Bout of Books 18 | Sign Up | Let’s Do This!

Bout of Books 18

Bout of Books 18 is here, and I’ll be participating.  It’s sad that I can pretty much copy and paste the first Bout of Books sign up for 2016, but it’s true…

Last year, I didn’t read very often or keep up with this blog, but it’s a new year, and I’ll hopefully be able to devote more time to reading and blogging.  We’ll see.  I feel like this read-a-thon is a great way to get back into both.

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon was created by Amanda @ On a Book Bender on a complete whim in August 2011*. It took on a life of its own and was such a hit that Amanda decided to do it again and turn it into a somewhat regular occurrence.

(To read all about Bout of Books and it’s awesomeness click the image!)


The GOALS!

  1. Read every day.  No time limits, but I’m hoping to read for at least an hour.
  2. Complete 2 books.  If I complete more, go me!
  3. And as always, have all the fun!

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The TBR!

I am under no illusions that I’ll actually complete all 6 of these, but these are the first 6 books that I’ll be reading in 2017:
The Absolute Sandman, Volume One   The Absolute Sandman, Volume Two   The Absolute Sandman, Volume Three

The Absolute Sandman, Volume Four   The Absolute Sandman, Volume Five   The Sandman: Overture

Book Review | Neverwhere | Alternate Londons, oh my!

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The BLURB!

Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.

Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: neverwhere.

(From Goodreads)

The REVIEW!

WARNING:  Fangirling bias review about to commence.  Leave this blog if you don’t want to read a rambling mess of a review by a book from a favorite author.  Because that’s what you’re going to get.

Oh look, I’ve read another Neil Gaiman book, and I absolutely loved it.

Honestly, since I started reading Neil Gaiman in my adult years, I’ve fallen in love with his writing style, his characters, his world building.  Really, just everything when it comes to his books – I end up loving.  Neverwhere is no different.

The blurb gives the basics of the plot, and I don’t want to spoil anything.  I feel like going into this without knowing too much is what you want to do.  I was really happy going into this story blind.

What Richard goes through is more than any human should have to.  It’s literally an adventure of a lifetime.  Yes, he was whiny on this journey.  And yes, maybe he’s not the typical hero.  But, at the end of the day, he was thrown into something so extraordinary, and he still managed to exceed my expectations.

While Richard was definitely the main protagonist of the story, there were so many more.  I really enjoyed meeting most of the characters – from Door to the marquis de Carabas to the rat-speakers and the big bads.  Richard’s character and personality played so well of the other characters that were introduced, that the development of the story felt very natural and unforced as the characters grew and progressed through this incredible journey.

I loved hating the characters I was supposed to hate.  Loving the ones I was supposed to love.  And being sucker-punched by a few of the characters along the way.

Overall, I just absolutely loved everything about Neverwhere, and I could not put the book down.

I think it’s easy to fall so deeply into Neil Gaiman’s stories, because he’s an absolute master of the craft.  He brings his stories to life, and I highly recommend picking up Neverwhere or one of his many other novels to read soon.

Soon, as in now.

The RATING!

 

The Coffee Book Tag | By a Non-Coffee Drinker

Howdy all!  The title is pretty much giving away what this blog post is about, but I’ll be attempting the Coffee Book Tag.  Thanks emmathereader for tagging me!

I may not drink coffee, but I love doing tags.

BLACK COFFEE – a series that’s tough to get into, but has hardcore fans.

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Starting off with a relatively tough pick for me.  I tend to skip series that I’m not at least 85% sure I’m going to love.  I picked the DoSaB trilogy because, while I loved the first book, I didn’t finish the trilogy for about a year and a half after reading the book in 2014.  Since I didn’t continue on right away (and I could have), I’ll say that it was a little tough for me to stay into.  However, so many readers love this trilogy from book one, that I’d definitely consider it having a hardcore fan base.

PEPPERMINT MOCHA a book that gets more popular over the festive period.

