All the Light We Cannot See ~ Anthony Doerr

I’m starting to fall behind again! It has been one month since I have been here doing anything. Ahhh…anyways….

I really enjoyed listening to this book. After I read The Nightingale earlier this year I became enthralled with occupied France during WWII. I would really love to read more fiction or non about that time. (So any great suggestions would be greatly appreciated!) So I listened to this book just like the last one. I thought it was very well written, and read very well. It was read by Zach Appelman and he did a great job.

The main characters of the book are on opposing sides. A young, blind French girl and a young, orphaned Nazi boy. The story jumps back and forth between the two and back and forth in time as well. Oddly this book reminded me of Beautiful Ruins. At times I was a little confused with the timeline but after I listened more I was able to pick up what time they were talking about. There are also websites online that helped out. They list out the timeline in chronological order which was helpful.

Amazon does a better job at explaining what this book is about, so here it is:

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

I thought that the main characters were going to spend more time together than they did but that did not take away from the story. It was a great story with a great ending. I see why it is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

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Next book … Security ~ Gina Wohlsdorf

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Dark Matter ~ Blake Crouch

I finished this book in 2 days. I don’t normally listen to books but I was able to get this one and I have to admit I needed a little break from listening to podcasts all day. So I binge-listened to this book quickly.

I used to listen to audio-books all the time when I had a far commute to work. But now I work 8 miles from home so I stopped listening to them as I drove. Then I found podcasts! I was able to listen to them while I worked but was getting bored – I don’t want to say I was bored but I guess I was – with the podcasts that I subscribe to and needed to switch it up a little bit. I found this book and have been wanting to read it since it came out a couple months ago. Here was my chance and I was not disappointed!

I was trying to explain this book to my husband without giving anything away because I really think this book is up his alley. We both are science nerds! We love to watch the Science Channel and learn about space and physics and parallel universes. It’s just so interesting! That’s why I picked up this book and the same reason why my geeky husband should read it also.

The novel is about a scientist, Jason, who wakes up one day and finds that he is not married and has no child. He remembers that he has a wife and child but nobody else does. The book goes through all the what ifs that people have in everyday life, that Jason has. There is science involved but not too much where it is not easily understood. I don’t want to give anything away because it is so good! Read it, you won’t be disappointed.

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Next book … All the Light We Cannot See ~ Anthony Doerr

Before the Fall ~ Noah Hawley

I’m behind again! I’ve read this one, listened to 2 books, started listening to the Game of Thrones series and have started reading another book. To top it all off, its my birthday this weekend! I’m hoping for books but I don’t think that will happen. My family knows that I am most likely moving to Ohio next year, so no more clutter! And right now books = clutter (sadly).

Right now I am really into listening to books. I was able to listen to Dark Matter in 2 days! It was amazing! Then I listened to All the Light We Cannot See, also great! Now I’m starting the Game of Thrones series. Just an hour or so into that one but it is exactly like the show so I’m really loving it. Listening to books is making me fall behind on my podcasts but there are just so many books out there that I want to read and not enough time to read them all. This is my little catch 22 right now.

Since I have so many books on my TBR sometimes I don’t remember what specific books are about. I’m trying to read, or listen, to them in order. Before the Fall was near the top and I totally forgot what it was about. But I got the book and started reading. It was good, not a favorite, but it kept my attention. It satisfied a box on my BOTNT Bingo card {about art or an artist} so I kept at it and read my way through. The ending was open and I like that. I would rather have an ending that is open than an ending that I don’t like. Then I can imagine what will happen to characters I like and ones I don’t.

Without giving anything away, I’m not into spoilers, this book was about the survivors of a plane crash, the lives of the deceased before the crash and the events that took place after the plane went down. Scott, an artist, and JJ, the son of a TV mogul, are the only survivors when their private jet goes down over the ocean. Then the conspiracy theories arise. Phones are tapped, people are followed. Its a roller coaster ride that leaves you feeling good in the end. Like I said before its open ended so the ending is up to your imagination. I like to imagine that Scott and …………. You’ll just have to read it to imagine your own ending.

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Next book … Dark Matter ~ Blake Crouch

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Sleeping Giants ~ Sylvain Neuvel

While I was waiting for this book to come out I was reading reviews that compared this book to The Martian. I really like The Martian so I figured I would give this book a chance. I was not disappointed! I have to admit that some parts of this book were predictable but that didn’t take away from the story.

I’m branching out in the books that I choose to read. I used to only read romance and horror, now I feel more grown up and read so many other genres. I like this new adult me. I like reading books that are out of my comfort zone. I want to be a librarian for gods sake, I should have been reading all the genres years ago. Well I’m starting now and I like it!

