April/May 2021 Reading List

I’M GOING SO SLOW this month! I’m still only like halfway through Women of Sand and Myrrh which isn’t bad but I’m not in love with it and it’s moving a lil slow so yeah. That’s the reason I never got around to writing my April Reading List! So we’re going to combine my list for both April and May because I have a quite a few books lined up right now and I’m EXCITED about them.

My book list just keeps getting longer and longer guys… and I’m only trying to read books that fit into my reading challenge so I can get it out of the way and start Game of Thrones, but there are lots of good ones that DON’T fit in there that I really want to read as well so we might get a little side tracked. But you know what, it’s ok because I’ve got my whole life to read all the amazing books out there.

Also, I’m very happy with how I’ve developed as a reader because even just a couple of years ago I was reading all fantasy all the time, and I’ve branched out so much! And sometimes when I go back and read some YA fantasy I find that I’m actually not that into it- unless it’s really really good. With YA fantasy though I think it’s good to take a bit of a break sometimes because after a while the backs of all of the books were starting to sound the same. I’m excited for Game of Thrones though because I do love me some good magic and kingdoms and battles and politics, and I feel like Game of Thrones will definitely deliver all that.

There’s no fantasy on this list again though; we’ve got a mix of adult historical fiction (I also love this genre) and straight up teen fiction. All of these books are highly acclaimed, and I love their descriptions. Two of them fit into my challenge and one of them doesn’t, but I really want to read it so I’m going to read it. I’ll be speedy so I an get back on track, I promise.

Here’s my reading list for April and May!

The Rose Code

I need to read one book that was published in 2021, and this is it. The Rose Code came out in March and is a historical fiction novel that follows three very different women working as code breakers at Bletchley Park in England during World War II. I think it goes on for a while about what happens as they’re breaking codes, and then at the end of the war they’re split up, only to be reunited seven years later by a mysterious letter that has them cracking one last code to find a traitor from their past. This is kind of a thick book- over 500 pages- but I feel like I’ll blast through it because like I said I love historical fiction, and the plot summary sounds super interesting to me! It’s kind of giving me Dear Mrs. Bird vibes, which is another novel set in WWII Britain but without the code breaking. Anyways if you’re into historical fiction definitely give this one and Dear Mrs. Bird a shot!

Thirteen Reasons Why

Next up we’ve got Thirteen Reasons Why, which is the book that was turned into a TV show I need for my challenge. I haven’t watched the series on Netflix but I’ve heard great things, so after I read this I might have to check it out! Clay Jensen returns home one day to find a package full of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a classmate who has recently committed suicide. Hannah says that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life, and that Clay is one of them. Clay follows Hannah’s tapes as the lead him all throughout the town and lead him to discover things he never knew. It sounds really good, kind of a thriller/mystery, and I’m really excited to get into it!

The Henna Artist

Sadly this is not in my challenge but it’s been on my list for a while so we’re going to get her done! Lakshmi is a seventeen year old girl who escapes an abusive marriage and becomes a henna artist in Jaipur during the 1950s. There is a high demand for her work from the wealthy upper class, and she becomes not only their henna artist but also their confidante. Her husband tracks her down and introduces her to a sister she never knew she had, threatening the cautious life she has led to protect her reputation. This book has great reviews as well, and I love reading books set in interesting places. Can’t wait!

Hop you got a little inspiration from my list! I think i should be finished by the end of May- if not before then- because these look like such great reads. So if I start reading other books I will definitely let you know. Happy reading!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

March 2021 Reading List

Hi friends! I’m doing pretty good with my 2021 Reading Challenge so far and I’m loving all of the books that I’ve selected🥰 If you haven’t checked out my challenge yet, be sure to do so because it’s my favourite way to keep expanding my reading horizons!

Unfortunately I didn’t finish all of the books I wanted to in February- I’m still working on The Light Between Oceans which I like a lot! You can check out a short summary for that one in my February 2021 Reading List. It’s set in Australia, which is how it fits into my reading challenge.

So after I finished The Light Between Oceans I will endeavour to finish both the books on my reading list this month, because I want to eventually have time to read Game of Thrones😂

The books on this list are also a part of my challenge, and both look really good! One is a kind of an adult fantasy novel written by a teen fantasy novelist, and the other is translated from Arabic. So we’ve got an interesting selection going on. I can’t wait to read these! Hope you gather some good reading ideas- and if you ever want more take a peek at the “Books” tab on my site! This is where I keep all of my reading lists and book related posts.

Ninth House

This novel is written by Leigh Bardugo, who also wrote the Shadow and Bone series which I read the first book of and thought it was decent but not amazing, and also the Six of Crows duo-logy, which I LOVED. Those books were more in the Teen category, but this novel was in the adult section so I’m curious to see how her writing will be different. Ninth House follows the story of Alex, a high school drop out who finds herself in a hospital bed after being involved in a multiple homicide. When she’s offered a full ride at Yale university, she finds herself looking for the catch- and is soon given the task of keeping tabs on Yale’s secret societies and their sinister activities by her mysterious benefactors. Stephen King said this was the best fantasy novel he’s read in years, so we’ll see how it goes! It has a map in it so that’s how it fits into my challenge.

Women of Sand and Myrrh

I’m a bit conflicted about this book because I was doing research on books translated from Arabic, and just kind of went with this one. Later I was looking at more books and saw that this isn’t the author’s most acclaimed or best work, and there was another one by her that looked more interesting. But this one was already shipping and I couldn’t return it so we’re going to give it a try! Women of Sand and Myrrh is written by Hanan al-Shaykh, who is one of the most prolific contemporary female Arabic writers. That was a mouthful. It features four very different women who are each facing the oppression of an unnamed desert state, and how they deal with it. Looking into it more I found that it does deal with some sexuality, so I’m hoping it’s not super explicit, but I will definitely let you guys know how it reads!

I’m going to go hard this month and get these books done! Make sure you’re following my Instagram @mydayisbooked_blog for book updates.

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

February 2021 Reading List

Hi guys! I don’t know about you, but right now I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of books on my book list. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I keep a running list of books I want to read on my phone, and it’s so long right now! Definitely not complaining because this is a great problem to have.

I did a bunch of research on books that can fill in my prompts for my 2021 Reading Challenge, and I found lots of great ones! So I think I’ll finish my challenge a bit easier this year- last year it was a bit down to the wire. I honestly couldn’t decide which books to read this month because there are SO many good ones, but I think I came up with a nice list! The bookstore gift cards that I got for Christmas are really coming in handy.

I’m so much more open to reading different genres and obscure authors now, and I think that my reading lists are way more interesting and diverse than they ever have been! This year, when my gift cards run out, I think I want to start purchasing more used books as well. On Amazon there is usually an option to buy books used, and they’re a bit less expensive. Generally they’re not too worn, but I don’t really mind if they are. I love the concept of giving a book a new home, and there’s something special about having a book that’s been passed from hand to hand a few times- like every book has it’s own story. If you’re looking to save money on books this is a great option! Of course, there’s always the library, but I don’t know there’s just something better about owning a book that I can’t put my finger on.

Hopefully this list gives you some reading inspiration if you’re in a funk! If you still can’t find a great book to read, feel free to check out my many previous reading lists, or even message me in the comments and I will help you find a great novel!

The Help

This novel follows three women in Mississippi in 1962. Skeeter, who recently graduated from University and is puzzled by the absence of her maid Constantine once she returns home. Aibileen, who is devoted to raising the child she is hired to look after as a maid, although troubled by the death of her own son. And Minny, whose sharp tongue can only allow her to be hired by the town’s newcomer- who is hiding secrets of their own. These three, who feel oppressed by the confines of their own and position, come together to work on a covert project that will change their community forever. This book is sitting in our office at home, and it came to mind when I was trying to think of a book “that is yellow” for my challenge. It has amazing reviews, and was actually turned into a movie a little while ago, which I haven’t seen but I know it was nominated for at least one Oscar. Anyways, this looks like a really promising read!

Lord of the Flies

This was on my March reading list I think last year? I know that I was planning to read it but never did. This book is also very yellow, but it fits into my challenge because I need a book written by a Nobel prize winner. William Golding won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, for his work in writing novels that highlighted the human condition. Lord of the Flies is probably his most well known book, and it chronicles what happens when a group of boys is stranded on a desert island together. How they organize themselves, survive, and change throughout the book should be very fascinating! I feel like it’ll be kind of like Animal Farm- short and to the point but full of insight into who we are and what we do.

The Light Between Oceans

This book is “set in Australia” and so fits into my challenge quite nicely! A soldier returns to Australia after serving for four years in the war, and brings his wife Isabel with them. They take up residence on Janus Rock, tending to the light house, where a supply boat comes only once per season. After their failed attempts to have a child, a boat washes up containing a dead man and an live infant, which Isabel desperately want to keep. When the child is two they go back to the Australian mainland- and find that they’ve devastated someone on shore. This looks like a heartwarming read and has a glowing review from Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief, which I loved:) It’s not a super long book either, so I should be able to finish it in a decent amount of time!

That’s my list for the month! I’m just giving myself three books to read since it’s a short month and The Help is a bit of a longer book. I’m really excited for all of these! (when am I not).

