Thursday, January 21, 2016

January - March 2016 | Quarterly TBR

I've gone back and forth on doing TBRs, just in general, because I'm normally so bad at sticking to them. And I've kind of just stopped, well since I hadn't been reading much and such, but I'd kind of like to start again, but Quarterly ones, and not too many. I'm not going to list all the books I currently really want to read, because honestly that's just all of them.

And some of these I'm going to have already finished because this is going to be going up a bit into January, but whatever. I don't know if I'll ever get back to the reading amazingness that was 2014, but I hope to one day. However, some books I'd like to read in the first quarter of 2016.

  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn 
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (currently-reading, so really just need to finish it)
  • The Queen by Tiffany Reisz (don't want to because then the series will be over and I'll be sad - but also do want to because want to know what the happened in that time)
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (I've been excited for this book for like a year and a half, over that now, and I preordered it, it came out end of September, and I haven't read it yet. So I need to. Just do it, self).
  • Radiance by Catherynne M Valente (sword and laser pick this month and I want to read more of Valente's stuff since reading her essay/poem collection last year)
  • Star Wars: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray (I'm a sucker for extended universe stuff so, since I've now seen all the star wars movies - extended universe here I come)
  • Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka (hellooo... Also maybe one of the older ones that isn't canon canon anymore, because I have heard so much about it)
  • Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (I have been currently reading this for a ridiculous amount of time, I need to just finish it)
  • 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write by Sarah Ruhl (also currently reading too long, and this one is super short)
That's all I'm going to put down, because who knows what'll happen and what way my reading will go, but those are some I'd really like to get to or finish up. There's some a lot of single issues (I am so behind that I could probably bury myself under the single issues I haven't read yet. And I don't think I'm even exaggerating). Also, of course, some trades and probably graphic novels. Some: Ms. Marvel, Volume 4: Last Days; Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power; Bitch Planet, Volume 1; Suicide Squad, Volume 1; Wytches, Volume 1. And probably others, there's some single issues I added to my pull list and haven't started the series yet and, so, I want to start them to see if I should keep going or drop them (maybe get in trade or just drop).

Do you do a monthly/quarterly/whatever TBR? How does it work for you? I'm really kind of curious, because I have no idea how this is going to end up working for me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2016 Reading Plans| Book Riot Read Harder + #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

Last year, I listed a bunch of challenges - series, classics, banned books - but I kind of stopped paying attention to that pretty early because of some things that happened. So I've only got two, maybe three, this year - let's get right into it, shall we?

Book Riot's Read Harder challenge

I didn't end up finishing this one last year, I just kind of let it go (sadly), but I do feel like it makes me look at my reading and realize how non-diverse it can get at points. Especially how white it is, which just isn't something I'm comfortable with. I want to read widely and always enjoy when I do. So there's a new list for 2016, with some interesting things. Some should be easy, others a tad harder but I made a full list of possibilities, with normally at least one or two options for each. 

#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

An idea, and hashtag, from Andi at Estella's Revenge, and she's left it pretty open. It's less of a challenge and more just something for people to work towards their own goals and to cheer each other on. I don't have any hard and fast rules yet - I've tried the 'read 5 before i buy 1' kind of thing, and I just broke that immediately - so I think I'm just going to be conscious of what I'm buying. Nothing to just buy it, everything I want to read, and can see myself reading in the next year. I can preorder things, but only if I'm really, really excited for it, an author I adore kind of thing. 

And I'm sure I'll come up with a few more for myself - mostly it's going to just be mindful of what I'm buying.

Andi has a post about her goals and such, also just talking about it a little more, and a place to link up if you've decided to take part. This is exactly my kind of thing, I think, though - not too pressuring and such. 

#HamAlong + Popsugar 2016 challenge are the two other things I'm considering. Well, I want to read the Hamilton biography, anyway, so I might as well read it with everyone up, probably over about 2 months. I want to read it because my obsession with the musical is real, but also because I can't think of another biography I'd want to read and it's one of the read harder challenges this year.

For Popsugar - I'm not going to be super strict about it. I might glance at it every few months, but I'm not going to kill myself trying to read stuff for it, I just always find it interesting. 

Now - what are you planning for challenges in 2016? Any or just flying no stress?

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18th | Weekly Wrap Up #29 (#24in48)

It was kind of hectic week, somehow, and I didn't get any reading done until the #24in48 readathon - update post, the website - but I got a surprising amount read in that time. I didn't end up reading the full 24 hours, but mostly because of my eyes, and I did end up reading quite a bit.

Reading: (finished this week and actively currently-reading)
Black Canary #6 by Brenden Fletcher, Annie Wu 
I don't really know what happened, but I am excited for what's next.

Captain America: White #5 by Jeph, Leob, Tim Sale (4/5)
I don't know why, since I've loved all the others, but this one kind of disappointed me a little?

Coffin Hill, Volume 1: Forest of the Night by Caitlin Kitteredge, Inaki Miranda (5/5)
A reread, but I honestly didn't remember any of this. So glad I decided to reread it and continue on with the series. It reminded me of Locke and Key in a few ways, mostly setting - old new england mansion, money, family. Ghosts. Creepy things - but all in the best ways, and it was also very different. And so damn good.

