Top 5 Wednesday – August 17th, 2016

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Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top five favorite first sentences of books. A first sentence is by far one of the most important aspects of any novel. It’s what draws the reader into the story by immediately making them want more. It creates a feeling of mystery and intrigue, causes a reader to question what might happen next or why the first sentence says what it does. Making a good first impression on a reader is key in any good book.

Here are five of my all-time favorite first sentences. Some are gripping and enticing, others just have that nostalgia factor for me. Either way, each of these opening lines holds a fond place in my heart.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.”

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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“The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”

Alice by Christina Henry

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“If she moved her head all the way up against the wall and tilted it to the left she could just see the edge of the moon through the bars.”

 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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 “When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.”

 Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

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“First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys”

Nostalgia Bonus! 😀

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

What are some of your favorite opening lines from novels? Let me know down in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

Top 10 Tuesday – August 16th, 2016

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten books with X setting (ex. top ten books set near the beach, top ten book set in boarding school, top ten books set in England, etc). I’ve decided to do my own little twist on this topic by picking ten books that take place in or have a connection to my personal top ten travel destinations.

Iceland

Burial Rights by Hannah Kent

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iceland

Prague

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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prague

Egypt

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

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egypt2

Italy

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

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italy3

Scotland

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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scotland1

England

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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london

New England/Boston

Jackaby by William Ritter

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boston2

Russia

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

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russia

Germany

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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germany

France

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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Super special fictional extra bonus place! 😛

Narnia

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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What are some of your top travel destinations? Are there any books that you’ve read or are interesting in reading that take place there? Have books ever inspired you to want to travel to a particular place? Let me know in the comments!

-Ariana

 

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The Olympics Book Tag

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I was tagged to do the Olympics Book Tag by the wonderful Richard from The Humpo Show. Richard is an absolutely fantastic blogger who writes a wide variety of very interesting posts about both books and films, so please make sure to stop over and check out his blog.

I have been enjoying watching the Olympics so much this year—in fact I am watching them while I’m writing this up—so this is definitely a very fitting tag to do right now! I did the seven from Richard’s tag and tacked on three other topics I found at the end.

100m | A book you have raced through.

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Not only is this by far the most gorgeous novel I have ever read in my life, I also absolutely sped through it. It’s not a long book and, on top of that, it was so captivating there was no way I was going to put it down before I turned that final page. It only took me about an hour and a half at most to read this, which is pretty fast for a generally slow reader like myself!

Michael Phelps | The best book you’ve ever read.

tokillamockingbird1 theadventuresofsherlockholmes

It is incredibly difficult to think of just one book that is best out of the hundreds I’ve read throughout the years. It would probably be a three-way tie between A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. All three of these books are so unique compared to each other in all types of ways, and I love them all for different reasons—it would be impossible to say that one is better than the others.

Synchronized Diving | A perfect couple.

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Percabeth

In trying to answer this, I realized just how few books I’ve read that actually involve romance and couples—to any extent, but at least between main characters. But I do have one particular favorite, and I am in complete agreement with Richard. Percabeth is the best!

Simone Biles | A short and sweet book.

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The Little Android by Marissa Meyer

This is a novella that Meyer wrote in the same world as The Lunar Chronicles series. As the name suggests, it is a retelling of The Little Mermaid, and I found it to be such a quick and truly enjoyable read. In just a short time, she packs this story with a huge range of emotion, staying true to the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen while putting her own unique twist on it. Though it was a sad story, overall, it was an incredible short and sweet read.

Rugby 7s | A tough book you struggled to finish.

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

In terms of the text and writing itself, this is not a difficult book to read. However, I just could not get into this novel—despite absolutely loving Divergent—and I ended up really not enjoying Insurgent much at all. Everything I loved about Divergent was missing from the sequel, and I somehow could not manage to connect with the characters in the same way. It took me almost a month of on and off reading to finally finish it, compared to the four days in a row it took with the first.

Golf | A new genre outside of your comfort zone.

