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Halloween Creatures 2.0 Book Tag

Halloween Creatures

Hello, a tag today! I saw this tag on Anthony @KeepReadingForward‘s blog and thought it was neat. And hey, he created it too! So go check out his original. I don’t remember if I’ve ever done the original version of this tag or not – it’s been years if I have. But, as said, this one looked neato.

Rules are: Answers the questions, tag some friendos, link your tagger and the creator!

So here we go!

Witch
A Magical Character or Book.

Miryem from Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. In the beginning of the book, Miryem gets the reputation for turning silver into gold from her moneylending skills… and soon enough the rumor becomes true in the most literal sense.

Spinning Silver

Werewolf
The Perfect Book to Read at Night.

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski. This book is eerie during the day. It’s about a house that’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside, and it’s told through almost a found-footage kind of way. It’s unsettling, and only more so when it’s dark out.

House of Leaves

Frankenstein
A Book that Truly Shocked You.

My most recent read, The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins, did that. Multiple chapters ended with me going ‘what the efffff’. It was great.

The Library at Mount Char

The Devil
A Dark, Evil Character.

I feel like I’m hard-pressed not to say ‘The Darkling’, so the Darkling, from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. He’s just so deliciously malicious, I love him.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1)

Grim Reaper
A Character that Should Never Have Died.

Spoilers for A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1: A Game of Thrones

Ned Stark. He was such a bean, and I was so sad when he was killed off. I feel like the books would be going very differently if he had survived.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)

Zombie
A Book that Made You “Hungry” for More.

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat. Man I could read that series forever.

Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)

Gargoyle
A Character that You Would Protect at All Cost.

The Fool from Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings overarching series. The Fool appears in multiple series within the overarching one, each time showing up a bit differently. But he’s such a precious little pudding pop and I adore him.

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)

Vampire
A Book that Sucked the Life Out of You.

A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa. This memoir is draining, man. It’s really good, really important, and really humbling… but it just killed me.

A River in Darkness:  One Man's Escape from North Korea

Ghost
A Book that Still Haunts You.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. The ending of this book, man. It just ripped my soul a bit. Every time I think about it I get sad. Ugh this is such a good book.

Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon, #1)

Demon
A Book that Really Scared You.

I don’t really get scared by books, fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you wanna look at it), so I have no answer for this one.

Skeleton
A Character You Have a Bone to Pick With.

Kvothe from Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, particularly in book two. Book one, he’s okay. Book two, he drives me insane. Gah, can’t stand the guy. Really like the world/plot/etc etc. But Kvothe? Barf. I wanna grab him and shout ‘STOP IT YOU WEENER’

The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)

Mummy
A Book You Would Preserve Throughout Time.

I mean, considering I already am preserving it, I’m picking this psychology manual I have that was published back in 1895. It’s in decent condition for how old it is, and seeing just the differences in ideologies and theories between then and now is fascinating.

https://external-preview.redd.it/x14YLtzwjc_8B1lMxB04W5Wo-VqudEhL4w55uyeKj6E.jpg?auto=webp&s=fa2d8c7dd32df04df9c6d74fda079650155a83fa

Creepy Doll
A Cover too Scary to Look At.

Again, books don’t really do much to my ‘fraidy cat’ psyche. Sorry friendos.

The Monster Mash
It’s Fun to Be with Friends on Halloween!
Tag Your Friends!

I am tagging people today!

Katy @bookbinderway! Sarah @WindsorWrites!
Meredith @AllBoutThemBooksAndStuff!
Kathy @PagesBelowtheVaultedSky!
Amanda @MetalPhantasmReads! Sionna @BooksInHerEyes!

And you! PEER PRESSURE DO IT.

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Posted by on 10/21/2018 in Books, Book Tag

 

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Preparing for Nanowrimo

NaNoWriMo 2018 Facebook Cover

Hello! Today I wanna blabber about all the things I’m doing to hopefully prevent my Nanowrimo novel from being a dumpster fire (but let’s be honest, that’s a long shot).

  • Outlining

I’m actually attempting an outline this year. Usually I’m a pantser, and I’ve won three times using that method. Unfortunately, each time, I was rewriting a novel that didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to the year before. And guess what, it still didn’t turn out. So this year I’m rewriting it again but hopefully I’ll like.. y’know.. having an ending.

  • Making a story binder

This kinda goes along with outlining – I’ve decided to keep a physical contraption full of all the stuff I’m doing. It’ll hold my outline, any research stuff I’ve grabbed, character sheets, sticky tabs, yada yada. I actually went out and got a new binder specifically for the occasion, almost like a christening. I’m hoping it’ll have some substance in it by the time Nano begins, and I hope it’ll be nice and chubby by the time Nano is over.

  • Making a survival kit and writing nest

This is a one new for me, and I didn’t realize it was a thing until I starting seeing it floating around on the internet. Basically whatever hovel you set up to write in, you fill with things to basically help you, well, survive. Snacks, socks, blankets, candles, what have you. Anything that’ll make you comfy and help you maintain focus. As of writing this post, my nest is my chair, blanket and side table, and my survival kit snacks haven’t been purchased yet. I have the candle though – pecan something or other.

  • Making a playlist

For scenes I already have in my head, I tend to associate them to songs. So, those songs are going on there. Otherwise, I’ll be adding instrumental music that I feel overall conveys the tones of arcs, chapters, the whole thing, etc. I’ll be listening to almost solely it, at least while writing, in November. At the time of writing this, this is what’s on my current playlist.


And that’s it! Are you doing anything different or in addition to this list? Gimme ideas, peeps.

 

 
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Posted by on 10/20/2018 in Writing

 

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The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins | Blabber

The Library at Mount CharThe Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Fantasy/Horror
388 pages
Hardback
Read Oct 1 – Oct 12
Spoiler-free blabber

This book is a bit unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The closest I can think of is 14 by Peter Clines, but even then, it’s more. I buddy-read this book with Katy @TheBibliobibuliOnBookbinderWay and we both really liked it.

The book opens on the main character, Carolyn, walking down the side of a highway, coated in blood. While the scene itself ends up not being super duper significant in the overall plot, it definitely sets the tone. It feels weird and unsettling and when a good samaritan pulls over to ask if she’s okay, my brain went ‘Nope leave her there’ immediately, already on alert that she was not someone you wanted to be around.

From there, the plot starts to slowly unfold – Carolyn and her ‘siblings’ are being blocked from entering their dwelling, the mysterious library, and their Father has disappeared. The library and what exactly Father is largely remains a mystery until the end of the book, and it creates a feel of uncertainty as you read. Too, the catalogues that each of the siblings studies as librarians are a bit outside the norm of what a normal library would hold.

All of this, together with the intense writing and out-there plot developments makes this book a very gritty, dark read. This isn’t a book you’d want to let your ten year old into, as it contains scenes of violence against children. I won’t go into what, for spoilers, but reading those scenes was difficult for me. The book is written in a way that doesn’t glorify the events, and they are relevant to the plot. But just so you know, they’re in there. So head’s up.

I think one of my favorite things about this book was the author’s ability to make me say ‘what the hell’ after the end of almost every chapter. The events of the book, as stated, are a bit out there. Things happen that are so bizarre and it takes a bit to get used to, but they’re bizarre in a consistent manner. There’s an order to how weird everything is, and I think that’s what made me love this book. I’m ok with suspending my disbelief if the author can paint a picture and make it all-encompassing, and that’s what Scott Hawkins does.

Character-wise, I didn’t like any of them except Dresden and Erwin. But when I say I didn’t like them, I don’t mean they were badly written. I mean they’re well written, but just awful people. Don’t go into this expecting to root for people, they’ll all leave a foul taste in your mouth. It kept me reading – watching these characters be who they were, and part of me hoped they all would just fail at everything. So not hate-reading, but reading while hating the characters as people, not as single-dimensional tropes. See the difference? I loved this book.

Finally, the ending of a book is make or break for me. I could absolutely adore the first 5/6ths of a book but if the ending is shit, the book will drop a star rating, sometimes two. But the ending of this, while just as totally insane as the rest of the book, was a solid ending in my opinion. I didn’t like the outcome of a lot of the characters, but it also fit really well with how Carolyn and the others were colored to act. It wasn’t outside their normal range of behavior. So while I wasn’t overly fond of how some seemed to just get away with awful deeds and others paid dearly for minor ones, it still fit the story.

So. Loved this book. Can definitely see me rereading it. Going on favorites list.

5/5 stars

 
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Posted by on 10/17/2018 in blabbers, Books, Review

 

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Fall Tag

FallTag

Hello, a tag today! I saw this at Kristyn @Thelifeofkristyn‘s page and thought it was neato, so I swiped it. (Thanks friend)


Which two things tell you that the fall season has begun?

  • The weather… kinda. Because it’s been fall for what, the past month almost, and only yesterday did we get fall temperatures. It went from 80F on Thursday to 50F on Friday. Pennsylvania suddenly went ‘NO IT’S TIME FOR FALL RIGHT NOW’.
  • The dying foliage

What are your plans for this Fall season?

  • I’m going to Disney in two weeks for the first time ever. Otherwise, I plan on doing Nanowrimo in November

Silent nights or windy ones?

  • Windy!

Cold rain or heavy fog. What do you enjoy more?

  • Fog! Less soggy.

What three things do you love about the season?

  • Fall beer
  • Fall coffee
  • All the bugs die and return to the hell where they belong

What three things do you hate about the season?

  • Nothing

Share your best memory for the Fall season?

  • When I was a kid, we had two huge trees in our front yard. I also grew up in a neighborhood with about 14 kids, including my sister and me. We’d rake up the leaves into a giant pile – it would be taller than we were, probably 6 feet or so, and then we’d leap off my parents’ picnic table into it. We’d be out there for hours.

What is your favorite scent for the Fall season?

  • Apple pie

What is your favorite Fall movie?

  • I need to use Kristyn’s answer and say ‘Mean Girls’.

What is your favorite Fall color?

  • Honestly, brown. It’s like the soft brown you see with the dark orange that pops up towards Thanksgiving.

What is your favorite dress code for the Fall season?

  • At home: pj pants and a tshirt and fluffy socks
  • In public: Jeans, knit sweater, slightly-less-fluffy socks

Do you believe that the Fall season should be the wedding season?

  • I feel like weddings should be whenever the couple wants them to be, man. Mine was in summer, two of my best friends’ were in fall. What. Evs.

What are your most likes drink in the Fall season?

  • Oktoberfest beer, pumpkin stouts, porters, etc etc. I like dark beer as it is, but fall is when all the really good ones come out. Also PSLs and chestnut praline lattes, but the latter is more of a late November/December drink

Haunted house or haunted corn maze? 

  • House, because then I don’t have to worry about uneven terrain while wondering around in the dark

Wool or knit sweaters? 

  • Knit. Wool is itchy

Which moisturizer is your favorite in the autumn season?

  • HAHAHA moisturizer. What you fail to realize is that I’m a neanderthal and don’t use any until my hands dry out, and then crack and bleed. At that point I use Moo Moo Cream. No pumpkin hands for me.

Image result for udderly smooth

Apple pie or Pumpkin Pie. What’s your favorite?

  • Apple. I keep telling myself I’ll like pumpkin pie, and every time I try it, I’m disappointed (except once when trying a pumpkin pie made by a coworker. Was. The. BEST.)

October or November? 

  • November. I’m definitely a Thanksgiving person over a Halloween person.

Do you dress up for Halloween?

  • Nope. Halloween is usually pretty uneventful for me. I give out candy if I’m home during trick or treat but that’s about it.

What do you feel at the end of the Fall season?

  • Happy because then it’s winter, which is just as good.

And that’s it! Not quite book-related but hey, whatever. I tag Bibliobibuli, Zezeewithbooks, Theorangutanlibrarian, and allboutthembooksandstuff.

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 10/14/2018 in Book Tag

 

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Spookathon TBR

Spookathon

Hello, today I want to talk about the books I plan on reading for Spookathon! Spookathon is a readathon that takes place between October 15th and October 21st. You can find the host announcement videos here and the twitter account here!

The whole point, as the title indicates, is to read spooky books. There are also a few challenges you can try to accomplish as well. They are:

  1. Read a thriller
  2. Read a book with purple on the cover
  3. Read a book not set in the current time period
  4. Read a book with a spooky word in the title
  5. Read a book with pictures

Considering I and many other people likely won’t be able to read five books in a week, you can double up on challenges and fulfill multiple with one book.

These are the books I plan on reading:

https://i.imgur.com/gDmi2lb.jpg

Monster volumes 1-4 by Naoki Urasawa – These manga will fulfill ‘Read a thriller’, ‘Read a book with pictures’ and volume four will fulfill ‘Read a book with purple on the cover’. I’ve owned these for forever and actually read them about a decade ago. But, I’ve forgotten everything about them, aside from it’s a serial killer psychological thriller. So I’m hoping it’s wonderful.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice – This book fulfills ‘Read a book with a spooky word in the title’ and ‘Read a book not set in the current time period’. Again, I’ve had this for forever and read part of it back in high school. From what I remember, I liked it. Hopefully I still will.


And that’s it! Are you participating? Let me know! Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 10/13/2018 in Books, Readathon

 

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Top 5 Favorite Villains

Top 5 Wednesday.png

https://i.imgur.com/XS0XVS1.gifHello! Happy Hump Day! Today’s topic is favorite villains. If you’d like to participate in T5W, you can do so here!

 

 

The AI from I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

This short story is slightly terrifying. If you want something short and sweet to read for October, check this one out.

The Masquerade from The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1)

Two words: Social Hygiene.

Kennit from Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)

The reason I love this character so much is because I hate him so much. He’s just. pure. asshole. He commits all sorts of acts that are unforgivable, but he sees himself as someone with a good end goal. His motivations I think make him so complex. But holy cow do I hate him.

The Darkling from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Verse, #1)

Hey, shocker. I bet this guy will be on a lot of people’s lists. I don’t know what it is about him, he’s just morbidly fascinating to me, man.

Shigaraki Tomura from My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi

Image result for shigaraki

Is he the most matured, well-put-together villain? No. He has temper tantrums and is inexperienced. He’s not an all-powerful grade-A villain. But that’s what makes him so interesting to me. I feel like as the series progresses, we’ll get to see him develop into a great villain the way the hero characters are improving into their own titles.


And that’s it! Making this list made me realize I don’t read many villains with a true hero/villain dynamic. Most of the time, the antagonist is more of a gray character than the archetype ‘villain’. Good or bad, who knows.

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 10/10/2018 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb

Dragon Keeper (The Rain Wild Chronicles, #1)Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb
Fantasy
494 pages
Read Sept 2 – Sept 29, 2018
Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 1
Realm of the Elderlings, Book 10

Spoiler-free blabber

I buddy-read this book with Zezee! This is what feels like our millionth Robin Hobb buddy-read, and it was just as enjoyable as all it’s predecessors. 😀

I think that I would have enjoyed this book more if the previous Hobb books in the Realm of the Elderlings series weren’t The Tawny Man trilogy. I say this because to me, Tawny Man is her best works so far. I loved that series. So coming down off that and going into this one, I think my expectations were a bit too high, or I was still not over the previous one.

Overall, I did rather like this book. It was very enjoyable, and I feel like it’s a strong set-up to what could be a really, really good quartet. But, with my mindset still partially on The Fool and Fitz, my heart was still a bit distracted, so I feel like I couldn’t give as much affection to this one because Fitz and The Fool weren’t in it.

The characters that were in it though, were nice and gray and complicated, just how Hobb loves to write and them and I love to read them. Each one within the first book developed distinct personalities and motivations. Some of them I very much like, others I started with disliking and ended up liking and some I started with liking and ended up disliking.

Alise. Probably my favorite character in the series at this point. In the beginning of the book, she enters into a marriage contract with Hest, a prominent trader in Bingtown, which would allow her to pursue her study of dragons in earnest. Alise starts as a character that has never really been the center of attention but by the end of the novel, becomes more confident in herself and her skills and what attention she does receive from the other characters, she revels in. There’s a gray area with her in this though, but saying what it is would be a spoiler, I think. Overall, her character growth in this first book was good to read, and while she is my favorite character, she’s toying a very fine line in morals. It’ll be interesting to see which way she ultimately slides.

Hest. Easily my most hated character. Alise’s husband, he’s a bit of a jerk. I think his character arc was the most easily predictable for me. I was able to guess ahead of time why he acts the way he was acting, and to have to play out almost exactly as I predicted kinda let out some of the steam I had had going for this book. There was only a small detail about it that I had not predicted, but man, that detail is coloring other characters more complicated and makes interactions between others more hypocritical. AUGH I LOVE IT. I don’t like Hest, but as far as his part to play in the story, his actions are going to cause a lot of waves, man.

Sedric. This is the character I started with liking and ended up disliking. In the beginning, I saw him more as a pure and innocent and overall good influence in Alise’s life. But as the story progressed and we got to read from his point of view, we get to see that all is not well in Oz. He’s gray man, his moral compass is all over the place. He’s righteous in some areas and a hypocrite in others. He’s a very interesting one to read from for sure. I feel like his character arc has a lot of room for growth. I hope he becomes even more complicated.

Leftrin. This is the one that I started with disliking and ended up liking. Leftrin original struck me as a sly, manipulative individual, with his actions in the beginning of the book. And he might still be and is just good at hiding it, but seeing him interact with Alise and others, he’s warmed to me. He seems like he genuinely wants to be better, despite wanting to gain a profit along the way. I feel like this character is another one that could surprise me with his growth.

Thymara. I know this character got a lot of screen time, but she is one I’m still the least connected to. I like her overall, but I feel like I haven’t really gotten to read deep enough into her yet. I know her motivations, and I know her personality, but nothing has really struck me about her character yet, if that makes sense. I hope in the next book that she gets more POV time so I can read more from her and hopefully grow to like her as much as I like Alise.


Plot-wise, this book was rather slow. The reading wasn’t slow, I blew through it, but the speed at which things were happening was slow. This book, about half way through it, Zezee and I realized was just set up for the next books. Not saying that it was bad, but nothing really happened until towards the end of the book.

Most of the book was taken up by world-building and character development, both of which were really neat. I feel like Robin Hobb’s ability to build her world in the book with so much depth and distinction without it feeling like an info-dump is one of her best talents. At no point did I feel overwhelmed with trivia, nor did I get bored reading. Everything flowed really nicely and I found myself being able to open the book and read 100 or 200 pages in a single sitting. Her writing was compelling even though, as I said, I felt like nothing super major happened plot-wise. I think it was the anticipation of the next book that kept me going – with everything that was built up in this book, the next book sounds like it’s going to be even more wonderful.

So overall – I liked this book. The character development was good, the world-building was good. I just was hoping for a bit more plot, I guess. Plus, Fitz and the Fool – I want them back, man. MY HEART, IT YEARNS.

3.75/5 stars

 
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Posted by on 10/07/2018 in blabbers, Books, Review

 

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