Books: Everything

Monday | Second-Hand stores

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Sometimes second-hand stores have serious booky treasures. In my case, you first have to sort through a lot of, at least today, books in Finnish, since I guess we’re getting shipments from there (it would make sense if you saw the clothing assortment). And now that I’m saying it… I kinda regret not taking that fat soft book of Donald Duck. It may be in Finnish, but my niece can’t yet read anyway, she could’ve just browsed it, cut it up, painted in it… Ah well, maybe next day. In the meantime, I’m looking through Hans Holzer’s book “Pagans and Witches” I’ve got.

P.S. Do you like my sticky-notes? Local bookstore had a lot of pandas. I really like pandas.

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Thursday| Booky Facts

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Since 2011 counting done by Google, there’s over 130 million books published. And every year on average more than one million more books get published.

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Mondays | For Books

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Lovelies from Germany | Thanks to Yrdenne

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2017 In Books

I usually don’t do any of these summaries. Or maybe I just didn’t do them, for I didn’t have much material to write from before. But this year I managed to reach my book goal, and since I challenged myself through the whole year, I figured there’s no reason to stop on the last day either. So, thanks to Goodreads helping me keep track, I decided to apply the one day / day one here too, and tell you what I achieved this year among the books.

  • Officially I’ve read 101 book. Unofficially a 103, one still awaits a review, and one more is reviewed, but waiting (and will wait as long as it needs) for a little cookie entry in my new favorite blog: [Pen&Pin]
  • The longest book I’ve read this year was “Blood and Gold” by Anne Rice, with 752 pages. The shortest one was “The Smuggler and the Warlord” by K.J. Charles with mere, but so very glorious 3 pages of awesome.
  • This year I’ve read “1984” by George Orwell, fully for the first time.

The Best:

  1. Felicia Day “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost)
  2. V.E. Schwab “A Gathering of Shadows
  3. Jeaniene Frost “Bound by Flames
  4. Laini Taylor “Strange the Dreamer
  5. A.R. Torre “If You Dare
  6. Neven Iliev “Morningwood: Everybody Loves Large Chests
  7. Adrian Tchaikovsky “Guns of the Dawn
  8. Andy Weir “Artemis
  9. N.K. Jemisin “The Fifth Season
  10. Angie Thomas “The Hate U Give
The Worst:
  1. Hugh Howey “Wool
  2. Kristin Cashore “Graceling
  3. Stephanie Garber “Caraval
  4. Dmitry Glukhovsky “Metro 2035
  5. David Ebershoff “The Danish Girl
  6. Jessica Day George “Silver in Blood
  7. Stephen King “The Gunslinger
  8. Anthony Horowitz “Moriarty
  9. Seth Grahame-Smith “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  10. Stephen Seitz “Sherlock Holmes and the Plague of Dracula
  • I’ve only read 3 paper books this year, the rest were one way or another all in digital form. I regret nothing.
  • I’ve read 5 biographies / memoirs
  • I finished 12 series, among them being the whole of Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice.

I hope your book year was good too, and the next will be even better. Have a great Yellow Earth Dog 2018 Year!

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The Witcher | Sword of Destiny

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I am so happy they’re doing new releases of The Witcher for us. I will, of course, forever be grateful to Dagon, for that very first publishing, and Eridanas, for the whole Witcher series that we got before the first game ever came out, and many other great books they published while they still lived. But I am thankful to Alma Littera too, for the covers are wonderful, and the shape of the book is great (it’s narrow and tall, with beautiful separations between chapters)

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Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep?

7082This is, on mere technicality, a re-read. I was very little when I first put my hands on “Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep” by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner 1; ISBN 0345404475; 244p.; Goodreads), and recall it best in relation to other non-related sci-fi books on bounty hunters, profession I highly wanted to participate in back then. Yet the reading now was delicious. Funny how sci-fi has such a special spot in my heart, and yet I read so little of it.

Rick Decard is a bounty hunter with a license to kill, if you please. His job is to test suspicious individuals and, if they can’t pass the test, kill them, any means necessary, excluding human endangerment. Otherwise his mission would sort of lose the purpose. For he kills androids who pose as humans, androids who escaped Mars, usually, after killing humans there, and who are getting just too good to track down. There is only one test they always fail. Androids, unlike real humans, are too logical to have proper empathy. They can be trained to respond, but there’s only that much you can wiggle your way out of. Yet Rick’s job is no easier due to this. No empathy, for starters means they’ll kill people if they have to, even if “have to” is a mere distraction.

So the hunt begins. Decard follows in the tracks of androids his colleague has fallen to. Falsely gaining confidence after the first kill, he soon finds himself in far more trouble, than he ever thought possible. Worse, slowly but surely he is uncovering a far deeper rooted plan to survive that androids have cast in a web across his city, if not planet. They infiltrated places they had no rights to be in, right under their noses, every day at their ears. And newer models make even him question the morality of his work, hell, even his own humanity becomes questionable… Because, what if memories are false too?

I really like the characters in this book. Decard is not the only protagonist, but I excluded the other one purposefully. I also really love how androids have this delusion of what a head hunter for androids is: this unstoppable machine they’ll fall to if they as much as lock eyes with. If you like cyberpunk – you must read this. It’s a very easy to read and follow book, and I’ll gladly give it a 5 out of 5. And if anyone’s wondering about those sequels – someone else wrote it, I don’t feel like reading them right now.

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Diversity: Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give

32613366Holy damn. No, but really. Why didn’t I get this book sooner? “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas (ISBN 1406372153; 438p; Goodreads) puts a crown on my this year’s reads. It’s definitely the best contemporary book I have ever read. I wish there was more, but what could top this?

Starr already had a pretty complicated life. Attending a school where she and a couple more students were the only black people around, she felt pressure acting more like the people around her did, to avoid the whole “black girl from the hood” stereotype getting attached. At home she hurried to shake that all off, to not seem lame, because, really! Add regular teenage problems to that, and there you have it. But all that falls to dust in one night. Her life, and the life of her whole community fall apart as her childhood friend get brutally murdered with several shots to the back by a police officer. He stopped them for no real reason, got irritated over the smallest things, dragged Khaleel out of the car, and as he bent to ask terrified Starr if she’s okay – he shot him in the back. Over, and over, and over.

“Thug”, “dealer”, “gangbanger” are all epithets Khaleel’s name get changed with. Even the seemingly most sympathetic people are more affected by the officer’s father slobbering over the television of what a hard time his son is having over this “human mistake”, as if Khaleel was less. After all, Khaleel was indeed a dealer, so he would’ve died anyway, one gangbanger less, right? But Starr knows the truth behind the name, she knows the boy behind the titles, and slowly, being pushed by anger and injustices, even if discouraged by threats officers make on her, she speaks up. After all, she has the support of her family, and her wonderfully united community. And so the story of protests turned to riots turned to war zone begin.

I can’t begin telling you how good, and how important this book is. At time I’d forget I’m reading fiction, for it seems it’d be enough to change a title, change a name, and you’d recognize the people. I hope to someone this book will be an eye-opener. I can only give it 5 out of 5, and recommend.

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Tag: Halloween 2

So far I’ve been lucky in finding one spooky tag a week, well see how it continues to go! As per usual, if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged. The original was created by Clever Fox, I’m leaving you with her video:

1. What goes bump in the night?: Name a book that has legitimately scared you while reading it.
– “Metro 2033” by Dmitry Glukhovsky, some place in the dark tunnels.

2. Jack O Lanterns and Classic Costumes: A book you always reach for during halloween time.
– I don’t have such, but hey, I do always like me a vampire book on this time of the year.

3. Black Cats and Magic Mirrors: A book you love that is laced with superstition and/or magic.
– Does high-fantasy count? If so, Victoria Schwab “Shades of Magic” trilogy, and if it doesn’t count, then K.J. Charles “A Charm of Magpies” trilogy.

4. Witch’s Brew: Favorite witch character in any book/series.
– Stephen Day from A Charm of Magpies trilogy, or Hermione from Harry Potter.

5. Ghouls and Ghosts: A book that still haunts you to this day (good or bad).
– In a good way, the very first to start haunt me, and stay with me to this day, so the oldest one on the list is C.C. Humphreys “Vlad: The Last Confession

6. Haunted Graveyard: You’re all alone in a haunted graveyard, you get ONE book to give you comfort, which is it?
– Haruki Murakami “Afterdark

7. The Undead: Favorite supernatural creatures to read about (i.e. vamps, zombies, werewolves, etc).
– Do elves count as supernatural, or are they a different category? If they do, then The Witcher Saga by A. Sapkowski. If not, then vampires, and there’s many great books with those.

8. In the dead of night: Pick a book with a black cover.
– Victoria Schwab “This Savage Song“!

9. Trick or Treat?
– Treat, thank you. Unless it’s a toy, then trick please!

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Laini Taylor – Strange the Dreamer [1]

28449207I asked for a recommendation and have received “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer 1; ISBN 0316341681; 536p.; Goodreads). Must say, has been a hot minute since I’ve read such a colossal book. I think the last one was the gruesome Fifth Season, which I also recommend. But this one was lighter to bear, with almost constant sense of sunshine, likely due to lighter people, personalities within.

A great war has taken place in the city ruled by ruthless gods. People rebelled, climbed their tower, and slain everyone they found bearing the blue skin of godspawn. But gods are not easy to slay. They fought back as best they could, and took vengeance in death too. First they took their sky, shielding it with the massive wings of their home. Then they left humans dreading, haunted by nightmares for as long as they sleep under the winged dome. They’re too worried to move, for it would mean that even in death the gods have taken victory on their lives. And finally, they took the very name of the place, leaving it known across the world only as Weep, a name that leaves ones lips bitter with ash and salt.

Lazlo Strange is an orphan, taken by monks off the streets, almost grey with sickness. They nursed him back, and soon, as the boy grew, got to calling him Strange The Dreamer, due to the nature of work he took. For, you see, Lazlo is mostly interested in stories. Especially those of Weep, a place he believes to be more than a fairy tale. He goes as far as dig up old recipes of purchases, just to prove this or that mediocre thing to be real. No one takes him seriously, of course, and people are far more interested in his knowledge on alchemy, than some fairy tale land. Up until the day delegates from Weep march into his city, kindly asking for volunteers who could bring new knowledge into their devastated lands. Lazlo can’t even dare dreaming they might need a tale teller…

This book feels huge. And it’s not as dark as some high fantasy books get. If you like the genre, I can’t recommend this one enough. In the mean time, I give it 5 out of 5, and await the next one eagerly.

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Tag: Halloween!

Since it’s the month of Halloween (yep.), I figured I’ll just go ahead and do any Halloweenish book tags that I find. This was the first that came around, very short and easy:

1. Carving pumpkins- what book would you carve up and light on fire?
– “Metro 2035” by Dmitry Glukhovsky; I reviewed this book, will not repeat myself.

2. Trick or treat- what character is a treat, what character is a trick? 
– Treat – Lucien Vaudrey from A Charm of Magpies; Trick – Nicaise from Captive Prince

3. Candy corn- what book is always sweet?
– The Holy Trinity of Trilogies: “Shades of Magic” by V.E. Schwab; “A Charm of Magpies” by K.J. Charles; “Captive Prince” by C.S. Pacat

4. Ghosts- what character would you love to visit you as a ghost?
– Alucard from Shades of Magic. But I hope he lives too long for that ever to happen.

5. Dressing up in costume- what character would you want to be for a day?
– Lucien Vaudrey from A Charm of Magpies

6. Wizards and witches- what is your favorite Harry Potter moment?
– The moment I realized Snape rewrote the textbook he was learning from. Dude!

7. Blood and gore- what book was so creepy that you had to take a break from it for awhile?
– Paige Dearth “Born Mobster“. I have a hard time reading of things like that in general.

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