Books

What I’m Reading

I’ve only completed two books so far this year, The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis, and have a low goal of 65 for my Goodreads challenge. Hopefully, I will be able to accomplish more than that but there are a lot of pulls on my time, and with graduation, a new job, and potential move happening, who knows how much free time I will actually have.

Here is what I am currently reading:

currently reading 1.12.16

I have been trying to pare down my selections to three or less books at one time but as you can see, it’s not working. Not to mention that the biggest challenge comes from inter-library loan which always seems to deliver my books all at once. I guess it’s when they become available but it makes it tricky for deciding which to read and when and making time for the seven or eight that I currently have checked out.

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.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

December 8: Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015

As 2015 is not yet over and I do have a couple of other new authors to try, some may be bumped from this list. In no particular order:

Kimberly McCreight

Nick Spaulding

Victoria Aveyard

Holly Smale

Jessica Spotswood

Brandon Mull

Eoin Colfer

Janet Evanovich

John Flanagan

Jessica Day George

Top Ten Tuesday: Dec 1

I’m trying to keep up to date with all of these, honestly, but with finals starting I feel behind again, so here is the Top Ten Tuesday from last week for you 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

December 1: Top Ten 2016 Debuts Novels We Are Looking Forward To. I altered mine a bit and haven’t heard of enough titles to create a full list but here it is.

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh – YA debut novel, magical spheres that give powers, teens in a race against time, a new discovery that could change the world

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye – The last two enchanters left in the world pitted against one another in a fight to the death for power and privilege

Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims – Twin sisters try to uncover the truth of what happened to an assaulter, one is being blackmailed, and both must make sacrifices

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfield – A modern retelling of the classic Pride & Prejudice, a contemporary twist on a personal favorite featuring the same colorful cast in a new way

Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson – Not a new author but a new series about a boy, a bag of sand, and a secret society out to steal it from him

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan – Also not a new author, but an all time favorite. This new series will be about the trials and difficulties of Apollo, an interesting character for sure.

I also read about a new upcoming book, which is currently in manuscript form but I can’t seem to find my note about it. The title is Word World and is about a reality where words can shape and change the world around people based on use. They have actual power. Sounds incredible and if I find out more, I will let you know!

Top Ten Tuesday: Nov 24

Top Ten Tuesday

November 24: Thanksgiving themed Freebie — ten books I’m thankful for, authors I’m thankful for, Ten fictional families I’d like to celebrate Thanksgiving with, a personal non-bookish thankful list, etc. etc.

 

Ten things, Bookish and not, that I am thankful for:

  1. My family
  2. My health
  3. Libraries + all the free materials and resources they provide, especially the numerous books and WiFi
  4. My favorite authors, which are too plentiful to enumerate here
  5. Clean drinking water for my Nalgene, coffee, and tea
  6. My relative sanity during this time of stress
  7. My job and the income it provides
  8. Free time to read my books
  9. Warmth during these cold months and a roof over my head
  10. My followers and all their support, thank you!

 

Wish you all a very happy and gratuitous Thanksgiving, may it be filled with warmth, joy, and laughter. And please, stay home instead of shopping. This time of year is about family, whether related to you or not (friends and significant others and pets count!), so take one day and devote it to them. There will be plenty of time for shopping, or thinking of creative hand-made gifts for everyone after November 26.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday
I have decided to save myself a lot of time and effort by condensing all of the Top Ten Tuesdays I have missed into one post for you. This will be easier to write and most likely easier to read than being bombarded with a ton of posts at once. I will pick one or two items from each topic selected and print them here for your enjoyment.
September 29: Ten Books To Read If You Like This Super Popular Book/Author 
1) If you like Kiera Cass, read The Jewel by Amy Ewing or Legend by Marie Lu
2) If you like Sarah J. Maas, read Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch or Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
3) If you like Rick Riordan, read The Colussus Rises by Peter Lerangis or A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull
4) If you like The Giver, read Red Rising by Pierce Brown or Pawn by Aimee Carter
October 6:  Ten Bookish Things I Want to Quit Or Have Quit
1) My number one bookish thing I want to quit is buying books that sound or look good that I then never read, like ones at yard or book sales.
2) I would also like to quit checking out so many books at once from the library and feeling overwhelmed by due dates.
October 13: Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together
1) Hands down, the number one couple I would love to see on a book cover would be Sarah J. Maas and Sara Raasch. They have the most adorable Twitter relationship and I’m pretty sure a real life friendship, so that collaboration would blow me away. They could write anything together and it would come out amazing.
2) Also, Sarah J. Maas and Anne Bishop together would blow me away. The male/female dynamics and the world building and character flaws and relationships, together would be even more stunning.
3) Another pairing would have to be Cinda Williams Chima and Anne Bishop. They are both absolutely brilliant and can write amazing male and female characters that are strong, charismatic, or even a great villain or bully to hate.
4) A collaboration between Marissa Meyer and Gail Carriger would also be pretty great. Steampunk, sci-fi fairy tales with love, action, and high tea.
5) Can we please also beg at the door to Stephen King’s house to have him write a novel with his son, Joe Hill? They have done some other things together but that would be one heck of a thriller.
October 20: 10 Wishes I’d Ask The Book Genie To Grant Me
1) MORE STORIES FROM ANNE BISHOP ABOUT SAETAN, DAEMON, AND LUCIVAR!!
2) A way to read The Sisters’ Fate by Jessica Spotswood without buying it or having to find it out of state.
3) The ability to look at a book and read it within 10 minutes with full absorption and plot memory.
4) A Beauty & the Beast Library
October 27: Halloween themed freebie: Creepy/Scary books
1) Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
2) Seventh Son by Joseph Delaney
3) The Watchers by Dean Koontz
4) It by Stephen King
5) Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
6) The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
November 3:  Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel
1) Victoria Aveyard
2) Sara Raasch (I already read it but I wouldn’t have when this original date happened)
3) Pierce Brown (ditto)
4) R.C. Lewis
5) Jessica Knoll
November 10: Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch (Although I’m not sure I will watch some of these)
1) Mockingjay Part 2
2) The Scorch Trials
3) Insurgent
4) The Fault in Our Stars
5) 50 Shades of Grey
November 17: Top Ten Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So
“Do you know that there’s a halfway world between each ending and each new beginning? It’s called the hurting time, Jean Perdu. It’s a bog; it’s where your dreams and worries and forgotten plans gather. Your steps are heavier during that time. Don’t underestimate the transition, Jeanno, between farewell and new departure. Give yourself the time you need. Some thresholds are too wide to be taken in one stride.” – Nina George, The Little Paris Bookshop
“That’s how relationships work – when one person is blind, the other must see for them. When one person struggles, the other must remain strong.” – Sara RaaschIce Like Fire
“Sometimes there won’t be a right choice, just the best of several bad options. – Sarah J. Maas, Queen of Shadows
“But faith doesn’t mean that to me anymore. Now it means someone seeing something in you that you don’t, and not giving up until you see it too.” – Jessica KnollLuckiest Girl Alive
“Too much knowledge can make you paranoid all the time.” – Patricia Briggs, Dead Heat

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

Top Ten Tuesday

September 1: Ten Characters You Just Didn’t Click With (from The Broke and the Bookish)

Emma from Emma by Jane Austen

Meggie from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Quentin from The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Pip from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Claire from Outlander by Diane Gabaldon

Clary from City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth

Holden from Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Scarlett from Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Nyx from Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

I’m sure some of you that are reading might be confused or concerned but I’m not going to provide any real explanation except to say that most of these characters are whiny and hit nerves or else just aren’t interesting enough or strong enough or didn’t resonate with me in a way that I like. That being said, I’m sure that some of these are characters that you might like and enjoy and if you have a reason why you absolutely love them, please feel free to share.

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 😉