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2019 Anticipated Releases: January – June

Anticipated Releases

Hello! Welcome to another ‘anticipated releases’ post. I post two per year – January through June and July through December. Guess what month it is.

I’ve already posted some anticipated books in a top 5 wednesday post that spanned the whole year, so I’m not going to repeat any, but keep in mind I also wanna read those.

Since I haven’t actually read any of these yet, I’m just going to put the synopses and tentative release dates, because that’s really all I got for ya. Pbtbt.

Enjoy.


The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays

Release date: February 5th

Goodreads synopsis: An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)

Release date: January 29th

Goodreads synopsis: Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

The Women’s War by Jenna Glass

The Women's War (Women's War, #1)

Release date: March 5th

Goodreads synopsis: When a nobleman’s first duty is to produce a male heir, women are treated like possessions and bargaining chips. But as the aftereffects of a world-altering spell ripple out physically and culturally, women at last have a bargaining chip of their own. And two women in particular find themselves at the crossroads of change.

Alys is the widowed mother of two teenage children, and the disinherited daughter of a king. Her existence has been carefully proscribed, but now she discovers a fierce talent not only for politics but also for magic—once deemed solely the domain of men. Meanwhile, in a neighboring kingdom, young Ellin finds herself unexpectedly on the throne after the sudden death of her grandfather the king and everyone else who stood ahead of her in the line of succession. Conventional wisdom holds that she will marry quickly, then quietly surrender the throne to her new husband…. Only, Ellin has other ideas.

The tensions building in the two kingdoms grow abruptly worse when a caravan of exiled women and their escort of disgraced soldiers stumbles upon a new source of magic in what was once uninhabitable desert. This new and revolutionary magic—which only women can wield—threatens to tear down what is left of the patriarchy. And the men who currently hold power will do anything to fight back.

If, Then by Kate Hope Day

If, Then

Release date: March 12th

Goodreads synopsis: In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

The Bird King

Release date: March 12th

Goodreads synopsis: Hassan has a secret–he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, The Bird King asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

Emily Eternal by M. G. Wheaton

Emily Eternal

Release date: April 9th

Goodreads synopsis: She’s an artificial consciousness, designed in a lab to help humans process trauma, which is particularly helpful when the sun begins to die 5 billion years before scientists agreed it was supposed to.

So, her beloved human race is screwed, and so is Emily. That is, until she finds a potential answer buried deep in the human genome. But before her solution can be tested, her lab is brutally attacked, and Emily is forced to go on the run with two human companions – college student Jason and small-town Sheriff, Mayra.

As the sun’s death draws near, Emily and her friends must race against time to save humanity. But before long it becomes clear that it’s not only the species at stake, but also that which makes us most human.

Inspection by Josh Malerman

Inspection

Release date: April 23rd

Goodreads synopsis: J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.

J is one of only twenty-six students, all of whom think of the school’s enigmatic founder as their father. J’s peers are the only family he has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, and their life at the school is all they know—and all they are allowed to know.

But J suspects that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he’s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J’s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.


And that’s it! There are others on my radar as well, but these are the topsies. Happy reading!

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Posted by on 01/13/2019 in Books

 

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Top Books of 2018

top books 2017

Hello, time for the 500th favorites post you’ve seen, and my favorite post of the year! Now, I’m not going to have a set number – no ‘top 10’ or whatever. I tend to only rate something five stars if I intend on adding it to my all-time ‘favorite books’ list, with a few exceptions (like.. individual issues in a manga series where the overall series isn’t a favorite, or powerful memoirs that I don’t consider a fave). So some years this post is really long, other years it’s super short. This year’s list is a decent length, I think.

In 2018, I read 88 things, and out of those, 23 of them were five stars.

First, I’m going to eliminate the rereads:

So that knocks out… six books, leaving 17. Next, I’m going to eliminate what I mentioned above: Individual issues of a manga series that I don’t consider a ‘favorite’ series, and powerful memoirs that while they were amazing, I don’t consider them a ‘favorite’ book. For the first, for a manga series to be considered a favorite, the majority of the volumes need to be a five, and that weird, undefinable ‘I love this entire series’ feeling has to be there. Individual volumes of manga can definitely be five stars, but its overall series could be lower. For the second, powerful memoirs are hard for me: I rarely give them less than five stars because how can I read about someone’s life and struggles and go ‘meh, needs character development’. Like really. So while I really did enjoy the book, and probably regard it highly (as I do with this book), I usually won’t consider it a ‘favorite’ book. Usually.

Down to 13. A lot of the remaining books are books that are sequels in a series that I read through during the year. So, those will be combined below.

