May Wrap Up

May!

This month I read 9 books for a total of 2,882 pages and an average of 93 pages per day. I started my journey to the Dark Tower and while I was loving the setting (well, most of it) and intrigued by the ideas in book one, books two and three left me dragging my heels. I am soldering on though! Why? Who the hell knows. My favorite read was Lady Trent’s memoir, In The Labyrinth of Drakes, but Bad Monkeys was a close second.

Reviewed:

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long
First Sentence: Some stories are hard to tell.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
First Sentence: The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

In The Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan
First Sentence: I suspect a percentage of my readership will see the title of this volume and expect the entirety of what is contained herein to be devoted to a certain discovery that took place in the Labyrinth of Drakes.

On Writing by Stephen King
First Sentence: In the early nineties (it might have been 1992, but it’s hard to remember when you’re having a good time) I joined a rock-and-roll band composed mostly of writers.

Hinges vol 3 by Meredith McClaren

The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King
First Sentence: The gunslinger came awake from a confused dream which seemed to consist of a single image: that of the Sailor in the Tarot deck from which the man in black had dealt (or purported to deal) the gunslinger’s own moaning future.

The Waste Lands by Stephen King
First Sentence: It was her third time with live ammunition and her first time on the draw from the holster Roland had rigged for her.

Reviews to come:

The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano
First Sentence: Emmaline Beaumont was ten and one-quarter when her father started building the ghost machine.
Notable Quote: “[But] bodies aren’t the most important part of us. The special part, the true part, evaporates when we die.”

Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff
First Sentence: It’s a room an uninspired playwright might conjure while staring at a blank page: white walls.

DNF:

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

April Wrap Up

April!

In April I read 10 books for a total of 3,339 pages and an average of 111 pages per day. I had an excellent month and thoroughly enjoyed most of my reads, most notably Gone with the Wind. Woof! After 2 months I finally finished that wonderful beast (and yet last month I still read more pages).

Reviewed:

Piratica III: The Family Sea by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: Finally Art Blastside went upstairs to see her child.

Armstrong & Charlie by Steven B. Frank
First Sentence: “Guys, we should go in.”

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
First Sentence: Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.

A Pocket Full of Murder by R.J. Anderson
First Sentence: Propped on the flour-dusted stand, the Book of Common Magic looked as innocent as the ordinary cookbooks tucked behind it.

Hyperbole & a Half by Allie Brosh
First Sentence: It seems like there should be some sort of introduction to this.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlín R. Kiernan
First Sentence: Here’s the scene: It’s Thursday evening, and the Signalman sits smoking and nursing a flat Diet Dr. Pepper, allowing himself to breathe a stingy sigh of relief as twilight finally, mercifully comes crashing down on the desert.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
First Sentence: It was dusk – winter dusk.

Saga vol 7 by Brian K. Vaughan

Reviews to come:

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
First Sentence: Although I hadn’t been shot at for years, it took me a long time to understand that the bang wasn’t artillery.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson
First Sentence: Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity, baripity – Good.

March Wrap Up

March!

This month I read 14 books for a total of 3,885 pages and an average of 125 pages per day. Boy am I happy with this month’s turnout! It was largely due to focusing on middle-grade, but it also helped me cross more books off my TBR, some of which have been gathering dust (literally and figuratively.) Sadly, much of the middle-grade I read didn’t wow me, but Tanith saved the day. Arabella and Bats were huge hits for me too.

Reviewed:

Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine
First Sentence: Arabella Ashby lay prone atop a dune, her whole length pressed tight upon the cool red sands of Mars.

Bats of the Republic by Zachary Dodson
First Sentence: It was the third massacre I’d witnessed

Phoenix Rising by Bryony Pearce
First Sentence: The ship was empty; silent but for the creak of rigging, the ticking of the boiler, and the hiss of the fire as it consumed the fuel Toby had fed it.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
First Sentence: Once upon a time, a girl was born.

A Sliver of Stardust by Marissa Burt
First Sentence: Wren Matthews was about to lose the Science Olympiad Trivia Challenge.

Piratica by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: One day when she was sixteen, Art remembered her mother.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

Darcy Swipes Left by Courtney Carbone

The Books of Elsewhere: Still Life by Jacqueline West
First Sentence: Winter is a dangerous time.

Yvain by M.T. Anderson

Sixty-Eight Rooms: Stealing Magic by Marianne Malone
First Sentence: It was some time before dawn when Ruthie Stewart opened her eyes.

Sixty-Eight Rooms: The Pirate’s Coin by Marianne Malone
First Sentence: “Ahoy mates!”

Sixty-Eight Rooms: The Secret of the Key by Marianne Malone
First Sentence: A job – a real job!

The Jewel and Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde
First Sentence: Visitors to the Jeweled Valley should expect rustic accommodations and varying degrees of adventure, as the area is both remote and not under the protection of any State or Commonwealth.

Review to come:

Piratica II: Return to Parrot Island by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: “Nnn-nh! By the Bull’s Rushshes-“

February Wrap Up

monthlytotals

February!

This month I read 8 books for a total of 2,490 pages and an average of 89 pages per day. I’m pleased with how Austen Month wrapped up – in addition to 7 Austen-inspired books, I tackled one of my genre switch up books (romance) and watched four movies. Overall I’m very pleased with the books I read, but Austenland reigns supreme.

Reviewed:

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
First Sentence: Well before his arrival in Cincinnati, everyone knew that Chip Bingley was looking for a wife.

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope
First Sentence: From their windows – their high, generous Georgian windows – the view was, they all agreed, spectacular.

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith
First Sentence: Emma Woodhouse’s father was brought into this world, blinking and confused, on one of those final nail-biting days of the Cuban Missle Crisis.
Notable Quote: “Never underestimate the capacity of the human mind for ignorance.”

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
First Sentence: Would it kill you to be here before noon?

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
First Sentence: It was generally agreed by female residents of Meryton that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet of Longbourn had been fortunate in the disposal in marriage of four of their five daughters.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

Jane Austen: A Life by Carol Shields
First Sentence: In the autumn of 1996 my daughter, the writer Anne Giardini, and I traveled to Richmond, Virginia, to present a joint paper at the Jane Austen Society of North America, an organization that comprises of some of the world’s most respected Austen scholars, as well as rank amateurs like ourselves.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
First Sentence: Each of us has a private Austen.

Austenland by Shannon Hale
First Sentence: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a thirty-something woman in possession of a satisfying career and fabulous hairdo must be in want of very little, and Jane Hayes, pretty enough and clever enough, was certainly thought to have little to distress her.
Notable Quote: “Why was the judgment of the disapproving so valuable? Who said that their good opinions tended to be any more rational than those of generally pleasant people.”

Watched:

Austenland
Clueless
Becoming Jane
Death Comes to Pemberley

December and 2016 Wrap Up

monthlytotals

December!

In December I read a whopping 18 books (thanks to my last minute Saga binge) for a total of 4,868 pages and an average of 157 pages per day. My favorite book this month was Illuminae, but that’s because I’m not counting The Hobbit, which I’ve decided I’ll re-read every December.

I’m going to skip the cover pictures this time because I have a lot of info to get through (and because I’m lazy and I’m not sure if I really need them in these wrap ups.)

Reviewed:

Good Behavior by Blake Crouch
First Sentence: Letty Dobesh, five weeks out of a nine-month bit for felony theft at Fluvanna Correctional Center, straightened the red wig over her short auburn hair, adjusted the oversized Jimmy Choo sunglasses she’d lifted out of a locker two days ago at the Asheville Racquet Club, and handed a twenty-spot to the cabbie.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
First Sentence: So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.-
Notable Quote: “I am frequently underestimated. I think it’s because I’m short.”

Snakes & Stones by Lisa Fowler
First Sentence: There hasn’t been a traveling salesman in this neck of the woods in more than two years; that’s what some in the crowd are saying.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: My name is Uhtred. (He’s used this as a first sentence in The Last Kingdom as well)

Warriors of The Storm by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: There was fire in the night.

The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss
First Sentence: I have always been an appalling judge of character.

Wandmaker by Ed Masessa
First Sentence: Henry Leach the Eighth held the want between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand with a delicate touch.

The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthorn & Kira Breed-Wrisley
First Sentence: He sees me.

The Books of Elsewhere: The Second Spy by Jacqueline West
First Sentence: If you believe that death is about to spring upon you at any moment, you won’t spend much time watching television.

Lick by Kylie Scott
First Sentence: I woke up on the bathroom floor.

Reviews to come:

Gilded Cage by Vic James
First Sentence: She heard the motorbike first, then the galloping horse – two distant points of noise in the darkness, converging on her as she ran.

Re-reads, no reviews:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
First Sentence: In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
Saga volumes 1-6 by Brian K. Vaughan

2016!

I read a ton these last four months and managed to read 120 books this year – surpassing my goal of 112 far more than I expected. I was initially blown away by this, but then I looked at my spreadsheet for last year and found I also read 120 books. ;D

30 of those books met my ‘dusty bookshelf’ challenge, which is respectable but not as high a number as I hoped for.

I read 33,871 pages in total (about 2k higher than last year) and an average of 93 pages per day. My monthly average was 10 books and 2,822 pages. December was my best month for total books and pages, largely due to the fact that on the 31st I planted my ass on the couch and read all six volumes of Saga.

