January Wrap-up February TBR List

2017 is off to a great start. I completed 5.5 out of 6 books from my TBR January List and reviewed Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood and Commonwealth by Ann Patchett which you can check out here.

I’m halfway done with my final book on my January list, All the Light You Cannot See, and I will be posting a review for it in a few days.

Now, on to my February Reading List:

  1. The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman–Historical fiction
  2. Eleanor by Jason Gurley–Fantasy, magical realism, YA
  3. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon–Fantasy, YA
  4. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo–Fantasy, YA
  5. The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie–Fiction, contemporary

I am reading a lot of YA Fantasy this month. I read 4 contemporary novels in January, 2 that focused on the Holocaust, so this month is a little bit lighter.

Okay, so here’s where I’d love some reading suggestions. I’ve decided that March will be my “Classics” month. I want to read Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, and two other class sci-fi/fantasy books, possibly Asimov’s Foundations series. I also want to read 2 classic lit books.

If you have any classic sci-fi or fantasy novels that you think are essential reading, please comment below and I will add some to my March reading!

Happy New Year and January TBR List

Happy New Year!!

It’s officially 2017 and my reading goal for the new year is a big one. I’m aiming to read 50 books in 2017. That will be 14 more books than my 2016 total of 36. It’s almost one book per week and I’m excited to get through many books that I’ve been dying to read for months and even years.

Here is my To Be Read list for the month of January:

  1. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett–Fiction, Contemporary
  2. Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood–Fiction, Contemporary
  3. The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons–Historical Fiction
  4. The Thief’s Daughter by Jeff Wheeler–Fantasy, YA
  5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr–Historical Fiction
  6. Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson–Fantasy, YA

 

Back From Backpacking and October TBR List

Hey everyone!

I’m sorry for not posting in a while. It’s been a crazy busy time for me, as I mentioned before. Also, I just got back from spending a little over two weeks in Germany where I was backpacking through mostly Bavaria. As I predicted, I did not read much. I have four book reviews that I will be posting this coming week, but for now, I’m moving on to my October Reading List. After the list I will post some pictures from my trip and let you guys know how that went.

October To Be Read List

  1. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. This is the fourth book in the Throne of Glass series. The fifth book just came out this week, and I’ve been saving this fourth one so that I could read the two close together. If anyone hasn’t read this series, you should. Feel free to check out my past reviews but I’ll give you a tiny summary of why: kickass genuine female characters with flaws and depth along with amazing fantasy worldbuilding.
  2. The Demon King by Cindi Williams. This has been on my list for a long time and has shifted around. I don’t know much about it. Many people recommended it to me and I’m happily staying in the dark.
  3. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. It’s a funny book focuses on the angel and demon worlds meeting at the prophecized end of the world. I told myself I needed to stop reading every Neil Gaimain book there was and focus on other things, but it is Halloween-time so I will read what I like!
  4. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin. Classic. Sciencefiction. I love Le Guin and I couldn’t go through October without some serious sci-fi.
  5. Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman. I can’t be stopped. This is another Gaiman book that has been sitting on my shelf. I may read Nevermore instead. There will be some serious Gaiman-reading going on this month.

October’s list is smaller than other months for several reasons. First, some of these books are huge. Queen of Shadows is nearly 700 pages. Second, I tend to read Gaiman books slowly, as they are filled with fun magical things and I enjoy relishing in them a bit. Third, I’m going to be really busy at my internship as our largest annual fundraiser is coming up, so less time for reading.

Check out the lovely covers below.

Let me know what October book you suggest I read. I may need a sixth book and I’d love to read a thriller!

Book Review: Heir of Fire

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4.5/5 stars

Sarah J. Maas consistently writes kick-ass female characters who are deep and real and flawed and powerful. Heir of Fire is the third book in her Throne of Glass series and it did not disappoint. This book was broken up into parts, with different characters in different locations being focused on in different chapters. I know that not everyone likes that style, but I think it was not only necessary here, but beautifully done. The world of Throne of Glass is so large and there are so many developed characters that we need to keep track of and that wouldn’t have been possible if we had simply followed the protagonist on her solo journey throughout the whole novel. Also, Sarah never does that “cliff-hanger-at-the end-of-the-chapter-oh-no-now-we’re-following-another-character-guess-you’ll-have-to-wait-fifty-pages-to-find-out-what-happened” thing. Which is great. Almost every time that there is a tense moment at the end of a chapter, the next chapter is in the same spot so we aren’t left hanging.

Another thing I have to touch on is the romance in Sarah’s books, which is particularly important to this installment. **Spoilers kinda** Sarah has characters date, sleep with,and love different people throughout her series and it is shown as a normal and healthy thing. Caelena, the main character of this series, sleeps with two men in the first novel. One relationship came to an end and then she begins another. Then, in book three, we see her beginning a relationship (I may be wrong here and they could be best friends in book four), and it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that the other relationships were bad and it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with Caelena. Caelena has grown and she wants different things now and that’s shown in who she has in her life and what she values and it’s such a refreshing thing to see. So many books have one person fall in love with one person and that’s it. Or books will have side characters sleep around because that’s not something a respectable protagonist would do.

Heir of Fire was filled with adventure and Caelena is **Spoilers** is dealing with her fae heritage and there is so SO much world building that is done fantastically. This book is filled with a lot more mythology than the first two and I really enjoyed that. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes sex positivity, fantasy and well-developed women.

July and August TBR List

Here we go again (I realize that I’m a bit late for July so I’m sharing my combined July and August TBR lists):

  1. When We Collided by Emery Lord (Illumicrate box)
  2. Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt (Landfall Freight Box)
  3. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  4. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  6. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Wolf
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  8. Captain America, Masculinity, and Violence: The Evolution of a National Icon by
  9. Whatever graphic novel Landfall Freight sends for July

I love reading, and I’m so thrilled because I’ve read two books in two days and it’s such an accomplishment. I would love to keep up the pace, but sometimes all a girl wants is to lie down and marathon some Buffy with her boyfriend. And that’s okay. But books are awesome and I have to try to read as many before I die.

Here are all the books I’m reading during the last week of July and all of August. I tried to keep the summaries spoiler-free and short.

When We Collided is a YA contemporary novel that follows to people who meet and fall in love over the course of a summer. It was book chosen for Illumicrate‘s last quarterly box and I’m excited to enjoy it this summer.

Hot Dog Taste Test is a graphic novel that pokes fun and rips apart pop culture and our current obsession with food and how to market ourselves in relation to food (ex. stylized photos on Instagram of our hip breakfast). Part screwball, part social commentary, all hilarious.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a a contemporary novel about a bookstore during the Great Recession. I don’t know anything else and I’m kinda digging the no spoilers, so that’s all you get for now.

Wolf by Wolf is YA historical fiction/science fiction. It takes place in an alternate reality where the Axis and Imperial Japan rule the world and it follows Yael, a death camp survivor and her plan to kill Hitler.

An Ember in the Ashes is the first book in a planned trilogy. It is an epic YA fantasy novel that follows the female protagonist’s journey to save her brother in a tyrannical society.

A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay that argues for a literal and figurative space for women in literature. I read excerpts in high school and I’ve been feeling a need to complete it.

 

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite genres: a gothic romance.

Captain America, Masculinity, and Violence: The Evolution of a National Icon is a nonfiction book that analyses the every evolving Captain America and connects superhero traits to a shifting patriarchal view of what it is to be a man. I stumbled into this while hanging out at my boyfriend’s campus and I’m obsessed.

There is no fantasy on this list and that is killing me a little so I may read Queen of Shadows which is the latest book in Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series. Or Cindi Williams Chima’s The Demon King. Yes, reward lots of reading with fantasy. Sounds great.

(For those of you who haven’t been following along, I was an English major in college and so I read A LOT of classics and “important” books that I loved and then my first year out of college I read EVERY contemporary novel that was published that year, and now I’m obsessed with fantasy and sci-fi. I’m reading Asimov’s Foundations Series and Neil Stephenson, and every book Sarah J. Maas has wrote and this summer is my attempt to diversify my reading a bit).

Also, I haven’t been doing too well with actually reviewing the books. I’m either working or reading and I know I need to get better with that so I’m going to try. This Sunday I’m going to post a few reviews and I’m going to figure out how that will look. Stay tuned.

**Question** When I’m not reading I like to binge-watch a bunch of Netflix. I’m into genre shows at the moment. I just finished Stranger Things and I freakin’ loved it. Let me know if you’re watching it or any shows I should be watching.

 

Reading Update: First Half of June

Hello to anyone following along!

Yesterday was June 15th, so I should be halfway through with my reading list. Sadly, I am not where I aimed to be, but I am (possibly naively?) optimistic that I can get all of my June To Be Read books completed before the month is up.

Here are the books I’ve completed so far:

I plan on finishing Truthwitch by Susan Dennard today and The Witches by Stacy Schiff tomorrow. So I will have completed 4 out of 8 books at roughly the halfway point of the month. AND I have a three day weekend that starts this Friday, AND I have four days off during the last week of the month. I’m going to finish all of the books! 😀

Here’s a quick review of both of the books I’ve completed. A full review will be posted on the last day of June.

A Discovery of Witches

3 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed the mythology and the setting of this novel very much. I also enjoyed the characters for a lot of the book. The reason that it only received 3 out of 5 stars is because the writer fell into a lot of clichés that really took me out of the book. The female protagonist is so so special (see Chosen One definition) and the love interest is dark and broody (which I could deal with) and so protective that he ventures into controlling (and this is meant to be okay and attractive but it’s really not). The parts of the book that I loved were parts that dived into witchcraft or the relationship between the main pairing that had little to do with control and specialness. Also, this book has insta-love (love at first sight, soulmates immediately) which is something I dislike. I promise to talk about more of the things I liked in my longer review! haha.

Ufology # 1

4 out of 5 stars

This graphic novel was beautifully illustrated. I received it in this month’s Landfall Freight Box, which is a monthly graphic novel box subscription that focuses on female friendly graphic novels (they’re either written by women or feature strong female characters). I thoroughly enjoyed Ufology and I finished it in two readings. I think the pacing was great. I had trouble putting it down because the sense of mystery was so well developed that I just HAD to know how everything would end.

Okay, I’ll check in with you guys soon. Let me know what you’re reading this week in the comments!

What I’m Reading In June

So here is my To Be Read for the month of June list!

I downloaded an awesome little app on my Android called “To-Read” and it lets me set goals for what I will be reading during a given time period.

First, let me just say that while the books I’m reading in June span over a whole lot of different genres…there is a theme. I didn’t intentionally set out to read so much on one subject, but it’s a subject that I have loved for years and it looks like that love isn’t going away any time soon.

So the theme for June is….WITCHCRAFT

I finished reading all the Harry Potter books a couple of months ago and I just finished reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and I just can’t bear to let the magic go.

Okay, on to the books.

Eight books in June. I know, a bit of a crazy amount. As it’s already June 8th, I have already finished A Discovery of Witches, and The Witches. So I’m off to a good start!

Here is some information on the books I’ve chosen. If any of them sound interesting to you, feel free to read along and we can discuss. The books are ordered in the lineup I will be reading them:

  1. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Genre: Fantasy. This book is about a female scholar who though aware of her ancestor’s magical history and her own powers, has turned away from magic. The story deals with her being forced back into that world. I don’t know much else as I’ve been actively avoiding spoilers. An internet friend told me I would love it because it’s a sort of HP for adults.
  2. The Witches: Salem 1692 by Stacy Schiff. Genre: History. I picked this book up at my local library because the cover caught my eye. I then did a bit of research and found that Schiff had one a Pulitzer another historical book, Cleopatra. I like to explore new genres, and what a great way to dive in: reading an in-depth historical look at the Salem Witch Trials.
  3. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas. Genre: YA High Fantasy. I love Sarah. I am so happy to jump back into the Throne of Glass series. I only took a break because I needed to read ACOMAF, which is the second book in her A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy, because I knew that spoilers for it would be everywhere and seeing them would break my heart. If you haven’t read any books by Sarah J. Maas I suggest you read the first two books of her ACOTAR series. And then of course Throne of Glass. She has kickass feminist characters and lots of awesome magic, mythology and romance.
  4. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. Genre: YA Fantasy Okay. This book. This book was all over booktube and bookstagram and all booklover parts of the internet. So I bought it and I read it and…I didn’t understand the hype. I haven’t been able to finish this book because the writing is so poor but I am committed to finishing it this month, because I feel the need to give it one more chance. We shall see. I’m going to try to make it past the first two chapters.
  5. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by. Robin Sloan. Genre: Fiction. A book about a bookstore with lots of secrets. That’s all I have for you. Everyone was reading this book a few years back and it’s been sitting on my bookshelves for almost a year now and the time has come.
  6. Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates. Genre: Short Stories, Fiction. Joyce Carol Oates is a prose master. I’m steadily making my way through all her writings. This collection contains ten stories that take a fascinating look into the darker sides of being human.
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Genre: Fiction, Gothic. I need more classics in my life. I miss the life of an English major, so I am adding one classic novel to my monthly reading and this month’s is Jane Eyre.
  8. UFOLOGY by James Tynion IV, Noah J. Yuenkel, Matthew Fox, and Adam Metcalfe. Genre: Graphic Novel. This is the Landfall Freight Box book of the month and I am psyched to read it.  

Okay, I have to run, but I wanted to make sure this went up today. Happy reading!

Let me know what book you guys are reading now, in the comments.