Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

These topics are always both so much fun and kind of difficult for me. I love looking back at the halfway point of the year and seeing just how many five star books I've read (because that's where I always start with this list) and which books were my favorites. In roughly countdown order with my most favorites at the bottom.

Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read So Far This Year

A Breath of Frost
Alyxandra Harvey
There's actually several books that could have been here because there's about four more I liked almost as much as this one. However, besides liking the people so much (three awesome cousins) it is also magic in Regency England. Total win right there.

All Our Yesterdays
Cristin Terrill
I actually didn't read this book this year. I listened to it. This was a free audiobook I got last year from Sync and finally got around to listening to it back in January. Honestly, I was amazed at how much I liked this book because it was totally not a typical book for me. I'd really like to buy it in physical format eventually.

The Avatar Battle
Chad Morris
Okay, this series totally brings out the kid in me. It's just such a fun series and it's getting better. (This is book two.)

The Shattered Alliance
Jeff Grubb
After spending fifteen bucks on a used paperback of this book, it had better be on this list. (It's not a collector's edition or anything, but it's out of print or something.) In all seriousness though, this whole series is awesome and I'm so glad I finally got to finish it.

The Paper Magician
Charlie N. Holmberg
This book was so awesome. I love the world that's created and I totally adore the two leads. And the way magic is used is really inventive. 

Seeds of Discovery
Breeana Puttroff
Okay, so this was a free kindle download that I had no expectations for. None. I wouldn't have been surprised if I couldn't even have finished it. Instead it gave me a great book and a series that I can't wait to finish.

The Wizard Hunters
Martha Wells
This is such a slow building book that more than once towards the beginning, my attention was really drifting. However when it started to take off, it didn't stop. Another series that I'm excited to continue.

Lindsay Buroker
Finally, a book that's not the start of a series! This is an 'after the series continuation' of the amazing Emperor's Edge series. I'm not sure this was my favorite one of the three books in the series that I read this year, but it's the most recent one and just as awesome as all the rest!

A Wicked Thing
Rhiannon Thomas
Wow, okay. I just spent time while getting this image and link scanning through the reviews at Goodreads. This book is actually kind of disliked. I love the book. I love it. Everything about it. I love the characters and the way the fairy tale has been twisted around and I love how a girl can be strong without having to go out and fight with the boys.

Gail Carriger
Those that know me probably aren't surprised to see Carriger's latest book on this list. However, I've gotta say, this without a doubt my favorite series starter of her and I just totally love. Rue is a great character and I just love the story and world (obviously).

So, there we have a quick look back over some of the awesome books I've already read this year. Let me tell you, I have high hopes for the rest of the year. How about you? What books have you read and loved this year? (And can I convince you to read some of these?)

Monday, June 29, 2015

June Wrap-Up

Books Of The Month

The Avatar Battle by Chad Morris - ***** - Review: July 15th
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings - ** - Thoughts here
The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato - DNF - Thoughts here

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund - *** - Review: July 22nd
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron - ** - Review: July 29th
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith - *

The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer - DNF - Thoughts here
Giant Thief by David Tallerman - DNF - Thoughts here
The Falcon At The Portal by Elizabeth Peters - Re-read

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - ****
Union of Renegades by Tracy Falbe - DNF
Flash Gold by Lindsay Buroker - *****

Hunted by Lindsay Buroker - *****
Peacemaker by Lindsay Buroker - *****
Roots of Insight by Breeana Puttroff - *****

The Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg - ****
Mercenary Instinct by Ruby Lionsdrake - ****

In The Books & Blog
So, I changed my post layout again. I hadn't thought about doing it like this until I used this style for my readathon wrap-up post earlier this month. I think I'll be keeping it though because I get to have everything I want (book covers and links and my rating/review/thoughts) and it's fairly neat. Probably one of the easier layouts too. (Which has nothing to do with my decision, of course.)

I cannot believe how many books I've read this month. Seriously, I don't think I've ever read this many books in one month before. You'll probably notice really low ratings for several of the books and even some DNFs. I don't know what happened to me this month, but I was having a terrible time finding anything to enjoy. I even nearly put down my re-read (which I had picked up solely to get back into enjoying reading) towards the beginning. Nothing - and I mean nothing - was clicking for me.

I don't have a review for Vampire Academy, but on July 9th I'll have a post up about Rose Hathaway (the main girl) and why we need more girls like her in YA books.

The Flash Gold Chronicles is actually a series of novellas. I'll be doing a series review for them once the author gets the fifth and final one published and I read that one and the forth one.

Off The Blog
I'm a generally lazy person. However, this month I did get some cleaning done. Mostly just going through old junk and packing it up better. I did get my jackets and winter stuff in storage for the next few months and some old clothes went through.

Also, I bathed cats. My own Allison and my moms Jessie. Allison started yowling almost as soon as she hit the water and didn't stop the entire time. Jessie, whose normally a noisier cat, was quiet the entire time. But they both needed a bath and my cat especially with all the fleas she had. I'm thinking I'll probably give them a couple more baths this summer. And bathed my dog Axel. He really likes baths but more than that he loves being rubbed with a towel.

I actually got a lot of shows wrapped up this month (probably because I'd been working on most of them for a month or more).

I watched season 6 (the final season) of White Collar (all six episodes) and, I much say, I'm very disappointed. I don't think there's an ending they could have had that I would have hated more. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to re-watch this show.

Watched book 4 (also the final season) of The Legend of Korra. Honestly, that was a perfect ending to the series and I think I might like it more than Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I re-watched season 1 of Elementary and liked it even more this time around. Very much looking forward to season 3's DVD release.

I re-watched season 3 of Rizzoli & Isles (very fun show) and season 3 of Avatar: The Last Airbender (awesome show minus Katara) and started season 3 of Babylon 5 (<3 <3 my favorite season of the show. Except for 'Passing Through Gethsemane'. My least favorite episode of the show and didn't re-watch it). (Notice a pattern here? I promise I didn't plan it.)

I also re-watched season 2 of The Twelve Kingdoms and my favorite characters actually changed.

Rewatched a couple of movies (Iron Man 2 and Thor). Going to slowly rewatch the Marvel movies in preparation for Age of Ultron on DVD. (As I didn't see it in the theater.)

So, that was June. Best summed up as books and TV. Seems like I'm always super lazy in summer (and winter) so this is probably about all I'll be doing for the next three months. Seems crazy that the year is already half over.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Can You Separate The Author From Their Book?

There's a reason why I don't interact with many authors. (Actually, a couple, but we won't get into the other one.) The reason is that I'm terrified I'm going to find an author whose writing I love but, when I sit down and read a interview…I have problems (to put it lightly) with them. (This is also why I don't visit many author blogs and/or twitter feeds.)

Some time back I was going to read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. In preparation for that, I poked around on the internet to see what I could find out about the book. Like I usually do with old and/or well known books. Biggest mistake ever, because instead of finding anything about the book, I found an interview that Card gave. (You're happier not knowing, trust me. But if you're curious, they're not difficult to find.)

On a slightly unrelated note, I just recently heard talk about this actor that I like. I've seen him in several things and always love his characters and thought he was a really cool guy. Now I find out he is a misogynist and a racist. Truthfully, I'm not sure what to do with that. (I'm kind of thinking 'pretend I never saw it but don't support him ever again'. Hopefully I'll still be able to re-watch on of my favorite shows that he's on.)

If it's just a case of disagreeing with them, I do fine. I mean, different ideas make the world go around and all that, right? But, what happens when an author says something that you just disagree with on every level? My question is, can you still read their book? Do you avoid authors to avoid this problem?

I gotta admit, some time back I was searching around the net for something and found a Q&A type forum with my favorite author. Against my better judgment, I read it. You know, I think his answers actually made me like him more. Humor and a real down-to-earth personality came through during this. (He also totally endeared himself to me when asked how he creates such strong women and his answer was basically 'I create characters. The fact that they're women is irrelevant.') There's also another author whose blog I visited and loved before even knowing she was an author. (And I love her book, too.)

So, what do you do? Share with me. Do you avoid most authors? Can you separate authors from their books? Honestly, I don't think I can.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Series: Standalone
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Add on Goodreads

When Rachelle was fifteen, she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Top Ten Favorite TTT Topics

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

The topic for this weeks top ten list is very different. In celebration of five years of Top Ten Tuesdays, (Happy Birthday!) the ladies are asking us to list our ten favorite topics. I've not been doing these lists for that five years - not even two years, and some of those months very sporadically - but I was really looking forward to this topic ever since I heard about it. I scrolled back through my listing of Top Ten Tuesday posts, and here are my ten favorite topics.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Series I Need To Finish (As Of May 11th)

Now we get into the fun stuff. These are all the series that I really, really want to finish reading. Or, in the case of some of them, catch up on until I'm waiting for the next book to be released. (Now with pictures!) I really want to read all these books - but there's such a thing as not enough time in a day. Or week.

Tales of the Ketty Jay Series by Chris Wooding

Vicky Bliss Series by Elizabeth Peters

Starlight & Shadows Trilogy by Elaine Cunningham

Songs & Swords Series by Elaine Cunningham

Jacqueline Kirby Series by Elizabeth Peters

Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashore

Steampunk Chronicles Series by Kady Cross

The Legend of Eli Monpress Trilogy by Rachel Aaron

The Dispossessed Trilogy by Page Morgan

Cragbridge Hall Trilogy by Chad Morris

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Beka Cooper Trilogy by Tamora Pierce

The Vindico Series by Wesley King

Dogs: Bullets & Carnage by Shirow Miwa

The Paper Magician Trilogy by Charlie N. Holmburg

The Lovegrove Legacy by Alyxandra Harvey

Dusk Gate Chronicles by Breeanna Puttroff

Arisa Series by Natsumi Ando

(Plus the 19 others that have been released that I'm not posting pictures of.)
Pandora Hearts Series by Jun Mochizuki

The Fall of Ile-Rien Trilogy by Martha Wells

Cat's Eye Series by T.L. Shreffler

Heist Society Series by Ally Carter