Wish Fulfillment

A few weeks ago, you may remember that I drafted a small Wish List of underrated young adult fantasy titles that I'd love to own and read sometime. 

Well, I decided to track down and purchase some of those books sooner rather than later. Taking advantage of some tempting sales going on at one of my new favorite online book retailers, I gave in and bought the following books:

  • Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  • Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
  • Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
  • Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
  • Written in Read by Anne Bishop

I can say with great pleasure that it looks like I have a lot of mermaids, dragons, faeries, ghosts, shapeshifters, and all-around general magic in my near future.

Have you had any fantastical book hauls lately? Do tell.

Linked up here and here.

Book Review: Maggie Stiefavter's Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Source: Hardcover purchased by me
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub. Date: 10/21/14
Page Count: 391
ISBN: 0545424968
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Fantasy

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I tell you that Maggie Stiefvater's Blue Lily, Lily Blue, book three in the Raven Cycle, is a major disappointment.


Oops, I think I did it again...

Don't judge me, but I may have downloaded even more graphic novels off of NetGalley. They are just so easily and freely acquired, I couldn't help myself.

  • Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag 
  • C.O.W.L. Volume 1: Principles of Power by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis
  • The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie 
  • Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen) Adapted by Stacy King 
  • Orphan Blade by M. Nicholas Almand and Jake Myler 
  • Shutter Volume 1: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca 

...I said don't judge me.

Linked up here and here.

Follow me on Bloglovin

Hey readers, just a quick post to "claim" my blog on Bloglovin' and invite you to follow me on there if you use that platform to read your blogs!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Pixel will judge you if you don't follow me on Bloglovin'.

Book Review: Gabriel Hardman's Kinski

Kinski by Gabriel Hardman

*I received a free digital ARC of this title via NetGalley and Image Comics in exchange for an honest review.

Digital ARC via NetGalley
Publisher: Image Comics
Pub. Date: 11/18/14
Page Count: 156
ISBN: 9781632151797
Genre: Graphic Novel, “Quirky Crime Thriller”

Publisher Summary:
A salesman’s self-styled mission to save a puppy from its neglectful owners escalates into a righteous crusade in this quirky crime thriller written and drawn by Gabriel Hardman. Collects KINSKI #1-6.

My Review:
Oh, Kinski. You have so much potential. Let's focus on the positives first. The description of the plot sounded like something I'd really be into since I'm a huge animal lover, and I was immediately drawn to the sweet cover art (PUPPY!). The interior artwork, done in black and white, is moderately intricate in style and is characterized by gray shading and thick line definition. I liked the art-- that isn't the problem. It's the plot that has issues (pun intended).

The story is interesting but strange, and not in a good, thought-provoking way.  More like strange in a “this would make more sense if Hardman put a little more effort into making the plot fluid and detailed” kind of way. The quality of the writing leaves much to be desired. The weird, disjointed, overly bare dialogue does the overall story a disservice.

It would make more sense if Joe, the traveling salesman obsessed with saving the puppy, had a valid reason for being so possessive over Kinski, the dog in question. He literally loses his job, gets beaten up, breaks the law on multiple occasions, gets arrested, gets evicted, and completely alienates his friends all for the sake of saving a puppy who already had a family. And the irony of it all is that he causes more harm to the dog's life than if he would have just left the poor thing alone with its family. Don't get me wrong, irony is good-- if it's intentionally done by the author. This just ended up being a plot hole.

The only reason provided by Joe for his crusade is that he's afraid the dog would get loose again. Joe is asked repeatedly by different characters if there is more to why he's so hellbent on ruining his life to rescue the dog, but he gives no pressing reason, making his actions and the plot feel shallow and trivial.

Apparently Gabriel Hardman also penned some Hulk, Heathentown, and Planet of the Apes comics. I'm guessing that superhero stories are more in his wheelhouse.

My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Have you read Kinski? Maybe some of Hardman's other works? What did you think?