Taking a look at some stats from Goodreads, the shortest book I read was The Liszts at 40 pages and the longest was Symbiont at 608 pages. The most popular book I read was The Hobbit with 2,185,073 other readers (holy shit) and the least popular was Devi volume 1 with only 2 other readers. My average rating given was 3.5 stars and the highest rated book I read was Saga volume 2 with a 4.58 star average.

I reached 107% of my goal and Goodreads’ message to me is: Congratulations! You’re really good at reading, and probably a lot of other things, too!

I am certainly good at devoting a lot of my spare time to reading and I aim to continue that this year! Happy reading to you all!

November Wrap Up

monthlytotals

November!

This month I read 10 books for a total of 2,705 pages and an average of 90 pages per day. I read some great books this month, but unfortunately a couple were really boring and terrible (reviews coming later this month on those stinkers.)

Reviewed:

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
First Sentence: On the third night after the day her father died, Liesl saw a ghost.
Notable Quotes: “People need other people to feel things for them. It gets lonely to feel things all by yourself.”
“When people were afraid, they did not always do what they knew to be right. They turned away. They closed their eyes. They said, tomorrow, tomorrow, perhaps, I’ll do something about it. And they said that until they died.”

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

The Book of Elsewhere: Spellbound by Jacqueline West
First Sentence: Everyone who lived in the big stone house on Linden Street eventually went insane.

Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo
First Sentence: We had not made landfall in more than fourteen years.

The Liszts by Kyo Maclear
First Sentence: The Liszts made list.

Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: “Every day is ordinary,” Father Willibald said, “until it isn’t.”


The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: A dark sky.

Dingo by Charles de Lint
First Sentence: No one likes to think it of their father, but there are days when I can’t help but feel that somehow I got stuck with the biggest loster of all loser dads.
Notable Quote: “But that’s the problem with words. Once you let them out of your mouth, there’s no taking them back again.”

Reviews to come:

After Alice by Gregory Maguire
First Sentence: Were there a god in charge of story – I mean one cut to Old Testament specifics, some hybrid of Zeus and Father Christmas – such a creature, such a diety, might be looking down upon a day opening in Oxford, England, a bit past the half-way mark of the 19th century.

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
First Sentence: This morning on planet Earth, there are one thousand, six hundred, and eighty-six enhanced, gifted, or otherwise-superpowered persons.

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
First Sentence: There are three suns in the sky ad it is the last day of autumn – perhaps forever.

October Wrap Up

monthlytotals

October!

Holy shit! This month I read 16 books for a total of 4,115 pages and an average of 133 pages per day! This is my highest number of books and pages read all year. And I can tell you that’s because I really did little else other than read (aside from working and sleeping of course). I read a lot of great books this month – I loved revisiting the Unicorn trilogy and was pleasantly surprised by The Regional Office is Under Attack! and The Haunted House Project.

Reviewed:


Black Unicorn
by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: The first thing Tanaquil saw almost every morning on waking was her mother’s face.


Gold Unicorn
by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: Tanaquil’s mind was on higher things: the three flights of stairs that still lay ahead of her.


Red Unicorn
by Tanith Lee
First Sentence: The first thing Tanaquil saw almost every morning on waking was the face of the man she loved.


Book of Elsewhere: The Shadows
by Jacqueline West
First Sentence: Mrs. McMartin was definitely dead.


Devi vol 1
by Shekhar Kapur


The Haunted House Project
by Tricia Clasen (review up later today)
First Sentence: I knock on the door three times and then lean in close, listening for the rustle of the bedspread or the thud of feet hitting the floor.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:


Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
by Helen Fielding  (there’s also a video on my IG of my thoughts on this, but sadly, I couldn’t get it to link properly)
First Sentence: Hurrah!


Sword Song
by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: Darkness.


Bad Girls Throughout History
by Ann Shen


The Burning Land
by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: Not long ago I was in some monastery.

Reviews to come:


Every Heart a Doorway
by Seanan McGuire
First Sentence: The girls were never present for the entrance interviews.


Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters
First Sentence: “So,” said the young priest, “I think that I’m the man you’re looking for.”
Notable Quote: “All we do all day long is deal with our own problems, handle our own shit some way or other, It felt nice, for a little while, to be dealing with someone else’s shit instead of my own.”


The Wangs vs The World
by Jade Chang
First Sentence: Charles Wang was mad at America.
Notable Quote: “The people of the world could be divided into two groups: those who used all of their chances, and those who stood still through opportunity after opportunity waiting for a moment that would never be perfect.”


The Regional Office is Under Attack!
by Manuel Gonzales
First Sentence: If you were wealthy, but extremely so, and you were in the market for a lavish adventurous getaway, one that might require the retainer of sherpas – in the event that you came across a mountain you wished to scale – as well as a hot air balloon and balloon crew in case, well, that came up, too, the desire, if you will, to hot-air-balloon over the glacial formations off the southern coast of Chile, then you could hardly do better than to contact the staff at the Morrison World Travel Concern.


