Books I’ve Read Recently

I have been reading a lot this year. I didn’t read as much as I set for my reading challenge the past 2 years. So I decided this year to try get to 30 books. Well, so far I’ve read over 20 books so I’m well on track! I’m considering raising my goal to 50 books since I’m so proud of how well I’m doing.

I wanted to share some of the books I’ve read so far, and also, since we will be spending lots of time inside, wanted to recommend books to read, as well as get any recommendations you may have.

State of the Union by Nick Hornby

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So I randomly decided to borrow this because I had no idea what to expect. Basically, it’s like you’re just a fly on the wall eavesdropping on a struggling married couple’s weekly conversation. Each chapter takes place in a few minutes at a bar, just before the couple’s therapy session. You hear nothing of the session itself, or before it. You just drop in on them each week and get snippets of how their lives, and the therapy sessions are going. It may not be for everyone, but I couldn’t put it down!

The Planets by Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen

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I am fascinated by space, especially with all our friends in the solar system. This book was published in 2018 and has the most up-to-date information about all the planets. It’s also filled with so many pretty pictures, and is a companion piece to the BBC series about it (which I need to watch). So if you have any interest in space and planets, definitely pick this up.

The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz (A True Story) by Jeremy Dronfield

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I’ve read my fair share of biographies and memoirs, but the ones that intrigue me the most are stories like this. Stories of everyday people going through something I could never imagine. It took me a while to read this, cause I had to keep putting it down and find something more light-hearted to do. Definitely worthwhile to read.

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting by Anna Quindlen

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Another book I just randomly borrowed because I liked the cover. I work with kids, and I have a baby. This book is about becoming a grandparent, something I can’t quite relate to, but it’s fun to read the perspective. It’s full of little stories and anecdotes, and it’s just super cute. I breezed through this, and still occasionally pick it up.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

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I read a lots of kids books, again for work, and for Naomi. This one just stuck out to me, I’d heard of it but hadn’t read it. It’s so cute. Basically, each colour in the crayon box are on strike for one reason or another. I loved it. I want to buy a copy for home, but it’s only paperback and I think I’ll wait till Naomi knows now to rip paper.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

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This was recommended to me from Reddit, I think it was the books subreddit. They recommended it as a good fantasy series. I really enjoyed the first one, I absolutely loved the second one, and the third one was also a lot of fun. There’s been a fourth one called “A Court of Frost and Starlight”, it’s a bit shorter and nothing really happens. You do get to hear the story from the point of view of side characters which is nice. It feels like an epilogue for the main characters, and sets up the last book which is about a few of the side characters I think. I couldn’t put any of these ones down, I read them in a matter of days. It’s about a human called Feyre and how she gets involved with the world of faeries and all the courts. I’ll leave it at that, but if you’re into Young Adult Fantasy series, I really recommend these.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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I heard a lot about this book. I knew nothing about it and went in blind. It’s about the relationship that forms between the son of the President of the US and the Prince of Wales. I don’t know what it was about this book, but I just fell in love with the characters and really rooted for them. For a YA drama/romance novel, this was just so much fun.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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This was a book recommended by my library. I knew it must be popular, cause I had to wait 8 weeks to have a chance to read it. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but I quickly got sucked in. Like the title says, the story is mostly about the legend of actress Evelyn Hugo and spans her personal life and career, but the lens the story is told relates to each of her seven husbands. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this is seriously a must-read.

So yeah those are books I’ve all enjoyed recently. I’ve been reading on my phone a lot and borrowing e-books from my library. I don’t often do book reviews, I just normally talk about if I liked the book or not, as these things are pretty subjective. But if you’ve read any of these books, let me know! Or if you can recommend any books to me, I’d appreciate that too.

 

Stay safe.

Angela.

Books 6 – 10 (2018 Reading Challenge)

I’ve gotten through the next five books for my Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’m now officially a third of the way through my goal! Which works out nicely, as we’re almost a third of the way through the year.

