Book Tag – Goodreads

I snagged this book tag from Kate over at Read, Eat, Retreat! 🙂

What was the last book you marked as read?

matchless
Matchless, A Christmas Story (Gregory Maguire) – I’m not usually a fan of Gregory Maguire, but this retelling of The Little Matchgirl was very sweet and not too depressing. 😉 I’d recommend it as a quick Christmas-y read.

What are you currently reading?

thelongearth
The Long Earth (Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter) – This sci-fi is an interesting take on what would happen if humans discovered a way to step between alternate universes. I’m really enjoying it so far!

What was the last book you marked as ‘to read’?

dearfahrenheit451

Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break Up Notes to the Books in Her Life (Annie Spence) – As a bibliophile, I guess it’s completely natural for me to love books about books. 🙂 This one is a collection of love letters and break up notes from the author to books she either can’t live without or can’t wait to get rid of. Sounds fun!

Do you use the star rating system?
Yep! I know some people don’t like it, but I find it very useful.

Are you doing the 2017 Reading Challenge?
Yep! I’ve decided to run the Goodreads Challenge and the 2017 PopSugar Reading Challenge simultaneously. I’m attempting to read at least 60 books, while completing as many of the categories from PopSugar as I can. I’m not doing too badly either. 49 books down so far and 30 categories completed!

Do you have a wishlist?
No, my To-Read list is wishlist enough. 😉

Who are your favourite authors?
Hm…I’m always bad at this question. Currently I love Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer is probably my favorite book of the year so far). I also love Neil Gaiman and John Green. Joseph Fink & Jeffery Cranor from Welcome to Night Vale are also great!

Have you joined any groups?
I’ve meandered my way through a few groups. My current ones are:

Top 5 Wednesday
Cozy Mysteries
Friends of the Apparating Library Book Club
EVERYONE Has Read This But Me
Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge

How many Goodreads shelves do you have?
36 outside of the regular ‘Read’, ‘Currently Reading’, ‘To Read’, and ‘Did Not Finish’ shelves.

I tag…
Kristen from The Brunette Bookworm Blog!


I also tag anyone else who wants to do this one! Please link your post in the comments so I can check it out! 😀

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Book Tag – Unpopular Opinions

So, I wasn’t actually tagged to do this, but I LOVE the concept behind it, so I’m totally stealing it. 😉 (Thanks Kristen!) You can view the original video for the tag here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYfgq8HgDc0&t=367s

QUESTIONS:

1. A popular book or series that you didn’t like:

18490I actually have quite a few options for this category, but we’ll go with a classic: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. (*SPOILERS*) This is a story about a man who decides to play God and create life, only to completely panic when he actually succeeds. His creation, understandably upset by his Father thinking he’s a freak, runs away and hides in some random people’s house. When THEY get understandably upset that a stranger has been living in their house spying on them, he decides that all people are evil and he’s just going to kill everybody. Pappa Frankenstein proceeds to blame every problem in his life on someone else and refuses to acknowledge what’s really happening, leading to the deaths of most of the people he cares about. — I really couldn’t stand this book. Dr. Frankenstein is one of the most self-centered, whiny, egotistical, and obtuse characters I’ve ever had to read about. By the end, I was rooting for the Monster. I have no idea why this story is so beloved.

2. A popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love:

Oh, this one is way harder. It has to be POPULAR? Hmm…I’m going to go with the Weird West Tales series by Mike Resnick. The overall Goodreads scores for the books are solidly in the mid-3 range, but there are a ton of individual reviews that are terrible. I personally love the series, but then I also like the movie Wild Wild West. 😉

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3. A love triangle where the main character ended up with the person you did NOT want them to end up with OR an OTP that you don’t like:

harrylunaOk, I blame the Harry Potter fanfic for this one, but I’m totally a Harry/Luna (or Harry/Draco, but that’s a bit more farfetched considering that they were super-crazy antagonists in the original stories). Ginny (from the books) was pretty great, but I just love Luna and I think they would have made a great couple. Plus, falling for his sister’s best friend, a girl who’s had a crush on him forever…it’s a tiny bit cliched, don’t you think?

4. A popular book Genre that you hardly reach for

Romance – I’m really not a romance fan. I do occasionally still read them, but more the cozy or fun love stories, like The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George or The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. The ones that are completely focused on the relationship or full of flowery passion…not my cup of tea.

5. A popular or beloved character that you do not like:

I know I’m supposed to support the ladies, but: Katniss, Tris, & Bella. I can’t stand ANY of them. Bella is kind of understandable, since her story is a romance (see above 😉 ) and she seems to spend most of it needing rescue (at least during what I got myself to watch). And I know Tris & Katniss are SUPPOSED to be flawed. “That’s what makes them such great characters. They are REAL!” Whatever. I don’t like reading about unlikable people and these girls just seem to irritate me more than inspire me.

Heroine

6. A popular author that you can’t seem to get into:

terrypratchettTerry Pratchett – Sorry Pratchett fans, I know I’m supposed to love this author, but ::shrugs:: I did like Going Postal ok and Good Omens, his match-up with Neil Gaiman, was kind of fun, but I just have no interest in trying to read more if his work.

7. A popular book trope that you’re tired of seeing. (examples “lost princess”, corrupt ruler, love triangles, etc.):

The “distracted by love” trope. Does this count as a trope? It seems to be in virtually every single book I read with a female protagonist. Why do the guys get to be completely die hard about saving the world, but the girls all end up getting distracted by a man? Seriously, EVERYONE IS ABOUT TO DIE…maybe focus on that instead of whether or not that dude you just met thinks you’re pretty.

8. A popular series that you have no interest in reading:

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I like watching epic fantasies, but reading them has always been hard for me. Too many twists and turns, too many complex connections between the characters. I have trouble keeping everything straight.

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9. The saying goes: “The book is always better than the movie,” but what movie or TV show adaptation do you prefer more than the book?

lotrbookAnd speaking of epic fantasies…Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein. Oh man, have you tried to actually read these books? I was doing ok, even with the really verbose dialogue and never-ending descriptions, until they all decided to stop FOR A MONTH to party with a guy who lives in a tree when they were SUPPOSED to be ridding the world of the Ultimate Evil. I got so angry with all of them that I couldn’t read anymore. I know the fans of the books love Tom Bombadil and were really cranky that he wasn’t in the movies, but seriously, what was up with that part?!?


How about you guys? What are some of your Unpopular Opinions?

Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag

Hi all! Jessica from Ever The Crafter posted this book tag a couple days ago, and I’ve decided to join in on the fun! I’ll try not to double up books, but no guarantees! 😉

Best book you’ve read so far?

28449207Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Oh, how I loved this book. I actually hugged it before slipping it into the drop box at the library (yes, I’m a dork, I know). It’s just so beautifully written and the characters are wonderful and the world-building is amazing and…well, you can read my full review here. 🙂

Best sequel of 2017 so far?

10783250Hm, I haven’t read too many sequels so far this year…Let’s go with Dead Cold by Louise Penny. It didn’t come out this year, but I read it for the first time this year, so I’m counting it. 😉

New release you haven’t read yet but want to read?

thepearlthiefWell, now that I’ve finished Code Name Verity, I’d like to read the prequel that just came out: The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein. 🙂

Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017?

oddandtrueCurrently, Odd & True by Cat Winters. I first read Cat Winters last year, In The Shadow of Blackbirds. It was AMAZING. I’m not a fan of romances, but this one was sweet and creepy at the same time! 🙂 Odd & True looks super-fun, so I can’t wait to read it!

Biggest disappointment?

