What I’m Reading – July 2017

*This site is monetized. Any links in this post are likely to be affiliates.

Happy Independence Day to my American friends!  To everyone else…HIHI! 🙂 I was going to initially say June was a slow month for me…until I started gathering all of the images for the post and realized that…nope…I actually read quite a bit…so bear with me while I try to be concise!! What I Read Born with Teeth – A Memoir (audiobook) Autobiography of Kate Mulgrew read by the author. Deeply fascinating and moving…I learned so much about Kate Mulgrew that I never knew before. I’ve only ever known her as Captain Janeway, but now there’s so much more to her than I ever realized before. Definitely worth a read… Definitely worth listening to the audiobook even more. There is nothing like hearing an actress tell her story in her own words.  I’ve heard a rumor that she’s planning to continue on with her memoir (this one concludes around season 5 of Voyager)…if she does, I’m all in. Star Wars: Rogue One (A junior novelization audiobook) Grabbed this on impulse at the library because…it was there. I really enjoyed the movie and thought I’d enjoy this one. I was right.  The narrator was good and easy to listen to. Despite being a “Junior” novelization, the story didn’t feel lacking in any way, shape, or form. It covered all the key points of the movie, left nothing out, and added to the depth of the story in just the right places. I liked getting into the mind of some characters more than you do just seeing them on the screen. Great movie, and a great book.   We Come Apart Ooof. As soon as I saw Sarah Crossan’s name on this one, I knew I had to try to get it…and I started reading it within hours of being approved. After all, I’d truly loved (despite all the wild feels) her book, One…and though I knew nothing about Brian Conaghan…I was more than happy to read another of Crossan’s stories in poetry form. I’m not sure what I expected out of this…but I didn’t get it…I got something better. You’re immediately thrown into the sort of mindset these two teenagers are in. Nicu is clearly foreign as his verses are all broken English and strange phrases. The connection between the two starts slow, and builds into a snowball. I couldn’t put it down. *Copy attained via netgalley. All opinions are my own.   The Ocean at the End of the Lane While at the library looking for something else to read…I did a search for quick reads. This one came up, the library had it, and I’d been wanting to try some Gaiman. So glad I did. This was quite startlingly engrossing. I stayed up until almost 3AM to finish it once I sat down with it.  A strange mix of fairy tale and reality, the flashback of a story. Honestly, I don’t even know how to begin to describe it. It’s just a book you need to read. * Wake of Vultures (The Shadow #1) This was a re-read for me. I read it a couple of years ago, but wanted to reread it so I could read the second because the third book in the series will be out this year. A couple years ago I picked it up on a blind read from the library because of the cover and loved it. I think I forgot in the interim how much I enjoyed it.  This is such a fascinating blend of paranormal and historical. It’s not a romance, but there’s definitely romantic elements, there’s a resolution, but there’s no complete ending…and the… Okay, all I have to say this is the most literal of cliffhangers ever. Onto the next. ASAP. * Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Audiobook) What can I say? I’m addicted to audiobooks.  The silly thing is, I could just go into the library and take out the CD’s of this series..but I just put them on hold through Overdrive and wait with anticipation…getting the next one is like a little (free) Christmas present every couple of months. 🙂 As usual, the audiobook did not disappoint. I even enjoyed hearing the story over either watching or reading it directly. I’m not sure how or why the narrator made it so much more enjoyable, but he did…and I looked forward to turning on my app every day. Locke & Key vol’s 1-3 My friend, JoAnne, from book club recommended these graphic novels. At first, I wasn’t sure…but volume one, Welcome to Lovecraft, sucked me in quickly, and leaving things as it did, I couldn’t wait to pick up book 2.  I’m on volume 4 as we speak, but have slowed down this first week of July.  However, they’re all due next week so I expect to have them done soon. Onto the stories themselves….creepy and dark, plenty of weird twists. The kids are in on it all, the adults mildly oblivious. Tragedy, terror, and complete utter weirdness is on every page of these GN’s and it’s fabulous. A Year & a Day of Everyday Witchcraft and Supermarket Sabbats I might have threatened to scratch out netgalley’s eyes if I didn’t get Deborah Blake’s book here. I’m a huge fan, she’s my friend on Facebook…and I just wanted it.  Thankfully, Netgalley complied, and I gobbled this book up FAST. As usual, Deborah’s voice, even in non-fiction like this, was warm and welcoming, easy to read when you’re reading a sort of devotional (but so not a devotional at the same time).  The daily tasks suggested were completely doable in a day, and the lessons wonderful. I have full designs on getting this in print so I can use it every day. Supermarket Sabbats also had an easy voice to read, and some great tips on at-home rituals. Another great reference book that I’d like to get for my overflowing shelf. *Both these books were received free via netgalley. all opinions are my own. A Few Graphic Novels from an A to an “eh”-worthy D Spill Zone – I’ve wanted this one for a while now…I don’t know, the cover appealed to me, the familiar author (though I’ve only read Uglies)…either way, this was a great, different post-apocalyptic world to explore. The characters were great, the artwork was wonderful, edgy and slightly abstract in all the right ways. I’m anxious to read book two to see where this goes. Poe – A graphic novel depiction of some of Poe’s stories and poems. They were stunningly dark, appropriately dreary, and I’m a sucker for anything Poe-related. Definitely worth a read if you like Poe. *received via netgalley. Opinions are my own. Artful – A weird vampire-filled take on the Artful Dodger story.  The artwork was…choppy to me. Perhaps it was intentional, but I didn’t enjoy it or the vampire storyline. I know that’s a “thing” now to do classics with monsters…but it’s not my thing. *received via netgalley. Opinions are my own. What I’m Reading Now Star Wars – Aftermath Set after the events of Return of the Jedi. The narrator on this is awesome…he’s the same that did the Junior novelizations of the original trilogy and his voice acting is AMAZING. Anyhoo…I’m only about 20% in so I can’t say much about where the story is at…but I am highly intrigued. I love that it starts with a “known” character in Wedge before bringing in unfamiliar characters. Nice touch. Now I just have to finish before it’s due in 10 days. Locke & Key vol’s 4-6 I’ve already started on 4…but need to get on the ball. These books are due in about 5 days and I’m out of renewals. Really, really enjoy this dark and twisty series, I just fell out of my reading zone for a couple of weeks. I think I needed a breather. Anyhoo, back at it today. Watch me burn through those pages.   Zeroes Hey, look at that…I seem to be on a Westerfield kick these days (I have Pretties on my bookshelf waiting for me). So far Zeroes is decent. I’m really  not far in…this is a LONG book. Hopefully I get it done before it’s due back at the library. Teens with magical powers that don’t make sense and aren’t exactly what you’d call “awesome” as they often hurt more than they help…but they banded together…then fell apart. This is apparently about how they end up beginning to pick the pieces back up.   Growing Wings I read and reviewed book 1 sometime back…I was super excited to get on the review team for book 2…when it was supposed to be out on July 19th.  Yeah, it released yesterday and I’ve read like half a chapter because I wasn’t in the zone. Still, I have started it and am super excited to see where the story goes. I’ll definitely let you know when I do. 😉 *copy received free via the author. all opinions are my own. * The Book of Broadway I love all things Broadway. So this is a no-brainer. It is HUGE and not at all in chronological order…so I’m trying to get used to that. Should be a quick read, though…even if it is on my computer only (hate books like that unless they’re graphic novels). * *~* I’m going to spare you the what I’m reading next list since this is already huge, I’m running behind for work, and all of that jazz. See you next month!   Read more »

What I’m Reading – June 2017 (Part 2)

And I’m back with the books I read in May!! Once again there’ll be none of the what i’m currently reading or reading next…because that would make this crazy long….so onto Part 2… What I Read In May Beauty in Summer, Beauty in Autumn, & Beauty in Winter (Beauty #’s 2,3, & 4) As I mentioned last week, I picked these up on a whim on my way out of town. As a whole I enjoyed the series. I enjoyed 1 & 3 most (Spring & Autumn).  Those two had backstory, something…more…to them. For me, Summer and Winter were more sex for sex’s sake. It was “mates meet and that’s all she wrote.” They know nothing about each other, but sure, let’s bond for life. While they were short reads, I still want more substance to my smut.  Beauty in Autumn delivered that for me, Summer and Winter did not. Overall, I enjoyed the series, though. Fun, quick reads. Joyride vol. 1 I had no idea what I was getting into when I requested this one from netgalley. I paid pretty much no attention to the blurb, and only noticed the top half of the cover. Let’s just say I was on a graphic novel requesting spree, and this fell into the pile. I’m glad it did, though. It was fun, unexpected, and different. The fact that the Joyride is in a spaceship, and that the heroine is a ‘devil may care’ person bursting through life, and into the hearts of her both willing, and unwilling, compatriots, were unusual enough to keep my attention. Danger peered around every corner, and the resolution of each situation was swift, but not so swift that I found it inane. I’m definitely interested enough to want to get the next in the series. *Copy attained via netgalley. All opinions are my own.   