Chasing Ghosts: A Tour of Our Fascination with Spirits and the Supernatural by Mark Hartzman

Main info

  • Edition: Kindle
  • Edition language: English
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Quirk Books
  • Publcation date: September 28, 2021
  • My rating: ***

Description

Take a spirited tour through the supernatural history of America, from its haunted sites to its famous ghosts to its ghost-obsessed pop culture.

Ghosts are everywhere—whether you believe in them or not. Every town has its local legends, and countless books, movies, and TV shows are haunted by their presence. But our obsession with ghosts runs deeper than we know—and is embedded in the very fabric of American history.

Writer and historian Marc Hartzman dons the mantle of tour guide, taking readers on a fascinating journey through supernatural history, including:

• The Fox Sisters and the rise of Spiritualism
• The supernatural obsessions of famous figures like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
• Famous haunted sites like the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia and the LaLaurie House in New Orleans
• Famous ghosts like the Bell Witch of Tennessee and the Greenbrier Ghost of West Virginia
• Paranormal investigators like Ed and Lorraine Warren

Deeply researched and highly entertaining, with archival images and black and white illustrations, Chasing Ghosts will satisfy believers and skeptics alike.

My thoughts

*I’ve got this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review*

Like you can guess from the book title, this book is about a paranormal beings and events. As an entusiast of everything paranormal, I was eager to read this book and in the end I liked it. It definitely has it’s flaws, but for those who are interested in such things it can be eye opening.

The author definitely did his job and gave us a lot of information, with dates, names and places, sometimes it was even too much, felt like info dump, but at the same time I learned a lot.

First part f the book took me some time to get into it, some parts were a little bit boring, but after some time I was hooked. There we can find the history of spiritualism and the famous spritualist and spiritualism entusiasts.

The middle part of the book was my favorite, because it was about the haunted places. Just the stories and witnesses reports without any debunking ( the way I like the most). My only wish is that this part was a little bit longer.

The final part of the book was more technical. I learned a lot about different devices and how they are used for ghost hunting, but at the same time it was quite boring, at least for me.

In the end , I think it is one of the best book about paranormal world investigation, that I have read in a long time. You should definitely try giving it a chance.

Beyond Faery by John T Kruse

Hello my lovelies!

I am back with yet another review, this time it will be a non-fiction book. So, here we go…

Main information

Rating: 1 out of 5.
  • Edition: kindle
  • Edition language: English
  • Publication date:  November 8th 2020
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications

Description

Beyond the faerie realms, all sorts of magical creatures lurk. This book explores some of the more fearsome beasts that have been known to meddle in human affairs. Join renowned fairy expert John T. Kruse as he reveals the secret lives of merfolk and meremaids, river sprites and kelpies, hags and banshees as well as hobs, goblins, bogies daemon dogs, and many more. These are not the cutesy fairies and kindly beings found in light entertainments. These are the magical creatures that tend to terrify instead of help, and learning their ways may be just what you need to survive your own encounter with one of these other-world beasts. 

My thoughts

*I’ve got this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review*

Unfortunatelly I had to DNF this book at 30% mark. I just couldn’t force myself to read it longer or waist my time on a book, that doesn’t give me joy.
What is good about this book, is that you can see, that the author did his job and thorougly explored all those mythical creatures. There were bunch of them, that I never heard before.
However the writing style was so dry, that it put me to sleep after few pages. It was as if I read some kind of dictionary. To be honest, it felt infodumpy.

I appreciate what author tried to do here, but in the end this book was just not for me.

Watering the Soul by Courtney Peppernell

Hello, my lovelies!

I told you, that I will try to write more often and like you can see I am trying my best. From Friday I’ll be on a vacation for a whole month, so hopefully I will find more time to write not only reviews, but maybe something else.

However today I would like to introduce you to a book, that I’ve read recently, and by recently I mean today.

Main information

Rating: 1 out of 5.
  • Edition: Kindle
  • Edition language: English
  • Publication date: August 17th 2021 
  • Publisher:  Andrews McMeel Publishing

Description

Poetry and prose to encourage us to grow. Watering the Soul is a timeless reminder that everyone needs time, love, and forgiveness.

From bestselling poet Courtney Peppernell comes a new book of poetry and prose, Watering the Soul.  What began as a desire to spread positivity quickly became a project that focuses on themes of relaxation, forgiveness, togetherness, and equality.  An expansion from Peppernell’s previous poetry, typically about romance and longing, this project seeks to enlighten readers about the love we spread to others and also the love we give ourselves. 

My thoughts

*I’ve got this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review*

I am not a poetry person, I have to admit that. I don’t know how many poetry books I’e tried to read in the past, but there were always something lacking. So when I saw this one, I didn’t have much high hopes. And for sure I was pleasently surprised.


What I lovely book this is. Short but inspiring and uplifting stories. I don’t know if I picked it up at the perfect time of my life or what, but it definitely spoked to me.


I purposefully chose to read this book in the evenings, just few pages at the time, just to relax and take a load off of my mind. This precious book was like a breath of fresh air after a long and stresfull day.


I will definitely buy a physical copy

Perfectly Imperfect Mum by Sheena Tanna-Shah

Hello my lovelies! I missed you so much. I cannot believe it is almost half a year, that wrote here the last time.

There happened a lot in my life and this long pause was very necessary. Hopefully I will be able to write more from now on.

So today I’m comming back with a book review.

Main info

Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • Edition: Kindle
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: September 28th 2020

Description

Perfectly Imperfect Mum: A Fun and Inspirational Guide for Busy Mums to Staying Mindful and Thriving Amid the Chaos is written by mindfulness coach, nutritionist and mum Sheena Tanna-Shah to help mums stay on track and embrace the fact that they can’t be perfect all of the time, despite their very best intentions. Perfectly Imperfect Mum is structured around twenty everyday scenarios, with each scenario featuring a mindfulness and motivational tip, a nutritious yet simple recipe created to perfectly complement that particular scenario and a yoga pose or movement to help combat a particular situation. This blended combination of mindfulness tools allows mums to reset themselves, helping them to live in the moment instead of checking off the next item on the to-do list. Demonstrating to readers fantastic ways to feel the calm in the chaos and embrace the challenging days, Perfectly Imperfect Mum is designed to help mums thrive and enjoy the journey of motherhood. It offers a path to living for each moment while also staying connected to themselves and their children.

My thoughts

*I’ve got this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review*

In this book we have a short glimps in to a motherhood by the author, who herself has two kids. So at least we can say, thay she knows what she is talking about.


Usually I am very skeptical about books like this, or, to say the least, I’m still in a search faze for a selfhelp book, that can actually help somehow. But this one was a pleasant surprise, because tere were actual steps of what and, most importantly, HOW to change something in order to be a better parent.


Yes, there were some parts that author repeated herself and it was unnecessary, but kuddos for some great recipes and yoga poses, that I will definitely try myself.


I for sure will read more of her work in the future.

When the Time Comes by Adele O’Neill

Hello, my lovelies! Long time no see! I did now about a reading slumps, but didn’t know that there could be a reading slump too. Unfortunately I fell in one too. But I’m back and hopefuly for the good.

Today my plan is to chat with you about the book, that I finished reading reacenlty. It’s, like you can see from the title, “When the Time Comes” by Adele O’Neill. So just jump right it!

Main info

Rating: 2 out of 5.
  • Edition: Kindle
  • Edition language: English
  • Publisher: Aria
  • Publication date: November 21st 2019

Synopsis

Her husband says it’s suicide. The police say it’s murder.

Liam Buckley was a married man with two teenage children when he moved out of the family home to start a new life with his lover. His wife Jennifer never forgave him, but now she needs him to come back: she’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and the kids can’t cope alone.

One day after Liam moves home, Jennifer is found dead. Liam thinks it’s suicide. But the police, led by DS Louise Kennedy, are convinced it’s murder.

Liam hires a retired detective to help prove his innocence, but it’s no easy task. The children are distraught, and Jennifer’s best friend, Sarah, is waging a campaign against Liam, determined to expose him for a liar and a cheat.

As secrets surface from the complex web of Buckley family life, DS Kennedy must decide. Did Jennifer Buckley end her own life, or did Liam take it from her? The answer, when it comes, will shock them all…

My thoughts

*I’ve got this book from the NetGalley in exchange of an honest review*

So, where do I begine. Firstly, I was expecting a solid crime thriller, just because of the synopsis. And first few percents of the book was a solid start. We had a crime, we had a suspect and we had a detective, who will do all the job.

From the dsescription of the book you can think, that we will be following DS Kennedy and how she tries to solve this crime. But! We meet her in first pages and the she just shows up in the last few pages of the book, We have no idea how investigation is going, what evidence are collected, who are the suspects and so on. So that was my fisrt dissapointment with this book.

The book had two time lines: the trial and few days before the murder. The actual trial was, in my opinion poorly done and didn’t hold my attention at all. Even in the timline of the trial we were more focused of what was on the mind of the kids or on the mind of the husband.

The timeline of that few days before murder reminded me of a soap opera, some kind of domestic suspence. The characters were all over the place and most of the soppy dialogs was totaly unecesary for the story.

Even the ending of the book was very anticlimactic, because it was rushed and left me with more questions, than answers.

I think those, who like domestic dramas, would actually like this book, but if you hope to find a good thriller, you will be disappointed.

In the end I gave it 2 stars.

XXX

Simona

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Hello, my lovelies!

Here I am with yet another book blog tour post. This time I was contacted by the publishers of St. Martin’s Press and kindly offered to read and talk about a book “The Night Swim” by Megan Goldin.

Blog tour banner--on sale now

Main info:

  • Edition: kindle
  • Edition language: English
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Publication date:  August 4th 2020
  • Pages: 352
  • My rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

51169341The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

My thoughts

Guys! I loved this book! IT was a long time, that I haven’t read such a good ARC. What a treat it was to go through it.

I was rooting for the girl that was raped so much, that I just couldn’t put this book down. I had to know, how the trial will end and it didn’t disappoint. All this book was so realistic, that all the time that I read it, it felt like I was in the court room in the jury box. When I read chapters of the podcast, it felt like you actually listen for a real podcast. I think it could be a great film.. Netflix! Where are you, when you are most needed?

In all honesty, this book is a prime example, that you don’t need very explicit, gruesome and vivid descriptions of the crime scene or the crime, that was made, for the book to be interesting and gripping.

I liked the main character Rachel a lot, even though sometimes she made some questionable things, it made her even more relatable and humanlike. I hope, that the author decides to make a book series about her and her podcast. Because the idea of using a podcast was very unique and made this book even more apieling.

So, I guess you can already tell, that I definitely recommend this book, please give this one a chance and you won’t be dissapointed.

Where to buy it:

Macmillan

Books-A-Milion

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

xxx

Simona

 

July Wrap Up

Hello, my lovelies!

I can’t believe, that July is already over. Seems I just blinked and it’s over. But! Somehow I managed to read 10 books. I am a quite slow reader, so that was almost a miracle.  I won’t go into much details, because we will be here for ages, also if you want to hear a little bit more of my thoughts, you can check my youtube channel.

IMG_4692So, here is what I read in a month of July:

  • Taylor Jenkins Reid “The Seven Husbands of Evelin Hugo”. Anfortunately this book wasn’t what I expected. After what I was hearing about it, I thought it wil blow my mind, but it was just good. I’m glad I listend it on audio, otherwise it would have took me ages to finish it. In the end I gave it ♥♥♥♥
  • Jenny Kane “Midsummer Dreamsat Mill Grange”. This one was one of the worst books I have read this year. Non of the characters were likable, the love triangle was horrible, there were some scenes, that it was even uncomfortable to read. And it was booooring. So I gave it ♥♥
  • Merisha Pessl “Night Film”. This book like being in a weard dream. It made me feel creeped out and it played with my mind more than once. But, the ending was anticlimactic and almost ruined the book for me. I gave it ♥♥♥♥
  • Brittney Morris “Slay”. I’m not the right persong to talk much about this book and about characters experiences, because I’m, not black and it’s not my voice should be heard. I only say, that I wasn’t fan of all that gaming stuff that this book was full of, that’s why I gave it ♥♥♥
  • Angie Thomas “On the Come Up”. After reading THUG I had huge hopes for this one. However it wasn’t my cup of tea. I wish this book concentrated more on violance against black students instead of rap. I was contemplating even on dnf’ing this book, but in the end I gave it ♥♥♥
  • Stefan Ahnhem “9th Grave”. I was recommended to read this book by some of my friends and I thought I will love it from what I heard about it. But I didn’t. There were some questionable scenes, that weren’t addressed at all, all the characters were horrible and didn’t have any redemable qualities. Also it was just too messy: too many characters, too many plot twists, too many unecessery sceans. And the violence! Some of the scenes were used just for shock factor and were totally unecessery for the story. I gave it generous ♥♥
  • Adrienne Woods “Venom”. It’s a short novelette in the Dragonian series. The only thing I will tell is that you should read it before starting the second book. There are some scenes in this book, that will have some inpact to the rest of the story. I gave it ♥♥♥♥
  • Kyung-Sook Shin “Please Look After Mother”. It was a serious book and made me think about my own life a little bit. Being a mom myself I felt for this woman. To be treated like this of your own children and your husband is horrible. But the ending was a little bit confusing for me and some parts were a little repetitive. That’s why I gave it ♥♥♥
  • Mary Anne Redmacher “Living with intentions”. There is nothing much to say, because this books is about what we all already know – about loving yourself. I’m glad I read this book, because it reminded me some things, that I forgot or just ignored. Even my husband noticed, that this book made some impact for me. But some parts in my opinion wasn’t necessery and was repetitive. That’s why I gave it ♥♥♥, althoug I know I will reread it again.
  • Anne Gracie “The Perfct Waltz”. It’s a book in a series about 4 sisters and I already read one before. I gave that book 5 stars. So, of course, I thought that this one will be as good as previous. But it felt like it was written by two diferent authors. This story felt too melodramatic for me and the characters were not as likable as in the other book. But the last nail in the coffin was two scenes, that litterary were on the verge of rape. And it wasn’t addressed at all. That’s why I gave it ♥♥♥

How was your July? I hope you were safe and read a lot!

xxx

Simona

 

Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange by Jenny Kane

Hello, my lovelies!

This time I want to introduce you with a book, that I read recently. I’m participating in a book blog tour with a bunch of other amazing book bloggers. If you want to check them out here are the dates:

The book I’m talking about is Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange by Jenny Kane.

Synopsis

53438299._SY475_Thea Thomas needs to get away from her old life… and the interfering ex who won’t leave her alone. When she lands a job heading up the restoration of Mill Grange, a stunning Victorian manor in Devon, it feels like the perfect opportunity to start afresh.

What Thea didn’t anticipate was how hostile the volunteer team, led by the formidable Mable Hastings, would be about accepting new leadership. And with the deadline looming before the grand opening, Thea is in desperate need of more volunteers.

A broadcast appeal on the local news attracts the interest of arrogant but undeniably attractive celebrity historian Shaun Cowlson, who wants to make a TV programme about the restoration. It’s hard enough adding one more big personality to the mix – but then her ex turns up as one of the volunteers! What seemed like a dream come true is fast becoming a total disaster! Can Thea find a way to save the manor?

Extract

The meeting hadn’t started, yet no companionable chatter criss-crossed the table. The lemon cake remained untouched. Mugs of tea and coffee mugs cooled, un-drunk. The alcohol sat unopened. Thea struggled not to squirm as eight sets of eyes rested on her. Only Tina was smiling.

The faces of the volunteers – five women and two men – held an air of awkward patience which declared they’d listen politely, but then they’d carry on as they had before.  With an encouraging nod from Tina, Thea cradled her coffee cup. Taking comfort from its warmth, she broke the uneasy silence.

‘First of all, I’d like to thank you all, not just for coming out this evening, but for everything you’ve achieved at Mill Grange over the past five years.’

Not allowing anyone the chance to comment, Thea ploughed on with a speech she’d been semi-rehearsing on and off since she’d arranged the meeting two days ago. ‘It’s incredible what you’ve done, and—’ seeing a flicker of objection in Mabel’s eyes, Thea hurriedly raised her palm ‘—I don’t mean incredible in a patronising way. You’ve had few resources, a limited budget and no training. Everything you’ve achieved has been for the pure love of it. I have tried to tell you how much I admire your work ethic and how much I can see you all care for Mill Grange…’

‘But?’ Mabel put down the tea mug she’d just lifted up with an exaggerated thump.
‘There is no but.’ Hoping her rising anxiety didn’t show, Thea continued to address the stony faces around the table. ‘Whatever I’ve done to offend you, I’m truly sorry, but we need to work together. We owe it to Mill Grange.’

‘We?’ Mabel’s eyes narrowed. ‘You turn up one day out of the blue, without a word of warning, and take over. How do you think that made us feel?’

‘What?’ Puzzled, Thea turned to Tina, who appeared equally baffled. ‘You didn’t know I was coming to work here?’

Mabel tilted her head to one side, clearly unconvinced that Thea hadn’t been aware she’d been a surprise to them. ‘We did not.’

Tina lowered her coffee cup from her lips. ‘You were sent an email, Mabel. I was copied in on it, so I know it was both sent and received. The chief trustee, Malcolm, fired it off to you personally as he sees you as the volunteers’ spokesperson.’

‘An email.’ Mabel spoke flatly as she looked down at her clenched hands, and Thea guessed that checking her email was something that rarely crossed the old lady’s mind.
Taking the diplomatic path, Thea said, ‘Obviously it can’t have reached you, Mabel. The Internet is hardly reliable here. So, it appears I was thrust upon you without warning. But I promise you, I didn’t know you were unaware of my appointment.’ She looked across to Tina for confirmation. ‘To be honest, I was surprised a representative from the volunteers wasn’t at the interview.’

‘In normal circumstances they might have been. Perhaps because you came so highly recommended, they didn’t see the need this time.’

Thankful that most of the volunteers were beginning to look less hostile, Thea took a sustaining sip of coffee. ‘Maybe we can start again?’

The author

Jenny KaneJenny Kane is the bestselling author of several romantic fiction series. Her first novel, Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press), was a Kindle bestseller. The final novel in this series, Another Glass of Champagne, was released in June 2016. Jenny Kane’s Cornish romance, A Cornish Escape, hit No.1 in the Amazon Romance, Contemporary Fiction, and Women’s Fiction charts, and was followed by a sequel, Abi’s Neighbour, Jenny’s seventh novel.

You can find Jenny here:

  • Twitter: @JennyKaneAuthor
  • Facebook: @JennyKaneRomance

You can buy this book here:

 

I hope you will give this book a chance and enjoy a perfect summer read.

xxx

Simona

July TBR

Hello, my lovelies!

I hope you’re doing fine and are as safe as possible.  Last month was crazy, strange, powerful, impactful and I hope that everything that happened and are still happening will finally bring changes. We can’t go on as it is now, at this point the world must change. We still have a long way to go and educate ourselves, but I strongly believe, that these BLM protests were a strong first step in a right direction.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

IMG_E4112

Now after that statement, I want introduce to you my July TBR:

  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl.  I already started this book, but I still have a lot to read, that’s why I will count it as my July book.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Tayor Jenkins Reid. I also already started listening to it, but like with Night Film I still have almost half of the book left. Also it’s perfect book for LGBTQIA+ representation.
  • Midsummer Dreams at Mill Grange by Jenny Kane. This is an ARC, that I was kindly offered to read and review by the publishers of Aria. I’m also participating in a book blog tour for this book, so my review will be up on July 14th, so look up for that.
  • Please Look After Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin. I think I have mentioned before, that I have a challenge for my self to read 12 oldest book from my shelves. This book is one of them, also now I try to read more books with diverse characters and books with more representation of other races. So this will work perfect for this challenge. I had to read this last month, but it happened so, that I didn’t have time.
  • Spøklsene på Frostøy|| Hvite Mareritt by Hilde Hagerup. This is for my challenge to read at least one book in Norwegian language, also it’s also one of the 12 books I have to read until the end of the year.
  • 9 kapas by Stefan Ahnhem. I miss reading books in Lithuanian language, because it’s not that easy to get books translated in Lithuanian, when you live in Norway. So I always ask my mother to send me one or two books. I think it’s a book translated from Swedish language.

Here are my main books I’m planning to tackle. However I’m pretty sure, that I will be able to read more.

♦♦♦♦

Also… Guys! Now I have my youtube channel, where I also mainly talk about books, so it would be great if you could check it out!

 

xxx

Simona

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Hello, my lovelies!

Here I am with yet another book review. I know, I know I should write something else also and I promise to do so in my next post.

This time we have a book by one of my favorite authors – Liane Moriarty.

44047984._SY475_Main info

  • Edition: hardback
  • Edition language: Norwegian
  • Publisher: Panta
  • Publication date: 2019
  • Pages: 621
  • My rating: ♣♣♣

Synopsis

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer—or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

My thoughts

Lets just start with that, that Liane Moriarty is still one of my favorite authors and I still going to read every book she will publish, however this time I was disappointed.

Lets start with the things I like about ”Nine Perfect Strangers” Firstly, I like how there are more than one perspective, each and everyone character has something to say from their point of view. This type of writing always captures my attention. For me it seams like you can know and understand every character much better.

Secondly, I love that every character has both sides, by that I mean, they are not only bad or only good. Each of them has a secret and dark side of them. It makes you connect to everyone, because you can find a part of yourself in them. All characters are just humans instead of being heroes or villains.

However this time I was disappointed. At the beginning of the book I didn’t understand, why the rating of this book is quite low on the goodreads, but after few chapters I noticed, that it was beginning to be a little bit boring. It took me almost a month to reach a middle of the book, and that is never a good sign.

Also, I don’t know if I haven’t saw, or there were’t any trigger warnings. Because there are a few and I was unpleasantly surprised and triggered by some of them. I wish I would have known about them before I started this book, I would have prepared myself. So be warned, that there are triggers for child loss, suicide and substance abuse.

Talking about substance abuse I was shocked, how all the situations were handled. Seems like nothing was properly addressed and just swept under the carpet. It never happens like that in reality, at least I hope so.

Also in the middle of the book, after a plot twist, everything went down hill, the book became a little bit ludicrous, that finally I became intrigued by it, just to see how worse can it get.

So, in the conclusion, I can’t say that I recommend this one for you, better try other Liane Moriarty books.

xxx

Simona