Reading Challenge

Fantastic February

The first smaller reading challenge I’m doing this year is a monthly (February) book challenge. If you missed my previous post about the yearly reading challenge I’m doing  you can check it out here.

The Fantastic February reading challenge is hosted by Kathy, author of the Books and Munches blog, and you can find all the details here.

Basically, this is a challenge that focuses on reading fantasy/paranormal books. Since I have a bunch of those on my unread bookcase, this is perfect!

Here is my TBR list for February:

fantastic february books

The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine- I started this series awhile back and only have four books left in this series, so I’ll be finishing the series this month – Black Dawn, Bitter Blood, Fall of Night (not pictured), and Daylighters. 

The Queen of Hearts series by Colleen Oakes – I loved the first book and can’t wait to read the last two in this trilogy – Blood of Wonderland, and War of the Cards.

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz – This books sounded so good I pre-ordered it, and just haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – I’ve heard so many good things about this book,  it had to be added to the list.

After Alice by Gregory Maguire – I’ve actually never read a book by Maguire before, but have heard many good things about him, I decided to give this book a try. Also, this is an audiobook. (Audiobooks are one way I up my book count for the year.)

If you couldn’t tell, I love fairytale retellings, and am psyched to be doing a fantasy-themed challenge. I realize this is an ambitious list, but I will be trying to fit them all in. Like I said in my previous post, challenges motivate me. 🙂

What’s on your TBR list for February? Are you participating in Fantastic February or any other reading challenge for the month? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Reading Challenge

The #unreadshelfproject2018 Reading Challenge

unread shelf

This year, I’m focusing on my reading by having more specific goals, and with that comes the reading challenges. I love a good challenge. I’m a bit competitive, so challenges really motivate me. 🙂

If you follow me on Instagram (@charityrau), then you know I’m participating in the #unreadshelfproject2018. What is that, you ask?  It is a reading challenge hosted by @theunreadshelf,  @katereadsbooks_, and @calsreads on Instagram.

The objective of the challenge – to focus on reading your own unread books. I have a ton of books that I haven’t read yet, and had been contemplating doing something like this for 2018 when I found this challenge. It’s the perfect motivation! The hosts will be posting weekly, and sometimes monthly, challenges throughout the year which will help me stay motivated and stick to my goal.

One of the first challenges was to count your unread books. Now, when I say I have a ton of unread books, I’m not exaggerating. Some are in boxes and others are scattered among books I have already read. I started with the one bookcase I know contains mostly unread books.

unread bookshelf

There are 120 unread books on that shelf, so that’s my goal for the year – to read 120 of my unread books.  I read 140 books last year, so this is doable for me. I will read a few library books as well, but only ones that qualify as highly anticipated reads for this year.

First I’ll be reading series – there are several series I’ve started, but haven’t finished. I’m currently finishing up the Lunar Chronicles.  I’m also planning to finish The Queen of Heart series, The Morganville Vampire series, the Beautiful Creatures series, and The Throne of Glass series.

This is my big reading challenge for the year, but I’ll also be doing some smaller challenges to help me stay motivated. I’ll be posting about some of those a little later. 🙂

What are your reading goals for 2018? Are you participating in any challenges? Let me know in the comments!

 

Book Reviews

Chivalry’s Children Review

Hi everyone! I took a bit of a break for the holidays, but I’m back and will be posting again every week. Hope everyone had a great holiday season!

One of the last books I read in 2017 was Chivalry’s Children by Alexis P. Johnson. Set in medieval times, it follows four girls and their friends.

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From the back of the book:

Meridian the blacksmith, Keira the minstrel, Aurielle the alchemist, and Ivy the librarian, are four spirited and very different young women of Orion’s Court in the European nation of Laudeland. Knights, inventors, and even a prince share in their daily adventures from woodland hunts to masquerade balls. 

But their peaceful existence is shattered when a ruthless villain from their past lays siege to their country in vengeance, transforming their lives forever. The ladies and their comrades are then thrown into an even greater conflict that will test the strength and endurance of each of them, yet the inner trials of their hearts may prove to be even more challenging. As iron sharpens iron, the nation of Laudeland will need to unite in honor and chivalry as they face the storms of change.

Because there were so many primary characters, it took me a few pages to get into the story, but once I did, I flew through the book. The world building was great. I felt like I could have stepped into Laudeland through the pages, and I loved how the women were able to have the jobs they wanted without the stigma of something being “a man’s job”.

I could tell Alexis has a background in screenwriting, because this book would make a great movie. I could totally envision it as one while I read. I also really loved the spirit of camaraderie among the characters. It reminded me of the relationships I have with my siblings and a couple of my closest friends.

Overall, this was a great read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, medieval reads, or adventure.

You can find out more about Chivalry’s Children and Alexis P. Johnson here.

Beauty and the Beast Series, Reading Challenge

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in A Book

I just have to say – I loved this book! The perfect companion to the new movie, it takes places after Belle has come to the castle and been rescued from the wolves, but  before Belle and the Beast have their dance.

The Beast has just given Belle the library, and she finds a magical book there. It’s a book she can actually step into and become a part of the book’s world. The book, called Nevermore, is written by  Comtesse des Terres De Morts, a countess who befriends Belle once she enters Nevermore. The countess shows Belle exciting things – marvelous parties, the highlights of Paris, and a life of luxury. But Belle has to wonder, is it real? And is it really better than her life with the Beast and his servants?

This book expounded on some of the things I loved about the new movie. There was a little more about Belle’s past and a little more about the Beast’s past. I also loved the way it handled love – it’s sometimes hard and unglamorous, but when it’s real it’s worth it. It was an enchanting read, and also a deeper read than it first appeared to be.

If you love the Beauty and the Beast story, you’ll enjoy this book. And if you really loved the new Beauty and the Beast movie, this book is a must read! It fits with the movie so perfectly, adding a bit more to Belle and the Beast’s story.

Up next in the Beauty and the Beast reading challenge is, As Old As Time by Liz Braswell. If you haven’t finished Lost in A Book yet, no problem. You can always come back to share in the discussion here once you have. If you haven’t finished the book, you might not want to look at the discussions, there could be spoilers there. 🙂

And as promised, a few discussions questions. Share your answers in the comments!

What did you think of the Love/Death dichotomy?

Death said that Love was even more ferocious that Death herself was. Do you think that’s true, and why?

Why do you think the Beast had such a hard time having talking with Belle the way she wanted him to? Do you think this made him a bad friend?

What do you think is the best way to tell if a friend is true or not?

And, of course, what was your favorite part of the book?

Book Reviews

Three Fairytale Retellings Worth the Read

I know I had a book list last week, but I wanted to post another one with my favorite fairytale retellings.  I love fairytale retellings and that is the subgenre I most enjoy writing, so I thought it fitting to post a few of my favorites.  For right now, I am just posting a short list, but I will post a longer list later with all of my favorites.

1. Sisters Red  by Jackson Pearce. Loosely based on Red Riding Hood,  this the story of two sisters who fights the werewolves that kill young girls.  Full of action, suspense and romance, the sisters’ bond is tested as they each come to grips with who they are meant to be.

2. Beastly by Alex Flinn.  This is a modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  A sweet book full of heart, it was made into a movie a few years ago.  While the movie is cute, the book is definitely better!

3. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. A retelling of the Twleve Dancing Princesses, this story takes you to another time and place.  A magical story with humor and romance, it is a read you won’t forget.

There are so many good fairytale retellings, so be looking for my longer list within the next couple of weeks.