Monthly Musings – January 2015
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/under-read 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.
January was a great month for me. I hosted my first author interview AND my first giveaway! A number of people asked about PromoSimple, the tool I opted to use instead of the more common Rafflecopter. I will say I really liked it. Since I have never used Rafflecopter, I can’t give you any kind of comparison though. It was extremely easy to set up and work with and has two different styles you can choose from (each of with has several color schemes). If you pay for it, you get complete control over the colors, but for what I am doing the free version is great. And, if you check out their plans, they don’t actually mention the free version. There is a free version! (or I wouldn’t have used it). Since I’m happy, I do plan on using it again.
This month also marked the beginning of my Backlist Burndown feature! I chose to kick it off with Tigana, and am quite pleased with the choice. Beautiful book and now I can say that I have read more than 1 book by GGK. I was also thrilled to see a couple people join me! For anyone interested, I am going to keep an ongoing list available from my top menu called Dracarys! Backlist Burndown. I will open a new linky at the beginning of each month and feature it at the end of me review on the last Friday of the month. My February review will be for Zoo City by Lauren Beukes on February 27th.
Highlighted Read of January
The Just City by Jo Walton
I just loved this book for being a bit different and also making me think and look at the world and it’s possibilities. Highly recommend it (and even though it is a book that makes you think, it does so in a way that does not feel stuffy and academic, it’s just an engrossing story that inevitably makes you examine the world a bit.
Book Club Reviews
My entire online presence (such as it is) started solely to join an online book club. From there I have had quite an evolution in regards to my involvement. For a while I averaged at least two book club reads a month. I have calmed down some, but still do at least one. I do my best to try and get interest and involvement for the Fantasy Faction book club, and have also found myself as a mod for Reddit’s r/Fantasy Goodreads group which also hosts a Book of the Month.
Fantasy Faction Book Club
For January, we read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin. Since this was my nomination, I was thrilled with the choice. And I can say I was quite happy with the book and enjoyed being able to discuss it a bit with forum members. My only regret was that I enjoyed the book enough that I flew through it in 3 days at the very beginning of the month making it a bit harder for me to discuss in some of the weekly discussion when I couldn’t remember exactly what happened when (afraid of accidentally posting spoilers). I am looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy. I was lucky enough to get the omnibus from Orbit so I have them waiting for me. I just need to find the time 🙂 Next month for this group is Traitor’s Blade, which was a fun book, but as I read it a year ago, I likely won’t be much use in the discussions.
Reddit /r/Fantasy Goodreads Discussion Group
Well, our official book for January was Low Town. I read this so long ago, I have had problems taking part. But, it is also motivating me to go back and explore the book enough that I can hopefully write a Flashback Friday review for it. Now, I did read Tigana this month, which was December’s choice for this book. It was nice to go back and read the comments left by other readers and see some of the same reactions. Next up for this group is The Black Company, which I read with Fantasy Faction Book Club a year or two ago.
Review Summary [January]
- [5 Jan] The Providence of Fire by Brian Staveley ★★★★½
- [10 Jan] The Just City by Jo Walton ★★★★★
- [19 Jan] Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear ★★★½
- [23 Jan] Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman ★★★★
- [26 Jan] Half the World by Joe Abercrombie ★★★★½
- [30 Jan] Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay ★★★★½
Tough Traveling with the Tough Guide Tour [January]
- [1 Jan] Tough Traveling – Holidays
- [8 Jan] Tough Traveling – Snarky Sidekicks
- [15 Jan] Tough Traveling – Messiahs
Looking Forward to February 2015
I’ve already gotten a jumpstart on my Backlist Burndown book, Zoo City, for February. And I have lots of great review books lined up as well! Two I plan on reading for sure are Touch by Claire North and The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan. I was also happy to finally get The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black Audiobook from my library after being on the waitlist for a while. So, that will also be on tap this month.
Since my first giveaway went well, I’m looking to do another! This one will feature books from my favorite authors. I’ve not participated in any sort of hop before, so we’ll see how this goes 🙂 Since the end result will be sharing a book by one of my favorite authors to some unsuspecting winner, I am guessing it will end well.
January is also the time to sign up for challenges! I have signed up for a few this year. My Goodreads challenge is 60 books. I also signed up to do several challenges at Wolds Without End
Read 12 books by 12 new-to-you women authors in 12 months. One of your author choices should be totally random.
The challenge is to pick 12 new books by authors you’ve already read at least once. Write 6 reviews. The goal is to delve deeper into the body of work of some of your favorite authors, and of course, to have fun.
OK, this should be an easy one for me, but you never know. The challenge is to read 18.