For my first read of 2020, I chose a Young Adult Fantasy novel by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani titled Seven Deadly Shadows. The story is set in Japan and embraces Japanese mythology. I am loving the story and the snapshot of a culture that is so different to what I know and experience every day.
Yesterday I met up with a friend and while travelling on the public transit, I took the opportunity to delve a little into the world of yokai, kitsanes, and shinigamis.
My first read of 2020 is a perfect fit for me and hope that Seven Deadly Shadows will be the first of many good stories I enjoy this year.
My current library stack definitely reflects my mood for light, romantic reads. Two are of authors I have previously enjoyed (Jude Devereaux and Meg Cabot), one is recommended on Instagram (The Wedding Party) and the other (25 Days of Christmas) reflects my enjoyment of Christmas stories at this time of year.
I am currently partway through the books I have borrowed from the library. I am hoping that this week some more of my holds will come through.
On Monday morning when I took a photo for my Instagram post, it was chilly outside. I noticed that first was on the ground and that most of the trees were bare. The beauty of Fall has almost passed and what are left behind are tree branches whose fingers reach for the sky. I snapped a picture form my balcony and thought nothing more of the weather except of the necessity to dress warmly to go out.
On my way to work, it began to snow. I did not pay much attention to it as snow had fallen a couple of days ago and melted within a few hours. On Monday, however, the snow stayed. Snowflakes fell down to earth throughout the day and into the night. On my way home the snow looked so pretty that I could not resist taking another picture of my current read.
It was interesting to see the difference in the background of the two images. Today we still have snow coating the surfaces, though it is starting to lessen.
I woke up this morning to a cold and gloomy day. The city is embracing winter with ice on the ground and bare trees. Snow is predicted today and I am not looking forward to it.
What I am looking forward to is reading Meg Cabot’s latest. I picked up a copy at the library this weekend and plan on snuggling under a blanket later this afternoon with a cup of tea and to enjoy the banter between Bree and Drew.
On Friday last week when I arrived home, I was so excited to see that I had received an ARC of Adam Silvera’s upcoming Fantasy release Infinity One from the team at Harper Collins Canada. Fantasy fiction is my favourite genre and when I heard about this series, I knew that I wanted to read it. On Friday, I admired the cover and loved the lines of the Phoenix. The ARC looks beautiful and I expect the cover of the finished hardcover will look absolutely stunning.
I have started reading the novel – I set aside my October TBR piled with no compunction. I am loving it so far! The story explores sibling relationships, being comfortable in your own skin no matter what your sexual orientation, and (I suspect) finding your inner strength. I look forward to seeing what the magical battle in New York will bring.
On Tuesday when I arrived home, I saw that a parcel had arrived for me: the brown box sat on the table beckoning me to open it. I did not recognise the sender and lifted the flap with curiosity. A pleasant surprise was revealed and I gave an inner squeal of delight when I saw what was inside.
Inside the box was the latest book in the Bulari Saga – a science fiction series written by independent author Jessie Kwak. I love her writing which is fast-paced and intense. And the characters she has created are well-rounded. I have placed the book on top of my TBR pile and look forward to enjoying it once I have completed my current read.
This week I am grateful to have received a copy of Pressure Point by Jessie Kwak to read and review.
This month I am focusing on reading the ARCs that I have on my bookshelf – it is #arcaugust on bookstagram and people are sharing the stories that they have received to read and review. This morning, I decided to pick up a memoir that interests me: A Good Wife by Samra Zafar. I stood in line at the OLA Super Conference early on in the year to receive a signed copy of the galley. The book was available in stores from March 2019.
At seventeen, Samra Zafar had to leave her family behind in Pakistan and move to Canada when she married a stranger. In the years that followed, she suffered her husband’s physical and emotional abuse. Desperate to get out and refusing to give up, she hatched an escape plan for her and her daughters. Somehow she found the strength to not only build a new future, but to walk away from her past, ignoring the pleas of her family and risking cultural isolation by divorcing her husband.
I am a couple of chapters in, and already my eyes have been opened to practices that I had not really accepted still exist.
The best thing about my break is that I can read for many hours a day – especially if a book has captured my imagination and I can’t help turning the pages. My last read was one such read and I completed the book in a day. This morning I started another and, even though it has not hooked me as the previous novel I picked up, I am slowly enjoying it.
The story features Solomon and Ash, two people who have experienced a traumatic event when they were twelve. Ash has lost all memory of the event, and Solomon has retreated further and further into a world of his own creation. The book is written in a two person point of view and interchanges between Solomon’s fantasy world and Ash’s realistic one. So far it is an interesting combination.
This morning I began reading Like A Love Story by Abdi Nazema. The novel is set in the eighties during the AIDS crisis and tells a story of the fear as well as the bravery that existed during that time period in the queer community.
The story is beautifully written and looks like it will become one of my favourite stories of the year. At the moment I am pleased that there is nothing to prevent me from reading this book – this is one of those stories that I can’t stop reading!
Yesterday I was manning the desk at the Kindergarten Orientation table and registering parents and their children as they came in. Between moments while waiting for people to arrive, I realised that the decorations on the table would make a perfect backdrop to some photos showcasing my books.
I could not help but smile. Since starting my bookstagram account on Instagram, I am often thinking of different ways to present the books I read.
Do you sometimes see the perfect photo background?