January Reading Highlights

Well guys, the first month of 2017 is already over! It’s hard to believe.
This year I wanted to change up my monthly wrap-ups, with a new name and different content. Hopefully, you’ll find them more engaging.

My January Reading Stats

I read 3 books and listened to 4 audiobooks
That was an average of 495 pages per book and 48 pages per day

Windwitch (ARC) by Susan Dennard ★★★★★
Wow what an incredible sequel! Click the link for my full spoiler-free review.

The Raven King (Audio) by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★★★
I’m so sad to be leaving behind my Raven Boys! HIGHLY recommend this series.

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts (Audio) by Lucy Dillon ★★★★
A really great rainy day read. Funny, heart-warming, and perfect for dog lovers.

Empire of Storms (Own) by Sarah J Maas ★★★★★
What can I say? Manon ❤

Gemina (Audio) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ★★★★★
I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as the first book, maybe even a little bit more!

Girl Against The Universe (Own) by Paula Stokes ★★★★★
I picked this up on a whim when I felt in a bit of a rut and, WOW!
I adored every page of this and stayed up late, unable to put it down.

Stars Above (Audio) by Marissa Meyer ★★★

I didnt manage to read 4 books this month, but I did almost reach my daily page goal of 50 pages. I’m also glad that one of the books was a sequel and one finished off a series!! Only 9 more to go to meet my goal of 10 finished series this year.

I also DNF’d two books, but I don’t consider those read. They were:
Dragon Captives by Lisa McMann
Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley 

Off The Page

In less book related news, January was an okay month for me. I attended my first Hanukah dinner and discovered I love latkes. My son started to use a lot of new words such as cracker and hat. For a guy who was content with uh-oh and cup for a long time, new words are cropping up almost daily. He also had his second haircut – from me! That’s right I bought some clippers and dared to cut his hair myself, we both survived, and it doesn’t even look that bad. I enjoyed a baby-free day and went to a book consignment store, where I traded in my unhauled books for some credit and 9 new beauties to adorn my shelves. Reorganized my office which led to a house-wide purging of unnecessary and unwanted things – and it has felt so cathartic! It has felt like a month of new things and clean slates. I wish that was all it had been but sadly there was some bad health news in my immediate family and it was taken its toll on me. So, if you notice that I’m a little less active in the community please understand that my attention is focused where it needs to be at the moment.

Books Discovered

Books Hauled:

Clariel by Garth Nix
There’s a dragon on the cover!
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerrscreenshot_20170202-200718
I hear so many good things about it and I want to read more historical fiction
Harry Potter #4 and #5
I finally completed my collection!

Added to Goodreads:

Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey
After Gemina, I really want to read more space operas.
Ahsoka by E K Johnston
I read a Starwars novel last year so I want to try another and I hear good things about the author.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
It was just something about the summary that really caught me.

Coming Next & Up For Review

In February I have three ARCs for review:
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston releasing February 14th 
Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan releasing March 7th
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco releasing March 7th

img_20170201_123029_621

Monthly Recommendations – Science Fiction

monthrec

Monthly Recommendations is a group on Goodreads created by Kayla and Trina.
Every month there is a new theme for the recommendations.
This months theme is…

Science fiction

Here are my top five science fiction recommendations and a quick blurb about each!

  1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – If you haven’t been convinced by the masses to try this one then Im not sure there is much I can say to change your mind. The story is worth the hype and the innovative way that they tell it is worth experiencing.
  2. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card – I read this one when I heard they would make it into a movie. I had never read anything set in space and there were other aspects that set it outside my comfort zone. I’m really glad I took the chance though because I think it was amazing. When I was reading I was able to picture everything with ease; often in science fiction the jargon takes away from my ability to visualize. 10535458If you enjoyed books like Illuminae and Divergent I would recommend Enders Game.
  3. Origin by Jessica Khoury – Here’s a standalone for you and this one also has  a little romance too! A fast paced plot, secret labratory, vivid setting and eternal life?! What more could you want in a science fiction?
  4. Arclight by Josin L McQuien – This is perhaps one of the most unusual dystopian novels I’ve ever read. The cover is what caught my eye but the intrigue is what kept me reading. It is a unique story of light vs dark and has some creepy, ominous feels as well (I’m a big wuss when it comes to creepy so this was just enough for me) I loved the strong-willed MC and would recommend to anyone looking for a dystopian that isn’t run-of-the-mill.
  5. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu – IMO I saved the best for last. Chosen One? Check. Girl realizes all she has ever known was a lie? Check. Rebellion? Check. Love Triangle? Check. I loved this dystopian because it had all the typical tropes and then broke them. Glitch is the first book in a 3 book series centered around Zoe, a girl living in a computer chipped, zombie like society, who discovers she isn’t like all the rest. Frightened and panicked she tries to hide her abilities, for fear of being deactivated, only to discover she may not be the only one who’s unique. If you enjoy rebellion and x-men then this is the one for you!!

 

Thats All Folks!

But now I would really love to hea YOUR recommendations because I need some more science fiction on my TBR to balance out all the fantasy. Happy Reading!

Monthly Recommendations – Standalones

monthrec

Monthly Recommendations is a group on Goodreads created by Kayla and Trina.
Every month there is a new theme for the recommendations.
This months theme is…

Standalones

These are all fantastic stand-alones and there is something from every genre!

15778636

 

If you are in the mood for a paranormal stand-alone, you should read Girl Under Glass by Monica Enderle Pierce. I am putting this one right at the top because it was amazing and because I never hear this book talked about! Seriously it is SO good you guys, check out the Goodreads summary, you won’t regret it.

23719270

For a standalone western I can’t recommend Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman enough! I love the slow romance, the MCs determination and the setting. The author really drew me in until I could feel the heat, taste the dusty dry air and hear the buzzards.

13455112.jpg

If a science fiction standalone is more your taste then might I talk you into Origin by Jessica Khoury

18782855

 

If you are looking for a retelling standalone I suggest Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay. You can read my full review here.

18782855

 

Next I have a couple contemporary stand-alones, I don’t read a lot of contemporary but I loved these two. Up Country by Alden Carter and The Last Summer by Ann Brashares

21936937

For a historical fiction stand-alone Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman is a book I recommend. I have talked about it a lot and with good reason. You can read my full review here.

13578175 10626594

And last but certainly not least I have a collection of fantasy stand-alone recommendations. These are all outstanding and you NEED to add them to your TBR. East by Edith Patton , The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater 

 

And that is it for my list of best stand-alone novels, now I want to hear your recommendations! 

Bookish Horoscopes: Book Recommendations based on your starsign

Aquarius 
January 20-February 18
You’re feeling ambitious, don’t do anything differently, your hard work is about to pay off. Don’t listen to what others have to say, discipline and dedication will help you bring about new possibilities. May I suggest, Eon by Alison Goodman?  It is a story about the strength and will of one person changing the world.

Pisces 
February 19 – March 20
Past experiences have been holding you back. Let the remembering of those experiences guide you, make amends, take chances and you will form a strong bond with someone new. Might I suggest, This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen? Sometimes what we need most is what we fear most.

Aries
March 21 – April 19
You are feeling adventurous and independent. It is a good time to take on any challenges you’ve been facing. Might I suggest, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater? Puck is taking on the greatest challenge of her life and may serve as inspiration.

Taurus
April 20 – May 20
Things are about to be  turned on their head, so this month could be a stressful time. Use your confidence, skills and logic and you will come out on top. May I suggest, Fall of a Kingdom by Hilari Bell? Tales of three people whose lives fall apart but together they put a whole kingdom back together.

Gemini
May 21 – June 20
Now is a good time to prioritize, get things in order and you are bound for success.
Might I suggest, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo? When faced with the impossible, break it down into steps and make plans, even back up plans. This can make it achievable.

Cancer
June 21 – July 22
Remember to help a friend in need, you never know when you might need them to return the favor. Might I suggest, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard? It is a story about the strength and importance of friendship.

Leo
July 23 – August 22
You have been feeling a lot of feels lately. You will be tempted to throw out the rule book, and with a little caution in mind this drive could be to your advantage.
Might I suggest, Eat Prey Love by Elizabeth Gilbert? Sometimes a big change is exactly what you need.

Virgo
August 23 – September 22
You feel inspired and you want to be heard! Find others with similar thoughts and concerns who will hear you out. May I suggest, Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen? Surrounding yourself with the right people can help you bring ideas to fruition.

Libra
September 23 – October 22
This month is going to be hectic, a lot of ideas are forming and it’s a good time for problem solving and social interactions. May I suggest, One for the Money by Janet Evanovich? Everyone needs a good laugh when things get crazy.

Scorpio
October 23 – November 21
Whatever you feel lately, positive or negative, will only be enhanced. Love yourself for your unique qualities and forget comparison. May I suggest, The Young Elites by Marie Lu? A good example of what can happen when your emotions rule you.

Sagitarius
November 22 – December 21
Change is in your future; embrace it and don’t look back! New insights are near, what was once a mystery may soon become clear. May I suggest, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. There is a lot of mystery and revealing of secrets in this story.

Capricorn
December 22 – January 19
Right now is a good time to conserve; energy, time, money, you name it. It may be an uncertain time, look to friends for help. May I suggest, Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce? Daine is also learning to trust her new friends in an uncertain time.

Monthly Recommendations – Fantasy

monthrec

Monthly Recommendations is a group on Goodreads created by Kayla and Trina.
Every month there is a new theme for the recommendations.
This months theme is…

Fantasy

I have decided to recommend some older Fantasy to all of you, so click on the titles if you want more information, and it will take you over to Goodreads. I highly recommend all these titles for your TBRs.

This is for the dragon lovers. Okay it has been quite some time since I read this one, I’m due for a re-read but I LOVE books about dragons and I remember really enjoying this one.

Through Wolfs Eyes by Jane Lindskold66317
This is for fans of Game of Thrones and long series. I have only read the first two in this series, but there are six I believe. This story is about a girl who is found, after being raised by wolves and is actually a long-lost princess. This is a very different kind of fairytale.
This is for readers who love elemental magic. If you end up liking this one she has a LOT of other books. I read this as a stand alone and thoroughly enjoyed it.

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Leguin
This one is for lovers of Lord of The Rings. There are four books in this series and they are SO good. They are on my re-read list this year.
For the horse lovers! This is a story from the point of view of Jan, the prince of unicorns. How he becomes a great leader and defends his herd from gryphons and wyverns. Middlegrade.

Beguilement – The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold
For fans of unusual magic and Tamora Pierce. This is a story about Fawn, necromancers, evil that sucks life from the world and an unlikely romance. A terrible description that doesn’t do it justice, so take my word and just give it a try.

Fall of a Kingdom by Hilari Bell
A fantastic trilogy told from three points of view; Jiaan, Kavi and Soraya. If you like a story where each characters journey comes together in the end, then read this one.

A Necklace of Fallen Stars by Beth Hilgartener fall

This recommendation is for those of you looking for a stand alone. This was a lovely tale of a princess, a minstrel and the tales the tell as the try to escape a sorcerer and an arranged marriage.

This is more for a paranormal readers. An epic tale about a girl named Aeriel, a vampyre, his mother who is an evil witch, and an age-old riddle that must be solved to save the world.

Everworld by Katherine Applegate
A middle grade series for lovers of mythology. This is a twelve part series that blends multiple mythologies. Four characters fall into this world, so it is a MVP story, and go through hell, and back to find their way home. I LOVED these books when I was in my early teens.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N K Jemisin
At times this book was so strange and a little confusing, and yet I still recommend it. I cannot describe how much it grew on me and how much I loved it by the end. I truly fresh and unique story that I have never read the likes of since. I recently read the second book and it had the exact same effect on me.

That is it for my recommendations, I hope you enjoyed them and found something to add to your TBR. I don’t see any of these titles nearly enough, I think that is because we all focus on the newly released fantasy books but these older ones deserve attention too!

Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Do you have any older fantasy recommendations?