Fantasy Bingo 2019 | 4th and 5th Row Picks

Copy of Book Tag

Hello, welcome to the last picks posts about r/Fantasy’s 2019 Bingo Challenge! I did rows 2 and 3 Saturday, and row 1 last week. If you’re unfamiliar with the bingo challenge, click the link I have above to get all the details! If you’re a fantasy fan, you should check it out!


Fourth Row Across

Any r/fantasy Book Club Book of the Month OR r/fantasy Read-along Book

Any past or still active book clubs count, as well as past or current read-alongs. NOTE: All of the current book club info can also be found on our goodreads page. HARD MODE: Must read a current selection of either a book club or read-along and participate in the discussion.

Right now I’m leaning towards The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty. It’s r/Fantasy’s April book, and it’ll fit in nicely with my OWL prompts. So if I get to this one, it’ll be great.

Media Tie-In Novel

Books based on existing film, television, or game franchises are used for this square. HARD MODE: NOT a Star Wars novel.

It took me a second, but I remembered I had a StarCraft novel I bought ages ago and never read. Perfect opportunity! Heaven’s Devil by William C Dietz. And writing the author’s name made me realize I’ve read him before and I like him! He wrote some of the Halo books too. Guy gets around, apparently.

Novel Featuring an AI Character

Pretty self-explanatory, but let me know if you have questions about this. HARD MODE: The AI is a main protagonist.

There are a few I could do for this one. Maybe The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, maybe The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons.

SFF Novel That Has a Title of Four or More Words

Self-explanatory. HARD MODE: Has 7 or more words in the title.

You know, I don’t own a single book that would count towards hard mode. Gosh, haha. I own a lot of 6 word books though. I’m going to keep this open too, since I have so many choices. It’ll give me a bit of wiggle room in my reading this year.

Retelling!

Any retellings would work for this square – fairytale retellings, myth retellings, retellings of previous literature, etc. HARD MODE: The retelling must be of a previous published work, not a fairytale or myth. For example, Jacqueline Carey’s book Miranda and Caliban is a retelling of The Tempest, so that would work, but Madeline Miller’s Circe, a retelling of Circe’s stories from Greek Mythology, would not.

The Bear and the Nightingale, Cinder... there are a lot I could choose for this one. Leaning towards the first one mentioned, though.

Fifth Row Across

SFF Novel by an Australian Author

Australia has a fantastic SFF scene, let’s explore some of the authors there using this square. HARD MODE: Book from an Australian small press OR self-published Australian author.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufmann and Jay Kristoff! I’m already reading this for my OWLs so it’ll work out great

The Final Book of a Series

The last book in a series which actually completes that series (not the latest book out but it’s a middle book). HARD MODE: The last book in the series was published more than a decade ago.

I’m saving this one for Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb, the last book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy, the last book in the Realm of the Elderlings world. It’s gonna be the end of an era.

#OwnVoices

From the creator of the #ownvoices hashtag – “…the protagonist and the author share a marginalized identity.” For more information check out the faq here. HARD MODE: Author and protagonist share 2+ marginalized identities.

Leaning towards The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang for this one. Hard mode, too! Ethnicity and gender!

LitRPG

Definition from Wikipedia: a literary genre combining the conventions of RPGs with science-fiction fantasy novels. LitRPG is a literary genre where games or game-like challenges form an essential part of the story and where visible RPG statistics (for example strength, intelligence, damage) are a significant part of this world. This in contrast to GameLit, which involves game-like worlds but does not typically provide visible statistics. At least some of the characters in a LitRPG novel may understand that they are playing a game or are in a game-like world: they are ‘meta-aware’. HARD MODE: LitRPG written by a female author.

I had never even heard of this genre before, so this will be a library one or an online ebook one, I think. The genre seems pretty niche, so I’m likely going to pick from one of these options.

Five SFF Short Stories

Self explanatory. HARD MODE: Read an entire SFF anthology or collection

One of my local author buddies Sarah @WindsorWrites contributed to one of these! I think I’m gonna read hers. 😀


And that’s it! I’m so excited for this, man.

April Currently Reading | ’19

Currently Reading

Hello, happy April! Today will be a slightly delayed Currently Reading post. With all the fantasy bingo stuff that’s been going on, I didn’t realize that I never posted one of these until this morning, whoopsies.

So! My books this month are basically any buddy reads and any of the books I had talked about in my OWLs Readaton TBR. But for right this second, these are the ones I’m buzzing through:

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

I’m reading this for my Transfiguration OWL, which is to read a book with a red cover. I’m listening to it on audio and so far, the narrator is doing a pretty good job.

Here is the Goodreads synopsis:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb

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

This book is not for the OWLs, because I had started it before April 1st, but I’m really, really enjoying it. This is a buddy read that I’m doing with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks and I’m starting to get like… happysad feelings about it. There are only two more Hobb book left in this world after this one. WHAT WILL I DO.

