July 2020 Wrap Up

So this post and several others are going up late because I got very sick at the end of July and through the beginning of August. I don’t know about anyone else but when I’m sick I have a tendency to watch a lot of TV and YouTube and not do much else. However, before I got sick I did read 5 books which is always a good reading month.

Books:

50715800._SY475_Fangs by Sarah Anderson is a short graphic novel/comic book that follows the story of a vampire and a werewolf falling in love. I received an ARC of the book through Netgalley. This is a very short story that is just events in this couples life but its very cute. Good for fans of vampires and werewolfs and a way to introduce others to the graphic novel format.

34275232._SY475_The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is a YA fantasy novel. The story follows Alice and her mother who often have to runaway from bad luck. After the death of Alice’s grandmother, who is famous for writing fairy tales, their luck seems to be getting better. However, one day Alice come home to find her mother missing taken by those from the Hazel Wood which means that the fairy tales might actually be real. I love the twist later on in the story and the focus on how one an change fate.

563772The Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey is a morbid and funny take on a children’s alphabet book. Though this is not for children but those who have a more sick sense of humor. Not much else to say about this book.

36538817._SX318_Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition vol. 2 by Hiromu Arakawa is the second volume in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series. This is one of my favorite manga series and I’m rereading each volume as I collect these editions. Whats great about rereading this series is that I’m pick up hints about where the overarching story will go in the later volumes that I never caught before.

18505836The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor is a historical fiction novel about the sinking of the Titanic. The story follows Irish immigrant and third class passenger Maggie Murphy as she sails on the Titanic and survives the sinking. Maggie’s story is also connected to that of her family and Granddaughter in more modern times. Good for those who like reading both historical and historical fiction about the Titanic. This story is loosely based on the true story of the Addergoole 14.

June 2020 Wrap Up

This month I read seven books including one audio book and one graphic novel. I’ve also watched several movies.

Books:

52831943The Anti-Virginity Pact by Katie Wismer is a new self published young adult contemporary. The book follows Mare and her best friend who have signed a pact agreeing that they won’t be virgins by the end of their senior year of high school. This is a hard hitting contemporary that deals with topics such as family and religion. I have a full review up as well.

45010800Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries is set in a world where length of ones hair determines your power as a witch but having too long of hair will get you killed. Nyneve has hidden her true hair length but when the Witch guard conscription comes around she decides that she will determine her own future. A short graphic novel that is the start of a new fantasy series. Great for young adult fan of graphic novels and comics.

ByFireAbove_hc.inddMiddlegame by Seanan McGuire is an adult fantasy novel about alchemy, language, math, and family. The story follows Roger and Dodger who were created by Reed to embody the Doctrine of Ethos which would allow someone to control how the world works. Adopted by different families Roger is all languages and works while Dodger is math and logic. When they connect as children talking to each other in their minds they know something is different about them and that it could be dangerous. I have a full review of this book but it is very hard to explain but is absolutely amazing and one of my new favorite books.

44660931._SY475_Five Nights at Freddy’s Fazbear Frights #2: Fetch by Scott Cawthon is the second collection of three short stories in the FNAF universe. The stories in this collection are Fetch, Lonely Freddy, and Out of Stock. Fetch follows a group of kids that find a animatronic dog inside an old Freddy’s Fazbear pizzeria that starts terrorizing them. Lonely Freddy is a creep story about a older brother who wants everyone to know how fake is younger sister is but things go bad at her birthday party at Freddy’s. The last story Out of Stock follows several kids that get their hand on a Plushtrap toy that seems to have very human eyes and teeth which then attacks them at night. Though I like how creepy these story collections can be I don’t like the fact that kids in the stories get hurt or punished for not knowing any better.

27213244The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers is the first book in the Wayfarers series a series of slice of life adult science fiction novels. The story follows the crew of a tunneling ship the Wayfarer as they take on jobs creating tunnels between different planets. The is a character driven story that the plot takes second place to but I loved all the characters and their relationships. I have a full review for this book and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.

15843166You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero is a self-help book about how everyone is a badass in their own way and how to stop messing around and get your life track. The author believes that if you set your mind on changing something you can do it if you are willing to put in the work. I listened to this and its a very short audio book which is what I wanted at the time. It has advice on many different topics but focuses on how mindset is everything. Good for someone looking to this kind of information and to be encouraged to do and change whatever to be a better, happier person.

