Top 15 Favorite Reads of 2015

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As is traditional (last year’s is here) it’s time for a list of the best books I read in 2015! YAY! Because lists and books and favorites are all the best things ever. ❤

I read some gems this year, and though it was super painful trying to pick favorites, these (especially the ones near the top) make my heart explode in happiness just from looking at the titles, so I think they’re some good ones! My list is roughly in order of amount of loving them, and doesn’t include rereads. So here we go! (Prepare for much squealing…)

My top 15 reads of 2015

1. Broken Glass – Emma Clifton (in Five Glass Slippers)

brokenglasscoverSo… I spontaneously reviewed this awhile back. And it’s made it to the very top of my list this year. IT’S JUST SO PERFECT AND MY FIRST STEAMPUNK FANTASY AND ALL THE CHARACTERRRRRRRRRRRS!!!! Ahem. I just really really love this story! I want to read it again (and I’ve already read it twice). It’s just perfection and bursting with humor and snark and great dialog and plots and sooo many characters I love, especially Marius and Darcy and Henry, and it’s FUN but then it gets epic at the end and it’s so British AND I JUST LOVE IIIIIIIT! ❤ It makes me grin and keep grinning and unable to STOP grinning, whenever I think of it. GAAAHH! *tackle-hugs story* ALL OF THE LOVE! *gives Darcy and Marius an extra hug*

2. Archer’s Goon – Diana Wynne Jones

HOW. DO. I. DESCRIBE. THIS. BOOK. Ummm… I can’t! *flails around* It was Diana Wynne Jones which means it was pure distilled BRILLIANCE mixed up with total uniqueness, absolutely FANTASTIC humor, and just ALL OF THE PLOT TWISTS. Mind. Blown. I can’t get over it and it’s amazing and I think I need to read it again right now. I still love Howl’s Moving Castle the best of Diana Wynne Jones’ books (I mean… it’s my favorite book EVER besides The Lord of the Rings) BUT I THINK ARCHER’S GOON MIGHT BE SECOND. Maybe. Ahem. All of the characters are fantastic and the dialog and the humor and it’s timey-wimey and sci-fi and fantasy and modern and super confusing and I just love it a lot. Ack. ❤

3. The Ordinary Princess – M. M. Kaye

This was, in a word, PERFECT. ^_^ It just makes me so happy. I can’t. *beams and huggles book* It’s a sort of original fairytale type of thing, feeling like it has some hints of Sleeping Beauty and maybe a couple others, but mostly its own thing. It was just a quick read that was ADORABLE and sweet and perfect, and I loved the illustrations, and the character of the Ordinary Princess herself was awesome, and Peregrine who I loved a ton, and they were so cute together and just alskdjljlsjk it makes me happy and is a perfect little book. ^_^ ❤

4. Illusionarium – Heather Dixon

I’ve been dying to read this ever since reading Entwined. Needless to say, I pounced on it. The internet is probably still reeling with the incoherent fangirling babbles I shared on this blog about Illusionarium… Ahem. So suffice it to say, despite the creepiness, that I LOVED THIS BOOK AND THE DIALOG AND HUMOR AND EPIC STEAMPUNKNESS AND ESPECIALLY LOCKWOOD. LOCKWOOOOD!!!!! *flails around forever and a day* Basically, Lockwood. ❤ I just can’t get over that indescribable airguardsman snarky fiery epic trigger-happy roguish awesome Lieutenant Lockwood. (And he and Jonathan are a great pair. XD I love themmm.) (BUT LOCKWOOD. SO MUCH. ❤ ❤ ❤ )

5. The Pinhoe Egg – Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones books are always wonderful, but this one’s one of my top, like… four? of hers? (Howl’s Moving Castle, Archer’s Goon, The Crown of Dalemark, and this, are my favorites.) This was the conclusion to the Chrestomanci series, which I started late in 2014, and read most of this year. AAAHHH I LOVED THIS BOOK. It returned to the hero of the first book, Cat (who is great), and there were shenanigans and it had sooo much more of Chrestomanci himself than a lot of the others (which is pretty much my one complaint usually, since he usually only shows up a little in the midst of other people’s adventures). THERE WAS ALSO A GRIFFIN. AND CHRESTOMANCI AND AND AND ASLKDJFLK I just really really really love Chrestomanci and I need some fancy dressing gowns to wear around the house like he does. Except he has a castle… BASICALLY I WANT TO LIVE AT CHRESTOMANCI CASTLE AND READ ABOUT CHRESTOMANCI FOREVER. Because CHRESTOMANCI!!!!! ❤ ❤ Ahem.

6. Frederica – Georgette Heyer

After reading and loving The Grand Sophy in 2014, I wanted to try another Georgette Heyer, so this happened. I LOVED IT. The characters, just… aaagh! I loved them. LORD ALVERSTOKE. He’s one of those kind of awful fellows who’s sort of vain/spoiled, a lot like Howl actually, and yet he ends up being all noble too and just alskdjflklaskdj I love Alverstoke, he’s wonderful. And his relationship with the heroine and with her younger brothers — just YES! I don’t actually read a lot of regency historical romance sorts of things but this one was great. There’s also an airballoon and a crash and all of the DIALOG, my goodness it’s wonderful.

