March: When I Read all the Books


Hello.

I had such an incredible reading month, you guys. I was on fire! I read 22 books and most of them were pretty fantastic! I’ve been working my way through the books I have in my bedroom so I can free up some space on my shelves. I’m happy to say I’ve been pretty successful so far. On top of that, most of the books I’ve read this month has been 4 and 5-star reads, so bonus! I did DNF one book this month, sadly but I think, overall, it’s been a great streak.

READ THIS MONTH

  1. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – 5 Stars
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – 5 Stars
  3. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta – 5 Stars
  4. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood – 5 Stars
  5. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran – 4 Stars
  6. When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin – 5 Stars
  7. First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen – 5 Stars
  8. Written in Red by Anne Bishop – 5 Stars (Reread)
  9. Scythe by Neal Shusterman – 5 Stars
  10. The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine – DNF
  11. At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson – 4 Stars
  12. This is Water by David Foster Wallace – 5 Stars
  13. Blood Vow by JR Ward – 4 Stars
  14. By Your Side by Kasie West – 2 Stars
  15. Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley – 5 Stars
  16. Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop – 4 Stars
  17. The Girl Before by JP Delaney – 5 Stars
  18. Ronit & Jamil by Pamela Laskin – 3 Stars
  19. I See You by Clare Macintosh – 4 Stars
  20. Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse – 3 Stars
  21. Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood – 4 Stars
  22. Act Like It by Lucy Parker – 4 Stars

FAVOURITE READS:

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin

DISAPPOINTING

By Your Side by Kasie West was a huge letdown.  Admittedly, I think this is where I part ways with her books. I don’t think I have the stomach for it anymore. This one, in particular, was a cheese smorgasbord at your favorite buffet restaurant.

SURPRISE, MOTHERCHUCKER.

Magical realism isn’t my cup of tea, so I was wholly surprised by how much I loved First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen. Also, I read quite a few fantasy reads this month. That, in itself, is a surprise. Even more so when I quite enjoyed them! There’s hope for me yet. 😀

READ THIS, YO.

This is Water by David Foster Wallace.

I hope y’all had a blessed, wonderful month!

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Top Ten Tuesday [18]: Flash Reads

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is about the books that I’ve read in a flash. These are books that are incredibly short but not necessarily serials.

We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

52 pages. Read in March 2015

 Feminism explained in a clear, concise manner. If you’ve ever struggled to explain what it is,  Adichie’s TEDx speech is a must-read. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has their own definition. But this tiny little book is the bible I adhere to.

 

 

Morphine
by Mikhail Bulgakov

64 pages. Read in December 2013

It literally took me half an hour to read this book. It’s about a doctor’s tragic love affair with depression and morphine. This is Bulgakov in his rawest, I thought. I remember reading it at a time when I was desperately clawing my way out of the deepest pits of a reading slump. It did the trick!

 

 

Ronit & Jamil
by Pamela L. Laskin

Audio, 1 hr and 29 min. Read in March 2017

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book so when it came out, I got it right away. I’m not gonna lie, I thought there was a mistake when I saw the length. I didn’t realize this book was written in verse, which is no big, except it felt incomplete and it didn’t really live up to my expectations.

 

 

You Will Not Have My Hate
by Antoine Leiris

99 pages. Read in February 2017

I don’t think anyone would soon forget the horrors of the terrorist attacks in Bataclan, Paris. When men opened fire at a concert, killing 90 people in the theater alone. One of them was Antoine’s wife. She left a husband and their son barely two years old. Three days later, he wrote this letter to her murderers. This book is sad and hopeful in equal measure.

 

 

This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life
by David Foster Wallace

138 pages. Read in March 2017

There’s never been a book more powerful than this one. David Foster Wallace’s one and only commencement speech is an eye-opener about life, compassion and how we’re programmed to think.

 

 

The Housekeeper and the Professor
by Yōko Ogawa

180 pages, Read in March 2014

If you’ve ever found Mathematics romantic, this book is written with you in mind. Admittedly, I picked up this book because of the underlying allusion to a romance in the title. Boy, was I disappointed! Still, this book was amazing. It made me appreciate Math in a whole another spectrum.

 

 

Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump
by Aaron James

144 pages. Read in June 2016

Fuck this guy. Seriously. Fuck him. <– Real thoughts about this book and its subject. I think I’ve already made my position known about President Shit for Brains. Anyway, Aaron James philosophies on how America got here.

