Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Reading Challenge 2016 # 7 and 8

I am way overdue on this post. July's challenge was read a book by an author that has your initials. The challenge for this month was read a book with a one word title. I have finally finished both of these. My friend who was completing the reading challenges with me has opted out of participating for any future blogs. He's super busy and is now reading for pleasure, which I wholeheartedly approve of. I encouraged him to start this with me as a means to get him to read more and that's what he's done. So I'm solo from now on with these literary tasks.

Terry Goodwin- TG

Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1)After almost a month of reading this book, I'm finally finished. I don't regret choosing this book for my July challenge, I had hoped to finish it in time though. There was just an overabundance of world building and descriptions and entire chapters that didn't need to be included. The story kept dragging on and on to the point where I almost gave up and put it down altogether. I am glad I stuck with it and got that satisfying ending. But I won't be reading anymore from this series. One book is enough to last a lifetime.


Saga, Volume 6Most of the reviewers I follow called this book a filler to the series. And while it fits that definition to a tee, I still absolutely loved this book. The art of Hazel is so darn cute. She's the perfect protagonist and narrator. The story was building up to something more but I appreciated the slower pace. A lot happened in the last volume and a lot of my favorite characters died so I was glad to see happy reunions and no major deaths. The reveal of The Will made me a little sad though. He looked so different. And broken. And fat. It was disorienting. 
But Marko and Alana were on point in these chapters. They work best as characters when they are together. I wish I had seen more of their journey to finding their lost child. I love how they play off of each other. And Hazel gets on well with every person she shares a panel with. I had wanted to get the sappy, tearful hug between her and her mother but that thunder was stolen with a last minute plot twist. I hope it doesn't drag the story down now that the family is back together. Action is what I love about this series. I hope it only gets crazier from here.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

End of Summer Reading 2016

I tried to push through and go out with a bang for the summer reading program. But I barely sprinted over the finish line. I'm glad that I read a good amount of books though. This was a decent summer of reading for me. There are still a few weeks left until fall so I'll keep my summer vibes as long as I can.

Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman
A children's picture book about uniqueness

Blueberry GirlThis book should definitely be read to and for every young girl. I'm an adult and it resonated with me. We are all the blueberry girl and we all are destined for more. This book says never settle, and I plan on taking its advice.

ABC's Around Baltimore City by Adrienne Canull
A picture book giving a tour of the city

ABC's Around Baltimore City#1: It's about Baltimore.
#2: The author/illustrator teaches at my old elementary school.
#3: For L, it has the library which is where I work.

That's a knock out for me lol. Though the letters do get a little repetitive, it's still a great children's book for anyone living in Baltimore.

Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt
A young adult novel about a boy who is trying to start over after a breakup

Tell Us Something True
This was such a quick fun read. I immediately felt a connection to River, the main character. There is something to be said about feeling bad for him even when he's lying constantly. He manages to still be relatable despite his flaws. I also like that this novel doesn't have a Hollywood ending. Nothing is wrapped up in a neat little bow but I was satisfied. I had my doubts with reading this. I have a love/hate relationship with the author. But this one hit it out of the park.

Just My Type: Understanding Personality Profiles by Michael J. Rosen
A nonfiction book about the history on personality tests

Just My Type: Understanding Personality Profiles

I had thought this book would be filled with personality quizzes. And though there are a few examples of some sprinkled throughout, this is mostly a history lesson on the fascination of such quizzes. It's definitely a fad that will never pass, since people love to learn something new about themselves. I didn't realize that places of business actually use these tests to help determine who they will hire. That seems a bit juvenile. They should be used only in a fun lighthearted way. Even if the history behind them is more serious.

Saga, Volume 5Saga Vol 5 by Brian K Vaughn
5th collection of comics

I was totally lost with where the story was since it had been more than a year since I'd last read volume 4. But I quickly got back into the swing of things. This series is just as awesome as I remembered it to be. I don't know which I enjoy more, the writing or the visuals. I was not expecting two characters to be killed off but I love that the author is not afraid of letting someone get eaten in half. And this is a character I liked. I'm a bit upset that the main family won't be reunited for some years, as said by Hazel. But I'll definitely enjoy the madness that will surely lead up to it.

Mr. Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo
An elderly man decides to come out to his family after 45 years of living in the closet

Mr LovermanSo I had high hopes for this book. After book club, everyone sang praises for this novel. And...I liked it. Definitely didn't love it. To me, the only truly likable character was Morris. He was the shining beacon of hope throughout the whole story. Everyone else was just plain selfish. I did enjoy the back and forth POVs, though Carmel's was hard to focus on. And Barry's was overly detailed. But that's to be expected from a literary lover like he was. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a story where nothing really happens but has well developed characters.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Try and try again

Today is better that yesterday. I am trying my hardest not to dwell in the negative. Here's some more of what I've been reading.

Sister Circle by Cheryle T. Ricks
A self-help book

I picked up this book on the strong suggestion from the author herself. She is using the library where I work at to hold a program based off her self help book. It's a very quick read, it can easily be read in a day. I'm not very religious so I didn't relate to the parts about God, which is the base and majority of the book. But some very valid points were made and I found some good advice that I'll try to incorporate into my everyday life.

