25th TBR Purge

Hey all, Dani here.

I’m just going to go ahead and say this right now. The amount of books I purged from today’s selection is way better than tomorrow’s selection. We’re getting towards the very end of my TBR list, so basically books added from February 2017 until now, which means for the most part I am still really excited about reading them and that makes purging quite a bit more difficult.

But I feel like I’m still doing pretty good. So now I’m going to take you through the next 30 books on my Goodreads to-read list and decide which ones to delete (usually just for now) and which ones I’m going to keep.


First Year by Rachel E. Carter. I’ve been meaning to give this one a try.

Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer. Okay, this one still sounds really interesting and I can’t believe I haven’t bought a copy yet.

Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr. The cover is gorgeous and I’m sure the story is probably pretty good too, but I’m going to be realistic and go ahead and say that I don’t see me getting around to this one anytime soon.

Bard’s Exile by Carolyn Gross. First, I love the look of this one’s cover, and it seems like I’ve been collecting stories that focus on bards/storytellers and such. I want to give this one a try.

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty. This still sounds really awesome and it has been sitting on my shelves for what feels like months already. I need to read it.

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel. Another really cool cover design, and I am still really intrigued by the story. I honestly just need the time to read all of these awesome sounding books.

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. So this one sound really cool and one of my favorite BookTubers won’t stop raving about this series. It’s about time I just start reading them.

Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan. This is the fifth and final book of the series and I have yet to start reading the first one, so this one can leave the list for a while.

Bellamy and the Brute by Alicia Michaels. I got this book in a Lit-Cube box and started reading it but stopped a few chapters in. I remember liking it; I just got distracted by other books….oh, and starting a new relationship. At some point I will get back around to this book.

The Keeper’s Curse by Keifer Duncan. I read and reviewed the author’s first book and he kindly sent me a copy of his second one. I really need to take a couple hours and read this one so I can get a review up.

Peter Darling by Austin Chant. Okay, this one really does still sound interesting and at some point it may find its way back on the list, but I’m not really feeling a Peter Pan type story right now.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs. I’m intrigued by this one but at the same time it isn’t something I’d normally reach for. So I own it and if the mood strikes I’ll likely pick it up, but I’m still going to take it off this list.

Adam Silvera Fantasy Book. There’s no actual title, no cover, no release day. All I know is that Adam Silvera is writing it and it is supposed to be a fantasy story. But that’s enough for me. I’m keeping it.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas. Obvious keep. I’ll get around to this one before the final book arrives.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch. I really enjoyed Snow Like Ashes and this one sounds cool too. I want to give it a try.

Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller. I do believe that this one is on my Diverse December TBR. I hope to get around to it before the end of the year.

Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman. Originally I had this one marked to be removed from my TBR, but I recently read the first book, of which this one is technically a companion, not a sequel. So I guess now I’m keeping this one.

Omega by Jus Accardo. I was going to keep this one because I enjoyed the first one and I wanted to see what happens next, but I could have bought this at the bookstore several times and I always set it down, not feeling like I wanted to read it. So either I’m just not in the mood or my fondness for the first one didn’t last long enough to compel me to read this one too.

Ecstasy Unveiled by Larissa Ione. Honestly, I flew through the first three books in this series a while ago and they’re not bad at all, but in some ways they blend in with so many other similar books. Right now I’m just not feeling like I want to continue with this series.

The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter. This series on the other hand, I pretty much binge-read, and it’s about time for me to read another four or five of them. I’m keeping this one.

The Masked City, The Burning Page, and The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman. I need to finish reading the first book before I can continue with this series. For now these ones can be removed from the list.

Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Revelations, Allies, and Legends by Lydia Sherrer. I met her at Cincinnati Comic Expo and bought the first two books of the series. I have read the first one and I liked it enough, but at the moment I’m just not ready to continue with the series. Maybe at some point in the future, but right now I have too many other books I’d rather focus on.

The End of the Day by Claire North. What is it about pretty much every Claire North book that comes out? I think their concepts are so fascinating and I add them to my TBRs and that’s about it. I need to just start reading them already. I’m keeping this one.

Accepting the Bear, Releasing the Panther, and A Second Life as a Bear by Josette Reuel. She is my friend and my co-ML for NaNoWriMo. I’ve read the first book in this series and I need to read the rest. For now the second book will stay on my TBR and the other two will go away until I am ready for them.


This time around I kept 16 books out of the 30, which isn’t bad overall. I’m actually feeling really pleased with this whole process.

Advertisements

Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Hey all, Dani here.

I am finally getting around to posting some of my Diverse December book reviews. I did a lot of reading at the end of November and it made the first couple weeks of December pretty interesting for my post schedule. So look for more Diverse December reviews scattered through the rest of this month and continuing into January.

Anyway, Diverse December was created by Kathy over at Books & Munches, and the goal is to read as many diverse books in the month of December as possible. These can be diverse in terms of race, religion, sexuality, mental health, etc.

24974996

Summary

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

The only reason I marked this one down a .5 star was because the format just threw me off throughout the book. I was fine with just dialogue during the debate portions of the story, but in person or on the phone, it would have been nice to have descriptors and observations of body language and movement.

Otherwise I think this was a pretty powerful read, especially with its short length. I know there were many actions and words spoken that grated on me or made me feel a bit uncomfortable because of how blatantly and racially charged some of them were.

There were characters all across the spectrum, from white kids who recognized their privilege and tried to speak up for minorities, and privileged white kids who thought there was no racial divide, even as they spoke blatantly racially charged statements. You had characters of color who were frustrated and upset for some of the situations they were put in simply because of the color of their skin, and there were characters of color who tried to let racist remarks slide because reacting would not have helped their situation at all.

I appreciate how varied the characterizations were, and how much of an impact this story had with so few pages. I’m also glad for the changes a couple characters went through by the end of the story. It was nice to see that living through these situations did have an impact on them.

Overall I would definitely say this covers an important topic and it is something I recommend for people to pick up and read.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of Dear Martin from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Recommendations: Nonfiction, Memoir, and Biography

Hey all, Dani here.

I realize that today’s topic is a bit of a mixed bag, but I don’t really read enough of each of these to warrant individual posts for each. Actually, I believe that most of what I am talking about in here is technically memoir, but still. They are all worthwhile reads (Or at least I think they are).

Let’s just get started.

wp-1467216307653.jpg

So, actually any of the books featured above would work for this post, but I am specifically talking about Hamilton: The Revolution here. It is the libretto, or the complete lyrics for the musical, but it also includes behind the scenes sections that document the writing and rehearsing process, and I think it is a wonderful read. I would totally recommend Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow as well…but I’m not finished reading it yet. I’m taking my time. I read ten or so pages and then set it aside for a bit. There is a lot of information in the massive tome and I don’t want to risk my eyes just glossing over things because I’m trying to read too much of it at once.

20160426_192344

If you thought I could get away with having this post and not mentioning one of my favorite geeky ladies, then you must not have been around this blog for very long. I absolutely love Felicia Day as a person, and reading her memoir was such a geeky inspirational read. Then add to it the fact that I got to meet her during her paperback tour and this book is definitely on the top of my general recommendations list. It just gives me the idea for a future I could have where I get paid to talk about and do the geeky hobbies and activities I love.

30253864

This collection of essays by Lauren Graham was such a fun read. And if you prefer audiobooks, Lauren herself reads it. Honestly it might even be more fun that way. While reading it I felt like I was just sitting down and enjoying a meal with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. The whole thing just felt very laid back and conversational. And since Lauren does actually just talk fast, I’ve heard that the audiobook is only a few hours long.

29868610

Speaking of fun conversational reads, I also feel like I have to recommend Anna Kendrick’s memoir. Yes, she does a lot of Hollywood name dropping, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like she is bragging about it. Honestly it felt like a friend excitedly recounting some fun story from an adventure she had. Plus, Anna is a pretty funny lady. Oh, and this is another shorter read, so it’s great if you just need something amusing and light.

17571564

This book made me laugh so much, mostly because of the artwork depicting the stories. And yet, behind the humor is a serious look at how so many people likely think about themselves and their self-identity. There is also a large section dedicated to depression and coping with it. The blend of reality (with just a touch of hyperbole) and humor is perfect, and I can’t recommend this enough.

Finally, I feel like I can’t complete this list without mentioning some of the books that have helped me with writing.

First, of course, is On Writing by Stephen King. This is part memoir detailing King’s history with writing, editing, rejection, and publication. And honestly, so many people include this in their must read books for authors for a reason. It is absolutely worth a read.

Next I have to include this book put together by Deborah Chester. Her advice on story ideas and writing and editing and the whole publishing process are very straightforward and helpful. Plus, the introduction of this book was written by Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files series. If you write or want to write fantasy books, I’d suggest reading this one.

Finally, a book that is helpful for fantasy and science fiction writers, as well as people running RPGs, I absolutely have to recommend The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding on this list. Yes, this book is a series of essays technically aimed at people designing worlds for games, but as someone who writes fantasy novels, I have to say that the advice contained within this small book is fantastic. It really helped me put together everything I needed for a fantasy world that legitimately felt as if it was real. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to share the world with you all, but for now, I’ll just say that I love how handy this book has been.


Whew…another recommendation post down. I am so glad that you guys are enjoying these posts. If you can think of any other theme or genre ideas for my recommendation posts, let me know. Also, if you have any non-fiction, memoir, or biography recommendations, let me know those in the comments as well.

Comic Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Lost Adventures

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so my boyfriend recently got me to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender and we managed to finish the entire series with just a few weekends, and we just started watching The Legend of Korra, but hearing that the comic books bridge the gap between the two series, I wanted to start reading them too.

This collection however, is a bunch of stories that were released while the show was originally airing, and they are just some fun quick little tales that expand on what happens during or in-between some of the episodes.

10450750

Summary

For three years, millions of eager fans tuned in to watch new episodes of Nickelodeon’s hit animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Ever since, fans have been hungry for more, and now their wait is finally over!

This volume collects the long-out-of-print, fan-favorite comics previously published in Nickelodeon Magazine and with the Airbender DVDs, plus over seventy brand-new comics pages. That’s twenty-six stories set in Airbender continuity, by a host of top-notch talent, many of whom worked on the original animated series!

* A must-have for any Airbender fan!

* Twenty-six in-continuity stories, plus bonus content!

* The latest release in an ongoing partnership between Nickelodeon and Dark Horse, to bring you the very best in Airbender books!

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

So I enjoyed this collection of stories, and I even like that they divided them into three sections, one for each season of the show. It makes it easier to determine where each story takes place within the continuity of the episodes.

Honestly, I don’t know that they really added much to the viewing experience, but they were entertaining. And really, that’s all you can ask for with this, to be entertained.

One of my favorite stories had to be the one where Sokka pretends to be the Avatar, and Aang, Katara, and Toph help him with charade…at least until real danger from the Fire Nation arrives. I won’t spoil it for you but the ending was quite amusing.

Another fantastic story has Toph facing off against Bumi to see who is the greatest Earthbender, a fight that ends in a draw due to the strength of their bending and the destruction to the nearby area.

Both of these stories probably would have made for great episodes in the show, but I understand that not everything can be fit into the story arc of a season.

Basically, I definitely recommend this book and any of the other comics to fans of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” It is a really quick read, but it’s also a nice way to revisit the characters and the world.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this collection of adventures from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, Comixology, or your local indie book store.


So, I have a question…I’m reading these Avatar comics pretty quickly, as well as volumes of manga for My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, and Fullmetal Alchemist. Would you guys like to see reviews for each one or would you rather I combine a few volumes together? Right now I have enough tags, recommendations, and reviews to hold me over for the next couple of months. Honestly having a bank of reviews could be helpful as I transition into 2018 and find myself changing positions and shifts at work. I already know that I’m going to have to figure out a new reading, writing, and blogging schedule for 2018. Anyway, your opinion would be most helpful, so let me know your thoughts in the comments. Thanks everyone!

Recent Acquisitions I’m Excited to Read

Hey all, Dani here.

I recently read a post from Alyssa Marie over at A Reader’s Journey, and at the end she asked if any of us had recently acquired books that we were really excited for, and I decided that it would be a whole lot easier just to write up a blog post to talk about some of the books I’m excited to read and review in the upcoming weeks and months.

20171206_1011371958466295.jpg

I guess I should start with this lovely ARC I won in a Goodreads Giveaway. The cover is so shiny and awesome, and it sounds like an interesting story. Plus, this is the first Goodreads Giveaway I have won in over four years, so I’m looking forward to starting The Hazel Wood soon. This book will be released January 30, 2018.

37159793

Okay, so I got the e-ARC of Searching for Billy Shakespeare last Friday and it will be released very soon (December 26th). Technically I’ve already read this one because I finished it on Saturday, but I was super excited to read it, and my review will be up very soon.

