Category Archives: on the book shelf

Reading Theme ~ May 2017.

April showers give way to clear skies.
Long days with not as hot temps means spending evenings outside, stargazing.

Stargazing leads to wondering. (at least for the story writer in me.)

Then the ponderance of those age-old questions:

What’s out there in our universe? What’s out there beyond?

Do aliens exist?

If they do, would they be friendly?

Or are they out to off us for whatever agenda they have?

What would it be like to travel from planet to planet throughout the universes?

For someone who swears she doesn’t read sci-fi (Exceptions: Illuminae & Gemina), I have seemed to amass quite the collection of sci-fi books. Star Wars, alien abductions, UFO sightings, and a princess to name just a few. So I am going to try to take down my TBR list by tackling the most popular theme I have to be read.

Of course. Star-Lord and Han are essential to sci-fi goodness.

I’m thinking of starting with the X-Files books. After all, the show I loved in the early 90s started off with Fox Mulder searching for his missing sister after her abduction by aliens. And since I plan to read the believer, I also have to add in the skeptic, aka Scully’s book.

The X-Files ~ Agent of Chaos by Kami Garcia

The X-Files ~ Devil’s Advocate by Jonathon Mayberry

And you can’t do aliens without a little weird to go into it, so:

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

And no space theme is complete without a STAR WARS book or two:

Lost Stars by Claudia Gray

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
(forever my Princess/General)

And then, a few series starters that I hope are great enough to want to read on:

The Taking by Kimberly Derting

Extracted by RR Haywood

And just because both the cover and the title fit, I’m going to try to squeeze in:

From A Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

Quite a full list for someone who claims not to read sci-fi…

May’s Theme:

The Stars in the Sky

(which also happens to be the title of the book I’m writing and not talking too much about yet.)

Any books I should look into or a great one I’ve missed?

And though I’ve read and reviewed them, I still highly recommend:

Illuminae/Gemina by Amie Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

DJ, signing off. Hoping to catch you from another system.

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All gifs were found on giphy.com

The images are my own, screencaps as well.

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Filed under amreading, Chris Evans, on the book shelf, reading themes, the fangirling has made it here

The Best of 2016 and what’s coming 2017…

2016

What a year. Carrie Fisher will be so missed. Our Princess/General Leia. (And might I recommend a viewing of The ‘Burbs?) All the music greats we had: George Michael, Prince, David Bowie. My grandmother’s passing…

Let’s skip all the bad, because we can’t be bringing in the new with all that baggage and bad karma.

The good of the year. Well, there was Captain America Civil War, aka The Avengers 3. Westworld was great. Stranger Things.

A lot of people out there fighting for what’s right and good in the world.

Personally, I wrote. A lot. Have writer’s block, for months. Completed a few stories, though most are in first draft form still. I had full requests and partials for Love, Darrows–Thankful for agents agreeing that Cupid can have a boyfriend. Rethinking the genre of that one, though. Completed NaNoWriMo with my series, Human Touch‘s book 4, Me & Johnny. Got a job working for a great company and working with some fun and diverse people.

Completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 100 books for this year, read and reviewed.

{the Year in Review on Goodreads: see it here.}

My favorites of 2016

Asking me to choose just one isn’t going to work. As I sit typing, I can think of the majority of books I read this year and find ones I loved so much. And most on my favorites list weren’t necessarily published in 2016. Which I am fine with since I believe all stories are timeless. Even the contemporaries.

Favorite YA

Has to go to the Cinder series by Marissa Meyer. Not only was it a great twist on the classic fairy tales, Carswell Thorn and Cress. They just won it for me. I still daydream about them, though I will not write a fanfic.

Favorite Graphic Novel

This goes to the Scott Pilgrim Series by Bryan Lee “Bread makes you fat?” O’Malley. (Because it seems in every book, Mr. O’Malley has this bread obsession. LoL) I still pull out one of the books and read a bit of it, go over the pictures. Laugh. Definitely a win for years to come.

Favorite Comic

This is sort of cheating since Marvel’s Agent Carter could also be a graphic novel. But it is one of my most favorites because of the included Cher Chez le Femme. My forever ship. Steggy. Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter together…something the MCU really never wanted to give us. No matter how much Steve loved his best girl.

Favorite LGBTQ

I don’t think I read enough of these this year. But of the ones I did, Gear Shark took it. It was one of those “coming to terms with the fact I, a guy, am in love with a guy stories,” but what this one had that most I’ve read never touched was the hatred and violence that can go along with being gay (or lesbian or trans, and more power to you all for having to deal with such an asinine hatred from people). That’s really where I had to keep reading. What were they going to do?

Favorite Book Award Winner

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-time Indian. This story stuck in my head. Not just because I knew the area and places mentioned, but because it gave an inside peek into a culture that really most of literature just doesn’t touch. It was so good. So sweet. So heartfelt. Just pure honesty on a page. Even being fictional.

