What’s on Your Nightstand: March 2018

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books on the last Tuesday of every month that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. For my posts, I also include articles, music, art, TV shows, and whatever else I did in the month.

March had its ups and downs but overall, it was a good month. I had a very low-key celebration of my birthday (actually, it wasn’t a celebration, but I enjoyed what I did) and started planning for a vacation that I’m really looking forward to later in the year. I also went to see Black Panther a second time and enjoyed it almost as much as I did the first time (the jokes weren’t as fresh the second time).

The most exciting thing I did this month was attend the NoVa Teen Book Festival, which, though I’m no longer a teen, I thoroughly enjoyed. I grabbed a copy of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone as soon as I arrived and attended a panel session where Adeyemi spoke alongside Susan Dennard, Audrey Coulhurst, and A.C. Gaughen about a variety of topics. By the end of the session, I wanted all their books, but since I had placed myself on a tight budget for the event, I just jotted down the authors’ names so I’ll remember to get their books from the library (and reminded myself to read my copy of Truthwitch).

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Comics Roundup #22: “Audubon: On the Wings of the World”

With this, I complete a second book published by Nobrow Press. I own a few books by this publisher on my bookshelves, but it’s my nature to pay more attention to books I don’t own. Hence the two book I’ve read by this publisher were both borrowed from the library. But I don’t mind that. I’m just happy that I’ve finally read books published by Nobrow Press to confirm that they are one of my favorite publishers. I’ve always admired the books they feature on their IG account and now it seems that I’ll probably always like their content. 😊


Audubon: On the Wings of the World by Fabien Grolleau, illus. by Jérémie Royer, trans. by Etienne Gilfillan

Genre:

Nonfiction: biography

Pubbed:

2016

Quick summary:

Audubon: On the Wings of the World is a biography of John James Audubon (born Jean-Jacques Audubon in Haiti in 1785), the noted artist, naturalist, and ornithologist most known for his book Birds of America, which contains 435 paintings of different species of birds in America observed in their natural habitat. Written and illustrated by Fabien Grolleau and Jeremie Royer, respectively, this graphic novel portrays Audubon as a passionate, determined man striving to paint and record all the birds of America in the 1800s.

Though Audubon’s persistence and efforts are admirable, the book does not shy away from showing less savory aspects of the man, such as his disdain for his mentor Alexander Wilson, the long lengths of time he spent away from his wife and children as he pursued his passion, the immense debt he gained from failed business ventures, and that he hunted and killed many birds in his pursuit to document and study them.

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A Few of My Favorite Things…Book Tag?

It’s not natural for my blog to go this long without me posting a book tag. So here’s a post to set my blog to rights!

I’m not sure if it’s intended as a book tag, but I’ll say it is and be happy. I found it on Roof Beam Reader.

A book you’ve read more than once:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

There are so many, but I chose Harry Potter because I’ve reread those books the most.

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Two Audiobooks: “The Girl with All the Gifts” by M.R. Carey & “The Two Towers” by J.R.R. Tolkien

My reading experience with these audiobooks were vastly different. As I mentioned in my recent Weekend Reads post, I loved one but hated the other; however, both were a struggle to read since it’s hard to keep a rein on my mind to prevent it from wandering while listening to the story.

I guess my ratings of these books are questionable. I rate books based on how much I enjoyed them and what they made me feel, not necessarily if they are composed well, though I do consider that but not as highly as the enjoyment factor. With audiobooks, I also consider the narrator’s contribution to the work, and my rating reflects that, which is seen in my rating of The Two Towers. If I’d read the physical/e- book, I’d have given it a half star more.


The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, narr. by Finty Williams

Genre:

Horror; sci-fi: dystopian

Goodreads summary:

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

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Weekend Reads #83: I try audiobooks for the first time…sort of

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

This week’s topic:

Audiobooks

Much has changed since the last time I reviewed audiobooks on here. For example, I’ve listened to more audiobooks since then and now realize that whether or not I enjoy an audiobook depends on who narrates it.

Such was the case in my last audiobook review, where I discussed listening to the audio version of Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief, a YA novel by Rick Riordan, and You, a thriller novel by Caroline Kepnes. I had vastly different experiences with both audiobooks because I hated the former but loved the later.

My experience with the audiobooks I’ll mention in this post is similar — I love one but hate the other, — but there is a difference. Up until this post, I’ve only used audiobooks to reread books. I did so because I feared that my mind would wander as I listen and I would miss important parts of the story. Also, since I’m a visual learner, I thought that I would miss certain details that I love to pay attention to when I read the physical/e- book, such as the author’s writing. I thought that listening to an audio version of a new-to-me book would lessen my reading experience of it. And after listening to The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, narr. by Finty Williams, and The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien, narr. by a cast of actors, it seems I was right.

…sort of.

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“School for Psychics” by K.C. Archer

Not what I expected.

Genre:

Paranormal

Pubbed:

April 3, 2018

Goodreads summary:

Teddy Cannon isn’t your typical twenty-something woman. She’s resourceful. She’s bright. She’s scrappy. She can also read people with uncanny precision. What she doesn’t realize: she’s actually psychic.

When a series of bad decisions leads Teddy to a run-in with the police, a mysterious stranger intervenes. He invites her to apply to the School for Psychics, a facility hidden off the coast of San Francisco where students are trained like Delta Force operatives: it’s competitive, cutthroat, and highly secretive. They’ll learn telepathy, telekinesis, investigative skills, and SWAT tactics. And if students survive their training, they go on to serve at the highest levels of government, using their skills to protect America, and the world.

In class, Teddy befriends Lucas, a rebel without a cause who can start and manipulate fire; Jillian, a hipster who can mediate communication between animals and humans; and Molly, a hacker who can apprehend the emotional state of another individual. But just as Teddy feels like she’s found where she might belong, strange things begin to happen: break-ins, missing students, and more. It leads Teddy to accept a dangerous mission that will ultimately cause her to question everything—her teachers, her friends, her family, and even herself.

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Down the TBR Hole #4: More to Kick Off

Here’s another edition of Down the TBR Hole, a meme created by Lia at Lost in a Story where we decide whether to keep or remove books on our TBR.

The rules for Down the TBR Hole:
  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Batch #1

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“The Demon Lover” by Juliet Dark

Oh my gosh, this book. 😀

Anyone who knows me for any length of time knows I love fantasy, magic, and the supernatural. It’s one of the first things I’ll either tell you or you’ll deduce within 10 mins of meeting me.

When I was in middle/high-school, I would hurry home after school activities or hanging out with my friends to catch episodes of Charmed, a TV show about powerful witches living in Los Angeles. In college, I procrastinated on homework and projects by watching reruns of Ghost Whisperer, a TV show about a woman who can see and interact with ghosts, and when I got my first job and had the opportunity to work from home, I’d do so while watching reruns Supernatural, a TV show about brothers who’re bounty hunters of supernatural creatures.

I loved all those shows and continue to watch reruns of them to this day. Charmed is the one that started it all and since discovering it and watching its episodes so many times that I know a few by heart, I’ve tried to find TV shows and novels that are similar and are about witches.

Witches of East End, the TV show that aired on Lifetime back in 2013, came close, but the plot and characters started out weak and became worse as the story progressed. I thought the novel, written by Melissa de la Cruz, would be better, but unfortunately it wasn’t. Since then, I’ve continued trying to find TV shows and novels similar to Charmed without luck until I saw The Water Witch on my library’s Overdrive app. It’s the sequel to The Demon Lover and it sounded so interesting that I decided to give the series a try.

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Top Ten Tuesday #33: Spring 2018 TBR

It’s TBR time!!! 😀 😀 😀

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Books on My Spring TBR

I love creating TBRs, so I’m excited to do this post. Before we get started, guess how many books I read from my Winter TBR???

**Hint** It’s slightly more than the amount I usually read from my TBRs.

Highlight here =>>   2  <<= for the answer. 😛

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“Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

I heard many great things about this novel when it was published, but I wasn’t interested in reading it. If not for a bookclub I recently joined, I probably wouldn’t have picked up this book.

Genre:

Contemporary; literary

Pubbed:

September 2017

Goodreads summary:

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children’s father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

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