Tag Archive | Paper Crowns

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

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#FantasyFunMonth Book Tag

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#FantasyFunMonth by @JillWilliamson on Twitter

So… this isn’t exactly a tag, per se, and it’s six months late at that, but I saw this cool Twitter tag thing from Jill Williamson back in March and thought it would be fun to take the questions and instead of doing one every day for a month (which would be exhausting) turning them into a tag on a blog post!

At the time, I had just done a February Fantasy month, and I was busy, so I didn’t get around to this till now. So! Let the fantasy fun begin!

1. Fantasy Currently Reading

King’s Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt, and enjoying it muchly. πŸ™‚

2. Fave Fantasy Series

The Lord of the Rings, The Prydain Chronicles, The Chronicles of Narnia, etc.

3. Fave Fantasy Quote

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”

— Lloyd Alexander

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4. Fave Fantasy Hero(ine)

Oh, so many. There are several I could choose… but I’m going to pick some I’ve been thinking of lately.

For hero, I’m picking Tom Lynn from Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, because he’s a great hero. I said a lot about him in my review.

And for heroine, I’m picking Wilhelmina from The Skin Map and The Bone House by Stephen R. Lawhead (which are the first two books of The Bright Empires 5-book series, which I’m reading, and have read the first two so far and loved). Mina is just… I don’t know. She’s amazing. I want to be her. πŸ™‚

5. Fave Fantasy Book Cover

Five Enchanted Roses. You gotta admit, it’s pretty gorgeous. πŸ˜‰

6. Fave Fantasy Map

The map of Middle-earth is classic, so I’m going with that one.

7. Fave Fantasy Sidekick

Lockwood from Illusionarium by Heather Dixon. (Hush, it’s totally fantasy; I know it’s mostly steampunk but I’m saying it’s fantasy anyway because I want to answer Lockwood.)

8. Movie Better Than Book

The Princess Bride is one of the only movies I liked better than the book, but it’s simply the best as a movie, so I’m going to go with that one.

9. Epic Fantasy Fave

The Lord of the Rings put the “epic” in Epic Fantasy, so that one. πŸ˜‰

10. Fave Fantasy Book Title

Kestrel’s Midnight Song by J.R. Parker. I’ve always loved that title. ❀

11. Fave Fantasy Animal/Beastie

Dragons and Griffins are classic… and they can fly, so there’s that!

12. Fave Fantasy Stand-Alone

This one suddenly makes me realize how many books have sequels. O_O Um. No clue. I guess I’ll just put Howl’s Moving Castle here and pretend there weren’t two more books… (They’re sort of about other people, so maybe that counts?)

13. Guess That Fantasy (from quote)

Instead of guessing one or making you guess, I’m just sharing a random fantasy quote that I love saying randomly. ❀

β€œSOUNDS GROSS,” he said. “SALAZAR PREFERS WOOD. TAPESTRIES ARE ALSO ACCEPTABLE.”

Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal

14. Fave Fantasy Magic System

My mind is horrifyingly blank on this one. I know there must be some, but I can’t remember!

15. Highly Recommended Fantasy

Off the top of my head: The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal.

16. Last Fantasy You Bought

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett are recent ones I’m excited to read, since I’ve heard such good things about both. πŸ™‚

17. Book Better Than Movie

How about… ALL OF THEM? XD

18. Cheezy Fantasy Fave

Hmm. I’m not good with things like “cheesy” because I don’t really like calling things that?

19. YA Fantasy Fave

How about By Darkness Hid, To Darkness Fled, and From Darkness Won by Jill Williamson.

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20. Fave Fantasy Cast

The Lord of the Rings and Howl’s Moving Castle kind of can’t be beat on this one… (I know, I know, I keep answering with those… I can’t help it!) But there are SO MANY fabulous fantasy casts. I just can’t choose.

21. Fastest Fantasy Read

Anything by Diana Wynne Jones. I always buzz through those really quickly.

22. Fave Wizard/Mentor

This reminds me of the Silmarillion Awards we had a couple months back… πŸ˜‰ Um. I’ll go with Howl and Chrestomanci for favorite wizards (though I think Chrestomanci’s technically an enchanter? I don’t remember) and Cosimo (The Skin Map by Stephen R. Lawhead) and Beana (Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl) for mentors, and Gandalf for both Wizard/Mentor.

23. Fave Childhood Fantasy

The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. They introduced me to fantasy as a wee thing, and I still love them muchly.

