Review: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, by Elif Shafak

10 minutes and 38 seconds in this strange world elif shafak

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Historical Fiction


Leila is dead – but her brain still shows activity for another 10 minutes and 38 seconds; and in those moments after death, she remembers the tastes and smells that bring her back memories from her childhood and then eventually becoming a prostitute in Istanbul.

This is a book that had everything to become an instant favorite for me. It tells the story of Leila, who worked as a prostitute in Istanbul, but also of her five closest friends, all of which are part of minorities living in the margins of Istanbul, and each one will probably end up in the Cemetery of Companionless, a real cemetery in the outskirts of the city for those who are unclaimed or unwanted. I liked how much diversity in the characters and their personalities there was – I also liked how Leila was strong and kind, despite all the things she goes through. Continue reading

The Sunday Snuggle W52/2019: Birthday & Christmas Haul, Weekly Wrap Up

Hello readers!

Since my last post, Christmas has now passed and also my birthday! As a result, I have a lot of new books on my shelves, as I traditionally also like going to bookstores on my birthday and gifting myself a bunch of books. That, plus the ones I received, are quite a haul! I also did a 12h “readathon” with my boyfriend (and also my cat) yesterday, which helped with getting my TBR safely below 200 books again.

So here is my birthday and Christmas haul:

The Man Who Saw Everything I actually bought and opened before my birthday! I also already finished it, and it was SO GOOD.

I’ve actually read My Year of Rest and Relaxation on Scribd as audio, but I enjoyed it so much and I think I’ll love it more upon re-reading, and in print! I’m glad to own this now 🙂 Continue reading

Mini-Review: The Man Who Saw Everything, by Deborah Levy

the man who saw everything deborah levy

Rating: ★★★★☆

Categories: Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, M/M


In The Man Who Saw Everything, Saul Adler goes to East Germany in 1988 to do research and in exchange write a favorable report about the GDR. That is the very short description I can give about the plot of this book, but it is so much more than that.

Saul is a historian, a narcissistic, gorgeous-looking man whose narrative is deeply unreliable and it was both strange and fascinating to read. He’s clearly obsessed with himself and his own beauty, but also constantly defies gender in a nonchalant manner. He was one of the most interesting narrators I’ve seen in a long time. Little by little, we piece together what happened in East Berlin, the fate of the people in his life, but we’re never really sure if we’re reading the absolute truth. I found myself laughing sometimes, and at other times my heart broke to tiny, tiny pieces, which is a feat for a 200-page book! This engrossing, brilliant read was such a highlight for literary fiction this year for me, and I highly recommend it.

Books that disappointed me in 2019

Hello readers!

It’s the end of the year again and I’ve been hesitant in making posts like these in the past, but I think they generate such great conversation and I do love reading other people’s posts. So this year I’m talking a bit about books that disappointed me for one reason or another, mostly because of the way they were advertised and how my expectations were when starting the book versus what the book actually was. I don’t think any of these bad – they just weren’t what I hoped.

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the water cure sophia mackintosh the gilded wolves roshani chokshi swan song kelleigh greenberg-jephcott

The Water Cure came to my attention because it was being talked about as a feminist sci-fi/speculative fiction where toxic masculinity was literally toxic and I was SOLD. Unfortunately, this is not really the case and I didn’t love the characters either, so it was disappointing to me in more than one front. I would’ve liked to know when reading it that it was actually more of a cult story, but I doubt my rating would’ve been different. Continue reading

The Sunday Snuggle W51/2019: Weekly Wrap Up

Hello readers!

I’m very excited for Christmas, although honestly I’m most excited about catching up on some sleep and eating at normal hours on an actual table instead of in front of my laptop. This week’s Sunday Snuggle is probably not up-to-date because I last updated it on Friday (since I was on a trip and wanted to be a bit off grid), and it’s possible I started/finished other books in the meantime. But on the next SS I will add those 🙂

Oh, by the way, I am now one year older! Next year I turn 30! I wonder if I’ll be able to magically wake up 6am without complaining or procrastinating by then. (mom, what do you think?)

