Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Give Me Crayola Crayon Vibes

I haven’t participated in TTT in a LONG time, and I thought this prompt was super cute and creative. I had a lot of fun completing this list. I’m excited to see what other bloggers say. I’m sure there are tons of titles that could work. I couldn’t even narrow it down to 10, so I stopped at 15.

Rules:

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. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

How it works:

I assign each Tuesday a topic and then post my top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join me and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


I didn’t look up to see if any of these were already names for Crayola crayons or close to it. Some of these pretty much say which color they should be, but I’ll let you think about what the other ones would look like. If you want, you can leave your thoughts / guesses in the comments. I think that would be fun!


Survive The Night by Riley Sager

Summer Frost by Blake Crouch

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Tidelands by Philippa Gregory

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

Cut to the Bone by Ellison Cooper

Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers


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The Anti-TBR Tag

A popular book everyone loves but you have no interest in reading?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

A classic book / author you don’t have an interest in reading?

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway / Ernest Hemingway, himself. I’ve never had an interest, and I didn’t even do the required reading in high school.

An author whose books you have no interest in reading?

I’m going to name a few: James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, Cassandra Clare, and Mark Z. Danielewski.

A problematic author whose books you have no interest in reading?

I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher in high school, and I’ve never had interest in anything else by him anyway.

I had one of Sherman Alexie’s books on my TBR this year (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), but I don’t feel compelled to read it after reading about how he’s been racist and how he acts terribly toward women. Check out this blog post if you want to know more.

An author you have read a couple books from and decided their books are not for you?

Sorry to anyone who is a die-hard fan, but Stephen King is just not for me. I read It, Sleeping Beauties, The Institute and didn’t enjoy any of them. I tried reading Rose Madder and The Long Walk, but I couldn’t get into them. He’s just not for me and that’s okay.

A genre you have no interest in OR genre you tried and couldn’t get into?

Erotica or magical realism. I’ve tried to read from both genres, and I just don’t think they’re ones I’ll ever fall in love with.

A book you bought but will never read OR a library book you borrowed but returned unread?

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling. I think I have better odds of reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

A series you have no interest in reading OR a series you started but have dnf’d?

I have no interest in reading the Nevernight series. I’ve tossed around the idea of it, but it’s probably not going to happen.

If I don’t enjoy Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire, then I’m giving up on that series. It just isn’t for me, and really wasn’t for me the entire time. The only ones I enjoyed were the first and third one.

A new release you have no interest in reading?

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. I didn’t care for Red, White & Royal Blue, and I don’t even have interest in her new one. McQuiston was one of those hyped authors that I thought I had to read from. I initially gave her first book four stars, but later realized it was more like a 3 or lower.


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Book Review of Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

308 pages

ISBN: 9780593139134

Publication: 10/20/20 by Crown Publishing Group

Genre: Autobiography (aka “a playbook“)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

B&N | Book Depository

*click on photos for original source

From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.


We all step in shit from time to time. We hit roadblocks, we fuck up, we get fucked, we get sick, we don’t get what we want, we cross thousands of “could have done better”s and “wish that wouldn’t have happened”s in life. Stepping in shit is inevitable, so let’s either see it as good luck, or figure out how to do it less often.

DISCLAIMER: If you’re going to read the book, maybe hold off on reading this review.

This is no doubt one of my favorite books this year. I don’t typically talk about my ongoing infatuation…*ahem*… admiration for Matthew McConaughey, but I think I finally have an opportunity to rave. He’s one of my favorite actors, and now one of my favorite people. Not only is his voice just *chef’s kiss* but he’s such an interesting man. He’s open to all the world has to offer him, and I can 100% respect that. We need more people like him in this world, and I’m sure they exist, but they aren’t out here being movie stars.

I understand he’s just a human being so don’t come for me. I’m not putting him on any kind of pedestal. Relax.

ANYWAY. Let’s move on to the thing I came here to do—write a book review.

First of all, Alright. Alright. Alright. is mentioned in the book a couple of times so don’t you fret.

