Wednesday, November 23, 2016

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie Mclemore

Book synopsis(via Goodreads):

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

***Many thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin's press for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.***

This insomniac's opinion:

The writing in this novel is so beautiful at times that it is almost painful. Yet, it was so fantastical in parts that it was unbelievable. I am torn in rating it. Some of the paragraphs were stunning and lovely and read them over multiple times just to hear the words on my tongue again. However, it didn't all mesh up well together and by the end I was rather happy to turn the final page. 

Note: The author's note at the end was five stars alone and made me weep. Don't pass that up at the end. 


3 stars- some may love it, others may not. 

Worth staying up all night to read?


Want to buy on Amazon? Check it out below(affiliate link):


Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

Book synopsis(via Goodreads): 

Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success in the 1950s, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past.

When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

***Many thanks to Net Galley and Penguin for the advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.***

This insomniac's opinion: 

Yet another book that's been buzzing about that I'm not sure about my feelings on. 

On one hand, it's engrossing at the beginning and has an element of suspense. Darby is a likable character and I think many readers will identify with her clumsy awkwardness and struggle to fit in. 

On the other hand, there were long boring stretches in which I wasn't really sure that I cared about the mystery at all. 

This one is a wash for me. 

Worth staying up all night to read?

Not for me, but maybe for others. 


3 stars

Want to read more? Head over to Amazon(affiliate link)


5 Books About Gratitude for Thanksgiving Season

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, my American friends(and our friends around the globe that celebrate it with us). It seems that summer and it's bounty just left us and here we are preparing for the holiday season.

If you are like me, the holiday season and the mad rush of cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping, party-going, etcetera can be overwhelming and take away from the spirit of the season. Thanksgiving is all about gratitude for the our lives and loved ones. I am planning to sink into that gratitude with some help from books about gratitude and thankfulness.

1. Gratitude: A Journal by Catherine Price.

Okay, so this one isn't really a book, it's a journal. I first started keeping a gratitude journal after watching an episode of Oprah years ago when she talked about this practice(that woman has a lot of wisdom). It is life changing. What is unique about this journal is that it has prompts for when you are feeling stuck. The cover is also gorgeous.

This is a collection of essays and practical suggestions for tapping into the joy in your life. Easy to read even for those who may not be regular readers. 

This book is not like the others. It has ten guideposts from the always insightful Brene Brown as she gives us the courage to not only embrace the "good" parts of ourselves, but to learn to also embrace the imperfect parts of ourselves. I love all of Brene's work. 

This book is extraordinarily emotional and heart-filled book penned by Oliver Sacks after he was diagnosed in 2015 with a reoccurrence of cancer and penned an essay in the New York Times that inspired people over the entire world. These four essays will spark inside you a deep gratitude for your own individual path and the world that we live in. 

This ones for the kiddos. Your kids, like mine, may love Mo Willems. This is in the Elephant and Piggie series and is an adorable and accessible way to help teach our kids gratitude for everything.