Weekly update 4: 6 books this week and a booktag!

Hey there readers! It’s weekly update time! So most of the time when I start a blog post, I go right into the book updates. But to get my writing juices flowing, I’m going to start with a tag! I love tags!

This is the opposite tag!

First book in your collection/Last book you bought.

I really don’t remember all that way back. But I’ll talk about the first book I bought here in Cardiff. It was actually “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell. I walked into Waterstones for the first time and guess what book just came out that day?! Seriously, I did not even know it was the book’s release day!

The last book I bought was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Definitely a great read. Will get to the book review once I get the motivation to do it.

A cheap book/An expensive book.

Well I grabbed “Jane Eyre”, “The Book Thief”, and “Dracula” for a pound. They were used copies and I got them for donating to this magazine.

The most expensive book I have on my shelf is “Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief”. I got the anniversary edition and it was about $25. It’s on my shelf back home, but still.

A book with a male protagonist/One with a female protagonist.

Male: Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan. Definitely one of my favorite of his series. The entire series is not out but I can tell I will love it.

Female: Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johanson.

A book you read fast/One that took you long to read.

I read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead probably the quickest. It was really engaging to read and still one of my favorite series.

Game. Of. Friggin’. Thrones took me so long! I finally finished the fifth book last October and I am so relieved.

Pretty cover/Ugly cover.

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All of these were super gorgeous.

I don’t have a pick for ugly cover. I guess if I catch one, I’ll show you guys later.

A national book/An international book.

Not sure what this means, but I’ll go for an American setting vs. a foreign setting.

American: Mosquitoland by David Arnold I think this goes well with a national book, because it’s about a road trip around America.

Foreign: I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers.There will be a review coming up, so wait for that.

A thin book/A thick book.

Thin book: Soundless by Richelle Mead. I was a bit disappointed by how short that book was. But I definitely recommend this book.

Thick book: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas I don’t know how many times I have to recommend this book till EVERYONE reads it. I loved it so much I have to brag about it to all of my friends.

Fiction book/Non-fiction book.

Fiction: Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. Definitely the best Cassandra Clare book so far. Her writing has improved so much over the years. I’m hesitant to say it’s my favorite Shadowhunter tale, but it’s getting there. Honestly I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Non-fiction: I don’t read much non-fiction, but my favorite one I’ve ever read has to be “My Foreign Cities” by Elizabeth Scarboro. It’s about the author’s life with her husband who had Cystic Fibrosis. It was so heart wrenching and when I met the author I just could not help but feel for her. I read it for a class, but I loved the book so much!

Very (way too) romantic book/Action book.

I really don’t do romance, so the closest I’ve gotten to that is A Court of Mist and Fury. Oh the feels!

An action book would have to be the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. The next book in the series is coming out soon!!!!

A book that made you happy/One that made you sad.

Happy: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Sad: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Not the most amazing answers, but it’s the best I can do.

So this week I’ve read a total of 6 books!

  1. Conjuror by John and Carole Barrowman
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  3. Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johanson
  4. Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
  5. The Shadow Queen by C.J Redwine
  6. I Saw a Man by Owen Sheers

I’m very impressed with what I’ve read so far. I’m currently reading “All the Light we Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. I picked it up months ago, but couldn’t get past the first fifty pages. I just didn’t like the changing of the chapters and points of view. I’m still trying to figure out what the characters have to do with each other. Now that I’ve gotten a little further in the book, I’m enjoying it a little bit. But not exactly pleased.

My TBR pile is dwindling down to only four books. I think I can finish the three books next week and then I can focus all of my energy in finally reading “Pride and Prejudice”. I still have “Jane Eyre” and “The Book Thief” to read, but I’m unsure if I want to pick those up. I have to figure out what I’m going to do with all of my books I bought here in Cardiff. I’m going to try to send them all home, but if not, I might just sell some of the ones I didn’t like.

That’s my update so far. Check back with me next week to see if I can successfully finish my TBR pile.

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Book Update 3: Invasion of the Tearling and Rock and Roll book tag

Here comes my book update!!!

I’m really happy with what I have been able to read this week. Well, it’s more like just one book, but that’s good enough. The book I am reading is called “The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erka Johanson. It’s the second book in the “Queen of the Tearling” series. I’m only halfway through the book and I’m pretty happy that I picked this one up.

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Unfortunately these aren’t the covers I have. But the ones I have are still gorgeous.

Honestly, I forgot most of what happened in the first book, so I came into this book a little fresher than I would have liked. Unlike most books, this book didn’t summarize what happened in the first book in the beginning of the second. I kind of had to guess at things.

This book has different perspectives, and sometimes it’s not the greatest thing. I would have just liked to stay in Kelsea’s head. I’m so confused by her character at this point, because her appearance is changing. For those who have not picked up this book, I will just say that as for second books go, I do like it so far.

The first book in this series was hard for me to get into, but this one was easier. I liked the idea of magic and how it came about after the “Crossing.” This happens around the time of 2060. Well, that’s when they cross some ocean and end up almost going back to the stone age. When I got into this series, I thought it was a medieval setting and that they had never heard of telephones because they hadn’t been invented yet. But apparently all technology had been obliterated in the crashing of the ship as they found this “new world.” I am a little confused as to how they could have found this new world if they had technology back then and had already seen the Earth. It’s slightly confusing and I really want to know more.

One thing that I find compelling to read in the second book is the world that Lily Mayhew lives in. A girl from the “pre-crossing” years, who Kelsea has visions about. Lily was born in 2058 (I think this is correct, but if not, around that time) and things are looking bad for her. Basically she lives in a sexist and homophobic society in which she has no voice and is very much repressed. The thing I find really scary is that the future in this book isn’t an impossibility. We’ve made some great strides as a nation and society, but they might be slowing down as we start voting for the next American president.

Also, the fact that they were editing books and banning written books was something I really wanted to learn more about.

That’s it for my book update so far. When I finish the book I’ll probably do a review about it to discuss ways in which the world is scarily familiar for today’s times.

Now on to a book tag!

ROCK MY TBR SONG AND BOOK TAG

1. SMELL LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (Nirvana) – A Contemporary I Want to Read

“Second Chance Summer” by Morgan Matson. I read “The Unexpected Everything” and I saw this book on the shelf the other day and really want to read it. Unfortunately I probably won’t get to it till maybe next summer.

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2. SHUT UP AND DANCE (Walk to the Moon) – Most Anticipated Book You Have

I guess I’ll put this one up. I won’t be getting it till tomorrow night, but it’s one of my most anticipated books. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

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3. CENTURIES (REMIX) (Fall Out Boy) – A Twist on a Classic or Fairy Tale

That I love? Well, lets see. This is my favorite. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer review

4. YOSHIMI BATTLES THE PINK ROBOT (The Flaming Lips) – A Science Fiction Book or a Book Set in the Future

I’m halfway through this book and I’ll just recommend this one. Conjuror by John and Carole Barrowman.

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5. SHE LOOKS SO PERFECT (5 Seconds of Summer) – A Book with a Girl on the Cover

Throne of Glass series. I love the UK covers better.

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I just really love how badass she looks on this cover.

6. AFRICA (Toto) – A Book Set in a Foreign Country

I need to put this in here somewhere, so OUTLANDER!!!

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7. ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST (Queen) – A Book or Books That Will Complete a Series

This question seems vague, so I’m going to interpret it as “what book or books didn’t need to be in the series to complete it?” So I’m going with the Selection series. The last two books didn’t need to be there at all.

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I did love the covers. So how unfortunate was it that they were so beautiful, yet the story just lacked… beauty??

8. SOMEONE NEW (Hozier) – A Book by an Author You Haven’t Read Yet

I just got this one. I met the author yesterday and have never read his books yet. It took this guy 7 years to write this. It’s called “I Saw a Man” by Owen Sheers. He’s apparently Welsh.

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9. HELLO (Adele) –  A Book your DNF or Weren’t in the Mood for at the Time

This one is easy. Winterspell by Claire Legrand. I just could not read the book. The story was not interesting and it was very confusing. I got this book with a gift card so I don’t feel so bad. I thought the cover was beautiful though. See, that’s why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover!

 

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10. LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT (Kylie Minogue)– A Book You Bought Because of the Cover

Look above and you will have your answer.

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I only like one of the songs on this list and have no clue of the others. But anyways I hope you guys like this update. Follow me for more of these fun things!

Book Update 2: Scotland bound and SUMMER!!

Here is another book blog update!!! I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be in Scotland next week!!! If you can imagine, this is something I’ve been wanting to do for some time now. Ever since Sasha Alsberg started me on my Outlander obsession, I’ve wanted to go. Also, Winterfell was shot in Scotland so that was a plus. Definitely check out Sasha’s channel above for everything BookTube related.

I’ve sadly not read much this week. Le GASP!!!

The only book that I was able to pick up at all was “Summer Days and Summer Night” edited by Stephanie Perkins. It’s kind of an anthology of short stories based on summer and love. It’s sort of like the sequel to “My True Love Gave to Me” which was the winter anthology. Wait, would you call it an anthology? I’m not entirely sure.

Poster All you need is love and summer.

I’m only part way through the book and can only really tell you that I am having the same reaction I had for the “My True Love Gave to Me” book. Some of the stories are intriguing, but some of the others aren’t really fun to read. Stephanie Perkins’ short story was a continuation of her short story in the other book. Which I found fun to read. I feel like some of the stories are very slow paced and was a bit of a let down.

SHORT STORIES!!!

I will tell you guys that I’m not a fan of them. I’ve written a short story before and it was the hardest thing I’ve had to do. It was for this short story class I took and I was not a fan. After I handed that one in, I immediately added more to make it into a novel. Which, if you’ve been following my blog from the start, I’ve had several versions of that novel in here. It’s not completely done and I’ve put that one off to the side so I can work on my recent novel.

Anyways, short stories are fun, now and then, but I won’t go out of my way to read them. Throughout my time as an undergraduate, and now a post graduate, in Creative Writing, I’ve had to read several short stories and come up with different exercises for short story writing. They’re fun, but I like the extended pleasure of a novel.

Since I really like doing book tags, I am going to do the UNPOPULAR OPINIONS BOOK TAG!!! I’ve seen this tag go around BookTube and I wanted to participate in it so bad.

1. A Popular Book or series that you didn’t like.

Divergent. The first book was a really good set up, but I just could not get into it. I haven’t even finished the series.
2. A Popular Book or series that every one else seems to hate but you love.

Hmm… I guess the closest one for this question is Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Some people didn’t like this one, but I loved it. Seriously, I have reread this series so many times, I’m almost sure I could give you a play by play of everything that happened.
3. A Love Triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with (warn ppl for spoilers) OR an OTP that you don’t like.

This one kind of ends up in the grey area part, but Rowan and Aelin from the Throne of Glass series. I get the hype, but part of me is still hoping for Chaol and Aelin to get together.
4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for.

That would have to be Science Fiction. I don’t have anything against the genre, but it’s a little intimidating when I’m not a science fan. Although I am writing a Sci-Fi novel, so I should read more of the genre.
5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like.

Katniss Everdeen. She was such an annoying character and I could never tell what she was feeling exactly. It always seemed like she was playing the victim and that her fame was all due to circumstance.
6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into.

James Patterson. I read Maximum Ride, the first book and was really put off by his writing style. I tried with another book of his, but could not finish it.
7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.)

The “chosen one” trope. Seriously, it’s too played out. Yeah, Harry Potter was the “chosen one” and then after that everyone wanted to base their characters off of that. Boring.
8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading.

“The Maze Runner” by James Dasher (is that how you spell his name??). Definitely something I would rather not get into. I saw the second movie out of boredom and it was alright, but not enough going on for me to want to pick up the books.
9. The saying goes “The book is always better than the movie”, but what movie or T.V. show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

I prefer “Perks of Being a Wallflower” over the book, only because it added a lot more depth. I’m not saying that I hated the book. I LOVED the book. It’s just that the movie was so phenomenal within itself that it felt like it surpassed the book a little bit.

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So that was the book tag. I had so much I wanted to say for this update, but it’s all failing me. I will probably be more into writing next week after Scotland. Oh and for anyone interested, I’m going to Edinburgh. I’ll be seeing the city and taking a tour of Loch Ness and the Highlands. I’m going to try to read some of “The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen because it feels more Scottish than the other things I have on my TBR pile.

Also, I saw Star Trek: Beyond! Such a great movie! Had me on my toes the whole time. They had a great tribute to Leonard Nimoy. I shed a tear over Checkov since I know we won’t be seeing him in the future. I always saw Checkov as my little baby, so I’m going to be so sad when the next film comes out. Definitely worth the watch.

 

Reading Update 1: Dragonfly in Amber and Outlander tag

As promised, here is my reading update of the week. I realize that I don’t blog as much as I want to and that really bugs me. I am always reading and would love to keep my followers up to date with what I’m reading. So this is an update. Each week I will discuss the books I am currently reading and maybe even do some book tags.

What is a Book Tag? 

If you aren’t familiar with the term, a book tag is basically like a questionnaire that you answer. It’s supposed to be really fun and exciting. Because of my recent read, “Dragonfly in Amber” by Diana Gabaldon, I will do the “Outlander Tag” which was started by Sasha Alsberg on YouTube. I know that was meant for BookTube, but essentially you can actually put them in blog form.

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For those not familiar with the series Outlander, here is a synopsis. Claire Randall goes on her second honeymoon with her husband Frank Randall in 1945 to Inverness, Scotland. Things go crazy when she stumbles through this stone circle called the “Craigh Na Dun.” She ends up in 1745 Scotland, where the Jacobite rising is just beginning. She finds herself captive of the clan MacKenzie, where she meets Jamie Fraser. This series is a historical fiction novel that has fantastical elements to it. It follows Claire and her adventures in the Highland army and culture. There’s even a show based on the book series. Watch it. It’s one of my favorite book to TV adaptations.

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I really love this poster for the show. Can we talk about the actors? They are all brilliantly portrayed and I am so happy I got into this!!! I do wish they picked someone else as Claire, but I do like the lady playing her. I just thought she’d be a bit more… prettier I guess. Oh well.

But JAMIE!!! I swoon so hard over him. I want him to be my husband so bad! I love his character development and the guy playing him portrays him so well that I forget that he’s not really Jamie Fraser. Oh, if only he were! I love the Gaelic phrases and mannerisms of the Scots. One of my favorite things that I love about Jamie and Claire’s relationship is how he calls her Sassenach and Mo Duinne. Sassenach means “Outlander,” which is an insult, but when he calls her that, it’s very sensual and just… wow.

I went into this book series thinking it was going to be like Game of Thrones, but I was so wrong! The first 200 pages of the first book is hard to get through, but once you read that first 200 pages, you’re hooked. This series will keep you on your toes.

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Can that be me??? I’d like for him to call me Sassenach.

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That woman is a lucky lady. Can he touch me like that???

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#OutlanderBookTag

1. You touch some standing stones and get transported back in time, what year would you hope to land in?

As much as I loved reading about Scotland and other 18th century lands, I would much rather just go back to a more recent time and see what happens then. I would hope to go back to when Green Day was just starting out and befriend them when they were in their teen years. I wouldn’t have the means to survive Victorian Era clothing or personal hygiene habits. I need actual plumbing and the ability to take a shower in peace.

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2. Claire is a very good nurse, what type of skill would you want to have that a fictional character excels at?

Since he is a fictional character, I’m going to go with Sherlock Holmes and his skill of deduction. Seriously, he’s smart and witty. I just wish I could be as skilled as he is in that field.

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3. Jamie and Claire are ultimate relationship goals, who is your favorite fictional couple?

This is so hard! But right now I’ll have to go with Rysand and Faeyra from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. They are amazing and I wish I could be like them.

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4. The ending of outlander was shocking, what is one book you read that totally blew your mind?

A Court of Mist and Fury… need I say more???

5. Scotland has lots of castles and we see quite a few in Outlander, what fictional kingdom would you want as your own (castle included)?

Maybe some people won’t know this one, but the kingdom in “The 10th Kingdom.” I would love to just be a part of that world and rule in peace with all of the fairy tales.

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6. Outlander has some very steamy scenes, what is your favorite romance novel?

I don’t think I read that many romance novels… so I will have to go with “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes. It was sad and sappy. Just the way I like romances.

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7. The Jacobite Rising is a huge plot point in the Outlander series, what book has your favorite battle in it?

I did like the battles in Game of Thrones. Can’t really pick one though. They were all my favorite.

8. Jamie and Claire get married very unexpectedly, what fictional character would you want to marry on a whim?

Gansey from “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater.

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9. Scotland is a beautiful place, what is one fictional world you would love to visit?

The Shire! Land of Hobbits!!!

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10. If you could change the past, would you?

Probably not. All of my mistakes and failures have made me who I am today. And I don’t think I could stop big historical events. I’ve watched too much Doctor Who and have seen that episode of Supernatural to know that you can’t mess with history.

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So that was the tag. Hope it was fun to read. As for a reading update, I just finished “Dragonfly in Amber” and I’m super thrilled to have finished it. I shed a bunch of tears and I can’t wait to read the next one. Unfortunately I probably won’t get the next book till I get a job, so I will hold off on that one. Next on my list to read is “Summer Days and Summer Nights” edited by Stephanie Perkins and “The Invasion of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen.

I’ve been working on my portfolio this week and hanging with friends. I’ve had a decent week and look forward to what next week has to offer me.

I tag everyone of my followers to do this booktag. Even if you haven’t read Outlander, you can still do this tag.

Since I will probably finish this series next year, I will talk a little of what I thought of the book. The second book had a small slump, but definitely made my heart stop a little. I cried some tears and danced for joy. I can’t wait to get to know more of the new characters in the next book and hope it all works out in the end. I need more Jamie!!!!