Monday, March 31, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? And March Wrap Up

Good morning fellow book lovers. This weekend was a rainy, dreary, curl up with a book and don't get out of bed few days. I loved it!

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at The Book Journey.  I'm currently reading The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss and let me tell you it is GOOD.  More than good, amazing, wonderful and fantastically written and I am only 24% of the way through (currently reading it on my Kindle because it was an impulse purchase and 600+ pages). I purchased this book from a recommendation on Literary Disco's podcast about Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (which I also picked up).  I have no idea what it is about apart from what I have read.

The Name of the Wind is a fantasy for beginners - did I mention that the writing is SO GOOD? That the fantastical elements and world building seamlessly fall into place.  As far as I can tell this is a trilogy and the third book isn't out with no rumored publishing date, so I want to read quickly to find out what happens but not too quickly because if I don't want to extend the wait for the third book.

"He called himself Kote.  He had chosen the name carefully when he came to this place.  He had taken a new name for most of the usual reasons, and for a few unusual ones as well, not least of which was the fact that names were important to him. (The Name of the Wind, page 10)"

March Wrap Up

While enjoying the gloomy weekend weather from my couch, I read Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor and gave it give stars. This novella took about 45 minutes to read and was a great escape back into the world that she created in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.  It described the first date/love story beginning for Mik and Zuzana from their perspectives, a perfect blend of romance, mystery, and magic - I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads and already preordered the third book, Dreams of Gods and Monsters - 8 days until it arrives on my Kindle.

Earlier in the month I read The Hangman's Daughter (The Hangman's Daughter #1) by Oliver Potzsch.  I am going to write a full review for the book this week.  Overall, I enjoyed it but there were a few flaws that detracted from the story for me.  Unfortunately, just 2 stars.

I also read my first comic book/graphic novel (ever) - Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman.  It was incredible! I will definitely be purchasing the second volume The Doll's House.  What a scary ride into the Dreamworld (figuratively and literally!).  I love everything I have read by Gaiman so far and will continue with his comics and novels.  4 stars.

Image Source: Amazon

The last book I kind of read this month was Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers by Lauren Leto. I kind of read this book because I only got to page 126 before I gave up, handed it 1 star, and put it down. I did not intentionally purchase this book, it came in my Quarterly Co box from Book Riot.  Leto created the website Texts from Last Night, which I loved when I was in college, so I had high hopes that this would be a humorous light read to reflect on readers everywhere.  Unfortunately, this turned out to be a list of pretentiousness and is headed straight to my "donate" pile.

My reading this year has definitely slowed down - I read 7 books in March last month compared to the 3.5 I read this month.  I was bummed at first - why couldn't I make time for reading? But with limited time came greater selectiveness on what I am willing to read.  If it's not good, or well written, or intersteding, I put it down and focus on someting else.  So while my quantity of reading is less, the quality is greatly increased. Overall I think it's a good thing.

That's all for now - what have you read this month? Tell me in the comments or find me on Twitter!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

October 2013 Wrap Up - Late!

So- I realize it is not longer October and that this happened quite a few months ago. I found this post in my backlog of drafts that I didn't get to publish before my blogging sebbatical but it's good stuff so I wanted to share anyway! It's fun to look back at what I was thinking almost six months ago.

Enter the Stacks and Shelves time wrap back to 10/2013:

 I can't believe October is already winding down and my favorite time of the year is in full swing.  I experienced a slump in my normal reading habits in September (mostly because of my wedding!) but I bounced back in October and had a wonderful reading month.

I read a total of nine (!!!) books and I wrote posts for almost every book.    I also participated in The Historian readalong, the Doctor Sleep readalong and Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.  (Click on the book title's name to link back to the original post).

Unfortunately, There will not be a review for Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor.  This is a young adult high fantasy series that is definitely out of my comfort zone, and I am not completely comfortable with writing my thoughts about a book I don't fully understand.  Plus, it has been a long time since I read the first book in the series so it would be an unfair assessment on the progression of the story line.  With that being said, it is still an enjoyable series to read and I will definitely be buying the third book that comes out next year (March 2013 update: this book comes out in 2 weeks!).

In August I wrote out my Fall 2013 TBR and I am surprised to say that I actually read books from that list.  Four of the books I talked about were read (one in September, the other three this month) and I am still interested in the remaining books so I might actually read all of them!

Overall, I have read 73 books towards my goal of 80 books on Goodreads (bumped up from my original goal of 60) and I am considering bumping my goal up just a bit because I am going to start reading a lot of middle grade fiction for Middle Grade Mondays and those books take significantly less time to get through.

I also managed to acquire an obscene amount of new books throughout September and October so I am going to try my best and not buy anything new throughout the end of the year.  I recently discovered this new e-lending program at my library which will make my "buying ban" easier to manage.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Bookish Bucket List

Hello? Is this thing on? Hi! 

It's been a while - just about FIVE (!!) months since I last posted anything on this site. I've had some pretty good reasons for being MIA (work is crazy, new family members, holiday reading slump) but I am back! Even if that means I can only write posts on the Blogger app while on break at work, like I'm doing now. 

I've got a couple of posts rolling around my brain- some of the standard ones like my 2013 reading wrap up and 2014 reading goals. I've also got a few books to review that I read this year so far.

To jump back into blog mode I'm doing Top Ten Tuesday (hosted at the Broke and the Bookish)! I only have five things on my bucket list so far plus one thing I've already accomplished. Hopefully this list will grow and change as I cross things off.

My Bookish Bucket List
1. Read all of the books that I own/buy in my lifetime 

2. Meet an Author or attend a book signing. Ideally this would be JK Rowling, Betty Smith, Neil Gaiman, John Green, or Cat Valente, just to name a few.

3. Attend a literary conference like BEA

4. Visit the real neighborhood of Francie from A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (located on the Flatbush/Greenpoint area)

5. Be an "author expert" by reading all of the works they've written. I'm currently trying to do this with Neil Gaiman.

1. Visit Hogwarts - at least the Hogwarts in Universal Studios which I did on my honeymoon in September 2013.