Saturday, April 22, 2017

Self Published Saturday

Self Published Saturday

Hello All, 

I am back speaking with you about the joys of reading self published books! If you are anything like me you will require a novel to have great character growth and world building; today I am here to give you all resources to find your next self-published read. 

When selecting my next read I rarely remember to check online for any newly released self published novels, however I do realize that they are out there and that they have the same if not better merit than those more widely known titles. For this reason I have created a system that I check each and every time that I purchase a book. The best resource I can give is to read reviews of any and all books you are interested in, you never know what will be self published. Some of my favorite reviewers are, Kitty GJen CampbellMercedesPaul, and many others most of which are on YouTube. 
Indie Book Reviewer List Andrew Liptak. These people speak about loads of books which I would rarely find otherwise mainly in the popular category, though occasionally they will feature a novel that is self published and I am able to capitalize on their love for it. Getting these recommendations allow me to pick up new novels and trust that they will captivate every second while I am reading. 

If something is not reviewed by people that I trust then I will go to the Amazon Kindle store to read a sample prior to purchasing the physical book. Usually reading the first few sections that are provided within the Kindle sample a reader is able to grasp the author's style and character depth which will add to the story if they are done right. Goodreads giveaways are another way to find books that are self published since the authors will often use that platform to get their books more exposure, in doing giveaways on Goodreads readers are able to try a new author's work and review a novel for them. The Goodreads giveaway tab can be found Goodreads fantasy Giveaway Page

Between these places that I explore to find new self published books and authors to read, and local authors in New York and Vermont I have plenty of options for my self published library. If you are unable to try to find self published books through these methods you may have better luck approaching your independent bookstores to see what events of authors that they recommend who write in your area.

Some of the books that I am eager to dive into that fall under the self published topic include: 
  1. The Axe and the Throne
    1. by: M.D Ireman
  2. Dawn Of Wonder 
    1. by: Johnathan Renshaw
What are you looking forward to picking up?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Updates, and Weekend Reads

A Week in Review: 

Hello Everyone! 

I am sorry that I have been missing in action over the past few days. I have been rather busy here at university with school work and examinations, therefore reading has been slow at the best. I know this is not something that anyone would like to hear about, as this is supposed to be a place where I post my reviews and bookish banter. I promise that bookish content will be in the works for this coming week since I am done with exams until finals arrive in two weeks. 

This week has been filled with reading for my organic chemistry exam, and the scientific articles that I must read and analyze for classes here; however now it is the weekend and I am ready to dive into the weekends free choice reading. When I was not reading for courses I spent my time catching up with my YouTube subscription feed, and listening to my new favorite musical soundtrack, The Great Comet of 1812. This is based on a scene from Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace , which inadvertantly I have purchased to read now since I have fallen in such deep love with the characters in the shows cast. This is going to be a "minor" task of mine to complete during the summer months in hopes to finish this tome and share my thoughts on both the musical and story if I am able to see the show on Broadway at the end of the summer. 

Lofty classical dreams are in my future, but of interest to all I am delving further into many books at the moment which will allow me to review and chat more to you all about the phenomenal books that I read. This weekend will be filled with work and reading so I will be attempting to read sections from the following books: 
  1. The Hearts of Men

    1. By: Nickolas Butler
    2. This was kindly sent to me by the publisher Ecco books for a review. It discusses the importance of Boy Scouting and the family issues that surround those who attend the summer camps, which is something I have a deep connection to. I am enjoying his style and portrayal of this languid summer camping scene. 
  2. CUP 
    1. By: Rachael Kasper and Robert Wills
    2. This again was kindly gifted to me by the authors for a review, I have been loving Ellen's meandering plotline so far, however school and other things got in the way but I am finally ready to pick it back up again. This novel has a deeply researched setting and a decadent slow burning writing style to top it all off. 
  3. A Science Fiction or Fantasy book of my choosing. 
    1. Because we all need to pick something on a whim to indulge in the expansive and creative worlds that are out there for us. 
I am going to be reading this weekend and exploring the bookish world to escape from my heavily scientific work world. How do you all unwind after the work week? I will be brewing tea, with a cozy blanket in my chair reading or sitting outside in my hammock with a cool glass of water and a book. 

Enjoy spring everyone! 
Tune in tomorrow for Self Published Saturday!

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Buying: The Influence of Friends

Book Buying: 
The Influence of Friends

Hello everyone, 

Today I am here to discuss the influence my friends have on my book buying and reading experience as a whole. We all have those extra bookish friends who will share any and all recommendations with you at the perfect time for you to purchase them, it is those people I will mention today. 

These people are predominantly my online friends that I am speaking about, as many of my in real life friends to not read much. These people often times will chat about something with me or on Twitter which will intrigue me, I then search for it on Goodreads. If the synopsis sounds good and my friend has given it praise it goes in my library or Amazon cart. This leads to minor issues when planning my reading for a given month since I normally will acquire books that I would like to read throughout the month as well. While for those who give me the recommendation or who praise the book it is not an issue to read just one more book in a month, for myself it is very difficult to to do so. The reason it is slow for me to read an additional book in a month is due to the following, I have a slow reading pace, time management is not my friend, and university all throw curve balls at my reading pace for a given month. 

Reading is a hobby of mine which many I know or have seen help to enable with their recommendations or gifts. A few of those people who I readily listen to and love their suggestions are: 
Each and every one of these lovely people have given me great recommendations over the years, be that intentionally in conversation or just through my enjoyment of their channels. I would highly recommend you check them out. 

In order for me to pick up books by friends I must trust them, I must enjoy similar books, I must watch their channel or speak with them regularly. All three of these things lead to my often blindly purchasing of books to discover the characters and world building that my best friends enjoy. Reading books blindly by friends recommendations is such a fun experience that I hope you all are able to experience one day. 

Let me know any books you have read blindly through recommendation and loved, I would love to know!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Library Week 2017!

Why I Love Libraries!

Hello Everyone, 

Today since it is midway through National Library Week here in the US I thought that I would make a post about what libraries mean to me and how I use them. I am as you have all heard, a University student in upstate New York here in the US. That being said I obviously an going to have a very slim budget, which is where libraries come in! The library system where I am is phenomenal! The system that I had to use at home in Vermont was small at best and never had any new titles, the system in New York is massive compared to that with many new releases. Having new releases is not the only important quality or reason that I love libraries, though it does influence which ones that I go to frequently.

Libraries for my must be a safe space for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity, age, or gender. This quality is important to me as I believe that reading is something that we can ALL learn from and find solace in. That being said, most libraries fit this requirement to offer books to all who come through their doors as well as a quiet space to read and reflect. Within a library people are free to explore topics that they may be curious about, or just explore different worlds and scenarios that they could never see in daily life. Not to mention, as a book lover the thought of having access to thousands of books for free is an amazing possibility!

Sharing the written word, caring for one another, and maintaining a place of serenity are a few qualities that I enjoy about small town libraries and libraries in general. While I may not utilize my local libraries in the same extensive manner as others, I frequently visit. These are the reasons I go to the library near me: 
  • Escaping the stress of University. 
    • Our library is only a short 15 minute walk from campus. Which allows me to walk or drive there any time that I just wish to get away from the chaos that is happening at my school. While I am at the library to escape stress I will bring a book that I own with me to read, though it is rare that I walk out without more books in hand.
  • Just to browse.
    • I am horrible about giving new authors a chance when I am purchasing books for myself. I tend to take my friends recommendations and read purely those, therefor when I go to the library I am able to explore new authors. I will often times pick up books from the shelves and read the first paragraph, if I am intrigued it will either come home with me that day or go on my library wishlist. 
  • Meeting up with bookish friends. 
    • Some of my friends do not attend the same university as I do in New York, though they are close by and can easily stop by to read and char at the library. When we use the library for this function we tend to stay for hours on end.
These are the reasons that I go to the library near me, however they offer many other activities than this, such as reading hours, craft days, technology classes, and free computer usage. Each and every one of these activities that are hosted provide crucial entertainment or knowledge to those in the community. In order for libraries to afford to maintain their stacks of books and wonderful programs, they must have the communities interest and support. For that reason I am asking you all to go to your local library and get a library card to explore everything that librarians work so hard to build for our communities world wide. 

Why do you use your local libraries, let me know in the comments?

Thank You Librarians!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Weekly Goals 4-10-17

Weekly Goals: 
April 10th 2017 

Hello everyone, 

I am here for a very quick blog post today about my reading plans for the upcoming week and to remind you of a fun giveaway that I have running on my blog right now until Friday. The giveaway if for the first two books in the Themis Files series by Sylvain Neuvel, that information can be found on my last blog post. Now onto the books that I hope to read this week!
  • Rendezvous with Rama 
    • by: Arthur C. Clarke
    • Page Count: 303
  • The Book of Joan 
    • by: Lidia Yuknavittch 
    • Page Count: 267
  • Shotgun Lovesongs 
    • by: Nickolas Butler 
    • Page Count: 306
I know with my weekly plans that this is even a stretch to complete but I am going to try. Wish me luck, what are you reading this week? I hope to have some discussion posts up later this week along with a review if at all possible, be sure to check in on Friday when I select the giveaway winner as well. 

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Waking Gods Review!

Waking Gods
by: Sylvain Neuvel

Hello all, 

US cover!
Today I have the honor and privilege to review an amazing science fiction book that has been published by Del Rey! First of all I would like to thank Del Rey for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I must say, after reading Sleeping Giants by: Sylvain Neuvel I was hesitant at how the pacing and character growth was going to fit together and build on past knowledge being that this is written still in an interview format, I was blown away by Neuvel's results! This novel came to me in the post in January, and I waited to read it closer to release day which is a shame because I love it so much and could have known it so much sooner. 

Press Information: 
Release Date: April 4th 2017
Price: $28.00 (retail)
Publisher: Del Rey
Page Count: 324

My Review: 

This book picks up after the events of Sleeping Giants, which I must admit if you have not read that, do not continue reading this review spoilers may lie ahead. This book kicks off with Dr.Rose Franklin being resurrected through new technology after dieing at the end of book one. THis was a shock to me, however I knew that Mr. Neuvel had to allow her to have a role within Waking Gods since she was an integral part of the research team. Regardless of Rose's role within this book, we are able to see a whole host of new characters and old friends within this expansive plot that Sylvain has created. The first aspect of this novel that I would like to discuss is Neuvel's world and technology. 
I am in Awe!

While this world is our own, the technology was imaginative and plausible which is rarely seen in science fiction. There are whole chunks within this book that discuss the genetics of a new species which have correct terminology and validity with a slight twist; as a biology student at university I enjoyed this a lot. While topics such as genetics are covered in a correct and plausible way, his mixture of alien robot technology gave this novel the sense of wonder and creativity which I expect from every science fiction novel! The world follows a similar pattern, while it is our own and he has not changed names of places or anything significant, he has succeeded in creating a masterfully crafted dystopian world. This dystopian world is complete with both alien invasions and robots, and the all too real political issues of our time. You must read the book to discover all that Sylvain Neuvel has in store for you. 

The characters in this book, like with many novels are what drew me into the story and captivated me throughout. The characters in this book are predominantly the same ones that were followed in book one, however Sylvain Neuvel has given them depth and complexity in this book which allows the reader to become "friends" with each one. While not each character is nice, or thoughtful, I found myself rooting for characters throughout this story that I would never consider friends or even good people in real life. This was due to the nuanced character development that Neuvel implemented. In the end, the characters made me laugh out loud, and cry which is the sign of a phenomenal writer. A new favorite couple that I have is Kara and Vincent, their sass and antics had me chuckling and wishing that I had a whole novel following their relationship. 

 Knowing that this is a second book in a series and that I cannot say much about the plot detail, I urge you all to pick up these two books and jump into the Themis Files series before it gets too long. Sylvain will have you laughing at the mannerisms that each character possesses and the witty banter which occurs between characters; as well as crying for those whom you have come to love. These stories are the science fiction books that I would recommend to anyone, they are accessible, fun, and fast paced. For that reason, I am doing a giveaway for the first two books in paperback from the BookDepository with the UK covers. 

