On the Night Table [44]: Reading Update


The Cursed Queen by Sarah Fine | The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman | I See You by Clare Mackintosh


Hello.

How was your weekend? We’re about four days away from the dreaded inauguration, you guys. How are you planning on spending the day? Besides the fact that I have to work, I’m going to do my darnedest to steer clear of the social media and any tv broadcast about it. But if you guys have any suggestions on what I can do that will be more productive, let me know. I’m open to anything.

Anyway, I’ve got more January books on my night table this week. I’ve been doing so well with my review copies but I’ve also been requesting a lot of books from Net Galley lately. I’ve been bad. So so bad. Also, I just noticed that Net Galley is giving us a chance to improve our review stats so I took advantage of that this weekend by submitting the reviews for the ones that I didn’t. I’m so glad. My reviewing percentage is pretty sad, to be honest, so I’m thankful for the opportunity. It also gives me a chance to see which books I have on my Kindle that I need to read. Gah. The number is staggering.

R   E   A   D   THIS   W  E   E  K

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan was a solid read. Gritty, gory and not at all the kind of werewolf stories I’ve read in the past. Wait For It by M. O’Keefe was a good read, but I found the characters to be different from when I first met them in the preceding books. Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia was a fantastic read as well. I’ve already reviewed The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer and Born A Crime previously so you know how I felt about them. Little Heaven was on the blog last week.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you’ve been up to lately. 🙂 Have a great week, dear readers. I know it’s not going to be the greatest, but I hope you’ll make the best of it, anyway.

 

 

Continue Reading

Top Reads of 2016

The One that Pulled Me into the Abyss.

My Review

A Little Life is perhaps, the darkest book I’ve read in a long time. It features a character who wouldn’t know happiness even if it was staring at him in the face. Because even if he was surrounded by the people who genuinely loved him, he was always waiting for the other shoe to drop so accepting that love was tremulous task. This was a hard read, but I truly feel that I was a better person after the crying jag.

&nbsp

The One that Gave Me Perspective.

My Review

There is nothing easy about this novel ( though, easier than A Little Life, admittedly). This is about the racial climate in contemporary America, and Jodi Picoult did her best, albeit reluctantly, to tackle this issue most of Americans wish should remain buried in their painful past. This book gave me pause as I ruminated on how difficult it is to be successful, to be educated, and still be disrespected and discriminated because of the colour of your skin.

&nbsp

The One that Pulled Me Out of the Abyss.

My Review

After the trauma of watching a demagogue be elected as the president of the United States, I was not in a good place. I was angry and shocked. And since books have always been the panacea I tend to reach for when I’m feeling down, The Hating Game pulled me out of that dark place. I just knew that rereading it would be the perfect thing that would help me forget the misery of the day.

&nbsp
&nbsp

The One that Made Me Like Science Fiction.

My Review

Science Fiction, much like Fantasy, is a genre that I could never quite figure out. But this page-turner made me believe that I could truly love Sci-fi in its simplest form. Simple, because this book isn’t inundated by jargon and long sterile narratives that tend to steer me away from the genre. I’ve always believed that discoveries have the tendency to bring out the best and worst in humans. Mr. Neuvel certainly didn’t shy away from showing all the immoral things we’ll subject ourselves to in the name of Science. With a combination of dry humour and ingenious story-telling, Sleeping Giants was the perfect example of Sci-fi for the masses.

&nbsp
&nbsp

The One that Whisked Me Away to Another Place and Time.

My Review

This book always makes me want to ramble on about how beautiful it is. The writing, the scenery, the characters…everything about it perfectly captures the small town charm, the grandeur of the old world Hollywood setting, and the stories of the people that tie these worlds together.  Beautiful Ruins was cozy, warm and funny it all its subtleties. It’s a book full of passionate people, visceral settings, and rich in history spanning decades. The perfect beach read…couch read…bed read.

&nbsp
&nbsp

 The One that Made Me Feel Inadequate.