6) The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell

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I started this on February 19 and finished on March 11. I had recently seen The Room and through my research on this weird movie, I came across this book. It’s since been turned into a movie, which I enjoyed more than The Room!
This is definitely worth a read if you know anything about The Room. The book follows like an autobiography of Greg (who plays Mark in the movie), how he meets Tommy, they befriend each other, and then throughout the creation, filming and then the premiere of The Room. It’s a fascinating behind the scenes look of the movie, as well as Greg’s relationship with the strange man. I sometimes stopped reading just to process what had happened. The movie was a pretty good adaptation of the book.
I rated it three stars. I did like the book, but Wiseau still just weirds me out and I can’t process my thoughts about him.
7) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
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I started this on March 11 and finished it a few days later on March 14. I heard about the movie Dear Simon and thought it looked interesting. This led me to find the book it was based on, and as it was gathering a lot of praise in the YA genre, I wanted to give it a read.
YA is still one of my favourite genres. It’s easy and fun to read, and the characters are often quite likeable, if not, relatable. This book doesn’t really have a plot in the sense where they story moves from A to B. It’s more like a slice of life, where we fall into Simon’s world and his struggles with coming out to those around him. With lots of pop culture references, and ‘dorky’ moments, this book was just a joy to read.
I rated it 5 stars. I really loved reading this, which you may be able to tell since I read it in just a few days!
8) Doing It! Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton
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I started this on March 14 and finished it in March 23. I first heard about this book from Meg, and her book recommendations have never let me down so I added it to my TBR list. After finishing my previous book, I decided to delve back into a non-fiction book.
I don’t actually watch Hannah on YouTube, but she does often talk about sex and relationships on her channel. Reading the book was quite informal, it felt like talking to a peer rather than a ‘teacher’. She covered topics from sex (obviously), porn, masturbation, STDs, consent, and everything else. I definitely learnt quite a bit, and I do think this is a book everyone should read. It covers a decent chunk of sex-ed in an entertaining way.
I rated it 4 stars. I did really love this book and learnt a bit, but I feel like some more topics could have gone more in-depth. But then, the book might be super long. Either way, it was still a really good read.
9) In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park and Maryanne Vollers
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I started this on March 23 and finished on April 3. This book showed up in my recommendations, and I was intrigued so I added it to my TBR.
This book gave me a lot of feels. Something that really stood out to me is thinking about where she was in her life in North Korea growing up, comparing it to how I grew up. We’re around the same age, so it really made me appreciate my own life more. It’s really a fascinating and heartbreaking look at her life in North Korea, and her long escape to South Korea.
I rated it 5 stars. There were times when I couldn’t put the book down and I was just horrified/fascinated by what I was reading. She really has been through a lot on her journey to freedom. I really recommend reading this.
10) Capture Your Style: Transform You Instagram Photos, Showcase Your Life, and Build the Ultimate Platform by Aimee Song
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I started this on March 30 and finished on April 11. Rory got me this as an anniversary present as he knew I was interested in it. This book has been going around in the blogging world and I was keen to read it.
I really enjoyed this book. There’s a lot of inspiration in it, Aimee’s instagram feed is definitely thing of beauty. Along with all the inspiration, she does give a lot of tips to taking outfit, selfies, food/travel/flat lay/architecture photos and more. As well as tips to try grow your Instagram following. I can see why so many people recommend getting this book.
I rated this 4 stars. As much as I loved  the book, I do take it with a grain of salt. I’m not able to document my life on Insta as she can with hers, since my blog is more a part time hobby rather than my full time job. One day I would love to be able to do that, but till then, I will store these tips and inspiration in my bookshelf and peruse them from time to time!
What books have you read lately?
Angela.
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Books on my TBR List

I have a lot of books on my TBR list, and I’m always adding to it. I currently have 66 books in there. So I thought I would randomly go through the list and pick out some and decide whether or not I want I still want to read these. Got it?  Here we go!

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Art of the Animated Series

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Oh my goodness! I forgot this was on my TBR list! I added this over a year ago when I first created my Goodreads account. It’s made by the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender and as far as I can tell, is chock full of concept art and storyboards by the creators of the show. I still really want to read it! It definitely stays in the list!

