Saturday, August 31, 2019

Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge - August Update: The Vegetarian & Ouran High School Host Club


Is it almost September already?  Wow!  Anyway, now that means that I've completed 16 out of 24 books of Book Riot's 2019 Read Harder Challenge!  The tasks I completed  this month required me to read a translated book written by and/or translated by a woman and a book of manga.  For the tasks, I selected The Vegetarian by Han Kang and Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 1 by Bisco Hatori.  Read on to see my mini reviews and what's next for September:


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I've read a lot of odd books, but The Vegetarian by Han Kang might top the list.  I'm not entirely sure how to review this one, but here we go.  While reading this short novel, I felt like I was missing some context.  Not that it took it took away from the story or anything, but it seemed like I was definitely out of the loop somewhere.  That said, it certainly added to the unsettling aspect nature of the Kang's book.  The story is also told from three different perspectives at different points yet none of them from Yeong-hye herself but from those around her.  Honestly, I would have preferred to have a part told from the titular character's POV considering everyone else's reactions to her decisions.  Finally, wouldn't Yeong-hye be a vegan instead of a vegetarian?

I read this book from August 2 - 3, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.



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I enjoyed the anime adaptation of Ouran High School Host Club, so I thought I'd give the original manga a go.  Shojo manga isn't usually one of go-tos, but this one has been on my tbr for ages.  While this is just as funny and quirky as the series I got so hooked on, I actually prefer the art and style of the anime adaptation.  I probably won't continue on with the manga, but I'll definitely have to rewatch the anime.




I read this manga on August 6, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Next Up For September:

A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character


My choice: Watership Down by Richard Adams - I've been told so many times I need to read this classic and I'm ready to finally tackle it.

An historical romance by an AOC


My choice: My Beautiful Enemy (The Heart of Blade Duology #2) by Sherry Thomas - I read the first book in this duolgoy for 2018 Read Harder and I really surprised myself with how much I liked it (I don't know why I doubted Sherry Thomas's abilities) and I'm looking forward to reading the finale this time around.


Have you been taking part in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge?  Have you read any of these books?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Friday, August 30, 2019

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin + 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 Beat the Backlist and Avid August reads, Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin which will fulfill the task to read a book that contains romance.  I've had my eye on this historical fantasy romance for quite some time and I'm glad I've finally got the chance to get to it.  One of these days I'm going to have to watch the movie adaptation too.


Beginning:

A great city is nothing more than a portrait of itself, and yet when all is said and done, its arsenals of scenes and images are part of a deeply moving plan.

56:

They reached a street of symmetrical tenements.  The spielers lived not in the tenements themselves but within the hidden square they formed.

50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Abstract Cover



Favorite - The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum by Hilary Ballon, Pat Kirkham, Neil Levine, Nancy Spector, Luis Carranza, Angela Starita, and Scott W. Perkins - I haven't read this, but the cover totally fits the museum.  If you've ever visited I think you'll know what I mean.


Least - The Mothers by Brit Bennett - I haven't read this either, but the just going on the cover design alone I probably wouldn't read it. 


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!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

LOHF Anniversary Readathon - Announcement & TBR

Happy Thursday everyone!  Today I'm sharing my tbr for the LOHF Anniversary Readathon hosted by Ladies of Horror Fiction and Alex @ Hey Little Thrifter in celebration of the Ladies of Horror Fiction's anniversary which will run for the entire month of September.  I loved taking part in their February 2019 readathon for Women in Horror Month, so I'm glad to be back to celebrate this milestone with them.  The goal, like before, is to read horror novels written by women and they have five reading challenges: 1) By an indie author, 2) By an LGBTQ+ author, 3) By a POC author, 4) A YA/ MG novel, and 5) A translated book or a book set in another country.  You can share your progress by using #lohfreadathon on Instagram or, like me, Twitter.  Here are the books I hope to read in September for the readathon:

By an indie author


The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste - I wasn't able to get to this one for the readathon back in February and I still need to read it.  What better time than this September?  Basically, I was sold on it as soon as I heard it was set in 1980 Cleveland.

By an LGBTQ+ Author


The Red Tree by CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan - I also managed to miss out on this one the first time around, so I thought I try to get to it here as well.  It sounds like it will be great!

By a POC Author


Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - I'm always ready for a good vampire story to be honest, and I've heard wonderful things about this one.

A YA/ MG Novel - I'm reading one of each!


YA - The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring - I won an ARC of this a little while ago of this September 24th release and I can't wait to pick it up.


MG - Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab - I loved book one in this series and I can't wait to pick up this September 3rd release!

A Translated Book or a Book Set in Another Country


The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club #1) by Theodora Goss - This UK set historical fantasy horror sounds like it's going to be a brand new favorite!

If I can manage, I'm also going to try to get around to these books as well:


Grave Importance (Dr. Greta Helsing #3) by Vivian Shaw - I loved book one and two in this series and I can't wait to read this one which looks like it'll be primarily set in France!


Grim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies #1) by Megan Shepherd - This YA series opener sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun.


The Mortification of Fovea Munson by Mary Winn Heider - This MG novel also sounds like it's going to be a ton of fun for classic horror fans.


Odd & True by Cat Winters - Cat Winters is one of my favorite historical fantasy author and this will get me up to date on her novels!


Wilder Girls by Rory Power - I've heard a lot of great things about this new YA release and I can't wait to try it for myself.  Plus, just look at that cover!


What are some of you favorite horror novels written by women?  Have you read any of these books?  Are you joining in for this readathon?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Read That I’d Like In My Personal Library


Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books I’ve Read That I’d Like In My Personal Library (perhaps you checked it out, borrowed it from a friend, received it for review, etc. and want to own it yourself.) (Submitted by Annemieke @ A Dance with Books).  Here we go, in alphabetical order by title:


An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors (The Risen Kingdoms #1) by Curtis Craddock


Dark Matter by Blake Crouch


A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab


The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater


Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett


Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee


The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater


Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll


Titanshade by Dan Stout


What books would you like to have in your own personal collection?  Have you read any of these?  If you haven't, I highly recommend them!  As always, thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Music Monday: The Revivalists


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 few of my favorites from The Revivalists.  I just happened to hear some of their music on the radio recently and it reminded me of just how much I love their sound.  Try Wish I Knew You, Change, and It was a Sin:








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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday Funday: The Reading Rush TBR - Mini Reviews & Wrap Up




Happy Sunday everyone!  I know it's been nearly a month since The Reading Rush (previously known as BookTubeAThon) ended on July 28th, but I just now remembered that I ought to share my final thoughts on the books that I read for the challenges.  I read all of the books for all seven challenges, the only thing I didn't get to during the course of the readathon was watching the movie adaptation.  I did watch the movie later on, though, when it became available to me via my local library, so I will share my thoughts on it down below as well.  Keep reading to see my mini reviews from this readathon:


1. Read a book with purple on the cover


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Once & Future (Once & Future #1) by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy is so much fun and it has a great sense of humor.  The pacing isn't always the best and tonally it jumps around a quite a bit, but overall it was totally worth picking up especially if you're into Arthurian legend at all.  Once & Future is like a fun combination of the tv series Merlin, and the movies The Kid Who Would Be King and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


2. Read a book in the same spot the entire time


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Even though Kamala herself is missing for the first three issues of Ms. Marvel, Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland by G. Willow Wilson, this volume overall still works.  I enjoyed seeing her friends trying to fill her shoes during her absence because that's what superheroes are supposed to do.  I was also pleased to see the return of the Red Dagger, Captain Marvel, and Bruno this series.  I can't wait to see what's next up Kamala in volume ten.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


3. Read a book you meant to read last year


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Dreadful Company (Dr. Greta Helsing #2) by Vivian Shaw is an awesome sequel to Strange Practice.  I absolutely love this author's style.  Her combination of urban fantasy and classic gothic horror is exactly up my alley.  How she works in Varney the Vampire among others, and even a variety of French classic since a good deal of the action is set in Paris, into the modern urban fantasy is so cool.  Greta, Ruthven, and Varney are all fantastic characters to follow, especially since we've already had the chance to get to know them by this point, but I especially adore Shaw's world building now that we're getting to know more of the wider world.  Overall, I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, Grave Importance, which I was lucky enough to win via the Goodreads Giveaway program.  I highly recommend the Dr. Greta Helsing series yet, especially if you're a fan of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


4. Read an author’s first book


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We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal is a pretty fantastic debut novel.  She certainly has a way with words, doesn't she?  The setting and the magic are all so well described that they feel so real, as do the characters who could practically walk off the page.  My only real issues here are the romance (no surprise there, to be honest) and the pacing is kind of all over the place.  When it came to the pacing, it seemed as if the story could slow to a dead crawl and then jump up to break neck pace which admittedly can be a little jarring.  Overall, though, I can't wait to see where this series will go and as far as I'm concerned We Free the Stars can't come soon enough.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


5. Read a book with a non-human main character


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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab  is a great new series opener from one of my favorite authors.  I don't know how she does it, but her writing style always draws me into her worlds right away and this YA novel is no different.  I particularly love Kate and August, especially the fact that there's no romance between them at all.  August, though, became my favorite of the two as he fights to be normal.  I also love her highly detailed world-building, but there's still so much I'd love to know about the wider world and some more aspects about the monsters.  Overall, if you can't resist morally gray worlds and characters, Schwab's previous works, and Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer, I highly recommend giving the Monsters of Verity series a try.  Finally, I'm dying to read the sequel Our Dark Duet and, of course, all of Schwab's future projects.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


6. Pick a book that has five or more words in the title


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The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins has to be one of the strangest and confusing books I've ever read.  That said, you have to experience it for yourself especially if you're a fan of Neil Gaiman.  I need to read more by Scott Hawkins.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.


7. Read and watch a book to movie adaptation


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I had no idea what to expect with this YA contemporary, but it's definitely worth your time.  I've only read one illness romance and while I liked that particular story I'm glad this wasn't like that at all.  I highly recommend Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, especially on audiobook because the production is fantastic.

My review can also be found on Goodreads.



❋ ❋   

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a thoughtful gem of a movie that hasn't gotten enough attention.  I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to watch it.  It's easily made my list of best YA movie adaptations.  The book itself is pretty great as well, but personally I think I like it a little more as a movie.  A good deal of that goes back all of the movie references and that we actually get to see the films that Greg and Earl make together.  If you're going to watch a teen cancer movie, make it this one.

My review can also be found on Letterboxd.


Have you read any of these books or watched this film adaptation?  Did you take part in The Reading Rush back in July?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters + 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 Avid August reads, The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters.  Cat Winters is one of my favorite historical fantasy writers, so my expectations for this one are pretty high.  Here we go:

Beginning: 

July 1, 1923

I drew a deep breath and marched into the woods behind my house with a two-barreled pistol hidden beneath my blue cotton skirt.

56:

In my peripheral vision, I saw mother share a look of concern with her new husband.  They both wrinkled their foreheads.  They glowered.

50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Book City



Favorite - Hogsmeade from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - I'd love to visit this magical village.


Least Favorite - Ketterdam from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo - I love reading about Ketterdam, but would not I want to visit it.  Not at all.


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!