Books I read while I had ‘almost no internet’.

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Let’s first clear this up: by ‘almost no internet’ I mean having the slowest of connections in a very old cell phone where most apps didn’t work. I was mainly using only Gmail for two months. So, during the busy autumnal days, I was:

-Writing emails like in the old Pine days,
-Watching a lot of DVDs (mostly Vampire Diaries, a guilty entertainment activity like reading the Selection series)
-And visiting the small bookshop of my town, which deserves a lot of support and has awesome author readings. I went to a reading with Elia Barceló and absolutely loved how the author made her book a lively experience for us. Now I want to read all her books :-). I still didn’t get to that, but even though these last weeks I managed to tackle my previous TBR list reasonably well.

The books I’ve read: 

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) by Samantha Shannon – 5 stars

In this book, the world building was quite extensive and that alone was already worth at least 4,5 stars. There is even a spin-off called “On the Merits of Unnaturalness” which further explains it.
Although I haven’t read the spin-off I could reasonably follow the various ‘voyants’ classes that appear in the book.
I also liked Paige because, although she was IMO 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’ll be surely following up this series to see how the story goes on.
(I would like to thank NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. )
 
 

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber – 4 stars

** Spoiler alert **
Quite nice though some things round up too easily at the very open end. I’m still in doubt if I’ll go on reading the series.
 


The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden – 5 Stars

A beautifully told, interesting story with a Russian fairytale setting. I’ll be following this series for sure.
 
I would like to thank NetGalley and Random House UK for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman (Goodreads Author), Meagan Spooner – 3 Stars

** Spoiler alert ** The romance in this story was well done, it’s just that it was the main part of the story at the expense of world-building, story development, and pace. And there were many extremely repeated tropes too, while the resolution was really fast and the end left open for the next book.
So I may go on reading this series, but I’m not so much in a hurry.


All the Birds in the Sky (All the Birds in the Sky #1) by Charlie Jane Anders – 3 Stars

I’m a bit in doubt about what to say in my review. I liked the story and the ending although I would have liked more if it would have gone to more depths in its original and interesting premise and tried less to be everybody’s taste in an amusing way.


P.A.W.S. (P.A.W.S. #1) by Debbie Manber Kupfer – 4 Stars

What a cute shapeshifter story, I could not put this book down.I’m curious as how the story will go on too.


Artemis by Andy Weir – 5 Stars

First things first, I considered Weir’s second book as good as “The Martian.”

I’ve read some reviews where people complained about characterization problems, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying the book and considering the heroine refreshingly funny in her tomboy flawed way. I also liked her name – “Jazz”- that is so cool.

As a Brazilian, I found a couple of details in the ARC I would have pointed out as not so really Brazilian, so I wonder if these details were later changed in the final version of the book.

In any case, I couldn’t put this book down or stop laughing. So it’s one of my favorites this year as “The Martian” was one of my favorites in 2015.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Crown Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Now in Dezember I just have three weeks to wrap this reading year up.  I have around six books in the middle that I’m currently reading, so I’ll try to finish at least a couple of them before 2017 is over. Then I’ll write my favorite blog post of the year with my favorite 2017 books, stay tuned. 😉


And you, how was your reading year? Any new year reading goals?

 

 

 

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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

#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…