I can’t even post a synopsis for this one though, because the first line of it is a spoiler for a lot of the previous Realm of the Elderlings books. So.. just know that I’m digging it.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy, #1)

This book is for my Ancient Runes OWL, which is to read a Retelling. I might use this for the retelling square in Fantasy Bingo as well, I haven’t decided.

Here is the Goodreads Synopsis:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

Back-burner books

Back-burner books are the ones I’ve marked as ‘Currently Reading’ on my goodreads, but that I haven’t really touched lately. Usually I have three or four here, but this month I got it down to one:

The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks. I’ve been ‘reading’ this for forever. I’m thinking I’ll pick it up as a focus again in June. April and May are pretty booked as far as reading goes – two month long readathons in a row, and neither of them really fit this one. So June it is. The fifth (and final?!) book in this series comes out in October, so I’ll definitely have it read by then.

No synopsis for this one either, because spoilers, man.


And that’s it! Obviously I hope to read all the books on the OWLs TBR but since I’m not reading them right now, they didn’t make the currently reading list. Pbtbt.

Have you read any of the above? Are you participating on OWLs? Lemme know!

Fantasy Bingo 2019 | 2nd and 3rd Row Picks

Copy of Book Tag

Hello, Happy Saturday! Today I want to talk about the possible books I could reads for rows 2 and 3 of r/Fantasy’s 2019 Bingo Challenge. If you’re unfamiliar, click on the link for all the details!

Second Row Across

Novel Featuring Vampires

This one is pretty self-explanatory. HARD MODE: At least one main protagonist is a vampire.

This one will be easy: It’s one of my 10 in 2019 books! Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Format: Graphic Novel (at least 1 vol.) OR Audiobook / Audio drama

This is a format, not a genre however, please stick to something within speculative fiction. If you are reading individual comics for this square please read a volume’s worth. You can also use a manga volume for this square (again, please keep it to speculative fiction genres). You may also choose to listen to an audiobook OR an audio drama for this square – any speculative fiction audiobook / audio drama will count (novel length). HARD MODE: Graphic Novel – Start a new to you graphic novel. Audiobook / audio drama – has to be over 25 hours long.

There are so many different ones I could use for this, so I’m going to keep it open. I probably have 10-15 unread manga/graphic novels at any one time, so really, this could be anything.

SFF Novel by a Local to You Author

I realize not everyone lives in a place conducive to this square so if SFF authors are scarce in your immediate area then you can widen the area a bit even if it’s (for example, for some folks in Europe) a neighboring country. FAQ – What counts as local? Lives nearby, lived a significant portion of their life nearby. Like Anne Rice I’d count both New Orleans and San Francisco, for example. HARD MODE: Find the closest local to you author you can for this square.

I’ve already done a bit of research for this but haven’t found anything yet. I live in Pennsylvania, so if you know of a fantasy/sci-fi author living in my state, do tell me. I know some super local author friends and I might pick up some of their stuff if I can find a full-length novel by any of them.

SFF Novel Featuring an Ocean Setting

I know we had ships before, but this opens up the setting a lot. Got a mermaid or selkie story in mind? Works perfect here! On top of the ocean or under the ocean all works for this square. HARD MODE: Over 50% of the book has to take place in or on an ocean setting.

At the moment, I’m leaning towards The Scar by China Mieville. This will be me third Mieville book, and I’m hoping to like it just as much as the other ones.

Cyberpunk

Cyberpunk is defined as ” a genre of science fiction set in a lawless subculture of an oppressive society dominated by computer technology. HARD MODE: Not Neuromancer by William Gibson nor Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

So I know it says Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson doesn’t count for hard mode, but Diamond Age isn’t Snow Crash. So… Diamond Age it is.

Third Row Across

2nd Chance

This is sort of a multi-use square. Tried an author once and you didn’t like the book? Give a 2nd chance and try another book! Tried a format once (like a manga, graphic novel, or audiobook) and it didn’t jive? Try again here! Tried a specific book and didn’t get through it for whatever reason? Try again here! HARD MODE: There is no hard mode for this square as it’s already hard enough. 🙂

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare. I read City of Bones a while ago and was just luke-warm to it. This book is on my 10 in 2019 list too – I had already planned on giving this series another try before this square was announced, so it’s perfect.

Afrofuturism

Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of history that explores the developing intersection of African Diaspora culture with technology. There is a great discussion about Afrofuturism here if you are looking for more information. Self-explanatory. HARD MODE: The book has less than 1000 ratings on goodreads.

So going off of this article, it looks like I own a book in this genre already, which I did not expect. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemison. So I might read that. I know there are some Octavia E. Butler novels that count too, but those would be library reads. If I end up using the Jemison book for a different square, I’ll find a Butler book in the library.

