Completed my RandomHouse 2014 Reading Bingo Card!

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I finally went through my reading Bingo Card from RandomHouse that I wrote about way back when in January. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to check everything off of the bingo card, even though I have read 44 books so far this year. As I started filling out the books I’ve read on the back, I was very surprised to see the whole card was completed! Yay! So what were the books?

  • A book with more than 500 pages: I know this much is true
  • A Forgotten Classic: Moby Dick
  • A book that became a movie: The Rosie Project
  • A book published this year: The Chalet
  • A book with a number in the title: The Third Kingdom
  • A book written by someone under thirty: Red Rising
  • A book with non-human characters: Board Stiff
  • A funny book: The complete fairy tales of the brother’s grimm
  • A book by a female author: Pagan Stone
  • A book with a mystery: Into the Wild
  • A book with a one word title: Abandon
  • A book of short stories: In the company of thieves
  • FREE SPACE
  • A book set on a different continent: Pride & Prejudice
  • A book of non fiction: Steve Jobs
  • The first book by a favourite author: The midwife of hope river
  • A book you heard about online: The midwife of venice
  • A best selling book: The secret life of Walter Mitty
  • A book based on a true story: I am Malala
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read pile: Crystal Singer
  • A book your friend loves: Chasers of the light: Poems from the typewriter series
  • A book that scares you: A clockwork Orange
  • A book that is more than 10 years old: The White Dragon
  • The second book in a series: Fire and Ice
  • A book with a blue cover: The MacKinnon’s Bride

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I’m looking forward to seeing what next year’s list looks like. Honestly even though I read so many books, I feel like this was a poor year for my book habits. I’m hoping to do better next year, maybe add more classics to the list, and discover more new authors. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

First Reads at GoodReads

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One of the best features that GoodReads has is the ability for authors and publishers to give away copies of their new books. Some are signed, some are limited editions, and all of them have been released within a 6 month period from the ending date. It’s not only a fantastic way for readers to score some advance copies from their favorite authors and discover new authors, but it’s a great way for writers to interact with fans, and to get their name out.

The contests work as free publicity, thousands of people see your book there and enter the contest. Maybe a handful like it enough that they buy the book even with the contest going on. Either way, it’s win win for everyone involved.

Every so often you can also catch a great giveaway over on The BiblioSanctum which is one of my favorite book review sites. Have your own recommendation? Why not mention it in comments below!

 

Reading Bingo Progress

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I’ve been making pretty good progress with my bingo card so far this year. I should have a few more to add before too long, but I wanted to share the progress I’ve made to date. If you’re participating let me know in comments!

In the top row I’ve completed “a book that became a movie” by reading The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I realize it was a short story more than an actual novel, but I think for this purpose it still counts. In the next line the square reads “a book by a female author” and that was In The Company of Thieves by Kage Baker. Of course like all good bingo cards, the center square is a free square, so I marked it off as completed. Finally I managed to fill in the square for “the second book in a series” by reading The Godborn, which is the second book in The Sundering series.

I know you normally win bingo by getting a row, but I would really like to complete the entire card. I think the most difficult square for me to fill will be “a book that scares you”. I’m just not a fan of reading things that scare me. The easiest square will probably be “a book published this year” – there are lots of great books releasing this year that I can’t wait to get to. I’ll post another update next month – in the meantime, keep reading!

The Human Library

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This was an event I had never heard of before, but as soon as I did, I was intrigued. It’s called the living library, or the human library. It’s about interacting with real people, and having real conversations with them about their fields.

The concept

  • An individual accepts to take part in the event as a Book.
  • Book reservations for specific time slots will be available the day of the event at each site.
  • Books get “checked out” for 20 minutes by a Reader, during which they have a one-on-one conversation.
  • Readers can register for only one book at a time. First come, first served.

Background

Launched in Denmark in 2000, the Human Library was a way to focus on anti-violence, encourage dialogue and build relations. It has grown in popularity with 27 countries taking part in 2008, including Brazil, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Malaysia and South Africa.

The Ottawa Library held theirs on January 25th, and they had a lot of really interesting people available to ‘borrow’ including a Bylaw Officer at Carlingwood, a former gang member, a transgender, and a foster parent. The unique perspective that each person gave is something that just completely blew me away. I hope to see more of these events in the future, and if you have one such event taking place around your area, I highly suggest you check it out.

New Books for Friday

Amazon has had some pretty great books for sale lately, so of course I couldn’t help but pick a few of them up and adding them to my to-read pile. They don’t follow my typical genres of choice which I’m really pleased about. Whether or not I will enjoy them is another matter – but I love reading, so how could I not enjoy these books?

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First up was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Saffer and Annie Barrows. I’ve seen a lot of good (and bad) said about this book, but it was actually recommended to me as a book club readers choice, and since I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, I decided to give it a whirl. At $1.99 it was a pretty simple choice.

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Next I picked up A Clash of Honor by Morgan Rice, which was free from a daily deal. I haven’t read the other books in the series yet and I may pick those up first before moving on to this one as it is 4th in the series, but we’ll see. Maybe those too will be part of a daily deal. I can hope!

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion has been getting a lot of press lately, and it was another $1.99 deal from amazon which is a fantastic price. I really like the idea of the book, plus it’s not one of my usual genres. This year I’m really trying to branch out and discover books that I may not have otherwise read, and I think I’m off to a really good start so far.

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Finally I bought When I found you by Catherine Ryan Hyde, and it was my final $1.99 purchase for the evening. I’m not exactly sure what inspired me to pick this book up other than it sounded really interesting and had gotten a few reviews that I found intriguing. None of my friends have marked it on their read lists, so I’m not really sure what to expect. That being said, once again the price was tempting in all of these instances, and I can’t wait to get started. I haven’t decided which one I want to read first yet!

Have you picked up any good books this week? Let me know in comments!

 

 

Currently Reading

I have more books on my plate at one time than I usually do, and it’s for a few reasons. Number one as I already mentioned earlier this week, I’m trying out audiobooks, and I’ve started with Moby Dick by Herman Melville, so that’s on my ‘currently reading’ list even though technically I’m listening to it.

I also have a few ARCs on my list (advanced review copy) and even though some of the books have already released, I’m still looking forward to reading them and posting a review. Those books include:

17707108  In the Company of Thieves, by Kage Baker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17239242 Board Stiff, by Piers Anthony (I’m almost done this one, so expect a review up soon).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1885 Then for my own reading pleasure and quiet time I’m reading Pride and Prejudice, which I never read in school for some reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After those are cleared from my plate I’ll be moving on to The Sundering book 2, 3, and 4 – all of which are ARCs. Even though the books are part of the same series, they’re written by different authors, and each author incorporates their main character into the story. The first book was The Companions by R.A. Salvatore, which I reviewed here on Nomadic Reader last year.

There are (at the moment) 77 books in my to-read pile and I would love to lower that to a more reasonable number throughout the year. Of course it’s a very GOOD problem to have and I’m not exactly complaining, I just need a lot more hours in the day to dedicate towards reading!

Are You Waiting for a Book Release?

I was reading a really neat post over at one of my favorite book review sites, Bibliosanctum, when it dawned on me. I’m actually NOT waiting for any books to release this year. I don’t even know how that happened, normally there is a book or two coming out that I just can’t wait to get my hands on but this year feels a little empty. Have  I fallen out of love with my favorite authors? I don’t think so. Looking over some of the books that are scheduled the only one that even draws my attention is Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence which isn’t due out until June. Likewise, there’s The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastard #4) by one of my favorite authors, Scott Lynch, but we won’t see that one until around November.

There are a few books releasing some time in the future by more of my favorites that I certainly want to read, but most of them have no publication date yet. One of the books I’m most looking forward to would have to be Doors of Stone, by Patrick Rothfuss.

Of course part of this issue I’m experiencing may have to do with the fact that I’ve been reading a lot of classics, and lets face it there’s not a lot of anticipation in releases when the authors have been dead for a number of years. Is there a book or two releasing in 2014 that you’re waiting on with high anticipation? Leave a comment and let me know!

Lets Play Reading Bingo

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Randomhouse.ca is hosting their yearly Reading Bingo challenge and while I found out about it too late last year to participate, I decided that 2014 I would be sure to get involved. They have also added a Young Adult bingo card to the game this year, perfect for teenagers. Of course it’s all just for fun, but it’s a great way to branch out into books that you might not normally give a chance.

Of course reading any book at all is fantastic, but I tend to get a bit bored reading the same genre each month. Some times I’m not exactly feeling creative and this bingo card gives you some great motivation to go out and find something new.

Each time I complete one of the squares on the card I’ll be sure to post about it here. Right now I have started with the bottom left corner – a book your friend loves. That happens to be Moby Dick which I have never read  before but have heard many good things about it from one of my friends. Will I enjoy it as much as him? We’ll just have to see!

Review – children of fire by Drew Karpyshyn

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A brutal story of power, betrayal, and guilt, Children of Fire sets the table for what looks to be a decent series. It starts simple enough, introducing the main characters one by one through their births. It can be confusing for somebody with a fleeting mind (like me) as so many characters are introduced, but through attrition, manipulation, and of course magic – the characters start to come together. Things get a little easier to follow once most of the “heroes” are together and they follow a single storyline.

The characters aren’t perfect, both inside and out, and the adventure definitely takes its toll on both.

The story is a little slow paced to start but really picks up by the end of the book.

If the first book is any indication, the remainder of the series will be full of twists, turns, and of course brutal violence.

3/5 stars

Review – The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

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Hero meets anti-hero in a fast paced tale of action and adventure.

Hadrian is our hero, a somewhat naive… killing machine? Turns out his father taught him to be a fantastic swordsman capable of amazing killing efficiency.

Royce is our anti-hero, a jaded thief who finds the simplest solution to any problem is to kill it dead, twice over.

Together they embark on an adventure – to settle a debt each owes the same man.

Of course, nothing is ever as it seems, and the adventure is nothing more than a ruse to make the two “opposites” learn about each other, in the hopes both turn out somewhere in the middle at the end of it all. There is the hint that they will be needed in the future, and both will need to improve their skills to face the challenges that lie ahead.

Aside from the obvious issue of the “naive hero” being a ruthless killing machine, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

It does a good job of introducing the major characters with enough left to the imagination to keep you wanting more.

I had a hard time putting this book down, its very well paced and well written, and left me wanting more.

5/5 stars