WWW Wednesday #15

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Participating bloggers answer 3 simple questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading

  • Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell – been on hold for a while though
  • Dark Witch by Nora Roberts: this is the first in a trilogy. I read about half today on my commute, I am liking it more than I was anticipating based on some other reviews so I will probably continue with this trilogy and review all 3 books in one review.

Recently Finished: SO MANY REVIEWS TO DO

  • The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
  • The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
  • The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  • Demelza by Winston Graham
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
  • Among Others by Jo Walton
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  • The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

Planning to Read Next

  • Jeremy Poldark by Winston Graham
  • Might try reading fewer books at a time and taking a small reading hiatus in order to catch up on all of these reviews.

Have you read something great lately? How is your reading progress this week? I want to know 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday #17: Ten Wishes for the Book Genie!

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Another scheduled post. Work is actually sucking the life out of me. Not even actual work which I enjoy, just commuting. I feel like all I do is ride the train. I have another great(?) train story to rival the horrible women who teased me a few weeks ago. Today I was looking forward to a good trip home because I was sitting in the unofficial quiet car on the train with my book and had caught the last direct train to my house without a transfer and this extremely drunk man came on into my car and was yelling unintelligibly the entire time until the cops escorted him off the train at the first stop! Keep in mind this was about 6PM and he was out of his mind wasted. Anyway……..

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, participating bloggers create a list corresponding to a particular theme. This week is a chance for us to get really creative and list ten wishes we would ask the book genie to grant us! I am going to GIF it up so enjoy.

  1. A watch that would let me stop time for a while whenever I felt like I needed some extra reading time in the day. And some extra blogging time, too!

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  2. Unlimited funds for new book purchases! (So that I could stop feeling guilty whenever I buy a book full price…)

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  3. Complete set of Harry Potter prequel(s) and accompanying movie(s). Like exploring Lily/James/Sirius/Snape et. al.’s time at Hogwarts and afterwards until where Sorcerer’s Stone picks up. I can’t be the only one who wants this. Come on genie

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  4. Meet Neil Gaiman and J.K. Rowling and Stephen King! (really meet Neil Gaiman and J.K. Rowling and Stephen King and not faint, I don’t have a great track record with meeting celebrities and remembering to breathe)

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  5. A brand new reading chair. It needs to recline and be super soft and cozy. My couch is good, my bed is fine, leather desk chair OK, but none of these are THE ONE.

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  6. Double my reading speed but retain ability to process and enjoy everything so I can read twice as many books

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  7. New books from all of my favorite authors, it isn’t even worth listing specifics because there are so many who I wish would write more just for meeeeeee

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  8. Ability to select and make the perfect food and drink to go along with whatever book I am reading. Because why not?

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  9. The ability to actually DNF something, as I discussed in last week’s TTT. PLEASE.

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  10. Continued contact with people who enjoy discussing books with me! This means you 🙂

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Please share your TTT below. Would love to see what you are wishing for!

WWW Wednesday #14

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Participating bloggers answer 3 simple questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading

  • Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell – been on hold for a while though
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (audio)
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
  • Demelza by Winston Graham

Recently Finished: More reviews to come, hopefully over the weekend

Planning to Read Next

  • Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy by Nora Roberts (something a little witchy for October)
  • Among Others by Jo Walton

Share your week in reading in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday #16: My Top Ten Dream Author Duos

*this is a scheduled post! I am at work right now as you read this! I am trying so hard to be better with blogging!*

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, participating bloggers create a list corresponding to a particular theme. This week, we’re asked to come up with our top ten author duos we would love to see write a book together. This is so hard! And apologies if any of these already did happen, but I really don’t think so! Also if these are not original… this really was hard :p but I haven’t seen anyone else’s, as it’s still Monday night while I’m actually writing!

  1. Neil Gaiman & V. E. Schwab – a crazy twisted London story
  2. Andy Weir & Ernest Cline – sci-fi
  3. Gillian Flynn & Paula Hawkins – thriller of thrillers
  4. Liane Moriarty & Jojo Moyes – so much more than just “chick lit”
  5. Hilary Mantel & Philippa Gregory – Tudor Time
  6. M.R. Carey & Josh Malerman – ultimate creepy factor
  7. Brandon Sanderson & George R.R. Martin – EPIC EPIC FANTASY
  8. Deborah Harkness & Laini Taylor – paranormal? What do we call these? I just think they could be a good pair.
  9. Deborah Feldman & Julia Dahl – Julia Dahl already wrote what I thought was a great thriller exploring issues in Hasidic Judaism. Feldman wrote a memoir describing her childhood within a Hasidic sect and how she eventually left. I think it would be interesting for Feldman’s experiences to influence Dahl’s knowledge about this for future works.
  10. John Green & Markus Zuzak – whether this would be historical or contemporary, the feels would be guaranteed.

What authors would *you* love to see team up and write a book or two? Let me know by sharing your own TTT in the comments! 🙂

**Oh, and if someone wants to post this on the Broke and Bookish link up thing for me, I’d love that. Don’t feel obligated though, I can always do it when I get home from work! ❤

Book Reviews: “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Fragile Things” by Neil Gaiman

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I wanted to review these two Neil Gaiman short story compilations together. I think that with the completion of both of these books, I have read just about all of Gaiman’s full-length published works for adults! Although to call these “short story” compilations isn’t exactly fair. Gaiman fills both of these with poems, essays, and other types of writing that go far beyond just stories, which makes his work such a pleasure for me to read.