41430922._SY475_The Hunger by Alma Katsu is a historical fiction novel with a bit of a supernatural twist. Follows the Donnor party and their attempt to travel to California. I like the ideas and concepts of the book but it jumps between too many characters. Because I this I didn’t really connect to the story or the characters which meant that I didn’t care what happen to them.

 

 

 

Movies:

MV5BYmIzNjUxZGQtYjg0OS00MmE0LTgwZDAtMzVmODQ2MGI5MTQ5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTA3MTA4Mzgw._V1_I watched three movies this month which I haven’t done in a while. The first movie I watched was Rocketman which is the musical about the life of Elton John. I didn’t know really anything about Elton John before watching the movie but I movie kept me interested. I think it would also make an amazing stage musical.

p16981625_v_v8_aeKnives Out is a murder mystery movie following death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey the night of his 85th birthday. This is a murder mystery in the similar vein as Clue but not as comedic. I loved the ensemble cast and all the weird family drama that changed how I thought each character was involved. If you haven’t seen it yet I would highly recommend it.

EDEsh0gU4AUTO3PThe last movie I watched this month was Joker. This movie follows the origins of the DC and Batman villain The Joker. This is a very good movie that shows one mans decent into madness and how a person could become a villain like the Joker. I plan to have a full review out shortly but I would recommend seeing this movie if you haven’t already.

May 2020 Wrap Up

In May I read eight books which is the most I’ve read in one month all year. Of these books four were graphic novels and one was an audio book. TV wise I’ve mostly been watching different documentaries and some reality shows. I have also started playing Persona 5: The Royal.

Books:

21879809._SY475_The first book I read this month was Letters to the Pumpkin King by Seanan McGuire. This book is separated into three sections. Section one is comprised of essays and posts from Seanan’s blog. These essay cover everything from different aspects of fandom to writing advice and some more political topics. Sections two and three are reprints of previously published limited poetry collections. I preferred the first section as I’m not a huge fan of poetry. A fairly quick read that allows you to get into Seanan McGuire’s head a bit and understand where some of her ideas for stories come from.

49950349Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst is a standalone young adult fantasy novel about racing monsters known as Kehoks. After an accident Tamra must find a new Kehok and rider who will win the upcoming races. Raia is running from her family and convinces Tamra that she can win. Through this meeting and attempting to win the Kehok races history could be changed. A very fast pace fantasy story about family and freedom. I won an advanced copy of the book from Goodreads and I have a full review up.

Next I read the last four volumes of the Sandman graphic novel series to finish out the series. Sandman volumes 7 through 10. Volume seven follows Dream going on a quest with his sister Delirium to find their brother Destruction. This story expands on the family dynamics of the Endless. Volume eight follows a group of people who got caught in a story and find their way to a tavern. This tavern connects multiple worlds and times of people waiting out the storm. To pass the time they tell stories, some that involve Dream. This volume doesn’t feel like it fits with the rest of the series and I only finished it to finish the series.

Volume nine is the weakest of all the Sandman graphic novels. The story follows Lyta Hall who after the death of her son calls on the Furies to curse Morpheus. This volume is very boring and the art is awful. Characters that you’ve met before looking nothing like they did and if there were more volumes after ten I would have stopped reading. Volume ten is a direct continuation of the events in volume nine. It is the wake after Lord Morpheus (Dream) dies and a little bit with who will become the next Dream. Not the greatest ending considering how great the series starts out.

40985736I Was Anastasia by Aariel Lawhon is the story of both Anastasia Romanov and Anna Anderson, the woman who claimed she was Anastasia who had survived the murder of the Romanov family. As we are reading two stories they start at different places and end where they met up. So Anastasia’s story stars at the beginning in 1919 while Anna Anderson starts at the end in 1970. An interesting way to tell the story that many know the answers to but wish that Anastasia had survived. Not my favorite historical fiction novel about this subject as I’m more interested in Anastasia and less of Anna Anderson who’s story is the main focus of the book.

91478The last book I read in May was Summer Knight by Jim Butcher. I read this on audio as I plan to with the rest of the series. This is the fourth book of the Dresden Files. The story follows Harry Dresden dealing with the consequences from starting a war with the vampire courts. His deal with his Fae godmother has been sold to Queen Mab of the Winter Court who he is forced to work for by finding out who murdered the Summer Knight and stop a war from starting between the Winter and Summer Fae courts. Each book in the Dresden Files is getting better and I want to see where this story goes.

April 2020 Wrap Up

In March I read three books and started and finished Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Books:

36686547The first book I read was The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette De Bodard. This is a science fiction novella that is set in a world where space ships have minds and personalities. The story follows Long Chau and the ship The Shadow’s Child who are attempting to solve a murder mystery. This is very much scifi combined with Sherlock Holmes. Though the story is short I ended up loving it, however it just drops you into the world so the first few pages are a little confusing as you try to figure out how this world works.

40333936._SX318_The League of Regrettable Sidekicks by Jon Morris is a coffee table type book that goes through many of the different sidekicks that have existed in comic book history. It focuses mostly on characters that are not popular and may have been forgotten over times. Its a very quick read for anyone who wants to know more comic history.

43785830The last book I read this month was Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death by Caitlin Doughty. This is a nonfiction book that answers questions about death and dying posed by kids. The answers and questions are given in a way that is informative and interesting with a dash of humor but are simple enough explanations for many people to understand. I’ve read Caitlin’s other books and follow her on YouTube so I enjoy her content. I love the fact that she answers questions that many have but will not ask.

Games:

FFVIIRemakeI only game that I was playing and focusing on this month was Final Fantasy VII Remake. This is a game that I absolutely loved and I can’t wait for the next game. If you have never played Final Fantasy VII or any Final Fantasy games I would give this one a shot. I also have a full review that does contain some spoilers if anyone wants to know my full thoughts.

March 2020 Wrap Up

In March I started reading more and doing other hobbies more as with the virus I’ve been at home more. I read six books in March which had been my best month so far this year.

Books:

36495876._SX318_Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition volume one by Hiromu Arakawa is the first volume of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga series. This is a special hardcover edition that the publisher has started to release. The story follows brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who are attempting to restore their bodies after trying to bring their mother back to life and failing. This series is a reread for me and I still love the story as much as the first time I read it. I’m reading each volume as I collect these editions.

45899240Monstress volume four by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda is a fantasy graphic novel that continues the story of Miaka and how she is connected to the demon who lives inside her. This volume gives the reader more information on Miaka’s past and where the major conflict is heading. I can’t wait for the rest of the story.

52186666._SX318_SY475_The Deep by Alma Katsu is a historical fiction with supernatural elements focusing on the Sinking of the Titanic. The story follows maid Annie Hebbley who survived the sinking and is working as a nurse on Titanic’s sister ship Britannic during World War I and her connection to soldier Mark Fletcher. I loved the concept of the story but felt that it switched perspectives too often for me to connect to the characters. I received this book from the publisher by winning a Goodreads contest and there is a full review on this blog and Goodreads.

33116011The Race to Save the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport in a historical nonfiction book about the different plan to possibly save the Romanov family and the ideas to get them out of Russia. While good I prefer historical books about the family directly than events that they didn’t have any control or input on so not my favorite book about the Romanovs. It would be a great resource for anyone studying this time period.

44660930._SY475_Five Nights at Freddy’s Fazbear Frights #1: Into the Pit by Scott Cawthon is the first in the series of Five Nights short story collections. All of the stories take place in the world of Five Nights at Freddy’s and show different elements to the previous books and game. All the stories are very creepy and good for teenagers. They remind me of R L Stine’s and Darren Shan’s series and books. As someone who is into the lore surrounding the games and story I do plan an reading the next books in the series.

26114463Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is the first book in an adult fantasy series following Mia Corvere to train to be an assassin and kill those who destroyed her family when she was a child.  I loved this book even though it took me quite a while to finish. The first hundred pages before getting to the Red Church are slow but it pick ups from there. I love Mia and Tric’s relationship and its one of the strongest parts of the book. I also have a full review posted.

TV Shows:

Series12Promo2(1)Doctor Who: I finished Doctor Who series twelve this month and I liked it much more than series eleven. At times it still didn’t feel like Doctor Who to me and I felt that there could have been more fun stories that didn’t need a message but I liked the dynamics between all the characters and the companions being fleshed out more. However, the Timeless Child story line was dumb and was not something that the series needed. The fact at the end of the series that it had no impact and nothing really changed meant that the writer had no reason to add it in. I do plan on watching the next series but I generally wait to binge watch it.

Movies:

downloadKong: Skull Island: I watched Kong: Skull Island because I heard that I wasn’t bad and I want some mindless entertainment one night. Though the plot isn’t all that interesting the acting is good and the visual effects are great. The ending sets up the idea that Kong and the other monsters like Godzilla all exist in the same world and I’m interested in where movies that these ideas.

February 2020 Wrap Up

During February I read  three books. One historical nonfiction book, one manga, and one short story audio book.

