Wrapping up #TomeTopple | May 2020 📚✨

tome-topple-wrapup

Hello There

From May 9th to May 22nd, I participated in the eleventh round of Tome Topple, which was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and I had a lot of fun! The goal of this readathon is to read books that are over 500 pages and I’m glad I prioritised some of my tomes during these two weeks. As I posted my TBR for it two weeks ago, I thought I’d wrap-up this readathon today, so I guess this post is a sort of wrap-up of everything I’ve read in the past two weeks.

For Tome Topple, I was planning on reading:

  • A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (reread)

… which meant I needed to read 2,545 pages. So, did I manage it? 👀

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🐉 A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin

> I started the readathon with this one and read it pretty quickly: it was so action-packed and I totally understood why A Storm of Swords is so many readers’ favourite book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series! It motivated to catch up on the series before the end of the year, so it was a success! I gave it 4/5 stars.

👑 Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

> I then moved on to Kingsbane, second book in the Empirium trilogy, and devoured it as well. It was so much better than Furyborn in my opinion, I cared a lot more for Rielle and Eliana, I loved how dark the story became (it’s the reason I was reading this series in the first place), I have a new favourite antagonist (everyone, please look away 🙈and considering that it ended on a big cliffhanger, I can’t wait to get my hands on Lightbringer in October! I gave 4/5 stars to this one as well.

🎨 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

> After that, I started reading The Goldfinch, and I was really excited about that one! Unfortunately, this book triggered my anxiety for days and I had to push myself to read it: I started with the physical copy, then switched to the audiobook, but really couldn’t get through it. Honestly, life is already scary enough as it is, so I decided to abandon it after 235 pages. I’ve felt so much better since I DNF-ed it, so I guess it wasn’t for me (though I loved The Secret History)!

🕊️ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

> As the newest Hunger Games book came out during the readathon, I really wanted to read it straight away. Considering it’s 540 page-long, it fitted Tome Topple really well! It just came out this week, so I won’t say too much about it (there’s so much to say though!), but I enjoyed it overall. I thought the characters weren’t entirely believable in the beginning (though it got better by the end) and the pacing was a bit off at times, but I found Collins’ take on a villain origin story and the way she pictured the Capitol and its society very interesting (they’re the worst, I hate them so much). I’m still debating my rating, but I think it’s a 3-3.5/5 stars for me.

⚔️ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

> Last, but not least, I reread my favourite book of the year and it was everything.

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me, rereading The Poppy War

The Poppy War is such a brilliant fantasy novel in my opinion, I find its characters and the world-building fascinating. In fantasy novels, my least favourite scenes are usually battle scenes, because I struggle to picture them, but while The Poppy War focuses a lot on, er, a war, I didn’t have any problem with that in this one, which rarely ever happens. That being said, this book gets very graphic towards the end and there a lot of trigger warnings for it because it’s set during a war, so it’s not for everyone! Still, I think it’s an excellent and powerful book, I gave it 5/5 stars and it was my favourite book of the readathon!

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In the end, I finished four books and read 2,549 pages (counting the first 235 pages of The Goldfinch) for Tome Topple, so despite abandoning one book, I read four more pages than planned (am I weirdly proud of myself? Absolutely)! This readathon was a success for me and I’m looking forward to take part in it again in the future! 🙌

What have you been reading lately? Are there any books on your TBR that you find intimidating?

lots of love

My #TomeTopple TBR | May 2020 📚✨

tome-topple-tbr

Hello ThereFrom May 9th to May 22nd, I’m participating in the eleventh round of Tome Topple, and I’m super excited about it! This readathon was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and its goal is pretty simple: you have to read books over 500 pages. I’m one of those people who adore big books, so I’m looking forward to dedicating two whole weeks to some tomes I had been meaning to get to for a while.

This readathon has been around for a few years, but if you’re interested, here’s Sam’s announcement video for this round:

I’m being *quite* ambitious for this round of Tome Topple, but I’m not quite sure about how it will go. My initial plan is to read 2,018 pages across three books, but there’s a fourth book I really want to reread, so I *might* try to read 2,545 pages in these two weeks? It’s probably wishful thinking, but uh, we’ll see.

