WIR: First post of 2014, skinwalkers and vampires and con men, oh my! & I still hate Divergent.

Hiii.

I just clicked through myself on a comment on someone else’s blog (you can see which blogs I like to read in my left sidebar) and I was like DAMN GURL u ain’t been blogging this year.

So welcome to my first post of the year. It’s not a review, obvi. I’m just catching you up I guess.

I HAVE been reading, though the currently reading shelf on my goodreads account hasn’t changed much in forever.

I still haven’t finished A Memory of Light, nor have I started Origin, the last book in the Lux series. Maybe I’ll do that this week.

Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1)I do have a glowing recommendation to make. Two actually! The first is the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter. Jane is my favorite badass lately, and there are so many things about her and her world I absolutely love.

I discovered the series seeking out urban fantasy books set in New Orleans. There is so much mystique and charm about this city (which I’ve never visited), and I love learning more about it through books. The secondary location for a lot of the first book, Skinwalker, is Asheville, NC—another city I’m fascinated by in book settings.

One of the best things about the series is that as a female character Jane isn’t one of those inexplicably gorgeous everyone-falls-all-over-themselves characters. I mean, she gets propositioned a lot, but that’s kind of a consequence of being a fairly decent looking woman surrounded by men in a patriarchal society.

On a brighter note, there is a lot of female friendship in Jane’s life! So refreshing to have a guy’s girl with female friends! Also did I mention she kicks a lot of ass? There are vampires in this series (boo) but Jane hasn’t hooked up with any yet and I’m on book 6 or 7 (yay), but they are all really hot (boo, wait, yay?) so I figure it’s only a matter of time.

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)The second recommendation is for The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch. I can’t really gush too much about this book, and I read it in December (yes, someone got a copy of it from me for Xmas). It’s really smart and intricate. It is long, but that seems to bother people less these days than it ever has before. I call it the Rowling/Martin Effect. But if you like con men, plotting, nefarious deeds, and amusing comraderie, definitely definitely check this out.

There are a few more books and series I’ve read lately, which you can find on my Goodreads (I haven’t been reviewing them, just rating), and I’m proooobably going to post about Vampire Academy after I see the movie. I just have to find a theater where it is still playing. And someone to schlep out to it with me. I’m pretty sure all of the usual suspects have seen it already.

Am I going to see Divergent? Eh. I never saw The Host, and I actually liked that book. I wasn’t a fan of Divergent.

Anyway, life has been/is still pretty crazy around these parts for me, but I find myself missing posting to this blog, so hopefully you’ll see more from me in the near future.

As always, I’d love to know what you’re reading, or what you thought about anything I talked about here!

p.s. I’m going to do a giveaway soon, so keep an eye out for that!

 

What I’m reading: everything, pretty much.

Do you ever get the sudden rush of horror and despair when you think about how many books there are in the world (at least, in languages you can read), and how little time you have to read them?

I’ve been experiencing a bit of that lately. Just a bit. *stares blankly at wall*

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)I’m halfway-ish through the final book in the Wheel of Time series. I’ve let it sit in the backburner of my kindle because after racing through thirteen other books I don’t really want to be finished with it. It’s not really the type of series I’m likely to ever reread, so I guess I’m trying to keep the world alive in my mind.

I’ve kinda gottten sucked into Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, which is a testament to how entertaining they are, because I am SO very over vampires. But these books are like a rocket, you get sped through these stories and are kinda hooked. Like the (good) action movie equivalent of urban fantasy.

Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1)I’ve been reading other series too, but so quickly I haven’t had the wherewithal to review the books individually. Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series is six books long, and I tore through them. I doubt I’ll ever get around to reviewing them, so I’ll just say that I enjoyed the world she crafted, even though Georgina being a succubus kind of sank the character into the hot-girl-at-whom-all-male-characters-throw-themselves territory. I’m not such a huge fan of this, but I enjoyed the story, which is very romance heavy. Shrug. It was pretty good anyway.

Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, #1)I also started Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series. I’m on the latest right now. This series is really interesting! It’s set in this sort of dystopic future society where ghosts are murderous and are held in captivity in the City of Eternity by the Church, whose motto is “Facts are Truth.” Cesaria “Chess” Putnam, the protagonist, is a drug addict with an insanely depressing past. She’s a weird anti-heroine that isn’t really that hard to like. I love the gritty aspect of the setting, a look into an addict character like Chess’s mind, and the slang Kane uses, which other reviewers have noted is actually brilliant in that it’s not racist. It’s also kind of infectious. Bump (a pimp/drug dealer) is probably the most entertaining dialogue to read. He uses the eff word with true artistry.

