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Bookish Post! (a.k.a. I Travel from NaNo Land to Book Land + Bookish News + Mini-Reviews)

Oh, hi, world! I’m baaack!

It’s been a wee bit quiet around here because it’s awfully hard to read/review books while you’re madly writing one of your own. But as I have now won my EIGHTH NaNoWriMo, I am back in the world of books — and my first thought (besides “ACK, I CAN READ AGAIN!”) was “Time to pop onto my poor neglected book blog!” πŸ˜‰

So this is kind of a mashup of OH HI I HAVEN’T REALLY POSTED MUCH AROUND HERE LATELY BECAUSE NANO and stuff I’ve been reading and stuff going on/releasing, and all of the bookish things. *nods*

Books I Read Lately

October

Here’s what I read in October, which was a busy month and I barely managed to squeeze these in… I award them all 5 stars because though all different, I loved them each in their own way.

  • Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith – Shaun Hume — I lived in this book world and loved the characters and setting, and though it was a little long and not my usual thing, it was different and fun. Review to come!
  • Spellsmith and Carver: Magicians’ Reckoning – H. L. Burke — SO MANY FEELS. :O This almost got a star knocked off BUT it ended reasonably better than I thought it might and yes. MY FEELS. But a good conclusion to the Spellsmith and Carver Trilogy. Review to come!
  • Second Impressions: A Collection of Fiction Inspired by Jane Austen – edited by Hannah Scheele — Adorable short stories based on Jane Austen things. Loved this collection! {My Review}
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen — This was a re-read. It was the first Jane Austen novel I read, AGES ago, and I hadn’t read it since, so it was lovely to read it again. I really enjoyed reading along with Season of Humility’s readalong. Mr. Darcy is the best, okay? πŸ˜‰
  • The Last Days of Lady Cordelia – Kyle Robert Shultz — This novelette had MANY FEELS and some humor and parallel world stuff and delightful references to Kyle’s main Beaumont and Beasley series! In a way I don’t know how I feel about it, but in another way I loved it so much I read it twice, so… XD

November

Wait, who is this crazy person who READ BOOKS during NaNoWriMo?? :O These were all very short, quick reads, which I consumed between my crazy writing because I needed to relax occasionally. *gasp* I enjoyed them all and give them all 4 stars. πŸ™‚ My mini-thoughts…

  • Saffron’s Big Plan and Other Stories – Kendra E. Ardnek — I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Kendra herself this month, and picked up a couple of her short story collections when I did. (She’s super fun, FYI! ;)) What fun little tales! πŸ™‚ I read them all in a sitting and they were just the light little read I needed just then. Three original fairytales, and one retelling of Puss in Boots — very unique! I loved the style. πŸ™‚
  • The Woodcutter Quince and Other Stories – Kendra E. Ardnek — What fun stories! The Woodcutter one was my favorite — fantastic! πŸ˜€ The CinderEddy twist on Cinderella was awesome too. XD Most enjoyable. πŸ™‚
  • Coloring Christmas Devotions – Thomas Nelson Publishers — This is my first Adult Coloring book, and while I haven’t colored all the pictures yet, I did read through all the devotionals and colored some. This was a book for review from BookLook, and I’ll be reviewing it on my other blog soon.
  • Fire and Ice Cream – K. M. Carroll — AWK. SO GREAT. ^_^ Super original modern fantasy, with a murder mystery in an ice cream shop in Arizona, where shapeshifting dragons (fire-breathing) and shapeshifting drakes (ice-breathing) are a part of normal life — and in fact the heroine is one! So cool. πŸ˜€ (I read this for the Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub’s book of the month for November.)
  • No Plot? No Problem! A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days – Chris Baty — A fairly quick, light read, sometimes amusing with a few helpful ideas, in general of interest to those who have or would like to participate in NaNoWriMo or otherwise write a novel in a month, and about writing in general. There’s some language, and the humor is of a particular type you need to be in the mood for, so it’s not for everybody, and has stuff/advice that hopefully nobody takes seriously, because it’s intended to be tongue in cheek. XD But otherwise it was enjoyable and a nice distraction so I could feel like I was being NaNo-ish when I should have been writing words for NaNo. πŸ˜› And besides, it felt vaguely appropriate to read it this month. Anyway, I enjoyed it, rather. πŸ™‚

If you’re curious to learn more about any of the books I’ve been reading, you can always find them linked in my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

Releases

The Stroke of Eleven by Kyle Robert Shultz, which is the third Beaumont and Beasley book, came out today and I’m ridiculously excited for more Nick and Crispin and Cordelia and fairytale humor. I CAN’T WAIT. ❀

The sequel to Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing (which I loved) is now out at B&N and it’s called Rulers and Mages and I love the cover! I beta-read this, really enjoyed it, and can’t wait to read the final version. πŸ™‚

The final Vintage Jane Austen book, Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones, which is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice in 1930s Arizona, also released this week in ebook and paperback, and the Kindle version is 99 cents on Amazon this week only — I just snagged my copy over there and I’m excited to read this one too! πŸ™‚

Hannah Scheele continues to outdo herself with each new VJA cover. ❀

Speaking of covers…

Upcoming Cover Reveal

(image by DJ Edwardson)

DJ Edwardson (of Silmarillion Awards fame) is about to reveal the cover for his upcoming first fantasy novel, The Last Motleyso go join his awesome newsletter so you can see it this week! πŸ˜€ (I’m ridiculously excited.)

Reviews on the Horizon?

I’ve been somewhat quiet on the review front, as I just haven’t had the energy to write any what with NaNo… But now that NaNo is over, I’m hoping (key word: hoping) to get back into reading and reviewing, particularly catching up on a few that I was hoping to before November but just didn’t find time for. (And some other kinds of posts on my other blog, as well!)

So you can reasonably hope to expect some reviews (like for Ewan Pendle, Magicians’ Reckoning, Coloring Christmas Devotions, The Fatal Tree) soon-ish… And a couple of beta-reading books, and reviews books (like Disowned by Sarah Addison-Fox) which I hope to read/review soon! And hopefully for those new releases I just mentioned too. XD

Basically, I should have National Book Reading/Reviewing Month (NaBoReReMo… no? Not catchy enough?) but we’ll see how much I have energy for. πŸ˜›

It’s been a CRAZY couple of months in my life lately and hopefully I can finally breathe/relax a little, with some reading and blogging on the side…

I thought about sharing a Nightstand Books kind of thing but I have so many I WANT to read this month, and have no idea what I’ll get to during December, so I’ll just say I WILL READ ALL THE BOOKS THAT I CAN. XD

Anyway!

I think that’s it on the bookish news, and what’s been up with me. What about you? And have you read/want to read any of the books I mentioned? Chat with me, fellow page-dreamers! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

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October Bookish News + Nightstand

Two things today: Bookish News and Nightstand Books!

This Month in Book-ish News…

I’m a calendar nut. I put EVERYTHING on my calendar, including author birthdays and releases for books I’m excited about… and stuff like that.

So, similar to what I shared last month, I thought I should maybe, occasionally, share upcoming bookish things, since I bother to keep track of such things myself. XD

Is this something that would be of interest to any of you?

(I’m sometimes asked how I keep track of books that are releasing and so on. XD Answer: eeeverything goes on my calendar!)

For now, anyway, here’s a smattering of readalongs, releases, etc. which are taking place soon! (Because EVERYONE is doing EVERYTHING right now when it’s time to ignore everything and get ready for NaNo, but oh well. XD)

Enjoy. πŸ™‚

Newses, preciousss

The Vintage Jane Austen group is collecting bloggers interested in taking part in The Vintage Jane Austen Event blog party in early November, so if you’d like to interview an author or read and review one or more of the VJA books for free, you can sign up HERE!

The Fellowship of Fantasy Bookclub‘s book of the month for October is The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Shultz. If you’ve been wanting to read it, now’s your chance!

Speaking of Kyle, he’s also serializing an exciting and funny Fantasy Western book on Wattpad every Monday; it’s fun. XD

Daley Downing is holding a readalong for her book, Masters and Beginners, in October. Again, if you’ve been wanting to, now is a good time to read it!

Amber @ Seasons of Humility is holding a readalong for Pride and Prejudice.

And because ALL the readalongs are happening… the Fall readalong for the Diana Wynne Jones group on Goodreads is Fire and Hemlock. I may have to jump on this one later (like as a NaNo reward?) because I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH AND NEED TO RE-READ IT SOMETIME, but hey. XD

Hope Ann’s Burning Rose just released, and there’s going to be a Facebook party for that and another book on Saturday, October 7 (8-10pm EST), so you’re invited! (If you’re on FB, you know… *cough*)

The third book in the Spellsmith and Carver trilogy, by H.L. Burke — Magicians’ Reckoning — is releasing October 14. πŸ™‚

October 14 is also, I hear, Indie Author Day! How fun is that. ^_^

The third Beaumont and Beasley book by Kyle Robert Shultz — The Mirror of Rorrim (I love that title!) — is releasing October 31. πŸ˜€ (What can I say; Kyle has a lot of book news this month. πŸ˜› )

The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson (June 2018) has a cover AND IT’S PRETTY. (Also giveaway involved. Go visit the cover-reveal/giveaway post!)

Jenelle Schmidt is hosting a month-long celebration of dragons with #Drachtober.

NIGHTSTAND BOOKS

(Nightstand Books was created by DJ and Jenelle; share your currently-reading books!)

My ongoing quest to finish my review books before NaNoWriMo hits and kidnaps me to write a 50,000 word novel of my own, continues! XD Many of these are still on here from last month…

EBOOKS

  • Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith – Shaun Hume — I’m almost done this one (maybe I’ll finish today?) and it’s so fun! And intriguing… o.o
  • Magicians’ Reckoning – H.L. Burke — The final Spellsmith and Carver book; I have an ARC for this one, and I’m SO. STOKED. I can’t wait to read it for more Jericho and Auric! πŸ˜€ (Just don’t remind me it’s the last, because I don’t want to feel sad. *cough*)
  • Disowned – Sarah Addison-Fox — Still looking forward to this one! ^_^
  • Second Impressions: A Collection of Fiction Inspired by Jane Austen – edited by Hannah Scheele — I don’t read many short story collections, but I’m reading this soon for the Vintage Jane Austen Event blog party. I’m excited! πŸ™‚
  • Beta-reading is also a thing.

PHYSICAL

My latest bullet journal and NaNo-plotting journal make a cameo here… I’ll be reading them a lot in the coming month, I’m sure. XD

  • Mind Writer – Mike Lynch and Lisa Godfrees — Yep, still hoping to read this one. πŸ˜‰
  • Christmas Coloring Devotions — Oh, look, a coloring book! I’ve never done an adult coloring book before. I got this from BookLook Bloggers for review. I’m excited to try it out and hopefully relax myself occasionally. XD I’ll probably review it in December…
  • Breakwater – Catherine Jones Payne — I libraried this and can’t wait to read it! Hopefully I can do so before it needs to head back… At least it’s short. πŸ˜‰
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen — I’m rereading this for the readalong and mayyy bow out if life gets too overwhelming, but I’ve been wanting to read it again for AGES so this is the perfect excuse! Especially to get ready for the release of the final Vintage Jane Austen book, Presumption and Partiality by Rebekah Jones, which I’m SUPER excited for! πŸ™‚
  • If I find the time, I wouldn’t say no to re-reading The Beast of Talesend because it IS the FoF book of the month and it’s super fun and short. If I have time. XD I’m also kind of re-reading The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo, aloud to my younger siblings, because I won a beautiful paperback from the author (thanks, Allison!) and it’s funny and Burndee and yes. πŸ˜›

There may be a couple of other books, especially if I get involved in an ARC or two, but at the moment these are the ones I have. XD Should keep me busy enough… *cough*

Basically I WANT TO DO ALL THE THINGS but realistically have no idea how much of this I’ll be able to get to. πŸ˜›

I do have to remind myself that if I DON’T happen to get all of these done this month, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll just… likely not get around to much reading until after November, if that’s the case.

But I need to remember to give myself some grace if I can’t be superhuman and accomplish EVERYTHING before NaNo. Because Life and having a plotted novel ready to write are both important, as is remembering, occasionally, to breathe. (I don’t do this enough. :P)

Keep reminding me if I start getting overwhelmed. XD

Whew! So there’s aaall the Book News and Nightstand for October! Any book news you’re excited for, or that’s not on my list? And what’s on your nightstand this week?

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Random News + Nightstand Books {September 2017}

Hey, my Pagelings! Time for some random news and September’s Nightstand Books! πŸ™‚

RANDOM NEWS

It’s my Blogoversary + A Giveaway!

Yes indeed, I’m celebrating the 4th blogoversary of my other blog, The Road of a Writer, with an epic giveaway of a few fantasy books, so check it out if you haven’t! ^_^

Interviewed + Testing the Freelance Waters

I’m stepping into freelance copy-editing and web-designing, and was interviewed by Emily Ann Benedict! πŸ™‚

Other News

So, you know those random news-bits that aren’t enough to actually POST about but you want people to know? I usually post such things on my Twitter so follow me there because I’m fun or sometimes my Goodreads… But a couple of fun things I wanted share here today…

Remember when I reviewed that modern fantasy book Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing? Well it has a shiny new cover by Kyle Shultz, and is now available on Barnes & Noble.

Also, I’d like to mention that one of the books listed below as next-to-read, is a collection of novellas, and you can get one of those as well as a novelette prequel, for free. πŸ™‚

Free thing…

Rose of the Night by Hope Ann is a novelette prequel, available for free for signing up for her newsletter, here.

And another…

Rose of the Oath is a Beauty and the Beast retelling by Hope Ann, available for free download on Amazon and elsewhere.

NIGHTSTAND BOOKS

Aaand on to Nightstand Books, a blogging meme created by Jenelle Schmidt and DJ Edwardson — to share and be excited about the books we’re reading each month!

It’s usually the first Wednesday of the month, but sometimes I’m late never late, Frodo Baggins, nor am I early; I arrive precisely when I mean to. *cough*

(Join in here if you want!)

The titles below link to Goodreads.

September Nightstand

Most of the books this month are digital ones, but here’s a few on the physical nightstand…

  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Ellen Miles — I picked this up at a library sale recently and couldn’t resist reading it right away! Super short and cute read, an enjoyable mostly-traditional version of my favorite fairytale. I did like the couple of tweaks though! πŸ™‚ And it was just generally… fun. *shrug* 4 stars
  • Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World by Bryan Davis — Look for a review of this one next week as part of the blog tour! I’ve only read one other superhero novel, and I don’t read Middle-Grade too often, so I’m excited for this because it’s different for me and fun, plus Bryan Davis. πŸ˜€
  • Mind Writer by Mike Lynch and Lisa Godfrees — I was given a copy of this and am trying to catch up on things I should review, so I’d like to read it soon. ^_^ It looks more sci-fi-y than my usual reading-zone, so that’s going to be interesting. Sometimes that’s enjoyable though, to try new things! πŸ™‚

Digital Nightstand

Not pictured:

  • And a couple of beta-read projects for friends, which I hope to finish this month, or next month at latest…

Don’t know if some of these will be moving to next month, as usual… But I do have a lofty goal to finish all my review and beta books before NaNo hits. So. Yes. Either way, hopefully I’ll have these all done eventually!

I do have another stack of books off to one side that I really, really want to read, if I catch up on review books… but I didn’t share those since I have no idea when I’ll get to them. XD

August Nightstand: Take 2

On that subject, August’s nightstand looked less like I thought it would be in my last Nightstand post, and more like this:

(Find them on Goodreads here.)

  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien — LOVED this re-read! ❀
  • Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien — So enjoyable and awesome! ❀
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge — I adored this to BITS. ❀ Everyone needs to read it.

  • Perception by Emily Ann Benedict — My Review. Now I need the next Vintage Jane Austen book! πŸ™‚
  • An Earthly King by Hazel B. West — This re-read was a delight! πŸ˜€ [Last year’s review.]
  • Magicians’ Trial by H.L. Burke — My Review. Aaand now I need more Spellsmith & Carver…
  • Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt — I absolutely LOVED re-reading this, so I’m finally caught up on the series AND NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW. ❀ [Last year’s review.]

Not pictured:

  • Plus the picture books listed in the original post. ^_^
  • And beta-reading the sequel to Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing. I need it to be finished/published please… πŸ˜€

So sometimes I’m totally wrong about what I’ll be reading, but hey, all of those were awesome, so. πŸ˜‰

ANYWAY. There’s some stuff that’s been up lately, an update on my August nightstand (whoops), and my projected September nightstand. So now you know ALL the bookish things in my life. XD

What are you reading these days? πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading! ^_^

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

August Nightstand Books {2017}

Due to a very busy July full of a spontaneous Camp NaNo and the Silmarillion Awards, I’m a bit behind on reviewing and reading (but more reviews will be coming!) and did not read anywhere near all the books on my July Nightstand — however, it’s now time to update that for August! πŸ™‚

(Nightstand Books was created by DJ Edwardson and Jenelle Schmidt — join the fun by sharing your own picture of what you’re currently reading!)

August Nightstand

  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien — Didn’t quite finish this during the SilmAwards due to a very busy end of the month, but looking forward to finishing my reread of it soon. ❀
  • The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead — Still re-reading parts of this aloud. πŸ™‚
  • Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl — Didn’t quite get to starting this, so I hope to soon. πŸ™‚
  • On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness and North! Or Be Eaten (by Andrew Peterson) — I don’t know if I’ll get to these this month, but North! Or Be Eaten is currently in my grasp because it’s out of the library (I own book one) so IF I can manage it, I’d like to read them both, but I’d like to catch up on review books too, sooo if I don’t get around to it this month, I’m sure I’ll read them someday. πŸ™‚ (Also, I just love saying that title. “North! Or Be Eaten” — one of my fave titles EVER. XD)
  • I also got some picture books from the library. Because picture books! ❀ And at least I know I’ll have time for THOSE. XD

Virtual Nightstand

  • Perception (Vintage Jane Austen) by Emily Ann Benedict — This just released (!!) and is a retelling of Persuasion which I’m currently reading, and I’m VERY excited, because Persuasion is awesome. πŸ™‚
  • Magicians’ Trial (Spellsmith and Carver, #2) by H.L. Burke — THERE’S ANOTHER SPELLSMITH AND CARVER BOOK OUT. MORE SNARK. MORE JERICHO. MORE AURIC. MORE OF BOTH OF THEM BEING AWESOME TOGETHER. I CANNOT CONTAIN MY ELATION. Must. read. soon!
  • Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume — Still working through this and enjoying it!
  • An Earthly King by Hazel B. West — Still on the readalong in preparation for book 3 releasing… maybe this month? So excited! I love this book. πŸ™‚
  • Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt — Want to re-read very soon because I miss this world. πŸ™‚ (I’m sure a lot of this will make more sense now that I’ve read the first two books in the series as well. XD)
  • I also have a couple of books to beta-read so I will try to get those done this month.

Rundown/update on last month’s nightstand:

Read (and loved): The Tomb of the Sea Witch (review coming soon!), Coiled, The Invisible Library, The Reluctant Godfather, and Kate’s Capitol. I also read Poison Kiss by Kendra Ardnek, which wasn’t on the nightstand post, but I greatly enjoyed it! Look for a review as part of the release blogtour next week. πŸ™‚

Still reading: An Earthly King, Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith, The Silmarillion, The Skin Map, and Perception. Carried over Starflower, unstarted thus far.

Postponed: Heartstone, The Illusionist’s Apprentice, and Intermission, I sent back to the library without reading them because I didn’t have time. *sadness* Another day! I decided I’d rather finish Camp NaNo, and I’m glad I did. πŸ™‚

***

So that’s what’s up with my reading and what I have on my Nightstand! What’s on yours? πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

Keep dreaming away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

100th Post! + July Nightstand Books {2017}

100th Post!

This is my 100th post on The Page Dreamer! Happy hundredth post to meee!

*confetti and leftover-Independence-Day-fireworks*

*passes cookies around*

I’m very excited! ^_^ I started this little book-blog a bit over a year and a half ago, on the first day of 2016, and I’m so pleased to have come this far!

Thank you SO much, all you lovely readers, for putting up with my bookish babblings and reading and commenting! Y’all are the best! ❀

Nightstand Books

What with the Silmarillion Awards (Award Presentations begin today! :O) and reviews and such, I’ve been too busy blogging about other things to get around to a nightstand books post until now!

But here I am, halfway through the month, to share my July books, that I’ve either read this month, am currently reading, or hope to read soon. πŸ™‚

(Nightstand Books is a blogging meme created by Jenelle and DJ to share our currently-reading books each month and be excited about them. …With me it’s more like my-bookish-plans-for-the-month, but still. Join the fun if you like!)

July Nightstand

  • The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead — Still working on re-reading through this aloud, so the amount of time I spend reading it is kind of out of my control… But hopefully we’ll get through it this month.
  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien — Re-reading this for the third/fourth/whatever time, because the Silmarillion Awards is an awesome excuse and it was just way overdue for a re-read. (I think last time was 2010? Yeah… But I’d read it a few times before that, so anyway. ;)) I’m reading a chapter every day and enjoying it SO MUCH. It’s like coming home. ❀
  • Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl — For another Goldstone Wood readalong. πŸ˜€ Haven’t started yet but I’m SO excited to!
  • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman — I got this from the library; how appropriate. (It was a visible one though. *cough*) I’ve heard great things so I’m excited. πŸ™‚
  • The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron — This caught my eye when it was up for review one time when I was too busy to read; so I was excited to find it at the library. Let’s be honest: I’m here for the character names (Wren and Elliot), Houdini + murder mystery, and that pretty cover.
  • Heartstone by Elle Katharine White — Found at the library — yay! Pride and Prejudice retelling with dragons? Yes please and thank you.
  • Intermission by Serena Chase — Also libraried (totally a word, hush). I honestly don’t think this is going to be a “for me” book, but I’m curious about it anyway. XD Disclaimer: I miiiight not get around to finishing the library books before they need to head back. >.> We shall see! *must read faster*
  • Coiled by H.L. Burke — I won this gorgeous book in a giveaway, and I hate snakes but… this author got me addicted to cute snek memes and I love her writing, so. XD And mythology YA romance thingy with a prettiful cover… yes. I just read it this weekend and it was fantastic! ^_^ This author is awesome. ❀

Other Books Not In Above Picture

  • Kate’s Capitol by Sarah Holman — I breezed through this on Independence Day and quite enjoyed it. πŸ™‚ [REVIEW]
  • The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo — Quite a funny and enjoyable novella I accidentally read one evening. XD Aside from punctuation errors driving my editor self somewhat batty, it was super fun and hilarious! XD Plus Burndee. πŸ˜€
  • Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume — Currently reading this review book and it’s been very intriguing so far!
  • An Earthly King by Hazel B. West — A readalong book, this is a re-read for me. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUUUCH! ❀ Re-reading this series is absolutely delightful! ^_^ *flails* (There’s still time to join the readalong, which is HERE!)

  • Perception by Emily Ann Benedict — The next in the Vintage Jane Austen series, this one is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, set in the 1930s; it’s releasing this month and I can’t WAIT. πŸ˜€ (Plus THAT COVER!!!! :O)

  • The Tomb of the Sea Witch by Kyle Robert Shultz — This is the much-anticipated sequel to The Beast of Talesend (which I flailed about earlier), and it’s releasing NEXT MONDAY! I’m so so stoked! πŸ˜€ I can’t wait to read more hilarious Nick and Crispin and Cordelia adventures!! ^_^

As far as how my reading in the last month went: I read 12 books in June, so I got through almost all my reads from the last post like this I did! Leftover from my June nightstand post is only my re-read aloud of The Skin Map, and Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith. Not bad… (There’s also a beta-read that I didn’t get around to, and I dropped The Tempest for now, just ’til I have time.) But I did also read a book (For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund) in June that wasn’t on my June list. So things more or less even out. XD

As usual, some of these may migrate to August, especially as I seem to accidentally be doing Camp NaNo…? Ahem. So that’s kind of eating into my reading time and I’m not reading as fast as I had been, between that and the Silmarillion Awards and general life insanity. But in any case, there’s a glimpse at what I’m reading these days. πŸ™‚

What’s on your nightstand? Read any good books lately? Or any of these?

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer a.k.a. Deborah O’Carroll

Mid-Year Top Reads + Roundup {2017}

Hi everyone!

We seem, impossibly, SOMEHOW, to be halfway through 2017? I… I don’t know quite what to do with this information. I’ll just be over here in a shock blanket next to Sherlock. Ahem.

MEANWHILE, this means I get to recap my top favorite reads of the year and… generally just list all the books I’ve read so far, because I want to, and in case you’re curious. XD

Favorite Books So Far This Year (More or Less)

Here’s a glimpse at my top-favorite most-wow books this year, although there have been many other AWESOME reads. It’s been a good half-year for reading. πŸ˜€

  • Magician’s Ward was Regency Fantasy and the first awesome book I read this year.
  • Hexwood blew my mind.
  • Sentinel (and technically Arbiter too…) are awesome because JET.
  • The Beast of Talesend is hilarious and perfect.
  • The Fatal Tree concludes one of my new all-time favorite series.
  • Moonblood was absolutely gorgeous fantasy.
  • Where the Woods Grow Wild was excellent fantasy plus hilarious.
  • Halayda‘s the last book I read and… I haven’t sorted all my thoughts on it because, like I said, it’s recent, so I dunno if it will stay on my top-list or not, but initial reaction was Fae and characters and snark = I loved.

Some runners-up are mooore awesome fantasy, namely:

  • Spellsmith and Carver: Magicians’ Rivalry (buddy-story in Faerie, plus banter!)
  • Masters and Beginners (so much awesome Faerie things and refreshing YA!)
  • King’s Warrior and Second Son (feels-like-home epic fantasy, plus Brant!)

More on all these books below!

Stats

According to my Goodreads Reading Challenge, I’ve read 50 books out of my… 50 book goal! (So maybe I’ll be an overachiever this year. Maybe. Just a smidge.)

(And yes, some of these are re-reads, short stories, or an unpublished beta-read and a picture book, sooo… it’s not as much as it looks like, I promise. XD I think I read 35 new books?)

ALL THE BOOKS

And now, a liiiist of all the bookses, with quicky thoughts on them, ratings, and linkses to reviewses.

(I’m leaving out the short stories and putting the re-reads at the end, even though the pictures are just screenshots of my Goodreads Reading Challenge, which have all of those on, AND are in reverse-chronological order due to it showing up that way, because I’m lazy and consequently confusing. OH WELL! You’ll figure it out. XD)

If you’re curious about any of these, or want to add them to your to-read list, you can find them all listed on my Goodreads challenge, HERE. (So I don’t have to link to all of them, which would be exhausting. o.o)

