Posted in Lifestyle

Book Challenge Update

At the beginning of the year, I mentioned I would do a book challenge.

If you’d like to do the challenge, it’s never too late; you can find it here.

After starting school again and getting back into the swing of things, it feels like I have a lot of time. And now that I’m going to start working again I won’t have any time for books.

I am still reading my books alphabetically, but I don’t plan to get through the whole alphabet or challenge soon. This sucks because reading over 95 authors last year made me feel like I could do anything this year. That was a little ambitious of me.

I just started reading Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton today. And I’m also planning to read Brutal Prince by Sophie Lark. This book is a little spicy, so I only recommend reading it if you are eighteen or over. On kindle unlimited, it’s illustrated—links to both are listed below.

Posted in Lifestyle

Reading Challenge Of 2023!

This may be a terrible idea. But I will try to read one book a week for the entire year.

The only way I can do this is by planning out all the books I want to read now. I’m more than a little nervous about this. Am I biting off more than I can chew?

I’ve already lost the original instagram post. But it was there, I promise. It was 52 different prompts for books—simple things like an unlikely detective, a cozy mystery, or by an author you’ve never read before.

Now on top of reading 52 books based on prompts outside of my comfort zone, I also have to find a way to incorporate the books I brought on a whim. So I’ve decided to do this and the A-Z challenge combined. This shall be very interesting.

Since I had so many books, I had to make up some of my own prompts. This list is way more than 52 books. I’m going to tell you now I am cheating by using books that start with the word “THE.” 

I’ll do this in a list format. So on top will be the prompt, and under it will be the book I plan on reading.

  • A book on my TBR
    1. A light in the Flame by Jennifer L Armentrout
  • A book that gives you hope
    1. A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
  • A book set in the 1700s
    1. Antoinnette’s Sister by Diana Giovinazzo
  • A book that makes you laugh
    1. Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade by Patrick Dennis
  • A book set in India
    1. Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
  • A book I’ve been excited to read
    1. Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton
  • A book with a rabbit on the cover
    1. Bunny by Mona Awad
  • An illustrated book
    1. WARNING!!!! This is an NSFW Book. Do not read if you are not an adult. Brutal Prince by Sophie Lark (Free on Kindle Unlimited) 
  • Complete an entire series
    1. Beartown Trilogy by Fredrick Backman
  • A speculative fiction
    1. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
  • A book about history
    1. Chernobyl: The History of a Nuclear Catastrophe 
  • A cozy mystery
    1. Death by Dumpling by Vivian Chien. (Free on Kindle Unlimited)
  • A book that I was told I would like
    1. Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
  • An Indigenous author
    1. Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline
  • An Anthology
    1. Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
  • A Graphic Novel
    1. Fangs by Sarah Andersen
  • An Unlikely detective
    1. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman (Free on Kindle Unlimited)
  • A book with a map
    1. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
  • A horror story
    1. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  • A debut novel
    1. How I’ll Kill you by Ren DeStefano (Comes out March 21, Still time to order)
  • LGBTQ+ Fiction
    1. Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White
  • A nonhuman main character
    1. The Humans by Matt Haig
  • A book about a shipwreck
    1. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • An author I’ve never heard of
    1. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • A book about a sport
    1. The Knockout by Sajni Patel
  • A book featuring a close friend group
    1. Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli
  • The first book of a new series
    1. Liberty or Death (The Soldier Chronicles) by David Cook
  • A book you’ve heard great things about
    1. Lessons by Ian McEwan
  • A bestseller
    1.  Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
  • An author you haven’t read in a while
    1. Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult
  • A book featuring pirates
    1. The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea by Maggie Tokugawa-Hall
  • A biography of a person I know nothing about
    1. Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age by Debby Applegate
  • A friend’s book recommendation
    1. Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain
  • A second-person narrative
    1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Give a DNF book a second chance
    1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • An intimidating book
    1. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • A retelling of a classic Disney Story
    1. Prince of Song and Sea by Linsey Miller
  • A nonfiction book on a topic I know nothing about
    1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  • A POC author
    1. Real Life by Brandon Taylor
  • A National Book Award winner
    1. The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty
  • A book with “Adventure” in the title
    1. She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard
  • A Barnes and Noble exclusive
    1. Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes
  • A book with a tough choice
    1. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
  • A memoir
    1. Three Pianos by Andrew McMahon
  • Another Memoir
    1. Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
  • A book about a murder
    1. Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino
  • A book or author everyone is talking about
    1. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  • A book might make me cry
    1. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
  • A librarian’s favorite. (I couldn’t find a librarian, so I asked a person who works at B&N)
    1. What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo
  • A journey of Self
    1. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • A book published before I was Born
    1. Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  • A fantasy novel
    1. Will Do Magic for Small Change by Andrea Hairston
  • A Romance
    1. XOXO by Axie Oh (Free on Kindle Unlimited)
  • A favorite on social media
    1. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli
  • A Barnes and Noble’s monthly pick
    1. Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson (Free on Kindle Unlimited)
  • A book you’ve already read
    1. Z: a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