This week I got:

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I’ve read the other two books already and I’m quite excited to finish this series! There are so many series unfinished on my TBR that I have yet to add all the books to… it’s nice to finish one, for a change!

From Edelweiss, I received:

I somehow completely forgot I’d requested The Truth About Keeping Secrets, but I’m excited for it! And A Beautiful Crime sounds delicious (and I forgot to add it to my Upcoming 2020 Releases I’m Looking Forward To post)
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Weekly Wrap Up

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The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht / Review  ★★★★☆

I ended up really enjoying this one! It’s a really beautiful book and I’m considering getting a physical copy (I had borrowed it from the library)

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston / Review  ★★★★☆

This is ADORABLE. I absolutely loved it.

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black / Goodreads Ongoing

I listened to the last book of the trilogy, and I do recommend the audio version! It’s really well done. I’m about 60 or 70% through and honestly not much has happened… it feels like this book could have been just a few extra chapters on the last one. But it’s a good book, it’s just rather uneventful.

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In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado / Review★★★★★

I loved this book. It was such a brilliant and painful read. I considered giving it 4 stars but in the end, it’s such a masterful work, so heartbreaking and left a really strong impression on me – also it was the best non-fiction I’ve read all year – so 5 stars it is!

The Electric Heir (Feverwake#2) by Victoria Lee / Goodreads Ongoing

I’ve actually read a few pages more of this and I’m…. losing interest. I am really sorry for that, and I’ll actually give this another chance, but much like with the first book, I like the idea of it more than the actual book. I also don’t love the writing. But I think I’ll give it another chance during the holidays!

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff &    Georgia Hardstark / Goodreads Ongoing

I went a bit crazy and started ANOTHER book so I think I have like, 6 current reads. But I felt like something non-fiction after finishing In the Dream House, and I owned this already, so thought it would be a fun, light read. And it is! I don’t love it, but it’s fun and quick to get through.

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Mansfield Park by Jane Austen / Goodreads Ongoing

Didn’t pick this up this week .

Bibliophile by Jane Mount / Goodreads Ongoing

I didn’t pick this up this week.

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What have you read this week?

Books I’m Taking on my Birthday Trip :)

Hello readers!

It’s my birthday! The last year in my twenties starts today, and we have a lovely weekend planned which includes bookstores and brunch and nice wine (not at brunch, that is). As I will be on a trip and taking a long train ride there, I’m obviously taking way too many books (especially considering I will buy more books there), but I like having options so I can decide what to pick up depending on my mood! I feel like that is something a lot of bookish people do.

So the three books below are the ones I’ve decided to take and I’m not sure which I’ll start with! They’re all so exciting, and also kind of aesthetic together.

the man who saw everything deborah levy harrow the ninth tamsyn muir drive your plow over the bones of the dead Olga Tokarczuk

The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy / Goodreads

Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2) by Tamsyn Muir / Goodreads

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk / Goodreads

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Have you read any of those? Which should I read first?

Review: In the Dream House: A Memoir, by Carmen Maria Machado

in the dream house carmen maria machado

Rating: ★★★★★

Categories: Memoir, LGBTQ+ (lesbian and bisexual)


In the Dream House is the true story of the author’s experience with violence in a queer relationship. The beautiful prose and the choose-your-own-adventure style of the book sets this apart and describes a story that has happened for as long as people have been in relationships, but is hardly ever acknowledged.

This is the first book by Carmen Maria Machado that I’ve read, and it immediately made me add Her Body and Other Parties to my to-be-read list. In the Dream House is one of the most difficult books I’ve read this year, a painful look into domestic violence in a queer couple, as experienced by Carmen herself. The author divides this story into several chapters, most of which are one page long, and told in different styles, and always in second person. Continue reading

Upcoming 2020 Releases I’m Looking Forward To

Hello readers!

So, 2020 is very close now and it’s that time of year when we start thinking about the books that will be published soon and get excited for them! I love reading posts like these and seeing what is new, what will coming out soon and what we’ll have to impatiently, painfully wait for. Around June I will do another post like this, since a lot of second semester releases are announced later into the year, and I am hoping to add a lot more books to the list of most anticipated books of 2020 by then!

Without further ado, here are the books that come out this year that I want to read the most!

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Young Adult & New Adult

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January 28th A Heart So Fierce and Broken, by Brigid Kemmerer

I’m really looking forward to the sequel to A Curse so Dark and Lonely, which was such an amazing read full of mind-blowing twists. I eagerly await the mental breakdown this book will bring upon me!

February 4th The King of Crows (The Diviners, #4) by Libba Bray

I love this series so much! The dark, atmospheric and with more than a hint of horror books are set in the roaring 20s, and each character is so alive, vibrant, flawed and brave. And so very human. This is one of the best YA series of all time, in my opinion, and I am looking forward to its final installment!

 March 3rd House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

I am not sure how I feel about this book, honestly! But I highly anticipate it and I’m curious to see what people make of it. As far as I know it will be another NA story, like ACOTAR, but I  don’t know much more than that.

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March 3rd The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

This is said to be part Anastasia and part Sleeping Beauty, it looks so magical, winter-y and great, I’ve also heard amazing things about it from other bloggers and I’m quite excited to read it!

March 17th The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee

I have an eARC for this one, so I’ll definitely be picking it up! It’s the story of Noam, who has the power to control technology, finding out about his powers and how they could help depose of the despot government in this futuristic country of Carolinia. Book 2 has stakes even higher than book 1, so I’m curious to see how this goes!

May 5th My Calamity Jane (The Lady Janies #3) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

I loved the first two books of this series and I’m excited for this one! I don’t know much about Calamity Jane’s story, but I’ll read it up before picking this up.

Unknown Untitled (Empirium, #3) by Claire Legrand

I am excited to see how this series ends – it’s one of the best good-MC-turned-evil I’ve read, so I’m curious to see where it goes. We follow Rielle as she descends into the villain we know she will become and fully embraces being the Blood Queen, and also Eliana, a thousand years later reluctant and unwillingly becoming the Sun Queen and trying to fight the Emperor. This series is SO full of twists, shocking betrayals, magic and I really enjoy it! I will be glad to read its final book this year!

Unknown Untitled (Legacy of Orïsha #3) by Tomi Adeyemi 

This is the third and final installment followign Children of Blood and Bone and I’m really excited!! This is such an intense, fast-paced fantasy with West African-inspired world building and magic (including death magic, which is so cool). I highly recommend this series!

Middle Grade

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February 4th Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend

This is book 3 in the Nevermoor series, which is a lovely, cozy story that makes me happy every time I pick it up. If you love magic, whimsical stories and a fantastic heroine, you should surely pick this up – it reminds me of the way Harry Potter makes me feel when I read it!

Science Fiction


February 11th Daughter from the Dark, by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko

I have not read Vita Nostra yet, which is a crime, but I am still super excited about this sci-fi with gorgeous cover by the same author.

Unknown Untitled Solarpunk Novella (Untitled Solarpunk Series #1) by Becky Chambers

I love sci-fi, so I’m excited to branch out a bit and try a solarpunk novella, especially because I think Becky Chambers will do a great job with it!


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June 2nd Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb #2) by Tamsyn Muir

The second installment, following Gideon the Ninth, sounds so, so good and has a wonderful cover! I LOVED book 1, so I’m really hyped for book 2!

October 1st The Burning God (The Poppy War #3) by R. F. Kuang

I am nervous and excited for this last book! This is such an excellent series.

Unknown Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3) by Fonda Lee

YES!! This is probably on my Top 3 books I’m excited for! This is one of my favorite fantasy series of all time, with such vibrant world of clans fighting for power, where members train to be able to wield jade in order to gain superpowers from it, like strength, speed etc. It’s such a political series but also full of fight scenes and rich culture, scheming, betrayal, loyalty, murder. I love this and I’m excited for the final installment!

