February Round Up!

Well folks, that’s two months down, ten more to go.  How’s the TBR pile going?

February was a pretty bookish month for me, both regarding the incoming and the outgoing novels!  Firstly, I received my first ARC-for-review in February!

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Drawn Away by Holly Bennett

One minute Jack’s in math class. The next, he’s on a dark, cobblestoned, empty street. Empty, that is, except for a skinny girl wrapped in a threadbare shawl. “Matches, mister?” she asks, and just like that, Jack’s life collides with one of Hans Christian Andersen’s grimmest tales. And just when he has almost convinced himself it was just a weird dream, it happens again.

Suddenly, Jack’s ideas about what is “real” or “possible” no longer apply. While he and his new girlfriend, Lucy, struggle to understand who or what the Match Girl is, they come to realize they must also find a way to keep Jack away from her. The Match Girl is not just a sad, lonely soul; she’s dangerous. And each time Jack is drawn into her gray, solitary world, she becomes stronger, more alive…and more attached to Jack.

She wants to keep Jack for her very own, even if that means he will die.

 

I’m working through reading that one now and am hoping to have a review up either this weekend or next, depending on how much free time I have.  So that’s exciting!  You can check out Drawn Away on Goodreads for more information.  It was published on January 17th.

The February Haul

I’ve had a great haul of physical books and digital audiobooks this month.  These are mostly thanks to subscriptions (Audible, OwlCrate, Uppercase Box).  The haul is as follows:

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer // The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud // The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snickett // So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane // The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde // Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut // Deep Wizardry by Diane Duane // Caraval by Stephanie Garber // Drawn Away by Holly Bennett // Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst // RoseBlood by A. G. Howard // By Your Side by Kasie West // V for Vendetta by Alan Moore // The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood // Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I can assure you this is a rarity – I know lots of book bloggers get dozens of books monthly, and many of them simply ARCs for review, but I don’t have the time and space to have the personal library I want.  In fact, this month I got rid of 133 books!

Yes, you read that number correctly: 133.  It was not easy.  Fact of the matter is, I really needed to consider what would be read again and what wouldn’t.  A lot of my non-fiction from college got cut, as well as most the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton and my Star Wars books.  Those alone made up a pretty good chunk.  Otherwise, everything from book club reads to well-meaning but unwanted gifts got the hook.  Sorry, mum!

Cutting into the library wasn’t fun, but unfortunately we need the space.  More on that another time.

What I’ve Read

As far as reading this month, it was just as productive as usual for me.  I don’t know how y’all do it with your five books a week or whatnot.  My excuse is that I spend approximately 14 hours at work (9 working, 1/2 hour lunch, about 4 1/2 total commute time).  Honestly, though, it’s also because I go to bed pretty early (I get up pretty early) and I like to spend my weekends doing things with my husband and friends.  But I do admire all you souls that balance all that and still read so much!  Kudos!

So this month in hardcopy I read:

1984 by George Orwell // Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

and in audiobook format, I listened to:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman // Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling // The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

This puts me at 13/24 books for my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge.  Why just 24?  Because I fully expect to read 24 hardcopy books this year, making the audiobooks icing on the cake.  Don’t worry!  When I hit 24, I’ll up it!  In regards to hardcopy books, I’ve only actually read a total of 4, which puts me right where I expect.

In Other News….

In my personal life, February has been a pretty hectic month for me.  There’s been planning and activities for my best friend’s upcoming wedding in October.  She picked out her dress and it is absolutely stunning.  I can’t wait to see her in it when it’s all tailored and ready to go!

I got a promotion at work that went into effect yesterday, right at the end of the month.  I’ve known about this since just before Thanksgiving and kept it under my hat, so now I’m pretty excited it’s out in the open!  I’m a Team Lead now, which is a low level manager that helps oversee daily production.  Considering the fact that they offered me the position directly and that it didn’t exist previously, I’m taking it as a reflection on my hard work and dedication to the department (the other TL says I’m a workaholic, which is probably true).

That’s about all I’ve had going on!  Hopefully March will be just as exciting if not more in all sorts of good ways!

The Fellowship of 1984 Princesses of Azkaban in Human History – IMWAYR

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It’s Monday, What are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by The Book Date.  It’s a great way to catch up on all the literary ins-and-outs of the previous week, and see what everyone is up to.  Check out this week’s linkup!


Happy Monday y’all!

I finished up The Ocean at the End of the Lane mid-last week!  It was a good, quick listen although it definitely doesn’t rank super high in my personal lists; Neil Gaiman’s imagination continues to be excellent but his writing style continues to require some effort on my part.  But that’s okay! He has plenty of fans.

With that all finished, I jumped back into a re-read I’ve been intending to visit for some time… about fifteen years to be exact!

fullsizerenderI first read The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien as a middle schooler when the films were first released.  At the time, it was sort of a game or competition, a merit of achievement amongst my peers.  Who can actually finish it!  Well I did.  Once.  A couple years later, I picked the book back up again and promptly got bored in the middle of the Council of Elrond.  Tolkien uses so many descriptors… and well, anyway, I’ll save it for my review.

This week in Fellowship, we’ve had three birthday parties of various grandiose. We’ve tricked the Sackville Bagginses.  We’ve trespassed on a farm, gotten swallowed by a tree, captured by a barrow wight, and with great effort managed to get to Bree.  Success and continued life are 100% owed to one Tom Bombadil.

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1984 by George Orwell

In other less perilous news, 1984 by George Orwell continues on swimmingly.  Winston has begun his love affair with the rebellious and vivacious Julia.  They’ve met in the woods, in crowds, and finally landed an upstairs apartment seriously infested with bugs and even one rat (“Get out of here, you brute!” Julia says as she flings a shoe at him.  They have a zero-tolerance policy on rats).  We learn bits and pieces of Winston’s wife Katherine and we grow angry and puzzled over the loss of history.

More interestingly than the forbidden love affair is the long awaited interaction with O’Brien.  Winston has long suspected that O’Brien is with the resistance (“The Brotherhood” as we learn it is called) and a meeting is arranged.  Both Winston and Julia are initiated into this Brotherhood, and it’s all quite mysterious and exciting (for them, anyway).  Right now, I’m in the middle of the very long central passage that outlines Goldstein’s manifesto.

Effort continues through The Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling!  Not only did Harry win the match against Ravenclaw, but he got to scare Draco and his cronies at the same time.  An overall good day.  The joy doesn’t last long, however, as Buckbeak loses his appeal and is sentenced to death, rediscovering Ron’s pet rat leads to a dangerous confrontations, and right now, the trio is listening to Remus Lupin’s side of the story.  It was the first time that we arrived home and my husband said, “Oh… I wanted to know what happened….”  He’s officially invested, folks!

Two stories were read in Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath this week – one about a river mermaid who eats men, and another about an archaeologist and her husband.

Only one lecture in Myths in Human History by The Great Courses this week.  I tried listening to another one, and I fell asleep.  It happens….  The first was about the great floods, and discussed both the “Noah’s Ark” story as well as the flood in Gilgamesh.

Having finished The Name of the Wind, my husband is back into the Sword of Truth series; I believe he’s on Chainfire by Terry Goodkind.  He’s also immensely frustrated that Kahlan is missing.  It’s his go-to conversation topic right now.  He makes me laugh.  Finally he is beginning to truly understand my love-hate relationship with books!

Well, that’s it for me!  What has everyone else been reading this week?  Has anyone else read these books?  What did you think of them?