Book Tags · Bookish Posts

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Nobody officially tagged me for this, but a ton of people have said they tag everyone . . . and since I’m a part of everyone, here we go

 

  1. Best book that you’ve read so far in 2018?

Oooh, this is a tough one, because it’s just way too hard to pick the best book of 2018! Narrowing it down to my top 5 or 10, sure, that I can do. Buuuut, if I have to choose, I would pick:

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James 

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Murders, deaths that may or may not be accidental, haunted boarding schools, disturbed teenage girls. What more could a reader possibly want in a creepy, can’t put down book?

 

2. Best sequel that you’ve read so far in 2018?

Find Her by Lisa Gardner (#8 in the Detective D.D. Warren Series)

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First book that I read in 2018!

Lisa Gardner does not disappoint with her jam packed novel, filled with suspense, intensity, and the courageous Detective D.D. Warren. If I’m looking for a good solid mystery/thriller I can always count on Lisa Gardner.

 

3. New release that you haven’t read yet, but want to?

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

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The cover is gorgeous!

I keep seeing Tell Me Lies all over the book world of social media. So many people have loved it, and I hope it’s worth all the hype!

 

4. Most anticipated release for the next half of 2018?

So hard to choose. I want to read all the books!

Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar

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I know, I know, such a nerdy choice. There’s something about a good medical book, fiction or non fiction, that I absolutely love.

 

5. Biggest disappointment of 2018?

The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld by T.J. English

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So many people loved it. The description made the story seem epic, but I absolutely crawled through every page. Definitely not the book for me.

 

6. Biggest surprise of 2018?

Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik 

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I went into the book thinking the premise sounded interesting. I was absolutely blown away by the gorgeous writing and storytelling about the spirited controversial Iranian poet. A close second to my favorite book of the 2018.

 

7. Favorite new (or new to you) author?

Courtney Milan!

She is the romance author I’ve been looking for. I enjoy some romance novels, but am picky about the writing, plot lines, etc. Courtney Milan ended up being the perfect fit for me.

 

8. Newest fictional crush?

I don’t get fictional crushes on characters. Everyone talks about book boyfriends, and I’m over here by myself like “I don’t get it.”

 

9. Newest favorite character?

Mikki Lincoln in Crime & Punctuation 

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Smart, savvy, generally badass ~ and bonus points for a good representation of the 50 plus years characters

 

10. A book that made you cry?

Most recently,

The Crate: A Story of War, A Murder, and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison 

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There are barely enough words to describe how impactful The Crate is on people. Definitely recommend giving it a read!

 

11. A book that made you happy?

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery 

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The author’s passion for these incredible creatures makes it almost impossible to not experience joy while reading the book.

 

12. The most beautiful book you’ve bought or received in 2018?

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

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The cover has an ethereal beauty to it, almost as if it’s painted with watercolors. Underneath the jacket cover the spine has a beautiful simplicity to it.

Bonus fact: Love and Ruin is the book I used in my profile photo.

 

13. What books do you need to read by the end of 2018?

So many! Too many!

Is there a thing as having too many books to read?

I actually stopped requesting books from NetGalley for a bit until I finish reading a few more books, because I was feeling way too overwhelmed.

As of now I need to read:

  • From NetGalley:
    • The Secret by K.L. Slater
    • A Politically Incorrect Feminist by Phyllis Chesler
    • When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
  • From Goodreads Giveaways:
    • The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
    • Dead in the Water by Simon Bower
    • The Fifth to Die by J.D. Baker
    • Rush by Lisa Patton
    • Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood
    • All the Way by Kristen Proxy
    • Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly
    • The 1% Rule: How to Fall in Love with the Process and Achieve Your Wildest Dreams by Tommy Baker
    • Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger by Soraya Chemaly 
  • And the books I choose for the BookTube-A-Thon. (There’s some overlap from the above lists, but I can’t complete a few of the challenges with my ARC reads.)
  • Also a few more books to complete the 2018 BookRiot Read Harder Challenge. I’m making good progress on this so far.

Anybody else exhausted by reading the list of books I need to read?

 

Since I’m probably one of the last people in the book blogging community to complete this tag; I tag anyone else who wasn’t done it yet. 

4.5 Star Books · biography · Book Reviews · True Crime

The Crate: A Story of War, Murder and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison

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The Crate: A Story of War, Murder and Justice by Deborah Vadas Levison

Published: May 11, 2018

Publisher: WildBlue Press

Pages: 358

Genres: true crime, biography

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: true crime, books that honor and tell the stories of Holocaust survivors, justice being done, anyone with a conscience 

Read with food: a homemade Hungarian dish to appreciate the author’s roots . . . which I recently found out that the author has listed on her website! So cool! Hungarian Recipes

 

Synopsis:

After surviving the horrors of the Holocaust – in ghettos, on death marches, and in concentration camps – a young couple seeks refuge in Canada. They settle into a new life, certain that the terrors of their past are behind them. They build themselves a cozy little cottage on a lake in Muskoka, a cottage that becomes emblematic of their victory over the Nazis. The charming retreat is a safe haven, a refuge from haunted memories.

That is, until a single act of unspeakable violence defiles their sanctuary. Poking around the dark crawl space beneath their cottage, they discover a wooden crate, nailed tightly shut and almost hidden from view. Nothing could have prepared them for the horror of the crate’s contents – or how the peace and tranquility of their lives would be shattered.

Now, their daughter, Deborah Vadas Levison, an award-winning journalist, tells the extraordinary account of her parents’ ordeals, both in one of the darkest times in world history and their present-day lives. Written in searing, lyrical prose, THE CRATE: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice examines man’s seemingly limitless capacity for evil… but also, his capacity for good.

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, the author and publisher for a copy of the book. As always an honest review.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the book. I’ve already recommended it to people, even before I had finished reading it. I will try my best to do the book and the people the justice it deserves in my review.

From the beginning I was blown away by the gorgeous poetic writing. I was captivated from beginning to end, as the author tells the story of her parents’ survival of the Holocaust, move to Canada, and eventual discovery of a woman murdered on their cottage property. The Crate is more than just the telling of crimes across history and their impact on people. It’s so impactful it’s almost intangible.

The author shares with us the stories of her childhood growing up in Canada with Jewish Hungarian parents who had survived the Holocaust. Through their stories we get a first hand look at the atrocities committed during the war, the strength of survivors, and effects these experiences had on their lives and their children’s lives. Her appreciation of her parents and their experiences is wonderful. She’s doing them a great justice by putting their stories down on paper. It is absolutely important that these stories, these individual human experiences are shared with the world before they are lost forever.

The book also tells the story of Samantha, the woman who was murdered and body was found hidden under the family’s cottage. The author related Samantha’s life experiences to some of the atrocities her parents experienced. After all, they’re all just human beings. The book honors Samantha’s memory. The chapters about Samantha didn’t pull me in as much as the rest. Possible because while they’re well researched, some aspects are not the author’s personal life experiences.

The book is incredibly insightful and does a great justice by telling the stories of her parents, the other Jewish people in the Holocaust, Samantha, and her family.
It shows humanity at its best and at its worst.
The Crate by Deborah Vadas Levison is on my unofficial must read book list of the year.

 

What books have absolutely impressed you lately?