Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A to Z Bookish Survey

Author you've read the most books from:
Agatha Christie. I used to be a huge mystery reader and this was the author that started it.

Best Sequel Ever:
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
This is book two in the Steampunk Chronicles and, while I loved the first one (The Girl in the Steel Corset) I think I might have like this one just a tiny bit more.

Currently Reading:
I've actually got three books that I'm in the middle of - but because they other two are turning out so unpleasantly, I'll go with the one I'm actually currently enjoying.
The Inventor's Secret by Chad Morris

Drink of Choice While Reading:
Stevia sweetened, flavored water. My favorite is Watermelon flavor.

E-reader or Physical Book?
Physical book all the way.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Most of the characters I like, I would never want to date. However, there is one character that got into my head and I thought, yeah, much to what would have been my friends great surprise, (surprise because he is such a nice, sweet guy compared to what I normally am drawn to) I probably would have dated him. The guy?

Jem Carstairs from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
Besides, it's like someone asked 'how can we make Amy fall in love with a guy on first meeting?' Answer in three words: violin, silver hair.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
So, so many. I've read a lot of books over the last year that I really didn't expect to like as much as I did. However, I do believe that the best fit for this question would be:
For as much as I wasn't sure I'd like this book, I loved it!

Hidden Gem Book:
I'll be honest: I tend to do something of a scatter-shot effect for my books. I buy some that everyone loved (as long as they sound good) and I but some that most people go 'eh, what's that?'. As a rule, though I don't try to make it that way, I usually like the less popular books more than the well loved ones. Anyway, I think I'll go with a fun fantasy romp that I feel more people should read.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:
It happened when I was around sixteen. I went to this little bookstore - that also served as a meeting place for the D&D crowd. This was the first time I ever bought a fantasy novel. I actually purchased two and they started my love affair with fantasy. The books were: Elfshadow by Elaine Cunningham and Shadows of Doom by Ed Greenwood. Without that little bookstore, I would probably still be reading nothing but mystery novels.

Just Finished:
Actually, the last book I finished was in a genre I seldom read. It was a romance novel - and it was a lot of fun. It was a nice change of pace from what I usually read.
The Butler Who Laughed by Michelle Martin

Kinds of Books You Won't Read:
Horror. I'm actually pretty good about trying books outside my comfort zone - but the few times I've actually tried horror novels, they've not worked for me. At all.

Longest Book You've Read:
Please note: I am not including omnibuses or short story compilations.
The High King's Tomb by Kristen Britain
Major book hangover because of:
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
I will admit that, for the space of an entire chapter, I was in tears. And books never make me cry.
Number of Bookcases You Own:
Four. Though I've recently cleared them off and I have stacks of books that I won't read ever again and need to get rid of.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
I don't reread a lot. No matter how much I love the book, I'm usually looking for my next new discovery, but I have reread the following book four or five times and it never fails to make me giggle like a schoolgirl in love.

Preferred Place To Read:
I'm not really all that difficult to please. Just give me a book and a decent light, and I can read anywhere. Even when people are talking around me - and, unfortunately, sometimes to me. However, I have this nice, comfy chair in my bedroom that I adore.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
I'll be honest, I don't usually keep track of quotes that I like. They really seldom work as a stand alone quote anyway, because the ones I like are more of a build up and then the big reveal for the quote that changes everything. So, really, without looking at the quotes on Goodreads, I cannot really answer this.

Reading Regret:
I try not to have any. Really, my biggest regret was that I kept reading books that never improved - perhaps even got worse. Because, you see, I'm the kind of person that tries to finish each book I start. I'm always hoping that they'll get better so I stick around much longer than I should. I also regret reading the first three books in the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher. I loved the show and hated the books - and I've not be able to re-watch the show since reading those books.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):
The Lord of the Rings
Honestly, I've only read the first one and was so less than enamored with it that I just totally lost interest. Maybe I'll just rewatch the movies instead...

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
Unapologetic Fangirl For:
There's a lot I could mention, but I do believe I'll have to go with the author whose new series I am breathlessly anticipating - and one of only two author's whose blog I've actually visited.
Gail Carriger - steampunk writer extraordinaire

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
Oh wow, there are so many new books being released that I cannot wait for. However, many of them I've already mentioned the author - or at least something else by the author - so I will go with:

Worst Bookish Habit:
Hmm, I'm not really sure what could be considered this... Oh, I know.
Reading while watching T.V. This is usually commentary on how much I like the book and how badly I want to finish reading it. If it's a good book, I'll turn the T.V. off so I can fully concentrate on the book. Of course, this actually works better if it's a show I'm re-watching.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
That would be: Starless Night by R.A. Salvatore
In fact, most of that shelf is full of his Drizzt novels.

Your latest book purchase:
Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
I bought this and a bunch of other books at a bookstore recently, but I think this one was actually the last I picked up.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
I don't usually stay up late reading. I work five days a week and have to be at my job at nine - so I know what time I need to go to bed to make it to work on time. I do think though, that the last time I was up pretty late on the weekend reading, it was probably Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone that kept me up.

*Glances around abashedly* You know, I thought I actually left a link on here so I could credit the person I got this survey from. Unfortunately, I didn't and now I cannot remember what blog it was as. So sorry. If it's yours though, I credit you for the questions because they certainly weren't mine.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Wings of Twilight by Hans Cummings

Wings of Twilight by Hans Cummings
Series: The Foundations of Drak-Anor #1
Published by N/A
Pages: 247
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

It was a typical day for the crusader Lord Strom Lightbringer, killing draks, stamping out wickedness, and making the world a better place for the righteous. During the course of his crusade, he discovered the location of the fabled Twilight Dungeon, a den of evil shrouded in mystery. No one ever returned from that vile place, so no one knew what lay within. With purpose, Strom and his companions set off to meet their destinies.

It was a typical day for Sarvesh, the demonic-looking leader of the Twilight Dungeon's defenders, enjoying beer at the pub, flirting with a snake-haired woman, and dealing with invaders to their home. An exceptional goblin proved to be a harbinger of coming changes, and he found his easy life turned upside down. (from goodreads)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Haul #3

I really hadn't planned on buying these books right now, but my mom had to go to one of the larger cities nearby to look for a dress for my sister's upcoming wedding, so I of course decided to tag along to buy books. Considering how long it has been since I've actually been to a bookstore, it really wasn't a surprise that, as soon as I got down the Sci-Fi/Fantasy isle, I couldn't remember a single author that I was looking for.

Anyways, this is what I got on this foray.

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

So, want to read any of these? Have you read any of them and think I need to read it right now?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Life: Music (warning: video heavy post)

Inspired by life of a blogger at Novel Heartbeats. (Their meme, I'm just adapting it to fit myself.)

Honestly, I wasn't sure about this - I'm really still not. I don't know if it's something that I need or want to do, but I guess I'll find out. For the month of April, ever other week I will post a short topic about myself. This is me, in my life outside of blogging. What I do when I don't have agreements to meet. When I have that precious and elusive commodity know as 'free time'. As the trope says, this is what you are in the dark. If I like doing this, I'll keep it up past April, but for now it's just a trial run.

So, the topic for this first talk is one of the two most important things in my life (running neck in neck with books of course).


I'm one of those people for whom music plays a huge part of my life. There are few things I do in my life that I don't listen to music during. I've even played music while I sleep. I do have favorite genres, but I can find something in every music category that I like. So, let's talk favorite bands.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mini-Review: Percepliquis by Michael J. Sullivan

Percepliquis by Michael J. Sullivan
Series: Riyria Revelations #6
Published by Ridan
Pages: 568
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

"I saw a great journey. Ten upon the road, she who wears the light will lead the way. The road goes deep into the earth, and into despair. The voices of the dead guide your steps. You walk back in time. The three-thousand-year battle begins again. Cold grips the world, death comes to all, and a choice is before you."  -- Fan Irlanu, Tenkin Seerer of Oudorro Village* 

Ten have set out, searching for the lost capital, Percepliquis. The elves, breaking the three-thousand year peace, have finally attacked. Only the heir, using the fabled Horn, can stop them. The fate of all mankind hangs in the balance. Ten have set out. Not all will return.(*from Goodreads synopsis)

"Sometimes the price of dreams is achieving them."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

TTT: Unique

Hosted here.

Top Ten Most Unique Books I've Read

Not exactly the easiest top ten list for me. Oddly, after thinking about this a lot, I've started to think that most of my books are kind of the same. Anyway, I'll give it a go.

This was actually the first book that came to my mind when I read this prompt. The setting is very unique for books - being a rather cyberpunk Beijing. And, the titular character is very much a cyborg. Not just in name only, like so many books seem to want to do.

For everyone that's read this book, I don't need to explain why it's unique. I will not explain why it's unique to anyone that hasn't read it. I will say, it is because of this uniqueness that this is my least favorite Christie novel ever.

I won't go into my thoughts on this book - which are currently all over the place - but I will say that I have never read another book: about gargoyles, set in historical Paris, that blends paranormal with mundane the way this one does.

This is mostly because of its setting and genre. I have never read another book that is steampunk yet takes place in another world. Seriously, this was a world created in whole cloth from a new setting.

Okay, this is cheating a little, because, how unique could they really be if I can put them together? However, in all the reading I've done, these are the only main characters that have this narration voice. Until reading the books with Alexia, I thought Amelia was the only one, but I say, as there is still so few like this, they are still unique.

Once again, the world is so unique. Instead of being a fantasy setting or a straight-up earth setting, this book takes place on a near earth-type world where, instead of large countries, everything is islands. Instead of the United States, we get something like 'the United Islands'. And the magic system - after all, this is Brandon Sanderson here.

I was actually first exposed to this series of mystery novels thanks to a movie they made from one of them. Anyway, these are adult mystery novels (with language, violence and innuendo increasing as the series progresses) but some of the man characters in these stories are animals that talk to each other. Make of that what you will, but I've never come across anything else like that.

I won't go into details, but the ending. The ending was unique in the way everything was resolved. I've never seen an ending like this before or since. Of course, the ending made me hate the series, so that it doubtlessly a good thing - but it is also unique.

1: .............
Uh, sorry, I cannot think of a tenth. Oh well, I managed to get more on here than I thought I would.

So, what are your unique reads? Ever read any books that were like mine?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Information: Too Much vs Too Little

Ideally, I'm sure, we all have that perfect amount of information we like in the books we read. For me, I like to see everyone plainly, have a good idea of what the characters look like in my mind, and a pretty clear picture of the location. Just enough that I can see it, but still use my imagination for it. I don't know about anyone else, but I seldom find that amount of description in the books.

So, my question this week is: if you had to choose between getting a lot of information about the area - full description of everything - and not even knowing the color of the character's hair - in other words, very little description of anything - which would you rather have?

For me, I'd actually prefer everything be over-described than barely having any descriptions and information.

I think this comes from all the fantasy books I read. In most of them, it's nearly a requirement that everything be described to death - sometimes quite literally. I will add, I'm not a very proper reader, in that I usually still go with my own ideas and impressions as opposed to what the author says. Which is why I like having a description, of the characters especially, right when they are first introduced.

What do you think?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Post #4

The Sunday Post

At Pages of Starlight this week:

Around the Blogosphere
  • A lot of people are participating in the Blogging From A To Z Challenge for the month of April. Want to know more about this nifty idea? Just click the link and you'll go to the main page of this challenge.
  • Debz talks about Hans Christian Anderson and his his tales - both in movies and retold tales in books. Curious? Check it out here.
  • Didn't get your fill of April Fool's Day jokes? Try this neat bookish one on.

