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. 

Book Reviews

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

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Love and Ruin by Paula McLain 

Published by Ballantine Books on May 1, 2018

Pages: 352

Genres: fiction, historical fiction

Rating: 4 stars

 

Synopsis: 

The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century

In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, Key West, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Ernest make their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart, and her own.

Review: 

I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. As always, an honest review.

Love and Ruin centers around Martha Gellhorn, a spunky, ambitious, intelligent and confident journalist. She wants to travel the world in order to write about the significant events, especially the wars encompassing the world. The character of Martha is the fictionalized version of Martha Gellhorn, a real journalist during the 1930s and 40s. She was also the mistress and eventual wife of Ernest Hemingway.

The story is beautifully told. I really appreciated that the tale of these real life people was incredibly readable and not at all dull. The writing style flows well and makes for an easy seamless read that I absolutely flew through. The book portrays what it feels like to travel to a war zone to share the experiences with others through journalism. I truly felt as if I were hunkered down in the hotel, hearing the gunfire in the not so far away distance. The reader also understands Martha’s desperation to share these experiences with the world, do them justice, and continue pursuing her journalism career.

Love and Ruin also tells the love story of Ernest and Martha, starting with their affair. Obviously these events were loosely based on real life, but I didn’t really enjoy reading about their affair. Affairs in general have the potential to hurt a lot of people, so it’s not exactly my favorite topic. Her relationship with Ernest Hemingway, a world renowned author, brings up a lot of things to think about. These topics include why do women get compared to men’s work, but not the other way around? Why are women expected to change after marriage to suit their husbands, not mutual compromise? Topics that were relevant back then, and still now. I really enjoyed the character of Martha. She makes the story work.

 

Recommend to fans of: historical fiction, Ernest Hemingway, complex love stories, books that make you think 

Read with food: Scones and French press black coffee with a pinch of sugar

Scones are simple yet when baked perfectly are wonderful, just like the writing in this novel.

The coffee matches the intensity of the story with just a hint of sweetness throughout.