Around the Year in 52 Books discussion

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2020 Plans > Aragon’s 2020 ATY first and second go rounds

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message 1: by Jen (last edited Jul 17, 2020 11:08AM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments ATY 52-week challenge, round 1!
*Not reading the prompts in order*

✔️1. A book with a title that doesn't contain the letters A, T or Y Becoming
✔️2. A book by an author whose last name is one syllable OCDaniel
✔️3. A book that you are prompted to read because of something you read in 2019 Allies
✔️4. A book set in a place or time that you wouldn't want to live The Tattooist of Auschwitz
✔️5. The first book in a series that you have not started The Mysterious Benedict Society

✔️6. A book with a mode of transportation on the cover The Rosie Effect
✔️7. A book set in the southern hemisphere The Light Between Oceans
✔️8. A book with a two-word title where the first word is "The" The Nightingale
✔️9. A book that can be read in a day Red at the Bone

✔️10. A book that is between 400-600 pages The Great Alone
✔️11. A book originally published in a year that is a prime number Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
✔️12. A book that is a collaboration between 2 or more people Dry
✔️13. A prompt from a previous Around the Year in 52 Books challenge (Link) Crow
✔️14. A book by an author on the Abe List of 100 Essential Female Writers (link) Little Fires Everywhere

✔️15. A book set in a global city Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
✔️16. A book set in a rural or sparsely populated area Starlight
✔️17. A book with a neurodiverse character The Rosie Result
✔️18. A book by an author you've only read once before Fish in a Tree

✔️19. A fantasy book Circe
✔️20. The 20th book [on your TBR, in a series, by an author, on a list, etc.] The Night Diary
✔️21. A book related to Maximilian Hell, the noted astronomer and Jesuit Priest who was born in 1720 The Henna Artist
✔️22. A book with the major theme of survival American Dirt

✔️23. A book featuring an LGBTQIA+ character or by an LGBTQIA+ author George
✔️24. A book with an emotion in the title The Lonely Hearts Hotel
✔️25. A book related to the arts The Music Shop
✔️26. A book from the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards The Flatshare
✔️27. A history or historical fiction The Paris Library

✔️28. A book by an Australian, Canadian or New Zealand author How a Woman Becomes a Lake
✔️29. An underrated book, a hidden gem or a lesser known book Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
✔️30. A book from the New York Times '100 Notable Books' list for any year The Dutch House
✔️31. A book inspired by a leading news story Such a Fun Age

✔️32. A book related to the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Japan Pachinko
✔️33. A book about a non-traditional family Running with Scissors
✔️34. A book from a genre or sub genre that starts with a letter in your name The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
✔️35. A book with a geometric pattern or element on the cover What You Wish For

✔️36. A book from your TBR/wishlist that you don't recognize, recall putting there, or put there on a whim Olive, Again
✔️37. Two books that are related to each other as a pair of binary opposites: Book #1 The Hate U Give
✔️38. Two books that are related to each other as a pair of binary opposites: Book #2 To All the Boys I've Loved Before
✔️39. A book by an author whose real name(s) you're not quite sure how to pronounce The Giver of Stars

✔️40. A book with a place name in the title The Second Chance Boutique
✔️41. A mystery The Hunting Party
✔️42. A book that was nominated for one of the ‘10 Most Coveted Literary Prizes in the World’ (link) Girl, Woman, Other
✔️43. A book related to one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse A Night Divided
✔️44. A book related to witches Echo

✔️45. A book by the same author who wrote one of your best reads in 2019 or 2018 My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises
✔️46. A book about an event or era in history taken from the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire" A Thousand Splendid Suns
✔️47. A classic book you've always meant to read The Giver
✔️48. A book published in 2020 The Sunday Potluck Club

✔️49. A book that fits a prompt from the list of suggestions that didn't win (link) Where the Crawdads Sing
✔️50. A book with a silhouette on the cover The Huntress
✔️51. A book with an "-ing" word in the title The Benefits of Being an Octopus
✔️52. A book related to time Things You Save in a Fire


message 2: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:54PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 4. A book set in a time or place you wouldn't want to live: The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris.

Loved this book. Definitely would not have wanted to live during WWII. Can't wait to read the sequel.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz (The Tattooist of Auschwitz, #1) by Heather Morris


message 3: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:54PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 6. A book with a mode of transportation on the cover: The Rosie Effect, by Graeme Simsion.

2nd in the trilogy, not as good as book 1 but still an enjoyable read.

