To All the Books I Read in 2019

Do I even have to explain this blog post? 😀

I tried so hard to reach my Goodreads goal of 65 books last year that I was flying through half unread books, minutes before 2020, and somehow finished 65. I neglected my blog pretty much for the year, but nevertheless a small roundup of books I loved and cherished, incoming.

Onto the 5 stars reads – actually the books I’ve rated 5 stars are the ones that made me ugly cry 😀 and obviously books that were well written. I can sometimes be partial and rate a favourite author’s book with a 5 star but I would always mention that I’m being partial and opinions might differ.

  • All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover – ugly crying ensured
  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi – all the feels, this one!
  • The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – the best conclusion to the trilogy
  • Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Ugly crying, tbh still not completed its review.
  • 100 days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons – Beautiful book with an amazing disability rep
  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen – Partial to this one!!
  • The Travelling Cat chronicles by Hiro Arikawa – Again ugly crying, hold onto those tissues.
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – Very very heartwarming!!
  • Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow – Beautiful worlds and amazing writing.
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – Really loved the way the series took shape and ended.

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Some books that cut pretty much close to a 5 stars –

  • The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson
  • Comics will break your heart by Faith Erin Hicks
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbie Waxman
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

I’m pretty sure Taylor Jenkins Reid and Beth O’Leary have become auto-buy authors for me. And I noticed something else, my most read genre of 2019 is contemporary, closely followed by YA fantasy and historical fiction. I’m gonna change that in 2020 and I’m focusing more on Epic/High Fantasy books that have been recommended to me through Instagram. Towards the end of 2019, I discovered Brandon Sanderson and fantasy has not been the same after his books. Looking forward to reading more epic books this year!!

Find something you read and liked in my list? Were your ratings same as mine?

 

Fall Time, Cozy Time Book Tag

Its been ages since I last wrote anything other than a review so I shamelessly tagged myself to do this tag which was originally created by Booktuber Sam’s Nonsense. If you wanna take a break from reviews or got nothing to post, consider yourself tagged.

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Crunching Leaves: The world is full of color – choose a book that had reds / oranges/ yellows on the cover

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Cozy Sweater – It’s finally cold enough to don warm cozy clothing: what book gives you the warm fuzzies?

any book of Colleen Hoover or Sarah Dessen. 

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Fall Storm: The wind is howling & the rain is pounding – choose your favorite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day

I really wanna read this series.. Image result for stalking jack the ripper series

Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

Tiffy from The Flatshare because I get to be with Leon then *Buwahahaha*.. Image result for wicked smile gif

Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

Not under-hyped but I wish this series deserves much more love than it already has. 

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Coat, Scarves, and Mittens – The weather has turned cold & it’s time to cover up – What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

I honestly don’t have anything embarrassing in my shelves because I’m a cover snob. I love pretty covers and I buy a lot of books that have beautiful covers or editions. I display every single one of them proudly. 

Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favorite Fall time comforts food/foods?

We Image result for coffee rain gifdo not have Fall here in India. This month is our monsoon season and it rains most of the time. So the weather is a lil bearable and slightly cozy.

No weather specific food but there’s room for COFFEE always!!

Warm, Cozy Bonfire: Spread the cozy warmth – Who do you tag?

Like I mentioned above, anyone who wants a change from their routine book reviews, consider yourself tagged.

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

First and foremost, no one tagged me 🙂 I was just thinking of doing a mid year round up when I came across this tag and decided to do it, since its more fun than what I originally planned.

So this year, I set my GoodReads goal to 65 books. Not too much, not very less. Something I will be able to manage with a full-time job. And I did pretty good I think (?!) considering I finished 32 books. Off we go to the tag!!

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1) Best book you’ve read so far in 2019

Image result for daisy jones & the six a novel Hands down the best book I read this year (so far). I still can’t believe that the entire band is fictional and my heartbroken over it even though I read it two months ago. Haven’t been able to put my feelings about the book into words, STILL!! If you haven’t read it yet, please do not waste anymore time and go pick it up.

 

2) Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019

I Image result for winter of the witchhave read only two books that are a part of a series, this year and they were The Vanishing Stair and The Winter of the Witch. Both of them were really good, but if I were to pick the best, definitely The Winter of the Witch.

The book is what you can call a truly fitting and best ending to the Winternight Trilogy. I fell in love with Katherine Arden’s writing right from the first book and Vasya is THE BEST!!

3) New release(s) you haven’t read yet, but want to

This question cannot be answered with just one name 😀 I have so many books in my Amazon Wishlist and my bookshelf in Storytel.in, not to mention the number of physical books waiting to be picked up. But I really really want to read Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan and Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan. I’m still waiting for my pre-order of Sarah Dessen’s The Rest of the Story to arrive and she’s my number one author, so obviously DYING here!!. And yes, I haven’t read King of Scars even though I pre-ordered the book in 2018. I have never read any book from the Grishaverse so I’m waiting to pick them all chronologically.

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4) Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

So many books.. These are all recommendations from Bookstagram folks who were lucky enough to get the ARCs except for the Colleen Hoover book, because I’ll read anything she writes, without recommendations 😀

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5) Biggest disappointment

I was very much disappointed with Sally Thorne’s 99 percent mine. I think I have already ranted enough  about it.

6) Biggest surprise

My biggest surprise of the first half of 2019 was Nocturna by Maya Motayne. I never thought I would enjoy the book because it was a tad slow towards the beginning and I was very much close to giving up.

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7) Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

I very much fell in love with Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and for the first time I read Taylor Jenkins Reid this year and cursed myself for missing out on her books all this time.

8) Newest fictional crush

Mmmhmmm.. I would have to choose between Leon from The Flatshare and Daisy Jones from the book and ofcourse my forever OTP Vasya and Morozko.

9) Newest favorite character

I loved Mo from The Flatshare, Billy from Daisy Jones, Luka from Nocturna. Mo and Luka are secondary characters but still hold a special place in the book for being supportive, protective friends. And Billy s a whole other thing I’m not delving into right now okay *ugly cries*

10) Book that made you cry

Daisy Jones & The Six – most featured in the tags I think!. I also read All your Perfects (Colleen Hoover, 2018) and ended up with a lot of ugly crying in the middle of the night.

11) Book that made you happy

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This book is technically releasing in the second half of the year – 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons but I was approved to read the ARC (read my review here) and it was such a beautiful book about not giving up and looking for the positive side in life.

12) Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Image result for binding bridget collins  I self-imposed a ban on myself and I’m only allowed to buy one book a month, because I subscribe to audiobooks in Storytel.in and trying to reduce my expenses. Because the more I buy, the more I tend to not read, also because audiobooks have been really convenient. So I have limited choices when it comes to books I got so far in this year.

I bought The Binding by Bridget Collins especially because of its stunning cover.

13) What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Everything I listed under Questions#3 & #4 along with some books released in the previous years – Shades of Magic series, Six of Crows series etc. I hope I will be able to read the books from my shelves and bring down the TBR count.

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I loved doing this tag and if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged! If you eventually do it, do drop me a link to the blog post in the comments section. I would love to learn about the books you read and loved.

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A Very Large Expanse of Sea |Book Review

|Best Books of 2018| YA Fiction|

Author – Tahereh Mafi

Other books by author – Shatter me series, Furthermore Duology.

Publisher : HarperTeen

Get the book from Amazon.in

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi was a book gifted to me by a lovely friend (@natsinbookland )in Instagram.

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If there was one YA book I would recommend to anyone, this would be it! I loved this book, I loved it for it’s representation of post 9/11 America, I loved it for the way it depicted the glorious pre-Facebook days, I loved it for showing how devastatingly painful, the life of a Muslim American teen can be in those days.

This books is a must read, y’all!!!

#OwnVoices – Tahereh Mafi has written this book to share her own experiences of being stereotyped and her struggle with racism and her love for breakdancing. This book is brutally honest and makes you ashamed, angry and regret the things we knowingly or unknowingly do against a community.

“I was stuck in another small town, trapped in another universe populated by the kind of people who’d only ever seen faces like mine on their evening news, and I hated it.”

Shirin is the angry teen who is tired of moving around, transferring to multiple schools before completing high school and is forever pissed off about people asking her questions about her hijab. She puts on a tough exterior so that people will leave her alone and not make small talk or pass racist comments that they think would affect her. She doesn’t shy away from talking back and this applies to English teachers who think she is out of place in an Honors class. Shirin isn’t entirely perfect too, she is prejudiced against people just like they are against her. And thats what makes it more relatable.

When socially-awkard Ocean and Shirin are paired for Bio, there isn’t any sparks flying. There isn’t any Insta-love, exchanging of numbers and planning dates by the end of the week. This is early 2000, mobile phones and talk times are costly and people just don’t reveal everything on social media.

I loved how Ocean and Shirin start interacting, each knowing so very little about the other. Ocean is a sweet guy, who is ignorant of the hatred and whiplash Shirin gets around school and slowly learns about her world. I loved all the mixed emotions going on in their minds. So raw and heart-warming!

Just like Shirin and Ocean, I loved Shirin’s relationship with her brother Navid, #goals!!

This book isn’t mainly about the love between two young people, but about how people around perceive it and treat them based on it. If not for the story line, read this book for its characters, pick it up to see how they affect you , resonate with you long after you finish it.

The more I got to know people, the more I realized we were all just a bunch of frightened idiots walking around in the dark, bumping into each other and panicking for no reason at all.
So I started turning on a light.

All the stars for this book!! 5/5 rating.

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My February Wrap Up

My February was rather too busy with family and work and I was able to read only four books. Sigh!!

I hope to read 3 wonderful books last month but due to lack of time, I have moved them to my March TBR. Fingers crossed !!

  • Verity By Colleen Hoover – I was a good bean and even wrote a review for the book. Go check !!
  • Second book February also had a review post – Newcomer by Keigo Higashino.
  • Third one was an audiobook I started listening to during the family things that kept me away from social media. Its ‘Meet Me There’ (Ridgewater High #1) a YA book where two teens who hate each other meet accidentally in a dark Chemistry lab not knowing the other person’s identity and develop a secret friendship that turns into something more. Its cute, with a lottt of a eyeball moments and I rated its 3 star. No review yet!
  • And last but the best.. The winter of the Witch!! My most anticipated read of the year…Review to definitely follow.. The best-est writing and amazing end to a series.. I can’t even find the right words to describe this trilogy.

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And thats a wrap for February!. How many books did you read ?

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#JanuaryWrapUp |Books I read in January

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My January was good in terms of reading. I started 10 books but was able to finish 7 of them. And that’s a huge thing for me. But it also means less screen time and infrequent posts in Bookstagram.

I covered various items in my checklist from books gifted to books in TBR for a long time.

  •  A review copy – The Passenger   3.5 stars
  •  A carry forward from 2018 – My Plain Jane – 3 stars
  •  An audiobook – Damsel – 2 stars
  •  #theunreadshelfproject2019 – an unread book – All your perfects – 5 stars
  •  A book that was gifted – A very Large Expanse of Sea – 5 stars
  •  Anticipated new release 2019 – The Vanishing Stairs – 4 stars
  •  Non-fiction audiobook – We Should All be Feminists – 4 stars

What books did you read in January? How was your reading last month?

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The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder – Book Review

Some books make you want to jump in and write a review so that the whole world knows about it. One such book that I read recently is.. Sarah J Harris’s The Color of Bee Larkham’s murder.

You can find the synopsis of the book from GoodReads

When I first came across the title of the book last year during its cover reveal, I was much intrigued. When I heard of synesthesia, it perked my interest.

The book is about 13-year old Jasper Wishart, who has this condition called Synesthesia because of which he not only hears sound but also sees the color of them. For example, his father’s voice is muddy ochre, the days of the week have specific colors and even knocking doors, whispers , sighs have colors. Jasper cannot also recognize faces, because of which he remembers people through their voices. Or the color of them.

 

My life is a thrilling kaleidoscope of colors only I can see..

Since Jasper can see colors, he loves painting the colors  – the everyday sounds – around him. Having lost his mother who is the only person who understands and shares his ability to see colors, he copes with his life watching people through binoculars from his window. When he notices parakeets, his favorite colorful birds, on his neighbor’s tree, he befriends Bee Larkham, the estranged daughter of his neighbor, just so he could spend time watching the birds from her bedroom window.

An unusual, unhealthy relationship forms between the two of them and when Bee goes missing, Jasper is the only one who knows what happened to her but he can’t really tell. Or can he?

This book is brilliantly written and told in alternate time periods – before Bee went missing and the present – from Jasper’s point of view. You can see the amazing efforts of Sarah J Harris when she talks through Jasper explaining colors and the difficulty of trying to make others understand the colors. The young child misses his mother terribly and this just breaks your heart when you read it. The book also brings to light an important topic – but no spoilers !!

Trying to find his mother in Bee, he falls in a rabbit hole of emotions and is caught between love and hate.

Must read this book, I cant recommend it enough!!

My rating : 5 STARS !!!!

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also find this review on Goodreads page

About the book:

Author: Sarah J Harris

Publishers : HarperCollins

Published on: April 2018

Source: Own copy

You can buy the book from here:  Amazon.in

By the Book – Book Review

Author : Julia Sonneborn

Publisher : Gallery Books

Pub Date: Feb 2018

Source : Own (Kindle copy)

Get the book from Amazon.in.

You can find my review in Goodreads page as well.

Book Blurb

An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion. By-the-Book-by-Julia-Sonneborn.jpg
Anne Corey is about to get schooled.
An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.
Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past…and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

My thoughts

By the Book is a loose retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I’ve only half read the Classic, but I always love Austen’s writing and no matter what, I love fairytale retellings and Classic retellings. I was prepared for the book because you know how the story is going to unfold.

Anne Corey is an English Professor who is looking for a permanent job at Fairfax college which is only possible of she becomes a published author. Unexpectedly, her ex-fiancé re-enters her life in the form of her College’s new, suave, handsome President – Adam Martinez. And because she hates him at the moment and there really is room for another hot guy, there comes a Booker-Prize winning author Rick Chasen to the college as in-house writer. The book revolves around Anne and the struggles in getting her book published along with her encounters with Adam and Rick in the same campus.

What I did like about the book:

  • A book that talks a lot about Classic novels and their authors
  • Has description about a beautiful home library
  • Makes you swoon when you hear how Adam proposes Anne in the past by using a copy of “Persuasion” to hide the ring.
  • Makes you jealous of how awesome it is to have a friend like Larry, Anne’s gay best friend.
  • Has little email conversations here n there in the book (which I generally love!)

What I didn’t like:

  • There was very, very minimal romance (tension) between Adam and Anne.
  • Adam was, for most part of the book, like a character lurking in the shadows. There were very less interactions between him and Anne in the present.
  • The hostility between Adam and Rick made me think of Mr. Darcy and Wickham. And in the end, it did somewhat turn out like Pride and Prejudice. So, I’m kind of confused here.

The book could have been more better, with a little bit of originality.

I still give 3.5 stars

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Debut authors I Read in 2017

Helloooo..

Just popping by, dusting up the blog and making promises to myself that I will frequent it more 😁

This post is actually based on this week’s top ten Tuesday.

I read merely 38 books last year and I’m not exactly proud of it. 😐 I used to read so much more. The first half of 2017, I made great progress and read books of new authors I’ve never tried before. I’m used to having a comfort zone with certain authors/genre but I’m slowly coming out of it. So below’s the list of the authors I’ve started reading in 2017 for the first time.

Tricia Levenseller

I read Tricia’s Daughter of the Pirate King in October 2017 and I really loved the book. I’m definitely positive about the sequel and cant wait to read it in 2018.

Julie Buxbaum

Tell Me Three Things was such a cutesy read and I loved the way it was written. Julie has become one of my default buy authors. Although I didn’t enjoy What to say next as much as the TMTT, I still love her writing.

Wendy Brant

I read Wendy Brant’s debut book Zenn Diagram through NetGalley. I loved the book overall, not sure why many people haven’t heard or read it but I’m looking forward to more books from her.

Jandy Nelson

I’ll give you the Sun is very much liked by every bookworm I know. Though I personally didn’t like the book very much, thanks to the flowery language used throughout the book, this was the first time I read her work and I think maybe I would give a second chance.

Emery Lord

When we Collided by Emery Lord was a hell of an emotional rollercoaster and I’m not sure if I’m ready for the author’s other books.

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Stacey Lee

There was something beautiful about The secret of a heart note that I cant help myself from liking it. Stacy Lee’s Magical realism was flawless and the concept of a aromateur was very good.

I still read few more debut authors but these are the ones that I’d like to list out for now. Happy reading 🙂

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Gwendy’s button Box – Book Review

Authors : Stephen King, Richard Chizmar

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Pub Date: September 2017

Source : Own copy

Get the book from Amazon.in. (The hardcover is just Rs.339.)

Book Blurb

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told… until now.There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: 34430839Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.

At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: “Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.”

On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…

Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!

My thoughts:

This is my first Stephen King book (ah you are shocked! I know right!!) I’m against scary books and from what I’ve heard King’s books are all acclaimed in the horror genre. But I decided to step out of my shell and give this one a try, most probably because it had a co-author and I was definitely sure that it would be less horrifying.

I was glad I did, because I definitely liked the book and read it in a single setting. Please be warned I do not have a Stephen King book to compare this one to, so I cannot assure whether this was better or could have been better. This book is more appealing to newbie King fans (like me).

The easy narration and the slow but steady pace gives nothing but cozy mystery vibes. Gwendy is a thoughtful and responsible kid who doesn’t want to make the bad choice that would end up in destruction. If I were given the choice, I probably would have ended up bombing the whole world. Gwendy’s life is altered because of the button box and yet she chooses wisely. The ending was unexpected but will have to do as it is a really short story.

My rating would be 4 stars.

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