I have re-read this twice already. Each re-read more powerful than the last. Still, the impact is greater for someone like me to comprehend. It could be because I’m not African American, nor do I live in the States. But the power of Mr. Coates’ words – his desperation, his hopes, his warnings – leap off the pages with intense clarity. And yet, I get it. I get the hopelessness. That feeling that in some ways, his body, his son’s body were never their own. As easily as freedom may come to some, to African Americans, freedom is a fleeting fancy. Despite the progress that America has had over the years with the racial injustices of times gone by, African Americans are still shackled by the colour of their skin.  And to deny the existence of such discrimination is naive and dangerous.

Continue Reading

Feed My Reader

img_2335


I need some good romance recommendations, y’all. Since my Kindle came back to life, I’ve managed to read a bunch of really good romance novels. I’ve particularly enjoyed Vi Keeland’s and Penelope Ward’s collaboration. But ever since then, the rest of the books that I’ve downloaded wasn’t really floating my boat. So I’m wondering if you can recommend something good and easy.

I’ve taken to re-reading the books that I’ve recently downloaded which sucks because I’m wasting valuable reading time. So I’m wondering if you’d recommend something good for me?

Tropes  I Like

  • Once Again, with Feelings. I suppose this is better known as second-chance romance; where one of the characters left abruptly (or not) for whatever reasons, then come back. They realize that whatever they’re searching for somewhere else was right where they were all along.
  • I Hate You but I’m not Going to Kick You Off My Bed. Ah when characters realize the hate they feel for another is directly proportionate to how much they want to sleep them. Sometimes, these characters will go through a self-hating spell that tend to get annoying. But hey, the sexy times tend to be hot when tempers are a part of the equation.
  • One Night Stand = Bun in the Oven. I looove this trope. I know some of you probably hate surprise pregnancies in romance novels but I can’t get enough of them! I love that moment when the dad sees their spawns and recognizes why the face looks familiar.
  • I Want To Take A Ride on Your Harley. Bikers. Yep. They’re cavemen and they’re infuriatingly bossy. But I love reading these books even though the feminist in me wilts every time I say that out loud.
  • I’m Julia Roberts to Your Richard Gere. Billionaires, man. Billionaires. This is one of those instances when I’m embarrassed to admit it, but, hey. We’re friends, right? And my secret is your secret. *winks*
  • Heaving Bossoms and Flowing Locks. Otherwise known as historical romance, yo. Y’all have been all over them lately and I can’t freaking keep up! Give me the bestest you can think of that has a combination of one, two, or three of the above tropes I mentioned. That would be super cool!

So let me know if you have some good recommendations for me because goodness knows I need something to be happy about these days. Sigh. 

Continue Reading

On The Night Table [40]:

FullSizeRender-4


The Farther He Runs by Lynda Aicher | Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel | Swan Riders by Erin Bow


Hello!

Do you ever feel like your days have become an endless cycle of waiting for the weekend to come? I wait so long for the weekend then it goes by in a blink of an eye. So here we are. It’s Monday again. Thankfully, there’s a long weekend coming up so I’m pumped for that. But I bet it’s going to be a long week ahead.

You know what I’ve been doing nowadays? I think I’ve mentioned it before how big of a fan I am about apocalyptic films and since getting Netflix and Amazon Fire, I’ve been gorging myself silly. I’ve been watching pretty much every single superhero movies I could get my hands on. I just watched Xmen Apocalypse and Batman vs. Superman. I feel like I’m missing a storyline in B vs. S because I was so confused. So further research and perhaps a rewatch is in order. I also watched Legion the other day; it’s amazing how I could easily see the angels in Susan Ee’s books in this film. Have you seen these movies?

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. This week’s reading pile consists of two SciFi novels and one M/M romance. I thought The Farther He Runs would be a great way to cleanse the palate after reading those two books. Sleeping Giants is amazing so far. It’s an Experimental Fiction about a little girl who fell into a giant mechanical hand and grew up to lead a team to recover all the missing pieces. It’s very interesting in all the ways that matter – especially the way it’s written.

I’ve barely started The Farther He Runs so I’m reserving judgement and I’m hoping Swan Riders will be better since The Scorpion Rules was a total bore. It’s also very confusing. At the end of it all, my life neither improved nor worsened by reading the book. I hate when that happens.

Read:

24611612 13496 29092770 11516221

Have a great week, everyone! September is upon us. Oddly enough, I’m looking forward to the changing of the season. My kids are going back to school soon as well and I’m sad about that. I know, I know. I shouldn’t. But I love having the kids at home. Anyway, happy reading!

Continue Reading

On the Night Table [39]: Reading Updates

DSC00841


Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff | Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich | A Song of Fire and Ice by George RR Martin | The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan


 Hello.

How was your weekend? This is kind of random but I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how much I wanted to have another baby. My husband is totally against this idea, though citing his age (he’s 44) and that he’s an old man who can no longer do the sleepless nights and the sport of chasing a toddler around. Every time I am around babies, I melt. So on Saturday, I was so happy when I got to babysit my cousin’s baby while they attended a wedding. She’s six months old, very sweet and very beautiful. She was such a good baby, though. She only cried when she was tired. Other than that, the kids adored her.

Yesterday, I basically sat around and tried not to think about the coming work week. Not that it’s going to be a crazy maelstrom of pushing paper, it’s just it’s been slow lately so I’m bored most of the time. What about you? What did you get up to this weekend?

I don’t know why I do this to myself. I literally started all these books this weekend except for The Sunlight Pilgrims. In my defense, this is what happens when you live in a place where a book is within your reach in any random rooms of the house. And even worst when a book is so good that you’re unable to put it down after a couple of chapters. So yes. This week, I found myself reading four books all at the same time.

Aug 7

The Sunlight Pilgrims is going really slow for me. It’s really weird because this novel is about the coming ice age, and for some reason, I’m not sensing any urgency and alarm from the characters of this book. This is really unfortunate because I was really excited for this. I’m close to halfway; the snow just started falling. Let’s hope the white stuff will light a fire on the story’s slow as a sludge plot line. I’m on page 103 of 272.

Jonathan Unleashed is a weird one. It’s a contemporary fiction about this man who found himself saddled with a couple of dogs. These dogs are currently showing him facets of his relationship that he may have been in denial all these time. It’s interesting, sure. But I’m a little put off with his state of mind. There’s a telling immaturity about him that makes him seem lazy. We’ll see how it goes. I’m on page 64 of 275 of an ARC.

Curious Minds is my baptism of fire into the world of Janet Evanovich. This is a brand new series – which I’m so happy about. I’ve always wanted to read her books but I don’t have the time to invest and read the backlist of her number of series. I can’t believe I haven’t read any of her books! After flipping through this novel, I found myself unable to look away. I’m in danger of yet another sleepless night, folks. This one’s about an eccentric billionaire and an analyst from a finance company who find themselves in cahoots to solve the disappearance of a financier. I’m really into this. I’m on page 48 of 323 of an ARC.

A Song of Fire and Ice has always been on my bucket list. I’m happy that I finally got around to picking this up. I decided to read this with the help of an audiobook because my ginormous copy is the size of a textbook. I’m loving it. I saw the first 6 episodes of the tv series, so most of the stuff I’m reading rings a bell. I can’t wait to get into it further; I’m on page 117 of 674.

So that’s what I’m reading this week, folks. I hope you’ll have a lovely week.

Happy reading!

Continue Reading

On The Night Table [38]: August Reads

DSC00817


The Angel’s Share by JR Ward | The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan | And I Darken by Kiersten White


It is that time again to pick the books I want to make sure I get to this month. I have a few books for review as well, but those are always a given thing. I’ve had The Sunlight Pilgrims on my currently reading shelf but I didn’t get too far ahead because I have the attention span of a Tazmanian devil. So yes, still reading The Sunlight Pilgrims.

The Angels’ Share is JR Ward’s installment to her new series, The Bourbon Kings. I want to read this right away because I just read the first book. Everything is still fresh in my mind so I want to take advantage of that.

I also started And I Darken last month but I didn’t make any headway. So far, everyone is correct with their impression of Lada: she is a fearsome thing to behold and I can’t wait to read more about this family who is the very definition of scary dysfunction.

By last year this month, I was able to reach my Goodreads goal of 150 books for the year. Things are definitely different this year, but I hope to at least read 20 books this month to get me closer to my goal.

Books I’m Looking Forward to in August

26114463 This book will be out on August 9th. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy so I’m pretty pumped. Here’s the summary from Goodreads:


In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


30336056 This book will be out on August 30th, but it’s an Aussie release, so who knows when it will be available in North America. I’m ordering it from Book Depo so I probably won’t see it until at least early September. I’m a little wary of the impending love triangle or whatever but it’s Cath Crowley! I’m a fan of her work. Here’s the Goodreads Summary:


This is a love story. It’s the story of a second-hand bookshop called Howling Books where people leave letters to strangers, or those they love, or want to love, between the pages of books in the Letter Library.

Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie are best friends. Or they were. Before Rachel moved away to the sea. Now, she’s back, grieving for her brother Cal who drowned in the sea that he loved.

Rachel loves Henry. Henry loves Amy. Amy loves Amy but is happy for Henry to love her too.

This is a book about books. About the power of literature to cradle our past, present and future selves. It’s about how we leave ourselves behind when we die. How we leave our histories in the things we love – like books.


I hope you’ll enjoy what’s left of your summer, y’all. Let me know what you plan on reading this month and give me some good recommendations, will you?  Have a lovely week. 🙂

Continue Reading

On the Night Table [37]: July Reads

DSC00762


A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink | My Lady Jane by Hand, Ashton, & Meadows | Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare | The Beast by J.R. Ward


Hello. Me again.

Every month, I have a hard time planning what books I desperately need to get to above all the other poor books on my TBR pile currently collecting dust on my bedroom floor. I decided to give priority to the heavy-weights to give my floor joists a bit of a break. Lady Midnight is definitely a contender, along with The Beast by JR Ward. I would probably end up downloading these books on audio just because my arms wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of weight training while reading them.

I’ve started A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink last night and was pleasantly surprised that I’m enjoying it even if the story is very stereotypical farmer romance. Heh. And because practically everyone I knew has been singing My Lady Jane’s high praises, I decided to find out what the dealio was.

In July, I hope to keep up my reading streak. I think 20 books a month is realistic. I’m just going to keep doing what I do best and read books that don’t require much thinking on my part. Ha.

Books I’m Looking Forward to in July

26024583  27245910

And now, an obligatory Justin Trudeau picture because it’s Canada Day.

images

Continue Reading

On the Night Table [21]: Back to the Grind

DSC00267


Happy Monday!

I’m hoping this week will be better than the last. Like I mentioned yesterday, I only read one book. Thankfully,  The Witch Hunter was enjoyable enough. I really want jump start my reading mojo again; so this week, I’m tackling a couple of books from Ernest Cline, and one from a well-seasoned author – which I, unfortunately, knew very little of – Owen Sheers.

I’m in the middle of Ready Player One, which is as excellent as everyone said it would be and beyond everything I’d ever expected. I didn’t think I would enjoy this as much as have been. Considering it is a bit of a Sci-Fi.  The setting is an Utopian world that predominantly runs on virtual reality, and we all know my brain doesn’t really work well when I have to imagine something as futuristic. The actual world itself is a wasteland, with the people dependent on  food vouchers. In other words, war, famine, chaos. You know, all the good stuff. 🙂

I probably shared this misconception with a lot of readers, but I was under the impression that Armada is the sequel to Ready Player One. I was wrong. It could be set in the same world, but don’t quote me on that.

I Saw a Man has been on my reading queue for a couple of weeks now. I thought I’d try to tick it off my TBR list this week. It’s a short novel, but I think I’m in for a rough, emotional ride. I’m oddly looking forward to reading this.