7. The Penderwicks in Spring – Jeanne Birdsall

AAAAHHHHH. I’ve been waiting for this ever since I read the first three Penderwick books (I even reread them this year!) and it was amazing. I was actually surprised because in a way it was so SAD but also the usual hilarious and just… I love the Penderwicks, okay. I LOVE THEMMMM. This family. Just. THEY ARE PRECIOUS. *gathers them in a hug* It was a little strange because it’s years after the previous ones and the three older girls are like TEENS and Batty’s 11 and… yes. o.o And I should have been upset, especially with all the sad, but I just LOVED. IT. SO. MUCH. Also there were like ten billion characters and the author juggled them all SO well and the writing is golden and ALL OF THE FEELS. I wish I could write like that. Basically I waited a long time for it and it did NOT disappoint. ❤

8. Conrad’s Fate – Diana Wynne Jones

This was a sort of Chrestomanci prequel because it involves him (Christopher) when he was a teen. LET ME FLAIL. Like Illusionarium, it was a great buddy-movie story (as I call them; even when they’re not movies… *cough*) and… Chrestomanci and the hero are so much fun together and I DON’T EVEN KNOW. But it was Diana Wynne Jones and I remember having so much fun and just really ENJOYING this! *flail* Chrestomanci as a youngster is just fabulous to read about, so sneaky but refined but clever and just brilliant and the dialog and I just loved it. ❤

9. Power of Three – Diana Wynne Jones

How. I. What. It. SOMETHING! *flailing* This was totally not what I was expecting and it was so DIFFERENT (something Diana Wynne Jones excels at) and PLOT TWIST! Wow. Also I loved all of the characters, especially the two who were like the hero (you’ll understand if you’ve read it), and it just had a lot of brilliance going on! It was epic. It felt rather different than her other stuff–a bit more like the Dalemark books than her “fun” ones… But I still adored it. Plus, the flashback where the fellows were drunk and met Titch was sheer gold. *dies of laughter*

10. Plenilune – Jennifer Freitag

This is here basically because DAMMERUNG!!!!! It was EXHAUSTING to read and took me from Christmas till August to read… like really heavy chocolate cake. Or the ocean. It was a little much, kind of too rich if you know what I mean, but it was totally worth it for Dammerung. He’s, like, possibly my favorite character this year. Possibly one of my top favorite characters of EVER. Like… HE’S UP THERE WITH HOWL, OKAY? Dammerung is just AMAZING and this monster of a 600+ page book of exhaustingly gorgeous poetical prose is totally worth it just for him. (And Rupert was amazing too. I have very complex feels about Rupert. Which makes me super glad that Dammerung is there to cancel those out because he just blows everything away with his amazingness). Like… he’s funny and powerful and heroic and epic and just… HE’S LIKE THE COOLEST EVER. Dammerung has a very special place in my heart. ^____^ ❤ ❤ ❤

11. The Skin Map – Stephen R. Lawhead

This was an AMAZING book. Contemporary/time-travel/fantasy/sci-fi-ish/historical… it has a little bit of everything. The writing and setting and just the entire thing is STUNNINGLY well done, not to mention the cast of characters, each of whom I love to bits! Arthur, Cosimo, Kit, Etzel, Wilhemina! (I even love the heroine!) Just. Gaaahh. It was a fantastic book, and would have been much higher up the list if it weren’t for something that happened in the last twenty pages… *cough cough* But I’ve actually gotten over that (mostly) and all I can think of is how amazing this book was and how much I want to read the sequels! *huggles all the characters* It was just a DELIGHT to read!

stonecurse12. Stone Curse – Jenelle Schmidt (in Five Enchanted Roses)

I reviewed this one on the blog and just YES. Beauty and the Beast retelling, which I ALWAYS love… And RITTER! ❤ Ritter and his heroicness and humor and just aaaahh I love him so much! And the setting and the fairytale feel and BAREND the Beast, down to loving the heroine, Karyna, a ton as well. I just… Gaaah. ^_^ *huggles all of them* The whole cast of characters and their relationships… just fantastic. SUCH A GREAT READ! ❤

13. Corroded Thorns – Emma Clifton

Aaand I also reviewed this one (more Beauty and the Beast, yay!) and it’s the sequel to my top favorite of the year, Broken Glass, and I sort of consider them one book because it’s so interconnected, sooo I couldn’t resist putting this on the list too! DARCY!!! Eeep. I just looooved this story and the characters AND THE ENDING WAS PERFECTION OH MY GOODNESS SO MUCH LOVE FOR THAT. ❤

14. Tahn – L. A. Kelly

This was the VERY first book I read in 2015, so it’s possibly a little hazy in my memory… But I know it was an exciting adventuresome read, with some good stuff, and was a little grittier than I usually like but still fabulous. And, like with Plenilune, it’s mostly here for one of my favorite characters of the year, namely the title character himself, Tahn. Tahn is the absolute epitome of my favorite archetype of characters, what I call the “dark guy”. (I’ve heard “anti-hero” used as well.) But I really really love him and his story and it was awesome.

15. The Book of Sight – Deborah Dunlevy

This book… I don’t know. It just made me happy. It was one of my first “random” ebooks I tried, since it was free on Kindle at the time and sounded interesting. I got so addicted that I’ve since bought all three of the sequels which are currently out (looking forward to reading The Poisoned Cure soon!) and already hoping the fifth/final book will come out soon! It’s a modern fantasy story, and it just… somehow kind of reminds me of the sort of stories I’m writing with my Kedran’s Wood series. I just enjoy it and it’s about these kids, a group of friends, in a little modern town, and their dealings with fantastical stuff that they start running into. Also, I really love Dominic. But it’s just a fun read, so… yes. It makes me think of sunshine. 🙂

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You mayyy notice a trend*, which is that books are much likelier to be extremely loved/high on my list when there’s a particular character I really like in the story… What can I say. I’m evidently extremely attached to fictional people. But I’d say that Dammerung, Lockwood, and Chrestomanci are my favorite characters this year. THEY’RE THE BESSST!

(*Whaaat, you thought I was going to say that the trend was Howl? HAHAHA. Fooled you. XD Ahem. Sorry. Howl does whatever he likes, and apparently that includes stealing the show in a blogpost that doesn’t even involve him… *cough*)

So there’s my list! Have you read any of these? (You totally should!) Do you have any favorite reads of 2015? TELL ALL IN THE COMMENTS! ^_^

Hopefully this next year of 2016 will hold some wonderful reads in it for all of us! ❤

Happy New Year, everyone!

Illusionarium Fangirling Babbles

You may remember that I keep occasionally babbling incoherently about how much I liked that book Illusionarium. If I liked it that much, I should actually review it and tell people about it, right? Or at least explain to my poor blog readers what on earth (or possibly off of it… in an alternate world, perhaps?) I was talking about.

Well, I’ve vaguely been meaning to review it, but was kind of overwhelmed by the idea. That happens to perfectionist me sometimes… But then! I realized that I had done a rather long and in-depth excitedly-flailing ramble to a good friend about it in an email soon after I had read it…

That was sort of a review, wasn’t it? So I decided I’d tweak that some and post it as a review. (I also don’t usually reference lots of other books/characters/authors/films/shows in reviews, but there’s a lot of that in this; I’m bolding the references.)

Here is my almost-review incoherent-ish fangirling babble for Illusionarium by Heather Dixon.

My goodness! I had so much fun with this book. 😀

It’s like The Night Circus meets Inception meets Mirriam Neal‘s book Disconnect meets Doctor Who meets Steampunk meets the kind of lively writing and boisterous characters who sound 1000% British of Entwined, (which is about the only similar thing, although it’s by the same author) and it’s also told in first-person from the POV of a guy, and since the last thing I read like that was that Curseworkers Trilogy (White Cat and co.) by Holly Black, it made me think of that, and also a little of Hiccup from the How to Train Your Dragon movie. A little. Just because. So… yeah, wow. Lots of reminders, and yet it was like nothing I’d ever read or seen! Oh, and there’s also kind of crazy outfits in a lot of it, kind of really colorful raggedy steampunkish clothing, I guess, and there’s a ton of masquerade-type mask things for awhile too, so that’s probably where most of the Doctor Who reminding came from — besides a wee bit of timey-wimey ness and the creepy-factor — but it kind of reminded me of The Girl in the Fireplace episode–was that what it was called?

It was also my first steampunk book! *gasp* I’d always wanted to try some steampunk and never got around to it before this. I think the steampunk element in Illusionarium wasn’t an extreme focus of it, kind of more like background… Most of the story was focused on the illusion stuff, which was some weird mix of stuff like the magic in The Night Circus, and science, and hallucination stuff like… like in Batman Begins (ooh, another thing I’m comparing it too. XD) and the Inception stuff about sharing dreams, or in this case illusions, and sort of being able to build stuff with your mind. *shrug* Anyways! Not SUPER steampunky, mostly it was just a whole lot of WEIRD mixed together. XD But I did loooove the steamunk feel and want to read more! I think this was a more fantasy-feeling steampunk and I know there’s more mechanical, realistic type ones, so I don’t know if this is even a really good sample of steampunk. But still. I feel quite excited to have finally officially read my first steampunk and now I really want to get to other steampunk books I have lying around and try them out! (I’ve since only read Broken Glass and Corroded Thorns by Emma Clifton, which I ADORED obviously, and were also extra fantasy versions of steampunk… But that only makes me want to read more steampunk, even more!)

Anyways, like I said, it’s kind of got things that remind me of stuff all over the place, but at the same time, really I’ve just never read anything like it! So much unique! At least for me. It was crazy but awesome. XD

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Pretty much my ONLY complaint was some of the creepy aspects of it… I just don’t get along well with really creepy kinds of things. At first I was creeped out because of this plague thing that turns people’s blood black so their veins make it look like black spider webs climbing up their skin and it just creeped me out… till I got used to it and ran into the rest of the creepiness in the book, which had to do with people kind of splitting and growing extra eyes and fingers etc. Maybe most people wouldn’t mind but IT KIND OF CREEPED ME OUT OKAY. O_O Meep. But aside from those two things, I positively ADORED it! 😀 But if you don’t have much of a problem with slightly creepy stuff maybe you wouldn’t mind, I don’t know. *shrug*

I’ve seen a lot of reviewers complaining about it not wowing them… EXCUSE ME? *splutters* It was breathtaking and edge-of-your-seat! It was… amazing! (Or maybe I don’t read exciting books. *shrug*) But you might have to go in not expecting much, and then just see if it catches you or not. It certainly wowed ME. I had no CLUE what it would be like, going in, so it just sort of wowed me extra because it was so DIFFERENT and I just loved the characters. 😀

The dialog. THE DIALOG. I loved it so much and it was one of my favorite things. Especially Lockwood’s. XD But… I’m getting ahead of myself here. I think I love books with super good dialog that I love to quote, lots of great humor, and characters who are sorta sarcastic and snarky…

And I haven’t even gotten to my favorite part!

