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Olivia306

Olivia306

Joined May 2016

I just really love books. And their scent.
review
Olivia306
Find Me | Andr Aciman
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Mehso-so

I found this novel bland, made of disjointed parts that can‘t seem to harmonise in any way. I don‘t know but it left me wanting (not in a good way). I found the first 100 pages dreadfully dull, the writing stilted. It picked up a little in the 2nd part (sadly, the only part that actually intrigued me) but it didn‘t improve much. Whether as a sequel for CMBYN or as a stand-alone, this novel doesn‘t impress much. Quite close to a pan for me. 📚

MellieAntoinette Agreed! I‘d have preferred Aciman to wait until the story‘s ready. 10h
10 likes1 comment
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Olivia306
Find Me | Andr Aciman
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Is anyone else struggling with this book or is it just me? 😞 I‘m fifty pages in and it‘s a struggle, not necessarily because I had any expectations regarding it (I try to avoid this every time I read a sequel). It‘s mostly the writing - I find it so stilled and dry. I just can‘t seem to get into the story.

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Olivia306
The Terror: A Novel | Dan Simmons
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Pickpick

Inspired by true events, the doomed Franklin expedition searching for a Northwest passage, the book manages to perfectly combine the awful reality of those men with a terrifying supernatural element that enhances the sense of doom and terror throughout the story. Though it could use some heavy editing (there‘re some really problematic aspects, not just length-wise), it keeps an alert pace and the pages fly by. It‘s a gutwrenching & haunting story.

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Olivia306
The Starless Sea | Erin Morgenstern
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Pickpick

Wow, this book!! So good! This is an absolute gorgeous feat of imagination, with great and wonderful characters (my love will always belong to all of them, but especially to Zachary). It manages to create original stories, unbelievable places, the Harbour, and everything in between. It‘s been a while since I couldn‘t put down a book and this was brilliant. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Maybe I should go and read it again. 📚

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Olivia306
Lie With Me: A Novel | Philippe BESSON
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Pickpick

Only apparently simple, this book is absolutely stunning in its contained prose, its evocative nature, its unabashed rawness. Mr. Besson manages to tell a coming of age story with tenderness - a story that ultimately manages to become so much more with its devastating conclusion. It will continue to haunt me for a while.

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Olivia306
Over the Top | Jonathan Van Ness
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Perfect cosy Sunday afternoon. 🤓 Also, I betrayed my tea cup with hot chocolate (a new recipe) but I can‘t find it in me to feel sorry one bit. 😊 Also, the book is really great so far, I can almost hear Jonathan‘s voice narrating it.

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Olivia306
The Terror: A Novel | Dan Simmons
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When you hear about a book and you think that you should read it but then you realize that the pile on the nightstand has literally tripled. 👀 But I‘ll probably start on “The Terror” as I heard some nice things about it. 🤓 and then go through this pile while ignoring the other pile much larger on my TBR shelf. 😂

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Olivia306
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Panpan

Meh. Maybe Ms. King approached too many important themes or I was too annoyed by both MCs, but this book falls flat on too many levels. The narrative is interesting at the beginning and kept me curious. For a while at least. But then the MC‘s naivety about the world, dangerous for the people around him, becomes annoying. There‘s no solace in other characters either and the climax falls flat. A story that could have been more but just couldn‘t.

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

So well written but completely shocking and devastating. The total disregard for human life, the devastation that affected Osage generations to come, the extent of people‘s greed... I think there could be ten investigations done and still they‘d only scratch the surface of this tragedy. A compelling read indeed.

19 likes2 stack adds
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Olivia306
The Master: A Novel | Colm Toibin
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Pickpick

An exquisitely written book! Toibin‘s writing is at its best here. Such vividness in its scenes, such poetry in the narrative thread. It‘s absolutely beautifully written, painting the portrait of a man that never lived. “He needed then to watch life [...]” - this quote sums him up. James kept everyone at a distance. Missed chances to take a risk, to live life - what a waste it seems to me! And his treatment of women.... ugh. Still, a great read.

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Olivia306
The Master: A Novel | Colm Toibin
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Don‘t ask me why I‘m reading a book about Henry James, whose work I never liked (though I read most of it) but I‘m doing it. As always, Mr. Toibin‘s writing is fascinating. I wonder how much of the real Henry James he managed to capture because what I‘ve been reading so far makes me ask some serious questions.

Severnmeadows Henry James has never been my cup of tea, but I loved the Master. The amount of intensity in a simple scene, eg the man looking up at a window (and many others), gripped me and built a vivid image of Toibin‘s vision of Henry James. I‘ve enjoyed his other books, but The Master stands out, for me. (edited) 5mo
Olivia306 @Severnmeadows You‘re absolutely right. 😊 There‘s a wonderful vividness to certain scenes that I really enjoy. Also, he manages to capture the atmosphere and the society at the end of 19th century perfectly. I actually really like it so far. 5mo
7 likes2 comments
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Olivia306
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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This book came on top of my TBR pile 📚 for this month. I‘m currently reading it. I‘ve seen so many great reviews about this book that I couldn‘t resist buying my own copy. So far, it‘s really entertaining. Plus, I love the documentary style. It‘s an original approach. 🤓

23 likes1 stack add
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Olivia306
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society | Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer
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Pickpick

What a delightful book! Though I‘m not much of a fan of the epistolary novels, this one managed to captivate me from the very beginning with its charming characters and its obvious love for books. But at its heart, it‘s a story of pure humanity and how sometimes the smallest acts of kindness make the greatest of impact. And I think more than anything, it is Elizabeth‘s story that will stay with me. A great read! 📚

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Olivia306
Galveston: A Novel | Nic Pizzolatto
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Mehso-so

As a fan of “True Detective”, I jumped at the opportunity to read this, but honestly, I wasn‘t impressed. The structure of the book actually falls flat, the suspense of the plot unraveling too early. While I did appreciate the anti-hero approach, the dark lives of the marginalised and the sheer cruel indifference of society as a whole, there are parts that made me feel like the author was trying too hard to create that gritty world. 📚

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Olivia306
The Shadow of the Wind | Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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When the books have finally started taking over every nook and cranny of our house. Even above other small bookshelves filled to the brim. Luckily, there are always small orchids and scented candles to keep them in check. 📚📚

BookwormM 2 of my favourite authors 💕💕 6mo
Olivia306 @BookwormM Mine too. 💜💜 That‘s why I decided to keep them together. 🤓 6mo
32 likes2 comments
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Olivia306
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Pickpick

Discovered thanks to #Litsy, this novel made me read it in one sitting with its melodious and meticulous writing, despite the terrible things that happen throughout the story. It‘s a good depiction of a harsh reality, but also a quiet and gutwrenching study of what it meant to be a woman during those times. Despite a very improbable ending and several narrative choices (which annoyed me), this is a hard to put down book.📚

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Olivia306
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My cold returned with a vengence. 🤧 Could it be because of too much icecream? Is there such a thing like too much icecream? 😉 Anyway, curling up with this book, which has been sitting on my TBR list for too long. 🤓

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Olivia306
Heartstopper | Alice Oseman
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Pickpick

Aww, this is so heartwarming. I‘ve been following this comic for a while but I needed to have the printed version as well. I really love it. 💜

11 likes1 stack add
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Olivia306
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Pickpick

Unsurprisingly, this novella broke my heart. A bit melodramatic at the beginning, the story quickly evolves into the tragedy of difficult choices, of sefishness and true love, and ultimately, of the terrible realities that some people carry with them for the rest of their lives. I also liked the way the main focus is on the three women and how they deal with and perceive the return of the soldier.

12 likes2 stack adds
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Olivia306
The Virgin Suicides | Jeffrey Eugenides
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Panpan

Nope. Nuh-uh. Don‘t think so. Maybe it‘s because I read “Middlesex” first (and that‘s a great book), but apart from the evocative writing, this book‘s been a disappointment. So nope, this one gets a pan.📚

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Olivia306
Thin Air | Michelle Paver
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Mehso-so

The story is all right. Ms. Paver manages to build up the terror quite well in a world full of otherwise well-known elements: foreboding signs, emotional repression, typical era-attitudes (including racism), upper-class superiority and so on. The problem is this book is pretty similar to ‘Dark Matter‘ to the point that it feels like reading the same story in a different setting. Nonetheless, an easy read for a Saturday afternoon.

