Fantasy Bingo 2020-21 | Update 4

It’s been a few months, so it’s time for another update! Back in October, I made an update 3, in August, an update 2, and in June, an update 1 to a post I originally made in April when r/Fantasy’s Fantasy Bingo began.

If you’re interested in participating and want to know the full details, here is the 2020 announcement thread about it. And here is the list of recommendations, crowd sourced by all the participants!

The next one is starting in April of this year, so if you want to wait and start when the new one starts, you can do that too!

New additions:

  • Vita Nostra by Marina & Sergey Dyachenko for Translated (originally Ukrainian)
  • Hunted by Meagan Spooner for Ice/Snow
  • Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw for Necromancy
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner for Climate Fiction

I have just over two months to finish out the card and honestly it’s iffy at this point. We’ll see. At least I got a bingo!

See you in April for the final results!

Coffee Time: The fate of my book haul books | #11

Happy Friday! :”D

Today is another book haul fate post, where I look at book hauls from the past and see if I’ve actually read the buggers, and whether I even still have them.

Today is the 11th post of this variety, so we’ll be doing book haul #11, which was originally posted on July 31st, 2016.

This is what I originally hauled:

  • Inuyasha vols 22 and 24 – Owned, read. I mean technically these specific copies are unread, but I read them before I got my own copies, so they’re not ‘unread’
  • Scryed vol 1 – Unhauled, read. I did read this and decided not to continue with it and got rid of it. Honestly though I feel like I should have held onto it. I’ve since stopped unhauling manga, period.
  • Gravitation vols 5 and 6 – Owned, read. This is a super weird series, I need to say. It starts of pretty decent and then goes weird, and I’m not sure if it’s in a good way, haw.
  • The Forever War – Owned, read. I technically listened to this on audio, but I’ve read it, dammit.
  • Changeless – Owned, unread. This is the second book in a series and I stiiiiill haven’t gotten to the first. It’s on the cutting block tho – one of those on the ‘read a chapter or two and either read it all or get rid of it’ pile. We’ll see!
  • The Burning Land – Unhauled, unread. I didn’t realize for a while after owning this one that it’s like book 5 in a series. Not invested enough, got rid of it.
  • Warbreaker – Owned, unread. I wanna read the Mistborn trilogy before getting to this one, which hopefully be picked up in January.
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies – Owned, unread. I still haven’t read the first one. I’m getting there, I’m getting there. I’ve since stopped buying sequels before reading the first one in the series. I’ve learned my lesson.
  • Ship of Magic and Shaman’s Crossing – Owned, read. Both of them, read. I’m on the last Hobb novel now I have yet to finish: Renegade’s Magic. I’ve basically adored everything I’ve read by her.
  • The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes – Owned, read. Again, I haven’t read this specific copy. My dad has this copy and growing up I read his (multiple times). And now I have my own!
  • Pokemon: Deluxe Essential Handbook – Owned, read. Yep, cover to cover, read this. I’m so out of touch with the newer generations, that when Pokemon Go came out, I bought this to catch myself up. I was (and am again) really into pokemon when I was a kid and a teen, but I had kind lost touch and didn’t know there were like 300 new ones to learn. Well now I know them.
  • Heir of Fire – Owned, read. I read this one I think in 2017 or so, and rather enjoyed it. I think this series gets better as it goes on. So far, I’ve read up through book four.
  • Saga vol 6 – Owned, read. I think I read this the day I bought it, to be honest. Or definitely within the week. I miss this series, man.
  • Ralph and the Pixie – Owned, read. I received this one from the author actually! I originally read it as a fictionpress story and was singing its praises on this blog, aaaand I was contacted and sent one in exchange for an amazon review! It was such a nice surprise, and I really enjoyed rereading it!

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And that’s it! I think this is the first book haul where I’ve read the majority of the books. If you look at past posts, you’ll see many are still unread and most were unhauled. It’s an interesting this. I think mid 2016 was about when I really honed in on what specific types of books I liked, and it reflects in the fact that I’ve kept most of them. It’s neat!

Lemme know what you think! Happy Blogmas!

Coffee Time: The fate of my book haul books | #10

Happy Sunday! Today’s post is another book haul fate post, where I look at book hauls of the past and see if I ever read them, or if I still even have them. This is the tenth time I’ve done this so we’ll be looking at book haul number 10, which was originally posted on July 3, 2016.

Looking at it, it’s a pretty modest haul. Around that time I was on a read-5-buy-1 thing, so I must have been reading like bananas to get four books in a month. This is what I got:

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Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb – Owned, Read

This ended up being one of my favorite reads of the year, and I think this was around when I started buddy reading with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks. (Or was it the third one, I don’t remember).

A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin – Owned, Read

I gotta tell ya, my willingness to read Winds of Winter dwindles every year. When (if) it finally does come out, I can’t really say if I’ll be keen on it or not. This book here was alright though, so we’ll see.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Owned, Unread

This one (and the unread book right below this) have both survived multiple purges at this point. I’m still solidly in the ‘I want to read these’ camp, so that’s nice. Though to be honest I don’t know much about this one, other than it’s like… dystopian-y in space? And has something to do with blood color or caste color or something.

Emperor of Eight Islands by Lian Hearn – Owned, Unread

Out of both of these unread books, I know the least about this one. Honestly I can’t even tell you if this is historical fiction or historical fantasy. I’m hoping it’s the latter but I’ll be happy with the former as well. I do wanna read it though, the cover just draws me in.

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

Music Monday! | #1

Happy Monday! Today I’m starting a new type of post on my blog. The first Monday of every month, I’ll go into the music I’ve been listening to recently, since the previous music Monday. Since this is the first one, I’ll just go into some stuff that I’ve discovered recently.

I listen to a variety of music from metal to rock to alternative to electronica and some other things in between. Most of what I like tends to be upbeat, but that’s not a hard rule. So if you’re interesting in that kind of music, give the links I give a listen:

Genre: Alternate/Indie Rock
Genre: Electronicore
Genre: Alternative Rock
Genre: Power Metal

So all of the above I’ve discovered within the past month. I figured sticking the genres on there will help you decided which if any you wanna listen to. If you decide to give any a listen, let me know what you think! Next month I will have more!

September book and manga haul #44 – and a book buying ban!

So September, I got more books – particularly manga – than I planned. I mean, I planned on getting them anyways, don’t get me wrong, but a good chunk of these I was planning on getting in August. They just didn’t come in time. I turned 30 last month and in lieu of a party (plague aaaaah) I made myself two huge book orders online. I made these orders in July mind you, so I could have them for my bday. But the one didn’t show up until mid-September, so technically they’re birthday books. So keep that in mind. I’ll point them out when I get to them.

The rest though? Yeah no totally went nutso this month, hence the ban, which I’ll get to at the end of the post.

This is everything I got this month:

The Books

  • The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier – Honestly I don’t know what this is about. It’s Juliet Marillier though and she’s basically auto-buy for me. I’m positive I’m gonna love this, considering I’ve loved every other book I’ve read by her.
  • The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling – This one I’ve heard pretty creepy things about. It’s like a scifi horror thriller? Halloween read? If anyone has this and wants to buddy read, do let me know!
  • I also got a cat bookmark. I like it, it’s a cat.

  • A Dance With Fate by Juliet Marillier – Again, Juliet Marillier. I bought this on release day with my buddy and we’re currently buddy reading it – should be finishing up within the next day or so!
  • A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir – I’ve been waiting for this one to come out in paperback. When it did I picked it up right away, and now I can binge the three books that are out so far. I’ve already read the first one but it’s been years. I remember loving it though so hopefully I like the next two as well.

  • The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson – This is one of my most anticipated books of the year, man. I love this series so far, and with my ban coming up, I knew I wanted to get this one before it started, so I did. I do need to reread the second book before getting into this one, but man I am so excited. It arrived today and it’s so thiiiiiiick ❤

  • Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer – This one has been on my radar for literally years. I saw it used and about gasped. I snatched up this puppy so fast, man.
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand – Again, a used purchase. I’ve heard this book is pretty funny, and that it’s based off of historical events? Should be entertaining.

The Manga

  • Waiting For Spring vols 5-7 by Anashin – I really enjoyed vols 1-4 of this, so I’m hoping it keeps being all fluffy like it has been! These were all birthday manga.
  • Spy x Family vols 1-2 by Tatsuya Endo – This is a new one for me: I’ve heard only good things about it so my hopes are high! Vol 1 of this was birthday manga.

  • Kakuriyo vols 4-6 by Waco Ioka – This is a series I’ve been raving about recently. I wrote a blabber on the first two volumes if you’re interested. I am very, very happy to have these. These were all birthday manga.
  • Silver Spoon vols 5-6 by Hiromu Arakawa – This is a series I’ve been slowly making my way through for a while. I wrote a blabber on vol 1 back when I first started it. Since then it’s only gotten better! These were all birthday manga.

  • Noragami vol 4 by Adachitoka – This is another series I’m slowly making my way through. I hasn’t 100% gripped me yet but it’s interesting and definitely has potential, so I know I could still end up loving it!
  • Kamisama Kiss vol 1 by Julietta Suzuki – This is a new one, purchased totally on a whim, if I’m being honest. I find some of the best manga that way so hopefully this is one of those.
  • The Way of the House Husband vol 4 by Kousuke Oono – Continuing this series, I love it. It’s so wholesome and hilarious.

  • Candy Color Paradox vols 3-4 by Isoku Natsume –  Another series I’ve grown rather fond of. It’s nice and cute. These were all birthday manga.
  • Yarichin Bitch Club vol 3 by Tanaka Ogeretsu – This is a series that’s so entertaining. It’s absolutely insane, so don’t go into expecting like… plot. Hah. This was a birthday manga.
  • Given vols 2-3 by Natsuki Kizu – This is the opposite though: Lots of plot and wonderfulness. I really, really like this series. These were all birthday manga.

  • Takane & Hana vol 4 by Yuki Shiwasu – This is another one of those ‘has potential but not 100% sold’ series. I’m getting this one vol at a time because of that. It’s decent so far though.
  • Graineliers vol 1 by Rihito Takarai – This was a really, really interesting one, I’m glad I picked it up. It’s definitely not quite what I was expecting, but I ended up really liking it at the same time. Definitely gonna get more of this one after the ban.
  • Act-Age vol 2 by Tatsuya Matsuki – This one I picked up after rather enjoying the first one. I ended up liking this one too, though not quite as much as volume 1. We’ll see if vol 3 ever is even translated.
  • A Man & His Cat vol 2 by Umi Sakurai – This one I was really looking forward to. Volume 1 was so sweet and cute and wholesome, and I’m sure those themes continue here.

And that’s it for books and manga! As you can see, I got a fair few. Hence:

The Book Buying Ban

So, for the last few years, I made it a reading resolution to do a 2-3 month book buying ban. I think a few years ago, I even did a 4 month one. I’m actually really good at sticking to the bans. I figured I’d give myself a break this year, and didn’t schedule one, didn’t think I needed one.

Well, apparently, I do. My TBR goal this year is in danger of being failed, so this ban is to help me out with that.

I’ve never broken one, and I don’t expect it to change this time either. After this latest haul, my unread physical novels number at 241. My goal for end of year is 200. So obviously if I keep buying books I’m not gonna make that. (And honestly I might not make it now. In addition to needing to really focus on reading more, I will also likely need to do a purge.)

If I do a purge, I can already think of a handful of books I’ll probably drop: ones I’ve owned for literal years and never picked up. We’ll see what happens.

Regardless, I need to just not buy anymore books for a while.

So from today until December 15th, I’m on a ban. And because of that there won’t be any hauls in October or November. December will likely have one because of Christmas, but I’ll be off my ban by then anyways, and won’t be counting Christmas gifts towards this year’s goal. I’ll throw them on Jan 1st for next year’s goal instead.

As stated, I’ve never failed one of these. If you go through my post history, you can see past bans and see that I’ve always completed them. So if you do see me hauling books this fall, do call me out on it. I mean I’m pretty certain I’ll be fine, but there’s nothing like the threat of internet shame to keep me in line, right?

So lemme know what you think about these books! Lemme know what you think about the ban! Happy reading!

 

Fall Bucketlist 2020

Bonus Friday post! I couldn’t find where else to squeeze it in, so HI AGAIN I’M GLAD YOU’RE HERE.

It’s fall! Hooray! Fall and winter is the best time of the year. Technically, my ‘favorite time of the year’ goes from August 1st, which is my wedding anniversary, to January 1st, for obvious reasons. So now that we’re pretty far into the best time of the year and the weather is actually starting to feel like fall, I’m making a bucketlist again!

Last year, I did a Fall and Winter bucketlist, but then I never followed up on it. So this year, I’m dividing it – my fall bucket list will go from today through Black Friday. That day I’ll go over what I did and post my winter bucket list (which if we’re being honest is just a Christmas/holiday list, so shh). I’ll follow up on that sometime in January.

So here’s my fall list. Some of these are already done, as it’s the end of September, but work with me here.

Also, most of my bucket list is food. Pbtbtbt.

Fall Bucket List

  • Pumpkin spice latte
  • Pumpkin cream cold brew – Complete
  • Pumpkin beer – Complete
  • Octoberfest beer – Complete
  • Participate in fall beer exchange – Complete
  • Pumpkin cookies – Complete
  • Break out the fall scented candles
  • Apple cider
  • Buy spoopy decorations for Halloween – Complete
  • Decorate the house all spoopy
  • Buy turkey decorations for Thanksgiving
  • Decorate the house all turkey-y
  • Break out Christmas decorations and do inventory to see if anything new/replacements are needed
  • Organize a list of blog posts to write from now til Black Friday – Complete
  • Organize a list of blog posts for Blogmas 2020 – Complete
  • Pre-write November posts, because Nanowrimo
  • Pre-write at least five Blogmas posts
  • Participate in Nanoplanmo
  • Participate in Nanowrimo
  • Go to an applefest (if possible, the plaaaaague, aaaaah)
  • Get pumpkins
  • Carve pumpkins
  • Hand out candy on trick or treat (if possible, the plaaaaague, aaaaah)
  • Get fall flowers
  • Gobblerito
  • Pilgrim sandwich
  • Turkey and Stuffing
  • Slow cooker hot chocolate
  • Fall nail art
  • Buddy read Vita Nostra with Katy @Bookbinderway
  • Watch The Lord of the Rings
  • Watch Harry Potter
  • Watch a scary movie
  • Hang all the framed art that’s been sitting on the ground, leaning against the wall since I moved in three years ago
  • Buy a new car
  • Read three of my remaining 10 in 2020 books

So you can see a lot of them are food, a lot of them are fall-specific, and a lot of them are blog related. There are a few though that are just ‘you gotta do this soon’, most the car one. My car is about dead, I need to buy a new one soon.

If you have a fall bucket list, or something even remotely similar, lemme know what you plan to do this season!

 

Coffee Time: Rereading Mockingjay a decade later

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)I realize there’s been a bit of a gap between my post about Catching Fire and this, but life is life, y’know.

Obligatory spoiler warning

As stated in my original post about The Hunger Games, I bought the prequel recently and realized I hadn’t actually read the original trilogy since they first came out back in 2011 or so. So I figured I’d reread the whole thing and compare my opinions from then, when I was 20, 21 years old, to my opinion now, being a decade older. The first two books, my opinion of them was more or less positive, just as it had been the first time I read them, but I noticed I liked different things about the books than I originally did. If you’re interested for some in-depth thoughts, you can find my post about the first book here, and the second book here.

So out of the three, Mockingjay definitely had the biggest difference of opinion between 20 year old me and 30 year old me.

When I was 20, I think I rated this book three stars. At the time I wasn’t overly impressed. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure the reasoning was I had expectations about how I wanted the book to go, and when it didn’t happen, my overall enjoyment of it suffered. I remembered really wanting a stronger romance and being annoyed that Peeta had been hijacked, I remembered shipping Katniss and Gale and was bummed it didn’t happen, and most of all, I remember feeling that the whole ‘Katniss has problems with the chain of command’ plot line to be annoying, and I couldn’t understand why they just didn’t let her do what she needed to do. I was twenty, mind you, so I strongly related to Katniss, who was just a couple years younger than me at the time.

So a combination of all of the above, had me really not loving the book, nor how it ended.

Rereading it now though, I had a very different experience. First off, I was better able to invest myself in the whole district thirteen authority struggle. I totally understand why they didn’t let a seventeen year old do whatever she wanted, and I thought they handled Katniss being defiant pretty well – well as well as they could, considering they weren’t even aware of half of what she was doing. And at the same time, I could still understand Katniss’s motives when it came to ignoring orders. The point of contention between the two sides felt fuller, more nuanced, and definitely more interesting than it did the first time around.

Secondly, this time through I wasn’t really shipping anyone, so the romance, or lack thereof, really didn’t bother me. The plot line with Peeta being hijacked was also much more interesting to me, and it was interesting to see how he was making progress to overcome it, and what ended up triggering a violent episode in him. If anything, I wanted more of that plot line. I wanted a POV inside of Peeta’s head, and was a bit disappointed that all we got was Peeta through Katniss, who for a long time was bitter about it at best.

The most striking difference in my enjoyment of this book was where my expectations were. I hadn’t read the book in a decade, and I never watched the last movie, so I only had a vague rememberance about how the book ended, but it was enough not to let my mind decide I wanted it a certain way and then get disappointed. So for what the plot was, I liked it. I remember not liking how many people died in the story the first time around, but this time around, while I still didn’t love it, it felt realistic. There are a lot of YA books that are afraid to kill off characters, especially in pointless deaths, but the reality is, it happens, especially in war. So while I’m sad all the characters that died did die, it felt realistic compared to what war is like.

The only thing I didn’t care for though, and it was the same as before, was the ending. It was very rushed. While Katniss was quickly swept away from where the main story was happening and only heard about it second hand – which again is realistic – it was kinda disappointing that we didn’t get to learn more about how the world ended up, or how the power struggle fizzled out to get there. I understand that Katniss didn’t much care about it herself, which is why we didn’t see it, but I feel like a second POV from someone who was more involved would have been beneficial.

So. Overall, I did enjoy this book much more than I had ten years ago, and I’m glad I reread it. Solid 4 stars. With this third book done, I do plan on picking up the prequel before the end of the year. If you’ve read it, do let me know your (non-spoilery, please!) thoughts.

Happy reading!

Coffee Time: The fate of my book haul books #9

Happy Saturday! Today’s topic is another fate of my book haul books post. In this, I look at book hauls of the past and see if I ever actually read them, and whether I still even own them.

Today is the ninth post of this variety, so we’ll be looking at book haul #9, posted back on June 2, 2016. If you want to look at past book haul fates, check out my list of Coffee Time posts.

This is what I hauled back then:

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Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – Owned, unread

I honestly don’t remember where I bought this, I’ve had it so long. I am still interested in reading it though, so I won’t be getting rid of it any time soon.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – Owned, unread

This is a nonfiction book, and we all know how slow I am about picking those up. I think it’ll be interesting though. I have a post in mind that I wanna do at some point that this book would be included in, so I think I’ll save it for then.

I Used to Know That Science by Marianne Taylor – Unhauled, unread

I think I picked this up for a dollar or two at an overstock store, thinking ‘hey maybe someday’. And then I had to do a purge because I was running out of shelf space and suddenly ‘someday’ wasn’t pressing enough, haah.

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson – Owned, unread

I own a lot of Stephenson books weirdly, but have only read a couple. This is one of the ones I still haven’t got to – it’s book one in a trilogy of huge, fat books, so it’s a bit intimidating if I’m being honest.

Embassytown by China Mieville – Owned, read

This one, I have read. And honestly I still think about it. It was just so… strange. In a good way, mind you. But the world it created has really stuck with me, and it pops into my head on occasion still, regardless of the fact that I read it years ago.

A Million Suns and Shades of Earth by Beth Revis – Owned, unread

So this one’s hard. The reason I haven’t read these yet is because they’ve been in my purge pile a few times now, and I only pulled it back last second. I own all three, and have read none. I want to at least give the first one a try, but it never actually enters my head to do so. If you’ve read this series, do let me know what you think.

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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb – Owned, read

Man, have I read this book. Little did I know at the time that Robin Hobb, through this series, would become my favorite author. I loved this book, and all the ones she’s written since then. Augh if I could go back and read these again for the first time. auuuuugh.

Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey – Owned, mostly read

So, this is ‘mostly read’ because I’m about three fourths of the way through it, yet I haven’t picked it up in months. This is why I didn’t mark it ‘currently reading’ because I’m not currently reading it. I am reading it though, and liking it. I do plan on continuing the series – it’d be nice if I could get so far that I was ahead of where the tv show is. That’s why I set this aside – I ended up watching the tv show and didn’t want the repeitition of plot so close together. But I will pick this back up and finish it at some point.

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And that’s it! If you’ve read any of the above, do let me know. This one was a pretty bad one – only a few read. But on the plus side, there was only one or two unhauled, so at least I’m still interested in the majority of them, right? RIGHT?

Coffee Time: The fate of my book haul books #8

Coffee Time

Today’s post is another book haul fate post, where I look at books hauls of the past and see where the books are now. Did I read them? Did I get read of them? Did they end up lost somewhere in a hotel room on a vacation? We shall see.

This is the eighth post, so we will be looking at book haul #8, which was originally posted on May 1, 2016.

This is what I got:

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Assassin’s Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas – Owned, read

I’ve read the third and fourth ones as well, and do intend on finishing the series… eventually.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Owned, read

This book actually ended up being one of my favorite books of all time. Currently it’s lent out to one of my buddies, and I’m hoping it becomes a favorite of hers, too.

Slab vol 11 – Unhauled, unread

This was a poetry collection written by the students at the university I attended. I held onto it for a while out of a sense of obligation but eventually I just got rid of it. I’m not a huge poetry person.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – Owned, unread

This one’s still on the tbr. It’s been almost-purged a few times now, so we’ll see what happens to it.

Peony in Love by Lisa See – Owned, unread

This one is also still on the tbr, but this one has never been in danger of being unhauled. I definitely still wanna read this.

The Confusion by Neal Stephenson – Owned, unread

I have a lot of Neal Stephenson books but weirdly I’ve only read a couple. This is not one of them. I will get there, as what I’ve read from him so far, I’ve liked.

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And that’s it! Tomorrow is a new haul, and new books to maybe read. Happy reading!