Archive | August 2013

Why?

Boy and Lizard

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Mercer Island, Washington 2013.

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Site Event: Challenges Update

In the beginning of this year I began three reading challenges. Goodreads reading challenge and reading 32 books each of both title and last name of the author for each letter of the alphabet. 

My Goodreads count can be found on my Goodreads profile. My Alphabet challenges can found on my ‘Challenges‘ tab at the top of my blog. 

Goodreads

As it currently stands for Goodreads, I thought 60 would be a good number to hit for the year. I attempted 80 last year and wasn’t successful, but as it turns out I surpassed my current goal in July! (although to be honest there are a couple of knitting books and Goosebumps, which shouldn’t count) Therefore I have chosen to increase my books for the year. I’ve doubled them to 120! I still thinks it’s achievable, but we’ll see how I get on. 

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As for my alphabet challenges, I have come to realize that I now need to be paying attention! Last month NONE of my six books counted, which is a problem! I’m at 13 out of 32 for both A-Z challenges! That’s not even half way! I want to participate because I know it’ll help me branch out for genres and authors. I’ve already got some acceptable books in the works so I’m hoping to make more progress in the next months to stay on track!

What about you? Are you currently doing a reading challenge? Is anyone else progressing nicely for Goodreads? Let me know!

Cheers,

Ashleyisee

xx

Washington State Bookshop Tour: Pearl Street Books

Last month I wrote about my joyriding trip to Yakima in June. Before we had made it to wine country, my mate and I stopped off in Ellensburg, WA. Known for Central Washington University, this small town has a lot of charm. 

Particularly their local bookshop Pearl Street Books.

Pearl St front of shop

Located next to a wine shop, it’s quite the place to be! The weekend we were there also happened to be a Dashund parade day! 

Pearl St outside sign

Inside the bookshop, it’s full of warmth and sectioned by interests. I loved how clear the books were organized. 

Pearl St Young adult books

Pearl st the west

Pearl St middle reader books

Pearl St display

They even had the perfect display of a ‘Tea’ section!

Pearl St Tea section

Upstairs housed local Washington State artists work, drawings of local nature and Mount Rainer. 

The staff are friendly, and let you browse at your leisure. There are plenty of gift type items to purchase, stationary, it’s nice to see a local bookstore be a hub for gifting of the written word. 

Pearl St display 2

Adorable and I wish this bookstore was closer, Pearl Street is a great place to pick up the latest book in a multitude of genres. If you’re ever in the area don’t forget to pay them a visit and then get some wine from next door! A pint in the park yeah?

The info:

http://www.pearlstreetbooks.com

pearlstreet@elltel.net

421 N. Pearl Street

Ellensburg, WA 98926

Monday-Friday 10am – 5:30pm

Saturdays 10am-5pm

Book Review: Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

FInale cover

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Please note: This is the fourth book in the Hush, Hush series and does contain spoilers.

Check out my review for Hush, Hush (1), Crescendo (2) and Silence (3).

Nora Grey is not your average seventeen year old. In the past six months she’s had her life threatened, almost died multiple times and fallen in and out and back in love with her destined to be fallen angel Patch.

Now Nora is the leader of the Nephilim army, but there are darker sources at work. The battle is coming to a head and Nora’s wish for peace is a million miles away. To claim her destiny, her life and her love, she’s going to have to fight for a side. But when Patch is on the opposite end, is choosing a side truly the answer?

UGH………..WHAT A LETDOWN………..GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

I am obviously not a fan of this book. TERRIBLE. HORRIBLE. Make it stop it hurts my eyes!

I really, really, really hated the ending. One of the worst endings I have read in a long time. A waste of my time and for a series that had a promising beginning, I had no idea it would go so far astray.  I’m sure romance lovers will love this finale, but for me I hated it because it was only about the superficial love aspect.

The plot that had so many different directions got lost, into the ether. The romance took dominance and everything else just closed into an easy box. Nora dissolves into a whiny little brat that can’t, and won’t do anything without her man. This is not ok! As a leader of an army, Nora needs courage and bravery, but instead she became a hunk of mouldy cheese.

It’s such a shame, the marketing team truly have done a fantastic job on the series book cover and I just the writing matched. 

Book review: Scorch by Gina Damico

Scorch Cover

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Due to the first book being a mystery-thriller, I don’t want to spoil the ‘who dunnit’ at the end of Croak. There will be no summary, only my response to the book. 

For information on the first book in this series: CLICK HERE.

My thoughts:

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Love, love, love, love, love, love, love!!!!!!

You know that feeling when you’re reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins? Well, that is exactly how I felt when reading this action packed, high speed sequel! 

Damico doesn’t hold back and there are brilliant new settings and shocking events that will make you wonder if you just read that chapter right. I poured over this book in two days and I can’t wait for the third and final book to come out next month! I’m dying (!!!) to know what happens next! 

Picking up where she left off, Damico does an amazing job of continuing this amazing story and keeping her readers on their toes. I’ve fallen in love with this series and I hope my expectations of the last book aren’t to high, but I’m pretty confident that Damico can finish her series in style! 

If you haven’t read either book, go do so (RIGHT NOW!)! We’ll have long chats over tea until the third book, Rogue comes out September 10th! 

Book Signing Adventures: Kat Richardson

There is a writer that I have admired since Uni. I’ll never forget how I saw her first book being cradled in the hands of a sorority sister. ‘She’s a great writer.’ She stated. ‘I think you’d really like her, and she’s local.’

The year was 2006 and like clockwork every August, each book in Kat Richardson’s fantastic Greywalker series is published. It’s my favorite time of year. 

Since the beginning of her series I have always gotten her books from the Seattle Public Library. I couldn’t purchase them because I knew I’d be moving to England in the future. ‘One day,’ I thought, ‘I will have a lovely collection of her books.’ 

One of the best things about moving back is that the one day has begun. 

This week the University Bookstore (hurray for being an alumni!) did a release party for her eighth book in the Greywalker series, Possession. I got there early and noticed a bit of humor from the staff. 

Bookstore Humour

Well done mates. 

Kat's Books

I snatched my copy of Possession and strolled through the bookstore waiting for the event to start. I had bought the first book in the series elsewhere, due to being unemployed I wasn’t able to snap up all of her books. I felt that by slowly taking advantage of Richardson’s frequent appearances around Seattle, that I would built up my library of signed books in time. Hopefully she won’t think I’m a crazy stalker. I wasn’t going to make her sign all eight books with different things, that’s asking way too much. She had others to sign for and I wanted to respect her time. 

Books signed

Book 8 (Left) Book 1 (Right)

I went alone. When she arrived I became giddy and overwhelmed with how long I had waited for this moment. Richardson was so exceptionally kind, sweet and real. She spoke to crowd as if we were all old friends, with lots of laughter and the feeling of fun in the air. 

She read a couple of passages from the new book. 

Reading

She gave us some spoilers for the ninth book (seriously can’t wait!). 

Richardson knows so much about Seattle and it’s one of the best things about her writing. She really gets out there and knows her stuff! Her books were the biggest comfort I could turn too whenever I was having a hard time in London. I am grateful to my friends that posted me her books as she was dropped from her UK publisher. (TRAGIC MISTAKE) Her writing is home and I’m so lucky to have discovered her work early on. 

Then came the best part of the evening. The book signing!

Unlike my two previous book signing adventures, of Neil Gaiman and E. L. James, for Richardson I had the chance to speak to her for more than a few seconds! I had an actual conversation and it was difficult to not cry during the joyous moment. 

Signing

Me trying to not act/look/sound stupid.

I was a complete and utter fan girl. 

Fan girl

The best part was that she remembered one of my tweets from last year:

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As if the night couldn’t get any better. 

It was inspiring to be around such a talented writer from home, who writes extremely well about monsters and creatures and Seattle things that go bump in the night. Full of mystery, spookiness and adventure. I’ve always highly encouraged anyone and everyone I know to read her series. 

I couldn’t be happier to have the chance to meet her in person. 

She signed my books with grace and words that made me weep and smile. I kicked myself because I had another one of her books but forgot it at home!

The lovely signs

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Kat Richardson for making such a silly fan like me so happy! I can’t wait to start reading! 

Ashleyisee

xx