2017 Reading Plans

As is the case with many readers, I have this habit of obtaining more books to read while others continue to sit on the shelf yet to be read. I know, I know. First world problems, right?

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The struggle is real.

Well, it’s time to focus on some of the books I already own andย  put a majorย  dent in those. (Disclaimer: I am going to indulge in other books too,ย  I am in a book club after all, and a girl can only resist new books so much.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

These are maybe a third of my poor, neglected books that I’m going to try to make my reading priority in 2017:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo- Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy, I just could not resist buying this book when it first came out. Not to mention, this novel with black-edged pages is pretty damn gorgeous-looking. I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but I did. I judged it hard and took that baby home no questions asked. And yet for some reason, it remains unread (well, my bff happily read it, so at least there’s that.)

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland- This is the second novel of the White Trash Zombie series. (Another series with eye-catching covers. Especially the first one, My Life as a White Trash Zombie.)

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest- Another book I pined for and obtained only for it to wind up unread for far too long. Like, criminally long. Steampunk + Zombies = Why in the hell haven’t I gotten around to reading this yet??

Fevre Dream by George RR Martin- this book will be my first adventure with GRRM outside the world he wove for A Song of Ice and Fire. It will be pretty interesting reading something completely different by him.

Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist- this is probably the book that has been on my shelf the longest among this list. Why? I can’t say. I really enjoyed the author’s other book, Let the Right One In. Hopefully I’ll like this one just as much.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs- Alas, a book I started and got sidetracked with. A crime all too common for me. Once I finish reading this one I’ll have to watch the movie to see how it holds up to the book.

Watership Down by Richard Adams- Another that I’ll have to watch the movie for after I read the book. I saw recently that both Pierce Brown and Joe Hill (2 authors that have both written books on this list) gave it 5/5 stars so that seems promising.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill- I’ve read Joe Hill’s graphic novels that make up the series Locke and Key, and I’ve seen the film adaptation of his book Horns, but this will be my first actual novel I’ve read by him and I’m excited for it.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown- this one is especially important to finish up soon as I am borrowing it from the lovely Cupcakes and Machetes and would like to get it back to her asap. โค

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch- A book I started reading over a year ago and was impressed with right off the bat, but somehow never finished reading. The shame. >__<

What are some of your reading goals for the new year? How are you fairing against your own TBR shelves of books?

 

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Whatcha Reading: Golden Son

Having an awesome best friend is great. Having an awesome best friend who has an uncanny knack for recommending good books is even better!

The aforementioned best friend would be none other than my fellow blogger, Cupcakes and Machetes. You can read some of her reviews on some of said good books at her blog.

Years ago, when she thrust her copy of A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin into my hands and demanded I read it, I listened. I regret NOTHING. It launched an addiction to the books/shows/fan theories/basically all things even remotely connected to ASOIAF/GOT.

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I think this comic appropriately sums it up for most of us who read ASOIAF per a friend’s recommendation. ๐Ÿ˜›

From then on I knew I could trust in her book suggestions. So when she recommended Pierce Brown’s YA sci fi novel Red Rising to me I heeded the call and gave it a read back in 2015.

It. Was. Great. Here’s a link to Red Rising’s Goodreads page so you can learn more about it!

Now I’m reading the second book in the Red Rising trilogy, Golden Son. I literally just started it today so I can’t say too much about it yet other than that it holds your interest right off the bat and that I am already into it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know why I waited so long to get around to reading the sequel, but it seems an appropriate read for the end of November (aka- Sci-Fi month!)

Watcha Reading: The Girl With All the Gifts

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Although I have yet to mention it in this blog, I belong to a pretty snazzy book club. We’re a small group (there are only eight of us), but we have a great dynamic and have managed to keep it that way for three years now as of this month. Each month, one of us is in charge of picking about four to five books for the rest of our lot to vote on. The winning book is what we end up reading and then we get together near the end of the month to discuss the book (honestly, only for like five minutes and then the talk always turns to inappropriate banter on one topic or another for the rest of the night). There’s also almost always booze and delicious food. Needless to say, it’s always a good time. ๐Ÿ™‚

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This month is my turn to play hostess. I suggested a variety of books, and the winner was The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. A few of the girls even had it on their TBR lists already. I’d had a good friend of mine recommend it to me months ago. She literally squealed with joy when I told her I was finally going to be reading it.

Although I am not all that far into the book yet, I can honestly say I like it quite a bit already. It doesn’t suffer from any sort of a slow start or info dump that you sometimes have to get through in even the best of books. The chapters are short and interesting, with different characters’ POVs. The characters have depth to them and feel real. Your initial assumptions about them do not define them as characters. They’re complex.

I don’t want to give much about the plot away since I think it is kind of fun going into it without much background info like I did. It’s a book that doesn’t feel the need to spoon feed you all the answers right away. You learn more about the characters, plot, and setting the further you go along reading it. It is a dystopian horror, I can tell you that much. The world has seen better days in it, and although the outlook of the future is grim, there is hope. But what if you had to do horrible things to hang on to that hope? Unethical things? It’s a story that forces its characters to set aside their humanity at times all in the hopes of saving humanity. And all while questioning what exactly even defines humanity to begin with.

If you’re interested in it, here is the book’s goodreads page so you can read a little more about it, but I do honestly think this is a book that is fun to go into with very little background information on it.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17235026-the-girl-with-all-the-gifts

 

Writers Write!

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There was a time when I was little that I used to cry to my mom and dad because I hadn’t mastered reading yet. I wanted to be able to read books dammit! I wanted to be able to WRITE books!

The first books I managed to write were typically about animals. Otter ninja babies born with the maddest of karate skills, anthropomorphic beatnik wolves with a love for flowers, and a gang of dogs staying in a hotel filled with monsters were some of my first stabs at writing. I guess there might be some merit to all those kids who called me “weird” in elementary school . . .

Things changed a lot over the years. As I got older, writing took on a form of therapy without me even realizing it until recently. Underlying themes in my books seemed to correlate with things I’d experienced or witnessed that struck a cord with me.

I’ve recently experienced some things in my life that hit me hard. The kind of hit you don’t bounce right back up from. The kind that changes the way you see things in life, how you see people, and most definitely how you see yourself at the end of each day. I can’t help but feel like it’s changed my writing style now, too. I see things differently so I suppose it only makes sense to write about these things differently now as well.

Tonight I’m starting the first draft to a book that feels even more like therapy than anything else I’ve ever written before. I normally am the sort of writer who obsesses and plans in a manic sort of way, thinking out every single possible detail of their story before they begin to write it. This time around I am just diving right in. I know some major plot points I am aiming for story-wise, but I guess I’m letting my characters take the wheel on this one for the most part. They’re a damaged and flawed lot, but each of them has their own tale to tell.

I’ve had issues before where I spend too much time planning and too little time writing because I want everything to be perfect. Nothing is ever perfect though, especially not first drafts. So, “not this time,” I say. This time I’m just listening to what those little voices in my head have to say . . . THE CHARACTERS’ LITTLE VOICES! Their little voices, not “those” sorts of little voices. Not yet anyway. . . . Give it a few late nights of writer’s block and maybe “those” little voices will join right on in, too!

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Stardust

What’s life without a little whimsy?

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For those of us who spend a considerable amount of time in public with our nose buried deep in a book, there is one question above all others we are accustomed to hearing: ย  “Hey, whatcha reading?”

So I figured I’d take a moment to stop and share the answer to just that very question.

I tend to rather enjoy books that have a fanciful or odd way of telling their story. It’s one of the many reasons Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn will always hold a special place in my heart.

An author who has always been on my to-read list for this very sort of reason is Neil Gaiman. I wasn’t sure where to begin, but on my best friend and I’s most recent book hunting expedition at our local library I plucked up a copy of Stardust. Seemed as good of a place to start as any.

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Well, Mr. Gaiman, you do not disappoint. I haven’t even quite finished this little delight yet and I already am plotting which of your worlds I shall set up camp in next.

Stardust is proving to be the charming and quirky sort of fairy tale that I admire but simply do not come across as often as I would like. And although the movies almost never measure up to the books, I look forward to watching the film once I’ve finished reading. ๐Ÿ™‚