Posted in Weekly Reading

What I’m Reading This Week

The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell

I have been reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell for several days. I’m the type of reader that it’s unusual if it takes me longer than three days to read a book. The last Harry Potter, I restricted myself to how much of the book that I read each day so that it would last me longer and I still read it in three days. I’m generally a fast reader. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it just is. The fact that I’ve been at The Bone Clocks for longer than three days suggests that either I’m in a reading slump or I’m not enjoying this novel. I never want to admit to a reading slump so I’m going with option B. It’s not that this is a bad book, it’s just not what I expected. At any rate, I plan on finishing it either tonight or at the very latest, by tomorrow night.

The Spider and the Stone

I’m also in the middle of reading The Spider and the Stone by Glen Graney. I received an eBook copy for review and I really need to get on that. I hate taking too long to get a review done. Not to mention, so far, it’s a really good book.

This week, I plan on starting a new book. Yes, I read several at a time. I have so many books on my TBR that I’m having a hard time picking my next read. I have 71 books on my TBR list/pile/shelf. That is 71 books that I physically own and have not read. I know that’s not as many as some, but it’s still kinda ridiculous. Ugh! Seriously. I know that I want to read something light and fast because it will really help me jump over this slump. Not that I’m having a reading slump or anything. No. Not at all. If you have any interest in helping me pick my next read, you can check out my to-read shelf on Goodreads (just don’t pick ones that are marked as “need-to-buy”) I’d really love some suggestions.

What are your reading plans for this week? Please share them below in a comment or find me on various social media.

 

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Posted in Reading Roundup

October Reading Wrap-Up

october

And a note from real life…

October was quite the month. As I mentioned in a previous post, my oldest daughter was in a car accident. She walked (hopped on crutches, but you know what I mean) away with a minor concussion, sprained ankle, and something else in her foot that we’re still getting checked out. She also had lots of bruises and scrapes from being thrown against the door on impact and the seat belt. The other driver has a broken leg. When the EMS crew, police officers, and ER doctors all saw the accident (or pictures respectively), they were shocked that both my daughter and the other driver weren’t killed in this accident. They were so very lucky. As a result of this accident, my life has been taken over. It’s been full of doctor’s appointments, car buying trips, phone calls to various insurance companies, doctors, etc., and taking my daughter out and about on her errands while she was unable to drive herself. This is why my blog was light on posts the past couple of weeks. I’m going to try and schedule some stuff for November since this is an ongoing thing. I’ve been so busy that I’m behind on EVERYthing in my life. I’m a week late for spring registration. I haven’t kept up with my bullet journal or hand lettering practice. I’m behind on writing book reviews and actual reading. My house is a disaster and the list goes on. I’m hoping that things are finally going to start to slow down and get back to normal, especially with the holidays right around the corner.

Anyway, with Dewey’s Readathon last month, my book totals are actually pretty good. I read a total of 12 books, which is two more than I read in September. To be fair, four of October’s books were graphic novels. But hey, they still count.

  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. 268 pages.
  2. The Mathematician’s Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer. 366 pages.
  3. To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin. 304 pages.
  4. Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire. 128 pages.
  5. Timekeeper by Tara Sim. 368 pages.
  6. Sepulcher by Kate Mosse. 560 pages.
  7. I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1 by Skottie Young. 128 pages.
  8. Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson. 128 pages.
  9. Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughan. 152 pages.
  10. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. 499 pages.
  11. Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. 352 pages.
  12. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria. 384 pages.

This is a total of 3,637 pages and an average rating of 3.58 hearts. My favorite graphic novel, by far, was I Hate Fairyland. My favorite novel for October would be The Mathematician’s Shiva. I’ve linked the books that I’ve reviewed to their original posts. If there’s something on this list that you’d like me to talk about, just leave a comment.

 

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 Reading Roundup

August 2016 Reading Wrap Up

August

 

Considering how busy I was in August, I don’t think my monthly wrap up is all that shabby. I wish that I didn’t have to actually put reading time in my planner to ensure that I read, but some months are like that. Here we go.

Books Read in August

  1. The Girl from the Savoy by Hazel Gaynor. I rated this a 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. It was a fun read, but predictable. The plot twists weren’t all that twisty, but I’m soft on books set in the 1920s so I enjoyed this novel.
  2. Marie Antoinette’s Darkest Days by Will Bashor. I rated this book 4 out of 5 hearts in my review.
  3. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle. I rated this 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. Absolutely love this book. Well, other than the Mormon part. What was up with that??
  4. The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin. I gave this 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Books I’m Still Reading from August

  1. The Sherlockian by Graham Moore. I didn’t make a lot of progress on this book this month, I’m disappointed to say. I am still holding out hope that it’ll pick up its pace.
  2. The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb. I didn’t make any progress with this book at all. Maybe one or two pages. I’m keeping my opinion completely on hold for this one.
  3. Extracted by Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin. This is a book that I requested from Netgalley and started Sunday Aug 18. I admit that I judged this book entirely by its cover. It’s very steampunk. I almost dnf’d it once I realized that it’s not all set in Victorian England. Talk about judge-y. I’m about a third of the way done and am reserving judgement. I’m pretty sure I’ll end up saying that it’s not to my taste, but time will tell.

How’d your August shape up? Did back to school stuff impede your reading? Let me know!

Posted in Reading Roundup

2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge Update

If I was going to say that I track my reading, I would say that I do so on Goodreads. I wish I was more disciplined about tracking my reading. In 2014, I had a reading journal. It was a journal that was specifically for reading and books. Looking back, I was pretty good about keeping it up to date. Maybe I need another one for 2017.

Anyway, I do my best to keep Goodreads up to date with what I’ve read, what I’m currently reading, and my TBR. As for my TBR, I added a category, “need to buy” so that my husband can look at my Goodreads account and see what books I want but don’t actually own for holidays and such. I also use this for myself when I’m out buying books and can’t remember if I’ve bought one or another. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten to remove that “shelf” occasionally and have found duplicate copies of books on my shelf. Oops.

2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge

As for the Goodreads Reading Challenge, I did not complete my goal last year, ending the challenge at 62 of 75 books read. In 2014, I did complete my goal at 63 of 60 books. For 2016, I set a goal of 65 books thinking that would be a good compromise between 2014 and 2015. Looking at my progress thus far, I’m behind!! ARGH! As of this writing, I am at 34 of 65 books and Goodreads estimates that I am SEVEN books behind schedule.

In my defense, it’s been a somewhat eventful year. I had the semester from hell at the beginning of the year. Then my dad passed away in March. I’m still dealing with that. My husband and I had our anniversary trip to Europe in May. We’ve had family down to visit twice; once at the end of May and then again earlier this month. It really hasn’t left me a lot of time for reading. I’m actually currently reading five books, lol. I’ll leave the deets of that for another post.

I think I might fill out my reading numbers with a few graphic novels. They count!

Posted in Weekly Reading

This Week in Reading…Sort of

I have family visiting from Ohio this week, so the only reading that I get to do is in bed after everyone has gone to bed themselves, lol. This is making my current read take me an exceptionally long time to get through.

Marie

The good thing about the family being here is that I’m getting to share my books with them. Both my sister and her husband have borrowed books off of our shelves to read while they’re here and I love that! I also had a show and tell last night of my favorite books, ones I’ve had signed, and some of my more unusual novels. I kinda went on and on until I noticed the glassy-eyed looks I was getting and realized I’m a bit more enthusiastic about books than “normal” people, lol.

On the flip side, in addition to not having time to read, I also don’t have time to blog, read blogs, or comment. I’m trying, but it’s not going very well.

How’s your week going so far?

Posted in Book Review, Reading

Fluff Reading

I also sometimes call this “guilty pleasure” reading. Why? What do I mean?

Sometimes I feel a certain pressure to read for quality. The classics, award winners, thought provoking books. Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy reading these types of books. However, sometimes I get in a reading slump and a heavy book full of symbolism or political undertones, etc. just doesn’t fit the bill. I have approximately 85 or so books on my bookshelves that I haven’t read. Yet, sometimes I’ll stand in front of them for minutes and stare trying to figure out what I’m in the mood to read. It makes me sad to admit that this has been a problem of mine for a few months now. I thought that once I was on break from classes, the kids were on summer vacation, and things relaxed around my house that I’d be able to dig my way out of this slump. Not so much. My solution has been to read some of the YA books that are on my TBR.

Tiger's Curse

I started with Tiger’s Curse and Tiger’s Quest. I could immediately tell that Tiger’s Curse was Colleen Houck’s first book. Her writing needed some polilshing. With Tiger’s Quest I noticed some improvement. However, I didn’t immediately feel compelled to go on and read the third book in the series. I may or may not pick it up at a later date.

The Selection

The I moved on to Kiera Cass’s The Selection series. I read the first two books in this series as well. They were just okay. I rated them three stars on Goodreads, but I really think they deserve 2 1/2 stars. It was mostly, I love him. No, I love him. Does he love me? I hate him. Now I love him. Can I trust him? Over and over.

Elizabeth 1

Being mostly disappointed in my reading choices here, I’ve moved on to Margaret George’s Elizabeth I and I’m really enjoying it. It’s the second of George’s books that I’ve read and I like her style. Writing from the 1st person point of view of Elizabeth I, George takes a lot of liberties with history. However, she throws enough actual events in there to keep me happy. I never get bored with the story and my only wish is that it was a smaller book so that it would be easier to read in bed. 😉

Have you read any of these books? Do you go through reading slumps and if so, do you have any advice for getting out of them?

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Grey Mask

grey mask

Title:  Grey Mask

Author:  Patricia Wentworth

Publisher:  Warner Books

Pages:  256

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

Setting:  UK

Source:    I purchased this novel for myself.

Publication Date:  November 1, 1986

Blurb:

After Charles was jilted at the altar by Margaret, he discovers that she is mixed up in a vicious kidnapping plot masterminded by a sinister figure in a grey mask. Charles turns to Miss Silver to uncover the strange truth behind Margaret’s complicity, and the identity of the terrifying and mysterious individual behind the grey mask.

What I Say:

I mentioned this book in a previous “What I’m Reading” post. I hesitated adding to those initial thoughts because honestly, my opinion didn’t change. At the time of that post, I still had more than half of the book to read. Again, I’ll say that the mystery part of the novel kept me guessing until the end. However, and without spoilers, I don’t think it was possible to have guessed the outcome prior to the ending because the author held back those revealing details.

Also, as I previously stated, this series of books is called “A Miss Silver Mystery”. I found it completely odd to name a series after a character who only appears in the book on a handful of pages and she was, at best, superfluous to the story. Yes, she aided in helping Charles solve the mystery of Grey Mask, however, the reader never gets to see how Miss Silver conducted her investigations. Seriously, I’ve never read a series of books where the title character was so underutilized.

In the end, I gave this two stars on Goodreads and have no intentions of reading any more books from this series despite other reviews. My review is definitely in the minority with this book having garnered an average of 3.74 stars on Goodreads, so maybe I am being overly critical. I stand by my opinions because, for me, the characters were forgettable and the world-building was flat. For a cozy mystery, this novel had little atmosphere.

 

2 Hearts

Posted in Community, meme

Mid-Week Update

Just giving a brief update as to what I’m reading or planning on reading via a couple bookish memes.

whatareyoureadingwed

First up, What Are You Reading Wednesdays hosted by It’s a Reading Thing.

Grab the book you are currently reading and answer three questions:
1. What’s the name of your current read?
2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a couple of sentences.
3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

Funnily enough, I started my current read last week after writing up the Shelf Control meme. It sounded so good to me, that I just couldn’t put it off another day. I’m currently reading The Affinity Bridge by George Mann. From page 34:

“This bruising suggests the victim was grabbed forcefully around the throat and struggled somewhat before finally being despatched. There’s nothing of the perpetrator left at the scene, but it certainly matches the profile of the other killings.”

Based on this passage, I wouldn’t choose to live in this world. Seems awfully dangerous. However, in general, I would love the chance to live in a steampunk version of Victorian England. It’s a time in history that I find vastly interesting and it’d be enhanced with steampunk inventions.

shelf-control

My book for this week’s Shelf Control is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

Blurb:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

I bought this book at Barnes & Noble somewhere around June 2015. Honestly, I bought it because it’s a Rainbow Rowell book and because it’s a signed copy. If you’re familiar with Rowell’s books, you know that Carry On was taken from her Fangirl novel. In Fangirl, the main character is obsessed with a Harry Potter-like series of books and there were quite a few passages (that I skimmed more than read.) taken from those “books” and quoted in Fangirl. So, Rowell took those fictional characters from within a fictional world and wrote Carry On as its own story. From the very first, I thought that Simon and Baz’s world sounded too much like a spin off of Harry Potter’s world and it doesn’t sound too original. As such, I really don’t have any plans on actually reading this book. It was more of a buy for collecting reasons than because I’m interested in the story. Who knows though? Someday…

 

 

Posted in Books News

2018 Man Booker Long List

News-image-MBI.jpg

I don’t go out of my way to read books that are nominated for or win prizes. In fact, I’m usually tickled when I actually do read a book that’s on any prize list because it happens so infrequently. I don’t go out of my way to avoid them, they just don’t usually cross paths with my TBR. Even so, I almost always pay attention to those various lists when they’re published every year. One such list that catches my eye and attention more often than not is The Man Booker International Prize longlist. Reading books in translation adds spice and interest to my reading list. I wish I read books by non-English writers more often. Probably, the Man Booker International Prize list is a good place to start. 😉

Here’s this year’s long list from the website:

Author (nationality), Translator, Title (imprint)
• Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language (Harvill Secker)
• Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor (MacLehose Press)
• Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1 (MacLehose Press)
• Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone (Portobello Books)
• Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)
• Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love (Charco Press)
• László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain (Seagull Books)
• Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)
• Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
• Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle (Text Publishing)
• Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest (Harvill Secker)

If I could only pick one book off of this list to read, it’d be Frankenstein in BaghdadBut it’s mean to make someone pick only one book. I also like the sound of The White Book and The Dinner Guest.

Which novels would you choose from this list? Do you pay attention to book prize lists at all?