Here are the books I’m hoping to get to during this readathon:

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🐉 A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin

I’ve been slowly catching up on the A Song of Ice and Fire series (I have all the time in the world though, considering… The Winds of Winter), but it’s been a year since I last picked up a book in the series, so it’s about time I continue it (do I blame season 8 of Game of Thrones? Maybe). I’m reading this series in the UK paperback edition and A Storm of Swords is divided in two in it: weirdly enough, I’ve only read the first half, so I really need to get to the second one and Tome Topple is the perfect motivation to do it!

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🎨 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I loved The Secret History by Donna Tartt when I read it three years ago and have been meaning to get to the rest of Donna Tartt’s works since then, so it’s about time I finally do that! All I know is that this book follows Theo Decker, a young boy who miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother, through his teenage and adult years. It apparently goes from “the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld” and focuses on a painting called The Goldfinch, which intrigues me so much!

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👑 Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

I read Furyborn by Claire Legrand last month, really liked it overall, and I’m curious to see where the story is going! Kingsbane will probably be my quickest read for Tome Topple (though it’s 600 page-long) and considering I have some daunting books on my TBR, I’ll need it. This series is set in a world where two queens have been prophesied: one of light, the other of blood, and follows two young women, a thousand years apart, who hold the power to save their world or doom it. So many readers said Kingsbane is better than Furyborn, so I’m excited to get to it!

These three books are my priority for this readathon, but if I manage to get to all of them, I’m hoping to reread my favourite book of the year, which is…

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⚔️ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

I read The Poppy War back in February, it was in my 5 star predictions for the year… and it became my first 5 stars since March 2019. 😱 It’s a grimdark Chinese-inspired fantasy blending historical elements and mythology following a war orphan who has been accepted in an elite military school and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I read it. It’s definitely not for everyone, it’s quite graphic and has a lot of trigger warnings, but it’s a very powerful story and I so want to reread it.

So that’s it for my Tome Topple TBR. I can’t wait for tomorrow to get started on all of these books and I’m hoping I’ll manage to read everything, but we’ll see! 📚

Are you participating in Tome Topple? I know we’re already eight days into May, but what are you planning to read this month?lots of love

Magical Readathon 2020 — O.W.L.s TBR 📚✨

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Hello There

April is around the corner, so it’s time for the Magical Readathon once again! 🎉

If you don’t know this readathon, it was created by Book Roast on YouTube and it is a month-long readathon based around the exams students take at Hogwarts, which happens twice a year, once in April for the O.W.L.s and once in August for the N.E.W.T.s. You can even pick a wizarding career and choose your O.W.L.s/N.E.W.T.s depending on it, which is so much fun. This is the third round of the readathon and my second time participating, so I’m super excited about it. Last year, I successfully participated in both the O.W.L.s and the N.E.W.T.s, which means I became a Magizoologist! Here is G’s video, if you want to know more about the readathon:

This year, I’m pursuing a new career & decided I’d be studying to become… *drum rolls*

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A SPELL MAKER!

To become a spell maker, I have to pass seven O.W.L.s, which are Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, Astronomy, Charms, Divination, History of Magic and Transfiguration. If I succeed, I’m also hoping to participate in two courses if I can (which are optional, but I’ll be living all for the Magical Readathon in April), Dragon Tamer Training and Merpeople Linguistics (can you tell I became a Magizoologist last year? 😂).

Here is what I’m planning to read for the O.W.L.s:

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❤️ Ancient Runes – Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title

For this prompt, I’m planning on reading DC Comics Bombshells, vol. 5: The Death of Illusion. This comics series is about DC Comics’ female characters fighting in different countries during World War II, it’s so empowering and it makes me so happy to see them team up together. It’s one of my long-time favourites, it’s about time I finish it (it’s taking me forever because well, comics understandably cost a lot of money) and as there are little hearts all around Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy on the cover, it’s the perfect excuse to read it during April!

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2️⃣ Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside of your favourite genre

For this prompt, I thought I’d go with a non-fiction book, as I don’t read that many of them. My favourite genre being fantasy, I guess non-fiction is *quite* far enough. My pick is a biography of Berthe Morisot by Dominique Bona, which is about a French painter, who was part of the first Impressionists and is considered to be a founder of the movement. I fell in love with her paintings a few years ago, then saw an exhibition about her in the Musée d’Orsay last year and picked up this biography about her then. I’m so excited to rediscover her life through this biography, even if it might take me longer to read than the rest of the books on my TBR (it’s in French though, so it might be alright).

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🌙 Astronomy – Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside

I made a list of the books I wanted to read the most at the moment for the Divination prompt (see below!) and decided I’d pick one of the remaining books for Astronomy, as I mainly read at night anyway, so I decided I’d read Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. It’s the first book in an adult fantasy series about a young woman who is part of a convent training young women to become assassins and that’s all I need in my life. I adored the His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers which had a similar prompt and I’ve wanted to try Mark Lawrence’s books for a while now, so now is the time! I’ll probably read most of it during the Magical All-Nighter, a 24 hour readathon organized during the month.

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✨ Charms – Lumos maxima: white cover

For Charms, I’m hoping to read House of Names by Colm Tóibín. This is a Greek mythology retelling focusing on Agamemnon, who sacrificed his daughter to the gods so they’d grant him a favoured wind for his fleet of ships to sail to Troy, and his family. After the Trojan War, Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife, plots revenge against him. While I know the story in passing, I’m really curious to see Tóibín’s take on the story, and I’m always there for a good Greek mythology retelling, so.

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🔮 Divination – Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use a random number generator to pick your read

For this one, I made a list of the books I was most excited to read at the moment and my choices were Red SisterEmpire of Sand, Children of Virtue and Vengeance and The Shadows Between Us (which I ended up picking for Astronomy!).

My third eye decided Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri would be the one I’d read (it’s actually the one I most wanted to read, so well-done, third eye!). This Mughal India-inspired fantasy novel is about Mehr, the illegimiate daughter of an imperial governor, who inherited the magic of her exiled mother, who is part of the Amrithi, nomads descended from desert spirits. When her power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s mystics, she will have to resist their cruel agenda, or the gods may awaken. I also know it has my favourite romance tropes in it, so I’m super excited to get to it!

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🧙‍♀️ History of Magic – Witch hunts: book featuring witches/wizards

I’ve been eyeing out Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer for a while, as it came out recently, so this prompt is the perfect opportunity to get to it! This novel is about Dayna, a young witch who was recently outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town and has to deal with the aftermath of that. She is about to ascend and join a coven when another coven arrives in town with premonitions of death and it all goes down from there. It is said to be a blend of modern witchcraft and ancient Celtic mythology, so I’m super excited to read it!

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🐺 Transfiguration – Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shapeshifting

For this one, I’m going with Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier, second book in the Blackthorn and Grim trilogy. This trilogy follows a healer who was wrongly imprisoned and one of her fellow prisoners. To escape prison, she makes a deal with the Fair Folk to assist anyone who asks for her help for the next seven years, which means she can’t get revenge on the one who imprisoned her. Juliet Marillier’s books are filled with folklore and feel like fairy tales: the first one in this trilogy featured a transformation and considering there is a howling creature in Tower of Thorns, I’m thinking there will be some sort of transformation. 👀

and for my two optional courses…

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🐉 Dragon Tamer Training – Read an extra book with dragons

Ever since I saw an exhibition about Tolkien back in December, I’ve been dying to finally read The Hobbit by him, so now is the time! It’s about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who reluctantly gets involved in a company of dwarves’ quest in search of dragon-guarded gold. I know bits and pieces of the story (plus my 12 y.o. brother read it last month for school), but I cannot wait to finally experiment the story for myself at last!

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🧜🏻‍♀️ Merpeople lingustics – Herbology, Mimbulus mimbletonia: title starts with an M

Last but not least, I’m planning on reading Monstress, vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Lu. I’ve had my eye set on this comics series for a while now, as it got a lot of praise a few years ago. It’s set in an alternate 1900s Asia, in a world of art deco-inflected steam punk, and follows a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power. I’ll probably read this one during the Magical All-Nighter and I can’t wait!

There you have it: I am beyond excited to read all of these books and to participate in this readathon, I’m sure it’ll be amazing, as always!

Do you like taking part in readathons? Are you participating in this one? Do you have any reading plans for April?

lots of love

My TBR for the #Gilmoreathon ☕🍂

gilmoreathon
Hello There

October is finally coming tomorrow and I am so happy, as autumn is truly installed in the northern hemisphere now. The season of fallen leaves, pumpkin spice lattes, cozy sweaters, rainy days and so much more is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited, as it’s my favourite season. Like a lot of people, autumn also reminds me of Gilmore Girls, one of my all-time favourite TV shows and it is the perfect season to rewatch it (though I already do that all year, but nevermind).

