My Stack of Books

So I’ve been trying to read more lately, and out of the blue I also decided it was high time to reread one of my favorite series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians. So now I have a stack of books.

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The Winner’s Curse–the cover on this book is gorgeous!  So pretty!  And after reading a couple of reviews and the sample chapter on Goodreads, I wanted to read it.  Also–fun fact–it’s written in third-person past, which is kinda unique for YA these days.  (well, as far I as can tell.)

The Percy Jackson books–basically, Percy is the best narrator ever.  He’s so funny and loveable!  And then Annabeth and Percy…well, they are so shippable from, like, the first time they meet.  If you haven’t read this series, you totally should.

The Mazerunner–I’m moving slow with this one.  It’s not that I don’t like it…it’s just…everyone is so mean and secretive to Thomas.  He’s so confused, poor guy.  I totally plan on finishing this book (and I think I’ll like it), but when I have to choose between reading about Thomas being all confused and Percy making fun of mythology and being epic…well, I go with Percy.

Full-Metal Alchemist–I’ve read two volumes in this manga series, and I’m loving it!  It’s funny, but also epic and even tragic at times.   I’m waiting on volume three from the library (of course volume four came in first.)

So what have you been reading lately? Have you read anything in my stack?  And most importantly, have you read any of the Percy Jackson books?  Do tell!

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A Reader’s Unsung Heroes

There are lots of blogs dedicated to reading and books and reviews and more reading.  But I think we readers often forget to appreciate a very important thing…

Bookmarks!  Bookmarks are awesome.  They hold our place in books and can be pretty much anything flat, papery or otherwise.   They also have a habit of disappearing when you need them most…

But anyway, I like using bookmarks.  I also enjoy making bookmarks out of cute tags.  It’s a great way to turn cute, useless junk into something useful.  Here are some of my favorites:

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And one of my favorite bookmarks,  an Everblaze bookmark I got after pre-ording the book:

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I also have some special bookmarks, like one my parents got from Ephesus when on a cruise:
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So do you like using bookmarks? Have any of your bookmarks ever mysteriously disappeared?  I had an awesome bookmark I made out of a tag from an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit plush, but I can’t find it, and it makes me sad. What do you use as a bookmark?

So I Read Some Books Last Year

One of my goals last year was to read more books, I actually did!  I also branched out and tried some new genres–and I wasn’t disappointed.  So here are some highlights from this past year:

The Lunar Chronicles
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I had heard a lot of good things about this series, and hemmed and hawed, unsure if I wanted to read it.  (I can be really indecisive about reading).   But I buckled down and read all three books and now I’m hooked!  It’s such a good series, and it’s very clean too.  I appreciate when YA books can be compelling and wonderful without large quantities of swearing and unpleasant romance.  Don’t get me wrong, I like romantic subplots, but there are some things I just don’t need to read about, or want to read about.  Thankfully, I never ran into a book like that this past year.

One The Fence
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Since You’ve Been Gone
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The Ellie Sweet Books
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These were some of my first contemporary YA romances and they were both awesome!  I loved how close-knit Charlie’s family was in On the Fence.  Her relationship with her dad was really sweet.  And her brothers were hysterical.  The romance was cute and clean and overall, it was one of my favorite reads.  I also loved Since You’ve Been Gone.  The characters were so compelling and real.   And Frank…well, he was awesome.  He was so sweet, and really smart too!  And he had a Latin Decathlon shirt (I’ve taken a Latin test like that before…it wasn’t fun).  But the main character, Emily, made some choices sometimes where I was like, “That’s stupid.  And illegal.  Why are you doing this?” And her best friend Sloane wasn’t exactly a good influence.  Swearing and romance were very clean in this one, though.  I also really enjoyed the Ellie Sweet books; the first one I got as an ebook to read on the plane to Hawaii this summer, the second I won.  You have to read both to get the full story.  I didn’t like the guy Ellie picked at the end of book 1, but it completely flips around in the sequel.

I read some more Tales of Goldstone Wood books, too.

And these are good books.  They’re really deep and are definitely heavier reading.  But in a good way.  I bought Shadow Hand a few months ago, cause my library didn’t have it, but I have yet to read it.  And I hear that Golden Daughter is really good too–I want to read it as well!

I read some manga.

It was a really fun experience!  There were a couple series I really liked, but never got around to getting the next books.  It is confusing though, figuring out how to read a book backwards.  I had to read the few first pages a couple times, because I read the bubbles in the wrong order.  Oops.

I did have a couple disappointing reads, though.

Along with the first Ellie Sweet book, I bought Waterfall by Lisa Bergren.  I didn’t like it.  The main character rubbed me the wrong way, I also didn’t like Marcello (long, flowing curly hair = not my cup of tea).  Also, I read the Anomaly trilogy by Krista McGee.  I liked the first one, but the second two were…well, lacking.  There was unnecessary angst thrown in from pretty much the first page of book 2, and I lost interest.  On the plus side, the main character ended up with the guy I liked.

So by far, my favorite book of the year was…

Everblaze by Shannon Messenger
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As I mentioned before, this is pretty much the one series I incoherently fangirl about.  I love it.  When this book came in the mail, I was inwardly happy dancing and dashed upstairs to read as soon as I finished school.  The romance is so stinkin’ cute!  Well…it technically doesn’t qualify as romance.  It’s more adorable crushing, because all the characters are middle school aged.  The first book in this series was cute, and bit fluffy, but I loved it.  I think every book worm has one series where they love it, even if it has some faults or is a little cliché or a little fluffy.   I think I could say that about myself for the first two books of this series.  But the third book was so amazing; it had some awesome plot twists and an amazing ending, the kind is that is cliff-hangerish enough to leave you wanting the next book, but has a enough closure to be considered an ending.  So yeah…I loved this book.

So those were the highlights of my reading year.  What do you think?  Have you read any of these books?  What was your favorite read in 2014?  Do tell!

Say Hello to My Bookshelf

I don’t take a lot of selfies, because it’s a little hard to take selfies with an iPad.  But when I heard about shelfies, I thought, AWESOME!  But I should tell you first…

I don’t often buy books.  It’s a fact.  I either get them from the library, or I don’t read them.  I have couple series now that I will preorder the next book, because I know I’ll like them, but other than that–I often don’t feel compelled to own a book.  Unless I know I’ll like a book a lot, or the library doesn’t have it and I will die without reading it (because this happens) I don’t buy books.

So I only have one shelf full of books.

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On the far left you’ll see my collection of knitting books and other crafting books.  Following them, are a couple of old Marvel comics (one Spider-Man, one Thor) that I got from a friend for my birthday.  I have my collection of Wayne Thomas Batson books, my favorite author in middle school.  All of them are signed, which makes me happy. 😛

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I got some books for Christmas, namely, Plenilune, Two Gentleman of Verona, and Orphan’s Song.  I also have a couple books I won or got for free at my library’s summer reading program (I scored a paperback of Cinder this past summer–woot woot!) And then comes my prized collection of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, thus far.  This is really the only series I incoherently fangirl about (other than the Lunar Chronicles, maybe).  IT’S JUST SO CUTE AND AWESOME.  And the covers are gorgeous, too.  After those books comes my copy of all three Lord of the Rings, which I got for 75 cents at a yard sale.  A pretty good deal!

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And yes, that is a plushie of Gandalf.  I also have a Frodo one, and my sister has Bilbo and Legolas.  And my bookend is a Latin competition trophy.

So what about you guys?   Do you like buying books?  What do your shelves look like?