Recommendations: Card Games

Hey all, Dani here.

Today I’m changing up my recommendations post just a teeny bit. I still have a few more bookish options coming up in the future, but I mentioned before that I’m a bit of a geek and a gamer. Namely I get together with my friends and we play tabletop games (board games, card games, dice games, etc.), so I thought perhaps I would share some of my favorites with you lovely people.

I’m going to start off with card games, as in games played using cards. These games are fun and pretty simple to play. All you need is the deck of cards required to play. And yes, while games like Go Fish, or Euchre, or 500 Rummy, or UNO are all great games, they won’t be found on this list.

Oh, and I should say that when I list off the game, I will also include a link to a YouTube video for the Geek & Sundry web series TableTop, hosted by Wil Wheaton, where he plays a bunch of tabletop games with some awesome geeky friends. These videos are typically around a half-hour in length and give you a pretty decent idea of how the game is played. Plus they are just fun to watch.

Okay, let’s just jump into this.

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Munchkin

This game is like playing a RPG but without the hours of character creation and thinking up a backstory and all of that. It is a basic dungeon crawl type scenario where you want to be the person who reaches 10th level first. There are a number of versions of Munchkin, from Zombies to Cthulu, and so many expansions that it can occupy a number of hours. And since part of the fun of Munchkin is either teaming up with your friends or backstabbing them so you can level up faster, it also makes the game have pretty good replay value.

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Gloom

Why do I love this game? Well, because it is a card storytelling game and your goal is to make the other families happy while making your own family miserable and then killing them all. I know that it sounds a bit weird, but you when by having the biggest negative score. This is also a game with a few expansion sets, which allow you to add in extra families, unwanted guests, unhappy homes and more.

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Fluxx

Yes, the version I have of this particular game is Star Fluxx. Okay, technically I have Firefly Fluxx as well. Moving on. Anyway, what is fun about this game is that the rules are constantly in flux. What you need to do to win changes based on the cards played, and the number of cards you draw and play each turn are also based on the cards that are played. Star Fluxx has cards inspired by various sci-fi movies and TV shows, and Firefly Fluxx is obviously focused on the show Firefly. There are so many different Fluxx games out there, so I’m sure you can find one that would fit your interests.

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Chez Geek

The basic concept for this card game is that all the players are roommates, and you are trying to collect as many slack points as possible. You do this by drinking, sleeping, eating, getting nookie, etc. I play this with my regular game group quite a bit and it’s always fun to see what job you decide to get so you can afford to buy food, drinks, and entertainment.

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Dixit

I love this card game. It is a illustrated bluffing and guessing style game. On each player’s turn they will choose one of their own cards and then say a word or a phrase as a clue to what the card is. Then they place that card face down and every other player also chooses a card from their hand that they think best fits the clue. The pile of cards is shuffled and then the players try to guess which card belongs to the clue giver. Points are given based on correct answers, but beware, because if everyone guesses the correct card they get the points and not the clue giver. Dixit also has expansions that add extra cards to the deck for more variety in play and the clues.

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Once Upon a Time

Another storytelling card game, so these are best played with fellow book lovers or storytellers. Each player has a hand of cards that are character or plot elements of a story, as well as a happy ending card. When it is their turn they are the Storyteller and began to weave together a tale utilizing the cards in their hand. The goal is to be the person to manipulate the story so that you can play all of your cards, including your happily ever after card. The other players can interrupt the story and become the Storyteller by using on of their cards. It’s just a whole lot of fun.

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Love Letter

For a simple and easy to carry around game, look no farther than Love Letter. This game is so compact, and is designed for 2-4 players. Basically all the players are trying to get love letters to the princess and earn her love, which is measured by little square blocks. I will also say that this is a super fast game to play, so it works well if you are having a marathon game night and need something quick in between those longer board games.

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Sushi Go

I love this game so much. The artwork is adorable and it is so fun and quick and easy to play. Everyone has a hand of cards, they select one and set it down. Then the pass that hand to the next player. This repeats and continues until all the cards have been selected. Collecting certain combinations of sushi earns you a certain amount of points. After three rounds of play you count up the totals and the winner is the person with the highest score. It is simple and my friends and I generally enjoy playing it…though for some of us it makes us want to go out to eat sushi.


