Updates of the Reading and Working Variety

monster gif

Hello, lovelies! 😀 Despite my recent absence, I swear I have not been eaten by monsters. (Not yet anyway.) Halloween is slowly creeping up though, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? 😛 I’ve just been insanely busy lately. A lot of it due to work. I still love my jobs though, so it’s all worth it. I just need to learn to manage my time and perhaps do more multitasking so I can have a wee bit more free time to do some of the things I enjoy (like blogging with all you awesome folks!) ❤

August has been an incredibly busy month, but it’s been a good one. It seems to be a big month for parties. I got to go visit Cupcakes and Machetes for her housewarming party earlier in the month and that was a lot of fun. My work just had their 25th anniversary Luau party yesterday. I baked some strawberry cupcakes with cheesecake mousse topping and they were a hit. 🙂 Aaaand my dad’s birthday is at the end of the month, so my mom and I are making him lemon cream puffs (his request), an awesome dinner, and spoiling him with presents (several of which are Guardians of the Galaxy related).

hamster.gif

I haven’t had nearly any time to read this month but I am squeezing in a few minutes of reading here and there where I can fit it in. This usually results in me being super grumpy when I’m really interested in what I’m reading at the time and have to put the damn book down. lol So infuriating. I’ve started Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn.

Though I’m not as far along in either of these stories as I’d like to be by now, I am enjoying them both. 🙂 Laini Taylor really does have a way with words, so it’s been awesome returning to her writing since it’d been a while. Aside from her writing style itself, I greatly enjoy her imagination. She’s so creative with her stories.

0lt
Laini Taylor, pink-haired bad ass writer of books.

I feel like a lot of you already know about Strange the Dreamer, but for those of you who might not yet, here’s a quick blurb on what it’s all about:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

0ea
Emilie Autumn, Singer/Writer/Violinist/Actress/Etc. Etc.

I’ve been a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music and poems for a while now, and this book of hers was on my TBR list for quite some time but A.) it was difficult to find B.) it was pretty damn pricey, so alas, it stayed put on my TBR list all this time. Buuuuut, it did recently get released on the kindle for a very reasonable price so I bought that baby right up! 🙂 Here’s a quick blurb regarding The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls:

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open. As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats talk. But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?
The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.

So, those are my little updates. Do you have any of your own? Lemme know, I’d love to hear them. I’m trying to catch up on reading everyone’s fantastic blogs, but I’m a bit behind right now, so feel free to fill me in on any exciting new news and whatnot you’ve got going on! Also, it’s Friiiiidayyyyyy!!! Have a great weekend, everybody!! ❤ ❤ ❤

MassiveBouncyBluet-max-1mb

“How I Choose My Books” Tag!

Oops! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been pretty busy, but I was lucky enough to be tagged by the awesome conqueror of books, Birdie Bookworm, so here we are! 😀 Thank you again so much for tagging me! This looked too fun to pass up. I’m normally really bad about getting back around to doing tags and awards, so this time I’m getting right on it!

Also, be sure to check out the Birdie Bookworm blog. It’s a great one, and deserves to get lots of love! 🙂

Since my bookshelves contain books AND comics/graphic novels, my answers will be sort of a mixed bag. I love comics, so there’s no way I’m leaving them out. 😛


1. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover.
What made you want to pick up this book?

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland. I actually didn’t pick this one up myself. It was a gift from a friend since we’d read the first book in the series together in our book club. I’m looking forward to reading it though since I enjoyed the first one called My Life as a White Trash Zombie.

12766833

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did.
Why did you read it in the first place? 

the-girl-with-all-the-gifts-2

I really enjoyed reading The Girl with All the Gifts, but I had no idea of what to expect from it when I first picked it up. A friend of mine had been strongly recommending it and singing its praises up and down without actually telling me ANYTHING about it. Which I’m glad she didn’t, because this one definitely benefited from going into it blind. I was hopeful I would like it when I read it, but I literally had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, it was a good read! 🙂

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random.
How did you discover this book? 

47730

One of my few books of poems. 🙂 I’d read and enjoyed Anne Sexton’s Transformations years ago, so I got this one so I could read more of her work.

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you.
What did you think of it?

got

 

Cupcakes and Machetes quite literally shoved this book at me and demanded I read it a while back. I’m so glad she did. It introduced me to not only one of my favorite authors, but my favorite series as well. Kudos to you, C&M. You have yet to lead me astray with any book suggestions. 😀

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / book blogs.
Did it live up to the hype? 

51zrjcyzdzl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

I first heard about Giant Days in a nifty post from The Brunette Bookworm Blog a while back and heeded her advice, picking up a copy of volume 1. It did not disappoint! 🙂 In fact, I really liked it! I’m currently reading volume 2 at the moment as well.

6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title.
What drew you to this book?

Monstress_Vol1-1

Volume 1 of Monstress. Hands down what drew me to this was the gorgeous artwork. Each and every panel is a work of art.

