Monthly Musings – July 2014
This 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
The 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The I Want To Scrub My Eye Balls Out BUT I Can’t Stop Looking Award
Saga 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.
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.