Bookopoly TBR 2021 – May review and June books

May Bookopoly TBR gave me six interesting books to read and I managed to read them all in time. Two of those books were excellent and I truly enjoyed reading them. One book was great and the reading experience could have been better and the other three were good to okay because I had certain issues with the reading experience and my own expectations. Here is the complete list of the books I read because of Bookopoly TBR game in May. Five of the books were from my own bookshelves and one was from the library due to the prompt requirement. Only two of the books were in English language and four were in Croatian language which is a rare thing for me! One books was nonfiction the rest were all fiction with some type of fantastic elements to them. Genres and audience varied from children’s books to full adult! Total number of pages read in these six books is 1679 pages!

1. Prompt: Dark Cover

Book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling ★★★★★

2. Prompt: Disability representation

Book: The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga #5) by Lois McMaster Bujold ★★★★★

3. Prompt: Adult

Book: Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole ★★★★

4. Prompt: Go to the Library

Book: Proklete Hrvatice : (1&2) : Dvadeset životopisa by Milana Vuković Runjić ★★★

5. Prompt: Friend Pick

Book: Clockwork or all wound up by Philip Pullman, Zdenko Bašić (Illustrator) ★★★

6. Prompt: Random Shelf Pick

Book: Prolaz za divljač by Iva Šakić Ristić ★★★

Here are my reading goals for Bookopoly in June:

Prompt: Chance card

Book: The Hedge Knight: The Tales of Dunk and Egg by George R.R. Martin

My first roll for June got me a seven and landed me on Chance spot. I am slowly running out of my Chance card titles and have decided to clear them all out before adding the new set of sixteen book titles from my shelves. For some reason this used to be a very common prompt on the old version of my Bookopoly board. The Hedge Knight: The Tales of Dunk and Egg by George R.R. Martin is a Croatian edition that collects all parts of a story set in Westeros and around a century (?) before the events of The Game of Thrones book. My expectation is to be a little less clueless about the book and the world it belongs to. Also, it is another book from my bookshelf to read!

Prompt: TBR Game

Book:  Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins

Second roll gave me a book that got pulled out of my TBR reading games few times before but due to its length it kept missing the cut. This time I used the mechanics of the Flip the Page Challenge. You can check out the original YouTube Challenge video by Jesse the Reader HERE and give him some love and attantion! A friend gave me random coordinates from the parameters of my bookshelves and I got: Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins. The first part of this eighties Jackie Collins chick lit with elements of crime thriller and erotic novel I have read way back in high school and have even written about it. You can check my thoughts from way back in 2016. on it HERE. This book is also on my currently paused TBR Jar Draw. I don’t know how to feel about revisiting this book series…

Prompt: LGBTQ+

Book: Mogla je biti prosta priča by Ajla Terzić

Third roll for June was 4 and landed me on LGBTQ+ tile of the board. By chance of luck this prompt was perfect for my June book club pick by Bosnian author Ajla Terzić. Balkans in general are a hard place to live in no matter ones sexual orientation or preference; but this topic put into this geographical context intrigues me and scares me at the same time. I have one week to read this book and it just might be the first book I will read in June! This book is also available in English by the title This Could Have Been a Simple Story if anyone is interested in it 🙂

Prompt: First in a series

Book: The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5) by Andrzej Sapkowski

Another roll of seven and I got a prompt that was the most difficult for me to choose a book for this time. I had few options for choosing a first book of the series. In the end I decided to pick another book from my own shelves and one that is also a part of my buddy reading list for the whole year. Buddy reading list I am currently seriously slacking and am behind on! Reading the first/prequel book for the Witcher series might be a good idea right now because I had just enough time between the first season of the TV show and the announced second season! I expect to like this book!

Prompt: Gifted

Book: I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider

The last stroll of my little polar bear across the board was to a spot with the Gifted prompt. I was actually reminded that it might be a great time to read this book. I love taking pictures of it and I love showing it to my bookish friends. Because of this I already have a few people interested in borrowing it to read. I don’t like borrowing books I have not read first and it just might be time for this book!

Wish me luck with this small but eclectic pile of books!