24. Fave Fantasy Romance

So many wonderful characters. Hmmm.. Off the top of my head: Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle, Mendanbar and Cimerene from Searching for Dragons, Ginger and Hal from Paper Crowns, and of course Faramir and Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings. THEY’RE ALL SO PRECIOUS.

25. Fantasy Never Finished

I… always finish, so I can’t think of one… I do remember starting The Once and Future King by T. H. White once and not getting around to finishing it at the time because it was so long, but I do fully intend to get back to it at some point.

26. Middle Grade Fantasy Fave

I never know exactly how to know which those are… But I’ll go with The Land of Elyon series by Patrick Carman, since they’re likely for a younger audience but I love them to death.

27. Fave Fantasy Weapon

The sword of King Mendanbar of the Enchanted Forest, from Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede! It’s just the best and it’s so handy and magical and I love it.

28. Slowest Fantasy Read

It was called Hero’s Song by Edith Pattou and I should have liked it because it was based on Celtic mythology (I think?) but it was so. slow. and it took me MONTHS to read it and I just couldn’t like it which made me sad. -_-

29. Fantasy Read Repeatedly

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. ❀

30. Most Anticipated Fantasy

An Earthly King by Hazel B. West (cover reveal coming Sept. 9 on her blog!!), Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, and King’s Blood by Jill Williamson (which sadly seems to have moved its release date to next year. *wailing*). I WANTS THEM, PRECIOUSSS. ❀

31. Fave Fantasy Author

J. R. R. Tolkien and Diana Wynne Jones, naturally. πŸ˜‰

How about you? Feeling fantasy-ish now? Agree with any of my picks? (SO hard to choose!) Answer the questions in the comments or steal this tag idea if you want! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

The Birthstone Book Tag

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Grace @ Fictionally tagged me once upon a time for The Birthstone Book Tag — thanks so much, Grace! πŸ™‚ These look fun, and also difficult…

Here we go!

1: January Garnet: Name a character that you think is evil/dark.

Rupert de la Mare from Plenilune by Jennifer Freitag. He’s my go-to villain for questions like this.

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Plenilune Cover Single

2: February Amethyst: Name a book you think of as regal.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, because it’s the best. ❀

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3: March Aquamarine: Name a character you think of as weak, or as more of a follower.

Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey is more of a follower, methinks.

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4: April Diamond: Name a book that you love, but isn’t very well known.

Broken Glass by Emma Clifton in the Five Glass Slippers anthology. It’s perfection and I love it SO MUCH and everyone should read it. And while I’m at it, I’m going to also add Corroded Thorns by Emma Clifton, because it’s the sequel and I consider them one story and it’s also a top favorite of mine. Steampunk fantasy retellings of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, they’re just perfect. ❀

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5: May Emerald: Name two characters who balance each other out.

Jonathan and Lockwood from Illusionarium by Heather Dixon. Jonathan’s all smart and cautious (usually) and Lockwood’s daring and reckless. Plus they just make an excellent pair.

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6: June Pearl: Name a character that is loyal.

Ky from Orphan’s Song and Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams. ❀ HE IS SO INCREDIBLY LOYAL. It’s the best.

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7: July Ruby: Name a book that aggravates you/makes your blood boil.

The End by Lemony Snicket, final book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Just… NO.

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8: August Peridot: Name a supporting character you preferred to the main character.

Blaze and Anvil from Twinepathy by C.B. Cook! They’re epic. ❀

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9: September Sapphire: Name a book that you found to be calming.

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit. Love that one!

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10: October Opal: Name a book with a pretty cover.

Entwined by Heather Dixon. I believe it speaks for itself…

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11: November Topaz: Name a book with a resilient protagonist.

I’m going to go with Ginger from Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal. She’s fabulous. ^_^

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12: December Blue Zicron: Name a fictional friendship you would love to be a part of.

Howl, Sophie, Calcifer, Michael — that would be a group I would just love being a part of. ❀ *spontaneously teleports to Wales in the hopes of finding a portal into Ingary*

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So what think ye? Do you have picks for any of these? Agree with any of mine? Feel free to steal the tag if it looks fun! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Bookish Book Lover Tag

I was tagged by the lovely bookish (and author in her own right!) Shantelle Hannu @ A Writer’s Heart for a new fun tag which she created, the Bookish Book Lover Tag. Thanks ever so much, Shantelle! πŸ™‚

So let’s get to it! (I think I took all the covers from Goodreads… and I didn’t feel like linking to them all but if you want to look any of these up — which you totally should — you can find them on my Goodreads.)

