Monday, September 30, 2013

September 2013 Wrap-Up

Here's a summary of my book-related activity for September.

In other news, I got married!!

Books I read (linked to the reviews)

Glitches (Lunar Chronicles #0.5) by Marissa Meyer (free ebook)
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (new book)
On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson #2) by Louise Rennison (reread)
The Queen's Army (Lunar Chronicles #1.5) by Marissa Meyer (free ebook)
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (TBR pile)
Taltos (Lives of the Mayfair Witches #3) by Anne Rice (TBR pile) (in progress)
Map Worlds: A History of Women in Cartography by Will C. Van Den Hoonaard (NetGalley) (in progress)

Books I bought

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Other ebooks I received for review

The Fire by John A. Heldt

Books I got as presents!

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Progress on challenges

I completed the following letters for the A-Z Book Challenge: Q

I read 2 books for the Mount TBR Reading Challenge.

I read 1 book for the Anne Rice Challenge. You can still sign up!

I read 0 books for the Debut Author Challenge.

I completed the following squares for the Book Bingo Challenge: read 3 books that are part of a series, read 1 book everyone but me has read, reread 2 books

I read 0 books for the Nerdy Non-Fiction Challenge.

I read 2 books for the Dystopia Challenge.

I read 5 books written by women.

I read 4 books for the Seriously Series Challenge.

Progress on my TBR pile: I added 3 books to my to read list and removed 4, so my pile decreased by 1 this month!

FrightFall Read-a-Thon 2013 - Starting Line

It's time for the 2013 FrightFall Read-a-Thon, hosted by Season of Reading! Head on over there to sign up if you want to join us!

Because I'm WAY behind on this year's challenges (thanks a lot, wedding planning and returning to school!), my goals for this read-a-thon are fairly ambitious. Also, I'd planned to have Taltos by Anne Rice finished before the read-a-thon, but alas, that didn't happen, so I'll be finished that up, too. Here's my planned reading list, in no particular order:
  • Taltos by Anne Rice (353 pages remaining)
  • Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (452 pages)
  • Haunted by Kelley Armstrong (448 pages)
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (126 pages)
  • The Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh (410 pages)
That's way more than I'll be able to finish, but at least I'll have no shortage of reading material! Wish me luck! And let me know where you're participating, so I can follow your progress!


Day 1, September 30:
Read 75 pages of Taltos.
Not quite as much as I was hoping for, but still respectable considering I had a fairly busy day.

Total pages read so far: 75

Day 2, October 1:
Read 52 pages of Taltos.

Total pages read so far: 127

Day 3, October 2:
Read 91 pages of Taltos.
Read 7 pages of Canadian Organizational Behaviour (one of my textbooks).

Total pages read so far: 225

Day 4, October 3:
Read 26 pages of Taltos.
Yikes! Worked all day, did lots of housework, and got a new TV...

Total pages read so far: 251

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Reader Beware R.L. Stine Perpetual Reading Challenge

OK, so apparently there's another R.L. Stine super-fan in the book blogosphere! I may have found a new best friend! The Literary Wombat has recently started Reader Beware, a perpetual challenge for reading R.L. Stine books.

As you may know, I have, for several years now, been collecting all the R.L. Stine books I can find. I'm doing pretty well, having amassed a pile of 288 R.L. Stine books as of this moment. Check them out:

That's a lot of children's and YA horror goodness right there. Anywho, I actually haven't read any of them as an adult. I read a bunch of Goosebumps and a few Fear Street as a kid, but as an adult I've just been collecting them, wanting to read each series in order. As I now have all of the original Goosebumps, and all but two of the original Fear Street novels, I could definitely start now. I've been reading Animorphs lately for my awesome children's series fix, so I was planning to finish that first, but I may just have to overlap them so I can start this challenge soon.

To see my progress on this challenge, check my R.L. Stine Books page (which can also be found in the tabs up top). I'll link to my reviews there as I write them.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Industrial Magic
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: 2004
Length: 493 pages

Warning: This is a review of the fourth book in the series, and will therefore contain spoilers from earlier books in the series.

Industrial Magic picks up where Dime Store Magic left off, continuing to follow Paige Winterbourne, Savannah Levine, and Lucas Cortez. In the aftermath of Paige's struggles with the Coven, she has struck out on her own, trying to form a new Coven of younger witches.

Paige and Lucas can't help but get involved when the children of Cabal members start turning up dead. What follows is a great mystery, plus a lot of character development and new information about the various characters and species in the series so far.

Lucas' father, Benicio, the leader of the Cortez Cabal, has started really growing on me, as he keeps attempting to have a relationship with Lucas and Paige. A new character, Jaime Vegas, a necromancer, is introduced, and is a lot of fun. We get to see more of the werewolves again (which is great because when Elena, Clay, and Jeremy aren't around I really miss them), as well as Cassandra (and we learn more about the vampires). It's fun to see all these very different characters working together and using their varied skills to solve the mystery and stop the serial killer.

Also: I might possibly be falling in love with Lucas Cortez. Shh, don't tell Clay!

5 stars.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Upcoming Read-a-Thons

October will be the month of lots of reading! And catching up on reading challenges! And other read-a-thon fun times!

First, we have the FrightFall Read-a-Thon hosted by Seasons of Reading, from September 30 to October 6. Sign up is here.

That's one whole week of reading, with at least one scary book in there! My scary book for the week will be The Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh. I've also got Haunted by Kelley Armstrong on my list, which isn't exactly scary, but it does have witches!

Just 6 days after the FrightFall Read-a-Thon ends, on October 12, it's time for Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon!

My list is still in progress for this one, but so far it's got two Animorphs books and two Confessions of Georgia Nicolson books on it. I could just add more of those, but I do like to mix things up a bit!

If you know of another read-a-thon coming up in the next month or two, feel free to link to it in the comments!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wars in Toyland by Joe Harris

Title: Wars in Toyland
Author: Joe Harris
Illustrator: Adam Pollina
Publication Date: July 10, 2013
Length: 104 pages

After Matthew's brother disappears, his toy soldiers carry him off into Toyland. There's Matthew discovers that his brother is being held captive by Roxbury, the teddy bear dictator, and he and the toy soldiers launch an assault on the teddy bear's fortress.

This story was rather strange and confusing at times. But there were also elements I really liked. The relationship between Soldier John and Brittany, two of the toy soldiers, was really endearing.

The art is where this book really stands out. It manages to take a world of toys and give it a dark, dystopian feel.

3 stars.

Check out the book trailer below:

Full disclosure: Free ebook copy received from the publisher through NetGalley.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Some Life Updates

You may have noticed I've been a bit absent in recent months! I figure it's time for some general life updates for those of you who are interested in such things.

First of all, I got married!! (We don't have the professional pictures yet, so this picture of us dancing the night away will have to do for now!)

In other news, I'm back in school! In 2010 I graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Computer Science, and have since realised that that is just not a field I want to be in, so I'm going to be a librarian instead! So, this summer I started taking online courses towards a diploma in Library and Information Technology from Red River College. Very exciting!

So, between going back to school and planning a wedding (all while working two jobs), my free time had pretty much disappeared, hence the lack of regular blog posting. But now that the wedding's over, and I'm sort of settling into being a student again, I'm starting to write reviews again! So you can expect a more regular schedule again going forward.

Other excitement:

That would be me with Kelley Armstrong! I went to her book signing for Omens and it was awesome. Kelley Armstrong is about as cool as you would expect the woman who wrote Women of the Otherworld to be.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherworld #3)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: February 2004
Length: 394 pages

Warning: This is a review of the third book in the series, and will therefore contain spoilers from the first two books.

Unlike the first two books in this series, Dime Store Magic isn't narrated by Elena, but by Paige Winterbourne, a witch who was introduced in Stolen. She's now the guardian of Savannah, a teenage witch, and is rightfully the leader of the American Coven, though they don't recognise her as such.

Paige's life is thrown into chaos when half-demon Leah returns, fighting for custody of Savannah, and soon Paige is being accused of witchcraft and Satanism by her neighbours. With the Coven distancing itself from her to avoid scandal, the only one offering to help is an attractive sorceror named Lucas Cortez, and Paige isn't eager to trust a sorceror.

The Women of the Otherworld series continues to keep me reading late into the night because I just can't put these books down. Every new development had me on the edge of my seat, and there's great character development in this book. I didn't like Paige very much in Stolen, but she really wins me over in this book. And Savannah, a typical teenager in so many ways despite her atypical upbringing, is really fleshed out. And of course, because it's a Kelley Armstrong novel, sexy, sexy romance.

This book also introduces the Cabals, powerful demon families that achieve their goals through running huge corporations and having tonnes of money. I love how the otherworldly and the mundane mix together in this series. To me, that's what makes great urban fantasy.

5 stars.