Tag Archives: a court of mist and fury

June TBR!

 

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It’s officially time for summer reading! Even though I read year-round, there’s something special about reading in the summer. I always tend to spend a lot of time reading and relaxing in the sunshine and seem to get through more books during this season than the others (although I’ve never really kept track; it might just feel like I read more). I already laid out my top 20 books to get through this summer in my last post, but here is a more specific breakdown of my TBR for June. This month, I plan to finish the Neapolitan novels, continue my streak of listening to nonfiction audiobooks with no DNFs, and pick up a bunch of books I’ve had on my TBR stack for too long. I figure that it’s OK to be ambitious–it’s summer!

So here’s what I’ll hopefully be reading this month:

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante – book 3 of the Neapolitan novels and, to me, the one with the most beautiful title and cover. The last book ended on a pretty major note (don’t worry, I wouldn’t dream of spoiling anybody) and I’m so intrigued by the direction the story is taking. I feel like once I dive into this, though, I’ll have to set my other books aside for awhile and then snag book 4.

The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante – book 4. I feel pretty confident I’ll get to this book as well this month, but it depends on whether I want to savor the Ferrante books and postpone reading it.

And Again by Jessica Chiarella – I won this in a giveaway from Tor.com earlier this year (the first and only book I’ve ever won in a giveaway!) and I’m really interested in the premise: it’s a literary science fiction standalone where four people are given new, physically perfect versions of their bodies and then struggle to fit back into their lives.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – I started this audiobook in May but now am super frustrated: my Overdrive account only lets me take out an audiobook for a week at a time, and after I had to return this book, I was bumped back to fifth in line. Fifth! So now I might have to find a new audiobook for June…really annoying, since I was getting really into this one. I really like some things about Overdrive, like how easy it is to use, but right now none of the books I really want to listen to are available šŸ˜¦

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I paused this for awhile in May due to a severe case of Ferrante fever, but I will definitely finish this month. I’m over halfway through and it seems like a solid enjoyable 4-star read.

The Girl Wakes by Carmen Lau – feminist fairy tale retellings in short story form that I cannot wait to jump into this month.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith – from the Goodreads blurb, “Epic and intimate, hilarious and poignant, White Teeth is the story of two North London familiesā€”one headed by Archie, the other by Archie’s best friend, a Muslim Bengali named Samad Iqbal.” I’ve heard such amazing things about Zadie Smith, and I keep meaning to read this book but haven’t done it yet.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – I have a bad track record of getting frustrated with and DNFing YA books, but I’ve heard such positive things about this series, and its premise seems pretty mysterious, so I’m going to give it a shot. Fingers crossed! I have DNFing, but I don’t shy away from it; I want to be reading books that I like!

 

What are you all reading in June??

 

May Book Haul!

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April was a month filled with enticing library used book sales, so there weren’t any sales in my area in May. Instead, I splurged a bit on some new books and, in an unusual move for me, actually read two and a half of the books I bought this month within the month.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – I finally caved into the immense literary pressure and bought My Brilliant Friend, a book that for a long time I resisted reading. I genuinely had thought I wouldn’t enjoy it; I was very, very wrong. I loved it so much that I quickly had to run back to Barnes & Noble for the second book.

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante – the sequel to My Brilliant Friend, I just finished reading this book this morning. And now desperately need the third book.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – I pre-ordered this book awhile ago and am currently about halfway through; so far I’m finding it significantly more enjoyable than its predecessor, A Court of Thorns and Roses. I’m looking forward to reading the rest but want to savor it.

Love Poems by Pablo Neruda – I have never read a single poem by Pablo Neruda, although I’ve been meaning to for years. I don’t tend to read a ton of poetry but I think I should be attempting to read more of it; I’ll start with this very slim volume of extremely famously beautiful love poems.

Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey – I don’t know a lot about this book, but I found it in the Staff Recommendations section at the Strand. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and depicts a woman being submerged in water; from the description, it looks to be about a woman leaving her life behind and immersing herself in a new environment in New Zealand. I’m intrigued.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – I’ve read two of Ishiguro’s previous books (Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day) and love his thoughtful style and his focus on the theme of the unreliability of memory. This book is his first foray into touches of fantasy and depicts an elderly couple’s search for their son. I’ve been wanting to read it ever since it came out but was waiting for the paperback edition to be released.

The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – Winterson’s The Passion was my first 5-star read of 2016, and I found this book completely accidentally on a bargain table at the Strand. From the back of the book, “The Daylight Gate is Jeanette Winterson’s singular vision of a dark period of complicated morality, sex, and tragic plays for power in a time when politics and religion were closely intertwined.” It looks to be about witchcraft and witchhunting in 1600s England, and I have really high hopes for it.

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh – I really hate watching a movie before reading a book, but it’s been a long time since I saw the film version in an indie movie theater in my college town. My goal to read more classics has been going really terribly, and I’veĀ  heard amazing things about this book, so I’m going to hope that this can help get me into a classics zone. The Goodreads blurb refers to this book as “the most nostalgic and reflective of Evelyn Waugh’s novels, Brideshead Revisited looks back to the golden age before the Second World War. It tells the story of Charles Ryder’s infatuation with the Marchmains and the rapidly-disappearing world of privilege they inhabit. Enchanted first by Sebastian at Oxford, then by his doomed Catholic family, in particular his remote sister, Julia, Charles comes finally to recognize only his spiritual and social distance from them.”

Bout of Books Starts Tomorrow!! Here are my Thoughts and TBR…

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Bout of Books starts tomorrow! Since the weeklong readathon is less strict compared to Dewey’s, I’ve been thinking about how my reading this week will be different than normal. I typically read a decent amount in any given week, but I’d like to increase my amount of reading during the Readathon by switching up a few things:

-Listening to audiobooks during all of my driving time (instead of only occasionally)

-Reading for at least 2 hours every day (I’d like to do more than that for most of the days, but some might be busier than others and I tend to get out of work pretty late)

-Finishing at least 3 books (again, I think I can do more, but I’ll set a low goal for now)

-Posting frequent blogging updates on my progress

-Participating in as many of the mini-challenges as I can

-Bookstagramming up a storm!

 

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As far as my TBR goes, I’m currently in the middle of two books that I’m absolutely loving: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (which is VERY Rhysand-centric, fyi, for people who were bored by the Tamlin love story in book 1). I figure that this Readathon could go one of two ways: either I’ll focus so hard on those two books that they’re all I’ll be reading until I finish both and dive into a major double book hangover, or I’ll decide that I love them so much that I need to savor them and only read a little each day, in which case I’ll start something new sooner rather than later.

The other thing I’m thinking is that I really, really want to stick to my physical TBR shelf to keep up with the May #SmashYourStack challenge, but if I hit the aforementioned dreaded double book hangover I may hit the library or go in an ebook direction. Who knows! I’m terrible at sticking to TBRs, but I love to make them anyways.

Also! If I read 6 books (ambitious, for sure) I will beat my current record of 5 books from the last Bout of Books in January. So, that probably won’t happen.

I’m looking at reading these 5 books from my physical TBR shelf:

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)The Girl Wakes: StoriesDeath My Own WayStone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales

As well as these audiobooks: I’m listening to Notorious RBG right now and really enjoying it but I think I’ll need a backup audiobook too in case I finish.

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader GinsburgNot That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"

 

 

Who else is participating?? I’d love to see your TBRs!

WWW Wednesday: Reading Updates

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I was in the mood to post a bookish update (I have a lot of bookish thoughts right now!), so here is my first WWW Wednesday, hosted by https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com/.

WWW Wednesday is a meme where you answer the 3 W’s (What are you currently reading, What did you recently finish reading, and What do you think you’ll read next), so here I go:

What are you currently reading?

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)

OK, so this takes some explaining. I startedĀ  hearing about Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels a year or so ago, and the hype has been continuously building since then. However, until very recently, I was, for various reasons, fairly committed to never reading any of them. Why? It’s hard to explain. The first reason is that I figured any series with this ridiculous amount of hype must not be able to live up to it, and although I sometimes do like to read whatever the “it” book currently is, a lot of the time I’m really reluctant to do so. Maybe it’s a bookish hipster thing? Am I trying to not be too mainstream? But I only do this selectively, so I don’t think that’s entirely it.

The other reason I’ve hesitated to reach for the Ferrante novels, despite how amazing they’re supposed to be, is that I just didn’t think I’d be interested in them. I hate to say this, but realistic fiction typically just isn’t my genre. I don’t hate all realistic fiction, but it takes a really, really good realistic fiction book to hook me, since what attracts me to books tends to be their uniqueness and realistic fiction, by definition, is less “out there” than various genre fiction. My go-to genres have always been science fiction and fantasy, in all their iterations (magical realism, dystopian fiction, speculative fiction, etc) and, although I know that this is not always the case, those genres have always tended to present themselves as the most creative and unique books. I definitely need to open my mind back up to more realistic fiction, but lately, I’ve been getting worse and worse about this; it’s rare for me to read anything non-SFF/F, and the Ferrante novels just didn’t fit my non-realistic vibe.

At a certain point, however, I decided that I just had to know what these books were like. Spurred by discovering a forgotten Barnes and Noble gift card with $17 left on it, I hit the bookstore the other day and picked up My Brilliant Friend. And OH MY GOD.

To be clear, I’ve just started this book, but the thing is that I typically form opinions on books very quickly. I can usually tell from the first page if I’m going to vibe with the book, and after reading the first paragraph of My Brilliant Friend, I am totally on board. I don’t want to talk too much about it (mainly because I’m only on page 40), but the writing is immersive, detailed, and I’ve been completely sucked in. I can’t wait to keep reading, and I hope this feeling lasts throughout the whole book. I mean, I could always be wrong and start disliking it, but so far I’m extremely impressed.
What did you recently finish reading?

Mr. Splitfoot

 

I stayed up until 2 a.m. finishing Mr. Splitfoot the other night because there was no way I could physically abandon the story at that point. I ended up LOVING this book and gave it 4.5 stars. I loved the structure of the book and how it switched between two timelines that came crashing together at the end. Highly, highly recommended for fans of weird fiction. Also, it’s my first completed book for #SmashYourStack!
What do you think youā€™ll read next?

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

 

I pre-ordered A Court of Mist and Fury, which turned out to be a bad move–the release date was yesterday but I won’t get it in the mail until Friday. I should have just picked up a copy on the release date! Now I know for next time to skip the pre-ordering. I may just wait until Bout of Books to start it, since I’m deep in Ferrante mode anyways and want to save this one til I can fully appreciate it.

 

What is everyone reading right now??

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html).

This is my first Top Ten Tuesday post! After reading so many of these fun prompts on other blogs, I’m finally diving in myself. My spring TBR list is ambitious and, frankly, far too long (like all of my TBR lists) but I’m going to try and make this top ten list realistic. So here are the top ten books I actually think I will read this spring, regardless of my TBR decision-making issues and tendency to deviate from all lists I make.

I think that I will be continuing the spirit of the #Weirdathon beyond March, as well–while still mixing it up with other genres, I’d like to continue to focus on my love of reading weirdly.

New releases:

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)Roses and Rot

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – more Rhysand, please! I’d be good with more Lucien, as well. Tamlin I can take or leave. I’m hoping that this sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses is more fast-paced than its predecessor and explores the Persephone/Hades dynamic that was hinted at with Feyre’s bargain with the Night Court.
  2. Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop – Meg is a cassandra sangue (blood prophet) who can see snippets of the future when her skin is cut. She escaped enslavement and a sheltered life into the world of the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and godlike beings who control territory and natural resources in this alternate version of Earth. I have some issues with this series (mainly with the treatment of its female characters) but I still really enjoy these books. They’re slower-paced and very comforting to read, although the series has been a bit uneven.
  3. Roses and Rot by Kat Howard – I was on board when I saw the blurb from Neil Gaiman. Everything I hear about this book seems to stress that it dissects the darker aspects of fairy tales, which is something I can never resist.

Already on my bookshelf:

The Yellow WallpaperMr. SplitfootThe Book of Lost Things

4. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – I’m embarrassed I haven’t yet read this creepy feminist classic.

5. Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt – a ghost story perfect for continuing the #Weirdathon.

6. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly – I’ve been meaning to get to this one for awhile and feel like everyone has read this except me.

KindredPossessionWide Sargasso SeaWhite Teeth

7. Kindred by Octavia Butler – I’ve previously mentioned my mission to read all of Butler’s works, and this one is up next. A time travel story about the horrors of slavery, I started this a few years ago and never finished. This is my chance to pick it back up again.

8. Possession by A.S. Byatt – I am completely intrigued by the sound of this book about two young students researching the lives of two Victorian poets. It sounds gorgeously romantic–perfect for spring!

9. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – this is an exploration of the backstory of the “madwoman in the attic” from Jane Eyre. Do I need to say anything else?

10. White Teeth by Zadie Smith – I keep saying that I’m about to read this book and then never actually read it. I’ve heard so much about the brilliance of Smith’s writing that I need to bite the bullet about reading realistic fiction and just dive in.

 

Any thoughts on my TBR picks? What are you excited to read this spring?