Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers and Top Tens – 1/15/19

tuesday

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.

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TTT-NEW

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!

Drabbles

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

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 1/9/19

WWW New

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

What are you currently reading?

Lots of things, for a change! I was reading City of Blaze by H.O. Charles, but even though I was enjoying it, I was having a hard time sticking with it. Not sure why. So I put that one down for now and instead picked up Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. This is the first book in the Phedre Trilogy, a re-read for me, but it has been several years. This series is on my list of series to try and finish, but I can’t remember all the details. It’s a pretty big book too, so best that I re-read it before jumping into the next one.

Also, after much prodding by Jess, my friend and former podcast co-host who now has her own blog, I started reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I have heard about this book from several other people as well and it has always gotten good reviews. I am enjoying it so far, so it is my current ebook of choice.

ALSO, today I just found out that I got approved for an ARC from NetGalley! It’s the first one I’ve had in a long time, so I’m really excited! I am reading and will be reviewing Terrestrial Magic by Marina Ermakova, with is coming out later this month. I believe the release date is January 17th.

Three books at a time – that’s a lot for me!

What did you recently finish?

Not counting City of Blaze, since I didn’t “finish” it, I haven’t finished anything since last WWW. I did start a bunch of stuff, so hopefully that will change.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Current plan is to read Kushiel’s Chosen by Jacqueline Carey, the next book in Phedre’s Trilogy, as well as Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, the next Throne of Glass book. I have also requested some other books from NetGalley, so as soon as they get approved (fingers crossed), I might have more!

Have a good week everyone!

 

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers and Top Tens: 1/8/19

tuesday

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! 

The ladies in waiting stopped beneath the balcony, batting their eyelashes at the guards. “I need my pipe,” the woman murmured, rubbing her temples. “I feel a headache coming on.” Celaena’s brows rose. “Regardless,” the woman continued, striding away, “I shall have to watch my back. I might even have to—”

CRASH!

The women screamed, the guards whirled with their crossbows pointed, and Celaena looked skyward as she retreated from the rail and into the shadows of the balcony doorway. The flowerpot had missed. This time.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Thanks to some gentle (read: insistent) prodding, I have started reading Throne of Glass. Liking it so far, and we’ll see how the rest of it goes. The main character, Celaena, is a trip, I will say that!

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TTT-NEW

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

Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

This is not a great topic for me. Unless it is someone that I religiously follow, I don’t keep track of new releases as much as I probably should. I did just get back onto NetGalley, so there are a couple of new releases there that I am looking towards.

These link to NetGalley:

  1. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigit Kemmerer (January 2019) – This one is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I like new takes on classic stories, so this should be good.
  2. Terrestrial Magic by Marina Ermakova (January 2019) – I’ve never heard of this book or this author, but it looks like it’s about dragons reappearing in our time, so I am there.
  3. Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter (March 2019) – Dark faeries! That’s it. You seriously had me at dark faeries. That’s all I need to know.
  4. We Are Blood And Thunder by Kesia Lupo (April 2019) – This one was everywhere on NetGalley! Says it’s good for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Laini Taylor. Sign me up!
  5. Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan (April 2019) – The cover on this is amazing. One review says this is “a snow-frosted, blood-drenched fairy tale where the monsters steal your heart and love ends up being the nightmare.” Cool!

These are from my GoodReads list:

  1. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson (January 2019) – I do love Maureen so much. I have met her in person, I have listened to her podcasts and watched her YouTube videos. She’s awesome.
  2. Stain by A.G. Howard (January 2019) – I already have this preordered and I am super excited about it. I loved her Splintered series, had mixed feelings for RoseBlood, so hopefully this one will be more like the first.
  3. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal (March 2019) – I saw a review of this a while back and it sounded really good.
  4. Ruse by Cindy Pon (March 2019) – This is the sequel to Want, which I read last year and didn’t realize the sequel would be coming out so soon. So yay!
  5. Dig by A.S. King (March 2019) – I don’t know much about this book, but the description sounds interesting. Lots of family drama. I did read a book by this author a while back, The Dust of 100 Dogs, and really enjoyed it.

Leave your teasers or top tens in comments!

Drabbles

Wake up, it’s Monday! – 1/7/19

Ugh, I so don’t want to wake up this Monday! My bed was so comfortable!

I’ve been really down over the past few days, and I’m not sure why. I was able to keep up with more of my goals last week, but this week is starting out a bit wonky. I really don’t know why. Oh well.

I also decided that I am signing up for a new challenge, which should dovetail into my current challenges quite nicely: the Beat the Backlist challenge, hosted by NovelKnight.

btbbanner_transparentbg

I have decided that I will read 20 books towards this particular challenge – 20 books off of my current TBR that I already own. I might actually pre-select them, but that will be in a separate post. I don’t know if I will be able to take part in the other mini-challenges they have, but I’ll do my best. 🙂

Have a good week everyone!

Edited to say: I will be representing Ravenclaw! Where my fellow Ravenclaws at?

btbicon_ravenclaw

Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap-Up: 1/4/19

That’s right, you get two posts from me today! I was originally just going to do this post, but had to give that Flashback Friday a try. It looked like too much fun!

I’m going to start doing a weekly wrap-up on Fridays, mostly just to see how I am doing keeping up with various goals and projects that I am working on.

Health Goals:

  • Drinking water: I really needed to get off drinking soda and drink more water. I started tracking it last weekend and have had eight 8 oz. servings of water every day (not quite yet today, but I’m halfway there and it’s almost noon, so I should easily make it). I am down to one can of soda in the morning (need my Diet Coke in the morning), but that’s it.
  • Exercise: I joined VShred to help with my fitness goals. It has been challenging, but I’ve been successful so far. I started the diet part on Sunday and the workouts on Monday and haven’t missed a day yet. It’s only been a few days, so hopefully I can keep up with this.
  • Yoga: I had decided before I found Vshred that I wanted to do more yoga. Several months ago, I had found a YouTube channel called Yoga With Adriene and absolutely loved it, but didn’t do much with it. For January, she is doing a 30 day program called Dedicate, so I decided to give it a go. I’ve only done two so far (there was no yoga on January 1st, but I did the ones on the 2nd and 3rd), and it has been hard. It’s a lot harder than it used to be! The best part about it is there is a great community around Adriene and all of it is free.

Blogging Goals:

  • Posting: I definitely wanted to start posting more. I really enjoy it, but sometimes life gets in the way and makes it harder to do it. This week I have posted six posts, including this one, which might be a record? My goal is five per week, on the weekdays. So we’ll see how that goes.
  • Comments: This was a big one. I am terrible about keeping up with comments on my blog. I am trying to respond to all of them. I’m also trying to do better about commenting on other people’s blogs, especially when they take the time to visit mine. It’s only fair and it’s the best way to build the book blogging community.
  • New Blog: This one is a bit more personal, but I have another blog that I started this month called My Crooked Little Path. I’ve had it for a while, originally intending to keep it as more of a personal journal. Now I am using it to help with my morning meditations. I am using a tarot deck to help me sort out my thoughts (the Shadowscapes Tarot, which is GORGEOUS). This is probably going to be close to an everyday thing, but the posts are pretty short.

Reading Progress:

  • Damn you, reading slumps! I think I’m falling into another one. I’ve only managed to read one chapter of City of Blaze by H.O. Charles this week. Hoping to do better this weekend, maybe even finish it. It’s not that it’s not good. I just can’t wrap my head around it right now.

Hope everyone has had a good week, this first week of 2019. See you next week for more shenanigans!

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: 1/4/19

Hello all! Starting out the new year participating in a new feature. Gotta come up with a nice banner for it at some point.

Flashback Friday is a monthly feature hosted by Chat About Books on the first Friday of the month, in which we look back in years past and see what books we loved this month.

the handmaid's taleJanuary 2017: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I read this in preparation of watching the Hulu series . . . and then never actually watched the Hulu series. That’s okay, I will get to it one day, but I was absolutely captivated by this book. Holy cow. You can read my review here.

 

cinderJanuary 2016: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I first heard of this book and added it to my GoodReads back in 2012, but it sadly took until 2016 to actually read it. And once I did, I read the entire series, finishing the entire thing in January that year. It’s that good. You can see my review here.

 

the doorknob societyJanuary 2015: The Doorknob Society by M.J. Fletcher

I got this book for free off of BookBub and loved it so much, I bought the rest of the series. It is a very imaginative story world, with a magic system I hadn’t really seen before. It doesn’t look like I got around to posting an actual review (I didn’t do as many back then), but I included it on a few Top Ten Tuesdays, here and here.

 

daughter of smoke & boneJanuary 2014: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

There were many to choose from this time – I read 70 books this year, which is a lot for me! But this book is just so beautiful, I had to read it (plus, my friend Jess wouldn’t stop bugging me until I did – she was right). My review is here.

 

I could probably go on, but I’ll stop at four. This is fun!

Books I've Read

Book Review: Anger is a Gift

Anger is a GiftTitleAnger is a Gift

Author: Mark Oshiro

Series: none – standalone novel

Edition: Hardcover that I preordered as soon as I heard about it

Blurb: A story of resilience and loss, love and family, Mark Oshiro’s Anger is a Gift testifies to the vulnerability and strength of a community living within a system of oppression.

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

Review: Y’all. This book. I just can’t.

Let me back up. I first discovered Mark Oshiro probably in 2008. He was writing a blog for Buzznet at first, but then branched out on his own, writing daily posts where he reviewed books a chapter each day, usually popular books that he had never read. He started with the Twilight series (oh, how he hated those) and his reviews were hilarious. Then he reviewed Harry Potter, expecting it to be boring kiddie books, and it changed his life. After that, he started his own website, Mark Reads, and has reviewed tons of books this way. His posts are funny, insightful, at times heartbreaking, and always unprepared for the next plot twist.

So of course, when I saw that he was writing a novel of his own, I had to get it. When I saw the title and heard what it was about, I knew that this wouldn’t just be cute and adorable. This would be serious. This would be tragically timely. I was both excited and terrified to get started.

You will absolutely love Moss and his friends. They are sweet, wonderful kids who are beautifully written, facing issues that kids that age shouldn’t have to face. In short, they grow up way too quickly, especially Moss ever since the death of his father. At times, the plot points felt way dramatic and over the top, except that I know for a fact that this stuff happens all the time. And that made it, at times, very hard to read, but also very important to read.

Mark is bearing witness to issues that affect many different underprivileged communities and people of color. In the book, Moss has a friend who was adopted and goes to the “rich school” and it is important to see how she doesn’t quite understand the struggles that Moss and his friends deal with at his school. She is sympathetic and wants to help, but she doesn’t understand. She doesn’t get it. This is so relevant right now, it almost hurts. Many people, me included, have never had to deal with these struggles – racism, classism, other-isms – and while we are sympathetic, we will never fully relate to these experiences. It is important to recognize that, especially since it can make people unintentionally insensitive to certain situations.

I think this is a book that should be read by everyone, especially high school students. It will probably end up being challenged or banned by people who don’t read it and think, just by the title, that it promotes anger and violence (which it absolutely does NOT do). That just means that it should be read more. Everywhere. This book will lift you up, break your heart, and the last sentence will bring you to tears. Read it.