Good day dear bookish friends! Welcome back to my little corner. I hope you have some tea, because it would be a bore to read this without some! Add a little cookies too; don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone!
Today, I shall be speaking with you all regarding my love for historical fiction, a wonderful genre full of interesting stories, quaint times, and dazzling characters. I will also be enlightening you, as well as myself, on the problems of the past and why loving this genre may not necessarily be for you.
And of course, to wrap it all up, I shall share some lovely reads from these bygone eras that I think would warm your little hearts.
Hey everybody!! Today I’m going to be doing the Sunshine Blogger Award for the 3rd time! Thank you so much to Charlotte @ Bewitching Books, Ravenous Reads for tagging me!!
Charlotte tagged me in December of last year, and it’s April of this year, and I know that I’m a mess, and I’m working on that. Honestly, I kind of miss doing tags, because they are so easy, kind of generic, and they’re fun ways to engage with the blogging community. I don’t know why I stopped them before.
Anyways, this is my third Sunshine Award and I’m really touched that I’ve been tagged for it 3 times! Thank you guys so much!! You can see my previous one’s here and here.
Hey ya’ll!! Welcome back to my first book review of the year (and my first one since November)! I’ve said it a few times now, but I’m going to start working on posting reviews more frequently maybe if I say it enough it’ll become reality. Honestly, I kind of miss writing them, and hopefully I’ll keep it up from here.
Today, I’ll be reviewing one of my favorite books of 2019, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Published: December 18th 2007
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA, Coming of Age
Summary: It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
This was a really emotional coming-of-age book set in Nazi Germany during World War II. It has a really unique narrator who follows the life of Liesel, after the death of her little brother, and her placement in a foster home. Originally, it was slow, but towards the second half, I was really attached to all the characters, and I loved the story. The ending hit me so hard even though I knew it was coming.
Quote:“The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.”
*Characters. I love the characters. They were real and so wholesome. Liesel, Rudy, Mama, Papa, the Mayor’s wife, all the characters on Himmel street played a role in making this book what it is. Death as well, was a phenomenal narrator, and it was so interesting seeing the story from his point of view. I loved the relationships between each of the characters, and how they loved each other, despite Mama seeming really harsh. She still loved Liesel so much, and it made me feel so warm and happy to see all of their interactions with one another. Rudy was hilarious, mischievous, and very much a saukerl. Papa was kind, patient, and adoring. Mama was harsh, loud, but still loving underneath. The Mayor’s wife was quiet, kind, and so lonely. All of them supported Liesel in their own way, and I loved reading about their lives.
*Death. Having death as a narrator was different and really interesting. It was sad, it was painful, and I sympathized with him so much. One thing I didn’t expect was for me to like having him as a narrator. He’s not this gloomy cruel thing that loves death. He had feelings. He was real. You could feel the sorrow and sadness coming from him. It made me sad that he had to see so much horror and that he had such a depressing job.
*Story. I like how the story moved through the years, pointing out the big events, and mentioning the small ones as well. It was a coming of age over several years, and even though the pacing was slow to start, I got used to it later on and I didn’t want it to end. I just wanted their story to continue, to see all the mischief and adventures that Rudy and Liesel would have, to see them grow up and grow old. It was so heartfelt and I loved it.
Quote:“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”
*Max. Max was really interesting. What happened to him was horrible, but I’m glad that he still survived, that he found a family with the Hubermanns. I’m also glad that he found a way to express himself, and that he became Liesel’s reading companion. There’s so much power and beauty in words, and instead of falling into depression, or chronically over stressing, he wrote his story and stayed the strong despite the bleakness of his situation.
*Books. The book starts off with Liesel stealing a grave digger’s handbook, and it becomes a passion of hers. She has Papa teach her how to read, and as the years pass, she swipes books when she can to read some more. She meets the Mayor’s wife while doing laundry for her, and discovers a library full of so many books. The best thing is that the Mayor’s wife lets her come and read, which makes Liesel’s knowledge and power with words grow. I’m glad that books held such a special place in Liesel’s heart.
