Curious Reads for February

February has arrived and I am determined to make a dent in my book mountain that has taken over my office. I have decided to also create a unique reading challenge as well so, you can say I have some ambitious reading goals! As I conquer my list I will be posting all of the book reviews on my lovely little blog so y’all can follow me while I embark on this literary journey! With that out of the way lets see my Curious Reads for February!

I just started a nifty reading challenge that is mentioned a lot in this post! Click here to learn more!

This post contains affiliate links. My full disclosure statement can be read here.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

The first book on my list is for the challenge I am beginning! I plan on conquering this world book challenge where you read books set in various countries. This first country on this list is Afghanistan and the book I have chosen to read is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini!

I read his other book, The Kite Runner, a few years back and really enjoyed it so I decided to pick this lovely novel up!

Here is a blurb from its Goodreads page:A_Thousand_Splendid_Suns

 Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them—in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul—they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page 

Misery by Stephen King

The next book on my list is one that I started to read at the end of January but I hope to finish it during February and it is Misery by Stephen King.

I became obsessed with this author after reading The Shining and IT so it is no surprise that I want to scare myself and read Misery. Fun Fact: I have never seen the movie! I can’t wait to finish reading this book and see how everything unfolds!

Here is a blurb from its Goodreads page:misery

Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader – she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

Dubliners by James Joyce

The third book I plan on reading this month is Dubliners by James Joyce. This book is not counting towards my  Adventurous Reading challenge. I wanted to read this novel before I head to Ireland next month.

James Joyce is a well-known Irish writer and I heard this book is a must read before you visit Dublin! It is a compilation of short stories and will be a quick read.

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Dubliners

 This work of art reflects life in Ireland at the turn of the last century, and by rejecting euphemism, reveals to the Irish their unromantic reality. Each of the 15 stories offers glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners, and collectively they paint a portrait of a nation.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Another book I plan on reading, or in this case listening , is The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I knew I had to read this book the moment I heard about it. The whole novel sounds like a realistic magical journey that will probably make me cry by the end. I chose this book as my monthly selection on Audible so I can wait to binge listen to this novel. For some reason I find listening to audio books to be extremely relaxing. I can honestly say that I accomplish more while I am listening to some awesome audio books.

Here’s its Goodreads blurb:The Immortalists

It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is its Amazon page

A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland. I am reading this lovely book in eBook format because I bought it on sale via iBooks. This book has a similar plot format as The Canterbury Tales, nine strangers have been brought together and they each have their own unique tale to share during the age of the plague. I have been wanting to read this book for a while and I can’t wait to finally get to it!

Here is its Goodreads Blurb:Company-of-Liars-cover-large

The year is 1348. The Black Plague grips the country. In a world ruled by faith and fear, nine desperate strangers, brought together by chance, attempt to outrun the certain death that is running inexorably toward them.
Each member of this motley company has a story to tell. From Camelot, the relic-seller who will become the group’s leader, to Cygnus, the one-armed storyteller . . . from the strange, silent child called Narigorm to a painter and his pregnant wife, each has a secret. None is what they seem. And one among them conceals the darkest secret of all–propelling these liars to a destiny they never saw coming.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

 The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Adren

This is another book that is from my Adventurous Reading Challenge! I am happy that more books focused on Russian folklore are being published and I have been dying to read The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Bear

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind–she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed–this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Sample

A hermit that disappears and travels to Antarctica? That sounds like an interesting tale to me! Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Sample is also on the reading challenge’s list, that means that I am already crossing off three books from my adventurous reading challenge this month!

Here is its Goodreads blurb:Bern

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire is the fourth book I plan on reading for my adventurous challenge is set in Holland/ the Netherlands! This dark Cinderella tale is one that I have heard about from one of my friends and I have been wanting to pick it up! Now that I have a copy, I can finally read this book and cross another country off my challenge’s list!

Here is its Goodreads Burb:Stepsister

We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty … and what curses accompanied Cinderella’s looks?

Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris’s path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household — and the treacherous truth of her former life.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

The final book I chose for my Curious Reads for February is The Wonder by Emma Donoghue! This book is set in Ireland and is also listed in my reading challenge! I have been curious about this book for a while and I have finally decided to pick this little gem up and read it!

Here is its Goodreads blurb:thewonder

In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

If you are also interested in picking this novel up, here is  its Amazon page

That concludes my list of Curious Reads for the month of February! As always, there will be books that will be read along with the ones present on this list. I will keep you updated with reviews throughout the month as well, so keep an eye out for that! If you are interested in my little Adventurous Reading Challenge click here!

I hope y’all have a wonderfully literary day,

~Caitlin

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An Epic Literary Journey

Hello World!

I am excited to announce that I am going to participate in the Reading Quest read-a-thon! I just heard about this cool event a few days ago and knew that I had to join!

The Reading Quest is hosted by Read at Midnight and it has a unique way of helping you take a good chunk out of your tbr pile. You choose one of the four different character classes and then read the books that fit the  themes on the game board that are associated with your character!

The Four different classes are:

~Knight~
~Bard~
~Mage~
~Rogue~

The board also displays interesting side quest themes you can  choose from and if you really want a challenge you can try and read all the book themes on the board! Read at Midnight and Read, Think, Ponder did an amazing job creating this challenge and all of the beautiful artwork and I am excited to embark on this  journey. If you are curious about this challenge, click the picture of the game board below and it will take you to the challenge’s page!

The Class I chose was Mage! I also decided to find all of the books for my challenge at the local library!

Let’s dive in and see what I will be reading during this read-a-thon! If you are interested in learning about any of the books just click the cover and it will take you to their pages on Goodreads!

The first piece on the mage’s path is: A Book With a One Word Title


I chose Epic by Conor Kostick! I haven’t read this book since high school so it will be interesting to pick it up again for this challenge! The book follows a young man as he tries to earn money and justice for his family by competing in the virtual reality that has dictated the social life of New Earth. The only catch is if you lose in the game you will lose everything you have earned in reality as well.

The next theme on the board is: A Book that Contains Magic


I took a different approach to this theme by picking Lincoln in The Bardo by George Saunders. The way that Saunders approaches the death of young Willie Lincoln is enchanting. The young boy’s soul travels through  purgatory while encountering other spirits during the height of the Civil War. To me, this book sounds magical and I can’t wait to read it!

The third theme for the mage to read is:  A Book Based on Mythology


When I walked into the library, I saw For The Most Beautiful by Emily Hauser sitting in the middle of a book display. When I picked it up and saw that is focuses on two of the women that were ensnared in the battle of Troy in Homer’s The Iliad. I have an intense love for mythology so when I learned that I could follow the epic battle through the eyes of Krisayis and Briseis I snatched that book off the display and added it to my tbr for this challenge!

The fourth theme I must complete is: A Book Set In A Different World


The world created by Gordon Dahlquist in The Glass Books of The Dream Eaters sounds mysterious and magical. The journey of a woman trying to solve the mystery of her fiancée’s disappearance will also lead into a dark and mysterious world filled with magical mazes and a poetic assassin . I can’t wait to see what is in store when I open this intriguing book.

The final theme that lies in my path is: The First Book of a Series

The book I chose for this theme is I one that I have been wanting to read for quotes some time now! I am excited to dive into the magical world of  The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. This book is the beginning of a series that follows a spy organization that is trying to save literary works from different realities. This books sounds like it will be one epic journey and I can’t wait to embark on it!
That is it for my tbr! I can’t wait to start this quest in three days! If y’all decide to also participate, share what class you chose down below!

Have a Wonderfully Literary Day!
~Caitlin~

A Few of My Favorite Genres

Hello World! 

Today I am going to be sharing some of my favorite literary genres! The genres that have made my top 3 are all genres that I love to both read and write. I know my intro is a tad short but I am a little too excited to write this post!

Let’s dive in and explore my favorite genres! 

1. Fantasy

This one is my absolute favorite genre because of how flexible it is. Authors can really go wild with their world building and showcase the coolest stuff. Magic, dragons, and badass journeys are just a few of my favorite  things about this genre. Fantasy can also be combined with other genres as well and that is where things can get really interesting~

Favorite things about this genre:

  • Epic world building~
  • Use of magic~
  • Being able to see just how wild an author’s imagination can be~

2. Thriller

I love a good page turner! Books in this category can throw curveballs at you and keep you up at night while you play different scenarios in your head as you try to figure out what’s next. Unreliable narrators rule  this genre and some of these books can  scare the daylights out of you. 

Favorite things about this genre:

  • The way authors manipulate the point of view and unreliability of the narrative~ 
  • Twists are hidden throughout the novel~
  • Can easily keep you up at night~

3. Classics

Without  classical novels, epics, and plays the literary world would not be what it is today. I love reading  Austen, Fitzgerald, and Shakespeare. Knowing that storytellers like Homer helped lay the foundation of literature  is fascinating and I absolutely adore this genre~

My favorite things about this genre:

  • The wordplay authors used in order to work in some rather interesting jokes~(Looking at you Shakespeare!)
  • No matter how many times I read them, I am still enchanted~
  • Being able to see how society was back then by studying these works is really cool~

Those are my top 3 favorite literary genres! I hope you guys enjoyed my little post! What are your favorite genres?
Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

August TBR

Hello World!!

August has arrived and I have decided to finally get back into my regular posting schedule on my lovely blog! To kick off the month of August I thought I would share the list of books that are in my to be read (tbr) stack for the month!

Let’s dive in!

Remember: If you want to learn more about any of the books just click the picture and it will take you to the book’s Goodreads page~

The first book on my list is LOSTBOY by Christina Henry! 


Peter Pan is my favorite fairy tale so I am excited to dive into this dark novel that focuses on my favorite captain. This novel follows the journey of Captain Hook as he goes from being Pan’s favorite lost boy to his worst enemy. It sounds dark and thrilling and I can’t wait to read it! 

The next book on my tbr is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee!


I recieved this novel in my Owlcrate box this month! This novel focuses on a young noble as he embarks on an adventure across Europe while trying to decipher his budding feelings for his best friend. This novel sounds like it will be  fun  and I am really excited to read it~

Another book that is on my lovely list is The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden!


This book has been in my tbr pile for a while and now I am going to finally sit down and read it! This story takes place in New Orleans and is filled with, murder, mystery, and magic! I am excited to dive in and follow this magical mystery~

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody is also on my tbr for August!


This book arrived in my Fairyloot box for July and it sounds intriguing. A girl that can create magical illusions must figure out who is killing her human illusions. This wicked carnival sounds amazing and I am excited to read this novel~

There is one more book on my tbr list that does not have a cover or a Goodreads page. My good friend has asked me to be a beta reader for her novel and I feel honored. The novel is A Touch of Grace by Gretchen Dee! It is a young adult novel that follows two young people brought together through the stables they both visit. I am super excited to read this and give her my feedback!

That is all for my list today! I hope y’all enjoyed my post and hopefully found some interesting new books to check out!
Have a wonderfully literary day!

~Caitlin~

Camp NaNoWriMo Plans!

Hello World!

I am officially announcing that I will be participating in this year’s Camp NaNoWriMo that starts in 10 days! Camp NaNoWrimo is hosted by the same team that hosts the National Novel Writing Month every November, the only difference is that Camp NaNoWriMo is hosted in April! The goal of participating in these fun events is to write as much as you can and hopefully finish your book!  I plan on finishing up Worlds Apart during this session and I am extremely excited!

Prep done so far:

  • Created a cool motivational playlist!
  • Updated my world bible
  • Bought a giant notebook so I can have something to write in when I am away from my computer

I really haven’t had to do much prep since Worlds Apart is something that I am currently working on. I am excited to conquer this draft so I can start editing this beautiful novel. If you are interested in learning more about this fun event then you can click here!

 

 

Well  I must end this post here because I am writing it in between classes on campus! I will probably post some more posts on here once I get home.

Happy Reading!

~Caitlin

A Writing Update

Hello World!

I am happy to be back! I thought I would share a little update on my two writing projects that I had been working on before I went on my little hiatus in December.

Worlds Apart: I actually finished a good portion of this novel! I also entered the first nine pages into a manuscript excerpt contest. If I win, then I get to take my  manuscript to a literary agent so they can talk about it with me. This novel is on its way to being finished and my little magical world is thriving.

Lady of The Dawn: This project was picked back up after I reconciled with my close friend/ writing partner on this one. It felt so good to start working on this project again and I can’t  wait to work on it more and share more about it with y’all!

Well, I know this post was rather short but I just wanted to share the progress made on my little writing projects! I will share more about these two projects as I continue to work on them~

 

Happy Reading,

~Caitlin

A Few Things for World Building

Hello There!

Creating a world for your novel can seem like quite the daunting task. A world has so many different parts that need to work together in order to help breathe life into the novel. I am going to list certain things you need to keep in mind when it comes to world building and these are all things that I used when creating the world used in Worlds Apart. I will also being thinking about these important items while creating a world for this pirate idea that is currently stuck in my head. I hope this post will be helpful to you as you create that brilliant literary world of yours! 

Important things to remember while world building:

  • Don’t over complicate things! It is important that your world is not too complicated because it could confuse the readers. Plus, too many rules and tiny complications can really mess your continuity up in the long run. Some things could accidentally be forgotten and that could lead to some plot holes that could have been avoided. 
  • Religion! This is probably one of my favorite items to work on. Gods, Godesses, magic, and powerful figures that characters worship are an important part of the world itself. Creating these different belief systems can really give depth to your world and help differentiate the characters by their belief or lack of beliefs.
  • Maps! Creating a map should probably be one of the first things you do when you begin to build your world. It helps you visualize your world and map out your hero’s journey through out the novel or series. 
  • Politics! Politics are very important, especially if your are writing a dystopian or fantasy novel. Evil monarchs and  corrupt governments need to be explained in your world bible so you can understand just how much turmoil is present in the novel.  Be careful not too over complicate things in this area because when all the action is unfolding you don’t want it to get too confusing.
  • Magic! Magic is something you need to think long and hard about when you are building. How it is used, who uses it, can objects contain it, and the presence of magical creatures should be addressed when it comes to magic in your world! This can also work really well with religious beliefs as well.

Those are the main things that I think about when I am world building and I hope that you found this post helpful!

I wish you luck on your literary journey!

~Caitlin

My National Park Adventure~

Hello there!

It has been over a week since I last posted and that is because I spent a week at Big Bend National Park in South Texas! There is no internet and barely any cell phone service down there so it was a way that I could focus on nature, family, and my writing! Before the trip I felt like my life was a beautiful chaos, I was struggling with my word count and work load but being away from everything really helped me reset and really appreciate the beauty that lies in nature. Sometimes it is important to step away from everything and just appreciate life and take a moment to breathe. This trip was helpful in so many ways: I read several books, I worked on my novel, and I knitted a scarf without getting too frustrated (I always make the stitches too tight).  I recommend that everyone takes some time to step away from technology and embrace the calming serenity of life and use the time to reflect. I think I am going to take an hour every day and dedicate it to stepping away from technology and really relax and breathe.

Big Bend National Park is truly magnificent! We were camping in the Rio Grande Village which is in the desert region but you could drive fourty-five minutes and end up in the Chisos Mountains! It was like being in some fantasy world, the landscape was surreal and it really inspired me. Most of the photos I took will end up in my world bibles at some point!

I am also going to include some of my favorite pictures and moments that I captured from this grand adventure below!!!!

 

I ran and had my cousin take this photo of me staring at the beautiful sunset as we were hiking back down from an overlook!
A group shot of my family as we waited for the sun to set over the Rio Grande!
We hiked for twenty minutes to an overlook and watched as the sun set over the Rio Grande!
We found the springs! They are never empty but if they get low they can become a death trap for the wildlife because of their slick sides.
This canyon shows its age in all the layers!
As we got closer to the canyon we entered the canyon and it felt like we were on a movie set! It looked surreal!
Cool view of an ancient River Bed!
My cousin was leading us on an adventure to the Ernst Tinaja that is hidden off road and along an ancient river bed!
A view of the mountains from the desert!
A view of the window in the Chisos Mountains! It was so beautiful!
My cousin and his wife led us as we hiked into the Boquillas canyons!
A cool view from the Boquillas canyon trail as we hiked!
A view as we went along a canyon ridge.

 

I will post more now that I am back home!

I wish you luck on your writing adventure!

~Caitlin

 

Sticking to a Routine

Hello There!

I am writing an update on my NaNoWriMo journey so far. The first week has ended and I have very little to show for it. I am determined to write my heart out to catch up and stick to my set writing routine. My arch nemesis, writer’s block, came to visit for the first four days of NaNoWriMo and I had to battle it in order to get any work done at all.

I also have to write more so if I fall behind during my camping trip, I will atleast have a word cushion to fall back on.

 

I wish you luck on your literary journey!

~Caitlin

Beginning~

Hello there!

Today is the official first day of NaNoWriMo! I am excited to be conquering 50,000 words and I hope that you all are able to unleash your creativity and write those first 50,000 words. I have already started writing and instead of starting at the beginning, I started with the consequences of the novel’s climax. I sat there and tried to write the beginning but my mind kept going back to one scene in particular that happens right after the climax so I went and typed it out instead. It is important for you to start where you feel comfortable. You do not have to start at the beginning! This is your novel! You can start anywhere you want as long as you start writing your novel. The most important thing to do today is that you actually starting the process of writing your novel so you can be on your own journey to share it with the world.

I am excited to share my journey with y’all and I wish you luck on your writing journey,

~Caitlin