I’m not going to be super critical about being in alphabetical order, and I hope you aren’t, either. I am as long as I’m reading a book that starts with an A or a book that begins with a B; when it comes to those times, that’s all that matters. I am also not going to force myself to finish books. If the book is a DNF, then it’s a DNF, not my problem.

I would love to see what books you read using the same prompts. I do know that the monthly book club post just got more interesting.

Posted in Creative

October Book Club

Fall is in full swing.

If only California had sweater weather. I’m ready to cuddle up with a book and warm tea and enjoy the peace. Instead, I’ll cuddle up with an iced coffee and read.

I Fear My Pain Interests You by Stephanie LaCava is a short novel that follows Margot, the daughter of a famous mother and father. Margot is an aspiring actress but feels the pressure of living in her parent’s footsteps build up, so she leaves her hometown and stays at her friend’s secluded house in a small village. The book focuses on the characters and Margot’s complicated relationships with the people in her life.

I read all my murder mystery books these last two months I needed some drama.

I go into a lot of books blind but I think it allows me to make predictions about the story and analysis the book as I’m reading. These predictions have become helpful when I’m watching a movie or tv because I can infer what’s going to happen in scary movies and makes me less afraid.

My predictions for I Fear My Pain Interest You.

  • At least one Suicide attempt from the main character.
  • A toxic relationship with a male. “savior” character. “I just want the best for you.”
  • A friend will either die or abandon the main character due to the drug abuse and parting
  • I don’t think the main character will grow as a person. For some reason, the book gives me Breakfast of Tiffany’s vibes
Posted in Lifestyle

August Book Club

Helllllooooo August Book CLub!!!!!!!!!

I haven’t done a book club post in the longest. Honestly, I was reading books, but it felt like no one cared. It still feels that way, but This Month is different. I’m reading three books, and each one is a bit of a doozy.

Ignore the sweltering weather; Summer is over. I’m ready for the spooky season and have a want for something scary.

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey will hopefully fill that want.

Vera has returned to her childhood home – the home where she lived with her estranged mother and serial killer father. Yes, you read that right! Vera is in the house with her mother, while an artist lives in the guest house out back. He insists that he is not the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting, but if he isn’t leaving them, then who is?

Based on the synopsis and genre, I’m hoping for a horror/thriller novel. Also I love a good like “I thought you were a serial killer but now I love you because you know you saved me at some point in time.” And since the book introduced a loner artist right in the summary maybe the book will have that too.

And now to my nonfiction selection. It feels so weird that I’m only reading one fiction book this month but also kinda good. My brain needs to relax from all those super romantic books. Kinda hard to enjoy them when my life feels like it’s falling apart and I’m single.

Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph by Lucasta Miller.

This book mixes biography with the artistic work of the subject. I loved the idea – pick nine poems and weave a story about Keats’s life around them.

I sometimes feel like John Keats doesn’t get as much love as other poets. He didn’t produce much work, he only published only fifty-four poems and he died very young. He didn’t really rise to fame when he was alive but after his death is when he got really popular. But they did make a movie about him, “Bright Star.”

