Thursday, December 31, 2015

Skin By: Ilka Tampke

Skin By: Ilka Tampke 

Review

I would first like to thank the lovely people over at Hodderscape UK Publishing house, who kindly believed in a small blogger and sent this stunning copy to me for review.

Plot: 
"For the people of Caer Cad, ‘skin’ is their totem, their greeting, their ancestors, their land.

Ailia does not have skin. Abandoned at birth, she serves the Tribequeen of her township. Ailia is not permitted to marry, excluded from tribal ceremonies and, most devastatingly, forbidden to learn. But the Mothers, the tribal ancestors, have chosen her for another path."(Goodreads)

Characters: 
  • Ailia- She is someone who is very well spirited and head strong. Ailia's head strong nature gave me a good laugh and allowed me to connect to her and fall in love with her character. Born with no skin, Ailia is a quirky and fun character; with a well rounded personality.
  • CookMother- The loving and kind backbone to Ailia and her childhood. She took in Ailia as a child and raised her as her own in the kitchens working for the Tribequeen and towns people. She is that heartwarming and motherly character that every novel needs in order to thrive!
  • Taliesin- One of the love interests, with a mystic past. He is stuck in the Mother's world where Ailia should not be able to go, I know this sounds like a very trope heavy novel and character set I can assure you it is not. He is a man of his word, who has fallen for Ailia and will not give up unless forced. Great character!
  • Ruther- Headstrong, Roman supporter. He is the second man Ailia has fallen for, however he is not as well fleshed out as Taliesin but in the end he was still an entertaining voice to the story.
  • Each character is well thought out and executed with the utmost care in these novels, each has a redeeming quality and some qualities that will make your skin crawl.
 Writing: 
  1. I loved the writing in this book, it is a simpler style of writing that allows you to focus on the characters and world Tampke is crafting around us.
  2. Setting is her strong point, the Mother's world blew me away because I was able to envision it all.
General Thoughts: 
  • This series will take off as soon as more people begin to read it! So, GO PICK IT UP!
  • The UK cover is STUNNING!
  • The names will take some time to acclimate to, however when you catch onto them you will never forget these characters in their world.
  • Skin is a beginning to a series, however even if you aren't looking for a series I feel you can stop after book one if you do not like it, it does not leave you desperately hanging. Which is a good thing as many books seem to just run out of ink and cut off in the middle of a scene; however this one leaves you satisfied yet still curious.
Rating: ****/***** 
4/5 stars

General Copy Information:
ISBN: 978-1-473-61642-4
Copyright: Hodder & Stoughton UK


Book Two The Daughter of Albion, comes out on April 19th 2016! With the publisher of Thomas Dunne Books.

Thank you once again Hodderscape!
Keep an eye out for anything by Ilka Tampke, she is going to take off in the bookish world!

2016 Reading/ Blog Goals

2016 Blog Goals

These are the ideas and aspects of my reading life and the blogging life that I would like to change or improve upon in the coming year. I would love to hear your plans for the new year if you want to share leave a comment, I would love to read everyone's goals for the coming year!

Blogging Goals:

