Friday, December 29, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Glass Bird Girl (Knight's Haddon #1) by Esme Kerr + 50/50 Friday





On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.



Welcome to the last of these weekly memes until 2018!  To get on with it, this week I'm spotlighting one of my upcoming reads, The Glass Bird Girl (Knight's Haddon #1) by Esme Kerr!  I'm really excited to try this MG mystery series opener as one of my friends gave this to me for Christmas!  She spotted it on my overflowing Goodreads tbr and managed to locate a copy for me!  Thanks again!  Anyways, I've got my fingers crossed!

Beginning:

Edie crouched on her bedroom windowsill, training her field glasses on the three boys on by the stone pond.  Their names were Lyle, Jason and Tom, and she hated them.

56:

"How do you know so much?" asked Edie, who was making a mental note of everything Sally told her.

Sally shrugged. "I just do."

50/50 Friday: Favorite/ Least Favorite Christmas/Winter-Related Trope 

Since I don't read a lot of Christmas-y books, I'm going to go with movies like I did last time so bear with me...

Least - Sappily predictable, sometimes even down the minute - I guess I haven't quite figured out the appeal of being able to figure out what's going to happen in one of these movies within the first five minutes and plot our with great accuracy what's going to happen and when, and how it will conclude. 

Favorite - Beautifully decorated houses stunning Christmas dinners - I know it's movie magic, but everything just looks so wonderful!


Has anyone tried the work of Esme Kerr?  What are your favorite and least favorite Christmas-y tropes?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!  See you next year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge - Announcement and TBR


I'm hopeful that 2018 is going to be a great year!  Like 2017, my resolution is to complete Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge, which is a fantastic way to challenge myself to read more widely and broadly.  There are twenty-four tasks to complete over the course of the year.  You can read one book to complete multiple tasks, or read one book per task.  In order to get the most out of this challenge, I will be reading one book per task.  Here's the list of the twenty-four challenge tasks and my proposed reading list.  This year, rather than complete these in official task order, I'm going to change things up a bit:

January:

A comic written or illustrated by a person of color


My choice: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze - I'm beyond excited for the upcoming Black Panther Marvel movie, and I've been wanting to try one of the comics featuring the character.

A one-sitting book 


My choice: Revival, Deluxe Collection Volume 1 by Tim Seeley - This graphic novel horror series was brought to my attention via Chew, Vol. 11 which featured a little flipbook crossover and I've been meaning to get my hands on it for awhile now.

February:

A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image 


My choice: Hellboy, Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola - I love the movies, and I'd like to try Mignola's original series!

A comic written and illustrated by the same person 


My choice: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel - This sounds like a fascinating graphic memoir - I don't know all that much about it, but I've been told that I absolutely must read it so many times.  What better than to tackle it as a part of this challenge?

March:

A book published posthumously


My choice: The Opposite of Loneliness by Maria Keegan - Keegan passed away in a 2012 car accident, this collection of her stories and essays was published two years later.  I've heard so many great things about this bestselling collection, and it's about time I see what it's all about.

A celebrity memoir 


My choice: As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes - The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies, so, of course, I feel like I should have read this yesterday.  Plus, I plan on trying it on audio which is narrated by Elwes and features the voice talents of many others from the film.

April:

A book of true crime 


My choice: The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson - This nonfiction book has been recommended so many times, both by friends and on the job - this has been one of the most popular nonfiction books (that isn't about WWII) that we can't keep on our shelves at the library, so I'm excited to try it for myself!

A classic of genre fiction (i.e. mystery, sci fi/fantasy, romance) 


My choice: 1984 by George Orwell - I have absolutely no idea why I haven't already read this sci-fi classic, which was originally released in 1949.  Though, I have seen the movie adaptation (released in 1984), which is brilliant if difficult film to watch.  I need to finally check this classic off my tbr!

May:

A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) 


My choice: Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick - This sounds like such a cool historical fantasy set in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia in 191 featuring a magical Faberge egg.  I've had this on my tbr for nearly three years and I can't wait to finally try it!

A book about nature 


My choice: The Garden of the Gods (Corfu Trilogy #3) by Gerald Durrell - I completed book two of this British zoologist's memoir for the 2017 challenge, and book one is one of my all time favorite reads.  Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing how this trilogy concludes!

June: 

A romance novel by or about a person of color 


My choice: The Hidden Blade (The Heart of Blade Duology #1) by Sherry Thomas - I really liked Thomas's take on Sherlock Holmes with A Study in Scarlet Women, so although romance isn't really my thing I'm looking forward to it.  Plus, it's described as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets Downton Abbey - that sounds like a pretty awesome combination to me!

A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author 


My choice: A Conspiracy in Belgravia (Lady Sherlock #2) by Sherry Thomas - Like I mentioned above, the first book in the Lady Sherlock series was fantastic and I can't wait to continue Charlotte's adventures!

July:

An essay anthology 


My choice: Supernatural and Philosophy: Metaphysics and Monsters... For Idjits edited by Galen A. Foreman - I've other books in the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series and they've all been fascinating, so of course as soon as I realized they tackled one of my favorite tv show's I knew I needed it in my life!

A book of social science


My choice: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty - If you've ever watched Doughty's Ask A Mortician channel on YouTube, then you'll know why I've been meaning to try her first book.

August:

A western 


My choice: Retribution Rails (Vengance Road #2) by Erin Bowman - I really enjoyed Vengeance Road and I can't wait try this companion novel - and to have the opportunity to read it as a part of this challenge.

A book of colonial or postcolonial literature 


My choice: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor - This post-apocalyptic fantasy set in postcolonial Africa? Yes, please!

September: 

An assigned book you hated (or never finished) 


My choice: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - I didn't exactly hate this assigned book, but my high school teacher didn't do a good job of presenting it to our class.  This was actually my first Morrison book, and I'd love to give it another shot now since I've tackled more of her works.

An Oprah Book Club selection


My choice: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey - Remember all the controversy surrounding this "embellished" memoir?  I sure do - and that's mostly because of his connection to my college alma mater.  Anyway, I've been putting this off for awhile now, and this challenge gives me the perfect excuse to check it out.

October:

A book of genre fiction in translation 


My choice: Handling the Dead by John Ajvide Lindqvist - I've been meaning to read this zombie novel from the author of Let the Right One In for ages.  Better late than never!

The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series 


My choice: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers - I have no idea why I haven't already started in on this series, but it sounds exactly like the kind of historical fantasy I'd enjoy.

November:

A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author 


My choice: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers - I've heard so many awesome things about this from some of my favorite people, so I need to get to this stat!

A book with a cover you hate 


My choice: A Son's Vow (The Charmed Amish Life #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray - Have I ever mentioned how much I can't stand the covers of Amish fiction?  You know, the ones where the Amish men and/ or women are facing the camera - and they look nothing like a real life an Amish person in terms of hair styles, facial hair, clothes, or makeup?  Those have always irked me and this one is no exception.  Hopefully the story will surprise me - I have to say that I am kind of pleased that it's set in Charm, Ohio, a place that I've actually visited!  I've always enjoyed visiting Amish country here in Ohio.  Fun fact: Guggisberg Cheese Company, which is less than two miles from Charm, developed Baby Swiss Cheese in the 1960s!

December:

A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60 


My choice: The Thirteen Problems (Miss Marple #2) by Agatha Christie - I've only ever read the first Miss Marple story, but I've seen so many of the adaptations I really should need to continue on with the book series.

A children’s classic published before 1980


My choice: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers - Somehow, I've never read this classic series opener which was originally published in 1934.  Sure, I've seen the movie a ton of times, but now it's time to try the source material!


Congratulations for making it this far!  Have you ever taken part in Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge?  Have you tried any of the books on my tbr?  If so, what did you think of them?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: YA Debuts I'm Looking Forward to In 2018


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Books I'm Looking Forward to In 2018.  Without further ado here are YA Debuts I'm looking forward to through April 2018, in order by release date:


Everless (Untitled #1) by Sara Holland (1/2) - Even though the cover bears a striking resemblance to Firstlife (Everlife #1) by Gena Showalter (which I didn't care for), this fantasy where time as currency sounds like it has a lot of potential.


Gunslinger Girl by Lynday Ely (1/2) - YA Western Sci-Fi Dystopia?  Sounds pretty cool to me!


Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke (1/9) - I can't say I've ever read a Contemporary featuring a reality show before, but this sounds like it could be great.


Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (1/16) - This #OwnVoices debut has been recommended to fans of Angie Thomas and I've seem so many great things about it already.  Sounds like this will be one to have on the radar!


I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter (2/27) - I don't know about you, but I'm getting vibes of The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis from the summary of this dark Contemporary novel.


Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of OrĂ¯sha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi (3/6) - Have you read the summary for this upcoming fantasy? It sounds like it's going to be the next big thing!


Tyler Johnston Was Here by Jay Coles (3/20) - If you haven't heard, it's already being compare to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas!  That alone is enough to put it on my radar.


Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood (3/27) - Post-WWI set historical fiction about a barnstorming team?!  I need this in my life!


Beyond A Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake (4/10) - This ancient Ireland set Fantasy sounds like it will be right up my alley!


Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (4/24) - Viking-inspired fantasy - that's all I needed to hear!

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2018?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Music Monday: Happy Holidays!


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it!  I can't believe the day is finally here!  Anyway, like I have been the rest of this month I'm sharing two seasonal favorites - this time they're both by Perry Como!  The first song is "(There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays" (1959) which is my favorite of his two covers of the song - you can check out his original from 1954.  My second video is a live performance of "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" which aired on his show (Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall) on December 14th, 1960.  It's a lot of fun and you even get to see a few other famous singers make cameo appearances.  Have a wonderful holiday season everyone!





Friday, December 22, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Fun With Your New Head by Thomas M. Disch + 50/50 Friday





On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.



This week I'm spotlighting something a bit different - Fun With Your New Head by Thomas M. Disch.  It's a collection of  seventeen sci-fi short stories from 1968.  I just happened to be browsing the shelves at Goodwill when I stumbled on this - that title and cover totally sold me! 

Beginning: (From "The Roaches")

Miss Marcia Kenwell had a perfect horror of cockroaches.  It was an altogether different horror than the one she felt, for instance, toward the color puce.

56: (From: "Descending")

Perhaps his most interesting theory was the notion that these escalators were a kind of exercise wheel, like those found in a squirrel cage, from which, because it was a closed system, there could be no escape.

50/50 Friday: Best/ Worst Christmas Themed Book (or book that's set during Christmas)  - I'm going to change this prompt up a bit since I don't really read Christmas-y books, so I'm sharing movies instead.



Best - A Christmas Carol (1951) - There are so many different adaptations of this story, but this one featuring Alistair Sim is my all time favorite. I've already seen it three times this season!



Worst - The Spruces and the Pines (2017) - I saw this tv movie on Ion a couple of weeks ago, and it was so irritatingly predictable.  I mean, I called the ending (even to the minute it would happen onscreen) exactly within the first five minutes.  And, overall the production quality didn't help matters either.  I might have entertained myself by giving an MST3K style running commentary throughout.  Honestly, I'm not even sure why I sat through it...

As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Hope Santa Brings


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Books I Hope Santa Brings.  Without further ado, here are the books I'd love to get for Christmas in alphabetical order:


The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand - A modern day Scrooge who doesn't change her ways and becomes the newest Ghost of Christmas Past?  Sign me up!


Before The Devil Breaks (The Diviners #3) You by Libba Bray - I can't wait to hear the third book in this series after being absolutely hooked on the previous installments.  The narrator, January LaVoy, does a marvelous job of bringing Bray's story to life.


The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty - A friend of mine actually just picked this one up and so far, she has nothing but great things to say about it!  I can't wait to try it for myself.


The Girl Who Takes An Eye For An Eye (Millennium #5) by David Lagercrantz - I just can't resist this series, and Lagercrantz did a pretty good job of continuing the series with the fourth book.


Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Lee Fonda - Magic + The Godfather + an Asian setting?  Sounds pretty awesome to me!


The Merciless (The Merciless #1) by Danielle Vega - I've had this YA horror novel on my tbr for ages - time to get to it!


Origin (Robert Langdon #5) by Dan Brown - This series has had it's ups and downs, but it's so much fun and hard to resist!


A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) by Kevin Hearne - Kevin Hearne has released the first in an all new series - and I need it!


This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis - I've seen mixed reviews for this, but I'm still really excited to see what McGinnis does with this psychological thriller!


Turtles All The Way Down by John Green - I've missed John Green so much and it's going to be good to have him back!

Have you had the chance to try any of these books yet, or are they on your tbr too?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!