All right then, that is it for my recommendation post this week. If you have any card games you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments.

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Name in Books Tag–Take Two

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, so about a month ago, I did this tag after seeing it over at my book blogger buddy Amber’s blog. And I had a rather fun time searching through my library to find the books to complete my name, choosing books that started with each letter in my name. Of course, this made me realize that I probably had enough books to at least do my name one more time.

After admitting that in a comment response to Amber, she actually did challenge me to do it again, so here we are now and I’m pleased to say that I was successful once more.

Well, okay, I gave myself an additional challenge and I didn’t quite succeed on that one, but I was very close. I wanted to see if I could spell my whole name using just books from my mass market paperback shelf.

So, anyway, let’s just jump into this.

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D: Dark Heir by Faith Hunter

A: Assassin’s Gambit by Amy Raby

N: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

I: Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead

E: Eric by Terry Pratchett

L: (The) Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

L: Lost Soul by Adam Wright

E: Elephants in Our Bedroom by Michael Czyzniejewski

—–As you can see, I had to go with a couple different sized paperbacks.

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T: Thin Air by Rachel Caine

H: Hounded by Kevin Hearne

A: A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

M: My Lady Quicksilver by Bec McMaster

A: An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

S: Stone of Tears by Terry Goodkind

A: A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet


This is my second/bonus time of doing this tag, and again, I had a fun time browsing through my bookshelves trying to find titles to match the letters of my name. I’m not going to tag anybody this time around, but if you’d like to try this, then by all means, consider yourself tagged.

And if I’m being honest, I think I could maybe do this tag one more time from the books I have in my library currently.

Anyway, have a lovely day everyone and I’ll have another post up again soon.

Book Mail is the Best Kind of Mail

Hey all, Dani here.

I actually wasn’t going to have a post today, because I was going to spend my evening reading so I could hopefully be prepared for writing a bunch of posts in the near future. Instead I arrived home to find a package waiting for me, one that I was not at all expecting.

The past month I have had this happen a couple times. Most recently it was when I received an ARC for The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco, which is one of my most highly anticipated releases. My fiance was very amused by my excited flailing when I saw what was inside the package. Of course, that was because there was no return address label, so I didn’t know what to expect, aside from the assumption that it was a book based on the feeling of the item inside the package.

Well today I was definitely aware that it was a book from a publisher because the return address label said Macmillan. And then I opened the package to see this:

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So a huge thank you to Macmillan/Wednesday Books for sending me an ARC for Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. Ever since I first heard of this book, I was excited about being able to pick it up. A Nordic inspired fantasy novel? Yes, please! Here is the book summary:

Seventeen-year-old Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago. 

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered. 

A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.

That sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to start reading it. It’ll have to wait just a little bit though. I have a few other ARCs I need to read before this one.

Oh, and this book is set to be released on April 24, 2018.

Manga Madness Wrap-Up

Hey all, Dani here.

I went into this readathon with high expectations. Knowing that I read volumes of manga really quickly, I envisioned getting through most of what my fiance and I got for Christmas.

What I was conveniently not thinking about was the fact that I returned to my old job this past week after nine months on special assignment. That meant that I had to adjust from working basically an office job to a manual labor job–I work at a factory that builds laundry dryers.

So what happened was from Monday to Wednesday, I did no reading at all. My mind was exhausted and my body was just one aching mass of muscles.

Basically I did not read nearly as much as I had wanted to, but I still managed to get through a few volumes of manga to start my 2018 reading goal with a nice little boost.

Let’s just jump into the wrap up.

On Sunday, day one of the readathon, I started with My Hero Academia, Vol 7 while at the laundromat and managed to finish it. Thankfully I had brought a few volumes with me and so I immediately jumped into Vol 8. By the time I finished my laundry, I had reached around the halfway point.

And that’s where I stayed until Thursday morning. On Thursday we decided to call off work for the day because we were so tired and sore. This worked in my favor because I was able to do a little reading and a little work on some blog posts and trying to catch up on watching a few BookTube videos. Because of how draining work has been, I have fallen even more behind on reading all of your lovely posts. I’m beginning to feel like I’m going to have to pick and choose what posts to read in my backlog to catch up and then just make sure to schedule time every couple days to stay caught up. I will figure something out.

