Dec 26

Down the TBR Hole #5

Books/Writing 5

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing Down the TBR Hole meme by Lia at Lost in a Story!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books.
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. Since I am incapable of NOT CONTINUOUSLY ADDING books to the list, I am currently at 613 books. 😛 BUT! This week, that number is the same as my starting number last week. Haha. This week up for inspection are books 22-26 of my original list. Covers link to GoodReads!

Title/Author: The Tale of Hilltop Farm (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter #1), by Susan Wittig Albert

Date Added: January 8, 2014

Thoughts: I added this when I was in the middle of my cozy mystery phase. Susan Wittig Albert wrote another series I’ve enjoyed, but after reading a few reviews of this one – I’m pretty sure I’ll never read it. Animals solving problems in adult novels…no. I’m all for intelligent animals, but my realistic side just can’t take seriously a book that includes reading and writing animals (but apparently they can’t actually talk or write to humans?).

Judgment: Go.

 

Title/Author: The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree, by Susan Witting Albert

Date Added: January 8, 2014

Thoughts: I like mysteries, historical novels, and gardening. I even like cozy mysteries. But this one just sounds SO incredibly out of my current interest…pretty sure it’s kind of a “little old lady group” thing and I just can’t. I was really going through a phase when I added a bunch of these…

Judgment: Go.

 

 

Title/Author: Fool’s Puzzle (Benni Harper #1), by Earlene Fowler

Date Added: January 8, 2014

Thoughts: Um. Like I said. I was going through a phase. 😛 I like the idea of incorporating quilt patterns into a story, but this just sounds beyond far-fetched.

“While setting up an exhibit of handmade quilts, she stumbles upon the body of a brutally stabbed artist. Hoping to conduct an investigation on her own, she crosses paths with the local police chief, who thinks this short and sassy cowgirl should leave detecting to the cops and join him for dinner.”

Just no.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

Title/Author: Shakespeare’s Landlord

Date Added: January 8, 2014

Thoughts: Ok, this one still sounds reasonably interesting. I know Charlaine Harris is extremely popular too, so her writing style must not be too bad. Maybe keep for a rainy day and potential review of a popular author.

Judgment: Go. She’s popular, if the books are that good I won’t forget.

 

 

 

Title/Author: The Face of a Stranger (William Monk #1), by Anne Perry

Date Added: January 8, 2014

Thoughts: I love Anne Perry! This is the first of one of her series, that I haven’t started yet because there are SO MANY of them. But I still want to read it.

Judgment: Keep.

 

 

Wow, that’s quite the cozy mystery streak I’m on in my current TBR listings. How did I even consider some of these?? On the bright side, it’s definitely helping my cull numbers. 😀 From 613 to 609 this week! 4/5…pretty happy with that. I was feeling ruthless. 😉 If you’re joining the Down the TBR Hole fan club, leave me a link in the comments!

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Dec 25

Book Review: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas

Book Reviews 0

Book Review: Hercule Poirot’s ChristmasHercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot, #20) by Agatha Christie
Published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers on September 17th 2007
Genres: Mystery, Cozy
Pages: 271
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads

Simeon Lee has demanded that all four of his sons and their wives visit the family home for Christmas. But the cantankerous patriarch has anything but a heartwarming family holiday in mind when he announces that he is cutting off his sons' allowances and changing his will. So when the old man is found lying in a pool of blood on Christmas Eve, there is no lack of suspects. Hercule Poirot suspends his holiday sorting through the myriad of suspects and motives to find the truth behind the old man's death.

As it’s December 25th, it seems very appropriate to review Hercule Poirot’s Christmas today! Of course helped by the fact that I read it over Christmas Eve. 😉 Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, I hope this holiday season has found you surrounded by light and love.

