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 […]

August in Books

August in Books

This past month was crazy with end of summer fun including family and friends visiting, exploring my new city, hustling to find a job, auditions, call backs, rehearsals and starting a new normal. I am completely overwhelmed and thrilled about it all, but it also meant that my brain did not allow blissful reading unless I was sitting on a beach not worried about time and to-do lists.

So my August in books…

I found a Free Book Library in my neighborhood! I saw these everywhere in the neighborhoods in Downtown SLC. I never participated and quickly regretted it later, but thankfully I found one in my new California street! My one read this month came from this cute, little, “take a book, leave a book” library.

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THE MOZART CONSPIRACY (BEN HOPE #2) by Scott Mariani

Untitled design-4I didn’t love, love, this book. I chose it simply from the title and the cover. Lolz. It was different than my normal reads: action, guns, and lots of alcohol. Very James Bond… But the mystery was exciting. Very Da Vinci Code… And I won’t lie that I was pulled in by the romance. It was a quick read, which once my brain shut off I couldn’t put it down. The excitement and writing made up for the “spy” genre that I don’t normally go for. And I loved the European and Opera references!

My book haul this past month came from a little shop in Pacific Beach, San Diego called PENNYWISE BOOKS. It was the quintessential used book store, complete with a man reading a book behind the counter and not even using a till or computer to take payment. They had a couple of shelves outside filled with books for $1. I HAD to indulge and bought IDAHO by Emily Ruskovich (which I am currently reading and loving) and THE GIRLS by Emma Cline. Why is it that browsing book shops and buying books sometimes more exciting than actually reading them?? Haha Read about my full adventure in San Diego HERE.

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Overall, despite the lack of actually reading and contributing more to my Bucketlist Challenge, in was a good month in the book department.

You can keep up with what I am currently reading at my GOODREADS (come be my friend!) As well as on my personal Insta @beccaanneclarke (I tend to post on my stories when I start something new!)

Bucketlist count : 13/52

Other Socials:

Instagram – @thanksfortheadventureblog

Facebook

Thanks for the adventure, Books!!

 

July in Books

July in Books

As part of my Bucketlist goal #2, which you can read about HERE, I have been delving back into the world of books. I want to share which ones I have loved and hated and all of the in-between this past month.

You can also keep up to date with what I’m exploring on my Goodreads and my Instagrams @thanksfortheadventureblog and @beccaanneclarke !

So here is my #Julywrapup in books!

THE STRANGER BESIDE ME: TED BUNDY: THE SHOCKING INSIDE STORY by Ann Rule

Taiwan -4.pngThis was a hefty read. Over 500 pages of information and heavy emotions. It took me a month to get through it but totally worth it. It was absolutely fascinating. I have seen quite a few documentaries and thought I understood the darkness and mystery surrounding Ted. Ann Rule offered so much insight and information. It was beautifully written and easy to read despite the length, subject matter, and the immense amount of facts. But more importantly she brought so much emotion and light to the victims. Highlighting how terrible it was to loose those girls. Gave them a voice. Thank you Ms. Rule for sharing your side of the story and putting so much work and effort in telling the story of all characters to this story: including police forces, detectives, journalists, lawyers, judges, the families of the victims, and of course those who perished at the hands of Ted.

” ‘Conscience doth make cowards of us all’ but conscience is what gives us our humanity, the factor that separates us from animals. It allows us to love, to feel another’s pain, and to grow. Whatever drawbacks are to being blessed with a conscience the rewards are essential to living in a world in other human beings.”     -Ann Rule

PRIDE AND PREDJUDICE by Jane Austen

A classic, obviously. And a favorite of mine since I was in middle school. I HAD to read it Taiwan .pngagain to bring back the magic of reading. I wanted to get excited about the characters and completely transported from this world and after such a hefty commitment to Stranger… I needed it. Jane Austen just got it. She understood the human conscience so well therefore her characters are so relatable. The human emotions she describes are so accurate. It has been years since I read it last, and before I had dealt with real love and heartbreak but boy, she got it. I related to Elizabeth more than ever, and found quite a bit of comfort in Victorian England. Anyways, I loved it as always.

“Elizabeth had never been more at a loss to make her feelings appear what they were not. It was necessary to laugh, when she would rather have cried.”    -Jane Austen

“Elizabeth’s spirit’s soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ‘How could you begin?’ said she.
‘I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?’  ‘I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”    -Jane Austen (SPOILER… my favorite part….ugh)

Taiwan -3THE GUNSLINGER (DARK TOWER #1) by Stephen King

I did not like this one. At all. I read over half and had to stop. It was very slow and overall felt like a young man’s fan fiction. Apparently it’s like a “prologue” to the rest of the series, but it just did not have my attention. This was my first Stephen King novel, so I was sad to be so disappointed. I will though make sure to read at least one of his other more popular ones. So give your recommendations!

 

 

NEVER LET ME GO by Kazuo Ishiguro

This was a, “It was good. I didn’t LOVE it. Probably won’t read it again.” I can see why itTaiwan -2 has won awards. The story was interesting, and the writing overall very well done. For the longest time (like the first half of the book) I couldn’t figure out whether it was a historical, dystopian, or plain Jane fiction. I did eventually feel connected to the characters, but there was not an overwhelming need to know what happens to them. It would be a good book to start conversations about culture, humanity, and how humans view each other. I’m glad I read it, and I would recommend it but not an absolute “stay on my bookshelf” read.

“I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they’d once belonged to the sea.”    -Kazuo Ishiguro

“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast, And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The currents too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart.”    -Kazuo Ishiguro

I AM MALALA: THE STORY OF THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND WAS SHOT BY THE TALIBAN by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

Taiwan -5.pngEver since seeing the documentary of the same name and hearing about her story, I have wanted to read Malala’s memoir. Overall, what an inspiration. I think it is important to be aware of the world, other cultures, as well as other people’s struggles. It brings into perspective what is actually important in life and how lucky we are. I admire Malala’s bravery and dedication to what she has decided is her life’s purpose. Education is important and should be given to all. Violence and discrimination for power should be stopped. It was not the most engaging read, but inspiring. She gives a look into her beliefs, religion, culture, country, fears, joys. Yes, like many others, would relate it to The Diary of Anne FrankMalala is on the top of my list of inspirational people on this planet.

“Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.”    -Malala Yousafzai

“Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days we were afraid of our fellow human beings.”    -Malala Yousafzai

“We human beings don’t realize how great God is. He has given us an extraordinary brain and sensitive loving hear. He has blessed us with two lips to talk and express our feelings, two eyes which we see a world of colors and beauty, two feet which walk on the road of life, two hands to work for us, a nose which smells the beauty of fragrance, and two ears to hear the words of love.”    -Malala Yousafzai

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate

Loved loved loved this book. This was by far my favorite read all month. So many Untitled design-23gorgeous passages. The mystery is engaging all the way through. The human relations are real and beautiful. I liked the switching between time and characters. The message of love, family, and courage thrives all the way through and leaves you inspired at the end. I caught myself squealing, laughing out loud, and crying throughout. The historical significance is interesting, sad, and important to acknowledge. Overall such a good story and book and I will recommend it to everyone. As well as keep it on my shelf..

“I shush my mind, because you mind can ruin it if you let it.”    -Lisa Wingate

“Life is not unlike the cinema. Each scene has its own music, and the music is created for the scene, woven to it in ways we do not understand. No matter how music we may love the melody of a bygone day or imagine the song of a future one, we must dance within the music of today, or we will always be out of step, stumbling around in something that doesn’t suit the moment.”     -Lisa Wingate

“A woman’s past need not predict her future. She can dance to new music if she chooses. Her own music. To hear the tune she must stop talking. To herself, I mean. We’re always trying to persuade ourselves of things.”    -Lisa Wingate

So here you go…a July summer month in books…here’s to the next month!

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Thanks for the Adventure Books!

Bucketlist update: 11/52