Giveaway Details: 
  • You must either:
    • Comment below this post your favorite science fiction book, and why.
    • Or you can tweet me @Komondor70 what your favorite science fiction book is, and tell me you would like to be entered for the Neuvel Giveaway. 
  • You MUST be 18 years or older, or have you parents permission as I will need your mailing address to send the copies of the books to you through the BookDepository. 
  • You must live in one of the countries around the globe that BookDepository ships to. 
  • This giveaway will close in one week, on April 14th I will select the winner and contact them to send them the copies of Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods in these gorgeous editions:
UK Cover of Sleeping Giants
UK Cover of Waking Gods

Rating for Waking Gods: 5 Stars! 

Simply put, the best science fiction book I have read since Old Man's War by: John Scalzi and The Long way To a Small Angry Planet by:Becky Chambers!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Choosing My Next Book

Choosing My Next Read: 
How, Why, and When?

Hello all, 

Today I thought it would be intriguing to check in with you all and explain how I decide what to read next especially after finishing an amazing book. As you all will know I am working my way through Waking Gods by: Sylvain Neuvel for review, I am absolutely loving it and I am almost done so I will soon need to select my next book. There are many scenarios which will determine my next read, for example, my enjoyment of the prior book I read can slow my rate of picking up my next read, while if I read a character heavy novel I will tend to pick up a lighter novel. So with this current moment in time let me take you through my selection process and internal questions.

Picture it, a 19 year old male curled up in his college dorm room by his bookcase slowly turning the last page of a phenomenal science fiction novel (Waking Gods). The weather is bleak and miserable outside, with rain clouds that have not let up in days. Diving into another world is crucial for his enjoyment of the coming Uni week. This is my current state. The questions that I am asking myself in order to select my next read and their answers are as follows:

  • Why do I want to pick up another book, I do not want to leave this world yet?
    • "I am a reader, and blogger, so I guess reading is my hobby, joy and entertainment whilst at Uni. I read to explore and escape, so, Let's Go on an Adventure!"
  • Why did you enjoy your last book so much?
    • "The plot and characters were more vivid and engaging than any other science fiction novel that I have read! The pacing was fast and fun, light yet thought provoking when it was applicable." 
  • Am I ready for something like that again right now, after all the tears and fast paced thrills it gave?
    • "He** yes! I cannot wait for another fast paced book with this level of character growth and world building in it. Though I am not sure I want to leave this wonderful world yet."
  • Which genre are you in the mood for?
    • "Science Fiction, Fantasy, with a hint of literary fiction. Essentially I am looking for something that has great character growth, with an engaging plot and setting." 
  • How long do you want this book to take you to read, or how long should it be? 
    • "I am in the mood to crank through books in order to review them for you all, I would say a good speed to finish would be in 4 days, and the length should be no longer than 500. "
  • What books to I have that fit this description? 
    • Shotgun Lovesongs by: nickolas Butler (literary) 
    • The Sword of Summer by: Rick Riordan (Middle grade fantasy) 
    • CUP by: Robert Wills & Rachael Kasper (literary) 
    • Ninefox Gambit by: Yoon Ha Lee (science fiction) 
    • Rendezvous with Rama by: Arthur C. Clarke (science fiction) 
    • Strange the Dreamer by: Laini Taylor (fantasy) 
  • How will I choose what to read next? 
    • "Try the first chapter of the ones which intrigue me most, and then carry on with the most engaging. I have not started them all yet but the ones I am going to try are: SHotgun Lovesongs,  Ninefox Gambit, Rendezvous with Rama, The book of Joan, Strange the Dreamer."
These are the questions that have been floating around my head since completing my last book, the amazing Waking Gods by: Sylvain Neuvel. The review for which will be up tomorrow for my Friday post. I hope you all have enjoyed getting this glimpse into my mind when it comes to choosing my next read. I will let you know what I choose in my next weekly plans post, so stay tuned!

How do you all choose your next book?

Happy Reading!