Book hauls, Memoirs, NetGalley, Sunday post

Sunday post #12 & Mini Review An exciting reading week

Linking up with the usual crew for the Sunday meme at Kimba’s book blog.

~ On The Blog ~

Hi everyone, how was your week? I have started reading something extremely exciting this week, but more on that later! This week I have blogged two times, as usual. I’ve posted two reviews – Le Chateau which was so bad it deserved a sarcastic review which might be funny for you to read, and A Closed And Common Orbit, which was slightly a let-down as a sequel of A Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet, but alright as a stand-alone.

~ Coming Up Next Week ~

Next week I am finally publishing my review of Felix Yz. Turns out the book has been published since the beginning of June and I just mixed up the dates 🙁 so sorry, Lisa Bunker – I absolutely loved it! I definitely hope that a slightly late review still does all the good it should. Also I’ll be reviewing Born Aware, a book for anyone who’s slightly into the New Age spirituality, just as I am.

~ Currently Reading ~

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane All Day The Nix

I’ve started reading The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, and it’s so exciting! I’m sure more of you will have read it, but if you haven’t, I’ll just say this – I thought Neverwhere was my favorite book by Neil Gaiman. Well, I’m not even done with The Ocean yet, but it’s totally taking over the proud spot. Neil Gaiman just weaves such incredible dark fairytales for adults. I could never get enough of them.

Also still reading All Day. Going to share a quote with you today, about how the education system is, well, equipped to turn out problematic adults:

I see a diabolical setup. I was shocked, but not surprised, to learn that many states calculate the number of future prison beds they’ll need based on failing reading levels of third graders. Funds are allocated based on these projections, so those beds have to be filled. It’s a prison preorder.

Shocking, huh? Based on levels of third graders. If you know someone who failed at reading at that age, you might imagine there was a prison room waiting right there for them. It baffles me how we as a society would rather know this is happening and prepare to incarcerate them, rather than educate and try to save someone who is still clearly in the age where you can save them from a bad future. I believe it’s a book everyone in America should read. At least, everyone who knows how important it is to learn about how the poor, the misjudged and unprivileged live. It’s never enough to have just part of the picture of the country you live in, of the world we all live in. We shouldn’t cover our eyes to the other side of it. The side nobody wants to look at.

Also still reading The Nix, it’s alright, but nothing much to report.

~ Mini-Review ~

I’ve finished Down The Up Staircase, but it wasn’t either awesome enough or bad enough (lol) to deserve a separate review, so I’m posting it along with the Sunday post.

As someone from Europe, I was very curious to find out more about Harlem and the black culture, the transformations harlemites had to go through in the 20th century. The book boasts a history of three generations of Harlem, told by a person who grew up there and saw it all. Devout Muslim believers, mink wearing divas living in a slum, pimps and dealers and college professors, and just plain simple people – the picture is so vast and colorful.

But I couldn’t say the book was quite what I expected. Perhaps it’s because it was written by a sociology professor, or perhaps because I had the advance reader digital copy, which couldn’t pride itself on good formatting, and perhaps final editing. But still, I feel like the writer couldn’t quite figure out what he wanted to say. What was the book about? His family? Or a detached history of Harlem? At times it reads like a memoir, at times – a history book. Sometimes things lapse, aren’t connected enough or are repeated as if they haven’t been said yet. So the overall experience of reading wasn’t too exhilarating, especially as I’ve read some pretty good nonfiction this year.

But I will admit that the subject matter is good – therefore I give it 3 stars. It was interesting to her certain stories of Harlem, and to gather more background about some of the bigger names in black people’s culture that, to use their own words – “advanced the race”. I loved reading about what they believed in, and despite how mistreated they were, how they still persisted. I honestly didn’t know New York was such a bad place to live in the 1970s, especially if you were PoC. So as an educational experience, it was good.

In the end, I figured out why it’s called Down the Up Staircase. Ultimately, this is a story of a family’s downfall, with the backdrop of Harlem history. And although the author didn’t really make it quite clear what the story was about, it does do it’s job and give you quite a lot of insight about the place and the day.

