Top Ten Authors I Own the Most Books From

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their blog here!

Today’s TTT topic is: Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From. So I actually did something really similar a few weeks ago, but those were authors that I won the most books from that are also on my auto-buy list. So this list is very different from my last list! I also counted duplicates, as for some authors I have an extra copy (or more) of their books.

1. JK Rowling – 18 books. This includes my first set of Harry Potter, with the first three books being the UK editions (I started reading HP when I was on vacation in London – isn’t that cool??) and the last four being US editions. I also have an extra hardback copy of Order of the Phoenix in addition to my original paperback. Aaaannd then I have the 15th anniversary box set with all the pretty artwork, so there’s another seven. And to round it all out, I have Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Tales of Beedle the Bard. Why yes, I am quite the fanatic.

My Queen

2. Richelle Mead – 11 books. The whole Vampire Academy series, as well as the first four books in Bloodlines. And actually I just remembered that I have Gameboard of the Gods as well! Technically, I have 12 of her books, since I have an extra copy of Vampire Academy that I’m holding for Veronica. 

She is just too pretty – it’s not fair!

3. Cassandra Clare – 10 books. This isn’t really a surprise, with her series being so big. I have the six books of The Mortal Instruments, the three from The Infernal Devices, and the Shadowhunter’s Codex. 

4. CS Lewis – 10 books. All seven books of The Chronicles of Narnia, and then I have The Screwtape Letters (totally changed my life, and I’ll be teaching it for the third time this fall in my General Literature class), The Weight of Glory, and a collection book that includes Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Abolition of Man, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, and A Grief Observed. So I guess if you want to get technical I have sixteen books from Lewis. Woohoo!

5. JRR Tolkien – 7 books. The Lord of the Rings (3 books), but I really want a different set. Mine are the old movie covers – I’m currently lusting over the simplistic ones with the black covers. I also have The Hobbit, the first two books in the Lost Tales, and the Silmarillion.

6. Jeff Stone – 7 books. This is a childhood author of mine; he wrote The Five Ancestors series. I’m pretty sure I’ve read all of the books at least four times.

7. Orson Scott Card – 7 books. It’s kind of a smattering of his books that I have: Ender’s Game (paperback and Kindle version), Speaker for the Dead, Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Ender in Exile, and Earth Afire. I used to have others, but I’m not sure where they went actually.

8. Rick Riordan – 5 books. PERCY JACKSON!!! I seriously need a reread of this series before the last Heroes of Olympus book is released – that way I can binge on those five books right after. My body is so ready for this. One of these days I should get the Kane Chronicles as well, I suppose.

9. Donita K. Paul – 5 books. The lady that kindled my love for dragons and all things mythology. Seriously – this series makes me so happy. I was shipping characters before I even knew what shipping was.

10. Christopher Paolini – 4 books. I actually have a lot of authors that I have four books from, but I picked Paolini since he’s not on these lists often. His four books are the Inheritance Cycle. I still haven’t finished book four, and I’d need a reread of the entire series to remember what’s happening. BUT! Eragon has been read probably ten times over at least – it’s another of my older dragon books.

 That’s my list for this week – link me yours below!

Review: Free to Fall by Lauren Miller

Title: Free to Fall
Author: Lauren Miller
Genre: YA, sci-fi
Publisher/Publication Date: HarperTeen / May 13, 2014
How Did I Get It? Bought it
Format? Hardback

Synopsis from Goodreads: What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness? What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

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Okay, so I’m pretty sure I can put my sci-fi likings into two piles. One would be the space and hyperdrives and aliens a la Ender’s Game and Avalon, and the other would be the really-close-to-our-society-but-really-effed-up-in-a-dystopian-sort-of-way a la Fahrenheit 451 and 1984. Free to Fall would be of the latter variety. Seriously, I haven’t been this astounded and had my view of life challenged since I reread F451. It was like…

The entire concept brought me right back to 9th grade, when I was sitting in American Lit class and we were discussing Thoreau’s Walden. My teacher was trying to argue that technology is evil and it’s turning the human race into mindless creatures who disrespect everything, etc., etc. Cue 13-year old me having a mini-meltdown because I couldn’t find the words to say NO TECHNOLOGY IS AN INANIMATE OBJECT WITH ZERO POWER AND IT’S HUMANS WHO MAKE THE CHOICE TO BECOME IDIOTS WITH OUR TECH in a classroom appropriate way. But thank god Miller could. That was the moment I pretty much went full fangirl mode because one of the big points in the book is that technology is simply a tool for us to use; it all depends on how we use it that determines the detriment or benefit. So huge kudos right there for that incredible plot point/theme.

