Monthly Archives: May 2016

Selection series by Cass

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Welcome to the Selection! Let me tell you about all the ridiculous enjoyment I received from reading these books. After reading A Little Life, the most depressing book ever written, I knew I needed something fluffy. You can’t get any more fluffy than this series. It is a marriage of the Bachelor and the Hunger Games.

The first 3 books are about America Singer, a girl in a future America called Illéa. The prince of the country is coming of age and in order to find a wife he participates in a selection process where 35 girls are sent to the castle for him to choose from (hello, Bachelor!). The citizens of Illéa are broken into castes and there’s some unrest (hello, Hunger Games!). While it’s hard to explain books 4 & 5 without giving any major plot points away let me say that they are the same concept but reversed, a princess is participating in the selection.

I liked these books a lot. They were quick and painless. I love the covers and all the talk about dresses. The fashion in them is awesome. While I completely forgot how angsty teen books can be I powered through and I’m glad I did.

2016 Reading Challenge: a romance set in the future

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Armchair BEA Day 4

I missed Armchair BEA Day 4 because I went on vacation, woot! So here it is. Next up, all the books I read while on vacation. I loooooove reading on planes.

Today we’ll talk about surviving fictional worlds. We all know that sometimes, the worlds we love in fiction can be dangerous.

  • Which fictional worlds would you want to live in? Ooh.. gosh that’s hard because all worlds have something wrong with them or else there would be no conflict. However, I would LOVE to attend the Night Circus so I guess living in that time (late 1800s early 1900s) would be amazing. The dresses alone! I absolutely adore the 1920s so anything in that time period would be awesome too. Also let’s put me into The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati and see how I fare. I want to step into the cover of that book immediately.
  • Which worlds do you never want to dive into? I would never want to dive in to Outlander or Game of Thrones. While I love those books (I’ve only read the first two of GoT but I get the gist of how horrible it is by hearing the show while I’m reading and my husband is watching) people die far too frequently and women aren’t given the same kind of respect or standing. I wouldn’t mesh well with that.

Armchair BEA Day 3

Armchair BEA Day 2

What is Armchair BEA

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Armchair BEA Day 3

Today’s topic of discussion is the besttttttttt.

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  • Beyond the traditional form of the novel, what are your favorite alternative forms (graphic novels, audiobooks, etc)? Do you have any favorite works within these alternate forms? How do you think the changing format affects the reading experience? If you’ve even read a day of this blog you’ll know how much I love audiobooks. I specifically adore Jim Dale. Is he married? I wonder.. Anyway, I think audiobooks are the best. I have one going in my car at all times. Currently, I have The Selection by Kiera Cass. I haven’t read YA in so long and I’m hating it all. Yesterday, I finished Titans by Leila Meacham. Review of that to come. Do I have any favorites within the form, sure. I loved Night Circus, I feel like I talk about it constantly. I loved the All Souls trilogy (Discovery of Witches). I love those two so much that practically every two years I listen to them again. The readers are so amazing. Jennifer Ikeda is the audiobook reader of All Souls in case you want to follow her also. As far as the format affecting the reading, I think that depends on the person. I definitely think the reader can make all the difference in whether or not I like a book no matter how awesome it is. I can usually tell after one or two tracks if I’m going to stick with it. Even if the story is compelling, if I can’t handle the person’s voice, then it’s a no-go. In that way I think it affects the experience but I don’t think the actual story is changed. I’ve read and listened to DOW and Night Circus and I love them both equally both ways. I’m going to have to go read other Armchair BEA posts on this topic and see what they think.

Armchair BEA Day 2

What is Armchair BEA

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Armchair BEA Day 2

Today it’s all about the books. Here are the things Armchair BEA book blogs are talking about today.

  • How often do you judge a book by its cover? I love book covers. Anyone who says they don’t judge a book by its cover is lying. I even have statistics. 90% of the books children choose are from face out displays. Why do you think face out displays work so well? Because you can see the cover gosh darn it. So I’d say I’m no different than those kids, 90% of the time I judge by the cover.
  • How important is it for the visual art on the outside of the book to match or coordinate with the literature art on the inside? A few days ago I would’ve thought; how is this even a question? Of course it must match. I’m not sure I’d come across a book that didn’t. But then I started reading Half Magic. The cover art on my copy is by Quentin Blake, who I love. But alas, then you open it and it’s like the world of Dick & Jane. No offense to N.M. Bodecker who is apparently the original illustrator. I want my cover art and the inside illustrations to match. Imagine if a 4 year old picked up a Disney princess book based on the cover (as they do) and then opened it to find the art of Jackson Pollack. Yuck.

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What is Armchair BEA

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Armchair BEA

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I heard about Armchair BEA through some other blogs I follow. First, BEA, stands for Book Expo America. Armchair BEA is for those of us who can’t attend BEA, which is in Chicago this year, so we participate and follow through a virtual convention in the comfort of our armchair. Today is the day we introduce ourselves.
  • What is the name you prefer to use? Jennifer. I mean I don’t know if I prefer it, it’s just my name.
  • How long have you been a book blogger? I’ve been blogging here since December of 2012. So about 3.5 years.
  • Have you participated in ABEA before? I haven’t! I only just heard about it through Randomly Reading (who participated in the Cybils awards with me this year )& Storytime Secrets.
  • Do you have a favorite book? My favorite book is The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.
  • What is your favorite genre and why? I typically like realistic fiction whether it be current or historical. I like to learn about different ways of life and different time periods. My favorite is probably 1900-1930s. Who wouldn’t want to be a flapper?
  • How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? Ooh ooh. This is a great question. At my house I have a whole room of bookshelves that are books I haven’t read. Then in my dining room I have the books in a color scheme to match my rug. The books I own and have read are few and I put them in my living room. They are few because once I buy a book and read it I typically give it away to someone I know will also enjoy it. I don’t expect them back, which is good because I don’t usually get them back. Ha.
  • What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by? Jodi Picoult has a new book coming out in October I think. I’m most excited and intimidated by that. I worry that the hype will be lost once I start reading and that makes me nervous.
  • If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why? Hm.. Jude from A Little Life, Celia from The Night Circus & Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice. I just finished all 3 of those books, sort of, and that’s who I’m thinking about right now.

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Goodreads

I love Goodreads y’all. Love it. Except when I hate it. The two times I hate it are as follows:

1. When I can’t mark a book read in different editions. Hardcover, paperback, this is especially true with audio. Sometimes I listen to a book and then I also read it and I want to mark it twice. Why can’t I do that, Goodreads? Huh? Or why oh why can’t I mark it more than once? If I read a book multiple times shouldn’t I be able to mark it read multiple times? But no. You either read it or you didn’t. It doesn’t matter how many times. GAH!

2. When I start reading something and then stop but have every intention of finishing. Right now, I’m currently reading those books —-> yes those ones over there on my widget. But let’s just make note that I’ve been “reading” All the Light we Cannot See for like 2 years. Not really, but you get my drift. I wish there was a way to say that to the community. I started this book and I really love it and I will finish it, probably the next time I go on vacation and need an airplane book, which is how I was reading it the first time.. whew. I wish Goodreads had that kind of shelf.

Other books I’m currently “reading”

11.22.63 by Steven King – I started reading this one because I wanted to watch the Hulu miniseries with James Franco. But then I started watching it and I did NOT like it. So perhaps I won’t actually finish this book..

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee – this one has been lost in my pile of books somewhere and I’m not at a super compelling part that’s calling me back. There are those parts, I’m just not at one. But I will finish gosh darn it.

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Eligible : a modern retelling

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I love Pride & Prejudice. I could probably quote all of the Keira Knightley movie. While I know others love the Colin Firth version the most, I have never seen it. This book, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, re-energized my love for P&P and I immediately figured out which streaming service I needed to utilize in order to watch the Colin Firth version. If you don’t like P&P, that’s fine too. You will still love Eligible. It is hilarious. I listened to some of it on audio and was laughing out loud in my car. Don’t read this book if you have a full bladder. You will pee your pants. USA Today calls it “wickedly entertaining” and I must agree. Since I know the story of P&P I feel like I may have enjoyed it a bit more than someone who may not be familiar with the novel Jane Austen lays out in the 1813 version only because I was waiting for the other shoe to drop on some of the story lines. I highly recommend reading this.

Disclaimer: If you look it up on Goodreads it looks like it’s in a series. It’s not, but sort of. The modern retellings of Austen’s work have been since 2013 and they put them all under a series. I will definitely be going back to read the others but I want to read the real Austen versions first. Here are links to the retellings just in case you have a different Austen book that you love.

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith

2016 Reading Challenge : a book and its prequel (we’re calling P&P by Austen this book’s prequel) :):)

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