March Book Wrap Up 2020

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Monthly reading review – March 2020

This March I have read:

The Gospel of Loki (Loki #1) by Joanne M. Harris  ★★★★

The Darkness: Darkness/ Batman & Darkness/ Superman 20th Anniversary Collection by Garth Ennis, Jeph Loeb, Ron Marz, Scott Lobdell, Marc Silvestri  ★★★★★

Book of Wayward Girls and Wicked Women edited by Angela Carter  ★★★★

Seize The Night (Moonlight Bay, #2) by Dean Koontz  ★★★

Incubus Caged (The Incubus, #1) by A. H. Lee  ★★★★★

Incubus Bonded (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee  ★★★★

Shutdown (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #22.75) by Laurell K. Hamilton  ★★★★★

Ice (Dragon Clan #1) by Skye Jones  ★★★★

Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6) by  Lisa Kleypas  ★★★★★

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1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read? 

This March I’ve read 9 books. I only stated reading more actively in the second part of March and even posting about it so I’m happy at how my reading month turned out.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in March? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

I have read a fair amount of Kindle freebies this month and even bought some Kindle books. From all of them I enjoyed The Incubus book series by A. H. Lee the most. I bought first two books from the series and loved them. I loved reading Shutdown from Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton and I was inspired to go trough some Anita Blake books and might even prepare myself to reread some. Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas arrived and it was so good I devoured it in a few days of reading.

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3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

Seize The Night by Dean Koontz was a book club assignment reading that was a bit hard to read. I started on the Croatian translation which had so many issues with the actual translation and the very small font. I ended finishing the book in English on my tablet reader. It was supposed to be a thriller horror but I feel a sleep quite a few times trying to read it…

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

Lately I’m doing good on all my reading challenges and I slowed down on some of my planned reading in March.  Five of the nine books I’ve read were not planned. Still I managed to read enough to keep up with my reading challenges and I feel good about that.

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5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

The Incubus book series by A. H. Lee is definitely a series I would like to continue. Also Loki series by Joanne M. Harris is something I would like to finish.  This March I have found a new interest in rereading Anita Blake book series and I will see how that idea pans out.

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

In this time of the world wide epidemic many more books are becoming available to readers everywhere online. I recommend you check out what is available and find some new author to try out!

Final thoughts on March 2020 reading

My reading count is slowly picking up and I did a bit more reviews in the second part of March. I hope I can continue with the posting and reading in an interesting and enjoying way for myself and the occasional readers of my posts.

I did three book reviews in March and you can check them out:

The Gospel of Loki (Loki #1) by Joanne M. Harris  ★★★★

The Darkness: Darkness/ Batman & Darkness/ Superman 20th Anniversary Collection by Garth Ennis, Jeph Loeb, Ron Marz, Scott Lobdell, Marc Silvestri  ★★★★★

Book of Wayward Girls and Wicked Women edited by Angela Carter  ★★★★

Happy reading everyone!

Reading in first half of 2019!

I’m gonna make a breakdown of the books I’ve read in 2019. up until today. Thanks to the Goodreads site I can track the books much easier and I need all the help I can get to win in this apathy struggle I’ve gotten myself into.

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For some reason reading takes more effort for me as of late. I’ve set the bar for reading books challenge relatively low and the results are even lover that that so far.

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There are only 15 books I’ve read this year and I will go trough them one by one:

First book I’ve finished in 2019 was a graphic novel Perzepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

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I’ve often used graphic novels and mangas to cut corners at getting my reading numbers higher. But the truth of the mater is that I honestly enjoy graphic novels and mangas. While I will not jump at a book with a more serious topic, graphic novels with documentary or biographical theme interest me. I love the visual representations that provide me with more honest and personal understanding on the topic and I choose graphic novels often for that same reason.

Second book of 2019. was a book club assignment Pohvala starosti by Pavao Pavličić.

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The title loosely translates into ” the praise to getting old”. The beginning promised some humor but the book was mostly frustrating since I did not agree with most of the things author wrote about. For every promising idea and thought provoked there were another 4 that just irritated me since I could find real life cases to dispute the author. It made for a good book club discussion in general because it gave some general topics on the process of growing old and elderly in general. Did not enjoy the reading experience because I found the book not serious enough to tackle the topic and not humorous enough to be entertained.

The third book of 2019. was Burn Bright (Aplha & Omega Series) by Patricia Briggs.

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This is one of the book series that made me love and enjoy reading in my free time. Urban fantasy genre just simply does it for me! I love when an author can tackle an urban setting and characters with relatable shortcomings and flaws while keeping it up with technological and other more modern issues. I loved this book and the glimpses into so many characters that did not have the opportunity to shine in previous instalments. I love the character growth and plot advancement.

