[Friday Reads] 11/18-11/20 & Tome Topple TBR

Happy weekend everyone! Here’s what I’m hoping to read the next few days:

Book: I’m hoping to finish Bookends by Jane Green tonight. After finishing Battle Royale, I was in the mood for something with a lot less blood and guts, so I went for what I hope is going to be a fluffy chick-lit read. I haven’t read anything by Jane Green before, but I’ve heard good things about her.

Audiobook: I recently downloaded The Mental Floss History of the World. This is supposed to be a self-proclaimed “hilarious and irreverent” history of human civilization. I like what I’ve read from Mental Floss in the past, so I’m looking forward to this one. I think I’m better suited to listening to nonfiction books on audio because I’m not too great at focusing in on what I’m listening to. If anyone has any suggestions for great nonfiction book on audio, leave them for me in the comments! 😀

Ebook: I’m not currently reading anything on ebook at the moment, which is a little strange for me. I still haven’t picked up Ruin and Rising like I said I wanted to a while back. I just ended the second book in the trilogy really hating Mal, and I’m not ready to delve back into a story with him in it just yet. But I’m really anxious to read Six of Crows, soooo… Decisions, decisions.

I’ve also decided to participate in the Tome Topple Readathon which takes place from 11/18 – 12/1. The goal of the readathon is to read as many 500+ page books in that time period as possible. You can find out more about the readathon at the Goodreads group or @tome_topple on Twitter. Once I finish up Bookends, I’ll be starting one of these books:

  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. I have owned this book for close to 10 years and I have never even attempted to start it. I’ve also somehow avoided learning much about the plot of this book, so all I really know is that it’s about two magicians in the 1800s and that it’s kind of slow to begin with. I also heard it has a lot of footnotes, which I’m a fan of thanks to my avid Discworld habit.
  • The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I just got the Mistborn series from Book Outlet recently. I hear that Brandon Sanderson comes up with some really unique and intricate magical systems, so I’m really excited to start these books.
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. This is another one I’ve had sitting on my shelf for a while. Seriously, I pre-ordered this and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it. I’m kind of the worst.

I highly doubt I’ll finish more than these three books before the end of the readathon, so I’ll end the list here. I’ve got quite a few chunksters sitting on my shelf, though, so maybe this will give me the motivation to pick up a few more tomes after this.

Let me know if you’re also participating in the readathon or what you have on tap for this weekend and upcoming week in your reading life down in the comments. Have a great weekend!

[Review] Hounded

hearne-houndedBook: Hounded by Kevin Hearne.
Pages: 292.
Format: Mass Market Paperback.
Genre: Urban Fantasy.

Summary: Atticus O’Sullivan is a 2000+ year old Druid, the last Druid in existence, in fact. He has evaded his enemies for centuries with a healthy dose of paranoia and over-preparation. However, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, Atticus stole a magical sword that belonged to a Celtic god, and now that god wants it back.

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[Top 5 Wednesday] Characters You Used to Love

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme found over on Goodreads, created by Lainey from GingerReadsLainey and hosted by Samantha from Thoughts On Tomes. Check out the group to join in and the YouTube channels for these two lovely ladies. 🙂

This week’s topic is Characters You Used to Love but Don’t Anymore. This could be either because we’ve outgrown the characters or the characters have changed for the worse throughout the series. Please keep in mind, I know some of my opinions may be unpopular, but they are *my* opinions. I’m happy to discuss in the comments as long as things remain civil!

1. Akiva, Daughter of Smoke and Bone. So a lot of these characters on my list are going to be characters I liked the first time I read the series, but when I went back and revisited the story a few years later, I did not care for them. Akiva is up first. This year I wanted to reread the first two books in this series before I finally read Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I really liked Akiva the first time through, and I thought he was a really romantic character. During the reread though, I found myself getting annoyed with his romantic gestures and broody nature. And the purple prose in the flashback part of the book does not help matters. I can’t quite remember too much of the 2nd book, and I have yet to get to the 3rd, so this opinion may change once again.

2. Jace, The Mortal Instruments. Again, first read through of this series I loved Jace. He was so dark and mysterious and like, totally hawt. But now that I’m a few years older than I was when I first stumbled upon this series, I realize I’m totally done with the asshole swagger vibe he’s got going on. I also had a huge issue with Will Herondale for the same reason in The Infernal Devices series. Get over yourself, stop being a jerk, you’re not the king of the universe.

3. Tyrion, Game of Thrones (TV). Tyrion started out the series as this brilliant, sarcastic, constantly underestimated character. He was a Lannister, and he was going to let the world know. But in the past few seasons, his character has kind of fizzled out and just become the sarcastic drunk whose scenes don’t really do much for the show. I’m hoping that he gets a bit of a reboot in season 7 because it seems like shit’s about to go down in his neck of the woods.

4. Katniss, The Hunger Games. I loved Katniss in the first Hunger Games book. Here is a girl who doesn’t know how to be vulnerable thrust into a situation where she has to pretend to be in love with someone while millions of people watch her fight to the death on TV. But then rinse and repeat that for two more books, and the shtick gets to be a little tedious. And yes, I understand she was dealing with some massive PTSD in Mockingjay, but it got the point where I couldn’t believe she was still so oblivious to her feelings. While I enjoyed the Hunger Games series, it was not because of Katniss.

5. Ron Weasley, Harry Potter. Ok, before you shoot me, hear me out. I really liked Ron when I first read the series. But I just love Harry and Hermione so much more. Harry brings the bravery to the table, and Hermione brings the brains. What does Ron contribute? I know a lot of people will say he brings the “heart” to the trio, but what does that even mean? Sure, he’s good for a laugh, but he’s got terrible jealousy issues and a bad temper. The argument he has with Harry in GoF that leads to him not talking to Harry for months is absolutely ridiculous. And good god, Ron, your rat is terrible and old (and also secretly Peter Pettigrew, but that’s beside the point) and Crookshanks is gonna want to eat him. That is not a reason to cut one of your best friends out of your life. I’m sure it’s hard to be the youngest boy in a family that large, but why do you have to take it out on the two people that genuinely like you for you? Ugh.

Anyway, there are my answers for this week’s Top 5 Wednesday. Comment below with some of your answers to this week’s prompt. 🙂

 

[Top 10 Tuesday] Most recent TBR additions

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish which asks bloggers to list their top 10 items that fit that week’s category. This week’s topic is “Ten Books I’ve Added to My To-Be-Read List Lately.” Here are my most recent additions to my Goodreads TBR and my brief thoughts on each book.

10.  abrams-sS. by by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. I honestly don’t know a lot of about this one other than that I really like J.J. Abrams and I saw this book at the library and knew I had to own it. It’s beautiful and has inserts and “handwritten” notes in the margins and it just looks like it will be a fun and interesting read.

9. The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz. This is a dystopian novel that takes place in Egypt, which was enough for me to want to pick this up. I’ve been trying to read more science fiction and translated works recently, and this book ticks off both of those requirements. From what I can tell of the plot, citizens have to wait in line at ‘The Gate’ in order to get permission to do things in their lives. A doctor is in line with a woman who has been shot, and he has to decide whether or not he will break the rules by helping her without getting permission first. I’m definitely intrigued by this one!

8. liu-invisible-planetsInvisible Planets: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese SF in Translation edited and translated by Ken Liu. Again, trying to branch out with my reading a little more. This also has the added bonus of being a short story collection – another type of book that I do not reach for often. I don’t think I’ve read any science fiction or fantasy by a Chinese author. I’m hoping this will lead me to find some new favorite authors.

7. Untitled by William Ritter. Obviously there will be an actual title here closer to the release date. This is the fourth and final book in the Jackaby series, which is a YA series following Abigail Rook as she seeks out adventure by joining up with a paranormal detective as his assistant. I think these books are a lot of fun, and I’m excited to see how the story will wrap up.

6. dickey-ghostlandGhostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey. This one caught my eye during the Halloween season. A lot of people seemed to have this on the TBR last month. I’m a little sad I missed out on reading this in October, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait another year to pick this one up. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story?

5. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo. The third and final book in the Grisha trilogy. I had originally heard some negative reviews on this series, but wanted to power through it so I could get to Six of Crows. Luckily, I am actually enjoying these books. Sure, they’re fairly predictable and Mal is the worst ever, but they’re entertaining and are quick reads.

4. honda-silent-deadThe Silent Dead: A Mystery by Tetsuya Honda. Another translated novel, but in a different genre. I have never read any Japanese mystery novels before, so I’m really looking forward to this one. I took 6 years of Japanese in high school and college, and I’ve always had an affinity for Japanese culture. Plus, this book has a female character in a field normally dominated by men, so I’m excited to jump into this one!

3. A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl. This book caught my eye at the library mainly because of the colorful cover. This is the story of a mother and son taking a road trip across the country and stopping at comic-cons along the way.

wilson-bassoon-king2. The Bassoon King: Art, Idiocy, and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room by Rainn Wilson. This book kind of happened along at the right time. My husband and I have recently been rewatching The Office, a favorite TV show of ours. Though I don’t know a lot about Rainn Wilson other than that he played Dwight on the show, I love listening to celebrity memoirs on audiobook.

1. The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman. This book was recommended to me by a very good friend of mine. I honestly don’t know anything about it except that it is a WWII novel and is very emotional. My friend and I have very similar reading tastes, and I trust her judgement, so I don’t mind going into this one blind.

I actually really like the idea behind this week’s topic, and I wouldn’t mind making it a regular feature on my blog. Perhaps once a month? I’ll have to think on it.

What have you recently added to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

[Friday Reads] 11/4 – 11/6

Oops, got this one in a little late today. Happy Friday everyone! Compared to last week, this week has been nice and relaxed. My husband and I went out to see Dr. Strange last night, and we finally have a weekend in town for ourselves. For the entire month of October we either had someone visiting us or we were out of town. Time for some relaxation before the holiday season starts in full swing. Anyway, on to the book.

Book: I just started The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman, which is the second book in the Invisible Library series. This is a series that follows Irene, a librarian who travels to different realities to collect books for the Library. The Library tries to maintain a balance between chaos and order, and they do so by controlling and maintaining the works of literature that are unique to each world. There are also werewolves, vampires, Fae, and dragons involved. And Irene uses language as a weapon. The first book was a lot of fun, and I recommend you check out the series if you like books about books/languages.

Audiobook: I was listening to The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, but I DNFd that one. I honestly think it had to do with the narrators, who were both kind of drab. So I’m now listening to Ghettoside, which is a nonfiction book about black on black crime in LA. I don’t want to say I’ve been enjoying this read, because it’s about a very tragic topic, but it has been very educational and eye-opening so far. The book takes on a more narrative tone which makes it a little easier for me to follow along.

Ebook: I’m going to try and put this off until after I finish The Masked City because I won’t be able to stop until I finish it. But I’m hoping to pick up Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo this weekend. This is the third and final installment in the Grisha trilogy. I cannot wait to see what happens with the characters. Augh.

I hope everyone out there has a great weekend! I’ll be trying to enjoy as much of this fall weather as I can.

[Review] Beauty Queens

bray-beauty-queensBook: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.
Pages: 396.
Format: Audiobook.
Genre: Contemporary YA.

Summary: A plane full of Miss Teen Dream beauty contestants and their handlers crash lands on an island. While most of the people on the plane die immediately, a handful of girls survive. They learn to use their talents to make a life for themselves on the island and slowly shrug off the “beauty pageant” persona they all wear. But are the girls the only ones on the island? And why hasn’t anyone come to rescue them yet?

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[TBR] November 2016

I’ve never really sat down and tried to plan my month of reading ahead of time. My method of choosing what to read next is usually pretty haphazard, and is probably the reason I own over 100 books that I have yet to read. I’m trying to be better about whittling away at my massive TBR pile, so I thought I would make this list at the beginning of the month and check it against my wrap up at the end of November.

Last month I read 12 books, but that was rather exceptional, so I think I will aim for 8 books for November and see where that gets me. Lately I’ve been in the mood for both YA and adult fantasy, so there will be a lot of that on this list.

November TBR:

If I do somehow manage to get through all these books, I’m going to try to pick my way through the never ending pile of library books sitting next to my bed. These titles include:

So how about you? Do you use a TBR list at the beginning of the month? What books are you hoping to get to in November? Have you read anything that I’ve listed here? Let me know in the comments!