Archive | January 2016

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

fireandhemlock

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Title: Fire and Hemlock

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

review

This is more like an essay than a review, I’m afraid, but it’s what I could come up with…

I’ve tried to write this review a couple times now, and I am in despair over it because Fire and Hemlock is simply too vast and… well, as Eleanor Cameron said (of a different book) in “The Green and Burning Tree“, it is “a wild, glimmering, shadowed, elusive kind of book.” That’s the best description I can find for it, and it’s not even in my own words.

I really want to review this book, but have absolutely no idea how. So I’m going to start typing and hope something comes out of it besides an incoherent ramble the size of a London train.

Fire and Hemlock is set in a modern-day England in the ’80s… both of which are slightly alien and unfamiliar to this young-ish American reader, so even though it’s “contemporary” and set in the real world, it actually felt a bit fantastical to me… Which is a good thing. (Occasionally I would go “Oh! So that’s what such-and-such is like/called in England! Fascinating!” or “Who knew that you flip records over to listen to the other side?” [I do know about tapes, but not records…])

Beneath the seemingly ordinary setting and life of the heroine, Polly, there runs a strong undercurrent of unusual happenings, rather frightening fantastical goings-on, and some snatches of wild shadowed fae stuff and magical sorts of things. The fact that the ordinary and the fantasy blend so flawlessly together in this book attests once again to Diana Wynne Jones’ brilliant skill as a writer.

As a retelling of the old folk tale/ballad about Tam Lin and also about Thomas the Rhymer, all the bits relating to both that wove into the story were fascinating, especially in said modern setting.

The book left me with a rather dizzying near-belief that it was something that had really happened. Yes, fantasy and all. It was so real that one nourishes a distinct and startlingly-firm suspicion that the whole thing must have actually happened… If not to the author herself, at least to someone she knew. It has that strong of a feeling of being real — at times painfully so. And in just the sort of elusive, mad sort of way, that is always a part of the most real yet strange dreams. I imagine that’s how it would feel like if such things happened to you or I…

There’s stuff about writing, too, which was great, and Polly’s a sort of writer. I liked her. It was fascinating and realistic as well to watch her grow up along the way in the book, from about a ten year old girl to a nineteen year old young woman. A lot of it’s her looking back and trying to remember things about when she was growing up.

Polly and Tom’s friendship — perhaps growing into something more… — is the heart of the book. I just loved it so much. They make up stories together, which in strange and sometimes terrible ways seem to come true. Their friendship is perfectly natural and beautifully written and just I can’t even explain it, but I adore that entire aspect of the book, especially the blooming but unconventional romance. It’s all just so masterfully done.

Of course, the best thing about the book is Mr. Thomas Lynn himself, yet another fabulous unpigeonholeable (that’s a word, I swear; or should be) character which this author seems to excel at. Tom plays cello and drives “like a hero” (a.k.a. like a madman; he is a horrible driver and it’s glorious; the parts with his horse I mean car were hilarious highlights of the book), has an epic abrupt startling silence which people run up against when he doesn’t want to talk about things, and a sort of yelping laugh which cuts off, and he has colorless hair and glasses which are like another character, and he will perfectly seriously discuss what most people would call “make-believe” with young Polly, since of course they’re in the business of being heroes, and sends her books all the time and you just sort of feel safe when he’s around, even if horrible fantastical things happen, and he’s part of a strange frightening mystery, entangled in it and can’t get free and you just feel awful for him but you know he wouldn’t want you to and that he’s all right, really; except that he’s really not all right at all; and he’s mysterious and also very open in a way, somehow, and you can’t really explain him at all and apparently I need to talk with people who’ve read this because otherwise I’ll just ramble on about him forever? I’m done now. Almost.

(But really, what isn’t to love about a fellow who says of books:

“…don’t do that to that book! … You’ve got it open, lying on its face,” Mr. Lynn said. “The poor thing’s in torment.”

And about fairy stories:

“Only thin, weak thinkers despise fairy stories. Each one has a true, strange fact hidden in it, you know, which you can find if you look.”)

It’s a giant of a book. At 420 very large hardback pages, it’s quite longer than the usual small-to-medium books by Diana Wynne Jones that I’ve read before (with a few exceptions) and yet I never wanted it to end. About halfway through, around when I felt like one of her other books would have been finishing, I panicked and thought, “Oh no, what if it ends soon? It needs to go on and on and on!” And then I checked and with relief and a sort of thrill of triumph, realized I had still a large amount to read. (Though my practical side threw a fit, seeing that it was after midnight and demanding that I go to bed — which I, naturally, ignored. The one strange — or not so strange — fact about Diana Wynne Jones books is that almost all of them that I’ve read, I’ve devoured in a sitting. Or at least in a single day. Which is fine for ordinarily lengths. But not so much for a 400+ page fantastic monster of a book which I started late at night to begin with… This was a stay-up-till-after-3-a.m. sort of book. I REGRET NOTHING.)

It is at once new and old. It gave me the feeling that I might have read it before, maybe, or had always known about it, while being at the same time entirely undiscovered. It reminded me of several other books that I’ve read and loved (or, considering the publication dates, I might better say they remind me of it…), while at the same time being completely unique. It’s like it somehow took snatches of a ton of books I love and weaved bits of them together into something new, but being its own thing at the same time. (The Penderwicks, The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt, as well as other books by Diana Wynne Jones… I feel like there were several others as well.) Also, all of the books it mentions, which Tom sends to Polly to read, were so fun to see listed — both the ones I’ve read and loved, and the ones I’ve not read and in some cases not even heard of (which of course makes me want to read them).

(“Polly had discovered The Lord of the Rings and was reading it for the fourth time under her desk in Maths.” was a particularly fabulous line in the book…)

In the category of complaints, it had its faults — all books do (well, except for a small handful, including a certain other book by the same author).

I will admit that I wanted much more of Tom himself in the story than he actually appeared in, but that can hardly be helped when it’s from the point of view of a girl who’s not allowed to see him and only does so from time to time.

It is also set in a modern setting, and therefore has some of the inevitable problems which are why I don’t like modern books much… (public school, so-called “friends”, split-up families etc.) but I liked this one in spite of them — like I said, it felt so real, so I can’t exactly complain about what happened as if it’s just a plot device if it happened, now can I? (I will say that poor Polly kind of has a dreadful life. …Actually, Tom does too. And yet here they are, plowing along! I suppose that’s heroism, right there…)

And the ending seemed to be rather sudden and, leading up to it, extremely vague to my mind so that I am still extremely confused and not entirely sure exactly what happened… though that could have just been the fact that by the time I reached the ending it was past 3 a.m., so that could have been the clock and/or a sleep-fogged mind talking… I also am of the opinion that many Diana Wynne Jones books require a second or perhaps third reading to fully understand it, especially some endings, so perhaps I’ll be all right if I read it again. And I don’t think it’s the author’s fault… I feel like it just went over my head or something. I do relish a thing that I don’t quite understand, when it means there’s always more to unearth in subsequent go-throughs.

It’s a book that you have to think about, which might not please some people, but definitely pleased me.

And of course, it’s the sort of book one spends most of the next day (or week… or month…) occasionally dipping back through it and rereading — preferably aloud, if any poor soul is near to be quoted at — the fabulously hilarious bits and smiling insanely over, just because you like it, even though you can’t quite understand why. That’s my experience, anyway…

I read this book on New Year’s Day (as I said, staying up till past 3, because it simply had to be finished!), which was a marvelous way to kick off my reading for the year.

And yes, it has taken me nearly an entire month to get around to writing this review. I still don’t feel as if I’ve done it justice. It’s quite simply impossible to describe.

I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it may have been mine. And quite good tea at that. Properly and gloriously British, bitter and sweet at once, and just the thing for a (long) rainy day, when one is longing for an elusive tale with a dose of ordinary mixed up with a dash of fantastic, as well as one-of-a-kind vibrant characters, a glorious love story (Tom would be berating me for that; sorry), and an enormous amount of classic Diana Wynne Jones humor.

I’ll be reading Fire and Hemlock again, I hope.

(And if you read this entire review, I quite sincerely applaud you and offer you cupcakes. Here.)

summary

From Goodreads:

Polly has two sets of memories…

One is normal: school, home, friends. The other, stranger memories begin nine years ago, when she was ten and gate-crashed an odd funeral in the mansion near her grandmother’s house. Polly’s just beginning to recall the sometimes marvelous, sometimes frightening adventures she embarked on with Tom Lynn after that. And then she did something terrible, and everything changed.

But what did she do? Why can’t she remember? Polly must uncover the secret, or her true love — and perhaps Polly herself — will be lost.

factoids

Genre/Category: Contemporary / Fantasy / Retelling (of Tam Lin)

Age Group: YA

Published: 1985

Pages: 420 hardcover

Series?: No.

When Read: January 1, 2016

Favorite Character: Tom Lynn, naturally

Other Notes: Received for Christmas. (And I now realize how ironic that is, given how many books are being recieved for Christmas within the book itself…)

findbook

{Goodreads} • {Amazon} • {Barnes & Noble} • {Libraries}


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages…

~ The Page Dreamer

 

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

thethieflord  3starratingTitle: The Thief Lord

Author: Cornelia Funke

review

This book is basically: “Peter Pan meets Six of Crows (a younger version) meets The Boxcar Children” in modern-day Venice with a slight twist of fantasy near the end, in this gripping adventure tale of two brothers and their unexpected friends… especially a mysterious boy named Scipio. Who is awesome. I adored how Prosper looked after Bo — it made me happy. (Also, pet tortoises! Poor Victor. XD)

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Most of the book was 4 stars…

Solid 4 stars throughout, might have made it to 5 stars if it had ended how I wanted…

As it is, it’s being kept from a disappointed-2-stars currently by remembering that I liked it most of the time and by pretending there’s a missing chapter afterward. 😛

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The ending was more like 2 stars…

(If you would like to read a brief description of the alternate ending chapter which doesn’t exist, I include it in spoiler tags in my review on Goodreads. That’s what happens in the chapter that doesn’t exist, after the end, which I maintain should/could happen. *coughcough* …It all COULD still happen! I insist. Ahem. *folds arms stubbornly*)

Basically other than a couple discontentments about the ending, it was a great read. I just… am evidently enormously picky about my endings. >.> *cough* Obviously a flaw of mine… Somewhat disappointed, but I can pretend a missing chapter continuing the ending, so. XD

summary

I started to put the back cover copy here… and realized that it basically entirely misrepresents the book. XD So I’m making up a version of my own…

Orphan Prosper and his little brother Bo connect with a group of street children and try to evade the well-meaning but unfortunate detective Victor, who has been hired by Prosper’s nasty aunt and uncle to find them. It’s a game of cat and mouse — and no one knows how to play that so well as the Thief Lord, a mysterious boy who has taken the brothers and their friends under his wing. But troubles await them, with secrets lurking which could tear the tight-knit group apart. All Prosper wanted was to protect Bo… He didn’t intend to get entangled in these mysterious goings on. Nothing is as it seems, and they are about to discover that a little magic may still lurk in modern-day Venice…

factoids

Illustrator: Illustrated by the author.

Genre/Category: Contemporary / Fantasy

Age Group: Young Adult (some scary situations involving children, and mild language)

Published: 2002

Pages: 345 paperback

Series?: No.

When Read: January 16-17, 2016

Favorite Character: Scipio, of course! He was so awesome…

Other Notes: Translated into English by Oliver Latsch. Given to me by a friend.

findbook

{Goodreads} • {Amazon} • {Barnes & Noble} • {Libraries}


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages…

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Impactivity by Tracy Higley

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Title: Impactivity: How to Set the World on Fire Without Burning Out

Author: Tracy Higley

review

I hardly ever read non-fiction, but I gave this one a try and really enjoyed it. This was a most interesting read. I’m not sure all of it applies to me, but I’d very much like to put to use the things that do… I’m currently rating it 4 stars since not all of it applied and I don’t know if it will help, but I hope to find it even more helpful, and if I do I’ll be revising my rating and review at some point. Many of the ideas seem very insightful ones which I’m looking forward to studying deeper and hopefully using myself.

It’s a common thing to read “self-help” books of “advice”… on how to rediscover purpose in life, follow your dream, organize your time and energy, declutter your life, dig deeper into discovering what God has planned for you in your Adventure and what you need to do to throw yourself whole-heartedly into embracing a life of impactful joy and purpose…

This small book is a mix of all those things.

There is often a tendency (especially in this procrastinator) to reread, carefully study, and plan to put those thoughts in that advice book into use… but then to put it off, forget it, let it slide, and return again to the continual frustrations of a life full of stress and lack of focus. It happens to me all the time. It may even happen this time. But I would very much like to implement many of the steps in this book, so I hope to reread it and think about these things further.

It’s a quick read, and written in a gripping, easy to grasp sort of way. It’s from a Christian perspective, which I was glad of, and hit a perfect balance of pointing out that without God at the center, the rest will fall apart, but also of giving helpful practical advice. The chapters of advice are interspersed with chapters of an ongoing fictional story where a group of friends go over the advice as presented to them by another woman–all of which had a sort of richness to it in its writing as well. So it’s half advice, half story, which was rather fun and different-seeming.

This quote from one of the fiction-to-illustrate chapters made me smile:

Victoria nodded. “Adventures are time-consuming. It’s part of what makes them so adventurous.”

Julia felt a little pity at Melanie’s expression. Victoria did have a tendency to say things that sounded more like Gandalf than a real person.

Impactivity by Tracy Higley

I found this book for free when it came out, so it’s not exactly as though I invested anything into it besides the time to read it, but I’d say it may be worth it for others to pick it up if you’re struggling as I am with a chaotic mass of guilt and todo lists and struggling to find what it is that’s my “dream” and wondering how to escape from the stress of daily life’s vicious cycles. Again, I’ve no idea if these things actually WORK, as I’ve not implemented them. But it may be worth a try.

(And wow, directly after finishing reading the book, I just wrote an entire review-ish thing when I only meant to write a couple of sentences, and I generally procrastinate over writing reviews… This is fascinating. I guess I had more to say about it than I thought?)

Dreams are worth following, aren’t they? Even when one doesn’t know what that dream is yet? Which means it may be time to find out?

(I also may or may not have a certain “I have a Dream” song from “Tangled” skipping around in my head now… Ahem.)

factoids

Genre/Category: Non-Fiction

Age Group: Anyone

Published: 2016

Pages: 117 pages

Series?: Followed by five more Impactivity guide booklets

When Read: January 23-24, 2015

Other Notes: Kindle ebook

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{Goodreads} • {Amazon} • {Website}


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages!

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Prince of Demargen by E. Kaiser Writes

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5starrating

Title: Prince of Demargen

Author: E. Kaiser Writes

review

I was struck by how unique this book is! I’ve never read anything like it. I loved the main character, Prince Hess! He was one of my very favorite things about the book. Getting to follow along with his adventures and struggles and watch him grow was awesome. He has such a distinct personality and I loved his sort of dry way of thinking and talking! 🙂 Definitely a deep character right there, with some very compelling struggles. (Also the stable and brawl scene was awesome. Just saying. It was glorious.)

It’s the sort of story you dwell deeply in… Adventure upon adventure, which you’re a part of, living in the land and traveling with Hess as you read along, instead of rushed through. It’s a book that knows how to take its time but be intriguing (I couldn’t put it down!), how to have fun but also be elegant and get at the heart things. The writing has a classic, timeless aura, peppered with fine humor. I loved it!

The book made me feel deeply: I’m not much of an emotional reader, but I cried near the beginning over Hess and his brothers, and laughed at humorous lines and great bits of dialog. (The dialog is great, especially Hess’s…)

The other characters were neat and well drawn too, though I didn’t see much of them (consequence of starting a series in the middle, I suppose…). They were really great to read about together–the relationships were fantastic, as was trying to piece them together… Looking forward to seeing how it all pans out! Hess’s horse Tompte was a great character in his own right–adorable and so loyal! Princess Girta has a long way to go before I’ll be able to like her, but Queen Ilise was cool, and I really loved what little I saw of Kai! I’m super intrigued by him and I simply can’t wait for Reindeer King to release!! *flails a little*

The series is a retelling of The Snow Queen and other such tales, and this particular book is rather like what a sequel to the movie Frozen might be like if it had been a bit different. (So if that idea intrigues you, definitely give it a go!) I love retellings and this one was great. Also fairytales are able to paint certain truths in a way that many other things can’t, and I think this one did a good job at some of that.

I did jump right into the middle of the series, as I haven’t read the first two books yet, and the fourth is not yet released. So I’m not sure if I actually have complaints about Prince of Demargen, or if they will be taken care of by the other books. Time will tell! (I’m wavering between a 4.5 star rating and a 5 star one, but I’m currently settling on 5 and assuming my problems will be swept away by the rest of the books.) A few times things felt to me like they came out of the blue or I didn’t know some characters well, but that may be fixed when I read the first ones, and several things were not wrapped up which I really want to see concluded (like the brothers!!), but hopefully those will be sorted out in the next book. 🙂

So my only complaints that may still remain after reading the other books (we’ll see) would be that a few things felt random or not explained well and I’m still wondering about, and the discussion questions at the end of the chapters dragged me out of the story. I prefer to be immersed in the story (and usually was), instead of yanked out after every chapter, but I ended up being able to skip them, mostly… But still.

Other than those minor things, and being on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book to release (not actually a bad thing. ;)), I loved it!

Overall, Prince of Demargen is a rich unique tale and is a very enjoyable read. I definitely recommend this one and look forward to reading the rest of the series!

(I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review, and the opinions are entirely my own.)

factoids

Illustrator: Illustrated by the author — lovely illustrations! Though few, I adore them…

Genre/Category: Fantasy / Christian / Fairytale Retelling

Age Group: Young Adult

Published: 2015

Pages: 408

Series?: Book 3 in the Thaw series (part of The Fairytale Collection). Preceded by Winter’s Child (#1), and Winter Queen (#2); followed by Reindeer King (#4) — publishing soon.

When Read: January 20, 2016 (yes, I read it in a day, despite its length! So hooked…)

Favorite Character: Hess! And Kai.

Other Notes: Read a PDF copy from the author.

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{Goodreads} • {Amazon}


Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages…

~ The Page Dreamer

 

Top 12 Books Recently Added to My TBR

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The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday prompt of the week: Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR (inspired by Jamie’s New To The Queue posts).

It’s usually top ten, but for myself I’m going just a liiiittle over.

I glanced at my latest books added to my To Be Read list on Goodreads, and there are quite a few intriguing morsels I’ve added lately!

They also have almost all been from recommendations or books people mentioned in blogs and such. This is the time of year when everyone’s posting their lists of favorite books of the year before, etc., so I’ve been gathering a lot more books on my forever growing TBR pile…

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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

I’ve been wanting to perhaps read some of this famous mystery author, but I never know where to start, so I had once asked someone who mentioned she liked this author which was her favorite. She just got back to me and I promptly added this to my TBR. It sounds like an awesome mystery.

The Floating Admiral by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, G. K. Chesterton, etc.

Blogger and author Kelsey Bryant mentioned this to me recently: a mystery novel where each chapter is written by a different famous mystery author! How cool is that? Now THIS I have to see.

Blood Ties by Hazel B. West

When the author mentioned on Goodreads that she’s having a blogtour for this soon and I read the description, I couldn’t resist adding this to my list. The description starts with: “In an Ireland that mixes high kings, faeries, and modern warriors who drive fast cars, Ciran, a descendant from the famous warrior Fionn Mac Cool…” and that’s all I need to know. SIGN ME UP.

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

I noticed this in a summary of 2015 books post by Deborah Dunlevy, and it sounds like so much fun. Definitely want to try it out.

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is another author who I hear good things about and never know where to START. So I asked Sarah and she recommended this one and the following one. They sound humorous. Count me in. I love humor and slightly crazy-sounding whimsical fantasy stories. Yes please.

Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Same story on how I came to add it as above.

ssongbirdThe Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

BECAUSE MELANIE DICKERSON! And this one is coming out this November and will be the final Hagenheim book, and is a Little Mermaid retelling set between The Merchant’s Daughter and The Princess Spy. I saw on Goodreads Shantelle add this and went AAAHH IT’S ON GOODREADS! And instantly clicked “want to read”. Yes. (Because Melanie Dickerson.)

The Map Across Time by C. S. Lakin

Again, Kelsey Bryant listed this on her top reads of last year on her blog. It sounds like a delightful fantasy which I’m itching to get my hands on…

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Cait has been after me (and everyone) forever to read some Maggie Stiefvater… So when I finally saw a review by Lisa Pickle in which she mentioned it has Welsh-ish stuff (and then I read the summary on Goodreads)… yep, had to add it.

Black Spring by Alison Croggon

Jenifer Freitag mentioned this in her list of books she read last year, saying it was recommended her by Mirriam Neal and that it’s like Wuthering Heights but better and with fantasy. I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE. (No, I haven’t actually read Wuthering Heights yet. Shush. I just need it on principal because I like the sound of the “feel”. So. Just pretend I make sense.)

Playing With Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2) by Derek Landy

Because I recently read Scepter of the Ancients, the first Skulduggery Pleasant book, and I’m dying to read more. I need more of that humorous witty banter in my life. (Now I just need to FIND more of these books… Why don’t you have them, library mine??)

The Icarus Hunt by Timothy Zahn

Jenelle Schmidt mentioned this in her list of books she’d want on a deserted island. I’ve only read a few of Zahn’s books (Star Wars ones) and loved them… I promptly looked this up on Goodreads, and as soon as I’d read the summary I added it to my TBR so fast I think I got whiplash. It sounds like a Firefly-esque book, by Timothy Zahn, and basically I just need it right now, okay?

What have you recently added to your TBR? And is it as ever-growing as mine? (I fear it’s a booklover thing…)

Dream away in those pages…!

Nightstand Books {Jan 2016}

Nightstand Books is a monthly meme created by Jenelle Schmidt and D.J. Edwardson, focused on taking a look at your nightstand of books, i.e. what you’re reading or plan to read this month. Join in if you like! It’s usually the first Wednesday of every month… sooo I’m a week late. 😛

Also, I tend to go a little overboard with my posts, because I always plan a bit over-ambitiously what I want to read and it doesn’t always pan out so well… Ahem.

Still, on we go!

Physical Nightstand

nightstandbooksjan2016

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones: I got this for Christmas and read it on New Year’s Day (all 400+ pages of it, and actually stayed up till 3:30 a.m. to do so, so yes, it was good) and really enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll write a review? 5 stars.

I’ve started reading a handful of books with daily readings, for the new year. I usually mean to and don’t usually succeed, but this year I’m trying! Most notably A Year With C. S. Lewis. It reminds me that I really need to read through several of his nonfiction works. I’ll obviously likely be in this all year, so I’ll just mention it this time. 😉

I don’t know about the following, as I would like to read them soon, preferably this month, but I don’t know how soon it will happen.

  • The Night Dance by Suzane Weyn: Got this for Christmas and looks like a delightful little read (Arthurian/Twelve Dancing Princesses!).
  • Out of Darkness Rising by Gillian Bronte Adams
  • Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight
  • Goddess Tithe by Anne Elisabeth Stengl: These three are small novellas which I would love to just sit down and devour but haven’t found a moment for yet.

Virtual Nightstand

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The Sunken Realm by Serena Chase: Currently reading and excited for it. Pirates and Captain Cazien. YES. ❤

Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt: I read this and loved it. I reviewed it on my other blog, as I had gotten it for review; but I may also post the review here sometime. 5 stars.

Rising Shadows by Ashley Townsend: This is next on my list to read. Looking forward to reading it, as I already love the characters (one in particular…).

Prince of Demargen by E. Kaiser Writes: If I can finish the books I’m supposed to read for review, I hope to read this one and review it by the 22nd, so we’ll see. It sounds cool!

The Poisoned Cure by Deborah Dunlevy: Can’t. Wait. Dying to read.

Again, not sure how many I’ll get to…

I also have a handful of books I’d love to reread soon (Holmes short stories, The Blood of Kings Trilogy, Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, Rick Brant…), and having just finished Yorien’s Hand I have upped King’s Warrior and Second Son on my read-soon list, and there are countless other books on my shelves waiting patiently for me to read them… But books for review come first, and I would like to read some of my smaller things, plus I’m not made of time, so we’ll see how much happens in the rest of January…

Basically I want to read ALL OF THE THINGS! (RIGHT NOW! *flails*)

What’s on your nightstand? 🙂

Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t

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I’m addicted to lists, so once again I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish on their Top Ten Tuesdays bookish meme. This week’s theme is Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t (check it out!).

Here are my top ten (roughly in the order they came out) but there were others too. Apparently 2015 was a big year for books coming out that I want to read and either didn’t get ahold of or didn’t find time for. Hopefully I will get to a lot of them this year! 🙂

Out of Darkness Rising – Gillian Bronte Adams

I own this and can’t BELIEVE I haven’t read it yet. It’s a Christian allegory novella, like… seventy pages long. I just need to sit down and read it, especially as I own a copy!

Mist of Midnight – Sandra Byrd

I won this in a giveaway, and again, I can’t believe it’s still sitting on my shelf unread! This must be remedied. It sounds like a mysterious intriguing historical romance.

Stolen Magic – Gail Carson Levine

It’s the sequel to A Tale of Two Castles, of course I need to read it! I just need to get to the library to snag this…

Ink and Bone – Rachel Caine

I’m irrationally drawn to this book because it’s about books and alternate history… I actually held it in my hands but could not check it out from the library as it was NaNo and I did not actually have time to read it… Yes, I reget it now. I need to try it…

Silver in the Blood – Jessica Day George

I held this one too! *flails* Oh, the pain and sorrow that writers have when they have no time to read… No idea why I want to read this one but it intrigues me so I’d like to try it out sometime.

Half-Blood – Jaye L. Knight

I haven’t yet been able to get into reading the Ilyon Chronicles yet, as Resistance is such a monster of a pagish book that it daunts me… However I may manage to trick myself into starting the series by starting with this small prequel which is currently waiting on my shelf to be devoured in probably a sitting. Because I hear great things of Jace and must meet him.

The Poisoned Cure – Deborah Dunlevy

I recently snagged an ebook copy of this, and am positively dying to get to it. Can’t wait to continue this delightful contemporary fantasy series (The Book of Sight)!

The Sunken Realm – Serena Chase

I’m currently reading this, loving it, and am so mad at myself for not getting to it sooner! I was supposed to review it eons ago and got so swamped with NaNo and holidays that I wasn’t able to look at if for MONTHS. Fortunately I’m now trying to remedy that as fast as I can… I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I finished reading The Seahorse Legacy.

A Thousand Nights – E. K. Johnston

I don’t know. But Arabian Nights retelling? Sounds… coolish. Yet again, a trip to the library is due…

The Golden Braid – Melanie Dickerson

Last but very much not least (in fact I may be the most excited about this one) another fairytale retelling by Melanie Dickerson! I just learned this is at my local library and I’m now dying to charge down there and kidnap it post-haste! AAHHH! *flails* I’m so excited to read it sometime! 🙂