MUSING MONDAYS | Hello Again

The last one I’ve done was in November. 2017. Oh boy.

I almost forgot what the header I made for this tag looked like. For shame. XD But I want to talk about books again. I may not be buying a lot but I’m reading a lot. So here we go!

  • 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…

If you’re not following me on GoodReads (feel free to do so), it may seem that I’m not doing much reading. Apart from my wrap-ups, I don’t really talk about that. Hey, I don’t even post reviews anymore. Although, I do get inspired from time to time. I may post them on GoodReads but I don’t feel like putting them here because they really are just word vomit blocks of text, essentially knee-jerk reactions written as soon as I finish the book.

(If you like that, do let me know. I may be persuaded to cross post LMAO.)

As of this post, I’ve read 47 books so far out of my yearly goal of 25. Yes, a good chunk of that is manga. And audio book. But hey, if that’s the way I can put in some extra reading, why not? They’re fun. Also, I’ve gotten so much use from my Kobo Aura ONE. I love it so much.

I am currently reading 2 books — an audio book, Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco and Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas. Two very different books. I am enjoying both immensely.

I’m currently 70% through Birthday Girl. Shoot me but I love the age gap trope in NA contemporary. Not much into the dark and twisted BSDM kinky stuff though. Anyway, this book is about a 19-year-old girl falling for her boyfriend’s dad who is 39 years old. I heard this from Jess from Peace Love Books and immediately got my copy. Now, I’m trying not to fill my TBR with other age gap romances. I know people have a hard time with this trope but I love it. Oh boy, I love it. I could’ve finished this book in one sitting but I had to stop myself to do other things… like watch The Avengers: Infinity War.

Stalking Jack the Ripper was in my TBR for the longest time. I’m enjoying the audio book so much. It gripped me from the first sentence. I love mystery stories on audio. I’m able to grasp so much even though I’m only half paying attention. But this is not the first one I listened to after Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. I put Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor on hold. Not DNF though. I may read it in the future. But not through audio. I got through 8 hours of it and I can’t remember anyone or what’s going on. I wasn’t bored per se but I was rather uninterested. I thought it would work because I read and loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy on audio. Laini Taylor’s writing is nothing short of magical. But it wasn’t working for me on Strange the Dreamer.

I might finish both books within the week. I may read another age gap NA contemporary after Birthday Girl. Do you have any suggestions? 😉

For this week’s random question: Do you like to read outside?

Yes, I do. On the train is my favorite place to read. I have less distractions outside than reading in my room. I can tune out the rest of the world but when I get the urge to watch anime or an anisong concert on my laptop, my reading’s done lol. That’s not to say I can’t read indoors though.

So what are you currently reading? Or… what was your latest DNF? I want to know!

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MUSING MONDAYS | #TomeTopple Update

Oh boy. I haven’t done one of these in ages.

  • 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…

How are you all doing? It’s a short work week for me because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m pretty much done with my Black Friday purchases — all I really need to do is to go back to Hot Topic for the Yuri!!! On Ice goodies that I want. I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving personally. But if you do, have a wonderful time with friends, family, and food!

I’m having a slow start to Tome Topple Round 5. I’m reading The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson and I’m barely 120 pages in. I’m also listening to Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. It’s around 18 hours and I’m merely 4 hours in to it. I know I have until the 30th but without the convenience of a 500-page graphic novel/manga, I’m concerned that my final page count will not be as “impressive”. I know, I know… it’s all in my head. I shouldn’t be pressuring myself. I’m actually pretty excited for these two books because they both finish a trilogy. I’m enjoying both so very much anyway.

For this week’s random question: Do you like or dislike series books?

I mostly like them. I don’t really have an opinion. I like the challenge of reading a series, especially if it’s a good one. I like stand-alone books too. I went through a time when I was looking for good stand-alone recommendations … but I eventually fell back into reading series. I tell myself every year to finish more series and I think this year, I’ve been doing very well. I tried not to start as many; I usually get stuck after the 2nd book. As much as I would love to binge-read a series, I don’t have the longest attention span for that.

But yeah, I don’t mind series books. I have no problems DNF’ing a series if the first or second book didn’t impress me that much. I just hope authors don’t feel that they have to write their story stretched in a series for it to be good.

MUSING MONDAYS | Books vs Chocolates

My last Musing Monday post was in January. Whut?

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…

My June reading isn’t going as well as other months. I’ve only finished an audio book so far. And because of last month’s comic book readathon, I’m all manga’d out at the moment. With Anime Expo anticipation and preparation, I’d much rather catch up on anime than read. Or read Yuri!!! ON ICE fan fiction. But I did some reading yesterday. That’s good, right?

I’m currently have less than 200 pages to go on my current read, A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I gave the first book 3 stars and everyone says that the 2nd book is way better than that. I have yet to see that, to be perfectly honest. There’s something about SJM’s writing that does not click with me. I find it bland and one dimensional. Azriel, however, I need a whole book about him. I keep reading him with the face of Otabek Altin of Yuri!!! ON ICE in my head.  I may go ahead and read A Court of Wings and Ruin right after just to get it over with.

I pre-ordered a signed copy of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab! I thought I would have to wait until after release to get a signed copy but thanks to Parnassus Books, I’m getting my personalized and signed copy in the mail. Like I said, I want all my VE Schwab books signed. I’m holding on to The Archived and The Unbound to be signed in person eventually.

I am currently listening to The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. Hoopla has all of her books, including The Raven Cycle but I’m stubborn and want to read them in book form. I’m very picky with audio book narrators. I seem to prefer male voices over females. And if the book doesn’t hook me within the first 30 minutes, I quit. This one so far is keeping my interest so we’ll see.

I wasn’t planning to buy any books this month at all. I wanted to save all my $$ for Anime Expo. But when I dropped by Vroman’s Bookstore, I saw a whole shelf of signed books and I was gone. I bought three books, one of them I already owned:

  • Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin – I pre-ordered this when this came out and it became one of my favorites. When I saw a signed copy, I just had to get it.
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – I checked and it was an actual signature, not the printed ones that came in subscription boxes.
  • Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods by Tania del Rio – I wasn’t able to come at her signing last week but thankfully, there were signed copies available.

For this week’s random question: Which would you rather live without? Books or chocolate.

Easy. Chocolate. I don’t like chocolate. Not even chocolate ice cream.

 

#BookmarkMonday | Remove My Bookmark

… and I remove your face!

I have a fun bookmark for you today. I found this at a used bookstore. It wasn’t exactly for sale. It was stuck in one of the books on the shelves. I saw the tassel sticking out and it was such a funny bookmark, I had to get it.

Apart from book shopping, I keep an eye open for random stuff in between the pages of a book at a used bookstore. You’ll never know what you’ll find. Bookmarks, photos, letters, flowers, stamps, tickets, post cards… I’ve found all of that. My favorite is the letters, the dedications. I’ve found pictures too. I usually don’t keep them unless they’re old or if they give me Miss Peregrine’s vibe.

So here’s one of my favorite finds. It looks a bit old; the tassel is flat, frayed, and grayed. Pictured with a General Piggy who looks more adorable than menacing. I use this bookmark whenever I’m reading huge books and A Court of Mist and Fury definitely is one of those. I prefer using bookmarks with tassels. 🙂

The host, GuiltlessReading, has a question:

WHAT ARE YOU UP TO TODAY?

I’m just trying to survive this week because I have an anime convention on Saturday. the inaugural Ronin Expo. I’ve been craving conventions for such a long time; my last one was back in January. So this is like a primer to AX2017. I am so excited!

#BookmarkMonday | Minami on Ice

I haven’t done one of these in a while. I’ve acquired some amazing bookmarks since my last Bookmark Monday post.

But let’s focus on one today. Last April I was on the hunt for Yuri!!! ON ICE bookmarks. There’s a lot on Etsy. I decided on a US seller not just because of proximity, but because she has one of Phichit and Minami! If you know me at all (or follow my social media), you’d know I’m obsessed with this gem of an anime. You should watch it. 😉

Anyway, the store is SanzakiKojika. She mentioned that Minami is her personal favorite character and Phichit was chosen through public vote. Of course, she has our podium family – Viktor, Yuuri, and Yurio. I’ve used the Yuuri bookmark too but I’ll show him off some other time.

Kenjirou Minami is a precious little nugget. He is a not-so-hidden gem in this beautiful show. I hope we’ll see more of him in the movie and (hopefully) other official material. I’ll take fanstuff too, mind you. I’m looking forward to some Minami fanart in the coming anime conventions.

I can’t wait to use the other character bookmarks. Before, I never really cared about bookmarks. Now, I’ve been finding cute ones. Ah, pretty bookmarks make me so excited to go back to a book.

The host, GuiltlessReading, has a question:

I’m curious – do you like art? Do you have any favourite artists?

I love art. I have a personal wall gallery in my room made up of Artist Alley stuff. My favorite artist is Edgar Degas. And my favorite piece of art ever is Little Dancer, Aged 14. I’ve seen three (or four) renderings of it from different museums. It’s so lovely.

I used to stay five blocks away from both the Guggenheim and The Met. I have spent whole days just walking in The Met.  I would love to come back someday; my companions can go exploring and just leave me at The Met.

MAILBOX MONDAY #12 | A Mini Book Outlet Haul

Does that even exist? I sure it does but I don’t do that quite often. I haven’t posted a haul in a while so I guess I’m due one. Although, these aren’t the only books that I bought in the last week or two. 😉

This week’s Mailbox Monday consists of two shipments: a Book Outlet haul and a pre-order. Four books, all hardcovers, two of them signed. I love me some signed stuff and I’m not above buying them signed. I recently met Marie Lu and had my copy of Champion signed. I now want all my Marie Lu books signed in possible. When I saw a signed copy of The Rose Society on Book Outlet that is cheaper than the unsigned one, I jumped on it. I might buy the rest of the trilogy signed if I can find it at an okay price. I have a library binding of Legend and an ARC of Prodigy so I’ll bring them to author signing events if I can swing it.

