Blog Archives

I Spy Book Challenge

I saw this over on Kat Impossible awhile back and it looked fun. I needed a fun tag to do while I finish up my book so I figured I would give this a shot. It was originally created by Kristin @Kristin Kraves Books.

Rules: Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category. You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes!

( I really did try to do it in five minutes but failed. It took me about 10, mostly because my shelves are all spread out over my apartment so going between them took time!)


1. Food – Seventh Plague by Jams Rollins – There is a bee on the cover and they make honey which can be food. (I might have stretched that one a bit!)
2. Transportation – The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson – Remembered this book from when I was a teen, loved it then. Need to reread it.
3. Weapon – Game of Thrones by George RR Martin – Knife on cover, pretty simple
4. Animal – Littlest Uninvited One by Charles Tazewell- Didn’t even have to think about this one.
5. Number  – Three Days to Never by Tim Powers


6. Something You Read – Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – The cover is made to look like a book cover on a book cover!
7. Body of Water – Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen – Saw the word water and went with it.
8. Product of Fire- Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine
9. Royalty – The Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming  (I bought this book because it mentioned Ohio and anything about my state interests me).
10. Architecture  – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – The castle is on it. (I had a rough time with this one, it ate a lot of my time.)


11. Clothing Item – A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Kell’s coat is a prominent element of the cover and the book!
12. Family member – The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater  – Those boys are all brothers so I went with it.
13. Time of Day – Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
14. Music – This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab – Double on this one, song in the title plus an instrument on the cover!
15. Paranormal being – A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin


16. Occupation – The Book Jumper Mechthild Glaser – It is their job to jump into books.
17. Season – Winter by Marissa Meyer
18. Color – More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera- I may have used a lot of interpretation for this one but the cover is full of color so I am counting it.
19. Celestial Body – The Timeships by Stephen Baxter – Time hopping space ships!
20. Something that grows – Lord the Flies by William Golding – Has plants on the cover. Another tough one for some reason.

This was fun though I may have done a little more interpreting than intended but still fun. I tag anyone who is in the mood to challenge themselves!

July Wrap Up

This month started out at a normal pace and then somehow sped up at lightening speed. The last two weeks flew by and I have no idea why. I didn’t have much going on. In any case I ended up reading 4 books this month. I am still 9 books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads challenge. As long as I stay ahead of schedule I am happy.

I was pretty good about book buying this month, only bought two. I am trying really hard to save money for the books that are coming out over the next few months and not fall into a book buying hole. I have plenty on my shelves right now.

As for writing that was kind of on pause for the month. Again I am not sure why but I wasn’t very motivated. I felt busier and more tired then I was. I did manage to write a short story that I am proud of. I am currently typing it up then going to edit it. I plan on spending some of August going through an outline of a novel I want to work on. Though August isn’t going to have a lot of extra time available so we shall see.

Books I read:


Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly – This was fascinating and prompted me to want o read more about little known historical figures.

Darkest Warrior – Gena Showalter – This was not my favorite. I don’t quite understand some of the choices made. I finished it because I do enjoy the series and hope the rest of the series is better.

Smoke and Iron  – Rachel Caine – I really enjoyed this installment in the series. It set up a lot and I can’t wait to see how the whole series ends.

Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman – I loved this. I learned so much about these myths and I also am eager to reread a series I loved from when I was a teenager to see how things compare.

Posts Written;
Running with Lions – Julian Winters – Review
Beneath the Sugar Sky – Seanan McGuire – Review
Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly – Review
Hogwarts Tag 
The Darkest Warrior – Gena Showalter – Review
Down the TBR Hole #7 
Book Blogger Insider Tag
Top 7 Harry Potter Characters  (I am just now seeing that this post is a mess for some reason. I will be fixing it so the it doesn’t look so all over the place.)
Smoke and Iron – Rachel Caine – Review
Book Blogger Memory Challenge 

Note about posts: I have caught up on my back log of reviews which means I will be doing some other type of posts, such as tags and about writing, more frequently. I am always reading I just am not the fastest reader so I will have to balance things a bit.

