Friday, December 2, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (91) - Grab a Drink (It's Been A While)

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves or TBR piles, may it be physical or virtual.  This means you can include books you buy in a physical store, online, books you borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and of course, ebooks! The original meme was started over at Tynga's Reviews.  Clicking on the book (or title) should take you to the Goodreads page. 

So I didn't get a haul posted last week.  I was on vacation and was pretty much just too lazy to bother putting one up.  That doesn't mean I wasn't acquiring books though so grab a drink and come see what I have to share!

First up I grabbed a few physical copies.  I bought Scythe when I was in the middle of my slump thinking it might help it and then when I saw the Lauren Graham book at Walmart on release day, I had to grab it as well.  I was planning on pre-ordering it anyway but never got around to it. I ordered The Dolocher and The Christmasaurus from Book Depository and they arrived earlier this week.  The Dolocher is described as "Victorian London had Jack the Ripper.  Georgian Dublin had the Dolocher" so I had to get it.

Next Tor sent me a few releases.  I was thrilled to get Down Among the Sticks and Bones which is the sequel to Every Heart a Doorway which I absolutely LOVED!  I'm also really interested in Brother's Ruin and since I'm trying to read more science fiction, Proof of Concept is a novella so it might be a decent place to start.

I received a few ARCS from Netgalley which look pretty exciting.  Secrets of Southern Girls and The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley both look like exciting thrillers and The Royal Ghost and The House of Silence are both historical fiction.

And finally, I went a tad 1-click happy at Amazon and grabbed some awesome books.  All of these were either less than $3.00 each or free.  I don't know what their status currently is though so if any interest you, make sure to check first.

So it's been a pretty productive 2 weeks.  I can't wait to see what everyone has hauled this week!

December TBR(P) - See a Theme?

WOW! I read three whopping books from last month's TBR.  That has to be the saddest stat yet.  Oh well, on to a new month.  I am in no way fooling myself into believing that I can get all of these read, but maybe Santa will bring me more hours in a day for Christmas (keeping fingers crossed).  So here are some of the things I have to chose from this month:

I have some review books I HAVE to get read, and then I've been collecting some Christmas reads I have been wanting to get to.  There is also a decent mix-up of Christmas and horror.  Hopefully I won't burn myself out and I really don't have any dog reads planned for January, so I better get them out of system now 😤

Have you read any of these or do you recommend any I should DEFINITELY make time for?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Weekly Reads (12/02/16)

I can't believe it's already December.  Boy this year has really flown.  It's been a busy 2 weeks and I don't really see much of an end in sight since there is always so much to do before Christmas.  As I mentioned, Cassius celebrated his birthday the week of Thanksgiving and then we celebrated our anniversary a day later.  Everyone was spoiled rotten and I am attaching some pics.  As usual, it's hard to get one where Cassius isn't a blur!  (Of course Booker T is always the guest of honor at Cass' birthday so gets equal treatment.

Cassius loves birds so we always make sure he gets some new bird toys.  Unfortunatly, my husband explained the yellow duck was sick so Cass and T had to put it out of his misery.  However, the quail must have been a big hit because he is very much still "alive,"

We went together for our anniversary and bought a new dining room suit, which I am in love with, but hubby also surprised me with these!

We watched a few movies lately and while they were all good, none really knocked it out the ballpark for me.  We watched "X-Men Apocalypse,"  "Don't Breathe," and "Tank 452."  The last one was pretty bad and off all three, "Don't Breathe" was probably my favorite.

I think my reading slump is over so here's what's up next on the agenda.  I've already started "Snowed" and it's turning into a pretty quick read.

So what are you guys planning for this coming week?  Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!

November 2016 Wrap Up

So something struck in November and I was unprepared.  I am now forever referring to it as "The Great Reading Slump of November 2016."  I really haven't had a slump this year and in fact I don't really recall ever having one, although I'm sure I have, so this one really stuck out.  And I have one book to blame - "Moon Chosen."  Due to this, I hated to look back and see how I actually did but you know what, overall I'm STILL happy with my accomplishments and I managed to read 7 books this month.  Here's how the challenges are looking:

GOODREADS: 106/100 (finished this month)
WHAT AN ANIMAL IX: 27/12 (finished in July)
CLOAK & DAGGER CHALLENGE: 26/20 (finished in August)
HORROR RELEASE CHALLENGE: 26/16 (finished in August)
NEW RELEASE CHALLENGE: 75/30 (finished in June)

So all of my challenges are officially completed.  It feels really good and I'm already getting excited about doing some next year!  So of the 7 books, I had 2 3-paw reads, 2 4-paw reads and 3 5-paw reads.  My favorite book has to be "Say Goodbye For Now" but "The Secret Life of Souls" is right on its tale.

So how did everyone else do in November???

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Moon Chosen Review (Or Why I Didn't Read More Books in November!!!)

TITLE: Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World #1)
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Griffin
PUBLISHING DATE: October 18, 2016

FROM GOODREADS: Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan, but she has been forced to turn from her duties, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save herself and her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating Tribe, strays across her path that Mari experiences something she has never felt before…

Now evil is coming, and with it, a force more terrible and destructive than the world has ever seen, leaving Mari to cast the shadows from the earth. By breaking Clan Law and forming an alliance with Nik, she must make herself ready. Ready to save her people. Ready to save herself and Nik. Ready to embrace her true destiny…and battle the forces that threaten to destroy them all.

Anyone who saw my "Hallelujah I'm done" comment on Goodreads or who follows this blog will probably know that I had a lot of difficulty getting through this book. In fact, it led to my first reading slump of 2016. Also know though that this was probably one of my top 3 anticipated books of the year. I desired it ever since I first saw the cover, I featured it on my blog several times, I even jumped up and down when I won an ARC from Goodreads. I looked at the cover over and over basically counting down until I could start it even. So it really pains me that it only rated 3/5 for me. And the truth is, for a lot of the book, it was maybe even closer to 2/5. The cover alone probably earned at least 1/2 a paw if not a whole one.

This book has a lot of information in it. What it all boils down to is that there are different populations of people inhabiting the earth. We are introduced to several during the course of 600 plus pages and I have a feeling there might be more. So far I have a decent grasp on the Skin Walkers, who are basically cannibals, Earth Walkers who live off the land and have goddesses who assist with the day to day sanity, and Companions, individuals who bond with various animals and probably function the closest to what would resemble life as we know it - except they live in trees. In fact, their clan may be closer to being called Tree Walkers or something but that piece of knowledge apparently didn't stick with me. Oh, and these clans can't stand each other. Also, I think this book is futuristic. There is know real time period mentioned that I recall, but there are things in it which elude to the idea that it's set in the future.

Mari, an 18 year old Earth Walker is the product of an elicit relationship between her mother, an Earth Walker, and a Companion. She has lived with this secret knowledge her whole life for risk of being banished. Her mother is the main Moon Goddess of the clan and is looking for a successor, and Mari just doesn't fit the bill. Companions grow up and if they are lucky, they are "chosen" by an dog - either a shepherd or a terrier, which determines if you will have power in the clan or be a hunter. Once night a cherished pup escapes, crosses an impossible terrain, and chooses Mari. Mari loves Rigel with all her heart. The remainder of the book follows Mari's world with Rigel and Nik, a Companion who has never been chosen but whose father is basically "king." About 3/4 of the way in, their worlds finally collide. Instead of going on and on, I'll leave it with a war is raging and I have no clue what is going to play out in future installments of this series.

I have to admit there are a few things I liked about this book. I love the concept that you can be "chosen" by a dog and they become your life-long soul pet (for lack of a better word). I love dogs so that's a given. I also liked a lot of the characters. Mari, although somewhat annoying because of her indecisiveness and lack of self esteem grows as the book progresses and is rather likable at the end. Also, another Earth Walker, Sora, who is EXTREMELY unlikable in the beginning had an plot arc that I got totally caught up in and she became one of my favorites. I also really liked the story line once Nik and Mari's paths crossed. The problem is, it takes almost 450 pages for that to happen. I crept through those first 450 pages at a snail's pace, but once they met, I pretty much flew through the remainder.

I am interested in where this series will lead. Thanks heavens the last part saved me because it made me very interested in continuing on with future installments when they are released. I am a huge fans of longer books so I wasn't intimidated by the size of this book, but I kind of think the beginning wasn't interesting enough to warrant such length.

I also feel I should issue a small warning. This book contains some disturbing scenes. There is rape, cannibalism, animal abuse, physical abuse and murder. I rarely allow stuff like this to deter me from books, but I pretty much feel I should mention it in case anyone is undecided and any of these are themes you avoid. If you love animals, especially dogs, I am sure the Companion relationship will interest you enough to pick up this book. Also, if you've read any of Cast's previous works and enjoy her writing (which I have), picking this up might seem like the next step. Just keep in mind the things I've mentioned above and realize it may be a long commitment.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (84)

"Waiting on" Wednesday" is weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights upcoming anticipated releases.

January 10, 2017

FROM GOODREADS:  The year is 1888 and Jack the Ripper begins his reign of terror.

Miss Sarah Bain, a photographer in Whitechapel, is an independent woman with dark secrets. In the privacy of her studio, she supplements her meager income by taking illicit “boudoir photographs” of the town's local ladies of the night. But when two of her models are found gruesomely murdered within weeks of one another, Sarah begins to suspect it's more than mere coincidence.

Teamed with a motley crew of friends--including a street urchin, a gay aristocrat, a Jewish butcher and his wife, and a beautiful young actress--Sarah delves into the crime of the century. But just as she starts unlocking the Ripper's secrets, she catches the attention of the local police, who believe she knows more than she's revealing, as well as from the Ripper himself, now bent on silencing her and her friends for good.

Caught in the crosshairs of a ruthless killer, Sarah races through Whitechapel's darkest alleys to find the truth...until she makes a shocking discovery that challenges everything she thought she knew about the case. Intelligent and utterly engrossing, Laura Joh Rowland's Victorian mystery The Ripper's Shadow will keep readers up late into the night.

WHY I'M WAITING:  All my blogging friends know how much I like tales about Lizzie Borden and Jack the Ripper so this one automatically went on the wishlist the minute I saw it. 

What are you waiting for this week? 

Monday, November 28, 2016

TTT - 10 Books To Buy A Book Lover For Christmas

This top 10 weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and can be found HERE.  Each week they focus on lists which cover various topics related to books and reading.  Since Christmas is coming up, I'm focusing on 10 books certain to please a book lover this Christmas!

I don't know if you guys have seen this beautiful book yet but any fantasy lover is sure to want Santa to bring it.  It has a beautiful hardback embossed cover, gilded edges and illustrations.  I know I've already enabled several people to purchase it.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is a great book for anyone who likes a good story.  Of course, if they like dogs, it's a must-have.  It's one of my all-time favorite dog books.  And yes, one of the few books that made me cry.  I have a lovely hardback but since doing this post, I'm on the lookout for this cover as well.

Nope, I've never read this book but I knows tons of people rave about it.  If you have a classic lover on your list, I doubt you can go wrong with this one.  Plus there are TONS are great covers to collect.

You can hardly go anywhere on the internet without hearing about the Gilmore Girls revival.  I was just as excited about it as many so I figure there are a lot of people out there who would like to have this under their tree - if they can wait that long!

I believe every reader should at least attempt a Stephen King book once in their lives (unless they absolutely hate horror).  He creates such conflicted characters and the book setting often becomes an additional character all on his own.  The Shining is probably my favorite of all his works so it's a good place to get someone started.

Everyone can use a little Christmas cheer - or some Christmas horror.  I know this one is on my TBR for December and the hardback is gorgeous (if you like that kind of thing).

Longmire the television show has appealed to lovers of both mysteries and westerns so why not get the reader in your life the first installment in this series (the books are always better right?)

I believe all kids should receive a book or two at Christmas so why not rely on an old faithful.  It may be old but it's still a classic!

I've yet to see a bad review about this one so I think it's a great go-to for any sci-fi lover.

And the perfect gift that keeps on giving.  Why not buy the reader in your life a new e-reader?  That way they can add some wonderful books to it themselves and never be at a loss for something to read.

So I can't wait to see what is on everyone's lists this week!  Hope you found something good on this one.