Bookworm Blogging

20 Questions Book Tag

The delightful Avery @ Red Rocket Panda tagged me in the 20 Questions Book Tag recently, and I’m excited to take part!

1. How many books is too many in a series?

I guess it mostly depends on how I feel about the series? It’s hard for me to keep up with anything longer than 4 or 5, and even then it’s going to take me a long time to read them all because I’ll read standalone books in between.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

Hate love hate love hate love. It’s so hard not knowing. But I want to know! It does make me much more enthused to continue a series if the book I’m reading ends in a cliffhanger, though.

3. Hardcopy or paperback?

Hardcovers for aesthetics, paperbacks for ease of reading.

4. Favorite Book

I’ll give you two: House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski and Strange Weather by Joe Hill.

5. Least Favorite Book

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’m sorry, I just, yeah.

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

Triangles, no. Triads, yes please.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor, it just wasn’t holding my interest.

8. A book you’re currently reading

I’m currently reading 4 books, but in my bag at the moment is Wolf-Speaker (The Immortals #2) by Tamora Pierce.

9. Last book you recommended to someone

Hmmm, I recommend a lot of books. Probably Annihilation, though.

10. Oldest book you’ve read

Romeo and Juliet! Or, if plays don’t count, Oroonoko

11. Newest book you’ve read

That would be The Merry Spinster, which gets released in March.

12. Favorite Author

Joe Hill, for sure!

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

Borrowing! I can get all the books I want for free, and my shelves are uncluttered. I do like to buy my favorites, and books that I think are beautiful, though.

14. A book that you dislike that everyone else seems to like

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo!!!!

15. Bookmarks or dog ears?

Mostly bookmarks, but I can hang with the dogears, especially on already worn books

16. A book you can always reread

Essentially anything by Tamora Pierce. I always get swept up in the characters and the story, even when I know everything already!

17. Can you read whilst listening to music?

Not typically! Sometimes, if the music has no lyrics or if I don’t already know the lyrics to what I’m listening to. But usually it’s too distracting.

18. One POV or multiple POVs?

I like both! I think I prefer multiple, because you get a larger perspective, but I’m not torn too far one way or the other.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

One sitting used to be my jam, but more often it’s multiple days now. I get fatigued easily, and also like to switch between books.

20. A book you’ve read because of the cover

Goldeline pulled me in with almost the cover alone:


I’m tooooo lazy to tag anyone right now, but let me know if you do it so I can see your answers!

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Tempests and Slaughter [review]


Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on February 6, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:

Spoiler-free review of an ARC provided by the publisher via Goodreads giveaway.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. 

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

I have been a Tamora Pierce fan for as long as I can remember. My first read by her was Wild Magic and I’ve adored just about everything I’ve read by her since (for some reason I can’t get into the Circle of Magic series, but I guess that’s a personal problem). When I saw that Tempests and Slaughter, the first in a series detailing the youth of Arram Draper (later known as Numair), I almost died of excitement.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway, which I practically inhaled. It was wonderful to get to see a different side of Numair and to see his beginnings. I loved finding the characters who I knew would continue to play a role in his future, and who I recognized from the other Tamora Pierce books I’ve read.

In my opinion, this does lean a little more towards MG than YA, mainly due to Arram’s age at the outset of the book (around 11, if I remember correctly). While I’m not usually a MG reader, I love the world and characters that Tamora Pierce constructs and didn’t have much of an issue with it. In fact, when I finished it, I pined over the fact that I would have to wait for a sequel and almost immediately picked up Wild Magic to reread.

Tamora Pierce fans will love dipping back into the world they’ve already grown to love, and I recommend Tempests and Slaughter wholeheartedly.

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Text Me When You Get Home [review]


Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer
To be published by Dutton on February 6, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:

Spoiler-free review of an eARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

From Girls to Parks and Recreation to Bridesmaids, the female friendship has taken an undeniable front seat in pop culture. Text Me When You Get Home is a personal and sociological perspective – and ultimately a celebration – of the evolution of the modern female friendship.

