A Few of My Favourite Things (November 2013)

november favourites

Instead of my “usual” monthly wind-up post, I thought I’d share my November favourites instead. This is primarily ¬†because I had a month chalk full of favourites: three five-star books read, two five-star films watched, and a whole new (smelly) addiction…

 

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Outpost by Ann Aguirre

I read an astounding THREE five-star books* this month, but my favourite of the lot has to be Outpost by Ann Aguirre (review). I adore Aguirre’s writing as a general rule, but Outpost was a cut above. I cannot recommend this series enough: it is everything you can possibly want in an apocalyptic book. Dark but still hopeful.

* Outpost, These Broken Stars and Crash Into You – in case you were wondering. ūüėČ

 

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These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Color me stunned. These Broken Stars (goodreads) makes my favourite list as the-book-that-made-me-eat-my-words. It is YA Science Fiction AND YET it is amazing. I am still not quite convinced by the whole genre, so I guess my opinions in Book Talk: Where did all these spaceships come from (and how can I make them leave)? still holds true. Only difference between then and now? After reading These Broken Stars, I am willing to be convinced.

Review will be up on book’s release date (Tuesday next week!). Go pre-order yours, er, NOW!

 

gravity

Gravity

OMG this movie. A friend of mine called me from 3 countries over to tell me he had seen it and I needed to go immediately… and he was so so right. It is just mesmerizing, and I genuinely don’t think there are any other films like it out there. It features many, many shiny stars and science… so I was bound to be a fan.

Official site / Trailer

 

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Catching Fire

JFC this series. It’s been two years since I devoured the Hunger Games trilogy… and yet it felt like my second first time. I ¬†laughed, cried and actually enjoyed the love triangle. In fact, I might have enjoyed the experience of watching the movie slightly better than my first read of the book. Knowing that everything (kinda) works out really helped me get through the emotional roller coaster.

Official site / Trailer (as if you haven’t seen it)

 

Yankee Candle: christmas tree - image from yankee.co.uk

Yankee Candles

I’ve been a big fan of the scented (or, as I like to say, smelly!) candles this year, but had never really tried Yankee Candles until this month. For some reason, I thought they’d be kinda… horrid. I am happy to be wrong. Yes, some smell hideous. But mostly, they do what they say on the jar. As someone who is not getting a Christmas tree this year, this candle has been the perfect alternative. It smells exactly like a Christmas tree – I kid you not.

 

That’s it for this month! As the candle might have given away, I am in a super Christmas-y mood this year… so December should be a treat! Although…

theoddsareneverinourfavor

A weekend at the library – October Re-cap

In this month’s recap: I visit the glorious Gladstone Library, get some serious reading done and decide to feed my ebook addiction.

The Gladstone Library

This month, I spent a wonderful weekend at the glorious Gladstone Library in Wales. This is the UK’s only residential library (or so I’m told), so I actually got to sleep with all the books. It was bookworm’s dream come true. You could take books up to your room, visit in the wee hours, have a glass of wine in their honour bar, and dinner in their dining hall. I wanted to move in forever.

Gladstone Library - Image by Dead Book Darling

The primary Gladstone collection is made up of Prime Minister Gladstone’s books, so they date from the 1800s and cover mainly theology and politics. However, the Library is also living collection, with a special fund established by Gladstone to buy new books. So while I didn’t spend too long perusing the theology section, I was able to find plenty of fiction and non-fiction to satisfy my tastes.

Gladstone Library - Image by Dead Book Darling

The historic element of the Library did, however, allow me to handle original copies of the Strand magazine that featured the first publication of the Sherlock Holmes stories. It was insanely exciting for me.

- Image by Dead Book Darling

Original Strand magazines from the 19th century. These featured the first publications of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.

Feed My Reader

Book blogging has had a serious impact on my shelves. I buy/receive/am gifted more books than I will ever read. Even though I always try to get rid of the copies I don’t need or want, space has become a serious issue.

