Finished Pages #2 – August Challenge Part 1

Hello everyone! Today I want to talk about the first three books I finished for my book challenge in August! I had set myself the challenge of reading 20 books…but I only got to read 13, some of which were different from what I had originally planned in my August Challenge post. But alas! That is better than not reading any books so let’s get to the reviews!! 🙂

1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Goodreads)
Goodreads rating – 4.14 out of 5 stars
My rating – 4 out of 5 stars
SUMMARY: One of Agatha Christie’s most famous mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express was inspired by two real-life crimes and the author’s own experience being stranded on the Orient Express during Christmas of 1931. While traveling to Paris, a wealthy American is stabbed to death in his cabin on the Orient Express. With the train stuck in a snowdrift, there is no easy escape for the killer. Fortunately, detective Hercule Poirot is aboard and launches a clever investigation into the curious assortment of passengers, of whom each seems to have a motive.
REVIEW: This was my first time reading an Agatha Christie book and I really enjoy her descriptive writing style. The window into life in the 1930’s was very interesting and I did not see the outcome of the mystery coming AT ALL. Very impressed 🙂 If you haven’t read any Agatha Christie novels I would recommend starting here.

2. The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume Two: Macroeconomics by Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein (Goodreads)
Goodreads Rating: 4.06 out of 5 stars
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
SUMMARY: Need to understand today’s economy? This is the book for you. The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, Volume Two: Macroeconomics is the most accessible, intelligible, and humorous introduction to unemployment, inflation, and debt you’ll ever read.Whereas Volume One: Microeconomics dealt with the optimizing individual, Volume Two: Macroeconomics explains the factors that affect the economy of an entire country, and indeed the planet. It explores the two big concerns of macroeconomics: how economies grow and why economies collapse. It illustrates the basics of the labor market and explains what the GDP is and what it measures, as well as the influence of government, trade, and technology on the economy. Along the way, it covers the economics of global poverty, climate change, and the business cycle. In short, if any of these topics have cropped up in a news story and caused you to wish you grasped the underlying basics, buy this book.
REVIEW: Long story short, loved this book as much as the first volume. Still informational with a side of humor 🙂

3. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer (Goodreads)
Goodreads Rating: 3.46 out of 5 stars
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
SUMMARY: The procession that crosses Chaucer’s pages is as full of life and as richly textured as a medieval tapestry. The Knight, the Miller, the Friar, the Squire, the Prioress, the Wife of Bath, and others who make up the cast of characters — including Chaucer himself — are real people, with human emotions and weaknesses. When it is remembered that Chaucer wrote in English at a time when Latin was the standard literary language across western Europe, the magnitude of his achievement is even more remarkable. But Chaucer’s genius needs no historical introduction; it bursts forth from every page of The Canterbury Tales.
REVIEW: It took me a little while to get back into the flow of this book but I really enjoyed it. I read the Canterbury Tales in high school and did a film project incorporating some of the characters, so it was fun to reread and remember how crazy that whole project was. The Wife of Bath and the Miller are my two favorite stories. The Canterbury Tales can be over loquacious at times and some of the tales aren’t as interesting, but there are some true gems.

Hope you enjoyed the reviews! Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these! Also what did you read in August that you think I would enjoy? 🙂

Weekly Book Review!

Hello everyone! I am coming to you today from Cape Cod! Oh vacation, how desperately I needed you 🙂 I wanted to give you guys a quick book review of all the books I read this past week. Next week I’ll show you all of the books that I brought with me on vacation.

I read five books this past week (including one I listened to on the way here).

The Selection

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass
Goodreads rating – 4.14 (link here)
My rating – 8 out of 10
Genre – Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
I actually read the first two books in this series at the beginning of the year, but wanted to reread them because the final installment was released. America Singer is a girl who has been selected to go on a Bachelor-style competition to potentially marry the Prince of Illea. Unfortunately, her heart is spoken for so when she initially meets the Prince, she expresses that she just wants to be friends. But with the trials of the Selection and outside forces, this book is romance-centered but with plenty of action and comedy to keep me interested 🙂 I highly recommend this series if you are looking for a some romance with lots of dystopian elements.

The Elite

The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass
Goodreads rating – 3.99 (link here)
My rating – 8 out of 10
Genre – Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t read the series and plan on reading it but I really enjoyed the character development in this book and the plot twists. There is love, heartbreak, loss, and so many wonderful scenes that make me love this series. Some middle books can make it seem like the author is just dragging out the plot, but Kiera does a great job of keeping all of the action and craziness of the Selection fresh and interesting.

The One

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass
Goodreads rating – 4.26 (link here)
My rating – 6 out of 10
Genre – Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
I was so excited to finally read this book! It is the final installment in The Selection series. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything if you haven’t read the series so I will just say that I was pleased with about 85% of the book but I am still having trouble with the ending. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s more I’m not really sure I believe that what happened is what the characters would actually do in my head. If you have read this book or end up reading the series, please let me know your thoughts about the ending in the comments below.

Fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Powell
Goodreads rating – 4.22 (link here)
My rating – 7 out of 10
Genre – Young Adult, Romance
This book took a little while for me to get into. There were a fair amount of details that needed to be laid out for the rest of the book to blossom into the delightful read that it became. Cath is a girl who is just starting college who is socially awkward. She is a fangirl and uses fanfiction as an escape from real life. This story follows her through her first year at college and meeting new people, family issues, first romance, and all of the challenges of being pushed out of your comfort zone. I really enjoyed how the book turned out and love Rainbow Powell’s work! If you find yourself kind of struggling with the beginning of this book, push through. It is definitely worth it!

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Goodreads rating – 3.94 (link here)
My rating – 6 out of 10
Genre – Non-fiction, Humor, Memoir
This is the second book I have read by David Sedaris and I enjoyed a decent portion of it. I actually listened to this book because the past couple of years I can’t read in the car like I used to (SO FRUSTRATING). If you haven’t read a book by David, he writes short essays talking about different parts of his life and most are hilarious bits of nostalgia. There were some essays in this one that I just didn’t really understand or find entertaining, but then again, I feel like his works translates better when you are actually reading it rather than listening to the words. I really enjoyed reading Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Have you read any of his other books? Which ones have you enjoyed?

Finished Pages #1

Hello everyone! Today I want to do a review of the books I have read this past week. I read three books so this will be a relatively short post. Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of these! Also, I am leaving for vacation next week and need to pack some good beach reads so leave your recommendations down below as well! 🙂

A Study in Sink

A Study in Sink by Maureen Johnson – I FINALLY got around to reading this! This was a perk for donating to the Harry Potter Alliance’s Equality For The Win campaign last year. It is a fan fiction starring John Green and Benedict Cumberbatch. Hank and Katherine also make an appearance. This was super short but as with all of Maureen’s writing, I was hooked, I was laughing, and I loved it. 🙂 It’s only about 20 pages so if you want to read it, you can click the link here and make a $15 donation to the HPA to get it!

MicroEcon

The Cartoon Introduction to Economics: Volume One Microeconomics by Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman, Ph.D – I studied economics in college and I have been missing it recently. I have had this sitting on my shelves for a while and read through just as a fun, educational light read to exercise that part of my brain again. If you were ever interested in the basics of economics and wanted some humor and a very approachable way to learn it, definitely pick this up 🙂 I found it on Thriftbooks for pretty cheap (I think $6) but it is currently out of stock there. I would check Books A Million or another discount book site for it.

We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – This book is about an octopus who becomes a pirate captain. This book is about how to make the perfect scones. This book is about what happens when you mix all the chemicals in your bathroom and how that puff of smoke will affect the rest of your life.
Okay…I was lying. This book. Holy crap this book. You can’t really say too much about We Were Liars without giving it away but it is definitely worth the read. When I first started reading it, I wasn’t really sure where it was going but then it all came together in the end and I didn’t see it coming. I still have a massive book hangover from this book. I am going to re-read it again and I would encourage you to do so as well because once you figure out what happens, the entire story transforms and I feel like it needs a good re-read to fully appreciate how intelligent and crafty this book is. (Also if you are looking for another great E. Lockhart book to read, I highly recommend The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks)

Don’t forget to leave your reviews of these books if you have read them and your beach read recommendations in the comments below! 🙂

❤ Carolyn