2019: Week 20 Reading Roundup

Sunday.May.12 – Saturday.May.18

AKA: The week I saw a coyote roaming my neighborhood which pretty much took 10 years off my life because why is it so far away from the mountains???

FINISHED READING: 3

Truly Devious (#1) by Maureen Johnson

​I so enjoyed this book! The mystery is well-plotted and interesting. A true crime obsessed teenage girl is accepted to a prestigious academy with an old, unsolved murder mystery. The cliffhanger though!!! [4*]

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

​Not for me. The basic message is your thoughts control the universe and the universe will give you whatever you want (no work/effort on your part necessary) *major eye roll* [2*

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (read by Josephine Bailey)

​I listened to the audiobook and was thoroughly impressed by the narration. Each character had their own distinct voice. The story itself is dramatic. Think fairytale, evil stepmother and rebellious stepsister and all. BTW there is no ending! Gaskell passed away before the novel was completed 😥 [4.25*]

CURRENTLY READING: 2

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

My current audiobook. Loving the narration and the story! About 32% through the book.

Travels With Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

John Steinbeck has quickly become one of my favorite authors. There’s just something about his writing that really gets to me. It’s simple but deep. Currently about 68% through this novel.

UPCOMING READ: 

Um, idk… probably the ARC below…?

BOOK HAUL: 1

In at the Deep End by Kate Davies

​I won an ARC of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway!! I’m really lucky when it comes to winning books haha

PUBLISHED POST(S): 1

My review of The Song of the Jade Lily by Kirsty Manning can be found HERE

IN OTHER NEWS:

Ahhhhhh!! There is a Nancy Drew television adaptation coming this fall!! OMG!! I am equal parts excited and nervous!! 

HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE! 😀

December 2018 Audiobooks

December was a disappointing month in terms of audiobooks. None of these listens really blew me away. 

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

​

I’ve always found this book to be a bit intimidating. Not because of it’s length, but because of the story. Granted, my knowledge of said story only extended as far as knowing Oliver is an orphan that is punished for daring to ask for more food. That’s it. That’s all I knew. And that premise has never caught my attention.
 
But, I wanted to check this classic off my list so I audiobooked it. And… while it wasn’t what I was expecting, I still only feel “meh” about it. 

Dickens has a way to of bringing the drab, dirty city alive. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed about his writing. And his characters! They all vary from one to the next. Although Oliver’s childish innocence reminded me of a young Pip. Anyway, the writing is great, the characters are interesting, the narration was on point, and yet I didn’t really care for the story. Hm.

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

​

This book first came to my attention when my book twin Morgana @Morganas Book Box reviewed it. Now, I need to learn how to be happier so of course this book quickly went onto my TBR. When the audiobook became available on OverDrive, I jumped at the chance to listen to it. 

The main point I got from this book: comfort is key. The Danish embrace comfort on a whole other level. Candles, books, food. Anything can be Hygge if it makes you calm and relaxed. Seems simple enough to do. 

It was a quick, fairly interesting read. As an introvert, Wiking’s description of Hygge sounds like a beautiful dream. I’m not a writer, so I can’t really put it into words. But. If you read this book, then you’ll figure out what I mean 😉

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides 

​

I thought the concept of this book was interesting. A college love triangle where the girl in the middle (Madeleine) is writing her thesis on the marriage plot found within Romantic and Victorian novels. But it fell completely flat for me.

My biggest gripe is how utterly pretentious this book is. Dropping author names left and right and expounding their ideas. So you know who Marquis de Sade and Cheever are. Kudos to you, sir. 

I think this book is designed to be read and appreciated by a certain group of people (i.e. English majors and people who thoroughly enjoy discussing literary themes). Me, I don’t like to overthink books. So I didn’t like this book. 

The only reason I gave this book 2 stars on Goodreads: Leonard. He is one of Madeleine’s love interests. He is also a manic depressive. I thought his representation was fairly done so I bumped my rating up. Other than that. Nope. Couldn’t stand listening to this book.

Recommend? Only to fans of The Secret History

Favorite listen? Definitely The Little Book of Hygge. A great little book from the CEO of The Happiness Institute. Plus, I found his voice to be so soothing! 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

This was an interesting read. The first third of the book made me feel good. Finally, someone that understands! 

​

There were anecdotes used to convey how introverts are different from extroverts. To relate the struggles of being one in a society that puts a high value on extroversion. It was all fine and pretty well-researched. A lot of times I found myself bobbing my head and completely relating to the text. 

Studies have shown that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the ‘real me’ online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions.

I especially enjoyed the advice and tips on how to parent an introverted child. Very useful and insightful. 

And then my feelings started to change. Apparently, if an introvert wants to succeed in this society, we have to create an “extroverted persona”. Do you know how awful that sounds? You want me to play a part, so that others will accept me? Rather than they accepting me as is? What kind of message is that? 

To top it off, the author relates stories of introverts that have taken on that gregarious persona. Yes, they’ve been more successful but they’re miserable. As I expected. They talk about how rundown they feel, how depressed, how utterly drained by a farce they have to keep up for so long.

Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health.

Yet, the “extroverted persona” is still given as sound advice? WTF?!

Look, I’m already damaged enough. I can’t and won’t do something completely bonkers so others will like me. Why should I conform and make myself miserable in the process? You know what? I’m happy being myself, thanks. Damn society and its extroverted ideal. 

​

2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge.

Challenge update: 41/50
Prompt: a book by an author with the same first or last name as you 
[My mom named me Susan :)] 

​

“Books hold the key to her career”

Bruh! For real? 

First of all, where do they get this from? And second of all, does this mean I was destined to be a bookworm from birth??