August Reads

So school started again and I’ve been really busy so I only managed to read two and a half books but I still really enjoyed all of them, so I’d rather read a few books that I really loved and related to than reading five or six a month that I don’t enjoy. Anyway, here are the books I read in August:

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo: Man, I loved this book. This is the sequel to Six of Crows and I think I loved this book more just because I was already used to the setting and loved the characters. I could fall right back into. I loved this book so much. Do yourself a favor and read this duology.

 

 

 

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The Murders in the Rue Morge by Edgar Allan Poe: I was in the mood for something Sherlock Holmes-esque and found this and loved it. Turns out this was the inspiration for the actual Sherlock Holmes character and there were so many similarities between the two. I loved the narrative and the Parisian atmosphere even though I felt the ending to be a bit disappointing.

 

 

 

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz: This is definitely a new favorite. Wow. I listened to this as an audiobook and can I just say that no one in the world could have narrated that book better than Lin-Manuel Miranda. He was just perfect. I found his voice to be really reassuring for some reason, maybe because I’d heard it so often in Hamilton, and it was nice to actually listen to someone who’s voice I was kind of used to instead of some complete stranger if that makes sense? Moving on to the actual book itself, I loved this story. It’s about two teenage boys growing up and finding themselves and trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be and I just related to it so much. I loved Ari and related so much to his character. I loved the atmosphere, the fact that it was about Mexicans in Texas. The rawness of it all really got me. I also loved that there was no specific plot, it was just a story, purely character based. Ari and Dante both just took my heart and I’ll forever love this book.

That’s all for today. Did any of you read anything interesting this month?

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July Books

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Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson: This took me a while to finish. The beginning was really interesting but towards the end, I found myself getting bored. It wasn’t really that suspenseful since we found out who the killer was quite quickly.

 

 

 
Lady img_0299Midnight by Cassandra Clare: So after a year of having this book, I finally got around to it and wow. I went into this a little cautiously because I knew I’d love it (I mean it’s Cassandra Clare how could I not) but there was a small part of me that worried that I might not. I was worried I wouldn’t like the characters, that they wouldn’t be the same as the others. Thankfully, all my initial worries were completely unfounded. I loved Emma and Julian, and his siblings. I loved that it was set in L.A. I honestly should have made a review on this book when I had the chance because I had so many thoughts. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book immensely and will try and get to Lord of Shadows as soon as possible.

 

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I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak: I needed a pick-me up after finishing Lady Midnight so I decided to re read this one. Everyone knows how I feel about this book. Moving on.

 

 

 

 

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: In short, this book tripped me up and seriously got me thinking. I actually reviewed this one here.

 

 

 

 

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: So, as usual, I’ve had this book for over a year and have wanted to read it for ages but I never really felt in the mood. I’ve seriously been missing out. This book is amazing. The characters were so beautifully fleshed out and unique. I love it so much. I never thought I’d love this book as much I did, but I do and now honestly I can’t stop thinking about it. I finished the conclusion yesterday and I’ve just been in this haze. Do yourself a favor and read it.

 

That’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed and tell me in the comments if you read any of these books or if you read anything interesting this past month!

Discussion: Writing in Books?

 

I used to be so adamant about always keeping my books in prime condition. I wanted them to always look shiny and new and I’d always pride myself when the spines of my books were never cracked, the cover never bent, the pages never folded. Over the past year, I’ve been asking myself, why? It’s so hollow, I think. Now, if I see one of my books that’s in perfect condition, often, it’s a book I didn’t enjoy. Of course, that doesn’t mean I go out of my way to destroy them, but I’ve stopped caring about keeping the book barely cracked open so as not to damage the spine. It shows that it’s been read.

Naturally, whether a book is “damaged” or not, isn’t really that big of a deal, but what I’m here to discuss is writing in them. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve written in a book when it wasn’t for school. And when I did, it was usually the faintest line drawn in pencil under a sentence that I liked. It started, when I borrowed a book from my friend and found pages she’d highlighted and underlined. It was so interesting to see parts that she’d enjoyed.

Then, months later, I was rereading I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (this was my third to reading it) and I found it so empty. This is one of my favorite books of all time and yet there was nothing in the physical copy that showed that. I remember reading it and feeling this urge to grab a pencil and add my thoughts. I was a bit nervous at first, tracing barely the smallest line under a sentence I liked in pencil, but as the book went on, I grew bolder. I started adding exclamation marks, comments, boxing passages that I enjoyed. And you know what? I loved it. It made the book and what it meant to me become much more vivid and now when I look at it, I can tell which parts were my favorites, what characters did that irritated me or that I loved. And if I pass it on to someone else, they can get that insight as well. I haven’t been able to do that recently since the last two book I read have been my sister’s, but the next book I read that’s mine, I’m going to annotate all over it if I want to. Maybe I’ll write in pen or highlighter. I’ll add comments and annotate as I go along. Who knows?

