My 5 favorite NetGalley Reads (from August to October 2017)

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I’m commemorating my “10 Book Reviews” Badge on NetGalley. End of August this year, I became a member on this site. It made sense to me that since this blog has lately been more and more devoted to books, to check there for new books to review. So far I wrote reviews on a bit more than 10 books and posted them all on Goodreads, where I even have a list called
NetGalley Reads

However, so this post doesn’t get too long, I’ll concentrate on the five favorite books and graphic novels I read since I started. Here they are:

1- Hardcore Mindgames (Hardcore Station, #0) by Jim Starlin

This book was very original and funny. The main character is very interesting and his family is extraordinary too. I’ll never complain about my family again after reading about Xeno’s, lol. I was a bit confused about Xeno’s bodyguard because she was called on one page by the last name and later by the first name, so it took me a while to see that the author meant the same person. Overall I felt that the secondary characters, including the girl Xeno was trying to save, could have been more developed too. The end seemed a bit rushed, I suppose there will be a next book where we’ll know how things progress. I would surely read the next book in this series to see how Xeno’s story goes on.
Rating: 4 Stars

2 – How to Be Perfectly Unhappy by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal

I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What a lovely and poetic short graphic novel!
I can totally relate to the questions and answers in this book. After all, what means to be happy nowadays? Is happiness or a pretense of happiness the ultimate goal? Or is it fine to be “busy, interested, fascinated” and “perfectly unhappy”?
Rating: 5 Stars

3 – John Carter: The End by Brian Wood (Author), Alex Cox, Hayden Sherman (Contributor)

I would like to thank NetGalley and Diamond Book Distributors for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I like a good science-fiction adventure with aliens on another planet, so this graphic novel had all the right ingredients for me.
Rating: 4 Stars

4- Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real by Brian Gordon

I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a mother of a six and a four-year-old, I could relate and laugh at the very funny jokes. My favorites were the ones about tired children, sibling’s fights and why they won’t try the food.
Rating: 5 Stars

5- Joyride, Volume 1 (Joyride, #1) by Jackson Lanzing (Writer), Collin Kelly (Writer), Marcus To (Artist), Irma Kniivila (Colourist), Jim Campbell (Letterer), Scott Newman (Designer)

I would like to thank NetGalley and BOOM! Studios for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
“Earth Sucks. Space Rocks. Let’s Dance.” This graphic novel is fun and I liked its theme and story a lot. Let’s see where this graphic novel will go.
Rating: 5 Stars

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#TheReadingQuest Wrap up

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My Mage Path was an adventurous one, full of hilly ups and downs. Two not so great books and 7 books/comics that ranged from extremely funny and relatable to quite OK, even if I might be tired of vampires or the humor of the comic book wouldn’t always fit with my favorite type of humor.

So, between the Mage path and Sidequests, I read 5 books (I couldn’t bring myself to finish the 6th of them), 3 comic books, a short story, and I had a lot of fun reading most of them.
I haven’t calculated the points and levels my mage character gained because tbh, right now I have a headache and this makes me not nearly energetic enough for that. I’m sure other people read more books than me, good for them, lol.



So, with these following books and comics was my Mage’s path laid out.

A BOOK WITH AN ONE WORD TITLE:

“Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1)” by Faith Hunter. — 4 Stars
I liked this book. It had some pacing problems which made the ending feel rushed and tbh I’ve been mostly tired of books with vampires. But Beast, the alter ego of Jane Yellowrock was quite interesting and original.

A BOOK THAT CONTAINS MAGIC:

“Burn for Me: A Hidden Legacy Novel” by Ilona Andrews. — 5 Stars
I’m a huge fan of Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series and this new series didn’t disappoint me at all. Read if you like romance with a strong heroine + mystery + a well-built fantasy world.

A BOOK BASED ON MYTHOLOGY:

I changed my mind and ended up reading “The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1)” by Aimee Carter.  — 1 Star. I thought that reading a book about the Myth of Hades and Persephone was a good idea. However, in this case, it wasn’t. The mythology was twisted beyond recognition and all the Greek Gods had boring names and characters.  Next time I promise I’ll read The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1) by Helene Wecker. I felt I got bad book karma from changing my mind at the last minute.

A BOOK SET IN A DIFFERENT WORLD:

“Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1)” by John Scalzi. — 5 Stars
The author’s voice gives this science fiction war story a light and humorous touch with real ROFL moments. And the story has great science fiction insights that are quite plausible to happen, so the question remains, would someone enlist once they turn 75?

THE FIRST BOOK OF A SERIES:

“To Your Scattered Bodies Go (Riverworld)” by Philip Jose Farmer. — 1 Star – DNF
I DNFed this book. This was the second book in this ReadAthon with a very interesting premise that developed in the dullest way possible. In this case also into a book full of prejudices and negative views on mankind. Some people think this a sci-fi classic, it even got a prize. Well, this wasn’t, unfortunately, the first well-talked book that was nothing for me and certainly won’t be the last.

 

Side quests

EXPANSION (READ A COMPANION NOVEL OR SHORT STORY):

“The Demon in the Wood: A Darkling Prequel Story (The Grisha Trilogy) (Shadow and Bone 0.1)” by Leigh Bardugo. A short story based on the Grisha verse.  — 4 Stars.
A short Darkling background story.

POTIONS (A BOOK CONCOCTED OF 2+ AUTHORS):

“Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)” by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu. — 5 Stars. The second book of an awesome sci-fi series. This book was as fun as Illuminae, and Illuminae was a lot of fun. I consider myself now over the top spoiled for boring sci-fi after this series.

MINI-GAME (READ A GRAPHIC NOVEL, NOVELA, OR POEM COLLECTION):

“Adulthood Is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection” by Sarah Andersen.  — 5 Stars
This is quite funny and relatable. My only complaint: It’s too short! I could read one thousand pages of this, lol

OPEN WORLD (READ WHATEVER YOU WANT):
“Heart and Brain: Body Language: An Awkward Yeti Collection” by The Awkward Yeti, Nick Seluk — 3 Stars
I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Funny, but not so much my kind of humor, after seventy pages it got tiresome.

ANIMAL COMPANION (BOOK REFERENCING AN ANIMAL ON THE TITLE):
“Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real” by Brian Gordon
I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As a mother of a six and a four-year-old, I could relate and laugh at the very funny jokes. My favorites were the ones about tired children, sibling’s fights and why they won’t try the food.

And Data didn’t know what a housewife is.

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I remember a Star Trek second generation scene when the android Data can’t understand what a housewife is. In the scene, he asks Deanna Troi if housewives build houses as a kind of comic relief for the episode. In the future, it seems, housewives won’t exist anymore, being outdated like pyramids builders are nowadays.

 

So, if I would be in Deanna’s place, what would I answer Data? That the work of a housewife is boring, unending and most the same every day? And that society sees it as no ‘real’ work because it doesn’t get paid and a lot of people consider it obvious and perhaps even nonexistent?

 

When I meet other women in parties they now and then ask me what I do with my time because I am ‘only’ a stay-at-home mother, so I must have loads of available time with nothing to do at all. I just look at them and wonder if they are living in the same reality I live or if they just pretend to belong to another where housework and child raising doesn’t fill up so many hours of the day. I could tell them this but I don’t want to be seen as a lazy whiner and be the target of their despise, so I tell them that I write too. (Which on second thought isn’t much better at impressing them because writing is often also not considered a ‘real’ job that gets ‘really’ paid in their minds.)

 

So when I manage I write. I’m not writing though to have what to say at my next party, I kind of gave up on impressing people long ago. I’m conscious though that this is my second job and that most of us have two or more jobs, even if all unpaid work is dismissed as not ‘real’ work on the way how our system seems to be now.

 

I hope that one day an Android like Data will understand how many times work was done by invisible (to recorded history) human beings that helped humankind evolve enough to create beings who looked like them. Human beings that could have been doing work they would be perhaps more remembered for, even if not necessarily more important than others, and not work that would later be forgotten, dismissed and be considered an extinct occupation.
And then my mind goes further and I think of this strong network of humans that keeps the world moving the way it does. I think that a lot has to be changed on how we think about work, value, and money. On how people work to keep a system functioning, but unfortunately, the answers elude me so far. Perhaps we’ll indeed one day have this utopic Star Trek-like society where things are so well adjusted that everybody can become either a scientist or a soldier and travel to where they have never been the day before. And I wonder how we will look back to our past. With understanding? With nostalgic feelings? With despise?