The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman, #2) by Graeme Simsion


message 4: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:54PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 17. A book with a neurodiverse character: The Rosie Result, by Graeme Simsion.

Final book in the trilogy. I loved the character of Hudson almost as much as the Don's character. Read on the plane on the way home from Cairo.

The Rosie Result (Don Tillman, #3) by Graeme Simsion


message 5: by Jen (last edited Feb 01, 2020 06:36PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 23. A book featuring an LGBTQIA+ character or by an LGBTQIA+ author: George, by Alex Gino.

Screened this one before adding it to my classroom library. Age appropriate for 12-13 year olds and a cute story.

George by Alex Gino


message 6: by Jen (last edited Feb 01, 2020 06:37PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 2. A book by an author whose last name is one syllable: OCDaniel, by Wesley King.

Another YA book screened before adding to my classroom library. Really enjoyed this one!

OCDaniel by Wesley King


message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 12. A book that is a collaboration between 2 or more people: Dry, by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman.

A gripping tale about a how humans deal with an extreme drought, or "tap out," in Southern California.

Dry by Neal Shusterman


message 8: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 18. A book by an author you've only read once before: Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

I read "Shouting at the Rain' last year, this one was better. A great read for anyone who works in the field of education.

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt


message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 33. A book about a non-traditional family: Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs.

Perhaps the most bizarre & twisted account of a childhood I've ever read, yet I found myself unable to stop reading. And laugh out loud hilarious!

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs


message 10: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:53PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 37. Two books that are related to each other as a pair of binary opposites: Book #1: The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. I went with binary opposites in the titles (love/hate).

LOVED this book and can't recommend it enough! Such a great portrayal of the current race and political climate in America.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


message 11: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:53PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 22. A book with the major theme of survival: American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins.

I’ve been cherishing this book for the past few days. Taking in every word. Not wanting it to end, but needing it to. I’ve ignored the huge controversy about the author and whether she “should” or “shouldn’t” have written this beautiful account of a mother and son’s escape from Mexico and the cartel that has just slaughtered 16 members of their family. I wanted to read it and judge for myself. And I loved it. Should a white woman write about the fictional experiences of a group of Hispanics? Maybe not, but the novel is still incredible.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

(also 35,43,48)


message 12: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3821 comments Mod
Jen wrote: "22. A book with the major theme of survival: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.

I’ve been cherishing this book for the past few days. Taking in every word. Not wanting it to end, but needing it to...."


I really struggled with what to do about this one. Some of the controversy made me feel like I would somehow be bad to read it. But I’ve also heard such amazing things about it. Ugh.

Your comments made me want to go ahead.


message 13: by Jen (last edited Apr 11, 2020 08:09AM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 26. A book from the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards: Flatshare, by Beth O'Leary.

4.5 stars. I don’t usually enjoy romance novels, so was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this one! A quick Sunday afternoon read with a pot of organic roiboos cinnamon chai.

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary


message 14: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina (semisabrina) Jen wrote: "26. A book from the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards: Flatshare by Beth O'Leary.

4.5 stars. I don’t usually enjoy romance novels, so was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this one! A quick Sund..."


This is on my tbr list - I'm so excited it's got such nice reviews. I love a good romance novel but there's something even more enjoyable about the ones that snag folks that *don't* usually enjoy them. It means they stepped up their game a little. Which is a great thing when you read a LOT of romance. I mean, we all know the genre has a particular formula. :D


message 15: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:53PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 3. A book that you are prompted to read because of something you read in 2019: Allies, by Alan Gratz.

I've read quite a few of his other books and really enjoyed them, but I was disappointed in this one. It felt like the separate character storylines were forced together too quickly at the end.

Allies by Alan Gratz


message 16: by Jen (last edited Apr 25, 2020 06:47PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 38. Two books that are related to each other as a pair of binary opposites: Book #2: To All the Boys I've Loved Before, by Jenny Han. I went with binary opposites in the title (love/hate).

This was a cute novel. Predictable and simple, but a fun feel-good read. Enjoyed with a pot of Chocolate Covered Strawberry tea from David's Tea. 3 stars.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1) by Jenny Han


message 17: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:53PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 51. A book with an "-ing" word in the title: The Benefits of Being an Octopus, by Ann Braden.

Fantastic young adult book that touches on so many themes, including domestic abuse, gun violence, poverty, resilience, and family.

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden


message 18: by Jen (last edited Apr 11, 2020 08:08AM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 44. A book related to witches: Echo, by Pam Munoz Ryan.

I’ve never been a big fan of audiobooks, but I’m so grateful that I listened to other reviewers’ suggestions to listen to, rather than read, this novel. Each character’s story has a different narrator and music is woven throughout, making this a magical listening experience.

From the first few minutes I was drawn in to this incredible “historical fiction meets fairy tale” story. The beautifully created characters and their interwoven yet unique lives entertained and enthralled me. And the powerful ending brought tears to my eyes.

Likely a great novel to read aloud, but an even better tale to listen to.

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan


message 19: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:52PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 5. The first book in a series that you have not started: The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart.

Contrary to others' opinions, I found this novel slow. I was disengaged and really had to force myself to finish it. I won't be reading the rest of the series.

The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1) by Trenton Lee Stewart


message 20: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:52PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 15. A book set in a global city: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one. A bit of a slow start but i quickly warmed up to the witty character and I loved the intricate details of New York City, both past and present, revealed as Lillian walked.

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney


message 21: by Jen (last edited Mar 23, 2020 06:01PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 16. A book set in a rural or sparsely populated area: Starlight, by Richard Wagamese.

Every so often the setting of a novel is as important, if not more so, than the plot. This is one of those books. Yet it is also beautifully written and the characters poignant and sincere.

As it continued reading, I became nervous about the ending, or lack thereof, knowing Wagamese died before finishing the novel. Yet when I neared the last few pages, I found myself cherishing the words, with silent tears freely flowing. Amazing.

Starlight by Richard Wagamese


message 22: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 45. A book by the same author who wrote one of your best reads in 2019 or 2018: My Grandmother Sends Her Regards & Apologises, by Fredrik Backman. (A Man Called Ove was one of my 2019 fave novels.)

4.5 stars - this story made me laugh and cry, almost at the same time. Funny, clever, and with just enough fairy tale.

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman


message 23: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 25. A book related to the arts: The Music Shop, by Rachel Joyce.

This was a cute novel, though I found it a little slow. A must read for anyone who loves music.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce


message 24: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 41. A mystery: The Hunting Party, by Lucy Foley.

3.5 stars - an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery set at a luxurious lodge in Scotland. A little predictable, but a decent escape read during Covid-19 social distancing times.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley


message 25: by Jen (last edited Mar 30, 2020 04:56PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 10. A book that is between 400-600 pages: The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah.

I really wanted to given this 5 stars, but, as other reviewers have mentioned, the ending seemed a bit rushed. I absolutely adored the first half of the novel; the stunning descriptions of Alaska were captivating and drew me right in. But the second half, while still very good, didn't live up to the first.

Overall a great book for my first Kristin Hannah experience. I'll definitely be reading more of her novels.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah


message 26: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:52PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 13. A prompt from a previous Around the Year in 52 Books challenge (ATY 2018, Prompt 10: An author's debut book (their first book to be published)) Crow, by Amy Spurway.

I was really excited to read this debut novel, which takes place in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. I enjoyed the story, but not as much as I had hoped to.

Crow by Amy Spurway


message 27: by Jen (last edited Apr 05, 2020 05:52PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 9. A book that can be read in a day: Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson.

At only 196 pages, this beautifully written novel could very well be read in a day, though I read it over a week. I loved the writing but found it a tad confusing to keep track of the many narrators.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson


message 28: by Jen (last edited Apr 11, 2020 07:49AM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 14. A book by an author on the Abe List of 100 Essential Female Writers (https://www.abebooks.com/books/best-f... Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng.

I really enjoyed this novel. It was a much lighter read than I had originally thought too. Watching the miniseries now :)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng


message 29: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 49. A book that fits a prompt from the list of suggestions that didn't win (A book where a character spends time in jail or prison): Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens.

For the first 20 pages, I was worried this novel wasn't for me, but I was quickly proven wrong. I loved this story and was fascinated by the level of detail about the marsh and its teeming life.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


message 30: by Jen (last edited Apr 13, 2020 06:31AM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 36. A book from your TBR/wishlist that you don't recognize, recall putting there, or put there on a whim: Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout.

"And it came to him then that it should never be taken lightly, the essential loneliness of people, that the choices they made to keep themselves from the gaping darkness were choices that required respect."

I don't recall adding this book to my TBR list, and had no idea when I began reading it that it's actually the second novel featuring the character of Olive Kitteridge But I am so grateful I found this one and will now have to read book 1. Strout's ability to write about the human condition with trueness and authenticity is remarkable.

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout


message 31: by Jen (last edited Apr 18, 2020 06:03PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 42. A book that was nominated for one of the ‘10 Most Coveted Literary Prizes in the World’ (link): Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo.

