Book Tag, Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost

Sunshine Blogger Award (5)

Hey all, Dani here.

Once again, I feel so honored to have been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award. This time my nomination comes from Finding French Charming, so thank you so much. Also, I haven’t really been doing any tags lately on my blog, as I’ve been trying to catch up on my reviews and all of that. I promise you that I do have around 10 or so tags to do at some point.

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As always, let’s start by quickly getting the rules of the tag/award out of the way.

The rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Display one of the Sunshine Blogger Award logos
  3. Nominate 11 (or however many you want) bloggers to receive the award and write 11 questions for them to answer

Now, moving on to the questions I was given to answer.

1. What movie would you consider closest to your own life story?

If you had asked me this question a year ago, I might have answered with The 40 Year Old Virgin, but now, I don’t know…I am failing at thinking of awesome nerdy romance type movies. Okay, this is sort of a cop out because it is technically a web-series, but I think more people should watch it, and the two seasons together are pretty much the length of a standard movie, so LARPs the Series. Go check it out.

2.  What accent do you find the sexiest when you hear someone speak?

Now why do you have to ask this question? Okay, so when I was around 5 years old I really loved the Cajun accent (blame Gambit. I loved the animated X-Men TV series when I was a kid). I am totally a sucker for an Irish or Scottish accent, as well as an Australian accent. Of course, a good ole’ Southern drawl is nice as well.

3.  What is the most attractive quality in a potential (or current) partner?  Examples: Humor, Romance, Intelligence, or a physical quality?

My fiance is a wonderful, caring, supportive, creative, goofy nerd. It was his creativity that snagged my interest initially, and then talking to him/texting him over the following weeks helped me get to know him, and it made me fall in love with him. Oh, and he’s really nice to cuddle up with on the couch while we watch shows or read (separate books) together.

4.  Go to beverage or comfort food after a hard day?

My go-to beverage is usually sweet tea, and my comfort food is absolutely macaroni and cheese…though I do have a soft spot for tacos as well.

5.  What is your favorite thing to spend money on, more than you should at times?

Is this supposed to be a trick question? –Books– Well, okay, I also spend a lot of money on D&D accessories.

6. Super Hero or Vampire?  Which would you be and why?

Superhero. Interesting costume, witty one-liners, and hopefully some sort of superpower…it all sounds pretty cool to me. Honestly the idea of living forever at the expense of drinking blood just doesn’t sound appealing to me.

7.  What movie could you watch 100 times?  Every time you come across it on TV you watch it even if you come in somewhere in the middle?

A League of Their Own, The Shawshank Redemption, LOTR/The Hobbit, pretty much any superhero movie… this list could probably go on for a while but I’ll stop now.

8.  What was the best “come back” line you’ve ever had?  (Ex. for me, I was fighting with a boyfriend and my friend asked if I had ever read “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”.  I replied “It won’t help, he’s from Uranus”)

I honestly can’t think of any good “come back” lines I’ve had right now.

9.  What is your signature scent?

I like beach/ocean scents or rain.

10.  What is one piece of advice you hand out the most?

I think most of the advice I give out has to do with book/movie/TV/game recommendations, or writing advice during NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNoWriMo.

11.  What is the most bizarre gift you ever received?

Okay, so for my graduation party from grad school once I had earned my Master’s degree, one of my parents friends gave me a plastic baggie with a napkin and some money in it. The napkin had a note written on it that basically said that he thought about getting me a card, but then he figured I would have more use for the money, so he included an extra $3 to cover the cost of the card he didn’t get me. I thought it was a pretty nice gesture.


My nominees for this wonderful award are:

I am awful at doing these nominations you guys. I think all of you are great, and you should all be nominated, so if you are reading this, then consider yourself TAGGED!


Finally, my questions for you lovely people: I actually really enjoyed the questions I was asked, so I’m just going to repeat them.

1. What movie would you consider closest to your own life story?

2.  What accent do you find the sexiest when you hear someone speak?

3.  What is the most attractive quality in a potential (or current) partner?  Examples: Humor, Romance, Intelligence, or a physical quality?