Books Bought:

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I only bought two books this month and that is because the special 20th anniversary edition Harry Potter books with cool covers came out. I can’t afford to buy the entire series so I bought my two favorites, Prisoner of Azkaban and Half-Blood Prince.

Currently Reading:

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I haven’t reread any of the books in a little while. I love the way this one looks at Voldemort’s history. I wanted a comfortable and welcoming read for a bit.

Movies Seen:

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Went to see Incredibles 2 with my dad and brothers. It was my dad’s first movie in like 15 years. It was really good. Had an interesting message about technology and screens and was just fun. I highly enjoyed it.

Favorite thing of the month:

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In a small town in my city there is a Harry Potter festival. They have done it for 3 years and this year was the best year yet. I bought way too many things but had a lot of fun as always. Best way to end the month!

What was your month of July like? What were some of your favorite books you read? Favorite movies? Favorite moments of July?

May Wrap-Up

I feel like May flew by. I think this was definitely the fastest month of this year. I don’t know if that is because I have a big work event next month or because of the weather change but either way I feel like May just went by in a blur.

I only read three books this month but with how busy I was, that is pretty good. I am still 5 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge so that makes me feel good. The book I am currently reading is a 500 pages so I knew it would slow down my progress.

As for writing I am proud of my work this month. I kept up a decent blogging schedule even though I am getting low on books that I need to review. I also have been working hard on a few short stories for a contest in the first week of June. I think I am getting into a good routine now that my work life has evened out a bit.

Books Read:

Leah and the Offbeat– Becky Albertalli – While I enjoyed this story I didn’t love it as much as I loved Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda. I thought it lacked the magic of the other book but was still a sweet read.

Feral Youth – Shaun David Hutchinson ( and nine other authors) – I was surprised how much I enjoyed this one. While it was simple it had a strong message. I liked the storytelling element.

Dread Nation – Justina Ireland- This one was so much fun. A twist on zombies that was fresh. I have no idea how I am going to wait until the next book.

Blog Posts
A Monster Calls – Review – Patrick Ness
How I See Myself as a Fictional Character Tag
Scythe – Neal Shusterman – Review
Leah and the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli – Review
Thunderhead – Neal Shuserman – Review
Feral Youth – Shaun David Hutchinson (and nine other authors) – Review
Down the TBR Hole #5
Dread Nation – Justina Ireland- Review
This is My Genre Book Tag

Movies Seen:
I actually saw two movies this month which is rare for me. I usually only see movies if I am really interested in them. I mostly wait until they are out on video because the movie theater is expensive!


Ready Player One – I loved the book of this movie. I will say the movie was good but I prefer the book. There was a lot of changes but I don’t think the story lost anything. It was fun but not my favorite.

Avengers: Infinity War – This movie was a serious ride. I loved all the characters coming together. I haven’t seen all the Marvel movies so I wasn’t completely sure what parts of the story were about but it was still fun to watch. It also left me desperately wanting the next movie.

TV Shows:

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The Handmaids Tale – I love this show. I am two episodes behind but I am just enthralled by it. It is terrifying yet fascinating at the same time. I am interested to see where it goes now that this season has gone past the book.

What was your May like? Did it seem to fly by for you as well? What were your favorite books, movie and tv shows?

Down the TBR Hole #5

Been a minute since we went through my TBR shelf.  I first saw this tag on on Howling Libraries  It was originally created by Lost in a Story and seems like a good way to go through some of my TBR on Goodreads and see what is there and what I can get rid of or push me to start reading. 
Links will be  on the titles for the books Goodreads page. (I am going to do ten for this round of this tag).

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!