On to my review. This novel is follows Rose who first encountered the hand of a metal giant when she was 11 years old. Years later she is commissioned to work with the giant and find all her missing parts. Characters are added to the story as the search progresses and they are all interviewed by a mystery man. I am done with the novel and still have no idea what his name is or who he works for. He probably has no name and works for EVERYBODY. This novel is above all fantasy but has hints of action, romance, loss, supernatural, its got something for everyone.

I can not wait for the sequel to come out next year. Just like in The Nest, the ending put a huge smile on my face. It was a great ending! I am literally counting down the days for the next one to come out. Ahhhhhhh…..

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Next book … Before the Fall ~ Noah Hawley

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ~ J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter!!

I was so excited for this book to come out. My husband and I started reading it on our kindles the day it came out. I didn’t know that it was written like the script of a play but I liked that. It was nice to have familiar characters in a different format. I’m not sure if it is true but I heard J.K. Rowling is coming out with 3 more Harry Potter books. Three more!! Amazing!

I have heard mixed reviews in regards to this book. Some didn’t like the story, some did. Some didn’t like the format, some did. I liked it! I loved the old characters and I loved the new. It was new and fresh. And it was released at the perfect time. I have a problem with books and/or movies that come out when their prime time has passed. (i.g. The Hobbit movies, the hype of Lord of the Rings had warn off then these movies came out, I think most were over and past LOTR and had no interest. That’s how it was for myself at least.) Releasing this book when they did, with the play coming out and the lands opening up at Universal Studios, was perfect timing, in my opinion. People are still on a high from all the new action that the book was welcome and received well.

Without giving anything away, this book was mainly about Harry Potter’s youngest son, Albus. His adventures, and misadventures, at Hogwarts and the friends that he makes along the way. Many of the main characters are there in different ways but the story mainly revolves around Albus Severus Potter.

This was an easy quick read and, like I already mentioned, I loved it! Highly recommended for all Harry Potter fans 🙂

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Next book … Sleeping Giants ~ Sylvain Neuvel

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The Martian ~ Andy Weir

I loved the movie The Martian! I didn’t see it in the theaters but my nephews loved it so I watched it. I had been reading great reviews on Sleeping Giants being compared to The Martian; the writing style in journal entries and the science heavy content. So, if my tbr wasn’t long enough, I added The Martian to the top on the list. I was not disappointed! The science heavy language that was used did not take away from the book. It added to it immensely. I’m not a science geek but I was able to follow. What was a little harder for me was the acronyms that were used. Sometimes I had to google what I was reading because I forgot what they were talking about.

What I really appreciated about the movie is that it followed the book pretty spot on. The story line was mainly the same and the humor was amazing. I loved the humor and wit in the movie and it was right there in the book. It was great! I can’t say enough good things about this book. I laughed out loud so many times. I had to stop and tell my husband what was going on in the book and why I was laughing so hard. It was great! Now that I have read the book I want to go back and watch the movie again.

The book is about an American astronaut, Mark Watney, stranded on Mars. It follows his day to day survival on the hostile planet, from his botany skills to his engineering skills. This book was written beautifully. And it kept me on the edge of my seat. By the end of the book I was breathing so hard in anticipation as to what was going to happen. It was great!

I kinda feel like all the books that I have been reading lately have been ones that I have really liked. But don’t get me wrong, there are books out there that I haven’t liked as much. I was going through my Reading Log last night and I remember some of the ones that I just couldn’t finish. Atlas Shrugged was one that I started last year that I never finished. I was also pregnant with my second and not interested in reading much. But that is a book on my ever-growing tbr that I need to finish. In the meantime I will try to choose titles that I know I will be fascinated with.

Next book … Harry Potter and the Cursed Child ~ J.K. Rowling

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Me Before You ~ Jojo Moyes

I’m so behind! I have two books to be reviewed. Barely enough time to even read them in a timely manner. I should have worked on my blog while I was on vacation this past weekend “/

First off, I had to jump on the bandwagon and read Me Before You before I went to go see it in the theaters. (I love Khaleesi… I’m going to see this movie!) The book was good. I used to be really big into romance and still tell people that I read romance, fantasy and horror mainly. After reading this book I would really like to get back into romance novels but my TBR keeps growing and not many are romance. I need more time to read. This stupid full time job is killing my reading vibes 😉

On to my review, I liked this book. I cried, but I always cry on sappy love stories. It made me feel good and made me appreciate my life and everything and everyone in it. Since I really liked all of the characters I want to read After You (at some point). Don’t read the plot on Wikipedia!! I literally just went there and read the small plot summary and it gave away everything!! Spoiler alert!! Don’t do it!

The books is about a girl, Lou, who loses her job at a restaurant due to its closure. She is forced to find a new job and finds work as a glorified sitter to a quadriplegic, Will. Lou is ready for the challenge but not ready for her feelings and what comes next in both their lives.

I cried! And I held my babies. Living life not able to move must be so difficult. But life is always worth it! Remember that!!

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

I’m hoping that my next review will be up this weekend because I am already almost done with the newest Harry Potter, and that one needs a review also!

Next book … The Martian ~ Andy Weir

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I love to read! I think that’s kind of obvious with the book reviews and all. But over this past weekend there was a little something going on called 24-in-48. It was mainly on Litsy but some were posting on Instagram. I learned about it Friday night so I didn’t really have much time to prepare myself or my family. So I read what I could for the weekend.

24-in-48 means that you read for 24 hours in a 48 hour period. Whoever came up with this is genius!! I love the concept because I don’t normally devote more than an hour to reading at any given time. It is (still!) a goal of mine to read an entire book in one sitting. Yep…still because I didn’t hit that goal this weekend. I told my husband about it once I learned of this little challenge but we both weren’t able to hit the goal of 24 hours.

Saturday we woke up and both started reading. Ate, read, ballet, ate, tv, read, went out to dinner, read. Our oldest got sick that night so we were drained on Sunday. I finished a book on Saturday and started a new one on Sunday but since I didn’t read a great deal on Sunday I wasn’t able to finish it.

I really wished that I could have read more. There were some great prizes coming out of this and it would have been great to participate in the giveaways. Next year, (they announced the the next 24-in-48 with be January 21-22, 2017!!) I will participate, sign up, really get involved, and hopefully complete the entire 24 hours.

I didn’t know about this readathon back in January in part because there wasn’t an app like Litsy. For the ones that still don’t know about Litsy, it is probably the greatest app out there for book lovers! It’s like Instagram and Good Reads had a baby and we have Litsy. Check it out, (and follow me @ashsbookmarks) make it great (since its still in beta mode) and use it often. I love love love the app! I was just reading the readathon’s blog page and they mentioned that us users crashed the app a few times because of the excessive traffic. I knew it! There were times that the app was running slow over the weekend or not opening at all. But that is great news! People want to use the app and book lovers love the app.

I have subscribed on Bloglovin’ to 24in48‘s feed so now I’ll get all the updates right to my phone 🙂 And the countdown begins to the next 24-in-48! I cannot wait!!!! 🙂 🙂 Maybe next year I can be a part of the giveaways (hint, hint, wink, wink…readers love bookmarks!!)

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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes ~ Caitlin Doughty

I’ve always known that I have been fascinated with death. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a little afraid of my own death (and the death of my closest family members) but I have always loved watching Dr. G. Medical Examiner or other shows that revolve around death. And I loved reading this book. I now know that I want a wake in my house and either be buried in my backyard or have a nice clean green burial. Just stick me in the ground and I’ll be happy. Or better yet, turn me into a tree!

I completely support what Caitlin Doughty is doing with her nonprofit, Undertaking L.A. Teaching people to take back death and be ok with losing loved ones. I want to learn what she knows and practice what she has to say.

I thought that’s what I was going to learn from reading this book but that wasn’t the case. It’s about her life and the reasons behind her getting into the death industry. Doughty has a very interesting life and I loved reading about her interactions with the dead. But I want more!!

I’ve started watching Six Feet Under, that HBO show from the early 2000s. It’s good! I’m really liking it. I’m fascinated with the show and everything that I see but would I be cut out to really working in a place like that? I’ll never know unless I try. But for now I’ll keep my day job and maybe just dream about the “what if”s and the “if when”s.

Next book … Me Before You ~ Jojo Moyes

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The Assistants ~ Camille Perri

The Assistants follows the assistant, Tina Fontana, of the president of a huge corporation while she engages in questionable acts. After a misunderstanding with the expense reports, Tina is give a check for almost the exact amount of her student loan debt. She holds on to the check for a while then cashes it and pays off her debt. But in doing so she is consumed by her actions and is lead down a path that she never thought her by-the-book life would take her down. With the help of other assistants in the company, Tina is the head of an embezzling scheme to pay off everyone’s student loan debt.

I really liked this book and it made me think about my student debt and how I’m going to be paying it off for the rest of my life (at least that’s what it feels like). I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. It did not disappoint.

I read this book because it was mentioned in a book podcast that I listen to. Ann Kingman of Books on the Nightstand said she hesitated when she picked up this book because it had dollar signs as the “s” but enjoyed the book. It was an easy read and held my attention because I can relate to the characters in more ways than one.

The Assistants

Next book … Smoke Gets in Yours Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory ~ Caitlin Doughty

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