Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Historical Fiction

August 30: Back To School Freebie -- anything "back to school" related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, Required Reading For All Fantasy Fans, required reading for every college freshman, Books to Pair With Classics or Books To Complement A History Lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher.
Okey dokey. How about 10 Historical Fiction Books I would rather read than actual history. This isn’t really fair, because I have never read a book about history that would trump a historical fiction novel. Even though I lie to my patients and tell them that history is “just like reading stories,” it SO IS NOT.

I would also like to note that I don’t know what historical fiction is. I am going to define it as a work of fiction set in some random past with a real landmark, event, or person in it. My inclusion criteria may even slip a little bit below as I get closer to giving up on thinking of ten books! Feel free to enlighten me below in the comments, but recognize that I will learn nothing. Please also note that because I do not like history, I have no way of commenting on the accuracy of historical fiction.

Before you get started though, someone explain this cartoon to me! Is it funny!?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Blogger Blind Date

The Idea:
Book Blogger Blind Date is a feature hosted by Jillian over at Rant and Rave about Books. The basic concept is pretty simple. Jill got a bunch of people to sign up and then she paired us up to get to know each other and post about each other! Done!

The Blog:
My blind date is with Cindy at My Book File. Cindy does book reviews and has a cute feature called Double Reviews, where she and Anne from Inked Brownies review a book together. I LOVE THIS IDEA and if I ever got my shit together enough to coordinate schedules with a whole other person, I would totally steal it!

So, Cindy and I decided to exchange brief little blurbs about ourselves and then do questions and answers. Here's Cindy's intro:

I like books (fantasy and historical fiction are my favorite genres), history (not 20th century history, though), writing, photography and medieval languages (Germanic languages mostly). Dutch is my mother language. I speak English, German and have some knowledge of French, Spanish and Norwegian.

Since some time ago, I stopped doing sports, but I really want to try something new in the future, the last 12 years I did horseback riding. 

I'm really addicted to coffee [WELL, WHO ISN’T, CINDY!?] and chocolate, olives with garlic are really close to the top as well :')

Cindy lives in the Netherlands which I'm pretty sure, that for the majority of my life, I thought was where Peter Pan lived. But lookie here, it's an actual place!! She lives where the red thingy is. She's about half my age (ahem) and is an English student. 
We were only going to ask a certain number of questions but each of the questions I wrote was like a bunch all in one, so I failed the first task of the whole assignment!! During the little intro, I learned that Cindy has pets which is pretty much all you need to know about a person.


Anyway, here’s

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Still on my TBR

August 23: Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven't Read Yet (this is going to be sad considering how many of those I have unread six years later...)

This is an interesting idea. The problem for me is that I started adding books to my TBR list on Goodreads (2009) the year AFTER I started blogging (2008). Technically. I mean, if you look at my blog between 2008 and 2010, it’s pretty sad. But I didn’t really start reviewing books for real until about a year and a half ago. Also, I have hundreds of books on my TBR between 2009 and 2015…I think I've mentioned before how farcical my TBR list is. I'm even doing a couple of challenges for the year, and a specific challenge this month to get through some things. I should say, I'm failing a challenge this month, but never mind that!

I’m thinking about this too much, I think.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review: Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Magoon

I picked up Shadows of Sherwood at the RochesterTeen Book Festival this year. Kekla Magoon was one of the participating authors… She was the only author of color there (though Mariko Tamaki is half Japanese), but I won’t even get started on that. I’m currently trying to decide if I want to talk to them about it or if I just want to be go along with it resentfully. 

Anyway, Shadows of Sherwood is a Robin Hood retelling on its surface. It's the first book I've completed for my own damn book Challenge: #ClearAShelf.

Here’s the Goodreads mumbo jumbo for the book:


The night her parents disappear, twelve-year-old Robyn Loxley must learn to fend for herself. Her home, Nott City, has been taken over by a harsh governor, Ignomus Crown. After fleeing for her life, Robyn has no choice but to join a band of strangers-misfit kids, each with their own special talent for mischief. Setting out to right the wrongs of Crown's merciless government, they take their outlaw status in stride. But Robyn can't rest until she finds her parents. As she pieces together clues from the night they disappeared, Robyn learns that her destiny is tied to the future of Nott City in ways she never expected.

Kicking off a new series with an unforgettable heroine, readers will be treated to feats of courage and daring deeds as Robyn and her band find their way in this cruel, new world.


What I had to say about it:

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Take My Money - Books

So, this Top Ten Tuesday should be pretty easy… The topic is Ten Books You'd Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card. I mean, how full is fully loaded, amIRight? The hard part is narrowing it down to 10.

I actually buy far too many books. I don’t usually go to the book store with the intention of buying any particular book. I’m just a sucker for a Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale and Barnes and Nobles. However, desipte the fact that I love to purchase books, I mostly read books from the library. Once I own a book, the likelihood of my reading it goes way down. Hence my #ClearAShelf challenge for this month (JOIN IT!).

I buy books purposefully for two reasons: I’ve already read it and I want a copy for myself or I’m trying to support an author or event. (I know that once again I am sort of cheating here because these are actually series, not single books… but it’s my blog and I’ll cheat if I want to!)

Books I’ve Read but Would Want My Own Special Precious Copies Of:
1. The Illustrated Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling) Obviously.
2. The Raven Boys series (Maggie Stiefvater)
3. The Inkheart Trilogy (Cornelia Funke)
4. The Strangers in Paradise Harcover collection (Terry Moore)
5. The Locke and Key Hardcover collection (Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez)
6. The Unwind Series (Neal Shusterman)
7. The complete collection of The Wizard of Oz books (F.L.Baum)

Possible books I might buy because I anticipate liking them very much, and/or love their covers.

New to Me Books:
8. Cinder (Marissa Meyer)
9. The Paper Magician (Charlie Holmberg)
10. Love in the Time of Global Warming (Francesca Lia Block)

 Oh. I'd also like a complete set of the Roald Dahl books... Now that I think about it, I might start collecting those right now.

Related Posts: 

Monday, August 1, 2016

July 2016 Recap (Outbox)

I’m determined to do a July recap, because I totally missed doing one for June, it’s like the days were just flying by!

I did an Outbox post about 10 days ago (click). I’ve read 3 books since then, bringing my total for the month to a measly 9 books. Ok. It’s not that measly, but I like to end on an even number! I tried to finish the book I’m in the middle of before bed last night but it wasn’t worth it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Book Review: The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma

I read this book via audiobook. Mostly because it was available for download immediately.
The Goodreads Summary (truncated):
"Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal."

What I Thought About It:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson is one of my secret BFFs. I think I’ve played it cool during the THREE times that she and I have met face- to- face so, you know. Whatever. She attended The Rochester Teen Book Festival in May and that’s where I picked up this book.

I read it as part of the Make Me Read readathon challenge. Out of the 130 or so votes I got for my challenge, this book got picked as the one I should read first.

For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Here’s what I thought about it all:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Broadway and the Make Me Read Challenge (Outbox - 7/21/16)

For the first week of July I was out of town. We planned to take a train down to NYC to see a couple of shows and just not be home for a while. 

So. Day one, we took the subway down to the church/ cemetery where Alexander Hamilton is buried. It’s what all the cool kids who can’t afford tickets to Hamilton are doing. The church is beautiful. We spent far too long looking for Angelica Schuyler's grave before looking on Google and finding out that it is not marked with her name. It's in the Livingston plot, in case you're looking and we still didn't find it. [The duck lips in the picture are ironic, y'all.]

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Clear A Shelf August – Reading Challenge (Sign Up Here!)

I know I’m not the only one. Admit it. You have loads of books sitting around your house but you still mostly read books that you just randomly pick up new at the library, at the book store, or from the Little Free Library near you. And they are mostly completely unrelated to the books on your completely overstuffed and ridiculous TBR shelf. 

So, I’ve decided to take a month and try and "Clear a Shelf." Hence the name of the challenge. Clever, no? I've been thinking about hosting a challenge and viola! So, come along with me. You know your shelves will thank you.

Qualifying books fall into two categories:

OWNED: Anything you own before August 1st is fair game. You can use this challenge to clear a shelf of books you already own. I am going to try and focus on this category.
TBR: Any book already on your established To Be Read (TBR) list as of August 1st regardless of whether you own it or not.

Percentages are based on the total number of books you read for August.

0% - 25 %:  Noble Page
25% - 50%: Knight
51% - 75%: Ruler
76% - 100% Warrior

If you want to join me on this quest, post your goal on twitter, your blog, or wherever you do such things. On Twitter please use the hashtag #ClearAShelf. And check this out. I made a thing! You can use this sticker on your post. It's cute, right!?

Sign up using a link to your post in the linky form thingy below. If you use your actual sign- up blog post or tweet, I will pop in every now and then to shout words of encouragement along the way. All Rulers and Warriors at the end of the challenge will be entered into a raffle to win two new- to-you books from my shelves. I haven't figured out those details yet. Obviously, I'm new!

So, the stupid linky thing is no longer working. If you are joining me on this challenge, just drop me a Tweet or an email with the link to your sign up post! Technology is such an awesome and spectacular pain in the butt!!