Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Resolutions And Goals

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, which is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  The rules are exactly the same as they were before - this week's topic is Bookish Resolutions and Goals.  Here we go:

1. I've set my Goodreads reading challenge at 200, which is the same as I've done for the past few years.  I hope I can make it again this year, too. It's probably a good thing I'm a fast reader and can handle multiple books at once...

2. I'm back this year for Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge!  I enjoyed taking part last year and I really appreciated how it pushed me to read more widely and broadly.  It introduced me to some fantastic books and authors!

3. This year I've signed up for my first ever #BeatTheBacklist Challenge, hosted by Austine @ A Novel Knight.  I plan on earning lots of points for the Story Sorcerers team.  The rules are pretty easy for the challenge - all you have to do is read books published in 2017 or earlier.  I've narrowed the challenge a little further for myself by planning to focus on continuing series.

4. Going back to number three, I want to do a better job of keeping up with series rather than getting distracted by the next new shiny thing.

5. Like usual, I hope to read more of the books that I actually own - I really need to clear my shelves!

6. I also want to buy less books - I've only got so much shelf space and I'm running out.

7. For the books that I do buy, though, I want to make sure that I get the biggest bang for my buck - I plan on taking advantage of coupons, gift cards, thrift stores, and overstock stores.

8. I would like to explore more nonfiction this year.  It isn't one of my go to genres, but I've seen quite a few intriguing titles that I want to try out.

9. I would like to take part in more bookish events whether those are online like Twitter chats, readathons, and linkups, or in person, like talks or signings.

10. I also really need to weed my tbr on Goodreads because it has totally spiraled out of control.

Well, it looks like I've got quite a year ahead of me - wish me luck!  What are some of your bookish goals this year?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Music Monday: Puddles Pity Party

Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.


Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

Every since Puddles (aka Mike Geier) started appearing on Postmodern Jukebox, I've been following his music - I couldn't believe it when he appeared on season 12 of America's Got Talent!  He has an great voice and I always look forward to hearing his covers of popular songs. Folsom Prison Blues/ Pinball Wizard Smoosh Up & Dancing Queen covers are some of my favorites from the last year - enjoy!  If you'd like to find Puddles Pity Party on YouTube, click here.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The King of Bones and Ashes by J.D. Horn (ARC) - Review


I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Magic is leaving this world, making the witches who've relied on it forever absolutely helpless. Some are willing to accept it, while others are willing to do whatever it takes to stay in power. Alice is using her remaining power to solve the mysterious disappearances of those in occult circles of New Orleans. She knows the feeling as her family put in an asylum and she just recently got out. She's afraid that her family is connected, and the more she investigates the more she comes to realize that her fragile psyche may be in trouble. Figuring this out, though, may be her only way to get out from under her mother's thumb while determining the future of magic.

The King of Bones and Ashes by J.D. Horn sounded like it would be exactly my kind of read. There are so many elements that I love - magic and witches, atmospheric setting (New Orleans), voodoo, warring families, and more. Unfortunately, I ended up preferring the concept to the final product. The novel travels at far too slow of a pace for me, and it follows far too many characters to get thoroughly invested in anyone. I liked Alice quite a bit, but I wish that the story would have focused primarily on her (and perhaps one or two others at the most) rather than bouncing back and forth between its enormous cast. There are a lot of characters, and there were many times I had trouble keeping everyone straight in my mind - definitely took me out of the story to have to keep flipping back to the cast list. Overall, J.D. Horn's new release just wasn't for me in the long run, although I wish I could say otherwise. I still would like to try his Witching Savannah series, which is described as a Southern Gothic urban fantasy with witches.

I read this ARC from January 11 - 14, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.  This novel will be released on January 23, 2018.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Memory Detective by T.S. Nichols (ARC) - Review

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In order to do his job, Cole undergoes surgery to receive the implanted memories of murder victims. After he recovers from the eight hour operation, he can remember the thoughts of someone else - right up until the moment of their death that is. Sometimes these memories are fuzzy, but others are perfectly clear. Cole's cases completely consume his every waking moment, leaving him without much of a personal life but that's how he prefers it. He will do whatever it takes to solve the case and track down the killer. While Cole is working his most recent case, however, he begins to suspect that someone else is using the memory-transfer tech for another purpose altogether. Cole isn't far off, in fact, he's the only one standing in the way of a ruthless company harvesting people's most intimate memories and eliminating anyone standing in the way.