The book is sectioned into eight different parts: Outlaw Logic, Find Your Frequency, Dirt Roads and Autobahns, The Art of Running Downhill, Turn the Page, The Arrow Doesn’t Seek the Target, The Target Draws the Arrow, Be Brave, Take the Hill, and Live Your Legacy Now.

Each section takes place at a significant time in his life—using Oil of Mink and having to go on acutane, being a foreign exchange student, his first line in a movie, finding his true love, having children, traveling the world, getting married, etc.

I loved learning about his family. I had no idea he had brothers, and one of them is actually adopted. His brothers always seemed supportive of Matthew and vice versa. His parents were divorced and remarried, twice…to each other. His dad was a “rite of passage” type of man. His mom is a “no regrets” type of women. It’s crazy to think about the type of men they all grew up to be—very different from each other.

My favorite parts in the book are when he went to be a foreign exchange student in Australia for a year, learning about what it took to make Dallas Buyers Club, and his brief thoughts on marriage. They felt like the most vulnerable parts of his life, and I think it’s awesome that he shared it. I don’t know what I would have done being stuck with a crazy family in the exchange program. You’ll have to go read it to find out exactly what happened. It’ll definitely make you think.

Aside from the crazy stories, McConaughey is also a good writer. I didn’t really expect that, but I shouldn’t be assuming someone is good or bad at something. I didn’t know he had so much to say. There’s a lot that surprised me with this one.

Me? I haven’t made all A’s in the art of livin, but I give a damn, and I’ll take an experienced C over an ignorant A any day.

The book is designed in a way that screams Matthew McConaughey. You can tell he put a lot of time and effort into it. There are bumper sticker quotes and “notes to self” all throughout. I’m happy that he was able to add in those little touches. I’m excited to see if he writes another book. If you like Matthew McConaughey, then I’d recommend this book to you. It’s so much fun to experience.

Reach beyond your grasp, have immortal finish lines, and turn your red light green, because a roof a man-made thing.

Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is a married man, a father of three children, and a loyal son and brother. He considers himself a storyteller by occupation, believes it’s okay to have a beer on the way to the temple, feels better with a day’s sweat on him, and is an aspiring orchestral conductor. In 2009, Matthew and his wife, Camila, founded the just keep livin Foundation, which helps at-risk high school students make healthier mind, body, and spirit choices. In 2019, McConaughey became a professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as Minister of Culture/M.O.C. for the University of Texas and the City of Austin. McConaughey is also brand ambassador for Lincoln Motor Company, an owner of the Major League Soccer club Austin FC, and co-creator of his favorite bourbon on the planet, Wild Turkey Longbranch.


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End of the Year Reading Wrap Up – 2019

Welcome to a new decade, friends!

This was a pretty decent year as far as quality goes. I read a lot of mediocre books, but the ones I did love were excellent! I’m just here to bring you all of my juicy reading stats. I’m sorry there aren’t any graphs. I know that’s what everyone came to see. I will have other fun posts coming out in January such as, 2020 reading goals, my December wrap up / January TBR, my 2019 social media journey, etc!

Enjoy!

*All photos of books were taken from Goodreads, and the GIFS were taken from Google. Nothing is mine.

Total books read:

90

Ratings:

  • 5 stars – 16
  • 4 stars – 34
  • 3 stars – 34
  • 2 stars – 6

Female vs Male Authors:

  • Female authors – 57
  • Male authors – 33

Best / Worst Reading Month

  • July – 4,567 pages
  • September – 884 pages

Total Page Count:

26,437

Genres:

  • Historical Fiction – 13
  • Romance – 12
  • Contemporary Fiction – 17
  • Non Fiction – 4
  • Science Fiction / Fantasy – 15
  • Young Adult (all genres within YA) – 7
  • Middlegrade – 3
  • Mystery / Thriller / Horror – 14

New to Me Authors vs Already Acquainted:

I obviously didn’t count the same author more than once!

  • New to me: 56
  • Old: 15

My favorites and least favorite books of the year will go from bottom to top.

