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Circe by Madeline Miller | A Review(ish) Post

Hi everyone!

It has been such a long time since I’ve written a review, mainly because most of the books I have been currently reading are either for school or I’ve not been reading much at all. Regardless, today I’m here to talk about Circe, Madeline Miller’s new book. This book was given to me on my birthday by a group of my best friends, and I am so happy they bought it for me, because I loved it.

Circe is not a typical book. For one thing, books don’t usually span hundreds of years following one character. It is deeply–very deeply–rooted in Greek mythology that you may or may not know of. As a Classics student, I knew a lot of the myths in this book, even though there were still a lot that I had not heard of before. Therefore, there were somethings that I expected would happen. The beauty of this book, though, was that even if I knew something was going to happen, I only wanted to read on more fervently because I wanted to find out why said thing happened.

I would honestly say that you shouldn’t know much before reading this book. Knowing that it is about Circe should be enough, especially if you have a strong mythological background like I do. It is a beautifully written tale of love, lies, the twists and turns of mythology, and tragedies. Most of all, it is about women. I do not know what I expected from this novel. I had actually though that it might be a story of how Circe became “evil”. It was not like that. Circe was so relatable, so calm in her ways. She was logical and yet felt human at the same time. There was no decision that she made that I thought was out of the ordinary, and this is what surprised me most of all.

I loved it. (5 stars).

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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My Favorite Bookstore: Some Thoughts

I am not sure for how long my mom has been taking us to the Barnes & Noble near my house. What I do know, though, is that we always found ourselves there whenever it was rainy or too hot or we were bored at home. This bookstore, unlike the other Barnes & Noble stores in our area, is one of my favorite places in the world. Going there makes me happy, which sounds typical, but it’s true. Even the scent of the store–the combination between the smell of books and the sweet coffee of the Starbucks there–makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Upon entering, you first usually notice the signs at the entrance, advertising for future book signings or events. At the front there are shelves of the most popular books, the ones that people who don’t usually read will likely pick up. The cashiers are on the right, and near them are stands full of expensive trinkets I always look at but never buy.

The past few years, I think, the store has become even more full of books than it already was. They reorganized the Young Adult section to bring it near the kid’s books, and I miss the old spot it was in which was more obscure and quiet. Nonetheless, I’m not as bothered by this change as I am by other things. All of the shelves have some books that are tagged with a recommendation by a staff member of the bookstore. The kid’s section has places to sit–though it is very rare to be able to catch one of the actual seats–whenever I wanted to try out a book I would go and sit down in one of the corners there. In this bookstore, I spent most of my money in 8th grade; trying to get as many deals as possible. One time, I brought up two paperbacks–each worth $9.99–and had only $20, which is surely not enough to buy what I wanted. But the lady there was kind enough to give me a coupon, and I still remember this, even after five years.

Now that I’m writing about the bookstore, I’m realizing I can’t really describe much of it. It’s not that I don’t know the place well, but because it is not the actual setting of the store as much as it is how I feel when I go there. Over the years of visiting there, I’ve associated it with getting away from things I don’t like; it’s been my escape. I never actually sat down and read books in entirety there, but I always came and read the flaps of books to see what they’re about. I admired the covers of stories I’ll never read, or asked my mom to buy a frappuccino from Starbucks while I’m there. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve followed this same, satisfying routine. It sounds boring when I write about it this way, but it’s always so calm there–a visit to this Barnes and Noble in particular has its own nice rhythm–and it feels so familiar. I suppose it’s a mix of nostalgia and a certain degree of comfortableness that makes me love the place so much.

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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The End of Summer, the Start of Senior Year

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe it’s already September! The fact that the second week of my last year of high school is almost done simultaneously blows my mind and excites me. There are certain things that I wanted to talk about in this post, which is arguably not going to be that related to books (well I guess it is, sort of).

I have realized over the summer that although I will always love the Young Adult genre, I am starting to move away from it. Or at least, even if I am not moving away from it, I am reading less of it in general–or I am reading books in other genres as well. So, I feel like I should stop pressuring myself into feeling guilty about how little I’ve been reading, because I feel like it’s only natural.

Second, considering this is my last year at my (dreaded) high school, despite all my complaints and such, I do want to savor, in a way, every moment of all the good things. I want to spend more time with my friends and family (over school), go to more school-related activities (sports games and things like that), and essentially do everything I couldn’t do and won’t be able to do ever again. This kind of extends to reading books, too. Throughout high school, I really wasn’t able to do anything I wanted. I’m serious. There were numbered days in which I came home stress-less (maybe 10 or so). I don’t want this to continue into my senior year.

What I think–and I hope you all think so too–is special about this blog is that it is a natural log of my life throughout the past four years. You can directly see when I had more time, when I was more stressed out, when I was reading more if you read my blog posts. Although how much I use this blog has definitely stagnated, much to my dismay, I am still active on here. And I still have readers all across the world, even if my numbers weren’t as high as they used to be. So, I am setting another goal for myself this year. To become more active on this blog, but in a way that won’t stress me out. You guys will probably see more posts like this, if I do indeed follow my goal.

Anyway, thank you for stopping by and reading this little post. I hope this academic (or not) year brings you great moments and treasures you never would have expected!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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The Cruel Prince & My Love for Faeries

Hi guys!

It’s been a long time yet again. To be fair, this time, I don’t really have an excuse for as to why I haven’t been blogging. Actually, it’s more like I don’t have an excuse for not reading which led me not to blog…but oh well.

To sum up: I finally read a book! That is, I was able to finish a book (as I was having trouble to do so). The book I read was one that a lot of people raved about: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. And I’m not surprised.

Quite frankly, I knew I’d love this book. For one thing, I love Holly’s writing style that sucks you into her story through intrigue and details. Second, I figured that all the hype would likely be worth it. And third…well, I adore faeries. Not the Sarah J. Maas type of faeries which are essentially just immortal humans with pointy ears. (No offense haha, but it’s true. Her faeries aren’t the type that are based off of the wild, natural creatures that I so love).

Basically, I wanted to spend this post just talking about how I really, really enjoyed The Cruel Prince and it’s faerie aspects. I guess it’s not really a review, but I wanted to post something, so oh well.

What I loved about The Cruel Prince:

  • The story’s setting is the typical, treacherous Faerie Land. Lots of different types of faeries, pixies, hags, etc. They’re all weird and quirky and dangerous—down to the fruits and berries and rivers.
  • I loved Jude as a main character. She was bold enough to be a strong character, but flawed enough that you could relate to her. She kind of reminded me of Lada from And I Darken, whom I loved reading about.
  • The atmosphere that surrounded the characters was so well developed and so…attractive? I don’t know. But all of them had a layer of intrigue surrounding them that made them all the more interesting to read about.
  • And of course, all the wonderful twists and turns.

Do you love faeries as much as I do? If not, what is your favorite supernatural creature? Please let me know!

–Silanur

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A Beautiful Bookstore: Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.

Hey everyone!

A couple weeks ago, I went to the book signing of Ibtihaj Muhammad–who, if you didn’t know, is the first Muslim hijabi to be a part of the United States Olympics team. The signing (obviously) went well, but I wanted to talk more about the actual place where it happened in this post.

I have been wanting to visit Politics and Prose for literal years. For those of you who don’t know, it’s one of the biggest indie bookstores in Virginia (and maybe even the States…I don’t know) located in our country’s capital. Politics and Prose has SO many book signings and events that happen all the time, and I was not disappointed.

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The store is two floors–the first being the main floor, with all the adult books and a place for signings; as well as other cute items and trinkets you can buy. (I would have, but I didn’t have enough money on me at the time). There were an unbelievable number of books that captivated me and I wish I could have spent more time there (even the adult books!). It made me realize that in the past year or so, I’ve definitely become more interested in more nonfiction than before.

The second floor has the Kids and Young Adult section in addition to the store’s cafe. First of all, I think it’s worth noting that, because there are so many signings, there are so many signed books. Like I said–I was unable to spend as much time as I wanted in the bookstore in general, but I loved how the store was set up. It reminded me of a couple years ago, when I was reading everything all the time and I was completely immersed in the world of books.

I also visited the cafe while I was there and drank an iced mocha. Although I do think it was a bit overpriced, it’s a nice place to visit once you enter the bookstore, especially since you can stay there for as long as you want once you’ve bought something.

Basically: the bookstore was adorable. It reminded me of why I love reading so much and I just felt like I belonged, once again. I can’t wait to visit more indie bookstores, and I hope to come here again. (P.S: it’s definitely worth the visit if you are coming to D.C. as a book lover).

Have any of you guys ever been to Politics and Prose? What did you think about it? I can’t wait to go back!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Sensory Reading Memories

Hey everyone!

Whoa, it’s been a long time since I’ve done Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve missed it a lot, actually, so I’m excited to write this post!

Today’s prompt is: Books with Sensory Reading Memories (These are the books that are linked to very specific memories for you: where you were, what time of year it was, who you were with, what you were eating, etc. Ideas include books you read while on vacation, books that made you hungry for certain foods, books you’ve buddy read with loved ones, etc.)

So, let’s begin! (Also, this list isn’t gonna have ten books on it–only a couple).

First, we have An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. This is actually my favorite book of the year so far, and I loved it so much while reading it that I basically finished it over one weekend–a school weekend, too. I have a distinct memory of randomly starting to read it on my phone. Every time I opened my phone up, I read it, and when I finished it I wanted to become a part of the world.

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Next, we have another favorite of mine: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I actually also randomly picked this book up at my school library. I started reading it on yet another tiring morning in I think January or February of 2017, right before I was going to go on the bus to school. I remember thinking it wouldn’t be that good but then ended up loving it–somehow managing to squeeze it into my schedule.

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Third on this list we have The Unbound by Victoria Schwab. I literally miss reading this series so much because I read them so quickly. I thought that I would love Schwab’s other series just as much, but I didn’t end up enjoying them as much as I enjoyed this book. It was so addicting to read, and I basically read the whole book while traveling in Turkey in the car, which is why it’s on this list.

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Next, we have Uprooted by Naomi Novik. This is actually one of those books that is very atmospheric/environment-based, rather than plot based, so I think throughout reading it, I felt like I was in some surreal forest. In reality, I remember reading it during hot summer days when I wasn’t doing anything much besides reading. So–I associate it with those lazy, hot summer days.

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Finally, I have And I Darken on this list. Although I’ve long given up on reading the rest of this series, I still love the first book, and I have a pretty vivid experience of reading it. I started reading it on a whim in 2016 about an hour or two before I left for the airport to go to Turkey. I was up in my bunk bed, reading it, waiting to leave, when I realized my whole family had already left and they were waiting for me in the car. I got so sucked into it that I had already read a pretty big amount of it, and I binge read the rest once I arrived in Turkey. Of course, it was an even more special experience since I was in Turkey myself–where this book is set place.

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And that’s it for this post! I realize that this wasn’t top ten, more like top five, but I still really enjoyed talking about my specific experiences with these books. I hope you enjoyed reading this!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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The Struggle of A Busy Summer & Not Reading Enough

Hey everyone! I am currently working on publishing a review of Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas, but it’s taking me a little while because I have a lot to talk about. For me, so far, this summer has been…different. Usually, I end up going to Turkey; spend some time there, and then come back. But this year I had to stay for an internship, and besides that, I have an online history course that I need to complete–both of which are eating up all my time.

Complaining during the school year about not being able to read was one thing. But it’s a whole other level of bad when you can’t do things you like over the summer. Like–this is supposed to be my free time! This is when I’m supposed to sleep late and wake up late; when I’m supposed to lose track of what day of the week it is. But sadly–no. It’s been a little over three weeks since school ended, and I’ve just finished three books. (Two of which I had to, because they were sensitivity reads).

Anyway, the reason I’m writing this post is to explain my lack of other posts. I don’t really know what to write about, you know? I could write discussion posts, yes, but I feel like a) they take super long to write and I end up getting burnt out by the time I can even finish the post and b) no one ever reads them. I’m serious. Book tags? Aren’t very appealing to me at this point anymore. I like writing reviews, and I’m not reading enough to do so, as always.

Sigh. It doesn’t really matter much anymore, does it? I know I should be blogging for myself, but the fun of it all is that other people read it (besides my family and close friends, whom I know lurk on my blog sometimes).

All that aside, I also don’t really know what I feel like reading right now. To be quite honest, I’m feeling really disconnected from the book world, and none of the books I own that I haven’t read yet seem that appealing. I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too picky.

Talk to you guys later, (hopefully when I actually have something to talk about)

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

my social medias: // goodreads // studygram // tumblr // questions? contact me: aloofbooks@gmail.com