What I’m Reading Now: A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

It’s been a while since the last book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses came out. Now we are following Cassian and Nesta as the Night Court prepares for war once again.

A Quick Review: Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

This one was fine. It didn’t pack the same punch as the previous books in the series as it didn’t have quite as high of stakes. To be honest I’m not sure if it’s a standalone novel set after the events of the All Souls Trilogy or the beginning of a new series. As a Standalone it’s good. It showed us the aftermath of the last book and what happened to Diana, Matthew and their twins but it mainly focuses on Marcus and Phoebe. They have been separated as Phoebe goes through the transmission from human to Vampire. It gives Marcus time to look back at his life and work through his feelings. We finally get to know how Matthew met Marcus and how he was made to a vampire and more importantly what happened between the two of them in New Orleans. It also interesting to see the process it takes to become a vampire. It doesn’t end with being bitten by a vampire. You have a lot to learn to be a vampire and a lot to give up. It seems to have ended on a happy note. So if it is a standalone it was fine but there is still the issue of Gerbert punishment and other issues with the congregation left open. Matthew hasn’t cured his blood rage yet and one of the twins is a weaver and has a Griffin for a familiar. There are so many left open questions to answer but there really wasn’t a lot of set up to what is to come. Sure there were hints of problems brewing in the congregation and Clairmont-Bishop family. I’m curious as to what is going on in Romania between the warring vampire clans. It feels important because why else mention it? So there has to be more books to come, right? It can’t just end here with Marcus and Phoebe being together as vampires and Diana and Matthew going back to teaching? There just has to be more.

Thoughts on Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

  1. I like this one better than the first one.
  2. Matthew is still a little too bit possessive for my liking but Diana has also starting to come into her own and is better at standing up for herself.
  3. Of course, Matthew would be a friends and collegues of some of the most important people of the time and of course he would be one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorites.
  4. Gallowglass is a delight and happy that he is still around for the next book.
  5. I loved the little family that they made with Jack and Annie.
  6. Who would I want to meet if I could go back in time?
  7. Diana meeting her dad as an adult was really touching.
  8. The Book of Life is gross. Who would want to make a book like that?
  9. Matthew’s son is going to be an issue.

What I’m Reading Now: The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Diana and Matthew are back to the future. Haha I couldn’t help myself. I’m excited to have them reunited with the rest of the gang but devastated that one of them is already gone. How dare Deborah Harkness drop the news like that so casually. *tears*

Re-reads

Since Beth and I set ourselves a summer challenge of re-reading the Twilight books (that neither of us completed), we are obviously not opposed to re-reads. I found out over Christmas that our Mother re-reads a book every year. It is the last book of a romance series in which a couple is getting married and all the couples from the previous books attend the wedding. I think, for her, it’s like checking on in old friends. I have, for the past few years, re-listened to the audiobook of the Hogfather. I enjoy it, but I also find myself, at the end of the year, thinking about Death giving a young girl a real sword for Hogswatch. (Perhaps it is that, around Yule, I am often doing a lot of grading and find myself thinking, “May this F be an important lesson to you.” I get pretty petty at the ends of semesters ;))

So, now I’m wondering: What do you re-read? What are your favorite worlds to revisit? What characters to you find yourself wanting to catch up with? And, do you catch up in other ways? Do you find yourself, instead of re-reading, diving into fan art/fan fiction? Let us know in the comments!

To Make a Reading Goal or To Not Make a Reading Goal.

I’ve debated over and over with myself whether or not I wanted to participate in this year’s Goodreads Reading Challenge. I’ve made a goal every year since 2011 and have reached it every year. (I made an adjustment to my goal midway last year because things only just barely made it) Last year was my lowest book count in ten years and even though I’m back to work and such doing more commuting to work where I do most of my reading, I’m only going in to work 3 or 4 days a week. The other days I’m working from home. Also it maybe a new year but the troubles of 2020 didn’t just go away when the calendar changed and the events of the world can be make things hard to concentrate. (See Re: yesterday) So do I make a reading goal this year or not? On one hand, it’s good to have a goal and to have something to work towards but it also can add extra stress that we all don’t need. I only read 20 books last year which is good considering last year but I also can’t help but think that is some kind of a failure when I usually read twice as many. In 2012, I read 90 books! Over the last couple of years, I’ve scaled back my goals. Allowing myself more time to really read them but also have a life. I do feel like it has given me a little more of a life balance. I could go a couple of days without reading and not freak out that I was now 2 books behind in my goal. So what should I do this year? I think it would be understandable to just take the year off. It’s not like you get a prize for making your goal. It is after all supposed to be fun and if it just adding stress then it’s not worth it right. I’m going to read anyways, so why do I need to set a certain number of books I have to read? However it is an easy way to keep track of what I’m reading and what I’ve read. I use my challenge when I do my year end lists to remind myself what books I really loved and were a disappointed. In the end I decided to set my goal at 20 like last year. I think this is fair. If I can somehow manage 20 last year I should be able to do this year right? If I don’t make it I don’t make it.

What about you? Are you making any reading goals or participating in any challenges this year? I want to hear what your reading plans are.

Our Favorite Books of 2020!

Well 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year. Thank goodness it’s about to end. We’ve been pretty open with our struggles we had this year when it came to our reading lists. We didn’t read as much as we wanted and don’t have as many books to pick from. So this year we are going to do something different this year. Instead of picking our Top 5 or 10 books we are just going to list our favorite books we read this year. So here we go.

  1. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 – by Cho Nam-Joo This was such a powerful book to me. Like the main character Kim Jiyoung. I was also born in 1982 and can identify with so many of her struggles. The fact that she is Korean and I am American just goes to show how alike we are all no matter where we are from. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
  2. Deathless Divide – by Justina Ireland The sequel of Dread Nation about a Zombie apocalypse after the US Civil War. In this one we see more the aftermath of what happened and the hardships they all have to endure. Jane is the best protagonist. She’s funny, strong, and damaged but she never gives up. She’s who we all would want if a zombies ever attack and considering how 2020 went, I’m surprised they didn’t. (Beth don’t jinx it)
  3. The King of Crows – by Libba Bray The final book in The Diviner’s series was ever the sweeping epic I wanted it to be. It brought all of them together and made them all work together to defeat the King of Crows. The sad thing about this series is how so many of the problems of the 1920’s are still too relevant today. Racism, poverty war and greed all played a part in the novels and the last couple of years. I’m truly going to miss all of these characters.
  4. Midnight Sun – by Stephenie Meyer Controversial choice I know because I wasn’t very kind to it or to Edward and Bella. It has not aged well and I’ll never read it again but It was kinda fun to reminisce back to a time when I loved these books and when I was excited to go see the movies in theaters. (Remember when we could do that?) No matter what I feel about the now, I’ll always be grateful to them and Stephenie Meyer because they introduced me to a whole new genre of books that I probably wouldn’t have sought after before. So yes, It wasn’t a good book but it brought back some good memories.
  5. There’s Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon Sweetie is an awesome main character. Her development is amazing. The romance is adorable. I totally forgot I had read that one.
  6. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz This was such a beautiful novel about a friendship between two teenagers. I loved it so much. It broke my heart and lifted me up. It was just so great. Plus, Lin Manuel Miranda reads the audiobook.
  7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro This novel was so horrifying. The quiet romance that hid the dark realities that Ishiguro created in the novel made it such an amazing piece of speculative fiction. I was so disturbed by it.
  8. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness The world building here is neat and I’m interested in where the story is going. I didn’t read a whole lot this year, but this one did get me into the sequel. So, even though there are things that definitely annoy me, I am adding it to the list.