43822007The first book I read was The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era by Gareth Russell. This book uses the lives and history of six first class passengers on Titanic to illustrate how society and the world worked in the era of Titanic and how the sinking is often seen as wake up call for the changes that are coming. Well researched and written but some parts were a little boring since I went into the book thinking it would be more about Titanic than the society that built her. However, still a good book and one I would recommend for those who have researched Titanic before.

35172730The second book I read in February was the Sailor Moon manga Eternal Edition vol. 1. I have started to collect these editions of the series and I’m reading each volume as I get it. Sailor Moon is one of my favorite manga and anime series so I loved reading it again. My only criticism in this first volume is at time that story seem almost too fast paced. As a reader you don’t get a lot of time with each new character before another one is introduced but given where I know the series goes its not that big of an issue.

15851414The last book I read was The Little Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. So I say I “read” this but really I watched a YouTube video where the story was read and the pictures where shone. I read it this way because the book is very hard to obtain copies of and I didn’t know I existed before. This is a little kids picture book that simplifies the story of Stormdancer the first  book in the Lotus Wars series by Jay Kristoff. Its very cute and I would love to own a copy one day.

January 2020 Wrap Up

Sometimes a new year starts off to a slow start with reading and stuff in general for me which 2020 is. As I’m a mood reader I never know how many books I will read in a given month and I try not to put pressure on myself to read more. However, lately I’ve just not been is a reading mood much of the time.

I did read three books in January two where audio books and one physical book.

37976541The first book I read was Bad Blood by John Carreyrou. This book is the nonfiction account of Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes who scammed thousands of people with the idea that her technology and company was revolutionizing blood testing. A well written book about an int resting topic however, sometimes that writing got a little technical about science and how it was supposed to work so those sections were a little boring.

91476Grave Peril by Jim Butcher is the third book in the Dresden Files series. The series really picks up in this book and finds it footing. There is more information given about the world and how magic and the supernatural mix with the modern world. The story focuses on a ghost/demon who is trying to get revenge on Harry Dresden for defeating him several months ago. This plot is also connected to Harry’s godmother, a fairy, who he has made deals with in the past and the courts of the vampires. Jim Butcher’s writing gets much better in this book. I loved the new characters that are introduced and the higher stakes that the characters are involved in.

61834._SY475_The last book I read in January was A Night to Remember by Walter Lord. A Night to Remember is one of the most famous accounts of the sinking of the Titanic. Using information from multiple sources Walter Lord puts the reader in the shoes of someone on the ship which is very powerful. This is a great book for anyone interested in the Titanic or the history of books written about the sinking.

December 2019 Wrap Up

I don’t know if any one else is like this but around Christmas and holidays I just don’t read very much. I want to spend time with family and there is so much going on that when I do have free time I need up watching Youtube videos or TV shows that I don’t have to think about like those really bad made for TV Syfy channel movies.

I did read four books in December, three were the first three volumes of a manga series and one historical non fiction.

The first books I read were Saiyuki volumes one through three. Saiyuki is manga series by Kazuya Minekura that is loosely based on the Chinese story Journey to the West. Genjyo Sanzo, a monk, is tasked to travel to Indian with three companions Son Goku, Sha Gojyo, and Cho Hakkai to stop the resurrection of the demon Gyumaoh. A long their journey they must fight those who want Gyumaoh’s return and learn more information to try and keep the peace between humans and demons. Saiyuki is a manga series that I loved when I was younger and recently decided to pick back up. I don’t love it as much as I did but it is still a great story and a good but mature series for those interested in different manga series.

24819449._SY475_The last book that I read in December was The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem by Stacy Schiff. This is a nonfiction book about the Salem witch trials and how the witch trials came to be. The author not only dicusses the actual witch trials but also the life of a Puritan adolescent and how the life style could lead to the events that took place. Not the best nonfiction book I’ve read because while the information is interesting sometimes the writing and how that information is given can be boring. Though it is a good resource for anyone interested in the Salem witch trials and those looking into the time period.

November 2019 Wrap Up

In November I read four books. During the holidays it seems that I end up reading less as I’m spending more time with family and just doing other things.

91477The first book I read was on audio. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher is the second book in the Dresden Files series. When I started the Dresden Files I didn’t plan on continuing with the series. The first book wasn’t bad but I didn’t love it. However, there is something about these books that I haven figured out yet that makes me keep thinking about the characters and the world. I found parts of the book very good but other part kind of boring though I do plan to continue with the series at this point. In this book Harry is investigating several murders that look like they could have been commited by a type of werewolf.

11821488

Titanic: First Accounts edited by Tim Maltin is exactly what it sounds like. It is a collection of first account by the survivors of the Titanic sinking. Great information for anyone wanting to know more about the Titanic or reading about it however there are section that I found kind of boring to read.

 

 

23308488._SY475_Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a graphic novel series following a young woman named Sabrina and her growing up as a witch. This is the series the Netflix show is based on and from what I’ve seen of the show I thought I would like the graphic novel but I just didn’t. I didn’t have any problem with the story but overall I found it a bit boring and a little more graphic than I was expecting. I don’t want to spoil anything but the implication at the end of the book with what Sabrina did to try and help Harvey I really had issues with. I don’t intend to continue with this series.

10574457Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box by Mira Grant is a short story about five friends that play the Apocalypse Game with each other. In this game each person creates a scenario where the world is going to end and the others decided what they would do and how they would survive. However, this time one of the friends is missing but still finds a way to play but this time the stakes might just be the world. I very good short story in line with Mira Grants other work. I do wish it was longer as I would love to know what all the characters decided at the end.

October 2019 Wrap Up

Anyone reading or following this blog will have noticed that the posts going up lately are not really current. The last several months of 2019 got busy for me and I just didn’t have much time or energy to devote to this blog but I was still coming up with ideas and things to post. So at the start of 2020, my goal for the blog is to catch up on these older posts and then get to a point where I can post more current things.

In October I read a total of eight books, three which were graphic novels and one audio book.

29496076Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann is a historical nonfiction book about the murders in the Osage Indian Nation in the 1920s and the creation of the FBI. During this time multiple members of the Osage tribe where being killed without many people noticing or caring. When the death toll reached a certain point the newly created FBI got involved in the case that became their first major homicide investigation. These murders where carried out many people of the community in an attempt to gain access to the oil head rights owned by the tribe. The book contains information both on the events happening in Oklahoma with the tribes and the general creation of the FBI but puts more focus on what was happening in Oklahoma and the investigation here. A fairly quick read but is probably more interesting to those who already study this history or want to know more. 

18659623Through the Woods by Emily Carroll is a graphic novel of creepy and scary short stories. None of the stories are incredibly scary but are very atmospheric and its a great read for October around Halloween. The illustrations are beautiful and the stories stick with you as they invoke images and stories from childhood.

 

 

8181494The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller is a young adult historical fiction novel following the life of the Russian royal family the Romanov’s. The book is written from the perspective of the four daughters of the Tsar: Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. The book starts when their lives are great during their childhoods and progresses through World War I and the Russian Revolution. Though it is written for a young adult audience the book does not shy away from the tragedy that befell this family. Well written and researched for the right audience.. As an adult there where parts that felt a little too young and bored me at times.

42286257._SX318_Sadie by Courtney Summer is a young adult mystery novel about a girl named Sadie who disappeared after her sisters death. Sadie is attempting to bring her sisters killer to justice by finding him and killing him herself. When radio host West McCray hears about Sadie, he starts a podcast retracing Sadie’s steps to find out what happen and maybe find her. I read this as an audio book which is amazing. The story is incredibly gripping and makes you want to finish it but the topics the story handles makes it hard to read. As you see what Sadie did to try to protect her sister Mattie from a man who just wanted to hurt them. About two hours to the end of the audio book was the hardest part to finish, I wanted to know what would happen but I was worried about Sadie and I just wanted her to be okay. If you can, try the audio book as it is very well done.

23634011

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant is a horror novella about a research vessel going out and trying to find mermaids. This was a reread for me on my phone while waiting for an appointment. I have a full review posted already but its still as good as it was the first time I read it.

 

 

3496352629237221Saga vol 8 and vol 9 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples are the last two currently published graphic novels of the Saga series. I don’t want to post spoilers here and I do plan to have a full series review with spoilers so I don’t want to say much. These volumes where very good but hard to get through given some of the topics mentioned and who lives and dies. I do love that these characters that have been forced into this situation are slowly becoming a family that cares about each other.  

21434924The last book that I read this month was Doctor Who: The Secret Lives of Monsters by Justin Richards. This is a coffee table type book with information and pictures about the monsters in Doctor Who and how they were created. Its written in a way that both acts like these monsters are real but also talks about how they were created for the show with behind the scenes information. Good book for anyone who is a major fan of Doctor Who.