2016 Year in Review Book Tag

I stumbled upon this fantastic tag recently and needed to do it right away!  This tag was created by the lovely Farah at A Booktube Book who I just discovered and have been binging on her videos! Please check her out!

1. Trump vs. Clinton: Name your favourite character rivalry

I didn’t really read any new Rivalries in books this year, however I did a re-read of the Harry Potter books and there are several good ones in that series.  The one that likely most resembles the Trump vs. Clinton rivalry is Umbrigde and Harry.

2. Turkey Failed Coup: A book you started but failed to finish? DNF

I *actually* managed to finish the book I started and got stuck on for 6 months so I didn’t DNF a book this year!  The close ones were A Wizard of Mars by Diane Duane and Saga by Conor Kostick

3. Pokemon Go: What book did you buy or read based on the hype? Did you enjoy it?

Both books I bought this year I bought based on hype: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.  I loved one and the other I liked but it also was part of my biggest disappointments of the year. 

4. Stranger Things: What’s one book you want everyone to read?

There’s not one book that I think everyone must read that I read in 2016 (besides the obvious Harry Potter).  

5. Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Mr. Robot: What was your favourite book cliffhanger within a series?

Thankfully, most of the books I read this year didn’t have cliffhangers!  The one that I can think of I predicted what had happened and it was a terrible cliffhanger.  I can, however, shout out Shadow Study by Maria V Synder for being fantastically terrible for having cliffhangers at the end of every chapter making it really hard to put the book down!

6. The Tragic Crisis in Aleppo: Name the last book that made you cry or teary-eyed

None.  I’m a pretty stoic book reader. Historically, however, oneof the books I re-read made me cry the first time I read it: A Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane.

7. Brexit: Name a book you have an unpopular opinion towards

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

8. Four new elements discovered in the periodic table: Name an author you discovered/read for the first time this year

Becky Chambers is the best new author I read this year.

9. #BlackLivesMatter**: Your favourite diverse read

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was very, very diverse which is one of the things I loved about this book. Actually, over 40% of the books I read this year had a PoC main character and/or other diversity within them! (More if you consider the Dumbledore thing diversity, which I don’t since it’s not ‘on-page’).

10. Zika Virus: A book that spread like wildfire

Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Every Heart a Doorway and the Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee were the most hyped books I read this year. 

11. Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY won the Oscar: What was your most anticipated book release this year?

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

12. In Memorium: Name a memorable character death

Sirius Black

13. Samsung phones: One book that blew your mind this year!

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

**The original tag has this as #AllLivesMatter – which they do – but that tag is against the message of the movement of #BlackLivesMatter and as such I have changed it.  

I tag:

Abigail @ Miss Abilgail
Teacher Of YA
Ally @ Ally Writes Things
The Orang-utan Librarian

I think there are a few repeats from last tag in here but *shrugs* more blog post ideas!

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters You’d Invite to Your New Year’s Eve Party

Typical disclaimer thinger: This meme is hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes and can be found here.

So due to my most recent reads, essentially all of the people I would invite to a New Year’s Eve party are aliens.  However, it would make for a good and interesting party!

1) Filif and Sker’ret from the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane.  Would need to be careful with the food on this one and one of them is a tree so eating plants is an issue and the other will eat everything in like 2 bites.

2) Basically all of the Wayfarer crew from The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.  As an added bonus Dr. Chef would love the challenge of making all the food for the event.

3) Keladry of Mindelan and her crew of friends, this includes Neal (of course), Raoul (a MUST) and also George (because of course) of the Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce.  I can’t even imagine what type of shenanigans Neal and Co would get up too.  Plus Kel and Raoul are my favs, so they get invited to everything.  And finally getting to meet them would make my LIFE. 

4) Basically all the animals of every series I have ever read, including but not limited to: Pounce, Ponch, Scre’eeee, Achoo, Jump, Peachblossom, Cloud, Hedwig, The Griffin, Kitten/Skysong, the Darkings (not really animals but they need to come too), Condor, Kiki, etc. BECAUSE ANIMALS.

5) Janco and Ari from the Study Series by Maria V Synder. Because get them in a room with Neal and Co and let’s all have a blast. 

Yes, I cheated and listed groups of people.  My blog, my rules. 

 

This Is My Genre, Tell Me Yours- Tag

tagI WAS TAGGED BY A PERSON!! This is only the second ever time I have been tagged in a thing, and this time I managed to get to it a lot sooner then the last tag I was tagged in.  I saw this tag as it started and wanted to do it, and then got actually tagged.  And promptly didn’t actually do the tag because I thought I would have the same answer to every question.  Then I said, screw that, if it’s all the same I might get people to read books by this amazing author!  Also, can I use the word tag in this post any more then I already have just now? Tag, tag, tag!

*Anyway*

The rules to this tag:

>Credit the badass Drew @The Tattooed Book Geek as the creator of the tag, either use the created tag name graphic or create your own and link back to his blog

>Answer the questions

>Tag as many people as you want

Special shout out to Heather at The Sassy Book Geek. For tagging me! Some great content over on her blog, please check her out! A favourite post of mine that she wrote discussed the never-ending debate of ebooks versus physical books.

1) What’s your favourite genre?

Fantasy!  The high and the low stuff, particularly those that have a medievalesque feel to them.  However, Scifi is starting to creep in and is duelling for favourite genera this year! 

2) Who’s your favourite author from the genre?

My tied favourite authors are Tamora Pierce for young adult/middle grade books (still good for adult readers!) and Sherwood Smith for adult readers (she has some young adult books as well).  

Attempting to creep in to my favourite authors is Maria V Snyder

3) What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

Escapism.  I read to leave my reality for a while and to have fun with what I read.  Fantasy does that for me!  Also I love reading about the types of things that show up in fantasy: sassy horses, dragons, wizards and magic, griffins….

4) What’s the book that started your love for your favourite genre?

First Test (and the rest of the Protector of the Small Quartet) by Tamora Pierce.  These were read way before Harry Potter and were my true childhood. 

5) If you had to recommend at least one book from your favourite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

The Protector of the Small series for sure, for those younger readers looking to make in roads in the genera.  It’s more low fantasy so it very easy to get into the world and it’s so so good with great themes throughout. 

Some other good ones are Graceling by Kristen Cashore, Green Rider by Kristen Britain, Crown Dual by Sherwood Smith and Poison Study by Maria V Snyder. 

6) Why do you read?

Again, Escapism.  Life is heavy, hard stuff.  Reading is my relaxation. 

Tagging peoples:

Teacher of YA

Christy at Christy Luis reviews

Nil at The book Window

Kim at By hook or by Book

Hopefully none of you have done this yet and you would like to!

Fluctuations

thoughtsThis post is in a similar vain to the ‘my number’ post I wrote a few weeks (or was it months?) back where I talked about how fast I read and how you shouldn’t be embarrassed by your reading speed. 

Now that the end of the year is upon us, I have more data (I love data!) on what my reading has been like over that year.  The best term to use on my reading is fluctuation.  My reading has fluctuated this year between 8 books in a month to not even one for 3 months in a row.  

Everyone knows that one reader that can always manage 10+ books every month.  That Youtuber that starts a wrap-up video that starts with “I only managed to read 7 books this month (and that’s so terrible)!”.  Or that person that read 3 classics and a 1000 page tome, which I could never, ever do.  For most of the year I was lucky if I read more then one book, and went several months without reading more then 10 pages.  In the entire month. 

And I’m ok with that.  It tells me a bit about how this year has gone.  As with my reading, this year for me was very up and down.  There was 3 months were I read basically nothing, and that is sad, especially when I know I can read upwards of 10 books in a month, but I want to focus on what I DID read instead of dwelling on what I can’t change now.  

I added a few books to my Favourite of All Time list this year.  I discovered several new authors I will be following into the new year!  It looks to be ending on a high note with several good reads and several goals accomplished which I am happy about!  I read more then 17 000 pages, and counting (dataaaa)!  I read books published between the years 1990 (which happens to be my birth year, go figure) and 2016!  I read 3 books in less then 48 hours, barely stopping to sleep or read!  I had fun reading!

Long story short, no matter how much you managed to read or not read this year, be happy that you got to read.  Be happy you read some great books.  Hopefully you discovered a few favourites.  Hopefully you have some new books or authors to check out int he new year.  And if for whatever reason you did not, talk to me!  I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!

 

Biggest Disappointments of 2016

No one likes to be disappointed by a book but it unfortunately happens from time to time as a reader.  Often times that disappointment might be swept under the rug as many book reviewers don’t like to be negative about a book that the author has put a lot of effort into writing.  However, I think talking about our disappointments has merit.  For example, it tells other readers what your tastes are like so they know if you are book-compatible and whether they should keep an eye on your blog for more recommendations or recommend you some good books.  When certain themes are brought up about the same book by several reviewers it helps point potential problematic issues with the book and send a warning to publishers and authors to shape up.  It allows people to know you can think critically about books and not just love every single one that you read.  That you can love and critic books. 

And honesty, I think most of us are fascinated with knowing what other people don’t like. I know I am.  I also don’t mine actually telling people my biggest book disappointments and why I thought they were disappointing.  Here they are for 2016 (in no real order):

The Magicians by Lev Grossman.  I couldn’t stand whiny Holden Caulfield Quintin Coldwater and the flatness of the characters.  The plot was interesting and I liked the world building but the characters dragged this book down.  Plus every raves at how this is a ‘must read for adults’ leading me to have big hopes that were not fulfilled.

Spy Glass by Maria V Snyder.  I wrote and entire blog post about why I didn’t like this book.  It stems from glorifying and perpetuating abuse.

Year Zero by Rob Reid.  This book promised a lot in the prologue, but it let me down with hit-or-miss humour that when bad, was really, really bad.  Also, again, the characters where not done well while the plot and worldbuilding were interesting enough.

The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer.  I loved all that I have read by Colfer in the past, but this one was so flat and boring in comparison.   Props for the Native American lead character but this books just didn’t work for me at all.  Could be that I have grown out of his writing.

And finally, I book that I did love but not as much as I thought I would: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.  I feel bad even considering this book for this list, but I can’t hide that I expected to be blown away by this book but I wasn’t.  I still loved it, but there were some things I didn’t connect with.

I ranked more then 4 books at 2 or fewer stars this year, but most of the others I knew going in that I was not likely to overly enjoy them, so they weren’t disappointing.  Low expectations and all that.

Sale!

red-sale-labelI come baring gifts!  Or rather, News!  One of my most favourite books is currently on sale of 0.99$ at various ebook buying places right now and for the foreseeable future.  It’s uncertain when the book will stop being on sale, so if you happen to have some extra cash on you after all that holiday shopping, please check it out!  If you don’t have cash, I’m sure you can find a copy of this bad boy at your library!

Without further ado, I present to you, one of my favourite books, which happens to be on SALE!

Poison Study by Maria V Synder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear…

First Line Fridays #4

This is not the start of the prologue, for once! However, still an excellent start, in my humble opinion.

As she woke up in the pod, she remembered three things. First she was travelling through open space.  Second, she was about to start a new job, one she could not screw up.  Third, she had bribed a government official into giving her a new identity file.  None of this information was new, but it wasn’t pleasant to wake up to. 

Published: July 2014 

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Pages: 404

Genera: SciFi (possibly adult??)

Currently: about 1/3 in and LOVING IT