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Romance/Young Adult Romance

Though I am totally a hopeless romantic, for some reason, the romance genre is not a favorite of mine, and these two novels—The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and Love and Other Unknown Variables—were way out of my comfort zone. However, I found them both to contain a lot of serious subjects that were dealt with in an intelligent and mature way, and I ended up thoroughly enjoying both. While these books have a concentration on romance, there is also a good amount of attention given to different types of love, such as that of friendships and the relationships between family members. Neither novel falls victim to the clichés of many that have a focus on romance, particularly those that are young adult.

Heptathlon | The best series.

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The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Like I’m sure many people would, I am going to agree with Richard on his choice once again and say Harry Potter is the absolute best series of all time. There is so much to adore about this novel—so much for people of any age to connect with. It’s hard not to enjoy immersing yourself in this magical world. For me, it was just such a huge part of my childhood and played an important role in the discovery of my passion for writing and storytelling. I know that there is no way that any series could top this one for me.

Gymnastics | A book with a lot of plot twists.

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I think if you look up the meaning of “plot twist” you just get a picture of Gillian Flynn. She is the master of making complex and twisted plots, and Gone Girl is completely packed with examples of this. It’s a beautiful portrayal of Flynn’s skill as a writer and her ability to captivate and constantly shock her readers. Even though I had been spoiled on a bit of this novel before reading it, I was still in utter disbelief through most of the story.

Swimming | A book that made you sob.

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Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

I very rarely ever cry while reading books, watching movies, anything like that. A Monster Calls is probably the book that I cried over the most out of everything I’ve read, but since I’ve already used that twice, I figured I should choose a new book. Love and Other Unknown Variables was a novel that took me completely by surprise in terms of how much I ended up enjoying it, and it totally made me bawl my eyes out!

Trampoline | A childhood favorite.

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Next to Harry Potter, the Narnia series pretty much defines my childhood as a book nerd. A favorite of my mom’s when she was a kid, she passed them down to me and I completely fell in love with these stories. I have many fond memories of reading these books over and over again, never getting tired of them. And of course, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is my favorite in the series!

I Tag:

Lashaan and Trang @ Bookidote

The Orang-utan Librarian

Ellie @ Ellie’s Bookshelf

…and anyone else who wants to do this, I tag you! 😀

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A-Z Bookish Survey

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I found this survey through my friend and fellow blogger, Jen over at J.N. Cahill, and she found this through Sarah Sunbeemz’s Booktube channel. Jen is an amazing writer, so please head on over and check out her blog. Also, make sure to go check out Sarah’s video as well! 🙂

On to the survey!

A — Author You’ve Read The Most Books From:

At the moment, that would be a tie between J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis. However, my copy of The Cursed Child just arrived, so I believe this will be changing in a few days!

B — Best Sequel Ever:

Catching Fire, hands down! And I’m even passing up using my favorite Harry Potter novel, Chamber of Secrets, because it’s just that amazing.

C — Currently Reading:

I’m in the middle of a couple of books right now, but my primary read is It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett.

D — Drink of Choice While Reading:

Usually tea or water. Sometimes a fruit smoothie can be a nice drink while reading.

E — E-Reader or Physical Book?:

While I do love my Kindle and I’ve definitely gotten more into the habit of using it in the last year or so, I will always choose physical books over e-books. Nothing can compare to a physical edition.

F — Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School:

Definitely Neville Longbottom. He will forever be my first and favorite book boyfriend!

G — Glad You Gave this Book a Chance:

The Giver by Lois Lowry. I first read it some time in middle school and absolutely hated it. Then, given how many of my friends enjoyed it when they read it in their late teens/early 20s, I decided to give it another go, and oh boy am I glad I did. It was fantastic!

H — Hidden Gem Book:

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander. This was a book that was way out of my typical reading comfort zone, but I picked it up on a whim and ended up really enjoying it.

I — Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

This is going to be a very common answer, but I have to say discovering/starting the Harry Potter series for the first time. This is a series that has inspired me in countless ways, turning me into not only an avid reader, but a writer as well. I owe a lot to this series.

J — Just Finished:

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

K– Kinds of Books You Won’t Read?:

Erotica. I have nothing against the genre or anyone who likes to read it—it’s just not my thing.

L –Longest Book You’ve Read:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (according to my Goodreads shelf!).

M — Major Book Hangover:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I don’t get book hangovers frequently, but this gave me a huge one!

N — Number of Bookshelves You Own:

Zero…embarrassing for a book nerd, I know! I promise, I will fix that soon!

O — One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

P — Preferred Place to Read:

I love to just curl up in my bed with a good book. Reading at the beach is pretty nice too, though… 🙂

Q — Quote that Inspires You and Gives You All the Feels:

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” – Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

R — Reading Regret:

The massive amount of book to movie adaptations that have been coming out lately have made me realize that there are a bunch of pretty well-known children’s books/series (ex. The BFG, Percy Jackson, etc…) that I regret not reading back when I was a kid. I have read or plan to read many now, but I wish that I could have had that experience of reading them through younger eyes.

S — Series You’ve Started and Need to Finish:

Way too many! I would say my top ones right now are The Lunar Chronicles, the Legend trilogy, and the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

T — Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle.

U –Unapologetic Fangirl/boy for:

Gillian Flynn. As I have said before, she is my spirit animal. 😛

V — Very Excited for this Release More than Anything:

Since The Cursed Child is already here, I’ll go with Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

W — Worst Bookish Habit

Like many other book nerds out there, one of my worst bookish habits is buying too many books before reading the ones already in my TBR pile! I do this far too often, and now my pile is a mountain!

X — X Marks the Spot–Start at the top of your shelf and pick the 27th book off it:

Since I don’t actually have physical shelves, I’m going to use my Goodreads shelf of owned books, set to alphabetical by author. So my 27th book would be The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury.

Y — Your Latest Book Purchase:

I just did a huge book haul post since I went on a bit of a shopping spree recently, but I guess my latest purchase would be Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.

Z — The Zzzzzzzzzzzzz Snatcher Book (Book That Kept You From Sleeping):

When I was a kid, any of the Harry Potter or Narnia series. But the most recent novel that kept me up all night was The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

Anyone count how many times I referenced Harry Potter, Narnia, or To Kill a Mockingbird? 😛

I’m not going to tag anyone specific to do this, but this survey was incredibly fun to fill out, so I highly recommend giving it a go. If you have done this survey or decide to do it, make sure you leave a link for me in the comments so I can come check out your post!

-Ariana

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Birthday and Travel Book Haul

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As you can probably already tell simply by the fact that I’m making an entire post dedicated to a book haul, July has been quite the bookish month! First, I was traveling around Ireland through the end of June and the beginning of July.

Then, my 22nd birthday was on the 18th, where I not only received some books as presents, but was also treated to an awesome bookstore trip on my actual birthday! On top of that, I have to admit to getting myself a few new Kindle books throughout the month. Because of all of this, I have amassed quite the haul of books.

On a side note, I’ve been toying with the idea of making a travel post about specifically about the Ireland trip, so that might be a thing at some point. 🙂

Now, let the haul begin!

1. Yeats Poetry Collection

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My trip to Ireland was a choir tour, which means we did a lot of traveling within the country as well as a ton of walking. This sort of limited me when it came to the amount of books I could pick up while there, so I somehow managed to keep it to a very restrained two books. We spent one part of our trip in Sligo, the town of all things Yeats (who happens to be one of my favorite poets)! So of course, I had to pick up a little collection of his work while we were there.

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2. Dubliners by James Joyce

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This is the other book I picked up during my trip to Ireland, and I did in fact get this while I was in Dublin like I hoped I would be able to. We read two of the stories from this novel back in high school, but I’ve never actually gotten a chance to read the rest. I’ve heard and seen very mixed opinions of this classic, but I really enjoyed what I read a few years ago, so I’m eager to finish it off.

