Saturday, January 31, 2015

Reading Challenges Update: January 2015

Here is where I stand with the challenges I have joined after the month of January (only challenges that I read books for this month are featured here):

Graphic Novels (1/12)
1. Kill My Mother by Jules Fieffer

Author Alphabet (9/26)
1. The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin
2. Mameluke Bath by Andrew Asibong
3. WWW:Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
4. True Grit by Charles Portis
5. The Eye Unseen by Cynthia Tottleben
6. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
7. Kill My Mother by Jules Fieffer
8. Nature's Confession by J. L. Morin
9. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

Stacking the Shelves: 1/25-1/31

First Reads from Goodreads:
The Keys of the Watchmen by Kathleen C. Perrin
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner
Rain by Cynthia Barnett

Bought on Amazon:
Race to Death by Leigh Russell

Received in a swap:
Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

The Satanic Verses

Title: The Satanic Verses
Author: Salman Rushdie
Publisher: Recorded Books
ISBN: 9781461824060
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Author Alphabet

Thoughts:  I loved listening to this as Rushdie's word have some poetry to them.  However, there were some parts that confused me as I did not understand all the religious nuances.

Rating: 3 stars

Elsewhere Online: January 2015

As you know from my Stacking the Shelves posts, I review for another website ( As I cannot post my reviews there and here, but I would still like to count the books I read for the challenges, I am going to have a post like this at the end of the every month listing the books I reviewed and what challenges the went towards.

Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Challenges: Author Alphabet

Title: Kill My Mother
Author: Jules Fieffer
Challenges: Graphic Novel, Author Alphabet

Title: Nature's Confession
Author: J. L. Morin
Challenges: Author Alphabet

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Eye Unseen

Title: The Eye Unseen
Author: Cynthia Tottleben
Publisher: JournalStone
ISBN: 9781940161105
Why Read?: Early Review
Challenges: Author Alphabet

Thoughts:  If V. C. Andrews wrote supernatural horror, this would be it.  Some parts might be a little hard to stomach, but that adds to the horror.

Rating: 3 stars

Monday, January 26, 2015

In the Box: January 2015 Awesome Pack Big Kid Box

I loved last month's Awesome Pack Big Kid Pack, but I think this month's blew me out of the water!  My box was literally stuffed with awesomeness.  The subscription is $44.99 a month and you can choose the Big Kid option (for those without kids - like me), or the Family option.  Their site does not have referral links set up yet, nor can you log into your account yet, but they do have a referral program, so if you do decide after reading my review to try it, I would very much appreciate if you told them you heard about it from me, rickimc [at] aol [dot] com.
Let's start with the bigger (ie more advanced) games.  Both this month have a vampire theme, which is kinda cool, and both are entirely new to me.  Vampire Empire (a $29.95 value) is a card game for two, which makes it perfect for couples.  Night Eternal (a $30 value) is based on a game played on True Blood.  I have never watched True Blood (I have read some Sookie Stackhouse shirts, though), so I am unfamiliar with this game, but it looks like a cool bluffing and intrigue game.
Next we have the smaller (ie more casual) games.  Gubs (a $11.99 value) has been on my Amazon wishlist for years, so I was ecstatic to see it.  GameWright makes fantastic games (in fact, I am hosting a GameWright themed game night for the St. Louis Sci-Fi and Fantasy Club in March).  The Game of Balony (a $25.95 value) looks like a fun party game and my husband will totally get a kick out of the tin when he sees it.
Awesome Pack also includes some cool collectibles for Big Kids.  This month I got a Neca Scalers featuring Cornelius from Plant of the Apes (a $4.95 value).  These are fun figures that you can hang on cords and mine is going on my speaker cables.  The other collectible I received is a Star Trek Skele-Treks blind foil pack (a $2.99 value).  Inside is a Star Trek character done up Dia de Muertos-style.
For referrals, Awesome Pack throws in "Something Extra Special".  And these items totally are!  I received The Big Bang Theory 2 Decks of Playing Cards (a $4.99 value).  Who couldn't use a few decks of cards - especially The Big Bang Theory ones?  I also got Ruckus (a $12.99 value), which was a game they were having a promo for a few weeks ago.
All told, my January Awesome pack had an estimated retail value of $105.83 with out the Somethings Extra Special, $123.81 with them, and I got it all for $44.95, which included shipping.  I'd say that is an totally awesome deal!  If you would like to subscribe, once again, I ask that you say you heard it from me, rickimc [at] aol [dot] com.  (Please note: as collectibles can vary in price based on demand, I tried to take the price from the manufacturers site whenever possible.)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Stacking the Shelves: 1/11-1/17

For possible review (on Bookloons):
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

First Reads from Goodreads:
Vigilare by Brooklyn Jones

LibraryThing Early Review:
Red Equinox by Douglas Wynne

Bought on Amazon:
Dark Serpent by Kylie Chan

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stacking the Shelves:1/4-1/10

The Barter by Siobhan Adcock

First Reads from Goodreads:
Book of M Trilogy by Tim Simpson
Rules for Riders by Natalie Scott

Requested from Paperback Swap:
The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

True Grit

Title: True Grit
Author: Charles Portis
Publisher: Recorded Books
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Author Alphabet

Thoughts:  I never thought I would like a Western, but I never met a character like Mattie Ross.  To say she has grit is an understatement.  Listening to this also added to my enjoyment as the editing left in normal reading noises - breathes, tongue clicks - that made it feel like Mattie (as read by Donna Tartt) was truly telling me her story.

Rating: 5 stars


Title: WWW:Wake
Author: Robert J. Sawyer
Publisher: Ace
ISBN: 978-0-441-01679-2
Why Read?: Book Club
Challenges: Author Alphabet

Thoughts:  This is the type of Sci-Fi I enjoy - sciencey stuff set in the here and now.  I was a little bummed that the problems in China were not touched on at all in the latter half of the book, but as this is the first in a trilogy, I know all the storylines will eventually connect - and I hope Hobo's is a happy one!

Rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Mameluke Bath

Title: Mameluke Bath
Author: Andrew Asibong
Publisher: Open
ISBN: n/a
Why Read?: Early Review
Challenges: Author Alphabet

Thoughts:  This book is impossible to describe.  Asibong throws so many elements into this novella, that it is tough to read in spots, but his willingness to experiment keeps this form being a 1 star read.  It especially took awhile to get used to the second person chapters.  Plus, some of the ideas seemed too British for me to fully comprehend.  

Rating: 2 stars

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 Author Alphabet Challenge

Challenge:  Author Alphabet
Host:  Nothing But Reading Challenges
2014 Level: 26 books - FAILED
2015 Level: 26 books

A. Mameluke Bath by Andrew Asibong
C. Stolen by Lucy Christopher
D. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
F. Kill My Mother by Jules Fieffer
H. Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
J. The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin
K. The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich
M. Nature's Confession by J. L. Morin
N. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
O. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
P. True Grit by Charles Portis
R. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
S. WWW:Wake by Robert J. Sawyer
T. The Eye Unseen by Cynthia Tottleben
W. A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

Stacking the Shelves: 12/28-1/3

First Reads from Goodreads:
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
The Apprentices by Dana Journey

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Killing Moon

Title: The Killing Moon
Author: N. K. Jemisin
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 978-0-316-18728-2
Why Read?: For Fun
Challenges: Author Alphabet

Thoughts:  I love fantasies, partly because I love to be immersed in a different world.  Jemisin constructed a well-built world, but unfortunately plunged the reader in with no guidance.  Sure, there is a glossary at the end, but the definitions do not help, and with fantasies, I prefer to learn the world through context clues, not constantly flipping back to the glossary which really disrupts the flow.  I found myself lost too many times that I stopped caring and just kept reading, whether I understood what was happening or not.

Rating: 2 stars

2015 Witches & Witchcraft Challenge

Challenge:  Witches and Witchcraft Challenge
Host:  Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
2014 Level: Initiate (5 books) - COMPLETED!
2015 Level: Maiden (10 books)

1. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
2. The Crimson Brand by Brian Knight

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Graphic Novel Challenge

Challenge: Graphic Novel Challenge
Host: Graphic Novels Challenge
2014 Level: Modern Age (12 books) - FAIL
2015 Level: Modern Age (12 books)

1. Kill My Mother by Jules Fieffer
2. The Gigantic Beard that Was Evil by Stephen Collins
3. The Graveyard Book, Vol. 2 by Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell