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Q1 2017 Reading Stats

Reading seems to be right on track this year. I’m well-ahead on my goal to read 52 books for the year, but it’s still nice to not have a pressing goal, like I did last year.

Q1 Stats:

19 books

4248 pages

44 hours of audio

Interestingly, I’m right on track with where I was last year. In 2015, I was at 21 books in Q1 and in 2014, I was at 29 books. I read 11 of those in January 2014, including LOTR: Return of the King. Truth, I hadn’t quite yet met my now-husband in those days, so that accounts for a lot, along with the fact that I was in a groove then of reading graphic novels.

Since I began keeping this list 15 years ago now, the running total for number of books read is 1,288.

Book Banter: The Invasion of Tearling

Title: The Invasion of Tearling41MT-Ny8w6L._SX294_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Author:  Erika Johansen
Genre:  Fantasy
Length:  544 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From:  Oshkosh Public Library
Plot Basics:  The kingdom of Tearling is facing invasion from the Red Queen after her shipment of slaves does not arrive. The treaty between the two countries is void and only one thing will satisfy her. At the same time, Kelsea is learning more about the founders of Tearling as the Tear Sapphires reveal it to her through the memories of Lily.
Banter Points:  The questions I had after reading Book 1 — The Queen of Tearling — were answered. The founders of Tearling fled the U.S. for a New America, one where they could create A Better World, which also serves as their rally cry. One of the founders, Lily, a house wife who stumbles into the rebellion, serves as Kelsea guide. It is through Lily’s memories that Kelsea sees what the founders envisioned for the world she now rules.

Like all good trilogies, the protagonists are in peril at the end of the book, leaving the reader wondering how on earth they are going to get out of the mess that they are in. Added to that, I now have questions about what happened between the founding of Tearling, specifically the nobel ideals that were to guide them. The vision painted of Tearling’s ideals and the reality facing Kelsea are polarizing opposites. I don’t yet understand how this happened, but the author has gained my trust so far of answering my questions.
Bummer Points:  No bummer points. I’m eager for book 3.
Stacie’s Recommendation: This is a solid read. I think Book 3 — The Fate of Tearling — will make or break this one for inclusion on the top ten list this year.

Reading Challenge

New month and a new challenge! The March Challenge was to read a “Best Before…” book since I had a significant birthday year.

April’s challenge is to read a book with food in the title. Bonus points if there are recipes in the book from the author. Triple points for making one of the recipes.

Post Exam FAQ

Q: How do you feel?

A: I feel good about how I did, relieved that it’s completed, and impatient for the results.

Q: When will you know?

A: Crazy enough, four to six weeks, assuming nothing happens. It was a Scantron based test so it seems nuts that it isn’t faster, but that’s the way it is.

Q: What are you going to do next?

A: Sleep. Definitely sleep.

Q: No, for reals. What is next on the list of things to accomplish?

A: Sleep. And stalk the mailbox.

Inequality

2013-07-29-coffeepic

All coffee is not created equal, according to this Huffington Post article showing the amount of caffeine per fluid ounce.

Open Notes

All that paper is the open notes of the test I’m taking next Monday.

The rack on the table has 11 inches of paper to use to answer somewhere between 15 and 20 questions.

April 4 has never looked so lovely.

Perhaps

A little music Monday for you…

Book Banter: The Glittering Court

Books-Richelle MeadTitle: The Glittering Court

Author: Richelle Mead

Length: 13 hours/audio

Genre: YA

Plot Basics: Elizabeth Whitmore can’t stand the idea of her arranged marriage to keep her title of Countess. So she takes her maid’s place in a firm that trains common born girls to be wives for the growing upper class in a new colony. As she becomes Adelaide, she’s drawn to one of the firm’s workers and ends up on an adventure for love in the new colony.

Banter Points: Mead has done quite a bit of world building for this book that flows together nicely in the story.

Bummer Points: I can’t believe I actually made it through all 13 hours of this audiobook. First, a confession: I mean to look for Rachel Vincent, got my author names confused and ended up with Richelle Mead. At first, I was expecting this to be a Prince and the Pauper type swap story, but instead it became a rambling YA romance.

Adelaide goes through all the machinations of pretending she’s common while learning how to be noble. Meanwhile, she’s nursing a big crush for Cedric, the son of the owner of the bride-procuring company she’s working for. She’s dealing with new friendships with her two roommates.

Then the book traipses off to the colony where the girls have to go through suitors and get married off. The whole premise is thinly-disguised gold-digging so Mead throws in real gold-digging too, along with some religious freedom issues and pirates.

I kept listening thinking that at some point the book would get good. But it never materialized into a solid story. I kept trying to care about the characters, but there was too much description of clothing and not enough description of anything else. The romance felt contrived and unbelievable; if Adelaide was as pragmatic as she was made out to be, she wouldn’t have gone through everything she did. She would have packed it up, gone home and been a boring lady.

Word Nerd Recommendation: I’m not going on with the rest of this series.