Recommendations: Paranormal

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so today’s recommendations post was actually difficult with the parameters I set for myself with this series of posts. I wanted to keep it narrowed down to books I’ve read since I started this blog in January 2016. Paranormal turned out to be the genre where I had to break those rules.

Why? Well, because I’ve read very few paranormal books lately.

I guess first I should start with what makes a story paranormal. We have generalities we accept for fantasy or science fiction or romance, but paranormal is sort of a genre covered within the overarching genre of fantasy. However, paranormal books are usually categorized by the inclusion of paranormal or supernatural beings. Most notably these include vampires, werewolves, witches, and ghosts.

Where the lines get blurred considerably is that a lot of vampire or werewolf literature that takes place around present day typically is categorized as urban fantasy because of the setting having such an important role in the story. So, a number of the suggestions I have here are more of a historical setting.

The first book I’m going to recommend is actually the book I am currently reading. I’m about halfway finished and so far it is pretty darn interesting. That book is How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather. This is the story of a girl named Samantha Mather, a descendant of Cotton Mather. She and her stepmom have just moved back to the family home in Salem after selling their home in New York City to continue paying for the medical care of Sam’s father, who is in a coma. Sam’s arrival in Salem apparently restarts an old curse involving all those descended from someone involved in the Salem Witch Trials, and Sam has to team up with some classmates as well as a ghost who is haunting her to find a way to stop it. So, really, this is kind of a perfect book to be reading right about now. And the sequel, Haunting the Deep, just came out this month. It apparently focuses on the sinking of the Titanic, and ghosts still play an important role.

The only other “contemporary” story I have to recommend is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. There are clairvoyants, there are ghosts, and there is an awesomely atmospheric setting and tone to this tale. I need to read it again so I can finally continue on and finish the whole series.

Kiss of Steel and Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster. These are the first two books in the London Steampunk series, and they feature vampires and werewolves, obviously in a historical steampunk backdrop of London. And yes, these books also technically are classified as paranormal romance, but I still find the setting and the plot outside of the romances to be rather compelling as well.

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal takes place during World War I, and it follows a protagonist who is a medium for a special group known as Spirit Corps. Whenever someone dies on the battlefield, their spirit reports to a nearby circle of mediums and gives a report that details where they died, how they died, and any important information for the war effort. Things become complicated when it becomes apparent that the Germans are specifically targeting the Spirit Corps. This is such an interesting tale, and I definitely recommend it.

Dead Iron by Devon Monk is for people looking for a sort of steampunk western novel. The main character in this one is a bounty hunter who also just happens to be a lycanthrope. Add in some monsters and other oddities, and this is definitely an adventure I’d suggest trying.

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett is another paranormal romance, this time set in the 1920s, and the main character is a spirit medium who gets caught up with a bootlegger when she is hired to banish the ghosts haunting him because of a hex. Writing up these recommendations reminds me that I really want to finish the rest of this trilogy.

Finally, I recommend The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith. This trilogy follows a spell-casting scribe, an alchemist, and a monster-hunter who are the best defense against supernatural beasts such as lycanthropes. This was an interesting read and I loved the dynamics between the three main characters. I definitely plan to reread this one in the future.

Okay, so next week my recommendations will be for romance reads, but what would you all like to see after that? Contemporary, historical, poetry, memoir, classics, diverse reads, graphic novels, or something else? Let me know in the comments.

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Ten Times TBR Purge

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, yes, I should have had this posted a couple hours ago. I wish I could say that I have an amazing excuse, but the truth is that I got distracted with prep work for the Dungeons & Dragons session I’ll be running this weekend. Writing down events and details for monsters and encounters and such can be quite time consuming.

Anyway, I’m back with another of these lovely TBR purge posts. I have the notes for these planned out for the rest of my TBR list, and I should be able to get all the way through my Goodreads to-read list by the end of the year.

Let’s just jump into today’s list of 30 books from my to-read list.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. I loved the first book in this trilogy, and I’m mad that I haven’t continued on with it yet. Obviously I have to keep this one.

Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff. I enjoyed reading the first book to this trilogy, but never got around to reading book two. Of course, I can also say I’ve enjoyed the other books by Kristoff I’ve read, so this one is a keeper.