The Wendy Project A surprising take on the Peter Pan story, in graphic novel form, in a contemporary setting. I realized none of this when I requested it, but quickly realized what it was as I got into the heart of the story. The artwork in this graphic novel is lovely. The mix of black and white and color to maintain the essence of what the story is really brings things into perspective. About love and loss, grief and acceptance. The story, its message, and its artwork all combine into a lovely graphic novel well worth the time. *Copy attained via netgalley. All opinions are my own.   Wires and Nerve vol. 1 A graphic novel that is, I didn’t realize, a continuation of The Lunar Chronicles (which I have not read). I only knew it was by Marissa Meyer, and that the cover looked cool, and I was seeing it EVERYWHERE. So when I spotted it at the local library, I picked it up. Unfortunately, like most super-popular things, I have never been one to go crazy over the Lunar Chronicles (as is evidence by my partially read copy of Cinder that has been sitting on my shelf for years, as I found it “meh” and never finished).  The graphic novel itself isn’t so much a standalone as it referenced the series ALL.THE.TIME. That is to be expected as an extension of the original series, but I felt like I should have seen the massive spoiler alert on the cover (my fault for blind-grabbing). Either way, I didn’t find this overly exciting, even with the inclusionof creatures and ships and such. The artwork was stunning, but the story itself fell flat for me, I’m afraid.  I think this would be PERFECT for fans of Meyer. Unfortunately, I am not yet one. Gretchen (Zombillenium 1) Just look at that stunning cover. How could you go wrong? Add in a creature-filled zombie theme park, some clueless normal’s, a witch, a secret mission, and the ultimate creature being created… Well, it was a fun little romp in the graphic novel realm for sure.  Short but sweet, fun and slightly weird, all in all just how i like them. The artwork is gorgeous, the characters are interesting and fleshed out. Glad I picked this up on a whim at the library. * The Descendants vol 1 (Manga style) Anyone that’s a fan of the movie will easily enjoy this version of the story.  The artwork is fun, and the story is true to the movie. A new way to see it all over again. It was fun, and cutoff with a little of a cliffhanger. Would definitely grab it for my GN & Disney loving middle one. *copy received free via netgalley. All opinions are my own. *~* That’s it for what I read in May. Even fewer than in April (although I may have accidentally put a few May reads in my April post by mistake. It’s a lot of books and I get confused, even with GR helping tell me when I finished something. lol. Anyway, it’s back to regularly scheduled programming next month, and I have hit a milestone number in my books read for the year. 🙂   Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

What I’m Reading – June 2017 (Part 1)

  Okay, so here’s the deal. Like I said on my last summary, I went out of town at the end of April/beginning of May and thus I had no recap in May. Not even a week late. It just didn’t happen. It was expected, but now I have to play catch up, and I’m up to 90-something books read this year as of June 9th and I’m not sure how many the past couple of months (although my vacay did slow me down. Spending time with my bestie and Mickey Mouse wins out over reading…yup. Anyhoo….) So onto what I’ve read.  I won’t be doing a “reading now” or “reading next for this post to try to shorten it up a little…and I’ll put those down in a later part of my June reading posts!  Now for the massive list…Part 1… What I Read In April The Hockey Saint & Hockey Karma (Forever Friends #’s 2 & 3)   Back in April’s list, I mentioned the first book in this graphic novel series – Stereotypical Freaks. I really enjoyed that story. I liked the way the kids were depicted and how the events transpired. I was happy to get the next two in the series. The Hockey Saint takes the MC from Stereotypical Freaks into college. His life is drastically different here, and the explanation toward why took some time to come by. I enjoyed the story and the introduction of the “Hockey Saint” mentioned in the title. My only issue with this one was the lack of mention of his friends from high school with any significance. Hockey Karma, however, really knocked it out of the park. Not only did it wrap up the story line and characters from The Hockey Saint, it brought in, with force, all of the characters from Stereotypical Freaks. It was a GREAT, inclusive wrap up to the series. I’m super thrilled to have now connected with the author, Howard Shapiro on twitter. I’m looking forward to his next GN with quite some anticipation. *Both graphic novels were received via netgalley. All opinions are quite definitely my own.  