Friday, January 20, 2017

50/50 Friday (16): Character Most/Least Likely to go Running in Sleet

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Character Most/Least Likely to go Running in Sleet

Most:

Warner, as we find out in Ignite Me, is quite the badass workout junkie.  I have no doubt he would go out running in whatever weather and may even find joy in it.

Least:

While perhaps America may go running out in sleet to chase after Aspen or Maxon, she wouldn't do it willingly!  Purposeful physical exertion in less than optimal conditions is not her thing.


Who do you think would go out running in sleet?  Do you agree with my picks?  Make a post and link up down below!



Next Week's Topic: Most/Least Favorite Spine Design

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Agatha Christie Review Round-Up Part 1


Recently, I've been really into reading all of Agatha Christie's books.  I own six of her books in paperback format so I powered through all of them these past two weeks and realized that I didn't really have the desire to write a full review for all of them.  So what resulted was a round-up review post!  I'll be reading a lot more Agatha Christie in the future but this is a good start!  I'm splitting up the reviews so this is part 1 of 2!

Hercule Poirot #17
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Death on the Nile is a pre-Second World War novel, first published in 1937. It shows Agatha Christie’s interest in Egypt and archaeology and also reflects much of the flavour and social nuances of the pre-war period. Although the novel is set in Egypt, an exotic location, it is essentially a ‘locked room mystery’, as the characters are passengers on the river-steamer SS Karnak, cruising on the Nile. Amongst them is the famous Hercule Poirot, a short man dressed in a white silk suit, a panama hat and carrying a highly ornamental fly whisk with a sham amber handle – a funny little man.


I really liked this book for two reasons.  Number one: it takes you in such a round about loop so you think it's headed somewhere but it ends in another place entirely.  Number two: it has a whole cast of characters so it really exercises your mind and you really have to remember all these people and think through their backgrounds and their statements and their position during the murders.  The thing I love most about Agatha Christie is that she's so intricate and she isn't afraid to make plot lines complicated and realistic (referring to the psychological aspect as well as the physical aspect).

Final Verdict: This is such an intricate story and every minute is filled with mystery and intellection.




Hercule Poirot #32
Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: Late one night, two teachers investigate a mysterious flashing light in the sports pavilion, while the rest of the school sleeps. There, among the lacrosse sticks, they stumble upon the body of the unpopular games mistress - shot through the heart from point blank range.

The school is thrown into chaos when the 'cat' strikes again. Unfortunately, schoolgirl Julia Upjohn knows too much. In particular, she knows that without Hercule Poirot's help, she will be the next victim!


This book is set up slightly differently in that there are a fewer characters to sort through and it's much more straight forward.  Perhaps this is because I've read it a few times but to me, there isn't a clear answer until the end but it's obvious what the motive is.  I did like how foreign countries were brought into it, though!  I do really like the title though.  It's very mystery-like.

Final Verdict: Intriguing and compelling mystery although slightly less complex than others.






Hercule Poirot #39
Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: The house guests at Styles seemed perfectly pleasant to Captain Hastings; there was his own daughter Judith, an inoffensive ornithologist called Norton, dashing Mr Allerton, brittle Miss Cole, Doctor Franklin and his fragile wife Barbara , Nurse Craven, Colonel Luttrell and his charming wife, Daisy, and the charismatic Boyd-Carrington. So Hastings was shocked to learn from Hercule Poirot's declaration that one of them was a five-times murderer. True, the ageing detective was crippled with arthritis, but had his deductive instincts finally deserted him?

The novel features Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings in their final appearances in Christie's works. It is a country house novel, with all the characters and the murder set in one house. Not only does the novel return the characters to the setting of her first, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but it reunites Poirot and Hastings, who last appeared together in Dumb Witness in 1937. It was adapted for television in 2013.


I really liked this installment because it brought in some personal elements and also featured a different type of murderer that you may not have thought about before.  This book features Hasting's daughter as well as his personal relationship with Poirot and Poirot on his deathbed.  All in all, it makes for a very cool mystery.  Because Poirot doesn't do much of the conversation or anything (Hasting's does) it's really fun to see if you can piece it together before Hasting's does because he's not quite as skilled as Poirot in putting these things together.  While it does make me sad that it's Poirot's last mystery, it was a good one and the way that the book ends is so contrary to his career and I love it!

Final Verdict: A wonderfully complex mystery with new personal elements and a new perspective.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2016 Wrap-Up (the year that started out gloriously before deteriorating)


The time has arrived yet again for a yearly wrap-up!  2016 certainly flew by and while I wasn't so successful with everything I wanted to do, I'm feeling good about going into 2017 with better goals and such.  I'll be posting my 2017 resolutions in the next few weeks but for now, let's reflect on 2016 (AKA the year that began wonderfully and ended disastrously).

This year, I employed the use of a spreadsheet to keep track of the books I read and things about them so I can actually have some stats this year!  I've made some infographics and charts and things so enjoy!




My average rating for 2016 was 4.11 stars.  That just seems really high to me.  Maybe I just read really good books in 2016 or I'm getting really generous with the stars.  Either way, I'm going to try and make my star ratings a little more varied for 2017.



