Top 5 books I didn’t get to in 2019

Blogmas 2019

So at this point in time, I’m very aware of what books I’ll be focusing on from now until the end of the year. I made a post about it the other day, in fact. But that means there are books I obviously didn’t get to. This post will be about those, and hopefully they’ll get picked up shortly into 2020.

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)

The Dragon Republic by R. F. Kuang – Bought this I think the day after release day and then…. never picked it up! The third one’s been announced now, so now I’m pressured.

Recursion

I read Dark Matter this year by Blake Crouch and really liked it, so I wanted to pick up this, Recursion, as well. Just didn’t get there unfortunately.

The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)

The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter – I picked this up on impulse without knowing anything about it, was (and am) excited for it, and haven’t read it yet. Whoops. The cover looks super neat.

The Library of the Unwritten (Hell's Library #1)

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwitch – When I bought this one, I was surprised to see that it was released in paperback! It just came out this year and went directly to paperback. So obviously I grabbed it, hauled it, and now it sits on my shelf looking pretty.

The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)

The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks – Does this really surprise anyone? It’s been on my ‘currently reading’ for literally a year. I really, really need to finish this book. One day? One day.


And that’s it! Tomorrow’s post will be my 10 in 2020, and some of these may end up on there, we’ll see. Until then!

Top 5 redemption arcs

Copy of Top 5 Wednesday Banner

https://i.imgur.com/XS0XVS1.gifHappy Wednesday! Today’s topic is redemption arcs, which I think is kinda neato.

If you’d like to participate in T5W, you can do so here!

 

Sirius Black from Harry Potter

I feel like this is the guy that will appear on a lot of lists this week. Sirius Black, while not really in need of redemption, goes through what is essentially a redemption arc when the truth is revealed about him in the third book. So hey, he makes the list.

All four main characters in Saiyuki

Saiyuki is just full of gray characters. The plot follows the four main characters, all with pasts of varying levels of dubiousness, as they cross the content and try to essentially save the world. None of them are bad people really, but all of them have their issues that they have to deal with during the saga. I seriously recommend Saiyuki if you can find it. It’s 9 volumes long, so not too much of a time investment. 😀

Vegeta from Dragonball Z

Vegeta is one of my favorite characters in DBZ. He goes through so much character development from when he first shows up all the way through the sequel series, Dragon Ball Super. This guy, when first appearing, is set on becoming immortal and blowing up the Earth, literally, and by the end, he’s a totally different person, though still a bit gruff around the edges.

Sesshomaru from Inuyasha

(mild spoilers for Inuyasha)

Sesshomaru is a very interesting character, and I feel like he could have used some more screen time that didn’t include being in the presence of his brother. From what is alluded to slightly-off-screen, I feel like he has a wicked sense of humor, but we don’t actually see it.

Anyways. At the beginning of Inuyasha, Sesshomaru is a cold, ruthless demon who hates all of human kind, finding them to be far beneath him. Early in the series, Sesshomaru is injured and while he’s out of commission, an orphaned girl finds him in the woods and tries to care for him. He refuses her at first but soon he allows her to remain at his side, much to the confusion of Inuyasha and his group. Tellin ya, Sesshomaru needed more screen time.

Piccolo from Dragon Ball Z


(spoilers for first season of DBZ)

This is my number one pick. Piccolo, offspring of King Piccolo from the original Dragonball series, is more or less Goku’s enemy at the beginning of Dragonball Z. But when Goku’s brother shows up and kills him, Piccolo takes his son, Gohan, under his wing and trains him up for the incoming Saiyan attackers that show up later in the season. The year that Piccolo spends with five year old Gohan essentially melts his heart, and afterward he has such a soft spot for the kid, and he grows into a genuinely good character because of it. I really like Piccolo.


And that’s it! As much as I liked this topic, it was hard to come up with five characters, man. Yeesh. Happy reading!

Top 5 (Worst) Books of the Year

Blogmas2017Benner

Happy Hump Day! Today’s topic is top five books of the year, but since I plan on doing a top books at the end of the year once I actually make my reading goal, I’m altering this topic a bit to do the top five worst books of the year. I figured it’d be fun.

If you’d like to participate in T5W, you can do so here!

At the time of writing this, I’ve read 48 books. I hope to round it to 50 by the new year, and the ones I’m currently reading I’m really liking, so the likelihood of them ending up on this list are minimal. They might end up on the ‘top’ though, so that’s why I wanted to wait a bit on that post.

Anyways, here we go!


5. A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin

A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5)3 stars. I didn’t hate this book…. but considering only four of the books I read this year were 2 stars or less, I needed to pick a 3 star book to add to this list. Out of my 3 star reads for this year, this is the one I liked the least.

This book, plot-wise, I liked. Character-wise, I liked. But writing? I did not like the writing in this book. I’ve been feeling that Martin’s writing was not for me for a couple books now, but this one really drove it home for me. It’s unnecessarily thick and its verbiage is way too descriptive when it comes to women’s bodies, especially when the description is not needed at all. I know exactly how big each female character’s boobs are, and none of those boobs were relevant for the scenes they were in.

I listened to this on audio, and even then, it was a chore for me. I dragged myself through it. And as much as I want to know what happens next, I’m hesitant to pick up Winds of Winter when (if…) it comes out.

4. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)2.75 stars. I’m just rippin’ up all the beloved fantasy in this post, I think. Any of you know even remotely follow my blog know that I didn’t like this book. I wrote a bit of a rant on this one, detailing the reasons in greater exhaustion, but the main reason I disliked this book was the main character. Kvothe just kills me. He’s a Mary Sue, and if he’s not, if he’s just describing his own life in an inflated way, then he’s an arrogant, insecure individual who feels the need to bolster his own life beyond believability. Either way, he really ruins the book for me. The rest of the book I rather liked. Heck, I even gave the first volume in this series four stars… I was iffy about Kvothe in that one, but in this one, he jumped headlong into insufferable, and my enjoyment of the book melted away because of it.

3. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

2.5 stars. This is the last ‘popular’ fantasy novel I’m going to list, I promise. This book was so built up for me. I had heard so much about Tolkien’s beautiful if not difficult writing, about his world building, about his storytelling. I went into this expecting to love it, and I think that’s why I was let down so hard. This book was not for me. I felt like scenes were rushed, the I barely knew any of the character’s personalities, that the only context I had for the world it took place in was from the movies.

This book was an utter disappointment for me.

 

2. Blankets by Craig Thompson

Blankets2.5 stars. This book was a weird experience for me. I really liked probably the first two thirds of it, but I found the ending totally pointless. I get that it’s a memoir, but like… why would you leave off there? There’s obviously more to your life – you’re writing the thing several years later. Why leave off on such an anti-climax? It took my liking for the book and smushed it into the ground. I actually got rid of the thing shortly after finishing it – I donated it to the local charity shop, and I hope that somebody picks it up and absolutely loves it. All books deserved to be adored, I just wasn’t the person for this book.

1. Weaveworld by Clive Barker

WeaveworldNot rated. This is my one and only DNF of the year. And as is my custom, if I quit a book before I hit the 50% mark, I don’t rate it out of fairness to the other half the book that could have potentially been better.

But this book, man.

And I feel awful that this is the one book I didn’t finish, as it was a book my mom lent me, one that she loves. It’s one of her all-time favorites and I just couldn’t do it. I have no idea what she sees in it. I gave it back to her and nicely (hopefully) told her that I tried, but it just wasn’t for me.

Like, I didn’t get the point of anything. This magical world that is supposed to be locked in a carpet, I had no idea why I was supposed to love it. It was told it was great in the book, but like why. You can just tell me ‘oh this is wonderful because I the author say so’ and then not do anything to back up the claim. I felt nothing for the characters, the magic, the plot, the setting. I ended up skimming for about forty pages before I just called it quits at just under half way through. I just couldn’t do it.

So while I didn’t leave a rating, this was my least favorite book of the year.


