Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Will Never Read

Top 5 Wednesday

   For this week's Top 5 Wednesday we had to list five books we will never. We should all be honest with ourselves in that we won't be able to read all the books that are published yearly. It seems more and more books are published yearly. The books I listed below are popular books that I have seen around the book community that I know I will never get around to. This is because of what I've heard about them, the subject matter doesn't interest me, or it sounds like another book I physically have on my TBR I'd like to read. Then again, I could say that I'll never read these, but find it on my library overdrive and check them out. This will be the most likely scenario. Do you think I should really give one of these books a chance? Let me know in the comments below!

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, & John Tiffany. I think I have read and heard so many bad reviews that I am not even going to other buying it. I have tickets to see the play this April so I think I will wait to see it in person what they do with the story. I don't want any spoilers! After I see the play I'll see how I feel and may read it.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. This is the one book I don't want to read because I'm not a big fan of the author. However, it has gotten some really good reviews so far. I have other books by comediennes that I are higher on my TBR.

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye. Some people have loved this book and some haven't been blown away by it. It has been compared to books that I already have on my physical TBR so I don't think I will ever get around to it.

I Was Here by Gayle Forman. I have zero interest in YA with suicide and people getting over death. ZERO.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson. I have no interest in the Gold Rush. None. This is another book that has had great ratings too. There are other books I am interested in that I will read before I ever pick this one up. 

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-Katie
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: My Own Physical Books I Want to Read Before the End of the Year

  Top FIVE Wednesday

  This past Monday I posted my Autumn TBR with the books I want to read for the months September through November. For this week's Top 5 Wednesday Sam wants us to list the top five books we want to read before the end of the year. I have a couple I really want to read in December as well. These are the five books I own in physical copy that I WANT TO READ DESPERATELY BEFORE 2017.



WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 5 BOOKS YOU WANT TO READ BEFORE 2017?

-Katie
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I STILL Have Not Read Since I Started Blogging



  Next month will mark the two year anniversary/birthday of my blog! Before I started my blog, when I was just watching BookTube and reading blogs I didn't buy too many books. I usually kept up with my TBR. This was of course before BookOutlet when everyone goes crazy over cheap books. My ratio of books read to unread was never out of hand. However, there are still quite a few books I have not read yet that were on my TBR since before I started blogging. Which of these do I need to read ASAP? What books do you still have to read before you started blogging or BookTubing?


+I bought some books a couple months before I started blogging due to the Book-Tube-A-Thon Book Depository coupon for the select books they recommended. I bought six books then, of which I have already read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Here are the other 4:





+Other books I have gotten before blogging, but never got around to reading yet.




-Katie

This fun, weekly meme was started by The Broke and the Bookish. There they have scheduled all the Tuesdays and provided a list of old topics. The perfect meme for bookish list-makers. 
Link me your Top Ten Tuesday for today!
Monday, August 22, 2016

My Autumn TBR



   I'm sad to see summer coming to a close. I didn't get one relaxing beach day! I want more sun-filled evenings, more sun, more flowers. On the plus side, I moved this year to a new apartment with more trees and older homes so I hope to feel some autumnal magic this year. My dog will love the leaves that's for sure. In anticipation for autumn here is a tentative TBR for September through November. I am trying to fit as many books for my Pop Sugar Challenge as possible, plus some themed reads to go with the holidays and season. I tend to take longer with books on a set TBR -> August, and I don't know why, but I hope to finish what I want to read each month. I have less planned in November just in case I need more time or I want to binge read the Divergent series or get started for December reading. Mind you, there has really only been one month this year where I have read more than 6 books so let's see what happens! There are at least 4 books I'd like to read and review before their publication date. So many books!! Have you read any of these? Do you have a set TBR for the seasons? Do you prefer to use "Fall"or "Autumn"? I grew up where everyone says "Fall", but "Autumn" has a little more whimsy to it... Maybe I'm just weird.


What I'm Looking Forward to in Autumn:
I'm looking forward to playing in the leaves with my dog, creepy streets get even creepier, festivities, nights with hot cocoa, pumpkin and squash recipes, movies that remind me of this time of year, TV shows coming back on, getting cozy, layering clothes, boots, and darker lipstick.  

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September



October



November



-Katie
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Summer Blog Promo Tour Recap



   After almost two months we are at the end of the 2016 Summer Blogger Promo Tour hosted by Amber and Jessica: The Book Bratz(@thebookbratz)! I featured six ladies on my blog every Sunday during July and August. I am happy to have gotten to know them all. I am happy with myself that I stepped out of my comfort zone and participated in an event like this. After almost two years I have become more confident with my blog and wanted to meet other bloggers. This has been such a great creative outlet for me and I am thrilled to talk to people as obsessed with books and TV. I made two tags! Here's a recap of the posts on my blog and those I contributed to the other lovely bloggers. This has been so much fun and I want to continue to collaborate with other bloggers. All the blogposts on my blog 
are under the tag SBPT on the right.

On Bibliophile:
Tea & Book Pairings with Brains, Books and Brawn.
Coffee Book Tag with Big Book & Grande Lattes. 
Blogger Photo Tag with Next Page Please!
Dream Book & Director Pairings with Chasing Faerytales.
Art History Book Tag with BlankSlaters. 
Marry, Kiss or Kill & Conquer, Vacation or Destroy with Once Upon A Time A Review.

My Guest Posts:
Katie Talks About Katies on Next Page Please! -> I list my favorite characters with names similar to mine.
Ravenclaw Sorting by me with fictional characters on Big Books & Grande Lattes.
Myth Retellings I Want in YA on Chasing Faerytales. 
The Book Endings Tag on BlankSlaters.
Movie I Spy on Once Upon A Time A Review.

  
-Katie


Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Review: The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World Building by David J. Peterson

The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World Building
by David J. Peterson
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books
Buy It: Amazon US / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Source: eARC from Penguin / Bought own Kindle version



An insider’s tour through the construction of invented languages from the bestselling author and creator of languages for the HBO series Game of Thrones and the Syfy series DefianceFrom master language creator David J. Peterson comes a creative guide to language construction for sci-fi and fantasy fans, writers, game creators, and language lovers. Peterson offers a captivating overview of language creation, covering its history from Tolkien’s creations and Klingon to today’s thriving global community of conlangers. He provides the essential tools necessary for inventing and evolving new languages, using examples from a variety of languages including his own creations, punctuated with references to everything from Star Wars to Michael Jackson. Along the way, behind-the-scenes stories lift the curtain on how he built languages like Dothraki for HBO’s Game of Thrones and Shiväisith for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, and an included phrasebook will start fans speaking Peterson’s constructed languages. The Art of Language Invention is an inside look at a fascinating culture and an engaging entry into a flourishing art form—and it might be the most fun you’ll ever have with linguistics.



MY THOUGHTS

   I originally got this book through Penguin's First Reads thinking, "Hey, I'm an anthropologist. I like linguistics class and I love learning languages." I love basically anything about language, I love translating between them, and all the intricacies of how thought and the environment influences language. So I thought I would love this book. I did (5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads), but it was quite a long time before I actually finished this book. I only got 90 pages into the book and had to return it due to the deadline for loaning the books Penguin has for the program. So I bought it, but didn't pick it up again for a while. Let me tell you, this is more information heavy than I think a lot of people are anticipating. This is a like a smaller, more easygoing textbook version for making conlangs (conlang: a constructed language). This book is not Peterson just telling you how he made his languages of Dothraki, High Valyrian, etc. and telling you what everything means in English. He is basically combining a bunch of linguistics courses into one condensed book targeting on what you need to know on how to make your own conglang. This is going from the basics on up, explaining everything to you, defining words, just helping YOU make your language. This book isn't so much about him, but he does talk about how he started, what he prefers, gives his own advice, and he mainly uses his work as case studies. There are some topics, such as sign language, he doesn't go into too much detail over due to the fact that they could have a whole book solely about them and advises the reader to get a hold of books dedicated to those topics.  It starts with the basics and progresses on how to form a language as David Peterson, himself, does. This is a book for those who would like to construct their own language and gain advice from someone who excels at it. In the back he includes a glossary of all the terms and a little phrase book for his own conlangs. Also, we learn David J. Peterson hates onions.
   This book is not for everyone. It is written well for the layman who are not very knowledgeable about linguistics. My advice: If you are interested in reading it check it out of library first and read the first 50 pages. If you don't like it return it and don't bother with it. You helped him out by borrowing it from the library. However, if you did like it then return and go buy it for yourself. You will want to own this book to mark in, underline, and treat as your conlang study guide. This will be a book you will want to keep. This will be a great manual for people when they want to research and go back to it. The Art of Language Invention is a great geek manual in linguistics and constructing your own language. 



My Favorite Quotes/Highlights from The Art of Language Invention:
"The first widely known author to use a more or less fully constructed language was J.R. R. Tolkien, who set the bar very high... He understood that language itself is inseparable from the culture that produces it (or mythology as he put it), and he felt that if the languages he was creating had no place to breathe, they wouldn't have any kind of vitality."
"If you're creating a language on your own and you're the only speaker, intonation is usually not high on the list of features to focus on, but intonational flavorings is well worth it (read: crucial) when it comes to making an authentic language."
"A fleshed out history is what separates languages that are good enough from those that are excellent."
"Is conlanging art? By any broad definition, the answer has to be yes. Some conlangs may be more utilitarian than others, but some painting is also more utilitarian than other types of painting."
-Katie
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Top Ten (Twenty) Tuesday: Books I Want to Read Set in a Boarding School



       For this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic we had to list the Top Ten Books With X Setting and while I have done lists with books I have read in various settings I wanted to make my own list for my TBR. With the school year beginning around this time and September for a lot of students and teachers I have been in the mood to read books set at boarding schools. Also, around this time of the year I want to read more YA. I guess I am feeling nostalgic for my younger years. I went to Goodreads Listopia for a list of 577 books with this setting so I may be missing some great books in this list. There were so many I want to read on the list so why stop at 10 books?! Here are 20 books I want to read set in a boarding school. The titles that I have underlined are books that I own.

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Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Blythewood by Carol Goodman, The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayHex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani, Fallen by Lauren Kate, Sabriel by Garth NixThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Iron Trial by Holly BlackDeath Sworn by Leah Cypess
As I Descended by Robin Talley, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin, Villette by Charlotte Bronte, Winger by Andrew Smith, Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger
Among Others by Jo Walton, The Secret History by Donna Tartt

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This fun, weekly meme was started by The Broke and the Bookish. There they have scheduled all the Tuesdays and provided a list of old topics. The perfect meme for bookish list-makers. 
Link me your Top Ten Tuesday for today!

WHAT BOOKS HAVE YOU READ FROM THIS LIST AND RECOMMEND? WHAT OTHER BOOKS ARE SET IN BOARDING SCHOOLS?

-Katie
Thursday, August 11, 2016

NY Times By the Book Tag


1. What book is on your nightstand now?
My Kindle with The Art of Language Invention by David J. Peterson. I am trying to stick to reading one book at a time!!

2. What was the last truly great book that you read?
milk and honey by Rupi Kaur (I say this book ALL the time.) My thoughts about it are in Mini Review Friday // 2.

3. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?
I can't think of anything specific I would want to know, but I would love to meet and just talk over tea with Virginia Woolf. 

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves? 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell in the bright pink cover! It is so flashy and girly! For years me preferences were about nonfiction, adult literary fiction, and darker books.

5. How do you organize your personal library?
Before I had little rainbows, but now I can't stand it when there is a lot of wasted space above the books on the shelf. So now I separate hardcovers and paperbacks and then organize by size. I have the shelves arranged so that they fit perfectly in the shelves to create space for more shelves: I have Ikea's Billy in white. It looks more sophisticated, artsy, cool to me. 

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t got round to yet?
Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?
Jane Austen and every book that is still on my TBR!

7. Disappointing, over-rated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing? 
The Martian by Andy Weir was a let-down for me. I feel bad that I didn't like it as much as everyone else. My husband and I will be posting a jint review in the coming weeks! I rarely DNF books, but one that I just cold not handle was Belinda by Anne Rice. That book scratched at my brain the wrong way.

8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
In my About Me page you will find the topics I like in books. I love books about the occult, historical fiction. I read pretty much all genres. Nothing much I stay completely clear from. Except New Adult, and even then I have one of Colleen Hoover's books on my Kindle to try. 

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be? 
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.

10. What do you plan to read next?
Little Nothing by Marisa Silver.



The New York Times 'By the Book' Tag was originally created by Marie Berg on Youtube.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stacking the Shelves // August




  Welcome to my book haul for August! So I went a little crazy and bought 8 books in July! Plus a little trip to the charity shop for one more book. I'm happy to finally own these books. Some of these books have been on my wishlist for a long time! I'm holding off until I get some money for my birthday this month before I buy more books or I take a trip to an actual bookstore. Also, I'm sorry if my photos are a little lame. Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts. *All titles will be linked to their Goodreads page!*

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Bought New:

+Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. I got this for the PopSugar Reading Challenge topic for: protagonist with your same occupation. While I am a freelance writer and tutor I am mostly a housewife for the time being. I picked up the UK Hardcover because it looked cooler than it is in real life.
+The Muse by Jessie Burton. I feel everyone has been hauling this, especially a lot of people, like me, who haven't read her first novel, The Miniaturist. The cover is gorgeous!
+Constellation Myths: with Aratuss Phaenomena by Eratosthenes and Hyginus. A new translation by Robin Hard. Another Oxford World Classic for my growing collection. I thought this would be an interesting read.
+The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. This is one of Waterstones' Book of the Month. This middle grade sounds so good and the book itself shows how much the publisher, Chicken House, cares for their books. Every page is so gorgeous and the inside of the flaps are beautiful too. It's not that expensive so you should definitely buy this one.
+Sisters by a River by Barbara Comyns. This was originally published in 1947 and Book Depository had it on sale! So of course I had to get it. This edition was published in 2013, but the design looks like it could have been from the 1940's and 1950's.
+Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Now I only need to get Emma to complete my collection of Jane Austen in these paperback editions!
+Evelina by Fanny Burney. This novel, published in 1778, predates other classics that everyone has come to love, including Jane Austen. I am looking forward to reading this! The non-rubbery version seems to be more pink, than purple. Penguin Classics needs to bring back the original texture of the covers!!!
+The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I thought about getting the hardcover edition by Penguin but I like how the white and blue pop on this paperback.




From Charity Shop:

+Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. I finally have my own copy to read! After hearing about this forever I can finally see for myself why it is so hyped. This was a great find at the charity shop. I already have several books to donate there.




-Katie

Monday, August 8, 2016

Manga Review: Sorako by Takayuki Fujimura // ARC August

Sorako
By Takayuki Fujimura
Publication Date: February 4, 2014 
Originally Published: December 2013
Publisher: GEN Manga Entertainment Inc.
Buy It: Kindle - $1.99 / Scribd 
Source: NetGalley (Then bought my own Kindle copy)



"Sorako lives an ordinary life. And this is an ordinary story. She has friends and family, loves her dog, thinks about life, and occasionally looks for work (kinda). These are the adventures into a typical girl’s life."




MY THOUGHTS

GEN Manga from the Tokyo Underground has been the forerunner for translating many indie manga from Japanese to English. Gen publishes for manga lovers who want something fresh or for newbies to start their reading with. Their stories reflect the lives of the contemporary reader without any science fiction or fantasy elements. Their promising statement is: "Gen stories are published nowhere else in the world. They come straight from the artists in Japan to you. We translate the stories and put them out as they are created." 

While the title is Sorako not all the short stories are about her. I never really knew what age she was, but all the stories are centered around young women who feel somewhat lost, living aimlessly. The stories deal with the everyday lives of these women, giving us a glimpse of contemporary Japanese life. The stories vary in length with the first being the longest. In some instances it felt like I was missing pages given the curtness of the dialogue. Some conversations would end abruptly. Also, it was hard to feel attached to the characters because of their apathy for life. They main characters usually needed something to happen, like a dog finding its way home or buying a birdcage, to finally realize that their happiness comes from their own actions and have a change of perspective. The stories were pretty boring and I didn't like the characters, but I liked that the collection of stories was realistic. 

The first story centers around Sorako looking for her missing dog, Toma. In the beginning Sorako is coming back from a job interview. She doesn't really know what she wants to do with her life and isn't trying hard to move away from this limbo of stagnancy with her life: living with her family, but being finished with schooling. In another short story with Sorako she wants to start swimming to lose weight. When she goes to register she is easily thwarted from even starting due to being unable to get a swimming cap. It was humorous that one simple request to the receptionist at the fitness center turns into a large search party for one swimming cap by multiple employees. Sorako tends to give up quickly with progressing in her life: career-wise or with her health. Fujimura is great at creating a theme to carry throughout the stories and adding some hints of symbolism. Here is a great review focusign on the stories and their symbolism: http://nyaanime.co.za/news/sorako-stellar.

One thing that I did absolutely love about this indie manga was the art. It had a rough, naturalistic style that fit with the subject matter of the stories. While I didn't absolutely love this manga I have dipped my toes enough that now I want to read more manga. Even give GEN Manga another try with a different author.  

Some would consider this boring while others would appreciate the realistic portrayal of mundane life and highlighting the period of life in which a decision must be made on what to do with you life. You should decide for yourself.

-Katie


My Reasons Why You Should Pick Up Sorako:

+ The design style.
+Glimpse of contemporary Japanese life.
+Continual theme throughout the stories.
+Easy to relate to. 



Little preview of inside: