Tag Archives: Goodreads

Weekly Reader No. 4

So, I was bound and determined after last week to get some more reading in. I tackled the new Robert Galbraith (a J.K. Rowling pseudonym) first, something I have been excited to read for quite a while and it did not disappoint. I am not, as a rule, a fan of mysteries or detective novels but this series is great. It has the perfect balance of originality and familiarity to make it a ton of fun to read, not to mention that there are just some hilarious spots in this book. The second of the Cormonran Strike novels, The Silkworm is definitely worth a read. Rating -★★★★★

Then I immediately tackled something else in the stack, reaching for the first thing I could get my hands on, which happened to be Arclight by Josin L. McQuein. This YA book is a dystopian novel that gives off the feel of a zombie/vampire book along the lines of The Passage but YA and turns out to be something completely different which was a nice surprise.  The twist in this one was not at all what I expected and it made for quite an enjoyable reading experience. I put a hold on the next book in the series the moment I finished this one. The writing was a bit weak but the plot was great. Rating – ★★★★

The I tried to read a book called The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen. I got started and simply couldn’t get into it. I don’t know if my timing was bad or what but the book was dull and it shouldn’t have been since it was supposed to be about time travel. It felt like a poor version of the time agents from Doctor Who without all the fun or a severely smudged and extremely waterlogged quick sketch of Stephen King’s 11/22/63. So I threw it back in my library bag and reached for something else. Rating – ★

What I ended up with was Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield. I have heard wonderful things about this author but for some reason, I haven’t been able to get to her first book yet (The Thirteenth Tale), although I have wanted to for quite some time. However I was able to get my hands on her second book and have put off reading it because I heard  that it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. I picked it up, fulling realizing after my last book that it would probably join the unread but back to the library pile. I very much enjoyed this read. It was a slow thoughtful read with a bit of mystery. I can see why she calls it a ghost story although it offers little in the way of thrills or chills, rather a book about a life lived in the shadow of death, the ghost of what could or should have been. Definitely worth a read if you can keep an open mind.  Rating – ★★★★

At this point, I was on a roll and picked up the book on top of the stack called The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler. I was expecting light fluffy goodness. What I got was an author taking her writing way too seriously and her main character making some of the strangest choices I have ever read. It was a romance novel trying to be literary fiction and failing miserably. Why did I keep reading, because the author can write, she just can’t plot. Rating – ★

I started in on another book but kept getting interrupted and so I decided to go back to my book cleaning project. I finally finished removing every sales sticker, library pocket and anything else you can think of from every book on my shelves late on Saturday night. I can’t tell you how glad I was to see the end of that project. I cut my fingers a few times and got so tired of prying stickers off of books (not to book sellers – certain adhesives and books should just not happen – ever). Now with a trashcan full of old library dust jacket covers, I love the look of my books.

Wish I had this much room for books

Then I moved forward with organizing my books. When we moved in, I just threw everything on the shelves for the most part. A few of my favorites found each other but for the most part, I didn’t bother organizing much and it started to drive me crazy. For example, I have all of the books in the Dark Tower series but couldn’t find the first one and the rest were in sets of two or three in a few different places. I had also started buying a few duplicates of books because I wasn’t sure if I had them or not. So I decided that I needed to organize everything and create an inventory that I could search while I was out book shopping to hopefully keep myself from buying books I already have.

I love this site (click on image to find out more)

I started with the inventory. I used goodreads and my phone to scan the bar-codes from a majority of my books unless they didn’t have one due to age (or something else). I started to rethink the large number of old paperbacks that I have because I had to enter those all by hand. By the time I finished, the final count was 642 physical books.

11 Dangerous place for a libraryThen I started organizing my books. I separated the fiction and non-fiction first. The non-fiction was then further separated by category and shelved. Those took up two of my smallest bookcases (while I have some non-fiction, the majority of my collection is fiction). The fiction mostly stayed together. The only things I really separated completely were my classics and Christian fiction. The rest ended up separated by author and series. Some authors got their own shelf or had to share it with one other author (Orson Scott Card being the author with the most books in my collection). By the time I got that done, I sorted what was left by size and loosely by genre to get as many books as possible onto the shelves. I think the final result turned out great.

IMG_20140714_161203_886

My tall shelves

Yeah, okay the one above isn’t mine (but I wish it was). Mine, as you can see,  looks quite a bit more cramped and unfortunately isn’t that big (although I wish it was). I had to really crowd to get my books in, so I think it might be time to buy another bookshelf or two.

The shorter ones (two more aren't pictured)

The shorter ones (two more aren’t pictured)

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Book Review: Rise

Book: Rise

Author: Anna Carey

Recommend: Definitely, but only if you’ve read the first two books in the series.

I had less than an hour to read this one. I saw it on the shelves while wondering Barnes and Noble on a long lunch hour. I picked it up, plopped down at a table and began to race through the book, eagerly devouring the conclusion to one of my favorite trilogies lately.

Eve is a mess after the shooting of Caleb and she is definitely showing it at the beginning of this book. Her hatred of her father and everything he stands for has only grown since she lost Caleb but she goes through the motions – all while secretly planning his assassination all while dealing with her sham of a marriage to Charles. When she find out that she has one last piece of Caleb left, everything changes and she puts her life on the line to stop her father forever.

This one was  a complete roller coaster ride to the end and when you think it’s all over, the author throws you for a welcome tailspin. I think the only thing I would say could be a negative about this book is that the author takes Eve away from the action one too many times. I know why she does it but it almost seems like a cop-out to keep her alive. I would have rather seen her in the middle of the action, continuing to fight and somehow escaping the inevitable. I think it would have made for a more exciting storyline. However, I really liked the fact that she brought back some of the issues from the first book to show that they weren’t forgotten. I also love the fact that she doesn’t make things too easy on Eve. The major complication in this book is almost funny in a way but also very bittersweet for the character, not to mention dangerous. I love the transformation of the character from a girl scared of her own shadow to a leader who seems to be able to overcome almost anything when necessary. A very large change but without losing the heart of the character.

My biggest frustration with this book was the ending. While I loved how she concluded the story, she needed to write about five more pages. It was just plain mean to leave us where she did. I wanted to see the moment she walked into that room! UGH! A few more paragraphs wouldn’t have killed her. Of course I’m among the group who loved the prolonged ending to Return of the King and I wanted just a bit more this book too. When you cut the story just short of a huge payoff for the readers, it’s just frustrating for them. It really didn’t need to be long or dragged out, but it needed to be!

Great end to such a fun series. I’m rather sad that there isn’t another Eve book to wait for.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Book Review: Beautiful Redemption

Book: Beautiful Redemption

Authors: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Recommend: Not really. I only read it because I figured since I’d read the first three I might as well finish out the series.

I find nothing more annoying than when they take a fantasy book too far. How do you know if a book has gone too far? When you follow a character into the afterlife. This plot line should never be – ever, unless for some reason you are one the greats and I’m not talking about the characters in the book.

I really felt like there were so many issues with the magic system in this book. Limits that shouldn’t have been there and places where the use of magic should have happened but no one seemed to think of it. I liked the main characters but I felt like the world development was so weak that it became extremely annoying. I also would say that the reunion scene that everyone knows is coming from the beginning of the book was rather anti-climatic.

While there were some strong points, the flaws got in the way.

Final Rating:

Get it free

Get it free

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Goodreads

I wasn’t going to post today. I was going to go to bed. I was going to get a full eight hours so I was ready to face my last week of work before summer vacation. I tried to just look at a couple things without looking at my blog. It didn’t work. I felt bad that I hadn’t posted anything today. So I decided to take a quick break from the reviews and share the website that has been eating up a good chunk of my free time.

I have to share goodreads with anyone who is unfortunate enough to have not discovered this site yet! If you like to read, goodreads is a must.

I don’t know about you, but I read – a ton. I have trouble remembering sometimes what books I have read, what books I started and never want to pick up again and the books that was dying to the last time I went to the book store. I have done everything from electronic lists, paper lists, taking pictures with my camera phone and a couple similar sites.

I have picked goodreads as my favorite book site simply because it is so easy to navigate, add to and keep a wish list on. You can simply submit reviews, rate books and search for new things by your favorite author all without having to leave the page. I like the pictures of the covers with the titles as well because it helps jar my overloaded memory.

If you are looking for a good way to keep track of the books you have read, what you are currently reading and what you want to read, this site is a great place to check out!

Okay, I’m done sounding like an infomercial. (I think). This week may have fewer posts than normal due to the fact that it is the last week of school before summer vacation and I am envisioning some very late nights at work. Starting Friday or Saturday my crazy frequent posts should be back to normal.

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