That Time Sharon Creech Acknowledged My Existence

I completely forgot to post about this here when it happened, but back in May, Sharon Creech-- THE Sharon Creech, one of my all-time favorite authors-- acknowledged my existence on Twitter. Behold:

Click image to enlarge.

I know this may seem like a silly thing to get excited about to some, but authors are my rockstars, people. I consider it a momentous occasion. Remember that time Oprah's Book Club tweeted at me? I lost it then, too.

What can I say? I'm a nerd.

Have you interacted with your favorite authors via social media? Unlike me, I bet you were able to keep your cool.

New Blog Name, Same Fantastic Literary Content

An exciting bit of news:

I purchased my own domain name for the blog! Welcome to The Literary Hedonist.

My old blog name, RKG (which are my initials), just wasn't cutting it for me now that I am taking book blogging more seriously. I wanted a solid, clever, and striking name that is representative of me and my interests while being just a bit subversive and evocative.

So. What is a literary hedonist, and why do I identify myself as such, you ask?

Well, a hedonist is a person who believes that the pursuit of pleasure is the most important thing in life, aka a pleasure-seeker. A literary hedonist, i.e. me, reads for pleasure. I read whatever I want whenever I want for as long as it pleases me. 

That's what this book blog is all about, after all-- my self-indulgent literary pursuits. So it's perfect, no?

Farewell, RKG. You were a convenient blog name, but I've moved on to greener, more relevant pastures.

Galleys and ARCs and Proofs, Oh My!

NetGalley must be the Book God's gift to us mere book-worshipping mortals.

I just signed up at the beginning of the month, and I've already been accepted to review several graphic novels. Don't get me wrong, I've been rejected for a bunch, too. But, behold the six beauties I get to feast on before the rest of the lowly book-reading world: 

  • Scott McCloud's Sculptor, Pub. Date: 2/3/145
  • Andi Watson's Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, Pub. Date: 2/24/15
  • James Kochalka's The Glorkian Warrior Eats Adventure Pie, Pub. Date: 3/17/15
  • Jay Hosler's Last of the Sandwalkers, Pub. Date: 4/7/15
  • Penelope Bagieu's Exquisite Corpse, Pub. Date: 5/5/15
  • Boaz Lavie's The Divine, Pub Date: 7/14/15

It's kind of ridiculous that I've been (intermittently) book blogging for almost three years, and I've only just jumped on the NetGalley train. What took me so long? I don't even want to imagine all of the ARCs I could have gotten my greedy little hands on.

Are you on NetGalley? What has your experience been like?

Linking up here, here, here, and here.

Book Review: Diana Gabaldon's Outlander

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Source: Physical copy purchased by me from B&N
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Pub. Date: 1991
Genre: Historical Romance

Well. This book turned out to be much darker than I thought it would be.

Going into it, all I knew was that it's a historical romance with a little blip of time travel thrown in at the beginning. I was really into the first half of the book and flew through it in a couple of days. But then some unsettling things happened around mid-way, and it only got worse from there. I ended up being pretty disgusted and disappointed overall.

A bit of a spoiler that I wish I knew about before picking up the 850 page book: there's frequent scenes of sexual assault, domestic violence, and rape. You might come away from this book feeling better about the plot than I do if you are better at handling character trauma than I am. I personally just tend to stay away from brutal and graphic storylines when I read for funsies in my spare time.

I've watched the first few episodes of the TV series adaptation on Starz, and I have to say, they are doing a good job being faithful to the book. The actor who plays Jamie is pretty perfectly cast and makes for some very pleasing eye-candy indeed.

My Rating: 3 Stars

I know there has to be some hardcore Outlander fans lurking about this blog. How do you feel about the book?

Underrated YA Fantasy Wish List

It's no secret that I love me some YA lit. I'm not an old lady (yet), but I'm not necessarily the assumed demographic for that genre. There have been arguments aplenty for grown adults reading YA. I particularly loved HelloGiggles' argument found here and the article in the New York Times here.

