TBR Jar Draw October update 2


After finishing off last TBR Jar Draw pretty quick I decided to make another update this month. Sometimes more than one month passes between two books I read for TBR Jar Draw and it is also OK when I manage to read trough more than one book in a single month!

Last three titles from the jar were:

1 # A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin

2 # Suddenly by Candace Camp

3 # Bloodsuckers: The Vampire Archives (Vampire Archives #1)  by Otto Penzler


I chose to read Suddenly by Candace Camp. You can check my review HERE.

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

I got this book as a gift from a friend. I think was a review copy for someone. From what I gather it is a contemporary melancholy book. Right now my main motivation to read it would be to get it off my shelf. It is not something I would buy for myself to read.

Railsea by China Miéville

China Miéville is one of the authors my boyfriend reads. The only reason I put it in my TBR Jar was curiosity. It is technically a book that stands with my other books on my shelves so it fits the reading challenge. I never read this author and I like exploring something new.

The Gospel of Loki (Loki #1) by Joanne M. Harris

I got this book when it first came out years ago. I was intrigued by the author and the main character. Latter I read one of the books by Joanne Harris and my enthusiasm dropped down a bit. I even got the second book without ever reading the first one! I’m wondering should I get down to reading it and stop buying books in the series I haven’t even started reading.


I’m seriously thinking about making a culling and a giveaway of the books I have finished reading and will never consider reading them again. It might be a good project for next year as a direct result of my TBR Jar Draw reading challenge!

Suddenly – Book Review



by Candace Camp



I picked up this book for my TBR Jar Draw in October. This book surprised me. It surprised me to get it back form someone I supposedly borrowed it to – I never remembered owning it in the first place. In my curiosity I did something I don’t normally do – check out reviews of others. The reviews I ended up reading were quite harsh on the main female character. I did not have high expectation from this book because of it.


My copy of the book is what some would call – well loved. Edition is old enough to drink alcohol in most of the countries of the world and then there is the unmistakable yellow color on the pages of the book.


I could not help but notice some differences in writing style of a historical romance book from the nineties in comparison to the some books that were written in the last decade. It is very subtle, but there is a general pattern to the female heroins in historical romance fiction then and now. I love it when romance authors like to add some historical facts and interesting details to their work. Romance is still in the center of the story but the characters tend to flare into quirky a lot more in newer books than they did just ten years ago.


I was surprised to find that I disagreed with the harsh reviews and opinions about the main female character – Charity. I had to cringe on the cheesy name. The main male character – Simon Dure was only slightly developed and as the rest of the characters did not have much substance to him. I might have been too used to some more complicated plot twists and deeper characters. This book caught me off guard with more simple approach. Even with that said I cannot claim the book was boring or simple. The tropes it follows were more common decade and a half ago but they were well executed.

Charity is blond, too good to be true, fair, only slightly naive, and very much competent to fend of physical attacks. She is also completely virginal and unaware of her own beauty. Simon is a thirty year old widower with short temper and rumors of have murdered his own first wife. Their steamy scenes were a bit exaggerated for my tastes but were interesting enough.

Neither one of the two characters is developed enough to have earned their flaws and character motivation. In this sense the book seemed a bit underdeveloped. As for the plot – that is something completely different. There are enough twists and turns in the plot to have made it interesting form me to the very end.



I might have had a different opinion of this book had I not been prepared for the worst. The cover was cheesy and while I wondered about the elements on it and how they fit in the book I was glad it was not just another cover with a woman and a man in some strange pose. I liked this book better than I expected. I liked that the plot was more than two characters meeting and falling in love until they get married. I might even think it made me look at the genre in a different perspective. All in all I’m glad I have read this book.

Reading plans by the end of the year


Making reading plans makes me feel energized and active. The activity of making lists is something I enjoy. This year’s Summer reading challenge made a good impression and I felt good about my reading and proud about the results. Mostly after finishing a book I have a few moments of being lost when I start thinking about what to read next.


Having an actual list is soothing and relaxing. I like having options and seeing my own progress. And lately I miss seeing my own progress in general. Marking off books I’ve finished reading makes me feel giddy and satisfied.

There are a number of factors that will influence my reading by the end of this year and because of that I will not give myself a time limit but only strive to have at least one book of the list I will be reading at all times.

