Stuff I’ve Been Reading Lately #33

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BOOKS READ:

  • Monster Vol. 2 by Naoki Urisawa
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • The Summer House by James Patterson & Brendan DuBois
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Horrid Henry & the Secret Club by Francesca Simon
  • Ritualistic Human Sacrifice by C.V. Hunt

BOOKS BOUGHT:

  • Outsider by Stephen King
  • Misery by Stephen King
  • The Lost Boy by David Pelzer
  • The Push by Ashley Audraine
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • The Couple at No. 9 by Claire Douglas
  • The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter
  • Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

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Book Review: Finding Me by Viola Davis

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Title: Finding Me

Author: Viola Davis

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Number of Pages: 304

Format: Audiobook

Publisher: HarperOne

Genre: Non-fiction, memoir

Synopsis:

In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever.

This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me.

As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. We are forced to reinvent them to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world. So I wrote this for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be . . . you.


Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you.
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Book Review: Time is a Mother by Ocean Voung

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Title: Time Is A Mother

Author: Ocean Voung

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Number of Pages: 128

Format: E-book

Publisher: Penguin Press

Genre: Contemporary, Poetry

Synopsis:

In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother’s death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, and in concert with the themes of his novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America. At once vivid, brave, and propulsive, Vuong’s poems circle fragmented lives to find both restoration as well as the epicenter of the break.

The author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds, winner of the 2016 Whiting Award, the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize, and a 2019 MacArthur fellow, Vuong writes directly to our humanity without losing sight of the current moment. These poems represent a more innovative and daring experimentation with language and form, illuminating how the themes we perennially live in and question are truly inexhaustible. Bold and prescient, and a testament to tenderness in the face of violence, Time Is a Mother is a return and a forging forth all at once.
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Book Review: The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

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Title: The Nanny

Author: Gilly Macmillan

Publication Date: May 1, 2019

Number of Pages: 432

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Century

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Synopsis:

Jocelyn loves her nanny more than her own mother – until the night that the nanny disappears. Jo is seven years old when it happens and never gets over the loss.

Now, thirty years later, Jo is returning to her family home with her daughter in tow – just as human remains are pulled out of the house’s lake.

Then there’s a knock on the door. And a woman claiming to be her nanny stands outside.

Is she who she says she is?
Can she be trusted?
And what really happened on that fateful night all those years ago?

Sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.
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Book Review: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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Title: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Author: Stuart Turton

Publication Date: February 8, 2018

Number of Pages: 511

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Raven Books

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

Synopsis:

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…
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Stuff I’ve Been Reading Lately #30

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BOOKS READ:

  • Melvina’s Therapy by A. Rasen
  • I’m a Therapist and My Patient is in Love with a Pedophile: 6 Patient Files From Prison (Dr. Harper Therapy, #2)
  • Sour Candy by Kealan Patrick Burke
  • The New Year’s Party by Daniel Hurst
  • The Ex by Alafair Burke
  • The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World by Jenn Granneman
  • Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez
  • Woom by Duncan Ralston
  • American Demon: Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America’s Jack the Ripper by Daniel Stashower
  • A Boy Possessed by Jon Athan

ONGOING:

  • The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
  • Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard by Tom Felton

BOOKS BOUGHT:

  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • Better Together by Christine Riccio
  • The Defence by Steve Cavanagh
  • Fifty-Fifty by Steve Cavanagh
  • The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
  • The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
  • The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
  • We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott
  • Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

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My 10 Favorite Reads in 2022

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It’s that time of the year again where we showcase our top 10 favorite reads! With that, I back tracked and checked my Goodreads 2022 shelf to collate my favorites. I have to admit that I haven’t had a lot of 5-star reads, so it wasn’t that hard for me to make this list. For those of you who have been following my blog for quite some time now, you might have read in my previous posts that I started off this reading year a bit slow given that the first quarter of 2022 was quite busy for me with the wedding and all that, but as soon as I settled in my new home, I was able to constantly read again. It was one heck of a year with all the adjustments, meeting new virtual friends, finding my people, and finally falling into the rabbit hole of the thriller and horror genre — this isn’t a surprise as I’ve anticipated it happening in the past couple of years and finding the right book club helped me understand and discover new and old authors from this genre.

Anyway, so without further ado, here are the top 10 books that I really enjoyed reading this year:

*Throughout this post, I’ll be including my affiliate links for each of the books in the list. Note that I earn a small commission whenever you use my affiliate links to purchase these books.
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Stuff I’ve Been Reading Lately #23

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BOOKS READ:

  • The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) by Dan Brown
  • Dawwang: Mga Kababaihang Tagapagtanggol ng Kordilyera by Gantala Press
  • It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2) by Jenny Han

ONGOING:

  • The Secret Lives of Introverts: Our Hidden Worlds by Jenn Granneman (50% progress)
  • The Philippines Is Not A Small Country by Gideon Lasco

BOOKS BOUGHT:

  • Conjugal Dictatorship by Primitivo Mijares
  • Dawwang by Gantala Press (Illustrated by Nina Martinez)
  • The Only Child by Mi-ae Seo
  • Genesis by Karin Slaughter
  • I See You by Clare Mackintosh
  • Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  • The Public Has the Right to Know by Bienvenido A. Tan Jr.
  • Five Hundred Years Without Love by Alex Lacson
  • The Philippines Is Not A Small Country by Gideon Lasco
  • Twice Blessed by Ninotchka Rosca
  • Presidential Plunder: The Quest for the Marcos Ill-Gotten Wealth by Jovito R. Salonga

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Book Review: It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2) by Jenny Han

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Title: It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer, #2)

Author: Jenny Han

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: April 27, 2010

Number of Pages: 277

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance 

Synopsis:

Belly finds out what comes after falling in love in this follow-up to The Summer I Turned Pretty from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han.

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.

But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started—at Cousins Beach.

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Book Review: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) by Dan Brown

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Title: The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3) 

Author: Dan Brown

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Publication Date: September 15, 2009

Number of Pages: 639

Publisher: Anchor Books

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Adult Fiction, Crime

 

Synopsis:

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon “The Da Vinci Code,” Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world’s most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling–a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets, and unseen truths . . . all under the watchful eye of Brown’s most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object–artfully encoded with five symbols–is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom.

When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon–a prominent Mason and philanthropist–is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations–all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

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