 

 

The Strange Library
by Haruki Murakami

96 pages. Read in 2015

Wildly imaginative. Totally crazy and absolutely out of my range as far as fiction goes. Sadly, this was my baptism of fire in the world of Murakami. And we didn’t get on well. He pulls his readers in fantastic realms that only his brilliant mind could conceive. Unfortunately, I missed the bus on this one. Still, a nice intro, if I may so myself.

 

 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman

178 pages. Read in 2013

Speaking of brilliantly weird books, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is another one that went over my head. A book so odd that to this day, I couldn’t describe exactly what it was about. One thing I’ve deduced from reviews of his work is that they have the overwhelming characteristics of a fairy tale anointed by the Grimm Brothers themselves.

 

 

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nahesi Coates

154 pages. Read in 2016

I read this in December when it seems like I was angry every fucking day. Oddly enough, I felt a sense of unburdening after finishing this book for the second time literally hours after I read it the first time. I took stock of where I am and how it bad it could still be. And I hate that my perspective in life was suddenly a little better at the expense of another’s.

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On the Night Table [46]: What I’m Reading


This week’s reading pile.

I stopped doing these posts regularly because sometimes, I have a tough time keeping to the schedule. But since I’ve already started these books, I’m somewhat confident that I’ll be able to finish at least two from this pile.

Lucky Boy by Shanti Sekaran is about two women’s journey that converges on an unexpected path. Nothing about this book is easy, especially if you’re a mother. It’s about their heartbreaks and how they find the endogenous will to live after the experience. It’s also very timely because one of the characters is an undocumented immigrant who lived to tell the tale of her harrowing journey. I’ve had a few starts and stops already, to tell you the truth.

When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin is a Middle-Grade novel about an orphan who saves a little puppy that will change his life.  It has the uncanny ability to make you feel complacent only to pull the rug under you when you least expect it. I’m loving this book but I might be heading to Heartbreak City.

The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie is the final book in the Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy. Admittedly, I’ve not read the first two books. I was told it wouldn’t matter and that I’d be able to follow along. I haven’t started it, to be honest. So we’ll see how it goes.

The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wagelus is another Middle Grade about a sentient gorilla who will investigate a murder for which her chief is accused. It’s interesting so far but I’m out of my element. I’m not giving up just yet.

R  E  A  D    T  H  I  S    W  E  E  K

  

Blood Vow was good. But still much of the same fare. At The Edge of the Universe was weird. First Frost was awesome and I can’t wait to read the first book, Garden Spells. Scythe was also fantastic – I can’t believe I waited so long to read it!

L  I  F  E    L  A  T  E  L  Y

  • I haven’t seen Beauty & the Beast.
  • I recently saw Lauren Kate’s Fallen movie. It was surprisingly decent.
  • I re-read Written in Red.
  • I re-arranged my TBR bookshelves in my bedroom. Here’s what it looks like:

That was my week. How was yours?

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On the Night Table [44]: Reading Update


The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine | The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman | I See You by Clare Mackintosh


Hello.

How was your weekend? We’re about four days away from the dreaded inauguration, you guys. How are you planning on spending the day? Besides the fact that I have to work, I’m going to do my darnedest to steer clear of the social media and any tv broadcast about it. But if you guys have any suggestions on what I can do that will be more productive, let me know. I’m open to anything.

Anyway, I’ve got more January books on my night table this week. I’ve been doing so well with my review copies but I’ve also been requesting a lot of books from Net Galley lately. I’ve been bad. So so bad. Also, I just noticed that Net Galley is giving us a chance to improve our review stats so I took advantage of that this weekend by submitting the reviews for the ones that I didn’t. I’m so glad. My reviewing percentage is pretty sad, to be honest, so I’m thankful for the opportunity. It also gives me a chance to see which books I have on my Kindle that I need to read. Gah. The number is staggering.

R   E   A   D   THIS   W  E   E  K

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan was a solid read. Gritty, gory and not at all the kind of werewolf stories I’ve read in the past. Wait For It by M. O’Keefe was a good read, but I found the characters to be different from when I first met them in the preceding books. Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia was a fantastic read as well. I’ve already reviewed The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer and Born A Crime previously so you know how I felt about them. Little Heaven was on the blog last week.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you’ve been up to lately. 🙂 Have a great week, dear readers. I know it’s not going to be the greatest, but I hope you’ll make the best of it, anyway.

 

 

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On the Night Table [43]: January Books


The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine | Little Heaven by Nick Cutter | The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman | Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia


I just realized that I really don’t have too many books for reviews on my pile anymore. So this month, I’m going to try to not get distracted so I can finally get rid of the books for which I have to write a review. Admittedly, I’ve already fallen behind because I see a couple that came out yesterday (Everything You Want Me to Be & The Cursed Queen). This is so frustrating to me as this mishap could’ve easily been avoided had I know how to keep a better handle on what’s due.

Anyway, I’m also supposed to be a part of the blog tour for Little Heaven this month but I’ve yet to see a confirmation of my participation date. I’m in the middle of Everything You Want Me to Be that I’m thoroughly enjoying. I’m a little close to halfway so I’m at the point where the meat of the plot is slowly unraveling. I aim to finish reading this book tomorrow so I can put up a review. I might just pull an all-nighter for this.

 In my quest to at least appear like I got my shit together, I started a journal for my blog. I did this last year as well but I didn’t continue. This year, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep it going for the entire year. It’s not the most creative but I’m at least trying to get organized. Lol.

What are you reading? Have you read any of these?

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Life Lately: November

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Hey, guys.

How’s it going? This month-end recap is coming to you early.

I had the worst stretch of book buying binges in the last couple of weeks, you guys. Book Outlet, as cheap as their books are, is not a very good place for people like me. One with no self-control whatsoever. As of this writing, three boxes have shown up on my doorstep. I was able to discreetly hide the first box that came from my husband, but not so much for the second box when our post man delivered it straight to his hands. Sigh. It’s out of control. I might have to do this thing they’re doing on YouTube where they cull their collection by donating or selling it online. I’ll show you what I got one day (maybe).

So. November. I had a slow reading month on account of November 8. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then, good for you. I envy you for being spared from knowing what went down. I read 10 books in total. Though I should say I read 11 because A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara clocked in at 800 pages which should really account for two books instead of one. But I digress. I tend to gravitate towards my comfort reads when I’m having a tough time so you can tell I struggled a lot this month since I read 4 Sandra Brown Books. On the night of the election, after I shut off social media and any coverage on TV, I went and re-read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I knew I was going to need reinforcement and that novel, though, it didn’t completely alleviate the depression, at least helped for a bit. So thank you, Sally Thorne.

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(Sorry about the formatting. I have very little patience today. Lol.)

I was relatively absent from blogging this past month because: reasons. I barely wrote any reviews and barely did my rounds. December might be a slow month as well as we head into the Holiday season. But I’m looking forward to the small break during Christmas.

I used my Instagram picture for this post because I want to give you a fair warning that you might see a vlog post here once in a while. I shot my first video yesterday (3 times) but I think I’m going to re-shoot because I look like an awkward spazzing moron. Sigh. So, you know. Get ready.

Thanks for reading!

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Feed My Reader

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I need some good romance recommendations, y’all. Since my Kindle came back to life, I’ve managed to read a bunch of really good romance novels. I’ve particularly enjoyed Vi Keeland’s and Penelope Ward’s collaboration. But ever since then, the rest of the books that I’ve downloaded wasn’t really floating my boat. So I’m wondering if you can recommend something good and easy.

I’ve taken to re-reading the books that I’ve recently downloaded which sucks because I’m wasting valuable reading time. So I’m wondering if you’d recommend something good for me?

Tropes  I Like

  • Once Again, with Feelings. I suppose this is better known as second-chance romance; where one of the characters left abruptly (or not) for whatever reasons, then come back. They realize that whatever they’re searching for somewhere else was right where they were all along.
  • I Hate You but I’m not Going to Kick You Off My Bed. Ah when characters realize the hate they feel for another is directly proportionate to how much they want to sleep them. Sometimes, these characters will go through a self-hating spell that tend to get annoying. But hey, the sexy times tend to be hot when tempers are a part of the equation.
  • One Night Stand = Bun in the Oven. I looove this trope. I know some of you probably hate surprise pregnancies in romance novels but I can’t get enough of them! I love that moment when the dad sees their spawns and recognizes why the face looks familiar.
  • I Want To Take A Ride on Your Harley. Bikers. Yep. They’re cavemen and they’re infuriatingly bossy. But I love reading these books even though the feminist in me wilts every time I say that out loud.
  • I’m Julia Roberts to Your Richard Gere. Billionaires, man. Billionaires. This is one of those instances when I’m embarrassed to admit it, but, hey. We’re friends, right? And my secret is your secret. *winks*
  • Heaving Bossoms and Flowing Locks. Otherwise known as historical romance, yo. Y’all have been all over them lately and I can’t freaking keep up! Give me the bestest you can think of that has a combination of one, two, or three of the above tropes I mentioned. That would be super cool!

So let me know if you have some good recommendations for me because goodness knows I need something to be happy about these days. Sigh. 

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Life Lately

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Sigh.

With the unfortunate news of the FBI Director’s attempt to influence the American election, the changes Book Expo is about to implement, and the rumors that HarperCollins will only be sending physical ARCs to Booktubers and Bookstagrammers, this past weekend can only be summed up in one word: it sucked. Now, before I get people riled up, I don’t care all that much about BEA ridding of the book blogger con altogether, nor do I care about the ARCs that I wasn’t getting from HarperCollins in the first place. I only care that the book bloggers’ role in the publishing industry is being marginalized and underappreciated – disrespected, even.

Some of us have been doing this for years. It’s become a responsibility and a job most of do not get paid for. We do our part to keep the hype machine running. So the exclusion stings. Last week, Jenny of Supernatural Snark decided to leave the book reviewing blogosphere, and I’m not gonna lie, after the weekend spent feeling sorry for myself, and questioning whether or not it’s even worth the effort anymore, I’ve been contemplating on following her footsteps. It’s not because of the ARCs, never that. After all, HarperCollins don’t even know I exist and I certainly didn’t start blogging because of them. It’s just…it really hurts to feel rejected.

I think it stings more because the last time I attended BEA, there was a panel on the popularity of book tubers who basically said readers would rather watch book tubers than read blog posts. And this past weekend, it hurts to come to terms with the fact that a publishing house such as HarperCollins in one way or another gives that claim some credence.

But we are a resilient, forgiving bunch, aren’t we? We are also not revengeful. We’re not going to quit buying their books just because we want them to feel the same sting of rejection. At the end of the day, we need to recognize our reasons for blogging in the first place. If you’re like me, I use my blog as an outlet. I have things to get off my chest which just happens to be feelings – good or bad – over a book. If my opinions helped someone decide to buy, borrow, skip a book, then my job here is done. And that’s all I have to say about that.

OCTOBER

I’ve had a slow month but I’m about 7 books away to reaching my Goodreads goal of 150 books for the year. November, I think is going to get even slower. I feel like I need to reevaluate this book blogging thing. I’ve been feeling uninspired lately, anyway. I want to find a steady ground so I can decide what I want to do once and for all. I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading, but I feel exhausted and burned out. I’ll keep y’all posted.

BOOKS READ IN OCTOBER

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I hope you’ll have the best of November, dear readers.

How was your October?

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Weekend Readathon

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This past weekend, I unofficially participated in a readathon of sorts. I was seeing posts on Twitter about it and I thought it’s a great way to see how many books I can cram in a 24-hour period. I originally planned on reading four books, but sleep and another book got in the way.

I did well, I thought.

BOOKS READ:

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland [ 3 out of 5 Stars]
Alex + Ada by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn [4 out of 5 Stars]
Twisted Palace by Erin Watt [2 out of 5 Stars]

UNREAD:

Hag-seed by Margaret Atwood
Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

I had a productive time while participating. It gave me the opportunity to write a review soon after reading the book. My thoughts were fresh and writing down my thoughts came so easily.

I didn’t do much of anything this weekend but this. I wanted to go to the bookstore to pick up a copy of Gemina (which came out last week) but I decided to save it since I haven’t even read Illuminae yet. I wasn’t able to visit your blogs but rest assured that I will be doing that this week.

I hope your weekend was just as productive.

Happy reading!

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On the Night Table [42]: Fall TBR

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Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap | The Spawning Grounds by Gail Anderson-Dargatz | The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon | Scythe by Neal Shusterman | Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


It’s going to be quite an ambitious month for me over here. But I feel like I’ve been neglecting so much and I need to do my best to curb-stump by TBR pile – particularly, the books that I’ve gotten for review. And there’d been so many! This past weekend, I made a list of all the books that needed my immediate attention and have come up with what is now my On the Night Table post.

Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap  is a memoir meant to aid the narrator in unburdening herself with what had been a difficult life. I’m in for angst, I think but I’m looking forward to reading this because it’s sort of a historical, racially charged account of how Slovenians were treated in German-speaking Austria. Looking forward to reading this. 

The Spawning Grounds by Gail Anderson-Dargatz is a family saga set in British Columbia. I’m always on the lookout for books set in my country, so I was happy to receive this from Random House Canada.

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon I love Nicola’s debut and have sworn to read anything she puts out ever since then. I can’t wait to read this!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman I haven’t read any of his books but I think I have his popular series. I’m looking forward to finally reading one of his books!

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult this is only going to be my second Jodi Picoult reading, believe it or not. Loved her The Storyteller, so looking forward to more of the same.

Have you read any of these?

What do you plan to read this month?

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