Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fortnightly Update #11: An Adoption Anniversary and Shiny New Book Reading

This is actually the first week in a long (long) time that I'm reading books that are both books that will be published in June. Usually I try to read widely in terms of publication date, genre, and so on, but since both books will be published in June within weeks of each other, I'm hoping to read them all now and have the reviews up early (as reviewing has been a true process for me lately- and a long one at that).

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

the-pile Additions:

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab
I ordered this from the Book Depository after getting some coupon codes for a better deal- mostly, I was curious if I would like it as much as Vicious. I don't really know what to expect, as this is a hyped book and generally I'm apathetic toward hyped books, but I hope I'll like it. I also got two coloring bookmarks instead of one, as they stuck together, so I guess that was lucky.

the-invisible-pile Additions:

None... other than what I'm currently reading.

Currently Reading:

Spells of Blood and Kin by Claire Humphrey
I think what this book suffers from most is being compared with the authors they said this book was in the style of. On its own, it is a pretty good book so far (I'm 60% in) but when compared with the authors it was in its blurb (Alice Hoffman, Anne Bishop), it really doesn't make sense. The characters, while interesting, fail to grab my empathy- all that intrigues me is the plot and the unusual magic system.

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan
One of my Goodreads friends (who likes a lot of the books I like) loved this one, so I decided to request it. I haven't gotten far enough for impressions yet.

Finished These Books:

I expected to love this one, and in some ways I did, but there was some major conflict in me with the way a rape was portrayed. To me, it seemed to be used as a plot device to establish said character as strong, and to me it was just wrong- the character seemed to react somewhat, but then brush it aside like cobwebs. Others have really loved this one, but I have serious qualms about the way that rape was portrayed... it's almost unrate-able for me, but I think it'll still be a tentative 4 Star read.

Peasant Tales of Russia by V.I. Nemirovitch-Dantchenko
I reviewed this one, so you're better off clicking the link above if you want my full take on it- I loved one story in the collection, but some of them were overlong, and one was a tad too inspirational for my liking.

I don't recommend this one, however, I couldn't help but read it. Sometimes beginnings are very telling for a book, and sometimes I should just remind myself to never, ever read contemporary romance. The link is to my mini review on Goodreads.

In the Blogosphere/Other Great Links:

The Little Red Reviewer offers A Few Do’s and Don’t’s of Author Self Promotion. I'd think most of you may agree with them.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer has some tips on Searching Images For Your Website Don’t Steal Them. Thanks to La La in the Library for retweeting this one so I actually came across it! Many of the images on Google are actually copyrighted, and no, they don't need a watermark for that. This article and the things it mentions are exactly why I watermark most of my images- I've seen too many Pinterest image thieves in my day.

Jenny @ Reading the End had me clicking the Want to Read button on Goodreads after reading the first two lines of her review of The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig.

Becca @ I'm Lost in Books reviews The Wander Society by Keri Smith- another book I may pick up if I find it.

Marlin Collingwood writes a moving post on an important topic: My Husband Died by Suicide, but Died From Depression (from the Mighty). Though the way we think about such topics is changing, I think it's important to realize the base cause of things.

In My Life:

We've officially had His George-ness for a year. Somehow, it feels like I've had him a longer and shorter amount of time simultaneously. That cat acted like he owned our house from the second he jumped out of his cardboard carrier. Long live the George!

Our cleaned-up porch, with plant minions
Speaking of the house, my mom recently refinanced the mortgage on it, which meant she had to get an appraisal. As normal human beings, both my mother and I have a penchant for clutter, so we underwent a total house cleaning campaign before the appraiser came, making it look like the Joneses lived there. I had a slightly defeatist attitude toward the entire endeavor, as I'd checked online and it said that the housing market in our city had actually fallen since we'd bought our old 1903 house in 2013... but then the appraiser came back and said our house was worth $15,000 more than when we bought it. That was surprising considering other than buy a new washer and dryer and having potted plants everywhere, we really haven't done much with it.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!


  1. Happy new home birthday George! I read A Darker Shade Of Magic before I read Vicious and I loved ADSOM (it was my second best book last year), but did not care for Vicious. So either you'll love ADSOM even more, or because you loved Vicious you won't care for ADSOM. Heh heh. I am definitely going to read that author self promotion post. Some authors drive me crazy. Especially the ones who constantly tweet how much they hate writing and how stressful it is, every day and night and all times in-between! Geesh, it is like they think if it seems like they are being tortured we will like their books more. Or, maybe they think we will feel sorry for them and buy their book? Someone needs to tell them it actually gets them muted. Ha ha. I won't read YA Contemporary Romance. You are brave for attempting it! I hope you are having a great week. Sorry it took me so long to get here. I used my $10 Better Workd Books GC towards a new hardcover of the Valente Fairyland books I am collecting, so it only cost me $6! Thanis again for that giveaway. I will be posting pics on Twitter soon :)

    1. I hope I'll like A Darker Shade of Magic, but it's just hard to tell until you actually read the book. The author promo post covers some of the most annoying habits- like acting like a bot on Twitter (unnecessary sales pitches). I think it's okay to complain once in a while about something, but once you start doing it all the time... it's not like anyone's asking you to be their martyr. ;)
      I don't think I'm that brave- I've read 3+ books in the genre and I've never found one that's 4 star worthy for me. I think what pisses me off the most is they take relationships that border on abusive and celebrate them... or they make it all about money, sex, and drama, three things I don't need in books necessarily.
      That's great that you're getting a good deal at BWB. They've become my first stop shop for all the books I want to buy- I can save a lot of money there. Sometimes I'll compare their prices to Amazon's and it's wild how much you can save (especially on used and out of print titles).
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, La La! And you're welcome for the gift card. :)
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. Happy Weekend! I am really curious about A Darker Shade of Magic as well. I hope you enjoy it. I am glad you are finding Spells of Blood and Kin to be a worthwhile read. I take author comparisons with a grain of salt--so often they are a bit off the mark. I think it's more a marketing ploy than anything else. Still, sometimes I still fall for it . . .

    Happy Adoption Day to George! He's so adorable. :-)

    I hope you have a great weekend!

    1. I think it was impossible for me not to click request on NetGalley after they put a string of my favorite authors in that blurb. It is a marketing ploy, but I can't say I'd buy the book just off of it- although the cover is also great.
      I hope I enjoy A Darker Shade of Magic too- I've been trying to finish off review copies and reviews so I have a clean slate for reading again.
      Hope your weekend was great as well- thanks for stopping by and commenting, Wendy!
      ~Litha Nelle


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