Recently, I uncovered a hidden gem called The Shape-Changer's Wife by Sharon Shinn at a used bookshop. Once I cracked it open, I devoured it. You may not have heard of it because it's sortof older (published in 1995), and it was Sharon Shinn's first novel. Her works are sometimes overshadowed by her more commercially successful novels like Summers at Castle Auburn and the Samaria series, and even those are not all that popular.

I bring this up because reading and loving The Shape-Changer's Wife has inspired me to do some digging for more YA fantasy that's under the radar. 

Here's my little Underrated YA Fantasy Wish List:

  • Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Pama
  • Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
  • The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
  • Written in Red by Anne Bishop
  • Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
  • Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach

Have you heard of any of these novels? Do you plan to scout them out? If you've read them, what did you think?

Book Review: Lauren Oliver's Rooms

*I won a physical ARC of this book from Ecco Books and HarperCollins Publishers through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

Image via Goodreads
Rooms is a cross between a ghost story and a mystery, alternating between first and third person point-of-views depending on which character is narrating. It's Oliver's first published Contemporary Adult fiction title. 

This is the first book I've read by Lauren Oliver. I can sum up my feelings about Rooms in 4 words: interesting premise, weak ending.  

I won't give away any specific details to spoil the end for you, but I feel like the storylines are wrapped up in a neat, little bow, which completely undermines where I think Oliver was trying to go with the concept of the book-- that life is messy and confusing and oftentimes grim.

One of my problems with the book is that the characters are simply unlikable. I get that Oliver is  trying to convey that everyone has a dark side and certain circumstances bring out the evil in all of us, but the majority of the characters are all so ugly (sometimes literally, physically ugly) that I had a hard time feeling for any of their plights.

I'm still willing to read another one of Oliver's books, however. I hear her YA novels are quite good, especially Before I Fall.

My Rating: 3 Stars 

Have you read Rooms by Lauren Oliver? What did you think?

Best Kept Bookish Secret

Incoming book alert! Check out all of these unused books I purchased for only $30 (excluding Maggie Stiefvater's Blue Lily, Lily Blue).

From top to bottom:
  • Tamora Pierce's Alanna: The First Adventure
  • Sharon Green's Silver Princess, Golden Knight
  • Leah Cypress' Mistwood
  • Amanda Hocking's Switched, Torn, & Ascend
  • Leigh Bardugo's Shadow & Bone
  • Kiersten White's The Chaos of Stars & Mind Games

Where'd they all come from for such a low price, you ask? Alright, friends. I'm about to let you in on a very juicy bookish secret-- one you will most definitely thank me for. I only just discovered it recently myself, but you better believe I wasted no time in taking advantage of it.

It's called Book Outlet.

They sell discounted books offered at 50-90% off the original list price. Book Outlet's books are marked down so low because they are from a publisher's excess inventory. The books are unused and in excellent condition, unless they come from the Scratch & Dent section-- my personal favorite section. The Scratch & Dent books show some signs of handling or scratches, but they are structurally sound, overall. The best part is they are even cheaper. Like $2-3 for a hardcover cheap.

The only downsides would be cost of shipping and length of time it takes to ship-- but even so, it was cheaper to order those titles through Book Outlet than it was to order them through Amazon with Prime 2-day shipping. Trust me, I checked first before placing the order.

You're welcome.

And just for the record, I was not paid for this post, and I have no affiliation whatsoever with BookOutlet.com other than the fact that I use it and love it.

Have you heard of Book Outlet before? Am I the last one to be in the know? What were your experiences like? If not, do you plan to use the site in the future? I'd love to hear from you.

Linking up here and here.

Book Review: Philippa Rice's Soppy: A Love Story

Soppy: A Love Story by Philippa Rice

Image via Tumblr
*I received a free digital ARC of this title via NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Wow. What a charming, sweet, and understated graphic novel.