I thank Columbia University Press and NetGalley for giving me access to an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

 ~ General Rambling ~

This week I found out I’ve been incredibly stupid for all this time. My blog didn’t even have a WordPress follow buttons 😀 since that mistake has been rectified, please click it and follow me! Thanks, you’re the best 😘

This week I’m sharing two awesome quotes. One is from The Nix and it’s a very strong quote about the woman’s position in the 1950’s household, and, ultimately, the world. The second one is from The Ocean At The End Of The Lane and it’s a wonderful thought about how none of us ever really grow up, how adulthood is more pretend, and how even the toughest of us can be scared.

Nobody’s a real grownup and monsters can be scared too. Neil #Gaiman, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. I have to say, this #book is unbelievable. I’m 63% into it and still retaining a vain hope that it will never end. I don’t think I’ve read anything as strong since #StephenKing’s Pet Sematary. #Mythology is used in the most satisfying ways, and the kind of deep #horror, which is sad and understandable as if “there’s simply no other way to be” is something only Neil Gaiman can write. #monsters #adulting #growingup #adulthood #neilgaiman #AmericanGods #bookstagram #book #bookish #ebooks #books #bookquotes #quote #quotes #fantasy #fiction #literature #readingrecs #whattoread #currentlyreading

A post shared by avalinah | Evelina (@avalinahsbooks) on

What about you? Have you read anything awesome this week? Have you bought or received any awesome new books?

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4 years ago

Like you, I was slightly taken aback at the disconnect between A Small and Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit – but as I loved both books in completely different ways, I was prepared to stretch a point and treat them as part of the same series. As for the statistic regarding struggling readers – you’re right… it beggers belief. WHY not put the money earmarked for a prison place into giving them extra reading support??? Surely it has to make economic sense as well as avoiding wasted lives and the heartache involved? Have a great week –… Read more »

Jennifer | Book Den
4 years ago

I loved The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was very dark and imaginative. 🙂

Christina T
4 years ago

I’ve heard that The Ocean at the End of the Lane is fantastic. Glad you are enjoying it! All Day sounds like a sad but interesting and informative read.

Hope you have a great week!

herding cats & burning soup

LOL oh no! I have so done that with a book review before and put down the wrong date or didn’t see a date change and I’m over here just lalalalala. lol Sometimes you just have to laugh and shake your head over the goofs. Hope your books this week are way better!

A quick heads up! If you haven’t done the questionnaire for the get social event it’s up 🙂

Laurel-Rain Snow
4 years ago

The Nix sounds like a tempting read…and reminiscent of the times before Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. Although we still have a long way to go.

I might have to try Neil Gaiman again. The one I picked up didn’t grab me, but perhaps another go would do it for me?

Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

4 years ago

I actually think I have Gaiman’s book either on my Kindle or Audible. I am off to look as you have me incredibly intrigued. I’ve never tried his books, but have heard good things. 🙂

Hope you have a lovely week and equally exciting new reads.

Maureen Bakker
4 years ago

Sorry to hear ‘Down The Up Staircase’ wasn’t what you hoped it would be.
Mixing up the dates is definitely something that happens to me too sometimes. Especially with how fast time is flying by. I sometimes think I have weeks left before my review has to be done, and then it’s suddenly next week.
Have a great week and happy reading!

4 years ago

I haven’t read Gaiman’s books yet, but I’ve heard wonderful things about them. This one sounds great. Hope you have a great week!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz

I have a copy of All Day that I think I am going to read next. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book with us. I worry very much about the indifference with which the poor are treated, especially in education.

4 years ago

I loved Neverwhere by Gaiman! I really should give Ocean at the End of the Lane I try…I can’t explain why I haven’t picked it up before.

4 years ago

I loved the Ocean at the end of the lane when I read it a couple of months ago. But I am a bit of a Gaiman fan.

Laura Thomas
4 years ago

I just recently read some of Gaiman’s novels and they lived up to the hype. My son and I are now reading his graphic novel series, Sandman, almost done with them, and we both love them! I had to grab Behold! when I spotted his name and so many other awesome authors featured in it.

Laura Thomas
4 years ago

I just received the Amazon pre-order link.


Laura Thomas
4 years ago

I know! I pre-ordered a copy. The ARC I have doesn’t include all of the fabulous illustrations.

Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

I know none of these, wow, but I love Gaiman so that’s something!

Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

Reviews are always helpful, even if they’re late! And I’m glad you’ve been finding some great books lately! But yeah, the school system in America is pretty screwed up. Lots of systems in America are screwed up -_-

4 years ago

I hope the third Wayfarers book is more like the first one. I want more of that crew. And All Day- that’s pretty sad, but maybe not surprising since I live in the States and have grown very cynical about some of the things here lol. Still that’s tragic and unacceptable.

Curious about Born Again too, will need to watch for your review of that. 🙂

Anna @ Adventures with a Book Nerd

I actually didn’t have a follow button on my blog for the first year that I had it. Whoops! Glad to know that I wasn’t the only one. Have a good week, and happy reading! 🙂

4 years ago

I haven’t read any of Gaiman’s novels but I’m really curious about his works! I think that will be on my list for the library this week 🙂 I’m following you now, but I’m pretty sure I was seeing your posts anyway. Have a fantastic week, Evelina! Happy reading!
Inspiration Pie

4 years ago

Okay, thanks! I am going to put those on hold at the library right now before I forget! I do that sometimes 🙂

4 years ago

Oh wow, Neverwhere is way and above my fave Neil Gaiman book too. Those are fighting words lol! Shall have to look up the End of the Lane.

Barb (boxermommyreads)

You had quite a productive week. I love the quite about grown-ups looking the same on the inside. How appropriate. That is sad about prison beds and calculating rates. My husband work in the prison and some of them are very poorly educated and it makes you wonder why the system failed them. I really should read some Neil Gaiman. Hope you have a wonderful week!

4 years ago

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is on my Wishlist. I’ve only read one Gaiman, The Graveyard Book. Sounds like you had a great week!

Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

What a great quote from The Ocean at the End of the Lane! My husband read that one a year or so ago but I never had any interest. I’m rethinking that now, thanks to you. 🙂

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

I’m hit and miss when it comes to Neil Gaiman’s books but I did love The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s a great book. I actually haven’t read Neverwhere yet so maybe I should give that one a try soon. Hope you have a wonderful week!

Geybie's Book Blog
Geybie's Book Blog
4 years ago

Sorry to hear about last week’s reads. I can see it was a struggle for you to review them. Enjoy your books and happy reading. Anyway, I think I’ve already followed you via WordPress. I’ll check out later. Have a wonderful week, my friend.
PS: I love your insta picts. Gorgeous! 🙂

4 years ago

I’ll be honest and say I’ve never actually read a Neil Gaiman book before. I’ll be looking out for your review of The Ocean to see what your final thoughts were! It must be pretty good if you’re already thinking it’s your favorite one yet. I had NO idea prisons were set up based on third-grade reading levels. That’s horrible!! So many kids don’t take to reading as easily as others and if that determines someone’s future as a criminal, it just breaks my heart.

Natalie @Natflix&Books

I haven’t read Oceans yet…I don’t think I’ve read anything by Gaiman to be honest (I know, I know). I actually just yesterday grabbed a used copy of American Gods. I just finished the first season and thought the entire time I watched the show: You know if I had read the book, I probably would understand this better. Lol. Happy reading!

Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews
Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews
4 years ago

I’ve had The Ocean at the End of the Lane for a long time now but haven’t read it yet! I started it but I wasn’t in the mindset to read it so I put it down. I’ll have to pick it up sometime. I’m glad you had a great reading week overall!

Di @ Book Reviews by Di

So far behind! I’m sorry!

Oh! Neil Gaiman! I need to try his books. I’ve already got a couple just waiting to be read. 🙁

Your blog is looking great by the way!

Hope to be caught up a little more soon! Until then please bear with the slightly manic commenting scheme I have going on. 🙂

4 years ago

I really appreciated the critical engagement and the honesty of your reviews. Makes me more interested in checking out the ones you loved (the Gaiman and All Day). Speaking of all day, that’s a sobering fact. A rec of my own on a related topic, Ava Duvernay’s documentary, 13th.