The Memory Detective by T.S. Nichols has so much potential. The concept behind it is absolutely fantastic, but it never quite hits that mark in execution. I liked getting a look into this author's take on near future technology. I was particularly interested in the consequences of the memory-transfer surgery. Everyday people can receive only one sometimes two transfers, but Cole is the exception to the rule due to his detective skills. He's had many more transfers than the average person could ever hope to receive - and the consequences are high. Think insanity. Unfortunately, I couldn't really connect with Cole because he feels too distant and a little flat. If this novel were told in the first person, I think that would have definitely helped get us into his head. I don't know about you, but with the memory subject matter I think that could only be a good thing. Also as much as I enjoyed the tech, there were moments when I was left wanting more when it came to some of the details regarding how the process all worked. During my entire reading experience, I totally had iZombie in the back of my mind. It's a very similar concept - aside from the zombies and brain eating part, of course.

Overall, The Memory Detective features a good mystery and intriguing near future sci-fi elements. The cast of characters could definitely afford to be more well drawn and developed in order to connect better with them on the whole. The story has a lot of potential to be great, but it doesn't quite hit the mark, plus it isn't terribly unique. You may want to give T.S. Nichols first novel a try if you enjoy iZombie and Total Recall.

Thanks again, NetGalley!

I read this ARC from January 9 - 11, 2018 and my review is also on GoodreadsThe Memory Detective by T.S. Nichols is due to be released on January 23, 2018.

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book One by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze + 50/50 Friday

On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.

This week I'm spotlighting one of my next reads, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book One by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze.  This graphic novel will fulfill the task of a comic written or illustrated by a person of color task for Book Riot's 2018 Read Harder Challenge.  I don't know much about the character, but I'm really excited to try this.  I really like the character in Captain America: Civil War and I can't wait to see Black Panther!



50/50 Friday: Best/ Worst Book Read In 2017

Worst - The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser - I don't know if it was strictly speaking the worst, but it was definitely one of the most disappointing.  There was so much potential, but it just didn't live up to it at all unfortunately.

Best - It's a hard choice, but I loved An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock - it was such a pleasant surprise!

Have you read any of these books yet?  As always thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps event commenting down below!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow (ARC) - Review

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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Anda spends most of her free time playing Coarsegold Online, an MMORPG, where she can be a hero, meet people from all over the world, and make new friends. Things get complicated when she meets a gold farmer in the game. A poor Chinese kid plays the avatar who's job it is to collect valuable items in the game and sell them to players with money to burn. That's strictly against the rules of the game, but Anda quickly begins to realize that these things are less straightforward when a real person's livelihood is at stake in real life.

I don't know how, but this is the first story by Cory Doctorow that I've ever read. I know, I can'be believe it either. Either way, In Real Life is a pretty great graphic novel. It's a lot of fun with all with quite a sense of adventure and it's good seeing Anda begin to come into her own as the story progresses. Doctorow also uses this story to discuss more difficult topics, like poverty, culture clash, harsh working conditions, and exploitation. The author manages to successfully work with a fair bit during the short amount of time we're with these characters and he makes it really engaging while he's at it. By the way the art style perfectly fits the tone of the story, both in the game and in real life scenes. Overall, In Real Life is a good introduction to the work Cory Doctorow. If you like the work of Noelle Stevenson and Gene Luen Yang, then I have a feeling you may also enjoy this new graphic novel. I know I will definitely be back for more of Doctorow's earlier novels.

Thanks again, NetGalley!
I read this graphic novel ARC on January 8, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To

Happy Tuesday and Happy New Year!  I can't believe it's already 2018!  Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To.  Most of these are books that I'm waiting for the audio book hold to finally come in on - I've been on hold for some of them for ages!  Hopefully I will be able to start listening soon!

Blue Tide by Jenna-Lynne Duncan

A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess - This hold actually just came in!

Wicked Like A Wildfire by Lana Popovic

What books are you still hoping to get to from last year?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!