That being said, a few weeks ago, Olivia @ Liv’s Library, Desi @ Pastel Pages and Mackenzie @ Mackenzie Lane announced they were hosting a two week long readathon based on Gilmore Girls, so of course I had to join in! This readathon is happening from October 1st to October 15th and there are two ways to join: you can either read books based on challenges or read as many books as possible from the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. On top of that, the hosts chose a group book to read all together, Lauren Graham’s memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can. 

What am I planning to read for this readathon?

Well, I have to admit that I’m in a bit of a reading slump at the moment, so I’m hoping this readathon will help me to get out of it. I decided to plan my TBR according to the challenges created by the hosts and tried to make some of my autumn TBR fit them. So without further ado, here’s my TBR for the Gilmoreathon!

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  • read a book with a school setting: in honor of Yale and Chilton.

For this challenge, I am planning to read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, which I think is the perfect choice, as it is set in Yale. As it is coming out during the readathon, I won’t be able to read it straight away, because I have to wait for my copy to arrive, but I’m so excited about it, as it’s a dark academia novel all about secret societies.

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  • read a mother/daughter relationship book: in honor of our favorite mother/daughter relationship ever.

For this one, I am planning to read Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab, the second book in the Cassidy Blake series. I struggled a bit to find a book that fitted that prompt, but Cassidy travels around the world with both her parents, so it totally works! Besides, I was planning to read it in October anyway, as it’s partially set in the Catacombs in Paris, so it’s perfect for the season. 👻

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  • read any cozy book set during fall/winter: in honor of beautiful Stars Hollow and Lorelai smelling snow.

I started watching Anne with an E this month and I’ve been loving it so much, so I decided it was time for me to finally read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery! I’m sure it’ll make for a cozy read and it has that famous quote about October, so it’s perfect for this prompt. I found an audiobook version of the whole series (I’ll be there for 73 hours I guess 😂) I really liked on Scribd, I can’t wait to get to it. 🍂

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  • read a book with complicated love interests: in honour of Rory, Dean & Jess

In which we will not mention how big my crush on Milo Ventimiglia is (though it started because of This Is Us and not Gilmore Girls). 🙈

I’m not too big on romance, but my favourite romance trope is hate-to-love, so I decided to go with Dark Disciple by Christie Golden. With the release of The Rise of Skywalker in December, I thought I’d try to read at least one Star Wars novel per month and I’ll go with this one for October! It’s set in the Clone Wars era and about one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress, who has to pair up with her former Jedi Master Quinlan Vos to eliminate Count Dooku and they have *quite* complicated feelings for each other (hate-to-love helloooo).

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  • read a book by an Asian author or has Asian representation: in honor of our favorite best friend, Lane.

For this challenge, I’m planning on reading Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, which is a Mulan retelling about a young woman who has to pose as a man to compete for the role of imperial tailor and sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars (doesn’t it sound amazing?). I’ve been in a huge fantasy mood, so I’m really excited to read this one and I know Samantha Shannon loved it, so that’s enough for me!

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  • read the next book in a series you haven’t finished yet: in honor of A Year in The Life.

For this one, I’m going to read A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold by George R.R. Martin, which is the second half of the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series (talk about being in the middle of a series 🙈). As I was saying before, I’m in a huge fantasy mood at the moment, I’ve missed these characters so much and as I’ve planned to read a lot of short books for this readathon, I can allow myself to read one bigger book.

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  • read a book with food on the cover or is a crucial part of the storyline: in honor of Luke’s Cafe.

I struggled a bit for that prompt as well, but I decided to go with Pumpkinheads, written by Rainbow Rowell and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks, which is a graphic novel about two teenagers working at a pumpkin patch every autumn. It will be the perfect autumnal read, and it’s about pumpkins, so it’ll be very fitting for this challenge.

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  • read the group book

Last but not least, I’m planning on rereading Talking as Fast as I can: from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham, which is the group book for the readathon. I read it earlier this year and adored it so much, but I really wanted to reread it via audiobook as Lauren Graham is narrating it herself! It has two chapters all about Gilmore Girls and seeing the pictures always makes me really emotional.

So that’s about it for my TBR. I can’t wait for tomorrow to come, so I can get started on the Gilmoreathon!

Are you participating in this readathon? What are you planning to read in October?
lots of love