Love on the Brain

Hello my wonderful friends. I have romance on the brain and I feel the need to talk about it a little bit today. A good Twitter friend of mine wrote a post about how if she could go back in time and tell her younger self some things about the book world. One of the things she noted on her list was she would tell her younger self that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about reading romance. That stood out to me the most cause it made me think back to my younger self picking up that first romance novel and opening up my world to one of my now favorite genres but how if anyone asked what I was reading, I’d hedge a little. By hedging, I mean I would tell the title of the book but when someone asked me what it was about, I would talk about everything except the romance part of it. I also definitely steered clear from covers that had Fabio sweeping a woman off his feet. (I’m a little biased though there cause I hate faces on book covers). But who doesn’t like looking at a hot, musclely man?? Not something I personally can deny.. (looking at you Idris Elba!)

Everything I’ve ever heard about romance novels was that they’re trashy, only old ladies read romance novels, and it’s all porn. Back then, I didn’t necessarily believe this myself but I would always feel like I could hear other people just thinking these things. Definitely made it hard to read in public in general cause now you’re just wondering what people are thinking about your choice of book. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I stopped caring but one day I think someone asked me what I was reading and I proudly looked them in the eye and said the title and that it was a romance novel and yes, there were sex scenes in it. I can’t remember the reaction of the person and obviously I didn’t care considering it only made me voracious for more romance novels.

I have to state here that I’m seriously a romantic. I see love everywhere. I will play matchmaker if the opportunity presents itself. I stare at my husband with stars and rainbows and glitter in my eyes all day long and yes, I like sex. I’m human. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t understand why romance and sex have to be trashy. It’s a natural human process. Every living thing, mostly mammals, have sex in some form or fashion. It’s in our DNA because of the need to procreate. But what’s wrong with reading about a love affair between two imaginary people? Why is going into detail so bad? It’s not porn. People like to say erotica is porn but it’s not. Porn is porn; different category entirely. And see now that’s got me thinking, why is it okay to watch sex on television but reading about is an outrage?? Automatic stigmatization is just wrong to me. I pretty much compare this to stereotypes made about groups of people. Is it not the same thing?

Obviously, to each their own. If reading about romance, falling in love and having sex makes you uncomfortable, I’m in no way bashing you for that. There’s nothing wrong with that either but to be cruel about other people who enjoy it is just wrong. We shouldn’t have to hide something we enjoy you know? Oh and by the way, the romance genre dominates ebook sales; 61% to be exact. Ebooks definitely make it easier to read whatever you want in secret but seriously, don’t ever be ashamed about what you’re reading especially when it comes to love. (I’m hopeless. I know. 🙂 )

Do you read romance novels? Are you embarrassed to admit it? Do you agree or disagree with anything I said? Let me know in the comments below! (Don’t be shy!)

Can’t Get Out of My Head

You know, I think I sort of understand where reading slumps come from now. Over the weekend, in order to fulfill my January obligation for the #UltimateReadingChallenge I picked up an old favorite I haven’t read in a few years. I did not expect to read it in half a day nor did I expect to cry my eyes out the whole time I was reading it either. Now I’m at the point where I should be moving on to a new book but I can’t get this one out of my head long enough! And then you start comparing what you just read to what you’re currently trying to read and it’s just so hard.

A friend suggested that I read another book by the same author to help tide me over from this high. Such a good idea right?? But when you’ve read every book an author has ever written, how do you even choose?? So now, not only do I have one of her books stuck in my head but I’m so indecisive that I can’t choose a different one. Usually when this happens, I turn to Netflix and end up getting into a show I can binge for a while. But then the same thing occurs again once the show is over! It’s truly a never ending cycle.

Another thing I like to do when I feel a slump coming on is turn to a completely different genre. For example, from contemporary to fantasy. Usually, a good fantasy book is able to perk me right out of it. I actually read and finished a fantasy I had left open for many weeks before I binge read this contemporary and had every intention of leading right into said book but I remembered my challenge and how there is not a lot of January left so I took a detour. Well that detour caused an accident figuratively speaking, lol.

That’s pretty much all I have for today. Clearly, I just can’t be original enough to think more originally like I usually do on Mondays. Hopefully this new book I’ve so far read the prologue of, jump starts my brain out of the previous book fog it’s lost in.