OKAY now here are my favorite books of the year! None of these are in any particular order.

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Spinning SilverGenre: Fantasy

This book was rather split between readers – half of them really liked it, half of them really didn’t. This book is set in a Russia-esque world, and follows a few different characters, one of them named Miryam, the daughter of a money lender. She takes over her father’s business and soon cultivates the reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. This attracts the attention of the creature known as the Staryk, who interprets it literally, and Miryam finds herself in a bit over her head.

This book is slow moving and very atmospheric. It suggests a romance but it doesn’t really show one. I think that’s why many people – specifically ones who liked Uprooted – didn’t care for this. I really liked it though – I adore Naomi Novik’s writing, and at this point she could publish her grocery list and I’d read it. I really like the unknown aspect of the Staryk, how little we find out about him. The characters were interesting, the interweaving of different aspectics of folklore and creatures was really neat, and the way that all the character’s perspectives interwove was cool, too. I wrote a full blabber on it, if you’d like to know my full thoughts.

Wotakoi: Love is Hard For Otaku volumes 1-3 by Fujita

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol 1 (Otakoi: Otaku Can't Fall in Love?!)Genre: Slice of Life/Romance/Comedy

This series came out of nowhere for me. I randomly saw a brief review of the first three episodes of the anime, which made me pick it up and binge it, and then I hunted out this manga to fulfill the void that was created in my life by finishing the anime. I’ve since consumed the first three volumes, which make up everything that’s currently available for purchase.

This series follows four working mid-twenties adults as they navigate their relationships. They’re all a bit nerdy in their own ways, and it’s nice to see that come out in people who are office workers – character depth, people. The dynamics between the characters show actual, y’know, communication, and it was a breath of fresh air. The characters actually speak to each other when there’s a misunderstanding between them. Like adults. It was so nice.

This series is fluff, mind you. It’s not some epic tail of love and pain, it’s not a dramatic soap opera… it’s just a light, fluffy, funny series about people who aren’t teens, interacting with each other. And I loved it. A lot of what the characters are interested in – video games, manga, cosplay – is really delved into, and it taught me some things about the areas, even though I’m already a fan of most of them. And this series made me laugh out loud multiple times. Augh I enjoyed it so much!

Prince’s Gambit and King’s Rising by C. S. Pacat

Prince's Gambit (Captive Prince, #2)Genre: Fantasy, M/M Romance

These two books were some of my first reads of 2018, and they’ve really stuck with me. The first book in the trilogy, Captive Prince, was a four star read for me, which is why it isn’t here, but these two books being five stars each definitely put the series overall into my favorite books.

This is another series that is a bit derisive. The relationship and cultural dynamics in this book can definitely be called unhealthy. But, the writing and the plot progression just sucked me in. I read these books and then my heart felt a void that there was no more.

This series follows two princes of warring kingdoms. One prince’s half brother usurps him, strips him of his titles, fakes his death, and presents him to the other prince of the rival country as a pleasure slave. The other prince, not having actually met the first one, doesn’t realize who he is being given. The series follows them as the war continues and the political dynamics become more and more complex.

If I’m being honest, when I went into this, I didn’t really expect much of a plot. But I was pleasantly surprised with a well thought out and well executed one. Because of that, it definitely earned a spot on my favorites list.

Victory of Eagles and Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik

Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5)Genre: Historical fantasy

Ugh, this series, man. I absolutely adore it. I’ve loved it since I picked up the first four volumes of it in high school. If you notice, the first four of the books in the series were in my eliminated rereads section: All of them were five stars as well.

When I was in high school, only the first four books were out. I read and loved them, and then never actually picked up the rest as they came out.

This year, I made a point to do so. I reread the first four, and then kept going. The series recently concluded at nine books. As of writing this, I’m reading book eight. The two books mentioned here are books five and seven: book six was four stars for me, as it dragged a bit, but overall this series is still one of my favorites and will always be.

This series, the Temeraire series, is a historical fiction about dragon warfare during the Napoleonic Era. It’s so well done and so well researched. The character dynamics and how the dragon battle tactics are interwoven into history and actual historical events and battles during the Napoleonic Wars is fantastic. The main character, William Laurance, in the first book is a navy captain: he defeats a French ship at sea and finds Temeraire’s egg within. The egg hatches, and with nobody else around to tame the dragon, he steps in to do so, effectively throwing his navy career away to join the aerial corp: the military unit specializing in dragon battles. Temeraire the dragon is the sweetest thing, as are all of the other dragons. Each is unique, the breeds are well thought out and the intricacy of dragon breeding and training and whatnot is really fascinating.

