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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reading into the New Year Giveaway

Wendy from A Cupcake and A Latte is hosting a Reading into the New Year giveaway! She asked fellow bloggers to to her what books coming out in 2012 they can't wait for and why. I was lucky enough to be featured for this giveaway! See my guest post on her blog!

A Note from Wendy: At the beginning of December I was thinking of a way to thank all my loyal readers for stopping by everyday and reading my reviews (and to celebrate my upcoming 1 year blogaversary that happens to take place on February 1st!). I knew I wanted to thank you all with a giveaway but I wasn't quite sure what to give away. Frankly, I've been a little tired of giving away $10 book of choices, so I was hoping to make this one a little bit more specific. That's when I approached a few fellow bloggers with their 2012 YA picks! This is what they had to say:

To enter this giveaway and see the featured bloggers click here.

2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge

A Year in Review of Books with Drew Shine

A year in review of books with Drew:

Meet my friend Drew. I worked with him for three years at Borders before it closed. He is not a blogger but he is still a book lover like me. He is awesome because he helps me edit my reviews before I post them, so I don’t sound like a rambling idiot J.  You should also think he is awesome because he got to hold a monkey, I mean how cool is that!?

Every year Drew writes a response about his reading for the year and posts it on facebook. I was helping him edit it and I thought, “Well why not ask to use this as a guest post for my blog?” It talks about books and it has a pretty diverse selection of books. When I say diverse I mean it, he even states he has to defend his masculinity hehe.

I hope you enjoy this post and maybe even find out about some new books to read, I know I did.

Books to read in 2011 conclusion
As 2011 draws its last breaths; we look over our accomplishments and our failures. I don’t do the typical resolutions. I just make a list of books I want to read for the year.
I had my list and I didn’t really care whether I stuck to it or not. I had 12 books on the list and I read seven, with one started and then abandoned. So 7.5 out of 12, gives me a 62.5%… solid.
The books in no particular order, you know what screw that; the books in chronological order by release date:
1841 Poe- Murders in the Rue Morgue- read. I wanted to read something by Poe this is one I had heard of so that’s why I chose it. It was ridiculous but entertaining.

1894  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- The Parasite-read. I wanted to read Doyle’s Vampire stories of which this is the first one. It was so awful I won’t read the others. Fuck that noise.
1943 Betty Smith- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn- Didn’t read.

1953 Ray Bradbury- Fahrenheit 451- Didn’t read.

1965 Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - God Bless You Mr. Rosewater- Read. I wanted to read a Vonnegut book and this definitely did not disappoint.
1983 Stephen King- Pet Sematary- Didn’t read.
1995 S. P. Somtow- Vanitas- Half Read. I can’t say this really surprised me I put down the second book for a year and then picked it up and finished it. This is the third in the trilogy.
2010 Connie Willis- All Clear- Didn’t read. I started it in 2010 when it came out but I couldn’t finish it, I thought “oh I’ll finish it this year”… Nah.
3-1-2011 Patricia Briggs- River Marked- Read. I wasn’t sure two books ago if I’d continue this series but this continues the upswing.
6-28-2011 Gail Carriger- Heartless- Read. This series rocks my socks. It has great humor and style.
9-6-2011 Michele Bardsley- Must Love Lycans- Read. Allow me to defend my masculinity momentarily. I didn’t know this was a romance series when I started it, I read the first book which became obvious that it was a romance book but it was so enjoyable I didn’t care. I didn’t care for books 1-5, 6 and 7 were still enjoyable but it was waning and this one should finish the series and I’m done, whether the author wants to continue it or not.
10-18-2011 Chuck Palahniuk- Damned- read. I wanted to read something by Palahniuk and when I read the flap I said “sure this’ll work.” Good read.
Those were my planned books. 62.5 isn’t a great percentage but whatever. I also read a boatload of other books. Not to mention my discovery this year of, which is damn near my new favorite website. This is a site that has amateur readers reading public domain stories and books for the public domain. Most of these readers are really good too. It was impossible for me to keep track of how many short stories I read on there, for example the week before Christmas I burned six various CDs of Christmas stories the CD with the shortest Christmas poems and stories had 31 stories on one disk. I’m not typing all that out. F that

So in lieu of that I’ll make hardy recommendations to some stories and books that can be found on Hey it’s free to download or you can listen right on the site. I burn to discs so I guess it costs me twenty bucks per 100 CDs which is next to nothing.
Jack London- The Iron Heel- Great Reader and awesome Story. The Author was apparently a major Commie and this is his political work. What with corporate personhood and the 99% movement this was a great one for the year.
2BR02B- Kurt Vonnegut- One of Vonnegut’s earliest stories, since everything on the site is public domain we’re talking from the 1930’s here. But it’s pure Vonnegut.
I read…er listened to a lot of Ambrose Bierce, The Stranger comes to mind, it has a beautiful quote that I put up several months ago (I forgot it, so don’t ask me) and it’s a nice little story.
I read/listened to a Solomon Kane story Red Shadows by Robert E. Howard. I like this series a lot more than his Conan stuff. He wrote a lot of Lovecraft Mythos and Solomon Kane splits the difference between Elder Gods, Conan, Billy the Kid, and Sherlock Holmes.
Year of the Big Thaw by Marion Zimmer Bradley- On librivox I thought “you know what I should do; listen to popular authors’ early works to see if I should read their nonpublic domain stuff.” I knew of Bradley before so I tried this story. I liked it so much I downloaded and listened to…
The Colors of Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley- I really started liking this author and she started off as a good Sci-Fi person. This is a novel and some of the chapters (tracks) are read by some Russian person trying to learn English. You can understand it but it’s not great the rest is awesome though. So is the story.
I also listened to the Emancipation Proclamation, Some Randall Garrett, H.G. Wells, P. G. Wodehouse and many more. Great site I can’t recommend it enough for book people.
Now I did also listen to real professional audio books:
Under the Dome by King: So daunting 36 fricken’ CDs but its King, it holds up to the standard you’d expect.
Danse Macabre, also By King was a reread and re-listen and a big thumbs up.
Holidays on Ice by Sedaris also a re-listen; thumbs up.
As well as some various HPs on audio as well…

So yeah about the HPs. I am almost done with my humongous project. Again this was to read the Harry Potter series 1-7 then 7-1, then evens then odds and various combinations so that I read them all in every possible combination.  Then I go through them checking the notes and writing all the pertinent info down then… something, then …profit.
I had a lot of “ooh this is interesting make note here”, so my books are filled with marginalia (epic word) so I want to get all the marginalia down in a word document and it may or may not come to anything productive. Anywho… Onwards!
So the books I read; paper-book-read this year:
Castle in Transylvania by Jules Verne: 6 out of 10, it was pretty meh.
I read Robert E. Howard’s Collected Horror Stories and Poems. This got me into Solomon Kane before I did the librivox thing. He had a really good take on Vampires in one story and a really, really good Werewolf take just made for a CG Hollywood extravaganza. 8.5 out of 10.
Book of Tomorrow by Cecillia Ahern: Meh. 5/10, I like her sci-fi takes most times, this one didn’t hit me though.
1636 Saxon Uprising by Eric Flint:  Awesome, 8.5 to 9ish out of 10. I started rereading the entire series this year a few months later.
Dan Wells-  I Don’t Want to Kill You- The latest in the ‘I Am Not  A Serial Killer’ series it was a 7 out of 10 I’ll continue the series but it better shape up it was a let down from the others.
Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce- I read this as a book; it’s really not meant to be, it’s a dictionary format. 6.5/10.
Vampire A Go-Go by Gischler- pretty meh 6/10, it tried to be comedic and serious but failed at both.

