Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2017 and Actually Read

Yesterday, I made a post about 10 books I meant to read in 2017 and didn’t get to. But I think I also deserve a bit of a pat on the back because I did read some books that had been on my list for a long time. So here’s a little self-congratulatory post. Go me.


The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneh Ahdieh

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I had been meaning to read this since I first heard about it in 2015 and last year I finally did. Yay!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Another one that had been on my list for ages and I finally got to it. Hopefully in 2018 I’ll get to the rest of the series.

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufmann

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As with the previous two, this had been on my radar for agesss and I’m so glad I finally read it because it’s amazing!

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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I’m so glad that I continued with this series. I wish I’d read more than just one book in it, but at least I read one. Hopefully this year I will finish it.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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I heard about this quite some time ago and I kept putting it off, even though I wanted to read it… but I was worried I wasn’t going to like it. I’m glad I read it though because I loved it so much.

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

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Just any Rick Riordan book really. I really want to get caught up with his book. Sadly, this is the only one I read last year, but I am current;y reading The Lost Hero and hopefully in 2018, I’ll read a few more of his books.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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I’ve wanted to read this since first reading a V.E. Schwab book  a couple years ago and now I finally have (and loved it).

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

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Continued with this series at long last and I am so glad that I did. Hopefully, this year I will continue progressing with it.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

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Another one I’d had my eye on for a long time and had just never got around to. But I finally did and it was such an experience. I look forward to reading more of Selznick’s books in the future.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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I had my eyes on this one since it was announced and I’m glad that I got to it and read it the same year it was released.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Meant to Read in 2017 but Didn’t Get To

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. And yes, it’s Wednesday, but whatever.


The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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I bought this book early in 2017 and was totally planning to read it. But I just never got to it for some reason. I need to.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo

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Got this about the same time I got The Miniaturist and still haven’t read it. I’ll get to it this year. I hope.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

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I honestly thought I’d have read the whole series by the end of 2017. But I didn’t even get to the second one.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

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I really thought I’d finish this series, but I just keep not picking it up. I don’t know why cause I love the series. 2018’s the one.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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I thought I’d read this right away. I even pre-ordered it. But here we are 4 months after its release and I still haven’t read it.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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A new John Green book? I was sure I would read it as soon as I got my hands on it. But nope. It’s been sitting on my shelf for months now.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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I thought I’d have read this book two years ago. But I still haven’t continued with this series and I need to do it already.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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Any Victoria Schwab book, really. How have I only read 2 of her books last year, when I love her so much? I just need to get on with it.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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Another one that I have been meaning to read for ages and I keep saying I’ll do it and then I never do. Let’s hope this is the year.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

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How have I not read this yet? I love this series so much, it’s one of my favourites. I think it’s just that once I read it, I’ll have no more Kingkiller books to read until the next one comes out.

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan – Spoiler Free Book Review

29847078Rating: 5/5 stars

Genre: YA, fantasy, mythology

First published: 2015

Author: Rick Riordan

Synopsis: My name is Magnus Chase. I’m orphaned and living rough on the streets of Boston. And things are about to get much worse.

My day started out normally enough. I was sleeping under a bridge when some guy kicked me awake and said, ‘They’re after you.’ Next thing I know, I’m reunited with my obnoxious uncle, who casually informs me that my long-lost father is a Norse god.

Nothing normal about that. And it turns out the gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Apparently, if I can’t find the sword my father lost two thousand years ago, there will be doom. Doomsday, to be precise.

A fire giant attacking the city?

Immortal warriors hacking each other to pieces?

Unkillable wolves with glowing eyes?

It’s all coming up.

But first I’m going to die. This is the story of how my life goes downhill from there… 

Book Depository | Goodreads


This is my favourite Rick Riordan book that I’ve read so far. I feel about Magnus Chase the same way a lot of people feel about Percy Jackson. I never loved Percy. I mean, I like him, but I don’t love him.

First of all, I love Norse mythology. So just that alone sold me on it. And somehow, I feel like Rick Riordan does Norse mythology even better than he does Greek mythology. Although that may have something to do with the fact that Norse mythology is just cooler anyway. this book was so much fun though and I learnt new things about Norse mythology. It just made me happy.

I love how we get the Norse world co-existing with the Greek world and all the other pantheons. I’m currently reading The Lost Hero and the more of Riordan’s books I read, the more I notice this interweaving and I love it and I’m really curious to read some of the cross-over stories. Anyway, I digress.

One of my favourite things about this book (aside from the mythology and Magnus) was that there wasn’t a romance between the male and female main characters. They’re just genuinely good friends and I really enjoyed that. Unfortunately, it’s not very often that you get to see male/female friendships that are well explored and focal to the story. And I love those kinds of friendships. I crave them. So this was a balm for my soul.

I don’t know if it’s just because I enjoyed this book more than his other books, but I found it to be even funnier than the Percy Jackson books. Magnus was so funny and his humour just got me. He’s very sardonic and dry and I love that. It speaks to me, we understand each other, we speak the same language. I just really want to be friends with Magnus.

Diversity man! We get some diversity. We get a muslim main character and a deaf supporting character, but those things aren’t really the focus. And I love that. They’re not the dominant characteristic of that character, as it often happens. They’re just realities and they’re acknowledged and incorporated into the character’s lives and personalities, but they’re not defining.

So yeah, I cannot wait to continue with this series. I’m actually really sad because I think there are only 3 books, I need more than 3 books. Percy Jackson got like… 10. Petition for more Magnus Chase!

Down the TBR Hole #19

This meme was created by Lia @ Lost in a Story

Stats:

Previous post

Books: #181-190

Last week’s final number: 339 | Current number: 340 | This week’s final number:  337 | Total books removed so far: 79| Total books kept so far: 111 | Books added since I began: 96 | Books read from my TBR: 25


Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

I’ve been meaning to read this for ages! I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.

Verdict: Stays

The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I read The Great Gatsby and really liked it, so I’m going to give this one a try.

Verdict: Stays

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Meh, wasn’t terribly interested in this book to begin with and the reviews aren’t great.

Verdict: Goes

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Added this book cause dragons, but tbh, it sounds pretty stupid even from the synopsis. And the reviews just confirm that.

Verdict: Goes

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I’m a bit on the fence about this one. A lot of people really love it, but based on the synopsis, I’m not that sold for some reason. Still, I’ll give it a try.

Verdict: Stays

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Chris Riddell

This sounds amazing.

Verdict: Stays

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

I really enjoyed Cruel Beauty. A lot of people find it confusing and strange, and it is but that’s what i enjoyed about it. So I’m really curious if this one will be similar.

Vardict: Stays

Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison

I love retellings, I love Rapunzel and this has such good reviews.

Verdict: Stays

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I’ve been meaning to read this for ages. I need to get on it already.

Verdict: Stays

Beelzebub’s Letters to His Grandson by G. I. Gurdjieff

Eh, I don’t know. I don’t think so. Maybe some day, but not anytime soon.

Verdict: Goes

 

Sequels I’ve Read in 2017

I am very bad about reading sequels. I start series and then I never finish them. I’ve talked about this before, in various posts. But I do read some sequels and I’m trying to be better about it. So this post is a sort of pat on the back to myself. I’m not going to count re-reads, because those don’t really count.


A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

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This is one of the few series that I read the sequels straight away, or in the case of this final one, as soon as it came out. I loved it. I love the series and I loved the conclusion. So good.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

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Another great sequel. I am excited to continue with this series hopefully soon.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Mass

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Another series that I kept up with and pretty much read as soon as it was out because I love this series. Unfortunately, this one was probably my least favourite in the series. I still really liked it, but I had some issues with it. If you want to know more, check out my discussion.

Attack on Titan vol. 2 & 3

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I read the first volume and then quickly read the next two, but they count so I’m including them!

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

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Another series that I’m up to date with. At least I have a few that I’ve either completed or am up to date with.

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

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I adore this series. I cannot wait for the next one. Another one I’m up to date with!

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

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Finally continued with this series. I read the first book in like 2015 and loved it. I’ve been meaning to continue with it ever since, and now I’ve finally read the second one. Hopefully I’ll move on with the series soon.

 

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – Spoiler Free Book Review

27827627Rating: 5/5 stars

Genre: Adult, fantasy

First published: 2015

Author: Naomi Novik

Synopsis: Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

Book depository | Goodreads


The first thing I have to say about this book is that it’s beautiful. The writing, the story, the setting, the characters. They’re all beautiful. It made me cry on a couple of occasions.

It’s not often that you see standalone high fantasy novels. It’s hard to balance a standalone fantasy. You need to have rigorous enough world-building that your reader isn’t completely confused, but you also need a story that wraps up nicely and is satisfying and complete. With a series, it’s easier because you’re telling a story over several books. Which makes this book that much more impressive. It’s not even a very long one. Not even 500 pages, which isn’t short, but it’s not massive. And yet it’s so well balanced.

Naomi Novik manages to create a world that is captivating and intriguing and at the same time, deliver a narrative that is layered, intelligent and just all around beautiful. It’s truly masterful writing. I loved the world, I loved the Russian feeling it had to it and I love the magical forest. There’s just something about magical forests that brings me back to the days I spent chasing orcs through Fangorn and taking refuge in Lórien. The magic system is another element that I enjoyed. I liked how different people worked it in different ways. Some were rigid and scientific about it, others were artsy about it and the different styles complemented each other. Much like the real world.

I loved the relationships in this book. I loved the friendship between Agnieszka and Kasia. I love that it had flaws, and hardships. Ups and downs; it was realistic, but it was unfaltering and undying and beautiful. I need more friendships like that in books. I also really liked the dynamics between the Dragon and Agnieszka. Again, it was frustrating, it was hard, it had ups and downs, but it was realistic and it was strong.

I feel like the story has so many layers to it that I can hardly collect my thoughts on it. From commentary on the nature of war, to the complacency of the human condition, to the hatred that fear promotes. It’s a story about roots and what makes a home and how far people will go to protect their home. But ultimately, I think it’s just a story about humanity explored through magic. I don’t feel like I can do the book justice, so just go read it.

December 2017 Wrap Up

I actually had a pretty good reading month in December, with a total of 10 books read.


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

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Beautifully written as always, a beautiful story, I loved it. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it quite as much as I was expecting. I didn’t like it as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. But I still really enjoyed it and will most certainly be continuing with the series. I ended up giving it 4/5 stars.

Catching Fire & Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I started revisiting this story on audiobook in November and finished the first one and I got through the final two in December. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the audiobook, the narrator really didn’t do it for me. I found her to be quite annoying, so that took away from my enjoyment of the books. Of course, it’s still an awesome story and I still love it, but because of the narration, I ended up only giving it 4/5 stars for the audiobook.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Finally read this, it was about time. I loved her Shades of Magic series and I had heard only amazing things about this book and I want to read all of her books anyway. I was not disappointed. I need the next one asap. It’s so good! So good. I love the characters and the tension and how dark the story is. 5/5 stars.

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

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This series flew under my radar for a while, I don’t know why. I discovered it quite by chance as I was browsing Waterstones and it sounded cool and it seemed pretty well praised, so I bought it. I really liked. I had an issue with one part of the book that I just didn’t particularly enjoy, so I ended up giving it 4/5 stars, but the rest of it was A plus and I actually already bought the second book in the series and will hopefully read it soon.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

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This book was so beautifl. The art in it was beautiful, the stories were beautiful. I loved it. I had so much fun reading it. It reminded me of childhood when I would consume fairytales by the bucket. My favourite story was The Soldier Prince and my least favourite was probably Little Knife. Overall, I did give the book 5/5 stars.

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

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Finally continuing with this series! I don’t know why I waited so long. It’s so much fun,, so fast paced, just all around a good time. I did feel that some things were a bit rushed through in this book, I would have liked a bit more, so I ended up giving it 4/5 stars.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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A pertinent and insightful allegorical story. I found myself nodding along and grinning guiltily as I recognised aspects of my own life in the shepherd’s boy journey. I didn’t quite agree with all the idea presented in the book, but overall, I think it offers a very astute image of what we’re like. I gave it 4/5 stars.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

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This book was an experience. I’m so glad I bought it. I’ve never read anything similar to it. I love the art and the way it was interspersed with the writing. I just loved how this story was told so much. 5/5 stars.

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

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This book was just beautiful, it made me cry on several occasions. Just the relationship… well there isn’t really a relationship. But the main character did use to have a wife prior to the events of the book and the way that their relationship is described is just beautiful. That’s not even the main focus of the book, and I really enjoyed the story and the characters. It was funny, well written, intelligent. But that relationship just really packed a punch for me. 5/5 stars.