Fantasy Book Bingo Update

readathon

Go here for original Reddit post for more information on this readathon.

Hi all! I have been reading a lot of new-to-me books so far this year, and have managed to fill in two more squares on my bingo card. Only 2 books to go until blackout bingo! My card now looks like this:

fantasy book bingo card 02.04.19

Gosh, those covers in those colors make my bingo card look so somber. I wonder if anyone has tried to complete this challenge based on cover color? That would add an interesting extra dimension to the challenge.

The Stats:

  • 23/25 read
  • 19/23 hard mode
  • 2/2 of the remaining I know what I want to read

I say I know what I want to read for the remaining squares, but the fact is, I have deviated wildly from my original TBR for many of the bingo squares. Once I get my blackout bingo I will do a TBR v.s. what I actually read comparison post.

Btw, I totally get now why Circe by Madeline Miller won the Goodreads 2018 best fantasy. It is so good!

Happy reading everyone!

 

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January 2019 Wrap-up

Hello all! This is the first year I am tracking my reading on Goodreads starting from the beginning of the year. I love that Goodreads allows you to track what you have read and has the yearly reading challenge, however their “Year in Books” that they put together for everyone at the end of the year I found very disappointing. It was missing a lot of statistics that I wanted to know like, what are my new reads v.s. my re-reads? How many print books v.s. ebooks v.s. other formats? And how many books did I read of each genre?

So, I ended up putting together my own spreadsheet. It was really fun to brush off my rusty coding skills to get the formulas exactly how I wanted (for instance, I am tracking author gender, however I only wanted to track distinct authors since I tend to read a lot of books by the same author if I know I like their work…that sort of thing).

So, here are my stats from January:

  • 21 books read
  • 182 pages average

New Reads v.s. Re-reads January 2019

I tend to re-read books a lot, so one of my goals for this year was to read more new reads than re-reads. I think I am off to a pretty good start so far.

Series v.s. Standalones January 2019

I didn’t realize I read a lot more books in series than standalones until I started tracking it.

Number of Books in Genre Read January 2019

The only surprise here was that I read 2 slice of life books. That is not typically a genre I read.

Reading Format January 2019

I am trying to build up my library again, which means I have a lot of physical print books to be read. I am trying to read those to cut down the TBR list. Ebooks still call to me though since you can get them with the click of a button.

Percent Genders Read January 2019.png

This one was a bit of a surprise. I don’t really care about the gender of the author I am reading (it is not something I take into account when I decide to read a book), but I was surprised that it is overwhelmingly female authors whose books I am drawn to.

Well, as you can see above, I really like pie charts. Hah! Anyway, I am enjoying keeping track of my reading this way since it is shedding some light on my reading habits. It will be interesting to see how the charts change as the year progresses.

Happy reading everyone!

 

 

Tome Infinity Wrap-up

tome infinity 2

(Banner is from the official Tome Infinity Twitter page)

Hello fellow space farers! I know the readathon doesn’t end until the 31st, but I thought I might just wrap-up here since I am chomping at the space dust to read Circe by Madeline Miller, and I had no intentions to read that book as part of this readathon. (I mean, I probably could fit it into one of the prompts, but I kinda like where I ended up with this readathon.) So, here are the stats:

Journey to a new planet – COMPLETE

tome infinity route complete.jpeg

I completed a fair bit of this during round 1 of Tome Infinity, but I got stuck in the Astroid Belt for a loooooooong time, so that is where I picked up when round 2 began.

Completed in Round 1:

Completed in Round 2:

As for building up the colony on Saturn’s moon Titan, I doubled up on prompts so I could get to at least tier 3.

Tier 1 Basic Survival – COMPLETE

tier 1

As I have said before, food is important.

Tier 2 Small Settlements – COMPLETE

tier 2

Tier 3 Growing Civilization – COMPLETE

tier 3.png

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is the first of the Murderbot Diaries series. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it is rather popular on the r/Fantasy sub-reddit, so I decided to give it a try. It is about an android which has hacked it’s governor module (basically making it a free agent, and able to defy orders) that is contracted out to a team of scientists to protect them as they survey a planet. I really enjoyed being inside Murderbot’s head (Murderbot is what the android calls itself). I have the second book on order and am looking forward to reading it.

This book is for: People who enjoy binging TV (or can at least commiserate), people who like conspiracies/murder mysteries, and for people who like reading about androids who aren’t concerned about “what it means to be human” and would rather just be left alone.

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson is an homage to H. P. Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, that attempts to answer the question of “where have all the women gone?” in Lovecraft’s story.  I liked this book, but I was slightly disappointed the cat army didn’t make an appearance (though, there was a cat that accompanied Vellitt throughout most of the story…and I really liked the gug).

This book is for: People who like H. P. Lovecraft’s dream world stories, but wish he had added in some bad ass women.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon was simultaneously a glorious and extremely difficult read. This is what I wrote about it on Goodreads:

I…don’t think I have adequate words to talk about this book. It is magnificent, and it is terrible. It makes me want to simultaneously destroy all human life and give everyone a giant hug. I think I am going to curl up with some tea and watch cute cat internet videos now.

So, yeah, it was amazing (and awful).

This book is for: People who like stories with non-binary characters, people who like a bitter-sweet conclusion, people who like giant spaceships, and people who abhor slavery.

The breakdown:

  • All Systems Red – covers Technology and Government
  • Dream-Quest – covers Urban Settlements and Higher Education
  • Unkindness – covers Class Structure and Religion

So, that’s it! I think the colony (and my research) have made decent headway. If anyone else participated in this readathon, let me know how far you got! And as always:

tome infinity

 

Dreamy Book Cover Tag

Hi all! I saw this book tag over on Bookmark Your Thoughts and thought it was awesome so I decided to do one of my own. I absolutely love beautiful book covers, some are truly a work of art, and I am not ashamed to say that I have bought books before, just for their covers.

The Rules

  1. Thank the lovely person who tagged you, spread the love. (I wasn’t actually tagged, but thank you Bookmark Your Thoughts!)
  2. Mention Tiana @ The Book Raven as the creator of this book tag.
  3. Use the original tag image in your post. (However, feel free to add whatever other graphics your heart desires.)
  4. At least tag 1 fellow blogger for this tag.
  5. List the rules.

Not in Ideas but in Things

A BOOK COVER THAT PERFECTLY EXPRESSES THE NOVEL INSIDE IT

The cover of The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin is stark, beautiful, devastating, grueling, cruel, and cold (after all, the book does take place on a planet called Winter). The story contained within is all of these things and more.


Dark and Lovely

A BOOK COVER THAT IS SO CREEPALICIOUS YOU JUST WANT TO EAT IT UP

That mask on the hardcover edition of A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge…super creepy.


Sugar Sweet

A CUTE COVER THAT IS SO FLUFFY YOU WANT TO GIVE IT A HUG

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill just makes me squee.


The Simplistic Aesthetic

A BOOK COVER THAT STUNS WITH THE MOST MINIMALISTIC OF DESIGN

Vicious by V. E. Schwab has one of the simplest but most stunning covers I have ever seen.


Cover Envy

A BOOK COVER YOU WISH YOU HAD ON YOUR SHELVES, BUT DON’T YET

I love the neon effect in the cover of Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller.


Traveling Abroad

A BEAUTIFUL BOOK COVER FEATURING A COUNTRY OUTSIDE OF YOUR OWN

Most of the books I read don’t take place in my country, but City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty takes place in a place very different from where I live, and the cover is absolutely stunning.


The Colour Wheel

A COVER THAT SHOWCASES ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE COLORS

Teal/aqua is my favorite color, and teal combined with red is my favorite color combination. So, Condomnauts by Yoss is one of my all time favorite covers, for the content as well as the colors.


Switching Gears

A COVER CHANGE THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY ADORE

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson went from this…(meh)

to this…(OMG that is gorgeous!!!)

I actually already owned the first copy shown, but when the new cover came out, I had to buy it. I mean, just look at it!


Oldie but Goodie

A FAVORITE BOOK COVER OF YOUR FAVORITE CLASSIC

Dune by Frank Herbert is considered a classic now right? Anyway, there have been many copies of Dune printed, but this cover is one of my favorites, because I like how the silhouette is of a worm. My other favorite Dune cover is this:


And the winner is…

WHICH COVER MENTIONED ABOVE IS YOUR FAVORITE?

It was hard to pick, but I think (right now anyway) that this cover of Snow Crash is my favorite from the above list.


Tag! You’re It!

I tag Emily @Embuhleeliest!

Tome Infinity Readathon Update

tome infinity 2

(Banner is from the official Tome Infinity Twitter page)

Hello fellow colonists! Advancement of the Titan colony continues at breakneck speed along with my research. We have now completed Tier 2!

tier 2.png

Last post, I talked about how Medicine, Education, Oral Communication, and Travel were all accounted for. Well, I just finished reading The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin which, fortunately for me, covers both Trading and Procreation.

This book was amazing and I have added it to my all time favorite books. As I said in my review on Goodreads,

This book is for people who: Like smart literature that assumes the reader is also smart, like to ponder the duality of gender and how gender roles shape so much of our lives, like a story about a stranger in a strange land, and love the cold, and ice, and snow, and winter.

Anywho, on to Tier 3! And as always:

tome infinity

Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads Group that posts monthly a list of top 5 prompts that members can post or blog about every Wednesday. You can find their information here. This week’s topic is “Top of your TBR”. I have several TBR lists…one for books I want to read and already own (what I call my physical TBR), one for books I want to read but haven’t bought yet, and then a few specialized TBR lists for readathons and the like. I decided to utilize none of these lists. The following is a list of my current, internal top 5 “I want to read these right now” books. So, without further ado:


Top 5 Books on my TBR

#1 Circe by Madeline Miller

Gah! I would have already read this book, except I am in the middle of the Tome Infinity and Beyond Readathon and I am trying to read only science fiction. I made the mistake of reading the first three of pages of Circe because I was interested in what it was like and I got hooked. Seriously, it hooked me that fast. It has been painful avoiding this book. Not sure how much longer I can hold out.


#2 Lord Seabolt by Megan Derr

This book comes out today and I already know that I am going to be taking a break from any and all readathons to read it. It’s gonna happen.


#3 The Fold by Peter Clines

Fortunately, I don’t have to wait to read this one since it is the next book I intend to read for the Tome Infinity readathon. In fact, I would be reading it now if I weren’t writing this post.


#4 An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

I also won’t have to wait long to read this one since it is also for Tome Infinity. Once I finish The Fold I will pick up this book (unless I can’t resist Circe’s siren song any longer).


#5 The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

Again, not long to wait on this book, since I will read it after An Unkindness of Ghosts .


And that’s it! You all have any books you’re dying to read?

Disney Princess Book Tag

Hello all! We are about to get hit by a massive snowstorm here, so you know what that means….perfect time to write up some blog posts! Anyway, back in December I was tagged by Bookmark Your Thoughts (thank you!!), but haven’t had the time to do a long book tag. So today is the perfect day!

Also, I know this is the Disney princess tag, but might be picking some Disney females who are not technically “princesses”.

The Rules

  1. Link back to Kyera’s original post on Kyera’s Library and Mandy’s post on Book Princess Reviews so they can see all your answers! Be sure to do this via pingback, we don’t get notified if you just tag our URLs.
  2. Thank the person(s) who tagged you… show the community some love!
  3. Obviously, come up with your own wonderful answers!
  4. Don’t forget to tag others to keep the tag going!

Best Hair Accessory

FAVORITE BOOK SIDEKICK

red queen

The Red Queen’s crown – Queens were princesses once right? Besides, I was born on Valentine’s Day so…I am the Queen of Hearts.

Is there a better literary sidekick than Sancho Panza in Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes? I don’t think there is.


Biggest Hair Change

PLOT TWIST THAT TOTALLY CAUGHT YOU OFF GUARD

rapunzel

Rapunzel’s hair being cut – From blond and super long to brown and short

I actually saw the plot twist coming in The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson, but it was the fate of Tain Hu that caught me off guard.


Prettiest Up-do/Bun

A BOOK OR AUTHOR WITH THE MOST ELEGANT PROSE

Princess Leia during the awards ceremony – I love this up-do. Alas it only happens once.

I have only read the first couple of pages of Circe by Madeline Miller, but holy crap! The prose is gorgeous. Ms. Miller has the rare ability to be able to grab a person’s attention and immediately suck them into a story.


Most Bounce/Body

BOOK THAT BOUNCES BETWEEN MULTIPLE TIME PERIODS

Merida’s curly hair – When it comes to bounce and body, Merida’s hair can’t be beat

The characters in Hyperion by Dan Simmons all tell their story of why they are on the Shrike pilgrimage. All of the stories happen in the past (obviously) but some are further back in time than others.


Most Intricate Braid

FAVORITE PLOT WITH MULTIPLE STORY-LINES THAT ARE WOVEN TOGETHER 

Elsa’s braid – I love that it is studded with ice crystals

I wouldn’t necessarily say “favorite” (though it is up there), but I think The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton has the most complicated multi-story plot I have ever read.


Short & Sweet

A BOOK THAT’S SHORT AND SWEET

Edna Mode’s short bob – She’s no princess, but she is the Queen of Fashion…and probably my favorite character (along with Gramma Tala) in the entire Disneyverse

A Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr is my happy book, and at 229 pages is a quick read.


Nicest Half-Up / Half-Down

A BOOK/CHARACTER THAT YOU HAD A LOT OF UPS AND DOWNS WITH

moana grandma

Gramma Tala’s half-up/half-down-do – She’s the mother of the village chief which makes her basically the Queen Mother…gosh, I hope I am just like her when I grow up #lifegoals

Basically all the characters in Ken Follet’s The Pillars of the Earth. I got so frustrated with everyone in this book.


Medium & Manageable

THE LAST BOOK YOU FELT RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE ABOUT

Cinderella’s medium length hair – Seems pretty manageable to me

On the one hand, I really liked the plot of Binti by Nnedi Okorafor and I really liked the eponymous character, but the story was way too short for me to really care about any of the other characters except the aliens.


Best Bangs

EYE-CATCHING COVER

princess kida

Kida’s choppy bangs – I just love them…and her white hair…and her face tattoo…

I absolutely adore this cover of The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge. Not gonna lie, half of the reason I bought this book was because of the cover.


Long & Loose

LONGEST BOOK YOU READ THIS YEAR

ariel

Ariel’s long flowing hair – Gorgeous on land and in sea

Fortunately the year has hardly begun so it was easy to look this up. The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons is the longest book I have read so far, at 518 pages.


Best Pony

A BOOK THAT SWINGS FROM POV TO POV

Jasmine’s ponytails – Jasmine has 2 different ponytail looks in the movie and they are both awesome. Megara came in a close second on this one though, but couldn’t beat out Jasmine’s two looks.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins definitely swings between some uh…unique POVs.


Stunningly Straight

A BOOK THAT MADE YOU WANT TO DIVE STRAIGHT INTO THE SEQUEL

mulan

Mulan’s beautiful hair – She is not a princess, but the emperor bowed to her…plus she can totally kick my ass. Also, I am impressed she can cut her hair so straight with a sword. That’s some mad skills.

As soon as I finished Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, I immediately wanted to read the next book in the series. Unfortunately, books 2 and 3 didn’t live up to the first one, but book 4 was awesome.


Enviable Curls

A BOOK WITH TWISTS AND TURNS 

wendy

Wendy Darling’s curls – Wendy may not be a princess (and I have no justification for including her on this list) but she does have mad perfect curls that never seem to get messed up, no matter what kind of shenanigans she gets up to with Peter and the gang

I hate to repeat a book…but The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton has probably the twistiest plot I have ever read. Seriously, I don’t think even string theory could help you keep it straight.


Hair Closest to Your Own

A BOOK THAT YOU STRONGLY CONNECTED TO

belle

Belle’s brown hair – Minus the bangs and make it a smidge shorter but yep, that’s basically my hair

Ok, this might be kind of an odd answer, but Elf Quest Book Three and Book Four are two books I really connect to, and are precious to me to this day, because I actually remember my mom giving them to me. She died when I was ten and I have suppressed most of my memories of her, so for me to remember her giving them to me is a big deal.


TAG! YOU’RE IT!

Emily, I chose you!