Books I desire by Holly Black – June 2021

I use my Book Depository account to keep and organize several different wishlists for the books that strike my fancy or I plan to buy. My book buying plans are mostly smaller book buying sprees since I buy books several times a year by ordering them from Book Depository store. I rarely buy books in Croatian anymore. I started to buy used books in English more often in the last year or so because I have found some cool people who are selling relatively new and interesting books in English through Facebook groups. Few times a year I get into my Kindle and buy some books that are up to 5$ and I find interesting. I have few authors whose work I follow and buy in Kindle format and sometimes I indulge in titles that would be too expensive to buy in other formats. There are no bookshops in my area that sell books in English that I can walk into and buy books on the spot! When I was younger I opted to buy paperback editions mostly since they were easier to store and usually cost less. Lately I have developed the taste for pretty hardcover editions and now I weigh my options carefully before deciding to buy books.

Over a year ago I made a very similar post on this topic – Wishlist Books! You can check it out HERE. From the six books I highlighted in the post I bought five! This sixth book is out of print and it is still on my wish list. In the meantime I discovered a lot of interesting authors I wanted to try out and some new books. I have reservations about reading the books everybody else is raving about at first. I like to check them out at my own pace but when I find an author I go for it in a rather hedonistic manner. Leigh Bardugo and her books are just one more recent example for this.

Holly Black Books!

I did not have a taste or time for reading the same books more than once. Lately I keep coming back to some authors and stories. Holly Black and her stories of faeries have made me want to read the same books over and over. I have gotten her first two books in The Folk of Air trilogy back in 2019. Since then I have been hooked and now I am in the progress of getting the hardcover editions of all three books and getting my hands on other books connected to the same world of faeries. So far I have the third book in hardcover and have ordered the second one as well. Only the first one is missing to have all three in hardcover edition after which I will sell paperback editions. Here are some of the titles I want to get my hands on!

The Modern Faerie Tales : Tithe; Valiant; Ironside by Holly Black

This 800 pages beauty collects three stories set in the world of The Folk of Air I love reading about! I was checking out for the hardcover editions but can’t seem to find it. I am not particulary fond of a book this size in paperback edition and it is making me hesitate.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

One of the reasons I am slow to get these is the need to decipher various editions and their sizes before actually buying the books. My OCD does not like it when the books from the same series are different size and since I am late to buy the hardcover editions of these I must thread carefully to get the right edition that goes well with other books I already have. The edition that is easiest for me to get is completely different than the rest and I must make some hard decisions financially if I want them all to match…

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Another of Holly Black books I would like to read and another one with edition sizes all over the place. It is annoying and exhausting, not to mention totally demotivating when the quest to find the right edition is so difficult! This one has vampires and I am intrigued at how it turns out!

Book of Night by Holly Black

This is the latest book of the author announced for next year. It is a book meant for adult audiences and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I am slowly building my own hype for this one! I like the premise of a underdog character on the run and deceitful types of magic. It should be urban fantasy mystery which is exactly the type of a thing I like!

Bookopoly TBR game – November 2020

This November I have decided to continue my Bookopoly TBR game and do five rolls for it to see if I can squeeze enough of the books I decided to read by the end of the year for my personal 2020 reading challenge. I have lamented how I am now behind on my goal of reading thirty books I’ve chosen from my own shelves for this year since I neglected my list for the last few months because I was ahead of schedule at the beginning of summer! Foolish I know….

Here are my five rolls for November:

Moving on from the last spot I got a high eleven roll and landed on “Nature on the cover” prompt! I was not very optimistic of finding a book that fit this and was very surprised when I saw that one of my personal reading books challenge fit it! It is The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux! The Croatian edition that I got on a sale matched with a yellow rose on the cover! This is going to be an interesting read for sure!

My next roll was seven and it made me land on another “Chance” spot! After a well shuffle of my originally 16 prompt cad deck I dealt myself one card that said: The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1) by Vicki Pettersson. This is the first book from one of my urban fantasy book series I own and did not start on yet. I am a little apprehensive on what will happen if I really like the series and feel the need to read the next book in the series! I also have another three books from this series just to be safe! I will probably read this book last in case I don’t get pulled in and neglect the rest of the books!

My next roll was eight and it got me landed on a prompt for “TBR veteran” This prompt gave me options since I have a lot of books that are on my TBR for years! Since the date on most of them is reset to the date when I transferred from Shelfari to Goodreads the choices were really good too! I decided to go with The Borders of Infinity (Vorkosigan Saga #5.3) by Lois McMaster Bujold I managed to choose a book that also fit my personal reading challenge for this year as well so that makes me very happy and hopeful! The whole book series I have on my bookshelves is translated Croatian edition which is one of the rare book series that are almost completely translated! All the covers for the books from an old and now gone publisher Algoritam, are drawn by Esad T. Ribić, an artist who did some very popular Marvel comics as well!

My fourth roll was another seven and it got me landed on a “Disability representation” prompt field. While my previous choice for TBR veteran could have been a valid choice for this prompt as well; I decided to use another book! My choice for this prompt is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. The main character is autistic teenager that gets involved in some mysterious accident with a neighbors dog. Mark Haddon is an author I have not read before and there are some new books he wrote that seem very interesting to me. I hope this will be a book that will introduce me to a new author soon to become a favorite! This is another book that I have a Croatian edition of and I got it quite cheap at a library book sale! I keep trying to push for my book club to read this book and I hope that I will have more luck with that after I read it!

My last roll was another seven and it brought me full circle back to the “Young Adult” prompt! I decided to keep going with the same theme and picked out Wayward Son (Simon Snow #2) by Rainbow Rowell. Last book I chose for the “Young Adult” prompt was also by Rainbow Rowell and it was closely connected to this one – Fangirl. I find the connection between the Simon Snow book series and the Fangirl novel intriguing and refreshing. I admire the author for deciding to make a book about a girl who is a fanfiction writer for her favorite fantastic book series and then later publish that fantastic book series in accordance with tropes that are mostly defined in fanfiction. I read the first book in the summer and I hope that I will be able to get into the story easy.

I am happy to have managed to squeeze in four out of five books for this challenge from the list of books of my personal reading challenge for this year! And I also must admit that I am pleased with the variety of themes and genres I managed to get in these five books. I hope to read more books this November when I finish all these!

So far this Bookopoly TBR game has proven to be a great way for me to enjoy my reading hobby with a friend. And while I have been lucky have not rolled a single double number on the dice, she was not so lucky. She has had some issues with completing her reading challenge because life got in the way of reading. Here is me hoping she will not quit on me and keep trying to enjoy her reading and our little bookish activity!

Vampire Academy – Series Review

 

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Vampire Academy Series

by Richelle Mead

  1. Vampire Academy ★★★★

  2. Frostbite ★★★★★

  3. Shadow Kiss ★★★★★

  4. Blood Promise ★★★★★

  5. Spirit Bound ★★★★

  6. Last Sacrifice ★★★★

Expectation

I started reading this book series as a part of my Summer reading challenge and a project for reading more of the books I own. Only the first book in the series was a part of the reading challenge and I have deliberately left it for the last book in the challenge in case I decide to read the rest of the series. Good thing I did!

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Sometimes I get put off by the books everyone else is reading or thinks they are great! That is part of the reason I avoided this book series for so long. I got the books sometime last year at a library book sale out of town. When I saw how cheap they were and that they are in excellent condition as a set I decided to buy them. Worst case scenario –  I have many friends who would love to have them in case I don’t like them!

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When I started I did not have any high expectations and I approached the book series as a way to catch up with some pop culture references. I am usually a fan of YA urban fantasy and I had a vague memory of a movie being not so good.

Summary

I am not a fan of the covers of Croatian editions and covers with faces of young people in general. While I usually love to enjoy the book I’m reading both by looking at the cover design and materials it is made from, the books I was reading were the cheap editions one could get in general stores or kiosks. I tried not to be bothered by that and I mostly succeeded.

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I was pleasantly surprised with the first book and in two weeks time I quickly managed to read trough the whole six books of the series! I rated all the books quite high with  four and five stars out of five total. This puts the series general score at four and a half stars which is a big thing for me to do. The main reason for this is that I was mostly very pleased with how the books had a dramatic and at times even very sexual appeal without being outright dirty or offensive in sexual descriptions. I appreciated the the author did not use the vile curtain down and pretended that sex had nothing to do with real life or her story like some do. I see it as vital part of our lives and while many do not want to admit this – many of our life choices are heavily influenced by our sexual experiences and preferences. I was even impressed with the authors ability to make things fluid and believable – both the good and the bad.

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There were many taboo topics hinted in the books. From unhealthy and even illegal relationships to privacy boundaries and honesty issues. Some of these resonated with me and I did not expect this to happen while reading a YA fantasy series since I do consider myself an adult and have read books in the YA category I was unable to understand from that point of view anymore. Some of the books of the series were very dark and I was shocked by how dark they got. The drama in the books was very high and I was impressed more than once.

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I watched the move again and was actually mad at how much they twisted it. The comedic approach did not go well with the actual setting in the books. It seemed like the director or the producers could not take the theme seriously but they still wanted to make money. Only thing I really liked in the movie was the actress Zoey Deutch and her portrayal of Rose Hathaway. I had some issues getting the actor who played Dimitri out of my vision of the character. His role was much more physical in the books because of his mostly stoic nature.

