2017 Bookish Bucket List | September Update

2017

I have done this now for the past three years and have been decently successful with it.. This year I have set a lot of goals for myself and really want to throw myself back into the book community and blogging world. The past year off has left me wanting so much from books because I have missed the atmosphere and love of books.  

♠ Read at least 100 books. I have a challenge I have created for myself and its the year I take on some completed series. [I have only read 28 so far which is nothing for how far we are into the year]

♠ Read and Complete 6 Series. This goes along with the challenge I have am creating. There are so many out that I have yet to pick up and its crazy. [I am still only at one series completed but I am working on a few]

♠ Read at least three daunting books. This is a repeat from last year.I feel like I am always so intrigued and interested in the huge books, but never get around to reading them because they are intimidating. (I am counting this as over 500 pages.) [I have kind of been avoiding these. There are so many I have that I really want to read, but reading has been a struggle so I have been trying to stick to shorter books]

♠ Read 45 books from my TBR. I just recently moved and don’t have my books. I have been going to the library and with that it give way to an endless array of books. I really want to make sure I am still reading books that I had actually purchased. [I am slowly making a dent in my massive TBR pile with 21 read so far]

♠ Read at least 5 Non-Fiction Books. I started doing this last year and really enjoyed it. I love learning more and I have a lot I am interested in. [ I have been able to complete 2 so far and they were absolutely wonderful!]

♠ Start New Blog Series. I really want to work harder on developing my blog. There are many things I participate in that are created by other bloggers and I really want to come up with something that is completely my own and get others involved in! [I have started a few that I am hoping to work on and create some more posts for.]

 

 

What are some of your 2017 goals/resolutions?

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Series Serial Reader| September Update

ssr

ABOUT


The past couple of years my life has taken me all over the country doing a variety of different things, but it has kept me from reading. Especially reading all the books that have been coming out and catching up on series I have started. I decided that I wanted to make this a year revolving mainly around series. I made the decision that it would be fun to create a challenge for myself and that is how Series Serial Reader came about. To check out my full first post click here.

 

THE SERIES


The series I want to read fall under a few different categories:

Completed Series I Need To Finish
◊Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
◊Marked Men by Jay Crownover
◊Misborn by Brandon Sanderson
◊Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
◊Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
◊Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
◊2B Trilogy by Ann Aguirre
◊Asylum by Madeleine Roux
◊Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
◊The Sparrow and The Wolf by Tim Stead
◊Shattered Sea by Joe Abercrombie
◊Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black
◊Mortal Instuments by Cassandra Clark

Completed Series I Want To Start/Read
♦ Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger {started}[1/5]
♦ Bloodlines by Richelle Mead {started}[2/6]
♦ Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
♦ Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima
♦ Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
♦ Immortals by Tamora Pierce
♦ Protector of the Small by Tamora Pierce
♦ Legend by Marie Lu
♦The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
♦ The First Law by Joe Abercrombie
♦ White Rabbit Chronicles by Gena Showalter
♦ The Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
♦ The Grisha by Leigh Bardugo
♦ Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout
♦ Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
♦ Georgia Kincaid by Richelle Mead
♦ The Magicians by Lev Grossman
♦ All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
♦ The Broken Empire by Mark Lawrence
♦ The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
♦The Book of Ivy Duology by Amy Engel {started} [1/2]
♦ Imperial Radch by Ann Leckie  {started} [1/3]

Series I Need To Catch Up On
♣ Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R Ward {working on it} [3]
♣ A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
♣ Saints of Denver by Jay Crownover
♣ Gentlemen Bastard by Scott Lynch
♣ The Divine Cities by Robert Jackson Bennett

Uncompleted Series I Want To Start
♠ Age of X by Richelle Mead
♠ Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs {started} [1/11]
♠ Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs {started} [1/5}
♠ Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
♠ A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin

[1/45]

I have only completed one series but I am working on many others! 

Top Ten Tuesday| Top Characters That Are Great Role Models For Young Women

2015 BOOKS READ-5

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted by Broke and Bookish is Top Ten Characters That Are Great Role Models For Young Women. I am a strong believer that so much media and publication create unreachable expectations for young girls and women. With impossible expectation set for all women it results in low confidence and women settling for less than they deserve. I have found many great role model in literary works that showcase strong and confident women who go after what they deserve and don’t let men or other women degrade them.

 

Alanna from Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce-  Alanna goes against the norm and switches places with her twin brother so she can be trained to be a knight. She is brave and confident, going after what she wants regardless of what she is told women are allowed to do.

Mercy Thompson from Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs- Mercy is a female mechanic and a very good one. She is confident and doesn’t let the men in her life control her and she goes after saving herself.

Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead- I absolutely adore Rose. She is sassy and one badass female. She is confident, a fighter and doesn’t need a man to save her.

Mare and Denna in Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst- I think both of these young women have amazing qualities that are inspiring to young women. Mare is going after her passion and not letting herself get stuck in what a “princess” should be. She is a tomboy and would rather be outside and riding horses. Then there is Denna is who intelligent and knows about politics while she is a princess and not taken seriously.

