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!

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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.

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.

September Wrap-Up and October TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

How are we already at the start of October? I think this is the fastest a year has gone by for me. It’s crazy to think that in just a couple months it will be time to start putting 2018 in the date instead of 2017.

This month was not as productive as other recent months when it comes to reading, but I still think I did all right. This is also a month where I was occupied with cleaning, packing, and moving from one apartment to another, so understandably I was a bit distracted. I hope to be able to read more in October. I’m sorry I didn’t have that many review posts and instead had to resort to numerous posts regarding my ongoing TBR purge.

Warcross by Marie Lu (4.5 stars)

Love and Other Things: Poetry and Prose by Michael Tavon (3.5 stars)

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (5 stars)

Invictus by Ryan Graudin (4 stars)

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West (5 stars)

Critical Role- Vox Machina: Origins, Issue #1 by Matthew Colville (5 stars)

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (4.5 stars)

Bitch Planet, Vol 1 by Kelly Sue Deconnick (4 stars)

A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess (5 stars)

Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federle (4 stars)

Next up is my September book haul. Now, September was a pretty good month for book releases, but I only allowed myself to get ones that I didn’t already have an ARC or e-galley of…well, mostly. I made an exception for All Rights Reserved. I’m trying to be picky about my book buying until I’m confident with the new budget. Living with my boyfriend means a higher rent than when I was still living with my mom. I have to make sure that I have all of my bills covered before I can splurge on books.

 

So all in all it was a pretty good month for books, and I think I might be able to mostly be on a book buying ban in October. I can only think of a few books that I might buy. The only absolute buy in October is A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne. So expect a shorter haul section next month (I hope). Let’s see if I can actually stick to a ban for once.

I’ll also toss my September OwlCrate unboxing photo up here as well. The theme was Mythical Creatures and I rather enjoyed the box, especially that bookmark. It’s just beautiful.

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Finally, I guess it is time to announce my October TBR. I’m going to go a bit conservative here with my reading plans, mostly because I plan to try and do two 24 Hour Readathons this month. The first is being hosted by Zoe Herdt (readbyzoe on YouTube and Twitter) and that will be October 14th, and then there is the next session of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and that will be on October 21st. So, I will try and have tentative TBRs up for both of those events as we get a little closer to them.

 

 

 

Books I Need to Finish!

Hey all, Dani here.

While in the middle of scouring my Goodreads TBR, I realized that I have quite a few books that have been sitting on my Currently Reading list for some time. I don’t like leaving books unfinished and yet I seem to be doing it quite a bit this year.

So I think I’m writing up this post as a way of calling myself out and also hoping for some accountability on future reading goals. I need to clear out this list and I’m going to start doing that in between some of these ARCs and e-galleys I need to read as well.

Let’s jump into this list then.

I have literally had Windwitch on my Currently Reading list since it was released at the beginning of the year. This is so bad, because I made it halfway through the book and I was so enjoying it. I don’t know why I set it aside.

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard has also been on this list for a long while, but I know why. The first book was great and the second book was just okay, only redeeming itself in the last couple chapters. It was just enough to make me want to read this third book. But I’m still struggling with this series. It had potential, but it just isn’t living up to it for me. I do still plan to finish it, just so I know if I will continue with the series or not.

The Black Prism is a wonderful and nicely sized epic fantasy story. This is taking me a while because I’m listening to the audiobook, and I only really listen to books sporadically. Really I need to just pull my paperback copy off the shelf and finish this book. Because I am enjoying the world and the magic system, and I want to know what’s going to happen.

Next up is Dragonfly in Amber. I basically just like to take my time with these books. But I also know I want to continue watching the show, and I won’t watch season 2 until I’ve finished the book. So that needs to happen. And I was just telling my boyfriend a couple days ago that I haven’t read a nice romance (or smut romance) in a while, so between this and the fifth book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I should have my romance bases covered.

I know why I’ve halted in my read of Gemina as well. This book is entertaining and I am enjoying the story, but I don’t want to deal with the inevitable cliffhanger and have to wait too long for Obsidio, so I set the book down. I will pick it up again…when I think that I can take the wait for the finale.

Here’s another audiobook on the list, and really I have no reasoning for this one because the narration is done by one of my favorite people: Matthew Mercer. The Punch Escrow is an interesting tale and I love listening to Matt’s portrayal of all of the different characters. And I really can’t say anything about the length of an audiobook here because I listen to Matt for 3-5 hours each week when I’m catching up on Critical Role, my favorite D&D show.

