Archive for the ‘Book Tag’ Category

500 Likes!

Posted: January 16, 2017 in Book Tag

500-likes

Look what you all did ūüėč Thanks for being awesome, friends!

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Yo! I’m still on my two week holiday break from blogging (I meant to post my review of Marissa Meyer’s Winter by now, but, alas, the holidays! The food, the games! Next week, I promise), but I couldn’t resist writing the ubiquitous Best of 2016 list. I got to read such a great stretch of books near the end of 2016, and I found a couple of new to “go-to” authors throughout this year. That’s a good reason to come back from my break for a day, right? You know it!

I read something like 65 books this year (not counting rereads such as Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park audiobooks I enjoyed this Fall). Many were new releases, but, happily, I also managed to fit in some backlist reading! Most of my 11 favorites are books published pre-2016, but the best books published this year were smash hits. I grouped them all together, below, roughly in the order of favorites; but really? The books in the top two rows are basically all tied with each other, as are the bottom two. I just loved so many books this year! It’s been wonderful!

Favorites of 2016

  • Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone. Max Gladstone is one of those clever authors who subvert expectations constantly with humor and unique religious insight (this time about Mesoamerican ideas of sacrifice). Definitely one of my faves! Even though I enjoyed book I (Three Parts Dead) more than Two Serpents Rise, book II still earned a whopping 4.5/5 stars.
  • The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson. This year has been a Sanderson Epoch for me! I read and loved the original Mistborn trilogy on audiobook. All in all, I will have read seven and started an eighth Sanderson book, all in the course of 2016.
  • The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks. Because if a book makes me laugh this hard, it belongs in my favorites!
  • Waer by¬†Meg¬†Caddy.¬†A gorgeous YA travel fantasy by a debut Australian author. Told in the style of Juliet Marillier. Published in 2016.
  • Railhead by Philip Reeve.¬†Sentient trains ship passengers throughout the galaxies. Great setup for a great series, I hope!
  • The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima. I really enjoyed this YA Fantasy and would love to finish the series. Just bought book two with Christmas money!

 

2016 Runner-Ups

  • Ibenus (Valducan #3) by Seth¬†Skorkowsky. I was really impressed with this gritty adult urban fantasy (published in 2016). If that’s your jam, you should definitely check out this series.
  • Emperor of the Eight Islands by Lian Hearn. A literary Asian-influenced adult fantasy (2016). I really enjoyed this dark fantasy, much more so than the other book I’ve read by Hearn, The Nightingale Floor.

And that’s it! What a great year. What did you enjoy reading in 2016? Link your recap posts to mine so I can read them!

Bookshelf roundups” are just what they sound like: they “roundup” my latest reviews and upcoming reviews.

Recent Reviews

Yo readers! I’ve been reading a TON of YA, this month. Here’s the roundup, thus far:

First up was The Children of Icarus, a YA Fantasy by young author Caighlan Smith.

Children of Icarus

Kiersten White’s fabulous Alt Historical YA,¬†And I Darken, was next:

My favorite of the bunch was a crossover fantasy from the 1980s: The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.

The-Blue-Sword

I’m always looking for fantasies like this book, so I welcome your suggestions! This was a five-star, for me.

My¬†latest¬†review was of a new serial YA Dystopian called “ReMade,” put out by Serial Box Publishing.

Remade

Multiple authors, including the author And I Darken, Kiersten White, will contribute to this serial; episode one, authored by Matthew Cody, will be released on Sept 14th, 2016.

Upcoming Reviews

But in the next two weeks, I’ll be reviewing a couple of adult picks, in addition to an upcoming YA:

The Thief of Kalimar by Graham Diamond, a 1979 middle-eastern-flavored Fantasy that was recently republished as an ebook.

The Golden Torc by Julian May, book 2 of The Saga of the Pliocene Exile, an adult sci-fi published in the 1980s and republished by Tor in 2013.

Aaaaaand Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova, a Latin-flavored YA Fantasy which will be published Sept 6th by Sourcebooks Fire. [Review now available!]

Labyrinth Lost.jpg

Isn’t that cover creepy!?

What have you been reading lately? What are you planning to read next? I do hope you’ll link¬†your next “bookshelf roundup” to this post so I can see what you’re reading, too!

Goodreads Book Tag

Posted: August 1, 2016 in Book Tag
Tags:

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Ashley over at¬†Socially Awkward Bookworm tagged everyone in her Goodreads Book Tag post. If you haven’t seen¬†her blog before, you should totally check it out!

Anyhoo, I really enjoyed reading her answers to the Goodreads Tag questions, so I decided to answer them, too.

What is the last book you marked as ‚ÄúREAD‚ÄĚ?

Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger. You can read my review of it on my blog here or my Goodreads here! This great new character-driven YA SF clearly marks Lois Metzger as an experienced storyteller. She writes short stories and edits anthologies, accomplishments which explain her talent for writing tight, tense prose. This short book compelled me to read quickly on toward the plot secret. 4/5 STARS.

changeplaceswithme

What are you currently reading?

I actually already finished YA Fantasy¬†Children of Icarus¬†by Caighlan Smith, but I haven’t marked it as read, yet, because I’m still editing the review. (Review to come this Thursday, Aug. 4th! [Review now available!]) I was excited to read this offering¬†from young Caighlan Smith because (1) I love watching a writer’s talent develop and (2) the book was published (today, Aug. 1st!) by Switch Press, who also published Philip Reeve’s¬†Railhead,¬†an excellent YA SF/F¬†about sentient, space-traveling trains.

COI

I’m also currently reading The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley,¬†a¬†High Fantasy published (and marketed to both children and adults) in 1987 with an impressive 4.23 overall rating on Goodreads. I’ve been savoring it¬†because it’s AMAZING. [Review now available!]

The-Blue-Sword

And And I Darken by Kiersten White, a YA Historical that I’m sure ¬†you’ve heard about. This book is buzzworthy for good reason. [Review now available!]

What was the last book you marked as ‚ÄúTO READ‚ÄĚ?

Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs.

FutureShock.jpg

I found this YA time travel SF while I was book-shopping¬†for my library’s teen section; after seeing all its positive reviews, I knew I had to read it.

What book do you plan on reading next?

The Thief of Kalimar by Graham Diamond.

I saw, on Netgalley, that this 1979 adult High Fantasy was recently republished by Endeavor Press (a small UK publisher doing some interesting stuff, as noted by The Guardian) and it looked like a fun read. My review of it should be up sometime during the week of Aug. 15th-21st!

Do you use the star rating system?

Yes, and I add half-stars.

Are you doing the 2016 Reading Challenge?

Nah. Maybe I’ll do it just to clean off my “to-read” shelf, at some point, but for now I’m pleased with my progress.¬†At this point, I’m busy enough making time to write my stories in between reading, reviewing and working!

Do you have a wishlist?

Indeed. It includes all of Dorothy L. Sayers’ hilarious¬†Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.

LordPeterWimsey.jpg

Dorothy Sayers also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy, and I want to buy vols. II & III,¬†Purgutory¬†&¬†Paradise, since I’m enjoying Hell so much. (Well, that sounds weird, but WHATEVA.)

HellParadise

And, finally, books II & III of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy. (I already own book I.)

mistborn-covers

What book do you plan on buying next?

All of them, as soon as I get giftcards! Haha. I’ll probably start with the Mistborns, since I want to review those.

What is your favorite quote?

Oh my, that’s¬†an impossible question; but I’ll¬†do my best. Faith¬†inspires me very much, so let’s go with Sherlock Holmes on Providence:

“There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion…It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Arthur Conan Doyle, The Naval Treaty

Who are your favorite authors?

Dorothy L. Sayers, Madeleine L’Engle, Flannery O’Connor¬†&¬†Jane Austen!

Why are all my favorite authors dead? *sigh* And female!

Okay, just to round things out, a living male author: Brandon Sanderson.

Are you a part of any Goodreads groups?

Yes, “Nothing But Book Challenges.” I’m afraid I’m not a very active member, but I do enjoy seeing what everyone is reading. Occasionally I accept one of their challenges, to liven things up. I like their Netgalley boards.

What could Goodreads do better?

I love Goodreads, but I don’t like the look of the reviews when I share them on Facebook. I think the Facebook versions are ugly and difficult for my readers to manage.

I tag NeverSeenAnEvergreen, The Critiquing Chemist and anyone else who enjoys Goodreads ūüôā Thanks again for the tag, Socially Awkward Bookworm!

I would like to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you the book lover’s 7 booktag! Do steal it and pass it around. You can do it on Facebook, too…
A Book or Author You Wish More People Had Read:
The Scorpio Races!!! Everyone seems to have read Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series (which I don’t like) or her Raven Boys series (which is fine) but The Scorpio Races is by far her best. It won the Printz Award, a screenplay is being written and it is my most hearted book. Like, ever.
Scorpio
A BRILLIANT Book or Author You Just Discovered:
I adored Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth! The audiobook was absolutely lovely, and I couldn’t stop thinking about this memoir. A fascinating look into the social problems, healthcare and midwifery of the 1950s east end.
callthemidwife
A Book or Author That Has Been On Your TBR List For WAY TOO LONG:
I have been meaning to read Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler for WAY TOO LONG, people, way, way too long. Ever since I read about it in Donald Maass’s Writing The Breakout Novel. Which was long ago. So I just checked it out and I’ll let you know what I think of it.
wildseed
Your Last Guilty Pleasure Read:
Hehe. Vampire Academy. I was quite surprised by the character-building and the structure in Mead’s world. I particularly liked the social fabric between the guardians and the Moroi–the stigma of being a “blood whore,” the single-mother situation among the female guardians, etc. That was really well developed and added credibility to the world.
vampire
A Book You Are Proud to Have Recently Finished:
The Penguin Guide to the Constitution, I suppose. *BRAG*
const
An Author or Genre You Need to Read More of: 
I tend toward children’s and YA because they’re quicker and often happier, so I need to read more adult fiction, particularly sci-fi and epic fantasy. Asimov, Brent Weeks, Mercedes Lackey, Vonnegut, etc.
A Book or Author that Really Is Next TBR:
Well, I’m currently alternating among three: Brandon Sanderson’s lively¬†Mistborn: The Final Empire, Flannery O’Connor’s¬†terrifying¬†Wise Blood¬†& the fascinating¬†The Nations Within by Deloria and Lytle. After that? Wild Seed and probably The Martian.
mistbornwise bloodthe martianTheNationsWithin
I would love to hear your answers to the 7 questions! Link me to your post, if you do the tag.