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Characters of the year tag!

Book Tag

Hello, a tag today! I saw this tag on Zezee @ZezeeWithBooks‘s blog and she said to tag myself if I wanna so GUESS WHAT. This will be all the favorites from my 2019 reading year!

Favorite male character of the year

Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3)

I have to go with Zezee’s answer and say Fitz from the Fitz and the Fool trilogy by Robin Hobb. I’ve always liked Fitz, but in this trilogy series, he really, really grew on me. I love that he’s such a dumbass. And I don’t say this to bash him – I mean it like… he’s developed so well that his character flaws are very realistic. And Fitz’s happens to be… that he’s a dumbass. Every time there’s a plan to follow, he goes off on his own. Every time some mechanism is set in motion, he finds a way to fudge it up. But in his mind, the reasoning we’re given for him doing what he does, makes sense. He’s not dumb. His logic is usually sound, but at the same time, he trusts in others’ abilities so little that he tends to just do his own thing… and most of the time wrecks the overall motion of events as a result. Fitz is a dumbass. But I love him.

Favorite female character of the year

Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and the Fool, #1)

(spoiler for character introduction/family relation in Fool’s Assassin) Same series as above, but the character here is Bee, Fitz’ daughter. When she’s born, she’s born weak and small, and isn’t expected to make it. But she does, and as she grows, she becomes this intelligent, independent girl who slowly realizes the world is different than her upbringing suggests, and her growth as a result of it is one of my favorite character arcs. Bee is so great, and I hope that if Robin Hobb ever decides to continue in her Realm of the Elderlings series, that she writes book following Bee.

Most relatable character of the year

O Maidens in Your Savage Season 1

Basically the entire group of girls from O Maidens in Your Savage Season by Mari Okada. They’re all fifteen or so and are beginning to go through the ‘oh no, there are boys, what do I DO?!’ phase. It’s heart warming and endearing and reading it reminded me of the way my mind used to go ‘BUT WHAT!’ when I was a fifteen year old about literally everything. I love this series, it’s so cute.

Couple of the year

Ten Count, Vol. 1 (Ten Count, #1)

Shirotani and Kurose from Ten Count by Rihito Takari. I’ve only read the first volume so far so they’re not a couple yet but I know it’s comin’, man. I just know it. And despite what the cover suggests, there is a solid plot in this series. (and honestly, this first volume could have been rated T. I just assume it’s M because of content in later volumes.)  Everyone is just so sweet and cute and lovely.

Villain of the year

Land of the Lustrous, Vol. 1 (Land of the Lustrous, #1)

I use the term ‘villain’ here loosely because I always have trouble coming up with villains. But I really like the Lunarians in Land of the Lustrous by Haruko Ichikawa. This series really grew on me this year, and a lot of it is due to the development of this group called the Lunarians. They’re so odd but also understandable and I think they’re neat.

Most disliked character of the year

You (You #1)

Joe from You by Caroline Kepnes. Ugh, such a creep.

Royal of the year

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

Kelsea from The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. Kelsea really grew on me, particularly in books two and three of this series. Back when I originally read book one, my main issue with it was that Kelsea was a bit unbelievable – her social skills were too developed for being literally only around two other people her entire life. But as the story continued and she continued to stick her to Lawful Goodness, she grew on me. I really like her.

Sidekick/non-main character of the year

Wild Ones, Vol. 1 (Wild Ones, #1)

The yakuza members from Wild Ones by Kiyo Fujiwara. Man, these guys cracked me up. This series follows the girl on the cover, who goes to live with her grandfather after her mother passes away, only to find out that her grandpa is a mob boss and lives in a house full of yakuza. And honestly, they’re so wholesome. A bit insane at times to be honest, but also funny and warm. I still need to get myself a copy of this series. They’re out of print so I need to just pick them up as I see them.

Sibling of the year

Daughter of the Forest  (Sevenwaters, #1)

Sorcha from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. The amount of absolute shit that this girl goes through to save her brothers and bring them home is horrendous. The whole book follows this – Sorcha trying to save them – and man, they really owed her after all that. Wow, what a sister.


And that’s it! If you’d like to do this, consider yourself tagged!

 
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Posted by on 01/11/2020 in Book Tag, Books

 

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Anticipated 2020 Releases! | #1

Anticipated Releases

Happy day! This is the last day of my blogmas, which I’ve been doing since November. It’s been a long (yet fast) month and a half. I’m rather pumped about it.

Today I wanna talk about 2020 releases that I’m pumped for that are coming out between January and June.  Releases for the second half of the year will be… posted towards the second half of the year.

I’ve got ten titles to talk about! All release dates are tentative. As usual, because I haven’t read these and all I can say about them is ‘I’m pumped’, this will be release date, cover if available, and summary.


The Seep by Chana Porter

The Seep

Release date: Jan 21st

Goodreads synopsis: Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.

Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Highfire

Release date: Jan 28th

Goodreads synopsis: In the days of yore, he flew the skies and scorched angry mobs—now he hides from swamp tour boats and rises only with the greatest reluctance from his Laz-Z-Boy recliner. Laying low in the bayou, this once-magnificent fire breather has been reduced to lighting Marlboros with nose sparks, swilling Absolut in a Flashdance T-shirt, and binging Netflix in a fishing shack. For centuries, he struck fear in hearts far and wide as Wyvern, Lord Highfire of the Highfire Eyrie—now he goes by Vern. However…he has survived, unlike the rest. He is the last of his kind, the last dragon. Still, no amount of vodka can drown the loneliness in his molten core. Vern’s glory days are long gone. Or are they?

A canny Cajun swamp rat, young Everett “Squib” Moreau does what he can to survive, trying not to break the heart of his saintly single mother. He’s finally decided to work for a shady smuggler—but on his first night, he witnesses his boss murdered by a crooked constable.

Regence Hooke is not just a dirty cop, he’s a despicable human being—who happens to want Squib’s momma in the worst way. When Hooke goes after his hidden witness with a grenade launcher, Squib finds himself airlifted from certain death by…a dragon?

The swamp can make strange bedfellows, and rather than be fried alive so the dragon can keep his secret, Squib strikes a deal with the scaly apex predator. He can act as his go-between (aka familiar)—fetch his vodka, keep him company, etc.—in exchange for protection from Hooke. Soon the three of them are careening headlong toward a combustible confrontation. There’s about to be a fiery reckoning, in which either dragons finally go extinct—or Vern’s glory days are back.

Finna by Nino Cipri

Finna

Release date: Feb 25th

Goodreads synopsis: When an elderly customer at a big box furniture store slips through a portal to another dimension, it’s up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company’s bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but our two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago.

Can friendship blossom from the ashes of a relationship? In infinite dimensions, all things are possible.

Docile by K. M. Szparza

Docile

Release date: March 3rd

Goodreads Synopsis: To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.

Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.

Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson

The Empire of Dreams (Fire and Thorns, #4)

Release date: April 7th

Note: This is the start of a sequel series to The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, which I read years ago and really liked. Also, the name ‘Red Sparkle Stone’ is cracking me up.

Goodreads synopsis: Even though Red Sparkle Stone is a foundling orphan with an odd name and a veiled past, she’s about to be adopted into the royal family—by Empress Elisa herself. Sixteen-year-old Red can hardly believe her luck. Then, in a stunning political masterstroke, the empress’s greatest rival blocks the adoption, and Red is left with no family and no future.

Grieving and lost, but determined to find her place, Red hatches a daring plan: she will prove herself as a recruit for the world’s most elite fighting force, the legendary Royal Guard—something no woman has done before. But it’s no coincidence that someone wanted her to fail as a princess, someone whose shadowy agenda puts everything she loves at risk. As danger closes in, it will be up to Red and her new friends—and maybe some new enemies—to save the empire. If they can survive recruitment year.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

Release date: May 19th

Note: This is a preqel to the Hunger games, which I read years ago and thought was pretty decent.

Goodreads synopsis: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

 

Malorie by Josh Malerman

Malorie (Bird Box, #2)

Release date: May 19th

I’m not listing the goodread synopsis for this one, because all it says is ‘hey this is the sequel to Bird Box! It was on Netflix! Netflix Netflix! You get the idea.

Stormblood by Jeremy Szal

Stormblood (The Common, #1)

Release date: June 4th

Goodreads synopsis: Vakov Fukasawa used to be a Reaper, a biosoldier fighting for the intergalactic governing body of Harmony against a brutal invading empire. Now, he fights against the stormtech: the DNA of an extinct alien race Harmony injected into him, altering his body chemistry and making him permanently addicted to adrenaline and aggression. It made him the perfect soldier, but it also opened a new drug market that has millions hopelessly addicted to their own body chemistry.

But when Harmony tells him that his former ally Reapers are being murdered, Vakov is appalled to discover his estranged brother is likely involved in the killings. They haven’t spoken in years, but Vakov can’t let his brother down, and investigates. But the deeper he goes, the more addicted to stormtech he becomes, and Vakov discovers that the war might not be over after all. It’ll take everything he has to unearth this terrible secret, although doing so might mean betraying his brother. If his own body doesn’t betray him first.

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #3)

Release date: June 9th

This is the one I’m most excited for!

Goodreads synopsis (spoilers for books 1 and 2): The hunt is over. After fifteen years of lies and sacrifice, Baru Cormorant has the power to destroy the Imperial Republic of Falcrest that she pretends to serve. The secret society called the Cancrioth is real, and Baru is among them.

But the Cancrioth’s weapon cannot distinguish the guilty from the innocent. If it escapes quarantine, the ancient hemorrhagic plague called the Kettling will kill hundreds of millions…not just in Falcrest, but all across the world. History will end in a black bloodstain.

Is that justice? Is this really what Tain Hu hoped for when she sacrificed herself?

Baru’s enemies close in from all sides. Baru’s own mind teeters on the edge of madness or shattering revelation. Now she must choose between genocidal revenge and a far more difficult path — a conspiracy of judges, kings, spies and immortals, puppeteering the world’s riches and two great wars in a gambit for the ultimate prize.

If Baru had absolute power over the Imperial Republic, she could force Falcrest to abandon its colonies and make right its crimes.

The Angel of Crows by Katherine Addison

No cover available as of today!

Release date: June 23rd

Goodreads synopsis: In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings under a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.

Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.


And that’s it! There are a lot of book I’m looking forward to in the first half of the year alone. We’ll see how many I actually read.

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 01/08/2020 in Blogmas, Books

 

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Bookshelf Tour – 2019!

10 in 2019

I’m aware it’s 2020. :”D I had meant to post this in December during the main chunk of Blogmas, but I didn’t get the photos together or my bookshelves organized in time, so it’s a bit delayed. But I’ll be posting one next December too and that will be the 2020 one. So bear with me here. If you’re interested, here’s my 2018 and 2017 tours. Any that I list as missing are currently lent out.

Also I have to double-stack now. IT’S TEARING ME APART. D’:


Overview of shelves

Nonfiction and Foreign Language

Missing: The Good Women of China

Manga, graphic novels, and 10 in 2020 books

Fantasy and Science Fiction

Missing: The Traitor Baru Cormorant, The Poppy War, Assassin’s Apprentice, Assassin’s Quest

Missing: Uprooted

Missing: Senline Ascends

Missing: Throne of Glass

Missing: The Bear and the Nightingale, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars

Horror, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Thrillers, Classics, Magical Realism, and Literary Fiction

Missing: Isle of Blood


And thaaaat’s it! Sorry some of the pics are a bit blurry, there’s a bug in the software of my camera on my phone that makes the autofocus go crazy. -_- Hopefully most of them came out ok.

Happy reading!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 01/07/2020 in Blogmas, Books

 

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A decade in review: Favorite books and other stuff

top books 2017

This is gonna be a neat post!

PS I’m still grumpy that my comments were turned off for a month without my realizing it. Even if you have nothing to say about this post, say hi, because now I crave human interaction, augh.


So! Favorite reads of the decade. I’ve only been actively tracking my reading since 2011, when I joined Goodreads, so 2010 is gonna be a bit of a challenge to remember what I read.

I’m also gonna add in a bit of what I was doing each year… just because I don’t think a separate point on all that is warranted, but I wanna reminisce. It’ll all be in the second paragraph of each year, so you can skip that one if you’re not interested!

