Sunday, June 30, 2019

Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge - June Update: Binti & North of Happy


June sure flew by, didn't it?  Anyway, now that means that I've completed 12 out of 24 books of Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge!  The tasks I completed  this month required me to read a book by an AOC set in or about space and an #ownvoices book set in Mexico or Central America.  For the tasks, I selected Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor and North of Happy by Adi Alsaid.  Read on to see my mini reviews and what's next for July:



❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor is a short YA sci-fi novella, but I can't recommend it enough. Nnedi Okorafor is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. There is so much more I'd like to know about Binti's world, but this little glimpse was just about perfect. Plus, this story got me more interested in looking up information on Binti's people the Himba. I have a feeling you'll like Binti if you like Octavia Butler. Now I'll absolutely need to read the rest of the series soon.

I read this novella from June 6 - 7, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ 

North of Happy is my second Adi Alsaid book. I'm glad I read it because his writing is pretty fantastic, but I this isn't quite my favorite of the two. Carlos's story just didn't appeal to me as much. I will say though that I don't think I've ever read a novel that so heavily featured food before. My favorite scenes are when Carlos is working in the kitchen, that's for sure. I'm hungry all over again just thinking about this book.

 I read this book from June 6 - 7, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Next Up For July:

A book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse


My choice: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde - I've been eyeing this for awhile and it sounds like it could be a lot fun.

An #ownvoices book set in Oceania


My choice: The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera - I was originally planning to read Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina & Ezekiel Kwaymullina for this task but unfortunately it's now no longer available from my library via interlibrary loan.  Now I'll be listening Ihimaera's novel featuring the Maori of New Zealand on Playaway via my library as that's the only format that it's available in.  Perhaps I'll even watch the movie adaptation of the book.


Have you read any of these books?  Are you participating in the Read Harder Challenge this year, or have you in the past?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire.  Seanan McGuire is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors and I'm pleased to finally be starting this urban fantasy series featuring the fae.  Let's just say I'm glad there's a pronunciation guide!

Beginning: 

June 5, 1995

The phone was ringing. Again.

I turned my attention from the rearview mirror and glared at the cellular phone that lay jangling in my passenger seat next to a bag of Fritos and one of Gilly's coloring books.  It has been less than ten minutes since the last time it rang, and since there were only three people who had the number, I was pretty sure I knew who it was.

56:

That's part of why I like the original Volkswagen bugs: they break down constantly, the parts are impossible to find, and the mileage sucks, but they always seem to start when you need them to.

50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Book With A Pink Cover


Favorite - Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger - I love this series and the pop of color totally fits the tone of the story.


Least Favorite - Paranormalcy (Paranormalcy #1) by Kiersten White - I still liked this fun paranormal fantasy, but it felt a little younger than what I would have preferred.

What are you reading this weekend?  Have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Mid-Year Book Freak Out 2019

Welcome to the Mid-Year Book Freak Out of 2019 everyone!  I've been taking part in this since 2015 - if you like you can check out my previous posts from 201520162017, and 2018 - and I always enjoy seeing what everyone's been reading, so I'll try visit as many of these posts as I can to see what everybody's been up to.  Of course, I always end up adding a lot of books to my TBR thanks to this as well.  By the way, this tag was originally created by ReadLikeWildFire and Ely Jayne. Without further ado, let's get to it:


1. Best book you've read so far in 2019.









2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2019.



I can't decide between The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black and The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty - both were absolutely amazing!

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.


Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse - I'm going to be reading this in August for the Disney-A-Thon and I couldn't be more excited!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.


Jade War (The Green Bone Saga #2) by Fonda Lee - It's going to be released on July 23rd and I'm counting down the days! 

5. Biggest disappointment.


A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell - I absolutely loved the neo-noir crime comedy movie adaptation with an awesome soundtrack, then I tried to read the book and ended up DNF'ing it at only 20% in.  

6. Biggest surprise.


Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards #1) by Jennifer Estep - I just happened to stumble across the e-audiobook of this fantasy series opener through my Libby via my library.  Luckily for me it became a favorite - I'm really looking forward to the sequel, Protect the Prince, which is due out on July 2nd.

7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you).


Darynda Jones - I've just recently finished up thirteenth and final book in the Charley Davidson series.  It's an incredibly addictive urban fantasy series that would be perfect for fans of Lucifer.  It took me about a year to listen to all thirteen books in the series (the final 7 of them in 2019), and I don't know what to do without looking forward to another adventure with Charley and the gang on the horizon.  By the way, the series is narrated by the incredibly talented Lorelei King.  I need to read more from Jones stat!

8. Newest fictional crush.

I don't have one.

9. Newest favorite character.


Maggie Hoskie from Trail of Lighting (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse is hands down one of my favorite leads without question - I have to appreciate her honesty, smarts, and her special set of skills.

10. Book that made you cry.


Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka - This graphic memoir isn't an easy read, but it's well-worth your time.  Like me, your eyes might be feeling mighty sweaty.

11. Book that made you happy.


An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason by Virginia Boecker - This was such a pleasant surprise!  This novel is like if Mackenzi Lee wrote A Knight's Tale, plus a healthy dash of Shakespeare.  If that doesn't sound awesome I don't know what does.  I totally need more YA historical fiction like this.  The English Lit geek in me was smiling all the way through!

12. Best book to film adaptation?


Good Omens is easily my favorite book adaptation - it's a tv miniseries on Amazon Prime Video - and I honestly couldn't have asked for a better adaptation of one of my all time favorite books by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman!  Michael Sheen and David Tennant do a marvelous job of bringing Aziraphale and Crowley to life.  If you haven't watched it or read it yet, what are you waiting for?

13. Favorite post you have done this year?


I'm going to be honest I love getting the chance to talk about movies, so putting together a Top Ten Tuesday post about Outrageous B-Movies I've Seen On Svengoolie was a lot of fun!

14. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received).


The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson - Look at it!  Isn't it beautiful?  Plus, this historical fantasy story is pretty great to boot.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of this year?


What I said last year is definitely still applicable!

And that's it for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out of 2019!  Have you read any of these books, or have a I piqued your interest in any of them?  Have you taken part in this tag yet this year?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2019 TBR


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books On My Summer 2019 TBR.  Here are ten books that I'll be picking up this July and August.  Here we go:

July:


Annals of the Time Patrol (Time Patrol Omnibus #1-2) by Paul Anderson - I plan on reading this for my Beat the Backlist Challenge 2019 and as a part of Sci-Fi July for Devour Your TBR.   Just look at that cover!


The Best Science Fiction of Arthur Conan Doyle - I also plan on reading this for my Beat the Backlist Challenge 2019 and as a part of Sci-Fi July for Devour Your TBR.  His Holmes stories are some of my favorites, so we'll see what I think of these sci-fi shorts.



Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina & Ezekiel Kwaymullina - This book will fulfill the task to read an #ownvoices book set in Oceania for Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge.  This sounds like a fantastic Indigenous Australian YA mystery/ fantasy to me.


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde - This book will fulfill the read a book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse for Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge.  I've been eyeing this for awhile and it sounds like it could be a lot fun.


Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim - I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this novel and I can't wait to read it.

August:


The Color of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett - After devouring Good Omens on Amazon Prime Video, I definitely need more Terry Pratchett in my life.  Plus, I plan on reading this for my Beat the Backlist Challenge 2019.


The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang - I somehow managed to get an ARC of this and I'm really excited to continue this series since book one was so good.


Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 1 by Bisco Hatori - This book will fulfill the task to read a book of manga for Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge.  Not my usual choice for manga, but I want to start this series because I've enjoyed what I've watching on the anime.


Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman - I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this novel and I can't wait to read it given how much I loved Milman's debut Scream All Night.


The Vegetarian by Han Kang - This book will fulfill the task to read a translated book written by and/or translated by a woman for Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge.  I've been wanting to read this nontraditional literary horror story for a while now and I'm glad this challenge is giving me an excuse to finally try it.


Monday, June 24, 2019

Music Monday: Peter Hollens with 10 Second Songs & Chase Holfelder


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

Happy Monday everyone!  This week I'm spotlighting a couple of my recent favorite Peter Hollens collaborations - Aladdin's "Friend Like Me" In Every Musical Style EVER with 10 Second Songs & Imagine Dragons in Under 4 Min - BEST MEDLEY EVER! with Chase Holfelder.  Both of these are so much fun and everyone involved is incredibly talented.  I can't choose a winner for either.  Have you ever listened to these talented singers?  What are you listening to this week?





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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Funday: Book Haul


Happy Sunday everyone!  I hope everyone's had a great week and are enjoying their weekend.  I know mine's been crazy, but I'm coming up on a family vacation soon so that's going to be a lot of fun.  Anyway, I've recently added a few books to my collection.  They are from Goodwill, Ollie's Bargain Outlet, the library book sale, and the Penguin Random House Reader Rewards Program (which is really cool by the way - you can learn more about it here).  Keep reading to check out the books I've added to my shelf:


People Like Us by Dana Mele - I've had this YA mystery novel on my radar for awhile and when I saw it pop up at Ollie's I decided to pick it up.  It sounds like it has a lot of potential.

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff - I'm so excited to get to this - Kaufman and Kristoff are one of my favorite writing teams!

The Defiant (The Valiant #2) by Lesley Livingston - I really enjoyed the first book in this YA historical fantasy set during the time of the Roman Empire and gladiator fights and I looking forward to seeing how the series continues.

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas - I've also had this YA mystery on my radar and it sounds great.  Many bloggers/ reviewers I follow have had good things to say about it too.  I'm lucky to have found such a nice copy at a library book sale.


The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch - It doesn't have the highest of ratings, but the concept of this sci-fi dystopian sounds fascinating.

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire - McGuire is becoming a favorite of mine and this sounds like a pretty awesome urban fantasy.

Red Country (First Law World #6) by Joe Abercrombie - I need to start in on this series, but for now I can start in on this stand alone installment set in the world.  I've heard so many great things about Abercrombie's work that I don't know why I haven't read him already.

The Barbary Pirates (Ethan Gage #4) by William Dietrich - I haven't started this series, but to be honest I'm always ready for a pirate adventure.


What books have you bought recently?  Have you read any of these?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Mini Reviews: Radioactive Revolution, The Triangle, & Null Set (ARC)


Happy Saturday everyone!  Today I'm sharing three mini reviews with you: Radioactive Revolution (Radioactive Evolution #2) by Richard Hummel (available May 6th, 2019), The Triangle by Dan Koboldt, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, and Mindy McGinnis (available April 24th, 2019), and Null Set (Cas Russell #2) by S.L. Huang (available July 9th, 2019).  Thank you very much to Book Publicity Services for providing me with a copy of Radioactive Revolution, to Serial Box for the free ecopy of The Triangle, and to NetGalley for an ARC of Null Set in exchange for my honest reviews.  Read on to see my thoughts on these stories:


❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

I'm so glad I've had the opportunity to jump into Radioactive Revolution by Richard Hummel so soon after reading the first book in the series, Radioactive Evolution. I'm thrilled that I took a chance on this series because it has been well worth the time. Since I've already gotten the hang of the author's style and the LitRPG genre, I was able to get right back into Jared and Scarlet's story right from the beginning. This sequel doesn't suffer from a slump at all and it was fantastic. I feel like I flew through it. I just about couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see what this installment would mean for the Hummel's cast and world. I particularly enjoyed that we got to meet more dragons and creatures as well as learn more about how enhancements via nanites work. Plus, the world's getting bigger and I liked seeing all that much more as it expands. Overall, if you're interested in post-apocalyptic sci-fi, survivalist stories, dragons, and Ready Player One, I have a feeling you'll need this series in your life. I can't wait to see where this story is going to go from here. Thanks again to Book Publicity Services!


I read this novel from June 12 - 19, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ 

I've always been intrigued by the mystery surrounding the Bermuda Triangle, but I've hardly ever read any novels on the topic. The Triangle from Serial Box by Dan Koboldt, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley, and Mindy McGinnis was exactly the YA sci-fi mystery I needed on the subject. The project is cowritten by three authors and each one smoothly trades off on chapters. Of the three authors I'm only familiar with McGinnis. In fact, she's one of my favorites and as for the others I think I'll have to check out more of their work now. The story is quite fast-paced, filled with plenty of twists and turns, and it's visually cinematic. I only wish the ending didn't seem quite as hurried. Overall, though, The Triangle is well worth your time, especially if you're into the Bermuda Triangle and enjoy tight mysteries.

I read this story from June 12 - 18, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ ❋ 

Null Set by S.L. Huang as it turns out is actually the second book in the Cas Russell series. If only I realized that before I was approved for it. I totally should have read book one, Zero Sum Game, first but either way this still ended up being a pretty great read on its own. I liked getting to Cas herself because her abilities are cool - her genius mathematical skills give her superhuman accuracy and timing - verging on magical. She's flawed but an intriguing figure. The characters themselves were my favorite aspect of the book. Overall, I want to know more about Cas and her world, so I believe I may have to go back to check out the first book in the series.

I read this ARC on June 20, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Have you read any of these books?  What are you reading this weekend?  As always, thanks for reading my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginning): Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab + 50/50 Friday




On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my first Pride Month read, Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab.  I absolutely loved book one and I'm so glad to report that I'm already loving this sequel.


Beginning:

The night Marcella died, she made her husbands favorite dinner.

56:

June straightened, blew out a short breath, put away the wire.

50/50 Friday: Best/ Worst Beach Read


Best - Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett - I loved this, especially considering how much the two leads are classic movie fans.


The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander - This could have been as addicting as We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, but it never quite lived up to my expectations.


Have you read any of these books?  What are you reading this weekend?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!