Friday, July 31, 2015

ARC August TBR

This is the third year Read.Sleep.Repeat are hosting an ARC August! It's a month were you get to all the ARCs that you need to read, but just haven't gotten to yet. Like others I have fallen behind on my ARC TBR. This is a perfect time to get through some of them! Below is my big TBR for August books to review. 


The rules are very simple
  • It may be a physical ARC or and eARC but it MUST be an ARC
  • Yes it can be an ARC that has released as long as it’s an ARC I’m not going to nit pick much
  • HAVE FUN WITH THIS! Feeling like you are being “forced” to read is the best way turn a fun event into a yucky obligation.
  • Update post! I personally will do a post for each Saturday in August but that’s just me. You can update once a week, every other week or once for the whole darn event. This update can be in the form of a blog or tumblr post, vlog, link to your “ARC August 2015″ shelf or even an instagram pic! I want to make this as easy and low pressure as possible for you.
Link to the page:

NetGalley - Solaris
NetGalley – Hot Key Books
NetGalley – Hot Key Books
First Read by Penguin – Dutton
NetGalley – Delacorte Press
Publisher, Physical – Little, Brown Books
LibraryThing – Darcy & Daire Publishing
NetGalley – 47North

April / May / June / July Wrap-Up

    I don't know what happened, but I completely slacked on my reading progress on my blog. I've kind of revived the blog this past month with Top 10 or 5 blog posts and a tag post. My class ended for a two month break in June and I have been more socially active as well. I've kept reading during this time though. I never seem to read enough or fast enough than I'd like. I tend to read slower when I really enjoy a book so that doesn't help. However, reading is not for the numbers or speed it is about enjoyment.
    I've had a love/hate relationship with the Book Depository the past few months. It is like there is someone who is taking my books in the post! How is that 80% of my purchases just lost in the mail?! I bought Isla and the Happily Ever After and it along with the replacement never arrived. 2 weeks now waiting for a re-sending of 2 of the Penguin 80 editions books. Anyway.
    I finally went on a honeymoon with my husband in June! Awesome time for both of us to disconnect from everything. Especially for my workaholic husband. You never realize how much you still carry things around with you until you are hundreds of miles away from everything.
   While 4 months would be a lot for people to recap it is easy for me since I only read 17 books. Some of which are novellas and less than 200 pages long. It has been a pretty eclectic mix of genres. I love variation though. So let's get to it.

April Wrap-Up:

   Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. 4/5 Stars.
   One of those books you don't realize how much you read because you want to know what happens and how the characters deal with situations. It is a like a satirical soap-opera that you could relate to. More character driven than plot driven. Leaves you thinking with how you spend and use your freedom.

   Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little. 3/5 Stars.
   I enjoyed it, but it didn't leave me thinking about it after. The plot was really good and you weren't able to predict what would happen next. I would still recommend this to people who are into historical fiction. This period and geographical location is one that you don't see much of in historical fiction. The references people would make seemed pretty historically correct.

May Wrap-Up:

   Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block. 5/5 Stars.
   This is a new favorite! I love parallelism of Homer's Odyssey.

   The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. 4/5 Stars.

   Where She Went by Gayle Forman. (If I Stay #2). 2/5 Stars.

June Wrap-Up:

   Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling. 5/5 Stars.
   Another new favorite! I think this speech given to one of the best schools in the US was brilliant.

   Splintered by A.G. Howard. 3.5/5 Stars.
   It would have been a 4, but the cheesiness was too much to handle at some parts. However, this may be one of favorite series. I keep thinking about it after I read them!

   Matronly Duties by Melissa Kendall. 3/5 Stars.
   I was contacted by the publisher and was asked to be a part of the blog tour. I recommend it everyone. It is dystopian, but yet not sci-fi or fantasy. What people have in 2220 in their underground city is the same as what we have today. There isn't advanced technology and that is what made the novel for me more.. raw. The setting was great as an underground city that was made in anticipation for an incoming asteroid, but the events and political situations are those we can relate to in the present. So. I hope this becomes a duology or series. Mainly because I feel there is more to the story that can be told. This book left me wanting more! What is going to happen next to the corrupted council in Oceania!? What I loved most about Matronly Duties was it's focus on politics in an underground city after an asteroid hits the earth. 

   The Moth in the Mirror by A.G. Howard. 4/5 Stars.
   I enjoyed this view from Morpheus and got to get into his and Jeb's head a little.

July Wrap-Up:

In the final week of July, Shannon, of @leaninglights on Twitter, hosted the #TBRTakedown. While I was motivated to read the 5 books I only got through 2.5 books. I managed to fulfill the challenges of "First book in a series" with Talon, and "On your TBR the longest" with Y: The Last Man #4. Kind of disappointed with myself, but that's the brakes.

   The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. 4/5 Stars.
   I enjoyed this so much! Love the wit, happiness mixed with devastating events.

   Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed. 3/5 Stars.
   I think I'm going to post a review of this with my thoughts. Great message, great plot, but the writing really left me a bit disappointed. A gripping, fast-paced book that I read in one day. This is a great book to promote diversity and support for women's rights. 

   Unhinged by A.G. Howard. 5/5 Stars.
   I love Morpheus. Though there was still a lot of cheesiness. If anything that would knock it down to a 4.5 rating.

   Y: The Last Man #3 by Brian K. Vaughan. 3/5 Stars.
   Y: The Last Man #4. 5/5 Stars.

   The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 4/5 Stars.
   I enjoyed this so much. I want to read the rest of the series now. Well at least the next two. I heard that with the last two he wrote, Adams wasn't happy with them.

   Uncharted TerriTori by Tori Spelling. Audiobook. 2/5 Stars.
   Something I listened to while cleaning/organizing. Nothing new if you watched her show.

   Talon by Julie Kagawa. 4/5 Stars.

Currently Reading:

   Ensnared by A.G. Howard. Book 3 in the Splintered Trilogy.

   Fearsome Magics, edited by Jonathan Strahan. For review through NetGalley.

August TBR:

   In the beginning of August the Book-Tube-A-Thon will be happening: August 3rd-9th. I will be using some books for my ARCAugust challenge and mix in some of my own books to keep me motivated. I think the readathon will help me with motivation for sure.
   Also, I will be participating in ARCAugust with a bunch of other book bloggers. I will be posting a separate TBR for that!

Books Bought:

For husband:
   The Deluge by Adam Tooze.

For me:
   Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.
   The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

Books Challenges:

GR: I am on track as of right now finally! I have read 28/50 books this year.

A-Z Challenge: I have completed the letter A. Post will be coming in the future.

5 to 1: Now I feel it is better if this is just for my physical books. Since this is to help me reduce the rate of buying them for my shelves I will not longer consider ebooks or audiobooks as a part of it. Though ebooks consisted of almost 50% of my reading in the last 4 months. I have bought the two from above for this.

Blog Posts:

Matronly Duties Blog Tour:

Top 10 Books I Read from the first half of the year:
Some of my Bookish Habits:
10 Diverse Books:
Books Set in Missouri:
Mid-Year Freakout Tag:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mid-year Book Freakout Tag

A new tag created by A Book So Fathomless  
"It's a pretty simple little bookish survey for you all. Just answer the fifteen questions, add the link to your post and read back over your answers at the end of the year to see whether they've changed or not."

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2015. 
I am so happy that I have found some new favorites this year in reading! We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling, Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block, Splintered Series by A.G. Howard, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. 

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2015.
Unhinged by A.G. Howard. Only sequel I have read really other than #2 and 3 in Y: The Last Man series. Also good. 

3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Armada by Ernest Cline.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews!!

5. Biggest disappointment.
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham... Even then I wasn't expecting much. 

6. Biggest surprise.
Splintered series by A.G. Howard. I started reading it after someone spoke about it and wasn't really into the idea of fairies. Then I read it and got so absorbed in it.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)
E. Lockhart, Douglas Adams, and maybe Jonathan Franzen.

8. Newest fictional crush.
Morpheus from Splintered series. If I had to pick. 

9. Newest favourite character.
Morpheus from Splintered Series, Yorick from Y: The Last Man. 

10. Book that made you cry.
None so far. 

11. Book that made you happy.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 

12. Favourite book to film adaptation you saw this year. 
North and South by BBC *swoon*

13. Favourite review you've written this year.
Emissary and Prequel by Chris Rogers

14. Most beautiful book you've bought so far this year (or received)
The Night Circus and The Hobbit cloth hardcover edition! Plus Persephone Books too! 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
My eARCs and I would like to finally read some of my classics!
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Top Five Wednesday: Books That Take Place in Missouri


  Here is a list of the books that take place in Missouri, my home state. A lot of it is either children books or messed up people.... Nevertheless, here are five of them.

1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. A children's book and something the state requires you to read in high school. Set near Hannibal, Missouri and the Mississippi River this is a children's classic. 

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. This falls into the messed up category of books that take place in Missouri. It may have the nickname of "Misery", but it doesn't drive everyone crazy. 

3. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. I haven't read this book, but watched the movie. I liked the movie so I will have to pick up the book at some point as well. It is set in the Ozarks which reach down to Arkansas. I must say not all country Ozark people are druggies or crazy!

4. Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War by T.J. Stiles. Another book I haven't read. Jesse James is from Missouri and was considered the Midwestern Robin Hood in the mid-to-late 1800's. This is something I would be interested in though. 

5. Stoner by John Williams. I have heard mixed reviews about this one. It is set in Missouri at the University of Missouri. Don't know which one. Due to the mixed reviews this will be pushed back in my TBR list. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Celebrating Diversity

     Books That Celebrate Diversity! Such as: features minority/religious minority, socioeconomic diversity, disabled MC,  neurotypical character, LGBTQ, etc 

1. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

 Beautifully written novel about a mixed race family in the Boston area. Subtly and at times brazenly highlighting the ways in which they come to terms with what they want and what their identity is. 

2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  Amazing and heartrending novel set mostly in Afghanistan. Shows the caste system and a world which few people in the Western hemisphere sees portrayed. 

3. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

  One of my favorites. Set in China, it follows a peasant farmer who prefers to live in the glory of his land than his family. 

4. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

   Talk about heartrending, this novel is about a poor Irish family in a Depression-era Brooklyn. Gives you a vivid telling of life growing up poor as an immigrant. 

5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

  A shocking novel about the hard life of Henrietta Lacks and how her misfortune aided in the treatment and recognition of disease to further the advancement of medicine. It sheds light on the unequal way African-Americans were treated medically. 

6. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

  Cute, quirky graphic novel set around Chinese myths to a Chinese-American child. 

7. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

  Based on true characters in 19th century southern America. The two man characters are a privileged white woman who seeks to help abolish slavery and the mindset of racism and a slave woman who works outside of Charleston, South Carolina. 

8.  A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

  This was the first novel to have one of the settings in modern Japan. A world I never really thought that much of before. It seems wild with life, lights and themed cafes. Gives a glimpse into the Japanese traditions and mindsets, like suicide.  

9. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

  My favorite book so far by Khaled Hosseini. This one is based around two women in Kabul. It brings to light the injustices women are forced to live with and what limited choices they have under certain regimes. 

10. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

 This is a recent read for me. It shows the cultural differences between America and Pakistan. Quick, captivating read. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Top Five Wednesday: Bookish Habits

A few of my bookish habits. I didn't get a chance to do this post when it was scheduled and I don't really pre-order books. 

1. Candle - preferably book-related: current one: Oxford Library. I almost always have one burning for the ambiance and sense of comfort it brings to me. My mother almost always had one burnng at home herself so now I feel like it is home. 

2. Comfy - I always need to be comfortable when I read. Sofa, chair to lay back in with settee, or in bed. I can't read at a kitchen table, or around lots of people. 

3. I always have 1 book for Kindle for travelling and one for home. The ones at home are usually from my personal physical library. Unless they are from a used bookstore I buy editions I want to keep for awhile. 

4. I have a habit of not folding books back all the way. I hate having a crease down the middle of the spine and I want to keep them in great condition if I buy a book new. My husband is permanently traumatized by this. :)

5. Every time I pass by a bookstore I have to go in and see what they have. Just to see what editions they have of certain books and how they keep their books. I like to walk into to bookstores that take the time to have multiple editions of a book and have an inviting display. 


6. Can't read my hardcovers with dust-jackets... too distracting!

7. Can't leave my house without a book: Kindle or physical. Or go to bed without one on my bedside table.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Read So Far in 2015

This Top 10 Tuesday will consist of the 10 best books I've read so far in 2015 out of 21 books I read until July 1 2015.

1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schafer. 4/5 Stars

2. Splintered by A.G. Howard. 3.75/5 Stars - Great series!

3. Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling. 5/5 Stars - Great speech!

4. Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block. 5/5 Stars - Love the parallelism of The Odyseey!

5. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. 5/5 Stars - So gripping!

6. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. 4/5 Stars

7. Black Greek Coffee by Konstantina Sozou-Krykou. 4/5 Stars - Good collection of short stories. Blog review!

8. Y: The Last Man: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. 4/5 Stars

9. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. 4/5 Stars

10. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. 4/5 Stars