Tuesday, September 12, 2017

New Releases I'm Looking Forward to: 4th Quarter 2017

My usual disclaimer:
Let me state, this is really based on authors or series that I'm already reading since those are the things I follow.  I'm not paid to write this blog nor do I have any affiliations with any publishers so I don't receive free books or advance notice of things except what I glean off Facebook from people who do have those contacts or what I research on my own (which again, leads back to authors that I'm already reading).  Maybe someday I'll be one of those who has the contacts and gets ARCs but it's not today.

Well, summer did not allow me the time I was hoping for to get caught up but thankfully September seems to be kicking it off right, in my reading at least.  Still not sure I'm going to hit 120 books this year but I'm not throwing in the towel yet.  It might happen. Of course, I'm pretty sure Goodeads will not be agreeing with my totals. I found out that some of the short stories (don't judge, it's been a crazy year and since the rules for this game are my own, they get to count) that were listed in their database have since been removed so they currently show me down 4 from my own count. If I make it by my own list, I'm counting it as a win.

So now on to what I'm looking forward to as the year comes to a close.  There really isn't much so again, I'm hoping that means maybe I can do a little catching up on the large backlog I've got.  A girl can hope, right?!

Artemis by Andy Weir is the author's second book after his incredibly popular The Martian (which was well loved by everyone in my family!)  This one looks to be much, much different as we follow a smuggler who ends up in over her head as she gets caught in a conspiracy for control of Artemis, the colony on the Moon.

Release Date: November 14

Atargatis went to make a mockumentory of mermaids in the Marina Trench 7 years ago but all hands were lost and what happened to them is still a mystery.  Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant follows the new expedition of the ship that want to try and figure out what happened, especially Victoria Stewart who lost her sister that day.

Release Date: November 14

Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter is the third book in the Soulwood series which is set in the same world as Jane Yellowrock and in fact, we meet Nell in Jane's stories and Nell works with Rick now.  Unfortunately I'm behind in the Jane Yellowrock series and haven't even started this one so while I'm excited enough to put it on my list, I'm trying to avoid any type of knowing what's going on with it until I've read the others since I'm so far behind.

Release Date: December 5

So yeah, like I said, not much coming out for me this quarter which is just fine since I'm so far behind.  Maybe I can actually get caught up on a few other series before the year is out.

69:120 The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

It was a strange day at the zoo when Lindy, Tom, and Ben met Professor Savant.  They thought he was strange when he told them about Whangdoodles but figured he was harmless and they'd never see him again. Until Halloween when Lindy said she would knock at the spookiest house on the block and who should it belong to but Professor Savant. The children had been noodling over what he said and he invites them to come learn with him how to get to Whangdoodleland to try and meet the very Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. They will need to use every bit of imagination they possess and learn how to harness it properly to make the trip and it will take several trips to try and get to his palace especially since the Prime Minister, Oily Prock, does not want them to disturb the Whangdoodle and will do everything in his power to stop them making it to the castle.

A sweet tale of never giving up and remembering how powerful your imagination can be. I've seen several reviews compare it to Oz and Narnia and it's very easy to see why but at the same time, it's a much gentler story than those so even children who are sensitive would likely enjoy it.  Dame Edwards does not disappoint as this is just the kind of story you could see her Mary Poppins telling to children in her keeping.

Note, I see that some people have expressed concern about the children entering into secret packs with a stranger. First, the Professor is known the parents although the exact nature of the relationship with the children is not but he does make it a point to contact their parents and tell them he is giving them lessons.  As a parent, I think this can be used as a teaching moment about good secrets vs. bad secrets and to have a frank discussion with your child about how this is lovely in literature but not something you would want them to be keeping from you in real life.  If you are concerned about that content, maybe read it yourself and decide if it's the right thing for your family or not.  Not every book is right for everyone and you know your situation best.

Page count: 277p/13,784p ytd/284,888p lifetime

Monday, September 11, 2017

68:120 Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Jacqueline and Jillian were born to parents who had children because that seemed to be the way for them to climb the social ladder. Having twin girls, while not as perfect as having boy/girl twins, seemed a way for both parents to get what they wanted. Jacqueline was turned into the perfect little girl, never dirty, perfect manners, always dressed like a princess...just as her mother had decided was the perfect daughter. Jillian was turned into a tomboy, given a short haircut, put into all the sports, encouraged to go adventuring...the best her father could get since he didn't have an actual son.

They were 12 years old when they found the stairway in the trunk in their closet that led them to the Moors, a land of death and choices, mad scientists and vampires.  The girls made their choices and Jacqueline went with the mad scientist to get dirty and delve into scientific mysteries and shortened her name to Jack and wore pants and vests and boots.  Jillian stayed with the vampire who was the first "person" they met when they arrived and had all the beautiful dresses she could wish for with servants to wait upon her and grant her every whim and shortened her name to Jill.

Now Jack and Jill barely know each other but when Jill makes an ill-conceived choice, it costs them both everything they have ever wanted and forces them to return to the land at the top of the staircase in the trunk, 5 years after they left and very much changed.

This is the second book in the Wayward Children series. We met Jack and Jill in the first book but this is really a prequel to that, telling the story of Jack and Jill before they went to the Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children.  It was definitely a very interesting twist on the old nursery rhyme and I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

Page count: 176p/13,507p ytd/284,611p lifetime

Friday, September 8, 2017

67:120 When the Sun Goes Dark by Andrew Fraknoi & Dennis Schatz

A book from the National Science Teachers Association explaining the science of eclipses in a concise and easy to understand way for middle school children. After seeing a partial eclipse, my 11yr old really enjoyed reading it and getting a better idea of the hows and whys of solar eclipses.  I read it so I could know what he knew and what else we could discuss about them,

Page count: 36p/13,331p ytd/284,435p lifetime

Thursday, September 7, 2017

66:120 Carboard by Doug TenNapel

Mike is down on his luck, can't find any work, and it's his son's birthday when a street vendor approaches him with a special gift of what looks to be ordinary cardboard. The cardboard has a few rules which quickly get forgotten when the boxer Mike and his son, Cam, made comes alive. Unfortunately, the neighborhood bully finds out about it and steals the scraps and is able to start his own monster factory, which as you can imagine goes horribly wrong.

Not a fan of the artistic style of the story (I tend to be really picky about my comic art after growing up with Elfquest to compare everything else to) but the story was cute if a bit predictable but not a bad way to spend an hour or two.

Page count: 288p/13,295p ytd/284,399p lifetime

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

65:120 illegible address by Denver Butson

Contemporary poetry focusing on love, loss, the daily lives and thoughts of every day people. As with any book of poetry, there were poems that really spoke to me and I focused on and read a couple of times over and there were some (like the drowning ghazal ones) that I read and immediately moved past because they really didn't do anything for me.  This is a poet that I'm not sure I'd actively seek out again but if someone handed me one of his books to read, I would probably sit down and enjoy most of it.

Page count: 67p/13,007p ytd/284,111p lifetime

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

64:120 Midnight Release Party by Faye Larson

Riley has never attended a book release party before but he has become obsessed with the Van Helsing series and can't wait to find out what will happen between Stephen and Dimitri.  While he is sitting there drinking his blood mocha, dressed as Stephen, there is a Vlad outside trying to get him to come out and play while his friend, Lindsey, is encouraging him to go out. Instead, he turns around to find a handsome man dressed as a Renfield behind him and strikes up a conversation.

A short story that appears to be setting things up for further installments. Riley seems likable and we got a bit of his backstory and basic plot lines for the Van Helsing series itself but it was fairly basic so I'm hoping things get a bit more fleshed out as the series progresses.  For the record, I know the author.

Page count: 39p/12,940 ytdp/284,044p lifetime