Book series I almost finished reading

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I am a big fan of urban fantasy book series. I have many older (ten on more years from when they were first published) book series I was interested in. And then there are some I just added on my TBR without ever knowing if I will get the chance to read them at all.  Then there are some book series I have in my possession that I did not finish but for some reason stopped reading somewhere in the last few years or so. There are various reasons for not finishing a book series and while they may include not having the actual book to read to continue the series, it is usually something less straight forward than that…

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Here are some book series I started reading and did not finish. After some time the reasons for not finishing them all blur into forgetting about them. And forget about them I did so much so that even continuing reading the series requires some research into what book did I read last!

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The Hollows by Kim Harrison

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison is a thirteen books long series I turned to when life got a bit hard to deal with. Sometimes these books served as a security blanket or something to hold onto when life pulled the ground under me. I even wrote about it in one of my Books that changed me posts. I own all thirteen books and have read all but the last one – The Witch With No Name. I distinctly remember enjoying the story and loving reading about the characters and I’m not really sure why I’m keeping myself from finishing this book series.

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Kushiel’s Universe series by Jacqueline Carey

Kushile’s Universe book series is a set of three trilogies that build upon one another and each has a different main protagonist. First three books are called Phedre’e Trilogy and the books four to six are called Imriel’s Trilogy by their respective main characters. The last three books and the only ones I did not read are called Naamah Trilogy by the name of the prominent deity Naamah in the books. While the first six books continue more or less directly and make a decent rounded story, the last trilogy is set some further time apart and after all the events of the previous books. In this one the main characters from first two trilogies are vaguely mentioned as their exploits have become an integral part of culture and history of this rich imagined world. For some reason I’m stuck on the last trilogy which I can feel staring at me from the shelves in a totally different edition design than the first two and they even might be a little angry I put them on a different shelf apart from the rest…

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Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne

Iron Druid Chronicles was one of the rare book series I was reading together with my boyfriend. We both enjoyed it and he actually read maybe two books (I’m really not sure about the last book I’ve read) more than I did. But I read some of the short stories on Kindle and in some short story collections I got. I had to check on GR how many books in this book series is there at all and I’m still unsure which ones I’ve read. I know I have at least three books in my possession that I did not read from this series.

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Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

The Sookie Stackhouse book series was a recommendation I got from Amazon long before it was made into a popular TV show on HBO. Back then it was know as a Southern Vampire Mysteries and I was not too thrilled by that title. I ended enjoying the books more than I expected. It was one of the first book series I liked the UK editions design more than the US editions. When the TV show was popular I was glad it differed from the books so I can enjoy each separately and at my own leisure pace. But then they changed the design of the editions I was buying and I was unhappy about it so much so I postponed buying them all in order. Now I don’t know for sure which book I read last and keep forgetting the title of the one I’m missing – and It’s not the last one I’m missing either, I got the last one! Did I mention how irritated it makes me to see same publisher with such different cover design? Colors and sizes tend to jump around here. Just thinking about it all gives me a rash about the mess my reading is with this book series…

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8 Series

I was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. So when they decided to continue the story trough graphic novels I was happy to have that to binge on.  They even named it Season 8 since the TV show ended with season seven. There was also Angel TV show and then there were graphic novels that continued Angel as well. Sometime in the last decade I lost track of it all. I did not get them all at the same time because they were still coming out and were a bit pricey for my budget at the time. I was not too thrilled with how the characters looked either. I would read them pretty quick and the long wait until I got the next one I would have to read them again and so on. Now I got the complete Season 8 and no clue as to which ones I’ve read. I stopped buying them at Season 9 and the more time passes so do the chances of me getting the rest or reading them all gets more slim. The thing is, the plot continues between Angel and Faith graphic novels and these and I’m really interested in those as well! I feel like I should start at the start with watching the TV show from scratch. The more I think about it the less I think I can spare that much time on it and I dislike the gaps in my understanding of the series.

Never-Again

There were some book series I stopped reading for not liking them enough as well! I made a conscious decision at some point that I did not enjoy the story or the characters were too irritating to continue. Here are two examples of those:

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Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward

I started this book series without knowing much about it. Few years later when I decide I had had enough with the silly names and dislikeable characters this book series became a hit my country. I think that to this day it was one of the rare urban fantasy series that was translated whole into Croatian language. Although the appeal of erotic fiction was probably what did it for the mass market public I did not share in the craze of this one.

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Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux was a YA romace with aliens I was willing to try out because I never read any YA romance with aliens before! At first it was all cute and refreshing but after reading the third one I decided that these books are just to YA and too cute for what I was looking for. I’m still fond of this book series but I have decided I don’t really need to read any more of it. I guess I kinda grew out of the YA romance with aliens…

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What are your reasons for not finishing a book series? Do you have any advice for me?

TBR Jar Draw October 2017

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I was glad for finishing my September TBR Jar Draw in record time. It made me feel proud of myself. Also I enjoyed my reading quite a bit. I realized the more books I finish reading the more inclined I am to read more. Works the other way around as well …

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In September I’ve finished reading Many Bloody Returns edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. I’ve made a review on each of the thirteen stories from this collection. You can read my thoughts HERE.

The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

# Necroscope (Necroscope #1) by Brian Lumley

#  Naamah’s Kiss (Naamah Trilogy, #1) by Jacqueline Carey

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

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1 # Belladonna (Ephemera #2) by Anne Bishop

This is one of those second books in the series I’m not much fond of. I bought first two book years ago. I wanted to try something from the author Anne Bishop. I’ve heard some nice things on few of her books. Sadly this one did not thrill me and I still have issues with remembering what was the deal with these books about. I’m not sure what to do with it :/

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2 # The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

I bought this book years ago out of curiosity. I’m still curious about it. I’m expecting a bit more complex writing style from it since it is written thousand years ago. I’m not too thrilled about reading it right now because of it.

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3 # The Frog Prince by Elle Lothlorien

This one actually surprised me when I pulled it out of the jar. I thought I put all the physical books I own in the TBR Jar. This is one of the first Kindle freebies I downloaded few years back. It caught me off guard so much that i’m leaning toward reading it! The frog on the cover is kinda confusing though…

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Again I was surprised with what I pulled out of my TBR Jar. This October I was a bit more apprehensive on the titles I’ve drawn. I will probably go with the Kindle freebie this time simply for the easier reading before bed time.

 

 

Many Bloody Returns – Book Review

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Finished reading

Many Bloody Returns

edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner

★★

Expectation

This is was my TBR Jar Draw for September. I was looking forward to it and reading some good short stories. I like reading short story collections because they introduce me to some new authors and ideas.

Summary

There were all together thirteen stories in this collection and what made me squeal was a dedication before the stories in the book. This gave me some extra enthusiasm for reading the stories. I went and wrote a few thoughts on each story.

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1. Dracula Night by Charlaine Harris ****

I very much enjoyed this story. It reminded me how much I loved reading Sookie Stackhouse book series. The funny and quirky dialogue was delightful. And offcourse Eric <3.

2. The Mournful Cry of Owls by Christopher Golden ***

This story had a YA feel to it. The timeline placing, the cultural tidbits and the actual supernatural creature in question were different than expected. It was more baffling than anything else.The mystic and pensive feel to it just did not work for me. And the owls I just cant perceive as anything but cute nocturnal animals.

3. I was a Teenage Vampire by Bill Crider ****

This author was completely unfamiliar to me before. At first this felt like a story for much younger audience and since the true age of the narrator character is somewhere around middle school it kinda fit. I was nicely surprised by the vampire of the story. It was a truly intriguing portrayal and I loved its subtle creepiness.

4. Twilight by Kelley Armstrong ***

This was so far the heaviest story. It was interesting and thought provoking but also kinda depressing for a short story. I expected more from a well renown author.

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5. It’s My Birthday, Too by Jim Butcher *****

I never read The Dresden Files and have only watched a few episodes of the TV show that did not last long. I loved this story. It had meat to the plot and characters were quite lovable. Everything about this story made me want to learn more about the characters and had me wondering about them. I had reservations about starting yet another UF book series but this one sure is intriguing.

6. Grave-Robbed by P.N. Elrond ****

I have not read anything from this author before but I have few other books and collections edited by her. This was an unexpected surprise. While the vampire of the story made me wonder quite a bit the setting and the general feel to this story was overwhelmingly positive.

7. The First Day of The Rest of Your Life by Rachel Caine ****

I loved this teasing introduction to Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series. I enjoyed the dramatic background and intriguing hints on characters in the story. I will definitely give these a chance when I get some other books series to a close.

8. The Witch and the Wicked by Jeanne C. Stein ***

This story seemed quite silly. The main character is kinda depressing and the plot was kinda far fetched. I did not know should I laugh or pay more attention. The vampires in this story bugged me. It was just not my kind of story it seems. This author was completely new to me and I have no desire to read more from her.

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9. Blood Wrapped by Tanya Huff ****

I have not read this author but I am familiar to her characters Henry Fitzroy and Vicki Nellson from the TV adaptation. I kinda like the TV show. This story is very much different from what I remember. This short story was interesting to read but I was annoyed with „What would Vicki think?“ that the characters kept asking themselves. Other than that I really enjoyed the story.

10. The Wish by Carolyn Haines ***

This author was new to me. The story was probably the shortest one in the whole collection. It was kinda morbid and nostalgic. The descriptions were depressing and ominous. I had to start reading it twice and force myself to concentrate since this short story already had a slow start and it took a few pages for anything other than setting descriptions to actually start. I’m still not sure what the author was talking about. The only thing I like in this story except the ever present madness is the actual vampire of the story.

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11. Fire and Ice and Linguini for Two by Tate Hallaway ***

This story was rich in interesting new creatures and mythology. Author was new to me and some ideas were intriguing. There was something kinda off with the characters though and it made me not like them all that much. The characters were not compelling enough for me to be believable.

12. Vampire Hours by Elaine Viets ***

A new author and a bit different story. There was something intriguing in the main character. Vampire of the story seemed sappy and kinda off. I’m not sure how I feel about this story though. The vampire bit seemed almost fairytale in quality. There were some interesting points in this story but the vampire part seemed forced.

13. How Stella Got Her Grave Back by Toni L.P. Kelner ****

What I did not like from the start was a title of this story. It made me think it was going to be another „girl power“ story like the one that came before it. I’m so glad I was wrong. The characters were lovable and the story was interesting. Vampires of the story were somewhat different than expected but they fit in nicely with the story. Strangely I did not mind many of the „curtain down“ love scenes that normally annoy me. I enjoyed this story.

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Conclusion

I’ve had this short story collection for almost a decade now and I’m glad I’ve finally read it. I am happy with the stories I’ve read. Most of the stories were good and better with only a few that just did not sit well with me. When it comes to vampires I can be quite picky. In the end it was a few little things that made me not love the story. I’m happy with the different vampire types the different stories brought out. I liked the action packed and funny stories more.

Reading in progress – September 2017

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This September I’m in the middle of reading more than a few books. I’m trying to motivate myself to read more often. Therefore I picked more books than usual. Here are the books I’m reading this September!

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A Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics

by Erich Fromm

I’ve been looking for this book for a while now. After I tried the local library where the only copy could not be found I almost gave up on ever getting it. Fortunately, a friend that works in a high school library had a copy for me to borrow. I believe it will take me a bit longer to read this but I’m already happy about it!

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Many Bloody Returns

edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner

So far I’m progressing nicely with a few stories every day. I mostly like the stories and enjoy them. What made me love this collection from the start is a dedication at the beginning of the book. I will definitely post a review on all the stories and this collection!

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Second Nature

by Alice Hoffman

This is actually a second reading for this book. I suggested it for my book club as November reading. I’m looking forward to the discussion. I wonder how will this book affect me the second time I read it. I have quite fond memories from the first time I read it. I cover of Croatian edition!

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

by Oscar Wilde

This is another second reading. First time I read it it was in high school. I remember liking it but not much anything else. This time it is also a reading assignment but for a book club in November. I wonder how this discussion will go.

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With the rainy weather my reading has turned somewhat more serious. I don’t remember the last time I was rereading two books at a time. Strangely I seem to have avoided all my book series as well! I will have to see how will this affect my reading for September and November.

TBR Jar Draw September 2017

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After finishing the last TBR Jar Draw from May in a lot longer than expected I took my time with pulling out the new titles for reading. No doubt that my little reading project is going rather slowly if taken into account that I skipped on it for the last few months. I’m considering indulging and reading some books off my shelves that strike my fancy as well as those titles I pull from the jar to compensate for these few months. Lately some of the books on my shelves caught my eye.

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The last book I was reading for the TBR Jar Draw was Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1) by Anne Rice. I’m very pleased with finishing it and I made a short review of my reading experience that can be read HERE.

The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

 # The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1) by Jennifer Bell, Karl James Mountford (Illustrator)

# Angel Souls and Devil Hearts (Shadow Saga #2) by Christopher Golden

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

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1 # Many Bloody Returns edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner

I love these urban fantasy short story collections. This one has many exciting authors for me to try out. I bought it a long time ago and even forgot about it. All the stories in this collection share a topic of supernatural birthdays. I think I’ve read the one from Charlaine Harris long time ago somewhere. This would be a nice pick to read!

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2 # Necroscope (Necroscope #1) by Brian Lumley

This is one of the gems from the eighties. This book was praised by H.R. Giger whose macabre masterwork art inspired many. This book series is one of the first i got interested in when I started exploring the vampire themed literature. I got first two books of the series but never actually got to reading them. Interesting pick for sure.

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3 #  Naamah’s Kiss (Naamah Trilogy, #1) by Jacqueline Carey

This book is actually part of a longer series. Before this trilogy there were two others which I’ve read years ago. I got this Naamah trilogy as a whole. What kept bugging me was that the editions were different from the first two trilogies and looked just awkward on the shelf. As much I enjoyed first two trilogies I loved the main characters and had doubts on how I was going to like this one. I’m still unsure since I want to like it :/

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Again I am reminded at some books that I’ve completely forgotten about. I kept being surprised by why I find on my bookshelves. While all three books have their merits I will have to think and choose one carefully. Right now I’m leaning towards Many Bloody Returns or even Necroscope.

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt – Part Nineteen

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt – Part Nineteen

Find a book with stars on it – A Touch of Dead (Short stories from Sookie Stackhouse series) by Charlaine Harris

kr So, Yes! the stars here are kinda little dots.

But it is a sky, and there is a moon, and the little dots are the stars. There is even a bit of glitter on the moon and the stars but it is not noticeable since the photo is not of that good quality.

As you can see I’m not happy with the choice I made here. It was surprisingly hard to find a book with stars on the cover on my shelves!

This is a short story collection from the Sookie Stackhouse series as it says on the cover. The book series was originally named Southern Vampire Mysteries. I don’t know why that changed for this book. Probably has something to do with the TV show that was in full blast when this collection came out.

There were few other options but they did not make the cut (yes there were worse options than little dots as stars…)

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt – Part Ten

Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt – Part Ten

Find a book with only words on it – Bite (Short stories collection) by Various

kr Another in line of my vampire short stories collection. I was very keen on getting my hands on this one. But since it took me a while to actually find it I never really got around to reading it trough.

I love finding these short story collections and find new authors I might like.