Fish Girl
by David Wiesner & Donna Jo Napoli


Henry Hunter & The Beast of Snagov
by John Matthews
First Sentence: The first time I saw Henry Hunter he was hanging by his fingertips from the windowsill of the principal’s office.

September Wrap Up

monthlytotals

September!

This month I read 12 books (the most this year) for a total of 2,708 pages and an average of 90 pages per day. My favorite read this month was Cold-Forged Flame but Beacon 23 was also up there for me, as well as my re-read of Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Reviewed:

The Dream Stealer by Gregory Maguire
First Sentence: The night is dark, and the wind is high and strong and smells of snow: so gather close around the fire, my little friends, and I will tell you a tale of Baba Yaga the witch.

A Nearer Moon by Melanie Crowder
First Sentence: The river flows.

Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan
First Sentence: The sound of the horn pierces the apeiron, shattering the stillness of that realm.

Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith
First Sentence: This was my last glimpse of Marrow Island before the boat pulled away: brown and green uniforms clustered on the beach, tramping up the hill to the chapel and through the trees to the cottages of Marrow Colony.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

The Empress of Bright Moon by Weina Dai Randel
First Sentence: Would he die tonight?

The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: These days I look at twenty-year-olds and think they are pathetically young, scarcely weaned from their mothers’ tits, but whenI was twenty I considered myself a full grown man.

Griffin & Sabine by Nick Bantock


Matchless
by Gregory Maguire
First Sentence: On an island so far north that it snowed from September to April, a boy named Frederick kept himself warm by keeping a secret.

Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: I wanted darkness.

Reviews to come:

Timekeeper by Tara Sim
First Sentence: Two o’clock was missing.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
First Sentence: I will not: drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week.
Notable Quotes: “It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr. Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. It’s  like being named Heathcliff and insisting on spending the entire evening in the garden, shouting ‘Cathy’ and banging your head against a tree.”
“There’s nothing worse than people telling you you look tired. They might as well have done with it and say you look like five kinds of shit.”

Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey
First Sentence: They don’t prepare you for the little noises.

August Wrap Up

monthlytotals

August!

In August I read 7 books, for a total of 2,502 pages and an average of 81 pages per day. I exceeded my page count from last month, but at this point, I would need to read 12 books a month to reach my goal and unless I get into some graphic novels (which I might), I’m not sure I’ll make that goal. But that’s ok! I read a few excellent books this month, but I’d have to say Chimera was my favorite.

Reviewed:

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell
First Sentence: My name is Uhtred.

Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan
First Sentence: Depending on your temperament, you may be either pleased or puzzles to see that I have chosen to include my time upon the Basilisk in my memoirs.

A few thoughts on Goodreads:

Riddle of the Wren by Charles de Lint
First Sentence: The town of Fernwillow was the picturesque consequence of centuries of unplanned and disordered growth.
Notable Quote: “I’m not angry. Just…a little sad that the world has touched us in such a way that we can’t look on such a thing and appreciate its wonder and its beauty without seeking some practical use for it.”

His Monkey Wife by John Collier
First Sentence: If thou be’st born to strange sights and if you don’t mind picking your way through the untidy tropics of this, the globe, and this, the heart, in order to behold them, come with me into the highly coloured Bargain Basement Toy Bazaar of the Upper Congo.

Chimera by Mira Grant
First Sentence: The recording quality is low, filled with static and choppy artifacts left over from the transcription process.

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel
First Sentence: The day my future was foretold, I was just five years old.

Reviews to come:

 

The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar
First Sentence: Orphan came down to see the old man by the Thames.

October Wrap Up

monthlytotals

October!

This month I only read 6 books, for a total of 1,496 pages and an average of 48 pages per day. This is the least amount of pages I’ve read in a month, however, I’ve now read over 100 books this year, so I’m well on my way to meet my 110 book goal!

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio
First Sentence: Warren the 13th tiptoed across the roof of the Warren Hotel, and the old slate tiles clattered like bones.

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer
First Sentence: “It has now been more than eight months since the girl went missing.”

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
First Sentence: At the height of the long wet summer of the seventy-seventh year of Sendovani, the Theifmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.
Challenge: A book with more than 500 pages

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer
First Sentence: On the hilltop above the harbor stands the huge square building that used to be the barracks for the Turkish army, but is now home to Hell on Earth.

The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye by Nancy Springer
First Sentence: “Mister Sherlock, I’m that glad to see you, I am, and that obliged…”
Notable Quote: “You cannot be a mother without first being a person; family, husband and children should not be allowed, as is so often the case, to steal a woman’s selfhood and her dreams.”

Saga vol 5 by Brian K. Vaughan