Lord of Shadows…so I’ve only read like one chapter of this. But, to be fair, I just read Lady Midnight for the first time a few months ago. I plan on finishing this before the end of 2017, but it isn’t the highest priority for me.

Next is one of my most highly anticipated books: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. I have adored the first two books of the trilogy and was so looking forward to seeing how it all wrapped up. But then I was struck by the thought that once I read it, that was it. It would be over. Now that V.E. Schwab has announced that there will be more books set in this world, I think I can finally get back to it and finish the book.

The Dragons of Nova is a book I started to read during a readathon and though I was enjoying it, I could tell that I just wasn’t in the right mood to read it, so I set it aside. I will read it, and probably soon. That way I can put in a request for the third book from NetGalley when it becomes available.

Finally, I have To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, another book that I’m about half-finished with and what I read I’ve quite enjoyed. I picked it up because I wanted a fun quick contemporary read but by the time I reached the halfway point I was really craving a fantasy read…so I put this book down and just haven’t picked it back up yet.

So, there you have it everyone. Some books that I have not quite finished yet and need to get back to reading at some point in the near future–certainly I need to finish these before the end of the year.

Are there any books that have been on your currently reading list for just a bit too long? Let me know in the comments.

Another 24 Hourathon is Coming

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow. This is my 200th post! That’s awesome.

Okay, so another readathon is coming, specifically another 24 Hour Readathon. Again, this one is hosted by Kelli over at Kelli’s Book Spill and Dylan at dylanthereader5.  This time around the readathon is being held this Saturday, September 2nd. Now, typically the goal is to read as many books as possible in the 24 hour time period, and if that is what you want to do this time around then that is absolutely fine.

But this time Kelli and Dylan are actually planning the third and fourth rounds of the 24 Hourathon, with #3 being Saturday the 2nd and then #4 on Saturday the 9th. These two events are going to tie into each other quite nicely because they have issued a special challenge for the readathon: to read only book-to-movie adaptations. The idea is that for the 2nd you’ll read the books and then on the 9th you’ll have a movie marathon.

Now I don’t have many books that have been turned into movies on my most pressing section of my TBR so I think I’m just going to read as many books as I can. I have tried a couple week long readathons in the past and I’ve done just okay with them, but I find the 24 Hour Readathons to be better for me productivity wise. I only have to push myself to read for one day and not worry about squeezing in hours of reading each day for a week.

Plus, I’m going to have about half of Saturday to myself as my boyfriend has a regular Pathfinder game with some of his buddies. So I might as well spend my day reading.

And that means it is time to announce the books on my tentative TBR for this Saturday.

I realize that this is a fairly small TBR, but I may change it up based on my mood, or depending on how my reading goes over the next couple of days.

Anyway, that’s about it for today. I know it’s a short post, but I need to get back to reading so I can try and have some more review posts up soon. Tomorrow I’m posting my August Wrap Up and my September TBR, and I know I’m trying to write up a couple book tag posts and some more of those TBR purge posts so I can schedule them for the coming weeks.

Purging That TBR Pile

Hey all, Dani here.

I’m trying to finish reading some books and write up a few more reviews and book tag posts and such, but right now there are so many books that I really want to read that I can’t decide which to read first and it may be somewhat putting me in a tiny bit of a slump. I’m going to try and push through it though. We’ll see what happens.

To be fair though, I have read something like 19 or 20 books in August already, which is quite a lot.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing people joining the Down The TBR Rabbit Hole bandwagon and going through their TBR piles to cleanse it of books that you just aren’t interested in anymore or don’t see yourself reading, and while I wish that I could actually read all of the books I have marked as to-read on Goodreads, I realistically know that isn’t possible…you know, unless I could get paid to read/review full-time.

So, I’m going to do something similar. Now, the actual post/tag/whatever you’d like to call it has you put your TBR in ascending order by date and then look at the first 5 (or 10 if you’re adventurous) and decide to keep it or ditch it. This means you’re looking at the ones that have been on your list the longest.

At the current moment my Goodreads “Want to Read” shelf has 826 books on it. I think I’ll look at those first 20 (or maybe 26, why not?) and see if I can weed out this list a little bit.

And excuse the poor images I’m about to include here. When I decided to do this post I was already at work and ended up just taking photos of the computer screen so they are not the best quality. Anyway, let’s get started.

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Okay, so Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder. I loved the original Study trilogy and I really want to read the newest Study trilogy, but the Glass trilogy stands in the middle. I read the first one a while ago and it was just okay. I didn’t like Opal as much as I did Yelena, but I want to understand whatever part this trilogy might play in the newer books, so I’m going to have to read this one and the third in the trilogy at some point. I’m keeping this one.

Succubus Heat and Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead. I do enjoy this series and I have no idea why I haven’t finished it yet. I loved the first three. Have I been putting these off because I’m disappointed about the incomplete nature of Mead’s Age of X series? Maybe. I still want to read these though.

Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead. Why is the 3rd book of the series so high on the list? I haven’t even read the 2nd one yet. Weird. Again, I love Richelle Mead so I’m gonna keep this one. Eventually I do plan on reading it.

Cry WolfSilver Borne, and Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs. Do I own these books? Yes. Am I super behind on all things Patricia Briggs? Absolutely. I think I’ve only read two Mercy Thompson books and that’s it. At this point I’m thinking that maybe it is time to just admit that I just don’t have enough time to catch up on either of these series. I’m going to cut them from my TBR. But I still own the books, so if my desire to read these comes back then I’ll be ready.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. Now, this one I’ve actually read the first couple hundred pages. I greatly enjoy all the books I’ve read by Sanderson. I just really miss one of the characters from the first Mistborn book so this one just isn’t bringing that same feeling. I will get back around to this one at some point.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I NEED to read this book. I bought a copy a few months ago so I could read it. Definitely keeping it. I want to read it and then watch the series.

The Once and Future King by T.H. White. I believe I added this during a phase when I was definitely wanting to indulge in my love of Arthurian legends. But then I never picked up the copy sitting on my shelves. I’ll maybe at some point be in the mood to read this, but for now I think I can take it off my Goodreads list.

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I think this was a book that I read back in elementary school, but don’t remember well so I put it on here for a reread. I mean, it is a classic. But, since it is a reread I don’t have it as that much of a priority.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Another idea of a classic piece of literature that I read in childhood and thought of rereading. Ah, the idealized fantasy of being able to devour all of these classics. That was sort of still while I was in school and had quite a bit more free time than I do now. This may be another reread that I take off my Goodreads list.

Fallen by Lauren Kate. Hmm…I bought this back in the time when the Twilight craze was still pretty big and all these similar books were coming out and being talked about. It’s sat on my shelf ever since. I did watch the movie a couple weeks ago; it was as bad as I thought it would be. I don’t know. I just don’t see myself picking this one up anytime soon. I may be pulling it from my bookshelves at home too.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King. I really want to read this series, and go see the movie. I mean, I have read some of the graphic novels. This is a definite keep.

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. This one is also a reread. I made it like 5 or 6 books into the series years ago and then stopped. I want to reread the early books and then finish the series. I may try something like reading one a month until I finish the series. Maybe? If that sounds like something you’d like to join me for, then we can figure that out…perhaps start in 2018 and go until we’re done in 2019.

A Clash of Kings, A Storm of SwordsA Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin. Obviously I’m keeping these. I want to read them all (only read A Game of Thrones so far). I just need to be in the mood for them first.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and wanted to read the rest of them, but I think now maybe it’s been too long since I read the first one and I’m not really in the mood for this type of story right now. This one will come off my Goodreads list, but I may pick it up someday if I want a fun cute and easy to read story.

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. I have so many unfinished urban fantasy series on my TBR list. I want to read this series, but much like with Mercy Thompson, I feel so behind. Unlike with Patricia Briggs though, I enjoyed this one more. I’ll keep the Kate Daniels series for a while longer. I’m not ready to give up just yet.

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Magic Strikes and Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews.

On the Edge and Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews. Unlike with the previous series by Andrews, I have not read anything in this particular series, so though I own the books, and I may eventually pick them up, for now I can safely remove these from my Goodreads TBR.

Fang by James Patterson. I liked Fang as a character when I read the Maximum Ride series in my high school years, but I just lost interest in the series, so I don’t think I’ll be getting around to this anytime soon. Bye.

Torment by Lauren Kate. Much like with the first book in the series, I can easily say goodbye to this one.

Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter. Again, I like Ally Carter’s writing and I enjoyed the first book, but for now I think I’m going to pull this series off my want to read list.

