It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 1/6/20

It’s Monday again and my first full week back after the holidays.

I’m going to be trying new this year with my reading and try to read at least one classic a month. This month I’ll be reading something that will make me stay out of the sunshine…

This week I’m going to read an arc that I won off of Goodreads and a classic horror novel.

What are you reading?

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Universal Love- Alexander Weinstein

45186616A hypnotic collection of speculative fiction about compassion, love, and human resilience in the technological hyper-age, from Alexander Weinstein, author of Children of the New World

Universal Love welcomes readers to a near-future world where our everyday technologies have fundamentally altered the possibilities and limits of how we love one another. In these gripping stories, a young boy tries to understand what keeps his father tethered to the drowned city they call home. A daughter gets to know her dead mother’s hologram better than she ever knew her living mother. And, at a time when unpleasant memories can be erased, a man undergoes electronic surgery to have his depression, and his past, forever removed.

In an age when technology offers the easiest cures for loneliness, the characters within these stories must wrestle with what it means to stay human in an increasingly cybernetic future, and how love can endure even the most alluring upgrades.

In the vein of Weinstein’s critically-acclaimed first collection, Universal Love is a visionary book, written with one foot in the real world and one stepping bravely into the future.

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Dracula- Bram Stoker

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When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client’s castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘Master’. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing into questions of identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

 

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Harry Potter Christmas Book Tag

The Holidays are right around the corner and I can’t wait to have a few days off from work to relax and get some much-needed reading done.

How are you spending your holidays?

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We were tagged by the amazing Chelsie over at My Reading Escape to join in on the book tag fun. Thanks for including us 🙂

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It’s your first Christmas at Hogwarts. What’s one book you’ve asked for this year?

I’ve asked for a few books that have been on my TBR for a while but the main one I really want and hope to receive is Normal People by Sally Rooney. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about her books and I want to start with this one.

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You spot Hagrid hauling the Christmas tree through the grounds. What is the longest (or heaviest!) book you own?

I get asked this question a lot and we joke around at work about which books we would use as weapons if the occasion arose (yeah, we are kind of morbid). I always go for Stephen King. IT is over a thousand pages long and so worth the damage it does to your hands after holding it while reading.

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It’s time for the famous Great Hall feast. What’s one book you can’t read without snacks?

I usually don’t like to have food/snacks around books because of crumbs or stickiness. But sometimes I make an exception for a cute contemporary book. It puts you in the right mindset for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate with a decent cookie or two.

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Well done, you’ve brewed your first Polyjuice potion. What’s one book you’d change the cover of?

Yes, I know that they changed the cover for this one but it still drives me crazy that they first decided to go with that cover. It made me feel as if they were trying to sabotage her.

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You receive a brand new Firebolt for Christmas. What’s one book you read super quickly?

Anything by V(E)ictoria Schwab is a super quick read for me. Her books draw you in and you sit and read her entire book in one sitting.

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You join Harry for his first proper Christmas. What’s one book you’d love to receive this year?

I know that I’m so late to the party with this book but I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now and I need to own it for my book collection.

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You get hit by one of Fred and George’s flying snowballs. What’s a book you wanted to throw across the room?

I wanted to throw this book across the room because it was one of my highly anticipated reads but it was just awful.

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You’ve just visited Hogsmeade for the first time. What’s one popular book you haven’t read yet?

I own this book but just haven’t read it yet.

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Congratulations, you’ve been invited to the Yule Ball. What book about Christmas do you love?

This book is just the cutest and puts me in a better mood.

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You find Ron’s deluminator. What’s one book that’s helped you through some dark times?

This is not your typical pick me up book but it took my mind off of things that were going on around me.

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We Tag:

ABellaFairyTale

ABronxLatinaReads

 

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 11/4/19

I didn’t read as much as I wanted to last week. So this week I’m reading something that I started on Friday and some arcs that I received in the mail.

What are you reading this week?

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The Institute- Stephen King

48284797. sy475 From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

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Jane Anonymous- Laurie Faria Stolarz

37650881. sy475 Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

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sword 2Find Me Their Bones- Sara Wolf

41085224No one can save her.

