Saturday, October 6, 2018

August & September Reading Wrap-Up + Future Reading Goals

Hi, everyone! August was an incredibly overwhelming, but amazing month for me. It was hands down my busiest month so far this year. I moved into my apartment, went to two leader camps (one for band and one for the Christian organization that I belong to), attended band camp, and started school. College life is busy! September was also busy and I didn't really read much. I read, but not for pleasure. It was mostly for school or because I wanted to read my Bible. September was my slumpiest reading month.

Books Read in August:
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The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin 4 stars This was an interesting and quick read that focuses on women in an idyllic neighborhood. It's very scary and creepy. I definitely recommend it. It's not amazing, but it has a lot of really captivating parts and the commentary is interesting.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 5 stars Everyone loves this and everyone is obsessed with it and now I understand why. I could not stop listening to this book. Daycare drama is so addictive, but it's even more addictive when it's intertwined with murder and abuse. The twists were great. I love this so much. It's worth the hype.
Death Note Volume 1: Boredom by Takeshi Obata & Tsugumi Ohba 5 stars I love the anime for this series. I think Death Note is one of the most interesting, layered, and haunting stories. It is creepy and unsettling. I picked this up for BookTubeAThon and it was so fun to go back to the very beginning when things were wild but not WILD. It's brilliant. Check out my review here.
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton 5 stars This memoir is gripping and heartbreaking. Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on death row for a crime he didn't commit. This story is as uplifting as it harrowing and I can't recommend it enough.
Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley 2 stars Well, this was extremely disappointing. I've heard praising about Kearsley for a long time and I've been so excited to check her work out, but this was so boring. I was so underwhelmed and it was disappointing. Check out my review here.
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis 4.25 stars This wasn't nearly as beloved or lasting as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's not a bad story, but it isn't as wonderful and it is kind of forgettable. I did enjoy listening to it, but I had wanted and hoped for more.
Holy Bible 5 stars I have officially read the entirety of the Bible. Every single book. I've read them all. Now I'm on my second read.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han 3.5 stars This is fun and adorable. The audiobook is uplifting and really enjoyable. I like Lara Jean's character and the story is endearing. I also really loved the movie. It's a really nice contemporary novel and as far as contemporary YA goes it's one of the better ones.
The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll DNF 2 stars I was very unimpressed by this one. I like the concept of a mystery surrounding by a cast on a reality TV show, but this was unbearable to listen to. I couldn't keep up with the characters and the plot was so boring. It took me forever to get 15% of the way through and at that point I couldn't do it anymore. Check out my review here.
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood 5 stars Sally Horner just wanted to fit in. She didn't plan on getting stopped by a man who claimed to be an FBI agent. Next thing Sally knows he has convinced her mother that he is a father of Sally's classmate and that he is taking her to Jersey City. Sally embarks onto a dark journey with a sadistic kidnapper. This is a fictionalized account of Sally Horner's story and it is so heartbreaking. When I was reading it I didn't realize it was based off of a true story, but Sally's story is tragic in all ways. Check out my review here.

Summer TBR Check-In:
I did not read any of the physical books I own on my summer TBR in the month of August. 4/20 I also didn't read any audiobooks that were on my Summer TBR.8/20 I didn't end on the best note for the summer TBR, but I read a total of 12/40 books and that's pretty darn awesome. I don't stick to TBRs anyway, so I thought I would've done worse.

Overall Thoughts (for August):
I read a total of 10 books in August which is great because I was so busy and overwhelmed. Most of my reading consisted of favorites, which is very uplifting. I gave 5 stars to Big Little Lies, Death Note Volume 1, The Sun Does Shine, The Bible, and Rust & Stardust. I am also so incredibly happy that I finished reading the entirety of the Bible because wow, I never thought I would do that! (If you're wondering my favorite book is Isaiah. I'm also a huge fan of the Corinthians and the gospels. My favorite gospel is John.)


Books Read in September:
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The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ by Brant Pitre 5 stars I really enjoyed listening to this. I felt like I was in a theology class and I greatly enjoyed my experience. I learned a lot and I could definitely see myself returning to it in the future. If this topic interests you, I highly recommend it, especially if you are interested in C.S. Lewis' theory on this topic and it being dug into deeper with historical arguments.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 4 stars I read this one for my British literature class and it was a bit of a slog. I loved the story itself, but Shelley's writing is so dense. This is one of those Gothic novels that I want to love with my whole heart, but it doesn't hit me like I think it should. It's not horrible and I did enjoy the process of experiencing Frankenstein's monster and madness for the first time.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 5 stars This story is wild. We follow Snowman who is the last man on earth and is surrounded by the green-eyed children of Crake. We also experience Snowman's recounting of his life as Jimmy, his friendship with Crake, and his obsession with Oryx. This is a dark story that envelops a variety of topics, but I absolutely loved where Atwood took this story. This satire was shocking and horrifying and the big reveal of how everything came to be how it is was absolutely heart stopping.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 5 stars This was a reread for me, but this time I listened to the audiobook. I absolutely loved it and experiencing it out loud made Lina's story absolutely heartbreaking and more tangible. This was so incredibly moving. If you haven't read a Sepetys before, I urge you to do so because her prose and the stories she sheds light on are so important to the human experience and history.
"The Garden Party" by Katherine Mansfield 3 stars I read this for class and it wasn't horrible, but I was not a huge fan of it. I enjoyed the discussion for it more than my reading.
"The Dead" by James Joyce 2 stars Joyce is one of those authors that everyone loves, but that I'm not a fan of. I want to like him, but I never can seem to. I do hope to read more of him in the future and hopefully be able to come a conclusion about him.


