Reading Update

These last few weeks haven’t been good for me in the reading department. I don’t think I’m in a reading slump, but something isn’t clicking for me right now. Which means I haven’t had a book review on this blog for a while. Instead of sucking it up and finishing the book I’m reading, I thought I would give you guys a snapshot of where I am in the reading world right now.

I read the last two books in Robin LaFever’s His Fair Assassin trilogy a few weeks ago but never reviewed them. They were great, but I waited too long after I finished the books to sit down and write a review, and I realized that I couldn’t really remember what I wanted to say about them. Writing book reviews is something that I love doing half the time, and can’t bring myself to do the other half of the time. Right now, I’m stuck in the unproductive half of the cycle.

I’m signed up for the Fairytale Retelling Reading Challenge, so I picked up Winterspell by Claire LeGrand. My sister read it a few months ago and recommended it highly. The first 100 pages were awful, but my sister promised that the book got better, and it did. The world building is done really well and I like the premise of a Nutcracker retelling a lot, but the main character annoys me–a lot. I don’t want to give up on this book–especially when I DNF-ed Splintered recently–but this means that I haven’t used my free time to read, so after close to two weeks of reading Winterspell, I’m still only halfway through.

cover winterspell

In school, we started reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I’m enjoying it, though we haven’t gotten to the trial yet, which is reportedly when the plot gets really good. I love the characters and am excited to see what happens–this is one of the only books we read this year for school that I don’t have any idea what happens in the plot (as opposed to something like Oedipus or Romeo and Juliet, whose plots are well known).

cover to kill a mockingbird

For my Nonfiction Reading Challenge, I started reading The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen by Howard Carter and A.C. Mace. It is the volume that the two Egyptologists wrote right after they discovered in famous boy king’s tomb. When I was in elementary school, I was flat out obsessed with ancient Egypt, and I still have all the books I bought on the subject during that time. When I was younger, I basically just looked at the pictures–though I did read a lot of material about the subject and watched a lot of Discovery Channel programs (back when that channel was still reputable). Now, I’m trying to get back to the subject, and I thought that this book would be a good place to start. (When school started actually taking up time, my obsession was put on a back burner.)

cover king tut

I’m on spring break this week, so I’m really planning to get a lot of reading done. First off, I have to finish Winterspell. Tomorrow’s Top Ten Tuesday will lay out the books I’m going to choose from to read next. Hopefully I’m not actually in a reading slump, and the next book I read will be enjoyable and remind me why I love reading.

My To Be Read List Update

Whoops.

Remember that post from last week? My To Be Read List?

Yeah, I only read two books on that list.

Turns out, the Mistborn novels are reaaaaaaaaaaaaallly long. Amazing, powerful, emotional, unique, well-written, and awesome, but also deceptively long (they look sort of average length).

The end of second book sort of ripped out my heart and left me with major trust issues. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so surprised and betrayed by a book.

I’ll post a review for the series once I read the third book.

And then I’ll read the rest of the books I talked about.

You know what they say about best laid plans…

My To Be Read List

I’m going camping for a long weekend tomorrow. Basically, I’m not going to have internet, but I’m going to have a crazy amount of time to read.

I thought I’d update you guys on what I’m planning to read and what I’m reading right now.

Right now, I’m halfway through reading Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. It’s different from what I usually read, but I’m loving it. Amazingly done fantasy, with incredible characterization and world building. Just the concepts alone, behind the plot and the magic in the world, were enough to suck me in. Hopefully (probably) I’ll have read the whole trilogy by the time I get back, so there will be a review for them coming soon.

cover mistborn

Amazon description:

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Other books I’m bringing with me (that might get read, depending on the mood I’m in):

Insanity by Susan Vaught

cover insanity

Amazon description:

Never, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing….When the dead husband of one of Forest’s patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected.

I’ve read two of Susan Vaught’s other books, Going Underground and Freaks Like Us, and I really love her as an author. This is more paranormal than anything I’ve read from her, as far as I know, it’s the first paranormal book she’s written. I trust that she’s done an amazing job with it, and I’m really excited to read it.

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

cover belle epoque

Amazon description:

When Maude Pichon runs away from provincial Brittany to Paris, her romantic dreams vanish as quickly as her savings. Desperate for work, she answers an unusual ad. The Durandeau Agency provides its clients with a unique service—the beauty foil. Hire a plain friend and become instantly more attractive.
Monsieur Durandeau has made a fortune from wealthy socialites, and when the Countess Dubern needs a companion for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, Maude is deemed the perfect adornment of plainness.
Isabelle has no idea her new “friend” is the hired help, and Maude’s very existence among the aristocracy hinges on her keeping the truth a secret. Yet the more she learns about Isabelle, the more her loyalty is tested. And the longer her deception continues, the more she has to lose.

I’m interested by the premise of the book. The description doesn’t give much of an explanation as to the plot, but the concept behind it is promising. My sister already read it and enjoyed it, so I probably will as well.

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

cover all our yesterdays

Amazon description:

“You have to kill him.”
Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present-imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

The plot sounds complicated but in a good way. Again, my sister really liked it–which is a major vote of confidence for a book. I don’t think I’ve ever really read a novel that handled time travel well, so hopefully, this will break the trend.


 

So I’ve got fantasy, paranormal, historical fiction (ish), and time travel. Nothing light-hearted, which I might regret later this weekend, but there wasn’t anything that looked good on my bookshelf. I’m also trying to catch up on books my sister read that I haven’t.

I probably won’t have any posts after this on until Monday. Then I’m going to try a follow-up to yesterday’s post about editing my novel, focusing on how I use Excel for plot purposes. If I get a chance, I’ll try to write some more of Hell and Styx so I can post that.

So, yeah. Wish me good books.