Happy Monday!

The Thing About Audiobooks

I’ve been participating in a book reading challenge on Twitter for the past 20 days. Each day is a different category of books read in 2017 that we share with others participating in this challenge. One of the days was Best Audiobook listened to in 2017 and then the following day was best Narrator. Myself and another Twitter friend ended up getting into a conversation about how we wouldn’t have choices for those days because we didn’t listen to audiobooks in all of 2017. I’m actually a step further because I don’t listen to audiobooks at all. A few of my Twitter friends found that to be a little shocking because  nowadays everyone loves audiobooks. It got me thinking about the reason why I just can’t bring myself to listen to them and I wanted to share those reasons today to see if there are other oddballs like me in the world.

The number one reason I don’t listen to audiobooks is because when I read a book, I imagine how the characters look based on the author’s description as well as how their voices sound. When you listen to an audiobook, at least for me, I no longer hear the voice I imagined. It’s a forced voice that’s now stuck in my head because that was how it was portrayed on the audiobook. Most audiobooks are narrated by one person reading the whole book. This is something else I cannot get behind. Just one, monotone voice with a few inflections of emotion here and there just sounds so boring! Listening to a book is totally different from listening to music or even a movie. Even with a movie you have a bunch of different voices and action and all kinds of good stuff. Music has a bunch of different tones and chords along with the singers. With a book, it’s just not the same.

Another reason I can’t do audiobooks is because I feel like I’ll get bored and just fall asleep. When you have a book in your hand and you’re turning the pages, it’s just something more exciting about that than sitting there twiddling your thumbs while you listen to your book. I realize most people multitask while they’re listening to audiobooks, like driving in the car or doing house chores but a book for me is supposed to have my complete attention and if I multitask while listening to a book, it’s highly probable I’ll tune the book out in favor of the task at hand. I’m usually pretty great at multitasking, in fact I listen to music while I write all my blog posts but if it was a book, again, just not the same vibe or motivation to listen closely.

I think ultimately if I were to take the plunge into the audiobook world, it would be a biography of a celebrity I admire. Mostly because they are usually the ones narrating their own book. For example, the actress Tiffany Haddish has a book called “The Last Black Unicorn” and I’m actually quite interested in listening to the audiobook instead of actually reading the paper book because I’ve seen her in plenty of interviews and feel I could listen to her talk about her life, in the words of her book, and it would actually grab my attention. Is it unusual that I can listen to an author of a book talk in their own words but I can’t listen to another person read an author’s book which is also in the author’s own words? Curious.

So what do you think about audiobooks? Are you an oddball like me and can’t bring yourself to listen to your favorite genre in audio format? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review

There are a lot of things going on in my life at this very moment and if I talk about them out loud it might give me homicidal tendencies so here’s a book review. My book reviewing skills are completely rusty and I don’t have specific directions about how to do it the most informative way but I hope you enjoy these!

Over the weekend, I went on a huge binge reading spree and was able to finish 2 books as well as read a third one. To the left are two of the books that happened this weekend. I started Archangel’s Heart over two weeks ago but life got in the way but I was able to finally finish it. Archangel’s Heart and Archangel’s Viper are book 9 and book 10 of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. Here is the review I wrote on Goodreads for Archangel’s Heart:

Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9)

I just want to start by saying, NOBODY writes love, like this woman. Oh my goodness, this book cemented that for me.

Archangel’s Heart begins with the Cadre being summoned by the Luminata to come and discuss some important matters. The Luminata reside in Lumia which is a small town in Morocco where angels go to seek luminescence. The path of luminescence is different for every angel be it through education, art, etc. It’s decided that of the Seven, Raphael and Aodhan will go and Elena is consort so she has no choice in the matter. You do not ignore an invitation from the Luminata. In the midst of this, there are still questions about Zhou Lijaun’s status as Archangel of China after the events in the last book (You’ll have to read it to find out what those events were).

Once in Lumia, things are definitely not as they seem. The Luminata seem a bit off. They are all wearing hoods covering their faces, they don’t seem to care about basic angel etiquette and Elena and Raphael as well as the Ancient angels Caliene and Alexander feel as if there are always eyes on them even in their private rooms. Then there’s also the fact that everyone looks at Elena and seems to see ghosts of the past. This essentially leads to Elena, Raphael and Aodhan digging a little deeper into the happenings of Lumia. They investigate the town and learn quite a few things which builds up to astounding revelations close to the end of the book.

I can’t really go into more detail without spoiling it but I want to say that Nalini Singh can write no wrong in my eyes. Every time Elena and Raphael said “I love you” to one another, I got the warm fuzzies inside. My emotional meter was all over the place in this one from sadness to anger, to happiness and disgust. I was feeling it all and I loved it. The plot buildup was truly artful. The conversations between characters and scene transitions were flawless. After closing this book I literally turned around and picked up Angels’ Blood (the first book in this series) to relive the beginning of Raphael and Elena all over again. Their character development keeps me glued to this series and then some. Just when I think they can’t get any more beautiful, Nalini takes me to an even higher level!

If you’ve been keeping up with the series this long, then I can assure you, you will not be disappointed when you read this book. Definitely my second favoriteof the 9 books!

Now, you know when you read a series for a while, you always hope it will continually get better right? I figured Archangel’s Viper would be pretty good but I lost hours of sleep last night as well as woke up almost late for work this morning because I couldn’t put the book down until the very end! Here is my review for Viper that I’m actually going to write here first and then paste to Goodreads:

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Before I get into the nitty gritty, I guess I should start by giving you a general synopsis of the story. Archangel’s Viper takes place during the period of time as Archangel’s Heart. While Elena and Raphael are away in Morocco dealing with Luminata, Dimitri is in charge and delegating duties to everyone because it’s a bit of high alert situation when an archangel is away from his territory and someone as ruthless as Zhou Lijuan is AWOL. Everyone needs to be prepared for anything. Holly is tasked with picking up Venom from the airport because he’s been away from the Tower for two years on some secret mission. When she picks him up, they encounter some goons who are following them trying to ambush Holly because there’s a bounty on her head. From that point on, Holly and Venom explore the slums of New York in order to figure out who and why anyone would take a bounty out on her.

The story has come back full circle since Angel’s Blood. Holly was one of the girls who was brutalized and tortured by bloodborn, rogue archangel Uram. Nobody believed she would survive what she had to endure but she changed her name to Sorrow for a while and members of the Tower, most especially Dimitri were able to get her to see a fraction of her old self. She’s not human but she’s also not vampire nor angel. Holly struggles with that a bit because she feels like a burden to the occupants of the tower. Venom is in a similar situation. Most people keep their distance from him because of his eyes. He’s not human or vampire or angel either. They are both of their own breed; similar in some ways but different in others. Venom begins to help Holly to stop treating herself as weak while Holly sees behind Venom’s sunglasses, as well as his facade that he puts up for everyone else’s benefit.

Nalini Singh truly has a way with words that always speaks to me in this amazing world she’s built. Holly has a lot to deal with where her own self emotions are concerned. She also has to contend with a possible mind and body invasion by this other force that’s making her do things she normally doesn’t do or thinking of nefarious things that would normally disgust her but don’t. It’s a bit of a constant struggle of Holly fighting herself throughout the book and Venom doing all that he can to make sure she fights for herself more than hating herself. The book complete and utterly flows in the character development department. I can literally put myself in any one character’s shoes and understand where they’re coming from. We got a lot more information about the nature and rules of 100 year contracts when a mortal is Made and what is expected but also what is unacceptable. That really added another element to the overall world that going forward, will make stories even more interesting.

I can go on and on and on but I literally can’t wait for the next book. Maybe an Illium story?? (Pleeeeease!?)

Can you tell I’m hooked? That is just two books out of 10! I adore this woman’s writing style. The best way to describe it is by saying it’s just so real. There’s a lot of cursing in her stories but honestly it fits. Most of the characters are either normal mortals who deal with some crazy shit due to their jobs on a regular basis or the they’re immortals who have lived so long that they either don’t have much care for mortals or they are just completely nonchalant about the happenings of the world. When you lived hundreds of years or more, I imagine it can get quite dull until a person or event one day smacks you out of your black and white stupor and you start living in color again. The series just continually hits my feels and I’m such an emotional person that I can’t deny this special brand of torture to myself.

As with any and all books, my opinion will probably be different than yours. However, if you decide you would like to venture into the world of paranormal, urban fantasy romance, you can’t go wrong starting with Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. 🙂 I hope you all enjoyed my two for one special. 😉

Edit: I should mention my ratings. Duh. I rated the first one 5 stars and the second one 4 stars.

Wordy or Lyrical? You Decide.

When you read sentences such as:

His queasiness increased as each question added to his overwhelming anxiety.

or

With skin the shade of finest milk chocolate and wings of delicate bronze, her hair a waist-length tumble of brown and gold, and her eyes a hypnotic green…

Are you able to imagine these things clearly in your mind’s eye?

I am currently reading two different books. The first one is Fatal Destiny by Marie Force and the second one is Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh. The first one came out of a contemporary suspense novel and the second one came out of a paranormal romance novel. I ask this question of you, dear readers, because I wonder if wordiness is something you think about while reading. Let’s examine the definitions. (For the record these were taken straight from Google definition search)

 

 

Based off the definitions, which would you say fits the example quotes? Or do they fall under both definitions?

When I think of lyrical, I think of songs or poems. When I think of wordiness, I think of research papers. I understand that writers are sometimes trying to create a vivid picture in your mind about the world or the character’s feelings but do you ever feel like sometimes less is more especially in fiction novels? Wordiness works for me when describing landscapes or any setting. For example, a night sky would be “stray streaks of color bleeding into the darkness highlighting the constellations against the pale white of moonlight” (I made that up I think?) but when it comes to describing basic emotions, sometimes less is more. If someone throws an object at the wall during a conversation, I can tell they’re pissed without the author having to specifically name that emotion. In times like those, I just want to focus on the conversation. Only thing you can tell me is if one starts yelling or it gets so heated, they make out (I’m a diehard romantic).

From a reader’s perspective, I’m often viewed as being nitpicky. The point of the wordy and lyrical language is to pen our minds to interpretation; because you know we can all read the same thing but get a completely different meanings out of the content. Maybe I’m just a simpleton but when I encounter books that are too wordy or even lyrical to an overbearing degree, it just turns me off. It also doesn’t help that I tend to think if I read one authors wordy book, I’ve read them all and choose not to explore any of their other books (you big meanie! I know).

However there are  few exceptions which maybe I’ll cover in a later post. What are your thoughts on words during your reading sessions? Are these topics you cover in your reviews? Let me know in the comments below!

(P.S. If you’re interested in the books I described above, just click their covers to the right of this post for their Goodreads page —>)

By Popular Request/Demand

As you all know, I have an addiction. I freely admit that this addiction will never die and it’s the best kind of addiction one could have. My name is Nel and I’m a bookaholic. That’s right. I live to read. I often stay up way past my bedtime to read. I take my reading responsibility very seriously to the point where I’ve decided not to post on the weekends because I want to focus on catching up on my Goodreads challenge. I’ve committed to reading 100 books this year which is 17 more than I read last year and, because I love torture, I’ve made it so that I can only read books I’ve never read before in an attempt to discover new authors. I’m dedicated!

Anyway, here’s what I really wanted to talk about. Friday, I showed you all my book haul from a library sale I went to last Wednesday. I also posted that picture on Facebook and has led to many people asking to see my bookshelves and wanting to know how many physical books I actually have in my collection.

Now before I show you the pictures, I should probably tell you where I obtained them all. It all started back in 2008. I worked in the dining hall at my college and it wasn’t my ideal job. I got a second job at the Field Station (which is where the trumpeter swans story came from). One day I walked into the library to study or something and one of the girls who was graduating soon asked me if I wanted to work there. I’d never worked in a library before but of course I was interested! She recommended me to the boss and I ended up getting and working that job for the rest of my time in college. I kept the Field Station job and dropped the dining hall for the library.

One year, we had a library sale. It was the first library sale I’d ever been too and is how I discovered romance novels because I picked up a book for 50 cents called A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught and the rest is history. About 2 years ago, that memory came back to me and I wondered if there was a way to find out when library sales were happening. Google is truly a beautiful thing. I found a website that tells me when a library sale is happening in pretty much all of Ohio from now until April of 2018 and I steadily go to about 6 or so sales a year. I also frequent regular book stores such as Half Price Books, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble and local independent bookstores as well as buying books online using Amazon, Ebay and Alibris.

