Top 10 Tuesday: June 16

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. You can find the themes/dates for Top 10 Tuesday here.

This Week’s Topic

Books on my Summer 2020 TBR

Now that it’s starting to feel warmer outside, I’m looking forward to tacking my TBR outdoors! Here are 10 stories that’s listed on my reading list:

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi


What books are on your Summer TBR? Feel free to share!

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‘Beach Read’ by Emily Henry/A Review

Beach Read by Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley
Length: 384 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchased through Book of the Month
Release Date: May 19, 2020

My Thoughts

Getting your writing ‘mojo’ back after traumatic life experiences is such an challenging learning journey. This is the struggle January Andrews faces in ‘Beach Read’: accustomed to penning several successful romances, January faces the biggest challenge of her career upon losing her relationship and her father, while discovering unsettling truths about her family. She spends the summer in Michigan in a friendly competition of sorts with Gus Everett, a former classmate, rival author, and neighbor. Both Gus and January go to great lengths to show the secrets of their writing genres, while getting into some adventure (and sharing more than writerly advice) along the way!

‘Beach Read’ has many humorous moments, and I found myself laughing at the awkward moments January found herself in with Gus while getting accustomed to their new status as neighbors. Meeting other community members in the small Michigan community also came with its share of unexpectedness! In addition to getting acquainted with others, Gus and January’s constant banter was pretty engaging, especially when they shared tips about bettering their craft.

I also felt a lot of empathy for January, as she is faced with the quandary of making a deadline for writing the next bestselling novel while trying to sort out her complications. For the first time, January fails to see a ‘happily ever after’ in her life. She is in an uphill battle in finding peace within herself, as the perfect bonds in her regular life are shattered. Re-learning how to trust is not an easy thing to do, and Emily Henry does nice work in showing the difficult process to trust in others again.

I recommend ‘Beach Read’ to those searching for a light-hearted romance with the added twist in a character rediscovering their life’s purpose. It was very enjoyable!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

What do you think of Beach Read? Would you want to add this book to your TBR? Feel free to share!

Synopsis

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

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Top 5 Tuesday: Worst Rulers

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.

When it comes to book adversaries, we all have a character we love to hate!

Here are five bookish rulers who veer a bit too much toward the dark side…

President Snow
(The Hunger Games)

Lord Voldemort
(Harry Potter series)

Demon King
(Girls of Paper and Fire)

Malachiasz
(Wicked Saints)

The Bloody Lady
(A Dream So Dark)

What are your five evil rulers? Feel free to share!



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Currently Reading Book Tag

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve completed a book tag, so today I’m going to do the Currently Reading Book Tag.

I came across this tag through Charvi@ Not Just Fiction‘s page.

1. How many books do you usually read at once?
The most I read at one time is two books. Sometimes it’s a Hardcover copy and a digital read. Other times I’m reading an audiobook alongside another story.

2. How do you decide to switch between multiple reads?
I listen to audiobooks either in the evening or when I’m walking in my yard on clear days. I read my other books in the middle of the day.

3. Do you ever switch bookmarks partway through a book?
Sometimes I switch bookmarks! Recently I’ve been pretty good at keeping it to one bookmark when reading through an entire book.

4. Where do you keep the book(s) you’re currently reading?
I keep the books I’m reading at my desk/work space. I listen to audiobooks through my phone.

5. What time of the day do you read the most?
I love reading during the middle of the day. Before social distancing began, I would read for an hour when I came home from work (I usually came home at around 4pm). Since my ‘work from home’ schedule lasts until 3pm, my reading schedule hasn’t changed.

6. How long do you typically read in one session?
I can read for about an hour a day, unless I’m really involved in the story. If I’m nearing the end of a book during that ‘hour a day’ setting, I try to push it until I’m done.

7. Do you read hardbacks with the dust jackets off?
All the time! I don’t want to ruin the beautiful images!

8. What position do you mainly use to read?
I read sitting at my desk, or sitting in the living room.

9. Do you take your current read with you everywhere you go?
When I was ‘out and about’, yes!

10. How often do you update your Goodreads reading progress?
I do my best to update it every evening, but sometimes I forget to do so!

If you would like to take part, consider yourself tagged!





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Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Series I Want to Start

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.

This Week’s Topic

Top 5 Series I Want to Start:

Shatter Me Series
I picked up Shatter Me a few months ago, and I hope to begin reading this series very soon!



Chenel Cleeton’s ‘Next Year in Havana’ series
These stories focus on the influences before and after the Cuban Revolution.



Nicki Pau Preto’s ‘Crown of Feathers’ series
I received this book through OwlCrate a few months ago, and I can’t wait to begin reading it!



Mark Lawrence’s ‘Book of the Ancestor’ series
This is a three book series, featuring some powerful female characters!



Cassandra Clare’s ‘City of Bones’ series
Since ‘Chain of Gold’ sounds so good, it’s time to me to finally read these books!



Which book series would you love to start?





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Top 5 Tuesday: Popular Books I Haven’t Read Yet

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah, the Bionic Book Worm.

This Week’s Topic:

Top 5 Popular Books I Haven’t Read Yet

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I enjoyed Morgenstern’s first novel The Night Circus, so when she came out with The Starless Sea, I couldn’t wait to have it…it’s been several months since it’s release, and I still haven’t ordered my copy. I still plan on it though!



Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about Bardugo’s first book for an Adult audience, but I’m still curious about picking this story up eventually!



Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
I’ve heard how light-hearted and fun this story is, and since that this lockdown has brought on such stress and anxiety in my life, I need an escapist read!



Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
I don’t know what’s taking ma so long to begin reading this book…It has such a dynamic female character!



Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Mass
It’s taking me a while to warm up to Sarah J. Mass’s work, but I might give this one a chance!

I hope everyone is having a stress-free Tuesday!





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Book Blogger Hop: Books You Have Read At the Lowest Point In Your Life

The Book Blogger Hop is a book meme hosted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer where you answer a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. This way you have a chance to check out other people’s blogs and gain new followers yourself.

This Week’s Question

What is a book that has helped you get through the lowest point in your life?

I would have to say After Alice by Gregory Maguire was a good companion during my lowest point. I read this in the Summer of 2018. I was going through a toxic work environment, and it took a heavy toll on me emotionally. I love Alice in Wonderland and its retellings, so After Alice helped me escape from reality during that hectic time!

What book helped you during a rough life period? Let me know in the comments!

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‘Berried in the Past’ by Peg Cochran/A Review

Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran
Book 5 in ‘Cranberry Cove’ series
Publisher: Beyond the Page
Length: 200 pages
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: March 24, 2020

Synopsis:
On a night of heavy snow and bitter cold, newlyweds Monica and Greg are comfortably nestled before a warm fire when they’re roused by a late-night knock at the door. Surprised to find a troubled and confused woman on the doorstep, Monica is even more shocked when the woman vacantly utters that someone is trying to kill her. Sensing distress but not danger, Monica decides to help this mysterious woman, but her clouded recollections yield little—until she dredges up memories of her sister and a nearby home, where they find the woman’s sister, dead.

Unable to deny her own curiosity or the woman’s request for help, Monica begins digging into the suspicious death, only to discover a murky family history of valuable land, a bullying brother, an unscrupulous real estate developer, and endless rumors of good deeds met with bad blood. And when the trail of the killer begins to turn cold, Monica realizes that while the family wants to bury their sister, someone is out to bury the clues—and if Monica’s not careful, to bury her as well.

My Thoughts:

**I received Berried in the Past through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review**

The past few days placed me in a mood where I longed for a story to help me escape the complicated times the world is currently experiencing. I found that story in Berried in the Past! This told the story of Monica Albertson, a small-town baker in Cranberry Cove (a village set in Michigan). Monica sets out to solve the murder of Marta Bakker, after her sister unexpectedly appears at her doorstep one night. Everyone who Monica meets has an explanation (and possibly a motive) for the woman’s death!

My interest was held from beginning to end, since I was curious to see how the mystery of Marta’s death would be solved. The side characters (and the conflicts that added on to the tale) kept things very interesting as well!

This book is the fifth installment of the Cranberry Cove series, but you don’t need to read the previous books to catch up on the goings-on in this small town. While I was relieved to discover that fact, I plan on picking up one of the earlier books in the series to learn how Monica’s relationship with the townspeople solidified!

The book was also filled with mouth-watering treats and baked goods. There are some recipes in the back of the novel which I’m very interested in trying out this week (I enjoyed reading about the Cranberry Orange Cake)!

Berried in the Past by Peg Cochran is sure to bring that escape from the crazy times happening in our world. You won’t be disappointed!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Anticipated March 2020 Book Releases

I get so happy at the thought of new book releases! This month has some pretty interested reads for us to peruse!

Here is a small list of the books coming out this month:

March 3:

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Mass

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

March 10:

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler

March 24

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

What books are you looking forward to picking up/requesting from your library this month? Let me know in the comments!

‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern/A Review

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Length: 519 pages
Publisher: Anchor Books
Genre: Fiction/Fantasy
Purchased at Barnes & Noble
Release Date: July 3 2012

Synopsis:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

My Thoughts:

I meant to end the month of January with reading and reviewing The Night Circus, but life called me to focus on family for most of the month. Although reading The Night Circus became an unexpectedly long task, I’m so glad that I stuck with it!

The Night Circus tells the story of Celia and Marco, destined to become players in a game filled with magic, skill, and illusion. Their playing field involved a circus woven with fantasy and dreams, all of the major figures and performers wrapped up in an intricate puzzle that no one can master.

This story is told in present tense, alternating between two different timelines. One features the origins of Celia and Marco’s abilities within the circus, and the other highlights a patron’s experience throughout his visit at the circus, struggling to figure out his calling in life. These two timelines are so descriptive in emotion, all the characters involved fighting to define their true calling in life.

I’m thankful that I finally made the time to read The Night Circus. It was such a wonderful book!

Rating: 5/5 Stars