2018 Goals:
 -I want to finish at least three series (five doesn't seem doable). COMPLETED 4/3 
*I finished The 5th Wave Trilogy with reading two novels!
*Burn for Burn trilogy was finally finished!
*I read and started The Lord of the Rings trilogy in one month! 
*I finished the original Sevenwaters trilogy by Juliet Marillier with two novels read.
-I want to read five sequels (I don't have to finish the series). COMPLETED 10/5 
*Flawless by Sara Shepard is book 2 in the PLL series. 
*The Infinite Sea and The Last Star by Rick Yancey are the 2nd and 3rd book in The 5th Wave series.
*The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon is the fifth book in the Outlander series. 
*The Lord of the Rings: The Towers and The Return of the King are the first and second in the LOTR trilogy.
*Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian is the last book in the Burn for Burn trilogy.
 *Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier is the second book in the Sevenwaters series.
*Child of the Prophecy by Juliet Marillier is the third and final novel in the original Sevenwaters trilogy. 
*A Court of Frost and Starlight is the novella in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series 
*Prince Caspian is the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia.
-I also want to read four short story collections. COMPLETED 6/4 
 *Harry Potter and Philosophy. 
*Manga Classics: The Jungle Book
*Starlings
*Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe.
*The Merry Spinster 
*A Wilderness Station
-I want to read three classics that are not Stephen King novels. COMPLETED 17/3 
*Manga Classics: The Jungle Book
*Anne Frank Remembered
*The ABC Murders
*Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe
*The Master Plan of Evangelism (Christian Classic) 
*The Lord of the Rings Trilogy 
*Heaven (It's one of the few real V.C. Andrews novels.)
*The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
*The Pursuit of Holiness (Christian Classic) 
*A Wilderness Station
*Against Forgetting 
*The Stepford Wives
 *Prince Caspian
*The Bible
*Frankenstein
-I want to read five Stephen King novels (I've already read one in 2018). 4/5  
*The Long Walk (5 stars)
*Gerald's Game (5 stars) 
*IT (5 stars-reread) 
*The Shining (5 stars)
Read 2018 ARCs. Read 25!
Books I Posted on End of the Year Survey. YES! 6/18
*The Fiery Cross
*Ashes to Ashes
*Gerald's Game 
*God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
*Son of the Shadows 
*The Shining 

Overall Thoughts (for September):
I didn't do much reading in September. I'm kind of disappointed because this is the least amount of books I've read in a month all year, but I was so busy that if it wasn't for having to read two books for class I would have probably read less. The best books I read were The Case for Christ, Oryx and Crake, and Between Shades of Gray.


Currently Reading/Hoping to Finish in October:
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Netgalley ARCs: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle & A Darker Shade of Magic
Eldeweiss ARC: Amity
Will I finish any of these books in October? Probably not. LMAO College is hard, y'all.

Books I'm Thinking About Picking Up:
Ebooks
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I haven't been doing well when it comes to reading my e-ARCs. I would like to get to this one this month though because I love Amy Lukavics and I'm so excited that I was approved for this one. Plus it's Halloween!
Audiobooks
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I'm hold for all these audiobooks at my library. I'm currently listening to The Death of Mrs. Westaway. I started P.S. I Still Love You and The 5 Love Languages, but they expired and I'm waiting on them again to finish them.
Books I Own
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I'm going to listen to the audiobooks of these novels!!

Have you read any of these books? What books do I need to make a priority for the month of October? Let me know down below in the comments!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Books I've Read in 2018 #17-20

 
Wow! Hey, everyone! It's been a while. It's been far too long and I'm sorry for that. Here's a video I filmed in July and it's now October. Time has just gone by really fast and my presence on the Internet has been fleeting. I'm here sometimes, but not usually for long. I'm currently on Fall Break, so I have a bit more free time. So, here's a video of some books I read in April. LOL

THE BOOKS:
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The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton- 3 stars DNF Check out my review here.
I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman- 4.5 stars Check out my review here
School for Psychics by K.C. Archer- 1.75 stars Check out my review here.
Gerald's Game by Stephen King- 5 stars This is one of my favorite King novels. It's dark, gritty, and uncomfortable to read. 

Recommend the Most:
Gerald's Game is an absolute treat, but if you are easily squeamish and can't handle dark content then I Have Lost My Way is the way to go. Oddly enough, both of these have triggering subject matter though. I like darker novels!
STATS:
Books Reviewed: 3
Books Rated Over 4 stars: 2
New Favorites: 2
Books That Changed My Life: 1
Owned: 1
 
Have you read any of these novels? What are your thoughts on them? Let me know down below in the comments!