February Wrap Up! ’21

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

This is what I read:

Books

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

5 stars

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

5 stars

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

2 stars

Manga

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

3.25 stars – 4.5 stars each

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

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

3.25 stars

Fanfiction

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


2021 Reading Goals

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

Stats

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

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

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin | Blabber

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth, #1)The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
Book 1 of the Broken Earth trilogy
Published 2015
468 pages
Spoiler-free blabber

Just like I said in my blabber of Foundryside posted the other day, I was very late to this train, and very mad at myself for waiting so long. I buddy read this with my irl friend, and we both adored it (and are both neck deep into book two at this point).

I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like this book before.

I’ve read a lot of fantasy during my thirty years of being a human, and have experienced more of it through video games and tv and movies and whatnot, but this world is definitely a unique one.

Sloppy synopsis:

This book is set in a world that keeps ending, and it follows the characters trying to live in it. There are three main points of view in the story, each located at a different place on this continent riddled with earthquakes and volcanoes and other apocalypsey kinds of things, and it tells the story of their lives.

In this world are creatures who eat stone, giant obelisks that hang out in the sky – forgotten relics of civilizations past, and people who can sense the earth moving under their feet. All three perspectives are such people. When earthquakes happen, they can quell them with their abilities, or make them worse.

The story sets up an interesting social hierarchy, placing these earth-sensers, orogenies, in a lower tier of people. They’re valuable, as they can stop an earthquake from demolishing a great city, but they’re also seen as less than. Between them, the stone eaters, the people who can’t sense the earth, and the Guardians – a group of people whose task it is to monitor the orogenies, a political undercurrent is created and fuels a large part of the story, on top of all the world-ending catastrophies.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed the social commentary this book provided. It touched on humanity, on respect given and received, and what happens when that isn’t balanced. The narrative from all three perspectives touched on this in different ways, each one interacting with an aspect of this established social hierarchy. I found it interesting and compelling.

The writing as well, was very readable. This was another one that I read my target number of buddy read pages each week in one sitting. I just couldn’t put the thing down. The first chapter opens in a jarring way: the world is yet again ending again outside – screams and earthquakes can be felt and heard, but the pov character is inside her house, and her world is already ending in a different fashion. Her son lays dead in her arms, murdered by his father, who has fled with their daughter.

That’s how the book opens, with that scene of many worlds ending at the same time.

And honestly it made me fall in love with the book right away. The pov is written from second person, which makes the scene all the more jarring and the more captivating. The narratives from the other perspectives were just as submersive. As the story progressed and we found out more about orogenies, the social system, and the geographical instabilities of the world, the more I was completely enraptured.

The back of the book has an appendix in it as well, as the narrative mentions multiple previous world-ended events in passing. It was fascinating reading about all of them. Each apocalypse is called a Fifth Season. And really, what sounds more interesting than an apocalypse known in the history books as ‘The Season of the Teeth’?

This book was just so fascinating. The stone eaters were neat, the orogenies were neat, how people lived on the land was neat. The social dynamics that evolved due to the constant barrage from the earth was neat. It was all just so neat.

The characters themselves, while I wouldn’t always call them ‘likeable’ were very believable. I don’t think the main characters were written to be entirely good or evil, but were written to be human – there were all sorts of gray decisions these characters made, either motivated through personal desire or through necessity. The back drop of a chaotic planet only made the potentially powerful decisions that more necessary.

So overall, this book was awesome. So awesome that I’ve run out and grabbed the next two in the series and plan on reading them right away (already in the second!) My buddy reader and I both loved this book, easy five stars. My expectations for this one were a bit high, considering it won a Hugo when it came out (and then so did its sequel the next year and then so did its sequel the year after that, which is unprecedented) and I gotta say, it totally lives up to the hype. This is a fantastic book.

5 stars

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett | Blabber

Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy #1)Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet
Book 1 of the Founders Trilogy
512 pages
Published 2018
Fantasy
Spoiler-free blabber

I am very late to this train. When this book first came out two (three?!?) years ago, I remember seeing it on the favorites lists of a lot of people. The premise of it did pique my interest at the time, but I felt no need to immediately pick it up.

