April Book Haul (2019)

Well, I don’t see myself going on a book buying ban anytime soon. I never realize how many books I collect in one month until I’m creating these posts. This one is going up a little late because it takes me forever to take pictures of all of them. It’s just a lot of work to gather the millions of books I tend to buy in one month and take a photo of them. I blame this on the fact I work at a bookstore now. I’m surrounded by books way too often to not take them home with me. Without further ado, let’s talk about some of the books I got in April!

 

  • Why Buddhism Is True by Robert Wright

Since I’m getting a new job at this indie bookstore, I felt like every time I went in, I had to buy something. I mean, I wasn’t not going to. The books were discounted so I decided why not. This is also a book I’ve been interested in because I’ve studied world religions for fun since high school and Buddhism has always been the one that’s sparked my interest.

  • Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor

I was so kindly sent a copy of this book by Vintage books. I’m probably going to read it while on my way to Atlanta this upcoming weekend. Very stoked!

  • We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

I requested this book the day it went up on Edelweiss. I emailed the publisher and they sent it to me so generously. It sounds like the perfect coming of age story set in the 1980s and I can’t wait to get to reading it! It was also an On My Radar book and it will have a review!

  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Listen, I bought this because of the hype and it was discounted. Maybe one day I’ll get to it.

  • Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

I was BookOutlet browsing and saw this sequel on there. I was shocked but immediately added it to my cart because I love V.E. Schwab. I haven’t read Vicious yet (lol oops) but I will soon, especially because I already own the sequel!

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I’ve been looking for some coming of age classics and this one would end up on the list so I bought a used copy from Amazon recently. I’m excited to get to it!

  • The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

I got this on BookOutlet as well because It’s a popular coming of age classic. Who knows if I’ll ever get to it but it was like $2 so I’m not mad.

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

AH, I recently read The Great Alone and really enjoyed it. I have a review for it up already. I thought I should give her most popular book a try. This book has won awards (I’m pretty sure) and everyone loves it. So, I’m finally picking it up!

  • Turbulence by David Szalay

Before I left my old bookseller job, we would get sent ARCs. I saw this cover and died. The description also kind of reminds me of the T.V. show LOST so I snatched it. It’s a short read so I should be getting to it and reviewing it soon!

 

 

Have you read any of these? Also, what books did you buy in the month of April? I’ll admit, I buy too many books!

April Wrap Up | 2019

So, I didn’t have the best reading month ever in April. I read a total of two books but I enjoyed them both so I’m excited to talk about them!

 

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I was sent an e-arc of this book through Netgalley and ended up reading it shortly after. I flew through this book in the very beginning of April (I think about 3 days) and really loved it. It wasn’t what I was expecting and I didn’t think it would stick with me but it did. I will have a review going up for this book closer to the release date! This was also one of my On My Radar books so I’m so thankful I got to read and review it!

 

 

 

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I recently bought this book from BookOutlet and I decided that I would just read it on a whim. It’s set in the 1970s in rural Alaska so of course, I had to read it. I love reading books set in Alaska so I gave this one a shot and I loved it. I did have some problems with it which is why I gave it only four stars out of five. I do have an entire review on it up on my blog though so if you want to hear more of my thoughts, you can read them there!

 

 

 

 

So, that’s all I read during April! I know, it’s not a lot. I hope to read much more in May! What did you read in April? I’d love to know!

The Great Alone [REVIEW]

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 4.39.54 PMAlaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.

For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.”

THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER FREE

Edition: Hardcover, Audiobook
Page Count: 435 pages
Publish Date: February 6th, 2019
Publisher: St. Martins Press

My Rating: 4/5 stars ★★★★

 

TRIGGER WARNINGS: alcohol abuse, domestic violence, violent death of animals

 

“Books are the mile markers of my life. Some people have family photos or home movies to record their past. I’ve got books. Characters. For as long as I can remember, books have been my safe place.”

 

Review

 

I’ve had a fascination about Alaska (Particularly, living in Alaska) since I discovered Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer in high school and loved it. It’s an incredibly fascinating place so of course, reading about it is always fun. I picked this book up because I know it was a bestseller for awhile and it takes place in Alaska during the 1970s.

I’ve heard of Kristin Hannah before because of her most popular release, The Nightingale. People at work (I’m a bookseller) always tell me how much they love the Nightingale and how it’s the best book they’ve ever read. I haven’t read it yet but this one seemed a bit more interesting to me so I picked it up first. As Max said in his review, she makes Alaska feel like it’s own character.

I read both the physical copy and listened to the audiobook. The narration is done beautifully by Julia Whelan. I loved listening to the audiobook on my way home and back from work. It was captivating throughout the whole story, even if not much was going on. This isn’t just due to the narrator but of course, Kristin Hannah’s writing. Her writing is so enticing and lyrical.

Unfortunately, if her writing hadn’t been so beautiful, it would’ve been hard to make it through this book. Not much happened between page one up until about page 250. It wasn’t exactly boring but it wasn’t too exciting either. Things really started going at the 200 page mark but it was A LOT. Most of the shock value and climax is near the end of the book. Big things kept happening one after another in only such a short span of time. The book does skip ahead years which might be a reason for this but it felt like a lot.

I did cry reading this book which is weird because I haven’t gotten so emotional while reading in a long time. I think a lot of this has to due with the discussion of grief in this book. Leni, the main character, talks a lot about dealing with grief and dealing with her dad’s PTSD and his abusive behavior. As someone who understands domestic abuse and has seen it themselves, it was really hard watching her mom talk about how scared she was to leave him. This is why I included the trigger warnings in the review because for some people, this might be a lot.

Other than that, this was still a really great read. I didn’t hate it  — I just didn’t love it. It was enticing, emotional, and overall a great story about life and everything that comes with it.

Have you read this book? Are you planning to? Let me know!

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