April 2021 TBR

Happy spring! It is hard to believe that it is already April 2021 but I’m definitely not complaining. I don’t know about you guys but I am so ready for spring. This has been one of the easiest winters for me in quite awhile but it’s still my least favorite season. Since I am still working from home, I didn’t have to drive to or from work in any snowstorms and am so grateful to have had at least one winter off from that. But enough about that… Today I am presenting to you my April 2021 TBR in all its singular glory. That’s right, folks, there is indeed only ONE book on my TBR this month. And no, this is not an April Fool’s joke! 🙂

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace is a mighty tome that I have been wanting to read for many years now and I decided that this would finally be the year that I would make it happen. I spent the past few months consuming books in the attempt to get a good start on my Goodreads reading challenge before I would have to devote a lot of time to reading this Russian classic. Clocking in at 1,440 pages, I knew that I would need to block off at least a few weeks, if not more. A couple of weeks ago I sat down with my copy and in addition to relaxing the spine a bit to prevent the dreaded broken spine, I also leafed through and tabbed off the volumes and parts of the novel in an effort to come up with a loose schedule for reading it. There are 4 volumes plus an epilogue and within those are 17 parts total. I figure that if I can read one part every couple of days, I will need just a little over a month to complete the entire book. Once I start reading it I will be able to better gauge how quickly I can read it or how slowly I want to take it. From what I’ve gathered doing research on this book, this is not one to rush through.

When I first decided to read War and Peace this year, I wanted to do a little research on the different translations to find the right one for me. This article from Tolstoy Therapy really helped me start to narrow down the translation I wanted to read. I already owned a used copy of the Aylmer and Louise Maude translation but after finding a blog post by The Ardent Biblio where the author included a single line from three of the more popular translations, I decided that it was not the translation for me. I ended up choosing the Anthony Briggs translation which just seems to flow a little better for me. If you are wanting to read this book, I highly recommend doing some research to decide which translation will fit better for you. What works for me may not work for you or the next person.

I am really excited to get started on this book and I am hoping to do a few updates here on the blog and Instagram as I read.

Are you a fan of reading the classics? What’s the biggest book you have ever read?

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

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Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Published November 14, 2017 by St Martin’s Press

346 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.

Review: I am so behind the times on this review but I just have to say that I unexpectedly enjoyed this one so much. I wasn’t really expecting to care for it too much, especially with having gone this long without reading it. But the more I read, the deeper I was drawn into Weylyn’s story and unusual life. There was so much heart in this story and I found myself in one of those moments where I was fully visualizing the story and setting in my mind so easily. Many of the characters were so memorable but Weylyn and Mary were my absolute favorites. Their shared affinity with the wolves and how that brought them together… so beautiful. My heart broke for Weylyn when he started to believe that he was a danger to those he loved because of his magical ability to affect the weather. As Weylyn traveled around the country, I was so fascinated to see what he would be up to next. I don’t want to give too much away about the ending but I felt very happy for the way Weylyn’s story ended. Also, side note… I would very much like to have a one-horned pig named Merlin… thank you. Overall, I loved the themes of friendship and being true to who you are. The author did such a wonderful job writing this book and creating this unique story. I will definitely be looking forward to more books by Ruth Emmie Lang.

4 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Namesake by Adrienne Young

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Namesake by Adrienne Young

Fable #2

Published March 16th 2021 by Wednesday Books

368 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

Filled with action, emotion, and lyrical writing, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Namesake, the final book in the captivating Fable duology.

Review: Friendly reminder that Namesake is the sequel to Fable so beware of any spoilers head if you haven’t read Fable.

I absolutely fell in love with Fable last year so I had been eagerly awaiting the sequel which luckily enough we didn’t have to wait too long for. Namesake picked up right where we left off with Fable having been kidnapped by Zola and taken on board his flagship where she found Clove, former right hand man to her father, Saint. When she had last spoken to Saint about Clove, he made it seem as though Clove was dead. So when Fable encountered him acting as navigator to her father’s arch nemesis, she was consumed with hatred for him. But of course, looks can be deceiving! I was really surprised with the turns that this book was taking. Most of it I didn’t see coming. Just like in Fable, there is never a dull moment in Namesake. The action and drama keep churning throughout the entire book. I was rather shocked when it came to certain revelations that will remain nameless in this review because major spoilers, so you’ll just have to read the book to find out what I’m referring to. One thing I didn’t really care for though was West’s attitude and his actions. Yes, Fable was kidnapped, but that didn’t give him the right to go around in a path of destruction at every port trying to find her. His character seemed a lot darker than how he was portrayed in the first book. On the other end of the spectrum, I really loved how Saint softened up in this book. I’m a total sucker for father-daughter redemption type stories so there were some scenes in Namesake that really choked me up.

Overall I really enjoyed this final foray into Fable’s world and I very much wish that it wasn’t the end of her story. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the first book, but that’s kind of to be expected with sequels.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Also… one last thought before I sign off… When I’m reading I often visualize place settings and characters and sometimes if it’s vivid enough I make a connection to an actor/actress and while for this duology, I don’t quite have anyone picked out for the younger crowd, I can’t shake this gent for Saint… Sebastian RochĂ©, aka Mikael from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

Sebastian Roché on Twitter: "Congratulations #Supernatural on ending your  run of 15 seasons, it was such a pleasure to play a small part in this  great adventure and the friendships that ensued,

Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

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Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

Fairmile #2

Published November 24th 2020 by Atria Books

464 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home

Review: Quick reminder that this is the second book of the series so if you have not read the first book, there may be spoilers ahead.

I was a little on the fence about reading this sequel because I didn’t quite hit it off with the first book but I decided to give it a shot anyways because I love Philippa Gregory. I was also intrigued by the addition of some new characters from Venice. The storyline seemed a little bit far fetched at times but it ended up really working for the book as a whole. I was a little surprised at how easily Alys was ready to accept Livia’s story of Rob at face value… it seemed a little out of character for her. I was very glad to see that Alinor wasn’t going to be taken in at all until she had solid proof. I really enjoyed Sarah’s journey to Venice to investigate Livia’s claims. She really seemed to come into her own and I loved having a strong female character in this story. James, though…. Oh James… what an absolute idiot. First he tries to come back into Alinor’s life to claim his son 21 years later and then completely falls under Livia’s ridiculous spell. I don’t want to say a whole lot more about all of that drama because for one, spoilers, and for another, you just have to read it to believe it.

One thing that I really didn’t think was necessary in this book was Ned’s part of the story. He’s living in America but the only times he really connects to his family is when Alinor writes him a letter or he sends them goods. I feel like his scenes could have just been cut because they kind of distracted me in a bad way from the drama still going on in England and Venice.

Overall I did end up enjoying this book and kind of hoping there will be a third book.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

February 2021 Wrap Up

Hey everyone! I’m a little late on this one but better late than never, right? I read some great books this month and I made some great progress on my Goodreads goal for the year. For the first few months this year I wanted to get ahead of my goal by quite a bit because one of my goals this year is to finally read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. With that book sitting around 1400 pages, I need some wiggle room so I don’t get behind in my goal. I’m currently 25 books ahead of schedule so my plan is to start War and Peace on April 1st. Anyways… more on that another time.

I also did a lot of re-reads in February to refresh for a couple of new releases. I re-read The Bone Season books plus the new novella to prepare for my current read of The Mask Falling which was published in January. I also re-read the A Court of Thorns and Roses series to refresh for Nesta and Cassian’s book, A Court of Silver Flames which I ended up finishing at the end of the month. I also got some library holds in for books that I have been wanting to read forever – The Silent Patient and Where the Crawdads Sing.

  • February 2021 Books Read: 17
  • 2021 Year To Date Books Read: 35
  • February 2021 Pages Read: 7,762
  • 2021 Year To Date Pages Read: 15,482

February 2021 Books Read:

  • A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  • Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – reread
  • The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon – reread
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – reread
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon – reread
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – reread
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – reread
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas – reread
  • The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
  • Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
  • A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
  • The Dawn Chorus by Samantha Shannon

Favorite Book Read

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Least Favorite Book Read

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February Book Haul: I ended up getting a lot of books throughout the month as well. I was finally able to get copies of the rest of the Bridgerton series as well as the prequel series. I’m really looking forward to continuing with those and seeing what’s in store for the rest of the Bridgerton family. Both Target and Amazon had a buy 2 get 1 free sale so of course I had to jump on that. From Target I got Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson, The Guest List by Lucy Foley, and The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse. I was super excited that Kristin Hannah’s newest novel, The Four Winds, was a choice for February Book of the Month. From Amazon I got What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon and a couple of the Bridgerton books.

For March I’m going to be focusing on The Mask Falling and also catching up on some advanced copies that I’m pretty far behind on. I want to start April off with a clean slate so I can focus on War and Peace.

What books did you read in February?