4.  Go to beverage or comfort food after a hard day?

5.  What is your favorite thing to spend money on, more than you should at times?

6. Super Hero or Vampire?  Which would you be and why?

7.  What movie could you watch 100 times?  Every time you come across it on TV you watch it even if you come in somewhere in the middle?

8.  What was the best “come back” line you’ve ever had?  (Ex. for me, I was fighting with a boyfriend and my friend asked if I had ever read “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”.  I replied “It won’t help, he’s from Uranus”)

9.  What is your signature scent?

10.  What is one piece of advice you hand out the most?

11.  What is the most bizarre gift you ever received?


Well, that’s it for today, and I’ll be back soon (possibly tomorrow) with more bookish posts.

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Book Releases, Book Review, Books!, Signal Boost

January Wrap Up and February TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Success! I managed to get posts up every day this week. I am going to try and keep going with this trend, because I have 21 reviews that I need to write up, the next few recommendation posts for the month of February need to be written, I have at least ten or so book tags that I can prep (if I have the time), and there are a couple other fun random posts I would like to do in February. So, as you can see, if I can find the time to write up these posts, I actually will be able to have regular posts up for a couple of months at the very least.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. No, today is about going over all the books I read and purchased in January, and then to discuss the books I’m hoping to read in the month of February.

So let’s just get started.

I read 11 books in the month of January, which is a pretty good number, though I’m still a bit upset that I didn’t get a few more finished. Still, they were all 4 and 5 star review books, so that’s great. I already have reviews up for a couple of them, and reviews of the rest are hopefully coming soon enough.

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking — 4 stars

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West — 4 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 7 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 8 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 9 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

My Hero Academia, Vol 10 by Kohei Horikoshi — 5 stars

Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed — 5 stars

Vox Machina Origins, Issue #4 by Matthew Coville, Matt Mercer, Olivia Samson, Travis Ames, and Chris Northrop — 5 stars

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills — 4.5 stars

The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg — 4 stars

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking — 4 stars

All right, well that’s it for my reading wrap up, and now it’s time for my January book haul, complete with my January OwlCrate unboxing. I liked the OwlCrate box, though I was sad that I didn’t guess what the book was ahead of time because the day my subscription box arrived, I also received a package from Barnes & Noble, so now I have two copies of the same book. Oh well.

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Honestly, with the January OwlCrate, the exclusive cover for The Cruel Prince is nice, but I prefer the original more this time around. The wax melt burner is a nice addition to the box as well, and I think I’m going to have to make a print wall for all the lovely art prints I keep getting in these boxes. The February theme is Hidden Worlds and the OwlCrate booklet says that the book pick is a unique story that is about modern day fairy tales with a hint of darkness, so I need to try and figure out what the book will be so I don’t continue to have multiple copies of some books.

Finally, let’s talk about my February TBR. A lot of it is ARC review reading, but I’m not complaining, because I am so excited about these books.

I also plan to finish reading Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, and it is time that I can finally let myself finish reading Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, because we are getting pretty close to the release of Obsidio.

Basically, I have given myself a pretty hefty reading list for the month, and hopefully I’ll be able to actually accomplish it all.

Well, have a lovely weekend everyone–probably when you are reading this post I’ll be at Barnes & Noble buying more books. My fiance pointed out that we hadn’t gone book shopping in a while…gotta love how he indulges my book buying addiction. I’m going to try and have some more reviews, book tags, and more up for you next week. I think I’ll be able to carve out a few hours of blog prep time this weekend.

Book Tag, Books!, Inspiration, Signal Boost

Sunshine Blogger Award (3)

Hey all, Dani here.

I feel so honored to have been selected for the Sunshine Blogger Award again, this time by Amanda over at Peaks and Pages. Honestly what is awesome about this tag is that you can do it multiple times because the questions change each time. Also, go check out Amanda’s blog because she is wonderful and has some awesome posts.

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What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
This award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

How does it work?
-Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
-Answer 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
-Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
-List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your blog.

