albeit not perfect, but we need to support literature like this. It’s so important for people to see themselves in books.

 

What doing this list has shown me, is that I read A LOT of popular books toward the end of 2016. I also read a lot of books that were just okay. The books I listed here, don’t get enough blog/media  traction, and really should.

Until Next Time World…

Shelf Control #6

Happy Wednesday! I’m bring back shelf control to the blog, because my TBR shelf is SERIOUSLY out of control. At some point toward the end of 2016, I counted 90 books. That’s pretty wild. But also probably due to me picking up 30 books at a book sale for less than $25. Shelf Control is hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies about current unread books on your bookshelf. This week the book I’m choosing to highlight on my shelf is The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma.

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Goodreads Synopsis: 

In a Nigerian town in the mid 1990’s, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family. Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family’s destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions—economic, political, and religious—and the epic beauty of its own culture. With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation’s masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.

How I Got It: 

My friend Amanda got this for me for my birthday in 2016.

Why I Want To Read It:

This book was a man booker finalist. The past couple of years I’ve been trying to keep up with the nominees.

When I Am Going To Read It:

Fortune is unclear. Hopefully sometime in 2017…

Until Next Time World…

Top Ten Books I Meant To Read Last Year…

Tuesday again; happy day! This week’s post is devoted to books that were released last year that I meant to read, but didn’t get around to it. This is pretty self explanatory, so I’ll get to the books.

  • We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson
    • I’ve heard such great things about this book all year. I’ve been meaning to get to it, but I just haven’t made time for it yet. This will definitely be on my list to read this year.
  • The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
    • My friend Katie gave me this book early last year to read. It’s still on my self. I should really get to it. #readkatiesbooks
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
    • I’ve heard a lot about this book being amazing, but after two WWII books last year, I knew it’d have to wait. I should be ready to read another a little later this year.
  • The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter
    • This title is pretty sweet, and this book keeps coming up again and again. After reading More Than This in 2016, this title is even more appealing.
  • When We Collided by Emery Lord
    • A lot of mixed reviews about this ranging from gushing to hating. This seems like the perfect book for me to read in order to form my own opinion on it.
  • OCDaniel by Wesley King
    • I was randomly browsing Goodreads when I came across this. As someone close to me has OCD, I’m always interested to see how characters are fictionalized.
  • Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
    • This was my first Book of the Month purchase! (Why haven’t I read it?) The story seemed really intriguing, but I hit a little bit of a slump when I first got it and never came back. I’m going to need to read this fairly early in the year.
  • The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
    • I’ve heard this called a great feminist novel. I’m game.
  • In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
    • I love Lahiri. She’s one of my favorite authors. I also like the concept of reading and writing. A book by one of my favorite authors about reading and writing? Say no more.
  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu
    • I really like short stories, but don’t read nearly enough short story collections. I saw a review of this one and it seemed like it would be good. The more I looked into it, it seems it has a science fiction-y feeling. I’m not a big sci-fi fan, but I’m willing to give it a try.

 

So those are my books. I have to definitely make sure to read them this year at some point!

 

Until Next Time World…

January Reading List

As my hiatus from blogging was very large, I also took a hiatus from making a to be read reading list for the month. In some ways, I think it made me less accountable for what I needed to be reading at any time. I blame this on why I failed to meet my reading goal. **still bitter**

Since I’m pre-writing some of my blog posts I can already tell you that it’s a couple of days into January and I’ve barely read anything. Hopefully putting this list to writing will actually allow me to complete a good amount of reading. I’m also going on vacation at the end of the month, which should provide the opportunity to read more than if I were working.

I’m also trying to focus on reading the books on my bookshelf. This month’s theme is also “read all the books that Katie has lent you.” 4 of the books on this list belong to her, and since I’m seeing her in the beginning of February, I want to be able to return some of these to her. Technically, I should read 13 books this month, but I also want to give myself some room in case something new and exciting comes along. Heck, I haven’t gotten by Book of the Month subscription yet.

Top Ten Books of 2016

Time for my top reads of 2016. I’m disappointed, because I didn’t reach my reading goal of 156 books, but I did read 155.5 books… so not too bad.

10.) To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – a cute YA novel that made me feel like I was in HS again…in a good way.

9.) Yes Please by Amy Poehler – I had no idea who she was before reading this book. This stuck with me all year, and almost made me want to watch Parks & Rec.

8.) Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jayne Robin Brown – A book set in Rome, GA about a pastor’s lesbian daughter. Amazing funny and deals with Christianity and queerness.

7.) Giant Days Vols. 1 & 2 by John Allison – a funny graphic novel about 3 friends meeting each other in college

6.) The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin – Amazing and revolutionary. This is the work that inspired “Between the World and Me.”

5.) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli – A gay teenage boy trying (sort of) to avoid being blackmailed about his sexuality. Hilarious and set in Georgia. The discussion of Chickfil-A at the beginning of the book was too real.

4.) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer – I don’t love WW2 stories, but this is a good one about two kids growing up in the war, one in France and one in Germany.

3.) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – This book got a lot of dings because of its representation of disability. However, I loved the representation of the conception around suicide/self interest. For what Moyes did, this will be in my favorites a long time. I have a couple of blog posts up about this if you want to check them out.

2.) Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – a book about the effects of the slave trade on those sold into slavery (over 7 generations) and the ones who remained in Africa

1.) The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner – Amazing YA book about HS seniors in Tennessee growing up and preparing to go to college. Such amazing character development. Zentner has the ability to suck the reader in without them knowing exactly when it happens.

Honorable Mentions: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah; The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett; The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

Top Ten 2017 Books I’m excited for!

Hi Friends –

I know I’m a day late and a dollar short but…

2017 is going to be filled with some pretty fantastic new releases and debut authors. I’m not usually greatly anticipating books, but there are a couple coming out this year that I am exited about. Without further ado, here’s the list.

January

  • 3 – Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
    • I love Roxane Gay. I can’t wait to read this collection of short stories.
  • 3 – Flying Lessons & Other Stories by Ellen Oh (and others)
    • All the proceeds of this anthology go to #readdiversebooks. I love this organization, and am always about reading #ownvoices literature
  • 17 – History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
    • I met Adam Silvera, and he was pretty awesome. I’m excited to see his next work. He’s doing something important. It features an OCD character, which I’m also looking forward to reading his portrayal.

February

  • 14 – Shade Me by Jennifer Brown
    • This is the second book in the Nikki Kill trilogy. It’s not amazing, but I plan on continuing the series.
  • 21 – A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
    • This trilogy almost makes me feel as though I like fantasy novels. I’ll definitely be finishing and purchasing this in February.
  • 28 – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    • Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, #ownvoices, and YA. THIS IS WHY I BLOG. Can’t wait to read this.

March

  • 7 – Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
    • YES. Jeff. Be still my heart. I actually haven’t looked at the description of this yet, because I don’t need to. I know it will be great.

April

May 

  • 2 – Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
    • I can’t wait for the last installment of the Lara Jean & Peter Saga. I also can’t wait to reread the first two books before this.

September 

  • 5 – They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
    • The title alone is a winner. I can’t wait to have two Adam Silvera books this year!

 

Until Next Time World…