Beauty In Spring (Beauty #1) So…you know when you’re about to go on a trip, and get on a loooong flight, and even though you have 5 bajillion books on your kindle, you have a $9 GC burning a hole in your pocket…and thus…you shop. And you impulse buy books based on covers, don’t bother looking at the blurbs or anything? Yeah, that’s what happened with this series. I bought all four. No clue about anything but the pretty covers and that they were modern takes on Beauty & the Beast. Turns out they were very short erotic stories. Not a problem, just not my norm…and shocking when you’re reading in the close quarters of a packed flight to California. ~ahem~ Anyway, this is the first in the 4 book series of 4 different tales of Beauty & her Beast. This one I enjoyed. There was just enough of a connect, a backstory, and a reason to believe these two could make something happen for the sex to make sense. Definitely glad I picked this one up! 😀   Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Audiobook)   I’d heard rave reviews of the voice actor on the HP audiobooks and thusly sat in line for this book for MONTHS and MONTHS…only to find out I could have just picked it up on CD at my local branch at any time. ~ahem~  Well, then… Short of it, I did enjoy the audiobook of my favorite series, although I wasn’t fall-over crazy about the narrator. It was fun to have the book come alive in a new way for me, and I’m looking forward to listening to the others in the series as well. Definitely books that will remain on my audio-listening list throughout the whole series. 🙂 Real Friends An endearing memoir in the form of a graphic novel that I quickly encouraged both of my girls to read. It’s a story of a group of friends and how they change throughout those challenging middle school years. The story centers around one young lady, Shannon, and how relationships with her friends change over time. From her friends, to her sister, to herself. At times achingly real (and familiar), I read this one fast. *received via netgalley. all opionions are my own. * The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder Oh, how I am a Wilder fan. She helped infuse my love of reading into a strong passion when I was young. I read her books over and over and over again…so many times, my copies are well-worn, dog eared, nearly spine-less. They make me happy. So, when I saw this on netgalley, I couldn’t help but try for it, and wish and hope that I would get approved (they seriously need an area where you can add your begging and pleading in if necessary). I was thrilled when I was approved. A non-fiction book that goes into detail about the world Laura lived in. From plants to locations, it covers a lot of ground (pardon the pun). I imagine it is a good, thick book to have along with your other Laura books (like biographies, etc, that might be filling your shelves).  I really enjoyed this and hope to one day get it in hardback so I can reference it the next time I read the series. *received via netgalley. all opionions are my own. A few okay graphic novels I read A few of my more lackluster graphic novel reads for the month ought to be mentioned. Star Wars Darth Vader – Vader. I got it through Kindle Reads and thought it looked interesting…but meh. The story didn’t excite me and I found it rather annoying. Too much Anakin in this Vader, maybe? I dunno..but bleh. The Creeps – not good for a semi-paranoid person to read. There’s a lot of “normal fears” realized into images. Just…no. Although it did live up to its title of “The Creeps.” *netgalley copy. opinions are my own. Look – It wasn’t bad…it was actually sort of cute, but quite very predictable and had the feeling of “I’ve seen this story a million times before.” *netgalley copy. opinions are my own. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 vol. 4 – Pfffft. Turned me off to the comics, I even took the rest of the season back (of course, I was also heading out of town and didn’t want to leave anything lying around)…but still. I’m not in a rush to get the rest of the series back into my hands.   A few pretty good graphic novels The Castoffs – Mage against the Machine – My least favorite of these three, but still an enjoyable read. Magic and hidden talents, and learning the value of friendship and trust were at the forefront here. *netgalley copy. opinions are my own. Fire Starters – I’m not even sure I read the blurb on this, so the Native American portion of the tale caught me by pleasant surprise. A brutally honest look at what could/has happened when a business right near the reservation burns down and blame is tossed around. *netgalley copy. opinions are my own. Elves vol. 1 – Another I grabbed without reading the blurb. I mean, look at the gorgeous blue elf on the cover! The story was good, but confusing and time-jumpy. I wanted more cohesiveness to the stories told within…but I’d probably get vol. 2 if I saw it. *netgalley copy. opinions are my own.     *~* That’s it for what I read in April. Not as much because of trip planning and packing and all sorts o’ stuffs. May I picked it back up and I’m in another good groove for June. 😀  Next week I’ll show May’s reads for you!  Then maybe the week after I’ll give you a glimpse into what I’m reading and plan to read so you’re prepared for my June’s display of much reading 😉   Read more »