Weekly Wrap Up: June 2 – 8

I don’t usually do a weekly wrap up post- and don’t really plan to make it a habit, but it was a busy week for me and I had some things I wanted to share!

Blood Eye Raven 1 by Giles Kristian

First, I did my first ever guest post for Andrew at On My Book Shelf and covered the historical fiction Viking novel: Blood Eye (Raven #1) by Giles Kristian.  Unfortunately the book itself was kind of a dud, but I had a lot of fun working with Andrew.  On My Book Shelf covers a wide range of topics from writing prompts to favorite quotes, and books reviews from fantasy and historical fiction to thrillers and manga.  He’s got lots of fun, unique content and a little something for everyone, so stop by and say hello!

Books I DNF’d:

Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley

Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley: I’m going to qualify this by saying, Queen of Kings is not a bad book.  I’m guessing it’s a solid three star read.  It’s just not what I wanted right now.  I read The Mere Wife a few months ago and haven’t been able to get it out of my head.  I thought the premise (Cleopatra possessed by a god and out for revenge) would provide an excellent opportunity for Headley to give me another ferocious and fully realized female character.  Maybe Cleo becomes that eventually, but I read about 30% of the book, and it was a lot of Cleopatra bemoaning her fate and missing Antony and not taking any real discernible action.  Add to that a whiny Caesar Augustus, and I just wanted to move on.  I will maybe revisit in the future, but for now my curiosity is sated.

Books I Finished:

Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Reviews to come!

Books Reviewed:

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena: 3 Stars – Not as surprising or shocking as I would hope for in a thriller.

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney: 4 Stars – A super fun roller coaster of a ride that I think most readers would enjoy.  A little far fetched in its conclusion, but hey, we’re talking fiction here.  Who cares?

Lists:

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fantasy Reads

Pride Month: Favorite LGBT+ Couples and Characters in Fiction

Book Hauls:

Barnes & Noble Memorial Day Sale Book Haul

And that’s my week!  I feel pretty accomplished this week.  Hoping next week will be just as great!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I pick up a book

TTT-NEW

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic is reasons I pick up a book.  Pretty straightforward so I guess I’ll just hop right to it!

I know (and trust) the author.  I mean- this list consists of maybe five people.  Stephen King, Joe Hill, Bernard Cornwell, Sebastien de Castell, Ada Palmer (fictionally speaking) and Karen Marie Moning (okay that’s six).  (Yes I’m aware the Fever series has tanked, I’ll probably keep reading anyway.)  What’s interesting about this list is that at least four of these authors have books on my list that are 3 star reads or less.  The point is, even their worst books manage to entertain me.  Consistency means more to me than perfection.

Someone I trust, raved about or recommended it to me.  The operative word in both these instances being trust.  I get a lot of books recommended to me.  Usually it results in a smile and a nod and a polite thank you, because a lot of recommendations go something like this:

Random person: What are you reading?
Me: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
Random person: Oh you like vampire novels?  You should read Twilight!
Me:                                                                                Eye Roll

Sorry Twilight- it’s not you, it’s me!

FOMO.  Friends, the FOMO is real.  And the FOMO hurts.  This applies to pretty much every hyped book ever.  FOMO is Fear Of Missing Out, in case you haven’t heard it before.  (But I’m sure you’ve felt it at least once!)  I recently picked up The Priory of the Orange Tree.  Early reviews have led me to believe I won’t like it.  I want to read it anyway.  The only reason is FOMO. *shrugs*

Next in a series. I have no qualms about not finishing a series when I didn’t like the first book, or when the second book was just sort of meh.  But if I loved the previous book(s) it doesn’t take much convincing to get me to pick up the next.

It’s got diverse settings, characters and/or mythology. There are so many stories and mythologies and settings out there that haven’t been explored.  Can I get an adult LGBTQ+ Moana please?  Or something that explores ancient China or Japan?

It’s got Vikings in it.  I realize this is a relative contradiction of what I’ve stated above- but I would really love an Ivar the Boneless novel, or something that’s not strictly romance where they aren’t featured primarily as the bad guys.  What can I say, I’ve got a problem.

I gotta see (or have seen) the movie. A lot of the time the movie is a disappointment, but hey, it’s put a book or two on my radar before.  Conversely- there are some books I won’t read because I’m really worried it will ruin the movie for me (I’m looking at you, Hunger Games).

The cover. Sure I’m a little shallow.  There’s a reason I’m not up to date on the classics of SFF. Have you seen those covers?  Anyway- rest assured, covers might grab my attention but they can’t sell me on looks alone.

The book description.  If the cover gets me to pick it up- it’s the description that will make or break the deal.  I’m referring to the book’s summary here.  (What I am not referring to, is all those taglines claiming “XYZ book is the next Game of Thrones.”)

It was given to me. I’ve had pretty good luck with giveaways the past couple years.  My mother almost always gifts me a book or two for my birthday or Christmas.  And then there’s the gifts I buy myself… you know.  That sort of thing.

What about you?  What makes you pick up a book?