Why did I do myself dirty like that?

Last month, I picked this up as part of a buddy read with Meredith @Allboutthembooksandstuff, a friend of mine that I’ve had since I was a teenager. I gotta tell ya, we both ended up absolutely adoring this book. I’m a bit mad that I waited so long to jump on the hype train.

Sloppy synopsis:

This book in set in a city ruled over by four merchant houses, each of whom have their territory walled off within the city limits. Anyone who doesn’t belong to one of the houses lives in the Commons, the area between the walls. The main character Sancia lives there, not belonging to any merchant house, nor to anybody else in particular. The narrative opens on her sneaking into a building to steal an item she’s been hired to steal. She doesn’t know what it is or what it does, she just knows that the buyer is willing to pay a lot of money. And right away, we’re introduced to the magic system, which I think is one of the coolest parts about this book: scriving.

Scriving is magic system based on written sigils that are carved into objects to change their reality. The sigils range from simple to mind-bogglingly complex. For instance, a sigil could be written on a carriage to make it think it’s always on a slope, therefore should be moving because it’s only natural to move downhill. And boom, you get a carriage that moves on its own, without the need for horses to pull it. Sancia herself has been altered by sigils – a metal plate in her skull, inscribed with the things, allow her to know objects. All she needs to do is touch them, and she learns their makes, their histories, and their weak points. Perfect skills for a thief, who needs to know if there are people standing on the floors in the next room.

So the story starts from there, with Sancia stealing this object and having to deal with the resulting consequences. The narrative introduces a cast of characters ranging from human to beyond.

My thoughts:

My favorite thing about this book was the humor. A character is introduced very shortly into the beginning that Sancia is able to use her scrived brain to communicate with, and their banter is so amusing. The character himself is sassy and quick-witted. Sancia too has a wry sense of humor about most things that happen throughout the story. I laughed out loud multiple times throughout the book. I really love it when a serious plot is interwoven with light-hearted-ness and the author here pulled it off perfectly.

Most characters I feel were developed pretty well, namely Sancia, Orso, and Clef. Orso is a scriving master, and his job is to carve sigils into items for the merchant house to which he belongs. Clef is well, a character that I can’t tell you about without it being a spoiler. But I feel that his character development throughout the book is really good. There were a couple characters I felt were a bit flat, and I’m hoping they get more development in book two. There was also a bit of a romance between two of the characters, and I’m not sure how I feel about how it was executed. I ship the characters mind you, but I feel the progression of the romance was a bit rushed. It’s a minor plot point though so I’m not super concerned about it, nor did my iffy feelings of it influence how I felt about the book as a whole.

The plot in itself was really interesting to me. In the synopsis I mentioned Sancia stealing an item without knowing what it was. The theft of it gets interwoven into a larger conflict, and involves ancient civilizations and carving new realities and beings that probably shouldn’t exist but do. I really love how vast the world felt, even though the entire book takes place within the confines of one city. It dove a bit into philosophy and ethics as well, touching on subjects like human experimentation, whether or not humans should be able to change the reality of the world, what happens when they do, and what is considered ‘ethical’ during wartime vs peace time. The various characters have different opinions on it obviously, and the topics are handled in a way that feel realistic.

The pacing as well was great. At no point did the story lag. I never felt like I was trudging along. Most of the time, I read the entire section of book I was to read each week for the buddy read in one sitting. It was really hard to actually put the book down and wait until the day we could talk about what we’d read so far.

Overall, I really loved this book, and I know Meredith did as well. It gets a definite five stars from me. Easy peasy. We plan on picking up book two in a couple months, and then we’ll pine, waiting until book three is released.

But yeah if you’ve been on the fence about picking this one up, definitely do it.

5 stars

Favorite books of 2020!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl!

Hiiiii it’s my favorite post of the year! My favorite books!

