Monthly Archives: December 2015

My Year In Books

Goodreads are very wonderful at this time of year and they have given me stats for what I have achieved reading wise. My initial reading goal for the year was 100 books, to match my total from the year before. I smashed it this year! I had read 100 books by the middle of July, so I upped my total a couple of times, until I stopped at 130. Goodreads informs me that I have now read 154 books. I’m not sure that I will finish any more books this year, it would be nice to add another to the total to make it a nice multiple of five.
If you look at the breakdown of books, most of the things I read this year were trade paper backs or graphic novels… I don’t really know how this makes me feel. Sometimes it makes me feel like I am cheating to increase my total – as a trade paperback will normally only take me an hour or so to read so I can get through several in a day quite easily. Less than 50 of the books I read this year were actual novels, so I’m going to try and rejig how I work my reading challenge next year. I still want to record the graphic novels I read, but I want to make more of an effort to read more novels.
How do you factor comic books into your reading goals for the year?
Below is my year in books.

Img totallargel 2x 154 books, 35,477 pages

SHORTEST BOOK
36 pages
The Dark  by Lemony Snicket
LONGEST BOOK
766 pages
Harry Potter and the Order of th…
by J.K. Rowling
AVERAGE LENGTH
235 pages
 
MOST POPULAR
4,050,573 people also read
Harry Potter and the Philosopher…
by J.K. Rowling
LEAST POPULAR
19 people also read Hero Cats Volume 1 by Marcus Williams
MY AVERAGE RATING FOR 2015

3.6
HIGHEST RATED ON GOODREADS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
by J.K. Rowling
4.57 average
MY 2015 BOOKS
really liked it
it was amazing
 – girlinthenerdshop

 

Category: Storytime | Tags: , ,

July / August Bookshelf Update

Seems like we are continuing with the bookshelf update. I really should have kept on top of this, as it’s getting tricky to remember all of the books that I read this year. There have been quite a large number as you will see in the wrap up post at the end of the year!

July

1. Fables 18: Cubs in Toyland

More Fables, getting close to the end now, don’t want it to end. I’ve really enjoyed these. Never end!

2. Jupiter’s Legacy Vol 1

A different take on superheroes, they all come out of the woodwork and they are in the public eye, with sponsorship deals and advertising rights and such. The troubles they have are big and small just like a normal person’s problems are.

3. Seconds

This is by the guy who wrote Scott Pilgrim, I wanted to give him another chance to impress me. This book was SO much better than the first I read by him. I liked how messing with time didn’t work out, as often messing with time stories never seem to show you how things can get so messed up. Essentially she got everything she ever dreamed of, but it didn’t make her happy like she thought it would. Cautionary tale.

4. Zoey Fools Around

5. Jake Finds Out

6. Nina Won’t Tell / Ben’s in Love

So, there’s a story behind why I picked this series of books to read – the first time I picked them up was when I was in secondary school. There was me and another friend that used to read them. I was reminiscing about them and decided I wanted to read them again to relive those memories. They were just as good / bad as I remember. And there is a lot about the stories that I don’t even remember, which is refreshing. I have the whole series sitting on a shelf waiting for me to read – all 24 of them!

7. Cemetery Girl

I started trawling through the comics shelf at my local library every visit, and I do seem to find some interesting looking books. This one was short, and I liked the idea of a girl living in the cemetery. She does this because she can’t remember who she is, and she stays where she wakes up. She hangs around with a variety of people that live in / near the graveyard and she becomes a bit of a badass and helps to stop a crime.

8. A Night of Cake and Puppets

I took a break from reading the main trilogy to wait for my friend to catch up, and I wanted a quick delve into this universe again, as it’s one I became rather fond of. This short story focuses on Karou’s human friends, and fills in the gaps in the story where they get together. I’m so glad that we got to see how the two finally got their acts together, as they are quite possibly the sweetest couple [even though Zuzanna would murder you if she heard you say that]. This story is magical, and such a necessary addition.

9. Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Hot in the City

I’d been trying to get into Harley Quinn comics for a while, and I was given the New 52 volume for my birthday. This one really kicked it off for me, shes kooky and strange like the original comics, but she doesn’t do so many of the painful one line jokes in this, well… maybe a couple, but she doesn’t do them in every single panel like she has done previously. This made me want to read more about her, and find out more of her back story or previous versions. [ As comic book history is well twisty and stuff]

10. Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock Knock Jokes

So, my new found love for HQ made me not hate the silly jokes and puns – as I had found them quite irksome the first time I had tried to read this book.

