Read in 2016

Here’s a chronological list of what I read (or rather, finished) in 2016. 75 books… The highest number since I’ve started tracking my reading. Woo hoo! I also started, but didn’t complete (with the full intention to this year), at least 9 books, and I had several DNF books (with no intention of ever finishing), as well. Happy New Year!

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
3. The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin, illustrated by Luis Royo
4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
5. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
6. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
7. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
8. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
10. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
11. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
12. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
13. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
14. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
15. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
16. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
17. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
18. Midnight Sun draft by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
19. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
20. Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer
21. The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer
22. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
23. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
24. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling     (re-read)
25. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
26. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
27. The Tailor by Leigh Bardugo     *
28. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
29. The Demon in the Wood by Leigh Bardugo     *
30. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
31. The Offering by Kimberly Derting
32. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
33. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson     (re-read)
34. The Girl Who Fell by S. M. Parker
35. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
36. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale     **
37. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
38. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
39. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
40. The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
41. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
42. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale     **
43. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
44. Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
45. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
46. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
47. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
48. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
49. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
50. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
51. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
52. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
53. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
54. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
55. City of Thieves by David Benioff
56. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
57. Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin     *
58. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
59. Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
60. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
61. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne
62. One Direction: Who We Are by One Direction
63. Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes
64. Germans as Victims? by Robert G. Moeller     *
65. The Question of German Guilt by Karl Jaspers     *
66. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale     **
67. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
68. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
69. The Reader by Bernard Schlink
70. On the Natural History of Destruction by W. G. Sebald
71. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
72. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
73. In My Brother’s Shadow: A Life and Death in the SS by Uwe Timm
74. Crabwalk by Günter Grass
75. Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston     (re-read)

* Novella, thesis/long essay, or short story
** Audiobook

Thanks for reading.

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

6266872Novel: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss | Goodreads
Release Date: March 27, 2007
Publisher: DAW (Penguin Group)
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: 4.75 stars

MY NAME IS KVOTHE

I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.

You may have heard of me.

So begins a tale unequaled in fantasy literature–the story of a hero told in his own voice. It is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man’s search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

The Name of the Wind is an adult fantasy novel that is 1) not convoluted, 2) easy to read, and 3) well worth the hype. The Name of the Wind is so good. SO. GOOD. I wanted to give it 5 stars. I resisted mainly due to a fair few typos and the author’s annoying use of commas instead of semicolons, a petty pet peeve of mine. There were also a couple parts of the novel (mainly the beginning, in which I was confused, and the few days of little action that Kvothe spent with Denna near the end) that I found a bit lagging, but that’s me really nitpicking. The book is good.

Now, be forewarned. I am absolutely dying to read the sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear. It is taking everything in my power to sit down and write this review, rather than pick up the next installment and dive right back into Kvothe’s tale. So please forgive my all-over-the-place review. I feel like a Denner addict. (If you’ve read the book, you know.)

The predominant storyline in The Name of the Wind is the first portion of a three-part story, which will span across three books in a series titled The Kingkiller Chronicle. For the most part, the book is narrated in first-person by Kvothe as he recounts to a Chronicler his life from the ages of eleven to sixteen.

Kvothe is such an awesome character to read. He’s clever, witty, brilliant, talented, cultured, curious, and an excellent storyteller, just to name a few traits. I loved his storytelling, and his remarkable memory made it easier not to scoff at the details any normal person would likely forget. I tend not to like books in which a character is telling a story; I’d rather see the action unfold in real time. I found the beginning of the novel confusing because it’s not told in first-person and I didn’t know who anyone was. It was purposefully crypt, but just know that the novel doesn’t begin with Kvothe telling his tale. Patience, young grasshoppers.

That being said, I took the book for what it is, knowing I don’t particularly like this method of storytelling, and I ended up really enjoying it. The narration style is a nice balance in that the fact that Kvothe is telling his story is noticeable in all the right places; it doesn’t hinder the reading experience. The interludes were well-placed, as well. I am already concerned about the final book, though. I am hoping we will come back to the present and there will be some resolution there, as Kvothe is leading a sad life in a miserable world, still at quite a young age. I want to see him be awesome in the present!

All right, let’s talk love. It’s not really love yet in The Name of the Wind, but it most likely will be in the future. Kvothe cares deeply for Denna. I do not. I don’t dislike her, per say, but I don’t like her either. I think I might understand her more if I knew more about her past and why she’s always disappearing, but as it is, I find it supremely annoying, probably because I wouldn’t deal well with such an unreliable and secretive person in real life. And then Kvothe puts her on a pedestal and I’m just like sigh, okay. I do admire Kvothe’s respect for Denna and his acceptance of her nature and behavior. For me, Denna is whatever in The Name of the Wind, but little is revealed about her so I am expecting that to change in future installments.

The best part about The Name of the Wind, other than Kvothe himself, is its descriptiveness. There are some awesome magic scenes, detailed action sequences, and vivid images of life. I felt so much that Kvothe seemed to feel, so props to Mr. Rothfuss. When Kvothe was confident, even in a scary situation, I wasn’t afraid. When he was nervous for his admissions to the University, my stomach was rolling over. When he was living on the streets of Tarbean, I could see his hardships crystal clear. It was absolutely incredible.