*Message. This book has several messages, and all of them are so important. Nazi Germany was a horrible time, and I loved how the Hubermanns, and Liesel, fought Hitler in their own way. They hid a Jew, showed sympathy to other Jews despite the severe consequences, and used Hitler’s own powerful device, words, to fight and tell their own story. This was about giving them a voice, when they didn’t have any. This was about doing what’s right, even when your whole country, your own son, is against you. It also offered a new perspective, because this was the first time that I’ve read a book about a non-Jewish German family hiding a Jew in their own home. It’s about the horrors of war, of the Holocaust, and how it can affect one small family that just wants to stay far away from it. And I absolutely loved it.
*Ending. That ending punched me so. hard. It still hurts to think about it. You know it’s coming, you get warned beforehand, but I still spent a few hours crying, feeling so much pain and sadness for all these amazing characters.
Quote:“Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness.”
*Slow. Starting out, it was slow, and I was a little impatient because of it. But once I got used to the pacing, and I began to like the characters, I didn’t care that it kind of dragged anymore.
Quote:“He does something to me, that boy. Every time. It’s his only detriment. He steps on my heart. He makes me cry.”
In the end, I loved this, I would highly recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! The characters are so interesting, and it was so heartwarming to read about their lives. The ending shattered me. Great job to Zusak for absolutely destroying my heart.
One sentence summary: A heartbreaking and important historical fiction novel with amazing characters and books.
Overall, 5 shining stars.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
That’s it for today! I’m working on my Monthly Wrap-Up post, so you can expect that either tomorrow or Thursday.
Have you read The Book Thief? What did you think? Am I the only one who fell in love with Mama as the story progressed? What are some of your favorite World War II books? Chat with me in the comments below!!
Hey guys and welcome back! Today is the 7th day of 2020 and life is finally getting back to normal. Yesterday was the first day of school again, and to be honest, I kind of missed having classes and assignments. I know. I can barely believe that I even thought that myself. But of course, when assignments properly start, I’m going to be wishing for another break once again.
Anyways, today I’m going to be wrapping up my 2019 reading year.
To help wrap up my past reading year, I’ve decided to do Jamie’s End of Year Survey with a twist. Instead of answering all her questions (46!!), I’m going to pick a handful to answer, and also do a wrap-up my way. Initially, I was going to do 2 different posts, one with the survey and the other with my wrap-up, but that’s going to be repetitive, so I’ll be combining both.
This is probably going to be rather long, so without further ado, let’s get started!!!
2019 Reading Stats
Number of Books Read: 98
Number of Re-Reads: 3
Genre You Read the Most From: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
I didn’t make it to 100 books. But that’s okay. Because I got to 98, which is still a pretty good number and I’m really proud of myself for making it that far.
The re-reads were The Fixer and The Long Game, both by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter. The first two were great, and I loved re-reading them. The third one was a little cringey, and I can see why it appealed to a Younger Rukky, but it was not for Current Me.
Lol, no surprise. Mystery/Thriller/Suspense was by far the genre that I read the most from, with Fantasy coming in second, and Contemporary in third.
I made a little pie chart to break down my reading even further, and I’m so relieved that it turned out looking okay.
I also did another chart showing my year in books by rating, so here you go:
I like how most of my books were 4 or 3 stars. The books were either mediocre or pretty good, just not super great, and I’m happy with that. I think it also shows that I’ve figured out what books work for me, and what don’t, and so hopefully next year, this will have much less 2 or 1 star books.
I did have a couple of DNFs (Did-Not-Finish), and most of them, I plan on trying to re-read another time, while some I absolutely did not like.
For Blanca and Roja, Ninth House, and Blindsighted, I don’t think i was in the right mood when I picked them up, so I was really bored and impatient with them. These are the ones I plan on picking up some other time.
