Friday, October 24, 2014

The TBR Book Tag

Happy Friday everyone :) I was recently tagged by the lovely ladies at Readers in Wonderland to do the To-Be-Read (TBR) book tag post. Yay for more bookish tag fun!!  Considering I've been dragging my feet with posting more personal content on the blog, these have worked out perfectly for me!  Keep 'em coming ;) I do hope that my readers are enjoying these as much as I am though hehe

How do you keep track of your TBR Pile?

Well that depends if we're talking books to read that I already own -or- books to-be-read that I don't own yet. The TBR books that I do own now have their own bookcase now, it was unavoidable. >.< The rest get sorted through my various shelves on Goodreads (wishlist, to-be-released, to-read, etc...)

Is your TBR Pile mostly print or ebooks?

It's probably more print books now because of the two glorious years where I went to BEA. If not for that, things would probably be closer to 50/50.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I'm a huge mood-reader, so reading on any kind of a schedule equals reading slumps for this girl.  I always have a pile of like 5-6 books on my bedside table that I know I want to read soon-ish, but other than that, I just go by whatever tickles my fancy.


What's been on your TBR the longest?

Well according to Goodreads, that honor goes to a few books actually - all added on the same date: The Count of Monte Cristo, The Mists of Avalon, Eragon and The DaVinci Code.

A book you recently added to your TBR

Well my shiny new hardback of Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas ♥ of course. Full disclosure: I got so excited when it was available for pre-order (even though I had a autographed, print arc) that I ordered it not once, but twice! Luckily I caught myself before the book came out and cancelled one of my pre-orders xD I'm planning on re-reading it soon so it totally counts as a TBR pick.


A book that's on your TBR strictly because of it's beautiful cover?

Yes...as much as I wish there wasn't, there is. Off the top of my head probably Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White though I'm sure there are others...

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal.  I've heard some truly odd things about this one. For real o.O  And as much as I'm kind of curious I don't think I'll take the chance.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you're excited for

That would be Skybreaker, the upcoming 3rd book in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive Series. It doesn't have a cover yet so I don't have any prettiness to show you guys but since I just finished book 2 in the series, I added this one to my wishlist straight after.

Oh, and of course Throne of Glass # 4 by Sarah J. Maas - just thinking about those books gives me all the feelings.


A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you

Oh gosh, sometimes it seems like there are so many of these. The first ones that come to mind are Splintered by A.G. Howard and Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi 

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you

Definitely The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch but I own a copy now so that issue should resolve itself soon. (I promise!)

A book on your TBR that you're dying to read

The Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen (a recent acquisition - YAY me) & Zodiac by Romina Russell

How many books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

After multiple shelf cleanings on Goodreads my total stands at 609...and my greatest fear is that I will not be able to read all of them - PLUS the ones I'll be adding to that total - before I die.


Tag some people

Anyone and EVERYONE who likes doing these tag posts! I LOVE reading everyone's answers :D

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #64

Harry Potter Moment of the week is a weekly meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share one favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!    For information on how to join up & for upcoming topics, click here.

  If there is one thing you could change about Harry Potter, what would it be?


I wasn't sure if this week's question referred to Harry Potter, the character or Harry Potter, the series...but I managed to find an answer that would encompass both possible eventualities:  If we're talking about Harry Potter as a character well then I wish that Harry hadn't fallen for Voldemort's trap in OotP and had NOT gone to the Ministry.  Then Sirius might still be alive....

And, if we're talking about the Harry Potter series as a whole, well, then I wish that Sirius could have survived. I know I've said in the past that I've made my peace with this and that I understand why he had to died, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.  *sobs quietly*

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday *96*

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where book bloggers spotlight an upcoming release we're especially looking forward to!

Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
by Catherynne M. Valente - (Fairyland #4)
Expected Publication: March 3rd 2015 by Feiwel & Friends

When a young troll named Hawthorn is stolen from Fairyland by the Golden Wind, he becomes a changeling – a human boy -- in the strange city of Chicago, a place no less bizarre and magical than Fairyland when seen through trollish eyes. Left with a human family, Hawthorn struggles with his troll nature and his changeling fate. But when he turns twelve, he stumbles upon a way back home, to a Fairyland much changed from the one he remembers. Hawthorn finds himself at the center of a changeling revolution--until he comes face to face with a beautiful young Scientiste with very big, very red assistant.
Full disclosure: I still need to read the third Fairyland book - so I'm not quite sure what brought on the change in the main character from our beloved September to this new boy.  And to be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I'm hoping September will make some sort of an appearance...unless things get explained and settled in the third book, in which case I have total confidence that Miss Valente will deliver an equally engaging and whimsical foray into Fairyland!  I spy a Wyvern there on the cover... so all is certainly not lost!  These books have a very special quality to them that makes the truly unique and heartwarming so I don't think I could ever get enough. Valente's writing style is superb so if she's offering up more books, I'll be reading them :)

Have you read the Fairyland books? What do you think of the MC switch?
Let me know :) And don't forget to link me up! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Words of Radiance

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
The Stormlight Archive #2
Published March 4th 2014 by Tor Books

In the first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war. Among those caught up in the conflict are Highprince Dalinar Kholin, who leads the human armies; his neice Jasnah, a renowned scholar; her student Shallan, a brilliant but troubled young woman; and Kaladin, a military slave who, by the book’s end, was beginning to become the first magically endowed Knight Radiant in centuries.

In Words of Radiance their intertwined stories will continue and, as Sanderson fans have come to expect, develop in unexpected, wonderfully surprising directions. The war with the Parshendi will move into a new, dangerous phase, as Dalinar leads the human armies deep into the heart of the Shattered Plains in a bold attempt to finally end it. Shallan will come along, hoping to find the legendary, perhaps mythical, city of Urithuru, which Jasnah believes holds a secret vital to mankind’s survival on Roshar. The Parshendi take a dangerous step to strengthen themselves for the human challenge, risking the return of the fearsome Voidbringers of old. To deal with it all, Kaladin must learn how to fulfill his new role, while mastering the powers of a Windrunner.
Words of Radiance is the mind-blowingly epic follow up to the brilliant The Way of Kings. I've been craving to get back into the world of The Stormlight Archive pretty much since the moment I finished the first book...but I held off a bit.  I already knew that once I read this one, I'd be left with a massive book-hangover and the absolute NEED to read on. Which is hopeless, for the time being of course, since book 3 doesn't even have a cover or an official release date yet. *sobs* Nonetheless, I simply could not resist Words of Radiance any longer. Short version: Words of Radiance is absolute perfection in a sequel.  It took the already epic setting, concept and characters from TWoK and brought them to a whole other level! I have no words except to say that fans of high-fantasy owe it to themselves to get into this series.  There's simply no excuse why everyone is not gushing about these books just as much as I am right now!

*Warning: there will be gushing and fangirling in this review. Proceed at your own risk.*

The world of The Stormlight Archive is unlike any other magical world I've ever come across. It's detailed, multi-faceted and so amazingly complete that I almost think that if there was a way, we could search the cosmos and find Sanderson's Cosmere across the stars somewhere. You know, just existing; like an actual, proper thing!   The world-building is never heavy-handed or obvious.  You just sort of find yourself discovering it as you go.  Being the second book in a planned ten-book saga, it obviously didn't answer all the questions one has when reading these - BUT, there is a tangible progression when it comes to discovering this strange world with it's unique power sources, weather patterns, animals, plant life...not to mention the different species, social classes, kingdoms and mythology. Everything fits together in such a way that I can't help but (once again) sit back in amazement at Brandon Sanderson's sheer skill at weaving such an epic tale! The man is a wizard, there's no other explanation for all of THIS.

The characters are obvious highlights for me, being the huge character reader that I am. Where The Way of Kings had my beloved Kaladin front and center, Words of Radiance is definitely Shallan's book. We are treated to flashbacks from her dark, mysterious past and I have to say that her character growth surprised me more than any other.  I never expected her to take the direction she took here, nor did I expect her to evolve the way she did throughout this book.  Her skills grew in leaps and bounds compared to what they were, but that was nothing compared to how she grew on the inside. Despite the switch in perspective, Shallan had no problem keeping my attention throughout her parts of the story.  Like TWoK though, Words of Radiance is told in alternating perspectives, so we also got to enjoy quality time with all our other favorites like Jasnah (feels!!!!), Adolin, Dalinar and of course, my perennial favorite, Kaladin Stormblessed ♥.

For his part, Adolin definitely grew on me this time around. I liked him well enough in TWoK, but that was it.  Now I feel like I understand him much better and I respect him more as a character too.  I did feel a distinct lack of Dalinar's presence though, compared to the first book...but that's probably because I looooove Dalinar so much. Nonetheless, his parts were compelling and satisfying. And then there's Kaladin.  Man! That guy brought ALL.THE.FEELS.  AGAIN.  His evolution throughout WoR seemed slower compared to the first book - or even compared to Shallan's in this book -  but it was no less satisfying. He's come a long way from when we first met him at the beginning of this series.  He almost seemed more flawed as Words of Radiance progressed. All the damage he's suffered since the beginning weights on him and clouds his judgement at times but his character arc was phenomenal!!! Gods, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH *fangirls*  BOTH Dalinar & Kaladin are such admirable men of Honor - decisive men who are flawed yes, but inherently good. In TWoK I longed for the two of them to join forces and seeing them together in action here was everything.

The magical system in The Stormlight Archive is, as it is in every high-fantasy I've read by Brandon Sanderson: Stunning. Mind blowing. Amazing. EPIC. See, there's this thing called Stormlight. Basically, it's like this glowing energy that comes from these colossal storms. They use it to charge glass spheres for lighting and the like, BUT, Stormlight can also be inhaled or absorbed by certain people. Which gives them magical, super-human abilities. The best part is that those select few that can absorb Stormlight don't all get the same sets of powers/skills.  I'm not going to get into classifying the different sorts of magic but suffice it to say that all of it is amazingly well put-together.  And with the sequel, we see those powers growing in new and exciting ways! It was both fascinating and thrilling to read about.

The action in Words of Radiance does NOT disappoint.  Spectacular showdowns are abound and there's one in particular that had in the making since the beginning of book one.  Needless to say it was all kinds of epic.  That, combined with thrilling battles had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat frantically turning the pages throughout this bad boy. The pacing was your typical high-fantasy fare. With such a huge book, there was bound to be some world-building and some plot setup but once it got going, it could NOT. BE. STOPPED.  That last 100 pages should have come with a warning: 

DANGER: THIS WILL CONSUME YOUR EVERY WAKING MOMENT. FEELS ABOUND! ANY ATTEMPT TO PUT THIS BOOK DOWN BEFORE THE END WILL CAUSE YOU ACTUAL PHYSICAL PAIN.

So... here I am. Right where I knew I would be: in the midst of a MASSIVE series hangover with nothing to do but bask in all the feels -of which there are MANY. (OMG KALADIN!! ♥♥♥) Well that, and wait. Wait for Brandon Sanderson to finish up with Skybreaker. Gah! O.O And of course, I have no one to blame for the situation I'm in but myself for all of this.  Well. Me and Sanderson, the evil genius responsible for my suffering. Seriously though, if you're a fantasy reader and had any doubts about reading this series. Take my fangirling straight to your nearest bookstore. You'll thank me later.

(infused with Stormlight!)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #63

Harry Potter Moment of the week is a weekly meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share one favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!    For information on how to join up & for upcoming topics, click here.

  Where would you live as a Wizard?


If I woke up tomorrow and had magic, I would want to live smack dab in the middle of a magical community. No trying to blend in with the Muggles for this Witch, I've been doing that for long enough as it is!  Now sure, I could see myself living in any number of magical wizard dwellings: Godric's Hollow for one. Imagine living where BOTH Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore were born!? Wow!! And then of course there's Diagon Alley.  I know it's mostly a shopping area but I'm pretty sure I'd feel right at home there!  All things considered though, there's still one place my heart belongs to above all others...
Hogsmeade




Hogsmeade Village, or simply called Hogsmeade is the only all-wizarding village in Britain. It was founded by Hengist of Woodcroft. Students may sometimes come on weekend trips, but only third year students and above with guardian permission are allowed to visit[1]. Mainly, students frequent the High Street in the village which contains the named specialty shops and pubs such as Zonko's Joke Shop and Honeydukes. Otherwise, they wander on to observe the infamous Shrieking Shack.
Hogsmeade is a picturesque little village of cottages and shops, with enchanted candles hanging in the trees during the holidays. It is also near the location of the train station used by the Hogwarts Express.-Source
Living so close to Hogwarts sounds like perfection to me. Imagine the view (whatever the season) ♥

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday *95*

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where book bloggers spotlight an upcoming release we're especially looking forward to!

Here's my pick this week:

Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish
Expected Publication: January 13th 2015 by Simon & Schuster

Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.
So this is a fairly new discovery for me, but how could I not fall under it's spell?!  It features a strong, kickass female protagonist, who's called Owl, by the way (which I think is a pretty cool name) who's being compared to a female Indiana Jones. She was an archeologist. And now she's a thief. Again I'm loving it! It kind of reminds me of Lara Croft - Tomb Raider.  But then they threw in supernatural stuff. Aw hell no! Dragons and Vampires to start, plus a whirlwind adventure that spans from Vegas, to Japan, to Bali...

That's it. I'm sold. Owl and the Japanese Circus sounds like the perfect combination of adventure, mystery and questing.  Just the type of elements I look for in Urban Fantasy. Count me in!

Thoughts? Let me know when you link me up!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Harry Potter MotW #62

Harry Potter Moment of the week is a weekly meme hosted over at Uncorked Thoughts. The idea is to share one favorite moment, magical item, character, spell, quote, object from the books, films or J.K.Rowling herself!    For information on how to join up & for upcoming topics, click here.

  Quibbler or Daily Prophet?

This one's an easy one for me, hands down: The Quibbler.  Sure they have flaky, sometimes crazy stories and theories but at least they're not a propaganda paper owned by Ministry officials covering up truths as they see fit. *seethes*


The Quibbler gave Harry Potter a chance to tell his side of the story when no one else was willing to listen which seals the deal for me.  Plus it's run by The Lovegoods. Gotta love that! Thinking of our lovely Luna reading the thing upside down always brings a smile to my face :)

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