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Read, Travel, Repeat

Reviewer. Editor. Creative Muse.

No book blurbs - I created a template of what I want to know most when choosing a new read.

Currently reading

Educated
Tara Westover
These Rebel Waves
Sara Raasch
Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Steve Krug
The Design of Everyday Things
Donald A. Norman
Progress: 50/240 pages

Circe

Circe - Madeline Miller

I would give this more than 5 stars if I could! What if Circe wasn't the witch as Greek mythology recalls? Her story is expertly crafted by Miller, who could probably write an intriguing novel about watching grass grow. 

Read this for the story, love it for the writing. Bravo

What I Know For Sure

What I Know For Sure - Oprah Winfrey

I know for sure that Oprah Winfrey is a spiritual life guru who has figured out more than a few passing sentiments on her journey. 

 

A collection of articles over the years from O magazine, What I Know For Sure encompasses the wisdom of a life well-lived. I understand now why my mom and so many others follow this woman to the point of obsession. Oprah is not famous because she had a talk show - she is renowned for her observation and spirit. I highly recommend this as an audiobook, it was my daily commute for a week and I started the day much happier.

Before We Were Yours

Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate

It's not me, it's you. 

 

The category I now will assign any books to that I don't mesh with, because I'm one of the few humans who didn't connect with this story at all. It felt removed instead of heart-warming, almost like watching one's own life as an objective third party. The content is interesting, but not emotionally engaging enough to justify the depressing storyline. I'm not going to make excuses, this was a case of not meant to be.

The Book of M - Peng Shepherd

The Book of M: A Novel - Peng Shepherd

First Impression: I want to fall into that cover <3

 

Character Development: Shepherd creates fully realized and humanly broken people with real problems and feelings. Distinct personalities and growth abound.

 

World Building: A future where losing the memory of the past will impact present reality. The idea of losing one's shadow, and the repercussions thereafter are bought to fruition in an original concept piece.

 

Writing Style: I'm now a fan of Shepherd, who understands how to hold suspense while satisfying curiosity. Timely and full of heart. 

 

What I Enjoyed: The characters, their relationships, and their journey! The magic and mythology weaved with a post-apocalyptic future brought intrigue to every chapter.

 

Overall Rating: 5 stars - I adored everything about this book.

All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

I have picked this book up so many times, and it is so awfully boring overall. There was a time I was influenced by the opinions of friends or the general public, and would never dare go against the grain. A new day has dawned.

 

What I Enjoyed: That beautiful cover, as well as an attempt to bring humanity to a horrible time in history. An attempt that may well be the downfall of the story...

 

Deal Benders: If this book was half the size, it would have twice the impact. The problem with over-description is losing the reader's interest on tangents. I also did not connect with the main characters, and their fates were obvious. I will forget about this book until the next time someone raves about it - for some reason.

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

Whiskey in a Teacup - Reese Witherspoon

What I Enjoyed: Reese certainly has southern charm and a penchant for entertaining. If you're in the market for recipes and southern etiquette, this is the book for you.

 

What Didn't Work: The market for the ideas shared in this book is very specific. Although charming, much of it is based on Reese's personal preferences and southern traditions. I think it would have been more impactful if her biographical moments were separated from the recipes and such, because it felt distracting mixed in the chapters.

WunderSmith is Wunderful!

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow  - Jessica Townsend

What I Enjoyed: Townsend writes to delight, weaving a cleverly imagined world through ink on a page. My greatest admiration for such a craft. Don't be fooled that it's for children - you'll be in Wunder all the same. 

 

Improvements: The middle gets a bit convenient and frustrating, setting up for a climax of course. I would like to see more balance as the series continues, but oh what a thrill in the last third!

Everless by Sara Holland

Everless - Sara  Holland

First Impression: The sands of time in an hourglass is such a hauntingly beautiful introduction. 

 

Character Development: Jules starts as a naive servant who comes into her own throughout the novel. Every supporting character brings depth and enrichment to the plot, even the lesser villains.

 

World Building: Creating an entirely new magical premise is difficult in the age of epic series like Harry Potter, but Holland has accomplished a fresh voice.

 

Writing Style: Appropriate for YA yet engaging for all ages. I was able to read this in one day. 

 

Deal Benders: The jump from Jules' ignorance to realization felt a bit muddied and convenient. I would have liked to see more of a progression of unraveling mystery rather than all at once.

 

What I Enjoyed: Magic in the bloodstream, mythology, and familial secrets intertwine on an elegant tapestry of time. 

 

Overall Rating: 4 stars - I really liked this one, and can't wait to read more of Holland's work!

""As of two minutes ago, my name isn't Jean. My name is Thief.""
Vox - Christina Dalcher

Vox

Review - Vox

Vox - Christina Dalcher

Vox

""Heroic fiction had plenty of manly handclasps in it...but it had never gone into how you retrieved your hand afterwards, and whether there were any relevant squeezes or other maneuvers.""
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

Invisible Library

Review - The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

Invisible Library

Review - Gwendy's Button Box

Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King, Richard Chizmar

Gwendy's Button Box

""Secrets are a problem, maybe the biggest problem of all. They weigh on the mind and take up space in the world.""
Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King, Richard Chizmar

Gwendy's Button Box

""On the train, I watch strangers' eyes, studying the wrinkles that curl from them like script, like talons. How much squinting, how much laughter to earn each of those lines?""
Tell the Machine Goodnight - Katie Williams

Goodnight, Machine

Review - Tell the Machine Goodnight

Tell the Machine Goodnight - Katie Williams

Goodnight, Machine