Okay, so I LOVED the hero, and thought for awhile that he would be my favorite
character (sometimes it can get worrying with first-person narrators because sometimes it’s just hard to really really like them… unless that’s just me) but he was just so funny and dry but also felt sort of like a “normal” hero, and I just loved watching his struggles as he went up and down trying to find the right thing to do… I loved that and it was great. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed the main character’s “journey” this much in a long while… He also had these really hilarious, dry, witty asides he would put in occasional footnotes. It was so unique and hilarious! BUT. He wasn’t even my favorite!

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My absolute favorite thing about the entire book had to be this one character, Lieutenant Lockwood, who’s this awesome sixteen-year-old Royal Airguardsman with an eyepatch who has the most outrageous personality and is so amazing and fun and hilarious and epic that I simply don’t have a place for him in my Character Categories! O_O

It’s usually characters like Howl and Chrestomanci [both by Diana Wynne Jones] and Florian [Westmark Trilogy by Lloyd Alexander] and Azrael [Mirriam Neal again] that I can’t pigeonhole, but Lockwood… I can’t with him either! :O It’s so weird… I think the closest I could get would be somewhere in with Peter Pan from Peter Pan in Scarlet, mixed with a pirate guy named Tamo in The Pirate’s Son by the author who wrote Peter Pan in Scarlet (Geraldine McCaughrean; she must be good at that kind of character…) but not quite. I don’t know! It’s quite odd! O_O I mean, Lockwood has the same young-awesome-kind-of-savage-but-also-carefree-and-epic-with-a-pistol sort of feeling as McCaughrean‘s version of Peter Pan, and Tamo, but so much MORE too. LOOKWOOD’S JUST UNIQUE AND I LOVE HIM.

It’s very rare and odd these days for me to find a character that just DOESN’T fit in my character pigeonholes! (Which I need to do a post about sometime…) And it usually means they’re awesome. XD

I just loooove Lockwood and have been going around squealing about him ever since I was like halfway through the book. A few weeks after I read it, I flipped back through the book and reread basically every bit that had Lockwood in it. Yes. I love him that much. And I want to go do it again now! *flail*

Lockwood Lockwood Lockwood.

I just love him too much. I know I’m just fangirling and not making any sense probably, and repeating myself, but I don’t care.

I JUST CAN’T EXPLAIN LOCKWOOD OKAY. HE’S TOO AMAZING TO EXPLAIN IN MY OWN WORDS. YOU JUST HAVE TO READ HIM FOR YOURSELF.

illusionariumback

Basically, Illusionarium had a couple elements that were too creepy for me, but overall it was totally unique and my first steampunk and I really enjoyed it and it has one of my new favorite characters.

And it made me happy. It was kind of terrifying and thrillerish and made my heart beat too fast probably but it just… MADE ME HAPPY. I want to beam and huggle it forever. Just… if that’s not what you want books to do for you, I don’t know what is.

An equation for you. (Ha! Inside joke… Equations are a big part of the book; like… sciencey stuff and all.)

Illusionarium + Lockwood – creepiness = best. thing. ever.

If it weren’t for the creepy aspects, it might be like my favorite book this year (okay so it’s up against some pretty stiff competition… so I dunno. BUT STILL). It was just AWESOME.

(Plus, cover love. We can be shallow and love it for the cover, right? ❤ )

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Anyways! There is my ramble/babble about Illusionarium, because it’s definitely not coherent enough to quite call it a review. 😉

But if you think THAT was incoherent fangirling… Here’s the “review” I originally posted on Goodreads as soon as I’d finished reading it:

illusionariumreview

Unpopular Opinions Tag

So, you know how I said I had one tag left? Well back up, I have an amendment to that statement. Why, you ask?

Because Cait @ Paper Fury just tagged me with the bookish Unpopular Opinions Tag! Which kind of makes my day/week. Thanks Cait!!

So, I am going to do that! (Which will nicely carry my final [?] tag-post to my normal posting day of Monday. I like tidiness, I do.)

At first I was thinking of not doing it, because I’m not naturally a negative person. But I decided to give myself license to rant a liiittle bit today. For therapeutic reasons, you understand. 😉 I hope I won’t offend/annoy anyone. o.o But… well… these are kinda my opinions and as Cait so wisely said, we can all have differing opinions on small bookish things and still be friends! (Mostly. Hopefully. I have learned such things the hard way. :P)

So. Let’s do this thing!

(Pictures from Pinterest and Goodreads. Yes I did just raid my entire store of gifs on Pinterest why do you ask… Gifs make everything better and are stupendous at lightening moods. *nod nod*)

The Unpopular Opinions Tag of a Bookish Variety

1. A POPULAR BOOK OR SERIES YOU DIDN’T LIKE.

Um… I’m not sure if they count as popular, but I’m going to pick two books for this.

knightlyunfortunate

The End, the last book in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket — which I just hated how it ended and it didn’t explain ANYTHING and just gaahh. I kept reading the whole series, partly because they were amusing (in a dark way) and partly to find out what happened. BUT IT DIDN’T TELL US.

And Knightly Academy by Violet Haberdasher, because it had such potential to be awesome (I mean, a boy goes to school to become a knight in an alternate Victorian England? Sounds awesome, right?) but just UGH it let me down. I guess it’s just how all schools are with the bullies and the pointlessness and stuff. But I couldn’t see WHY the hero wanted to go to that school and he was so trod upon and it was sad and so annoying.

(Or… more like angry. But the gun shooting is accurate so…)

2. A POPULAR BOOK/SERIES EVERYONE HATES BUT YOU LOVE.

Again, don’t know if they count as popular, but…

houndillusionarium

The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison. I just loved it but nobody else seems to! What? PRINCE GEORGE, OKAY. He’s the best. And the story did enough twists and turns to make me rearrange my brain and just it was kind of amazing.

Also maybe Illusionarium by Heather Dixon, which might not count because it just came out but people seem to complain about it and I’m just sitting here going EXCUSE ME?? Aside from it being too creepy for me, it was SPECTACULAR. How can people complain that it’s… um… boring??

3. A LOVE TRIANGLE WHERE THE PROTAGONIST ENDED UP WITH THE PERSON YOU DIDN’T WANT THEM TO BE WITH.

(Is it bad the first thing in my mind at this question was a confused notion of Hawkeye? But he’s not a book character and I think I’m okay with it but I don’t know…)

halflings

I don’t know if I can think of one… I guess I don’t read much love-triangle stuff? But how about Halflings by Heather Burch — that has a love triangle and I kind of like both of the guys but Raven is kind of awesomer than Mace, so. And then I’ve HEARD suspicious things about Maria and Quinn and someone else later in the Destiny trilogy by Sarah Holman… so I’ll have to see. Ahem. I’ve only read the first in each series (I actually really liked The Destiny of One) so actually have no idea and am totally unqualified! But still.

destinyBut yeah. Love triangles in general… A mess.

4. POPULAR GENRE YOU HARDLY READ.

dystopian

Dystopian! Just… no. -_- I DO NOT LIKE IT. I’ve read, like… three? The genre makes me shrivel inside and is thoroughly unpleasant and just it gives me this awful feeling and depresses me. No thank you. THEY ARE JUST SO… HOPELESS OKAY. Like, the evil people have everything and are rich and the good people live in the dirt literally and are oppressed and everybody’s grumpy and everyone dies and sure mayyybe eventually the good guys will win (maybe?) but who even cares by now? Life just doesn’t sound worth living. Blech. I don’t have anything much specifically against the ones I have read, I mean, they’re fairly good and all (Captives by Jill Williamson, and Swipe and Sneak by Evan Angler… and yes I will read the Swipe sequels because PECK. PECK PECK. Though I just remembered some others I’ve read and no). On the whole I’m just not a fan of dystopian and will only read them when forced. NO THANK YOU.

5. A POPULAR/BELOVED CHARACTER YOU DISLIKE.

Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. I’m sorry, people, but I cannot abide characters who pine away and make themselves ill for love, especially for love of someone who’s a complete jerk, especially when there’s a really nice guy in plain sight, especially when all she’s doing is being a burden to her sister and mom and basically being worthless and it’s just stupid stupid stupid. I’M SORRY OKAY but I just can’t understand why anyone likes Marianne Dashwood. To me, she was just extremely unlikeable. I’m sure everyone else is seeing something I can’t and I’m just sitting here trying to figure it out…

mdashwood

6. A POPULAR AUTHOR YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO.

Suzanne Collins? I haven’t read the HG books yet but I read Gregor the Overlander years ago before HG was even a THING and I just… couldn’t get into it. Or Orson Scott Card with anything other than Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow.

7. A POPULAR TROPE YOU’RE TIRED OF READING.

The tough girls. Maybe this is extreme, but I’m very very sick of the so called tough heroines who think they’re so awesome (but are in reality even whinier than their more timid counterparts) and are all “I can be one of the guys and awesomer than they are and yeah I’m so tough.” I’m sooo tired of those. Ladies, you can use weapons and stuff — that is awesome, I have no problem with it, go you — and fine you can wear trousers if it’s more practical (though usually it’s more to make a statement) but can we please have enough of this attitude and making a big deal of everything? SERIOUSLY. -_-

shoojack

8. A POPULAR SERIES YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING.

Um… Twilight? Though I almost want to read it just to see what everyone’s deal is with hating it so bad. 😛 Almost. Recently I would also have answered this with Harry Potter and the Hunger Games trilogy. I guess they would fit under the question actually because “no interest in reading” which is rather true of me, but maybe someday I might end up reading them anyway just to see what on earth is up with them, peoples. Y’know, some decade when I actually have time and if they ever actually take priority over books that I’m excited about and WANT to read… Ha.

(Yeah, that’s funny…)

9. A SHOW/MOVIE ADAPTION YOU LIKED BETTER THAN THE BOOK.

The Princess Bride, and the 1990 Treasure Island with Christian Bale and Charlton Heston. OKAY I SAID IT. There are a couple movies I like more than the books. But this is really extreme. 😛 I do love both the books too though! But the movies were just… aaahh, so awesome! Of course the screenplay of The Princess Bride was done by the author, which is cool. I as-you-wish The Princess Bride. ❤

And Treasure Island, especially with its epic music by The Chieftains and just I loved all the casting and whatever changes they made I mostly liked and it was just awesome. And Charlton Heston as Long John Silver was awesome and Christian Bale as Jim Hawkins was perfection, and I kind of really loved Captain Smollet for some reason. It may have been his hair, or accent…? Anyways nobody really knows about it because I think it was a TV movie, and maybe it’s a bit violent but I kind of just loved it.

10. A POPULAR STYLE OF COVER YOU CAN’T STAND. (Cait’s addition to the tag)

I’m… not much of a cover connoisseur I’m afraid, other than unashamedly loving gorgeous dresses on covers… But it kind of annoys me when part of a face is missing… And mostly I think minimalistic sort of covers, popularized by The Hunger Games methinks, are super annoying. Like… a black background with some words and maybe some sort of icon thing. *shrug* It’s kind of boring I’m afraid. I wouldn’t say I “can’t stand” it but yeah. LET’S HAVE PEOPLE ON THE COVERS. DRESSES. WEAPONS. I DON’T KNOW — SOMETHING INTERESTING. Oh, and also, in general, covers that looked like they were made by a three-year-old. They make me sad.

***

There are no specific “rules” for this tag, so again I’m not tagging anyone — those who like stating their unpopular opinions are likely to take it anyway, and those who are more timid about it (like me…) might be torn about doing it.

So! Once again, if you would like to do this, play snag-the-tag! It’s a fun game, I assure you.

There is my post. I have now gotten my bookish negativity checked off my list for the next… hopefully year. 😛

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?
Have I done an unsafe thing by stating unpopular opinions?
WILL I BE SAFE AT NIGHT? O_O

(I guess we’ll find out… I keep a dragon under my bed as a burglar alarm. I do. His name is Flame the Frabjous and he’s very well trained against bilboes and other less harmless things that go bump in the night like frumious bookworms out armed with weapons of revenge that cause paper-cuts.)

The Bookshelf Tag!

Tag Catch-Up Post #5

Aspen tagged me for the Bookshelf Tag — thanks, Aspen!! Eeeeep, I’m so excited to do this one — it looks so awesome! *flailing* I just love love LOVE lists and books, and this combines them perfectly and aaaahhh!

Okay. I’ll get to the questions now and quit fangirling. 😉

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books-it doesn’t actually have to be a shelf!) and where you got it from: In this case, I have three bookcases, each with five shelves plus the top (which I totally keep books on too), one white, two black. The white one was from a garage sale. The black ones were from Target and I helped assemble them and it was awesome. I think I need a forth one though, because… overflowing. Yes.

Do you have any special or different way of organizing your books? Fictional books I’ve read are organized alphabetically by author… Then I also have some nonfiction and picture books etc., organized kind of by subject. And of course, my Tolkien books and Lewis books and Lloyd Alexander books have places of their own, apart from the general fiction. So much for read books… My unread books have their own bookcase, and I organize those however I feel like it, and it changes periodically, but mostly it’s organized either by category/genre, or by how much I want to read it right now, or some combination of the two…

What’s the thickest (most amount of pages) book on your shelf? I’d say my dictionary, but it’s on my desk, sooo… If we’re going to go with overall pages, probably my Complete Shakespeare of which I’ve only read one play, and is 1300 pages. But collections aside, probably Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke at 782 pages.

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What’s the thinnest (least amount of pages) book on your shelf? Little Mommy by Sharon Kane at 24 pages. It was kinda my childhood… *memories*

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Is there a book you received as a birthday gift? The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson.

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What’s the smallest (height and width wise) book on your shelf? Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep by Gail Carson Levine.

What’s the biggest (height and width wise) book on your shelf? Aside from my Atlases… Prince Valiant Vol. 11: Intrigues at Camelot by Hal Foster.

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Is there a book from a friend on your shelf? Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine. (Thanks, Kelsey! ^_^)

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Most expensive book? Probably Time and Mr. Bass by Eleanor Cameron.

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The last book you read on your shelf? Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.

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Of all the books on your shelf, which was the first you read? I literally don’t remember because I’ve been reading basically forever… Maybe Pippi Longstocking? That was early, anyway.

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Do you have more than one copy of a book? Honestly, a lot. Because I go to library booksales and can’t resist multiple copies of my scrumptious lovelies. They make great gifts, too! But if you want specifics… The Lord of the Rings. Lots and lots of The Lord of the Ringses, precioussss.

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Do you have the complete series of any book series? Yes. Lots and lots.

What’s the newest addition to your shelf? I don’t know which individual book was technically the latest, as I got fifteen books at a library sale recently…

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What book has been on your shelf FOREVER? The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, 50th Anniversary Edition.

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What’s the most recently published book on your shelf? Illusionarium by Heather Dixon, published May 19, 2015.

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The oldest book on your shelf (as in, the actual copy is old)? Probably an old gorgeous G.A. Henty book that I haven’t read yet, At Agincourt. Published 1896, and on the front page it’s marked as given to someone in 1897, so it was new at the time! O_O

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A book you won? King’s Warrior by Jenelle Schmidt.

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A book you’d hate to let out of your sight (aka a book you never let someone borrow)? The Sign of the Seven Seas by Carley Dawson. I found it for a quarter at a garage sale, and later found out it’s kinda rare and expensive. Which is sad, because it’s kind of beat up and I LOVE it, and the first book is out of copyright and free on Gutenberg.org, which makes me wonder if The Sign of the Seven Seas is as well, or not…? I still periodically check Gutenberg to see if it’s been put up there but it never is, and maybe the copyright was renewed but… I don’t know. I wish I knew more about this sort of thing because if it’s just that nobody has a copy of it to scan, I would totally figure out how to help Gutenberg with that! *flail*

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Most beat up book? In Chimney Corners by Seamus MacManus. I almost didn’t get it at the library sale I found it at, but I couldn’t resist Irish folktales, so I got it, beat up condition and all — and I don’t regret it because it’s awesome!

