Top Ten Tuesday #12

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish. Click  here to read more and join!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click here to read more and join!

This week’s TTT is: 10 books at the top of my Summer TBR list, and frankly, it’s a bit impossible for me to give anyone a straight answer. I have more books I want to read than books that are coming out this summer, and I often choose what I read on whim — I’m more of a mood-reader than anything else. This list is mostly comprised of older books with just a few ones set to release in these upcoming months. I look forward to all, however! Several weeks ago I wanted nothing but light chick-lit before moving on to “gritty” contemporaries, and now all I care about are fantasy and steampunk titles. I guarantee that this list will change–just give me another week or two and I’ll find a different genre to obsess over.

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Wildwood Dancing

1. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Marillier’s Wildwood Dancing was recently recommended to me, and I’ve wanted to read it ever since. Caught in a web of ARCs and other books to review, though, I am grudgingly holding off. In the mean time, I steal as many glances as I can at its beautiful cover and enticing summmary.

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Airman

2. Airman by Eoin Colfer
This is one book I recently stumbled across on my own, and its steampunk aspect is only half of the appeal. When Conor, the main character, attempts to intervene in a conspiracy against the king, he is branded a traitor and locked away. The only hope to escape imprisonment and off the island lies in flight, and Conor must put his designs in luck’s hands as he tests his designs. The Artemis Fowl series never grabbed my interest, but Airman certainly has my intrigue.

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Crown Duel

3. Crown Duel (Omnibus) by Sherwood Smith
I first discovered Crown Duel on one of my many book-hunts on Goodreads, and I fell for the summary. Not only that, but as a devout fan of Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina (watch out, because I will push and push this book on you, and then I will push some more even after you’ve read it), this book has come recommended to me by other readers of Seraphina. I attempted Crown Duel once before, but I was sidetracked into sitting it down. Hopefully that will no be the case the second time around.

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Image courtesy of Scholastic Canada

Image courtesy of Scholastic Canada

4. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING by Tamora Pierce
No one will gasp in horror and shock anymore. I will read Tamora Pierce. I will. I’m due to pick up her Song of the Lioness series at the library, even–and yes, that is the entire series I’m picking up.

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The Ghost Bride

5. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
I am particularly excited to read Yangsze Choo’s book, and for reasons that I can’t pin-point. Plots that handle the afterlife and incorporate folklore or fairy tales, and introduce creatures that spook you in the night–spirits, demons, and even dragons–are irresistible to me. Choo’s novel is not a purely unique story, as you can find several like it, but I’m curious to see Choo’s own twist on this tale.

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Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

6. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
The less I know about this series the more I will enjoy it–that’s what I gather from Jemisin’s trilogy. Sometimes, when I let the criticism and insight of other readers sink in, I feel like my curiosity and interest becomes clouded. From what I do know, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms sounds wonderfully different and fresh, and I look forward to getting lost in its pages.

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The Bone Season

7. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
For someone who’s been dubbed “the next J.K. Rowling,” I think Shannon’s The Bone Season has pressure bearing down on it. Although why Samantha Shannon and her work have been compared to Rowling, I can’t say, because the only similarity between these two writers seems to be a seven-part series. Some hype is rumbling, however, and I’m catching it. You can say I’m eager to read The Bone Season for myself, but the excitement bubbling in parts of the book blogging community hasn’t prevented my skepticism. I’m excited all right, but wary, although I do hope to enjoy Shannon’s book when it’s released.

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A Darkness Strange & Lovely

8. A Darkness Strange & Lovely by Susan Dennard
Us SS&D readers are still waiting on this! And I want it this instant. A Darkness Strange & Lovely is the sequel to Susan Dennard’s Something Strange & Deadly, and while it took several months for the first book to grow on me after completing it, I am eager to see where Eleanor Fitt’s journey to Paris takes her. (I will not deny that I am also hoping for a spectacular steampunk gadget-hand! Those who read the first book know what I’m talking about. Cue for all-knowing wink: wink.)

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Image courtesy of Brain Foggles

Image courtesy of Brain Foggles

9. Harry Potter Books # 2 – 4 by J.K. Rowling (re-reads)
I finally went through on my promise to at least re-start Harry Potter when I read and reviewed the first book. Back when Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows was first released, I made it through about half of the book. A friend spoiled me silly, school started, and horror of horrors: I couldn’t recall what a horcrux was. I didn’t think it was possible for to forget something so vital, but it is. In an effort to reach and finish the last book, I’m venturing through all the HP books again. Because I want to read hoards of books, I hope to read up to the fourth book this summer.

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The Orphanage of Miracles

10. The Orphanage of Miracles by Amy Neftzger
I won a free copy of Neftzger’s book through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers’ May giveaway batch, and I was delighted to open my mailbox this week to find it. I was hoping The Orphanage of Miracles would arrive while I’m still on a fantasy-high, and it did — I can’t wait to start reading this!

>>Notable Mentions:

Which books do you want to read this summer?

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Call me Motivated (To Do Nothing)

Midnight Coffee Monster begged for an update soon after my last post (dated Sep. 26th, 2012 — a date which causes my face to cringe into an ugly, wrinkled thing for a head. This is true; I do not lie. Especially when I consider the length of time that has since passed). Unfortunately for this blog, as well as for devoted subscribers (i.e., imaginary creatures created for my own blogging comfort), I find it easy to ignore things (and people). The reason is simple: Motivation flew off to an unknown destination and forgot to take me with it. Motivation is living it up in some place more obscure than Waldo’s hide-outs and I’m…

Failing statistics, eating cake, failing to dutch braid, finishing my Nobuta wo Produce obsession, not finishing my other Asian drama obsessions, and generally accomplishing small deeds in life, like:

Original melodramatic post brought to you by: Raya

And I can’t forget Thursday morning’s adventure:

I love the taste of future heart disease and clogged arteries.

In summary, these are my excuses for not updating sooner. My apologies (sincerely, because I miss everyone here on WordPress). Although I swear on every book I own and have read that doing poorly in statistics rains stress! pressure! and: stress! Statistics, I am afraid, is more of a foreign language than my German class. I treat the last couple of exam grades in math as things so unacceptable, so embarrassing, that: What, are you joking? Those aren’t mine… It’s equivalent to the time when I was nine and enjoyed tormenting my mother in the grocery store. To Mom’s horror, I enjoyed re-enacting Riverdance. “Stop it,” she’d hiss, and smile warily at passersby, as if to say, “That’s not my child…” Unlike my stubborn personality, I hope my statistics grades do not stay consistent but rather leap to improve. I hope, I hope. There’s another exam next week, after all (which I need to study for…).

But don’t worry. I didn’t come here with the intention to bore all readers about my mathematical woes. Instead, I’d like share giveaway wins and books I purchased last month!

The following are all books I won, the first 3 from GoodReads First Reads:

As I do with most books these days, I sat Celona’s novel down after 70 or so pages — a choice made not because Y is a poorly written book (because I don’t believe it is), but because I hit a reading slump. No matter how brilliantly written, I can’t seem to finish a book without a push of effort, Hulk-strength edition. Slowly, I feel my book-love coming back, but I feel it’s in direct correlation to my math grades. Until then, I fear all these books will sit unread for the time being (with the exception of Sumo — a very fast read), but interest in them still holds.

Lastly, I mustn’t forget:

I won a copy of Jiménez’s The Circuit just by commenting over at Vamos a Leer, a blog created and run by a wonderful group of people from the LAII at the UNM. Weeks have passed since I’ve read a post from anyone’s blog, but I can always expect to discover new titles to check out at Vamos a Leer. Count on this blog to have great books to share (and giveaways!), so head over and give it a read-over — I don’t think it will disappoint you.

In addition to the previously mentioned books, I also purchased — for the first time ever! — used books (online). While I am not inexperienced in whipping cash out for used books, I have only done this in-store. You know, once I have flipped-through pages and examined the damage level. I must say that going through on the decision to buy used books online felt uneasy, because there is little else in this world that will force me into sighing non-stop for hours than a horribly damaged book. Not only that, but: Hey! I spent MONEY on this! I adore the aged look of vintage books, but I also adore quality — more so if the book is not vintage.

Curious to see what the mailman stuffed inside the mailbox?

First up: The Gathering Storm (Katerina #1) by Robin Bridges! Although the description read “USED LIBRARY BOOK,” the seller shipped me an ARC edition instead. (In fact, I received several old ARCS, which were not part of the books’ descriptions.) I should hope there are no major differences between the ARC and final copy… Does anyone know?

I discovered this book on Savindi’s blog, The Streetlight Reader, and I couldn’t fight curiosity off after reading her reviews. I know she loves this trilogy so far, and I hope to enjoy it just as much! Also, as an additional plus: Russian setting! If you ask me why, I cannot supply an answer to explain my fascination for not only the WWII era, but German settings and, yes, anything Russian-influenced. My interests are what they are.

 

***If you feel at all interested, you can find Savindi’s reviews on The Gathering Storm and The Unfailing Light by clicking on the respective links.

As you can see, I also ordered a copy of China Miéville’s Un Lun Dun. Per accident, I stumbled on Un Lun Dun‘s GoodReads page while on a hunt for steampunk-like reads. Now, I have no idea how steampunk this book is, but I find the summary irresistible and look forward to the instant I decide to pick it up! My only complaint? It’s another ARC, which — once again — is not what the seller promised.

I sat on my bed for a long time. I sat and sat. Something was wrong inside me, I felt it inside my stomach and I didn’t know what to do. So I layed down on the floor. I stuck out my pointer finger and pointed it at my head. And I pushed down my thumb. And killed myself.

— Howard Buten, When I was Five I Killed Myself

The strong sensation of excitement that literally feels as though it’s coursing through my body cannot be put into proper words. To clearly define that giddy rush, I mean. All us book nerds experience it often, so I know you know what I mean.  These two books, my friends, are all I thought about for months. Does anyone remember a post way back when, and I had checked Crown Duel out from the library? What did I say about it again?

Either I finish the library’s copy or I buy it, which may happen anyway. Now that the book is in my possession, I don’t want to part with it.

Oh, right. Well I bought it.

Unlike the other two books, Buten’s and Smith’s books could not have been described better. Crown Duel displays more wear and tear than I would like, but I’m otherwise very pleased. Buten’s novel, I should add, is in particularly good shape all things considered. It’s the oldest of the bunch, yet — and I would not feel surprised — it is possibly the least touched, as I don’t believe it’s a well-known title (at least not in the U.S.). Aside from a few page-skims, Smith’s books remains unread by my eyes, but I hope for an expect to get lost in one fantastic adventure. As for Howard Buten’s quirky little novel, I did start reading it. The narrative is different from what I expected, but I am in a place where it is still too early to state my overall impressions. (I read up to chapter four and stopped. Ideally, I can have a do-nothing-but-read day and read Buten’s book.) Still, I feel confident enough to say that When I was Five I Killed Myself is as fresh as the title.

O, mine eyes! I know the phrase: “Do not judge a book by its cover.” But who thought up this book design? I’m talking about Burroughs’ Running with Scissors. I don’t judge a story by its cover, but I certainly judge the cover. Quite possibly, this is the ugly duckling that will never become a swan on my bookshelf. No. This is the ugly duckling (and never a swan) on my bookshelf. It was never intended to, of course, but this particular seller sent me a different copy than the image provided online. Disappointment weighs heavily. Other than that, I had hoped to read this last month for the LGBT reading event, but it unfortunately arrived too late — near the end of the month, actually, and besides: I had exams to study for. Such is life for students.

Tales of the Madman Underground was purchased from the same seller that shipped Burroughs’ book, and unlike the former, this book came as described — for the most part. The marker-squiggle that mars the cover doesn’t make me feel happy, but it’s in otherwise good condition.

**IN CASE YOU WISH TO KNOW: I purchased all these books on AbeBooks. Like the rest of my German classmates, I hunted for the cheapest-but-still-in-good-condition textbooks when I realized: AbeBooks isn’t just for textbooks?! Wow-zah. Temptation proved impossible to resist, and that is the story of how six additional books made it on the bill.

“Understanding Statistics,” it says. “It’s easy,” it says. “Why are you stabbing me?” it says.

Well, you guys, that’s all for now. I’m sad that I could not update sooner, but my life has been a mixture of busy and lazy and no blogging. As for weekly book memes, it seems Recommend A… is at a halt.  This is sad news, guys, because it was one of my favorite memes! However, if time allows, I will start TTT posts again on Nov. 20th. I cannot promise consistent book reviews, or even regular posting for that matter.

To pass my last math pre-requisite class with decency (and dignity) is something I need to treat seriously, and! If luck favors me, I will be taking the 8-credit nursing assistant course, which starts in January. (I goofed, and now I’m forced to hand in my application on the last day possible. This course is first-come, first-serve. I pray there’s a spot left.) After these two particular classes, I will finish the rest of my science courses — I dread the impending doom of chemistry. I have yet to hear one kind comment about any of the instructors.

But — before I forget! — I do have some posts planned. Keep an eye out! I just have to write them… and then post them.

Otherwise: I hope all my fellow bloggers are still around, writing, reading, and blogging havoc. I miss reading ALL of your posts, but I miss talking to you all even more. Leave me things write me comments what are you reading and how is life please don’t let crickets fill this silence.

Ciao!