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Friday, June 21, 2013

Everyone Loves a Read-a-thon- Library Books Read-a-thon!

Summer vacation is off to a great start and after an extremely productive trip to the library yesterday I'm ready for the first read-a-thon of the summer! I'll be keeping track of my books here and am hoping to really dig in this weekend.  I'll be going out of town on the 26th and have a final exam to take before I go so I'll be frontloading this one for sure, but still!  Anyway, on to the good stuff:

Completed Books:
The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch

Currently Reading:
The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn

Head over to Rachael Turns Pages to sign up!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Speedy Reviews: Time to Get Caught Up

The biggest downside of long breaks in between blog posts, other than the implication that there are lots and lots of other things going on that require my attention, is that when the dust finally settles, there are lots of reviews waiting to be written.  A lot of time has elapsed since I read the books though- what to do, what to do...

Anyway, here's the solution! Six books from my review queue, with brief thoughts.  Then, on to more recent, more detailed things.

Heart of Brass by Kate Cross (obtained from my public library)- The first in a steampunk romance, this is the story of Arden and Lucas.  Lucas has disappeared and everyone except Arden thinks he's dead; when he appears, brainwashed by the enemy and assigned to assassinate Arden (his wife,) things are, as they say on Facebook, complicated.  I think I would have enjoyed this book a little bit more if I hadn't been reminded of this:
Overall, not as much steampunk goodness as I would have liked, a decent romance and setup for the next book, generally an okay book.

Rating: 3/5

Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh (book purchased by me)- I will follow this series to the ends of the earth and this anthology was a good bridge between full length novels.  I had read two of the included stories already but it was nice to have my own copies.  The two new stories were excellent as well.  I loved it but I would totally start this series at the beginning and enjoy all that it has to offer.

Rating: 5/5

Gloomcookie Vol. 1 by Serena Valentino (obtained from my public library)- I don't read a lot of graphic novels but picked this one up after seeing it mentioned on another blog (I forget which, but I'll link up if I remember.)  I confess I wasn't really impressed with this story- I enjoyed the dramatic circusy artwork and the visual elements but the story didn't stay with me at all.  Maybe I've just officially become old and can't get into the OMG he likes you/no he doesn't/I hate you/you don't understand me element? Don't know, don't care, but I won't be continuing with this series.

Rating: 2/5

Geist by Philippa Ballantine (obtained from my public library)- This is the first book in this series, and honestly I think it suffers a little bit for that.  The characters come on too strong in some segments and washed out in others and I think it's because there's so much worldbuilding to be done in a really short number of pages.  There are lots of different genres making an appearence- fantasy, romance, adventure, steampunk- and I love genrebenders typically, but I think this book might have fared a little better if one had been a little more prominent than the others.  Not sure if I'll continue with this series or not.

Rating: 3/5

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley (obtained from my public library)- I really enjoy this series and I think it's very telling that although I think this is the weakest book in the series so far, it's still outstanding and was a fun read.  Gypsies, town history, mystery, the antics of an eleven year old, and of course chemistry all come together to tell a fun and intriguing story.  I admit I wasn't quite as satisfied with the ending of this one as I had been with the past two books, it's a small quibble and I'm still a huge fan.

Rating: 4/5

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (obtained from my public library)- Christmas, Flavia de Luce style!  This was an interesting book for the family dynamics of the de Luce clan- Flavia thinks her family pretty much wants nothing to do with her but certain things happen that make her question that assumption.  The financial troubles of Papa de Luce also take center stage, as without them there'd be no need for this story!  I enjoyed this book tremendously- Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Overall Rating: 4/5

And there you have it!  Six short reviews, with full reviews coming back in the next post. What have you been reading lately- good, bad, or indifferent?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Indeed! It's been a long time but the school year is over and therefore my time is significantly more available for the next couple of months.

Seriously, it's all coming together!  I decided not to teach summer school this year so except for a few things here and there I'm looking forward to lots of days by the beach and FINALLY getting caught up on all the books I want to read (and reread, too!)

Here are just some of the things I'm excited to finally dive into in the coming weeks:

My annual Harry Potter re-read.  Hooray!

Re-reads for other favorite series: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Kate Daniels, etc. Oh yeah, and finally starting and hopefully getting through a bunch of new series too!

Speed round reviews and logs of books.  I set my Goodreads challenge at 100 books for 2013 and I am incredibly behind for possibly the first time in my life.  Being a grownup is hard!

More Moers!  I decided to do it!  I'll be doing a week of reviews of nothing but the quirky and awesome books by Walter Moers.  Schedule TBD but there is fun to be had!

Can't wait! Happy summer everyone!
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