So here we go:

Total count is 311 books. Before you get any ideas about how much money I spent on all of these, let me break it down for you. The ones in the top picture with the exception of two series on that shelf, came from library sales where I literally spent pennies on those books because most of them cost between 25 cents to $1.00 or I went on bag day and spent the flat fee ($5 or less) to stuff a bag as much as possible with books. The remaining books in the other four pictures were bought or gifted to me via regular retailers. Yes, the best gift a person could ever gift me is a book (or money for books 😉).

After doing all this arranging, I got this idea in my head that I want to build a shelf to the ceiling. I was thinking of stacking a bunch of cubed shelves to the ceiling so that I have more space for future books. I may or may not be determined to have Belle’s library one day. For what it’s worth, me and the husband hope to build our dream house one day and he actually drew a library room for me in our imaginary future house. ♥ ♥

Happy Monday! What’s your physical book count? If not books, do you have hundreds of one item sitting in your humble abodes? Let me know in the comments below!

The TBR Tag

I was nominated by my beautiful friend Noriko to do this tag a while ago (sorry!) and I’m finally getting around to doing it. Thank you Noriko for making me think about dusting off my TBR shelf. One day I’ll actually do it 😉

Questions:

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

There’s no rhyme or reason to it cause I’m constantly adding to it. I have a list on Goodreads that mostly gets ignored.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Definitely ebook. I have this problem of downloading all the free books Bookbub and Instafreebie send me. I have a ridiculous amount of ebooks. If I had to guess a number, it’s probably upwards of 200 or more, no joke.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Depends on my mood. I usually go for fantasy, romance and sci-fi but once in a while I’ll throw in a contemporary or suspense novel.

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest.

According to Goodreads, there’s literally a whole page of books that have been on my TBR since Februrary 2015.

A book that you recently added to your TBR.

The Undying King by Grace Draven
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A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

Woodwalker by Emily Martin
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A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading.

Probably the remaining Study books. I hate when a series is picked up a million years later with very different cover art. Fire Study came out in 2008 and was a good end to the books in my opinion. Shadow Study came out in 2015! That’s a huge gap! I can’t do it. Plus I hate the covers.
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An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones. I have my signed copy preordered 🙂
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A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you.

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. I’m getting closer and closer to reading this! I’ve heard nothing but good things.
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A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

Nobody’s recommended a book to me in a while so I’m going to pick Hexed by Kevin Hearne cause I read Hounded and really enjoyed it and would like to jump back into that series since I’ve heard it gets so much better!

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A book on your TBR that you’re just dying to read.

Honor and Roses by Elizabeth Cole. I just got this through a free Bookbub and the cover art is gorgeous! Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve read a historical.

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The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf.

  • 217 on Goodreads
  • 81 on Google Play Books (free downloads)
  • 42 on Barnes & Noble (free downloads)
  • and an unknown, always growing number on my physical shelf (library sale later today!!! Weeee!)

I’m going to refrain from nominating anyone this round because I know a lot of people are overwhelmed with the amount of tags they’ve been receiving lately. If you would like to do this tag, please go for it and link back to this post so I can have more things to add to my TBR ;).

Do any of my choices look appealing to you? Have you read any of them or are now maybe thinking about reading them? Let me know in the comments below!

Dreamy Book Covers Tag

My favorite internet librarian has graciously tagged me in a neat bookish tag that of course I had to do because I can’t deny her anything. If you have not met theorangutanlibrarian by now, well, I don’t know what to tell you except to give you this look that screams “you have a problem and you need to fix it now.” She was one of my first 10 followers and my 1000th comment (which btw, I’m quickly coming up on the 3000 mark orangutan so I hope you’re ready!). I could wax poetic about how fantastic her blog is and how much she’s made my blogging experience great but that pretty much sums it up so I hope you visit and follow her site because she’s truly brilliant!

RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator of this tag (Tiana @ The Book Raven)
  • Use the original tag image in your post.
  • At least tag one fellow blogger for doing this tag!
  • List the rules.

‘No Ideas But in Things’ A book cover that perfectly expresses the novel inside it.

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Star nomad is the ship. It’s set in space. There’s a fun crew. And space adventures commence!

‘Dark and Lovely’A cover that is so creepilicious, that you want to eat it up.

