The Goodreads Challenge | 2021 Goals!

Hello!

When I started my journey of reading ‘20 books in 2020′ I had no idea how much fun I would have but also creating the review pieces on here! As you might already know, I don’t do what my fellow bloggers who do these types of reviews – I like to be creative with my wording and try my hardest to make you understand my issues and loves with every story each month. I’m not your average person, why would I be an average book blogger too?

One of the things I did at the start of 2020 was give you a little peek at what kind of books I would be reading–and at the time of that post, I hadn’t been introduced to Prime Reading nor Kindle Unlimited yet so all of the books listed on there were ones that I bought myself and actually stayed on that same course for a good three to four months before getting into Prime Reading and then it was like, all bets were off! Once I discovered PR and KU, it was like an endless sea of books at my disposal and it became a little hard to breathe because I could constantly search for new treasures, which was the reason why I was never able to read the classics like I wrote about in that post. I’d still give Little Women by Louisa May Alcott a second chance but as for the others, I just don’t really know at this time.

Here are some of the books I have on my list to possibly read in 2021.

  • A Touch Of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair | the review will be up next Wednesday!
  • A Game Of Fate by Scarlett St. Clair
  • Still Me by JoJo Moyes
  • Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  • Elizabeth Woodville: Mother Of The Princes in the Tower by David Baldwin
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Finding Love At The Christmas Market by Jo Thomas
  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning
  • High On Arrival by Mackenzie Phillips
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
  • Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

Of course, if you read my previous post I had both Glass Sword and Wicked Beat on that list too, so even though I have this giant list already together, I may not even get to it but I hope I can finally make some time for them because they’ve been on my list for a long time. I desperately want to finish more books this year. There were two things that happened in 2020 that I have to say, irritated me but made me feel so proud at the same time. I was able to complete my first ever book series with Jenny Han’s “To All Of The Boys I’ve Loved Before” going into autumn and last bit of the year. I felt so accomplished by doing this, especially still having vivid memories of just hating books and reading as a whole.

There are just two series where I am itching my way to finishing it and I am very excited about this. It is pretty daunting task, especially with Still Me and Wicked Beat, since they are the last in both of their series’. After doing this, I would like to finally get all of the books and store them along with my Jenny Han books too. I love having them close and on display because I feel like they bring out positive energy for me that I will need for the days, weeks, when I don’t feel like doing anything, especially read a book.

Another goal I would like to do is read more romance. Now, at the time I made this goal, I hadn’t found the Hades x Persephone series, so although they are very erotic, I just want more stories that were featured in The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham. The romance aspect wasn’t the biggest part of the main character’s life, I did end up enjoying it anyways and I definitely want more stories like that. So, if you or anybody out there who may have some ideas for me to go, please let me know!

What are some of your goals you want to accomplish in 2021? How many books do you want to read this year? What is your favorite book series too?

Book Review: “The Broken Circle” by Enjeela Ahmadi-Miller

Hello!

I am known to scroll through Amazon’s Prime Reading catalog for a good hour and a half, just seeing what’s available and basically take inventory of what I could be interested in after I finish my current book. Everytime I do this, I would always see this book listed in the memoirs section, but I would talk myself out of it because I knew it would pull at my heart strings but one day I told myself to get it because I wasn’t doing very well with the other book.

For some biographies and memoirs, I don’t like to read the synopsis given to you beforehand. I think the description can play with your mind and although I just skimmed at what the book was about, the title alone told me what to expect and you can’t blame me especially when the tagline says “a memoir of escaping Afghanistan”. I didn’t have to know anything too critical to understand that this would be a rough one but I got it anyways!


42945699._SY475_An emotional and sweeping memoir of love and survival—and of a committed and desperate family uprooted and divided by the violent, changing landscape of Afghanistan in the early 1980s.

Before the Soviet invasion of 1980, Enjeela Ahmadi remembers her home—Kabul, Afghanistan—as peaceful, prosperous, and filled with people from all walks of life. But after her mother, unsettled by growing political unrest, leaves for medical treatment in India, the civil war intensifies, changing young Enjeela’s life forever. Amid the rumble of invading Soviet tanks, Enjeela and her family are thrust into chaos and fear when it becomes clear that her mother will not be coming home.

Thus begins an epic, reckless, and terrifying five-year journey of escape for Enjeela, her siblings, and their father to reconnect with her mother. In navigating the dangers ahead of them, and in looking back at the wilderness of her homeland, Enjeela discovers the spiritual and physical strength to find hope in the most desperate of circumstances.

A heart-stopping memoir of a girl shaken by the brutalities of war and empowered by the will to survive, The Broken Circle brilliantly illustrates that family is not defined by the borders of a country but by the bonds of the heart.

taken from Goodreads.

I want to point out that, Enjeela’s story starts in the late 1970’s and into the early 80’s, so I wasn’t alive during this time. I kind of remember watching various documentaries that were filmed at this time so I remember hearing things about the war going on in Afghanistan but I didn’t know who it was with until everything was mentioned in this story; I thought it was an interesting way to understand the early conflicts there.

At the beginning of the book, it was nice to learn about the beauty of Enjeela’s home in Kabul. The lush earth and ways of modernizes going on in the community. This was another part of history I did know about too. I saw on Twitter years ago of two women in Pakistan wearing skirts and they had their hair down and it was flowing in the wind. They looked happy to have their pictures taken, but the next photograph was of a group of women covered in head to toe with black burkas. I thought it was very sad to see how big of a shift had happened throughout recent history.

As much as I enjoyed learning about her early memories of her elder sister getting married and how their house was furnished in both American and Italian styles of the day. We quickly make our way to some of the new changes of her beloved country. It was somewhat slow of a build up, but once her mother and sisters left, everything really takes things into another tempo. One moment we are told how Enjeela and crumbling family have moved into a smaller house to meeting Masood and officially making their way out of her beloved, but war-torn country.

I thought of a documentary I watched on PBS last year called “For Sama” and it was a documented account of a Syrian journalist living with her husband who was running an open hospital while they were getting bombed from every angle and their baby girl Sama was born in the mix. I saw the humanity side of this war going on, and although it was small it was as frightening to watch, but I knew it was 10x worse for those who lived in it every day and night for a long period of time. To read about a six year old having to walk with her siblings without their parents and on top of that, with a strange man who you would automatically think of the worst possible outcome for all of them. In a span of six months they lived in little villages and were treated like a loved one with everyone they came across, but on the other side of that, those same people were burying their loved ones because they were being killed fighting for their right to live there in their homes.

Everything about it was heartbreaking but they never seem to give up on not just themselves, but the promise her whole family being together again soon. It was a beautiful story, I just wish we were given more information about what happened to the rest of her family at the end. It is my only bad note about the story itself, yes, she told us about what happened to her later on in life but we weren’t given anything about her siblings. They were as present in the book as she was, but we never get told anything more about them.

Have you read this book yet? Are you a fan of memoirs? Do you, by any chance, have a favorite one you’ve read either this year or in the past? Let me know below!

snowflake

The Goodreads Challenge |Top 20 Books For 2020!

Howdy!

If you are a lover of Goodreads, you probably vote for your favorites of the year in December and when January comes along you make up an estimate of how many books you would like to read that year. I don’t participate in the yearly votes but I do try to create the reading challenge at the beginning of the year; now I usually pick a very low number because I have never had a large selection of books that I actually wanted to read during the course of the year. This year, I feel a change taking place within me. I want to read more, I really do. So, that’s why I am taking the plunge and updating my original goal of 5 books to 20!

I have to say before we continue on with this post, I was inspired to write this after spending a couple of days on Twitter checking out other blogs. Anna from The Bursting Bookshelf does the weekly Top Ten Tuesday challenge and she shared the newest prompt of the week which was “Top Ten Books Added To Your Bookshelf” or something like that. I thought this could be an awesome way to share the rest of the books I bought with that Amazon card in December. So, after reading this post, please go take a look at her blog too!

So, as of right now I have only completed one book and I think this looks promising! I haven’t figured out all of the books I’ll be reading this year, but I can give you the top 15 books for now and maybe I will update you later! I tend to check out the free books a lot during the week so it could grow into a bigger list in the next couple of months, but we’ll see what happens!

  1.  After You by JoJo Moyes | click here to read my review now!
  2.  Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott* | the book review will be up on Friday!
  3.  Ride Me Dirty by Vanessa Vale
  4. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han* | I am back on the Lara Jean/Peter love train!
  5.  Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning
  6. Wonder by R.J. Palacio*
  7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  8. Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  9. The Husband Hunters by Anne de Courcy
  10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  11. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen*
  12. Head Over High Heels by Lila Monroe
  13. Down The Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
  14. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn*
  15. A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

As you can see, I have a lot of books that I can read in 2020 already! The books with the [*] at the end mean I want to watch the film after finishing it.

I have already completed After You, the second in the Me Before You series. The next five books listed are almost finished, everybody is over 50% of the way done so I’m hoping to get through before I get to Wonder. I would also like to mention that all but one is on my Kindle. I have the physical copy of the second book in the Jenny Han series stuffed into my bookshelf for when I am ready for it!

I don’t know what made me purchase Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice and Little Woman. I feel like it was a mixture of curiosity and wanting to explore the classics a little bit too. There are a couple of other books on this list that were bought by my mom a few years ago, and I’m glad I can read them now! She read both Down The Rabbit Hole and Gone Girl. They were the only ones that I felt were interesting to me! I’m trying to convince her to get Sally Fields memoir so we can buddy read, but so far no good!

If you want to check out on my progress throughout the year or want to see the other books I’ve read in the past, you can add me as a friend on Goodreads! Click the “G” symbol on the sidebar on the right with the rest of my links.

What are you currently reading now? Are you taking part in the Goodreads 2020 challenge? If you are, how many books do you want to read this year?

snowflake

Book Review: “Inside Out” by Demi Moore

I want to say about three days after my review for “The Handmaid’s Tale” published, I finished with my second book of the season which was Demi Moore’s memoir “Inside Out”. I was pretty proud of myself but not for the reasons you might assume. My mom and I are the readers in the family, and she is fast and can focus all of her attention into the books she reads, whereas I am very easily distracted. So, the fact that I got done with it before her, made me happy as a clown!

Before we got it though, I happened to read some of the articles of when she talks about her relationship with Ashton Kruchter, but thankfully nothing I read online diverted me away or towards it, I actually wanted to read it and see what kind of life she has lead to this point.


45167624Famed American actress Demi Moore at last tells her own story in a surprisingly intimate and emotionally charged memoir.

For decades, Demi Moore has been synonymous with celebrity. From iconic film roles to high-profile relationships, Moore has never been far from the spotlight—or the headlines.

Even as Demi was becoming the highest paid actress in Hollywood, however, she was always outrunning her past, just one step ahead of the doubts and insecurities that defined her childhood. Throughout her rise to fame and during some of the most pivotal moments of her life, Demi battled addiction, body image issues, and childhood trauma that would follow her for years—all while juggling a skyrocketing career and at times negative public perception. As her success grew, Demi found herself questioning if she belonged in Hollywood, if she was a good mother, a good actress—and, always, if she was simply good enough.

As much as her story is about adversity, it is also about tremendous resilience. In this deeply candid and reflective memoir, Demi pulls back the curtain and opens up about her career and personal life—laying bare her tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages, her struggles balancing stardom with raising a family, and her journey toward open heartedness. Inside Out is a story of survival, success, and surrender—a wrenchingly honest portrayal of one woman’s at once ordinary and iconic life.

Taken from Goodreads


Personally, I have never been a really big fan of Demi’s. I’ve only seen maybe two or three movies and for a good chunk of my life, I didn’t know that she was the actress who voiced Esmeralda on The Hunchback of Notre Dame! Other than that, I just read the book because A) biographies and memoirs are one of my favorite genres and B) I was really curious to hear her story.

In the beginning, as she was describing her early life with her parents, the dysfunction of it all with their fighting and moving around, made me remember the earliest parts of my life. My parents were young when they had my sister and I, and they had a lot of fights in front of us that I think has always made me second guess anything about love and marriage. Thankfully, as the years go by, the fights die down a little and you start to see more love come out of the result of all those hardships.

Since I have never been that interested in celebrities’ private lives growing up and even now–and trust me I try not to read any of the tabloids mentioned in People magazine–but the fact that she let us into her life was in a way bittersweet. I think my favorite parts were when she was talking about her time with Bruce and living in Hailey. You can tell that she loved it, not only because she became a mother during this time but she also portrayed herself as happy, despite dealing with her issues she discusses in the book.

If you’re like me and you’re movie crazy, you will enjoy her talking about the process of doing some of her notable roles over the years. She gives you little nice details about each film, whether they were enjoyable or not. But if you are just looking for a nice biography, this is also up your alley too! She really makes you think about everything. There was one word that I thought worked well with the entire thing and that was: perspective. When you decide to read it, I think you should keep this in mind because it will help you out as you get towards the end.

Have you read Demi’s book yet? If you have, what were things you liked or maybe disliked about it? Do you have a favorite section like I did?

Finding My Next Book

So it’s been an hour or so after finishing my first book on the Kindle. I’m already searching for my second book. I’m trying to remember the list I had of all the books I’d like to read, but I’m not yet ready to read them yet. I want to find one at random and go from there. I should take advantage on getting the first chapter for free and going from there. I’m also wanted to find one that was really cheap. That means in my terms, under $10. My mom would me go from owing her $10 from the first book I bought. So I’m learning for very cheap books this time around.

I am actually a picky reader, just found that out recently. I love biographies and memoirs. If I knew a person’s name and watched them or read stuff about them I’d might read their memoirs if they wrote one. I love personal stories. Stories that can seem relatable in certain ways than one. I’m not much of a romantic, chick who watches corny love movies and apparently it’s the same with books too. This is what gets me, I can watch The Vampire Diaries and certain others that have vampires in them, but I’m starting to really hate them. I don’t know if it’s because most of them are all romantic based books or what. I just don’t like to really read them. I even read Stefan’s Diaries (haven’t finished the third book) and it even bugs the crap out of me.

I’m going back to my hunt on my next book. This is going to be interesting. Because I have no idea what I’m going to choice, even though I have a pretty good idea. Wish me luck!