  • Magician’s Ward – Patricia C. Wrede — 5 stars — Regency Fantasy is a genre I must inhale more. This was hilarious/epic, like Georgette Heyer meets Diana Wynne Jones. Also, Mairelon the Magician! ❀ [REVIEW]
  • Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors – H.L. Burke — 4 stars — Steampunk novella with great banter and lovable talking computer. Slightly scary but totally awesome. Must read rest of series soon! [Mini Review on Goodreads]
  • The Faerie Ring – Kiki Hamilton — 3 stars — Annoyed me slightly, BUT scary fairies in alternate 1800s London, plus Rieker was awesome. [Mini Review on Goodreads]
  • King’s Warrior – Jenelle Leanne Schmidt — 5 stars — Awesome medieval fantasy with dragons and great characters, including Brant and Kiernan Kane, two of my favorites ever! [REVIEW]
  • The Firethorn Crown – Lea DouΓ© — 4 stars — Twelve Dancing Princesses and dragons and great characters; torn about the villain; overall enjoyed. πŸ™‚ [REVIEW]
  • Suit and Suitability – Kelsey Bryant — 5 stars — Absolutely delightful retelling of Sense and Sensibility set in the 1930s; so historical-feeling but YA and sweet. ^_^ [REVIEW]
  • Wild Robert – Diana Wynne Jones — 5 stars — Short but delightful, and stopped right where I wanted to learn more! XD But super enjoyable. [REVIEW]
  • Aunt Maria – Diana Wynne Jones — 5 stars — Mind-blowing DWJ fantasy, which I loved. So, so good. [REVIEW]

  • Mort – Terry Pratchett — 4 stars — This and Guards! Guards! are my favorite Discworld books so far. πŸ˜€ Dark humor (not for everyone. XD) but overall I quite enjoyed. [Mini review on Goodreads]
  • Mansfield Park – Jane Austen — 3 stars — Actually a really good book, trying to do really interesting things; I just couldn’t enjoy it because it was depressing. o.o But still good! [REVIEW]
  • Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett — 3 stars — Tricky because I LOVED the Bill Door plot, but didn’t care for the other main plot, so half I disliked, and the other half were some favorite Discworld times. [Mini review on Goodreads]
  • Soul Music – Terry Pratchett — 2 stars —Β I was sad about things, okay. Plus the rock references went over my head and didn’t do much for me. (Loved the motorcycle and the rat though; and some parts I quite enjoyed.) [Mini review on Goodreads]
  • Hexwood – Diana Wynne Jones — 5 stars — MIND BLOWN. SO MANY THINGS. ALSO MORDION IS MY FAVE. ❀ AND IT’S FANTASY/SCI-FI/ARTHURIAN/MODERN/TIMEY-WIMEY. Just imagine if Aragorn was turned into the Winter Soldier and then thrown into a genre-defying time-travel thing that breaks your brain and is mindbogglingly plot-twisty, with ALL THE FEELS. Basically. Anyways, one of my fave DWJ books, just dark and might not be for everyone. XD [REVIEW]
  • Viper – Jamie Foley — 4 stars — Thrilling novella mixing military thriller/fantasy, with characters I love. Great backstory! I want to re-read this for Jet… [REVIEW]
  • Second Son – Jenelle Leanne Schmidt — 5 stars — Awesome epic fantasy, backstory for Brant from King’s Warrior, who’s one of my favorite characters. ❀ [REVIEW]
  • Beggar Magic – H.L. Burke — 5 stars — Steampunk-feeling original fantasy with a twist of murder mystery and friendship and cute romance. So fun! [REVIEW]
  • King’s Blood – Jill Williamson — 2 stars —Β Excellent author, I was just too devastated about a certain character death to look at this objectively; I’m sorry! D: (*goes quietly away to sob in a corner*) [REVIEW]
  • Sentinel – Jamie Foley — 5 stars — Genre-defying fantasy/modern/apocalyptic/in-another-world/superpowers, with snark and humor and great dialog and characters, this was SO ORIGINAL and I loved it; plus Jet is one of my top-fave characters of ALL TIME. ❀ [REVIEW]

  • Masters and Beginners – Daley Downing — 5 stars — Such an extremely enjoyable and refreshing contemporary YA fantasy, with SO many cool faerie-ish things; can’t wait for book two! [REVIEW]
  • Puss in Boots – Diana Wynne Jones — 5 stars — Very brief retelling, which was interesting since I’d never read anything retold by DWJ! Mostly very like the original, but with enough humor and good explanations to make it super fun. Puss in Boots now makes sense to me and this is the definitive version for me. XD
  • The Beast of Talesend – Kyle Robert Schultz — 5 stars — Hilarious and awesome fairytale-ish shenanigans and one of my top faves. JUST READ IT. [REVIEW]
  • The Fatal Tree – Stephen R. Lawhead — 5 stars — An excellent conclusion to the Bright Empires series, I am STILL attempting to wrap my brain around it so I can review it. All I know is that even if I don’t understand everything and might still have some questions (be right back, must re-read series to find answers…), I love this series and these characters fiercely, and this was an tremendous final book. ❀ Just go read The Skin Map, people. Just do it. [REVIEW TO COME]
  • Arbiter – Jamie Foley — 5 stars — SO INTENSE, plus more of Jet, plus hilarious memory loss and basically all the things. ❀ [REVIEW]
  • Moonblood – Anne Elisabeth Stengl — 5 stars — Absolutely GORGEOUS and fabulous fantasy, so perilous and Fae and just so good. *collapses* Plus, Eanrin and Beana and Oeric. ❀ [Review-of-sorts on Goodreads]
  • Adventures and Adversities – Sarah Holman — 4 stars — A super sweet medieval story with a Christian message; quite enjoyed. πŸ™‚ [REVIEW]
  • Where the Woods Grow Wild – Nate Philbrick — 5 stars — Classic-feeling yet utterly original fantasy, HILARIOUS, excellently-written, plus lovable characters. Instant classic! [REVIEW]
  • Dogsbody – Diana Wynne Jones — 5 stars — Brilliant mind-blowing DWJ as usual, fantasy/sci-fi/modern/mythology. It’s bittersweet (she might not have figured out how to do happy endings yet…) but overall super good. Plus the main character is a former-star-being-turned-dog, and now I know ALL about dogs, which made it hilarious. XD
  • Mythic Orbits 2016 (short story anthology) – edited by Travis Perry — 2 stars — Not totally fair, since there were 4-star, 3-star, 1-star, AND 2-star stories in this collection, but overall they were too weird or disturbing for me, and I just don’t usually get along with short stories. XD But others might enjoy more. [REVIEW TO COME]
  • Brothers and Betrayal – Sarah Holman — 4 stars — Robin-Hood-ish and I really liked the story of John (the Robin Hood character) and Princess Brianna; also great Christian theme of forgiveness. [REVIEW]
  • The Noble Servant – Melanie Dickerson — 5 stars — Extremely enjoyable Christian romantic Goose-Girl retelling, with a great hero and great wrapup to the Thornbeck Forest series. πŸ™‚ [REVIEW]
  • Spellsmith and Carver: Magicians’ Rivalry – H.L. Burke — 5 stars — Absolutely fabulous “buddy story” about rival magicians and magic and a scary Faerie realm, with a touch of Steampunk feel. I LOVED Jericho and Auric and their banter! ❀ So good. [REVIEW TO COME]
  • Bellevere House – Sarah Scheele — 5 stars — Extremely enjoyable retelling of Mansfield Park, quite different than the original, but excellently written and funny, set in the 1930s with a Christian spin; sort of romantic-comedy-ish and so fun! πŸ™‚ [REVIEW]
  • Courage and Corruption – Sarah Holman — 4 stars — A strong character-growth novel about twin brother and sister and a kingdom teetering on the brink of war, looking for its rightful king. Enjoyable medieval Christian fiction in the fictional country of Taelis. πŸ™‚ [REVIEW]

  • Dreams and Devotion – Sarah Holman — 4 stars — Well-written medieval tale of a peasant girl and her brother as a new priest, separately facing adversity and growing stronger in their faith. It’s an extremely emotional and bitter-sweet book, focusing on the little things, but it kept me so absorbed and it was overall quite good. πŸ™‚ [REVIEW TO COME NEXT WEEK, with blog tour and giveaway]
  • For Love and Honor – Jody Hedlund — 3 stars — Mostly a just-okay read for me, but overall enjoyable medieval romance; I loved the bantering of the hero and heroine. πŸ™‚ [Mini-review on Goodreads]
  • Halayda – Sarah Delena White — 5 stars — This is truly EPIC fantasy, with a dash of steampunk, set mostly in Faerie in another world, with dashes of tweaked mythology, SO much great imagery and fantasy, characters I absolutely adored, breathtaking writing, and a dash of humor and hilarious snark and banter, with some great character dynamics and a side of sweet romance. It’s a little darker than some, but so epic. Faerie King Taylan and snarky shape-shifting Zad are definitely new favorites! ❀ [Review to come at some point, perhaps?]

RE-READS

Note: All re-reads are, nearly always, 5 stars. Why else would I re-read them? XD

  • Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen — Re-reading so I could read the retelling; enjoyable. πŸ™‚
  • The Magicians of Caprona – Diana Wynne Jones — SO FUN.
  • The Dark Hills Divide – Patrick Carman — MY CHILDHOOD.
  • Witch Week – Diana Wynne Jones — CHRESTOMANCIIII. ❀
  • Mixed Magics – Diana Wynne Jones — And Chrestomanci short stories are so fun. XD
  • The Pinhoe Egg – Diana Wynne Jones — MY FAVORITE CHRESTOMANCI BOOOOK. ❀ [REVIEW]
  • Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones — Yes, I read this for the 5th time. I REGRET NOTHING. ❀ Still my top-favorite-book-of-all-time-tied-with-The-Lord-of-the-Rings. πŸ˜€
  • Year of the Griffin – Diana Wynne Jones — I loved this SO MUCH MORE on this re-read! :O So enjoyable, and griffiiiiins! ❀
  • Blood Ties – Hazel B. West — Jumped on the chance to re-read this for a readalong! We’re about to start reading An Earthly King next, and I. can’t. wait. πŸ˜€ (But alternate-history modern Ireland with cars and swords and Faeries, though. <3) [REVIEW of Blood Ties from Last Year]

~ ~ ~

So there you are! I hope you enjoyed this glance at my reading year so far! What’s your favorite book you’ve read in 2017?

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Nightstand Books June {2017}

WHAT HAPPENED TO JUNE? HALP!

Ahem.

June is already zipping by and it’s long time for a look at my nightstand and what I’m reading!

Aaand as per usual, I have the perfect excuse for that, thanks to this fun meme created by DJ and Jenelle, where, as Jenelle so aptly put it in her post this month: “we post on the first Wednesday of each month a picture of our nightstand and the stack of books thereupon, and then we gush about how excited we are to read those books.” πŸ˜€

So I am here to do just that! (A little late, but still. ;)) Feel free to join in the fun anytime, if you like. πŸ™‚

On My Nightstand for June

Ebooks (On Virtual Nightstand)

“Good gracious, Deborah, do you like not have a life or something? What are you THINKING, imagining you can read all these things in a month?” I know you’re saying it. XD

I know that looks… er… ambitious. *cough* Especially when there’s a couple others I want to read that aren’t on Goodreads and therefore not included in the pictures.

BUT DON’T WORRY. GOOD NEWS: I’ve already read half of these. And of the ones still to read, Blood Ties and The Skin Map are re-reads I’m working on, and The Tempest is a (short) audio play and Fallen Star is a short story.

So you see, I’m not QUITE as insane as it looks like. πŸ˜‰ (Just… mostly. Ahem.)

I am dividing things into categories this time: the ones I’ve already read in June (since we’re so far in… *cough*) and ones I’m currently in, and the ones I hope to read next.