Dimple from When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon- Dimple is into coding and developing apps. She is intelligent and very independent. She doesn’t let what her parents believe she should be stop her from going after her passions.

Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer- Considered a mistake and a burden by society, Cinder does not let that stop her from being an amazing mechanic. She is intelligent and doesn’t let anything stop her.

Blue from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater- Blue is unique and marches to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t hid who she is and I think that is so admirable.

Katniss from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins- I love that she never lets anyone change her. She is true to herself and is skilled and strong.

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling- How could I not add her to this list. She is seen as weird at the beginning, but she is intelligent and strong. She saves the boys countless times and is a bookworm.

Who are some strong, confident females that you believe are great role models for young women?

Friday Reads | My Attempt to Complete Some Books

downthebookhole

 I have been put in charge of another area at work and have to now do the work of 4 people. It has been completely draining me and making it nearly impossible to get any reading done. It is almost the end of the month and I would like to complete some of the books have started as well as read as much as I was at the beginning of the month. I am still listening to When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I am also over halfway done with Never Apart by Romily Bernard. I am really hoping to spend some time on these books and get them finished. I am also planning on creating my October/Creepy/Spooky reading list this weekend. After I do that I might pick a book up from the list. Or I might pick up the next book in the Mercy Thompson World Series, I just haven’t decided yet if I am going by publication or chronologically. I also am planning on starting another audiobook I just haven’t decided which one. 

What are you reading this weekend?

 

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel | Author Interview


BLACK BIRD OF THE GALLOWS BY MEG KASSEL

Synopsis:

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

INTERVIEW WITH MEG

Top 5 Things readers need to know about the book

  1. It’s a standalone novel with a companion coming out next fall.
  2. It’s a paranormal romance with a hot harbinger of death.
  3. The antagonist is a deeply misunderstood guy.
  4. The antagonist is also a deeply scary guy.
  5. The cover is beautiful and I had nothing to do with the design of it.

 Who/What was your inspiration for becoming a writer? How long have you been writing?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but it seemed so unattainable for so long. I always wrote, but it wasn’t until I finished a whole novel, one rainy Maine summer, that I realized if I could do it. And if I could write one book, I could write another. And so I did. It took me seven years from that first (truly horrible) novel to holding a finished book in my hands. Seven or eight complete manuscripts didn’t make it to publication. Lots of fragments of ideas never even made it to the planning stage.

Did your story end up differently then what you had originally imagined?
Of course! Initially, the house next door was haunted and the harbingers of death cleared out the ghost. I had this whole idea of a ghost story weaving in with the plot and by the end of the first draft it was completely cut. There was enough going on without a subplot about ghosts that didn’t do anything but slow everything down. I don’t hesitate to cut what isn’t gelling.

Which of your characters would you say you are most like?
I’m mostly like Reece. We both dislike keeping secrets, love hockey and are fiercely loyal to those we love. Also, we are both not always the best judge of character.

If your book was to be turned into a movie who would you cast as your leads?
I have no idea. Honestly. A decade-younger Scott Eastwood would be the closest fit to Reece, I guess? And for Angie, I can’t even. She’s a colorful mix of personality and characteristics, but in my mind, her face is different to me every time I’ve revised her.

Did you have to research anything for your book?
I researched the lore of crows with human culture—why they are associated with doom and evil in western societies. I also read as much as I could about the myths of harbingers of death, although there isn’t much concrete stuff on them. They aren’t an established creature, like bigfoot, or anything. I also did extensive research on the nature of a certain geological event, but if I get more specific than that, it will give too much away.

What is the one book you recommend to everyone?
EVERYONE? That’s a tall order. Don’t laugh: A.A. Milne’s, Winnie the Pooh. For real. These short stories are funny, sophisticated and expert examples of character development. Ignore Disney and go with the real deal. The writing is superb.

In 5 words how would you describe Black Bird of the Gallows ?

Creepy love story with bees.

 If your characters were in the hunger games who’d win?
Rafette would win, that jerk. It helps to be able to turn yourself into bees and turn everyone else mad.

Which Hogwarts house would your main character be in?
Angie is solid Gryffindor.

 What’s on your playlist?

Milosh: Couldn’t Sleep

Unclubbed2 (feat. Zoe Durant): Need To Feel Loved

London Grammar: Hey Now

SOHN: Bloodflows

The Presets: Promises (Nils Frahm Rework)

First Aid Kit: My Silver Lining

Does the music go with your book?
Eh, not all the lyrics, but the vibe does. These are just some of the songs that I listened to while writing and revising the book.

Meet the Author: 

Website: megkassel.com
Twitter : @megkassel
Goodreads
Amazon

 

Top Ten Tuesday| Top Books On My Fall TBR


This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted by Broke and Bookish is The Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR! I have been putting a lot of books aside waiting for fall/winter. Fall books are those that are either fantasy/paranormal or thrillers!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I have been meaning to read this book for a long time. I have heard such good things and really want to pick it up!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K Rowling

I know, how have I not read this yet. Life has gotten in the way the past few years and I never picked them up when I was younger, but it is time.