The Angel Stone by Juliet Dark. I loved the first book in this trilogy, but the second book was disappointing, so I just don’t really see me picking up this third book any time soon.

The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa. When these books were first released I just wasn’t really in a vampire mood, though Julie Kagawa is an auto-buy author for me so I bought the books anyway. Since then my issues with this trilogy have stemmed from an inability to get matching covers for all three of them. That’s a weird reason to have not read them yet, I know, but I can’t help myself sometimes. I still want to read these books though.

Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre. I remember thinking that this one sounded interesting, which was why I bought it, but I just haven’t really thought of it since then. For now I’m just going to take it off the list, but that doesn’t mean I’ll never read it.

Blood Trade, Raven Cursed, and Death’s Rival by Faith Hunter. Well, I’m keeping all of the Jane Yellowrock books on my to-read list, so these ones are staying.

Magic Triumphs, Magic Rises, Magic Breaks, Magic Shifts, and Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews. Another urban fantasy series I just can’t get rid of. I flew through the first one and wanted to keep going, but got swamped with other books. I imagine in the future that I’ll just binge read through the series.

Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher. I guess I’m just not really in the mood for this one right now.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I think I had made it a few hundred pages into this one before other reading obligations distracted me and then I just never got back around to it. Nevertheless I adore Sanderson’s writing and world-building, so I’m definitely going to be reading this one.

Gifted Stone by Kelly Walker. I have read every book in this series except for this one, and this one is really just a story/novella collection, so it isn’t entirely necessary for my enjoyment of the series. Since I read them a while ago, I don’t see me turning back for this collection.

Third Grave Dead Ahead, Fifth Grave Past the Light, and Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones. I have no idea why the fourth book isn’t in this part of the reading list, but no matter what I will most likely get around to reading these at some point. I do own them in e-book. But for now I am taking them off the list until the mood strikes to binge read the series some more.

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I’m just not really in the mood for this book right now, but maybe at some point in the future I’ll change my mind and add it to the list again.

The Winds of Winter, A Dream of Spring, and The Lands of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin. Who knows when the last two ASOIAF books will be released, but I’m still going to keep them on this list. I will read the whole series eventually.

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger. I loved reading Soulless, but haven’t read any of the other books in the series, nor any of the spinoff books/series. Until I catch up, I can safely remove this book from my reading list.

Crimson Frost, Spartan Frost, Midnight Frost, and Killer Frost by Jennifer Estep. To continue with this series, I would have to go back and reread the first book. That being said, I can take these off my reading list until I decide to read the first one again.

Tarnished Knight by Bec McMaster. I’ve only read two books in this series so far, but I really enjoyed them, so I’m keeping this one on the list. The next time I’m in the mood for a steampunk paranormal romance, I may pick this one up.


Okay, well that’s it for today. I managed to take another 13 books off of my reading list, which I think is pretty good.

Oh, and for those of you keeping up with my reading progress, work canceled the mandatory work day on Saturday, so now work won’t interfere with my participation in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. However, now my boyfriend and our friends are getting together for Dungeons & Dragons, the campaign I mentioned I was prepping for earlier. So that will probably take up the same amount of time work would have anyway. I’m still going to see how much reading I can get done. Expect a readathon wrap up post next week where I talk about both the Readathon by Zoe I did last weekend and the upcoming Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.

Review: A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

Hey all, Dani here.

And today is a wonderful Happy Book Birthday to author Kevin Hearne for his first epic fantasy novel. I’ve talked about Hearne before, mostly gushing about his Iron Druid Chronicles books. I would like to reread the first three books and then continue on with the series, so I’ll probably have reviews for the whole series up in the future. But today I am not here to talk about his wonderful urban fantasy series. Instead I am here to talk about a book I have been anticipating since the moment I first discovered it thanks to following Hearne’s social media accounts.

It’s time to dive into my review for A Plague of Giants.

Oh, and I should also thank the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book early. Being granted an e-galley did not influence my rating or opinion in any way. After all, I planned to buy this book long before I requested it from NetGalley.

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Summary

From the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, a thrilling novel that kicks off a fantasy series with an entirely new mythology—complete with shape-shifting bards, fire-wielding giants, and children who can speak to astonishing beasts

MOTHER AND WARRIOR
Tallynd is a soldier who has already survived her toughest battle: losing her husband. But now she finds herself on the front lines of an invasion of giants, intent on wiping out the entire kingdom, including Tallynd’s two sons—all that she has left. The stakes have never been higher. If Tallynd fails, her boys may never become men.

SCHOLAR AND SPY
Dervan is an historian who longs for a simple, quiet life. But he’s drawn into intrigue when he’s hired to record the tales of a mysterious bard who may be a spy or even an assassin for a rival kingdom. As the bard shares his fantastical stories, Dervan makes a shocking discovery: He may have a connection to the tales, one that will bring his own secrets to light.

REBEL AND HERO
Abhi’s family have always been hunters, but Abhi wants to choose a different life for himself. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Abhi soon learns that his destiny is far greater than he imagined: a powerful new magic thrust upon him may hold the key to defeating the giants once and for all—if it doesn’t destroy him first.

Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine—and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

This was a complex story with so many perspectives to follow. Coming from someone who adores reading big epic fantasy books with complicated stories, it may be saying something that I had times where I struggled with this one.

I really enjoyed Fintan the bard, and his kenning–or magical ability–to project his voice over long distances and tell stories. That plus seeming stones that allowed him to look like the person whose story he was telling was really interesting. The problem is that the POV of Dervan is also in first person. So you jump from Dervan who is watching the bard, to the bard’s tales, which are also in first person. Sometimes it makes it difficult to remember which of the 11 characters you’re following in that moment.

Primarily this book is about the orations that Fintan the bard is giving. In fact, the story spans over 19 days as Fintan goes out to tell these stories, typically telling three smaller bits of the overall story each day, and rotating through the various people whose tales he has collected.

The world-building is great, and I loved the wide diversity of the world in general. Add into that the magic of the kennings and things get even more interesting. The people of the world commonly accept five different kennings, but through these tales it is suggested that there may be a sixth and perhaps even a seventh kenning.

Learning about these different people from all different lands in the world was an adventure, and while sometimes I felt like it was taking me a while to get through the book, I did overall like what I was reading.

This does not have the same feel as the Iron Druid Chronicles, which definitely have an easier urban fantasy flow to them. Instead, the first book in the Seven Kennings trilogy sets up a vast magical world with plenty of political complications and other issues. I may have to read this book again to fully grasp some of the developments and such, but I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. I ordered my copy from Barnes & Noble and it is a signed copy.

The End of the Year Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

I have a whole section in my blogging notebook with book tags I have either been tagged in or that I just decided I wanted to do, but just haven’t had the time to get them all answered and posted. I suppose that’s why today’s tag is one that I actually saw a whole month ago on Sofii’s blog (A Book. A Thought.) and am just now getting around to posting it myself.

I’m going to try and be a bit better with getting these tags completed in a more timely manner. Especially with NaNoWriMo coming up, I want to try and get as many of my November posts prepped ahead of time so I can just focus on novel writing.

Anyway, this is a fairly short tag, but let’s go ahead and jump in.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

So many! My currently reading list on Goodreads has like 20 or so books on it, which is just ridiculous. But for a few answers to this, I really need to finish Windwitch by Susan Dennard, because I love the Witchlands and really enjoy the story, King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard, which I’m honestly losing interest in but I’ve come this far in the series so I at least want to finish this book, and A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab, because I have this habit of not finishing series as I don’t want them to end, but it was announced that there would be more books in this world, so I think I can finish this now since there is more to come.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Usually around this time of year I like to settle in with more epic fantasy reads. As the cooler weather tends to keep me inside more, having lengthy books to enjoy is always great. But, to answer this question, I have heard that The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken is a sort of spooky Halloween-y type read.

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Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Well there’s The Empress by S.J. Kincaid (Oct 31), Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines (Nov 7), and Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes (Dec 12).

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and Bonfire by Krysten Ritter. Plus so many others, but this question asked for just three.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Well, I had never heard of All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis a few months ago and now it ranks up there as one of my favorite books, so of course there could be a book in the last couple months of 2017 that rockets to the top of my favorites of the year list.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Vague plans for now. I always start my Goodreads reading challenge at 75 books, even when I’ve had to increase it one or two times every year. I’m starting to make a 2018 book releases list, so some of my reading plans will be based on new books. And I’ll likely participate in the April and October sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, plus who know what other readathons/reading challenges throughout the year.

Well, that’s about all for today. If you have not yet done this tag and you would like to, then consider yourself TAGGED!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

This will be my fourth time participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I didn’t do that well back in April during the last session because where I work declared a mandatory work day for the day of the readathon. Well guess what folks? They did it again. Yep, I’m scheduled to work this Saturday, October 21st.

I’m still going to try and read some books though. We’ll see what happens.

What is nice (provided that I can actually focus on reading), is that from the time the readathon starts where I am until I have to go to work is a whopping 6 hours. That is the potential for finishing two or possibly three books. Of course, I also know that my boyfriend will be home as well, so it is more likely that I will only read one book, maybe two before work.

But if things go well then I think I should be able to read a book while I’m at work. Then after work I should still have about 10 hours left in the readathon.

No matter what though, I just want to finish reading at least two books. My best session of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon was last October where I think I read like 9 books, which was insane.

Anyway, for those of you who are a bit confused, you can find out all the details for this readathon here. What is really fun is this October session of Dewey’s marks 10 years of holding the event, which I think is pretty spectacular. As with most readathons, the goal is to read as much as possible in one 24 Hour period. Where this one differs from many other 24 Hour events is that all around the world we start and stop at the same time. So for me in Ohio, USA, I start at 8am on October 21st, whereas someone in the UK would start at 1pm on October 21st, and somebody in California, USA, would start at 5am on October 21st.

There are all sorts of reading sprints and challenges throughout the event, so you can follow along all over social media. Just use the hashtag #readathon to keep up with all the news.

Okay, let’s just go ahead and get this TBR out of the way.

Is this super ambitious considering I’ll be working for 8 hours of the readathon? Why yes it is, but I’ll see how well I do. I mean, there is a middle grade novel, a novella bind-up, and a YA contemporary on the list, and those should all be fairly quick reads. I do know that Gentleman’s Guide and Last Magician are both longer reads, but I’ve heard great things about them both.

Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

Hey all, Dani here.

National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner, and boy have I missed it. Honestly, aside from these blog posts, I have not done much writing lately, and I certainly have not done a whole lot of creative writing. And I really miss it. I’ve told myself that I need to set up a schedule and block out some time for writing every day and then I just don’t hold myself to it.

Thankfully I have the month of November to get me back into the rhythm of writing regularly.

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Okay, firstly, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an event where each November participants attempt to write 50,000 words on a novel over the course of 30 days. Sounds pretty intense right? Well, honestly, sometimes it can be. Thankfully there are thousands of other writers attempting the same feat so you never really feel alone. You can even join regional forums based on where you live and you’ll be connected with other writers near you. Typically this also includes a person (or people) called Municipal Liaisons (MLs). These lovely people are the ones who organize meet-ups, a kick-off party, write-ins throughout the month, and a wrap party once it is over with.

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2006, and it has just been such an enriching experience. In 2008 I became a Municipal Liaison, and I was one of the many founding donors for the Camp NaNoWriMo program, which is basically NaNoWriMo but in the summertime. I have written so many words and learned so much these past years and I’m so glad that I get to keep going.

This year would have been my tenth year as an ML, but sadly because of so much stuff happening in my real life, I missed the sign up deadline, something I never came close to missing before. So this year I get to watch as my co-ML runs the region on her own…well, officially anyway. Everyone knows that I’m not going anywhere, and am more than happy to answer questions and offer up advice and inspiration to any who need it.

But in some ways I’m actually glad that I just get to focus on my writing, instead of planning write-ins and pep talks, and spending a lot of time on the regional forums or on my region’s Facebook page.

In basically every previous NaNo, I wrote a fantasy or paranormal story, typically with just a hint of romance in it. But this year another story wants to be told, and it means a bit more of a challenge for me. See, events of my life this year have inspired me. At the beginning of this year I went to a friend’s house to start a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and there I met the amazingly wonderful and geeky man who has become my boyfriend.

So I want to write a geeky romance story, a story of two people who met while playing D&D and then bonded over board games and movies and other nerdy hobbies.

But I also know that I want the D&D campaign within the book to play a significant role too…so I plan on intertwining a fantasy story through the novel. It should be interesting at the very least.

I have basic sketches of most of the characters already finished and a general idea of the contemporary plot. I’m still thinking about the fantasy campaign story. Over the years I have learned that I can’t do a lot of writing down ideas and such because then I’ll struggle with writing the actual story in November. So I just come up with a few loose ideas and then fly by the seat of my pants the rest of the way. It works for me. Some people spend all of October drafting up elaborate outlines, and that’s fine too.

What I’m trying to do now is to come up with a good title I can use during this first draft process. I told my boyfriend that I don’t want something that is too ridiculous or cheesy, but the only thing that keeps coming to mind is “Roll for Romance.” He laughed and told me that was a perfect title and I should use it.

I guess unless something better comes along, that’s my title. I plan to draft up a quick book summary soon, and then I’ll be ready to write.

And look guys, I’m making more progress with my library/study. I should have it all finished just in time for NaNoWriMo to start, so that’ll be nice. Having a dedicated writing space can sometimes help the mind focus on the task at hand. I’ll just say here that my books aren’t fully in order yet, because I still have about half of my library to move from my mom’s house, and I still have a few more bookcases to assemble.

So are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, let me know, and good luck! And if you have any suggestions for my book title (or if you really like Roll for Romance, let me know those as well.

Fantasy Recommendations

Hey all, Dani here.

The last two weeks I have posted up recommendations posts, first for Banned Books and then for LGBTQIAP+. Today I’m back to recommend some of my favorite fantasy reads (of the past couple years). In the future I might have to do a fantasy recommendations post where I talk about some of my faves of all time, but I’m trying to keep these posts limited to just books I’ve read pretty much since I’ve started this blog (so 2016-present).

I’ll also just go ahead and state the obvious, in that fantasy is a rather large genre, and it can cover urban fantasy, epic fantasy, adventure fantasy, etc. etc. So for the post today I am just doing a broad fantasy genre, but if anyone would like a more selective fantasy list, then let me know your preferences in the comments and I’ll make more specific fantasy recommendations in the future.

Let’s get started with this list of fantastic fantasy reads.

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger is a book I discovered this year, and I have to say that I was pretty impressed with it as an urban fantasy read. I loved all the history that was created for the magical alcoholic beverages, and including the recipes for them as well was just a fun bonus. I would gladly read more books in this setting.

First Watch by Dale Lucas. This book definitely had an interesting feel to it, because it was like watching a fantasy buddy cop show. But this book is straight up fantasy, not really urban fantasy per se. Yes, technically urban fantasy is a fantasy story set in an urban setting–either real or fictional, but I tend to think of urban fantasy as something like the last book I talked about, which was set in Chicago. The Fifth Ward series is set in a fantasy realm and follows members of the city watch. Regardless it was just a fun adventure and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a fantastic fantasy heist adventure following an incredible cast of characters, and I could talk on and on about how great they are and how diverse and all of that, but I’ll just stop now and suggest that you go pick it up for yourself. It does not matter if you have already read the Grisha trilogy or if this is your first Bardugo book. I think you’ll enjoy it regardless.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco was a book I was lucky to get early thanks to NetGalley, and it blew me away. I loved the story with in a story aspect, and the world and culture were described so well. I was intrigued by the characters and got so wrapped up in everything that the ending came too soon. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the sequel.

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White. Okay, this is a book I have wanted to reread since the moment I finished it toward the beginning of the year. This is a re-imagining of Pride and Prejudice if dragons and wyverns and hobgoblins existed in the same world. It was the book I didn’t know I needed in my life until I became hopelessly obsessed with reading it. I sincerely hope that White writes more in this world because it was so interesting to me. Of course, whatever she writes next, I already know that I will be getting a copy.

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova. For months all over Bookstagram I saw so many people talking about Elise Kova and how wonderful her books were, so I decided to give her a try, and thankfully I was approved on NetGalley to read this book early. I must say that I was impressed with the worldbuilding and the characters. The pages flew by so quickly and I very much enjoyed the experience. (I only made it a couple chapters into the sequel so far–I feel like a bad reader).

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. I enjoyed the bond Safiya and Iseult had in this book, though I wished that there was a lot more time with them together, and sadly they stay parted in the sequel as well. But the Witchlands intrigue me, and I like learning about the different witcheries and the political issues in the world as well.

Borderline by Mishell Baker. I read this book during my first Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and it was absolutely amazing. I loved the complexity of the characters and the diversity. Having the main character Millie be a double amputee and have borderline personality issues made her look at things differently. Then toss in some of the fair folk and other supernatural beings, and a government organization to monitor their presence in our world and it was just an entertaining adventure.

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. Around the time this one came out I heard a lot of people saying it was sort of like a YA answer to Game of Thrones, and I can understand why they would say that. The politics, intrigue, violence, and story have that similar vicious feel to them. And much like with GoT, be careful about getting attached to characters because they may die soon. But I loved this great epic style fantasy read at a YA level. I’m going to be sad that the series is ending this year.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. Kell is a traveler who can traverse between the parallel Londons–Red London: full of magic, Grey London: non-magical and similar to our 1800s era London, White London: where magic went wrong and is draining the land, and Black London: well, people just don’t talk about it. Things get complicated when Kell smuggles something from one London to the next, and it starts to cause issues. He also teams up with Lila Bard, a young woman from Grey London who dreams of having her own ship. I don’t want to say much more about it, but I do highly recommend that you give this series a try.

Well, I think that’s it for now. Next week I believe my recommendation will be for paranormal reads. Let me know what you’d like to see next down in the comments: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Romance, Historical, Poetry, Memoir, Classics, Diverse Reads, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade,….


Oh, and I just got this in the mail today and it is BEAUTIFUL!! I really can’t wait to read it because I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this fantastical tale.

Purging that TBR Pile #9

Hey all, Dani here.

There is an end in sight with these purge posts. Okay, so maybe only in sight for people who can see long distances away. I took a couple hours to sort through what remained of my Goodreads to-read list and marked which ones to keep and which ones to delete. And if I continue to have 30 books in each purge post, it will take me 28 posts to get through everything.

So today is post 9 out of 28. Still, I can also say that having gone through my list already, I went from my starting number of around 820 down to a completed number of 406, so I managed to eliminate half of my list. And of course, as I got to the bottom of my list where the newest additions were, I noticed that several of them are on my TBR for October/November/December, so that means even more books will be coming off soon.

Anyway, let’s just jump right into this.

And I’m actually going to skip the screenshots of my Goodreads list today…mostly because I spent my time before work assembling a couple more of my new bookcases instead of preparing photos for blog posts.

Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane. I own this in e-book but I’m just not seeing where I’ll be picking it up anytime in the near future.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. I have heard great things about this book and I still really want to read it, so keep.

Greywalker by Kat Richardson. Another e-book that I may or may not get around to any time soon, so I’ll take it off the list until I know I’m going to be reading it.

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews. Seeing as how I’ve kept basically all of their books, this one is a keeper as well.

The Hedgewitch Queen by Lilith Saintcrow. I just don’t think I’m in the mood for this one right now.

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill. I don’t know about keeping this one; I just haven’t been in much of a urban fantasy with vampires or werewolves or any of that kind of story lately.

The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow. This one has sort of a Sherlock & Watson with magic type feel to it, and I had started to read it once before and I liked what I read, so I’d actually like to finish this book.

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane. This one does still sound kind of interesting, and I believe I have the e-book, but I’m taking it off the list for now.

Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding. I have read a few chapters of this book and it was pretty good, but there was a point in the series where the sales weren’t good enough to keep print publishing them and so they became e-book only. I was collecting them in mass market paperback…and I hate having book sets that don’t match. Needless to say, I haven’t picked the book back up.

Fragile Darkness by Ellie James. I’m really bad about not finishing some book series. Sometimes it is because I don’t want them to end and sometimes it’s because I kind of forget about them. This particular book falls in the latter category. Part of me wants to pick this up so I can finish the trilogy, but the other part thinks I’m fine walking away.

The Rivals by Daisy Whitney. This is a follow-up to The Mockingbirds, which I read during one of my library courses in grad school (and I definitely recommend that book) so part of me wants to see what comes later, but part of me worries it won’t be as good as its predecessor and I should just preserve my good memories by stopping where I am.

Dracian Legacy by Priya Kanaparti. I added this one because I had followed the author on social media and had heard lots of great things about the book, but I haven’t heard much lately and I’m also just not really in the mood for this kind of book right now.

Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City and Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook. I have loved the books I’ve read so far set in this world, so I’d definitely like to read these shorter stories as well.

Demon’s Curse by Alexa Egan. Maybe I’ll add this one to the list again someday. I do own the e-book.

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger. This one still interests me, and I did grab a cheap copy from Book Outlet, but for now I will take it off the list.

Dreamlander by K.M. Weiland. This is another book that I might add back to the list someday, but for now it is just wasting space.

Shattered, Stalked, and Scourged by Kevin Hearne. Of course I have to keep the final books in the Iron Druid Chronicles on my list. I plan to binge read them as soon as I can.

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie. I have heard a lot of great things about Abercrombie’s books, so I may return to this one at some point and pick it up, but I have other big series that are clamoring for my attention right now.

Stonecast by Anton Strout. I read and liked the first book of this trilogy, but the farther I get from it the more I’m unsure about continuing on. So for now, goodbye.

Discount Armaggedon by Seanan McGuire. This is the start of the Incryptid series by McGuire and it sounds rather interesting; I need to try and read this soon.

Without a Summer and Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal. These are the 3rd and 4th books in the Glamourist Histories books (and I loved the first one), so I need to keep reading the series.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham. After reading and loving Graham’s essay memoir, I knew I enjoyed her writing style and tone, so I figured I needed to try her fiction. Granted, I had added this to my to-read list long before her memoir was announced, but either way, I am going to keep this book.

The Magician King by Lev Grossman. I have read The Magicians a few times now, and I have seen all of the episodes of the TV series. But I never read the rest of the trilogy. I need to fix that error sometime soon.

Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire. This is the second Incrpytid  book, but until I read the first one and know I want to continue with the series, I don’t need this one on the list.

City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte. This one still sounds interesting, and I do own it so if the mood strikes I’ll pick it up, but I’m not planning on getting around to it anytime soon so I shall be taking it off my list.

Winterblaze by Kristen Callihan. I still have the first book of this series on my to-read list, so I can get rid of this one until I’m ready to pick it up.

This round I only kept 13 books, so that’s pretty good. And as I mentioned before, I also spent some time assembling more bookcases in my library/study. Again, nothing is really organized yet, and I still have a lot of books to move to the apartment from my mom’s house, but I’ll give another update photo just because.

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That’s all for today. Thanks for stopping by everyone, and let me know if you too are going through a TBR purge.

Reading Habits Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

Today’s book tag is one I recently saw posted by Rachael over at rachaelrexds page and it sounded like one of those fun get to know you type tags, which I find to be enjoyable too. Oftentimes they are actually easier to answer than tags where you have to select books for answers anyway. This tag was created by TheBookJazz and you can find the original video here.

Let’s just go ahead and get started.

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I have a reading chair I’ll be putting in my library/study once everything is all set up, and the couch in the living room is pretty comfy for reading as well.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmarks–about 95% of the time. The other 5% I use whatever paper I can find, at least until I make it home to grab a proper bookmark. For really cool metal bookmarks, I recommend checking out the Colorworld Books store, and there are also numerous bookmark creators on Etsy if you’d like to fall into that gorgeous time suck of staring at the variety of designs and more.

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?

I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter, but I can stop anywhere if I have to.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

Sometimes, but I’m a bit choosy about what I pick to snack on; I don’t want to risk leaving food smears and stains in my books.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Yes. I like having background noise while I read. I will say though that typically what I have on the TV has to be something that I’m familiar with, something I don’t necessarily have to pay attention to.

6. One book at a time or several?

Several. Definitely several. I’ll have random books in each of my bags and sometimes in various rooms, all in different stages of completion. And since I’m a mood reader it is helpful to have options. So I’ll typically be reading varying genres and age ranges at any given time.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

I will read anywhere I can: at home, at work, in the car, at social gatherings or sporting events…if I have a few minutes where I can squeeze in reading, you better believe I’m going to read.

8. Read out loud or silently in your head?

Silently…unless there’s a passage that sounds like it needs to be read aloud to be truly appreciated. This will probably happen several times this weekend when I pick up Rupi Kaur’s The sun and her flowers for the 24 hour Readathon by Zoe.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

Why would I read ahead or skip pages? That would mean spoilers and/or missing important details.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Like new! What kind of monster purposefully breaks the spine on a book?

11. Do you write in your books?

No! Unless it is a journal or a workbook, you know, the kind of books that you are meant to write in. I had a professor in university, my academic adviser, and she politely teased me in class for being a book purist. Practically every other student jotted down notes in the margins, or highlighted all over their books; the professor added notes each time she taught the class. I just can’t do it.

Okay, so since this tag has been around since 2012, I have no idea who all has already completed it. If this sounds fun to you and you’re looking for another tag to toss into your blogging schedule, then consider yourself TAGGED!

That’s all for today, and I’ll be back tomorrow with my next TBR Purge post, and then Thursday I’ll have my next book recommendation post with a focus on fantasy reads.

Readathon by Zoe – 24 Hour Readathon TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

I wanted to have this up yesterday but I was still debating my TBR, and I also had such a busy weekend that I actually barely had time to sleep. Anyway, I very much enjoy 24 Hour Readathons because I tend to read more during the day of the event than I do in week long readathons.

Plus, I also knew that I would be able to squeeze in quite a bit of reading time because my boyfriend would be busy hanging out with his friends and playing in his regular Pathfinder group. However, the next gaming session has apparently been postponed, so now he has suggested that we hold one of our D&D sessions on the day I had planned to do this readathon.

Never fear though, because I think I have figured out how I can still fit in several books for the day, so I’ll talk more about what I’m going to try and read in a little bit.

First off, I need to give the event details. That would certainly be helpful if anyone else would like to join. This particular readathon was started by Zoe Herdt, who is a BookTuber I enjoy. You can find her on Twitter or on her YouTube channel, readbyzoe. The link for YouTube is actually her video announcing this Halloween edition of her readathon. This is I believe the third 24 Hour Readathon Zoe has held this year to help boost the number of books she’s reading this year, so she plans these every couple/few months.

As implied by the name 24 Hour Readathon, the goal is to read as many books as you can in one 24 Hour period. In this case that will be this Saturday, October 14th. You start reading as the clock strikes midnight wherever you are, and read as much as you can before the clock strikes midnight again.

What you read is up to you, but Zoe is challenging herself to read spooky atmospheric Halloween vibe reads this time around. You do whatever feels right to you.

Okay, now for my TBR for this event. With my reading day now cut a bit short, I know I have to be a bit more selective about my book choices. I am confident that I will be able to read at least 3 or 4 books, but possibly more than that.

I am absolutely going to read Bitch Planet, Vol 2 by Kelly Sue Deconnick, and Monstress, Vol 1 and Monstress, Vol 2 by Marjorie Lu. Graphic novels are how I typically like to start my readathons because I know I can read them quickly and then I feel rather successful because my books completed number gets off to a good start.

Not pictured here is the new poetry collection by Rupi Kaur. It technically will be released tomorrow, October 10th. So, I’m hoping that one of my local grocery stores will have it in stock, as they did with her first collection. If I get a copy by this weekend, then The sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur is also on my TBR.

Now for the books I may or may not be able to get to for this readathon. To fit in with the spooky theme/atmosphere of October Halloween type reads, I’d really like to read How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather, and The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken. I have heard a lot of wonderful things about Bracken’s debut middle grade novel. And the sequel to Mather’s book was recently released and it still sounds pretty cool and spooky and stuff (both books deal with spirits and more), so I need to read this one so I can read Haunting the Deep.

Well, I think that is all for today’s post. Let me know if you plan on joining this latest Readathon by Zoe.