SFF Novel Published in 2019

Pretty self explanatory – the card says Fantasy but any speculative fiction will work. HARD MODE: It’s also a Debut Novel.

If I don’t find a debut novel that I’m interested in, this square will be The Burning White by Brent Weeks. I am so excited for this book, man.

Middle Grade SFF Novel

So many SFF authors are writing Middle Grade these days, thought this would be fun! Middle Grade works are typically written with an readership of 8-12 year olds in mind. HARD MODE: You can NOT use your ‘reread’ for this square.

For this one, I’m definitely gonna read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I’ve never read it before, and I feel like it’s blasphemy to some people.

A Personal Recommendation from r/Fantasy

You ask the community for recommendations and choose one of those recommendations to read for this square. HARD MODE: Do not use the most frequently recommended book.

So, I asked for some recs already in the big thread of recommendations, and I got a couple potentials. Each book has been recommended one time though, so to fit hard mode, I need to ask again to the point where I get a book double recommended, and then I can go with the single rec’d one. Both of the ones that have been suggested so far sounds pretty good though, so we’ll see. I don’t wanna say what, because reddit is my anonymous hidey hole. So pbtbt.


And that’s it! I’m very excited for this year. I think once I get all these squares quasi-planned, I’ll actually make a list and make a point to do monthly library trips for the ones I need from there. Wish me luck!

Fantasy Bingo 2019!

Copy of Book Tag

It is here! The new r/Fantasy Bingo Card has arrived!

Every year, the fantasy subreddit over on reddit holds a year-long challenge where you try to read books to fill in a bingo card that they provide. I just made a post yesterday wrapping up the card I complete from last year, and this year’s card just came out today!

So today’s post will be the card and going over potential books I could read for the first row.

For the full rules and FAQs and whatnot, visit the official r/Fantasy post about it. There also a helpful recommendations post so you can get some ideas for books. There’s also a Hard Mode and a Hero Mode that can be done, which is explained in the link. So if you’re even minutely interested, I suggest checking it out.

The card:

You can get a blank version of the card to insert your books here! And a blank version for hard mode can be found here!

So, Hero Mode – the ‘write a review for every book you read’… I think I might do that. I mean, I do have a book blog, and if you know me at all, you know sometimes I can go months without writing a review. I’m hoping this’ll get me more consistent.

As far as Hard Mode goes, I’m not going to try on purpose, but if a book I choose fills the prompt for Hard Mode, then sweet.

I’m very excited for this card – there are a lot of prompts in here for books that I wouldn’t normally read. It’ll broaden my horizons, and hopefully I’ll find some books that I absolutely love. But because a lot of the prompts are from unfamiliar territory, I’m going to have to break from my own tradition: usually, I try to fulfill a prompt with a book I already own. But a lot of these, I know I have nothing that would work for them. So I’m going to do a bit of research, and I’m going to use my library to get those books. I figure if I like them, then I’ll buy copies. But I don’t want to buy a bunch of books I’m not sure I’m gonna like for the prompts. So library, here I come.


Possible Picks: First Row

Last year, I did five posts of possible picks. This year, I’m doing the first row in this post, and then doubling up for the last four rows, meaning two more posts are heading your way. So, from the prompts written out in the r/Fantasy thread:

Slice of Life / Small Scale Fantasy

The term “slice of life” refers to a storytelling technique that presents a seemingly arbitrary sample of a character’s life, which often lacks a coherent plot, conflict, or ending. The story may have little plot progress and often has no exposition, conflict, or dénouement. A good example of this would be Becky Chambers novel Record of a Spaceborn Few. HARD MODE: Read something other than Record of a Spaceborn Few.

For this, I’m either going to go with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers or The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker, both of which I already own! And though the Becky Chambers book is well, a Becky Chambers book, it’s not the Becky Chambers books mentioned that doesn’t count in Hard Mode… so it counts, hwe hwe.

A SFF Novel Featuring a Character With a Disability

I think this one should be fairly self-explanatory. Anything considered a disability would count whether it’s a physical disability or a mental health disability. HARD MODE: The character has to be a main protagonist, not a side character.

Right now, I’m leaning towards Cinder by Marissa Meyer or Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft. The former counts for Hard Mode, the latter would not.

SFF Novella

Works of fiction of between 17,500 and 40,000 words. HARD MODE: Novella is NOT published by Tor.com Publishing.

I don’t own any novellas, I don’t think. So I think I’ll either scoop up a copy of Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire or Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. Who knows!

Self-Published SFF Novel

Only self-published novels will count for this square. If the novel has been picked up by a publisher as long as you read it when it was self-pubbed it will still count. HARD MODE: Self-pubbed and has fewer than 50 ratings on goodreads.

