More Quarantine Books – June Wrap Up

More Quarantine Books – June Wrap Up

Well here we are…a delayed Month Wrap up. But I have to share my small little stack of reads from last month (as well as the honorable mentions) because they are just that good. This month’s reads seemed to come from the Universe at the most optimal timing. They gave me a new world to be enveloped in when honestly my world wasn’t where I wanted to be. They had extremely relatable themes/feelings/moments that, had I not been experiencing Month Four of a Pandemic and self-isolating, I never would have appreciated them. It was just a good month of little reading.


Also read: Thanks for the Bucketlist #2


Reads and resulting thoughts in Quarantine Month 4

THE BALLD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES (HUNGER GAMES #0) by Suzanne Collins

** possible spoiler alert/LONG review- ** Upon finishing all I could think is, “Woah.” I live for a prequel and especially from the POV of a character that is the undeniable villain. I did have mixed feelings after finishing but overall would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the original trilogy. I see why people dislike it but I loved it overall despite it’s minor downfalls in comparison to the original books. 

It was different from the others in that it was much slower paced and it seems quite long. What drives the original books is Katniss’ (amongst other’s) urgency to survive. The protagonist, a young Snow, in Ballad… simply doesn’t have that in this prequel. The urge to succeed and live up to a old, family, destiny is what drives it and it is massive. 

Like I read in another review, the philosophy behind the games, society, war, etc is one of the biggest contributors. While there in the OG books, they are not as important. This is what I LOVED. I was highly intrigued by how the early Hunger Games evolved, the specific events that heavily altered Snow’s perspective of Panem, humanity, and the Games. As well as the overall evolution to the world that we know from the OGs.

Little details of Snow’s persona and character, that as a reader you speculate about in the OG trilogy, is what made this book so exciting. To see where his fascination with Roses came from, his consistent mocking of young love, his philosophy of the districts and the rebels, his involvement in the games, and ultimately where his drive for keeping power and control are all revealed in little moments. 

I would agree that the romance was eh, but I think that was Collin’s intention. It was another puzzle piece to Snow’s evolvement to the man who understands but has no empathy for human connections and emotions. A man who knows how to take advantage and hurt people. 

References to the OG trilogy, in my mind were used to connect the two times together and to enhance Snow’s general dislike towards Katniss, District 12, and the rebel movement. Why Katniss’ actions such as her subtle, and sometimes unknowing, defiance and her song were especially infuriating to Snow. It may have been a shoutout to fans but still effective. 

Character wise I adored Lucy, the entire Covey clan, and Tigris (of course). I was worried with becoming too understanding and forgiving of Snow, but if anything his character has become much more dynamic and evil in my opinion. 

All in all, this book was enjoyable. It had its moments and was difficult to read at some points, especially considering what is currently prevalent in our world. It is not for those fans simply wanting to relive the OGs with different characters. I still highly respect Collin’s as a writer and will be adding this book to my shelf permanently. 🙂

The last month had upended their lives and changed them irrevocably. Sad, really, as they were both rather exceptional people, for whom the world had reserved its harshest treatment. “Yes, it leaves quite an impression…”

-Suzanne Collins The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Also read: Quarantine Books (March in Books)


WHERE THE CRAWDADS SINGS by Delia Owens

Wow wow wow. What a glorious book full of poetical prose, beautiful metaphors, a thought provoking storyline with a mystery and twists, and characters you can’t help but feel like they are a part of you. Highly highly recommend. 

This book has been on my TBR for a long time, and honestly, I was losing interest in waiting. But I am so glad that I finally read this, especially now, as the reality of loneliness is so prevalent during the COVID lockdown. I found it comforting to relate to Kya. She is an extremely dynamic character and I loved her view and understanding of the world around her. I cannot express enough to everyone I gush about this book to, how well timed this book came into my life. I was reminded of the power of books again. I went from feeling completely isolated, sad, and feeling a lack of beauty around me but Kya and the marsh changed that.

Anways, the other characters. Tate is a gem, even when I was angry with him, and I just want to give Mabel and Jumpin’ the biggest hugs.  There are antagonists both seen and unseen that added so much dimension to the story. As well as a reality that hits home, especially during the current political climate.

The pure descriptions of the nature around Kya is phenomenal. And of course, I come to find out that Ms. Owens is a nature writer herself. Of course. While indulging in a storyline, which I love doing, I learned quite a bit as well, which I am grateful for. 

This book is full of themes of nature, preservation, family, abandonment, the true meaning of human connection, love, prejudice: both racial and societal, human drive, and all the in-between.  Anyways, it was beautiful. I can’t stop thinking and feeling gratitude for it. (Really my friends, the Universe knew I was going to need this.)

“You can read, Kya. There will never be a time again when you can’t read.” “It ain’t just that.” She spoke almost in a whisper. “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” He smiled. “That’s a very good sentence. Not all words hold that much.”

-Delia Owens Where the Crawdads Sing

Also read: I am Completely Fine…


My Kindle has become my constant companion…

Honorable Mentions are….

THE TENANT OF WILDFELL HALL by Anne Brontë -this one I started months ago. It has been my filler read – as I jump from book to book, and just not in the mood for the one I’m currently focused on, I switch over to this one. Slowly hacking away at it but it’s SO GOOD.

and

ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Ron Chernow – this one is a BEAST. I started it months ago and unfortunately had to return it to the library before making a significant dent. During COVID I have discovered library ebooks and how wonder the Kindle is (especially with Biographies…I’ll share later…) Anyways, I’ve made a dent. It has taken up all of my reading time. I have LOVED it and can’t wait to finish and share my thoughts! (Hopefully next month’s wrap up…)

Anyways, please drop any thoughts you had on these books in the comments! I would love love to start up a discussion!

And as always… Thanks for the Adventure, Books. ❤


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25 Adventures – A Birthday Bucket List

*written July 3, 2020* Welp. It is my 25th Birthday. Birthdays are either one of two things – an unforgettable day with an exorbitant amount of anticipation leading up to it or a day that’s just a day. It marks a new chapters but not a lot of hub bub happens. I hate planning a […]

Quarantine Books / Month 2

Quarantine Books / Month 2

I am honestly blown away with how quickly the time, days, weeks, and months are passing through this pandemic, and priorities seem to change on a daily basis. Hence, why posts haven’t necessarily been happening on this platform. But that is OKAY (at least that’s what I tell myself…)

My reading has slowed down quite a bit. I have found a new daily grind and sadly it includes way too much time on my social media apps on my phone instead of reading or creating music. I think it is that desire to connect that everyone is talking about?? That being said, posts are planned and will be posted. I hope someone will read them…

Speaking of reading? Here are the books that I delved into in the month of April 2020 AKA Month 2 of Quarantine Books.


Also read Quarantine Books (March in Books)


WE RIDE UPON STICKS by Quan Barry

Get ready for some literary gushing…This book was an absolute gem to read and I am oh-so-grateful for my bestie, Diana, and the Fantastic Stranglings Bookclub by the Jenny Lawson. I am so glad I read this when I did because I discovered that two of my Top Shelf Vocal gals were also reading it. We started our own little book club over email and it made my heart happy.

IMG_7063Overall, the vibe of the book is funny and realistic with some dark paranormal elements that may or may not be real… The reader spends an entire summer/school year with a high school field hockey team in the 80s. There is every 80s reference one could want as well as teen topics that we all have dealt with. There are hints of feminism, the importance of friendship, and what happens when teen girls grow up. Even though I suffered through high school in the 2010s, I felt that the issues and situations were still very relatable (even now in adulthood) and the jokes were genuinely funny. I was lol-ing in just about every chapter.

The writing was astounding. At first, I had a hard time following the flow. There always seemed to be a lot going on at once without much direction. It wasn’t until I had realized that the POV was not from any one character, or even as third-person, but from the team as a whole. Their entire psyche was connected and telling the story. It added to the vibe and created a seamless storyline.

The characters were the biggest gems (other than the writing). I highly related to Becca, because…the name 😉 and big boob probs. I had definitely worn more than one sports bra to PE and was a proud, secret, member of the BBC (Big-Boobs-Club.) I also loved and related to Julie, since I too grew up in a conservative household, and I thought her very funny. I LOVED that “The Claw” and “Splotch” were their own beings and characters and the “Philip” situation/resolution was to die for.

The setting of the Boston North Shore brought me joy since the previously mentioned bestie is from there. I fell in love with the area when I visited years ago and I miss said bestie. So it was like having her closer, especially since she gifted the book club subscription!

All this being said…I loved it and was genuinely surprised that I loved it so much. My favorite Quarantine Read so far. Boom. You go Quan Barry.

“Hit the Earth three times with your stick. Lift your eyes to the hole in the night. Remember that darkness simply requires another way of seeing. Be your own light. And just like that, you’ll find yourself everywhere and instantly.”       


Read I am Completely Fine…


MANSFIELD PARK by Jane Austen

An absolute classic that, surprisingly, I had never read before…

While not my most favorite Austen novel, it had all the qualities and characters that you can’t help but love in her works.

In my experience, every Austen novel is slow for the first hundred pages or so with long and expressive character development. Some necessary and some of it not. This book seemed to be extremely slow with it not capturing my excitement until the last hundred pages. The ending had the elements that I was hoping for but it seemed sudden and not satisfying. Not like P&P.

The characters were not my favorite and quite annoyed me really. The only redeeming one was Fanny Price, who may be my favorite heroine so far. I absolutely loved her and personally related to her. She had growth and thoughts that have been recorded in my little quote book.

I will say, the 1999 film rendition was absolute perfection, which I watched immediately after finishing the book. While straying from the book it still had that “Austen” essence. Fanny, in the film, was much more outgoing and outspoken. She had much more personality, which made me like her much more in general, but I was still in love with Austen’s original Fanny Price. Scenes were cut or reordered, but it allowed the flow and the themes to shine more. The humor was there and the men were oh-so-dreamy.

Overall, Mansfield Park‘s storyline was very similar to P&P, in my opinion, but still worth reading. There is nothing quite like Jane Austen on a rainy day.

“Her own thoughts and reflections were habitually her best companions.”


Read To All the… (a book review and a love note)


WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen

*DISCLAIMER* – My reasoning behind reading this novel was based on the fact that I adore the movie. So much so that I purchased the DVD in college, despite not owning a playing device at the time. Also, Robert Pattison is a dream and Reese Witherspoon is a queen.IMG_7133

This was a nice, blissful, read. I love romantic period/historical books and movies so I was already sold to begin with. The storyline feels complete with the characters, events, the climax, and the ending. I will say that I loved the book’s switching back and forth in time in Jacob’s POV.

Jacob, Rosie, and the minor circus characters were by far my favorites. August was an alluring but somewhat boring villain and Marlena was kinda “eh” for me. Jacob was a lovable protagonist who had growth, both in the storyline of his past and future. I especially loved his kooky, somewhat negative, but sweet older self. Rosie was just a joy and I wish she had more moments in the book.

The themes were subtle but very apparent. Animal abuse, human cruelty, human kindness, family – both by blood and chosen, sex, growing up, circus (or outsider) culture, were among the few. There wasn’t one stand-out theme overall but they did add to the story. Overall it was an enjoyable read, simple in some ways but still good. Admittedly, I still like the movie better…

“Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important.”

“Life is the most spectacular show on Earth.”


Read Thanks for the Bucketlist #2


Although sometimes I have added a pressure to “read faster” and “read more,” because of my little Bucketlist goal – Books have still been a joyous thing to have. I love stories and different worlds. And sometimes delving into a different one is quite necessary.

Go enjoy the sun, Spring/Summer seems to be coming. Read more. Call more. Write more. Listen more.

Anyways, as always…

Thanks for the adventure, (Quarantine) Books.

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Quarantine Books (March in Books)

Quarantine Books (March in Books)

Well…what a month. I, like many others, did not anticipate this new world and this new normal. At first, like everyone else, I thought I would have much more time to read and I reveled in it. Then about a week into self-isolation after watching the news and the global pandemic unfold, reading became harder.  My anxiety levels soared and my focus turned to other things.

All in all, such good reads this month! I have to give a huge shoutout to The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson), her Fantastic Stranglings Book Club, and my best friend, Diana, who gifted me the best Christmas gift ever. Without this Book Club, I would not have survived this past, pandemic, month, and I would not have read these gems.


Why am I reading so much? (Other than just for the love of stories, books, and attempting to better myself?) Read about my Bucketlist item HERE


AMERICAN SHERLOCK:MURDER, FORENSICS, AND THE BIRTH OF AMERICAN CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson

First off, shout out to Jenny Lawson…the copies sent out for the club were SIGNED! For whatever reason, this made my day and made me feel exponentially more special. This book was different from my typical go-to reads, despite loving true crime and history in general. But…

If you are a true crime lover or fascinated with criminology or historical cases this is a fantastic book to read.

marchbook -4I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. As I started I thought it would be the typical, dry, biography of a guy I had never heard of. Albeit it took me a while to get through this, as I would read a chapter then jump back to one of my fiction reads. But each chapter (which was an individual case) read like a narrative with all the facts and emotions both from Heinrich but also the victims and suspects. (Comparable to individual episodes in a docuseries.) Each chapter built upon each other, revealing Heinrich’s failures and triumphs. Each case and trial was exciting to read about and I felt like I was learning and immersed,  instead of being preached to by the author, which happens in biographies at times. It was obviously well researched and it is well written. Overall, enjoyable to read. I loved how the pinnacle case bookended each end of the book and Dawson’s call to action in the epilogue. It is current and relevant.

Now I am waiting for the 1920s/30s period drama with Oscar Heinrich (played by Hugh Laurie possibly??) as the protagonist. Amazon? Hulu? Netflix? Who’s going to take it??

“Oscar never pursued the spotlight-it chased him. A shining light in the dark world of crime, his amazing feats in criminal investigations were unmatched during his time, and that is likely true today.” -Kate Winkler Dawson

“I am not positive that I am doing yet that for which I was created…life is a series of frustrations.” -Oscar Heinrich, quoted by Kate Winkler Dawson


A February themed post about books: To All the… (a book review and a love note) 


FOLLOW ME TO GROUND by Sue Rainsfordmarchbook -3

I will say, even a couple of weeks after finishing this I still can’t say whether or not I understand or loved this read. But I will say Sue Rainsford’s instagram page is one of beauty.

This was dark, haunting, provocative, confusing, but addicting to read. The mystery of who Ada is truly kept me tied in the entire time. It was quick to get through with unique and beautiful writing. The storyline was confusing, but mostly because Ada’s inner dialogue became confusing. The darkness surprised me and I was dissatisfied at the end. But sometimes amazing storytelling has to end that way. What a debut novel. I’m excited to see what else Rainsford writes in the future.


Bucketlist update: 31/52


Well there you go! Month 1 of self-isolation was also a month fueled by the Stranglings Book Club and I am incredibly grateful for it.

I am excited for what is to come, despite all the awfulness in the world right now. I am grateful for this little corner of the internet that is mine and I can share with old and new friends.

Currently reading : WE RIDE UPON STICKS by Quan Barry

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Keep up with my thoughts and feelings during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am keeping a journal series: Thanks COVID-19 pt. 2


Please share a comment! I would love to find other bloggers to follow and befriend. I am also ALWAYS in need of book (and lets be real: Netflix) recommendations.

Here’s to April!

Thanks for the Adventure, Quarantine books…


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