Being Nikki and Runaway by Meg Cabot, and Hunter’s Moon by Meg Cabot. I spent several years being a huge Meg Cabot fan and trying to read every single thing she wrote. The concept of the first Airhead book was interesting, so I’m inclined to want to finish the rest of the trilogy, but I don’t know if/when that will happen. With this other series though, a graphic novel spinoff of Avalon High, it just really didn’t impress me as much as the original novel. So for now I think I can take these books off my list, but if the mood strikes I may read Being Nikki and Runaway.

Whew, okay, well that was quite a list, and man, this was a bit longer of a post than I had originally planned on. I eliminated 16 books from my Want to Read list on Goodreads, and kept 13. That’s actually a lot better than I thought. This may be something I do again in the future. Like I mentioned earlier, this list is over 800 books long.

AMA Answer Time!

Hey all, Dani here.

Thank you so much to Michelle and Elaina, who each asked me a question over the past few days. I really appreciate it. Let’s not waste any time with introductions. I’m jumping into the answers right now.

michelleltaylor94 asked: What are your must reads right now?

I think there’s two possible answers here: the must reads I can recommend for you all to read, and the must reads meaning books that I desperately need to read right now. For the first part, my go-to recommendations include: Dreamworld by Rachel E. Kelly, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. To answer the second part: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss are all books that I really want and need to read soon.

Elaina Lucy asked: What is the number one book that you’ve read that has the deepest emotional hold on you? It could be either that the book itself is amazing, or for other reasons (a gift from someone special, the first book you ever read, etc).

Wow, this is a fabulous question, and I’d love to know how all of you would answer it as well. Okay, so I’m going to try not to constantly answer with the same books, so I’m actually going to go with a non-fiction choice: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. This book was so lovely and inspirational for me. Follow that up with getting to meet her during her book tour for the paperback release (Yes, I own a first edition hardcover, and a first edition paperback of this book) and this book will always hold a special place in my heart. Meeting Felicia Day, considering how long I’ve followed her awesome nerdy career and how much I loved the book, is definitely one of the top moments of my life. You can read more about my fangirling and the signing at these links.

This was a fun idea, and I’ll probably try this again in the future, but if at any time you have a question, feel free to ask. I’m pretty much an open book.

Just for fun though, I’ll also throw in a few random fun facts about me, because I know sometimes people probably wonder about it.

Danielle Thamasa is a pen name. I chose it by taking all the letters from my legal birth name and rearranging the letters. (Okay, fine. I had to add in an extra ‘l’ and ‘e’ or else I would have been Daniel). I’ve been using this name for book related things on the internet for around a decade now so I answer to Dani as easily as I do my birth name.

Some of my other hobbies include board games, RPGs (like D&D, Pathfinder, Fantasy AGE, etc), LARPing, comic and gaming conventions, photography, ghost hunting, and traveling (though I don’t do as much as I’d like).

I’ve started watching anime and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m into My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, Death Note, Trigun, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. When I was younger I watched Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Fullmetal Alchemist, and in college I watched Inuyasha because of my roommate.

I’ve already surpassed my original reading challenge goal on Goodreads. I started the year with a goal of reading 75 books, but now my goal is 100 because I have finished 77 books so far.

Okay, well that’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my time in Indianapolis over the weekend for Gen Con 50.

Make Me Read It Readathon Wrap-Up

Hey all, Dani here.

I think the post today is going to be a little shorter than normal. So, the past week I participated in the Make Me Read It Readathon, and the order of my TBR was determined based on the number of votes you lovely readers gave to my options. I’ll have links to the books I’ve finished and reviewed throughout this post.

I started off strong…reading all 6 books in the Scott Pilgrim series on Sunday and about the first half of Monday. That meant my next book was The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova. Now, I did read a few chapters of this book, and so far I am enjoying it as much as I did the first one, but I’ll be completely honest, reading it basically felt like a chore. Again, I’ll reiterate that I am enjoying it, but I guess it just wasn’t the book I really wanted to be reading just then.

So I switched off to Matilda by Roald Dahl, a switch that only lasted for the hour to hour-and-a-half that it took me to read the whole book.

At the same time I was trying to push ahead with my readathon TBR, so I was listening to the audiobook for The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. I figured I could listen to it while doing chores around the apartment or during my ten minute commute to work. So over the course of the week I’ve listened to about 7 hours of the audiobook and have about 14 hours left to go. It’s not as much progress as I would like, but it’s something.

I did also manage to finish reading the Sandman series. So I read Volumes 7-10.

Oh, and during the week I also finished reading Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and wrote up my review for it. That wasn’t on my TBR so I shouldn’t exactly count it for this readathon, but it still was reading I accomplished during the week, so I’m actually going to count it.

Finally I also read an ARC for Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone. That review will be up tomorrow.

I consider it a fairly productive week of reading. I finished 13 books in the week, and made progress in two other books. I’m happy with that, though part of me is starting to worry that pushing myself to keep up this crazy reading schedule is going to lead to reader/blogger burnout soon. Though I have enough plans and idea to literally have a post every day for the next couple months, I think I’m going to have to scale back a tiny bit, so for right now I’m going to give myself a couple days off each week…most likely those will be the weekends.

That’s also why I’m probably going to hold off on finishing the new Elise Kova book for now. I have some ARC reviews that I need to be sure I finish, and I want to make sure the bonus books I’m reading during the month are the ones my bookish heart truly wants to be reading.

I do hope to finish the audiobook of The Black Prism by the end of the month, though. We’ll just see what happens.

All right everyone, so let me know down below how your readathon went if you participated, or if you didn’t, let me know if there’s a great book you’ve finished recently.

Sandman Series Review

Hey all, Dani here.

Well I’m back with another review of a whole series, this time the Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman. I read the first five volumes in 2016, and really wanted to finish the series then but I had an influx of other books I needed to acquire and so these collected volumes had to wait. I recently bought volumes 6-10 and could barely restrain myself before diving in to finish them. For the summary and the links to purchase, I’ll be giving the information for the first volume only so as to avoid any potential spoilers.

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Summary

New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.

In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his 70 year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman.

This book also includes the story “The Sound of Her Wings,” which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl Death.

Includes issues 1-8 of the original series.

My Thoughts

Ratings: 5 STARS for EVERYTHING!

This is such a wonderful and complex, diverse and expansive, sometimes whimsical, sometimes dark, sometimes absolutely lovely, series. Honestly, I have no idea why it took me so long to get these graphic novels. Weirdly enough, this was also my introduction to Neil Gaiman…well, unless you count seeing the movie Stardust years ago. But I had always heard about Neil Gaiman as this great storyteller, and this is an amazing example of his creative range.

I love the characters, and there are a lot of them. Some will only show up in one issue of one volume, but some are regularly occurring. Even the random tertiary characters seem to breathe on the page. I had no issues at all seeing them all as real people/creatures/etc. There is diversity in color and belief systems and sexuality and philosophy, which truly makes this a memorable reading experience.

Oh, and the artwork. Depending on the tone of each particular tale, the artwork changed to fit that mood. Some of the characters even have speech bubbles and speech font differences from everyone else. It is just a visual feast, a smorgasbord that you will want to devour whole.

Okay, I will say that Dream and Death are my favorite characters, but each of the Endless are fascinating in their own ways. Plus you run into other fun characters like Lucifer, you know, the same Lucifer that currently has a television show about his exploits on Earth, which is now heading into its third season? Yeah, the Sandman comics are where his storyline began, up to him leaving Hell to come up to our realm. Obviously the adaptation from comic to TV show made some changes but honestly they seem relatively minor (Lucifer is blond in the comics, but I think Tom Ellis is doing amazing in the show).

Anyway, back to the Endless. They are god-like, but they are older than the gods. There are seven of them and they are fascinating. We spend most of our time with Morpheus, otherwise known as Dream, though his older sister, Death, is also a frequent guest throughout the series. As it progresses you meet the rest of them: Destiny, Desire, Delirium, Destruction, and Despair.

Oh, and if you’re a fan of DC comics, you’ll note that a number of characters from there appear in Sandman as well, including but not limited to: John Constantine, Batman, and Hawkman. There are also numerous characters from biblical lore that pop up as well, including Cain, Abel, and Eve.

Basically I could gush about this for many more paragraphs but I don’t want to risk spoiling anything, and with the complete collection of ten volumes, there’s a lot of potential spoilers. I’ll just say that I highly recommend this amazing graphic novel collection.

Where to Buy

You can pick up Sandman in a number of different volume collections or other bound collections from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. I should also point out that you could likely pick up any of the Sandman tales from a comic book store as well.