TTT: Top Books of 2019: Where my Year Went with Books

Hey bookworms! I hope you’re enjoying the last day of 2019! The end of an era! Does anyone else feel old yet? This year was a rollercoaster, so I am glad to say goodbye to it. As rough as this year was I did have some great books out of 104 (105 if I can finish this last one tonight), to get me through it, let’s get started! These will be in the order they were read in. Time to start this top 10 Tuesday post that is now being hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

My Favorite Reads of 2019

1. Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

Before Anne of Green Gables

I was obviously trying to fill my Anne with an E craving! I mean come on Netflix stop taunting me with the coming soon stuff… Anywho what I loved is seeing is what shaped Anne and her younger years that the show glimpse at that the books didn’t cover. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars that brought me a little closer to Anne.

2. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife

I will make it no secret that I didn’t like Hemmingway as a person, which you find out by reading his memoir A Moveable Feastbut the lives of his wives and their relationships with him on the other hand. It gives you an insight that not most would have. Learning about Hadley through Paula McLain’s writing kept me so captivated and it was another 4 stars.

3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Geurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.jpg

I watched the movie on Netflix, and had to read the book. It led me back to my love for historical fiction and made me realize I also love books in letter format. I need to find more written the same format. I fell in love with each character and this made it my first 5 star read of the year.

4. One Day in December by Josie Silver

One Day in December

It filled my One Day craving in every way, but with a happier, all be it more dragged out ending. I adored the pop culture references but the David Tennant reference at the end earned it the 5th star plus the solid female friendship helped. More books need them 😊

5. These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

The Witches Don't Burn

This book was definitely a hidden gem of the year. First and foremost let me say I love the queerness of this book. The bi rep made me want to cry I relate to Morgan, about being tempted to defend her sexuality.

This book definitely kept me on edge with suspense. the only thing that bothered me is how Hannah kept repeatedly referred to Veronica as her ex. It was understandable but how constant it was got in my nerves. Definitely recommend this book though! I can’t wait for book two.

6. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

The book I still cannot stop talking about and recommending to people this year. Some of the translations didn’t go over well, but I also found out this year that I love books from the animal’s perspective, they are more pure. How animals claim us more than we claim them. It tore apart my feels in the best way. I need to own this book now💜😊 Another 5 star read of the year!

7. Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood

Keeping Lucy

Another historical fiction for the year and one that really made me think. Plus I love Therese Plummer as a audio book narrator. I really liked this book as it constantly made me itch to get back to it. It made me grateful I was born in the era I was because people with CP were often institutionalized as well. If you want a book to let you learned how society has grown at least a little bit, I definitely recommend this one. It was a 4 out of 5 stars.

8.Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Daisy Jone and the Six

Another 5 star of this year! I adored it! This was such an amazing book! I had to look up multiple times if this was really a fictional novel or non-fiction. The style of it being written in interviews with the band really sucks you in. The author’s notes in the beginning and end made you forget it was all a story. It connected you in a way, I haven’t felt connected in a long time, it was like I could run into these people strolling down the streets of LA. It showed truly flawed and good characters. My favorite quote which I’m probably butchering is, “Love doesn’t have to be perfect to be strong”. I sincerely hope Taylor Jenkins Reid writes a lot more books in this style!

9. The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

The Brightsiders

I really adored the bi rep in this book. Although I kinda hated that her parents were horrible but they do exist. I loved Emi taking ownership of her actions . The way to win my heart is to write great quotes about kisses or write good kisses and this is what won it 5 stars. Bi rep is important to me this year with the everything going on I needing more of it.

10. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by by Roselle Lim

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Good Fortune

If you love Magical realism you need to pick up this book. It is a great book if you’re finishing college and feeling a little lost in life.  The magical realism, how it handled mental, and family history. The generational aspects were also some of my favorite things. I need a copy of it and it was my last 5 Star book of the year.

 

Well bookworms, that’s all for 2019 and this post, as I have to adult and work tomorrow, but I will see you in the New Year! You’ll see me back in the community as I will try my best. Have you read any of these? What were your favorites of the year? Leave me a link below, I want to know what kept you sane this year. I will be including the link to my year in review, on Goodreads because I think the feature is cool and you can link your too in the comments. Happy Reading, and we’ll talk soon!

2019 Year in Review

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Movie Monday: A Beautiful Day in the Neigborhood

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Hey Bookworms! I am back again, and I am trying to keep this momentum going through the end of the year, so lets hope I can keep it going! This movie review/talk/advice/gush, will be on a happier note than my last one. This is actually a movie, I think everyone should go see for the themes at the very least, if not for a great story. Anywho let’s get started before I start talking about everything in the intro… Hope you all enjoy!

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.jpg

Movie Title: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Release Date: 22 November 19

Film Company: Tristar Pictures

Rated: PG

Genre: Biopic, Drama

Director: Marielle Heller

Starring: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rys, and Susan Kelechi Watson

Format Watched in: In Theaters

Runtime:

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Quick Recommendation

Before I start talking about the themes and telling you why you should see this movie, I have one thing to suggest. If you are interest in seeing this movie, I highly recommend seeing the documentary Won’t You be My Neighbor.

This will give you a little more background on Rogers and the show as well if you haven’t seen the show in a while. It is also a great prelude to the themes in this movies and takes Roger’s off the pedstal, people tended to put him on. Don’t get me wrong, he was an amazingly good and caring person, but what emphasizes the good he did was that he is human. It makes you feel more the feels and it gets you in the right state of mind before watching the movie which will give you all the more feels.

What Makes it Worth Watching

1.The cast is amazing and makes every feeling very poignant and every emotion strong. This was a movie that gave you empathy as they fell into the skin of the people before them.

2. The 90’s nostalgia from the beginning scenes, seeing the neighborhood, the computer to the clothes and cars, to skits they did in the show. My memory was kicked in and I remember sitting on the couch watching the show.

3. Relatable characters, even though this movie was set in the 90s. I found myself relating to the main couple in the story Lloyd and Andrea Vogel from both sides. I can see how Lloyd had a cynical side, quick to doubt goodness in people, and how with family life he grew up it was quick to hide his emotions.

Andrea being the balance to her husband to get him to see the good. To try and feel the what he’s been holding back. To face the past and to try and bring the family back together. Her frustration with it all as well and just wanting to connect and get through.

4. The themes: Two of them that stuck out to me most is Be Kind, whether you’re taking this from a christian perspective or just a human perspective. No matter what age we are or time we’re in, kindness is something we all need. I think the world would have been a little brighter with this.

The second thing as cliche as it sounds is embrace your emotions. This was one thing my mom real gained and realized from watching it. That she should have and would let us process our emotions more. That it’s okay to feel what we feel, and as adults, we tend to forget this.

Ending Thoughts

I really feel this is a movie for all no matter what your beliefs are in life. If you’re feeling low or lost this will bring back positive reminders and maybe even change in life. I plan on purchasing this movie and the biography whenever I need a reminder. I will leave both trailers below for you.

I hope you all liked this one, I know it was shorter, but I really just wanted to share something good with you all. Have you seen this movie? Did you see the themes I did. Did I miss any that hit you? Let me know comments down below. I hope you have an amazing week As always, Happy Reading and Watching!


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Movie Monday: Joker (Spoilers)

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Hey bookworms!  Long time, no talk, but I will explain more when I can. I saw Joker with my lovely boyfriend on Saturday (11/16). I have a lot of thoughts on this movie, like the couple who decided to take their young children to the movie like one was 4 or 5…?  Anywho this is kinda gonna be a review, my thoughts on it and the character, and a partial analysis. I am rusty at this but I miss sharing my thoughts with you all, so please be kind.

Joker

Movie Title: Joker

Release Date: 4 October 19

Film Company: Warner Bros

Rated: R

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Director: Todd Phillips

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert DeNiro, Zazie Beetz

Format Watched in: In Theaters

Runtime: 122 minutes

My Rating: 2.5 Out of 5 Stars

DC Disclosure

Before I get this started, I am gonna be honest I am not the biggest DC fan. By not the biggest, I mean the spectrum of what I’ve watched is Cartoon Network’s original Teen Titans Go! and some of the newer versions of the same comics. I’ve always been more of a Marvel girl. I’m not by no means saying one is better than the other, but I am disclosing I don’t know much.

Why I Chose to Watch It

1. I chose to watch it, I really like Joaquin Phoenix. He has played some good roles in films that I’ve watched with him and he has always brought authenticity and genuine feeling to each role and film he has been in. Knowing he was cast as this controversial character I thought, he would make me have genuine feelings, empathy, and understand this character.

2. After all this time, I was still hearing the hype of this movie, and I know normally I am not one to jump on the bandwagon while it’s still in theaters, and if I am still curious about it after it comes out of theaters, I redbox it. That being said with this movie it is all I heard about whenever I was at work or out and about, so it was only a matter of time before I got spoiled on key points.

3. It is an origin story, I am a huge sucker for these, I love knowing why people act the way the do, what shaped them on the path they were on. Was it a circumstance of nature or nurture? Fate or Decision? These are all things that I think about when I read or watch about any character whether they’re a hero, villain, or Anti-hero (which are my favorite), but that is a story for another day. So when I saw the preview for this of such a iconic character. It had my curiosity and brain going.

4.  My boyfriend was visiting, and when he comes here I finally have the movie buddy I need. We usually pick one or two each and this was his choice and I asked him to wait to watch it, so I could treat him to this as a Christmas present. Don’t get me wrong I love a violent movie, but more so when it comes to action, but when it comes to Thrillers/ horror, I am the biggest baby and I am not ashamed to admit it, like majority of it in his chest or shoulder. He enjoys both DC and Marvel so this was something, he enjoyed.

What Caused Problems for Me

1. I couldn’t separate the art from the artist, now what I mean is Joaquin went VERY method in this. Which I can understand with what everything Joker is put through in this movie and the character’s life. The thing that makes method acting hard for me is with the extreme weight loss or gain for an actor based on a character. Seeing an actor at their own healthy weight and seeing the drastic change. I shudder, that being said Joaquin lost a lot of weight for this movie I am talking can see how his shoulder was dislocated, count his ribs, and every notch of his spine. Every time seeing him with a shirt off I was beyond uncomfortable, like cringing and wanting to cry at the sight of his body. It didn’t gain sympathy for Joker as I couldn’t see the character but only the actor.

2. Was his health really the cause for what he went through. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve been picked on and bullied for my own health both mental and physical, but I’ve chosen to take the right steps in life even if I’ve only had myself in my own corner. He chose to put a lot of blame on other people, the ones that mocked him, his parents, his coworkers. I am not negating his right to be angry especially when the children were horrid, or his coworker threw him under the bus. I know he had trauma and his disability that but his track was extreme. I know he is the villain, but I heard you were supposed to feel bad for him. Point blank I just didn’t, if anything it made me more scared of him.

The Good Parts

1. I liked how it emphasized that the mental health care system is struggling, and yes I knew this movie took place in the 70’s, but history is really repeating itself here. It is showing our economy or country. We work jobs that don’t give us the best insurance, or we don’t have the resources to find a job understanding of our disabilities or needs. This was an important theme and yes, I may have been reading too much into the movie, but it is important and hopefully the voice will lead to a change.

2.  The questioning between realities, what was the reality of the real world and what was in Joker’s head and even in his own mother’s mind. It led to so many great plot twists and made you want certain things to be cannon. This was the part that made you feel the real empathy for him, when you thought he had someone who cared about him, to have that really ripped away when the “truth” hit. I love movies that make you question what is real.

Ending Thoughts

I hope I am not stepping on anybody’s toes with these differing opinions or that I am not part of the fandom, but it was really fun to share and get out my thoughts about such a poignant movie.

I know this was a movie that pointed out that we shouldn’t pretend, we’re not feeling what we are, or aren’t hurting on the inside when you are bleeding. That is an important theme and I embrace it, but I’m not gonna let it run my life, I am still gonna stand for what I need and deserve in a way that helps me and not destroy others. You are your own hero and own worst villain.

What were your thoughts on this movie, did you share any of mine, or are you able to now? Am I wrong in my thoughts? Do you have any differing thoughts? Let’s have a healthy, debate/ conversation in the comments. I hope this wasn’t as rough as I think it is. I missed you all and hope you enjoyed hearing from me as much as I did writing this. I will leave the trailer below for you.

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