The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real MagicHmm, what else? I read a book called The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic which I adored. I think I should definitely review that in depth. (I just checked Emily Croy Barker’s Twitter account and she’s working on a sequel. YAAAASSSSS)

That’s all really, right now. I’ve been really busy this last week and kind of burned out on reading, but that’s usually temporary. I’m thinking about getting back into more contemporary general fiction and literary fiction. I’ve been glutting myself on fantasy books to cleanse my mind palette, but I’m starting to feel as if my standards are being lowered by popular fiction. I’m open to book suggestions, although I have a stack of to-read books on my night stand that nearly reaches from the floor to my hip…maybe after the new year.

What have you been reading?

What I’m reading: Not dead!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Hey y’all. I’ve been AWOL the last few months but I have been reading. A lot. Too much, some might say (We don’t listen to those voices, though, remember that).

I’m still rolling along through Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I’m on book 8, and BOY are these books long! This is coming from a huge fan of the ASOIAF series (Game of Thrones, for the uninitiated). So much book. I’m pretty invested at this point, so I’ll probably see them through.

Everything else has fallen by the wayside, though, in the face of these behemoths. I have several ebooks on deck, including some I’ve looked forward to for a while, like the latest Sookie Stackhouse novel. Shut up, you. I love them.

Anyway I just wanted to check in, say hello. Point to the title (kind of not a funny joke when you have depression, but people like morbid humor right? No? Well, too bad I DID IT).

Truthfully, I prefer designing* blog pages more than I like actually blogging, but luckily for DEP (one letter away from DERP) I like talking about the books I read a lot too. There is war in my soul. Fear not gentle readers. And my stepdad. (Hi, John. Remind me to bring you that book when I come over on Saturday.)

What are your summer reads so far?

*ratchet web design involves a lot of googling for tutorials and using MSPaint. Yup, Paint still exists.

What I’m reading: long awaited releases.

I love book series, but the wait between installments can be a killer, as any George R. R. Martin fan can attest. Sometimes I get distracted and forget about the books I am waiting impatiently to read, and the publication date sneaks up on me, as was the case with Maureen Johnson’s The Madness Underneath and Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess.

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)I am on the fence about reviewing Clockwork Princess because a) it’s the end of a series and b) I still have too many feels to really write a decent review. I definitely recommend both, though! TMU is a ghost thriller kinda, set in London, which I reviewed here, and CP2 (the 2 is because the middle book in the trilogy, Clockwork Prince is CP) is a steampunk take on Clare’s The Mortal Instruments, which I definitely enjoy. The movie is coming out in August, and the cast is phenomenal, they’ve got Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Lena Headey (Cersei from “Game of Thrones” Queen Gorgo in 300!), Aidan Turner (uber hot vamp Mitchell in the UK “Being Human” show) and Robert Sheehan (Misfits). I die.

Other than that, I’ve been slowly chewing through Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files series, which is decent, thus far. I mean, they’re about a wizard named Harry, so. A grown-up one, in this case. I can’t say I really love them—Harry Dresden is sexist in a way that I assume is supposed to be endearing. There are a lot of female characters, though, and they’re not entirely flat. In fact, Harry gets saved by them on occasion. But it’s still kind of grating to be inside of a character’s head when you would probably want to verbally eviscerate them in reality.

Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your WasteI’ve also started reading Bea Johnson from The Zero Waste Home‘s upcoming book. I’ve loved her blog for years, since I read an article in Sunset Magazine. I was undergoing a bit of doubt about my personal commitment to reducing my environmental impact, and seeing that another person, another family, had felt the same way and really DONE something about it changed my life. The book is great so far, and I can’t wait to review it here and on my eco/lifestyle blog, Project Pura Vida.

What are you reading lately? Are you, like, me, avoiding your course materials?

What I’m reading + An aversion to seriousness breeds boredom.

So I’ve been a boring book blogger lately because a) I haven’t been reading much of anything new and b) the stuff I have been reading doesn’t inspire much rave reviewing.

