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Friday, June 9, 2017

Rest in Peace, Mü

My dear Mü,

Three and a half years together is not nearly enough. But I can honestly say that you made me smile every single day you were apart of my life, and that is worth everything to me. I can only hope that I enriched your life as much as you enriched mine.

I'll always remember how adventurous you were, how excited you were to try new things, and how you often got yourself into tricky predicaments.

Adventurous Mü

In a predicament
But most of all, I'll remember our evening/weekend cuddles. Curled up with a book and a ferret was my happy place. I am convinced you were the sweetest ferret there ever was.

Cuddles with Mü
Rest in peace, Mü.

RIP, my girls, Stela and Mü

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday: Penguin Summer 2017 Catalog

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which upcoming, eagerly anticipated releases are highlighted on the blog.

This week, I've chosen to feature a few picks from the Penguin Summer 2017 Catalog:

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
Date: July 18, 2017
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No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough.
The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.
Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Indian folklore + a master library + beautiful cover = consider me intrigued! The Library of Fates seems to have a great mix of familiar storytelling elements that I know and love and completely new-to-me elements, as well.

Warcross by Marie Lu
Date: September 12, 2017
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For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.
Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

The synopsis of Warcross is SO similar to Ready Player One (a book I loved). But I do hope it'll have enough added originality to stand on its own right because it could be really great!

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Date: September 19, 2017
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Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

Kind of a cryptic synopsis here, but I am curious nonetheless. Admittedly, I have not read Graceling yet (please don't hate me), but I am fully aware of how much people love Kristin Cashore's books - so perhaps Jane, Unlimited will become my first of hers.

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these Penguin Summer 2017 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the Penguin Summer 2017 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?

Monday, May 1, 2017

Top Ten Weird A.F. Book Covers

Cover Theme Freebie this week for Top Ten Tuesday, so I'm going for Top Ten Weird A.F. Book Covers. Enjoy.

1. Strange Relations

Ummmm, those are some mighty strange relations there indeed.

2. Catflexing: A Catlover's Guide to Weight Training, Aerobics & Stretching

You know, my work out routine has been getting a bit stale lately. Anyone have a cat they can loan me?

3. The Second Experiment

I can't say I've read the synopsis for this one, but I CAN say I would give this a read nonetheless, just to figure out WTF is going on here.

4. Dinosaur Erotica

Now, those who know me know I love dinosaurs in a BIG way, always have. But these dinosaur erotica novels? HELL NO. AND WHY.

5. Liberace: Your Personal Fashion Consultant

Because who wouldn't want to pair knee-high argyle socks with short shorts and a fringed, sequinned jacket?

6. Knitting With Dog Hair: Better a sweater from a dog you know and love than from a sheep you'll never meet

You know, now that they mention it, wearing knitwear from an anonymous random sheep IS rather impersonal.

7. The Finnish Harry Potter Covers

Oh Finland, WHY? I do actually like that this artist has their own consistent artistic style for these books, but I just don't get the noses.

8. The Rifleman

I mean... how unfortunate. But the cover designer here is completely clueless.

9. Hail Hibbler


10. But... You're A Horse

*notice human hands on horse*
... I think I'll just leave it at that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday: Random House Summer 2017 Catalog

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill of Breaking The Spine in which upcoming, eagerly anticipated releases are highlighted on the blog.

This week, I've chosen to feature a few picks from the Random House Summer 2017 Catalog:

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly
Date: July 18, 2017
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Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.
Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?
Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

No Good Deed has kind of a silly premise - an Olympic archer ends up back in time in the Middle Ages and assumes the role of Robin Hood - but honestly, I'm into it! I haven't seen any early reviews for it yet though, so I will wait and see how it is received before choosing whether to read it myself.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Date: August 29, 2017
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She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.
Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

OMG YES!! Everyone who's read Leigh Bardugo's books knows she's a tremendously talented writer. I really cannot wait to see her try her hand at some superhero lore in Wonder Woman: Warbringer!

How about you? Are you waiting on any of these Random House Summer 2017 reads? Are there any upcoming books from the Random House Summer 2017 Catalog that I didn't include here that you feel I should add to my list?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Muggle Monday: Fantastic Beasts Audiobook Review

It's time for Muggle Monday, in which I highlight a significant piece of news from the Harry Potter franchise. This is somewhat inspired by the Mundane Monday posts by The Mundie Moms.

But let's be real as to why I made up this feature: I just want the opportunity to post something about Harry Potter.

This week, my thoughts on the updated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them audiobook:

Publisher: Pottermore
Published: March 14, 2017
Pages: 128

A set textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry since publication, Newt Scamander's masterpiece has entertained wizarding families through the generations.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world. Scamander's years of travel and research have created a tome of unparalleled importance. Some of the beasts will be familiar to readers of the Harry Potter books - the Hippogriff, the Basilisk, the Hungarian Horntail ... Others will surprise even the most ardent amateur magizoologist. Dip in to discover the curious habits of magical beasts across five continents …

When it was announced that Newt Scamander actor Eddie Redmayne was going to record the audiobook of the updated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them novella, I knew that was something I needed to experience. I absolutely loved Eddie as Newt in the Fantastic Beasts movie and so he has very much become the voice of Newt for me. It was fun to have him narrate this while in character - every mumbling, beast-passionate bit of him. Extra sound effects are added into this audio (beast noises and the like), which, while unnecessary, are nevertheless fun.

In this updated version of the classic Wizarding World novella, an intro from Newt himself has been
added (providing some curious tidbits about his backstory), as well as a handful of new creature descriptions not included in the original book (primarily the Ilvermorny House Beasts). Sadly, gone are the original scribblings by the Trio throughout the novella (the original book was presented as though it was Harry's actual textbook), which were brilliantly in character and SO fun.

A sample of the Trio's scribblings from the original Fantastic Beasts novella (2001)

If you already own the original book that was released in 2001, then I can't say it's entirely worth it to buy this new edition as it is almost entirely the same (and also, I suspect that this won't be the absolute final edition of this novella... Newt himself reveals that there may be more beasts to be revealed later), but I would still recommend checking it out from the library to read the new bits. And if you do wish to purchase this edition, then at least you'll be supporting Jo's human rights charity Lumos as 15% of the proceeds will go to the foundation.