Towards the end of November, I was feeling pretty good about my November spending. After all, I only managed to buy 9 books so far at that time. But then, Book Outlet happened:
To be fair, I never spend more than $100 for books from Book Outlet, but I think it’s more about space as an issue at this point. Also, Black Friday sales came and went and found myself hoarding 18 more books from Book Outlet. *facepalm* I’ll just have to try better in December.
I also received some books for review in November:
Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada and Ambur of Thomas Allen & Sons for Regretting You and Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe? I bought a copy of Thunderhead just so I can read The Toll, and of course, a new Colleen Hoover is always welcomed. I started reading Calvin Bledsoe but I’m not too far into it to tell you about it.
So these are the books I hauled in November. Have you read any of these?
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson | Wild Country by Anne Bishop | The Field Guide to The North American Teenager by Ben Phillippe | Meet Cute by Helena Hunting | Say You Love Me by KA Tucker | Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne | The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
I hope your week is going well so far. It’s Tuesday, and with the week I had last week, I sure hope mine is going much better. (I’m writing this post on Sunday afternoon.) Work was awful. I got blamed for shit that absolutely had nothing to do with me, and my boss won’t listen to my explanation. Ugh. But I’m trying my best not to let that get to me because I used to take everything to heart. I end up acting rashly and it usually never ends well for me.
Anyway, last week was a relatively good reading week:
Quichotte by Salman Rushdie was a such a slog to get through. So much so that I DNF’d it. I mentioned it before that he’s a bit more verbose and cerebral for my taste, but I wanted to give his book another chance. Unfortunately, I lost my patience somewhere along the way.
A Higher Loyalty by James Comey was a great book. For those who’s not familiar with Comey, he was fired by Trump as the FBI director because he wouldn’t pledge loyalty disguised as mishandling of the investigations into Clinton emails. *eyeroll* This was a fascinating read; one that made me want to take a shower soon after. Because in this memoir, Comey discussed The Steele Dossier. And if you’re not familiar with that, Google it. Or don’t. Unless you want to upchuck whatever last meal you just had. 4/5 stars.
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi was great as well. Hailed as a copycat of Six of Crows, this one features a group of misfits who has their own agendas but decided to band together to get to their own respective goals. Severin, the token Danny Ocean of the crew, has one goal in mind, to restore his name as a Patriarch of his House. I absolutely loved this. It was suspenseful, smart, full of magic and puzzles to solve. 4/5 Stars.
The Institute by Stephen King. Prodigies were regularly abducted and honed to become some sort of super weapons in this latest by the King of Horror himself. The methods, however, are the stuff of nightmares. This was only my second Stephen King novel. I wouldn’t go running to the bookstore to buy all his books, but I will be definitely on the lookout for something similar. 5/5 Stars
As of this writing, I managed to read 3 of the 5 books I set out to read on my last On The Night Table post. I’m about to read the fourth, which makes me very happy because I have a few library books I need to read before the 21st.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo | The Institute by Stephen King | The Diary of Frida Kahlo | The Water Dancer by Ta-Nahesi Coates | The Coming Storm by Paul Russell | City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Heartstopper, Volume 2 by Alice Oseman | Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky | I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi | The Girl The Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young | Permanent Record by Mary HK Choi | What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefeldt | Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell | Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer | The Blacksmith Queen by GA Aiken | Well Met by Jen DeLuca | The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst
So yeah, these are the books I procured in October. With the exception of What Makes Us, Quichotte, and Well Met, all of the books above were purchased. I keep having to strengthen up my resolve not to buy any, but we all know that only works for like ten seconds, then poof. I find myself magically transported to the bookstore. Sigh.
Much love to Penguin Random House Canada for the copies of What Makes Us, Quichotte, and Well Met.
NEWS! I reached my all-time goal of 2,000 books on Tuesday! I can now chill the eff out and actually digest the books I’m reading. Sheesh. Or maybe I should amped it up even more if I ever want to see the end of my TBR. *head desk*
Where I End & Where You Begin by Preston Norton | Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan | The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan | Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva | How (Not) to Ask A Boy to Prom by S.J. Goslee | Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay | Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer | Lie With Me by Philippe Besson
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to postpone buying books until Christmas. And while it hasn’t worked for me before, this time, I found some reinforcements in the form of my library card. I’ve always been intimidated to go to my library. I mean, I’ve borrowed audiobooks, sure. But never physical copies. Well, now I can’t seem to stop. And I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before considering I’ve been hoarding books all my life and never once did I ever consider actually borrowing from the library before deciding to keep them.
I’m in absolute booknerd heaven. Surprisingly enough, I have managed to read four out these books, and have enjoyed them all:
Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer 4/5 Stars
Lie with Me by Philippe Besson 3/5 Stars
How (not) to Ask a Boy to Prom by S.J. Goslee 4/5 Stars
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay 5/5 Stars
Patron Saints of Nothing was an eye-opener. As a Filipino, this book resonated with me more than usual. And while I haven’t lived in the Philippines for 20-something years, I still hear news about my country from time to time. I love how Randy tackled the drug war, extrajudicial killings, and the feeling of being a foreigner in your own country. I think that’s one of the reasons how this book got to me. Because even if I was born there and lived there for half of my life, it felt like I was in an ill-fitting suit. But I’m going to talk about this more once I recover from this book.
