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Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week…Top Ten Sequels I can't wait to read:

First, sequels I'm looking forward to in 2015:


Sequels I really should get around to reading: 


Two sequels out in the future without any kind of cover:



Looking up books for this list, I see there are some really great-sounding books coming in 2015. 
What are you looking forward to?

Saturday, November 15, 2014
The 24 in 48 Readathon is hosted by Rachel over on tumblr. This is a relaxed readathon where participants can choose how to schedule their marathon time over the course of the weekend. 

I'll be updating my progress mostly on twitter @worldforthereading, come chat!

The overly ambitious reading pile:

Introductory questionnaire:
1.            What part of the world are you reading from this weekend?

New York.

2.            What book are you most looking forward to reading?

Station Eleven! I’m reading it first. It seems to be the most beloved book of the year, so I have to manage my expectations. Also I'm very excited to read Lives in Ruins. 

3.            Are you planning on reading from someplace besides your house or apartment this weekend?

I’m probably sticking close to home, but if I go for a run I’ll listen to an audiobook. I need to finish up Liar Temptress, Soldier, Spy. It’s a great book I tend to get audiobook fatigue and take ages to finish.

4.            Tell us something about yourself!

One of my favorite things besides reading is listening to podcasts (distracting me from finishing my audiobooks). I have a long bus commute and don’t usually read during this time due to motion sickness. Some favorites include NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour, all the Bookriot podcasts, Books on the Nightstand, How Did This Get Made, and Welcome to Nightvale. Oh, and Serial, lately. Recs for more are always welcome :)
   

If you’ve done this readathon before, do you have any tips for other readers? If you haven’t, is there anything you’re nervous about?

I haven’t done this readathon before, but I have done Dewey’s 24 hour readathon. My advice is to take breaks and move around a bit to prevent stiffness, have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand, and stick to shorter books, at least for the end of the readathon. Also I like to clean my house beforehand so I’m not distracted by clutter or laundry, etc

Anthony Trollope said, “What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?…Was ever anything so civil? 
And C.S. Lewis said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 
(It's a mystery why I have so many Christmas mugs. It's like they're breeding in the cabinet)


#Team Trollope

From Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson
(Marilyn does not want to hear complaints about the lack of dinosaurs)

Guess the Cover Challenge
1. The Vacationers
2. Life After Life
3. The Bees
4. The Good Lord Bird
5. All the Light We Cannot See

Day 2: 5 Hours to Go
Total Books Read: 3

  • Station Eleven (Excellent)
  • Vivian Apple at the End of the World (Ok, I like the premise more than the execution)
  • On Immunity: An Inoculation (Fascinating)
  • Two hours of the Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy audiobook (still good)
I'll probably get started with Lives in Ruins until 9PM then call it a night. My recent addiction to The Walking Dead must be satisfied. 

A couple more challenges:

Spine Poetry!

Lost for Words,
I'll Give You the Sun
The Infinite Sea
Land of Love and Drowning
Spell Your Name

J - J: A Novel by Howard Jacobson
A- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I- I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum
M- Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
E- Euphoria by Lily King


Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases. 

This week I'm waiting on
By V.E. Schwab
Published by Tor Books
Release Date: 2/24/15

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic: Characters I wish would get their OWN book.

1. Hassan Harbish from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - I love this character, I think he's hilarious, and I'd want to see him find love and success in college. 

2. Valentina from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - I'd like Valentina, a transwoman, to be the star of either a sequel or prequel to this novel. The prequel could be her journey to Coldtown, the sequel about making a decision to become a vampire (or not). 

3. Lindsey Lim from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - I feel this character, an aspiring detective with a mystery novel obsession, the Nancy Drew to Lola's Ned, was underused in this book and needs a romantic adventure of her own. Lindsey and the Meet Cute Murder Mystery.

4. Angela and Holly from The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan - This couple deserves to take center stage in their own book.

5. The Marauders from The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - I'm obsessed with the Marauder era of Harry Potter and I'll own up to reading some fan fiction back in the day. Since Rowling is filling in bits and pieced of her universe, why not some stories about young Lupin and co? 

Monday, November 10, 2014
Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by Scholastic Press
Release Date: Oct 21, 2014
Disclaimer: Received for review consideration from the publisher via NetGalley.


There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.


Friends can betray.

Mothers can disappear.
   
Visions can mislead.
 
Certainties can unravel.

(I try to be vague, but as this is the third book in a series, mild spoilers may be present. My reviews of the first two novels in the Raven Cycle are here)

Review: There’s a certain mild worry mixed with excitement I experience when reading a new installment in a beloved series. The need to know what happens next is mixed with the feeling that the novel can’t possibly live up to expectations. Thankfully Blue Lily, Lily Blue was such a good read my fears were put to rest as I was happily transported once again to Henrietta with Blue and the Aglionby boys as they continue their search for Glendower.

            This book returns to closely following Adam, Gansey, and Blue while Ronan is very much involved in the plot the reader is not privy to his thoughts).  Then there’s Noah, still ghosting around and acting as a barometer for trouble. Blue, whom I’d missed hearing from in The Dream Thieves, is central to the plot this time around. Dealing with personal loss, she begins to question what she really wants from life, both in her relationships and her future, and whether achieving those things will be possible. Adam, perhaps the character who has evolved the most from his beginnings was in The Raven Boys, must deal with the consequences of his magical bargain in addition to facing his abusive father once again. Ronan, despite being more in the background, has clearly been affected by the events in The Dream Thieves. As for Gansey, his weaknesses are made more apparent, as are his motivations for starting the search for Glendower. These characters grow from book to book and their relationships with each other are fascinating and complex. It’s rare that such a large cast of characters is as well rounded and portrayed so skillfully.
           
      Another great thing? While this is one part of an overarching mytharc, Blue Lily, Lily Blue tells a complete story. Goals are achieved and closure is given, with enough threads dangling to make me eager for the sequel but not cause the frustration that comes when a novel ends in the middle of the action (all too common with series these days). Another positive?  The setting: Henrietta is so grounded and so real feeling yet the magical elements in the story feel organic, not jarring. It’s a refreshing blend of realism and fantasy.
           
            Finally, what elevates this book from an entertaining fantasy story to a five star book for me is how it does not shy away from issues of class. Gansey, generally a good guy, is highly privileged and this can cause him to be condescending, hurtful, or oblivious. Ronan is similarly privileged and this allows him to act out with minimal consequences, while Adam must work several jobs while keeping his grades up in order to ensure his future. Then there’s Blue, whose choices are limited due to her family’s monetary situation. I find Blue’s frustration over her college plans and her uncertainty over her relationship with Gansey just as compelling as any magical cave jaunts or dream creatures. I must also mention the villains, a comically over privileged super couple who obsess over gourmet cheese and yoga classes while causally ordering someone’s murder. 
         
      All in all, this is a wonderful entry in this series and I can hardly wait for the next one. 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait to Get

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week…Top Ten Sequels I can't wait to read:

First, sequels I'm looking forward to in 2015:


Sequels I really should get around to reading: 


Two sequels out in the future without any kind of cover:



Looking up books for this list, I see there are some really great-sounding books coming in 2015. 
What are you looking forward to?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

#24 in 48 Read-a-thon

The 24 in 48 Readathon is hosted by Rachel over on tumblr. This is a relaxed readathon where participants can choose how to schedule their marathon time over the course of the weekend. 

I'll be updating my progress mostly on twitter @worldforthereading, come chat!

The overly ambitious reading pile:

Introductory questionnaire:
1.            What part of the world are you reading from this weekend?

New York.

2.            What book are you most looking forward to reading?

Station Eleven! I’m reading it first. It seems to be the most beloved book of the year, so I have to manage my expectations. Also I'm very excited to read Lives in Ruins. 

3.            Are you planning on reading from someplace besides your house or apartment this weekend?

I’m probably sticking close to home, but if I go for a run I’ll listen to an audiobook. I need to finish up Liar Temptress, Soldier, Spy. It’s a great book I tend to get audiobook fatigue and take ages to finish.

4.            Tell us something about yourself!

One of my favorite things besides reading is listening to podcasts (distracting me from finishing my audiobooks). I have a long bus commute and don’t usually read during this time due to motion sickness. Some favorites include NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour, all the Bookriot podcasts, Books on the Nightstand, How Did This Get Made, and Welcome to Nightvale. Oh, and Serial, lately. Recs for more are always welcome :)
   

If you’ve done this readathon before, do you have any tips for other readers? If you haven’t, is there anything you’re nervous about?

I haven’t done this readathon before, but I have done Dewey’s 24 hour readathon. My advice is to take breaks and move around a bit to prevent stiffness, have plenty of snacks and drinks on hand, and stick to shorter books, at least for the end of the readathon. Also I like to clean my house beforehand so I’m not distracted by clutter or laundry, etc

Anthony Trollope said, “What on earth could be more luxurious than a sofa, a book, and a cup of coffee?…Was ever anything so civil? 
And C.S. Lewis said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” 
(It's a mystery why I have so many Christmas mugs. It's like they're breeding in the cabinet)


#Team Trollope

From Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson
(Marilyn does not want to hear complaints about the lack of dinosaurs)

Guess the Cover Challenge
1. The Vacationers
2. Life After Life
3. The Bees
4. The Good Lord Bird
5. All the Light We Cannot See

Day 2: 5 Hours to Go
Total Books Read: 3

  • Station Eleven (Excellent)
  • Vivian Apple at the End of the World (Ok, I like the premise more than the execution)
  • On Immunity: An Inoculation (Fascinating)
  • Two hours of the Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy audiobook (still good)
I'll probably get started with Lives in Ruins until 9PM then call it a night. My recent addiction to The Walking Dead must be satisfied. 

A couple more challenges:

Spine Poetry!

Lost for Words,
I'll Give You the Sun
The Infinite Sea
Land of Love and Drowning
Spell Your Name

J - J: A Novel by Howard Jacobson
A- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I- I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum
M- Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
E- Euphoria by Lily King


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Waiting on A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases. 

This week I'm waiting on
By V.E. Schwab
Published by Tor Books
Release Date: 2/24/15

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London...but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters Who Deserve Their Own Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic: Characters I wish would get their OWN book.

1. Hassan Harbish from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - I love this character, I think he's hilarious, and I'd want to see him find love and success in college. 

2. Valentina from The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - I'd like Valentina, a transwoman, to be the star of either a sequel or prequel to this novel. The prequel could be her journey to Coldtown, the sequel about making a decision to become a vampire (or not). 

3. Lindsey Lim from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - I feel this character, an aspiring detective with a mystery novel obsession, the Nancy Drew to Lola's Ned, was underused in this book and needs a romantic adventure of her own. Lindsey and the Meet Cute Murder Mystery.

4. Angela and Holly from The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan - This couple deserves to take center stage in their own book.

5. The Marauders from The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - I'm obsessed with the Marauder era of Harry Potter and I'll own up to reading some fan fiction back in the day. Since Rowling is filling in bits and pieced of her universe, why not some stories about young Lupin and co? 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)
by Maggie Stiefvater

Published by Scholastic Press
Release Date: Oct 21, 2014
Disclaimer: Received for review consideration from the publisher via NetGalley.


There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.


Friends can betray.

Mothers can disappear.
   
Visions can mislead.
 
Certainties can unravel.

(I try to be vague, but as this is the third book in a series, mild spoilers may be present. My reviews of the first two novels in the Raven Cycle are here)

Review: There’s a certain mild worry mixed with excitement I experience when reading a new installment in a beloved series. The need to know what happens next is mixed with the feeling that the novel can’t possibly live up to expectations. Thankfully Blue Lily, Lily Blue was such a good read my fears were put to rest as I was happily transported once again to Henrietta with Blue and the Aglionby boys as they continue their search for Glendower.

            This book returns to closely following Adam, Gansey, and Blue while Ronan is very much involved in the plot the reader is not privy to his thoughts).  Then there’s Noah, still ghosting around and acting as a barometer for trouble. Blue, whom I’d missed hearing from in The Dream Thieves, is central to the plot this time around. Dealing with personal loss, she begins to question what she really wants from life, both in her relationships and her future, and whether achieving those things will be possible. Adam, perhaps the character who has evolved the most from his beginnings was in The Raven Boys, must deal with the consequences of his magical bargain in addition to facing his abusive father once again. Ronan, despite being more in the background, has clearly been affected by the events in The Dream Thieves. As for Gansey, his weaknesses are made more apparent, as are his motivations for starting the search for Glendower. These characters grow from book to book and their relationships with each other are fascinating and complex. It’s rare that such a large cast of characters is as well rounded and portrayed so skillfully.
           
      Another great thing? While this is one part of an overarching mytharc, Blue Lily, Lily Blue tells a complete story. Goals are achieved and closure is given, with enough threads dangling to make me eager for the sequel but not cause the frustration that comes when a novel ends in the middle of the action (all too common with series these days). Another positive?  The setting: Henrietta is so grounded and so real feeling yet the magical elements in the story feel organic, not jarring. It’s a refreshing blend of realism and fantasy.
           
            Finally, what elevates this book from an entertaining fantasy story to a five star book for me is how it does not shy away from issues of class. Gansey, generally a good guy, is highly privileged and this can cause him to be condescending, hurtful, or oblivious. Ronan is similarly privileged and this allows him to act out with minimal consequences, while Adam must work several jobs while keeping his grades up in order to ensure his future. Then there’s Blue, whose choices are limited due to her family’s monetary situation. I find Blue’s frustration over her college plans and her uncertainty over her relationship with Gansey just as compelling as any magical cave jaunts or dream creatures. I must also mention the villains, a comically over privileged super couple who obsess over gourmet cheese and yoga classes while causally ordering someone’s murder. 
         
      All in all, this is a wonderful entry in this series and I can hardly wait for the next one. 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★