Current TBR – 250

Chimera – John Barth 
I have this one on my shelf. I like the idea of telling different myths. I am currently in a myth mood so maybe I’ll pick this one up soon.
Decision: Keep

Legend- David Lynn Golemon
This is another one of those thrillers with a twist to history. I like the idea and I get into the moods for these stories at least once a year.
Decision: Keep

Cyptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
I tried to read this book years ago. I still have it but I remember only being able to get through about 50 pages. I remember it being hard to read and not holding my attention. I still own it but I don’t think it is one I will ever get back too.
Decision: Remove

I Am Number Four – Pittacus Lore
I liked the idea of the story but I have heard some not great things about the author. I don’t have a desire to read anything by him.
Decision: Remove

Turning Angel – Greg Iles
I have zero memory of this book. After reading the summary it just sounds generic murder mystery. Doesn’t hold any interest for me.
Decision: Remove


The Absolute Sandman, Volume One – Neil Gaiman
I have read the first issue of this comic. I enjoyed it. I just haven’t gotten around to getting anymore of them. I will finish it though because I have heard such great things about it.
Decision: Keep

Unwind – Neal Shusterman
I just finished Scythe by Neal Shusterman and I loved it. I am interested in this series more now.
Decision: Keep

Wither – Lauren DeStefano
This kind of sounds interesting but it didn’t stand out that much. I don’t know if would ever actually pick this one up.
Decision: Remove

The Forest of Hands and Teeth – Carrie Ryan
This summary reminded me of the movie The Village. I know that ending was terrible and I can’t get those vibes out of my head.
Decision: Remove

Delirium – Lauren Oliver
A world where love is outlawed? Sounds interesting.
Decision: Keep

Kept: 5
Removed: 5
Current TBR Count – 245

April Wrap Up

April was a decent month for me. I read give books and a short story. I also made some progress on a short story I am working on. I want to push myself writing more in the month of May.

April was a super busy time at work for me, we have three huge events between April and the first week of May so I have been coming home quite tired and with no drive to do much but relax. After the first week of May though work life should calm a little which will allow me to have more energy to do more work when I come home.

I am still 5 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge which is exciting. I am currently at 18 books read for the year. I also went only a small book buying binge this month.

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Books Read:

The Raven King –  Maggie Stiefvater- This was the final book in the Raven Cycle series and I enjoyed it. I found the ending a bit odd and vague which left me a bit indifferent to it. I did enjoy the way the character wrapped up but the story itself left me feeling a bit up in the air.

Opal – Maggie Stiefvater – This was a short story about Opal. I enjoyed this one a lot. I think it provided some answers I was missing form The Raven King. I also really enjoyed the deeper look at Ronan and provided a bit of an idea of what his series is going to look like.

Origin – Dan Brown – I had high hopes for this one. In the end it let me down in a lot of ways. I missed the ties to the historical aspects of his previous novels. I also missed the sense of adventure and the ‘”twist” at the end was predictable.

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness – This was a somber read. I liked it and thought the way it deal with a very heavy subject was great. I think it gave real humanity to situation that can feel so uncontrollable.

Scythe – Neil Shusterman – This was so much fun to read. I loved the concept of the reapers and exploring what it truly means to be immortal. I also loved the look at the moral dilemma of taking lives and what that means for the people who have to do it.

Thunderhead – Neil Shusterman – This was a ride of a book. That ending left me dying to know what happens next. I don’t know how I am going to be able to wait until the last book gets published!

Blog Posts:

Love Simon – Movie Review
Reading Helped Shape Who I am
Down the TBR Hole #4
Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater
Origin – Dan Brown
The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater
Book tag: How deep is your book addiction?
How Well Does Goodreads Know Me? 

 

Books Bought:

Leah and the Offbeat – Becky Albertelli – This is a sort of sequel to Simon and The Homo-Sapiens Agenda and I am super excited to read it.

Dread Nation– Justine Ireland – I have been hearing fantastic things about this one and I am eager to see how it holds up to the reviews and recommendations I have read.

Circe – Madeline Miller – I am a sucker for anything related to mythology. I think is going to be a fun and different read.

Game:
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“Hogwarts Mystery” – I downloaded this on my phone and have been playing it off and on all week. It is fun though I do see it starting to get a bit repetitive. I am interested though where the story goes. It is one that requires “energy” to do things so  you have to wait for it to recharge before you can continue with the game. This is a great feature for me because it forces me to put the phone down and accomplish something while waiting.

How was your April? Any new books you recommend? New TV show? New movies? New games?

Down the TBR Hole #4

Time for the fourth look through my TBR shelf! Isaw this tag on on Howling Libraries  It was originally created by Lost in a Story and seems like a good way to go through some of my TBR on Goodreads and see what is there and what I can get rid of or push me to start reading. 
Links will be  on the titles for the books Goodreads page. (I am going to do ten for this round of this tag).

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next time!

Current TBR – 252

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Timescape – Gregory Benfrod
I don’t remember where this one came from. I think this may be another book that was my dad’s. It seems like an interesting concept.
Decision: Keep

A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
This is one of those books I have always wanted to read. I know I have it on my physical shelf so I will get to it before the summer for sure!
Decision: Keep 

The Tomb of Hercules – Andy McDermott
I bought this one a long time ago. I love this adventure stories where they are looking for some object that is from legends. This still sounds interesting so I will remember it.
Decisions: Keep

Prodigal Son – Dean Koontz
I heard about this a while back. I have also read a lot of mixed reviews about this one. I haven’t found myself ever thinking about it recently so I am just going to take all of them off the list.
Decision: Remove

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Iron Angel – Alan Campell
I have this one on my physical shelves as well. I keep seeing it and the summary is interesting. I like the idea of the angels and demons.
Decision: Keep 

Emperor (Time’s Tapestry #1) – Stephen Baxter
I have zero recollection of this one. Plot seems basic and not all that interesting.
Decision: Remove

Map of Bones and Black Order – James Rollins
I put these together because they are the same series and same author. I adore James Rollins Sigma Force series. There are the first two. I started the series part way through, for whatever reason. So one day I will go back and read these.
Decision: Keep 

Fear Nothing – Dean Koontz
Again a book I know I own. Though the plot doesn’t sound interesting anymore. I’ll have to take it off my regular shelf too (more room for other books!)
Decision: Remove

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The Last Templar – Raymond Khoury
I believe my mom read this and highly recommended it. I still like the adventure plot line.
Decision: Keep

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
I have meant to read this for ages. I have tried countless times. I just don’t think it is ever going to happen.
Decision: Remove

Removed: 4
Kept: 6
Current TBR – 244 (this number doesn’t quite reflect the above numbers because I removed all the Frankenstein series books, I had a few of the series listed)

 

 

 

The 20 Questions Book Tag

I saw this on Destiny @ Howling Libraries and thought it was a fun tag to try. I also thought it was time for another tag.

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  1. How many books are too many books in a series?

I don’t know if there is a magic number of too many books.  I think it all depends on           the series. Some series need more books while others could wrap things up in two to three books. I am currently reading a series that is at 12 books right now and will end up being at least 15.

Though I will say that what does annoy me is if the series doesn’t get finished. I don’t care the number of books, I just want the series to be finished. Leaving me hanging, (cough GRRM cough), drives me crazy

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I love a good cliffhanger. I love to wonder and anticipate the next book or story. It does drive me crazy when it is a long wait but I usually can manage. Though if things are left on a cliffhanger and I never get a hint at a resolution, that doesn’t make me too happy.

3.   Hardcopy or Paperback

Paperbacks are easier to travel with and easier to find a place on my shelf for. They are also easier to read in bed, when I can bend back the spine. Though I do own a lot of hardbacks because I usually can’t wait for the paperback to come for most of the series I am reading.

 

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4 .    Favorite Book

This is a difficult yet easy one at the same time. My all time favorite book is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The way it just drives the whole Harry Potter series will always enthrall me. But I also love a number of other books as well. The list could go on and one but some of my all time favorites are, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, We are the ants by Shaun David Hutchinson, Night Circus by Erin Morgernstern, The Giver by Louis Lowry, and Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli to name a few.

5. Least Favorite Book

This one is difficult because books I don’t like I tend to not think about. I would have to say I didn’t particularly like Mockingjay because I felt like it didn’t wrap up the Hunger Games story very well. I also really didn’t like the Maze Runner series. I felt like that series never went anywhere and we never got any answers to any questions in the series

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I also am not a huge fan of classic books and one of my least favorite is Pride and Prejudice. Which I know will hurt many but it didn’t hit any cord with me and just left me bored.

 

 

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6. Love Triangles Yes or No

Yes, if they are done right. Love triangles can be interesting, they can be full of fun drama. Or they can be cliche and annoying. I haven’t read a ton of books with love triangles but The  Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare did a love triangle really well.

7. The most recent book you couldn’t finish

I honestly can’t remember. I have been in a pretty good reading run right now. Though I will say I read a book of short stories called Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang and that was slow going.

173473898. A book you are currently reading

I am reading Dream Thieves (Book 2 in The Raven Cycle) by Maggie Stiefvater and I am loving it.

 

 

9. Last book you recommended to someone

I can’t remember, really. I am sure I have recommended something but nothing is coming to mind.

10. Oldest book you’ve read

I mean if we are going to go far back I have read portions of the Bible. Though if we don’t count that then probably Beowulf.

11. Newest book you’ve read

35297386 I just finished, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson which was published  in February.

12. Favorite Author

I have a number of these. There is of course, J.K. Rowling but I also love Victoria Schwab, Adam Silver, Shaun David Hutchinson, Gena Showalter, Joe Hill, and David Levithan.

13. Buying book or borrowing books

I buy all my books, but that is only because I don’t like to read on a deadline. Having a return date looming over me is daunting. I also love to be surrounded by by bookshelves. Though I will say I adore libraries. They are some of the most important things we have as a society and they need to be preserved at all costs!

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to like

51aqyzJkv1L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_I recently finished The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I have heard so many great things about it but I didn’t end up loving it like I thought I would. It was decent but most of the story itself pissed me off. I liked the dog POV but that wasn’t prominent enough for me to fall in love with the book like so many others seemed to have.

15. Bookmarks or dog ears

I know this answers is going to annoy a lot of people but I dog ear all my books. I have tried to use bookmarks but I ALWAYS lose them between books. For some unknown reason I cannot keep them for more than two books.
I dog ear pages I like and where I left off. I think it gives my book a well read look and feel. I know it hurts the pages but I only do the corner. I never do it for a borrowed book but for my books I do every time.

16. A book you can always re-read

Harry Potter series as a whole. As well as all the books I listed as my favorites above.

17. Can you read while listening to music

Yes, I actually do most of my work while listening to music. Music helps me not to get distracted. If it is too quiet my brain starts going into overdrive and I can’t concentrate. Music helps keep me focused.

18.One POv or Multiple POVs

Either. I have read books with one POV which were great and I have read books with multiple POVS which were awesome as well. The trick with multiple POVS is to make sure to keep them all unique and separate. As long as they don’t start to sound like each other, I am all for it.

19.Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

I think the last three Harry Potter books are a few of the books that I have read all in one sitting. I don’t usually have the time or concentration to read all one one sitting. Plus I feel like if I read it that fast I am rushing the story. I want to savor a story so I try to read it over a period of time.

20. A book you read because of the cover

179192I can’t think of a recent book that I read for the cover only. I think the last one I can remember was The Watch by Dennis Danvers. The bright green caught my eye right away. I do remember loving it so I think it may be time for a re-read of that one!

I am not going to tag anyone. If yo u enjoy tags this one is easy and fun!

Down the TBR Hole

I saw this tag on on Howling Libraries and it looked like fun. It was originally created by Lost in a Story and seems like a good way to go through some of my TBR on Goodreads and see what is there and what I can get rid of or push me to start reading. 
Links will be  on the titles for the books Goodreads page. (I am going to do ten for this round of this tag).

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 or 15 or 20, if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
  • Keep track of where you left off so you can pick up there next week!

Current “to-read” shelf: 251

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What Color is Your Parachute? 2014: A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changes
– Richard N. Bolles – Date Added September 12, 2013

I added this when I was job hunting. It was suggested to be me by someone who was helping me network. I now have a job that I love and do not plan on changing anytime soon.

Decision: Remove

Gone (Gone #1) – Michael Grant – Date Added: August 22nd, 2013

I don’t remember adding this one but it sounds interesting. Adults are gone and so is every modern convince. Almost sounds like a modern day version of Lord of the Flies. Synopsis still intrigues me so I’ll let it hang out for a bit.

Decision: Keep 

Beauty Awakened (Angels of the Dark, #2) – Gena Showalter – Date added: August 22nd, 2013

I love Gena Showalter’s Lord of the Underworld series. This one is sort of connected by the angels they work with. I think I will go back to this series once the Lords series finishes this year.

