Monday, February 2, 2015

Monthly TBR February 2015



I can't believe it is February already, but at the same time that makes me happy because we are getting closer to Spring. I'm usually a fan of winter but we are on storm number 3 in a week equaling more than 3 feet in my part of Maine. I need a dose of sunshine.

January was a slow reading month for me. I only read 4 books and made very sluggish progress with 4 others. So I'm hoping February goes a bit better, especially since I have a some deadline reading.

In January I read:
My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins (and 11 others I'm too lazy to type out).
Champion by Marie Lu
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

In February I am aiming high, I hope to read:
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews*
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown*
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas*
A Million Suns by Beth Revis*
Divergent by Veronica Roth (book club)
This Life Is In Your Hands by Melissa Coleman (book club)
War and Peace (read along that goes into April hosted by Booking In Heels)
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
*currently reading

I'm less than 50 pages in almost all of my current reads, I just passed 100 pgs in Throne of Glass so I have to get out of my reading rut. I really just need to FINISH something.

What are you all planning to read this month?

Happy reading,
Jenn

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published by Entangled Teen; 2012
335 pages
Format: ebook
Genres: YA/paranormal/science fiction
I bought this book.

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis via Goodreads: Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something... unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don't kill him first, that is.
 

My thoughts:

This is one of only a couple books about Aliens that I have read. (The other being The Host by Stephenie Meyer). Aliens aren’t really my “monster” of choice. No one really changes the basics of Aliens, unlike some have changed the basics of vampires. (See what I did there?)
But Obsidian is awesome! It’s been on my radar for awhile, but I probably wouldn’t have picked it up when I did if it hadn’t been chosen for The Little Book Club that I participate in. It was our September pick.

Some in the group compared it to Twilight, others just downright hated it, but I loved it! It’s like book crack. I couldn’t put it down and I plan to read the rest of the series soon. The major complaint in the book group was that the male main character/alien Daemon was an asshole. I don’t disagree, but I am more tolerant of sarcasm and snark than some. I love some sass. It’s like finding a kindred spirit.

The conspiracy/men in black aspects were so creepy, and the plot is way out there but I didn’t care. I just flew through this one. Yes, at times it was a bit predictable, but it was just so unlike anything I had read before that I couldn’t put it down. It’s definitely a guilty pleasure book.

Monday, January 5, 2015

#BoutofBooks 12.0 Mater Post





For those that don't know what Bout of Books is... here you go:
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, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th 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 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I don't really have goals for this week other than to finish some of the books that I have already started. If I get through those I have a few library books that I will pick up. But usually during readathons, I abandon all plans and just pick up random books so we'll see what happens.

The books I hope to finish are:
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Champion by Marie Lu (finished day 2)
Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Across the Universe by Beth Revis (finished day 7)


Books on stand-by are:
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas




Monday
Number of books I've read today: 0
Total number of books I've read: 0
Pages read: 148

Total pages read: 148
Books read from: Champion by Marie Lu

Tuesday
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 1

Pages read: 221
Total pages read: 369
Books read from: Champion by Marie Lu (finished)

Wednesday
Number of books I've read today:0
Total number of books I've read:1

Pages read: 0
Total pages read: 369
Books read from: none

Thursday
Number of books I've read today: o
Total number of books I've read: 1

Pages read: 53
Total pages read: 422
Books read from: Angels And Demons by Dan Brown, Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell.

Friday

Number of books I've read today:0
Total number of books I've read:1

Pages read: 0
Total pages read: 422

Books read from: none

Saturday

Number of books I've read today:0
Total number of books I've read:1

Pages read: 0
Total pages read: 422

Books read from: none

Sunday
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 2

Pages read: 265
Total pages read: 687
Books read from: Across The Universe (finished), and the first 30 pgs of Olive Kitteridge.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 End of Year Reading Stats and 2015 Goals including Bout of Books 12!



Source for gif: mashable.tumblr.com
The Wrap Up
I cannot believe that 2014 is over. I also cannot believe how much time I spent today doing math/stats for this post. Doing the pie charts was fun though. During the year I read a total of 80 books, thus exceeding my Goodreads goal for the year which was to read 60. I read a total of 21,294 pages (see weird fact #3 for a note on my page count.

Here are my weirdest stats:
1) There were two books that had two authors (Dash and Lily's Book of Dares and Argo) so my author total is 82.
2)All of the arcs I read were ebooks, so in chart, my book total seems to exceed 80 (but it didn't) and I have an extra chart for arcs vs ebooks.
3) I had 8 books that I did not finish (DNF), but I counted the number of pages read to before DNFing in my total pages.

If you want to see the complete list of books that I read in 2014, they are listed in the order I read them on the pages tab under my blog heading. :)

Let's do this, shall we?

Gender:                                                  
Male authors - 22
Female authors - 60

Paper - 45
Ebooks - 30
Arcs -  10
Audiobooks - 5

Ebook vs E-Arcs:
Arcs- 10
non ARCS-20


Where I got the books:
Library - 45
Author/publisher - 21
Mine - 9
Audible- 5

Loved vs. Hated
Never read before - 63
Rereads - 9
DNF - 8


Author Nationality:
US - 55
UK- 10
Canada- 2
China - 2
Australia- 1
Lebanon- 1
Serbia- 1
Japan- 1
Poland- 1
Iran - 1
Bosnia- 1
Pakistan- 1
Romania- 1



2015 Reading Goals:

  • Each year I plan on participating in a lot of challenges but always do far too many and complete very few (if any). So this year I am just going to participate in two. Jana is hosting a debut author challenge for middle grade/young adult/new adult books on her blog That Artsy Reader Girl. She has tons of info/resources already, and it is a very low-key challenge. You can find out more about her challenge on her blog here.
  • I am also going to be joining Adam of Roof Beam Reader's TBR Challenge. The goal is to read 12 books that have been on your tbr for over a year (and he checks publishing dates). You are also allowed two alternate titles in case you can't make it through one of the books you chose. I haven't picked all my books yet, but when I do there will be a new tab for the challenge under my blog header. You can find all the info on this challenge on Adam's blog here



  • I want to do more readathons.  (Bout of books 12 starts Monday, which I am so joining. Master post will be up Monday.) I don't just want to do official readathons, but my own mini ones at home when I need to get out of a slump or just feel inspired to read.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, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team 

More info on BoutofBooks here.


  • I want to read more of the books I own. I have 100+ books on my shelves that I have never read, plus dozens of ebooks on my kindle that I just "had to buy" but still haven't read,  and in 2014, I read 9 of the unread books I own. 9. That is so unacceptable, so I am making that a huge goal. 



  • I want to try to tackle War and Peace by Tolstoy. I know. I've researched editions and I think I have the one that will suit me best, and I've heard that once you get past the first 200 pages it gets more interesting. I've started it several times before, but never finished it, never even made it to the 100 pg mark. I'm hoping 2015 will be the year. 


While it's not technically a reading goal, I hope to blog more in 2015. I really dropped the ball the last year and want to get back into it again.


Not only do I think that's everything. This may be the longest post I have ever done. What are all your goals for 2015. And before I forget, Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Book: The Art of Asking or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
Published by Grand Central Publishing; November 2014
352 pages
Format: ebook
Genres: Autobiography/Memoir
I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Synopsis via Goodreads: Rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world's most successful music Kickstarter.
Even while Amanda is both celebrated and attacked for her fearlessness in asking for help, she finds that there are important things she cannot ask for-as a musician, as a friend, and as a wife. She learns that she isn't alone in this, that so many people are afraid to ask for help, and it paralyzes their lives and relationships. In this groundbreaking book, she explores these barriers in her own life and in the lives of those around her, and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of THE ART OF ASKING.
Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet. THE ART OF ASKING will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.

My thoughts:

I have been a fan of Amanda Palmer since 04 when a college friend played the Dresden Dolls song Coin Operated Boy. To this day, that is still one of my go-to pick me up songs. The bouncy beat gets me every time. Last year, said friend sent me the link to Amanda's TED talk (link below if you haven't seen it) and when he told me that she was writing a book kind of based on her TED talk, I knew I would be reading it as soon as I could get my hands on it. 

I was unprepared for all the feels involved in this book. I was expecting the fearlessness that I think of when I think of Amanda Palmer (who is also my own personal feminist icon), and I got that fearlessness, but at the same time, it was beautiful, and raw, and so emotional. Not only did she talk about her career as a musician, but the time when she was busking as a living statue. Her writing about music and art made me want to create something, even though my artistic talents are few and lacking. 

She also wrote about her personal life: her family, friends, and her marriage to author Neil Gaiman. (If you've read this blog for awhile, you probably know that NG is one of my favorite authors). Reading about their relationship, from meeting for the first time to marriage, felt like such a gift and a privilege. I want the kind of love that they have...so pure and nonconformist. 

One of the few passages, early one in the book, Amanda wrote about how all she really wanted was just for someone to SEE her, for someone know know that she is REAL. That was one of the parts that made me cry. It's a feeling that I am very familiar with, I'm sure most people are. But reading those words on a page, written by someone else, gave me a feeling that I can't even begin to describe. All I could think was, "Yes. She gets it."

It took me several days to read this book, which is unusual for me when I am really loving a book. I kept having to set it down, to cry for awhile and have cups of tea. I felt like I was allowed to be a part of something special just by reading this book. That if I were ever to meet Amanda Palmer, she would see me, she would know that I too, am real, because she's been there. 

I can't recommend this book enough. The Art of Asking is a book that I can definitely pinpoint as having changed my life. I will think and view things differently now. This book has made me a better person and I am so happy, and thankful, that I read it. 

Amanda Palmer's TED Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/amanda_palmer_the_art_of_asking?language=en

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: Scribbler Tales by Mary Ann Bernal

Book: The Scribbler Tales Volume 1 by Mary Ann Bernal
Published by Whispering Legends Press; September 2014
45 pages
Format: Ebook
Genres: Short Stories
I got this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 


Synopsis via Goodreads: Scribbler Tales is a unique mix of genres in one anthology rich with tension, humanity and genuine emotion. Unconventional settings and unexpected twists are bound to leave you pondering long after you close this book.”

In Desperate Measures, Audrey learns of Paul’s duplicity when human cloning experiments go awry. Forbidden Lore beckons Arianna and Ethan into a haunted cemetery where they are confronted by a gathering of witches with evil intent . Adrian must challenge his father to marry Rina or suffer the fate of star-crossed lovers in Forever Lost. In The Hourglass, Flair makes a covenant with the Devil to keep Brice alive. Aaron reflects upon his childhood as a military brat in Sail with Me.

My thoughts: 
If you’ve been reading a blog, you may have noticed that I am quite a fan of Mary Ann Bernal. Whenever she has something new coming out, I don’t hesitate to hop on that bandwagon and I am never sorry that I do. This trend continues with Scribbler Tales.

Scribbler Tales is a collection of 5 short stories of varying genres. Basically, if you like short stories, regardless of your genre comfort zone, there is something in Scribbler Tales that you will enjoy. (Though I dare you to not enjoy all five. Seriously.)

My favorite story in this first volume is Forever Lost. It’s one I had read before and it made me realize why I love rereading; it’s like coming home to an old friend. Desperate Measures might be my second favorite. It was not the type of story I would expect from Mary Ann Bernal, and it blew me away! So creepy!

I think that this collection really showcases her talent and diversity as a writer. Anyone can make a decent story when they have hundreds of pages to play with, but to create short stories that blow your mind in the few minutes it takes to read them is a true challenge. A challenge that Mary Ann Bernal completes with ease. I am eagerly awaiting the next volume of The Scribbler Tales.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Monthly TBR November 2014







How is it even November? Wasn't I just getting excited for fall? Mind blown.Here's a recap of what I read in October.

Sandman Vol. 2 The Doll's House by Neil Gaiman
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James*
Horns by Joe Hill
Anya's Ghost by Vera Bosgol
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Reread)

The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

Not pictured:
The Fall by Bethany Griffin
Scribbler Tales Volume 1 by Mary Ann Bernal
A Hollow Dream - Eternal Autumn by Andrew Van Wey
TBD Maine Authors book club pick

By the time that I got to Sandman and The Masque of the Red Death, I wasn't wanting to read them as I was in the beginning of the month, so they went back on my shelf. Maybe when I've powered through some of the library books I have out I will come back to them. I started reading The Fall by Bethany Griffin, but I haven't finished it yet, but I'm hoping to within the next week.
Our Maine Authors book club pick was pushed back to December so reading The Orphan Train may wait until December.

November I am focusing mostly on what I have out from then library. A lot of them are "new" to our collection, if not new releases so I really want to get them read and returned. I'm hoping to breeze through the YA and the adult fiction picks are ones I've really been looking forward to so I hope they will be a breeze. I've joined another book club (don't ask why I can't say no). This one is called Hello Hemlock, I was invited by a booktuber that I adore and the focus is Canadian literature and I am so excited. Here are the books I'm hoping to read in November:

The Enchantress Returns (Land of Stories #2) by Chris Colfer
A Grimm Warning (Land of Stories #3) by Chris Colfer
Cinder by Marissa Meyers (Lunar Chronicles #1)
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory (The Cousins' War #6)
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey (The Fifth Wave #2)
Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern [currently reading]
The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell [Little Book Club November read]
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky [Book to Film November read]
All My Puny Sorrow by Miriam Toews [Hello Hemlock November read] *fingers crossed it arrives in time*
The Fall by Bethany Griffin [currently reading]
The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami [currently reading]

It seems like a lot, but there are 3 middle grade and 3 YA books in the list and they will be a breeze to get through. The Murakami novel seems long-ish at 350 pages, but the book is tiny with moderate size print so it won't take long to get though as well.

I've rediscovered my love for audible, so I'm sure a few of those titles will find their way into this list as well. But I am really confident that I can tackle this TBR list.

What are you all excited to read this month?