34499244

The Forgotten Book is an e-galley I received from NetGalley and I actually just started reading it today. It sounds really interesting and is actually inspired by Jane Austen. Plus, come on, look at that cover. This book will be released January 2, 2018, so I expect my review to be up probably next week.

25566671

Reign the Earth has been on my radar since Book Expo, though I missed out on getting an ARC there. Thankfully I was approved for one on NetGalley, and I can’t wait to delve into this magical tale. It will be released January 30, 2018.

35297558

I know I’ve raved multiple times about the first book in this series, Borderline, because it was such an interesting read and I loved the complexity of the characters. I’m reading the second book, Phantom Pains, this month, so I’m really excited that I have the third one to dive into as soon as I’ve finished. Impostor Syndrome will be released on March 13, 2018.

33790435

I’ve read a lot of books published by 47North, and I have enjoyed every one of them. That is why I feel honored that I have been auto-approved on NetGalley for any of their books I’d like. A friend recommended that I pick up The Paper Magician and it was good, so I had to get the other two books of the trilogy. Well, it is a trilogy no more as the fourth book, The Plastic Magician, will be released on May 15, 2018.

35457253

This one actually popped up in an e-mail from NetGalley about upcoming fantasy titles, and it sounded really interesting, so I’m lucky to have been approved for this story about five daughters of the king, each of whom is quite different. Daughters of the Storm will be released on March 6, 2018.

Now..the next book on my list hasn’t had a cover reveal yet, but I promise that as soon as I have been sent an image for it, I will have the cover reveal here on my blog, as well as all of the relevant release information and such. Of course I am talking about the next installment of the Colorworld series, Waterworld. Now this one is going to be a bit of an interesting story because there are six different narrators, but rather than release a hugely massive book, Rachel E Kelly has decided to split it up into separate volumes. So this first one, Waterworld Volume 1 will follow Ezra’s part of the story. I’m really excited about reading this one, so expect a lot more Colorworld-centric posts coming in the near future.

Finally, as I started typing this post, I actually got an e-mail from NetGalley informing me that I had been approved for another book, and this is one I have been anticipating since I finished reading the first one.

34236194

More Than We Can Tell is the sequel/companion to Letters to the Lost and it follows Rev, so I am so pleased that I get to read this book early. It will be released on March 6, 2018.

Okay then, well that pretty much wraps up the recent book acquisitions I’m excited about. Let me know in the comments if you have recently received or purchased any books you’re excited to read. I’ll see you tomorrow with a comic review post.

Name in Books Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

So, I saw this tag over on Amber’s blog at Step Into a Book World and it seemed like a fun little post, so I pretty much had to give it a try. Considering the size of my library, I actually didn’t think it would be that difficult to do. The basic concept is to find a book that starts with each letter of your name.

That’s it. No other rules or anything, just choose a book for each letter of your name. Because I like to talk about books though, I also added in a little bit about the books.

Now where it gets fun for me is the decision of which name to choose. Obviously I start each post with the shortened version: Dani, but that seemed too easy for the challenge, and really I enjoy bookish challenges, so I went with the full name: Danielle Thamasa.

Okay, so I’m dividing this up into a few different images just because I can. Plus this way I can show off the books a bit more, which is always nice.

Let’s just get started.

D-A-N-I

20171211_124645275304333.jpg

D: Dreamworld by Rachel E Kelly. This is seriously one of my favorite books and I need to give it a reread soon.

A: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. This was a beautifully worded and artistic tale, complete with the Fae. I rather enjoyed this read.

N: Now I Rise by Kiersten White. I am hoping to read the first book this month, but I have heard a lot of wonderful things about this series.

I: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I loved the fun format of this story, and added to the plot, this was an incredibly fast story, especially for its length. I’m really looking forward to reading the final book next year.

E-L-L-E

20171211_1246281949400497.jpg

E: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. For this being a book about words and poetry, I still have difficulty describing just how wonderful this story is. It is just an incredible book, so I had to include it in this post.

L: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I actually got around to reading this one finally this year, and it was pretty good. I look forward to reading Lord of Shadows sometime in the near future.

L: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger. Another book I read and really enjoyed this year. Books about magical alcohol are just entertaining.

E: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill. This was one of the first books I read this year and I flew through it; I’m hoping that I find the sequel just as good.