14 likes1 stack add
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Olivia306
The Gilded Wolves | Roshani Chokshi
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I told myself I‘d buy one, I ended up with six. 👀 Wellll, let‘s not go there. 😂 Currently reading “The Gilded Wolves” - its magic realism seems enchanting at the moment but I read only thirty pages while on the tube. So we‘ll see. 🤓

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

Wow, what a tour de force! The newest adventure brings Parker on the Old Continent in a massive showdown with Quayle. It‘s also an homage to books, their power& the obsessive love they can inspire. The pace is alert, utterly masterful, not once boring. Paradoxically (don‘t forget its massive bulk), the end felt a bit rushed. A few extra chapters to offer a more well-rounded closure would‘ve been great. Still, one of the best in the series!📚

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Olivia306
Blood and Sugar | Laura Shepherd-Robinson
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Mehso-so

#unpopularopinion I honestly can‘t quite understand all those great reviews this book has. I was convinced I found an incredible story, I was wrong. While the story is interesting, well-researched, and deals with a tough subject, the writing (quite jarring), some authorial choices (don‘t get me started), and some plot holes left me puzzled and irritated. Not to mention the ending, which is trite and doesn‘t make much sense.

Olivia306 The only reason why it doesn‘t get a pan is that it managed to keep me reading until the end. 📚 7mo
5 likes1 comment
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Olivia306
Blood and Sugar | Laura Shepherd-Robinson
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‘Light‘ reading on the tube. 🤓 Seems interesting so far, though the writing seems a bit off at times (or maybe it was just me reading it on the tube). Let‘s see how it goes. 😊

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Olivia306
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Most of my April has been full with quite big books (I can‘t lie, it was a pleasure reading them 🤓) but then John Connoly publishes the latest instalment in the Charlie Parker story and it turns out it‘s a behemoth of a book 👀 (700 pages)

TrishB Good choices though 👍🏻 I have 3 of those ready! 7mo
Tonton Wonderful stack! 7mo
Olivia306 @TrishB I‘m almost done with “We are not ourselves” (the last one to finish for April) and then it‘s Charlie Parker for me. 📚 7mo
Olivia306 @Tonton Thank you. 🤓 7mo
TrishB I‘m looking forward to that one! 7mo
10 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Olivia306
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Pickpick

This makes a fascinating collection of cultural and literary essays with poignant observations and interesting details about important gay public figures. Not to mention that it discusses in most of them the dichotomy between public and private and between private persona and artistic creation. I learnt quite a lot of new things and my only reproach is that this book wasn‘t twice its current size.🤓

8 likes3 stack adds
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Olivia306
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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Pickpick

This book, this love story! 😭😭 The first 20 pages were gruelling but after getting used to the utter Irish narrative voice, I was rewarded with not just a complex political and social portrait of Ireland before the Easter Rising, but also with a moving coming of age story. And what a beautiful and heartbreaking gay story it is! Though there are some parts that could‘ve been edited out, this is still one of the best books I read in some time.

TrishB I see I have already stacked! Great review 👍🏻 8mo
Olivia306 @TrishB Thank you. 🤓 8mo
14 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Olivia306
The Sisters Brothers | Patrick DeWitt
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I bought them at the beginning of this week, I‘ve already read two, and I can‘t wait to get on with the rest. I‘ll continue with “The Sisters Brothers”, an odd case of seeing the movie first before actually reading the book. 👀 Well, there‘s a first time for everything. 🤓📚

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

This was an enthralling read about P.H. Fawcet and his disappearance in the Amazonian forest in 1925, of which I didn‘t know much beforehand. The timeline switches back and forth between present and past and it contains a thorough research, filled with fragments from Fawcet‘s personal journals and other personal accounts. It‘s an awesome tale about exploration and sacrfice, obsession and tragedy. And in an odd way, about vindication as well.

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

What a little lovely book about the quest for privacy in an increasingly crowded world! It‘s an empathetic approach to the concept of privacy and secrecy, seeking solitude and respite in an overwhelming world. But it doesn‘t shy away from tougher subjects such as solitary confinement, the escalation of trespassing the privacy laws, the AIDS crisis, homelessness etc. It‘s been published almost 30y ago and yet it feels more poignant than ever.

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Olivia306
Once Upon a River | Diane Setterfield
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Pickpick

Oh, how I loved this book! I spent all my Sunday reading it, just being enthralled by its fairytale-like pace. I enjoyed the variety of characters and their different takes on life, the main twist, the harsh realities that some people confront. I particularly loved Rita - her character spoke to me the most, though I‘ve got questions related to how her story ends. I love Ms. Setterfield‘s writing and this book was an absolute delight.

TrishB Loved this too 💜 9mo
8 likes1 comment
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Olivia306
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Pickpick

This was such an interesting take on the life of a man, who managed to live by himself for 27 years in the woods of Maine. It‘s a fascinating tale about a man‘s desire to simply live alone. I liked the fact that Mr. Finkle doesn‘t shy away from discussing Mr. Knight‘s methods and show multiple sides of the story. But I would‘ve liked to see a more in depth approach to Mr. Knight‘s story, maybe more of the research done. A good read nonetheless. 📚

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Olivia306
The Hazel Wood | Melissa Albert
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Mehso-so

While the mythology of this book and the reinterpretation of the fairytales are both fascinating, the halfway change in pace, not to mention some utterly annoying scenes made this book a bit of a disappointment for me. Maybe I had too high expectations of it, I don‘t know. But I do appreciate the message of it and its author‘s world-building skills.

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Olivia306
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This will be my first bail of the year. One hundred pages in and I was already questioning myself as to why I continued reading this book. Maybe it has more to do with the character itself rather than with the writing but what‘s certain is that I can‘t waste my time with it when there are other wonderful stories waiting for me.

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

Creepy and dark with enough twists to keep my heart pounding, this was a true gothic novel and its horror shouldn‘t be underestimated. The atmosphere is dark and claustrophobic, as the metaphor of the mirror shows up time and time again in surprising and chilling ways. Although the writing feels too stiff at times, this is really a thrilling and unnerving read.

Becker I have been searching for a copy of this. It doesn‘t seem to be available anywhere. What country are you in? (edited) 9mo
Olivia306 @Becker I live in UK and I bought it from Waterstones. 😊 9mo
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Olivia306
At Swim, Two Boys | Jamie O'Neill
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The perfect weather to curl up with a book. It's been cold and miserable here so I need this book to pull me inside its beautiful world. A lot of people praised it so I have high expectations. 🤓📚

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

Oh, this book! What a beautiful journey this has been! Mr. Towles' writing flows naturally and magically, making the realities of the story all the more compelling. None more so than the Count - what a charming and interesting character. I also loved the key role that books and culture play, how utterly vital cultivating one's mind is. It's a beautiful and intelligent story, but above all, it's utterly humane and all the more well-worth the read.

erzascarletbookgasm I loved this too 9mo
Olivia306 @erzascarletbookgasm My best friend recommended it to me as she read it and positively adored it. 🤓 (edited) 9mo
9 likes2 comments
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Olivia306
The Wolf and the Watchman | Niklas Natt och Dag
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Mehso-so

Though I understand that the violent scenes were necessary to show the horrible gap between classes, the terrible realities of the destitute and the poor, some of them did feel gratuitous at times. In a way, it's a good story that deals in a realistic and often heartbreaking manner with the stories of the less fortunate, their horrible fates and the way they're used for the entertainment of others and nothing more.

Olivia306 Some parts of it are well written and the writing flows more naturally. But the detective part of the story hit me the hardest and I'm sure that it wasn't in the way the author intended. There are parts of it that feel clumsy and wooden. I failed to grasp the moral of it. Maybe, as it was intended, there is no moral, only the harsh realities of life and the terrible things we do to each other. 9mo
8 likes1 comment
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Olivia306
The Binding | Bridget Collins
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Pickpick

What a beautiful story this is! It's definitely not perfect by any means, but it's very moving and surprising in the twists and turns that it takes. Though I would've liked more about the binding per se, the magic still unfolds, posing interesting questions about memory, forgiveness, and love. But also about powerlessness, accountability and hurt. Ultimately, it's a beautiful love letter to books but also to all those unseen& untold love stories.

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

Wow, what an epic conclusion to a wonderful series! I loved every word of it, even when it was frustrating or made me cry. I absolutely adore Ms. Arden's style of combining fairytale elements and the heartbreaking reality, the fact that Vasya never gained power without losing smth and that sacrifices must always be made, even in the name of love or of a happy ending. Still it was an incredible read. What a wonderful journey this has been! 🤓

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Olivia306
The Binding | Bridget Collins
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Don't judge a book by its cover, they said. Well, whoever said that didn't see the covers of these two lovelies here. I couldn't resist the beautiful elegance of "The Binding". I just had to have it (also, I heard wonderful things about it). As for "The Winter of the Witch", well, I didn't need an excuse for that. Off to read now. ??

Lucy_Anywhere I've just finished The Binding - such a beautifully written book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 10mo
Olivia306 @Lucy_Anywhere I'm so glad you enjoyed it. It's actually my next on the list, after finishing my current read. 🤓 Can't wait to start reading now! 😊 10mo
Becker I love elegant covers like these. They bring such value to the book as a physical possession. You get the story (which you can get now in so many formats) but you also get to keep this beautiful thing on your shelf. I truly appreciate when a publisher puts effort into the cover and I am willing to pay for it. 9mo
Olivia306 @Becker Yes, I agree. Some covers are trully magical and I like to admire them every once in a while. And The Binding definitely has one of the best covers I‘ve seen in a while. 9mo
12 likes4 comments
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Olivia306
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Pickpick

The storytelling is brilliant, it did pull me under its spell. But there's smth about the MC - the detachment, the self-entitlement at times, the feeling that smth is missing while accompanying MC on his journey. The third part of the novel is way better and there's smth melancholic and terribly real about the pain and the fear exposed. A good story about weakness & selfishness but also about love, courage and incredible loss.

8 likes1 stack add
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Olivia306
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New book haul. ?? A perfect mix of new and old. ? Though, naturally, what I'm currently reading is most definitely not in this wonderful stack of books. I really need to catch up on my TBR list. It's getting ridiculously long, especially when I keep on adding to it. Nonetheless, I'm curious and excited about "The Labyrinth of the Spirits" as it brings Zafon's series to an end. Definitely the next choice!?

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Olivia306
Ten Thousand Sorrows | Elizabeth Kim
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Pickpick

It's a simple and heartbreaking story of a woman that's been through so much. From surviving the honour killing of her mom to surviving child and domestic abuse, this book is as honest and raw as I expected. I respect the honesty of her story the most, as detached and simple as I found it to be at times. But mostly, I respect Ms. Kim courage to speak and reflect on unspeakable things. It deals with difficult issues but well-worth the read.

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

This is such a beautiful love letter to the Russian fairytales. It's always nice when the 2nd book is just as good as the first. It brings new characters into the story, while the old are still fascinating. Add to that a gripping plot and intricate fairytale elements anchored in reality and one gets a great story. Ms. Arden's writing won me over. Can't wait to start on the final book. As a fan of Russian fairytales, this trilogy is a treat.📚

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Olivia306
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#currentlyreading I love this book already and I'm just a few pages in. I honestly don't know why it took me so long to start reading this awesome sequel but now I'm hooked. 🤓📚

10 likes1 stack add
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Olivia306
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Pickpick

In spite of the controversy related to this book's authorship (Defoe isn't its author after all), it's a very entertaining book. It details the exploits of many pirates. It's a bit difficult to follow at times due to an overwhelming amount of names and dates, not to mention its old world values, but it provides a lot of interesting stories and facts. It's highly informative, offering a glimpse into the reality of the legendary piratical figures.

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

This is a highly enjoyable book. It successfully blends several genres and it creates quite an unbelievable adventure, in which several important issues are tackled (such as race, sexual identity and misogyny) with a modern sensibility, though lacking a certain profundity that one might expect. Although there are a few plot holes and it gets predictable at times, this doesn't affect the enjoyment that one gets from reading this book. 📚

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Olivia306
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Pickpick

Honestly, I didn't expect to enjoy this book so much. It's a well-documented and researched book that sheds a realistic light on the pirates' lives, what it truly meant to be a pirate and the harsh environment of the sea life in the 17th & 18th centuries. It deconstructs the myths & legends about famous piratical figures and talks about their fate. Its details and useful explanations manage to capture the reader's attention to the very end.📚

12 likes2 stack adds