April Wrap-Up

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to my April Wrap-Up. April was a good reading month for me, considering the fact that I was out of town for Easter and I also was extremely busy with school work! I read a total of seven books, one of them being a huge monster of a book. Without further ado, here are the books I read this month!

  • 61ug-qlo6NL._SY346_The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. This neo-slave narrative recounts the story of Cora as she flees her plantation in Georgia. This book has many trigger warnings, so be mindful when you read it. This story is bleak, violent and harsh, but I think it is so important for everyone to read it. I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • The Routledge Companion to Critical and Cultural Theory. This I had to read for my Critical Theory class, and it was a good introduction to different theories. I thought that the Feminism chapter should have gone more in depth, but overall it was clear and concise. I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson. 13343734Warbreaker is an adult High Fantasy novel following two sisters, one of whom has been sent away to marry a mysterious God King. Set in one of Sanderson’s fantastic world and including one of his amazing magic systems, Warbreaker is definitely a must read. It is also a standalone, which is great! I gave it 5/5 stars.
  • Cracking India, by Bapsi Sidwha. This novel about the Partition is a buildungsroman that talks about the atrocities that result from ideological hatred. It follows a young girl affected by polio living in Lahore, and her struggle to deal with violence and religious prejudice. I gave it 3/5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling. There is no need to explain the details, I have read this series countless times. I am listening to all of them on audiobook and alas, I am on the last one now. Obviously 5/5 stars, event though I really do dislike Ron.
  • The Lazarus Project, by Aleksandar Hemon. This book is hard to place for me. I appreciated the overall story and the deconstruction of metaphysical concepts, but sometimes it was dragging. I felt like this could have easily been a short story or a 25020c03e81e5472d5ea9924bc959a40novella and it would have worked equally fine. Overall, I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • The Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss. And now, to the huge book I read the last two weeks of April, and to Mr. Rothfuss, without whom the world would be a bleaker place. This second installment in the Kingkiller Chronicles did not disappoint. I am just amazed at how many facets Kvothe has, and I cannot wait for the third and last book to come out. 5/5 stars.

 

These are all the books that I have read this month. Please let me know if you have read any of these and if you liked them!

Until next time,

Keky

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February and March Wrap-Up

Hello Everyone!

I hope you had a lovely March and are ready to jump into April as much as I am. This is my last month of Senior Year in college, which means that I will be graduating in May and then leaving Chicago for good. It is a bittersweet feeling for sure, but it also means that I am drowning in papers to write and books to read. The books you will see in this wrap up are mostly for school, even though I have managed to read some for fun as well. Between February and March I read a total of 19 books. So, without further ado, here we go!

FEBRUARY 2017

  • Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys. Even though I am not particularly fond of modern/contemporary fiction, I was able to really enjoy this little novel because I love Jane Eyre so much. It recounts the story of Bertha Mason – if you have read the victorian novel you will know who I am talking about. I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • 41nhwszqa7l-_sx328_bo1204203200_Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake. I had heard mixed things about this novel, therefore I did not have very high expectations when I read it. Overall, I gave it 3/5 stars, and I also have a review up for this, so if you want to know more of my thoughts, click here.
  • The Known World, by E.P. Jones. This is a very important book to read – let’s start with that. I had to read it for my Contemporary African American Lit, where we are mainly reading Neo-Slave narratives. This book was so hard to get through for me. It took me forever to read, and It just did not click. I do appreciate it for what it is, but I just did not enjoy it. I gave it 2.5/5 stars.
  • Of Fire and Stars, by Audrey Colthurst. 25164304Once again, I enjoyed this book but it was nothing special. I gave it 3/5 stars and I have a review here.
  • The Woman Warrior, by Maxine Hong Kingston. This book is a memoir written by an American author whose parents migrated from China. It is a very interesting read, and Maxine is an amazing person overall. If you read the book, I would highly recommend watching an interview with her as well. I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • Dessa Rose, by Shirley Anne Williams. This book is a Neo-Slave narrative looking at two women, one black and one white, and how power relations works cross-race as well as how the institution of slavery was not only perpetrated when people were officially in bondage. It is a very interesting read, and I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • 51SZMN-YEhL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Justinian, by Thomas R. Martin. This non-fiction book is so easy to read. It is a very good overall account of Roman History, starting from the legends to the foundation of Constantinople. It is a very good introduction for beginners, and I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • I Speak English, by J.R. Colvin. This is a good book to read if you tutor adults that are ESL speakers. I gave it 3/5 stars
  • Snow Like Ashes, by Sara Raasch. I enjoyed this book. I went into it completely blind, and I had no idea what to expect. The beginning was a bit slow for me, but then things picked up and I really enjoyed it! I gave it 4/5 stars.