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Most pristine book? Tossup between England Adventure by Kelsey Bryant and The Word Changers by Ashlee Willis, because I got them recently but had read them before and haven’t reread them yet so they are in gorgeous condition and practically untouched (except for when I take them off the shelf and gaze on their beauty and pet them. What, you don’t do that with your new books?? *innocent look*).

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A book from your childhood? The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald.

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A book that’s not actually your book? I’m going to steal Aspen’s answer to this and say Stephen R. Lawhead’s Hood Trilogy which are my brother’s, that I still haven’t read… Also my sister’s Goldstone Wood books by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

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A book with a special/different cover (e.g. leather bound, soft fuzzy cover etc.)? Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll.

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A book that is your favorite color? The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit. Close enough, anyway…

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Book that’s been on your shelf the longest that you STILL haven’t read? The Book of Merlyn by T. H. White.

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Any signed books? Yes! Several by friends, but my favoritest is my copy of The High King by Lloyd Alexander that I found at a library sale and was signed! *hugs it*

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So there you go! I don’t know about you, but I had a TON of fun with this!

I’m supposed to tag people but I don’t even know who to tag because I want to tag EVERYONE.

So basically, if you think this looks fun, do snag it and do it on your blog and let me know so I can read your bookishly delightful answers! (And you don’t have to take pictures of books unless you want… just answer the questions.)

But I do specifically tag Christine (because I want to see your answers and hear about your books!) and Cait (because you can do your awesome bookish photography and I know you love lists and BOOKS! You know you want to). Y’all don’t HAVE to do it, of course, just if you want. 😉

BUT I TAG EVERYONE. SO THERE.

Coffee Book Tag!

Tag Catch-Up Post #1

Cait at Paper Fury tagged me for the Coffee Book Tag! WHICH EXCITES ME SO MUCH. For those of you who don’t know, Cait is a fabulous book blogger and also queen of the world. *nod nod* Go check out her hilarious blog, do! And become a minion/pineapple while you’re at it — you know you want to. Know why? *whispers* Cait gives out cake.

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So here’s the funny thing: I don’t really drink coffee. I really enjoy it when I do! But I just… don’t really drink it all that often.

BUT. I am still doing this lovely tag because of many reasons including how cool of an idea comparing books to coffee varieties is.

I am also taking a page out of Cait’s book (ha ha!) and getting a bit into book photography. Mwahaha. It’s super time consuming but sooo fun.

So let’s get to it!

The Coffee Book Tag

BLACK: NAME A SERIES THAT’S TOUGH TO GET INTO BUT HAS HARDCORE FANS.

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The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

I am a hardcore fan of The Lord of the Rings! …Not so much of black coffee. Ahem. But SOME people seem to think LotR is hard to get into. What even. I can’t even imagine what is wrong with them. It’s fabulous! Okay so maaaayybe it starts a little slow and is enormous. I can understand that. But it’s so so so worth it. Just look at that sweeping epic and the fantasy and the elves and the Rohirrim and the hobbits and Aragorn and Faramir and Eowyn and Eomer and Merry and Legolas and Gandalf and all of the epicness that ensues on their adventures and isn’t it just positively the best ever, preciousss? Yes, we are hardcore fans.

PEPPERMINT MOCHA: NAME A BOOK THAT GETS MORE POPULAR DURING THE WINTER OR A FESTIVE TIME OF YEAR.

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Wintermoon Wish – Sharon Shinn

I had the hardest time with this, because all I could think of was A Christmas Carol. Which I enjoyed, but it doesn’t taste like a peppermint mocha! It’s more like… cinnamon. So instead I’m actually going with a short story (don’t shoot me) which is in the collection “Firebirds Rising” edited by Sharyn November; most of the stories in it were frankly blech. But there were a few I liked, and my favoritest of ALL was “Wintermoon Wish” by Sharon Shinn. I ADORED IT OKAY. It’s some fantasy-world-ish version of a winter holiday like Christmas, called, yes, Wintermoon. And it’s just the most perfect little short story ever. Plus it has Jake. Which is reason enough for fabulousness. So maybe I’m bending the rules a bit, since probably no one’s even HEARD of it, but it gets more popular with ME, so that’s got to count, right?

HOT CHOCOLATE: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S BOOK?

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A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond

I just love Paddington. Everyone read this book. It’s perfect and hilarious and adorable and just perfect. Paddington Bear is one of my favorite characters, and he gets into such delightful scrapes and messes, but you know everything will be okay… eventually. I just love how he’s a BEAR in the midst of all the ordinary English people, and their reactions are the best. Plus, I love his hard stare, and his hat, and his love of marmalade and how he’s from Darkest Peru. Paddington’s the best, guys.

DOUBLE SHOT OF ESPRESSO: NAME A BOOK THAT KEPT YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT FROM START TO FINISH.

