January Wrap-Up 2015

If you follow my blog, earlier in the month I wrote a TBR for January. I kinda-sorta-alittlebit stuck to it. My goal was to read five books. Well, I read six books! Which is unheard of for me. Only problem is they weren’t all on the list of stuff for me to read.

My TBR Jar Challenge for January was to read a book that was not a novel. I had decided to pick up Keepers of the Garden by Dolores Cannon. This book is written by a regressionist who logs her sessions with a man whom she is regressing. Regression is a form of hypnosis in which one can go so far under that it’s claimed they can recall past lives. So first of all, you need to decide whether or not that you believe this is possible (or at least, decide whether you will accept it as being a possibility). I fall into the parentheses category. Without getting too much into spiritualism and so on, I feel like anything is possible and a human being does not have the brain capacity to understand everything. So I can’t 100% deny that regression is possible. So I went into it with as open of a mind as I could muster.

So I sat down to read the book and soon enough, the man being regressed recalled a live that was not of human origin. An extra-terrestrial past live. It. Was. Awesome. The man went into how his life had went, what energies were used in space, etc. I found it all very fascinating. But, I ended up putting the book down. Why, but I thought you were enjoying it Emily?! Well I was, but it got to the point where it seemed to, I don’t know, drag I guess? Like, it was one of those books that had me thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it, which is great, but I found myself feeling like it was a chore to read it after a while. I guess I felt like the author’s message was taking too long to get across. I got bored, which spells defeat when reading a book. I found myself skimming, and if I’m skimming, I’m not reading. And if I’m not reading, why read the book. So I put it down.

Keep in mind, I’m a child of the age of technology so my attention span is shit. If this book sounds interesting to you, by all means pick it up. Don’t let my lack of focus deter you. The bits that I did read I would easily read 4.5/5 stars. And who knows, maybe I’ll pick it up again. But for now, I’m giving it a break. Hopefully I’ll have more luck with my next TBR Jar Challenge month.

Otherwise, I did complete six books, three of which were on my January TBR post. The one above I feel was my only failure (as of yet, huhuh) Those would be:

Perdido Street Station by China Mievielle. This one is a steampunky fantasy-y, sci-fi-y book set in the most intricately written city that I’ve ever come across. This one took me a while to get through, but I’m so glad I did. I rated it 4.25/5 stars and my review can be found here.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Easily my favorite book so far. Loved it, solid 5 stars. I don’t know why I never read this before. I think I’m goofy. One thing to note though – in my tbr list, I mentioned wanting to read the compilation of all 5 books as one book. Well, I’m breaking them up. I’ve read the first one (so there). Currently on the second, which will show up in my tbr for january.

The Diviners by Libba Bray. This one I read as part of the Reading Adventures Book Club on goodreads. I rated this one a 4.5/5 stars. My review for it can by found here.

Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit volumes 1 and 2 by Motoro Mase: This is a manga that I’ve had on my shelf for a long time. I own the first 6 volumes I belileve out of the 9 that are out – I don’t know if that’s the end of the series or not, but that’s how many there currently are. I read them a long time ago when I was in high school and decided to do so again (plus, a book came out that I wanted to buy, and i needed to read two more books to be able to buy a book, as per my read-five-buy-one rule, so these were perfect.) Ikigami is a strange bird. It has a very 1984y premise and it feels very dark and twisted. So far, both volumes have been 3 stars (which is a ‘I like this, will continue it’ rating from me). If you’re into messed up things, read this.

And the final book I read this month (which is the one I bought with my five other books being completed) was:
Saga volume 4 by Brian K Vaughn. Easily, easily easily five stars. If you have not read this yet, I highly suggest doing so. If you like Star Wars or sci-fi or cool creatures or anything like that, you will love this. It’s what is folding out to be an epic space opera, and I can’t wait for the next volume (I might even buy individual issues, I don’t know. We’ll see how long my withdraw symptoms from this series last).

So that’s what I read this month. I know my reading is going to slow down, if the last two weeks of classes are anything to go by, so I think my February tbr will be shorter. It’ll be posted up next. Thanks for reading!

January TBR 2015

“It’s time to begin, isn’t it?”

Happy early New Year to all of you who have subscribed to me (thank you!) and to those who have only just come across my blog (hello!). I know it’s two days early, but I have a feeling I’m going to be hungover on New Years and therefore won’t be able to type coherently let alone decide what books to read. My New Year’s Eve is going to consist of watching the ball drop on my couch with my SO. The two of us will drink champagne and other alcohols while feasting on a wonderful meal of Stouffer’s mac & cheese and chicken nuggets. It will be splendid. :”D

So I’m picking my books today. Because champagne usually kicks my ass.

First, if you remember, I decided to join Katytastic’s TBR Jar Challenge. And if you also remember, I mentioned needing a jar. Well… I found a jar. It was full of hot chocolate powder, though. So after a lot of hot chocolate drinking, I now have a jar!

IMG_0909Instead of a typical tbr jar that contains all the names of books I have yet to read, this one contains twelve challenges to complete. Each month, I will draw one and in addition to the rest of my tbr list for the month, I’ll read a book that fulfills the challenge on the slip I pull. So I pulled one:


A book that is not a novel. As I’m writing this right now, I have no idea what I will read to fulfill this, but by the time you get to the bottom of this post, I will have gotten up, gone through my books and chosen one to add onto the list (it’ll be at the bottom of my list since I already know what the others are, yay). So onto my January to-be-read!

 1. S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst

This book I’m very much looking forward to getting farther into. This is the most intriguing book I think I’ve ever come across in my 24 years of reading books. The book itself contains another book. Goodreads probably does a better job describing it than me, but here I go, my best shot:

The book within is called “Ship of Theseus” by VM Straka. As you read this book, you notice it is translated by someone who has schizophrenia and is obsessed with Straka. Then you begin to see notes scrawled in the margins by someone who has also read the book. Soon after a second person begins to scrawl in notes as well. As you continue to read “Ship of Theseus” you begin following a second story in the margins as the two readers interact with each other and try to find out more about the mysterious author and the schizophrenic translator. And throughout the book, there are things you’ll find folded up in the pages, like news articles and maps and lists that the readers have made. It’s so fascinating turning a page and having something unexpected fall out. That’s the why book comes in a box, so none of the pieces go missing before you can get to them. I really like it! So you’re really reading a book within a book. I’ve already started it and even though it looked daunting with all the different color notes along the sides, I soon picked up a knack for knowing when to pause in reading the main passage of the book and switch to reading the notes that follow along. It’s a lot easier than it sounds and I can’t even explain how I figured out when to pause. I just… did. And if you pick this up, I’m sure you’ll be able to see it too. I am SO excited to continue this book. I feel like even if I end up hating the plot, the fact that it’s just so damn fascinating and interactive will compel me to write a review for it. Though from what I’ve read so far, I feel like I’m going to love this. Political intrigue, conspiracy, I love it I love it I love it!

2. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

I’ve been reading this book since September and I still have over 150 pages to go. I don’t know what it is about this book, I just can’t read it quickly. But, honestly, I’m loving it. Right now it’s sitting at a solid 4 stars, could bounce higher if the ending is spectacular.
I think part of what is taking so long with this book is that the plot is not immediately obvious, I suppose. Going into it, I didn’t realize that. The book instead is about the city New Crobuzen, in which the story is set. China Mieville breathes life into this city to the point where I feel like I could walk down its streets, see its sights, smell its smells, interact with all the different creatures he has created. It’s so wonderful. My goal is to finish this book this month. I think that if I finish this one and no other, I’ll be satisfied (I mean, I hope that doesn’t happen, but whatevs. I’d still be happy).

As far as I know, this book is part of a three book set of companion novels, of which I also own the second one, The Scar. And if that book is anything like this one in writing style, I’m sure it’ll be just as rich and fulfilling. Looking forward to finishing this one and hopefully getting to the next very soon.

3. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This is another one I’m still reading. This one’s progress is a lot slower than the others, purely for the reason that I’m reading it aloud with my SO a chapter or two at a time, and with all the holiday stuff going on recently, we haven’t touched it in a couple weeks. I’m really hoping to get back to it soon before I begin to forget everything that’s happened so far. This book actually contains five books, but I’m not counting them as five on my goodreads, just because they are all relatively short and when combined together, make a decently large sized tome. So I’m going to leave it at that.

For the few of you remaining on this planet who have not read or heard of this book, it’s about uh… well, hitchhiking, towels, aliens, poetry, robots and sarcasm. It’s so wonderful, I highly suggest it.

4. The Diviners by Libba Bray
This book is one that I picked up recently and then put down purely because I grew distracted by other books. I really am liking this book though. And lucky for me, the Reading Adventures Book Club on Goodreads has chosen this book as one of their January picks. So guess what, perfect opportunity to resume reading this and hopefully finish it. This is a chunker of a book though man, holy cow. And from what I’ve heard it’s the first of a series, not a stand alone like I thought it was when I originally purchased it. Those goofies, making me emotionally invested only to take those emotions and rip them apart in what I am sure will be a cliff hanger at the end of the book. Mark my words, there will be a cliff hanger.

This book is set around the 1920s and the main character is definitely a flapper. I really like Libba Bray’s writing in this – she writes the 20s really well – the slang used, the implied social roles and their alteration during this decade, the history, it’s all wonderful. This book, if you couldn’t tell from the title has a supernatural twist. I love it.

5. The Keepers of the Garden by Dolores Cannon
I think this is going to be an awesome read. This is my TBR Jar Challenge book. This book I actually borrowed from a friend before winter break with a promise to get it back to her by the beginning of the spring semester, so it was perfect that I would pick ‘not a novel’ for the challenge this month. This book is written by a hypnotherapist that specializes in regression and past lives. I’m not 100% sure if I buy into this or not, but I’m keeping an open mind. Anything is possible, right?

The book I believe is about a case this woman had where she regressed a man and he slowly revealed his past lives. Now, when you hear about past lives, you think great kings, raccoons, blah blah. Earth species. But this man, as he goes farther and farther back, begins revealing past lives he’s lived as extra-terrestrials. Alien past lives. How awesome is THAT?! It will be so awesome to read about. I can’t say I’ve read anything like this before, fiction or otherwise. I can’t wait to pick this one up.

So that’s it, my January TBR. I’m hoping to finish all of these, but we’ll see what happens. My classes resume on January 20th and as soon as that happens my reading is going to take a nose dive, so I’m hoping to have the majority of these finished before then. Wish me luck, and happy reading!