2010

In 2010, I was doing mostly rereads if I remember. Before I started tracking my reading, I didn’t really branch out. I do have one book for this year though:

The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – I read this when I was in college for my psychology degree, in the one literature class that was required of me. The professor picked this out, and I remember being told to read 5 chapters a week… but I read the entire book in that first week. I couldn’t put it down. And then after, I would have to refresh myself each week on the contents of that week so I wouldn’t spoil anything for my classmates who were actually following the curriculum. It was a fun time, and thinking of this book reminds me of being in college for that degree (I went twice for two different ones).

I turned 20 in 2010. During this time, I was living off campus with my best friend in an apartment nearby. It was the first year I was doing it: the previous two years of college I attended were from home and at a community college. I was a junior, and experiencing self-management for the first time in my life. I adjusted to it quite well, I think. I was never late for class, I rarely skipped, I kept up my grades, and I made some good friends I still have to this day. 2010 was a good year.

2011

Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 27 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #27)

2011 was the first year I joined Goodreads, and that year, I read 13 books. By far, my favorite was volume 27 of Fullmetal Alchemist. It’s the final volume of the series, and I read it right after it came out in December of that year. I adore this series, and the finale was so satisfying and I loved it.

In 2011, I was still in college, and in the fall, my senior year. I was living in the same apartment with my same friend, but that year we allowed another friend to move into our living room after their housing became unavailable. Honestly I kind of hated my life during that. The house became a disaster zone. It went from a comfy apartment to a place that I didn’t feel welcome, didn’t feel at home, didn’t feel like it was my space anymore. When I was home, I never left my room – I even kept my food that didn’t need refrigerated, my silverware and kitchen stuff in my room with me. I joined a bunch of clubs and stuff that year specifically so I wouldn’t have to be home. I hated my apartment that year. It was not a good situation for all three of us. The books I read that year though, were wonderful. A lot of them were library books, and I picked them because I was spending extra time at the campus library. They definitely got me through the year. Out of all these years, 2011 is the crappiest one.

2012

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)

In 2012, I read 14 books. A lot of them were text books I read for classes. My favorite was The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. It’s such a dark, gristley book, and it honestly caught me off guard. I actually got creeped out reading this, and I loved it. I’ve since collected books two and three of the series but haven’t read them. I’ll have to reread this before I can read them, as I don’t remember the details of the book at this point, but I do remember the feelings I got. This was a great book, people. Definitely worth the read.

2012 was a very good year. I graduated college with a bachelor’s in psychology, I moved out of my apartment living arrangement and back in home with my parents. I was unemployed for the first three months after graduating, so I did some traveling! I went to Chicago in May or June to check out a grad school. That didn’t pan out but the friend I went with did, and shock, he is now my husband. We also went to historic Williamsburg, VA, and Busch Gardens in July that summer. My husband and I started officially dating in August, and in late August, I got a job as Therapeutic Staff Support, which was a decent job for what it was. I ended up working there for two years. And then the apocalypse didn’t happen in December of 2012 so that was nice.

2013

The Dark City (Relic Master, #1)

According to Goodreads, I complete 0 books in 2013. I really dropped off reading that year – I didn’t buy much, and I didn’t read, either. I did however start The Dark City by Catherine Fisher in 2013, even though I didn’t actually complete it until 2014. So this is the one I’m going with. I really adore this series, mostly because it got me interested in reading again. You’ll see next year my reading picks up a lot. And I owe it to this series for doing it. It’s so underrated, I think – I’ve never seen anyone talk about it. It’s so good!

2013 was a decent year. It was very status-quo. I was working as a TSS, dating my husband, living at home. I did a bit of traveling, too. Went to Niagara Falls in March, went to Hershey, Harrisburg and Gettysburg all in one trip during the summer, and I went to my first ever ‘traditional’ rock concert: Infection Mushroom. Technically they’re electronic, not rock, but it’s the first one where I was in a mosh. It was intense, man. Also, the big rubber duck came to Pittsburgh!

2014

In 2014, my reading bumped! I read 30 books that year! I actually have more than one favorite this year, so I’m gonna list a couple (and probably will do so from this year on):

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick NessSnow Crash by Neal StephensonMy faves were The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. Both of these books really sparked me to read more, the first one in particular. I remember flying through this book, and I remember getting the next two right away and looking at them lovingly in my room.

2014 was an interesting year. I started this blog in 2014! I originally did so with the intent of starting a youtube after, but once I hit that deadline, I decided I liked the blog format better. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll start a youtube, but I have no plans to do so right now. I also quit my job as a TSS and went back to college to get another degree, this time in computer science. I also moved in with my husband this year. We’ve (obviously) been living together ever since. I remember my advisor showing me my class schedule and was like ‘You already have all the electives because of your first degree, but with the way the pre-reqs are stacked, you’ll still be here til Spring of 2017’ and I remember thinking ‘WOW THAT’S SO FAR AWAY’. Hahahahahah. hahahahahaha. ha.

I saw Sonata Arctica live for the first time in 2014, one of my favorite metal bands. I also went to Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Hampton VA! During the fall I went to San Francisco to present a project I was involved in too!

2015

In Order to Live by Yeonmi ParkThe Fold by Peter ClinesPerdido Street Station by China MiévilleThe Martian by Andy Weir

 

 

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In 2015, I really really jumped up the number of books I read. I finished a whopping 111 books! My blog was starting to take off, and I fell into the ‘THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS’ trap that we all hit when we join the book community and our eyes are opened to just how many books there are. Favorite of 2015 included In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, which I still think about, The Fold by Peter Clines, Perdido Street Station by China Mieville and The Martian by Andy Weir!

In 2015, I was in the middle of my computer science degree, and I got a job at the technology desk in the campus library, helping students with computer problems. This honestly is the best job I’ve ever had. I remember during winter break – Jan 2015, I was working full time, but barely anyone was there as it was winter semester, a short one between the two main fall/spring ones. I literally got paid to binge X-Files for a month at my work computer. My boss knew it too – he was in his office binging The Office. Spring 2015, I went to Washington DC for the Sakura Blossom Festival, which was the third time I done so but was still as neat as ever, and then in the summer, I went to Rehoboth Beach with my husband’s family, and to Niagara Falls again (I like it there, pbtbt). I also went to Ohio and saw Nightwish live for the first time, my favorite ever metal band.

2016

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin HobbUprooted by Naomi NovikLeviathan Wakes by James S.A. CoreyIn 2016, my reading dropped a bit, 56 books. I started getting more and more into thick fantasy books, so while I read fewer, I had a lot of new favorites as a result. Namely, I started reading Robin Hobb, and finished out the entire Farseer trilogy that year. I buddy read I think from book two onward with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks (that means we’ve known each other for at least four years now, wow!). Robin Hobb has since become one of my favorite authors of all time and will stay there forever. Other favorites of the year were Uprooted by Naomi Novik and Leviathan’s Wake by James S. A. Corey, which really awakened my interest in science fiction.

2016 was full of traveling. I was still in college but used my breaks to my advantage: Went to Prospect, New Haven, and Mystic Connecticut in March to visit a buddy, went to Philadelphia in the summer, and the biggest trip of all: went to Malaysia in December to see one of my best friends get married. I met my friend when we were 14 and 16 respectively online on fanfiction.net of all places. We kept in touch all this time, talked daily for years, then talked less often as we got older and started jobs/school/etc etc. We stayed in touch though. It became a running joke that when she got married, that she’d invite me. When she finally did get engaged, she said, “So.. are you coming?” So I did. I flew literally to the other side of the planet and saw my bestie get married, and it was wonderful.

A month before we flew out, my husband and I got engaged! I proposed to him with a gummy bear and it went horribly, but he still said yes for some reason, so that was neat. I also got an internship at a software company that would end up offering me a job upon graduation, so that was really nice, too. 2016 was a great year for me. For the country? Not so much. But for me, it was wonderful.

2017

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth DickinsonThe Black Prism by Brent WeeksIn 2017 my reading dropped a tad more, 50 books. The reasoning, I know was my work load with my classes. It was nuts. But more about that in paragraph two. My favorite books this year were The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson and The Black Prism by Brent Weeks. The first, I’ve reread since and the second I’m still working on my initial read of the series. I’m on book four now! I read a lot of really great books this year, despite the number itself being smaller. I’m ok with that though – I’d rather read fewer and love them than read more and not like them.

In 2017, I went to Niagara Falls again (this is the last time, I promise). I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, took the weekend off, and then started work the following Monday as a software developer at a software firm. I still work there to this day! I like it there, it’s neat. My workload my final semester though was insane. Like, it was crazy. During this final semester – Spring of 2017 – I had my first panic attack. I’ve only had a couple since then, but the way my own professor taught my course, the way he pressured us, the workload he gave, the threats he gave about failing us, it just got to me. I mean, he was a smart guy, and actually really nice outside of class, but in class? He literally gave me anxiety. Before this I had none. Now I have some, and I blame him for it. Woot. PS – the whole ‘YOUR WORK WILL TREAT YOU EXACTLY LIKE THIS’ he jammed down our throats during class is not true. My work is the chillest damned place.

I also got married in 2017! We tied the knot on Aug 1st, the day of our five year dating anniversary. We had a small cook out in my in-laws’ back yard with about fifty people and it was lovely. The next day, we left on our honeymoon and spent two weeks on a cruise ship floating around Hawaii. This was the best trip of my life and I almost… mourn it? That it’s over? It was such a happy time in my life, so care-free, so warm and magical. I really, really miss my honeymoon. I also ended up going back to Connecticut over Christmas break to visit my buddy again, and that was a blast as well!

2018

Senlin Ascends by Josiah BancroftSpinning Silver by Naomi NovikWotakoi by FujitaGolden Fool by Robin Hobb

 

 

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2018 was a good reading year. With school over, I got more time to indulge again. I read 88 books in 2018, and I really liked a lot of them. My favorites that year were Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, Wotakoi by Fujita and the top of them all: Golden Fool by Robin Hobb. I liked the whole Tawny Man trilogy by Hobb, but Golden Fool was by far my favorite. Man, I get all warm and happy just thinking about it now. This is the year I really think I honed my reading tastes. I got rid of a lot of books I had that I realized weren’t for me.

2018 was another status quo year, a good one. Working, married, yada yada. Went to see the Foo Fighters live, definitely a bucket list thing, and went to Chicago again for my one year anniversary. In the fall, over Halloween, went to Disney World for the first time in my life, along with Universal too! And in December, Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff came and visited me for a week! I met her shortly after meeting my Malaysia buddy – she actually introduced me! So we three and one other who I have yet to meet in person are all buds, and I’ve been trying to see them in person now that I’m an adult with like… money. One day, all four of us will meet together. ❤

2019

Deathless by Catherynne M. ValenteAssassin's Fate by Robin HobbO Maidens in Your Savage Season 1 by Mari Okada

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

 

 

.

2019 was another boom year when it came to books – 118 of them! I really got back into manga this year. When I was in high school I read almost solely manga, and while I still read occasionally this decade, I didn’t nearly as much as I did this year. So much good stuff is coming out, man. So much. Some favorites for this year are Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb, O Maidens in Your Savage Season by Mari Okada, and The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. All of these books are stellar, and I really recommend you pick them up (and their prequels, very necessary)

2019 was good! Same job, same husband! Went again to Connecticut in the spring, where I stayed again with my buddy pal. In the summer, I went to an anime convention for the first time. Me, Katy @Bookbinderway and Sarah @WindsorWrites piled into a car with all our stuff, and zoomed over to DC for Otakon, which is one of the largest anime conventions in the country. And man, was that awesome. I’m going to another in February with them too and I’m so pumped! Shortly after, for our second anniversary, my husband and I went to New York City, both to just see what all the hubbub was and to see Moulin Rouge in Broadway, which is something I’ve wanted to do since before it was a broadway show. That’s my favorite movie, by the way. So it was a bucket list thing I’ve had since like 2004. And it was grand. I’ll tell you what though: NYC is stinky. I liked the stuff we did there but the city itself is so smelly! Augh!

I also saw Iron Maiden live this year, and it was totally awesome!


And that’s it. Ten years of books, of life, of travel, of music, of friends and family. It was all lovely, and writing all this out made me both happy and sad at the same time. I turn 30 later this year and to think at the beginning, I was just turning 20. It’s weird, it’s weird, it’s weird.

If you took the time to read this, thank you. If you didn’t, that’s ok too, I know I rambled a lot.

I hope you all had a good decade. I did.

 
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Posted by on 01/06/2020 in Blogmas, Books, Coffee Time, Favorites, Wrap-up

 

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January Currently Reading! ’20

Currently Reading

GUESS WHO’S DUMB. It’s me. Apparently I’ve had the comments turned off on my posts for weeks and never noticed. No idea it was like that. But they’re on now. Please if you notice my comments off, poke me on IG or twitter and tell me because it’s 100% because I did it by accident and then went off in my own little world. :”D


Three more days, and I’m done with blogmas! After that I’ll be resuming a regular posting schedule, and currently I’m thinking it’ll be Saturday, Monday, Thursday. But we’ll see I suppose.

This is what I’m currently reading!


The Wolf (Under the Northern Sky, #1)

The Wolf by Leo Carew – I received this as a Christmas gift from my buddy Ashley! I didn’t get it ’til yesterday though, so that’s why it wasn’t in my December haul. But you know that photo thing that’s been going around on facebook? This one:

I’m not from Iceland, so I have no idea if this is actually a thing or not (if you’re an Icelander, please tell me) but me and Ashley thought it was neat so we kinda-sorta adopted it. I went to her house yesterday, we exchanged books, and we spent all day in her living room reading them. We were both busy Christmas eve so couldn’t do it then, but Saturday the 4th was still nice. We plan to keep up the tradition next year too!

Paradise Kiss: 20th Anniversary Edition

Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa – I picked this up a few days ago and I’m about half way through it. It’s over 850 pages! It’s pretty good so far though and I’m enjoying it.

Bloodwitch (The Witchlands, #3)

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard – Third book, still reading it. I’ll get there, I’ll get there.

Caliban's War (The Expanse, #2)

Caliban’s War James S. A. Corey – I’ll finish this this month, dammit.

The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks – I’ll… I’ll get there. One day.


And that’s it! That’s what I’m reading!

 
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Posted by on 01/05/2020 in Blogmas, Books, Currently Reading

 

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Favorite books of 2019!

top books 2017

Today’s the day to talk about my favorite books of the year! All of these books, with the exception of the first honorable mention, were five star reads for me, new all-time favorites.

Honorable mention

The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3)

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – This book got a 4.75 stars from me, the only book that did this year. This is the finale to Johansen’s Queen of the Tearling series and honestly, I still don’t know how I feel about the ending. It was perfect but also terrible, and I think that’s why it got rated so high. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, I really recommend doing so.

2019 Favorites

Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)

Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik – This is the eighth book in the Temeraire series, and I feel one of the strongest (though… none of them got below a four, don’t think I didn’t love them all). I think what I appreciate about this book the most was that it took a trope I hated and did something different with it. I actually made a post about it: The Amnesia trope, and I made it because I was hesitating about reading this book. But man, this book proved to me that the amnesia trope can actually be handled well. This was an awesome book.

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four-Panel Comics

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four-Panel Comics by Hiromu Arakawa – I don’t know what I was expecting with this little comic collection, but it definitely wasn’t ‘this’ll be a favorite book of the year’. This book collects all the little side comics at the end of the manga, in the dvd releases and in the blu-ray releases of both animes. It puts them all in a fashion roughly linear to the main plot of Fullmetal Alchemist (which, if you haven’t read, is fantastic). Maybe I was just feeling nostalgic for this series, who knows, but I really, really enjoyed this. It was funny and endearing and just such a joy to read.

The Monster Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #2)

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson – Second book syndrome, what’s second book syndrome? This book’s never heard of it. Monster Baru is the second installment to Dickinson’s Masquerade series, and the first book, The Traitor Baru Cormorant made my favorites list back in 2017. And this, this was no different. It took the story so much farther, opened the world so much, and made our main character Baru so much more complicated. I loved every single second.

O Maidens in Your Savage Season 1

O Maidens in Your Savage Season vol 1 by Mari Okada – It’s kind of hard for a single volume of manga to get a five stars from me, let alone the first volume of a series, when all the characters are still being introduced and the plot is still being laid out… usually it’s like, set-up, right? This one though, plops you right in, and man, does it make you feel like a fifteen year old right away. This book was so refreshing. It was funny, it was endearing, and it was just so pleasant. I’ve been collecting the series since and while none of the other volumes have matched the five stars of this one, the series is still going strong and I’m hoping volume 5 that just came out upholds its predecessors.

Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3)

Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb – Let’s be real here, I knew way back at the first book of this trilogy that if Hobb ended the series in a good, strong way, the last book would be definitely getting five stars. And guess what, she pulled it off. I really, really loved the ending of this. I’d heard iffy things going in so I was a bit nervous, but once I finished it, there was no doubt in my mind: This is a favorite book. I loved this book. I read this – along with basically all the other Robin Hobb Realm of the Elderlings books with Zezee @ZezeeWithBooks and I’m pretty sure we both adored it. It’s the end of an era and I don’t know what to do with myself now.

Deathless (Leningrad Diptych, #1)

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente – This book was on my first and only 5 star predictions post…. and so far, it’s the only one to hit the mark. I have a couple left to go and I’ll get to those. But this. This book was fantastic. It’s disjointed and lilting and dark and gritty and whimsical… everything I wanted. It’s a story about Koschei the Deathless, a figure in Russian mythology, and I found the way Valente wrote about him and the story around him to be really fantastical. It really felt like a fairy tale, and I loved it. I loved it.


And those are all my five star books of the year! I read 118 things this year, and only these six made the five star list. I’m hoping I read just as many books next year, with even more five stars mixed in.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful reading year. Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 01/04/2020 in Blogmas, Books, Coffee Time

 

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Bottom Books of 2019!

worst books

Happy Friday, the day that feels like Tuesday! Today, I talk about all the books that I disliked or disappointed me throughout the year. Luckily there weren’t that many this year, so that means this post will be short (is that bad or good?!). All books here will have a 2.5 star rating or lower: 2.5 for me is the first ‘I disliked’ it rating. Any higher, and I was neutral about the book at least.


A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman2.5 stars – To be fair to this book, I realized this year that I dislike anthologies in general. Beforehand, I had an inkling that it was the format and not the stories, but reading this really solidified that. So unfortunately, it took the brunt of that discovery by taking this rating. None of the stories had an impact on me and honestly I can’t tell you a single thing about any one of them other than one of the main characters in one of the stories liked dancing. That was it. This book had zero lasting impression. And that was the reason for the low rating: It bored me.

I appreciate what it was trying to do: It gathered stories from different Asian cultures and showing that hey, yes, there are all sorts of stories from Asia that are about totally different cultures and peoples and languages and creeds, but…. the execution was lacking.

StarCraft: Frontline, Volume 1 (Starcaft)

StarCraft: Frontline vol 1 by Paul Morrissey2 starsThis one was a bummer. I’m a huge fan of StarCraft, so I was hoping to love this. I love the lore of the StarCraft world, I love the characters, I love the game play… but this story was difficult. It trudged through what little plot it had, the artistic style made the reading experience feel dense, and considering it’s a manga, making it feel dense was some feat. So overall, it was not a good experience for me, and I won’t be continuing it. I’m hoping to pick up Heaven’s Devil this year, a novel in the StarCraft universe, and now I’m antsy that it’s gonna feel the same way as this did. Augh. Fingers crossed.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy, #1)

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James1.5 stars – This book, ladies and gents, was the most disappointing one of the year for me. I bought it on release day, and I started it right away… aaaaand I hated it. The only reason it didn’t get a straight one star from me is because I finished it. I only give 1s to books that I can’t finish because they’re so awful. But this one, I did. I think it was because I was mad at having dropped over twenty bucks on the thing, only to end up hating it so much. So I read it out of spite. I got my money’s worth, dammit. (Or did I?)

Anyways, nothing in this book agreed with me. I hated the main character, I hated the side characters, I hated the plot, I hated the shock-factor violence, and I hated the way that sexual violence was just a part of society in the book, not called out as bad, never questioned as ‘hey maybe we shouldn’t literally rape people to death’, and even was promoted by the main character. It really was just a gross book, and it rubbed me the wrong way. If you could get past that and liked it, props to ya, but for me? Ew.


And that… that is it! I only had three books this year that fell below a 3 star, and while that’s good because it means I liked most of what I read, it kinda leaves my ‘worst of’ post a little bare bones. That’s okay though – I’d rather have a short post and more books that I liked than visa versa.

If you read any of these books, lemme know! If you liked them, tell me why! If you didn’t, commiserate with me!

 
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Posted by on 01/03/2020 in Blogmas, Books, Wrap-up

 

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