On the Night Table [17]: ARCs

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Hello.

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you had everything planned only to have it all go kablooey on you? Bah. This is why planning never works especially for  someone who is afflicted with some form of an attention deficit disorder. I had four books on the go last week, but only managed to finished one.  I wasn’t even able to touch a couple of them, but I am, however,  in the midst of An Ember in the Ashes

Because I’m completely useless when it comes to keeping track of book release dates, I’ve had to re-prioritize my reading queues.  So that’s what happened last week. I tell ya, a couple of years into blogging, I promised myself I will not submit to any type of reading pressure whatsoever. But look at me now. It’s different this time around, though. For some reason, I don’t feel nearly as overwhelmed. I mean the books that I’ve been getting for reviews are books that I wanted to read anyway, so it’s not like I’m forced to read them. I think that was the problem a couple of years ago.

As time goes by, I’ve noticed that I’ve become hungrier. I’m pushing myself to read more, not because of a goal, but for the simple fact that I can’t get enough. Has this ever happened to you? Have you reached a point in your book-loving life when reading has become as addictive as exercising is to gym rats? 

This week, the books on my pile are review copies. I wanted to get ahead because there are way too many books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while now. I wanted to catch up with In Death series, and read a few of Sandra Brown’s backlist.

READING QUEUE
  • Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca (June 9th release)
  • The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart (July 7th release)
  • Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry (May 26th release)
  • Close to Hugh by Marina Edicott (May 26th release)
BOOKS READ
  • Deadline by Sandra Brown
  • Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone
  • The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  • Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  • Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

I hope you’ll have a great week, everyone! What’s in your pile this week?

 

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

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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.

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On the Night Table [15]: Current and April Reads

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First things first: This week’s reading choices.

The Girl at Midnight has garnered some pretty promising reviews as of late. Many of which spoke of how much Grey’s writing can be compared to Laini Taylor. So of course, I wanted to read this one right away.

Emery Lord is fast becoming a rock star of contemporary YA, and that’s only after her debut work. I really enjoyed her Open Road Summer, and have looked forward to reading whatever she’s got coming.

Life After Life was such an interesting book. It combines Historical Fiction with some paranormal elements. This book is about Ursula’s brother, Teddy. Who may or may not share Ursula’s ability. I’ve been dying to read this since I got wind of it. I think I may have featured it on the rare Waiting on Wednesday way back when.

Books Read this Week
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab (review to come)
  • Naked in Death by JD Robb (review to come)
  • Algorithm by Aaron Karo (review to come)
  • Mirror Image by Sandra Brown (review to come)
  • The Collector by Nora Roberts

April – The Magic Number

Last month was a fantastic month for me. Blogging-wise, I was able to do at least 20 posts for the month. I read 20 books and am more than halfway on my Goodreads reading goal of 150. I averaged about 3.6 star-rating, highest being 5 and lowest being 2. I’m hoping to keep to this pace because God knows, I need to put a dent on my reading pile. Sigh.

Books Received for Review

  1. Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbö
  2. Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong
  3. Revenge of the Kremlin by Gérard deVilliers
  4. The Fearless by Emma Pass
  5. Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca June Publication
  6. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon September publication
  7. The New Neighbour by Leah Steart June Publication
  8. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone June Publication
  9. Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone Review soon
  10. Algorithm by Aaron Karo Review soon
  11. Three Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash review soon

Top Three Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading in May

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That’s been my April. How was yours?
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On the Night Table [14]: Darker Shade of The Collector Solving Galgorithm in a Three-Day Summer.

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I’m so excited about my reading pile this week! First, I found my copy of A Darker Shade of Magic in a pile of books meant for the cabin. Second, ARCs of a couple of contemporaries from Simom & Schuster; and third, The Collector by Nora Roberts  to which, I’m more than halfway through (like, like, like).

I’ve also started A Darker Shade this weekend, and I all I can say is,  Ms. Schwab is such a phenomenal story teller. I haven’t started the ARCs, but I can already tell I’m going to love it. Three-Day Summer has a Woodstock vive; and Galgorithm sounds so quirky and cute.

