The first ten eleven

Books Read: 

1. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff     5 Stars

2. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (Libba Bray)     1 Star

3. Eve: the Awakening by Jenna Moreci     2.5 Stars

4. Ready Player One by Ernst Cline (Wil Wheton)     2.5 Stars

5. Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Dr. Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell (Tanya Eby)     4 Stars

6. Queen of the Tearling     Erika Johansen     4 Stars

7. The Martian by Andy Weir     4.5 Stars

8. First Test by Tamora Pierce (Bernadette Dunne)     5 Stars

9. Page by Tamora Pierce (Bernadette Dunne)     5 Stars

10. Squire by Tamora Pierce (Bernadette Dunne)     5 Stars

11. Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce (Bernadette Dunne)     5 Stars

Average Rating: 3.95

Audiobooks: 7 (Narrators in brackets after author name)

Re-reads: 5

Indy/self published: 1.5 (The Martian was originally Indy published, but is now traditionally published due to the response, so I give that a 0.5 rating)

Number of books reviewed on this blog: Currently 3 are formally reviewed, with another one reviewed in an atypical fashion.  I have plans for an audiobook-centric review of the Protector of the Small Quartet that should be up soon.  Finally, I have 2 reviews to write for Goodreads that I don’t plan to have on here, but might end up that way.  

Comments: 

It seems I’m more likely to review books on this blog I didn’t like (Beauty Queens, Ready Player One and Eve: The Awakening) then those that I do like.  I’m trying to be better about this and to review the good and the bad always, but I can improve.  Additionally, books like Gemina, being in the middle of series, are less likely to get reviews because I prefer to do a series review for second books and on wards.  Regardless, I review every book in some form on Goodreads (she says, knowing that she is currently behind in 2 reviews, outside of the Tamora Pierce re-reads).

I have been trying to make a conscious effort to review the audiobook as well as the book when I read audiobooks since audiobooks and their narrators need more love.  Plus it’s good information for people to have.  I read many audiobooks in section of my reading, partially because I was unpacking, which is a good task to listen to audiobooks to, and without internet for a time. 

Love Tamora Pierce and was in the mood for something familiar because of a move and the stress of that and a new job (plus lack of internet).  Also it seems that March and April are times of the year I really need to re-read some or all of her books, or so Facebook’s look back feature tells me.  This makes since as it’s spring and I’m often avoiding exams and need to read something of comfort that I can put down to study when I really need to.  No exams this year, though.  

I’m on track with my randomly picked number of books to read that was less then 50.  Which is good, I guess?  I’m telling myself I’m not attached to the number but I’m also keeping an eye on it, so that is mostly lies.  

What’s next?

With new job things will be weird for a time meaning I have no idea how this reading thing will fit into my new life at this time.  I will, however, be working regular predictable hours for like the first time ever, without school to boot.  This could be very good for my reading, or I could watch too much TV.  I shall see.

As for what’s next reading-wise, I recently posted my library book haul, so that is a good indicator of what I’m looking to read.  I also have a list of unread books on my shelves I want to cut in half, but have yet to read any.  Finally, I have Bitterblue by Kristen Cashore, another re-read and then final in the Graceling Trilogy I have been working through, signed out and really want to finally finish off The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks, a book I have been reading for literal years.  And if none of that fits my fancy, I have a mile long list of books I want to read over on Goodreads to get around to reading. 

Book Haul #2

A new city means a new library system and thus new books!  Here is the first haul of books I choose to sign out.  There are a lot of books on my to read list.  These are just a start and a fairly random assortment of books I thought I’d be in the mood to read (and were available). (Links to Goodreads page included, covers are the versions I have, not the ones I prefer to look at).

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Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy: A Russian teen physics prodigy is called to America and NASA to help save the Earth from an asteroid that will destroy the planet. While in America he meets others his age and learns more about the people that live on Earth and why it should be saved.

Why I’m interested: This books seems like a mix of SciFi and the teen finding yourself generas and it has me interested. Plus I love the name of the book.

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan: An online game posts anonymous dares for the challengers to complete for the amusement of the world. As you can imagine, they get more and more dangerous and other things are likely at play here.

Why I’m interested: It has an interesting premise, one which I gravitate to reading (other examples include Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott and Flash Point by Nancy Kress) though I often find them predictable and not as good as they promise. I do live in hope that one day I will find one that lives up to my expectations. Also this book is now a movie that I am interested in seeing.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu: An illness swept the world and left some of the survivors with mutant/magical powers. This book follows one such girl as she learns more about her powers the people that want to use and abuse them.

Why I’m interested: It’s been on my list for years, with a good premise and good reviews, both of the series and the author, who also did some of the artwork in Gemina (Kaufman and Kristoff). Since I’m currently in a SciFi kick that will not let me go, I’m thinking and hoping this might appease that while also maybe letting me transition back into fantasy.

Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: This books continues Kelsea’s journey as she takes over as Queen of the Tearling, a country on the cusp of war.  In the first book we learn about Kelsea: a queen hidden away from her country in order to prevent assassination as she grows up and is taught how to rule.  Once she is of age she goes to take her crown and her place on the throne, but learns not everything she was taught (or not taught) is as it seems. 

Why I’m interested: This is simple: I loved the first book and want to continue on the series!

Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss: This book is the tale of Kvothe, a mighty wizard. It chronicals his various adventures and exploits.

Why I’m interested: Everyone has amazing things to say about this book and it has an amazing 4.55 star rating on Goodreads. Also a classic adult fantasy novel with more of a character driven plot (something I love) and one I’ve been interested in for a while. I’ve read the first chapter and a half and was very interested, just need to read the rest of this massive sucker!

Buying Books?

Due to Big Life Changes (TM) I will soon have a (small) budget for buying books and because of this I started a list of books I would like to buy to add to my shelves!  It was a personal list but then I was thinking it would be an interesting one to share with people because these are the books I have read recently that I have deemed good enough to be bought.  This means they are books I know I will read again (and again and again).

However, this list is a bit larger then I would like, having taken a look at all the books I own and have had to move recently.  So while I will be able to spend money on books a bit more regularly then I previously have, I want and need to keep the amount of books that I own to a minimum.

The books:

Night Study and Dawn Study by Maria V Synder

Illuminae and Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson (but only a certain cover, because I like it best)

(Preorder) Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce, Julie Holderman, Timothy Leibe, Magan Messinger and Cora Colville

Book Blogging Things I Suck At

I took inspiration for this post based off of a video on KatesBookDate YouTube channel, which I can’t find but I swear she had one, here are some book blogging things I’m not very good at.  

1. Having an interesting theme – The bridge image was supposed to be temporary until I could get a picture of my books up, but I have yet to do so.  Whoops.  Also the images on my blog do this weird fade thing when you mouse over them?

2. Making visually appealing posts – I need to learn/try out other post formats, particularly for reviews.  Also more pictures and/or gifs!

3. Reading and commenting on other’s posts – As always, time is a major barrier to doing this, also I follow too many blogs which are not as similar to my blog reading and commenting tastes as I would like, 

Bonus things I think I am good at:

Interesting and diverse blog posts and topics

Commenting back to comments on my blog

Books I own I should likely get rid of

listI don’t own a lot of books.  I’d estimate there are about 60 or so books I moved with after finishing University and likely another dozen chapter books at my mom’s place and a dozen or so picture books there as well.

Growing up in a small house where half the people living there were book lovers, we never really bought many books.  Partially budget reasons, partially because the house was too damn small to store books.  It was library only reading.  As a side note, I love libraries and always have and gained an appreciation for them early.  Even though small town libraries are very easy to read through. I’m surprised I actually have accumulated more then a 100 books!  I started buying more books once I entered university, but still mostly bought books I had read many times and knew I loved.  Typically that is still my attitude on book buying, however I have bought a few over the years that I haven’t read before but thought I would like.  But I didn’t and now I should get rid of it.  

So without further ado, here are about a handful of books that I really should donate so someone else can love them more then me.  A few I have not read.  

1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

2. The Game of Thrones by GRR Martin (plus the 3 that follow it)

3. No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz

4. Ready Player One by Ernst Cline

5. The Diviner by Melanie Rawn

6. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood 

I will admit that part of the reason I haven’t donated these books it they do diversify my shelves just a little bit, so if anyone was to comment that I only have YA fantasy on my shelf I could pull out one of these books to refute it.  But I’m not a fan of keeping books around I won’t read again and don’t like.  So they should go!  If you like these books, I’m glad, but I hope you won’t hate me for not liking them enough to keep them.

Added note: since I first started drafting this post I have let someone borrow two of these books and the odds of them being returned are on the slim side.  For the one book I’m ok with it, for the other I’m slightly sad, but I’m not running to the bookstore to replace it or nagging the guy to return it, so it was likely for the best.  

Second added note: due to a move occurring around when this post will go up there are more books that should be on this list and at least one I am going to get rid of on this list.

Big Life Changes (TM)

Funny enough, I just noticed this post will be #150!

This quick post is to say I’m about to be about a week without steady internet access (besides some library time) due to some Big Life Changes (TM).

This doesn’t really mean a whole lot for most people since I have some posts queued up for people to read, but it does mean I won’t get to comments right away.  Don’t worry, once I have internet again I will be replying to all the people!

Oh and for these Big Life Changes (TM) should be good ones but life is a thing that does interesting things, so time will tell. 

Body functions in books aka protagonists pee too!

thoughtsQuick!  Name the last book that you read that the MC went to the bathroom.  Can’t think of one?  I doubt you are alone.  

For me the book that immediately comes to mind are Tamora Pierce books.  Not all of them include this little detail, but most do.  The female protagonists even have periods!  

It might seem weird, but just the off-handed comment about the main character going to the bathroom or needing to pack extra clothes right before a last minute trip because they are expecting their period makes me super happy.  It makes the protagonists real people!  It doesn’t demonize the fact that as a woman I have a period and have to think about the consequences of that.  It normalizes menstruation for young girls who are self conscious of it.  

The fact that most authors ignore this very common, realistic, mandatory body function frustrates me.  Your main character eats, otherwise readers would find it weird that they didn’t so why can’t they also go to the toilet?  Sure there is a bit of a taboo about this, but including it, as I mentioned before, normalizes it and actually helps young people with their body image. 

Don’t know how to include it in your story?

How often have you had an interesting conversation in the washroom?  If you are in high school, a setting in many contemporary books, I would hazard it would be fairly often because you have some limited privacy there.  When you are about to go into battle battle or slay a dragon how likely is it to have a nervous bladder?  A long run from a monster poses a challenge for woman that men don’t tend to have.  Ditto long treks or hikes or journeys with a mixed group of woman and men.

Just think of all the awkward situations you can get your characters into!  Think of the plotting potential!