Favorite Literary Fiction

Jane Two is going to be one of those stories that sit in the heart for a very long time. It was a story about love. A first love. A love of your life. A love that stays with you and never dies, though it may very well remain an unrequited love. It was truly a beautiful tale and I am so glad I never gave up on finding it. One of my highest recommends of the year.

2017

Leaving 2016 behind like dust blowing in the wind as a car speeds down a country road…

It felt like 2017 would never get here, as rough and bullying as 2016 was. The low was hit, and we can only rise from here, right? Leaving out the politics of it all [here in the US] when I say that 2017 will be a great year. For entertainment, books, the good in life.

We have a new Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming. Avengers: Infinity War parts 1 & 2 will begin filming. Another Star Wars film coming…

My writing goals for 2017?

A lot of pages. I need to get final drafts done, manuscripts out to agents. I would love to take a class or two to help with my writing to see what I’m missing or what I can fix. I have stories yelling to be told right now. Three to be exact. All starring my muse in one way or another. I’ve got to get out on social media more with my writing. Still considering a self-pub if I can get the massive amount of money I need for an editor.

SO no word totals. Just putting words on a page, handwritten, digitally, make stories into something more than thoughts in my head.

Keep doing book reviews. Keep reading. And there are some promising books coming.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth has been on my TBR list for a while. (Only a few more weeks to that one!) Plus a new Four story from Divergent!!!! (I CAN’T WAIT!!!)

I had the fortune of reading two soon to be releases this past month or so. (Thanks to their publishers and Net Galley.) I highly recommend finding these in the new year:

This was a beautiful story. Refreshing. My first “Christian” read. Touching. Definitely makes me teary when I think about this wonderful book. Don’t let the Christian thing push you away. It was a part of the tale, but it wasn’t preachy nor did it consume the whole story.

On the opposite end of that, in a way…

I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard at a romcom before. It was amusing and funny and well done. Perfect romcom to start off the year!!! I can’t wait for the other ones, too.

And then from Paula Hawkins, who wrote Girl on the Train…which was so good I couldn’t put it down!!!…Into The Water. A whole new twisty tale. This one is right up there with Divergent’s post epilogue on my TBR list.

Those are just a very few on my lists. The closer books. Who knows what favorites will emerge as we move throughout the year?

Reading themes start tomorrow. I’ve skipped the past two months as I’ve been too busy between writing/reading and working to do them. Resolution 35: Get back to the themes. (total fake resolution number.)

Have a great New Year!!!

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All gifs found on giphy.com

book covers found through google searches. those images belong to their owners.

The Captain America image was my own screenCap (pun totally intended) from The Avengers, my own paid copy of that film.

Goodreads COngrats image was a screencap from my phone.

NaNoWriMo gave me that banner when I completed the challenge.

Thank you for reading!

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Reading Theme ~ April 2016.

The sun is shining. The tank is clean! And spring has officially sprung.

The tank is clean!?

That’s my goal anyway. By the end of this month, I plan to have my “To Be Read” list cleaned out. Not that I could ever subtract over 500 books in one month’s time. Dare to Dream!

First, I have to finish out the last bit of Stars Above. (part of the cleaning process…that and there is this Captain Thorne story I am DYING to get my eyes on!)

Second, I plan to tackle reading 99 Days by Kate Cotugno as I planned on reading with some online friends last month (March 2016). We’re going to argue who the main Book Boyfriend will be. (I’m going to do a pre-emptive call and say that Chris Evans deserves the part.) Mwhahahahahaha ha. *evil laugh just for fun.*

But once I win that argument, the real plan kicks in.

Much like Stars Above, there are these books on my TBR list that are more lovingly known to me as Series Stragglers. Either the series wasn’t finished being published when I read the other books, or I ran out of time on the monthly theme, or I just got my hands on a book that I want to read more than life itself…sorry series lagger but you got left behind. I have this small set of series that need to be read and finished. The poor things have been sitting on my shelf and in my kindle, patiently waiting to be sung to and chosen from among the stacks.

The theme for April 2016: SPRING CLEANING

My hopeful contenders: Champion by Marie Lu (finish out the Legend Series), Stand Off by Andrew Smith (Winger book 2, I’ve gotta read it), The Wicked Will Rise & Yellow Brick War by Danielle Page (totally catch up on the Dorothy Must Die series)…

I am determined to either catch up or fully complete those series this month. Some of them have been playing/waiting/hoping-to-be-picked on this list for over a year now!

What are your reading plans for April?


all gifs found on giphy.com

*~*~* Random Note: We are one month and four days away from Captain America: Civil War *~*~*
*~*~*#TEAMCAP ALWAYS!*~*~*

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Reading Theme for March 2016.

I know I am tackling this early, but I ran out of short story compilations and Tiny Stories takes only a few moments to read…I need something to keep me occupied while I wait to hear about #PitchMadness…so I’m going into March a few days early…

March. That odd month where it feels like winter is clashing with summer. Plants decide to start coming out of hiding. It gets a touch warmer then freezes you to death. In like a lion and out like a lamb.

Of course when I think about Lion and Lamb…

Yeah. Twilight. Some habits are hard to break. I still sneak peeks at Eclipse often.

But, I’ve already read Twilight more times than I care to share. Not near the triple digits but still… The point of reading themes is to get something new in my hands for my eyes to scan, my brain to decipher, and [hopefully] my heart to melt. Sorry, Divergent, I’ve read you already, too.

Who doesn’t love that moment when Four and Tris meet? *happy sigh*

No romance, though. I’m still on the “I’ve written a romantic comedy so I can’t read anything like it” phase, because I know I’ll start daydreaming about my story, really start nitpicking at it like a chimp trying to rid fleas off its friend…and I don’t want to dislike anything about Wings. (It’s also why I have three stories in first draft only. Got picky about everything.)

But I am going to go with Spring in this month’s theme. Ish. Technically.

SPRING INTO A SERIES.

Not finish a series I’ve started and haven’t finished because it was time to change themes (Legend…not that it was bad, but I desperately wanted a RomCom to read) or maybe I’ve been waiting for the next installment (see Illuminae…dying to know when book two will be out). I have quite a collection of untouched series, including but not limited to: The Siren by Kiera Cass, The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, Red Rising by Pierce Brown, The Wayward Pines series by Blake Crouch, The Magician series by Charlie N. Holmberg, a few more Hugh Howey series…and so many more. I’m not even counting the romance series in this choice…

Needless to say, I have quite the collection of collections.
The rules for this month:

  • I must have all available books in the series.
    • That takes out quite a few sets including The Siren.
  • It has to be entirely new to me.
    • Sorry Hitchhiker’s…I’ve read one of you before.
    • quite a few other’s too.
  • My heart needs to smoke with admiration for the story
    • like so many stories before
    • big shoes to fill

That leaves me with The Uglies and Cinder.

Tough choice as everyone tells me I need to read them both. It seriously came down to a coin toss.

The SPRING INTO A SERIES winner:

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.

I have no idea what the story is about. I do admit the cover art grabbed my attention, therefore I do tend to judge a book by its cover…hence the collection began…and I have all of the available books in the series…and I hope I’m not going to suffer cliffhanger-itis at the end of this. Already 20 pages into Cinder and am enjoying it. I’m looking forward finding out how this Cinderella tale will blow me away (according to everyone who suggests I read it).

Out of curiosity, are there any other series I need to keep an eye for? Any I need to read?

I’m always looking to expand my TBR list. As if there aren’t more than enough books there already.

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This post filed under themes.

All gifs found on giphy.com, except the Cinder one found on Pinterest…all remain property of their original owners.

Bonus points to the person who knows why I have a gif of Chris Evans smoking…

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Monthly Reading Theme – February 2016.

I was so busy writing and drawing, I almost forgot to announce this month’s theme.

February is too easy with all that’s going on this month.

It’s Black History month.

Then tomorrow is Groundhog’s Day.

The SuperBowl seems to have migrated over from January permanently.

Of course, Cupid’s Birthday *looks at Quentin Darrows*, Valentine’s Day.

President’s Day.

Then, this year is special with that extra Day added on:
Leap Day!
(my official un-birthday for this year)

So many different themes are available. I could go for the obvious romance, but I don’t want to be that easy–combining Valentines with the Super Bowl, I did lean towards romantic erotic novels starring faux footballers (not you McLane, though I could write one) and, admittedly, I do have some in the Kindle. I should read something historical. Honestly, I probably would add more to my DNF list than actually read if I went in that direction. I would LOVE to read some diverse MC’s, but I read those anyway, though they are difficult to find. Have never seen an adult or YA Groundhog Day book. Add Leap Day to that list–not going to count the movie novelizations should there be any.

But I’m not doing any of those.

What is February?

That’s right. The shortest month of the year, every year.

Going with that thought, I am pulling out my short story compilations. I won’t reread my older Stephen King ones (Skeleton Crew and Different Seasons) but am hoping to find my hardback copy of Full Dark, No Stars. I also have Joe Hill and Owen King (maybe I have a Stephen King theme going after all since they are his sons).

Then, of course, to overlook the Tiny Stories books would be a crime. (The first one was read a few years ago. Just fun.)

I’ll also take any compilations or novella recs you all have…in case I run out of tales.

Thanks in advance.

*SHORTY FEBRUARY* it is! As soon as I finish the last bit of The Oddifts…because, again, I’ve been busy writing and drawing on a story for a project I forgot about.

Happy Reading! And please share what you plan to read this month.

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all images are my own screen caps of my kindle.

all gifs are found on giphy.com

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