As stated, I’m on book eight. I’m going to be so sad after book nine is finished. I won’t know what to do.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

The Library at Mount CharGenre: Fantasy/Horror

This book was a bit out of my usual comfort zone. It was a fantasy thing set in modern day, which is usually not my jam. It just sounded so intriguing though. This book was a buddy read with Katy @Bookbinderway, and both of us ended up really enjoying it, though I think I liked it more than she did, overall.

This book follows a young woman who… used to be human, more or less, as she and her group of siblings try to discover what happened to their missing Father, the man who raised them. I don’t want to really tell you more than that, because going into it nearly blind I think would be best.

I will say though that this is definitely one of the strangest books I’ve ever read. It’s unsettling, it’s bizarre, and at times it’s uncomfortable. But it’s also riveting and exciting and a lot of fun. This is definitely one of the most unique books I’ve ever encountered. I feel like it should have its own genre, that ‘fantasy/horror’ doesn’t really do it justice.

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)Genre: Fantasy

I haven’t spoken about this series too much recently, but it’s definitely mentioned muchly on this blog overall.

This series, when I started it in 2017, quickly became one of my favorites and with this third installment, it remains solidly in the list.

This series, if you haven’t heard me blabber endlessly about it already, follows a slew of characters, navigating politics in war in a world where light is magic.

The users of the magic system, drafters, are able to change colored light into physical matter, and shape it to their will. Each color has different properties, is used for different things, and has different effects on the user. Every time the user drafts light, it brings them slightly closer to death.

All of the characters in this are entertaining in their own way, whether or not I actually like them. The main character for instance, is a bit of a dick, but he’s also a lot of fun to read about. As stated, this is the third book in the series, and I’m currently reading the fourth. The fifth comes out this fall, so I wanna finish it before then. I. Am. SO. EXCITED!

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel, #1)Genre: Fantasy

Wow is this book a hidden gem. Originally self-published, it became an overnight sensation, and has since been picked up by a publisher. The book follows Thomas Senlin, who arrives at the base of the seemingly endless Tower of Babel with his wife, on honeymoon. He quickly loses her in the crowd and then must undertake the task of climbing the tower, navigating each of its levels, and surviving pursuit to find his wife.

I wrote a full blabber on this one too. More of a gush, really. But man, the writing in this is wonderful. It’s so allegoric, and I loved it. The second book is out in this series, and the third is coming out this year. I cannot wait to continue this one, ugh.

Golden Fool and Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb

Golden Fool (Tawny Man, #2)Genre: Fantasy

What would my favorites list be without a Robin Hobb novel (or two). Robin Hobb just keeps amazing me with her worldbuilding, her characterization and her storytelling. Each book just adds to the previous ones, things mentioned in the first or second book that seemed like a one-off suddenly become very relevant eight books later and it blows my mind. I’ve been buddyreading these with Zezee @Zezeewithbooks and we’ve both become absolutely smitten.

The two I’m highlighting here are the second and third books in Hobb’s Tawny Man trilogy, which is my favorite series in the overarching world she has established. In the overarching series, they are books eight and nine. But man, these books wrecked me. Both of them. (And the first one did too, but it didn’t quite make five stars. The whole series is amazing). They took my emotions, tied them in a pretzel, burned them, freezed them, melted them, untied them and formed them into a heart… and then ripped them to shreds. I can’t even talk too much without spoiling like.. two other series.

This series follows characters from the first trilogy some years later, and I didn’t realize how much I missed those characters until I was reading about them again. Hobb’s books at this point give me nostalgia. Cracking one open is like going home, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish them.

That’s what rereading is for, I guess.


And that’s it! Those are my favorite books of the year! So many books were added to my favorites list this year, it’s crazy! I loved it! If you’ve read any of these, let me know!

 
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Posted by on 01/09/2019 in Books, Favorites

 

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Bookshelf Tour 2018

10 in 2019

Hello! Today is an updated bookshelf tour! The last time I did one was at the end of 2017. Since then, I’ve added new ones, rearranged a bit, and purged some old ones.

I have quite a few off the shelves right now because they’re either lent out or lying around my place, so any I notice are missing will be noted. None of the books mentioned in the book haul that I posted yesterday are on the shelves yet, so none of them will be shown either. 😛

Also, I almost almost did a video. I shot the footage and everything, and Katy offered to edit it for me. But… I got camera shy at the last minute. I’m not even in it, just my voice. But still. Pictures, haha.