1. What were your favorite books growing up?

Oh man, that is a tough question. I read soooo many books when I was growing up, and I’m sad that I can’t remember them all because I didn’t have something like Goodreads to keep track of my reading progress. I wish I had filled a notebook with what I read, but I didn’t think about wanting a record of everything I’d read.

Anyway, I absolutely was obsessed with the Animorphs series, and I still own every single one of them. Obviously Harry Potter was a staple of my time in high school-college. There are probably so many more answers that I’m just not thinking of right now, so I’m going to stop with those.
2. Where is your favorite place to read?

I suppose right now my favorite place to read is on my couch, all curled up with a blanket, with a drink and maybe some snacks on the side table.
3. Which genres do you read the most?

Fantasy is still my favorite genre, though paranormal and sci-fi are also good. I guess lately I’ve also been reading more contemporary than I used to.
4. Who is your favorite author?

Y’all know I don’t like picking favorites. There are so many amazing authors I love. Just to name some of my faves: Rachel E. Kelly, Jim C. Hines, Brandon Sanderson, Richelle Mead, Morgan Rhodes, Adam Silvera, Renee Ahdieh…the list could go on and on.
5. What’s a trope or cliché that you’re tired of seeing?

I’m tired of seeing love triangles, which mostly seem to consist of one person who can’t decide which of two others they like. How about more books that focus on strong relationships that don’t have the drama of one possibly cheating on the other? You can find the excitement/drama in other aspects of the story.
6. Who is your OTP?

Hmm…most of the time I’m good with who characters choose to partner with in stories, but I guess I’ll say that I’ve always wished that Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood had ended up together.
7. What is your favorite book-to-screen adaptation?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I suppose is the one I’ll say for this question. You don’t get a better adaptation than one that was written and directed by the book’s author.
8. What is your reading beverage of choice?

I really like drinking a good sweet tea. Though a nice caramel cappuccino (hot or frappuccino) is also good.
9. What’s the most disappointing book you’ve read this year?

Well, this year just started, so I haven’t really had any disappointing reads yet, but the lowest rated reads for me so far have been Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking, and The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West, both of which I gave 4 stars to, so by no means disappointing.
10. What is a sequel you’re highly anticipating?

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco, More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer, Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz, The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead, Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis, The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee, and The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden, just to name a few.
11. What are some diverse books you’ve read and loved?

Why don’t you go check out my Diverse Reads recommendations post for the answer to that question. Of course, I can now absolutely add Love, Hate & Other Filters to that list.


My nominations

Okay, well now I’m supposed to nominate 11 people. Oh boy–I don’t think I’ll be able to rattle off that many right now. I guess here we go:


I guess that just leaves the 11 questions for me to ask you.

  1. What is a bookish goal you have for 2018?
  2. If you could have any 2018 ARC in your hands right now, what would you want most?
  3. What are your favorite kinds of posts to write?
  4. Do you plan out what posts you want to write in a particular week/month/etc or do you just write them up when you get an idea?
  5. How long have you been book blogging?
  6. How do you balance work/school/etc with reading and blogging?
  7. What is your favorite book to TV series adaptation?
  8. How often do you try and read?
  9. What is your reading and reviewing process like?
  10. I know it’s still really early in the year, but what has been your favorite read of 2018 so far?
  11. What are some books you want more people to read? (Give me your book recommendations!)

All right, well that’s all for today, and I’ll see you guys soon (hopefully) for another post.

Book Releases, Book Review, Book Tag, Books!, Conventions, Cover Reveal, Graphic Novel, Manga, NaNoWriMo, NetGalley, Readathon, Reading Challenge, Recommendations, Signal Boost, TBR Purge, Writing

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.

Books!, Inspiration, NaNoWriMo, Readathon, Signal Boost, Writing

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).

Book Releases, Books!, Diverse December, Inspiration, Signal Boost, Writing

Guest Post: FADVERSITY – Diversity as a Genre by Hannah Carmack

Hey all, Dani here.

