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text 2017-06-21 19:34
Top Read and Sold this week on Amazon.com (or: In my lifetime will the Harry Potter books ever not be chart toppers?)
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham
Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel - Mark Sullivan
Come Sundown - Nora Roberts
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson
I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons - Kevin Hart,Neil Strauss
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate - Al Franken
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - J.D. Vance

I'm just noticing https://www.amazon.com/charts showing the current week's most read and most sold books.  I put the top five most read fiction and nonfiction at top of this post, visit the link for all of them. 

 

Anyone know what these colored triangles mean?  UPDATE — thanks to Grimlock's comment on another post — triangles refer to movement up/down on the chart.

 

         

 

 

Source: www.amazon.com/charts
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text 2017-06-09 01:01
I wasn't gonna download this
FCBD 2017: Secret Empire #1 (Secret Empire (2017)) - Nick Spencer,Chip Zdarsky,Andrea Sorrentino,Paulo Siqueira,Mark Brooks

Despite it being free, meh.   But I powered through the Secret Empire story.   It still turns my stomach.  I hate it.  

 

I hate it so fucking much. 

 

I heard that the Chip Zdarsky Spider-Man story was amazing, though, and I wanted to read that, figuring it would cheer me up after the shit show up front.   And it did!   It's the most amazing Spider-Man short.  I love it so much that I wanted to give this more than one half star, but guess what, Marvel?   Everything SE is getting one-half starred.   Every.   Single.   Time. 

 

If you download this, the SE story is just as fucked up and awful as I expected; it's not worth reading.   Skip straight to the Zdarsky amazeballs, though, and you'll be just fine. 

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review 2017-06-08 16:34
Yay, Viv centric!
Champions (2016-) #9 - Mark Waid,Humberto Ramos

Well, Viv meets a new hero and it's more about this new heroine, the one that adores and idolizes Viv and the Champions, and about her meeting with Viv.   Still, it's pretty fantastic. I love the mentions of Vision - a cop telling her to tell her dad he's a big fan, a memory of them eating ice cream together.   Still, despite a couple minor flaws, I loved this.   (First one: she mentions not really being built to seek joy inside memories, and yet this talk of fathers, families in general, and her memory of ice cream makes her want to see her father.   Secondly, she's on a mission to monitor the Freelancers, and gets distracted not only by this new hero, but then by her desire to go see her father.)

 

I love Viv, I love the way Waid loves Viv, and so anything focusing on her is bound to not only get my attention but my love. 

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review 2017-06-03 22:29
Scarlet
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

I really enjoyed Scarlet, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I thought this adaption of Little Red Riding Hood was very creative. I liked both Scarlet and Wolf and how they fit into the overall story from the previous book. While the relationship between Scarlet and Wolf is more on the insta-love side of the spectrum, I'm OK with it so far because Scarlet does question the logic of it and holds back.

 

The only real issue I had with the book was the fact that Scarlet was so easily 'controlled' by the Lunars. This became more of an irritation after getting into the next book, Cress, because it's explained that those who are weak minded are the easiest to control. Scarlet did not come across as weak minded to me. And we saw in Cinder how Kai was able to fight against the 'glamor' (with much difficulty), so we know it can be done. I guess it felt like the control over Scarlet was more plot driven than character driven, and I wish it was the other way around.

(spoiler show)

 

I'm really enjoying this series so far and can't wait to share them with my daughter in a year or so.

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text 2017-06-01 23:25
May 2017 Wrap-up.
Crucible of Gold (Temeraire Series #7) - Naomi Novik
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer
Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
Under Witch Moon - Maria E. Schneider

I'm happy I have more to list than will feature in the 10 + we can link at top of post.

 

I only had one DNF (and one that I stopped so soon I don't even consider that starting).  

 

Unusually for me, I discovered quite a few new authors.  

 

I didn't read a lot of straight-up science fiction of the sort with spaceships, new worlds, aliens and robots (except for Scarlet which sort of counts by having cyborg and lunar colony if you can get past how the spaceship piloting resembled bad teenage clunker-automobile parallel parking the way they zigged it about in earth's atmosphere with immediate corrections ...).  I need to correct that next month, but I'm pretty caught up on my SF series.

 

I'm also discovering that — while I enjoy character growth and when the plot/story has twists or gets shaken up — I don't like it when author changes the underpinnings or basics of what I thought I knew about characters and worldbuilding logic from reading previous books.  Reveal surprises, sure, even relationship ones; toss out everything developed earlier in series, not so much.  Thankfully this month there were no books completely with  characters having amnesia plus time travel to relive a previous storyline ... those are just aaaaarrrggghhh... (first third of Blood of Tyrants Laurence had amnesia and that whole unnecessary part dropped rating for me).

 

Not a lot of reviews.  Partly a mood I'm in.  Mainly bcause so many were in series where likely however I reviewed previous books is how I'd review that book.  Happily in many  cases because it's just harder for me to express why I loved a book enough to rate it ★★★★☆ to ★★★★★ .

 

 Silver Shadows - Richelle Mead Premiere - Melody Carlson  My Soul to Take - Rachel Vincent  

 

Silver Shadows - Richelle Mead , I rated ★★★★☆ , paranormal, #5 in Bloodlines (Alchemists spinoff from Vampire Academy) series.

 

Premiere - Melody Carlson , I did not rate.  Characters are in college so guess it's New Adult but reads YA.  An interesting premise, lots happens, a quick read of first book in a series my library had complete set.  I had mixed feelings on main character I initially liked but between them seeming more YA, the situations too unrealistic, the MC so "perfect" and accepting of submissive role to more glamorous sister and constantly praying to God as if he was her own personal genie or life coach — I decided series wasn't for me.  Likely appeal to others, particularly teens.  #1 in On the Runway series.

 

My Soul to Take - Rachel Vincent , I rated ★★★½☆ , paranormal, #1 in Soul Screamers series (new series by familiar author with banshees and grim reapers).  Some YA moments.

 

The Ruby Circle - Richelle Mead  Victory of Eagles - Naomi Novik  Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo  o

 

The Ruby Circle - Richelle Mead , I rated ★★★½☆ , paranormal, #6 in Bloodlines series.

 

Victory of Eagles - Naomi Novik , I rated a resounding squeezing fanpoodle ★★★★★, fantasy (alternate history of Napoleonic War with dragons), #5 in Temeraire series.

 

Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo , I rated ★★★★★, fantasy, review is here , #1 in Dregs series from a new to me author (despite the glowing ★★★★★ rating, I suspect I should have read author's Grishna series first).

 

Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas  Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor  Under Witch Moon - Maria E. Schneider  

 

Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas , I rated ★★★★½ , fantasy, #5 in Throne of Glass series.

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone - Laini Taylor , I rated ★★★★☆ , urban fantasy (paranormal romance? fantasy because of Otherworld characters?), review is here , #1 in same named series, new to me author -- what a voice and an atmosphere this author creates.

 

Under Witch Moon - Maria E. Schneider , I rated ★★★½☆ , paranormal mystery, review is here , #1 in Moon Shadows series, new to me author discovered via Leafmarks, likely someone more into mysteries would rate higher, one of few indie works I read this year although could not tell it was self-published from writing/editing.

 

 

Death Before Decaf: A Java Jive Mystery - Caroline Fardig Mug Shot: A Java Jive Mystery - Caroline Fardig  A Whole Latte Murder - Caroline Fardig  

 

Death Before DecafMug Shot, and A Whole Latte Murder - Caroline Fardig .  Binge read first three books of cozy mystery series Java Jive Mystery because really enjoyed first two books.  Discovered first book from a friend's review in goodreads ( read first two via library overdrive borrow then bought third).  Main character engaged me, wacky stories, not necessarily the greatest mystery in the books.  Possibly a side effect of binge reading, but I did not like the third book (murked everything up throwing too much into it, too many clues, too many characters, too many too easily dismissed injuries/assaults and the whodunnit depended way too much on twisting what we thought we knew of characters).  May give it another chance if book #4 hits library; may not.

 

Closer to the Chest - Mercedes Lackey  Scarlet - Marissa Meyer  My Soul to Save - Rachel Vincent  

 

Closer to the Chest - Mercedes Lackey , I rated ★★★½☆ (wavered between that and ★★★★☆), review is here, fantasy, #3 in Herald Spy series (Valdemar Universe).  If you like Mags, you'll like reading more of his story.

 

Scarlet - Marissa Meyer , I rated ★★★★½ , fantasy, #2 in Lunar Chronicle series which I so regret taking so long to read -- it was just so overhyped and YA sounding I wrongly put off thinking could not live up to rep.  Series will quickly suck you in.

 

My Soul to Save - Rachel Vincent , ★★★★☆ , paranormal, #2 in Soul Screamers, less YA with character growth but still rushing in because too compassionate.

 

 

Tongues of Serpents (Temeraire Series #6) - Naomi Novik  Crucible of Gold (Temeraire Series #7) - Naomi Novik  Blood of Tyrants - Naomi Novik 

 

 

Tongues of Serpents  - Naomi Novik , ★★★★★ , fantasy , #6 in Temeraire series.

 Crucible of Gold , ★★★★☆, fantasy, #7 in Temeraire series.

 Blood of Tyrants , ★★★½☆ (although parts 2 and 3 I'd rate higher), fantasy, #8 and penultimate in Temeraire series .

 

 

Stakes & Stilettos - Michelle Rowen Blackveil - Kristen Britain  

 

Stakes & Stilettos - Michelle Rowen , ★★★☆☆ , paranormal romance, review is here , #4 in Immortality Bites, author almost lost me with the twists and character changes introduced plus leaving main character's curse to be resolved in next book.

 

Blackveil - Kristen Britain , ★★★½☆ , epic fantasy, review is here ,  #4 in Green Rider.  I cannot believe I'm saying this after how much I loved the first three books, but this one was too long.  I may be dropping the series because everyone says next book is even more "way too long" plus twists the series from traditional fantasy into steampunk (why on earth couldn't Ms. Britain just start a new steampunk series if wanting to foray into steampunk?).

 

Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept me reading in hopes would get better.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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