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

January 2021 Reading List

Happy New Year everyone!! Today I get to move into my new bullet journal which is so exciting, and I also can’t wait to share what I’m going to be reading this month because I have some LEGIT books lined up. No joke.

I did end up finishing my 2020 Reading Challenge so I’m really happy about that! Here are the books I read last year to complete it:

I started reading Shantaram in December with the intention of using it for the “Set In Asia” prompt, as it’s set in India, but it’s over 900 pages long and I only gave myself about two weeks to read it. So no, I did not end up finishing, but I looked back and saw that I read Lion last January, which is also mostly set in India, so we’re all good. Before I start any of the books on my January reading list though, I am going to finish Shantaram. I think I have around 400 pages to go, so hopefully I’ll be done by the end of this first week of the month and then I can start on some other reads! Shantaram is pretty good so far though I like it a lot, it’s just a long one:)

This reading list features two books that I got for Christmas (upon request), and one book that I got a while back but didn’t have the chance to read because I was busy with my challenge. Something that I started last year is just keeping a running list of books that I want to read in my phone, and adding and removing as I need to. This is good because whenever I go to the bookstore I AM READY, and it also helps me with my Reading Challenge because I know which books I need to read. The first two books on my list were on that TBR page in my notes. I’m really excited to read all of the books I have picked out for this month because I’ve heard great things about all of them, so it should be a really good time:) Here’s my January Reading List!

The Song of Achilles

I love Greek mythology so much, and so anything that weaves it in in some way has an automatic draw for me. Last year I read a novel called Circe, which was so good that it made it onto my list of Favourite Books of 2020. It was a retelling of the goddess Circe’s story, and I just couldn’t put it down! It was also the author’s, Madeline Miller’s, second novel. Her first is The Song of Achilles. It’s a tells the story of Achilles and Patroclus; two princes, one exiled and one perfect, and how they grow up together. Their relationship develops and is tested through the Trojan War. This novel has amazing reviews and is right up my alley so I can’t wait to get into it.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

This looks like it’s going to be a really deep, intense read, but I’m ready for it. It tells the story of Lale, a Slovakian Jew, who is forcibly taken to the concentration camp at Auschwitz and is tasked with tattooing the numbers on his fellow prisoners. He witnesses both acts of atrocity and amazing courage, and also tries to do his best to give what help he can to those that are suffering. After a couple of years, he meets Gita, a prisoner who comes in to be tattooed, and vows to one day escape and marry her. It also has great reviews, and I feel like it’s one of those books that you should read at least once in your life. It’s also based on a true story, so it takes care of that prompt in my Reading Challenge!

Death On The Nile

I’m assuming that I’m going to blast through both The Song of Achilles and The Tattooist of Auschwitz, so I’m giving myself A Death on the Nile to read as well this month. This was the book that wasn’t on my list and that I got a while ago, but I’m still really excited to read it! I read my first Agatha Christie Novel, And Then There Were None, last year and loved how suspenseful it was. It was also a really quick read, so I think this one will be as well. It’s part of her Hercule Poirot series, her most famous detective, and follows him as he solves the mystery of a young woman shot dead on a Nile River Cruise. This should be a short and fun read, and I’m looking forward to it!

I hope you got a little book inspiration from this list! I’m so excited to start reading these and will defintely let you know how I like them- check out my Instagram page @mydayisbooked_24 to stay updated!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

My Favourite Books of 2020 + How To Read More In 2021

‘Sup friends! Happy New Year’s Eve! I’ve been loving all the posts I’ve been doing so far this week; I feel like I’m so ready for 2021 in my Bullet Journal and in terms of my 2021 Reading Challenge! Instead of planning ahead today we’re going to do a little reflection on the past year and take a look at some of my favourite reads from 2020:) I’m really excited because I read some freaking awesome books this year! Plus I’m going to share a few tips with you guys on how to read more in 2021.

While I’m not exactly sure how many books I read this past year, I know that it was definitely over 20. It may seem like a lot, but reading 2-3 books per month is totally possible! I attribute much of my reading success to my 2020 Reading Challenge- it really helped me step out of my comfort zone. And that’s my number one tip for being able to read more- is keep your TBR list interesting! Reading the same kind of books over and over again can be repetitive and boring, but when you’re switching things up often it keeps reading fun! Of course if you find one genre or book style really appealing to you then you can stick with it, but if you’re finding it hard to get into a book try something new. I’m starting another challenge as well this year so DEFINITELY check it out if you feel like you’re in a bit of a book drought.

Having a book that you’re interested in is really the number one way to ensure that you read more, because it means that you’re more likely to pick up your book instead of the remote or your phone. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore or something that you have to do; it should be fun and keep you on your toes. I’m a big believer in JK Rowling’s idea that people who don’t like to read just haven’t found the right book. Try and match your life interests to books, or go the opposite route and read about something you know nothing about! However you do it, keep looking into different books until you find the ones that speak to you. Libraries are great for this because you can try out as many books as you want for free.

Finally, whenever you are endlessly scrolling on social media or surfing Netflix- I’m guilty of it too- try to make a conscious effort to go and read instead. The amount of free time we have is actually a lot, it’s just what we do with that time that’s holding us back. Try allotting a certain amount of time for reading each day at first, and then eventually when you get used to it and find books you like, you can keep expanding your reading time.

Hopefully those tips help you out a bit in 2021! As for my favourite books of 2020, I found that lots of them featured strong women, or had themes of both family and independence. These books just really struck a chord with me- I don’t know if they felt nostalgic or what but I just really enjoyed them! And then I have a couple of more adventure/mystery novels in here as well that I just about devoured. These books aren’t in any particular order- it was hard enough for me to narrow down my top picks, you can’t expect me to rank them! Here are my favourite reads of 2020!

Little Women

This story really touched me and I enjoyed reading it so much. It’s about the four March girls growing up during the American Civil War, and is loosely based on the life of the author, Louisa May Alcott. It follows them from young teenagers into young women, and tells of all their adventures, love interests, dreams, and careers along the way. It doesn’t sound like it would be a super exciting read, but something about the way that it’s written was very entertaining for me. How the sisters always stick by each other through thick and thin, and support one another, is just beautiful and so heart warming. The 2020 movie adaptation is actually my favourite film- I cried while watching! I really recommend this novel and hope you pick it up soon!

The Red Tent

Another beautiful story about women, The Red Tent features Dinah, who is the daughter of Jacob and Leah and is a minor character in the bible. It tells the story of her family, the role that the women have in it and the strength that they carry. It also follows Dinah as she grows up and moves away from her family’s camp, trying to discover her purpose in life. The way that everything intertwines in this novel is superb, and the themes of resiliency, family, love, and tradition are so moving. This really is a timeless novel and I definitely want to reread it sometime soon.

Circe

Ok, yes, you can kind of see a pattern here, but all of these books about strong women are just so good! I’m a sucker for anything related to Greek Mythology, so this book was PERFECT for me. Circe is a minor Greek goddess whose story isn’t very well known, and so the author Madeline Miller expands on it and really makes it something worth reading. It follows Circe throughout her life and chronicles how she stands up to her father and is then exiled, leaving her to discover a life of solitude. She has to learn how to deal with visitors, her family members, and how to let go of the thing she loves most. The story telling in this book was amazing and I found myself absolutely zooming through it. This is Madeline Miller’s second novel and just came out in 2020. I got a copy of her first novel- The Song of Achilles- for Christmas and I’m SO excited to read it!

And Then There Were None

I literally finished this book in two days- I couldn’t put it down! It’s an Agatha Christie mystery novel and it was such a fast-paced, smart and thrilling read. 10 completely unrelated visitors are drawn to a mysterious island by a mysterious, unknown person that no one can identify. Then suddenly, they all begin to die one by one, and their deaths match up with a nursery rhyme framed throughout the manor! This book kept me guessing to the very last page and was very well written- can’t wait to read more of Agatha Christie this year!

The Da Vinci Code

This is another book that I finished really fast because I just had to know what happened next! It’s set in Europe, where a symbologist and a cryptologist are both dragged in to a thousands of years old hunt for the Holy Grail, led on by cunning clues and chased by a powerful religious organization. The Da Vinci Code was not only super interesting, but also really exciting and puzzling. It was full of twists and things that I never saw coming, and also tied together at the end quite nicely. There’s a movie for this book too, but I don’t think that it does the book justice. Make sure to pick up a copy!

A Cook’s Tour

I’ve never really read a book like this before, and I was pleasantly surprised! Travelling and food are two of my favourite things, and if I couldn’t actually travel this year, at least I could read about it. Anthony Bourdain is a great food writer, and wittily gives his account of his travels to numerous different countries, including Cambodia, Vietnam, Mexico and Russia. The amazing food and culture of all these places really comes to life, and it for sure made me hungry! It was interesting to read about how the food actually is in those countries, as opposed to our watered down versions here at home. It got me excited to travel and taste some great things once everything is safe again!

And that concludes my favourite reads of 2020! It was really hard to choose because I did love most of the books I read this year. Except for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea- that was pretty painful. I hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve, and I’ll see you tomorrow for one last post of the week!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))