Library

March Update

Greetings faithful readers!

How lovely to see you all again 🙂 I have been remiss in my duties of writing but grad school is taking its toll…and pound of flesh for that matter. Since my last post, I have been working 6 days a week, interning and at my regular job, plus doing homework and writing papers, not to mention fitting in family events and you know, hanging out with my significant other. I have a lot on my plate and hopefully that load will be lightened in a few weeks! I am also applying for jobs, which I’m sure many of you know, can be very stressful. Applying a degree in the real world can be trying. Keeping my fingers crossed that the right opportunity and I cross paths soon.

In other more bookish news, there have been several publications recently which have caught my eye and I feel obliged to update you on, whether I have read them yet or not.

  1. Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh (much anticipated and currently am tearing through it)
  2. The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky
  3. Morning Star by Pierce Brown (waiting for my copy to arrive!)
  4. Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Also, the soon to be released!

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (screen play) by J.K. Rowling
  2. Demigods & Magicians by Rick Riordan
  3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  4. FROST LIKE NIGHT by Sara Raasch (which just had a major cover release and I’m so excited I can’t stand it!)
  5. FLAMECASTER by Cinda Williams Chima (first new book in 4 years and she is giving away signed copies!!! I need this on pre-order, especially since it comes out just before my birthday!!)

Phew…that was a lot of excitement at the end there, I almost didn’t make it. As always, check out my Goodreads for more updates on what I’ve been reading. Post to follow with what I am currently reading next.

 

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Happy New Year!

Well I managed to make it through finals and the holidays without exploding into nothingness but I have severely neglected you, my readers. I know I keep promising to do better but adulting has become particularly difficult as of late. I am trying to get my internship for the upcoming semester situated. Plus preparations for the final wedding of three are under way as it is less than a week from now, so busy, busy, busy.

In light of this, I have several things to share with you over the next couple of posts, here, I will give my Top Ten Tuesdays that I wanted to do before the New Year, but didn’t get to, and then the newest Top Ten Tuesdays followed by what I am reading now (or have just finished).
Top Ten Books I Wish Santa Will Bring
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan (graphic novel version)
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (yes, I know, I should really own this by now)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (my copy was lost to an errant loan)
The new illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by Jim Kay
As a side note: Santa did actually bring the new Illustrated Harry Potter and Cress for me! I also received a beautiful 1870 edition of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Whew. I am a lucky, lucky bookworm.
Top Ten Books I Read in 2015
Wake of Vultures* by Lila Bowen
The Little Paris Bookshop* by Nina George
Queen of Shadows* by Sarah J. Maas (Book 4 in Throne of Glass)
Winter* by Marissa Meyer
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
Fat Chance by Nick Spaulding
Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow
The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Blameless by Gail Carriger (Book 3 in Parasol Protectorate)
The Lightning Thief (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan
The books with the asterisk were also published in 2015 in addition to having been read then. If I had to choose an all time top pick for 2015, it would be a tie between The Little Paris Bookshop and Queen of Shadows, one adult fiction, the other YA fantasy. Both incredibly written and moving in different ways. George’s novel was an emotionally compelling tale without much action but plenty of drama and history. Maas’ typical writing style had me clinging to my seat to know what would happen next to one of my favorite heroines. Both were brilliantly done.
Honorable mentions include:
A Thousand Nights* by E.K. Johnston
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms* by George R.R. Martin
Six of Crows* by Leigh Bardugo
Luckiest Girl Alive* by Jessica Knoll
The Girl on the Train* by Paula Hawkins
Ice like Fire* by Sara Raasch
Silver in the Blood* by Jessica Day George
Part-Time Princesses by Monica Gallagher
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Dead Heat* by Patricia Briggs
Instinct* by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Red Queen* by Victoria Aveyard
Fairest* by Marissa Meyer
And if you would like to look at the entire list of 94 books I read last year, here is a link to everything I read in 2015 via Goodreads.

November Update

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 2 months since I have posted! Even last semester when I was taking 4 classes didn’t feel this hectic. You may know by now, I am a bridesmaid in 3 weddings in 6 months and I am in grad school and working, so life has been crazy. There has been lots of planning and parties, dinners and long text battles to hammer out the details of things. I have barely been able to keep up with friends and my reading, let alone find time for sleeping and blogging. I unfortunately have been unable to participate in NaNoWriMo this month (shout out to all of you impressive people who have been able to do it!) which fills me with great sadness, though I have been writing some poems and jotting down story ideas on the side. I have also met a new special someone so making time for him in between the madness has been trying for both of us.  However, I am now 2 successful weddings and most of the fall semester down and in a short lulling moment before the holiday rush so it’s a good time for an update I think.

Let’s start with what I’m currently reading:
currently reading 11.24.15
I am completely spazzing out over Winter, of course. I am about halfway done and losing my mine. This finale is shaping up to be a great ending to the series. There is emotion and action, failures and triumphs, bloodshed and relationship ties; basically everything a girl could want. I have just started Carry On and already have high hopes for it. I am just about to start A Thousand Nights and hope that it is as impressive as it sounds. The Christmas Wedding is just for fun, something I am reading in my down time at the library, lighter and fluffier but with emotional substance. The Rest of Us Just Live Here so far has been weird, which I’m told is par for the course with Ness, and might be because I have no idea which YA book he is referencing in the first few chapters so I’m a little confused. Hopefully, that shapes up soon.
What else have I read in the last couple of months, you might be wondering? Lots of wonderful, delightful things, including a few much anticipated titles from my favorites! Here is the list:
Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George
Golden Son by Pierce Brown
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud
Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Rose Society by Marie Lu
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
And I think all of these, with the exception of Queen of Shadows which received 5, achieved 4 stars on the general Goodreads Scale. I have been trying to keep my reviews updated on there since I have not been blogging them so you may want to check those out for further info on my thoughts! https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7786191-kat

“If Librarians Were Honest…”

alphabooksIn honor of Banned Books Week, I have been thinking a lot about books mean to me and what it would be like to not be able to ever read certain ones again. A book is a powerful thing, it can offer new ideas, allow empathy to bloom, and shed light in inner emotions and connections. Which leads me back to a poem that I’ve been meaning to publish on here for awhile.