Respecting Babies: A New Look at Magda Gerber’s RIE Approach

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This was a recent addition to the list. It’s something that was recommended in an Infants and Toddlers course I attended last week. I’m a big fan of the RIE/Pikler approach in general when it comes to teaching the little ones. It’s all about free movement, respect, and just slowing down and being present while you’re with the child. It just fits in with my own teaching philosophy so I still really want to read it. It stays!

I’ll Give You The Sun

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I’ll be honest. I don’t remember anything about putting this book in the list. But after reading what it’s about, I can see why I put it in there. I always love a good contemporary/YA story. It also has a little mystery, so it’s a recipe for a great time. It definitely stays in the list.

The Walking Dead – Volume 1: Days Gone By

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I’m going back and forth on this. I do love readings comics every now and then. They make a nice break from reading novels. However, I’ve started to get bored of the zombie genre. Well, I got bored of The Walking Dead. I gave up on the show. I may cross this off my list too, as I don’t see myself reading this anytime soon.

Red Sparrow

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I added this upon hearing about the movie. I always am curious about the book version of a film. I don’t know if I’ll like this book, but I do still want to give it a shot. So I think I’ll keep this on my list.

So there we go, five books (well four now) on my TBR list. Have you guys read any of these books? What’s on your own TBR list?

Feature Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Angela.

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Books 1-5 (2018 Reading Challenge)

1) Playing For Keeps by R.L. Mathewson

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I started this on December 31, and finished it on January 2. I was looking for some light chick-lit to read over the holidays, and this is what I landed on.

I’ve read my fair share of chick-lit and contemporary romance, but I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would. It’s funny, silly, and perfect light summer reading. I breezed through it in under a week, while just lying in my backyard and trying not to fall asleep in the sun.

I rated it 4 stars. Chick-lit is a fun genre, I like to pick it up every now and then. It’s light and easy to read. Perfect light reading, but I don’t think I’d ever pick it up again.

2) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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I read this from January 1 to January 9. It was recommended to me by Goodreads.

I have so many thoughts about this book. My mind was just swirling thoughts, and I went through so many emotions. The main character, Starr, is written so well. Her character goes through so much, and like the quote says, her voice is her weapon in this situation. This is one of those books that you have to read, it’s so relevant in this current time, and so well-written.

I rated it 5 stars. It was a really powerful read, and at times, I felt the need to put it down just to process what was happening.

3) Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

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I read this from January 9 to January 16. Another book that was recommended to me from Goodreads.

I’m a huge fan of Lauren Graham. Mostly because of Gilmore Girls. I love that show, and the more I ‘researched’ into Lauren Graham, the more I was convinced she really was Lorelei in real life. A big part of the book talks about her time during Gilmore Girls, including the revival, so that alone made me love the book. The rest were anecdotal little stories and advice, that just made me happy. The book is fighting for the spot of my favourite biography, alongside Amy Poehler’s Yes Please.

I rated 5 stars. Lauren Graham is awesome! I still pick it up every now and then to read snippets, just for a pick me up!

4) One Of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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I read this from January 17- 19. I’d heard about this through other blogger’s recommendation.

I had seen this book floating around, and after reading about the general plot, I was intrigued. It’s like The Breakfast Club but with murder. The book is written well, it’s fun, easy to read, but still filled with intrigue. The books jump perspectives from each of the four main characters. I love that the characters are each given time to grow, and to see what’s happening. As the story went on, the twists kept coming, and I couldn’t put the book down.

I rated 5 stars. Any book that is almost read in one day, will be given a 5 star rating. I was so hooked! I hope she does another book, as I would love to read more from her.

5) Astrophysics for People in A Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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This took me the longest out of the five books. I read it from January 19, and finished it a month later on February 19.

I love Neil deGrasse Tyson in general, he’s cool. Space and the universe in general fascinates me, but it also confuses me. In this book, Neil discusses things from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe. It was a lot to process for me, and I had to read parts multiple times. I’ve read it once, but I think I’ll need to read it a few more times to really start to wrap my head around this. If you have a love of Astrophysics, definitely give this a read!

I rated this 4 stars. Don’t get me wrong,  I loved this book. But it’s just hard for me to wrap my head around, so I can’t give it that perfect 5 star rating.

