Currently Reading: May 2018

Hi, readers!

Happy Friday! Anyone have any exciting reading plans? I’m hoping to make some good progress on the books featured below. I haven’t made a lot of time for reading so far this month, and I’m hoping to remedy that before May ends. Today I’m sharing the four books I’m currently reading. Do you like to read more than one book at a time? I find it helps keep me reading because I always have something to choose from and all the books are different.

Let’s get to those books!

Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts

This is a really powerful, difficult, and necessary read, particularly for white people. Only by learning how black women’s reproductive rights have been challenged, diminished, and ignored throughout history can we do better in the future. I’ve read a little over 100 pages and am hoping to catch up this weekend. I’ll definitely post a full review when I’m finished.

Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang

I’ve only finished one of the novellas in Fallen City, but I really liked it! It’s great to read books in translation and be exposed to new cultures, customs, and traditions. Chang’s writing almost has a dry wit to it, which makes for some very insightful reading about China. I’ll post a full review here when I finish.

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

I only recently started The Poppy War but I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve heard from multiple people and sources that this is a violent and traumatic read, so please do your own research before starting this book if that might affect you negatively. Also, while this book stars a teenager, it is most definitely not YA. This book is for adults. I’ll post a full review when I’m finished and will share more about any content warnings.

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

This short story collection is the May pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club! I’m really enjoying the stories thus far. They’re about people and the different kinds of relationships we have with one another, including spouses, friends, and family. I’ll definitely share my review here once I finish these short stories.

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these books? What are you reading lately?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: April 2018

Hi, readers!

It’s that time again! Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month as today is the last day of April. I didn’t read as many books this month, mainly because I finished two 500+ Page books. And those take a lot of time! I’m looking forward to getting back to my regular reading schedule next month. I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 6

Books by women: 5 / 6

Books by PoC: 2 / 6

Favorite pick of the month: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Now, onto the books!

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

This book was on my radar for a long time. I mentioned it in my Anticipated Winter Books post and was fortunate to have an ARC. The Belles is a fun, detailed, and adventurous first novel in a new YA series. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

At this point, you know how much I love Louise Penny! This mystery book was no exception and I look forward to how the story develops moving forward. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham

Happiness was the April pick for the Reese Witherspoon book club. This is a beautiful memoir about one family and their tragic and tumultuous years while their daughter was sick. Happiness is memorable, engaging, and absorbing. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

Liar’s Candle by August Thomas

This was a highly anticipated new release by a debut author. Liar’s Candle is a thriller set in Turkey that had a plot bombshell every ten pages. I finished this mainly to see how all the pieces fit together. Overall, the story was fine, but I would not recommend it. I can also see this story being adapted for film or TV, and at times it felt like the author was already preparing for that. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This was a reread for me and I loved it even more the second time around! Little Women is a beautiful story about the March family and the ups and downs in their lives. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

Honestly, I still can’t believe I finally finished this book! This is a fun, adventurous, and memorable story that I would highly recommend reading. But don’t be afraid to take your time with it. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my thoughts about The Odyssey in this post.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

5 Star Review Update

Hi, readers!

Back in January I announced I was trying something new. I selected five books that I thought would be 5 Star reads for me, and shared them here on the blog. You can read my initial thoughts on these books here. I’m pleased to announce that I finally got around to reading these five books! My star ratings were a bit all over the place for these books, which makes for a fun roundup. Today I’ll be sharing a few thoughts on each one. Overall, I thought this was a really fun experiment and something that I’ll definitely be doing again this year!

And now, onto the books!

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Starting things off with a bang, this YA fantasy book was a DNF for me. I think I read roughly 80 pages and found that I was bored, uninterested in any of the characters, and underwhelmed by the story. You can read more of my thoughts on this book in this post, and I would not recommend this book.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I only read this book about a month ago, but I loved it! This contemporary story about a small community and the choices and secrets they must live with was a 5 / 5 star read for me. You can read my full review here. I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy quieter stories that focus tightly on one family.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Ah, my beloved Louise Penny. I fell hard and fast for Penny’s books this year! Reading Still Life quickly set me down the slippery slope that is her Three Pines series. You can read my review here and I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend this book, especially for fans of Agatha Christie and quieter mysteries.

Wildwood by Colin Melroy, Illustrations by Carson Ellis

And here we have another book that was a DNF for me! I only read about 60 pages of this book and found myself completely uninterested, underwhelmed by its obvious comparisons to other (better) children’s books, and extremely unimpressed with the writing. I do not recommend this book.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This book was phenomenal! I read this 400+ page book in one day. I could not put it down! Obviously, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review post here. I highly recommend this book, especially for fans of Old Hollywood movies.

That’s it for today! Have you read any of these? What book do you think you’ll really enjoy?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: March 2018

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. Overall, it was a pretty great reading month filled with a few mysteries and quite a few 5 star reviews! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 11 and 3 that I marked as DNF (did not finish)

Books by women: 11 / 11

Books by PoC: 3 / 11

Favorite pick of the month: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Now, onto the books!

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (out May 29!)

The newest book by Ruth Ware is probably my favorite one of hers! It’s different from her previous books but in a fantastic way. If you haven’t read any of Ware’s books, I would highly recommend her! I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and I’ll post a review here to the blog shortly!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

This was my first time reading one of Tessa Dare’s books and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I found this book to be charming, witty, and laugh out loud funny. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review of this book here.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

This book is quite a gem! It’s the March pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. You can read my review of this book here and I would definitely recommend this book for its heart, introduction to Punjabi culture, and engaging storyline. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

I fell in love hard with Louise Penny this month! This is the second book in her bestselling series about Three Pines and I thought this sequel was every bit as good as the first book. I cannot recommend Penny enough! I wrote a review of this book, which you can read here. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this book. I found it to be a powerful and focused look at how one community deals with hardship. The characters were well written and relatable. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my review post here.

Reading People by Anne Bogel

This is a fun nonfiction read about different personality tests and types. It’s certainly interesting to think about and provides good insight into how people are wired differently. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

If you enjoy graphic novels, I highly recommend this one! Jamieson did a fantastic job telling a lovely middle grade story about two friends and the struggles of growing up. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

And we have another great read! This is such a fast and unputdownable read and I definitely recommend this if you’re a fan of true crime. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo

This was a remarkable book from start to finish. It’s a quick read and Adebayo does an incredible job of painting an intimate portrait of the lengths one couple will go to in order to be happy. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review here.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Here we have it! It’s the book that started it all. I read this entire book in just one day because I was completely entranced! This is such a great mystery series and an excellent first novel. You can read my review here. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I read this book for the first time ever this month! I’m still not sure how I missed reading it before when really enjoyed it. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can read my review here.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with IndieBound and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: February 2018

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. Overall, it was a pretty great reading month filled with some classics and a few new releases, too! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 6 plus 5 books that I marked as DNF (did not finish)

Books by women: 6 / 6

Books by PoC: 2 / 6

Favorite pick of the month: This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

Now, onto the books!

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

I practically devoured this ARC. It is a fantastic thriller with a ghost story, too! This book comes out on March 20 and you can read my review here. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I was fairly disappointed in this book. It was Reese Witherspoon’s February book club pick and I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars and you can read my full review post here.

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

This was one of those books that I’ve been meaning to pick up for a long time and I’m so glad I finally did! I thought this was a wonderful story and Maisie is a delightful sleuth. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars and you can expect a full review coming soon!

This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

This will come as no surprise if you saw my review yesterday, which you can read here, but I think this memoir is phenomenal. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and cannot recommend this enough.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

This book is such a gem! It’s a contemporary romance that I would particularly recommend if you’re looking for some lighter reading. You can read my review here and I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Women & Power by Mary Beard

This is quite the intriguing little read! It’s remarkably short and provides some interesting food for thought, especially if you’re a fan of Ancient Rome or the classics. This book is too short to review but I did share some thoughts in this Currently Reading post. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: January 2018

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. Overall, it was a pretty great reading month filled with some classics and a few new releases, too! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 12 plus 2 books that I marked as DNF (did not finish)

Books by women: 11 / 12

Books by PoC: 2 / 13

Favorite pick of the month: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Now, onto the books!

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Wow, did I struggle with this book! I was about halfway through when I marked this book as DNF. You can read my review here. I gave this book 2 / 5 stars.

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

I picked this book up on a whim because it was Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick for January. I’m still thinking about this quick read and know I’ll pick it up frequently in the years to come. I’ll post a review of this book soon. I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

It has been such a delight to reread the Harry Potter series. I forgot so much of book two as it’s been quite a while since I read this book. Can’t wait to continue my rereading, even as the books start to pick up significantly in length! I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

I’m so pleased with how fantastic this series is even though I’m an adult. I highly recommend taking the time to reread these books! I’ll post a full review of this series once I finish rereading them all. I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This short story collection is haunting, lyrical, and memorable. I highly recommend taking your time with this one. I gave this book 5 / 5 stars and you can read my full review here.

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean

This book felt considerably darker. Even though this book picked up as it went along, there was a certain lack of charm in this book that precious books in the series handled marvelously. I’ll post a full review shortly and still plan to read the singular remaining book in this series. I gave this book 3 / 5 stars.

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean

This was a great sequel in the Rules of Scoundrels series! I wrote a full review for this book, which you can read here. I gave this book 4 / 5 stars.

A Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

This book was fantastic! I picked it up on a whim from the library and promptly devoured it. You can read my full review here. I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

This was my last Austen novel! This is a great book to end on and I found this book to be charming, surprising, and memorable. I gave this book 4 / 5 stars and I’ll update my Jane Austen Introduction post with more thoughts on this book.

The Strays by Emily Bitto

This book was…interesting. I continue to have contradictory thoughts about this book in the days since finishing. I’ll post a full review here on the blog to further process my opinions. I gave this book 3 / 5 stars.

Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee

This was such a beautifully written memoir. I highly recommend this quick read that will prompt wonderful thoughts on memory, time, and connections. You can read my review here and I gave this book 5 / 5 stars.

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

I’m so glad I read this memoir. You’ll definitely tear up while reading, but I thought this book was very cathartic. I gave this book 4 / 5 stars and you can read my review here.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This book is a must read! I devoured this book in one day and can’t recommend it enough. I gave this one 5 / 5 stars, obviously, and you can read my full review here.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

#24in48 Readathon Wrap Up

Hi, readers!

I mentioned last week that I was participating in the #24in48 Readathon over the weekend. You can read my TBR post here, where I also shared more about the challenge and my thoughts on readathons overall. Even though I didn’t read for anywhere close to 24 hours, I am proud of how much reading I did do this weekend!

Let’s talk about the books I read…

First, I finished The Strays by Emily Bitto. I’ll have a review post coming soon for this book but I will say now that I enjoyed it but didn’t love it. At 238 pages, this book is a quick and easy read. The Strays is a moving story about female friendship, growing up, and growing out.

Second, I finished No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean. I had several hundred pages to go in finishing this one, and it was a delight to finish it this weekend. This is the third book in the Rules of Scoundrels series and I found this one to be a little slow to start. I liked it overall and I’ll share a full review soon.

Third, I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s been years since I read this book and I’m planning to do a reread of the series this year! This was a quick and easy read because it’s technically a middle grade book, and I enjoyed it immensely. I’m going to hold off on reviewing any of the Harry Potter series until I’ve reread all seven and then I’ll do one larger series review post.

Fourth, I started Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I’m almost halfway through this one and expect to finish it within the next two days. Again, this is a quick read so I’m flying through it!

That’s all for today! Did you participate in the #24in48 Readathon over the weekend? What books did you read?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: December 2017

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. Overall, it was a pretty great reading month filled with a few classics and some new books, too! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 8

Books by women: 8 / 8

Books by PoC: 2 / 8

Favorite pick of the month: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Now, onto the books!

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Okay, I’m technically still reading The Alice Network but I’m almost finished! I will definitely finish reading this book before December ends. This is a fantastic WWI and WWII drama about women during the wars. I have so much to say about this book but I’ll hold off for now and wait for my full review that will appear on the blog soon!

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler was a new to me author this year. I read this collection of short stories which was fantastic. I’m not usually one to read science fiction, but these stories really stuck with me. I also enjoyed reading Butler’s comments about each story after finishing reading it. Her commentary lends such a personal component and provided additional food for thought. I gave Bloodchild 4 / 5 stars.

Code Girls: The Untold Story of The American Women Code Breakers Who Helped Win World War II by Liza Mundy

I wrote a full review for Code Girls here. I gave this book 4 / 5 stars.

A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

I won’t say much about this book as I wrote a full review here. I gave A Duke in Shining Armor 2 / 5 stars.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

I won’t say much about this book as I wrote a full review here, but I will say that you need to read this series. I gave The Girl in the Tower 4 / 5 stars.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

This book received all the praise this year for very good reasons. I wrote a full review of this book here. I gave Sing, Unburied, Sing 4 / 5 stars.

The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

I won’t say much about this book as I wrote a full review here, but it’s fantastic and you should read it immediately. I gave The Vanishing Season 4 / 5 stars.

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand

Halfway through December I decided I wanted a seasonal read! I’ve heard great things about Hilderbrand’s books and started with the first book in her Christmas series, Winter Street. This is a delightful, cozy, charming story about a quirky family. I gave Winter Street 4 / 5 stars.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

Reading Wrap Up: November 2017

Hi, readers!

Today I’m sharing my reads from this past month. Overall, it was a pretty great reading month filled with a few classics and some new books, too! I’ll first share this month’s reading stats and then move on to highlight the books themselves.

This month I read…

Books: 6

Books by women: 6 / 6

Books by PoC: 2 / 6

Favorite pick of the month: The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

Now, onto the books!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (available here from Book Depository)

I gave Nightingale 4 / 5 stars and you can read my review post here.

Bonfire by Krysten Ritter (available here from Book Depository)

I gave Bonfire 4 / 5 stars and you can read my review post here.

Kindred by Octavia Butler (available here from Book Depository)

This was my first time reading this sci-fi classic and I’m so glad I did! Kindred is a difficult read in terms of content but Butler does a fantastic job of writing about racism, slavery, and how such horrific acts can become accepted behavior. I gave Kindred 4 / 5 stars.

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (available here from Book Depository)

While not my favorite Austen novel, I did enjoy this overall. I thought the character development was quite good, despite Fanny being my least favorite Austen heroine. I also thought Austen’s class commentary was extra sharp with this novel and her wit especially sharp. I gave Mansfield Park 3 / 5 stars.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (available here from Book Depository)

This is such a fun middle grade read! I can’t stop talking and writing about this delightful family-oriented novel. This is a perfect read for any age and highlights the strength and love of a quirky family. I gave Vanderbeekers 5/5 stars and you can read my in-depth thoughts in my review post here.

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James (available here from Book Depository)

This was quite the fun read! It was my first James romance novel and I definitely plan on picking up more of her books. I appreciated that even though I knew how this would ultimately end, there were fun plot developments along the way. The characters were entertaining and quirky and I enjoyed the dynamic between the leading couple. I gave this 4 / 5 stars and would definitely recommend this book.

That’s it for this month! What books did you finish this month?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!