Library Books Read-A-Thon Wrap Up Part 2

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So I guess it’s time to tell you how I did on the The Book Monsters’s Read-A-Thon!

These were the books I had an eye on:

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach
Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach
Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters
Silhouette in Scarlet by Elizabeth Peters
Trojan Gold by Elizabeth Peters
Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters
The Laughter of Dead Kings by Elizabeth Peters
Poison by Bridget Zinn
Indigo’s Star by Hilary McKay

Annnd here’s what I read (links to GoodReads reviews):

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach
Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach
Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters
Poison by Bridget Zinn
Indigo’s Star by Hilary McKay

So the ones I didn’t read were the last four Elizabeth Peters books (I did get started on Silhouette in Scarlet.)

I’m pretty happy with the results!

Another Library Books Read-A-Thon! 4

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I still have plenty of library books out, so why not jump into The Book Monsters’s Read-A-Thon?

Lately, I’ve been starting a lot of series and then putting off finishing them. So my goal for this read-a-thon is to finish some series! In particular, I’d like to finish Rachel Bach’s Paradox trilogy and Elizabeth Peters’s Vicky Bliss series. I’m in the middle of Fortune’s Pawn and read the first Vicky Bliss book.

But also! I’m also reading Poison by Bridget Zinn, so would like to finish that. Oh, and I’ll probably read at least one more of Hilary McKay’s Casson Family series! I read Saffy’s Angel this weekend and really loved it, but I’ve been warned not to read the whole series at once. So perhaps I’ll limit myself to just Indigo’s Star for the purpose’s of this read-a-thon.

So that gives me these books:

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach
Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach
Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters
Silhouette in Scarlet by Elizabeth Peters
Trojan Gold by Elizabeth Peters
Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters
The Laughter of Dead Kings by Elizabeth Peters
Poison by Bridget Zinn
Indigo’s Star by Hilary McKay

Library Books Read-A-Thon Wrap Up! 2

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So I started out slow with this challenge, but ended up finishing five books. Not too bad.

Links to GoodReads reviews:

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Legacy by Jayne Ann Krentz
The Chocolate Rose by Laura Florand*
Saffy’s Angel by Hilary McKay
Among Others by Jo Walton

*This one wasn’t a library book, but I wanted to finish it before getting my Florand library books.

Oh, what’s this? Another library readathon? Stay tuned!

Library Books Read-A-Thon 4

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Maybe this can be a blog all about reading challenges?

This one jumped out to me because I’m a heavy library user and getting though some of those books sounds like a great idea!

Here’s what I have out:

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach
Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach
Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase
Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase
Not Quite a Lady by Loretta Chase
Last Night’s Scandal by Loretta Chase
The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand
The Chocolate Heart by Laura Florand
Legacy by Jayne Ann Krentz
Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise
Saffy’s Angel by Hilary McKay
Street of the Five Moons by Elizabeth Peters
Silhouette in Scarlet by Elizabeth Peters
Trojan Gold by Elizabeth Peters
Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters
The Laughter of Dead Kings by Elizabeth Peters
Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Among Others by Jo Walton
My Real Children by Jo Walton
Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Poison by Bridget Zinn

I have several entire series checked out, so that accounts for some of the number, but, also, I just like checking out books! And between some pretty amazing library ebook sites and working at a library, where I get my holds delivered to me at work . . . it can add up quickly.

I think it’s fair to say I won’t read 26 books over the next week, but WHAT IF I DID?

48 Hour Book Challenge Finish Line 4

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This should’ve gone up last night, but I was tired and I wanted to finish Pointe. It won’t show up in my summary because I only read about 1/3 of it before my 48 hours were up, but I am very glad to have read it.

So! I ended up with:

13 1/2 hours reading
1 hour blogging/networking

Five books read:

Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett
The Perfect Kiss by Anne Gracie

Or, at least, five books finished, but I think five is probably a pretty fair number to claim. I’d started the Julie James and Jenn Bennett before the challenge, but I read books I didn’t finish (Pointe, Devil in Winter in Lisa Kleypas, Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews (audiobook)), so five is pretty fair.

I’m really glad I did this! Already looking forward to next year (and to a nap).

48 Hour Book Challenge Update

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So I’m not sure if I’m pleased or disappointed with my progress so far! I wish I’d read more, but considering I worked all day yesterday, I think I’ve done well. I’m at 8 hours of reading with 1 hour of blogging/networking. And I have about 10 hours left before my 48 hours are up.

Here’s what I’ve read so far (links go to brief GoodReads Reviews):

Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

I’ve also listened some to Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews and continued my re-read of The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. (I like to re-read favorites before I go to bed and, lately, I’ve started to listen to favorites while I drive and, also, play Candy Crush and such games. It’s pretty great.)

And now I’m reading Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett. This is the last book in a series I love, but, so far, it isn’t quite what I hoped.

I hate it when that happens.

So here’s what’s left from my original stack:

Among Others by Jo Walton
The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach
Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach
Pointe by Brandy Colbert
The Perfect Kiss by Anne Gracie

I’m pretty sure I’ll save the rest of Among Others for after the challenge. I think I’ll do The Perfect Kiss after I finish Banishing the Dark. That’s another last book in a series and I’d like to get it finished.

Then it depends on the time. I definitely want to get Pointe in, since it fits the #weneeddiversebooks challenge, but I’ve heard it’s pretty intense, so I want to save it for my last book of the challenge. I might need recovery time!

48 Hour Book Challenge Start Post! 8

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*blows dust off blog*

So I’ve wanted to do the 48 Hour Book Challenge ever since I first heard about it a few years back. I’m not sure why I never did it, but the time is now!

I’m working today, tomorrow and Monday, so I figure I’ll start tonight and bank on getting a lot of the reading done on Sunday.

Here’s what I want to read:

Current reads:
Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett
Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James
Among Others by Jo Walton
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews (audiobook)
Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
(the last two are re-reads)

To read:

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach
Heaven’s Queen by Rachel Bach
Pointe by Brandy Colbert
The Perfect Kiss by Anne Gracie
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Of course, the Bach books are dependent on me liking the first one, but I’ve heard good things!

I should’ve planned ahead to better stick to the #weneeddiversebooks theme, but I just wasn’t sure if I could commit with my busy work weekend. (I’m still not sure, but I’m going to give it a try!)

February Book Roundup 4

So! As a reminder, “e” means ebook and “p” means physical book. “l” is a library book and “o” is a book I own. This month, I added “f” to the category, which means the story was posted for free online. (I have some free kindle books, but I’m listing those as owned, since they’re on my Kindle to keep. Free ones are the ones I have to read online.)

Battle books are for YA/MG Book Battle, which starts Monday!!! Anyway, I didn’t rate any of those since I don’t want to give away any judging decisions I might make.

To the lists!

Middle Grade

Fantasy

Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt (p, o) 3 stars
The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine (e, l) 4 stars
Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis (p, l) battle book

Realistic

The School Story by Andrew Clements (p, l) battle book
The View From Saturday by EL Konigsburg (p, l) battle book

Young Adult

Contemporary

Hold Still by Nina LaCour (p, o) 5 stars
The Cardturner: A Novel About a King, a Queen, and a Joker by Louis Sachar (e, l) battle book
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan (e, l) 3 stars

Historical

Love Me by Rachel Shukert (e, o) 5 stars

Sci Fi

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (e, l) 4 stars
“The Little Android” by Marissa Meyer (short story) (e, f) 3 stars

Fantasy

The Fierce Reads Anthology (e, o) 2 stars
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (e, l) 5 stars
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith (e, o) battle book
Court Duel by Sherwood Smith (e, o) battle book
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge (e, o) battle book
The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier (p, o) battle book
Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones (e, l) battle book

Paranormal

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (p, o) 4 stars
The Wedding of Antanasia Jessica Packwood and Lucius Valeriu Vladescu (novella) by Beth Fantaskey (e, f) 5 stars

New Adult

Deeper by Robin York (e, o) 4 stars
Losing It by Cora Carmack (e, l) 4 stars
Keeping Her by Cora Carmack (e, l) 4 stars
The Road Home by Ellen Emerson White (p, o) battle book

Adult

Fantasy

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (p, o) 4 stars
The Riddle-Master of Hed by Patricia A. McKillip (p, o) battle book

General Fiction

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie (p, l) 4 stars

Category Romance

Doukaski’s Apprentice by Sarah Morgan (e, l) 4 stars

Historical Romance

Sylvester by Georgette Heyer (e, o) 4 stars

Paranormal Romance

Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh (reread) (e, o) 5 stars

Mystery

When Maidens Mourn by CS Harris (e, l) 4 stars
What Darkness Brings by CS Harris (e, l) 4 stars

OKAY.

I re-read 1 book and 31 were new (I think. There were a couple I think I might’ve read a long time ago). I read 5 middle grade, 15 young adult, 5 new adult (yeah, I listed the Ellen Emerson as NA; WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?) and 8 adult books. 11 were physical books and 21 were ebooks. 15 were from the library and 15 were ones I owned. 2 were free. I read in 14 different genres. (Oh, and as you can see on the list, some were novellas or short stories.)

I think I’m most surprised by the genre spread! Since I read so much for the book battle, I thought I wouldn’t have that this year. But then, according to my system (which isn’t a system so much as what I feel like in the moment), the battle books I read are in 6 different genres.

I do think I might’ve read more adult books if I hadn’t been focused on the battle books. Or maybe not! I’ve been having fun with the young adult lately, so maybe I’d have stayed in that groove.

Highlights of the month (not including my secret opinions on battle books) were Cruel Beauty, a wonderful Beauty & the Beast retelling that feels pretty original, Love Me, which is full of old Hollywood glamour and scandal, and Doukaski’s Apprentice, which I thought about a lot when I wasn’t reading it. If you want to know about anything else, let me know!

Books I Read in January! 2

The middle of the month is the perfect time to talk about what I read last month, right? RIGHT!

Middle Grade Supernatural

King of Shadows by Susan Cooper (p, l) 5/5 stars

Young Adult Supernatural

The Outside by Laura Bickle (p, l) 3/5 stars
Pivot Point by Kasie West (e, l) 4/5 stars
In the Age of Love and Chocolate by Gabrille Zevin (p, l) 4/5 stars

Young Adult Fantasy

Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow (p, l) 4/5 stars

Young Adult Contemporary

Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill (e, l) 4/5 stars
Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando (e, l) 4/5 stars

Adult Paranormal

Dayhunter by Jocelynn Drake (e, l) 3/5 stars
Dawnbreaker by Jocelynn Drake (e, l) 3/5 stars
The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay (p, l) 4/5 stars
Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett (e, o) 3/5 stars

Adult Thriller

Now You See Me by SJ Bolton (e, l) 3/5 stars
If Snow Hadn’t Fallen by SJ Bolton (novella) (e, o) 4/5 stars
Dead Scared by SJ Bolton (e, l) 4/5 stars
Lost by SJ Bolton (p, l) 4/5 stars

Contemporary Romance

Some Like It Royal by Heather Long (e, o) 3/5 stars
Blitzing Emily by Julie Brannah (e, o) 2/5 stars
A January Bride by Deborah Raney (novella) (e, o) 4/5 stars
Lost to the Desert Warrior by Sarah Morgan (e, l) 4/5 stars
The Winning Season by Alison Packard (e, o) 2/5 stars

Historical Romance

Marci’s Desire by Sara Luck (p, l) 3/5 stars

Adult Mystery

What Angels Fear by CS Harris (e, l) 4/5 stars
When Gods Die by CS Harris (e, l) 4/5 stars
Why Mermaids Sing by CS Harris (p, l) 4/5 stars
Where Serpents Sleep by CS Harris (e, l) 4/5 stars
What Remains of Heaven by CS Harris (e, l) 4/5 stars
Where Shadows Dance by CS Harris (e, l) 4/5 stars

Adult Fiction

Lost Lake by Sara Addison Allen (e, o) 4/5 stars

P means it was a physical book. E means it was an ebook. L means it was a library book and O means I own it. (I just thought that would be fun to keep track of.)

So, assuming I counted everything correctly, I read 28 books this month, in 10 different genres. I read 21 adult books and 7 adult books. 21 were library books and 7 were books I owned. 20 were ebooks and 6 were physical books, which is a good thing because the 21’s and 7’s were freaking me out.

That’s probably about normal for me. I usually ignore the many unread books I own (in both physical and ebook form) and find new things to try. Which I look for first as library ebooks and then as physical library books. If I can’t find it there, then I’ll buy it.

So I’m surprised at the amount of variety I have here. I do read lots of different genres, but I feel like I usually don’t read this many different ones in a short period of time (but maybe I’ll prove myself wrong!).

And I guess I’ll come up with some scattered thought on what I read:

King of Shadows was really good! I’m enjoying Kasie West a lot. She only has two books out so far–wait, 3! One just came out–but her YA is GREAT. In the Age of Love and Chocolate was a great finish to the Zevin trilogy. The Outside wasn’t great for me.

Sorrow’s Knot has already faded from my memory a lot, but both the YA contemporaries were pretty solid.

In the paranormal genre, well, the Jenn Bennett book was a big disappointment, as she has a series I love a LOT. And then I’m working on a Jocelynn Drake and a Kelly Gay series. I’m liking the Gay series more, but I need to know what happen in the Drake one, too!