1964325The Mermaid in the Basement by Gilbert Morris. This is part of the Lady Trent Mysteries series and it looked really awesome; a book about a lady Sherlock would usually be right up my alley. But I didn’t realize it was also Christian Fiction. Even being a Catholic, I’m not usually a huge fan of Christian Fiction. It always seems so pushy; God IS wonderful, but you don’t have to turn every single conversation into one about him. I mean, your brother is about to be hanged for a murder he didn’t commit, maybe focus a bit on that?

Biggest surprise?

27213244Since I already did Strange the Dreamer, I’m going to go with The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. This book was amazingly well done. The author managed to create an entirely new universe, with several believable species and planets, in a single novel. There also wasn’t a single main character that I didn’t like. Great book!

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

28517611Again, I want to repeat! But instead I’ll do Jackson Lear. The Kingston Raine series is hilarious so far. Great series for bibliophiles who love a good laugh!

Newest fictional crush?

I don’t really crush on characters. I’ll have favorites, but not really crushes.

Newest favorite character?

20312462(Don’t say Lazlo, don’t say Lazlo…) I’ve really enjoyed Jackaby from the series of the same name by William Ritter. Jackaby can best be described as the 11th Doctor with Sherlockian tendencies who investigates supernatural crimes. He’s the closest I think we’ll ever get to the SuperWhoLock dream. 😉

Book that made you cry?

codenameverityI don’t cry easily when reading, but Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein certainly choked me up. Oh my gosh. Poor Verity! Poor Maddie!

Book that made you happy?

23604559My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. This was such a fun book. Have you ever seen the movie Big Fish? It’s kind of like that only main character is still the little girl who believes her grandmothers stories. This was one of the sweetest “growing up” tales, I’ve ever read.

Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

I haven’t really seen too many new movies this year…does Beauty & the Beast count? It’s actually a remake of the Disney movie as opposed to an adaptation of the original story, so…but it was still really good! 😉

Favorite review you’ve written this year?

29511753I’m going to go with The Juliet by Laura Ellen Scott. While not my favorite book I’ve read this year, it was still REALLY good and it felt nice to review a book from a local author who I’ve actually met. You can read that review here. I definitely recommend the author to everyone; she knows how to write so that you get caught up in the story. 🙂

Most beautiful book you bought or received so far this year?

sagavol1Like, PHYSICALLY beautiful? Hmm…actually, I’m going to go with Saga Vol.1 by Brian K. Vaughan. The artwork in this graphic novel, done by Fiona Staples, was extremely good!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

My goal is 60 books this year and I’ve already read 40, so I’m doing pretty good!


Feel free to snag this Book Tag if you want to do it. Also, check out Jessica’s Book Tag Post!

Book Tag – Hufflepuff Appreciation Post

HuffPuffs Represent! 😀

A lady in one of my book clubs, Erica Robyn, created a new Book Tag for Hufflepuff House Pride Day (March 20th), so I’ve decided to join in the fun!

Rules: The only rule is that the book must NOT come from the Harry Potter ‘verse.

Hard Work
Name a difficult read that you were proud to have finished.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Suzanna Clarke) – This book took FOREVER. For a book about magic, it was amazingly dry. The overall plot was interesting and I liked the characters well enough, but the book itself just dragged. It honestly read like a history book rather than a novel (there were FOOTNOTES). Don’t get me wrong, I like history, but I’m not fond of novels that read like textbooks.

Patience
Name a book with a slow start that you almost gave up on, but ended up loving.

American Gods (Neil Gaiman) – This book was on my DNF shelf for a LONG time; I just couldn’t seem to get into it. But the mythology nut in me wouldn’t let it go, so I eventually tried again. Man, I’m glad I did! This book is completely awesome! The amount of myths/legends the author is able to work into the story is amazing and, considering the character cast, the fact that the story remains completely believable is astounding and totally down to his superb writing skills.

Loyalty
Name one of your favorite loyal sidekicks.

