Unfinished Series 2019

Blogmas 2019

Hi all! Today I am going to list some of the series that I have started but not finished, but that I want to finish soon (or as soon as I can as some of the books aren’t out yet). This is mostly so I will have something I can refer to in the future, and therefore might be somewhat boring for all of you, dear readers.

There are other series beyond this, including many manga, but these are the ones I want to focus on the most in the upcoming months, since they were almost all series that I started during readathons but couldn’t finish because the rest of the series didn’t satisfy a prompt (or whatever). So, these will definitely be my focus, as well as the rest of the books I need to read to black out my r/Fantasy Book Bingo card (more on that in another upcoming post).

The Quick Fire Fantasy Tag

Blogmas 2019

Hello all! I saw this post over on Kristin Kraves Books and decided to tag my self.

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (thebookwormdreamer) in your post
  • Answer the prompts below – all fantasy books!
  • Tag 5 others to take part
  • Enjoy!

5 star book

Here’s one I haven’t talked about before. Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner is about Lanen Kaelar, a woman who desperately wishes to meet a dragon, so she heads to the legendary Dragon Isle as part of a harvesting crew that are going to the island in hopes to collect a hard-to-obtain leaf. I like this book because it has good dragons in it, as opposed to so many other fantasy books that portray dragons as evil.

Always going to recommend

The Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop is probably my all time favorite, and I will always recommend it.

Own it but haven’t read it yet

My friend Emily recommended Scar Night by Alan Campbell to me as one of her all time favorites. I own it, I just haven’t gotten around to actually reading it. Hopefully next year!

Would read again

Not only would I want to read Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett again, I think I am going to have to in order to refresh my memory before the second book comes out.

In another world

Song of the Beast by Carol Berg is a bit of a brutal read, it starts off with torture, so fair warning if you decide to pick it up. It takes place in a world with dragons, and I like it because again, the dragons are good rather than evil.

Back on Earth

Here’s another one I don’t think I have talked about. The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt is about werewolves in Rome during the 8th century. It can be little hard to orient yourself in the story at first, but it is well worth the effort  to continue reading.


That’s all for today folks! There will only be one more tag, on New Year’s Eve, for the Blogmas line up. The rest of the posts will be year/decade end wrap-up posts.

Christmas Songs Tag

Blogmas 2019

Hi everyone! Yes, I know Christmas is over, but like my friend Emily, I believe it is acceptable to listen to Christmas songs until the new year. ‘Tis the season right?

Anyway, I saw this tag at Amy’s Bookish Life and decided to tag myself. The tag was created by That Artsy Reader Girl.

“All I Want for Christmas Is You”

Favorite bookish couple

So, this prompt was really hard for me because when I started to think about it, I don’t really root for couples much (though I do enjoy when they get together and everything works out). I tend to be much more invested with one party in a couple (or trio, or whatever), or sometimes both equally if they are particularly well written characters, and so long as their story turns out ok in the end (whether they get together or not), I am happy. There are certain tropes I adore though, and the grumpy snark v.s. arrogantly confidant dynamic between Selsor and Jehnonn in Kiss the Rain by Megan Derr was tops.

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

Name a book where a character is away from home (school, vacation, etc.)

The more I think about it, the more I realize how much I enjoyed Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan MacGuire. All of the students in the book are away from home at Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, though all of them, teachers included, would prefer to be elsewhere.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”

Name your favorite “little” book (children’s book, short story, novella, etc.)

This is a new love, as it didn’t exist when I was a child (it was released this year), but I absolutely adore Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison.

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

What book(s) do you hope Santa brings you this year?

Well, as I have mentioned before, my family isn’t doing presents for the adults, only stocking stuffers, so I expect I will not be receiving any books this year. I hope to get gift cards to bookstores though.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

Which book turned your nose red (made you cry)?

I think Amy Lane could write a telephone book and it would make me cry. She is a master of angst, and Keeping Promise Rock is one of her more difficult stories to read.

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Your favorite book/kind of book to read during the holidays

As I have mentioned before, I don’t have seasonal reads. Though, it is sometimes fun to read the Christmas romances that always come out this time of year.

“We Three Kings”

Your favorite trilogy

The Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop of course! (Yes, I know it is more of a series now, but this is the original trilogy and I love it.)

“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”

A character you would love to be snowed in with

Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, after he has had his adventure so that I can hear all about it.

