The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….


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2018 TBR List (SNEAK PEEK)

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These are all potential reads but I really would like to read them all over the course of next year.

This list doesn’t included manga as I’ve already talked about them in a previous post, and nor does this include any NetGalley ARCs as those aren’t guaranteed (but I do I have a list of ARCs I’m interested in when the time comes). I do have one ARC I’ll be reviewing next month – Baby, I’m Howling For You by Christine Warren. My 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge was 30 books, which I surpassed, so I’m thinking my 2018 goal should be between 40-50 books.

I’m excited for the possibilities and adventures this list holds.

 

*In no particular order

NEW BOOKS

Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan (Brotherband, book 5)
The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan (Brotherband, book 6)
The Caldera by John Flanagan (Brotherband, book 7)

River of Dreams by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 8)
Dreamer’s Daughter by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 9)

Slathbog’s Gold by Mark Forman

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughley (Effigies, book 2)

The Winter King by C. L. Wilson (Weathermages of Mystral, book 1)

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, book 3)

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (book 1)

Slammed by Colleen Hoover (Slammed, book 1)

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen, book 1)

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Wild Orchids by Jude Deveraux

RE-READS

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (The Books of Bayern, book 1)

With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland
A Dance Through Time by Lynn Kurland
The More I See You by Lynn Kurland

Shadowflame by Dianne Sylvan (A Shadow World Novel, book 2)

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan (Ranger’s Apprentice, book 1)

Mister Monday by Garth Nix (Keys to the Kingdom, book 1)

Fire by Kristin Cashore (Graceling, book 2 | Prequel)

Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Touch, book 1)

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima (The Heir Chronicles, book 1)

The Green and the Gray by Timothy Zahn


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!

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Book Review: Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce (2nd Read)

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Protector of the Small, book 4
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
In the final thrilling installment of Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series ( First TestPage, and Squire), our sturdy young heroine, Keladry of Mindelan (a.k.a. Kel), has finally been knighted. Never one to rest on her laurels, Kel champs at the bit, ready to tackle the horrific magic killing devices she was shown in the Chamber of the Ordeal during her knighthood initiation. The huge, insectlike machines, “made of iron-coated giants’ bones, chains, pulleys, dagger-fingers and -toes, and a long whiplike tail,” feed on the souls of dead children and are systematically killing off the citizens and warriors of Tortall.

Thoroughly disgusted to discover that not only is she not going to be assigned a combat post, but she has been placed in charge of a refugee camp instead, Kel, in her usual noble, stoic way, swallows her disappointment and sets out being the best refugee camp commander possible. Of course, destiny has a way of sneaking up on a young woman like Kel, and soon she is fulfilling the ordeal the Chamber set out for her… and then some.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
Lady Knight was just as wonderful and action-packed as the first time I read it.

Kel is a natural born leader even if at first she doesn’t think she’ll do a good job at commanding a refugee camp. The way she handles the obstacles thrown at her is admirable – you can learn a lot from her brand of leadership.

I loved all the characters – even the less than desirable ones. But of course, animals are what really stole my heart. There’s Jump (Kel’s dog), Peachblossom and Hoshi (Kel’s horses), the sparrows, and cats. They were cute already but then their intelligence magically increases to human understanding – then they’re just amazing to behold.

A story, in my opinion, is successful when both the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) are unique, well-developed, interesting, and elicit a response from the reader. As with all her novels, Tamora Pierce really accomplishes that with Kel, her friends, the machines, and other main villains.

Lady Knight is a fitting conclusion to the Protector of the Small series and Kel’s story. An emotional rollercoaster for both the main character and the reader. It’s one of my favorite books and I’m so pleased to have gotten to read it a second time. This story is just another reminder of why I read, why I write, and why I spend too much time fantasizing about books.


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Manga I’m Excited To Read In 2018

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Attack on Titan
by Hajime Isayama, Translated by Sheldon Drzka

Volume 1 Image via Goodreads

A bloody and gruesome anime but so good. I’ve watched season 1 and 2 in English. Season 2 ended too soon with only 12 episodes and I don’t want to wait to find out what happens next so I decided to read the manga.

 

Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya,
Translated by Alethea Nibley & Athena Nibley

Volume 1 Image via Barnes & Noble

One of my favorite anime of all time. It’s a romantic comedy that’s just adorable to watch so of course I just had to read the manga. Plus it deals with the animals of the zodiac so that just makes it that much cooler. And the main characters are so lovely and funny.

 

The Ancient Magnus’ Bride
by Kore Yamazaki, Translated by Adrienne Beck

Volume 1 Image via Goodreads

I watched episode 1 of the anime a while ago but decided not to keep watching when it began to simulcast. With this particular story I decided to read the manga first (or at least as much as my library had in stock) and then watch the anime. The concept seems really interesting.

 

Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino, Translated by Tomo Kimura

Volume 1 Image via Goodreads

An oldie but a goodie. I really liked the anime so I wanted to read the manga to get more indepth with the story.


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Book Review: Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Brotherband Chronicles, book 4
Rating: 3/5
Recommend to Others?: Maybe

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
*part of official Goodreads summary

…Hal and his fellow Herons have returned home to Skandia after defeating the pirate captain Zavac and reclaiming Skandia’s most prized artifact, the Andomal. With their honor restored, the Herons turn to a new mission: tracking down an old rival turned bitter enemy. Tursgud—leader of the Shark Brotherband and Hal’s constant opponent—has turned from a bullying youth into a pirate and slave trader. After Tursgud captures twelve Araluen villagers to sell as slaves, the Heron crew sails into action . . . with the help of one of Araluen’s finest Rangers!

In this fourth book in the Brotherband Chronicles, a new battle unfolds as old rivalries are renewed, peace treaties are put to the test, and the action builds to a pulse-pounding finale…

~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
This part of the series felt like an interlude to what might be the overall plot of the series. Hal and his band’s presence are requested by the King Duncan of Araluen but this is interrupted by the focus of the book: the kidnapping of Araluen citizens by the renegade Skandian Tursgud.

The beginning is really good and started things out on a high, humorous, note. However, once the main characters had set sail things kind of dulled out by way of uneventful scenes and dialogue exchanges I was hoping we’d be past. This continued even when the core conflict arose and after as Hal and crew – along with an old welcoming character (I totally fangirled when he showed up) – tried to figure out how to rescue the Araluens before they could be sold into slavery.

And then we come to the “main battle” which is one very long continuous event that switches scenes to show you everything that is happening as it is taking place. This takes up much of the second half of the book and all the way until just before the last chapter. It’s a pretty cool scene albeit a little too long for my attention span.

There’s a lot of uncertainty that keeps the tension high during this particular (above mentioned) scene. One particular character is given a lot of character growth – it was good to see him really shine in this book. And I kind of even enjoyed the ingeniousness of the main “antagonist.” He was rather surprising. However, where Tursgud is concerned I’m surprised by his lack of presence in the book and where things end up with him – it’s a little scary but disappointing.

So this part of the series was okay (perhaps, meh) all in all but I am very curious to see what will happen in book 5, Scorpion Mountain, as the back of book four tells that the worlds of Brotherband and Ranger’s Apprentice will collide – how exciting!


Brotherband Chronicles
The Outcasts – book 1
The Invaders – book 2
The Hunters – book 3

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years
 The Tournament at Gorlan – book 1
The Battle of Hackham Heath – book 2


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December Happenings!

H A P P Y      D E C E M B E R !!!!!!

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It’s finally the last month of 2017, which is hard to believe. Feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing my first post of the new year. This month is gonna be busy the first half but fun the second half.

~ The Blog ~

So I have all the posts for this month planned and almost written out. I will only be posting up until about the 23rd because I want to get all my work out of the way as soon as possible.

I’ll also be prepping some changes for the blog and reformatting certain posts I do. I’ve been blogging for almost three years and it feels like a little re-branding is in order. I mostly just want to experiment with a new look but will keep with the blog’s aesthetic.

~ TBR List ~

(FINALLY coming TOMORROW!!!) Book Review: Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan

I will also be reading Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (ARC) and Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce (2nd Read). Those are the only two books I have planned to read and review before I’m done posting for the year. But if I feel like it I might read Mastiff by Tamora Pierce (2nd Read) and save that review for the beginning of January.

~ Writings ~

This is the month where I scramble to edit/revise all those things I’ve written recently and get a few of them in the right amount a shape that I can share them here at some point next year.

~ Book Recommendation of the Month ~

Mustaches for Maddie by Chad Morris & Shelly Brown
Published by Shadow Mountain Publishing, October 3, 2017

Image via NetGalley

My Review of Mustaches for Maddie


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Book Review: Lilly’s Big Day by Kevin Henkes

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Series: Mouse Books
Rating: 4/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
Mr. Slinger has big news.
He’s getting married.
Married!

Lilly has big plans.
She’s going to be the flower girl.
(Lilly has always wanted to be a flower girl.
Even more than a surgeon or a diva or a hairdresser.)

But what’s the biggest,
the best,
the most perfect thing of all?
You’re invited to the wedding — so start reading!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
I’m a big fan of Kevin Henkes’s books. He’s a very talented storyteller and artist. Lilly’s Big Day was a wonderful and funny read. I just adore Lilly’s character and how determined she is to be the best flower girl ever. Once she gets an idea in her head she doesn’t let it go – no counterargument can dissuade her. And it’s funny how she seems to be more excited about the wedding than Mr. Slinger (her teacher). Her excitement about the occasion is very infectious. I couldn’t wait to read what would happen next.