My favorite books of 2018 (only now, but rich in content like a Lungo)

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Now it’s already 2019. It took me long enough to write this post, after Christmas cookies, a lot of shopping for presents, and the family reunion when all those presents were exchanged and a harmonious meal was shared. January also went up quite quickly while I participated in a science fiction Readathon I’ll be soon wrapping up here, but now finally I’ll post my 2018 favorite books.

And I have a lot of books to chose from. I read 130 books, mainly Fantasy, Science-Fiction and a surprisingly great amount of Young Adult and Graphic Novels. I didn’t expect it, but many of my YA reads were 5 stars.

I had a lot of fun reading all the books by S.J. Kincaid I could find, marathoning through eight Deluxe Editions of Fables by Bill Willingham and thankfully discovering new authors, since the favorites I already follow and auto-buy don’t write new books as fast as I read them.

I also had a fair amount of unfinished book and books which hype didn’t hold as I read them. And a couple of series sequels that failed to impress me, with the result that I’ll be abandoning them. I wonder if I should write about about the last year’s let-downs or about series I won’t be following anymore? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

For now, I’ll talk about the five star books and a couple of honored four stars. Here they are:

 

5 Star Champion Series I already finished or that I’ll be continuing next year

1) The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

When it comes to this book the hype is deserved. I loved the world building and the ‘cruel prince’ is a very interesting character. I’m curious to be seen how this story will develop in the next books. I am, in any case, on board. Now in January I also started listening to The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) Audiobook and I’m loving it.

 

2) “The Bone Season” and “The Mime Order” (The Bone Season #1 and #2) by Samantha Shannon.

In both books the world building is quite extensive and that alone was already worth at least 4,5 to 5 stars. There is even a spin-off called “On the Merits of Unnaturalness” which further explains it’s rules, but, although I haven’t read it, I could follow the various ‘voyants’ classes that appear in the book.
I also liked Paige because, although she was likable, she wasn’t exactly a standard romantic heroine. She could be contradictory, seemed to be too cynical and suspicious sometimes and only at the end of the book, you could see all her layers. Perhaps she’s not everybody’s favorite type of main female character, but I found that really refreshing after so many perfect fictional girls out there. I also liked the flaws in all other characters, I think this contributed to give depth to the story.
I also read The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) and I loved the sequel development, the world building is still awesome and the characters so greatly multi-layered. This is a not hyped, but extremely interesting series. I can’t wait to read the next book.

 

3) The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

Awesome story world with Ifrits, Ghouls, Marids, Peri, Djinn and multi-layered characters. I’m following this series for sure.

 

4) “A Shadow Bright and Burning”, “A Poison Dark and Drowning” and “A Sorrow Fierce and Falling” (Kingdom on Fire #1, #2 and #3) by Jessica Cluess

This series isn’t nearly as much hyped as it should be. It is an awesome series, with unique and unforgettable multi-layered characters, and so many surprising plot twists.
Like the Bone Season series, it is also original and many levels above most fantasy YA series I’ve read. It has a rich fantasy and historical world and one of the best heroines I’ve found since ever. 😉
I would recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy with a strong female character and complex side characters as well.
I heard this whole series as Audiobooks and the performance from Fiona Hardingham was awesome too.

 

5) “The Diabolic” and “The Empress” (The Diabolic #1 and #2) by S.J. Kincaid

Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot. I could not stop hearing the Audiobook until the last sentence of this story. This was the best book I read (“heard”) in the first six months of 2018, and this is saying something about how perfectly written this story is.
This is my first book by this author but I’ll surely take a look at all her other books. and go on following this series.
The Empress was quite original and full of really unexpected plot twists. I wonder how the story is going to continue and can’t wait for the next book in this series. This book goes connects to the universe of the other trilogy of Kincaid, Insignia, so I would read that trilogy before reading this second book.

The reading performance of Candace Thaxton in both Audiobooks was quite awesome too.

 

6) “Insignia”, “Vortex” and “Catalyst” (Insignia #1, #2 and #3) by S.J. Kincaid

I picked the first book after reading Diabolic from the same author and liked it too, even if Diabolic is still my favorite. Tom goes through so much, you can’t help but sympathize and feel super worried for him. The themes of this series are quite important in the present light of things, this trilogy stands above the usual YA Dystopia. All the feels and themes in this series! If you have to choose only one Dystopian YA trilogy to read in your whole life choose this one.

 

7) “The Queen of the Tearling”, “The Invasion of the Tearling” and “The Fate of the Tearling” (The Queen of the Tearling #1, #2 and #3) by Erika Johansen

This trilogy is an awesome mix of fantasy, and dystopia, a real page-turner with great characters, story and oh, all the politics! It isn’t exactly YA as it contains strong scenes of domestic abuse that may be a trigger for some people, but in my opinion the portraying of all the injustice added to the value of the trilogy.
I recommend this trilogy if you like original books with unexpected plot twists, well-written POVs (you end up caring a lot for secondary characters like a jailer with a disability and a gate guard!), and multi-layered characters. Erika Johansen is an author I’ll keep in my radar for sure!

 

8) “Bitch Planet Vol. 1” and “Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch” (Bitch Planet (Collected Editions) #1 and #2) by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Taki Soma (Illustrator), Valentine De Landro (Artist), Robert Wilson IV (Artist)

This is an awesome graphic novel series. Everybody should read it, especially with how politics is going nowadays in the world. 😉

 

9) The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1) by Helene Wecker.

A jewel, I loved everything about this book; the writing style, the story, the theme, the characters, the setting and the ending. It’s a new classic and going towards literary fiction, but it has tension until the last page.
I also liked the Audiobook narrator: George Guidall. I’m waiting for The Iron Season by the same author.

 

10)Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

I won’t talk long about this book because it it hyped with great reason and everybody raves in detail about this. 😉 I liked more this sequel than the first book in the duology due to all the feels and the characters stories depth. I’m surely waiting for King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo to meet her characters and the Grishaverse again.

 

11) Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Really good, original Sci-fi! This book was so well written, the story world so rich and the characters so likable! I found a new favorite author. I’ll be waiting for Children of Ruin (Children of Time #2).

 

And a Standalone: 12) China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh

Nowadays standalones have turned to be rather the exception. This was very well written, a literary, slice-of-life, dystopia. At the beginning I considered Zhang aloof and could not relate to him, but as the story progressed I understood that it isn’t easy to survive in a world that condemns most things about you and could sympathize. I considered the chapters with the other characters really great too and loved the story set in Mars.
A beautiful book, to be read without hurry, as the awesome food-for-thought about human condition that it is.

 

Wow, this was a long post, I could still rave about my four star reads of last year, but then this would end up with two thousand words LOL.

Let me know if I should follow up with four stars, three and disappointing set asides and DNFs.

And at last, which were your favorite books from last year? Let me know in the comments.

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Wrap-Up: The One Readathon To Rule Them All Round 2 #theonereadathon

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This is my wrap-up of the second round of The One Readathon, a fantasy Readathon that happened from November 17 to December 1. The original announcement video from Don’t Have a Degree in Reading with all challenges and rules is linked here. And if you want to see, this is my previous TBR for this Round 2

I took a bit longer through the “Route 4” which was “Nomadic Traveler”. In which, as it says in the original video, “you may pick as many (or as little) of the challenges from below as you want. You are in charge of this route but remember…you must get the Ring to Mordor!”

I did most of the challenges without using any book for more than one challenge, so it took me a while to go through my long TBR pile. I was gladly taking my time because I consider two weeks way too short for so many awesome challenges. I think that “The One Readathon” would fit really well in a three months reading challenge, so I went someplace in between and took a whole month.

I also decided to choose other books for a couple of challenges along the way. Therefore, the books from my previously planned list that are yet unread will be postponed to 2019.

Fortunately, most books I picked were 5 star reads for me. I am lately enjoying young adult books very often when I’m looking for a lighter read after a long day. And many of the books, for example, The Tearling Trilogy, that I initially considered young adult went far beyond that genre to plunge into an original fantasy, dystopia and science fiction blend that I really cherished and became one of my favorite reads of this year.

As it always happens when you read a bunch of books, a couple of the books I chose were not really for me, not due to them being essentially bad, but because I considered their writing style tiring or they weren’t what I expected when I started reading them. I’m often too tired to go on reading a book that can’t hold my interest, so I didn’t finish or skipped pages of three of the books in this list.

The only challenges I didn’t have time to complete were the Shire, Moria, and Lorien, but this was all right since you didn’t have to do all the challenges for the readathon and I managed to complete the rest of them.

So, without further considerations, here are the challenges I completed and the books I’ve read:

BREE

Read a fantasy book set in a non-European influenced setting.
I decided to read The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars!
Awesome story world with Ifrits, Ghouls, Marids, Peri, Djinn and multi-layered characters. I’m following this series for sure.

FANGORN FOREST

Read a fantasy book with magical/supernatural creatures
For this I read The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories by Mahvesh Murad (Editor), Jared Shurin & others
Review – No rating, because I set this anthology aside for now, after reading around five stories, mainly because I expected a fantasy anthology when I started reading this and, true, all stories have fantastic elements, but apart from this they are a mixture of genres. Therefore, I’ll read this when I feel like reading literary, slice-of-life, or magical realism short stories.

RIVENDELL

Read a fantasy book with LGBTQIA+ rep (author/MC/POV)
I changed my mind an picked Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill, for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars! This graphic novel has a heart warming story with cute illustrations and an environmental message. It deals with so many important themes; loss, sustainable use of natural resources, different ways of being feminine and strong… All in a way a child can understand and relate with. Light, lovely and powerful.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Oni Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

ISENGARD

Read a fantasy book with a villain MC/POV (morally grey MC/POV is acceptable!).
The villain MC/POV book I chose was Grendel by John Gardner.
Review – 2 stars. This is original and well-written, therefore the two stars. Subjectively, I considered the monologue quite long, and skipped some pages in between, but the tragic character had an interesting voice.

HELM’S DEEP

Read a fantasy book that is a standalone.
I read The Goblin Emperor (The Goblin Emperor #1) by Katherine Addison
Review: 1 star. This is so hyped but I really can’t see what’s that all about… The story reminded me faintly of “The Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen. However, the stakes and the tension of the previously mentioned book were not present at all. The main character had way too long time to think, meditate and especially complain about life, to a point that I stopped caring completely. After reading 110 pages without much happening I read the end only to see that few concrete things had really happened and the story would continue on a next book.
Apart from this, the writing style with the pronouns and the words exclusive to the story were extremely jarring.

ROHAN

Read a fantasy book w/ a female MC.
I decided to finish a young adult fantasy series, by hearing the audiobook of A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire #3) by Jessica Cluess (Author), Fiona Hardingham (Narrator).
Review: 5 Stars!
This series isn’t nearly as much hyped as it should be. It is an awesome series, with multi-layered characters that are unique and has so many awesome plot twists.
It is also original and many levels above most YA series I’ve read. It has a rich fantasy and historical world and one of the best heroines I’ve found since… Ever. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes fantasy with a strong female character and complex side characters as well.
I heard this whole series as Audiobooks and the performance from Fiona Hardingham was awesome too.

GONDOR

Read a fantasy book w/ POC rep (author/MC/POV)
I changed my mind and, instead of the book I had chosen before, I decided to read two graphic novels with POC characters for this challenge:

1) Afar by Leila del Duca, Kit Seaton (Illustrator)
Review – 5 Stars!
Very interesting, a graphic novel with astral travelling? I’m all for it!

2) Sleepless, Vol. 1 (Sleepless #1-6) by Sarah Vaughn, Leila del Duca (Artist), Alissa Sallah (Colorist), Deron Bennett (Letterer)
Review – 4 Stars.
*Spoiler Alert* This was very interesting even if a bit slow-paced, you will probably get answers only in the next books, but this happens often in graphic novel series. On a personal note, the whole sleepless thing didn’t make much sense for me, if the sleepless defenders would get some magical abilities for all the lack of sleep, it would have made sense, but as it was it looked only like a silly idea (perhaps I just didn’t understand it well enough). In any case I’ll be following this series further on.

MINAS TIRITH

Read a fantasy book
I picked Sapphire Blue “Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie #2)” by Kerstin Gier for this challenge.
Review – 5 Stars! Kerstin Gier is my new favorite young adult author even if I don’t read her books in their original language, German. I may try it though sometime with “Die Mütter-Mafia” books.
The story is told in a light and humorous way that makes it a real treat for a relaxing afternoon. I also like the tension created by the time-travel plot and multi-layered characters.

MORDOR

Read the conclusion to a fantasy series (standalones count) or the most recent installment of a series.
For this final challenge, I read the last book of the Queen of the Tearling series,
The Fate of the Tearling (The Tearling Trilogy) by Erika Johansen
Review – 5 Stars! This was original and awesome fantasy/sci-fi!
I recommend this book if you like books with amazing plot twists, well-written POVs (you end up caring so much for secondary characters like a jailer with a disability and a gate guard!), and multi-layered characters. The whole trilogy was awesome and Erika Johansen is an author I’ll keep in my radar for sure!

The One Readathon To Rule Them All Round 2 #theonereadation

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Don’t Have a Degree in Reading and other Booktubers listed in her video have now launched a second round from this awesome fantasy Readathon.
I was gladly participating of Round One in April this year. If you would like to see what I was reading then, here’s are the posts from the first’s round TBR and Wrap-Up
I’ll also participate now in the second round, which goes from November 17 to December 1, but I plan to post my wrap-up only when most of the books in my long TBR have been read.
Now, without further ado, here are my choices for each challenge.

The Shire

Reread a favorite fantasy book
This is the only challenge I haven’t yet a book for. It could happen that I pass on it too, since I rarely reread books.

Bree

Read a fantasy book set in a non-European influenced setting
I’m undecided between Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)  or The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1).

Have you read any of them? Which would you recommend me?

Fangorn Forest

Read a fantasy book with magical/supernatural creatures

Have you read any of them? Which would you recommend me?

Rivendell

Read a fantasy book with LGBTQIA+ rep (author/MC/POV)
The Black Tides of Heaven (Tensorate #1)

Moria

Read a grimdark fantasy book or a fantasy book w/ spooky elements.
The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company #1) 

Lorien

Read a fantasy book published by an indie press
Sufficiently Advanced Magic
I found this list quite helpful.

Isengard

Read a fantasy book with a villain MC/POV (morally grey MC/POV is acceptable!)

Grendel

Helm’s Deep

Read a fantasy book that is a standalone
The Goblin Emperor

Rohan

Read a fantasy book w/ a female MC. Here is a very interesting  list for this challenge.

The Curse of Chalion

Gondor

Read a fantasy book w/ POC rep (author/MC/POV)

Partials (Partials Sequence, #1) 

Minas Tirith

Read a fantasy book
I’ll still pick a book for this, probably any book of fantasy I read in the meantime that it isn’t yet on this list.

Mordor

Read the conclusion to a fantasy series (standalones count) or the most recent installment of a series.
For this final challenge, I’ll pick the last book of the Queen of the Tearling series,

The Fate of the Tearling.

For more book recommendations check the original video and the other creators and co-host videos.

Captain’s Log: Tome Infinity & Beyond Wrap Up #TomeInfinityAndBeyond

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This is my wrap-up, a month late since I was without time to write a blog post when the Readathon finished. Better late than never, so here are my reviews:

My Traveling Itinerary

 

I was leaving Earth with Ship D reading a new to me Author

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers.
This was a different kind of science-fiction, quite enjoyable and focused on the characters and human interactions. Rating: 4 Stars

 

On the Asteroid Belt I was reading a Space Opera

Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey.  Even if the premise and world were interestingI set it aside after forty pages because I was bored with its slow pace and new character introductions. I’ll perhaps pick this one later again, right now I’m in doubt if I want to commit to such a long series. Rating: No Rating since I DNF it.

 

In Saturn I was reading A Book With Circles On The Cover

The Grey Moon by Timothy P. Callahan. The story was quite centered in the characters and their relationship, almost in a slice-of-life sort of story. I would have liked if it would have been less focused on the relationship details and more on the science fiction itself, or if the pace would have been a bit faster. I found the kind of relationship depicted interesting though, it is seldom that you read a story where the effects of one of the partners working too much is talked about, therefore Rating: 3 stars.

Uranus, Hahaha – Reading A Book Featuring Some Comic Relief

Armada, by Ernest Cline. I liked this even if I still prefer “Ready Player One”. I would love a next book where Zack Lightman would meet the aliens and try to find out what they are plotting, LOL. Rating: 4 Stars

Neptune, Reading A Science Fiction W/ Fantasy Themes Or Vice Versa

I read the Innkeeper Chronicles series, which now has three books and liked it a lot. It’s a mixture of Paranormal Fantasy and Science Fiction. Here are my reviews of the three books:

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)

There ain’t no real vacations without an Ilona Andrews book… 🙂
I liked this book, just missed a bit more description and focus on the main character herself, especially when all side characters, even the dead dogs, got good descriptions.
The sci-fi and fantasy story world felt a bit rushed at times too, but I hope to get to know more about it in the next books of this series that I’ll be following for sure. Rating: 4 Stars

Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles #2) 
This was awesome, an entertaining series in any case. Rating: 5 Stars

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)
When it’s the next book in the series here? Rating: 5 Stars

And finally I’ll arrive in my new home planet,

Pluto, where the goal was to Read A Vintage Science Fiction Book (25+ Years Old)

The Inheritors of Earth by Gordon Eklund, Poul Anderson.

This was vintage original sci-fi at it’s best. Rating: 5 Stars

And after setting camp in Pluto, I decided to go on reading…

 

Other Sci-fi books I would recommend

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

This book was very interesting, romantic and a real page-turner. I recommend this for anyone who likes their sci-fi with a lot of action and unpredictable quantum physics twists. Rating: 5 Stars

Prime Meridian by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This book is not standard new-adult science fiction, but a well-written, and touching story in a, quite possible to happen, dystopian future.
Amelia is a heart-warming, relatable and real heroine. The theme of a woman giving her best and even tough being taken for granted is shown in detail (I found the symbolism with the rat very clever) and the heroine arc is lovely.
I hope there are more books with Amelia’s life on Mars and will be checking out future books by this author.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Innsmouth Free Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Rating: 5 Stars.

China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh

This was very well written, a literary, slice-of-life, dystopia. At the beginning I thought Zhang aloof and could not relate to him, but as the story progressed I understood that it isn’t easy to survive in a world that condemns most things about you. I considered the chapters with the other characters really great too and loved the story set in Mars.
A beautiful book, to be read without hurry, as the awesome food-for-thought about human condition that it is.  Rating: 5 Stars.

And you? Have you read any great sci-fi or any other book you would recommend?

 

Tome Infinity and Beyond Readathon**CREATED BY**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Tome Infinity And Beyond TBR!

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The Tome Infinity and Beyond is a Science Fiction (yay!!!) Readathon created by Brushing Bookends

(I’ll leave all  other links at the end of this post).

According to the Tome Infinity And Beyond Mission Log our journey  has already started on the 7th September and it will last until the 21th, leaving us with two weeks to find our new home planet.

This is my traveling itinerary:

I’m leaving Earth with Ship D reading a new to me Author: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers.

Once I’m in the Asteroid Belt where my goal is to Read A Space Opera Adventure, I’ll read Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey, a series that has been in my radar for a year already.

 

In Saturn I’ll Read A Book With Circles On The Cover: 
The Grey Moon by Timothy P. Callahan

 

Uranus, Hahaha – Read A Book Featuring Some Comic Relief:
I’ll read Armada, by Ernest Cline.

 

Neptune, Read A Science Fiction W/ Fantasy Themes Or Vice Versa, I’ll read the Clean Sweep series by Ilona Andrews,

 

And finally I’ll arrive in my new home planet, Pluto, where the goal is to Read A Vintage Science Fiction Book (25+ Years Old):
The Inheritors of Earth by Gordon Eklund, Poul Anderson.

 

I’ll be posting my wrap-up in as soon as I finish my space journey!

 

Tome Infinity and Beyond Readathon**CREATED BY**

2018 – Mid Year Book Freak Out TAG

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Time for my Mid Year Book Freak Out TAG!

I’m sharing with you the best and worst books I’ve read this year so far.

The picture of Pisa’s tower has not much to do with this post, but I visited it in a rainy summer day and, God, it’s so hot and rainy here now in end of July! So why not, right?

If you want to check out who started this, here is the Original Tag:
Chami – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03gz6k0IB-Y
Ely – https://www.youtube.com/user/MidnightBluex

 

Questions:

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

That is difficult to choose, but one of my favorites this year was “The Diabolic” by S.J. Kincaid.
Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot, in my case I could not stop hearing the Audiobook until the last sentence of the story. The reading performance of Candace Thaxton was quite awesome too.

I also must mention The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen, this was awesome fantasy, a real page turner with great characters, story and oh, all the politics! I’ll definitely go on reading this series and Erika Johansen in one of my new favorite authors. This isn’t just YA though, it has some violence and darkness in it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

“The Empress” by S.J. Kincaid was quite original and full of really unexpected plot twists.
I wonder how the story is going to continue and can’t wait for the next book. In the Audiobook, the reading of Candace Thaxton was as five stars good as in the first book.

 

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

Many books would fit here as an answer, I could make a list with at least twenty books or so, lol. One of them is “Six Wakes” by Mur Lafferty.

 

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

At the moment there are six unreleased books I’m waiting for, one of them is “A Sorrow Fierce and Falling (Kingdom on Fire, Book Three)” by Jessica Cluess.

 

5. Biggest disappointment.

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
(I would like to thank NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. The writing style, the characterization, the story itself… I could rant here about all the things I didn’t like, but let’s leave it at that.

 

6. Biggest surprise.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky was a really original and surprising science-fiction book with spiders! This book was so well written, the story world so rich and the characters so likable.

 

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

Four, new to me, favorites:

S.J. Kincaid

Jessica Cluess

Erika Johansen

Adrian Tchaikovsky

 

8. Newest fictional crush.

Not a crush, but Prince Cardan, from “The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)” by Holly Black is a very interesting character. Let’s see how his character arc develops in the next books of the series.

 

9. Newest favorite character.

Maven Calore from “War Storm (Red Queen #4)” by Victoria Aveyard was an interesting villain. I wonder if the series is really finished now and if we’ll never hear from those characters again. I need more books in this series!

 

10. Book that made you cry.

None, I usually don’t read books that make people cry, so this rarely happens to me. Instead I’ll answer my own question out of the blue: A main character who was so unlikable and annoyed you so much you couldn’t enjoy the book.
This would be Quentin Coldwater from “The Magicians (The Magicians, #1)” by Lev Grossman.
** spoiler alert ** This book was (for me) like if someone would have taken Holden Caulfield and threw him in Hogwarts and Narnia. He disliked every fantastic things that crossed his way, was a depressed teenager dragging himself through a magic story world filled with other equally annoying characters, and met the love of his life, spoiling things completely even though… The only likable character, his girlfriend, dies at the end of book 1 making him even more depressed.
I stopped reading for awhile after Quentin was left stranded, and picked it up weeks later just to see he was meeting the rest of his selfish friends to go on in an epic adventure that will have probably no other effect on him but to keep him tortured and depressed, so yeah, I want definitely out of this character’s emotional mess. I’ll stop reading this series. I gave this book though, 2 stars, for the originality, and its inspiring, latent emotional turmoil, a masterpiece somehow, even if not for me.

 

11. Book that made you happy.

This would be “Herding Cats (Sarah’s Scribbles #3)” by Sarah Andersen
I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This comic book was funny and very relatable, especially for artists. Sarah Andersen’s comics are awesome and surely make me laugh.
I enjoyed the thoughts on what’s happening on the Internet today because I have thought about that lately often enough, and I agree that sometimes you need to back away so that you get a pause of the firestorm of opinions. Therefore, the “Guide For The Young Creative.” with its “Part One: What’s Happening?” and “Part Two: Artist Survival” made a lot of sense to me.

 

12. Favorite book to film adaptation you saw this year.

The anime by Hayao Miyazaki based on the book “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Diana Wynne Jones.

13. Favorite review you’ve written this year.

I mostly don’t write long, essay-like reviews like a professional reviewer, but mainly my opinion on the book, mentioning what worked or not for me.

My favorite review this year so far was on the book “The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1)” by Helene Wecker which was: A jewel, I loved everything about this book, the writing style, the story, the theme, the characters, the setting and the ending. It’s a new classic and going towards literary fiction, but it has tension until the last page. I also liked the Audiobook narrator: George Guidall.

14.Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I consider the cover of “A Shadow Bright and Burning (Kingdom on Fire #1)” by Jessica Cluess quite beautiful. This was very much fun to hear, a page-turner in audio format. The story was interesting, the characters reminded me of Pride and Prejudice, and the audio performance from Fiona Hardingham was well done. I’ll surely go on reading this series.

 

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I would like to read nonfiction books on writing, my goal is ten per year. So far I have been quite slow on doing that, I hope I manage to read them eventually.

And you? Consider yourself tagged if you would like to answer these questions and don’t forget to leave a link to your post here.

The Liebster Award

LiebsterAward2

It has been more than two years since I was nominated for the Liebster Award. This time I thank Author Gibson for the nomination, check out his blog and his books here.

Once I have answered the questions, I will nominate 11 new bloggers and ask them 11 questions myself. Should they feel like playing along, they will do the same to other 11 bloggers. The hope is to spread the word and dominate the ‘internet’ world 😉 (super villain laugh included).

Nominee’s Rules:

Thank me, as I nominated you, so you (kind of) own me! and supply a link to my blog for your readers to browse: https://leticiatoraci.wordpress.com/
Copy and paste the Liebster Award badge into your post.
Answer the eleven questions.
Nominate eleven bloggers and inform them of their nomination via social media methods.
List eleven new questions for your nominees to answer.

Once again, there is no obligation to do this. You really should though, as it’s fun and helps spread the word of evil…no wait, it helps spread the word about your blog. Yeah, that’s what I meant!

Have fun with it.

My answers:

1. What do you feel is the best blog post you’ve written to date and why?
One of my favorite blog posts talks about when I started writing. For me the post reads like the page of a diary. It is interesting to see where I stood in 2015 and where I am now; planning not only a novel but also a series of books and having my science fiction and fantasy anthology in its final stages.

2. If you had to choose one of your current projects to tell a group of strangers about, what would it be?
I would talk about my anthology, how I came up with a different world for every short story and what inspired the plot of each of them.
In some stories interesting prompts were the imaginary carrots that made the plot bunnies approach me out of their hiding place; in others a very old piece of writing that had failed at being a good story long ago was made better by a thorough rewrite until its potential could unfold. Their timing was also quite varied, a couple of short stories took more than twenty years to ripen into an good one and others dropped from the sky almost ready.

3. Name an individual that has inspired you?
Most books do inspire me, even the books I didn’t like. So authors, if I read your book, regardless of how many stars I rated it on Goodreads, you have inspired me. Good work!

4. Name a book, you would recommend others read — that you didn’t write?
I would recommend “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley because it shows what happens if humans give up being adults and allow other people to make all decisions for them. Humans without any responsibilities may achieve a kind of hedonistic happiness, which would be so empty that sadness, struggle and the unending search for meaning in life would, at least in my opinion, be a much better option.
My second recommendation would be to read books written in other countries, by authors of other nationalities. This will open your thoughts to new ways of thinking. It’s like mind traveling LOL.

5. What is your favorite movie or TV show?
One of my favorite movies is Blade Runner. I did write a blog post with the longer list.

TV Shows, two I can remember right now are Frasier and Fringe. I will soon write a blog post with my top ten list.

6. Hypothetical: If you were abandoned on a deserted island, what genre of books would you ask to be left with you.
It would be impossible for me to choose. I like Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA and even Romance. I often tire of reading one genre and go reading something completely different next time.

7. Cat, dog, or other?
Cats, dogs are cute but I consider them too high maintenance for my current life style.

8. How easy is it for you to get into creative mode. Do you need to do something special to arrive at that?
For motivation, I need time and a long quiet day. Since such days are extremely rare, I mostly just push trough and get my butt on the chair.

9. Where do you get ideas?
Ideas appear all the time in my mind, like weeds in an untended garden.

10. Which creative endeavor or project would you like to be most remembered for?

To me it seems that to ‘be remembered’ creative endeavors have to be high quality, an original breakthrough, or be highly recommended by the right influential people 😉

A lot of books I considered terrible while reading were considered something to ‘be remembered’, so this isn’t the quality standard by which I choose my books nowadays. I hope though to achieve good quality and originality in all my creative projects, enough to be remembered.

11. Is there a city or place you never tire of?

Never, really never… Probably not. Life had often a way of throwing me around the globe, and I got used to it.

I was for a long time nomadic like the characters in my books and the theme of ‘not settling and wishing for changes’ surfaces often in my stories.
It gets easier to answer this question if I talk about places I like. For starters, most places where you are surrounded by the people you love are great. I like staying at home but often feel I must go out and see new places, and also eat food I didn’t cook, I often get tired of my own seasoning.
I love beaches with good weather, and my favorite ones are in Croatia. They aren’t always sand beaches but therefore less full of tourists and sellers. The only thing that chases me out of the beach is too much sun, but shadow + water is a pleasant combination for any place to stay, watch the kids play and read. And if there is swimming involved that’s great too.

 

So now, here are my questions:

 

1. What is your favorite season of the year?
2. Which were the three best books you ever read?
3. Where would be your dream vacation?
4. Your favorite book genres?
5. Do you have any reading habits or books you like to reread?
6. If you could retire tomorrow (and live a comfortable life with no time pressure), what would you do?
7. Do you have any hobbies?
8. Which book(s) you think every person should read?
9. Do you buddy-read books?
10. Do you participate in Readathons or like to set up TBR lists?
11. Do you have any current artistic/writing/life projects/goals?

I nominate:

1 – The Upstream Writer

2 –  Brandy Potter Books

3 – Bionic Book Worm

4 – Way Too Fantasy

5 – Richie Billing

6 – Amaysn Reads

7 – Author Raimey Gallant

8 – Blackwings666

9 – Saturday Nite Reader

10 – Red Headed Book Lover

11 – Jon Pill

and any of you who has a blog  and would be interested in answering these questions!

Post a comment down with a link to your blog so I may check it out!