What do you think? Do you like to write all over the pages of a book or do you prefer it to be in perfect condition?

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

51vhe12rxjl-_sx324_bo1204203200_Title: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Vintage

Rating; 5/5

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Well damn. I heard about this book and thought it’d be an interesting read. I wasn’t prepared for how raw and frightening this book would be. I was immediately drawn to this book from the first page. The writing style just seemed so bleak and hopeless while also straight to the point. I was immediately hooked and wanted to know more about the society Offred alluded to and how it worked.

This was a harsh awakening to the fact that rights aren’t always permanent. It’s scary how quickly they can be stripped from you. It was scarily relevant in today’s society, especially with what’s going on in the White House. In some countries, women still don’t have the right to vote and countries such as Saudi Arabia only legalized it a couple of years ago.

I watched a couple interviews with Margaret Atwood and she’s quite adamant about not taking our rights for granted. She talks about how a bunch of new generations are born with the rights and see them as given to them, and she wrote the book to remind people that things aren’t always secure. She’s right, in a way. I grew up barely thinking twice about, but really, decades ago, women were still fighting against gender descrimination in the workspace, and it’s still not exactly equal yet.

This book taught me to value my rights, to not take them for granted, and to continue to fight for women’s rights around the world.

It served as a warning to me, and to others of how things can become, if we allow things to progress as they did in the book.

In short, this book was eye-opening and raw. A definite must-read.

SPOILERS:

Continue reading

Books I Read in June

I skipped the past couple monthly wrap-ups because I felt like they were kind of boring and irrelevant, but today I thought it’d be fun to do one again.

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Night Film by Marisha Pessl: I finished this book in the beginning of June but this book has stuck with me. This book creeped me out and I was intrigued the whole way through. I loved the premise and I definitely recommend it.

 

 

 

 

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir: This is a completely random book but I found this in my house and I thought it would be interesting so I decided to pick it up. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book and I loved ready about the 1500s and Henry VIII.

 

 

 

 

sky_375wThe Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: Oh my god, I loved this book. It was a really quick read for me and I loved every second of it. I really enjoyed the way Jandy illustrated grief–it was raw and real and didn’t feel romanticized. I used to play in a band, and I loved seeing Lennie play the clarinet and interacting with the band and I enjoyed the musical aspect of the book.

 

 

 

91v1my0wjwlThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: I recently read Of Mice and Men for school and I quite enjoyed it. I had The Grapes of Wrath lying around my house and I’d been putting off reading it and decided to just go for it. I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked this book and found it interesting to read into the lives of migrant workers and families during the Great Depression.

1Q84: Review

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Title: 1Q84

Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Knopf

Rating: 3.5/5

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

I was really excited to read this book. Maybe it was because of my somewhat high expectations that this book fell relatively low. Or maybe not, I’m not sure. All I know is that this book felt kind of empty to me by the end. It’s a huge book but after the first 300 pages or so the plot seemed to slow down considerably. Nothing much seemed to be happening. There were a couple bumps after that but overall the plot was pretty flat.

That being said, I really enjoyed the setting. This is the first book I’ve read set entirely in Japan and I loved reading about the culture and Tokyo.

I’ve heard that many others enjoyed this book and the characters were engaging and relatable, but as a mostly plot-based reader, I felt a bit disappointed at the end. However, there were still really interesting parts that got me thinking and I’d still recommend this.

SPOILERS:

Continue reading

Authors I’d Love to Meet!

Even though I read a lot, I haven’t been to very many book signings, mainly because I’m always in the wrong place for book signings. There are so many authors I’d love to meet, and it was so hard to narrow it down to five.

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5. V.E. Schwab: I just love her books and her writing styles. I’d love to meet her and tell her how much her books have impacted me.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 4.26.42 PM4. Jojo Moyes: Y’all know how much I love Me Before You and if I ever had the chance to meet Jojo Moyes, I’d never pass on that. Me Before You was just so incredible and I’d love to see her and have her sign my copy and for me to be able to tell her how much her book resonated with me.

 

cassandra-clare3. Cassandra Clare: I’ve read so many of her books and loved all of them. My favorites are, of course, The Infernal Devices. I’d just love to meet her and fangirl about Will and Tessa.

 

 

JK Rowling2. J.K. Rowling: This one doesn’t really need any explaining. She’s some sort of childhood hero in my mind and meeting her would be a dream come true. Her books formed the basis of my love for reading and I’d just love to talk to her.

 

114661.Markus Zusak: Again, not surprising. His books have completely changed my life. I can’t even put to words how much I loved The Book Thief and I am the Messenger. I’d just love the chance to meet him and tell him how amazing I thought his books were and how much I love his writing style.

That was it for today’s post, just a few of the authors I’d love to meet.