Sunday, February 28, 2021

March TBR and Wrap-Up

My Jane Austen book for the months of March and April is Northanger Abbey. I did not finish reading Mansfield Park, so I'm still going to be tackling that book. But out of all of her books that's the book that least intrigues me and I hit a reading slump during the second half of the month because I read so many books back to back in such a short period of time - mind you, most of the books were novellas, but still.

My prompt for the month is to read a book that starts with a K, so I picked Sarah Dessen's Keeping the Moon. Like the above challenge. I failed my challenge prompt for the month of February, so I will also be trying to finish that, but since I am moving out of February, I am no longer going to make sure that it is also a romance novel.

I didn't really read any of the books that I thought I would pick up. Although, I did complete two books that I went into February that I had already started. There will be a handful of books that I will be going into March already started, but I honestly don't know whether I will end up picking those ones up to complete or not, except for one: Night is Watching because I'm already 75% done with the book. Two nonfiction books that I would love to read this month are From Broken Glass (Holocaust prompt challenge book) and Unbelievable. I really want to finish Come Tumbling Down so that I can get to Across the Green Grass Fields, which is one of my anticipated releases. Like I am unofficially trying to tackle all of April Henry's books, I am also doing the same for Natalie D. Richards books this year. There are also a couple of audiobooks I have to listen to so I'm hoping to at least get to two of them: 

During the month of February I completed a total of 15 books. I had initially planned to conquer some Contemporary Romance novels, but the first week of February, I ended up picking up a paranormal romance book, Wolf Signs, and then quickly completed the remainder of that series. Still in the mood for some shifter romance, I picked up a short story and novel by Christine Warren. My mood for this particular paranormal romance faded.

And I wanted to read some paranormal romance that was on the ghostly side with romantic suspense. Presenting Tonya Kappes's Ghostly Southern Mystery series and Heather Graham to fulfill this reading mood.

Which then led me to reading romantic suspense, without that paranormal touch. I am really enjoying this series by Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh - my initial goal had been to finish the entire collection and it just didn't happen.

I also finally finished the prompt challenge book from the month of January.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Taking a Peek Inside the Box: Winter Wishes Box from Owlcrate

Since the book is mentioned in the title card of this box because this was a limited edition box, I'm going to mention it first in this "Taking a Peek" post. The book of the box is Universe of Wishes, which is a YA Anthology that is a collection of short stories. The image on the left is the cover of the edition included in this box, and the cover on the right is the original. Personally, I am a huge fan of the edition in the box, and think the white background makes the imagery on the cover stand out more.

So I believe this box was released before Christmas originally, and included in the box was two gift bags, shown above. They have a cute winter appearance with snowflakes, books, and quills. The bags were created by Janine Lecour. You can check out her instagram at this link: @janinelecour.

If you've gotten an Owlcrate subscription box before, you would be familiar with Riddle's Tea Shoppe. I have had some of tea created by them before and I really liked it. The loose leaf tea that was made exclusively for this box was Waking from a Thaw, which has peppermnit, chocolate, and decaf tea. Sadly, I am not that excited for this tea because I am not a huge fan of peppermint. Along with the tea, there is a Stainless Steel Coffee/Tea Spoon, which doubles as a bag clip.

To enjoy the tea that was included in this box, we have a ceramic mug that was desinged by Lady Chubb Letters, and inspired by Spinning Silver. I really love the color of the mug, and I really like mugs with book quotes. The quote on this mug is as follows: "One day the wind would blow, & the temperature would drop, & in the middle of the night, a frost would creep over my threshold".

The next thing included in this box was a Vanilla Buttercream candle. This is probably one of my favorite things in this box because i love Vanilla scented anything. It was made by NaturalAnnie Essentials, and is inspired by Girls Made of Snow and Glass. This smells absolutely delicious and I cannot wait to burn it.

A bookish item that I really love getting is enamel pins. I have a banner (from Owlcrate) where I display them all, and I love it. This pin was designed by Icey Designs and complements the exclusive cover for this book.

