Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up – 1/18/19

Happy Friday, everyone! It has been an interesting week, to be sure. It has been unusually busy for me at work – not in a bad way, in a good way – but I have been trying to keep up with my blogging goals as much as possible. Here are some highlights from the week:

  • Blogged on this site each weekday (including this one).
  • Got my NetGalley review up (yesterday’s review of Terrestrial Magic)
  • Got accepted for another NetGalley ARC – Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter.
  • Went ahead and registered my domain for the site (welcome to lifewithnoplot.com!)
  • Finished not one, but two books this week.

That’s actually a lot for me. I haven’t kept up with other blogs this week as much as I’d like to (due to the busy-ness at work), but I am very much enjoying communicating and connecting with so many wonderful book bloggers. You are lovely and make my day a little brighter each time I see you.

I get to have a three-day weekend this week (thank’s to our office being closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), and I will definitely enjoy the extra time. I am on the verge of getting sick (after my daughter has been sick for the past several days) and want to try and avoid that if at all possible.

In any case, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will be back on Monday or Tuesday! Take care!

Books I've Read

Book Review: Terrestrial Magic

terrestrial magicTitle: Terrestrial Magic

Author: Marina Ermakova

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Post-Apocalyptic?

Series: currently standalone, but definite series potential

Edition: E-book ARC from NetGalley

Blurb: Most sensible people avoid fire-breathing carnivores that prey on humans. But Jordan has built a career out of studying such legendary animals, creatures thought mythological until their reemergence in the world three decades ago. She and researchers like her believe that knowledge is the key to reclaiming the land they’d lost back then, when humanity retreated into designated safety zones.

But when the humans moved out, the legends moved in. They were the descendants of mythical heroes, inheriting the powers of their ancestors, and they weren’t afraid of the monsters. Jordan never expected to run into a legend, but when a field expedition turns into a trap for her team, she realizes that one deliberately tried to kill her. It’s a diplomatic nightmare the Roman authorities might happily sweep under the rug. But if Jordan doesn’t figure out who attacked her and why, they could try again. Yet even if she does solve the mystery, what could one stubborn scientist possibly do to stop a powerful legend?

Review: (Disclaimer – I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

My first ARC from NetGalley, and it was such a fun read! I really enjoyed the setting (in and around Rome) and the new mythology surrounding it. Usually post-apocalyptic stories have their basis in sci-fi – something technological goes wrong – so having a fantastical apocalypse is actually pretty original. Which is impressive. You don’t see that many original ideas anymore. It was also nice to see the mix of the fantasy and the science, as Jordan and her team are scientists studying these creatures. Also a cool concept.

I enjoyed the “legendary animals” that have made their come back, although we don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would like. In the beginning of the book, we see them deal with a basilisk and a chimera, and later we get to see a pegasus, but other than that, we don’t see them much. I thought there would have been a bit more than that. I also wasn’t a fan of the term used for these creatures – “legimals.” I don’t, as a rule, like when people make these kinds of contractions, but this one just felt a bit too cutsey.

We do get to spend a fair amount of time meeting and talking about the legends, descendants and heirs (of a sort) to the legends of the area, like Remus, Hercules, and Aeneas to name a few. These people have powers of their original hero (for example, the people of the House of Hercules are unnaturally strong) and have taken over part of the world. There is a very tenuous truce between the legends and the regular humans, and this book is about the attempt at blowing that truce apart. The legends are also very interesting and it was cool how it all tied back into the ancient mythology that has magically come back to life in a way.

This book has a great hook at the beginning and a good, adventurous pace throughout. Jordan and her team of scientists are a really good bunch that have a good camaraderie, but also have some secrets. This book does not list itself as part of a series, and the author has only written one other book that does not look related to this one, but I definitely see series potential. The story was tied together at the end, but there were still plenty of questions that were left open, just in case. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading urban fantasy and enjoys a new take on mythology. This book is out TODAY – happy book birthday! – so get a copy and enjoy.

GoodReads Rating: 4 stars.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 1/16/19


WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. Three questions, three answers. Let’s go!

What are you currently reading?

I am still reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. I had to slow down on these due to . . .

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished reading Terrestrial Magic by Marina Ermakova last night. This was an ARC I got from NetGalley, so I was really excited to finish it. Look out for the review tomorrow!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Still planning on reading Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas and Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey, the second book in both series. I did get approved for another ARC from NetGalley, Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter, but it isn’t coming out until March, so I probably won’t read that one until closer to that time.

Reading anything good this week? Let me know in comments!

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers and Top Tens – 1/15/19


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you want to play along.

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I wouldn’t have let that happen, of course. I’d have insisted we bring him back to the Aventine before sending him back to his House, cover blown. And I knew these people well enough to know that they’d have agreed, no matter how angry they were. But looking at [him] now, I realized that he hadn’t known that.

Terrestrial Magic by Marina Ermakova

This book has been fun to read! A review will be up Thursday.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Unfortunately, I can only give you five. Last year was a lot of re-reads and trying to finish series I had started in previous years. But these five authors were great and I enjoyed them immensely.

  1. Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy and Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) – I loved, loved, LOVED her books and now I check in to her website every day.
  2. Jamie Ayers (My So-Called Afterlife series) – This was a pleasant surprise, as what seemed to be an average, run-of-the-mill YA book turned into an epic story.
  3. Kate Moore (The Radium Girls) – This book was so well done and made me want to start reading more non-fiction this year. It really opened my eyes.
  4. Megan Curd (Periodic series) – Another pleasant surprise from a freebie from BookBub. Read the first two books and would love to see the third one whenever it comes out.
  5. Cindy Pon (Want) – A YallFest author that I knew nothing about. Her book was excellent, a dystopian tale set in a part of the world I never read about.

That’s it for this Tuesday! Leave your teasers and top tens in comments!


Wake up, it’s Monday! – 1/14/19

But I don’t wanna.

Today is really cold. Really, really cold. We had some sleet over the weekend, but not enough to cause any sort of problems on the roads. Which is good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still really cold.

And by “really cold,” I mean in the 30s Fahrenheit. Which to some people may not be that bad, but I’m a weakling.

On top of that, because some folks lost power, the schools were on a two-hour delay, which completely messes up my schedule. You would think that I would be grateful to sleep in a bit, but you would be wrong. I am a creature of habit, and anything that disrupts my routine annoys me. I got to work an hour late because of it and everything just feels out of sync.

This is a very complain-y Monday post, y’all. Sorry about that.

My goals for this week are:

  • To finish and review Terrestrial Magic for NetGalley.
  • Get back on my diet through V-Shred, since I did well the first week, but fell apart the second week.
  • Get a better attitude. Man, am I grumpy today!

Hope things are better wherever you are. More bookish shenanigans will be upcoming this week, as always!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up: 1/11/19

Greetings all! Hope you lovelies had a wonderful week. Here’s how mine went.

Health Goals:

  • Still drinking lots of water. I think my body is finally adjusting to it, and I’m even starting to crave water more than soda, which is awesome (and a little weird).
  • I am holding off with the exercise and the yoga for now. I was trying to keep up with everything, but I think it was too much. It was making me feel very tense, which is the opposite of what I want right now. I am going to focus on fixing my diet, eating better, and getting that part of V-Shred solid, and then I’ll add the workouts back in.

Blogging Goals:

Reading Progress:

  • Kushiel’s Dart: read chapters 9-13. Those chapters are pretty dense, and I’m also reading this one at night before bed, so progress will probably be slower than other books. This thing is over 800 pages long!
  • Throne of Glass: read chapters 1-26. These chapters are much, much shorter! I think I am about half way through?
  • Terrestrial Magic: read chapters 1-5. Can I tell you how excited I am to be reading for NetGalley again! This book is pretty good so far, and the author is now following my blog! Hi Marina!

Signing off for the week! Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and I’ll see y’all on Monday!


Books I've Read

Book Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

let's pretend this never happenedTitleLet’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

Author: Jenny Lawson

Genre: Autobiography/Memoir

Series: none

Edition: Hardcover, borrowed from a friend

Blurb: For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris—Internet star Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, makes her literary debut.

Jenny Lawson realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In the #1 New York Times bestseller, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” Pictures with captions (no one would believe these things without proof) accompany the text.

Review: Ugh, you guys. I cannot love Jenny Lawson more.

My friend had loaned me Furiously Happy a while back at a time when I really, really needed it. I was going through some difficult mental health issues, as were some family members, and reading Jenny’s writing really helped (you can see my review here). I’ve noticed on several people’s lists recently that they have also found Furiously Happy and enjoyed it, but I haven’t seen as many folks mention Jenny’s first book, which is just as good.

This one delves a bit more into Jenny’s childhood – not that her second book didn’t, but this one had a bit more stories about her parents, her sister and growing up in a very, very weird household. Of course, there are also stories about Victor, particularly about when they first met and got married. All delivered with Jenny’s unique voice and outlook on life in general, which is awesome.

If you haven’t read this one, you should definitely check it out, especially if you already read Furiously Happy. Of the two, I probably enjoyed Furiously more, but Let’s Pretend is also excellent. You should also follow Jenny on The Bloggess, just because.

GoodReads Rating: 5 stars