Best and Worst

The best and the worst of the year.  These are the posts most people love to read, because ~drama~.  Here are my lists (for the record, I don’t include re-reads on my list of best or worst, and pick the best of a series if I read more than one):

Best (ranking approximate):

7. Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane 

6. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

5. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

4. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

3. Brimstone by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 

2. Warcross by Marie Lu 

1. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

 

My best books will never all have 5 star ratings and 5 star books will often not appear on my list.  Why? Because my rating system is a mess and my favourites are more about my feeling and less about technical things.  I remove stars for things like major inconsistencies (*coughwarcrosscough*) but I still love them. 

Worst (rank definitive, novels only):

3. (Tie) The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern, EVE: The awakening by Jenna Moreci, Nerve by Jeanne Ryan, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

2. The Viral Storm: The dawn of a new pandemic age by Nathan Wolf

1. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

By novels only, I mean there were a handful of graphic novels I read for whatever reason that I don’t want to think about or list again. The 5 way tie I could not break because each book had something I absolutely loved about the book, but there was at least one thing that made them a 2 or 2.5 star read.  

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Most Anticipated of 2017: Did I read them?

Here were the 6 books I was anticipating and whether or not I got to them (in the order they were listed in my original post found here):

Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder – I’ve owned this for about 6 months have have not read it…..

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers – Have also owned for months and have yet to read….This is going so well, hahaha

Firebrand by Kristen Britain – Have attempted to obtain from the library, but no dice.  Hardcover is 40$ so I’m waiting for the soft cover (which also matches my set). 0/3 so far…

Third Illuminae book [aka Obsidio] by Kaufman and Kristoff – was  not released, is on my 2018 list.

A Spy’s Guide to Tortall by Tamora Pierce – I READ THIS ONE! And actually have 2 copies of it….

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire – Have bought and read this one!  Was going to reread but I’ll do that in 2018. 

Grand total: 2/5.  Very bad of me, especially since I own 2 of the unread ones!  Oh the life of a reader!

TBR Pile Accounting #3

Part 2! Here and here are the other posts in the series if you want to learn more about what is happening.

Now onto the second chunk of books and how many of them are read. 

Books discovered while moving:

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I snagged this one while I was abroad in Scotland, but not from a book store.  A friend didn’t want to bring it with her when she was leaving for home so I grabbed.  it sounded interesting enough that I brought it back with me even though I hadn’t yet read it.  

After about 5 years on my shelf, I finally read it!  Again, starting off good here. 

2. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and 3. The Gods Themsleves by Isaac Asimov

These books were gifted to me by a friend recentlyish and I rediscovered them when I was moving.  They are outside of my normal reads but do sound interesting (and I hate getting ride of books other people have given me) so I took them with me. 

Both are unread and I honestly am not sure how much longer they will stay on my shelves.  But at the same time I don’t really want to donate?

There were other books I discovered while moving but I donated them.  Yay less baggage and more bookshelf space!

Books I have bought this year:

4. and 5. Night Study and Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder

I read Night Study last year and was buying it because it was sooooo good (and I have the first 4 in the series).  At the time I absolutely needed Dawn Study.  Now I have it, but I haven’t read it.  For the same reasons as I mentioned previously.  I’m terrible at this reading thing at times. 

6. Remembrance by Meg Cabot

I never even realized this was a thing until I saw it in the bargain section of the bookstore and I had to pick it up.  And read it.

7. and 8. Illuminae and Gemina by Kaufman and Kristoff

Both books are fantastic and both need a re-read soon!

9. Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane

Read!  And honestly I think about this one a lot, it might be a favourite of mine, even though I did have a few issues with this book went I was reading it. 

10. Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith

This is my second physical copy and third total copy of a book that is one of my absolute favourites. 

Books Read: 7

Unread Books: 3

Total number of Unread Books: 12

As you can see, I started the year with 12 unread books and after reading, donating, and accumulating more books I’m still where I started.  Six more books in the next 6 months.  Totally doable.  However, looking at the list I can guarantee at least 3 that I’m unlikely to get to which doesn’t leave much space left over for others I might not get to (of which I think I can predict 2 more).  

Also there are three books on my shelves that are mostly unread and are not on this list.  Two I bought recently and one from Scotland.  These are more ‘coffee table’ style books and I consider them outside the scope of this goal as they are the type of books you read a bit at a time and never really fully read in their entirety.  

Finally, I just realized that I have about a handful of ebooks I have bought or received over the past 2 years that are not on this list and were never really factored into this goal.  Perhaps I will consider them for next year! 

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Note: wherever possible, I avoid adding re-reads to these kind of tag posts.  

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017. 

None have really forced me to put them on my exclusive favourites list so far this year, but a few have if forced to pick one Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.

Gemina by Kaufman and Kristoff, with Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane coming 2nd 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (library just informed me they have a copy for me!)

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Tortall: A Spy’s Guide by Tamora Pierce, Juile Holderman, Timothy Liebe and Megan Messinger

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  I was promised big things but they never happened.  The great setting could have used a better plot and characters.

6. Biggest surprise.

I didn’t expect to love Learning to Swear in America as much as I did.  I also didn’t expect to not like Eve: the Awakening my Jenna Moraci as much as I did.  Or HATE Beauty Queens by Libby Bray so much. 

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

No one has really forced be to need to pay attention, but Andy Weir‘s book was good and the blurb for the newest one has me interested.  Also I like Queen of the Tearling (Erika Johansen) enough to want to continue. 

8. Newest fictional crush.

None of my new reads this year have had crush material, but I have a newer appreciation for Raoul of Goldenlake and Nealan of Queenscove

9. Newest favourite character.

Again, no one really stands out here.

10. Book that made you cry.

None, I rarely cry reading books (mostly because I avoid the type of book that would make me cry).  

11. Book that made you happy.

The Martian made me laugh a tonne.  So did Learning to Swear in America and Gemina.

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year. 

I’ve seen (as far as I know) one movie adaptation, The Martian, and one TV adaptation, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and both were great!

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year. (Booktube version: Favourite video you have done so far in this year)

None of my reviews really sticks out to me. 

14. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Did I need it? No.  But it is beautiful inside and out.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Oh there are a tonne, and I really should make a list.  I’m still trying to read as many books on my shelves as I can in attempt to reduce the unread total to 6.  But I keep buying books….

Big Book Recommendations

The topic of this post was kindly provided by Trina and her Monthly Recommendations group on Goodreads.

This is pretty self-explanatory, so onto the recommendations!

1. The Illuminae Series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – big book, quick read

2. The Inda Series by Sherwood Smith – so, so good!

3. Green Rider Series by Kristen Britain – kind of a cheat here since most versions of the first book are just under 500 pages, but the hardcover is 504!  And the series grows as it goes on with the newest one being something like 800 pages.

4. The Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce – can’t have a list without her on it!

5. The Farsala Triology by Hilari Bell – haven’t read in a while but loved it at the time

6. The Naming by Alison Croggan – again, haven’t read in a while and sits just under 500 pages, but I thought it was very good when I read it years ago.

Books I want to re-read (2)

An updated list of books I want to re-read!  There are a lot of them as I’m in the mood for re-reads at the moment!

First, I want to continue on with my re-read of the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner: 

-The Queen of Attolia (#2)

-The King of Attolia (#3)

-A Conspiracy of Kings (#4)

Next, I was reminded of the Farsala Trilogy by Hilari Bell recently, and remember loving it and I want to revisit it:

-Fall of a Kingdom (#1)

-Rise of a Hero (#2)

-Foraging the Sword (#3)

Hilari’s Knight and Rogue series is great for younger readers!

Additionally, I (mostly) loved the Books of Pellinor series by Alison Croggon, who has a new book out.  I didn’t like the last book as much as the others but I want to re-read and see if that has changed:

-The Naming

-The Riddle

-The Crow

-The Singing

A carry-over from the last post, I still want to re-read Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Finally, I have wanted to re-read this book since I read the second one in this series early this year, to see which I love more, plus I’m told the audiobook is fantastic!

-Illuminae (Kaufman and Kristoff)

That’s a lot of books on my plate!  Anything you want to re-read?

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.