Some Reflections:
So clearly, I read a LOT of fantasy this year.  Fantasy is my favorite genre so that doesn't really surprise me.  I think I did an okay job diversifying though in terms of genres although I could use a bit more horror and historical fiction.  In terms of actual diversity, I need to work on that as well.  I'm not really actively seeking out diverse books right now which I think I need to start doing in 2017.

I also didn't read that many crazy long books this year either.  I read a lot in the 150-500 page range and I really want to expand the borders of that more.

No surprise, most of the books I read were in ebook format.  I started college this year and my university has a 5 story library with a crazy hybrid Dewey decimal system that I still have to figure out so finding hard copies of books is a nightmare.  It's just easier to read ebooks.

I did start plenty of series' this year but I also had quite a few standalones.  For 2017, I really want to finish up all these series' that I started.  There are plenty that I just haven't read the last one or two books and it's driving me crazy.  It's one of those things though where I don't want the series to end so I just don't read the last book.  Like the Blood of Olympus series or the Peculiar Children series.

I'm proud of myself that I read from so many different authors though (although that did contribute to all the series' being started).  71 is a good number!



The Books
I'm going to list all of the books I read this year by rating, starting with the 5 stars.  I'm not going to deal with the half stars at this point because some of the books I haven't gotten around to fully reviewing and that's when I decide half stars.  So without further ado, here are the books!

5 stars
The Great Hunt (#2) by Robert Jordan

Letter From a Desperate Father by Maron Anrow
Until Then by Krista Noorman (#2)
Galthain's Bones by Krystine Kercher (#1)
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (#1)
Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran by Laura Secor

Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
The Vagabond Vicar by Charlotte Brentwood
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek
The Siren by Kiera Cass
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Meritropolis (#1) by Joel Ohman
Guantanamo Diary by Mohamendou Ould Slahi

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Kill Devil Hills (#1) by Sarah Darlington
The Winner's Kiss (#3) by Marie Rutoski
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
A Court of Mist and Fury (#2) by Sarah J. Maas

Winter (#4) by Marissa Meyer
Ice Like Fire (#2) by Sara Raasch
Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (#1) by Iain Reading











4 stars
What's Left of Me (#2) by Kat Zhang
Fabricating Jada by Vanessa Marie
The False Titanbringer by Riley Westbrook
Envious Obsession (#2) by Katie Keller-Nieman



A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
The Martian (#1) by Andy Weir
The Mist by Stephen King
This Is What Happy Looks Like (#1) by Jennifer E. Smith
Falls the Shadow (#1) Stefanie Gaither

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Queen of Shadows (#4) by Sarah J. Maas
The Iron Warrior (#3) by Julie Kagawa
Sweet Light (#1) by Alexia Halliwell

I Was Here by Gayle Forman
That One Moment (#2) by Amy Daws
The Masterpiecers (#1) by Olivia Wildenstein
The Girl At Midnight (#1) by Melissa Grey
Me Before You (#1) by Jojo Moyes

Time Shifters by Shanna Lauffey
Pivot Point (#1) by Kasie West
Hope With Stickers (#2) by M.L. Crum
Cascade (#2) by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Counteract (#1) by Tracey Lawson



Meritorium (#2) by Joel Ohman
Sweet Temptation (#4) by Wendy Higgins
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
Everyone Dies At The End by Riley Westbrook
Where She Went (#2) by Gayle Forman

Lucky by Alice Sebold
The Union (#1) by T.H. Hernandez
The Midnight Star (#3) by Marie Lu
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Color Purple by Alice Walker





3 stars
The Summer I Turned Pretty (#1) by Jenny Han
Romance is for Other People by Lee Wolf
Alicia Bewitched (#3) by Nick Iuppa and John P. Mendoza
Dark Fae by Lillian Cartier



Dangerous Games (#31) by Margaret MacMillan
Through the Riptide (#2) by Bert Murray
The Book of Prophecy by Steven J. Guscott
The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Kragan by Dennis K. Hausker

Soulless (#1) by Sarah J. Pepper
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Geek Girl (#1) by Holly Smale
Soldier (#3) by Julie Kagawa


Rogue (#2) by Julie Kagawa
Unwind (#1) by Neil Shusterman
Split Second (#2) by Kasie West
A Fractured Light (#2) by Jocelyn Davies
The Diary of V. Frankenstein by Steven J. Guscott





2 stars
Me & Earl & The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews













There you have it!  Quite a few books!  I'll be doing a post with my thoughts on some of the stand out books in a couple days.  I'll also be doing a 2017 goals/resolutions post soon!

Friday, January 13, 2017

50/50 Friday (15): Most/Least Favorite Cover

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Most/Least Favorite Cover

Friday, January 6, 2017

50/50 Friday (14): Character Most/Least Like Yourself

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Character Most/Least Like Yourself

Friday, December 30, 2016

50/50 Friday (13): Best/Worst Food in a Book (that you'd eat)

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Best/Worst Food in a Book (that you'd eat)

Friday, December 23, 2016

50/50 Friday (12): Sidekick Deserving of a Spin-Off/Better Off With the Group

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Sidekick Deserving of a Spin-Off/Better Off With the Group


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...