  1. Review every book that I read throughout the year!
    1. I would like to do this as a personal record for myself to see what I thought later on in life. I understand my long winded full reviews may be too much information for some, and I will curb that as well.
  2. Wrap Up Each Month
    1. I plan to do this using a short synopsis of what I liked about the book along with pictures, and links to the full reviews incase you all would like to see them... I want to give you guys a readers digest form to stay up to date with what is happening in the Empire.
  3. Post Book Purchases
    1. I am toying with the idea of utilizing photography more on this blog, to showcase the books I buy each month, along with certain specifications about the edition I purchased so that you all may easily find the same copy if you desire it.
  4. Interaction with my readers!
    1. I would love to have conversations with you all about my posts, and that is one of the reasons I began the blog; to connect with like minded bookish people. I am making a plea that we all use the comments this year, I will reply to every comment assuming I receive them.
  5. Blog Posts will go up EVERY Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Reading Goals: 
  • Read 50 Books Again
    • I have managed this task for this year and would like to keep the pace up!
  • Utilize Goodreads Better
    • I have realized that throughout this year I have missed a fair few books on goodreads that I in fact have read and loved, so in the new year I want to keep my Goodreads as well kept as my shelves; using the correct edition and cataloging every book I read with updates along the way.
  • Read The Pre-Requisite Series:
    • The Harry Potter Series (Finish books 4-7) 
      • I beg of you to not spoil anything for me please...
    • The Lord of the Rings By: JRR Tolkein 
    • The Discworld Books By: Sir Terry Pratchett 
      • ( Or at least begin the long journey with these books)
  • Read More Short Stories
    • I will be attaining this goal with my AJ Fikry reading challenge for the year. I will also be picking up some amazing anthologies of science fiction and fantasy in the coming year.
  • Utilize my Kindles More
    • I have three kindles total, the third one ever released, the second model of the Fire, and the Kindle Paperwhite (My Favorite)
    • I have so many novels on these kindles to read, however in the shuffle of everyday bookish happenings I have forgotten about so many. And this year I would like to buy books on my Kindle and read on it when possible and not forget I own them again.
  • Read All/ Most of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's English translated works
    • As his novel The Shadow of the Wind was my favorite novel of the year I would love to see how he explores many other stories.
  • Read Les Miserables By: Victor Hugo throughout 2016
    • This is a novel which I enjoy the Broadway soundtrack for so immensely that I have the urge to read and conquer this book this year! 
  • Buy books ONLY that:
    • Are continuations in series that I already own a book in the series.
    • Buddy reads with my friends and fellow Bloggers.
    • Read two books before buying one new book (new release, or otherwise) 
Lets all bring in the New Year with great people and reading some amazing new books! 
Cheers to the New Year!

P.S Please leave a comment with one of your highest priority goals for the new year, Bookish or otherwise.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Favorite Books of 2015!

These are a five of my Favorite Books

I have decided to break my favorite books up into categories with one book as my all time favorite book of the year. Otherwise these are all wonderful! All of these books have reviews on my blog.

Top Favorite of the year!
  • The Shadow of the Wind
    • By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    • I loved this book, it is in a wonderful book about books and their powers to evoke curiosity and connection between people. It has one of the best settings that I have ever read, Barcelona right before the Fascist regime takes over. The writing is lyrical and amazing, a perfect book to just curl up with and read the day away with! 
    • Shadow of the Wind Review

Best Historical Fiction
  • All the Light We Cannot See
    • By: Anthony Doer
    • This book has a very unique cast of characters with the setting of World War Two France. The characters are done to perfection, with the writing immersing you from the first page!

Best Fantasy
  • The Name of The Wind
    • By: Patrick Rothfuss
    • This book was amazing! Intricate plots and entertaining characters, however the writing is what pushed this one to the top... 
  • The very close rival was The Black Prism By: Brent Weeks.

Best Conclusion to a Series
  • The Hero of Ages 
    • By: Brandon Sanderson
    • This series and book in particular will stay with me forever, however I couldn't give it my favorite book of the year because I feel that the writing in this pales to the comparison of The Shadow of the Wind
    • This is still my favorite fantasy cast of character by far!

Most entertaining and Funny
  • The Old Mans War 
    • By: John Scalzi 
    • This book is funny, witty and everything I needed to laugh and have fun while reading, it is a definite recommendation from me! 
Honorable Mentions: 

  • The Martian By: Andy Weir 
    • This book and movie combo made me laugh and cry and feel secure that I was going in the right direction for my major in college of Biology. One quote has stuck with me since reading this book, "I am going to science the shit out of this" It makes me laugh so hard I cry!
  • The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye
    • By: Matthew Kressel
      • This is a neat short story exploring disease and the future of not only our planet but more so our solar system and how it is deteriorating.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The 2016 AJ Fikry Reading Challenge

A.J Fikry Reading Challenge 2016

Created By: Me, at MyBookishEmpire

In lou of just completing the novel, The Storied Life of AJ Fikry By: Gabriel Zevin I would like to make 2016 the year of short stories for me and whomever joins me... I am going to be reading the short stories that came at the front of each chapter this year to broaden my reading horizons. There is a Goodreads page set up to join in on the fun where we will be reading one or two stories a month and discussing them. 

The Stories: 
  1. Lamb to the Slaughter
    1. By:Roald Dahl
  2. The Diamond as big as the Ritz
    1. By:F Scott Fitzgerald
  3. The Luck of Roaring Camp
    1. By: Bret Harte
  4. What feels like the World
    1. By: Richard Bausch
  5. A Good Man is Hard to Find
    1. By: Flannery O'Connor
  6. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
    1. By:Mark Twain
  7. The Girls in Their Summer Dresses
    1. By:Irwin Shaw
  8. A Conversation with My Father
    1. By: Grace Paley
  9. A Perfect day for Bananafish
    1. By: JD Salinger
  10. The Tell Tale Heart 
    1. By: Edgar Allen Poe
  11. Ironhead
    1. By: Aimee Bender
  12. Moby Dick
    1. By: Hermin Melville
    2. This will be read because of the bar in town with all of the cocktails named after characters in this literary work, and one I feel we all should read.
These are the books that will be read in honor of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry throughout 2016, I have created a goodreads page for you all to join me if you like, and remember these are all short stories that are cheap or free on Kindle, Nook, or Kobo.

I hope to see some of you over on the Goodreads page for some well deserved conversation about these short stories, Threads will be posted as the months come.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry Review

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry 

By: Gabriel Zevin

Review

I have been buddy reading this with my friend Amanda from Sweden and I finished it yesterday, and thought you guys would enjoy hearing about the wonderful book about books...


Plot: "On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto "No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World." A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island-from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, but large in weight. It's that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn't take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.'s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn't see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love."(Goodreads)

Characters: 
  • A.J- The man who owns the bookshop and the main protagonist in this story. He is a very unlikeable character at the beginning with a bad sense of humor and a disdain for any novel that is not classified as literary fiction. His persnickety outlook on life makes him all the more remarkable as the story moves along, with events such as "finding" a child left in his bookshop, change him for the better. AJ while intriguing was not the most fleshed out character and I felt that he was lacking some key aspects for me to connect.
  • Amelia- A sales rep. from the company Knightly Books, she first meets AJ on a trip to the store to sell the catalog of winter releases. However their first meeting did not go as planned because AJ's wife Nic had recently died and he was mad at the world for her death. Amelia helps to pull AJ out of seclusion and into the community again, this alone is an amazing feat. Amelia has a greater arc in her development than AJ however there still is something missing.
  • Maya- AJ's adopted daughter, extremely smart and innocent. She is the one this book is written for, recommending all of these books for her to read and grow well rounded. Maya again was missing something to change my view of the story, however she added some great comic relief to the story!
Writing-
  • Uniquely YA in style: Meaning that it is very assessable for those who have difficulty reading more literary works.
  • Portrays the short stories as the central works and the characters are the supporting acts... I thought this was brilliant!
Messages- 
  1. Books influence our lives in many ways, and if we open our minds we can determine a lot about those around us just by what they read.
  2. Read what you love, but don't be afraid to step outside your preferred genre.
  3. Open up to those who come into your life, you never know where it may lead to...

Quote:
  • "We have to look inside many. We have to believe. We agree to be disappointed sometimes so that we can be exhilarated every now and again"(Zevin, 137)
    • In this Quote AJ is speaking of the power of the written word and books to Maya and this line spoke to me as something that rings true for me in my reading life, never give up there will be ups and downs but the highs beat the lows.
Rating: ****/*****
4/5 stars- This book is good, it is just not something that I believe was living up completely to the hype however i did enjoy it a lot it lacked the sparkle to attain a perfect score!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Subscriber/ Reader appreciation Giveaway!

Giveaway!

Rules:

  1. You must be atleast 18 years old, or have you parents permission to give out your address.
  2. You must be a reader of my blog, regularly not just coming in for a giveaway
  3. You MUST comment down in the comments box what your favorite post is to see from me.
  4. U.S.A only, international shipping is far too expensive at this time.
  5. It will end on January 1st 2016 at 8:00 AM
  6. I will Announce the winner in a Comment, on this post, so keep checking in. At which time I will also post the email for you to send the address to.
What you will Win:


Many of these books I have read and liked, but don't feel the urge to keep them on my shelves, however some I have purchased nicer editions of so these are by no means second rate books that I hated but more like books that were okay and not something I'll reread. 

Happy Commenting!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Shadow of The Wind Review

The Shadow of The Wind

By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Plot: "Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Juli├ín Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love."

