Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Reads (4)

Today I've been reading  Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin. I'm in the mood for some high fantasty and I've wanted to read this forever so it seemed like a good pick. I have so many things started already though that I'm not sure starting a 1000 page book was a good idea. There are several books that I am in the middle of that I really just need to read the second half of. These include:

1) Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
2) House of Hades by Rick Riordan
3) Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
4) The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The number of books I've started is getting a little out of hand as well. There are three or four more books that I've started and haven't really gotten into yet. I need to finish some books....

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List - Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature that was created by The Broke and the Bookish. They host it every week and it is a lot of fun to participate in.

1) Read 100 Books per year - My biggest goal of this year is to read 100 books. Last year I read over 100 books, but over 20 of them were graphic novels and my goal this year is to read a larger number of novels.

2)  Finish the Ice and Fire Series - I want to catch up on this series before the next book comes out even though there isn't a date for its release.

3) Reduce my TBR pile to less than 100 books - I have over 170 books that I haven't read but own physical copies of. I really want to reduce this number because I am ashamed that I own so many books that I haven't read. Also I want to spend less money on books if I'm not going to read them for years.

4) Go to a major author event - I've been to a few author events and met a few of my favorite authors, but I'd like to go to an author tour event or an event for a really popular book. I would love to get some of my favorite books signed if possible in the coming years.

5) Have a library room - Someday when I have a house of my own, I want to have a room completely dedicated to reading and books. I cannot create this room where I live now and I don't know if I'll be able to anytime soon, but its a goal.

6) Meet some of my favorite authors - I'd love to meet some of the authors who have written my favorite books. Some examples would be Tamora Pierce, Maggie Stiefvater, Cassandra Clare, Rick Riordan and others.

7) Post more regularly (videos and text posts) - I have a hard time keeping to a schedule for this blog and for video making. It would be really great if I could make myself stick to a schedule and making the posts/reviews/videos more routine.

8) Read more Broadly - Sometimes I get stuck reading the same genre over and over again. Even if I'm enjoying that genre I want to try and challenge myself to try new genres and different books. I might discover something I really enjoy if I remember to branch out.

9) Visit the Library more often - I have lofty goals when it comes to the library. I always try to make it there, but I always stop going after a few weeks. I want to make going to the library something I do regularly at some point in my life.

10) Finish my bind up of Sherlock Holmes stories - I've read about a third of my Complete Sherlock Holmes. I want to finish this book, but it is going to take forever at this rate!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March Book Haul - 2014

Guess who bought more books! 

Vessel - Sarah Beth Durst 
The Space Between - Brenna Yavanoff 
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell 
Storm - Brigid Kemmerer 
Spark - Brigid Kemmerer 
Unite Me - Tahereh Mafi
Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo 
Monstrumologist Series - Rick Yancey 
Cinder - Marissa Meyer 
The Archived - Victoria Schwab
The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bookish Five Friday (16) - Getting Out of a Reading Slump

Sometimes I cannot pick up a book no matter how much I want to. I won't read for weeks at a time. It is frustrating and discouraging, but reading slumps happen to everyone. I hate calling these periods reading slumps because I think they are natural and even healthy. I don't have a better name for the times when I don't feel like reading or when I cannot make myself read. These are are tips and tricks that work for me personally when I'm trying to get back into reading.

1) Don't Force It- The most important thing for me is not to force myself to read. If I absolutely don't feel like it, this only makes things worse. Often when I'm in a reading funk, I feel like I should be reading because I have so many books I haven't read. Its overwhelming and trying to force myself to read in that mindset never ends well. A lot of times I'll do something totally different with my down time. I won't even look at this blog or my camera to film either. I just need to give myself a break. 

2) Do what I'm craving - Some days I want to be home reading all day, but when I'm not interesting in reading I'll do whatever I feel like doing. I try not to make myself feel bad about not reading because it doesn't help me want to read. I'll watch two seasons of a show on Netflix or run a few miles or play some video games. These are all things I like too. So I just put reading on the back burner until I get that urge to pick up a book again. Once I exhust one thing, I move onto the next. If that's reading, great! If not, oh well.

3) Start many different books - I read a lot of different books at once on a normal basis. Even so, when I'm trying to break out of a reading funk, I start many different books from different genres. This helps me personally because I might not know what I'm craving but this strategy helps me find it. Sometimes at the beginning of a really great reading run, I'll have 10 or 12 books started just to jump start my reading. 

