Book Haul #44: A Lil’ More, a Lil’ Less

It’s my second book haul post of the year!! 😀 Lumping these hauls together is working out well because these days I purchase less books and borrow more from the library.

However, this particular book haul post might not illustrate that fact since it includes books acquired in March and April, one of which was my birthday month and I HAD to treat myself to some books. Also, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Book Outlet gave me coupons and I HAD to use them. There’s no way I’m gonna get a coupon for buying books and not use it. That would be crazy. And wasteful.

Well, this is a pretty great haul of books, so lemme stop blabbing and get to it.

**The book titles below are linked to Goodreads. If the book isn’t listed on Goodreads, it will be linked to whatever website I find that provides the best description of it. Any I’ve reviewed are linked to my review.**

Purchases/Gifts

NoVa YA Book Festival and Birthday

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“Tess of the Road” by Rachel Hartman

I was excited for this one. I’m a fan of Hartman’s Seraphina duology, which is a YA fantasy duology about a girl trying to accept who she is. That duology is set in a world where dragons can adopt human form, but in some countries in the world, relation between humans and dragons is quite tense.

I enjoyed those books for their detailed writing and for introducing me to such an interesting world, which we get to explore more in the duology’s second book, Shadow Scale, which explores more of the world as well as the region where the dragons live.

I was sad when the duology ended, but was excited and hopeful when I heard of Tess of the Road, a new book set in the same world. I once again looked forward to Hartman’s detailed writing and to explore more of the world. But sadly, I didn’t enjoy Tess’s book as much as Seraphina’s.

Goodreads summary:

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

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Tough Travels #7 & #8: Minions & Mentors

I fully intended to do a Tough Travels post last month and the month before that, but time got away from me so I didn’t get a chance to sit down to it. But, as the saying goes, better late than never. Here are the Tough Travels posts I’ve since missed.

Tough Travels is a monthly meme that recommends fantasy books based on tropes, themes, and clichés cited in Diana Wynne Jones’s The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. The meme was created by Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn and is now hosted by Fantasy Faction. (The meme will move to the Fantasy Hive in January.)

Since I haven’t read many fantasy books, I instead create my list at the end of the month, after reading everyone else’s, and include recommendations from them that are interesting to me. However, I now realize that not as many bloggers participated for these topics, so I’ll have to get creative about finding recommendations.

October’s theme:

Minions

Minions of the DARK LORD can be male or female, though he tends to favour males (who seem to be more susceptible to the Evil One’s wiles). They can take many forms: BAD KINGS, ENCHANTRESSES, HIGH PRIESTS, EUNUCHS, DUKES, REGENTS or WITCHES. Additionally, there are the non-human minions, such as ORCS, TROLLS, GOBLINS and random OTHER PEOPLES . . . not to mention MUTANT NASTIES, carefully selected MONSTERS, UNDEAD, and DEMONS.

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Top 5 Wednesday #21: Vampire and Scary Non-Horror Books

Yeahie!! 😀 It’s Top 5 Wednesday on a Thursday, which means life is very busy at the moment.

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.

Since I didn’t do a post last week, though I really wanted to, I’ll start off this week’s post with last week’s topic:

Books with paranormal creatures

I’ve surprised myself. I now realize that I haven’t read many paranormal/supernatural novels. I jump around so much in the genres I read that I haven’t read much of any one genre. Fantasy is a recent exception because it’s since committing myself to blogging that I began to read more of it. Fantasy has always been a favorite but prior to blogging, I mostly reread my favorite novels instead of trying new ones. And though rereading is fun, it’s also a bit of a hindrance when blogging because it limits the variety of books I can recommend. Thus, my lists here will contain many books I’ve previously mentioned.

Anyway, for this topic I chose books that feature vampires. Starting with…

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Top 5 Wednesday #20: Witches and Creepy Places

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.

I wanted to post last week, but was too busy so this is a combination of last week’s and this week’s topics.

First, let’s start with last week’s topic:

Witches

As a lover of fantasy, I, of course, enjoy reading about witches. Human wielders of magic greatly attract me to the genre and though witches are usually portrayed as ugly, evil, vile creatures, they are my favorites to read about. Actually, I’d love to receive more book recommendations that center on witches, which is the main reason why I am excited to see this topic. Well, here are the books that came to mind:

Wytches, Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder, illus. by Jock

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Tough Travels #6: Dragons

My plan was to post this earlier in September, but since I was busy and hardly around in that month, this post is late and popping up in October. I love fantasy but haven’t read many fantasy novels to always have unique recommendations for the topics in this meme, so I usually wait until the end of the month to do my post so I can read everyone else’s and get recommendations from them. Doing this has caused me to add loads of books to my TBR. Well, maybe not loads, but definitely many.

I was excited for this topic because dragons are one of my favorite fantastical creatures. They come in many shapes and sizes with various abilities. Sometimes they contain knowledge and wisdom vaster than any human or other creature; sometimes they are simply animals, large and powerful or small and quick but cunning; other times they are spiritual beings or creatures able to take on human form.

September’s theme (late again): Dragons

The Tough Guide advises that Dragons are ‘very large scaly beings with wings and long spiky tails, capable of breathing fire through their mouths. They can be almost any colour or combination of colours, though green, red and black are preferred. They are always very old. Most of them seem to have flown to Fantasyland aeons ago across the void. This migration was almost certainly to get away from our world, where people would insist that they were dangerous monsters that had to be exterminated. Dragons, as all Fantasyland knows, are no such thing.’ Or are they?

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Tough Travels #5: Strongholds

Tough Travels is a monthly meme that recommends fantasy books based on tropes, themes, and clichés cited in Diana Wynne Jones’s The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. The meme was created by Nathan at Fantasy Review Barn and is now hosted by Fantasy Faction.

Since I haven’t read many fantasy books, I instead create my list at the end of the month, after reading everyone else’s, and include recommendations from them that are interesting to me.

August’s theme (I’m late, again):

Strongholds

The Tough Guide offers information on various kinds of fantasy strongholds. For example, you might be looking for castles, complete with ‘frowning battlements, slit windows and multiple defensible spiral stairways inside’ and which ‘occasionally adorn the heights for pictorial effect’.

Or perhaps towers, which ‘stand alone in waste areas and almost always belong to wizards.’ Towers are often ‘several stories high, round, doorless, virtually windowless, and composed of smooth blocks of masonry that make them very hard to climb. The Rule is that there is also a strong no-entry spell, often backed up by a guardian demon.

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