2019: Week 21 Reading Roundup

Sunday.May.19 – Saturday.May.25

AKA: Honor a veteran and remember the sacrifice of those no longer with us ❤

FINISHED READING: 5

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

​A quick audiobook listen. Written in verse, the book is an incredibly relatable story of Xiomara, a teen girl in New York. The hype is real! [5*]

Travels With Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

​Steinbeck and his dog, Charley, embarked on a cross-country trip across America. It’s beautifully perceptive. [3.5*]

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (read by Philip Franklin)

​A cautionary tale. At least, that’s the way I choose to interpret it. A young man wanders off to the Alaskan wild. Months later his emaciated body is found by a hunter. What happened, and why did he leave everything behind? [3.5*]

Native Son by Richard Wright

​Societal critique with overt Communist ideals. It’s graphic and harrowing. This book is a lot. [3.5*]

In at the Deep End by Kate Davies

​Sexually explicit, but oh so good haha! [RTC]

CURRENTLY READING: 1

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Currently 42% through the audiobook. It’s, um, interesting. 

UPCOMING READ: 1

I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan

I need a horror book in my life right now haha

BOOK HAUL: 1

Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Won this in a Goodreads Giveaway! I waited almost 2 months for this book to arrive. Can’t wait to finally read it! 

PUBLISHED POST(S): 1

Let’s Get Personal: Mental Health Month

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀

2019: Week 16 Reading Roundup

Sunday.April.14 – Saturday.April.20

AKA: An incredible reading week!

FINISHED READING: 4

Del amor y otros demonios (Of Love and Other Demons) by Gabriel García Márquez

​A relatively short tale about a 12-year-old girl bitten by a rabid dog. Although she shows no symptoms, she is sent away to a convent where she undergoes various exorcisms to “cure” her of the sickness. The language was a bit difficult for me but I did like the story (for the most part). A 36-year-old man falls in love with the little girl. Yeah. A whole lot of nope at the last 20% of the book. [3*]

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (#1) by Douglas Adams

​Ha! This book is weird but amazing. I can’t even summarize the plot. It’s too indescribable. There’s a mystery involving 2 ghosts, the fate of humanity, and a whole lot of science fiction. Funny and odd, just like the adaptation. [4*]


The Orange Girl
by Jostein Gaarder

​My goodness, this book! A 15-year-old boy reads a long-lost letter his father wrote to him shortly before he died 11 years prior. In it, the father spins a fairytale-like story about meeting the orange girl (the boy’s mother). This book is so therapeutic, that I was sobbing by the end. Because it’s not only about love, but about our very existence in the world. [4*]

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

​The life-story of our foreign-born U.S. Founding Father. I absolutely loved this book!! Because it just goes to show how incredibly hard immigrants have to work to prove themselves just as capable as their colleagues. Hamilton didn’t take anything for granted, using every opportunity he earned, and relentlessly striving to preserve the sanctity of his adopted country’s constitution. He not only fought for the states and created our financial system, but actually shaped our beloved country. One of the best biographies I’ve encountered as it covers all aspects of Alexander Hamilton’s life (i.e. The good, the bad, and the controversies) and the American Revolution. Recommend the audiobook narrated by Scott Brick [5*

CURRENTLY READING: 1

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty 

My 30-Day buddy read. About 76% of the way through. The story is okay. Simply okay. Some things are interesting. But it really hasn’t held me captivated. As of now, it’s looking like a 3* star read. 

UPCOMING READ: 

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

I have this audiobook all ready to go! I am so damn excited!!! 

BOOK HAUL: 9

Anyone else get all 9 books on Amazon for World Book Day?? I can’t say no to free books! Especially since 1 of them was on my TBR haha. 

IN OTHER NEWS:

I know everyone is watching Game of Thrones. But is anyone watching the BBC  Les Misérables adaptation on PBS?? I really liked the first episode!  Hallelujah to the No Singing!! Plus having read the book recently, it seems like a pretty faithful adaptation which makes me very happy 🙂

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀

2019: Week 13 Reading Roundup

Sunday.March.24 – Saturday.March.30

AKA The week baseball season officially started!! Whoo!


FINISHED READING:
5! (I read multiple books at once + audiobooks + no social life haha)

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes)
by Lorna Landvik

​I didn’t think I’d finish this book before publishing day. But, I did! It’s a heartwarming tale revolving around an ailing newspaper woman’s column. And like any good column, there are some delicious recipes included! {4*}


Ayesha At Last
by Uzma Jalaluddin

​An eARC I read courtesy of First to Read. First of all, look at this cover! Isn’t it stunning? #InstantCoverLove. Now to the good stuff. This is a Muslim Pride and Prejudice retelling set in modern-day Canada. RTC!


Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
by Mary Roach

​My audiobook for the week. It’s morbidly fascinating all the stuff scientists/researchers do with donated bodies. I was surprised and found the wry humor a nice counterpoint to all the informative bits. If you’re squeamish/easily grossed out, be warned, some parts are a little detailed. {3*}


When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon

​UGH!!! A rant post will probably pop up somewhere around here this week because boy, do I have a lot of feelings about this book. At some point I started hate-reading (which is never a good thing). Here’s the gist: Dimple is “not like other girls“. Gag me with a spoon. {1.5*}

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

​Another eARC courtesy of First to Read. Like the title suggests, this book is about Nina Hill, an introverted bookworm who works in a bookstore. RTC!

CURRENTLY READING: 1

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bendele

My current audiobook listen. I’m not that far into it but I already know I’m going to like it. 

UPCOMING READ: 

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

This is a 30-day buddy read I’m doing with Ashley on Instagram. It’s kind of like a book club, which is pretty cool.
I’m planning to start this today! 

PUBLISHED POST(S):
2

I’m making progress. Slowly but surely easing my way back into my blogging habits!

  • My review of Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes) by Lorna Landvik can be found here
  • My review of The Book of Dreams by Nina George can be found here 

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀

2019: Week 10 Reading Roundup

Sunday March 3 – Saturday March 9

(AKA the week my baby brother got into college!!!! :D) 

FINISHED READING: 5! (yeah, I’m kind of surprised by that number as well haha)

Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) by Cassandra Clare

​UGGGH! *bangs head against wall* That’s it. That’s my review. [3*]

Dumplin’ (#1) by Julie Murphy

​Whoo!! Yes!! My Bookish Giveaway win came through!! Because let me tell you, Willowdean is my homegirl! Loved her humor. Loved her sense of being. Loved loved loved her. Also, um, hello Bo 😉 [5*]

(P.S. The Netflix movie adaptation wasn’t so great :/

Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot

​A memoir unlike any I’ve ever read or listened to before. Mailhot talks about her experience as a Native American woman and her mental illness. An unexpectedly poetic style. Took a bit of getting used to. But a nice experience. Even though the subject matter was a bit tough at times. [3*]

Lady Susan/The Watsons/Sanditon by Jane Austen

​Three semi-finished manuscripts. Lady Susan is written in epistolary form and has an evil MC. The Watsons gave me Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park vibes. Sanditon has a half-mulatto character. The most diversity I’ve ever encountered in a Jane Austen novel. It would have been interesting to see what she did with the character. [3*]

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

​I got an ARC through First to Read and I am forever thankful because I devoured this book! Esme is a strong, single mother who takes every opportunity offered to better herself and provide for her family. Adored her. And I absolutely swooned over Khai. Full Review To Come 😉

CURRENTLY READING: 0

As of writing this post, nothing haha. I just finished reading The Bride Test so I’m not reading anything at the moment.

UPCOMING READ: 

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Can’t wait! Can’t wait! Can’t wait!

BOOK HAUL: 3

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

One of my favorite books that I recommend every chance I get haha. It’s great to finally have a copy!

The Haunted Bridge (Nancy Drew #15) by Carolyn Keene

I’m building my Nancy Drew collection one book at a time. Plus, I remember relating to Nancy in this story.

The Clue of the Hissing Serpent (The Hardy Boys #53) by F.W. Dixon

Still collecting Stratemeyer Syndicate books.

Phew! A lot of reading done this week.
 


HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE!
😀

2019: Week 7 Reading Roundup

Sunday.February.10 – Saturday.February.16

AKA the week I finished a monster of a book and was super-productive (in reading/blogging terms)

BOOKS READ: 4

An Education: My Life Might Have Turned Out Differently if I Had Just Said No by Lynn Barber


Listened to the audiobook. It was an okay book. I much preferred the film (of the same name) as it dramatized an unusual part of Lynn Barber’s life. An excerpt from the book discussing how this memoir came to be can be found here [3*]

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield


A richly, atmospheric story. Absolutely loved this book and its parallels to Jane Eyre. [5*]

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo


A month and a half later, I finally finished this 1800 page book!! An incredible masterpiece. The story surprisingly flies by and I enjoyed the history lessons. [5*]

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion


The MC reminded me of Sheldon Cooper  haha. It’s an odd, kind of uplifting, surprisingly funny book. [4*]


CURRRENTLY READING: 2

The Complete Collected Poems by Maya Angelou

This is my month-long read. I am about 60% of the way through the collection. 

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

My current audiobook. About 50% through and it’s okay. I actually don’t know much about the brothers so I’m learning quite a bit. Although, I know there’s some kind of controversy around them?

UPCOMING READ: 2

The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

One of the book picks for Never too Late to Read Classics. I actually loathe the Disney movie so this should be a fairly interesting read. It’s pretty short so hoping to get through it quickly enough so I can get to…

Slayer by Kiersten White

I was browsing through OverDrive when I saw it was available!!

BOOK HAUL: 1

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Won in a Bookish Giveaway! Haven’t watched the film yet because I wanted to read the book first. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about it so I was very excited when I won and my copy arrived in the mail! 


PUBLISHED REVIEW POSTS: 1!

Parkland: Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen

It’s been a looong time since I posted a review of a book. So, this is an accomplishment. Highly recommend the book. 

