Summer Reading Wrap Up

So it has been a while since I have wrapped up the books I have read.  Not only has it been difficult for Gretchen and I to get together all summer for various reasons (time conflicts, mental health, internet being actual butts) so you weren’t getting weekly wrap ups in any way but I have been completely nonexistent on the blog.  Which we all know I am attempting to change here and now… hopefully forever, but no promises.

In any case I am going to try and talk a bit about all of the books I have read in June, July, and August.

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This was the first book for book club this season so there is a full discussion on it here!  I loved this.  I still feel that way.  It did seem to check all of the boxes of things that Michaela would like though.  So if you feel very strongly that we are akin then definitely check this out.

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This was an ARC review I did back in June.  It wasn’t my favorite book I’ve read this year but I definitely did enjoy it.  I had heard of Lisa Jewell as an author and this was my first of hers.  I think that I will look into some of her other work.  She is a bit more commercial than I usually go for but not bad by any means.

The second book club book was Gretchen’s pick and I was super not a fan.  That could have been due to the fact that I was super ill at the time of reading it but I kind of hated it.

Next we kicked off the second season of Nostalgia Junkie.  Unfortunately the unanimous decision on this was that we weren’t super huge fans.  It may be that we just aren’t the target audience but we all had issues with it.

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Taylor’s pick for the first round of book club was a debut and we all really liked it.  It was surprising because it takes a really good book to win all three of us over.  This one did it so you should definitely check that out!

Gretchen and I read Nimona together and we did a video review of it for you guys.  It was super cute and sweet and we completely understood why so many people loved it.  I have followed Noelle Stevenson for a while and new she is a cookie to pay attention to in comics.  Watch her.  She will do great things.


I started the second round of summer book club picks with Middlesex.  Taylor was the one who liked this book the most, Gretchen and I had a bit of an issue with the way it was laid out. You should watch the whole discussion to find out more.

I have to say that I do so love Patton Oswalt.  I haven’t spoken about this anywhere else.  It was a pick for my pop sugar challenge and I listened to it on audio, read by the man himself.  It is always great to listen to autobiographical works when written by the author and especially so when he is as awkward and nerdy as you.

Now we find ourselves in the books I read for booktubeathon.  This was my pick for the book I would only read at night.  I both read the physical edition and listened to parts on audio.  I actually wound up enjoying it more than I thought I would.  It also fulfilled the requirement of a book that is more than 100 years older than me for the Pop Sugar challenge.

This was listened to entirely on audio.  I was conflicted with this.  I was expecting a bit of a funnier story from Steve Martin.  That isn’t to say I wasn’t a fan of his writing style, it just caught me off guard.  It was about a community that I haven’t spent much time learning about so I did enjoy that aspect of it.

This one will be featured in an upcoming post so look out for that.  It was a book with yellow on the cover and a book I learned about from booktube.  I ended up really enjoying this one though it took me a while to decide that.  It was definitely one the the end justified the rest of the book for me.  I like what it was saying politically.

This was both Taylor and my own book to movie adaptation and we both came out of it feeling like … welp that was a mess.  I think it was meant to be a mess.  It was really entertaining but all over the place.  We both enjoyed it but were mildly disoriented by the experience.  Which I think is apt.


I reviewed this one on the blog yesterday actually!  So here we have an interesting new comic coming from Image.  We all know how much I love Image.  If you like robots and stories that ask what it means to be human then definitely give this one a go.

Gretchen and I did a discussion of this one but the audio ended up being a bit borked.  Over all I enjoyed the experience.  It read a bit like fanfiction but it was nice to dip back into a world that I loved as a child.  I am curious to see if watching it as a play would be better than reading it if I ever get a chance to do so.

David Wong is a comic god.  Well, he is.  This one isn’t my favorite of his works but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good book and he isn’t a good writer.  I loved hearing from a female protagonist it did change the way the story progressed for me.  If you like science fiction and laughing, give this one a go.

There will be a future review of this one on the blog as well.  Gretchen and I have already filmed it, it just needs to make its way out into the world.  We enjoyed listening to the audio book but we didn’t feel like it ended up doing for us what it was trying to. It was a delight to listen to though so there is that.

This book is most likely going to be in my top 10 books of the year.  It honestly blew me away.  It will also be featured in an upcoming review.  I went into this book skeptical and came out just amazed.  She was able to do so much and so well.  I loved it.  A must read in my opinion.

This was a comic that I picked up based on Taylor’s recommendation.  He had really enjoyed it or had heard good things about it, I am not certain which at this point but I picked it up.  It wasn’t my favorite comic but it did go somewhere entirely unexpected and I give it props for that.