“Last Christmas”

A book that seriously let you down

I mean, this is a trilogy and not one book, but I really wanted to love The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, but I can’t stand his writing.

“White Christmas”

An upcoming release you’re dreaming about

I want Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett like now please.


I tag Emily (if you don’t get around to this one until next year, it’s all good hahaha)!

Behind the Book Blogger Tag

Blogmas 2019

Hello good people! For those of you who celebrated, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I saw this tag over at Literary Weaponry and decided to tag myself. So, thanks!

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about to do this tag

Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging?

My friend Emily got me into blogging. She has a book blog of her own and really wanted me to blog as well. I liked her blog so I decided to give it a go and here we are. I keep blogging because it is fun. I get burned out sometimes though (I am a mood poster) and have to take breaks. I just don’t like forcing myself to write something when I don’t feel like writing it.

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

I like tags. They are an easy way to give little mini reviews and they sometimes have really interesting prompts.

What are your top 3 favorite blog posts?

I don’t have actual 3 all time favorite blog posts, but my 3 favorite types of blog posts are tags, most anticipated books, and my friend Emily’s fate of her book haul posts.

What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?

Read, play video games, binge Netflix.

What are 3 of your favorite things?

My friends, my cat, books.

What are your proudest blogging moments?

Uh…blogging is very VERY casual for me, so I don’t really feel things like pride over it. I suppose if I manage to actually complete Blogmas this year I will be happy. I dunno if I will be proud though.

What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

Reading, traveling, playing video games, playing table top games, watching anime, knitting.

Describe your personality in 3 words?

Cheerful, introverted, quirky

What are your top 3 pet peeves?

I hate being in wet clothing, I hate getting my face wet, and I hate creating dirty dishes when I cook.

What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

I was adopted.


That’s all for today, folks! (I know, I know, according to the rules I am supposed to tag 5 people…eff that, I almost never tag people. If you liked the tag and wanna do one yourself, then tag yourself. Cheers!)

Christmas Eve Book Tag

Blogmas 2019

Hello dear hearts! Is everyone who celebrates Christmas ready for tomorrow? Got all your presents wrapped and under the tree? Personally, I am good to go (phew), and I wish anyone out there buying last minute gifts the best of luck!

As for today’s tag, I actually had to google to find one, and found this particular one at Little Panda Reads. It was originally created by Samantha at Sam’s Nonsense (on Youtube), but I tweaked some of the questions so they weren’t quite so wordy.

Christmas Eve morning: what is a book you anticipate reading? 

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge. I even have it right here next to me on the couch. Gonna read it while I am visiting my rents here in Arizona.

Christmas Eve breakfast: what are your favorite treats during the holiday season?

Candy Canes

Family Time: What is a book that fills you with happiness and love?

I get the warm fuzzies every time I read Striker by Lexi Ander.

Christmas Carols: What are your favorite Christmas Carols or holiday songs?

Fairytale of New York is probably my favorite, but I like most of them.

Anticipation: What is a book release you are very much anticipating?

I just made an entire post about this recently, but number one is probably Shorefall by Robert Jackson Bennett.

You hear sleigh bells on the roof and are so excited you can’t sleep!: What is a book that kept you up all night?

Very recently Vassily the Beautiful by Angel Martinez kept me up until 2am on a work night (I get up at 6am)…EVEN THOUGH I HAVE ALREADY READ IT BEFORE. Sigh.

It’s Christmas morning, and Santa has come!: What is a book on your wishlist that you hope to unwrap?

Well, I know for a fact I am not getting any books from my family since we aren’t doing gifts for the adults this year, only stocking stuffers. But I do hope I get at least one gift card to a book store.


That’s it! Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it, otherwise, happy December the 24th & 25th! There will not be a post tomorrow as I am taking the day off for the holiday. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Christmas Memories

Blogmas 2019

Hi everyone! As we draw ever closer to the holiday, I begin to reminisce about Christmases past. Forgive me, if this is a little bit of a self indulgent, melancholy post, but this is always a really hard time of year for me, because ever since my mom died when I was 10, the Christmas holiday began to morph into a very different shape.

When I was really little, Christmas was my absolute favorite holiday. My mom loved to decorate, and seemed to have a million decorations for every holiday (including smaller ones like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s day) but Christmas definitely had the best decorations. There were the giant red and green lollipops we put in the big windows on either side of the front door, the stained glass nativity scene, the wooden Rudolf statue we had to assemble, the nutcracker collection that grew every year since my grandmother gave me one for Christmas every year, plus all the lights my dad and I would hang from the gutters around the roof of the house. I knew every single decoration, as well as where it was supposed to go in the house.

My dad, my mom, and I would drive out to the Christmas tree farm and spend half a day looking for the best tree to cut down. Once we found a suitable 12 foot monstrosity, we would use our saws to cut it down then haul it back to the house. We would put the lights on, then unpack the ornaments. I knew every single ornament, and made sure all my favorites were prominently displayed. As we got closer to the holiday, family would start showing up. First my grandma and grandpa, then my aunt, uncle, and cousin, and usually my other aunt as well.

Then it would be Christmas day and I would wake up at 4am, excited as can be, and demand my parents “come look what Santa brought!” Of course, they would tell me to go back to bed for at least another hour, but it was impossible to sleep again. So 5am on the dot I would be back in their room, demanding their presence at the tree. And oh the tree! It felt like 1,000 presents were spread out around the tree (there were too many to just fit under the tree), they would fill up nearly a quarter of the room (and it was not a small room)! Slowly the rest of the family would appear in various states of wakefulness, the adults would get coffee and distribute cinnamon buns, while I would be checking over all the things that Santa brought (one year, when I was 5, he brought a life size tiger stuffed animal that was so lifelike that when my grandmother saw it she screamed). We would do stockings first, then one by one we would start opening presents. It would take until 2-3pm because we would literally open them one at a time. Then we would have a huge Christmas dinner of turkey (sometimes ham), stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce.

But then my mom passed away, and then my dad started dating a woman (who is now my step mother) who has 2 daughters and wanted to do “our family only” Christmases. And so the world keeps spinning, and the only constant is change, and the shape of Christmas is now different. Not bad, just different. But the difference still makes me sad.

Second Tome Around Book Tag

Blogmas 2019

Hi all! Saw this tag over on All Things Momma blog and decided to tag myself. It was created by Hungry Bookworm on Youtube.

Do you buy second hand books?

Yes.

What is / was your latest purchase?

It has actually been awhile…so I am not exactly sure, but possibly Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

What condition do you find acceptable? ie, tatty or not tatty etc

I don’t mind if they are a little tatty if they are a rare edition or something, but otherwise I prefer them to be as pristine as possible. I know that is not always possible, and so I compromise, but it is what I prefer.

After you have read said book, do you keep it for a re read or re donate it?

I never get rid of books unless I am moving (particularly overseas or something) and need to do a book purge. Once it is mine, it is mine, regardless of whether I plan to re-read it or not.

Do you have a favorite place you like to go to, when looking for second hand books?

Caliban Book Shop or Half Priced Books. I know, I know, Caliban has that big whole awful thing (if you don’t know what I am talking about, google Caliban and Pittsburgh and you will find out), but I still love the store and they have a really great selection so I still go there.

Hardback or Paperback, do you have a preference?

For used books I prefer hardback.

Have you found any real gems?

I have first editions of all three of Edward Gorey’s Vinegar Works, that I got from Caliban.

OPTIONAL – Find a book from your shelves that you can donate to a good cause or your local Charity / Goodwill shops

Uh…no. (See above, “Once it’s mine, it’s mine.) I bought a house 2 years ago, so I actually have a library now, that is rather empty after having lived overseas/moving around a lot, so I need to be building UP my library, not removing books from it. I will find something else to donate, or go buy books for the express purpose of donating them. Clothes! I can donate clothes. *decisive nod*


That’s all! I tag Emily.

Review: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Blogmas 2019

Hi again everyone! Today I decided to actually stick to my tentative schedule and try my hand at another review.

Awhile back my friend Sarah recommended Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie to me. She didn’t really tell me much, except that it played with gender in interesting ways.  Well, I finally got around to reading it a couple months ago and lemme tell you, I love everything about this book.

The books starts off with the character Breq as she treks through a frozen wasteland of a planet looking for someone, saving an old acquaintance from a freezing death along the way. However, interwoven with this narrative is the narrative of Justice of Toren, a giant AI starship, who is also Breq, before the starship was destroyed. Confused? Don’t worry, it actually isn’t that confusing when you read it, as Ann Leckie is masterful at weaving these two storylines/timelines together, I am just bad at explaining it hahaha.

I don’t want too much more into the plot because spoilers, but I will say, I am super excited to read the next book.

Anyway, one of the most fascinating things for me while reading this book was how gender is handled. In the Radch, the militant empire that rules much of its corner of the universe, everyone is referred to using the pronoun “she”, regardless of biological sex or gender expression. At certain points during the book, certain characters biological sex is revealed, but since the pronoun is always “she” I had a really hard time remembering which character had which sex (not that I particularly cared, I just thought it would be interesting/could be important to the story to keep track, or else why tell us?)….and then after awhile I stopped trying to keep track at all. It was a really unique experience and I enjoyed it immensely. Makes me wish we all only used one pronoun for everyone.

Another interesting thing that Ann Leckie explores is identity. One particularly horrifying part of the story is just how Breq is a related to Justice of Toren (I don’t want to get into exactly how because, again, spoilers, but it has to do with suppressing or destroying someone’s identity to allow something else to take over….but is the original identity really gone?), and since Justice of Toren’s destruction, how she has come more and more to be her own person. Also, there is one character in the book literally at war with herself (no really, literally) because of a difference of opinion. So, can the different parts of herself really be considered to be the same person anymore? It’s so fascinating.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes space operas with AI main characters, enjoys when authors play around with gender, likes frozen tundra planets, and is ok with being slightly confused until things slowly come to light (and oh boy, do they come to light).

5 Stars.

Leaaaaving on a Jet Plaaaane!

Blogmas 2019

Don’t know when I’ll be back again! Just kidding (I do know when I will be back again.) Hello everyone! Very short post today, as I spent the first half of today working, and will spend the second half on an airplane to my folk’s place in Arizona. I hope that everyone who is traveling this holiday season has safe travels that are as stress free as possible! I will resume my regular longer posts on Saturday. Peace out!

Two Books, One Stone

Blogmas 2019

I saw this tag over on Kristin Kraves Books. I wasn’t tagged, but I really liked the unique prompts so decided to tag myself.

The second-last book you read

Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen – This was hilarious, and I relate so much

The second book from the top of your TBR

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny – This is actually second from the top of my shorter “To Buy Next” TBR list

Two 2-star reads

Lord Seabolt by Megan Derr and His Cursed Prince by Ryan Loveless – These two books are my first two, two star reads from this year. Too many twos in that sentence hahahah.

Two great books by the same author

Anne Bishop is one of my favorite authors, and I love both her Black Jewels series and her The Others series.

Two bails, or two books you’d wished you’d bailed on, or two books you hated

Perhaps two of the biggest books I have bailed on are A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer.

Two favorite books this year

Circe by Madeline Miller and Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett are probably my two favorite reads this year. It’s so hard to choose because I have read at least 5 truly outstanding books this year.

Two new favorite book bloggers

I decided to go with “new-to-me” for this prompt: All Things Momma blog and The Madi Way. I learned about All Things Momma from my friend Emily, and I really enjoy her blog. Her husband died this year, and having lost my mom when I was ten (I know, totally different experience but even so) I am trying to offer whatever solace and advice regarding grief that I can. Madi is actually a friend from work who is just getting her blog started, but I am really excited for some of the things she has planned. It is not strictly a book blog, but she will be talking about books occasionally.

A book you’ve read (more than) twice

I couldn’t think of a book that I had read only twice so I added the (more than) to this prompt. Though, it is possible I have read Archangel by Sharon Shinn only twice. For sure it has been twice, but it could also have been more than that. I honestly can’t remember.

Two fabulous quotes from books you’ve read recently

Courage, my dear Belikov, has been assigned the wrong part of speech. Courage is not a noun, not a thing you have. It is a thing you do. You might be shaking so hard your legs threaten collapse, but you still do. Any fool without sense can seem brave. It’s either experience or stupidity most times. But you… you forge on, act when you must, even when you’re most afraid. That, boy, is courage.

 Vassily the Beautiful by Angel Martinez

Luxury always comes at someone else’s expense. One of the many advantages of civilization is that one doesn’t generally have to see that, if one doesn’t wish. You’re free to enjoy its benefits without troubling your conscience.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie