Monthly wrap up

March Wrap up

Stack Of Books

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing good. I’m here with one more Monthly wrap up, this time for the month of March aka my birthday month. I feel like that this month I haven’t been reading that much. 😦 I was sick for a week this month and seriously I feel like this month just flew by. But let’s list down books that I’ve read.

  • The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan –> Jenny is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, romance author. I love all her books, seriously. There hasn’t been a book that I’ve read from her and didn’t like. I have fell in love with the small Scottish village (and I was sad that it doesn’t exist in real life). I loved how everyone is just so close to each other in that village and I know what it means when everyone knows every little thing about you. My grandma comes from an island where everyone knows every single thing about you. I loved that one of the characters was gay and that he wasn’t portrayed as those gay guys you see in women fiction. 4,5*
  • Modern Guide to Witchcraft by Skye Alexander –> This one is more spiritual book, if I can call it spiritual. I am into Witchcraft so it was more a book to learn from than an easy read. I loved it since it was really nicely laid out and easy to understand and not boring for sure. I will be buying more books like this, for sure. 4*
  • Discovering Kwan Yin by Sandy Boucher –> Another one for spirituality since I feel connection to Kwan Yin. I wanted to read and “learn” more about Kwan Yin. It was interesting book and I see myself re-reading this one for sure. 4,5*
  • Du willst es doch auch by Aya Sakyo –> Manga written in German; yaoi manga to be specific. Bought it on a whim since I wanted to read more mangas again. I liked it but it wasn’t mind blowing to be honest. I want to read more mangas so I would love to have some recommendations. There are some that I am keeping an eye on but am lazy to buy. >.< So, overall, rating for this one is: 3*
  • The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May –> The review for this one is coming up in April so keep your eyes out for that one. One thing I can say: I really really liked it!!! 4,5*

This was my wrap up! Let me know what great books you’ve read in March. I will be uploading my April TBR soon.

With love,

Ana

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Review

Review: Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe

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Title: Body Positive Power
Author: Megan Jayne Crabbe aka bodypositivepanda
Genre: non-fiction, self-help
Pages: 288
Publisher: Vermilion

We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but the truth is that our bodies are not the problem. How we’ve been taught to see them is the problem… it’s time for us all to stop believing the lies, and take our power back.

Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at fourteen found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. Then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are. If you’re tired of being at war with your body, then this book is for you.

With her inimitable flair, whip-smart wit and kickass attitude, Megan argues for a new way of seeing ourselves, and a world where every body is celebrated. Where there is no such thing as a ‘bikini body diet’ and 97% of women don’t hate the way they look. 

A powerful call to arms as much as it is inspirational and practical, this book is the life-changing answer you’ve been looking for.

Review:

This book is the first one I’ve read on body positivity and self love and I’m glad it is. It is a huge eye opener to the number 1 problem in the world. The one that mostly hits girls but the boys as well. The dieting problem! The I-Need-To-Lose-Weight problem!

Everything that you have believed about diets and everything that you thought you knew about dieting will probably fall in water. And by dieting, I mean the diets where you restrict yourself of the food(s). Did you know that the girls at the age of 8 start dieting and losing weight? Just because they are constantly bombarded with photos of the thin and photo-shopped bodies, bodies got only with working out and having an addiction to it, bodies that only 5% of people own.

Remember how often you have seen some ad where the person wasn’t thin and was perfect in any way possible. Not really that often, right?! It is not only weight but the hair, nails, eyes, skin.. Everything is attacking us and, yet, we asks ourselves why majority of people have body image issues. How often have you heard from your family members that you need to lose weight? As if your weight is the most important thing in the world and nothing else matters. I know that I’ve heard it more than enough to have body image issues with 25 years and that it is hard to get rid of them. Let’s also start from ourselves; how often have you acknowledged someone losing weight and how they look like before we acknowledged something else?

Do you really know what’s, or better said who’s, behind all those dieting programs? The multi billionaire companies ready to get your money from diet programs, pills, teas and so on.

Throughout the books, you will find the stats that support something that is written; which I find amazing. Also, all those Belly love tips! I loved those a lot because we are often attacking our belly as if it has done everything wrong in our life. Instead showing it love and care. Instead showing our whole body love and care that it deserves.

So, may 2018 be the year where you will fall in love with yourself. And read this book, find Megan on youtube and other social media (bodyposipanda on Instagram).

Rating: 5* out of 5

With love,

Ana

Review

Book tour & Review: Perfect match by Zoe May

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Title: Perfect match
Author: Zoe May
Genre: Chick lit, Romance
Pages: 252
Format: ebook
Publisher: HQ Digital

Can you ever find true love online?
Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…
After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.
Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?
A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!

Review:
I couldn’t really believe that this is a debut novel. It is surely very well written for a debut novel and all praise to Zoe for that. I could only hope that my debut novel can end up being great like this.

Although, I bet there are a lot of books written with a theme of online dating, this was my first one that I’ve ever read with this subject. Online dating is something almost completely normal in today’s world and society. People don’t have time to go out and meet other people. Others are just using it for sex. Others to just have fun and enjoy embarrassing people. That’s why, you have to be careful. As if you don’t need to be careful outside of online dating but you know what I mean.

Our main character, Sophia, has been doing online dating for a long time already (she has been to almost 80 dates!) but she has yet to meet her perfect guy. This is a very well written character and I really could’ve find myself in her. There were a lot of points where I was like “I feel you girl, I feel you”.

I enjoyed the way this book is written; it was funny, easy to read but yet it had depth. I’ve read somewhere that this is a perfect book for those who aren’t familiar with romance genre to read it. And I totally agree! The theme is modern and it has a nice strong message for all the women (and, of course, men) out there.

We often are looking for a perfect partner; height, weight, built, eye color, work place, money.. We are looking for that and while looking for that, we don’t realize that our perfect partner is actually standing in front of us or has been standing all this time. Someone who understands you and has been your friend maybe. Or someone you have just befriended? Ideal partner is there to be ideal but it is hard to find that ideal! And if we find one; if it sounds too good to be true, then it is.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in romance or maybe wants to try reading it for the first time. Amazingly written novel!

Rating: 4* out of 5

With love,
Ana

TBR

My TBR Wishlist for 2018

Hello!
Well, you might think “What in the hell is this title?” but let me explain it to you shortly. I wanted to set some reading goal for this year. Goal of the books that I want to read for sure this year. I hope that I will be able to read them all but let’s stay optimistic.

  1. The Power by Naomi Alderman
  2. How to be a woman by Caitlin Moran
  3. The power of now by Eckhart Tolle
  4. Lean in by Sheryl Sandburg
  5. Women who run with wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  6. Get Psychic!: Discover your hidden powers by Stacey Wolf
  7. Finish Throne of glass series by Sarah J. Maas
  8. Read more books by Jenny Colgan
  9. Read more LGBTQ+ books
As you may see, most of the books on this list are non fiction. I would love to read romance books, even more of those but I also want to read my non fiction books. I want to work on my spirituality and I feel like this year could be changing for my spiritual path. That’s why! Also, I want to read more on feminism.
Tell me about your reading goals or hopes for 2018.
With love,
Ana
Monthly wrap up

Best Books read in 2017

Hello everyone!

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! May this one be better than the last one and may this one rock. I hope you’ve spent awesome holidays with your families, friends or even alone if you were alone. Let me reflect shortly on the past year in my life. It has been a year of ups and downs for sure. I’ve turned 25 in March! I’m not should I celebrate it or not, but hey, let’s just put that fact down. I’ve went to an amazing kpop concert by my favorite kpop band B.A.P. Maybe you don’t know that about me, but I’m a kpop fan. It was in May and I traveled with my friend to Frankfurt. On our way back, we’ve met another fan and we are befriended with that girl until now. Talking about kpop, I started listening to an awesome band that I have never thought I will listen. Also, one friendship broke because I started to listen to that band. I have finished my school for a hairdresser in Germany (I’m originally from Croatia and it was my second school to finish). It was a big step for me and also a big thing for me. Finishing school in a foreign country while my family lives 1700km away from me. I have awesome family here and I had awesome support for the exam (support didn’t include my boss, sadly). Talking about my boss, last 2 months have been really mentally hard on me with her bullying me non stop and telling me how I won’t do an exam good cause I’m not good enough. But on 16th of July 2017 I showed her that I’m stronger and better than she thought I am. I also landed awesome job at the beginning of May (I think). A job where I can go with a smile on my face and am truly happy when I come to the office. The guys are so nice and accepting. I also had a loooooong holidays over the summer. Long meaning more than a month. In the summer, I also became an aunt for the 2nd time. This time to a cutest baby girl in the whole wide world (I may be biased). Also, I got a tickets for Harry Potter and Cursed Child in London (22nd Sept). Is anyone else there on this date? 😀 I started changing mentally as well, decided to work harder on my blog (which is my goal of 2018, but more about that in one of the next posts). All in all, this past year may have not be that good but it was good as well. I’m sure that 2018 will be much better year for me!
Since it is my first post of 2018, I wanted to make a list of the best books that I’ve read in 2017. I’ve read 27 books all together in the past year, all of them by female authors! My year started with “If I was your girl” by Meredith Russo and ended with “Christmas at the dancing duck” by Daisy James.

Top books read in 2017:
– Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (review coming in this year)
– Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo (thank you Dora for pushing me to read this one)
– War Cross by Marie Lu
– The book of life by Deborah Harkness
– Celebrity by Melinda de Ross

The books are in no particular order (aside maybe number 1). Those were awesome books that I’ve read in the last year. Let’s see how will 2018 go. I have to set myself some goals soon but one of the posts will be about it only.

Till the next time,
Ana

Review

Book tour & review: Christmas at the Dancing Duck by Daisy James

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Title: Christmas at the Dancing Duck
Auhor: Daisy James
Genre: Chick lit, Romance, Christmas
Pages: 337 
Format: ebook
Publisher: HQ Digital

A wonderfully festive romantic read to curl up with this Christmas.
The most wonderful time of the year!

Kirstie Harrison is finally coming home for the holidays. Ever since tragedy struck a few years ago, Christmas hasn’t felt the same – but she’s determined that this year will be different…
And staying at the family pub, The Dancing Duck, means it’s impossible not to get caught up in the little village of Cranbury’s festive traditions. And it’s equally impossible to avoid her ex, Josh Turner!
Kirstie is torn between making this the best Christmas yet and knowing that she can’t stay forever. Maybe it’s time to make a holiday wish of her own…?
Perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Debbie Johnson and Cathy Bramley.

Review:
Some people really hate Christmas and everything about it; from how people to act to the smells associated with Christmas. Kirstie is one of those people. But when her hate ruins her career what should she do then?

I have to admit that when I started reading the book, I wasn’t that sure will I like it or not. I was slightly annoyed by Kirstie and how is she acting. She was grieving and was in pain because of what has happened. But to me, she sounded like a whiny girl. But throughout the book, I started to love her. She had her moments where she annoyed me but they were less than in the beginning.

The Dancing Duck seems like a sort of a pub that I would like to visit; it is homey and welcoming and they seem to have a nice drinks. It is that sort of a pub that a small village has and everyone just gathers there to drink and chat. My grandma is coming from a small island and they also have a bar like that. In the evenings, everyone gathers there to talk. But that is happening in the summer since there is almost no one living there in the winter.

Josh as a main guy was sadly a bit plain. I wanted to see and hear more of him. For me, he wasn’t in the book enough. He was hurt by Kirstie and it is understandable that he is mad at her. But their love-comeback was a bit too quick. I wish that we have heard more of his side and how was he feeling through the time and how was he feeling as she was going out with the other guy.

I loved everything they did with The Dancing Duck at the end; all of those festivities and contests that were held there. And all the festive food! It was amazing how community can make a lot of things different. Thankfully, the pub was saved in the end by one boring painting (or so at least everyone thought).

I loved the character of Emma! I loved her so much! Her energy and her persona was amazing. She seems to be sort of a care-free spirit/person and it pulled me towards her. And I wish to see her jewelry collection and what is she making. She seems to be a great friend to Kirstie as well which is we all need when we are going through the shit.

All in all, I loved this story. It wasn’t my favorite but it wasn’t the complete fail either. The setting was amazing, the way story worked was really good. The village community is the bomb! 🙂 Food? Have I talked about the food made by that french chef? Where does he live so that I can visit him and eat that delicious food that he is making?!

Thanks to HQ Digital for this blog tour and a chance to review this wonderful book.

Rating: 4*out of 5

Please, make sure to check out other reviews on this blog tour:
Dancing Duck blog tour

With love,

Ana

Review

Blog tour & Review: Christmas at the Gin Shack by Catherine Miller

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Title: Christmas at the Gin Shack
Author: Catherine Miller
Genre: Women’s Fiction, (CHRISTMAS)
Pages: 384
Format: pdf (in my case)
Publisher: HQ Digital

Gingle bells, gingle bells, gingle all the way…
Olive Turner might have lived through eighty-four Christmases, but she’ll never get bored of her favourite time of year. And this one’s set to be extra-special. It’s the Gin Shack’s first Christmas – and there’s a gin-themed weekend and a cocktail competition on the cards!
But, beneath the dazzle of fairy lights and the delicious scent of mince-pies, Olive smells a rat. From trespassers in her beloved beach hut to a very unfunny joke played on her friends, it seems that someone is missing a dose of good cheer.
Olive knows she’s getting on a bit – but is she really imagining that someone in the little seaside town is out to steal Christmas? More importantly, can she create the perfect gin cocktail before Christmas Eve – in time to save the day?

Thanks to HQ Digital for giving me opportunity to review.

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At the beginning, I have to say that I really loved this book! I didn’t really know what to expect from it since I’ve never really heard about the author or this book but the synopsis sounded interesting so I decided to read it and see for myself. It is Christmas themed and I’m in the mood to read Christmas related books. Come on, I already want to decorate my apartment for Christmas. But it is too early (15 days more and then I can do it).

I was surprised by the age of the main character. I have never read a book where the character is 84 years old and I liked it. I loved how much she enjoyed doing all of those things for Gin Shack and being a mischief with sneaking out. But at some moments, she was really like a grandma you would know. Sadly, I didn’t grow up being close to either of my grandmas; I was living too far away and one of them wasn’t really a nice person. Sometimes as a kid, I wished I had a grandma close.

I loved the whole idea with the Gin Shack on the beach and the Gingle Bells weekend. I must say that book wasn’t all soft and cute the whole time. There were few moments where it got deep and problems occurred. At one moment, I got reminded that life could be shorter than we think it is and that we should cherish every single moment of it.

I didn’t know that this book was a sequel so I have to say that this book CAN BE read as a stand alone perfectly and without any fear that the reader won’t be able to grasp what’s happening. Maybe it is a bit hard to get a grasp of the bond between the community, but to me, it wasn’t any big of a deal.

The Oakley Trio is hilarious and I could just hope to have friend circle like this when I’m their age! It was really nice to read about their adventures and see what their mindsets are. I mean, when you read about Veronica, you would think that she is around 30 or something. We don’t really know how old Veronica is but she must be somewhere close to Olive’s age since they both live in Retirement home.

Gin cocktails!!! GIN COCKTAILS!!! I have never really drank gin (or at least I think so) but I would love to try some of those cocktails for sure. Thankfully, we have some of the recipes at the end of the book so if someone feels like trying out, it is possible. Maybe one day if I feel brave enough, I will try making one of them.

Once again, thanks to HQ Digital for providing me with the book for an honest opinion and review.

Rating: 4* out of 5

Greetings,
Ana