Rules

  • Use the Banner
  • Answer the Questions
  • Use Lots of Book Covers *smiles*
  • Tag Your Bookish Friends!

Questions

1) What Book Are You Currently Reading?

Defying Shadows by Ashley Townsend, which I’m beta-reading (it’s releasing soon!). It’s excellent so far. πŸ˜€

2) What’s The Last Book You Finished?

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson. I loved it!

3) Favorite Book You Read This Year?

Let’s see if I can keep it down to a handful…

Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, Blood Ties by Hazel B. West, The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson, The Map: A Jackaby Story by William Ritter, and The Castle Corona by Sharon Creech. That’s a start. πŸ˜‰

4) What Genre Have You Read Most This Year?

Definitely fantasy, of all shapes and sizes.

5) What Genre Have You Read Least This Year?

Hmm. Either non-fiction or mystery.

6) What Genre Do You Want To Read More Of?

I’m going to go with Shantelle’s answer and say fairy tale retellings. πŸ™‚

7) How Many Books Have You Read This Year, And What’s Your Goal?

I’ve read 45, and my goal is 60, so… it looks like I’ll make it, yay! πŸ˜‰

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8) What’s The Last Book You Bought?

Just did a post about this. πŸ™‚

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9) What Book Are You Saving Up To Buy Next?

Briette by Anita Valle. (Yes, this is one of the few ebook series I’ve gotten addicted enough to that I actually BUY ebooks. *gasp*)

10) How Many Books Did You Check Out Last Library Visit?

Just the one… *sadface* But it was The Golden Braid, which I mentioned, and I really enjoyed it! (I wanted to check out a bunch more, but I’m so busy so I exercised restraint. *gasp*)

11) What’s A Book You Can’t Wait To Read?

Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd, which has been waiting on my To-Read-Soon pile for a long time…

12) What’s A Series You’d Recommend to Everyone?

Goodness, I apparently don’t read many series since I’m having a hard time thinking of one! O_O (I start lots but don’t always get around to finishing them… yet.) Umm… I’m going to cheat and just say a book instead of a series. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (you knew it was coming. ;)).

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13) Who’s An Author You’re Hoping Writes More?

Heather Dixon! She’s only got two books out (Entwined and Illusionarium) both of which I loved. (Also, gotta be some of THE best covers in the universe. ❀ Amazing how the stories inside are even BETTER — can you believe it??)

14) A Few Books Your Heart Adores?

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede, The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall, The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye… and so many more!

15) What Series’s Coming Conclusion Makes You Sad?

Hmm, I don’t usually get sad at series endings because I don’t usually make it there and/or the series are often all published already by the time I read them. But… I think I’ll be a little sad when the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo is over because there’s only two books… There should be more than two. XD (Also because I’m worried to death about Kaz and company. >.> So much worry. Eek.)

16) What Books Are On Your Wish-List?

Oh, so many (particularly some Diana Wynne Jones books…)! But I do keep a wishlist shelf on Goodreads. (There are some I’ve read that I want to own that I haven’t added on there, but still.) At the moment (it seems to change), a few near the top of my wishlist (some of which have yet to be published!) are: Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter, Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson, King’s Blood by Jill Williamson, Briette by Anita Valle, Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson, the third Skulduggery Pleasant book, and Very British Problems by Rob Temple.

Tagging

I tag… Hmm. I’m so bad at tagging people and I never know who to tag. -_- I have no idea if you’d like to do it or not but I tag the following people and if you want to do it, great; if not, please ignore me. XD

Lauri // Mary // Madeline // Lisa // Abi // Tracey // Jenelle // Cait

I also tag anyone who’s reading this and wants to do it! (Either on your blog or in the comments below!)

BOOK TAG YAY! It’s quick and fun and easy, I promise. πŸ˜€

(Here’s the questions readily copy-paste-able for anyone who’d like to do it! :))

1) What Book Are You Currently Reading?
2) What’s The Last Book You Finished?
3) Favorite Book You Read This Year?
4) What Genre Have You Read Most This Year?
5) What Genre Have You Read Least This Year?
6) What Genre Do You Want To Read More Of?
7) How Many Books Have You Read This Year, And What’s Your Goal?
8) What’s The Last Book You Bought?
9) What Book Are You Saving Up To Buy Next?
10) How Many Books Did You Check Out Last Library Visit?
11) What’s A Book You Can’t Wait To Read?
12) What’s A Series You’d Recommend to Everyone?
13) Who’s An Author You’re Hoping Writes More?
14) A Few Books Your Heart Adores?
15) What Series’s Coming Conclusion Makes You Sad?
16) What Books Are On Your Wish-List?

