MONTHLY WRAP-UP #11 | January 2019

Hi, everyone! Can you believe it’s already February? Because I sure can’t. Well, here’s what I’ve read this past month, and what I’m currently reading!


 

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

Review

This was the first book I finished in 2019, and I loved it! I don’t read as much middle grade as I would like, so I really enjoyed this one. It’s a spooky ghost story with Cass, a girl who can see and talk to ghosts, and Joacob, her ghost-y best friend!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
5/5 stars

Review

Another V.E. Schwab book finished, and I loved it even more than City of Ghosts! I loved everything about it: the characters, the plot, the magic, the setting. All of it. The book follows Kell, a magician, and Lila, a girl with the love for adventure, as they try to take a mysterious stone back to its rightful place. Please read it, it’s my new fav next to Six of Crows.

Sula by Toni Morrison

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

Review

If you’re interested in classics, black authors, or anything remotely connected to either of those two, look into Sula. I’m usually not for books considered classics, but I really enjoyed this one. Sula is about the lives of two childhood best friends, Sula and Nell, throughout their lives.

Maurice by E.M. Forster

⭐⭐⭐ .5
3.5/5 stars

This one doesn’t have an official review because I read it for a class. It was pretty good; nothing to call home about, though. I wasn’t really connected with any of the characters. However, I do have to say, that last scene between Maurice and Clive made me laugh. I don’t think it was supposed to? But it did.

Sister Citizens: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry.

Another book for a class — I’m almost halfway through it, and so far, so good. It’s pretty self-explanatory: it delves into stereotypes about Black women in the United States and how shame may affect them. There’s a lot I’ve annotated so far, so if social science and race are your thing, give it a try.

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

It is so hard for me to finish e-books, apparently. I started this in the beginning of January, and I’m still working on it. It’s not bad at all — I’m actually quite enjoying it — but I just can’t seem to bring myself to open the Kindle app on my laptop. The Shadow Girl is about an invisible girl, both literally and metaphorically!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

So this would have been finished, except 65% of the way through the audiobook, my account decided to log itself out. And the password and login weren’t saved. Pair that with the fact that I didn’t feel like digging out my library card (it was through OverDrive), and you have an unfinished book.


There you go, my January wrap-up! I didn’t do qute as much as I wanted to, but that’s okay. I’ll have all next month to catch up! …Says every reader every month.

Let me know what you’ve read this month! What was your favorite and/or least favorite book of the month? Do you constantly see yourself pushing books back to read?

Until next time~
Kaitlyn

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REVIEW #37 | “Sula” by Toni Morrison

Title: “Sula”

Author: Toni Morrison

Pages (paperback): 174 pages

Original Publishing Date: November 1973

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“This rich and moving novel traces the lives of two black heroines from their close-knit childhood in a small Ohio town, through their sharply divergent paths of womanhood, to their ultimate confrontation and reconciliation.

“Nel Wright has chosen to stay in the place where she was born, to marry, raise a family, and become a pillar of the black community. Sula Peace has rejected the life Nel has embraced, escaping to college, and submerging herself in city life. When she returns to her roots, it is as a rebel and a wanton seductress. Eventually, both women must face the consequences of their choices. Together, they create an unforgettable portrait of what it means and costs to be a black woman in America.”

Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:

  • blood
  • gore
  • description of burns
  • fire

Representation in the novel:

  • cast of black characters (most, if not all, the main characters and “important” side characters are black)
  • black girl/woman main characters
  • black love interests

⭐⭐⭐⭐ .5
4.5/5 stars

My thoughts on this book can be summed up with my last goodreads note about it.

Seriously, I do not know what to even think. As you could see from above, it is a short book, less than 200 pages, but it packs a punch. The reader becomes intersted in the characters pretty quickly; one may not exactly love them, but they are intriguing enought that one wants to see what happens next. I also really enjoy novels that not only skip years, but go through an entire lifespan, and Sula delivers as it follows Sula and Nell, the main characters. I do want to point out, though, that I was serious about not grasping everything. There is a bunch of literary merits that I missed for sure, and I do not want to say that I have a comprehensive grasp on the book.

Anyway, moving on. Sula takes place across a good portion of the 20th century in the small town of Bottom, in Ohio. Beginning in 1919, the book ends almost fifty years later, in 1965. It follows two girls, Sula and Nell, as I said earlier. They are two young childhood friends who, as they grow older, go their separate ways. However, life brings them back together years later. But is the ultimate betrayal enough to push these two women away from each other forever? Sula delves into friendship, identity, and community in a way that sucks the reader in and does not let go until they finish the very last page.

I am not going to lie: I am having a really hard time articulating myself throughout this review. I just…do not know what to say? This was a wonderful book, and it kept me interested and engaged. The writing is simply beautiful. But I do not know what made me interested in particular, if that makes sense. I think that is where reading it a second time comes in.

I dunno, bottom line is, I liked reading it; y’all should read it; and it is actually a book that is deserving of the title “classic.” We good? We good. Good day.

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MONTHLY TBR #11 | January 2019

…It’s already 2019? Excuse me? Wow, time flies. Well, another month, another TBR. Before we get started, though, I do want to point out that I am trying something new with my TBR. I noticed that my stack of unread physical books have been…growing, to say the least. So, to help minimize this, I put slips of paper with the titles of these books written on them in a jar. Each month, I will draw a number of slips from the jar to read these books while still having a few books I choose to read as well. Hopefully, this can decrease my physical TBR stack by a considerable amount throughout the year. What that explained…let’s begin!



A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Like I said in my December wrap-up, I started this but was not able to finish before the month ended. So here I am! I hope it is as good as everyone says it is.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

I rented this from my library when I first come home for winter break. I am very excited to start it; I love ghost books. And I love the cover!

Campfire by Shawn Sarles

Another book I picked up from the library that I have to read before going back to college. It sounds very spooky, and it has been a while since I read a nice horror or thriller book. I have not seen anyone that I know review it, so it will be interesting if I like it or not.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

One of my favorite Harry Potter books! I’m so excited to listen to the audiobook. I wonder what Professor Lupin and Sirius Black sound like… Ohhh, can’t wait!

The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

I got a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a review. I’m pretty excited for it! It is another YA book, and it seems to have a ghost-y feel. I cannot wait to see what this book has for me!

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loener

I am a semi-big history buff, so I love these kinds of books. I always like learning about how crappy the U.S. education was in teaching me accurate history. On top of that, I just like learning history in general, especially when it involves marginalized groups.

Empire of Sin by Gary Krist

I do not even remember when I bought this book…maybe a couple years ago? Though, I am pretty sure I bought it for the reasons I bought the prior book: I love learning the lesser-known parts of history.

Sula by Toni Morrison

I actually read most of this a few years ago, but I do not remember it at all. So, I figured that re-reading it would be a great idea. On top of that, it is a classic, and one written by a black woman, too!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

I am so glad I drew this book! I have been meaning to read the GrishaVerse trilogy, and what better time than the beginning of the new year? It will be a nice refresher, too, before I read King of Scars when it comes out!



And that is it! I know that 9 books is a bit much for me, but I am up for the chllenge. So, what are you all reading this month? Let me know!

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