Miscellaneous

Book Tag | Halloween Creatures 2.0

I saw this tag over on Avery’s blog, and hey, it’s October, so why not? Like Avery, I don’t really read horror (or scary books in general) either, so I feel like I can’t really participate in most spooky October activities. This book tag seemed like a good compromise, because I love supernatural characters.

RULES:

  • Answer all prompts.
  • Answer honestly.
  • Tag 1-13 people.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)
  • Have fun!

WITCH — a magical character or book:

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)

Akata Witch is one of the best fantasy worlds I’ve read, and I can’t wait to wait the sequel, which is already on the way here I hope.

WEREWOLF — the perfect book to read at night:

I always have trouble with “the perfect book to read when X” questions, because I just… read whatever I want regardless of time or season? I’m not sure what other people base their picks on.

Always Be You

I’m going to pick Always Be You, because even though it’s a short story, it’s incredibly cozy and must be great to read while curled up in bed.

FRANKENSTEIN — a book that truly shocked you:

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist

Hm… I made the mistake of forgetting the original ending of The Little Mermaid before I went into this retelling, and let me tell you, it was darker than I expected. But damn, The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist is amazing (and queer!).

THE DEVIL — a dark, evil character:

The Lifeline Signal (Chameleon Moon, #2)

I don’t think most stories I read have truly evil characters… But Major Turret would definitely count. As would Sharpe.

GRIM REAPER — a character that never should have died:

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

This is difficult… I know that the character death in this book was necessary for the plot, but I still think those characters deserved better.

Two characters die in the entire Chameleon Moon universe ever, and I’m still not over them.

Shout out to Raphael Santiago, because I’m down with that fandom and that universe but he is still special to me – although he is fading in my heart.

Also, there’s a character death in Exit Strategy that broke me as well.

ZOMBIE — a book that made you “hungry” for more:

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

Any book in the Murderbot Diaries series. Please just give me the full-length novel right now.

GARGOYLE — a character that you would protect at all cost:

I’d protect Murderbot, but I doubt they need me – more like, I’d let them protect me. I’d also protect any character in Every Heart a Doorway, but they definitely don’t need it either, especially Jack, who is my favourite. This is difficult!

The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)

Can I just, protect Nico from anything that makes him sad? Thanks. Including that awful outing scene.

VAMPIRE — a book that sucked the life out of you:

Orlando

I’m sorry, but Virginia Woolf’s writing and I just really aren’t getting along. I’m having trouble with A Room of One’s Own as well.

GHOST — a book that still haunts you:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Let’s just not.

DEMON — a book that really scared you:

The Better to Kiss You With

I don’t really read scary books, but I suppose The Better to Kiss You With had a part towards the end that scared me?

SKELETON — a character you have a bone to pick with:

If I Loved You Less

I have so many bones to pick with Theo. But also, other people in the book pick bones with her too, and I actually love how they call her out and make it clear that they do it out of love because they know she could be better? This book was an ugly look in a mirror in a way.

MUMMY — a book you would preserve throughout time:

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1)

I didn’t expect to like this book so much, but damn, the hype was right.

CREEPY DOLL — a cover too scary to look at:

6...5...4 (Rémálom könyvek, #2)

I never undertood what they were thinking with these covers for a YA book.

~

So… while none of these are really horror (maybe except the last one), I think I managed to get some darker reads in. Have you read any of these?

~ Alexa

Advertisements
Miscellaneous · TBR

TBR Book Tag

Nearly every book blogger I know struggles with their TBR. The acronym literally stands for “to be read”, and it can mean either the books you already own and haven’t read, or all the books you want to read whether you own them or not.

I saw this tag on betwinedreads. If you know the original creator, please tell me!

HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TBR LIST?

I have three different shelves on Goodreads to keep track of my TBR.

  • My “want to read” shelf has everything I’m interested in buying/reading, and I don’t really hold back with that one. I use it to show interest, and also to support authors because I know it’s good if more people add their books.
  • My “owned and unread” shelf has every book that I already own, but still haven’t read.
  • And my “immediate TBR” has books that I already own and want to read soon, either for my yearly challenges, or because I’m really interested in them.

IS YOUR TBR MOSTLY PRINT OR E-BOOK?

My “owned and unread” shelf is full of e-books, mostly because I downloaded MANY free books from newsletters, or Amazon’s free section. I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to reading all of these.

My immediate TBR is more mixed, but still has many ebooks. They are just cheaper and easier to carry around.

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHICH BOOK FROM YOUR TBR TO READ NEXT?

I participate in a lot of reading challenges, where the prompts help narrow down what I’m going to read next. Starting with September, I also started experimenting with a structured TBR where I pick books in advance based on specific categories.

Elveszett próféciákA BOOK THAT HAS BEEN ON YOUR TBR THE LONGEST

Hah… This is still Good Omens, which has been on my TBR since 2013. If I didn’t already own it, I might actually delete it at this point, but this way I still want to read it.

A BOOK THAT YOU RECENTLY ADDED TO YOUR TBR

The last book I added to my TBR is Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley. I’m not sure about it, because it’s over 600 pages and nonfiction, but I’m really interested in the lives of these two women. I already read many small anecdotes about Mary Shelley that make me curious.

The Surface BreaksA BOOK ON YOUR TBR LIST STRICTLY BECAUSE OF ITS BEAUTIFUL COVER

I keep removing and re-adding The Surface Breaks because I just can’t decide. Pros: Beautiful cover, Little Mermaid retelling. Cons: Sounds kind of cliché and I just really can’t tell from the blurb how it’s different from the original.

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU NEVER PLAN ON ACTUALLY READING

I mean… if I didn’t even plan on reading it, it wouldn’t be on my TBR. But there are definitely books I got for free (legally, mind you) that I’m not sure I actually want to read. Still, I want to give each of them at least one chance before I delete them. Like… Jack The Ripper: The Truth about the Whitechapel Murders. Seriously, what was I thinking?

AN UNPUBLISHED BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU’RE EXCITED FOR

The Murderbot novel Martha Wells is planning, definitely. But it doesn’t even have a title or a cover yet! 😦 I’m also excited about Outrun the Wind. I have an ARC of it, but I haven’t had time to read it yet.

There are many books I added to my TBR because they sounded interesting, but the publication day is so far that I really don’t know much about them yet.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT BASICALLY EVERYONE HAS READ BUT YOU

I actually caught up on two very popular books recently, Six of Crow and The Gentleman’s Guide. I still haven’t read Crooked Kingdom though, so maybe that?

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR EVERYONE RECOMMENDS YOU

I still don’t know what to think of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – the blurb doesn’t really sound appealing, but everyone I know who has read it absolutely loved it, even those who said that it wasn’t their usual genre? What is it about this book?!

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR YOU’RE VERY EXCITED TO READ

I’m really interested in Humans Wanted, because 1) it’s an anthology, 2) it’s sci-fi, 3) I love the Tumblr post it’s based on. But books based on Tumblr posts…? To be honest, I’m a little skeptical. Still super excited, though.

THE NUMBER OF BOOKS ON YOUR GOODREADS TBR SHELF

As of 09.23, there’s 902 books on my Want to Read shelf, 61 books on my immediate TBR, and 366 books on my owned and unread shelf.

How many books are on your TBR? Are you really planning to read all of them?

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

BOOK TAG | What’s On My Bookshelf?

Uni has only just started, and I already feel dead inside exhausted, so reading isn’t going too well. Unfortunately, this also means a lack of reviews queued, so… time to do some book tags, which are both fun, and generally take less time than reading + reviewing a book! Also, I got a couple of great books lately so maybe I can include them here.

This book tag was created by Emily from Wicked Good Reads.

A Library Book

Lesbian Studies: Setting an Agenda

I originally went to the library to pick up A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, but in the end I left with three books – one of them was Orlando also by Virginia, which I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and the other one was Lesbian Studies – Setting An Agenda by Tamsin Wilton, because… how can I not read that?

A Book You Got As A Gift

Run

I got Run by Kody Keplinger, a F/F book with a blind protagonist as a gift years ago, and… I still haven’t read it. I really want to get to it soon for the Lesbian Book Bingo, though.

A Childhood Book

Az anyu én vagyok

I actually just unhauled many of my childhood books because we moved houses – I know, I know, getting rid of books is awful, but unfortunately books are pretty heavy and carrying boxes full of them up two stories is not fun. We still have plenty of books left though! A childhood book I kept is Az anyu én vagyok (I am Mom) by Gábor Nógrádi, which is a really fun middle-grade novel about a mother and a tomboy daughter who switch bodies for a short time and have to walk in each other’s shoes. My copy is also  signed by the author! This is actually paired with another book by the same author where a father and a son switch bodies, but I did unhaul that one.

A Magical Book

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

I haven’t read The Dream-Quest of Vellit Boe yet, but from the cover and the title, it definitely seems like a magical book. I admit this was a bit of a cover buy, but also it was in the SFF section and it’s apparently award-winning, so I’m sure it’s great.

A Romantic Book

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

My first thought was actually A Duke By Default by Alyssa Cole, one of the best romances I’ve ever read, but I don’t have it on my bookshelf, so… Oh! The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler. It’s a book I rarely talk about even though I loved it. It has a wonderful romance where I’m kinda in love with both people, subverting/questioning gender roles, mermaid folklore, twin sisters, mystery, and so many great things.

A Steamy Book

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals #1)

I don’t actually read steamy books and I certainly don’t have them on my physical bookshelf where my parents can see them… I do have a few ebooks, though. I recently finished A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole, and while I enjoyed it less than A Duke By Default, I still love it and it definitely has steamy parts.

An Old Book

A birodalom visszavág (Csillagok háborúja, #5)

My copy of the Empire Strikes Back is super old, mostly because it’s actually my father’s copy that I claimed for myself. It’s very loved and treasured, though.

A Book That Makes You Happy And/Or Laugh

Úriemberek ​kézikönyve: a bujaságtól az erényekig (Montague testvérek, #1)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue made me laugh so many times, and having a Hungarian copy of it makes me incredibly happy. It’s still rare to see LGBT books in Hungarian bookstores, and we don’t have an LGBT section, so you won’t actually know it’s that unless you already know the book.

A Book That Makes You Emotional

Assassin's Creed: Black Flag (Assassin's Creed, #6)

“when i thought about it i goggled at the sheer bloody guts of it. the courage it must have taken for her to do what she did. and i tell you, my sweet, i’ve met a lot of extraordinary people. some bad. some good. most of a mix of good and bad, because that’s the way most people are. of all of them the example i’d most like you to follow is hers. her name was mary read. i know you won’t forget it. bravest woman i ever met, bar none.”

Okay, so obviously Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag is based on the videogame and mostly has the story, but it still counts. They both make me hella emotional, but in slightly different ways. The book doesn’t have the music and the visual montage that made me cry at the end of the game, but it has plenty of Edward’s own narration, and one of my favourite quotes that doesn’t appear in the game at all.

A Book Whose Ending You Dislike

9...8...7 (Rémálom könyvek, #1)

I remember when I read 9… 8… 7… (and its sequels) as a teen, and the ending had a really cliché plot twist, and I nearly threw the book across the room. Fortunately, the author has actually written two endings and I was more happy with the other one. (Also, those covers are still super creepy. You didn’t have to go that hard, dude.)

A Book You Wish Had Illustrations

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1)

Any book is better with illustrations! But Every Heart a Doorway (+its sequels) could especially use them. I’d really love to see an illustrated version.

A Book Or Genre You Love To Read On A Rainy Day

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

I know rainy days sound romantic in theory, but the weather pretty much never has an effect on my reading preferences, so… Maybe All Systems Red, because I’d love to read it anytime.

Miscellaneous

BOOK TAG | The Hayley Kiyoko Book Tag

The Hayley Kiyoko book tag was created by Mahana from thesapphicbiblio (which is a blog I can’t believe I haven’t been following before), which is all about sapphic and/or F/F books! I originally saw this tag at sapphicsolace.

I read a lot of sapphic books, although strangely not many of them reach the true “favourite” status. Also, the beginning of this meme was somehow easier than the second half, but I still enjoyed it.

GIRLS LIKE GIRLS

Saw your face heard your name/Gotta get with you/Girls like girls like boys do/Nothing new

your favourite sapphic read?

I’m going to pick The Queen of Ieflaria, since I love the Chameleon Moon but my biggest favourite characters/ships are mostly male or enby.

The Queen of Ieflaria

FEELINGS

I over communicate and feel too much/I just complicate it when I say too much

your favourite sapphic couple?

“He sets a fire, our wings burn. We all fall down. But that’s not how the story ends.”

I’m going to pick Celeste/Radio Angel from The Lifeline Signal, and I would love to squee about them but everything else I say would probably be spoilery.

The Lifeline Signal (Chameleon Moon, #2)

GRAVEL TO TEMPO

I’ll do this my way/Don’t matter if I break/I gotta be on my own

your favourite sapphic protagonist?

One of my favourite protagonists is Xandri from Failure to Communicate/Tone of Voice, who is also bisexual and polyamorous.

Tone of Voice (Xandri Corelel Book 2)

SLEEPOVER

But at least I got you in my head, oh yeah/At least I got you in my head/In my head/Sleepovers in my bed

your favourite (best) friends to lovers romance?

One book that I enjoyed but rarely talk about is Time Will Tell by M. Ullrich, which has a really sweet second-chance romance with two best friends. My main problem with the book was that the blurb made me expect a time travel story, when in fact it’s a contemporary book, with the time travel only occuring towards the very end. In other words, I got a completely different book than I expected, and this frustrated me even if the book was otherwise good.

Time Will Tell

WANNA BE MISSED

I wanna be held, fragile like glass/’Cause I’ve never felt nothing like that/Say you can’t walk/Can’t talk, go on without me

a book you need to reread?

I kind of plan to re-read Not Your Sidekick before I go on to the third book (that isn’t out yet), but I didn’t re-read it before reading the second one and there was a neat summary, so I’m not sure. Still, it’s a fun book.

Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1)

MOLECULES

So what should I do/All that’s left is molecules of you/Tried to rearrange/Did you feel that everything was strange

saddest character death?

More like “character death that made you the angriest”, because I definitely felt more rage than sadness. But it’s gotta be the one in Down Among The Sticks and Bones.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children, #2)

LET IT BE

‘Cause I believe we’re the ones who had it all/I believe we just had to learn to fall/I miss you, I/love you, so it’s really hard to see/Yeah, we just got to let it be

saddest couple breakup/separation?

I actually couldn’t come up with anything for this? I can’t think of a F/F book with a breakup/separation that really left a mark, although that might be because I don’t read that many sad romances anyway.

WHAT I NEED

Sure I would kiss you, I lay you with you/You broke, no, I can’t fix you/I won’t, no, won’t diss you/But babe, yeah, might miss you/If you’re cold and needed shelter/I’d hold you

a book that you had high expectations for but was disappointed in?

