Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Ten Books I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're listing the top books we've each read in 2014.

All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry (My review)
Something Real by Heather Demetrios (My review)
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth (My review is upcoming)
The Young Elites by Marie Lu (My review is upcoming)
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (My review)
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta (My review)
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (My review is upcoming)
Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer (My review)

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (My review)
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (My review)

Five of these have fantasy elements (six if you count the magical realism elements of I'll Give You the Sun). Four are historical fiction. Three are contemporary. Not bad. Obviously I still have a preference for fantasy, but I'm working on diversification!

Please let me know what are some of your top books for this past year!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Doll Bones by Holly Black

Doll Bones by Holly Black
Published: 2013, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Source: Library

It made him feel, for a moment, like maybe no stories were lies… Maybe all stories were true ones.

Although at twelve years old friends Poppy, Alice, and Zach are now past the age where they should be playing with action figure toys, none of them is quite ready to give up their games. For Poppy, their games give her some love and attention lacking in her home life. For orphaned Alice, their games allow her to escape the strict rules that come with living with her grandmother. And for Zach, playing with Poppy and Alice has always been an important part of his life. They’ve constructed elaborate tales around their toys and created fantastical worlds.

One day, however, Zach’s father throws all of Zach’s toys away, deciding that it’s past time for his son to stop playing with them. Heartbroken, Zach refuses to play with new toys, and also chooses to keep the truth from Poppy and Alice, instead saying that he’s simply no longer interested in playing anymore. Not only their game, but their friendship itself is at stake when Poppy reveals she’s been receiving dreams from the Queen, a china doll kept locked away in her family’s cabinet. The Queen apparently contains the ashes of a murdered girl, who asks that they be laid to rest.

And so, for the first time in their years of friendship and playing fantastical games, Poppy, Alice, and Zach embark on a real quest.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we're discussing the top ten authors we've discovered this past year, both recently published and not. 

Author: Julie Berry
Why: I've made no secret of my love for All the Truth That's in Me. It is definitely among my favorite books read this year. And if my library hold comes in within the next week or so, I'm hoping to close off my year with another Berry book, though one that sounds quite different. But hopefully just as wonderful.

Book Read: Something Real
Next Book: Exquisite Captive
Why: Something Real was a pleasant surprise. Demetrios created a story centered around a reality television show and actually made it into a meaningful story. But not going to lie - Exquisite Captive sounds more like my type of story.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Showcase Sunday #20

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicki at Books, Biscuits and Tea. Its aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken So this was free for Kindle at some point last month. I've said before that I'm more interested in Bracken's Brightly Woven, but the marketing for the concluding book of this series got me interested in this one as well.
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Magical realism! In a modern-day America! Nearly all of my knowledge of and love for the magical realism genre (subgenre?) is due to some fantastic Latin American authors, so I'm excited to see magical realism apply to a different type of story.
Among Others by Jo Walton
Just everything about this book sounds like something I'd love to read. Bookish protagonist, a world with a hint of the fantastical, an epistolary writing style. Here's hoping I can get to this one soon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Blogger for Book and a Beverage

Hello, lovely readers!

I apologize for the unexpected hiatus. Life's been a bit crazy recently, and while I've been reading as much as usual, I haven't had time to maintain my own blog or be a dedicated blog reader. That should be changing very soon, however. Expect quite a few science fiction reviews (since I totally missed out on Sci Fi November), as well as a few others.

In the meantime, I wanted to note that today I'm the featured Book and a Beverage blogger over at The Book Addict's Guide. I always love reading Brittany's feature, so I was definitely excited to have the chance to be featured there myself. Please feel free to check out my interview!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Showcase Sunday #19

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicki at Books, Biscuits and Tea. Its aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

Birthday presents from the lovely Courtney!

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst  
I think I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: Courtney is the best. She knew how much I loved Vessel (my review), and so bought me my own copy of it for my birthday. I can’t wait to re-read it soon. Thank you, dear!  
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) by Patrick Rothfuss This was also a birthday present from Courtney. It was such a perfect pick, as I’ve been meaning to start this series for a while now. So, so excited to get my adult fantasy on with a reading of this series.

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Monthly Digest: October 2014

Welcome back to The Monthly Digest here at Late Nights with Good Books. With these posts I hope to recap everything reading- and blogging-related for the past month.

The Books

Favorite Read from October:
I'm actually not sure. I enjoyed a number of these, but nothing really stood out to me. If I had to pick, I'd go with Starglass by Phoebe North.

Notable Quote from October:
And there comes a time in your life when you realize that if you don't take the opportunity to be happy, you may never get another chance again.
Richard Russo, Empire Falls

October Features:

In My Life
Unsurprisingly, October was a pretty busy month for me. So much has been happening that's required me to keep moving that I haven't had much of a chance to reflect on all the changes.

First off, I was offered a part-time youth reference assistant job at a public library. Yay! It's been a wonderful experience so far, and has really helped justify my desire to become a public librarian (not to mention it's now making me strongly consider becoming a youth librarian in particular). It's also been really nice to finally start practically applying all that I've been learning from my classes.

Because my job is focused on children, I am going to make some slight reading and reviewing adjustments. I haven't read many books targeted at an audience younger than YA recently, but now I'm going to start reading more MG fiction. I want to be able to give recommendations for books I've actually read, after all. So expect some more MG reviews on here (though probably not books for any audiences younger than that).

Between the new job, my classes, homework, and splitting my home between two locations, blogging's kind of had to take a backseat, and this trend will probably continue at least until the semester ends. However, I am participating in SciFi November. I plan on having about five reviews and two or three other posts going up throughout the month (just have to write them up), so be on the lookout for them!

How was your October?
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