Weekend Reads: 02/15/19 – 02/17/19

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 I think I (thankfully) may have hit the conclusion of my reading slump. I’m crossing my fingers, but also not holding my breath. Not reassuring, but honest 🙂 I have been working my way through a couple PC games that have been in my Steam library for awhile, and am having a lot of fun with those. My husband and I have also restarted the Game of Thrones series in preparation for the April release of the series finale. So, I haven’t really been leaving myself much free time to read as well, although I’m hopeful my personal TBR takedown will speed back up!

Here are the books I’m planning to dive right into this weekend, and finish up in the coming week. Let me know if you have read any of these, or if they are on your TBR. I’d love to hear your thoughts on books! Goodreads links will be included for each book. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!


The Birth HouseThe Birth House by Ami McKay

From what I’ve read so far (about 30%), this book is exactly what I look for in terms of historical fiction. Sure, there may be particular time periods that I’m more drawn to than others, but the simple practices of old world medicine is always something that fascinates me. I always joke with my husband that if we had been born 200 years ago, I’d be the old woman that lives in the forest and sells herbal concoctions to the townsfolk, hopefully avoiding the wrath of the witch-crazed population. This is a bit more modern than THAT time period, and follows the social structure of the people caught underneath the weight of new modern medicine clashing with traditional methods of healing and child birth.

 

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

I have just recently had this series brought to my attention, and by those whose opinions of fantasy reads I very much respect. I am buddy reading this book and because of its length, plan to get started as soon as possible. I’ve really only heard great commentary about this series, so I am so looking forward to delving into this world that has people swooning.

 

 

 

 


 

Library Haul: 2019-01

jan library haul

I love a good library haul! While I love a book buying session as much as the next bookworm, I have been working on buying less (like I’ve seen most have resolved to do during this new year 😉 ) and utilizing my local library more. I’m thankful the library exists, for all sorts of reasons, and would like to make a more conscious effort to use it, rather than buying a ton of books I may not end up enjoying.

I haven’t really made any resolutions for 2019, but I have made a goal that involves my backlisted TBR. I have books that have been sitting on my Goodreads to-read list since as far back as 2012, many of those being YA fantasy. And while there is nothing at all wrong with the young adult genre, I’ve realized from my reading last year that I may be growing out of it, and am no longer the target audience for these types of books. Problem is, I added them for a reason. The stories sound super interesting and my curiosity is still quite piqued. All of this ^^^ is to say:

In 2019, my library hauls will be focused mainly on getting to my backlisted TBR books, with a higher priority being given to the YA books I think still sound worth going after. I’m not gathering books in a strict order, but am rather picking and choosing titles, keeping in mind which ones have been there the longest. OK, you’re probably here to see the books so here we go! I grabbed five library books this month and, as usual, Goodreads links will be included for each book. 🙂


This is Belinda Bauer’s debut novel and is a mystery crime thriller. It follows the narratives of a young boy and a child serial killer, both linked in a way you wouldn’t expect. I’ve actually started reading this one already and am about 60 percent of the way through. It’s amazing, chilling, and quite the roller coaster. The story is quite dark, and although it isn’t gory, doesn’t really leave out much in the way of details in some parts. But I can’t wait to see how it ends!

Blacklands

 

Not sure why this one has been unread for so long. I love Robin McKinley’s retellings and this folktale focuses on Sleeping Beauty’s story. She writes excellent characters, and the narration is never dialogue heavy. And the romance that almost always accompanies a fairy tale, when controlled by this author, is believable and actually quite good.

Spindle's End

 

If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll know by now I am a sucker for assassins. Naturally, this YA fantasy about a girl who runs away from her family of pirates to avoid a marriage, and ends up being hunted by an assassin. This story has all the elements of something I’d be instantly drawn to from the synopsis alone, and the book cover gives kind of an “Arabian Nights” vibe so I’m really hoping to enjoy the story.

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)

 

This is a historical fiction novel that follows a young girl named Dora who becomes a midwife apprentice during WWI. The story sounds tragic, but so interesting as Dora must learn to navigate her new profession during a time when modern medicine is pushing back against some of the more traditional ways of healing and caring for patients. This sounds like a book I’ll have trouble putting down.

The Birth House

 

This is the story of young Will, orphaned assistant to a doctor of monstrumology: the study of monsters. The book sounds like it contains diary passages written by this young assistant as he recounts the terrors and successes of their work in the field. I don’t really know much more about it, but all the more reason to get started reading it right away!

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)


That’s all for this haul. Thanks for stopping by! Have you read any of these, and if so, what did you think? I’d really love to know 🙂

9 Series to Finish & Start in 2019

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As 2018 wraps up and I see a whole bunch of people posting their reading goals for 2019, I’ve been thinking about my own. Do I have any, or do I just want to keep grabbing at whatever catches my attention throughout the year? I’ve decided the answer is both. Yes, I plan to grab at what entices me because reading should be an enjoyable, relaxing experience. But, I also have a project in mind that I would like to spend 2019 working towards. And that is to get at more than a few series that have been on my radar for a long time.

One of my favorite things to do is marathon a series. I feel that when I read each book, one after the other until the end, I get a better feel for the series as a whole and can rate the series as well as each individual book. Reading an entire series when the previous book is still fresh in your memory allows you to transport yourself into the world that has been carefully and (hopefully) masterfully written, immersing you in the entire experience. I LOVE it.

I will typically read the first book in a series to determine if it’s ‘for me’ and whether or not I’ll want to continue. If the series passes the test and has been completed, I’ll scramble to get my hands on the remainder and marathon the series. If the series has not been completed, I’ll hold off and wait (painfully) until the series has been completed. That way, if a few years have gone by since I started the series and I need to reread the first book to refresh, I won’t have to slog through three or four rereads to get to the good stuff. Maybe I shouldn’t say slog…I enjoyed the books for a reason. I would just prefer not to reread more than two books in the same series if I don’t have to.

Anyways, here is the list of series I will be finishing AND starting in 2019. There are nine total which I am confident is a totally realistic number for an entire year of reading. I will include Goodreads links to the first book in each series for those interested in reading more about them. Enjoy!


Series to Finish

1. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

I am a total sucker for books about assassins and all their blade swirling shenanigans. This young adult fantasy series begins with a story about an assassin who finds herself summoned to a king she hates after being imprisoned for years by said king. She is being given the option to die in prison, or fight as his champion to earn her freedom. I love what I’ve read so far and will admit that I couldn’t stop myself and made it to book four before realizing it wasn’t complete…until now! I can’t wait to continue with this amazing story and see how it ends. There are seven books total in the Throne of Glass series and five novellas. You can check out book 1 on Goodreads here>> Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)


2. The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie

My husband and I both love this epic adult fantasy trilogy and are each competing for ‘next up’ with book three. The characters are amazing and the world building in each novel is outstanding. You will follow each character through rough and dangerous lands, where politics can kill and magic is no safer. Point of view switches between chapters which allows you to get well acquainted with each individual, as well as getting the inside scoop on how they feel about the characters around them. Though I haven’t finished the trilogy yet, I HIGHLY recommend these books to just about anyone who enjoys a great story that makes you chuckle here and there. The Blade Itself will get you started if you’re interested….and you definitely should be.

The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)


3. Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown

You may or may not have seen the movies associated with this series like The Davinci Code but I really enjoyed both the first book in the series and the movies. (Plus they star Tom Hanks so really it’s a no brainer for this fan girl.) If you are a fan of mystery thrillers and enjoy stories that encompass religious theories about the Holy Grail and the deep secrets of the Vatican, this could absolutely be a series you’ll love. I love the types of mysteries that have ancient ties to history, and books that take you on a journey through architecturally stunning cities that you can actually go see in reality. (If you dare). There are five books in this series, starting with Angels and Demons. I am really excited to keep going with these books and find out what adventures lie ahead. Just don’t say Illuminati…

Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)


4. The Empress of Rome series by Kate Quinn

I read the first book in this series years ago and really enjoyed it, but had no idea it was part of a series which is wonderful! I never tire of reading books set in a Roman setting, especially those written about the Greco-Roman era. The story follows a slave girl and her fight for survival in the cutthroat political climate of Roman society. The book is historical fiction with a side of romance and, in my opinion, does a great job of taking the reader undercover into the daily life of the citizens and slaves of Rome. There are four books in the series with a prequel to read in between books three and four. Mistress of Rome will take you straight into a world of gladiators, politics, and love that kills.

Mistress of Rome (The Empress of Rome, #1)


5. Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson

This young adult fantasy series is about the youngest of three princesses who has been chosen to fulfill a prophesy that may very well kill her. There is political court drama, a journey through harsh terrains, and genuine character building that is done so very well. There were aspects of the first book I did not enjoy and made me want to forget the series entirely. However, there was enough about the story I truly enjoyed that has me ready to complete the series and find out how it ends. There are three full length books in the series and a handful of novellas to strengthen the story. You can begin the series with The Girl of Fire and Thorns.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)


Series to Start

1. Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Assassins: check. Adult Fantasy: check. Raving reviews: check. I have heard so many great things about this trilogy and now I must have it. The series is about a young boy who is cast out of his royal family and must train to be an assassin to survive. There is a magic system that allows the boy to communicate with animals and an epic fantasy adventure I really don’t want to miss out on. And assassins….clearly I’m in the right place. The trilogy is complete so I am really looking forward to a good old fashioned marathon coming soon. Assassin’s Apprentice is where I’ll begin in my quest to devour every twist of the blade.

Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1)


2. Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab

This series seems to have been read by everyone, and no one really has anything bad to say about it. Even my husband has read it and now I will be playing catch-up. From what I’ve gathered, this young adult fantasy series is about a magician with the extremely rare ability to travel between the four parallel Londons (Black, Red, White, and Grey) that make up the book universe. Each London has it’s own political hierarchy, cast system, and deadly aspirations associated with the powers that be. I’m intrigued and am excited to get started with book one: A Darker Shade of Magic. Oh, and I forgot to mention this series is also complete which means it can be marathoned the way God intended. Happy day!

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)


3. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

This is a series I’ve been meaning to start for a very long time and now that there is a TV series that people seem to love, I feel it’s high time to get started. The story is about a woman in the 1940’s that, on a second honeymoon with her husband in the British Isles, steps through a stone that transports her to 1743 Scotland as an ‘Outlander’ where she must navigate life as a native and stay alive. It’s historical fiction and sounds amazing and I can’t wait to dive in. The books are rather large, which could be a good or bad thing though my money is on ‘good.’ There are nine books total in the series, the last of which is set to release in 2020, and the first being Outlander. There are also three novellas, and a prequel to the entire series in the works. There’s a lot of ground to cover with this series and I think I have my work cut out for me…

Outlander (Outlander, #1)

SIDE NOTE: I really want to buy the first copy in this series. They are wonderfully floppy paperbacks and I have a feeling I will enjoy this series enough to want to add them to my forever shelves. HOWEVER: since the release of the TV series, I CANNOT find these floppy paperbacks without the obnoxious “Starz series” tag on the front. ANYWHERE. So, if anyone knows where I might find copies of these paperbacks without the TV tags on them, please please please let me know! 


4. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

This is a young adult dystopian fantasy series that  follows a young girl who has survived a deadly fever that otherwise killed most of the nation she lives in. The survivors of this mysterious illness are rumored to possess other worldly gifts, magical abilities if you will. She will find out in this three book series that has a lot of great reviews and an intriguing element of mystery. I am looking forward to reading some of Marie Lu’s books, and The Young Elites will be my first.

The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1)


That’s all for my series of 2019. Have you read any of these? Thanks for reading!