Bookish Bucket List

I have a regular bucket list which includes things like “learn to drive stick-shift” and “help baby sea turtles reach the ocean.” Today, I realized there are many book related things I want to accomplish, and what better way keep track of them than with a Book Bucket List?

So without further rambling or reminiscing here are three things I’m adding:

Read Moby Dick by Herman Melville and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Now I know what some of you are thinking. Half of you are saying: “What do you mean you haven’t read them? The other half are saying: “Why would you put yourself through that?” Because I can that’s why! Also, I have owned those two books forever and I feel that it’s time. I was just out of College when I got them, I attempted to read them and never really finished them. I had an English Lit professor who talked so passionately about them that I had to go and get them. I was probably not in the right frame of mind, but I will try again before I kick the bucket.

Go to London

Both Harry Potter and The Infernal Devices series were set there. I’ve always felt a connection to the gloomy gray streets of London, even if I have never physically been there. I’ve been there in mind and spirit, and I feel like I should come full circle and experience it in person. Also, I think a picture of me inside one of those red phone booths from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix would be fantastic.

Own the rest of the Throne of Glass series

Okay, so for some obscure reason I ended up with only the first book and last book of this series. Once again I know what you’re thinking: Just buy them! No really, please tell me to just buy them so I can justify it to my bank account, and my husband. There are many other series that I need to complete or own, but this one really bothers me. First, because the covers are so gorgeous. And second, I have a big girl crush on Celaena (used this name on purpose not to ruin for others), and how awesome would it be to stare at her on my bookshelf ALL day on six different book covers?!.

Please drop me a comment and let me know what’s on your book bucket list? I would love to hear form you!

My TBR Basket

Who else has a never ending TBR (To Be Read) pile?

Mine currently includes:

~The Lord of the Rings (#1 and #2, I still need to get #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

~Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

~One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns, #2) by Kendare Blake

Am I the only bookworm who has never read “The Hobbit” or “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy? I’m so ashamed to have those on my basket.

Daughter of the Pirate King was a new acquisition while on vacation. I’ve heard it has a strong female character, and those are my favorite.

Finally, I really need to get to One Dark Throne, the third one of the series is already out and it’s getting really hard to avoid the spoilers.

And these are only the real books I have yet to read. I still have a long list of e-books I haven’t gotten to, and a huge “To Read” shelf on Goodreads.

How about you?

The Wicked King by Holly Black

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold on to”

Madoc

In this sequel to “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. We continue the story of Jude Duarte, a human in the realm of Elfhame, who is struggling to hold on to her newly acquired power over its high King Cardan and his subjects.


We get power by taking it”

Madoc

The graphics on this cover were amazing, and I loved the little drawings of dragonflies throughout the book along with the drawings at the beginning of each chapter.

The dialogue between Jude and Cardan was so entertaining to read. I could just read about those two talking forever.


For a moment,” he says, “I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.”

“And what made you decide it wasn’t?”

He grins up at me. “They missed.”

I have said that he has the power to deliver a compliment and make it hurt.

JUDE AND CARDAN

As we read on, we see Jude become a pawn in this “game of kings and princes, of queens and crowns,” as Locke puts it, all while she tries to resist her growing attraction to Cardan. By the way, I know everyone loves Cardan, but I kind of fell in love with Jude. She is brave, witty, and strong. She is everything I love in a female character.


It occurs to me that maybe desire isn’t something overindulging helps. Maybe it is not unlike mithridatism; maybe I took a killing dose when I should have been poisoning myself slowly, one kiss at a time”

Jude

This book is fast paced, and full of plot twists. I admit to staying up reading until 3am a couple of nights. I kept telling myself I would stop at a neutral point in the story where my mind wasn’t racing and reeling with questions, but these points were few and far between. Any book that makes me voluntarily lose sleep is an automatic five stars for me, because as a mother of two, sleep is not easy for me to come by.



Fear is terrible, but the combination of hope and fear is worse”

Jude

After all my years of reading, I give props to Holly Black for surprising me with this ending. Of all the endings I ever imagined, this one never crossed my mind. I remember posting on Twitter that I needed therapy right after finishing “The Wicked King.” If you haven’t read “The Cruel Prince” yet, which is first in the series, go ahead and catch up and then read this one. I promise you won’t regret it!

Mini Beach Vacation

Confession time. I took a little mini-vacation over Easter weekend and went to Fort Myers Beach so…I haven’t gotten down to writing my review of “The Wicked King” by Holly Black yet. Granted, I think a vacation was absolutely needed after finishing that book, so I won’t apologize.

But, I found the nicest little used book store at the beach called “Annette’s Book Nook” (they have a Facebook page if you want to check them out!), which was a definite plus!

Doesn’t it look amazing?! I could’ve stayed there all day. My husband almost had to drag me out.

While in there I bought:

“Daughter of the Pirate King” by Tricia Levenseller (which I’ve been meaning to read forever).

And

“The Lord of the Rings” (The two towers, #2) by Tolkien (p.s. I hate movie covers too, but I couldn’t pass up how cheap it was).

Also, I would have you know that I didn’t totally slack during this vacation. I actually read a lot of “Crooked Kingdom” by Leigh Bardugo. Do you know how hard it is to read from a screen in the sun?! Almost as hard as it is to take a picture of it. The book is great for now by the way, it will be the next book I review.

Stay tuned for my review of Wicked King, I promise I will post soon!

My favorite series (after Harry Potter of course)

The Infernal Devices -by Cassandra Clare

Let me start by saying that these book covers are absolutely gorgeous. Each cover has one of the main characters, therefore it is easy to picture them in your mind’s eye as you read. Not that they’re not perfectly described and jump off the page, but it always helps when the covers enhance the reading experience.

Life was an uncertain thing, and there were some moments one wished to remember, to imprint upon one’s mind that the memory might be taken out later, like a flower pressed between the pages of a book…” -Sophie

This series is a prequel to the Mortal Instruments series, also by Cassandra Clare, and even though I really liked Mortal Instruments; this prequel stole my heart. The books are set in the year 1878. Tessa Gray arrives in London after being summoned by her brother and soon finds herself caught up in dark supernatural events involving warlocks, vampires, and demons. Shadowhunters take Tessa under their protection, and she befriends Will and Jem. Together they fight against the Pandemonium Club and its horrible clockwork creatures.

Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would read them together with you…” -Will

Clare’s rendering of London was very real to me. I can picture the dirty cobbled streets under near constant smog and rain, and I can almost smell the smoke and pollution emitted by the nearby factories. I can imagine the beautiful dresses and horse drawn carriages.

One must always be careful of books…and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” -Tessa

The characters were so real, even the minor character like Sophie, and I of course can relate to Tess the most, since she is a book lover and avid reader. Both Will and Jem are swoon-worthy, and like me, you will surely find your heart split in two directions when it comes to these guys. Will is the broody bad boy who puts up walls to keep people away, except his parabatai Jem.

When two souls are as one, they stay together on the wheel. I was born on this world to love you, and I will love you in the next life, and the one after that.” -Jem

Jem is kind and sweet, and he plays the violin which makes him even more endearing in my eyes. Even though the characters are all sixteen through seventeen, they are all very mature, and their dialogue is memorable and insightful. As you can see here, some of my favorite quotes came from this series. I always highly recommend this whole series to all my young adult fiction and fantasy fan friends.

You want this?” His voice was hoarse.

“Yes,” she said. “Do you?”

His finger traced the outline of her mouth. “For this I would have been damned forever. For this I would have given up everything.”

-Will and Tessa

Leave me a comment and let me know what your all time favorite series was!

Wicked -by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wicked #1)

⭐️⭐️⭐️


When I started reading this book, I was really in the mood for something light, fun and entertaining, and this did not disappoint. The cover is gorgeous, and I was instantly drawn to it. Once I began, it was impossible to put down. This book is about twenty-two-year-old Ivy Morgan who is juggling college classes during the day and killing faeries for an organization called the Order at night. When Ren Owens joins the Order, Ivy finds herself paired up with him. Ivy, who is still hurting after the loss of her parents and her long-term boyfriend Shaun, struggles to resist her obvious attraction to Ren, while they both attempt to investigate the recent appearance of dangerous faeries called Ancients in the city of New Orleans.

Armentrout has a quirky way to describe her characters which makes it easy to immediately picture them in your mind. One of my favorite passages is when Ren calls Ivy “Merida” from Disney’s “Brave,” due to her unruly red hair and “kick ass hotness,” a statement which just makes her threaten to stab him. Another character who I found absolutely hilarious was “Tink,” a very dramatic brownie (tiny ken doll sized faerie with wings) who Ivy rescued and keeps as a “roommate” in her flat. I found myself laughing like a lunatic at work, earning me weird looks from my co-workers, and then there were further questions upon my sanity when I attempted to explain what I was laughing at. I’m going to go ahead and confess now that I might be a little biased when it comes to Ren Owens because I have a thing for green eyed guys, (my husband has green eyes), that said, Ren did not disappoint. I found his straight forward, no non-sense attitude very alluring. The playful banter between him and Ivy was also very entertaining to read. On a side note, this is not a book for those who are averse to foul language or explicit sex scenes, as demonstrated by my quote above.

There are some cons to this book. If you are looking for something deep and insightful then this is not the book for you. Having just gotten through “Flowers for Algernon -by Daniel Keyes” and “A Cure for Suicide -by Jesse Ball,” I needed some light reading in my life, and this is exactly that. Also, if you have read enough Fantasy books like I have, then you will find this plot predictable. I will not go into details about the plot because I don’t do spoilers. Let’s just say everything from the big secret reveal to the ending I was already expecting, but once again this is what I wanted from this book. I picked it up while in search for an entertaining story, some hot romance, and the fun dialogue I’ve come to love in Armentrout’s books, and it left me so satisfied that I’ve been putting off reading book two. The characters and their interactions were enough to keep me engaged until the bitter cliffhanger end.

How I became a reader

I learned to read before I started Kindergarten. My fondest memories of my mother were made in the late hours of the night, cuddling up in bed, her soothing voice and the smell of a dusty book lulling me to sleep. I remember the books she chose always had a moral to the story, and she would make sure I knew what it was. Not surprisingly, a lot of them were about listening to your mother. I vividly remember the time she read “Little Red Riding Hood,” the wolf gave me nightmares for weeks. I grew up in a very small coastal town in Cuba; since Cuba is a communist country, the general public has very limited options when it comes to reading material. In my small-town Elementary School, the book options were even scarcer. By the time I finished fifth grade I was best friends with the school librarian, and I had read every book inside the library. The poor lady had to resort to bringing me her own books from home in order to keep my reading thirst satiated. These are the people that influenced my love for reading when I was a child.

Right before I turned eleven, my mother, my sister and I came here to the United States to join my dad, who had been here for seven years. It was here in a tiny cockroach ridden apartment, which we shared with another family, that I first got my hands on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone -by J.K Rowling, the Spanish version since I could not read English yet. I cannot begin to describe how I yearned to receive a letter from Hogwarts on my eleventh birthday, but unfortunately my birthday came and went, and no such letter arrived. I then resolved to beg my father to take me to the Library, and I got my very own Library card instead. To me it was my passport into worlds unknown, and it offered the escape I so desperately needed.

By the time I was thirteen I could read and write English at an acceptable level, and I no longer needed ESOL classes (classes in which the teacher spoke Spanish). I breezed through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in English, and then the rest of the series as it was released throughout the years. These books shaped me into the reader I am today. In books I have found comfort and solace from anything I might be going through in my life, and I am one of those people who believes the meaning of life can be found within the pages of a good book.