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Of course, one does not buy only ONE book from Book Outlet. Right around the same time, they restocked on Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It’s part of their GoodReads Best of 2016 category, as well as A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard. I first heard of this book from the amazing true crime podcast Sword and Scale. I own quite a few titles from the ones they mention on the show. I almost bought this full price at Amazon; the premise sounds so interesting. It’s non-fiction and hopefully, I can read it this year.

Speaking of signed copies… I pre-ordered A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab signed. Therefore, all 3 of my Shades of Magic books are signed!

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I also signed up for the book hugger thing but my copy of A Darker Shade of Magic is a paperback. I might get one in hardcover… and have it signed. 😉

Yep. How many times did I type out “signed” in this post?

 

MUSING MAILBOX MONDAYS (#11) | Watching or Reading?

It’s been a while since my last Musing Monday post. The first one since it changed hosts for sure. I missed it. Also, I finally got my Book Outlet Boxing Day sale order in so you know what that means… Mailbox Mondays!

But it’s Wednesday. I know. I fail at this. XD

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…

I finally am getting to A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab. The 3rd and final book, Conjuring of Light, is coming out very soon so I should be done with this one by the end of this week. My first read of 2017 is The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and it was amazing. I cannot wait to get to the next books in the Mistborn trilogy. I also just finished listening to Subterranean by James Rollins, narrated by John Meagher. I realized that my audiobook genre of choice is mystery/thriller/sci-fi. I’m loving it.

For this week’s random question: What do you think about books being made into movies or tv shows and do you always read the book first?

Hollywood seems like it is running out of original ideas. A good chunk of movies nowadays are adapted from books. TV is the same thing. At this point, it’s no longer a new thing. The question now is “Did these film people do it justice?” Then it comes down to the viewer’s personal taste.

When I hear that a book is going to be made into a movie or TV show, I have one hope. I hope they do it right. It boggles the mind how some adaptations turn out so wrong that it’s like a completely different story. The Scorch Trials, anyone? The casting was great but what the hell was that movie? Then there are times when they get it right like The Hunger Games trilogy. And the Outlander TV show. The recent Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children was a little hard to swallow. I mean, it was okay but it took away everything that I liked in the books. Why change the children’s peculiarities? That is what makes them unique and recognizable jumping from the book to the screen. Idgi.

And no, I’ve given up on that. I used to make it a point to read the book first before watching the movie but that’s just not feasible anymore to me. What if your friends want to watch Me Before You but you haven’t read that yet? I found that for some movies, reading the book before watching is only setting yourself up for disappointment. But hey, you do you. I’m just saying that I’ve let it go. I’ve done it both ways – watched then read, vice-versa – and I enjoyed one or the other or both in their own ways.

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MAILBOX MONDAYS #11 | Book Outlet Boxing Day Sale

Here is my first haul. Technically, I bought these at the tail end of 2016 on Book Outlet’s Boxing Day sale and one from Kinokuniya Los Angeles last week. I’m running out of Japanese fiction to purchase from that heavenly store. I might need to start on that Haruki Murakami collection after all.

I got another bookmark coupon from this package. It reminds me that I have to use the previous one that I got. Hey, I know that I don’t have to use it but I’m that person who feels like I should use a coupon rather than it going to waste. Counter intuitive, I know. 😉

I guess I can say that all of these books are legit in my wishlist. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor and The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski finish off two trilogies on my shelf. I’m the kind of person who wants to acquire whole series in the hopes that I could binge read them… which, never happens. Or will it?

Every time I go to Target, I see The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. I need more books about books. I’ve heard this is good. I hope this is good. After reading and falling in love with the Wolf by Wolf duology by Ryan Graudin, I went ahead and picked up The Walled City in a pretty cover (that you can’t see in this photo). I still like historical fiction after all. Everyone on booktube was talking about Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and around Halloween time, The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy. You gotta be picky when it comes to booktube recommendations so I hope I made the right choice with these.

The books on the bottom, The Death’s Head Chess Club by John Donoghue and Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Judd Trichter are both blurb buys. I’ve never heard of them prior to seeing them on Book Outlet but their blurbs completely sold me. I’m actually pretty excited to get to them.

And finally, Honeymoon to Nowhere by Akimitsu Takagi. This was acquired at full price. I saw this the week before at Kinokuniya Los Angeles, read the blurb and was intrigued yet passed on it. But I couldn’t get it out of my head. So the next week, I hoped it was still there. It was so I picked it up. The last copy in the store.

So here’s to another year of book-buying. And hopefully, a good year of reading as well!