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Illusionarium – Heather Dixon

Ohhhhh my did it ever. I was so hooked on this thing! It was my first (and only thus far) steampunk novel to read. MAN WAS IT TENSE. I was so caught up in everything and read it in one day and I loved the characters and it was all fascinating and terrifying and Lookwood might be my favorite character so far this year, maybe, just because I’ve never met a character like him!! I have pigeon-holes for character types I like and… he didn’t fit. HE WAS NEW. I love him a lot, that teenage swaggering blond royal-airguardsman with an ego and a temper and an eyepatch and a sort of fierce British temperament like you wouldn’t believe. ❤ The book was partially too scary for me, but it certainly kept me on the edge of my seat.

STARBUCKS: NAME A BOOK YOU SEE EVERYWHERE.

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The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Disclaimer: I haven’t read The Hunger Games yet. And this one belongs to my brother. And it’s the only one of my list today that I HAVEN’T read (though I have seen the films thus far…) But it is positively everywhere, wouldn’t you say?

THAT HIPSTER COFFEE SHOP: GIVE A BOOK BY AN INDIE AUTHOR A SHOUTOUT

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The Book of Sight – Deborah Dunlevy

The Book of Sight was a random book I downloaded for my Kindle app for free, but actually got around to reading and kind of adored. It’s a contemporary fantasy about a few teens in a little town, who find this book and… yeah, I won’t give it away, but it’s awesome. It’s kind of whimsical and interesting… and in fact reminds me somewhat of my own contemporary fantasy I write, so it was fun and I just… really enjoyed myself reading it! So, shoutout! Go check it out, y’all.

OOPS! I ACCIDENTALLY GOT DECAF: NAME A BOOK YOU WERE EXPECTING MORE FROM.

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The Ravenmaster’s Secret – Elivra Woodruff

So I should have loved this book! The main character’s name is Forrest, he lives at the Tower of London, it’s set in the 1700’s, has Scottish rebels, the heroine’s a Stewart, there’s schemes and escapes and basically what’s not to like?? Unfortunately, it did it all wrong and the ending was wrong wrong wrong and gaaahh I got so frustrated with this book! *flail* Rawr. It makes me upset. And such a pretty cover, too! Call me disappointed. *glowers at decaf*

THE PERFECT BLEND: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT WAS BOTH BITTER AND SWEET, BUT ULTIMATELY SATISFYING.

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The Westmark Trilogy – Lloyd Alexander

This trilogy by Lloyd Alexander, consisting of Westmark, The Kestrel, and The Beggar Queen… I LOVE THEM. They definitely have their share of bitter (*cough*characterdeaths*cough*) which normally should have made me dislike the books, but it didn’t matter because I just LOVED them so much and they left me jittery with book happiness because they were perfect and I loved them, despite the sad. So this is indeed the bitter and sweet and satisfying perfect blend. (Also, 1700’s type of tale, you know…)

GREEN TEA: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT IS QUIETLY BEAUTIFUL.

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Orphan’s Song – Gillian Bronte Adams

Orphan’s Song feels so quietly beautiful and green-tea like to me… The world and the characters and the tale and the allegory and subtle magical notes of song — it’s just gorgeous in a quiet sort of way and I adore it. Also griffin. GRIFFIN. And it feels so GREEN and fantasy ish and I love the characters so much and the writing is just lovely. (And by the way it ended bad and I’m still waiting for the sequel! I needs it, precious!!)

CHAI TEA: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT MAKES YOU DREAM OF FAR OFF PLACES.

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The Iron Ring – Lloyd Alexander

Most kinds of books I read make me dream of far off places, but most of them that I read about (fantasy worlds and the British Isles…) feel actually closer to me in a way than my own place of dwelling. So I’m going to say Lloyd Alexander’s India folklore type story, The Iron Ring, which just feels so rich and foreign and unique and culturally deep and golden but also familiar in that way a dream is, that I just want to go there and see it. Also elephants and tigers and gems and Ashwara.

EARL GREY: NAME YOUR FAVOURITE CLASSIC.

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Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson

Scotland! 1700’s! (Again…) Alan Breck Stewart! Kidnapping! The high seas! Murder! Traveling through the Highlands with redcoats on your tail! Friendship! Love! (Or… love if you tack on the sequel, David Balfour/Catriona, which I consider the second half and therefore inseparable…) What’s not to like? Plus the accents. I love the accents. And it sticks in me mind that Alan is delightfully droll and witty, ye ken? There’s nae gettin’ away frae it, e’en if ye’d want to — which, weel, why would ye, then?? And I love the relationship between Alan and Davy… And it’s just all around swashbuckling awesomeness! Best. Classic. Ever.

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So! I’m supposed to tag people… Which means I’m trying to think of people who like coffee and drawing a blank. XD I’m afraid I don’t pay good enough attention to who the coffee fans are and aren’t… my bad.

I Tag:

Kayla @ The Wordsmithy’s Shop

Elfie @ Dream Dancer

Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination

C.B. @ The World of the Writer

Katie Grace @ A Writer’s Faith

Emma Clifton @ Peppermint and Prose

And y’all only have to do it if you want, and are not required to. 😉

And all of you reading this: If you have a blog and either think it looks fun, or like coffee and books, then you are officially TAGGED.

…And if you don’t like books . . . oh my goodness what are you doing reading my blog you must be lost you poor soul!! O_O You’d best hop on along to… wherever it is online non-bookish people frequent. I wouldn’t know.

READERS, DO YOU LIKE COFFEE? Or any of these books? Favorite flavors…? Educate me about coffee or what books you’d pick for these categories! Tell me all!