TBR Jar Draw February 2018

I finshed my TBR Jar Draw for January fairly quickly. It was not a novel nor a short story but an indie RPG book The Shab-al-Hiri Roach by Jason Morningstar. Years back I used to play RPGs like Vampire the Masquerade and Dungeons and Dragons a lot more than I do now. I made a short review on the book and you can find it HERE.

After I finished this book I decided not to rush into the next TBR Jar Draw until February started. The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

# The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3) by Rick Riordan

Dhampir (The Saga of the Noble Dead series #1) by Barb and J.C. Hendee

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

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1# Sigvald (Warhammer Heroes #4) by Darius Hinks

I got interested in this book because of a board game I love playing Chaos in the Old World. It is part of a larger fantastical universe of Warhammer Fantasy. To really explain why I bought this book and I’m not interested in others from this series I would have to read and review it.

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2# Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton

This has been on my shelf so long that I am unsure have I read it or not. I’m pretty sure I have read at least one of the stories in it but never have I read it as a whole book. I follow the author Laurell K. Hamilton and love reading short stories in general.

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3# The Witch with no Name(The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

This is the thirteenth and the final book from The Hollows series. It is the only one I have not read. This series has been with me for more than a decade. I truly enjoy this urban fantasy series and have recently recommended it to a friend from my book club – and she loved it so much she went trough it on a span of few weeks. It would be good to finish a book series but it would also be a bittersweet experience since it is a series full of characters I love.

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All three options are good and inviting. I am a bit shamed for letting so many good books stay unread on my bookshelves. I’m having one of those moments where I’m glad to have started challenging myself to read more of the books from my bookshelves with TBR Jar Draw!

Neglected May update

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This May my reading and posting has been severely neglected. As it happens lots of things did not go as planned this May. What I did managed to do is read last month’s TBR Jar Draw.

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The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) by Kim Harrison ★★

I had such high hopes from this book and series in general. For some reason I had trouble keeping up with the plot and characters. While it started out awesome for some reason my inability to focus on the book and the long time it took me to read it trough made me not enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. The characters are still there and I like them. The romantic involvement of two main characters have had the desired squee effect on me. I’m honestly not sure what went wrong with the process of reading…

 

As soon as I finished The Undead Pool I jumped at the Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3) by Lisa Kleypas. This historical romance proved to be funny and delight to read. I liked the quirky heroine but had to avoid any deeper contemplation upon reading the book. While parts of this book were unbelievably cliche, reading it have replenished some of my energy and I had a great time with this book. I’m very glad I’ve bought it and reading about older versions of Sebastian and Evie was nice.

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Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3) by Lisa Kleypas ★★

For my TBR Jar Draw I picked out Spike: The Complete Series (Angel: After the Fall) by Brian Lynch, Nicola Zanni. For a while it was a close choice between it and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1 #2-3) by John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover, Alice Henderson, Joss Whedon (Creator).

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I’m still adjusting to wearing glasses. My eyes feel quite tired most of the time. The artwork in this graphic novel is proving to be a bit of a strain on my eyes and I’m forced to read  it during the day. Also I did not expect for it to be chunky and quite a bit heavy to hold while reading. I’m still intrigued by the cover and hope to get sucked into the story soon.

TBR Jar Draw April 2017

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Last month I started a little project I like to call TBR Jar Draw. I’ve listed my owned books I have not read yet and written their titles on little pieces of paper. They were all put into a little bluish jar. Each month I draw three titles from it and choose one I will be reading. Last month my three draws were:

1 # Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden Vol. 01 by Yu Watase ★★

2 # The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) by Kim Harrison

3 # The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

From the titles above I’ve finished the Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden manga and I’m currently reading The Undead Pool. I said to pick one but since one was a manga AND I really liked the titles I’ve draw I decided to pick two instead!

While finishing Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden Vol. 01 was bittersweet I was reminded how good it feels to read a good manga and how much I loved Fushigi Yûgi universe. What pained me is that I had only the first volume for reading and I’m still undecided about trying to collect the rest of the series or not. The Undead Pool I’m still reading each night before bedtime.

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TBR Jar Draw April titles:

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1# Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire

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2# Spike: The Complete Series (Angel: After the Fall) by Brian Lynch, Nicola Zanni

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3# Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1 #2-3)
by John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover, Alice Henderson, Joss Whedon (Creator)

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This March was a 20th Anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. I’m still an avid fan of the show and I’m actually glad I got not one but two books related to it to read in April! I’m going to finish The Undead Pool before I decide my pick for April. I’m leaning towards one of the two Buffy themed books. Depending on how long it takes me I might decide to read both!

 

Reading in March 2017

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This March I avoided making a post about the books I’m in the middle of reading of. Reason is that, while I enjoy reading more than one book at a time this March I have been reading them mostly one by one.

The Tsundoku Project I’m working on with the goal of reading more of the books I already own has given me three options to read this month and I’ve picked not one, but two from the books I’ve pulled out of my TBR jar.

I am in the middle of reading of:

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The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) by Kim Harrison

As one of the books I pulled out of my TBR jar this one was an easy choice. I’m going trough slowly. Something about getting to the end of the series is making me reluctant to finish it quickly – this is the second to last book of the series!

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Ottoline and the Yellow Cat (Ottoline, #1) by Chris Riddell

I’m reading this series in Croatian translation. For some reason the second book of the series Ottoline goes to School was translated before this one. I loved Ottoline goes to School for it’s lovely illustrations. It reads fast so I’ll probably be over with it by tomorow anyway.

Books I plan to start reading by the end of the month:

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Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden Vol. 01 by Yu Watase

This is a second choice from the TBR jar. It has been a while since I’ve read a graphic novel or a manga. They read fast and I used to enjoy them quite a bit. This one I got years ago on some kind of sale. Usually I’m reluctant to start reading manga series if I don’t have more than one volume ready since I want to keep on reading the story right away if I like them.

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Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth

I’ve been in the mood for some angsty YA drama and this one is close by. It’s new and while I have not read the Divergent series I’m strangely attracted to this one.

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Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

I’ve actually loaned this book from the library. That was more than two weeks ago. I’ve been inspired by watching k-drama about rich chaebol heirs. Reviews are divided about it and I’m curious.

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Taking on my TBR pile

I am finally set to do something about my pile of TBR (To-Be-Read) books! Big part of the problem are the books I hoarded over time. I believe the Japanese even have a word for this apparently not so uncommon hoarding disorder – tsundoku!

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Mostly all were and are still the books I am genuinely interested in reading. Some of them were collected since they simply fit the profile and genre I like to read. Some were the books I heard enough about to get me interested to get them and put them on my TBR. Some are gifts and I’m not so sure about those :/

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One of my goals is to cut this pile to be closer to 300. I know it doesn’t seem like much but most of the books I end up reading every month are not already in my TBR pile. I usually read two books a month for my RL book club. Those are mostly books that come as a group choice and offer a variety of genres and authors I don’t normally read.

Also, since I work in a bookstore there are always new arrivals that grab my attention. Reading those can be a part of the job. (Almost a dream job there :p )

Type of books I mentioned above take up almost half of my reading for any given month. These are not the books I can always count on or expect in the form of the time that it takes me to read them trough.

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The books I can do something about are those that are already on my bookshelves. Right there! (right behind my computer screen, right of my desk, left of my desk, on the shelf by my bed, on the shelf by my BFs computer…)

I have gone trough my GR TBR list and sorted out the books I already own. I wrote the title of each on a little pink piece of paper. On the list were lots of books that were part of a book series. With those I only wrote down books that were first in the series or those that continue on the books I already read. I took all the little pink papers and put them into a glass bowl.

IMAG0404I realized too late that since the glass is dyed turquoise I should have used blue or green paper :/

As it turns out there are exactly 82 little pink papers with titles of books that are waiting patiently on the bookshelves in my room for their turn to be read.

Starting this month I will draw three titles from the bowl and pick at least one of them to read in the current month. The ones not chosen for the month will go back into the bowl, and if by chance I draw the same ones for three times I will forgo the choice and read the one that has been drawn the third time!

First three titles I’ve drawn are:

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1 # Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden Vol. 01 by Yu Watase

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2 # The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) by Kim Harrison

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3 # The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

 

I am actually pleasantly surprised by the titles I’ve drawn. For now I will keep all the choices until the end of the month. I’m undecided which one to start first. Since one of them is a manga I might go and read more than one! I’m just too damn pleased with what I’ve drawn right now 🙂

Hopefully this will start a habit of reading more of the books I already own 🙂

Wish me luck!

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Book loot for the end of the year

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Last month I’ve been to a book fair and lately I’ve been hoarding unusual number of new books. Some were gifts and some I bought for myself. Most I just grabbed and wouldn’t let go…

I swear I’m like a bear getting ready for hibernation!

Here are the books that are new on my shelves!

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Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy, #1) by Sally Green

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 Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2) by Sally Green

Both of them I’ve read earlier this year and I’ve even bought a Croatian edition. Third book in this trilogy Half Wild in English I’ve gotten in April as a gift.

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 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Also Croatian edition. This is one of the books I bought at the book fair in Zagreb. This book is relatively hard to come by. I was very happy to have found it. Yesterday I’ve seen the first photos and stills of the new miniseries based on this book and I’m even more glad to have gotten it!

