Mystery Blogger Award

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but since I do have a backlog of posts to get through, I figured now was a good time to do this! Christina at The Bookshelf Corner was kind enough to tag me for this, which is pretty cool! The Mystery Blogger Award was created by Okoto Enigma.

The Rules

1. Put the award logo/image in your post.
2. List all the rules.
3. Thank whoever nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
4. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
5. Nominate 10-20 people and notify them **
6. Link back to the creator of the award.
7. Ask nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with a weird or funny question.
8. Share the link to your best/favourite post of yours.

** Make note that I’m kind of a rule-breaker, so…

These Three Things

  1. I love traveling and would go around the world if I could.
  2. I have an eclectic search history, but I suppose that goes under the territory of writing a steampunk novel.
  3. I have decided that this year, my Halloween costume will be No-Face.

The Answers

  • What are you currently reading?

Several things, because why not. Portal of a Thousand Worlds by Dave Duncan, which I’ve put on temporary hold because of the other things I want to finish. Like Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, which is a little painful to read because KAROU AND AKIVA GET BACK TOGETHER ALREADY PLSTHX. Oh, and Arabian Nights, selected tales translated by Richard Francis Burton. I’m also going to re-read The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh soon.

  • What has been your favorite book read so far of 2017 and why?

Ugh. God. This is such a loaded question. I loved a lot of the books I’d read this year. I suppose it’ll have to be A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. Because hell yes to that book.

  • What new book(s) are you looking forward to being released later this year (if applicable)?

The downside with having gone to BookCon is that I’m now aware of SO MANY books that are coming out and want each and every one of them! The Because You Love to Hate Me anthology just came out today, which I want. I’d love to finally get a copy of Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater looks really good, and because it’s Marissa Meyer, I also want Renegades.

  • If your bookshelf could talk, what would it say? (the weird-ish question)

“Reorganize me already!” Yeah, I’m due for fixing my bookshelf up again…

  • What book series would you like to see turned into a TV series or movie?

A whole lot. I’d love to see Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson on screen. The Shades of Magic series by Schwab, the Lunar Chronicles by M. Meyer would totally be an animated series and I’d watch the hell out of that. I also wouldn’t mind watching a live action serial of anything Patricia Briggs came up with. Mostly because werewolves.

Favorite Post

Uh. I suppose shoutout to my Food and Fandom page because it’s always my favorite post when I talk about food?

The Nominations

  • Totally throwing Meg @ La Foi Aveugle under the bus for this one specifically.
  • And YOU. Or anyone else who’d like to respond to these possibly riveting questions. XD

The Questions

  1. What book are you adamant on reading this year, if nothing else?
  2. If you had to listen to an audiobook instead of read a book, who would your dream voice narrator be?
  3. What actor/actress would you see playing your fictional crush, provided the book becomes a movie/show?
  4. Which of your favorite fictional characters would make excellent space pirates? And it does NOT count if they’re already space pirates.
  5. Dragon or unicorn?

TTT: Mid-Year Best Books Read in 2017

For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

Crap, I’m a bit behind on books, so hopefully I’ll remedy my lack of reading for an entire month during my summer break. Which, let’s be honest, will probably happen because this is Day 2 of vacation and I managed to clean and organize two rooms in my house. Two more rooms to go and I’m pretty much done with a majority of my summer to-do list where my house is involved!

Anyway, this mid-year list is likely to change by the end of the year, though I’m pretty sure A Conjuring of Light is going to stay way up there, because Schwab is love.

Top Ten Best Books Read in Mid-2017

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – Hands down my favorite read of the year. The feels for this book was strong. SO MANY FEELS. I can’t even begin to describe how much I adore this book and how much of the book was pretty much me crying over the sad bits and dancing giddily over the smutty awesomely lovely bits. But yes. If you haven’t heard of this series and Victoria Schwab yet, I highly recommend this series.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – Baaaah. Another one with so many feels, mostly because I totally ship two people who probably aren’t going to end up together, because they’re both practically two peas in a pod. Also, Helene is badass, and um, really badass. And I am totally excited to read her POV in the second book, because I’m pretty sure she shows up again as a POV by then.

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs – Helloooo Prague. I mean, the beginning of the book totally mentioned chocolate and I was already sold. This was a great installment to the Mercy Thompson series, mostly because Mercy is out of her element, and out of the country, to boot. She’s fighting off vampires and foreign wolves and still rocking it on the survival level. Also, Adam POV. How could I not love this book?

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – The late Carrie Fisher (may the Force be with her in peace) has a distinctly funny voice when it comes to narrating her audiobooks. I loved this one to bits because she’s so candid, and she’d made me laugh in her narration. The book was on the short side, but still pretty succinct in her discussion about the problems she’d faced in her life.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – Loved this book because of the magic system in place here. Clairvoyance isn’t something I tend to gravitate toward as far as magical systems go, but this one worked in the world’s favor. Also, there was a bit of steam rising by the end of the first book, and by the end of the book, I was seriously clamoring for the next book, just so I could go back to the Warden again.

Q & A by Vikas Swarup – The movie Slumdog Millionaire was loosely based off of this book, and all in all, I enjoyed the movie just as much as I enjoyed the audiobook narration of the book. There were different scenarios that took place, though the framework largely remained the same. The book could have done with a few scenes edited out, but the movie, IMHO, could have added a bit more to the richness of the scenes.

The Jane Austen Handbook: Proper Life Skills from Regency England by Margaret C. Sullivan – I’m actually not sure whether this handbook was meant to be cheeky or not, but occasionally I found it rather serious and to the point, while other times it has that tone of sarcastic British witticism. I still enjoyed it, and it’s definitely a book to grab and read if you’re a Janeite.

Gilded Cage by Vic James – One of the ARCs I enjoyed reading this year was definitely this book. It’s a dystopian YA focusing around several characters, some of whom have special powers, while others do not. It’s an interesting book, and to be honest, something like this has been done before; it reminded me of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard some, but I honestly thought the story in Gilded Cage was better executed. For one, the females in the book were not shat on and actually had more interesting personalities as opposed to them all fighting for the same effing guy.

Fables: Camelot, Vol. 20 by Bill Willingham – Loved the cover for this volume! Also loved the sister tension between Rose Red and Snow White in this, as well as the fact that characters I loved took larger roles in this book. Also, it is coming off of some crazy storyline direction from Vol. 19, which was, quite honestly, a clusterfudge of “OMG I CANNOT.”

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – This was a beautiful, old-school fairy tale retelling! Also grabbed this as an ARC and did not regret it, because it was just SO GOOD. But now it’s going to take a while to get to the second book, which I am excited to read because more of the Frost-King and the girl he protects from his evil brother.

What made your top list so far this year?

TTT: Summer Yellow Reads

For more information on Top Ten Tuesday, click here.

They call me mellow yellow! *hums*

Except not really, because when I think of summer, I’m more along the lines of Olaf and summer. I’ll probably melt occasionally, but I cannot wait. It may also have something to do with the fact that I’ll also be on vacation then, which is definitely much needed…

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, summer reading. And I don’t mean that in the “this is your assignment for the summer” kind of “summer reading,” and honestly, I’ve mostly given up on TBR lists because I never follow them anyway. So this time around, I decided I’d do a TTT based on the color yellow! Yellow book covers are shiny and bright and quite happy! For the most part. Erm. Yeah.

Top Ten Summery Yellow Books

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany – This is definitely an easy and pretty light read. I’m typically a slow reader, but I got through this in a couple of hours during a mad, impromptu read-a-thon with my friend.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – My sister was a big Artemis Fowl fan, so we have the series sitting neatly at home. I practically grew up on Eoin Colfer, J.K. Rowling, and Tamora Pierce, so you can bet that if they had yellow book covers, I was putting them up here!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – Chyeahboi. Summer break may be over for Simon Snow and Basilton Grimm-Pitch, but not for us! I’d totally take my two boyz with me to the beach if I wanted some beach-reading material to squee over.

Wish Memorial Illustrated Collection by CLAMP – I will admit that the Wish covers had some of the most aesthetically pretty illustrations I’ve seen of CLAMP’s stuff, and that’s saying something, because normally CLAMP knocks their artwork out of the ballpark. I loved this short series, though admittedly it’s not my favorite of CLAMP’s. That is normally reserved to Magic Knight Rayearth and Cardcaptor Sakura.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – Cannot stop recommending this enough! I love this book, and Yelena, and Valek, and this cover is pretty much my favorite of the covers that have come out. Not sure why, but I did like the simplistic juxtaposition of the red and yellow colors. That could be just me, though.

Enchantment by Orson Scott Card – Orson Scott Card is largely known for his science fiction stories, especially in the Ender’s Game series–well, and also known for his outspoken, often-controversial political views–so it’s often a surprise to people when I say of the books he has written, Enchantment still remains my favorite. But I’m just biased, considering it is based on a fairy tale, and it is a fantasy entrenched within Slavic history and folklore.

The rest of these books are books I’ve yet to read but really, really want to.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – Another dual cover book! And it’s by Laini Taylor, who is a goddess of the written word. This is supposed to be a duology, so THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor – Yeah. Laini makes it on this list twice, lol! I’ve started Days of Blood and Starlight so Dreams of Gods and Monsters will probably be something I’ll read either in June or July. Yep. Need my Karou-Akiva fix that’s for sure.

Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo – This cover is just gorgeous, and I really want to read this! Who knows when I’ll get to it, though… *twitch*

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang – Same for this book! I adore Gene Luen Yang’s spinoff stories in the Avatar: The Last Airbender world, and I would love to read something based off his own perspective and not that of Team Avatar (though I could do with more of the latter as well).

What are some fabulous yellow-covered books you’ve read?

TTT: Book Moms

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With Mother’s Day having just passed, I thought this was a cool topic to delve into. Not to mention the fact that I’d just finished talking about Briar Wilkes, a mother in a particular steampunk book (which also fits into my scheme of book moms…) I’ve reread recently.

Book moms are far and few, and often they’re likely dead of something or other. Gosh, why are most of my fave heroines lacking in a mother figure anyway? But that’s a completely different topic altogether (which, now that I think about it, I wonder if I can do a “Top Ten Heroes that Received the Batman Special”…damn, that’s depressing). In any case, I wanted to celebrate the cool book moms in books I’ve read that had book moms.

Top Ten Book Moms

Snow White – Fables: Vol. 19, Snow White by Bill Willingham – This is practically the latest volumes I’ve read of Fables, but hell, I’ve always admired Snow White. I thought she’d been sidelined for many volumes, but she shined once more in this volume. She’s a mother of seven wolf cubs and while her husband Bigby tends to be the muscle and grand protector of the family, there’s no denying how overly formidable she can get when her children are on the line.

She’s somethin’ FIERCE.

Emira Maresh – A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – Um, OF COURSE Emira. She wasn’t as active as I’d hoped she’d be, but again, she’s a mother who has a ton of love for her two sons (and one of them’s adopted!). She’s also a waterbender. And I like waterbenders. Almost as much as I like firebenders. Um. And metalbenders. Wait. I’m in the wrong fandom…but whatever!

Molly Weasley – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – What Harry Potter fan is going to forget this iconic lady and her “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” line? Frankly, it was one of the best goddamn things in the seventh book. After having a child die and seeing a few of her sons maimed eternally by dark magic, she was having NONE OF IT when it comes to her daughter. Ginny’s got one fiery-haired mum, that’s for sure.

I still get the shivers when I see this scene.

Briar Wilkes – Boneshaker by Cherie Priest – I mean, obviously I was putting Briar on this list. At some point in the book she mentions at how bad a mother she is. Then, quite literally the next day, she’s boarding a smuggler’s airship, aidropping onto a ravaged Seattle, and braving the perils of zombie gas, rotters, and mad scientists in order to get her boy. Yeah, she’s totally a badass book mom.

Catelyn Stark – A Storm of Swords by G.R.R. Martin – Oh yeah. She also gets thrown in here for being a staunch supporting mother of all her children. I was between Catelyn and Cersei, but honestly, Cersei annoyed by in the fourth book and my heart goes out to Lady Stoneheart and her taste for vengeance. Also…DEAAAAATH.

The “I cannot even” is strong in Catelyn Stark.

Mara of the Acoma – Mistress of the Empire by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts – I will admit I haven’t read this book. I absolutely loved Daughter of the Empire, and I’d read Servant of the Empire but I couldn’t bring myself to reading the third book after I was a little bit disappointed with the second. Mara, however, is still one of my favorite characters, and she becomes a mother by the third book, which upped the stakes even more in this finale of the trilogy.

Mrs. Bennet – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Mrs. Bennet isn’t really the ideal mother, but hear me out. Listen. She’s still the most comedic character in all of the Austen novels put together, because she practically tells it how it is. She wants her daughters married off, and she’s not afraid to tell you what she thinks of men who scorn her daughters for their lack of wealth and standing. The woman has a screw loose in her head and she definitely has to relabel her priorities, but come on, she totally meant well.

Eleni Cooper – Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce – She’s practically a secondary character, but a strong one in the Tortallan world. Now, honestly, I would have said Thayet hands down, but Eleni has a quiet strength to her, and she gets major kudos for having reared a felon without dying of a heart attack soon after. That said, George kind of came off fine in the end, and Eleni can rest easy that her son has a comfortable life.

Mrs. Frisby – The Secret of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien – I really liked this book as a kid, and I absolutely loved the animated movie that came out in the ’90s that was based on this story. Mrs. Frisby was the type of mother who went the extra mile in order to save her family from destruction. And boy oh boy, does she go places.

Queen Ashen – Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – You don’t get much of her essence in Graceling, even though much of the story happens to have taken place when Leck is still alive. That said, much of Ashen’s past comes back during Bitterblue’s story. Ashen was a queen who, like almost everyone in the Monsean court, fell victim under Leck’s Grace. This brought about all sorts of horror upon Ashen; however, she still manages to pull through when it came to the thought that her daughter would get hurt. Ashen is solely responsible for Bitterblue’s initial survival, and it is thanks to her that her daughter is queen of a once-doomed kingdom.

How about you? Which book mothers made your list?

TTT: Unique Books

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I can’t say with utter certainty whether these books are unique, but they were certainly different from the books I usually read. I chose these particular ten because not only were they different from my usual faire, they were also things I enjoyed. There are probably a bunch of other, more unique books that I’ve read (like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime) but wasn’t a fan, so I’ve just left them off my list entirely.

Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read

Inferno by Dante Alighieri – Actually, much of epic poetry probably goes in this category of uniqueness. I don’t often read epic poems these days, but they certainly do lend well to storytelling in a sense. I did enjoy Inferno (which I read in both Italian and English…though goodness knows why because I have very little grasp of Italian to begin with), though I still haven’t read the full Divine Comedy.

Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti – Alright, I honestly put this here because the copy I have is lovely. Based on the original print, Goblin Market is a short story written in the form of a poem. The best part about this little book, however, is the fact that it’s fully illustrated by Arthur Rackham, who is renowned for his fairy tale art. So yeah, something unique, that’s for sure.

Animal Farm by George Orwell – Obviously the classics were bound to show up. I suppose it’s what makes them timeless, no? It’s probably not as strange as it seems, considering there’ve already been numerous books out there with animal main characters, but still. I’d bet not many of them tell the story of Communist pigs throwing out their human overlords.

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer – I will admit that I’ve never read the full collection of this book, but I always found it an interesting story. It is, essentially, a collection of stories told by the campfire. Well, not literally a campfire, but it comes close. Chaucer sets his narrative through a situation–in this case, a journey–where each character tells a story while on their way to Canterbury.

Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino – This book and perhaps The Periodic Table by Primo Levi were probably my favorite books I had to read in college. And mostly because they are a collection of short stories that revolve around scientific ideas (or terms). Cosmicomics was just odd because I don’t think I’ve ever had to read a book where I couldn’t pronounce the main character’s name. Try saying Qfwfq out loud, I dare ya.

World War Z by Max Brooks – I’m finding a pattern about what I consider “different”, and most of them involve short stories/vignettes, heh. Again, World War Z was interesting for me because it was broken up into different accounts. No character was truly main, and the bigger picture of the zombie apocalypse was fleshed out through the interviews and written missives of the people who’d experienced it. It’s not the first time this has been done, and it’s certainly not the last (Sleeping Giants runs a similar format), but it was one of my favorites of this kind of narrative.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – And back to straight-up story narrative! Only, not really, because Gaiman doesn’t necessarily stay within the confines of Shadow’s perspective. Which means several POVs. But! What was unique for me in the case of American Gods was that it was practically the story of a classic American road trip that somehow managed to involve ancient gods and their war against the new gods. It’s a beautiful mixture of old and new, something Gaiman could do effortlessly.

The Epic of Gilgamesh – I thank the divine beings above that I did not have to read this strictly in cuneiform. There’s an English translation that helped me understand the basic gist of the story, thank you very much. Even back 4,000 years, humans are still entertained by stories, and Gilgamesh is arguably the first epic hero. I added this into the mix because it was the kind of book I appreciated being translated and available to the masses.

Lysistrata by Aristophanes – Yes! Because of all the plays I’ve read, none made me laugh as hard as Lysistrata. I mean, Shakespeare came close, and Oscar Wilde often makes me giggle, but Lysistrata just kills me every time. It’s bawdy, it’s rude, it’s women having enough with men and their dick-measuring competitions. It’s quite literally a group of women withholding sex in order to end a pointless war. And they are successful. YAAAAS. I mean, you’d think this was written in a distant future, not thousands of years ago. But there it is.

Sorcery & Cecelia by Caroline Stevermere and Patricia C. Wrede – One of my favorite epistolary novels, hands down. I don’t often read stories that were written in letter-form, mostly  because I find that it gets rather dull and/or confusing, but I enjoyed Sorcery and Cecelia a lot! Kate and Cecy were hilarious characters, and their romantic interests were quite lovely. The story is part of a trilogy, though admittedly the first book was the best because of the format. Its sequels, The Grand Tour and The Mislaid Magician also follow suite in the same format, but I admit the magic was at its finest in the first book.

How about you? What kinds of unique books have you added to your Top Ten list?