Books & Reviews 📚

10 books with long titles 📚

Ciao! I hope everyone is doing good. I had a different post planned altogether as I’m behind schedule with new material, but I couldn’t resist doing this fun post after seeing areadingwritr do it this week. It’s not going to be an every Tuesday thing, but I’ll love to do a few more at some point.

The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesdays theme for the week is all about Super Long Book Titles. Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of loooonngggg book titles, but most of them are probably forgotten by now. I’m going to share 10 long titles that are on my TBR (most of them are Paris-based). 

1. Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser

Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser

Every year, I keep saying that I’ll get to this book, but I’m yet to pick it up… sadly. 

2. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared: Jonasson,  Jonas: 9781443419109: Books - Amazon.ca

Another book that’s been collecting dust on the TBR.

3. We’ll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French by Emma Beddington

We'll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French by Emma Beddington

I’m actually close to reading this memoir!

4. Eiffel’s Tower and the World’s Fair: Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes

Eiffel's Tower and the World's Fair: Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists  Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes

This is probably the longest title I own! 

5. The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino

Can’t wait to read about this iconic street!

6. The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette by Deborah Cadbury

The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis  XVI and Marie Antoinette by Deborah Cadbury

I was going to add this book to the wishlist when I realized that I already have it in my TBR!

7. Bright Lights Paris: Shop, Dine & Live…Parisian Style by Angie Niles

Bright Lights Paris: Shop, Dine & Live...Parisian Style: Niles, Angie:  9780425280706: Amazon.com: Books

Ah, Paris, the capital of everything! I look forward to probably breezing through this book soon.

8. The knowledge of the holy: The attributes of God, their meaning in the Christian life by A.W. Tozer

20332223. sx318

I can’t wait to read this book, but I have to be in a good headspace to start.

9. Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas J. McBride

Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas  J. McBride

I got this book during my law phase and although it’s cooled now, I still look forward to reading this book.

10. Learn Japanese: Discover the right approach to Japanese, forget phrases learn how to form your own sentences by Languages World

Learn Japanese: Discover the right approach to Japanese, forget phrases  learn how to form your own sentences.: World, Languages: 9781095362976:  Amazon.com: Books

This book – and several other language books – is for special hoarding purposes.

Well, that was fun! How about you? Do you have a book with a super long title to share? Let me know in the comments.

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Books & Reviews 📚

꧁ TBR Book Tag ꧂

Madame Writer always discovers the best book tags around and although I’m not as invested in books as I used to be, I couldn’t let the TBR Book Tag pass me by! Let’s do… wait, let me grab a coffee first… okay, let’s do this!

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How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I actually don’t. I used to keep a notebook, now, I read whenever the impulse to do so kicks in and when I do, I choose a book at random.

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Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

The printed format suits me better as I’ll devour it faster than an E-book!

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How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Refer to Q. 1.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest

This book:

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And this one:

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There are others that have been in my TBR even longer, but every time I look at the bookshelf, I keep wondering why I haven’t read those books as yet. The first one was a gift; the second one I bought when I was going through my lawyer phase.

Hopefully, I’ll get to them sooner rather than later.

A book recently added to your TBR

Alex is some kind of wonderful, intelligent mathematical sciencey genius who makes cooking look easy. I used to watch his YouTube channel (Alex French Guy Cooking), so when I saw his book, I had to get it.

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I love how he experiments with food and cooking methods. I love it when he goes in-depth into a technique as he demystifies (or complicate) cooking. He made me appreciate food chemistry. The best part of his cooking journey? He was self-taught. 😄

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover

Beautiful? What even is that?

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Okay, you caught me. I bought like 4 books because of their pretty shiny covers, but to keep them strictly in my TBR? A no-no. I already read them and passed them on to new owners. 

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

I’ve gotten rid of a lot of books I don’t ever plan on reading recently, so I guess it’s safe to say that I plan to read what’s left of my TBR.

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An Unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for

I am not excited about books anymore for they end up being disappointments as authors are forgetting how to author and expectations end up shattering like a favorite tea or coffee cup.

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However, I’ll like to get my hands on a copy of Antoine Griezmann’s freshly printed manga Goal

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A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you

A few years ago, I got this really awesome book “The Greater Journey: Americans In Paris” on sale at my favorite bookstore. One year later after the purchase, it starts trending everywhere even on Twitter! And I was like, “I’ve got that book and I’ll read it soon!” It still sits on my bookshelf to this day sadly wasting away.

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A book on your TBR everyone recommends to you

I don’t recommend books anymore – unless it’s the Bible – so I don’t take recommendations from anyone for every time someone recommends a book to me, I end up disliking it greatly… I don’t know why. However, there is one book that people kept recommending to me because I used to read voraciously and that is “Evening Class” by Maeve Binchy. I have no idea what it’s about for I want it to be a surprise read.

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A book on your TBR you’re dying to read

Did Lestat ask this question? The brat!

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How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

I don’t do Goodreads. I live my TBR life through the bookshelf in my room and I refuse to count how many books left to read – over 300 I guess – but I’ll inform you when I get to 20.

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If you’re up to do this challenge, feel free to and don’t forget to check out Madame Writer’s entry here:

The TBR Book Tag

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Devotion 💙

The Law of the Lord is perfect

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The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.

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They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is a great reward.

Psalm 19:7-11

This ancient poem was written by King David, a man after God’s heart. Here, David reflects on why the law is perfect and what it does for our soul if we obediently keep the law. 

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Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

200 Question Challenge: 7-24

7. What job would you be terrible at?

Jobs that require public speaking. I’m more of a background person. I’ll toss salesperson in there for I don’t think I can approach random people and ask them to buy stuff.

8. When was the last time you climbed a tree?

I was about 14…

Image result for lucas and marcus hanging in a tree

9. What is the most annoying habit that other people have?

To be honest, I dislike it when people complain about every single thing in their life when there are others suffering worse than them.

10. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

Paralegal. I love doing research and preparing documents. The best thing? I’ll be around the law. 

Image result for gif i want the truth

11. What skill would you like to master?

Fluent French and archery. 

12. What songs have you completely memorized?

Too many to count, but I’ll say a few of Michael W. Smith’s songs, Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’, Depeche Mode’s ‘Peace’ and Brian Littrell’s ‘The Answer Is You’. 

13. Are you usually early or late?

I am the most punctual person you’ll ever meet. 

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14. What takes up too much of your time?

At the moment, it’s nothing, really. I have some downtime at work and I use it wisely… or at least try to. 

15. What do you wish you knew more about?

I don’t believe in wishes, but I wish I knew more about world history and how to speak tons of foreign languages so I can tell more people about God and how much He loves and cares for them. 

Image result for gif God loves you

16. What’s the nicest thing someone has ever said to you?

Someone recently told me that they like how I’m following in Christ’s footsteps. 💙

17. Where did your name come from?

*Shrugs* My parents liked the name Diana and hence they named me Diana. Thank God I was not named for the likes of Diana Ross or Princess Diana. 

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18. How do you want to be remembered in life?

As a representative of God.

19. What’s the one thing you cannot live without?

God’s Word. I thirst and hunger after it every day.

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20. What do you want your last words to be?

I lived, I loved, I laughed, now, I sleep.

21. What is something that offends you?

When people can’t keep what you told them in confidential to themselves. They just have to go and spread the love to others.

22. What is something you are certain you’ll never experience?

Hmm… I tend to never say never and I tend not to dwell on things… but, maybe attending a concert or parties for I dislike crowds.

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23. Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?

If I don’t understand something, I ask enough questions even if I asked it twice already.

24. Write a letter to your 5-year-old self.

Life is going to have its ups and downs; bumps, twists, and turns. You’re going to go through some tough trials and a period of self-doubt, but once you lean on and trust God, everything is going to be all right. 

Image result for gif trust God

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Coffee Tuesday! ☕, Ray & Marcus da Díxon 💙

Teaser Tuesday: book cover creations!

I know I could’ve done better with that headline! 😒

Happy May Day!

Image result for gif hello everyone

I’ve been experiencing a writing slump since the beginning of the year and I’ve been writing on and off whenever I feel the need to/inspired. However, I am at my happiest whenever I write material of a spiritual matter and that’s why I love pouring my heart and time into Bible studies. 

Today, I want to share a few of the covers, backgrounds, and designs I’ve worked on in the last few months. Whenever I start a new story, the gears start turning in my head immediately and I turn to the designing process which is meant to inspire me, but they don’t always do the trick. 

Image result for gif book design

I get most of my images from Pixabay or Unsplash. I sometimes combine Fotor and Canva where it concerns the fonts. What I love about Canva is the fact that even if there’s a design to purchase, you can remove their design, add yours and still download it for free. How. Cool. Is. That?

Bear in mind, that these are just for fun for I am no expert when it comes to designing covers although I think I’ve improved over the last few years.

The Barcelona Job

This was one of my favorite covers to create! Yes, the picture is simple, but it all boils down to the fonts. I was eager to start this story at the beginning of the 2017/18 football season to chart FC Barcelona’s progress in a fictional world, but sadly, I won’t be finishing this story. I didn’t put enough time and effort into this one and I don’t feel like watching highlights for some matches just to make it work. I’ve written 5-7 chapters and I’ve stopped there. Maybe I’ll share it one day. Maybe I won’t.

Brothers In Law

The law won’t quit me! I tried running away from it, but time after time, I just find myself reading books on law whether they’re fictional or not, so I decided to write my own story. It’s a Law Comedy of sorts, but I have to devote time to actually writing it chapter by chapter and not in the pieces that I’ve compiled.

100 Text Messages

Just a fun graphic for a story that I’m working on for my family and friends. I’m telling the story through, you guessed it, text messages! Sadly, I’m only on message #3. 😞

House of da Díxon

Writing started for me when I gave birth to a pair of French identical mirror twins by the name of Ray and Marcus da Díxon and it’s been non-stop adventures and action ever since! The thing is, I have a tendency to reuse them in almost all of my stories and it never gets boring. I just reinvent them… I’ll explain another time. This story is told using all forms of social media including YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. 

I get to make graphics like this…

…and I get to make magazine graphics somewhat. 

Crazy Rich French Twins

Do I have a story about how the title for this one was conceived! I was sourcing through Amazon (nothing new here) for titles I can probably use for short stories when I came across some book called ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. I’ve never heard of the book before, but I read the blurb, liked it, sadly didn’t order it – although I hear there’s a movie coming out in the summer be it God’s willing – and chose the title for a series in which I parody wealth – or maybe not for I actually want to show that wealthy characters are not boring as via my awesome French twins! So, this is going to be a blast to write. 

Thank you for reading/viewing! On another note, I just have to ask, do you think my new Teaser Tuesday banner is over the top? I know I’ve sprinkled a lot of hearts on it, but what about the butterfly or coming soon sign?

Books & Reviews 📚

Book Haul part un

I’ve never done a book haul for the blog before so I am excited to do this. My TBR list is only growing, but I am determined to read many of them this year God’s willing. I try not to buy books every month, but the struggle is real whenever I see a book that I want.

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I also have many books in PDF, but nothing beats holding a physical book in your hands and flipping the pages. Okay, let’s get into it and please ignore the quality of the photos; I’ve had better days.

Girl Online On Tour by Zoe Sugg

I’ll be doing a YouTuber reading challenge sometime this year if time permits me. Zoe Sugg is a YouTuber who also vlogs beauty and fashion. This is #2 in the Girl Online series although I’m yet to read Girl Online. What happened is that when I visited the bookstore that day, I had a dentist appointment and I was in a hurry to get out of town afterward, so I saw the words ‘Girl Online’ and just picked the book up without thinking twice.

Superman

This was a random buy. 🙂

French Kiss and French Twist by James Patterson

I dislike James Patterson’s Book Shots, but when I read that the new detective is French, I couldn’t pass this one up. I’m ready to get my Luc Moncrief on.

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson

I’ve never read the Treasure Hunters series, but this book looks interesting. Also, it’s rated for kids 8-12 years, but it looks like a really great adventure. 

Almost Home by Ted N.C. Wilson

My sister bought this book for me. It’s basically a collection of sermons of how we as Christians expecting Christ’s return should be living. I can’t wait to get into this.

Crossing the Line by Frédérique Molay

This author is known as the “French Michael Connelly” and I hope she lives up to the name. I am eager to read about the Parisian justice system as well.

The Two-Witness Rule by William Eleazer

Set in Savannah Georgia, a defense attorney is accused of paying witnesses to commit perjury in a criminal trial. I love legal fiction, so I hope this book hits the spot. 

Almost French by Sarah Turnbull

I love reading about people’s experiences with the French culture whether good or bad and I can’t wait to read Sarah’s account.

Yu-Gi-Oh! by Kazuki Takahashi

I’ve had this book for a while now and it’s been on my TBR list ever since I got it, but I see it more like a collectible. 

Courtroom 302 by Steve Bogira

For the love of all things law!

Ordinary Justice: How America Holds Court by Amy Bach

Another American law book.

The Franklin Scandal by Nick Bryant

This book is an account of child-trafficking and pedophilia ring in the United States and how the government covers up corruption. I recall the Omaha Franklin Federal Credit Union scandal in 1988 and I had to get this book.

The Gordian Knot by Bernhard Schlink

I only got this book because the south of France is featured.

Books & Reviews 📚

Book #74: To Kill a Mockingbird

Image result for To Kill a Mockingbird book

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

Author: Harper Lee
Publisher: Random House (July 11th, 1960)
Chapters: 31

Pages: 309

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Image result for Harper Lee

Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, a village that is still her home. She attended local schools and the University of Alabama. Before she started writing, she lived in New York and worked in the reservations department of an international airline. She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, two honorary degrees and various other literary and library awards. Her chief interests apart from writing are nineteenth-century literature and eighteenth-century music, watching politicians and cats, traveling and being alone.

It was a pleasure to re-read this classic after so many years! I am not willing to read Go Set a Watchman soon because Jem was killed off. I loved him. He was going to grow up to be like Atticus. 😦

Anyway, the story was funny, warm, endearing, poignant. The characters were real and relatable. I think the author installed a piece of her personality and her life in the majority, if not all, her characters: Scout’s identity crisis. Boo Radley’s reclusiveness. Atticus was the author’s father. Truman Capote was Dill. Capote and Lee were actually best friends in reality.

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Photo via The New York Times

The story was narrated by Jean-Louise Finch aka Scout growing up 1930s Maycomb, Alabama. She was a bit of a tomboy and it didn’t help that older brother Jem teased her sometimes about not acting like a girl (In real life, Lee was a tomboy). And she held her own in a fight too! As for Mr. Atticus Finch, he was a pretty good lawyer and overall, my favorite character (I just love lawyers!). As a father, he was patient, understanding and kind and spoke to his children as fellow adults. They called him “Atticus” and he was their world especially Scout’s. Another character I loved was Calpurnia, the maid who had a hand in the children’s upbringing. She was strict with Scout.

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” 

The Mockingbird was used to symbolize innocence in this story. I don’t feel like going into a literary explanation, but the book was about the exploration of moral nature of human beings and the importance of having an education; a moral one at that.

I give this book 5 steaming cups of coffee, not because it is a beloved classic of mine, but it was well written and the author handled the issue of racism well and I love how I was able to visualize every single character. Each one had their own problem to deal with and I guess it read like a classic tragedy. The story depicted the innocence of childhood, prejudice, and racism. Still awed by this story after so many years and I bet I’ll be awed again if/when I pick it up again five years later down the road.

QUOTABLES:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” 

And this is why we should not judge others.

“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” 

 “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.” 

Yes, and what does the Bible say about pride?

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.” 

“You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.” 

VERDICT:

5

NEXT UP:

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Don’t Bring Home a White Boy by Karyn Langhorne

Books & Reviews 📚, Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

#WritersLifeIGJune Days 24-30

It’s time to put this challenge to bed.

Day 24: TBR List

I love law/courtroom books and as a verified Francophile, I also tend to buy books about the French. ❤

Day 25: Childhood Books

I love Charlotte’s Web, The Three Musketeers is a part of my heart, I still have that Aladdin book, I had a crush on the Hardys, I wanted to be Nancy and I enjoyed my adventure out at sea. I loved adventure and mystery when I was a child and I still do. 🙂

Day 26: Favorite Book Titles

I love book titles even if the book does not live up to its expectations. Lately, I am in an Egyptian mood and these books by Michelle Moran are on my reading list. I have Nefertiti, but I loan it to a good friend of mine. I’ll be acquiring the next two shortly.

Day 27: Title Chapters or No

Rought draft. 😛

It depends on if the story calls for it and my current story SWAPPED called for it. 🙂

Day 28: Nonfiction vs Fiction

I love having the best of both worlds… except for memoirs.

Day 29: Why You Write?

Day 30: Writing Accomplishments

Thank you wonderful readers for coming on this journey with me this month. ❤

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365 Days of Writing, Espresso Shots ☕

February 18th: Far from normal

Green Wooden Board With Heart Hole

Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.

^ I don’t do selfies.

^ I can bend my ankles right back until they touch the floor… in heels. I’ve had people tell me that it was cool and I’ve also had people tell me that it scares them because I can break my ankles.

fashion, feet, girl

^ I’m in love with the law! I know I’ll never be a lawyer and I could never see myself representing a dishonest client, but I am in love with anything law and I make it my business to read up on courtroom drama and watch TV shows relating to law. My favorite law movie is The Firm. The book was also quite enjoyable.

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^ Blue is my favorite color… although I mostly wear black.

^ I hold no grudges.

^ My name is Diana and I hate it when people call me Princess Diana.

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