Those are the first five books I’ve read as part of the 2018 Reading Challenge. My end goal is 30 books, so I’m already well on the way!

Have you read any of these books? What books have you read lately?

Angela.

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Book Recommendations (A Collab with Starring Pamela)

Hey all! I’ve teamed up with my good friend Pamela from Starring Pamela for my first collaboration of the year! We’re coming up with some book recommendations for you all! I’m always looking for some more books to add to my To-Be-Read and I love seeing what you guys recommend. So here’s some books from a whole range of genres that I really enjoyed reading and recommend you guys give a go!

Crime/Mystery

Those books that keep us guessing, and on the edge of our seat.

Gone Girl

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Psychological thriller, death, unreliable narrators, and a lot of twists! What more would you want from a mystery novel! I loved both the movie and the book. But I love the book just a little bit more 😀

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

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Corruption, abuse, and a look into the darker side of human nature. This book was definitely not an easy one to read, but I definitely recommend it if you want a thrilling read.

Classics

The books that everyone says you should read at some point.

1984

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I read this a few years back, and it still sticks in my head. I’m sure many of you guys already know this book, as it came up with the concept of  Big Brother, among many other terms. It’s definitely one that makes you think (maybe even overthink), and will leave you feeling a bit paranoid for the next few days.

Catch-22

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Another book I read a while back, but I really enjoyed! The book definitely has a darker sense of humour. It did take me a while to read, as the narrative was a bit jumpy. The plot however was enough to keep me entertained all the way through.

Contemporary

Modern books that everyone says you should read at some point.

The Handmaid’s Tale

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A book I read at a blogger friend’s recommendation (although a friend also told me to read it a  few years back). I read it in a short amount of time, and I was left feeling depressed and upset. Not a cheery book by any means, but definitely a cautionary tale.

Fight Club

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I read this after watching the movie. I will say that I liked the movie a little bit more, but the book was so much fun! It’s dark, funny, and Chuck has a fun way with words that makes me not want to stop reading.

Young Adult

Books that almost always get turned into movie franchises.

The Hunger Games

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I love both the books and the movies. A typical YA dystopia set up, but this one just stood out from the rest for me. The characters felt more real, and the idea of having people watch kids kill each other on a television show is an interesting concept.

The Fault in Our Stars

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I had to include John Green for a YA book. I like to jump on the hype train, and while sometimes I’m disappointed, for this one I wasn’t. It was funny, sweet and heartbreaking. I do know that when it comes to John Green’s books, people seem to have really polarizing opinions.

Romance

For books that have a little lurrrve in them.

Me Before You

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Another book I read due to blogger recommendations, and it lived up to the hype. I adored both characters, and their love story. You already know it’s not going to have a happy ending, but you try root for one anyway.

Confessions of a Shopaolic

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I love this series from Sophie Kinsella. I’ve read most of them, just not the most recent ones. I hear they’re not as good anyway. But, this is the perfect light, summer read. Whenever I come out of a very heavy book, I like to dive into a chick-lit of some kind. It’s like a dessert after a heavy meal you know?

Sci-Fi

Dystopia, space, all that techno-babble goodness.

The Martian

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One of the earliest books I read last year, and one I still push people to read. Andy makes the main character so funny and snarky, and the ‘blog’ formal of the book makes it even more entertaining. Also, I feel like I learned a little about biology as I was reading.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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I have been meaning to finish this series for a while. Douglas Adams has such a weird, delightful sense of humour. Sci-fi and humour are expertly rolled into one with these books, I still love to reread it from time to time. Also, check out the movie version, it’s a lot of fun.

Fantasy

Diving into a world of magic, royalty, and another world altogether.

Harry Potter

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You may already know I’m a fan of Harry Potter. The book series is so much fun, and the world she creates is definitely magical. I will say though, sometimes I don’t know if I’m so fond of these because it’s been mixed up with my nostalgia for growing up with these books. Put it this way, if you’re a general fan of fantasy and young adult, give it a go, you may like it. If not, then it may be a swing and a miss.