The last thing in this box is a gel eye mask. I have a couple of sleep masks from book boxes, but this is the first gel eye mask I have received. I can't wait to test this out, but if you chill it before use, it helps to reduce the appearance of puffiness and dark circles which I need because I work late hours and then come home and have trouble falling asleep. It was created by Studio Kyra, and features a quote from the book, Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: "She has counted time in seconds, and in seasons, in cold snaps and in thaws, in uprisings and in aftermaths".

These pictures were not the most exciting, but it was a kind of last minute decision to do this themed post on my blog, and I wanted to get it up sooner rather than later because, technically, I'm already late and I also got it during February so I wanted to post it in February.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Taking a Peek Inside the Box

 So I'm going to start something new on my blog, which is going to be a "Taking a Peek Inside the Box", which essentially is going to take place of a Unboxing, which I can't do on my blog for obvious reasons, but I still want to share with those who follow my blog some of the boxes I get. I'm currently not subscribed to any box, and most of the boxes I do open are usually previous months boxes just because I have really decided to commit to one subscription box yet, and can't afford to subscribe to all of the boxes that I do get. Occasionally, I can get multiple, but it all depends monthly.

I am going to link below some of my favorite subscription boxes for you to check out if you don't already know them.

If I do buy any boxes during the month, they will be posted on the last Saturday of the month.

Tour + Review and Giveaway: A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel

Publisher : Tor (February 2, 2021)
Language : English
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250262062
ISBN-13 : 978-1250262066


"[This series] is filled with virtually limitless narrative possibilities." ―Kirkus

"An extraordinary twist on the space race and a paean to what smart, strong women can accomplish. I'm always over the moon for Neuvel's stories!" ―Delilah Dawson

Sylvain Neuvel proves once again he deserves the title of the hottest new SF writer of the 21st century ― and this time he does it by looking back at the storied development of rocketry in the 20th. Clever and compelling, with a succession of kick-ass heroines propelling events along via mayhem and murder behind the scenes, A History of What Comes Next blasts off on page one and will keep you enthralled until the end. ―Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of The Oppenheimer Alternative

"A highly crafted and unique look at the space race, through the eyes of those who exist only to ensure its success... Neuvel’s intriguing first-contact story is set through centuries of manipulation and pursuit. It’s a promising start to what looks to be a dark and exciting trilogy." ―Library Journal

"The balance of wry narration, wired action, and delicate worldbuilding make for deeply gratifying reading. Fans of alternate history and intelligent sci-fi will love this." ―Publishers Weekly starred review.

Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a scfi thriller reminiscent of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, blending a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence in A History of What Comes Next.

Always run, never fight.
Preserve the knowledge.
Survive at all costs.
Take them to the stars.

Over 99 identical generations, Mia’s family has shaped human history to push them to the stars, making brutal, wrenching choices and sacrificing countless lives. Her turn comes at the dawn of the age of rocketry. Her mission: to lure Wernher Von Braun away from the Nazi party and into the American rocket program, and secure the future of the space race.

But Mia’s family is not the only group pushing the levers of history: an even more ruthless enemy lurks behind the scenes.

A darkly satirical first contact thriller, as seen through the eyes of the women who make progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them..

You can purchase Sylvain Neuvel at the following Retailers:

REVIEW: 3 Stars

I was so excited for this book after reading after reading the Themis Files series also by Sylvain Neuvel, and although it didn't blow me away like his other series, I did still enjoy this book and look forward to continuing with the series.

A History of What Comes Next was scientific and technologically heavy it terms of the information being detailed. It was very obvious that a lot of effort went into writing this book with very accurate information. This was a blessing and a curse - I really enjoy reading scientific and technological nonfiction, but sometimes its hard for me to read in a fictional setting because I tend not to be in the mood for it when I'm reading fiction.

The biggest thing I loved most about this book was the fact that it takes place in a historical setting with real people, but adds a sci-fi twist to the space race with the creation of the alien species of the novel, the Kibsu. I loved learning about this species, and the building of this alien race.

I would recommend if you are into historical set sci-fi that has a heavy dose of science and technology.

Photo Credit: James Andrew Rosen

Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course). His debut, Sleeping Giants, was described by NPR as “one of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory.”
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