Happy Sunday bookworms!
After a heartbreaking week after the mass shooting in Dayton & discovering that the individual responsible was from my small community, we are starting to heal. It will be a long time before things go back to our new normal as details come out about why & how this happened. Please keep Dayton in your thoughts.
Let’s see what I’ve been reading & blogging this week, shall we?
*Bookish 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, what I recently finished reading, what I am currently reading, what I will be reading next, noteworthy posts around the bookish blogisphere, and any interesting bookish articles I came across.
Most anticipated books published this past week:
August 6th was a big day for new releases!
» Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Release date: August 6, 2019
One pet crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this uniquely hilarious debut from a genre-bending literary author.
S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos ®.
Then Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn’t quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies–from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim’s loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis–fail to cure Big Jim’s debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity’s extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.
Hollow Kingdom is a humorous, big-hearted, and boundlessly beautiful romp through the apocalypse and the world that comes after, where even a cowardly crow can become a hero.
This sounds weird. I’m in!
» A Pure Heart by Rajja Hassib
Release date: August 6, 2019
A powerful novel about two Egyptian sisters–their divergent fates and the secrets of one family
Sisters Rose and Gameela Gubran could not have been more different. Rose, an Egyptologist, married an American journalist and immigrated to New York City, where she works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gameela, a devout Muslim since her teenage years, stayed in Cairo. During the aftermath of Egypt’s revolution, Gameela is killed in a suicide bombing. When Rose returns to Egypt after the bombing, she sifts through the artifacts Gameela left behind, desperate to understand how her sister came to die, and who she truly was. Soon, Rose realizes that Gameela has left many questions unanswered. Why had she quit her job just a few months before her death and not told her family? Who was she romantically involved with? And how did the religious Gameela manage to keep so many secrets?
Rich in depth and feeling, A Pure Heart is a brilliant portrait of two Muslim women in the twenty-first century, and the decisions they make in work and love that determine their destinies. As Rose is struggling to reconcile her identities as an Egyptian and as a new American, she investigates Gameela’s devotion to her religion and her country. The more Rose uncovers about her sister’s life, the more she must reconcile their two fates, their inextricable bond as sisters, and who should and should not be held responsible for Gameela’s death. Rajia Hassib’s A Pure Heart is a stirring and deeply textured novel that asks what it means to forgive, and considers how faith, family, and love can unite and divide us.
I love darker style contemporaries that revolve around family secrets and/or drama. A Pure Heart is set, at least partially, in Egypt, which I am very interested in.
» The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang
Release date: August 6, 2019
In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.
With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.
But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.
The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.
I read The Poppy War back in February of this year and it has been one of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year! I cannot wait to read the second installment.
» House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release date: August 6, 2019
In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
Cursed family living in a manor by the sea?! You know I am a sucker for Gothic style novels 🙂 I’m probably going to save this book for the fall since it sounds like it is going to have some eerie tones.
» Beloved novelist Toni Morrison passed away this past week at the age of 88. Toni was a trailblazer for portraying the African-American experience in her works. You can read her obituary here ⇒ Toni Morrison, Who Was America’s Major Living Novelist, Dies at 88
Interesting bookish articles:
Recently Finished Reading:
» How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
How to Stop Time was just an okay read for me. While I think the concept for this story was interesting & thought provoking, there was something missing in the story for me.
» The Book Worm of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a historical fiction set in the 1930s in the hills of Kentucky. How could I NOT love a book about a pack horse librarian that braves the unforgiving land to deliver books to impoverished families? Be still my heart! If you enjoy historical fiction where the author really focuses on setting the scene and taking you back in time, I’d recommend this book.
» A Game of Thrones (A Song of Fire and Ice #1) by George R.R. Martin
I only have 150 pages left in GoT! I hope to finish it tonight, or tomorrow at the latest. I have loved every minute of this book even though it has taken me 3 weeks to read it.
» Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves, and Adventures of Emily Hahn by Ken Cuthbertson
Status: Just starting
» After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
What Am I Reading Next?:
» Our Own Country (Midwife #2) by Jodi Daynard
A love affair tests a new nation’s revolutionary ideals.
In 1770s Boston, a prosperous merchant’s daughter, Eliza Boylston, lives a charmed life—until war breaches the walls of the family estate and forces her to live in a world in which wealth can no longer protect her.
As the chaos of the Revolutionary War tears her family apart, Eliza finds herself drawn to her uncle’s slave, John Watkins. Their love leads to her exile in Braintree, Massachusetts, home to radicals John and Abigail Adams and Eliza’s midwife sister-in-law, Lizzie Boylston. But even as the uprising takes hold, Eliza can’t help but wonder whether a rebel victory will grant her and John the most basic of American rights.
So I requested this and didn’t realize that it is actually the second book in a series. #Fail Hopefully the first book is not needed to understand this book. This book is set during the Revolutionary War, which I’ve not read many books set during this era.
Have you read any of the books included in this post? If so, what did you think?
What are you currently reading?
What will you read next?
Have a wonderful week & happy reading