Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

I've been nominated for this award by Paula. Thank you Paula!!!!

The Rules

1) Nominate 15 other bloggers relatively new to blogging.
2) Let the bloggers know that you've nominated them.
3) Share 10 random facts about yourself.
4) Thank the blogger who nominated you, it's common courtesy, and link back to their blog.
5) Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.

The Nominees

Can I be absolutely honest with everyone here? I don't read enough blogs to know of any relatively new bloggers like myself and I'm nearly always too shy to comment on the ones I do read. I'm working on my shyness and trying to comment on a couple blogs each day. I'll get there!

In the meantime, I nominate any relatively new blog reader reading this post. Let me know who you are so I can nominate you!

10 Random Facts

  1. I'm been obsessed with the colour yellow since I was little. It's just so bright and happy and positive!
  2. I love playing badminton and was Captain of my team for four years at High School.
  3. I have 50 books in total on my kindle and in a pile by my bed, but I can't stop getting out library books.
  4. I want to go back to Japan for the 2020 Olympics.
  5. I knit a lot as it makes me feel less stressed.
  6. I always carry mint chewing gum in my handbag.
  7. I can't roll my tongue or whistle or click my fingers.
  8. Summer is my favourite season, even when it's sticky and hot.
  9. I have seven ear piercings, but nine ear piercing holes.
  10. I'm addicted to wild berry jucies.

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2015 Update

The Flights of Fantasy  Reading Challenge 2015 Update is hosted by Alexa at Alexa Loves Books and Rachel at Hello Chelly. Both bloggers adore fantasy novels and wanted to spread the love to other bloggers.

What I love about this reading challenge (other than it's centered around my favourite genre and hosted by two of my favourite book bloggers) is that it's straightforward to follow. You choose the number of fantasy books you're aiming for and have the whole of 2015 to achieve your goal. There are two giveaways 6 months in and at the end of the year. Check ins are optional and on the last Sunday of the month (I missed last month's as I was overseas at the time).

I'm aiming to read ten fantasy books in 2015. I'd love to read a lot more, but with starting Uni this year and being a slow reader and having already committed to lots of other reading challenges, I'm trying to being realistic. Hopefully I'll end up reading more than that, but we'll see.

So far I've read two books for this challenge: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin and The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson, both which I would highly recommend. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms had amazing world building, an absolutely unpredictable plot and incorporated diversity nicely. I'm definitely finishing this trilogy.  The Rithmatist left me wailing that the sequel isn't out until 2017; I'll have to read Sanderson's backlist in the meantime! 

Next up on my staggering fantasy TBR is Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. I'm really excited for this one as Marchetta both wowed and devastated me with Saving Francesca and On the Jellicoe Road. I can't wait to find out how she writes High Fantasy!

Are you a fan of fantasy novels? Consider joining this reading challenge!

Babbling about Books (3): Why I Adore Audiobooks (and you could too!)

I've mentioned briefly in a couple of posts before that last year I fell in love with audiobooks. Due to a busy, stressful final year of high school I'd fallen off the reading wagon, which sucked big time. Fortunately a teacher suggested that I try to listen to audiobooks and I've been hooked ever since!

Here are five reasons why I adore audiobooks:

1) They make my commute more enjoyable

Starting Monday I'll be busing to Uni for about 4 hours a week and walking to and from work about 3 hours. That's seven hours where I can't avoid the commute or get there any faster. Just as well I've found a way to enjoy it!

Listening to audiobooks during that time makes me feel productive and gives me some of my reading fix  Especially in the mornings it wakes me up and forces me to start focusing for the day so I don't miss any important details. Most importantly to me, I feel that audiobooks make my daily commute pass faster.

2) I'm making (minimal) progress on my TBR

Many readers like myself have a ridiculous amount of books they want to read ASAP, but sadly we can't read all the things at once. Audiobooks helps me chip away at my staggering TBR list on Goodreads, which I'm extremely grateful for. I'm a slowish reader and there's only so much reading my eyes can take before I get headaches for a week. Now I can wear my ears out too! ;)

3) I love being read to

I miss when my parents read stories to me when I was little. It was really soothing and comforting to hear. Now that I'm older I can listen to even more stories being read to me with (dare I say it) narrators who are more skilled at doing the different voices.

4) Audiobooks are available for free

As I'm a savvy student I love that audiobooks are avaliable for free from my local library in two formats: on CDs and on my personal device. I use the latter as I can download them onto my iPad mini via the app Borrowbox for two weeks and listen to them while I'm commuting. If your local library doesn't have eaudiobooks accessible on your personal device, sites such as Open Culture and LibriVox have a whole range of them for free.