It’s no secret that I love Agatha Christie’s works. I read the majority of them when I was in my last years of high school and first couple of years of college, so it’s been awhile. I fully intend to re-read and finish reading the entirety of her work at some point…but as always, there are SO MANY books just clamoring for attention! Anyway, as this one was sitting on my shelf and it was almost Christmas, I thought it was perfect timing for a re-read. Especially since, no matter how I tried even after reading the synopsis – I could not remember a damned thing about the resolution of the plot. Not a thing. Hehe.

Sidenote on a pet peeve of mine: Christie’s novels are NOT historical novels. While to modern readers they appear so, when they were originally published – in this case, December 1938 – they were modern detective novels.

All the Hercule Poirot novels can, in my opinion, be read as standalones. That said, this is considered (at least by GoodReads) to be the 20th Hercule Poirot novel. As such it definitely will appeal MORE to those who have already become attached to the little Belgian detective. To my knowledge he is the only repeat character in this book.

As the title would lead you to expect, the plot centers around Christmas. A crotchety but very rich old man “invites” all of his children to attend him during the holiday, and as so often does during family gatherings, tempers flair. As Hercule Poirot observes,

“Families who have been separated throughout the year assemble once more together. Now under these conditions, my friend, you must admit that there will occur a great amount of strain. People who do not feel amiable are putting great pressure on themselves to appear amiable! There is at Christmas time a great deal of hypocrisy, honorable hypocrisy, hypocrisy undertaken pour le bon motif, c’est entendu, but nevertheless hypocrisy!”

So it is, and in typical Christie fashion from the very beginning of the writing we are unsure who we can trust and therefore suspect everyone except Hercule Poirot himself. In the very beginning, the hairs start to raise on the back of the reader’s neck as various characters make very suspect statements. Everyone seems to incriminate themselves somehow. Add to that certain people start quoting Lady Macbeth and suddenly it’s not just the reader who doesn’t trust anyone!

Yet who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him? – Macbeth

For such a short book, the characters are remarkably drawn out. None of them are flat, though some are recognizable as types from Christie’s other books. Even the side characters and ones that we suspect, have a vulnerable side that makes the reader second-guess any suspicions.

He said, “I see.”
She said sharply: “What do you see?”
He answered: “I see that you have had to be a mother to your husband when you would have preferred to be a wife.”

The hair-raising feeling does die down about two-thirds of the way through the book. I’m guessing perhaps Christie didn’t want to make a holiday book TOO terribly bloody and creepy, perhaps? Really though I was just SO CONFUSED I didn’t know what to think, right up until the end. And then of course once the reveal happened, everything had been staring me right in the face.

Overall, 4/5 stars. I would have liked a bit more of the skin-crawling, hair-raising bit, but it was still a fantastic book!

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Dec 24

The Jingle Bell Book Tag

Books/Writing, Life 2

It’s Christmas Eve here, and I wanted to wish you all a very happy holiday, whatever you celebrate – Yule, Solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa! I hope you all are able to spend the day surrounded by family and loved ones. This year my husband and I are far away from most of our friends and family, but we are blessed to have made some wonderful friends here in South Korea and will be sharing a Christmas dinner at our house with them.

Also, I decided to play along in The Jingle Bell Book Tag! I found it on Nicole’s Sorry I’m Booked blog. Consider yourself tagged if you want to play along. 😀 All the cover images link to GoodReads.

The Jingle Bell Book Tag

“All I Want For Christmas Is You…” – What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?

Um, so…it was with great difficulty that I refrained from putting JUST books on my Christmas wishlist this year. In the end on the top of my list was the Lunar Chronicles boxed set, which somehow – despite the Lunar Chronicles being THE BOOKS that broke me out of my worst reading funk ever – I don’t own. It’s making me really sad.

“Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…” –  What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?

This is such a hard question! I think it’s a toss up between A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas, and The Lake House, by Kate Morton. Such different books, both incredible in their own way. They both knocked me on my ass with awful book hangovers. 

 

Elf – What book unleashes your inner child?

 

 

Hmmm…so this is…a book with the fondest memories for me, as a child? I’m a little at a loss at this question. But I’m going with Anne of Green Gables. I loved her so much, I read the first two books in the series I don’t know HOW MANY times. Gilbert Blythe…*sigh*. Somehow I never got beyond the third book, though.

 

 

 

“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” – Which book has most festive look to it?

Oh, this one I didn’t even have to think about – Jay Asher’s What Light, which sadly I don’t think I’m going to get to read before the season is over. I don’t know why this just says HOLIDAY to me, but it does.

The Grinch – Your favourite villain…

 

Ummmmm. Favorite villain? Like, the best villain? Which villain makes my skin crawl the most, or the one I would genuinely fear to meet in a dark alley? I’m going to go with that last one, and that would be the bad guy from The Girl on the Train (not giving names so not to spoil for anyone that hasn’t read it). When I realized who it was, and the way he operated…my skin literally crawled. I didn’t even like the book that much, but the villain was SO psychologically creepy.

 

 

The Holiday – Name your favourite TWO couples…

Oh, gosh, what? This is hard! Ok, so I’m going with two couples from OLDER books that I’ve read and still adore. Jamie and Claire, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, and Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot, from Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

 

What book would you like to give as a present to your followers?

Now THIS is a hard one. One book does not fit all! I’m going to have to give two here. This one is for the Young Adult/Fantasy lovers: Naomi Novik’s Uprooted.

And for the adult fiction and mystery lovers, Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book.

I hope you enjoyed my version of The Jingle Bell Book Tag! If you decide to do it yourself, leave me a link in the comments. 🙂

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Dec 23

Into the Wild Book Review

Book Reviews 2 ★★★★★

Into the Wild Book ReviewInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Published by Anchor on January 20th 1997
Genres: Nonfiction, Travel
Pages: 207
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads five-stars

In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.
Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir. In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his cash. He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented. Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away. Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.

Disclaimer: I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. When I do it’s usually a total binge on some topic I’m suddenly interested in and desperate to educate myself about. I very rarely read biographies or memoirs and this book seems to be both, somehow. So with that said, I present my very rambling Into the Wild book review!

“He read a lot. Used a lot of big words. I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often…he always had to know the absolute right answer before he could go on to the next thing.” – Wayne Westerberg, referring to Chris (Alex) McCandless

First of all, this is not just a biography of Chris McCandless. Yes, it tells his story, but then it goes off on several trails of OTHER wilderness-loving solitaries (some of which survived, and some didn’t).

More people have seen the movie than read the book, and from what I can tell the movie is more streamlined. My DH really enjoyed it and has been asking me to watch it with him for at least a couple of years, but I’m very resistant to watching a movie before the book that inspired it. (Don’t even get me started on how I felt about going to see Fantastic Beasts in theatre.) When a friend mentioned he had a copy just lying around, I jumped on the chance. Surprised by how it small it was, I sat down and devoured it…in about 4 hours. Quite a long time for my usual reading speed.

The first couple of chapters are a brief narrative of the events leading up to Chris’ journey “into the wild,” and then the events surrounding the discovery of his body. I was really shocked that part was over so quickly! I was expecting more of a lead-up. But as soon as all the bare facts are out (maybe the result of the Outside article that originally ran on McCandless?), Krakauer goes back in time to dig through McCandless’ early life, then his hobo life after college. I was eerily struck by how similar some of the descriptions of his known thoughts and behaviors were to my own. An introvert, a reader, a thinker – someone who lived inside his own head for long stretches of time – these were all things with which I can easily identify. It was creepy.

McCandless was either a visionary or a reckless idiot. It’s obvious that Krakauer feels he was the former, but I think the judgment could go either way. For someone SO intelligent, McCandless’ intentional self-sabatoge (throwing away the maps, refusing to take advice from seasoned hunters and hikers) is just ABSURD. No matter how pretty his prose, there is no way to explain that part of his adventure away. On the other hand, he made it 113 days, and from the photos and journal he left behind, he was actually doing pretty well until some infected berries made his body turn on itself.

Maybe he was both. The most intelligent people are often noted for their decided lack of common sense. He formed his views on wilderness at least partially from fiction – an extremely dangerous concept.

McCandless read and reread The Call of the Wild and White Fang. He was so enthralled by these tales that he seemed to forget they were works of fiction, constructions of the imagination that had more to do with London’s romantic sensibilities than with the actualities of life in the subartic wilderness.

The middle portion of the book delves a lot into other wilderness personalities. I found them interesting, but while in some ways similar to McCandless they are all different enough to warrant their own tales. They feel a bit like filler. Interesting filler, but filler nonetheless.

McCandless’ backstory is filled with drama between himself and his family. He seemed to be more than capable of making friends, yet has a nonexistent relationship with his parents.  While purportedly close to one sister…he leaves her without any sort of goodbye. Loner, indeed. Again, I can relate…but cutting off one’s family entirely is almost never a good thing (cases of abuse and intolerance exempted of course). Like Ken Sleight, the biographer of another wilderness disappearing act, Everett Ruess, says:

“Everett was a loner; but he liked people too damn much to stay down there and live in secret the rest of his life. A lot of us are like that…we like companionship, see, but we can’t stand to be around people for very long. So we get ourselves lost, come back for a while, then get the hell out again.”

Again, that quandary is one I feel and have felt very often. Unlike McCandless, I’ve never felt strongly enough about any of it to just chuck my entire life and go off into the woods. Perhaps that’s a lack of backbone on my part. Or perhaps it just shows that I have one.

One of McCandless’ last journal entries:

I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books , music, love for one’s neighbor – such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps – what more can the heart of a man desire?

Still a bit on the melodramatic side. What, exactly, had he lived through? A spoiled white child from doting parents that GAVE AWAY his livelihood to wander like an outcast?  At the same time…it rings a note of truth there that makes my heart ache. He seems to echo Oscar Wilde:

With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?

I’m giving 5/5 stars, based solely on how I felt immediately after finishing the book. Looking at it now I would probably say 4 because of all the extraneous information and meandering.

five-stars

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Dec 22

Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge 2017

Books/Writing 3

Censorship is still a huge issue in our world. Censorship of sex, language, culture, diversity – you name it, at some point in time, someone has tried to censor it. It’s to bring awareness to and fight against the banning of  books that I’m participating in the Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge 2017, hosted by Book Dragon’s Lair!

 

 

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.
– Oscar Wilde, author of the much censored and maligned The Picture of Dorian Gray

 

 

 

Some awesome posts about banned books and censorship from Banned Books Week back in September:

Here’s the information on the challenge from the host! Are you participating? Have you read many banned books in the past? I’m aiming for the Uncontrolled Fire level!

Basics: Read books that have been banned or challenged. Or you could read non-fiction books about censorship and/or banning books.

Details: There are different type of fires and stages within those fires so that’s what I’m using for levels.

Reviews would be amazing, even if it’s just telling someone about the book you read. Or if you’re like me and most don’t want to hear about another book, just write something up on GoodReads or LibraryThing. Or, you know, write a review for your blog 😉 Either way, I’ll have a linky set up for your thoughts. Not sure if it will be monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

Checking the books out of the library shows them that these books matter and they should continue to buy banned/challenged books for the library. Buying the books shows the publishers that they’re worth publishing and tells the author thanks. Whichever way to do it, just read.

Levels:

  • Read 1 book. You are an Ember. You’re small but mighty just waiting to burn the structure down.
  • Read 2-6 books. You are Creeping. You’re burning with a low flame and spreading slowly.
  • Read 7-12 books. You are a Blow-up fire. Sudden increase in fire intensity strong enough to upset control plans
  • Read 13+ books. You are Uncontrolled. Any fire which threatens to destroy life, property, or natural resources.

Why: Censorship has been going on for a long time and it is alive and well in this day and age. I believe in watching what my children read (when they’re young) but I’m not going to tell you what your child can read and I’m not going to allow you to tell me what my child can read.

It has been reported that parents will ask to have a book taken off their child’s classroom reading list when they haven’t even read the book!

Where do I find out if a book has been banned: The American Library Association has lists. Lots of lists. I’m sure other countries do as well but I haven’t looked them up yet. The ala does has a Banned Books Week every year so we’ll do a read-a-thon in September at the same time.

What is the difference between banned and challenged? A simplified answer: A book must be challenged before it can be banned. A challenged book goes through the process but it left on the shelves or in the classroom. A banned book is removed. The American Library Association (ala.org) has Top Ten list per year of the report they receive. Most of the children’s books challenged are because they are “unsuited for age group”. I personally feel they make the parent uncomfortable.

 

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Dec 21

2017 Audiobook Challenge

Books/Writing 7

FIRST UP: The 2017 Audiobook Challenge! So pumped to get in on this one, as I adore audiobooks but don’t utilize them nearly enough. Hopefully this will keep me reminded, between seeing other people’s posts and the handy-dandy little ticker over there. *points right*

Hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Loupe and Melaine at Hot Listens. I listened to a few audiobooks last year but not as many as I wanted, and definitely not as many as my Audible subscription warranted! Haha. Hopefully this year will see me listening to more. I’m aiming for the Weekend Warrior level, since most of what I listen to tend to be LOOOONG books. Like 15+ hours at a minimum. How many of you listen to audiobooks? How many do you go through a year? How do you incorporate them into your regular reading and life?

Challenge details from the hosts:

Join Hot Listens and Caffeinated Book Reviewer for the 5th year of great audio books.

Audiobooks are great for those times you want to read but can’t for some reason like driving, doing chores, working out, or if you’re one of the lucky ones like me, listen to them at work. I hope to see old and new faces for The 2017 Audiobook Challenge.  I cannot wait to see what you listen to and how often you listen.Thanks to the continued popularity of Audiobooks just about everything is being published on audio…YAY!

We will hold two updates with giveaways. The first update will be June 30th, 2017 and the final update will be Dec 15, 2017. There has never been a better time for reading with our ears. So grab your earbuds and join in the fun!

Challenge Details

  • Challenge begins January 1, 2017  and ends on December 31, 2017. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2016 than you did in 2016.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.

Levels

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  • Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

Audio Resources

Audible.com
Audiobooks.com
Downpour.com
Tantor.com (They have some great sales, so sign up for their newsletter)
Ambling Books

Free Resources

Overdrive – through your local library
Audiobook Jukebox – audios for review
Hoopla – through your local library

Are you planning to participate in the 2017 Audiobook Challenge? If so link your sign-up post below! Are you making a TBR list for it? I find that what audiobooks I listen to are REALLY related to what mood I’m in, so I’m just winging it for now.

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Dec 20

Book Review: The Sense of Death

Book Reviews 0 ★★½

Book Review: The Sense of DeathThe Sense of Death by Matty Dalrymple
Published by William Kingsfield Publishers on November 30th 2013
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 326
Goodreads two-half-stars

Ann Kinnear has created a peaceful existence at her cabin in the Adirondack woods. But the calm is shattered after Philadelphia socialite Elizabeth Firth is reported missing. With few clues and fewer options, detective Joe Booth calls upon Ann's spirit sensing abilities to help solve the mystery. With Joe and her brother Mike, Ann attempts to uncover what Elizabeth's husband may be hiding beneath his cloak of wealth and privilege. As Ann is drawn deeper into a web of lies and betrayal, she realizes she may be racing against time to keep herself from disappearing too.

