Showing posts from 2016

2016 in review

Well, here we are, at the end of 2016!

Last year I made my first infographic that catalogued some interesting reading stats. I made a new one this year, to look at some of the same things and compare them to how I did last year.

Here it is!

Some interesting facts: I started and ended this year with Sanderson books, so obviously my year in books was off to a great start and end (Shadows of Self and Arcanum Unbounded, in case you were wondering). I think I have one or two more short stories/novellas to go before I've read everything published in the Cosmere :DI read more paperback and hardcover books this year because I went to the actual library instead of just conveniently checking out ebooks on my kindle. Listened to more audiobooks than ever because I listen to them at work, about 1 a weekMy average rating last year was 3.905 and this year's was 3.904, and no one star books in either year. Looks like I have a pretty solid idea of which books I'll like before I start readi…

Book Talk: Books for Comforting

Last week was really rough for me. My grandpa passed away. I was really close to him and I was so upset, so that's why the blog has been quiet for the past week. It has been tough, but my friends and family have reached out to me and I've felt very loved and supported, which is so wonderful and comforting during your unhappiest times.
That got me thinking about how books can also be a source of comfort. There have been times in the past few years where I was inexplicably upset, lonely, insecure, or all of the above. Sometimes I was too embarrassed to talk to my friends about how I was feeling, and sometimes I didn't even really know how to talk about it. I found a lot of comfort in books, because sometimes when you read about a character that is struggling with some of the same things you are, you feel less alone and less ashamed of how you feel. 
I used to read books because of the clever plot twists or because of the magical sci-fi and fantasy worlds, but now I've s…

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here's a list of bookish things that I am thankful for!

1. More books to read than I could ever ask for
I know this is usually a bookish problem but it's one I'm very glad to have: I'm so thankful that there are so many amazing books out there in the world just waiting to be discovered, and that I have access to libraries and friends who lend me books and bookstores.
2. The book blogger community
It's so awesome finding a space in this loving and generous community! What I love most is that I have made a lot of friends just by talking about books we love. It's really awesome to have people to talk to when new books come out, because most of my college friends don't read as quickly or as much as I do.
3. The #otspsecretsister project This penpal project is just so wonderful! It's gotten me through some really lonely/stressful/tough times and it's so awesome getting to know other bookish people and spreading the love an…

Bookish Eats: A Torch Against the Night Sweet potato patties

I just finished reading A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir, and I liked it so much more than the first book. I figured out my main problem with it: I can't stand Laia. At all. But this book featured Helene more heavily, and she's definitely my favorite character of the series. The thing that I love about Helene is that even when you take away the people she cares about and crush her soul, she somehow pieces herself back together again and comes back stronger than ever, better than before.

Following the theme of crushing and remaking, I decided to make some Black bean and Sweet potato veggie patties. I actually didn't have black beans so I ended up subbing kidney beans, but it was still really good! Here's the link to the recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger by The Minimalist Baker
So I begin by smashing and crushing my ingredients, which was very satisfying after a stressful day at work...I think I can see why Marcus enjoys it so much (just kidding!! Marcu…

Review: The Rose and the Dagger

Title: The Rose & the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Historical fiction, fantasy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
The darker the sky, the brighter the stars.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad is forced from the arms of her beloved husband, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once thought Khalid a monster—a merciless killer of wives, responsible for immeasurable heartache and pain—but as she unraveled his secrets, she found instead an extraordinary man and a love she could not deny. Still, a curse threatens to keep Shazi and Khalid apart forever.
Now she’s reunited with her family, who have found refuge in the desert, where a deadly force is gathering against Khalid—a force set on destroying his empire and commanded by Shazi’s spurned childhood sweetheart. Trapped between loyalties to those she loves, the only thing Shazi can do is act. Using the burgeoning magic within her as a guide, she strikes out on her own to end both this terrible curse and the brewing war once and…

TTT: Top Ten Sci-fi movies

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's theme: Top Ten Sci-fi Movies
In honor of Sci-fi month in November, here are some of my favorite science fiction movies! I'm realizing as I write this post that I have seen way more sci-fi TV shows than movies...

One of my favorite sci-fi movies, plus the added bonus of having a spectacular soundtrack! This movie never ceases to bend my mind every time I watch it.
This movie was so good! I was blown away by the world building and the mystery and I got really emotional towards the end, which is rare for me with movies.
ET was one of my favorite movies as a kid, I just loved the idea of discovering an alien in my closet (even if he was kind of wrinkly and creepy looking).
Like most of my friends, I saw this movie in 9th grade Biology when w

Review: The Night Circus

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Genre: Magical realism, fantasy, historical fiction

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.
Welcome to Le Cirque des RĂªves.
Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way--a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a "game" to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst …

First generation American, terrified

I almost never write anything on my blog that doesn't somehow relate to books, but this election is just too important and momentous to ignore.

I am terrified.

I am sitting in my living room, refreshing the page on the election results every few minutes. I can hardly breathe from how anxious I am, because who knows what tomorrow may bring?

Tomorrow I might not be welcome in America. A child of immigrants, a person of color. A woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind.

No matter how this election plays out, I am shocked, disappointed, and ashamed that this race was a close one. I simply cannot believe that the people of America would want to support a man who has made no secret of his prejudices, lies, and bigotry. I believed that people had more sense, and the common decency and compassion to look out for their less fortunate friends and neighbors. Now that has been shattered, I know that most of our country has no problem making themselves feel powerful by crushing the backs …

Review: The Fifth Season

Title: The Fifth Season
Author: N.K. Jemisin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A season of endings has begun.
It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.
It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.
It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.
This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

I loved this book, even if it shattered my heart multiple times. Wow.

This book is such a great example of why I am making an effort to read more diverse fantasy and science fiction (both in terms of authors and characters/worlds). There's something just so beautiful about reading and experiencing the world through a voice or a perspective different from the one you usually see. This book follows three women in differen…

Review: All the Light We Cannot See

Title: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Genre: Historical fiction

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orpha…