TTT: TBR Culling

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I actually DNFed quite a number of books last year, and I also got into the habit of periodically culling my TBR on Goodreads, so you’d think this would be easy peasy. But that’s the thing with DNFs and list deletions: they disappear. Ah well. Now this is good excuse to do my year’s worth of culling on Goodreads!

Ten Books I’ve Decided I’m No Longer Interested In Reading

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis – This was just one of those books you get disinterested in after taking a chance on the movie. It just didn’t grab me, to be honest.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – This was just one of those books most everyone read and loved and this was something I probably should have read in high school. It’s been in my list since 2009, and chances are if I haven’t read it by now, I probably won’t.

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern – Not actually sure what got me interested in this book. It’s not the type of book I’d read willingly. Maybe because of the movie? But I don’t recall wanting to watch the movie either…anyway, it’s off my list now.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – It took me years to realize I wasn’t going to read my copy of this book. So I sold it. I mean…I watched and enjoyed the TV series?

Labyrinth by Kate Mosse – Back in the day, I had this crazy fascination with the Holy Grail and Arthurian legends. I mean, I’m still pretty into Arthurian legends, but just not so much on the Holy Grail. There were so many other stories in Britannic lore that were interesting than some goblet purity test. I was kind of over the puzzle-solving phenomenon revolving the Holy Grail since Dan Brown overplayed it with The Da Vinci Code.

Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky – This sounded interesting when I started playing the game based off this book. I didn’t get very far, though, so my interest kind of waned. It is a pretty cool post-apocalyptic piece of fiction, though. Just not for me.

Momo by Michael Ende – I could probably finish reading this quickly, but eh. Maybe one day?

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong – I like me my urban fantasies, but I’m not quite sure why this was on my TBR. Well. Maybe it had to do with the fact that there are werewolves involved. Buuut, er, the fact that the MC is the ONLY female werewolf has the potential to bother me. Because many reasons I don’t want to get into. So no thanks.

Perdido Street by China Mieville – I have discovered that I’m not as into “weird” or “fantastic” fiction as I originally thought I’d be. It’s okay once in a while, but it’s not at the top of my priority to-read list.

Rook by Sharon Cameron – If I’m going to be reading another. damn. dystopian, it better be a really good one. As is, I’ve been iffy about this book because the reviews weren’t very kind with regards to its worldbuilding and pacing. And I haven’t been very fond of YA dystopians anyway, especially if we’re just going to recreate a part of history. Wouldn’t that just be writing speculative historical fiction then?! Sigh.

Well. That cut down my list of books by 10! Not that that helped much…considering how many I’ve added to the TBR again…

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TTT: New-To-Me Authors of 2017

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Happy New Year! Last year I experimented a lot on different authors, especially because of the amount of audiobooks I borrowed and listened to. I also didn’t stray too far from my favorites, and ended up reading a fair share of familiar authors as well. What I did like is that regardless of what I’d read earlier on in the year, a number of authors wrote their stories so lovely that I wanted more. Here are just a lovely few!

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2017

Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes) – Admittedly, I was very dry on high fantasies in 2017, which is sad, because some really epic stories are going on in the high fantasy/epic fantasy genre that I really need to pick up more on that front. I may have yelled at Sabaa a bit in my mind (and maybe once or twice on Twitter…), but AEitA was SO GOOD.

Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season) – Not sure why I enjoyed her debut book so much, because strip the worldbuilding away and it’s almost a typical YA story. That said, clairvoyant magic system. Yaaaaspls.

Katherine Arden (The Bear and the Nightingale) – Arden has certainly built up my kind of historical fairy-tale setting! Arden’s TBatN and its sequel The Girl in the Tower remind me of something Juliet Marillier would write about if Marillier wrote about Russian fairy tales. All the same, I love both authors now, so yay!

Raina Telgemeier (Sisters) – Telgemeier is my new Satrapi, except I actually related more to Sisters, which is, as its moniker would have it, a story that is exactly about sisters. I’m pretty keen on reading the rest of Telgemeier’s graphic novel series, because she really did make me laugh.

Carrie Fisher (Wishful Drinking) – HERE COMES THE GENERAL (RISE UP!). Been meaning to read through her work, and her passing early in 2017 propelled me into getting a copy of at least one of her biographies. Loved the voice, loved her humor.

Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine) – I was mostly on the fence for some of the volumes of this series, but I will admit that the writing is absolute crack and altogether ingenious. Loved the illustration as well in his TW+TD series, but when it came down to writing in so many different voices, Gillen has many beat.

Vikas Swarup (Q&A) – Loved the perspective in this book. I read this as an audiobook, so it was easier to imagine the setting (though to be honest, imagining the setting wasn’t hard when most of your head was ingrained in Slumdog Millionaire…). I really liked the story, though.

Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See) – All the Light We Cannot See is Doerr’s highest-rated book on Goodreads, but I might have to try his other books. That said, I had a love-hate relationship with his ending in AtLWCS, so if his other books end in a similar manner, I might just nope out of it. He writes beautifully, in any case.

Vic James (Gilded Cage) – This was one of the NetGalley ARCs that I thoroughly enjoyed reading in 2017. I will definitely be interested in reading more from this author, and I really should get myself a copy of the second book somehow!

Margaret C. Sullivan (The Jane Austen Handbook) – Enjoyed this book! I also realized I actually did read another book of hers, so she’s technically not new to me, but we won’t really count the other Jane Austen book, since it was mainly one about covers! So there.

How about you? Which authors would you like to read more of that you read in 2017?

2017 End of Year Book Survey

Hah, I had mentioned to my friend that I’d try to binge-read over my break, but that clearly didn’t happen! All the same, I at least got through a decent amount of books this year, and had a great run at the beginning of 2017 as far as five-star reads went. I’m still very determined to read a lot more, and while I don’t do many resolutions, at least setting and making my GoodReads goal has been a steady consistency!

Normally I do two reflection posts, so this one would be the first. Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner has been hosting this End of Year Book Survey for a few years now, and it’d be my fourth time getting into the groove. This is basically where I highlight some fun bookish facts about what I’ve read in 2017.

2017 READING STATS

Number Of Books You Read: 68
Number of Re-Reads: 6
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

BEST IN BOOKS

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

Stand Alone:

Series:

Mid-Series:

Graphic Novel:

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The extra 300 pages of absolutely new plot threw me off, really. I’d still recommend the trilogy, though!

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

I did enjoy the book, even amidst my giggling critique of its new adulty-ness. All the same, it was entertaining overall.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Because women in power. Yaaaaaas.

5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Best Series Started in 2017:

Best Sequel Started in 2017:

Best Series Ender in 2017:

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

SABAA TAHIR

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Read this pretty early on, so would need to reacquaint myself again when I pick up the second book.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

Shoutout to Dan De Los Santos for illustrating two of the three favorite covers on my list!

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

HELENE AQUILLA

It was going to a girl who was badass. As the only female trainee and one of the top four competitors in the Black Mask training academy, she gets my vote.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

It wasn’t life-changing, but it definitely was thought-provoking. And highly disturbing.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read?

Finishing the entire series was an “About Time” moment, really.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest:

(11 pages)

Longest:

(1,049 pages)

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Words cannot describe my reaction to the end of this book. I cannot.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Lila Bard and Kell Maresh (A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab)

Ohhhh yes. I think those who’ve read and ship these characters are totally thinking about a literal ship in which the ship…ships? Teehee. Teach me your Antari ways, Kell.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Bran and Mercy (Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs)

Bran is Mercy’s adoptive father, and also the scariest werewolf alpha in the western hemisphere. That said, their relationship is a tricky one, and I always love the moments where Bran shows just how much he’d go to protect his surrogate coyote daughter.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Elias Veturius (An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir)

Just what is it about cold-trained killers that makes me crush on them in literature? Seriously, though, other than a hard body, Elias has a good heart and a moral compass. It kind of makes him the antithesis of an assassin, but there ya go.

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Nothing like soul-crushing goodness to put your life in perspective.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Don’t get me started again.

Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

Well, not biased or anything…but Fableulous Retellings Podcast is lovely…

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

My blubbering about A Conjuring of Light was pretty much the culmination of the entire year.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Haven’t been getting into much discussion lately, but I’ve been pretty bad with blogging and following other blogs. I really need to change that this year.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

While I didn’t get it completely done, I did adore The Reading Quest activity that Aentee created.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Gosh. Honestly, when I heard that I got another short story in Dreaming Robot Press.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Work really picked up this year, especially when I had to transition out of a not-so-stressful little-voldie environment to full-on stress mode by February. Honestly, most of my blogging ended up in the summer, during my breaks.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Interestingly enough, it’s a toss-up between my review for A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Maybe the Fableulous Retellings reposts, though I won’t say not to love anywhere else.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Storiarts doesn’t have as many book selections as Lithographs, but it’s worth pointing out because their fingerless gloves are adorbs!

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

My Goodreads goal got done! I would have missed it by 3 books, but thankfully, the audiobook spree was going strong.

Can’t say anything else about any of my other reading challenges. I really need to commit to those someday…

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Read more. Yep.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Snort. I’ve been really bad at reading my ARCs right now I can’t bring myself to answer this.

How did your bookish year go?

TTT: Best Books of 2017

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I haven’t done these in a while, but it was the perfect time to get back to Top Ten Tuesdays! I’ve had to reflect on the books I’ve read this year, because lately I’ve been reading meh books. Might be because I’m on a reading funk, and I really just need to get back out of it. In any case, the audiobooks I’ve listened to so far haven’t been hitting it out of the ballpark either.

However! I do have a current top ten list, and save for maybe one or two, there isn’t much of a change!

Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Monstress, Vol. 2 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – I am loving this world and this series so far, and for me, the second volume knocked it out of the ballpark as well. Loved the first, the second was just as strong, and I cannot wait for the next volume! Maybe it’ll be up by this upcoming BookCon 😀 (review)

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab – WHY WOULDN’T THIS BE IN MY TOP TEN. I cried, I laughed, I squeed. It was just such a great end to a trilogy, and I’m SO STOKED that Schwab’s got more in sights in this world! (review)

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs – Mercy and Adam POVs always make me happy. And this book started off with chocolate, so that made me doubly happy. (review)

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher – I loved Carrie Fisher’s voice, and the fact that she narrates this memoir on top of it was fantabulous.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – THIS HURT ME SO MUCH. But the rewards at the end was absolutely worth the pain and agony. Also, I ship Liraz and Ziri so hard it’s not even funny. (review)

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier – Pretty much defines my life with my siblings. This was a book I picked up because I’d assigned it to my kids, but holy hell, I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much. (review)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – This was one of my favorites because I totally have a girly-crush on Elias which is a little strange, considering how old these characters are, but my brain is that of a 20-year-old so we’ll pretend that’s what I am. Okay, I also really adored the gladiator-like competition in this book. And the fact that you have strong female characters that knock it out of the ballpark. (review)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie – For the most part, I am on a roller coaster effect with this series. It’s really good, and I absolutely love the artwork, but the fifth one was by far my favorite.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – One of my dark horses on this list. I was really impressed by the magical system in this book, and I got into the characters very quickly. I should catch up to this series, but considering it’s a planned 7 (or 8?) book series, I have some time. (review)

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – I haven’t read much from NetGalley lately, but this was something I’d picked up last year and ended up reading and finishing in January of 2017. It was definitely my favorite of the NetGalley books I’ve read this year, and for good reason! (review)

How about you? What books made your top ten of 2017?

Book Traveling Thursday: Ella Enchanted

Book Traveling Thursday is a book meme that involves book covers from different parts of the world. Rules include picking a book according to the theme and then posting the original covers, covers from your country, your favorite covers, and your least favorite covers. This week, the theme is: “Mickey Mouse’s Birthday is November 18th, so to honor the Mouse and Disney, show off your favorite retelling of a fairytale.”

To which I snorted and was tempted to put down Deerskin because HEY, that’s what Meg and I have been talking about all week in Fableulous Retellings! But while I did love Deerskin, there was a fairy tale retelling that started me on the road to fairy tale retellings, and it was Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

Original Cover

This is the cover I actually own of the book. Between my sister and me, our copy is pretty tarnished, considering how often we’d read it every year.

US Covers

There’s a lot more, but these were my favorites. The former because it lent similarities to the original, and the latter because it’s so nicely artistically rendered!

Favorite Covers

I like the symbolism in both the Romanian and Japanese covers. The Japanese wins out, though, because it’s definitely a good way to talk about Ella’s imprisonment to her obedience curse.

Least Favorite Cover

Ugh, I try to avoid movie covers when I can. This was kind of a disappointment, too, and the US movie cover really just looks like Lizzie Maguire meets fairy tales and sparkles.