June Challenge Your Shelf: June 1

Prompt: Summer Read

I don’t have a particular “kind” of book I read in the summer. If I am at the beach or hanging out at the park, I get just as much enjoyment out of a nice, dense fantasy novel as I do from a light and fluffy contemporary. So, for this prompt I am going to list five books that I really want to read this summer.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
I am so close to finishing off the Outlander series! I am really interested to see how the last few books go. I read Fiery Cross last year, and I don’t want to wait too long to move on, or I will forget everything.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I sent this book out for a traveling book project, and I am looking forward to reading it when I get it back with everyone else’s lovely notes in it!

A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse
I was gifted this book a while back, and I came across it on my shelves the other day. I really want to read it, because books about books are awesome!

Armada by Ernest Cline
I am a Cline fangirl. I loved Ready Player One, and I have really been looking forward to Armada since it came out. It is about time I actually read it.

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
I am really scared to start this series… I am really scared to commit to another series. But I really want to read it. So I will read it.

So, bookish lovelies, what are some of your summer reads? Do you have one book you read every summer? Are you a light-and-fluffy summer reader, or an everything reader like me?

Stay bookish!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 0 comments

June Challenge Your Shelf

I came across this on Tumblr, from a lovely follower. I decided to tackle it, starting this month!

june2016

 

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, Writing, 3 comments

Welcome, Winnipeg Authors

I just wanted to take a moment and welcome anyone visiting as a follow-up to our discussions today at the Winnipeg Local Author Fair. It was lovely to meet all of you, and I look forward to reading your work and speaking to you again soon!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, 0 comments

April 2016 Wrap-Up

april

What I read in April:

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (★★★★☆)
The Three by Sarah Lotz (★★☆☆☆)
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (★★★★★)
Thorn by Frances Gordon (★★★☆☆)
No Ordinary Star by M.C. Frank (★★★☆☆)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (★★★★★)
Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall (★★☆☆☆)
Riders by Veronica Rossi (★★★★☆)
Pax by Sara Pennypacker  (★★★☆☆)
The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (★★☆☆☆)

The Good:

I really loved Every Heart a Doorway (Seanan McGuire). I mean, come on, it is Seanan McGuire. I also finally read The Raven Boys (Maggie Stiefvater) (since the last book was coming out), and I got a surprise love there, too!

I didn’t know what I would get going in to The Library at Mount Char (Scott Hawkins), but I got something good, because it ended up being one of my favourites so far this year.

The Disappointments:

The Three (Sara Lotz) has been on my radar for a long time. I was really excited to finally read it. Except that I really didn’t love it. Something about books written as other books (see, it doesn’t even make sense when I write it out) is very irritating. I was really disappointed in The Glittering Court (Richelle Mead), which is surprising because I adored the Vampire Academy series.

I was also mildly disappointed in Thorn (Frances Gordon). It was one I had grabbed at a used book sale a while back, and I was putting off reading it because it sounded SO good. And it wasn’t that good. Colour me sad.

In Conclusion:

Ten books is a respectable amount to have read this month, but I am looking forward to reading more in May.

What did you read this month? What did you love? Do we have any similar experiences?

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, 1 comment

Top Ten Tuesday: March 29

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the fine folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. They totally rock, so check them out!

Today’s topic is about 5-star rated books, and has some options. I chose to kind of make up my own. My Top Ten Tuesday for today is Top Ten 5-Star Books That Went Beyond 5 Stars. And here we go!

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • All the Rage by Courtney Summers
  • Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
  • Written in Red by Anne Bishop
  • The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
  • The Martian by Andy Weir

I went through my Goodreads from most recently read to least, so you will notice some of these books are recent and some aren’t. I also skipped books that weren’t the first in a series.

What are your five star reads that were actually worth more than 5 stars?

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, 1 comment

Farewell, Harper Lee

Thank you for your stories. Thank you for your art. I am so sorry for how you were treated later in life. You will be truly missed.

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About Damned Time

So, I am making a November resolution. In addition to the joys of NaNoWriMo, which I will be participating in this year, I am going to be reading at least one NetGalley book a week to get my pile down so I can request more.

Reviews incoming. Posts incoming. Awesomeness incoming.

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm, 0 comments

Uppercase Unboxing Review

Welcome to my series of unboxing reviews! There are quite a few different bookish subscription boxes on the market, and when I was approached by one company to do an unboxing review, I thought I would try as many as I possibly could out to make sure you, my awesome followers, have information when you are looking to decide on which subscription box is right for you.

Up first is Uppercase!

uppercase

Uppercase has been around since August of 2014. You can check out some of their past boxes here. Lisa, the founder and CEO (and all-around sweetheart) personally reads and recommends the books for each month’s box. She has been an active member of the book blogging community at Read.Breathe.Relax. and over at Huffington Post where she posts book reviews, “best of” posts, and advice for the average blogger.

There are two levels to the Uppercase box. The Expert box is the best book of the month, regardless of genre. The book will have been released in the month of the box’s sending, or the month previous, and will have been read by Lisa. All books are acceptable for ages 13 and up, but in the rare instance a book with more mature themes is chosen, the subscriber is notified so a different book can be selected. And, you get an awesome bookish item, and some sweet goodies to go along with your new book in every box. Did I mention the blog? Uppercase runs this fantastic blog for subscribers to access even more information about their monthly box.

Lisa also told me that they are working on a way for subscribers of the Expert box to be able to connect with each other, so they can all chat about the awesome book they just got.

If the idea that you might be getting contemporary or fantasy books for a few months in a row does not make you a happy camper, then Uppercase also offers a Personalized option. The same exceptional standards apply, except that the book you receive will be picked especially for you based on your tastes.

I know what you are waiting for. You want pictures of my box, don’t you! (Don’t make the obvious joke guys, we are all better than that)

2015-04-07 18.30.20 2015-04-07 18.32.58

The box actually wasn’t a box. It arrived in a bubbleope, with the book wrapped in a lovely cloth bag. Inside the bag with the book were a letter from Lisa (handwritten!), a coupon for Ink & Dolly (some really excellent looking things here), a slip about obtaining an extra item in next month’s box for sharing my pictures, and a bookplate autographed by Victoria Aveyard! I also received in my e-mail a video from Uppercase featuring Victoria Aveyard in all her adorable nerdiness. It is an exclusive video for Uppercase subscribers, too, which is super awesome! And the candle that I cannot stop smelling. It is from the Paddywax library collection and I think I need every single one of these ever. (The one I got is Poe, and it is divine!)

So, the pros for me were:

  • Pretty fast shipping. The postmark was dated March 16, and even with not getting to my PO box until after my uncle’s funeral, that means it took 2 weeks to get to me from Florida, which is awesomely good, as any Canadian who orders from the US can tell you!
  • The products are wonderful. Red Queen has had so much buzz, I am very excited to read it. I love the online extras and the potential for Expert box readers to connect with each other and discuss these books and products. I also really like that Uppercase seems to be supporting businesses who are lesser known, instead of big name brands.
  • The personal touch. The handwritten letter and the coupon for an Etsy store based in Canada just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. (The Etsy thing could be a fluke, but I am going to choose to believe it isn’t)

There was only one minor item to put in the con category:

  • Because the Uppercase box is sent via bubbleope, the candle tin and book suffered the smallest amount of damage. I am personally, not concerned about the damage, because the book is still readable and the candle still smells really awesome. But if you are someone who is very intent on owning pristine conditioned items, this may be something to take into consideration. When I asked Lisa about this, she was very apologetic and said that if a subscriber experiences issues like this, to contact Uppercase. They can include a bonus item in their next box, or if the damage is, heaven forbid, severe, a refund may be offered on a case-by-case basis. Lisa and the team are looking at ways to prevent damage in future, as well.

So, let’s look at the Uppercase box!

UppercaseReview

Lisa has told me that lowering shipping costs is very important to them, so hopefully the price to Canada will be lowered soon, and International bookworms will be able to subscribe as well!

So, awesome nerds? Does the Uppercase box sound up your alley? Leave me a comment and let me know!

**Please note that I am not affiliated with Uppercase in any way. Many thanks to Lisa at Uppercase for sending me the March 2015 box for review.**

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Reading, Reviews, 1 comment

In Which I Have Had A (Very) Bad Few Months

Hello Bookworms! I hope you are all well.

It has been a few months since I posted anything personal, and my reviews have been sporadic at best. It has been a really hard couple of months in the Blue household.

In January, my fur baby Chico fell ill with some nerve problems. In February, after weeks of trying alternative vetting, we had to make the horribly hard decision to help my sweet boy cross the Rainbow Bridge. He was 11 years old, and I still miss him terribly. His birthday was in March.

At the end of March, an uncle of mine was killed suddenly in an awful accident. The family gathered this past weekend to celebrate his life and mourn his passing. I just got home tonight, after a 15 hour drive each way. Even without fibromyalgia, that drive is intense.

And in two weeks, I will be marking one year since I lost my grandma. I have been seeing little reminders of her everywhere.

All of these emotions are piling on me, and all of the loss is weighing me down. I have been in a pretty bad reading slump for most of the year so far, and getting out of bed is a monumental task a lot of days. I am really sorry for the lack of activity, but I hope that things will be closer to business as usual soon.

I love you awesome nerds.

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Personal, Random Thoughts, 3 comments

Review: Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig

I have long been a fan of Chuck Wendig in the blogosphere, so when I saw his book on NetGalley, I really wanted to read it. I totally judged it by its cover, and so Atlanta Burns was nothing like I expected. I thought I would be getting an urban fantasy kickass girl-power with some magic. I still got the kickass girl-power main character, but there was no hint of urban fantasy. Instead, we are thrust into a gritty world full of very bad people doing very bad things.

A lot of the reason that I gave Atlanta Burns a comparatively low rating was because I didn’t read it at a good time for me. My dog was very ill when I was reading this book, so reading about other dogs being harmed in the second half was not a good place to put my head. Overall, the whole thing was very triggering. Is it possible to be completely objective when you are reading something that affects you so profoundly emotionally? I don’t think so.

Atlanta Burns doesn’t have much of a plot to it. There is a lot of action and lots of things going on, but the story itself is very segmented and fractured. I also felt like it was more than a touch unrealistic. We are in the southern states, and we have a high school with a gay mafia? Really? I mean, it added to the feeling of the story, but it also made me question a lot of things.

The characters are fairly well written, and Atlanta herself has some growth throughout the book. I liked that she was also flawed and dark, as a lot of female protagonists tend to have the princess complex, where they have nothing wrong with them at all.

I think that Atlanta Burns deals with a lot of subject matter that is important to teens, but because of the gritty nature of the writing and the fact that Chuck Wendig pulls no punches, I would reserve this for older and more mature teens. And up, of course.

I will be on the lookout for more of Chuck Wendig’s work.

Posted by The Bluestocking Bookworm in Books, Books I've Read, Reading, Reviews, 0 comments
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