Monday, August 21, 2017

Make Me Read It Readathon - Results and Mini Reviews


From August 6th - August 13th, I took part in the Make Me Read It Readathon, hosted by Ely @ Tea and Titles and Val @ The Innocent Smiley.  I selected five books to try to get through in that week span which you all voted on, and big surprise - I actually completed all five books for the readathon!  I'm so proud of myself!


Before I get to my mini reviews, I'll share the results of your votes:


The Way Through the Woods (Doctor Who: New Series Adventures #45) by Una McCormack - 6 votes, my first read

Ex-Heroes (Ex-Heroes #1) by Peter Clines - 6 votes, my second read

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle - 5 votes, my third read

Nevermore (Supernatural #1) by Keith R.A. DeCandido - 5 votes, my fourth read

Ghost of Manhattan (The Ghost #1) by George Mann - 2 votes, my fifth and final read

Mini Reviews:



❋ ❋ ❋ 

This Doctor Who tie-in novel, set during the sixth series, was a great way to kick off the readathon.  It's a fun and fast-paced, creepy and mysterious, and the author does an excellent job of bringing the Doctor, Amy, and Rory to life.  Definitely felt like I was watching an episode - I wouldn't say no if this were adapted to the screen either.  Amy and Rory are one of my favorite fictional tv couples, and although they are apart for a good deal of this story they are spot on, especially good as Rory is remembering his two thousand year wait for Amy.  If you're a fan of Doctor Who, you'll definitely want to give The Way Through The Woods by Una McCormack a try.



I read this novel from August 6 - 7, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ 

Not quite as good as either The Walking Dead or The Avengers (that's a very tall order, anyway), but still a good combination of zombies and superheroes. My main issue was keeping track of who's who and who can do what - it's easy to get the characters mixed up, especially right off the bat. I'm not sure if I will be continuing the series, but I do think that Ex-Heroes could be awesome on the big screen.



I read this novel from August 7 - 10, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.



❋ ❋ 

To start off, I've never read the Lovecraft story that this is based off of, but even I could see the Lovecraftian elements - more subtle in the beginning and becoming more obvious as the tale goes along - especially the underlying sense of dread. I wish I enjoyed this novella a little more than I ended up liking it. Honestly, I think The Ballad of Black Tom could have benefited from being a longer novel and fleshing out the cast of characters and their world a little more than they are already. Plus, I wish the novel had followed Tommy in the first person throughout which would've help me feel more connected to his character. Overall, if you're interested in a quick Lovecraft-inspired horror/ urban fantasy set in an alternate 1920s NYC, then The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle is for you.   By the way, I had the Supernatural episode called "Crossroad Blues" in the back of my mind throughout my entire read.



I read this novella on August 10, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads




❋ ❋ ❋ 

This was a decent tie in novel and I could totally see it as an actual episode - the characterization of Sam and Dean's pretty on the nose and it has a decent sense of humor. Now, if only the conclusion to both cases, Poe and the haunting, was a little more satisfying.  Nevermore is set early on in season two and I think it would have made a fun episode seeing the brothers in their younger days.  Favorite moments: p. 171, "Sam shrugged as he sipped his coffee. "What can I tell you, Dean, it [The Murders in the Rue Morgue] was revolutionary at the time. And hey, if it wasn't for that story we probably wouldn't have CSI today." "No loss," Dean said. "There's better things on Thursday nights anyhow."; and p. 245, Sam gets to pick their aliases for a change and they are Archie Leach and Marion Morrison (the real names of Cary Grant and John Wayne).  I definitely want to try more of the Supernatural tie-in novels in the future.



I read this novel from August 10 - August 12 and my review is also on Goodreads


.
❋ ❋ 

Do you like noir, pulp, The Shadow, Watchmen, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, steampunk/ decopunk, Sin City, and Batman?  Then I have a feeling that you'll love getting to know The Ghost, our lead character and vigilante of Ghosts of Manhattan.  The story moves along at a lightning fast pace and it's a lot of fun, especially when it comes to the fight and chase scenes.  The only down side is the characters, they were a little too flat when it came down to it.  The tale is very visual and I think it could make a really cool movie.  I may be continuing on to book two, Ghosts of War, in the future.



I read this novel from August 12 - August 13, 2017 and my review is also on Goodreads.


Overall with this challenge, I actually enjoyed my two tv tie-in novels the most, the characters were exactly right for both. Have you ever taken part in the Make Me Read It Readathon?  Have you read any of the books I tackled earlier this month?  As always thanks very much for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below.

Music Monday: Alberto Rosende


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.

This week I'm spotlighting Alberto Rosende performing as Simon Lewis in Shadowhunters.  I've got myself caught up on this tv show and I must say I was pretty impressed by "Fragile World" (from season two, episode thirteen) and "Royal Blue" (season two, episode seventeen).  Rosende has been one of my favorites on the show from early on - he's really been giving it his all and he always seems like he's having a great time doing his job.






Friday, August 18, 2017

The Longest Book Tag

Thanks very much to Erica @ Erica Robyn Reads for tagging me to complete The Longest Book Tag!   This tag was created by Ditsha @ Betwitchingly Paranoid.  I already know I've read some pretty huge books, so let's get on with it and see how I stack up!

The Rules:

1. Make a list of five of the longest books you’ve read.
2. Select two of the longest books on your TBR.
3. Discuss
4. Tag others

The Tag:

Here are the five longest books that I've read -


The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 1,796 pages
I can't resist Sherlock Holmes so this is just about the ultimate to have - it features all of the novels and the short stories!  When I was working my way through this, I broke them up rather than tackling it all at once.  Every now and then I'll go back and reread a favorite story or passage.


The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - 1,276 pages
This is one of my favorite big classics - I mean, who doesn't love epic tales of convoluted revenge!  By the way, my love of this book is what got me started watching ABC's Revenge which was absolutely amazing for the first season.


Under the Dome by Stephen King - 1,074 pages
I was absolutely hooked on this novel and discovering the fate of the townspeople and the origins of the dome itself.  I also liked the first season "mini-series" adaptation on CBS a few years ago - of course, that's before it was dragged out over the course of three seasons.


Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - 1,037 pages
Honestly, the only reason I read the entirely of this novel is because I was made to.  I didn't like any of the characters - and Scarlett O'Hara is one of my least favorite characters ever.  Throughout the entire novel, I was mildly irritated to say the least.


Kushiel's Dart (Kushiel's Universe #1) by Jacqueline Carey - 1,015 pages
This is the first book in a very ambitious fantasy series with plenty of conspiracies, political intrigue, and fascinating characters - also, it definitely fits the Romance with a capital R genre.  I have no idea why I haven't continued on to book two, Kushiel's Chosen.  Before I do that, I'll definitely have to reread book one.

Now check out two of the longest books on my tbr -



The Fairie Queen by Edmund Spenser - 1,248 pages
One day I will read this epic classic from 1590!


Les Misérables by Victor Hugo - 1,463 pages
I have no clue why I haven't already devoured this since I love the 1935 movie and the 2012 musical so much... one of these days I'll tackle this classic and it'll be the second longest book I've ever read!

Tag You're It (No hard feelings, if you aren't interested in doing this tag though):

Sassy @ Alternative Read
Amy @ Bursting with Books
Rissi @ Finding Wonderland
Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense
Anne @ Head Full of Books
Sam @ Tsundoku


The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Aaru (The Aaru Cycle #1) by David Meredith + 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 one of my current reads, Aaru (The Aaru Cycle #1) by David Meredith.  I just recently received this paperback YA sci-fi novel in exchange for an honest review so I'm glad to be finally able to jump in!  In a way, the summary gives me "Silence in the Library"/ "Forest of the Dead" from Doctor Who vibes.



Beginning: 

Before...

It was both quiet and not.  There was no human sound certainly - no comforting hum or low conversing voices; no occasional chuckle, gasp or cheerful exclamation that might have indicated the warmth of another charitable soul nearby; no whoops or shrieks of joyful children at jubilant play.

56:

Koren came close enough to put both of her hands against the flat screen monitor.  Rose matched her from the other side, pressing her palms against her sister's.  Koren cocked her head to the side, utter disbelief plastered across her thunderstruck face.  A tear leaked from the corner of her eye.

50/50 Friday: Bookish Gift You'd Most/ Least Like To Receive

Most - Not going to lie, I'd love to get a gift card to my favorite book store!

Least - Bookish earrings - I used to love wearing earrings, but unfortunately I can't wear them at all anymore due to my very sensitive ears.

As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps commenting down below.  Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Recommendations For Hufflepuffs


Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is a recommendations freebie - since I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter and I'd like to represent my House, here are my recommendations for my fellow Hufflepuffs!


Cinder by Marissa Meyer - This whole series really fits with it's tight core group of friends - Kai, Winter, and Wolf are totally Hufflepuffs.


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - The two leads in this novel have a such a close friendship that would make any Hufflepuff jealous.


Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine - Ella embodies so many of the core traits of a Hufflepuff to me.


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - Levi is an excellent example of a Hufflepuff.


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - I'd say Bilbo is a marvelous example of this House,


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - I totally got Hufflepuff vibes from the Hempstock women.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - The relationship between Charlie, Sam, and Patrick alone makes me want to include this on the list.


The Princess Bride by William Goldman - Westley and Fezzick have to be Hufflepuffs!


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Beck Albertalli - Honestly, I think Simon has the best Hufflepuff qualities.  If you haven't already met Simon, what are you waiting for?


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I'd say Atticus Finch also has some of the best Hufflepuff qualities.  If you haven't met him, where have you been? Just skip Go Set a Watchman.

Bonus:


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling - The audiobook is read by Eddie Redmayne in character as Newt Scamader!

What are other good Hogwarts House themed reads?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, August 14, 2017

My 3rd Blogoversary - Giveaway (US Only)


Woot!  I started blogging three years ago!  How time flies when you're having fun!  It's been a wonderful three years and I hope this upcoming year is going to be just as successful as the last.  I've loved getting to know members of the book blogging community - we're a great bunch of people, if I do say so myself.  I can't wait to see what this third year of blogging brings!  Let's all celebrate with virtual cake, virtual hugs, and, what you're all here for, a giveaway!


But first, let's look back at some of my favorite posts from this past year:

Reviews - 

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab - Review + Dream Cast

A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly - Review

The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips - Review

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig - Review

The Last Days of Jack Sparks by Jason Arnopp - Review


Only the Dead Know Burbank by Bradford Tatum - Review

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw (ARC) - Review

The Trial by R.A. Crawford - Review

Victoria Woodhull in Fiction and Nonfiction - Mini Reviews

You by Caroline Kepnes - Review

Weekly Memes, Tags, Etc. - 

Sunday Funday: Summer Vacation, Book Haul, and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Sunday Funday: Weekend Update, Disney's Moana, and Meeting Mindy McGinnis

Music Monday: Sci-Fi TV Themes

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Debut Books Of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Alfred Hitchcock Movies

Top Ten Tuesday: Things On My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

Book Riot's 2017 Read Harder Challenge - Announcement and TBR

Chicken Challenge - Horror Book-to-Movie Adaptation Recommendations

Captain America Book Tag

Playlist Book Tag

Starting Sparks: November Edition


And now for the main event: as a thank you to my followers, I'm hosting a giveaway (US Only, sorry)!  One lucky winner will get to choose one of my favorite 2017 releases!  You can choose from the books listed below (the cover is linked to my thoughts on each):








This giveaway will last until Midnight (ET) on Monday, August 28th, 2017.  I will alert the winner via email and they will have 48 hours to respond or I will have to select another winner.  Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

As always, thank you for visiting my blog and perhaps commenting down below.  Here's to the coming year (and hopefully many more)!