Anyway, on Thursday I finished My Hero Academia Vol 8 and then took a quick break to watch a couple BookTube videos while I ate breakfast. Then I made my way through Vol 9 before writing up a couple blog posts. Yes, I have figured out that I also have a massive backlog of various blog posts I need to find the time to write up. This process is not going to be as simple as I would have hoped a couple weeks ago.

Then we reached Friday. I was determined to read My Hero Academia Vol 10. Thankfully I am kind of an early riser, and my fiance and a friend of ours sleep a little later. So I closed myself off in my library and started reading…and working on the blog…and still trying to catch up on BookTube videos.

So pretty much, because my focus was divided amongst all the various tasks I felt like I needed to do…I ended up not accomplishing much at all.

I did finish My Hero Academia by the end of the readathon. So, I read 4 volumes of manga over the course of a week. Not really my greatest success story of readathons, but hey, 4 volumes is better than nothing, and I feel glad that I managed to finish off what I did.

I’ll keep rolling out manga reviews, but it may take a bit of time. I’m still trying to get my body used to my new work load. In the meantime, I am currently reading Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, and I’m also trying to get some more tags and reviews prepped up for the blog. Sorry if my posts start to be a bit more sporadic. I’ll get a new post schedule figured out as soon as I can manage it.

The Road So Far (2)

Hey all, Dani here.

Why mess with the tradition I started last year? I might as well keep using the awesome “Supernatural” reference for my retrospective over the last year. You can find my overview of 2016 here.

Today also happens to be my 2 year blogaversary. I started this blog in 2016 to help me cope with my paternal grandmother’s death. Well, technically that was the catalyst for starting it; I had been thinking of starting up a blog again for a while because I needed to talk about books with someone.

2017 was such a rollercoaster year for me, and yet, looking back I wouldn’t change any of the lows I went through. Not only because the highs really kept me afloat, but also because the lows allowed me to fully understand how great the highs were.

Anyway, in January I found out that I was approved for the vacation days from work that would allow me to go to Book Expo and BookCon. Though I knew I was going alone, I knew that I would have a fun time surrounded by other book lovers and getting to check out a bunch of upcoming releases.

Also in January, my parents separated after 30 years together, and started the process of getting a divorce. The drama and issues from this event would send shockwaves through roughly 2/3 of the year.

I lost myself in books, both reading them and buying them. I pushed myself to work more on my blog, and to start interacting more with other members of the book community. It was the start to me really feeling like a good book blogger. But in those early months it was also the way I had to cope with what was happening in my life. Well, my books and Dungeons & Dragons.

It was Dungeons & Dragons that introduced me to the man who I would start dating in April. As it turns out this would be the event that helped me get through everything else. Admittedly, I know some people in my real life got annoyed with how much I gushed about my guy and how great things were. I can’t help it that my life started to feel like I was part of a romance story.

After my trip to NYC for Book Expo and BookCon, my blog really started to take off. I reached 100 followers, and later in the year 200. I’m not sure when follower 250 came around, but it might have been just before 2017 ended. So thank you to each and every one of you who has joined me in this process. You are all amazing.

Even with my work and my relationship, I somehow managed to still keep up with all of my reading and blogging, and actually I started having posts go up every single day, something I never would have thought I would be able to do.

I participated in quite a few readathons over the course of the year, from both sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathons, to a few other assorted events. All in all I think those helped me connect with more of you, and to read a bunch more books. The 24 Hour events always seem much more successful to me than the week long events, but I still keep trying with them. Hey, any excuse to read more, right?

I rekindled my fondness for manga in 2017, and I can honestly say that I am devouring so many of them. My list of manga reviews waiting to be written up is getting decently long.

Oh, and my boyfriend and I were able to go to Indianapolis in August with another friend of ours for a one day pass to Gen Con, which is a gaming convention. There we were able to get a lot of books, dice, and games, as well as to meet the cast of Critical Role. It was a really fun day.