Coffin Hill, Volume 2: Dark Endeavors by Caitlin Kittredge, Inaki Miranda (4/5)
This one wasn't as good as good as the first, but I still enjoyed it.

The Wicked and the Divine #17 by Kieron Gillen, Brandon Graham (4/5)
The art for this was jarring for the first page, and then I got into it. And it was strange, interesting. I think when they come back after the hiatus, I'll reread the whole series.

Wayward #12 by Jim Zub, Steve Cummings (4/5)
What's going to happen next? This series continues to be steadily good, and steadily gorgeous as hell. Seriously, the colors are beautiful, and so are the essays in the back of the single issues.

Coffin Hill, Volume 3: Haunted Houses by Caitlin Kitteredge, Inaki Miranda (5/5)
Fantastic. Seriously, it was so damn good. I don't know what I was expecting from this series, but it wasn't this, and it was so good. I highly, highly recommend this series, sadly this was the end of it. Either way - highly recommended.

Restraint (Away We Go #2) by Charlotte Stein (2/5)
Interesting duology, but overall kind of meh. They're short and not badly written at all, but just lacking something, I guess.

A Gentleman in the Streets (Campbell Simblings #1) by Alisha Rai (4/5)
I picked this up on a complete whim and read it in less then three hours. And it was so good. I don't know what I expected, at all, but it was fantastic.

The Queen (White Years #4) by Tiffany Reisz (5/5)
Ah, this series. These characters. I"m so damn attached to these characters, so sad this series is kind of... over. I don't think there's plans for another novel in this world as of now, right? Not with these guys? I am kind of in denial. (highly recommended series, not for the faint of heart)

Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg, Rucka, Phil Noto (4.5/5)
This was good, even really good, but I felt like Finn and Rey's pasts are pretty well depicted in the movie, so I felt like this was kind of unnecessary concerning them. I mean, it was definitely interesting - unnecessary might be too cruel, because I did enjoy their stories, but I got a little bored at points, nothing was unexpected. Also, since Poe has so little screen time - so little for me to kind of adore his character - I thought his part was the most interesting. Also he kind of has the most history to give, but I won't say anything more then that.

Stuff:
As I said earlier, and as you can see by what I read this week - there was a read-a-thon. And I'm feeling kind of good after it. I'm writing this while it's technically still going on, but I just can't read anymore. My eyes are going to fall out of my eyes, eye strain sucks - I'm so glad I can type things with my eyes closed so I don't have to see the damn (painful) screen.

Anyway - it was a fun read-a-thon, and weekend, and getting to see everyones updates and posts on twitter and instagram and such was also a lot of fun. And is honestly my favorite part about read-a-thons, it's just so damn much fun. Also probably my favorite part about social media in general, but that's a whole other thing.

I had original gone in wanting to get to the full 24 hours, but I just couldn't do it. I went into the read-a-thon with the beginnings of eye strain and so I have to take breaks or it would of gone into full blown eye strain the first day and that would of been that - it's full blown right now, but hopefully a good night of sleep and no screens or reading tomorrow will help it a bunch, even though all I want to do right now is read.

I've been in this... it's not a slump, or anything like that, it's almost been like an inability to read. And it's been going on for pretty much the whole year, honestly. Well, the whole of last year, obviously, this one has just started. And last year there were read-a-thons, and in December I finally felt like I was reading something. To be fair, I was always getting reading done, but I didn't feel like I was, because it just couldn't be compared to what I was reading before (2014 was my best reading year ever, probably can't be beat, but I want to try and at least get close to that again).

What I"m saying there is, I think I got some of my reading mojo back? I said it on the update post, too, and it kind of feels like jinxing it, but I guess I kind of forgot how much I really enjoy reading. And how... easy it is to just sit down and read and do other things around it, instead of the other way around.

Besides that - official read-a-thon numbers and whatever. I don't have an official page count (best estimate would be: 1,543) mostly because I read some things that can't be counted in pages and such, and this read-a-thon was all about the time spent reading, anyway. I ended up reading for 16 hours, 29 minutes. And, jesus christ, that was a lot of reading time. In total I read 4 single issues, 3 trade paperbacks, 1 novella, 3 novels. I probably could of read more, but that was just what I finished. I also listened to some of the Alexander Hamilton biography (this is going to take me the whole year...), a bit over a hundred pages of Monsters of Men, and other pages of things that I put down for various reasons (Infinity Ring series is going to be hell to finish, but I want to know what happens).

That's that, I guess, I normally add links and stuff here, but my eyes hurt too much to look for anything. Let me know how you did, if you participated, or just what you read over the weekend, period. If you've read or are interesting in any of the titles I mentioned, let me know!

Happy reading! (happy eyes, too, I hope your eyes are well and not feeling like they will explode. Seriously. It sucks).

On the blog:

Saturday, January 16, 2016

#24in48 Updates (16 +17)

I have no idea how this update post is going to work, I have a feeling a lot of my updating will be through social media (twitter, instagram, goodreads), but I wanted to have an update post. I'll probably update what I've read at the end of the days, I guess (and then my weekly wrap up will be a full wrap up of everything).

Head over to 24in48.com every six hours, they'll be doing giveaways and other things.

