Book haul 1/2020 – Pretty new books!

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It’s barely February and I’ve already got myself a nice pile of new books. And these books are so pretty as well! The first book that arrived in 2020 was actually a late arrival from December 2019 – King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) by Leigh Bardugo. I’ve already read it and loved it and it has caused me withdrawal pain from the long period of waiting on the next book that is Grisha related from Leigh Bardugo!

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I used to buy mass market paperbacks only because they were cheaper and because I can fit more of them on the bookshelf. Even now I got a bookshelf that can fit exactly two rows of paperbacks on a single shelf and I love it!

Lately I’ve been indulging in buying some hardcover editions. I am simply swooned at how beautiful they are! I blame Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black! I was enamored into their books to wait on my usual mass market paperback editions! Holly Black’s Queen of Nothing had a six months (!) wait time for the paperback edition to come out!

I find Leigh Bardugo’s books especially beautiful! Just look at the Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) I got recently! If some other book series were as well designed I might have been forced to get more hardcovers!

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There is a problem I’m facing as a lover of some older urban fantasy book series is becoming an issue here. Some of them are out of print – Shift (Shifters, #5) by Rachel Vincent is sold out at my usual book buying places. This has left me with buying books three and six in the series while they are still available. Also they are different format sizes which sucks for the shelf placement.

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The last book that arrived just the other day was a pre-ordered mass market paperback of one of my favorite urban fantasy book series: Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11) by Patricia Briggs. The waiting time between the books for Mercy Thompson is almost a year for me now. The only thing that’s keeping me still when I see the new hardcover book in the series has come out; is a look at my shelf and all other books in mass market paperback editions I already own. I’m actually pleased at how nicely they fit there and the thought of getting just one new book in a different format leads to frustration of having them all in beautiful hardcover editions. The hobby of having some of my favorite urban fantasy book series complete in hardcover is not only really expensive but for some book series an extraordinary feat of good luck as well. As I’ve mentioned before, many of the books from the series are sold out and finding a hardcover edition in good shape is extra problematic for a book lover based in EU.

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It is a long standing fantasy that one day I will own my favorite book series in hardcover editions so I can reread them anytime I want without having to be very careful not to crease the spine of the book. It is a bookish peeve I guess but I get upset when my paperback editions get hurt and the spine of the book suffers damage.

In conclusion to this one month book haul in my defense I can say that I’ve read more books in January than I’ve bought! I’ve read seven books and bought six. From the new books I got I already read two and plan to read others soon as well!

Here is the list of the books I got:

Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson, #11) by Patricia Briggs

Pride (Shifters, #3) by Rachel Vincent

Alpha (Shifters, #6) by Rachel Vincent

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3) by Holly Black

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Bookshelves showcase 2019

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After finding some older pictures of my bookshelves I got a bit nostalgic. It was interesting to see the growth in the amount of books and how differently they look after moving into bigger space and with more bookshelves in general. Back then I had very little room to maneuver all the books I started hoarding and I used all nooks and crannies as places to hold books.

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As a part of blog site reconstruction I decided to photograph all my bookshelves as they are now. Only I will be putting more focus on the books themselves. One of the things that will need revision is the main cover photograph of the blog. It is quite old and I can’t seem to find the original picture anywhere.

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I made a new page under the Bookshelf porn category on this site and named it Bookshelves 2019 showcase. It shows most of my books and how they are placed on the shelves. If you are interested for more detail you can check it out HERE.

I have different editions of books. Some are in English and some in Croatian. Some editions I buy are strictly from American publishers and some book series I only buy UK editions of. For the books from Croatian publishers I try to pick hardcover editions if possible but there are exceptions to all of these when the opportunity presents itself. Most of the shelves are bare but I do keep some bookish related stuff among my books.

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My bookshelves are no longer crammed in any space I can fit them but spread more evenly in the space I live in. I deliberately choose white color for the bookshelves because it makes the books stand out more. Along with them I have many shelves filled with board games but those are a topic for some other post.

Boardgame introductions

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It all started out as a way to make something out of my free time. I have an account on Boardgamegeek.com and since last year I have been steadily uploading pictures of games I own. I have been into board gaming for a few years now and I even helped start a local board gaming club named Klub Titan Atlas.

You can check my BGG account –> HERE

In February I have tried out making short video introductions for boardgames. I found a free video building application named Bitable. At first I tried picking out some lighter and easier games I own. There is this quite annoying watermark on the videos since I have a free account. There is a paying option but I’m not sure how long will this making videos business last.

This is a link to my makeshift Youtube channel where I publish the videos:

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Here is a video I made for the game Bring Your Own Book

So far I have made a few videos per week. I hope to continue with making these short videos since I enjoy making them!

Any ideas what game would you like to see as one of these short videos?

RPG novelizations

 

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I enjoy playing RPG games both pen and paper versions or in the form of video games. RPG (Role Playing Games) usually have a lot of background stories and interesting characters. Sometimes a certain character can bring out the whole RPG universe. One of the most prominent characters that do so is most definitely drow elf ranger Drizzt Do’Urden. He is one of the most important figures from Forgotten Realms universe. Here I must confess that the only book I’ve read from the whole 20+ The Legend of Drizzt books is the first one – Homeland. While I enjoyed finding out more about the character and his beginnings in the Underdark city Menzoberranzan ruled by unusually cruel matriarchal society, what stopped me from continuing with this book series was a fact that it was PG rated in accordance with American market demands. I have an issue with violence in books being ignored and sexual situations censored to the point of removing them altogether. I find it hypocritical and that ruins my reading mode.

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Trough the years I’ve taken an interest in some RPG novelization editions from the games I play.  Some I even started collecting with the desire to read some time in the future. As it happens with many books I buy the time passes and the books are left unread. Here are some of the books I’ve managed to collect that drive their inspiration from different pen and paper RPG settings.

 

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Elminster: The Making of a Mage

(Forgotten Realms: Elminster, #1)

by Ed Greenwood

I got really interested in this book series while I was playing Dungeons and Dragons Online video game. It was one of the expansions from the game where the character Elminster was introduced as narrator. I remember how the gaming experience soared and how awesome I felt while playing the game. Originally Elminster is one of the most popular characters from Forgotten Realms universe. He is not as known as Drizzt since he is usually depicted as an old mage. I have first three books and the fifth one from this series. I use the fact that I’m missing the fourth book as to why I haven’t started reading them yet…

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Sigvald

(Warhammer Heroes #4)

by Darius Hinks

While I’ve never played the actual Warhammer pen and paper or video game RPGs, I got interested in this universe while playing board game Chaos in the Old World. The mythology of this quite brutal setting made an impression on me so much that when I discovered this book in a bookstore by chance I just grabbed it and decided to buy it. The main character is aptly named Prince Sigvald the Magnificent. The warring theme is not one of my favorite but I am interested on how it all pans out.  Moral ambiguity and the intriguing main character are still looking at me from the shelf and patiently waiting to start with the reading…

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Amber and Ashes

(Dragonlance: The Dark Disciple #1)

by Margaret Weis

Back when I was a student I was working in a game store. Among many things they sold there were some fantasy books as well. This was one of my first RPG book purchases. It is also the only such book I own in hardcover. For some reason Dragonlance was never one of my favorite settings. I actually bought this book since it seemed interesting way to get myself more familiarized with Dragonlance. What sealed the deal for me was a slightly vampiric themed innuendo. This book series is a trilogy and I own the first and the third book. I remember reading the first but I’m unsure how far I’ve read trough. The fact that I can’t seem to find affordable second book in hardcover is another excuse not to finish the first book…

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I, Strahd: The Memoirs of a Vampire

(Ravenloft #7)

by P.N. Elrod

Strahd von Zarovich is one of the main protagonists in the Ravenloft universe. Ravenloft is a part of the Dungeons and Dragons setting with a bit of a macabre horror spin on things. It comes off as Dark Ages world with vampires, ghouls, lords and lieges array of characters. It is also one of my favorite settings to play RPG pen and paper campaign. I was delighted to hear it will be implemented into Dungeons and Dragons Online MMO video game this December. It made me interested in DDO again. This book is the only novelization I have from the book series that counts something over twenty books in total. I bought this book earlier this year on sale.

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While I enjoy good RPG games I realized that I am more than a little behind on reading the novelizations I own. This, naturally doesn’t mean that I don’t have some other novelizations on my wishlist! I would love to get my hands on some of the World of Darkness novels since I’m a huge fan of the RPG world and the vampire theme in general.

If you have some recommendations for RPG novelizations like those above please send them my way 🙂 In the meantime enjoy this picture of my RPG books!

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Reading in progress – July Update

This July a lot has happened and the ground under my feet shifted a little. For the last couple of months I’ve been rediscovering myself in more than just books. This has kept me from making regular posts.

My reading has taken a rather slow pace. I’m actually in the middle of reading of two books at the moment.

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Crimson Death (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #25)

by Laurell K. Hamilton

My pre-order of a long time favorite UF series Anita Blake the Vampire Hunter book 25. arrived this June. I’m about halfway trough. I’ve passed the 400 page mark out of 700+ pages. It is progressing slowly and it gives me much food for thought. I’m not devouring it like I did most of the books from this series and I think that means I’m evolving as a reader as well.

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Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1)

by Anne Rice

Even though I have not read much of it since I came back from my trip to Bratislava in June I still keep this book close by. Somewhere in the process of rearranging my bookshhelves last weekend my bookmark slipped out and I’m not sure on what page I’m on…I’m going to need to push myself a bit more on this one.

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I’ve taken a break from my RL book club meetings and assignments until I settle some issues. I’ve actually skipped the last one and did not finish the one that came before. Last few picks were hard and heavy.

I’m settling in to a new pace in life and have some promising ideas for August and more regular posting.

Spring pile of books!

I have gathered some of my books with the colors that represent spring time for me. The colors are green and yellow.

Green is for grass and budding trees, I like green color it calms me down. But I must admit it is a bit strange seeing it on a book cover – I still don’t think I have that many green books.

Yellow is for spring sun warming and shining on the green budding nature.

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Book series goals

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I do love a good book series and sometimes I just get a few books that are part of a series without even finding out much about them. I do this when they fit the fantasy and UF genre I love. And I do this when they are cheap to come by.

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For the moment I will not be discussing the chronic lack of space for the books I find myself in because of these irrational acquires …

After a while I have accumulated alarming number of book series I own and haven’t read trough yet, some I haven’t even started on, and some I just really want to read and don’t even have them on my shelf.

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I would never refuse a book gift and because of it I keep ending up with books that are part of a book series and rarely the first part at that. This way I have gotten a few third books in a trilogy, many second books, one book series I own book number one and number three in hardcover(!) just because they were cheap and look really pretty and now it is impossible to get book two in hardcover since they are old and sold out more than a decade ago!

The list of frustrations goes on and on…

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But then I remembered how good finishing reading a book series makes me feel. Instead of a depression that so many readers online complain about I get a feeling of accomplishment.

In the light of that, here are some book series that would make me feel good finish reading trough. Some of them I started reading ages ago and some I have yet to start on. Some are collecting dust on my bookshelves for far too long and some I have on my Kindle app. I imagine that some I will need to visit a library to get and some will be hard to find. These are my book series goals and finishing any of them will make me happy.

Starting off with a few from my bookshelf, those I have three or more and haven’t started them yet…

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Elminster saga by Ed Greenwood

This one has been on my reading list for years. This year I’ve gotten books one, two, three and five (!) This series is a part of Forgotten Realms universe and I’ve gotten the craving to read it since they added the main character to the Dungeons and Dragons MMO I’ve played. There are about eight books in this series.

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Dark Days by Jocelynn Drake

These first three books I have for a few years now. I found out about them from a Shelfari group I was a part of. Then I had a chance to buy book one and book three really cheap. After that I ordered second book and now I just need to start reading them. There are six books and two prequel novellas in this series. I actually read one novella and liked it!

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Elder Races by Thea Harrison

These were a Christmas present from a work friend. Many bookish friends online have only nice things to say about this book series. I have the first three and there are nine books all together with a bunch of short stories here and there in the series.

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Noble Dead by Barb & J.C. Hendee

These are first three books form one of the three different book series in the Noble Dead Universe. There are three different book series and this one has six books. I got all three on book sale.

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After making a list of all the book series that fit the categories above I managed to pen down more than twenty different book series!

Listing them all down would make this a really long post. And I would much more prefer to use that time to read something 🙂

Hopefully I will be bragging about making progress with some of these book series soon!

Christmas in January

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I’ve been on a bookish fast for the better part of the last year. Naturally I’ve managed to compensate for it in one single shopping spree!

Here is the result!

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Books I bought in January:

Sigvald (Warhammer Heroes #4) by Darius Hinks

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Freefall (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #1) by Joss Whedon, Andrew Chambliss, Georges Jeanty (Artist), Karl Moline (Artist)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: On Your Own (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #2)
by Andrew Chambliss (Creator), Scott Allie, Georges Jeanty (Artist), Cliff Richards (Artist), Joss Whedon (Executive Producer)

Spike: The Complete Series (Angel: After the Fall) by Brian Lynch, Nicola Zanni

The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan

Battle Lines (Department 19 #3) by Will Hill

Necroscope (Necroscope, #1) by Brian Lumley

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

Elminster in Myth Drannor (Forgotten Realms: Elminster, #2) by Ed Greenwood

The Temptation of Elminster (Forgotten Realms: Elminster #3) by Ed Greenwood

Elminster’s Daughter (Forgotten Realms: Elminster #5) by Ed Greenwood

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12) by Charlaine Harris

Now all I need is a spring cleaning spree to house them all properly!

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Classics I want to read

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There is always a certain satisfaction in grabbing a book that you have heard good things about. With certain book classics you have the package as well as a good book. I love when the book I’m reading comes in beautiful hardcover edition with golden or silver decoration and has that special feel to it. I like to see how people who made the book – not only the writer – took time and special care about how it will look like. Like the soft leather cover, beautiful illustrations or rich colors and bold font.

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This is most common with classic books. They get to be pretty!

Here is a list of classic books I would like to read and hope I will get them as a reading assignment in my RL book club so I can enjoy them with others. I opted to try finding really pretty cover editions! With these books we can even compare editions and I like when people start talking about books in hedonistic way without thinking they are weird.

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I love reading historical romance books and I’m ashamed to admit I have never read this one!

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I often get to thinking on books with strong female characters. I really have no excuse for not reading this one sooner!

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The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas

This one is a chubby one! I think I might be able to push it trough for RL book club next year. This one will need to be added at least two months in advance for everyone to have enough time.

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  &

Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

Ever since I first saw them these Barnes & Noble leather bound edition has made me want to read more classics! I think I had this book for school assignment but somehow dodged it. Not sure :/

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Gone with the Wind  by Margaret Mitchell

Scarlett has been my childhood hero. And I have never read the book! Must find the time to read the book already!

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The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer

I have read the Illiad in high school and did not like the theme. I would really love to read Odyssey though. I live close to the Mediterranean and it might be a good chance to get a more firm traveling goal.

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My love of stories knows no bounds. I love collections of short stories and mythologies. Fairy tales and folk tales are always on my reading list!

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The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales

by Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm

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Thousand and One Nights aka Arabian Nights

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The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

I did read part of Thousand and One Nights aka Arabian Nights for college assignment and I thought Decameron good enough to come back to it again one day. These make just a small portion of classic books that I want to read and own in a pretty edition for my bookshelf.

Buffy corner

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Finally I’ve made my own little Buffy corner. I’ve managed to put together all my Buffy and Angel themed books, graphic novels and few other things that are Buffy related into one single shelf. It’s a bit crowded on the shelf…

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It is not a shrine to all things Buffy I own but it might be close. Beside the bookish things I have, there’s also an original soundtrack, an original game for Play Station 2 (I’ve never owned a Play station 2) and a first season of Buffy on VHS :p

Soundtrack is really good and I replayed it a few times. It’s basically teen angst compilation that went really well with the show. My favorites are Bif Naked and K’s Choice.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds for Play Station 2 I’ve tried playing a few times on a borrowed console. I liked the voice actors and all the little extra stuff in the game. Witty dialogue and Buffy talk are up to the standards of the show and I loved hearing them in the game.

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Bad thing is it seems to have a glitch and the whole game freezes when I battle evil druid/magican Giles. It was a bit frustrating since he’s like a big boss or something and I never got to see how the ending of the game looks like 😦

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The VHS box set for the first season is with Croatian regional settings and subtitles! It is the ONLY season that was available for buying in Croatia. The actual store I bought it in got burned down a decade ago and was never rebuilt.

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The first season is only 12 episodes long and watching it on VHS is a completely different experience. The tapes themselves need to be re-winded from time to time because of the magnetic tape. I have DVD/VHS player that can do that and I need to watch them soon.

It is actually a piece of history as a media type and a cultural quirk.

I would like to get at least one action figure Buffy themed for the shelf and that goes on the wishlist for the future. It will not happen any time soon though since I’m poor and they are not exactly easy to find around here.

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