T-H-A-M

20171211_1246091145062428.jpg

T: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. Wow…I read and loved this book and yet I never wrote a blog review for it. Hmm, I guess that means a reread and then a review is necessary. Speaking of…due to an unforeseen issue, the release of Sightwitch by Susan Dennard has been delayed three weeks. It will now be released FEB 13 2018. Mark your calendars or perhaps just go and preorder it now.

H: Heartstone by Elle Katharine White. I love this book so much. It came in a book subscription box and it is basically Pride and Prejudice with the addition of dragons. This was the book I didn’t know I needed in my life until I read it.

A: A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne. This was an interesting first epic fantasy book from the author of the Iron Druid Chronicles (which I really enjoy). The kennings (or magic abilities) were intriguing. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

M: Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead. Another great book from one of my auto-buy authors. I found Mira to be an awesome protagonist, and now all that’s left is to bring the final book out, and with it Tamsin’s story. I can’t wait to read The Emerald Sea.

A-S-A

20171211_1245531047535024.jpg

A: Arcadia by Iain Pears. I actually still need to read this book, but it seems to have a Narna-esque concept to it, so I’m hoping it will be a good read.

S: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Another book I need to read, and I have been hearing outstanding things about it. Hopefully I can read this one soon.

A: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Hmm…I actually still need to see the movie. But I read this one during a 24 Hour Readathon and it was kind of a perfect choice for that. It is a short read but you get swept away into the story and read it so quickly. It was great.


And just for fun, let’s throw in one more picture, this time with all the books of my name put together.

20171211_1247041013109383.jpg

Well, I had a lot of fun with this, and it really didn’t take all that long to do. So, if you are reading this post and you would like to give this a try, you have now been TAGGED.

Purge that TBR #24

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome back to another TBR purge post. I have the next 30 books from my to-read list on Goodreads to look through and decide what to keep and what to remove from the list.

Oh, and I’ll also say that I did decide to join in on the Readathon by Zoe 24 Hour Readathon that took place yesterday, December 9th, and I did pretty good for not really having a lot of reading time. I finished 4 books, though they were pretty short, and three of them were actually comics. I’ll talk about those more in upcoming reviews and my December wrap up.

Okay, well I guess it’s time to jump into this purge. Let’s get to it.

A World Without Princes, The Last Ever After, and Quests for Glory by Soman Chainani. This is a cute middle grade series and I enjoyed the first book, so I want to keep reading. I am keeping the second book on my list but for now it just makes sense to take books three and four off.

The Last True Hero by Bec McMaster. This is the second book in her Burned Lands series and I haven’t read the first one yet, so this one can go for now.

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston. I can’t believe that this one is still on my TBR. It is about a lady gladiator. I need to read this one soon, especially with the sequel coming out in a couple months.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr. I own this one and it does still sound kind of interesting, so if the mood strikes I’ll still pick it up, but for the moment, I’m going to pass on this one.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis. This one still sounds pretty interesting, and at some point in the future I’ll probably get a copy and read it, but I own a couple McGinnis books already and I should probably read those first to see if I like her writing style. For now I’m going to take this one off my TBR.

The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu. I picked up a copy of this one because it sounds interesting and sometimes reading magical realism type stories is interesting, but I have to be in the right mood for them. This book will be taken off my TBR for now, but when the mood strikes, I’ll still probably pick this one up.

A Closed and Common Orbit and Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. Okay, so technically I have Orbit on my Diverse December TBR, so it will be coming off the list soon, and then I’ll just be anticipating the release of the third book. But I absolutely loved the first book, so I’m hoping to feel the same with these.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Come on, of course I’m going to read this one (hopefully sometime soon). But I do tend to like circus type stories, and the reviews for this have been pretty decent, so hopefully I’ll enjoy this.

Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet. This is the third book and I haven’t even read the first one yet. I can say goodbye to this one for now.

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich. Another book on my Diverse December TBR, so hopefully I’ll be able to read this one this month.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I have been putting off this book for months, yet hearing amazingly wonderful reviews about it. Also, I have this one on my Diverse December TBR. I really want to read this one before the end of the year.

Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines. First Hines is one of my favorite authors. Second, this is basically a story about janitors in space, and that just sounds amusing to me, especially since I enjoyed the web series “Space Janitors” on Geek & Sundry.

The Waking Land by Callie Bates. I still like the idea for this story, and at some point I may still pick it up, but I kind of need to be realistic with my massive TBR at the moment. For now I shall pass on this.

