Recent Reads: December 2015

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Well, I can’t post my 2015 favorite books lists without sharing what I read in December, can I? 😉 I managed to squeeze in four books in December and have decided to review three of them. And beware – there’s all kinds of magical, mechanical, and speculative fiction goodness to follow, starting with my Read of the Month!
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Recent Reads: November 2015

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Ohhhhhhhh, I came SO close to reading more books this month than I thought I would! But when you’re a night reader like I am, and life suddenly gets so crazy that both braind and body crave more meditation and sleep, you just don’t have the energy to stay up late to finish another chapter. So, I’m content with November being a three-book month, and especially happy that I finally made time for the story that I picked as my Read of the Month. Speaking of which…
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Recent Reads: October 2015

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Something electric must be in the air. Out of the five books I read in October, I enjoyed four of them enough to write reviews. So, those positive bookish vibes that made September a great month for reading haven’t gone away yet. 🙂

What also made October a fun month for reading was including two “Halloween-ish” novels. Not scary horror stories by any means, but stories with a creepiness factor that fit the time of year. You’ll see what I mean as you check out the reviews, starting with my Read of the Month, which is…
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Recent Reads: September 2015

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Great news: I’m out of my reading slump! 😀 September turned out to be an awesome month of reading, with some of the best books I’ve read all year. In fact, two books almost tied for Read of the Month. But one eeked out over the other just enough because… well, when you read my review, you’ll understand why. So, let’s get to it!
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Recent Reads: August 2015

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

August was a weird month reading-wise. Out of the five books I finished, three were disappointments. (They were also the last three books I’d read chronologically speaking, so I fell into a case of the Reading Slump Blues. :/  ) The other two books were fantastic awesome AMAZING, and are sure bets for my year-end favorites list. So, I apologize if this edition of Recent Reads ends up feeling like a rollercoaster ride. We’ll start on a positive note, though, with my pick for Read of the Month, which is…
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Recent Reads: July 2015 (Plus, I’m Back from #WDC15!)

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Recent Reads is a monthly reading wrap-up, with mini-reviews of all the books I finished in the past month. I’ll also share what I’m currently reading and any other books that are in the pipeline. Want to share your bookish happenings, too? Feel free to do so in the Comments section at the end!

Back from my blogging hiatus! 🙂 And WOW, Writer’s Digest Conference was AWESOME! I don’t even know where to begin with describing what an invaluable experience it was. So, all I’ll say for now is that I’ll be writing two articles’ worth (possibly three) of conference coverage for DIY MFA.  It sounds like a lot, but I’ve been so “in the zone” that each piece seemed to write itself in a fingersnap. Unfortunately, this means I won’t have time for a Field Trip post here at the blog – but I’ll do a special edition of Stacking The Shelves instead.  Stay tuned for that on Saturday!

Now, Recent Reads. Last month’s debut of the new format went amazingly well. I’m so glad that readers enjoyed the shorter reviews, and that you’ve been understanding of the change in format. Today I’d like to add one more feature that takes advantage of the shorter reviews: Read of the Month, which highlights my favorite book from the past month. That way, you won’t have to search for the highest rating or most positive review. 😉

So, what did I choose as my Read of the Month? What other books did I devour, figuratively speaking? Find out below!

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5 on the 5th: Five Fantastic Speculative Fiction Blogs

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On the fifth day of each month, 5 on the 5th shares five of something that I like or recommend to readers. Whether it’s five items that share a common theme, or five reasons why I like the topic at hand, this monthly meme gives you and me an opportunity to bond over other subjects that I don’t normally blog about. If you have suggestions about future 5 on the 5th topics, feel free to suggest them in the Comments section at the end of this article.

This month, I’m featuring Five Fantastic Speculative Fiction Blogs. Like last month’s writing websites, these five blogs are places I regularly visit, and each has a unique twist on their genre coverage. While I love “big-name” sites like Tor.com or TheOneRing.net, I wanted to showcase a few other favorites that readers might not have heard of before. So, if you’re a fan of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, this list is for you!

Visit any of these sites by clicking on their respective logos or on any of the article links provided.

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Recent Reads: June 2015

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Welcome to the revamped Recent Reads! As previously mentioned here, I’ve switched to a new book review format to accommodate a change in blogging priorities. Recent Reads will now be a retrospective of the books read over the past month, and will consist of multiple, shorter reviews. Now that I’m reading faster that I used to, I’m hoping this will be a more “economical” way of sharing bookish thoughts. So, in addition to any comments on the individual books, let me know what you think of the new format in the Comments section at the end.

So, onto the books I read last month!

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Site Updates and Upcoming Changes (June 2015)

Happy Monday, everyone! 😉

I’ve worked on some more site updates since the main overhaul 3 weeks ago. In addition, some new article ideas have been percolating – ideas that excite me, but have caused me to reconsider aspects of my blogging schedule. So, I wanted to let you know what’s new, what may be changing, and what may be on the way.

As always, I welcome any questions, suggestions,or other feedback you have. Feel free to post them in the Comments section at the end of this article. Continue reading

Recent Reads: “Alanna: The First Adventure” by Tamora Pierce

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Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness Quartet, Book #1)
Tamora Pierce
Fantasy / Young Adult
249 pages (paperback)

Synopsis:

“From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

In a time when girls are forbidden to be warriors, Alanna of Trebond wants nothing more than to be a knight of the realm of Tortall. So she finds a way to switch places with her twin brother, Thom. Disguised as a boy, Alanna begins her training as a page at the palace of King Roald. But the road to knighthood, as she discovers, is not an easy one. Alanna must master weapons, combat, and magic, as well as polite behavior, her temper, and even her own heart.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land. Continue reading