That’s my sort of update for now. Work hasn’t died down, so I’m going to try my hardest to check up on your blogs soon!
Welcome to another edition of Joy Just Can’t Help Herself. *facepalm* This is my latest purchases from Book Outlet. They sure don’t make it easy for weak humans like me, do they? Sigh. Do you ever get that complete and utter happiness when you see a book you’ve been searching for a fraction of a price? Well, that was how I felt when I saw The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst. But of course, you can’t just buy one book from Book Outlet, otherwise, you’ll have to pay for shipping and that would be a travesty.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo | The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman | Autumn by Ali Smith | The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst | Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover | Browse: The World of Bookshops | Winter by Ali Smith
I’m looking forward to reading all these, except for Ugly Love because I’ve read that one already. I think I only wanted it because I’m collecting her books. I’m actually pretty glad I decided to do this haul today. It reminded me of how much I want to read these books when I ordered them from Book Outlet.
L A S T W E E K
It was another great reading week, y’all. I read a total of 8 books — which, sounds utterly impossible but I had a day off on Monday so I was able to do some reading. Aside from a couple of 3 -star reads, it’s been a streak of good reads. My favourite is John F. Kennedy’s biography, for sure. Percy Jackson was awesome as well. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series! Here are all the books:
Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer 4/5 Stars.
Bad Apple by Elle Kennedy 4/5 Stars
Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, et. all 4/5 Stars
The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr. by Steven M. Gillon 5/5 Stars
The Lovecraft Compendium by H.P. Lovecraft 3/5 Stars
Color Me In by Natasha Diaz 3/5 StarsThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 5/5 Stars
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai 3/5 Stars
Last week, I picked up a physical book from the library for the first time in years. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was! Lol. I borrowed Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer — which I devoured practically in one sitting. Then on Saturday night, I went and put a bunch of books on hold. I love that I will be able to peruse the books first before I decide to pick up a copy. That is, if the library has them.
So that’s my week. Sorry I’ve been sporadic in commenting. My work week has been hectic and I usually do my commenting when I have some time at work. Let’s hope next week will be a different story.
I may have mentioned how much time I’m spending watching book tube videos lately. One of the pitfalls of diving into the abyss that is book tube is that it makes me salivate over books, therefore forcing my twitchy fingers to order stuff online. Once again, I found myself clicking my pay cheque away with an order from Book Outlet. So here are the books that somehow found their way to my house. *facepalm*
The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting | All Our Todays by Elan Mastai | All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover | And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Housseini | American Panda by Gloria Chao | Contagion by Erin Bowman | The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini | Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace | Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones (not in the picture)
I’ve read The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting — which was overwhelmingly disappointing; All Our Todays by Elan Mastai, and Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave by Darynda Jones. I know I have to re-read Summoned again because I realized I haven’t written a review for Net Galley.
R e a d L a s t W e e k
I read a total of 9 books last week. My favourites being, The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir and Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper. I also finally picked up a Historical Romance from Ms. Beverly Jenkins. I didn’t realize it was book 3 of her Old Westseries, but that’s okay. No need to read the series in order, I don’t think. I downloaded book 2, which is Breathless so I’m going to listen to that sometime this week. I enjoyed Tempest, truly. I love how the heroine completely defied all the norms you would expect from a woman of colour especially at that time. I’m looking forward to broadening my reading horizon in this genre. I re-read Red, White and Royal Blue in audio form — loved it! The narrator did Henry’s accent justice. Anyway, here are the rest of the books:
Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty | Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown | How to Stop Time by Matt Haig | When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton.
The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir | Tempest by Beverly Jenkins | Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston | The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones | Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper
So that’s my reading update/book haul last week. I hope your week is going swimmingly well so far. Happy Hump Day!
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa | Books for Living by Will Schwalbe | Ziggy, Stardust & Me by James Brandon | Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane | The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones | The Savior’s Champion by Jenna Moreci | Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis | About that Kiss by Jill Shalvis | The Mothers by Brit Bennett | Save Me From Dangerous Men by S.A. Lelchuk
Last week was probably the most active I’ve been on the blog this year. It really feels good to be back. Can you believe that I’m even motivated to film a video? I don’t know…whenever I watch booktubers, it blows my mind how much easier it looks. But then I’ll make an attempt and I get so flustered and anxious once the camera starts rolling. Lol.
I did try to film one last night for my Instagram story but since you’re only allowed a maximum of 15 secs, I kept getting cut off. So I abandoned it altogether. If any of you have any suggestions on how I can post a 7:46 minute-long story on Instagram, please let me know.
On to my bookhaul. Y’all, I went ham on book buying last week. I hate myself. I was doing so well, too. But that’s it for me. I will try to keep my purchases down to a minimum for the next little while. I got one book for review (unsolicited) from Candlewick Press. It’s called The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones — about this boy whose best friend disappeared. But when he decided to come looking for him, he encountered a group of men who escaped from prison. It’s a short book so I’m going to endeavour to write a review for it before its release date of September 10th.