Read

I’m looking for some good New Adult recommendations, guys. Give me something good!

What are you reading this week?
Continue Reading

On the Night Table [16]: Things in Ashes and Tides of Molecules

DSC00144

 

Hello there!

It has been a rather interesting reading week for me. I seem to be on a roll, but that doesn’t mean I’m liking everything I’m reading. I’m always bummed when I don’t quite enjoy a book sent to me for review. I feel I have to be honest at all times, and at the same time, I can’t help but feel a twinge of remorse for expressing how I really feel about the book.

This past week, Galgorithm and Three-Day Summer were those books. I fervently wished that I could’ve enjoyed both, but it really wasn’t in the cards for me. Aside from those two books, I also finished:

  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
  • Best Kept Secrets by Sandra Brown
  • A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
  • We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen

All in all, another great week of reading.

This week, I’ve got four books on the go. But since I’ve already finished We Are All Made of Molecules, technically, I only have three books on the pile this week.

  1. Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
  2. Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  3. Tides of Honour by Genevieve Graham

I’ve got some e-ARCs that I’m desperately trying to finish as well. One is Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone and Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. I just got approved to read Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry, so that one’s also on the queue.

I’m really looking forward to reading these books. Now that I’ve sort of gotten a handle on time management, I’m confident that I’ll be able to squeeze them all in my days and nights. That is, if I eliminate such time wasting endeavours like say, sleeping and eating. 🙂

Anyway, have a great week, everyone! And happy reading.

Continue Reading

Confessions of an Addict [#35]: Unrelated Observations and Pointless Conclusions.

DSC_0854

Your bookshelf brings all the boys in the yard.

Have you ever heard of a blog called, No Book Unread Project? It’s the brainchild of an aspiring writer who, in an effort to improve his writing decided that the best way to do that so was to read more. In his post, he figured he has 175 unread books. And for someone who has read 188 books in 2014,  this is hardly an impossible task.

However, you need to consider the quality of the books in his shelves vs. what’s in mine. It’s not even close. He reads high fantasy books in the likes of R.A. Salvatore. More than likely door stoppers. The kind that has complicated, intricate world building. My TBR bookshelf houses a schizophrenic selection picked mostly on a whim, or because I gave in to the pressures of a particular book’s noisy buzz.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. One should never pit their reading choices against another’s. My point is, while my family and friends may think I have Robotic Reader Eyes, I tend to pick books that doesn’t strain my brain too much: contemporary, realistic, and sometimes, if I ate enough peanuts, literary fictions. So in reality, though it might look possible in paper, I don’t think it would be if we switch TBRs.

The TBR Dungeon.

In the beginning of the year, I must admit that I thought this is doable; that I can simply saunter down in the basement and pick a book to add to my reading rotation until all the dragons in the dungeon have  been slain. As soon as I cleared the cobwebs and fluffed some of the dust bunnies away, however, the problems soon start taking turns bitch-slapping me in the face. Like, 453 of them.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

These are books that have gone stale. They’re two to three years old. Unread. Old releases. Does anyone even care to read reviews of these old books? I think that’s the problem I’m having with at the moment. As a book reviewer, I want to post reviews that are relevant and new; not books that were published three years ago. But as a reader, I know that time is immaterial. Whether I read them tomorrow or a year from now, it doesn’t really matter. Because books are timeless. READING should not be constricted to an allotted time period, otherwise, it becomes a pesky homework and not…fun.

So now, I’m conflicted.  The hermit philanthropist in me is thinking: I can always donate them to my library, or the charity shop where I buy my books. The hoarder in me is thinking:  Are you crazy?! What if you’re missing something good? Something life-changing amongst the rubble of this neglected pile? The reader in me is thinking: shut up and start reading!

Such is the flow of my consciousness every time I’m confronted by my  gigantic TBR.

Do you think that your readership care about the publishing dates of the books you review on your blog?

Continue Reading