It describes exactly the way I feel about a book, any book, all books. How they change and impact you, how they can alter your perceptions and expand your world. There are few things in this world that have that capability, to have such a profound ability to kill you where you stand and raise you from the depths of your personal hell. They can make you laugh, cry, cringe, dissolve, reform, rave, rant, become more determined and understanding, waste an entire day, drink three cups of tea, fall off your chair, ignore the world around you.


If Librarians Were Honest – Joe Mills

If librarians were honest,

they wouldn’t smile, or act

welcoming. They would say,

You need to be careful. Here

be monsters. They would say,

These rooms house heathens

and heretics, murderers and

maniacs, the deluded, desperate,

and dissolute. They would say,

These books contain knowledge

of death, desire, and decay,

betrayal, blood, and more blood;

each is a Pandora’s box, so why

would you want to open one.

They would post danger

signs warning that contact

might result in mood swings,

severe changes in vision,

and mind-altering effects.

If librarians were honest

they would admit the stacks

can be more seductive and

shocking than porn. After all,

once you’ve seen a few

breasts, vaginas, and penises,

more is simply more,

a comforting banality,

but the shelves of a library

contain sensational novelties,

a scandalous, permissive mingling

of Malcolm X, Marx, Melville,

Merwin, Millay, Milton, Morrison,

and anyone can check them out,

taking them home or to some corner

where they can be debauched

and impregnated with ideas.

If librarians were honest,

they would say, No one

spends time here without being

changed. Maybe you should

go home. While you still can. 

(Source: http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Mills_If_Librarians_Were_Honest.pdf)

Top Ten Tuesday

I should really start writing these in advance to be published but unfortunately, time is money, two things I don’t have much of at the moment. Grad school began this week…unfortunately, my best friend’s wedding is also this weekend which means things are being punched into overdrive. However, I am here to make a little time for all of you!

Top Ten Tuesday

Last week’s first: August 25: Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101 (examples: YA fantasy 101, feminist literature 101, magic in YA 101, classic YA lit 101, world-building 101)

My list will be for a class entitled Moral Compasses & Honor 101.

black jewelsThe Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop – Why? “When honor and Law no longer stand on the same side of the line, how do we choose?” Characters who have to choose between their own moral code and the conduct that society is telling them to have, all in a brilliantly executed fashion with love, war, and family.

Horns by Joe Hill – Why? Iggy spends so much time defending himself and then is given the gift to find out what really happened. He knows he is innocent but stands with a stained soul in the eyes of almost everyone in his time. And although the ending might lead some to question the book choice, I think it is an important one to note.

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan – Why? “If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.” It’s hard enough being a preteen, let alone one who is descended from the gods, literally. And those guys love to interfere, so Percy and friends might forge their own courses.

Legend trilogy by Marie Lu – Why? “If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system.That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system.” A pair of teens who stand on opposing sides of the line, one is a criminal and one is the country’s best solider. But how they come together, work together is an incredible journey filled with questioning and moral dilemmas.

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling – Why? As much as I would love to have the whole series here, it would be impossible, so I will stick with the just the first one which still provides a great view of Harry’s initial moral fiber from the friends he makes and the paths he takes.demon king

The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima – Why? “So hopefully we get smarter and don’t make the same mistakes again.” Han and Raisa’s dynamic pairing give insight into two different views of kingdom life. Han’s moral code is something he has worked to build over time, even as a thief, while Raisa struggles with what it means to really be royal and have an impact on her subjects.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – Why? A brotherly betrayal, a family torn apart after being brought together through tragedy and strife. Learning lessons the hard way and understanding that doing what it right is rarely the easiest path to take. A classic for a reason!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – Why? Two people whose lives seem perfect from the outside by inside are teeming with distrust, betrayal, and loathing. A great story with questionable morals that pulls you in and leaves you reeling on the side of the road after.

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort – Why? A fast-talking, game-changing, corrupt asshole who came clean with his version of events and gave us the inside scoop on a world we are all curious about. His moral compass swings like a pendulum in an interesting contradiction of life choices.

young elitesThe Young Elites by Marie Lu – Why? “Be true to yourself. But that’s something everyone says and no one means. No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.” The main character is one who feels evil crawling in her like a worm on the brain, paired with a seemingly perfect sister, a crown prince who isn’t what he seems, and a group of like-minded individuals who either want to be friends or use her.

Bonus classic: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton – Why? “Everything may be labelled – but everybody is not.” A man and woman who fall in love but are unable to be together, who continue to make the right, upstanding choice, rather than succumb to what they wish to happen. Beautiful and heart-breaking.

Of course, I would probably have to assign some of this as summer reading, given that there are so many. Or break into a two semester course. Which I am totally okay with 😉

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten TuesdayAugust 18: Top Ten Of Your Auto-buy Authors

I actually very rarely go out and buy books right when they come out, mostly because they are expensive and I am still a poor college student. I utilize the library as often as possible and usually just buy books that I love. However, in an ideal world these would be my auto-buy authors in no particular order:

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Rick Riordan

Patricia Briggs

Cinda Williams Chima

Kimberly McCreight

Gillian Flynn

Sarah J. Maas

Marie Lu

Sara Raasch

Marissa Meyer

Gail Carriger

Anne Bishop

Bonus: C.S. Lewis, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen, if they were still alive and writing.