Friday, March 24, 2017

Rapid Fire Book Tag

How fun is this tag?! I found this over at raincitylibrarian -you should check out her version. I've tracked down what I'm pretty sure is the original incarnation of this tag as well, from booktuber GirlReading.

1. eBooks or physical books?
Physical books, no contest. There's nothing like having an actual books in your hands, no smell like that of ink and paper, no sensation like cradling a book and turning its pages.
The only reason I have an e-reader device is for ARCs and comic books.

2. Paperback or hardback?

Oooh, tough call. I prefer hardbacks -I like that I can lay out while I read instead of holding them- but my wallet doesn't, so I mostly buy paperbacks.

3. Online or in-store book shopping?

If I'm actually *shopping*, I'll usually go to B&, unless I know for a fact they have it in stock; then I'll go in person.
If I'm book *browsing* however... In-store. Every. Time.

4. Trilogies or series?

So long as the story is put together well I don't have a real preference. Series face the danger of not having an end goal, kind of like a lot of TV shows, where they just don't know when to stop and wrap it up. But then again, some trilogies don't have a satisfactory amount of content either. depends.

5. Heroes or villains?

I prefer well-crafted characters. Be they hero or villain, if they've got good depth, good development, and a good arc, I'll probably love them. (Or love to hate them.)
I do have a soft spot for the conflicted hero and the villains with redemption potential. ^_^

6. A book you want everyone to read?

The Committed Life: Principles for Good Living From Our Timeless Past by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. This might seem like an unusual book, but this is one that really stayed with me. Through different stories, anecdotes, and parables, Jungreis demonstrates the benefits of acting with decency and kindness. If nothing else, this book pushes me to be a better and kinder person.
"You become gently by acting gently, righteous by acting righteously, good by acting with goodness."

7. Recommend an underrated book.

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells. Not a book for everyone, which is the only reason it didn't get put in #6.

8. The last book you finished?

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull

9. Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?

The corner of my quilt. It's the darnedest thing when you're reading through a book so fast you don't even bother grabbing a bookmark.

10. Used books, yes or no?

YES. Holy book bargains, Batman! My book collection wouldn't be nearly as extravagant as it is without the help of .25 cent paperbacks and $1 hardcovers.

11. Top three favorite genres?

Fantasy, space opera/light sci-fi (not sure where the cutoff is exactly), folklore & mythology.
Wow, my tastes are narrow. Probably 90% of what I read is fantasy of some kind or another.

12. Borrow or buy?

Borrow. The library is a life- and money-saver. I don't buy books before I've read them. Wasted too much money that way.

13. Characters or plot?

BOTH. This really shouldn't be an 'either/or' question. The best books have great plot AND great characters.

14. Long or short book?

If I'm enjoying it, long.

15. Long or short chapters?

I do prefer short chapters. I tend to read more that way, because if it's just another five pages or so, I'll say "I've got time for that!" But if it's 20-60 pages, that book is closed for the night.

16. Name the first three books you think of.

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells
Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Wow, that's quite an eclectic assortment there!

17. Books that make you laugh or cry?

9 times out of 10 I will go with laugh. I don't mind good books that make me cry, but I don't tend to seek them out.

18. Our world or fictional worlds?

Is it terrible that I say fictional? On the upside, there's a lot we can learn from fiction to make our world better.

19. Audiobooks: yes or no?

YES. About half the books I read I actually listen to.

20. Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Yes. I'm pretty sure even people who say 'don't judge a book by its cover' judges books by their covers. I won't, however, allow a cover to dissuade me if the book has been recommended or if it sounds intriguing.
Covers are first impressions. Sometimes they're terrible, but sometimes -just maybe- there's a Mr. Darcy hiding inside.

21. Book to movie or book to TV adaptations?

Ooooh! Another tough one. I'd probably go with TV adaptations, simply because some of the books I most want to see on screen are series, not standalones. Seeing these turned into series of movies are pretty hit or miss, whereas a lot of the mystery shows I really love are based off books series.
Miniseries, too, are fantastic; they allow for more time to explore the story but enjoy an absolute End like movies.
Standalones = Movies
Series = TV or Miniseries

22.  A movie or TV adaptation you preferred to the book?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Chocolat -seriously conflicted feelings with this one. >_< I'm posting a book to movie comparison for this one next week, so don't miss it!
Longmire -Admittedly, I didn't make it through all of The Cold Dish and it was only the swearing that put me off.

23. Series or standalone?

Generally, series. Mostly because fantasy standalones are hard to come by.

Bonus Question! {in the original tag, but not the one I initially discovered}

24. The last book you bought?

I honestly don't remember if it was World Mythology or The Blacklist: The Beekeeper (No. 159) by Steven Piziks.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

MINI REVIEW: Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (Fablehaven #1)

Author: Brandon Mull
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Genre: Fantasy

4/5 stars
PG: Mild fantasy action/violence; monsters and other frightening mythical creatures
Recommend to fans of The Spiderwick Chronicles, The Ever Afters, Artemis Fowl, and their ilk. Good middle grade read, but still enough plot and character development for older readers -like me!

For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.

Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken -- Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good -- powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most. via Goodreads

The Mini Review:
There is so much to love about the Fablehaven series! Like the beloved Spiderwick Chronicles, it takes modern readers back into the beauty and majesty of folk lore, when so much of it has become rebranded as 'fairy tales'. Unlike the Spiderwick Chronicles, however, Mull's series is an epic journey fit for growing voracious readers to devour.

One of my favorite things about Fablehaven has always been the relationship between main characters Seth and Kendra Sorenson. The brother and sister ACT EXACTLY like the best and worst of siblings. They're there for each other when it's needed, but they also don't want the other to find out about anything stupid they've done, because they know they'll never live it down. They're sometimes petty with each other and sometimes each other's greatest defenders and that is a sibling relationship in a nutshell. Mull does a fantastic job writing it.

Seth and Kendra are polar opposites. Kendra is cautious and careful and the goody two-shoes I was at that age, while Seth is mischievous and adventurous and a serial rule breaker. Each one sits at either end of the scale, so everyone who reads this is going to relate to one or the other.

The story is fun and exciting, but it has substance, too. This first book is a great romp, but most of the adventure is a great illustration of cause and effect. Decisions and consequences. While Mull doesn't beat you over the head with the underlying moral fiber here, the characters definitely learn a good lesson about accepting responsibility and consequences for their actions -the hard way, because where's the fun in learning the easy way?

Plus, MAGIC! FAIRIES! GOBLINS! OGRES, TROLLS, NAIADS, GOLEMS, WITCHES, BROWNIES, SATYRS, AND CENTAURS! OH MY! Every mythical creature you've ever heard -plus a few that you haven't- show up in this series and Mull has wrought an interesting and complex world on the grounds of this magical preserve, held together by the laws and bargains of old magic. Creatures of both the light and the dark inhabit the preserve and never fail to make life interesting. A great call back to classic folklore is Mull's insistence that, just because a creature is of light or dark, doesn't necessarily mean they're 'good' or 'evil' -and humans are still a favorite plaything.

With an upbeat tone and fantastic new creatures around every corner, Fablehaven is a downright fun story and I'm finding it even more enjoyable on this reread.

Have you read Fablehaven?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday Post 006 | IMWAYR

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

 Corny Joke Monday 

How does a squid go into battle?
Well armed

 Last Week on the Blog 

 This Week on the Blog 

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull Mini Review
Rapid Fire Book Tag

 What I'm Reading: 

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and
share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. 

Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull page 165/473
So much fun! I've forgotten just how much I enjoy this series. I've also forgotten a lot of details, so that adds to the fun. I've totally forgotten when Patton Burgess plays a major role and that's one of my favorite parts, so I'm eagerly awaiting that. ^_^

Heartless by Marissa Meyer disc 11/12
Almost finished with it. Going back and forth on this one, since the main focus of the story is a love triangle and I really dislike love triangles. :P

The Horizontal Man by Michael Dahl page 52/182
Took a break from this when I realized I had a deadline for the Fablehavens, but next week.

 What I Read: 

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull
Again, forgot so many details! So far, this one has been the most fun to reread, but I've got a feeling each successive one will be better than the last.

I'm now 3/19 on my Take Control Control of Your TBR Challenge.
What? That's more books total than last update? Yeah. Yeah, that's because I miscounted. And also forgot about my book club read for April, The Lake House by Kate Morton. I should at least start that this month, or I'll never finish it in time.

The good news is, I now have a deadline to finish all the Fablehaven books by and I'm breezing through those faster now at 12.5 chapters a day, so I should wrap those up soon. Then I can move on to the rest of the list.

I'm still doomed, but at least now I have the semblance of a plan.

 Internet Shenanigans 

Other than putting together a pretty epic Spotify list for motivation -I'm super obsessed with Disney and other movies covers right now- I've been too busy writing and reading for any Internet Shenanigans. Sorry, dudes.

EDIT: Totally lied! The new Postmodern Jukebox song is AMAZING, you guys! Sara Niemietz is fantastic, once again.

 New Additions 

Thanks to a fantastic sale a while back, I now own two Postmodern Jukebox albums. W00t!

  What's new with you? 

Friday, March 17, 2017

My Favorite Irish Song and Authors for Your St. Patrick's Day Festivities

I don't know if you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day, but my family usually gets together for some form of Irish meal (corned beef and cabbage mostly, but I think we're actually trying something new this year!), our annual watching of The Luck of the Irish, traditional green ware, plenty of beer, and of course, my awesomely festive headband:

But let's talk Irish authors, shall we?

My all-time favorite Irish author -surprising no one- is Eoin Colfer, my favorite author period. If you're looking for a good Irish read today, I'd recommend Iron Man: The Gauntlet, which he wrote for Marvel last fall. Tony Stark finds himself on the Emerald Isle and teams up with a few fantastic Irish characters to defeat a classic comic villain. Muahaha! It is THE BEST. EVER.

Second up, Derek Landy, for his fun and fast-paced Skulduggery Pleasant series, involving the magic underground of Dublin and the snappy-dressing, snappy-talking, walking, talking, flame-throwing skeleton sorcerer/detective.

And my favorite Irish song?
Of the bevy of songs my da used to sing to my sister and I at bedtime, one of my favorites was The Unicorn. It was only a few years ago that I ever heard the actual song by the Irish Rovers and it's amazing.

But even more amazing was discovering the song was written by my favorite poet -Shel Silverstein. Talk about happy coincidences!
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Who are your favorite Irish authors?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

TTT: Books on My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme put on by The Broke and the Bookish

Aside from the books on my Take Control of Your TBR Challenge, this is what I'm looking forward to reading!

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I've wanted to read this for ages, but the page count has been putting me off. After rereading Airman for my book club last month, however, I'm not going to let it intimidate me!

Traitor to the Throne by Alywn Hamilton

Hearts and Other Body Parts by Ira Bloom
I won a Goodreads givaway for this and, instead of tossing it onto my bookshelf like all the other books I win and promise to someday read, and I'm going to start on it as soon as it arrives.

Heartstone by Elle Katherine White
This is described as a fantasy retelling of Pride & Prejdice.
With dragons.

Star Wars: Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
About 8 episodes from finishing Star Wars: Clone Wars, all I want to know is what happens to Ahsoka?! What's next for her? Where does she go from here? What happens when she finds out about Darth Vader?!?

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn
Timothy Zahn is my favorite writer of Star Wars fiction and I'm so excited that he's writing a new book! And a Thrawn book, no less!

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

(I'm trying to actually stay on top of the series I start. :P)

The Blacklist: The Dead Ring (No. 166) by Jon McGoran
I've got this one on pre-order (March 28th!!!). The first one was so good I can't wait to get my hands on this. I'm just hoping it loves up to expectations.

The Blacklist: The Arsonist by Nicole Dawn Phillips
I know. I know. Why haven't I read this yet if the first one was so amazing?
I'M PACING MYSELF. I'm so used to binge-watching The Blacklist on Netflix that I completely forgot they have midseason finales and now I'm going through withdrawals. Between rewatching season 3, The Dead Ring coming out next month, and this comic, hopefully I've got enough to tide me over until April 20.

Rebels by David Liss
This is basically THE SEQUEL OF ALL SEQUELS. I don't know how I missed its publication date, but this is the sequel to fantastic geek fest known as Randoms, and you can watch my geek fest review of it down below, which you totally should. It's one of the funnest ones I've ever done. XD

What's on your Spring TBR?