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Start of Summer #BookHaul

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I don’t buy a lot of new books, but lately I’ve splurged a bit because so many friends are coming out with books I NEED… plus I won a book and got one for review and went to a library booksale.

SO! I thought I’d share pics of these books because they are so gorgeous and I’m so excited about them. πŸ™‚ Here’s my April/May/June (so far) book haul.

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I’ve mentioned King’s Folly by Jill Williamson (and I reviewed it, whaddayaknow) which was a review copy from Bethany House. But I have to show it again because #gorgeous.

I won The Firethorn Crown by Lea DouΓ© in a giveaway from Clean Indie Reads, and it came all the way from from Nova Scotia/Cape Breton in Canada! How cool is that?? ^_^ It’s a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I mayyy or may not have a gargantuan small obsession with, so I’m very excited to read it! πŸ™‚

Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal. I’M STILL BOUNCING OFF THE WALLS THAT THIS IS PUBLISHED AND I OWN IT AAAHH. ❀ ❀ ❀ I know I’ve mentioned it several times already but seriously, this book is one of my FAVORITEST of ever, and everyone needs to read it. Highly recommend. *nodnod* (And by “highly recommend,” I of course mean “YOU NEED THIS MARVELOUS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE GO GET A COPY RIGHT NOW YOU NEEEEED IT!”)

Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams, which I read an e-ARC of before it came out, but simply HAD to get a physical copy! EEEP. Isn’t it lovely with its friends (Orphan’s Song and Out of Darkness Rising)? ^_^ (My review of Songkeeper.)

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bookhaul3Aaand as I mentioned, the books by E. Kaiser Writes came out in print and I had to get these gorgeous beauties. THEY’RE SO PRETTY. She illustrated them, inside and out, and while I’ve only read Prince of Demargen so far (review here), I’m really excited about all of them. ^_^

THAW, 1-3:
Winter’s Child
Winter Queen
Prince of Demargen

Five Gems, 1-2:
Jeweler’s Apprentice
Traitor’s Knife

So! I’m really excited about my shiny new books. (I hardly ever get new books so this is really exciting. ^_^)

And then here’s my stack from a library booksale. (I’m noticing a green and gold theme…?)

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Sabriel – Garth Nix (Really excited to read this one!)
The Thirteenth Tale – Diane Setterfield
The Time Paradox (Artemis Fowl, #6) – Eoin Colfer (Slowly collecting these…)
The Faerie Path – Frewin Jones
A Curse Dark as Gold – Elizabeth C. Bunce
Song of the Sparrow – Lisa Ann Sandel
Tales from Far and Near – Arthur Guy Terry
The Penderwicks – Jeanne Birdsall (I love this book! ❀ )
Conrad’s Fate – Diana Wynne Jones (I love this one too! ❀ )

Also a few picture books (Farmer Giles of Ham by Tolkien with a different illustrator, a Snow White illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, Oscar Otter illustrated by Arnold Lobel), a pamphlet on Scottish history, and a blank journal. πŸ™‚ (I collect journals… it’s a very bad habit of this particular writer…)

I’m curious if you’ve read any of these or want to? What’s a book you got recently you’re excited about? I’d love to hear! Share all, page-dreamers of mine! πŸ™‚

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

Reading Roundup #5: May 2016

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I know I’ve been really sporadic around here, but you can blame my internet being dead. Thank goodness for libraries with wifi so I can post this. πŸ˜›

So I didn’t read a lot this month again… but what I did read was a lot of gloriously hilarious whimsical fantasy and it was simply fabulous! πŸ™‚

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1. Howl’s Moving Castle – Diana Wynne Jones

…Um, I don’t think this even needs to be elaborated on, since everyone should know by now that it’s like my favorite book ever. (Ties with LotR but I admittedly read Howl more often because it’s small.) IT IS MY FAAAAVORITE. *dances in happiness* Howl is the absolute best and I love the whole book and it’s hilarious and perfect. ❀ I take any excuse to reread it, and this time my excuse was reading it aloud to my younger siblings. So I got to do all the voices. It. Was. Stupendous. (THIS BOOOOK. <3)

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2. Of Mice and Magic – Ursula Vernon

Well, THAT was fun and hilarious. XD Twelve dancing mouse princesses and a warrior-princess hamster — what could be more fun? For a younger audience, but funny enough I didn’t mind. Great retelling, cute illustrations, very fun quick read. πŸ™‚ Much humor. I approve. *nod* (Also, funny story about how I happened to read this: I had been recommended it by a Goodreads friend because of the twelve dancing princesses aspect… and then I happened to be waiting around at a Barnes & Noble all day one day, so when I found it I actually sat down and read the whole thing while I was there. XD It was kind of great.)