Characters: 
  • Daniel- The main protagonist in this book, his father brings him to the Cemetary of Forgotten Books and he chose the novel The Shadow of the Wind. He has excelent character growth, he begins as a confused and young child but in the end he is a secure and strong adult with a family. The perseverence he exudes was very admirable, he never once gave up on his hunt to discover Julian Carax. The friendship with other characters such as Fermin and Clara gave Daniel a very relatable persona that added another layer of depth to this wonderful story.
  • Fermin- He began a beggar and ended as a respectable buisiness man. He has a rough past however to Daniel and his father for all they have done to help him get onto his feet in the world. This character I felt was amazing, he filled the trope of rags to "riches" which to me is very important to illustrate in novels so that each person knows that they can do anything as long as they dream and work hard.
  • Daniel's Father- He is a major supporting character, he is a very reclusive person in the story. He owns the Semper and Sons bookshop, we see very little of him in the grand scheme of things, however I feel that he held the story together like glue because Fermin is in "debt" to him and obviously Daniel is in the care of him.
  • Bea- Bea is a mystic girl when the story begins, although throughout the book we see her grow from the vain and snobby girl to a sensible and loving girl. She is a character to watch as you read this book, her character arch is very intriguing and completes almost a 36o degree transformation.
  • There are other Characters I would love to gush about, however it would spoil quite a lot so I will not go into it just read the book!
Setting
  • Barcelona, an amazing place for the atmosphere that Zafon is able to create!
  • The setting is a place that I sincerely want to visit after this book ended
  • The setting holds a rich history that grabbed me and immersed me into old world Barcelona, with a twist of mystery and intrigue.
  • FULL AND UTTER EMERSION!   

Writing: 
  • As a translated work this novel has a very beautiful and lyrical way that you will just want to savor and immerse yourself into this old world Barcelona.
  • This novel is written as a combination of a classic such as Wuthering Heights and All the Light We Cannot See with beautiful prose and the best depiction of setting I have ever read!
Quote: "He led us through the garden until we reached the spiked gate and then stopped at a reasonable distance from the exit, gazing at the street that wound its way down toward the real world, as if he were afraid he would evaporate if he ventured out a few steps farther."(Zafon)

Rating: *****/***** 5/5 stars

This novel may be my favorite book of the entire year! If you all want to read a book that describes the style of book that I love to read, read this and you will know what perfection in a book for me is! 




Friday, December 25, 2015

Ramblings

Merry Christmas Everyone! Or Happy Holidays!


I know that I said I would have a post up today, and I was originally going to post what I got for Christmas, however it got too dark here too quickly for me to take photos of my gifts. Instead I have decided to post about some of the upcoming things you will be seeing before the new year.


Posts: 
  1. Bookish Goals 2016
  2. Favorite books of 2015
  3. Discussion on physical or E-Book again
  4. The Top 10 series I want to complete in 2016
  5. An (Original) Reading Challenge for 2016
  6. What I got for Christmas
  7. Review of The Shadow of the Wind By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

GIVEAWAY!
  • There will be a giveaway post opening up on the27th, Sunday and running through New Years eve, at which point a winner will be crowned and books will be sent... Be sure to stay tuned on the blog for that.


I hope whatever or who ever you all were with today are those you love, Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Twas the Night Before Christmas Book Tag!

I saw this amazing tag on Sam From NovelsandNonsense's Youtube Channel, and thought it only fitting that I post it on the Night Before Christmas!
Sam's Video


  1. "'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
    In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
    The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
    While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
    And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
    Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
  •   Name a book that made you Fall asleep.
    •   This one Summer By: Mariko Tamaki
  1.    When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
    I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
  •   A Book or a book scene that made your heart race.
    •   Legend By: Marie Lu
    •   This whole series is full of a lot of tension and action scenes that you just cannot put it down until you know what will happen. One of my favorite dystopian books along side the Hunger Games.
  1.    Away to the window I flew like a flash,
    Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
    When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
    But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
  •   Name a Magical book.
    •   The Black Prism By: Brent Weeks 
    •   This books magic systems is one of the more imaginative I have read, basing it on color and the strength of "glass" like material each can make. This is a must read series for everyone in the new year.
  1.    With a little old driver so lively and quick,
    I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
  •   Choose a twinkle eyed book character that made you happy. 
    •   Lady Vin (Mistborn By: Brandon Sanderson) 
    •   You all saw that coming right? Vin is a spunky and kick butt female character who is sassy and smart with that twinkle of mischief always present in her eye.
  1.    So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
    With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
  •   A book that made you fly to another land.
    •   The Shadow of the Wind By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon 
    •   This book took me to Spain in a sweeping motion! I love this book and its setting even though its setting is in a real place.
  1.    And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
    The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
  •   Name a book creature you love!
    •   Madox from Fire and Flood By: Victoria Scott
  1.    He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
    And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
  •   A character that proves to be more than his or her first impressions.
    •   Karu from The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Lainy Taylor
  1.    He had a broad face and a little round belly
    That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
  •   A book that made you laugh.
    •   Rat Queens Volume one By: Kurtis J Weib 
    •   The sass and honest dialog that these girls say through this graphic novel made me laugh for days just thinking about it.
  1.    A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
    Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
  •   A book that makes you feel safe.
    •   Never Always Sometimes By: Adi Alsaid  
    •   The romance in this book gave me complete joy while reading it, and made me once again have faith that not all in the world is awful.
  1.    He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
    And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
  •   A book that you felt you really needed to concentrate on.
    •   Far From The Madding Crowd By: Thomas Hardy
    •   This book was not bad in any way, just very dense and slow going. 
  1.    “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
  •   Choose a book with a magnificent ending.
    •   The Well of Ascension By: Brandon Sanderson 
    •   I cannot say much to not spoil anything but the ending of this book was one of the best endings I have ever read in a trilogy.

Happy Holidays!

Ill be back tomorrow with yet another post! Possibly a small christmas haul, this post will go up after 8AM EST which is my normal posting time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Reads

With it being so close to the Christmas Holiday I want to share some of my favorite books to read during this time of year, not just on Christmas...



  1. The Magic Treehouse books (Christmas in Camelot)
    1. By Mary Pope Osborne
      1. This is one of my favorites from childhood, it was magical and set in the thick of the holiday season. The cover for this edition is also very retro Christmas, that I grew up with.
  2. A Christmas Carol By: Charles Dickens
    1. This is a classic tale that I read most years just to remind myself that this is not actually about anything that I receive but of a time to give to others in the world. But to also enjoy the time you get with your family while it lasts.
  3. I am The Messenger By: Markus Zusak
    1. This is a contemporary story following a character who is trying to save the world around him, much like a christmas Carol it exudes the holiday spirit that I hope to see each year.
4. The Wolf Gift & The Wolves of Midwinter By: Anne Rice
  1.  These books especially the second in the series handle the lore of the Werewolf into a whole new realm, with the cozy setting of an ocean side mansion with Fae and supernatural abound the world blossoms into color when one young reporter goes wolfy.




Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Favorite things about Christmas

Hey, people of the Empire! As Christmas grows nearer it is all that I am able to think about! 


Here are just 5 of my favorite things:

  1. Spending family time
    1. This is something that I am realizing is ever more pressing as I am now in College(University)  in a different state, I am unable to see them except on holiday breaks. 
  2. Watching as many christmas shows as come on Television!
    1. Shows such as: Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
    2. Frosty the snowman
    3. A Year Without a Santa Clause
    4. and lastly The Grinch (Both versions)
  3. Baking all the Cookies:
    1. Irish Shortbread
    2. Chocolate Crinkles 
    3. Sugar Cookies
    4. Peanut butter Cookies 
  4. Giving Gifts
    1. I find it to be incredibly rewarding to give as many if not more gifts than you receive! The wrapping of them and seeing the reactions of those you love shows the true meaning of Christmas that only few know...
  5. Reading!
    1. I am always able to read a lot during these breaks but this year more than ever because the only thing that I have to do is work and read! I am in the middle of the Shadow of The Wind By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon (and loving it I might add)
'Tis the Season to be jolly, Falalala la la la laaaaa'

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Grinch Book Tag!


This is a Tag that I saw floating around the Youtube-ashpere last christmas and I just decided to do it this year, it is time to get you Grinch on. 

