Tag: The ‘How I Choose My Books’ Tag

Hello, friends! I used to make a post under #WeekendReads every Friday, but from now onwards, I am going to do weekly wrap-ups on Sundays and do tags on Fridays (if I ever get tagged, that is).

Today, I’m doing the ‘How I Choose My Books’ tag’!
My sweet and dear friend, Stephanie@Stephanie’s Novel Fiction tagged me for this and I am so excited to do this 🙂
Thank you again, Stephanie for tagging me – if you haven’t already, go check out her blog since it has a lot to offer and her book reviews are really detailed and simply amazing. Her sweet and wonderful personality is beautifully reflected in her writing. You’re bound to enjoy!

 

Questions:

1. Find a Book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

Gemina

I’ve got several books with blue cover, but I particularly like this cover. It’s glossy and I simply love the cover design. Plus, I bought this book last December but haven’t read yet. I picked this one up just to remind myself that I need to read this…
(Crap, I forgot to answer the reason why I got this book… Well, Jessethereader’s video!)

 

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

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A lot of people told me this book is dark and rather depressing with totally messed-up, dysfunctional characters but I fell in love with this cover when I found it through a BookTuber mementomori’s video and I knew I had to read this.
To my surprise and delight, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Yes, A LOT.  If you are interested, you can read my Goodreads review here.

 

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?

the final empire

I found this one through Mollie Reads video. I simply adore every single video she puts out and watching her raving about this book made me want to pick this up.
I got the complete box set (paperbacks) last December, but once again, I haven’t read them yet… I’ll definitely need to pick them up – The Final Empire at least!

 

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

The pillars of the earth

I don’t think I have to tell you who recommended this book to me, and I haven’t even finished this one, YET I’m really liking this so far! I find the character relationships and names are a bit complicated to follow (I needed to refer to Wikipedia…), but the story-wise, I’M LOVING THIS. I think it’s astronomically unlikely, but I seriously hope that it doesn’t go south from here…

 

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / Book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

History is all you left me

I found this book through reading Aweng@Beast Books stunning review. The moment I read her thoughts, I knew I had to read it and I finally got to finish it the other day.
This one, THIS ONE. Definitely lives up to the hype. This is such a stunningly beautiful, gripping, haunting read that captures readers’ hearts.  I now want to read more of Adam Silvera!

 

6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

Dune

I must have been completely nuts when I bought this one… I was so into mementomori videos and was on a huge Classics kick back then.
To tell the truth, I am not a massive fan of Sci-Fi or fantasy, so I seriously have no idea what to do with this one…

 

7. What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

The Jane Austen Book Club

I don’t watch film nor TV shows much now but I watched the movie adaptation many years ago and then I found that it was based on this book.
Although I didn’t like the book AT ALL (I gave this book solid 2 stars), I enjoyed the movie.

 

8. Think of your all-time favorite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

the-kite

I think I downloaded this book through Goodreads recommendation or something… I no longer remember and it had been a while until I actually picked up this book. I read this early January this year.
I didn’t even know the synopsis when I downloaded it, so when I found out that this book centers on a wealthy Afghani boy and his servant’s son, it took me by surprise but I ended up loving this book. This is a beautiful, compelling book on friendship and redemption. This will definitely remain as my all-time favorite.

 

Landline

Again, I got this from Goodreads recommendation and read this last November. I didn’t even know anything about Rainbow Rowell when I downloaded this book (it was way before I got bitten by a bookworm bug), but once I started reading, Neal, Georgie’s husband, stole my heart and I found myself rooting for them to save their crumbling marriage. This is a great book and I absolutely adored the dramatic moments at the end of the book. Highly recommend it.

 

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Awww… just thinking about this book makes my heart ache. I don’t know what it is, but this book, particularly the writing just captivated me. I never thought I’d enjoy an apocalyptic novel, but I ended up loving this book.
I no longer remember why I got this book, may be from reading Goodreads synopsis?? and I read this in April this year.

 

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
I first read this book in summer of 2013 or 2014?? Probably in 2013 because it was the time when I was reading kids’ books or middle-grade books like crazy. I remember downloading this book from Goodreads recommendation. This goes to show to what extent Goodreads affects me when choosing books…

 

I tag…

Jay@This-Is-My-Truth-Now
Nel@Reactionary Tales
Steph@Lost Purple Quill
Tina@Reading Between the Pages

If you have already done the tag, feel free to skip it, please do not feel obliged to do it again!
Any of you who wants to do this tag is certainly welcome – consider yourself tagged and jump right in!

 

That’s it, my friends. This concludes my How I Choose My Books Tag! Hope you enjoyed that!

Thank you so much for reading as always, see you in my next post!

Noriko

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June Wrap-Up

We are now officially halfway through the year.
Here in Japan and at least where I’m living in, there’s a rapid rise in temperature and combined with super high humidity (brace yourself, everyone – it’s over 80%, it was close to 100% yesterday), I am almost DEAD. I cannot stand this weather… even though this is my birth month, I. JUST. CANNOT.

Enough of my rambling (grumble), I’d love to take a moment and reflect on how well (bad) I did in the month of June.

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Reading

I read 9 books in June. Although I finished ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ on June 1st, I did much of the reading at the end of May, I decided not to include it in my June reading.

 

I finished 8 books PLUS a non-fiction book which I’ll refrain from talking much about (I’m asked to write a review for a magazine), all told, I read 9 books last month.
Although some of them are on the short side, 9 books including one non-fiction book which I wouldn’t normally go to, seems like quite an achievement.

I enjoyed most of the books that I read in June, it was a great reading month 🙂

icons  Favorite:

I’m still fluctuating between The Keeper of Lost Things and The Nightwalker, but I think I’ll pick The Nightwalker. This mind-bending, creepy psychological thriller really took me by surprise.
Although I do looove heart-warming, beautiful stories, I basically favor books that have creepy, spine-chilling vibes and moments, so… there’s that.

icons  Disappointment:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I cannot articulate what it was about this book that disappointed me, but I just didn’t love this book. I do see the value in it and appreciate the subject matter dealt in the book, but it didn’t crick with me as much as I had hoped.

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Blog Stats

Now, this is what surprised me the most. As you can see below, the views and the number of visitors have nearly doubled since May.  Since April, the numbers have quadrupled.  Seriously??!! What in the world is going on?!

stats

Even more surprising is the number of likes/comments:

stas 2

I still cannot wrap my head around, but I truly appreciate all your likes, comments and support. Thank you so much for being so supportive and welcoming to me!! You guys are the best!! 😀 ❤

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Awards:

It’s surprising to see how many awards I was nominated for last month.
Until last month (or at the end of May), I hadn’t even know there was such a thing like awards in this blog community nor had I ever imagined I would be nominated for them.

Once again, thank you so much for the nomination and my sincere thanks goes to all of you who have liked, commented on my posts and even followed my blog.
It means the world to me 🙂

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Tags:

I didn’t use to do tags (again, I didn’t even know… lol), but I now realized how fun it is to participate in those tags and make myself known to other bloggers/readers 🙂

My answers used to be pretty short in the tags that I did early last month, but I tried to give more detailed (in most cases, way too detailed??) answers as I went well into the month.
Some of my posts might have ended up way too lengthy, I’m sorry about that!

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All in all, June turned out to be a great, fulfilling month for me and my book blog.
Thank you so, so much for sticking around. I really appreciate your support and all the love you have given me ❤

Let’s hope July will be even better for all of us!

Thank you so much for reading, I’ll see you in my next post 😀

 

Noriko

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#WeekendReads & Emojiathon Wrap-Up (Final)

Hello, everyone! Like it or not, June is almost over – this is June 30th (in Japan) and it’s time for doing my Emojiathon wrap-up and sharing a book that I’ll be reading over this weekend.

Let’s start off with my Emojiathon wrap-up. I set out 7 challenges for this Readathon, you can check out my challenges here.

Out of those 7 challenges, I completed 6 challenges as follows:

HeartRead a romance or contemporary
My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon : Complete!  (for my thoughts: here)

smile  Read a book you bought because of its cover 
The Keeper of Lost Things : Complete! (For my thoughts: here)

freebie Freebie! Read any book
Paige’s Turn by Jennifer Peel : Complete! (For my thoughts: here)

horror  Read a thriller or horror
The Nightwalker by Sebastian Fitzek : Complete! (For my thoughts: here)

eyes  Read a book you’ve been seeing everywhere
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood : Complete! (For my thoughts: here)

baby  Read a 2016/2017 release
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sadhya Menon : Complete! (For my thoughts: here)

 

The only challenge I failed to complete was ‘To read a book about a current event.’
I picked up The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for this, but I’m only halfway through the book and it’s apparent that I cannot complete it by the end of today. So, there you have it – 6 out of 7 challenges. I still count it as a victory 🙂

Which leads me to my weekend reads. I’ll definitely continue reading ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas.

The Hate U Give

Seriously, I cannot figure out why it took me so long to pick this up – I got this book at the beginning of March, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it.  All the hype and this book being a YA must have put me off a little bit.

But why, how strong this book is – I do find some parts/scenes are slightly  redundant and monotonous, yet there are incredibly gripping scenes that evoke my feelings … I even had some scenes where I felt my blood boiling. Again, I’m only halfway through the book, but I’m convinced this book will topple my world and perspectives upside-down and I cannot wait to find out what big an effect this book will have on me.

I’m so glad that I participated in this Emojiathon. I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up otherwise.

 

So, that’s it! This concludes my Emojiathon wrap-up and weekly updates in the month of June.
How about you? What are the books you’re currently reading or planning to read?
Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you in my next post!
Hope you have a fabulous weekend 🙂

Noriko

 

Note: I’ve decided to change my Handle name for WordPress from ‘Norin’ to ‘Noriko,’ which is my name. Don’t be a stranger! It’s me! lol

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The Entertainer Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated for this award by two amazing bloggers, Jay@ThisIsMyTruthNow and Stephanie@Stephanie’s Novel Fiction and the nomination came out of left field. You two will never imagine how taken aback I was and I’m really blessed to receive such recognition – thank you guys once again for even thinking of me 🙂
Both bloggers have simply amazing ENTERTAINING blogs, please go check them out!

The Rules
  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Add these rules to your post.
  • Answer all the questions below.
  • Display the award picture in your post.
  • Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most important of all, ENTERTAINING!

 

WHY DID YOU START A BLOG IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Writing something in English has always been a delight for me since my time in junior college and this is probably one of the things that I’m still passionate about.
Although I was content with the solitary act of writing (and keeping it to myself) at first, but I began to think I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings with others as time went by; I began to look for an outlet where I can express myself, my feelings with my own words and share them with people all over the world.
I started blogging a few years ago, but simple blogging never worked out for me; being a person of absolutely no creativity whatsoever, I ran out of topics to blog about shortly and stopped blogging altogether and put it on the back burner for the next couple of years.
It was last summer that I started blogging again here at WordPress; I figured blogging about books could work and voila,  I’m still blogging. It definitely worked and I’m so hapy about that.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?

Tough question! I generally love (or try to love) all the books that I read in an equal measure and it’s extremely hard to narrow the choice down to only one…
But I would say it’s a toss-up between The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. They are both simply haunting, beautiful books and I’m sure they both will stick with me for a long time.

 

WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE THE MOST?

I don’t know if it’s because of me being Japanese but I don’t want any form of confrontation in my life; I don’t relish the idea of having to confront others and I’d clam up and let it pass over my head if things would go smoothly if I chose to do so.
Having constructive, forward-looking discussions is totally a different story; I do appreciate having such productive dialogues with others and I think it’s very important to have open discussions to better understand others as well as to get yourself known. But just yelling and lashing out at others for no good reason or just for an outlet of one’s pent-up stress and frustration? NO THANK YOU.  I don’t want any additional stress in my life.
I also don’t appreciate labeling / categorizing others, like assuming what kind of person he/she is (mostly in a negative light) based on wrong assumptions and sticking to it. People do change and evolve. Taking others for granted or looking down on them on misguided preconceptions is the last thing I’d want to do unto others. I think it is always important to keep your eyes and mind open and try to look at others in a positive light.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD AT THE MALL?

Another tough question… Living in the middle of nowhere in Japan, there aren’t many shopping malls around here. But if food courts at department stores counts, I would definitely go for french fries. I cannot get enough of them. Or, doughnuts and coffee. That’s a perfect combo for me 🙂

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PAST TIME?

Reading and daydreaming. I could do them like forever…

MY NOMINEES:
  1. JessicaMarie493
  2. Beast Books
  3. TheCleverReader
  4. Beth(Reading Every Night)
  5. MyPaperInfinity
  6. The Mystique Reader
  7. Lisa’s Everyday Life
  8. ReadHeadedBookLover
  9. Book Mojo
  10. JenAcideByBibliophile
  11. Abinotronix
  12. Kristine Kraves Books

 

I apologize if you have been tagged already or I tagged you way too many times lol

Thank you so much once again and I’ll see you again soon!

#WeekendReads & Emojiathon Weekly Wrap-Up #2

Half of the month has already passed; I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but how fast time flies! 

Every Friday, under this hashtag I keep you updated on my weekly reading progress and share with you the books that I’ll be reading over the weekend.

Without further ado, let’s start with my Emojiathon weekly wrap-up.
Since last update, I read:

I got to tick off 3 books on my Emojiathon TBR this week and with two weeks left, I have another 3 to go. It’s been coming along pretty nicely and I’m kind of proud of myself.

This week’s highlight is definitely The Nightwalker, a disorienting yet engaging psychological thriller. The creepy vibe kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I really enjoyed this. This one takes the cake.  You can read my thoughts on this book here.

Paige’s Turn was a cute quick read which I think will make a perfect summer read. There’s nothing special that makes this book stand out, the plot and the romance between the two main characters are pretty predictable but it is just so darn cute. If you’re a sucker for romance books or love stories (like me), this is for you.

Out of the three books that I finished this week, My Sweet Revenge ended up the least impressive. I did enjoy reading it, but it pales in comparison with the other two books.
You can read my thoughts on this one here.

 

As for my weekend reads, I’ll be most likely to keep working on the non-fiction book that I got from the editor for a review.
It’s been 5 days since I started reading this book but I haven’t made much progress with this one. I’ve just started the second chapter and I’m literally reading this at a snail’s pace. Reading 20 pages a day feels like such an achievement for me. It’s really dense and the diction employed in this book is super sophisticated; it’s far cry from the books I’d normally pick up.

Slogging on

Since this book is jam-packed with various kinds of information and my memory retention is getting weaker by the minute, I started to take notes and scribble my thoughts in a word document as I read along.  It is time-consuming, but I figured it would be better if I did this so as not to leave anything out. I don’t know if it’ll work, but I’m enjoying the process so far.

That being said, as I mentioned in my last update, non-fiction is basically not my cup of tea; I think I’ll go nuts if I keep focusing on this book the entire weekend, so I think I’ll pick up The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan.

The keeper of lost things

This wasn’t on my Emojiathon TBR, but when I picked up Luck, Love & Lemon Pie (Amy E. Reichert) for my next challenge, which is to read a book I bought because of its cover, I was a bit put off by the synopsis.  I don’t gamble nor do I know anything about poker, so I wasn’t sure if I’d get attached to the story and I decided to swap it for The Keeper of Lost Things. This is my TBR so I can bend the rules, can’t I? 😛

Anyways, this will be my fifth challenge on my Emojiathon and hopefully I get to complete this during this weekend!

 

What are you going to read during this weekend?
If you are participating in the Emojiathon, how are your challenges coming along?
Let me know in the comments and I’ll talk to you again soon 🙂

Happy reading!

The Nightwalker by Sebastian Fitzek

The nightwalker

The Nightwalker: A Novel

 

Leon Nader suffered from severe insomnia as a child.

His night-walking even caused him to be violent.

After extensive therapy he was cured.
Or was he?

Now as an adult, Leon wakes one morning to find his wife Natalie hastily packing a suitcase. Severely bruised and evidently scared of him, Natalie runs out of the door and disappears.

Confused about what’s happened, Leon begins to wonder if his night-walking has started again. Fitting a motion-activated camera to his forehead to record what he does when he sleeps, Leon makes a shocking discovery. There’s a hidden door in his apartment which he never knew about. As he descends into a nightmare somewhere between sleeping and waking, Leon discovers that there’s a fine line between reality and dreaming – but sometimes waking up isn’t an option…


This is the most mind-bending book I have read all year; I still can’t completely wrap my head around what I’ve just read. This is such a disorienting, trippy read – far more trippier than I had expected.

When I started this book, I was expecting a story describing a young man once suffered from insomnia resumes his nocturnal excursion and commits a litany of brutal, abusive conducts.
How far off I was – the plot is by no means as simple as that – it is more of Leon’s unsettling exploration of his sleepwalking self. It is much more complex, strange and absolutely mind-bending. I felt like I was groping for something to latch on in pitch darkness.  The deeper I went into the book, the more discombobulated I was.

The writing is solid, strong and extremely descriptive. The goriness and brutality displayed in torture scenes are so graphic and raw, it was painful at times thus I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who can’t tolerate such writing styles – this book is definitely not for the faint of heart.
The unreliable narration has a stunning effect on building up the tension and anticipation. It beautifully amplifies the uncertain, hazy feel of the book and blurs what is already a fuzzy boundary between reality and imagination even more, making you keep questioning yourself whether to believe what you’re seeing or doubt there may be more to that.

And the huge, HUGE twist that arrives in the end… my gosh, I didn’t see it coming at all!
Trust me, it is really a surprising twist that will take you by surprise. I almost felt it sickening though. How could they possibly go to such length????
That was the first thing that sprang to mind.

It is extremely hard to talk about this book without giving anything away; all I can say is just ‘pick it up and read to see how you feel about it.’ That’s pretty much says it all.
The eerie feels running throughout the book and the cliff hangers at the end of some chapters… this is such a page-turner, such a delight to read. Simply gorgeous. I loved it.

This is one of those books that’s best to go into completely blindly without knowing almost anything. The joy of reading will be tenfold that way, I’m convinced.

Although I ducked a half star due to a bit anticlimactic and extended epilogue which comes across an afterthought, this is undeniably an exhilarating, thrilling read that gives you creeps.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

#WeekendReads & Emojiathon Weekly Wrap-Up

This week has passed so quickly; it’s already Friday (here in Japan)!
Like I always do, let me reflect back on my reading progress that I made so far and share the books that I’m going to be reading this weekend 🙂

First, the Emojiathon. Out of 7 books on my Emojiathon TBR, I read The Handmaid’s Tale and am working on My Sweet Revenge at the moment.

(You can read my thoughts on The Handmaid’s Tale here.)

As I was reading some books which were not on my TBR and got completely wrapped up in reading them, I haven’t made much headway in my actual Emojiathon TBR which I find a bit disappointing 😦
I’m currently on page 128 in My Sweet Revenge and I hope that I get to finish this by Sunday.  A girl can dream, right?

My usual self would normally pick up another book from the TBR, but there’s one thing that makes me hold off on doing so.

I’ll come straight to the point – I got a book sent by an editor for an entertainment magazine for a review; she asked me if I’d be willing to write a book review.

Surprise, surprise, isn’t it?

I was a bit concerned if I’d be interested in the book – a biography – which is not a type of book I’d normally pick up.
I don’t know what it is about non-fiction in general that puts me off, but I just don’t get tempted to pick it up.
For that reason, when she first contacted me through my Facebook friend, I was a bit hesitant but agreed to at least take a look at the book. Jumping the gun will never be a good thing, I figured.

I received the book last night and skimmed through the first few pages.
And who’d have thought? I found myself engrossed in the book; I was literally voraciously devouring every single sentence on those pages. Then I thought:

I might be able to pull this off, I might as well give this a try.

Long story short, I sent the editor a message that I’d like to discuss the timeline and the details about the review. I haven’t got the reply yet, but I think I’ll have one soon.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not even 100% sure if I can do this; I’m not and I have never been confident in myself.  Not having done anything like this, I’m kind of scared of failing to live up to her expectations.

That said, I do believe there’s a grain of truth in the adage, ‘everything happens for a reason,’ I’ve decided to at least give this a try. Sometimes you just need to push your limits and see what lies ahead of you. And I thought this is the time for me to do exactly that. Besides, we have yet to discuss the details yet! It’s too early to brush it off, isn’t it? 😀

Anyways, I’ll see how it goes and just do the best I can.

If the reply doesn’t come by tomorrow, I’m going to pick up the Nightwalker for a thriller fix.

The Nightwalker

Contemporary novels and YA books are so much fun to read, but you just need some engrossing spine-chilling thriller for a change and I’m definitely in the mood for that.

 

That’s it for this week.
If you are participating in the Emojiathon, I’d love to know how you are getting along with your TBR. Please comment below whatever you want to say, I’d love LOVE to hear your thoughts! 🙂

Thank you for reading (as always) and I’ll talk to you guys again soon!
Have a great weekend!