Book hauls, Sunday post

I’ve Already Found My Favorite Book Of The Year! And Some Other 2019 Things Sunday post #88

Happy New Year everyone! What a confusing couple of weeks it has been hasn’t it? Weeks that are two or three days long… Weeks with weekdays, weeks without weekdays… That’s the holiday season for you! I feel like I got somewhat rested, but my fatigue has been over the charts lately and I will be seeing my doctor soon. And hopefully then I can put this tiring winter behind me! Other than that, I have no particular news. Just excited to be usingΒ Kaleena’s 2019 book spreadsheet now, so if you’re looking for a convenient way to keep track of your books this year, it’s a good way to go. I guess everyone’s also talking about reading goals now? I’m going to be boring and say that I set the same goal this year – 52, and even though I read 152 last year, I don’t want to increase my goal. I don’t feel like stressing myself out over the numbers at all this year! I’ve only finished one book so far, and dare I say, I will go at the pace I like πŸ˜€Β What are your reading goals this year?

Β ~ What I’ve Been Reading ~

OMG this book!!! The Enchanted April will FOR SURE be a book I will fangirl about for months. And maybe years.Β The people who have been following my blog for a while might know how much I love Dodie Smith’s writing and how it soothes and cheers me. Well, turns out this is written in basically the same style! It’s whimsical, it pokes fun at the characters, but in a really compassionate way, also explaining their shortcomings and their circumstances in detail and helping you understand where the characters came from. Essentially, it’s about the most mixed bag of characters you can think of – women who would neve have come to spend a month in each other’s company, if not for a random advertisement in the paper about a castle in Italy being rented for the whole month of April. It’s set in the times when women didn’t even have their own money and had to ask their husbands to be allowed to basically sneeze, so it’s incredible reading about them get so enchanted by the idea of taking a whole month to themselves – a thing quite unheard of – and going away from their drab, depressing lives. We’ve got a shy anxiety sufferer, a nurturer altruist, a ‘grumpy cat’ introvert beauty queen an older lady who’s so sure of her place in the society that she’s pretty much as movable as a rock. And these ladies are stuck in a beautiful land of summer which is actually spring in Italy, in a castle, all to themselves – going out of their comfort zone and getting to know each other and even themselves. I am a third into this book and I just hope it never ends!Β I’m pretty sureΒ The Enchanted April will be one of my favorite books of the year, even though 2019 has just started.Β The Enchanted AprilΒ is available on Project Gutenberg here for free.

[ GoodreadsΒ | Free (Legal) Download ]

Agents of APE gets published today, so you can already grab it. l’ve mentioned this book before, and it’s a fun one! Labelled as “sci-fi chick lit”, its about a woman who finds herself in a very confusing situation with an amnesia, and it’s about to become even more confusing, because whether or not she is willing to believe it, there are aliens out there, and they’re out to get her. And maybe not just her alone.

Anyway, I’m not sure it l’d label this as “sci-fi chick lit” – I think for me it feels more like a sci-fi adventure. But what constitutes chick lit anyway? We can’t really label something solely based on the fact that “chicks read it”. I’m a chick. (Sort of…) I read Scifi and loads of other stuff. But anyway, it is true that Agents of APE is kind of a genre-bender. Either way, it’s a fun adventure to read, although to me it very much so had the “first book” feel – like it’s only introducing a lot of concepts and getting the story started, so it’s moving slowly. I struggled with that a little bit and sometimes wanted things to move at a faster pace, but other than that, the story was amusing, and also touching. A lot of you will love the main character – because she truly is a strong female lead, she is powerful and she’s sure got character – the antics between her and her team mate Elliot are quite funny. But actually, for me, this is what took away from the book, cause I didn’t like the main character very much. She is incredibly stubborn and made A LOT of uninformed choices, or even emotional choices, which put a lot of people in danger. She also flat out refused to be interested in things, like any technical stuff whatsoever, how or why things worked – I personally just can’t understand why someone would do that. She wasn’t my kind of character, but despite that, I think a lot of readers will love her. Anyway, at one point I was going to give the book 3 stars because some of these reasons, as well as some others, but then things took a turn! So I’m going with 3,5, rounded to 4 in all reviewing sites. Because the ending changes everything! I definitely want to keep reading and find out what happens next. I thank the author for giving me a free copy in exchange for an honest review, and that hasn’t affected my opinion of it.

[ GoodreadsΒ | Buy linksΒ ]

I’ve been reading To the Edge of the Sky for a while, and it really puts things into perspective. Not only is it a first person account of the atrocities of the Chinese cultural revolution or the hardships people had to endure during the 20th century in China, but it’s also a very touching and human-centered historical account. It’s an autobiography, and having almost finished it now, I feel like that’s how we should be studying history in schools. Because nobody really cares to read all those boring passages about politicians that we read in class. No, what really moves the soul are stories of actual people and what they lived through. Those tell the true histories of the times. And Anhua Gao tells it with such compassion for the people she’s talking about. If you’re at least a little interested in the more contemporary history of China and its people, this is a must-read for you.Β To the Edge of the Sky doesn’t really take sides or gush about politics – on the contrary, it explores and explains the feelings the author was feeling at the time, so you see her go from complete trust in the government to utter disillusionment and sadness over the betrayal by the ones she trusted. It’s truly touching and it will make you understand how privileged your life probably is, as it did for me – the conditions a lot of these people lived in, the hardships they were made to suffer for no good reason, are just heartbreaking. I can recommend this book to just about anyone, apart from maybe people who are very sensitive – because this book has it all – violence, hardship, disease, loss – not graphically, but it’s certainly there. I still really recommend it though.Β I received this book for free in exchange for my review, but that hasn’t affected my opinion of it.

[ GoodreadsΒ ]

~ What I’ve Been Bookstagramming ~

I haven’t been Bookstagramming much this week, and it’s for no book in particular, but I’m sharing anyway. And I’ll also share the photos of our New Year’s celebration table. How did you celebrate?


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

~ What I’ve Been Talking About ~

Last week I was very excited to finally talk about a topic that’s really important to me – living kindly. There’s a whole book about that! Click the picture to read more:

~ What I’ll Talk About Next Week~

Next week I’ll have a review for a dark, paranormal genre-bender of a book,Β The Four Women, a true marvel that will make you wonder about what happens for weeks to come! And I also have aΒ guest post by Andrea @ Little Red Reviewer,Β a discussion about whether we’re sometimes a little too organized as bloggers, and do we stress ourselves out over it in vain. Come read on Wednesday and Friday!

four women too organized

~ What I’ve Been Hauling ~

So how has your week been? And what are you reading? What did you haul?

As usual, I’m linking up with theΒ Sunday post meme at Kimba’s book blogΒ and Stacking The Shelves over at Tynga’s Reviews.

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Evelina AvalinahsBooksLizzy @ Bent BookwormCG @ Paper FuryKaleena @ Reader VoraciousTina @ As Told By Tina Recent comment authors

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Charlotte @ Engrossed in a Good Book
Charlotte @ Engrossed in a Good Book

Enchanted April looks so interesting, thanks for the Gutenberg link. I am loving Kaleena’s spreadsheet too, I had to tweak it a little bit to get it to work properly but that’s a bonus because I can learn to spreadsheet myself.

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Oh my! That New Year’s spread looks delicious! Yum!
I’m happy that you’ve already found a favorite book for 2019 – not the case for me yet – but I’m working on it πŸ˜‰
I have challenged myself to read 200 books this year (like last year – but last year, I ended up reading 275). I may adjust it (down) in the summer, because I don’t want to stress about my reading, either.
Have a wonderful week ahead, Evelina, and happy reading!


The New year seems lucky for you! The book sounds intriguing and I will have a look at it as well. Have a great week ahead.


Happy New Year Evelina! πŸ™‚ That seems such a delicious New Year’s table. Yummy! It’s so amazing to start the year finding a book that will be a favourite. My first reading was actually good and it may be one of my favourite books of the year too. πŸ™‚ I completely agree with you with keeping a low goal – huge numbers are always so stressful.

TΓ’nia @MyLovelySecret


I’m going with a goal of 15, about 3 a week. I read 275 this year but things change and I may not have time at some points of the year to read as much. It’s great how we have access to so many wonderful books. I’m not looking forward to the busier flow of this week but it will help get us into a routine. Enjoy your books! Anne – Books of My Heart


I agree with you about the holiday season. From end of November until the beginning of January, I feel like I cannot get into the flow of things. I loved having my daughter around for the holidays, but I am happy to be back my normally scheduled life. Your New Year’s table looked amazing!

