New Books – October 2020 Book Haul

This year for our anniversary my boyfriend got me a pile of books I had on my wishlist on Book Depository! I got seven books I really wanted and they have been arriving in little packages for the whole month of October!

Besieged (The Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne

This is a short story collection from the world of Iron Druid Chronicles. This is one of the urban fantasy book series I used to read with my boyfriend. This is actually a second time I got this book! First time I ordered it I forgot to pay attention to the publisher and size and I ordered the wrong edition… I got two book from the series in wrong edition… It bugged me so much I stopped reading the series altogether and even the sight of the books on the shelves annoyed me. I hope I corrected this now and will be back to this entertaining urban fantasy book series I used to love so much!

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

This is the first book of a new book series! I got intrigued by reviews and it seemed like a story I would enjoy reading. Lately I have been buying more books in hardcover and I decided to get this on in hardcover right away as well. I was surprised by the format though. It is smaller than the usual hardcover format. The cover is quite eye catching and this is another book on my bookshelf that features a snake on the cover!

Kitchen Princess Omnibus Vol. 4 ( Kitchen Princess #8-10 ) by Natsumi Andō, Miyuki Kobayashi

This is a manga series I got into a years ago. Since it is an older manga series it has become almost impossible to find single volume editions! I decided to get omnibus editions since I loved it so much and wanted to have them. For a manga series this one is actually quite short and has only ten volumes. This fourth and last omnibus collects last three volumes and is the final one. I look forward to reading this manga and especially the recipes after each volume!

The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo Book 5) by Rick Riordan

The Tower of Nero is the last book of the Percy Jackson universe and last in The Trials of Apollo series. I am slightly behind on my reading of the series but hope to catch up by the end of the year. I love the shiny and expressive covers and just seeing them on my shelves bring me joy. This last book only came out in October and was the last one to arrive!

Six of Crows Collector’s Edition by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom Collector’s Edition by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone Collector’s Edition by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo books are some of the most beautiful books I ever owned! Even the paperback editions I have are amazing and special. I love when the publishers decide to go that little extra way and include maps, different font, illustrations and bonus content! These editions have been on my wish list for a while now and I am so glad I finally got them. I thought I would be more upset for the lack of dust jacked and just naked hardcover editions but considering how pretty these are I don’t mind at all! The last one Shadow and Bone has come out in October and was supposed to be a promotion for the upcoming Netflix show. I can hardly wait for the show and will continue to get the rest of the trilogy books once they come out.

TBR Jar Draw – June 2020 update

Last month I was busy with reading challenges and nearly forgot to include the TBR Jar Draw book into my reading. For this reason I picked out tho shortest and the easiest solution for my TBR Jar Draw in May.

I have read:

Shining Path: Cable Volume 1 by David Tischman, Igor Kordej ★★

This is a Croatian edition in hardcover by Bookglobe publisher. The story was good. I had some problems with following all the action. I kept feeling like I was missing something and had to catch up.
I have some issues with the artwork. Kordej’s works are very recognizable with chunky characters and muscles. What bugged me the most was actually the coloring and I really did not like how it looked with illustrators firm and dark lines.

The Warden (Chronicles of Barsetshire #1) by Anthony Trollope AND Into the Woods: Tales from the Hollows and Beyond (The Hollows Short stories) by Kim Harrison went back into the Jar.

For June I pulled three new picks from the Jar:

1# Holidays Are Hell (Short Stories from Hell) by Various authors

This is a collection of urban fantasy short stories form some of the authors that are already known to me. I have three other compilations from Short Stories from Hell series and have already read them. There are three other which I don’t own and as time goes by it is less likely I will find them. This one has some Christmasy wibes and I would like to leave it for when I need a holiday theme book sometime in winter.

2# Shattered (The Iron Druid Chronicles #7) by Kevin Hearne

I am frustrated and annoyed for having accidentally ordered the wrong format of the last two books from the Iron Druid Chronicles book series. My mode worsens just by looking at the shelf and how out of place the book series now looks right there. This is not giving me any incentive to take and read the books in this series. If I had a paying job and money to get another editions that fit instead I would…right now I am just too annoyed to concentrate on reading these books and the more time passes the less I am motivated to give it a go…

3# Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vol. 1 by John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover, Alice Henderson

This is my pick for June and I managed to include it in two other reading challenges for June! One is  Make Your Myth-Taker reading challenge which you can check out HERE And the other one is The Olympic Games which you can check out HERE This book is almost the size of the other two together so it will be a real challenge to read it.

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?

Monthly reading review – January 2018

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Monthly reading review – January 2018

This January I have read:

The Scoundrel Takes a Bride (Regency Rogues #5) by Stefanie Sloane ★★

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) by Philip Pullman ★★★

A Test of Mettle (The Iron Druid Chronicles #3.5) by Kevin Hearne ★★★★

A Prelude to War (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #7.5) by Kevin Hearne ★★★★

Three Slices by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson and Chuck Wendig ★★★★

Taurus by Božica Dragaš ★★★

The Shab-al-Hiri Roach by Jason Morningstar ★★★

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1. How many books you’ve read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read?

In January I have read six books in total. I have decided leave the short story from one of them out of the count. I would like to read a bit more in general and get the number of books I read in a month closer to ten.

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in January? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

I loved getting back to The Iron Druid Chronicles in the form of short stories and they were the highlight of my reading in January. The Shab-al-Hiri Roach has given me some food for thought in January as well.

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

The historical romance The Scoundrel Takes a Bride did not impress me much. I guess I was not in the mood for romance books this January.

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4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

Only planned reading I did was finishing The Golden Compass from December and reading the Taurus book for my book club meeting at the start of February.  The rest of the books, excluding the TBR Jar Draw The Shab-al-Hiri Roach were not planned.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

Technically I tried out three new series: His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman, Blud short story by Delilah S. Dawson and Miriam Black short story by Chuck Wendig.

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6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

This January recommendation goes for Kevin Hearne and Iron Druid Chronicles. I enjoy the stories from the world of Iron Druid a lot and hope to continue reading the next book soon.

Final thoughts on January reading

I have posted three book reviews in January:

The Scoundrel Takes a Bride (Regency Rogues #5) by Stefanie Sloane ★★ – REVIEW

Three Slices by Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson and Chuck Wendig ★★★★ – REVIEW

The Shab-al-Hiri Roach by Jason Morningstar ★★★ – REVIEW

I am still reading A Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics by Erich Fromm and I am slowly trudging on with Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3) by E.L. James. I am having trouble with it and hope to finish it by the time the movie comes out.

I have yet to do the TBR Jar Draw for February and start on the other book for my book club reading in February which is Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

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Three Slices – Book Review

Three-Slices

Finished reading

Three Slices

by

Kevin Hearne, Delilah S. Dawson and Chuck Wendig

★★★★

Expectation

I was going trough the list of short stories I missed reading for Iron Druid Chronicles after one of my friends asked for reading recommendation. Naturally I turned to Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles. I found a few short stories and novellas I have not read yet and this one stood out as an interesting one. I gave up on reading the short stories in order since they are not so easy for me to come by. I was actually surprised to see that the story A Prelude to War is almost on point for book 7. which is the next book I need to read for this series. I have heard for Delilah S. Swanson and her Blud series and even put it on my TBR some years back. I have never read anything of it though. This is my first Chuck Wendig story and I had no idea what to expect.

Summary

These three stories have in common the theme of tyromancy. Tyromancy is the art of divination and telling ones future using cheese hence the apt title Three Slices. While each story is set in its own universe the cheese part is what connects them in a quirky way.

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A Prelude to War

by Kevin Hearne

★★★★

This story was relatively easy for me to get into. It is divided into two segments. One follows Atticus the main character of the series in his exploits to recruit the help of someone he used to know and to get better insight for dealing with his enemies. The other part of this story follows Granuaille on her training to be a druid. While Atticus was one of my most liked parts of the Iron Druid Chronicles I did prefer Granuaille and her way of dealing with druid business and foes. I suspect the part with Atticus has more meaning to the main story of the book series and will have to read on to find out.

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Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

by Delilah S. Dawson

★★★★

Second story  in this collection presented a bit of a challenge to get into. As a short story from a fully developed and fantastically rich world it brought out an array of new creatures and a world that follows its own rules. Since I knew nothing about any of it the first part of this story had me going slowly to try to understand dynamics of the creatures and the rules they abide by. I knew there was a vampire type creatures of some kind in the center of it all and that’s about it. I like the main character Criminy Stain and his sense of flair. The character itself is very strongly portrayed and driven. In retrospect the story was full of macabre and strange but it was all very nicely put together and I did not mind the brutality of some parts. Its a very dark story set in a dark world with some dark characters. I ended up liking it.

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Interlude: Swallow

by Chuck Wendig

★★

This author and her characters I knew the least about. From the very start it read more like a mystery thriller than anything else. While the story Delilah S. Swanson before it had more macabre elements this one was much more scary for me. The way it was written did not help either. The story was put together by little chapters out of order. The way they continue is that they turn forward in time and back in time in the most intense parts of the plot. I had no love for this and did not like it all that much.

Conclusion

While all three stories have a character that uses cheese to tell future in some way there was a distinct commonality in the title of the second story – Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys which refers to a polish saying with general meaning Not my problem, I don’t care. In each story there was a moment of betrayal and the motive of the betrayer had certain carefree elements – nothing personal, I was just worrying about my own stuff. This three story collection was entertaining to read and I found it to be informative for future reading.

The beautiful illustrations were made by Galen Dara and are part of the book. Aside the cover illustration each story has one and I like them as much I like the stories.

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Book loot for the end of the year

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Last month I’ve been to a book fair and lately I’ve been hoarding unusual number of new books. Some were gifts and some I bought for myself. Most I just grabbed and wouldn’t let go…

I swear I’m like a bear getting ready for hibernation!

Here are the books that are new on my shelves!

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Half Bad (The Half Bad Trilogy, #1) by Sally Green

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 Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy, #2) by Sally Green

Both of them I’ve read earlier this year and I’ve even bought a Croatian edition. Third book in this trilogy Half Wild in English I’ve gotten in April as a gift.

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 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Also Croatian edition. This is one of the books I bought at the book fair in Zagreb. This book is relatively hard to come by. I was very happy to have found it. Yesterday I’ve seen the first photos and stills of the new miniseries based on this book and I’m even more glad to have gotten it!

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 The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

  This is one of the books I’ve heard from my friend. She read the copy from the library and I was intrigued because it totally missed my radar when it first came out. Again Croatian edition. It has a dark and twisted feel to it and I hope I get to reading it soon.

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 Saga Omnibus by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

Croatian edition is a chubby omnibus that collects first three volumes. It is really heavy and not cheap but I love it anyway! I was thrilled when I first read this graphic novel and hopefully next year t this time I’ll have the second omnibus as well!

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A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L’Engle

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 A Wind in the Door (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #2) by Madeleine L’Engle

These are Croatian editions of a children’s classic I’ve been eyeing for years now. Sadly it is a five book series and there probably won’t be translations for the last three books A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.  😦  I also found English edition of a second book A Wind in the Door hidden in my shelves o.o

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  Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2) by Rick Riordan

I loved the first book and when I’ve seen this one finally arrive I just grabbed it and wouldn’t let go. This is one of the few books I’m getting in hardcover editions as they come out. There are tons of pictures with American edition covers but not many with British edition covers I’m getting. I will try to snap a few good pictures when I do the review.

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The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan

Only Rick Riordan’s books that did not sit well with me were Kane Chronicles. As for the rest of them I plan to get them all eventually.  I love the feel of adventure they bring to life in me when I read them! Maybe I’ll even give Kane Chronicles a new chance as well!

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Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1) by Joe Abercrombie

For the purposes of a book gifting in my book club I asked my boyfriend to take his Croatian edition of this book. I promised to replace it with a pretty English edition and I did. I’m actually hoping to get the whole trilogy eventually and read them as well!

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The Witch with no Name(The Hollows #13) by Kim Harrison

Last book of The Hollows series. I still have to read one book before it but wouldn’t start before I got this one. I ordered this one online and it is in the mail as we speak!

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Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #8) by Kevin Hearne

This book series I need to catch up as well. Boyfriend read all before this book and will be happy to read it too. Ordered online and also in the mail!

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Books to look forward to in 2016

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Here come some of the new and upcoming books I’m looking forward to this year. They are new books by author I already love reading or new books from one of the many book series I keep track of. This list is by no means complete since gushing with new and announced books would take much more than just one post.

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The Trials of Apollo Book One The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

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Comes out in Hardcover – May 3, 2016

Another work of Rick Riordan only this time centered on the god Apollo. This should be the first book in the new series and I plan to read it as soon as I can get  my hands on it!

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The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2)  by Rick Riordan

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Comes out in Hardcover – October 4, 2016

I absolutely loved Magnus Chase first book Sword of Summer. It was funny and engaging. I’m still considering getting these books in hardcover editions as they come out. It will be a long wait until October for the book two!

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Crimson Death: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel  by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Comes out in Hardcover – June 7, 2016

I have been following and reading these books for over a decade. Technically this is the 27th instalment in this book series. If I don’t count two very short novellas it is 25th book in the series. I have yet to get my hands on the last one. I collect them in small paperback editions so that makes the wait even longer…

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Fire Touched: A Mercy Thompson Novel by Patricia Briggs  

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Comes out in Hardcover – March 8, 2016

This is one of my favorite urban fantasy series with strong female lead. This is the 9th book in the series. Again extra wait for me since I collect them in paperback editions. I have all the previous ones 🙂

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Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Comes out in Hardcover – February 2, 2016

This is one of the rare science fiction books I like. It is also something I watch out for my bf. This one is part of a 15+ book series. all the books mostly cover the character of Miles Vorkosigan but this one is centered on his mother Cordelia.

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Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles) by Kevin Hearne

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Comes out in Hardcover –  January 26, 2016

As much as I’m looking forward to this one I’m mad as well! This book series used to come out straight in paperback and with this book they made an exception and started printing out first editions in hardcover. Reason that this makes me mad is that it means more waiting time for me to get my paperback copy . It is the 8th book in the series that has a few novellas as well.

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My American Duchess by Eloisa James

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Comes out in Hardcover – January 26, 2016

Last on this list and the sweetest is historical romance book by Eloisa James. I fell in love with her Desperate Duchesses book series. This is either a start of a something new or the 9th book in the series. Either way I plan on reading it as soon as I can. The sweet thing is that booth hardcover and paperback come out at the same date!

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What books are you looking forward to this year?

Which book should I buy next? Poll results!

Here are the results

Shattered (Iron Druid Chronicles book # 7) by Kevin Hearne 60%  (6 votes) 
Ever Afer & Undead Pool (The Hollows books # 11 & #12) by Kim Harrison 30%  (3 votes) 
Shiver of Light (Merry Gentry book # 9) by Laurell K. Hamilton 10%  (1 votes) 

Dark Skye (Immortals after dark book #15) by Kresley Cole 0%  (0 votes) 
Iron Cross (The Dartmouth Cobras book # 6) by Bianca Sommerland 0%  (0 votes) 
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I have a winner and my new book is on the way!
Thanks everyone who voted!
Looking forward to reading this 🙂
IDC WP Contest 3rd

Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne – Presentation

Kevin Hearne

Iron Druid Chronicles is a urban fantasy book series by Kevin Hearne.

Like it’s author it is unbelievably likable and catchy book series!

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“Kevin Hearne is a middle-aged nerd who still enjoys his comic books and old-school heavy metal. He cooks tasty omelets, hugs trees, and paints miniature army dudes. He lives with his wife, daughter, and doggies in a wee cottage.”

It is fun and fast paced story of a modern day druid and his considerably entertaining adventures. Main character is Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids. He lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old – when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old.

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With two thousand years behind him he’s gathered quite a bit of enemies and slowly they all start showing up to set the record straight.

The series is full of interesting characters coming from many known and some less known mythologies all around the world.

This book series has 6 books and the seventh one Shattered is coming soon!

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With the addition to the books there are two super fun novellas about Atticus: Grimoire of the Lamb and Two Ravens and One Crow that came out as ebooks.

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This is one of the rare series I read together with my boyfriend – we both like it and that is no easy feat for a book to achieve.

I will mention that any book about Atticus that comes out in print is automatically on my wishlist.

Also there are certain fan products that I want to get my hands on! Like this one that describes motto of the Iron Druid:

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The fun to be had for all readers of the series is amplified by fan organized events like this one!

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Now onto some shelf porn!

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Strong recommendations for all readers of urban fantasy and lovers of mythology!

JULY BOOK A DAY – JULY 21

JULY 21.

21) The novel you expected to hate but turned out you loved

 

 

Hunted The Iron Druid Chronicles: Book 6 by Kevin Hearne

This is one of the rare books I get to read alongside with my BF. Our tastes differ drastically and we usualy enjoy completely different genres and themes. When we got the book he was the first one to read it. I let him read it first since I was swamped with some other books at the time. He read it and didn’t like it. To him the book was boring. I was actualy nervous to read it since I wanted to like it.

 

As it turned out I had nothing to fear and maybe as a result of my lovered expectations I found the book not only enjoyable but super fun! Lesson learned!