As I’ve begun increasing my read tbr by the month I decided I needed to get to do mid month wrap ups. I’m trying hard to keep up my reading pace, but also not forcing myself into a slump by not wanting to read. Thanks to the holiday weekend, I’ve managed to read a bit more than usual and I’m surprisingly keeping the slump back by reading small things here and there. I’ve managed 20 books! And it’s only mid April! I’ve read a lot of really good books this month. A handful I want to buy they were that good! Let’s dive in shall we?
Look at me, reading huge 900+ page books! I’m going to hopefully manage to get another big batch of books before the end of the month. I couldn’t get images for every book I read, unfortunately. But I did get the biggest ones.
My favorite books of the month? You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood, These Silent Woods, and Traitors Blade.
My least favorite books? The Best of All Possible Worlds, Hunting Game, and The Circus Infinite.
Biggest Book Read? Shadowmarch by Tad Williams 900 pages
I’ve had a lot of tbrs over the years and many books that I had every intention of reading but failing to do so. I’m hoping that next month-where I already have 40+ books on my tbr-I can get some of these out of the way. Let me know your thoughts on if you’ve read any of these!
Notes: there’s at least two different covers for this book and both are equally gorgeous!
This is at once an epic love story and a heart-pounding journey across WWI-era Russia, about an ambitious young doctor and her scientist brother in a race against Einstein to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar’s army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. Can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?
Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri’s fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri’s own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.
Thoughts: I’ve been drawn to this book for years. I love historical fiction and a good romance. I’m hoping to squeeze this in next month!
Notes: I have read book one but it’s been a few years! I need a reread!
The fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written
Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.
Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.
My Thoughts: Who doesn’t love a good Jane Austen retelling? I loved this first book and I really want to do more “Series Review” on my book blog. This is one series I hope to get to this year.
Notes: I adore historical fiction. Especially the ones that really capture the past and sweep me away to another place and time.
When Zenobia takes control of her own fate, will the gods punish her audacity?
Zenobia, the proud daughter of a Syrian sheikh, refuses to marry against her will. She won’t submit to a lifetime of subservience. When her father dies, she sets out on her own, pursuing the power she believes to be her birthright, dreaming of the Roman Empire’s downfall and her ascendance to the throne.
Defying her family, Zenobia arranges her own marriage to the most influential man in the city of Palmyra. But their union is anything but peaceful—his other wife begrudges the marriage and the birth of Zenobia’s son, and Zenobia finds herself ever more drawn to her guardsman, Zabdas. As war breaks out, she’s faced with terrible choices.
From the decadent halls of Rome to the golden sands of Egypt, Zenobia fights for power, for love, and for her son. But will her hubris draw the wrath of the gods? Will she learn a “woman’s place,” or can she finally stake her claim as Empress of the East?
My Thoughts: This sounds so good! I can’t wait to read this!
Notes: I must be the last person that hasn’t read this yet…right?
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.
After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.
And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.
As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
The Bear and the Nightingale is a magical debut novel from a gifted and gorgeous voice. It spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent.
My Thoughts: This sounds so beautiful and cool. I’ve heard mostly positive things about this!
And finally… the last of these five books that I hope to read next month…
Notes: I have had this on my tbr since 2016. That is just sad.
A Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
In her most ambitious, moving, and provocative novel to date, Sarah Bird makes a stunning departure. Above the East China Sea tells the entwined stories of two teenaged girls, an American and an Okinawan, whose lives are connected across seventy years by the shared experience of profound loss, the enduring strength of an ancient culture, and the redeeming power of family love.
Luz James, a contemporary U.S. Air Force brat, lives with her strictly-by-the-rules sergeant mother at Kadena Air Base in Okianawa. Luz’s older sister, her best friend and emotional center, has just been killed in the Afghan war. Unmoored by her sister’s death and a lifetime of constant moving from base to base, Luz turns for the comfort her service-hardened mother cannot offer to the “Smokinawans,” the “waste cases,” who gather to get high every night in a deserted cove. When even pills, one-hitters, Cuervo Gold, and a growing crush on Jake Furusato aren’t enough to soften the unbearable edge, the desolate girl contemplates taking her own life.
In 1945, Tamiko Kokuba, along with two hundred of her classmates, is plucked out of her elite girls’ high school and trained to work in the Imperial Army’s horrific cave hospitals. With defeat certain, Tamiko finds herself squeezed between the occupying Japanese and the invading Americans. She believes she has lost her entire family, as well as the island paradise she so loved, and, like Luz, she aches with a desire to be reunited with her beloved sister.
On an island where the spirits of the dead are part of life and your entire clan waits for you in the afterworld, suicide offers Tamiko the promise of peace. As Luz tracks down the story of her own Okinawan grandmother, she discovers that, if she surrenders to the most unbrat impulse and allows herself to connect completely with a place and its people, the ancestral spirits will save not only Tamiko but her as well.
Propelled by a riveting narrative and set at the very epicenter of the headline-grabbing clash now emerging between the great powers, Above the East China Sea is at once a remarkable chronicle of how war shapes the lives of conquerors as well as the conquered and a deeply moving account of family, friendship, and love that transcends time.
My Thoughts: I have mixed feelings in reading this book. On the one hand I feel I might love it. On the other I honestly put this off because of the hype that surrounds this book. I still want to read it I’m just tentative in doing so but hopefully next month I might finally get to it.
Those are some of my oldest books on my tbr. I hope you enjoyed this post and look forward to my next post which should be a WWW Wednesday post here in a couple days. I may have something else in between. We shall see.
I’m sure we’re all guilty of having books on our shelves languishing on our shelves, sitting and waiting with accusing eyes. I’ve easily got several dozen that I am guilty of not reading yet. Here’s a bit of a list of all that I’m hoping to get to soon! So settle in, bring up Goodreads, and be prepared to add books to your TBR!
Many of these I’m embarrassed that I still haven’t read them! I’m always looking at other books or arcs that are priorities and many of these I just don’t have and need my library to access them. Which ones should I focus on? Also? Final count for all of this is 125 books. Ouch. There’s more but these are top of my tbr pile for now. I’m hoping to get to them soon.
Lots of things happening in September. September first is my birthday!!! 🎂🎉🎂 Happy birthday to me!!! (I’ll be 32 for those curious.)
Series September is also going on, meaning you try to knock out as many series as possible.
Magical Readathon is happening but I doubt I’ll participate in that one.
Becca’s Bookopolathon which I think I misspelled lol, is also happening. I’m not sure I will participate in this yet or not?
Big Books September is something I’m doing for myself in reading as many big books as I can seeing as we’re at the home stretch of the end of the year.
Here’s my potential tbr subject to change:
Now I have read Eragon books 1 + 2 but I don’t think I’ve read book 3 and I know I haven’t read the last one.
I have read the Poppy War but not the remaining two.
I have read ALL of Pawn of Prophecy first original set up until the second series midway through.
And I’ve read book one of Sabriel but not the rest.
See a theme going here? Lol. I’m hoping to grab these from my local library and finish these all off hopefully. The rest I haven’t listed are ones that I’ve not read. These are some extras that I’m contemplating for series + big books:
I probably won’t get to all of these lol. And I’m still struggling in writing reviews, but I really am behind and hopeful that September can be my catch up month. Y’all can join me in #BigBookSeptember. I’d love for you to spread the word! Just tag me on Twitter as @Lovesbookandtea! What’s your tbr looking like? Read any of these? Let me know in the comments!
I’ve got quite the hefty tbr going and so I thought I’d share some that I’m looking forward to reading here soon (I hope!). In no particular order these books are high on my wishlist to read:
Each of these have elements history or mystery that I’m eager to explore. Some are new releases, while others are are backlist titles I’ve been meaning to get to for ages. Are any of these ones y’all have heard of? Let me know in the comments!
A bit of backstory about this “book”. I thought it was an actual book, that I had on my wishlist for Overdrive for years. I had no clue that it was a graphic novel! Imagine my surprise when I finally get it from the library in physical format and find out it’s a graphic novel-something that I rarely read.
Now, it wasn’t bad as far as graphic novels go, the art was actually really nice! It had a smooth flow for the story and the print wasn’t too small to read as it is with most graphic novels I pick up (or maybe that’s just me). I read it in one sitting and can feel safe in rating this 4/5 stars.
But how does one review a graphic novel without giving away most of the plot?! I’d really like advice for those who do read graphic novels and review them, it would be so helpful and I’d be glad to help in return anything y’all need help with!
But back to the story.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the tale of the Pied Piper, one of the first cautionary tales I learned about as a child actually, along with Rumpelstiltskin and King Arthur and fae. This was nicely handled, starting off with true accounts about missing children from an old town named Hameln. In that “something happened to our children”. And “one hundred years ago our children disappeared.” I find the historical aspects fascinating and would like to read the Chronicae Eccelsiae Hamelensis of AD 1384. I like when authors peak the historians in me interest!
Now, the story here keeps most elements the same, but I warn for bullying of deaf children, murder, and death of children as potential triggers.
And though the story is dark, as well as quite bleak at the end it was still beautiful writing. I really enjoyed this fast read, and do suggest that you give it a try! From one who rarely reads graphic novels and comic books this was a treat!
Title: The Hawkman
Author: Jane LaForge
Genre: Historical, Magical Realism, Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Page Count: 318
Series: Don’t Think So
Type of Book: Netgalley, Kindle Ebook, ARC
Rated: 5/5 stars!
The Hawkman is a retelling of a mix of Beauty and the Beast meets Grimm’s Fairy Tales (look up certain title). It’s a fascinating, bewitching tale of a man that’s a beggar on the streets; abused by children and adults alike because of how ugly he is perceived to be, as well as how dangerous. He doesn’t talk, only screams at people-much like a hawk-which is where the name originates from.
It is described as a “fairy tale of the great war”, and it certainly doesn’t flinch from telling the dark stories of how men survived while fighting enemies, and deserting, and struggling just to get by. It’s a harsh look at the war, and at how some soldiers were treated during these times of strife. It wasn’t my favorite part of the book, but it was still lyrical in its own, unique way.
My favorite part of the book is the bit with the swan king and his lake. It was beautiful, yet tremendously sad at the end of it as well, well written, and yet strange. It definitely spoke volumes to me, and this will be one of my favorite books of the year, because of its originality. I don’t recall it being a part of the Brothers Grimm or not (clearly, I need to re-read those stories), but I still loved it regardless.
Miss Williams was easily my favorite character in the whole of the story, though the Hawkman was curiously interesting, she was kind and considerate, and acted like a real human being in taking him in when everyone else just wanted to treat him as some kind of terrible disease that needed to be gotten rid of. He was a strange individual, but as Miss Williams pointed out, he was still human and therefore deserved care and respect as much as anyone else.
There are several more things to talk and think about in regards to this book. While only sixteen chapters, it was a huge story and a well-told one at that. I will likely do a re-read of it in the future, when I’ve the time to do so, because I read this far too quickly, despite trying not too. I just had to know what would happen to poor Miss Williams and her Hawkman.
In this Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children meets All the Light We Cannot See, I’m sure fans will adore the beautifully written prose and stories that are told within this gorgeous edition.
Five out of five stars for a splendid job well done!