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The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher

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Title: The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
Pages:257
Published: 2016
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, on…

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware

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Title: The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Pages: 352
Published: 2017
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong… (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I thought it was a good read.  It wasn't Girl on the Train or Gone Girl by any means, but it was still tense enough to keep me reading at a …

The Truth According to - Annie Barrows

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Title: The Truth According to Us
Author: Annie Barrows
Pages: 528
Published: 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: In the summer of 1938, Layla Beck’s father, a United States senator, cuts off her allowance and demands that she find employment on the Federal Writers’ Project, a New Deal jobs program. Within days, Layla finds herself far from her accustomed social whirl, assigned to cover the history of the remote mill town of Macedonia, West Virginia, and destined, in her opinion, to go completely mad with boredom. But once she secures a room in the home of the unconventional Romeyn family, she is drawn into their complex world and soon discovers that the truth of the town is entangled in the thorny past of the Romeyn dynasty.

At the Romeyn house, twelve-year-old Willa is desperate to learn everything in her quest to acquire her favorite virtues of ferocity and devotion—a search that leads her into a thicket of mysteries, including …

Ashes - Laurie Halse Anderson

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Title: Ashes (Seeds of America #3)
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Pages: 298
Published: 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I quite enjoyed the book and thought it was a nice conclusion to the series.  Sorry for the lack of thoughts; its been a while since I read the book, but I thought it was well written.

Bottom line:  Recommended for young readers who enjoy historical fiction.

Rating: 3/5

The Tempest - William Shakespeare

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Title: The Tempest
Author: William Shakespeare
Pages: 92
Published: 1610
Genre: Drama
Edition: E-book
Source: Serial Reader

Description: Prospero—a magician on an enchanted island—punishes his enemies, brings happiness to his daughter, and comes to terms with human use of supernatural power. The Tempest embodies both seemingly timeless romance and the historically specific moment in which Europe begins to explore and conquer the New World. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: Not my favourite Shakespeare play.  Thought it was okay; probably would have thought better of it if I had read it more regularly or had taken the time to read it along Sparknotes.

Bottom line: It's a preferential taste as to what play you like.

Rating: 2.75/5

Bout of Books 19

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I am going to try this again and hopefully I can get my act together.  If you have forgotten what Bout of Books is about, here is a little blurb about it:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


My reading goals are to read:
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryLab GirlOutlanderThe Handmaid's Tale 
These are only a starting point but I may add more books as I get closer to the date.

The Munich Girl - Phyllis Edgerly Ring

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Title: The Munich Girl
Author: Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Pages: 356
Published: 2015
Genre: Historical fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: I received this book in exchange for fair and honest review

Description: Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends. The secret surfaces with a mysterious monogrammed handkerchief, and a man, Hannes Ritter, whose Third Reich family history is entwined with Anna’s. Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna finds her every belief about right and wrong challenged. With Hannes’s help, she retraces the path of two women who met as teenagers, shared a friendship that spanned the years that Eva Braun was Hitler’s mistress, yet never knew that the men they loved had opposing ambitions. Eva’s story reveals that she never joined the Nazi party,…

You Will Not Have My Hate - Antoine Leiris

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Title: You Will Not Have My Hate
Author: Antoine Leiris ; translated by Sam Taylor
Pages: 131
Published: 2016
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description:  On 13 November 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène, was killed, along with 88 other people at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, when three men armed with guns and suicide bombs opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd at a rock concert. Three days later, Leiris, a young journalist, wrote an open letter on Facebook addressed to his wife’s killers. Leiris refused to be cowed or to let his 17-month-old son’s life be defined by Hélène’s murder. He refused to let the killers have their way. ‘For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom,’ he wrote. Instantly, that short Facebook post caught fire. It was shared over two hundred thousand times and was reported on all over the world. In his beautiful and moving defiance of the terrorists who had killed his wife, …

Ghosts - Raina Telgemeier

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Title: Ghosts
Author: Raina Telgemeir
Pages: 256
Published: 2016
Genre: Graphic Novels, Middle Grade
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description:
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn't happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister's sake -- and her own. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts:  I made the mistake of reading this after March, so I compared it to that book rather than judging the book on its own merit.  But trying not to compare it to March, which is so difficult to…

March: Book Two - John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

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Title:  March: Book Two
Author: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
Pages: 192
Published: 2015
Genre: Graphic Novels, History
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description:
After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence - but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before.

Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the young activists of the movement struggle with internal conflicts as well. But their courage will attract the notice of powerful allies, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy... and once Lewis is elected chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, this 23-year-old will be thrust into the national spotlight, becoming one of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement and a central figure in the la…

The Nest - Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

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Title: The Nest
Author: Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Pages: 353
Published: 2016
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.…

Dietland - Sarai Walker

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Title: Dietland
Author: Sarai Walker
Pages: 272
Published: 2015
Genre: Contemporary
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal copy

Description:
The diet revolution is here. And it’s armed.

Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.

Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a s…

2017 Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

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This is similar to another alphabet soup challenge I am involved with and it is pretty simple: read a book where the starting letter of the title corresponds with each letter of the alphabet, taking out A and The when you need to.

If you wish to join, there is more information here.

Alphabet Soup:
A -
B -
C -
D - Dietland by Sarai Walker
E -
F -
G - Ghosts by Rania Telgemeir
H -
I -
J -
K -
L -
M - March: Book Two by John Lewis
N - The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
O -
P -
Q -
R -
S -
T -
U -
V -
W -
X -
Y - You Will Not Have My Hate - Antoine Leiris
Z -

Back to the Classics Challenge 2017

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I have tried to do this challenge but for some reason I have been unable to complete it.  It basically is reading classics that fit the various challenge areas.  If you want more information, you can find out more information here.

Here are the categories:
1.  A 19th Century Classic
2.  A 20th Century Classic
3.  A classic by a woman author. 

4.  A classic in translation
5.  A classic published before 1800
6.  A romance classic
7.  A Gothic or horror classic
8. A Classic with a number in the Title
9. A Classic about a animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title
10. A Classic set in a place you would like to visit
11.  An award-winning classic
12. A Russian Classic

2017 Mount TBR Challenge

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I have been meaning to do this challenge for a number of years, but for some reason I haven't gotten around to it.  I am going to do Pike's Peak, which I aim to read 12 of my own books that I have own prior to January 2017.

If you want more information, you can find it here.

Pike's Peak:
1. Dietland by Sarai Walker
2. The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

2017 Library Love Challenge

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I like this challenge because it is very simple: read at least 12 books from the library in any format (print, e-book, audiobook) from any genre that is available at the library. As long as you checked it out from the library, it counts.

If you want more information, you can view the information here.    I am going for Thrifty Reader.

Books Read:
1.

Winter Stroll - Elin Hilderband

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Title: Winter Stroll (Winter #2)
Author: Elin Hilderband
Pages: 263
Published: 2015
Genre: Christmas, Romance
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description:  Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn reflecting on the past year as he writes a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to celebrate. Kelley, now single, at least is on better terms with his first wife Margaret, who is using her celebrity to lure customers to the inn in record numbers. Their son Kevin has a beautiful new baby, Genevieve, with the Inn's French housekeeper, Isabelle; and their daughter, Ava, is finally dating a nice guy--her devoted colleague, Scott.

Now the Quinns are looking forward to celebrating Genevieve's baptism, welcoming Isabelle to the family, and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket's traditional Christmas Stroll. But just when a peaceful family gathering seems within rea…