5) I can listen to my favourite books in new formats

I often wonder whether I should go back and reread more books that I know I love instead of reading a bunch of new ones that I don't know I will love. Almost always the latter wins out as I could make a wonderful new discovery. Now with eaudiobooks I can do both at the same time!

At my local library I'm able to revisit The Mortal Instruments Series, The Keys to the Kingdom Series and The Chaos Walking Trilogy via eaudiobook. As I haven't read any of these from the start to the end for donkeys years I'm pretty excited to get onto that. I'm also curious how they'll sound with someone else narrating them to me instead of reading it in my head.

Have you ever tried audiobooks before? Why/why not?

Thursday, 26 February 2015

This Book could be Ours (6): Captain Marvel Volume One: Further, Higher, Faster, More by Kelly Sue deConnick and David Lopez

Captain Marvel Volume One: Further, Higher, Faster, More by Kelly Sue deConnick and David Lopez
First in Captain Marvel: Marvel Now! Series
Genre: Adult, Graphic Novel
Published: 21st October 2014
Publisher: Marvel
Length: 136 pages
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: My local comic store

Tell me more, tell me more...

Hero! Pilot! Avenger! Captain Marvel, Earth's Mightiest Hero with an attitude to match, is back and launching headfirst into an all-new ongoing adventure! As Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers, comes to a crossroads with a new life and new romance, she makes a dramatic decision that will alter the course of her life - and the entire Marvel Universe - in the months to come. But as Carol takes on a mission to return an alien girl to her homeworld, she lands in the middle of an uprising against the Galactic Alliance! Investigating the forced resettlement of Rocket Girl's people, Carol discovers that she has a history with the man behind the plot. But when the bad guy tries to blackmail Carol and turn the Avengers against her, it's payback time! Guest-starring the Guardians of the Galaxy!


(I've given up rephrasing blurbs for books I review. From now on all blurbs in Italics are from Goodreads.)

Why did I read this?

I wanted to find out more about the first woman planned to star in a film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bring it on 2018!!

What I liked:

Carol Danvers: Guys, Captain Marvel such a strong, badass, confident woman complete with realistic flaws. I love that Connick has shown that despite being a powerful superhero Danvers is 'only human'. For example the latter struggles to soothe one character and argues hotly with another over a minor matter. Her powers (which include staggering strength, the ability to fly and being able to shoot photonic blasts from her hands) are AWESOME and I love that she goes into space to find herself.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Cameo: I read this book about two weeks after first seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, so it was interesting comparing the same characters from two different medians. Starlord is a bit more mature and seemed to be slightly more of a stereotypical Marvel superhero leader. I'm happy to report that Rocket is as hilarious as ever. Sadly Gamora, Drax and Groot barely featured, so I might go and check out the latest run of Guardians of the Galaxy Comics to read more about them.

What didn't work so much for me:

This wasn't the story I wanted to read: When I brought this book, I didn't realise it was a soft reboot of the previous Captain Marvel series which launched with In Pursuit of Flight in 2011. I thought the book was going to cover briefly what she was doing before she gained her superpowers, how she dealt with them at first and then her gradual growth into being a superhero. The most I got was a one page summary of her origin at the end of the first issue.

Now, let me make it absolutely clear. I found absolutely nothing wrong with the book itself. The story is solid, the art is amazing and it's a lot of fun to read. Not knowing about Captain Marvel's character origin in depth does not in any way hurt the experience of reading this book. I believe the Marvel Cinematic Universe is no longer doing character origin films either. Guardians of the Galaxy wasn't a character origin film and I'd be one of the first to say it's stunning. My preconception of what the book was going to be was the only reason I went away not feeling quite satisfied. 

Who might like this?

Those curious to see who Captain Marvel is before 2018 who are not looking for a full blown origin story would love this book!

Final Thoughts:

This book was fun despite not being exactly what I was looking for. I think I would personally benefit from going back to read In Pursuit of Flight before reading Volume 2: Stay Fly, the latter which is coming out this April.

Do you have any thoughts on Captain Marvel?

Monday, 23 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favourite Heroines from Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week book bloggers make a list about ten books around a chosen topic.

This was a HARD list to make. I feel that I could have made a dozen lists on this week's topic!

1) Allyson from Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I have nothing for admiration for Allyson. It takes guts to fight depression, navigate the start of college, defy the future your parents set out for you and find yourself along the way.

2) Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Such a smart, intelligent woman who refuses to confine herself to her society's social rules unless she's happy with them. I wish I had that much sass!

3) Hermione from The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

This list would be incomplete without Hermione. She taught me to own being a nerd and unabashedly share my love of books.

4) Francesca from Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Going to a formerly all guys' school, her mother breaking down and regular family/friend relationships makes Francesca one hell of a heroine in my eyes.

5) June from The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

A completely badass soldier girl who turns her back on everything she was taught to believe in.

6) Kami from The Lyburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan

What I love about Kami is that even when the chips are down, she's still wisecracking and keeping it positive. Also, her devotion to letting people know what's out there as a budding journalist is awesome.

7) Tessa from The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Without spoiling anything specific, Tessa goes through an awful lot due to her special ability. If I were in her place I wouldn't be half as brave.

8) Tris from The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth

I read the first book 10 times (I kid you not) in my first year of high school exams every time I felt like giving up. Tris and her courage kept me going; I'm eternally grateful for that.

9) Viola from The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

She moves from another planet, crash lands before anyone else on her ship and has to endure everything Ness throws at her for three books. Which is A LOT. I was more scared for Viola's safety reading Monsters of Men than I was for Harry's safety reading The Deathly Hallows...

My number ten heroine was going to be Arya from A Song of Ice and Fire, but George R.R. Martin doesn't write 100% heroine characters, so I didn't know if Arya could make the list.

Who are your favourite book heroines?

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Babbling about Books (2): Why don't I read more short stories?

I'm going to start University in less than two weeks and let me tell you: I am TERRIFIED. Not just about up with the coursework and making friends. Those aren't the only issues here. How on Earth am I going to fit in my reading time!?! Of course, I'll be doing a lot of reading my papers, but I also like to appreciate books solely for enjoyment's sake.

In retrospect the idea of reading more short stories seems amazingly obvious. After all, they're quicker to read, are a good way to sample authors' writing styles and I could easily access them from places such as in anthologies at the library or published in online magazines.

I can't remember the last time I read a short story. Maybe one written by Neil Gaiman in Fragile Things a few years back?? Which is rather apt as it was a friend pointing out a passage in his latest short story collection Trigger Warning that inspired this post:

"This is my third collection of short fiction and I know just how lucky I am... The wisdom in publishing is that short story collections don't sell. All too often short story collections are viewed as vanity projects or are published by small presses, are not seen as real in the way that novels are real."

I confess, I've never paid for a short story, a short story collection or a short story anthology. Being a savvy student I tend to utilise the library and if I want something that's not there put it on my birthday/Christmas list for my relatives which I may or may not get. The latter has always been novels as there's ALWAYS a trilogy/series for me to catch up on/finish off and debut authors to check out... It's a rather relentless cycle which I need to sort out.

Also, I've never heard anyone in real life get hyped about short stories. For me, books on my never ending TBR pile go up to the top when I hear people gush about them. Internet, I adore the book community, do not get me wrong! I love reading book blogs, watching Book-tubers, interacting with fellow book lovers in the comments etc. I also think it's beautiful experiencing peoples' thoughts and reactions to what they've read first hand.

To go back to the benefits of short stories, Gaiman mentions one I had forgotten about:

"For me, the short stories are the places I get to fly, to experiment, to play. I get to make mistakes and to go on small adventures."

When I get the courage to write creatively, I challenge myself to craft short stories for the same reasons as Gaiman. (Well, that and I have no idea how to write a book...) I don't mind rereading my work when I edit them as it's pure fun. 'Nothing's going to come of it, no one's going to ever read it,' I tell myself. 'It's just a short story!'

But see, that's where I'm wrong. Short stories and short story collections and short story anthologies are still around. In fact, is launching a novella imprint. Fanzines are reinventing themselves as semiprozines to give this story form new avenues.

So short story writers and readers, keep letting me know you're out there.

I'm coming to join you!

Thursday, 19 February 2015

This Book could be Ours (5): The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

First in The Inheritance Trilogy
Genre: Adult, High Fantasy
Published: 25th February 2010
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Orbit
Length: 427 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: My local library

Tell me more, tell me more...

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

(I've given up rephrasing blurbs for books I review. From now on all blurbs in Italics are from Goodreads.)

Why did I read this?

Internet hype is to thank for me picking up this book. I kept reading again and again on what felt like nearly every book blog that the trilogy is amazing and decided to find out for myself.

