Woo! A few days ago I officially completed my reading challenge for the year! 😀 And even though I still have six months to go, I plan on sticking pretty much to my original plan. I kept my reading goal low, slashing it in half from last year’s 50 down to an easily attainable 25. The reason I did this was to be able to shift my focus to some of my other goals, the main one being writing. Well, as previously stated, I intend to GET. SHIT. DONE. over the next six months, so I’m ready to pour my all into writing for the rest of the year. Still, I thought it’d be fun to discuss how the reading challenge went. 🙂
Eventually I found myself in a total Urban Fantasy binge, devouring two novellas and the third full-length novel of The Iron Druid Chronicles as well as the first installment of the Mercy Thompson novels.
Along with these titles were several graphic novels of various genres (horror, slice of life style comics, superhero, action, and comedy). I also read River of Teeth recently which was such a great story that I will probably end up reading its sequel sometime soon despite insisting I’ll not be reading much the next few months. 😉
Well, that’s it for me, but how has YOUR reading challenge been going this year? 🙂 What was your reading goal? How’s it going? Let’s talk books! ❤
In my recent frenzy of reading Urban Fantasy, I finally got around to reading Moon Called, the first novel in the series of Mercy Thompson books. This series came highly recommended by Cupcakes and Machetes, so I was excited to give it a whirl. 🙂
Mercedes Thompson, better known to her friends as Mercy, is a mechanic by day and a shapeshifting “Walker” by night, able to take on the form of a coyote at will. Luckily for her, her transformation is nowhere near as painful and brutal as that of the werewolves who also inhabit her everyday world. There are supernatural creatures galore in this series, and some of them are even known about by humans thanks to their powers that be deciding to come public. (Mostly with the lighter fluffy sort of fae and not the monstrous I’m-gonna-eat-your-face kind of creatures, of course.) Baby steps, people. Better to ease the general public into things than cause a widespread panic, right?
Mercy is just going about her business, living her everyday life when things suddenly get completely turned upside down. When she tries her best to help out a young werewolf in need, the universe quickly sends Mercy a reminder of the age old saying “no good deed ever goes unpunished.” Things escalate pretty quickly after that with attempted/successful murders, kidnapping, werewolf politics, etc. There’s also paranormal romance going on, but I didn’t feel especially drawn to any of Mercy’s suitors. Granted, this is a series so there are bound to be more characters introduced along with character growth from the established characters, so we’ll see how that works out. 🙂
I really enjoyed Mercy’s character. She was kind, brave, clever, and determined. Some of the werewolves I liked, some *cough cough Samuel* annoyed the crap out of me. All I could think any time he was brought up in the book was something along the lines of “Somebody please neuter this guy or put a silver bullet in him.”
I’m definitely planning on continuing to read the series, so I’m really looking forward to learning more about the other creatures, and seeing what happens with the characters. There seems to be some really interesting worldbuilding going on, but we just kind of see the tip of the iceberg in this novel, so I can’t wait to explore that further. 🙂 I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars.
Wow, can you believe it’s June already? We’ve officially arrived at the sixth month of the year. Seems a good and proper time to discuss how 2019 has been going so far in the realm of books.
At the beginning of the year I knew I wanted to shift my focus to writing, and so I set my reading goal much lower than usual. The ultimate goal was to restrain my inner book worm this year and finish the year off at just 25 books/graphic novels. Well, with over half the year to go I’m already at 20, so ya see how well THAT plan’s going. 😉
So, let’s talk about the books/comics I’ve enjoyed (definitely some more than others) so far in 2019.
I’d say my favorite books I’ve read this year so far go as follows:
I gave this one 5 out of 5 stars. I loved the whimsical and light feel to it, and although I don’t often re-read books, this is one I could see myself one day re-reading. I enjoyed the author’s writing style very much and the sass of the main character. Witches, wizards, fire demons, hat shops and more come together in this enchanting story about a girl who is forced out of her comfort zone by a witch’s curse.
