TBR Jar Draw January 2018

26982325_10156433469544026_815011824_o

After finishing my December TBR Jar Draw I decided to keep up with challenging myself with reading more books I already own. I kept both the jar with the titles that were not read adding a few new ones and the plastic cube I put all the titles I read. It filled out nicely and I hope to continue with the more pleasant reading this year. For more info on my TBR Jar Draw 2017 you can check HERE.

Having finished with The Scoundrel Takes a Bride (Regency Rogues #5) by Stepfanie Sloane I posted the short review and my thoughts on it which you can find HERE.

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

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

# Carniepunk by Rachel Caine and various authors

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

9780141342580

1# The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3) by Rick Riordan

This is one of the books I bought in November last year. While it is one of the most anticipated books from last year for me I still did not read it. With it being the book I bought late in the 2017. I have just added it to the TBR Jar this year. I hope to get to it soon and will have to check the reading order with The Trials of Apollo series. I am not sure do I need to read one more book before it :/

2825001._UY630_SR1200,630_

2# The Shab-al-Hiri Roach by Jason Morningstar

This book is one of those odities I stumbled on while I was browsing one of my favorite online boardgame stores. It is actualy a role playing game book for a dark comedy setting. I found it on sale and just had to get it. I look forward to reading trough it. I have never read or played anything by this author so it all adds to the mystery. With the book comes a set of playing cards as well. I am definitely leaning toward this choice!

413814

3# Dhampir (The Saga of the Noble Dead series #1) by Barb and J.C. Hendee

This is one of the books I bought quite a while ago but never really gotten to reading it. I have first three books from this book series. While I generaly like the theme of vampires, the catchphrase “A mix of The Lord of the Rings and Buffy the Vampire Slayer” brings out some mixed feelings on this book. I reamin intrigued and a little bit apprehensive.

Book Choices Header

My book choices for January are quite interesting. I keep being surprised by the books I pull out of the TBR Jar AND that alone is a clear proof I need to keep up with this challenge. Who knows what I might find sitting on my bookshelves?

TBR Jar Draw December 2017

First a little update for those who don’t know what my TBR Jar Draw is about. Somewhere at the start of last year I have decided to try and read more of the books I already own. Out of my TBR (To Be Read) pile of books on Goodreads I have selected some of the books I own and wrote the titles on little pieces of paper each. Once a month I draw three titles from the jar and decide to read one of them. This gives me a reason to go trough my bookshelves and find the titles I might have overlooked or forgot about. Here is the link to the post from March 2017 that got me started –> TBR Jar Draw 

 

312407

I have finally finished reading The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) by Philip Pullman. While I stated reading it somewhere around Christmas I did not do much reading up until the start of January. It took me longer than I expected and has left an impression on me. I will definetly post a review on it soon.

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

# The Age of Odin (Pantheon #3) by James Lovegrove

# Master of Chains (Forgotten Realms: The Fighters, #1) by Jess Lebow

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

angel-souls-and-devil-hearts

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

This is the second time I’ve drawn Angel Souls and Devil Hearts. Described as the Epic Vampire Saga I have read the first book from this series quite a long time ago. What I remember of it is dark and gritty scenes and some come to haunt me in the middle of the night to this day. Contrary to that I am still interested in reading this series trough. I am still not that enthusiastic to start on it.

13514710

2# The Scoundrel Takes a Bride (Regency Rogues #5) by Stepfanie Sloane

I got this book as a gift along with one other from the same historical romance genre. While I’ve read the other one this one was left behind. It actually seems like a good choice at this moment since I feel like reading a romance novel…

carniepunk1

3# Carniepunk by Rachel Caine and various authors

I have mentioned this book before. It is a short story collection from some of the authors I already love and follow. I love reading short story collections since they let me meet fascinating new authors and discover new worlds. Thematically this short story collection is about carnivals and would have been a nice October read. I am very pleased with this drawing.

books-jar-lights-bokeh-hd-wallpaper-900x300

Many Bloody Returns – Book Review

manybloodyreturns

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.

22117716_10156118426129026_1062686355_o

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.

dabel_skindeep

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.

blood_ties_cast

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.

Toronto-Ice-Storm-8

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.

giphy

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.