This one, I’m not sure yet either. There are always people posting their novels for purchase as ebook on the r/Fantasy subreddit, so I might grab one of those. I might also ask around – I have a few different friends and I know more than one of them has self-published.

SFF Novel Featuring Twins

Self-explanatory. HARD MODE: At least one of the twins has to be a main protagonist. (extra hard mode just for funsies – the twin thing has to be plot relevant)

The one that sticks out most right now is The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, which I don’t own, so I’d have to get it from the library. But if I happen to come across twins in another book I’m reading, I might use that one instead.


And that’s it for now! Picks for rows 2 and 3 will be out soon. If you plan on participating, let me know! I’m hoping a lot of the books I’m reading for the OWLs readathon can double up for this. That’d be convenient. Happy reading!

Fantasy Bingo Results | March Wrap Up ’19

Copy of Book Tag

This is it – today is the last day of r/Fantasy’s year Fantasy Bingo event. Tomorrow, a new bingo card will be released, and we will start again. I made multiple posts about this bingo challenge last April, including an announcement post and a handful of posts about possible reads for the topics. This is the culmination of all that.

Here is my bingo card for the 2018/2019 event

Fantasy Bingo 2018.png

As you can see, I didn’t 100% complete the card, but I did get four bingos!

I’m hoping this coming year, I can do all of the squares and plan my reading more accordingly. A lot of the year this past year was spent reading Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series and Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderling books. And since you can only use an author one time, it kinda.. kept most of my reading from being counted towards this card. But! Both of those series are getting close to an end, so the rest of my reading this coming year should count more easily. 😀

Tomorrow, probably late in the day, I will be putting up an extra post this week, talking about the new card. If you plan on participating, let me know!


Wrap Up

Books

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts

Anthony Bourdain's Hungry Ghosts by Anthony BourdainI read this book towards the beginning of the month and found it to be rather entertaining. I wrote a full blabber on it, if you’re interested.

3/5 stars

 

 

The Invasion of the Tearling and The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika JohansenThe Fate of the Tearling by Erika JohansenI’ve finally finished this series, man. I really hope the author continues with it. There’s so much possibility for more! This series will be getting a full review from me, as soon as I can process it enough to gather my thoughts cohesively. Until then, just know that I really liked both of these books.

4.5/5 and 4.75/5 stars respectively

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred by Octavia E. ButlerI picked this book up after it popped up as an answer on Jeopardy. It had been on the peripherals of my radar before that, but I had never actually heard the synopsis for it before I saw it on tv. It intrigued me enough that I went out and got it within the week. I really ended up liking this one. I’m not sure if it’ll get a full review from me or not, though. I feel like it’s such a well-known book at this point that I won’t really be adding anything unique to the conversation.

4/5 stars

Goblin Slayer vol 1 by Kumo Kagyu

Goblin Slayer, Vol. 1 by Kumo KagyuI picked this manga up after watching the anime, and it turned out just as good. This one also got a full blabber from me. I think I was rather on a roll this month with them. 😛

4/5 stars

 

Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Four Panel Comics by Hirumo Arakawa

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu ArakawaThis one, I loved. This is the four panels collection of all the comics at the back of the FMA manga and dvd collections. I really adored this. I hadn’t seen about half of it before, so it was really fun. I did a blabber on this one, too!

5/5 stars

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon JamesThis book was such a disappointment to me. It was an anticipated release, and I bought it early, hoping to love it. Unfortunately though, I really, really didn’t. I have a full spoiler-free blabber on this one, too.

1.5/5 stars

 

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P Beaulieu

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. BeaulieuI’ve finally finished this book. It’s been on my backburner books for probably six or seven months. It was originally a buddy read with my friend Amanda but that kinda fell apart for both of us. I still wanted to finish it though, and it turned out it was a good thing I set it aside for a bit. The initial read kinda had me bored. I wasn’t in the right mindset or something. When I picked it back up though, I ended up liking it a lot more.

3.25/5 stars

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Other Things

  • I went to an escape room for the first time this month. Man, am I bad at it. I want to try again with like four people instead of nine though. I’m thinking we were just all shouting over each other.

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 25/50
  • Finish the 10 in 2019 list – 3/10
  • Keep book purchases around 4-5 books per month
    • J – 5 | F – 6 | M – 7 | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Go on a 2 to 3 month buying ban – In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 250 books – currently at 283
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019 – Complete!
  • Post monthly book hauls
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Keep track of statistics
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D

And that’s it! I’m so excited for tomorrow: The OWLs Readathon begins and the new bingo card is posted. I. Am. So. Pumped. For. April. It’s gonna be so much fun! If you’re planning on participating, or if you’re curious about participating and want to know more, let me know!

Happy reading!