I recently played hostess for the book club I’m in, so I brought a healthy dose of books about true crime, disturbing history and the like to the table to be voted on. The winning book was The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching, and the Birth of Modern Surgery and it was both informative and disgusting. You can definitely expect a review for this one in the near future. 🙂
I enjoyed volume 1 in the beginning of the year, but I just recently got to enjoy the collection of issues 6-8, “Monster-Sized” sort of mini-trade. (I guess there’s been some issues with getting the official second volume out according to my trusted comic book shop lady.) Expect an official review of it soon!
Rick Remender’s Deadly Class was another solid recommendation. 🙂 I had found a copy at a re-sale book shop after discussing it briefly with Virtuanaut a while back so I made sure to pick it up. I waited until after I watched season 1 of the show and then gave it a read. I enjoyed it and would absolutely like to continue reading the series! 😀
Both Moon Called and The Iron Druid Chronicles series came as recommendations from my #1 book pusher, C&M. This girl knows what I like, so if she says read it, I fully intend to do just that (even if it sometimes takes me forever to get around to finally doing it!) 😉
Well, that’s it for my 2019 (so far) Reading Stats post. How’s your year in reading been going so far? What has been your top read so far this year? 🙂
Hey, everyone! 😀 I’ve really been enjoying getting to post a lot more again this month, but I wanted to give you guys a heads up that I’ll be taking the month of November off from blogging to focus on participating in National Novel Writing Month (aka: NaNoWriMo), or “Nano Rhino” as I like to call it. 😉
Taking part in the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month is always difficult, but it’s also a lot of fun. It takes a lot of time and effort, so I’m heeding the advice of The Shameful Narcissist, and avoiding distractions throughout the month that could hinder my word count goals throughout November. Sadly, this means no blogging for the month, but I think it’ll be the only way I’ll reach that goal and complete the challenge successfully this year. Things are always so busy, so I’m going to have to devote any free time I can get to working on my writing. Plus, it’ll really help me reach my goal of having my first draft for my book DONE before the start of the new year. It’ll be a lot of work, but I’m hopeful I can bust my ass and get it finished.
I’ll still be posting more throughout the rest of October, and I’ll miss all you fabulous people in November, but things will return to normal again come December. 🙂 I’d love to see this first draft finished by the end of December. It’s been a while since I’ve completed a first draft for a book I’ve written. I went through a notorious project hopping spree (something I’ve always been terrible about) but I’m feeling really committed to this current project I’m working on. I want to see it finished and I’m going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
Are you planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Got any big projects you’re working on that you’re excited about? Let’s talk about it! I love the creative process, no matter what form it takes, so I always enjoy reading about what you guys are creating and working on. ❤
Well, we’re halfway through the funnest month of the year, guys and ghouls. 😉 This week I managed to get 2 new drawings done for Inktober. Like I said, I’m going for a no-pressure approach to my first attempt at the art challenge and just trying to partake in the fun and get some practice in. 🙂 Next month is going to be crazy enough attempting NaNoWriMo again, so I’m taking things lightly with this and just enjoying myself.
Horror/Halloween Movies and Shows Watched This Week:
Re-watched Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Re-watched Ginger Snaps (2001)
Re-watched The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018)
The Purge (TV Series, 2018)
Horror Reading Throughout the Week:
I started reading The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. This one was a freebie find in a Free Books bin at a shop I enjoy going to. Seemed like the perfect time of year to snatch this title up. I have been enjoying this Gothic horror novel so far. 🙂
I also just started reading Mira Grant’s Parasite, the first book in her Parasitology trilogy. This one is classified under Science Fiction/Horror. It’s actually the book club book for next month, but since I am going to be participating in NaNoWriMo I figured I’d start it now to ensure I have time to complete it. 🙂 Especially seeing as it was none other than the spectacular Cupcakes and Machetes‘ pick for the month! As luck would have it, I’m also enjoying this one so far.
In Other October News:
Mr. Moth surprised me by bringing me home a pumpkin! 😀 Can’t wait to carve this baby up and proudly display it on our front porch!
I got two interesting and tasty sounding seasonal bottles of soda I have yet to try, one being apple cinnamon, and the other being blood orange gingerbread.
Went to the local costume shop by my house to buy some makeup for our Halloween shenanigans this year. I was going to try to experiment with it this weekend but ran out of time. Our costumes are all set, though, and I just gotta practice doing some skeleton face paint to finish our looks. 🙂
Now that we’re halfway through October, what are you looking forward to doing to celebrate as Halloween grows ever nearer? Are you dressing up? Let’s talk October/Halloween! 😀
Death isn’t always the end. In fact, if you suddenly find yourself recently risen from the dead with an instinctual hunger for brains, it’s really only the beginning. Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series of novels follows underdog character Angel Crawford as she navigates life (or something vaguely similar to it) as a freshly-turned zombie.
She may be getting the hang of being one of the undead, (it certainly has its perks in these books), but there are still hurdles aplenty for our struggling-but-determined heroine. A zombie mafia, corpse thieves, creepy experiments, and zombie hunters only seem to complicate things for Angel as she continues to deal with the struggles of work, love, family, and parole. The girl’s got a lot on her plate, and it isn’t all just brains. 😛
I really enjoyed this book and a lot of that has to do with how much I like the main character. Angel is flawed. Big time. But she’s working on it, and although things don’t come easily for her, she isn’t one to give up. Her narration feels honest and genuine, and it’s pretty damn entertaining to read given all of Angel’s sass and sarcasm that she wields with little or no apology.
The first part of the book does seem a bit slow at times, but the action and intrigue pick up nicely in the second part. I’d give this one a four out of five brain rating! 😉
Also, I know I always rave about the cover art for these books when I talk about them, but c’mon, you gotta give it up to artist Daniel Dos Santos, this artwork is awesome!
Fall is here and Halloween is just around the corner. I’m excited to get ready for all the spooky fun of October, but before September comes to an end, let’s go over this month’s book haul, shall we? 😉
“A Priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. It should be a usual investigation for Acatl, High Priest of the Dead–except that his estranged brother is involved, and the the more he digs, the deeper he is drawn into the political and magical intrigues of noblemen, soldiers, and priests-and of the gods themselves…“
Servant of the Underworld was one Cupcakes and Machetes and I have had on our TBR lists for a hot minute so when she spotted it on sale really cheap on the kindle she let me know and I of course bought a copy as well. Can we say “future buddy read”?? 😉 ❤
“Among the bustling markets of eighteenth century Cairo, the city’s outcasts eke out a living swindling rich Ottoman nobles and foreign invaders alike. But alongside this new world the old stories linger. Tales of djinn and spirits. Of cities hidden among the swirling sands of the desert, full of enchantment, desire and riches. Where magic pours down every street, hanging in the air like dust. Many wish their lives could be filled with such wonder, but not Nahri. She knows the trades she uses to get by are just tricks and sleights of hand: there’s nothing magical about them. She only wishes to one day leave Cairo, but as the saying goes… Be careful what you wish for.”
If that blurb didn’t sell ya, friggin’ writing goddess Laini Taylor herself describes this book as: “An extravagant feast of a book – spicy and bloody, dizzyingly magical, and still, somehow, utterly believable”. YAAAAAAS, PLEASE! ❤ ❤ ❤ SIGN. ME. THE. HELL. UP!!!
So that was my book haul for the month of September. How about you? Add any new gems to your collection this month? What are you most excited to read in October??
Peter S. Beagle’s whimsical fantasy tale The Last Unicorn is a classic. It’s one of my favorite books of all time, so when The Shameful Narcissist recently read and provided a link to a short follow-up to the story, of course I was eager to return to Mr. Beagle’s rich and enchanting world of magicians, unicorns and other mythical beasts.
The original tale is a clever and spellbinding journey all its own, so I was very hopeful that this newer adventure would be able to capture some of the magic woven in the first book. I was obviously hopeful, but I had to wonder, could Two Hearts manage to match the charm and whimsy of its legendary predecessor? Well, as Captain Cully would say: sit down, have a taco, and let’s talk about Two Hearts.
Although this short story features multiple characters we came to love in The Last Unicorn, you may be surprised to learn that the main character is someone new entirely. Sooz, a young girl from a small village plagued by a child-eating griffin, is done waiting for the king to send more knights who all seem to fall prey to the very beast they’ve been sent to slay. She’s decided to take matters into her own hands and runs away from home to seek the king out for herself, to get his help specifically. Young Sooz, you see, has heard all about brave King Lir and the dragons and giants he’s slain, the impossible riddles he’s solved, and the maidens he’s saved.
Unfortunately, no matter how noble the hero, the one thing they may never vanquish is time, and the king is now in the later years of his life, his mind often failing him. On her way to seek the king, Sooz befriends the infamous Molly Grue and Schmendrick the magician from the first tale. Although King Lir is frequent to forget and lose himself as he admits to Sooz, the mention of a familiar character always manages to bring him back, if even for only a matter of time.
Lir’s bravery and kindness propel him to agree to help Sooz and her village, but will the best intentions of an aging hero be enough to finally bring an end to the griffin? You’ll have to find that one out for yourself. 😉
I will tell you, however, that Peter S. Beagle definitely captured the enchantment of his original tale once more, much to my delight. Especially in the last third or so of the story. We finally get to see what has become of the characters he introduced us to so many years ago, and he introduces us to a brave young girl who would do anything to protect those she cares for against a hungry monstrous creature. For fans of The Last Unicorn, I would definitely say this one is easily worth the read. I enjoyed it and it made me want to re-read the original book again.
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! 😀
Well, well, well . . . look who finally stumbled her way back onto WordPress. This old gal! It may have seemed like I dropped off the face of the earth, but it was only due to the frenzy of chaos I like to refer to as August 2018. Sooo, yeah, totally ready for this month to be DONE.
Monday is Labor Day here, so that means a nice three day weekend. While some of the people I work with are going on trips for the holiday weekend, the only trip I shall be taking is straight to the Oral Surgeon this Saturday morning. Yaaaaay. Wisdom teeth, amirite?
Anywhoo, that sums up “the ugly”, leaving “the bad” as all the other stressful stuff that just never seemed to come to an end this month, so enough of all that, let’s get to the FUN stuff, THE GOOD:
August’s Book Haul:
After watching and enjoying the movie Odd Thomas, I’d been pretty interested in reading the book series that it came from. I was pretty pumped to discover two of the books in the series at a recent used book sale and so I promptly snatched those babies up. I’ve never actually read any Dean Koontz books, so I’m curious to see what I think.
Another author I’ve never ventured into reading yet is Laurell K. Hamilton. Not sure if it’s a wise or risky move diving into a collection of her short stories rather than an actual novel, but we shall see what happens! 😀
I’ve not really even dipped so much as a toe into the pool of mystery literature out there, but the Detective Lavender Mysteries series caught my attention when it popped up for sale on the kindle recently. Gonna give it a shot.
More volumes of Giant Days is always a plus, so getting volume 6 as a surprise definitely lifted my spirits on a particularly rough day this month. 🙂 Don’t be fooled by the whole “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” load of silliness. Sometimes, comics will prove to do just fine. 😉 It’s all about the thoughtful gesture, not the extravagance of it.
The Resurrectionist caught by attention just from that snazzy cover quite some time ago. Caught it on a good deal via the Kindle and am looking forward to giving it a go!
And although I haven’t gotten to see the film version of The Meg like I’d have liked to by now, I did obtain the book, so yay for that! Will it be outlandish and probably ridiculous? Of course. Will I probably love it even more so because of that?? Most definitely.
I got some other books this month thanks to that used book sale I mentioned, but these are the six I’m most intrigued about.
Anywayyy, just wanted to pop in and say that I’m still kicking, just been busier and more stressed than normal lately. September is shaping up to be a busy month as well, but I hope to be able to squeeze in more blog time than I was able to in August. 🙂 You guys are awesome and I’ve missed getting to see what adventures you’ve all been up to. I’m going to try to catch up some this weekend, but it may take a while. Especially since I don’t know what to expect after oral surgery (except a swollen face and a healthy dose of hurting). If you’ve had any recent exciting news or anything and wanna chat about it please comment it up so I can read all about it. Feel free to even link me some of your spiffy posts I may have missed. 🙂 It’s always great catching up with you guys! ❤ Have a happy weekend, everyone! ❤ ❤ ❤