Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

2017 End of Year Book Survey

I just realized today that this month marks my 4-year blogoversary!!! Yay me!

Now, on to a look at this year's reading with a survey brought to us by the ever-amazing Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner!

Number Of Books You Read: 44
(I'm hoping to squeeze in one more before New Year's)

Number of Re-Reads: 0

Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

1. Best Book You Read In 2017? There were a number of good ones this year, but I'm going to give it to Invictus. This book delivered the time-travel adventure I'd been waiting for.

Merry Christmas and a Happy Book Year!

Merry Christmas, everyone! It's been a long road to December 25th, but we made it.

Since I last posted, I've finished finals, read a few books, checked out some Philly holiday traditions, and put in extra hours at work (because money).

I'm not going to lie. Finals were rough this semester. I wound up trying to teach myself and a classmate a whole course in a week--after my first exam, but before my last paper. I can't tell you how glad I am it's over.

I squeezed in a few more books during and after finals. I've mentioned a number of times how much I love Anne Bishop's The Others series, right? Well, I happened upon an omnibus paperback of her older Black Jewels trilogy at a library sale and picked it up.

I read all three quickly, but I can't say I enjoyed any of them. It takes place in a seriously messed up world with sexual violence galore, and the story remains focused on a couple of emo super special snowflakes while showing next to nothing of the more interesting side characters. If you haven't read any Anne Bishop, I recommend skipping these and trying The Others series instead. If you've already read The Others and want more . . . a lot of people seem to like the Black Jewels, so maybe you will? But if you can't read sexual violence stuff (including some truly awful characters and their dealings with children), definitely stay away.

On a happier note, I read Vengeance Road, which my super awesome OTSP secret sister Morgan sent, and really liked it! It has that spaghetti western vibe (and dialect), disputed gold, a stubborn-as-a-mule protagonist, and a teensy bit of romance properly playing second fiddle to revenge and, you know, people shooting at them.

In between studying and work, I finally checked out some of Philadelphia's holiday events, mostly light shows.

November Wrap-Up: What Just Happened?

A monthly recap of books I've read, posts I've written, things of interest
from the blogosphere, and life.

I'm not entirely sure where this month went. There's a vague memory of school and Thanksgiving and mild panic over papers and finals... Oh! And I made some special plans for Christmas break, so there's that. :)

November Reads:

Dealing with Dragons was amazing! If you haven't read it yet, go do so.

There's Always a Catch was less amazing. Actually, it was a total bust for me, but I can see why others would enjoy it.

November Post:

October 2017 Wrap-Up: Counts, Birthdays, Giveaways & Panels Galore

November Life:
Clearly November was not my best month for blogging. I'm hoping to do a little better (and do a lot more reading) in December once finals are over.

This month feels like it's flown by. I literally have to take out my calendar to figure out what all happened. As I said in my last post, I pulled off hosting my final panel event of the semester. Then followed that up a week later with a "we survived" celebration and e-board elections. Good news: there's a brand new e-board and I'M NOT ON IT! :D I'm still around in an advisory capacity (and let's face it: I'm totally the puppet master lurking in the shadows when I want to be), but I am no longer the responsible person for these events. Whoo!

October 2017 Wrap-Up: Counts, Birthdays, Giveaways & Panels Galore

A monthly recap of books I've read, posts I've written, things of
interest from the blogosphere, and life.

I'm a little late on the monthly wrap-up post (technically halfway into November), but it's been a while, I wanted to check in, and yes, I'm avoiding homework.

October Reads:

The Count of Monte Cristo as a manga adaptation is better for some purposes than others, but the art is pretty. More details in my review. :)

The Look of Love didn't wow me. The bulk of the couple's problem probably could have been resolved with better communication, and their thoughts got too repetitive with too little happening. On the bright side, I won this e-book from a Goodreads giveaway, which hasn't happened in YEARS. :)

October Posts:
September 2017 Wrap-Up: Magic Eggs, Tennis and Panels

The Count of Monte Cristo's Manga Makeover

October Life:
Law school is always crazy, but this last month or so was a little crazier than usual.

The Count of Monte Cristo's Manga Makeover

Udon's Manga Classics line brings us a manga-style take on Alexandre Dumas' masterpiece, The Count of Monte Cristo. It stays closer to the original than the movie with Jim Caviezel, but I'm still mulling over how successful it was--as both an adaptation and a story.

This e-book was provided through NetGalley for review.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Story adapted by Crystal S. Chan, Art by Nokman Poon
Series: n/a
Genres: Action/adventure, Graphic novel, Manga, Classic
Published on April 1, 2017
Published by Udon Entertainment
Final Rating: 3 stars
A Conspiracy and a miscarriage of justice turn the gentle Edmond Dant├Ęs into an implacable agent of fate: The Count of Monte Cristo . Obsessed by vengeance and empowered by providence, the Count avenges himself on whose who have wronged him - but is this justice, or is this hubris? In the end, does even the Count know?

Alexandre Dumas' skillful narrative combines intrigue, betrayal, and triumphant revenge into a powerful conflict between good and evil. Now this exciting saga, rich and diverse, takes on an entirely new life in this Manga Classics adaptation!

I LOVE the source material, The Count of Monte Cristo. It's the ultimate tale of revenge (with a little redemption thrown in), and it's one of my all-time favorite novels.

September 2017 Wrap-Up: Magic Eggs, Tennis and Panels

A monthly recap of books I've read, posts I've written, things of interest
from the blogosphere, and life.

September is over! I'm still trying to figure out if that's a good or bad thing, but it's done.

September Reads:

A big thank you to my lovely OTSP secret sister for sending this fun middle grade read my way! It was a welcome break from school/work/life. Otherwise, it was a slow reading month.

Blogging When You're Buried by Life

I feel like a bit of a blogging failure. I don't necessarily feel bad about being a failure, but I don't like to leave the blog stagnant for too long either.

I like to fix things and find solutions, so here are a few ideas for writing blog posts when you're tired, drained, buried under homework, or just don't feel like it! No guarantees that I'll actually put my own advice to use since, like I said, I don't feel super bad about being a failure. Yet. I'm sure it'll come. ;)

5 Easy Ways to Create New Content When You're Buried by Life

1. Repurpose/Reuse an Old Post
Chances are you have old posts whose topics are still relevant. Why not give them a makeover? A few updates to make them current, maybe a new shiny graphic, and you're good to go!

5 Sci-fi Shows Invictus is Like and Why I Loved It

Invictus has gotten a lot of hype, which usually doesn't end well for me. This time, I am thrilled to report the hype did not lie. Ryan Graudin has done an amazing job, and this is one of my new favorite time-travel adventures.

This eARC was provided through NetGalley for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Series: n/a
Genres: YA, Sci-fi
Published on September 26, 2017
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Final Rating: 4 stars
Time flies when you're plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.


Burn Notice - The Adventures that Await When the Government Kicks You Out

Farway is all set to follow in his mom's footsteps and begin an illustrious career as a glorified camcorder. Burn Notice technically isn't sci-fi, but like burned spy Michael Weston, Far has to make some new plans when the government gives him the boot. The good news for readers: his new game plan is much more exciting than the old.

Firefly - The Team

Far and his crew reminded me a lot of the Firefly team. You have these super different personalities and approaches all operating together in one small ship. But even though the crew's vibe reminded me of Firefly, it's a completely different crew, not Firefly knockoffs. The characters are all pretty well fleshed out. I wish I had gotten a better sense of one crew member sooner, but I was ultimately satisfied with her portrayal. Also, there is an awesome red panda. I want one.