The Blob that Ate Everything by R.L. Stine

55th book in the original Goosebumps series

The Blob That Ate Everyone (Goosebumps, #55)lol Okay that ending was too funny. It's a stupid and lazy switcheroo but one that I laughed at. This is why you need to be careful with what you write. Words have power, and all that jazz. And strangely, the cover makes me crave bubblegum.

Blueprints for Building Better Girls by Elissa Schappell

A collection of connected short stories

Blueprints for Building Better Girls: FictionThis is not a book that will put you in a good mood. It's mostly sad. There aren't many characters that I actually like in these short stories. Everyone is an asshole by some degree. I liked how the stories loosely connected to each other. It gave the opportunity for the reader to see different prospective on one character. And I know it wasn't just me, this book will make you feel some way towards men. Mainly aggravated. It drove home the fact that life is all about give and take, with you giving a bunch but not really receiving anything good.

For the Love of a Vampire by M. Leighton
A vampire romance young adult e-book
For the Love of a Vampire (Blood Like Poison, #1)

This was one of the first books to be recommended to me on Goodreads when I joined the site. And 19 year old me would have probably loved this book. The instant love, the hint of sexual tension, the cliffhanger. It was a recipe for a favorite book. But now? I was just mostly irritated by the whole thing. I'm glad I didn't have to pay to read this an e-book. That would have sent me right over the edge. While there were some good fight scenes and the chemistry between the two leads was cute, I still didn't like this book at all. Whether or not the mystery will be solved doesn't concern me.

The PluckerThe Plucker by Brom
A dark fantasy novel with illustrations by the author

This is a great dark fantasy read. The art matches the tone of this short story. At around 150 pages, it's a perfect daytime book. And you'll want to read this in the light, since there are some horror themed scenes. I didn't actually scare me bur I was still freaked out a bit. The ending was bittersweet but that's the norm with horror stories. I'd be willing to read more from this author. No matter how dark and twisted the story gets.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Losing Streak

The title has nothing to do with the books I've been reading (though there have been few). It's more about my motivation to keep up with this blog and finding time to read books. Depression is a SOB and I am so tired all the time. I hate not wanting to read books but that's what I've been dealing with lately. That's not to say I've been cooped up in my place all day and avoiding people. It's my head that's getting to me. Negative thoughts making me feel like nothing I do will make me feel better, even reading. So I've been trying to combat this head on. I know this probably isn't the right space to talk about these things but...where else am i going to do it? I'll make an effort to be more active on here, if only for myself. I have no idea who reads this thing but to those who do, thanks a lot. It means something to me to have you out there. Now here are a few on the books I've read in the past month. I'll post the rest later.

Spellbound by Sylvia Day
A three-part erotic novella

The last story wasn't doing it for me, especially considering that we don't even get to see Max dominated by Victoria. It was teased and hinted at and then...nothing. But the first two stories were insta-love at its finest. The writing was good and the book short enough for me to forgive a lack of plot though.

Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles by A.L. Herbert

Murder with Fried Chicken and WafflesThe only good thing this book did was make me hungry for waffles. Other than that, this was a huge waste of time. I hated the dialogue, which tries way too hard to cater to black people. This is usually why I avoid urban/African-American novels. I don't know anyone who speaks like these characters so everything sounds fake. Then the characters themselves, that's a whole other issue. I mean, could they be any dumber? The decisions being made by these two grown women concerned me rather than entertained me.

The Forsaken by L.A. Banks
7th book in the Vampire Huntress Legend series

The Forsaken (Vampire Huntress Legend, #7)This is definitely my favorite book of the series so far. The introduction of Cain took this story to a whole other level. I was always team Carlos but last book, he fucked up bad. So when Damali was getting seduced by the new big bad, I was all for it. Carlos deserved to feel all the pain he put his woman through. The best scene has to go to Tara though. She told our Neteru some things I've been thinking for a while but she is brutal, fearless, and awesome in her delivery. I hope to see more of her in the next book.

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
A young adult novel/realistic fiction

The Memory of LightWords cannot express how much this book resonated with me. From the very first page, I could relate to the story and its characters. It's beautifully written and so realistic. As with any book, there are moments that dialogue doesn't sound natural or a person's reaction will give you pause. But it all made sense for the story that was being told, that I feel like needed to be told. This book is me, it's just a part of me now. The words will tumble in my head for the rest of my life and I'll revisit it like an old friend when in need of understanding and acceptance.

Hoodoo by Ronald L. Smith
A fantasy children's novel

HoodooI really wanted to like this book. It had all the elements for a great, quick read. It's got magic, a black young male protagonist, and is less than 300 pages. But I've struggled these past few days just to finish this book. I was sooooo bored. Nothing was happening! Even the finale was lackluster. The story was too repetitive and dragged out. Sad to say, I won't be recommending this to young readers in my library.