The fourth book of 2019. was The Reader by Bernhard Schlink.

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While my reading in the book club has been highly irregular in the last year or so this was one of the books I was very excited about to read and discuss. It is a thought provoking book with plethora of moral issues to talk about and it gives ample opportunity for the reader to think about the past, the present and the future. While some issues are specific to the aftermath of World War II, this book offers a new perspective to our own human judgemental nature and pride.

The fifth book I’ve read in 2019 was a short story collection Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges.

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This book had a certain reputation and standing among my fellow students while I was in college. It took me a decade after graduation to actually get to reading the book. I was surprised it was a short story collection. The themes were interesting but I did not enjoy the multitude of names and references I was not that familiar with. I had a hard time separating the South American and Muslim references in particular and following the metaphors. It was a very difficult and challenging reading experience. The documentary style was not something I particularly enjoyed and made the short stories hard to follow.

The sixth book of 2019. for me was the All Souls Complete Trilogy by Deborah Harkness.

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I’ve read the first book sometime last year so I can freely enjoy the TV adaptation on HBO. After a few months pause I decided to watch the TV series again and got inspired to read the book series trough. I had some issues finding a second book in the edition I wanted so one night I finally caved and got myself the whole trilogy Kindle edition. It took me a few months to finish it all up due the considerable number of pages but I’m happy and pleased to have it finished and I’m awaiting for the second season of the show guilt free!

The seventh book of 2019 by my Goodreads account is The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

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While I’ve read the whole series as a trilogy I’ve found the third book on my TBR list on Goodreads and went to fix it. In an attempt to motivate myself at not failing the reading challenge this year like I failed last year I went back and added it as a separate book in my Read books section. Is that cheating or not I do not know or care. As far as I’m concerned I’ve read three books and put down only two and I’m still one book short for the counting purposes if need be!

The eighth book in 2019. was Comme un roman by Daniel Pennac.

91lUehA+fJL“A well-chosen book saves you from everything, including yourself.”

The English title of this book is The Rights of the Reader and it’s taken from the second part of the book where the Rights of the reader are listed. This is not a story but more a testament to reading. It is my big wish to find this book in Croatian and buy it but sadly there was only one edition in the nineties and they are very hard to come by. It is a book that inspired a many librarian’s projects and helped to promote and understand reading as an activity, life choice and necessity.

Ninth book I’ve read in 2019 was The Treasure Keeper (Drakon book 4) by Shana Abe.

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I have the best boyfriend ever and one day he decided it is time to raid my Book Depository wishlist. Among the book we ordered was The Treasure Keeper the fourth book in the Drakon series I have only nice memories of. It is for once a fantasy series in a sea of urban fantasy I usually prefer. I like the idea of dragon shape shifters and how this author writes them. It might not be the best fantasy out there but it is a guilty pleasure of mine! I would have loved to have bought the edition with the cover on the left instead the right one. The shiny and gaudy is very much part of the charm for these books!

The tenth book I’ve read this year is Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

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This was a bit unusual pick for my mostly very serious book club. And it came from one of the more serious book club members. This book made me feel old and tired at times. The truth is I love YA books and while the fast paced dialogues and witty remarks that go with them I had trouble with keeping up with the account of a teen life in the age of social networking and mostly well off western teenager to young adult view on life. I had a revelation that I prefer my books and stories a bit more darker and angstier that this one was…

The eleventh book in 2019. was The She-Hulk Diaries by Marta Acosta

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I’ve got my eye on this book ever since it came out and one of my friends at Goodreads loved it. I liked the idea of actually reading about She-Hulk and some other Marvel heroes in a book as opposed to watching the movies and reading graphic novels. The book had it’s bright moments at that but in the end it was more in lieu of Bridget Jones Diaries than expected Marvel hero action. I sure like the design and the cover. The spine and the rest of the book is bright green and it poops out nicely on the shelf!

The twelvfth book in 2019. was Pretty Reckless ( All Saints High book 1) by L.J. Shen.

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This one was another Kindle spur of the moment buy that provided much needed dose of drama and angst for a period of PMS and opened a door to a period of more reading for me. I’ve checked out the rest of the books in the series but I’m not all that interested in them as of now. Looking into this book on Goodreads I realized that I’ve missed to count another short story that came out as a prequel to this book series!

Thirteenth book and one I missed in the first count was Defy ( All Saints High book 0,5) by L.J. Shen.

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A short and smutty prequel to the All Saints High book series. The main characters are actually the parents of the main character of the Pretty Reckless book. Most of the books that feature the characters who are into sports are not that appealing to me and I still have trouble visualizing all that comes with American football. In my country people play soccer…

Fourteenth book I’ve read in 2019 was Devil’s Daughter ( The Ravenels book 5 ) by Lisa Kleypas

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This one was a must have since it features my favorite characters. I am very picky when it comes to historical romance as a genre. In case of Evie and Sebastian I do not miss the opportunity to read more about them and their children and grandchildren in this case. I’m very happy with how the author finds ways to revisit favorite characters and include them in the new books. It inspired me to once again read the source material as well!

Fifteenth book I’ve read in 2019. was Devil in Winter ( The Wallflowers book 3) by Lisa Kleypas

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One of my favorite books ever and the characters I like to revisit each year. While I rarely choose to reread books with so many unread on my TBR already this is the book that has found a way to my reading schedule at least once a year. While the last reading was inspired by reading the newest book by the same author it has also inspired me to finally but the physical copy in English. I already poses the said book in Croatian but I prefer reading it in English.

And by the corrected counting the last and the sixteenth bok I’ve read in 2019 so far is
I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire (Ravenloft book 7) by P. N. Elrod

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From all the editions of this book and theme I’ve seen so far this one is the most hideous one. I was not at all pleased with the cover of my edition – the artwork looked very much in the opposition with the main character and it bothered me a lot. As for the story – I enjoyed learning the story behind Strahd von Zarovich. It all inspired me to go back to my Ravenloft RPG books and get ideas for a some campaign that will probably never come to life …I am now even more interested in the rest of Ravenloft novels! There are few things that were missing in this book! The most important one was a map for me to enjoy the geography of Ravenloft and Barovia. I hate when the production of the book is not well made!

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I am currently playing around with some creative ways to inspire myself to make more choices for reading books instead of some other activities. Soon I’ll post more about that!

Sorry not sorry about the long post!

August Book a Day overview

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Here is the complete list of all the books I’ve covered in this year’s August Book a Day countdown. All the books I’ve posted about were books I’ve read for a book club reading. I used this opportunity to evaluate my book club experience for the last four years. These are only some of the books from the long list of books I’ve read for the book club and the whole list is a lot longer since for the last few years I was a part of more than one book reading groups.

  1. Book a Day – Middlesex
  2. Book a Day – Blindness
  3. Book a Day – Bonjour tristesse
  4. Book a Day – Unterstadt
  5. Book a Day – Frankenstein
  6. Book a Day – The Uncommon Reader
  7. Book a Day – Little Women
  8. Book a Day – Soumission
  9. Book a Day – Lord of the Flies
  10. Book a Day – Women Who Run With the Wolves
  11. Book a Day – Norwegian Wood
  12. Book a Day – A Christmas Carol
  13. Book a Day – Steppenwolf
  14. Book a Day – Factotum
  15. Book a Day – The Shadow of The Wind
  16. Book a Day – Cosmétique de l’ennemi
  17. Book a Day – La Dame aux Camélias
  18. Book a Day – Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  19. Book a Day – Cat’s Cradle
  20. Book a Day – The Elegance of the Hedgehog
  21. Book a Day – A Brief History of Time
  22. Book a Day – A Mercy
  23. Book a Day – The Turn of the Screw
  24. Book a Day – Mrs Dalloway
  25. Book a Day – Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
  26. Book a Day – The Circle
  27. Book a Day – Therese Raquin
  28. Book a Day – And the Mountains Echoed
  29. Book a Day – To Kill a Mockingbird
  30. Book a Day – Bizarij
  31. Book a Day – A Doll’s House

I will soon have to make a short pause from my book club activities due to some work related obligations. While most of these books I would not pick for myself I’m glad I had the opportunity to read them and discuss them in good company. Book club groups are a treasure and a source of good friends and good books. I deeply recommend this experience to every reader out there!

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Book a Day – A Doll’s House

Book a Day I read because of my reading club – August 2018

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I decided to finish my August Book a Day journey with one rather recent book my book club read – A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. This was our book for May this year. We try to be careful with books that are required reading in schools. Those are not always available when students need them.