I had fun with the SJ Bolton thrillers, but they didn’t really stick with me, so I’m not sure if I’ll read the next one.

I’m a bit sour on the romance lately (hahahaha, this isn’t a Valentine’s Day reference). Not sure if I need a good book to break me out of it or to just avoid the genre for the moment. That said, I really liked the Sarah Morgan. (Spoilers) I read another one of hers this month and it was great, too!

The CS Harris mysteries were a lot of fun!

And, finally, I really liked the new Sarah Addison Allen.

Feel free to ask me more about any of these!

Look! It’s that Book Subscription Box! 2

Hey all! Sorry for taking so long to post about the book subscription box. I know a lot of people were interested in how it turned out!

So let’s take a look!

The First Book Riot Box

It came in a really big box! The shipping of these boxes was delayed due to weather and then my shipping notification landed in my spam, so I didn’t even know what the box was when it arrived! (Then I remembered and got really excited!)

Book Riot Box 1 - Max Barry's Lexicon

So this was the book the first box came with. It’s Lexicon by Max Barry. I hadn’t heard of it, but it sounds pretty interesting! Here’s the description:

At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren’t taught history, geography, or mathematics–at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as “poets”, adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

Whip-smart orphan Emily Ruff is making a living running a three-card Monte game on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organization’s recruiters. She is flown across the country for the school’s strange and rigorous entrance exams, where, once admitted, she will be taught the fundamentals of persuasion by Bronte, Eliot, and Lowell–who have adopted the names of famous poets to conceal their true identities. For in the organization, nothing is more dangerous than revealing who you are: Poets must never expose their feelings lest they be manipulated. Emily becomes the school’s most talented prodigy until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.

Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Jamieson is brutally ambushed by two strange men in an airport bathroom. Although he has no recollection of anything they claim he’s done, it turns out Wil is the key to a secret war between rival factions of poets and is quickly caught in their increasingly deadly crossfire. Pursued relentlessly by people with powers he can barely comprehend and protected by the very man who first attacked him, Wil discovers that everything he thought he knew about his past was fiction. In order to survive, must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, to discover who he is and why an entire town was blown off the map.

As the two narratives converge, the shocking work of the poets is fully revealed, the body count rises, and the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless. Max Barry’s most spellbinding and ambitious novel yet, Lexicon is a brilliant thriller that explores language, power, identity, and our capacity to love–whatever the cost

And something cool is that the book comes with sticky notes from the author in it!

And here are the book related goodies each box comes with:

Book Riot Box 1 - Book Lover's Calendar

A Book Lover’s Calendar! So this is basically a calendar of book recs, which seems like a cruel thing to send bookworms, as most of us seem to have pretty huge to read lists as it is!

Book Riot Box 1 - Katie Heaney excerpt

So this is an excerpt from Kate Heaney’s memoir, Never Have I Ever. I think that’s a really cool idea! I like to check out Kindle samples before I buy a book, so I’d love a box stuffed with book excerpts! Especially for upcoming books (which this was when I got the box).

Book Riot Box 1 - Notebook

A blank notebook with a nice quote on it! I don’t use notebooks a lot these days, but they’re still nice to have.

Book Riot Box 1 - Pencils

Pencils! I don’t use these much anymore either, but, again, nice to have around.

Book Riot Box 1 - Shakespeare's Star Wars Poster

And a poster for “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars”! I like! (Some people got one for The Geek’s Guide to Dating.)

So there it is!

So. Is it worth $50? I’m not sure. While these are all nice products, they’re not items I’m likely to use much. Getting a book is awesome, but I know it’ll probably take me a while to get to it, especially since I’ve gotten so used to reading ebooks.

I think I’ll stay subscribed to the next box, but I’m not sure if I’ll continue my subscription past that.

Anyway, if you want to try this out, here’s some more info:

The box is put out by Book Riot through Quarterly.com. Quartely.co is a quartely subscribiton service, which means you get a box every 3 months. They have a variety of contributors who curate subscriptions. Quarterly.com is especially awesome because they ship anywhere in the world for an extra shipping cost. (Info: $25/35 mailings: Canada +$10; rest of world +$15. (These legacy rates also apply to ALL contributors launched before 4/16/13.) $50 mailings: Canada +$20; rest of world +$30 $100 mailings: Canada +$30; rest of world +$40.)

And here’s the Book Riot box page. Next book ships in two months!