Middling Ten

Books read:

21. Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy     4.5/5 Stars

22. Every Girl’s Dream by Meg Cabot     4/5 Stars

23. Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane     4/5 Stars

24. Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce (various narrators)     5/5 Stars

25. Proposal by Meg Cabot     4.5/5 Stars

26. Lireal by Garth Nix (Tim Curry)     4/5 Stars

27. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern    2.5/5 Stars

28. Remembrance by Meg Cabot    4/5 Stars

29. Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle     4.5/5 Stars

30. Matilda by Roald Dahl (Kate Winslet)    5/5 Stars

Average Rating: 4.2

Audiobooks: 3

Re-reads: 2

Indy/self-published: 0

Reviewed on Blog: 0

Bookshelf TBR: 4

Comments:

Fewer audiobooks in this section for a few reasons.  I’ve wanted to enjoy the walk and my thoughts more in the past few weeks so I haven’t been listening to them as much.  There are several that I want to read right now but they have long waiting lists.  Also, now that I’m a bit more adjusted to my new work schedule I have been reading more physical books and wanting to read more books off my shelf, which leads to fewer audiobooks.

That being said, I have bought many more books that I have not read which affects my goal to reduce by unread bookshelf books to under 6.  There are 2 posts coming up that are an update to said goal.  

I’m doing really well with the amount of books I have read so far this year.  I’m averaging more then a book a week, which I’m pleased with.  Looking at the numbers, since I started working my new job I’ve been reading 5 or 6 books a month, whereas the first 3 months I read maybe 3 books a month.  A great improvement and it means I should read well over 50 books this year!  I’m so happy about this. 

Blog-wise things were slow while I was adjusting to life but have picked up the past few weeks.  I’ll see how this thing goes but I want to keep it going but with fewer blog posts out a month.  I do want to post more reviews on this blog but the books I have been reading recently I haven’t had too much interesting to say and have not bothered with a lengthy review.  However, if you want to know what I’m up to in the book world and read shorter reviews of the books I read, you are more then welcome to friend or follow my Goodreads, which I keep pretty up-to-date.  

Finally, while it does look like I’ve had a great reading month with most of the books being 4 stars or higher, I feel like many of the books I have read are meh and that nothing has really gripped my this year.  Perhaps I need to start picking different types of books or maybe I’m just really picky lately.  

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….

First Line Fridays #7

“That is my decision.  We need not discuss it.” said the man at the desk.  He was already looking at a book.  His to children left the room, closing the door behind them. 

“He doesn’t want us around,” the boy muttered.  “He doesn’t care what we want.”

“We know that,” was the girl’s answer.  “He doesn’t care about anything, except his books and scrolls.”

The boy hit the wall.  “I don’t want to be a knight! I want to be a great sorcerer! I want to slay demons and walk with the gods -“

“Do you think I want to be a lady?” his sister asked.  ” ‘Walk slowly, Alanna,’ ” she said primly.  ” ‘Sit still, Alanna. Shoulders back, Alanna.’ As if that’s all I can do with myself!”  She paced the floor.  “There has to be another way.”

Published: 1983

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (also Scholastic, Simon Pulse and Random House)

Pages: 260 (most recent edition)

Genera: YA fantasy

Series: First of 4, all are out

 

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

Expected Publication Date: February 6th 2018

Publisher: Random House Books

Pages: 480 (NOT ENOUGH)

Genera: YA Fantasy 

First of 3 

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

 

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.

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.  

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.