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#TBRTakedown 6.0 & #TomeTopple TBRs

November seems to be the month of read-a-thons, which is awesome given I have such a strong desire to push through a lot of reads that I want to get to before the end of the year is up. Let’s be honest we have about a month and a half left of the year, and while I’ve read over 400+ books (remember I count comics!), I still have so many more titles I want to get to.

Enter #TBRTakedown and #TomeTopple read-a-thons. I’ve done both in the past and have enjoyed doing them immensely. #TBRTakedown 6.0 is being hosted by Shannon @ LeaningLights and is happening on Nov 18-22, 2017. The second is #TomeTopple, which is hosted by Samantha @ ThoughtsonTomes, and it runs from Nov. 17-30. The goal of Tome Topple is to tackle books over 500+ pages.

Here is my TBR for #TBRTakedown:

Here are the challenges that I am going to try and complete during the read-a-thon!

Oldest book on your shelf – Walking Home by Eric Walters

Most recent haul – Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Continuation in a series – The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (Fairyland #5) by Catherynne M. Valente

First book in a series – Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos (Theodosia Throckmorton #1)
by R.L. LaFevers

Out of your comfort zone – The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

And with #TomeTopple I am going to be counting The Librarian of Auschwitz as my ARC is over 500+ pages. If I finish that, then I am going to try and reach for another 500+ tome that is on my shelf. We shall see how this goes! Bit if you’re interested in either of these read-a-thons, check out Sam and Shannon’s channels for more.

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Five 2018 Releases That Are On My Radar

November is the month where we realize that December is around the corner and the year is nearly over. However, it’s also a month that sometimes feels longer than it should too. While I still have lots of 2017 releases in need of being read, my eyes are already looking at some of the shiny titles for 2018. While I’ve read a couple of 2018 releases, I am not going to include them in this list simply because I didn’t read them in 2018. I always try to pick five releases for the year that are considered my must-reads and here’s the ones so far I am anticipating.

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
by Marie Lu (Release Date: January 2nd 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers)

I am a huge Batman fangirl. I didn’t grow up on Marvel comics, but I did DC and I have always had a more affinity with the DC Heroes. Batman was always a favourite, and even now I still watch all the animated movies that come out, and I still try to stay as current as I can with Batman comics. I really liked the first book in the DC Icons series, Warbringer, which was about Wonder Woman. Marie Lu has always been a bit of a hit-or-miss author with me, but I have faith her Batman will be good.

Girl Made of Stars
by Ashley Herring Blake (Release Date: May 15th 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers)

While I was at the recent Raincoast #TeensReadFeed presentation, Ashley Herring Blake’s works can up twice, and both really caught my attention. I love books that focus on tough issues, and Girl Made of Stars is a book I feel like I am really going to enjoy and have many feelings towards. I still need to read her debut, Suffer Love, which I have. I may have to prioritize that before this book releases!

The Way You Make Me Feel
by Maurene Goo (Release Date: May 8th 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BFYR)

While I haven’t read Maurene Goo’s debut novel, I LOVED I Believe in a Thing Called Love. It was quirky, fun and just such a palette cleanser from books I had been reading at the time. Every time I see the title for this book I just start singing Michael Jackson, which I am not sure if that was intentional or not (seems likely though). I am hoping this book will have everything I liked about Maurene Goo’s previous book and more. Also Korean leads in books are always interesting to me and this cover is beautiful.

A Girl Like That
by Tanaz Bhathena (Release Date: February 27th 2018 by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young)

I am very hyped for this book. I think it will be an enlightening read looking at teens and racism as a topic. I am loving reading about groups of people that are different from me and what kinds of differences they have. This sounds like such an ambitious debut that looks at topics like race, identity, class, and religion,  I will have to get my hands on it when it releases in February, and bonus that this is also written by a Canadian author! Whoo!

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1)
by Tomi Adeyemi (Release Date: March 6th 2018 by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers)

I used to love reading science fiction and fantasy, but over the last year or so it’s something I have been gravitating towards less and less. I can’t really explain why, but I feel like it hasn’t been grabbing me as of late. This book however, I feel like I am going to love. This debut is written by a Nigerian-American author, and focuses on the idea of destroying magic and fighting vengeful spirits. I’ll be intrigued to see how Nigerian culture comes into play, but I am sooooo excited for this read.

And there you have it! These are the top five books that I am super anticipating for 2018. I realize this list could go on forever, but these were the ones that were definitely sticking in my mind, all things considered. I’d love to know what 2018 reads you are most anticipating in the comments below!

Book Piles By the Month (Round 2!)

Awhile back I changed the first five months regarding what I’ve read from my own collection for the year. I have been so bad about reading my own books as of late because there’s always so many wonderful new books coming through at the library and I find it’s so easy for me to take them home and read them before my own. So for November I’ve put all my books on pause to see if I can successfully knock out a chunk of books from my own collection. We shall see considering I have lots of ARCs to read too to catch up on my outstanding reviews.

I swear the piles never end! Speaking of piles, here’s the piles from June to October went for knocking stuff out of my personal collection of books.

June

June was a decent pile, though nothing like I’ve done in the past. I think this was when my library holds were beginning to get worse.

July

This is a healthy looking pile of completed books, yes? YES!

August

August was a good month for knocking books out. Look at this beautiful stack! It was like I hermit all month and did nothing but read! (Which, is not true though I wish it had been)

September

September saw me reading less books compared to August, but I did finish the chunker Needful Things which took me a few months.

October

And then October saw me read a really, really small stack of my own books. It was kind of pathetic really, given that I had too many library books out and focused all my attention of those. BUT NOT IN NOVEMBER, NOT THIS TIME. Again, I liked a lot of what I read so that was great, but I wish I had read more of my own stuff. There are also two read-a-thons I am going to try and participate in this month which are #TBRTakedown (Nov. 17th to 22nd) and #TomeTopple (Nov 17th to 30th).

We’ll see how November and December go. I feel like that will be scramble time for all the titles I wanted to finish and didn’t get to. The book lists in my goals journal are a bit… ambitious to say the least. Pray for me, readers.

Book Riot’s Read Harder 2017 Challenge – October Reads

October is coming to an end, and I feel like again, I didn’t finish enough of my Read Harder Challenges. I have two months left and four books. Can I do it? Who knows. What I will say, however, read Born A Crime. It won’t let you down.


Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Completes Challenge #5: Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative.

Thoughts: I picked this book up on the recommendation of my co-worker. I didn’t know much about Trevor Noah other than his work on television. Reading about “bring born a crime” and how he had to figure out how to survive in South Africa in such a rough period was very interesting and engrossing. I found I had so many feelings reading this book, as they would spiral around from joy, sadness, to hysterical laughter. Each of the stories offered so much insight not only into Trevor’s life, but also South Africa. I absolutely loved this one and highly recommend it.

 

 


Bit by Bit: How Video Games Transformed Our World by Andrew Ervin

Completes Challenge #13: Read a nonfiction book about technology.

Thoughts: I feel like I am cheating a bit with this pick. I looked into a lot of books about technology and a lot of them were not on topics I was interested in. However, I adore video games, and technically they are a piece of “technology”! I know, I could have tried harder, but whatever. Bit by Bit is a history of video games, a memoir about some of the author’s connection to games, and it focuses on titles that pushed boundaries during the early years of the industry. There’s lots of discussion surrounding Nintendo’s beginnings, or Tim Schafer’s games which challenge the genre in changing the way we think about puzzles. The book was good, a bit dry, and some of the titles were games I admit to not enjoying, but I still appreciate a lot of the context Ervin provides. A good read!

Reading Goals for 2017 – An Update

I thought it was time to share where I am at with my reading life in 2017. We’re already near the end of October, with only two more months left in the year, That is crazy pants. At the beginning of 2017 I made a list of goals in my bullet journal regarding what I wanted to read and how I wanted to read this year. Let’s see where I am at with these challenges.

  1. Complete or Catch Up on 10 Book SeriesStatus: Ongoing. — 8/10 series have been caught up or completed. I really should be doing better with this, but I’ve been in this mood in 2017 where I am really liking a lot of stand-alone titles. I do have some worlds though that I do want to dip back into. Hopefully this challenge gets completed before January 2018.
  2. Read 10 Non-Fiction BooksStatus: Completed. — This was a goal I didn’t think I’d achieve at all, but I’ve finally found areas of non-fiction that I love reading about, and I’ve even gone so far as to read more than ten non-fiction titles this year. Go team Sam!
  3. Read 5 Books Over 500+ pages. Status: Completed. — This was another challenge that had the potential of not happening and did. I generally do not like 500+ page books usually because I often feel like there’s a lot of padding that comes with larger novels at times. At this point I can say I’ve read seven 500+ page reads!
  4. Book Riot 2017 Read Harder Challenge. Status: Ongoing. — Out of the twenty-four challenges, I have four challenges left and would love some recommendations for reads to complete them. I still need to complete: Read A Book Set in Central or South America; Read A Banned or Frequently Challenged Book in Your Country (I live in Canada); Read a Book in which a character of colour goes on a spiritual journey; and read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (this is the only one I have ideas for).
  5. 10 Books I Want to Read This Summer. Status: Ongoing(?) — I only read three books off this list, so it’s a bit of a failure. A part of me still wants to knock these books out. Here’s what’s on the list and I’d love to know if you have thoughts on any of them: Band of Mourning (Brandon Sanderson), A Face Like Glass (Frances Hardinge), The Lies We Tell Ourselves (Robin Talley), The Last Chinese Chef (Nicole Mones), Far Darkness Shows the Stars (Diane Peterfreud), This Monterous Thing (Mackenzi Lee), and The Hum & the Shiver (Alex Bledsoe)
  6. #ARCAugust Status: Nearly Complete! — I have exactly one title left on this list to complete which is Invictus by Ryan Graudin.

I have also completed my Goodreads Challenge which was to read 400 books. There is a lot of comics on that list and I used to feel guilty about putting them on there. Now? I don’t care and I think people should be able to count whatever they want since the goal ultimately is to just read. You can see my completed/ongoing list here.

Where are you at with your reading goals? Have you made any accomplishments? I’d love to know in the comments.

Ten Comics & Graphic Novels, and Manga You Should Check Out! October 2017 Edition

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a round up of comics, graphic novels, and manga that I want to share with you all. Again, I’ve read some interesting and unique stuff. Any of these recommendations can be purchased in physical or ebook form, and also consider grabbing them from your local library! You can also Read the previous issue.

Without further ado! Let’s talk comics.

My Brother’s Husband, Volume 1 (My Brother’s Husband Omnibus #1)
by Gengoroh Tagame

This. manga. Holy crap. This is an emotional read that had me sobbing from the first couple pages. It focuses on a Japanese man and his daughter who find out that his twin brother married a Canadian man. It looks at issues surrounding homosexuality in Japan and Canada, and it’s just super sweet and emotional. I absolutely loved this one and it’s been a book I have been recommending constantly to anyone and everyone.

Lucky Penny
by Ananth Hirsh & Yuko Ota

Adorbs and totally for fans who love heroines that are always looking on the brighter side of life! This comic is delightfully funny, utterly charming, and Penny will just make you laugh. Seriously, this is just too funny. Seriously, Penny is plucky and down on her luck, but you will fall in love with her!

Spinning
by Tillie Walden

This is a beautiful illustrated graphic novel that focuses on figure skating and learning about your sexuality. Spinning is just absolutely stunning, beautifully written, and I can’t wait to see what Tillie Walden does next. You can read my full review here!

Motor Crush, Vol. 1 (Motor Crush #1-5)
by Brenden Fletcher et al.
OMMMMMMMMGGGG THIS SERIES. THIS SERIES. What if Mad Max met Death Race! With motorcycles! Motor Crush is cool as hell. There’s motorcycle trippy drugs, there’s beating up rival biker gangs, and Domino is just such a badass rad ladyboss who NO ONE should mess with. Also the art and colours in this graphic novel are just stellar. Check this one out!
The Beauty, Vol. 1 (The Beauty #1-6)
by Jeremy Haun et al.
What if beauty was a transmittable disease? That’s the premise of The Beauty. It’s weird, uncomfortable, and it leaves you thinking about vanity quite a bit. It’s also just SO DAMN CREEPY. Like ragdoll people creepy. If you like to be spooked, or you want something with a more intriguing but uncomfortable premise, this is worth reading.
Wonder Woman 77  Vol 1 
by Marc Andreyko
Okay, so while Greg Rucka and Gail Simone are king and queen of writing Wonder Woman, I want to give a shout out to Wonder Woman ’77 which looks at the Linda Carter years. I ADORED the cornball 70’s style storytelling and humour that comes with comic. There’s only two volumes, but the art is gorgeous, the stories are corny, and just total fun. Also looking forward to the cross-over comic that is out with Batman ’66.
The Backstagers, Vol. 1 (The Backstagers)
by James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh
Diverse, charming, and full of life, that is what The Backstagers is all about. This book is full of wonderful friendships, slice of life humour, and the characters are just completely lovable.  If you love inclusive comics and haven’t checked out The Backstagers, you are missing out on something wonderful. Sasha. ❤
Yona of the Dawn, Vol. 1 (Akatsuki no Yona #1)
by Mizuho Kusanagi
This series was pitched to me by a friend who loves Fushigi Yuugi. I read this while I was at a cottage and this is pretty spectacular. It’s about a princess who witnesses her father’s murder. This situation really causes her to change dramatically, and her situation is very sad. However, there’s more to this and all the characters are a lot of fun. I have only read the first volume, but I definitely need to read more of them (and perhaps request it at the library for purchase!)
Brobots series
by J. Torres & Sean K. Dove
This is an adorable kids comic series about three “Brobots” who have wacky adventures fighting kaiju monsters, while also enjoying every day activities like fishing. Very cute, simple, and definitely a fun read for children. Also there’s a little chubby bot, and he is the cute one.
Essex County 
by Jeff Lemire
I love Jeff Lemire, and that’s pretty evident on this blog given I am constantly recommending his works. Essex County looks at Lemire’s life through some unique characters and people. It’s won so many awards, and each of the three stories that exist are haunting, cold, and uncomfortable. A+ for comic lovers who love realistic or autobiographical works.
So that was ten more recommendations, which I hope you all check out. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these or if you have recommendations. I always love finding new comics, graphic novels or manga. 🙂

Book Riot’s Read Harder 2017 Challenge – September Reads

I did terrible at my Book Riot Challenge back in August, so September was a month for redemption. I worked hard to find books that would interest me, but also fulfill the challenges. The two I managed to get to this month I adored for very different reasons, and I’d say they are both worth checking out.

Let’s see what books I tackled for the Book Riot challenge in September!


The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Completes Challenge #17: Read a classic by an author of color.

Thoughts: This was a book that over the years I always wanted to read, but found very intimidating. I had been told that this book is emotional, depressing, yet hopeful. It was a book I needed to be in the right frame of mind for. Celie’s story is one of abuse, and she writes letters to God and her sister in hopes of coming to understand her situation. Raped and forced to bare the child of her father. This book hurts. I hurt for Celie. I found myself just wanting things to get better for her. Since this novel is an epistolary, we only know what do from Celie and Nettie’s letters. These letters are very hard to read, and I found myself having to close the book and digest what I had read. This is a very challenging classic to read, but definitely worth the read if you can stomach the discussions of rape and abuse.

 


The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan

Completes Challenge #12: Read a fantasy novel.

Thoughts: I struggle with Rick Riordan’s books. I wasn’t huge on the Percy Jackson series even though I know why it’s popular with readers of all ages. I was so thoroughly unimpressed that I had no desire to read anymore of his books, until my work assigned me a program related to his Magnus Chase series. Since it was work related, I figured I needed to know the source material. This book was DELIGHTFUL! Maybe it’s because I like Norse Mythology, or maybe I just connected between with these characters, it’s hard to say. There’s so much action, adventure, magic, comedy, and Magnus’ voice felt so different compared to Percy. I was very impressed by this first book and I’ve already checked-out the sequel from my work to enjoy.

P.S.: Sam is best girl.