February Wrap Up! | ’19

Wrap Up

Hello! February was a total of three hours long, which is a huge change from January which was 300 years. I read nine things this month!


Books

Silver Spoon volumes 2-4 by Hiromu Arakawa

Silver Spoon, Vol. 2I’ve continued this manga from last month, and I’m enjoying it just as much. Characters have developed, the plot, while still a bit meandering, has started to form an overarching story line, the animals are cute… it’s just an overall enjoyable read.

For those unfamiliar, this manga series is by the same author as Fullmetal Alchemist, and follows a city-based school student as he enters an agricultural high school. It goes through the grit needed to raise farm animals, has a fair bit of humor, and is very educational for people not familiar with a farm like myself. While it’s nothing like Fullmetal, it’s still reminiscent in the art and in the humor. I rather like it.

4/5, 4/5, 4.5/5 stars

Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb

Blood of Dragons (The Rain Wilds Chronicles, #4)What would a wrap up be without a Robin Hobb novel. I buddy ready this book with Zezee @ZezeeWithBooks and we both rather enjoyed it. This is the concluding book in a four books series set in Hobb’s overarching Realm of the Elderlings world. I think this series was really well thought out and really establishes dragons as their own entities in the world. While they were present in varying degrees before, this quartet allows them to really come into their own, and I enjoyed it.

4/5 stars

 

 

Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik

Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)This book solidified Novik as one of my favorite authors. Well, she already was, but man, this is book eight in a series, and I rated it five stars. Eight books in, and she’s still amazing me. This book is my first five star rating of the year and has earned its spot as one of my all-time favorite books. I adored this, man.

This series is set during the Napoleonic Era, and follows a timeline where not only do dragons exist, but they play an integral part of warfare and battle tactics in the Napoleonic Wars. This series is well written, well researched and well paced. I. Love. It.

5/5 stars

 

Delicious in Dungeon volumes 1-2 by Ryoko Kui

Delicious in Dungeon, Vol. 1I picked this manga series up at the recommendation of Sionna @BooksInHerEyes, and I’m happy I did. This series is a dungeon crawler, but the people crawling it are obsessed with catching, cooking and eating the various monsters they find, whether it be the innards of living armor or roasting a mushroom monster. This manga is funny, light, and contains a nice amount of character. The characters in this series, while still a bit flat, are coming into their own, especially after volume two. I particularly like the elf woman in the group. I think she has the most development by far, and I’m excited to see where this series goes from here.

4/5, 3.5/5 stars

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)I bought this baby on release day, and while it turned out that I liked it a bit less than I had hoped, I still found this book to be solidly good. It takes place after both of Bardugo’s previous series set in the Grishaverse, and follows Nikolai and the characters around him as the politics and intrigue of the world become more imminent and threatening.

I wrote a full spoiler-free blabber on this one, but long story short: the major problem with this book was pacing. Otherwise it was pretty keen, jelly bean.

3.75/5 stars

 

 

Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)This was my first reread of 2019, and I very much enjoyed it. I really like the writing, the plot and the characterization in this book. My issue with it this time is the same as it was last time: Kelsea to me seems too well socialized for being isolated her entire life. She didn’t get to experience being an awkward teenager around other awkward teenagers, how in the wolrd is she so sure of herself?! It seems a bit unbelievable to me, but not so much so to take away my enjoyment of the book. The plot is really cool, the magic is neat, the side characters are great. I’m in the middle of the second book now and am absolutely adoring it.

4/5 stars

 

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Other Things

  • I’ve been havin a bunch of fun health issues. Apparently there’s a virus in my head that’s making my inner ear funny. It’ll clear up soon but man was I dizzy there for a bit.
  • My cat died on the 11th… This is the second one within a year. Roma, I miss you always.


Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 17/50
  • Finish the 10 in 2019 list – 2/10
  • Keep book purchases around 4-5 books per month
    • J – 5 | F – 6 | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Go on a 2 to 3 month buying ban – planned for April-June
  • Reduce physical TBR to 250 books – currently at 283
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019

Fantasy Bingo 2018.png

  • Post monthly book hauls
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Keep track of statistics
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D

And that’s it! I really never want to relive this February again. Aside from some good books that got me through it, this month was kind of shit, to be honest. I hope all of your Februarys were good!

January/Tome Infinity Wrap Up | ’19

Wrap Up

Writing ’19’ at the end of the title was weird.

Today I wanna wrap up the books I read, all of which were part of the Tome Infinity and Beyond Readathon, which took place from January 1st – 31st, so I figured why not do it all at once. I read eight things this month, three novels and four manga and one graphic novel.

