#T5W | Summer 2017 Reads

This week, we are talking about Summer Reads.

Here is my list last year: Summer 2016. While my sentiments about seasonal reading still remains the same, my choices will be different. I do understand wanting to read a certain book or genre that is influenced by the weather outside. Even a book cover can (be) inspire(d) by the seasons. And some books are marketed and released to appeal to a certain overall mood for that season. Contemporaries tend to be more popular during spring and summer while darker reads such as horror and mystery make a comeback during fall and winter.

Personally, my kind of “summer read” is adventure stories. Fantasy stories whether they be light or high or epic. Long books. Finished series to binge read. Something to take me away from reality. I don’t really go anywhere for summer due to my dislike of scorching heat and glaring sunlight so books are my way to go. And I’m lazier in the summer. It’s too hot to move. LOL.

James Rollins books. You’re probably sick of me mentioning this author every so often. What can I say? He’s my favorite and I’ve grown comfortable with how he writes sci-fi mystery thrillers. I’m listening to one of his works right now, War Hawk, which he co-wrote with Grant Blackwood. Kane is my new favorite dog. I’ve read a good chunk of Rollins’ backlist and I’m actually looking forward to re-reading those that I’ve only listened to on audio. I’m sure I have copies of it lying around my room somewhere. I know for sure I have copies from Sandstorm to The Devil Colony in the Sigma Force series. I don’t mind them as mass market paperbacks, strangely enough. I just need to find that push to finally re-read it.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. And I guess I’ll put A Court of Wings and Ruin on here too. I have both books. I waited for ACOMAF to be released in paperback to match my copy of ACOTAR. As for ACOWAR, I was sucked in by Target having an exclusive edition on their shelves. One of my weakness is any kind of signed whatever from the author may it be a book plate, a printed signature, or in this case, a stamped signature on the naked book. I’m not the biggest fan of ACOTAR but from what I heard, the next two books are way better. So no better time to marathon read these two.

Chain Mail: Addicted to You by Hiroshi Ishizaki. The title sounds like some cheesy New Adult-y novel. But this is a Japanese horror thriller. Yep. I don’t really know what it is about since the GoodReads blurb is a mere sentence or two. Really, this could be a placeholder for any of the Japanese fiction I have in my possession. I just picked this because while I was rearranging the literal stack of books by the foot of my bed, I saw this. I almost forgot I had it so I decided to include this book here. Who knows, maybe I will read it.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. And with this, binge read the rest of the series. I have this in digital and I actually wanted to read this last week. But I decided to go with Daughter of Smoke and Bone instead since I have physical copies of the whole trilogy. But I still want to read this as soon as possible. I’ve always been intrigued by the first book’s premise. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and trilogy.

Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven. I have have physical copies of the whole trilogy. Two of them, I got in a haul last year. And the third one was graciously gifted to me. Actually, any New Adult read would do. I just chose this for this purpose because I have the whole trilogy in paperback. But it could be anything. Hopefully, I will find the drive to finish Infini or some other steamy NA I recently added to my TBR.


Summer is still a couple of weeks away. I’m still trying to work on my Spring TBR (4 out of 10, I keep getting distracted by other books). But I’m sure I’ll get to these eventually, summer or not.

#T5W | Favorite Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

This week, we are talking about FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY BOOKS.

I was looking at my books and fantasy is definitely one of my favorite genres. I do read sci-fi as well, maybe starting to dabble deeper into it soon. I definitely had more than 5 books in my first list. I tried to see if I can have five fantasy and five sci-fi books but it was just impossible to separate them into categories. The line between fantasy and sci-fi is blurring more and more. I wrote down some titles that toe that line, jump across it multiple times, and plant one foot on each side of it. I am overthinking this, aren’t I?

Or I can just do this:

All of these are signed copies!

