Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie

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:

December 11: Freebie

I wanted to do something different this week.  So after studying my Goodreads account for about 20 minutes from different angles and came up with this.  I’m going to go to Goodreads recommendations based upon my read shelf and find the ten weirdest recommendations they came up with based upon books I’ve read.

Ten Weird Goodreads Recommendations.

  1. Off to Be the Wizard This title was suggested to me because I read Ready Player One.  The cover is, to be honest awful, but it actually has some great reviews by a few people I follow.  Not sure I’m going to read it as it seems to be about time travel (historical) and computer programming.  They get bonus points for a clever title though.
  2. The Windup Girl This was suggested to me because I read Old Man’s War and The Long Earth.  It is classified as steampunk science fiction dystopian… The synopsis sounds a little heavy but a lot of people I follow have added it to their to-read shelf, of course not many of them have actually read it yet.  I’m not sure this one is my style, I think I’ll pass.
  3. The Red Notebook This was recommended to me because I read The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend.  This is what happens when you read something out of your normal repertoire and add it to your Goodreads account.  I’m not usually a fan of contemporary romance but books about books might be a good fit. I do like that it was written by a man (not enough romance is) and the synopsis sounds like it would make a cute movie.  I don’t know maybe I’ll give this one a try or recommend it to the library.
  4. Halfway Human This was recommended to me because I read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Saturn Run, and Sleeping Giants.  Another case of awful cover but an interesting synopsis.  I do like that it is billed as LGBT which I don’t read nearly enough diversity in my books.  No one I follow has read it but I might give it a try sometime.  It is an older book which might be the reason for its cover but if it does tackle LGBT topics then bonus points for it since it was written in 1998.
  5. Just Desserts (Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries, #1) This book was recommended to me because I read a ton of Kerrelyn Sparks books.  This tells me it is probably fun and chick lit.  It is billed as a cozy mystery which I’m not usually a reader of and if this one had a paranormal element like Ms. Sparks book did then I might have given it a chance.  As it is this was written in 1991 and just too far out from what I typically read.
  6. Night Visions: In the Blood This book was recommended to me because of all the Stephen King I read in my misguided youth…  Just no.  I am not a fan of horror or anthologies.  I’ll pass.  Also, it was written in 1984!  How about some current recommendations Goodreads.
  7. Everfair This was recommended to me because I read A Close and Common Orbit.  This caught my eye because the cover was so interesting.  It is billed as steampunk science fiction, historical/alternate history.  The reviews are kind of meh, and the synopsis goes over my head a bit.  It is set in Africa and looks to be a great choice to read if you are looking to add diversity to your reading rotation.  I did add this to my to-read shelf.  I want to give it a try at least.
  8. Last-Minute Knitted Gifts This was recommended to me because I own Weekend Knitting.  I use Goodreads to keep track of my home library and I add all the books I own because I don’t want to buy them again while I’m out shopping.  I have actually knit several patterns in Weekend Knitting and this looks like it might have some cute projects in it too.  It is always nice to have some ideas of items you can knit up quickly to give as a gift.  Good call Goodreads.
  9. Put 'em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook, from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling I’m sure this was recommended to me because I have a couple of canning books on my read shelf, see explanation above.  It looks cute but I’m not into canning much anymore I tend to freeze more.  Still, the cover looks cute, but I don’t think I’ll read it.
  10. Tempting Danger (World of the Lupi, #1) This was recommended to me because I read a lot of paranormal romance (too many books to list).  Again a case of the cover just doesn’t catch my eye and is not at all similar to the books linked to the recommendation.  Lots of people I follow give it high marks and the reviews and synopsis sound promising.  I might have to give this one a chance.

Well, there you have my list for this week.  What are some of the stranger recommendations you have received from Goodreads?  Also, feel free to leave a link to your freebie list in the comments!


Bookish Thoughts: Cross-posting to Goodreads

I’ve decided to change up how I cross-post my reviews to Goodreads, which is the only other place I post my reviews anymore.   I guess I simply don’t see the point of posting the full review to my blog and to Goodreads so I’m going to post a sentence or two along with the link to the full review here on my blog.  It might suck for those that follow me only on Goodreads but if they are truly interested in what I have to say about a given title then they can come see it here.  After all, I have a blog for a reason, I want people to come here to read my reviews.

The publishers might also not be thrilled about this idea as they usually want the reviews posted to multiple places but it has been ages since I posted a review to Barnes and Nobel and even longer since I ventured onto Amazon whose business practices I do not support.  If they are too upset they can simply not approve me for an ARC.  I gave up posting to B&N because it became too tedious to cross-post the reviews for books after they publish.  It was fine for older titles as I could do it at the time I wrote up my review but books that haven’t released yet were not allowed to be posted.  Some books I get months ahead of time and I’ve already written my review and moved on by the time I’m allowed to post my review on their site.  So I stopped. Honestly, anymore I think the only place people go to read what others think about a book they are interested in is Amazon or Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon).

So, that’s all I got.  I just felt the need to explain the change to my Goodreads reviews for those of you that might follow over there.  I’m going to see if there is a way to post a notice on the site for followers there.

Happy Reading.

Monday Morning Question: Best Book?


Good Monday Morning everyone!  I’m typing this up quick before my hubby and I leave for a night away.  He is using up his vacation time and we thought a night out-of-town sounded fun.  I logged on one last time and thought of a quick question I could post for my Monday blog meme:  What was your favorite book you read this year?  Now I’ve read quite a few books that I loved this year, there are around 40 alone that I gave five stars too, and more than that earned four.  There is one book that stands out though.  I really loved this title and still get excited when I share/encourage others to read it too.  Surprisingly my favorite book this year is not a paranormal.  It is written by a first time published author and is a sci-fi thriller that made me laugh and cry and  I just could not put it down.  My favorite book this year is The Martian by Andy Weir.   This is an amazing read and I am not surprised that it is a Goodreads Choice winner for 2014.  So, what was your favorite book this year?

Monday Morning Question – Annoying?



Good Monday morning everyone. Hope you had a full weekend of reading as we mourn the end of summer…  NOT a fan of fall. Sure its lovely, but to me it only signals the coming of winter and that spring is much too far away.  This weekend I did mange to finish up a book and post a review, mainly because I told my husband to ‘go away’.  Often when I post a review I go through the others on Goodreads to see what others thought of it.  For my latest read the reviews I found were chock full of my biggest review pet peeve.  Something I find so annoying that I usually won’t read the review and have to close the page.  What is it?  It is those damn moving graphics that are usually a clip from a movie or tv show that stand in for some expression the author of the review wants to convey.  (It pains me to include them, but here are some examples).




Now static images don’t bother me, but these moving ones are just distracting.  As bad as the moving ads on the side of most web pages meant to catch your eye and make you clip on what ever computer virus they want you to download onto your machine.  I think I could even tolerate one or maybe two of them in a review, but the posters that seem to love them always include half a dozen or more right there muddling up my computer screen full of annoying emoticons.

So there is what I find annoying in a book review post.  What about you?  What do you compare to nails on a black board making your skin crawl and driving you away from reading what could be a great review?

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones – 5 Stars


Book description on GoodReads

Every so often something rare and wonderful happens to a reader.  You come across a book that just clicks.  This book was one of those for me.   Many of my friends on Goodreads gave it 4 or 5 stars,  if I could I would give it 6 stars (I’ll tell you why below).  I had this one as a to-read for a while now and was hesitant to give  it a try because it didn’t sound like the type of paranormal I normally read.  I may have mentioned before that I am pretty loyal to my Vamps, but have been known to stray into worlds centered on Angels and have just recently developed a taste for Weres.  A story centered on a Grim Reaper, I don’t know just didn’t sound like something I would really get into.  I’m not a fan of Zombies and the Anita Blake series turned me off of wanting to try anything dealing with the dead.  Oh how wrong I was…

Alright now why I LOVED this book.  The humor is what first brought me in, I like both dark and lighthearted paranormal books.  After reading so many heavy and serious novels you just need something to make you laugh, something fun.  This book does humor brilliantly, the character has a razor sharp wit and wields it well.  The author has managed to strike a nice balance in this book though. Charley is sarcastic and can give the other characters a hard time, but she can be serious too when the situation calls for it and you get to see her humanity as well.

The supporting cast of characters was great in this new world as well.  Charley’s Uncle Bob, her best friend Cookie, her Dad and I even liked Garret.  I really enjoyed Reyes and finding out all about his mysterious past and its link to Charley.  One of my few complaints about the book involves what looks to be a set up for a love triangle between Charley, Reyes and Garret.  Please don’t.  I like Garret, but there is no way he can compete, just let the tension develop and hopefully a relationship with Reyes develop without throwing in Garret…please.

Another aspect of this book that I adored was the more serious moments.  Those times when Charley helped the spirits and people around her find closure.  There were some really beautiful moments in this book that brought me to tears, happy ones.   The story line would turn all serious and start to get heavy and then Charley would whip out some line and make you smile.  Really well done in my opinion.  A book that bring me to tears and then have me laughing on the next page is a winner in my mind.

There were also serious moments in this book that didn’t work out so well in the end.  We got to see Charley question herself and her role in this world and wonder if she is doing more harm then good.  It was these moments that kept the book real for me, made sure the story wasn’t too much of a good thing.  Our heroine isn’t infallible, she doesn’t have all the answers, like us she struggles and doesn’t get everything she wants. You get the sense that Charley has been alone and struggling to figure out her abilities or role as a Grim Reaper up until this point in her life.  That she has also had to go it alone.  It was nice to see her start to open up and realize she can count on those around her.

Up until the end of the book I thought it was mainly going to be a detective or private investigator series and each of the future stories would just center around some case or group of departed that Charley had to deal with.  Enjoyable, but not a lot of depth to this new world I was enjoying.  Then in the last few chapters everything changed, and wow the story took a plunge and gained an edge I wasn’t expecting.  I was already hooked and adding all the next books to my to-read list on Goodreads, then suddenly the author develops this whole other story line that I did not see coming and it all revolves around Reyes, so please leave out a love triangle.

I wish I could give you some more complaints about the book, but there really is only the one.  I enjoyed the book, loved the mix of humor and drama.  There was a love interest, but only really one good steamy scene.   I guess it was a little annoying that Charley seemed to be attracted to most of the men she came in contact with, but that wasn’t such a big deal, so she was a horn dog.  I look forward to reading more of Charley’s adventures and am definitely looking forward to getting to know Reyes better.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?

Are We Friends?

On Goodreads, that is….  I LOVE Goodreads, it is such a useful site and I totally spend about as much time on there as I do Facebook and WordPress.  Besides being a great tool to keep track of what I have read and what I want to read it is also a great place to get book suggestions.  Often most of my favorite suggestions come from what my Goodreads friends are reading.  So I’ll ask again, are we friends on Goodreads?  Check out my profile here, Amy Softa, compare books with me and send me a friend’s request!

Happy reading everyone!  Amy

Favorites so far…

I promised to share with you some of my favorite books so far this year.

Here they are in no specific order:

Allegiant by Veronica Roth – 5 Stars

I know there was some contriversy about the ending of this series, but I loved it.  I thought it was a fitting end for this dystopian YA novel.  If you wish to read my full review you can do so here.

Bared to You by Sylia Day – 4 Stars

I am a fan of the 50 Shades of Grey series (Hey, no judging) and a friend recommended this series to me after she was gushing about it all over Facebook.  We got copies of it in at our library and I decided to give it a try.  I am so glad I did, it is much better written than the Grey series and is quite captivating.  Read my full review here.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs – 4 Stars

I could easily list all the books in this series here, but won’t.  Instead I will let Moon Called stand for the whole lot. Now I LOVE paranormal books, but tend to prefer my vamps.  This series started me thinking I have been missing out by shying away from the Were and Shifter stories.   Read my full review here.

Up From the Grave by Jeanine Frost – 5 Stars

This was a bitter sweet read, the ending of a series I desperately loved.  It was a much better end than the Sookie Stackhouse series,  and I am happy to see it end on a good note rather than limp along and destroying what made it so great.  Read my full review here.

Haunted Honeymoon by Marta Acosta – 5 Stars

This was another last book in a series I enjoyed.  It is a lighter side of paranormal book, full of humor and silly situations.  This series is really a fun read if you just want something that is going to make you laugh.  Read my full review here.

These are just some of the titles I have enjoyed so far this year.  Most of my reviews will not be set up like this, but I didn’t want to post a full length review for each book in one post.  Have you read any of these?  Did you enjoy them as well, or do you disagree with me?

Happy Reading. Amy