Book series I started…

Why_and_how_to_write_a_book_series_8_15_17

I love book series of all kinds. There are historical romance book series I enjoy. There are urban fantasy book series I cant get enough of. I have a few favorite manga and graphic novel series as well. It was only after I tried to keep track of the book series I started but for some reason never continued after reading only the first book did I realize how many of them are on my reading lists. It took whole two pages just to write the titles of the firsts books of the series I started reading. Now that I look at them all I see some I’ve totally forgotten about and some I keep meaning to continue but never actually do. I managed to put them all in three rough categories:

#1 First books of a series that I will not continue

#2 First books of a series I even forgot about

#3 First books of a series I want to continue

04e71825fa1511b100d7a9391f3dba70--true-happiness-so-true

First I had to weed out many of the historical romances I read out of order and had no desire to follow from the beginning. There were also quite the number of graphic novel series I tried out because I wanted to learn an origin story of this or that character and never actually meaning to continue reading them. Also there were a few first books of a series I read and then switched to some prequel first book series and then everything got complicated and I just let them go. Those above mentioned I’m keeping totally out of this discussion.

3e9368e1e62413fc5ea2e15e64e62711-book-nerd-memes-book-memes-funny

#1 First books of a series that I will not continue

These are the books that for some reason did not appeal to me enough to consider to continue reading the rest of the series. As happened with Anne Bishop Ephemera book series. I expected to like the enough to continue reading and bought first two books right away. It has been years since I read the first and will probably never read the second. Demonica series from Larissa Ione was a sort of gamble when I bought it. For some reason it did not blew me away and I did not feel like buying or reading the rest of the series. On Dublin Street book series I just joined in on the hype on the first book when it was translated to Croatian. I never felt motivated enough to read beyond that first book.

jedan pano 1

Some of them I did not like and was disappointed after reading them. My biggest disappointment was by far Hellsing manga by Khota Hirano. I loved anime adaptations and had high expectations from the original manga. I even felt cheated on it and was later glad I did not start buying the whole series. Wrinkle in Time I read this year as a book club assignment and was not impressed at all. Beautiful Disaster was one of those books in the YA genre everybody was suddenly talking about. I found it to be shallow and boring.

jedan pano 2

And then there were some book series in this category that I just decided they were not for me and just made a decision not to continue reading the rest of the books in the series. How to Train your Dragon and The Penderwicks were both funny and lovely but I could feel they were intended for much younger audience. I’m glad I’ve read them both but will not be reading the rest. Homeland by R.A. Salvatore is the most famous Dungeons and Dragons novelization and first book in a very long book series about the legendary elf drow Drizzt. I tried it out since I was curious about the character and since I’m an avid RPG player. After reading the first book I realized that the author had decided to keep the PG rating for the mostly American market and availability. I am not a fan of books where author ends a scene with a simple curtains down and a morning after routine. I decided to give it up altogether for lack of sex scenes. I find it hypocritical how violence is OK but sex is not OK for the readers. The last book series in this segment is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The violence and brutality of the book kept me on edge most of the reading. I decided to let it go since it bothered me too much. With the book series I even stopped watching the TV show. Now I’m having second thoughts and I’m continuing watching the TV show so I might go back to the books as well

jedan pano 3

There are a few I was happy about reading and did not feel the need to continue it as a series. One of the books I was impressed with and was actually surprised at how much I liked it was Foundation by Isaac Asimov. After reading it and getting the general feel to the ideas behind the book I did not feel like reading the other books from the series. Same was with the Wallbanger series by Alice Clayton. I enjoyed the book and even bought it as a present for other but never felt the need to read the rest of the books from the series. The Shadow of the Wind was a book club reading assignment. I enjoyed the writing style and have read few other books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon before. The story for me felt complete enough and I haven’t searched out the rest of the books from the series

jedan pano 4

#2 First books of a series I even forgot about

These books I read long ago and I forgot about reading them. With Blake Crouch‘s Wayward Pines thriller I was intrigued and picked it up even though it was not my favorite genre. I remember being immersed in the book. I even watched the TV show and enjoyed it. And I seem to forgot about it later on. I enjoyed reading YA novel Matched by Ally Condie. I even liked the book covers for all three books and how they actually made sense with the plot of the books. I never continued the series though…

dva pano 2

Some books and series were not actually memorable and nothing about them set them apart from similar books in their genre. I found Julia Quinn‘s Bridgertons book series not particularly memorable. The plot and the characters just seemed to blend in with many others I’ve read at the time. Down to You by M. Leighton also got lost in the sea of other similar books in the genre. I remember plot having potential but not actually delivering more than simple erotic fiction. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich is a first in a rather long book series that even got a movie. I remember enjoying the funny parts of the book. After watching the movie I was confused about the stupid plot holes that came over from the book and just forgot about the rest of the series altogether.

dva pano 1

When I first read these series I did not have other books of the series available for reading. Later on I just simply forgot about them. Love is Darkness was a freebie first book from Valerie Dearborn book series on Kindle. I enjoyed it quite a bit. At the time I was unsure weather to buy the other books or not. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was another book club assignment. In Croatian translation all five books are hard to come by since they are mostly sold out. I have a first one from my boyfriend and I for some reason I did not want to read the library copies.

dva pano 3

#3 First books of a series I want to continue

Here I have sorted book series that I want to continue and have the books ready. All I need is to start reading them, but for some reason I hesitate. Interview with the Vampire I’ve read only recently. While I have most of the other books in this series available I still hesitate to read them. I think I want to like them and have a feeling I won’t. Howl’s Moving Castle was a book I was hyped about. I loved both of the anime versions – Japanese and English voiceovers. I expected the book to blow me away but it did not. I’m still hoping to read other books of the series and keep them close by. I liked all the books by Cassandra Clare I’ve read so far. Earlier this year I’ve read Clockwork Angel. I like it despite its steampunkish traits. While the characters are quite charming I feel a bit apprehensive toward reading next books from this series. Of Saints and Shadows is an older UF book from the Shadow Saga book series by Christopher Golden. I remember it being creepy and downright scary. I always thought of picking it up again one day. I have next tree books already waiting. I think since it has been years I’ve read the first book that I might have some problems into getting into the second one now.

treci pano 1

And for the end I have books that I want to read but have problems with getting the actual books from the series. Some like Log Horizon manga I have issues with identifying the second volume manga edition. I keep coming up with light novelization and I’m not interested in those at all. supposedly the author Mamare Touno had some legal issues and even the anime series has stopped. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness was an absolute pleasure to read. I really loved Croatian translation edition in hardcover. I’m thinking on getting a hardcover copy for sure. Not sure yet will it be in English or Croatian though.The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams was a part of a reading challenge from my boyfriend. It is one of his favorite book series. He used to have them and borrowed them to someone who never returned them. I’m planing to get the whole series for him someday in a nice package with the new books coming out this year.

treci pano 2

It has been a while since I made a post this long. Hopefully you did not find it too boring.

TBR Jar Draw May 2017

Spikeidwseries

Spike: The Complete Series

(Angel: After the Fall)

by Brian Lynch, Nicola Zanni ★★

Finally finished last months TBR draw! Last time I opted to read two out of three but this time I managed to finish only this one. All in all I liked this graphic novel and reading about all of these familiar characters. When it comes to all things Whedonverse I am biased. I’m definitely a fan 🙂

I had some issues at first with dark artwork and when in doubt all I had to do is look at the cover and was hooked back in. The amount of familiar characters thrown into this story is staggering and made the story slightly unbalanced.

AUG100331_11

Contrary to some of the variant covers Angel and Illyra are NOT in this one. The female character Beck did not ring any bells which made me think about the huge time gaps between my reading trough Angel After The Fall graphic novel series.

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

# Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1 #2-3)
by John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover, Alice Henderson, Joss Whedon (Creator)

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

9780552572507

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

This was a gift I got somewhere last year from a work buddy. All I know is that it is fantastic novel for children. I thought the blurb on the cover to be interesting enough:

When their grandmother Sylvie is rushed to the hospital, Ivy Sparrow and her annoying big brother Seb cannot imagine what adventure lies in store. Soon their house is ransacked by unknown intruders, and a very strange policeman turns up on the scene, determined to apprehend them . . . with a toilet brush. 

Kinda quirky and possibly entertaining read

angel-souls-and-devil-hearts

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

I read the first book from this series almost a decade ago. I thought it to be kinda dark and gritty. The horror elements freaked me out a bit. I liked the main character though. Picking up the second novel might be a bit of a challenge after all this time…

interview-cover

3 # Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1) by Anne Rice

I have started reading this one for a few times now. I always get the book mixed up with the movie version since I watched the movie way to many times. I should probably make myself read trough this book already since it is such a prominent title in the urban fantasy genre and I have almost all of the books from the series anyway…

7dd96ff4a5eee070c17cb1758249e8a6

While my selection is a bit more challenging this time I know I will enjoy my reading no matter what I pick in the end!