Of Epic Fantasy Owl Crates and TBTBSantas

I don’t think I’ve posted a book haul-ish post on my blog in ages. Mostly because the last few books I’ve bought I’d done piece-meal. And honestly, for the most part, they were gifts. The last thing I’d actually bought at The Strand for myself was a copy of Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith (which, if you’ve seen the cover, is gorgeous and of course I wanted it in my collection). Everything else I’d gotten I’d given away (including six children’s books, five of which I really wanted to read but didn’t have time to, and three books to my TBTBSantee).

But! There is always the OwlCrate.

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I had subscribed to Owl Crate last month, when the Wonderland Theme was a definite buy because I really wanted a copy of Marissa Meyer’s Heartless and come on, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was an awesome book, and it’s a fabulously aesthetic theme. I was not disappointed, and when I saw that December’s was going to be on YA epic fantasies, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t been able to call the book this time around (Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst), though it looks really good (and an LGBT one, too!), so I can’t wait to read it. The swag for the Epic theme was pretty much kickass as well, what with items from some of my favorite fantasies out there.

Next month’s theme is “Classic Remix,” and I’m fairly sure it’ll include Heartstone by Elle Katharine White, because it’s certainly a remix of a classic Jane Austen story, and surprise surprise, it gets released in January. My inner Austenite wants this book, but I’ve chosen to opt out of the Owl Crate because I’m not keen on getting more tea (especially if it comes out to be a slightly disappointing set of decaf).

I also had the pleasure of getting a lovely pile of swag and books from Raisa @ raisinetta and they were gorgeous, thank you so much!

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Alright, don’t laugh, but I’ve been wanting Eona by Alison Goodman for ages. And yet…I still haven’t read Eon, lol! It just wasn’t right, not having the sequel when it’s clearly a duology, I guess. I also got a hardcover of Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan, which is a fantasy following, well, wattaya know, a girl named Raisa (I see the cheek you used there, har har). All the chocolates have disappeared, and the tea will as well once I get going with my nightly teatimes. My sister has been grumbling about finding a particularly blue TARDIS hanging on our tree (which is all the more odd because our tree happens to be white and gold-themed). And Sailor Mars happens to be my favorite senshi so she is now hanging around my set of house and school keys!

Some other books I’ve managed to yoink this month includes a few library borrowed: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (because I needed to finish it and I’d already sent the copy I bought along to my TBTBSanta), the graphic novel of Brent Weeks’ The Way of Shadows (which I’ve been wanting to get my hands on since I’ve read the Night Angel trilogy and loved it) and White Sand by Brandon Sanderson (also a graphic novel, which looks awesome so far). Oh, and my bestie had a copy of Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, which I plan to read in February before I lock myself down with A Conjuring of Light. Ahem.

Anyway. That’s all bookish updates so far! I shall be back with some holiday fooding this Sunday. If I haven’t died from the exhaustive week of knitting, baking, and gifting.

Of Entertainer Blog Awards

entertainerblog

I am well and truly tickled when I realized I was tagged for this  a while back. I know, I know, I said a while back, because I totally saw it way back when and I only just wrote up a post about it. Thank you muchly, Emma Kath @ Llady Literary for your lovely tag! Check her out, she’s quite lovely 😀

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Add these rules to your post.
  3. Answer all the questions below.
  4. Display the award picture in your post.
  5. Nominate 12 other bloggers who are funny, inspiring and most important of all ENTERTAINING!

 The Questions:

1. Why did you start a blog in the first place?

Admittedly, Story and Somnomancy is not my first blog. My first blog happened to be in Xanga (where I whined a lot), and then I moved onto a LiveJournal (where I whined and wrote fanfic drabbles a lot). But for the sake of brevity (and seeing as I could write much longer about my teenager self and why she started those first two blogs than I would rather do), I started Story and Somnomancy in order to practice writing on a regular basis. Somehow that’s also evolved into writing lengthier book reviews and interacting with bloggers as well as other random nerdy and bookish ramblings, but that’s the best part about evolution, no?

2. What is your favourite book? 

One does not play favorites with one’s books. They are always listening.

3. What do you dislike the most?

At the moment? Colds, coughs, and completely unreliable subway train services.

4. What is your favourite food item from the mall? 

If my particular mall serves bubble tea, I tend to go for those. Otherwise, something chocolatey or baked. Or, oh! Dippin Dots!

5. What is your favourite pastime?

You mean besides reading and spending my time writing? Definitely gaming. I could be spending a great deal of time gaming on my PS4 console or computer or even the random apps on my phone for hours at a time. I’m a little psychotic like that.

The Tags

I admit I am at a loss at who to tag for this at this point. Most–if not all–of the blogs I’ve followed have often inspired and entertained me in one way or another. One does not just choose her favorites! (Okay, one can, but one is too lazy to, and one is still not out of the comfort of her very warm bed.) Anyway, I’ll leave it at that.

Of Coffee Book Tags

coffee

In light of me needing a ton of caffeine this month (did I mention I’m NaNoing AND doing all the other random things I’m supposed to be doing?), I thought this tag was super-appropriate. Also, I would love me some coffee right about now.

I found this tag floating around, though I can’t quite remember which blog I yoinked this off of (sorry!).

Coffee Book Tag

Black: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

wayofkings

Brandon Sanderson’s fans are pretty hardcore. I mean, kudos to them for reading practically everything he has written, because I love his stuff and even I haven’t been able to find the time (and attention span) to devote myself to his books. I’d say The Stormlight Archive would be one of the series that’s tough to get into, yet I see so many stellar ratings by those who have read the books that are out so far. Personally, I enjoyed The Way of Kings even though it took me forever and a day to finish it.

Peppermint Mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.

grinchstole

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. I work with kids, so this book always gets a resurgence during the holidays. It’s a fun book to read, first of all, and the movie isn’t too bad, either!

Hot Chocolate: What is your favorite children’s book?

alicewonderland

I read too many children’s books as is, but definitely Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. There’s something classic and fun about Alice and her frolicking down the rabbit hole. Also, caterpillars on shrooms. I mean, what’s not to love about that?

Double Shot Espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

mastiff

Just the one? I swear some of my favorite books keep me on the edge of my seat. I will say Mastiff kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. It was practically a manhunt that starts at the beginning of the book and it just kept getting worse and worse and OHGOD I remember it now and it’s making me anxious all over again.

Starbucks: Name a book you see everywhere.

darkmatter

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Not so much on bookstores, because I’ve been avoiding them lately (since I know I’m about to splurge this month…), but I see the distinct cover whenever I browse book recommendations online. It’s also been popping up on my recommendations list on Goodreads, though perhaps that’s because I’d rated scifi books pretty well lately.

That Hipster Coffee Shop: Give a book by an indie author a shoutout.

valiant

Not sure if she’s defined as an “indie author” but I totally want to shoutout Sarah McGuire for her book, Valiant, a retelling of “The Brave Little Tailor.” It was a lovely story, and I am pretty happy that she’s sold another fairy tale retelling that’s going to be published sometime in 2018.

Oops! I Accidentally Got Decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from.

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Honestly, the entire premise had so much promise, and while I was entertained by the first book, there were a lot of characters that made me roll my eyes.

The Perfect Blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet, but ultimately satisfying.

winter

Gods. I am horrid at finishing series. But um. Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles was a fantastic series, from beginning to end. I was sad that I’d finished Winter, but satisfied at the ending. And while I greatly appreciate books where authors kill off main characters out of necessity, I am super-glad that none of that occurred in Meyer’s books.

Green Tea: Name a book or series that is quietly beautiful.

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Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor. I will always, always keep bringing this three-story collection up, because it’s the prettiest book I’ve read (both aesthetically and textually), and Laini’s a bonafide wordsmith.

Chai Tea: Name a book or series that makes you dream of far off places.

wrathdawn

You mean, just about every other fantasy I read? Heh. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. Because exotic foods and exotic places and I mean…a romance of the ages? Sigh.

Earl Grey: Name your favorite classic.

emma

Hah. Let’s go the British route and throw in Emma by Jane Austen. The book is up there with Pride and Prejudice, but it often wins out because I just like the frivolousness of the story more in Emma. That said…as an Austenite, I probably should put most of her books on this list…

 

[Book Tags] – The Zombie Apocalypse

Lauren @ Always Me has such fun tags, and this was certainly another one that I yoinked from her. It’s such a fitting time to do it, too, considering it’s October and I’m hunkering down preparing for Samhain! Or, well, Shocktober as what many already call it.

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

Rules:

  1. Pick 5 books (favorites or random but know the characters).
  2. Write the name of the books on strips of paper.
  3. Draw one piece randomly for it to be your book/choice.
  4. Open to a random page and use the first name you see to answer question 1.
  5. Use the same book for question 2, but turn to a different page.
  6. Repeat the steps 2-5 till you answered all the questions.

My Books:

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In no particular order (and honestly, I just picked favorite books off random shelves and made sure I’d read them previously):

Soulless by Gail Carriger

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Book 1: Fire by Kristin Cashore

1. The first person to die: 

Fire (p. 214) – God. Worst luck ever. Though to be fair, I’m pretty sure the only reason she would die is if she was protecting people she loved. Like Hanna or Brigan. Yeah. This so doesn’t make me feel better.

2. The person you trip to get away from the zombies:

Archer (p. 300) – Lol. I…see this as possibly happening, actually. I was so over Archer by the second half of the book.

Book 2: Cress by Marissa Meyer

3. The first person to turn into a zombie:

Scarlet (p. 96) – I’m sorry, girl! Your uh…zombification will be avenged! (Random note: I notice my redheads don’t make it in this zombie apocalypse. Dammit!)

4. The person that trips you to get away from the zombies:

Kai (p. 297) – I’m not even angry by this. You run, Kai. Run far and fast. I’ll catch up with the group eventually. XD

Book 3: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

5. The idiot of the team:

Dylan/Deryn (p. 280) – Lol, I feel like the roles are switched here, but I suppose she is pretty dense at times. And reckless.

6. The brains of the team:

Alek (p. 168) – All that swordfighting practice might have given him a bit of strategic edge fighting zombies.

Book 4: Soulless by Gail Carriger

7. The team’s medic: 

Professor Lyall (p. 132) – As the Woolsey Pack Beta, this is definitely a possibility. Though…do werewolves actually suffer through zombie-ism when they’re already cursed with lycanthropy?

8. The weapons expert:

Alexia Tarrabotti (p. 338) – I do not doubt this! After all, she does know a thing or two about attacking with parasols!

Book 5: Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

9. The brawler:

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Sam Cornick (p. 68) – Hahaha, I totally see this. He’d be an excellent brawler, though.

10. The team captain:

Warren (p. 236) – Yes! I’d totally follow him as my team captain. I mean…if Adam wasn’t available, obvi.

That was definitely fun to do! I’m more or less happy with my team mates, though I am particularly bummed that my redheads suffered an early defeat against the hands of brain-eaters. But c’est la zombie vie, I suppose.

I’m a horrid tagger, but per usual, I tag EVERYBODY! Because I’d love to see your results. 😀

Of Hogwarts and Harry Potter Stories

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I found this tag at Lauren @ Always Me and I couldn’t resist! I mean, who hasn’t made up his or her own Hogwarts story at some point or other? After having my own Hogwarts persona for over ten years (probably closer to fifteen now, haha), this tag is a walk in the park and a fun one to do!

1. Are you a Pure-Blood, Half-Blood, or a Muggle-Born?

As Muggle-born as Hermione, thank you very much!

2. Which wand chose you?

wand

According to Pottermore, my wand is 11 3/4 inches, sycamore and phoenix feather, with surprisingly swishy flexibility. A curious and adventurous wand, apparently.

3. Did you take an owl, cat, rat, or toad with you?

I suppose I would’ve taken a cat. Preferably one with purple eyes. Preferably one named Faithful. Uh, I mean, you know what, I’d take a cat.

4. Where did the Sorting Hat put you?

Always Ravenclaw 😀

5. What House did you want to be in?

I don’t think any of the sortings have sent me anywhere but Ravenclaw, though I sometimes do get close to being thrown into Slytherin. I’ve got an inner Draco Malfoy inside of me. 😀

6. What lessons are your favorite and least favorite?

My favorite would be Potions, because I’ve always liked chemistry in school. Though I suppose Arithmancy would have been great, too. Least favorite, hmm. Probably Divination.

7. The form your patronus takes is a…

A dragon. Because why the hell not.

8. When confronted with a Boggart what does it look like for you?

A horribly awful “Your writing is really bad” rejection letter. I could Riddikulus it to the point where the letter is filled with grammatical errors. Hah, take that, rejection!

9. Do you partake in any school sports or magical hobbies?

*swings beater bat* Quidditch. Well, the online version of Quidditch where Harry Potter trivia is involved.

10. If you have free time where would you find yourself hanging out?

Take me to the library!

11. You are most likely to get a detention for what?

Hexing people for dog-earing library books. The nerve of these witches and wizards!

12. What career do you want after leaving Hogwarts?

Hogwarts professor. I’d probably come back to teach Muggle Studies or, hell, Potions.

I tag EVERYONE for this, because I want to see your answers! Yes. 😀