Game of Thrones

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I only recommend the first three in this series. I just didn’t like the fourth and fifth, and I’ve also given up on the television adaptation. That being said, the first three are perfect fantasy novels. You have so many interesting characters, plot developments, twists and turns, the world he creates is so detailed. Plus, you really stress for the characters, any of them can die at any time. No one is safe, and coming out of books where the heroes are always okay at the end, this was a refreshing wake-up call.

Humour

Because sometimes you just want a laugh.

Hyperbole and a Half

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The first blogger I ever recall following. Anyone remember Allie Brosh? Creator of Hyperbole and a half. She draws comics to go along with stories she tells (in Paint of all things), often from her life, all exaggerated for our entertainment. If you don’t know of her, definitely check out her blog, and then her book.

Adulthood is a Myth

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I found Sarah’s comics on Tumblr all the time. She is the queen of being relatable, and her comics never fail to make me chuckle. So when I saw she had released books of even more comics, of course I was going to read them. I lost count of how many times I said “Same” or “Me too!” while reading it.

Non-Fiction

Biographies, self-help, and general information about people and things in our world.

Yes Please

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My favourite biography I’ve ever read, from one of my favourite people ever. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s such a good book! Amy offers insight, advice and just shares about her life. “Good for her, not for me”, is one of the best mantras I picked up from this book, and I still stand by it today.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

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The anti-self-help book. Basically, rather than not giving a fuck about anything, the book more gets us to realize what we should be giving fucks about. It was just a refreshing read and a light bonk on the head of where my priorities should lie. It’s also just so damn funny!

So yeah, there’s a bunch of books! As you can see, I have a very wide range of interests when it comes to books. I love genre jumping, I tend to lose interest in books faster if I just read ones from the same genre all the time.

Last year, I ended up reading 27 books for my reading challenge, and a lot of the books I read were based on recommendation from you guys! I wanted to thank Pamela for joining me in this collab, be sure to check out her blog to get even more book recommendations! I’m excited that this was my first for 2018 and I’d love to do more!

Angela.

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Reading Challenge Completed!

I’ve officially completed my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge! Back in March I set myself the goal of reading 20 books. A huge goal considering I have only read 3 or 4 new books for the past few years. It was something that I wanted to do more of, and now I’ve accomplished that goal!

Here’s book numbers 16-20 that I’ve read. I’ll try keep things ‘spoiler-free’.

16) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

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I read this in August. After finishing The Handmaid’s Tale, I wanted something light to read. I had watched the movie, but hadn’t read the book, so now seemed like a good time.

I’m sure you guys know the story of this. Dorothy gets literally swept up by a twister and lands in the magical world of Oz. On her journey back home, she comes across a brainless scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion. Follow the yellow brick road and all that.

I gave this three stars. I liked it, but it didn’t really grab me that much. It’s a fun children’s book, but I didn’t feel invested in the world. It was definitely some nice, light reading after my previous book though which is all I wanted.

17) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

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This took me the longest to read. I started it in August then forgot all about it, and finally picked it up again in October. The Millenium Series had been on my TBR list for the longest time, and I finally decided to get into it.

If you don’t know the story, it revolves around two characters the most. Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading (disgraced) journalist trying to do what’s right, and Lisbeth Salander, a genius, ruthless hacker with lots of piercings and tattoos. They work together to try solve a 40 year old murder. That’s one of the storylines anyway.

I gave this five stars.  I loved this book. It did start slow, but then it picked up really fast. I had to keep reading to find out what happened, which is always the mark of a good book. I’ve also since watched both the Swedish and American film versions.

18) The Girl Who Played With Fire

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I read this in October. When we went on our mini holiday, it’s always a good idea to have a book to read while travelling. There’s a lot of downtime.

Again, there’s multiple storylines at work here. Lisbeth and Mikael are again the main characters. There is again a murder to be solved and lots of intrigue to go around. As well as exploring more of Lisbeth’s past.

I gave this four stars. I again really liked it, but not quite as much as the first. It felt a little slow at times, but it kept me interested.

19) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

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I read this in October, pretty much right after the previous book.

The end of the trilogy ends with Lisbeth fighting against the system, so to speak. Her and Mikael work together one more time, but this time against various corrupt government people. Another vague summary, but I am trying to keep things from spoiling as this series was a really fun read.

I gave this three stars. As the series went on, I just wasn’t as captivated as I was in the first book. It again felt slow at parts, and there were side plots that felt unnecessary. But it was a nice way to end the series and I loved the trilogy as a whole.

20) He’s Just Not That Into You

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Another October book. This time, I was trying to think of another light and fun book to read after the previous ones. I looked through my TBR, and found a few books that I remembered adding out of pure curiousity. So I bought a kindle version of this book.

This is meant to be a self-help book in the world of dating, specifically for women. It’s written by Sex and the City writers and basically gives a lot of scenarios about when a guy is just not that into you. Basically, it encourages someone to look at their relationship and realize if it’s a dead-end one. Why waste your time on someone who’s not that into you, when you’re deserving of more, is the general theme of the book.

I gave this three stars. I was expecting to just have a good laugh with this book, and I did. Some points made sense to me, others didn’t. It was a very fast light read though, and if you’ve got nothing better to do, then it’s a fun read.

That’s  it for the last five books! I’m so proud of myself that I got through this challenge. I feel like I can read more books before the year wraps up. I’m excited to do the challenge next year again, and maybe set my sights a little higher.

I’ll be doing a wrap-up for this challenge later, so it’ll remind me of all the books I’ve read this year, and cause it sounds like fun.

What books have you read lately?

Angela.

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2017 Reading Challenge (Part 2)

2017 Reading Challenge (Part 2)

Hey guys, I have not yet finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge (20 books!), but I just felt like sharing the previous 5 books I’ve read. In this post that I shared back in June, 2017 Reading Challenge (Part 1), I shared the first 10 books I’ve read. It would make sense to save this post till I finish the next 10, but I just feel like splitting it up instead.

Anyway! Here’s book numbers 11-15 that I’ve read.

11) Buffering – Hannah Hart

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I read this in June. It was my first biography since Tina Fey’s. It’s also my first book I’ve read by a YouTuber!

The book is about Hannah, herself. For those who don’t know her, she’s an online personality, she’s a proud lesbian and she’s amazing. She tells stories from her life, she’s found journal entries from her past and talks about many aspects of her life that she previously kept private. Actually, she explains it best. “I’m a little nervous about all these vulnerable words going into the world, these tales about my love life, the wrestling I’ve done with faith, how I feel about sex and my family and myself. I’ve had a lot of trials, a lot of errors, but also a lot of passion. Here’s the thing–I’ve always found comfort in the stories shared by others, so I hope my stories, now that I feel ready to tell them, will bring you some comfort too. And when you read this book please remember: Buffering is just the time it takes to process.”

I gave this four stars. I was really impressed with this book. I only watched Hannah sometimes on YouTube, and she always seemed happy and together. This book goes up to the end of 2015, while I was laughing at her videos, she was going through something serious. It was an eye-opener. Props to Hannah for sharing her personal stories, her voice really came through in this book.

12) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

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I read this in the middle of June. It was recommended to me back in a personality quiz I did back in Personality Quizzes Overload.

This book is written by a blogger by the name of Mark Manson, it’s sort of a self-help book. But not really. The title is also misleading. It doesn’t talk about how not to give a fuck, but more about what you should give a fuck about. Some things are just out of your control, and you shouldn’t spend so much energy caring or worrying about them. He argues that life isn’t about ‘thinking positive’ or ‘making lemons into lemonade’, but more about learning how to stomach said lemons. Not everyone is destined for greatness, he advises us to learn our limitations and accept them.

I  gave this five stars cause it was just such an entertaining read. I’m tempted to buy it so I can read it again forever. It was really funny, and the way he writes kept me hooked from start to finish. All the stories and advice are presented in a straight-forward, no bullshit kind of way, and yes there’s a lot of swearing, but I think that’s just how he talks. I really recommend everyone read it.

13) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying – Marie Kondo

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I read this at the end of June/beginning of July. I had heard about this book from so many people, and I was so happy when I finally got my hands on a copy at the library.