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 The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

  This is one of the books I’ve heard from my friend. She read the copy from the library and I was intrigued because it totally missed my radar when it first came out. Again Croatian edition. It has a dark and twisted feel to it and I hope I get to reading it soon.

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 Saga Omnibus by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Croatian edition is a chubby omnibus that collects first three volumes. It is really heavy and not cheap but I love it anyway! I was thrilled when I first read this graphic novel and hopefully next year t this time I’ll have the second omnibus as well!

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A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L’Engle

&

 A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2) by Madeleine L’Engle

These are Croatian editions of a children’s classic I’ve been eyeing for years now. Sadly it is a five book series and there probably won’t be translations for the last three books A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.  😦  I also found English edition of a second book A Wind in the Door hidden in my shelves o.o

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  Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2) by Rick Riordan

I loved the first book and when I’ve seen this one finally arrive I just grabbed it and wouldn’t let go. This is one of the few books I’m getting in hardcover editions as they come out. There are tons of pictures with American edition covers but not many with British edition covers I’m getting. I will try to snap a few good pictures when I do the review.

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The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

Only Rick Riordan’s books that did not sit well with me were Kane Chronicles. As for the rest of them I plan to get them all eventually.  I love the feel of adventure they bring to life in me when I read them! Maybe I’ll even give Kane Chronicles a new chance as well!

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Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

For the purposes of a book gifting in my book club I asked my boyfriend to take his Croatian edition of this book. I promised to replace it with a pretty English edition and I did. I’m actually hoping to get the whole trilogy eventually and read them as well!

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The Witch with no Name(The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

Last book of The Hollows series. I still have to read one book before it but wouldn’t start before I got this one. I ordered this one online and it is in the mail as we speak!

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Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #8) by Kevin Hearne

This book series I need to catch up as well. Boyfriend read all before this book and will be happy to read it too. Ordered online and also in the mail!

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Monthly reading review – August 2016

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Monthly reading review -August 2016

This August I have read:

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield ★★★★

Sudden Backtrack (The Hollows #13.1) by Kim Harrison ★★★★★

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley ★★★

Prince of Wolves (The Grey Wolves, #1) by Quinn Loftis ★★

The Annotated Hobbit Or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien ★★★★

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

This August I’ve read five books. My slow reading trend continues but it is improvement from July nevertheless.

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

Sudden Backtrack was a short novella from the Hollows series. It was short and it delighted me. I loved it! All and Newt were incredible and it gave me a new perspective on their dynamic.

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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?

Prince of Wolves was a kindle freebie I got years (!) ago. I finally decided to read it this summer. What made it bad for me was some editing errors. I could not get into this YA urban fantasy no matter how I tried. More explanation will be provided in a review soon.

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

Only one book was recent edition to my reading list. I managed to read some books that have been on my TBR for a long time and that makes me happy. RL book club reading was nice for a change – I’ve already moved to my September assignment Sense and Sensibility.

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

I gave one new series a go and it did not work out. I’m expecting to finish up The Hollows series by the end of the year with all the extra novellas and short stories I can get my hands on. Also after I’ve finished Hobbit I can finally start Lord of the Rings series!

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

This year I’ve been tacking some classics and I’m enjoying reading different books. I would not make them out to be the favorite or the best books I’ve read but would recommend reading them anyway! Frankenstein and Hobbit are part of urban culture and it is good to read the original books that fascinated many revivals, movies, plays and new versions. 

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Final thoughts on August reading:

I realized that every month there are quite a bit of books I’ve read and haven’t managed to find the time to write a review on. Even these last few months when the number of books I get to read is not so great I still write reviews for less than half of them. So far I had reservations for writing reviews after the months is over.

But lately I’ve looked back on some of them and realized I have some things I want to say and share my opinion on concerning the books I’ve read and haven’t written a review on. So maybe I’ll try working harder at finding the time and not wait to the end of the month to finish three books at once.

Anyway, Ill be posting some reviews on books read in the previous months soon.

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Monthly reading review – July 2016

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Monthly reading review -July 2016

This July I have read:

Ever After (The Hollows #11) by Kim Harrison ★★★★

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie ★★★★★

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This July was one of the most difficult months of my life. Instead of leaning myself on my book friends I got distracted by things that don’t give me the half of piece of mind that books do. So I ended up getting my vactaion days and and then abruptly got ragged back to work to work even longer than usual. I got a gym membership as a present from my friend but I ended up going only three times in the whole month. July was hot and humid and then came the storms…

Also I got myself hooked on Pokemon Go. That was one of the nicer things in July. The game servers were mostly down but the amount of hype and unusually long walks with friends trough the city hunting Pokemons and conquering gyms was amazing. Most of the things I did in July were not planed and all that were planed were a total bust.

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Onto the books…

I have read only two books for the whole month. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was as an amazing as it was the first time I’ve read it. The Hollows series is one of my favorite urban fantasy but I still had very little energy and time to read it. It took me almost the whole month for it since I would usually read only 10 pages before bedtime. As opposed to the The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian which I finished in a matter of days.

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I even got some bookish presents in July which add to my huge TBR pile. Hopefully I will present the books I got in a single post in August. 🙂

Squeezed in at the start of August

From felling guilty for reading so little in July I’ve gotten a head start on August by finishing off two books already.

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Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield ★★★★

A strange and thought provoking story about time and death and what’s left in between. I liked it more after I spent some time thinking about the story, characters and ideas that they brought in. For a book with such a bleak topic I found it quite comforting and strangely positive.

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Sudden Backtrack (The Hollows #13.1) by Kim Harrison ★★★★★

The Hollows short which gives insight into life of demons and elves of long time ago. It was great to see Newt and All dynamic and learn more about what happened between the two races. I was not sure about the reading order but I just grabbed it on my Kindle in the middle of the night and read it trough. It is really short and it fit nicely after book 11. in The Hollows series.

Final thoughts on July reading:

I did not do my usual Monthly book review since the month itself was not usual for my reading habits. I do have a reading goal for reading 100 books this year which I’m terribly behind in. Also I’ve been neglecting a reading challenge I’ve got going on with my BF this year.

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Reading in progress – June 2016

This June my reading is slow and scarce. Job is overwhelming and I can’t seem to find the time or the right book to get me to that magical place beyond. I’m still trying to concentrate on the books from the TBR pile.

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I would blame it all on the weather if I could!

Here are the books I’ve started reading this month:

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6 out of 323 pages

Storm’s Heart (Elder Races book #2)

by Thea Harrison

This book actually represents progress! I’ve finished the first one in the series and started this one. I like the characters and have great respect for the author’s world building skills. I’m not much into sex scenes lately.

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67 out of 431 pages

Our Tragic Universe

by Scarlett Thomas

I picked this book up out of curiosity. It seemed weird with a bunch of strange characters. I liked the “different” feel to it. As I started reading it it turned out to be very strange indeed. I’m struggling with oddity of the characters and their lives. It is all very tragic, depressive and small. This book puts me down 😦

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17 out of 516 pages

Ever After (The Hollows #11)

by Kim Harrison

When ever I’m feeling low I pick up one of The Hollows books. They work like a balm form my stress levels and low down bouts. Only one chapter in and I’m already hooked to the story. I’m looking forward to this one actually.

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I guess for June I’m trippin’ on urban fantasy! Something about the genre appeals to me.

Also I’m still for that historical romance book to give me mad giggling fits!

Any suggestions?

Monthly reading review – April 2015

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Monthly reading review – April 2015

This April I have read:

Pale Demon The Hollows: Book 9 by Kim Harrison ★★★★★
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ★★
That Scandalous Summer Rules for the Reckless: Book 1 by Meredith Duran ★★★★
Gerard’s Beauty Kingdom Series (Hall): Book 2 by Marie Hall ★★

1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?
I managed to kill my happy reading by getting myself into 3 reading groups…This resulted in having read only 4 books for the whole month. I might have to rethink this and let something go. 

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2. What was the book that made a best reading for you last month? Any scenes or character that made a lasting impression?
I would have to go with Pale Demon by Kim Harrison. I’m allways happy to go back to this series. Again love All ❤

 

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

Oh boy! From measly 4 books two were below my expectations. First there was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I read it as a book club assignment. We had a vivid debate on the topic of Atticus and his parenting methods. I just couldn’t get into this book. It reminded me of Mark Twain and his works which I never liked. The whole racial issues are something I don’t understand. Sure I grew up in a country that has seen violence and intolerance – every few decades around here there is a war – the reasons may vary from religion to politics or sheer ignorance. Yet in all those times in the book where people were considered less for the color of their skin and the pliant response, the slow and disrespectfull marathon to gaining of equal rights that is still going on in some parts of USA; I’m sorry I just can’t say I liked this book.

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4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?
The books that were not party of any book club assingments or challenges are the only ones that brought me joy. I need to rethink my priorities…

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5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?
Continued two book series and started only one! Still have a few book series I should try to finish…

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?
More happy books like silly romances and awesome urban fantasy series! I descovered how much less stressed I am when I read those kinds of books. I miss them! More historical romances for all!

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General recommendation for The Hollows series by Kim Harrison!

 

Continuing reading for May:

Heart-Shaped Box Joe Hill

Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft

The Tin Drum (Danzig Trilogy: Book 1) by Günter Grass