What I liked:

The story felt fresh and original: Sometimes it's hard finding new takes on high fantasy. The same old troupes can be dragged out time after time after time: for example, an orphan from a secluded village is fated to be the saviour of the kingdom in the battle between Good and Evil. Now, don't get me wrong: I like these elements in High Fantasy, just in moderation. I need some variety in the genre so it still feels exciting and intriguing.

This is why the genre needs imaginative authors like Jemisin who offer their readers something that's not the norm. Imprisoned Gods, a floating castle suspended within a tree in the sky, morally grey characters with hidden agendas... Need I go on?

Yeine: I have nothing but admiration for the main character. She fights back against being a pawn, does her best to protect her people and struggles with the grief of recently losing her mother. Despite being plucked out of Darre into the manipulative court of Sky, Yeine remains herself: a strong but screwed up character (such a believable combination) struggling to survive.

Hell Yeah Diversity: Yeine and the Darre are dark skinned. A couple of the Gods are suggested to be bisexual. This is perfectly ordinary in the book, as it should be treated as in real life.

The politics: It was interesting to see how becoming prominent in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms caused Yeine to create and change her relationships with her family, the Gods, Darre and its neighboring countries. Each of these aspects are addressed by Jemisin skilfully peeling away the layers and masks the characters hide their intentions behind. Usually I prefer high fantasy with loads of swash buckling skirmishes, but in this case the politics were just as good.

Who might like this?

Fans of High Fantasy looking for a strong, believable female character struggling in an unpredictable political environment with original world building.

Final Thoughts:

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was a fantastic introduction to Jemisin's writing. I'm eager to pick up the next book in the trilogy when I next feel the inclination to read some high fantasy.

Have you read any of Jemisin's other books?

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Related Problems I Have

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week book bloggers make a list about ten books around a chosen topic.

This week: Top Ten Book Related Problems I Have 

Oh yes, I can write a long list about this topic! I'm going to stick to ten though as to over-humiliate myself... Complete with gifs from The Newsroom as I can't stop watching it! IT'S. SO. GOOD.
(That's what I've been doing the last week as I've been in a bit of a reading/blogging slump)

1) Coming home from the library with more books even though I have heaps of my own to read.

2) Starting yet another trilogy/series when I've got a RIDICULOUS amount already started.

3) Getting hyped about new books in a series or trilogy coming out when I haven't read the first book.

4) Freaking out at my out of control TBR on Goodreads.

5) I am in NO WAY a fast reader and I WANT TO READ ALL THE THINGS AT ONCE

6) Being a picky mood reader.

7) Always thinking about the next book I'm going to read.

8) I make friends and family escort me pass bookstores so I won't go in and buy anything.

9) Book hangovers are BRUTAL.

10) Feeling guilty if I have free time and I'm not reading.

(All gifs are from Giphy)

Do you have similar book related problems to me?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes to Romance In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week book bloggers make a list about ten books around a chosen topic.

This week: Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When It Comes to Romance In Books

I had to think about this one! I've gotten to the point where I'm pleasantly surprised when there isn't a romance in a book. It's something I've come to take for granted. In no particular order:

What I Like:

1) When the couple are friends first:

I love reading about how the main character and the love interest meet, become friends, crush on each other and then get together. It's nice that the love interest get to know you about who you are as a person first.

2) Adorable Meet Cutes

Do these ever happen in real life? I can dream I guess...

3) The Slow Burn

This one applies to trilogies and series. I don't mind the gradual development towards two characters forming a relationship if it's really well written and not the sole focus of the plot.

4) When it doesn't work out, but they part on good terms

Bonus point if they're still friends.

5) Diversity

I want to read about romances between book characters who range in their sexual orientations and ethnicities. Variety is needed!

What I Dislike:

1) Insta Love

I don't think I need to explain this one...

2) Cheating

It might feel good having an affair at the time, but is it really worth hurting a loved one?

3) When the Romance is half hearted

There's no point in writing a half hearted romance into a book when it doesn't fit into the story just because romance appeals to many readers. If you're going to include it, it has to be done well.

4) Stockholm Syndrome

It freaks me out. The end.

5) Arrogant Love Interests

I find over confidence extremely irritating. Character, how big your ego must be to be that full of yourself!

What are your likes/dislikes when it comes to romance in books?

Monday, 9 February 2015

#AYEARATHON: Diversity Wrap Up + 2015 Dive Into Diversity TBR

I'm happy that I achieved my goals for this readathon of finishing reading  the second half of To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (about 200 pages) and listening to the audiobook of Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah (about 7 hours). These two books count towards the 2015 Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge, which I've now read 4/12 books for!

