Book 453: Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) – Deborah Harkness

Harkness, Deborah - Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2)Picking up where A Discovery of Witches leaves off we are right back in the story of Diana and Matthew! It’s hard to hide spoilers, especially the one at the end of the first book because it sets up the entire second book, so if you plan on reading the series skip my response!

I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am, but I am a little surprised at how much I enjoyed book two of the All Souls Trilogy. For everything that was missing in book one, Harkness made a great effort to bring it back to this book. She reined in the over descriptions, she brought a little more sass to her characters, and she wrote 16th century Europe wonderfully. Continue reading

Book 452: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) – Deborah Harkness

Harkness, Deborah - A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)I probably would have read this book closer to its release, but unfortunately it’s part of a trilogy (this followed by (Shadow of Night and  The Book of Life) and I didn’t want to read the books as they came out so I waited to read it. I really wanted to read it a lot sooner because a lot of my blogger friends who really enjoyed it. That being said, I’m a little grumpy as I’ve just found out that Harkness will continue writing in this universe with the release of The Serpent’s Mirror next year. So bah.

If I had to break this down into a one sentence review it would be: Harry Potter meets Twilight for adults. That’s definitely a bit reductionist, but as I was reading that’s what I kept thinking. It wasn’t as much of a compulsive read as either of those series, but A Discovery of Witches definitely stands on its own.

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July Recap 2016

2016 07-11 South Boston SunsetLet’s start my July recap off with a beautiful photo, to the right of Castle Island in Boston. This was a busy month with lots of family, a lot of busy weekends and a lot to do at work. Thankfully (mostly because of Pokémon Go) I’ve had time to just wander around the city and relax.

If you’re not playing, you probably should be. It’s made me go out when I’ve felt like being lazy and I ended up walking six or seven miles! Not to mention it’s made my morning walks a bit more interactive😀 There are only two downsides: 1) I’ve spent a lot of time doing it that I would generally be reading; and 2) when you go out for an hour walk and then don’t come home for four or five hours, um yeah. Thankfully my morning walks are very structured so it hasn’t made me late for work or anything like that. Continue reading

Book 450: Sisters In Law – Linda Hirshman

Hirshman, Linda - Sisters In LawFour the fourth installment of our nonfiction book group, we’re learning about the amazing Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor. I thought I knew a lot about the “Notorious RBG,” but I knew nothing; and then add in what I learned about the FWOTSC (First Woman on the Supreme Court) and I’d say this was a pretty good addition to our year of biographies and autobiographies.

As interesting as the book was, I felt like there was so much from both their histories and from their time on the court that was left out of the book. Hirshman seemed to rush the first half of O’Connor’s time on the court and the last part of Ginsburg’s continued time on the court. It was disappointing because there are clearly so many additional amazing cases they had to decide that weren’t as glamorous as LGBT rights, women’s rights or racial equality.

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June Recap 2016

2016 06-29 Walking AgainI’d say where did June go, but it’s pretty obvious when you spend two weeks out of the country and then two weeks playing catch up!

We had a great time in China and then spent almost a week readjusting to being at work and back on Eastern Standard Time.

I’ve tried my best the last two weeks to keep up the walking that happened on vacation. We walked upwards of five miles every day, even when we were on the three-day river cruise! The first week I didn’t walk much, but this week I’ve managed to hit my step goal every day which is great for me as it’s been too long since I’ve done that!

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Book 441: The Madwoman Upstairs – Catherine Lowell

Lowell, Catherine - The Madwoman UpstairsBack-to-back Brontë fan-fictions you say? Hell yes, I say! I honestly didn’t plan it this way, but both books were burning holes on my TBR pile and I wanted to read them before I headed out to China.

I really do need to up my game though, I had no idea this (or Jane Steele) were coming out this year. Unlike Jane Steele, this one doesn’t seem to be making as big of a splash. It could be because it’s a debut novel, or it could be because it’s by a smaller publisher, but I couldn’t tell you for sure what it is.

I know I stumbled across The Madwoman Upstairs after I finally got around to reading an article from The Daily Beast titled Life Lessons From the Brontë Sisters (article link). So of course I reached out to the publisher and they kindly sent a review copy*, which once I started reading I blazed through.

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May Recap 2016

2016 05-10 Boston AFAnother month gone. I’ve been at my new job for about a month and a half and it feels like I’m still brand new, but also like I’ve been here forever. I’m, of course, still enjoying it and learning more each day about refugees and immigrants and about my own skills.

The other thing I’ve been trying to work on is exercising. I’ve been REALLY lazy over the last 12-18 months. I don’t know if it’s passing the two-year mark in my relationship (look at the pretty flowers at the end) or if it’s just me getting old and lazy, but I know I have to get better about it fast. So I’ve been trying to walk more in the mornings. That photo above was on a random street in South Boston and my friend Mal on Facebook summed it up perfectly: “Boston As F&ck.” (If you can’t tell it’s a Sam Adams tap.)

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