Smoke and Mirrors is subtitled “Short Fictions and Illusions” while Fragile Things is subtitled “Short Fictions and Wonders.” I found Smoke and Mirrors to have a generally darker tone though both books experiment with the fantastic and supernatural. Smoke and Mirrors is an older book (first published 1998) and for me really carried a lot of the feeling of books like American Gods. My favorite story of anything that appeared between either of these two books was “October in the Chair” from Fragile Things. I adored this story, which described a meeting of the personified months of the year as they gather to hear a rather dark tale told by the character of October. There are also many retellings of myths, fairy tales, and references to other works by Gaiman and otherwise, but of course also much that is completely unique. I read these two collections one after the other and I think they sort of just blended together in my mind but if I was going to pick one I did prefer Fragile Things slightly more.

One problem that avid Gaiman fans might have with both of these is the fact that there is not much original material in either of them, but this wasn’t a problem for me personally and just about everything was new for me – just something to think about if you do follow a lot of the literary magazines and other sources where his work appears. For me I feel like no matter how much Neil Gaiman I read there is always something totally original and very out-there for me to find. I think he has one of the most vivid imaginations of any contemporary author and hope he continues to harness this to provide more books for me to read! I’m giving 4 stars to both Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things.

WWW Wednesday #13

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. Participating bloggers answer 3 simple questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What are you going to read next?

Currently Reading

  • Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell – been on hold for a while though
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (audio)
  • The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

Recently Finished: Reviews to come, hopefully over the weekend

  • Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
  • The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
  • The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
  • The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Planning to Read Next

  • Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Apprentice by Maggie Anton
  • Demelza by Winston Graham
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  • Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy by Nora Roberts (something a little witchy for October)
  • Among Others by Jo Walton

What are *you* reading this week? What do you think of my choices? I want to know!

Top Ten Tuesday #15: Top Ten Bookish Habits I Want to Start & Quit

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, participating bloggers create a list corresponding to a particular theme. This week, we are exploring “ten bookish things I want to quit or have quit” – this can be series abandoned, books not finished, general bad bookish habits… etc. I am focusing on bookish habits specifically and have tried to select ten that are either good habits I wish to implement or bad habits that I need to stop.

Sorry my TTT is coming so late on this Tuesday evening – might even be Wednesday already for some of you. I have been working lots more, which is good, but while my last position lent itself more easily to the occasional (okay, not so occasional) blog post during working hours, this job really does not give me that opportunity at all. I’ve not really scheduled posts too frequently in the past but I think I will have to begin doing that in order to be able to continue blogging and providing new reviews and content, while also making money (to buy more books of course).

This leads me well into my first bad bookish habit and the rest of my list…

  1. I have not been giving this blog the attention that it deserves and I have been feeling so bad about it. I really want to make some changes so that I can read and review much more for you all.
  2. Here is my dirty little secret… Please, please don’t unfollow me… I fold down pages. Full on dog-ear. WHY DO I DO THIS!?!?! I have bookmarks. I have other things I could use as bookmarks. I am ashamed. This is probably my most egregious bad bookish habit and I pledge to try to quit it.
  3. I need to learn how to DNF books. I never abandon a book even when I can tell that it is not for me. I just feel bad about it and that maybe it will get better if I give it a chance. I am pretty sure I’ve never full on totally quit a book, even if I have to take a long break I always come back to it. There are SO many books I want to read and I will never get through my TBR if I don’t learn to do this.
  4. I need to really organize my TBR list better and possibly purge some of the books. It’s just too long right now and it only keeps growing.
  5. I need to… go on a book buying ban? Is such a thing possible? Maybe just buying fewer books and trying to limit myself a little bit, despite how tempting the bargain books section is…
  6. I would like to begin working more reading into my schedule. The weird thing is that when I was in law school and so, so busy with classes, internships, and studying, I read lots more than I do now because I would have gone crazy otherwise. I had lots of good time pockets during the day where I could knock out a few chapters at a time. I need to find a way to create similar pockets in a more ordinary day.
  7. I am very unrealistic with my ARC requests and I need to be better about that. I make tons of requests and get a bunch of them approved and then never get the chance to timely read and review which defeats the purpose. :\
  8. I would like to use the library more often, to save some money, take out more audio books, use the inter-library request system in my county which really increases the amount of books that I can access, and just generally take advantage of how great my local library is.
  9. I guess this one is a bad bookish habit on the part of my husband but would be a good habit for me to implement. This man is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met but he just does not read! I bought him The Martian and he loved that. He’s reading Ready Player One now but I don’t think he’s as enthused although I loved it. So his bad habit is barely reading and my good habit to start would be continuing to search for books that will encourage him to read more.
  10. I need to organize my (many, many) bookshelves. I need to really organize my entire house but that’s a whole other story. But sometimes I kind of just come home from the bookstore and the books just sit in their bags and don’t really find their way onto a shelf. Then I forget about them and just keep buying more books. I suppose this goes along with using the library more often too.

I know, I know, I know I have not been up to par with this blog lately and I really do not want to disappoint anybody. I really want to work on making more time for this and getting more entries up soon. Please trust me that it is coming, and in the meantime let’s have a good discussion about your TTT lists below.