Monthly Musings – July 2014

MonthlyMusingsThis is a where I look back at what I read (or tried to read) during the past month. I also plan on highlighting my experiences in any book club reads I from the month as well. I will always start with any books I would label as a surprise find/underread books so if anyone missed my reviews for them, and don’t make it to the end of this post, they’ll be easy to find.


Surprise Find/Underrated/Underread Book

18774021The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones – My full review of this will go up on Monday. Quite an interesting concept. It has 3 timelines (present day, late 1970’s and late 1800s). We get an anogonist POV where the reader is thrown into the mind of pretty much a mad man, we get to see how he tries to internally justify his crimes as well as a bit of his life that led up to it. Always fascinating and a bit disturbing to explore a troubled individual. The mystery of what is going on is pieced together through the 3 times lines. It wasn’t perfect, but it was an enjoyable read.


Book Club Reviews

I don’t have much to say this month. I had already read both books (Assassin’s Apprentice with r/Fantasy and Red Rising with Fantasy Faction). While I loved both selections, I just never participated much in discussions. Maybe I’m just getting burnt out on book clubs, maybe now that I’m blogging more, I don’t have as much time or interest in them. I expect August will be the same as I have read both of the selections already as well (Way of Kings and Promise of Blood).

Reading Highlights 

I was able to read a bit more this month than normal because I had an entire week to myself when my husband and boys went out of town without me. It was quite relaxing and much reading was achieved! (For me anyway 🙂 ) I listed them in order of how much I enjoyed them:

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb – Poor Fitz, things never fare well for him. I absolutely loved this even though (because?) it was heart-wrenching, gut punching, rip your heart at times. Can’t wait for the next ones. five-stars

Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman – This book provides a magically wonderful conclusion to the trilogy. If you enjoyed either of the other books, I really encourage you to read on because this one tied everything together so well and gave the series the ending it deserved. four-half-stars

The Wraith by Joe Hill – This book is so messed up and it was even creepier than I expected. Somehow, seeing someone else’s images of them gave this a little extra creep factor than I would have achieved if left to my own devices. Loved it. four-stars

Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell – Traitor’s Blade is a comically adventurous journey of survival and persistence.  With sword fights! This is an excellent choice for a lighter read, or a change of pace between grimmer, more serious books. four-stars

The House of Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory – The House of Four Winds has the air of a fairy tale.  A fairy tale that features pirates, nonetheless. While I may not have been crazy about the quick romance and rushed ending, it was still quite a fun read. three-half-stars

The Maze Runner – Why did I read this?? The only thing that really worked for me in this was the concepts. I suspect I will enjoy the movie more, because surely they will give a little more personality to these characters than I got during my read. I just found myself not taken in or caring about any of it. And found most of the character to be rather mindless. two-half-stars


The I Want To Scrub My Eye Balls Out BUT I Can’t Stop Looking Award

saga-vol-2-screen-5-2Saga Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan – There are some things that just can’t be unseen. Images that make you shiver and squirm in your seat. Make a face between laughing and like you just sucked on a lemon as you double check. Yeah, that image is what you thought it was. You know that type of picture. You look at it a bit longer than you think you should because your brain is still trying to come to terms with the image. You can’t quite decide what your reaction should be. It might be revulsive, but somehow there’s a level of fascination and just enjoyment at the unexpected that keeps you looking at it. Even if it means feeling like you need to go scrub your eyeballs and brain free of the sight. Well, theres a couple of those in here. So if you delight in that, check it out. four-half-stars


Looking Forward

Here’s the ARCs I have lined up and am looking forward to read this month (and if not this month, then next month):

  • The League of Seven by Alan Gratz – This is a middle grade book, not my normal thing. But, my son read a YA book by this author (Prisoner B-3087) and he loved it. I saw this on NetGalley and thought it might be fun to include a “kids review” of it with his reaction. Sounds good in theory. I asked him before I requested and he seemed eager, but honestly, the blurb doesn’t interest him as much (he tends to read adult books or YA books, so a Middle Grade book is a harder sell). I am still hoping he shows interest, because I think it would be fun to read/review a book with him.
  • The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley – Strong female lead? Dark World? Amazing reviews? Yep. I’m reading this one.
  • Golden Princess by S. M. Sterling – I won an ARC of this from a Roc flash giveaway on Twitter. I’ve not read any of the other Emberverse books, and I’ve not heard much about this one, but it sounds like it could be quite good, so Why Not??
  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett – I’ve been wanting to read a book by Bennett for awhile. Everything I have heard about his books and recommendations that have been made to me really lead me to believe I will love his stories. So, I am quite excited to finally have one in my hands.
  • Sword of the Bright Lady by M. C. Planck – I love medieval settings, and so the thought of someone from our world landing in one is quite intriguing. I’m curious to see how it goes.
  • Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes – This is another author that I have heard great things about. Really looking forward to this one
  • Horrorstor by Gary Hendrix – I am crazy excited that I will receiving a copy of this. If it shows up this month, I will definitely dig right in.

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11 thoughts on “Monthly Musings – July 2014”

  1. I like your idea to review a book with your son – that’s really cool and would be good to have the different perspective. When I read Way of Kings and Words of Radiance recently they were for a readalong, one of the participants put two points of view for the questions – hers and her husband’s – I really liked that as an idea as well and it was interesting to see their different reactions they had.
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…Pirates and Princesses!My Profile

    1. I am really hoping I manage to work out a joint review with him, I think it would be a great experience, and give a different perspective to the book (one from the target audience!). But he is an eleven year old boy, so I’m not going to push it. I’m just happy when he reads.
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Monthly Musings – July 2014My Profile

  2. I hear you on book clubs – it can be a bit much when blogging. I’m in a book club at work (it’s kind of a mandatory social thing with library people, tbh) but it works for me because the selections are always literature or historical fiction. That way there’s not too much overlap, you know? I’m pumped to see your take on Hurley – I loved God’s War and I hope to read The Mirror Empire this month too!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams ChimaMy Profile

  3. I’m currently reading City of Stairs! Actually, I started a while ago but am just getting back into it again after having to put it aside to binge read The Magician’s Land. I also have The Mirror Empire and Sword of the Bright Lady to read, looks like we both have a pretty busy August of reviews 🙂
    Mogsy recently posted…Sunday Musings: Cottage Life, Comics and ViolenceMy Profile

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