What you can expect to see next week
  • Too Much Information vs. Too Little - discussion
  • Top Ten Most Unique Books I've Read
  • Percepliquis - review
  • My Life: Music - personal/non-bookish post
  • What setting would you like to live in?
  • The Rithmatist - review

I've got big plans for next week. I would like to brainstorm over the weekend for new ideas for my blog. I do have a couple, but I want to make this a really fun place to visit, so I should start work on that in the next week. Also, I think I'm going to get myself a professional layout. I probably would have done that on Friday, but my internet was acting really wonky. Besides, to do that, I'll also have to redo my social media icons. Anyways, that'll give you an idea, besides my scheduled posts, what I'll be doing next week.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review: Tymora's Luck by Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb

Tymora's Luck by Kate Novak and Jeff Grubb
Series: Forgotten Realms, The Lost Gods #3
Published by TSR (Wizards of the Coast)
Pages: 315
Genre: Fantasy
Add on Goodreads

The Rebel Bard Joel, priest of the new god Finder, is thrown into a deity mess again.

When his friend Jas is kidnapped and rescued by the kender Emilio, the trio set out to Joel's patron Finder in the hopes of breaking the Dark Stalker curse that has been haunting Jas for over a month. However, the problem is intensified when Tymora tries to help Jas and is attacked by her sister goddess. The adventures then make for the lower planes in an attempt to help Tymora help Jas.

Operas, like the gods they so often portray, are a mystery to me. They are a mystery wrapped in an enigma swallowed by a contradiction and covered by a silken shroud of dark chocolate and best served with hot milk before a nap.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Books That Were Better Than You Were Expecting

This is part of my new series I'm trying this month, might continue longer if I and others like it. So, for my first question...

Books That Were Better Than You Were Expecting

I'll confess, I have went into books thinking 'well, I'm not going to like that'. I guess it's a case of me wanting to say that I have read it, but not really expecting to like it. I do hope I'm not the only one that does that kind of stuff - but anyway.

There are, in all honesty, several books that I have read in the past year or so that totally blew the expectations I had out of the water. I finally settled on the two books that I've got because: one, I rated both of them five stars and, two, I was figuring that they would each be a three star book at best.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Book Haul #2

Usually at the end of each month, I order a bunch of books - as by that time I've usually finished most of what's been on my shelf. I do have plans for another book haul mid-month this time (as I have a couple of these books specifically marked for a special challenge/read-a-thon (called 'Fairy Tale Fortnight) taking place at the end of the month) as long as I have the money.

Anyway, there are several books here that I've had on my list for ages - like Graceling and Wings of Twilight and Cast of Stones. Others that I've not actually put on my list but that have stayed in my mind, like The Lightning Thief and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Wings of the Falcon. Finally, some of the books I've only recently found, like Cruel Beauty and Unnatural History and The Wild Orchid. Finally, the only book in this haul that is a sequel, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar.

All in all, I am very excited to get reading these wonderful sounding books. (Yes, yes, I know. At least I am finally getting around to the Harry Potter books.)

Have you read any of them? What did you think? Good? Bad?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #2
Published by Bloomsbury
Pages: 420
Genre: Fantasy (YA)
Add on Goodreads
My 'Throne of Glass' review

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for. (Goodreads synopsis)

"I heard the music and I just wanted to dance for a few moments. To just...forget everything for one waltz and pretend to be a normal girl."

This book could also have went by the title 'The Secrets, Lies and Stupidity of Celaena Sardothien, Chaol Westfall, Prince Dorian and Princess Nehemia'.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TTT: Gateway

Hosted here.

Top Ten "Gateway" Books/Authors In My Reading Journey

I really like the prompt this week. As a person that has been an avid reader most of her life, it's really fun for me to look back on the books that played a large role in my reading journey.