Book Haul

I bought a few books in September, from Target and Walmart, and more today when I went to Barnes and Noble.

I picked up Wonder Woman and The Hate U Give back around the first of September from Target, and then I saw Hunting Prince Dracula when I was grocery shopping last weekend.  The rest I picked up today. Please ignore the fact that I had to arrange them in my butterfly chair to take this picture; it was literally the only surface in my library that wasn’t already covered with books.  I REALLY need to get my bookshelves put up.

My local library also had a book sale a couple days ago.  I donated $20 to be able to fill up a cardboard box with as many books as I could fit.

(Second picture wouldn’t focus on anything but my Carrier Fisher quote.  I’m okay with it, frankly.)

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Birthday Haul

I have several reviews written, but I haven’t been posting because, unfortjnately, my dog escaped on July 3rd and hasn’t been seen yet.  I’m tremendously upset; Kona is my baby and honestly I feel like I’ve lost part of myself.

Regardless, the last of my birthday presents arrived in the mail yesterday so I can finally post some pictures of my birthday haul.

I received quite a bit!  This year my birthday haul includes 22 books, 2 Funko pops, and two statues.

My boyfriend got me all the Harry Potter stuff.  Because he knows me well.  So I got a hardcover and softcover version of the SLYTHERIN House 20th Anniversary edition of Philosopher’s Stone.  These aren’t my first copies of the original British (versus the Americanized Sorcerer’s Stone) but they’re really very lovely and gorgeous.  To go with them, I got the Dobby and Hedwig statues I’ve been coveting for over a year but could never find in stock anywhere, and Fred and George Weasley Funkos.

LGBT books!  I read The Love Interest while on my vacation.  Ashlesha was the book that arrived yesterday, and I literally cannot wait to read it.

Poetry books!  I’ve been wanting both of these for a long time, and I’m excited to finally have them.  Brenna has another poetry book coming out some time in the near future, just fyi.

Fantasy hardcovers.  I’ve already devoured Stalking Jack the Ripper.

Contemporaries.  Honestly, I’m such a fantasy nerd that it takes a special sort of contemporary to catch my attention but I’m excited to read each one of these.

Paperbacks (and Ashlesha again because I thought it looked pretty in this stack).  The Night Circus is one of my favorite books of all time, and now I finally have my own copy.  And I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Victoria Schwab so far so I’m thrilled to have Viscous.
The last two books didn’t get their own photos, because I don’t know anything about them… but, there we go. My birthday book haul.

Now if my dog could come back from his adventures being a wild animal, everything would be perfect.

Status Update

So May wasn’t as successful as I had hoped, but I still read seven books so I’m quite proud of myself.  Already in June I’ve read three, so I think I’m doing pretty well.

I’m still twenty-six books behind in my 2017 reading goal.  But I’m trying not to let that bother me.

Anyway, this month I’m going to try getting more reviews up (I’m currently working on the ones for A Thousand Nights by EK Johnson, Whatever by SJ Goslee, The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins).  I’m also determined to finish the ARCs I’ve received from NetGalley (Juliet Takes a Breath, Sovereign, and Mask of Shadows) but I’ve run into a bit of a snag: they aren’t appearing in my Kindle Library anymore.  Ugh.

In the meantime, I have a ton of books to read! Because I can’t seem to stop buying them AND I have a tendency to check thirty or so out from the library at one time.

The next book on my list is The Ship Beyond Time, and after that Strange the Dreamer and Crown of Wishes.

My goal is to read 12 books this month.  I have an entire week off work coming up from the 21st through the 28th, and I’m really excited because I should be able to get so much reading done.

DNF: The Lonely Hearts Hotel

I saw several reviews that compared The Lonely Hearts Hotel with The Night Circus, one of my favorite books.  I couldn’t even make it through the first fifty pages.

The book opens with the matter-of-fact rape of a twelve year old girl by her older cousin and then focuses very strangely on an infant’s penis/erection.  That’s the first two pages.

Then it goes on to describe the systematic abuse of children in an orphanage, the beatings and starvation they endure.  And how they deserve it.

And then an eleven year old boy gets raped by an adult woman, in a scene that felt voyaristic in the same manner Lolita does.

I noped the fuck out of there.

And Now I’m Back, From Outerspace

So, hi!

I realize I’ve been AWOL for quite a while.  The last few months have been… really rough.  My sister-in-law was diagnosed with stage three lymphoma and has been undergoing chemotherapy, my baby cousin died in a car accident, I had some health scares, life was just really hard for a while.  I suffer from acute, reoccurring depression that is triggered by stress, so you can only imagine what sort of state I was in.

The last couple weeks, I’ve been able to find the energy to do things again. I bought some books at Barnes and Noble, and I started reading again.  With everything looking up, I decided to brush this dusty blog off and get back to work.

How about a shelfie to make up for lost time?

april shelfie

I’m still trying to get my library in my new house set up.  There’s a lot of work to be done.  Over the summer I’m going to be pulling down the ugly fake wood paneling and cheap trim, and probably adding in extra support inside the walls for all my shelves.  Also, painting (just as soon as I decide on a scheme… I keep changing my mind).

What else is happening?  I’m participating in Diversity Bingo 2017.  I have a lot of books that I’ve bought in the last year and haven’t read yet, so I have plenty to read.  I’ve also taken out a few books from the library (I’m trying to keep myself from taking out 30 books at a time, which did happen at least once), and I joined NetGalley, something I probably should have done a long time ago.  So I’ve got myself quite the TBR pile.

I recently read The Girl From Everywhere.  I haven’t reviewed it yet, because I’m still trying to put my thoughts together, but expect that soon.  It’ll likely be longer than my usual reviews, or I might split it into two posts.  I have Things To Say regarding the diversity within the book.

I’m excited for May.  The first part of the year kind of kicked my butt, but I’m determined to make the most of the second half of 2017.  Fresh new start for me here on out.  Wish me luck!

To Be Or Not To Be… A Fan of Sarah J. Maas

I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel about Sarah J. Maas for months.

Back in July, I read A Court of Thorns and Roses which I quickly followed with A Court of Mist and Fury and shortly after that started on her Throne of Glass series.  By the end of August, I’d gotten through Throne of Glass, Heir of Fire, Crown of Midnight, and The Assassin’s Blade.  My local library didn’t have Queen of Shadows available, and my SJM binge came to a close.

In September, my boyfriend bought be a copy of Queen of Shadows and then he got me a copy of Empire of Storms for Christmas.  Very sweet of him, and I appreciated it.  But, I haven’t read either book yet.  And today he commented on that fact, and I had to try and explain my hesitancy.

I really, really, really enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury.  I rated it one of my favorite books of 2016, and I meant that.  I fell head-over-heels in love with the Court of Dreams.  I enjoyed Feyra’s journey, the portrayal of PTSD, the idea that you can fall out of love with someone, realize they’re very toxic and abusive, and find love in someone more suited for yourself.

But, there were problematic aspects of the book that I was remiss in not discussing in my original review (one thing I’ve learned is I need to give myself time to reflect on a book, rather that writing a review within hours of reading something).

I was leery of Feyra’s relationship with Rhys.  His behavior to her Under the Mountain was abusive and toxic and wrong, and nothing can justify that.  He hurt her. He drugged her.  He took away her ability to consent.  I do wish that the book would have addressed this more head-on and established that this behavior was wrong, no matter Rhys’ own abuse.   The reveal of which came across as more of an excuse to justify Rhys’ actions than as something to create character development for him.

I took notice of the lack of diversity.  It is, however unfortunate, something that I am rather used to, especially in fantasy.  I didn’t think anything of it.

Until I started reading Throne of Glass.

Maas writes some very white-washed fantasy.  Her characters are bland, and almost exclusively white, heterosexual, and cis-gendered.  It is hard to ignore the similarities between Maas’ two universes.  The over-reaching plots are almost identical (greedy, evil king wishes to have total control over the world, which is to be saved by human-turned-fey, her mate, and small circle of friends, including one monstrous female character).  The tropes are the same (fey, mates, magic, dark brooding love interest that has lost everything, antagonists-to-lovers, multiple love interests over several different books).  It is obvious that Maas has learned how to technically write better, but her ideas seem stagnant and the same.

If I was leery of Rhys, then I was downright mistrustful of Rowan.  I was relieved with Crown of Midnight ended with Rowan and Aelin being friends, rather than any romantic relationship.  It seemed obvious that, considering how their relationship began, a romance between them would be problematic at best.  So, imagine my dismay when I learned that Rowan and Aelin was actually the end-game romance.

I haven’t read Queen of Shadows.  I’m not sure I actually want to.  I’ve heard enough about Chaol’s character assassination and the romantic build of Rowan and Aelin’s relationship, and I’m actually afraid that continuing the series will lead to me being unable to support Maas as an author in any way.  The more I hear, the more I learn, the more I want to stop while I’m ahead.

I have always prided myself in refusing to support writers that are toxic.  I refuse to read Cassandra Clare.  I will not read anything by Orson Scott Card.  Patricia Kennealy-Morrison is another person I cannot support as an author.

I haven’t decided yet whether Sarah J. Maas will join their ranks.  It is unfortunate that it appears like she might.

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Keep Meaning To Read

toptentuesdayThis meme is hosted by Broke and the Bookish. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where you choose your top ten picks based on a topic.

This week’s topic: So technically speaking this week’s topic is Ten Underrated/Hidden Gems.  But I wasn’t feeling it and because I’m a failure I missed last week’s Tuesday Top 10 which did have a topic I really really liked.  SO I’m doing that one! Which is: Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2016 but Didn’t Get Around To (and will Definitely Be Reading in 2017)

Continue reading “Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Keep Meaning To Read”