At the start of March, I looked at my blogging calendar, and thought… Ah, I’m at 100 Sunday posts, almost. I will have to do something special for my 100th. After all, it’s my favorite post of each week, and it’s always my most popular post of the week as well. Funny that, the post also coincides with a monthly wrap-up – it should be like a wrap-up of the entire two-ish years that I’ve been posting these… Probably without a single missed week, as long as I remember.
But the week in question came, and I realized that it will not be any special post, in fact, it won’t even be as good as my typical Sunday post normally is. It’s a shame, but as they say – the blog belongs to you, and not the other way round. The reason why? Oh, I’ve just had one of the hardest weeks in the past two years for sure. Nothing bad happened, but bad stuff was trying to happen. At least three straight days of 12 hours of anxiety… I don’t think I’ve had a more stressful week than this for at least two years. That means, you have never seen me as stressed out as last week, because I’ve only been blogging for like two and a half years. (I mean, if you had seen me last week. Because I was effectively off the face of the net. My Twitter notifications are in the three digits.)
Anyway, things seem to be alright now, and hopefully they will be. But I just want to relax and don’t want to work on the blog right now. So no special post for the #100! Still, I love the milestone. I want to thank all of you for reading my thoughts at least every second Sunday, and of course, my biggest thanks goes to our host, Kim @ Caffeinated Reviewer. Thank you everyone!!! 🙏
~ Bookmail!!! ~
However, the universe was kind to me this week and sent not one, but TWO packages of bookmail to balance things out with all the bad and evil that’s been going on! My photo game isn’t good because as I said, I just want to sleep and stare at the wall currently, but I still wanted to let you see the beauties in my mailbox:
A photo of two books with blue covers, I will explain what they are in the text
These two beautiful copies came from two different publishers on different continents, and yet! Would you look at how their colors match? I wouldn’t believe it, total #aestheticgoals!! Anyway, the big hard cover book is called The Design and Construction of the Nautilus, and it’s about the most interesting thing I have ever seen!! Certainly, it will only appeal to certain kinds of readers – and I feel like the publishers couldn’t have found a better person to send this book to – of course, I mean in terms of how much I’m loving this book. Finding a reviewer who will love something like that is probably not easy, but they’ve found one for sure. Anyway, I haven’t told you what the book is about yet – it’s basically a theoretical / historical / engineering book about what the Nautilus (yes, Jules Verne’s) would look like and how it would operate, if you were to build one with the materials and technologies known at the time Jules Verne wrote 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea. So it’s all speculation, but WOW. I mean, haven’t we all fans of Jules Verne ever wondered whether it COULD be built? And if so, HOW? This book is incredibly fascinating, and I’ve already started reading it. I couldn’t have been luckier, thank you Boyle & Dalton for the copy!
Speaking of being lucky, I was also really lucky to be sent The Boy Who Steals Houses by Cait @ PaperFury! Thanks for TeamBKMRK, aka Hachette Children’s for the review copy. And although I’ve already read it, I know I’ll be returning to the print copy after some time to re-read it. And I’ll be taking pics with it for sure. This book is especially dear to me, because, as some of you might remember, the words of my humble self have been quoted on the first page, the praise section!!! Couldn’t be more exciting, since while I have already been quoted on maybe 3 books, this is the only such book that has reached me in the form of a print copy. And since this text can only be seen on the ARC, what I hold now is an incredibly limited edition, so to say 💛 because only another couple hundred reviewers probably even have it in the world. I’m very happy. And here’s the first page, in case you’re curious:
The first page of The Boy Who Steals Houses, my quote is “You will not regret picking A Thousand Perfect Notes up! It really IS all it’s cracked up to be, and there’s a reason why we all keep giving it five stars. Evelina, Avalinahs’ Books blog”
Anyway! That makes my unusual book haul, because that’s all I hauled in this week, or even the previous one. I’ve hauled other books this month, but I’ve already showcased them, so I’ll just leave it at that. Now let’s go talk about the books I loved in March!
~ 5-Star Miracle Books Read ~
There were only two books I fell in love with in March, but they were both incredible, and the odd thing? They couldn’t be more different, but they also are strangely alike?? The Boy Who Steals Houses is an incredibly touching and powerful YA about a boy who has no home and has to fight by the skin of his teeth to stay afloat every single day. It’s a brutal story, but at the same time, it’s an incredibly soft story that will definitely make you weep. I absolutely loved it. Meanwhile, Stay and Fight could also be called absolutely brutal, but in a different way. In a punky way. In a stay outdoors and fight for your life kind of way. The Naked and Afraid kind of way. Except minus the cameras. In Stay and Fight, it’s our characters against the world, and our characters are a bunch of women, some of them are queer, some of them just anti-establishment. So they brave the forest and learn to live there, and even raise a child. These women… Are incredible. But it’s not so much about them, as about family, about survival and about how the world and the government will screw you over, especially if you’re poor and/or different. It’s an incredible book. Prepare for a nice strong review from me for this one – but since it comes out only in a few months, you’ll have to wait. You won’t have to wait for the review of The Boy Who Steals Houses though! Because that’s already scheduled – please come back and find out why I loved it so much this Wednesday, April 3rd. TL;DR: BOTH OF THESE BOOKS GO ON YOUR SUMMER READING LIST.
~ 4-Star Steady Good Books Read ~
I really enjoyed The Blue Door series this month! I got through them all so fast. It was written a while ago – in the 1940’s-50’s, but it’s still relevant and interesting. It’s about kids and teens who really want a career in the theatre, so it’s balancing somewhere between middle grade and YA cause there are characters of quite a few ages. I will be reviewing these books soon! Then there was also The Haunting of Tram Car 015, a short, fast paced diverse magical adventure, set in an alternate reality, which I’ve reviewed here. I also enjoyed Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, a psychological diverse scifi, reviewed here, as well as The Paid Companion, a quick and simple, but very satisfying cozy mystery romance, or perhaps romantic suspense, set in the Regency era, review here. They were all great books!
~ Okay Books Read ~
Picturing Apollo 11 was a great book – but it was purely a picture book that took ages to read on my computer as a review copy. Which is why it got 4 stars from me as a product, but falls in the ‘okay books’ category among others. It’s great for a NASA hobbyist though! Full of some really stunning and rare photos of the astronauts, as they were preparing for the journey to the moon, as well as the machines and labs, trainings and even the flight itself. Full review here. Then there was The Casket of Time, a middle grade fantasy, which also got 4 stars, as it was a great book, but it horribly mis-blurbed. So I was expecting a contemporary and perhaps dystopian middle grade, when what I really received was sort of a fairytale retelling. Curbed my enjoyment for sure! But I can recommend it as a fantasy story. Full review here. As for The Grand Design… I know I should have enjoyed it more, but it just felt dry. Sigh… Maybe the translation is to blame, as I actually borrowed this off a friend and it was translated. Physics jokes don’t go down too well when translated, I guess.
~ Totally Meh Books Read ~
I read one appalingly disgusting book which turned out (at the very end!! Argh!) to center around the idea of King Arthur being buried on the coast of America and worshiped by a Native American tribe, who then apparently mixed with the white people who “stayed”, which in turn led them to try to hide their “unnative roots” from the rest of the world and try to hide poor Arty’s ass being buried in their soil. It’s purely disgusting. Firstly because, of course, anything of importance to non-Americans culturally will of course wind up in America, because there is no rest of the world *holds up sarcasm sign* Second, I don’t even know what to say about the Native American stuff, it was infuriating to me – and I come from Europe. I can only imagine how painful it would be to a Native American to read this. I wanted to scream as I found out where the book was headed. This book was a pure turd and I won’t even mention its name. If anyone is curious what NOT to read, just DM me on Twitter and I’ll gladly tell you.
~ On The Blog In March ~
This has been quite a month! I don’t even know what to recommend because I enjoyed all of these books so much, and I had quite a few fun buddy reads too, as it appears. I am incredibly proud of the discussions though – the guest post The Writer Behind the Name: how much does gender bias exist in publishing? As well as of the interview with Jen – The Life of a Bookworm with Dyslexia. Both are relevant and I promise you, contain a lot of good info and/or thought material! Please go check them out:
~ What I’ll Talk About Next Week ~
Look at how lovely, yellow and sunny next week will be on the blog! They are also both books about young people, and books I dearly enjoyed. Please come back next week to read the reviews for The Boy Who Steals Houses and The Swish of the Curtain.
So how has your week been? And what about your March? What are you reading and what did you haul?
I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.