toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday #5: Best Books So Far in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic:

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far in 2015

These are the stories I enjoyed the most thus far. I didn’t give them all 5 stars on Goodreads for various reasons but they are all gripping and I enjoyed them immensely. They are listed in the order that I read them.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman - Seraphina

★★★★

Summary: The story follows Seraphina, a musically gifted girl who’s half-dragon, as she accepts her identity and helps the Prince uncover a plot to destroy the peace treaty between humans and dragons.

Why I enjoyed it: This one was a reread. I liked it the first time I read it back in 2012, but loved it this time when I reread it. What drew me were the world-building and Seraphina, who is both smart and brave and grows to appreciate who she is.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Call of the Wild

 ★★★★

Summary: The Call of the Wild is told from the perspective of a dog called Buck, who is kidnapped from his home in sunny California and brought to the harsh, cold Klondike region to work as a sled-dog. The story tells how he slowly returns to his wild nature.

Why I enjoyed it: It’s entertaining and it’s different for me since it’s told from the dog’s perspective. Also, I like Buck. He learns quickly and easily adapts to his surroundings to survive. I also like London’s commentary on survival in the wild without the comforts civilization provides.

Between You and Me by Mary Norris

Between You & Me

★★★★

Summary: A memoir by a copy editor at the New Yorker.

Why I enjoyed it: I learned a lot. It’s informative and Norris’ witty prose kept my interest high throughout much of the book. Lots of tips within.

In Search of Lost Dragons by Élian Black’mor and Carine-M

In Search of Lost Dragons

★★★★★

Summary: This is a reporter’s travel journal in which he documents his travels throughout Europe and Asia as he searches for evidence of dragons and a lost group of explorers.

Why I enjoyed it: The beautiful illustrations. The story isn’t too bad but it’s worth the read just for the illustrations.

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Journey to the Center of the Earth

★★★★★

Summary: An eccentric scientist, his nephew, and a guide journey to the center of the earth, where they are marveled by what they see.

Why I enjoyed it: The dialogue, which is quick and highly entertaining. The narrator, who’s a bit sarcastic, especially when talking about his uncle. And the characters because they play well off each other; the personalities are well balanced.

Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, illus. by Fiona Staples

Saga1

★★★★★

Summary: A sci-fi/fantasy comic about two individuals from warring planets (a planet and its moon) who fall in love and have a baby. Both of their governments find out and try to kill them.

Why I enjoyed it: I love the story, the characters, the dialogue, and the illustrations. The story is gripping and dramatic and gory. The illustrations might be shocking to some but I like them.

Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe, illus. by Roc Upchurch

Rat Queens1

★★★★★

Summary: A trippy fantasy comic about a group of female mercenaries who fight to protect their town.

Why I enjoyed it: It’s friggin dope. It’s somewhat unfiltered and the ladies are rude sometimes. They’re great fighters and they love to hang out and have a good time (drink and throw crazy parties). I love the characters! Love them! And I also love the art.

Unteachable by Leah Raeder

Unteachable

★★★★★

Summary: A girl falls in love with her high-school teacher.

Why I enjoyed it: The taboo and the prose, which is descriptive and poetic in some spots.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss

★★★★

Summary: Anna moves to France for school and ends up liking a guy who obviously likes her too.

Why I enjoyed it: Not sure. I didn’t expect that I would but I like the narrator and the writing style.

You by Caroline Kepnes

You

★★★★★

Summary: This is about a guy stalking a girl and it’s told in the second person from the stalker’s perspective.

Why I enjoyed it: Because it’s awesome. It’s great. And it’s the best story I’ve read all year (Unteachable comes in second). I love the narration and the voice.

So what’s the best book you’ve read this year? Share below.

book Outlet4

Book Haul #7: Don’t Judge Me

I bought more books. I had a coupon and I swindled my way out my house, down the street, on the bus, on the train, up the escalator, up a street, and into a Barnes & Noble store because I reeaallyy wanted a copy of Fangirl.

It’s a problem.

I’m therefore on a book-buying ban for the month of July. That is after I use my remaining coupons. Coupons should not be wasted. Anyways, the books.

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weekend reads

Weekend Reads #9: I’m not a fan of dystopian novels

Ah ha! I FINALLY post a Weekend Reads entry on the day that it is due. That’s the positive. The negative is that I intended to write a review and found it hard to concentrate so I did a meme instead.

Weekend Reads is a Goodreads group created by Nici, a booktuber over at LitPixie. Basically book lovers can record a video or write a blog post about what they plan to read on the weekend, and also answer a fun question.

The question for this weekend:

Pros and cons of living in your favorite dystopian novel.

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Top 5 Wednesday #2: Characters I Wound Dunk

Yea, I’m doing a Wednesday meme on Thursday. June has been a busy month since my grandparents are in town and family members have been dropping by to visit so there’s hardly a quiet moment because my family LOUD. I haven’t even written up all the reviews I had planned for the Write Those Reviews Party. I only managed to complete one. :( But anyways, this meme.

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group. This week’s topic:

Characters You Wish You Could Drown

There are a few characters in books and movies that I wish I could kick in the arse but these are the ones that readily come to mind. They’re listed in the order that they pop in my thoughts.

City of Bones bookClary from Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones

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weekend reads

Weekend Reads #8: I invite Tyrion and Prof. McGonagall to dinner

Weekend Reads is a Goodreads group created by Nici, a booktuber over at LitPixie. Basically book lovers can record a video or write a blog post about what they plan to read on the weekend, and also answer a fun question.

The question for this weekend:

Which bookish family or group of friends would you happily host dinner for? What would you serve?

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“A Long Day’s Evening” by Bilge Karasu

A Long Day's EveningNote: I started writing this on Saturday, June 13. Got lazy and stopped, then procrastinated.

It’s a contemplative Saturday. A day spent in deep thoughts as I consider this crazy world I live in. Even the sky is moody with storm clouds rolling in, blocking the brilliant sun. I woke early this morning because all last night I felt like writing but was unable to because I was tired. I was excited to be up early before the noise and tension that would come as my day progressed and my family woke with a clash and bang that would reverberate through my thoughts preventing me from thinking. For now, they are quiet. They are asleep.

My writing morning began with my Weekend Reads meme, which was on diversity in young-adult novels. It threw me into a deeper pensive mood. I sometimes hopped over to Facebook, which is rife with posts on the Rachel Dolezal fiasco and it tore my mind in two. I find the entire thing hilarious and I’m shocked that this White woman successfully posed as a Black person for 31 years, even becoming president of a NAACP chapter, but I’m also upset with her because part of me thinks—feels—that she took my culture and history for puppetry. Maybe that wasn’t her intention. Maybe she loves the Black culture so much that she wished she was Black and made herself so. After all, she did advocate for Blacks. I am confused. I don’t know how to feel.

I guess that’s why I see this time—this mood—fitting for writing about Bilge Karasu’s novel A Long Day’s Evening. One of the protagonists is also upset and confused by the changes in his society.

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Top 5 Wednesday #1: I gobbled these in one go

It’s my first Top 5 Wednesday post! My addiction to booktube drove me to participate in this meme. Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by GingerReadsLainey. For more information on this meme, visit the Goodreads group. This week’s topic:

Books you read in one sitting (or close to)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Bloomsbury’s September 2014 cover by Jonny Duddle.

2014 U.K. cover by Jonny Duddle

I was in Jamaica visiting family when this book was first published and I begged my father to purchase it and carry it with him when he visits the island. He did and I was happy. I read and completed it on the same day my father arrived.

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