TTT | Books I Loved that Made Me Want More Books Like Them

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Today’s topic covers books that made me want to read more books like this. This could be books in that genre, time period, place, etc.

I recently finished this book where half of it was set during the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. This definitely made me want to read more books on the Tulsa Riot of 1921 and to learn more about what happened since my schooling failed to tell me about this!

Not that this is my first gothic novel, but it definitely made me want to read even more gothic novels and gothic novels that were not always set in England.

I just wanted to read all the novels set in New Orleans! I still do actually. And it doesn’t matter the time period.

Kate Moore’s storytelling of a real life event was so compelling that I want to read more nonfiction.

I became obsessed with WWII novels after reading The Book Thief, and I haven’t stopped reading WWII novels since.

Retellings of classic novels, fairytales, anything has become a favorite genre of mine since reading Jane Steele.

First read The Secret Scripture in undergrad and wanted to read all books set in Ireland and any books about Ireland. It became such an obsession that I focused on Irish Literature in my English Master’s degree.

I’m not a fan of romance focused books but I absolutely fell in love with them after Boyfriend Material. I realized I just don’t like hetero romance stories, so any LGBTQ+ romance, I’m all here for.

YA murder mysteries are always so fun because they have pretty good storylines with not as much at stake (and not as much gore).

HP was my introduction into fantasy and made me fall in love and want to read more. I was 7 at the time, so I don’t really remember if I read any other fantasy books before this one.

Happy Reading, Darlings!

#FridayFives | Books with Flower(s) on the Cover

I started #FridayFavorites back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to #FridayFives instead to have more room for topics. If anyone wants to join me, the list for future topics can be found here.

Apparently, I don’t read a lot of books with flower names in the title, which is an option I made for myself this week. So, I specifically kept with covers that had a flower or flowers on them.

The Heiress by Molly Greeley

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Kent State by Deborah Wiles

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Happy Reading Lovelies

2020 Wrap-Up

The Year

The Year of Covid was such a strange and wild year, and one I’m likely not to forget. Personally, not much changed in my life. The university library I work at didn’t close, we were allowed the option to work from home, yet the work I do buying and processing the books that come to the library along with weeding our collection which isn’t really possible to work from home. Thankfully, my office is in an area that social distancing is possible and the library was implementing all the social distancing and masking guidelines.

A Year in Reading

I did manage to read 50 books, which was my goal for the year. However, I was worried that I wouldn’t manage it, especially during the later months of the year. The most read genres for the year were young adult, fantasy, and mystery. Not surprising considering I was wanting to have escapism throughout the year.

Total Books Read – 53

Total Pages Read – 17,993

Average Rating – 4.04

Top Rated Books

Least Favorite Books

A Year in Blogging

One of my goals for 2021 is to post 4 times a week. When I first brought back my blog in the spring of 2020, I had myself post 3 times a week. I follow a good number of blogs but hope to have more interactions with other bloggers and to be more intentional about keeping up with the blogs I follow. Thank you all who follow this blog and have liked or commented on my posts. It definitely made this year (in general) better!

Happy Reading and New Year Lovelies!

TTT | Favorite Books of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Somehow I made it through the dumpster fire that was 2020, and so did you! Good job, keep it up! I actually didn’t read more than usual because I was actually working on site this whole time (the library I worked at didn’t close). Despite this horrible year, I actually read a lot of great books this year. They are not listed in any particular order cause you can’t ask me to rank my favorite books!

This book was just too cute for words! Fake dating, parents being the worst, friends being awesome, and two men falling in love with each other.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A heartbreaking and joyous book about gender and identity, and how parents are sometimes the worst. Ben is so beautiful and I just want to give him a hug. Nathan and Ben’s friendship turned romance is so adorable and lovely.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Such a fun mystery and game that billionaire Tobias Hawthorne leaves his grandsons and Avery Grambs. And I need the second book after that ending!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A mysterious gothic house set in the Mexican countryside. This was gorgeous and Noemi was such a fun character who loves both parties but is intelligent and independent. The whole mystery was so satisfying and I just loved the ending of the novel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I loved the most about this book was seeing the improvement of Maureen Johnson’s writing from 13 Little Blue Envelopes to Truly Devious.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A hearbreaking book, but one so important for the simple fact that there are thousands upon thousands of girls that go missing every year and most of them don’t get a movie, show, or podcast about them. But they are also loved.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another important book on the idea that just becomes someone is different or doesn’t fit into the community’s white, straight, and Christian standards does not mean they committed the act of murder. That as the old adage says “we can’t judge a book by its cover.”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

New Orleans, murder, vampires, and all set in the late 1800s. Ahh, I loved the mystery and the characters, especially Celine and Sebastien.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As a Jane Austen fanatic, I loved learning about how the novels played out and the meanings behind some of greatest literature.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Oh my word, this novel is so amazing! I loved the relationship Addie had with death and how she navigated through her endless life.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Happy Reading Lovelies

TTT | Halloween Freebie

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

Today’s topic is a Halloween freebie, so here are my top ten favorite Halloween reads or Halloween inspired-ish.

Witches, vampires, magic, and a book that only appears to one Diana Bishop. Definitely a fun, witchy, and romantic Halloween read.

You can find my review for this book here! Haunted Houses are par for Halloween and High Place doesn’t disappoint. Also, be careful of any mushrooms.

I mean, you can’t go wrong with a Neil Gaiman book for Halloween. This one is equal parts haunting and tragic!

1600s, and the devil seems to be coming after the people on the voyage to Amsterdam. A detective based on Sherlock Holmes and a mystery on the high seas is sure to be a great Halloween read.

A young boy picks up a book by Julian Carax and is pulled into a mystery. Set after the war in Barcelona, Spain, this is definitely a mystery to dive into during Halloween.

“Reader, I murdered him.” So begins Jane Steele, the reimagined tale of Jane Eyre, if she was a serial killer. And anyways, is it really Halloween if no deaths occur?

Vampires have taken over the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1872. Yet, young girls are murdered in gruesome ways and who is to blame? The vampires. Or is there a serial killer trolling the streets of New Orleans?

Any Shirley Jackson book or short story are perfect for Halloween. The Haunting of Hill House is a classic one with a haunted house, things that go bump in the night, and a possession or two.

Of course, The Queen of Mystery had to make one appearance on the list. Reading a good mystery by Agatha Christie is a great way to spend Halloween (or any fall day).

Another classic novel: Frankenstein delves into the idea of acting like God and trying to create your own person. We are left to wonder, what is man and who is truly the monster?

Happy Reading, Lovelies!

Book Review | Mexican Gothic

Title: Mexican Gothic

Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publisher: Del Rey

Published Date: 30 June 2020

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After receiving a frantic letter from her cousin, Noemi Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. Noemi doesn’t know what to expect, as her cousin suddenly married a handsome Englishman, who is a practical stranger to the rest of the family. Once there, Noemi starts noticing strange happenings at the house, and her only ally in the inhospitable house is the family’s youngest son. Yet, the secrets kept in the walls of High Place may never allow Noemi to leave.

I was super excited to read this book, and it did not disappoint! I am a huge fan of gothic literature, and from the first page, I was hooked. This book was so terrifying and spine-tingling. I was a bit afraid to go to sleep after reading this because I was afraid of what I would dream about.

This was the first book by Silvia Moreno-Garcia that I’ve read and now I need to read all of her books. Her writing is incredible and the way she weaved the story together, the creepy gothic tale, a haunted house, characters you can’t trust, but able to wrap it all up by the end, is such a great talent.

All the characters were so believable as well. Noemi is such a badass! I was a bit apprehensive of her sense she’s a glamorous debutante, who cares more about what’s in season than sleuthing through a haunted house. Yet, she is an independent woman with a mind of her own and willing to go against the gran, which I absolutely love! She’s also someone who is planning on going to graduate school….in 1950s Mexico (I’m not sure about the culture of 1950s Mexico, but I don’t expect it to be welcoming to women going to college let alone graduate school but please let me know if I’m wrong). I’m just so impressed by Noemi and the lengths she went to for the people she loved.

The other characters in the novel were so well-written as well. Francis is the youngest member of the family who is an adorable little puppy who I want to scoop up and protect for the rest of life. Catalina, Noemi’s cousin, is someone who has gone through so much horror through her life and all I want is for her to be happy and safe. And gosh, the rest of the Doyles are just such amazing villains! I was totally pulled in by Virgil (Catalina’s husband) when he talked but then would have to remind myself that there’s something wrong. I kept forgetting Virgil was the bad guy, and I don’t know how Moreno-Garcia managed that one.

The ending was such a shock for me, and I was a bit sick (metaphorically). Very Game of Thrones like ideas that go in with the Doyle family. The reason High Place is so creepy and life-draining all comes clear. I would’ve liked a bit more of an after scene for Francis and Noemi, but beggars can’t be choosers.

If you cannot tell, I could gush about this for book for ages!

Update: 6/30/2021

I read this book a second time for a book club I’m in, and while I still stand behind most of what I said, I want to update this by saying that I do think there could’ve been another round (or two) of revisions. Moreno-Garcia has a wonderful story here and most of the elements are wonderfully executed (I particularly love the scenes with the descriptions of the house). Yet, there could definitely be a bit more added to the ending to explain or elaborate on what’s going on or how this family came to be rather than flashbacks. When they tell Noemi what’s going on, the scene could’ve been better served by actually showing us in a flashback rather than telling us.

I definitely do think this was a fun and interesting read, but there were definite parts that needed to be elaborated or changed.

New Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

September 2020 Wrap-Up

Oh boy! Who would’ve thought I’d look back on 2016 fondly? Because I definitely didn’t; 2020 is not pulling any punches. I still cannot believe The Notorious R.B.G. died, so for anyone who lives in the United States and is over 18 vote like your life depends on it!!

Stats

💜 Books Read: I’ve read 7 books this month
💜 Total Pages: 2,051
💜 Authors Gender: I read 5 books by female authors & 2 books by male authors
💜 Book Genres: I’ve read 3 YA books, 2 Adult books, & 2 picture books | Within in these, were 1 horror, 1 mystery, 4 fantasy, & 1 biography
💜 Release Dates: I read 6 from 2020 & 1 from 2017

Favorite Read This Month

Cannot choose between the two because they are so different! Also, just realized I didn’t post my review of Mexican Gothic, so that will be posted this coming Monday. The review for The Inheritance Games can be found here.

Least Favorite Book This Month

The library I work at does book reviews throughout the year for the Heart of Texas literature. This was one of the books I chose, and I was sooo excited for it. Then I was super disappointed. There’s plot points dropped and never resolved. The whole idea of violence for violence instead of trying to raise boys better was a hard pill to swallow for me. I just didn’t like this book.

Books I’m Still Reading

Lovely War is wonderful so far, but it’s a story I want to savor. I’m having such a difficult time with Kingdom of Ash because I hate the torture Aelin is going through. I only started The Devil and the Dark Water yesterday (I received an e-ARC), and I’m hooked. Sammy and Arent are in love and no one can convince me otherwise!

In Honor of R.B.G.

Enjoy one of these books by or about the amazing R.B.G. May she rest in peace!

Notorious RBG
My Own Words
Conversations with RBG
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life

Happy Reading, Lovelies!