Top Ten Favorite Reads:

10. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

9. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks

8. Letters from an Astrophysicist by Neil deGrasse Tyson

7. Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

6. The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

5. All Systems Red by Martha Wells

4. The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung

3. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

2. This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

1. The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

Top Five Least Favorite Reads:

5. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

4. The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

2. Bunny by Mona Awad

1. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James


Thank you for being my friend and following my reading journey. Cheers to the new year!

If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog. Be respectful and happy reading!

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Blogmas Day 21: If I Hosted a Book Club | Books I’d Choose

Happy BLOGMAS Day 21!

I found this idea on someone’s blog, but I unfortunately can’t remember who. I thought it was so clever, and I’m sure you all were dying to know. Since this is the first one I’ve done, I’m going to use books I’ve read.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

This book has a heartbreaking and heartwarming mother/daughter relationship. I know there are a lot of people who love to read about that. This one in particular is a favorite of mine. It’s such a new mother/daughter story that I’ve never read before.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This is another favorite of mine. It has interesting topics to discuss one big one being adoption. There are a lot of big secrets, strong opinions, and butting heads. I would love to reread this one, eventually.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evelyn Hugo gives readers a piece of the LGBTQ+ community. I think it’s the perfect amount someone entering that genre. I know it won’t be for everyone, but I love to hear the different opinions.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

A Pulitzer Prize Winner (2015). This is a beautiful and polarizing WWII book. There is a character in here that readers either hate or love. It would be interesting to see everyone’s thoughts during a book club. The chapters are very short, and I know that the audio book is a great one to listen to.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Are you tired of hearing about this book yet? I’m not. I know that this is my favorite book, but I think it would also be a fantastic novel to pick apart during discussion. There are diverse characters, interesting plot points, and some rich Native American history.


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Book Review: Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge #1) by Elizabeth Strout

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Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge #1) by Elizabeth Strout

ISBN: 9780812971835 (Paperback)

Published: March 25, 2008 by Random House

270 pages

Pulitzer Prize Winner (2009)

Genre: Literary Fiction

Rating: ★★★★✩

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis:

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition – its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.

As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life – sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty.

Trigger warnings: Cheating, suicidal thoughts, and an eating disorder.

Review:

“She remembered what hope was, and this was it. That inner churning that moves you forward, plows you through life the way the boats below plowed the shiny water, the way the plane was plowing forward to a place new, and where she was needed. She had been asked to be part of her son’s life.” 

Story | This is a bunch of stories mashed into one book. There were some that I absolutely loved and felt sympathy for, and there were others that I didn’t care about. This is a character-driven novel from front to back. It’s difficult to describe what this is even about, other than how influential Olive is to all of these mismatched people.

I mainly enjoyed learning about the relationship between Olive and her son. She acts like a tough woman, but deep down she just wants to be a good mom. She wants to make him feel like he’s loved, but tough love is all she knows how to give.

I’ll just say this: If you are going into it just for the story, then it might come off as a bit disappointing. I wouldn’t recommend it for people who don’t enjoy character studies.

Characters | The characters in Olive Kitteridge are discernible and witty while living mundane lives. They constantly display raw, unfiltered emotions. I have personally never read a book that focused so much on the characters and the influence they all have on one another. They prove to the reader that it’s a small world out there, and we are part of it for such a short amount of time that any opportunity to influence someone else is worth the time and energy.

If anyone exceeds at their job as an influencer, it’s Olive Kitteridge. She refuses to see eye-to-eye with children, but by golly she can give advice like the dickens. Is she difficult to deal with sometimes? Most definitely. Can she get a little condescending? Yes, but that doesn’t take away from all of the wonderful that is deep down inside of her.

Henry, Olive’s husband, does take a lot of crap from Olive. He just wants to spend time with her, but she would rather talk about how much she does for him and their son, Christopher. Regardless, I wasn’t fond of Henry. He treated marriage as some sort of symbol. There was a specific scene where he asked her to go to church with him. When she refuses, this is what he thinks in his head:

“Going without her seemed a public exposure of familial failure.”

I don’t attend church—different strokes for different folks—so I don’t see what marriage has to do with anything involving church. I think judging someone for not going is trivial. The relationship between an individual and God is just between those two. This is just my opinion, and I won’t go into further detail. Long story short; I didn’t like Henry.

There are a lot of other characters in this book that it’s almost impossible to talk about each one. There are a lot of different lessons to learn from each one. Stories about families, friends, and old lovers come together to form this crafted piece of literature.

Writing | There is no doubt that Elizabeth Strout is a fantastic writer. She has a way of creating characters that I’m sure no one else can quite compare to. They are all so deeply flawed, which allows different personality types to read the book and connect with at least one character, or one part of a character. The descriptions are short and sweet. She definitely doesn’t over-do it. I can see why it won the Pulitzer Prize, but it just didn’t hit that level.

Overall | I honestly didn’t enjoy this one as much as My Name is Lucy Barton, but I had fun with it. The concept is different from anything else I’ve read. The ending was really what saved it from being a measly three-star read. The beginning fell flat, and I ended up putting it down for a bit. I knew that if I didn’t finish it in one go, I just wouldn’t finish it. The message behind the book is much appreciated by this avid reader, but not quite a new favorite.


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Genre Spotlight | Historical Fiction

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I’m sure this has been done a thousand times, but I wanted to start a little series on my blog where I talk about some of my favorite genres to read. I don’t really know how many of these I’ll do, but I thought it would be fun! I hope you enjoy it too.

I never talk about my favorite genres that much, and I figured now is the time. My all-time favorite genre is historical fiction. It always seems to get me out of reading slumps. This post will give you a few reasons why I love it, and why you should at least give it a shot.

There are so many different perspectives that an author can write from. 

I can go into most historical fiction novels and expect a new perspective. I can learn about another little percentage of a different era. Think about all the people who aren’t talked about to this day. We could all write a novel about someone different. Isn’t that super cool to think about? Learning about what they did, and how they impacted the future—our grandparents’ generation, our parents’ generation, and our generation. Just take a second and think about that.

If you choose the correct author, you can learn so much from just a single novel.

There are wonderful authors that do their research (e.g. Ken Follett, Philippa Gregory, etc…). I haven’t read from either of them, but I have heard such great things that they are definitely on my list. I have learned a lot from other books not written by those authors. Love and Ruin by Paula McLain taught me a little about the Spanish Civil War. I Googled a lot while reading that novel. There was so much I didn’t even know, and now I do!

I find the dialogue to be more complex and interesting.

There is nothing worse than boring dialogue! That’s all I really have to say about that. Some books can pull off simple dialogue, but it’s pretty rare. That’s all I really have to say about that.

Lives of ordinary people are brought to light.

This is one of my favorite aspects of historical fiction. There are so many characters based on real people from the past. I know that not a lot of people enjoy that, but I definitely do. A few good examples: Love and Ruin by Paula McLain (Martha Gellhorn) and The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (Sarah Grimke). Love and Ruin is one of my favorite books to date.

I never would have learned about these interesting people of history if it weren’t for my love of historical fiction. I can’t thank the genre enough for that.

Conflicts during that time are different compared to today. 

The twenty-first century has its own conflicts, but that past was especially different, and dare I say, more compelling. WWI and WWII were such substantial fragments of history that are perhaps overrated at this point, but I still love reading about it. There is so much to discuss, and so much light to shed on that generation! It’s also fun to see how far we have come, or ways we have fallen backward. I think a lot of it is my urge to learn something new. Books are my favorite way to do that!

– Disclaimer –

I’m not saying that all historical fiction novels are amazing. Yes, there are a ton out there that misrepresent the genre, but you just can’t focus on those. I know this genre won’t be for everyone, but I think it’s worth a shot. These are my opinions, so if you hate historical fiction, then that is 100% okay.

What’s your favorite genre?


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Book Recommendations from Six Different Genres

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I never give book recommendations, and I felt it was a good time. I haven’t read enough to give you some from a particular genre, so here are six various genres. I even included a few Young Adult books, even though I don’t read Young Adult much anymore. There are a lot of you who do, and I respect that, too. Anyway, here are my book recommendations!