The Creators Video:



Here come the Questions!:
  1. Half the lights on the christmas tree are burnt out, name a book or series that started out good, but went downhill.
    1. The Slow Regard of Silent Things By: Patrick Rothfus
      1. I really enjoyed Auri's perspective for the first half but the soap scene made me so bored and rushing to finish it...
  2. Annoying great ant Sally who will not leave you alone. Name a book you didn't enjoy but everyone else seems to love so it never goes away.
    1. Station Eleven By: Emily St John Mendel
      1. This book was so slow and while was interesting at points, all in all I couldn't connect with the characters and it seemed to slog on forever. I did think the idea however was neat.
  3. Your pets keep knocking over the Christmas decorations. The Character that kept messing things up. 
    1. The Black Prism By: Brent Weeks
      1. I think Gavin(Dazen) is a very very self motivated human being throughout the book, making him annoying and quite a strain on the Chromeria.
  4. You hear your parents putting out the presents and learn Santa isn't real. Name a book you were Soiled for.
    1. The Entire Harry Potter Series! 
      1. Look look I know I should have read them by now but it hasn't happened :( I will talk more about this during the top books I want to read this year.
  5. It is freezing outside, name a character you just couldn't connect with. 
    1. Mara Dyer, she is someone who has extreme issues surrounding hallucinations, not to mention she is our typical annoying teen in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
  6. Maria Kary's song All I want for Christmas is giving you anti-romantic feelings. Name a couple you couldn't stand.
    1. Gus and Hazel from The Fault in our Stars. 
      1. I hated this book with a passion because it was such an insta love novel with the trope of people dying and finally finding love. It just seemed to be a sickening plot, I also do not want to ever read from their point of view ever again!
  7. The scratchy homemade wool sweater you got years ago but can't get rid of. Name a book you have had for a while but aren't motivated to read.
    1. Cinder By: Marissa Meyer
  8. Grandma has gotten run over by a reindeer, name a character death that you are still mad about! 
    1. (Spoilers for Divergent) 
      1. Tris dying still has me livid, there are so many different ways that Veronica Roth could have ended the trilogy without taking what seemed to be the cop out and killing the main character.
  9. The store is over crowded with holiday shoppers, name a book that has too many books in the series.
    1. The Wheel of time series by Robert Jordan
      1. There is 14 books! I do want to read them but that is a serious commitment.
  10. The Grinch, name a main character that you HATE!
    1. Lia, from The Kiss Of Deception By: Mary E Pearson 
      1. She is the typical woa is me i am hurt what ever will I do kind of character, when I am reading I am looking for a character with a stronger back bone than the limp noodle she had.


I Tag Everyone who hasn't done this yet! And if you do try this tag, leave me a comment with your blog URL and I will be sure to check it out! Need to meet some blogging people!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

End of Year TBR

These are the few books that I want to finish before the years end...


I plan to tackle these books for the rest of the year and hopefully finish them all, if I finish them I will then move into Jonathan Strange and Mr.Norrel by: Susanna Clarke. However I would be happy having finished all of these :)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Pros & Cons of The Slow Regard of Silent Things

This is as close as I could bring myself to reviewing The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Partick Rothfuss, as it annoyed me so much.

Plot: 
"Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.

Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows...

In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one ofThe Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world."

Pros:

  • You get to see the Underthing in great detail
  • You see new parts of the City 
  • You get to know Auri's quirks
  • You see her perspective

Cons:
  • You see Auri's quirks
    • She is mildly OCD and obsessive over Kvothe (which was a big no no for this story)
  • Her perspective 
    • She is super repetative and blunt and quiet annoying :(
  • 10pgs on making soap, and how she cant use it because it somehow is filled with screams!!
    • What the heck! This drove my rating down at least one star!

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars 

I understand that this book was said that it would not be for everyone, however I was expecting to get a background history of Auri instead of a pedantic week seen through her clingy loving eyes. It is something I would borrow from the library for the pictures alone if you do not want to buy it. Not my favorite novella ever, however it is worth the flick through if you like the series just be aware it may not be to your cup of tea!




Friday, December 18, 2015

The Name of the Wind Review!

The Name of the Wind
By: Patrick Rothfuss

Goodreads Page: The Name Of The Wind

I started this novel a while ago and unfortunately I was unable to finish at the time due to the length, but this is stunning!