Unknown Moon Witch, Night Devil (The Dark Star Trilogy #2) by Marlon James

The first book of this trilogy was one of my favorite fantasy reads of 2019, so I’m really excited to see the story from another point of view! In this African-inspired fantasy series, we follow a search group whose mission was to rescue a boy, and they failed. Maybe the boy still lives, but he is probably dead. Each one has their own hidden reasons, dark secrets and are utterly untrustworthy. On book 1 we followed Tracker, who can track anything by their smell no matter how far, as he tells his side of the story from a jail cell. On book 2, we hear the side of the story of the witch. I am BEYOND excited, she’s my favorite character!

Historical Fiction

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February 6th The Illness Lesson, by Clare Beams

This book tells the story of a school for young women in 1871, in which all students suddenly start getting sick, with rashes and other unexplained symptoms. The Illness Lesson is about women fighting to be believed, about their minds and bodies. Sounds like a powerful feminist book and I look forward to it!

February 11th The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Mercies is a feminist 1600 historical fiction in which all the men in an island die and the women are left to rule. I heard about this book from Callum’s Most Anticipated Releases of 2020 and it just sounds brilliant. It sounds a bit like The Water Cure (which I was lukewarm about), but I think this might be more up my alley.

March The Mirror and the Light (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy #3), by Hilary Mantel

This finally has a release date! In fact this was also on my most anticipated releases of 2019, but I believe the 2020 date is now official so we can definitely expect it to be published!


April 7th Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

This book tells the story of Cassandra, Jane Austen’s sister, several years after Jane’s death. It sounds poignant and so interesting!

Mystery and Thriller

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January 14th How Quickly She Disappears by Raymond Fleischmann

This novel is set in a small town in Alaska, where Elisabeth’s sister disappeared twenty years ago. She now must fulfill three requests from a man who just commited cold-blooded murder and is now in jail for it – but who claims to know what happened to Elisabeth’s sister. This sounds like a mystery with a bit of literary fiction in there, too.

January 23rd The Dilemma by B.A. Paris

I haven’t decided if I’ll pick this one up actually, but I think so – Livia is having a birthday party, her daughter won’t be there and her husband has no idea that this isn’t a problem for Livia and she’s actually relieved about it, because she’s got a secret. The synopsis left me curious because there isn’t much of one at all.

February 18th The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The blurb says this is a ghostly story, which I’m always partial to. A girl who works at the Sun Down Motel decides to investigate mysterious occurrences in the motel that might just be haunted. I love a good story about small towns and big secrets, and this seems to be one of them!

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March 3rd You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I loved the other two books by these authors, and I’ll definitely pick this one up! It’s the story of Shay, who has no job, no place to live and no love life to speak of, and sees herself thinking of ending it all. So when two glamorous sisters offer to help her, she can’t possibly refuse, but what could they want from her?

April 28th He Started It by Samantha Downing

I loved My Lovely Wife! And this book is about a family that gets together after many years of not seeing each other when the grandfather dies and leaves a mysterious note for them. This seems to involve family secrets, murderous tendencies and with inheritance money at stake. Sounds really good and I’m excited!

June 4th Sisters, by Daisy Johnson

This is described as having roots in psychological horror, so I was not sure where to classify it and will leave it as “mystery” for now. It is about two sisters called July and September who have always been very close. Their relationship is to be tested when a boy enters their lives. I loved Everything Under, so I’m really excited to read this!

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July 7th Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

I loved loved loved Lock Every Door, and this happens to also be one of my sister’s favorite authors, so I think we’ll probably buddy read this one!!

Contemporary & Literary Fiction

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January 14th Cleanness, by Garth Greenwell

All I know about this book is that it’s about “foreignness, obligation, and desire” (as per description in Goodreads) and that the squad wants to read it, so when I saw it in Edelweiss, I could not resist getting an ARC!

January 28th My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth

This is the story of a young woman who, as a teenager, had a relationship with her teacher and now must face her past and decide how much of what she believed to be a beautiful love story was actually predatory. This sounds intense, dark and gripping and I’m excited to read this debut novel!

February 6th Strange Hotel by Eimear McBride

The blurb says this book isn’t written in the same odd, difficult prose of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, so I am quite curious. It’s the story of a woman who goes from one hotel to another, and remembers her own story as she goes.

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February 11th Indelicacy, by Amina Cain

This is the story of a woman who works cleaning a museum but dreams of becoming more. To achieve that, she marries a rich man, but that doesn’t really help her fulfill her dreams and her new life is as full of constraint as before. It’s a feminist, ghostly book about class and status quo and I am super excited!

February 25th Apartment, by Teddy Wayne

Apartment is the story of a young man who lives in an apartment his parents got for him so he can go to his writing program. Feeling privileged and guilty, he decides to let a student move in with him, and what starts as a friendship becomes more complicated as the power imbalance between them becomes more apparent.

April 21st If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

This debut novel sounds so gripping, emotional and dangerous: set in Seoul, it tells the story of four people whose lives stand precariously and might depend on each other’s tentative friendships to keep going. It also involves a super-wealthy heir, K-pop stars and extreme plastic surgery, and this novel just sounds amazing.

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April 21st Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh

I loved My Year of Rest and Relaxation, so I was going to read any new novel by this author anyway – but Death in Her Hands sounds wonderful. It’s the story of a woman who finds a note about another woman who died in the city she just moved into. As she tries to uncover the secrets of her death, the protagonist becomes obsessed and starts to love her grip in reality. It sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it!


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March 10th Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

The first book was so much fun, I’m excited to jump into the world of the Bromance Book Club with soft men trying to make their marriages work! This book follows Liv and Mack, who I desperately want to see work out. I love the premise of a book club where men read romance books, and I’m excited to read this!

April 21st Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love series) by Alisha Rai

I’ve been wanting to read something by Alisha Rai in a while, and this book’s synopsis sounds really cool: a shy girl who used to be a model suddenly sees herself becoming viral after someone live-tweets her and a guy she met in a cafe, but they weren’t on an actual date. Sounds cute!

May 5th The Heart Principle (The Kiss Quotient #3) by Helen Hoang

I loved the first two books, and I’m really looking forward to this story!

My Most Anticipated 2019 Books: did I like them? Did I even read them?

Hello readers!

Every year I post my most anticipated reads, and normally when I look back at those posts, I haven’t actually read a whole lot of those, but found other new releases that caught my attention more. I’m selecting just the 15 books I actually was most excited for, because I put a LOT of books in 2019, including stuff I wasn’t all that crazy about, so the post would be insanely long.

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I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely and have an eARC for the next one! This was a really good book! I didn’t love the writing but the plot was really interesting, and the world too.

I ended up winning Kingsbane in a giveaway and already read it! It was so good, and I can’t wait to read book 3.

Okay so apparently I was desperate to read The Vanishing Stair, which came out in January, and now it’s not even on my TBR anymore… oops. Continue reading

Mini-Review: Red, White and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston

red white and royal blue casey mcquiston

Rating: ★★★★☆

Categories: New Adult, Contemporary / Alternate History, Romance


Alex Claremont-Diaz is the American equivalent of a royal: his mother is the first female President of the United States, and his charisma, hard work and looks have landed him the title of heartthrob. What the press can’t ever find out is that he absolutely hates the stuffy, cold and outrageously handsome Prince of Wales, Henry. When he and the prince cause a scene during the Royal Wedding, they must pretend to be best friends in order to not damage the image of the President or the Royals.

This was a surprising mix of adorable, sexy and political that really won me over! I loved the chemistry between Alex and Henry and their banter was so funny, and actively blushed in the bus when Those Scenes showed up in the story. I loved how politics was such a huge part of this book, although I think it might have made the story a bit less appealing to people who only wanted the cute love story. If you dislike politics, don’t pick this up. I thought it was very current and made Alex more of a real person. This book is super hyped at the moment and I think it’s for a good reason! Highly recommend.