Hour Six Survey

  1. Where in the world are you reading from this weekend? Rhode Island
  2. Have you done the 24in48 readathon before? Yes, but I only read for like 12 hours, I think. Which isn't bad, but I can do better.
  3. Where did you hear about the readathon? Social media, blogs.
  4. What book are you most excited about reading this weekend? All the single issues, because I'm so behind, some trades. For book books, probably Six of Crows, Before the Awakening, and The Queen.
  5. Tell us something about yourself. I moved six months ago into a renovated mill building - loft style studio apartments - and also all of 2015 was kind of reading slump for me. Hoping to get out of it.
  6. Remind us where to find you online this weekend. Here! But also -twitterinstagramgoodreads

Hour Eleven Update

I really need to step up my game, but I was asleep for the first eight hours of the read-a-thon (rookie move, but I was very tired). So far, I've realized how much slower I'm reading them normal because I've got slight eye strain (my life, always, really at the moment. My heater dries out my eyes). 

Anyway - 
Hours read: 2 hours, 4 minutes
Books read:
Black Canary #6, Captain America: White #5, Coffin Hill, Volume 1: Forest of the Night, and Coffin Hill, Volume 2: Dark Endeavors

I was going to put them all out nice and neat - but I have reading to do, need to catch up and such. (Really quick, though, super enjoying Coffin Hill, and very glad I have volume 3 to read right away, because I'm just really enjoying it). What are you reading? How're you doing? Let me know! 

Hour Thirty Four Update (I think?)

Math is hard when all you've been doing is reading, and you were a bit on the edge of eye strain when this read-a-thon started, and it's hard to combat that but also keep reading. Anyway - I think it's hour thirty four? It's some hour, alright?

I'm not sure I'll be getting to 24 hours, just because I got distracted yesterday and god damn my eyes, but most importantly I kind of feel like this read-a-thon is kind of getting my reading mojo back. I'm not sure I could ever get to the speed which I was reading in 2014, but I'd kind of like to. (The same book speed, with single issues, trades added to that. Ha, I have high dreams, alright?)

I've read quite a bit since the last update I did here, but I'm going to collect everything in a wrap up - I do a weekly wrap up, anyway, this one is just going to be completely 24in48 focused because I didn't read anything this week prior - so I'm just going to do slightly vague updated here.

So far I've read for about 12 hours (11 hours, 59 minutes) and am currently reading The Queen by Tiffany Reisz (about halfway done, probably). In the time between the last update and now I've also read another trade (Coffin Hill, Volume 3), a novella, a novel (neither on my original TBR stack, both digital), some single issues. Also listened to ten pages of Alexander Hamilton (the biography, this is going to take me a while), and also a little over a hundred pages of Monsters of Men

I'm really pleased with my reading, even though there's no way I'll get to 24 hours now, especially with my eyes. I'm still going to try, but I started to fall asleep last night at nine and couldn't look at a screen anymore, so we'll see how it goes. I do kind of want to try again on my own, though, before the next one, because why the hell not, right? (Aka: it's about the dead of winter in New England, it'll be better then going outside).

How are you doing? What are you reading? How do you have time to look at blogs?

Friday, January 15, 2016

2015 Favorites | Single Issues (currently running + other)

I did a post back in October about my pull list for single issues, basically just what I was getting and into (which you can find here). Favorites, though, is a whole different thing, and a much more condensed thing.

First off, I'm going to mention one that was a limited run, but I haven't read the last one (or the last two, I don't remember, I kind of need to organize the single issues, also very behind). Anyway, that's Captain America: White by Jeph Leob, Tim Sale. I haven't ready any of their other 'color' series, but I was really interested in this one because Steve, but also because I hadn't read anything that had stuff about their time fighting together in world war two, and this Bucky and Steve have a different dynamic then the movies. And it's interesting, and horribly sad, I think I've, at the very least, teared up at every issue. And I guess I'll just mention the two other Marvel titles here.

Spider-Gwen by Jason LaTour, Robbi Rodriguez
I'm kind of surprised this one is on the list, because I gave most of the beginning issues 3/5, but for some reason it just stuck with me. I love the idea, first of all, of Gwen being the one that was bitten. Also love the band part, and her costume is kind of damn gorgeous.

Black Canary by Brenden Fletcher, Annie Wu
I've been loving this series, and I'm not all together sure why but I am. It's so much fun, just plain and simple, it's just a lot of fun. And I started it because I read the first trade of Batgirl earlier and then this was coming out, and I was like... well, I might as well give it a shot. And I really like all the characters, the arts bright and fantastic, and it really is just a lot of fun

The Wicked and the Divine by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, +
I've mentioned this one a time or two... everywhere, really. And I just can't take the time to list all of the artists they had this year, because they had quite a few different ones filling in at points, but they were all fantastic. And shit went down in this comic this year, it really just doesn't stop, and I cannot wait to see where the hell it's going (I'm an issue behind, actually, must read).

Wayward by Jim Zub, Steve Cummings
I've also been singing praises for this one since it started and I started reading it, in all honesty, and it's just so damn good. I love the lore that's behind it, and the essays in the back about certain things in Japan history or mythology that's linked to the story. And the art is gorgeous. Cannot wait to get to read more (actually, I also think I'm an issue behind in this one, December was a bit crazy).

RunLoveKill by Jonathan Tsuei, Eric Canete
So 4/8 of the issues came out this year, and now they're on hiatus. No idea when they're starting up again, but I hope they do period. This is so different and so gorgeous. I don't know what it is about the art that I like so much, but I do. And the beginning is set up like a movie intro. And she's some badass women on the run, I am here for that completely. First four issues were fantastic, trying to be patient as I was for more.

Injection by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey
This one snuck up on me. The first two or three issues were pretty good, but not really blowing my mind. And then it started to get really good, and now I am dying for more, this series is so good. I can't say anything because you don't know much those first few issues, and knowing is what makes it great. So don't look into anything, it's Warren Ellis (and Trees, Volume 1 was incredible), just go forth and try it (I think volume one of this is out now, or is out soon).

East of West by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, Frank Martin
I almost forgot about this one, but just because I'm a few issues behind. I read the first three volumes of this one in 2014 and it is glorious and amazing - am considering switching back to trades, though. Because, while I love getting the single issues, the story line is a little too insane to follow sometimes issue to issue. I'm not confused yet, but I could be.... and the trades would look so pretty together, okay? Either way - four horsemen of the apocalypse, but not like you're use to, and it's incredible. I recommend this on (and Wayward, WicDiv) to everyone. This one can be confusing at points, but you've just got to take it slow. Highly recommended

Kaptara by Chip Zdarsky, Kagan McLeon
I went back and forth on putting this on this list, or just dropping it to the honorable mentions, but I'm going to leave it on. It's ridiculous, it's so damn ridiculous. In the best way possible. Zdarsky does Sex Criminals with Matt Fraction, and that was just a taste of his humor. This is - just so damn... it's ridiculous and amazing. And what the fuck for a good portion of it. Also the art is surprisingly amazing, I was impressed, it's so colorful and pretty. And ridiculous. If you like ridiculous things, then do I have the thing for you. (It takes place in space, there's some problems. Just check it out).

Honorable Mentions: Descender (loved it at first, but now it's a little eh. Considering dropping and getting the trades), Wolf (the first issue blew my socks off, now it's a tad eh, also might switch to trades)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Readathon | 24in48 | January 16 + 17

The 24 in 48 read-a-thon is exactly what it sounds like - trying to read for 24 hours during two days, 48 hours. I believe it came from 24 hour read-a-thons, because you can never read the full 24 hours during those (sleeping, eating, bathroom breaks). I've participated before, but I've never ended up having read anywhere close to 24 hours, and I'd kind of really like to get at least moderately close this time.

I don't have a stack together yet, but I'll post a picture probably the night before or morning of. My plan is to just make a giant pile and pick from it, and I'll probably bounce between books, single issues, and trade paperbacks just so I can try and keep going.

If you're interested the sign up post is here, and there's also more information. Obviously the goal is to try and get to 24 hours, but a lot of people never get it. I'd highly suggest joining in, though, it's always a ton of fun. I'm not sure how I'll be doing updates, definitely social media, but probably also something over here - just not sure how yet.

Let me know if you'll be taking part, and if you have any of your books picked out.

Happy reading!

Sign Up Post
FAQ

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

2016 Reading Resolutions (+ going over 2015)

Last year I did a 2014 reading wrap up and I kind of tried to do the same this year, but honestly it wasn't enough to put into it's own post. And I just didn't have as much to say, because I feel kind of shit about how much reading I got done this year. Yes, it still was quite a bit, but it was nothing like I got done last year.

So we'll do some quick stats and then continue right to my 2015 resolutions.

Graphic Novels/Trades: 46
Manga: 8
Single Issues: 84

General Novels/Novellas/Such - 76

"Adult" (24)
romance/erotica - 14
general fiction - 2
SciFi - 4
Fantasy (all) - 6
Magical Realism - 2
Short Story/General collections - 4
Non-fiction - 4
misc - 2

"Young Adult" (16)
fantasy - 7
contemporary - 9

Middle Grade (everything) - 8

Classics - 2
Poetry - 2
Horror/thriller - 6

That's just kind of sad if you look back at my 2014 reading, I'm really hoping to step my game up in 2016, fall back in love with reading. It's been a incredibly stressful and hard... year, really, the whole year has just been incredibly fucking hard.

Also, I realized how little I reread this year as compared to 2014, and I think that might of been part of it. Rereading tends to kind of make me excited about reading, about everything, since I only reread things I really love or just enjoy in general. That might be the key to 2016 being a good reading year, but it might take time since I've fallen out of the habit.

So - the resolutions. Here, I'm just going to talk about reading resolutions, not even the blogging ones, mostly because I'm still trying to figure those out. I have thought, in the last year, of giving this up. But I just love it, so much, and so I might not get back into a regular posting schedule anytime soon, but I hope to keep posting here.

100 Books (not counting graphic novels/trades/single issues) 

This is really important to me. Don't get me wrong, I love comics and trades and all of that goodness, but they're also easy to read. So, in 2015, when I couldn't focus enough or something - I just reached for a comic of some kind. Which is fine, it kept me reading at least a little, but I'd like to push myself more to read books. Because I have so damn many (more on that in my 2016 challenge post). I'm also, actually, pretty sure I'm going to fail this one, though I read about 140 in 2014.