Kayleen Schaefer has experienced (and occasionally, narrowly survived) most every iteration of the modern female friendship. First there was the mean girl cliques of the ’90s; then the teenage friendships that revolved around constant discussion of romantic interests and which slowly morphed into Sex and the City spin-offs; the disheartening loneliness of “I’m not like other girls” friendships with only men; the discovery of a platonic soul mate; and finally, the overwhelming love of a supportive female squad (#squad).

And over the course of these friendships, Schaefer made a startling discovery: girls make the best friends. And she isn’t the only one to realize this. Through interviews with friends, mothers, authors, celebrities, businesswomen, doctors, screenwriters, and historians (a list that includes Judy Blume, Megan Abbott, The Fug Girls, and Kay Cannon), Schaefer shows a remarkable portrait of what female friendships can help modern women accomplish in their social, personal, and work lives.

A validation of female friendship unlike any that’s ever existed before, this book is a mix of historical research, the author’s own personal experience, and conversations about friendships across the country. Everything Schaefer uncovers leads to – and makes the case for – the eventual conclusion that these ties among women are making us (both as individuals and as society as a whole) stronger than ever before.

I was stoked when I saw this book on NetGalley, a feminist book about how important female friendships are? It was right up my alley. Unfortunately, I ended up being somewhat disappointed by the content. Overall, the book is well-written and makes a lot of important points. But these points are surrounded by a meandering narrative that ultimately seemed without purpose.

This is because women who say, “Text me when you get home,” aren’t just asking for reassurance that you’ve made it to your bed unharmed. It’s not only about safety. It’s about solidarity. It’s about knowing how unsettling it can feel when you’ve been surrounded by friends and then are suddenly by yourself again.

There were also a couple of points made that I didn’t agree with. First and foremost was the idea that a woman could not have a man as a best friend, “it just doesn’t work that way.” I disagree wholeheartedly. While I see where the author is coming from, I have several male best friends who I’m just as close to as my non-male best friends. There’s nothing I don’t feel comfortable sharing with them, and while they may not have gone through all the same experiences as me, they’re still my best friends.

For something so widely believed, the idea that girls are mean is relatively new.

The majority of the book is anecdotal, with references to pop culture. There’s a bit of historical research mixed in and very little, if any, current research. It’s the author talking about her friendships with women, and interviewing other women about their friendships. All these stories seem to come from a very limited subset of women — upper-middle class straight women. At least, that was the vibe I got. I didn’t mark down details about every single woman she interviewed, but this seemed to be the pattern I saw.

There were a few other things that gave me some serious “yikes” vibes. The author made jokes about strokes, and put in jokes about stalking quotes from an interviewee. There was also one line that really irritated me. The author is talking about a pair of best friends, one straight and one gay. She shared that the friends would go to gay bars together, which is fine, but that “Susanna liked being the only straight girl.” Being queer myself, I’m pretty sick of straight women co-opting gay spaces as their own and I found this inclusion completely unnecessary.

Additionally, the author shared that she didn’t really care about feminism at all until Trump was elected. I think this goes to show the kind of privilege she has lived with, and that she isn’t really qualified to speak for women at large. I was surprised that she even admitted to this, but I think that just means that she doesn’t see any issue with it.

I will note again that I am reading an unfinished copy, so it would be interesting to know if any of these things were left out of the final copy.

Overall, Text Me When You Get Home was an enjoyable read. It was nice reading about relationships between women, but I didn’t feel like I was learning anything. I would be interested in seeing a book written about relationships between women that goes more in depth than this one, and that discusses women from different backgrounds. I won’t tell anyone not to read this book, but I think it’s good to go into it not expecting it to be a gamechanger.

All quotes have been taken from an unfinished copy and may be changed prior to publication.

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Ready Player One [review]


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Published by Crown Publishers on August 16, 2011
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
cw: transphobia

Spoiler-free Review 

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website


In the year 2045, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Obviously, Ready Player One is one of the most hyped books at the moment. While it was published in 2011, the movie releases in just a few short weeks. Since I’d never read it, I figured now was the perfect time to. I’ve seen many conflicting reviews from many people I trust, and wasn’t sure what to expect when going into it.

At the beginning, I found the story fun and endearing. The world Cline had created was interesting, as was the way OASIS had taken over as the both dominant means of interaction between people and the most common form of escapism. I found Wade (aka Parzival) to be a bit of a cringey, although fairly realistic, character and enjoyed becoming immersed in his day-to-day life.