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀

2019: Week 6 Reading Roundup

Sunday February 3-Saturday February 9
(AKA: the week of audiobooks)

BOOKS READ:

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

​The audiobook is narrated by Haddish herself, and it is one of the funniest things ever. Her stories are heart-wrenching, but the way she finds humor in even the bleakest of situations… wow. Audiobook is highly recommended. [5*]

El Amante Liberal by Miguel de Cervantes

​A short novella about love. Um, I listened to the spanish narration which was great. There were background noises and music that really added to the overall tale. The story itself was okay. Dude loves girl, girl says “no thanks”, girl gets kidnapped, dude rescues girl, they live happily ever after. [2.75*]

CURRENTLY READING: 4

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Yep, still reading this beast. About 89% done. So hoping to finish it sometime this week?!

The Complete Collected Poems by Maya Angelou
Every night I read a few poems and I am loving it. I’m not a huge poetry person, but now I see the difference between these poems and the so-called “instagram poets” (Rupi Kaur, etc.). 

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Another book I am really enjoying! I find that I have to pace myself with this one, though. I’m taking my time with it. 

An Education by Lynn Barber
My current audiobook. I watched the movie years ago and didn’t realize it was based on a memoir until I saw it on OverDrive! It’s a surprisingly quick listen, and rather interesting. 

UPCOMIMG READ: IDK!
I’m reading so many books at once, I have no clue when I’ll finish or what book I’ll be in the mood to pick up afterwards. 

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀

2019: Week 5 Reading Roundup

Sunday January 27-Saturday February 2

(AKA my birthday week! 😉 )

BOOKS READ: 3

American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin

​A detailed look at Patty Hearst’s kidnapping in the 1970’s by the SLA. Listened to the audiobook and it was well-narrated. Definitely a gripping story. [4*]

The Great American Read: The Book of Books: Explore America’s 100 Best-Loved Novels by Jessica Allen

​Terribly edited, but still very informational. Plus the cover is gorgeous. (Same design beneath the dust jacket)! Although the little mini book summaries are full of spoilers. (I don’t mind, but I know spoilers are a big thing for most readers). Enjoyed the extra little tidbits. Would have liked a final ranking of the 100 books inside. [3*]

Parkland: Birth of a Movement by Dave Cullen

​I cried pretty much the whole time I was reading this ARC. Full RTC…

CURRENTLY READING: 2

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

As of writing this post, I am 76% of the way through. 

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

My current audiobook. Started listening to it on Friday and I am now about 45% of the way through it.

UPCOMING READ: 1

The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou 

In honor of Black History Month, I am going to take my time with this collection. I plan to read a handful of poems every day, this whole month.

And that’s been my reading this week. 

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀


Mini Reviews: The Year of Secret Assignments / Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Two YA books I recently finished that I would absolutely recommend to anyone looking for a nice, summer read. 

The Year of Secret Assignments (Ashbury/Brookfield #2) by Jaclyn Moriarty

Also Known As: “Finding Cassie Crazy”

​Cassie, Lydia and Emily are best friends and attend Ashbury, a private school in Australia. As part of their English class assignment, they write a letter to someone at their problematic rival school, Brookfield. Matthew, Sebastian and Charlie, are the boys that write back. Through their letters, notes, emails, etc., we get to know each character.
 
I was confused for a quick second in the beginning. Page 1. I didn’t realize Lydia was writing in a kind of self-help book and not taking it seriously. Once I got over my initial confusion, I was able to engage with the story. And what a lovely story it is.

The girl’s each have a distinct personality that is visible in their letters. I loved their loyalty to one another. How they rally around one another when problems occur. There is absolutely zero drama between them. It is a real, and honest friendship.

There is some romance. It is a YA after all. But it’s not perfect. When is it ever, in real life? It’s sweet though. Because they get to know each other through their letters first before meeting in person. 

A smile was permanently plastered on my face throughout this read. It is the second book in a series, something I didn’t realize when I bought it (See: Book Haul #1). It works great as a standalone though. As I was able to understand everything going on without having read any of the other books in the series.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


Is it possible to fall in love with a book? Because I think I just did. This is such a beautiful coming of age story. It was simple, yet so profound. 

When I saw that the audiobook was narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda I knew I had to bump this book all the way up my TBR. Absolutely no regrets. I enjoyed listening to this book. And I enjoyed the irony of Ari not wanting to know anything about Alexander Hamilton haha 😉

Aristotle and Dante meet one summer and quickly become friends. They hang out, they fight, they grow and they love. And their parents are actually loving people. Something so incredibly rare in YA novels. 

An incredibly refreshing read that doesn’t fall into all of the usual YA tropes. Ari and Dante are Mexican-American! Do you know how incredibly rare it is to find Latino representation in YA novels? Let alone 2 protagonists? And they’re gay? What?! Unfathomable! 

This is an important read. That’s for sure. I think it addresses machismo in a subtle way. I am in awe. 

Can’t wait for book #2!! 😀 Meanwhile, I’m going to go listen to La Bamba. Love that song too, Ari!