Friday, July 29, 2016

July Wrap-Up

This month has been...absolutely unproductive for reading or anything to do with my blog. I do feel somewhat bad about this - especially the comments that I haven't responded to yet, I will, I promise! - but also I just have no energy or desire to do much of anything.

I do wish there was some way I could add my fanfiction stories I've been reading, because in the past month, I bet I've read 2000 pages of that. At least. Because when it comes time to read, that's all I really want to read. (At least I have been reading things anyway, and it's not like I completely stopped.)

So, there's a shift coming on, that I'll bring up next month.

What I've read...

Pandora Hearts Vol. 6 by Jun Mochizuki - *****
Pandora Hearts Vol. 7 by Jun Mochizuki - *****
More Than A Man by Emily Ryan-Davis & Elise Logan - **

I'm currently 'in the middle of' two books that, no matter how much I think I like or should like, I have no interest in picking them up when I have an extra five minutes.

What I've Watched...

So, this month I watched Teen Wolf season 2 at a rate of at least two episodes a night, every night. (At least it's a short season, because otherwise...) I can't explain it, but there's something so compelling about that show. (Though I could do without all the Scott/Allison drama and the Argent family is almost entirely a bunch of nutjobs!)

Also watched season six of Rizzoli & Isles (almost as quickly as Teen Wolf). I hear that next season is supposed to be the last and while I am glad that the show won't stretch on until I can't even watch it anymore, I will miss it because these six season have been awesome!

I've been making my way through the X-Men animated series from back in the '90's and I probably won't be able to finish it because - wow - some of these people are insufferable. I mean, I never liked Scott or Jean (seriously, in the movies they were terrible) but even some of my favorites like Wolverine and Gambit are starting to get on my nerves. And I could do without all the stuff that last episode had with Rouge. At least I still like Storm. And Beast. They are awesome. (And this had made my re-think my desire to rewatch all the live action movies in preparation for Apocalypse when it hits DVD.)

I also finally finished Birds of Prey which I, sadly, do not like anywhere near as much as I did the first time around. Oh well, it's still worth a watch for most episodes. (And the always stellar Harley Quinn.)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July Book Haul

So, I'm not going to get into my month or my upcoming plans in this post, but all I bought was one book. Which is kind of great considering I've been reading barely anything.

The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson
There is an unseen world of good and evil where nightmares are fought and hope is reborn. Enter The Door Within.

Aidan Thomas is miserable. Within two weeks, Aidan’s life is completely uprooted as his parents move the family across the country to care for his ailing grandfather. The quiet but imaginative Aidan is struggling with attending a new school and fitting in with a new group of friends. But when he begins having nightmares and eerie events occur around his neighborhood, Aidan finds himself drawn to his grandfather's basement—where he discovers three ancient scrolls and a mysterious invitation to another world.

No longer confined to the realm of his own imagination, Aidan embarks on an adventure where he discovers a long-fought war between good and evil. With the fate of two worlds hanging in the balance, Aidan faces Paragory, the eternal enemy with unfathomable power. Will Aidan be willing to risk everything and trust the unseen hand of the one true King?

This was a spur-of-the-moment buy, I'd never even seen/heard of the book before.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Review: Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
Series: Magic ex Libris
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Contemporary
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Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.
With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Review: Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas

Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #2
Genre: Fantasy/Retelling
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Asleep for a hundred years, awoken by a kiss, Aurora’s life was supposed to be a fairytale. But since discovering that loyalty to the crown and loyalty to her country are two very different things, Aurora knows she can only dream of happily ever after. Once the enchanted princess, savior of her people, she is now branded a traitor.

Aurora is determined to free her home from the king’s tyrannical rule, even if it means traveling across the sea to the kingdom of the handsome and devious Prince Finnegan—someone who seems to know far more about her magic than he should. However, Finnegan’s kingdom has perils of its own, and any help he gives Aurora will come at a price.

As Aurora and Finnegan work together to harness her power—something so fiery and dangerous that is as likely to destroy those close to Aurora as it is to save them—she begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding the curse that was placed on her over a century before…and uncover the truth about the destiny she was always meant to fulfill.

Brimming with captivating fantasy and life-threatening danger, the sequel to A Wicked Thing takes Sleeping Beauty on an adventure unlike any she’s ever had before.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Top Ten Books Set OUTSIDE the US

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

Okay, I kind of fail at this. Most of the books I read don't take place in the US - because most of them don't even take place on earth. Somehow, I don't think that's what this prompt wants. So, I went to work. And ignored the thought that I could easily make this a top ten list of books that take place in England. Because I read a lot of them.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Amy's 14 Steps to Reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Step 1: Fear
Okay, I've heard a lot of talk about it - but why is there a picture of a half-naked guy on the cover? And what is up with his skin? Seriously, I don't read those type of books. I'll pass.

Step 2: Disinterest
Wow, that series is getting long. Hmm, I'll find something else to read.

Step 3: Cover Love
What's this? 'Clockwork Angel'? Look at that cover... But it's by the same author as City of Bones.

Step 4: Cover Love Killed the Reader
Fine! I'll buy it. I won't like it. But I'll buy it.

Step 5: Surprise
Okay... It was better than I thought it'd be - not that that actually says much.

Step 6: Shut Up
*Reading Clockwork Prince*

Step 7: Vague Interest
City of Bones movie? I guess I could watch it. If I find the dvd in the five bucks bin.

Step 8: Giving Up
But... I don't want a hardback copy of Clockwork Princess. Fine, I'll buy it.

Step 9: Emotions

Step 10: Denial
I'm not going to read The Chronicles of Magnus Bane.

*One Week Later*

Step 11: Well, That Happened
What? Don't give me that look. I don't even know who half these people are.

Step 12: Giving In
Okay, fine, I'll buy the book.

Step 13: Indifference
So, I bought it. And it only took me 13 months to start it.

Step 14: Blerg
You'd think one day I'd learn that no matter how urban fantasy is dressed up, it's just not my genre. (Unless it's historical UF, because that's a whole other subject.)

So, ladies and gents, this is the vague process I went through from first seeing this book on the shelf to where I stand now. (And, no, I have no intent of continuing this series.) (And, in truth, I wanted to finally get this post finished and off my computer.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Review: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
Series: Standalone
Genre: Historical
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A reimagining of the fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as flappers during the Roaring Twenties in Manhattan.

Jo, the firstborn, "The General" to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father's townhouse to await the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. Together they elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off. 

The girls, meanwhile, continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher, the club they come to call home. They dance until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn't seen in almost ten years. Suddenly Jo must weigh in the balance not only the demands of her father and eleven sisters, but those she must make of herself. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Top Ten Bookish Facts About Me

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

This was a very ... interesting topic for me because I really am not good at talking about myself. I'm a rather boring person - not exciting at all - so there's not much really to say, I never know when to stop and what is TMI and I just don't really like doing it.

However... Through the month of June (and most of April and May, too) I was really horrible at interacting with other blogs and even my own readers. I feel terrible about this, so I am viewing this post as the perfect time to change and start becoming more active on the web. (Or, you could also say this is punishment for my sucky interaction, but let's not call it that, m'kay?)

Friday, July 8, 2016

On Book Buying Bans

As some of you probably already know, about ten months ago, I started my first ever book buying ban.

I never really thought I'd have to do one, but my book buying had just gotten out of control, I was buying more books than I was reading and I was running out of room for my TBR.

I knew something had to change, so I gave it a little thought and started my very first ban.

Now I've cut my TBR by over half and am down to the very respectable number of forty books - including the ones on my kindle. In fact, my stats look like this:

Buying ban information to date...
I can buy/get free 1 book for every 5 I read.
Series continuations are free.

Physical books read: 64
E-books read: 51

Physical books bought: 10
E-books bought: 18

Total books read: 115
Total books bought: 28

All told, I consider this a great success. Even though I am officially ending my ban as of this month, I do hope I won't go completely crazy with buying again. Hopefully I will never buy more books in a month than I read last month. (That's the 'rule' I'm going to be trying to use.)

So, I was wondering, have you ever went on a buying ban?

I'd love to know what kind and if it worked for you or not. Also, if you haven't, why haven't you needed/wanted to.

Personally, I found this mostly helpful, but I also had a bit of trouble because I'm one of those people that if you tell me not to do something, I'll do it. That made this a slight struggle some months. But, I would definitely do it again if my TBR gets out of control again.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July TBR

I had a lot of fun with my TBR list last month - where I paired up books and decided to read one of the two. But, I didn't have the best results with that for a couple of reasons. The first was definitely because I really slacked off on my reading in the last half of the month. I'm still the the middle of a book I started over a week ago - and it's a good book! Also, I think I paired the books a little...incorrectly.

So, this month, I'm going to refine my book pairing a bit.

Category: Finish-The-Series

by Patrick Weekes


By MarcyKate Connolly

Category: Sci-Fi

by Tanya Huff


by Pauline Marquez

Category: Romance

by Ruby Lionsdrake


by Regina Jennings

Category: Fantasy Pt:1

by Elise Kova


by T.L. Shreffler

Category: Fantasy Pt:2

by Rachel Aaron


by Eve Forward

Tell me, which of these books do you think I should read this month?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea

Beauty and the Beast by K.M. Shea
Series: Timeless Fairy Tales #1
Genre: Retelling/Romance/Fantasy
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Once upon a time Elle made a mistake. A small miscalculation sends her through the roof of an enchanted chateau. Stranded until her broken leg mends, Elle is unwillingly forced to rely on the good will of the sour chateau owner —the cursed Prince Severin.

Prince Severin—the commanding general and staunch supporter of his brother the crown prince—is cursed to look like a beast until a maiden falls in love with him. He has given up all hope of shattering the curse, and has only disdain for Elle.

Unfortunately, the pair can’t seem to avoid each other thanks to the meddling of the chateau’s cursed servants. Eventually Elle’s playful manners and Severin’s hidden gentleness draw the pair together.

But not all love stories can end that easily. After all, Elle is not what she seems, and Severin’s life is placed in danger when hostilities flare between his brother and the monarchs of a neighboring country. When Elle risks everything to save Severin, will he be able to forgive her for her lies?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

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

I've always liked underrated books (and thanks so much, ladies, for finally giving me an indication as to what 'underrated' means to you) but until I started searching through my books for this prompt, I didn't realize how many I've read.

By the time I finished going through all them, I had like forty books to chose from for this list, so I was careful and just selected the ones I most wanted to share. These aren't necessarily my favorites - I think I could have done a whole list of D&D tie-ins for that - but the ones I want people to read. Also, some books got a pass because the first book in the series had over 2,000 ratings.

Friday, July 1, 2016

July New Releases

And this is the point that my new releases start really filtering off. This is my least populated month, but it just so happens that both books are ones I really, really want to continue their respective tales.

Releases July 5th

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine
In Ink and Bone, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history…

With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart.

Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…

Releases July 19th

Imprudence by Gail Carriger
London is in chaos.

Rue and the crew of The Spotted Custard returned from India with revelations that shook the foundations of the scientific community. There is mass political upheaval, the vampires are tetchy, and something is seriously wrong with the local werewolf pack. To top it all off, Rue’s best friend Primrose keeps getting engaged to the most inappropriate military types.

Rue has got personal problems as well. Her vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her obstreperous mother is both. Worst of all, Rue’s beginning to suspect what they all really are… is frightened.

When the Custard is ordered to Egypt, transporting some highly unusual passengers, Rue’s problems go from personal to impossible. Can she get Percy to stop sulking? Will she find the true cause of Primrose’s lovesickness? And what is Quesnel hiding in the boiler room?

That is it. That's all the books I've got that I want/am interested in that release this month! Please comment and tell me what awesome books I'm missing and that I have to add to my TBR!