I read the two J. K. Rowling Charity books they were enjoyable 8.5/10.
Resenting the Hero by Moira Moore- I wanted to try this series. It was good but I can’t see me continuing it. 6/10.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis- I saw the movie preview it looked good I said “what the hell I’ll read it”, I don’t even like sports in general (and Baseball in particular) and I still really enjoyed this: 8.5.
My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Rowland- With that title and the cover I couldn’t pass it up. It didn’t even disappoint, and it wasn’t false advertising it was definitely white trash and zombie-ish there was a plot device I called major bull shit on, but once that was done it still scored an 7.5/10.
Goblin Quest by Jim Hines- an Author I wanted to try for a while it was enjoyable but not sure if I’ll continue the series. 6.8 out of 10.
Werewolf by A. E. Housman- Supposedly the werewolf version like Polidori’s Vampyre was to vampire stories. Total Meh (much like Polidori in fact) 3 out of 10.
Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Great Modernization, Visceral, unforgiving, and good. There are not many Werewolf horror stories that are any good. Somtow’s Moon Dance is probably the best; this might be the 21st century update the genre needed. Lots of death, good amount of gore, no punches pulled. 9 out of 10.
Grantville Gazette by Eric Flint- 1632 series fan writing I thought “yuck, why would I want to read that?” It was good 7.5.
Grantville Gazette II- more and still good 7.5.
One Nation Under Sex by Larry Flynt I think this might be the read of the year for me, I was not expecting that sitting down to read it. Let me say that there is no way I take everything he says as gospel. I heartily recommend this book but I heartily recommend you take it with a grain of salt. He contends a lot of stuff. And his notes are there in true scholarly manner. Do I buy all of it? Nope. Do I buy some of it? Yup. Was Lincoln Gay? I’m not sure I can answer that question read it for yourself. 9.2 out of 10.
Mob Rules By Cameron Haley- All Crime Lords in L. A. are sorcerers. Domino is the enforcer of the most powerful one and she’s about to go to war. Great concept well executed and the most cinematic book I’ve read in years. If the rights aren’t bought to make this a movie someone’s not doing their job. Solid 8.
Skeleton Crew by Cameron Haley- This was a sequel to the above, 7.5, still cinematic as hell.
And various rereads 1632, 1633, 1634 (Baltic War), Found: One Apocalypse, Slaughterhouse 5.
Well, with that I think it was a pretty productive year, all in all. I’m not doing a list of should reads or goal reads for 2012 I’m gonna let it fly.  I’ll read upcoming series that I like… or I won’t as the case may be. I’ll keep my arbitrary list of “I should read at some point” books. But I’m not going to try to get it done in a year’s time.

TGIF (1)

TGIF at GReads - This feature is for Fridays to re-cap the week's posts & to answer a question from GReads.

Question: First & Last: What was the first book you read in 2011 and the last you finished in 2011? How do you feel about these books? Would you recommend them to other readers?

So for the first book I read in 2011 I'm not entirely sure. I wasn't using goodreads to track my reads then. I'm going to go with, Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton. I really enjoyed this book and it took me on a fun and surprising adventure. I would definitely recommend it to other readers!

The last book I read in 2011 was Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I just finished it and I loved it. I really enjoyed the characters, they made me laugh a lot during the entire book. I highly recommend this book to fans of the Mortal Instrument series or just Young Adult book lovers.

Today I'm starting a Happy New Years and 100 Follower giveaway!

What you may have missed on my blog this week:



Other Awesome stuff: 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year and 100 Follower Giveaway

Happy New Year and 100 Follower Giveaway!

If you asked me at the beginning of this week if I thought I would reach 100 followers I would have said, “No way!” Here I am though, with 100+ followers. I am very thankful to all of you. To celebrate this great feat I’m going to participate In another Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Babs Book Bistro. What better to celebrate the New Year with then winning a new book? The New Years hop will go from December 30th to January 3rd. To enter all I ask is that you be a follower of my blog. Thank you to all of you who are already following me. I’m so happy to share the connection of books with you.