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Red Queen was a disappointment and a half. The Shadows was tiresome. The Fearless was relentless. Simon was unbearably cute. Mad About You was hilarious.

Since you didn’t get an update from me this weekend, here’s a couple of pictures of what my weekend was like:

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I got my deck ready for summer. So now…

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I have a new favourite reading spot!

What was your weekend like?
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On the Night Table [13]: Housekeeping

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Another work week is upon us! I wish I can say that I’m excited about this, but any week that I’m forced to work rather than read is not a good week at all.  Sigh. Unfortunately, I have to play the adult role and fulfill obligations and such. Yep. It sucks being a responsible adult.

This week, I thought I’d try and finish some books that I’ve started a couple of weeks ago. Sort of a housekeeping before I can move on to my  pile of ARCs for May. I’ve started reading The Shadows a couple of weeks ago, and because this book is massive (576 pages), I used my Audible credit to download a copy on audio. I’ve been listening to it at work, and have been reading it simultaneously from time to time. I wish I can say something positive about this book, but unfortunately, this was a non-consequential instalment (relative to the series, that is).  The good news is, I’ve got about a quarter left. Yay.

The Fearless by Emma Pass is a stand-alone post apocalyptic novel set in UK. Basically, it’s what happens when a serum used to treat soldiers with PTSD becomes an unforeseen nightmare. I say, if you’ve read a zombie novel in the past, then you will have an idea on what this story is about. It is sort of similar. Only, there’s a semblance of intelligence left to those who were afflicted. I’m liking what I’m reading so far (I’m about halfway).

If I were really thinking ahead of this post, I should’ve had A Darker Shade of Magic instead of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda pictured here. Can you believe that I can’t find my copy? I did some Spring cleaning over the weekend and have packed up some books to take to the cabin. I have a feeling my copy got lost in the shuffle. Now I have to wait until the weekend to dig it out.

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laurel heights summerhill

For the last two weeks, I’ve been ensconced in Kate Perry’s world. I managed to finish off her Summerhill series, and currently working my way through Laurel Heights. Her books are fun, sweet, romantic and with very little angst to speak of. I really enjoy being a curious bystander to her stories, not to mention they’re fast reads. One of these days, I’m going to sit down and write an actual review for these books. They need more love!

This is my plan for the week. What’s yours?

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On the Night Table [12]: Shadows and Magic

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I’m still struggling with the time zone change, so every night, I find myself either tossing and turning or reading. Unfortunately, both are becoming such a bother to my husband. I started reading Sea of Shadows on Friday night. By the time 5 am rolled around, I was more than halfway through. On Saturday, I woke up at 9 am and cleaned the house and kept on working until night time. I’m exhausted, but I refused to take a nap. The last time I took a nap, I slept for 5 hours and was up until 5 in the morning. So, no. I’m not doing that again. Needless to say, I have been spending some late nights reading. This would be nice, but I still need some sleep. Sigh.

This week, I’d planned on reading one book for review and a couple that’d been on my shelf for quite some time. Age of Legends by Kelley Armstrong is a fantasy series. Though I was intimidated to start it, I didn’t have a choice as I needed to read the first book in order to read Empire of Night. Since I’m halfway done, I have to say that this world and the plot is interesting, at least.

A Darker Shade of Magic is one book that I’ve coveted since I got wind of it last year. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to pick it up. Well, this is one book that I’m really excited to read, so here’s hoping it will be everything that I’d expected from Ms. Schwab.


18209344Sea of Shadows [Age of Legends, #1] by Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: April 8th, 2014
GOODREADS SUMMARY:

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court–one that will alter the balance of their world forever.


21480854 Empire of Night [Age of Legends, #2] by Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: April 7th, 2015
GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were.
Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, they are all but prisoners in court, forced to watch and wait while the Emperor decides whether to help the children of Edgewood, who remain hostages of the treacherous Alvar Kitsune.
But when the emperor finally sends the girls on a mission to rescue the children–accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of men–the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. With lies and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on every bit of influence and power they possess to unite their people and avert an all-out war.


A Darker Shade final for Irene A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Publication Date: February 24th, 2015
GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.


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Reviews for these books will be up this week.

What are you reading this week?
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On the Night Table [11]: Leaving on a Jet Plane

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Hiya.

How was your weekend? I had a busy one. As I mentioned last week, I’m about thee days away from a two-week holiday. Well, I don’t think I’ve mentioned where we’re going. My 8-year-old and I are off to the Philippines. It’s been seven years since our last visit so this is a long time coming.

I wish I could bring my husband and daughter with us, but he can’t get time off work; and my daughter is finishing Grade 8. She can’t afford to miss two weeks of school, to be honest.

It’s a bit of a long arduous flight; three hours to Vancouver, then 14 hours to Manila. Frankly, I’m looking forward to reading. But because I don’t know what kind of internet connection we would have when we get there, I’m not sure how often I could go and visit you guys. Just know that I’m going to try my best.

On this trip, I planned on finishing Charley Davidson. I’m two books away. I just noticed that I have the wrong photo up there. Derp. Sorry about that. It’s supposed to be book 6 and 7, since I’m already reading book 5. Doh. It’s been a crazy busy weekend, to be honest.

I also have Vision in Silver, an instalment that I’ve been looking forward to reading since I read Murder of Crows. The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn is a book that’s been well received by my favourite Aussie and Asian bloggers. So of course, I want to read it. The Last Time We Say Goodbye is Cynthia Hand’s debut in contemporary fiction. I’m excited to read this one even though it’s bound to break me.

I downloaded World After on Audible last week because it was on sale. I now own a paperback, a Kindle copy  and an audiobook of this novel. Sheesh.

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When My Heart Was Wicked was a daunting read. And that’s saying a lot since it’s only 192 pages. Fifth Grave Past the Light was fantastic (I mean, surely you should expect this by now). The Glass Arrow was meh. Feed was…gah. It was awesome, and awful. And I hate it so much I want to read the rest of the books in the trilogy.

I hope I can find internet access where ever we may be. If not, I’ll talk to you all soon.

Happy reading!

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Confessions of an Addict [#36]: What My Kids are Reading these Days.

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When my daughter was 8 years old, I bought her a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. It was written in a way that kids her age would like: big fonts and illustrations to boot. She grew bored of it after a couple of chapters, I think. Her teacher told us that she’s a couple of levels ahead of her age group on her reading skills. So after that, I didn’t bother forcing her with “good books”. I let her be.

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Nowadays, she’s into manga and anime. Sometimes, I wonder just how violent and graphic these books are. But I’m not about to censure her reading preferences. I learned my lesson after I told her that I won’t allow her to read Looking for Alaska by John Green. She was 12 at the time. She still found a way to read the book, and I’m not about to teach my daughter that she needs to hide things from me.

I don’t know anything about these books because I’ve never been into manga. I think that if she’s learned to marry reading for fun and reading for school in her schedule, we’re off to a good start. I decided to sit back and watch her grow into someone who’s confident with her reading taste.


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At the beginning of the school year, my son brought home books with very little excitement. I started to worry. Soon, he stopped reading altogether. I brought him to the bookstore one day and asked him to pick any book he wanted. I was surprised when he picked a book about volcanoes. After a few more trips, I started to realize the reason why he doesn’t like the books his teacher was giving him: he doesn’t like story books. He’d rather read books about sharks, water, and the weather. He’d rather read about facts than fiction.

During the Christmas break, we went to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Man, this boy was spewing out facts like a seasoned marine biologist. Who needs a tour guide? He knows what kind of creatures to look for in certain habitats. He knows what they eat. He knows their rituals. He knows why they do the things they do. I was awestruck.

I’ve been lucky enough with my kids’ reading comprehension levels. Both of them are a level or two higher than their grades. I think that if you give them freedom to read, they’ll learn to trust their instincts.

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