And now we reach the last book I read in August which happens to be Gretchen’s pick for the second round of book club.  This showed up on the blog earlier this week so you can find our discussion of it there.  I enjoyed it, even if much of that video is us picking apart the book.  Sometimes you just have to say, it was a fun experience.

Apparently I have read 19 books in the last three months… which honestly amazes me since I have been struggling to read.  A lot of them were audio books and a good chunk were thanks to the booktubeathon but hey they were things that I read.  I have been reading more in the last couple weeks so the hope is that I am feeling safer in myself again and will be able to read a whole bunch more and talk about it with you guys.  That is the hope anyway.

As far as my reading challenges go:

Goodreads: 66/50 surpassed!
Pop Sugar: 27/40 (13 left I think I can do it!)

How are you guys doing after the summer?  Are you excited for fall.  It is my favorite season and I am in the mood for all of the Horror books!  I need a bunch of cider and pumpkin bread and some crisp fall air and I will be a happy girl.

Talk to you guys tomorrow!

Monday Musing: The Making Up for Last Week

*clears throat*

I said that I was going to post a summer wrap up post like two Fridays ago, however it took a little longer than anticipated … soooo HERE WE GO!  THE BOOKS I READ OVER THE SUMMER! *caps locked like a badass*

It would appear that I read 22 books this summer!  I am surprised and pleased with that number.  I feel like I was really in a reading slump so I’m glad I read that many.

The first book of the summer was a Bibliomancy for Beginners kick off: review here.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey is probably my favorite book of all time so definitely read it.  Read it.  Do it.  I command thee.  Well I don’t command you, but I politely request that you do so. ★★★★★

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Next was Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.  This book quickly became one of my favorite books.  The characters were interesting and I really appreciated how this story progressed.  I loved the way the story was woven together and the writing was beautiful.  I highly recommend it if you have no read it before.  Full review here! ★★★★★

One of my favorite authors was releasing the first new book in the Merry Gentry series in several years so I felt the need to reread the older ones.  I obviously started at the beginning with A Caress if Twilight.  This was the second reread of the summer for me soon followed by the next two books in the series.  I would highly recommend this series as a whole if you haven’t read it yet.  Also her Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels are pretty flawless. ★★★★★

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The second in the Merry Gentry Series, A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K Hamilton.  Part of my series reread, though honestly I didn’t reread them all, just the ones I could get my hands on.  I remembered more of the plot of the later ones because I had read the more recently. ★★★★★

The third book in the Merry Gentry Series, Seduced by Moonlight by Laurell K Hamilton.  This is one of my favorites from the series as a whole.  I really liked the plot.  If I haven’t mentioned before this series involves faeries … traditional Irish faeries.  None of that pansy Disney fairy stuff.  Badass, terrifying, demigods essentially. ★★★★★

Breaking up my reread of the Merry Gentry series was our second Bibliomancy for Beginners book: review here!   This was Rachel’s choice and while I really enjoyed it I did still have some issues with the book overall.  The plot was good, the characters were extremely lovable.  Basically all I have to say is that it was good. ★★★★

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Another Merry Gentry novel, the fourth one to be specific.  This is a surprise … following the trend that was happening earlier.  Not at all.  We can probably shuffle past the next few ones of these. ★★★★★

At this point the new book was coming out in a few days and I still had three more Merry Gentry novels to read, three novels that I didn’t have access to because they were not available at my local library and I had not purchased them for myself.  However I did own the last book that had been released, and really it was the only book I needed to read for continuity before the next book anyway.  So I dived straight in to Divine Misdemeanors! ★★★★★

Then this beauty of a book came out!  I read it the day after it came out … but that is still really on top of things.  I have to say that I feel like in the time between these two books Laurell K. Hamilton has grown as an author.  The story in this book and honestly even the last book compared to the early ones was so much better.  They are all great, but I loved how this went.  Although there is one event in this book that crushed my soul in a way.  I never begrudge an author their choices if it seems to make sense with the characters and the plot of the book and while it hurts, it made sense and was the right thing to do. *clutches chest* It hurt though, that is for sure. ★★★★★

I am going to count this book even though I didn’t finish it because I read more than 3/4 of the story.  I have a hard time reading war stories in general and especially war stories based around emotional torture.  I can deal with people getting shot, but when a book explores what happens to people in war.  When we get in their heads and see how they think and see how everything effects them it is hard for me to read.  I have to say that this book is extremely well written and if I were another person, without an aversion to war novels it would have been phenomenal.  Check out our Bibliomancy Episode on it here! ★★★

I had been struggling through Code Name Verity and I needed to give myself a break so the next few books that I read were exclusively Bibliomancy Books. The good news with that is that they come with reviews.  The bad news is that my feelings towards them are not always great.  This is not one of those sub par books however.  This was Taylor’s choice of a book that he felt we all should read.  Unfortunately I was the only one who ended up reading it and we did an episode just the two of us.  However it was a good book, a good story, I really enjoyed it but I didn’t have that much to rave about when we were discussing it.  You might notice that while watching the video here! ★★★★

We come back around to discuss another of my choices for book club.  I am so glad that I got everyone to read this book.  Not everyone loved it as much as I did, but I was able to rope Anna into joining us on this episode as a Guest Mancer and she really enjoyed it.  This book is filled with so many great video game, 80s pop culture, and just generally nerdy references it made my heart sing.  This book made its home in one of my favorite books of all time.  It was so good.  We did have some issues with it but they did not stifle my love toward it or my experience over all.  If you want an unbiased opinion be sure to watch our Bibliomancy episode here because the others had more to say. ★★★★★

The first graphic novel of the summer!  The second in the Saga sequence.  I have to say that while I have to be in the mood to read graphic novels I do really enjoy them.  They appeal not only to my love of stories but also my love of art.  I have always been one to read graphic novels and when I am a richer man I plan on buying many more for myself to keep.  I think that anybody who has read Saga will tell you that it is flawless.  The story is well written and the characters are rich. ★★★★★

I had fallen a bit behind but literally in the same day I picked up the third bind up and finished that as well.  I have to say that this book does have one of my pet peeves which is that on the spine where they have the little number telling you the order in the series this book goes it is not in the same place as it was in the last two.  KEEP THE SPINE CONSISTENT PEOPLE!  That’s the part we look at on my bookcase.  It needs to be beautiful for everyone.  All I ask.  All I ask.  Otherwise another flawless edition to the series. ★★★★★

This is another reread for me, however it is more recent.  I read this book in the winter of last year.  I reviewed it back then so you can read my initial thoughts on the novel.  I don’t think my thoughts changed much since then.  It isn’t a book that blows me away, however it is a good book.  I enjoyed the characters and the story.  I think my favorite part are all of the stories about other planets which is why it only gets four stars.  I didn’t care as much about the plot of the novel itself, more about the little things, mechanics and background stories.  It is a good popcorn read if you want something that reads quickly and doesn’t require much processing power. ★★★★

Alright, we have another Bibliomancy for Beginners book which has a review for you to watch right here.  Rachel is always one to pick high fantasy novels and where high fantasy novels are concerned I am not the biggest fan.  That being said I felt this book was rather standard.  It seemed to be just another book in its genre rather than anything special and when I am not particularly inclined to enjoy the genre I want something that will knock my sock off.  It was alright.  If you like high fantasy I’m sure you will enjoy it, it just wasn’t for me.   ★★★

To give some perspective we followed that book up with this one.  This was Gretchen’s pick and I have to say that I don’t think any of the Bibliomancers were a fan of this at all.  Taylor just saw that I rated this book two stars and was surprised I rated it that high.  I have to agree that I am not a very big fan of this book, but it wasn’t utterly terrible.  It wasn’t good either.  Really it was disappointing.  There were things that excited me about the prospect of this book and it did not live up to it in any way.  I would recommend watching our video to hear our full thoughts on why this book maybe isn’t for you if you if you are interested: here. ★★

I was lucky that I followed that book up with one that made me absolutely giddy.  This is perhaps the best book I read this summer.  It captured me from the very beginning and I absolutely could not put it down.  I forwent sleep, reading until early in the morning.  This is a book that I think every bibliophile or role playing nerd would die for.  Not to mention the fact that the book glows in the dark.  It is flawless.  It makes me so happy.  I love it dearly and if there is any book I read this summer that you should read.  This is one of them.  If you want to hear me rave some more then check out my full review of it here. ★★★★★

Taylor’s next Bibliomancy book choice. I really enjoyed it.  It was more a collection of short stories with a certain thread of thought.  There were some stories that worked together better than others.  I would say that most people agree Bradbury is one of those authors that if you like science fiction you should jump on this.  It was well written and relatively short.  I say it was good.  You should read it and then listen to us discuss it in detail here. ★★★★

I then went back and read a paranormal romance book.  Along with Laurell K Hamilton’s books I still like to check out the books that Kresley Cole has been writing.  I did a series review of her Immortals After Dark series, which this book is one of that you can read if you want to know more about my thoughts on paranormal romance and this series in general.  This book was definitely not my favorite in the series but it was still better than some books that I’ve read in the genre. ★★★

The summer was coming to a close and I saw another commercial for the Horns film that is coming out soon?  When?  I don’t recall but I plan on seeing it when it does come out because this book was very good.  This is my first Joe Hill novel and I have to say that I utterly enjoyed it.  I like the way the story flowed and the plot over all.  There were some aspects of the story that were a bit predictable and I’m not sure I was completely satisfied with the ending, but in any case I enjoyed the experience and if you like magical realism then this is definitely a book to check out.  If you want to know more I also have a full review for you here.★★★★

The last book I read before classes started and my life became over run with work to do was this graphic novel.  It was on Taylor’s suggestion and his copy of the book.  The story to this book is really great and the characters are even better.  It reminded Taylor and myself as well of the Dungeons and Dragons campaign that I run when they grow up.  The magical girls campaign is beautiful.  Honestly this book is as well.  If you like fantasy stories or role playing I recommend giving it a look.  It has all the whimsy and all the in jokes that we love.★★★★★

Wrap Up:

★★★★★: 13

★★★★: 5

★★★: 3

★★: 1

★: 0

Rereads: 7

New reads: 15

Graphic Novels: 3

Young Adult Novels: 3

Adult Novels: 16

All in all, a really good reading summer.  I think this was pretty good.

What did you read this summer?  What did you think of any of the books I read this summer if you’ve read them as well?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Summer Wrap Up

According to Goodreads I have read 18 books this summer.  While that may seem like not very many to most of you, it is a fair amount for me.  Especially since I haven’t finished a book in about a month that I wasn’t forcing my way through.  Damn my wayward and incorrigible moods when it comes to reading.  If you want to learn more about any particular book clicking the image will send you to the goodreads page for that book. Here we go in chronological order:

 

 

The first book I read this summer was the first Bibliomancy for Beginners book, The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.  You can read my review and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

 

 

The next book I read was on by an author who had visited my college for a writers festival, Safe as Houses by Marie-Helene Bertino.  It is a collection of short stories all discussing houses as safe havens for various reasons.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

 

 

This was soon followed by The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller, the second Bibliomancy for Beginners book and the largest book I read this summer.  You can read my review of it and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book three stars.

 

 

 

 

Next, another Bibliomancy for Beginners novel, City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster.  This was Gretchen’s first pick.  You can read my review of the book and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book two stars.

 

 

 

 

Next I read Taylor’s first Bibliomancy for Beginners choice by one of his favorite authors, Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link.  You can read my review of this book and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

 

 

Starting out the second round of Bibliomancy for Beginners choice, I read Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer twice in one week.  You can read my review and watch our book discussion  here.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

In that same week I read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by the same author.  A story of a nine year old boy searching for the answers to questions he had after his father’s death on 9/11.  I gave this book five stars.

 

 

 

 

My next book was a quick read by one of my favorite childhood authors.  The Light is the first in The Morpheus Road Trilogy, a young adult/middlegrade novel of death and the supernatural by D.J. MacHale.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

 

This was followed by Rachel’s second choice, Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks.  You can read my review as well as watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book two stars.

 

 

 

 

Another Bibliomancy for Beginners book, Gretchen’s choice this time, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas.  Read my review and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

 

The only new release I read this summer, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Affliction.  A post about my Paranormal Romance phase and why it remains one of my guilty pleasure genres.  There’s a pun there because the first Anita Blake book was titled Guilt Pleasure.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

 

 

A book that I didn’t realize I liked until the last section that barely had anything to do with the rest of the novel and Taylor’s second choice for book club, The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman.  Read my review and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

 

A book I read after watching the movie, bad form I know but it was worth it.  This is one I wish I had read first though because I feel it would have been more potent.  My third book club choice, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides was great.  Read my book review and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book five stars.

 

 

 

 

Another book I read after seeing the movie, or rather because the movie is one of my favorites is Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg.  A brilliant story, I love the book just as much as the movie.  Both are beautiful piece of art.  I gave this book five stars.

 

 

 

A quick novella really that I reread to try and prolong my oncoming reading slump (it didn’t really work) Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole is the into to her Immortals After Dark series.  It might be short but it is still one of my favorites in this group.  I happen to enjoy all of the Wroth brother’s books though.  I gave this book five stars.

 

 

The book with the longest title by far was Gretchen’s third book club choice, The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.  I rather enjoyed this one and you can read my review and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book four stars.

 

 

We have reached the last stretch of this post with the penultimate book.  By another visiting author to my college Open City by Teju Cole was an interesting read.  I rather enjoyed the flow of this book which I wasn’t expecting.  It had interesting insights as well.  I gave this book three stars.

 

 

 

 

The last book was Taylor’s last book club choice, Possesssion by A. S. Byatt.  You can my review and watch our book discussion here.  I gave this book three stars.

 

 

An interesting bunch of books I have to say.  I think that this new format, although time consuming to set up, is more aesthetically appealing as well for lists.  I hope that you guys had a great summer reading list.  If you have read any of these books or want to read some let me know in the comments below.  I always like to compare bookshelves.

I’ll talk to you guys soon, but for now that Pied Piper is calling to me.