So, did I steam you up about any of these? Neat! Different opinions are fun. 😀

See you tomorrow!

Top 5 books featuring neato creatures

Copy of Top 5 Wednesday Banner

Happy Hump Day! Today’s topic is Top 5 {insert paranormal creature here}, so I just decided to do all of them. Today’s post will feature creatures that when I came across them in my books, they struck me as being particularly interesting or uniquely designed. So no ‘vampires’ or ‘werewolves’ in here, but creatures that I feel are nightmare fuel in their own unique way. And actually, I’ve picked out six. I couldn’t narrow it down enough to eliminate one. I suppose it partially makes up for the ‘witches’ list I made two weeks ago that only had three in it. Pbtbt.

Also, this coming Friday, I’m moving to a different city. Therefore, my posts this weekend will likely be non-existent. So will likely disappear entirely until Wednesday or so. Apologies in advance for falling behind on reading all your thingies.

If you’d like to participate in T5W, you can do so here.


6. The monster from Monstress by Marjorie Liu

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Monstress, #1)This graphic novel series is a recent love of mine. So far, there are two trades of it out, so plenty of time to catch up if you’ve been planning to start. The monster in this book lives within our main character. It appears to be this dark, shapeless creature, ancient and difficult to control. At least, in the first volume, it’s shapeless. I haven’t read the second yet, so don’t tell me anything! The design of the thing is really neat. Being a graphic novel, you actually get to see it as opposed to reading about it.

The art in this graphic novel alone makes it well worth the read. The plot is pretty good too, but I’m definitely smitten with the dark art.

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5. The Mushi in Mushishi by Yuki Urushibara

Mushishi, Vol. 1The mushi, unlike the previous choice in this list, are relatively harmless. The lore is they existing long before life did, that they ‘live’ somewhere between a state of true life and a state of death. They come in all shapes and forms and only those sensitive to their presence can actually see them. This series is definitely more of a slow-going one, but the creatures in it are fascination. It’s a manga, again so you get the neat visual as well.

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4. The monster in A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster CallsAnother illustrated book, you can actually see the monster in this one, too. Giant, dark and seemingly made from a tree, the monster in this book is not what you’d expect it to be. I went into this book without much expectation and came out of it loving this monster and having this book become one of my all-time favorites. There are editions out there without the artwork in it… skip those. Get the edition that I’ve shown here. The art in it is fantastic.

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Image result for a monster calls book art

3. The weaver from Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)My choice from this book is almost kind of arbitrary – there are so many fascinating creatures in this book. Giant bird men, vampiric slugs, humanoid creatures with bugs for heads, the list goes on. The one I’m highlighting though is the weaver, a giant, creeper spider thing that when I read about it gave me the heebie jeebies. I highly recommend this book, by the way. It was my first trip into ‘weird fantasy’ and I totally loved it.

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2. The anthropophagus from The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)I think that this series is the only YA horror series that has actually scared me. And by ‘YA’, I mean technically it’s marketed as such, but man, there’s a lot of horror in here. I don’t know if I’d qualify it as YA myself. I feel their reasoning is that the main character, an assistant to a mad scientist trying to catch these things, is in his teens. But don’t let that lull you. This book will give you the chills.

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Image result for monstrumologist

1. The Shrike from Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1)While this creature is nowhere near the scariest, it’s by far the neatest. This book reads almost like The Canterbury Tales where a handful of characters are on a pilgrimage to Hyperion, a planet that is home to The Shrike. All of the characters on their way tell their stories and all of them somewhere always relate back to The Shrike. This creature is revered as a diety by some, feared by others, but overall, it’s definitely unique in this list of monsters. I can’t even fully describe it. When I finished this book, I wanted to go see The Shrike myself.

No additional picture needed. It’s on the cover. 😛


And that’s it! In ten minutes, I’ll be off to work, then one more day until my life is piled into a truck and moved somewhere else. See you in a week!

Top 5 books that would make good video games

Top 5 Wednesday

Happy Thursday! No camel today because my post is late (whoops). Yesterday was a frenzy and I probably shouldn’t be writing this today, either. But I need something to keep me from having a mental implosion, SO HERE WE ARE. This week’s topic is books that would make good video games – this was a really neato topic and I had a lot of fun writing it 😀

If you’d like to join T5W, you can do so here.


5. Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

Attack on Titan, Volume 1This one probably is a video game and I just haven’t heard about it. If you don’t read manga at all and haven’t heard of these series, I highly recommend you check it out – either through the manga or via the anime, which is available on netflix and crunchyroll.

This series follows a cast of characters who live within a walled country. On the outside are the titans: huge, mindless humanoid creatures with a taste for human flesh. The show begins when the wall, kept intact for a hundred years, is compromised, allowing the titans to break inside. This series is grueling, it’s graphically violent and it’s so, so good. It takes on almost steampunky elements when it comes to how the humans in the story go about combatting the titans. Aerial tactical maneuvering using pulling and steam and… it’s so cool. I feel like the combat aspect of this especially would translate well into a video game. That, and the whole ‘where did they titans come from and what actually are they’ mystery aspect. It’d be really neat to play.

4. Rook by Sharon Cameron

RookThis book I read sometime last year and at the time, rated it three stars. I’m thinking now, looking back on it, it should be more like 3.5 or 4. This book takes place is a regressed society in France. The characters throughout the book, find old relics of civilizations past. I think at one point that one of the characters had found a video game controller… had no idea what it was or what it was for. It was really neat. The plot of this book, while already in regressed Paris, which is awesome in itself, involves a budding revolution, hidden and recovered technology and a lot of sneaking around. I feel like it was translate really well into a video game, maybe something with the feel of a city crawler.

3. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Perdido Street Station (Bas-Lag, #1)This is a neato book, guys. Mieville writes ‘Weird Fantasy’ and the city he’s created in this novel is about as weird as they come. The story follows a few different perspectives… a mad scientist, a lady with a bug for a head, a giant bird-man that’s lost his wings… all sorts. The plot meanders through a few different subplots about creatures sucking the dreams out of people and the ambassador to hell shows up briefly and an underground newspaper tries to uncover a huge, insidious story. Seriously, this book is good. And it would make a great sandbox-esque video game with all these subplots planted in there and intertwining nicely. I’d totally buy this thing on release day.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusI think this would be the best point-and-click roleplaying game ever. Imagine being able to walk through the Night Circus and just see all the stuff that’s talked about in the plot of the book. Sure, the main events would still occur but honestly I’d just want to play and see the acts. I’d probably never actually beat the game, hahaha.

 

 

1. The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian(Emily, when are you gonna stop talking about the Martian? Never. ) This would be the best survival game. I’m talking like puzzle-survival. Obviously you need water… but how do you make it? You need food – how do you grow it? Combined with an ever-dwindling supply of oxygen and random disasters for chemical reactions gone wrong, this would be an amazing game. Steam, get on it!

 

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And that’s it for this week! I know it’s Thursday, hush hush. Happy reading!

Top 5 Future Classics

Top 5 Wednesday

Image result for hump day wop wopI’ll stop posting the camel when it stops being funny to me. 😛

Happy Wednesday! This week’s topic is an interesting one. It’s making me think about a book more than coming to the conclusion of ‘Was it any good’. So if you agree or disagree with any of these, do let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’d like to participate in T5W, here is the link to do so.


In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to FreedomThis book I picked up on a whim last year or so. I knew the topic going in was heavy but I didn’t expect it to affect me as much as it did. I feel it will end up as a classic because in addition to being a very poignant and intense piece, it also offers what could be a historical perspective on North Korea ten, twenty, fifty years down the line. Accounts of every day life there are so few and far between, so this book could one of the few first-hand testimonies that could ever exist.

It’s the memoir of a young girl who escaped from North Korea into China and eventually found refuge in South Korea. She lives there now (and I follow her on facebook now, haha). It’s definitely difficult to read sometimes – some of the things that I read I had to remind myself actually happened, that it wasn’t a novel, but real. It was emotionally draining, but I’m glad I read it.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusThis book I feel will be a classic purely because of the enchanting tone it has. It sucks the reader in and keeps them there and has them wishing they were part of the night circus. That’s what it did for me, anyways. It left me longing to be in the setting long after the book was finished.

