Saturday, 31 January 2015

January Book Haul!

I have a short but sweet book haul for you guys this month!

1. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

I'm currently reading Horns and loving it, so during a Book Outlet sale, I had to pick this one up! I'm a huge horror fan, so even the title of this novel intrigues me.

2. Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

A map librarian uncovers the mystery of a ship lost at sea. In her determination to find new information, she meets a handsome congressman and together they unravel the mystery. This is another Goodreads First Reads win! Check out the giveaways here.

3. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

From a hare bent on vengeance to a recently-deceased man putting off visiting his grandmother in heaven, this book of short stories sounds very promising. The awesome people over at Penguin Random House Canada sent this to me and I'm so excited to read it!

What books did you pick up this month?

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Authors you would like to Meet | Top 5 Wednesday

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is to discuss the top 5 authors you'd like to meet. These are people I would love to have a conversation with, partially because I think they're awesome people and also because they're great writers and I want to get in their heads and learn about their creative process. These are five authors I would like to meet:

Read my review of Gone Girl here.

HOW does she come up with all these creepy, sadistic, psycho/sociopathic characters and stories? It's incredible. She's brilliant when it comes to writing characters that simultaneously repulse and intrigue you, and I'd love to know how she comes up with these things. 

Amy released her first book last year, but she's been writing for TV and film for years. From SNL to Parks & Rec, she's made me laugh 'til I had tears streaming down my face - I love her humour. Can she just be my friend please?

3. Victoria Schwab (a.k.a. V.E. Schwab)
Read my review of Vicious here.

Another master of writing! At so many points while I was reading Vicious, I seriously wondered which of the main characters I should be rooting for, if any. I love it when an author can make me think a certain way one moment, and then have me questioning everything the next.

Read my reviews of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns.

John Green has made me laugh, he's made me cry - ok, mostly cry. And not just cry - he's made me sob giant salty tears of grief. But I digress. He seems to have a talent for creating lovable characters and tapping into readers' empathy. Plus, I love Nerdfighteria and watching the VlogBrothers - DFTBA!

I just started reading Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and I already love it. The way Laini describes the setting makes me feel like I'm there and it's just beautiful. I'd love to learn some tips from her on how she creates such a vivid world...and how she maintains her gorgeous hair colour!

Which author(s) would you like to meet?

Photo Credits: 1. Photo is cropped. "Local Author Night at The Book Cellar" by Amy Guth via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. 2. "You Are Here 01" by GabboT via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. 3. Photo via Victoria Schwab's Goodreads page. 4. "John Green" by Gage Skidmore via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. 5. Photo is cropped. "Project Book Babe" by TaraRebeka via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Re: "Subject Matter" from Padfoot's Library

Hi there! Earlier today, Christine over at Padfoot's Library wrote a much-needed post on genre discrimination and how it affects readers like you and me. She brings up a lot of good points and I wanted to share my thoughts on the topic as well - you can read her post here!

 It's been happening for ages, but it seems there's been a recent surge in intolerance for certain genres. Christine states it in her article - we're talking specifically about the Young Adult, New Adult and Erotica genres. There's this stigma attached to them - that the romances are all ridiculous and unhealthy, the sex scenes too graphic...these statements may be true of some, even many books in a specific genre, but it's unfair to lump them all into one unsavoury description.

Christine touches on the idea of abusive relationships in books and how readers react to these situations. If multiple people think a novel is romanticizing an abusive relationship, I think it's important to take that into account and talk about that aspect of their interpretation. Not all readers recognize abusive behaviour and it's always important to be knowledgeable about that and see the signs. In this sense, I think it's good that people talk about this kind of thing when they read about it. If another reader wants to continue reading the story for their own entertainment (that's what reading is for!), then that's fine - as long as they understand why and how the characters are imperfect and abusive.

At this point, I think it's important to remind you: if a book ever makes you uncomfortable, put it down. You're not obligated to finish reading any book that upsets you or makes you uneasy, unless you want to. And if you do want a book like that, that's totally fine - that's what the horror and thriller genres are for!

I'm glad Christine made a post like this because I think it's really important to speak out when you feel strongly about something, and the disdain that so many people have been expressing for certain genres is affecting a lot of people's enjoyment of the bookish community - which is really sad, because this community is full of awesome people who should be able to enjoy the genres they love without fear of being jeered at.

Books are meant to be enjoyed and to teach you something. Even a situation like this, where there's been a lot of negativity, can produce some good. Let's keep this discussion going!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Series you want to start this Year | Top 5 Wednesday

I have SO many series on my shelves, many of them quite popular. There are several that I haven't started yet, but I can't wait any longer! These are the five series I want to start this year:

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

"She hasn't read Divergent??" you ask yourself. No, I'm sorry. Soon, I swear.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

"She hasn't read The Hunger Games either??" I'M SORRY.

3. The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

The lovely people over at Quirk Books sent me this series and it sounds awesome. End of the world? I'm in.

4. The Beauchamp Family by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End is one of my favourite TV shows, so I want to read the books the show was inspired by!

5. Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

I've heard so many good things about this series and it's been recommended so many times. This is one I have high expectations for and I'm super excited to read it!

What series do you plan on starting this year?

Sunday, 4 January 2015

2015 Reading Goals

1. Finish reading the Harry Potter series.
*GASP* I know. Please don't hate me. I only have one left, I swear.

2. Read "House of Leaves".
I started reading "House of Leaves" last year, and I was genuinely loving it, but it's one of those books that can be really daunting if you're not in the right mood. You know the books I'm talking about. But this book is incredibly intriguing so I want to finish reading it!

As motivation to read even more this year, I thought it would be fun to join a challenge! You can read more about it here.

4. Read at least 52 books.
I managed to read 85 last year, including comics. This year I'll still log my comics, but I want to read at least 52 books. You can see my Goodreads reading challenge here!

5. In general, read some of the books I've been meaning to get to but never have.
Things happen, plans get in the way. But this year, I want to get to the stories that have fallen by the wayside until now.

What are your reading goals for 2015?

Photo credit: I added text to the original "book sale loot" by Ginny via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

2015 Reading Challenge!

Hi everyone - I hope you had a great holiday season, and that your new year is off to a great start!

I've decided to push myself this year, particularly in terms of reading. As motivation, I've decided to do POPSUGAR's 2015 Reading Challenge! It gives you a checklist of different types of books to read every week of the year, including "a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't" (I'll have a few options there...), "a book with antonyms in the title" and "a book that takes place in your hometown".

I'm really excited to do this challenge because there are so many great prompts! If you're interested in doing this, I found a Goodreads group that will be doing the challenge in order. Joining a group can be great for keeping you motivated - not to mention meeting new people! I'll most likely be choosing my books based on what I feel like reading each week, so most of my challenge won't be completed in order - but I'll make a post every time I complete a challenge!

Yesterday my best friend Christine announced that she'll be participating as well, so check out her blog to see her progress too!

Are you doing any reading challenges this year?

Photo Credits: 1. I added text to the original photo "I love to read" by Kate Ter Haar via flickr in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. 2. Photo via POPSUGAR website.