So, I’ve made the executive decision to expand my e-book collection. Though you will still see “real” book hauls, I’m going to be doing many more e-book hauls on Dead Book Darling: they’ll be entitled “Feed My Reader”. Though still not my preferred method of reading, I do love the convenience and manageability of e-books.

Readathon Season

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

I took part, once again, in the glorious Dewey’s 24-hour readathon. It was an absolute blast and really helped break me back into the reading habit! I loved the hourly challenges, my favourite, of course, being my own. Check out the Show it Off! Challenge I hosted for a peek at some bookish treasures that participants shared!

The Books

This month was a pretty good one (thank you readathon!). I read:

  • Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee (review here)
  • The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks
  • Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2) by Patricia Briggs
  • Blue-Blooded Vamp (Sabina Kane, #5) by Jaye Wells
  • Rush (The Game, #1) by Eve Silver

My favourite was – surprise surprise – Briggs’ Hunting Ground. That woman can do no wrong (though her publishers can, a fact I covered in #Publisherfail). I was slightly disappointed by Blue-Blooded Vamp, which wasn’t quite as fierce as its predecessors.¬†The Adventures of Superhero Girl wins the title of “most unexpectedly awesome book”. It was unexpectedly awesome – a fierce, feminist, generation 2.0 read. Loved it.

November TBR: The big one!

I had a really tough summer and because of it I am super behind on my reading. But, in order to spite my illness, I really want finish my Goodreads challenge! I have never finished a Goodreads challenge – alas. But this year I am determined to catch up! Because, dammit, my eyes are not going to control my life! BUT, in order to get this done, I am going to have to read 28 books before the year’s end. I know. Really, Kay? 28 books in 2 months? What are you on? *inserts appropriate gif*

Eli Gold expresses his disbelief.

But I have to try. For some reason, it is really important for me to make it to 52 books this year… and it’s not like reading isn’t a joy, so I am going to indulge.

Anyhow, here’s what I have lined up on my TBR pile. I am going to have to add a few additional books, but I am leaving a few blank spots in case I change my mind or in case I buy something before the end of the month that I have to read!

November 2013 TBR-1

  • The Big Time by Fritz Leiber and¬†Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
    • These two I chose purely for length: they are short! Hopefully that will mean easy to read, though it doesn’t always.
  • Charming by Elliott James
  • World After by Susan Ee
  • Fade by Lisa McMann
    • Yup, I’ve never finished the Wake trilogy! Finally I can find out why everyone complained about the third book!
  • Bite Club by Rachel Caine
    • With the final Morganville book coming out this month, I want to catch up on this series I once adored.

November2013TBR-3

  • Succubus Heat by Richelle Mead
    • It’s been over a year since I read the third Succubus book: long enough for me to get past the emotional fall-out! (Though, no, I haven’t forgiven Seth.)
  • Gone by Lisa McMann
  • Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
  • These Broken Stars¬†by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
  • Outpost by Ann Aguirre
    • The final book in the trilogy, Horde, came out this month. So, next month it will be on my TBR pile!

I also have a feeling that Katie McGarry will be featuring very heavily this month. I am just completely addicted to her Pushing the Limits series. It is really, really, really good.

Anyhow, wish me luck people!

What a Rush! – the (Belated) April/May Wind-up

May/April Win-upIn this month’s (double) wind-up:¬†BEA-palooza, books continue to glare, and Marissa Meyer does the best version of Little Red Riding Hood known to man.¬†

The Events

April and May were the best months of my literary year: not only did I get to meet the brilliant Michael Grant, I also attended Book Expo America. My recaps of these events were numerous and detailed. Check them out:

The Reads

My favourite book of the past two months was – by far – Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I don’t know WHY I haven’t reviewed it yet, as I had so many overwhelmingly positive feelings about it. (Although, same goes for The Fault in Our Stars, which I am still trying to work out how to review coherently.) Scarlet came off of my April TBR pile and made everything else I picked up pale in comparison.