 

Okay so today I am excited to bring to you a guest post by an author I’ve been speaking with recently. I shall also have a review up for her newest release within the next week based on my currently scheduled posts.

But I’ll start off with giving you some details about Hannah’s book.

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In the midst of the cold war, the CIA’s finest and most fatal female agent, Diana Riley, vanishes. Kidnapped by the KGB and taken to the backcountry of North Carolina, she and her team of unsavory partners are forced to undergo illegal experimentation.

But, when the experiments leave them horribly deformed and unable to reenter society without someone crying monster, the previously glamorous and high-maintenance spies must escape KGB captivity and avoid recapture at the hands of Nikola, a ruthless KGB agent with an intense and well-justified grudge against her former flame.

You can snag a copy of this book right now from Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

And now I’m going to pass this post over to Hannah. Enjoy.


I’m going to open right away by saying these are some deep waters. In no world is a 300-500 word post going to cover the intricate details of the recent viralization of #ownvoice/Diverse Voices manuscripts. I’m coming at this simply as a debut-author publishing through a niche, #ownvoices dedicated press.

To say that navigating what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable in the genrefication of diversity is difficult is an understatement. From MSWL to Twitter Pitch Scandal, there’s no right way to talk about it. The only thing we can know for certain is although diversity shouldn’t be a fad, it is.

In a perfect world, diversity is just a way of life. Our world is diverse, so our fiction is. Currently, there is a push for more diverse book, which I think is good! More marginalized voices are being heard. I would have never found my publisher and gotten SEVEN-SIDED SPY published if not for the active search for LGBTQIA+ voices.

That said, there’s also anxiety in the publishing world that sometime soon diversity is going to go out of style. I was at a literary conference not too long ago. While there I was able to grab lunch with some fairly reputable authors, all of whom were talking about when the “vampire bubble” burst. You know, that sweet spot in literary history where the vampire boom from Twilight was finally over. A lot of authors, and readers rejoiced (As someone who loved Vampire’s Assistant I was –slightly- bummed). But, there’s no denying that for a while it seemed like you couldn’t pick up a YA book without a bloodsucker jumping out of the pages at you, and then just as sudden as it started, it was gone.

The conversation seemed normal, until everyone then transitioned into talking about “the diversity bubble.” In which case, all the wheels in my mind came to a screeching halt. I want to say that there will be no end to #ownvoices. That in this good perfect world our books will always be as diverse as our world. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think they were right.

“Trends” in literature come and go. For a while it was vampires, then it was zombies, currently, it feels like we’re in the ending days of dystopia, and soon we’ll be ushering in an era of #ownvoices. It’s no secret that one of these things is not like the other. Diversity shouldn’t be shelved alongside “dystopia” and “paranormal romance,” but it very well could be if we don’t keep speaking up and demanding our voices be heard.

The authors at that conference were right. We’re in a “diversity as a trend” bubble. Which has its pros –easier to find books featuring different races, religions, abilities, genders, ect, ect- and cons- trivialization of serious topics, problematic representation. It seems like the best thing we can do at the moment, is keep writing. Don’t shy away from your all-queer cast or your genderfluid track star or your coming of age about a girl with an ileostomy. Keep writing and keep reading books that speak to cultures that aren’t your own, the unconventional, the often shyed away from. There is a “trendification” of diversity going on. It’s up to readers and writers, to make sure it lasts even if this “bubble” bursts.


All right, Dani again. So tomorrow I’ll have two posts up: one on my underwhelming reads of 2017 and one for my top reads of 2017 (the July-December edition).

Books!, Signal Boost

TBR Purge #27

Hey all, Dani here.

What a fun few months it has been going through my Goodreads to-read list and weeding through books to see which ones are just taking up space on the list and reminding myself of some of the books I still want to read. Looking back on the whole experience, I can honestly say that I think it has been very successful and has made me feel more relaxed and more in control of my TBR pile.

