Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Book Review: The Court of Owls (Batman Vol. I ) by Scott Snyder

The Court of Owls by Scott Snyder
Batman Volume I (The New 52)
DC Comics
New York, NY; 15 May 2012
176 pages
4 Stars 

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

After a series of brutal murders rocks Gotham City, Batman begins to realize that perhaps these crimes go far deeper than appearances suggest. As the Caped Crusader begins to unravel this deadly mystery, he discovers a conspiracy going back to his youth and beyond to the origins of the city he's sworn to protect. Could the Court of Owls, once thought to be nothing more than an urban legend, be behind the crime and corruption? Or is Bruce Wayne losing his grip on sanity and falling prey to the pressures of his war on crime?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: Maus I: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Maus I: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
Random House, I June 1991
159 Pages
Graphic Memoir
5 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

Maus is the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself.

Moving back and forth from Poland to Rego Park, New York, Maus tells two powerful stories: the first is Spiegelman's father's account of how he and his wife survived Hitler's Europe, a harrowing tale filled with countless brushes with death, improbable escapes, and the terror of confinement and betrayal. The second is the author's tortured relationship with his aging father as they try to lead a normal life of minor arguments and passing visits against a backdrop of history too large to pacify. At all levels, this is the ultimate survivor's tale - and that, too, of the children who somehow survive even the survivors.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Worst Series Enders

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is a weekly meme that covers a variety of topics.  If you want to join, please check out the Goodreads group.

This week's topic is Worst Series Enders, which is difficult for me.  I am pretty bad at finishing book series.  If I'm not enraptured by the first book or two, it takes a long time for me to pick up the next ones.  Additionally, I'm not good at reading a complete series back-to-back, so even if I loved it, I will often takes a few months break between books.

So, because I don't always finish series, and because those I do finish are often fantastic, I didn't have much to choose from.  I was only able to put together a few.  And if the topic didn't clue you in, there will be spoilers, so be warned.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay
Rutledge Hill Press, U.S., 5 November 2013
336 Pages
Christian Fiction
2 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely, her favorite characters in literature. Now, she will learn to write her own story—by giving that story to a complete stranger.

Sam is, to say the least, bookish. An English major of the highest order, her diet has always been Austen, Dickens, and Shakespeare. The problem is, both her prose and conversation tend to be more Elizabeth Bennet than Samantha Moore.

But life for the twenty-three-year-old orphan is about to get stranger than fiction. An anonymous, Dickensian benefactor (calling himself Mr. Knightley) offers to put Sam through Northwestern University’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism. There is only one catch: Sam must write frequent letters to the mysterious donor, detailing her progress.

As Sam’s dark memory mingles with that of eligible novelist Alex Powell, her letters to Mr. Knightley become increasingly confessional. While Alex draws Sam into a world of warmth and literature that feels like it’s straight out of a book, old secrets are drawn to light. And as Sam learns to love and trust Alex and herself, she learns once again how quickly trust can be broken.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Mistborn Trilogy #2
Gollancz, 10 December 2009
800 Pages
5 Stars

Book Depository; Goodreads

The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler – the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years – has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

As Kelsier’s protégé and slayer of the Lord Ruler she is now venerated by a budding new religion, a distinction that makes her intensely uncomfortable. Even more worrying, the mists have begun behaving strangely since the Lord Ruler died, and seem to harbor a strange vaporous entity that haunts her.

Stopping assassins may keep Vin’s Mistborn skills sharp, but it’s the least of her problems. Luthadel, the largest city of the former empire, doesn’t run itself, and Vin and the other members of Kelsier’s crew, who lead the revolution, must learn a whole new set of practical and political skills to help. It certainly won’t get easier with three armies – one of them composed of ferocious giants – now vying to conquer the city, and no sign of the Lord Ruler’s hidden cache of atium, the rarest and most powerful allomantic metal.

As the siege of Luthadel tightens, an ancient legend seems to offer a glimmer of hope. But even if it really exists, no one knows where to find the Well of Ascension or what manner of power it bestows.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Bookish Habits

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is bookish habits.

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey, from gingerreadslainey, and it's a weekly meme where bloggers and vloggers can list their top 5 picks for that week's topic.  If you want to join in on the fun, please check out the Goodreads group.

I don't have too many bookish habits as I am not really a creature of habit.  However, there are a few things that I find myself often doing, so let's get into them, yes?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Made Me Think

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is books that made me think.  If you want to join in on this meme, check out the Goodreads group.

I love this week's list because I get to highlight books that I haven't really talked about yet.  I love books that challenge me, and these ones definitely did.

Let's get into it.

Monday, March 9, 2015

25 Random Facts About Me

I love reading book blogs and watching BookTube, but I also really appreciate getting to know the person I'm subscribed to beyond their bookshelves.  It makes me feel more connected and makes them seem more whole.  

So, with that in mind, I want to do something a little different and a little more personal for today's post.  Though a few details about me have leaked into some of my writings, I have yet to write a non-book related post.  Therefore, I'd like to further introduce myself by giving you twenty-five random facts about me.  

I hope that you enjoy this change of pace.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Review: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
The Mistborn Trilogy #1
Gollancz, 1 October 2009
672 Pages
4.5 Stars
Book Depository; Goodreads

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken, half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.

Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.

But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I'd Save in a Fire

This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top books I would save in a fire.

Unlike most Top 5 lists, this one took very little thought as I know which books in my collection are the most important to me.  Though it would kill me to loose the rest of my library, these few are irreplaceable.

Monday, March 2, 2015

February Haul & Wrap-Up

This month I'm combining my haul and wrap-up posts into one because I neither bought nor read many books.

I succeeded in cutting back on my purchasing, only adding five books to my shelves.  And instead of reading several short, light works, I finished two longer, complicated novels and one very heavy non-fiction work.