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawerence

Because dark fantasy series are best read in the fall!

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

This has been on my radar for awhile. It looks like a good fantasy!

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

This is about boarding schools. I thought it gave that real fall vibe with the back to school.

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

I just feel like reading a YA Western is appropriate in the fall. I have never read anything like this and cant wait to pick it up!

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Because I started this series and I am already hooked. It is a great urban fantasy that not only has a great cast of characters but an interesting plot and overall story.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

I think this would be a good thriller going into the halloween season!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I have picked this book up multiple time in order to start it and haven’t actually gotten around to it. It seemed like a good book to read in the fall.

The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey

Fall is the time to read weird and creepy books.

What are some books you plan/ want to read this fall? 

Friday Reads | What Are Weekends Edition

downthebookhole

Work has really been getting in my way of doing any reading this week and I have a feeling that is going to be the case through the weekend too. I am still listening to When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. I usually listen to it as I go to sleep each night, but I have been so exhausted that I have been falling asleep with the light on. Last night I decided to take a break from my Mercy Thompson World binge read and pick up a book I received from Entangled Teen that comes out in October. It is called Never Apart by Romily Bernard. I haven’t looked too much into what this book about, but so far I am 20 pages in and it is for sure fast paced and a lot is going on that makes me want to know more.  I feel like if I actually get some time to read this weekend it will be a fast read for me. If I do get this finished I plan on picking up the next book in the Mercy Thompson World I haven’t decided which direction I want to go yet with the 2 series. I am trying to decided between publication and chronological date order. I also really have been wanting to pick up Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut and reread Looking For Alaska by John Green, but who knows what is going to happen.

What are you reading this weekend?

 

Anthem by Ayn Rand | Book Review

ANTHEM BY AYN RAND

Genre: Classics, Fiction

“My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.”
― Ayn Rand, Anthem

Synopsis:
He lived in the dark ages of the future. In a loveless world, he dared to fall in love. In an age that had lost all trace of science and civilization, he had the courage to seek and find knowledge. But these were not the crimes for which he would be hunted. He was marked for death because he had committed the unpardonable sin: standing out from the mindless human herd. Ayn Rand’s classic tale of a dystopian future of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of a name or independence—anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

This seventy-fifth anniversary edition of Anthem, celebrating the controversial and enduring legacy of its author, features an introduction by Rand’s literary executor, Leonard Piekoff, which includes excerpts from documents by Ayn Rand—letters, interviews, and journal notes in which she discusses Anthem. This volume also includes a complete reproduction of the original British edition with Ayn Rand’s handwritten editorial changes and a Reader’s Guide to her writings and philosophy.

Goodreads | Amazon

I am. I think. I will.

I know there are a lot of thoughts about this book. It was my first time ever reading it and I did not know much before jumping into it. It focuses on self-identity and freedom in a collectivism society. This book came at a time of when I was trying to find myself again and the philosophy behind the words really resonated with me. This was not the best book I have ever read and felt like there was true character and plot development that was lacking. It was more of the underlying meaning that had me enjoying the story.

Rand has a way of turning a dystopian type society into parallels of our own society and what happens when the government has too much control on individuals. We face it all the time of being put into a box and sometimes that limits our full potential and even our passions. It happens with women, people of color, those who are in poverty. When the government tries to make a system that works for everyone and the whole as a collective it take away from self identity and freedom from the individual.

This book although short, was filled with ideas and concepts that make you think. It reminded me to be myself and be true to my own identity. It made me feel a lot of things and emotions that I was not expecting and not totally sure was the intention of the book.

You might also like:

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Top Ten Tuesday| Top Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog

2015 BOOKS READ-5

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted by Broke and Bookish is Top Ten Books I Loved During The First Year I Started My Blog. It seems like so long ago. And not that my reading has changed so much from then, but I have definitely broadened my reading horizons.

 

♥  Divergent by Veronica Roth

 

 

♥ Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky 

 

♥ Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

♥ Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

♥ Looking For Alaska by John Green 

♥ Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson 

♥ City of Bones by Cassandra Clare 

 

What are some of the top books you read during your first year of your blog?

Friday Reads | I Have To Work All Weekend Edition

downthebookhole


I am loving listening to  When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. It is cute, fun and light, which makes for a good listen as I am clean my apartment and while I am going to bed. I am also on a Patricia Briggs kick! I flew through Moon Called last weekend and quickly followed that with the Alpha & Omega Novella both by Patricia Briggs. I have been on a big Urban Fantasy binge reading wise and have found these two series to be so addictive. I might switch to a different book before continuing with these books just so I do not burn out on them. Maybe I will reread Looking For Alaska by John Green. 

What are you reading this weekend?