Books

Tome Infinity Round 2

So for Round 2 of Tome Infinity, I had settled on Mercury and began to build my colony. Each book read had to fulfill the prompts in the different tiers, starting with Tier 1 and then moving upwards. I almost completed tier two (there were five total). Each book you read could count for up to two prompts. Many of the books I read could have easily filled four or five, but that wasn’t the nature of the readathon, so with what I had and what it was allowed to fill, I’ve basically gotten the necessities down. The colonists just can’t go anywhere yet because travel isn’t a thing. I’ll highlight the titles with the corresponding colors on the boxes so you can tell what filled what.

City of Dragons by Robin Hobb

City of DragonsFulfilled Tier 1’s Water and Shelter

Man oh man, I already want to reread Robin Hobb’s books, and I haven’t even finished them yet. While not all of them have been five stars, each one, including this one, has enriched the world in which they take place. I’ve said this many times before now, but reading a Robin Hobb book is like going home. They give me a feeling of nostalgia, but I can’t fathom why. I love them.

This book is no different. I buddy read it with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks and together we rather enjoyed it. This book continues the trek of the last book, and it allows for character development and world building, Robin Hobb’s specialities. I really enjoyed this, and at the time of writing, I’m a bit over half way through the fourth one as well, and it’s only gotten better. I’m not going to go into plot because spoilers, but I will say if you’ve been thinking of picking of Robin Hobb’s books, do it. Do iiiiiit.

4.25/5 stars

Silver Spoon vol 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Silver Spoon, Vol. 1Fulfilled Tier 1’s Sleep and Food

This manga I really enjoyed. It’s a slice of life manga, following a young man as he goes to agricultural school and learns the ins and outs of farming and dairy science and yada yada.

It was light, refreshing, funny, and had a bit of grit to it as well. I wrote a full spoiler-free blabber on it, should you like to hear me jib jab on about it.

4.25/5 stars

 

 

Fruits Basket Another vols 1-2 by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket Another, Vol. 2Didn’t fulfill any Tier 1 prompts

These two are the only reads this month that didn’t fulfill any prompts. They could have counted for later ones, but you have to do the tiers in order, so I couldn’t do anything about it.

They were both good reads, though. The only downside to these was that I was hoping for a long series, like the original Fruits Basket was. But the end of volume 2 hinted that the next volume would be the last. Baw I wanted more emotional investment. If anyone can confirm or deny this, please let me know.

4/5 and 4.25/5 stars respectively

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Fulfilled Tier 1’s Air and Fire, completing the tier.

As mentioned in my full spoiler-free blabber of this book, it suffered from over-hype. So many people came out of this screaming about it like it was the second coming, so I… was a bit disappointed. It was still a solidly good book, but it just wasn’t great, mostly because of the characters I think.

That seems to be peoples’ favorites though. Who knows. Maybe I just don’t like heist books, which is another thing that people seem to love. Whatever the combination of things, I didn’t love this book. (I liked it, though)

3.75/5 stars

Tokyo Ghoul vol 1 by Sui Ishida

Tokyo Ghoul, Vol. 1 (Tokyo Ghoul, #1)Fulfilled Tier 2’s Education and Procreation

I’ve been told by a few different people now to pick this up. I finally did when my husband mentioned wanting to watch the anime. We don’t have any streaming services that have this available, so we’d have to buy it on dvd or blu-ray or something. So, I decided to pick up the first volume of the manga first, to see if it’s something I’m even interested in watching. I figured I’d rather chance twelve bucks instead of thirty. I liked it though, and we’ll likely buy the anime now. (And I wanna buy more of the manga, too).

3.5/5 stars

 

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)Fulfilled Tier 2’s Medicine and Trading

I wrote a blabber on this one too, and I must say that I liked it more than the first book in the duology. The characters were better written, and the plot was more realistic. Honestly I have nothing else to say about it that I didn’t already write, so check out the blabber, pbtbt.

4/5 stars

 

 

 

 

Fence vol 2 by C. S. Pacat

Fence Vol. 2 (Fence #5-8)Fulfilled Tier 2’s Oral Communication

I feel like vol 1 could have fulfilled Travel but I didn’t read that one this month, pbtbt. They pretty much all stayed in basically the same building this entire volume so I couldn’t even stretch it.

I like this series so far, but it hasn’t hooked me like Pacat’s Captive Prince series did. I’m giving it more time, though, since well, it is C. S. Pacat. I’m still hoping she’ll do something that’ll throw me for a loop and make me fall in love with the series.

Fingers crossed.

3.75/5 stars

 

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And that’s it for the books and the readathon! I rather like the structure of this. I know they’re thinking about doing a round three and are currently gathering ideas, so I will be participating in that as soon as it’s officially announced. 😀


Other Things

  • My husband and I started saving for a house this month. Fingers crossed, we’ll buy one by the end of 2020, early 2021!

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 8/50
  • Finish the 10 in 2019 list – 1/10
  • Keep book purchases around 4-5 books per month
    • J – 5 | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Go on a 2 to 3 month buying ban – planned for April-June
  • Reduce physical TBR to 250 books – currently at 282
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019

Fantasy Bingo 2018.png

  • Post monthly book hauls
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D
  • Keep track of statistics
    • J | F | M | A | M | J | J | A | S | O | N | D

And that’s it! I think I’ve started 2019 pretty strong as far as reading goes. I hope you all had a good reading month!

November Wrap Up | ’18

Blogmas 2018

Hello, happy December! Most of my month was taken up with Nanowrimo, so I didn’t read all too much. I am however in the middle of a lot of books, which will be talked about more in my December Currently Reading post tomorrow.


Books

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb

Dragon Haven (The Rain Wild Chronicles, #2)It says a lot about this month that I was surprised that this book was on November’s list. I swear I finished it in October. This is what my brain is doing, baw. I buddy-read this book with Zezee, and we both really enjoyed it.

This book is the second in Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles quartet, and while I liked the first book, I really really liked this one. The characters take on a wider range of personality traits, the plot develops very nicely, and there’s more complexity developed in everyone’s motivations. Some of the characters I disliked at the end of last book I now have gray feelings towards, namely Sedric. I don’t like him but I feel for him at the same time, it’s very strange. Robin Hobb’s best strength I think is her characterization. She is a master at making you question a character’s morals but at the same time kinda sympathize with their plight.

I’ll be picking up the third book soon here, and I’m hoping it’s as good if not better than this one.

4.25/5 stars

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1)This was a reread for me, and really, it just made me fall in love with it all the more. There is so much I missed the first time through, that I was able to pick up thanks to knowing the ending ahead of time. Ugh. I’m in the middle of the second book now and I feel like this series is going fall into my top five favorites if not my all-time favorite, period. I’ve never had a ‘favorite’ before, but this series might make that claim.

5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku volume 3 by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku 3This was the other book that was exempt from my buying ban (the first one being the second Baru book) and I picked it up two days after it came out on the 27th and read it immediately. Just like its predecessors, it was easily a five star read. I absolutely love this series. I wrote a spoiler-free review on the first two volumes, should you be interested. I’m so excited for the next one. I just need an announcement date! D:

5/5 stars

 

 

Other Things

  • As stated above, I participated in Nanowrimo and I won! I’m so happy. I literally did nothing else worth mentioning this month, haaaaaaaa

Reading Goals

  • Complete my Goodreads Challenge of 40 books: 77/40
  • Complete my 10 in 2018 list of books: 3/10
  • Keep book buying low (6-8 books/season)
    • January-March purchases: 9
    • April-June purchases: 12
    • July-September purchases: I don’t wanna talk about it
    • October-December purchases: 3
  • Get my physical TBR down to 270 books: 283
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019

Fantasy Bingo 2018

I can’t put anything on the grid this month – already used a graphic novel, a reread, and Robin Hobb. Only one reread, graphic novel, and one book per author! Augh!


And that’s it! I’m hoping to get back into my reading more this December, with the writing taking the backburner. Happy reading!

July Wrap Up | ’18

Wrap Up

IT’S NOT EVERY DAY YOUR YOUNG MAN TURNS ELEVEN, NOW IS IT?!

Happy bday Harry. This is what I read this month:


Books

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku vols 1-2 by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol 1 (Otakoi: Otaku Can't Fall in Love?!)This is my latest obsession. This series is fantastic. It follows two working adults, both rather nerdy, who decide to date each other, because they feel they’ll be able to understand each other’s obsessions better than people who aren’t as nerdy. It’s simple, it’s fluffy, it’s about adults instead of teenagers. I loved it.

I wrote a spoiler-free blabber on the series and I’m happily awaiting volume 3.

5/5 stars each

 

 

Wildest Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland, #1)I did not like this one. At all. I thought it was poorly written, the characters were awful, the plot was… okay. It was just all around not a good time for me. I wrote a very spoilery rant-blabber on this one.

It follows a young woman from our world who pays a witch to transport her to a parallel universe, where she assumes the identity of another version of herself, a princess. And then all these borderline abusive ‘romantic’ things happen and it’s super unhealthy ‘cute’. ._.

1.5/5 stars

 

Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik

Empire of Ivory (Temeraire, #4)Rereading this series is so much fun. This is the fourth book in Novik’s Temeraire series, and officially the point of no return: When I first read this series as a teenager, this is the last book I finished. I got part way through Victory of Eagles, but only about a hundred pages. So now that I’m listening to that one, I’m in all new content territory.

I love this series so much.

5/5 stars

 

 

 

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Other Things

  • July lasted for ages. I feel like we’ve been in this month for six years.
  • I went to the Half Price Books Clearance Sale and got a butt-load of books. Soooo now I’m on a book buying ban, but that’ll be its own post.