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This is a pretty creepy cover in my opinion but the story is great! It’s all about alchemy, elemental mages, necromancy and demons from another plane. I devoured the whole series.

‘Sugary Sweet’A CUTE cover that is so fluffy, you want to give it a hug.

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This is the best I could come up with. I realized I don’t have cute, fluffy book covers so I chose this one because who doesn’t want to hug a wolf?? This, and the rest of the series is on my TBR.

‘The Simple Aesthetic’A book cover that stuns with the most minimalist of designs.

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This one was hard to choose as well but I feel like these UK covers are super minamalistic cause they each feature half a man’s face with a different color title. P.S. The Psy Changeling series is awesome!

‘Cover Envy’A book you wish you had on your shelves, but don’t yet.

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It’s not on my shelves yet but it will be October 31, 2017! I have it on preorder and I’ve never been so excited for Halloween in my life!

‘Traveling Abroad’A beautiful book cover featuring a country outside of your own.

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So the story’s setting is in San Francisco but the stories in the book itself are set in China. There are four mothers who are sharing China’s culture and stories of how they grew up and what it means to be a Chinese immigrant to their daughters who are American born over games of mah-jong.

‘The Colour Wheel’ A cover that showcases one of your favourite colours.

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Purple is my favorite color… (And this book broke my brain for a day)

‘Changing Gears’A cover change you absolutely adore.

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I can’t talk about a cover change without showing you the side by side comparison. The left is the cover I have and the right is the updated one. I definitely like the modern one a whole lot even though the old one isn’t half bad!

‘Oldie but Goodie’A favourite cover of your favourite classic.

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Again, in order to understand why I like the new cover, I have to show you the old one. The left one was the only cover back in high school when this was required reading. I obtained the right one at a book sale for 50 cents and I was blown away by the change and absolutely love it!

And the winner is Which book cover mentioned above is your favourite.

I’m going to do what orangutan did and leave it up to you, dear readers, to decide. Which cover is your favorite? Have you read any of the books listed (besides 12th Grave of course)? Let me know in the comments below!

I nominate:

Book Types

Since my posts this week have been very book themed, I’ve decided to write up a post about book types. When you think of book types, I’m sure you’re thinking along the lines of genre but what I’m actually talking about are book format types. I’ll talk about physical books as well as ebooks.

When it comes to physical books, there are two main types:

  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Hardcovers are exactly the way they sound. The book has a hard backing. Paperbacks have a soft backing. It makes them more flexible in the hand. When you sit hardcover down open, it will stay open. Paperbacks don’t do the same thing. You usually have to hold them the whole time or use a book clip or stand.

Within the two main types you have sub types:

  • Sleeved hardcover
  • Embossed hardcover
  • Trade paperback
  • Mass market paperback

A sleeved hardcover is a hardback book with the cover design on a sleeve instead of the actual book itself. You can take the paper sleeve off while reading it to keep it nice or if you loan it to people and are afraid they’ll ruin it. An embossed hardcover has the cover design embedded on the book lining itself. The process involves many sheets of paper and a cast mold of the design being pressed into the book. Hardcover books are already pretty expensive but between these two, the embossed hardcover is definitely a few dollars more than your regular hardcover. Check out the differences below:

Left is embossed; Right is sleeved

A trade paperback is a large, softcover book. It is not to be confused with a large print book because the print size is about the same as your average paperback it just has a bigger binding. A mass market paperback is a small softcover book and it’s usually thicker in comparison to your trade paperback. Trade paperbacks are about double the cost of mass market paperbacks because they are considered high quality. Most indie authors, who aren’t strictly ebook sellers, sell their paper books as trade paperbacks. Check out the differences below:

Left is trade; Right is mass market

Now when you get into ebooks, there are three main formats that people use:

  • .epub
  • .azw
  • .mobi

EPUB is the most common. You can buy or upload epubs to a lot of different platforms. There’s Google Play Books, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Adobe Digital Edtions and plenty of other third party apps that can read epub.

AZW is the second most common because it is the proprietary ebook format used exclusively by Amazon. If you use a Kindle or the Kindle app, your ebooks are this format. The upside to using Amazon is that it is the number one book platform used by all types of authors whether traditional, indie or your neighbor next door. Anyone can upload a book. The downside is that you can’t use .azw with any other app.

MOBI is a lesser known book format that is used but its still regarded as a favorite book format. A .mobi book can handle more rich and more advanced book content than the other two.

Here are a couple of screenshots from the different apps I use:

They all essentially try to give you the bookshelf look within the app. You also have the ability to use bookmarks, highlight passages and there’s a dictionary ready to use if you want to know the definition of a word. Some of these apps even have a read aloud feature. It’s not the same as an audiobook, because the voice is very robotic, but it’s nice to have if you need it.

What do you think of all these book formats? Which ones do your primarily go for? Which reading apps do you primarily use? Let me know in the comments below!

How I Choose My Books Tag

Sometime last week I think, the wonderful Noriko at Diary of a Bookfiend nominated me for this tag. If you haven’t met her yet you need to! She’s so sweet, write fantastic book reviews and has recently been introducing us to different aspects of Japanese culture. Go over there and click the follow button right away!

I decided to be different and instead of pulling pictures from the web, I took pictures of my literal books off my shelf. Hope you enjoy!

Questions:

1. Find a Book on your shelves or e-reader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

I couldn’t just pick one. I have a lot more blue books than I thought! Top left, you all already know! This was required reading back in high school and is the same book from high school which is why it looks so beat up. I adore The Three Musketeers. Then of course you have Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I got the first 4 books as a gift when I turned 12 and the rest is history. Eighth Grave After Dark is one of 11, soon to be 12, books in the Charley Davidson series. Lastly, Forged in Blood I is the sixth book in The Emperor’s Edge series. Lindsay Buroker was my introduction into the world of indie authors and I adore everything she writes!

 

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

Switched is basically a different take on the average switched at birth story. The idea of a girl who’s parents think she’s a monster only to find out she’s actually a troll was quite an intriguing idea. I ended up unexpectedly, enjoying this trilogy a lot more than I thought I would!

 

 

 

 

 

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick a book at random. How did you discover this book?

I discovered this book at a library sale for 50 cents. I found books 1 and 3 and then ended up finding book 2 at Half Price Books. I haven’t read them yet but they look like a fun, high fantasy adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

An ex friend let me borrow these books to read and at first I wasn’t a fan because the book covers look so silly and the description furthers that. You have plain Jane True in Rockabill, Maine who is a selkie shifter and doesn’t really fit in with “normal” human society; not that it bothers her much. There are adventures and a love triangle (that I actually like!). It was an overall great 6 book series even though it doesn’t have stellar Goodrreads reviews.

 

 

 

5. Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / Book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

I’ve only just discovered that booktubing is a thing so I don’t have an answer to this question at this time.

6. Find a book on your shelves or e-reader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

When I saw the look of this book, I was instantly intrigued. The description hooked me right away and it did not disappoint and also fueled my love for all things Sandra Brown. In the story, you have a successful ghost writer who is writing the ultimate thriller novel. It turns out that there are some grains of truth in the story and his manuscript editor is unexpectedly in the middle of it all. It’s SUCH an amazing piece of writing. I wasn’t able to put it down once I started.

 

 

 

7. What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

I discovered the Canadian produced television show first. It stars Christina Cox and Kyle Schbmid and I believe it only had 2 seasons. Funny thing is I started reading this 4 book series thinking it was the book version of the show but turns out they only share the same title. I enjoyed it nonetheless considering this author doesn’t write very much anymore I don’t think. Note: This is Jennifer Armintrout not to be confused with Jennifer Armentrout. (Two different people. I checked.)

 

 

 

8. Think of your all-time favorite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught is my all time favorite historical romance. I picked this book up at a library sale back in college for 25 cents. I had never read romance before and she did not disappoint. Her writing style is brilliant. Because of this book alone I developed an obsession with McNaught and now own and have read every book she’s ever written. I had two of my best friends read some of her books expecting them to not like them and they are now collecting their own copies.

 

 

Since this is a pretty long post, I’m going to opt to tag everyone to do this post. I know of lot of you read on a semi regular basis and I can’t just choose certain people because I’m selfish and want to know everyone’s views and book choices. Please link me to your post if you decide to do this! I really want to read them!

What do you think of my choices and reasonings? Have you read any of these books? Do you need a bigger bookshelf like I do? Let me know in the comments below!