Anyone with a penchant for 80s nostalgia will love the pop culture references in this book, as they hit hard and heavy. Even though a lot of the stuff referenced was over my head, I still enjoyed following Wade as he solved the puzzles — and I thought the DnD-related bits were great. There were also a lot of humorous moments peppered throughout the book, which were nice.

There were also some not-so-great aspects. For one, I felt very uncomfortable with a lot of the ways Wade spoke about and to his love interest. He joked about cyberstalking her, and actually did cyberstalk her, which I don’t consider to be a funny topic. During one conversation where they talk about how he only knows her through OASIS and has no idea what her real-life identity is, he makes a comment about how as long as she’s a “female human who hasn’t had a sex-change operation,” he still wants to date her. Glad to know transphobia is alive and well in 2045 (/sarcasm).

Avoiding specific spoilers, there is one point during which Wade puts the integrity of the hunt over the actual lives of actual human beings, which kind of ruins his integrity as an empathetic human being in my eyes. The second half of the book as a whole kind of made me lose interest. Things continually drop into Wade’s lap in increasingly unbelievable ways, until it hits a point where the stakes don’t really feel like they matter anymore. No matter how dire things become, as a reader you just kind of assume he’ll figure it out and don’t really care how, because the solution will just turn out to be absurd anyway. For me, it ruined any suspension of disbelief I had and was a large part of why this didn’t receive a higher rating from me.

Clearly Ready Player One is a much-beloved book with a large fanbase. I definitely think it was worth reading, and I definitely expect a lot of the people going into it to like it. It just didn’t hit expectations for me and really does read like a debut novel, particularly in the second half. I’m interested to see what Cline does in the future and will certainly pick up other books by him. If you think Ready Player One sounds like it’s in your wheelhouse, I would recommend you give it a shot.

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Bookworm Blogging, Monthly Wrap-Ups

January 2018 Wrap-Up



  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. 3/5 stars.
  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. DNF.
  • Seven-Sided Spy by Hannah Carmack. DNF.
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman. 2/5 stars, review.
  • Spinsters and Lesbians by Trisha Franzen. DNF.
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. 4/5 stars, review.
  • You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. DNF.
  • Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer. 3/5 stars, review to come.
  • Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. 5/5 stars, review to come.
  • The Immortalists by Chloe Bejamin. 4/5 stars, review to come.
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. 5/5 stars, review.
  • The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor. DNF.
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 3/5 stars, review to come.
  • The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg. 4/5 stars, review to come.

Books read: 9
Books DNF’d: 5
Average Rating: 3.67 stars


  • It [2017] directed by Andy Muschietti. 4/5 stars.
  • The Open House [2018] directed by Matt Angel. 5/5 stars.
  • An American Crime [2007] directed by Tommy O’Haver. 4/5 stars.

Other Posts:

Reading Goal Progress:

In 2017, I managed to read 70 books so I decided to aim for 75 books in 2018! I don’t have any other solid goals yet, I’ve thought about doing some book challenges, but I really just prefer to mood read! In January, I read 9 books, which puts me 3 books ahead of schedule and at 12% of my reading goal for the year. 🙂

Personal Highlights (aka a photo dump of things I did this month):

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Bookworm Blogging

February 2018 Releases

Here are the handful of books on my TBR that have anticipated release dates in February! I haven’t read these yet, so if you managed to get an ARC of any, please let me know how you liked ’em!



Heart Berries
February 6th

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar II; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father—an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist—who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

Mailhot “trusts the reader to understand that memory isn’t exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept.” Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, re-establishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.


The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
February 8th

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.


All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages
February 27th

Take a journey through time and genres and discover a past where queer figures live, love and shape the world around them. Seventeen of the best young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens. 

From a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood set in war-torn 1870s Mexico featuring a transgender soldier, to two girls falling in love while mourning the death of Kurt Cobain, forbidden love in a sixteenth-century Spanish convent or an asexual girl discovering her identity amid the 1970s roller-disco scene, All Out tells a diverse range of stories across cultures, time periods and identities, shedding light on an area of history often ignored or forgotten.


