2016 TBR List!

2016 TBR List!

Hey guys!

So it’s that time of year again. The time where I make a TBR ( to be read) list and fail shamelessly at accomplishing it!! But I’m going to try it again! Last year I set a reading goal of 25 books and  I surpassed that I read 38! But.. of the 10 books I had on my TBR list, I read a grand total of……. ( drum-roll please….) 3! Side note: One was a devotional that I am currently reading for the next forty days and the other is on my dresser waiting to be picked up next 😛

So this year I decided to narrow it down to 5 books that I absolutely must get through this year, thus leaving plenty of room for randomly wonderful reads.

So the five books I have chosen as my must reads are:

  1. Room: By Emma Donoghue ( Now a major motion picture) The synopsis of this book is as follows:

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

This book has been collecting dust on my bookshelf since 2010….. ( yes 2010) I loved the premise of the story when I initially picked it up but you know how book life goes(lol)  I got sidetracked. I really want to see the movie but I always like to read the book prior to. So here I go. I hope to read this by February( but don’t hold me to that :P)

Room

2. And The Mountains Echoed: By Khaled Hosseini. ( Author of “The Kite Runner”)  I had picked up this book right after its release in 2013 as I have loved all of this authors previous works. I had initially started it and somehow it got lost by the wayside. This year will be the year I actually complete it!  The synopsis of this book is as follows:

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

And the Mountains Echoed

3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings: Maya Angelou. This book is a re-read for me. I read this book as a young girl ( probably about 10) before I could really internalize the message she was trying to deliver. I think It’s a fine time for a re-read! The synopsis of this book is as follows:

Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

4. The Illegal: By Lawrence Hill. I bought this book at the tail end of 2015. I loved Lawrence Hills other works and He’s Canadian and currently lives in my city! So why now support local talent!!  The synopsis of this  book is as follows:

All Keita has ever wanted to do is to run. Running means respect and wealth at home. His native Zantoroland, a fictionalized country whose tyrants are eerily familiar, turns out the fastest marathoners on earth. But after his journalist father is killed for his outspoken political views, Keita must flee to the wealthy nation of Freedom State—a country engaged in a crackdown on all undocumented people.

There, Keita becomes a part of the new underground. He learns what it means to live as an illegal: surfacing to earn cash prizes by running local races and assessing whether the people he meets will be kind or turn him in. As the authorities seek to arrest Keita, he strives to elude capture and ransom his sister, who has been kidnapped.

Set in an imagined country bearing a striking resemblance to our own, this tension-filled novel casts its eye on race, human potential, and what it means to belong.

The Illegal

5: Troublemaker:Surviving Hollywood and Scientology: By Leah Remini. I want to read this simply because I am intrigued, curious and want to know what finally made her walk about from that religion..

The outspoken actress, talk show host, and reality television star offers up a no-holds-barred memoir, including an eye-opening insider account of her tumultuous and heart-wrenching thirty-year-plus association with the Church of Scientology.

Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost.

That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices.

Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes.

But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever.

Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

I have to order this online because It is not sold in Canada. It does not adhere to Canadian defamation policies my local bookstore told me. Perhaps a quick drive to Buffalo ( I only live about 45 minutes from the border) at some point this year.

Finally, I found this handy dandy little 2016 Reading challenge list that looks like fun and will totally help me stay on track and complete my TBR! I’m going to print these out and put them in a jar and anytime I finish a book I will draw out my challenge for my next read!

Here’s wishing you a successful reading year! What are you planning on reading this year? Let me know!!!!

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

 

IMG_8539

Xoxo

 

End Of The Year TBR…

End Of The Year TBR…

Hey guys…

So I had TBR when I first started this blog but somehow as the year went on, I became distracted and really lost interest in reading the remaining books on my list. 😦 As you may know, I have a serious addiction to buying books ( lol) so over the course of the year I have purchased and read many amazing books. So, I decided to be realistic and choose a few books that I would like to complete by the December 31st! Hopefully the books that I was not able to finish from my current TBR will make it on to my list once again and finally get completed!

So here are my choices for my end of year TBR!

The Illegal: By Lawrence Hill ( Author of  “The Book of Negroes”) 

Keita Ali is on the run.

Like every boy on the mountainous island of Zantoroland, running is all Keita’s ever wanted to do. In one of the poorest nations in the world, running means respect. Running means riches-until Keita is targeted for his father’s outspoken political views and discovers he must run for his family’s survival.

He signs on with notorious marathon agent Anton Hamm, but when Keita fails to place among the top finishers in his first race, he escapes into Freedom State-a wealthy island nation that has elected a government bent on deporting the refugees living within its borders in the community of AfricTown. Keita can stay safe only if he keeps moving and eludes Hamm and the officials who would deport him to his own country, where he would face almost certain death.

This is the new underground: a place where tens of thousands of people deemed to be “illegal” live below the radar of the police and government officials. As Keita surfaces from time to time to earn cash prizes by running local road races, he has to assess whether the people he meets are friends or enemies: John Falconer, a gifted student struggling to escape the limits of his AfricTown upbringing; Ivernia Beech, a spirited old woman at risk of being forced into an assisted living facility; Rocco Calder, a recreational marathoner and the immigration minister; Lula DiStefano, self-declared queen of AfricTown and madam of the community’s infamous brothel; and Viola Hill, a reporter who is investigating the lengths to which her government will go to stop illegal immigration.

