20 Questions Tag

Another book tag I was tagged for!! 😀 (I’m catching up on them!… Well, I’m trying to.)

I was tagged by Emily from Embuhlee liest, my awesome Robin Hobb buddy-reader. I have no idea who created this tag but shout out to you whoever you are.

How many books is too many books in a series?

12 or 13

Or however much the length of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is. I’ve been tempted several times to give up on the story, but I really want to know how things will pan out.

How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I like them when they are used effectively, like in A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. His cliffhangers kept me reading. But I don’t like them when they are overused, like in the Song of Ice & Fire series at large. After a while, they became annoying.

Hardback or paperback?

Paperback. Always.

Only in dire circumstances do I get hardbacks, like if I really, REALLY need to read the book right away, and still I’ll be pissed at myself for purchasing it. The exception is if the hardback itself has a nice cover design. I don’t mind such purchases.

Favorite book?

Erm… I’m going to cheat and show my two favorite books of the year so far:

Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus

Both are great books. The story is engaging and the writing is superb. Kintu is magical realism, historical fiction about a cursed family in Uganda, and The Shape of Water is fantasy historical fiction romance about a woman who falls in love with an amphibious man. I love ’em both.

Least favorite book?

She by H. Rider Haggard

I went with the first book to come to mind. It’s well-written and some discussions in it are interesting, like man’s place in the universe and others on religion, but I disliked 99% of the ideas discussed in this book and found the story highly offensive and even insipid because why would an all-powerful woman sit on her ass in a cave for years waiting on her true love?!

Love triangles: Yes or no?

Hell naw

The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

But that’s because I was listening to it on audio and had a hard time paying attention. I don’t think I can do essay or short story collections on audio. I’ll finish this using the physical copy.

A book you’re currently reading?

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

I have several on the go at the moment and this is one of them. I’m rereading it, but I plan to review it if I haven’t already done so.

The last book you recommended to someone?

My two favorite books of the year:

I keep telling people to read them, and I hope they will.

Oldest book you’ve read by publication date?

Jason and the Argonauts by Apollonius of Rhodes, trans. by Aaron Poochigian

Probably this Greek classic which I read a couple years ago and loved. It’s about Jason and his pals embarking on a quest to steal the Golden Fleece.

Newest book you’ve read by publication date?

How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs

It will be published on July 24. It’s a book of short stories about being Jamaican, being an immigrant in the U.S., relationships, love, being a Black queer woman in the U.S., and many other topics. I liked several of the stories and recommend it to those interested in trying some short stories.

Favorite author?

Robin McKinley

I love the way she writes and love how descriptive her prose is. I also love the way she tells her stories and love her stories themselves; most of the ones I’ve read are fairy tale retellings. However, The Blue Sword is not based on a fairy tale. It’s about a girl who is kidnapped and trained to become a warrior who saves a country that’s threatened by a malevolent force. It’s so good and is one of my favorite books.

Buying books or borrowing books?

Buy

I prefer to own my books so I feel free to highlight as many things as I want.

A book that you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This is a very popular one. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t like it either. The protagonist was annoying and I hated the dialogue.

Bookmarks or Dog-Ears?

**gaspes** Dog-ear my books??!!

I would never do such a thing. I’ve always been against such horrid habits, even as a kid. Bookmarks always. I don’t care what is used as long as it doesn’t soil my book.

A book you can always reread?

Fullmetal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa (illus.)

I don’t think I will ever get tired of this story about two brothers trying to regain their original bodies after a failed experiment. It’s a manga series (that I haven’t completed yet) that was made into an anime (that I’ve almost completed).

Can you read while hearing music?

The short answer is no.

Music makes me daydream, so I find it distracting when I’m reading. However some music I can tune out. Music with words are easier for me to tune out than instrumentals, especially classical music. Classical music makes my daydreams more elaborate for some reason.

One or multiple POVs?

Either one.

But I lean more toward a single POV because sometimes multiple POV stories contain POVs that I don’t care for or find boring so it becomes a drag to read those parts.

Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Depends on how busy I am.

And these days I’m very busy because I have responsibilities, like work, which takes up loads of time. So multiple days for me.

A book you’ve read because of the cover?

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

I love this cover so much. It’s why I bought and read the book. I love the design and the story is pretty decent. I enjoyed it. It’s YA fantasy about…regaining a kingdom.

All done.

😀

I won’t take anyone, but if you feel like answering some questions, go ahead and do it.
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“The Hazel Wood” by Melissa Albert

Love the cover!!

I didn’t intend to read this book when I heard it was coming out because I’d given up on YA. But then I read a short blog post by a book seller who had read and loved the book and her enthusiasm infected me. So, as soon as I saw an e-copy available at my library, I placed it on hold.

Genre:

YA Fantasy

Pubbed:

January 2018

Series:

The Hazel Wood

Goodreads summary:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

It wasn’t what I expected. Whenever I heard or read about this book, I got the impression that the majority of it would be set in a fantasy world steeped in magic, but such wasn’t the case. Instead, we are mostly grounded in reality as the protagonist learns about the magical world she’s tied to where she believes her mother was kidnapped and carried off to. This didn’t bother me much. The posts and videos about this book sung it such high praises that my curiosity about it was too high for my interest to be easily swayed. And since I began the story with an open mind, I was hardly annoyed by much.

But it wasn’t what I expected in any way. It was a decent read and it kept my attention, but I thought it would be dripping in magic and wrapped in prose so descriptive that I’d yearn to sample the fantasy world of this book. But that didn’t happen. I was never fully immersed and when we do visit the fantasy setting, it didn’t draw me in. However, I liked the few fairy tales included in the story and would love to read more of those. Actually, I’d love to read Tales from the Hinterland, the book of dark fairy tales mentioned in the story. It sounded intriguing and had a sense of creepiness about it that I liked.

As for the characters, they didn’t stand out to me and I didn’t like the protagonist. She’s very much an unlikeable character. I don’t think this series is one I’ll continue with but if Albert does publish the Tales from the Hinterland book mentioned in the story, I’ll read it.

Overall: ★★★☆☆

It’s decent and well-written and the fairy tales are interesting.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass
Quotes from the book:

“Nobody here has a goddamned sense of humor. Or a god, for that matter. Maybe you need one to have the other. The sense of being at someone’s mercy, so you can laugh about it.”

I Dare You Book Tag

Yeahie!! 😀 I’m finally doing a tag I was tagged for!! (**pats self on back**)

I was tagged by Heather, the Sassy Book Geek, whose blog I enjoy visiting so def check her out! 😀

Heather couldn’t find the original creator of the tag and I’m not even gonna try searching for it, so….to the questions!

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

I think it’s this copy of the Harry Potter books because my dad got it for me as soon as it was published. It’s one of few books I’ve kept on my personal shelves since my teen years.

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“City of Saints and Thieves” by Natalie C. Anderson

I read this in a buddy-read with Rachel from Life of a Female Bibliophile. We initially planned to read The Devourers by Indra Das together but after a few pages in, we realized it wouldn’t work well for a buddy-read. The pace was ploddingly slow, it’s character-focused, which I usually love, but neither one of us were interested in the characters. The story is interesting and my curiosity about what will happen next makes me tempted to complete it, but — ugh! — I really am not feeling it.

So we switched books. Rachel suggested City of Saints and Thieves and I decided to try it since I’d never heard of it or its author before. Unfortunately, the library branches close to my house didn’t have it in stock but eventually I was able to procure a copy from a different area.

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“Fool’s Fate” by Robin Hobb

It’s all done — the Tawney Man trilogy; and what a ride it was! I enjoyed every minute of it and am glad that I was able to share the journey with Emily from Embuhlee liest, who helped to make it even more enjoyable. It’s always fun to read a great book with someone who enjoys it as much as you do and such was the case with this trilogy. We raved about it the entire time and, when done, struggled to find words to express how much we enjoyed it all.

Fool’s Fate wraps up the Tawney Man trilogy, but the story does not end here. Despite how the end made me feel, it does continue in another series — the Rain Wild Chronicles, which Emily and I plan to start soonish. But first, my thoughts on Fool’s Fate.

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I Heart Characters! #5: Mentor Me, Minor Character!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani at Perspective of a Writer to share our love of great characters. Each week, Dani will assign a topic/type of character that we must find examples of in the various media we consume (books, TV shows, movies, comics, podcasts, etc.).

Last week’s topic:

A minor character who needs their own story 

(Any character I want an expanded story about.)

Oh…this one is a toughy. There are so many to choose from. Well, since I’m on a Robin-Hobb kick at the moment, I choose….

Chade Fallstar

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Top 5 Wednesday #25: Future Classics

Woah! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey and now managed by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic:

Future classics: What books do you think with stand the test of time?

I don’t think all books that are considered a classic have withstood the test of time. Some of them have aged and do not appeal to modern readers and clash with modern sensibilities (thinking of She by H. Rider Haggard. Hate that book).

However, I do believe that classics are books that are not only a product of its time but remains relevant throughout the years and, in some cases, is also a forerunner or has sparked a change in some way. So for me, here are the books I think will be considered classics.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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