How do you review (9)

Here’s another round of the random thought I have while reading that you really can’t put in a review. 

-You know this book takes place in America when a popping noise or a mild bang brings instant thoughts of guns

-Girl is allergic to cats, and there isn’t a cat in the entire story, but sure, put a cat on the cover!

-Let’s build a school for kids that can’t use their powers properly and then not actually teach them anything about using their powers properly.  Smart plan, guys!

-I really don’t think films use boob mics to record sound.  They use the sound stick.

-Groundskeepers must always live on the grounds in a little hut all by themselves and not in the big building only meters away with lots of bedrooms and things like that.  Always.

-40 minute break was somehow over after a 10 minute conversation.

-Why is it always palm cuts when blood is needed?  Isn’t there a better spot then the hand you will need to get shit done with and is less painful to take from?

-(book immediately afterwards) Seriously why is it always palm cuts??

-It didn’t take me long to learn why I disliked this book the first time I read it.

-I like that the gift of prophesy has a realistic downside in this book, many novels with magic don’t have realistic downsides to using the power.

-All I can think about when Mark talks about pissing outside is the contamination of the planet with earth microbes and how it’s no longer pristine.

-People need to hurry…..so they stand around talking and touring the place for like 30 pages. 

-All this great future technology but noise cancelling headphones still can’t block noise. 

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Fifteen more….

Books read:

31. Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire     5/5 Stars

32. Truly, Madly, Famously by Rebecca Serle     4/5 Stars

33. I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong (Charlie Anson)    3.5/5 Stars

34. The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov (Scott Brick)     4.5/5 Stars

35. Abhorsen by Garth Nix (Tim Curry)     4/5 Stars

36. Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Woman by Loryn Brantz (NetGalley)     3/5 Stars

37. Breaking Up is Hard to Do … But You Could’ve Done Better by Hilary Campbell (NetGalley)     2/5 Stars

38. If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle Aged Men by Matthew Inman (NetGalley)     2.5/5 Stars

39. Heart and Brain: Body Language: An Awkward Yeti Collection by The Awkward Yeti (NetGalley)     4/5 Stars

40. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson (various narrators)     4.5/5 Stars

41. Lies We Tell Your Kids by Steve Hoover     2.5/5 Stars

42. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh     4.5/5 Stars

43. Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg     3/5 Stars

44. Brimstone By Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Scott Brick)     5/5 Stars

45. The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child  (Jonathan Marosz)    5/5 Stars

Average Rating: 3.8

Audiobooks: 5.25

Re-reads: 0

Indy/self-published: possibly a few, up to 5 of them are from smaller publishers

Reviewed on Blog: 0

Bookshelf TBR: 4

Comments:

So this post is so delayed that my ‘next ten’ was almost 20 by the time I got around to this so I split the difference and made it 15.  

These books were a mixed lot.  At the start of this list, I really really loved Down Among the Sticks and Bones and have bought a copy and will be re-reading before the year is done.  But I was also browsing NetGalley and read several comic books, most of which were ‘meh’.  I was feeling sad that I hadn’t really found any new favourites yet this year but boy did that change with the last handful of books.  I thought I was going to be hard pressed to have a top 3 or 5 books this year about a month ago but at this point I’ll have no trouble with finding books, it’ll just be hard to order them from most favourite to not as most favourite. 

4 more TBR bookshelf books were read in this bunch!  I’m really proud of the concerted effort I have made in knocking down my physical TBR pile on my bookshelf.  However, I gained 2 more books from a friend and bough one more and thus I’m still basically where I started, with 11 unread books still on my shelf.  This goal is starting to feel like an epic saga, with a slow start, a push forward then losing ground followed by more progress and lost ground.  Yet despite being more or less where I started at the beginning of the year, the average ‘wait time’ for the TBR books on my shelf has been reduced (I think… now I need to calculate that…).  What’s more is that despite all this gaining and losing ground, I have now read 6 of my original 12 and gotten rid if one of the others, so if I never get to 6 or less by the end of the year, at least I have done that.  Honestly, that makes me very happy.  Also, I discovered a few unexpected surprises on my shelf which is another bonus to this challenge. 

I’ve officially crossed my randomly picked number between 30 and 50 for my Goodreads yearly book goal and rapidly closing in on 50 books this year.  I’m doing way better at this point in time then this point in time last year and am so happy and proud of my reading so far.  Now I am reassessing and considering coming up with another goal to hit but really, I’m reading tonnes and enjoying myself which is the real goal here.  

Books I’ve read that are older than me #1

So this was going to be a one-time post, until I saw the number of books I have read that are older than me!  I was honestly surprised there were so many, and not all of them were because of class or were read as a child. 

1955     The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

1964     Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

1980     The Clan of the Cavebear by Jean M. Auel

1970     The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

1983     Alanna: the First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

1985     Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

1990     Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

1980     The Twits by Roald Dahl

1949     1984 by George Orwell

1988     Matilda by Roald Dahl

What books have you read that are older then you?  What was your most recently read older-than-you book?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.  

Long versus short: opinions please!

I recently read a book with really short chapters.  Normally I don’t pay attention to this sort of thing, but these chapters were so noticeably short that I noticed it.  Some were only a page or two, though a few were longer at 10 pages or so.  

As I never really noticed chapter size before (I am perfectly fine stopping in the middle of a chapter, page or even sentence), I never really had an opinion on which I preferred.  I knew others had an opinion, and I swear most of the BookTubers I follow have said they prefer shorter chapters. 

As a child my dad would be all ‘you have to go to bed after you finish that chapter’ but it was always Harry Potter with massive chapters and 90% of the time I had just started the new chapter so got to stay up like another hour.  

However, this book that I read with short chapters showed me that I actually prefer longer chapters.  Short chapters have the opposite effect on me then they seem to have on other people.  Others like that short chapters make them feel like they are making progress in the novel as each chapter is another part of the novel you got through.  For me, however, short chapters make me feel like I am getting nowhere.  The chapter ends but it has only been two pages.  It makes the book feel longer to me whereas after a long chapter I feel like I have gotten somewhere and made progress.  Some people like the book being broken up more often, but since I can stop in the middle of a chapter, that doesn’t really effect me as much as others.  

So, what is your opinion on the matter?  Do you prefer long or short chapters?  Is there other reasons for liking one over the other that I have not considered?

2017 reads ranked by book size

I have read a few bigger books this year, but also a few novellas and small books and I thought it would be interesting to see the various sizes of books I have read this year.  These are for the most part the editions I read (or a close approximation for the audiobooks, generally the paperback version which I tend to read more). 

663 Pages      Gemina

645 Pages      The Way of Shadows

640 Pages      Games Wizards Play

576 Pages      Bitterblue

547 Pages      Eve: the Awakening

502 Pages      The Night Circus

470 Pages      Working Stiff

448 Pages      Queen of the Tearling

464 Pages      Lirael

416 Pages      Failure is not an Option

416 Pages      Lady Knight

400 Pages      Squire

396 Pages      Beauty Queens

388 Pages      Remembrance

372 Pages      Ready Player One

369 Pages      The Martian

369 Pages      Tortall and Other Lands

368 Pages      I Contain Multitudes

359 Pages      Demonglass

346 Pages      Learning to Swear in America

336 Pages      Famous in Love

323 Pages      Hex Hall

311 Pages      Sabriel

304 Pages      Nerve

304 Pages      Truly, Madly, Famously

290 Pages      Page

288 Pages      The Gods Themselves

240 Pages      First Test

233 Pages      Matilda

189 Pages      Down Among the Sticks and Bones

144 Pages      Proposal

118 Pages      Dancing Barefoot

12 Pages        Every Girl’s Dream

Average number of pages: 11 858*

Average number of pages per day: 58*

Average pages per book: 359*

369 was the mode book, with 50% of the books having more the 369 pages. If the 12 page book was removed from the data set the average jumps up to 370, which is the same as the mode. 

A few surprises in the book size, I didn’t think some of them were as big as they were and didn’t realize I had read as many 500+ page books this year.  Also there were a few books I had forgotten I had read.  The first book I finished this year has remained the longest so far, I kinda want to try and kick it off that spot, but I’m not sure which book I would read that would supersede it.  

Now I need to stop, otherwise I will be trying to stats the crap out of this list, and graphs might start happening.  Overall, interesting to see half of a reading year organized like this. 

*101 Dalmations was a special BBC audiobook presentation of the book that was an abridged edition.  An accurate page count could not be done and it was not included in the list or the stats, but it was approx. 180 pages.