I read three books from the pile above last week:
The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa. This is a Japanese book translated by Phillip Gabriel, which tells the story of Nana the Cat and his owner Satoru. This was such a sad, beautiful piece of literature, y’all. I cried. For reals.
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane is a book about two families who are irrevocably entwined. I loved this one, too. The story focused on Peter and Kate and how they were forbidden to be together because of their respective families’ roles in the tragedy that happened when they were only fourteen years old.
Save Me From Dangerous Men by S.A. Lelchuk. This is a pulp fiction in its rawest form about a private detective who gets entangled with a case of hi tech espionage and mayhem. I also love that she’s a bookstore owner and a refuge for abused women by day.
OTHER BOOKS READ LAST WEEK:
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert | Kids of Appetite by David Arnold| The Day He Came Back by Penelope Douglas | Arctic Heat by Annabeth Albert | Bad Influence by Stephanie London | Bad Reputation by Stephanie London
That’s it for my update this week. I hope you’ll have a week full of awesome books and great weather!
Emergency Sex (and Other Desperate Measures) by Cain, Postlewait, Thomson | The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr | Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zenter | Crossing the Line by Simone Elkeles | The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon | Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
They said you can’t force inspiration, and that you have to let it come organically as if you haven’t spent a few hours of your day thinking about how much you sorely miss the process of creation. I envy those whom, after all these years, are still chugging along and not neglecting their creative outlets. This is my attempt to get back into the swing of things for the millionth time.
Life hasn’t really slowed down. And as the summer approaches, it will only speed up a little bit more. Do you ever notice that? In Canada, most especially, Summer passes so quickly. It’s here and then it’s not. Soon, my daughter will be starting her uni courses. And my son will only have one more year of grade school left before he moves on to high school. Where has time gone?
Over the course of my unofficial hiatus from the blog, I’ve found myself reading and re-reading most of Melina Marchetta’s books. The comfort they bring me takes me back to the days of discovering how much I love her words. Her fantasy series in particular is on an endless circulation. I simply can’t move on. But in the midst of my manic Marchetta binges, I have managed to read a few here and then. At the moment, I’m still on pace to reach my goal of 150 books for 2019, so regardless of my recent obsession with re-reading Ms. Marchetta’s books, things are still going well.
I hope I’ll be able to keep a semblance of order and consistency here on my blog. I really miss writing and interacting with you all.
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab | To Obama by Jeanne Marie Laskas | Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare | Crossing the Line by Simone Elkeles | Your Own Worst Enemy by Gordon Jack | Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor | Shade by Pete Souza | Make Blackout Poetry | One Day in December by Josie Silver
My first Hoarders post of the year! Let’s hope I don’t make a habit of this. This pile includes the books I got for Christmas which, sadly consisted of only two books: Shade by Pete Souza and Make Blackout Poetry. Mind you, there were only three books on my list last year, so 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. (The other is Michelle Obama’s Becoming – sold out. Womp. Womp.).
A friend of mine from the gym lent me two books before the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to read them: One Day in December, and the other, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. There’d been so much talk about how awesome One Day in December is so I borrowed it from her after she raved about it.
READ THIS WEEK:
Ru by Kim Thúy was a memoir of a Vietnamese woman’s journey from being one of the boat people fleeing strife in Vietnam to her life as a migrant in Canada. This was such a short book and I’m sad to say that her story wasn’t was affective as I’d hoped it would be.
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult was your typical fare from this author. It was sublime, sad, completely immersive and if you’re not watching, it would hit you where it would hurt the most.
The Immortalists was a popular book last year but I didn’t pick it up until I saw it on my Libby app. It was a good read but not earth-shattering.
That’s my semi-update for the week. Let me know what you got up to in my comments below!
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie | Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie | The Trust by Ronald H. Balson | Karolina’s Twins by Ronald H. Balson
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a post about my newly discovered authors and their works. I’ve been on the hunt for those books and so happy to say to finally have these in my arsenal. I am, however, still on the lookout for the first Liam Taggart & Catherine Lockhart series, Saving Sophie. I’m sure I can easily order it online but money’s tight so I’ve resorted to finding books from the thrift shops.
I’ve started The Satanic Verses but since Rushdie’s writing is a bit cerebral than what I’m used to, it’s taking a bit of time. I would really like to start on the Balson series but I need to find Saving Sophie first.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make any headway with the books I’d planned last week. Heck, I haven’t even crack open any of the books. I’m determined to get them done this week, however.
Books Read Last Week:
I adore Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. It was such a lovely, delightful book about food, family, and love. Fall by Kristen Callihan was awesome as well. Jax Blackwood was so angst-y and sexy – just the kind of guy I love reading about. 🙂 All the Missing Girls’ format just didn’t work for me. It was confusing as heck. Lastly, The Lost Symbol completes my Dan Brown library, and will be looking forward to reading more from him.
That’s it for my week, everyone. I hope yours was great as well.