Questionable Content (Jeph Jacques) – Ok, so Pintsize is a really odd pick for this one, but he IS actually one of my favorite sidekicks of all time. He throws out weird one-liners, is kind of vulgar, and definitely keeps everyone on their toes. But if any of his crew are in a jam, he’s right in there trying to help…even if his idea of help isn’t always the best. 😉

Fair Play
Name a book or series that frustrated you because things just didn’t seem fair.

Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket) – I will admit, I didn’t make it past the third book of this series. It just felt TOO contrived, like the author was just hurling every ‘unfortunate’ thing he could think of into the books without caring about realism. I guess that was kind of the point of the books and it IS a good way to keep kids interested, but it just felt like too much to me, so I DNF’d it.

Newt Scamander (Magizoologist)
Name a book or series with creatures that you would like to see come to life.

His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman) – I think it would be awesome if people really had daemons. I would enjoy having a ready-made buddy to hang around with, even if it is technically just a manifestation of my inner-self. 😉

Cedric Diggory (Prefect, Quidditch Captain/Seeker, Triwizard Champion)
Name a character that is a great leader.

Going Postal (Terry Pratchett) – You wouldn’t think it of a character described as an ‘arch-swindler’, but Moist von Lipwig (yes, that is his name) actually ends up as a really good leader of this (kind of insane) post office/town. This is part of the Discworld series, but can be read totally separate.

Pomona Sprout (Professor of Herbology & Head of House)
Name a book with a character in the teaching profession.

My Teacher is an Alien (Bruce Coville) – These books are great! I loved them when I was in middle school and they still hold up pretty well now that I’m an adult. This was one of the books (series) that made me fall in love with science-fiction as a child. The idea that your teacher was not only and alien, but (spoilers) wants you to join them on a trip through outer space? Totally awesome!!!

Nymphadora Tonks (Auror & Member of Order of the Phoenix)
Name a strong female character.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (Fannie Flagg) – This is cheating a bit, since it’s multiple characters, but I want to call it out because every single woman in this book is a strong woman. Every single one of them does what needs to be done to protect themselves, their friends/family, and their town. I would be proud to know any of the women in this book.

Fat Friar (House Ghost)
Name a book that you would like to get more attention.

Fairytales for Wilde Girls (Allyse Near) – I fell completely in love with this book. The author interweaves fairy tales (of her own making) so well into the story that it’s hard to tell what is real and what isn’t; but then, that’s kind of the point of the book. I won’t go into to much detail, but if you like fairy tale types books, I recommend this one.

Helga Hufflepuff (Founder of House)
Name your favorite bookish organization (real or fictional).

Goodreads – I can’t think of a good bookish organization in an actual book, so I’m just going to go with Goodreads in real life. This is a great website, where you can keep track of books that you read, give reviews, see what your friends are reading, join groups to discuss books, and find new books that you’ve never heard of before. I love this site. 🙂

Hengist of Woodcroft (Founder of Hogsmeade)
Name a world/town/setting/etc. of a book that you would love to visit.

Kingston Raine and the Grim Reaper (Jackson Lear) –  This may also be cheating a bit…but wouldn’t it be awesome to have a magical scythe that allowed you to travel into any book you wanted? That allowed you to make friends (and foes) with all your favorite characters? And then allowed you to pop right back out once things started getting hairy? Yeah it would!

Yellow & Black (House Colors)
Name a book with a cover that is mainly yellow and black.

The Knowland Retribution (Richard Greener) – Well, the title is in pink, but the rest of the cover is mostly yellow and black, at least in my edition. 😉 This is the first book of The Locator series, which inspired The Finder tv series. I LOVED that show and was ecstatic to find out that is was based on a real series. The books are actually quite different, but still really good!

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Whew! Well, that list took a while. Good Book Tag, Erica! Let’s keep this one going, you guys. Feel free to snag the list from me, but please remember to credit Erica Robyn. And link your posts in my comments! I’d love to see what you pick! 🙂