 

So if one day AI becomes similar to humans and a fictitious character like Data really exists, I would answer its question this way:

 

Housewives don’t build houses. They take care of homes, they help to raise humans so they grow better than they would without their love and care. Their job is like any other occupation, where a person can make all the difference by being there and doing their best when no one else was there.

And perhaps it won’t matter how much money was gained at the end.

 

The day we go to the stars.

READATHON TBR || BookTube-A-Thon

 

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I wouldn’t be a good BookTube follower if I would not follow and try to participate in the BookTube-A-Thon, a weeklong Readathon event that (so far as I know) started in Ariel Bissett’s YouTube Channel and became a happy celebration of BookTubers and reading.

So, without much further ado (after all, I should be tackling my TBR right now), here is my TBR list with the challenges I finished already and my TBR for the yet to be done challenges:

The 2017 Reading Challenges:

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover.

For this challenge, I chose “Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1)” by Faith Hunter.
My review: I’m right now on page 32. I have only started but so far I like this book. Let’s see where it goes.

2/ Read a hyped book.

I heard frequently of “Every Heart a Doorway(Wayward Children, #1)” by Seanan McGuire on Youtube and even now it seems to be one of the most read books in the Readathon.

My review: 3 stars. A very interesting premise, but somehow underdeveloped. Great story ideas were thrown in a shallow way that surely needed more depth. I hope the next books in the series develop it further.

3/ Finish a book in one day.

This was the first challenge I finished because short is quickly done. For this challenge, I chose the “Curran POV Collection”, a collection of scenes you can download on the web page of the authors Ilona and Gordon Andrews. This scenes will mostly only make sense if you read the Kate Daniel’s series (and I sincerely recommend this series as awesome paranormal fantasy).

My review: 5 stars, ** spoiler alert **

Curran: “I spat the ear out and knocked it toward him with my paw. No, you can keep it. Doesn’t taste that great.” This line still makes me laugh by myself one day after reading this book.

Curran POV shows his side on the scenes that were mainly told in Kate’s POV during the series. It shows the hard side of what is needed to be the alpha of the shapeshifters in Kate’s world. Not an easy day at the office for sweet and wild Curran. 😉
I wished there would be more of this series than only the next book. This is also a short book that you can (unfortunately) read in one day.

4/ Read about a character that is very different from you.

I’m planning to read “Old Man’s War (Old Man’s War #1)” by John Scalzi because the character is an old man, someone very different than me. If I don’t have time to read it this week, I’ll read it the next week so my review will be here eventually.


5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.

I’m not sure I’ll manage this in a very rainy July? When I get a couple of sunny hours I do take the books to the playground where my kids play, so most books have seen sunlight. But to finish it all outdoors would be unpractical right now.


6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.

“Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid”. The one published by HarperFiction with the gloomy Abbey on the cover. Besides the cover, I also chose this book to finally read something by Val McDermid, an author my mother likes a lot and because I did like the original “Northanger Abbey” by J.Austen.

My review for this book: 5 stars, A fresh and modern retelling of a classic. Now, can someone please tell me where can I find the Hebridean Harpies series?


7/ Read seven books.

If I have the time I’ll read “The Archived (The Archived #1)” by Victoria Schwab still this week. But probably I’ll delay until next week and post my review later on. After all, why hurry? Only non-connoisseurs drink a good wine quickly.
And you? Are you participating in this Readathon? Let me know in the comments!

UPDATE AFTER THE READATHON

I didn’t manage to finish the fourth book, but I think that 3 books with my hectic real life were quite OK. I did start Skinwalker and “This Savage Song”, which I read until page 61.
Not so bad and I also managed to read a lot on the playground, so I consider Challenge number 5 half done. 🙂

So my final results were:

1/ Read a book with a person on the cover.

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock #1) by Faith Hunter — 32 pages

2/ Read a hyped book.

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire — 176 pages

3/ Finish a book in one day.

Curran POV Collection (Curran POV #1-9) by Gordon Andrews, Ilona Andrews  — 157 pages

I skipped Challenge 4 and will be reading this book later.

5/ Finish a book completely outdoors.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab — 61 pages, finished after the readathon.

Later update (3/8/17): I didn’t manage to read this whole book outdoors, but all my books have been outdoors one moment or another so I consider this challenge half done.

This was a 5 stars book with great characters and an original and poetic story.

6/ Read a book you bought because of the cover.

Northanger Abbey (The Austen Project #2) by Val McDermid — 358 pages

And I didn’t read the seventh book yet, but later on, steady as I go…

Mid-Year Book Freak Out-BOOK TAG 2017

I saw this Book Tag on Youtube and decided to do it on my blog. So here are my answers:

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1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017.

I have different choices for different genres. In Fantasy, there would be a tie between “A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)” by Sarah J. Maas and the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. In Sci-fi, the winner would be the awesome Comics series “Saga”.

 

2. The best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.

“A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)” by Sarah J. Maas which was better than the first book of the series.

 

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

The third book of A Court of Thorns and Roses, “A Court of Wings and Ruin” by Sarah J. Maas. I started or went on reading a lot of other series and still have this one left on my TBR.

 

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

The paperback edition of “Blood of Wonderland (Queen of Hearts Saga #2)” by Colleen Oakes. I have the first book in paperback and I don’t want to buy the second book in hardcover, this would make the series look mismatched on my shelf like many other series I was too much in a hurry to finish, so I’m trying to wait patiently this time, until October!

 

5. Biggest disappointment.

The book “Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1)” by Kevin Hearne because I expected much more from a series with a Druid. When I think of Druids, I think wise and ancient like Panoramix (named Getafix in English translations) from the Asterix Comics series and this one wasn’t at all what I expected. I also expected something completely different from the Celtic story world and the story itself. All the stereotyped characters, situations and not my type of jokes in this book didn’t work for me at all.

 

6. Biggest surprise.

The book “The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)” by Mary E. Pearson (Spoiler Alert) had the most surprising plot twist for me. It was so unexpected I still can’t really accept it… And I won’t lie, I felt kind of cheated.

 

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

Erin Morgenstern, author of “The Night Circus”. This book is the most beautifully written I read this year so far and it will stay in my heart for a long time.

 

8. Newest fictional crush.

Crush is perhaps a too strong word for it, but Rhysand from “A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)” by Sarah J. Maas is a very interesting character.

 

9. Newest favorite character.

Prince Robot IV from the Saga comics series because he has a television head! He made me remember a Brazilian 80’s song from Rita Lee where she sang in Portuguese that “the guy had a television face,” and this royal not only embodies that song literally but, (spoiler alert) kids can watch his dreams while he sleeps. He’s also a quite lost character, still very much in doubt about being self-centered or helpful and his main answer to most of the life’s questions is… Sex. Good that he didn’t get an STD while looking for himself.

 

10. A book that made you cry.

Even with a no-books-that-makes-you-cry policy, I must confess that the Epilogue of “Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)” by Cassandra Clare was so touching it made tears surface to my eyes. This book was a perfect ending to this trilogy.

 

11. A book that made you happy.

Now I’ll have to repeat myself and go with “A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)” by Sarah J. Maas because this was a book I felt like fist pumping and shouting ‘yes’ with the heroine choices. So I was happy with it.

 

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

I would have two different first places for this:
Beautifully drawn: “Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Monstress (Collected Editions) #1)” by Marjorie M. Liu (Goodreads Author) (Writer), Sana Takeda (Artist), Rus Wooton (Letterer, Designer)
My “own taste” beautiful: Trying Human (Volume #2) by Emy Bitner, because I really like how she draws/develops this series.

 

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

I plan to read 10 books on Writing craft this year. So far I read six books, leaving four to go, or who knows, perhaps I’ll be lucky to read more than my new year’s resolution this time.

I have now two books as audiobooks, so I’ll hear them while organizing or coloring instead of taking the time to sit and hold them before me. It worked well for the last non-fiction book I was hearing.

 

14 Favourite Book Community Member(s)?

There are so many nice Booktubers, readers I’ve met on Goodreads, and people I met on this blog, that I couldn’t possibly name only one person or even all of them. I did though write a blog post about My favorite Booktubers not long ago.

What’s great in this online community are all the different tastes and opinions, even if someone won’t read a book what I consider a must-read for this or that genre, or love a book/author I don’t care about.

Isn’t diversity beautiful?

 

If you do the Mid-Year Book Freak Out // Book Tag on your Blog or Youtube channel leave your link in the comments. I’m curious. 😉