Today’s post is also a Top Ten Tuesday post, but I’m doing it slightly out of order. Technically last week was the official ‘fave books’ topic, but I wanted to actually finish 2020 before picking, in case I had a last minute favorite! So we’re rolling with it.

I read 171 books this year and I have ten to talk about. My favorite books of 2020. These are ranked from ‘least favorite favorite’ to ‘most favorite favorite’:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – This got a 4.5 from me, the only 4.5 on this list out of the twenty-something 4.5s I gave this year. This is the 4.5-iest and my fave out of the ones with the same ranking.

I’m so late on this bandwagon man. I don’t know why I never read this before. I buddy-read this with two irl friends, one of which had read it a million times already and was just amused at us other two as we read. It. Was. Great. I loved this book.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – I gotta tell ya, I was not expecting to love this as much as I did. I’m a sucker for the big dumb object trope I guess, and this book also went into a really interesting commentary on how sudden internet fame can affect a person. This book was my only 4.75 rating of the year.

I bought the sequel to this book right after it came out, and it’s on my 10 in 2021 list so I hope to get to it soon!

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas by Yoru Sumino – This is where the five stars start. This is the ‘lowest’ of the fives, but it’s still a five, and honestly I don’t give those out very easily.

This one-shot manga, contrary to its name, talks about a very serious topic. The main character finds a diary of a girl with terminal pancreatic disease, and it tells the story of him befriending her, all while she knows she’s going to die soon.

I cried.

Shaman’s Crossing by Robin Hobb – What’s a favorites list without a Hobb novel? This is the first book in the Soldier Son trilogy and I think my favorite of the three (I’m about six chapters away from the end of the last one, so unless it totally wows me, this is my fave). This is also the last series by Hobb that I have to read. After this, I need to find something to fill the void.

This series follows a young man as his life is thrown in a direction he did not expect, and deals with court politics and shamanic magic and it gets dark after a while. Robin Hobb really puts her characters through it. But this first book, I loved. And I hope I end up loving this last one as much as I did this one. I hope I hope I hope.

As per usual, I buddy read this with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux – The second classic to make this list, and man I was not expecting to love this, but hey, I did. This isn’t the only gothic horror novel I read this year and because of it I think I’ve discovered a love for a new genre.

It’s so, well, horrifying and creepy and unsettling and I loved it.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice – Gothic horror! Would you look at that!

I’ve been sleeping on this book for years – my buddy originally tried to get me to read it in high school fifteen years ago. I read half of it and got distracted. Shame on me!

I picked it up again this year and absolutely loved it. It’s so eerie and unsettling and compelling. I loved it!

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio – Another unexpected favorite! Really, I loved this book. I still don’t own a copy though, I gotta pick one up.

This is a mystery thriller set at an acting university that focuses on Shakespearean plays. The tone this book has is awesome and the plot as it unfolded was so great. I couldn’t stop reading.

Out of all the books I’ve read this year, this is the one I think about the most.

Our Dining Table by Mita Ori – This is a fluffy one shot manga I picked up at the very beginning of 2020 that honestly I only bought on a whim. Definitely didn’t expect it to become one of my favorite manga of all time but there you go, I guess.

This is a romance between the two adults on the cover and is super stinking cute. It’s so wholesome and soft and lovely and if you need something to brighten your day, this is the manga for you.

Vita Nostra by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko – This is my favorite novel of the year, hands down. This book was just so eerie and weird and confusing in the best way. The whole time in the book, I felt like I almost understood what was going on. And for some reason, the way the book was written, being confused made me want to read more not less.

Honestly I still don’t fully understand what I read. But. it. was. awesome.

Black Butler by Yana Toboso – Anyone who’s read even a few of my posts this year probably isn’t surprised by this. I read the entire 28 volumes of the series that were out when I first picked the series up this year. Since, vol 29 came out as well and I’m gonna read that too. So yes, this number one spot, my favorite of the year, is this entire series. I feel like pointing out individual volumes was pointless. All of them were between four and five stars, the vast majority of them 4.5 or 5. This series is awesome.