Nonfiction and Foreign Language

Missing: The Good Women of China

Manga and graphic novels

Missing: Mushishi vols 2-4, Fruits Basket vols 1-4, Wotakoi vol 3, Descender vol 2, Monstress vols 1-2, Chew vols 1-2, The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil

Fantasy and Science Fiction

Missing: His Majesty’s Dragon, Throne of Glass, Truthwitch, Assassin’s Apprentice, The Name of the Wind, The Knife of Never Letting Go

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

Missing: House of Leaves, Water for Elephants, Isle of Blood


And that’s it! I think with the new books going on, I’m going to need another case. I have two small cases right now among the collection – I might see if I can replace one or both of them with a larger case.

According to Goodreads (which… I keep mostly up to date), not including the newest books from the haul because I haven’t added them in yet, I own 707 books, 270 of which are unread. I’ll go into more detail come January, but I hope to reduce that to 250 or so by the end of 2019. Wish me luck. Ideally I’ll have unread books until I die – it’s no fun otherwise.

Happy reading!

 

 
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Posted by on 12/30/2018 in Books

 

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Bookshelf Tag

Blogmas 2018

1- How many bookshelves do you have?

Eight total – five full sized and two minis in the book room, and one more mini in the office, though that’s holding solely textbooks and computer manuals

2- How many books are on your bookshelves? Or how many books you think you have?

Currently my ‘owned’ shelf on goodreads says I have 707 books, which is probably accurate-ish.

3- How do you organize your books?

By genre, followed by author

4- What is the oldest book on your bookshelf?

I have a psychology manual published in 1895! It’s pretty neat.

5- What is the newest book on your bookshelf?

Wotakoi volume 3 by Fujita! It just came out last month.

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku 3

6- What is the longest book on your bookshelf?

George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords. My copy is 1179 pages.

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)

7- What is the shortest book on your bookshelf?

The Official Pokemon Handbook 2, coming it at 64 pages.

The Official Pokémon Handbook 2

8- What is the predominant genre on your bookshelf?

Fantasy. It takes up two an a half of the large book cases

9- Have you done a bookshelf tour?

Yes, in photos. I plan on doing another one again this year… haven’t decided if doing photos or video yet, though.

10- Go on a random number generator and talk about the book that corresponds with that number.

As much as this would be fun, it’s currently 5am, and going upstairs and turning the lights on to count books would not be a wise idea. So I’m gonna grab one from goodreads: Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick. I don’t know much about it, honestly. This was very much a ‘I’ve heard good things’ kinda of buy. I’ll get to it eventually.

Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine

11- Do you have fan merch or any other decorations on your bookshelf?

I have a few anime plushies, and some Harry Potter merch. In storage I have more, including a Fullmetal Alchemist pocket watch. I should really get around to unpacking that stuff, man.

12- Show us your bookshelf!

13- Tag someone.

Don’t tell me what to do!


Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 12/14/2018 in Blogmas, Book Tag, Books, Uncategorized

 

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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!

 
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Posted by on 12/02/2018 in Books, Wrap-up

 

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Disney Book Tag

DisneyBook Tag

So! At the time of posting this, I’m at Disney – this is my first time there. I’m going with my 11 year old nephew and I’m not sure who’s more excited about it. I figured posting the Disney Book Tag was fitting. I saw this tag on Sarika @BetweenThePages blog, so go check her out, peeps.

The Little Mermaid: a character who is out of their element, a ‘fish out of water’

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)

Louis from Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice. Louis is the vampire being interviewed, and at the beginning of his story, he tells of how he became a vampire and what an awful teacher he had. So a lot of the learning he had to do was done on his own. You can tell he realized that early on – that his teacher was terrible – and that he resented the guy for it.

Cinderella: a character who goes through a major transformation

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders, #1)

Malta from the Liveship Traders series by Robin Hobb does this. In fact, a lot of Robin Hobb’s characters do this – this large, complicated development arc. It’s part of the reason why I adore her books so much. When Malta is first introduced, she’s a young girl, obsessed with romance and drama and picturing herself the star of some plot. As the book progresses though, she is forced to face what’s in front of her, and she learns and grows from it. By the end of the trilogy, she was one of my favorite characters.

Snow White: a book with an electric cast of characters

Saiyuki Reload, Volume 9

The characters from Saiyuki fit this. A half demon, the legendary Monkey King, a man transformed, and a trigger-happy priest with a smoking habit. Saiyuki is such a good series, if you haven’t picked it up, I recommend it.

