Sunday, November 3, 2013

Monthly Reads Recap - October 2013

(Don't mind my wonky words up there! I did the best I could!) 
 Oh October... The month of my birth, of my mom's birth, and of Halloween... You are quite entertaining... My monthly total was higher than average because I read several "in-betweeners" in a day. I also managed to hit my yearly goal this month, which I didn't even realize until someone else pointed it out to me! That makes me pretty happy because November is going to have a low count!

(As always, all links will take you to GoodReads!)

A sad retelling of the Peter Pan story, but from TinkerBell's point of view, and about Tiger Lily (obviously!). While I enjoyed it I found it rather depressing at times and not at all what I was expecting. It was still a really good book though!

The lives of four women intertwine in an interesting way, and only one character was only remotely appealing. But I do like that about this book, that it was real. That not everyone was perfect. Still, it wasn't the best Jennifer Weiner book I've read!

I won this through GoodReads First Reads program (which I just adore!) and I was so happy to start in on it! Turns out it was much more... uhm... real life than I expected. I thought it would be silly and quirky and kind of a chick-lit from a man's point of view. It was much more serious than that though, and lacked a lot of depth, and I think that affected my rating of it.

I swear, I have heard more about this book than any other this year! I was happy to give it try, but I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with the last bits of it. Things felt a bit rushed. I'm happy to give the others a read when I get a chance though!

Oh Chelsea Handler... I want to find you beyond hilarious, but I just can't. Somehow she only manages to come across as a snobby drunk and not much else, but I do find the circumstances she gets herself in to pretty amusing.

I REALLY want to read an awesome mermaid novel, but I have yet to find one. This book sounded pretty cool but all it did was disappoint me. It was just Twilight with killer mermaids! Gah!

This is my first Bill Bryson book and I was expecting great things from it. But, for some reason, all it did was make me super sad! The whole book is filled with horribly depressing facts about the state of the wild in the US and how no one really cares anyways. Of course, there are funny bits about the hike, but they are totally overshadowed by the terrible state of the Parks Service. 

Apparently Kelle Hampton is a polarizing figure in the blogging/down syndrome world, you either love her or you can't stand her. I guess I'm in the middle of that, because I'm not sure I really care about her much. I did think the book was beautiful, but I'm a little unsettled by how her perfect life completely collapsed at the news that her daughter had Down Syndrome. She made it seem like it was something done to her and something terrible that SHE had to overcome, instead of being determined to move through it WITH her daughter. Kind of snobby...

I loved this book! I've never read anything by this author before, but I am determined to read more after this one! It was beautiful and sweet and I hated that it had to end! I was also pretty excited that it was a single book and not a series (even though I wished it was!).

This was one of the "in-betweeners" that I was talking about earlier! Although, this was more of a prequel... It was super short and from another characters point of view, but it was a nice read anyways!

Another "in-betweener" that was technically a prequel. I really liked The Knife of Never Letting Go, but this short story really didn't add anything to it. In fact, I feel like I already knew everything that was written. I wish there was more discussion on the ships, but maybe that will come in a later book...

A real "in-betweener"! I liked that this introduced the world that will be in Across a Star-Swept Sea because I really wasn't sure what to expect! I'm excited to get my hands on the full book now!

And another "in-betweener"! I've had a love/hate relationship with the Taker Trilogy, but I was still curious about this little book. It was interesting, and I'm curious if the Witch Sister will show up in the final book, but overall it wasn't incredibly impressive...

GAH! I feel like I should have LOVED this book, but I totally didn't! Maybe it was too meta for me? I mean, I did like it and I thought that it was pretty funny, but it ended up getting rather annoying at certain points. Maybe Scalzi just isn't for me?

When I think back on this book I can't say that I hated it with a passion, but I can't really say that I loved it. In fact, I just felt like it was kind of mediocre. The dialogue really bothered me because I just can't imagine people talking the way they do, but whatever. I may read the others if I'm in a lull, but I doubt it. (Although later book synopsis's do sound appealing...)

So that was it for October! I'm pretty happy that I hit my yearly goal early this year because that means I can relax for the next two months! I probably wont, but at least it's an option!

Total Books Read - October : 15
Total Books Read - Year : 110
Year Goal : 110

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Yay! Twenty-Eight!

Hi Internet.

Today I am 28 years old. Yep, twenty-eight years since the day I was birthed. (As I'm writing this it's EXACTLY twenty-eight years. To the minute.)

Anyways... A lot has changed in my life since that fateful day, but this past year has been a little bit nutty. You know, the whole, trying to find yourself thing. I know! I'm supposed to wait until I'm 30 to start freaking out about that kind of stuff!

But regardless, this last year has been crazy. I've made some big changes in the past few days that I'm hoping will make the next following 365 go much smoother, but only time will tell! I'm contemplating how much to share here, but in the next few weeks I'd like to share bits of what I've been doing. Since I don't have much of a following I'm feeling pretty good about the decision to do that!

So, until next time...


Monday, September 30, 2013

Monthly Reads Recap - September 2013

This month seemed to take forever, but I swear this year is just flying by! I had quite a few books on my list, but I pushed a few back when I realized I just wasn't in the mood for them. That's the joy of the TBR list, it's always changing! 

(As always, all links will take you to GoodReads!)

Guards! Guards! (Discworld #8) - Terry Pratchett
My first Discworld book, and my first Pratchett book! It was tough going at first, but the more I read the more I enjoyed, and I am looking forward to another Discworld novel in my future!

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) - Rae Carson
I always got this book mixed up with others that had similar names and covers, so I was a bit unsure of what I was jumping in to. Overall I was a fan of the story, even though there were a few annoying issues.. I'm interested enough to read the rest of the series though!

Bride of New France - Suzanne Desrochers
Beautiful, but so depressing. Really a good read, and incredibly interesting to learn about "New France", but I wish things worked out better for everyone involved!

The Healing - Jonathan Odell
Such a lovely book, but also a bit sad! There were certain parts that were amazing and that I loved, but I wasn't completely sold on the entire book. The main character drove me nuts through most of the story, and was only slightly redeemed in the final chapters!

Silver Sparrow - Tayari Jones
I was on a roll with the sad books, and this was the end of the line for me! I kept hoping that things would work out and that everyone would be happy at the end, but I was very wrong... Still, it was interesting. Just super sad interesting...

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Cheryl Strayed 
I've had this one on my TBR list for some time, and I finally took the plunge! I've always wanted to hike to the PCT and the AT so this was a such a fun read for me. I loved reading her reasons behind the hike, and the joy and craziness she experienced during it!

The Hunt (The Hunt #1) - Andrew Fukuda
Eh. I don't even remember when I put this on my TBR, but I finally got around to it and found myself rather unimpressed. It seemed like it had the potential to be really cool but for some reason things were seriously lacking. BUT... I'm probably going to read the rest to find out what's happened!

My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick 
Cute, but nothing amazing. The relationship was perfect and reminiscent of first loves everywhere, but the big conflict seemed incredibly forced and happened way too late in the book.

Unholy Night - Seth Grahame-Smith
Yay! I love this author for all his crazy remakes of the world we think we know, and this one story didn't disappoint! Unholy Night was bloody and violent and surprisingly moving. It makes you rethink the events surrounding the birth of Jesus and the way the world was then. 

Between Shades of Gray - Ruta Sepetys
Ruta Sepetys is SUCH a good author! Seriously, this is the second book I've read by her and I am sold. She creates such an honest world around her characters and it really makes for a beautiful story. Of course, it was sad... As so many books this month were, but it was still such a great read!

Deadly Cool - Gemma Halliday

Cutesy and silly, but still a nice fluff book to read through! I had heard it compared to Nancy Drew, and while it's not a super accurate representation it was close enough for a quick fun read!

Did Not Finish

I didn't finish this book because it was bad, but because it didn't hold my interest. I already know quite a bit about the Donner Party so I feel like this didn't bring anything new to the table. I imagine this is still a good book, but just not one for me!

This month was filled with sad books, and a lot of books dropped off the list, but I'm still happy with my total read. I feel like I read much slower than usual, but I was surprised to see that I was still on track!

Total Books Read - September: 11
Total Books Read - Year : 95
Year Goal : 110

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monthly Reads Recap - August 2013

August has been quite the month for me, my friends... Quite the month... 
I kept my reading up though, and am happy to report that I am only about twenty books shy of my yearly goal! I did have two Did-Not-Finish books this month, and I've decided to include them just to round out the group.

As always, all book links will take you to GoodReads!

I found this book much more appealing than the cover implied. (It's all the swishy dresses on the skinny girls looking all proud that make me think a book is going to be boring...) I am a fan of the world created here, and I love how real the characters were. I'm a bit disappointed that the sequel is not a follow-up to this novel, but I'm happy that it's at least set in the same world!

Ever heard of 99U/Behance? That's how I found out about this book, and I'm glad I took the time to read it. Behance and 99U are all about making ideas happen and this book is a lovely collection of essays written by people who know just how to help you do that. I would consider purchasing this book, if only so I could mark it up with notes and ideas!

Oooohhh... I had heard a lot of good things about this book. It was violent and depressing and all kinds of sad, but it was as good as I had heard. I'm looking forward to book two, and I can only hope things get a little happier!

Wasn't sure if I would enjoy this one, but I totally did. I loved that it was a stand alone novel, and I loved all the questions it brought to my mind. While this was a sad story it also gave you hope, and that's what made me enjoy this book even more.

This was a spur of the moment purchase last year and it's sat on my Kindle until now. It was short and sweet and totally to the point, but I'm glad I bought it because it's one that can be referred to at any stage of life!

Not as chick-lit as I had thought it was going to be, but still a little silly! Cute and a bit sad, but a definite eye-opener on how differently people deal with their emotions. 

This could have been an awesome book, but things fell a bit flat for me. Combining the three women and their stories made each story seem short, and it was hard to separate their voices.

I really did want to like this book! It had SO much potential! Instead I found myself annoyed by the main characters, curious as to how their world actually worked, and a little bit embarrassed by some of the antics the characters got in to. Not sure if I want to read the rest of the series...

I needed a fluff book to read after I gave up a previous book as a DNF, and this one fit the bill! It was silly and sweet and just a little bit ridiculous. I'm happy I had it on hand to give me a laugh!

Much better than I imagined it would be! There were a lot of good questions brought up, and a surprisingly believable love interest! The author didn't shy away from sadness and guilt and the tough things that happen in life, and I was grateful to her for that. And once again, I'm happy to find a stand alone book in this sea of trilogy's!

I won this book through GoodReads FirstReads, and when I entered to win I had thought it seemed a little chick-lit-y and I was fine with that. What I got was anything but! This book was deep, and it was moving, and it was incredibly emotional. It has to be the best book I've read all year and I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to win it! Everyone needs to read this one!

Oh Clive Cussler... We've had a long relationship, Clive and I. I'm a Dirk Pitt fan through and through, and I've also got some love for the Oregon Files, but I'm concerned that Issac Bell and I are not destined to be friends. (Also, I've heard rumors that Cussler didn't even write this book, and honestly... It shows.)


I need a book where something happens. Anything. But this book picks up after everything already happened. And we're left with people just thinking about how it sucked, but moving on with their lives. That, to me, is uneventful. And boring. I got about 120 pages in and gave it up for a lost cause.

I wanted to like this book! It had a lot of potential to be awesome, but for some reason it was just falling flat. Nothing really seemed to be happening, and the main character thought he was much funnier than he really was. I was a little over a hundred pages in and threw in the towel.

So, while this month was a bit nuts I was still able to get my read on and enjoy some amazing books! I'm happy that I'm working my way through my TBR and that I'm also throwing in a few randoms for good measure!

Total Books Read - August: 14
Total Books Read - Year : 84**
Year Goal : 110

**Somewhere my math is totally wrong. GoodReads caculates books that I've read, but not finished, in to my yearly goal, and somehow I've gotten things confused... Hopefully next month will be clearer!**