 

 

 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusack

The Book ThiefThis book will become a classic because it’s partly become one already. When I was a junior in college, it was the book I read for one of my literature classes. I ended up reading it a lot faster than the curriculum wanted, leaving me waiting for the rest of the class to finish it for about a month. I really liked this book. Currently, my copy is lent out (…and has been for about two years now. Sarah, give me my book back). The theme of the book is the main reason it will/has become a classic. Books containing unusual perspectives about world war 2 tend to do that.

 

The Martian by Andy Weir

The MartianAaaand this one I feel will get Douglas Adams level fame. It’ll be a classic sci-fi comedy up there with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and it definitely deserves it. It was my favorite book back in 2015 and still one of my favorites today. Definitely definitely definitely recommend.

 

 

 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped PajamasThis book is about ten years old or so at this point. I read it back when I was a teenager. It broke my heart and every time I think about it, it reminds me of the sorrow I felt at reading it. This book perfectly shows the horrors of war when it comes to innocent people. It’s sad, it’s bleak, and it’s tough to read. You need to read this one. It’s another world war 2 novel and it’s told from the perspective of a little boy who knows nothing except he lives on the outside of a fence and that there’s another little boy in striped clothing who lives inside it. I know they made a movie a few years back but I haven’t watched it. It was intense enough just reading it, I don’t know if I could handle seeing and hearing it, too.


And that’s it! Happy reading!

 

Top 5 Favorite Christmas Movies – Blogmas 12/6

So with just a few minutes to spare, here is today’s Blogmas post: my top favorite Christmas movies

5. Jingle All the Way

Who doesn’t love Arnold Schwarzenegger drinking beer with a reindeer?

4. The Ref

Not for the kiddies. :”D

3. A Christmas Carol (specifically the Patrick Stewart version)

2. Rudolph – The Island of Misfit Toys

It’s tradition. :”D

1. A Christmas Story

Join me in watching it for 24 hours again. :”D I love it and if you don’t, then pbtbtbt.

Top 5 Books I Want to Read Before 2016

So we have about a month and a half left of this year. There are books I’ve been meaning to get to that I just haven’t. Ideally, I’d like to get to them in time to be counted in my goodreads reading goal. If you remember, I posted a Top 15 in 2015 post in January or December last year, stating what books I wanted to get to this year. Well, didn’t do awesome at that and honestly the ones I’m about to name probably aren’t on that list. 😛 I’ll get into that massive failure after Christmas with my year-in-review post though.

So onto what I want to read! (This is as close to a TBR as you’re ever gonna see from me)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (illustrated version)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)I’ve been saving this for December. I feel so Christmasy reading it, so it’s the perfect time. :”D

My True Love Gave to Me by a buttload of authors

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday StoriesThey had this one on bookoutlet when I made an order last week, and it’s supposed to be here on Tuesday! :”D I’m so excited.

Weave World by Clive Barker

WeaveworldThis one I borrowed from my mother months ago. She said it’s a book that she randomly bought when she was on a road trip when she was young with her family, and then since she’s reread it countless times. It’s one of her favorites. So I’m going to see what it’s about. I have no clue as to the beginnings of the synopsis. I haven’t read it – she said I should go in blind, so I am.

The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn

The Autobiography of Santa Claus (The Christmas Chronicles #1)This one will be tricky. Not because of the book itself, but because it’s one of the books I use to keep my cruddy book case from collapsing. It’s currently supporting the shelf above it so I don’t know what’s going to help when I pull it out. Reading this book could also come with the bonus feature of buying a new book case.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)

I’ve never read it. I think it’s just time.


So that’s it! According to goodreads, I still need to read another six books to meet my goal, so I’ll have to find something else too, but hopefully these five will make the list. Wish me luck! What are you going to be reading from now til New Year?