So, in full disclosure, when I requested this from Netgalley I totally misread the publication date. Why is a book published in 2013 even still on Netgalley, anyway? I was actually approved (shocking…or not), so I read it anyway because if I didn’t it was going to make my review percentage even worse! How’s that for motivation? ANYwho, behold my review of The Sense of Death!
———————————————————
The Sense of Death is a first novel, and while it’s an enjoyable cozy mystery – it shows. There are several things about the styling of the story that I didn’t care for, but in the end Ann’s character was one with which I could sympathize (even if I don’t sense spirits). The place descriptions are good. The premise is intriguing. I liked Ann and her relationship with her brother. I personally am intrigued by the idea of spirits or ghosts and the possibility of communicating with them, and I enjoyed how the author used the idea in the book.
It was very disappointing to have the who-dun-it of the story revealed in the first couple of chapters. Takes the mystery right out of it, takes the suspense away, and almost made me DNF it…but then there were more Ann chapters and I was more interested. A lot of the plot honestly seems very far-fetched, especially in the end. I was constantly reading with one eyebrow raised in skepticism. The plot is also a very common one in murder mysteries, but I guess there are only so many. While the deterioration of the culprit is believable, I didn’t feel the motivation was convincing. Also, there are several chapters AFTER the climatic event, most of which were unnecessary.
The author struggles with POV. Even though it’s written in 3rd person throughout, it’s mostly limited 3rd person with random bits of popping into another minor or even walk-on character’s head. That part was very jolting and annoying.
The old telling vs. showing that interferes with a lot of writing is EXTREMELY present. There are entire chapters of almost nothing but backstory, paragraphs going on and on and Ann’s childhood or past experiences. Don’t just TELL us how she felt, SHOW us! At a few points showing was successfully accomplished, but then it would lapse right back into a monologue of info-dumping and it was just a struggle to read.
All that said, I still enjoyed the book. I’m undecided about whether or not I will read the second one. I was going to rate at 2/5 stars until the climatic chapter, and a certain event that actually brought tears to my eyes.
Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
two-half-stars

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Dec 19

Down the TBR Hole #4

Books/Writing 7

Time to wield the axe again – I’m mercilessly culling my TBR list on GoodReads with the amazing “Down the TBR Hole” meme by Lia at Lost in a Story!

Most of you probably know this feeling. Your Goodreads TBR pile keeps growing and growing and it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You keep adding, but you add more than you actually read. And then when you’re scrolling through your list, you realize that you have no idea what half the books are about and why you added them. Well, that’s going to change!

It works like this:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

When I started this series of posts, I had 604 books on my TBR list. Since I am incapable of NOT CONTINUOUSLY ADDING books to the list, I am currently at 613 books. 😛 Haha. This week up for inspection are books 17-21 of my original list. Covers link to GoodReads!

Title/Author: Feral Sins, by Suzanne Wright

Date Added: November 10, 2013

Thoughts: What was I thinking? While I sometimes enjoy paranormal, this sounds like more eroticism than anything else. Which is fine, just not my cup of tea.

Judgment: Go!

 

Title/Author: In the Bleak Midwinter, by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Date Added: November 10, 2013

Thoughts: This sounds like a potentially enjoyable cozy mystery series. Mysteries are my go-to when I have a run of bad fantasy/historical fiction, and if I had a copy of this at hand I’d still read it.

Judgment: Keep.

 

Title/Author: Wicked Autumn, by G.M. Mallet

Date Added: December 7, 2013

Thoughts: I loved the titles of this series…I love books themed, however remotely, around the seasons and the elements. However…it has almost NO glowing reviews, and none from anyone I recognize.

Judgment: Go.

 

 

Title/Author: Silent in the Grave, by Deanna Raybourn

Date Added: December 15, 2013

Thoughts: I’ve read the first in Deanna Raybourn’s other series and really enjoyed it, so I definitely want to give her first series a try at some point.

Judgment: Keep.

 

Title/Author: Un-remarried Widow, by Artis Henderson

Date Added: January 7, 2014

Thoughts: While the subject of this memoir is rather near and dear to my heart, my current state of mind definitely won’t allow me to read it.  I doubt that will change any time soon.

Judgment: Go. I feel bad, but some good books still have to go.

 

Well, 3 down out of 5 this week! I feel a little better now, hehe.

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Dec 18

Something Else Sunday #19

Books/Writing, Life 4

This week marked Sir Tristan’s “Gotcha Day!” He’s been with us for an entire year now…hard to believe. He has brought so much joy and happiness to our lives…and has gradually (mostly) desensitized us to constant meowing. That little toy I made him didn’t even last 6 months…haha. Hard to believe he’s grown so much in this year…we thought he was probably full grown when we got him, but he’s probably about one and a half times the size he was when we got him.

I actually have some fun pictures this week so jumping right into those. We went to the Christmas Light event in Busan…Korean doesn’t really “do” Christmas, not like the States and Europe, so there really aren’t that many Christmas events even though the advertising on TV is definitely geared to Christmas. Busan, however, had a big Christmas light event in which they draped the entire market in lights and groups of random Christmas singers. Hehe.

In book news…I got a couple of reviews and memes posted this week! I was really excited to get back into the swing of things. I’m trying to do more writing in advance and it definitely works out better for me. I just have to set aside a bigger chunk of time in a day to write a couple or three posts instead of freaking out and realizing I was supposed to write something at the end of the day.

Recap of the Week:

I got a review of Red Queen posted! Sadly I wasn’t a fan even though I really wanted to be. But you can’t love every single book,  I guess.

I also posted my review of the October 2016 OwlCrate. I was terribly late, but I my OwlCrate is one of the highlights of my month and I couldn’t not review it. 🙂

Two memes I participated in were Top Ten Tuesday and Down the TBR Hole. I’m especially enjoying going through my TBR list.

 

Coming This Week:

Book Review: Into the Wild (unexpected and unplanned read)
Book Review: The Sense of Death
Mini Review: Sealed With a Curse
Review: November 2016 OwlCrate

Down the TBR Hole #4

Hope you all are having a great weekend and an awesome time getting ready for the holidays!

 

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Dec 16

October 2016 OwlCrate Review

Reviews 1

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I am soooo late with this post, but better late than never, yes? That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, anyway. 😛 OwlCrate is my favorite of the book boxes I’ve tried and I can’t just NOT review a month. So here is my October 2016 OwlCrate review, and if you love this box but didn’t get one, there are a few up for grabs in the OwlCrate shop right now! Also if you decide to subscribe be sure to use this link, it will give me partial credits and fun stuff like that. 😉

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October Book: Vassa in the Night. I have to admit I was rather surprised by the book this month. While I definitely see how it fits the theme, I had only heard it mentioned a couple of times in the book blogger circles. It doesn’t seem to have been all that popular, but OwlCrate consistently picks winners so I’m planning to make time to read it soon! This is one of the few books I’ve received from them that wasn’t already on my TBR list. I loved the bookplate that came with it.

October Goodies: The big thing in this box was the beanie from Whosits & Whatsits, which I understand a lot of people were SUPER excited about. It’s for sale now for $22 so it really was a great deal in the box. I, however, really don’t wear beanies and I’m not the biggest Disney fan sooooo…yeah, not my favorite item, but it was still cute!

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There is a beautiful and very sturdy bookmark from My Heart My Tribe. I’d never heard of the designer but I’m in love with the little bookmark. Also a cute little spinning wheel button to go with the Sleeping Beauty spinning wheel charm bracelet from The Geeky Cauldron. I have a mild obsession with these type of adjustable bangle bracelets so I was thrilled to see this one!

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Last but not least, an adorable little Oz notebook from The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild.  I hadn’t ever heard of them either but OMG THEIR STUFF IS AMAZING. Go check it out. Seriously. There’s also the bookmark for the New World series and you can see the bookplate better here.

Couldn't resist one more picture from the Unemployed Philosophers....great stocking stuffer idea!

Couldn’t resist one more picture from the Unemployed Philosophers….great stocking stuffer idea!

That’s it for the October box! I’ll be back soon with a review of the November box. Thanks for reading!!

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