Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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Memoirs of a Geisha
By Arthur Golden
3.5 stars.

Memoirs of a Geisha is a beautifully written book, with intricate detail that shows that Arthur Golden has done his research. However, the story is shadowed with sexism and ultimately becomes a “fairy-tale” written by a man. Continue reading “Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden”

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

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Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Genre: Historical fiction, magical realism
4 stars.

On a snowy winter day in 1910, Ursula is born and dies before she can take her first breath. What follows is a tale of life after life, as Ursula gets chances to live again and again and again, taking radically different paths with each choice as history marches before her and carries her story in its wake. Continue reading “Life After Life by Kate Atkinson”

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for History and Fantasy Lovers

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If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you will know that fantasy and historical fiction are my two favorite genres. Books that combine both elements, however, make me absolutely giddy. Well done historical fantasy, as I’ve dubbed this genre, is much more difficult to find than you might expect (with the industry riddled with time-traveling romances like Outlander), so today I’ve drawn up a list of my top ten books for lovers of well done historical fantasy. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recommendations for History and Fantasy Lovers”

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Genre: Historical fiction
4.5 stars.

I have read countless WWII novels, but few have haunted me for so many months after I finished it than The Nightingale. This is a tale of the strength of women in wartime, highlighting the ways bravery can take on many different faces. Continue reading “The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah”

T5W: Fantasy Series that Improved Over Time

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A notorious trope in fantasy trilogies is that the second book often falls flat. You know what I mean: characters recovering from a great battle and preparing for the Final Conflict, having petty arguments, traveling endless miles or sitting in one location for an annoying amount of time. But there are a few fantasy series I’ve discovered where I would argue that the second or subsequent books are better than the first, and absolutely worth holding out for. Continue reading “T5W: Fantasy Series that Improved Over Time”

Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Western Inspired Fantasy Books

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This week’s topic is books that were inspired by non-western locations, or else set in a non-western location. I decided to narrow it down to Fantasy books inspired by non-western settings as those are pretty few and far between (in English at least). But first, I have a number of thoughts on this topic.

Have you ever wondered why English literature is dominated by western thought? The answer is simple. Because English is a language of the west. So it really isn’t surprising, nor, I think, necessarily a negative thing. However, because the US is a melting pot of cultures and with how our world has expanded into a global community rather than just a national one, it is important to learn about cultures beyond what we know in the west. So, I am happy that authors of non-Western background have been gaining recognition in recent years. Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Western Inspired Fantasy Books”

Top 5 Wednesday: Children’s Books

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There were SO many books I adored as a kid. My reading game was never higher than when I was aged 9-12, because back then I actually had the time to read and it was really only school that got in my way. But here are the top five children’s series/books that come to mind. I tried to stick to books that I don’t see often on these lists. Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Children’s Books”

Monthly Recap – June

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Books Read: 4
Genres Read: Historical romance, magical realism, mystery/action/horror/sci-fi/fantasy, modern drama

This was a much slower month for me reading-wise as I started a new full time job a few weeks ago and have had less time in general to read. But I did still manage to get through four books, a few less than my usual 6-7. Continue reading “Monthly Recap – June”

Top 5 Wednesday: Hate to Love Ships

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Okay, who doesn’t love a good hate to love romance? I mean, the tension, the will they/won’t they can drive me through a book like nothing else. A truly good “hate to love” romance is not actually “hate to love.” It’s more of a passionate frustration, often driven by misunderstanding, between parties who are mutually stimulated/attracted (often intellectually) by the other. There’s just something so fun about this trope, and so satisfying, that it has been played upon again and again throughout the history of literature. “Hate to love” romances done well can truly explore a character’s growth and change, and I think that is why we can’t help but love this trope. Without further ado, here are my top 5 Hate to Love ships in books. Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Hate to Love Ships”

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

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All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: Magical realism
Rating: 4 stars.

I don’t quite know how to express my unexpected delight for this book. The prose was gorgeous, but also snarky in surprising ways, the characters were intensely complex and the growth they experienced compelling, and the way Stiefvater wove fantasy and reality together was incredibly seamless.

I also don’t quite know how to summarize this book. It is the story of the Soria family, but also of Pete and Tony and the other pilgrims who come to the Soria’s ranch in rural Colorado in search of a miracle. Ultimately, I think All the Crooked Saints is a story of facing the lies we believe about ourselves, driving them out, and replacing them with truth. Continue reading “All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater”