Tag Archive | Hazel B. West

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

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Top 12 Books I Read in 2016!

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*comes in singing* Happy blogoversary to meeee!

That’s right, one year ago today, I posted my Foreword first post on this blog!

The Page Dreamer has officially existed for a whole year! *cue excitement* *and Gandalf fireworks* *because naturally*

Today I’m going to look back at this year of booksβ€”the reading, the reviewing, and, most importantly, my top favorite reads of the year! Let’s get to it. πŸ™‚

Reading Stats

I read 78 books this yearβ€”huzzah!

I was planning for 60 (according to Goodreads) and overshot that a bit because I’m addicted an overachiever.

Check out my Year in Books on Goodreads to see them all listed! πŸ™‚

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9 of those were rereads, 6 were nonfiction (*cue gasps from a shocked audience*), and 63 were new fiction reads.

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Of those 63, I rated 40 of them 5 stars.

*crickets*

I know, I have a problem with being very agreeable to most books. Moving on, then!

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10 books were 4 stars.

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7Β  books were 3 stars.

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6 books were 2 stars. (We do not speak of 3 of these, For Reasons Of Bad Endings, and one of them I just didn’t believe the romance most of the book [which never happens], and two were just all right.)

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According to my visible stats, I had no 1-stars, but that’s ignoring the fact that one story in a collection is totally a 1-star, even if I chickened out in my review and gave it a medium rating for being good most of the time until the ending WHICH WAS NOT OKAY. So 1 book was 1 star.

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(Seeing a trend here…? I literally rated two-thirds of the books I read in 2016 five-stars.)

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Fun fact: I read 12 books by Diana Wynne Jones this year. Yes, that averages to one every month. Half of those were new reads, and half were rereading aloud, because OH THE FUN. (Hence this being a fun-fact instead of just a fact. Ahem.)

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I also seem to have read 20,000 pages this year??? Um. What is up with that? O.o That’s like the same amount of WORDS I wrote this year (if you ignore the 50K during NaNo).

Okay, enough stats, I can tell I’m boring you. πŸ˜‰

Without more further ado, I give you (in no particular order because I’m an indecisive otter, except my very favorites are in a special category at the top)…

My Top 12 (more or less) Reads of 2016

(All titles link to their Goodreads pages; I also link to my reviews if one was written.)

BEST OF THE BEST

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1. Paper Crowns – Mirriam Neal

{My Review}

A favorite up there with The Lord of the Rings and Howl’s Moving Castle, I was SO ecstatic when Paper Crowns was published this year! It has literally everything to make it a fantabulous book, including witty writing and banter, characters who are simply my FAVORITE (Hal! Azrael! And Salazar, Asterope, Astryn, Ginger… Just everybody) and Fey and a talking cat and adorable romance on the side and adventure and JUST READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT’S PERFECT. ❀ Favorite of the year. πŸ™‚


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2. The Bone House / The Spirit Well / The Shadow Lamp – Stephen R. Lawhead

{My Review of The Bone House} {My Review of The Spirit Well} [review of The Shadow Lamp to come]

THIS SERIES. I haven’t finished it yet (The Fatal Tree was, however, a Christmas present, so that will be read very soon!) but the ones I’ve read so far are simply fabulous. Different eras and settings and cultures, lovable characters, adventure, stunning writing, and all deliciously complex. I can’t wait to finish! Book 4, The Shadow Lamp, may be my favorite of the series yet! Just so much is HAPPENING. (Plus Kit and Wilhelmina and Cass and Giles and even Haven, etc. <3)


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3. Blood Ties / An Earthly King – Hazel B. West

{My Review of Blood Ties} {My Review of An Earthly King}

I’ve done my share of flailing over this series, but REALLY, I just love these modern-Ireland-mixed-with-alternate-history-and-Faerie books! The friendships and adventure and humor and characters and WORLD are just so fabulous! ❀


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4. Fire and Hemlock – Diana Wynne Jones

{My Review}

Yeah, no surprise this is here… there has to be a DWJ book in my top few! πŸ˜‰ I rambled enough about it in my review, but it was just AMAZING and I can’t wait to reread it this year. πŸ˜€ Tam Lin retelling, just brilliant, not to mention bookish things and writer things and modern Faerie things and Tom Lynn and his cello and amazingness. ❀

THE REST OF THE BEST

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5. Deep Secret – Diana Wynne Jones

This one was somehow way darker than any other DWJ book I’ve read before, with some more mature-audience elements, but it just sucked me in so completely and was so original and amazing and the characters and and and… Diana Wynne Jones!!! ❀ I really need to review this one. o.o (The sequel-of-sorts, The Merlin Conspiracy, is amazing too.)


