Books that I almost DNF’ed

I almost never DNF a book as I talked about in a past post, though there are a handful of cases of this occurring (and there are a few on this list I want to attempt again).  But there are sometime just books that you really, really want to DNF but end up pushing through.  These are a few examples:

1. Valley of the Horses by Jean M Auel – this is my mother’s favourite series and she got me to read them (a bit too young at the time, I might add).  This particular one was going in a direction I didn’t like (at the time, woudl have loved it now) so I got mad and refused to keep reading.  One year later I wanted to know how it ended so I picked it back up and finished it. 

2. Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914 by Carolyn Meyer (I think, could have been a different book) – this was a kids book, I think fictional, about the real life events that did actually follow the real life events closely.  This was one of the first times I had read about a death and didn’t know the story going into it.  Yeah, I was mad at the book. 

3. Shades of Doon by Corp and Langdon – I was bored

4. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – Also bored and annoyed that this was basically plagiarism but got published.

5. Wizard of Mars by Diane Duane – I was bored, I realized I hate time paradoxes and it was a rough time in life.  But I finished it months later!

6. Sega by Conor Kostick – this one didn’t live up to the first book.

Bonus: While The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks took me years to finish, I never considered DNF’ing it, I just didn’t have the time at the time and wasn’t int he mood for a long time.  


Longest read book

listGoing based on Goodreads, these are some of the longest books I have read.  I say some, because there are a few box sets or bind-up that I excluded from the list and I don’t always pick the right copy of the book I read, so the list might not be in order or totally accurate.  Funny enough I didn’t realize there was going to be such an interesting pattern when I first thought of doing this post.  It’s interesting to see and it makes me want to investigate it more.

1. Mirror Sight (Green Rider #5) by Kristen Britain

2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J K Rowling

3. Shelters of Stone (Earth’s Children #5) by Jean M Auel

4. Plains of Passage (Earth’s Children #4) by Jean M Auel

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by J K Rowling

6. Brisignr (the Inheritance Cycle #3) by Christopher Paolini

7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J K Rowling

8. Eldest (the Inheritance Cycle #2) by Christopher Paolini

9. Banner of the Damned by Sherwood Smith

10. Treason’s Shore (Inda #4) by Sherwood Smith

Obviously many of these are part of long series.  Here are a few more that top 580 pages that are outside of the above mentioned series:

Gemina (Illuminae Files #2) by Kaufman and Kristoff

Eona (Eon #2) by Alison Goodman

Mastiff (Beka Cooper #3) by Tamora Pierce

Rise of a Hero (Farsala Triology #2) by Hilari Bell

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima



How do you review (3)

Time for another round of random and silly thoughts I have while reading that would never make it into a review but are interesting enough to share.  If you like these let me know and I’ll continue to make more!

-the kid has poor eyesight yet you make him a seeker where he needs to be able to see a tiny fast moving speak of gold in the middle of rain??

-that love triangle was only mildly eye-roll worthy 

-foxes can follow more then just scents on gloves, could have followed the blood all over, but that wouldn’t help the plot now would it?

-why call the egg a bottle?  

-perfectly good medievalesque story and then guns

-I truly wonder why the male BFF characters that spend all their time together and are single would be the *only* people in the entire kingdom that would understand not wanting to marry as a sign your relationship is valid.  I truly wonder.  It *couldn’t* be because they are gay and in a relationship, could it??

-I love to hate this book

-this is clearly a British person writing an American


Pet Peeves #2

Reading is awesome.  However, I do have some petpeeves with books and reading.  Here are 5 more:

1. Maps in hard cover books on the inside cover pages.  It’s handy and super convenient to find when it’s your own book, it absolutely sucks when it’s a library book since the dust jacket is taped over the map and you can’t see 40% of the map.  Publishers should have fold-out maps for fantasy books. 

2. When the text on the spine of a book across a series does not line up.  For example when the book number in the series is at the top of the spine but one of them is 2 millimetres further down the spine then in the other books. 

3. Similarly, when one book in a series is slightly smaller then the rest thus the spines and the writing on them don’t line up on the shelf.

4. Book covers that are essentially stylistic font on a fairly plain background.  A cover sells the book and these covers tell me nothing about the book and definitely don’t sell the book to me.  They bore me. 

5. Stickers on library books that cover critical parts of the cover.  Like the name of the book.  Or the author.  Or what that interesting thing is in the cover model’s hand. 

Spring Cleaning….In Autumn?

I just cut my Goodreads TBR list down by over 100 books.  AND IT FEELS SO GOOD!

I should note that I use the to read shelf as a list of books I’m interested in reading, most (less than 1%) of which I don’t actually own.  It’s a reference list.  I don’t typically buy books that I haven’t read (with a few exceptions).  

Its amazing the types of books that end up on your to read shelf. Now whenever I open my to read shelf I don’t the same 5 books that have been there since I started Goodreads staring at me and I can more easily find the next book I’m actually interested in reading.  Not all the books I cleared out were there for ages, many of them were from the time I had just learned about BookTube and was adding all the books! to my list that I was remotely interested in.  However, since I was in the middle of grad school having finished 4.5 years of undergrad where I banned myself from reading books, I was mostly just missing books.  Thus a pruning was very much needed.   

I thought I would hate removing all those books from my to read shelf but it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be.  Part of this is because I found a way to have shelves that are exclusive of the read, to read or currently reading lists.  Basically, if you have ever wanted a DNF shelf but couldn’t figure out how to make one without also having the book in the ‘read’ shelf….I learned how to do so!  And what I did with this power is make a ‘read someday’ shelf where I can put the books I do want to get to…..someday.  This allowed me to mentally delete the ones that I knew I wasn’t going to ever get to, move aside the ones I still wanted to keep track of for someday and leave my to-read shelf open to the books I’m interested in reading now or in the near future.  

You could argue that I just moved the bulk of the clutter to a new shelf; I’m not going to lie, that is the truth.  However, I also did delete a lot of books from my to read shelf.  I started with about 285 books on my to read shelf.  Now I have 153 books on that shelf and 62 books on my read someday shelf.  Meaning about half of the books I removed and half I shuffled to another shelf, but over all less clutter all around.  And more organization.  Most of the books now on my read someday shelf are ones I need to be in a certain mood for.  There is a handful and a half of more biography/sciency type non-fictiony books that I am very much interested in but you need to be in the right mood to read about the job of a medical examiner.  

Overall, instead of feeling sad about possibly deleting a really good book that I might want to read someday, I feel lighter, happy and free-er from the clutter and expectation that was dragging me down when I looked at that shelf that was supposed to be a happy reference but was really just weighting me down.  

Book Review: Saga by Conor Kostick

Disclaimer: This is the second book in a trilogy of which all books have been released.  I will be writing this review without spoilers of the first book, however some expectant spoilers will likely exist (meaning nothing specific, just broad strokes and/or themes that show up that may be used to determine plot points to truly astute readers).  

Saga by Conor Kostick

Published May 2008 

Publisher: Viking Books

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

Genera: Young Adult, SciFi

Result: 3 stars


After the event of Epic a probe from Earth sent a new game, Saga, to the people living on New Earth, much to the excitement of the people of New Earth.  Oblivious to this, Ghost and her gang of kids living in Saga are living the life of hover boards and petty crime.  They don’t realize they are part of a game and that things are going to start getting interesting with the arrival of new people that can come and go at will and will be reborn after death.  No one knows the reason for the convergence of these two worlds but the Dark Queen, who has dubious plans of her own to fulfil. 


I really loved the first book in this trilogy – in fact Epic is currently my top new read of the year thus far – so I wanted to read more.  I thought I had an idea about where this book was going to go, yet it didn’t go there.  On one hand this is a good thing as it didn’t follow the typical trend of a series.  However, this book – a sequel to the previous book – ignored important world consequences that would have happened as a result of the previous book.  I would have liked to have learned more about those consequences and the ramifications.  In the second book it seemed as though the world lived on like the big things that happened in the previous book did not happen. Thus this book is more of a companion book then a sequel.  

Instead this book follows a mostly new cast of characters: Ghost and the Dark Queen being the major players, though Cindella/Erik and a few others of the previous books show up as well.  The balance of male to female characters in this book is much more balance then the previous book, which I was happy to see.  The new characters were interesting and unique with their own stories to tell, which I liked learning about.  Also, the main character, Ghost was clearly described, at least twice, as being dark-skinned.  

This book rotated between 2 main and a one-off side character’s point of view, going from 1st (most of the time) to 3rd perspective.  It wasn’t that jarring and the 1st person was pulled of better then most novels.  However, sometimes the writing worked and sometimes it didn’t.  Erik’s perspective was ranged from good to awkward, the Dark Queen was interesting but often annoying to read and Ghost’s was good mixed with some really great passages.  The characters, Erik in particular during his speech scene, were more articulate then is natural.  

The slang of the characters in Saga was interesting but for a world that has had 2000 years to develop, it was stuck in the 90s punk stage, which was very odd.  There was hoverboards, I guess as a way to make it feel futuristic, but there were still billboards and card readers and chips for money making it an interesting mash-up for a setting which could be hard to get into.  This world also had the typical dystopian faction system, this time card colours dictated how you lived life and what jobs and money you got.  Interesting, but nothing revolutionary.  There was a distinct lack of world building between the three worlds included in this book and of how Earth exists now. I would have liked to learn more about how Earth developed over all that time.  

The probe and the RALs having sort-up humans thoughts and emotions was weird but interesting, however I mostly found it confusing as to how they got to be that way as the worldbuilding in that area was lacking beyond a general ‘it happened’.  However, the consequence of it happening was thoroughly and wonderfully discussed.  

Lastly, this book is mostly set in the ‘virtual’ world, which I didn’t like as much as the great balance of virtual and real world that occurred in Epic.

Last Thoughts: 

Overall, this book did not do what I expected.  It was interesting but also kinda ‘meh’ for me.  I wanted more worldbuilding and/or for things to be revealed faster then they ultimately were.  I do not think I will be continuing on with the last book as the plot is not really something I’m interested in seeing.

However, the idea of silent parties where everyone brings their own music and headphones to listen with and dance around to your own beat sounds so neat but it would be so creepy to see a large group of people dancing with no sound at all.   


Summer Olympics Book Tag

tagI started the Olympics with a book recommendation to get you in the mood so I think I should end the Olympics with this book tag!

This tag was created by Shannon at It Starts at Midnight, however I found it on Joey’s Thoughts and Afterthoughts.

Disclaimer: there are several middle of the series books given here as examples and I have not specified which. 

Opening Ceremony: a book you loved from the first page

I remember The Naming by Alison Croggon having such a unique (to me at the time) introduction that it dragged me right into the story.  

Cycling: favourite road trip book

Never read a book with an actual road trip in it (as far as I can remember?) but two good books which feature travelling to new places are Plains of Passage (Jean M Auel) and The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima.

Triathalon: a book with a good love triangle

I can’t think of a book with a good love triangle, tbh.  However, I will name The Woman Who Rides like a Man (and to an extent the book after that one, Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce) as a great alternative to the love triangle.

Handball : a book you didn’t really get

Hmmmmm.  Maybe the Hobbit.  Yes that Hobbit.  Sure I ‘got’ it, but I couldn’t get past to writing style to ‘get’ it, get why people love it. 

Beach Volleyball: a book set in the summer

Wow, this took longer to think of one then it should have.  Several of Diane Duane’s Young Wizard’s books are set in summer. 

Fencing: a book with fighting

Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce (land battles).  Also The Fox by Sherwood Smith (water battles).  

Gymnastics: a book with plot twists

Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce.  Several present and most not predictable but not tacky or a cop-out, which are the best kind.

Swimming: a book that made you sob

The only book that has ever made me cry is A Wizard’s Dilemma by Diane Duane.  If you have read it, you will know why. 

Golf: a slow paced book

I found Illuminae (Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff) really slow to start off but it did pick up after about half way through the book.  Also Rook by Sharon Cameron 

Trampoline: a childhood favourite

I loved the Magic Tree House books (Mary Pope Osborne), if you want to go way back.  Also Captain Underpants (Dav Pilkey) and the Dragon Slayer’s Academy (Kate McMullan).  

Equestrian: a book featuring animals

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce is a really good one.  

Hurdles: a book you struggled to finish

A Game of Thrones by GRR Martin and The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks  (still have not finished them).  Carry On by Rainbow Rowell and Shades of Doon by Lorie Langdon and Carey Corp.  Wizards of Mars by Diane Duane (more for personal reasons then book reasons). 

Synchronized Swimming: a book with a great friendship

Any of Tamora Pierce’s works.  Also the Inda series by Sherwood Smith and Young Wizard’s series by Diane Duane.