Marshall Law just wasn’t for me. I got it for review from Reedsy, but I didn’t like it and never finished it.
Captive Witness was disappointing, because I loved Nancy Drew once upon a time, and when I picked this up, I couldn’t get over how old fashioned it was. I was cringing so much, and decided to stop so that I wouldn’t ruin all my great memories of reading all the various series.
The Perfect Husband was a nightmare. I am so done with that book. Usually, when there is extra stuff going in books, especially in thrillers and mysteries, I just skim past and move on. But this book had stuff in pretty much. Every. Single. Chapter. I can’t believe I got to 74%. SEVENTY-FOUR, guys. And you’d think that they don’t have time for any of this extra drama, and so called “romance” when the MC is being hunted by a pure 100% psychopath. But no, they can’t stop their “love” for five seconds.
So yeah. 3 of them, I might try later, 2 of them were just not for me, and 1 of them was a true nightmare. But I’m still pretty glad that I only had 6 DNFs the entire year.
This was more of a political thriller, but I still loved the mystery of who was behind the attack. I’m also a huge fan of any book with “secret agents” and Mary and Stone were amazing and made me love the story even more.
It was interesting being told what happened to Frank in bits and pieces, and what brought him to that beach. There was so much suspense, as things were slowly revealed and I liked that. The book wasn’t perfect in other aspects, but the suspense was really great.
This is a master thriller. It was honestly the first time that I’d been truly petrified and nervous, and anxious about how things would end in a book. It was a little over the top, and would probably be better as a movie than a book, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
I loved this. I loved the characters. I loved Kaz’s cunning ruthless and brutal, I loved Inej, Jes, Wylan, Nina and Matthias, I loved everything about it. Well, it was slow until the heist at the end, but I liked the build-up and relationships between the characters, and how we got to know them so well. This is honestly my top fantasy book of 2019.
This is a fantasy that I loved because of it’s worldbuilding. The way Allomancy was described, the way the Empires and cities felt so real that I could literally picture everything happening clearly, that was amazing. I loved the heist, and was shocked at how things turned out, but what I loved the most about this was how real, and possible, and well-thought out the world and Allomancy was.
I got a recipe for November Cakes. That’s honestly enough to bribe me into loving this book. But really though, I sincerely enjoyed the story. The happiness, calm, and peace that came after I finished reading it. The deadly but utterly beautiful horses. Puck and Sean fighting for what they want, what they love. It was really beautiful, and I’m so glad that Meegs pushed me to read this.
He’s grumpy. He’s strict. He’s mean. But underneath that tough exterior, Ove is hurting. And this book is about what caused it, and what happens when a new bustling family, with a fiery and delightful mother, moves in next door. I loved this because of the characters, and because the found family relationship that all the neighbors built with one another. Ove is also really endearing, and it was heartbreaking reading about everything that went wrong in his life. Even if it was fictional. This book made me so happy, because Ove learned to live and love again.
I may have loved this solely because the ending shattered my heart. But I’m also a big fan of coming-of-age novels, and this is one of them. At first, I didn’t like many of the characters, and I was a little annoyed, and maybe bored. But as the story continued, and the years passed, and the war dragged on, I began to feel for all these characters. I began to understand them, love them. And when that ending came, even though I knew, even though I’d been warned, it still shattered me when that happened. It’s a book that made me laugh, made me smile, made me cry. And I don’t think a book has ever done all three to me.
This was a great book about a woman fighting society’s sexist and racist views through a newspaper column in 19th century Georgia (aka the 1800s). Jo was a great main character, and I loved Old Gin, Noemi, and Nathan so much. She’s brave, she’s fierce, and she was risking so much to write her Miss. Sweetie column and using it to inspire change in her community. This was one my most anticipated books this year, and it did not disappoint.
I’ve already read the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, and even though it was slow in the beginning, I loved the magic and the world, and I can’t wait to read the second book.