7. What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

ltroi

 

I read Let the Right One In a while back, after seeing (and absolutely loving) the film. I’ve never watched the American remake, so I can’t say anything about that one, but I was instantly drawn in when I watched the original Swedish horror film. Usually I prefer to read the books before watching any movie/TV adaptations, but I’m glad I was able to see the film first in this case since it introduced me to the novel.

8. Think of your all-time favorite book/s.
When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

Bookset

As if there were any doubt: A Song of Ice and Fire!!! My favorite books (and show) to geek out about. No doubt about it. I wanna say I began reading these in 2011 if memory serves right. There was no option of going back after that. 😛 As I mentioned in a previous answer, Cupcakes is totally to blame for this obsession. lol


Tags:

I’m no pressure about these book tags, so if you think it sounds fun, have at it. If I tag you and you don’t want to do it, no worries. 😉 I’m just tagging some people I think might find this one fun since it’s a bookish tag.

Cupcakes and Machetes

The Shameful Narcissist Speaks

By Hook Or By Book

My Bookish Dream

The Book Raven

Books And Hot Tea

The Happiest Pixel

Bionic Book Worm

Books, Vertigo and Tea

Let me know if any of you decide to do the tag yourself. I’d love to read your answers, too! ❤ ❤ ❤ Hope everyone’s having a great week so far. We’re soooo close to the weekend!!

R&R Book Tours’ Launch Party Mega Blitz!!

Banner

I’ve enjoyed reading so many awesome book/film reviews (and other fun posts) over at Reads & Reels, so I’m very excited about today’s big launch party for R&R Book Tours!! Get your party hat on and bust out the confetti, because it’s a blog party, folks! Everyone’s invited to join in on the fun to help R&R Book Tours kick off their official launch. With the festivities starting at 9am (EST), there will be plenty of fun to be had throughout the day. And plenty of great giveaways, too! 😀

RR Book Tours Button (2)

This bash is all about the indie authors, so expect six different indie authors, six different books, and (you guessed it!) SIX different giveaways! 😉

Monsters Exist   GlassVault_FC2_BN (1)The Old Man at the End of the World Cover   Roadside cover on AmazonAggravated Momentum Cover   Seven_Hours_Cover

So be sure to check it all out. I hope you guys all have fun over there at their launch party, and best of luck to those of you who enter those exciting giveaways. 😀 Cheers to R&R Book Tours on their big day!! ❤

giphy

Saga Comic Binge Read

My boyfriend says I’m a monster because I always read his new comics before he does. I say, ya snooze ya lose. lol I’m sorry (no, actually, screw that, I regret NOTHING!) because when there are great comics to be read, I’ll be damned if I’m not going to read them. 😛 In all fairness, he takes forever to actually get around to reading them, and I keep my lips firmly sealed regarding spoilers of any kind. We have a system. It works. ❤

huge.9.45936
HIM: “You can’t keep reading my comics before I get to!”            ME: “Bitch, watch me!”

Our local comic book shop had some pretty good sales over the holiday weekend so he went ahead and added to his collection of Saga, picking up volumes 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Needless to say, I descended upon those poor, helpless trades like they were newborn infants left out to the wolves. I read all of them while I was over, one after the other, until I had to stop at volume 7 to go partake in 4th of July festivities because ‘MURICA.

0d053408-3cc1-4483-b320-7cdcc906e1c5
Oh, I’ll be back for YOU, my pretty! *cackles*

This series is just soooo damn good. It’s one of those gems that really lives up to all the hype surrounding it. In case I didn’t scream my love for this series from the rooftops enough in this “Cute Comic Couple” post or my spoiler-free review regarding Volume 2, let me just say:

f25

Fight Like a YA Girl Book Tag

Fight-LIke-A-YA-Girl

Books and wine make an excellent pairing, and this is something proven frequently over at the YA and Wine blog where you can find awesome wines to go with awesome books, fantastic reviews, and exciting posts about book/author-related events. I was thrilled to be tagged for Krysti’s newly created book tag about the many types of kick-ass ladies in literature. Big thanks to her for tagging me to do this awesome new tag! Now, let the ass-kickery begin!

THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

WARRIOR GIRLS:

Okay, it’s been a very LONG time since I read this book, but I’m going with the Slayer (named Sophie) from Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row (A Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel). Slayers are total warrior girls! 🙂

images

GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR MIND:

How could I not choose Hermione Granger for this category? I mean, c’mon, she was the brightest witch of her age. 😉

9bc1b57af0dd4620450697d3d1bdd77a

GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR HEART:

Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou has a lot of heart, and love plays a large part in her story.

4ae50b42f35ce09d1ade1176dc3d6d7b

GIRLS WHO ARE TRAINED FIGHTERS:

Virginia au Augustus (aka: Mustang) from the Red Rising trilogy. I nearly picked her for the “girls who fight with their mind” category since she is known to be highly intelligent, but she is also trained to fight with more than just her mind so here she goes!

RedRising-Cover4

STRONG GIRLS OF COLOR:

Inej Ghafa (aka- “The Wraith”) from Six of Crows. She’s strong in every sense of the word, and she’s one of the many reasons I can’t wait to read Crooked Kingdom!

heros-inej-ghafa

GIRLS WHO FIGHT TO SURVIVE:

Temple from The Reapers are the Angels. She’s grown up in a tough, zombie-filled world, and she’s never known anything else.

11019529

GIRLS WHO ARE WEAPONS MASTERS:

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy. Total pro with that bow and arrows. I wanted to list Inej and her trusty blades again for this, but I’m mixing it up with another girl and another type of weapon instead. 😛

11050246_10206530541923143_3584570669795250124_n
Fan art of Katniss by Me

GIRLS WHO DON’T CONFORM TO GENDER ROLES:

Okay, this series isn’t YA, but the young-but-fierce Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire immediately came to mind, so she’s who I’m going with. 😀

tumblr_oejhnjmarf1ta0sgeo1_500

GIRLS WITH KICK-BUTT MAGICAL POWERS:

Nina Zenik from Six of Crows. She’s part of the Corporalki order of the Grisha (a heartrender, to be exact), which means she has the ability to snatch the air from your lungs or even stop your heart if you’re in her line of sight.

Heartrenders25-297x300

STRONG GIRLS IN CONTEMPORARY NOVELS:

Honestly, this isn’t really an area of reading I’ve explored, so I’m stumped for an answer. Here’s a cute puppy instead!

tumblr_onau9r2cnj1vepfluo1_400

SERIOUSLY FIERCE GIRLS:

Isabelle Rossignol from The Nightingale. This book really isn’t strictly YA, but I feel like Isabelle’s half of the story could be considered YA, and she becomes one hell of a fierce girl. Not through brawn, but through her determination and spirit.

21853621

MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK WITH A STRONG LEADING LADY:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer! I can’t wait for this one to come out. 🙂

21125680._SY540_


So, ladies & gents, there we have it. 😀 This tag was a lot of fun, so I’m tagging each and every one of you!! Let’s spread this tag like wildfire and promote the hell out of some badass ladies in fiction! Have a great weekend, folks! ❤

May’s Book Pick For The Happiest Reading Challenge

I accomplished some really exciting things in April, so I’m feeling really good going into May. One of the many things I’m looking forward to in May is starting The Happiest Reading Challenge created by fellow blogger, The Happiest Pixel. The challenge theme for May is to read a book by an author you already love.

The first book to come to mind was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

PicMonkey Collage.png

I became an instant fan of Leigh Bardugo while reading The Grisha Trilogy a few years back. So, naturally, I was quite excited when I learned that she would be taking us back to the enchanting but dangerous world of the Grisha.

ShadowandBoneMapbig._V143826474_

PicMonkey Collageh.png
The three books making up The Grisha Trilogy.

Six of Crows is the first book in Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology. I actually have both of the books (the second book is called Crooked Kingdom) sitting on my bookshelf just waiting to be read. Let me tell you, these books are just absolutely gorgeous to look at. The first has black-edged pages, the second has red-edged pages, and both books have stunning hardcovers featuring a crow on them.

The Six of Crows blurb:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

six-of-crows-no-mourners-no-funerals-prints

I’ve been hearing so many good things regarding this book, and I can’t wait to read it. Even more so since I have the second one on hand already in case of a cliffhanger ending. 😉

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Leigh Bardugo, I’m also really looking forward to her upcoming Wonder Woman novel, Wonder Woman: Warbringer. It comes out in August! 😀

21125680._SY540_

 

Book Club Options- Waiting on the Votes to Roll In

I recently volunteered to host June’s night-out-on-the-town for the book club I’m in, which means I got to pick the book options! So as I wait for Wednesday night to roll around so I can tally up the votes I figured I would share the options I put out there with you guys. 🙂

Option #1: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts

25814351

Phew! That is one lengthy title, but it definitely gets a person’s attention, so well done.

To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven.

Yup. Sign me up for this one. I’m sold. We’ve got several hardcore nonfiction lovers in our book club so I figured this was a good choice. 🙂

Option #2: An Ember in the Ashes

27774758

“All the beauty of the stars means nothing when life here on earth is so ugly.”

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this one, so of course I had to include it in the list. (And if it doesn’t win I’m reading it anyway at some point!) 😉

Option #3: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom

24611623

This is my other nonfiction selection. After listening to Yeonmi Park’s emotional and heartbreaking speech for One Young World I felt really compelled to read this book. Here’s the video of her moving speech if any of you are interested in listening. (Trigger Warning: topics such as intended suicide and rape are brought up in this video, among other tragic and unjust things, so just warning you guys).

 

Option #4: Red Sister

25895524

It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.

Here’s another book I’ve been hearing amazing things about. If this book wins it will be my first venture into the works of Mark Lawrence. (Honestly, even if it doesn’t win it probably still will be with all the great reviews I’ve been reading about it.) 😛

Option #5: Stalking Jack the Ripper

28962906

A fictional tale involving Jack the Ripper. I enjoy historical fiction so this one seemed interesting.

So, those are my choices I selected for my fellow book club ladies to vote on. I’m very curious to see the winner once all the votes are in. So far it’s kind of all over the place, so I’m hoping the remaining two votes will nail down a concrete winner.

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? 🙂