ALREADY READ

  • Where the Woods Grow Wild by Nate Philbrick — OH MY GOODNESS. THIS BOOK. XD It was a fabulous fantasy read, with a classic Narnia/Prydain-esque feel, yet also felt entirely new and I could NOT stop reading it; plus it was really funny, and I LOVE funny books! Plus the characterrrrs, and the originality and just ALL THE AWESOME. I really, really enjoyed it. ❀ Look for a review of this one hopefully in the next couple of days! ^_^
  • Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones — WHAT DID I JUST READ. *collapses* I don’t have a dog, but I’m convinced I now know 100% what they’re all like after reading about this. πŸ˜› Another sci-fi/fantasy/contemporary/myth mashup as only DWJ can write, this had a slightly bittersweet ending and was definitely one of her early works (before she learned how to make EVERYTHING hilarious, and write happy endings) but I absolutely loved it all the same. πŸ˜€ (It wasn’t actually originally on my June list, but I just read it one evening when I needed a DWJ to cheer me up.)
  • Mythic Orbits 2016 — This was a collection of short stories by various authors, and most were in genres I… don’t really care for. So it was overall a mixed bag, but I did enjoy a few. πŸ™‚ Hopefully I’ll review it at some point…
  • The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson — Another enjoyable medieval fairytale retelling by Dickerson, I had quite a good time reading this one. πŸ™‚ I think I liked it more than the last few of hers I’d read and it was just fun. ^_^ Review to come!
  • Brothers and Betrayal by Sarah Holman — I quite enjoyed this fun Christian medieval adventure story with a Robin Hood spin! πŸ˜€ Read my full review HERE.
  • Spellsmith and Carver: Magicians’ Rivalry by H.L. Burke — This booook! It’s a “buddy story” and has magic and a scary Fae world and it’s got great dialog of the two not-getting-along heroes and I LOVE IT. πŸ˜€ *must review soon*
  • Bellevere House by Sarah Scheele — This is the next Vintage Jane Austen book, a retelling of Mansfield Park; I just read it, loved it, and am super excited! πŸ™‚ It’s now available for pre-order on Amazon HERE and on Goodreads HERE, releasing June 17. πŸ˜€ Hopefully reviewing it this week. ^_^

CURRENTLY READING

(Halayda pictured below instead of here, because I do not have a gorgeous paperback of it. *weepings of sadnesses*

  • Blood Ties by Hazel B. West (re-read) — There’s an epic readalong of this going on over on Goodreads HERE, and I’m super excited to be taking part! I read this last year but I’ve been wanting to re-read it ever since, so this is perfect. πŸ˜€ Modern Ireland with an alternate history and Faeries and a medieval twist and humor and banter and brotherly friendships is SO AWESOME. ❀
  • The Tempest by Bob Shakespeare — Haven’t actually continued this since I mentioned it last time… I always forget about audio books. Oops? It’s not very long though, so I just have to get around to finishing listening…
  • The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead (re-read) — I know I just finished the series, but I can’t help myself! I just started re-reading this, aloud, and it’s SO fun! (Especially doing the voices, and catching all the little hints that I now understand because I’ve read the whole series.) We’re going to re-read the entire series together and I can’t wait. πŸ˜€ Definitely a new favorite! (Yes, I know I still haven’t reviewed The Fatal Tree… I’m doing that soon. It’s very hard to put my thoughts into words because I LOVED this series and it’s one of those amazing life-changing kinds of things and I know no review of mine will do it justice. Not to mention the spoilers… That said, there will be a review once I can get my thoughts in order; hoping to get my review for that one up in the next week or two!)
  • Halayda by Sarah Delena White — Yes, I’m still in this one, which was the May bookclub book I was reading. *cough* Enjoying it but it’s quite long and I’ve been busy reading review books instead. >.> Aaand of course, once the actual month of a bookclub is over, there’s slightly less incentive to ACTUALLY FINISH. (Or is that just me?) Soon, though!

READING SOON

  • Courage and Corruption by Sarah Holman — Still working through the Tales of Taelis series, and this is the next one. I’m really excited to read it. πŸ˜€ Expect a review for it (hopefully) later this week. πŸ™‚
  • Dreams and Devotion by Sarah Holman — No cover yet, as it’s not quite ready to release. Another Tales of Taelis, this is the next one coming out and I’m reading a pre-release version for review since I will be part of the blog tour soon-ish! Can’t wait! πŸ™‚
  • Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith by Shaun Hume — A review book from an Australian author living in England, this looks like an intriguing fantasy tale about a boy in England who can see otherworldly creatures. It looks fun and I’m quite curious about it! πŸ™‚
  • Fallen Star by Anne Elisabeth Stengl (short story) — I think/hear-tell (hope?) this is going to be the read for this month in the ongoing Imps of Goldstone Wood Goodreads group readalong, and I’m SO excited!!! I’m guessing it will be in the last week or two of this month. Join the fun HERE if you’d like to read (or re-read!) it with us and discuss it! πŸ˜€

~ ~ ~

There you have my June Nightstand! As always, some of these may migrate to July, but since June and July are all sort of like one really long, hot month that starts with Ju, it’s no great tragedy, yes? XD

SOMEDAY I’m going to catch up on all the books coming out and will just read random things that I feel like, but it is not this day. XD They’re all awesome anyway, so that is also no great tragedy. πŸ˜‰ So excited for these!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must dash off to deal with all those reviews I semi-promised you, and/or to devour more lovely books, in between Life’s ever-constant demands. πŸ˜‰

How about you? Anything fun on your Nightstand? Summer reading plans, perhaps?

Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer