Its Monday! What are you reading? ~ 25 May 2020

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.

Hey there book nerds!

Its the last week of May, and once again I can’t believe how fast this month is flying away, but also how long each day seems to last. Its a sort of irony I really can’t wrap my head around.

I have been reading at a feverish pace this entire month, and I think I am hitting a sliiiiiight slump. I’m still reading a lot, but I’m not really deriving the same pleasure from it anymore. I’m planning to shake things up by picking up a non-fiction, as that is something that gets me back on track.

Related: How to Get Out of a Reading Slump| 10 Tips and Tricks

WHAT I READ LAST WEEK

WHAT I AM READING NOW

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts, Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak, that we owe many of the great contributions to …more

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway, a duel between two young …more

UP NEXT

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up …more

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six: The band’s album Aurora came to define the rock ‘n’ roll era of the late seventies, and an entire generation of girls wanted to grow up to be Daisy. But no one knows the reason behind the group’s split on the night of their final concert at Chicago Stadium on July 12, 1979 . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the la …more

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Japan’s most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds …more

LAST WEEK’S POSTS


What are you reading now? What do you plan to read next?

Link you #IMWAYR posts below and I will check them out.

The Apartment by K.L. Slater | Book Review

Title: The Apartment
Author: K.L. Slater
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publish Date: April 28, 2020
# of Pages: 266
Rating: 3/5
Buy it*: The Apartment by K.L. Slater

The Apartment – Synopsis

It’s an opportunity she can’t refuse. The woman before her tried…

When Freya Miller and her daughter Skye are presented with an opportunity to live in a beautiful apartment at Adder House at a shockingly low rent, she cannot believe her luck. With her life in a disarray after her husband’s death, this sounds like a miracle, the very thing she needed to turn her life over. Little did she know that the price she will be paying might be her sanity and her freedom. As she attempts to unravel the mysteries of her new abode, Freya is forced to face the dark secrets of the Adder House residents to protect her 5 year old daughter.

My Honest Review of The Apartment

After reading and thoroughly enjoying Little Whispers by Slater, I was compelled to check out another book by her. Though an enjoyable and fast-paced read, The Apartment did not quite come up to the mark.

The overall plot of the story was interesting – a mystery apartment, a seemingly too generous landlord, an eccentric group of neighbors, occurrences with a paranormal flavour, and a single mother-daughter due caught in the middle. The climax, though not mind-blowing, was not very predictable, although you since it is not a fantasy/paranormal genre book, you can guess that it has to do something with someone pulling a sick stunt. The mystery remains in the “whodunnit”, and more importantly why.

What nagged me about the book was the naivety of the protagonist, Freya. She was handed an opportunity that looks too good to be true – an apartment that she could not even dream to afford living in, at a dirt-cheap rent. And what does do, she accepts it without second though, without any research, thanking her stars.

The Landlord goes to the extent of reimbursing their to and fro cabs to look at the apartment, their moving expenses, and gives expensive gifts to their daughter, but she does not suspect any ill-will. Am I too paranoid when I say that I would, at the very least, feel a tinge of suspicion?

That being said, I still enjoyed the overall story, its narration and the climax. The mystery of why would any of the apartment inhabitants go through such painstaking efforts to drive Freya to insanity kept me going, and the climax was not even close to what I could have thought. The narration was also interesting, with an alternate but anonymous PoV running alongside the main story, with snippets from somebody’s journal.

The Verdict

The Apartment was an enjoyable read with an interesting story-line, but the unconvincing characters made for an overall average read.

Lets Talk!

Have you read The Apartment? Are you planning to read it?

Have you read any other K.L. Slater books? What did you think about them?

First Lines Friday, Friday 56 and Book Blogger Hop ~ 22 May 2020

First Lines Friday

Today’s FIRST LINES are from a recent read – The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow.

It wasn’t really on my TBR for this month, or even for the next few weeks, but it has one of those starting lines that pulled me in right away, so now I am reading it 😅 And it is so worth it! It’s been so long since I read such a magical book, and I am loving every minute of it.

P.S. Look at the absolutely stunning cover!😍

When I was seven, I found a door.

I suspect I should capitalize that word, so you understand I’m not talking about your garden- or common-variety door that leads reliably to a white-tiled kitchen or a bedroom closet.

When I was seven, I found a Door. There—look how tall and proud the word stands on the page now, the belly of that D like a black archway leading into white nothing. When you see that word, I imagine a little prickle of familiarity makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Alix E. Harrow, The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Friday 56 by Freda’s Voice

RULES:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to Page 56 or 56% on your ereader.
If you have to improvise, that is okay.
*Find a snippet, short and sweet.
*Post it, and add the url to your post in the Linky below.

My FRIDAY 56 is from Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It is so different from the kind of books I usually read, but I think I got swept by the hype that surrounded it. Sadly, this one was not my cup of tea AT ALL.

With each roll of film, however, she began to understand more and more how a photograph was put together, what it could do and what it could not, just how far you could stretch and twist it. Although she did not know at that time all of this was training her to be the photographer she would become..

Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere
Book Blogger Hop

If you own an eBook, would you also purchase a print copy as well? (submitted by Tabatha @ Broken Soul Reviews)

YES! I am a through and through physical books lover. Of course, digital formats have their own advantages, and I do make that choice on many occasions, but nothing really beats the smells and satisfying weight of physical books.

Since digital versions are cheaper and take up less space, I do end up reading a lot of them, especially lately. But once I decide I really like a book, one that I might like to re-read in future, or has a gorgeous cover or beautiful prose that I would like to look at in print, I go ahead and buy its print copy as well.


What are your current reads? Share the first lines of your current reads in comments!

Stay at Home Book Tag

A big thanks to Mina@Stacked-Reviews for tagging me! I have been thinking of doing a book tag for some time, so I am super happy to do this one.

So here it goes!

Laying in bed — a book you read in one day

I prefer reading longer books, so I have read very few books short enough to be completed in a day. The last one I read was Night by Elie Wiesel – for my love for WW2 books.

Snacking – a book that is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read

This is a tough one…as I’m a picky reader. However, when I am in the mood for a light-hearted and feel-good read, I turn to my childhood favorites such as Heidi and The Magic Faraway Tree.

Netflix — a series that you want to start

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – I typically do not read YA, but I am trying to branch out. I have heard so many good things about it, especially about the character development. I adore books which have strong characters and character development aspect, so I am really looking forward to reading it. It is also on my 2020 TBR Reading List.

Deep clean — a book that has been on your TBR for ages

Just one?😅 My TBR pile is growing by the day.
If I have to choose one, it would have to be 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. I have loved most books of Murakami, and though 1Q84 is not deemed his best, it is iconic in its own way. Also, it has references to 1984 by Orwell, which is one of my favourite dystopian book.

Animal Crossing — a book you recently bought because of the hype

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – Almost everyone who read it loved it, and the cover was just too gorgeous to ignore. Although it was not a five star read, I really liked reading this one – it was emotional and beautiful.

Productivity — a book you learned from or had an impact on you

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – It was such a simple but beautiful and heart-warming read. You can read my complete review here.

Facetime — a book you were gifted

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg – It came highly recommended by my uncle, and since I love reading psychology and sociology books, I followed through. It was an amazing read, with so many insightful details and fascinating examples.

Self-care — what is one thing you have done recently to look after yourself

Working out 45 minutes a day – I DO NOT like home workouts, so some days it is a pain in the ass. But given that I am locked up in the house with barely 50 steps of movement a day, I guess this pain in ass is a necessary self-care exercise.

BONUS — An upcoming release you are looking forward to

Sisters by Daisy Johnson (Releasing on 25 Aug 2020) – From the  youngest ever writer to be shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize—for her debut novel Everything Under, a blazing portrait of one darkly riveting sibling relationship, from the inside out.


I Tag:

Tag me in your Stay at Home book tags and I’ll check them out!

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden | Book Review


The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden Book Cover

Title: The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3)
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: Fantasy (Fairy Tale), Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Mythology (Russian)
Publish Date: January 10, 2018
# of Pages: 384
Rating: 4/5
Buy it*: Amazon


The Winter of the Witch – Synopsis

In this stunning conclusion to the Winternight Trilogy, Vasya is forced to reconcile her two worlds – mortal and magical. As Moscow is faced with multitude of enemies, Vasya must find herself, emerge as an independent power and unite man and spirit to fight the ultimate battle to save Russia.

My Honest Review of The Winter of the Witch

After finishing The Girl in the Tower, I almost immediately started The Winter of the Witch. The second book of the series took things up a notch and got me really invested in this series – I absolutely had to read The Winter of the Witch as soon as possible.

Also Read: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) | Book Review

The plot started out as heart-breaking and exceedingly dark and disturbing – I am filled with sadness even remembering it. However, the story soon catches pace and becomes extremely exciting. It was a perfect conclusion to the marvelous Winternight Trilogy, full of action, adventure, darkness and danger. I loved how about halfway the book, there is an almost-climax to the story, only to realize later that it was a mere stepping stone towards a WAY more glorious ending.

The character of Vasya truly shines in this last book of the trilogy. I was amazed at how seamless her transition through the series has been, as if her spirit was just waiting to reveal itself. However, I could also feel the toll life had taken on her, which though disappointing, made her character more realistic. At various instances, she is depicted tired and lost, unsure of her power, and scared for her life.

You were such a sweet child, when I first met you by this very tree,” remarked the Bear. “What happened?” His voice was mocking, but she could feel the tension in him when she began to undo the golden clasps.
“What happened? Love, betrayal, and time,” said Vasya. “What happens to anyone who grows to understand you, Medved? Living happens.

Katherine Arden, The Winter of the Witch

The character of Morozko, though still important, takes a back-seat in this book, as Vasya emerges as a power of her own, the balancer of worlds and a bridge between man and spirit. However, his complex relationship with Vasya still remains central to the story. Even as their romance blooms, Vasya finally yields a place equal to, and in a way, even superior to Morozko. She is no longer the young snow maider, but rather, a fiery witch, the winter-queen.

As always, the prose remains one of the highlights of the book. There are countless beautiful quotes, each better than the other.

“Love is for those who know the griefs of time, for it goes hand in hand with loss. An eternity, so burdened, would be a torment. And yet—” He broke off, drew breath. “Yet what else to call it, this terror and this joy?”

Katherine Arden, The Winter of the Witch

Perhaps the most unexpected and marvelous bit of the book was getting to know so much more of the Bear. In a breathtakingly beautiful way, Arden managed to give a tender side to even to the vilest of the villain. Even better, as Vasya embraced the chaos of her own spirit, realizing that in some way, she was also like Medved, even the ultimate heroine of the series was painted in a shade of grey.

Similar to the first book in the trilogy, The Winter of the Witch has occurrences of the dead walking, instilling fear, sickness and death in people, which was a tad disturbing for me to read. Also, I sorely missed the kinship between Vasya and horses, though it was in some capacity made up by the adorable character of Ded Grib.

The Verdict

Pin Now to Read Again Later!

Lets Talk!

Have you read the Winternight Trilogy? What did you like/dislike about it?

Is the Winternight Trilogy on your TBR?


* This is an affiliate link you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.