This is a wonder, funny, dark, twisty, comical story of a boy who sells his soul to a devil to get revenge on those who slaughtered his family. And then it’s so much more than that. It’s so great. It’s so well written, it’s so well paced, the characters are so well developed. I. love. it.

And that, that is it, ladies and gents. My favorite books of the year. 2020 was a shit year but for reading? It was great!

If you’ve read any of the above, lemme know!

Unfinished series and ones I won’t finish 2020

Well hi! Today is a combination of two posts I try to do every year. Mostly for my own sanity, this year I’m combining them into one: My unfinished series and ones I’ll be discontinuing. We’ll start with the ones I won’t be continuing, then go onto the ones I will be.

Series from last year’s post that I’ve decided to discontinue:

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)Walk on Earth a Stranger  (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to LovecraftY: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned
Illuminae by Amie KaufmanCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin KwanBitch Planet, Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnickSnow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
Naoki Urasawa's Monster, Volume 1 by Naoki UrasawaAngels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)

So, the only one above that I might continue at some point is Snow Like Ashes, because I do own the first one. I have read the second, but I don’t own it. Aaaand if I were to ever read the third, I’d have to reread the first two. Right now I don’t see myself doing that, but hey, it could happen.

Series that I started this year and have decided to discontinue:

Heaven's Devils by William C. DietzHitorijime My Hero, Vol. 1 by Memeko AriiAgain!!, Vol. 1 by Mitsurou KuboLDK Vol. 1 by Ayu Watanabe
I Hate Fairyland, Vol. 1 by Skottie YoungMars, Vol. 1 by Fuyumi SoryoEvery Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuireThat Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Vol. 1 by Fuse
Pestilence by Laura ThalassaThe Maze Runner by James DashnerThe Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The majority of these I read and wasn’t too impressed with. The only exceptions to this were Again!! and Every Heart a Doorway. Both of them I did like, but I just feel no urge to continue them.

Ongoing series from last year’s post that I do plan on continuing:

And how many of them I’ve read. If I’ve increased the amount that I’ve read from last year, I’ll bold the number.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
2/3 read, 3 owned
Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft
1/3 read, 2 owned
Land of the Lustrous, Vol. 1 by Haruko Ichikawa
9/11 read, 0 owned
Fruits Basket Another, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
2/3 read, 3 owned
My Hero Academia, Vol. 1 by Kohei Horikoshi
2/30 read, 20 owned
Chew, Vol. 1 by John Layman
4/12 read, 4 owned
Descender, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire
2/6 read, 2 owned
Priest, Volume 1. Prelude for the Deceased
2/16 read, 6 owned
Rave Master, Vol. 1
3/35 read, 11 owned
Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 1: The World's Greatest Team (Dragon Ball Z, #1)
4/26 read, 4 owned
InuYasha: Turning Back Time (InuYasha, #1)
18/56 read, 26 owned
Trigun Maximum Volume 1: Hero Returns (Trigun Maximum, #1)
4/14 read, 4 owned
Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit, Volume 1 (Ikigami, #1)
3/10 read, 6 owned
Attack on Titan, Volume 1
18/33 read, 18 owned
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks
4/5 read, 4 owned
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
1/7 read, 0 owned
Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1)
1/2 read, 2 owned
Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)
2/3 read, 3 owned
The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)
1/4 read, 3 owned
Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)
1/3 read, 2 owned
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)
3/5 read, 0 owned
City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
2/6 read, 6 owned
An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
1/3 read, 3 owned
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
5/8 read, 8 owned
Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1)
1.5/9 read, 2 owned
Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1)
2/3 read, 2 owned
Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
4/4 read, 3 owned
Fence, Vol. 3 by C.S. Pacat
3/4 read, 3 owned

New series I started this year and plan on continuing:

And how many of them I’ve read.

Otomen, Vol. 1 by Aya Kanno
12/18 read, 12 owned
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
1/13 read, 1 owned
A Man and His Cat, Vol. 1 by Umi Sakurai
1/2 read, 2 owned
Black Butler, Vol. 1 by Yana Toboso
28/29 read, 28 owned
The Way of the Househusband, Vol. 1 by Kousuke Oono
2/6 read, 4 owned
Takane & Hana, Vol. 1 by Yuki Shiwasu
3/18 read, 4 owned
Confidential Confessions, Volume 1 by Reiko Momochi
1/7 read, 3 owned
Magus of the Library, Vol. 1 by Mitsu Izumi
1/5 read, 3 owned
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
1/2 read, 2 owned
Model, Volume 1 by Lee So-Young
1/7 read, 2 owned
Waiting for Spring, Vol. 1 by Anashin
4/14 read, 7 owned
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
1/5 read, 2 owned
The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Vol. 1 by Yoshiki Tanaka
2/15 read, 0 owned
Shaman King, Vol. 1 by Hiroyuki Takei
8/28 read, 0 owned
Yarichin Bitch Club, Vol. 1 by Tanaka Ogeretsu
2/3 read, 3 owned
Blue Exorcist, Vol. 1 by Kazue Kato
3/27 read, 0 owned
Given, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Kizu
1/7 read, 3 owned
Kakuriyo by Waco Ioka
3/6 read, 3 owned
Candy Color Paradox, Vol. 1 by Isaku Natsume
2/4 read, 4 owned
Ajin by Gamon Sakurai
1/17 read, 1 owned
Shaman's Crossing by Robin Hobb
2/3 read, 3 owned
Hands Off!, Vol. 1 by Kasane Katsumoto
4/8 read, 8 owned
Graineliers, Vol. 1 by Rihito Takarai
1/3 read, 1 owned
Act-Age, Vol. 1 by Tatsuya Matsuki
2/14 read, 2 owned

Aaaand that’s it. I had no idea I was in the middle of so many series until just now, when I went through and listed them all out.

Man.

I think one of my 2021 read goals is going to be to finish some of these, holy cow. Also, this list does not include series that I ended up finishing this year or series that are unfinished, but I’m currently caught up with. So keep that in mind, too.

Happy Blogmas!

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

Happy Friday! :”D

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

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

This is what I originally hauled:

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

~~~

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

Lemme know what you think! Happy Blogmas!

Books I wish I could read again for the first time

Happy December! Today’s topic is ‘books I want to read again’ and is open to a bit of interpretation, so I’m going with ‘ones I wish I could read again for the first time’. I’m going to add the caveat of ‘and if it’s set towards a younger audience, I would also like to be right in that age bracket again to read it’. Today I have eight to talk about, and their images are all going to be different sizes because reasons so work with me here.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I think I first read this when I was ten or eleven and I remember being completely entranced. I really wish I could warp back to that age and read it again.

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa – This is one of the best manga series I’ve ever read. The plot is just so dynamic and thrilling and funny and intense and I remember waiting on baited breath for each new volume to come out. Man, I miss it.

Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki – This was my first ever ‘favorite manga’, and it’s still really up there. My copy of volume one has been read so many times that the cover just lays flat when you open it – no resistance whatsoever.

Harry Potter – I think this one would make a lot of peoples’ lists. I just wish all my memories of it hadn’t been tainted.

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb – Honestly, all the Robin Hobb books apply here. Maaaan.

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik – This is one of my favorite series of all time and I would really love to experience it fresh. I did reread it recently and it was just as great as ever but it just wasn’t the same as the original read.

Black Butler by Yana Toboso – This is a series I just read for the first time this year and I already wanna reread it. I lent my whole series to my sister, who’s now reading it so I’m living vicariously through her.

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba – This series was such a masterpiece – the pacing, the build up and the climax, all of it was absolutely awesome. I’d love to read it again for the first time.

~~~

And that’s it! I know I’m supposed to pick ten but… I feel like the last two would have been just arbitrary choices to fill the list, so I stuck with eight. Lemme know what you think!

November Currently Reading!

Happy November! I’m currently 17k words into Nanowrimo, so my reading has taken a bit of a dip as a result. But, I am reading a few books between writing!

 

Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw – This is my current audio book, and it’s by the guy who does the Zero Punctuation videos if you’ve heard of them. He also narrates his own book so it’s that same deadpan delivery, and I think it really fits.