This is about the Kondo method of tidying up and decluttering.  Rather than taking it room by room, and doing a little at each time, which means you’re never finished. She talks you through a category system (which makes a lot more sense), and about throwing away things that don’t ‘spark joy’. I don’t explain it as good as she does, but this book has so many helpful tips and I wrote a lot of them down.

I rated this five stars. You guys may know that I hate tidying, cause it takes too long. The tips in this book have helped me very recently. You guys know we’re moving soon, well with the tips from this book, I sorted out what I really want to keep, what to donate, and what to chuck out. We permanently have less clutter, and I plan to keep this mindset in a few months time when I’ve probably bought more unnecessary things.

14) After I Do – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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My only July book. I was starting to slow my reading during this time. I wanted a light book to read, so I looked through the recommendations on Goodreads. I liked the concept of the story since most chick lit I read is “Meet Cute”, so I thought I’d give it a go.

The general gist of the story is about a married couple, Lauren and Ryan. They’ve been together for ever and married for longer, and they’ve reached a breaking point. They’re both unhappy, miserable and pissed at the other. So, they decide to take a year off from being together, and during that time, they’re not allowed any contact with each other. Anything goes basically, then at the end of that time, they’ll meet up again and see what they want to do. That was the concept that made me think this story should be fun. It’s a love story about after the love has left.

I gave this three stars. I wanted to give it three and a half, but it wouldn’t let me for some reason. Basically, I liked the story. It was fun and light, which is what I wanted. It was easy to put down and then get back into. I would have rated it higher, but I didn’t quite like how the story was only from Lauren’s point of view. I really wanted to know more about what Ryan got up to in that year, but never mind.

15) The Handmaid’s Tale

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I read this in August. I had been recommended to read this book by a friend a few years back, but I forgot all about it. Until some blogging friends brought it back up and we decided to all read it (Shoutout to the Cool Ladies, you know who you are!). Also the show had come out, and I wanted to see that, but now I had to read the book first.

The book is set in a dystopia (officially called Gilead), where women have basically little to no rights. It’s super religious, and the birth rate has decreased substantially. So the fertile women are rounded up and given the title of handmaids. They’re treated not as human, but like cattle basically. They are assigned to a house with an ‘elite’ couple, called the Commander and his wife. Once a month, they take part in a “ceremony” where they have sex with the Commander (it’s more like rape), while the wife is present, to try get said handmaiden pregnant. Which if she is, it’s then handed over to the Commander as their own child. If she doesn’t get pregnant within a certain time, she’s sent away to some horrible place since she didn’t fulfill her ‘purpose’. This was the opposite of my previous book. Not light at all.

I rated this five stars. It’s super dark and gristly, and a terrible but gripping story overall. I had a few unanswered questions after finishing it, but otherwise I loved the story. Atwood really draws you in to this horrifying world she created, and it does make you think, that this is a frightening possibility.

 

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There you have it guys!! The 11th to 15th books I’ve read this year. I’ve since read one more, and am starting book number 17. I’m still on track to finish this before the year ends which I’m really happy with, since I started in March. 20 may not sound like much, but to me, it’s huge! I really am loving reading so many new books this year.

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Any book recommendations you guys have for me? Or have you read any of the books in the post? What did you think?

Angela.

August Favourites

August Favourites

Four months left in the year guys! What??

Movies

My Neighbour Totoro

I watched this just a few days ago, but I’ve been meaning to watch it for sooo long. Totoro wasn’t in it as much as I thought it would be, but he is so cute and weird. Also, catbus.

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The Defenders

Okay, so this isn’t a movie, it’s a show, but I did enjoy it! I was a huge fan of Jessica Jones, so I was looking forward to this. The show wasn’t perfect, but it was a lot of fun. If you’re into the superhero genre, then this is worth a watch!

Music

Bad at Love – Halsey

I’ve been listening to a lot of Halsey lately. This has been another favourite! I just love the hook, and I can almost sing along to the whole thing.

Pumpin Blood – NoNoNo

Another older song, which I recently found while going down a YouTube hole. It’s so peppy and the whistle part never gets out of my head now.

Books

The Handmaid’s Tale

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I have been recommended to read this book by a number of friends, both real and blogging. I got sucked into the story, and it was definitely harrowing at times. I recommend the series as well, but I did enjoy the book just a little more.

Games

Moon Hunters

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This is a co-op game that Rory and I have played a few times. It’s a myth based action game. Basically, following along the story, you guys work together to clear your chosen area before the third night when you have to fight the leader of the Sun Cult. The graphics are gorgeous, and at the end you get a constellation named after you depending on how you played. I once got to be a “Spider” where I had a whole army of spies, and the other time I was a “Throne”, where I got to confident and arrogant so I got turned into a chair.

Something New

Thanks to Anni (and Zoella), I found out about an app called 1 Second Everyday. Basically, you film for a second everyday. Then you can compile them all together. Anni shared a video where Zoella used the app for a whole year. It’s really cool to see it all together. My life isn’t as exciting as a YouTuber, but I have been having so much fun filming everyday. I’ve compiled it recently as I started it early this month, and for each second, I remember where I was and what was happening when I filmed it. Makes me realize again how fast time goes by!

What are some of your favourites from this past month?

Angela.

July Favourites

July Favourites

Another month gone! We’re now well into the second half of the year. Let’s talk about some favourites I’ve had over the past month.

Movies

 

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

This month, I finally watched the original trilogy of Star Wars. I kept saying I would get around to it for ages, and this month, we sat down and watched each one. I liked A New Hope, but Empire Strikes Back was insanely good! All the iconic moments and lines are in this one, which confused me, as I was left wondering what was in the third movie (which isn’t that good compared to the first two in my opinion). I got really pulled into the story, and I was worried what would happen to the characters. Always a good sign when a movie can pull you in like that. If you haven’t seen the original Star Wars, make sure you watch this one at least!

Kingsman: The Secret Service

I kept meaning to watch this movie forever! But I kept forgetting, and then eventually we finally remembered and watched it last week. I had no expectations going into it, but it was so much fun! I can’t remember enjoying an action movie this much. This is based off a Mark Millar comic, which is in the same genre as Kick Ass and Sin City, so it’s graphic and violent at times. But in like a comic book way. Also watching Colin Firth fight and kill people (well) was just a good time. If you’ve seen this movie, then you guys will know what I mean. The church scene anyone? (If you’re not into violence, maybe don’t watch).

I’m pretty excited that a sequel is coming out soon.

Music

Bad Liar – Selena Gomez

Damn it Selena, you and your catchy songs. From the first time I heard this, I could not get it out of my head. I still can’t. It’s definitely an ear worm, I blame that bass line. I can’t help but to sing (and dance) along with it every time it comes on.

Sweatpants – Childish Gambino

I recently got into Childish Gambino again. By that I mean, I wound up on Community clipson Youtube, and through related videos, I fell down a hole of Childish Gambino songs. I listened to 3005, Sober, Redbone and Sweatpants on repeat. I find myself listening to this one in particular over and over though, and I can’t pinpoint why. I just can’t skip it when it comes on. Also, this video is trippy.

Books

I only read one book this month. After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

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After reading a lot of non-fiction books lately, I just wanted some light reading. I found this through my Goodreads recommendation and thought it sounded interesting. Basically, it starts after the happy every after part. Which sounded different to the normal meet-cute books I like to read.

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

I liked it more than I thought I would. It was easy to read on and off for the past month. I hope to read at least two books next month though.

Games

Kindergarten

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I watched a few Let’s Players on YouTube play some of this. The art style was cute, so I looked into getting it myself. The fun thing about this game, is that while it looks cute and friendly, you die in pretty vicious ways, and the storyline has a dark sense of humour. I got stabbed in the head by the cute little blonde with pigtails at the bottom cause I couldn’t give her a dollar. I’m still making my way through this game, it’s pretty fun!

Something New

I couldn’t decided between the two biggest things that happened this month. Both ended up happening last weekend. I officially went self-hosted, and Rory and I are officially homeowners!

That’s it for this month! What’s some of your favourites from this month?

Past Favourites

Angela.