After entering my giveaway go to I Am  A Reader, Not A Writer’s blog and enter their giveaways and hop to other giveaways from the links posted on the blog.

I honestly don’t expect to, but if I manage to get 200 followers I will add another winner to the giveaway.
Thank you all for visiting my blog and entering my giveaway.

In this giveaway, the winner will be able to choose a book of choice $15 or less. I will order the book off of Amazon or the Book Depository. You may also have the choice to get an e-book if you would like, which would be even easier and faster. All you have to do is follow my blog and earn entries from the rafflecopter form below. The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond or I will have to choose another winner.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Everlasting by Elizabeth Chandler 
Expected Publication: March 6, 2012

Ivy should be ecstatic that her formerly-dead boyfriend Tristan is back on earth with her, but the life of a fallen angel is never easy. Tristan has been cast down in the body of a murderer, and the police are after him. Now, there's only one way that he and Ivy can be together: they must clear him of the murder. 

But when it becomes clear that there are darker forces at work, and Tristan and Ivy are still paying the price for Ivy's miraculous survival of the car crash, these starcrossed lovers have more at stake than ever before. And one of them may not be alive much longer.... ( Synopsis from Goodreads)

I have been anticipating the next book in the Kissed by an Angel series since I finished Evercrossed. It ended on a total cliff hanger. I just saw that it is finally up on goodreads with a release date. I'm so excited for this to come out. I will be getting this the day that it comes out. It is such a great series.

Thank you for seeing what I'm anticipating to be released. What book are you waiting for to come out?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins Review

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

In the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy Katniss fought back against President Snow. She was the Mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion. She had to be an example and lead the rebellion while also dealing with her emotions. The Capital had captured Peeta and the number one thing she wanted was for him to be safe. The second thing Katniss wanted was to kill President Snow for all the pain and destruction he had caused.

I was very disappointed with this book, after being so excited to read it after finishing Catching Fire and loving it. I felt the story lacked real emotion. It was more like reading a series of events, without really feeling emotionally connected to the characters, like I had with the other books. I read things that should have pulled at my heart but I only felt disconnected from the story.

I don’t mean to be harsh but after the beautiful work the author showed with the first two books this was a huge let down. I’m perfectly happy reading books that aren’t all happy and have fairy-tale endings. I read a ton of books that do not have happy endings. With that said I need to feel the emotion that the characters are supposedly feeling. I did not feel that in this book. This book gave me the feeling like that author was done with the series and just wanted to end it.

I also didn’t like how the future was tacked on. When I was reading it all I could think of is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was different because the story was not the same as Harry Potter. It showed her about twenty years later, who she ended up with and how her life turned out. This also made a statement from the author saying, “ok you know how their lives ended up, I’m done.” It didn’t feel original or give me much of a feeling for the characters’ lives.

The story line was a good idea but I just felt that it was wrongly executed. She could have made this last installment great but instead I feel like she ruined it.

There are people that enjoyed Mockingjay, Claire from YA Bookie Monster loved it, read her review here.

Top Ten Tuesday (4) and Giveaway Hop!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created  at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list  that one of their bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer.

Top Ten Books I read in 2011.

1. Remembrance by Michelle Madow

2. Hunger Games & Catching Fire By Suzanne Collins

3. Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz
4. City Of Fallen Angels by Cassanrda Clare

5. River Marked by Patricia Briggs
6. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

7. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
8. Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler

9. A kiss in Time by Alex Flinn
10. The Next Door Boys by Jolene B. Perry

I just found out about this giveaway hop and decided to join in! If you want to win any of my top ten favorite books fill out the rafflecopter form below. If the books are in a series I will let you pick the first one in the series if you haven't read any of them yet. I will order the winner's selection off of Amazon. This hop is hosted by I'm a reader, not a writer and you can find more giveaways there. 

Thank you for checking out my top ten books I read this year. I loved reading all of these and more. What were your favorite books you read this year?


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