Audiobook Review: Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Title: Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America
Author: Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Genre: YA Historical Non-Fiction / Science
Publication Date: August 4th, 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“What happens when a person’s reputation has been forever damaged?

With archival photographs and text among other primary sources, this riveting biography of Mary Mallon by the Sibert medalist and Newbery Honor winner Susan Bartoletti looks beyond the tabloid scandal of Mary’s controversial life.

How she was treated by medical and legal officials reveals a lesser-known story of human and constitutional rights, entangled with the science of pathology and enduring questions about who Mary Mallon really was.

How did her name become synonymous with deadly disease? And who is really responsible for the lasting legacy of Typhoid Mary?

This thorough exploration includes an author’s note, timeline, annotated source notes, and bibliography.” (Goodreads)

Typhoid Mary is a prominent person when it comes to the history of pandemics and how bacteria spreads. I have always been fascinated by her ever since I started reading about tuberculosis and she was mentioned. I’m happy I ran across this book by chance because I got to learn more about her life and the misery life dealt her.

The book is told from third person narrative and contains letters and journal entries written by some of the people mentioned, including Mary. It starts off with an encounter of typhoid and figuring out how one family came down sick with it and realizing through tracing it came do to the cook aka Mary. It’s interesting how tracing is something that is still used and was used during our own pandemic recently.

The state treated Mary horribly and even though she gets a bad rep for what happened, I don’t think she meant to do anything on purpose. Bacteria and germs were a new thing and back then it just wasn’t talked about enough. Because of this and articles that were written about her, she lived a lonely life from that point until she died. It’s very tragic. I do think through her there was a lot learned and for that I am thankful. I just wish they would have been kinder to her.

Overall, this was short but gave me more information on someone I had always heard about. I’m glad I got to learn more about her life even if it was quite sad.

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Weekly Update |10-30-22

Hello Lovely Bookworms!

This week was pretty slow but also felt like it went by fast. Yesterday we went to get pizza since it’s what we usually do as a family around Halloween. It’s a holiday we don’t celebrate and so we do something together so my daughter doesn’t feel like she is being left out of something. It’s now going on as a 6 year tradition, haha.

We went to the library and I picked up some books as well. They have been two I have been eyeing so we will see if I like them!

No reading has been had this weekend but with 40 books under my belt for the month (manga included) I don’t feel bad, lol.

I hope you all have been having a great weekend! Enjoy the photos of my pumpkin and an amradillo!

  • Empire of Exiles by Erin M. Evans (arc) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Buried in a Good Book by Tamara Berry ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Crown of Bones by A.K. Wilder (🎧) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany (🎧) ⭐⭐
  • The Frost Goblin by Abi Elphinstone (🎧) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Riley’s Ghost by John David Anderson (🎧) ⭐⭐
  • The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford (arc) ⭐⭐
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HOW WAS YOUR WEEK? DID YOU DO ANYTHING FUN OVER THE WEEKEND? READ ANYTHING GOOD THIS WEEK? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!

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Arc Review: She’s Gone by David Bell

Title: She’s Gone
Author: David Bell
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: November 1st, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

When a girl disappears, who do you suspect?
When 17-year-old Hunter Gifford wakes in the hospital on the night of homecoming, he’s shocked to learn he and his girlfriend, Chloe Summers, have been in a terrible car accident. Hunter has no memory of the crash, and his shock turns to horror when he is told Chloe’s blood has been found in the car―but she has disappeared.
Back at school, his fellow students taunt him, and his former best friend starts making a true-crime documentary about the case―one that points the finger directly at Hunter. And just when things can’t get any worse, Chloe’s mother stands in front of the entire town at a candlelight vigil and accuses Hunter of murder.
Under mounting pressure from the police, Hunter takes matters into his own hands by questioning anyone who might know the truth and posting videos to prove his innocence. When Hunter learns he and Chloe were seen arguing loudly outside the dance, he faces a sickening possibility. Was he angry enough to kill the person he loved?” (Goodreads)

I have mixed feelings about this one. On the plus side, I finished it in less than a day. On the down side, I just needed more character development.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Hunter. He was in a car accident with his girlfriend. He made it to the hospital somehow, but she is still missing. There is a lot he needs to recall since his memory hasn’t been the same since that fateful day.

I wouldn’t say that there is much going for Hunter besides trying to solve what happened to his girlfriend. I would say the same about all of the other characters as well. The character development was lacking and this could honestly be because the book was more plot-driven. I just tend to like a bit of both. Olivia was definitely my favorite character as she really cared about her brother and the outcome of the mystery.

The plot was pretty good. It did have me guessing but I did figure out who it was before the big reveal but not how it happened. The how it happened was not what I was expecting and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

Overall, this was a fine YA Mystery. It will definitely reel you in and at least it is easy to get through.

Top Ten Tuesday: Gothic, Spooky, and Mysteries Unfold (Halloween Freebie!)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

Today’s prompt is Halloween Freebie! I am going to do a mix of reads that fit perfectly for this time of year. I have read them all and linked reviews for ones that I did review. I hope you enjoy them!

WOULD YOU READ ANY OF THESE?

Let me know in the comments below!

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Audiobook Review: The Darkening by Sunya Mara

Title: The Darkening
Author: Sunya Mara
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 5th, 2022
Publisher: Clarion Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

“Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries. When her mother was caught by the queen’s soldiers, they gave her a choice: death by the hangman’s axe, or death by the Storm that surrounds the city and curses anyone it touches. She chose the Storm. And when the queen’s soldiers—led by a paranoid prince—catch up to Vesper’s father after twelve years on the run, Vesper will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing that fate.

Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.

Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.

Even cheat her way into his cold heart.

But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, she’ll have to make a choice if she wants to save her city: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets, or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm.” (Goodreads)

When I first started this, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. I’ve seen good things about it but you still never know how you will actually feel about it. I did like a lot of what I read. There are some interesting and unique aspects to this story. I think it set up for a sequel well and I am curious to read on. I do think that some aspects could have been done a bit better for my taste but it’s nothing that really makes or break the story one way.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Vesper Vale. She is the daughter of revolutionaries and her whole life has been running from the past with her father. These events lead to a very exciting beginning because the past has finally caught up.

Vesper will do anything for her family. You can tell she cares deeply for her father and would leave safety to continue to stay with him. Although this can be a weakness for her, she still remains loyal and I respect that. I can understand wanting to do anything for family. Her love for her father leads into the wolves den and we begin to really meet and get to know those who are in charge and take care of the storms.

The storms were a fun aspect. I can only think of one other book with storms and that would be Roar by Cora Carmack. Each writer uses storms in a different way so reading this one felt like a fresh take. Who knew beasts could come forth and wreak havoc?

There are other characters that play bigger roles and ones that feel smaller but do have impactful plot points. I think it was a good mix to have. I will say that for some I felt more for than others and this did effect how I felt about certain plot points, or lack of feelings. The romance was okay but I feel like it didn’t have enough time to develop for me to be rooting for them. I hope there is better development in the next book.

Another thing I wish I had more of was world-building. I feel like there was a bit but I am still confused by certain things. There may be more explained in the next book since I guess I would say it is a part of the plot but we will see.

Overall, this was interesting enough for me to want to continue. I do think that the narrator did a great job and it left me wanting to keep listening.

Audiobook Review: The First Girl Child (The Chronicles of Saylock #1) by Amy Harmon

Title: The First Girl Child (The Chronicles of Saylock #1)
Author: Amy Harmon
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction / Romance / Mythology
Publication Date: August 20th, 2019
Publisher: 47North
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

“Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.
Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.
Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.
What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.” (Goodreads)

I feel like this is just what I needed to break up my average rated reads. It reminded me a bit of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, which I enjoyed. So, I am very pleased with this book!

The book is told through third-person narration from multiple point-of-views which I really liked. There are many plot lines at play that all come together and it was cool to see how each character intertwined with another. Bayr and Alba were a favorite pair of mine for obvious reasons. They each wanted what was best for one another and would do anything to remain together. Their dedication was something that I very much admired. Bayr also has a stutter and keeps it throughout the book. The audiobook does a great job with it!

There is romance and it stretched throughout by building a friendship between the two first. The reader gets to see Bayr and Alba from babies all the way up until they are older and ready to take on the challenges they face. It really helped me to connect to them on a deeper level.

One character that was wildly insane was the king. Just wow! Every time he did something I was like, “Oh, it couldn’t get worse…” and he always proved me wrong haha. Even though I very much disliked him, he made the story even better and for that I guess I liked him in a way.

The plot is filled with mythology. runes, an evil king, war, and many other things. I didn’t feel like there was ever a dull moment and I would listen to more than half of the audiobook in one day because of that. Which obviously isn’t a bad thing. It very much kept me engaged.

Overall, this was a great read and I can’t wait to get to the next book!

Monthly Wrap-Up | September 2022

Hello Lovely Readers!

Every month I say the same thing. Where is the time going?

September was filled with dealing with health insurance and finally get my car fixed. Too many adult tasks! Haha.

I did get through a lot of books though so I can’t complain. I’m happy that we got some fall weather finally as well. It’s nice to be able to go outside and see the chickens. The baby ones have gotten so big lately!

This month I managed to read 11 books, 9 audiobooks, and 8 manga.
28 books in total!

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My favorite book of the month would be The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons Down on Mischief Farm by Hilarie Burton Morgan! I really connected with it.

My least favorite would be Married by Wind by Angela J. Ford. It was too short and repetitive.

  • One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig (arc)
  • The Rural Diaries: Love, Livestock, and Big Life Lessons Down on Mischief Farm by Hilarie Burton Morgan (🎧)
  • The King’s Beast Vol. 2-7 by Rei Toma (manga)
  • A Cat Cafe Christmas by Codi Gary (arc)
  • The Luminaries by Susan Dennard (arc)
  • The Fiction Between Us by Julie Olivia
  • In the Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo (🎧)
  • The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (🎧)
  • Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto (arc)
  • The Maze Cutter by James Dashner (arc/🎧)
  • Sabriel by Garth Nix (🎧)
  • House of Beating Wings by Olivia Wildenstein (arc)
  • The King’s Beast Vol. 1 by Rei Toma (manga)
  • The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (🎧)
  • Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau (🎧)
  • Daughters of the Dawn by Sasha and Sarena Nanua (🎧)
  • Would You Rather by Allison Ashley (🎧)
  • Talk Santa to Me by Linda Urban (arc)
  • The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
  • Last of the Talons by Sophie Kim (arc)
  • Married by Wind by Angela J. Ford
  • Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, Vol. 1 by Rumiko Takahashi (manga)
  • Direwood by Catherine Yu (arc)

HOW MANY BOOKS DID YOU READ IN JULY? DID YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?
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Arc Review: How to Heal a Gryphon by Meg Cannistra

Title: How to Heal a Gryphon
Author: Meg Cannistra
Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy
Publication Date: October 4th, 2022
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and BookishFirst for a complimentary book to review! All opinions are my own.

To save her family, she’ll have to make a dangerous bargain and tip the scales off balance.
With her thirteenth birthday just around the corner, Giada Bellantuono has to make a big decision: Will she join the family business and become a healer or follow her dreams? But even though she knows her calling is to heal vulnerable animals, using her powers to treat magical creatures is decidedly not allowed.
When a group of witches kidnaps her beloved older brother, Rocco, and her parents are away, Giada is the only person left who can rescue him. Swept into the magical underground city of Malavita, Giada will need the help of her new companions to save her brother—or risk losing him forever.” (Goodreads)

I’m always down to read a Middle Grade book. They are a fun break from my other genres and I can find books for my daughter to read when she gets older.

This book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Giada. To others she would be considered a rulebreaker/troublemaker but she is just trying to do what she loves with her magic which is healing magical creatures. Usually witch books don’t involve magical creatures so I was definitely here for the change, especially with the gryphon right on the cover!

Giada is a girl that every child can look up to. She follows her heart and even when family doesn’t understand her choices she will still help them out. I loved her spirit. I also liked that she was plus-size. As someone who grew up plus-size and still is, I cherished her appearance a lot more and can see others doing the same.

The plot for this book was fun and engaging. I can see my daughter being really intrigued by what it has to offer.

Overall, this was a fun read! I’ll definitely revisit it in the future with my daughter along for the ride!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Nice Typography | 9-27-22

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

Today’s prompt is Typographic Book Covers and it says to do covers with mostly words. I wouldn’t be able to name one. So, the other option was to do Books With Nice Typography so that is what we are doing!

What’s Your favorite style of typography i have shown?

Apparently I have a specific typography because some look same, haha.

Let me know in the comments below!

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Audiobook Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family—and from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitating toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.” (Goodreads)

I have been meaning to read this one but haven’t got around to it until now. It did help that I noticed the Netflix sticker, haha. Since I didn’t have an audiobook going on I figured why not give this one a try.

The audiobook has two different narrators, one for Dimple’s chapters and the other for Rishi’s. I did like how this was done as it was easier to tell who’s point-of-view it was.

Both of the main characters had something they enjoyed doing and we get to see it flourish throughout the book, especially with each other’s help. I would say that I liked Rishi more only because Dimple was very wish-washy and it kept going on even when there was only 5% left of the book. I understand that they both had to make sacrifices but I do think that Rishi was willing to let go of more than Dimple. This could also just be how their personalities are.

The romance, which is a lot of the book, was fine. They had their sweet moments but since it is all done in a span of one summer program it does go quite quickly and the word “love” is thrown out. I would say for Rishi it was instant-love and Dimple took more to convince. It’s not bad just anything that has to be instant is not a favorite.

There are a couple side characters that stayed around for a lot of the book. Dimple’s roommate was kind of the opposite of her and let peer pressure bring her into questionable situations. Rishi’s brother was funny and I liked him. I believe the next book is for him so I may give it a go.

Overall, this was good and had it’s moments. I did like the narration and thought it was well done.