Snowtulip's Corner of the World

Books, bikes, and travel!

Mini Review: Perfect Day

Perfect Day - Josh Lanyon

I have been less than pleased with a lot of Lanyon's work lately, so it makes me very happy to get these snapshots of beautiful from his older work. It's a great reminder of how amazing he can be with words.

Mini Review: The Parting Glass

The Parting Glass - Josh Lanyon

I loved the first book in the series, so was hoping that this would be just as good. The two books are very different from each other, but still stay true to the characters.

There is a bittersweet air throughout this story that is consistent with Tim's past and present struggles with self worth. I appreciate Lanyon's efforts to really create strong characters. I did feel that one of Luke's actions

(cheating)

(show spoiler)

did sway from what I believed to be his moral compass. I loved these characters and their struggles so much, and believe in the path that they have to take. I was willing to accept the ending that I thought Lanyon was going to give them

but I absolutely loved that we received a HEA

(show spoiler)

 because it actually fit the growth and development that Tim has been creating for himself.

Something new (but really old) for 2014

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan

So contemporary fiction, literary fiction used to be the bread and butter of my reading many years ago.  Once I started reading romance, I went on a 2 year reading frenzy that included both m/f and m/m and basically forgot that any other type of story existed :D

 

So for 2014, I've decided to read one book a month that is contemporary fiction.  This book is my pick for January.  Do I still have the taste for this type of story???

Mini Review: Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie

I really wanted to read this, but was also hesitant because of the overwhelming love for this book by readers.

 

In the beginning, I was concerned because I wasn't immediately sucked into the story. There are many POVs, gender distinctions, and multiple timelines that keep your brain trying to catch up with what is really going on.

 

This is a unique story in the way the author presents the world and information, and at least a quarter of the way in I became hooked.  I really enjoyed learning about this world, and there was a lot of philosophy associated with the discussions carried on by the characters.  The action within the story slowly builds, with a lot going on at the end of the story.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this story and am absolutely ready to read the next book when it comes out.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 135 out of 384 pages.

Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie

This is really getting interesting.  Took some time at the beginning to understand this world, but now it's paying off!

Mini Review: The Warrior's Apprentice

The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2) - Lois McMaster Bujold

Highly anticipated introduction to teenage Miles :D

 

Characters with depth and charm...check
Hijinks galore...check
Wicked subterfuge(that you don't even know about)...check
Action, action, action...check

 

Romantic hero...most definitely!

 

Am I hooked? Absolutely!

Mini Review: Barrayar

Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7) - Lois McMaster Bujold

Many readers have indicated that the first two books aren't as strong as the stories with Miles in them.  This really excites me because I really did enjoy these first two books, that I can't even imagine how happy I'll be in my upcoming reads.

 

Cordelia and Aral are just such a perfect team.  They click and you really do believe that they want positive change.  I love Cordelia's attitude and her take action persona.  She is tender and practical and such a great heroine.

 

This book was action packed without hardly any breathing room for the poor reader, but I'll take it :D

 

This series is my first experience with Bujold (I must admit that the cover art turned me off for a long time) and I'm really enjoying it so far and I'm looking forward to the next book!  

Mini Review: Shards of Honor

Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga, #1) - Lois McMaster Bujold

This is a fun start to this series.  The main characters are initially stranded together, really allowing Cordelia and Aral to really set the foundation of interactions with each other and to really understand each others true character and moral compass.  Without the distraction of others, they can form a strong relationship.

 

Cordelia is sharp and easy going, she really is endearing as a character.  There is plenty of action and political maneuvering to keep the reader interested.

 

Good solid start to this series.

Why Do All the Library Requests Always Come at Once!

The Darkness That Comes Before  - R. Scott Bakker Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie Iceland's Bell - Philip Roughton, Halldór Laxness The Kingmakers - Susan Griffith

So I just received my email notification that these 4 books are now ready for me to pick up!  They always seem to come in batches instead of one at a time.  Most are long reads as well, so it looks like I'll be pretty busy :D

 

Any suggestions of which one I should start first???

Any Recommended Reads on Cambodia and Laos

I Survived The Killing Fields: The True Story Of A Cambodian Refugee - Kok-ung Seng, Christina Henry De Tessan, Kong Lu

I love to travel and one of the things I always do is try and read books about the countries I'm going to or read works of fiction/non-fiction by local authors ahead of time.

 

Anyone have any recommended reads for Cambodia and Laos?

 

 

Thoughts So Far....

Cordelia's Honor - Lois McMaster Bujold

I'm only about a quarter of the way through the first story in the omnibus, but I do like the easy banter between Cordelia and Vorkosigan.  I'm also a complete sucker for "stranded on a planet/island/underground cave/etc." type of story.

 

So far, enjoying it, anticipate some action soon, as they are getting close to the cache :D

Short Review: The Little Things

The Little Things - Jay Northcote

So the reviews for this book were all over the place, but I was in the mood for a family story, so I decided to take the plunge.

 

There is a lot of mundane, day to day, snapshots of Joel's life and I can see where this might not work for all readers. But since I wanted a family read, it really worked for me. I loved seeing the way Joel and Evie worked together and learning about her stuffed animals...I was in the mood for sentimental..

 

Near the end, I really was screaming at Joel over Liam, especially since he put up with so much from Dan without a care.

 

Liam, loved him from the moment he showed up, and I definitely would have liked a better balance between Joel's day to day versus building the love story. More time needed to be spent on that relationship.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the story. It won't be for everyone, so be forewarned that if you don't like to know what the MC eats everyday, then this might not be for you :D

Top 3 in 2013

Hidden Away - J.W. Kilhey Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz Captive Prince: Volume Two - S.U. Pacat, C.S. Pacat

Hidden Away is by far the book that made an absolute mess of my head.  The amount of crying I did was astounding.  This is not an easy read, you are reminded of the atrocities that were done by the Nazi's, while witnessing such amazing love.  Heartbreaking.

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is such a beautiful story. The writing is so exquisite and purposeful that you can't help but be swept into this story. Even if you do not read young adult, you might want to take a chance with this amazing read.

 

Captive Prince Volume Two...WOW!  My absolute favorite read, I've read it over a gazillion times.  Even just thinking about it now makes me want to read it again.  This is such a well thought world, with intense political maneuvering, and enemies to lovers with so much tension.  Absolutely brilliant!

 

 

Obviously, my can't wait for read in 2014 is Captive Prince Volume Three :D

Short Review: Beguiled

Beguiled - Joanna Chambers

Oh these two, David and Murdo, they are so perfect for each other.

I love historicals with relevance and this story delivers. We had more character depth, more chemistry, redemption of old friends, and we had two amazing men begin to learn about love.

Cordelia's Honor: Present For Me

Cordelia's Honor - Lois McMaster Bujold

So I had a list of books that I wanted for Christmas and this was one that I received, so I'm anxious to start, but will I be sucked into needing to read all the books in this series?

 

The real questions is, how sucked in do you think I will get?

 

Just trying to plan how to fit real life into my reading world :D

Short Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman

Moments of beauty and understanding.

Currently reading

The Last Hour of Gann
R. Lee Smith