Catch up on single issues / figure out what I want to read single vs trade

I'm still pretty new to single issues and yet they pile up damn fast. Especially because, even when I was reading I was reading single issues, I was normally just reading one or two. I might have to take a few days here and there and just binge read as many as I can. Kind of contrary to that first one, but I don't want to stop reading single issues or trades, I just also want to be reading books. 

Finish up series

I feel like everyone is always saying this, that I'm always saying this. But I really do need to. Finish the ones I've started, even if it required rereading the first one. And if I don't want to reread the first one, then I am not going to want to reread the series so off the shelves, I've got to get better at that. 

I'd also want to add to buy no books, or even just less books, but every year I have done that it just plain hasn't worked. So I think I'm just going to try and think some things in mind while buying, but I haven't hammered out exactly what those are. 

And that's kind of it, I think, I have two challenges I'm thinking of taking part in - one related to the book buying - but I'm going to make that into a separate post because this one is already long enough and that one shouldn't be too long.

What are your resolutions for 2016? Reading or just general related? I didn't add my general because I knew it'd get very, very long, but it's all pretty normal stuff. Any specific resolutions? Similar to mine?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bout of Books 15 | Weekly Wrap Up #28

First week of 2016 is over - how crazy is that? (Well, it's my first weekly wrap up of the year, almost two weeks into the new year, really, but whatever). I don't know how all of this time keeps passing, it astounds me, honestly. Anyway - Bout of Books 15 was this week (next one May! Yay!), and I didn't get as much reading done as I normally would, silly brain - also something else. However, overall, it was a productive fun week.

I got some 2015 favorite posts up, one more left to post, and then my resolutions will me up this week, too. I love getting a new year - getting to reset the counter to 0 and seeing how much I read. This year I've split my spreadsheet into three separate things so I can track everything easier - also so I can separate out the single issues. (Yes, spreadsheet, it's pretty great).

Reading: (finished this week and actively currently-reading)
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (3/5)
I guess I just expected more from this, even though I was hearing mixed things. There's a specific thing that erked me a bit.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North, Erica Henderson (3/5)
I had really, really high hopes for this. And I think it was mainly the fact I just wasn't really feeling the humor in the moment, but I didn't fall in love with it like I expected to. (Also I might be a tad bitter about squirrels at the moment, considering the one that sometimes wakes me up at 5/6am, and tries to break into my apartment).

Ms. Marvel, Volume 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona (5/5)
I loved this, on the other hand. The tone was so good, and I was choked up for most of it. So damn good.

Summer of Surrender by Zara Stoneley (2/5)
This was fun. The characters kept my attention, but mostly it just just a lot of - eh. A lot of using the trope of characters immediately rethinking something as soon as they said it, in the changing POV way. And that's super annoying. It was cute, though.

Stuff:
Uhhhhh... I honestly don't know what to put here this week. Mostly I've been reading everyone's 2016 resolution posts and feeling super inspired, and not being able, for some reason, to do anything about it.

Also, I mentioned in my Bout of Books 15 update post, that I had a Star Wars marathon. So I guess I could talk about that. (No spoilers for The Force Awakens, I promise). Anyway, I'd never seen Star Wars and so my friend Haley and I were talking and - fast forward to the next day and we're sitting down to marathon all six movies before planning to go see The Force Awakens (her for like the 3rd time). (For those curious, we watches them - 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7).

Oh, I guess I could talk about bullet journaling. I've always been super interested in it, just because it always seemed like a super organized way to have everything. And every year I start over a new notebook to use for, mostly, daily to dos - but also other stuff. Currently, that seems to be what my bullet journal is, but it's damn useful. I'd fallen out of using the daily to do lists, and I forgot how useful they are.

What have you guys been up to? Reading and otherwise, let me know!

On the blog:

Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 Favorites | Graphic Novels & Trades & Misc.

Part two, kind of, of my favorite books of 2015. Because, yes, I could definitely not choose just ten from all of the different categories. So I kind of split them up. The first post - fiction and non-fiction - this one with Trades and such, and then I'm planning on doing on about the single issues/running series I found or continued to love through out 2015. Now, let's just jump right in.

Trades

Trees, Volume 1 by Warren Ellis, Jason Howard
I read this pretty early in 2015 and I'm still thinking about it, and also still excited about getting volume 2. I don't know what it is about this story or anything, but I just fucking loved it. I didn't know anything going into it, just the gorgeous cover, and that I'd liked something Ellis had written before. He's now an auto read/buy author, which is not a common thing for comic writers for me. To the point - this trade is incredible, and diverse, and I just can't recommend it enough.

Sex Criminals, Volume 2: Two Worlds, One Cup by Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky
These two. This comic. These two. If you haven't heard of Sex Criminals, basically it's about two people who, all their lives, have stopped time when they orgasmed. And then they meet each other and realize that each other can do the same thing. And then they decide to rob a bank. And then things get really fucking crazy. I so recommend this comic series, and the team of Fraction/Zdarsky does it so damn well. Definitely NSFW or kids, though, most of these aren't, honestly.

Locke and Key, Volumes 1 - 6 by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez
I am not technically including rereads in these favorites list - and volumes 1 to 3 in this series were this year - however this whole series was just so damn good I think it's fair to include all six. This is a story about a family that has a lot of problems, focusing on the three kids, and it's just damn amazing. You get so attached to the characters, and the world is one that you'd kind of want to be in, because of the keys. Highly, highly recommended.

Velvet, Volumes 1 + 2 by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Bettie Breitweiser
I'm not going to lie, I saw this was Brubaker and Epting, and bought volume one. I didn't know much about it going in, and was kind of blown away. I'm not sure why I loved both of these so damn much, it must just be a person taste kind of thing. They're about a women in the cold war who is a secretary at a government agency - I want to say CIA, but I don't think they say or I don't remember - but she isn't just a secretary. And she's badass and it's awesome, it's just so good. Probably not for everyone, but I was a fan.

Lady Killer, Volume 1 by JoĆ«lle Jones, Jamie S. Rich
I saw this one too late to grab issue one, so I had to wait for the trade. It was definitely worth the wait, though. This is about a women in the sixties whose a housewife, a perfect one with the two kids and everything. However, she is also an assassin. (female assassins is just one of my things, apparently). This is so well done, though, the main character is fantastic, though I'm still not sure I like her. The art is gorgeous, especially how the blood is done. Also so damn highly recommended, all of these are.

Ms. Marvel, Volume Two: Generation Why & Volume Three: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona
I read volume 1 in 2014 - and I can't praise highly enough for this series, though I've sure you've heard about it. It's been everywhere, really, been spread far and wide on the bookternet. And it's just so damn good, I love Kamala so much as a character, and I just feel for her so much - even though her life is in no way the same as mine, but I just want good things for her. She's so great as a character.

Thor, Volume One: Goddess of Thunder & Thor, Volume Two: Who Holds the Hammer? by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman
As soon as I heard that this was happening, I wanted it, so much. I haven't read any pervious Thor stories, though I'm thinking of doing so before my Marvel Unlimited year runs out. This story line is so interesting, though - female Thor and what that means. And who she is. No spoilers, and don't go looking, because it is so worth not knowing.

Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, Mario Takara
I read these a little out of order by accident - I read Volume One: Higher, Further, Faster, More (And Volume Two, Stay Fly) without realizing that there'd been series that DeConnick had been writing before it, but I did go back and read that (Volume One, In Pursuit of Flight). Regardless - I cannot recommend this series highly enough. DeConnick is a fantastic writer and Carol is such a fantastic character. The whole this is amazing, all of it. Read Captain Marvel.

Honorable mentions: Batgirl, Volume One: The Batgirl of Burnside, Brubaker's Cap run from Winter Soldier through Red Menace, Runaways, Complete Collection: Volume One, and Virgil

Miscellaneous

So I'm kind of cheating here - but these are some books that I just felt didn't fit on the general fiction/non-fiction list.

Above the Dreamless Dead: World War 1 in Poetry and Comics edited by Chris Duffy
I had never read any World War 1 poetry until this collection, and I'm not entirely sure why I decided to pick it up. I remember hearing some good things about it, and being intrigued, and then I had it and was reading it. It's gorgeously put together. It's also heart-wrenching and beautiful - the art aside for right now, the words are beautiful and horrible. I kind of want to reread it just talking about it, because it's been about a year now, and I also want to read more trench poetry, some of those were my favorites.

Mostrous Affections edited by Kelly Link
My first Kelly Link short story collection! This is some kind of monumental thing, right? I'm not sure what it was about this that I loved so much, but I did. I wrote up a full thing on Goodreads, and I definitely want to reread this one, and read more of Kelly's collections - just her and others.

No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet, so reading her poems was a little strange - though, I did end up reading them out loud to myself. Either way, I highly suggest her in general. I did a whole post about spoken word and slam poetry, but you can also just type her name into youtube.

The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente
My first book by this wonderful author and I just loved the whole thing. I'm not entirely sure why, but I did, it was just plain incredible. Magical realism but also so much more then that, highly recommended if you're into that kind of thing. So damn good.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
To be honest, I was just going to put this in with the fiction, but it just didn't feel like it went with the other things over there. And I want back and forth, but it's here now. This book hurt, I'm not entirely sure why, but it did. It was incredible, but it also just hurt and was hard to read. And I already want to reread it.

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink, Jeffery Cranor
I've been listening to the podcast since... 2012? That's when it started, so I guess it couldn't of been earlier then that. I think just a few episodes after it started. And there's been multiple points when I've fallen behind, but it's just so damn good, I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend this book, because it's so different then what the podcast is, though there's the same atmosphere and feeling, also small tastes of what the podcast episode would be. Highly recommended - book and podcast.

And I think that's it - would love to hear your thoughts. Your favorites or if you've read any of these, or would like to. Let me know!

2015 Favorites | General Fiction and Non-Fiction

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2015 Favorites | General Fiction and Non-Fiction

I read a lot in 2015 so, obviously, I read a lot of good things. Which I think I was actual pretty luck in, considering everything. So I've decided to separate the favorite posts a bit just to make it a little more manageable - honestly, mostly for me.

I'm going to go fiction first and then go onto non-fiction. "General Fiction" is hopefully including all the book-y things I read this year, novels - fiction, SciFi/Fantasy, Middle Grade anything, same for Young Adult. Just a whole bunch of good stuff. They're also in no particular order because that would of been way too hard.

(All of the tops I gave five stars, the honorable mentions were possibly also 5, because I am someone who rates on the high side and likes, apparently, too many things. Also there will be no rereads included in these lists, because I only reread favorites).

Fiction

Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
This is one I read really early in the year, and kind of already want to reread it. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and just so damn good, in all. It's written in verse and just - I cried for a good part of it.

The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) by Brent Weeks
I'd never read anything by Brent Weeks before and I, for some reason, haven't continued onto something else yet. However - adored this one. High fantasy with some fantastic characters and a super interesting world.

Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
I had never read an A.S. King book before this year, and now I've read two and they were both just fantastic, gave both 5 stars. They're contemporary YA but with a very specific magical realism twist, that I ended up just adoring. I read them almost back to back, because I just wanted more. And I definitely want to read more of her books. The other one I read was Ask the Passengers, also fantastic.

Redeployment by Phil Klay
I picked this up because I'd been hearing good things, it was a National Book Award winner, and I'd never read anything related to the Afghanistan war, really any contemporary war anything. (going to mention another related one in the misc category, which might be where I put things that, while were kind of not straight and narrow anything, was also a way to mention more books).

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I bought this when it first came out and just didn't get to it until this year. And it was heartbreaking and breathtaking and gorgeous. The writing, and how everything was described, it was just incredible. And I honestly can't recommend this one enough. So damn good.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Steivater
I'm pretty sure I've sang my praises of the The Raven Cycle series enough that you guys might have realized I kind of like it. It's amazing, though, freaking incredible. And I'm sure it isn't for some people, but for some reason this series click with me and is just so damn gorgeous, and I love the characters.

The Marvels by Brian Selznick
I've loved both his other novels - love how they're illustrated and written, so well mixed - and this one, I was not expecting to cry for like the last 100 pages of or so, but I did. And it was so good. And I 100% recommend going in not knowing anything.

The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson
I don't think I'll go a year now without reading and loving a Sanderson. Also not for everyone, I'm well aware of that, so I will try not to spew at you guys too much. But I'm such a sucker for the interlinked kind of world thing, and references to people in the past. And I just love his writing, somehow it feels so easy to read and I love his characters. Also love the style in this series, the flintlock fantasy, kind of steampunk but western thing. Also the magic systems. Sanderson's magic systems in everything.

Tiffany Reisz - not a book, but an author. And I read 6 books by her this year. 6. And they were incredible. Also not for everything. They're dark - really dark, at points - BDSM stories with fantastic characters. I'm so damn attached to these characters, and I really hope she's going to continue in some series after the last one that came out. The whole series is called the Original Sinners, but the two separate series are the White Years and then the Red Years. I will probably sing her praises continuously, hoping the read the last one in January.

Honorable Mentions(no order): Whistling in the Dark. The Enchanted, The Curious Tale of the In-Between, The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Non-Fiction

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
I can't speak enough praise for this book. I read it early in the year and kept thinking about it for months after it. It's more poems then prose, and it's just damn incredible.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
I'm a huge fan of Felicia, have been since the Guild (and Eureka, listen, I love Eureka and still slightly salty five years later). She's an incredible person and I just love so much of what she does. This is kind of her memoir, starting from her early years to now, and it's so interesting. Super interesting to see what she went through more recently. If you love her, read it, and if you don't - read it anyway.

March: Book One and Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
I don't know if I can say anything about this one. It's by John Lewis about the civil rights movement, and it's hard to read. It's painful to see what was happening then, and also related to what is happening right now. It's hard, but I can't recommend it enough.

Showa: A History of Japan, 1926 - 1939 by Shigeru Mizuki
I picked this up on a whim at an indie bookstore. And holy shit, it was so good. It's history, which I really enjoy, but it's just just plain history - a mixture of his person history, Mizuki's, but also the history of what was happening political, with a little bit of a twist at parts. So damn good, I can't wait to keep reading more, but I think I have to reread this one because I think my brain has mixed up some dates. Either way - highly, highly recommended. (Graphic novel)

Spook by Mary Roach
I need to read more of her, because this one was so damn good. I really enjoy her writing and how there's so much packed in to a book that isn't that long, or that hard to read. Can't wait to read more.

Honorable Mention: Quiet

I'd like to add that this is a tad bit late and, while I had company, I also could of written it up early. Only a few days late, at least, and with the fact I have two more of these posts to get up - that isn't that bad. (I'll have one with miscellaneous things and graphic novels/tradcs, and then another with single issues/basically my favorite currently running series.

Let me know if you did a best of 2015 post - book related, comics, or whatever - or just let me know your favorites in the comments. Also let me know if you've read any of these or are planning on it.

Happy New Year! And happy reading.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

December 2015 | Monthly Wrap Up

December felt like a strangely long month, and I just didn't have much time to read the last week or so of the month, but I think I'm pretty good with what I did get read. I think I have to accept that I just can't read like I was, I will still strive for it, but I can just accept it, too.

Books:
  • The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (5/5)
  • Doll Bones by Holly Black (4/5)
  • Falling for Him (Karimi Siblings #1) by Alisha Rai (2/5)
  • The King (White Years #2) by Tiffany Reisz (5/5)
  • The Virgin (White Years #3) by Tiffany Reisz (5/5)
  • Curveball (Away We Go #1) by Charlotte Stein (2/5)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Illustrated Edition by J.K Rowling (5/5)
  • Legion: Skin Deep (Legion #2) by Brandon Sanderson (5/5)
Single Issues:
  • Kaptara #5 by Chip Zdarsky, Kagan McLeod (5/5)
  • Wayward #11 by Jim Zub, Steve Cummings (5/5)
  • The Wicked and the Divine #16 by Kiernon Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson (4/5)
  • Descender #7 by Jeff Lemire, Dustin, Nguyen
Last month of the year, and I had plans to finish up things, but it just didn't end up happening for some reason. Either way, it was still a good reading month. I read a few really good things, also two kind of eh romance-y/erotica things. 

December was a crazy month, and this is a little late, but I'm hoping January will be a good reading month to kick off the year with a bunch of books, but might not be a thing until February because I think I'm getting a cold, and some insanity things.

How was December for you? What'd you read or do? I'd love to know.

On the Blog:

Monday, January 4, 2016

Bout of Books 15 | Goals + Update Post

Bout of Books 15 kicks off today! This should of been up yesterday, or at least earlier today, but I completely lost track of time and may or may not went to bed at 8pm last night. Anyway -  I'm not doing a separate goals and such post this time around, although I still really like the organization of it, but I figured I'd stick with the actual template they suggest for another time around.

My Goals

  • Read. Plain and simple. I haven't been reading too much, and haven't ready anything yet this year period - mostly because of apartment guest, which was so much fun, but now that I've got time I'd like to try and knock out a few things early. 
  • Visit blogs - not any certain number, but I'd like to visit the ones I know are participating, that I follow them on something, and also pop over to some new ones to check out.

Books to Read  

(I don't think I'll end up reading all of these - just a handful of things I'd like to get to soon, maybe this week. Also could pick something else up on a whim, who knows)

  • The Queen (White Years #4) by Tiffany Reisz
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • 100 Essays I Don't Have Time To Write by Sarah Ruhl 
  • Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  • The Old Country by Mordicai Gerstein
  • The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
  • Ms Marvel, Volume 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona 
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North, Erica Henderson

Updates

Monday

Number of books I've read today: 1
Pages Read: 64
Time Spent Reading: 30 minutes
Books:
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (started and finished - 64 pages)

Notes:
I didn't get a lot of reading done, and I'm not sure how well I'm going to do tomorow. I think I might be getting a cold - sore throat, sniffles - and just plain exhausted after the first few days of the year. It was a shit ton of fun but I need another good, long night of sleep, I think.

Let me know how you're doing, though! Or post a 

Tuesday

Number of books I've read today: 0
Total # of books I've read: 1
Pages read: 89
Total # of pages: 153
Time Spent Reading: 1 hour
Total Time Spent Reading: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Books:
Summer of Surrender by Zara Stoneley (started - 89 pages)

Notes:
I'm honestly surprised I got any reading done. It was a day, let me tell you. Also, I've just been having a hard time concentrating with all the stress and such. The time around New Years was kind of a break from that stress, but it's back full force now. Great.

Also renewed my Scribd subscription and picked this book up just on a whim. It's alright, not amazing, but it was less then 200 pages and just something for me to be able to read fast on my phone.

What are you reading?

Wednesday

Number of books I've read today: 2
Total # of books I've read: 3
Pages read: 248
Total # of pages: 401
Time Spent Reading: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Total Time Spent Reading: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Books:
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume One: Squirrel Power by Ryan North, Erica Henderson (started and finished - 128 pages)
Ms. Marvel, Volume 4: Last Days by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona (started and finished - 120 pages)

Notes:
I was a little disappointed by Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it or something (that was probably it), but it was just a little meh for me overall. Sadly, I was so looking forward to it. Ms. Marvel, on the other hand, made me tear up at multiple points. (Also Carol Danvers is life, guys, life. I love her an unhealthy amount, and have just realized this).

Thursday

Didn't read.

Friday

Didn't read - but started the Star Wars marathon (episodes 4, 5, and 1)

Saturday

(Watched episodes 2, 3, 6, and 7. And want to go see 7 again in theaters because of reasons and feelings)

Sunday

Number of books I've read today: 1
Total # of books I've read: 4
Pages read: 182
Total # of pages: 583
Time Spent Reading: 2 hours
Total Time Spent Reading: 4 hours, 50 minutes
Books:
Summer of Surrender by Zara Stoneley (finished - 93 pages)
Playing the Game by M.Q. Barber (started - 89 pages) (ehhh, might DNF)

Notes:
I have fallen such out of the habit of reading - I really need to get back into it. I'm hoping having my reading chair will help once life calms down a bit, which hopefully it'll start to in the next few weeks. I'll try and build a kind of routine with the reading - sitting in the chair for an hour or so after lunch and reading something, and then reading later, too. That's the plan.

I honestly think this is the least I've ever read for a read-a-thon, in general, let alone a Bout of Books. I did watch all 7 Star Wars movies, though - which I'm still not entirely sure how we decided to do that, but Haley and I did. And then we did it.

Anyway - it was still a lot of fun. Also the firs time I've really missed a twitter chat, I popped in and out of the one on Saturday, still watching Star Wars as I was.

How was your Bout of Books? Or just your week?