Monthly Wrap-Up #1 | Jan 2017

This is my first “wrap-up” post, so I don’t know exactly how to do it. Please write any suggestions or ideas in the comments below.

This month I visited the Cairo International Book Fair ( I promise I’ll make a post about it someday this week) on my birthday! This was the perfect birthday celebration for me. Surrounded with thousands of books. Also, thank you to my friends, Maryam and Habiba, who arranged me a surprise party a couple of days before my birthday. You made my whole year!


Read:

This month, I read only 7 books. All of them in ebook format except for the last two. I’m trying to stop depending on ebooks and convert to physical copies, so I guess that’s a start.

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Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2) by Jamie McGuire

Rating: ★★★★

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Tommy Hopps and the Aztecs by Max Candee & Austin Briggs

Rating: ★★★★

You can read my review here.

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Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1) by Jennifer Estep 

Rating: ★★★★★

Review next week.

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The Year I Became Isabella Anders (Sunnyvale, #1) by Jessica Sorensen

Rating: ★★★★

Review next week.

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I Doubt I Will Survive Living With These Guys by Luna Kamar

Rating: ★★★

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Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Rating: ★★★★★

You can read my review here.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rating: ★★★

Review next week.


Currently Reading:

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New Books / TBR:

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As I mentioned above, the book fair took part this month, so I got some books with low prices. I know it seems like a huge list, but come on, the fair is once a year and I became weak in front of all those colourful covers and discounts. Also, I received some as my birthday present from dad.

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City of Ghosts – by Bali Rai

Drama Girl – by Carmen Reid

Distant Waves – by Suzanne Weyn

The Black Sphinx – by Matt Hart 

A Beautiful Lie – by Irfan Master

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Beatrice and Virgil – by Yann Martel

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All The Light We Cannot See – by Anthony Doerr

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1984 – by George Orwell

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Indulgence in Death – by J.D. Robb

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The Selection – by Kiera Cass

Trash – by Andy Mulligan


I hope I did that right! Feel free to link your wrap-up post in the comments and I will check it out. Have a good one! And keep reading!

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Review | Before I Go To Sleep

Overall Rating:

★★★★★

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Book Details: 

Author: S.J. Watson

Publication: June 14th 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers

Pages: 359 pages


Synopsis:

As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child, thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me…

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love–all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life. –Goodreads


Review:

Dubious. Mistrustful. Suspicious. Wary.  Paranoid. Through some words on paper, Watson has managed to make me feel all those emotions. All at the same time. This was no light read. As “cliche” as this might sound, but this book was a real roller coaster. Once you start believing some character’s innocence or guiltiness, a plot twist comes and makes you think twice before assuming anything again. This book would leave you full of questions. Some about the people around you. Most about yourself. “Who are you?”. “How does your memories of the past affect your life now?”. “Are you sure all those memories are real?!!”.

Well, that’s enough because another word about this book and I’ll start spoiling it for you. And I wouldn’t be stopping for long.


Movie:

I haven’t watched the movie, but I saw the trailer now (just a part because it has LOTS of adult scenes, you know). You can watch it here.  The actors look good though.  I don’t know any of them but I don’t know any actors, anyway- just Will Smith & Di Caprio. Ah, and there’s a major difference, I noticed. In the book she WRITES a journal. In the movie someone came up with the brilliant idea of changing this and making her videotape a visual journal! God knows why they can’t just stick to book. It physically hurts them, I guess.


Have you read this book yet? Did you like it? If not, are you going to? Do tell in the comments below! And keep reading!

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Female Authors | Searching Saturday #5

     Searching Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by: The Night Is Dark and Full of Books where I search for a new-to-me book that fits the weekly topic provided at the host’s site, and write a post about the books I found. It’s an awesome way for discovering new books I wouldn’t have even considered before!

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Sorry guys I’m late, but I have my reason. I’ve been yesterday at the Cairo Book Fair and I’m really excited to read all the books I got! Maybe I’ll do a post about it. Anyway, this week’s topic about books written by female authors. Lets start!

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1) The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, Translator: Elisabeth Jaquette

the queue.jpg“In an unnamed Middle Eastern city, a centralized authority known as the Gate has risen to power in the aftermath of the “Disgraceful Events,” a failed popular uprising. Citizens are required to obtain permission from the Gate for even the most basic of their daily affairs, yet the building never opens, and the queue in front of it grows longer and longer.

Citizens from all walks of life wait in the sun: a revolutionary journalist, a sheikh, the cousin of a security officer killed in the clashes with protestors, and a man with injuries The Gate would prefer to keep quiet.

A very real vision of life after the Arab Spring written with dark, subtle intelligence, The Queue describes the sinister nature of authoritarianism, and illuminates the way that absolute authority manipulates information, mobilizes others in service to it, and fails to uphold the rights of even those faithful to it.” -Goodreads

-I need to read more translated works. And what’s better than starting with a one from my country?

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 2) In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib

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“A mesmerizing debut novel of an Egyptian American family and the wrenching tragedy that tears their lives apart.

Samir and Nagla Al-Menshawy appear to have attained the American dream. After immigrating to the United States from Egypt, Samir successfully works his way through a residency and launches his own medical practice as Nagla tends to their firstborn, Hosaam, in the cramped quarters of a small apartment. Soon the growing family moves into a big house in the manicured New Jersey suburb of Summerset, where their three children eventually attend school with Natalie Bradstreet, the daughter of their neighbors and best friends. More than a decade later, the family’s seemingly stable life is suddenly upended when a devastating turn of events leaves Hosaam and Natalie dead and turns the Al-Menshawys into outcasts in their own town.

Narrated a year after Hosaam and Natalie’s deaths, Rajia Hassib’s heartfelt novel follows the Al-Menshawys during the five days leading up to the memorial service that the Bradstreets have organized to mark the one-year anniversary of their daughter’s death. While Nagla strives to understand her role in the tragedy and Samir desperately seeks reconciliation with the community, Khaled, their surviving son, finds himself living in the shadow of his troubled brother. Struggling under the guilt and pressure of being the good son, Khaled turns to the city in hopes of finding happiness away from the painful memories home conjures. Yet he is repeatedly pulled back home to his grandmother, Ehsan, who arrives from Egypt armed with incense, prayers, and an unyielding determination to stop the unraveling of her daughter’s family. In Ehsan, Khaled finds either a true hope of salvation or the embodiment of everything he must flee if he is ever to find himself.” -Goodreads

-Yep! You guessed it. It’s because of the author and again the mention of Egyptians…

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3) The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

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“NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….”   -Goodreads

-This was recommended to me by a friend and it looks so exciting!

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Is any of those books already on your TBR? If not, are you going to add a one? Do tell in the comments below!

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Nonfiction| Searching Saturday #4

     Searching Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by: The Night Is Dark and Full of Books where I search for a new-to-me book that fits the weekly topic provided at the host’s site, and write a post about the books I found. It’s an awesome way for discovering new books I wouldn’t have even considered before!

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I’ve always believed I’m a fiction girl and devoted my reading time to YA and thrillers. In the end, why would I read nonfiction in my free time when I already read it in my textbooks. I never knew the difference till I made this little search. There are quiet some interesting nonfiction books out there waiting for you to grab! Here’s the ones that made it to my TBR.

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1) Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer,  Ella Morton &  Dylan Thuras

atlas obscura.jpg“Inspiring equal parts wonder and wanderlust, Atlas Obscura celebrates over 600 of the strangest and most curious places in the world.

Here are natural wonders—the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that’s so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan’s 45-year hole of fire called the Door of Hell, coffins hanging off a side of a cliff in the Philippines, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England.

Atlas Obscura revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden, and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book you can open anywhere.” -Goodreads

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 2) The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll

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Already internationally acclaimed for his elegant, lucid writing on the most challenging notions in modern physics, Sean Carroll is emerging as one of the greatest humanist thinkers of his generation as he brings his extraordinary intellect to bear not only on Higgs bosons and extra dimensions but now also on our deepest personal questions.  Where are we? Who are we? Are our emotions, our beliefs, and our hopes and dreams ultimately meaningless out there in the void? Does human purpose and meaning fit into a scientific worldview?

In short chapters filled with intriguing historical anecdotes, personal asides, and rigorous exposition, readers learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level–and then how each connects to the other.  Carroll’s presentation of the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe is dazzlingly unique.

Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.

The Big Picture is an unprecedented scientific worldview, a tour de force that will sit on shelves alongside the works of Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Daniel Dennett, and E. O. Wilson for years to come. ” -Goodreads

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3) Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard

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“In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman–and never went home again. Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pave au poivre, the steak’spink juices puddling into the buttery pepper sauce? LUNCH IN PARIS is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs–one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine. Packing her bags for a new life in the world’s most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales.

She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothe pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate souffle) and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese-there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.

Peppered with mouth-watering recipes for summer ratatouille, swordfish tartare and molten chocolate cakes, Lunch in Paris is a story of falling in love, redefining success and discovering what it truly means to be at home. In the delicious tradition of memoirs like A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, this book is the perfect treat for anyone who has dreamed that lunch in Paris could change their life.”   -Goodreads

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4) Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

lab girl.jpg“Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more. 


Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.-Goodreads

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Is any of those books already on your TBR? If not, are you going to add a one? Do tell in the comments below!

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2017 Releases | Searching Saturday #3

     Searching Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by: The Night Is Dark and Full of Books where I search for a new-to-me book that fits the weekly topic provided at the host’s site, and write a post about the books I found. It’s an awesome way for discovering new books I wouldn’t have even considered before!

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This week’s topic is “2017 Releases”. Unless you want to feel overwhelmed and slightly paranoid in the face of hundreds of beautiful covers with intriguing synopsis and end up adding all of them to your TBR, you have to narrow down your search to a maximum of one major genre. And I’m not exaggerating, take my word on this one. So, here we go!

Note: Usually my search is affected by my mood, so don’t be surprised if they all look similar. I can’t help it. Sorry!

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Review! | Tommy Hopps and the Aztecs

 

OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆

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Name: Tommy Hopps and the Aztecs: (A Time Travel Adventure)  (310 pages)

Author: Vic Connor

Genre & Targeted Audience: Science Fiction, Time Travel (Middle Grade)

Pub Date & Publisher: 27 Dec 2016, Helvetic House

Source: Thanks to Netgally & Helvetic House, I was able to download this free ebook from Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

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Well, more of a mini-review, actually. I have finished this book for a week now and just had time to write a review. My exams are next week and I’m entering this panic level where I have to finish a semester’s worth of studying in two days. Anyway, here’s the goodreads synopsis then I’ll proceed to say what appealed to me in this book and what didn’t.

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“When he takes a family vacation to Mexico City, Tommy Hopps is just a normal, fourteen-year-old kid — but that’s all about to change.

Sleeping soundly in his family’s hotel room, Tommy is awoken by a ghostly presence: a threadbare pirate. When the unusual intruder attacks his parents, Tommy fights back … and gets transported to the Aztec Empire in the year 1521.

He finds himself all alone in a strange world. Bizarrely, a few Aztecs seem to recognize him — as someone else. Pursued by warriors, strange creatures, and a mysterious woman who claims to be his wife, Tommy must rely on himself to survive while searching for a way to return to the present.

Can he return to his own time to save his parents? Why was he taken back in time to witness an ancient civilization soon to be destroyed? And could there be more to his identity than he himself knows?” -Goodreads Synopsis

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First of all, this book was just AMAZING. When I first read the title of the book I didn’t know what or who in hell were the Aztecs (though I understood they must be some ancient people)  and now I know what did they eat for lunch and can easily maneuver through their city. The descriptions are so vivid you can’t help but imagine every scene in this book before continuing on.

I struggled the least bit to keep my attention on the book, though I can blame on the exams. No book has ever took me a whole week to finish it. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix took me three days to complete.

Other than that, I think I would recommend this book to any middle-grade reader who enjoyed Percy Jackson. Sorry, I couldn’t review this book properly, but I’m sure you understand what a procrastinator’s life looks like just before exams.

Keep reading!

 

 

 

Ways to say 💗 I love you 💗 | Law Of Moses | Thursday Quotables #2

Welcome to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature, hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies, is the place where I am going to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during my reading.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

You can write in the comments bellow, what lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!picture4

♥ Book Name:The Law Of Moses

♥ Author:Amy Harmon
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I love this quote as it perfectly shows that love is not just a word you say. If you love someone you have to show him/her how much you love him/her by actions, not just words.

“Do you think she knows how much I love her?”
“You gave her flowers and said you were sorry.”
“I did.”
“You kissed her.”
I could only nod.
“You painted her pictures and hugged her when she cried.”
“Yeah,” I whispered.
“You laughed with her too.”
I nodded again.
“Those are all the ways to say I love you.”

Tell me in the comments below if you liked the quote or not? and why ? 😊

Resolution Full Fillers | Searching Saturday #2

     Searching Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by: The Night Is Dark and Full of Books where I search for a new-to-me book that fits the weekly topic provided at the host’s site, and write a post about the books I found. It’s an awesome way for discovering new books I wouldn’t have even considered before!

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This week’s topic is “Resolutions Fullfillers”. Now, since I didn’t write my resolutions before, I’m going to mention under each book why did I choose it and what resolution of mine does it fullfill.

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(Review!) If I Stay (If I Stay #1)

OVERALL RATING: ★★☆☆☆

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Book Details:

Author: Gayle Forman

Series: If I Stay (book 1)

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, YA, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 297 (may differ from edition to another)

Mia is a seventeen-year old girl who has the perfect life any teen would wish for- outgoing, understanding and simply “cool” parents, a loyal BFF, a BF who loves her more than anything and an exceptional talent with her cello. Life couldn’t get any better, can it? Well, yes, in her case it does. Mia is on her way to Julliard and if she gets accepted, she is going to have to make some really tough choices about her future with Adam.

That’s before her life changes forever…

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