I wish I enjoyed this book more, I really wanted to love it, as so many others have. Winner of the Booker in 2019, it's beautifully written. While I enjoyed some of the interwoven stories of the 12 women, the heavy feminist/lesbian/transgender theme seemed forced and simply didn't appeal to me. 3.5 stars.

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo


message 32: by Jen (last edited Jun 01, 2020 08:17PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 50. A book with a silhouette on the cover: The Huntress by Kate Quinn.

Captivating and emotionally charged, this historical fiction novel jumps between two different time periods, as a crew of Nazi hunters try to locate "The Huntress" and make her stand trial for her murderous practices during World War II. 4.5 stars.

The Huntress by Kate Quinn


message 33: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 52. A book related to time: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center.

This was a cute romantic read. Quick and fluffy, a female firefighter named Cassie moves back home to live with her estranged mother for one year, at her mother's request. Read in a day with a pot of Earl Grey Cream by Tealish. 3 stars.

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center


message 34: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 28. A book by an Australian, Canadian or New Zealand author: How a Woman Becomes a Lake by Marjorie Celona.

I received this novel as part of a monthly book subscription box, so it wasn't originally on my TBR list. Part suspense, part mystery, part romance, the story follows the intertwined lives of residents of Whale Bay after a local woman disappears New Year's Day. It is a compelling read, incorporating themes of self-discovery, grief, relationships, abuse and love.

Perfect with a cup of dark coffee on a quiet weekend morning. 4 stars.

How a Woman Becomes a Lake by Marjorie Celona


message 35: by Jen (last edited Apr 29, 2020 12:36PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 46. A book about an event or era in history taken from the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire": A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini.

What can be said about this incredible novel that hasn't been said already? I loved loved loved it and can't believe I hadn't read it before. And while the content was brutal at times, it's real and raw and authentically written.

Enjoyed with a pot of "Hot Chocolate" tea from David's Tea (Black tea with chocolate shavings). 5 stars

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini


message 36: by Jen (last edited Apr 30, 2020 12:10PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 11. A book originally published in a year that is a prime number: Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions, by Russell Brand.

This book surprised me. I don't consider myself as addict, though i've been surrounded my addiction for most of my life. I love Brand's podcast, which was, in part, what drove my curiosity for this audio book, but I didn't expect it to be so funny! Brand reads the book himself, and the anecdotes and stories from his life are really what make this so enjoyable. That and his "fu*$ed up" version of the 12 steps.

Published in 2017, it makes the year a prime number! 3.5 stars.

Recovery Freedom from Our Addictions by Russell Brand


message 37: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 39. A book by an author whose real name(s) you're not quite sure how to pronounce: The Giver of Stars, by Jojo Moyes.

Jojo Moyes is the author's real name, though i'm not sure if it's pronounced "Moys" or "Moy-es".

This book was recommended by Goodreads, based on some of the other novels I've read recently. I wasn't entirely convinced I'd like it, but I was fully drawn in early on! I loved the character of Alice Wright and was fascinated by the connection to the real WPA Packhorse Librarians.

I read this one with a pot of "Pomegrateful" tea from David's tea.A sweet white tea that can be enjoyed hot or iced. 4.5 stars

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes


message 38: by Jen (last edited May 08, 2020 06:48PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 8. A book with a two-word title where the first word is "The": The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

My second Kristin Hannah book for the 52 ATY prompts and as enthralling as the first. Again strong, well developed female characters and an exciting plot. Unlike "The Great Alone" this one didn't feel rushed towards the end, rather it flowed evenly throughout. I l particularly loved the few moments set in present time where we see glimpses of one of the sisters in her final years.

This one paired perfectly a pot of strong coffee, as there as so many references to coffee, or lack thereof, in the novel. 5 stars.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah


message 39: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 1. A book with a title that doesn't contain the letters A, T or Y: Becoming, by Michelle Obama.

Book 36/52 and I've finally satisfied prompt #1! First a book and now a Netflix movie, this autobiography follows Michelle Obama from early childhood to present day, outlining her days pre-Barack, to marriage, children, the Presidency and afterwards. It's raw, honest and provides a detailed account of what life is really like as the FLOTUS.

4 stars.

Becoming by Michelle Obama


message 40: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 7. A book set in the southern hemisphere: The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman.

This book had been on my TBR list for a while. Just before my local library closed due to Covid-19 I borrowed as many books from my TBR list as they had in at the time, and this happened to be one of them. A bit slow to start, I quickly warmed up to the story, though found it somewhat predictable and the character of "Isabel" rather annoying.