This is a book about a student at a magic school who gets killed right at the beginning of the book, and then is revived as undead and is pissed about it. It’s hilarious and so far I’m really enjoying it.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – In fairness I haven’t touched this in a couple weeks, and I probably won’t until Nanowrimo is over. Out of the three books I’m reading, it’s the lowest priority for sure.

But so far, it’s not bad. I’ve heard mixed things about it, so we’ll see how it goes.

Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb – This is the last Hobb novel I have left, and after this I’m going to need to find something to fill the void. Like with the majority of all the other Hobb novels, I’m buddy reading this with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks.

So far, I have no idea where this plot is going, but I also felt that way in the second book and ended up loving it, so I really hope this one ends well. I tend to like Hobb’s endings, so my hopes are high.

And that’s it! Like I said, my reading is currently a bit slow. It’ll pick up at the end of November – I’m ahead in Nano, so hopefully I stay that way and can finish early.

Lemme know if you’ve read any of the above! Happy reading!

October Wrap Up! ’20

Happy end of October! This month my reading did slow down a bit, but I also read all novels and graphic novels, no manga, which is the first time in a long time that happened.

This is what I read:

Books

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous – I picked this up as part of my end-of-year-MUST-REACH-TBR-GOAL frenzy. It was short so I figured I could get through it quickly. Well I did. It was ok.

3 stars

Forest Mage by Robin Hobb – I buddy ready this with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks and I really liked it! This was the second book in Hobb’s soldier son trilogy and man was it gritty. Killed me. But overall, liked it. Wrote a blabber, if you’re interested!

4.25 stars

Armada by Ernest Cline – Unfortunately this one was a DNF. I tried. I tried. Augh I tried. This book felt like a teenage boy’s wet dream. And to be fair, that’s probably intentional. And I’m sure there are a large number of people who would love this.

It’s just not me.

1 star

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux – I picked this up for the same reason I picked up Go Ask Alice: it’s short.

I gotta tell ya though, I was not expecting to love this. But color me surprised, it was by far my favorite read of the month. It was eerie and spooky and heart breaking and dramatic and it was perfect. I. loved. it.

5 stars

Fence vol 3 by C. S. Pacat – Again, a short one! This is my one and only graphic novel of the month and it was pretty decent. I was able to pick it up after not having read vol 2 for literally a year and figure out where I was, so it’s got that going for it.

I’m still waiting to love this, it hasn’t happened yet, but it could potentially get there. I like it, though.

3 stars

Other Stuff

  • I’m super full right now. I had ice cream! Not really news but I enjoyed it, man.
  • Yeah I got nothin’. October was uneventful, at least to the extent that I’m comfortable sharing on the internet.

Reading Goals

  • Read 50 books – 161/100
  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule
    January – Fail
    February – Pass
    March – Pass
    April – Pass
    May – Pass
    June – Pass
    July – Pass
    August – Pass
    September – Pass
    October – Pass
  • Keep track of reading statistics – In progress
  • Reduce physical TBR to 200 – 214

And that’s it! Lemme know if you’ve read any of the above. Happy reading!

Fantasy Bingo 2020-21 | Update 3

Copy of Book Tag(1)

It’s October now! Back in August, I made an update 2, and in June, an update 1 to a post I originally made in April when r/Fantasy’s Fantasy Bingo began.

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

New additions:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – This one only filled one category, and that was the Goodreads readalong one. Apparently the group read it back in October of 2018, so I lucked out.

The Harp of Kings by Juliet Marillier – This one fits in two places: politics and feminist, so it might get moved around before the end of the bingo challenge – it’ll all depend on what else I read in the meantime.

Only two new additions here. I read a lot of books but unfortunately they are from an author I’ve already used on the bingo card, don’t fit any categories, or plain just aren’t fantasy/sci-fi books. So I’m hoping after the new year to really focus on this so I can finish it by the end of March. I’d really like to do it this time around.

If you’re participating, do let me know! Happy reading!