December wasn’t a very productive reading month for me. I have only read three new books and one comic.
This month I also started to request books through Netgalley again. To be honest, I didn’t expect to get approved for so many books, because I had disappeared for more than a year and my feedback percentage was quite low. It seems, though, that my new blog has prompted the publishers to approve me for all these books that I now need to read and review. (Or at least I would like to think it’s because of this blog.)
Anyway, let’s talk about the books..!
December Wrap Up
1. Me and the Marquis by Tyburn Way. This was a book I won through Goodreads. I really do not know what I was thinking while requesting this book (because I did read the synopsis, which makes it worse). Anyway, I didn’t like this book at all. It wasn’t for me at all. I gave it 1 star in my review.
“To chase her true destiny, a woman must be wanton.” – Marquis de Sade
Is she mad or is she just bad? She’s certainly dangerous to know – the modern woman who dares to live her life according to the principles of notorious 18th century kinky French nobleman the Marquis de Sade. Taking the perverse philosophy of the first-ever sadist Sade as her ideal and helped along the way by a former lover, a colleague and her daughter, the experimentatrice tries life as the Marquis longed to live it and finds that such an existence, while exciting and eventful, is definitely not easy. Will the lady’s experiment to emulate the Marquis’s philosophy and life be a big success or is she doomed to failure? Find out in author Tyburn Way’s dark and deep novella set in Zurich, Switzerland.
2. Meditations Through Coloring. This is a stunning coloring book with beautiful illustrations for you to color! I know it’s not really a book, but I loved it and did a review on it, so do go on and check it out. And yeah, I know it’s cheating, since I didn’t actually read it…lalala lala laaaa!
Meditation is a stress-reduction technique implemented the world over. Although the techniques vary, people from across the globe embrace meditation as an essential part of their daily practice. As scientists and psychologists explore this ancient path today, they are discovering alternatives to traditional meditation. One of these is coloring. Coloring is a low-stress activity that invokes deep focus and relaxation. The act of coloring can unlock hidden creative potential while alleviating stress by allowing the practitioner to concentrate on specific patterns and colors while letting go of any worries and concerns. This volume showcases images inspired by the ancient art form of henna tattoos, known as mehndi. Throughout the world, mehndi is incorporated into special celebrations and rites of passage, ranging from weddings to childbirth. Experienced meditation practitioners and general readers alike will enjoyMeditations through Coloring as they explore intricate patterns and the calming interaction of color and space on every page.
3. Echo Gear #1 by Vincent Sammy. This is a comic book I requested through Netgalley. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the best of luck with my Netgalley picks that I’ve read so far. My problem with this one: I didn’t understand a thing. I did do a 2.5 star review on it where I explain my thoughts a bit better.
Echo Gear is a “hybrid codex,” a mash up of imagery, text, sequential art, editorial and advertorial nodes. A story told in codes, puzzles, wordplay, and cross-referenced archaic media.
It’s a time of love and regret in Echo Gear.
“When nothing around us mattered.
And all was pure and tranquil.”
4. Lady of the Loch by John C. Ryan. Another bad Netgalley experience. This time the cheesiness was what got me. I found the book totally unrealistic. I have a review and spoiler discussion on it here on my blog. Don’t worry the review is separated from the spoilers.
Grateful to be rescued from a watery grave, yet mortified she lay naked in a strange man’s arms, Paden can’t believe her savior is none other than the notorious Black Knight—a man accused of murdering his twin brother to secure his lairdship.
Determined there is more to the story, she steals away with him instead of marrying the man of her father’s choosing, and helps her Black Knight try to prove his innocence.
Battles wage, blood is shed, and secrets are a matter of life and death.
Will he be sent to the gallows, or will their love, and her belief in him, prevail?
Lastly, I wanted to mention this awesome blog post I read by Aimal over at bokshelves and paperbacks. She talks about how femininity is being suppressed in YA novels. I think she has made some great comments on this and thought that what she said was very interesting. So, I would like to share that with you.
And on to more books…
So, in the last week of January my semester exams start and I need to focus on them. But there are some books that I need to read and review. So, I’ll try to finish them.
1. The Benighted by A.M. Dunnewin. This sounds like a great book. It is a Netgally book for which I got approved really late. The truth is I was supposed to have already reviewed this book, but I haven’t even really started it yet (only a few pages in) sooo… Yeah I know. But I will finish it within the week so I don’t worry.
The King was dead.
His body was found slain in his room, only months after his son had been brutally murdered. Skylar Mandolyn, his daughter, has now become the last heir to inherit the throne. But instead of becoming Queen, she has been imprisoned for helping in the escape of Sir Harlin Brien, her knight who was framed for the King’s murder.
Confined to darkness, Skylar’s captors have given her no choice but to yield to a new kind of enemy: a kingdom that has advanced in both technology and warfare. It’s when she refuses that the prison uses its other means of persuasion, and although unmerciful, the whip lashings and isolation can’t suppress the memories of her family’s downfall. Pulled between her subconscious and reality, Skylar already knows who the true enemy is, because even the darkness can’t hide the deceptive hands that have destroyed them all.
With two kingdoms on the brink of war, Skylar’s only hope is in the person who has gone missing — Harlin, the knight who was sworn to protect her. The memory of him surrounds her when the darkness screams louder than the prisoners, and when Death smiles a faceless grin in between the cracks of the stone. While the tremors start to rise from the deep, crawling up through the prison’s walls, Skylar doesn’t realize that she will soon see why he’s one of the Benighted.
The mystery was never how Harlin escaped. It’s how he’ll return.
2. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald. This sounded like a great book, so I’m really looking forward to reading it. And isn’t the cover beautiful?
Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.
3. Faith and Moonlight by Mark Gelineau & Joe King. I have requested this book through Netgalley and entered to win it in what seems like a hundred different giveaways in Goodreads. Finally, I got approved for an e-copy of it on Netgalley and had to accept that I would have to read that one first and then, if I liked it, I could always search for it online and get a physical copy of it. (Which is the logical thing to do, of course, but who said that I possess this finer ability of human intellect?)
Roan and Kay are orphans.
A fire destroys their old life, but they have one chance to enter the School of Faith.
They are given one month to pass the entry trials, but as Roan excels and Kay fails, their devotion to each other is put to the test.
They swore they would face everything together, but when the stakes are losing the life they’ve always dreamed of, what will they do to stay together?
What won’t they do?
3. Best Left in the Shadows by Mark Gelineau & Joe King. Another book by these authors that I really want to read and have been hunting down like crazy. Thank you Netgalley!
A Highside girl. Beaten. Murdered. Her body found on a Lowside dock. A magistrate comes looking for answers. For justice.
Alys trades and sells secrets among the gangs and factions of Lowside. She is a daughter of the underworld. Bold. Cunning. Free. When an old lover asks for help, she agrees. For a price.
Together, they travel into the dark heart of the underworld in search of a killer.
4. A Reaper of Stone by Mark Gelineau & Joe King. Have you noticed a theme this month? Yeah, I found out about these three books at the same time and have become obsessed with acquiring them and reading them (not necessarily in that order). A really hope that I will like them, or they will become my greatest disappointments of 2016 before the year has even really started.
A Lady is dead. Her noble line ended. And the King’s Reaper has come to reclaim her land and her home. In the marches of Aedaron, only one thing is for certain. All keeps of the old world must fall.
Elinor struggles to find her place in the new world. She once dreamed of great things. Of becoming a hero in the ways of the old world. But now she is a Reaper. And her duty is clear. Destroy the old. Herald the new.
The truth is that this month I should also be reading Lydia’s Enchanted Toffee by Neale Osborne as I had said in my Sunday Post. But it was a very late request from Netgalley and I lost the archive date, so I can’t download it anymore to read it. Well, things like that happen, but I was really excited about this book and now I lost my chance to read it soon.
Planet Plenti is a most extraordinary place, a world of incredible edible delights; of confectionery minerals, fizzy pop springs, forests and jungles full of delectable plantlife…
And yet, for children in the land of Likrishka, life is less than ordinary, and mostly very grim – as the Likrish population lives under the watchful rule of Stannic, a tin-skinned tyrant, a Master Chef who commands an army of robot waiters.
Thus nine-year-old Lydia faces a future slaving away in a factory camp – but the girl was born with a mysterious power over metal (when she eats a special type of toffee) …
One eventful day, she meets a gang of other girls with strange sweetie powers: the deadly Bull’s-Eye, razor-toothed Jawbreaker, fire-breathing Peppermint, super-fast Hazel Whirl; there’s Marshmallow, Ice Lolly, Sugar Cube, Dolly Mixture, Cocoa and Marzipan … and together, they must travel across the robot-controlled Candi-Lands, on a treasure hunt for magic sweets that will help to defeat the villainous Chef … and return their world to its sweetest, once more.
This is a new slimmer version of Neale Osborne’s acclaimed debut ‘Lydia’s Tin Lid Drum’ – in 44 short chapters, from ‘Appetizer’ to ‘Afters’, decorated with over 100 illustrations – some of them new to this beautifully-presented paperback edition.
Anyway, that was my December Wrap Up & January TBR. I hope you like it.
Now, tell me…
Which books did you read last month? What are you currently reading? Which books are on your January TBR list? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Would you like to? Have you won one of the many Goodreads giveaways for the three books by Mark Gelineau and Joe King that I have been losing like crazy? (Wait, don’t tell me that! I don’t want to know… Do I? Tell me now!) Did you like Aimal’s post? Tell me all about it in the comments below…