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6. The Rose and the Balloon – Kirsten Fichter

{My Review}

Once again, all my thoughts are in my review (apparently I reviewed most of these?), but this was just a delightful Beauty and the Beast retelling novella and I adored it! ^_^ (Also Dmitri. And the bickering.)


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7. Jackaby / The Map: A Jackaby Story – William Ritter

{Series Review}

Because Jackaby. Jackaby himself is basically all that needs saying here. Also historical fantasy is something I apparently like? And references! Like having banshees and redcaps and allusions to the song Whiskey in the Jar — these things make me happy. πŸ˜€


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8. Yorien’s Hand – Jenelle Leanne Schmidt

{My Review}

Ohhh my goodness, this book! Dragons and fantasy and Brant the epic warrior and Kiernan Kane (the mysterious minstrel!) and all of the things! ❀ Just… really really good. I’m kicking myself for not having read the rest of the series yet… but that will happen SOON. ❀


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9. Defying Shadows – Ashley Townsend

{My Review}

Flailing is available in the full review, but TIME TRAVEL + ROBIN HOOD RETELLING + WILL + PLOT TWISTS + ADORABLE ROMANCE/CHARACTERS = Yes. ❀


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10. The Beautiful Pretender – Melanie Dickerson

{My Review}

Another Beauty and the Beast retelling, crossed with The Princess and the Pea, this was just an enjoyable book. ^_^ Really well-written with likeable characters; one of Melanie Dickerson’s best, so far!


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11. Moominsummer Madness – Tove Jansson

Standing in mostly for the entire Moomin series, I almost put Finn Family Moomintroll here but decided Moominsummer Madness is probably my favorite, if only because of Snufkin and the woodies and the park keeper. Just. YES. πŸ˜€ The Moomin books are DELIGHTFUL, Snufkin is a kindred soul of mine (seriously though. <3) and I just love these books! ^_^ This one has a flood and an abandoned theater stage and all sorts of fun, whimsical, fantastical shenanigans.


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12. The Castle Corona – Sharon Creech

I don’t even know why, but I simply adored this little tale in a vaguely-Italian fairytale kingdom, with a mystery and a Storyteller and all sorts of questions and intrigue and delightful characters! I even started out thinking I wouldn’t really like it but it totally surprised me, and now here it is on my top-reads-of-the-year post! Who would’ve thought! Simply utterly charming and delightful. ^_^

Honorable Mentions go to the following

(because they’re not my “usual” genre — being two Regency Romances and a Contemporary Superpower book — but they were really good)

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  1. Devil’s Cub – Georgette Heyer (BECAUSE GEORGETTE HEYER.)
  2. Emma – Jane Austen (This was unexpectedly extremely well done. Also Mr. Knightley.)
  3. Twinepathy – C. B. Cook (Blaze and Anvil! That is all.) {Read my review}

Bonus Categories

FAVORITE STORY IN A COLLECTION

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  • With Blossoms Gold – Hayden Wand (in ONCE: Six Historically Inspired Fairytales) — A retelling of Rapunzel, I simply ADORED it! It was fun, funny, exciting, and clever, and the banter and humor and character interactions, not to mention Prince Benedict (and Prince Orlando too) were just MARVELOUS. ❀
  • (Runner-up: Death Be Not Proud – Suzannah Rowntree in the same collection, because it was just so so brilliant and clever and this author is apparently amazing.)
  • Read my review for this collection

FAVORITE NONFICTION

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  1. Make Good Art – Neil Gaiman — Brilliant and inspiring and original. Loved it enough to read it 3 or 4 times AND listen to the speech a couple of times. {My review}
  2. If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence and Spirit – Brenda Ueland — Finally, somebody (even if the book was from 1938) talking about writing the way I think of it, and about writing the way you want, and speaking out against criticism. This book inspired me SO much. ❀

FAVORITE PICTURE BOOK

  • The Water of Life – Brothers Grimm, retold by Barbara Rogasky, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman — I hadn’t read this tale of Grimm’s before, but it was great and I positively adore Trina Schart Hyman’s illustrations!

Blog Stats

Because it’s my blogoversary, so of course I want to look at my stats! πŸ˜‰

Most popular posts:

(I find it slightly amusing that, for a book-review blog, my most-read posts are mostly non-review posts. XD)

  1. Cover Love: Some 2016 Releases
  2. Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag {2016}
  3. Bookish Book Lover Tag
  4. 25 Bookish Facts About Me
  5. By the Book Tag
  6. The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead
  7. Fantasy Fan-Art
  8. My Diana Wynne Jones Journey (So Far)

By the Numbers:

  • 61 posts (woohoo!)
  • 120 followers (you are all awesome! <3)
  • 720 comments (half of these being me replying. XD)
  • 1343 visitors
  • 3549 hits

Top Commenters:

  1. Christine
  2. Madeline J. Rose
  3. Skye
  4. Sarahtps
  5. Jenelle
  6. Savannah Grace

Thanks SO much, all of you awesome people, and just everyone who reads and/or comments — I so appreciate you all! ^_^ ❀


Whew. Now you know all about my year of 2016 — at least the bookish part… but that’s the most important, yes?? πŸ˜‰

Have you read any of my top 12? (Or… a little more like top 24 if you look at categories and series… BUT STILL.) How was your year of reading in 2016? Tell me all! And I wish you all a fabulous reading year of 2017! Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Books I’m Thankful For + Sale! (Indie Christian Books)

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(Sale details at the end of the post!)

Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked…

5 books (more or less) which I read in 2016 and am thankful for:

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  • Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal — This is one of my top favorite books of ever, up there near The Lord of the Rings and Howl’s Moving Castle! (THIS IS A BIG DEAL, GUYS.) I was SO ecstatic when it published this year and just… everyone needs this shape-shifting blue Fae cat and snarky Wysling and company in their lives!
  • The Bright Empires Series by Stephen R. Lawhead — (shh, this can totally count as one book…) I read the first book, The Skin Map, last year, and I’m verrry much looking forward to diving into reading the last book as soon as I finish NaNoWriMo, but the middle three books which I’ve read this year have been FABULOUS. I just love this series! ^_^
  • Blood Ties & An Earthly King by Hazel B. West — I’m sorry, I can’t pick JUST ONE of these! I can’t decide which one I love more, because they were both so fabulous! Modern/medieval Irish warriors with a Faerie twist and generous helpings of snark and brotherly friendships. What is not to love?
  • Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones — As you may gather from my review, this book was just… I LOVED IT. But I always love DWJ’s books, so that’s no surprise. πŸ˜‰
  • The Rose and the Balloon by Kirsten Fichter — This simply scrumptious Beauty and the Beast retelling (with air balloons and a steampunk twist) was a perfect bite-sized read which I just loved. ^_^

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for.

Books on sale!

(Go on over there! Shoo!)

In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 25-28. There’s literally something for everyone.

Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

What awesome reads of 2016 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks. Also, some of the authors this year chose to not sell their paperbacks directly through the site. Those books are also marked “Sold Out” but if you click them open, you’ll find a link to the site where they are on sale and a discount code for you to use at check out.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good and Kendra E. Ardnek for their work organizing this sale, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Fall/Winter 2016 Book Releases

*pokes at poor neglected book blog* It’s NaNoWriMo so obviously not a lot of reading going on in my arena, what with trying to write 50,000 words this month…

So just a quickie post today!

I haven’t done a book-release spotlight in awhile, so here’s a brief list of 4 books I’m excited about that came out/are coming out this October/November/December as we wrap up 2016!

An Earthly King (Modern Tales of Na Fianna, #2) – Hazel B. West

Oct 31, 2016

{Goodreads} {Amazon}

I reviewed this last week and let me tell you, you definitely don’t want to miss this awesome modern/medieval/Fae story set in a contemporary Ireland with an alternate history, with loads of awesome characters and shenanigans. So, so, SO good! ❀

The Silent Songbird – Melanie Dickerson

Nov 8, 2016

{Goodreads} {Amazon}

Yes indeed, it released today! *happy flailing* Set in the generation between The Merchant’s Daughter and The Princess Spy, it’s a Little Mermaid retelling in medieval England and I can’t WAIT to read it! Melanie Dickerson’s fairy tale retellings are always so enjoyable! πŸ™‚

The Shattered Heart (Book of Sight, #5) – Deborah Dunlevy

Dec 1, 2016

{Amazon} {Author’s Site}

So this is the final book in the Book of Sight series, of which I’ve read the first three and really enjoyed them (contemporary fantasy and just a lot of fun), and this gorgeous cover JUST got revealed today and I’m so excited to finish reading this series! (Also terrified what with that title and all; but hey, it happens. XD)

Once: Six Historically Inspired Fairytales – by:

  • Elisabeth Grace Foley
  • Rachel Heffington
  • J. Grace Pennington
  • Emily Ann Putzke
  • Suzannah Rowntree
  • Hayden Wand

Dec 2, 2016

{Goodreads}

This is a collection of half a dozen retellings of various fairytales, by authors I enjoy and others I’ve seen around the interwebs… Most of these sound pretty cool so I’m looking forward to this one! What can I say… fairytale retellings are my weak spot. πŸ˜›

How about you? Excited for any of these? What books are you excited for that are coming out soon?