Here is the list of the books I’ve made a priority to read:

Rogue (Shifters #2) by Rachel Vincent

The Witch With No Name (The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1)
by Rick Riordan, Robert Venditti,

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2)
by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #3) by Robert Venditti, Rick Riordan

Black Butler, Vol. 2 by Yana Toboso

Black Butler, Vol. 3 by Yana Toboso

Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card

Kitchen Princess Omnibus, Vol. 3 (Kitchen Princess #5-7) by Natsumi Andō

Shifting Shadows (Mercy Thompson Shorts) by Patricia Briggs

Serpent’s Kiss (Elder Races #3) by Thea Harrison

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake


I’ve chosen the books from my own shelves. All books are in the fantasy category and are mostly a part of the series I already love. The only exemption is science fiction Ender’s Game which I’m interested in for quite some time now – I borrowed the book and it is a first one in the series. The list includes graphic novels and manga editions which I wanted to add more but will keep them as a bonus on the side.


On a whim I decided to go with fifteen books as I had in my last challenge. The time I needed for fifteen books in my Summer reading challenge was around two months and that is exactly what I’m going for by the end of the year!

Wish me luck!

Stray – Book Review



(Shifters #1)

by Rachel Vincent



I was looking for a good urban fantasy series with a strong female lead. This book drew my attention few years ago when I first came across it on a friend’s GR feed. I liked the general description and supernatural elements that were announced. It took me years to finally get the actual copy of the book and read it.



Supernatural elements revolve around a groups of cat shifters – werecats, that are indigenous to American continents. I liked the little info on the backstory that author slipped in trough main characters musings. The main character is a college age female werecat Faythe, that is trying to get more independence from the rest of her werecat family.

At first her absolute persistence of having as least possible contact with the rest of her family comes out as annoying and whiny. She is multiple times mentioning how she had ran away in the middle of the night and how her efforts at being independent are thought to be childish and dramatic. Trough the book Faythe is slowly learning to approach the subject more clearheaded and get more approval and independence.

“The moment the door opened I knew an ass-kicking was inevitable. Whether I’d be giving it or receiving it was still a bit of a mystery.”
― Rachel Vincent, Stray

One of the first things that made me enjoy the book was a dedication at the beginning that included another favorite author of mine – Kim Harrison. The writing style did not disappoint. I liked how the author did not shy away from uglier issues and themes like rape. But the aggression issues sometime seem like they just fly past unnoticed. There was something empowering in how the main character handles herself in trouble but her actions seemed a bit confusing for me outside of the emergencies.



I got exactly what I wanted from the first book of the series and I have sequels on the way already. I enjoy the energy main character has and will be continuing reading the Shifters book series.

TBR Jar Draw October update


In September I decided to continue my ongoing TBR Jar Draw challenge. Istarted it out years ago when I wanted to concentrate more on reading the books I already own and dial down the number of unread books I had on my TBR list.

You can check out my first post on it HERE.

Last month I drawn three titles from the jar:

1 #  Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show by Glenn Yeffeth (Editor)

2 # The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)  by Brenda Pandos

3 # Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins

From them I choose to read The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1) by Brenda Pandos and other two titles go back in the jar!

emerald tbr

The Emerald Talisman (Talisman #1)

by Brenda Pandos


I had to look up when I got this book and while I knew it has been a few years; to see it was more than 5 years it was a bit surprising. This book was one of the first Kindle freebies I got and the cover was never really that appealing for me to start reading I guess. The book was slow and the first half of it seemed almost boring watching the main character going trough her daily life. The second half of the book starts introducing the supernatural elements at a faster pace. This difference between first half and the second made the book seem even more slow and boring and might make some readers give up…
Second part of the book gives a good insight into backstory of the supernatural elements and those are well made. I’m a bit ambivalent towards the main characters since they are very much erratic in their YA decisions.


My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

1 # A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin

I tried reading it when the TV show was just starting but had trouble concentrating in my reading since the TV show went faster than my reading. I pushed it back on the shelf to read after the hype of the TV show settles down. I have a hardcover edition in Croatian with a TV show jacket. I don’t think enough time has passed for me to give it another try…

2 # Suddenly by Candace Camp

I’m not sure I know how I got this book. One of my cousins returned it to me one day and said I lend it to them a while back. I have no memory of this. Book is well loved all worn and yellow. I might want to read it just so I can pass it on to someone else to read and make room for something else on my shelf.

3 # Bloodsuckers: The Vampire Archives (Vampire Archives #1)  by Otto Penzler

I remember snatching this book from a bookstore shelf along with two others. They make a trilogy of collection of short stories with a vampire theme. Among many unknown authors there are some well known and popular I never knew wrote short stories with vampires. I still like reading short stories and it might be time to take on these collections.


I like seeing progress with my TBR Jar Draw challenge no mater how slow. It gives me hope that I might get closer to reading all the books I have on my shelves.

Books turned into TV series hype!


The latest book series that have been announced to be turned into a TV series by Netflix is The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo also known as The Grisha Trilogy. Now, I must admit I have heard of this author and these books; but in the sea of other books and book series, this one just got lost as one of the many new books that I hear about. And these books aren’t even that new – the first book of the trilogy was published in 2012!


What got my attention is the news it will be turned into a TV series by Netflix and the casting news that included Ben Barnes. I have no clue what is the character “General Kirigan” that he is supposed to be playing. I tried a sample of first five chapters download on the Kindle and I liked it quite a bit! In those sample chapters there is a fan favorite character named The Darkling and some portals and news refer to Darkling as being the role Ben Barnes will be playing. I am interested and confused at the same time. Most of the other cast members I had to look up and was not familiar with their previous work. But to be fair I have only heard about some of the characters from various Booktube videos.


I was wondering on buying the Kindle edition of the first book Shadow and Bone since the price is amazingly low for a YA mainstream bestseller that has just been announced to be turned into Netflix show. Very tempting though it was I decided that I would probably want a paper copy and the rest of the series as well. This lead to another bookish shopping spree I will be writing more about when the books arrive.


I have no problems getting into the hype for some cool book series that is expanding by getting a TV series, a board game or any other non book medium. I like being a fan of things. I enjoy the happy and exciting emotions I get caught into because of a good story and fun characters. I have embraced my consumer role in being excited for promo videos, action figures, fan theories and rants. I will be enjoying the hype train all the way for this and I hope the TV series will be a success and the books will be popular enough to be translated to many languages and read a lot. I’m looking forward to an adventure in adapting the books to a TV series format with all the little annoying differences that some of the book fans will obsess about. And most of all I am looking forward to a great new story and amazing new characters I will get to meet along the way.


Books that inspired board games – Harry Potter


My home is filled with books and also board games. This is just one of the three walls I have filled with board games. When I’m not reading books I’m probably playing some board games. As is the case with book I love it when my board games have a good story I can get into. Books have always been an inspiration for other mediums so it is no surprise that lately there are quite a few board games that are inspired by books. Generally speaking fantastic genre is a very common theme in board games so it is natural that books with fantastic elements are more often source material for board games. Here are a few examples of board games that I own, play or I’m planing to get that are inspired by books.

img_20190921_145808.jpgDon’t judge my flawed Harry Potter books collection, I’m planing on getting the Hufflepuff editions whole set as it comes out!


Harry Potter book series have inspired more than few board games. but one that captured my interest the most are Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defence Against the Dark Arts. They are both very similar in their main mechanic of play – deck building. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle is designed for play with 2 – 4 players who work together and play trough seven chapters of the game based on the seven books of the series. It starts very simple and the game adds more complexity as the chapters move on. It is a very friendly game for beginners and Harry Potter fans and has a great replay value. There is an expansion for those who have played trough the game and want some more challenge – Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – The Monster Box of Monsters Expansion.


Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defence Against the Dark Arts uses the same mechanism and game symbols as the previous one. The main difference is that this one is designed to play with two players only. The two players compete one against each other while sparring on a dueling board using cards. Both of the games are visually similar and are illustrated with movie stills and pictures of actors who played the characters. For people who read the books or even just watched the films these game will be a fun way to revisit the Harry Potter universe in a new and exciting way.

71827738_515890789245377_5965328593364975616_n (1)Hufflepuff winning – Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – Defence Against the Dark Arts

There are some other Harry Potter themed board games that I have played or would like to try and one of them is an older collectible card game from 2001. – Harry Potter Trading Card Game. It is a fairly simple card game designed for two players. The game is inspired by books and the illustrations on the cards are very similar to the covers of first editions of Harry Potter books that are aimed at younger audience.


There is quite a few other board games that use the mechanics of the games that were already popular and have a Harry Potter theme pasted on them. some of them are:


Codenames: Harry Potter which is just another version of more popular Codenames Duet game for two players.


Munchkin: Harry Potter is a Munchkin based game for 3 to 6 players that targetes 17+ audience.


Harry Potter: Death Eaters Rising is a game that reimplements both Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War and Star Wars: Dark Side Rising. All three games are designed for 2 to 4 players and are cooperative. They all have a good table presence with one giant statue in the middle of the table that all the players are trying to win against together.

pic4017792Miniatures do not come painted and this is just an example of how they can look painted.

Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game is designed to satisfy players who like miniature games. This includes a growing collection of miniatures owners can paint and spent hours of immersing themselves in Harry Potter universe in a more immersive way.

I have intentionally decided not to include more known board games like Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble or Clue that can also be found. I like Harry Potter enough to enjoy most of these games and would give them a try if I have a chance to. For those who wish to know more about the games I mentioned above you can check out the BoardGameGeek info links below:

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle

Harry Potter™ Hogwarts™ Battle Defence Against the Dark Arts

Harry Potter Trading Card Game

Codenames: Harry Potter

Harry Potter Miniatures Adventure Game

If you have some bookish board game suggestions please send them my way or comment below 🙂