For the 12th time I participated in NaNoWriMo, and managed to earn my 12th win, but I realize that the novel that came out is mostly incoherent. With any luck I’ll be able to start from scratch and re-write the book in 2018. I’d actually love to be able to share it with the world. And it would be nice to really get back into writing (and possibly publishing) again.

And I managed to do a TBR purge and go through a list of well of 800 books on Goodreads, taking it down to just over 400 books. I imagine this will be something I’ll have to do again soon, but I still feel pretty good with where I’m at now.

But, the greatest event of 2017 was towards the end of December. On Friday, December 22nd, on a day when we thankfully had a shutdown day at work, my boyfriend and I went shopping at Barnes & Noble where he both bought more books than me and spent more money than me. You guys, that rarely happens. You’ve seen my typical book hauls. I usually get a heck of a lot of books.

After that shopping trip, we made our way to the zoo, where we walked around for a couple hours, looking at all of the animals and then also checking out the massive holiday light display they put up each year. And it was while sitting on a bench overlooking Conservation Lake at the zoo, that my wonderful boyfriend sank down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was honestly just like a scene out of a Hallmark channel holiday movie, and I so look forward to seeing what our future will be like.

I hope you all had some moments of 2017 that were really nice as well, and I hope that we all have a very nice 2018.

Recommendations: Series

Hey all, Dani here.

This week has been a super rough one, everyone. This transition from my previous position to my current one at work is not going to be as easy or as smooth as I would have hoped. I have roughly 18 reviews that need to be written up, something like 10 book tag posts I need to write, and about 10 or so other posts where I have the ideas but haven’t had the time to actually write them up. So if I can find enough time then I can keep the blog going at a regular pace for a while.

Today is going to be an interesting recommendation post. Most of the time when I come on here and suggest books you may want to check out, they are limited to a certain theme or genre. Not today. Nope, this time the only thing I am sticking to is that these books are in a series.

Not a duology, not a trilogy, a series. Okay, so some may be quartets but I consider those to be series. Anything with four or more books is fair game with today’s post. In the future I will also have posts for duologies and trilogies and even standalones.

And because some series can get quite lengthy, I’m not going to restrict this list to completed series either. That wouldn’t be fair to some of my favorite series out there. But I am going to say that I need to have read a good number of the books in the series for them to qualify for this list. So you won’t see Dresden Files, the Seven Realms, or Outlander on here because I’ve only read the first book.

All right, let’s get started.

Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes.

This series is so good. When I first gave it a try I heard people saying it was like a YA version of Game of Thrones, and I can understand why people say that. It is an expansive world with a lot of political moves and so many secrets, lies, and deaths,  and a cast of characters than is wonderfully complex. The sixth and final book will be out next month so now is a great time to jump into it all.

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Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

Basically anything by Rick Riordan is worth adding to a recommendation list, so I clearly can’t have this list without mentioning them. I first discovered The Lightning Thief when I was 18, almost 19, and I have been hooked ever since. I love stories that have a mythology theme to them, and these books certainly deliver. And I feel that they just keep getting better and better. I am really looking forward to the third book in the Trials of Apollo series.

Colorworld by Rachel E. Kelly.

Why yes, I am mentioning the Colorworld series yet again. I absolutely love these books, and Rachel–and her husband Brad–are just wonderful people. The characters are wonderfully developed and the story just gets more and more expansive as the series progresses. I think that for the moment the fifth book, Dreamworld, is my favorite, but there are still technically five more parts of the sixth book to be released, so we’ll see what happens. This is the series I recommend to every single person who will listen to me. It is fantastic.

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Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward.

Well, this is one of the newer series to find its way onto my recommended list. My boyfriend is the one who talked about this one several times before we actually started dating, and he seemed to love them so much that I had to give them a try. I very quickly devoured the first four books of the series. They are interesting vampires and the romances and the overall story are pretty compelling.

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Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley.

I might as well toss some graphic content into this post as well. I read all six of these in one day and they were so fun and geeky and wonderfully action packed and pretty humorous. Scott was a cool character and I enjoyed reading this and watching the film in equal measure.

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Sandman by Neil Gaiman.

I love Neil Gaiman. He is a creative genius who can create wonderfully diverse and complex worlds and fascinatingly interwoven plots. I was finally able to finish the Sandman series, and it has definitely made me want to read a bunch more books by Gaiman. So hopefully I’ll be able to do that in 2018.

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Walker Papers by C.E. Murphy

Catie Murphy is one of my favorite authors, and I have actually been a backer to several Kickstarter campaigns for her books, but I think this was the first series of hers I discovered, and I totally need to do a reread of all of them. Main character Joanne is really awesome, and I love her approach to healing others. Jo is a mechanic by trade so she thinks of healing a person in the same way as fixing a car. It is also really cool that it takes Jo time to learn how to use her abilities and such instead of just magically knowing it all.


There are a number more great series I know I could add to this list, so I’m sure I’ll end up having a part two, part three, etc. to this particular topic in the future.

What series would you recommend?

20 Questions Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

I have a fun time doing book tags, and I feel that they are nice for helping us get to know each other and to have a fun and creative way to talk about books we like and even some we didn’t. So when I was covered as part of a blanket tag by Holly at Nut Free Nerd for this one, I wanted to do it, and thankfully I was able to find a spot in my blog schedule to post it.

Without any further rambling, let’s just jump into it.

1. How many books are too many books in a book series?

As long as the characters and/or the world continue to provide interesting stories, I don’t think there are too many. The Legend of Drizzt series, which is a D&D based series, has over 30 books in it, and yet it is still wildly popular. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series has over 40 books in the series (which technically consists of several smaller series in the overall world of Discworld, but still). So those work. But yes, there are some series, like the House of Night, where I felt like they started to drag or feel repetitive after book 8 or 9.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I love them, and yet, I hate them. Honestly, don’t we love the suspense of not knowing what is going to happen? Then again, I really don’t like when there is a massive cliffhanger at the end of a book and we have to wait a year or more to get the resolution. Chapter end cliffhangers are totally fine though.

3. Hardcopy or paperback?

Umm….just give me a book and let me read it. I really like how hardcovers look sitting on the bookshelves, but I will say that paperbacks are a bit easier to transport and read on the go.

4. Favorite book?

 

 

Come on, guys, how am I supposed to pick just one favorite? I could be really self-promotional and say Project Death: Resurrection by Danielle Thamasa. Just kidding. I only give my book a 3.5 out of 5 stars; it’s not my favorite book, but I love it because it is mine. One of my favorite books of 2017 was All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis, so I guess I’ll say that for this question.

5. Your least favorite book?

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I feel like I’ve given this answer a few times, but I loathed reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Then again, last year I did DNF King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard so…

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

Very rarely do I find that a love triangle is done well, so I’m gonna have to say no for this one.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

That honor goes to King’s Cage. I mean, there are times where I set a book down for a while, but I typically go back to them at some point. It is rare for me to truly DNF a book.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

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9. Last book you recommended to someone?

I’m going to have to say my last recommendations were probably in my Time Travel recommendation post.

10. The oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

Ummm….Beowulf…I think. Its publication date is 975.

11. The newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

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Publication Date: May 15, 2018

12. Favorite author?

Again with the favorites. I mean, my standard answer here is Rachel Kelly, because I absolutely love Rachel as a person, and her Colorworld series is fantastic.

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

Definitely buying.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

Can I say Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake here? I mean, not that I hated it or anything, but I didn’t think it was as wonderful as so many people said. I liked it, but it was only a 3 star read for me.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

BOOKMARKS!

16. A book you can always reread?

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Is there another choice I’m supposed to make here? Okay, yes, technically Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus/Magnus Chase/Trials of Apollo can go in here as well.

17. Can you read while hearing music?

Sure can.

18. One POV or multiple POV? (POV’ = Points of view)

Both. It really depends on the story.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

There are times where I read many books in one day, so one sitting is nothing. But some books I savor over multiple days.

20. One book you read because of the cover.

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Okay, so the book summary sounded amazing too…but come on, the cover is gorgeous. And when you hold the physical copy all that gold is nice and shiny. There’s a reason why this was one of my favorite reads of 2017. The book is fantastic inside and out.


Man, this is where I’m supposed to tag people so they can do this post. It’s my least favorite part of doing these tags, because you’re all so wonderful, and I feel like I’m always picking the same people and forgetting others.

Goals for 2018

Hey all, Dani here.

Well, here we are, a whole week into the new year already, and I am just now getting a post up where I talk about my goals for the year. Normally I would have had the post up already, but with the schedule I had figured out a month or so ago, this was the best I could do.

Last year I had a similar post, but I called it my 2017 Bookish Resolutions. So it seems fitting that I just continue that trend and talk about things I want to continue doing or improve on over the next twelve months.

First up: Reading. Obviously this is a big and important part of my life each and every year, which is probably why I list it first. Typically I started my reading goal at 75 books, but the past few years I have always increased the goal a couple times or so after reaching it with months left in the year. I still think this is a very doable goal, and I look forward to sharing my reading experiences with all of you. And part of sticking to this goal will be doing readathons. Right now I am already doing the Manga Madness Readathon, which is happening this week. I also plan to keep an eye out for 24 Hour Readathons from both Zoe Herdt (@readbyzoe on Twitter and YouTube), and @24Hourathon on Twitter. Then, of course, there is Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon in both April and October.

Second: Blogging. Another big part of my life the past couple of years is this blog. 2016 may not have been a super popular year for my blog, but I felt like I grew a lot in 2017 and I started posting a lot more and interacting even more than that. So I look forward to seeing what is to come in 2018. I’m working on creating a book tag, and I hope you will all enjoy that. Plus, I am continuing my weekly recommendation posts, and as always, throw out more suggestions for themes/topics/etc for these posts. Also, I have a nice backlog of book tags and other post ideas that I’m hoping to get to, so I’m hoping to continue having lots of nice content on here for all of you.

The third item on my list of goals is: Writing. This has been the hardest resolution or goal to stick to the past couple years. Yes, I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo and continued to win, but I know I could and should be doing more. There is a book inside of me that I’ve been wanting to get out for the past year, so I’m honestly hoping I can get a decent draft of it finished in 2018. I’ll keep you guys posted on how I’m doing though. And honestly, a little motivation could help me out too. So, if you think about it randomly throughout the year, ask how the writing is going for me in the comments. I used to do some of my most regular writing back when I posted it online chapter by chapter using fictionpress. And it goes without saying, though I will say it now anyway, that I will definitely be participating in NaNoWriMo again this year.

Finally: Bookstagram. I only posted to Instagram a handful of times in 2017, and I feel really bad about that. Taking photos, particularly of books, is something I have enjoyed, so I need to try and get back into that again. Though, I suppose part of that would include bringing some of my Bookstagram photo props to my apartment instead of abandoning them at my mom’s house. I will start to post more on there; I promise. You can find me @danielle.thamasa on Instagram.

Okay, okay, so I guess technically I have a fifth category and that is goals for my non-bookish life. Because, let’s be honest, 2017 was a pretty good year for me away from this blog as well. My guy and I met, started dating, and moved in together. Now we are making more and more plans for the future, and it is kind of awesome. Right now we are definitely planning to attend all four days of Gen Con in August 2018, so that will be fun (it will also be my 30th birthday weekend so yay!), and we may even be going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this fall. We have to see if it will fit in the budget. So I am looking forward to a year of more board games, anime, video games, Dungeons & Dragons, and just cuddling up on the couch with my favorite guy.

I know there’s not a whole lot of concrete goals for this post. I’m not saying that I’m going to post a certain number of times each week, or that I’m going to write a certain number of words or for a certain length of time each day for my novels. I’ve been doing pretty good at having around 5 posts each week on the blog, but there could be times when work or life keep me from posting that much. At the very least I know that I will have a post or two up each week, but as much as possible I’m going to try and maintain my current posting schedule. Hopefully. And for my writing, I think it’s enough to say that I would like to have a whole draft finished for the book I’ve been wanting to write. It doesn’t set me up with a word count goal, but I still have a general idea of how much work I need to put in to achieve it.

What about you guys? What goals do you have for 2018? I would love to hear all about them in the comments, or even a link back to your own post (if you’ve already written one up).

Manga Madness Readathon TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

I know, I know. Another weekend post already. But this was not something I was originally planning, but I needed to get my TBR up for this because it takes place this upcoming week: January 7-13, 2018. I found out about this post thanks to Kathy over at Books & Munches because she is awesome and she also remembered that I got a lot of manga for Christmas.

Manga Madness is being hosted by Jade at Drink Coffee and Read Books. There are two ways to do this challenge: complete the bingo board challenge for the readathon, or just read whatever you want. Now Jade is planning on holding this readathon every couple of months, so if you can’t participate this time around, keep an eye out and perhaps you can jump in next time. You can even follow @MMReadathon on Twitter for updates.

Considering I A) just learned about this readathon on Friday, and B) just got a bunch of manga for Christmas, I’m not going to be attempting the bingo board this time around. I’m just going to focus on reading as much as I can.

So, okay, this is going to be a decently short post, but here are some of the volumes on my potential TBR. I’m going to see how many of them I can get through in the next week.

That’s all for today. Happy Reading everyone!

Comic Review: Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, can you believe that we’re almost a whole week into the new year already? And here I am still with a huge stack of books from 2017 that I want to review. So I’ll be scattering these review posts throughout the next couple months, sometimes pre-scheduled, and sometimes to fill a gap when necessary. I’m changing shifts and jobs at work starting next week so I’m going to need to figure out a new schedule for reading and blogging.

Having a buffer of posts makes me feel a little better about it all.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure most of you have heard me raving about not just the anime for Avatar, but also this comic book continuation that bridges the gap to Korra. This story arc was the one I was most looking forward to because it focused on Zuko looking for his mom.

So let’s just jump into this.

Summary

For years, fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have burned with one question—what happened to Fire Lord Zuko’s mother? Finding a clue at last, Zuko enlists the aid of Team Avatar—and the most unlikely ally of all—to help uncover the biggest secret of his life.

Enter the Forgetful Valley

As Fire Lord Zuko continues his quest to uncover his mother’s fate, a shocking revelation causes him to question everything he knows. It’s an opportunity that his sister, the deadly and insane Azula, will not fail to take advantage of as she joins Zuko and his friends, Aang, Katara, and Sokka on their journey into a mysterious forest from which some people never reemerge…

The Fate of the Fire Lord!

Avatar Aang travels to the spirit world to parlay with an ancient power, bringing Fire Lord Zuko ever closer to discovering the truth about his mother’s fate—and his own past. Yet Zuko’s sister Azula is becoming increasingly dangerous, threatening to ruin everything that Zuko, Aang, Katara, and Sokka have struggled to achieve on their search!

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

Okay, so again, I got this story in the set of paperback volumes, though you can get a hardcover bind up that has all three together. But seeing as how I feel a need to have matching sets, I had to go with paperback to match my copy of The Lost Adventures. So this story picks up right after The Promise, and features Fire Lord Zuko learning some more information about his mother and asking Team Avatar to help him find her.

Now obviously with Zuko now in charge of the Fire Nation, he can’t just leave his people without leadership. So while he goes on this search, Zuko puts one of my favorite characters, Uncle Iroh, in charge. If you know anything about the show/comics, then you can probably guess what Iroh’s first act is. And if you said to create a Fire Nation Tea Appreciation Day, then you would absolutely be correct. What made that even better is that by the end of this little trilogy/story, it turns out that Tea Appreciation Day was a success. I love that Iroh is such a fan of tea, and I even like that after this is all over, he returns to his tea shop in the Earth Kingdom.

But that is just a tiny little moment in the grand scheme of this tale. I actually really enjoyed that the comics gave us flashback scenes so we could get more information about Zuko’s mom’s past. That was really cool and I liked what it added to the story. And oh man, all the ups and downs of this arc. Whew.

The end of part one left me shocked at a certain revelation, and I had no choice but to immediately grab the second one. Not only were there twists and turns, ups and downs, but there were a number of secrets and lies as well.

I don’t want to say too much more, but I think this was definitely my favorite trilogy from the comics (though I still have two of the trilogies to read, so that statement could change). If you are a fan of Avatar and Korra, then I absolutely recommend that you pick up this series.

Where to Buy

You can pick up Avatar: the Last Airbender – The Search from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, Comixology, or your local independent book store (or maybe even comic store).