Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (49)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Purchased (ebook):

I finished A Storm of Swords last weekend and just had to jump into the next book!

What books did you get this week?  Leave a link in the comments so I can check out your haul!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: "A Storm of Swords" by George R.R. Martin

From Goodreads:  Here is the third volume in George R.R. Martin's magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings. Together, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction.

Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, victim of the sorceress who holds him in her thrall. Young Robb still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. And as opposing forces maneuver for the final showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost limits of civilization, accompanied by a horde of mythical Others—a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords...

My Thoughts:  Oh my goodness, this was the best book in the series so far!!  There was non-stop action and I felt like I just plowed through this book!  I loved seeing some of my favorite characters and finding some redeeming qualities in one I originally didn't like.  Jaime Lannister was the perfect villain in the past two books but I kind of started to like him in this book, especially toward the end.  He is still a jerk at times but he seemed to have matured a lot and wound up being less horrid than I originally thought.

There were so many CRAZY events in this book.  I don't want to give anything away but there were several times where I went, 'Wait, what?!' and had to go back and reread a section because I was so shocked by events that were occurring.  Some of these events made me sad and some left me yelling "Hooray!" but when you read this book, you should definitely be ready for a lot of surprises!  

I am still kind of bored with Daenarys' storyline.  I really liked her in the first book but she has kind of annoyed me in the last two.  Luckily her storyline was not a huge part of the overall story.  It's not that her story is bad, I guess I just don't care about her as much as I do some of the other characters.  That's really my only complaint about the whole book.
Seriously, if you haven't read any of the A Game of Thrones series or if you haven't got to A Storm of Swords yet, read it now!  I never thought I would love this series so much but I really do and I can't wait to see where the author takes the story.  5 stars.
This book comes from personal ebook collection.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR List

Now considering that my due date is Sunday, it seems kind of silly for me to have a TBR list for Summer but I do.  There are a ton of books I really want to read this Summer!  I may not get to all of them, or even any of them, but I'll give it a shot.

Have you read any of these books?  What books are on your Summer reading list?  Leave your link in the comments so I can check out your list!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (48)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I only got one book this week which is a good thing because the last thing I really need is more books to read!  I can't stop accumulating them yet once the baby gets here, I am not sure how much time I will have to read them!

Purchased (ebook):

I don't know much about this book but the cover really intrigued me and it was only 1.99!  

What books did you get this week?

Friday, June 14, 2013

If You Want to Read About...France

I think French  history is fascinating, mainly because it is so complex.  There are a ton of works of historical fiction set in France and below are some of my favorites.  I know there are more that I could add to the list but some of them I read long enough ago that I can't remember the titles! (Terrible I know!)
The Second Empress by Michelle Moran- I LOVE Michelle Moran's books, they are absolutely excellent.  The Second Empress features Napoleon's second wife and allows the reader to watch the fall of Napoleon through her eyes.

City of Lights by Melika Lux-This is a pretty short little book but it is set in late 19th century Paris and has some wonderful descriptions of the city.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay-Sarah's Key is a pretty heartbreaking story but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is one of the few books I have read that is set in France during World War II and focuses on historical events that I was actually not aware of before reading it.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly-I loved that this book bounced between present day France and revolutionary era France.  It's such a great story!

Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland-Mistress of the Sun showcases one of Louis XIV's mistresses and kind of made me love Louise de la Valliere.  She was such a fascinating character!

Marie Antoinette:  The Journey by Antonia Fraser -This is a work of non-fiction but it is such a great book about Marie Antoinette's life.  It really reads like a novel.

The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner-This is the first Gortner book I ever read and it made me a major fan of his work.  Catherine de Medici is a really interesting historical figure and I always feel bad that she has been vilified so much in history.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo- I don't know what to say about this book other than it is a classic and everyone should read it!

What do you all think of this list?  Have you read any of these books?  Are there any you think I may have missed?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Google Reader is Dying : (

As I am sure you all know, Google Reader is going away as of July 1.  This is so hard for me because I LOVE Google Reader.  After a lot of thought, I decided to use Bloglovin to continue to be able to read my favorite blogs.  You can follow this blog via Bloglovin by clicking the button on the right side of my home page!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (47)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

For Review (from Historical Fiction Virtual Tours):
(I already finished this and it was so good!)

The Prodigal Son by Anna Belfrage

Purchased (ebook):
(I'm reading this right now and am loving it!)

What books did you get this week?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Quick Review: "One Breath Away" by Heather Gudenkauf

From Goodreads:  In her most emotionally charged novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores the unspoken events that shape a community, the ties between parents and their children and how the fragile normalcy of our everyday life is so easily shattered.In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.

Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town's children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.

As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.

My Thoughts:  I really like Heather Gudenkauf's books; they always seem to deal with a tough subject and are incredibly thought-provoking.  One Breath Away is no different.  The main issue is that a gunman is holding a school hostage but there are also a lot of other issues going on within the lives of the individual characters.  What I loved about this book is that the characters are so real; they all were dealing with some serious issues but not of it seemed phony or unrealistic.  This made them really easy to relate to and feel sympathy for and, unlike most books, I actually really liked all of the characters.

Not only are there really great characters in this book but the story is incredibly compelling.  Like I said, there is a lot going on but this made me want to keep reading.  The big question was who was the actual gunman and I must say I was pretty surprised to find out who it was.  I honestly did not have any idea who it was until that information was revealed but it made perfect sense once I thought about it.  There were just so many other possible suspects to choose from so it made for a really good twist at the end.

I have been wanting to read this book for a while and I am glad I did.  I can't wait to see what Gudenkauf comes up with next.  4 stars.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Quick Review: "The Unfailing Light" by Robin Bridges

From Goodreads:  Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She's about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia's arch nemesis--who she thought she'd destroyed--is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She'll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina's horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.

My Thoughts: I loved A Gathering Storm so when The Unfailing Light came out, I knew I had to read it.  I really like the idea of a paranormal story set in Imperial Russia and I loved seeing Katerina again but I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did the first.  Katerina faces all kinds of new paranormal challenges in this book and her relationship with Grand Duke George blossoms a little bit.  The story kept me interesting but I think I was expecting Katerina to learn more about her powers and more about what was going on with the paranormal side of Russia.  There wasn't a ton of new information related, just the addition of more characters.  A lot of things happened toward the end of the book that made me super excited for the third book so I am hopeful that it will amazing! 3 stars.
This book is part of my personal collection.

Monday, June 3, 2013

May Wrap Up

 Whew!  May is over!  It was such a busy month for me except when it came to reading.  I didn't read very many books in May but I am still doing really well on my reading goal for the year.  In May, I only read 6 weeks.  I struggled with some of the books I read in the middle of the month and there's one I started that I still haven't finished yet.  However, I have read 51 books this year and my goal is 75 so I should be able to hit that with little problem (I say that now but who knows what will happen when the baby gets here!).

I have no idea how much I will get read in June considering that my due date is three weeks away!  Hopefully I can get a couple books in before she arrives.

Here is what I read in May:

1.) Birthing a Better Way by Kalena Cook
2.) Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith
3.) Of Fathers and Sons by Evan Ostryzniuk
4.) Gracianna by Trini Amador
5.) The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges
6.) One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

What did you read in May?  How are you doing with your reading goals?  Happy June everyone!

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