Monday, August 18, 2014

#BoutofBooks 11.0 Master Post



Bout of Books time!! Bout of Books Time!! I am so happy. I just love this readathon. If you don't know what Bout of Books is, here is some info from their site.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


This is the master post, so all my updates will be posted here throughout the week. Check back for my progress! :)

TBR
I was having such a hard time deciding what to put on my TBR, so I just made a stack of all the things that were pulling at me. I know I won't get to all of them, but that's okay. My main goal is to read 3 books and/or 900 pages. In the past, I've aimed high and not met my goals, so this time I'm aiming low.

Graphic Novels:
Marzi by Marzena Sowa, Illustrated by Sylvain Savoia
Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco

Audiobooks:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Notes From the Underground by Dostoevsky

Books:
Elite by Kiera Cass
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Ink by Amanda Sun (reread)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (reread)
The Ocean At The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman (reread)
The One by Kiera Cass (Sequel to Elite)
Rain by Amanda Sun (Sequel to Ink)
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick
A Hollow Dream: End of Autumn by Andrew Van Wey
Legend by Marie Lu
Henry VI Part 2 by William Shakespeare

Updates:

8/18
Books I've read today: 2
Total books read: 2
Pages read today: 464
Total pages read: 464
Things I learned on Twitter: ARC party during tomorrow's epic reads #teatime!
Books read from: Kiss Of Broken Glass, Safe Area Gorazde

8/19
Books I've read today: 2
Total books read: 4
Pages read today: 608
Total pages read: 1,072
Things I learned on Twitter: Neil Gaiman has seen the first episode of Doctor Who with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. So jealous.
Books read from: Audiobook of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Henry VI part II

8/20
Books I've read today: 0
Total books read: 4
Pages read today: 110
Total pages read: 1,182
Things I learned on Twitter: That what happens in a twitter chat, stays in a twitter chat...mostly
Books read from: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

8/21
Books I've read today: 0
Total books read: 4
Pages read today: 0
Total pages read: 1,182
Things I learned on Twitter: Kind of avoided Twitter today but "flailing not failing" seems good
Books read from: None today

8/22
Books I've read today: 1
Total books read: 5
Pages read today: 229
Total pages read: 1,411
Things I learned on Twitter: Sarah Dessen has a new book coming out next year! Woo!
Books read from: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

8/23
Books I've read today: 0
Total books read: 5
Pages read today: 77
Total pages read: 1,488
Things I learned on Twitter: Neil Gaiman did the ice bucket challenge in his underwear!
Books read from: Legend by Marie Lu

8/24
Books I've read today: 1
Total books read: 6
Pages read today: 228
Total pages read: 1,716
Things I learned on Twitter: Neil Gaiman has a new short story collection coming out in February.
Books read from: Legend by Marie Lu

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review Briton and the Dane: Timeline by Mary Ann Bernal

Book- The Briton and the Dane: Timeline by Mary Ann Bernal
Self-published; January 2014
218 pages
Format: Paperback
Genres: Vikings/Anglo-Saxon/9th Century/historical fiction/adventure
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis via Barnes and Noble: Dr. Gwyneth Franger, a renowned expert in early medieval England, is set upon learning the truth about the death of Lord Erik, the last descendant of the powerful House of Wareham. Her quest becomes an obsession, a condition that began with the discovery of a portrait of the tall and valiant warrior. Digesting troves of mildewed scrolls and source documentation only enhances her belief that Lord Erik was brutally assassinated by a cabal of traitors in the pay of William the Bastard, shortly before the onslaught of the Norman Invasion.
On an archeological dig in Southern England, Dr. Franger finds herself transported back to the Dark Ages and at the side of the noble Lord Erik who commands an army of elite Saxon warriors. Witnessing the unrest firsthand, Gwyneth senses that her instincts had been right all along, and she is determined to learn the identities of the treacherous blackguards hiding in the shadows, villains who may well be posing as Lord Erik's friends and counselors.
Gwyneth knows it is wrong to stop the assassins, but isn't sure she can find the strength to walk away and watch her beloved Erik die. Will she intervene, change the course of history and wipe out an entire timeline to save the man she loves?

My Thoughts:
I have been a huge fan of the Briton and the Dane series for such a long time. I have loved each and every book in the series, and Timeline did not disappoint. Having loved these characters from the get-go, I was ecstatic to have a chance to read another story featuring one of my favorites: Gwyneth.

I loved the time travel aspect the most, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. It was just awesome! I love that there is a love story, an adventure story, and a history story all mixed into one. It’s like getting more than one book, and I never got bored, or felt that the story was going slow, or felt like I had to skip ahead to get to a more interesting part. (Guilty of doing that now and again.)

Timeline really drew me in. I could empathize with the characters and I felt what they were feeling. At times, I couldn’t read a page fast enough, I had to know how things were going to work out immediately. I didn’t feel like I was just a reader, I felt like I was in this world, and I love when that happens.

I cannot recommend The Briton and the Dane series enough. If you haven’t read the series, I hope that you do, and if you’re already a fan of the series, don’t miss Timeline!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday Sundries: Allergies...Boo!

I am a bit under the weather due to allergies today, which is a bit of a pain. I could do without all this feeling like crap. But it's almost fall. So there's that.

Yesterday I had orientation to be a volunteer at the local animal shelter with my friend/library co-worker Alexis. I am so excited!! I haven't signed up for any shifts yet, but I can't wait. I'm pretty sure I'll alternate between doing cat care shifts and dog walking. I love both cats and dogs. I fell in love with most of the kittens there, and a few of the adult cats, as well as an older terrier/big dog mix. He looks like a gentleman personified into a dog. He's adorable. So I can't wait to start there.

We are finally done all the summer reading programs at the library. I had a bought of depression during all of this so it was a bit of a challenge as well. I loved all the kids and they are excellent readers and had such a blast this year. But it was kind of sad that I had to deal with a bought of depression during my favorite time of the year at work. I've pulled out of it and am feeling better, finally.

I've been reading up a storm lately and wanted to share what I've read in the last week.

  • We Were Liars by e. lockhart
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • Richard II by Shakespeare
  • Henry IV pt 1 by Shakespeare
  • The Tryant's Daughter by J.C. Careleson (Read most of this but ultimately a DNF, so still counting it)

    Currently listening to audiobook of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Liani Taylor.
    Currently rereading Frostbite by Richelle Mead (planning to start Bloodlines soon).
    Currently reading Tease by Amanda Maciel
Boutofbooks is coming up soon. The 18th, I believe. I'm trying to decide what I'd like to read. I am dying to read the other two novels in The Selection series. I picked them up at the library, but I'm unsure if I want to start them as soon as I finish my current reads or wait to the readathon. 

I'm having similar feeling about the small stack of graphic novels I have out from the library, my hold on the book Legend by Marie Lu might be in by then, too. Or I could also read some books that I own, that I haven't read yet. Decisions, decisions.

I bought a few books this week and I am so excited! (They may also end up in the #boutofbooks pile).
I bought (on sale!!!):
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffen

I am trying to make it to September without buying any more books, but I have my eyes on several, so I'm not sure I will make it. Then I thought that if I get them from The Book Depository, by the time they arrive, it will be in September most likely. That counts right?

I've got my eyes on:
The Selection Stories: The Prince and the Guard by Kiera Cass
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake*
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Night School: Resistance by CJ Daughtery
Burial Rights by Hannah Kent

*I'm dying for the edition with the red/crimson text. Does anyone know if it's just the hardback, or the paperback as well?

I hope you are all having a good week. What are you all reading? Anyone made a #boutofbooks tbr yet?


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Book: The Selection by Kiera Cass (The Selection #1)
Published by HarperTeen; April 2012
327 pages
Format Paperback
Genres: Y/A, Romance, Dystopian
I got this book at the library.
Synopsis: "For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide



My thoughts:

When The Selection was all over the blogosphere, I avoided it like the plague because it sounded like bad reality tv. Plus, girls fighting over a man drives me batshit cray*. When one of the teens in our summer program suggested (ie begged) me to read this book I couldn’t say no. (It’s a problem of mine.) She described it as “the bachelor meets the royal wedding”. Joy. Because who doesn’t love pretentious, entitled people, treating others as disposable...amirite?

What she didn’t tell me, actually what NO ONE told me, was that this book is like crack. To further that anology, loving this series can’t be good for me (or my book snobbish ways) but I couldn’t put it down. Though I probably would have said I could in an attempt to save face. Book. Crack.

I hate love triangles. Hate them! But I am so on team Maxon, you guys. He’s not perfect (but televised manwhoring aside) he’s pretty close. Plus, for as sheltered as his life is, he seems pretty intelligent. Who doesn’t love a man who has something going on upstairs? I really dug that despite his having feelings for America, he would have settled for just being her friend because he cares about her happiness. I’m solidly on team Maxon.

(Sorry in advance Aspen fans). Aspen just seems like a douche. You don’t tell someone you love them/want to marry them and then break up with them because they cooked you dinner. That is so not okay. (Fuck the patriarchy). She loves him and knows that as the family provider he rarely has food, cooks him dinner using money she scrimped and saved for, and that bruises his ego. Basically he’d rather be starving than say “thanks for caring?” Douchebag. Then he shows up like a fine how do you do and has them committing treason. Points for being consistantly douchey?

At times America frustrates me a great deal, but I really do like her. I like that she is still herself and that makes he a threat for Maxon’s affection. I like that even though she is currently surrounded by luxery, castes don’t matter to her and she cares deeply for the well being and safety of her family and her maids. I even like that she has conflicting feelings, but still speaks honestly from the heart. She makes me want to root for her. But I swear to god, if she picks Aspen at the end, I will be pissed at her bad decision making. (I declare loyalty fiercely after only one book).

I’m off to get the last two books in this series tomorrow. I just have to know. I will be avoiding the internet so I can finish this series blind with no spoilers.

*Celeste is a major bitch and I kind of hope she dies in a raid.




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Declaring My Intentions

My hiatus was much longer than I intended. Life as of late has kind of been me going through the motions. I was reading...ish, but mostly out of habit, not for enjoyment. It has taken me weeks, if not months to finish a book. Blogging seemed like a chore and not only could I not make myself do it. I didn't really want to make myself do it.

This week I found my spark again. I've fallen in back in love with reading and yesterday I found myself thinking about how much I miss book blogging. Not only did I read a few books back to back, I have started writing up reviews again. It feels good to have that spark back again. This time last year, I had read about 100 books. For this year, I have read 39. Clearly, my heart wasn't in the right place.

Bout of Books

I saw that #BoutofBooks is happening again in a couple weeks (maybe less) and I am excited! I've missed that lovely little readathon and talking about books on twitter. (My twitter has been just as silent as this blog. Sorry!) So I'm going to participate!

For those of you who don't know what #boutofbooks is, here is the info from their website: (boutofbooks.blogspot.com)
"The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog." - From the Bout of Books team


Goals:
I want to read a little bit everyday.
I want to finish 2 books and/or read a total of 600 pages.
Have fun.
Not stress.


Lastly, if you're still reading this blog, thank you. Reviews to come soon.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Monthly TBR -- February 2014



I created this meme to show off the books I want to read during the month. Though my reading lists are rarely set in stone, it's an attempt for me to get a bit more focused and organized in my reading habits.


Below are the books I plan to read during February, whether it be books I've already started that I want to finish, ongoing books that I am in no rush to finish, and books I know I'll read start to finish this month.

During the month of January I read:
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Before I Wake by Rachel Vincent
Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot By The Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
Great by Sarah Benincasa
How To Love by Katie Cotugno
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Argo: How the CIA & Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio J. Mendez and Matt Baglio
The Freedom Writer's Diaries by Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers
Panic by Lauren Oliver




February's Delusional-ly Ambitious TBR from bottom to top:
Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
Eternity (Fury #3) by Elizabeth Miles
The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Minger
Demon Glass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins
Spellbound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Jackdaws by Ken Follett
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin*
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin*
Not pictured (ebooks):
A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway*
House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

* Due to length, these books will be ongoing, but I will be starting them this month.
I'm also participating in the Goodreads re-reads of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor in anticipation of the release of Dreams of Gods and Monsters in April. Details on the re-read here.


What are you all planning to read this month? You can add your links below from now until the 20th of Feb.

Happy reading!

Love, Jenn









Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm back!!!



     Starting in February I am going to be back in the swing of blogging and things. I didn't mean to take such a long break but having done so, I realized not only how much I've missed blogging but all my bookish peeps.

     I've been without a computer/internet for awhile and have lost access to all the blogs that I did follow. I went through who I follow on twitter last night and made a list of the blogs that I know I followed. Consider that a warning that all my lovelies will get lots of comments over the next week or so. Also, if I followed your blog in the past, but you aren't on twitter, feel free to drop me a comment to let me know that your blog was once on my list. (My memory is awful, and google reader is deader than dead, so there's no accessing that list.)

   I made some bookish/blogging resolutions in January and I'm going to let you all in on the goals.

  • Read 100 books
  • Read more of the books that I own
  • Try to discover more new authors and just branch out in general
  • Book buying ban until I've read 20 books that I own ( I've got two books I've been waiting for for years those two will be the only exception. Fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Stephanie Perkins will be with me).
  • Blog twice a week
  • Embrace the nerdy side of myself in my posts
  • Be on the ball with commenting (I'm really bad at this, any tips?)
     So I will see you all in February with a new Monthly TBR post! And thank you for sticking by my quirky little blog.

Love, Jenn