Non-Bookish Reflections on 2015

And now for something completely different! I was just thinking that I really want to get to know you, book bloggers, outside of your book choices.

Obviously, I love hearing about what everyone is reading, but I thought it might be nice to get to know each other outside of the literary world as well. So I figured I might present some of my favorite things and moments of 2015. I’d love to hear yours too!

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End of Year Survey

 

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Happy New Year’s Eve Eve, book bloggers! I have spent the last few days reading, relaxing and slowly chipping away at this End of Year Book Survey that was created by the Perpetual Page Turner. It’s a long one, but it was also a great opportunity for me to reflect on what I read and enjoyed this year, as well as what I want to accomplish next year. Take a look!

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Book Tag: ‘Tis the Season

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ITS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! I am a huge Christmas fan. I love everything about the season: the weather, the music, the presents, and the ugly Christmas sweaters! What better way to celebrate the holidays that with a book tag!?

I was tagged in this one by Analee @ Book Snacks, Emily @ The Little Book Affair, and Calliope @ Calliope the Book Goddess. They all have amazing blogs so you definitely check them out asap! Thank you all for tagging me.

Let’s do it!

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Cover Love: Favorite and Least Favorite Book Covers of 2015

 

Happy Sunday! Here is something a little different today. I was looking at My Year in Books thing on Goodreads, and I noticed how many beautiful covers were on my list! I’m a sucker for a beautiful book cover, and I decided to make a list of my favorite covers from book I read this year! And, of course, I had to include my three least favorite covers of the year too. Spoiler: The Diviners made both list.

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It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History

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It Ended Badly: 13 of the Worst Breakups in History

★★★★


 

This was a different kind of book for me! I don’t generally read a lot of nonfiction, even though I’m always saying I want to read more.

But then I read this interview with Jennifer Wright, and I just knew I had to check it out. I love history and I love hearing about other people’s drama. Plus the book starts with two quotes – one from Buddha and one from Taylor Swift (two of our greatest philosophers). I knew I was gonna like it.

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As the title suggests, this book covers thirteen of the most terrible, violent, heart-wrenching and just bizarre breakups in world history. And, boy, are there some doozies. You will never feel bad about drunk texting you ex again — at least you didn’t send him a bloody lock of pubic hair (seriously)! Starting in 55 AD with continuing through the late 20th Century, Wright captures the full spectrum of failed relationships and the often crazy circumstances created by them.

This book has the potential to be major bummer. The stories are all about people losing love, often with an extra dose of murder, adultery, and even one life-size sex doll. But Wright makes the smart decision to write about the breakups in a delightfully snarky and hilarious way. She understands and celebrates the ridiculousness of the stories without taking away from the historical details. Her enthusiasm for the historical figures is infectious – you can tell she’s a true history nerd who would be a total asset to any trivia night team.

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I am not a historical expert (can you tell?) but this book seemed really well-researched to me. The bibliography is extensive, especially for a book that’s only around 250 pages. It has a lot of great links and resources for people who want to learn more about the historical figures mentioned (I definitely did).

Wright also makes an effort to include some helpful life lessons from each breakup, like learning to be happy on your own and knowing that it’s always okay to leave a bad relationship. While none of them are particularly revolutionary, I appreciate that Wright found common themes between breakups from centuries ago to our romantic entanglements today.

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This is a fun read for anyone interested in some of the most significant and outlandish relationships in history. I think it would also make a great gift for any friend you have going through a bad breakup who could use a healthy dose of perspective. Definitely one of the most memorable books I read this year!


 

The full list of breakups covered in this collection are:

  1. Nero and Poppaea
  2. Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II (Eleanor is my new favorite historical figure, btw)
  3. Lucrezia Borgia and Giovanni Sforza
  4. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard
  5. Anna Ivanovna
  6. Timothy Dexter
  7. Caroline Lamb and Lord Byron (the aforementioned pubic hair incident)
  8. John Ruskin and Effie Gray
  9. Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas
  10. Edith Wharton and Morton Fullerton
  11. Oskar Kokoschka and Alma Mahler
  12. Norman Mailer and Adele Morales Mailer
  13. Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor

 

Other cool related sources:

It Ended Badly –  Official Website

A Love too Big to Last – Vanity Fair article on Liz Taylor and Richard Burton

14 Series You Should Watch After Getting Dumped – Buzzfeed

I made a Twitter!

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Conveniently found this on Google Images

HI EVERYONE!

I have been missing in action in a very big way the last two weeks. I have been swamped with work, family, friends, and life in general. I have missed out on so many quality posts from my favorite book bloggers, and I have a lot of catching up to do!

But, due to popular demand (and by that I mean Jordyn said I should), I have made a Marwhal Reads Twitter! I have creatively chosen the handle @marwhalreads.

Please follow me and let me know your usernames so I can follow you back! I am so new to Twitter, and I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m excited to figure out!

Sometimes it just feels like such a big time commitment to really settle in to write a quality blog post, and I’m hoping that Twitter will be a way for me to keep in touch with y’all on a more casual and frequent basis. Plus, I hope it gives me a chance to get to know some of your “in real life” thoughts, feelings and hobbies.

Let’s be Twitter friends! Teach me the ways of the Twitterverse. 🙂