Friday, July 31, 2020

State of the ARC #26

State of the ARC is a monthly feature hosted by Evelina at Avalinah's Books
I am temporarily hosting until she is able to get back into it. So, until then, thanks for joining me here! If you are new to the meme, you can check out the guidelines HERE.

Links go to my review. The majority of the ARCs I receive are through NetGalley. Some have come from publicists, or were offered to me from a publisher who specifically approved me for it on NetGalley; I will always note in the review how I acquired the ARC.


Reading Now

45046797 45046716 4912849651542229 The Lost Pianos of Siberia 51352065 53084465. sx318 sy475 52756711. sx318 sy475 Enchanted New York: A Walk Along Broadway Through Manhattan's Magical Past

Author/Publisher Gift


Did Not Finish


Author/Publisher Gift


Finished, Review to Come

52754197. sx318 sy475 48647491 52437134
48894047 41564826 43561506
52880216. sx318 sy475 50765199. sx318 sy475 48836876

Author/Publisher Gift
48910903. sy475


Review or Feedback Sent

52578667 51149079. sx318 sy475 53136920. sx318 sy475

Author/Publisher Gift
42190005 48590071


When I first started blogging my monthly State of the ARC I felt like I was drowning in ARCs. My main goal was to get my NetGalley feedback ratio above 80% and thanks to this meme, I slowly but surely clawed my way up. At my highest I was at 97%. I am currently at 88%.

How are you doing with your ARC goals? Let's talk ARCs!

Happy Reading

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

NetGalley ARC | Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins

53136920. sx318 sy475

I received a free digital ARC from the publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book would definitely best be enjoyed as a giant coffee table book, where you can peruse at your own discretion, even jumping around from one topic to another if you would like. You can of course also read it straight through, it is not as though it is a drag. I just have a soft spot in my heart for books that are meant to be perfectly lovely and large and demand attention. This book is one of those. It also happens to be the guide that was to accompany the Mesopotamia exhibit on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum that was to run from mid-March through July 27th. The pieces were on loan from the Louvre, though I have not yet looked up whether the exhibition will be extended, or not due to COVID-19 storming on up in here and ruining everyone's year.

Mesopotamia was home to easily some of the greatest civilizations ever - namely Babylon and Ninevah. Though they, and many others, have long since vanished from our world, we never stop wondering about them, never stop looking for them, never stop imagining what it would have been like to live there, in that time. Archaeologists continue searching for whatever lost pieces of these mighty civilizations they can find, and as a result we end up with amazing collections. Though, truly, the collections should be returned to the places they came from. But that is a whole different conversation, meant for a different kind of book. This simply could have been a beautiful catalog of amazing objects that have survived for thousands of years. The problem is, the idea of French colonialism is never actually addressed, yet the archaeologists who discovered and stole these priceless artifacts to begin are presented as some kind of saviors and that does not sit well with me. You can not present one side of the story, but not the other. Just think of how many artifacts were lost in those years where pretty much anyone could be an archaeologist and go tramping around wherever they pleased, digging up what they wanted, taking what they found most valuable, and throwing away things they thought they didn't need. So much history has been lost by simple incompetence and arrogance. It makes me sick.

The book begins with those very first civilizations, and onto a fair amount of what it was like at the time Alexander the Great showed up. There exists here such a variety of objects that tell so many stories, and I am insanely jealous that the Louvre has such a stunning collection. Everything you could possibly imagine is showcased here - seals, jewelry, and of course the cuneiform tablets that fascinated me endlessly as a child. Though, to be fair, I can still stare at them for a good long minute as an adult.

In addition to beautiful photos, there are several essays on a wide range of topics - history, religion, economy, and yes, cuneiform writing, plus so much more. I appreciated the attention to detail given in the essays, while also being concise and realizing that the reader was likely just as much here for the photos as the essays. Again, addressing the  theft of these artifacts and objects would have been a great idea, but you will find no such thing within these pages.

The photos are absolutely stunning and as a reminder, this book is 100% meant to be a physical book - digital did it no justice. Seeing as how I will not be able to visit the Getty any time soon, and the Louvre is a ways off until Eleanor is older (fun fact: the only known object still in existence that belonged to Eleanor of Aquitaine is there so yes, we are going to France in the future to see one item and one alone: the Eleanor rock crystal vase. I know I will cry and I won't even be embarrassed.)

The book is well-designed, the layout is perfect, and it serves it purpose well. Recommended, as long as you remember that archaeologists stole massive amounts of priceless treasures that did not belong to them, and colonialism is a bad, bad thing.

Tackling the TBR Week 28: July 22 - July 31, 2020

My TBR has been out of control for YEARS. Then in January of 2019 I started tracking weekly my true reading/acquiring habits, and voila! I have been able to keep on top of things a little bit better. I may never get below 1,000 books, but at least I won't be topping out over 5,000! When a book cover is linked, it goes to the review here on my blog.

I will be posting on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and the last day of the month. Feel free to join in if you'd like!

If a book is linked in the 'Books Read' section, you can click the cover to go to my review.


Previous Week's TBR Total: 3,118

Currently Reading

51542229 The Lost Pianos of Siberia 49128496 45046797

 45046716  52756711. sx318 sy475 53084465. sx318 sy475 51352065Enchanted New York: A Walk Along Broadway Through Manhattan's Magical Past 36236137 Texas Ranger456816596033525. sy475


Books Added to TBR

28815372 Mrs. Earp: The Wives and Lovers of the Earp Brothers 29939200 39863233 2227923 51243325. sx318 sy475 1488909. sx318 30037870. sy475 9587101. sx318  36285129. sy475  Texas Ranger 36849799 White Too Long - Jones, Robert P. 8343159 45732946

Books Removed from TBR: 0 

Books Read

1132808 28815372 Mrs. Earp: The Wives and Lovers of the Earp Brothers 9587101. sx318 30037870. sy475 36285129. sy475 Stamped From the Beginning 36849799 

Books DNF-ed

Duplicates Removed: 0

New TBR Total: 3,123

My numbers increased this week, but I don't even mind. It is due to the slew of books I was directed to that were free from Cambridge University Press through July 12th. So many great and important reads, and a couple even on my TBR already.

Any of these catch your eye? Have you already read any? Let me know!

Happy Reading!