Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Heroes.

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

October 23: Villains (favorite, best, worst, lovable, creepiest, most evil, etc.)

I have several authors that like to take a character that they have built up to be someone the reader truly despises and then turn them into the hero in their own story.  So this week I’m going to put a slight twist and select bad guys turned good for my list.

Ten bad guys that were totally redeemed.

  1. Born of Legend (The League, #9) Julian/Dagger: Ms. Kenyon is the queen of redeeming bad guys and giving them their own hero story.  Julian was quite the evil guy for much of The League series and then in this book, we get to see everything from his perspective and learn how very wrong we were about him.
  2. Seize the Night (Dark-Hunter, #6) Valerius: Was an early redemption in The Dark Hunter’s series.  He was pretty awful in book two but by the time we get to his story, we learn that things aren’t always what they appear to be.
  3. Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22) Styxx: This is perhaps the biggest turn around Ms. Kenyon undertook.  You couldn’t get lower than Styxx in this series but then bam his book comes out and I ended up loving him more than any of the other characters even Acheron.  I know!  Even Ash.
  4. The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15) Xcor: Has been the bad guy for about four or five books in The Black Dagger Brotherhood series then we get his book and learn all about his past and end up forgiving him for all his transgressions.
  5. The Witch With No Name (The Hollows, #13) Trent: Trent wasn’t an overnight redemption.  Harrison started turning things around for him a few books before the end where he rides off into the sunset with Rachel.
  6. Black Magic Sanction (The Hollows, #8) Al:  Al doesn’t really get a redemption storyline much of the time he is portrayed as a reluctant hero.  He does come into the story as a pretty bad character but by the end of the series, he became quite a different demon.
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Snape: Snape is considered a bad guy for much of this series and does some pretty awful things in the last or next to last book but in the end, we learn that much of his actions were not what they seemed.
  8. Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4) Eric: Up until this book Eric plays the creepy bad boy roll and seems to cherish his reputation.  Then in the book we see another side of him, sure he lost his memory, but I ended up falling for him.  I truly hate how Harris ended up destroying his and Sookie’s relationship in the last three books.  Never going to get over it.  Ever.
  9. A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5) Tyrion Lannister: Tyrion is a complicated yet calculating character in this series but as the books progressed I truly started to change my mind about him.  If I decide to continue this series it will be to find out what happens with him.  Somehow I don’t think it will ever be finished though.
  10. Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4) Mallory Carmichael: Mallory starts off as Merit’s best friend but a few books in she takes a turn toward the dark side.  Things are rocky for her for quite a few books but by the end of the series, she is totally redeemed.

What redeemed bad guys do you love?

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Monday Morning Check-In: Quick Post

Good Monday Morning, I’m going to need to make this quick as I am working today for a special event at the library.  I didn’t budget my time effectively this morning but the home-cooked lunch was worth it.  Not a lot going on managed to get some reading done last week and have been working on pre-writing my Top Ten Tuesdays.  I’m also going to be part of a blog tour in early November so I have also been working on that post.  The next three weeks are going to be busy so I hope I manage to get some reading done.  I have three books that I need to finish as they release soon. Have a great week everyone!

Top Ten Tuesday: Cool Libraries

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

October 16: Bookstores/Libraries I’ve Always Wanted to Visit

Being a librarian I’m going to make this list about libraries.  Not really sure if I have a library visit bucket list so I’m going to head over to Google and simply put in cool libraries and see what the Guru brings me.

Ten libraries I would love to visit.

  1. Related image State of Iowa Law Library:  Why not start fairly close to home.  This is a beautiful library in Des Moines that I could easily stop at if I took the time.  Maybe this October when we are in tow to see Fall Out Boy. Update:  This is one library I am able to check off my list.  We did stop and check out this library on October 5th, after I had written up this post.  It is a beautiful library and if anyone is in Des Moines I highly recommend checking it out.  Free to visit and you can even go up one of the spiral staircases.  It is much smaller than the pictures lead you to believe.  
  2. Image result for winter garden harold washington library Harold Washington Library Chicago:  This is a library that I’ve actually been to.  The picture is of the Winter Garden on the top floor but the building itself is beautiful and a great place to visit while in town.
  3. Image result for ataturk library Ataturk Library Istanbul:  Now I have been to a library in Turkey but I can’t believe I never visited this library in Istanbul.  I have even visited the area of the city it is in.  Regularly!  If I ever get back to Turkey I am going to make an effort to visit more libraries.
  4. Image result for ataturk library Library of Celsus, Ephesus Turkey:  One more cool library I’ve actually been to. This, of course, is not currently a working library but is, in fact, the ruins of the third largest library of the ancient world.  It is a beautiful spot to visit and I hope to go back again someday.
  5. Image result for Trinity College Library Dublin, Ireland Trinity College Library Dublin, Ireland:  I recently learned that I am 12%(update on this too, reanalysis shows I’m only 4 % Irish), Irish so it might be fun to visit this library if I ever get to take a trip to Ireland.
  6. Image result for Bodleian Library Oxford U.K. Bodleian Library Oxford U.K.:  This library makes my list because it is where Diana met Matthew in Discovery of Witches.  I also happen to be 15% English (Update on this as well, I am actually 60% English and NW European) so when I visit Ireland I would like to visit the United Kingdon as well.
  7. Image result for  Joe and Rika Mansueto Library University of Chicago Joe and Rika Mansueto Library University of Chicago:  Again another library I can’t believe I haven’t visited!  I even visited the University of Chicago this summer.  Dammit.  Oh, Well at least I know what buses will take me back for a visit!
  8.  Library of Congress Washington DC:  Being the political buff that I am I would love to visit the Library of Congress.  I might wait until the current administration leaves off though…
  9.  Library at Pontifical Lateran University Rome Italy: This is on the list because I really want to visit Italy sometime in my life and have 0% interest in visiting the Vatican.
  10.  Image result for newberry library chicago Newberry Library Chicago:  I keep meaning to visit this library in Chicago when I’m in town.  Mainly because it was featured in The Time Traveler’s Wife.

What Libraries do you love?  Share in the comments!

Claw the System by Francesco Marciuliano

Book Review

 


Claw the System: Poems from the Cat UprisingBook Genre:  Poems, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 10/16/18 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 112 Price: $12.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review. 

Book Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of I Could Pee on This, Francesco Marciuliano, comes a lesson from cats in resistance. 

Cats are done with humans’ crap. For too long they have put up with baby talk, the humiliation of holiday costumes, and the social injustice of being told, “No.” They will not sleep through this anymore. We humans have woken the beast, and in this book they have gathered together to reclaim their voice, loudly and repeatedly until we pay attention. Watch the uprising unfold, through anthems such as “Redefine Terms,” “Accepted,” “Decide,” “A New Dawn,” and “Just What Do You Think You’re Doing?” Show support for your feline friends and try to understand why they’re so spitting mad.

My Review:

This was a cute and surprisingly appropriate book to read for our current political environment.  I found myself smiling at the cat-ish twist the poetic calls to rally against the man.  The poems were meant to be tongue-in-cheek but I took the sentiment to heart for many of them and found them recharging my political batteries. The pictures were fun and complimented the poems purrfectly.   The book was a little laggy on my e-reader so definitely pick this one up in print.  It is a cute book with poems and pictures to please both your cat-loving friends and clever enough to peak your political friend’s intellect.

My Rating:4 Stars

Monday Morning Check-In: I finished a book!

Good Monday morning everyone.  Did you happen to see yesterday?  I managed to post a book review!  Shocking I know…  It had been about a month and a half since I actually finished a book.  I’m actually going to be posting another review later today on a book of poetry that I’ve been reading for about two months.  So long that I actually had to download it again from Net Galley in order to finish it… I do plan on starting another review book this afternoon and then hopefully I will be reading some of the titles I have actually purchased recently.  With it getting colder and fewer chores that need to be done.  Scratch that, less interesting chores that need to be done, I truly hate putting up window plastic.  I find myself more in the mood to sit down and read.  Anyway, it is hard to believe October is half-way over and soon another year will have slipped away.  I swear they didn’t pass this quickly when I was a child.  Have a great week everyone and happy reading.

Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

Book Review

 


Time's ConvertBook Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, Historical

Book Series: All Soul’s Trilogy Stand Alone/Spin-off/sequel 

Released: 9/18/18 by Viking

Pages: 436 Price: $29.00 Hard Cover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this book from my library.  

 

 

Book Synopsis:

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor—the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for—is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both—forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

My Review:

I didn’t know what to expect with this continuation of the All Soul’s World but I knew I was excited about its expansion!  I did know that the books were going to delve deeper into supporting character’s background, tell their stories.  Up first is Marcus, Matthew’s son but I do hear that she is working on Gallowglass’s story which should be up next.  He is a character that caught my eye in the main trilogy and I can’t wait to learn more about him.

This book, though, is Marcus’s and I was happy to see it didn’t take place only in the past but we also got a continuation of Matthew and Diana’s story in this book.  This book is very much Marcus’s HEA as he has chosen a mate for himself in Phoebe who he showed interest in during his ‘parent’s’ books.  Being a warmblood Phoebe has decided to become a Vampire and needs to be reborn before she and Marcus can build a life together.  Of course, nothing is easy in the vampire world Ms. Harkness has created and there are much pomp and circumstance for the two lovebirds to endure after Phoebe’s change.

The book is divided into three parts that are broken up and shared in revolving pieces.  We start with the present which is broken into two-part one following Phoebe as she is reborn into her new life as one of Miriam’s children and the other path following Marcus as he is forced to be separated from his love for the first few months as she learns the ins and outs of vampire life.  All of this brings up skeletons from his past which brings us the third part of this story which is flashbacks to how Marcus became a vampire himself.

What I loved about this book was how it delved into the vampire side of the All Soul’s world and we learned so much about these creatures.  I felt that the first three books were more centered around the witching world and in this one there is a little turmoil revolving around Diana’s son but this book’s focus is much heavier leaning toward a glimpse into what it is like to be a vampire.

I’m not going to lie the book did drag on for me at times.  I’m not a big fan of revolutionary American history so Marcus’s past didn’t capture my attention as Matthew’s did.  I just didn’t find it as interesting.  I did enjoy how the author wove historical figures into Marcus’s story like he did for Matthew and Diana.  It was a lot of fun to imagine how  Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin might have interacted with these characters.

Many if not most of the beloved characters from the original trilogy make appearances in this book so fans should not miss picking up this one too.  While much of the story is a chronicle of Marcus’s life we are treated to how Matthew, Diana, and the twins are progressing.  This was an unexpected delight for me as I wasn’t expecting to see much of them in the future books.

This was a wonderful addition to the All Soul’s world and I’m happy that I read it.  It was a sweet love story of two vampires starting a new life together, but it was also a bittersweet remembrance of a tough life Marcus had for much of his existence.  There were moments where I didn’t like Matthew very much seeing a side of him we didn’t see in his books.  I’m not sure I would have been as forgiving as Marcus had.

I look forward to Gallowglass’s book and hopefully many more after that.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Length Matters

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

October 9: Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

This should be an easy list to work up!  All I need to do is head over to Goodreads and sort my read shelf by length.  I have a feeling the longest titles will be in the Game of Thrones series…  After sorting my books I end up with only two authors for this list.  Lets put a twist on this list.  Only one book per author that way we can have a bit of variety.

Ten longest books I’ve read.

  1.  A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) 1177 Pages: This is the longest book I’ve read thus far.  It is the third book in The Song of Fire and Ice series.  All of these titles on the top of my list for longest books.  If you read all the books released so far you will have read 4,995 pages.  And I have.
  2. The Stand 1153 Pages: Mr. King was the other author at the top of my list of longest books read.  Many of his are bricks but this is the longest one I’ve read by him.  It is considered one of his finest books written and I would have to agree.  If you like epic dystopian fiction then don’t let the page count scare you off and give this one a try.
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5) 870 Pages:  I was pleased to see one of the Harry Potter books on the list.  I had forgotten how some of the later books were quite long.
  4. Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22) 836 Pages: This is the longest book by my favorite author that I’ve read it also happens to be my absolute favorite!
  5. The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3) 819 Pages: Another surprise on the list.  This is the last in its trilogy and while classified as adult fiction in my library I think it should be in YA.
  6. The Goldfinch 771 Pages: I almost hesitate to put this one on the list because I listened to this book rather than read it…
  7. The Passage (The Passage, #1) 766 Pages: This is probably the best book in the trilogy and happens to be the first.  I will always think this is simply a lovely cover.
  8. Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) 756 Pages: I was surprised to see this one on the list.  I didn’t realize that Breaking Dawn was that long.  It has been ages since I actually read this series.  I tried to listen to the first book in audio and had to DNF.  While I will always have fond memories I don’t think I will revisit this world.
  9. Angels & Demons  (Robert Langdon, #1) 736 Pages:  This is the book before the more wildly known Da Vinci Code in the same series.  It was pretty good but Dan Brown books tend to be reliable and predictable.
  10. American Gods (American Gods, #1) 635 Pages: Not sure why I picked this one up but I enjoyed it.  Haven’t read anything by him since but I’m a big fan of the tv and movies based on his work.