I DID finally get to read the sequel to Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee, which I’d been looking for in vain for years, because it is currently out of print and not available in ebook form, which is a shame, because those books are SO delightful. I wrote quite a long nice review on Goodreads and then accidentally left the page and my browser ate it. As you might imagine the frustration kind of dead-ended my enthusiasm for review writing for a bit. (Don’t worry I’ve added the Lazarus form recovery add-on so that doesn’t happen again, because I KNOW I am too lazy to write my reviews in a text-editor first)

It is slowly coming back (my enthusiasm), however the book I am currently reading, The Demonologist, while very good so far (and a bit scary!) isn’t one of my usual reading-for-pleasure genres. So I’m procrastinating?

I  know, that really doesn’t make sense, but I’ve mentioned before how I am studying English Lit in my last semester of college. So I am reading lots of things. Really good things. Mostly old really good things. And I hate it. I hate it so so much. I don’t like being forced to do anything ever, so my brain just takes a vacation whenever I try to make myself read something serious. Serious as in aspirations of literary grandeur. I would say The Demonologist is much more literary than most of the stuff I have been reading for pleasure lately. It really is very good so far. But I need more magic and witches and like, faerie folk. And swords. I need many more swords.

Anyway that’s all I have to say. Maybe I will get over my review aversion and reading aversion and have something to discuss with you soon. I’ve been itching to start the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, on my friend Michael’s recommendation. And another friend, Jake, suggested I start the Dresden Files series. I want to get excited and dive in (I am on Spring Break this week, too) but instead I am rereading the three Alex Craft novels in bed with a cat on my neck. I’m currently on Grave Dance. I KNOW, but they are SO good.

Do you have genre aversion? Tell me I’m not crazy (I mean, I am, but you know yadada mean).

What I’m reading: Witches and necromancers and ghosts, oh my!

Realizing I go through book phases. Last month it was dragons. This month it is necromancers.
— Erika Gill (@invariablyso) February 4, 2013

Actually I think I went through a mini-ghosts phase in between the dragons and the necromancers. 😀
— Erika Gill (@invariablyso) February 4, 2013

So I’ve just finally finished and posted my review of Beautiful Creatures, & if you read my review you understand how tedious that was.

I’ve been experiencing the strange phenomena of feeling forced to read things I am choosing to read, lately, and I do not like it one bit.

Part of the reason why this blog exists is because I am trying to escape reading the things I am assigned (lit major woes). I am using my necromancers for ESCAPE. Maybe Dante Valentine is the wrong necromancer to use for this. Oh, ahem, excuse me, NecroMANCE. Latin-y.

The other part is probably due to my obstinate determination to finish every book I start. Beautiful Creatures was almost 600 pages long. I am a masochist.

The DemonologistSo, bright side: now I get to decide what to read next. I have an ARC of Andrew Pyper’s The Demonologist on deck. I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading paperbacks because I got a Kindle Fire for Christmas from my parents and I am completely in love with it, so this gem I won in a FirstReads giveaway has had to wait for me.

The first nine pages are excellent, though, and I am looking forward to seeing how much of Morningside & the Columbia campus we get to see in this story. I applied to transfer to Columbia GS for undergrad. Wisely, they did not let me in. I’m not bitter, promise. Not anymore, at least. But I am nostalgic for NYC.

Despite this book being awesome and full of shiny promise…I miss Alex Craft. I read all three of Kalayna Price‘s books, Grave Witch, Grave Dance, and Grave Memory last week. I rated them pretty low, but in retrospect I have NO IDEA why. I am obsessed. I have grave witches on the brain. The next installment, Grave Visions, doesn’t come out until August.

 AUGUST. I can’t even hope for a lucky ARC from Roc before April.

So what does a crazed Craft-lover do? Google for fan fics. Curse roundly when there aren’t any. Regroup, and use WhatshouldIreadnext.com to look up similar titles. Research average rating on Goodreads. Cross reference with Felica Day’s shelves (seriously that woman has read EVERYTHING). Select a few promising titles. Kindle it.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)Annnd BINGO. Kate Daniels. You have my heart. (and my bow, and my axe, etc.) It’s really really rare for the teaser page (tell me if there is correct terminology for this, please!) to completely bowl me over, but this did. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews seems to be my Alex Craft holdover. And lucky for me there are like six books in this series. SALVATION.

Anyway, it’s looking like I am going to be super irresponsible this week so who knows, maybe I will get a chance to blog the other Alex Craft-esque books I found! If you’re impatient they all should be in my to-read shelf. Maybe I will also catch up with the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout book club! Oh, the possibilities.

What are you reading right now?