The Next Nine

Books Read

1. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (Paul Boehmer)     4 Stars

2. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (Xanthe Elbrick)     4 Stars

3. Hex Hall by Rachal Hawkins (Cris Dukehart)     3.5 Stars

4. Failure is not an Option by Gene Kranz (Danny Campbell)     3.5 Stars

5. Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins (Cris Dukehart)     3 Stars

6. Sabriel by Garth Nix (Tim Curry)     4 Stars

7. 101 Dalmations by Dotie Smith (BBC production)     4 Stars

8. Nerve by Jeanne Ryan     2 Stars

9 Dancing Barefooot by Wil Wheaton (Wil Wheaton)     4 Stars

Average Rating: 3.56

Audiobooks: 8

Re-reads: 1.3

Indy/self-published: 0, I believe

Number Reviewed on blog: Also 0, and none really planned and I’m behind on Goodreads reviews…

Number of my owned books read (for my personal reading goal): 1

Comments:

Obviously a lot of audiobooks!  I am a convert.  Since I have roughly an hour of walking commute time to work every day I can get a lot of reading done, so that is where the majority of my reading has occurred and will for the foreseeable future until I learn to manage my time outside of work better and have to start biking to work.  However, considering the changes in my life the past month and a half, I consider this a great amount of books read!

I’m also well ahead of my semi-randomly picked Goodreads goal, which implies I can up it to another semi-randomly picked goal, however, I predict based on past experience a lull in reading starting in about a month, so I will wait for now. 

The books I read this round were good, as evidenced by the decent ratings and average, but nothing really amazed me of blew me away.  I hope the next group of books will have some of those.

Finally, I ‘read’ one of the unread books on my self, though I did it by audiobook not reading the physical book I own….  Since I have also bought another book I have not read and discovered a few others when moving that I didn’t want donate, my reading goal to reduce the number of unread books on my self by half of the starting number at the beginning of the year (aka have max of 6 unread books on my shelf by the end of 2017) is going quite terribly.  However, I have a hold on the audiobook for another book on my shelf for commute reading and once I finish off the last library book I have had forever and want to read, there is another I want to immediately start on my shelf.  After that my plan gets a little fuzzy…

What’s next:

I think I answered this nicely, if rather non-specifically.  So as a shameless plug, you can find out my what’s next if you follow or friend my on Goodreads!  Link is in my about page. 

 

Audiobook review: Protector of the Small

Protector of the Small is my favourite series.  Fullstop.  I love this series and I talk about it and the author all the time.  I recently did an audiobook re-read and while I could talk about this series for days, today I want to focus and review the audiobooks.  Not enough people talk about and review audiobooks and I have been making a concerted effort this year to do so whenever I read by audiobook.

So here we go!

These books were read by Bernadette Dunne and I really liked her narration.  She does different voices and I liked most of them.  Dunne also speaks clearly and at a pace that I can easily speed up the audio and still understand the book.  Not all productions you can do this, though I think most audiobook productions nowadays keep this in mind when recording, or so I’d like to think.

While she does a great job, this is my favourite series and I’m rather picky.  One thing I noticed is some of the emotional cues in the book were not done to what I had hoped for.  For example, in the prologue of the first book there is a scene where Lady Alanna is very angry but the narration doesn’t go as far as I would have wanted and you can barely tell she was angry.  However, everyone imagines books differently and I need to learn to be open to other people’s interpretations.

For part of Squire I read and listened to the audio and noticed there were some (minor) differences between the text and the spoken words.  This at first bugged me but the differences were minor and mostly helped the listener better understand what was happening.  I’m not sure if it was intentional on the production part or due to a difference in what was given to Dunne to read (like a different version of the story), but over all it didn’t matter to the story.  However, those that read and listen might notice and get frustrated at this.

Overall I do highly recommend not only this series but the audiobooks as well!  

If there is something you would like me to cover about these audiobooks or others, please let me know!  I would like to be better at reviewing audiobooks.  

Bookish Pet Peeves #4

A miscellaneous assortment of more pet peeves of mine that relate to books!  Didn’t realize I had so many strong feels about this sort of thing.

1. Double stacking bookshelves.  This is a personal thing, but I like to see all my books, so I could never stack books in front of other books on my shelf!

2. Lack of physical descriptions, or descriptions being told more then 50 pages after character is introduced.  Sure, I rarely ever picture characters (with the exceptions being when there is good cover art of the character, typically hand-drawn art (TP example here)), but I still like to know what they look like!  And not after I have had the chance to picture them wrong for chapters before being told.

3. Vague descriptions of characters.  Similar to above, I hate vague descriptions.  If your character is black, say so!  Don’t hint at things (she is dark/swarthy or his skin was a different shade then mine) in the hopes that your readers will figure it out because everyone will interpret it differently and that is why there are arguments about whether Hermione is black.  Authors/editors might think it will make the characters more relatable because you get to picture whatever, but that is part of why I can never picture characters in my head as anything more then a bloob.

4. When a book does not clearly state that it is in a series and which book in the series it is.  First books will sometimes get a pass if the author and publisher didn’t know at the time there was going to be more, but this is often a rare case, and does not apply when the covers are remade.  I get the reasons for NOT clearly indicating these things: you sell more books.  But you also catch more flies with sugar water then vinegar. 

5. Unpronounceable names.  This is a me problem that is based on my lack of language skills and my terrible ability to spell and pronounce unknown words.  Basically I’m talking about names with letters in an arrangement I’m not familiar with because it’s more typical of a language I cannot speak and I acknowledge this is a me problem, a person that learned English from birth and only has a bit of other language experience, but that is French which has similar letter arrangements and predictable pronunciations as English (kinda?).  Now when names are inspired by other languages with different letter arrangements I get confused and don’t know how to pronounce the character’s name and I don’t like it.  But it’s a me problem.  

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.