Reading Roundup #3: March 2016

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Muchly belated, here are the many things I read in March! So much awesome reading. ❀

Here are some mini-reviews for a bunch of them and/or links to my reviews for the ones I reviewed in full… (Covers from Goodreads and all titles link to their pages on Goodreads as wel.) Enjoy! πŸ™‚

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1. Blood Ties – Hazel B. West

Reviewed this on my other blog. Friendships and battles and Faerie and modern/medieval Ireland, huzzah!

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2. A Spy’s Devotion – Melanie Dickerson

Reviewed this. Lovely Regency romance! Melanie’s amazing at this time period, just like I thought she’d be! πŸ™‚

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3. Comet in Moominland – Tove Jansson

Well, strike me pink, that was a rollicking delight of fun and charming oddness! (Especially reading it aloud with British accents, because it did seem to call for it, despite the fact it’s originally Swedish.) I believe it’s quite possible that I’m now thoroughly addicted to the world of the Moomins!

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4. Moominsummer Madness – Tove Jansson

Ack, I love it! *huggles book* Snufkin is my FAVORITE EVER! ❀ He’s so awesome and just the best! And what he did about the signs . . . and his twenty-four little woodies — GAAHH SO CUUUUTE!!! ❀ I about died from the adorableness and awesomeness of this. Also, I love Little My. She’s hilarious. XD All in all, great little book! ❀

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5. The Exploits of Moominpappa – Tove Jansson

Yet another fun one! I loved getting to read Moominpappa’s memoirs — such escapades, such oddness, such fun! πŸ™‚ Moominpappa has quite a “feel” to his storytelling. It’s great. Also the Joxter was fun — nice to know where Snufkin’s slightly lawless ways originated. πŸ˜‰ So much fun! And I especially loved how the memoirs would pause occasionally as Moominpappa is interrupted in his reading by Moomintroll, Sniff, and Snufkin, as they ask questions about the story and their various daddies’ adventures. Loved that! And the way that it all came together at the end was marvelous. πŸ˜€ The Moomin books are just loads of bizarre whimsical fun.

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6. Deep Secret – Diana Wynne Jones

Read this for March Magics. Wow, what a book. o.o It was more adult than any DWJ I’d read before, but still so so good. It takes place almost entirely at a Sci-fi/Fantasy convention which was super fun. XD Also world-hopping and centaurs and just yes. I do mean to write a review, I just haven’t yet…

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7. The Beautiful Pretender – Melanie Dickerson

Reviewed this on my other blog. It was AWESOME! But then, it’s a medieval fairy tale romance story mixing Beauty and the Beast and The Princess and the Pea and it’s by Melanie Dickerson, sooo… of course it’s awesome. πŸ˜‰ Possibly my favorite from her yet!

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8. Moominland Midwinter – Tove Jansson

A good wintry tale, another fun Moomin story. πŸ™‚ Little My is the best. XD

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9. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

I FINALLY read this one! This was for Amber Stoke’s read-along over at Seasons of Humility. Really enjoyed the book on the whole! I could have wished for less of Isabella (UGH I hated her) and more of Henry Tilney, but still. πŸ˜‰ Maybe I’ll post a more complete review at some point…

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10. Dreams and Wishes: Essays on Writing For Children – Susan Cooper

I don’t read a lot of nonfiction but I was excited to read these nonfiction essays by Susan Cooper about writing. While some of them may be on writing “for” children, this collection wasn’t really… It was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I didn’t like/agree with everything, but she did have a lot of good things to say about fantasy and such, so that was fun! Definitely glad I read it.

