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Sunday Funday: Weekend Update and Book Haul

It's been quite a while since I've done one of these posts - middle of October, I think - so I've got a fair bit to include.

This week I've actually had some time off for the holidays, and I'll have some time off next week, too.  I really lucked out this year!  I've had the chance to get some reading, blogging, and watching done that I wouldn't have had the time to do otherwise.  And most importantly, I had the chance to spend some time with the family!

First, I'd like to talk about some of the movies I've had the opportunity to see at the movie theater.  I've seen Spectre, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 3D.  I really enjoyed each movie.

Spectre was very, very good.  I liked getting further into the James Bond mythology, and seeing that the Daniel Craig films are quite interconnected.  The pre-opening titles scene was pretty stunning and perhaps the best of Craig's entries!  Dave Bautista's Mr. Hinx was a pretty great mostly silent villain - he reminded me of a combination of classic Bond villains like Oddjob and  Jaws.  I'm hoping that Daniel Craig will be back as James Bond at least one more time.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 was a stunning conclusion to the movie franchise.  It's also a faithful book to movie adaptation.  Of course, there are some changes, but for the most part they were for the better.  Mockingjay was my least favorite of the books, but I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed the film adaptations.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 3D was absolutely brilliant and I think I enjoyed it most of the three movies I've listed here.  I don't want to give too much away for those that haven't yet seen it, but it lived up to the hype!  Abrams was successfully able to blend the feel of the original series into this new story.  My new favorites are Rey, Poe, and Finn.  Adam Driver's Kylo Ren makes for an interesting villain and it's also good to see Domhnall Gleeson getting some attention as General Hux.  Of course, I loved seeing the return of classic characters, too, such as Han, Chewie, Leia, and Luke.  BB-8 is quite the scene-stealer!

As for bookish news, I've picked up quite a few books since the last time I did a book haul post, so without further ado here we go.

I picked up these used books from the middle of November up until about the middle of December at antique shops, thrift shops, and a local used/new bookstore.

The Harrowing of Gwynedd (The Heirs of Saint Chamber #1) by Katherine Kurtz - I've never read anything by this author, but it sounds like a fascinating new fantasy series to begin.

Avalon (Avalon #1) by Mindee Arnett - I remember hearing about this one when it came out last year, but I completely forgot about it until I saw it at the used/new bookstore.  It's been recommended to fans of Firefly, so I'm looking forward to checking it out.

Echopraxia (Firefall #2) by Peter Watts - I didn't realize this was a sequel until after I got it, but either way it sounds like the best kind of crazy.

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman - This sounds like a compelling atmospheric mystery.  I'm not familiar with the author, but apparently this was her debut novel when it was released back in 2002.

I picked these up during Black Friday at my favorite local bookstore.  It's pretty cool that they actually know me there.  They were having some decent sales that afternoon, so I thought I would take them up on them.

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie - I've been meaning to pick up this series forever.  I've heard such fantastic things about it that it's high time I see what all the fuss is about.

Redshirts by John Scalzi - I have no idea where I've been, but I've just recently heard about this book and it sounds like so much fun.

I also picked these up on Black Friday at Barnes and Noble.  I was really lucky in that I'd some membership coupons and some gift cards with me!

The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1) by Jim Butcher - Jim Butcher is one of my favorite author's - The Dresden Files is one the best series ever - I will read whatever he writes!

The Barrow (The Barrow #1) by Mark Smylie - This sounds like an awesome action-packed dark epic fantasy novel.  And, just look at that cover!

I also lucked out at Barnes and Noble by picking these up at the beginning of December.  Have I mentioned how much I love coupons and gift cards?

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - I've been looking forward to this one for a long time and I've heard nothing but great things about it!

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer - I can't adequately express how excited I am to begin this series finale!!

These two were Christmas presents - the first grandma got for me and the second I picked up yesterday with various gift card money and coupons.

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan - I loved seeing what Riordan did with Greek mythology in Percy Jackson and I very intrigued by what he'll do with Norse.  Grandma chose well!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell - As I've said before contemporary isn't my go-to genre, but I loved Rowell's Fangirl.  Understandably, I was thrilled when I heard she was actually writing this book.

These three books were also purchased yesterday using various Christmas gift card money and coupons.  Have I mentioned how much I like gift cards and coupons?

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix - I've been hoping to get my hands on a copy of this one for a long time, but every time I consciously searched for it it was out of stock.  Until yesterday, that is.  It sounds like my kind of horror story with a dash of humor, and it's set in Ohio, too.  The design of the book is pretty cool, as well.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey - This novel sounds exactly like my kind of post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, horror story.  It's been praised by Joss Whedon and John Ajvide Lindqvist and it's been recommended for fans of The Walking Dead and Kazuo Ishiguro.

The Uninvited by Cat Winters - I've absolutely adored her previous YA paranormal historical fiction novels and I'm beyond excited to try her debut adult novel.

I'm hoping everyone had a wonderful holiday, and got the chance to relax and maybe get your hands on a book or two!  I hope it won't be too difficult to get back into the swing of things tomorrow!


  1. Great haul! I really need to pick up both Illuminae and Aeronaut's Windlass. Unfortunately I haven't had time to see the final Hunger Games movie, but I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  2. So many spectacular books and movies!! I'm finally going to see Star Wars on Wednesday and hopefully will be able to see Mockingjay and Spectre sometime soon! I'm so glad you liked them all - I have to say, I second your motion to have Daniel Craig in one more Bond film. He makes such a great James Bond!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks


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