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I did not know there was a graphic novel edition but I should have not been surprised. I definitely would not mind reading those if I ever get my hands on them!

Conclusion

I loved that I read this book series. It made me rethink my occasional prejudice against mainstream favorites. Reading experience was a roller coaster of drama and emotion I had not trouble getting into. I even have a need to rant and vent about some of the characters and the ending itself but will have to refrain from that since the hype train for the books is long gone for most readers. I do recommend this book series and I’m even kinda sad I ended it so quickly!

Reading Challenge update Monday

I’m slowly progressing with Summer reading challenge. I’ve finished four books out of fifteen and plan to start on the fifth one tonight. Last book I’ve finished for the challenge was:

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9 From the Nine Worlds (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard)

by Rick Riordan

★★★★★

I liked the short form of the stories. They were very entertaining. Although they are part of the Magnus Chase series – all major character from Mahnus Chase series are in the stories except for Magnus Chase himself. While I loved reading about all the characters there should have been at least one scene with Magnus :/

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I liked how the stories were written as a travel adventure trough the 9 worlds. It all fit very nicely in the summer season and holiday travel theme. The book even had a fold out map of the 9 worlds which was very cool!

I am debating my options on which book to start on next for the challenge. My choices are:

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna book 1) by Kendare Blake

OR

Angel & Faith: Live Through This (Season 9, Volume 1) by by Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs (Artist)

OR

Dune (Dune #1) by Frank Herbert

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Reading in progress December 2017

Lifestyle-Blog_CozyWarm-1030x582This December I’m counting down how many books I’m behind on my reading goals for GR and how did I do for this year in general. I’m barely half trough my reading goal and I’ve made my peace with the fact that I will not complete my GR reading goal. This year was not a good reading year for me. Some big changes happened and I had trouble copping. Out of 100 book goal I read only 52 so far. For now I’m making myself busy with reading more books at the same time this December.

Here are the books I am reading at the moment:

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Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark, #16) by Kresley Cole

This book is one of the more recent additions to my collection from this summer. I actually started reading it only because I am really looking forward to the book Shadow’s Seduction that is the next one in the Immortals After Dark book series. I’m halfway trough and I did not expect to enjoy it this much. There are some cringe worthy phrasing but I’m having fun reading this book and that is all that matters for me right now. Hopefully I will make a book review on this one soon.

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Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3) by C.S. Pacat

Not that long ago I’ve devoured the first two books of this trilogy. I had some problems getting the third book. I went trough first two books at a fast pace and now I had some trouble getting into the third book. I’m halfway trough and this is a very suspenseful book.

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

I’m taking my time with this book. It takes concentration and I’m trying to savor some thoughts while I evaluate the meaning they carry. So far most of this book can be used as motivational/demotivational quotes one can find across the Internet. Contempalting and meditating required.

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

This month’s TBR Draw has been on my reading list for a few years now. I put it on the pile with the other books I’m reading this month but have barely openned it so far. I’m kinda apprehensive about starting this book since I will probably want to finish off the whole trilogy right away.

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Aside from the books above that I’ve already started here are some books I’m planning to squeeze in my reading this December as well:

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) #1) by C.S. Lewis

This is actually one of the books for my book club! I’m looking forward to it and at the same time I’m thinking about how could I add other books from the series to my TBR. I just hope mix the movies or the TV series with the books too much…

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Shadow’s Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2) by Kresley Cole

While I did not expect to enjoy Sweet Ruin as much as I’m hoping to enjoy this one I really want to read Shadow’s Seduction by the end of the year! Immortals After Dark book series brings me joy and I love reading this series. The reason I’m soo looking forward to this books is  that one of my favorite characters of all time is in it!

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Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

This is the last book I’ve bought! I waited for the super fancy Croatian edition to come out. Croatian edition one the right in the picture glows in the dark and has a custom box. This edition is the first book from a new publisher and they are trying to set some new standards in the publishing industry by creating a really beautiful book editions. Every book is numbered and they are published in a limited quantity. This book is like a delicate piece of art to be enjoyed on more than one level!

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

This book goes in hand with Norse Mythology. I’m not sure if this series is meant to be just a trilogy and if that is so this could be the last book! I’ve loved Magnus since his first book and hope to read more books about him.

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The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan

Thematicaly I wish to finish this years reading in fun and adventure. While not so high on my reading list by the end of the year; this book will be a perfect fit for my reading repertoire. Festus and Leo making an appearance is an added bonus!

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