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text 2017-03-31 16:25
March 2017 Reading Wrap Up
Major Conflict: One Gay Man's Life in the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell Military - Jeffrey McGowan
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game - Michael Lewis
The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade - Ann Fessler
Rick Steves Travel as a Political Act - Rick Steves
Battlefield Angels: Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire From Valley Forge to Afghanistan (General Military) - Scott McGaugh

 Overall a not great reading month, with some serious low-level ratings. A lot of disappointment in the content of some of these books. But I am either on track or ahead on some challenges, so at least I am not falling behind while traveling around.

 

Best part of my reading this month is finally visiting the British Library and its long standing exhibit (the BL is between special exhibits at the moment)! Unfortunately, visitors can't take pictures of the documents/books in the exhibit so I don't have any to show you. I am going back for the upcoming exhibit on the Russian Revolution, which turns 100 this year. The British Library will also do an exhibit on Harry Potter this year.

 

Highlights, Lowlights, and Challenges

Best Books: Major Conflict by Jeffrey McGowan; Moneyball by Michael Lewis; The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler; Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves

 

Worst Books: The Girl's Guide to Homelessness: A Memoir by Brianna Karp; Elegy for a Disease by Ann Finger; Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan

 

Library Love Challenge: 8; 19/36 for the year

Pop Sugar Challenge: 8; 18/52 for the year

BL/GR Reading Goal: 42/150

 

1. Polio: An American Story by David Oshinksy (Pop Sugar prompt - On the TBR a long time) - Currently reading, not counted in my stats yet

 

2. The Girl's Guide to Homelessness: A Memoir by Brianna Karp (Library Love Challenge) - .5 star

 

3. Battlefield Angels: Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire from Valley Forge to Afghanistan by Scott McGaugh (Pop Sugar prompt - set in wartime) (Library Love Challenge) - 3 stars

 

4. Major Conflict: One Gay Man's Life in the Don't - Ask - Don't - Tell Military by Jeffrey McGowan (Library Love Challenge) - 3.5 stars

 

5. The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler (Pop Sugar prompt - Difficult Topic) (Library Love Challenge) - 3.5 stars

 

6. Cat Trick (A Magical Cats Mystery)  by Sofie Kelly (Pop Sugar prompt - Cat on the cover) (Library Love Challenge) - 1 star

 

7. Elegy for a Disease: A Personal and Cultural History of Polio by Anne Finger - DNF

 

8. Travel is a Political Act by Rick Steves (Pop Sugar prompt - Involves Travel) (Library Love Challenge) - 4 stars

 

9. Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan (Pop Sugar prompt - Set in a Hotel) - 0 stars

 

10. Echoes in Death (...In Death #44) by J.D. Robb  (Pop Sugar prompt - Published in 2017) - 1.5 stars

 

11. Moneyball by Michael Lewis (Library Love Challenge) - 4 stars

 

12. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (Pop Sugar prompt - bought on a trip) - 3 stars

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video 2017-02-15 19:13

Originally posted on MissKatiEllen.

 

It’s official, we are already one month down into this crazy year, and this month I managed to pack in a crazy amount of reading!! If you haven’t already I would really recommend picking up Sally Greens series, I cannot wait to start reading the third. Completely hooked.

 

 

Now I’m a sucker for a book with a beautiful cover, guilty as charged, and when I saw these new covers in Waterstones I had to do it. These editions are by Coralie Bickford Smith, The Fox and the Star, and are gorgeous. They retail at £20, I bought Jekyll and Hyde for myself and the other for my mum as a birthday present. I also plan to buy her Withering Heights.

 

 

I really don’t remember buying this many books but clearly I did. Poor Unfortunate Souls is the last book by Serena Valentino, which I’m gutted about because I love the world she has created. With only two more books left to come in the Throne of Glass series, the final and a novella, I picked up the assassins bind up of the first 5 novellas. Also thought I’d grab the first in her other series, although I won’t start reading that for a while.

 


Don’t forget you can follow me on MissKatiEllenInstagram | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads

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video 2017-01-18 20:54

Originally posted on MissKatiEllen.

 

Welcome to 2017 everybody, and to my first post of the year all about last year!! In todays post we’ll be looking at what I read in the last two months, my favourite and recommendations of the year and what’s on my reading list for the year.

 

In no particular order here are my favourite reads of 2016, all of which I would highly recommend. Not pictured is here is the fairy tale retelling series by Jackson Pearce as a friend is currently borrowing them.

 

 

  • The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford Smith, although not a long book it’s a cute story of filled with stunning illustrations.
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, I have never enjoyed a series so much!! A wonderful fairytale retelling, definitely a winner. Would also recommend the novellas too.
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, this was probably one of the first ‘chosen one’ series I’ve read since Harry Potter. What I loved, aside from the great story, was the fact the romantic aspect wasn’t the driving force of this. Yes it was the but had to take a backseat to more important things.
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, this was a nice little read about a girls journey through her forbidden home where myth and reality become one.
  • Fairest by Serena Valentino, I didn’t realise how long this book had been sat on my list and om glad I’ve finally read it. This was such a great portrayal of the Evil Queen, everything her past to her present. The second book is based Beauty and the Beast, and the third to be released is about Ursula.
  • Harry Potter by J.K Rowling, I’ve loved rediscovering this series, so much went over my head as a child. I’ve discovered a whole new love for this wizarding world.

 

So that was last year, since November I’ve been thinking about what I want to read in 2017. I want a balance between books I haven’t read in forever, books that have been on my list since the dawn of time and have forgotten about and books that are new and I’m itching to read. To see what’s made it onto my list check out shelf on either Goodreads or Booklikes.

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text 2016-05-02 12:23
April Reading Wrap-Up

In April, I read enough chapter ones from various books to equal the length of a short novel. I picked at books I've had going for a long while, a chapter or two from one thing, a short story from one anthology/collection or another.

Not much is holding my interest. I think the problem is my general mood, rather than the material I've been sampling. I just haven't been able to figure out what it is exactly I'm in the mood to read.

But I'll read through it. It will pass.

I did manage to finish three books in April.

They are:

Night Squad, by David Goodis - A solid noir read. I'll be picking up some more Goodis for sure.

 



South of the Border, West of the Sun, by Haruki Murakami - A good book, but only an okay Murakami.

 



Borderline, by Lawrence Block - Repackaged, old-fashioned sleaze. A serial killer amid sexual adventurers on the US-Mexico border.

 

 

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text 2016-01-30 16:34
January Reading Wrap-Up & Book-of-the-Month Selection
Puppet Graveyard - Tim Curran
Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination - Rampo Edogawa,James B. Harris
The Postman Always Rings Twice - James M. Cain,Stanley Tucci
Click-Clack the Rattlebag - Neil Gaiman
Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories - China MiƩville
You Shall Never Know Security - J.R. Hamantaschen
Flesh and Coin - Craig Saunders
Come: A Short Story - E. Lorn,Edward Lorn
Hell House - Richard Matheson

January was a stellar month for reading. I finished a lot of fine books this month (but didn't necessarily read every page of every one of these in January). Here's the list:

 

Puppet Graveyard, by Tim Curran - This novella is quick and nasty, with great imagery. It was leavened with humor. And, of course, it had creepy puppets. Who doesn't love creepy puppets?

 

Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination, by Edogawa Rampo - This was an impulse buy. I got it on the cheap from Amazon mainly because I liked the cover. While reading the introduction, I thought the book was some sort of hoax when it claimed the author's pen name was basically a phonetic spelling of the name 'Edgar Allen Poe' spoken with a Japanese accent. I immediately looked the dude up and found out that he was the real deal and very influential in Japanese mystery fiction. Sorry, Japan. I did not know. And, man, I'm sure glad I know about this author now. His story "The Human Chair," which kicks off this collection, is simply fantastic. The remainder of the tales were very good, too, surreal and mysterious. I'll be reading more from Rampo.


The Postman Always Rings Twice, James M. Cain - I listened to the audiobook version of this classic noir tale, read by Stanley Tucci. Highly recommended.


Click-Clack the Rattlebag, by Neil Gaiman - This was a short freebie I downloaded long ago. If you downloaded it from Audible, a donation went to charity. It was a pleasant enough little horror story, but Gaiman's narration is a bit too treacly for my taste. (Note: This doesn't appear to still be available from Audible.)


Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories, by China Miéville - This was an excellent collection. After reading Miéville's first collection, Looking for Jake, I thought that perhaps he just wasn't a short story guy. This one proved me wrong though. I love Miéville for his imagination, his original ideas, and the way he's able to communicate some of the craziest concepts so effectively through prose. This book won't be for everyone. Some of these stories are experimental, many are abstruse, and many more are like wonderful unresolved mysteries. 


You Shall Never Know Security, by J.R. Hamantaschen - This is the second collection I've read by Hamantaschen in two months, which should tell you something. I enjoy the author's unique voice and the unrelenting hopelessness of his tales. They are so bleak that you have to throw up your hands and surrender with bewildered and uncomfortable laughter. I think of his stuff as being a sort of cross between Sam Pink and Laird Barron.


Flesh and Coin, by Craig Saunders - I am envious of Saunders's Spartan prose. It's always efficient and often poetic. I'll be reading all his stuff. Oh, the story? Yeah, yeah, that was good, too.


Come, by E. Lorn - A vicious little piece of viscous, passive-aggressive nastiness. 


Hell House, by Richard Matheson - I've been meaning to read this one for years. I shouldn't have put it off. Was it scary? Not really. But I  didn't expect it to be. Nor did I expect it to be so fantastically lurid; I was pleasantly surprised. 

 

My pick for Book-of-the-Month? It's exceedingly hard to decide, but I'll have to go with Miéville's Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories. It wins by the sheer brute force of imagination on display. 

 

 

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