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We were very active during our meeting and debated on life choices women face regarding family and work. Expectations and realities crashed. At one point we even dubbed Nora, the main character, a gold digger! This book stuck out as one of the most thought inspiring for me from all the recent book club reading choices.

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The reason I picked this book to talk about last is the sense of promise and possibility it made me feel at the end. I decidedly enjoyed reading this book and found it to be very optimistic. This stuck out even more when we discussed how the book was received trough the years.

Book a Day – Bizarij

Book a Day I read because of my reading club – August 2018

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Bizarij by Jasna Horvat was the book I read for my very first book club meeting. I do not read Croatian authors often and this was an excellent opportunity to pick up the slack. The title of the book translates into “bizarre” and it deals with some little known historical details and quirks of real people from the past. I wanted to fit in so I made an effort with this book.

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I was pleasantly surprised with the topic. It is a string of chapters where each is based on an actual person or time in the history of my hometown Osijek. I feel like I need to point out that the first time Osijek was mentioned in historical documents was over 800 years ago. We also have a lot of old local historical sites from the times of ancient Rome and the city of Mursa that used to be here.

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And just little to the east there are excavations that date around 3000 years BC. A lot of interesting history to learn about indeed. We were all kinda shamed for all the things we did not really know about. The author Jasna Horvat tends to dip all of her books with themes inspired with history and real past events.

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The Excavations of Roman city of Mursa in the park in front of the city hospital in Osijek

I remember it was a meeting at the start of October in 2015. It was also a first meeting for one other book club member I later got really close to. I have fond memories of this book and my introduction to the book club.

Book a Day – To Kill a Mockingbird

Book a Day I read because of my reading club – August 2018

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One of the book we read in April 2015 was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. At the time the author had only recently published another book with the title: Go Set a Watchman. These books are connected by plot but I’m still somewhat confused as to which book was supposed to be the first one chronologically.

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While the book was mostly easy to read the themes were quite serious and relevant today so we had no choice but to get a lot of cookies and sweets while we were busy debating. The topic we were especially reflecting on were the parenting skills of the main character.

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I found come characters endearing but I was not pleased with the tone of the book. It reminded me of style of Mark Twain which I don’t like. While the book has a certain value it was not one I enjoyed reading.

Book a Day – And the Mountains Echoed

Book a Day I read because of my reading club – August 2018

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I enjoy it when readers from my book club suggest a book by an author I have not read. This way I have a reason to venture out of my reading comfort zone more. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini was a book we read for May 2016.

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I read the Croatian translation and was actually pleased with it. The story was bittersweet as is much of the authors opus as I’ve learned at our meeting. The tale twisting on how our choices affect us and those close to us was something we all agreed was expertly written.

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There was much sadness and tragedy in the book but there was hope also. Our thought on the book were mostly positive but some readers who are fans of the author decidedly commented that this was not his most representative work.

 

Book a Day – Therese Raquin

Book a Day I read because of my reading club – August 2018

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Our group read Therese Raquin by Emile Zola last year in April. Apparently April was a very busy month and there were only a few of us attending the meeting. My thoughts from Monthly reading review can be found HERE.

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While we all agreed that the book was kinda depressing some of us were more pleased by the choice than others. We even went into some lengths and came up with our own alternate endings.

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While I am in no way a fan of Emile Zola works I’m glad we went with this choice and not Germinal. I am also pleased to have gotten trough another book I missed out on in high school.

Book a Day – The Circle

Book a Day I read because of my reading club – August 2018

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When I went back and found out that my book club read The Circle by Dave Eggers way back in October 2015 I was more than a little surprised. We did read it before we knew anything about the movie adaptation and one other group in our book club read it again after that.

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The Circle is an excellent book for discussion and I loved how it was written. There are many thought provoking ideas any book club can tackle in this book. It is one of the rare books I enjoyed reading in Croatian translation as well. I remember wanting to go back and make a review afterwards but I did not find time right after reading and latter it slipped my mind entirely.

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I still did not watch the movie either even though I was interested about it when I heard it was made. I would like to recommend this book for everyone since it speak about the topic that is very current and real for many who can’t seem to find a balance using mass media platforms and apps. I like how it reminded of some of the older SF masterpieces.