In summary, I loved The Name of the Wind. It wasn’t quite perfect, but it was darn near close to 5 stars for me. I am looking forward to more character development, more imagery, more world-building, and, most of all, more of Kvothe’s story in its sequel. All of these elements were excellent in the first installment of The Kingkiller Chronicle and I cannot wait to read more. I highly recommend giving The Name of the Wind a go.

Thanks for reading.

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Top 15 Books I Want to Read in 2015

After a long week of exams, I finally got some reading done for the first time this year. A goal for me this year is to minimize my TBR pile (books I have sitting unread on my shelves). I did a post last year listing all the books I’ve bought but haven’t read yet (though it’s no longer up to date). I’ve knocked a few off, but here are 15 I really want to get to in 2015.

1. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
3rd book in the Throne of Glass series. I actually just finished this one today at 3 am, but this was my top 2014 release to read in 2015. I’ve been with the YA fantasy series since the beginning and this installment was FANTASTIC. I’m contemplating writing a review. | Goodreads

2. Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
3rd book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Each book follows a different character, each a female assassin/nun/daughter of Death. Another series I’ve been with from the beginning, and this installment was highly anticipated. I can’t wait to devour it. | Goodreads

3. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
5th and final book in The Mortal Instruments series. I picked this YA urban fantasy series back up last year and am thrilled that I did. Because this book is a monster- over 700 pages long- I’ve put it off until I can sit down for a day and read it straight through. | Goodreads

4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This is another big book I didn’t finish in 2014. I bought it for book club (the unabridged version) in November but only read around 70 pages. I love it so far; it’s a classic set in France revolving around mystery and complex subplots. | Goodreads

5. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, & Maureen Johnson
This is a collection of eleven short stories- originally published as novellas- detailing the backstory of TMI and TID character, Magnus Bane. My mom bought me a signed copy for Christmas and I can’t wait to read it! | Goodreads

6. Cress by Marissa Meyer
3rd book in the Lunar Chronicles quartet. I bought this when it released last February and it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since, patiently waiting for me to pick it up. The series follows a string of characters and plots in a sci-fi retelling of several fairy tales. I read the first book, Cinder, when it came out in 2012. The last book, plus a prequel, release early this year so I hope to get to this one soon. | Goodreads

7.  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I started this book in the summer between 7th and 8th grade. I didn’t know nearly as much about the Holocaust and World War II then, nor did I know that the novel is narrated by Death. I read 26 pages before giving up. Since taking History of the Holocaust as a sophomore, I’ve wanted to finish this novel. And in 2015, I’m going to finally do so. | Goodreads

8. Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
I’ve been reading this collection of myths told from Percy’s perspective almost every night since the new year began. It’s beautifully illustrated, humorous, and I’ve surprisingly learned new things about Greek myths that I’d never heard of before. I think I’ll be finished with this one soon. | Goodreads

9. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
2nd book in the Mara Dyer trilogy. I read the first book of this eery paranormal series over Thanksgiving break in 2013 and the third book released at the end of 2014. I’ve been meaning to get to this one for ages because I need more Noah Shaw… and answers. | Goodreads

10. The Offering by Kimberly Derting
3rd book in The Pledge trilogy. I absolutely loved the first two books in this dystopian fantasy series. I started the third installment last year soon after it released, but I couldn’t get into it. I’d found that a year after the second book, I didn’t care much anymore and I was bored. I want to give it another try this year, especially after adoring the first two parts of the trilogy. | Goodreads

11. Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
3rd book in the Everneath trilogy. I bought it when it released last January. This paranormal trilogy has elements of Greek mythology weaved into it and I really want to finish it up. I can’t wait to find out what happens after the second book’s cliff hanger. | Goodreads

12. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
I bought this adult historical fiction novel a long time ago. I don’t read many adult novels, but in 2015 I’d like to expand my horizons in that aspect, starting with this one. Then I can finally watch the movie! | Goodreads

13. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
1st book in The Hybrid Chronicles. I bought it at the end of 2012 due to its gorgeous cover and a recommendation and I just haven’t desired to read it since. But it’s been long enough and it’s finally time to give this dystopian novel centered around twins a shot. | Goodreads

14. Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
1st book in the Goddess War series. I bought it at the end of 2013 on a whim because of its premise. I love Greek mythology and I thought this book sounded different and interesting. However, it didn’t get the greatest reviews and I decided it wasn’t worth prioritizing. Now I’d like to see for myself, especially since the sequel released last year. | Goodreads

15. God Loves Ugly by Christa Black
I got this book at a Christian conference as a freshman. Christa was a speaker and her story was so raw and inspiring that I wanted to read it for myself. I don’t know where I stand in terms of faith and religion, but I can relate to some of the author’s struggles. I want to finally sit down and read this book sometime in 2015. | Goodreads

If I read all 15 of these books in 2015 I’ll be very happy with myself, not to mention proud. It’s time to get reading!