Mostly illustration, not a ton of text, the beauty of Soppy is in its subtleties. The illustration is deceptively simple in technique, and only three colors are used: black, white, and red. Even so, Soppy packs a major emotional punch.

Viewing the comic from the standpoint of being in a long-term, loving relationship, I find the content completely endearing. Rice depicts the tender, everyday, and sometimes under-appreciated moments between lovers. 

Image via Tumblr

Some scenes are so relatable that I laughed out loud: “I'll cook if you wash up. If you phone for the pizza I'll answer the door when it arrives.” & “Are you asleep? No. *both fall asleep*
Having never read anything of Rice's before (even though she's kind of a big deal on Tumblr, apparently), I did not have any major expectations going in, and because I didn't have advanced knowledge of her work, I think I was able to enjoy Soppy all the more. It turned out to be such a delicious surprise.

I fully intend on purchasing a physical copy to add to my graphic novels shelf. 

My Rating: 5 Stars

She who dares wins.

For those of you who read my little slice of the interwebs, I just wanted to let you know that I am still alive and well. I've neglected my blog for two reasons: 1) I was in the process of uprooting my life and moving 1,000 miles away. 2) I've started graduate school, and it takes up the majority of my time.

Just living out my dreams and accomplishing lifelong goals, no big deal.

I intend to be back with a more substantial post soon, I promise.

Reading Recap -- May 2014

Hello, June! See you next year, May. You were a banner reading month.

  1. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa → Book Based on a Myth
  2. Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian by Michael Rex
  3. The Egg of Misery by Michael Rex
  4. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong → Book with Magic
  5. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews → Book with a Mystery
  6. Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
  7. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden → Book that became a Movie
  8. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White → Book without a Love Triangle
  9. Evermore by Alyson Noel → First Book in a Series
  10. Futurama Adventures by Eric Rogers

Still haven't made a Bingo yet, though. How's your reading coming along?

Library Booksale Haul

I've gone to a few library booksales this year, and I've learned that they are a treasure trove for ladies lit. (my replacement term for chick lit.-- still not a great substitute, but I really dislike the term "chick lit."). I'm torn between loving and hating the fact that they're overwhelmingly pink.

  • Sarah Dunant's The Birth of Venus
  • Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
  • Fannie Flagg's Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man
  • Ceclia Ahern's P.S. I Love You
  • Sophie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic
  • Janet Evanovich's One for the Money
  • Joyce Carol Oates' Blonde

Not a bad haul for a buck a piece or less. Now if only I could read them as fast as I buy them...

Used Bookstore Spoils

This past weekend, I traded in some books at the used bookstore, and I came home with some lovely (and inexpensive) finds that have been begging to get crossed off my wish list for months now. Behold:

  • L.M. Mongomery's The Story Girl
  • Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
  • Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted
  • Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle
  • Julie Kagawa's The Iron King
  • Alyson Noel's Evermore

And don't they just look oh so pretty stacked together like that?

2014 Reading Progress Report: April

At this point, I've read 22 out of 50 books-- accomplishing 44% of my reading challenge and putting me at 7 books ahead of schedule.

  1. Keri Arthur's Darkness UnboundBook at the Bottom of the TBR Pile
  2. Kiersten White and Jim di Bartolo's In the ShadowsBook Set in the Summer
  3. J.K Rowling's Harry Potter: The Prequel Book with a Lion, a Witch, or a Wardrobe
  4. Gena Showalter's The Darkest NightBook Written by Someone Under 30
  5. Jean Webster's Daddy-Long-LegsA Classic YA Book
  6. Irene Hunt's Up a Road SlowlyBook with a Female Heroine
I am basically a book reading machine, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Book Journal: In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim di Bartolo

Let's talk about how great this book is, shall we?

First, I should say that I won it as an ARC in a First Reads giveaway, but that has no bearing on the rave review I'm about to give it. In fact, when I win books, I generally have low expectations. This time was no different-- I wasn't expecting much. I was unfamiliar with both the author and the illustrator, and the title and cover didn't do much for me. They're a bit generic for the fantasy genre, but once I cracked the book open, I was completely smitten.

The artwork is phenomenal. Really dark and moody and powerful. At first, I was thrown off by the back-and-forth between the two storylines of illustration and text, but after a while, once the dichotomy of the two clicked for me, I really admired and appreciated the decision to keep them separate.

The plot is full of action and suspense, and despite its swift pace, the author also takes time to flesh out the five main characters. For such a short book, I was surprised by how quickly I was able to connect with and root for them, which is a real testament to Kiersten White's writing. Also-- the ending is perfection. I won't say anymore.

This book completely won me over and is a new favorite of mine, which so rarely happens these days. I would recommend it to all YA fantasy and graphic novel lovers. It's such a treat for the eyes and mind. READ IT!

You can also find my review on GoodReads.

2014 Reading Progress Report: March

Over 3 months into 2014, and I've read 17 out of 50 books. I've accomplished  34% of my Reading Challenge, putting me at 5 books ahead of schedule. I've also marked off 7 spots on my Bingo Boards. Yeah!

  1. Veronica Roth's Insurgent Book Heard about Online
  2. Shannon Hale's Austenland →  Book Set on a Different Continent
  3. Steve Nile's Daughters of Fly in my Eye
  4. Paulo Coelho's The AlchemistBook Your Friend Loves
  5. Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches Book with Non-Human Characters
  6. Claudia Gray's Evernight Book Set in High School
  7. Jeaniene Frost's Up from the Grave Book Published this Year
  8. Keri Arthur's Darkness UnboundBook at the Bottom of the TBR Pile  

I have to say-- I'm really proud of my progress. It feels like I'll hit 50 books in no time.


Picked up some new used books this weekend. They've been on my wish list for ages now.

  • Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate
  • Claudia Gray's Evernight
  • Diane Wynne Jones' Cart and Cwidder and Drowned Ammet
  • Patrick Ness' The Knife of Never Letting Go
  • Kelley Armstrong's The Summoning

  • L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle
  • L.M. Montgomery's Mistress Pat
  • L.M. Montgomery's A Tangled Web
  • Ann Rinaldi's A Break with Charity

Yes, I'm running out of shelf space, but that only drives me to be more creative with the way my books are stacked. As Tim Gunn might say, "Designers book lovers, make it work!"

2014 Reading Progress Report: January & February

So far, January and February have been productive reading months for me. 

At this point, I've read 9 books in 2014. According to GoodReads, this means that I've accomplished 18% of my Reading Challenge, currently putting me at 4 books ahead of schedule. I also marked off 5 spots on my Reading Bingo boards (I'm counting the 5 graphic novels I read as 1 book).
  1. Adam Sexton's Shakespeare's Macbeth: The Manga Edition Graphic Novel
  2. Richard Appignanesi's The Tempest
  3. Darren G. Davis' Wrath of the Titans
  4. John Matthews' The Chronicles of Arthur: Sword of Fire and Ice
  5. Chuck Dixon's Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son
  6. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn: The Final EmpireBook with an Incredible Fight Scene
  7. Annette Curtis Klause's The Silver KissBook with a Color in the Title
  8. Marissa Meyer's Cinder →  Book Set in the Future
  9. Nora Roberts' Chasing Fire Book by a Female Author 

Here's to keeping the momentum going! How's your reading going so far this year?

2014: New Year, New Reading Resolutions

If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you will know that I've long since given up on making lists of specific books I want to read, *but* that doesn't mean I'm any less goal-oriented.

After a bit of searching, I've found a few different approaches to Reading Resolutions for the new year that I'd like to explore.

The following resolutions are taken from an article on QuirkBooks.com. Check out this link to get a more in-depth explanation of each bullet point.
  • Catch up on that series you fell behind on
  • Finish the catalog of your favorite author
  • Read the classics you've been putting off
  • Don't judge a book by its cover
  • Finally organize your bookshelves
  • Shop at your local independent bookstore
  • When you start a book, commit to finishing it
  • Conversely, don't feel obligated to finish a book if you don't like it
  • Tackle the best books of 2013
  • Try out a new genre
  • Read that book
  • Just read more

I've also found a really fun and tactile approach: Random House's Reading Bingo Challenge 2014. Filling in one book per space, I actually plan to use both Bingo cards since they are 25 spaces a piece, and I intend to read at least 50 books this year.

2014 is going to be a challenging reading year! What are your reading resolutions?

2013 End of Year Book Survey

Look what I found, and just in time too: The Perpetual Page Turner's 2013 End of Year Book Survey.


Let me preface this by saying the survey is for books I read throughout the year, no matter when they were published, and it is not limited to just books that came out in 2013.

1. Best Book You Read In 2013?
Since it's still so fresh in my mind, I am going with Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, which is book 1 in the Night Huntress series.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
J.D. Salinger's Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction was a huge disappointment for me. It was the last book in his catalog that I hadn't read, so when it turned out to be completely self-indulgent, tedious, and boring, I was a little heartbroken.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013?
Though it was published in 1958, I'd have to choose Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I was so pleasantly surprised with this innocuous-looking Newbery winner.

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
I recommend Orson Scott Card Ender's Shadow to people chasing that feeling from Ender's Game but were disappointed by Speaker for the Dead like I was.

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle series. I read both The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves this year, and I adored both of them!

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
J.R. Ward after I read Dark Lover.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
“Robert Galbraith's” The Cuckoo's Calling. I only read this because it's really written by J.K. Rowling; I never read murder-mysteries. I think the real world is scary enough. If I want to be afraid, I'll read the newspaper. Thankfully, this one was pretty tame.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races. I was really into that book. It reinforced my love of Stiefvater's work, even though I actually really dislike the Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I'm not likely to re-read any book in 2014. My TBR mountain is comprised of 216 books. There's no time to re-read-- life's too short.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Put the Book Back on the Shelf
 Put the Book Back on the Shelf: A Belle and Sebastian Anthology

11. Most memorable character in 2013?
Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
Though I wasn't wowed by it like I thought I would be, Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter actually stuck with me long after I finished it.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read?
C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I wish I read it during childhood when I was “supposed” to.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
“A secret is a strange thing.

There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.

And then there is the third kind of secret, the most hidden kind. A secret no one knows about. Perhaps it was known once, but was taken to the grave. Or maybe it is a useless mystery, arcane and lonely, unfound because no one ever looked for it.

Sometimes, some rare times, a secret stays undiscovered because it is something too big for the mind to hold. It is too strange, too vast, too terrifying to contemplate.

All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or keptfrom, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches — that’s what will be left at the end of it all.”

― Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Shortest: Martin Rowson's The Wasteland at 74 pages
Longest: Koushun Takami's Battle Royale at 617 pages

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Chapter 32 of  Jeaniene Frost's One Foot in the Grave. Enough said. 
(If you are super curious, check out the reviews on GoodReads. There are many-a reader who was left reeling from Chapter 32. It's become such a “thing” that Frost has merchandise on her website referencing it specifically.)

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Miri's many friendships in Shannon Hale's Princess Academy.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:
Sharon Creech's Love that Dog. Creech is one of my all-time favorite authors, though her earlier work can be hit-or-miss.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Steve Martin's Shopgirl. A friend of mine was obsessed with the book and movie when it first came out, and I finally gave it a try this year.

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
Paranormal Romance. No surprise there.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Dash from Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn. Dash is everything I wanted my high school love interests to be.

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
Hmm. I didn't I read any works by authors who debuted in 2013, and I only read three books that were published in 2013. If I had to pick the best one, it would be Cynthia Hand's Boundless, which is the final book in the Unearthly trilogy.

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Phillip Pullman's The Golden Compass from the His Dark Material's series. Very vivid universe. Every now and then I think I see some Dust in the air...

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
Raina Telgemeier's Drama. Graphic novels are (almost) always a fun time.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
None. Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette was an emotional read for me, though it was mostly positive emotions.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked When It Came Out?
Richard Salas' Peculia or Sara Varon's Sweaterweather. Both are delightful graphic novels that I haven't heard much about.


I am linking my survey up at the Perpetual Page Turner's blog. Let me know if you do the same-- I'd love to read your survey!

2013 by the Numbers

Happy New Year, everyone! I've had a really great reading year. I read 57 books in 2013, totaling 17,021 pages. That's quite an accomplishment if I do say so myself. Also, it's a bump up from the 49 books I read in 2012.

GoodReads was paramount in my tracking my yearly progress. They even have a nifty little diagram to display your star ratings.

Only two books won the coveted 5 star rating this year: Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond and Jeaniene Frost's One Foot in the Grave.  Alternatively, two books won the dreaded 1 star rating: Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and some random graphic novel not even worth mentioning again here.

And simply because it does me proud to see them all listed one after the other, here is the definitive list of my 2013 reads in all its glory:
  1. Steve Martin's Shopgirl
  2. David Levithan & Rachel Cohn's Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
  3. Cynthia Hand's Boundless
  4. Sharon Creech's Love that Dog
  5. Scott Mills' Big Clay Pot
  6. Sharon Creech's Replay
  7. Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys
  8. Martin Rowson's The Waste Land
  9. Miss Lasko-Gross' A Mess of Everything
  10. George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion
  11. Kristin Cashore's Graceling
  12. John Green's Paper Towns
  13. Raina Telgemeier's Drama
  14. J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy
  15. Aline Kominsky-Crumb's Need More Love
  16. Maggie Stiefvater's The Scorpio Races
  17. Jen Van Meter's Hopeless Savages
  18. Sara Varon's Sweaterweather
  19. Paula McLain's The Paris Wife
  20. Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot
  21. Charles Burns' Black Hole
  22. Emily Dickinson's Selected Poems
  23. J.D. Salinger's Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction
  24. Eric Stephenson's Put the Book Back on the Shelf
  25. Orson Scott Card Ender's Shadow
  26. Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  27. J.R. Ward's Dark Lover
  28. Sharon Creech's Pleasing the Ghost
  29. C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  30. Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  31. Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy
  32. P.C. Cast's Marked
  33. Alan Moore's Watchmen
  34. Scott Westerfeld's Uglies
  35. Maggie Stiefvater's Linger
  36. Koushun Takami's Battle Royale
  37. Laurell K. Hamilton's Guilty Pleasures
  38. Garth Nix's Sabriel
  39. Shannon Hale's Princess Academy
  40. Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty
  41. Janet Taylor Lisle's Afternoon of the Elves
  42. Maggie Stiefvater's The Dream Thieves
  43. Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  44. Robert Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling
  45. P.D. James' Death Comes to Pemberley
  46. Phillip Pullman's The Golden Compass
  47. Lauren Kate's Fallen
  48. Jeaniene Frost's Halfway to the Grave
  49. Richard Salas' Peculia
  50. Jeaniene Frost's One Foot in the Grave
  51. Sylvia Plath's Collected Poems
  52. Jeaniene Frost's At Grave's End
  53. Jeaniene Frost's Destined for an Early Grave
  54. Jeaniene Frost's First Drop of Crimson
  55. Jeaniene Frost's This Side of the Grave
  56. Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  57. Jeaniene Frost's One Grave at a Time
Obviously, I'm pretty pleased with myself. I'm aiming to read 50 books in 2014 (it's going to be a busy year for me for a ton of other reasons. Stay tuned.). Now tell me, how was your reading year?
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