Reading Resolutions 2019

HEADLINE NEWS: Book-loving Teacher Wife Lady Decides to Rekindle Reading Blog, Allegedly Unrelated to 2019 New Year’s Resolutions

So really. I’m not back to stay, but I do have some time off work. My hubby and I have been up north in Illinois / Michigan visiting friends and family. In between the traveling and reuniting with loved ones, I’ve had just enough time to sit still, breathe easy, and think about books and how much I miss writing.

Top 5 Wednesday Topic: 2019 Reading Resolution

My reading resolution in 2017 was to read 30 books. I read 28. My reading goal for 2018 was 40 books. I read 35. My Goodreads goals haven’t panned out as planned, but 35 is still better than the single digit number of books I would have read if I hadn’t been tracking my progress. So I like to think.
This year, I’m swirling 35 books around in my head as a compromise. I also considered trying again for 40 books. Thoughts? Should I shoot high with my 2019 goal or meet myself in the middle?
2019 Goal: 35 or 40 books?

 

Top 5 Wednesday Topic: Books you Didn’t Get to in 2018 

1. The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children: William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions.
I was in San Francisco briefly in November, and my must-do list basically consisted of Alcatraz and book shops. Sadly, Alcatraz was closed due to the smoke from Campfire. On the bright side, I hit those book shops! This cover caught my eye in Christopher’s Books on Potrero Hill. The back cover read like a magical, modern take on an old adventure: The Canterbury Tales.  I didn’t think twice about buying it, and I’m excited to see if this book lives up!
2. How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England: A Guide for Knaves, Fools, Harlots, Cuckolds, Drunkards, Liars, Thieves, and Braggarts by Ruth Goodman

ninny-hammer
dung bellies drunken sow
lousy rogue
nitty britch knave
waggletail flirt bitch

These insults came packaged neatly in a 10 by 8 inch hardcover, also from Christopher’s Books. It was a must. Shakespearean culture explored through the grungiest of vocabulary pools? Yes, yes, yes.
3. The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky
city lights
This Russian novella is about a rash, lovesick tudor working for a wealthy general. He is hopelessly addicted to roulette. It’s a bit perfect; Dostoevsky was writing to pay off gambling debts accrued because of his own roulette addiction.
This book was another conquest from my bookshop excursion in San Francisco. It came from City Lights, which got famous for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. One of the founders went to court on charges of publishing obscene material… it was a whole thing. Knowing this, I meant to get something beatnikky and politically charged, but sometimes the book chooses the reader, Harry.
4. Alexander Hamilton: Revolutionary by Martha Brockenbrough
A. I’ve been on a bio binge.

B. I liked how the pages were cream-colored and the font was maroon and old-timey.

(Sometimes that’s all it takes for Barnes and Noble to make twenty bucks.)
5. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
My brother recommended this book to me. I got it with an Audible credit and so far, it has not disappointed! The story begins with an innkeeper in a fantasy, medievalish world where something is most definitely off. There is a hint at magic and some dark, unknown force that manifests itself as demon creatures. I was intrigued from the start, but I have been assured multiple times that it gets better and better and better and better.
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Winter by Marissa Meyers

Here is my commentary on Winter by Marissa Meyer and a synopsis from Goodreads below.

This is the story of Cinder’s attempt at rebellion against the Luna queen. She is set on taking back the kingdom that rightfully belongs to her, and this final novel is the tale of whether or not she will accomplish that, and if so, how.

All in all, it was a lovely fourth and finish to the Lunar Chronicles. Winter was filled with adventure, politics, friendship, romance, betrayal, and villainy. The elements of both science-fiction and fantasy worked seamlessly together. I would have given it a higher rating, but I found it lagging a bit in the middle, getting stuck sometimes on gushy romantics that I couldn’t stomach. (Don’t get me wrong–I enjoy a good love story! But I prefer Jacin’s subtle, teasing approach to the blatant adoration and affection of some of the other lovers. Not saying who.)

Very, very glad I read this series. The Lunar Chronicles were unique and entertaining from book one to four. The characters were fresh and often hilarious. Best of all, this series comes with a satisfying resolution!

Winter

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads.

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Check out my Goodreads profile if you’d like to see what else I’ve been reading! Leave a comment below with what book or book series you’re nestled into.

Books as Event Themes

The Top 5 Wednesday topic for this week:

Books as Event Themes

T5W 2017.05.10 Books as Event Themes

This is a great topic, even though I do have some reservations about crossing reality with book worlds.

  1. The Lord of the Rings
  2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  3. Pride and Prejudice
  4. Peter Pan
  5. The Very Nearly Honourable League of Pirates

Lord of the Rings

1. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Not to be a sellout, but Middle Earth is awesome. I don’t believe in discounting authors and their work just because it is already beloved by the multitudes, so I’ll just face the music and say: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings would make one heck of an event theme! Continue reading Books as Event Themes

Reading for Technique

Warning: This post may contain spoilers for the Lunar Chronicles.

Unsurprisingly, after I finished writing my blog post “Sucked In,” I continued to binge read. I finished Marissa Meyer’s Fairest and am currently about 3/4 of the way through Winter. When a series pulls you in, it really pulls you in! I’m a big fan of that.

While reading, I have been taking notes for technique and goals in writing. If any of you readers out there are also building your world [read: personal empire between pages], then you can appreciate a few weaknesses I am pinpointing in my own furtive novel construction.

Notes from the Would-Be Writer: An except from the writing journal.

  1. Structure
  2. Villain
  3. Personality
  4. Plot Twist
  5. Army?

Staircases.jpg

Structure

One thing I appreciate about the Lunar Chronicles that I also came to expect from the Harry Potter series growing up was a predictable pattern of structure. In HP, each novel orbited around a new year of schooling at Hogwarts. In the LC, it was a new fairy tale princess all dolled up in sci-fi that cued the next act. Continue reading Reading for Technique

Poetry Contest from The Poet’s Billow

The Poet’s Billow, an organization dedicated to increasing the exposure of poetry, is accepting submission for the Bermuda Triangle Prize – the deadline is April 30th. The Bermuda Triangle Prize is given to three poems on a theme from up to three different poets. Current Theme: Revolution a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system. a dramatic […]

via Poetry Contest Deadline: April 30th — the poet’s billow