And lastly, the celebrity memoir that I did not anticipate being so genuinely excited to read.

I’m Glad My Mom Died | Book by Jennette McCurdy.

Posted in Lifestyle

Since I Been Gone

No surprise, but I have manic depression. In mid-February, I fell into a depressive episode, and it lasted until about a few days ago. The whole thing ruined all of my routines that help me move through life effortlessly. 

It also felt like my self-confidence is destroyed. I try not to talk about this too much. And I decided just to take a break instead and come back when I had my emotions under control. 

 I wanted to be this interesting, relaxed and fun person on my blog, but I’m not. In real life, I’m an anxiety-ridden nervous wreck who gets depressed when life seems a little too “real” or overwhelming. I felt like I set myself up for failure these last two months. 

I’m always so critical of myself, and I sometimes have to remind myself what I did. In February, I ended up finishing two books. I’m honestly surprised I was able to even read two books. 

The first being; Daisy Jones and The Six, and the other was; Black Cake. Both of these books blew me out of the water. 

Where do I start to express my love for these novels? 

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Summary

It is a gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup.

Honest Thoughts

1970s rock and roll, need I say more? I strongly recommend getting the audiobook. I started by reading this, and someone suggested the audiobook to me, and it made me love the story that much more.

The book is styled like a documentary, a compilation of interviews from Daisy, Billy, Billy’s wife, the band, and their crew. It’s an inside look into the life of a band beyond alcohol, drugs, and egos. I had to google to make sure this wasn’t a real band that I missed out on. 

The story and the characters are so realistic. Taylor Jenkins Reid can take you through a whole life journey. Daisy and Billy, the two main characters, are arrogant and selfish. Daisy doesn’t really give a shit about anyone. Billy is a control freak.  

 I love Karen with all my heart.  

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Summary

 This multi-generational novel focuses on Eleanor Bennett and her children. The book moves back and forth between present and past as Eleanor tells her life story. The two siblings have to set their differences aside and listen to the secrets their mother will reveal in these recordings. Things they had no idea about their mom are all told through past stories. 

Honest Thoughts

I loved reading about the importance and significance of black cake to the Bennett family. Family traditions and cultures are handed down throughout generations. While some traditions fade over time, the one constant is always food. 

This is a fascinating and different book. And a painful reminder that we are never guaranteed tomorrow. 

As children, we think we know everything about our parents. We learn later in life we sometimes know very little. When Eleanor gets into her origin story, we learn about the Caribbean and how she became who she is. There’s almost a mystery in there, and it’s fascinating. Eleanor, her strength, and her heartbreak were so raw and emotional. 

 There were so many short chapters, different characters, and social issues that I occasionally lost track of who was who, especially as identities changed throughout the book. You definitely have to pay attention to the chapter titles. 

This is a strong one as debuts go, and I look forward to seeing what else Wilkerson publishes.

Quote 

“When she fled the island, his mother lost everything, but she carried this recipe in her head wherever she went. That, and the stories she’d spent a lifetime concealing from her children, the untold narrative of their family. Every time his mother made a black cake, it must have been like reciting an incantation, calling up a line from her true past, taking herself back to the island.”

Posted in Lifestyle

February TBR

I didn’t forget to update my February book club. I was waiting for all of my books to come in. I’m still waiting for a few books. I read six books last month and want to read even more this month.

I have a lot of hopes for the books I will be reading this month. As of right now, I have nine books on my February to-be-read list. Nine whole books! I feel I may be getting ahead of myself. This month is shorter, but I usually have so much happening in February it feels just as long as every other month.

I feel like this month, I wanted to add a billion different books to my tbr. And I’m not known for holding back. I’m curious how many of these books will roll over to next month.

My most anticipated read for this month is Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. I pre-ordered this book back at the beginning of January. Two estranged siblings must set aside their differences to deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past.

I’m also really excited to read Circe by Madeline Miller. Many people recommended I read it after reading The Song of Achilles. Set during the Greek Heroic Age, it is an adaptation of various Greek myths, most notably the Odyssey, as told from the perspective of the witch Circe.

I had to have a romantic novel for Valentine’s Day. The Weight of the Stars by K Ancrum. A vivid, evocative YA lesbian romance about how the universe is full of second chances.

The Storyteller by Kathryn Williams. This story follows a teenage girl’s quest to uncover the truth behind her secretive great aunt Anna, who might be the long-lost Russian princess Anastasia.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup.

Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O’Neil. An imaginative retelling of the Anastasia story. I preordered this book, and it comes out on my birthday.

What once was mine by Liz Braswell. I grabbed this when I was in Target because I impulse buy and love everything Disney. A twisted Rapunzel tale seems too good to pass up even if it’s giving wannabe The Princess Bride vibes.

I will say I saved the two more adult-themed books for last. I ended up on spicy booktok, and I had to order these books.

Promises and Pomegranates by Sav R. Miller. A Hades and Persephone retelling.

Tin by Candace Robinson. A spicy Wizard of Oz retelling with Dorothy Gale and the tin man as a couple.

Posted in Lifestyle

January Book Reviews

January is finally over, and I read some great books last month. This January book review includes my favorite book of 2022 so far. 

 I originally planned to read three books this month and read more. The latest book on my list were last-minute additions this month. I was desperate to search for something cute and romantic after reading The Song of Achilles. Much like watching a Disney film after watching a scary movie. 

If you want to purchase any of these books just click on the book cover and it should take you to Barnes and Noble or Amazon – depending on where I found the book.

The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller

A Quick Summary

The Song of Achilles is a 2011 novel by American writer Madeline Miller. Set during the Greek Heroic Age, it is an adaptation of Homer’s Iliad as told from the perspective of Patroclus. The novel follows Patroclus’ relationship with Achilles, from their initial meeting to their exploits during the Trojan War, focusing on their romantic relationship.

My Honest Thoughts 

There are not enough words to describe how I feel about this book. I consider this to be my favorite book of 2022. I love Greek mythology. At the same time, I knew very little about Achilles and Patroclus’s relationship. I knew I would love this book, but not as much as I genuinely did. This book broke me into a million pieces. I think it’s very beautifully written, and the passionate and romantic diction truly moved me. I can talk about this for hours. I can quote this book for even longer. 

Quotes I’m Obsessed With 

“Patroclus, he says, “Patroclus. Patroclus. Over and over until it is sound only.”

“Name one hero who was happy.”

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way, his breaths came, and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.” 

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides 

A Quick Summary

Mariana is certain that Edward Fosca is a murderer. Having been called back to CambridgeUniversity by her distraught niece, Mariana is determined to prove that this well-loved professor killed a student.

My Honest Thoughts 

Don’t waste your time reading this if you love dark academia, Greek mythology, and murder. 

It was a mystery thriller, a specific genre that I rarely read. To that end, I wanted to be careful with judging it.

 But the book was disappointing. The beginning of the book was slow, flat, and boring. The characters were okay. Not exceptional by any means. I didn’t feel like I knew any of the characters, even the main one. I enjoyed how short the chapters were. It was a quick read, but it left me with… nothing. I wasn’t engaged in the story enough. I was more excited just to finish the book and write a rant review than I was for finding out how it ends. 

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

A Summary

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up

— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

My Honest Opinion

I first read this from Colleen Hoover. I knew nothing about her except that booktok was obsessed with her. I thought it would be another cliché- love- story, but I’m glad to say that I was wrong! This is not a love triangle. 

 I loved this book, but it was a hard book to read. I was entirely unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster of a Colleen Hoover novel. I was expecting a feel-good rom-com to get me out of the slump The Song of Achilles gave me. I think I’m more depressed now. It was a gripping, emotional, and heart-wrenching story. 

Quotes I’m Obsessed With

Fifteen seconds. That’s all it takes to completely change everything about a person. Fifteen seconds that we’ll never get back.

“In the future . . . if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again . . . fall in love with me.”

“We all have a limit. What we’re willing to put up with before we break.”

Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

A Quick Summary

Today Tonight Tomorrow is a story taking place over 24 hours between bitter rivals. But could they be more? 

My Honest Opinion

 This book was so adorable! I related to Rowan so much! I need to go to Seattle now. The book is a love letter to Seattle with all of the references to the city. I want to go to the gum wall (how incredibly disgusting does that sound?) and see all the other sights that Rowan and Neil visit. I wish Free Puppies! (the exclamation point is important) was a real band. Neil is adorable and dorky. 

The thing that sold me on this book is THE BANTER! I loved how witty their remarks to each other were. I loved how competitive they are, and I love how they flirt, tease, and learn from each other. This book has a contemporary pride and prejudice vibe. 

Aside from the romance bits, I appreciate all the real talk. I loved that the author wasn’t afraid to talk about issues of class, religious discrimination/stereotypes, and unfortunate family issues. It was feminist and sex-positive and progressive in a way that uplifted rather than dragged you down.

Quotes I’m Obsessed With

You’re going to miss him telling you to have a shitty day?” Kirby asks and shakes her head. “Straights, I swear.”

How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

A Quick Summary
  • Kill my family
  • Make a claim on their fortune
  • Get away with the above
  • Adopt a dog

Meet Grace Bernard.

Daughter, sister, colleague, friend, serial killer…

Grace has lost everything. And now she wants revenge.

My Honest Opinion

I love a female psychopath, and Grace was undoubtedly that. She was cold, cynical, and sarcastic with her general disdain for everyone around her. Grace wasn’t particularly likable, but I was rooting for her.

Parts of the book seemed a little clumsy and disjointed. Some chapters tended to drone on, and there was a lack of consistency with the timings. I hated the ‘twist’ at the end; it pretty much ruined the rest of the book. 

Posted in Lifestyle

Let’s Get Reading!

Happy Monday!!!!

We survived the first week of January! How are you all feeling about the year so far? I know sometimes it’s hard to get back into a routine after the holidays.

My week has been a bit hectic. I woke up a few days ago with a terrible cough and was forced to take a few days out of work. This was the first time in a while where I had felt so sick that I had no energy. I’m happy to say I’m back to being my usual healthy self, and it wasn’t covid.

Before going back to work, I decided to go to a bookstore. This gave me a fascinating idea, and hopefully, you guys will enjoy it as well.

Welcome to the very first book club here on Some Punny Bunny!

I’m so excited to launch this series and hopefully continue to add more options like video reviews and maybe even zoom meetings. All suggestions are welcome. I’ve never done this before.

I plan to share 3-4 books that I have chosen to read throughout the month on my Instagram. Anyone can join in at any time!! I will continue to update everyone on how I’m enjoying them in recaps before writing a follow-up with a blog post at the end of the month.

If you want, join me in reading. Remember to read at your own speed. When I read books that I love, I tend to read the whole thing SO fast. Feel free to pass on reading any book you’ve already read or aren’t interested in.

I have 18 books planned for the year already, each one varying in genre and topic. I plan on adding more books. I want to read at least 24 books this year. This book club will be helping me stay on track with my reading.

As for the books, I will add to the list; it just depends on what comes out, what people recommend to me, or what I find randomly. So feel free to suggest any books in the comments.

In no particular order, here are the books I plan to read in 2022

  1. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  2. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  3. Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson
  4. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
  5. Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  6. The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
  7. The Shore of Women by Pamela Sargent
  8. Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda
  9. Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
  10. Three Pianos: A Memoir by Andrew McMahon
  11. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
  12. The book of life by Deborah Harkness
  13. The storyteller by Kathryn Williams
  14. The Idiot by Elif Batuman
  15. Either/Or by Elif Batuman
  16. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
  17. I Fear My Pain Interests You by Stephanie LaCava.
  18. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

This month, I have chosen three books!

I thought starting with the books I missed reading in 2021 would be most straightforward. These books have been on my TBR list for the longest. I would always talk myself out of buying them. And finally, I had enough of hearing about how good these books were without reading them for myself.