Features, Wrap Ups & Hauls

Weekly Wrap-Up: 3/20 – 3/26/17

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Happy Sunday bookworms!

I’ve had a very long and emotional week/weekend, so I am looking forward to the start of a new week.  We had to travel out of town for a funeral over this weekend, so between grieving, traveling, and everything else, I’m exhausted.   I wasn’t as active around the blogosphere/community as I normally am, but I did the best that I could under the circumstances.  Despite everything going on in my personal life, I did manage to read 3 books this week and get a couple posts up on the blog, so at least there was some good to come out of this past week.

Let’s see what I got accomplished this week…

*Weekly Wrap-Up is a weekly post where I feature what posts were published on the blog for the past week, any bookish/blog happenings, noteworthy posts around the bookish blogosphere, interesting bookish articles I came across, what I recently finished reading, what I am currently reading, and what I will be reading next.

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This week on the blog:

Monday 3/20

AndIDarkenBook Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Wednesday 3/22

BloggingBabbleBlogging Babble: Blogger/Follower Expectations

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Around the bookish blogosphere:

» CW @Read Think Ponder gives us some feminist book recommendations→ Book Recs: Feminist Reads for Women’s History Month

» Fadwa @Word Wonders talks blog redesign → How to Make your Redesign Go Smoothly

» Megan @bookslayer Reads talks about gaining followers → Gaining Followers // How To Gain Followers… Quickly.

» Gretchen @ChicNerdReads writes a powerful poem → your d*** is showing

» Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books talks about blogging envy → On blogging envy

» Reg @She Latitude does a “book look” for Queens of Geek  → Book Looks: Queens of Geek – Jen Wilde & talks about what she looks for in a book blog → Let’s Talk: What I Look For in a Book Blog

» Amy @Novel Gossip talks about blogger guilt → Blogger Guilt

» Resh Susan @The Book Satchel gives us some recs for contemporary Indian women authors → Contemporary Indian Women Writers who Should be on Your Reading List


Interesting bookish articles:

» 10 Books to Get You Through a Bad Breakup

*Confession time: I’ve never experienced a break up… I married my high school sweetheart 🙂

» 2017 preview: Most anticipated memoirs

» 40 Books to Read Before Turning 40

*I’m not planning on every turning 40… I am definitely NOT turning 30 in two weeks.  Nope.

» Did You Know? 9 Facts About ‘The Hobbit’

*So what you are saying is Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were BFFs?!

» 2 Books About What It’s Like to Be a Black Woman In America

» Quiz: How Well Do You Spell? Pt. I

*Spelling is NOT my forte.  I got a 60% by dumb luck…

» Page-Turning Novels You’ll Race Through—and Read Again

» This Literature Map Shows the Best From Each Country

*I just added 196 books to my TBR….

» Our Future Depends on Books, According to Neil Gaiman

*Reason number 23,781 why I love Neil Gaiman…

» These 7 Great Books Originally Flopped!

*I’m not surprised by Wuthering Heights… It’s one of my favorite books but I can also see why people wouldn’t care for it.

» 6 Books From Childhood You Probably Forgot About

*The Egypt Game!!! Yes!

» Best Reading Apps for 4- to 8-Year-Olds

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What have I been reading?

*Book titles link to Goodreads

Recently finished reading:

» East by Edith Pattou

East

5-Star Rating System

I loved this book and I can’t really put my finger on why exactly.  It may have just been the right book at the right time.  East is very fast paced read with short chapters and multiple perspectives.  Despite the fact that this book is just over 500 pages, I was immersed in the story from beginning to end.  This book feels very much like a fairy tale because it is based off the Norwegian fairytale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon.”  I am not familiar with this fairytale, so prior knowledge of it is not a requirement to enjoy East.   This book also gave off an epic journey vibe as well.  So, an epic journey fairytale?  Whatever this book is, I loved it.

» Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson

Sackiko

5-Star Rating System

Wow.  What a heartbreaking and horrifying story, yet also uplifting and hopeful.  The author weaves Sachiko’s story with historical context throughout the book, which made for an emotional and informative read.  We are given a personal account at what it was really like to survive the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Honestly Sachiko’s account reminded me of pictures and media coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.   It felt many of the same feelings I did as a 14-year-old kid watching the coverage of the terrorist attacks on TV: horror, fear, anger, and sorrow.

This book also questions the decision of the United States to use nuclear weapons before really knowing the effects the bombs would have both short and long term.  Truman rationalized his decision by saying that dropping the atomic bombs saved hundreds of thousands of American lives we would have lost if we would have sent troops to Japan to fight a war in the east.  HOWEVER there were most likely other motives in play here as well.  Was it worth the instant death of 120,000 Japanese people?  How about the countless number of Japanese people who died in the aftermath from injuries, radiation sickness, and years later – cancer?

Sachiko definitely gave me a lot to think about.

» A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

ALongWalk

5-Star Rating System

Another thought-provoking novel.  A Long Walk to Water is about the war torn country of Sudan, a country in northern Africa.  The majority of this book is about one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, Salva.  I must admit, before reading this story, I knew practically nothing about the hostility in Sudan that went on for YEARS (conflicts are still going on today), nor the very real problem that it’s people face: access to clean water.   A Long Walk to Water is also about a girl named Nya, whose job it is to fetch water for her family.  She spends 8 hours EVERY day fetching water for her family.  The book is told in alternating perspectives and timelines, but the connection between these two stories isn’t made clear until the end.  This book really opened my eyes to how privileged I am to be able to walk to my kitchen and turn on a faucet.


Currently reading:

» The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

TheAnimators

This book is NOT at all what I was expecting, but in a good way.  It is actually fairly gritty and raw, which is what I like about it.   I’ve found myself laughing aloud on a few occasions, but this book also has a darker side… I am really enjoying it so far!  I am 65% through, and hope to finish it up by tomorrow.

» The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewel

TheGirlsintheGarden

The Girls in the Garden is one of the books I was approved through NetGalley  last year, but hadn’t gotten around to yet.  I am about 68% through and things are beginning to unfold.  This is one of those books where you learn about “the incident” first, then go back in time leading up to the incident.  So far, I think the author has done a good job holding my attention up to this point.  I really hope this book will end with a bang, and not end up being predictable or flat.


On deck:

The SOKY Book Fest is less than a month away, so it’s crunch time!  All of these books are by authors who will be attending.

» The Demon King by China Williams Chima

»The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

» Pillage by Obert Skye

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What are you currently reading?

What will you read next?

Have a wonderful week, and happy reading:)

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25 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap-Up: 3/20 – 3/26/17”

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Amanda =( I’ll keep you and your family on my prayers for strength and peace on this difficult times. I hope you guys can cope with it in the better way possible under such grim circunstances >.<
    On a more happy note: the word map showed "Dom Casmurro", by Machado de Assis, as Brazil's best book ever AND I CAN TOTALLY AGREE! Mind-gripping and deep psychological, to this day I don't know if Dom Casmurro's wife betrayed him or not and I have read the book twice! =O
    Also, congrats on all the reading done ❤ ❤ I slacked this weeked and read nothing that I should have, oops! Hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much my friend! It was my husband’s Grandmother who lived to the ripe old age of 99, so it wasn’t a huge surprise, but she has been my grandmother for 13 years now (when my husband and I started dating in high school) so it is still hard. I appreciate it so much 😘

      I’ve never even heard of Don Casmurro! Is it a book that is required reading in school in Brazil? The book for the United States is a book that the majority of us are required to read in high school…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m really really sorry about it, Amanda! She definitely was your grandma as well and I’m happy she had a long live with you all as her relatives. I’m sure she is quite satisfieded, wherever the awesome place she has left to ❤
        About Don Casmurro, yup! It's a high school read, but it shouldn't be! It is genuinely AN AWESOME romance, set in the 1800's of Brazil. The author is in my humble opinion our best national name and I have yet to read a book from him that I didn't like. The guy was a genius!! (or maybe I just love him too hard to make a fair point, hahaha!) Did you like the US book they picked??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. To Kill A Mockingbird is definitely a staple in U.S. Literature! You won’t find too many people here who haven’t read it as it is a book that is often required reading in school. I think it probably was a good selection. It isn’t my favorite book, but I did enjoy it. I actually need to read it again as an adult to see if I enjoy it more through more mature eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I did read TKAM! I also read when I was at school, but because a friend told me to, not because I needed to, haha! I remember loving it dearly, but I also need a re-read, haha! I seriously wouldn’t know if it still would appeal to me after all these years, haha! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just though I’d let you know in case you don’t that I love your weekly wrap ups and always read posts that I missed out on from here xD I’ve never even heard of Sachiko but I just added it to my tbr I’ve been looking for more non fiction books and I haven’t read anything about the Nagaski atomic bomb only watched documentaries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is definitely an enlightening read. I cried my eyes out. Since I live in the U.S., we are not taught about it much in school. I never really thought about why until reading this book. It definitely had me questioning some things. It is also a very short and quick read, but it packs a punch!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sorry for your loss, Amanda. Sending you lots of love, hugs and more love your way ❤ I hope this week will be better.
    Also, you married your high school sweetheart? GOALS. That's so, so cute, sorry I had to mention that for a moment because I love it when that happens. It's so sweet 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing my post! Also, you will be happy to hear that I am reading ACOL and…I'm loving it so far 😀

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  4. Oh, Amanda– I’m so sorry for your loss and the rough week you had (and future weeks, I’m certain). Make certain to take time for yourself and your personal needs.

    I’m glad that you really enjoyed both all your books this week: East, Sachiko, and A Long Walk to Water! Three very different books, that’s for sure. It’s not often you have such a positive reading week with different genres like this.

    As always, I love the list of links you’ve posted. I’ve been behind on my blog hopping due to, well, life getting in the way. This makes things go much faster for me. 🙂 Also– I ❤ Neil Gaiman! Thank goodness for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jackie. The loss was my husband’s Grandmother (who was 99 years old!) so it wasn’t out of left field. She lived a very long and happy life. But yes it still does hurt. She was my “adopted” grandmother for 13 years of my life, as I lost my grandmothers 10+ years ago.
      I’ve been having amazing luck with my reading lately! I did DNF a book this week, which I rarely do, but I blame myself more than the book. Reading such amazing books definitely helped keep my mind off of things.

      Like

  5. I’m sorry to hear about your loss, Amanda. 😕 I hope everything gets better for you.
    Thanks for linking to my post. I love your weekly wrap-ups because I always find interesting posts around the blogosphere that I happened to miss. (Which, I haven’t been around the last two days…) But anyway. So yeah, you picked some great posts to link up! Also happy to see the five stars for Sachiko!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Megan 😘 I really enjoy featuring other bloggers posts, if I enjoyed them so much, I figure others would as well! Same with random bookish articles I’ve come across. I like to spread the love ❤

      Sachiko was very eye opening. I think we have definitely been censored here in the U.S. when it comes to the atomic bombs we dropped in Japan…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amanda!! Sorry for your loss and I know I’m super late to this since it’s Wednesday but I hope you’re having a better week! Thanks for sharing my poem, I feel so honored. And thanks for sharing all the other links as well, I look forward going through the post and maybe follow other bookish peeps. Look forward to your reviews for your current reads. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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