The Liebster Award

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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!

 

 

 

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2018 r/Fantasy Book Bingo Reading Challenge – TBR and Update

In May I was reposting the original post from Way Too Fantasy about the r/Fantasy Book Bingo Challenge here in the blog.

I started this challenge in end of April and finally managed to make a nice graphic with my TBR in the original Bingo Card.

The white squares are the challenges I haven’t picked a book yet. The challenges are:

  1. Fantasy Novel that Takes Place Entirely Within One City
  2. Self-Published Fantasy Novel
  3. Novel with Fewer Than 2500 Goodreads Ratings
  4. Novel Featuring God as a Character.

I will probably pick two books from my writer friends for challenges 2 and 3. I still have no idea about which ones for 1 and 4. Any ideas? Along the year I’ll surely change my mind about the books for a couple of challenges too, I’ve picked up a tough Dystopia for one of them and I rather read Dystopias in winter. For me, it doesn’t work to read serious Dystopia under a sunny blue sky.

The squares written in blue are the challenges I already completed and the ones in black are still to be read. So far I have read 6 books out of 25, and when 50% of the books are finished I’ll post my midway reviews.

To have less information filling up the card I was putting only the title of the books in each square. To know which challenge belongs to which book please take a look at the original Bingo Challenge card

So, without much further ado, here’s is my TBR Bingo Card:

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And you, are you also doing this or other reading challenges? What do you think of the books I chose? Let me know in the comments.

The One Readathon To Rule Them All – Wrap Up #theonereadathon

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The One Readathon To Rule Them All is a readathon that happened between April 29 – and May 12, 2018.
I managed to read 5 books and complete 5 of the 8 challenges. I’m quite happy with my results since I started this readathon with the very optimistic TBR of nine books. I will go on reading the remaining books even if the readathon has already finished so I can update this blog post later.
So, without further considerations, here is my Wrap Up:

1. Read a fantasy book written by a POC Author

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova
My review: 3 stars. ** spoiler alert ** I think I would have liked this book more if it had not be so centered on the main character and her inner struggle with being a bruja, but more on the people surrounding her which were only mentioned when directly conected to the main character. Many interesting secondary characters, especially Nova and Rishi, felt not fleshed out enough.

2. Read a fantasy book w/ a POC MC

The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1) (audiobook) by Helene Wecker.
My review: 5 stars! 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’m happy I finally got to read this great book and placed it among my favorites of this year. I also liked the Audiobook narrator.

3. Read a fantasy book under 300 pages

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton.
My review: 1 star. I considered this book thoroughly disappointing. 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.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Candlewick Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4. Read a fantasy book 1,000+ pages

This challenge will be updated later as it isn’t yet finished. I heard that The Kingkiller Chronicle series that I was planning to read for this challenge isn’t yet finished, so I’ll probably wait for the last book in the series to start reading the first two books.

5. Read a fantasy book that is a stand alone.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.
My review: 4 stars. This was an original take on vampire stories and the world building was awesome. I found it somehow slow paced and thought that a couple of flashbacks were placed too late in the story, but I was happy to find similarities between this book and The Cruel Prince. This vampire story should be getting a sequel.

6. Read a fantasy book written by a non-English speaking author

This challenge will be updated later as it isn’t yet finished. I am though, still quite interested in The Witcher series.

7. Read a fantasy book set in a non-European location

The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin.
My review: 3 stars. I liked this book even if I considered it quite slow paced even for epic fantasy. The relationships, magic system and world could have been much more fleshed out too. I’m yet in doubt whether I will go on reading this series or not.

8. Read a fantasy book w/ LGBTQIA+ rep

I acquired China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh especially for this readathon and also The Black Tides of Heaven (The Tensorate Series) by J.Y. Yang later, due to recommendations. I plan to read both books and update here later on.

My Favorite Authors Part One – Literary Fiction.

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I intend to make a series of posts on my favorite authors here in the blog.
This blog post series will be divided into Literary Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Graphic Novels, Young Adult and Children’s books. I hope with this to call attention to authors outside the media hyped and most talked about, although some hyped authors will also be listed.

I will also include Brazilian authors and other non-English speaking authors who are sometimes translated and sometimes, unfortunately, not available in English. Perhaps someone will in the future see my message in a bottle and consider translating them. I’m sure their books would be a contribution to the world and deserve to be read not only in Portuguese or their original language but in many other languages. So, regardless of their nationality or language, authors who impressed me with their writing style and awesome stories will be listed here.

I also didn’t list the authors here with a ranking. I like all authors in different ways, and would be hardly pressed to choose among them as my most/least favorite author.

So, without further considerations, here are my favorite authors on

Literary Fiction

1 and 2. Emily Brontë and Jane Austen

If you ask me to name one the two books: Wuthering Heights or Pride and Prejudice, as the best, I would be as paralized as a robot ordered to break one of the laws of robotics. Both books are masterpieces, even if very different from each other. Wuthering Heights has passion and tragedy. Pride and Prejudice has wit, female wisdom and feminism, written in a time probably no one though of it. Both books are must reads. I repeat: Must. Reads.

3. And 4. Charlotte and Anne Brontë

I wished I had three daughters and they would be as talented and leave such legacy to the world as the three Brontë sisters. Probably this would be too much to ask of girls or boys in any case.
Jane Eyre is Gothic and it shows the true importance of female grit in an oppressive society. Let’s reinforce this, Jane Eyre’s bravery and strength of character is a lesson to every girl/woman out there.
The other books of Charlotte and Anne Brontë are also classics, talking about female issues in a time women had no voice. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë for example, talks about a disastrous marriage and all the problems a woman had to go through at that time when she choose to leave her husband. This makes this book important.

5. And 6. Machado de Assis and Gabriel García Marquez

The Goodreads description of Machado de Assis says he is “widely regarded as the most important writer of Brazilian literature” and “the supreme black literary artist to date”. With plenty of reason, I would say. My favorite book from him, Dom Casmurro, was the first one that impressed me first due to its outstanding writing style. In the same way, the writing style of Gabriel García Marquez is so immersive it can transport you into a daydreaming state while reading it. My favorite book from him is Love in the Time of Cholera.

7. And 8. Federico Garcia Lorca and Victor Hugo

My favorite poet and my favorite French author have a theme in common in my favorite books by them: Gypsies. The Romancero gitano and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame are masterpieces with, as Lorca says, a lot of “Duende”.

The theory of “Duende” is in any case interesting . I understand it as the search for that quintessential wild magic capable ot turning artistic work into an immortal masterpiece, like the Opera Carmen, for example.

So here they are, my favorite literary authors. I’m sure I’ve left a lot of awesome authors out of this post, a commented list with 100 or more being too long to be manageable. Besides, I haven’t read everything out there yet even if I did read my share of classic and adult books.

My next posts will continue with my most favorite authors in other genres.

And you? Which are your favorite authors, those you would recommend anyone without blinking?

Let me know in the comments.

2018 r/Fantasy Book Bingo Reading Challenge

Another Interesting Reading Challenge

Way Too Fantasy

A few of you have probably noticed me talking about book bingo a few times around here and were wondering what exactly I was going on about. Well, now that it’s April 1st (the start of the new bingo period) I thought I’d do a post about it.

r/Fantasy Book Bingo is something I initially started on kind of a whim. Several years ago, after I’d been skulking about reddit’s r/fantasy community for a bit, I found myself engaged in thread about book challenges. In the discussion I mentioned having done a book bingo before and then said ‘I should make a fantasy one for the subreddit’ and a couple of people were like ‘yeah, you totally should’ and thus r/Fantasy Book Bingo was born.

So, what is r/Fantasy Book Bingo? It’s a year long reading challenge with the aim of getting readers to branch out, look at books they…

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The one Readathon to rule them all – TBR #theonereadathon

 

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I’m hyped for this Readathon, created by  Don’t Have a Degree in Reading

So I put together a TBR list for between April 29 – and May 12, 2018!!! 

I won’t dwell on explaining the Readathon rules or challenges since this was already done so well by the booktubers involved. Take a look at the Readathon hosts links at the bottom of this post for more information. 

I also found great book recommendation links on this Youtube video: 

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I confess that I’m in doubt whether I will manage to complete all those challenges with my daily life limited time and preparations for a trip to Brazil, and it could also happen that I change one of my TBR choices. There is nothing I like so much as jumping out of a planned TBR ;-). All considerations aside, here are my choices for each challenge:

 

1. Read a fantasy book written by a POC Author

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova

 

2. Read a fantasy book w/ a POC MC

The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni, #1) by  Helene Wecker. I know, this one has been a benchwarmer for a long time, but I hope to be able to finally read it.

 

3. Read a fantasy book under 300 pages

Less than 300 pages is usually too short for me. I often get a feeling that the story was undevelopped and rushed, but The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton could be interesting.

 

4. Read a fantasy book 1,000+ pages 

Since I already read all GOT series, I consider a challenge to find another fantasy book with 1000 pages that I would like to read at the moment. Perhaps I’ll read a series adding to 1000 pages instead?

Another idea would be to read The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss, but this will only happen if I have time to read the first book of this series and decide to go on with the series.

In any case, I’ll probably read 1000 pages during the Readathon.

5. Read a fantasy book that is a stand alone

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is a stand alone as far as I know.  And I’m planning to read more from this author since I liked The Cruel Prince.

 

6. Read a fantasy book written by a non-English speaking author

The Last Wish (Saga o Wiedźminie #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski, Danusia Stok (Translator). A lot of people seem to be crazy about The Witcher and there is even a game inspired on this series. So it’s time I check it out.

 

7. Read a fantasy book set in a non-European location

The Killing Moon  by N.K. Jemisin. I heard the world is based on Egypt and the plot has something like ‘dream magic’. I also hear all the time about this author, so I’ll check one of her books..

 

8. Read a fantasy book w/ LGBTQIA+ rep 

China Mountain Zhang by von Maureen F. McHugh. This is classic sci-fi that won a lot of prizes. It seems interesting.

 

And you? Any Readathons you are participating in? If you will participate in this one or another leave a link to your blog/youtube channel on the comments.

 

 

 

Readathon Hosts: 

Don’t Have a Degree in Reading: https://bit.ly/2n0D854

Beck’s Books: https://bit.ly/2uGhpVg

Ally Evans: https://bit.ly/2qQ4KeT

Chris Bookish Cauldron: https://bit.ly/2mSgITj

Read and Find Out: https://bit.ly/2F3BTJx

thatbookishgamer: https://bit.ly/2JdPlwG 

James Chatham: https://bit.ly/22EbOpf

 

Winter Writing/Reading Wrap Up

Now it’s Easter, time for my Winter Writing/Reading Wrap Up!
I’ve terribly neglected this blog the last three months, writing short stories instead. On the plus side I am going forward with my short story anthology, which has now 32k of well revised words. I’ll publish my anthology this year, unless I pick some of the short stories to turn into novellas or even novels. I’ve been thinking on listening to my awesome and inspiring beta-readers who often ask me for 50k words in the world and characters of the short story I sent them, so I’m still considering my options carefully.
Now that I talked about my writing, let’s move to the best books I’ve read in winter.

1. Winter Theme: Faeries

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I must confess to being into books with a new paranormal creature this year: Faeries. Because Shapeshifters were so last year. (Only joking, I still like Shapeshifters).

So far I have found only a couple of five star series reads and a couple of somehow meh, 3 star reads from series I’m not going to pursue further. It’s been a challenge to find books with Faeries, the Political Intrigue and less clichéd romance that I prefer, so I would appreciate any Faerie book recommendation on the comments.I won’t dwell in the 3 star books I read, but praise the 5 star ones, which were:

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

I’ll be looking for more Holly Black books in the future. When it comes to this book the hype is deserved, I loved the world building and the ‘cruel prince’ is a very interesting character. It remains to be seen how this story will develop in the next books. I am, in any case, on board.

A Court of Thorns and Roses series (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1 – #3) by Sarah J. Maas

This series turned into a favorite of mine from book 2 onwards. I even reread #1 and #2 after reading #3 to be able come back to the its awesome Faerie World while I wait for the next book in the series.

2. Winter Theme: Dystopia

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I’ve been reading loads of Dystopia lately. I don’t have a reasonable explanation for it, it’s one of those things that just happen, you reading series after series of pessimistic future scenarios to a point where the series blur.
In the sea of Dystopia most books qualify as four stars for me. They are entertaining, and so quick to read I can binge read the whole series in one or two weeks. From the series I’ve been reading I would give honorable mention to:

Shatter Me series (Shatter Me #1 – #5) by Tahereh Mafi 

This series improved with every new book, with very interesting character arcs, and

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid

A very special book. I was listening it as an audiobook that managed to be my favorite so far in 2018; Awesome writing, characters and an original, page-turner plot, in my case I could not stop hearing the audiobook until the last sentence of this story. This was my first book by this author but I’ll surely take a look at her other books and go on following this series. I found the reading performance of Candace Thaxton in the Audiobook quite awesome too. This book is also interesting if you want an entryway from YA Dystopia into Space Opera, another awesome sub-genre of Science Fiction.

I also read the next book in this series The Empress (The Diabolic #2) and was surprised at all the twists. I have no idea about how the next book in this series will be, but taking from another great series from Kincaid (Insignia #1 -#3) which was awesome I can only think that it will be equally original and outstanding, so naturally I can’t wait until Fall to read The Diabolic #3.

Have you read these books and liked them too? I am looking for more Faerie themed or Space Opera books recommendations so feel free to suggest any you liked.