Here's a few more diverse books on my radar I hope to be reading shortly:

1) Adaption by Malinda Lo

Lo compares the book's plot to an episode of The X Files and there's a bisexual love triangle. Usually I can't stand love triangles (unless they're really well executed), but I'm happy to take a shot at this one!

2) Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

I've heard a lot of buzz around this book. I think I'll find it difficult to read with the sadly historically accurate racism. The romance sounds intriguing though.

3) Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

One of my goals this year reading wise is to finish reading a few series. The ending to Unravel Me was quite open - I have no idea of what to expect next!

4) The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

"Silk-draped airships, soaring battle kites, conspiring goddesses, underwater boats, magicial books". How could I not want to read this??

5) Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone

This has been sitting on my Kindle for far too long....

6) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I've heard a lot of buzz about this book as well. Scholars and Deception are the equivalent of book catnip to me, as is the description of, "a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world".

7) The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Shamefully this was recommended to me about six months to go and I still haven't read it... Patroclus' story will most likely bring me to tears.

8) The Broken Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin

I need to know more about Yeine and Nahadoth and Sieh and the world surrounding Sky ASAP.

9) P.S. I Love You by Jenny Han

Only round about three months before I can get my hands on more about Lara Jean, Margot, Peter, Josh and Kitty!

What diverse books are on your TBR?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Babbling about Books: I fear Big Books and I cannot lie

That's right: I'm an avid booklover/total bookworm who shies away from the chunkier reads.

It's not that I don't like longer stories -  some of my favourite books of all time including A Song of Ice and Fire Series and The Inheritance Cycle are massive! There's more room to delve deeper into the characters and world building. You get to spend more time with aspects of the book you love. If you buy them you might get more value for your money than buying a smaller book for the same price. And it looks awfully impressive to people when you show them what you're reading! ;)

But personally I tend to see more downsides to big books. I read quite slowly and am often strapped for time, so I get really discouraged by my lack of progress. There's always piles of books clamouring for my attention. Should I really be devoting so much time to one big book when I could read three in the same amount of time? Often big books come in a series, each bigger than the last. All of this can seem terribly daunting to me. 

However, right now I'm reading Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, which is a whopping 864 pages. The concept of World War One being told by five families of different nationalities sounded too good for me to resist. I started two weeks ago and am about a third of the way through it. So far I'm enjoying it too much to get negative about its size.

So in the hope that after reading Fall of Giants I might start embracing big books more, here are five massive ones I've been dying to read.

First in the Warbreaker Series
688 pages

Sanderson has such an array of Adult Fantasy books and after listening to The Rithmatist, I"m eager to read his backlist. The premise of Princesses and Gods in a world where magic is obtained from common place objects sounds promising. 

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
First in The Bronze Horseman Trilogy
656 pages

Russian history fascinates me. Although I know a lot about the country's 1905 and 1917 revolutions, I know next to nothing about what happened there in World War Two. Plus I always have a soft spot for star crossed lovers.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
First in The Kingkiller Chronicle
676 pages

I raved on about wanting to read this book for so long that Mum brought it and read it herself! She's read the first two books back to back so I know they're good.

First in The Outlander Series
850 pages

I admit it was the trailer of the TV series that drew my attention to this. I mean, time travel and the Scottish - what's not to like?? I've been putting off watching the TV seriese until I read this - motivation!

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
848 pages

I think this is the big book on this list I'm most ashamed of not having read. A Manbooker prize winner from my own country! I need to read it ASAP.

Do you like big books? Why/why not?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

This Book Could be Ours (4): The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: Michael Kramer
First in The Rithmatist Series
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Published: 14th May 2013
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Length: 10 hours and 23 minutes
Format: eAudiobook
Source: My local library

Tell me more, tell me more...
Joel would like nothing more in the world to be one of the Rithmatists: those who The Master gives the power to animate Chalkings. However, the closest he can get to being one is studying their history. When Rithmatists in training from his school go missing, can Joel help solve the mystery

Why did I read this?

I've always wanted to read a Brandon Sanderson book as I've heard so much internet buzz about his writing and world building. I kept hesitating for a while though due to fear it wouldn't live up to my expectations and not knowing what book of his to read first! (All his book blurbs sound AMAZING.)

What I liked:

The Magic System: At the very beginning I was skeptical of the premise of characters dueling by bringing chalk drawings to life. Thankfully my cynical attitude soon disappeared. It was clever of Sanderson to set the books in a pre modern technology era as it made the system more believable.

