Why Do I DNF?

There are people out there who chose to suffer through a book they are not enjoying.

I am not one of those people.

I will chuck that book into the donate/resell pile.

But why do I choose to DNF a book? What criteria does a book have to meet to be ding dong ditched?

The Writing. I’m not a big fan of overly flowery prose or frantic, chaotic writing. Those are really big warning signs for me. I may try to listen to flowery prose as an audiobook, but sometimes that doesn’t even work and the book ends up in the DNF pile.

The Plot. My goodness, this can be terrible. Is there anything worse than getting 100 pages into a book and still not knowing anything about the plot? I hate it when that happens. That usually leads to a DNF. Usually. If the characters are great, sometimes, sometimes, I can forgive it, but that’s very, very rarely.

Speaking of Characters. Weak characters in a book. Ugh. And I don’t mean can’t hold a sword or even a pen. No, I mean they can’t hold the weight of the story. Just no. There is no redeeming a book like that. Not even for a good plot.

Bad art style. This one is a bit niche, but it has a place. I like graphic novels, but if the art style is bad, I won’t make it through. Or, maybe I will make it through, but I’ll hate myself a little afterward.

But what if a book has everything and I still DNF it? Well, it must not be fun. I like having a good time while I read, and a book can have everything I’m looking for in a story, and lack that fun factor. I do make exceptions to this rule, for example when a book deals with serious subject matter or non-fiction reads, but for the most part, it has to be fun!

And there you have it. My list of reasons to DNF a book. Why do you DNF a book?

WWW Wednesday- October 27th

Well, it’s another WWW Wednesday where I didn’t write the post the day before. In all fairness, I stopped reading my book towards the beginning of it last week and fell down a fanfiction rabbit hole. My favorite pairing at the moment is Darcy Lewis, you know, from Thor and WandaVision, paired with almost anyone from the MCU. Reading a backlog of those took about four days. And there are a ton of good stories there.

Remember, any reading is valid!

On to WWW Wednesday! WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words but was previously hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. WWW Wednesday asks three simple questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

I’m not gonna lie, I barely started this one before I got distracted by the aforementioned fanfiction. But I have picked it up again and what I have been reading has intrigued me. It’s the story of a group of Final Girls that meets in a support group led by their therapist. When one of the girls turns up dead, they all wonder if they could be next. Such is the life of a final girl.

What did you recently finish reading?

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

I must confess, I didn’t actually finish this one. I DNF’d it. It wasn’t because I thought it would be cute horror (what was I thinking?), it was because it just wasn’t very good. The premise was interesting. A kid whose family has built their lives around the fact that their dad sees monsters, but Noah sees monsters too, and he lets them inside. It just fell really flat for me.

What do you think you’ll read next?

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Honestly, I’m on the fence about what I’ll read once I’ve finished Final Girls. I have two novella’s left to read to finish my TBR off, but I want to read something I know I’m going to enjoy. So it will probably be River Marked, the sixth book in the Mercy Thompson series. Can’t tell you the plot, because it’s the sixth book, but I will say, Mercy gets in touch with her Indigenous roots.

And there ya go. My WWW Wednesday. I can’t believe I spent so much time reading fanfiction in the last week. It really is a time suck. But a fun one!

Noor-A Book Review

My copy of Noor by Nnedi Okorafor was kindly provided by NetGalley and DAW publishing for a thoroughly honest review. Thanks!

Noor is, as of writing this, scheduled for release on November 16, 2021.

Noor is the story of AO, a young woman who, through circumstances of her birth and a car accident, is heavily augmented. One day, while shopping in the market, everything goes horribly wrong. Now she is on the run. Along the way she meet a Fulani tribesman named DNA, who also finds himself on the run.

Since everything is streamed, the whole world has seen their crimes and is glued to their screens watch the chase play out. Now AO and DNA must flee from their pursuers across the unforgiving desert, with very little hope of survival.

I guess I should start off by saying that I really enjoyed Binti by the author. I thought that book was really well done, so I hoped this book would be just as thought provoking and entertaining as that one was. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Noor was a fast paced adventure story that also encourages you to stick it to the man. Or, at the very least, the very large corporation. It uses Africanfuturism (the author’s preferred way of calling it) to tout the dangers of letting a corporation become to big.

The characters are wonderfully written. You really feel for AO and DNA’s plight as they race through the unforgiving desert wasteland that makes up their only refuge. AO and DNA could not be more different and yet their dynamic is brilliantly done.

Speaking of the desert. Nope. Do not want to go there. Not even for a short visit. The desert in Nigeria has undergone a massive cataclysm that makes it inhospitable to human life, and it’s there that our main characters must flee.

This book did not end the way I thought it would, which is a good thing. But I also think it was the only way it could have ended. I dislike predictable endings. Because when I say I really thought it was going to end a different way, I mean it.

But what do I rate it? I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

First Lines Friday-October 22, 2021

Hooray! It’s Friday! The end of the week!

Wait? Why am I so excited? I’m a homemaker! Every day is Friday for me should I so choose.

I usually don’t choose. I have stuff to do, okay! This house doesn’t clean itself.

I liked doing First Lines Friday last week, so I decided to keep on doing it.

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

The Lines:

“The scene at the front door was seared into Khild’s mind: a child, hanging by a chain from the second story window, his swollen, bloody face confronting her as she approached the manor. Protocol was to leave the location of the crime untainted for as long as possible. Khlid had nonetheless ordered a beat cop to remove the horrid sight-the boy, no older than ten, deserved his dignity-but the chain was thick and the officer was still sawing away.”

Intrigued?

Breach of Peace by Daniel B. Greene

An imperial family is found butchered. Officers of God are called to investigate. Evidence points to a rebel group trying to seed fear into the very heart of the empire itself. Inspector Khlid takes the case and begins a harrowing hunt for those responsible. But when a larger conspiracy comes to light, will Inspector Khlid be able to trust those working within her own precinct?

This novella is a first offering from YouTuber Daniel Green. I don’t usually pick up YouTuber books, but this one caught my eye. I had a great time reading this detective story meets fantasy world. It was great. And as for wanting more in the world, well, there is a sequel coming out soon.

The Ex Hex-A Book Review

This book was published by Avon and was released on September 28, 2021.

At the beginning of the book, Vivienne is 19 and just having had her heart broken. She and her cousin, Gwyn, decide to use their witchy wiles (and a Bath & Body Works candle) to curse her ex, Rhys, with silly things like bad hair days and not being able to please a woman. Then the book jumps 9 years to a 28 year old Vivienne, who is more self assured but still dreading Rhys’ arrival in town.

Rhys pretty much knows who he is. He’s confident in his magic, successful in his business, and always dreads trips home to see his overbearing father. So imagine his surprise when his father sends him to Graves Glen for a short trip to recharge the mystical town’s ley lines.

Of course, that’s when everything starts to go horribly wrong and Vivi realizes her curse may have actually worked. Now Vivi and Rhys have to work together to stop the curse before something terrible happens to Rhys or Graves Glen.

I have a confession. I don’t read romance books. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate them. I just like it when my romance has a fantastical element to it. Or is a fantasy book with a little bit of romance in it.

That being said, I did enjoy myself reading this book. I thought it was a lot of fun and cute and quirky.

The setting was wonderful. I found myself wanting to visit Graves Glen and when the book ended I was sad that I wasn’t going to be able to stay there. It gave Stars Hollow vibes, but in Georgia.

The plot was well executed with a nice twist that I didn’t know you could get from a romance book. Shows what I know. The medium pace of the book was pretty consistent throughout, though there is a sense of urgency that sets in at one point.

The characters were simply divine. I enjoyed each of them and Gwyn, Vivienne’s cousin, was an absolute hoot. I would love to see a story featuring her, please.

When I finished this book, I found myself wanting more from this world, which I didn’t expect. As a result I have to give this book 4 stars!

WWW Wednesday-October 20th

Happiest of Wednesday’s everyone! Now, tell me, is it a Bones day? Because I haven’t checked yet and my day can’t go on until I know.

Noodles the pug has taken over my life. If you want to know more about Noodles, here is a helpful article from NPR.

Anyway, you didn’t come here for Noodles, you came here for WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words but was previously hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm. WWW Wednesday asks three simple questions: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Noah’s dad can see monsters, so he built a horror theme park around them. But Noah sees monsters too, and unlike the rest of his family, he let’s them in. I just started this last night and have yet to form any kind of opinion, but I’ve really been looking forward to this one.

What did you recently finish reading?

Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper

Emmy hasn’t been home in a long time, thanks in no small part to a broken heart. But when a spellcasting tourney her family oversees takes place, she must return home. Only once there she runs into Talia, who was also seeing her ex. Turns out, her best friend was also seeing said ex at the same time. Now the two want revenge, but is Emmy in? This is my second romance read this month. What is even happening with me? I even liked it. What? And there is a sequel coming out next year? Want!

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

A group of Final Girls, and their therapist, form a support group to help each other deal with what they’ve been through, but when they start being picked off, they realize they have to stick together to survive. I loved A Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by the author and I have been waiting until the spookiest of months to read this one.

Do any of these sound good to you? What are you picking up next?

TTT-Online Resources For Book Lovers

Well. Today is just going to be one of those days, isn’t it. I mean yeah, it’s a No Bones day, so it makes sense.

Basically, I didn’t get the notification that my post hadn’t, well, posted at the scheduled time. So I waited a little while (meaning I procrastinated and played Animal Crossing) and decided to check on it. Imagine my surprise to discover that not only had it not posted, but I hadn’t even written it yet!

Le sigh.

So basically, you are getting a later than usual post from me and I’m sorry! I would go cry in a corner somewhere but I have to write a blog post!

Anyway…it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday! TTT is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks topic is favorite online resources for book lovers. Not entirely sure that I have ten, but I’m gonna give it the good ole college try!

Book Bub: Book Bub is a great website that sends you a daily email to let you know about free or discounted e-books. It’s an amazing resource and I’ve used them for years. You can even select what genres you want for your recommendations, and they’ll send you those.

Digital Book Today: Digital Book Today also delivers the news of free or discounted Kindle books to your email, but it’s not personalized. You can also visit their website for the top 100 picks every day.

Libby: The Libby app is powered by Overdrive and works with your local library to get you free books to your Kindle or mobile device. It has both Android and Apple apps so it should work with all the phones! It’s great because depending on your library you can put a certain number of books on hold (mines is 5, but I’ve seen people with 10), check them out for a certain period of time (mine is two weeks), and you can extend your hold if you aren’t ready to read the book yet. I love this app!

The Storygraph: I have raved about The Storygraph ever since I discovered it last year. It helps keep track of your reading, gives you your stats in handy pie charts, allows you to leave detailed reviews, and, for example, give 4.25 star ratings. It’s great and I have loved using it not only for my blog but for me as well. It also has done a better job at keeping track of my reading challenge for me.

Goodreads: Goodreads, the original book tracker. It’s not as great as The Storygraph in my opinion, but all my friends use it and I love seeing what they are reading and what they rate their books.

WordPress Reader: This one is more niche, if you don’t have a WordPress account it won’t work for you. But I have found it to be invaluable when it comes to keeping up with the blogs I do follow or finding new blogs to read. And I’m always looking for new blogs to follow.

BookTube: The bookish corner of YouTube. I have a few favorites that I love so I thought I would share them. Merphy Napier, Peruse Project, Books With Emily Fox, and Books and Lala are just a few I enjoy watching, and each are very different.

BookTok: Have you found yourself on the book side of TikTok yet? I love it there. Ezeekat’s great, just to name one booktoker. A lot of them give recommendations, some of them give the same recs over and over again, but some of them try to switch it up and give actual interesting recs. It’s also neat to see the booktokers try and do popular trends with books.

Bookstagram: The book side of Instagram. Here you can find interesting pictures of books (duh). Just search hashtags like #bookstagram, #bookaholic, and #bookish, just to name a few. I’m on there, but I can’t take a photo to save my life.

Pinterest: This one is gonna seem a little out there. But it’s a great resource for searching blogging tips, book reviews, or how to take bookstagram pics. I’ve used it a lot and I keep referring to it.

Well, lookie there, I did have ten things to share with you. I’m sorry I don’t have any podcast recommendations for you. I just haven’t found any I’m crazy about yet. Honorable mention to all the online book clubs out there doing their best to keep us sane in the pandemic.

Have a great rest of your Tuesday everyone! Hopefully I’ll remember to actually write next weeks!

A Spooky TBR-October 2021

Well, here we are. Trying another TBR. I didn’t do so badly last month. Especially considering I read a few books that weren’t on the TBR, because I can!

This month I am focusing on spooky themed books, cause October. I’ve never been a big fan of the horror genre, and this month I’ve committed myself to reading quite a few of them.

So that’s going to be fun.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

A group of Final Girls get together to, well, support one another after surviving their own harrowing tales. Until one by one they are starting to be picked off. I loved A Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires, so I have high hopes for this one.

Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark

The Klan’s ranks have grown thanks to dark forces and it’s up to resistance fighters, led by Maryse Boudreaux, a Hellfighter, to stop them. This sounds great!

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Tom delivers a book to a shop and that opens his entire world to the occult. I’ve heard good things about this book so I have high hopes.

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Noah Turner sees monsters. So does his father. His dad built a horror park dedicated to them. Noah just lets them into his life. But why does this sound terrifyingly cute?

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Vivienne laid a curse on her ex-boyfriend 9 years ago. She didn’t think it would stick. Now he’s back in town and everything is going wrong. It’s a romance and I bought it? Yes! Have I read it already because I couldn’t wait? Also yes! I’ll have a review up on Thursday the 21st.

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Immanuelle Moore does her best to follow the will of the Prophet of Bethel. But when she is lured into the forest outside Bethel, the spirits of the forest offer her her mother’s diary, and her whole life changes. This was one of my book clubs pick for this month and I’m so excited because this was the book I put up for voting! I had been holding onto this one since last year waiting patiently for October to arrive so I could suggest it. Yeah, I regret that decision.

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

This fifth entry in the Mercy Thompson series is all about the Fae. I won’t go into details, because yeah, fifth in the series. But given that I’ve read it before, I know it will be good.

So yes, I know. There are 7 books on my TBR. What am I thinking? I’m thinking that several of these are shorter books so I should be able to get through those, at least, fairly quickly.

Will I get through every book? No idea. Am I hoping to? Of course I am.

First Lines Friday-October 17, 2021

Hello Internets! I have decided to try my hand at the First Lines Friday meme.

What is First Lines Friday, you may be asking?

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Chosen First Lines for Today:

“She was born breach, in the deep of the night. The midwife, Martha, had to seize her by the ankles and drag her from the womb. She slipped out easy, dropped limp into Martha’s arms, and lay still as a stone.”

So, do you want to know?

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

I’m only about a third of the way through this one and have to finish it by tomorrow! It’s my book club’s book for the month! Of course it would have helped if I hadn’t of read another book after I started this one.

My bad.

As far as current thought’s for the book go, it’s kind of meh so far. I’m hoping it’s gets better, but I’ll finish it even if it doesn’t.

Book Haul- September 2021

Well after August’s book buying extravaganza, you would think that I had no room for more books in my budget.

But books, much like life, find a way.

Mind you, I didn’t buy near as many books as I did in August. Praise be to Simon the god of hairdos.

On to the books!

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

What if Dr. Jekyll had a daughter? Oh, and Mr. Hyde too? And they teamed up with Watson and Holmes to solve some murders? That’s what this book is about, among other things. I picked it up for a book club pick.

Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender

I’m pretty sure this book about a woman whose family was murdered by colonizers is going to be great. Also, it was on sale for like, $2.99 on Kindle. Gotta love those sales.

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

This audiobook, about Dream, who was imprisioned by a cult for decades, is free with an Audible membership until October 22, 2021. It features James McAvoy as the titular Dream, and a world class cast of other actors in these colorful roles. Get it now while you can!

Forever Young: A Memoir by Hayley Mills

I picked up this book with my audible credit. I love listening to memoirs, especially when the author reads them. They always inject little things into them that aren’t in the book.

How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn

Using the true story of 1647 Puritanical England as it’s backdrop, this story tells how, well, Mrs. Claus saved Christmas. This is the sequel to the much loved (at least by me) The Autobiography of Santa Claus. I saw this on Thriftbooks for $3.00 and had to pick it up.

The Great Santa Search by Jeff Guinn

So this one is about Santa Claus getting fed up with all the fake Santas until he finally can’t take it anymore and enters a reality tv show to find the “real” Santa. I might be gearing up for my holiday reads. Can you tell? Also, this was on Thriftbooks for 4 bucks. I love when they have decent copies for cheap.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The authors story of her childhood and coming of age in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. I’ve wanted to read it for a while, and when I saw it on the list of banned books for my banned books week post, I knew I had to have it.

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling

Vivienne Jones cursed her ex. She knows she shouldn’t have, but she used a scented candle so it shouldn’t take, right? Of course, when Rhys comes back to town everything starts to go wrong for him. I honestly forgot I pre-ordered this one until I got the shipping notification. I have issues. Also, I laughed when I saw it on Book of the Month’s list for October reads and I had already purchased it!

Well, that wasn’t too bad. 8 books. Several of which I had gotten at discounts! Or for free! Huzzah!