Wishes for My TBR Pile #19: Why the Odd Name?

Wishes for My TBR Pile is a monthly post where I list and sometimes discuss the books I’ve discovered and would like to get and read.

I usually publish these posts at the end of every month, but I got off track last year. Though I didn’t publish one in January, I plan to upload a Wishes for My TBR Pile post every month going forward.

I just realize how odd the title of these posts is: Wishes for My TBR Pile. I have several TBRs. The largest is my to-read list on Goodreads, where I add every book I have a slight interest in reading. Every now and then, I weed out the ones I’m no longer curious about or would like to read. I count the unread books on my bookshelves as my TBR pile, which is what these posts refer to. The books I list here are books I’d really like to purchase and set on my shelves and probably read. Lol!

I’m just being honest. I often buy books I’m excited about and forget to read them. Lately, I’ve started visiting the library, which is helpful in making me read books I’m interested in. After all, if I borrow a book and return it to the library unread, I will be angry with myself for wasting my own time, though no money was spent. Ironically, this doesn’t happen with books I’ve bought and left languishing on my shelves unread for years.

Anyway, here are the books I added to my Goodreads TBR list and wish to add to my TBR pile, since my last post:

The White Hart by Nancy Springer

This is an old fantasy novel that was first published in 1979. I forgot who told me about it or what about it interested me, but I assume the dragon was part of the reason why I added it to my TBR. The synopsis on Goodreads doesn’t really state what this book is about, but these buzz words caught my attention: “Old Ones” (I guess beings so old they don’t even have names. I like that), “Book of Suns” (sounds like an era in the story; sounds interesting).

Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly

A young-adult fantasy novel about a teenage girl whose adopted mom is a wicked witch. Camellia doesn’t want to be like her mother, but when her mom sets loose a demon in their city, Camellia may have to cast spells to capture him. This one sounds fun and I’m always interested in stories about witches. Plus, I like the cover.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker, illus. by Jon Klassen

A children’s story about a fox and a boy during a war (synopsis didn’t say which war). It seems like a sweet story and it was very popular after its publication last year. I’ll borrow this from the library, if I see it on my next visit.

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

As the title suggests, this is a nonfiction book about poor Whites in America. The book was published last year, but it’s this 2014 article that appeared in The Huffington Post, which I read last year, that made me interested in it. I’m curious to see what the book has to say about classism in America.

The Goat’s Tale by P.J. Hetherhouse

A fantasy novel inspired by Celtic mythology, Arthurian legend, and astrology. 😀 It sounds awesome!! I discovered it in a review on Cover to Cover, where Liz gave it a glowing review and rated it 5 stars, which was helpful, but I was pretty much sold on the Celtic mythology and astrology.

The Anvil of the World by Kage Baker

Seems to be a fantasy novel about a retired assassin who agrees to be the master of a caravan travelling from an inland city to a seaside one. I don’t know what made me add it to my TBR, but the synopsis mentions bloodthirsty “Children of the Sun” and I’m always curious about creatures associated with the sun so that’s probably why I added the book.

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

A young-adult fantasy novel about a boy magician-in-training who gets in over his head when he summons a djinni to help him avenge a magician who publicly humiliated him. I often see this book cover around, so much so that it feels familiar and I can’t tell if I’ve read the book before or not.

The Liszts by Kyo Maclear, illus. by Júlia Sardà

A children’s picture book about a family that loves making lists…? That’s what I got from the synopsis. It’s the bright, bold illustrations on the cover that caught my attention and made me add it to my TBR. I first saw it in a YouTube video and since then, it’s been haunting me in every book store I visit.

The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

I learned of this recently published book in an author interview on Naz’s Read Diverse Books blog. The cover caught my eye. It’s a young-adult fantasy novel about Portia and her twin sister who’re transported to ancient Egypt when Portia touched a scarab beetle during her history class. It sounds interesting, but I placed it on my TBR because it made me think of this young-adult fantasy book I read and enjoyed as a teen — Blossom Culp and the Sleep of Death by Richard Peck.

Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance by Oliver Bowden

I wanted more Assassin’s Creed after watching the movie (released last year), but I didn’t want to play the games — I suck at video games, — so I was excited to learn that there are books based in the Assassin’s Creed universe. I believe Renaissance is the first book. It has received mixed reviews, so I’ll borrow it from the library and see how it goes.

Klaus by Grant Morrison, illus. by Dan Mora

When I saw the cover of this, my immediate thoughts were “Badass santa? I must read it!” I discovered this comic in an Unbound Worlds post on sci-fi/fantasy books for Christmas. The story draws on Viking and Serbian lore to tell the tale of Santa Claus’s origin. Super cool! However, the sentence that made me immediately add this book to my TBR was this (from the Unbound Worlds post):

And really, who doesn’t love a Santa who crafts all of his toys during an extended drug trip brought about by a hallucinogenic stew?

Aahhaaa!! Sounds like it will be a crazy read! 😀

Here by Richard McGuire (illus.)

A graphic novel that tells the story of a corner of a room and its inhabitants. I discovered this in a YouTube video and immediately placed it on my TBR. I believe the story and structure of the graphic novel will be very different from any I’ve since tried.

Comics Roundup #14: Identity Crisis

identity-crisisAnother superhero comic set in the DC Universe that I borrowed from a co-worker. This one includes the Justice League and other superheroes and villians that I’m vaguely familiar with, but despite my lack of knowledge about the characters and the universe, I was still able to enjoy the story.

Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, illus. by Rags Morales with inks by Michael Bair, letters by Ken Lopez, and colors by Alex Sinclair. The original series covers were by Michael Turner.

Genre:

Action/adventure; science fiction

Goodreads summary:

When the spouse of a JLA member is brutally murdered, the entire super-hero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets! But before the mystery is fully solved, a number of long-buried secrets rise to the surface, threatening to tear apart and divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

This one was fun. I enjoyed reading it and I’m pretty sure readers who’re more familiar with the characters in the DC Universe will enjoy it more than I did.

Continue reading

Comics Roundup #13: Revenge of the Green Lanterns

revenge-of-the-green-lanternsHere’s another superhero comic book my awesome co-worker introduced me to. I enjoyed the first one he leant me, Superman: Red Son, so I started this one with high hopes. Unfortunately, I didn’t think it was great. I can’t tell if it’s the story that sucked or if I had unrealistic expectations of it after reading Red Son and so expected too much.

Goodreads synopsis:

Hal Jordan–the Green Lantern of space sector 2814–has much to atone for. Possessed by an alien entity, Jordan once dismantled the entire Green Lantern Corps, killing many friends in the process.

Now he has regained the trust of his friends and allies and is rebuilding his life as a member of the Corps, a defender of Earth and a human being.

But fate won’t let Jordan move beyond his past. The Green Lanterns Jordan thought he had killed may still be alive…and crying for blood.

Now, to save the missing Lanterns, Jordan will travel deep into the heart of enemy territory and take on yet another threat from his past. But if he survives, the reward may be much greater than just redemption. (Goodreads)

Continue reading

Book Haul #31: Last Is First

Remember the last time I posted a bookhaul and said that it would be the last one for the year? I lied.

Well, technically I was telling the truth because that was the last bookhaul I posted last year, but y’all know I meant that I wouldn’t buy any more books. (And technically some of these books were bought before I posted that bookhaul so…)

Anyway, here are the books I got pre- and post-Christmas.

bookhaul-23-2

Continue reading

Comics Roundup #12: Solo

I’m not a huge fan of superheroes. I’ll watch the movies whenever they are in theatres because I love the graphics and fight scenes, but other than that I’ve never expressed much interest in learning their stories. Therefore since I started reading comics, I’ve never been inclined to pick up any based on superheroes (except Watchmen because Brandon Sanderson and his buddies said it’s great). However, a couple weeks ago a coworker leant me Superman: Red Son saying that I would enjoy it and though I was skeptical about it at first, I’m glad I gave it a try.


superman-red-sonSuperman: Red Son by Mark Millar, illus. by Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett (pencils), Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong (inkers), and Paul Mounts (colorist)

Genre:

Action/adventure; science fiction

Quick overview:

Superman: Red Son is Mark Millar’s reimagining of the superhero’s story, in which Superman is a proponent of communist values, rather than an all-American superhero.

In this comic, Superman is raised on a collective farm in Ukraine and later becomes a leader of the Soviet Union who strongly believes in socialism and strives to expand the Warsaw Pact. Concerned about the wellbeing of his people, he decides to keep them all safe by building them a utopia, where he protects them from all dangers and alters the minds of those who oppose his government. And because of his superpowers, he is successful in this goal.

However, despite minimizing crime and disease in the lands under his control, there are some (Lex Luthor and the Americans) who believe Superman is a control freak with a god complex so they plot to undermine him. But it’s hard to defeat one as powerful as Superman and one wonders how they’ll outwit him.

Continue reading

comics-roundup-11-collage

Comics Roundup #11: Doubts and Fears

It took a while for me to decide on the topic for this comics roundup post. I read them at different times (one for Halloween, the other because I saw it at the library a while back), but decided to review them together because they have many similarities. Though one is explicitly horror and the other strikes me as magical realism, both tap into our fears, what powers our fears, and our doubts about our capabilities. Also both include prominent characters battling mental illness and show the value of strong relationships. And both authors’ first name is Scott.


WytchesWytches, Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder, illus. by Jock with colors by Matt Hollingsworth

Genre:

Horror

Goodreads overview:

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the remote town of Litchfield, NH, to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.

Continue reading