Maureen @ Maureen's Books

Happy New Year Evelina!
I’ve set my Goodreads reading goal on 100 books this year. I just love the Goodreads reading challenge. And thankfully it doesn’t make me feel stressed or forced to read more at all. This year I set the goal on 50 and read 65.
Good luck with you doctors visit!
Have a great week and happy reading.


You already found your book of the year????? Duh! But I can’t really judge as I already read one book that will be on my Best Books of 2019 so I can relate! Curious to read your pot about planning now….Happy Sunday Evelina!

Barb (boxermomyreads)

That’s pretty steep competition to have found your favorite book of the year so early! I’ve joined several challenges but started the year with The Passage which is long and dense and while I’m loving it, I feel like I’m getting nowhere! I’m going to look into Agents of APE – sounds pretty good. Hope you have a wonderful 2019!


What a great feeling it is to find a book you love like that- yay! Sounds awesome! And To The Edge of the Sky sounds great too- I find China fascinating.

Ooh yummy food pics lol. I love food pics. πŸ™‚


What a wonderful spead – it looks delicious. I’m delighted that you’ve started 2019 so well with your reading – the book sounds great. Happy New Year, Evelina:)


Definitely adding “To the Edge of the Sky” to by TBR. Look incredibly interesting!! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

Laura Thomas

How exciting that you’ve already read such a great book! Here’s to many more this year, right:) And that table of goodies looks wonderful. Having a snack attack now. LOL I kept my challenges pretty much the same this year. Like you said, less stress. And I want to focus more on some personal reading goals this year.

Jenna @ Falling Letters

Your New Year’s Eve table looks stunning! I love all the red. I went out for dinner with my best friend for NYE. The food was disappointing but the cocktails were good at least πŸ˜› Have a great week! (PS – I’ve switched from Disqus to WordPress commenting on my blog. Just letting people know in case that was a barrier to commenting previously!)

Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages

Well, I have kept my goal really low this year.. just 30 books. If you have read my last post, then you would know why πŸ˜› And good luck with your goal. Yeah, it is good to not stress yourself over the numbers.
Seems like you have been reading a lot πŸ˜€ And congrats on finding the first 5-star read of the year already πŸ˜€


Happy New Year – I loved your NY table setting and I hope you enjoyed the New Year’s Eve too!

Thank you for sharing all of these great books – I obviously downloaded the free one because I am strong believer in your recommendations!

And good luck with your challenge! My goal is to read more books that I want to, especially more books from my shelves. Even if that means less ARCs. I do not know why I stressed so much over reading ARCs last year.

Bookish Creation

The holidays can be a bit of a whirlwind can’t they? I feel like this one was a bit of a tornado with the days everything fell on and everyone (myself included) being so sick. I hope you feel better soon and get your energy back. I am the same way when it comes to reading challenges. I am thinking about trying some, but at the same time I like to have freedom in my reading and focus more on what I am enjoying rather than a number, or a number put to a specific sub-genre. I am glad you… Read more Β»

Daniela Ark

I love the holiday season confusion πŸ™‚ sorry to hear you have been fatigued though. Hope you fell better soon. I’ve been super busy planning my bookish year (reading, blogging and writing) and hope to share my own spreadsheet this week! πŸ™‚ I think it’s awesome you already found a book to be so excited about πŸ™‚

Tina @ As Told By Tina

Happy New Year! The whole week of New Year’s threw me off. I normally work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. I ended up working Monday and Thursday. It was so confusing. My kids kept asking me what was my schedule again. I haven’t set a goodreads goal in years. I just set it to 1 and just see how many books I read a year. I always put too much pressure on myself to reach a certain number so I decided to just leave it at 1 and see how I do.

Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

I am so impressed you already found your favorite book that is awesome! I love finding books that make me want to fangirl about them. Thanks for linking my spreadsheet, you are so lovely.

CG @ Paper Fury

I’m so looking forward to your post about organisation because…lmao what IS organisation and where can I find some.But YAY that you’ve already found some marvellous reads this year already *flails for you* I’ve been doing a lot of rereads already and so have been assured several 5-star reads this month. (Is that cheating?! Haha.) Also I think it’s a great idea to set one’s reading goal a bit lower and then way overachieve it. Makes you feel particularly epic and industrious.

Lizzy @ Bent Bookworm

Holy crap! Thank you SO MUCH for posting a link to that spreadsheet!! That is AMAZING. <3