Posted in blog stuff, Reading Roundup

December 2016 Wrap Up

Time flies, ya know? I just realized it’s already Jan 3rd and I haven’t post a wrap up for December. Having the kids out of school and the husband home for the holidays really throws off my perception of time.

decemberwrapup

In December, I read a total of seven books, one being a graphic novel and one being a novellette. I actually stopped reading when I finished The Night Circus on December 29th because I ran out of room on the page I was using to track my reading in my bullet journal. Seriously. Not kidding. I’m that anal. I couldn’t stand the thought of either not recording another book or having to waste an entire new page for just one more book. I need therapy.

So, I read:

  1. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris. 304 pages.
  2. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. 556 pages.
  3. Wool by Hugh Howey. 509 pages.
  4. Gilded Cage by Sherry D. Ficklin. 80 pages.
  5. Shift by Hugh Howey. 570 pages.
  6. I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 2:  Fluff My Life by Skottie Young. 128 pages.
  7. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. 400 pages.

For seven books, I read a total of 2,547 pages and an average rating of 3.71 stars. That, folks, is a good month of reading. I only had one dud on my list that I wish I could just forget about. If I could, that would be six books with an average rating of 4.16 stars.

My favorite for December is The Night Circus. This was a truly magical book. Very close behind it are Wool, Shift, and I Hate Fairyland. If you’re not reading the I Hate Fairyland graphic novels, you should be. They’re so funny. I love the language, the color palette, and the artwork is wonderful.

I only reviewed one of these books on my blog (linked above), but if you’d like to hear my thoughts on any of the others, you’ve only to ask. 🙂 I hope your December of reading was as great as mine.

Advertisements
Posted in blog stuff

Quick Review: Apprentice in Death

Every time I think things are going to settle and I can get back to my normal routine, something else pops up. Life? I suppose so. Now, with all the rush and bustle of the holiday season being upon us, I figure that I might see something resembling normal in January. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’m posting a quick review of the last book I finished reading. Quick because it’s the 43rd book in a series. If you haven’t read the In Death series yet, I’m not going to talk you into doing so using the 43rd book. Frankly, I wouldn’t even bother posting a review at all except that this is my 65th finished book of 2016, which means I have completed my Goodreads Challenge for this year!!! Yay!! Go me!

apprentice-in-death

Title:  Apprentice in Death

Author:  J.D. Robb

Publisher:  Berkley

Pages:  375

Genre:  Futuristic mystery/crime, fiction

Setting:  2060 (I think that’s the year. I may be off by one or two and I’m too lazy to go get my book and verify.) New York City, NY, USA

Source:    I bought this lovely book for myself from B&N.

Publication Date:  Sept. 2016

Blurb:

The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.

Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.

Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil…

What I Say:

One of the better, more recent, installments of the In Death series. All of the feelings of suspense and urgency having to do with the crimes being committed were there. Also, being fearful right along with Eve when she’s dealing with her friends and loved ones was there too. I have felt like those two things have been lacking with latter books in the In Death series.

I liked the plot of this story and enjoyed the different aspects that Robb forces you to consider like domestic terrorism and what defines it, what makes a criminal, who is responsible for committing crimes, etc. I can’t say too much more without giving away some of the plot. Still, I though that these different things were addressed in a way that wasn’t too political, which I appreciate.

Also, we get to go to the party. There have been some In Death books where Eve is has to attend some event for whatever reason. She’s not much of a people person, preferring her husband’s company, a vid on the couch, and some wine at home. Then, the book ends without getting to see what happens at the party. With Eve and the ways in which she lacks certain social graces, parties are usually an opportunity for the reader to enjoy some comic relief and to get to see her as a person outside of the cop. Here in Apprentice in Death, we get to go to the party too and it doesn’t disappoint.

One last thing before I go, for anyone else who has read a significant amount of books from this series, do you feel that Roarke and all of his resources make solving the crime(s) almost too easy? Maybe even a tad unrealistic? I hate even bringing it up because this is my all-time favorite series, but this point has been niggling at my brain.

Posted in blog stuff

Top Ten Tuesday: New to My TBR

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s prompt is Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately.

This is good timing with this post. With Christmas right around the corner, you all will know what to get me. You’re welcome.

  1. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This sounds like such a good thriller/sci-fi book. It’s also up for Best Science Fiction on Goodreads.
  2. Monstress, Vol. 1:  Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu. This is a graphic novel with steampunk elements and the artwork looks amazing. This is another selection up for “best of” on Goodreads.
  3. Wool by Hugh Howey. My husband actually brought this book to my attention. He bought it for himself and told me it would probably be something I’d like. Being a dystopian novel, he’s probably right.
  4. Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory. This is the 8th novel in Gregory’s The Plantagenet and Tudor Novel series. I don’t know about you, but this is one series that I’ve read completely out of order because I didn’t even realize it was a series at first. It doesn’t help that this is the combination of two of her other series either. Still, I enjoy Gregory’s novels and I’m definitely looking forward to this one.
  5. The Fountain of St. James Court by Sena Jeter Naslund. The synopsis for this novel is a bit confusing. I saw Elisabeth Vigee-LeBrun and figured it’d be right up my alley and bought it anyway, lol. I saw a couple of her paintings in London this past May and being an artist from the French Revolution era, I expect this book to be interesting at the least. Also, I loved Naslund’s novel Abundance, which is about Marie Antoinette.

The next five books are all off of my TBR on Goodreads that I added after seeing them in Goodreads’ Giveaways. They sounded good enough to enter the giveaway and to add them to my TBR, but I don’t know anything about them other than what Goodreads says about them.

  1. The Calorium Wars:  An Extravaganze of the Gilded Age by Dennis O’Flaherty
  2. The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
  3. Grigory’s Gadget by E. A. Hennessy
  4. The Ashes and the Sparks by Mary Victoria Johnson
  5. Nightmares:  A New Decade of Modern Horror by Ellen Datlow

And there you have it. I already own books 3, 4, and 5, but feel free to send me any of the other seven books. 😉

Posted in blog stuff, Community

Dewey’s Mid-Athon Update

 

seraphina

1. What are you reading right now? I’m reading Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, which wasn’t even in my readathon TBR pile because I forgot it.
2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve read three graphic novels but haven’t completed any regular length novels.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Dinner. My husband is cooking my family a beef roast with carrots and potatoes and it smells heavenly. After dinner (because I’m freaking starved!!) I’m looking forward to the rest of my graphic novels. They have been the highlight of the readathon for me.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh my gosh! This day has been full of interruptions. I’ve just had to take them as they come because they’ve been unavoidable.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I think it’s how easily distracted I’ve been today. Normally, I get into a good book (and I’m really enjoying Seraphina) and I shut out the world and curl up on the couch until I can’t ignore how much I have to pee. Today, I’ve been all over the place.

If you’re participating in the readathon, I hope you’re having a fantastic day and logging lots of pages!!

Posted in blog stuff, book tag, Community, Fun Bookishness

Autumn Reading Tag

I have snagged and adapted this tag from Amy Jane Smith on YouTube. This is, obviously, a booktube tag, but I don’t booktube and thought this tag would work just as well on the blog.

holidays

1) Are there any books you plan on reading over the Autumn season?

I have quite a stack of graphic novels set aside for Dewey’s this month. I also plan on finishing Victoria by Daisy Goodwin and starting The Pearl and the Carnelian by Annabel Fielding. These are both currently on my NetGalley shelf. I also want to read more Sherlock Holmes stories. I’ll download those for my iPad. I also plan on reading a collection of short stories called Rogues that was edited by George R. R. Martin. I’ve preordered The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon that will be released on Nov 1 and I will read as soon as I open the box.
2) September brings back to school memories: what book did you most enjoy studying? And what were your favourite and least favourite school subjects?

The book I most enjoyed studying in school was Animal Farm. I remember liking how the animals in the book were representative of real people, leaders and such. Funny thing, my oldest daughter thinks this book is creepy, lol. My favorite subject, I think I’m cheating a little bit here, but it was Vampires in Myth and Culture that I took during my undergrad. By far, my most favorite class EVER. Least favorite, back to high school, was p.e. I suck at sports. I have no coordination or endurance for that matter. I hate being the center of attention, which happens often when you have the ball or, in my case, when you miss the ball. Gym class was painful for me and still remains as a painful memory.
3) October means Halloween: do you enjoy scary books and films? If so what are some of your favourites?

I used to really love scary movies. The older I get, the less I enjoy being jolted by things jumping out on screen. Usually, when I know something scary is about to happen, I can’t stand the suspense and just look away from the screen. I’m such an old fuddy duddy. I’d rather read scary books, but I haven’t found too many that I like. I did like Pet Cemetery both the movie and the book. The same for Misery. I’d really like to find some non Stephen King books though since I don’t read his novels anymore.
4) With November it’s time for bonfire night & firework displays. What’s the most exciting book you’ve read that really kept you gripped?

This is really British, lol. We don’t have bonfire night and we have fireworks displays for the 4th of July. Anyway…The entire Outlander series, In Death series, The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore, A Study in Scarlet. There are others, but those are what popped into my head.
5) What book is your favorite cosy comfort read?

I love rereading the In Death books because they’re familiar and I love the characters so much. I would consider them to my coziest, comfort reads. Also, Harry Potter. Those are definitely cozy reads for the autumn. It might be time for a reread…
6) Curled up with a good book, what is your hot drink of choice?

I enjoy both coffee and tea. Hot cider and mulled wine (as long as they’re not too sweet) are good as special treats but not something I have very often. Coffee and tea are mainstays throughout the year.
7) Any plans you’re looking forward to over the next few months?

Nothing that I can think of. My daughter was recently in a car accident and while she didn’t sustain any severe injuries, she did have some injuries that we’re dealing with right now. Between doctor’s appointments and waiting for the ball to drop from our insurance company, we’re kind of in limbo. I guess you could say that I’m looking forward to all of that being resolved, good or bad.

Posted in blog stuff, book tag, Community, Fun Bookishness

The Goodreads Book Tag

I saw this posted on Adoptabooksaus and couldn’t resist joining in. This is a good tag! Without Goodreads, I’d buy a lot more duplicates of books than I already do, heheh.

What was the last book you marked as “read”? That would be Sepulchre by Kate Mosse. I’m not reviewing this book here unless I get a request to do so, but suffice it to say I only rated it as 2 stars on Goodreads and it took me three weeks to read it. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book.

victoria

What are you currently reading? I just started Victoria by Daisy Goodwin yesterday and I’m loving it! If I didn’t have to take care of my daughter (was recently in a car accident), I could’ve had this book read in a day, I like it so much.

What was the latest book you marked as “tbr”? That would be Cogheart by Peter Bunzl. Someone recently posted an interview with this author on a blog I follow and it sounded like a book that’d be right up my alley, so I added it.

What book do you plan to read next? Good question. Nothing on my bookshelves has been catching my eye lately. What I really want to read are the graphic novels I have set aside for Dewey’s Readathon. It has taken all my self restraint to NOT read them. I suppose I’ll read The Pearl and the Carnelian by Annabel Fielding since it’s a NetGalley book.

Do you use the star rating system? I do. I’ve written about my feelings about ratings before.

goodreads-challenge

Are you doing a 2016 Reading Challenge? I am! For a while, I was worried that I wouldn’t meet my goal for this year. I was something like seven books behind schedule at one point. As of this writing, I have read 55 of 65 books. That’s 85% of my goal and I’m four books ahead of schedule. Woohoo!!

Do you have a wishlist? On Goodreads, I mark books that I want to read as “to read” and if I don’t already own them, I add the shelf “need to buy”. That’s basically my wish list. My husband knows to peruse my “need to buy” shelf for gift ideas.

gemina

What book do you plan to buy next? This couldn’t be an easier question. I plan on buying Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It’s the second book in the Illuminae series and I’m sad that I don’t already have it in my hands. 😦

Do you have any favorite quotes? Share a few. 

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Stories

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (The only Austen novel I like)

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
― Oscar Wilde

Who are your favorite authors? In no particular order:  Twain, Gaiman, Hemingway, Erik Larson, J.D. Robb, Michelle Moran, Jenny Lawson, Alison Weir, Margaret Atwood, Zora Neale Hurston. There are others that aren’t coming to mind right now.

Have you joined any groups? I’ve joined a few but I participate very little. So little, that I can’t really remember which groups I am in, lol.

I’m not tagging any particular person. If you want to participate, please do so! I’d love to read your responses, so leave me a comment if you decide to tag yourself. 😉

Posted in blog stuff

Top Ten Tuesday: Fave Names

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s prompt is Top Ten names I’d give a pet (pet is my choice here.).

I’m really horrible at naming my pets. We once had a rabbit that was the breed mini Rex we named him Rex. We’re original and imaginative like that. Borrowing names from literary characters is slightly more original, lol.

  1. Eeyore for a basset hound. I really think that Eeyore would be the perfect fit for a basset hound.
  2. Finn (Huckleberry Finn). This might be cute for a fish is you named your fish, lol. (We do, so stop laughing.) But it would work for a cat or a dog too.
  3. Fitz(gerald). Again, I think Fitz would be good for either a cat or a dog.
  4. Francis (the “F” in F. Scott Fitzgerald) for a cat. Seems more fitting than for a dog.
  5. Gertrude for a cat. (Gertrude Stein)
  6. Maggie for a cat. (Margaret Atwood)
  7. Harry for a dog. (Harry Potter)
  8. Piglet for a guinea pig. I always like a pig themed name for guinea pigs. We once had one named Bacon and he was much beloved.
  9. Luna for a cat or a dog. (Harry Potter)
  10. Finnick for a dog. (Hunger Games)

I’m gonna have to remember this list for any future pets we get, lol.