Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - 10 Books I Hope Santa Considers

It has been quite a while since I posted a Top Ten Tuesday. 

1) Fire Touch or Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs - These are the next two books in the Mercy Thompson series and I'm really excited to continue on with this series. I've been obsessed with paranormal romance series over the last year and this is just the continuation of that! 

2) A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas - I love Sherlock Holmes and I love Sherry Thomas' other series so this is something I'm really excited to get my hands on this series at some point. Santa please?

3) Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas by Laura Sook Duncombe - This book looks and sounds really cool. I have a few non-fiction books about pirates and I'm anxious to add more to my collection.

4) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid - I borrowed this from my library a few weeks ago but didn't have the chance to read it. The concept of this story is so interesting and I've heard nothing but good things.

5) Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker - Jane Eyre from Mr. Rochester's point of view? Sign me up! Plus the cover is absolutely stunning. I hope I can get my hands on this eventually even if Santa doesn't bring it.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo A Study in Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock, #1) Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas Mr. Rochester 13413589

6) Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle - The Accident Season was one of my favorite books of 2015. It was a stunning debut and I am aching to reread it. Now I can't wait to get my hands on this sophomore novel.

7) The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis- Steampunk air pirates? A female commander? Sign me up!

8) Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard - Ever since this cover change, I've wanted to read this series in the worst way.

9) Secrets of the Realm by Bev Stout - This book has been on my radar for ages, but I'm not sure if I'll like it. Therefore, I'd like someone else to purchase it for me.

10)  The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie - After reading the first book, I'm anxious to see where the duology concludes though I've heard some mixed things so we shall see!

  Spellbook of the Lost and Found The Guns Above (Signal Airship #1) Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1) Secrets of the Realm The Edge of the Abyss (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #2)

Friday, December 1, 2017

December is Here! It's the End of the Year

Hey there Everyone. I hope you've had a great few weeks since I posted last. American Thanksgiving was last week and I had a lovely time with my family and friends. Unfortunately I had some health issues over the past week that landed me in the hospital. Even though I'm on the mend, I want to spend December on staying healthy and enjoying the holidays with my family.

So I won't be around much this month. I may post a few End of the Year updates, but its possible you won't here from me until 2018!

See you soon! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tome Topple TBR (Round 5)

It is time, once again, for Tome Topple. This readathon is so much fun to participate in and last time I accomplished a lot. I've taken what I learned from that readathon and plan to read a physical tome as well as listening to an audiobook version of one tome. Check out my TBR!

Monday, November 13, 2017

GRWM & Booktuber Recommendations

This week I was excited to talk about some booktubers I really love. I had an inspiration based on Elizabeth from Books and Pieces. She reminded me how much I love the conversations booktubers start. So today I wanted to tell you most of the creators that make me think the most and inspire me to leave comments the most.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Why My TBR Goal for 2017 was Unrealistic

It may be a little early to talk about goals from this year and whether we failed or succeeded. However, I already know the ultimate outcome for my TBR goal for 2017. I failed. I read a lot of books this year. Even so, I realize now that this goal was never going to happen this year.

At the beginning of this year I had high hopes that my TBR bookshelf would be reduced by the end of the year. According to my shelf on Goodreads I had 235 books unread and I set the ambitious goal (and I knew it was ambitious at the time) of reducing that number to 150. I also wanted to purchase fewer books than I did in 2016. So I stepped into 2017 hoping to buy less than 106 books and reduce my TBR by 85. I was going to have full shelves of books I have read!

Based on the fact I usually read around 100 books a year and there are usually 25-30 library books, ebooks, and audiobooks mixed in with what I read from my physical owned book, you may be thinking the same thing I was about half way through the year. That math doesn't add up. Both of us would be very very correct. This goal was never going to happen.

Some other things contributed to my failure to read this goal. First, I had quite a few books in my house and on my shelves that were not counted on my Goodreads TBR Shelf. I didn't realize there were quite a few books missing and I imagine I had closer to 250 books on my TBR shelf at the beginning of the year. The other reason was I didn't realize I would discover a second library I could subscribe to on Overdrive and I didn't know my friend would introduce me to Hoopla. Both of these discoveries led me to borrow more books and graphic novels from the library than I anticipated. Such amazing discoveries, but they destroyed any hope I had about reducing my TBR shelf to 150 in 2017.

Overall this year I did not make as much progress as I hoped for my TBR in 2017. At this point I hope to finish out the year under 200. That would be mean I finished the year 50 books fewer than 2016. If that happens, then I can start the real work of reducing it to 150 in 2018. Next year I also hope to get my entire TBR back onto the bookcase. Right now I am overflowing a bit, but it is quite an improvement from the beginning and middle of the year!

Do you make an effort to keep your TBR under a certain number? Do you even keep track? I've been making an effort to spend less money on books, be more conscious of the books I purchase, and ultimately have a smaller TBR. Please let me know your thoughts!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

October Wrap Up (2017)

Overall October was a good month. We finally got a taste of the cooler fall weather in my area and it was my birthday month. Even so, I had a little bit of a slumpy month. I read a lot at the beginning of the month but struggled toward the end. Check out everything I finished in October.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Wrap up for #AllHallowsWeek

This year All Hallows Week has been a little rough and trying to polish it off today will also be a little rough. A severe cold hit me right in the middle of the ten days of the event this year and it really knocked me off my game. I'm sorry things have been a little slim and today there almost wasn't a post!

Today I want to list a few books I hope to feature next year or at least read before All Hallows Week rolls around again. I'd like to feature some Non-Fiction books in the future as well as more adult reads that have those spooky elements in them I love.

Happy Halloween and thanks for reading! 

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1) The Mirk and Midnight Hour

Monday, October 30, 2017

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

Bloodfever (Fever #2)

Series: Fever #2
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Library
Ebook - 337 pgs
Delacorte Press (2007) 

Rating: 4/5

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.

The jump in quality between books one and two is incredible. We delve a lot deeper into the world of Fae and learn more about Mac’s abilities. The story arc was a lot stronger and overall the book didn’t have the slow start that Darkfever did. Personally, I found the description a little misleading. I do not find the sexual assault, V'lane, attractive at all and his presence in this pseudo-love-triangle is something I could dump from this series all together.

Though I still don’t approve of Mac’s self deprecating tone either, she takes less crap from Barrons and works more independently in this book. Mac’s journey is somehow even darker in this book and she has to face consequences from her choices in book one. Moning does a good job of almost answering my questions and keeping me on the edge of my seat.

On an amusing note. At the beginning of this book I finally realized Jericho Barrons has dark hair. For some reason this has increased my opinion of him by more than is reasonable. He does improve a little in this novel, but I'm hoping there is some reason for his tortured exterior. There usually is. Book three is already downloaded and I'm ready to keep rolling though this series. (After I finish Stranger Things)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cool Weather Recommendations #AllHallowsWeek

As Halloween draws closer I wanted to recommend some books that are good for spooky reading as well as just cold weather reading. Even though I like all the spooky recommendations, I'm ready for general cool weather reading. I'm ready for long books and creepy books with atmospheric writing. Here are the best ones I've read. 

Saturday, October 28, 2017

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever (Fever, #1)

Series: Fever #1
Genre: Paranormal 
Age Group: Adult
Source: Library ebook
Ebook - 382 pgs
Delacorte Press (2006) 


MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault

Looking back at this book I’m not sure how I made it through the first half, but I’m glad I stuck it out.

The first half of Darkfever is slow and Mac makes some dumb decisions. Until the fantasy side of the story introduced, the story just dragged. If you can get through this section the second half of the book is really exciting and things improve a lot in book two. I feel like I say this about every paranormal series I read, but that is a discussion for another day.

Throughout the book Mac from the future breaks the fourth wall to talk to the reader and I was frustrated Future Mac talked so poorly about Current Mac. It sets a tone for the reader that we shouldn't like this version of the character. Several of the characters also comment on how Mac's attire and style is a reflection of how soft and silly she is which was simply overdone. Mac can kick butt in a pink skirt if she wants to! Moning's writing style just isn't my favorite. In between action scenes she repeats herself a lot and described things in a lot of detail.

However, I did enjoy the ending of this. Mac really starts to become an active participant in her own story. At that point I was invested and I loved how she took the reins to start directing her own fate. It just took her a long time! The action really picked up, so the writing was better, and I was intrigued enough to pick up book two. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Update - #AllHallowsWeek

This week has been a WEEK. Work has been really busy and I contracted some type of cold last weekend. The beginning of the week went ok. I just had a sore throat, but on Wednesday I woke up with a headache (migraine strength) and a fever. You would think a sick day would be a day I could read in bed, but I slept most of the day and couldn't muster the strength for much else. Even after I went back to work yesterday, I fell asleep early after I started my rewatch of Stranger Things. Anyway if you are interested in a Friday update, I posted a video to Youtube.


This weekend I'm hoping to catch up on things. Mainly I want to finish at least one book for the Autumnal Readathon. I was so excited for this before this cold kicked me in the butt. Hopefully I'll have a little time and energy left to do that. I also want to watch Stranger Things! I'm excited for Season 2, but since the first season is only eight episodes I might watch that all over again. Don't look for me too much online this weekend because I'll be avoiding spoilers! 

Happy Reading! 

Check back tomorrow and through Halloween for more creepy bookish posts!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Review - Crimson Peak by Nancy Holder #AllHallowsWeek

Crimson Peak: The Official Movie Novelization
Series: Standalone
Genre: Gothic Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Purchased from Audible 
Audiobook - 10 hours
Titan Books - 2015
Add it //Buy it 

Rating: 4/5

When her heart is stolen by a seductive stranger, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay: a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. 

Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak. From acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro.

When the movie Crimson Peak was released a few years ago, I was very intrigued. However, I am not a horror fan so I skipped the film. Afterward I purchased this audiobook to get a taste of what I missed. Overall, I would classify this story as a romantic historical thriller. It is quite creepy and atmospheric for the fall.

Throughout the book I kept comparing this story to The Fall of the House of Usher. Someone had to have taken inspiration from the decaying house and dying corrupt bloodline of that story. Even though the story is a little predictable, I was still addicted to the audiobook and I listened to it as much as I could. Although I did not listen to it when I was home alone one evening. It was too creepy for that!

The characters are quite interesting and I was surprised by their complexity. At each turn of events characters were conflicted and had a lot of complex motivations for their choices. I was not expecting this since this was a novelization of a movie. This was true for the description and the plot as well. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the complexity of this story. The writing is very descriptive and Holder paints a strong picture even though I had images from the movie in my mind.

Honestly I'm excited to watch the movie at some point now and I think I will be able to handle it. After many hours of creepy audiobook filling my ears, I hope I can handle two hour of creepy film.

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Series: Standalone 
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology 
Age Group: Adult
Audiobook - 6.5 hours
Harperaudio- 2017 
Add it // Buy it 

Rating - 5/5

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of a giant, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again. 

I’ve been an avid mythology fan for most of my life. Take my fascination with ancient myths all the way back to the Ulysses episode of Wishbone.  After being curious about the Norse myths for years, but never knowing where to start, this book seemed like something to ease me into the mass of myth.

All of the myths within are rewritten and reworked by Gaiman in a way that makes them accessible and entertaining to read. Though I cannot speak for accuracy, because this is my first foray into Norse myths, the stories feel timeless. They have the elements of old original myths within. They can explain, warn, and entertain.  

The audiobook was a delight. Gaiman read it himself, like he does most of his audiobooks, and that always add something to the experience for me. Most of the chapters are short which I really enjoyed because it made finishing chapters of the audiobook easy and I could stop at the end of each retelling if I needed to stop listening.

Each story was complete and full of adventure. The gods were fickle and they are all related in some strange way. It was fantastic.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

NYC Vlog and Haul #AllHallowsWeek

Last weekend I traveled to New York City with two friends for a two day trip to the city. We had a lot of fun and visited a few bookstores as well as other shops. I did pick up a few thing and had a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy my little trip vlog even though I only have a few clips!

Stores Mentioned:

Waiting on Wednesday #AllHallowWeek

Though most of my anticipated releases for the year have already been released, I still have a few that I am really excited for. Luckily, I don't have much longer to wait for the books I'm talking about today.

1) Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger - (Release November 4th ) - This novella is finally here! The story of Biffy and Lyall is finally being released. I'm so excited and I have the digital version pre-ordered. I can't wait to add a physical version to my collection (which will come later) but it is coming!

2) The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell - (Release November 2nd) - Though I don't read a lot of short story collections, I want to get my hands on this. I love Jen and her channel on Youtube. I've heard great things about this collection and it is beautiful!

3) City of Bones (10th Anniversary Edition) by Cassandra Clare - (November 7th) - I've recently reread this first book and I am so excited to get my copy of this Collector's Edition. Not a new release but I am still excited.

Romancing the Werewolf (Supernatural Society, #2) 36453128 City of Bones: 10th Anniversary Edition

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Creepy TV Episodes, Podcasts and Recommended Reading - #AllHallowsWeek

Image result for stuff you missed in history
Are you ready for all things generally creepy? Are you ready to be spooked in many different formats? If so, this is the post for you! Today I'm recommending some creepy TV episodes and podcasts. Then I am sending you out to other blogs to check out some cool posts about costumes and some books I haven't read.

Spooky Listens -

One of my favorite podcasts is Stuff You Missed in History Class. In October they often feature topics outside their normal realm of historical topics. Though all of their episodes are well researched and full of facts, these October episodes are spookier and have more unexplainable elements.

Ghosts of History: A Haunted House Tour - Homes with tragic history!

Beast of Gevaudan - Possible French werewolf attacks!

The Hagley Woods Murder - Who put Bella in the Witch Elm?

The Disappearance of the Sodder Children - Actually the scariest case of arson you will ever read/listen to.

#AllHallowsWeek Review - Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)

Series: Finishing School Series #3
Genre: Historical Fiction Steampunk Paranormal
Age Group: Young Adult
Paperback - 298pgs
ATOM - 2014

Rating: 4.5/5

Sophronia continues finishing school in style - with a range of deadly defences secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Her fashionable choice of weapons comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap and the charming Lord Felix Mersey hijack a suspiciously empty train to return their chum Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland.

But when Sophronia discovers they are being trailed by a dirigible of Picklemen and flywaymen, she unearths a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos. With her friends in mortal danger, Sophronia must sacrifice what she holds most dear - her freedom. 

My main complaint about book two was it felt like a holding pattern and we didn't make a lot of progress in the big picture plot. This book definitely changed that. There are a lot of exciting twists and turns throughout this novel and, as I've mentioned before, I find Carriger's writing style and world builiding delightful.

Carriger continues to focus on the girls working together to outsmart their enemies both near and far. As they get older they are worried about boys and marriage, but the focus on on their ambitions. I really like that part of this story.

The love triangle fails a bit in my opinion. Throughout the books I felt like only one of Sophronia's suitors is a serious contender. The other fell flat to me. I don't know if this was a problem with the writing and plotting or if I personally failed to see the appeal in the other character from the start. 

I highly recommend this series as a fun and fast paced read.

Monday, October 23, 2017

#AllHallowsWeek - The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist, #2)

Series: The Monstrumologist #2
Genre: Horrror
Age Group: Young Adult
Paperback - 444 pgs
Simon and Schuster 2010
Add it // Buy it 

Rating: 3/5 

While attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancé to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, and which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop also considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo.

Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?

What a mixed bag! This book, unlike the first in the series, has me quite on the fence. There were parts that I really liked. For instance, the action and adventure in this installment rivals the first. We actually visit the Canadian wilderness and throughout the trek the story is quite intense. There were moments of genuine fear and anxiety while I was reading this harrowing journey. The same level of gore and violence were used, but there were fewer occurrences. I did like how the doctor was humanized in this book. There were several instances where he broke his Holmes-like persona and showed more character depth. 

However, one of the main draws for me in book one was the monster hunting. We see significantly less hunting and immensely more philosophizing in this second book. While I did enjoy this character introspective it disappointed me after spending the first half of the book in the dangerous wilderness. To me two halves of the book were warring for dominance and in the end they both lost. The wordy writing style and strange wandering tangents didn't keep my attention. 

I'm sad this book took me so long to read, but I will continue on with the series since the preview of book three promised a return of some familiar faces. 

#AllHallowsWeek - Spooktacular Bookish Fun

Happy Hauntings Readers! The time has come for All Hallows Week again! If you haven't seen my past Hallows Weeks, here are how things go down. Over the past few Octobers I've features creepy and spooky reads in the week leading up to Halloween. In October I try to add it a few extra books featuring paranormal creatures and fall vibes then recommend my favorites as well.

This year is a bit different. The idea is the same, but I've been posting everyday in October. I'm doing my best to get back into the habit of blogging since I've been fairly erratic this year. If you want to check out all my October posts, go to my Booktober tag on the blog!

Anyway I have videos and posts ready for your viewing pleasure this week and all the way up to Halloween. To kick us off today I've collected a few of my favorite post from past years here in this post.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Autumnal Readathon TBR

After watching a few TBRs for this readathon I knew I wanted to participate! I have quite a few books on the go right now though so my goal for the week is to start a few of these. I doubt I'll actually finish them though. We shall see! See the challenges here! 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Summer and Fall Favorites

It has been a LONG while since I posted my favorites. Since it has been over six months since my last favorites, I'm going to name a few of my favorites from the summer and beginning of fall. Since it has been so long, I had a hard time choosing just one favorite!

Book Favorite: These last few months I have read some amazing books. It is really hard to choose between them. I don't know how I'll narrow it down to just a few. I don't have reviews for any of these yet because I am INCREDIBLY far behind these year on reviews. They were all fantastic though and I loved them for different reasons.

Homegoing Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1) Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3) The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Audiobook Favorite: Since March I've listened to two audiobooks that really blew me out of the water. During the Tome Topple Readathon I listened to American Gods and really enjoyed the full cast version of the story. Then 

American Gods Norse Mythology

Blogger/Youtuber Favorite: I've been trying to expand my youtube subscription list lately. Even though I love the people I'm already subscribed to, I want to expand the books and thought I am exposed to. One of my most recent favorite people is Lia Cooper. Lia is smart and critical. She expresses her thoughts really well and she gets me excited about the books she talks about!

Friday, October 20, 2017

#FridayReads October 20, 2017

Happy Friday! This week I've been trying to fit in some creepier reads and these two have fit the bill. Darkfever is a urban fantasy focused on the fae and so far all of the fae have been horribly inhuman and twisted. It definitely falls on the darker side of urban fantasy and I'm enjoying it even though it is a little slow. Crimson Peak on the other hand is really ramping up the action as I read the end of the book. I only have two hours left in this audiobook and I'm very anxious to reach the end of the gothic thriller. Though this is a little predictable, it is very atmospheric and creepy. A young bride follows her new husband to his historic estate in England, but the home is falling apart and there is something watching her. It is delightfully creepy.

Darkfever (Fever, #1) Crimson Peak: The Official Movie Novelization

What are you reading this weekend?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Review - American Gods by Neil Gaiman


Series: Standalone
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Age Group - Adult
William Morrow (first published July 2001)
Audiobook - (635pgs)

Rating: 5/5

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday's bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. It is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own.

Along the way, Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life, a storm is brewing - an epic war for the very soul of America - and that he is standing squarely in its path.

The full cast edition of this audiobook completely captured me. This book follows a lot of small threads that all come together to make an epic story, much like America is made of many people who make up the whole. It is really hard to pinpoint what this book is about. On one hand we are following Shadow as he works for Wednesday and on the other we are following a larger story about American lore and what America IS. The pace is quite slow especially at the beginning and the end. The audiobook really helped keep me invested and focused on this book. It would've been a lot harder to get through a physical copy of this story.

This book is jammed packed with mythology and history. I really enjoyed how Gaiman broke up Shadow's story with smaller chapters about how different gods arrived in America. It was a nice way to build up the narrative of the gods without someone explaining it exactly how it happened. These chapters were some of the most emotional parts of the book and the one that hit me the hardest was the story of Wututu and her brother Agasu. I listened to this section twice and cried though the whole thing.

Throughout the book I felt like I was reading this book at the right time. Even though the book was originally published in 2001, many of the struggles and storms in this book are still raging within America. There were a few moments I found predictable during, but overall I really enjoyed this book and I was blown away by the audiobook. I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did at all.

Hopefully, I'll be watching the TV series at some point in the near future. I'd really like to see how certain sections are interpreted. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

T5W - Shapeshifters/Werewolves

This week I was really excited to participate in Top Five Wednesday. Paranormal creatures are some of my favorite parts of books. Two of my favorite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal so I had a hard time narrowing this down to just five books. I did use a loose definition of shapeshifter for this Top Five Wednesday, but they are all shifters of some kind.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Magic Dreams and Magic Steals Combo Review

Magic Steals (Kate Daniels, #6.5)
Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels, #4.5)
Series: Kate Daniels Series 4.5 & 6.5 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Group: Adult
Published: 2012/2016
MD Addit // Buy it
MD Rating: 4/5
MS Rating: 4.5/5

Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him--a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack's headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim's attention--but now he needs her help. 

Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali's flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits. 

These are two very fun novellas that I picked up because I need Andrews' writing in my life and I need a taste of the Kate Daniels world while I wait for Magic Triumphs. Dali is quite the opposite of Kate in many ways and it was really interesting to see the world from a different perspective. 

Dali's magic is another awesome element to these stories and her self-depreciating humor really amused me. Not only is she funny, she doesn't take any crap either. She knows her magic, even if it doesn't always work for her, and she doesn't let anyone tell her otherwise. Even so, she has her human moments, like when her mom embarrasses her or she worries Jim doesn't like her, which made me love her even more. 

Can we have more Jim and Dali screen time? These two are fantastic and a little less toxic than Kate and Curran. (and by a little I mean they aren't toxic at all) I loved their slow burn romance and I want to see more of their adventures together.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review - Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #4
Age Group: Adults
Genre: Paranormal
Published: February 2009 (Ace Books)
Hardcover - 309 pgs
Add it // Buyt it

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her perternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan - and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

At the end of Iron Kissed I was convinced and disappointed Briggs was going to gloss over any further repercussion from the events of that book. Instead, Mercy continues to struggle with what happened which was realistic and I liked that Briggs took the time to address it. Mercy continues to develop as a character and the entire cast of characters finally feels fleshed out and full of personality.
Bone Crossed is mostly a bridge book. Mercy needed time to recover, like I mentioned before, and Briggs needed to fill in some holes she had left open during the first few books. The book did its job though the plot of this installment was a little bland for me. Most of the details have already escaped my brain. The romance in this series is starting to take a larger role as well, but it is nicely balanced and everyone had issues to work through.
There is a distinct lack of women in this series though. Mercy doesn't have many close female relationships and she is combative with most of the women in her circle. I'd like this to change, there are some promising signs, in the future. Even though most werewolves are men, it would be nice to see Mercy have some female relationships.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

End of Year Book Tag

The lovely Ariel Basset created a really fun tag for the transition to the end of 2017. I had a lot of fun answering these questions and I had a chance to wear my favorite romper one more time since the weather has been warm here in the Northeast. I hope you will check out Ariel's cool original video after you listen to my answers.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

My Used Book Shopping List

This post is shamelessly stolen from TrishaJennReads. Her blog is gorgeous and full of fun context so I recommend you also check out her original post as well. 

I adore shopping in a used book store or browsing a used book sale. There are always books you are hoping to find, but it rarely works out that way. Most of the time when I browse the sales, I find something I've never heard of rather than something I am looking for. However, there are a few titles I keep my eyes peeled for when I browse a book sale. 

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Outlander Hardcovers
Tamora Pierce Books of Any Variety
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Austenland by Shannon Hale

Friday, October 13, 2017

September Real Time Book Haul

September was a weird month for me. I've had some weird health issues going on and it has made me lethargic. Even though this haul idea didn't work the way I wanted it to, I think I will try it again in the future. What did you pick up in September?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review - Code by Brendan Reichs and Kathy Reichs

Series: Virals #3
Genre: Science-Fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Published: Young Arrow (2013)
Paperback - 408 pg

Rating: 4/5

The Virals are put to the ultimate test when they find a geocache containing an ornate puzzle box. Shelton decodes the cipher inside, only to find more tantalizing clues left by "The Gamemaster." A second, greater geocache is within reach—if the Virals are up to the challenge.

But the hunt takes a dark turn when Tory locates the other box—a fake bomb, along with a sinister proposal from The Gamemaster. Now, the real game has begun: another bomb is out there—a real one—and the clock is ticking. 

After a very long break between books, I've finally picked up the third book in this series. I forgot how much I love this group of intelligent and quick thinking kids. At times this is a mix of Scooby-Doo and the Temperance Brennan novels which is a lot of fun to read. This particular book features a serial killer, which as a crime show fan I approve of, and the kids need to beat him at his own game.

Just like the other novels in this series, the story starts off a little slowly, but events start to pile up as the book continues. By the second half it was hard for me to put this book down because I need to know what will happen next! 

Tory's strong personality and her independence are both qualities I admire in her, but I wish Reichs balanced the characters a little more. At times Tory's take-charge attitude was a little overwhelming and the other three characters get overshadowed.  I really enjoyed how Reichs has written this group. All of the characters read as teens and have teen problems even though they are incredible smart and inventive. They worry about high school bullies and curfew while they try to defeat a killer. 

Though the pack does some pretty unbelievable things with their enhanced abilities, I had the hardest time believing their break ins at the lab. After the events in book two, Tory mentions a lot of increased security measures. I don't believe the kids could skip through these so easily. This part of the story really bothered me especially since it happened multiple times throughout the book. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September Wrap Up

In September I read quite a few books. During the month I felt like I was really struggling to read even though I read a lot of good books. Hopefully I won't struggle quite as much in October. Check out my wrap up to see exactly what I read last month!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Top Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers

Once again we have come around to Top Ten Tuesday. This week I've chosen my favorite orange, red, yellow and brown covers. Some of these are my favorite books of all time. I wonder if there is any further correlation between my favorite season's colors and my favorite books.

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1) The Will of the Empress (Circle Reforged, #1) The Scorpio Races Homegoing Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3) This Monstrous Thing In Search of Lost Dragons Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) Imprudence (The Custard Protocol #2)

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review - The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher


Genre: Autobiography 
Age Group: Adults
Published - November (2016)
Audiobook - 5 hours 10 minutes

Rating: 4/5

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved—plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager. 

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time—and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. 

Listening to this audiobook was incredibly emotional for me which I did not expect going in. The memoir itself is very interesting and full of anecdotes about Fisher's time on set before, during, and after she was cast in the Star Wars flims. She also covers her affair with Harrison Ford and her experience/struggle being Leia since the film's production. Because the audiobook is read by the author, her inflection made the writing a lot easier to understand. I can imagine some of the stories would not come across as well in text as they did when Carrie Fisher told them. 

Even though the book was incredibly funny, Fisher touches on many dark points in her life as well. Her struggles with drugs, alcohol, anxiety, and growing up in Hollywood are all a part of this story and she reflects on most of it with humor. However, these sections were difficult to listen to knowing Fisher (and her mother who she mentions often in this book) has since passed away. As I mentioned at the beginning this was incredibly emotional and I cried a few times as I listened to it.

Carrie Fisher's daughter. Billie Lourd, reads the journal entries from which this book sprang into life which was rather haunting. I'll admit it put me in strange head space and I was completely submerged in this book when I was listening to it. It was a strange experience listening to Fisher relate her personal life in her own voice six months after her death. Even so I would highly recommend the audiobook and I will be reading more of Fisher's books in the future.