Bookshelf Tour! (Mostly Unread Books)

What’s up world!
Today, I’m going to be giving you a snippet of what my bookshelves look like!

First up, this is the overview of my bookshelves ↓

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I used to organize my bookshelves by genres, but I was kind of stressed out by how rapidly the shelf on which I put my romance books had been filling up. With three more women’s novels (most likely even more) coming my way, I didn’t know what to do.

Then, watching a BookTuber’s Bookshelf Tour video gave me the inspiration for organizing my bookshelves; I decided to squeeze all the books that I read into the bookshelf on the left and the unread books into the one on the right. Yup, it goes to show how many books I still have that I need to read…

I did my best to sort my unread books by genres, but to be honest with you, I wasn’t particularly happy with how it turned out right after reorganizing my bookshelves.
In particular, I wasn’t at all happy with the color scheme of my books; it kind of looked a bit disorganized despite the fact they WERE in fact sorted by genres to some extent 😦
That said, I’m glad that I rearranged my bookshelves because it actually created some more space in my shelves!

All right, enough about the overview, let’s take a closer look at the individual shelves and we’re going to start from the top.

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I’m not going much into these books here but I’ll give you the titles instead.

From left to right:

  • Lab Girl by Hope Johren
  • Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
  • Tenth of December by George Saunders
  • No Safe House by Linwood Barclay
  • The Nightwalker by Sebastian Fitzek
  • The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • One Day by David Nicholls

 

On the next shelf, we have:

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  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Oops, some books are upside-down…)
  • Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • The Vintage Teacup Club by Vanessa Greene
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  • Watermelon by Marian Keyes
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  • Luck, Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
  • All the Good Parts by  Loretta Nyhan 
  • Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
  • The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
  • Always by Sarah Jio

 

Now, let’s move down to my Classic section:

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Actually, there are WAY TOO MANY to enumerate and most of them are from my Out-of-Control-Book Haul and Crazy Classic Book Haul, so if you’re interested, please check them out, too 😀

The books on this shelf that ARE NOT from those hauls are:

  • Most Secret by Nevil Shute
  • The Public Image by Muriel Spark

The funny thing is that I myself think I did a pretty good job in fitting everything in this shelf, but two of my Bookish friends are actually not at all happy with this layout; they favor how my Classic section used to look like (You can see my Instagram photo here) – they are saddened by my pretty Penguin English Library editions being pushed back and not showing lol

 

All right, we’re almost there! On the bottom shelf we have:

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  • The Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
  • Windwitch by Susan Dennard
  • Gemina by  Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo 

That is it!!
Phew, I didn’t even know how many books I’ve actually got myself. I probably should have stuck with buying paperbacks rather than hardcovers; my tiny bookshelves have been filling up at a much faster pace than I had anticipated!
I think I’ll need to learn to read on my Kindle too…

Anyways, thanks for sticking around, hope you all have a great reading week! 😄

Blogger Stats Book Tag!

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Hello, everybody! This is another Book Tag time and we’ll be doing Blogger Stats Book Tag!
This tag was created by AlwaysTrustinBooks and you can read the original post – here.
To my great surprise, I was tagged by jessiccamarrie493, you should definitely check her answers here!

All right, then, let’s get started 🙂

Questions:

The last three books you read?

Nighteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
The Quaker Cafe by Brenda Bevan Remmes 
and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I was not all satisfied with how The Quaker Cafe ends,  but I enjoyed the reading experience.

Spoilers or spoiler free?
Definitely spoiler free. I like diving into a story pretty blindly, so I basically don’t want to know much about its synopsis. I try not to include spoilers in my posts the best I can, too.

How long have you been book blogging?
I started this book blog on August 25th, 2016. I’ve been blogging almost 9 months now.
That said, there are still so many about book blogging that I don’t even know, so reading other book bloggers’ posts are really inspiring.

A book you read in one sitting?
Being a slow reader, it’s quite a rarity for me to finish a book in one sitting, but I would say This is Where it Ends by Marieke Mijkamp. I took this book with me to the beauty salon and reached pretty close to the end.


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Your favorite genre?
It depends on my mood, but Dystopian, Contemporary Fiction, sometimes YA.

Preferred book size? (novella, tome…etc.)
I am not so particular about page count, but I must say tomes feels a bit intimidating to tackle. I like books around 300 pages.

Amount of books on your TBR?
Geez, I actually lost count of how many unread books that I have, but I would say at least 100 Kindle books plus 89 physical books 😦

A book you have DNF’d?
There are actually more than one. I wrote a post on that theme here.

Recent awards or milestones?
I’ve recently hit 30 subscribers and even more surprisingly, the number of followers has been increasing. I just can’t believe this is happening. I want to thank everyone for their support!

Best interaction with an author you enjoy?
Living in the middle of nowhere in Japan, I hardly have any opportunity to actually meet/interact with authors… 😦
But that reminds me of not necessarily an actual interaction but an indirect interaction with Jeffery Archer two months ago. I’ll definitely write a post on that experience soon!

Average number of books you read per month?
I think the average hovers around 6 to 7 books.

Top three publishers?
I don’t usually pay close attention to such things. All I care is its cover and the binding lol

Social media sites your blog uses?
Twitter and Instagram. If Goodreads does count, I update my status most diligently on Goodreads with Twitter a close second.

Average amount of time you spend networking?
Being an international book blogger, I need to put a lot of time and effort into writing posts/stating my opinions in English. So I don’t get to spend as much time on interacting with other bloggers as I would like. That said, I do try to set aside at least 30 minutes to an hour for networking every single day.

Most comfortable blogging position?
I blog only on my PC. So at my desk sitting on a couch.

Music or quiet when writing reviews?
Definitely quiet. Otherwise, I would get distracted and my posts would end up really disorienting and messy lol

Can you sum up your blogging style in 5 words?
Tough question! Geez… I would say…

Be consistent. Do the thing.

I can be quite the procrastinator when it comes to posting reviews, so I think I’ll need to keep telling myself to be consistent. That says it all lol

A blog you looked up to starting out?
Actually, none. I launched this book blog on a complete whim without knowing/having read any book blogs. But I’ve been following a lot of book blogs now. I’m learning! 🙂

Best piece of blogging advice?
Like I mentioned earlier, I still know nothing about book blogging, but from what little experience that I’ve had, I can say the book community is REALLY WELCOMING! They are so nice and encouraging. I am so glad that I started this blog.
Even if you feel like nobody’s reading your posts, they are. Just stay the way you are and keep going.


That’s it! It’s been kind of humbling to answer some of the questions, but it’s been so much fun!

Although I’m still a newbie in this book blog community and don’t know many bloggers, let me tag these people:

Before I go, my sincere thanks goes to jessiccamarrie493 once again for tagging me.
If any of you haven’t done this tag, definitely give it a try and put the link in the comment section! I am super excited to read your answers and tips on blogging!

Hope you all enjoyed the tag and I’ll talk to you guys again, soon! 😀

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

the book thief

I wasn’t quite sure if this book was really going to live up to my expectation until I reached the very end. Although it did move me to some extent, the tidal wave of emotions that I had been expecting didn’t arrive;

Until I reached the chapter, The End of the World (Part Ⅱ)  to be more specific.

Set in the years 1939 – 1943, Nazi Germany, The Book Thief weaves a story of a German girl, Liesel, and her encounters with the inhabitants on her street.
She loses her brother on their way to their new foster parents’ home and she commits her very first thievery after her brother’s burial ceremony.

She picks up a book lodged in the snow – The beginning of Liesel’s book thievery.

To me, this book felt like a collage of the lives of inhabitants of Himmel Street rather than a story.
There is, indeed, a solid story line running underneath the entire book, but I think the vast majority of the book is about Liesel and the people whom she gets to know or comes to love.
There is Rudy, there is Papa, most importantly, there is Max. A Jew who left a big impact on Liesel and with whom Liesel forms a very strong friendship.
Stories with individual characters are woven amazingly in detail and are entertaining, but the real culmination of the tension (at least for me) arrives at the remaining 20 pages mark. This is where all the stories come to life. This is where this book hit me in the feels and made me all welled-up.

I particularly loved the friendship between Liesel and Max. They respectively become indispensable to each other. With Max being a Jew, Papa and Mama know what it means to hide Max from the pursuit of Nazi, what consequences await them, but they risk everything to protect Max and to keep a secret that Papa had made to Max’s father.
Such details behind each character serve very well to make this book emotionally engaging and captivating.

The writing is absolutely gorgeous; I don’t know how to articulate what it feels like.
It’s stunningly beautiful, lyrical and poetic. More than anything, it’s generally calm and quiet, yet very strong.

What struck me interesting about this book is that the story is narrated by Death himself and I really liked his voice. His narration is dignified, yet I sensed the humor in his voice. He is very calm, collected and observant, too. Although this story is told through the eyes of Death and sets in Nazi Germany,  it didn’t feel morbid and depressing so much. Not that I’m saying that it’s all uplifting, which is definitely not the case, but it is NOT all bleak and gloom. Through Death’s very observant detailed narration, we can get a glipmse of happiness (albeit occasionally) in Liesel’s life.
He says ‘Just don’t ask me to be nice. Nice has nothing to do with me,’ but I felt he is actually nice. I could even feel some warmth in his voice.

The main characters are all lovable and in particular, the bond between Papa and Liesel literally warmed the cockles of my heart. Which is all the more reason why the aforementioned scene broke me; I know it’s inevitable, yet it still hurts.

This book is rather long with 538 page count and this is not a fast-paced quick read.
This is one of those books that should be savored and devoured by taking as long as one needs to let the story sink in.
This is a story of life, friendship and keeping promise. It is simply stunningly beautiful and maginificent.
Even if you feel it a bit dull with not so much going on, the jolt does come in the end.
This book does need patience. I’m so glad that I read it. I will definitely reread it.

#Weekend Reads : May 19th, 2017

Hello, everybody!  It’s time for another #Weekend Reads post!

I wish I could give you a new list of books that I am going to read over this weekend with some fabulous pics, but sadly, I’m afraid to say that I’ll be most likely to spend the entire weekend on single-mindedly reading The Book Thief. 

the book thief

Not that I’m complaining nor making excuses (maybe I am), but in addition to having been busy with all the book closing stuff lately, I had a lot of socialization going on in the early part of the month. I simply haven’t gotten as much reading done as I had hoped, which is really sad!

I am supposed to be reading Lolita which is on my May TBR right now, but as you can see, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I am way behind the schedule and am a bit disappointed although I know I can’t help it – when life gets busy, you have to let something go to some degree 😦

Anyways, now that I’ve gotten The Quaker Cafe out of the way, finishing The Book Thief (and write a post) is at the top of my priority for this weekend. I’m only halfway through the book, so I’m not quite sure if I can, but I’ll try to power through it.  If I got to pick up Lolita after that, THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

lolita

All right, guys. That’s it for today.
Let me know in the comments what you will be reading this weekend.

Thanks for reading as always and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 😀

The Quaker Café by Brenda Bevan Remmes

the quaker cafe

  • Synopsis (Excerpt from Goodreads)

When Liz Hoole, a free-spirited liberal from the Midwest, marries into a conservative Quaker family, she knows that raising children in compliance with Quaker values will be challenging. Twenty-five years later, she still feels like she’s falling short of expectations. Fortunately, her faith and her friends in the small, rural North Carolina town of Cedar Branch keep her strong.

After her best friend’s politically powerful father dies, Liz stumbles upon secrets from the past that threaten to unravel the current harmony in Cedar Branch, a town with a history of racial tension. As she researches more and eavesdrops on gossip at the Quaker Café, where everyone meets each morning, Liz soon discovers the truth about an injustice that she cannot reveal to anyone—not even her husband.

Surrounded by a cast of richly drawn Southern characters, Liz learns that even good people can make bad choices. Now, she must decide whether she has the strength to bring a past wrong to light, despite the consequences.


I am so sorry to say this, but this book kind of fell flat for me.
The synopsis sounds interesting and it actually taps into some very important issues that have been deeply entrenched in our society, this book has got a lot more than meets the eye, but overall, it failed to grab me emotionally.

Like I mentioned earlier, the subject matters that are told in this story are very important; racial issues, religious segregation and small conflicts and discordance that sprang from differences in perspectives between two communities or traditions.

Throughout the book, such issues are well-incorporated in the main/side stories and reminded me of the fact that we’re still living in a very segregated world and we have hardly made any progress in racial integration; there are still a lot of people out there who are feeling neglected or downtrodden.  This book also conveys a very important message; truth has got its own price. What’s in the past should stay in the past sometimes and be left undisturbed.

The whole Isaac Perry incident and the character dynamics surrounding this event were particularly gripping; this story line was absolutely a page-turner. It kept me engaged.

However, I’ve also got a feeling that the writing is weak at times; it wasn’t that solid nor consistent.
As I mentioned earlier, some parts are really emotionally engaging and captivating; the main plot is solid and well-crafted. The emotional tension between the characters was especially very strong and beautifully depicted. The ripple effect stems from the unearthing of the well-kept secret was pretty enthralling too. It struck a chord with me and I quite enjoyed it. However, some parts – particularly what should have been the most crucial parts felt rather slippery and flat for me.
Especially the ending, the church scene felt rather hastily wrapped-up and anticlimactic. I was really underwhelmed and disappointed by that to be honest.

I might have felt even more so because I actually enjoyed this book up until that point.
I did generally enjoy the story of a conservative, close-knit society with the intricate character dynamics. That said, however, I was rather disappointed by the author kind of dropping the ball at the most crucial moments in the story.
Take the aforementioned Church scene for instance, there are a lot of CAPS in the dialogues and I assume the author tried to stress the significance of each remark, to better get the message across. However, it had an adverse effect on me; I found myself rapidly losing interest and focus, looking at the whole thing in a very critical light. The impact from such blunders was actually huge; all the good feels and thoughts that I’d had were quickly lost on me and it resulted in turning my overall impression toward this book upside-down. I even think this book would have been a lot more engaging and fun to read if the author had been able to maintain the sense of suspense and tension in her writing.

The characters didn’t leave much big of an impact on me either; I couldn’t relate to any of the characters as strongly as I would have liked. While I find it really nice to bond with friends as strongly as Liz, Maggie and Billie do, most of the things about this book felt rather plain and a bit dull to me sadly to say.

That’s my overall thoughts and feels on this book.
Don’t get me wrong; I did enjoy the story in general, but the ending which fizzled out made me do a 180 on this book.
That said, some readers may enjoy this book. It could have been something with me which made me stop short of enjoying it entirely.

I gave this book 3 stars.

30 Subscribers! Thank You!!

Thank you

Big shout-out to all my readers who have visited/given me likes and comments –

I’ve just hit 30 subscribers today!  

OMG, this is just incredible! I still can’t believe this is happening to me!
I just wanted to express my sincere, heartfelt thanks to all those who have subscribed to my book blog. I cannot thank you enough!

I launched this book blog on August 25th, 2016. I’ve been blogging here almost 9 months now.
Would I ever have imagined that I would get as many as 30 subscribers when I started off? Seriously, NEVER. Never have I imagined that this would be happening. I honestly can’t believe it.

Through this book blog and social media such as Goodreads and Twitter, I’ve made friends with so many great readers around the world – I am truly glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and started blogging.
I must admit it has always been a challenge for me, a non-native, to write up posts entirely in English and I assume it always will be. I also know too well that my posts might have been all disorienting at times and left a lot to be desired. So, I am literally overwhelmed by the fact that I’ve now got as many as 30 of you putting up with my crappy English and following my blog. It is simply amazing and I am truly blessed.

Before I go, let me say that your likes and comments have always been a great source of encouragement for me to keep going. I am now motivated to read and write posts MORE THAN EVER.

I will definitely keep trying to make this blog grow and more entertaining, so keep your eyes peeled!

Once again, thank you so so much, and I’ll talk to you again soon! 😀

Top 5 Wednesday ~ Summer Reads!~

118368It’s Wednesday! This means it’s officially time for Top 5 Wednesday, a weekly book meme created by Lainey @GingerReadsLainey over YouTube and now hosted by Sam @Thoughts on Tomes.
You can check that out and join the Goodreads group here.

This week’s topic is ‘Summer Reads.’
The weather is heating up (for half of the world), so what books remind you of summer and are your quintessential summer reads?

Now, a disclaimer: I haven’t read many so-called ‘summer reads’ thus I cannot come up as many as five books just yet. So, please allow me to include some books that I definitely intend to read this summer.

Without further ado, here are three books that remind me of summer:

summer reads

  • Life’s a Beach by Claire Cook 
  • Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
  • Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life is actually my quintessential summer read. I first read this book in the summer 2014 (or sometime) and I reread it last summer. Both times, I absolutely adored this book. Basically, I am a huge sucker for such coming-of-age-stories. For me, this book is just perfect; the plot, the characters… I can’t tell you enough how much I LOVE this book. You should definitely check this out if you haven’t already.

Next on my list is Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. The reason why this book is on the list is quite simple; this is my very first adult fiction that I read in English and I read this in the mid summer of 2013 if my memory serves me correctly.
I still clearly remember reading this at the city library escaping the blazing summer heat (you know, you don’t have to worry about your electric bills at libraries where the AC is set at a comfortable temperature…).  As the story happens to take place in summer, those two elements putting together, this book made the list.

I picked up Life’s a Beach just because I read it last summer. I first couldn’t relate to the main character whose name I no longer remember at all, so I didn’t find it impressionable at first, but the book ended up an OK read; I took it as a story of self-discovery takes place in summer.  Through some setbacks and a light, hazy love triangle the heroine finds the purpose of her life.  Like I mentioned, it’s not super impressionable, but this book definitely reminds me of summer and I’ll probably reread this book as summertime rolls around. Not every summer, but we’ll see.

Next, I’m going to pick up two books which I am planning to read this summer.

summer reads 2

  • The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond 
  • The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis

As a matter of fact, I haven’t read a single book by those authors. I actually don’t even know their synopsis. However, look at the covers – they are very summery and just tempting.  I myself don’t appreciate summer because summers here in Japan are so brutal and miserable with super high humidity, but I kind of like things that give off a summery vibe.

One concern is that I only have them in Kindle format. Being a non-Kindle reader, I am not quite sure how inclined and willing I will be when the summer gets closer. Which means, I’ll be most likely to go on a big summer-reads haul… 😛

Anyways, that’s about it for today.
What are your top 5 summer reads? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading guys, and I’ll talk to you again soon! 😀