4) Reread Books - Sometimes revisiting an old favorite will really help me jump start my reading and remind me why I love reading so much. Rereading really helps me when I can't find something on my TBR pile to tempt me. Plus I get to revisit some of my favorite stories!

5) Watch Booktube Videos or Read Book Blogs - Watching others struggle with reading can really help me or seeing someone love a book I want to read will motivate me to read. If I watch a Booktube video about someone who had trouble reading this month it takes some of the pressure off me that I feel to always be reading. I love getting introduced to new books or reminded of a book that I own. Videos and blog posts are so helpful to me when I'll struggling to pick up a book.

What do you do to get out of a reading slump/funk? How do you jump start a good reading run? 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday : Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is books that are on your TBR shelf for this spring. These can be books that you've had for a while or books that you are anticipating. Because I'm trying to reduce my pile of books, I picked books that I already own.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

From top to bottom (but no particular order) 

1) Seizure by Kathy Reichs 
2) Storm of Swords by George RR Martin 
3) Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo 
4) Scorched by Mari Mancusi 
5) Days of Blood and Starlight - 
6) Persuade Me by Juliet Archer
7) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
8) The Space Between by Brenna Yavonoff 
9) Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGiness 
10) Cinder by Marissa Meyer 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

February in Review

This is a little late because I've been having technology issues. The new computer has arrived and is beautiful! Hopefully this will help me get videos up more often!

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi 
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi 
Unite Me by Tahereh Mafi 
Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan 
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater 
The Tudors by G.J. Meyer 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fitzwilliam Darcy; Such as I was - Review

by Carol Cromlin


Genre: Historical Fiction/Pride and Prejudice Adaptation
Paperback - 341 pgs.
Published - Juliy 2013

Fitzwilliam Darcy is arguably the best known, most charismatic hero Jane Austen ever created but he is also the most unfathomable. Who exactly was Mr. Darcy? What principles guided him? What desires drove him? How did he come to be the character Austen, so vividly, portrayed? 

Carol Cromlin offers a window into the private life of this young, landed, Georgian gentleman. Her story presents events during the first eight and twenty years of Fitzwilliam Darcy’s life that shaped his personality and established his character, making him the man who so decidedly won Elizabeth Bennet’s heart, despite her absolute determination against him

I've been having a lot of trouble writing this review. I just don't know how to express my opinion about this book because I liked it, but there were things I didn't like as well. It feels like a giant jumbled mess in my head. Hopefully I'll be able to make some sense of it.

First of all I won a signed copy of this book from Misty the Bookrat's Austen in August. I was so excited to receive this book and I've been anticipating reading it since it came in the mail. I was so excited to see what kind of antics a young Mr. Darcy could get up to and what other experiences might be included in the story.

I did like this book, but I didn't quite love it like I wanted to. I really liked Darcy's early years and his relationship with his parents, I thought, was fantastic. I thought Master Darcy and Lady Anne were both wonderful characters that made sense based on Darcy's principles in the original story. Even though the book is written in old English (I had to look up a few things), I found the story easy to follow and a fast read through the early years of Darcy's life.

The middle of this book, when Darcy gets older, was where this book slowed down for me. I loved reading about Darcy's adventures on the Pemberley estate and even his friendship with George Wickham, who has a great origin story of sorts in this book. Darcy's college years and his time on the continent with his cousin was a bit harder for me to got through. It may have been the mood I was in because there are duels and exciting treks across the countries of Europe. After Darcy got back to England especially Pemberley, I was once again flying through the book.

While all the characters were important in Darcy's life, from the title and description of the book I expected the book to be exclusively about Darcy's experiences and his interpretation of events. The books is from a variety of points of view and includes experiences that include Darcy, but are mostly about other characters like George Wickham and the future Colonel Fitzwilliam. I wanted more of Darcy's opinion of these events rather than another person's point of view on what was happening.

To finish up I enjoyed all the experiences and the time line made me realize how Darcy's life fit into history as well which was interesting. Something I really liked was how Darcy became involved with the Bingley family. That might be my favorite string of stories within the novel. I definitely enjoyed this book and recommend reading it if you get a chance. It is a fun take on Darcy's early life which is really well done. I hope Cromlin will writing more Austenesque books in the future.

Rating: 4/5