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3. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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It’s Victoria Schwab, so obviously I had to pick this up as soon as it came out! This is actually (*cough* one of *cough*) my current read(s), but even though I’m loving it so far, I keep having to put it aside. I’ve been trying to catch up on reviews and life keeps getting in the way of books (*sigh*). But rest assured, this book will be finished and reviewed very soon!

4. Beowulf translated by J.R.R. Tolkien

beowulf

This is another classic that we read an excerpt from in school but never actually read all the way through, and I really enjoyed the small portion that we studied. I have been looking for this particular translation of Beowulf ever since I heard about it a few months ago, and it took me forever to locate a copy. I finally found it on my birthday trip to the bookstore and I can’t wait to read it (I know, I’m a total classics nerd)!

5. Roverandom by J.R.R. Tolkien

roverandom

I have not been able to find an actual, physical copy of this novel anywhere. This particular edition has even been impossible to find online. So I finally gave in and purchased the Kindle version for myself because I am dying to read this story. It sounds absolutely adorable, and I’m really interested in beginning to read some Tolkien, so this will probably end up being my first experience with his work.

6. And I Darken by Kiersten White

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I was originally planning on getting this out of the library, but when I saw it at the bookstore, I decided to just go ahead and pick up a copy. This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year, so I’m eager to get to it. It seems like one of those books that I’m either going to really love or really hate, so I can’t wait to see where this falls for me. Plus, beautiful cover alert!

7. The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

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I just discovered this novel recently through Booktube, if I remember correctly, and the synopsis instantly intrigued me. I have another novel by Claire North, but I have not read it yet, so I don’t really know much of anything about her work. However, I’ve only ever heard fantastic things about her novels, all of which have extremely intriguing and unique-sounding plots. I’m not sure which of the two books I’ll start with, but I absolutely had to pick this one up.

8. Red Queen by Christina Henry

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I had completely forgotten this had been released, so I got very excited when I saw it at the bookstore. Due to a recommendation from my book blogger friend Heather, I read the first novel in this series—Alice—earlier this year and absolutely loved it. This series is everything I love: a dark, twisted retelling with vividly portrayed, morally ambiguous characters. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing on to this sequel!

9. Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tales by Justin Richards

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I have wanted this book for ages, and somehow, I managed to keep passing it up at the bookstore, even as I stood there drooling over it. But I finally gave in and grabbed a copy. I couldn’t resist any longer—and so my quest to own everything Doctor Who related continues! Hopefully, it will be as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside. I can’t wait to check out these stories.

10. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

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This was one of the books my parents got me for my birthday. Who doesn’t love a good mystery novel once in a while? I haven’t picked one up in ages and this was recommended to me on Goodreads, so I figured I’d give it a go. It sounds like one of those “cozy mysteries”, so I’m looking forward to curling up with this one. I think I may save it for a fall or winter read.

11. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

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I saw this movie years ago, but I’ve never actually checked out the book. On top of that, my best friend is a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk and has wanted me to check out his novels for the longest time. So, I found this while I was browsing at the bookstore and figured it was about time to pick it up and give it a read!

12. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

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There’s really not much of a story behind this addition to my library. I have the first two parts, so I figured I would just go ahead and pick up the final installment when I saw it. Maybe I’ll marathon the three? We’ll have to see about that. But I definitely plan on at least beginning the series before the end of the year!

13. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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I keep going back and forth about whether I want to read this novel or not. I was really excited about it when it was first released because it sounded like the kind of story I would love. However, my biggest hesitation began when I started hearing talk of a love square (or maybe a shape with more sides?); that can honestly put me off a story completely in just seconds. But I found it on sale for Kindle so I figured, why not just give it a try—it’s gotten fantastic reviews for the most part. We’ll see how it goes.

14. Beckoning Light by Alyssa Rose Ivy

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This final book is another Kindle book I treated myself too. I became intrigued by this story ages ago and I thought I already had a copy—but it turns out, I never got around to picking one up. So I finally did! I’ve found that a lot of books I was interested in a few years ago just don’t peak my interest anymore, but this one still does, so I figured that was a good sign.

That’s it for this haul (and probably for book hauls for a little while!). Let me know in the comments what books you guys have picked up recently. Do we have any in common? Are there any books from this list that you think I should move to the top of my reading list?

-Ariana

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Top 5 Wednesday – July 20th, 2016

topfivewednesday

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top five most recent additions to your reading wishlist. I’ve decided to tack on a little extra element and also list the top five recent additions to my physical TBR that I am most excited to read.

Top 5 Wishlist Additions

1. The Muse by Jesse Burton

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From the internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturist comes a captivating and brilliantly realized story of two young women—a Caribbean immigrant in 1960s London, and a bohemian woman in 1930s Spain—and the powerful mystery that ties them together.

England, 1967. Odelle Bastien is a Caribbean émigré trying to make her way in London. When she starts working at the prestigious Skelton Art Gallery, she discovers a painting rumored to be the work of Isaac Robles, a young artist of immense talent and vision whose mysterious death has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is matched by the intrigue around the conflicting stories of its discovery. Drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions, Odelle does not know what to believe or who she can trust, including her mesmerizing colleague, Marjorie Quick.

Spain, 1937. Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer and English heiress, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a poor, restless village on the southern coast. She grows close to Teresa, a young housekeeper, and her half-brother Isaac Robles, an idealistic and ambitious painter newly returned from the Barcelona salons. A dilettante buoyed by the revolutionary fervor that will soon erupt into civil war, Isaac dreams of being a painter as famous as his countryman, Picasso.

Raised in poverty, these illegitimate children of the local landowner revel in exploiting this wealthy Anglo-Austrian family. Insinuating themselves into the Schloss’s lives, Teresa and Isaac help Olive conceal her artistic talents with devastating consequences that will echo into the decades to come.

Rendered in exquisite detail, The Muse is a passionate and enthralling tale of desire, ambition, and the ways in which the tides of history inevitably shape and define our lives.

 

2. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

(I blame Heather for this one!)

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She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes. 

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.

 

3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

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‘She looked so like herself that I knew not how to bear it’

In this sensational, hard-hitting and passionate tale of marital cruelty, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall sees a mysterious tenant, Helen Graham, unmasked not as a ‘wicked woman’ as the local gossips would have it, but as the estranged wife of a brutal alcoholic bully, desperate to protect her son.

Using her own experiences with her brother Branwell to depict the cruelty and debauchery from which Helen flees, Anne Bronte wrote her masterpiece to reflect the fragile position of women in society and her belief in universal redemption, but scandalized readers of the time.

 

4. The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

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The most powerful man in the republic framed her, threw her in prison, and stole a priceless elven manuscript from her family.

With the help of a crack team that includes an illusionist, a unicorn, a death priestess, a talking warhammer, and a lad with a prophetic birthmark, Loch must find a way into the floating fortress of Heaven’s Spire–and get past the magic-hunting golems and infernal sorcerers standing between her and the vault that holds her family’s treasure.

It’d be tricky enough without the military coup and unfolding of an ancient evil prophecy–but now the determined and honourable Justicar Pyvic has been assigned to take her in.

But hey, every plan has a few hitches.

 

5. It’s All Fun and Games by Dave Barrett

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When Allison’s best friend, TJ, convinces her to come along for an epic game of LARP (live-action role-playing), she reluctantly agrees despite her reservations about the geeky pastime. TJ’s weekends are filled with powerful wizardry, mystical creatures, and intense battles with his LARP group. Each adventure is full of surprises, but the goal is always the same: to defeat the monsters and find the treasure.

Not long after their quest begins, the friends discover that something has gone wrong. The fantasy world they’ve built has transformed, and the battle they’re in the midst of is no longer make-believe.

Now they must fight for survival against brigands, kobolds, and other deadly mythical creatures that come to life. Fortunately, the group’s once-fictional magical powers have also become real – including Allison’s newly acquired gifts as a healer. They’ll need everything in their arsenal if they hope to make it home alive.

Top 5 Physical TBR Additions

I’ve just gotten back from traveling and my birthday was on Monday, so let’s just say, there have been a few new additions to my book collection! I’ll be doing a full travel and birthday book haul post in a few days, but for now, here are some of the books that I have recently acquired that I am most looking forward to reading.

 1. And I Darken by Kiersten White

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Any novel with a strong, kickass-sounding female lead immediately catches my attention! This story sounds dark, intense, and action-packed, exactly the type of story I love. I’m really hoping I’ll be diving into a gripping and unique fantasy, something I’ve been very in the mood for lately. I’ve also heard some very good things about Kiersten White’s writing, so I’m excited to experience it for the first time.

2. Dubliners by James Joyce

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I know a few people who really didn’t enjoy this novel and think I’m crazy for wanting to read it! But we read a few excerpts from it in school a while back, and I loved all of them. I’ve been wanting to read the rest for a long time, and this will also contribute to my mission to read more classics this year. The other exciting fact about my copy of this is that I picked it up while I was in Dublin earlier this month!

 3. In Sunlight or In Shadow compiled by Lawrence Block

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When I saw this on Netgalley, I completely freaked out! This is a collection of short stories written by a group of well-known authors where each story is inspired by a painting by Edward Hopper. Not only am I a massive fan of short story collections, Edward Hopper is one of my favorite painters of all time. For an art/writing assignment, I myself wrote a short story about his painting, Nighthawks. To top off my excitement about this book, I was approved for an ARC on Netgalley! I can’t wait to start this!

4. Beowulf translation by J.R.R. Tolkien

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This is another novel that we read an excerpt from in school ages ago, but never actually read the full book. And again, I really enjoyed the part that we read, so I’ve been wanting to pick up a copy of it so I could finally finish it off. I recently heard about this edition that was translated by Tolkien, so I immediately knew this was the translation I needed to read! I’m so looking forward to it!

5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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This is a novel I’ve been debating picking up for a while, so when I saw it on sale on Kindle, I decided, why not give it a try. I’ve heard tons of incredible things about this novel, however, reports of a potential love square sort of put me off for a bit. But it sounds like my type of story and I was excited about it when it was released last year, so I figured I should finally give it a go.

What are some books that you guys have recently added to your reading wishlist? Are there any new bookish purchases you’ve made lately that you are particularly excited about? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

-Ariana

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The Creative Blogger Award #2

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I’m currently traveling, so this is a scheduled post. At this point, I’m uncertain what my ability to access the Internet will be like while I’m gone, so I may not be able to respond to comments right away. I’ll definitely be back with regular access to the blog next week! 🙂

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I was nominated by Becca over at Shih Tzu Book Reviews! Thank you so much for the nomination, Becca. Becca is a wonderful book blogger, so if you haven’t already checked out her blog, please be sure to head on over there! 🙂

Click here to check out the first part!

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creativebloggeraward1The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  1. Share 5 facts about yourself.
  1. Nominate some bloggers in return and notify them about their nomination.
  1. Keep the rules in your post to make it easy for everyone to know what to do.

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Random Facts About Me:

1. Although I can do both, I’ve always preferred baking to cooking. It’s very much like a science. I love the attention to detail and how exact everything is in baking—works well with my brain! 🙂

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2. I’ve talked before about how I would love to do voice acting for video games one day. Well, I would also absolutely love to write scripts/dialogue/storylines for video games! Basically, I really want to work in video games!

3. Speaking of video games, I am irrationally excited about the upcoming remastered version of Skyrim. It’s essentially the same game I have been playing obsessively for the last few years…but it’s so pretty…I need the pretty! 😛

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4. I have an extremely eclectic music library, but recently, I’ve expanded it even further. I have been absolutely addicted to trap and electro swing lately!

5. This is one of my favorite quotes of all time:

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I find a lot of inspiration, beauty, and meaning in it.

I Nominate:

My nominees can be found in the first part! 🙂

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Real Neat Blog Award #2

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I’m currently traveling, so this is a scheduled post. At this point, I’m uncertain what my ability to access the Internet will be like while I’m gone, so I may not be able to respond to comments right away. I’ll definitely be back with regular access to the blog next week! 🙂

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I was nominated by the lovely Mariana over at Book Is Glee. Thank you so much for the nomination!

Click here to check out the first part!

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The Rules:realneatblogaward

-Thank and link the blogger who nominated you

-Answer the seven questions the nomination has provided

-Nominate 7 other bloggers

-Create 7 questions for your nominees

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Mariana’s Questions

1. Do you have a Goodreads account? If so, let’s be friends! (I just wanna get to know you).

I do have a Goodreads account! I believe we (Mariana and I) are already friends, but if any of you guys want to add me, feel free! I always love making new friends on GR. 😀

2. If you were a character in a book you have read, who would you be? Why?

This is probably a pretty common choice, but I’d pick Hermione Granger. I would love to have her intelligence, bravery, and, of course, her magical abilities! Overall, she is a fantastic, badass female heroine, one that’s always been inspiring to me my whole life.

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3. Would you rather skip Christmas for a year, or skip your birthday for a year?

I would much rather skip my birthday. Christmas is during one of my favorite seasons and it is my absolute favorite holiday to celebrate. Being a singer in a choir, this is when we get to do some of the most beautiful music—plus I love all the family festivities that take place around this time. It’s just a really feel-good time of year! 🙂

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4. What is your favorite color? Find a book to match with that color.

My favorite color is black. And a book with one of my favorite covers (and book pages!) matches up with this…Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo!

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5. If you were to choose a different name for yourself, what would it be?

My absolute favorite girl’s name is Ava, so I would probably choose that. I also love the names Ellison, Harper, and Charlotte (Charley), so any of those would be great too!

6. What is the latest time you have ever stayed up to read?

I pulled an all-nighter so I could read the final Harry Potter book. My best friend and I went to the midnight release for the book and then spent the entire night and next day reading until we finished it!

7. What is your most anticipated book right now?

My most anticipated book of the year is Heartless by Marissa Meyer.

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I Nominate:

My nominees and questions can be found in the first part! 🙂

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3 Days, 3 Quotes Tag – Day 3

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I’m currently traveling, so this is a scheduled post. At this point, I’m uncertain what my ability to access the Internet will be like while I’m gone, so I may not be able to respond to comments right away. I’ll definitely be back with regular access to the blog next week! 🙂

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I was tagged by three lovely book bloggers—T.K. Lawrence @ Read It or Not Reviews, Emma @ The Terror of Knowing and Becca @ Shih Tzu Book Reviews—to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes tag! If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you’ll already know how much I adore quotes. Thank you guys so much for tagging me! Make sure you all take some time to go check out all of their blogs. 🙂 ❤

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“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

I Tag:

SSJTimeLord

Loreva @ La Book Dreamer

Aralyn @ Paper Addictions & Magic

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3 Days, 3 Quotes Tag – Day 2

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I’m currently traveling, so this is a scheduled post. At this point, I’m uncertain what my ability to access the Internet will be like while I’m gone, so I may not be able to respond to comments right away. I’ll definitely be back with regular access to the blog next week! 🙂

____________________________________________________________________

I was tagged by three lovely book bloggers—T.K. Lawrence @ Read It or Not Reviews, Emma @ The Terror of Knowing and Becca @ Shih Tzu Book Reviews—to do the 3 Days, 3 Quotes tag! If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you’ll already know how much I adore quotes. Thank you guys so much for tagging me! Make sure you all take some time to go check out all of their blogs. 🙂 ❤

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“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then what remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

– Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

I Tag:

Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek

Diana @ Voices In My Head

Ara @ The Bookish Agenda

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