How to Make a Wish has been on my TBR for the longest time, and it was one of the first books I bought that had an #ownvoices bisexual girl protagonist, but I just didn’t enjoy it that much.

How to Make a Wish

CURIOUS

I’m just on the floor, I’m like a model/Been looking through the texts and all the photos/But don’t you worry I can handle it

your favourite angsty romance?

Ice Massacre (Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, #1)

I’m going to pick Ice Massacre, although in the first book the romance hasn’t really happened yet… but that’s because of the number of obstacles these two have to face, so I think it counts as an angsty romance.

MERCY/GATEKEEPER

All I wanna do is cry/That’s all I wanna do/All I wanna do is cry/Bang my head, until I start to fly

your favourite sad book?

I’d say “messed up” describes it more, but Sadie is definitely sad as well. It also has a sapphic protagonist who has a very short thing with another girl that never goes anywhere because romance doesn’t fit into her quest. I wish we knew what could have been, if things happened differently, but that would be a very different book.

Sadie

PALM DREAMS

All the palm trees have the money/Watching from above the endless party/California, just a bad/dream/I won’t hang around until you want me

a sapphic book you think deserves more hype?

Uh, all of them, honestly? The Queen of Ieflaria definitely does, but I already mentioned it. So does Failure to Communicate, which has a sapphic protagonist but no sapphic relationship yet. Feel free to recommend me more sapphic books, especially sci-fi and fantasy!

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

BOOK TAG | 90s Movies

Hey there! You want to see me do a book tag based on movies I’ve probably never seen? Cool, here we go.

Jokes aside, I’m horrible at movies – if you say a classic or popular movie that is a “must-see”, there is a huge chance I’ve never actually watched it (even if I know what it’s about), and a pretty decent chance that I’ve either never heard of it or don’t know much other than the title.

For this reason, I’m going to do this book tag that I saw on Kristin Kraves Books, and I’ll also tell you if I’ve seen the movie the prompt is based on.

SHE’S ALL THAT
[ know the title, never watched ]

NAME A BOOK COUPLE THAT IS AN ODD PAIRING BUT THEY STILL FIT PERFECTLY

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2)

A Duke by Default has a pairing that is sort of “opposites attract” – a younger, sociable woman who is an expert on social media, and a more traditional, older grumpy Scottish man who makes swords. But damn, this was one of the best romances I’ve ever read.

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
[ have watched ]

A BOOK/SERIES THAT YOU HAVE A LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH

Saving Raphael Santiago (The Bane Chronicles, #6)

I have completely left The Shadowhunter Chronicles fandom for multiple reasons long ago, and frankly, I don’t like to talk about it. I am not planning to read the new books, and I didn’t even feel the urge to read the “Malec trilogy”. And yet, certain characters like Raphael, Ragnor or Magnus still live in my heart, and Raphael in particular is incredibly important to me.

CLUELESS
[ saw gifs, never watched ]

A CHARACTER THAT IS TOTALLY CLUELESS BUT YOU LOVE THEM ANYWAY

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3)

My first thought for this was actually Harry Potter, who is definitely clueless and oblivious to the point that it’s funny, but I’m actually sort of neutral on him. My second thought was Murderbot, who is sort of clueless about (neurotypical) human interaction and the “whys” of many things, like hugs and eyecontact and such. I don’t feel like either of those are a perfect fit for this prompt, but I can’t think of anyone else.

TITANIC
[ have watched ]

NAME A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

How to Make a Wish

The latest book to make me cry was How To Make a Wish – it was a much heavier and more tense read than I expected, but I genuinely cried at the end.

AMERICAN PIE
[ heard of it, never watched, no intention to watch ]

A BOOK THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH

Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1)

I’d say both The Murderbot Diaries and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but they were both used for other prompts in this meme, so I made myself pick something else. Rick Riordan’s books also make me laugh, although lately I’ve been feeling like their magic is slipping away from me. I also really enjoy the Sidekick Squad series, with many fun superhero adventures.

CAN’T HARDLY WAIT
[ never heard of it ]

A BOOK WITH A CRAZY PARTY

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Montague Siblings, #1)

Can a party get any crazier than the one in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? It doesn’t only end with Monty fleeing from a bedroom naked in front of the party guests, but also kicks off the plot that leads them around the world and nearly gets them killed several times. It all starts at that party.

CRUEL INTENTIONS
[ heard of it, plans to watch maybe ]

NAME A CHARACTER YOU CAN NEVER FULLY TRUST

Loki: Agent of Asgard, Vol. 1: Trust Me

I don’t think this one needs an explanation tbh, but it’s part of his charm. I adore MCU Loki and his relationship with Thor with all my heart, and I haven’t read many Marvel comics, but I love how Loki’s genderfluidity appears there and wish it appeared in the movies. But damn, that doesn’t mean I trust him.

DRIVE ME CRAZY
[ never heard of it ]

NAME YOUR FAVOURITE “BOY NEXT DOOR” OR “GIRL NEXT DOOR” COUPLE

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)

Okay, so I sort of understand this concept, but I couldn’t really think of anyone? I get that it’s supposed to be a sort of normal/sweet person (right?), but I mostly read fantasy and sci-fi, so “normal” is relative. My first thought was actually Henry and Charlotte, who are very sweet, and definitely normal compared to Will’s bullshit.

SCREAM
[ heard of it, never watched ]

A BOOK WITH A MEMORABLE VILLAIN

loki.png

What do The Seafarer’s Kiss, The Ship of the Dead and the Marvel Universe have in common? I already listed one version of Loki above, but they/he has many versions and interpretations, and yes, many of those versions are villains. Above are two books where Loki is indeed the villain, but a very complicated, tricky, entertaining and memorable villain. (That being said, I can’t wait to read more books where Loki is the protagonist instead of the antagonist. The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris seems promising.)

THE CRAFT
[ never heard of it ]

NAME A BOOK WITH WITCHES

Spellbook of the Lost and Found

This is an odd one out on this list because it’s a book I haven’t read yet, but it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw witches, and I’m really intrigued.

~

Movie tally: Out of 10 movies, I have seen 2, and I have never heard of 3. Yep, that’s about what I expected.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

BOOK TAG |Anonymous Bookaholics

Hello yes I’m stealing this tag I saw on Avery‘s blog because I love book tags.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT BUYING NEW BOOKS?

Having… new books to read? I’m not really sure. It certainly gives a temporary burst of happiness because I feel like I treated myself to something nice. Buying physical books and touching the new covers and putting them on my shelves on display is great, but also I mostly buy ebooks.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU BUY NEW BOOKS?

I think I usually buy at least one book a month, but most of these are ebooks that are either on sale or very cheap, between 1-5 dollars. I can’t really afford to spend more than that on books, but I like to buy a physical book at least once every 2-4 months. It also depends on how much money I earn, which is pretty irregular (but honestly I’m usually broke).

Odakint ​sötétebbBOOKSTORE OR ONLINE BOOK SHOPPING – WHICH DO YOU PREFER?

Online shopping, for multiple reasons. Many English books I’m interested in haven’t been/won’t ever be translated into Hungarian, and I generally prefer to read books in English if they were originally written in English. When I go into bookstores here at home, I usually try to look for Hungarian authors – or maybe books by foreign authors that I’ve never heard of. That’s how I found the book I’m currently reading, which is a sort of dark/weird sci-fi by a Hungarian author.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE BOOKSHOP?

We used to have a bookstore line here called Alexandra, which is my name, so that was my favourite by default. (I even got a little poetry/quote book from them on my name day once.) Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist anymore. We have two large bookstores currently, but my preference between them is pretty much “whichever’s closest”.

DO YOU PRE-ORDER BOOKS?

I very, very rarely do, which is why it’s such a miracle that I pre-ordered TWO books this month. Maybe I should do it more often, mostly because by the time the book actually arrives I’ll probably forget about it, so it’s a nice present from past-me. That being said, Book Depository (where I usually order from) takes like 3 weeks to ship so I wouldn’t get them by release date anyway.

DO YOU HAVE A MONTHLY BOOK BUYING LIMIT?

I don’t really have a set monthly limit, but if I bought several books recently then I tell myself not to buy any more for a while. (And then usually break that promise. Not always thought.)

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2)HOW BIG IS YOUR WISHLIST?

My Goodreads TBR is consistently between 900-1000 books, but let’s face it, I’ll probably never buy all or even half of those books. My Book Depository and Amazon wishlist have a couple hundred titles, but even those are unlikely – mostly, they are just long so I have many to choose from.

WHICH THREE BOOKS FROM YOUR WISHLIST DO YOU WISH TO OWN NOW?

It doesn’t matter because I have so many books to read that I wouldn’t get to them anytime soon tbh. But I wish The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy was out already, and I wish I could actually afford Beneath a Sugar Sky. Also, A Prince on Paper, but that one doesn’t even have a cover yet.

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

BOOK TAG | Mulan Book Tag

Okay look I wasn’t tagged in this but I love Mulan and I love book tags. I saw this on Scorpio Book Dreams and it was created by Kirsty and the Cat Read.

Reflection – A book cover that doesn’t accurately reflect what the book is about.

The Deep EndWhen I picked up The Deep End, I knew that it had a lesbian protagonist with a wife, and I sort of knew from the blurb that it’s going to be a mystery around the main character’s missing sister. But hey, the cover has a nice blue sky and a pretty woman in an orange blouse, so surely it can’t be that bad, right? Probably a romantic novel mixed with some mystery. I also expected the main character to be younger, maybe in her 20s or early 30s, although I admit her age is difficult to tell on the cover without her face.

Well, I was wrong. While the main character is married, this is not a romance at all, and the mystery went deeper and became more and more twisted as the book went on. In the end, the cover didn’t really influence my enjoyment of the book, but it definitely made me expect a different kind of story. That being said, I’m not sure what cover would have been more accurate.

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2)Mushu – A character with a lot to prove.

Portia in A Duke by Default certainly has a lot to prove: not only to her parents and family, but to herself as well. She is nearly 30, and yet she has no stable career as she moves from one exciting project to the next. Her parents don’t take her passions seriously and would rather she stayed working at the family company, but they don’t truly trust her enough to think she can do it. They contribute to Portia’s low self-esteem and make her doubt herself and constantly compare herself to her sister.

I loved this book, but I admit that the parental pressure was sometimes difficult to read about. Still, Portia proved just how amazing and extraordinary she is.

The Poppy WarI’ll Make a Man Out of You – A character who develops a lot, or a book with some kick-ass training scenes.

When I read this prompt and started hearing the song in my head, the book I immediately connected it to was The Poppy War. While the Poppy War is historical fantasy, it is based on real historical conflicts in Asia, specifically the second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking. It also takes place first at a school where they train soldiers, and later in a group of special soldiers with magical abilities. Rin has to train herself and her skills in both group, and she goes through a lot of development during the years described in the book, so The Poppy War has both a character with development and kick-ass training scenes.

I loved the Poppy War, but you must be aware before you pick it up that it’s a brutal novel that deals with genocide, war, rape, drug addiction and other topics. The main character might be a teenager, but it is far from a YA novel.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)A Girl Worth Fighting For – A ship you will defend until your last breath.

Somehow, my first thought for this prompt was Kaz and Inej, which is interesting, because… I don’t really ship Kaz and Inej romantically? I adore them both as separate characters, and I love their dynamic, but I prefer to see it as a strong platonic relationship and have Inej and Nina be in a romantic relationship instead. However, this doesn’t change the fact that they are important to each other and depend on each other, and if the end of the first book is any indication, there will indeed be a lot of fighting for this girl in the second book.

Shout out to Portia and Tavish from A Duke by Default, because I’d die for that ship but I already mentioned them at another prompt. + Every ship in Chameleon Moon, including Evelyn/Danae/Rose, and everyone Regan is dating, although there are no girls involved in the second one.

Huns – A book/character that gave you the creeps.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?The woman that raised Rin in The Poppy War, for sure. I can’t remember her name, but she was awful. The king in The Seafarer’s Kiss is also awful, but somehow he didn’t truly scare me or “gave me the creeps”, so he’s not the best pick for this prompt.

This is a little different, because I’m picking a nonfiction book, but Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? already gave me the creeps at the title. Back in the 1980s, Jeanette Winterson wrote a novel, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. The main character in Oranges is called Jeanette and a lot of her life is based on the author’s true life as growing up as a lesbian in a religious home, but much of it is still fiction. In Why Be Happy, a truly nonfiction novel, the author explains why she chose to write that first story as fiction, and that explanation definitely made me shiver. And in the end, isn’t reality the most scary thing?

And I suppose that is the saddest thing for me, thinking about the cover version that is Oranges, is that I wrote a story I could live with. The other one was too painful. I could not survive it.

I wrote her in because I couldn’t bear to leave her out. There was no Elsie. There was no one like Elsie. Things were much lonelier than that.

Tone of Voice (Xandri Corelel Book 2)Mulan – Your favourite bad-ass female protagonist.

Wait, hold on. What do you mean I’m supposed to pick just one?

  • Evelyn, Rose and Danae, especially Danae when she punched a tank
  • Esofi and Adale both, especially Esofi when she fought a duel in a dress
  • Xandri, pretty much always, but somehow I’m thinking of the first contact scene with the Psittacans, and every time she makes first contact
  • Portia, also pretty much always – she’s a multitasking queen that I aspire to be like
  • Eelyn, because I loved Sky in the Deep and just can’t bear to leave her out

tagging: nobody at the moment, but feel free to do it and tag me in it, I’d love to see your answers!

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

BOOK TAG | The Book Blogger Test

I was actually tagged by both Avery and Louise, so I guess now I have to do it. (Love you both!)

THE RULES:

1) Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
2) Answer the questions asked on this post.
3) Nominate and notify some peeps. 5 preferred.

1. What are your top 3 bookish pet peeves?

  • There’s this specific type of paper some books are made of that really irritates my fingers and I hate it, e.g. the paperback I have of Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher has it
  • Love triangles when you could have just polyamory (even worse if it involves cheating, double worse if it’s treated casually/like it’s no big deal)
  • All the main characters pairing up, e.g. there’s 6 mains and they form 3 couples (even worse if it’s all allocishet ships, but tbh it still annoys me if it has one queer couple, like in Six of Crows or The Mortal Instruments. let some people be single and happy! double worse if they all marry and have kids in the epilogue.)

Like Louise, I took this question to mean the smaller, “petty” things and not serious issues. I could talk about those as well, but not here and now.

2. Name a perfect reading spot:

Honestly? I read mostly ebooks on my laptop, and even when I read a physical book, I’m usually at my desk. I like reading outside if the weather is nice, but it’s difficult to find a spot that’s both comfortable, allows me to see the text, and the sun isn’t in my eyes.

The Host3. Give 3 reading confessions:

  • I once bought a second hardcover copy of The Host just because the dust jacket had the actors from the movie and I thought (still think) that they were hot. My mom wasn’t impressed.
  • Back when I was 8-10, either the 5th or 6th Harry Potter book was coming out, and I went to a midnight release with my mom and didn’t go to school the next day. I also openly told this to the journalist who wanted to interview me because I was one of the youngest there.
  • I don’t remember the plot of half the books I read because my memory is horrible. My Goodreads notes/quotes help sometimes.

4. When was the last time you cried during a book?

First one that comes to mind is the Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts, and it had to do with the Chimp dancing. If you read the book, you might understand.

5. Number of books on your bedside table?

I don’t have a bedside table, but my desk is near my bed I guess? Right now it has no books on it because I organised it the same day I’m writing this post, but before that it had the Warrior anthology by Ink & Locket Press. Again, I mostly read ebooks, but I actually read some physical books from my shelf lately… I just put them back already. (Note: my desk does have multiple textbooks, notebooks and two colouring books on it, but I didn’t count those for this question.)

6. Favorite reading snack?

No specific reading snacks. I drink a lot of water? I usually don’t eat while reading (anymore).

7. What are 3 books you’d recommend to anyone?

The Queen of IeflariaThis is tough. I love recommending Chameleon Moon (sequel: The Lifeline Signal) because I love the world, but I realise the number of characters and the pacing can put people off. I also tend to recommend The Queen of Ieflaria (F/F YA fantasy with princesses), because I absolutely loved it, but I know for a fact that some of my friends don’t read fantasy. I want to recommend Failure to Communicate (sequel: Tone of Voice) more often because it is a very underappreciated sci-fi book with an amazing #ownvoices autistic bisexual protag, loveable side characters, future polyamorous relationship, and many well-developed alien species.

Oh! Bonus pick because it’s not queer, but A Duke by Default has a Black heroine and an older, Scottish/Chilean love interest, and it’s one of the best romances I’ve ever read.

(Shout out to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, which I loved and would definitely always recommend, but so does everyone else so you’ve probably heard about it by now.)

8. Provide a picture of your bookshelf:

I have two! They’re twins. The one on the left has older books that I don’t really touch anymore (including compulsory reading for elementary school + some books that actually belong to my parents but I have more space). The one on the right has my more recent books, including two and a half books dedicated to English books. The queer books are mostly in one cluster. And yes, I do own the entire Harry Potter series twice – the Hungarian editions are on the left shelf and the English ones are on the right.

9. How much do books mean to you in 3 words?

Fun, Escapism, Validation. Many people talk about how reading or books changed their lives and I always feel awkward because I don’t feel it’s /that/ important – but it is definitely a hobby that I enjoy, and when things are tough, it’s great to pick up a book where queer people can live happily.

10. Biggest reading secret?

I had to look up what deckled edges are and also I don’t think I’ve ever seen them used. Hey, this is unfair, there was already a “confessions” question! I’m really not sure what else to say here. I could list a few popular/hyped books I was unimpressed by but I don’t want to spread negativity.

I tag: nobody at the moment, but if you do it, feel free to tag me so I can see it!

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

The Hamlet Book Tag

I saw this tag on Jamishelves, but it was created by Allie on YouTube. (Is this the part where I admit that I never watch YouTube anymore because I don’t have the attention span for the videos? Anyway, so.)

Hamlet:
Name a book with an unlikeable main character.

The Poppy War

Now, you might ask: “Hey, Alexa, why are you putting The Poppy War here if you adore Rin?” And here’s the thing: Rin is unlikeable in the best way. She is a very complex character who can be ruthless, desperate and loyal all at once. She has many qualities that male characters are often forgiven for, but female characters rarely get away with. So, I would like to put The Poppy War here 100% out of love, and I hope to see more amazing unlikeable female protagonists like Rin.

Runner-up: Kaz from Six of Crows. He is a self-described monster who has many enemies, plenty of conflicts even with his friends/allies, and a ruthless attitude. I adore him as a character, but I’m not sure I’d like him as a person.

Gertrude:
Name a book with a living parent(s).

The Girl and the Grove

I think in most books are read, even if the parents are alive, they usually aren’t central to the plot (or if they are, it’s often in a negative way, with cruel or overbearing parents). The first exception I could think of is The Girl and the Grove, where Leila’s adoptive parents and her relationship with them are central to the story, and they are both amazing.

Runner-up: I loved the mother-daughter relationship in The Seafarer’s Kiss, which wasn’t the main focus but still very important to the plot.

Claudius:
Name a book with an unlikely villain.

Strong Female Protagonist: Book One

Okay, so I couldn’t really think of a villain that I didn’t expect, so let me talk about one of my favourite villain-hero relationships instead. It’s less an unlikely villain, and more an unlikely friend (who used to be a villain). Strong Female Protagonist is a very clever superhero story that addresses so many ethical concerns about superheroes, especially young superheroes, and saving the world.

Runner-up: While it’s often predictable, I loved the way Not Your Sidekick dealt with the concept of heroes and villains.

King Hamlet:
Name a book that has a ghost or any character from beyond the grave.

My first thought for this was The Blackwell series that I really miss ever since I finished it, but that’s a videogame series, not a book 😦 Oh well. I actually don’t think I read that many books with ghost, which is something I want to remedy. My book club read for this month is literally titled “Ghosts” but I don’t think it has any actual ghosts.

Into the Mystic, Volume Three

One story with ghosts that I really enjoyed was By Candlelight in the third volume of the Into the Mystic anthology. It’s a F/F story and I loved the softness of it, although it raised some unanswered questions.

Ophelia:
Name a book with a female character that deserved better.

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Nina deserves better than getting with the guy who 1) tries to strangle her as his first in-book action, 2) fantasizes about murdering her for at least 100 pages after that, 3) is pretty deep into this “Grisha aren’t people” phase for most of the book. (Namely, she deserves Inej, but I’ll settle for better.) I just finished reading this book recently and I have Opinions.

Laertes:
Name a book with a strong sibling relationship.

Sky in the Deep

Sky in the Deep has great sibling relationships, both between blood siblings and adopted/found siblings. This book is one of my most pleasant surprises this year, and certainly one of my favourites.

Runner-up: In Baker Thief, both MCs have siblings who are central to the plot, and they are also their own unique and interesting people, with strong relationships to their respective siblings.

Polonius:
Name a book with a controlling father or father figure.

Failure to Communicate (Xandri Corelel #1)

Failure to Communicate has a protagonist that used to have controlling parents, but she left them long ago, so I’m not sure how much it counts. I couldn’t come up with anything else though, not even after scrolling Goodreads for a while. The only ones I could think of had controlling mothers, not fathers. Not sure what that says about the books I read. (Also, I’m just grabbing every chance to recommend Failure to Communicate.)

Runner-up: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, which is a book I absolutely loved, and it probably fits this prompt better actually… But it’s also much more popular than Failure to Communicate, so I want to focus on the indie #ownvoices one.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern:
Name a book with a strong friendship.

The Better to Kiss You With

I loved the nerdy friendship in The Better to Kiss You With, a paranormal werewolf romance book. I’m literally always looking for more books with great friendships, so feel free to recommend me some in the comments! I’m actually kind of tried of always reading books with central romantic relationships.

Horatio:
Name a book where you changed your opinion about a character or the book itself.

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)

Hush, Hush is a book that I adored when I was a teen, but I’ve been kind of afraid or re-reading it ever since because I’m afraid I’d hate it now. I loved Patch, but looking back, he seems more creepy than suave. I’d have to re-read to really make up my mind about it, but yeah, I’m worried.

~ Alexa

Miscellaneous

Life In Books Tag

Do you ever get that feeling when you finish reading a book, but you just feel like you don’t have anything worthwhile to say about it in a review? Probably. Do you ever get this feeling 4-5 times in a row? Welcome the club. Maybe I’ll call it a reviewing slump.

So, since I don’t have any reviews lined up on this blog for now, and also I’m actually working for once so I don’t have time/energy to come up with super creative ideas, I decided book tags would be the perfect choice.

I saw this one on The Bibliophagist and I loved it, so I had to do it.

1. Find a book for each of your initials

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)

Storm Season

For this, I picked one book from the books I read, and one from my TBR shelf. All Systems Red is one of my favourite novellas, and Storm Season sounds like a really good outdoorsy/nature F/F romance.

2. Count your age along your bookshelf – what book is it?

Run

I used my owned and unread bookshelf for this on Goodreads, and got the book that I received as a gift long ago from a friend. Run is a F/F romance with a blind protagonist and I’m planning to read it this year for the Lesbian Book Bingo. Idk if it’s any good.

3. A book set in your city/country

Odakint ​sötétebb

I can’t think of any books set in my city, but this sci-fi book with a beautiful cover is definitely set in my country. Odakint sötétebb (“It’s Darker Outside”) was 80% a cover buy for me, because wow, but also it sounds really badass. It’s about a new type of mysterious creature being discovered in Hungary that apparently cannot be taken out of the country.

4. A book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to

Highland Raven (The Celtic Blood Series, #1)

Because Scotland is neat, I guess? And I have an ebook of Highland Raven.

5. A book that’s your favorite color

Giant Days, Vol. 1

I literally have a separate book shelf for covers that are yellow or orange, which (along with purple) are my favourite colours. I wasn’t very impressed by Giant Days, but the cover is amazing. (The second volume is orange as well!)

6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

A birodalom visszavág (Csillagok háborúja, #5)

Yes, that is the Hungarian version of Empire Strikes Back. This book is instant nostalgia for me – Han and Leia were one of my first OTPs, and nothing will compare to the original Star Wars trio for me (although the Force Awakens came close).

7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

I mean… Plenty? Especially the ones I didn’t finish. But really, there’s just too many and I’m not sure what to pick for this question.

8. Which book in your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

Elveszett próféciák

This fucker (otherwise known as Good Omens) is actually the very first book on my Goodreads TBR, that I added back in 2013. That’s now five years that I’ve owned a copy of it and haven’t read it. Maybe this year? It’s on my Around the Year in 52 Books challenge TBR, so I’d better read it.

Tagging: Avery, Aurora, Laura, Lia, Dorka

~ Alexa