In May, I set out to read a whole tonne of books that were the final installments in my favourite series. Out of the TBR pile, I finished off the Vampire Academy series, the Soul Screamers series and… that’s it. I blame BEA for distracting me so thoroughly from this noble attempt of mine!! Still, I feel very good about having Last Sacrifice off of my TBR pile. That book has been glaring at me for years now.

The Non-bookish (ahem, TV)

I’ve been loving Elementary and Game of Thrones these past few months. The former I had hoarded on my computer awaiting my trip to New York – it was a great, Sherlockian preview of the city. As for Game of Thrones, who isn’t watching that? No really, if you aren’t watching it, let me know so that I can convince you of the error of your ways.

Summer Shorts - Dead Book DarlingSummer Shorts

I had some very intense exams early June, hence the slow postings, but I shall be on full-time this summer starting with the return of the Summer Shorts. This is my weekly summer feature (every weekend, July and August), in which I review fantastic YA and Speculative Fiction short stories. The 2013 edition of Summer Shorts will have a bit of extra engagement in it, so look out for how you can participate!

May TBR: the final books in my favourite series

May TBR pileOne of my resolutions for 2013 was to “read my favourites” – the books from series I loved that I hoarded away for a “rainy day”. What’s the point in keeping those books if I am not going to read them, you ask? … Fair point.

So this month, I am going to read the final books from the trilogies and series that I’ve loved. A lot of these books are going to elicit the reaction “OMG YOU HAVEN’T READ THAT YET?!” but… don’t judge me! As I mentioned in my resolutions post: I kinda have a problem.

The ones that have been on the shelves… a while:

  • Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead – This is one of those series I loved so much I physically couldn’t pick it up. Instead, I checked out spoilers when it came out because the Rose/Dmitri/Adrian thing was too painful to sit through. I should really know better by now!
  • Forever by Maggie Stiefvater – Again, stop it with the judging.
  • Endgame by Ann Aguirre – I don’t want it to end!!!!
  • Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells – As above!

The new releases:

  • With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent – Why no spin-off? Why??
  • The Rising by Kelley Armstrong¬†(not pictured) – I don’t know what my life is going to be like without a Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising release every year. No, really. I am rather at a loss.

Just putting this list together has made me rather emotional. Why must things end?? Why can’t writers just keep going and going and going? Why can’t my book series just continue on forever like Eastenders?? Why??

Michael Fassbender knows my pain

Michael Fassbender knows my pain.

To be honest, these aren’t even all my last-in-a-series books… I have more that I haven’t gotten to that I’ve left out out of fear of this post becoming a “confessions of book blogger”. On a happier note, if you are looking for a series/trilogy that I whole-heartedly recommend, check out any of these. They are all 5 star reads that deserve all the love they can get!

April TBR: New Authors (mostly!)

April 2013 TBRSo, my last monthly TBR pile turned into a two-month pile. That’s my life: lots of books, way too little time! Although I know I can’t read all of these books, I’m glad I have monthly pile. It gives me a bit more focus, rather than just staring at my TBR Mount Doom in terror.

I’ve got a few newbies on this month’s TBR pile: books I’ve received for review that I might not have found out about otherwise.

Also, I’ve got a few on the pile that I kinda “need” to read – namely,¬†Neverwhere¬†by Neil Gaiman¬†(ebook). I am desperate to listen to the BBC radio version of this classic UF novel, so I need to finish off the real thing first! To be honest, I’m finding it a bit hard going at the moment – great but a bit confusing. I also really really really want to get to¬†Days of Blood and Starlight¬†by Laini Taylor¬†and¬†The Killables series¬†by Gemma Malley.

I’ve also got a few newbies off of Netgalley (Ink by Amanda Sun¬†and¬†The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau) though the likelihood of me getting to those this month is very, very, very low. But I will! Any day now…

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