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I unfortunately didn’t originally read this book during Christmas, but I wish I did.  It would have added another element to the story that I would have absolutely loved.  I’m definitely planning on reading it again this holiday season, and I’m looking forward to it.

HOT CHOCOLATE – your favorite children’s book.

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This was the book that sparked my love for reading, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.  Fun Fact:  I didn’t know this was a part of a series when I first read it (around 6 or 7).

DOUBLE SHOT OF ESPRESSO – a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

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Pretty much any Joe Ledger book keeps me on the edge of my seat.  They’re so action packed and honestly nail biting suspenseful, it’s hard to get any downtime between adrenaline rushes.

STARBUCKS – a book you see everywhere.

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Filching Emma’s pick.  This series is everywhere.  Literally.

(I loved it).

HIPSTER COFFEE SHOP – give a book by an indie author a shout out.

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OK, so I haven’t read this yet, but I own 3-4 of Nenia’s books and am planning to get to them this year.  Nenia seems really down to earth though, so even if I haven’t read them, I have a lot of respect for her.

DECAF – a book you expected more from.

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I had heard so many good things about this book that I went into it expecting to love it just as much.  I didn’t love it.  At all.

THE PERFECT BLEND a book that was bitter and sweet and ultimately satisfying.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus is the type of book that I absolutely crave.  It has a perfect blend of everything I enjoy in books.  Magic, mystery, tension, whimsical elements.  Oh, it was just flawless.

GREEN TEA – a book which is quietly beautiful.

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OK, plenty of people have talked about this book and really enjoyed it.  The story itself though is so beautiful and it has that serene feel to it, like it’ll trap you in its pages forever.

CHAI TEA – a book that makes you dream of faraway places.

The Absolute Sandman, Volume One

This series is about Morpheus aka Dream, one of the Endless.  The one that rules our dreams.  He could literally take me to any faraway place.  Real.  Imagined.  One not even thought up yet.

EARL GREY – your favorite classic.

Fahrenheit 451

The book that I’m currently re-reading.  Fahrenheit 451 is terrifyingly brilliant, and a book that I’ll always love and read and gain new insight after having read it again.


You’re it!

 

 

Book Review | The Ocean at the End of the Lane | Fantastical and frightening.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The BLURB!

Dive into a magical novel of memory and the adventure of childhood, from one of the brightest, most brilliant writers of our generation.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive. There is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

(From Goodreads)

The REVIEW!

This is my first re-read of 2016. It was just as fantastical and frightening as I remembered it, but I found myself enjoying it more this time around.

I saw more of myself in the narrator this time. From his fears of the dark matching my own as a child, to what he went through not even remotely matching my own childhood. But, I had an over-active imagination, and I know that I saw and dreamed up monsters in the shadows and the dark, and maybe it wasn’t my imagination but memories.

OK, it was definitely just my imagination, but how terrifying would it be to discover that it was really a memory long forgotten?

 

Neil Gaiman did an excellent job of giving his seven year old narrator a seven year old’s voice. It felt very genuine and really helped keep me completely engaged in the story.

Honestly, I felt that Mr. Gaiman did everything right with this novel. The length felt perfect for this story – I didn’t think it dragged or it ended too quickly. The plot and the characters were just spot on, and I was in our narrator’s corner 100% of the time. I despised the monsters in this book and hoped that they would meet their demise. And I especially loved the Hempstock women. They were strong, brave, wonderfully magical, brilliant, caring, extraordinary beings.

This is one of those novels that I know I’ll continue to re-read in years to come, and one that I would honestly recommend to everyone to try. It’s one of my favorite Gaiman works, and I know I haven’t read them all yet, but I think it’ll stay one of my favorites of his.

This review is becoming a rambling mess, so I’m ending it soon.  But I really, really think you check out The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Seriously, if you haven’t yet, try and get to this book in 2016. It’s under 300 pages, and I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

The RATING!

(was there any doubt?)

Bout of Books #14 – Signup and Updates

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 14 is here and Day 1 has come and gone!  I’ve been in a reading slump after starting my new job, but I’m back! What better way to get out of a slump than a read-a-thon?  It really is the perfect time to get back into the swing of things.

 Bout of Books is always such a great time, and I’m looking forward to participating again this time around.


Day 2 Updates

Pages Read: 56

Books Completed:  0

Currently Reading:    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


Day 1 Updates

Pages Read:  298

Books Completed: 0

Comics Read: 10

Currently Reading:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


Bout of Books Goal

To read every day.  I’m just coming out of a reading slump, and I don’t want to go crazy, but I do want to read daily.  That’s the only goal I’ve got.

I hope everyone has an excellent read-a-thon!  Stop by and chit chat books with me.  I’d love to know how Bout of Books is going for you!

Book Review | The Absolute Sandman Vol. 2 | Such Imagination!

The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 2 by Neil Gaiman

The BLURB!

Ten thousand years after banishing to Hell a woman who scorned him, Morpheus, the King of Dreams, has decided to free his former lover. But when the Sandman arrives in the realm of eternal damnation, Lucifer, the first fallen angel, notifies him that he is closing down Hell and he wants Morpheus to have the keys. Now in charge of the gates of Hell, the King of Dreams is bombarded with requests for possession of the empty kingdom by Norse gods, homeless demons, Egyptian deities, Faerie ambassadors, the lords of Chaos and Order, and Japanese divinities. Realizing too late that Lucifer’s gift was a veiled curse, Morpheus is forced to make a decision that will affect every plane of existence as well as the universal balance of power.

(^^Taken from The Sandman Vol. 4: Seasons of Mists ^^)

The REVIEW!

Death calls Dream out on being a dick.

Sure, I could say that in a nicer way, but really, that’s what she does.  Dream’s arrogance in the past is the only reason he banished his former lover to Hell, and after 10,000 freaking years, and being called out on his asshat-ery, he decides to enter Lucifer’s Hell and free her.

Like the blurb says though, Lucifer is closing up shop.  He’s bored and tired of Hell, and Lucifer’s decided to pass on the key to someone else (Dream).

This causes Dream all sorts of headaches, but he wants to free his former love, so he’s forced to accept the key and all the burden that goes along with it.

I absolutely loved this arc, and if that’s where the story ended, this would have been 5/5 stars.  It was imaginative as hell, and I loved reading about all the different characters/deities trying to get Dream to choose them to rule Hell.

It was a blast to read.

The other arcs, while interesting when I saw the full picture, didn’t always fascinate me the way the main arc had.  They were still fun to read though, and I did enjoy pretty much all of them.

I’m still loving the art.  I think the artists have continued to do an exceptional job creating a world fit for Neil Gaiman’s words. I loved taking the time and looking at all of the art at the end of the book too, with artists’ different interpretations of Dream.

That was neat to look at.

I’m still absolutely recommending this series to anyone and everyone.  It’s still so fantastic to me!

The RATING!

(I wanted more Dream, more Endless

All the Dream, all the Endless)

#Bout of Books 13 | Updates

Bout of Books

Woohoo!  Bout of Books has begun!  I’ve already shared my anticipated TBR for the read-a-thon, and I’m so excited about reading all of the books (well, some of the books, since I’ve started my new job, and I’m not sure how much reading I’ll actually do this week).

Still the excitement is real!

This post is going to be updated daily (hopefully) with my progress during Bout of Books.

UPDATES

Tuesday – Books Read:  1  | Pages Read:  134

Total Pages Read:  160

Currently Reading:  Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Goal For Wednesday:  Write up the review for The Absolute Sandman Vol. 2 and to do the daily challenge.  And then, hopefully finish The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  We’ll see.


Monday – Books Read:  0  | Pages Read:  26

Currently Reading:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane  The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 2  Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

GOTD:  To finish The Absolute Sandman Vol. 2, to read one short story from Trigger Warning, and possibly finish The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Depending on how this evening goes, I’ll determine if I need to fix my personal goals or remove them completely.

We’ll see.

Happy reading all!