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11. Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2) – Derek Landy

Another scary, action-packed fantasy tale in modern Dublin with Skulduggery Pleasant the skeleton detective! But most importantly, containing numerous witty lines (by Skulduggery himself, naturally) and lots of humorous banter between him and Valkyrie, because THAT’S what I really read these books for! πŸ˜‰ I don’t think I liked it quite as much as the first one, but it was gripping and I find myself rather glad that it’s a book instead of a movie because with a book, it’s just the words and imagination; whereas if it was actually on a screen, it would probably be far too scary for me. πŸ˜‰ And just think of all the dialog I’d miss in that case! o.o Skulduggery continues to be hilarious and awesome, the real reason I’m reading these things. I hope to have more awesome Skulduggery lines in the future… HE’S SO QUOTABLE AND FUNNY AND EPIC. Skulduggery’s the best. ❀

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12. Moominvalley in November – Tove Jansson

I was nervous that I wouldn’t like this one at first… but it turned out okay, so I was glad. πŸ™‚ I’m not sure I liked the translator of this one as much? And it starts out rather melancholy and I wasn’t sure if I liked the characters much, but of course they grew on me. I thought it would be sad but it wasn’t. Yay! And of course I love Snufkin! πŸ˜‰ It was awesome how everyone kept coming to his tent. XD And I really liked Toft too, he’s adorbz. Some of it was a little vague and hard to sort of grasp in your head if you know what I mean? And it definitely feels different than the other ones, probably mostly because the Moomins aren’t there… And kind of more shadowy and melancholy. But I ended up enjoying it more than I thought, and Snufkin in particular (and Toft) make it better of course! πŸ™‚

4starrating

13. Rising Shadows – Ashley Townsend

Aaaand reviewed this one. So much enjoyable! Will… ❀ Really fun little book.

***

I kind of read a lot in March! It was a good reading month.

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

FYI: Bookish March Things

Warning: this post contains Jane Austen, Magical authors (such as Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett), and Irish warriors in fast cars.

…Say what, now?

Intrigued yet? πŸ˜‰ What do they all have in common, you ask? The answer is: Delightful bookish things going on in March!

Read on for the stuff going on this month that you need to know about…

bloodtiestourbanner

Blood Ties Blog Tour

What? The blog tour for Hazel B. West’s new book, Blood Ties, which is the first in a series that perfectly blends a modern Irish setting with a medieval one, with a touch of Faerie in there. Basically epic Irish warriors in a psuedo-medieval modern Irish setting, with fast cars and broadswords and leather jackets. It takes cool things from now and mixes in all the best medieval things. So even if you’re not a big fan of modern books (I’m not, really…), you might still like this. You know you want it… I’ve just started reading it, and am enjoying it muchly! (I’m also a part of the blog tour, as I’ll be reviewing Blood Ties on my other blog, The Road of a Writer, on March 14th, so watch for that!)

Anyways, be sure to check out this blog tour because it’s going to be fun, plus the author is giving away a copy of the book and swag. Because awesomeness. So go enter! Go, go! Check out the things! (Including the book trailer in the first tour post!)

Where? Hazel West’s blog… and elsewhere around the blogosphere

When? Now till March 18th

Blog Tour Schedule (and Giveaway!)

#MarchMagics

March Magics

(formerly Diana Wynne Jones March)

What? I ran across this last year right after it ended, when it was Diana Wynne Jones March, and marked my calendar to make sure to check in on it again this year. Sure enough, it’s back, a whole month of celebrating Diana Wynne Jones’s works, and adding Terry Pratchett’s in there as well (who I’ve yet to read, but want to…). Not sure how involved I’ll be in this, depends on how busy I am, but I’ll definitely be following along with others’ posts, regardless! So, it’s mostly about reading or rereading works by those two authors, and having posts of certain topics and some twitter parties.

Where? We Be Reading

When? All of March! Check out specific days for certain things, and all the details, here:

March Magics Schedule

#NAReadAlong

Northanger Abbey Readalong

What? A read-along of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen — this read-along is said to include weekly discussions and a couple of giveaways as well, and sounds quite fun! I saw this and instantly decide to jump in, since I keep MEANING to read Northanger Abbey and never have… So this sounds like the perfect opportunity. If you’re the same, or just want an excuse to read it again (I know it’s a favorite with many) then hop along over and join!

Where? Seasons of Humility

When? All of March! (Since March conveniently has exactly 31 days, just to accommodate Northanger Abbey’s 31 chapters, naturally.) The read-along dates and other info is below:

Read-Along Info

Do any of those sound interesting? Be sure to check them out! What bookish plans do you have this month? I hope you’ll all have a lovely bookish March! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Top 12 Books Recently Added to My TBR

TTT

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…!