Weekend Reads #39: Refusing to Let Go

Weekend Reads is a weekly discussion on a variety of topics. At the end of the post, I’ll include what I plan to read on the weekend.

This weekend’s question:

Do you own books that you don’t like?

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“Anna and the Swallow Man” by Gavriel Savit

Toward the end of last year, I requested this book from the publisher because the summary sounded interesting. What do they mean by a man who can speak to birds? I was curious and thought that I’d get a wonderful, fantastical tale. What I got instead was a profound story that hints at magical realism and focuses on a girl growing up in the midst of World War II with only a mysterious man to protect her.

Quick summary:

The story begins when Anna is seven living in Poland with her father, a linguistics professor. Due to her father’s influence, Anna is well versed in several languages at that age. Anna loves her father and spends much of her time with him and visiting his friends. One day, her father does not return from work and Anna finds herself alone on the street when she meets a most unusual man, who she calls the Swallow Man because he can speak to the birds.

The Swallow Man cares for Anna and protects her from the war that surrounds them. They spend much of the war walking in forests, only visiting towns and speaking to others when they need to. The Swallow Man also has a knack for languages like Anna, and is skilled at blending in with whomever he is around, a skill he teaches Anna to help them survive the war. He tries to preserve her innocence for as long as he can, but he can’t shield her from everything. And as the war continues and the Swallow Man begins to change, it falls to Anna to protect and provide for them both.

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Wishes for My TBR Pile #13: Some Books

Wishes for My TBR Pile is a monthly post where I list and sometimes discuss the books I’ve discovered and would like to get.

Some of these books I discovered in booktube videos, blog posts, and reviews in magazines. Others I found by actively searching for them, or rather I searched for a specific type of book and found them in the process. I don’t have much to say about why I want to read them other than they interest me in some way, so I’ll only include the synopsis below.

Jane, the Fox, and Me

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“Shadowshaper” by Daniel José Older

Shadowshaper
I love the cover.

When I heard there was a young-adult, fantasy novel coming out that’s set in Brooklyn with a Latina as its protagonist, I HAD to read it. But for some reason, the first couple pages didn’t grip me and I avoided purchasing and reading it for a long time. After rediscovering that I own a library card (yes, I sometimes forget. I’m not great at borrowing things), I rented it on Overdrive. Here’s what I thought.

Quick summary:

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sierra Santiago planned to have an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a mysterious fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for herself and generations to come.

Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper marks the YA debut of a brilliant new storyteller.

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Bookish Alphabet Tag

This tag sounds interesting. I was tagged by Ariana, the Quirky Book Nerd, back in November but I wanted to hold out until I finished cataloging my books before I did it, which is why it’s late. That sounds like a silly reason now, but it does make it easier to do this tag.

Basically, I have to select a book for each letter of the alphabet. Articles that start the title — “The,” “A,” “An” — do not count, so The Hunger Games would count for H. It’s not required that you have read the books, only that you own them.

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Weekend Reads #38: Book Haul #19: Absence and Poetry

Weekend Reads is a weekly discussion on a variety of topics. Usually after this introduction, I would post a topic or question and then my reflection or response to it. Obviously, I’ve chosen to forgo a topic/question for this weekend. Instead, I will post a book haul not because it’s an easy post to do…

Well, yes, that is part of the reason, actually. I woke up this morning to the realization that February is almost done. This week and two measley days after that is all we have left of February. It’s as if it had no middle. Just a start and a finish. Along with that sudden realization, I also noticed that I did none of what I planned to do, blog-wise, in February, which was to post a few reviews and also a Wishes for My TBR post, which I do every month. What happened?

Well, I was busy with work and stressed from personal worries which drained me and made me not want to blog or sometimes read. That set me back. I don’t know when I’ll be back on track but for now, here’s February’s book haul.

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Exploring My Bookshelves: Philippa Gregory

Exploring My Bookshelves is a weekly meme created by Victoria at Addlepates and Book Nerds and co-hosted with Shannon at For the Love of Words. Visit either blog for the list of topics.

This week’s topic:

A historical novel (in honor of President’s Day in the U.S.)

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Wine Book Tag

Let’s just act like I posted this in time for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t realize this would be great for V-day celebrations until after I started on it, though I hardly mention romantic reads in the post. Hmm… maybe it is fitting that I post it now. I was tagged by the Organ-utan Librarian back in January. Go check her out! 😀

Box Wine – a book that people will judge you for liking but you like it anyway!

Unteachable

That’s just about 90% of the books I own. I read a lot of middle-grade and young-adult fantasy novels and people judge me for that because I’m in my mid-ish 20s. Apparently, once you pass a certain age you HAVE to start reading certain books because it’s the “adult” thing to do.

But, if I have to choose a book, I’ll go with Unteachable by Leah Raeder. It’s a new-adult novel about a high-school girl who falls in love with her teacher. It’s been on my mind lately. I feel like rereading it.

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Weekend Reads #37: Choosing a New Blog Theme

Weekend Reads is a weekly discussion on a variety of topics. At the end of the post, I’ll include what I plan to read on the weekend.

This weekend’s question/topic:

I think it’s time for a new theme.

Though I am a curious person and enjoy visiting new places, I don’t like change. If I find something I’m comfortable with, I’d rather not alter it or get something new even if I’m somewhat tired of that thing or have outgrown it. However, change has been on my mind recently as I consider different facets of my life and this blog.

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Exploring My Bookshelves: Special Comfort Zone ARC Romance

Exploring My Bookshelves is a weekly meme created by Victoria at Addlepates and Book Nerds and co-hosted with Shannon at For the Love of Words. Visit either blog for the list of topics.

It’s been a while since I’ve done an Exploring My Bookshelves post. Life has been so busy since the new year started but now I’m catching up. I’ll start with this weekend’s topic and work my way back.

This week’s topic:

A romance novel (in honor of Valentine’s Day)

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