Plot: 
"Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard."(Goodreads)

Characters: 

  • Kvothe: This is the main character who is telling the story of his childhood to a chronicler who stops by the inn he owns. He has amazing depth with a wide range of traits including the naivety of childhood, chivalry and love. His character growth is immense throughout the course of his tale shown in this novel! Kvothe by the end grew on me to be something like a brother and role model for his actions and general bravery. 
  •  Denna: Kvothe's main love intirest through this book, she is pedantic and slightly annoying at times. However I can see the allure to a girl of Denna's social ranking and beauty. She has a more two dimensional as she is a secondary character, however Rothfuss has me hanging on every word she sang...
  • Auri: Auri is the skittish girl who hides from society and was once inside the Arcanum. She is a minor character who has her own storyline in a short novel of The Slow Regard of Silent Things. But in this novel she becomes a well fleshed out friend of Kvothe.
Writing: 
  • Lyrical, with an almost literary style of prose Rothfuss has mastered the way of the word...
  • Atmospheric, this story focuses a lot on the setting and the origins of certain myths, which is an extreme high point of his writing style.
Rating: *****/*****

This is one of my favorite novels of the year! 




Thursday, December 17, 2015

College Textbook RANT!

Textbooks are the bane of any students existence!

There are very many reasons why WE the student population hates the texbook industry, however first and foremost it is because of the outlandish prices!

PRICE!

  • Why are they so expensive
    • They are just larger novels with glossy pages
    • There are colored images
    • They are usually hardcover, or very floppy huge paperbacks
      • I hate the price of textbooks, because in the USA atleast we must pay in the range of $30,000-80,000 a year for school and then on top of that we have to buy around $1,200 on books that they "need" for the courses.

DO WE EVEN NEED THE BOOKS?
  • Some teachers make us buy the books, however they do not require any use of it in the course.
    • My math course has a textbook and an online homework software that came with is and I literally for my entire semester only used my online software which I could have baught separately for $80 where as the book i had to buy was $240. 
    • However on the flip side I have a chemistry book that my teacher made for us which we use as a fill in the blank note guide so it is integral to our learning. This is what a textbook should be like, something we NEED to pass the course!
Questions for my readers:
  1. Do you rent books, if so have you had a good experience?
  2. Should textbooks be free with the course fees you are paying?
  3. Where are you able to find cheap textbooks?
    1. I use
      1. Thriftbooks
      2. Abebooks
      3. Amazon Marketplace
  4. Do you know how much I paid for books for my Spring Term?
    1. TOO MUCH!
    2. Around $400, and I was bargain shopping to find used copies of the five books I needed.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Annihilation By: Jeff Vandermere REVIEW

Finally I have a book that I have finished that is ready to be shared with the Empire!

Plot: "Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.
Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything."(Goodreads).

Characters: 
  • This is a novel where no one has names we can put a face to, just titles such as the Biologist, anthropologist ect... 
  • With no real names to associate with any character, I am going to sum up the character growth of all the characters instead of individually. These characters are written in an odd manner, they are written in order to move the plot along, and not to give you someone to love and latch on to. The way each is written shows how expendable these people are towards the entire operation, which by the end we learn to be true. In conclusion these characters are by no means the driving force of this novel, however as a Biology Major in college I found this perspective of the Biologist to be most intriguing. 
Writing:
  • This writing is written to move along the over arching story, at a break neck speed unless we get to see a new break through in Area X which is written in stunning detail and beauty. 
  • Something to read for fun, and not for a mind breaking novel with everything that a reader can want. 
Overall Opinion:
  1. This novel was fun and fast!
  1. I will be continuing on into the rest of the series, as they are addictive almost candy like books with some simple messages through out. 
  1. Its messages while simple are important for the world to hear, the environment is a huge source of fuel for this books messages. 
  1. I liked it for the messages it approached, which most even political adversaries skirt around solving instead each is placed with a band aid for the immediate fix.
Rating: ****/****** 
This is more of a 3 1/2 star book, just for the reasons explained above. This is an extremely fun book t read very fast, however it is lacking that spark of a 4-5 star book for me.


Recommendation: 
  • Pick this book up if you are a mystery fan or an environmental activist type person, its a new form of psychological thriller that entwines serious topics into its richly detailed account, making this all the more scary.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Christmas Decorations!