With that being said, as we near the end of my over 800 book long list, thank you for going on this book purge with me. And let’s just dive on into the next 30 books I have waiting to be read.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao. We are pretty much in the middle of books I picked up or discovered at Book Expo earlier this year, which means I am more likely to keep them. I think I picked up this one as part of the Game Changers box set I won, and the fact that it is an East Asian inspired retelling of the Evil Queen from Snow White definitely intrigues me.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen. I have been hearing so many wonderful things about this book. Plus it sounds cool, and I would like to read a bit more sci-fi, so this definitely seems like something I have to keep on my TBR.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. So, I added this to my TBR because I won it at Book Expo as part of the Game Changers box set along with other books like Warcross, and while this one does sound interesting, it isn’t something that is vying for top position. I don’t feel any sort of need to read it anytime soon, so I’m taking it off the TBR.

Fireblood by Elly Blake. Okay, so this one is leaving the list purely because I do need to finish reading the first book first. Hopefully I can manage that soon.

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. From everything I’ve heard of this book, I think it will be an important read.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Again, this book sounds interesting and I feel the need for more sci-fi in my reading life. Plus I’ve been starting to read a bit more co-authored books, so I’m willing to give this one a try.

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. I waited in line for like 40 minutes to get a copy of this book, so obviously I’m interested in it. The reason I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet is because of how full my reading life has been these past few months. I realize that could sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I love how much reading I’ve been doing and how well this blog is doing. I just kind of wish that I didn’t need to spend 40+ hours a week at a job that is so draining and monotonous. Sadly it’s a job that pays my pills pretty well so for now I have to tolerate it.

Caroline: The Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller. I picked this one up because when I was younger I was pretty much obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie books, and getting to see that story through the mom’s eyes did sound like an interesting idea. I’m sure I’ll still pick this one up at some point, but for now I’m going to pass.

The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan. Okay, this is either non-fiction or slightly fictionalized history, but I just remember that when it was pitched to me at Book Expo it sounded good, though it isn’t my normal kind of read. If/when the mood strikes I may actually still pick this up, but not now.

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco. I LOVED the first book and I need this one now. And I think that’s all I need to say about this one. Though, actually, one other thing–did you see the cover for this book? Absolutely stunning.

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Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen. This is a book I learned about at Book Expo but sadly missed out on getting an ARC. But, I can say that I was recently approved for it on NetGalley, so I look forward to reading this fun elemental magic story in the next couple of weeks and getting a review up for all of you.

The Book of Whispers by Kimberly Starr. I honestly don’t remember adding this one to the list, or why I did. I guess I can take it off the list then.

The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead. We finally have a title and a cover for this one and I so can’t wait to read Tamsin’s story.

The Empress by S.J. Kincaid. Why haven’t I read this one yet?

Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor. The next time I’m in the mood for a time travel read I am picking this book up.

Vault of Dreams by Luke Taylor. Honestly, I think this might be the book I struggled with coming to a decision on the most. I remember reading a wonderful review for it on a blog and it sounds like an incredible book…but I had to look this up again while writing up this post because I had forgotten what it was about. So I am likely pulling this off the list for now, but this one would probably be the easiest to talk me back into reading, so who knows? I might end up adding this one back to the list myself.

Arena: Part One by Michael D Withrow. I think I added this one because of a review I saw on it, but if I think about it realistically, this one would be low priority on my reading list, so it would probably be years before I got around to it, if I remembered it by the time I got around to it, so it’s probably better just to take it off the list.

The List by Patricia Forde. I have been putting off reading this one for months and I don’t know why. I do really want to read it, but I say that about a lot of books I own.

At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey. This was a book club pick for the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club and it is a modern geeky romance. I’ve read a few chapters of it and have pretty much enjoyed it so far so I’d like to finish it.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. Look, I don’t need to have read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue yet to know that I want to read this one too. I can’t wait to see what the cover will look like.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry. This sounds kind of cute, and I am a sucker for books about books, or libraries, or bookstores. But honestly, I don’t know that I would actually get around to this one, so I suppose I’m going to pass for now.

The Architect of Song, The Hummingbird Heart, The Glass Butterfly, and The Artisan of Light by A.G. Howard. I’ve only read the first couple pages of book one but it intrigued me, and I’ve heard wonderful things about both of the released books of this series so far. For now I’m just going to keep the whole series on my list.

The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith. This was another Vaginal Fantasy Book Club pick but honestly I don’t see me picking it up any time soon. Bye.

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. Okay, so I like Lu’s writing and I did enjoy the Wonder Woman novel. So at some point I’m probably going to pick this one up, but right now it isn’t anywhere close to being an anticipated read or a priority read for me. For the moment I’m going to pass on this one.

Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us About Raising a Family by Stephen H. Segall and Valya Dudycz Lupescu. I picked this up when I picked up that geeky guide to dating, and while at some point I’m sure I’ll want to read this, right now I think reading it would give people some wrong impressions about my life.

The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee. The third and final book of The Thousandth Floor series, and I can honestly admit that I am utter trash for this amazing and ridiculous teen drama fest. Plus the cover is so lovely.

The Continent by Keira Drake. I wanted to read this last year, then troubling reviews came in, they called off the release to do more edits, and now a year later it is apparently finally going to be released. But I don’t know if I want to read this one anymore. I think I’ll wait for a few reviews to roll in before I solidify my decision, but for now I’m going to pass.


Okay, so I kept 18 out of 30 this time around. Tomorrow is the last of these purge posts, and honestly I think I’m keeping every one of the books on the list. They’re all books added in the past couple months. Thanks for joining me on this purge adventure.

Book Tag, Books!, Signal Boost

The Liebster Award

Hey all, Dani here.

Thanks to a clever tag by Holly at Nut Free Nerd, I now have the pleasure of answering some fun questions for all of you today. I actually enjoy posts like this because I feel like they help us get to know each other for more than just our reading and review habits.

Rules

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs and let them know they’ve been tagged.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

Q&A

Why did you start blogging?

I originally started book blogging back in college–around 2008–and I think I mostly did it because my book review column in the campus newspaper was a once a month thing, provided that there was space to fill in the paper. Obviously I read more than one book a month, so I wanted to do more. That blog failed and I ended up deleting it. I think I had just one follower back then.

With Mousai Books, I had thought about giving blogging another try, and had been writing up plans and ideas for a while. Then back in January 2016 I was on my three days bereavement from work because of my grandma passing away and I really needed something to focus on so I didn’t fall apart. So I took the plunge and wrote up my first blog post on here.

What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

My favorite thing about blogging has to be interacting with the community. It has been such a wonderful experience to talk to all of you and share our love of books and reading together.

What causes you the most pain (bookish related)?

Writing in books, dog earred pages, mismatched covers/formats for a series, when an author is unable to finish writing/publishing a series and I’m forever left wondering what could have happened…you know, just to name a few things.

What are the main reasons you’ll follow a blog?

It’s about books, primarily, though I have a bit of a preference towards people who share somewhat similar reading interests. And I like blogs with a little variety: reviews, tags & awards, discussions, etc.

What type of book covers do you like the most?

Umm…ones that catch my eye? I mean, I guess I like ones that don’t have people on them as much as ones without people, but I like books that give me an idea of what happens in the book.

What’s your favorite genre of books and why?

Fantasy, of course. I like magic and adventure and quests; I always have.

Why did you start reading?

That’s like asking me why I started breathing. Like honestly, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading. My mom told me stories about her reading to me even before I was born. Books have always been a big part of my life.

What would happen if someone walked up to you and tried to fight you?

Depends…why are they trying to fight me? Obviously I would defend myself, and since I took both self-defense and karate classes in college, I feel decently confident in my ability to fight back.

What would your “happy place” include?

Books, D&D stuff, my boyfriend, food.

What would you do if you were stranded on an island?

Am I alone or are there others with me? What kind of supplies do I have? Like, if I found myself on an abandoned island that happened to have a massive library, I’d probably be all right with that.

What makes you bored?

Too much time alone.

My Questions For You

Sorry if some of these questions are a bit random. I decided to have a little fun with this and literally type up the first questions that come to mind.

  • If you could co-author a book with any author, who would it be and what kind of story would you write?
  • What is your favorite day of the week and why?
  • You are going on a D&D style quest and can pick three fictional characters to join your adventuring party. Who do you pick?
  • What is your least favorite color?
  • What book is at the top of your TBR right now?
  • Name 5 authors you think more people should read
  • What is your favorite show to watch over and over again?
  • What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
  • Which book is/was your favorite read of 2017?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What was the last book that made you cry?

Nominations

If you are reading this, then I tag YOU!

Book Review, Books!, NaNoWriMo, Signal Boost, Writing

November Wrap Up

Hey all, Dani here.

I realize right now some of you may be thinking that I forgot to add the TBR portion for this post. Normally you would be right, but as I am participating in Books and Munches’ Diverse December, I already have my TBR posted so you can check that out here.

Which basically means that all I have to cover with today’s post is the books I read this month, my OwlCrate unboxing, my monthly book haul, and then a brief NaNoWriMo wrap-up.

The Accidental Quarterback by Charles Curtis (3 stars)

The Impossible Pitcher by Charles Curtis (4 stars)

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (5 stars)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Illustrated Edition by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling) (5 stars)

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (5 stars)

The Chronicles of Exandria, Vol 1: The Tale of Vox Machina by Matthew Mercer, the cast of Critical Role, and around 60 very talented Critter artists (5 stars)

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (5 stars)

My Hero Academia, Vol 1 by Kohei Horikoshi (5 stars)

Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza (5 stars)

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins #3 by Matthew Colville (5 stars)

Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Birdwell (5 stars)

Corduroy by Don Freeman (5 stars)

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (4.5 stars)

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (5 stars)

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch (4 stars)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. (5 stars)

Avatar: the Last Airbender: The Lost Adventures by Bryan Konietzko (5 stars)

My Hero Academia, Vol 2 by Kohei Horikoshi (5 stars)

Runaways, The Complete Collection, Vol 1 by Brian K Vaughan (5 stars)

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (5 stars)

I will have mini-reviews of the children’s books up soon, as well as a few more comic and manga reviews. Oh, and my review for The Girl in the Tower should be up on Monday.

Next up is my monthly OwlCrate unboxing, and I absolutely loved the November box.

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My favorite items in the subscription box this month are the Expecto Patronum hat and the lembas bread bar of soap. Though my Fabrikator pin from the Grishaverse is really cool as well. And I am really looking forward to reading the book; it sounds really interesting.

Now onto my monthly book haul, and everyone, I may have gone a teeny bit overboard with my haul this month. On the plus side, I don’t think there are that many books for me to worry about in December. That’s great because I already know that January is stuffed with books I want to get.

 

Oh, and then I did some Christmas book shopping for my boyfriend’s 5 month old niece. This little girl already has an impressive library, and it will only continue to get better with each birthday and Christmas we have. So, I might as well haul her books on here too, especially since I decided to reread them myself before wrapping them up for her.

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So I actually did pretty good with reading during November/NaNoWriMo. Speaking of NaNoWriMo, during my mid-month check in I reported that I wrote nothing the first half of the month because I couldn’t get the words to come out and I was in a bit of a writing slump. But I have yet to lose a NaNoWriMo, so I finally forced myself to get writing.

What I have now that the month is over, is roughly 51,000 words of a haphazard journal/diary of random words tossed on a page. It’s basically absolutely awful and will not be shown to anyone. But I plan to just open up a new document in the new year and start a second draft from scratch. Maybe now I will be able to write a better and more cohesive story. I’ll keep you all updated if the writing goes well, especially if I get to the point of publication.

So yeah, I succeeded for the 12th time with NaNoWriMo…and somehow still managed to read 20 books. (Okay, yeah, there were a handful of children’s books, plus all the comics and graphic novels, but still). Suddenly the idea to read 14 books in December doesn’t seem all that daunting.