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(Covers and blurbs courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Annihilation [review]


Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on February 4, 2014
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.

When I saw the first trailer for the Annihilation movie several months ago, I immediately added the book to my TBR-ASAP shelf on Goodreads without even reading through the description. I put in a hold at the library, waited patiently, and then devoured the book immediately after checking it out.

The effect of this cannot be understood without being there. The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you.

It’s been a while since a book has hooked me so strongly from the first page, but Annihilation did just that. The writing was just gorgeous, and I was instantly pulled into the world of Area X that VanderMeer had created. From the outset, I didn’t want to put it down, but I forced myself to work my way through slowly and to savor every page.

But there is a limit to thinking about even a small piece of something monumental. You still see the shadow of the whole rearing up behind you, and you become lost in your thoughts in part from the panic of realizing the size of that imagined leviathan.

I adored the narrator and loved the style in which the book was written: a journal penned carefully by the biologist, detailing her experiences on the expedition. The reader’s awareness of Area X, and the events taking place within it, relies completely on what the biologist is willing to share. I loved that she could be a bit of an unreliable narrator, and that she was able to outright admit to intentionally manipulating the reader with what she shared.

But soon enough I banished this nonsense; some questions will ruin you if you are denied the answer long enough.

If you’re the type of reader who wants all of their questions answered, this book isn’t for you. There is no omniscient narrator to share the secrets of Area X with us. There is only the biologist and what she knows, or what she thinks she knows.

I can say without a doubt that Annihilation is now one of my all-time favorite books, and will certainly be on my top 10 list at the end of 2018. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Southern Reach trilogy has in store for me.

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(Blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

100 Books to Read in a Lifetime [tag]


I saw Hannah post this and decided I’d try it out, too! I always love lists like this and seeing how many I’ve read.

How many books have you read from Amazon’s list of 100 Books to read in a lifetime?

How to Play:

  1. Include the link to Amazon’s List
  2. Tag the creator of the meme (Perfectly Tolerable)
  3. Tag and thank the Person that tagged you
  4. Copy the list below and indicate which ones you have read
  5. Tally up your total
  6. Comment on the post you were tagged in and let them know how many you read
  7. Tag 5 new people!
Title Author Read?
1984 George Orwell Yes
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Dave Eggers
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Ishmael Beah
The Bad Beginning Lemony Snicket Yes
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
Selected Stories, 1968-1994 Alice Munro
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
All the President’s Men Bob Woodward
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir Frank McCourt
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume  Yes
Bel Canto Ann Patchett
Beloved Toni Morrison
Born to Run Christopher McDougall
Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl  Yes
Charlotte’s Web E. B White  Yes
Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese
Daring Greatly Brené Brown  Yes
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
Dune Frank Herbert
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury  Yes
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brow  Yes
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond Ph.D.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling Yes
In Cold Blood Truman Capote  Yes
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware
Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain
Life After Life Kate Atkinson
Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder  Yes
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love Medicine Louise Erdrich
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris  Yes
Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Michael Lewis
Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
On the Road Jack Kerouac
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Marjane Satrapi  Yes
Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen Yes
Silent Spring Rachel Carson
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut  Yes
Team of Rivals Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Michael Chabon
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
The Color of Water James McBride  Yes
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
The Devil in the White City Erik Larson
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank Yes
The Fault in Our Stars John Green Yes
The Giver Lois Lowry Yes
The Golden Compass Philip Pullman Yes
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood  Yes
The House at Pooh Corner A. Milne  Yes
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins Yes
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot  Yes
The Liars’ Club Mary Karr
The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Lawrence Wright
The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat Oliver Sacks  Yes
The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan
The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster  Yes
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
The Power Broker Robert A. Caro
The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe
The Road Cormac McCarthy
The Secret History Donna Tartt  Yes
The Shining Stephen King
The Stranger Albert Camus  Yes
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle Yes
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami
The World According to Garp John Irving
The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Yes
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand
Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susann
Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein  Yes
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak Yes

Aaaand, I’ve read 32! That’s about a third, so not too bad. There are many more here on my TBR, so I’ll likely be reading those soon.