Historical Fiction 

40776163. sx318  The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

18143977 All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

36529552. sy475  Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

41952185 The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung

Fantasy 

15329 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

33 The Lord of the Rings seriesby J.R.R. Tolkien

29588376. sy475  The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

68428. sy475  The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Contemporary 

34273236. sy475  Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

41880044 The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

32620332. sy475  The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Young adult contemporary  

30038906. sy475  The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

40714769. sy475  Dig by A.S. King

Science Fiction (Dystopian) 

32758901. sy475  All Systems Red by Martha Wells

41940388 The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

170448 Animal Farm by George Orwell

Young adult Dystopian 

28954189 Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman

Thriller/Mystery/Horror

41837243. sy475  Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

40489648. sy475  The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

40605223. sy475  I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

40121959 Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Romance

39555142. sy475  Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

42201431 The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

40189670  Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

See any of your favorites on here? Least favorites? Let me know in the comments!


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September 2019 TBR!

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I don’t tend to make myself a TBR, but I want to start trying. I bought a planner so I could be more organized, and that goes right along with the fact that I need to start reading the ARCs I have on Netgalley. I told myself I wouldn’t let it get out of hand again, but now I have 49 that I need to read. I feel really bad about it! So, here we are. There is no way I can read the 9 ARCs I have that are coming out this month. I’m a huge mood reader, but I am going to try my best to get through a good chunk of them.

What am I Reading This Month?

Finishing up:

  1. The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo—This is a big book, but I’m 209/532 pages in. I’m really enjoying it, and I don’t want to rush through it. I should be able to finish it this month.
  2. The Dutch House by Ann Patchett—ARC that comes out 9/24. I’m 13% of the way through.
  3. Dragonfly by Leila Meacham—ARC that came out 7/9. I now have the physical version out from the library. I’m trying to read it so I can put out my review! I’m 100 pages in (17%).
  4. The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl—Hopefully it doesn’t have to go back to the library. 😦 I’m about 25 pages in. I haven’t picked it up in awhile.

Starting:

  1. Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
  2. Violet by Scott Thomas—ARC that comes out 9/24.
  3. Well Met by Jen DeLuca—ARC that comes out 9/3. I obviously won’t have it done by the 3rd, but I will read it this month. *insert “fingers crossed” emoji*
  4. Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson—ARC that comes out 9/17. I’ve never read anything by Woodson, but I’m pretty sure this one is on the shorter side.

There is no way I’m getting through all of those. There are days where I want to read everything out there, and then there are days where I just veg out and watch YouTube. I just want a little more structure in my chaotic life, and this is just one way of doing so.

If you have read any of these, please let me know your thoughts in the comments. Don’t spoil anything though. Are any of these on your TBR this month?


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August 2019 Reading Haul / Wrap Up

Why would you combine a wrap up with a haul? Well, I didn’t finish enough books to make the wrap up an interesting enough post. I even took vacation at the end of August and only finished one book. Hence the combination of the two. Anyway, I’m going to start with my sad little wrap up.

WRAP UP

Finished: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Completed entirely: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss (an on-the-page buddy read with Krystyna @ Turning the Pages. I will eventually have a review for that up, and I will tell you more about the buddy read in a later post! It’s exciting stuff.)

That’s it—moving on.

HAUL

I collected 18 more wonderful books for my shelves. I have officially filled up a whole bookshelf of (unread) books. I have a different shelf that holds the books I’ve read. Seventeen of the books I am about to haul, I paid for with my own money. One of them I received from Berkley Publishing—Goodreads Giveaway. Fortunately for my wallet, none of these were full price! Exciting, I know.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey — This was the ARC I received from Berkley/Goodreads. It comes out April 14, 2020, if you’re interested. It sounds super cute!

The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan

Night by Elie Wiesel

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

The Whisper Man by Alex North— Book of the Month pick.

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout— The only one out of this group that I have already read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Review

Blog Review

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

A Series of Unfortunate Events (Books 5, 6, & 7) by Lemony Snicket

Do you see any that you have read before? Any of these on your TBR? Let me know down in the comments!


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