What is the longest book you have ever read?  Leave it in the comments!

Monday Morning Check-In: Vacay is over…

Good Monday morning everyone!  Hey, what do you know it is actually morning when I’m typing this up.  Good deal!  Hubby and I are back from our long weekend and I’m happy to report that we had a blast.  The rain was horrible but despite that, we had so much fun.  We made a stop in Des Moines on Friday and visited the Iowa Law Library which is featured on many lists of beautiful libraries.  It is located inside the capital building which is open to the public so anyone can visit.  The entire building is worth the stop so highly recommend.  I’ll be sharing pictures of it in an upcoming TTT list.  Next, we saw an art exhibit which was simply illuminating pictures of that are coming to my personal Instagram account soon.  Saturday night we attended the Fall Out Boy concert in Des Moines and it was AMAZING!!!  Our seats were upgraded from the nosebleed section and we ended up practically on the floor!  It was so cool and my husband and I had a great time.  Sunday we drove home stopping for some shopping along the way but ended up at home around dinner time and were simply exhausted.  Two late nights and driving in all the rain wore us out.  I did pick up some audiobooks during the trip so I hope to get around to listening to them soon.  I’m still working on my current read but should be able to dedicate more time to it now that husband is going back to work.  I hope you all have a great week!  Happy Reading.

Top Ten Tuesday: Author Bucketlist

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week she asks us to share lists on the following:

October 2: Authors I’d Love to Meet

I’m actually pretty fortunate that I’ve been able to meet some of my favorite authors in person.  I added a page to the site called bookish bucket list and I have 12 authors listed there with four of them already crossed off.  That leaves eight names for the list already so I’m going to head over to Goodreads and see who else I would love the opportunity to meet.

Author’s pictures taken from Goodreads and linked to their pages.

Ten authors I would love to meet!

  1. Andy Weir Andy Weir: I absolutely loved The Martian and have talked about wanting to meet this author before on my blog.
  2. Lynsay Sands Lynsay Sands: This is a Canadian author of the Argeneau vampire romance series.  If you are looking for a light fluffy chick-lit read then I highly recommend this author.  She also writes historical romance if you are into that instead.
  3. J.R. Ward J.R. Ward: I’ve often wanted to meet this author or listen to her speak.  She swears like a sailor and I think it would be a hoot!  I also love her Blackdagger brotherhood series.
  4. Deborah Harkness Deborah Harkness: Writes the All Souls trilogy that now has a spin-off series that I’m in the middle of reading currently.  She is also a professor at a California University and teaches history.  I would simply love to hear her speak
  5. Darynda Jones Darynda Jones: This has long been a favorite author of mine and I will get the opportunity to meet her someday.  I will make it happen even if I need to travel!
  6. Jeaniene Frost Jeaniene Frost: I really enjoy this author and would love the opportunity to have a book signed by her.
  7. Nancy KressNancy Kress: This is a fairly new-to-me author that I find fascinating.  I love her ideas about the future and would simply love to listen to her give a talk.
  8. Alexandra Ivy Alexandra Ivy: Writes a lot of books set in the Mid-West and I’ve been a fan for some time.  Her paranormal series is finished and another supernatural series has slowed down quite a bit.
  9. Wil Wheaton Wil Wheaton:  While I’ve enjoyed his writing I kind of what to meet him more for his connection to Star Trek.
  10. Patricia BriggsPatricia Briggs: This is an author that I have rediscovered through audiobooks.  I enjoy her series but re-listening to them has made me fall for her series all over again.

What author would you love to meet?  Share in the comments and feel free to link to your own list!

Monday Morning Check-In: Husband at Home…

Good Monday morning everyone!  I hope you all had a better week than me last week.  On Friday I lost my barn cat of ten years.  He had been losing weight all summer so I knew it was coming, but it was still hard to say goodbye to my sweet boy.  Husband is off of work this week so the noise level will be up in the house.  We also have plans to accomplish much this week so not a lot of time for reading I’m afraid.  We took a drive up into Wisconsin yesterday to visit some apple orchards which was fun.  I will hopefully have some exciting news to share later this month.  I don’t want to say more in fear of jinxing things.  I have been working on pre-writing my Top Ten Tuesday blog posts and need to get a monthly recap posted.  I’m afraid I didn’t read any books in September so I might just skip it this month.  Have a great week everyone.