Best Sequel of 2019?
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. This was such an awesome sequel, and I loved the new villains, as well as Victor’s search for a cure. The ending was really great, but I hope that there is still a 3rd book! Mitch, Syd, and Victor were so sweet together, and honestly, this book was just perfect.
Best Series Ender of 2019?
Nope, none. The only Series Ender I read in 2019 was The Queen of Nothing, and that was most definitely one of the worst I’ve ever read. I’m just really disappointed and salty about it.
Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?
My new top three authors that I discovered in 2019 are:
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races), V.E. Schwab (Vicious), and Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire).
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?
It’s a tie. I can’t pick one over the other! Both covers are just so beautifully gorgeous.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read?
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. I’d seen it in my library a lot, and I can’t believe that I never picked it up until earlier this last year. It was one of the first YA mysteries that I read, and I really loved it.
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?
This post is already over 1,500 words long, so I’m going to stop here. I think I’ve covered all the major questions, and if you’d like to see all the books I read last year, check out my 2019 Year in Books on GoodReads. I’ll probably be doing a Blog/Life Wrap-Up next, and I may do a Most Disappointing Books of 2019. Not sure yet, but keep an eye out for another wrap-up!
That’s it for this post! What was your favorite book of 2019? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above? What did you think? How many books did you read in 2019? Chat with me in the comments below!
You see, I try to keep my desk and room clean a good 95% of the time, but you know, it gets messy, and it takes time, and then sometimes I don’t really care have time. However the award could actually mean real neat, as in real cool?? In that case, I don’t know. I think I am kind of cool…
Anyways, thank you so much to Diana @ Fortunately, the Book for nominating me! Be sure to check out her lovely blog!!
P.S. I know it’s not Thursday, but let’s pretend it is 😉
Display the Award Logo.
Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.
Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.
Nominate some bloggers.
Ask them seven questions.
What’s the best book you’ve read in 2019 so far?
Hmm. Tough question. I’ve read a lot of amazing books this year. Some have stuck out more than others, but I can’t honestly say that one of them was the best of the best, because they are all equally amazing for different reasons. One book that really had an effect on me though was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This was just so beautiful, and sad, and heartbreakingly painful. I can’t believe that I didn’t want to read this before, because it’s a story that has stuck with me, and I love it so very much.
What is one thing you wish to accomplish before the end of 2019?
My GoodReads goal!! I’m getting there. But there are only what, 10 days left of the month, and I’ve still got 8 books to go!! I think I should just borrow some novellas to help me finish, because at the rate that I’m going with full novels, I’m not going to make it. Please share your novella recommendations in the comments!!
If you celebrate/enjoy Christmas, what’s your favorite Christmas song?
I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I don’t have a favorite song 🙂
What book you wish to receive this Christmas?
Well, as I said above, I don’t celebrate Christmas, but a book I would love to have is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. The cover is just so so BEAUTIFUL, and I love it. Honestly, even if I don’t ever re-read it, I still want a physical copy just to stare at and admire.
If you can change one thing about your blog (graphic, title, etc…) what will it be?
Honestly. I’d probably change the whole thing. Title, design, graphics, everything. I really like what I have right now, but sometimes, I wish I had a simple black/gray and white theme so that I could do whatever I wanted. Since I’m stuck with a green-vine-pink flower theme, I feel like I can’t really design photos and posts however I like? I have to keep it in line with what I already have.
But if I changed only one thing right now, it’d probably be the graphics/background.
What are your relations with social networks like Facebook or Instagram?
Lol. I don’t have anything. Just my blog, and GoodReads, and Reedsy. If they can be considered social networks. Which they kind of are I guess.
Favorite hot beverage to drink during winter?
Well, I don’t really drink something specific during any of the seasons. I just drink something. I really like Black tea, with a splash of milk and some sugar. It just tastes so. so. good. If I’m having any hot drinks, that would be it.