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3. Paper Crowns – Mirriam Neal

ASLKDJFSLKDJFLSDKLSKDJF THIS BOOOOOOOOOOOK!!! Okay, so I beta read this when it was being written a couple years back and ADORED it so I was super super super ecstatic when it got published this year!Β I’ve literally been waiting for this to be published since I read the first chapter. IT’S A DREAM COME TRUE.Β Hopefully you can understand how good it is when I say I love it nearly as much as Howl’s Moving Castle which I just squealed about. I just devoured my signed copy and loved it all over again and everyone in the world must read it because I love it and the characters (who are a mess but glorious) SO SO MUCH. ❀ (Seriously though, Hal and Azrael and all the others. THEY ARE THE MOST WONDERFUL OF EVER.) Also the snark and banter and humor and character interactions are absolutely MARVELOUS. Plus it’s a lovely fantasy adventure. Basically what is not to love?? Answer: nothing. (Except some typos. But I hear those are being fixed, so.)Β It’s one of my favorite books of EVER. YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE, EVERYONE! I CANNOT RECOMMEND IT HIGHLY ENOUGH. ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀

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4. The Merlin Conspiracy – Diana Wynne Jones

This was the “review” I posted on Goodreads: “YES TO THIS BOOK! ❀ I need an elephant. AN ELEPHANT. Also Romanov. Yesssss. ACK DIANA WYNNE JONES BOOKS ARE LIFE I TELL YOU. (I may coherent a review someday.) ROMANOV.” Um… so, that was incoherent. XD But in my defense it was very enjoyable despite my having the flu when I read it. I also very much want to find somebody who’s read it to flail with because like nobody’s read it and a lot of Goodreads reviews seem to think it’s just “okay” so I’m wondering WHERE ARE THE FANS OF THIS BOOK?? I NEED YOU. WE MUST TALK. Anyways, it’s the sequel to Deep Secret, and it was totally weird but I enjoyed it a lot. It’s actually not super Arthurian, despite the title. There’s a hint or two, but that’s it. But it’s largely set in an alternate Britain (I wanna go to Wales please and thank you) and it has this elephant (not in Britain) who is named Mini and is so sweeeeet (I NEED AN ELEPHANT I TELL YOU) and a character named Romanov who is amazing. Also it was the perfect thing to read when I had the flu because one of the characters had it too. XD …Actually, I’m almost starting to wonder if I hallucinated the whole thing because it WAS rather a weird book and it went back to the library so I have no proof it happened… >.> I should write a review for it just because. *adds to long list of things to review when I have time/inspiration/internet which is a difficult combination to find these days*

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So, not very many, but I was also busy, and I have been beta-reading parts of lovely books by lovely friends. I also beta-read all of The Dead Boy and the Paper Cut by Cait @ Paper Fury (which is up on Wattpad.com) and oh my goodness, the FEEEEEEELS. *collapses* It was also humorous and snarky but also scary and dark AND I DIDN’T NEED MY HEART ANYWAY. *cough* Anyways, in case it was a question (which it wasn’t) Cait is a genius writer who needs to be published, since she can make me love a book I would normally never read (i.e., a YA contemporary paranormal story about a ghost, which mangled my feels… and I don’t even mind. This is rare.).

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But yeah, two Diana Wynne Jones books including a reread of my fave, plus a Diana-Wynne-Jones-esque whimsical fantasy tale with my FAVORITE characters/humor/banter/snark by one of my favorite authors of EVER (a.k.a. Mirriam the Neal herself) and then a small fun retelling of my favorite fairytale (plus a snarky ghost who should totally be published. Ahem.). How about an awesome month of reading, folks?? Yessss. I’m a happy reader. ^_^

So how about you, readers all? Have you read any of these? (I HIGHLY recommend you read Howl’s Moving Castle and Paper Crowns if you haven’t because they’re some of my SUPER top favorites! <3) What’s your favorite thing you read in May?

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer