September Wrap Up ’21

Books

Blood of Elves by Andrej Sapkowski – Unfortunately, me thinking I’d like the novels in this series more than the short stories turned out to be false. I ended up actually DNFing this one. This is not a series for me, at least in this medium. I do enjoy the TV show. I won’t be continuing this book series.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien – As a fantasy fan, it’s a bit embarrassing that I haven’t read these sooner. And honestly it’s a bit more embarrassing to read the first one and firmly state that I like the movie better, because I do. This book was alright. I am in the middle of the second one now which I’m liking better but like.. I don’t know, the hype kind of failed me here. 3 stars

The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin – I finally finished this trilogy, and I really enjoyed this ending. It was a bit happy and a bit sad but mostly just gray, which I feel like was a suitable ending to this series, especially with the world and atmosphere it had built up to this point. But yay, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 4.5 stars

Manga

Black Butler vol 3 by Yana Toboso – This is the only manga for this month. My reread of this series is going slowly apparently. I did really enjoy this though, as I expected. 4 stars

2021 Reading Goals

  • Read 100 books – 68/80 – I’ve dropped my goal from 100 to 80 because babies are time consuming.
  • Reduce physical fiction tbr to 185 138
  • Reduce manga tbr to 50 139
  • Maintain blog schedule – 
    • January: Good
    • February: Passable
    • March-Now: lol, i’m abandoning this goal.
  • Finish my 10 in 2021 list – 5/10

And that’s it for September. I’m hoping to get a bit more reading in during October, because come November I doubt I’ll be reading much at all. That’s when the baby is due!

August Wrap Up ’21

Well hi! I did some reading this past month. This is what I read:

Books

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson – Finally jumped into this, part of a buddy read. This book made me realize I really don’t like heist plots. The second half of it though was pretty good and redeemed the heisty bit. 4 stars

All the Murmuring Bones by A. J. Slatter – I don’t know if I expected to love this one quite as much as I did. This book was a cool, muted-paced book that gave me strong dark-Miyazaki vibes. It was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 5 stars

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware – Again, late to this bandwagon. I don’t typically pick up this genre but after this one I think I might have to more often. I really, really enjoyed this book. 5 stars

The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski – This book I buddy read as well, and it suffered from ‘Emily doesn’t like short stories’ syndrome unfortunately, so I didn’t like it as much as the average person. 3 stars

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson – This was my third time rereading this wonder of a book, but the first time listening to it on audio. I think the narrator did a really good job of it. I loved this book just as much this time around as I did the previous two times. 5 stars

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski – Honestly I liked this one even less than the previous one. Still buddy reading, still falling to ‘Emily doesn’t like short stories’ syndrome. The next one is a novel, which I’m in the middle of and already enjoying so much more. 2.5 stars

Manga

Black Butler vols 1-2 by Yana Toboso – I have begun the reread of this series that I’ve been telling myself to do for a year now. I picked up volume 30 the other day so it’s the perfect time. I am very excited, and so far I’m enjoying this series just as much as I did the last time I read it. 4.25, 4.5 stars respectively

And that’s it! I’m still getting back into the swing of blogging so forgive my sparseness. Happy reading!

Collective Book Haul: March-August, and a buying ban!

So considering I disappeared in March, I haven’t hauled books in a while, so here’s what I’ve acquired over the last half year or so:

These are the books from March-April-ish. Five manga, four books. The Assassin’s Quest is signed!

From May-June or so. A lot of manga this time around. I ended up finding the rest of Saiyuki second hand and had to get it all. I also picked up some fantasy but when do I not.

A lot of manga again this time – I finished out Waiting For Spring and Saiyuki, and now own them all. I also picked up a book for a new buddy read and a new release and a book for reread and blah de blah.

These were two out of the three last books I bought before going on my ban. The other one – not pictured – is Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse.

The ban

As mentioned in the title, I’m doing a buying ban. I do one of these every year, usually for two to three months – there’s no real reason usually, aside from ‘just because’ but this year I have an actual reason. My book room is being dismantled and the books moved to the living room. I had to purge a bunch of them to downsize to fit, and I don’t want to bring any more into the house until after the move is complete, which will be at the end of this month, beginning of next month, roughly. So it’s a shorter ban than usual, but it’s still a ban.

And today is my birthday and it’s the first time in like a decade I didn’t go to the bookstore to celebrate :p I should have thought this through. It’s ok, I’ll live.

And that’s it! Happy reading

Where I went, what’s been happenin’, and a huge ass reading wrap up

Hi, I’m back!

I haven’t posted regularly since March, and while it started out as a reading slump, my life took over pretty quickly after that and I just haven’t felt motivated. Within the last couple days though, I’ve had the urge to post again, so here we are!

So the main thing that happened while I’ve been gone is this:

As of writing this, I’m 25 weeks along and I’m due in November. I’m having a boy! So I’m neck-deep in baby shower plans and adjusting my life to prepare for a new human.

Part of this includes dismantling my book room, and I’m bummed about it! I mean it’s worth it so he can have a bedroom but maaaan. In addition to losing the book room, I had to purge a bunch of books. Total, I have seven book cases in that room, and the living room, where we’re moving the books, will hold only about five book cases. So I had to purge. Last weekend, my buddy came over and helped me purge them. It’s to the point where I’m having difficulty doing a lot of bending and straightening in short succession so she helped me maneuver through the shelves.

So that will be a what, a ‘series’ on this blog for a bit – transforming the book room into a nursery, setting up the books in the living room, etc etc etc. PS, I’m also documenting this process on my instagram (shameless plug) where I tend to post what I’m doing for the book room in my stories, and I have a highlight of the progress so far.

I took some before pictures, so note these are the last shots of the book room I have before we started killing it:

And here are some shots of the purge:

So, I’ve gotten rid of about eight shelves worth of books. The small shelf on the right is going to stay in the book room and be used for baby books, and otherwise I’ve gotten rid of about another case’s worth. I haven’t decided what to do with the empty case yet – keep it in there for more baby books or get rid of it or use it as storage or what. Not sure yet.

In a few weeks, I’ll be having some friends over to help me physically move the books and cases out of the room and down into the living room. As a part of that we’ll be moving some storage from the living room into the nursery to use for the baby. The stuff that’s currently in that storage…? I’ll figure out what to do with it. I need to wall space tho, man.


So that’s what’s been going on with my life. I’m happy to say my reading slump is mostly over, so I have been reading again, even if not at my usual pace.

This is what I’ve read since the last time I posted:

Manga

Prince Freya vols 1-2 by Keiko Ishihara – This is a fantasy manga following a girl who takes the place of an ailing prince when he dies, and impersonates him to keep the peace in the kingdom. I do have vols 3 and 4 as well, but haven’t gotten to them yet. So far, I’m pretty interested.  4 and 4.5 stars respectively

Skip Beat! vol 1 by Yoshiki Nakamura – I’ve had my eye on this series for a while, so I’m glad I picked it up. This follows a girl who decides to get revenge against a boy who used her by surpassing him as a famous performer. It’s honestly pretty funny so far, and it’s not taking itself seriously. I like it. 3.75 stars

Waiting For Spring vols 5-14 by Anashin – I finished this series out by reading the last ten volumes in a row. This is a cute shojo romance about a girl who falls for a boy on the basketball team. It’s sweet and simple and dramatic and exactly what you’d expect in a shojo. The love interest is a sweetheart too so that was nice. 3.5-4.75 stars each

O Maidens in Your Savage Season vols 1-8 by Mari Okada – Part of this was a reread, namely vols 1-4, but the other four were new reads. I’ve finished this series out now too. Eight volumes of hilarity and awkwardness and drama. This series follows a group of girls as they start to be exposed to puberty and sex and it’s so painfully relatable. It’s a coming of age humor, not a raunchy thing, just fyi. It’s really sweet…. mostly. 3.5-5 stars each

