Books & Reviews 📚

20 Books I want to read in 2020! 📚

This should’ve been posted since last month, but today’s the 20th, so hey! In no particular order, these are the books I hope to read this year:

1. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

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For those of you that read this blog, no explanation is needed. This was my first literature book and the book that made a Francophile out of me. I’m not sure if I’ll get to this book before 2020, but the year’s still young and I’m curious to see if I still like the book… although I don’t think it’ll be a 5-star book anymore.

2. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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This book was only recommended to me 1,000 times. I might’ve exaggerated, but many bookworms have recommended it, so I put it on the list. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from EH, so this short novel should be the first. 

3. 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall

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1001? I’m certain that I haven’t read 90% of the books in there and if I did, I probably strongly disliked them. I love lists, but don’t tell me what to do before I die. However, I’m curious to see how bias this complied list is.

4. Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands

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32 writers share their observations and revelations about the world’s most romantic city. I’m naturally intrigued by anything Paris, so this collection of memoirs should hit the spot.

5. Khu: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by Jocelyn Murray

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I got this book for two things: the cover and the location. I honestly have no idea what the story is about so it’ll be a surprise read.

6. Napoleon by Andrew Roberts

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This man! In 1804, Napoleon declared himself emperor for life. He is one of history’s greatest military leaders and although he won many battles, the defeat at Waterloo probably haunted him to death. When simulations are run today, they show the French winning, so he had no right to lose. However, like Nebuchadnezzar and many other heads of state over the years, they needed to learn WHO really is in charge. 

7. Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser

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This man! I’ve been trying to read this book for so many years now, but I keep putting it off. Louis XIV is fascinating, but I am more intrigued by the way he handled his crown and put France on the map. I’m actually looking forward to reading the detailed part of this Sun King’s reign.

8. Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

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I am only familiar with a few works from this man that is said to be a genius and one of the most influential writers in American literary history. I recall “The Tell-Tale Heart” because it was one of the first short stories I had to read for a writing class and also in Spanish. Then there is “Annabel Lee” because I listened to Matthew Gray Gubler read it with such emotion. EAP sounds like an acquired taste, so I’m quite curious to see if it’s a taste that I’ll enjoy.

9. The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer

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I don’t normally chase after Christian Literature, but it’s A.W. Tozer. This book focuses on God’s character throughout and I can’t wait to get into it.

10. Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth by Naguib Mahfouz 

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I’ve had this book on my TBR for the longest while, and I am hoping that this is the year that I can finally get this Sun King off it. When I came across it, I had to remind myself that this is a novel and not a history book about the heretic King.

11. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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I have no idea as to how I’ve never read this book in my teenage years. Absolutely no idea! Inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, the protagonist Edmond Dantès appears to capture so many hearts, that I am hoping he can live up to the hype when I get into this book. 

12. How the French Invented Love by Marilyn Yalom

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When this book first came out – I think it was 2012 – I couldn’t wait to put my hands on it. Then I got it and I dumped it into the ever-growing pile of TBR and forgot all about it… until now. The French didn’t invent love, God did, but the French are so devoted to the pleasures of love, I can’t even stereotype it. Throughout centuries, the French have been exemplary when it comes to showing affection and it’s been recorded in their movies and printed in their literature, but the question is: are they truly the world’s greatest lovers? Eh, anybody can love. This book focuses on love through the eyes of French culture and literature.

13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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Here’s the thing: I tried reading this book waaaayyy back and I just couldn’t get into it so when I came across it in my TBR, the first thought was to throw it out, but I relented because I believe in second chances. I also couldn’t get into the movie because Keira Knightley does nothing for me. Neither do Jude Law, or Matthew Macfadyen or any of the actors for that matter. The book was first published in 1878 and many writers consider it to the greatest work of literature ever. 

14. A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

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I could never get into books from Caribbean authors for we tend not to see eye to eye. V.S. Naipaul fits perfectly into this category and that’s why I stayed away from reading any work of his for so long, but now, the time has come for that moment of truth, so I really hope to get around to this one before the year ends. 

15. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

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I have no idea what this book is about, I just want to read it, although I didn’t like the last book I read from this author. 

16. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

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This memoir describes Jean-Dominique Bauby’s life before and after suffering a massive stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome. The entire book was dictated, letter by letter, by the blinking of his left eye. He died two days later after the publication of his book. I look forward to actually reading this book.

17. The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

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Their story is a tragic one. This book is a look at the last royal family of Russia and I look forward to seeing how Rappaport painted these girls’ portraits.

18. Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman

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This warrior needs no introduction, but I’ve had this book on my TBR for too long and it’s time to finally get over it.

19. 1984 by George Orwell

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This book mirrors a lot of what’s happening in the world today. Written in 1949, this book is said to be a great masterpiece and reasonably “prophetic”. People are in awe of his psychic skills when in fact, God warned us about what was going to come to pass in these last days if we don’t repent in a book written way before 1984 called the Bible for it’s the living and standing Word.

20. The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia

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This epic mythological tale is regarded as the earliest surviving great work of literature and the second oldest religious text after the Pyramid Texts. I think it’s a knockoff of the Bible as do all mythologies, but hey, I gotta read it before I knock it. It’s been on my TBR like forever, so I’ll try to get to this one before the year kisses us adieu. 

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To be honest, I am not sure if I’ll even get to read all the books that I mentioned here, but I am looking to expand my reading horizons a little. Lately, I’ve been engrossed in French Literature and I could’ve easily listed 20 French books I’ll love to read before the end of 2020.

What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

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Books & Reviews 📚

Reading Classics Challenge! 📚🔖🕮

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.

Italo Calvino

I don’t intend to read a lot of material this year, just what’s on my TBR… but wait, that’s quite a lot! While I do intend to read through my TBR, I also want to read a couple of classics.

A classic is supposed to withstand the test of time and have relevance to many generations. In short, a classic is something that never goes out of style… like kindness. Throughout the years, I’ve read some classics. Some I liked, some I couldn’t get past, some I simply wanted to throw into a fire and some, well, they were overrated.

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Oh, but you are… overrated, that is, just as many classics out there!

So here we are. It all boils down to this…

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It’s going to be torture trying to read some of these classics, but…

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These are already on my TBR:

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (I read this book at a very young age too many times to count! This adventure made a Francophile out of me. Although I still like to think of this book as an utmost favorite of mine, I’m not the little girl who read for the sake of forgetting reality for a few pages anymore and my views may change.) 

Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne (Loved. Loved. LOVED! I wouldn’t watch movies or read re-tellings of this story ever, but now, I’m certain that my views wouldn’t be the same after all these years.)

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (This is going to be my second reread.)

Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson (Read a lot of RLS growing up & loved his work. I hope I still do after all these years.)

The Coral Island – R.M. Ballantyne

Mutiny of the Bounty – Sir John Barrow 

Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

Body in the Library – Agatha Christe (I honestly don’t think I’ll like Agatha’s work, but I’m willing to give her a chance.)

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

The Old Man & the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

1984 – George Orwell

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (I honestly think I’m going to dislike this book, but it’s been suggested to me only so many times.)

Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare (This book has been on my TBR way too long!)

Art of War – Sun Tzu

I’ve seen bookworms ridicule for not liking or understanding a classic. If I don’t like a classic, I am going to state so and if I can’t finish one, then I’ll put it down. I ain’t got no time to waste on books that scholars or media tell us we should love and cherish.

Read the books you want to read; not the books you think you should read.

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Books & Reviews 📚, Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Twenty Questions Book Tag📚

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And welcome back to another book tag segment! I know I just currently did one, but I’ve had this one bookmarked as well (found it via thricereadand figured that now is a good time to give it a try. You know what to do: get your bestie a coffee…

Image result for 25 Times Morgan and Reid Bromance on Criminal Minds Was the Best

…and savor the irresistible sips as you read along.

1. How many books are too many books in a book series?

I could only speak for the Alex Cross series. It’s on the 26th book and it’s still going strong. I remember trying to get into the Pretty Little Liars series before it became a thing, but I found it boring after the 3rd book or so and quit. 

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I can handle it once it’s done well. 

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3. Hardcopy or paperback?

Definitely paperback! 

4. Favorite book?

The Holy Bible. 💙

5. Your least favorite book?

Anything fantastical. I can’t handle fantasy, magic, and things of those nature.

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6. Love triangles, yes or no?

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7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

At the moment it’s Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It’s literally boring!

8. A book you’re currently reading?

I just started reading the first book of The Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson (1st To Die) and I’m not overly impressed. I’ll discuss the book at a later time.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

Well, someone recently wanted a quick and exciting read so I recommended Invisible by James Patterson. 

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10. The oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date) 

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844).

11. The newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (2018).

12. Favorite author?

God. Mortals include Alexandre Dumas, Jules Verne, and James Patterson. 

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

I prefer to buy my own books, but I sometimes borrow books from fellow bookworms if I’m interested in it.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. Too-long chapters, overwritten garbage, too slow… more like I’ll Give You Death. I tried being nice, but it didn’t work out.

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15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Definitely bookmarks!

16. A book you can always reread?

It’ll always be the Holy Bible. I’m on my 5th or so reread. 

17. Can you read while hearing music?

I don’t listen to music while reading, but if someone is blasting music (which is the norm where I live) I can definitely read through it. 

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18. One POV or multiple POV? (POV = Points of view)

I don’t mind the multiple POV once the author knows what he or she is doing. 

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Now that I don’t have the time to sit and enjoy reading, it usually takes multiple days… even weeks. However, if the book is a page-turner, I read it in one sitting. 

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20. One book you read because of the cover. 

I haven’t read it as yet, but I brought Glitter by Aprilynne Pike because I thought the cover was lovely.

*** Jack Sparrow GIFs via Google Images

Books & Reviews 📚

A mini book haul and reading update

*shrugging* You know this was coming. 

My TBR is going down, down, down! I had to celebrate that feat by buying a few books. 

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Who just got more books? This girl!

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Okay, it’s not that huge. It’s a few books I’ve accumulated and nothing to scream about.

I haven’t posted a book review in a long time. It’s not that I am tired of it, I just didn’t find the time to write it up. I’ve been reading non-stop and although I won’t do a review for all of the books, I’ll try my best to write a few. The few books I accumulated are:

The Recordsetter Book of World Records by Corey Henderson and Dan Rollman

I saw this at my favorite local bookstore on sale for only $10 and I had to get it. Looks interesting enough.

The Three Musketeers a retelling

This version is for kids, but this is the author and book that kickstarted my love for reading and all things French so I had to get it.

Look at the pretty cover and the contrast of the blues! 💙💙

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Another favorite French author I love! I read and love this book when I was a child and the time has come for revisiting this epic classic. 

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

My wonderful colleague told me that this was her favorite book when she was younger, so I bought it for the classic challenge I plan on doing early next year God’s willing. I’ll talk more about it when the time comes.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

A gift from a wonderful woman who I refer to as a second mother! 💙

This summer, reading is going down!

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Currently trying to read…

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This book is soooo boring! It’s 800+ pages and I love long books, but this book might be DNFing soon. I love reading books with India set as the backdrop, but I can’t get into this one at the moment.

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I picked this one up last month, but can’t seem to get past the first few pages. Maybe it’s Bill Clinton’s fault, but I’ll try to pick it back up before the summer kisses us goodbye. 

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I’ve been reading this book on and off the past 2 years or so for every time I pick it up, I read a few chapters, put it down and move on to the next book. I’ll try to finish it by next month God’s willing so I can finally get rid of it. 

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This short trilogy needs to be a full-length book for Luc Moncrief can give Alex Cross a run for his money! I’ll be writing a proper review soon.

Books I want to read soon

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What are you reading or looking forward to reading?

Books & Reviews 📚, Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 8: What book are you most grateful for?

I talked about these two books last month a lot so I won’t go into many details. The first book I am most grateful for is the Lord’s Word. Without this guide, I wouldn’t know how to live.

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The other book I’m grateful for is The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. This was the book that set off my love for all things France and the French and of course, novel reading.

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What book are you most grateful for?

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Day 19: Favorite book turned into a movie

A few posts back, I mentioned that if I watch the movie I won’t read the book and vice versa. Let’s see if I can list a few books.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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When I first read this book, I told my friend that it would make a good movie. Two years later, a movie came out and I enjoyed it. Octavia Spencer was splendid and Viola Davis ran away with my heart and emotions. Legend has it that I am still looking for it up to this day. 😉

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The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

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I am certain that by now, you’re tired of seeing this book pop up, but it was a huge part of my childhood! There are countless versions of this book in movie format, but the 1993 adaptation will always have my heart. 

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The Firm by John Grisham

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I love this book! It was the book that introduced me to this law thrilling author and I couldn’t put it down. Lots of twists and turns as we read about crooked attorneys and great main character development.

This was the book that started it all for Grisham and with Tom Cruise starring in the film adaptation only put the icing on the cake for the author. About the movie? Rien à dire.

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Day 17: Favorite quote from your favorite book

The Bible

I love God’s Word! Although there are many beautiful scriptures that I’ve memorized overtime, Proverbs 18:10 will always be my go-to when I need comfort/strength.

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The Three Musketeers

All for one, and one for all! I love this motto because Athos, Aramis, Porthos, and d’Artagnan stayed loyal to each other through everything.

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