Adult · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

Fall TBR List

Since finishing the last Wendy Darling book I’ve been a little slow with reading. I’m still enjoying re-reading Game of Thrones, but there’s been a lot on my mind, which is making it hard to stay focused. When I go through funks like this I often find it necessary to take a step back and retreat into familiar territory. This often means re-reading favorites or sticking with “easier” books for a little while until my brain sorts itself out.

These are some of the books on my TBR list for the upcoming month(s). Hopefully I’ll be able to get through them a little faster.

War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes – It’s almost here! I’ve been impatiently waiting for the third and final book in the Queen of Hearts saga to come out for 2 years now. If I can find the time, I may go back and re-read the first two before it’s released.

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz – I purchased this one during my visit to Asheville a few weeks ago. I’ve never heard of it before, but it sounded too cute to pass up.

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin – The plan is to try to read the entire series by Spring.

Sand by Hugh Howey – I picked this up at the cool bookstore we found in Raleigh last weekend. I haven’t read any of Howey’s other books yet, but this one sounds pretty good.

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa Meyer – I really enjoyed Cinder, so I’d like to see where the rest of the series is going.

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What books are on your upcoming TBR list?

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

Series I Don’t Intend to Finish

There’s nothing more heart breaking than finishing a really amazing book. If you’re anything like me, you cry a little on the inside and walk around for a few days asking everyone “What am I supposed to do now?!” Cue the book series. With a book series there are hours and hours of reading before you reach the book withdrawal phase.

Unfortunately, not all book series justify such a huge time commitment. Why read a few mediocre books when there are series like Game of Thrones out there?!  Here are a couple that I’ve started over the past few years that I probably won’t be finishing:

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The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman – This book had potential, but it just missed the mark a little. The overall concept was a good one, but all of the characters felt incredibly flat.

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The Borden Dispatches series by Cherie Priest – Lizzie Borden meets Lovecraft. I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t love it either. It was a little heavy on the horror/sci-fi aspects, which is fine, but there wasn’t enough to keep me interested beyond the first book.

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The Magicians series by Lev Grossman – I believe I’ve already expressed my opinions of this series on here before. Maybe once…or like five times. For my new readers though, allow me to fill you in: YUCK. I hated the main character of this book so much that I gave up reading it halfway through. Twice. The magic system and the world they were in didn’t do much for me either. (Several people told me that the tv series was better than the books, so I gave that a try for a while. I gave up on that also.)

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The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard – This one felt like another one of the Hunger Games/YA dystopian ripoffs. *yawns*

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The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – I’ve actually gone back and forth on whether or not to continue this series a dozen times. I actually loved the first couple of books. I love Jamie and Claire and I love the unique story that Gabaldon created. Unfortunately, after the first few books I felt like things started too get a little too…wait for it…outlandish. The over-the-top action and ridiculous scenarios became too much and took away from the overall story. I stopped a few books in because I didn’t want to start hating it.

Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-Fi · Uncategorized

Book Covers That Made Me Say “WTF?”

In yesterday’s post, What Makes a Good Book Cover, I talked about what types of book covers I find aesthetically pleasing and which ones I do not. For the most part, my dislikes in cover art include too much empty space, nothing but a a title, and repeating the same generic images over and over again. After I posted this yesterday I realized that I forgot to include another crucial category of “bad” cover art: those that are downright gaudy or absurd.

I don’t feel like I need to offer any explanation here; the pictures speak for themselves.

 

These are only a handful of the horrible book covers that are out there. (Do a Google search. I promise you won’t be sorry.) I think my favorite is Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies. I hope they make a movie adaptation sometime in the future.

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

What Makes a Good Book Cover?

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This weekend I finally decided to crawl out from under the rock I’ve been living and joined Bloglovin‘. Given that I’ve been actively blogging for 6-7 months now it probably would have made sense for me to sign up ages ago. Derp. Feel free to follow me if you’ve also jumped on the Bloglovin’ bandwagon. On that note, feel free to follow me on Instagram also, if you want to see a billion pictures of my animals, with the occasional baking or book picture thrown in.

I’m starting to feel a little like a salesman now and it’s getting weird. (“Follow me now! No down payment necessary! All for the low price of your newborn child and a chunk of your dignity!”)

*crawls back under rock*

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I’ve been doing some thinking lately about book covers. Several people recently have posted pictures of their favorite book covers from 2017 and it has made me ask what exactly makes a good book cover. I’d assume that most of us can agree that we don’t necessarily buy a book just based on the cover alone, but the overall aesthetics of a book can definitely be a contributing factor. If the outside of a book is super boring or overly gaudy, it may make you less likely to purchase it, no?

I can’t say what makes a book cover attractive to other people, as attractiveness is entirely subjective. I can, however, tell you what I do and don’t like when it comes to cover art.

Likes:

Above are three examples of book covers that made me say “Ooooh, what’s that about?” the first time I saw them. I picked them up, not knowing anything about them beforehand, simply because of the interesting cover art. (Funnily enough, the ACOTAR series has become one of my absolute favorites.) I love catchy designs, bright colors, and a few subtle hints as to what the story is about. I dig the bold lines, the whimsical imagery, and all the swirling action going on with these three particular covers. It’s all very attention grabbing. This is one area that the YA genre tends to shine. Whether you’re a fan of YA literature or not, you have to admit that they have some pretty snazzy book covers.

Dislikes: 

Notice some similarities in the above book covers? On first glance, it looks like they are all part of the same series. Upon further inspection, you will see that these are three unrelated books by different authors. I feel like this book cover makes up the vast majority of books that you find in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section at any bookstore. Plain background with a mysterious looking wizard/assassin/person on the cover. The same thing occurs in books with female protagonists. The only difference is that you can usually see the woman’s face and they have a more badass stance. Like this:

There’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these covers, but I just find it incredibly redundant. When you’re trying to sort through thousands of books on a shelf you need something to stand out and say “Pick me!” not “Hey look, we’re all the same!”

Above are a few more examples of book covers that I dislike. There’s too much negative space and not much else to look at. Just having the title and the author on the front is not really enough to make me feel all hot and bothered.

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I am sure that plenty of people out there will disagree with me, as we all have our own personal tastes. I would love to hear from some of you about what you like and dislike in book covers. Leave me some comments and tell me what your favorites and least favorites are.

Fantasy · Sci-Fi · Uncategorized

Top 10 Tuesday: Doctor Who Edition

Since The Broke and Bookish, who typically comes up with each week’s theme, is on brief hiatus, I’m doing something a little different for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday. Instead of talking about books this week, I’m going to talk about a few of my favorite moments from Doctor Who instead.

*insert TARDIS sounds*

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – This two-parter was my very first exposure to Doctor Who ever and for that reason it holds a very special place in my heart. Silence in the Library introduced me to some of my favorite characters: the 10th Doctor, Donna Noble, and Riversong. In the episode the Doctor investigates a planet that is the biggest library in the universe, (A LIBRARY PLANET!!!) only to discover that the library is completely devoid of people and has been sealed shut. There he meets a strange archaeologist named Riversong, who seems to know everything about the Doctor even though he knows nothing about her. 

The Eleventh Hour- This was Matt Smith (the eleventh doctor)’s first episode and it was absolutely brilliant. It was impossible not to fall in love with his performance as a quirky, playful, and youthful iteration of the Doctor, especially given he had such big shoes to fill after David Tennant’s departure. 

Blink- This was one of David Moffat’s best episodes and interestingly enough the Doctor only played a minor role. In the episode we encounter a young woman named Sally Sparrow who receives a mysterious message on the wallpaper: Don’t Blink. The message is from the Doctor, warning Sally to be aware of the Weeping Angels, alien angel statues with the ability to send you back/forward in time. 

Doomsday- The 10th Doctor and Rose’s final moment together on the beach before they had to part ways, separated by different universes forever, was such a tear jerker. I can’t even…*bawls* 

Vincent and the Doctor- Amy and the eleventh Doctor travel back in time to visit Vincent Van Gogh and help him combat a monster that only he can see. 

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances- Another prime example of Moffat’s early storytelling. This two-parter brought the ninth Doctor and Rose back to the London Blitz where there is a child in a gas mask terrorizing the city. It was creepy as fuck. 

Human Nature/The Family of Blood- The Doctor and Martha are stuck at an all-boys school, with the Doctor believing that he’s a school teacher. For some reason he can’t remember who he is. It’s up to Martha and the school nurse to help him remember before a sketchy ass student and an army of possessed scarecrows kill everyone. 

Adult · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Sci-Fi · Young Adult

Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) was a good one for me, given that there at least thirty book series on my TBR list that I just haven’t had the time to start yet. I’m weird about starting a new book series. I can get really excited about diving into a new series, but then there are other times where I just put it off because it seems like it’s going to be a huge time investment. I think the length of the series and the books themselves probably play a factor in this. Even if everyone else claims that a series is amazing, sometimes I would rather just stick to stand-alone books. That way, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to make the tough decision of whether or not you should continue reading the series to see if it gets better or just move on with your life.

…Does anyone else do this or am I just thinking about it way too much?

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning to Start

  • The Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab
  • The Queen of the Tearling series by Erika Johansen
  • The Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks
  • The Legends of the First Empire series by Michael Sullivan
  • The Chronicles of Alice series by Christina Henry
  • The Traitor Spy Trilogy by Trudi Canavan
  • The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
  • The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

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Which of these should I check out next? 

Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Sci-Fi

Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman

img_8236My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Unnatural Creatures is a fun collection of short stories about the creatures that exist in the dark corners of our imaginations. Each story is told by a different author, ranging in styles from classic fantasy/sci-fi to contemporary fiction.

I am typically not a big fan of short stories, given that they lack the same amount of detail you would find in a regular novel. This was a quick, easy read for me. Despite their length, I enjoyed most of the stories. I wasn’t sure how the book would flow, given the different number of writing styles, but it all melded together nicely. Some of the stories were fun and whimsical, while others were just plain eerie. (It reminded me of Doctor Who in that sense.)

This is a good one for fans of light sci-fi/fantasy.