I quickly became as fascinated as Joel with the different approaches and defenses Rithmatists could draw to protect themselves. The small section at the end of each chapter describing a particular concept just mentioned by the characters was informative. and helped me visualise the duels.

As a history geek, I also liked the portions of history from Joel's textbooks and library books. It was nice getting to know a bit about the Wild Chalkings' background. I feel there's a lot more to be revealed!

The Unpredictable Plot: The mystery of who was behind the Rithmatists' in training disappearances is one of the few I have been utterly fooled by. It felt as startling a reveal as an Agatha Christie Mystery  (I'm not saying that lightly as she is my idol). The twists and turns just kept coming!

Joel's and Melanie's relationship: It was refreshing to see these characters relationship grow slowly. The potential for them becoming more than friends is nice and subtle. Sanderson is going for the slow burn with these two I reckon.

Who might like this?

Fans of High Fantasy and those who would like to get into the genre would both enjoy this book for its solid world building and truly unpredictable mystery.

Final Thoughts:

The Rithmatist was a great point to start exploring Brandon Sanderson's books. I'm desperate for the sequel to come out, but glad I have his backlist to keep me busy in the meantime.

Have you read any Brandon Sanderson books?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Top Ten Adult High Fantasy Books I can't believe I haven't read yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week book bloggers make a list about ten books around a chosen topic.

This week: Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read from X Genre

As someone who adores High Fantasy I haven't read much of it in the last couple of years... In no particular order here's ten Adult High Fantasy books I've been meaning to read:

1) A Natural History by Marie Brennan

A fiction memoir about a Lady studying dragons? Sign me up!

2) Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

The pitch of Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell sold me right away.

3) Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

I can't resist those two authors! The blurb promises humour galore.

The Gentleman Bastards series has huge buzz around it. I'm eager to find out what it's all about.

After seeing the start of the sequel trilogy Fool's Errand in my local book store I was reminded I still need to read Assassin's Apprentice.

I regularly read and enjoy Hurley's posts on A Dribble Of Ink and on her own blog, but haven't gotten around to picking up to one of her books yet.

It seems like everyone's read the first two books of The Kingkiller Chronicle and are impatiently anticipating Doors of Stone while I'm trying to get over my fear of big books! (More on this soon.)

Listening to Ana and Renay profess their love of Elliott on Fangirl Happy Hour led to me putting this on my TBR. I know my local library has a copy.

Seems like I can't resist books about assassins...

Okay, yes I am aware this is cheating. I just don't know what book of his to read after The Rithmatist.
They all sound so good!

Any High Fantasy books you've been meaning to read?

Sunday, 1 February 2015

#AYEARATHON Diversity Readathon

In my part of the world the February #AYEARATHON starts today! This time around it runs from Monday 2nd - Sunday 8th of February. For those curious, this event happens every first full week of the month. Many booktubers take part, but as I'm shy, I just join in the group discussions on Goodreads. You can vote on a group read and/or choose your own, as long as it fits the theme.

This month's theme is Diversity, which I am behind all the way. I can't emphasis enough how important it is for there to be an abundance of books about a variety of different races, sexualities, cultures, religions and disabilities. Representation of diversity is needed to reflect all the varied aspects of humans. It's so important for readers to find books reflecting a part of who they are, as well as learning and understanding about the differing lives and situations of other people.

One of my reading goals this year is to read more Diverse Books for these reasons. I joined the 2015 Dive Into Diversity challenge hosted by Rebecca at Reading Wishes and Magan and Estelle at Rather Be Reading to find like minded bookish people. I've made a goal of reading a minimum of 12 diverse books this year: so far I've read The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin (my reviews are coming soon), both which I enjoyed.

I'm not at all a fast reader, so for this readathon I've set the realistic (for me) goals re these two books:

I started To All the Boys I've Loved Before last year and remember enjoying the cute premise. Sadly, it got forgotten due to end of year exams and the pile of library books I got out after. As it's one of the group reads for this readathon I've got extra motivation to pick it back up! I read 160 pages before abandoning it and am looking forward to finishing it this week.

I'm also listening to the audiobook of Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah. It's about Amal's decision to start wearing the hijab at her Australian high school and her peers' reaction to this. It's amazing hearing how Amal came about this decision and how much her faith means to her. My goal for this book is to listen to between half an hour to an hour of it a day.

What are some diverse books you're recently read or are planning to read?