TBR Jar Draw March 2018

I really enjoyed my TBR Jar Draw pick for February – Strange Candy. The short stories are my favorite form and I often get surprised at how much I like them. Especially if some time has passed since I’ve read any.

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You can check my Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton review —> HERE.

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

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

Sigvald (Warhammer Heroes #4) by Darius Hinks

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

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1# The Princess Bride by William Goldman

I had this book on my TBR list for quite a long time. This book has all the elements I love in a good story but for some reason I did not jump on it right away. I only got it last year though. There were also some attempts to push it as a book club reading which would have been a good way for me to push it up on the TBR list. I do hope I will find the inspiration to read it soon.

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2# Uncle Silas by Sheridan LeFanu

This book was one of the spur of the moment buys. I did not think it trough. I just vaguely heard about the topic and genre and then someone was praising it and then next thing that happened was I went and bought it… Since then I have less spur of the moment buys episodes but I am still curious of the theme and Victorian Gothic period. Sadly I have been disappointed with some Gothic novels I read before and I did not get much incentive to take this book on.

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3# Fringe: Tales From The Fringe by Various

This is a graphic novel with short stories by various authors and artists. I was never much of a fan of the TV show Fringe but my boyfriend loved it. This graphic novel was a gift for him. I don’t remember even putting it in the TBR Jar. I do vaguely remember reading some of the stories but would not mind reading trough it again.

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I might choose an easy option and go with the graphic novel for March. Although I am really interested in The Princess Bride as well. I plan on reading some of the books that are part of my TBR Jar challenge and are not in the Jar Draw for March anyway. I will see how it goes time wise…

Strange Candy – Book Review

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Finished reading

Strange Candy

by Laurell K. Hamilton

★★★★

Expectation

Laurell K. Hamilton is one of my most read authors. I’ve read both of her big book series Anita Blake and Meredith Gentry. While I have some of her other works as short stories and even another standalone book, this is the only short story collection she is the only author of. I liked the concept of the collection and I wanted to see her stories that are not urban fantasy related read like for me. I was very looking forward to short stories from the world of Anita Blake.

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Summary

1# Those who seek forgivness ★★★★

Insight into life of Anita Blake the animator and how she deals with every night zombie raising business. It is set before any of the series events in the books. Interesting but rather depressing when looked trough the series as a whole.

2# A Lust of Cupids ★★★★★

This is a cute short story perfect for Valentines day! In the story people sometimes get chased by little Cupid like creatures who shot them with arrows to fall in love or just get infatuated. I loved the concept and the humor of the story. I enjoyed the methapore of the story a lot! Would not mind reading about the vengance either!

3# The Edge of the sea ★★

Story about murder and mystery with supernatural twist. Dark and melancholy. I did not like this story. It was sad and traumatic.

4# The Scarcity of lake monsters ★★★★

This was a well balanced story that made me sad. I like the characters and the idea of fantastical creatures being real. I was lulled into this story with first part being endearing and then got smacked down and a bit heartbroken. Good story though!

5# Selling houses ★★★★★

Simple and concise story set in the Anita Blake world. The main character is a civilian woman realstater checking on a house she needs to sell. There were some nicely creepy elements and the story was a great fit.

6# A token for Celandine ★★★★

The most complex story so far. I like how deep the world felt right away. It was set in a fantastical world akin to those of Dungeons and Dragons. He first part seemed a little hard to get into but it went much better toward the end. It was a nice little adventure. This story is set in the Nightseer world.

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7# A clean sweep ★★★

A really short story based on an idea of a cleaning super hero. I liked the twist at the end but I wished there were some more meat to it all.

8# The Curse-Maker ★★★

Very much DnD type of story. There’s a bard thats gotten cursed with sickness and theres a female warrior who loves him and wants to find the one who is responsible. I liked the parcticality of the sorcerer in the story. The blade was interesting. As usuall the end shows much more promise that the begining of the story. Story is set in the Nightseer world.

9# Geese ★★★

More magic and sorcery. I found the story quite weird for some reason. It was OK but a bit too much angst for some reason. The idea off a shapeshifter taking refuge in the animal form appealed to me a lot. The ending was just confusing for me

10# House of wizards  ★★★★★

I loved the idea of magic and non magic world coliding in such a way. I also have growing respect for people who are good at usefull and practical things. This story just felt sweet and lovely.

11# Here be dragons ★★★★★

Strangely alluring and complex supernatural story. I was fascinated with character motivations. In the core it is a dark story about sociopaths. Children of the story are different. There is strength and there is also hope. Interesting take on human need for intimacy.

12# Winterkill ★★★★

Another story form Nightseer world. Main theme is revenge killing.  I liked the magical aspects of the story. There are always some glimpses into horror in most stories in this collection. I think that is just the author’s writting style. There is certain strength in main female characters and also backup male characters seem to have come from a same mold. I liked the story and the angsty feel to it.

13# Stealing souls ★★★★★

A very well rounded short story with Sidra and Leech. This one more than the rest made me remember playing RPG with the group of people. There was something endearing in reading a thief do his trapfinding thing. Liked this story a lot!

14# The girl who was infatuated with death ★★★★★

Last story I might have read a long time ago in another short story collection called Bite. It has been so long that I am simply not sure anymore. It has been almost a year since I last read Anita Blake novel Crimson Death. It made me remember how much I liked reading them again. These characters have a special place among my favorite books.

“I like to think that Irving is somewhere chasing angelic speedboats, or maybe he’s got his own wings. Surely, even God needs a laugh now and then, and Irving is a funny guy, for a monster.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Strange Candy

Conclusion

I liked that conceptually each story had a character driven by something like a personal weakness, like some strange candy… One thing that struck me as kinda odd is that there were so many stories with characters from Nightseer novel yet there were no Merry Gentry related stories. I enjoyed most of the stories and the writing was what I expected it to be. I don’t usually read fantasy so much and reading these short stories made me read more fantasy in February than I did for the better part of the last year. I am still not fan of fantasy.

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Monthly reading review – February 2018

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Monthly reading review – February 2018

This February I have read:

Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★

Lord of the Flies by William Golding ★★

Devil in Winter (The Wallflowers book 3) by Lisa Kleypas  ★★★★★

Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3) by E.L. James ★★

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

I read only four books this February. I have been working on some new projects I will soon post about in more detail. I also have some very exciting books waiting for me on the shelf and while I’m not exactly happy with the amount of books I’ve read in February I have a good feeling about my March reading.

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

I loved going back to some of my favorite authors and characters in February. Strange Candy was on my reading list for years and reading short stories set in the world of Anita Blake made me feel really good.

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

Devil in winter is one of my favorite books and I managed to promote it for book club reading in March. I re-read it in Croatian translation and was horrified how bad the translation was.

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

Reading the Lord of the Flies was a strain on my nerves for most part. On the book club meeting I did not part well with that book and I feel bad just thinking about it. Even with reading only four books I managed to get all the book club reading and TBR Jar Draw in time. Maybe it is time for more challenge?

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

Finally finishing with the Fifty shades series made me feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. This book gave me way to much grief and the first half felt like wrestling a sumo fighter. It got a bit better toward the end but not enough to make up for all the pain and trouble.

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

I needed to remind myself more about reading the books written by authors I love. This is an excellent time for me to go back to some of my favorite authors and book series I need to finish up

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Final thoughts on February reading

I did not made any reviews of the books I’ve read in February. I will be posting a review on Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton collection with short thoughts on each story.

I have made some nice progress on A Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics by Erich Fromm and hope to finish it next month!

I am becoming more confident about posting my thoughts and projects that are about my other hobbies and not just reading. I am still considering making changes to the blog in general to accomodate these posts.

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Reading in progress February 2018

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It has been a while since I was reading this many books at the same time. Reading more books at the same time was something I used to do a lot more while I was working in a bookstore. The frequency of the books I had on hand and information on them was higher and I was like a bee buzzing around with my nose in few different books a day even. Sometimes it all got too much and I had clearing phases to finish out the books I had dragged on for few months at a time.

This time I am in the middle of reading of five different books. Here are the books I am reading at the moment:

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Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3) by E.L. James

I have been dragging this book out from the start of the year. It should be an easy read but I’m having trouble going trough it. I have passed 150 pages mark and hope it will go faster from now on…

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Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton

This book is my TBR Jar Draw for February. I picked it out since I miss reading about some of my favorite characters from Anita Blake universe. So far I have read first two stories out of fourteen in total. I like that each story has an introduction by author and I am making little notes for each story so I can post a short review on each.

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Devil in Winter (The Wallflowers book 3) by Lisa Kleypas

I have managed to push trough this book for my book club reading at the beginning of March. It has been four years since the group picked out a romance book to read and I did a lot of work for it to pass as a reading suggestion. I am currently reading it for the fourth time and enjoying it immensely. I am also looking out for some book club fun ideas to make the meeting memorable for everyone. I have a tough crowd to please and I’m pulling out all the weapons I know! Oh and while I was meaning to buy the whole series in English one day my boyfriend bought a translated copy for me yesterday! English set is still on my wishlist though.

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

I have actually made progress with this book recently and I’ve passed the third of the book. I’m dealing with an older translated edition and some footnotes are giving me trouble. Reading this book takes all my concentration and sometimes I go back and reread some paragraphs. I’m taking notes as well and then look for English versions and it is all time consuming…

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Lord of the Flies by William Golding

This book is another book club project and this one is due in a week and a half. I was looking for a translated copy of this book but have been unsuccessful for now. While I still have some options for obtaining a copy I will try to avoid reading it in digital form and before bedtime since it kinda scares me….

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Reading five books at the time is not even my personal best but I will try to keep things moving a bit more faster and finish all of these by the end of the shortest month of the year!

TBR Jar Draw February 2018

I finshed my TBR Jar Draw for January fairly quickly. It was not a novel nor a short story but an indie RPG book The Shab-al-Hiri Roach by Jason Morningstar. Years back I used to play RPGs like Vampire the Masquerade and Dungeons and Dragons a lot more than I do now. I made a short review on the book and you can find it HERE.

After I finished this book I decided not to rush into the next TBR Jar Draw until February started. The two draws I have not read are going back in the jar:

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

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

My three new TBR Jar draws are as follows:

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1# Sigvald (Warhammer Heroes #4) by Darius Hinks

I got interested in this book because of a board game I love playing Chaos in the Old World. It is part of a larger fantastical universe of Warhammer Fantasy. To really explain why I bought this book and I’m not interested in others from this series I would have to read and review it.

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2# Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton

This has been on my shelf so long that I am unsure have I read it or not. I’m pretty sure I have read at least one of the stories in it but never have I read it as a whole book. I follow the author Laurell K. Hamilton and love reading short stories in general.

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

This is the thirteenth and the final book from The Hollows series. It is the only one I have not read. This series has been with me for more than a decade. I truly enjoy this urban fantasy series and have recently recommended it to a friend from my book club – and she loved it so much she went trough it on a span of few weeks. It would be good to finish a book series but it would also be a bittersweet experience since it is a series full of characters I love.

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All three options are good and inviting. I am a bit shamed for letting so many good books stay unread on my bookshelves. I’m having one of those moments where I’m glad to have started challenging myself to read more of the books from my bookshelves with TBR Jar Draw!