Books

Dragon Wing by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman – This was a buddy read I did with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks and it was okay. It follows a few different perspectives in a world that is actually a bunch of different floating land masses, all hovering over the Death Gate, this unknown realm at the bottom of the universe. The characters were unfortunately a bit flat, as was the plot. The premise though had so much potential so I was a bit bummed, and have since decided not to continue with the series. 3.25 stars

The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly – This was a 2021 release I picked up on a whim. Total impulse purchase, and it was the first step out of my reading slump. I ended up getting through this book in a few days, the fastest I had read anything in a while. This follows a young woman trying to reclaim her kingdom from invading neighbors and has witches and all sorts of fun things. It was rather enjoyable. 4.25 stars

The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin – This was another buddy read I did with an IRL buddy. This book fell victim to my reading slump, and it took me forever to finish. As a result, it got a lower rating than the first book did. Keep in mind, this was a me issue, not a book issue. I really liked the book. 4.5 stars

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanna Collins – If you remember before I disappeared, I was rereading the Hunger Games series and reviewing each book in prep for this book, which was also going to get its own review, buuuuut whatevs. I cannot be bothered.

I did really enjoy this book. I went into it hearing that it wasn’t that great but honestly it surprised me. I was expecting it to try to redeem Snow or make him a likeable character but just “misunderstood” but nope, nope. He’s a dick, and you can see his slow decent into villainy as the story progresses. As far as villain origin stories go, I think this one is worth the read. 4.5 stars

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie – This was another buddy read with Zezee, and I gotta say I liked this one a lot more than the other buddy read we did. This one we’re planning on continuing for sure.

This story hasn’t really… developed yet, though. Book one is very much a set up book, but it’s really got me interested. There’s a corrupt government and wizards and weird buildings and metaphysics and it’s just really neat. 3.75 stars

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas – This is another one that fell victim to my reading slump and took me ages to read. This book, like all of Maas’s books, I both loved and hated. I recognize that they’re not stellar literature and parts of it were driving me nutso, but I don’t know, there’s just something about them that’s so readable and enjoyable and just utterly ridiculous. I never go into this expecting to take it seriously, and I feel like as a result I end up enjoying them. 4 stars

Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo – If I’m being honest, this is one of the few books I’ve ever come across where I recommend the abridged version. I did not read the abridged version and I regret it.

This was a buddy read with Katy @Bookbinderway and I think she liked it more than I did. I purged this book with my nursery-book room purge and I’m never lookin back man. The main plot was fine – I didn’t mind it. But augh if I have to read one more rant about buttresses. 2 stars

The Wolf by Leo Carew – This book I got as a gift two years ago from my IRL buddy and I finally got around to picking it up. Overall I enjoyed it, but unfortunately I’m not motivated to pick up the next one. This book follows a young man whose father dies in battle and he’s unexpectedly thrust into the crown, but there’s mutiny and political strife and war and blah. It was pretty interesting and I enjoyed reading about the different political aspects, but overall it was a bit flat. It needed more female characters to be honest. It was good though – if war stories are your thing you’ll probably like this. 3.5 stars

Fanfiction

Change of Heart by nyteride – This is the sequel to the Bulma/Vegeta fanfic I read months ago. This one takes place after the Cell arc and before the Buu arc in Dragonball Z. It was fluffy and cute and convinced me that both Bulma and Vegeta would be terrible romantic partners, therefore they are perfect for each other.

DNFs

Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead – This is a Robin Hood retelling and therefore wasn’t for me. I tried, I tried to keep an open mind, but honestly it bored me to tears. If you like Robin Hood you’ll likely like this, but that story has always been dull to me. Not the book’s fault.

The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein – This one was a gift to me from an IRL buddy a few years ago and I always feel so bad when I don’t like books that were gifts, but it is what it is. It’s a psychological thriller but the pacing was just too slow for me.

And that’s it! That’s where I’ve been, that’s what I’ve been doing, that’s what I’ve read. I think from this point my posts won’t be “regular” but I’ll definitely be posting again. Next post will be a haul of the books from the last three or four months. Because shock, just because I was in a slump didn’t mean I didn’t stop purchasing books. So look forward to that. Good to be back, peeps.

Hi, I’m not dead

I haven’t really updated since March, and it’s not because I’m dead. I’m just in a major reading slump right now, and because I haven’t been reading I don’t have anything to post about.

So. Just so you know. I’m alive, I’m just slumpy. I’ll try to start this blog back up again when I find myself reading at a decent pace again. Til then, peace out.

The Book of the Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick | Blabber

The Book of Dead Days (Book of Dead Days, #1)The Book of the Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick
YA Fantasy
Read Dec 26 2020 – Feb 16 2021
Published 2003
273 pages
Spoiler-free blabber

Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me.

I picked this book up after owning it for probably twelve years. I purchased it back then on a recommendation from a friend, as it’s one of her favorite books (sorry, friend!) This past Christmas, I decided to finally read it, picking up on the 26th, the first day of ‘The Dead Days’ in the book, which are the days between Christmas and New Years, thinking it’d be a ‘festive’ way to end the year.

Well, the book I was supposed to finish it five days took me a month and a half, and honestly with my final opinion of it, in retrospect that doesn’t shock me.

This book follows a boy named Boy and the wizard he works for named Valerian. Valerian did something dumb in his youth and sold his soul in a deal, and at the end of the Dead Days, whatever the thing is is coming to collect. The premise sounded good, so I was interested upon starting the book.

Unfortunately that was one of only two things I liked about this book. I’ll start with the other positive thing though: I really liked the tone. The author was able to creative this muted, dreary, slightly disenchanted tone that matches the day after Christmas perfectly. It felt like all the build and up magic we get during December just disappears overnight, and this book really nailed that. I started reading this during those days obviously, but even after in January and February, the tone held up, and I still felt like it was right after Christmas. So points for that.

But otherwise, this book was a bit of a let down. I started reading and quickly realized that Valerian, the one whose soul is at risk, is a jackass. Now I have nothing against unlikable characters, but he treats Boy, the one person who’s trying to help him, like shit the entire book. I was told upon noticing Valerian was a jerk, that he’d grow on me over time or that he got better. Well, no. He was an ass up until the end, and it made the plot feel meaningless to me. I didn’t care if he died or not and I didn’t see why Boy was so loyal the whole time. Honestly Boy started grating on my nerves after a while as a result. He had no agency and felt very flat. The blind loyalty to someone who treated him in such a way was astonishing and felt very unrealistic. His thoughts didn’t even stray. I can understand being stuck in a situation you can’t escape from – I get that – but even his thoughts didn’t suggest that he anything but loyal, even while acknowledging his master was a jerk. It really rubbed me the wrong way.

The only character I liked in the book was Willow, who was similar to Boy in situation but actually displayed some agency. She questioned and challenged Valerian’s behavior more than once, and Boy basically reacted by saying ‘augh stop don’t do that’ and Valerian was like ‘why aren’t you more like Boy, mindless just obeying me?’. Like Boy was such a formulaic character that it was even known to the other characters how flat he was. At first I thought Boy was this way for a reason and would go through huge character growth and get some self-respect by the end of his character arc, buuuuut nope. It was frustrating.

The book also set up a bunch of questions that were hinted at throughout the book, and during the ‘big reveal’ at the end they were ‘revealed’…. but not really. We never actually got any answers to any of the questions Boy brought up throughout the story, despite Valerian saying over and over he’d answer them. I get the Valerian probably didn’t know, but setting it up this way created a promise and didn’t give a payoff. It felt very lack-luster, and the book ended without feeling complete. I know there’s a sequel and there’s a chance the questions will be answered, but the ‘fake’ way the reveal happened towards the end was obviously used as just a plot point to get the main character to do what the plot needed him to do, and it felt very forced.

Speaking of the ending, man was it rushed. The climax of the book I swear happened with five pages left in the thing and then it happened and that was it. No wind down, no nothing afterward. Basically the characters were like ‘wow huh that happened’ and then the end. It was very jarring and unsatisfying. I want to try to give it a break because it’s YA fiction but honestly I feel like that’s an insult to YA fiction, as I’ve read some excellent YA fiction. The premise had promise, but I feel the delivery fell really, really flat.

So yeah overall I liked very little about this book. But I was interested in it enough to finish it, so that’s something.

Perhaps this book will be for you, as I know my friend and a lot of people really like it, but it was not for me.

2 stars

March Currently Reading! ’21

Happy March! This is what I’m currently reading!

Hood by Stephen R. Lawhead – This is my current audio book and honestly it’s pretty slow going. I’m a little over half way through at the moment. It’s not bad but I haven’t been sucked in or anything.

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas – Shortly after posting my haul, I realized I forgot to include this book. Whoops – I’ll put it in next month’s. This came out earlier this month and I dove right into it. I’m about two thirds through. It’s… exactly how every one of this author’s books are. It’s fun but it’s also completely ridiculous.

Dragon Wing by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman – This is my current buddy read with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks! So far I’m rather digging it, though it is a tad slow. It’s not bad at all though and I’ve laughed out loud during the thing a few times now.

The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin – This is my current buddy with an irl friend! We read the first one last month and adored it, so we picked this one up right away. So far, we’re loving this, too!


And that’s it! Happy reading!

February Wrap Up! ’21

Happy end of February! My reading month was pretty decent, though I admit my blogging has suffered a bit. I’m hoping to turn it around in March, but we’ll see how it goes.

This is what I read:

Books

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin – I’m very late to this train, but I absolutely loved this book. I did a blabber on it earlier this month, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. This story takes place in a world that ends over and over again, and follows the people trying to live there.

5 stars

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – This was another favorite of the month, I absolutely adored it. A review for this one though likely won’t be coming, just because it’s been so long since I finished it. But who knows, maybe I’ll get inspired. But I loved this book just as much as the one above – I couldn’t pick a favorite between the two.

5 stars

The Book of the Dead Days by Marcus Sedgwick – Unfortunately this book really disappointed me. I picked it up off a recommendation from one of my buddies so I was hoping to love it, buuuuut I didn’t. I felt the ending was too abrupt, and the characterization was one dimensional. I tried to read this with a mindset knowing it was middle grade or just above but I feel like I would have disliked this even if I had been twelve. Sorry pal.

2 stars

Manga

Ouran High School Host Club vols 8-18 by Bisco Hatori – I finished it! I finished my reread! Well, according to Goodreads it’s my “initial” read, but I did read it back in 2006 or so during high school. This reread though showed that the series holds up over the test of time. There are definitely some jokes in it that haven’t aged well, but overall? it’s pretty good. It was just as funny and sweet as I remember, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

3.25 stars – 4.5 stars each

Shaman King vol 9 by Hiroyuki Takei – I’m really trying to catch up with this series. My sister lent it to me back in like April or May, so I’d have something to read during the plague, but I’m a bad sister and haven’t binged it yet like she’d hoped. I’m hoping to get a lot farther into it in March, or even complete it. We shall see.

So far the story is pretty decent. This specific volume wasn’t my favorite but I do like the series overall.

3.25 stars

Fanfiction

No striking ones this month, but I feel like that’s going to change in March. I’ve been eyeing another DBZ fanfic, and was just waiting for the right time to start it.


2021 Reading Goals

  • Read 100 books – 24/100
  • Reduce physical fiction tbr to 185 – 215
  • Reduce manga tbr to 50 – 147
  • Maintain blog schedule – 
    • January: Good
    • February: Passable
  • Finish my 10 in 2021 list – 1/10

Stats

  • 15 things read this month
    • 3 novels
    • 12 manga
  • 9 things purchased this month
    • 3 novels
    • 6 manga
    • Total money spent: 133.80
  • Genre breakdown:
    • 3 fantasy
    • 11 shojo
    • 1 paranormal

And that’s it! Lemme know how your reading month went!

February book and manga haul! #47

Happy Saturday! This month I picked up a few things, mostly manga, but there’s a couple books in there too. This is what I got:

As you can see, I picked up eight things – two books, six manga!

  • Inuyasha Vizbig editions vols 9 and 10 by Rumiko Takahashi – I finally caved. I’ve been collecting the original editions of this manga for years, but they’ve gone out of print and with the sequel coming out and the series getting popular again, the single volumes have become really hard to find, and when I do find them, they’re expensive. So I’ve decided to just pick up where my singles left off and get the bind up editions which are still in print and much more affordable. I believe I have eight more bind up volumes to get after this before I have the full collection!
  • O Maidens in Your Savage Season vols 7 and 8 by Mari Okada – These are the last two volumes in the series, now my collection is complete! I picked up this series I think two years ago and loved it. I’m gonna do a whole reread of this, I’m pretty pumped about it.
  • Given vol 5 by Natsuki Kizu – I need to catch up on this series. I loved the anime and at this point in the manga, it has to be past the end of the first season. Here’s hopin’.
  • Magus of the Library vol 4 by Mitsu Izumi – Same with this series, I need to catch up! I read the first volume and adored it. I’m hoping to binge the whole thing at some point here.
  • The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky by N. K. Jemisin – After completely adoring the first book, I had to pick these two up right away. I’m in the middle of the second one now and I’m really liking it.

And that’s it! If you’ve read any of the above, let me know! Happy reading!

Top 10 books that made me laugh out loud

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl

Happy Tuesday! Today’s topic is books that made me laugh. This is one of the few topics where I actually had a hard time narrowing it down, as opposed to having a hard time finding enough books. Originally, I came up with over 20 books that made me laugh, and I’ve narrowed it down to these, in no particular order:

Dragon Wing by Margart Weis and Tracy Hickman – This one I’m actually currently reading. There’s one perspective – a dwarf – that really has me tickled. Each time I get a chapter from his pov, I find myself giggling like a madwoman.

Absolutely Boyfriend by Yuu Watase – This is a six volume comedic romance about robot boyfriends, heavy on the comedy. I reread it for the first time since high school earlier this year and really enjoyed it. It’s so ridiculous..

Black Butler by Yana Toboso – I read this one recently – early 2020 – and fell in love. It’s hilarious, on top of all of its other amazing qualities.

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett – Again, a recent read. I wasn’t expecting this one to be funny but it really surprised me. It was hilarious. Especially any scenes with Clef, they cracked me up.

Mogworld by Yahtzee Chroshaw – I expected this one to be funny, as it’s written by the guy who does Zero Punction, but I still found myself surprised at how funny it was. This book was great.

Demon Diary by Kara – This is a seven volume comedy series about a young demon who has no idea what he’s doing being made into a demon lord. It’s cute and fluffy and so entertaining.

Life, The Universe, and Everything by Douglas Adams – I feel like Adams is an obvious choice for this list. This one is my favorite so far.

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – The narration in this has a bit of comedy in it itself, but the one character Kip is hilarious. He’s one of my favorites.

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud – This is a series I read back when I was a teen, and I remember cracking up at Bartimaeus. He’s a djinn and he’s so funny. So sassy.

Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi – While this isn’t a comedy persay, it has a lot of comedic elements that are portrayed very well through the art style. This is a good one.

~~~

And that’s it! Books that make me laugh tend to automatically get high marks from me. I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for a good joke.