No worries, my fuzzy little monster Bailey is not one of the titular “Exploding Kittens”, I just really wanted to show off her Christmas photo because I’m a crazy cat mom. 😛 We’ll get to the actual Exploding Kittens later on in this post, but for now let’s get into the excitement that is this year’s HOLIDAY BOOK HAUL!
The Hunger – A horror historical fiction book about the Donner Party that I’ve been very excited for. I’ve already started reading it!
Fire & Blood – The first volume of George RR Martin’s two-part history of the Targaryens.
Pandora’s Legacy – this one is a total wildcard for me, so I’m curious to check it out. It’s always interesting reading modern takes on mythology. 🙂
Unnatural, Vol. 1 – this series was nowhere on my radar but it was one that was recently highly recommended, so I’m interested to see what it’s all about.
Alisik – This one looks like spooky fun, and I was surprised to discover that the interior artwork is actually much more detailed than the cover, something that more often turns out to be the opposite.
Gotham City Sirens: Book Two – Now that you can only get this series in these 2 books rather than the singular volumes like I had started collecting a while back, it’s good to finally have the full collection! For some reason I had stopped reading it with just the final volume to go and never got the chance to finish it. Looking forward to seeing how the series wraps up. 🙂
Soooo, that sums up my Holiday Book/Comic Haul. I’m so thankful for all the amazing reading material I’ve been gifted and I can’t wait to read it all! That said, let us finally talk about those Exploding Kittens, shall we??
As the box says, Exploding Kittens is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions. I was fortunate enough to get the NSFW version along with the expansion Imploding Kittens, complete with a “cone of shame” to make sure you feel appropriately terrible about yourself for losing. 😛 The game was a ton of fun and so easy to pick up on. Think Russian Roulette . . . but with exploding kittens!
I hope you guys have been enjoying your holiday season and have had a little time to unwind before the new year starts! ❤ Have you read or are interested in reading any of these titles? Get any awesome new books yourself?
It’s taaaaag tiiiiime, guys! Big thanks to Random Melon Reads for tagging me for the Three Things Tag! 😀 If you haven’t yet ventured on over to their blog, I suggest you rectify that and experience their humorous and entertaining posts for yourself. 🙂 Now, onto the tag at hand:
3 Read Once & Loved Authors:
Well, might as well start with my most recent newly loved author! 🙂 After hearing so many good things about V.E. Schwab, I’ve finally begun my first venture into one of her books, A Darker Shade of Magic! I’m loving her writing and fully intend on reading more of her stories in the future. ❤
Of course I would have to include Leigh Bardugo on this list. Her writing is always a treat for me, but it just seems to keep getting better and better. She’s definitely one of those insta-buy authors for me.
This list wouldn’t be complete for me without mentioning George RR Martin.
3 Titles I’ve Watched But Haven’t Read:
I mentioned in a recent blog post that I happened upon 2 of the books in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I enjoyed watching the film version and am definitely looking forward to reading the books that inspired it, starting, of course, with the first one.
Another set of books I would really love to sink my teeth into, would be Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. ❤ I love the show and have only heard amazing things regarding the books.
Although I wasn’t too crazy about the third and final season of Hemlock Grove on Netflix, I did really enjoy the first 2 seasons and would definitely love to check out the source material some time. It’s been on my TBR list for a while, so maybe I’ll make this a priority on my reading list for October. It certainly seems like a fitting time to give it a go! 😉
3 Characters You Love:
Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer. He’s just such a good character overall. 🙂 I can’t wait to read more about him and the other amazing characters when Laini Taylor’s Muse of Nightmares hits the scene in October!
I’ve always loved the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. From his crazy grin right down to the very way he speaks.
It’s always been difficult for me to narrow down my favorite character from GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, so I’m calling it a tie between Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark.
3 Binged Series:
I binge-read George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books after having the first one literally thrust upon me by Cupcakes & Machetes years ago. Still waiting (and waiting) on the last 2 in the series to come out, but those two books will no doubt be binge-read as well upon release. 🙂
If memory serves right, I think I also binge-read Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy a while back. I’m pretty certain I read the three books very quickly.
And, in the graphic novel arena, I definitely conquered Joe Hill’s Locke & Key series in quick succession. It was an excellent and imaginative series I just couldn’t seem to put down.
3 Unpopular Bookish Opinions:
Prologues don’t bother me. I know a lot of people seem to hate them, and I understand why to an extent, but as long as it is at least interesting, I’ve got no beef with a good prologue. 🙂
If I’m studying a certain topic, and I’m reading an informative book about it, I bust out the highlighters and cover those pages in neon streaks. It’s quicker than writing the notes out by hand, makes for a quick reference, aaaand it’s my book so I do what I want with it! 😛 Oddly enough, though, you’ll never see me dog-ear a page. I mean, I’m not a complete monster. 😉
Call me crazy, but I hate book jackets (or dust jackets if you prefer). I know they’re to protect the book, and I get it, but they’re just so bothersome to me for some reason. I’ve gotten better about dealing with them in recent years, but they still tend to irk me just a bit. Plus, I always like the way the actual book looks underneath.
3 Current Favorite Book Covers:
Leigh Bardugo’s books are always lovely to look at, but I really like the cover for The Language of Thorns.
I had a really tough time picking three covers for some reason, despite always drooling over new cover art. I dunno, for some reason when I’m put on the spot my mind goes blank and I flounder about. But, I had to give some love to The Girl From the Other Side, with a cover and internal artwork that gives me the warm fuzzies. It blends two of my favorite aesthetics, monsters and cute shit.
3 Goals For The Year:
Hmmm . . . well, there isn’t a whole lot of 2018 left at this point, it being September and all. That said, I really want to spend the remaining months of the year writing my ass off. NaNoWriMo is in the not-so-distant-future, so I definitely plan to participate in it again, but I also want to push myself to make more time for writing in general.
I’m also still working on my goal of reading 50 books/graphic novels for the year. With so little free time I’ve fallen a bit behind where I’d like to be by this point in the year in terms of my reading goal, buuuuuuut I’m confident I can catch up in the months to come. 🙂
Aaaand my third goal is to continue being a boss bitch and getting shit DONE! 😛 Haha and by that I mean to keep attacking my goals head on for the rest of the year. No sense losing momentum now. 😉
Now, for the tagging! Mwa hahaha! If you’re reading this still at this point, consider yourself TAGGED! (Or not . . .) No pressure or anything. You know the drill, do it if you think it looks fun! 😀
Despite that bleak-sounding title, this tag is actually a lot of fun. 🙂 I saw Birdie Bookworm’s post with it and couldn’t resist giving it a shot. The rules of the game go as such: you pick 30 characters from books you’ve read and write those names down. After that, you randomly select 2 of those names for each of the questions. At this point, you’ll use what you know about each of the characters to pick who you think is the best answer given the specific question presented. Pretty easy, right? Since I like reading graphic novels/comics so much, I’m including characters from those as well as regular novels. Alrighty, now that we’ve sorted out the rules, let the games begin!
You only have one more spot on your spelling bee team, who would you pick to complete your team?
Huh, funny how both characters came from science fiction novels. Well, this one is definitely no contest. In a match of intellect I am absolutely going to have to pick Sevro over the outlandish Zaphod Beeblebrox.
Both characters want to kill you, which one would you kill first so you have a better chance of surviving?
Damn, I would prefer not to be on the bad side of either of these characters, but I’d say I’d rather not have to take on the Darkling over Katniss. I’ll take my chance with Katniss and her arrows in this case.
You’re on the Bachelor/Bachelorette and you’re down to these two characters, which one are you going to give your rose to?
I would have to say Melanie. She seems way more likely to take one for the team and go into the games willingly to protect someone, especially if she cares about them. Maika on the other hand is a lot more jaded and would probably just let me go into the games to die.
You’re stranded on an island, which character would you sacrifice to engage in cannibalism?
Ew. lol I’m not looking to turn cannibal any time soon, but logistically speaking, Molly is more scrawny and wiry if I’m remembering right, so probably not that great to eat. If you’re going to stoop to eating people to survive, might as well eat someone that is a little more tender like Esther. Sorry, Esther!
You’re the next DC/Marvel superhero (with your own tv show, of course), who is your sidekick?
Okay, I adore Hodor and all, but I am going to have to say Lord Maccon. How could I pass up having a ruggedly sexy Scottish werewolf for a sidekick? I’m sure his alpha tendencies would cause a power struggle, but I think I’d be okay with that. 😉
You’re a manager of an avocado admiring company, who would you fire for lack of communication skills?
Heh, undead pitted against the undead. What an interesting turn of events. Well, I know that Coburn has one hell of a foul mouth on him and an attitude for days, so I suppose he might not be as great communicating with whatever sorts of customers or clients frequent “avocado admiring companies” overall. “The customer is always right” is sure to not fly with him, especially if the customer is a homicidal idiot like the ones he encounters in his book.
You’ve just finished a book in which your favorite character dies, which character is most likely to comfort you?
Mmmkay, so on one hand we have a hulking ultra-violent killing machine, and on the other we have a small little English girl. Oddly enough though, I’m going to have to give this one to the massive beast of a man who can shove his fist straight through your chest. Luther has that sensitive side to him that keeps him from just becoming another ruthless maniac. He’s got heart, so I could see him comforting someone like that. Plus, Alice doesn’t see the point in books without pictures, so yeah, definitely gonna have to give this one up to Luther.
Ugh, it’s High School. Who would most likely be part of the popular clique?
I would have to say Isabelle for this one. There’s nothing snooty about her character or anything like that, but she’s a girl that everyone deems to be beautiful and although there is SO much more to her character than just looks, that’s really all it takes for some people to be deemed “popular” in society. Plus, Kinsey’s got too many demons (literally AND metaphorically) to join the ranks of the popular kids at school.
The day has arrived; you’re finally a year older! Who would have the nerve to forget your birthday?
Heh. Just the fact that both of these characters would have no access to the technology needed to become BookTube stars is funny to me. But, pretending that they did in fact have the technology, I would see Emily being more into that sort of thing than Arya. It’s been a long time since Arya had time for things like books.
Sleepover time! Unfortunately, you can only invite one person. Who would you invite?
Well, that certainly escalated quickly. Both characters are awesome, but I’m gonna have to go with Marko. Added bonus: He’s already got that dad thing down since he’s got a kid. Major drawbacks: He’s got a bounty on his head aaaand I really don’t feel like getting my ass kicked by his wife (and awesome character/his soulmate) Alana.
You’ve just written a super important text. Who would see it, but not reply?
This is a tough one. Neither of them are really jerks or anything, but both of them feel like they have the weight of the world(s) on their shoulders, so I could really go with either or on this question. I think we’ll go with Darrow though since the technology in his story is beyond the point of simple text messages. He’d probably see my archaic form of communication and laugh.
You’ve just woken up and it’s time for breakfast. Your mom and dad have been replaced by . . . who?!
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.
2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did.
Why did you read it in the first place?
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?
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?
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?
6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title.
What drew you to this book?
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?
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?
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
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.
Oof! You know how sometimes you’re reading a book and you come across a point that makes you have to stop and process what you just read because it was like a punch to the heart?
Well, this is where I must ask those of you who also write, do you ever feel like this after you’ve written a certain scene in your own story? Do you ever feel writer’s guilt or remorse for the things you put your characters through? I know they’re fictional, but it’s amazing how you can come to care for them, just like the characters you read about in other people’s books. Or am I just a weirdo? 😛
I came across this tag done by none other than The Shameful Narcissist Speaks and just had to give it a go! Yay, books! Anyone is welcome to join in on the fun and do this themselves as well. 🙂
EBOOKS OR PHYSICAL BOOKS?
That’s right, I like both. I love going into book stores and libraries. I love how a collection of books looks displayed with pride on one’s bookshelves. I just love books! That said, I’ve been on the kindle bandwagon since the first kindle came out. I love the convenience of being able to take a bunch of books with me wherever I go without having to worry about damaging them. I love being able to download sample chapters for free to see if I like the writing style of a new author before I purchase it. And I love having access to countless stories at any given time without even having to leave the house. Plus, there are a lot of money-saving perks to getting books on the kindle.
PAPERBACK OR HARDBACK?
Paperback. Don’t get me wrong, hardback books can be gorgeous and all, but this one simply comes down to cost in the long run. Paperback is cheaper.
ONLINE OR IN-STORE BOOK SHOPPING?
In-store. I know I said I dig the convenience of being able to buy books on the kindle without having to leave the house, but that is just for the convenience. I absolutely love book stores. Used book stores, thrift shops, big chains and independent book stores. (This pertains to comic book shopping as well.) I have my mother to blame for this. We always went book shopping together when I was growing up. It was like an unspoken oath that if we went out for a girls’ day out, there were going to be book shopping adventures. This is a love I share with my best friend, and our ideal BFF dates always include books AND coffee or ice cream. Point being, amazing adventures and memories are to be had in book stores, so get out there and revel in your bibliophile ways!
TRILOGIES OR SERIES?
Doesn’t matter to me. Take as many books as you need to tell your story so long as you tell it well and keep me invested in it as a reader.
HEROES OR VILLAINS?
Villains, duh. Though I love me a good antihero, too. 😉
A BOOK YOU WANT EVERYONE TO READ?
I’m one of those sadists that always tells people they should read A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. Like the little devil on their shoulder, I urge them into it and when they finally give in and read it I sit back and wait with a smile on my face for them to thank me while simultaneously hating me for the emotional turmoil they go through while reading it. Same thing applies to the show, Game of Thrones. But, hey, I’m only paying it forward though, since Cupcakes and Machetes did it to me first. 😛
RECOMMEND AN UNDERRATED BOOK.
Dweller, by Jeff Strand. A book that stirred such a range of emotion in me while I was reading it. This tale of a bullied boy who befriends a literal monster he encounters in the woods is definitely more than meets the eye. It manages to disturb you at times and then touch your heart at others. I actually cried a couple times while reading this book. This novel was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel in 2010, so it has received recognition, but I feel like it’s still one that not a lot of people I have encountered have read or heard of so I included it here as an “underrated” book.