Decision: Keep

The Time Machine – H.G. Wells – Date added: August 22nd, 2013

I have every intention of reading this one. It is one of the few “classic” books that I am eager to read, I just keep getting distracted by more recent published books.

Decision: Keep

 

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Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) – Orson Scott Card – Date added: August 22nd, 2013

Another one I do have every intention of reading. I have good things about it and I do own it, so one day I will start this series. Just not sure when that will be exactly.

Decision: Keep

The Boy Who Could See Demons – Carolyn Jess-Cooke – Date added: August 22nd, 2013

I have zero memory of this book. It sounds kind of interesting but ultimately doesn’t sound like one I have too much desire in reading.

Decision: Remove

How We Decide – Jonah Lehrer  – Date added:August 22nd 2013

I love psychology and books about how the brain works but this was also added at a time when I was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted in life. I have a much better hold on my life at the moment so I don’t feel the need to read this one anymore.

Decision: Remove

Girl Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen – Date added: August 22nd, 2013

I have heard great things about this one and the movie based off of it. I am still intrigued by it and hope to get it to sooner rather than later.

Decision: Keep

An Unquiet Mind:: A memoir of Moods and Madness – Kay Redfield Jaminson – Date added: August 22nd, 2013

I think this one was another one added when I was in my mood of psychology and understanding the brain more. I am still interested in many of these subject but this one doesn’t hold any interest for me anymore.

Decision: Remove

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry – Jon Ronson – Date added: August 22nd, 2013

Now this one still hold serious interest for me. I have always been interested in the idea of what makes someone a psychopath and why. Now that I have been reminded of this one I will have to put it higher on my list of books to read.

Decision: Keep

 

 

Removal Percentage – 40%

Have you read any of these? What are you opinion on my decisions? Do you have any books you have recently taken off your TBR?

The A-Z Book Tag

I saw this tag over on Mud and Stars Book Blog and thought it looked fun. It is going to be a minute before I finish my next book for a review so I thought this would be fun to do in-between.

Author You’ve Read the Most Books From:

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I have a few authors I follow but I would have to say that J.K. Rowling is the one I have read the most books from. I have literally read all that she has written including all the original things put out on Pottermore. There is a slight obsession there.

Best Sequel Ever:

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I would have to say Conjuring of Light, which is the last book in the Darker Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab. I loved how well it wrapped up the story. It left me wanting a bit more and I am super excited for her new story in that universe!

Currently Reading:

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As of this typing I am actually between books but I plan on starting The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It is the last book in “The Cemetery of Forgotten Books” series. Though I plan on starting that and then putting it aside to move to the illustrated version of the the third Harry Potter book this weekend.

Drink of Choice while Reading:

I don’t have anything that I specifically drink. I am usually reading at home and I almost always drink milk while at home. So milk would probably be the most common thing I drink while reading.

E-reader or Physical Book?

I am a physical book person all the way. I have nothing against e-readers, if it allows someone to read better I am all for it. I just can’t focus on a screen for a long period of time. I also need the feeling of a book in my hands and the ability to pull it off my shelf.

Fictional character you probably would have Dated while in High School?

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This one is tough because I don’t usually think about myself dating anyone in the books that I read. I usually pair them up with other characters and not myself. In high school I probably would have dated someone like Simon from Mortal Instruments, sweet yet dorky.

Glad You Gave this Book a Chance:

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The one that comes to mind is one I recently finished, The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I was intrigued by the initial concept and ended up becoming engrossed in it. It has a mysterious air that was interesting. Thought I read the first book in the series and I am not sure what I think about it compared to The Angel’s Game.

Hidden Gem Book:

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We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I picked up this book because of the alien plot but it turned out to be so much more. It is one my favorite books of all time. It is deep and emotional and sweet and a fantastic story. It does not get the attention it deserves

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

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This is easy, the moment I picked up the first Harry Potter book. I always enjoyed reading but I don’t know if my love would have become as deep without those books. I also don’t know if I would have become as passionate about writing without those books.

Just Finished:

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It an intriguing mystery but I wasn’t as thrilled about it as I wanted to be. I was expecting more from it and it confused the timeline for the series.

Kind of Books you Won’t Read:

I won’t say there is anything that I absolutely will not read but there a few genres I am not thrilled with. I don’t generally read nonfiction biographies unless I am super interested in the person. I also tend to have an issue with romance novels unless it has a supernatural twist to it. I like the more fantastic genres because they tend to give me something I can’t find in the real world.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

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I think that would probably be Gone with the Wind when I was in junior high. I remember it being about 1000 pages. It was super long and I was not thrilled with it but was determined to finish it. I also remember that the liberian got on my case because it took me so long to read. It wasn’t like it was on a waiting list so I don’t know what her issue was.

Major Book Hangover Because of:

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Most recently my book hangover came from They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. I knew where the book was going and how it would play out but I was so hoping it would be different. I was just emotionally drained at the end.

Number of Bookcases you Own:

In my apartment I currently have 4 that are completely full. I need another one but I am running out of room for more shelves.

One Book You have Read Multiple Times

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Harry Potter is my obvious choice but the other would be the Everworld Series by Katherine Applegate. I read these all the time as a teenager. I loved the characters and the story was original and fun. I am a bit worried about reading them now though, hoping they don’t lose their magic as I age.

Preferred Place to Read:

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There is nothing better than reading in bed with my cat curled up on my lap fast asleep.

Quotes that Inspires You/Gives You all the Feels from a Book You’ve Read:

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I have a number from Harry Potter but my favorite has to be from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. “It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

Reading Regret:

I am not sure I have that many reading regrets. I would have to say I regret ever feeling ashamed of loving to read. In school I did get teased about it often and sometimes it got to me but in the end it never dampened my love for books. In reality it probably made me love reading more.

Series You Started and Need to Finish:

I rarely don’t finish a series. I am very intent on making sure that I read a series right through. I am technically in the middle of the Cemetery of Forgotten books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I paused it in order to read the illustrated version of the third Harry Potter book, but will go back to it soon.

Three of Your All Time Favorite Books:

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. I could read all of those books multiple times.

Unapologetic Fangirl for:

Harry Potter is obvious but I also adore Malec from the Shadowhunter series. Magnus and Alec are just adorable to me. I have also become a serious fangirl for anything V.E. Schwab and Adam Silvera write.

Very Excited for This Release More than All Others:

Hmmm, I am trying to think of what is coming out soon. I think either Shaun David Hutchinson’s new book The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza or the Malec series that Cassandra Clare is supposed to be writing.

Worst Bookish Habit:

I tend to lose bookmarks and thus always dog-ear a book. I know that some readers detest people who dog-ear but it doesn’t actually bug me. I just wish I didn’t lose a bookmark between books. I always use it for one book then lose it before starting the next one.

X Marks the Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and Pick the 27th Book:

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I am too lazy to get up and go through any of my four bookshelves so I put my Goodreads shelf on random and counted the 27th on that list, Depths of Time by Roger MacBride Allen. I haven’t read it in a while but I do remember it being a good time-travel book.

Your Latest Book Purchase:

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Just recently I went book shopping with my mom for an earlier birthday. I bought a number of books but the one I was most excited for, beside the illustrated version of the third Harry Potter book, was Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I have heard great things about this one so I am eager to start it soon.

ZZZ-Snater Book (The Last Book that Kept You Up WAY Late):

I think that was finishing The Angle’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I had to figure out how it ended, though I wasn’t sure how to understand the ending. I am still not sure how it works in the whole series yet either.

I am not going to tag anyone, just if you are bored this was fun to do. What are your opinions on some of the books I mentioned?

 

 

Aaru – David Meredith – Review

(I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. All comments and thoughts are my own).

35649191.jpgAaru is one of those books that you think you understand but by the last page you realize you were wrong. There are two stories here but one is much deeper than the other.

Rose is a 16 year old who is dying of cancer. All the treatments have failed and she is being made comfortable for her last days. As a last ditch effort  to save her, her parents sign Rose up for an experimental new system called Aaru.

Aaru is a computer system that copies and uploads a person’s brain and personality into a computer system. The person is able to live on digitally even though their body has died.

As Rose adjust to her new “life” her sister Koren is finding a way to live a new life of her own. She is made the spokesperson for the new technology but quickly learns what happens when you are forced into the spotlight at a young age. She is thrust into this role that begins to destroy who she is and puts her life and well-being in danger.

What I loved/enjoyed:

Aaru was a beautifully created world. I had no problem imaging this new place. It was vivid and alive. I felt like I was inside this computer program as they built it into a new home. I liked the system even though I didn’t quite understand why some aspects were chosen. Why there were Lords and  Ladies or rankings didn’t quite get adequately explained but that didn’t keep me from sinking into this new world.

I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of what could be done and how things were made and changed. There was one scene in particular where Rose and her friends play a game of soccer that was exciting. I was enraptured by the game and how they used their new home and powers to make it more than just a simple and easy game of soccer.

I also liked the way life, personhood and afterlife were spoken about in this story. Is Rose still Rose without a functioning brain and body? Without the brain to create new pathways and links, can she evolve beyond who she was when she died? Who is she in this new setting?

Also if you become part of this place are you excluded from a traditional afterlife? Can you die again and move on to either Heaven or another place you believe in? What if your family is unable to join you? Is it worth staying in this place then? I liked asking these questions as we read because it put this new technology into a stark and real perspective.

Koren’s story was handled well. I can’t say I “liked” it, because of the way it went but I respected it and its part in the story. Her side of the tale explained how thrusting a child into a spotlight can do irreparable harm to them. Putting them on TV, or in magazines all dressed up can cause people to view them beyond their age. We saw how dangerous this concept can get. It was a good look at the dangers of child celebrity, even if it did disturb me into almost stopping reading at times.

 

What I was was okay with (didn’t love/hate):

I had some trouble with the way accents were written. They felt out of sorts, almost forced. There was only one character who was written with an accent while a number of them were supposed to be foreign. I found his speech difficult to follow at times and it threw me out of the story at times. I don’t know if his speech was needed to be written the way it was.

 

What I was wished was different:

My biggest issues in Aaru was with a handful of decisions that were made. Koren accepts the role as spokesperson without a minute of thought. Her parents never step in and demand a contract. There is no waiting period to think it over, she shakes hands and that is it.

Koren and her parents just trust a company they know next to nothing about. It was hard for me to believe they wouldn’t want details. Even beyond protecting their daughter’s well-being they don’t verify the money or the details of the deal. Her parents don’t even speak up during the exchange and decision process. There was also no later indication that they ever talked the contract over with a lawyer or verified everything that was as they were told it would be.

I also had an issue with the fact that there were cameras throughout the house. I can’t see anyone being okay with that idea right off the bat. Maybe it would have made more sense if there had been a discussion about it. Koren’s parents were intent on gaining the power and money that comes with being celebrities. I think I would have bought the idea more if there had been a scene where they were convinced to allow the cameras to be set up everywhere from the living room the the bedrooms.

Koren doesn’t even seem to know about the cameras. She states multiple times she doesn’t know how they got the footage. Shouldn’t she have at least known they were there? I don’t think it is even slightly legal to set up cameras without the owner’s knowledge and permission. I wanted more discussion about that fact.

I also would have liked more background on Rose and Koren’s parents. The story is about the girls but the parents felt flat. They were almost cliche’s. All her mother talks about it things “happening as they should” or “that is how things are in show business.” Her father falls into drinking, quickly. We have no foundation for them so watching them fall is hard to follow. I wanted to understand them better and why they allowed certain things to happen as they did.

 

This wasn’t something I hated but what I found hard to read. The way the Magic Man’s actions and desires were written were difficult to read. I understood why his storyline was there but I did almost stop reading because of his chapters. The first time he appeared I didn’t know where the story was going and I wasn’t sure I could continue. I did end up finishing and I understood his part but I would say that anyone reading the story should be made aware of the thoughts and actions that may be triggering to some people.

I gave Aaru 4 stars on Goodreads. It wasn’t the story I was expecting but it was well written and did tell a story with an important warning about the dangers of celebrity.

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