That’s my list. Bye-bye! *logs off*


I’m kidding! While VE Schwab is definitely deserving a top spot on this list, I’m counting all these books as one. The Shades of Magic trilogy alone is an excellent example of a solid fantasy series with awesome world-building and an interesting magic system with equally engaging characters. The Savage Song, written under the name Victoria Schwab is a YA fantasy with NO ROMANCE. About monsters. No romance. Let that sink in. And my favorite, Vicious, is about two villains – anti-heroes. Both of them are bad guys trying to eliminate the other. Vicious and This Savage Song is bordering on urban fantasy while Shades of Magic is straight up magic and adventure and yes, romance.

I guess that’s my first pick!

Number two, The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the first book in the Mistborn trilogy. I only read the first book so far but I have every intention to finish this book by the end of 2017. It’s high fantasy but it’s so easy to read and follow. We follow Kelsier and Vin and their band of rebels trying to overthrow the Lord Ruler. The pretty UK paperbacks are a booktube and bookstagram staple so you bet I have them too. The world-building is excellent and while the magic system can be complicated, it is so interesting that you won’t mind it. Plus, there are guides that you can check out. Honestly, the hype is real with this book. It’s not even hype… it’s PRAISE!

(I just noticed parallels between The Final Empire and A Conjuring of Light, specifically. I would have to do more research but I’m lazy and I’m sure other people already noticed that too.)

My pick of sci-fi is the Parasitology trilogy by Mira Grant. I feel like this is an underrated series. It’s about parasites in the form of worms that is consumed by the body to help it combat illness and basically better the quality of life. Then these parasites develop a mind of their own and start to take over their hosts. This trilogy is unique where the pace doesn’t really change. It’s a continuous slow-ish burn. There’s so many twists and turns. While it does get a bit repetitive at parts, it’s still an enjoyable ride.

This can’t be a list of fantasy books without one of my favorite books of all time, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. There was a time I read this twice in a row – the first one was for leisure and the second one for school. All in three days. I used to read this once a year but I’ve since fell off of that tradition. However, I recently got the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition so I might go back on that re-read habit.

And I’m going to bookend this list with another author pick, James Rollins. Specifically, his Sigma Force series. I finished listening to The 6th Extinction a few hours ago. They are perfect audio book material especially if you’re already used to the formula that these sci-fi thrillers usually have. And of course, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. I absolutely love this series and I’m actually thinking of re-reading some now that GoodReads has the re-read feature. There’s never a dull moment when reading this series.


There you have it. That’s five. But in my indecisiveness, I can’t leave out these titles. Honorable mentions!

37/200

  • Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. I was hesitant to include this because I wasn’t sure if it were fantasy or sci-fi. Both then. I completely fell in love with Marie Lu’s writing and at how simple yet intense this trilogy is.
  • Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. This didn’t make the cut because I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as I did the second and third ones. The first book was more sci-fi while the rest is definitely fantasy.

Notice the lack of Harry PotterThe Night Circus, and Ready Player One… while I do love all of them, these title stand out more to me when I hear the words “fantasy” and “sci-fi”.

TELL ME SOMETHING TUESDAY | Everything is a Series

Let’s try something new, shall we? I have the usual Top Ten Tuesdays post on my other blog for a change, ORANGE KISSIt’s about podcasts so if you’re interested in that and true crime, check it out.

And really guys, work has been absolute hell. I need to unwind. Even my reading is not doing so good. I’m barely 25% through Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, not that it’s not good… but I slumped really bad. Between not so good books and a barrage of short reads in the form of graphic novels, I don’t know how to read long books anymore. And oh, Trails of Cold Steel 2. Life.

rainy-day

Rainy Day Rumblings host this weekly prompt. I’m not sure if it’s also a link exchange like many other tags but here it is anyway.

This week’s discussion:

What series have you been meaning to finish/ pick up again but haven’t done so?

I have a couple. I’m happy to say that I finished a few series already this year. And started some. The ratio between started and finished series on my tally is very unbalanced. It can take me years to finish a trilogy LOL. Oh well. There are so many books out there and a good chunk of them belong to a series. Sigh.

  • Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. I started reading this series January of this year and have read two books and one graphic novel. I’m actually just waiting to get the 2nd graphic novel before reading the 3rd book. You know, to catch up.
  • Graceling trilogy by Kristin Cashore. I admit, I slumped after reading Fire. I wanted to go straight to Bitterblue but it took a while for me to process what happened in the 2nd book. I got through two or three chapters of the 3rd book before putting it down.
  • Shades of Magic trilogy by VE Schwab. The 3rd book is coming out in 2017. I keep telling myself I still have time, I still have time… next thing I know, the 3rd book is arriving at my doorstep. I vow to read this before the year ends.
  • Sigma Force series by James Rollins. I love this series. I think I have most of the books and read a good half of it. I actually want to re-read it from the beginning.
  • Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I stopped halfway through The Fiery Cross. I read these back-to-back-to-back and I think I just got tired. I took a break and I think it’s about time I go back to that world.

Okay, I know I have more but this will have to do for now. 😉

One of these days, I will dedicate a post to series. It’s piling up!

MUSING MONDAYS | I Like the Movie Better

Wow! It’s not a book haul this week. Well, that will definitely change next week. I ordered 11 books on Friday. They should be coming sometime throughout this week. 😉

Musing

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

Let me start with this week’s random question: Have you ever read a book after watching the movie/television version only to find that you don’t like the book as much as the adaptation?

I admit, I’ve never watched a movie then read the book. However, I’ve watched a movie without finishing the book. I’ve done that twice last year. For Insurgent and The Scorch Trials. I disliked both movies. But in reference to this week’s question, I have different opinions on them:

  • For Insurgent: movie > book. The book wasn’t “bad”. I just enjoyed the movie more because of Daniel Dae Kim. The movie was more action-packed, obviously. I liked what I see. I didn’t enjoy what I read. (Fun fact: exactly a year ago, I watched Insurgent. My Instragram post said this: “Book <<< Movie. I can’t believe I just said that.”)
  • For The Scorch Trials: movie < book. What even was that movie?! I was almost done with the book when we decided to watch the movie on a whim. It came out on September 18. My birthday is the 17th; we were out anyway so we went to the 7pm early screening. From the start, it was WTF. Almost nothing from the book happened in the movie. Right then and there, I decided to quit the series. As much as I think James Dashner is a great guy… eh, the movie did the book so wrong.

Keeping up with the movie theme of this post, I’m so excited to share that Map of Bones by James Rollins is going to be made into a movie. It’s the second book in the Sigma Force series, the first one being Sandstorm. This series quickly became my favorite as I read more and more of it. I found out about this series through GoodReads First Reads. I won the 7th book, The Devil Colony. I read it without knowing about what came before it. I was hooked. I managed to find the rest of the series in several used bookstores and worked my way through it. I stopped halfway through the 6th one, The Doomsday Key, and only recently acquired Sandstorm. Maybe with the news of the movie being made, I’ll resume my journey with Painter and Commander Pierce.

I recommend the Sigma Force series to fans of Dan Brown, Brad Thor, and Steve Berry. Actually, you can see crossovers among Thor’s, Berry’s, and Rollins’ books. I’ve yet to read a Brad Thor book but that definitely happened in Steve Berry’s, The Alexandria Link. That’s an extra treat for fans of both authors.

 

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | I think I have a favorite, guys.

This topic sounds familiar. Oh.

TopTenTues

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday , we’re listing down the Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From.

Do authors still do stand-alone books? I think I came up with this list solely because these authors write in trilogies or in series. I think it’s only Stephen King who has a couple of stand-alones in my roster. For example, JK Rowling has a 7-book series, Harry Potter. Read all of those and you already have 7 under her entry. Same with Diana Gabaldon (Outlander series), James Rollins (Sigma Force series), and George RR Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire). And I personally love mystery series. I’m surprised I don’t have more of them on this list. Maybe because there are just too many.

This list will probably look very similar to that one I linked above. With the popularity of digital media, it’s easier to “own” copies of many different books. But if I love it that much, I will buy a physical copy of it AND finish the series that way.

I already mentioned five authors. I’ll try to think of some more off the top of my head.

  1. Dan Brown. I read all of the Robert Langdon books. My mom read all of his books, period. Therefore, we OWN his entire bibliography.
  2. Michelle Moran. Her books are stand alone but sort of in a series. Her niche is historical fiction in the POV of either the character she’s featuring or a fictional third-party. I love everything I’ve read from her so far and will continue to complete the list.
  3. SD Perry. Another stand alone but not quite… Perry wrote the book tie-ins to the Resident Evil games. I have reviews for a couple of them here.
  4. Max Allan Collins. Since we were talking about tie-ins anyway. He wrote a couple for Criminal Minds and CSI. I’m a huge fan of both shows so I hunted down as many book tie-ins as I could. And it turned out to be a sizable amount.
  5. Charlaine Harris. How I lasted for 5 books in the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, I will never know.
  6. Carolyn Keene. Does she count? I mean, she’s a pseudonym for many different authors. But it’s under one name. That counts!
  7. Franklin Dixon. If Carolyn Keene counts, Franklin Dixon does too.
  8. JRR Tolkien. How could I forget?
  9. Anne Rice. Including the books that she wrote under the names Anne Rampling and AR Roquelaure. Her Vampire Chronicles series is a loooong one but most of my Anne Rice reads are from her erotica work. 😉

I’d throw in the classic authors but that’ll be too long of a list.

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Choosing Your Favorite Parent

One of the questions that brings anxiety to book lovers is “Who is your favorite author?” Right up there with it is, “What is your favorite book?” Between those two, I find that the first one is easier to answer. Current – even ALL TIME – favorite books change. But authors? There’s always at least one author that gets to you. One or twenty. 😉

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday , Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors.

Later when I read a bunch of other people’s entries… Top Ten Authors that I’ve Never Heard Before. I’m open to suggestions to satisfy my 2015 Reading Challenge.

1. DIANA GABALDON.
Have you done yourself a favor and read Outlander? If not, do it. I read one book and the next thing I know, I’m 5 books deep. I’ve taken a break but I truly love her work. And having met her, I find her so insightful, wise, and no-nonsense. She’s not afraid to tell the ~fans what it is, almost shooting their delusions of grandeur and self-righteous rants all the way down. The way she writes romance isn’t cheap or trashy. The professions of love by Jamie Fraser melts me right in the inside. Outlander books are long but it will suck you right in with amazing research and just all around great writing.

2. MICHELLE MORAN.
I don’t talk about her a lot but I’ve read quite a few of her books. I’ve met a few people who have also read her stuff and the general consensus is positive. She has this knack of making historical fiction feel real. The voice of each and every character, may it be those in history or the original characters she inserts, sound so genuine and engaging. She always has a character that you would LOVE to hate. To get me to hate a character takes a special amount of prowess. It happened with Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and it happens all the time when I read Moran’s work.

3. DAN BROWN.
I read all of his Robert Langdon stuff and own the rest of his books. I love an author who makes me want his/her next book immediately after finishing one. When I read The DaVinci Code, it sparked such a conversation within myself and the people around me. I like that. Sure, not all of them were logical but a conversation about books is always a good thing. I went straight into Angels and Demons and loved that more than the first one. I asked for The Lost Symbol for my birthday gift. I just love how he mixes historical fact with controversial theories and messes with people’s minds.

4. JAMES ROLLINS.
He’s in the same page as Dan Brown. His Sigma Force series is such an adventure. Like with Outlander, I started with Map of Bones (having won a book in the middle of the series, #7 The Devil Colony, from GoodReads) and in a blink, I’m more than halfway through the series so far. I even have 2 copies of #5 The Last Oracle because I forgot I already had one and was so excited to spot a copy on sale. Even my mom loves this series.

(Notice that these first entries have aspects of mystery, history, research, and controversy. Yep, niche genres.)

With Royd Tolkien, great-grandson of JRR Tolkien. #OneLastParty

5. JRR TOLKIEN.
Dude, the mere fact that he built a whole world complete with races and workable languages… I mean. The Hobbit is one of my all-time favorite books. The Lord of the Rings, you have to read one of these at least once in your life. The movies are phenomenal, don’t get me wrong, that’s a whole different fandom. But in reading the books, there’s a whole new magic and you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for these beloved characters. JRR Tolkien is pure genius.

6. GEORGE RR MARTIN.
World-building, character-building… I don’t think it can get better than A Song of Ice and Fire. Sure he takes 24354 years to write the next book in the series but it takes a while to get through his books also. And it’s a LOT to take in. Each chapter is a different POV that happens in more or less the same thread in the general story. These threads are all looped together and the whole monster of a story is surprisingly easy to follow. I just love it.

7. JANE AUSTEN.
This is not a list of favorite authors without Jane Austen. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte might be my favorite book but Jane Austen is my favorite author of the two. I definitely have read more Austen than Bronte… or of any “classic” author. And I’ve fallen in love with all of them.

8. STEPHEN KING.
He can get a wee bit tedious at times but if you can scare me with just your words, you’re good. I went through a whole Stephen King phase in college; I collected a whole bunch of his books and devoured them one after the other. The Stand is amazing. I never get tired re-reading that masterpiece. The screen adaptations aren’t always good so stick with the books. And Haven, that’s pretty awesome.

9. STIEG LARSSON.
It’s a shame that he died too soon. He planned 10 books in the Millennium series but he only managed to do three. But those three are awesome books. I went through all three one right after the other and it was so good. How I wish he would’ve been able to continue but I’m hoping this new author will do a good job in honoring Larsson’s work.

10. CAROLYN KEENE AND FRANKLIN DIXON.
They’re not only two authors but a bunch of different people writing under one name. But I’m putting them all together here because they’re sort of a package deal. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys are a huge part of my childhood and overall reading history. I could never tell that these were written by several people, a different author in almost every book, because the writing feels consistent, the characters have the same voices across the board, and it’s just an overall good story.

I would’ve put JK Rowling in the mix but no. I only like her Harry Potter stuff. The other books… I cannot get past the 7th chapter. Mitch Albom too but I find that his endings aren’t as fulfilling as is build-up. I do still like them though.

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | SEQUELS

I’m stating to think that making sequels is a marketing strategy. A good first book means a ready audience for succeeding books and pretty much the rest of the author’s bibliography. If people like that first book, they will definitely look forward to the next one in the series, or the author’s next book in general. Good or bad, people will latch on to it. Maybe that’s why more and more authors opt to stretch out their plotlines.

But we readers eat all that up, right? It’s pointless to quit a book series on the last one just because you finally realized that the series has overstayed its welcome. Of the if the first book ends on a cliffhanger, then you have no choice but to pick up the next one. And we can’t forget the movies… 😉

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday , we’re listing down the Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get.

Okay, I’ll be setting some rules here. “Sequels I Can’t Wait to Get” can cover actual unreleased sequels or books that I physically don’t have in my possession yet, may it be hard copy or digital. Maybe we can call that, “Sequels I Can’t Wait to Read?” That works? Fine.

1. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
This is definitely in a lot of lists today. I signed up for an ARC on NetGalley so hopefully… ^_^  I admit, I wasn’t fond of the first book, The Bone Season, but what the heck. I started the series, it got a rather strong reaction from me so it’s definitely not one of indifference.

2. The Winds of Winter by George RR Martin
What happens to Jon Snow, damnit! I may need to re-read the previous book for a refresher.

3. The next Robert Langdon installment
I’m a fan. What can I say?

4. Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
I’m buying my copy at the signing next month. Hell, I might buy the rest of the series on hard copy as well. Loved Grave Mercy!

5. Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
I loved The Madman’s Daughter and have heard nothing but good things about the sequel. The 3rd in the series should be in this list as well but let’s take it one book at a time.

6. Bloodline: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins
I have a copy. I just need to the time to read it. And I need the rest of the series as well!

7. Golden Son by Pierce Brown
A contrast to A Bone Season, I actually did like Red Rising. Enough that I’m kind of looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.

8. The 3rd book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series
Where is it? I want it asap!

9. The Promise by Lesley Pearce
I vaguely remember the first book but I do remember liking it a lot. So maybe I can do a re-read and then pick this up.

10.  A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
Heck, I’m not even done with The Fiery Cross yet.