THE LAST BOOK YOU FINISHED?
Well, the last novel I finished was Clovenhoof by Heide Goody and Iain Grant. The last comic book I finished was volume 2 of Saga.
WEIRDEST THING YOU USED AS A BOOKMARK?
Oh, jeez. lol What haven’t I used as a bookmark at this point? Hmmm . . . I’m going to say the floppy disc coasters at my boyfriend’s place. He got a set of them on his coffee table and I’m always using them in lieu of an actual bookmark when I’m over there.
USED BOOKS, YES OR NO?
Sure, why not? I have plenty of great used books. 🙂
TOP THREE FAVORITE GENRES?
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, and any blend of the three and their sub-genres. I also like science fiction, I just haven’t read all that much of it (yet).
BORROW OR BUY?
Either or. I would love to be able to buy every single book I read to support the authors writing them, but it just isn’t practical for me at this point in my life. But I regularly borrow and lend out books with my friends, check them out from the library, and purchase them when I can.
CHARACTERS OR PLOT?
Ooooh, tough question. I love a great plot but I’m going to say characters if only for the fact that I can deal with a book that is sort of lacking in the plot department as long as the characters are done very well, but I can’t stand flat, boring characters that I don’t find myself caring about as a reader. If the reader don’t care about the characters it doesn’t really matter what peril the writer puts them in, does it? That said, I love a brilliant plot, too. Give me a great plot AND great characters and you’ll have a fan for life. 🙂
LONG OR SHORT BOOK?
I’d probably say a long book if I’m really drawn into the story. There’s nothing worse than being so into a book and then noticing that there just aren’t enough pages left for all the things that you know still need to happen in the story. But if they can leave you with a satisfying ending, a short book is fine too.
NAME THE FIRST THREE BOOKS YOU THINK OF.
Well, the first books I think of are the ones I’ve just discussed in this post so far, so for the sake of not being redundant I’ll ignore those and pick the first book to come to mind from each of my top genres I previously listed. So, a book that springs to mind in the fantasy genre: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. For historical fiction, of course the one I am currently reading comes to mind: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. And for horror, House of Corruption, by Erik Tavares.
BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH OR CRY?
Well, I already mentioned that Dweller made me cry several times. I think it also made me laugh too if I remember properly (it’s been a while since I read it). There’s a particular scene in George RR Martin’s A Dance with Dragons that made me tear up a bit. Other than that, none particularly come to mind.
OUR WORLD OR FICTIONAL WORLDS?
Depends on the world. lol There are a LOT of problems in the real world today, but I wouldn’t want to add zombies or demonic beings to the mix. Some fictional worlds are awesome though, so yeah, depends on the book.
AUDIOBOOKS: YES OR NO?
I’ve listened to a few, but I usually read books rather than listen to them. I appreciate the fact that I can multitask while listening to an audiobook, though. That’s pretty awesome. It also really depends on the narrator of the audiobook though. If they just drag the story along at a slug’s pace in a monotone drone or just can’t keep my attention then I quickly lose interest and zone out.
DO YOU EVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER?
Yup! lol I know we shouldn’t, but I think that’s just how it goes sometimes. We see something that draws our attention or we find attractive and it causes us to pick it up off the shelf and look into it. That doesn’t mean I won’t read a book with a plain, or even ugly, cover though. I’m just more likely to notice a flashy cover.
BOOK TO MOVIE OR BOOK TO TV ADAPTATION?
I’ve really been digging book-to-TV adaptations. They tend to be less rushed and more detail oriented when done properly. But films can be done really well too, so it just depends on the series and the creators/cast/budget/etc.
SERIES OR STANDALONE?
There’s something special about reading a series. You get to fall in love with the characters, the world, and the story and not have to say goodbye once you finish the last page. You get to revisit these things in the sequels and build on them. Standalone books can be great too, but I’m going to say series for this.
Do you (yes, YOU!) know about the impending awesomeness that is to go on tour in 2017?
Cuz I do, and now I’m going to tell you all about it!
In 2017, North America is going to be serenaded with a concert tour that, to sum it up in just one word, looks to be “EPIC”.
If you love the HBO series “Game of Thrones” (and the wonderful musical score that accompanies all the crazy shenanigans going on in it) well, you’re probably not going to want to miss this.
Live Nation is quoted as describing the tour as a “music and visual experience that will bring the Seven Kingdoms to life on a scale never seen before.”
Imagine the music that provides such a rich atmosphere to the show being performed by a full orchestra and choir in huge stone towers with a giant LED screen between them to awe you visually while you’re being awed aurally.
No, don’t even bother imagining it, here ya go:
Tickets go on sale today. Be there or be square. (I’m hoping to be there!)