Maybe that’s why July took so long – every day was full of stuff but nothing was really noteworthy, if that makes sense.


Reading Goals

  • Complete my Goodreads Challenge of 40 books: 43/40
  • Complete my 10 in 2018 list of books: 2/10
  • Keep book buying low (6-8 books/season):
    • January-March purchases: 9
    • April-June purchases: 12
    • July-September purchases: I don’t wanna talk about it
    • October-December purchases:
  • Get my physical TBR down to 270 books: Need to recount
  • Finish the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge by Mar 31, 2019

Fantasy Bingo 2018


And that’s it! Happy reading! 😀

April Wrap Up | ’18

Wrap Up

Hello! Happy Almost-May! This month I actually read books, which is nice.

Books

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)This was a reread for me. This series is one of my all-time favorites, I’ve been a fan since I was fifteen years old, so over a decade now. But recently within the last year or two, it has finished up at nine books. And considering it’s been so long since I read it, I decided to reread the entire series. And lucky me, I found it on audiobook narrated by Simon Vance. I’m in heaven, it has been a wonderful experience. 27 year old me is enjoying everything just as much as 15 year old me did.

5/5 stars

Golden Fool by Robin Hobb

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)I finally finished this one – it was wonderful! I think it’s probably my favorite Hobb book yet if not close to my favorite. This was a buddy read with Zezee, and the two of us were both melted by the end of the book. I’m very excited to pick up the third one. I think this series will get a blabber after the third book. There’s just so much to talk about!

5/5 stars

 

Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund

Halo: The Fall of ReachThis book was way, way way outside of my comfort zone but I ended up very surprised by how much I enjoyed it. My knowledge of the Halo universe extends to the first three seasons of Red vs Blue and running around for about an hour in multiplayer in Halo 2. I knew nothing of the plot or the lore or anything. My coworker talked me into reading this book and lent it to me to boot, so how could I say no? This book is the first in a trilogy that takes place before the first game, which was perfect for me. It had world building, it has set up, it has fantastic battle scenes (this author is really good at writing them). I just… really liked it, and it’s made me want to read at least the first trilogy if not pick up the game after. Who knows, maybe this is a window to a new love.

4/5 stars

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3)This was originally a buddy read with Ace but we kinda fell off the wagon, haha. This is the third and final book in the Remnant Chronicles and will definitely be getting a blabber from me. This book for me was really good and really subpar at the same time. So it got an average-ish rating, but by no means did I simply feel ‘meh’ about it. All the parts I either loved or hated so the review will likely be all over the place. Overall did I enjoy it though? Yes. Ish.

3.5/5 stars

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Other Things

I saw Avengers: Infinity War yesterday. Somehow I managed to avoid spoilers during the two days it was out before I saw it, so don’t worry I won’t spoil you here. Needless to say though it was very worth going to see it, and seeing all the most recent Marvel movies before watching this one is a must.

I’m going to be a Dungeon Master. Do I know when? No. But! As soon as our current campaign is over, I’m going to DM the next one. Currently I’m reading up on how to do it and how to account for character actions, blah de blah. Wish me luck!

I’m thinking about doing board game related posts. Within the last two or three years, I and a bunch of my friends have gotten really into board games. Like, ‘playing them every single week’ into them. I’m thinking that I’ll right reviews or overviews of new ones, rate how easy they are to pick up for beginners, etc etc. It might be fun. 😀

My cousin had a baby. I’m now an almost-aunt to a little girl! She’s so sweet.


Reading Goals

Fantasy Bingo 2018

  • Participate in the Beat the Backlist Challenge
    • 4 book read towards the challenge this month: His Majesty’s Dragon, Golden Fool, Halo: Fall of Reach, The Beauty of Darkness

      • Total: 8 books
    • 0 photo challenge posts made this month
      • Total: 4 posts

Blog Goals

  • Post seasonal (not monthly) book hauls

Good so far

  • Maintain a S-W-S posting schedule (with the occasional extra post if I’ve got neat things goin’ on)

Right now it’s more like two posts per week

  • Keep my To Do list of pending tags under five items at any one time

Currently it’s at zero! Caught up!

Not done! :”D

  • Write blabbers for at least 1/3 of the books I read

3 out of the 11 books I’ve read so far have gotten blabbers!


Personal Goals

  • Exercise two times per week

Up to one time per week. Making progress.

  • Log all meals in MyFitnessPal

Pretty good the last few days, need to catch up a bit though.

  • Make a wedding/honeymoon scrapbook

Haven’t even started, homes.

  • Make a budget

See above!

  • Start saving for a house

See above!

  • Take care of my health as issues arise

On it!

  • Learn Python and R

Not yet!


And that’s it! Happy reading!