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!

Image result for go me gif


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

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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 15.0 | Sign Up & Updates

Bout of Books


 

The UPDATES!

SUNDAY 1/10/16

Currently reading: Nothing

Pages read today:  0

I ended up not reading anymore after finishing The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but that’s OK.  I’m pretty happy with myself.  Although I didn’t read every day, I did finish 2 books.

SATURDAY 1/9/16

Currently reading:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Pages read today:  54

FRIDAY 1/8/16

Currently reading:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Pages read today:  75

THURSDAY 1/7/16

Currently reading:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Pages read today:  0

WEDNESDAY 1/6/16

Currently reading:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Pages read today:  42

TUESDAY 1/5/16

Currently reading:  The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Pages read today:  …4

MONDAY 1/4/16

Currently reading:  None

Pages read today:  87


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!

 

The TBR!
Fahrenheit 451    The Absolute Sandman, Volume Three


 

The TOTALS!

# of Pages read:  262

# of Books read:  ~1.5

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West  The Ocean at the End of the Lane


 

Bout of Books 15.0 is here, and I’ll be participating.  Last year, I pretty much didn’t read 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.  Like last year, 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!)

 


 

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!


Bout of Books Wrap-up!

Bout of Books

Well, I started Bout of Book 12 with a couple of goals.

I wanted to complete 3 books:  Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk, and The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.

And I was successful with completing ONE of those books…go me!

However, I did read the following comic books/graphic novels/single issue during Bout of Books 12:

Hulk: Gray (Hulk)  Trees #8

   Supergirl, Vol. 1: Last Daughter of Krypton  aama: 1. The Smell of Warm Dust

 Batman/Superman, Vol. 1: Cross World

So I’m counting this Bout of Books as a success!

Total “Books” Read:  6

Total Pages:  1,015

Total Time Spent Reading:  No clue, but it was a lot! 😀

Total Challenges Completed:  1

Also, I socialized more this time around and met a couple of great bloggers.  I’m really hoping to continue being a more social butterfly on social media, as well as other book bloggers youtube channels, blogs, and other miscellaneous sites.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next Bout of Books!