The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories edited by Mahvesh Murad. Okay, so technically this one I’ve read about half of it. So I don’t think it should actually be on the TBR list, but I do need to finish reading it.

Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller. Yep, I am definitely still keeping this one on my to-read list.

Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn. This book still intrigues me, so I still want to pick it up. Plus, the cover is really cool.

A List of Cages by Robin Roe. I have heard great things about this, and I do believe I have a copy sitting on my bookshelves, but for the moment, I’m going to pass on this one. I’m feeling more like I want awesome fantasy reads and light fluffy reads, so when the mood strikes I’m sure I’ll pick this one up.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. Sometimes I feel like I want to pick up more historical fiction, like when I stared watching the TV series based on this book. But I don’t know if/when I would actually pick it up. So for now it’s a pass.

Kings or Pawns and Heroes or Thieves by J.J. Sherwood. I picked these up at Cincinnati Comic Expo in 2016, and I also won a giveaway for book three, so I pretty much need to read these. I’ll keep the first on my to-read and take the second off for now.

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. Obviously I have this one on my most anticipated releases list. I can’t wait to read it.

Beast by Brie Spangler. I’m just not feeling like I want to read this one right now.

This Song is (Not) for You by Laura Nowlin. I think I just went through a list of books categorized as diverse reads and added a bunch of them to my to-read list without necessarily thinking about if I would be in the mood or have the time to really fit them into my reading schedule.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. Another book I added from the diverse reads list. I’m finding plenty of diverse reads these days that I really want to read, so ones I added to my TBR just for the sake of diversity don’t rank up there much.

Andromeda Cycle #1 by Jay Kristoff. I have a few other Kristoff books to read before I get around to this one, and technically this one doesn’t even have a title or anything yet. So it could pop back up on this list next year, but for now, I shall pass on it.

Spectacle by Rachel Vincent. This is the second book in a series and I still need to read the first one. It does follow a circus of sorts and the characters are all part of the freak show, so I am really interested in it.

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard. I am very intrigued by this book, a modern take on The Phantom of the Opera, and I’ve actually read almost half of it, so I don’t know that it necessarily qualifies as to-read anymore, but I do plan to finish it at some point so I will keep it on the list.


All in all today was a pretty good purge. I only kept 13 of the 30 books, so I feel pleased with that. There are just four more of these posts to go…maybe 5 with some of the recent additions to my to-read list, but still that’s not too bad.

Until next time, have a nice day everyone.

TBR Purge #23

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome back to another TBR purge post. A few months ago I saw several people participating in a Down the TBR Rabbit Hole Purge meme, and I thought the idea sounded good, especially when your TBR has grown to unmanageable heights. But those posts had you look at 5 (or 10) books on your list each time and I knew that would make the process take far too long. So I decided to take on 30 books from my TBR with each post, and here we are.

Then, to finish the purge before the new year, I started doing two of these posts each weekend instead of just one each week. So we are nearing the end. Just two more weeks of my purge posts and I’ll be done. It’ll be nice to start my 2018 with a more organized list of books to read.

Okay, let’s just get started.

Mosaic by Sarah Fine. This is the final book of a trilogy I’ve really enjoyed. I guess I just stopped halfway through this one so it wouldn’t actually end. I will finish this one.

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley. I’ve read the first few chapters of this book and it is really interesting so far. I just need to finish it.

The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl. This book sounds so interesting and I need to find the time to read it.

Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson. Do I really need to say anything to explain why I’m keeping this one? It’s Brandon Sanderson.

Gifted by J.A. George. Another book I read a few chapters of and then abandoned for no good reason. I do plan on finishing this one as well.

Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K LeGuin. This is one I feel like I need to buy and add to my writing books shelf, but I don’t feel the need to read it at this exact moment.

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge. This book sounds so good. I wish I had more time to read all the books that sound good. I will find the time for this one…at some point.

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. I will read this one…soon.

The Reader by Traci Chee. This one is still on my radar, and I own it, but I’m just not seeing where I’ll be picking it up to read any time soon.

Genrenauts: Complete Season One by Michael R Underwood. I am actually reading and reviewing these as individual novella “episodes” so it doesn’t make sense to have the omnibus on my TBR as well.

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris. I added this one to the TBR after seeing an early trailer for the TV series. I was intrigued and had to pick up a copy. I do plan on reading this one.

Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas. I own this book, and it sounds interesting, so I’ll probably get around to it at some point..just not right now. Bye.

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather. Actually, this one isn’t on my TBR anymore. I read it. Yay, victory!

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu. I am still working on the first book so I don’t need the third one on here yet.

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I haven’t even started the first one yet, so goodbye for now.

Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey. I’m just not feeling in the mood for this one right now.

Gilded Cage by Vic James. Actually this one is probably more on the pile of “currently reading but also really sort of on hold.” I’m taking it off the TBR for now, but I am working on it.

The Cupid Reconciliation, The Substitute Sleuth, and The Failed Fellowship by Michael R Underwood. These are the remaining “episodes” for Season One of Genrenauts. This is why I removed the omnibus earlier. And I know these are fast reads so I should really just read them already.

The Heart of Betrayal and The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E Pearson. I loved the first book and need to figure out when I’m reading the rest of the trilogy. I’m keeping book two on this list but saying farewell to book three for now.

Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal. This is seriously like an 80 page story. Why haven’t I read it yet?

Long Way Home by Katie McGarry. I have several other McGarry books to read before I make it to this one. Goodbye for now.

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan. Reading this one soon.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Just a few more months until a lot of us will be reading this one. I’m looking forward to it.

Rune of the Apprentice by Jamison Stone. This one sounded interesting so I bought a copy, but I have so many books I really want to read right now that I don’t know when I’ll be able to get around to this one. So it’s coming off the TBR, but I’m keeping it in my library.

Heartborn by Terry Maggert. Sounds interesting and it’s actually not that long of a read. Keep.

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. I have owned this book for months; I still need to start reading it. Hopefully soon.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. I definitely still want to read this one. Hmm…I might even try to squeeze this one in to my Diverse December reads.

Okay, so I only eliminated 11 books from my list this time around. It’s actually getting harder to do as I get towards the end of my to-read list.

Comic Review: Runaways Complete Collection Vol 1

Hey all, Dani here.

Recently I posted a graphic novel recommendations list, and in the comments, it was recommended that I try Runaways. It was already on my radar because of the Hulu series, but this solidified the decision that I was going to try it. Needless to say, I flew through the first volume and will have to pick up the next one sometime in the near future.

20405475

Summary

They were six normal teenagers linked only by their wealthy parents’ annual business meeting…until a chance discovery revealed the shocking truth: their parents are the secret criminal society known as the Pride! For years, the Pride controlled all criminal acti vity in Los Angeles, ruling the city with an iron fist…and now, with their true natures exposed, the Pride will take any measures necessary to protect their organizati on – even if it means taking out their own children! Now on the run from their villainous parents, Nico, Chase, Karolina, Gertrude, Molly and Alex have only each other to rely on. COLLECTING: RUNAWAYS (2003) 1-18

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it again many more times in the future: I love superpower stories and/or superhero stories. I have devoured them since I was a kid, and that fondness for them has only developed and grown in the years since. Nowadays I read books as well as comics and manga about superheroes and I watch superhero TV shows and movies. My Christmas tree has hero/geeky ornaments on it.

20171208_151829328640591.jpg

So I already figured that I would enjoy the story of Runaways. Then add to all of that the fact that the series was created by Brian K Vaughan, who also created Saga, a comic/graphic novel series I also really enjoy. It seemed like a win-win for me.

I’m also super glad that this collection featured the entire first arc of the story. There was a definitive beginning, middle, and end to the main plot, and then the ending left you with the understanding that the characters were running off again and that would lead to more adventures.

There were a lot of characters and also a lot of plotting between different groups of characters. Sometimes it felt a bit too jumbled up, but I figured things out fairly well. The blend of personalities and abilities in the teenagers was wonderful and diverse, which I appreciate.

Oh…and can we talk about the fact that there are six main characters and FOUR of them are female? Unless it’s a group like the Amazons of Themyscira or the Birds of Prey, you don’t really see that many female dominated groups. I loved that aspect of this series.

I will say that the timeline felt a bit confusing to me. To me over the course of this collection it felt like maybe a couple of weeks, but based on some of the comments made by some of the characters I guess it was actually a couple of months.

It was cool to watch as the teens began to figure out there abilities and also started learning more about what their parents were up to. The teenage drama was pretty fun, and man…that betrayal. I should have figured out who the mole was before it was actually revealed. But I enjoyed that it was as much a surprise to me as it was to everyone else in the group.

So this was a fun adventure and I’m looking forward to giving the Hulu series a try. Based on the trailer it seems to be a pretty decent adaptation, and it looks like the casting choices are spot on.

Where to Buy

You can pick up this collected edition from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

Recommendations: Contemporary

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome back to another week of book recommendations. I have to say that this series of posts has been one of my most liked and commented on, so thank you to everyone who has liked, commented, shared, and recommended books in return. I truly appreciate it.

Today’s topic for recommendations is one that I pretty much need to be in the mood for, and that mood usually strikes in early summer and sometimes briefly in winter as well. Most of what I read tends to be fantasy or paranormal, but come on, every once in a while we all just need a contemporary. A lot of the time contemporary reads tend to fall in the cutesy romance or rom-com categories…or at least the ones I pick up and read do. But I have a couple options on here that are a bit more serious.

Let’s get started.

I’ve already talked about Queens of Geek a few times on this blog, but I just enjoyed this book so much. It was fun and relatable for me as it took place during a convention and I have been to quite a few comic-cons the past few years. Plus there were just so many awesome characters excitedly talking about the books, shows, and movies they love, and I think that is always fun to read about.

Speaking of movies, this next one follows two main characters who talk about movies all the time. Alex, Approximately was sort of a modern spin on the movie You’ve Got Mail, and I thought it was absolutely adorable.

Apparently I have a thing for mistaken identity or anonymous exchanges in books. Because Letters to the Lost starts with the characters exchanging letters in a cemetery. They eventually move on to e-mail exchanges but still, I thought it was an interesting story and there will be a sequel/companion novel out in 2018.

Then there is Eliza and Her Monsters, which follows Eliza, the creator of a massively popular web comic. She has many friends online but not so much in her real life. In fact, most people aren’t aware that she is the creator of Monstrous Sea. So things get interesting when the top fan-fiction writer of her series starts going to her school. Again this one features fandom and sort of a secret identity theme, plus deals with the anxiety that creative types feel when it comes to their creations. I loved this book.

Now we have a recent read that I just feel the need to keep talking about. I adored Kat and Meg Conquer the World. The focus on female friendship and fandom was fantastic, plus Kat has anxiety and Meg has ADHD, and we get to see both girls help each other with dealing with those a bit, and supporting each other too.

Okay, so I have another anonymous letter exchange story on here, but it was just so cute. Even when certain plot points were completely obvious, I still really enjoyed this story. P.S. I Like You makes a perfect fast, cute, and fun read.

Next on my list is The Unexpected Everything, and this was such a fast read for being like a 500 page book. It was just so fun and cute, and I loved watching the characters grow. Plus, come on, Clark is adorable and makes an excellent romantic interest for a story.

I had to throw a favorite from my youth in here, but to be fair, I did reread The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in 2016 as well. Yes, compared to some more recent contemporaries, this one might not be on the same level, but I still think this series is a good one. Plus, again, female friendship.

Okay, so now I’m moving into the more serious recommendations. This first one surprised me. I picked up One of Us is Lying because it basically seemed like The Breakfast Club, but with a murder involved. I was quickly sucked into the story and needed to find out what would happen to each of the characters, and I really needed to know whodunnit.

Before I Fall is the one on this list that is kinda farthest from being a contemporary because of the reliving the same day over and over aspect. But, I read this book this year in anticipation of the movie release, and by the end I was so invested in Sam’s life.

This is Where it Ends follows a harrowing 54 minutes in the lives of several students in the moments leading up to and during a school shooting. It was a powerful and haunting read.

In the same vein, I also have to recommend a book I read during my Library Services for Young Adults course in grad school. Hate List not only has flashback scenes to the school shooting and numerous newspaper clippings throughout the book, but it mostly follows the school the next year after the event as people try to heal and forgive and move on. The primary focus of the story is the girlfriend of the shooter, and this is a book that has stuck with me since I read it.


Wow, why did I choose to put the more serious books at the end? It feels like I’m ending this post on a somber note.  Then again, I suppose with the way the world is these days that also makes a certain kind of sense. I appreciate that we have books that focus on issues like racism and sexism and sexuality and mental health and gun safety and all of this. Perhaps the existence of these types of books mean that we are making progress, as small as it might be, towards resolving these issues and creating a better society.

So, are there any contemporary books you’d recommend for me? Let me know in the comments!