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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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Coffee Time: Top read authors

Blogmas 2018

Today’s post is a follow up of Tuesday’s, which was my top owned author list. These are the ones I’ve actually read. And hey, everyone on today’s list was also on Tuesday’s list so I won’t go into author detail like I did last time. At least I’m consistent, yeh?


J.K. Rowling – 9 books

Naomi Novik – 9 books

Sarah J Maas – 9 books

Robin Hobb – 11 books

Eoin Colfer – 12 books

As you can see, I’m a creature of habit. Writing this makes me want to do an updated series of posts about unfinished series that I will be completing and ones that I won’t. I think it was around this time last year that I posted them, so they’re about due for an update.

If you’ve read any of these authors, do let me know. Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 12/13/2018 in Blogmas, Books, Coffee Time

 

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Favorite Books of 2017

Top Books 2017

Hello! This is one of my favorite posts to write every year – my favorite books! Any books that made this list were rated 5 stars by me and were also added to my ‘favorites’ list on goodreads (so think of them like 6 star books I guess). So, not all of my five-star books will be on this list. That doesn’t mean I didn’t love them, but it just means they weren’t my absolute top favorites. This list will obviously change in size from year to year because of this, because a favorite is a favorite.

So sit back, relax, and witness what white-russian-fueled-emily comes up with 😀


Descender Vol 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire

Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars

This graphic novel is the one and only that made my favorites list this year. Other series I’m currently reading (Saga cough Saga) also got a 5 stars from me, but this is the one that made the favorites list.

This series has a bit of everything – adorableness, shock factor, sci-fi elements, beautiful art, mystery, thriller… I absolutely loved it. The art style especially had me smitten – each picture looks like a water color painting. It’s gorgeous! There are three or four trade volumes out right now I think. Something like that. I need to get the rest of them!

It follows a young boy robot, who wakes up out of a sleep years after planet-sized artificial intelligence beings have attacked and ravagd intelligent life in the universe, then vanished without a trace. As a result, AI has been outlawed, and robots are actively hunted down and dismantled. Tim-21, a companion robot to a human boy, crosses the galaxy, trying to find his human companion family amidst this chaos, and slowly learns what occurred during the attack years ago and why he might be more than he was programmed to be.

AHH IT’S SUPER GOOD.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)This was a surprising read for me. I picked this book up in January after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses (which… I ended up liking despite low expectations) and was blown away by how much better this book was than the first one. I mean sure, the first one was decent, but the love interest was definitely uh… problematic, which was my main issue. But this book man. It totally made up for it. I looooved this book.

And then I picked up the third book and was a bit underwhelmed. But this book! The second in the trilogy! This is definitely the strongest of the three.

This series follows a young woman after she shoots and kills a fae with a bow and arrow, and then is whisked away into fae land to pay retribution, Beauty and the Beast-style. Honestly I wasn’t expecting much going into it but this book in particular really blew me away. I loved it!

The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2)These are books one and two in the Lightbringer series, which I have been devouring all year and loving every second of it. I’m currently in the middle of the third book, and plan to read the fourth this coming year. And the fifth and final book is set to release in 2018 as well, so hopefully I can latch onto that one, too!

This series follows a cast of characters in a world revolving around color. The magic system involves the users ‘drafting’ colors into physical material. Those who are found to be able to perform this task are called drafters, and can usually cast one or two colors. Sometimes three. Occasionally and rarely, more than that. And then there’s the Prism, the head of the Chromeria where the book takes place, who can draft them all.

And the more a user drafts, the quicker it brings them to death. Drafting slowly drives them insane.

The plot follows the Prism, who finds out he has a son from a woman he had seen when he was fighting the False Prism’s War, a war where the prism and his brother both fought for the seat as Prism.

This book has all sorts of stuff: Humor, action, adventure, a good cast of characters, a great magic system, good world building, intrigue… all sorts of things. I loooove this series. I love it!

Also look at those covers. I just adore them.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (Baru Cormorant #1)This book. This book is probably my absolute top favorite book of the year. It’s just… It’s just so fantastic.

I wrote a full, spoiler-free review where I go more into my thoughts, if you’d like to read it.

This book just left me speechless. It follows a girl, Baru, as her home is destroyed around her by the looming Masquerade, a remote empire that slowly takes over and colonizes her country. And instead of getting red hot, Baru gets icy cold. She vows to blend in, to maneuver her way to the top, and to tear down the Mask from the inside.

This book is fantastic – you read it and you think you know what’s going on. You think you know who’s good and who’s bad, what’s happening, what people’s intentions are… and then it’s pulled out from underneath you and your jaw drops and just…

AUGH I LOVED THIS BOOK. <333

Book two is supposedly coming out in 2018, and I’ma jump on it.


And that’s it! These were my favorite books this year, and I hope to gain as many if not more favorites next year! 😀

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 12/30/2017 in Books, Favorites, Wrap-up

 

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Top 5 children’s books

Childrens Books T5W.png

Top 5 WednesdayHappy Wednesday! (whop whop) Today’s topic is favorite children’s books. Off to nostalgia-land we go!

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


5 – The Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson

Tawny Scrawny LionThis was my favorite Golden Book when I was younger. This whole list could have been full of Golden Books but I feel like that might have gotten a bit repetitive. It’s about a lion who’s really hungry and ten rabbits to teach him to make carrot stew to avoid being eaten. It’s super cute and I’m gonna read it to my future kids.

 

4 – The Island of Giant Pokemon by Tracey West

Island of the Giant Pokemon (Pokemon Chapter Book, #2)This is another pick that this whole list could be dominated by. This is the second book in a what, 8 or 9 book series? Maybe more. Usually this series gets brought up when discussing topics like ‘Why I’m a Reader’ or ‘Childhood memories’ in blog posts. This series definitely got me reading and this one in particular stands out as the most memorable. I have my copies somewhere still – I think they’re at my parents’ house in storage. I need to go get them.

 

3 – Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)When I was first starting my book collection, I’m talking actually making a conscious effort to buy and read books, I was about 12 I think. I had books before then, but I didn’t love buying books yet, if that makes sense. This book and its sequel were my first purchases. My dad convinced me to buy hard backs, which I had never done before. It was super neat and now I’m a hopeless case – books books everywhere and not a drop to drink!

 

2 – Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella EnchantedThis is the first book I ever read that could be considered ‘romance’ to any degree. I was again probably 12 or so when I randomly picked it up at the library…. and then I proceeded to re-rent it over and over. I have probably read this book 20 times if not more. It’s definitely one of the cornerstones of my childhood reading development and I still have a really soft spot for it.

 

 

1 – Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)This is number one for a few reasons: It sparked my love in fantasy (along with HP), it’s a really, really good series that I still enjoy as an adult, and it’s very easy to dish out as a recommendation for a young, budding reader. It follows a 12-year-old mastermind and his lethally trained butler named Butler. Artemis is neat but I love Butler. He’s definitely one of my favorite characters ever.

Wah, NOSTALGIA.

 

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And that’s it! Happy reading!

Coffee image designed by Onlyyouqj
 
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Posted by on 07/12/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top 5 Non-Written Novels

Top 5 Wednesday

Aaaaand it’s hump day again, whop whop. This week’s topic is non-written novels – manga, comics, audiobooks, yada yada. And hey would you look at that, I like all of these things. If you’d like to participate in T5W, here is the link to join the group!

If you’re even a semi-regular viewer of this blog, none of these titles should surprise you.


5. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket, Vol. 1  (Fruits Basket #1)23 volumes long. (I own 9 or so, but have read all 23)

This series I started reading when I was in high school (actually, all five series I’ve listed I’ve been reading since high school. Each one has been read over and over throughout the past decade). This particular series is a light-hearted comedy with hints of romance following a girl who finds herself taken in by her classmate and his family after she’s discovered living in a tent on the family property. She then stumbles across the family’s secret – the family is cursed by the signs of the zodiac, each one transforming into an animal when hugged by the opposite sex.

It’s cute, it’s funny and at times it gets kinda dark. It’s super good.

4. Death Note by Tsugumi OhbaDeath Note, Vol. 1: Boredom (Death Note, #1)

12 volumes long. (I own 9, but used to own all 12. Long story that I’ll likely make a post about at some point)

I’ve noticed this series becoming rather popular again lately, especially with people who haven’t really read manga before. Well. Good, I say! Buy manga! Read manga! If you liked this series and want others, check out this list, ask me for more recommendations! The manga sections of stores in my area have gotten smaller lately – buy more so the sections get bigger again! Do it!

If you haven’t read or heard of this series before, it follows a young man who picks up a notebook dropped by a shinigami, a god of death. When a name is written in the notebook, that person dies. This series explores good and evil and lawfulness and chaos and all the gray areas of life. And it’s a super good thriller. Ahhh I love this series. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve reread it.

3. InuYasha by Rumiko Takahashi

InuYasha: Turning Back Time (InuYasha, #1)56 volumes long. (I own 25 or so but have read all 56)

Inuyasha was my gateway anime (and gateway manga). It’s the one I have the most nostalgia for and will be a fan of for life. I’m slowly collecting the episodes on dvd and now that I think of it, should look into finding a bluray box set or something.

This series following a young woman, Kagome, who is dragged into an ancient well on her family’s shrine only to emerge 500 years in the past, smack in the middle of the Japanese Feudal Era. This is the feudal era of myth though – full of demons and spirits and lore. The story takes off when Kagome finds Inuyasha, a half-demon who has been pinned to a tree and kept in a deep sleep for 50 years.

This series man. Action, comedy, romance, tragedy, drama, conspiracy, EVERYTHING. I love this series! Both the anime and the manga are fantastic, so pick whichever one you want.

2. Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu ArakawaFullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #1)

27 volumes long. (I own all 27)

Honestly this one might be tied with my number one. Depending on the day, these two can swap places. I’m very happy to see this series picking up steam with readers who are just getting manga as well. This series seriously deserves every bit of praise it gets. One of the most intensive, epic, funny, serious, emotionally draining, entertaining series I’ve ever read, manga or otherwise. It just has everything.

For those who haven’t read it, it follows a pair of brothers as they try to regain their bodies. When the boys were young, their mother died. They attempted the forbidden art of human alchemy to revive her but severely underestimated the price. In exchange for their mortal crime, Ed lost his arm and leg and Alphonse lost his whole body. Now only his soul remains, tethered to the suit of armor you see in the cover. This series, man. This. Series. I need to reread it. Again.

1. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 0128 volumes long. (I own all 28)

My favorite series ever I think (maybe tied with #2). It follows a young man living in Meija Era Japan who during the bloody Bakumatsu revolution acted as a manslayer, killing hundreds of people. He now wanders aimlessly, having vowed to never kill again and protect everyone he can, but his past has a way of staying with him.

This series, if you hadn’t guessed, is historical fiction. The characters in it are based off real historical figures from the time period and between chapters, the author will give little blurbs of where he got his inspiration. I love this series. I’ve said that about every one listed here but I seriously love this series. It has action and comedy and suspense and plot twists and history and all sorts of stuff. I love it so much. 


So overall, if you take anything away from this post, it’s that if you don’t read manga already, you should really give it a chance. There’s some fantastic storytelling to be found here. Happy reading.

 

 
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Posted by on 02/15/2017 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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Top Books of 2016

Hello! This is one of my favorite posts of the year. 😀 Originally I had planned for a ‘Top 10’ but I’m thinking not enough books stood out in my mind for that. So I’m going to do a top… however many I want.

Each one of these I’ve rated five stars and can’t recommend them enough. There, now that I’ve said that up here, hopefully I won’t repeat it over and over for each book I mention. 😛 Hahaha. Also, I won’t be going much into the synopses as much as why I loved them, but I’ll have each linked to goodreads so you can check them out if you wish.

So right, these are the books I thought were the bees knees (in no particular order – I couldn’t pick a favorite!)


The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb.

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin HobbRoyal Assassin by Robin HobbAssassin's Quest by Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb was a new author for me this year and has quickly become one of my favorites. This series is her first and last year its first book celebrated its twentieth birthday! I think what makes me love this series so much is that it caught me so unaware. The synopsis on the back of the first one, forgive me for saying but it’s horribly generic. Like, I never would have picked it up if not for the Hobb-along Readalong that I had joined (which… has since fallen to the wayside for me, but that’s not the point).

This series taught me not to judge a book by its cover (or its synopsis). It has humor and adventure and action and even a tad bit of romance at times. The world it’s set in is rich and developed, the characters are complex and varied. I loved everything about this series.

I think the greatest strength of these books is the character development. The main character starts as a toddler and by the end, he’s a grown man. Each book allows the reader to see how he develops and why his personality ends how it does. It’s unusual to follow one character for so long and I really enjoyed it.


Stars Between the Sun and Moon: One Woman’s Life in North Korea and Escape to Freedom by Lucia Jang.

Stars Between the Sun and Moon: One Woman's Life in North Korea and Escape to Freedom

I picked this book up early this year after buzzing through In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, which like this memoir, is a North Korean woman’s story of her life in North Korea and all the horrors she had to go through to leave it.

I’ll start by saying that this story is heavy. It’s deep, it’s dark and it’s draining. There were times that I found myself emotionally unable to function for a while after reading sections of this book. So I warn you now, don’t go into this expecting a fluffy read. This woman went through a lot, much of it unfathomable to me and I’m sure it will also be to you.

But it’s definitely worth the read. It’s such an eye-opening experience, reading Lucia Jang’s perspective. People are always talking about wanting to read books that will change them or alter how they see the world. Well, this will do it.


Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted

Are you really shocked that this is on here? I’ve been a Novik fangirl for nearly a decade now. Her Temeraire series is gold and when I saw this had come out, I jumped on it. I was not disappointed. This book artfully mixes whimsy and fairy tale and darkness and grit together to tell a tale of a dark wood, a young maiden and a man who calls himself a dragon.

This book screamed nostalgia for me and honestly I couldn’t tell you why. I just felt like I was going home, reading this. It felt ‘just right’. I want to reread it again sometime soon and I want the rest of the planet to read it with me.


Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes (Expanse #1)

This was my delve into epic space operas and science fiction that didn’t also scream ‘YA’. This book is a chunker. Heavy as a brick and just as big, this book introduces our solar system as an inhabitable if not deadly entity. This book had me from the prologue and didn’t let me go until after I had finished it.

What I loved most about this book was the way all the different genres were interwoven to create a gripping saga that I still want more of. Sci-fi and horror and thriller and at times, comedy. It was all in here. The imagery in this book was gritty and grimy and gave me the chills. The story and the characters crafted this could-be world that I could see myself in had I been born a hundred years from now. This book was by far my favorite sci-fi read of the year.

It’s good. It’s great. If you’re looking for a gateway into sci-fi, here it is for you.


And that’s it! The books I call my favorites. If you’ve read any of these, let me know what you thought! If you haven’t, read them and then tell me what you thought! :”D

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on 12/28/2016 in Books

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Recommended Reads

Top 5 Wednesday

Happy Hump Day. This week’s topic is top books that were recommended to you. Since a lot of the books I read are recommended to me through the internet, I’m going to to with books that were recommended to me by people physically around me. Also, I’m going to leave out my two all-time favorites series (The Deepgate Codex and The Temeraire series) because I just gooed about them in my last post. But they were both recommendations to me as well. So anyways, here we go~

5. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash

Recommended to me by: The SO

I recommend this to you if: You liked ‘Ready Player One’ or are looking for some nice, dense sci-fi.

Goodreads synopsis:

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.

4. The Diary of Ma Yan

Recommended to me by: The SOThe Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese Schoolgirl

I recommend this to you if: You like memoir, Asian culture and are looking for something a bit sad.

Goodreads synopsis:

Wednesday, November 7

My father gave me and my brother a little money. My stomach is all twisted up with hunger, but I don’t want to spend the money on anything as frivolous as food. Because it’s money my parents earn with their sweat and blood.

I have to study well so that I won’t ever again be tortured by hunger. . . .

In a drought-stricken corner of rural China, an education can be the difference between a life of crushing poverty and the chance for a better future. But money is scarce, and the low wages paid for backbreaking work aren’t always enough to pay school fees.

Ma Yan’s heart-wrenching, honest diary chronicles her struggle to escape hardship and bring prosperity to her family through her persistent, sometimes desperate, attempts to continue her schooling.

First published in France in 2002, the diary of ma yan created an outpouring of support for this courageous teenager and others like her — support that led to the creation of an international organization dedicated to helping these children . . . all because of one ordinary girl’s extraordinary diary.

3. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Recommended to me by: The SO (are you noticing a pattern here)Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)

I recommend this to you if: You enjoy religious and conspiratorial themes, you enjoy thrillers, you like Peter Clines’ writing or if you don’t mind short shorts being mentioned every other page.

Goodreads synopsis:

World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization— the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on the earth… the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.

2. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Recommended to me by: A very good friendThe Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)

I recommend this to you if: You want to read horror but aren’t sure where to start, you disliked The 5th Wave but want to give Rick Yancey another chance (this is waaaay better, trust me) or you enjoy reading about really cool looking creatures

Goodreads synopsis:

‘These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?

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

Recommend to my by: My cousinThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1)

I recommend this to you if: You like humor, sci-fi, classics or just general goofiness.

Goodreads synopsis:

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.

Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox–the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.


This week’s topic was pretty fun! I figured posting the synopses of the books would be better than my butchered version of a summary.

As always, T5W was created by Lainey, and here is where you can find the full list of posters if you’d like to join as well. Happy reading!

 

 
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Posted by on 02/17/2016 in Books, Top 5 Wednesday

 

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