How did your November go? Any great books read? Or did you buy some fantastic books that you can’t wait to read? Let me know in the comments.

Book Tag, Books!, Signal Boost

The Book Blogger Test Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, just a couple more days left in November. Now I’ll be completely honest and say that I might scale back my posting schedule a bit in December. There are a lot of books I’d like to read and that is so much easier if I’m not spending so many hours writing up posts. But, as those of you who have followed this blog for awhile might realize, I’m not good at sticking to a scaled back schedule, so it’ll basically be posts whenever I feel inspired. Currently I have posts planned out for roughly half of December, and if the reading goes well then I’ll have a bunch of reviews up as well. I suppose we’ll just see what happens.

Anyway, today I have another tag for all of you. I tagged myself in this one after seeing it on Katie’s blog at Never Not Reading. So thanks Katie for the “tag yourself if you want to do this” and I’m looking forward to answering the questions.

But first: the rules.

  • thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog
  • answer the ten questions asked on this post
  • nominate at least five people to do it also

Okay, well let’s dive into the questions.

1. Top 3 Book Pet Hates

  1. I hate it when they change cover designs in the middle of a series. I have to have matching sets and so this drives me crazy
  2. I cannot stand getting a used book and finding writing scribbled in the margins. Or highlighting. It just bothers me so much. There were a couple times in university where one of the books for class was only available in used format through the bookstore, and I would sit there and go through the stack book by book, looking for the one that had no writing, or if that wasn’t possible then the least amount of writing. Actually, my favorite professor (who was also my academic adviser) used to tease me for being a book purist. Her books have so many notes in the margins from the many many times she has read them.
  3. I don’t actually know if this is really a pet peeve/hate on par with the first two, but I don’t like when a cover is misleading. Like if there is a badass looking female holding weapons on the front, I expect some kind of warrior character inside the pages, not an indecisive whiny damsel in distress type.

2. Perfect Reading Spot

Umm…anywhere I can read is a good reading spot, but I guess the perfect reading spot is a big comfy chair with blankets, and a table nearby to hold whatever I’m drinking, a snack, and probably another book or two in case I decide to have a marathon reading day.

3. 3 Book Confessions

  1. I am super picky about who I let borrow my books. I keep a list of who has borrowed books and what books they have, and the standard rule is that if you return the book damaged then you have to buy a replacement copy. I guess I’m like a library that way; I just don’t have due dates/late fees.
  2. I do judge books by their covers. An attractive cover or a catchy title will get me to read the book summary, and that summary lets me know if I’m buying the book or putting it back down.
  3. I sometimes think that I treat books better than I do people, but I’ve been working on that. It’s just that I can trust books to be there when I need them and I know that when life gets tough I know I have my books to help me through. Of course now I get that kind of support from my boyfriend too, but thankfully he understands just how important books are to my life.

4. Last Time You Cried Reading a Book

I mean the last time I teared up a little bit was while reading Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza. But the last time I full on cried was probably reading Rupi Kaur’s poetry.

5. Number of Books on Your Bedside Table

ZERO. I don’t really get the chance to read in bed right now because my boyfriend goes to sleep a couple hours before I get off work.

6. Favorite Reading Snack

Something easy to grab like pretzels or gummi bears or something. Basically I have to be able to grab at it with only one hand while my face is buried in the book. And I prefer for it not to be greasy or cheese covered, nothing that will risk damaging the pages.

7. 3 Books You’d Recommend to Anyone

  1. Colorworld by Rachel E Kelly
  2. Mistborn: the Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  3. All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis
  4. (bonus book) The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

8. A Picture of Your Favorite Bookshelf

I can’t pick a favorite. I love so many books and I have them organized alphabetically so my favorites are scattered all over.

9. How Much Books Mean to You (in 3 words)

My Happy Place

10. Biggest Reading Secret

I don’t know that I actually have reading secrets. I’m pretty much an open book when it comes to reading habits or preferences, etc.

Oooh…tag time. I have no idea who all has done this tag already, because I do believe it is an older one. So if you would like to do this tag, then I TAG YOU!