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Coffee Time: The fate of my book haul books | #5

Coffee Time

Hi! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so I figured it was time. For those unfamiliar, in this type of post, I look back in my past book hauls and talk about where the books are now, whether I actually read them, etc.

This is the fifth edition of this, so we’re going to look at my fifth book haul, originally posted on January 28th, 2016. These were the books I got:

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The first thing I notice about this photo is how dark it is. Man.

Feast of Crows by George R. R. Martin – Owned, read

I’ve read all of these books at this point but honestly the likelihood of me picking up the sixth one (if it ever comes out) is pretty slim because I’d have to reread everything so I remember what’s going on, and I didn’t love them enough to want to actually do that.

Inuyasha vols 19 and 20 by Rumiko Takahashi – Owned, read (technically)

So technically I’ve read vols 19 and 20 of Inuyasha, but I haven’t read my specific copies yet. So maybe these are ‘unread’? Who knows. I do plan on re-reading the entire series at some point, but that also involves collecting the whole thing and there are 50-something volumes. Someday, someday.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Unhauled, read

This one I ended up reading and getting rid of. I didn’t dislike it. It was three stars. I thought it was good for what it was. But between the main character annoying me and the fact that I know I’ll never reread it, I got rid of it.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki – Owned, read

I actually just mentioned this in my post from yesterday: Three star books that weirdly stuck with me. Funny it comes up again. But yeah, read this, didn’t love it, but something pulls me towards it.

Locke & Key vol 1 by Joe Hill – Owned, read

I gotta say though, ‘owned’ is a rather tumultuous term for this one. I’ve been meaning to get rid of it. I actually have the second volume of this too and have read it, but I’m not crazy about the art style. I did watch the Netflix show and liked it but after that I’m not sure I’m up to collecting the series and re-going through the story. So.. this will likely disappear when the plague is over.


And that’s it for today! My first book hauls were so tiny in retrospect… man, I have a problem. Part of me wants to get back to those nice, concise hauls. Another part of me is super enjoying buying 30 volumes of manga per month. So. Hehe.

 
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Posted by on 05/17/2020 in Books, Coffee Time

 

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Three star books that have weirdly stuck with me

Coffee Time

Hi! Today I want to talk about books that were three or three and a half stars for me, but for some reason, I still think about a lot.

A three star rating for me is basically a ‘neutral’ rating. I didn’t dislike it but I don’t know if I liked it, either. It was alright. A three and a half for me is a solid ‘I liked it’. But still, I didn’t ‘really like’ it, nor did I love it. Books in these two categories for me are in the dozens and hundreds. A lot of books I read end up around a 3.5. And most of the time my positive feelings for them aren’t really enough to make a lasting impression. Nothing emotionally charged me while reading them.

But for some reason, occasionally, I’ll come across one of these books that I thought was just okay, but it’ll pop into my head over and over, sometimes for years after I’ve read it. It’ll either be the characters that stick with me or the plot or some plot twist, but something, something keeps bringing me back to them. And who knows, maybe that ‘thing’ that keeps pulling me back to them will make you just absolutely love them.

And these are those books:


A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale For the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (3.5 stars) – This one is the book that inspired my post. Mostly, because I tend to purge books that I don’t really like. Unless it’s part of a series where other books were rated higher, I tend not to keep books with this rating. But every time I have this in my hand, and am contemplating getting rid of it, something, something keeps it on my shelf.

When I think about this book, it’s the narration that comes to mind. There was something almost whimsical about it, while at the same time being very pragmatic. It’s really strange. Part of me wants to reread this, another part of me remembers how much I disliked the ending, and doesn’t want to. It’s weird.

Goodreads synopsis:

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine.

Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. 

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays

we are never meeting in real life by Samantha Irby (3.5 stars) – I think the reason this one has stuck with me was being of the time in my life when I read it, plus one particular part of the book I can’t get out of my head. When I read it, I picked it up on a whim at a bookstore in Connecticut. I was there visiting a friend and it was the day after Christmas we’d gone out. I just… remember that trip so clearly. I remember my mindset, I remember the time I spent with my friend that year, and this book was just dotted throughout. And the scene I remember – which I can’t really detail because spoilers – was the one scene in the book that made me laugh out loud in mortification. It was so awful but so hilarious.

Goodreads synopsis:

Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette–she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”–detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms–hang in there for the Costco loot–she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (3.5 stars) – I feel like my tie to this one is obvious, so I don’t know if it truly counts: I love the movie. I’m a huge Miyazaki fan (who isn’t) and I’ve probably seen his rendition of this story about thirty times. So when I read the book itself last year I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately I found it just alright. I didn’t much care for the difference in characterization and this is blasphemous but I prefer the movie. Sue me.

Goodreads synopsis:

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

Rook

Rook by Sharon Cameron (3.5 stars) – Out of all the books on this list, Rook is probably the one I mention the most. And what’s stuck with me is both the setting and the tone. Rook was just so immersive. It’s set in regressed-Earth Paris, long after the city has fallen and people have forgotten what ‘modern’ technology even is, so they find ‘relics’ from our time – cds and art and machines – and have no idea what they are. It was just so fascinating, and I think about it a lot. The reason I didn’t love this book was the pacing. It was a bit slow for me. But man, the world was really a great one.

Goodreads synopsis:

History has a way of repeating itself. In the Sunken City that was once Paris, all who oppose the new revolution are being put to the blade. Except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?

Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy’s arranged marriage to the wealthy René Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiancé is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.

As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and René find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.

Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (3 stars) – This book makes me feel sad. And honestly, I listened to this on audio book, and the narration – the way the main character changed and then changed again, was just devastating to listen to, and it was the way I felt during this that’s stuck with me. Man, that narrator really knocked it out of the park.

Goodreads synopsis:

With more than five million copies sold, Flowers for Algernon is the beloved, classic story of a mentally disabled man whose experimental quest for intelligence mirrors that of Algernon, an extraordinary lab mouse. In poignant diary entries, Charlie tells how a brain operation increases his IQ and changes his life. As the experimental procedure takes effect, Charlie’s intelligence expands until it surpasses that of the doctors who engineered his metamorphosis. The experiment seems to be a scientific breakthrough of paramount importance–until Algernon begins his sudden, unexpected deterioration. Will the same happen to Charlie?


And that’s it! Maybe this’ll become a series, who knows. I know I had to cull this list to make it smaller, so I already have material for a post number two.

If you have any books that left an impression on you, good or bad, years after reading them, do lemme know. I like books that stick.

 
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Posted by on 05/16/2020 in Books, Coffee Time

 

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Inuyasha is getting a sequel and I don’t know how I feel about it

 

Obligatory spoilers for Inuyasha

The other day it was announced that a sequel to Inuyasha, an anime/manga series created by Rumiko Takahashi, was in the works. Titled ‘Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon’ it follows the daughters of the brothers Inuyasha and Sesshomaru on a new adventure.

Inuyasha has been one of my favorite manga/anime for… about half my life, since I was 14 or 15 years old. It was my first fandom, the first show I got really nerdy about. It’s the first one that drove me to read and write fanfiction. It led me to meet some of my best friends online (that I still have to this day and have crossed the world to visit!), and it was definitely a gateway anime that just threw me neck-deep into the world of all things Japanese animation. And as an almost-30-year old, I’m still there. And I know that if I wouldn’t have discovered this show when I was a teen, I wouldn’t be the same kind of anime fan I am today (who knows if I’d be one at all?).

I guess what I’m saying is, Inuyasha has been one of my all-time favorite shows throughout my life. I’ve rewatched it more times than I can count, I’ve read hours and hours and millions of words of fanfiction about it, I’ve collected merch from it, and just thinking about it, just hearing the music from it sends me back to 2004-2006 when a bunch of my childhood friends and I would stay up late on Saturdays to watch the new episode. It takes me back to my childhood. It’s nostalgic.

So hearing it had a sequel gave me so many mixed feelings.

It was announced by Viz here, and so far, this is what has been released so far of the plot:

The series focuses on twin demons Towa and Setsuna, the daughters of Inuyasha’s brother Sesshomaru.

The twins are separated from each other during a forest fire, and Towa wanders into a mysterious tunnel that takes her to present-day Japan. Towa is then raised by Kagome Higurashi’s brother Sota. Ten years later, Towa reunites with Setsuna, who has no memories of her sister and has become a demon slayer. The two are joined by Moroha, the daughter of Inuyasha and Kagome. They travel between past and present to unravel the mystery of why the tunnel has reopened, while Towa and Setsuna struggle to reconnect.

So basically, Sesshomaru has twins with… mother not revealed. And Inuyasha and Kagome have at least one kid. The latter is kind of expected but Sesshomaru having kids?? This is blowing my mind.

And apparently it’s blowing the internet’s mind too because what does the internet do when something happens?? They make memes. And there are a lot about this sequel already. And that’s how I’m gonna explain my feelings here too. Here are some of my faves:

These two in particular really grasp how it feels to be an Inuyasha fan right now. It’s something that nobody has really talked about in over a decade and then suddenly WE’RE EVERYWHERE and it’s wonderful. I’m excited and scared but I’m totally here for it.

So the internet (and me) like I said is really going wild about who the potential mom of Sesshomaru’s twins is. Long story short for those who don’t actually watch the show and are reading this for funsies, Sesshomaru is basically an ice king. He shows zero interest in anything aside from achieving power the entire show. Romance doesn’t seem like something he’s even capable of. So the fact that he’s a father – and becomes one quickly enough that his and Inuyasha’s kids can be close in age is mind-boggling. Part way through the show though, he takes in an orphaned human girl named Rin (character development!), about who’s eight years old. She is the primary suspect to a lot of fans right now – that’s where the second meme comes from.

Demons age far more slowly than humans. Sesshomaru himself during the time of Inuyasha is supposedly roughly around five hundred years old. Inuyasha is about 150 or 200ish. And the main characters Inuyasha and Kagome – who is 15 throughout most of the series and 18 at the end – have a kid. That’s why it’s not a stretch to assume Sesshomaru and Rin – who could age ten years into an adult and Sesshomaru age absolutely nothing – could also have a kid (or two, rather).

Whoever it turns out to be though, it’s gonna make the fandom explode, just you wait. We’re all gnawing at the bit to know who it is.


But as the title suggests, I don’t know how I feel about this sequel. I am excited for it, on one hand. On the other, it scares me. Inuyasha has been done and settled for a decade now. The Inuyasha fandom had become this thing that had the show… and then a million headcanons. Basically we’ve all already decided what happened next in our heads because hey, the show ended a decade ago.

So many fanfictions have been written about essentially this stage of life for the characters – what happened after the end of the show, who ends up with who, who has kids, who ends up just continuing their show-poodle ways… and this sequel basically blows all that out of the water.

And I get that my main complaint is ‘now it discounts all the fan-made stuff’, but… I feel like after having only that stuff to go on for a decade, that’s a legitimate reason to feel unease about this. It’s like breaking a Piaget schema in my head that I’ve held as true for a long time and having to reconstruct it to something new. I’ll do it, but I’m almost(?!?) grumpy about having to.

But I’m also excited, because now I get more time in the Inuyasha universe, which is something I didn’t realize I’ve been pining for, but now that I have it, I know I totally am, and was for years.

So time for more memes, these ones to show my excitement:

And that last one really, really explains it. When I was fifteen, that was me. I was obsessed. And then I kept that obsession locked inside me for the past ten or fifteen years – it was still there, as I’ve re-watched the show countless times like I said, but now it can BLOSSOM AGAIN.

I think the best thing that’s gonna come out of this (aside from more Inuyasha of course) is the merch. It’s basically impossible to find Inuyasha figures or whatnot that don’t cost $300 right now, because nobody’s making it! All the pieces on sale are old collector pieces, and while I like collecting merch, I’m not at that level…. yet. But with this new series, I’m hoping Inuyasha merch will make a come-back and I’ll finally be able to get figures of all the characters for my manga shelf.


So overall, my feelings: Mostly excited, very curious, partly annoyed for dumb reasons.

Will I watch and/or read it? Definitely. Will I like it? Probably. Will I be annoyed every time I see one of my headcanons bite the dust? Yes.

Tell me what you think. I wanna nerd about this a bit more.

 

 
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Posted by on 05/10/2020 in Coffee Time

 

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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

 

 

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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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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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Coffee Time: The fate of my book haul books | #4

Blogmas 2019

Hello, happy Saturday! I’m officially on vacation, therefore this is pre-written and I am probably sleeping. Pbtbtbt.

Today’s book haul was originally posted on Jan 2nd, 2016.

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This is what’s happened to the books since then:

Attack on Titan vols 2-5 by Hajime Isayama – Owned, read

I think I have up through volume 18 or 19 now, all of them read. This is a pretty decent series

The Bitter Kingdom and The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories by Rae Carson – Owned, read

I ended up rather adoring this series, and I haven’t read it since I originally did. I’d definitely reread this series!

Grass For His Pillow by Lian Hearn – Owned, unread

Hehe, book two of a series where I still haven’t read book one. One day, one day.

Replay by Ken Grimwood – Owned, unread

This one I received as a gift in a reddit secret santa event! Still… unread. :”D

Soulless by Gail Carriger – Owned, unread

I believe I picked this one up to fulfill a free shipping dollar amount, hawhaw. I do wanna read it, eventually. I’ll get there, I’ll get there.

You by Caroline Kepnes – Owned, read

I actually just read this recently! Like… last month, haha.

14 by Peter Clines – Owned, read

I read this one a while ago. It was weird! Good, but weird.

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey – Owned, read

This one ended up being a five star read for me, and honestly if you’re looking to get into sci-fi and don’t know where to start I definitely recommend this one

Horns by Joe Hill – Owned, unread

One day. I saw the movie and thought it was neat.


And that’s it! Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 12/21/2019 in Blogmas, Books, Coffee Time

 

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Books that make me think of Christmas

Blogmas 2019

Hello! Today’s post will be books that make me think of Christmas. These won’t be ‘Christmas’ books, but just ones I associate with the holiday because I either got them as gifts for it, or I read them during it or what have you.

Basically they make me all nostalgicy.


All My Friends Are Dead

All my friends are dead – Why, you ask? Because my sister got this book on Christmas and I remember her opening it and losing her shit laughing about it.

We Are Never Meeting In Real Life

We are never meeting in real life – This one I associate with Christmas because I bought it I believe two days afterward when I went to visit my friend in Connecticut. I guess it’s more accurate to say I associate this book with Christmas break and with curling up in front of her wood oven in her living room and reading it. This was a decent book, but even if I decide to never reread it, I’m gonna keep it because it reminds me of my buddy and the time we’ve spent together.

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1)

Shadow and Bone – This book (and the second book) I read while on Christmas break at college (the second time there). Basically, I was working full time over winter break at the computer help desk in the campus library since there were winter classes happening. But man, that place was empty, so I’d spend eight hours a day reading and streaming X Files on Netflix. I brought this book with me one day and I buzzed through the whole thing in one shift. I literally got paid to read, people. My boss knew it too, he was in his office behind me watching The Office all day.

Man I miss that job.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus – So I think I read this in the middle fall – I think I was done at the beginning of November or so. But the themes in it are so whimsical and enchanting that it makes it feel kinda Christmasy to me. I know it has nothing to do with the actual holiday, but that ‘ooo’ kind of magicy feeling you get while reading this? That’s what I feel at Christmas every year. Now you can see why I’m such a big fan.


And that’s it! I’m sure there are more but man I wanna be able to do this post again next year. pBtbtbt

Happy reading!

 
 

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