In order to protect Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s heart, Zera had to betray him. Now, he hates the sight of her. Trapped in Cavanos as a prisoner of the king, she awaits the inevitable moment her witch severs their magical connection and finally ends her life.

But fate isn’t ready to give her up just yet.

With freedom coming from the most unlikely of sources, Zera is given a second chance at life as a Heartless. But it comes with a terrible price. As the king mobilizes his army to march against the witches, Zera must tame an elusive and deadly valkerax trapped in the tunnels underneath the city if she wants to regain her humanity.

Winning over a bloodthirsty valkerax? Hard. Winning back her friends before war breaks out? A little harder.

But a Heartless winning back Prince Lucien’s heart?

The hardest thing she’s ever done.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 10/28/19

This week I’m going to read two books that I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time.

What are you reading this week?

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After- Anna Todd

22557520. sy475 Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER … Life will never be the same.

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The Institute- Stephen King

48284797. sy475 From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

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*Review* The Vine Witch- Luanne G. Smith

43236277A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

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My Review:

“You’ll burn in Hell for this. The witch scoffed. What makes you think I haven’t already?”

The Vine Witch is a spellbinding must-read for the Halloween season. It combines a lot of things I love. It has Witches, Wine, Murder, and a little bit of love to throw you off and I really enjoyed it.

Elena was cursed after she turned down a proposal. The joining of two people is supposed to be the highlight of a persons life but she didn’t feel that way. After turning it down, Elena is cursed for seven years. That is until she breaks it and returns to the only place she knows, Château Renard.

She’s excited to get back to the vineyard, help everything grow and to see her family again. But things have changed. It was sold to John-Paul Martel who doesn’t believe in superstitions. She talks him into letting her stay and she must perform her witchery when he’s not around.

The fields are glowing with a hex that Elena tries to rid of. But there’s something down deeper that Elena can’t let go of. She wants revenge. Revenge on the person who stole seven years of her life. As she tries to break apart the hex, she won’t rest until this person/s are brought to justice.

The Vine Witch was a great story. I was so enraptured by this story that I didn’t want to put it down. I really dislike it when life gets in the way of a good book.

This was a really fun story with amazing and strong characters. It was great to see different witches throughout and to read what all they could do.

This is great for people who love a great mystery with witches, wine, and a good romance.

This debut was fantastic and I can’t wait to read more by her.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 10/14/19

This week is going to be a tiny book week. Netflix had me hooked this weekend.

What are you reading?

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The Vine Witch- Luanne G. Smith

43236277A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

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Resurrection Girls- Ava Morgyn

44174348Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 10/7/19

This week I’m going to be reading a few highly anticipated arcs, an arc I won on Instagram, and I’ll let you know what I read last weekend that wasn’t on my list.

What are you reading?

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I started a book on Saturday afternoon and finished it on Sunday. It was the perfect fall read to set the mood for Halloween.

Winterwood- Shea Ernshaw

43822698Deluxe edition with special embellishments on first printing only.

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magicwhere dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

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The Starless Sea- Erin Morgenstern

43575115. sy475 From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

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The Madness Blooms- Mackenzie Lee

45043431Love is a fever.

Holland, 1637. Lena Schoon is an orphan, sold to the owner of a flower shop, along with her older brother, Bas. When Lena and Bas’s master dies, Bas inherits the flower shop at the height of Tulip Mania, a time when single tulip bulbs were being sold for prices equivalent to that of Amsterdam’s finest houses.

Along with the shop come debts that threaten to uproot the siblings, leaving them without a home or a trade. In desperation, Lena hatches a plan to dress as a man and attempt to sell a fake Semper Augustus bulb, the rarest and most valuable tulip of the time, to the one merchant in town with the money to pay for it.

But when Lena meets the merchant’s daughter Elsje, she is smitten. And her plan to save her shop and her home is suddenly challenged, both by her heart putting down its roots, and also by questions about her own identity that emerge the longer she lives as a man…

Mackenzi Lee’s The Madness Blooms is perfect for the teen and adult fans of Jessie Burton (The Miniaturist)Tracy Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring), Sarah Waters (Tipping the Velvet), and Ruta Sepetys (Salt to the Sea).

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Resurrection Girls- Ava Morgyn

44174348Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women. Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.

But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly.

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