Sleeping Beauty: a book that put you to sleep

Daredevil, Vol. 1

I think out of the eleven books I have marked as ‘did not finish’, Daredevil volume 1 by Kevin Smith was the most boring. It’s really the only one I dropped out of just pure disinterest. I got I think… 40% into it? Maybe?

The Lion King: a character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood

I have to copy Sarika’s answer and say ‘every fantasy character ever’. If at the beginning of a book you see a character’s parent or role model or something that seems like a nice person? Boom, dead. Yay motivation and plot devices.

Beauty and the Beast: a beast of a book that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)

Any Robin Hobb book could fit this, but since I’ve already mentioned her books in this, I’m going with the books in the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks. They’re all chunkers, the one I selected as a visual is the longest so far, sitting at 846 pages. Takes me a while to get through them, but they’re so, so worth it.

Aladdin: a character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse

Orange: The Complete Collection, Volume 1

The characters from Orange do – the story follows a group of friends in high school, where the main character receives a letter from her future self, warning that one of the friends commits suicide in the future, and to do everything she can to prevent it. It’s great, and I loved it.

Mulan: a character who pretends to be something or someone they are not

Snow Crash

Pretty much everyone in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. The book takes place partially in a virtual world, and everyone is hiding behind avatars.

Toy Story: a book with characters you wish would come to life

His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)

The cast from Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. Why? Because it’d mean we’d have dragons in this world. 😀 Nice ones, even.

Disney Descendants: your favourite villain or morally ambiguous character 

I recently just did a post on villains, so I’ll just link to that. The top one wears a hand on his face. He’s neato.


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

 
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Posted by on 10/28/2018 in Book Tag, Books

 

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The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins | Blabber

The Library at Mount CharThe Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Fantasy/Horror
388 pages
Hardback
Read Oct 1 – Oct 12
Spoiler-free blabber

This book is a bit unlike anything I’ve ever read before. The closest I can think of is 14 by Peter Clines, but even then, it’s more. I buddy-read this book with Katy @TheBibliobibuliOnBookbinderWay and we both really liked it.

The book opens on the main character, Carolyn, walking down the side of a highway, coated in blood. While the scene itself ends up not being super duper significant in the overall plot, it definitely sets the tone. It feels weird and unsettling and when a good samaritan pulls over to ask if she’s okay, my brain went ‘Nope leave her there’ immediately, already on alert that she was not someone you wanted to be around.

From there, the plot starts to slowly unfold – Carolyn and her ‘siblings’ are being blocked from entering their dwelling, the mysterious library, and their Father has disappeared. The library and what exactly Father is largely remains a mystery until the end of the book, and it creates a feel of uncertainty as you read. Too, the catalogues that each of the siblings studies as librarians are a bit outside the norm of what a normal library would hold.

All of this, together with the intense writing and out-there plot developments makes this book a very gritty, dark read. This isn’t a book you’d want to let your ten year old into, as it contains scenes of violence against children. I won’t go into what, for spoilers, but reading those scenes was difficult for me. The book is written in a way that doesn’t glorify the events, and they are relevant to the plot. But just so you know, they’re in there. So head’s up.

I think one of my favorite things about this book was the author’s ability to make me say ‘what the hell’ after the end of almost every chapter. The events of the book, as stated, are a bit out there. Things happen that are so bizarre and it takes a bit to get used to, but they’re bizarre in a consistent manner. There’s an order to how weird everything is, and I think that’s what made me love this book. I’m ok with suspending my disbelief if the author can paint a picture and make it all-encompassing, and that’s what Scott Hawkins does.

Character-wise, I didn’t like any of them except Dresden and Erwin. But when I say I didn’t like them, I don’t mean they were badly written. I mean they’re well written, but just awful people. Don’t go into this expecting to root for people, they’ll all leave a foul taste in your mouth. It kept me reading – watching these characters be who they were, and part of me hoped they all would just fail at everything. So not hate-reading, but reading while hating the characters as people, not as single-dimensional tropes. See the difference? I loved this book.

Finally, the ending of a book is make or break for me. I could absolutely adore the first 5/6ths of a book but if the ending is shit, the book will drop a star rating, sometimes two. But the ending of this, while just as totally insane as the rest of the book, was a solid ending in my opinion. I didn’t like the outcome of a lot of the characters, but it also fit really well with how Carolyn and the others were colored to act. It wasn’t outside their normal range of behavior. So while I wasn’t overly fond of how some seemed to just get away with awful deeds and others paid dearly for minor ones, it still fit the story.

So. Loved this book. Can definitely see me rereading it. Going on favorites list.

5/5 stars

 
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Posted by on 10/17/2018 in blabbers, Books, Review

 

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