11. The Bumper Book of Simon’s Cat

Come on, its about cats. I like cats. Cats are great.

12. Shadow and Bone

Another YA trilogy, don’t shoot. I have a favourite type of book to read. This trilogy has been so great, and I would say underrated as I hadn’t heard all that much about the series prior to picking it up.

13. Serenity 1: Those Left Behind

This was a quick foray into the ‘verse. Nice for a bit of nostalgia, but it didn’t grab me as much as the show did.

14. Gotham Academy Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy

I had heard nothing but great things about this book, so I scuttled out to buy it for my birthday. I loved it, I want Maps to be my bestfriend.

15. Teen Titans Vol 1

I picked this one up because we had been watching the cartoon show Teen Justice [or something like that, Justice League Kids Edition] and it did not disappoint. It felt very much like the show,  all the characters felt like friends coming home.

16. Rat Queens Vol 2

I was hesitant to pick up this volume after some drama with the creative team. However, they mixed things up and got a new guy in so I didn’t feel bad picking it up. My one problem was you could tell that the direction had changed, it felt like whoever was writing the new comics didn’t know the characters all that well so they felt like different people this time.

17. Princeless Vol 3

I love a good strong princess story and this one is excellent, the lead princess is all about saving herself and wearing armour that looks practical. No chainmail bikinis here.

 

August

1. Cat Person

A very cute comic, but  only a third of this was actually about her and her cat, so I felt a bit misled.

2. Hinges: Clockwork City

Such. Beauty. I loved looking at this comic. It was glorious, but there was very little dialogue so it made it a challenge to follow the actual story.

3. Unshelved

Library comic strip collection. I particularly loved the Book Beaver, and the sarcastic reference librarian.

4. Lost at Sea

Once again giving Bryan another try, I just don’t think I understand what he is saying in his comics.

5. Here

This one was a beauty. More a concept piece that an actual story, one corner of the world glimpsed throughout all of time.

6. Red Queen

Woah. Loads of people say this book is like a blender full of other dystopian novels, and I can see where they are coming from, but this was so good in it’s own right. I love the setting and the powers and the families and all the characters. Cannot wait for the next installment.

7. Recipe for Water 

I read this collection of poetry for a reading challenge I did this summer, I don’t think this poetry lark is for me. I much prefer a narrative to a collection of things like this.

8. The Town That Didn’t Exist

A weird graphic novel.

9. Mouse Guard: Fall 1152

If you haven’t read Mouse Guard I can wait for you to go and get a copy and read it now. Off you go… back yet? Excellent, I love this! There is something just super magical about the mouse nations that you see here and all the things that they go through. It’s so well thought out as to which species could be an enemy to the little mice. And the artwork is super adorable.

10. Lumberjanes Vol. 1

I had heard such great things about this book, and I wanted to really like it. It fell a little short for me, I think mainly because the summer camp side of the story isn’t something that I connect with – because they don’t exist here.

11. Princeless Short Stories

More princess bad ass. Perfect.

12. Welcome to Camp Nightmare

This one was read for my online bookclub, I remember watching the show back in the 90s, the suspense was well built up. I thought the ending was a little cheap, but it is in keeping with the way of Goosebumps.

13. Sword Art Online: Aincrad Omnibus [Manga]

This is the third manga that I have attempted to read, and I have decided that it is just a genre that I am not bothered with. I enjoyed reading it as I have seen the anime so everything that was happening was familiar – which made a nice change from the other mangas I’ve tried. Still, felt a bit redundant reading something when I already know what the story is.

14. Claire Gets Caught

More nostalgia catch up, Claire did a bad trying to get back with Jake.

15. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone

16. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

17. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I started a re-read of my favourite books – I’ll try to go into more detail in a separate post.

What are you reading at the moment?

– girlinthenerdshop

Category: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

Getting To Know You Holiday Edition

So, it’s nearly Christmas… and to try and get myself more in the festive spirit, I thought I would fill out the questionnaire I found over at IGGPPC. Go over there to check out some of the other answers.

1. Favorite holiday movie? I think Home Alone is the quintessential Christmas movie for me, it’s on every year. And I’m a sucker for romantic comedies too, so you can’t go wrong with bit of Love Actually. [As a side note when all of the Harry Potter movies came out on DVD in December, I got them each year, so I consider them rather Christmassy too!]

2. What are 3 things on your wish list this year? The bag I’ve been using every day for 3 years is starting to wear out and the strap is slowly falling apart; so I’m dreaming of an identical replacement so I don’t get new bag stress [totally a thing]. I’m also hoping for some sort of fancy chocolate and some comics.

3. Does it snow where you live? It does snow on the coast, but it doesn’t normally last very long. I’m told it’s something to do with the salt in the air.

4. Which winter holiday do you celebrate? Christmas all the way.

5. Worst gift you’ve ever gotten? I couldn’t possibly comment on the internet as to what that was – but there have been some very bizarre picks over the years.

6. Biggest pet peeve about the holiday season? My biggest pet peeve is the people that go out in clothing inappropriate for cold weather, and then complain about how cold they are. That is not cool.

7. Favorite seasonal song? Can’t go wrong with a little Mariah Carey at this time of year.

8. Would you rather it be cold and cloudy, or be kind of warm out? I like it to be actually cold in the Winter, because that is what I’m used to. Either cloudy or rain is fine, but I hate it when it’s windy.

9. Hot chocolate or eggnog? Hot chocolate, especially the minty kind.

10. Favorite thing to wear during the holiday season? Last year I introduced a new family tradition of wearing silly knit hats. I wore a Christmas pudding. My mother doesn’t know it, but this year I got her a singing Christmas Tree. I cannot wait to see her in it!

11. Anybody you’re hoping to bump into under the mistletoe? There is a certain someone I’d like to meet there, and I’m sure he’d like to meet me there too.

12. Embarrassing holiday story? Every year since I moved into this house something has happened that has made it a story worth telling. Some are traditional stories, like the year I forgot to defrost the turkey, or the year that the weather destroyed my roof and it started raining inside the house.

13. Favorite holiday treat? Anything chocolate orange.

14. Latest you’ve stayed up on New Year’s Eve? Back in the days of yore when I was but a young woman in my prime I’d manage to stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning. Lately, you’re lucky if I make it all the way to midnight. I’m not a massive fan of NYE.

15. Favorite holiday character? I have a thing for gingerbread men being printed on stuff this year… does that count?

16. What are you doing for the holidays this year? We’re having 2 Christmases this year. One with each set of parents. I am hosting for my parents and brother. Let’s keep all our fingers crossed that nothing worth noting happens.

17. Favorite pie flavor? erm… this isn’t a holiday tradition we do. So pass!

18. Your favorite holiday tradition growing up? I have always loved decorating for Christmas, we and my mum would get the boxes of decorations out and spend all day making the house sparkle. I decorate my tree in the same order to this very day.

19. White lights or colored lights? White lights

20. What tops your tree? A star

21. Candy canes – Yum or Yuck?  Yuck, I don’t like peppermint on it’s own.

22. Favorite gift ever received? When I was about 8 I got a Playmobil townhouse, my grandparents helped med build it and I played with it everyday for years. Even after I moved out of my parents place, the house stayed build until a couple of years ago. It’s now in a box in my house waiting until I have space to have it built again.

23. Favorite seasonal activity? I like spending time with people, and sharing treats with them. It’s nice to see the smile on their faces.

24. Favorite seasonal story? The Jolly Christmas Postman it was a favourite of mine since I was a tiny one.

25. Which of the “12 Days of Christmas” would you most like to receive?  I will take some ladies dancing if I can please. Ready made party.

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Inside the Theme: Dark Fairy Tales

This was the first edition of Inside the Theme that I took part in, I thought that as my blog has been fairly quiet lately, I should use things that I have already written to inspire me to get back into the swing of things. If you want to see the full post including all the other prefects answers… here is where that happens

  1. Your favourite dark fairy tale and why?

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s Beauty and the Beast , has Belle kept captive like in the Disney version, however, the original beast proposes marriage every night and she constantly turns him down. She is allowed a reprieve and goes to visit her family – she finds out that the beast is dying from a broken heart and she goes back to him.

  1. If you were a member of the Sidhe (or part of the fairy folklore world) what kind of fae would you be?

I would be a water nymph, as I always feel more at home in the water. I could imagine making a nice lake my home.

  1. As a child, what was the spookiest part of October for you?

The scariest part of October was always the shortening of the days. By the end of the month it would be dark on the way home from school – I’ve always hated that about the winter – the cold and the dark.

  1. You are planning a feast for fairies, what do you serve?

I would serve a lot of sweet things, like berries, tiny morsels of cakes, a whole table full of different things.

  1. What artist best captures your image of what a dark fairy tale looks like?

The artwork from the video game Alice Madness Returns really captures what a dark fairy tale is for me. It’s so vibrant, yet you can see the dark and twisted undertones. If you haven’t played that game I can highly recommend it.

– girlinthenerdshop

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May / June Bookshelf Update

I haven’t done of of these updates in a long time, I wish I hadn’t gotten so sidetracked with other things. So, from now, I will be catching you up on all the books I have read this year – because it is an impressive number [of graphic novels / trade paperbacks at least].

May

1. Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces 

2. Fables Vol 12: The Dark Ages

3. Fables Vol 13: The Great Fables Crossover

So… lots and lots of Fables have been read this lately… as the last ever issues of Fables came out in August – I wanted to try and catch up with everything so I could have it ticked off my to read list.

The crossover one sticks out in my mind as there was a whole new cast of characters from the Jack of Fables spin off series, it did its job, it made me go out and pick up Jack Vol 1.

4. A Court of Thorns and Roses

Now this, this is what I call a good book! I picked up this one because I was going to meet the author at a book signing. I read this book all the way down on the train, and boy was I glad I’d been introduced to this author. This is a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast, and there is magic and fae and such. I was so hooked all the way through, and to top it off – the author was absolutely lovely! I can’t wait for the next installment of this series to come out.

5. Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth

This is a fairly solid team of bad guys going on missions to cover up when things go wrong for the bad guys. I enjoyed this at the time, but I have since read a lot more DC superhero comics and I am a lot less enamored with DC comics at the moment, as they rely so heavily on you reading all the other books they are bringing out so that it all makes sense.

6. Saga Vol. 3

This is a good continuation of the story line, I’m still not 100% sure that I like the artwork in this one, but I like the space fantasy elements of this. I like the narrator too, telling her story from the future!

7. The Vintage Teacup Club

This one was a nice simple read – a group of three women all wanted teacups at the same time for various reasons. It was a light and fluffy palette cleanser of a book.

8. Fashion Beast

I picked this one up many months before because the back made it sound like it was going to be quite fairy tale in a way – and I guess you can say that it was [sort of] but I didn’t really like the execution. The artwork was all sketchy messy which we all know is a style I didn’t like at all. I should stop it with the picking up of random graphic novels.

9. Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore

A solid choice from the book club this month. I devoured this book in one sitting near enough – I love books about books and bookshops. And this one had a mystery running through it too. I wish that we had a bookshop like that one, that feels like it goes on forever and is full of all kinds of strange books and stories you’ve never even dreamed of.

10. Goth Girl and the Pirate Queen

Short story for world book day, I loved the illustrations, I love the author to absolute pieces. Goth Girl is one of my favourite children’s book characters at the moment, she is eccentric and she likes to do her own thing. I love her independent spirit and I actually think she makes a good role model for girls to read about. Much better than soppy wastrels in other stories.

11. The Vintage Summer Wedding

The snark came out strong in this one, I don’t know what it was about it – every single dilemma felt like it was checking off something on a list of things that women’s fiction needs. Mean mother in law? Check. Disinterested best friend? Check. Lost all their money? Check. However the romantic ending made me feel all mushy – which is why I  will always end up going back to this type of book. Even if I only use them as a way to blank my mind after a harder fantasy book.

June

1. Sex Criminals Vol 2: Two Worlds, One Cup

2. Saga, Vol. 4

3. Fables 14: Witches

4. Fables 15: Rose Red

More Fables – more drama. I just love these… not that I can remember what happened in each and every volume any more! haha.

5. Vivian’s Heavenly Ice Cream Shop

This one was adorable. Give up your real job? Check. Struggle to make ends meet trying to continue a sentimental business? Check. Hunky Italian? Check. Romance abounds in this one, and it was easy and fun, and a perfect summer read. And no snark! Go me.

6. Sloppy Firsts

I was gifted this book for a Secret Santa, but I felt like it was going to be a perfect summer read so I saved it. It’s very teen as a book, but I liked the main character, and I related to her struggles.

7. Fables 16: Super Team

8. Fables 17: Inherit the Wind

Boop boop Fables. She’s really churning through these.

9. Low Vol 1

This was a very grim comic, set in the future where we all live underground. The kids get kidnapped and they are brought up in a terrible fashion. The whole world is so eerie under the ocean, and they are trying to find a way to keep sustaining life – but it is getting harder and harder. And some of the other settlements have already fallen to chaos and decay. I really like the setting and the idea behind this book – but the pictures did not grab me at all. It was messy, but I suppose that really fits with the genre and such.

10. The Year of Taking Chances

I don’t even remember.

11. Ender’s Game Vol. 1 Battle School

I’ve wanted to read more stuff about Ender Wiggin since we saw the movie – this comic is a very brief overview of the plot of the book, and it’s only the first section. I loved it, I really need to pick up the books sometime. So make sure I do that!

12. The Assassin’s Blade

Celaena Sardothian is one of my favourite main characters of the moment, she’s such a bundle of opposites. Strong and deadly but she loves sweets and fancy furniture. This collection of short stories helps you see more of her background, what makes her tick and what led her to be the assassin that is feared all over the nation.

13. Mary Jane Vol 1: Circle of Friends

14. Mary Jane Vol 2: Homecoming

15. Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first one, it felt strained. I missed the puffin, even though I know that he should be with his puffin friends instead of living in the lighthouse. But drama and resolution and blah.

16. Oz: Road to Oz

17. Oz: The Marvellous Land of Oz

18. Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

19. Oz: Ozma of Oz

20. Oz: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

Many Oz comics this month too. These are drawn by Skottie Young, and I absolutely love his style, there’s something just so super cute about it. I love stories like these, and I had never read anything in the expanded Oz universe before so it was quite refreshing to cover so much new material with familiar characters. At first I was confused, but I worked out the order that I was supposed to be reading them in, and all fell into place in my brain.

21. Angelfall

I’m not sure why angels in fiction became such a thing, but there are a whole bunch of angel fiction these days. I won this one from a contest on GoodReads, and I was skeptical to say the least. The whole Earth being punished by angels / God thing is not something that I would ever pick to read about, but this one kept me interested. The events were paced quickly after the initial slow scene setting. I’m not sure if I’ll ever finish of the trilogy, but if they appear at the library then I will probably check them out.

22. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

I am so glad the Veronica Mars got a series of books. After I was introduced to the show I devoured it, and I have always wanted more. I was so excited to hear about the film and the books too. I love seeing Veronica as a little bit more of a grown up, with a real job. I love mystery books and the sassiness of Ms Mars.

Well… that’s two months of books, so I think I’ll leave it there. And ask you if you have any recommendations for fairy tale retellings?

-girlinthenerdshop

Category: Book Reviews | Tags: , ,

Inside the Theme: 90’s Edition

So, a little bit of an introduction here: Each month at IGGPPC there is a theme for the penpal pairing round, and they give questions for people to use as blog fodder. The prefects are joining in with the fun now, so if you want to see this blog post in context then you can go over here

On with the questions:

1. Tell us your favourite memory from the 90’s:

Toys! Beanie babies – I loved those things. I had hundreds of the damn things, from jellyfish to bears. And Polly Pocket, back in the day when the whole playset fit in your pocket not just the little figures.

2. What album best captures the spirit of the 90’s for you?

I think the Spice Girls album Spice covers it all, as a tiny human being – me and all of my friends wanted to be one of the Spices (I was always Posh Spice if you were wondering)

3. What is your favorite 90’s TV show?

During the 90’s I would have to say it was the cartoon Rugrats, there was something about those babies and all the mischief they got up to. I loved their adventures, and looked forward to them every day after school.

4. Summarize your experience of the 90’s in one sentence.

I was very short, and grumpy.

Claire-1-e1448915679147

“Look how short my legs are!”

 

5. If you could be a fictional character from the 90’s who would you be and why?

I would be Clarissa. She always had all of the answers, and she had the best bedroom I have ever seen.

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