Saturday, February 21, 2015

Early 2015 Quickie Reviews

Okay folks, starting 2015 off with some fantastic reading!  I went on a beach vacay with my momma and we spent the entire time beaching it and reading (my favorite kind of vacation)!  I read quite a few books during this time and most of them were fantastic.  Here's a quick rundown:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - this was one of those books that's been sitting on my TBR forever and I FINALLY got around to it!  So glad I did - what a fascinating woman-centered look at a well-known Old Testament family. 4.5/5 stars.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel - what a unique dystopian literary fiction novel.  The book jumps between the past and the present illustrating the differences between society before and after the Georgia Flu.  Fascinating characters and imagining of a desolate American landscape. 4.5/5

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - Gorgeous!  I absolutely loved this book - great characterization, lovely prose, unique take on WWII, etc.  Definitely read this if you haven't done so already! 5/5 stars

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen - y'all know I love me some SAA so I was really excited to read her latest - and it didn't disappoint!  This book is actually a sequel of sorts to her popular Garden Spells.  It was fantastic to get involved with the Waverley family again.  This novel was all that readers expect from SAA: cozy, Southern, foodie, magical realism goodness! 4/5 stars

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - this book is being called the new "Gone Girl" so I thought I'd give it a try and it was great!  Gotta love a good unreliable narrator thriller :) 4/5 stars

Paper Towns by John Green - such a fun book and I wanted to read it before the film comes out.  Loved the cast of characters and I think it could actually make a good movie too!  4/5 stars

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng - this was actually my least favorite of all of my reads.  It could be because I wasn't a fan of the characters (especially the parents) - as often that will cloud my opinion.  Unfortunately, it just didn't live up to the hype for me.  3/5 stars.

Aaand, I am partway through another book but as I'm still not finished I'll leave it off the list.  Phew!  Lots of reading!  Anyone have any beach vacations coming up?  If so, what books do you plan to bring along?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

TBR list from Bloggers' Best of 2014 Lists

So 2014 was not my best reading year - lots of weddings to celebrate (6!), travel (between me and the hubs we went to Park City UT, New Orleans, Nashville, Las Vegas, UP Michigan, Louisville, and Chicago), and delving deeper into my jewelry making did some real damage.  With all of those distractions, I didn't feel as though I had read enough and with enough variety to create my own best of 2014 list.  That didn't stop me from excitedly perusing other bloggers' end of the year lists.  This, of course, caused much book coveting and below is just a smidge of my TBR list that I gleaned from all of those "Best of 2014" lists:

The Martian by Andy Weir - I initially ignored all of the rave reviews about this book because it didn't sound like something that would interest me...but it's appeared on soooo many "best of" lists that I think I need to step out of my comfort zone and try this one.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu - I've been wanting to find another fantastic sci-fi novel and, based on all of the international acclaim, this sounds like it may be the one!

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi - a debut novel that has received lots of rave reviews...and I seem to be a sucker for an Afghanistan setting.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jaqueline Woodson - I've wanted to read Woodson previously but it sounds as though this is her best work yet!

In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides - a non-fiction page-turner...sign me up!

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North - a Groundhog Day-esque plot line that must be extremely compelling to make so many "best of" lists.

What about you folks?  See anything from the end of the year lists that really catches your eye?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Miscellany: Bookish Christmas Gifts for Early Readers

It's often true that I am the dreaded Aunt that always gives books as gifts instead of toys - whups.  This Christmas, my sister-in-law told me that my nephew actually wants early reader books so you can imagine my glee!  To make the gift more fun, I glued the following inside the cover of each book:

I also wrote in the information on each, gave him some extras for future books, and of course a date stamper so he can have fun making it look like a real library card!  For those interested, after doing some research, these are the books that are being gifted:

National Geographic Kids: Polar cool is it that National Geographic has early reader books on TONS of different subjects??

Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure!  - I remember my little sister loving Flat Stanley as a kiddo.

Ride, Fly Guy, Ride!  This one is just super fun :)

Ellray Jakes Walks the Plank!

The Legend of Diamond Lil...this one is more of a beginning chapter book - and who doesn't love a mystery?

The Cat on the Mat is Flat...this one is also a longer book but looks super-fun!

I also bought him a few early readers from Target that feature superheroes because I know that he loves Spiderman!  Hopefully he likes his gift and becomes a little bookworm like his Aunt Kat :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

TTT: Top Sequels I Can't Wait to Read!

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait to Get!  I'm going to split this list into sequels I can't wait to come out and then sequels that I still need to read.

Sequels I Can't Wait to be Published:
1.  I absolutely cannot wait until the last installment of The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss comes out - I want to know the end of Kvothe's story!!

2.  I always love the newest installment of The Pink Carnation Series and can't wait until the next mystery/historical romance/adventure!

3First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen is a sequel of sorts to Garden Spells.  I can't wait to see what has happened to all of these well-loved characters!

4.  I am anxiously awaiting the next book in the Queen of the Tearling Series!  I really enjoyed the first novel and look forward to The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen in 2015.

Sequels I Can't Wait to Read (but haven't read yet for some reason...)
5.  Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

6.  Seige and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

7.  Across a Star Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

8.  The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

9.  Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartmen

10.  The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

The moral of the story...I really need to wait to start a series until most books are already published.  Whups!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

TTT: Top Ten Characters That Should Get Their Own Book

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: Top Ten Characters That Should Get Get Their Own Book.

1.  Fermin Romero de Torres from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

2.  Thetis from The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller...she's so mean, scary, and powerful - interesting combo for a heroine!

3.  How about little Rob from Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley?  Oh wait...she already did write a novel about him, Firebird!  (I highly recommend both)

4. I think Ashley Cordova from Marisha Pessl's Night Film would have a very interesting story.

5.  I would have said Auri from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, but he just came out with a book centered around this delightful character called The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

6.  I would love a book focused entirely on the flamboyant Lord Akeldema from Soulless by Gail Carriger

7.  How about Isaac from John Green's The Fault in Our Stars?

8.  Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

9.  Bay from Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (but I think her soon to be published book, First Frost, revolves around Bay!)

10.  I absolutely loved Swede from Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and think she definitely deserves her own book!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloweenie!

Happy Halloween from Grumpy Kat!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Top Books of 2014 So Far...

Welp, it's officially past mid-year so I figure it's time to reflect on the first half of 2014.  Now, even though I'm not where I want to be quantity-wise in my reading, I'm pretty happy with the quality of books I've read so far.  Without further ado, here is my list of faves in 2014 so far:

1.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Housseini

2.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

3.  Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

4.  Night Film by Marisha Pessl

5.  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

6.  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

7.  Three Souls by Janie Chang