3 stars.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman


message 41: by Jen (last edited Jul 17, 2020 11:28AM) (new)


message 42: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 48. A book published in 2020: The Sunday Potluck Club, by Melissa Storm.

The first in a series about a group of 4 friends who meet while each has a parent dying of cancer. Very quick fluffy read. I found the plot too predictable and the characters flat. I don't intend to read the rest of the series.

2.5 stars.

The Sunday Potluck Club (The Sunday Potluck Club, #1) by Melissa Storm


message 43: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 40. A book with a place name in the title: The Second Chance Boutique, by Louisa Leaman.

Not usually a romance fan at all, I found myself strangely drawn into this story. I loved the stories behind the dresses and, having recently traveled to Paris, was particularly fond of the intricate description of Paris landmarks.

3.5 stars.

The Second Chance Boutique by Louisa Leaman


message 44: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 32. A book related to the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Japan: Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee.

This gripping story follows a Korean family through multiple generations. Beginning in the early 1900s, young Sunja falls in love with a married man and becomes pregnant with his child. She marries another man, who raises her child as his own in Osaka, Japan. But bad luck follows the family, and Sunja's sacrifice continues to haunt her and the generations that come after her.

This novel has it all - sacrifice, love, poverty, racism, violence, gangsters and, above all, loyalty.

5 stars.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee


message 45: by Jen (last edited Jun 01, 2020 08:16PM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 27. A history or historical fiction. The Paris Library, by Janet Skeslien Charles.

Bouncing between WWII Odile and 1980s Odile, the reader gets to experience the main character at two very different, yet defining moments in her life. In the former, she is a young librarian, passionate about books and language, loyal to her colleagues and family, undeterred by the growing danger of war. In the latter, she is widowed and living in rural America, unwilling and unable to let go of the past.

Having spent time in Paris recently myself, I loved the descriptions of the city, so much of it unchanged today. As a book lover, the library setting drew me in right from the beginning. I found myself fascinated by the glimpse into life during WWII, yet loved that the war wasn't the whole story.

The strong female lead in wartime Paris reminded me of the two sisters in "The Nightingale" while the librarians, loyal to their subscribers and even more loyal to their collection, were reminiscent of the WPA Packhorse librarians in "The Giver of Stars."

An engaging novel that i literally couldn't put down. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC I received in exchange for my review.

5 stars

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles


message 46: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 21. A book related to Maximilian Hell, the noted astronomer and Jesuit Priest who was born in 1720: The Henna Artist, by Alka Joshi.

One of the contributions Maximilian Hell made to the field of astronomy was to record the transit of the planet Venus. In Roman mythology Venus is a goddess known for love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory; in the Henna Artist, Lakshmi paints henna tattoos on her patrons, for the purposes of bringing those same desires to fruition.

Fantastic book, I loved the glimpse into the world of henna and its wearers.

4.5 stars, enjoyed with a pot of Organic Roiboos Chai.

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi


message 47: by Jen (last edited Jun 06, 2020 11:52AM) (new)

Jen | 97 comments 30. A book from the New York Times '100 Notable Books' list for any year: The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett (2019).

Borderline masterpiece, this novel follows the destruction of an American family and its aftermath, as told through the perspective of the son, Danny.

I found myself rooting for Danny and Maeve almost immediately, outraged by the injustice they received by their stepmother and genuinely hoping to see them get retribution and regain what was rightfully theirs. But as the story continues, the reader begins to understand that the relationship they have with each other is far more important and serves them much better.

4.5 stars.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett


message 48: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 47. A classic book you've always meant to read: The Giver, by Lois Lowry.

How is it that I had never read this amazing young adult novel before? And I teach 12 and 13 year olds!?! The story was as captivating and brilliant as I expected it to be! Now the questions is, do I read the sequel?

5 stars.

The Giver (The Giver, #1) by Lois Lowry


message 49: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 35. A book with a geometric pattern or element on the cover: What You Wish For, by Katherine Center.

Read with a pot of Earl Grey dessert tea by Tealish.

3.5 stars

What You Wish For by Katherine Center


message 50: by Jen (new)

Jen | 97 comments 24. A book with an emotion in the title: The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O'Neill.

Bizarre Montreal-based story of 2 orphans who fall in love as children, perform circus acts together, are separated, then find each other in their 20s, during the depression. Magical meets historical fiction meets erotic. Reviewers seem to love it or hate it, I'm somewhere in the middle.

3 stars

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill


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