Keita’s very existence in Freedom State is illegal. As he trains in secret, eluding capture, the stakes keep getting higher. Soon, he is running not only for his life, but for his sister’s life, too. 

I’m looking forward to reading this book. I was a huge fan of “The Book of Negroes”.  I’m especially proud to support this author as he is Canadian and lives right in my hometown! His other book “Any Known Blood” was on my TBR,but sadly I didn’t get to it.

The Tears of Dark Water: By Corban Addison

Daniel and Vanessa Parker are an American success story. He is a Washington, DC, power broker, and she is a physician with a thriving practice. But behind the gilded facade, their marriage is a shambles, and their teenage son, Quentin, is self-destructing. In desperation, Daniel dusts off a long-delayed dream a sailing trip around the world. Little does he know, the voyage he hopes will save them may destroy them instead.

Half a world away on the lawless coast of Somalia, Ismail Adan Ibrahim is living a life of crime in violation of everything he was raised to believe except for the love and loyalty driving him to hijack ships for ransom and plot the rescue of his sister, Yasmin, from the man who murdered their father. There is nothing he will not do to save her, even if it means taking innocent lives.

Paul Derrick is the FBI s top hostage negotiator. His twin sister, Megan, is a celebrated defense attorney. They have reached the summit of their careers by savvy, grit, and a secret determination to escape the memory of the day their family died. When Paul is dispatched to handle a hostage crisis at sea, he has no idea how far it will take him and Megan into the past or the chance it will give them to redeem the future.

Across continents and oceans, through storms and civil wars, the paths of these individuals converge in a single, explosive moment. It is a moment that will test them and break them, but it will also leave behind an unexpected glimmer of hope that out of the ashes of tragedy and misfortune, the seeds of justice and reconciliation can grow

Mystery/Thriller is usually not the type of genre I gravitate towards, but this year I read two of this authors books ( “A Walk Across The Sun” and “The Garden of Burning Sand”) and I really enjoyed them! I’m looking forward to reading this.

The Golden Son: By Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Anil is the cherished son of a large family in rural India. As the eldest boy, he is expected to inherit the role of leader of his clan and arbiter of its disputes, dispensing wisdom and good advice. Leena is his closest companion, a fiercely brave girl who loves nothing more than the wild terrain they inhabit and her close-knit family. As childhood friends, they are inseparable—but as adulthood approaches, they grow apart.

Anil is the first person in his family to leave India, the first to attend college, the first to become a doctor. Half a world away in Dallas, Texas, he is caught up in his new life, experiencing all the freedoms and temptations of American culture: he tastes alcohol for the first time, falls in love, and learns firsthand about his adopted country’s alluring, dangerous contradictions. Though his work in a gritty urban hospital is grueling, Anil is determined to carve out his own life in America.

At home, Leena dreams of marriage, a strong and true love like the one shared by her parents, and leaves her beloved home to join her new husband’s family in a distant village.

Then things start to go wrong: Anil makes a medical mistake with tragic results, his first love begins to fray and a devastating event makes him question his worth as a doctor and as a friend. On a visit home, Anil rekindles a friendship with the woman who seems to understand him better than anyone else. But their relationship is complicated by a fateful decision made years earlier.

As the two old friends discover each other again, they must also weigh the choice between responsibility and freedom, and between loyalty and love.

I absolutely loved this authors book “Secret Daughter” when I read it a few years back and so, as I was perusing the shelf at Indigo books ( as usual lol)  I saw ( recognized) the authors name on the shelf and decided to give it a try!

 

Finally,

Half of a Yellow Sun : By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.

This book was actually on my previous TBR so I’m looking forward to actually reading it! I read “Purple Hibiscus” by this author not too long ago and it was an okay read. I did really enjoy the book “Americanah” by this author as well.

So that’s it folks! I’m hoping I can actually finish these books with the holidays coming up! But… currently the show “Nashville” has been RUNNING my LIFE sooo…. I’m obsessed ( lol)

 

What are you guys reading for the rest of the year?

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: I finished Roots!

Wednesday Weekly Reads: I finished Roots!

Quick post today. I managed to finish Roots! I found it to be a great read. It took me a lot less time to read than I had anticipated it to! I did really look at the book as a work of “faction” ( facts that are embellished by fiction) I found it hard to actually believe that these incidents took place the way that they did simply because Mr Haley was accused of plagiarism. I think that if this story had been marketed as a work of fiction with some actual facts, the literary world, wouldn’t have been in such an uproar! However, this book has sold millions of copies and was even turned into a miniseries staring Levar Burton in 1977. Tough content, but  very much needed. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve come from!

This week I started ( and have nearly completed) “Tease” by Amanda Maciel.  The synopsis of this book is as follows ( as found on amazon.com)

Emma Putnam is dead, and it’s all Sara Wharton’s fault.

At least, that’s what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma’s shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who’s ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.

During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment-and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she’ll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

So far a really good read! Really relevant content,especially in this social media/cyber bullying age that we live in. Well written! Awesome debut novel by Maciel.

Up next week:
Kinda leaving it up in the air. I have a bunch of library books to get through like:
– Mosquitoland by David Arnold
-All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

-Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard
-The Walls Around Us by Suma Nova Ren
– My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

I’ll pick one of those up!
Happy Reading!

xoxo