MARCH 2017

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling. There is not much to say here – definitely 5 stars! I am re-listening to all the audiobooks before going to sleep and I am loving it. By this moment I have lost count as to how many times I have read this series.
  • 9780147510983Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. I ready enjoyed this little book. I had wanted to read it for such a long time, and finally I got a copy at Strand Bookstore in New York and read it. I would like to read it for class as well, and be able to discuss it with other people. However, I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • Bellum Catilinae, by Sallust. I have to read a lot of classical literature and this is one of them. It was not my favorite, so I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman. downloadI had been wanting to read more Norse Mythology in such a long time, and Neil Gaiman was so good at narrating his own book, I loved it. It was the first time I had read a Neil Gaiman, but I also have the kindle version of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I hope to read soon.
  • De Tranquillitate Animi, and De Vita Beata, by Seneca. Both of these treatise are really good. I really like Seneca, and his way of explaining Stoic philosophy is flawless. I gave both 4/5 stars.
  • July’s Poeple, by Nadine Gordimer. I know she won the Nobel Prize for Literature – but I hated this book. I just could not keep up with it’s broken language and if the professor hadn’t unpacked this in class, I would have taken away nothing from it. I gave it 2/5 stars.
  • Beauty and the Beast, by Jeanne-Marie Beaumont. Of course I read this right after watching the movie which I loved. I had already read this fairy tale, but it had been so long that I had forgotten. However, I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • Thyestes, by Seneca. Thyestes is a very gory and brutal tragedy. It is a fast read and very fascinating, commenting on the detrimental nature of Civil War and Fratricide. I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • f_mcbride_goodlordThe Good Lord Bird, by James McBride. Let me start by saying that I loved this book. It might have become one of my favorite books of all time, and I don’t know why. It’s a Neo-Slave narrative describing the events at Harpers Ferry. But it is also a tragicomedy, so be ready to laugh and cry at the same time. McBride has a very good way of writing about important topics and getting the message across without being boring. Definitely recommend. 5/5 stars.

These are all the books that I read in the months of February and March! Let me know what you have read during those months, and I will come back with a Book Review soon!

Until then, Happy Reading.

Keky

January Wrap-Up

Hello Everyone!

I cannot believe January is already over and we are well off into 2017! The first half of this month I have barely read anything because I was on vacation back at home, and between traveling and seeing all my family I did not have that much time.

In the second half of the month, however, I did read quite a lot and managed to finish about 11 books! Here they are:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling (5/5 stars)

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, by Frederick Douglass (4/5 stars)

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You, by Caroline Kepnes (3/5 stars)

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My Bondage and My Freedom, by Frederick Douglass (4/5 stars)

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Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur (3/5 stars)

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Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe (4/5 stars)

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We Should All be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (5/5stars)

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling (5/5 stars)

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Miles Gloriosus, by Plautus (4/5 stars)

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Adelphi, by Terence (3/5 stars)

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The Name of the Wind, by Pat Rothfuss (5/5 stars, even though it should have been a million stars)

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These are all the books that I read in January 2017! Please let me know if you have read any of them, and what were your thoughts and feelings about it!

Until next time,

Keky

December Wrap Up

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Hello Everyone,

sorry for the delay. Between finals and going home – back to Italy – for three weeks for Christmas break did not help me blogging nor reading. In fact I read only four books this month. They are all different genres, and there is a debut among them which I am excited to share with you. These are the books that I read in the month of December.

  • Selected Prose, by T.S. Eliot: I gave this collection 3/5 stars because some essays I thoroughly enjoyed, and some others not so much. Overall, after studying Eliot for a whole semester, I have come to the conclusion that I do not like most of his works, he just does not resonate well with my tastes.
  • Trifles, by Susan Glaspell: I found this play to be extremely complex in its simplicity. I think the underlying feminist criticism is very well thought out and it is worth reading. I gave this play 4/5 stars.
  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, by Natasha Pulley: this is the debut I was mentioning above. I very much enjoyed this book, the story was like anything else I had read before. The historical setting was very well flashed out, and the hints at Japanese culture and history were fascinating. A great debut for who is going to be a great writer. I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • The Heart of Betrayal, by Mary E. Pearson: the sequel to The Kiss of Deception surely did not disappoint. I very much enjoyed this book, it was more political than the first one, however it certainly did not lack action. I cannot wait to get my hands on the last book of the trilogy. I gave it 4/5 stars.

These are all the books I read in December. Let me know what books you have read, and which ones were your favorites!

Until next time,

Keky

November Wrap-Up

Hello Everyone!

The month of November, even though very busy, was a good reading month for me! I have had a lot of T.S. Eliot to read for class, and I am not a huge fan of him, so beware. I have eleven things to talk about today, and there is a wide arrange of genres, so let’s get started! All of these are in chronological order as usual.

  • Murder in the Cathedral, by T.S. Eliot: this is the first play Eliot completed and it was actually not that bad. I particularly enjoyed the second half, where there is a resurrection of classical rhetoric’s practices to convince the audience about the just supposedly just reasons for cardinal Beckett’s murder. I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • 9780765377159_p0_v2_s192x300The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3), by Brandon Sanderson: I don’t think there is much to say here, except that this is probably one of my favorite books of all time. It is the perfect conclusion to an epically delightful fantasy trilogy, and I would recommend anyone to read it. 5/5 stars.
  • Allora Mi Prenderò un Cappello, by Maria Cristina Benetti: this is a memoir written by the author, recounting her story while having cancer. I was sent a digital copy by the author, and I wrote a review for it. You can find it here. I gave it 5/5 stars.
  • The Aerial Poems, by T.S. Eliot: I have already forgotten them, except for one, and I was not a huge fan. Modernist poetry is not really my thing, I prefer contemporary or Victorian and earlier. This does not apply to women’s poetry, which sometimes can be different, especially American poets. I gave it 2/5stars.
  • Hag Seed, by Margaret Atwood: 1hagseedcoverThe premise for this book is amazing. It is a re-telling of Shakespeare’s Tempest set in a jail. The main character teaches the plays of Shakespeare to a class of men in a prison, and the story revolves around a plot for revenge. This was my first Atwood novel – I have read some short story and some poetry by her – and while I did enjoy this, I was expecting a bit more. The first half of the book was really good, but I feel like the second half was slower, so I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • 51gs9di1qwl-_sy344_bo1204203200_The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins: again, another book I expected more from. I had heard that it was overrated, and I think that if I didn’t listen to it in audiobook, I would not have been able to finish it. Another 3/5 stars.
  • Four Quartets, by T.S. Eliot: finally something I truly liked by Eliot! If you want to read anything by him, read Four Quartets. It is beautiful, poetic and hopeful. 4/5 stars.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J.K. Rowling: I saw the movie, loved it. I read the script, loved it. Of course it’s a 5/5 stars, and even though it should be more like a 4/5, the premise it built is genius and I can’t wait!
  • The Kiss of Deception, by Mary E. Pearson: 16429619I am so glad I read this, because I thoroughly enjoyed it! It tells the story of a princess that runs away the day of her arranged marriage, and she is followed by two people: an assassin sent to kill her, and the prince she was supposed to marry, but the reader does not know which one is which. I lived the writing and the pace, and I can’t wait to pick up the second one. I gave it 4.5/5 stars.
  • Inventions of the March Hare, by T.S. Eliot: not much to say, sorry. 1/5 stars.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling: this is pretty self explanatory, I listened to it in audiobook before going to sleep and I loved it. I will try and listen to one HP book a month. 5/5 stars.

These are all the things that I read in the month of November! Let me know if you have read any of these and which books you liked the most this month!

Until next time,

Keky

July Wrap-Up

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Hello Everyone,

and welcome back to another monthly wrap-up. I have travelled a lot in July up until now, and even though we are already well into August it doesn’t seem real. In less than a week I will be back in Chicago for my senior year of college, and I have to say that I am really excited. In July, I managed to read five novels and a poetry book, and here they are:

  • Beautiful Chaos, by R. M. Drake. 23434371This is a new-age poetry collection. You can read it in one sitting, and what I like about Drake’s poetry is that it is very easy to understand. It sounds more like aphorisms than real poetry, and some of the pages contain somewhat fast and almost superficial lines, but others are very enjoyable and true. I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • The Fifth Wave, by Rick Yancey. I listened to this on audiobook, and I think that if I had not the opportunity to do so, I probably would have not finished it. I found it somewhat tedious and dragging at times, even though the idea is extremely intriguing and yes, terrifying. I gave it 3/5 stars.
  • an-ember-in-the-ashes-coverAn Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir. I really enjoyed this book. It took me some time to get used to the present tense narrative style; however, the two stories presented are beautifully woven to one another. I am definitely excited to continue on with the series. I gave it 4/5 stars.
  • Senza Sangue (Without Blood), by Alessandro Baricco. I have read several books by this Italian author, and two of those are among my all-time favorites. However, this one I did not like. I found it without a purpose, and with very little detail about the story. It seemed to me that the author gave a summary of a woman’s life without providing the depth the story ought to have. I gave it 2/5 stars.
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë. janeeyreThis novel is a true masterpiece. I think every man should read it merely for the fact that it portrays the life of an independent women in the 1800s. Charlotte is an amazing writer, the depth she gives to her characters is intriguing and real. I loved it! Obviously a 5/5 stars read.
  • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. This was one of the most interesting reads I have had this year. I have seldom read a novel with magical realism, and I enjoyed it very much. The idea of a night circus that is the battle ground for a magic war is something I have not read anywhere else. I gave it 4/5 stars.

These are all the books that I read in the month of July. As you can see, there were some that I loved, and some that were mediocre, but overall, it was a pretty good month. I now want to read all the novels written by the Brontë sisters, since Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are two of my favorite books of all times. Let me know if you have read any of these and comment down below what you thought of them!

Until next time,

Keky

June Wrap-Up

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Hello everyone!

I come to you with my June Wrap-Up a bit late because I have not had wifi nor the time to share it with you since I was on vacation. Anyway, June was a very strange month, because the 18th I moved back to Italy from London for about a month and a half before going back to the States. So, with the moving and everything else it was a bit hectic.

Anyway, without further ado, these are the books that I read in the month of June:

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling. ootp-us-jacket-artThere is not much to say here. I have lost count of how many times I have read this, and it’s still a 5/5 star read. This time I listened to it in audiobook and I have to say, with Harry Potter the reading experience is always better than the audio one.
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Druids, by Sophie Cornish. This was a nonfiction read that was quite interesting but also at the same time quite repetitive. It was really interesting to learn about druidry and their connection to the physical and spiritual spheres of life. I gave this book a 3/5 stars.
  • 18189606Since You’ve Been Gone, by Morgan Matson. I had never read any of her books before, and I read two this month. I have to say that I found a pattern between the two: nothing happens until the very end of the book. Nonetheless, it is a nice summery read, and I liked how the character grew by the end of the book. I gave this book 3.75/5 stars.
  • Second Chance Summer, by Morgan Matson. This book deals with a heavy issue, and even though nothing happens for the first 300 pages of the novel, I think that the author did a decent job at dealing with illness and death, in the end. Therefore I gave this book 3.5 stars even though the whole story was dragged way too long.
  • The Invasion of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen. the-invasion-of-the-tearling-by-erika-johansen-v2This is the second novel in the trilogy of The Queen of the Tearling. The genre of the first book was high fantasy, however, the second book opens up a whole new spectrum of genres, including distopian, futuristic and a hint of science fiction. While I appreciated the first book for its psychological take, I loved the second one because it brought so much more to the table. From political intrigues, to economic problems, to religious fanaticism, to self hatred, but most of all it highlighted how morality can be something subjective and completely arbitrary. A review is to come, I highly recommend the trilogy. I gave this book 5/5 stars.
  • Matilda, by Mary Shelley. I have only read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, which is one of my favorite novels of all time, thus I was curious to read something else by her. This short novel deals with the incestual thoughts that a father has towards her daughter, and because of the controversy of the subject matter, the novel was not published until a century after it was written. I thought it was very interesting to see how such feelings can bring a person to destruction, and Shelley’s romantic descriptions of the landscapes added to the reading experience. I gave it 3.74 stars.

These are all the things that I read in the month of June. If you have read any, or if you have any recommendations, please do not hesitate to comment below to let me know! Thank you for stopping by.

Until next time,

Keky