Here is how I have decided to decorate my room this year for the holiday season!

  • Each of these decorations around my room signify christmas! 
  • I am happy with how they turned out, hoping to add maybe some more garland around my room to show off the holiday spirit!
  • How do you guys decorate for the holidays? (leave a comment)
  • What is your favorite part of the holidays, food, gifts, music, family? 














Monday, December 14, 2015

Blogging is Inspirational

This blog has  been something that is a therapeutic opportunity for me, meeting those who love books around me as well as creating content you all want to read.

5 Things that Inspire My Blogging:

  1. The people I meet.
    1. I have meet so many people who share the common interest of fantasy novels and books in general. Which is something that my area is severely lacking. :)
  2. Having an outlet to put my bookish feelings on.
    1. Before I would just talk to friends about what I had read and what I thought, although honestly a brick wall could have held a better conversation than them...
  3. Finding new books to read.
    1. One of the best feelings in the world is finding the new perfect book to read!
  4. YOU GUYS, My readers!
    1. You make this fun and possible, as we grow I would like to find ways to thank you, Giveaways are coming to thank you all after the christmas holidays!
  5. Being creative!



THANK YOU GUYS!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Autopilot/Monkey See Monkey Do Effect...

I have recently been seeing so many videos on youtube, where I usually peruse. The essential founder Priscilla from The Readables posted a video where she describes:

  • Autopiloting on Booktube/Community

    • Doing certain required posts and not much more, including TBRs, Wrap Ups and hauls
    • This sense of auto pilot is a dangerous thing as it could make the community stale with old ideas.
    • This is a very unique idea that I want to even change on my blog, however this is not what I wanted to talk about today

I wanted to talk today about how one person, or group of people initiate a huge change among a community. Priscilla is an amazing person who has some great content on her channel and in no way and I attacking the big name booktubers such as herself; however I find it bizarre how one person will comment something and everyone will jump on it and try to "change" it. 

My issue with this single handed almost control over a group of people is that they all will try to change and break away from the old and will just end up copying what the rest do, which is fascinating. We all should go all out and make one creative tag or post or skit, whatever we want to create diversity in our community. This diversity comes from all of us and not just us following blindly what a few famous people say is an issue. We all can come out and stand on our own and as this rant is long enough, I want you to comment and tell me what you think...


My Points:

  • Lets all think on our own
  • Do not get into a blind rut where we follow what is popular 
  • Create content you are happy with not what gets a subscriber or a reader... 

P.s: Please readers of this blog, I am begging you tell me what you want to see change in any way and I will do my best to make if happen. 

Check out Priscilla's Channel and her video through this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcjuSk1bGKw

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Deck the Halls TAG (Original)

This tag was created by myself in order to show my love for the holidays and all things Christmas!


  1. Antique Ornaments: What is your most cherished book.
    1. Mistborn By: Brandon Sanderson
      1. It is my most cherished book because when I read it connected me with the amazing friends through the fantasy genre. It also is the best book as of yet that I have read, I am well over due to re read the books :)
  2. Shining Lights: A few of your Favorite Bookish Items.
    1. My Sword Bookmark
    2. My Signed bookplate from Lainey Taylor
  3. Broken Light Bulb: Name a book that "Blew" you away!
    1. The Wolf Gift By: Anne Rice
      1. This book holds a dear spot in my heart, it was the first book my girlfriend and I had ever read together. It takes werewolves to a new level of mysticism and not just a harry scary man, pure genius!
  4. Tinsel: That annoying character you just cannot escape!
    1. Princess Lia from The Kiss of Deception By: Mary E Pearson
      1. This character is your average damsel in distress who happens to fall for someone who may be out to kill her which is an absurd trope to begin with...
  5. Shining Star: Name your most beautiful book.
    1. The Accidental Highwayman By: Ben Tripp
      1. Stunning guilt covers, and shadowing!
  6. Wrapping + Bows: A book you want to give every one
    1. I am The Messenger By: Markus Zusak 
      1. A retelling of A Christmas Carol in my eyes, amazing message and story for everyone who reads it!























I TAG:

  • Kaitlin from KittyG
  • James From James Chatham 
  • Luisina 
  • Chelsea From TheReadingOutlaw
  • Paul From ACommonTouchOfFantasy