I tag anyone who would like to participate! Let me know how many you got. 🙂

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Murder on the Orient Express [review]


Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Published by Berkley on January 1, 2000 (originally 1934)
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:

Spoiler-free Review 

Goodreads | IndieBound 

What more can a mystery addict desire than a much-loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?

I’ll be honest — I was a little nervous going into this book. Classics (this is kind of a classic, right?) tend to be hit or miss for me, and mostly miss. I just find the writing so difficult to get into. Luckily for me, Agatha Christie truly is a master of the mystery genre.

The story did start off pretty slow for me, but I loved how witty and sarcastic Poirot was. I found myself cackling at his commentary more than once. I actually sent most of my friends a picture of this line:

Poirot rose. “If you forgive me for being personal — I do not like your face, M. Ratchett,” he said.

And with that he left the restaurant car.

My biggest issue was probably the number of characters. I lost track of everyone almost immediately and got extremely lost trying to figure out who was who. To be fair, there is a list at the beginning of the book, but I didn’t want to keep flipping back and forth or taking notes.

Things picked up a lot toward the end and I flew through the pages, eager to find out who the killer was. The finale honestly blew me away. Obviously I can’t say anything without giving away spoilers, but Agatha Christie did an incredible job of pulling it all together. It helps that Poirot has a flair for the dramatic.

I would definitely recommend this book to someone who is interested in reading something by Christie, or anyone interested in solving the Murder on the Orient Express!

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(Cover and blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

Down the TBR Hole #11

Started by Lost in a Story.

The rules:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?



A child is gunned down by a police officer; an investigator ignores critical clues in a case; an innocent man confesses to a crime he did not commit; a jury acquits a killer. The evidence is all around us: Our system of justice is fundamentally broken. 
But it’s not for the reasons we tend to think, as law professor Adam Benforado argues in this eye-opening, galvanizing book. Even if the system operated exactly as it was designed to, we would still end up with wrongful convictions, trampled rights, and unequal treatment. This is because the roots of injustice lie not inside the dark hearts of racist police officers or dishonest prosecutors, but within the minds of each and every one of us.
This is difficult to accept. Our nation is founded on the idea that the law is impartial, that legal cases are won or lost on the basis of evidence, careful reasoning and nuanced argument. But they may, in fact, turn on the camera angle of a defendant’s taped confession, the number of photos in a mug shot book, or a simple word choice during a cross-examination. In Unfair, Benforado shines a light on this troubling new field of research, showing, for example, that people with certain facial features receive longer sentences and that judges are far more likely to grant parole first thing in the morning. 
Over the last two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have uncovered many cognitive forces that operate beyond our conscious awareness. Until we address these hidden biases head-on, Benforado argues, the social inequality we see now will only widen, as powerful players and institutions find ways to exploit the weaknesses of our legal system.  
Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases—from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park Jogger case—Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society’s weakest members. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the legal system’s dysfunction and proposes a wealth of practical reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law.

This sounds interesting, and my sister liked it. KEEP.


Life’s Lottery

An adult role-playing novel where the reader can choose different narrative options which can result in very different plot resolutions, highlighting our existential lives, where seemingly small decisions have monumental consequences.

I don’t know why I added it, none of my friends have read it, and there are a lot of conflicting reviews. TOSS.


The Thirteenth Tale

Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once the imposing home of the March family–fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, Charlie her brutal and dangerous brother, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House conceals a chilling secret whose impact still resonates…

Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield’s past–and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic author Vida Winter? And what is it in Margaret’s own troubled past that causes her to fall so powerfully under Angelfilds spell?

The description is super vague, but it’s been highly rated by several of my friends. KEEP.


Difficult Women

Award-winning author and powerhouse talent Roxane Gay burst onto the scene with An Untamed State—which earned rave reviews and was selected as one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, NPR, the Boston Globe, and Kirkus—and her New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial). Gay returns with Difficult Women, a collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.

The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the marriage of one of them. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.

I can’t believe I haven’t read any Roxane Gay yet. KEEP.


Under Rose-Tainted Skies

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

I’m intrigued by this one, but I’m not sure I’ll get around to it. TOSS, for now.

Previous: Down the TBR Hole #10

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(All covers and blurbs courtesy of Goodreads.)