I’ve made it known that I’m not a huge mystery fan, yes? Well, now you know: Kayla and the mystery genre are mortal enemies. No Nancy Drew or Boxcar Kids for this girl. And the Westing Game? Pshaw. HOWEVER! The twists and turns and the slight “whodunnit” aspect of this novel didn’t bother me at all. It was more of a thriller like – oh my god I figured out who it is but OH MY GOD THEY’RE THE GOOD GUY but then who is the bad guy. <— My thought process. You’re welcome. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, finishing all 400+ pages within a few hours. I may have gotten to the point where my mom called my name several times and I still didn’t hear her. I mean… I never get that invested in a book. Ever ;)

And okay, I have to give a paragraph to the characters and romance. I loved how Rory was just a girl – she wasn’t any archetype. She was strong, brave, girly, weak, grumpy, sometimes mopey, distracted by a hot guy – all of that and more. She was just trying to get through life in the best way possible, and in that she was a strong character. I mean just slow clap it out *again*. Because WOW we need more girls like Rory in YA fiction! And then there’s North – who relies slightly more on the freedom-fighting hacker trope, but still stands on his own nevertheless. I should also admit right now that I fell in love with him the moment forearm tattoos taken from literary sources were mentioned. If I had to pick a body part, it’d be forearms, and when you put tattoos on them oh my word I just melt into a puddle.

I hope that wasn’t TMI, but it’s the truth

As far as the romance – I thought it was a wee bit insta-lovey, but it was a slow burn. So I guess maybe insta-attraction? Okay, I lied. I totally loved the romance. There is seriously nothing I can complain about here! Every single word was just flawless. Sue me if I fell for a trope – I still love it!

Long story short – y’all need to read it. If you love sci-fi that’s really close to our society, but just a bit more creepy *shudder*, then Free to Fall may be for you. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings and I read this together, and she ended up giving it 3 (2.5?) stars, so you can check out her review here to see her side of the story. But as for me – FULL STEAM AHEAD! Now I just need to hunt down a copy of Miller’s first book, Parallel. Also: I’m so glad my professors had me read Dante’s Divine Comedy, because I actually caught a few of the references. And how the title relates to the theme and poem? Oh lordy it’s just like *mind blown* again.

My Final Rating:

Six stars

Weekly Recap 37 (July 27) – In Which I Have Zero Self Control

Well hello Sunday my old friend. I can’t believe another week has passed again! Nothing of note to report really. Work kept me busy and other than that I spent a lot of time on my couch reading and watching TV.

Stacking the Shelves

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I… I have zero apologies to give. Screw book bans and just let me work extra shifts! Because I need ALL THE BOOKS *grabby hands* I feel okay about getting so many books this month because 1) half were from birthday money and 2) I’m only getting Isla and the Happily Ever After in August *I think*. So yeah – MOAR BOOKS.

Meg and Lesley have taken me down a very dark path (no regrets), and I snatched up a copy of the spin-off manga detailing Levi’s origins. I’m now impatiently waiting for volume 2 until it’s released in November. And while I was grocery shopping (grocery shopping – how the hell do I end up with books when I’m buying FOOD) I found a super cheap copy of The Giver and just had to get it – $5! The size is nice, and the pages are soft, and since my copy mysteriously vanished, I had to get another one so I can read it again before the movie is released. Oh and then there’s Dany – my glorious dragony Khaleesi to guard all my books. She sits on top of my TBR pile to remind me to be as fearless and her and tackle that mountain.

In other news…

The Paleo diet is still going very well! I’m at a total of 7.4 pounds lost, and I can see a noticeable change in my body shape. My work clothes actually fit like they should! Except one pair of scrubs are starting to get too big, so there’s that. I guess it’s a good problem to have, yeah? And I just found that my sister has all my pairs of jeans that are a size too small for me, but I’m hoping I can steal them back in the next month or so ;)

I’m in the middle of Heir of Fire – OH MY GOD EVERYONE HOLY SHENANIGANS I MAY CRY. I can already tell you: my review will be composed of keyboard smashing, gifs, polyamorous shipping, and maybe a coherent sentence or two sprinkled in between. It’s just… <3 I really wish I had a physical copy, but the eARC will do for now until I can reread it in hardback when September rolls around. I’ve pinpointed my problem with ebooks: I don’t have a mental map of what’s happening in the book. Like when I’m holding pages, I can remember things a lot better because I remember how thick each side was in my hand when something happened. Like if I close my eyes I can see all the pages I’ve already read, and the blank pages in front of me. With an ebook, I can see that one page only, and the rest is invisible. /crazysaucerant

I’d love some good thoughts and prayers sent my way! I’ve been having a lot of pain and dryness from my contacts in the last few days, and I had to wear my glasses yesterday (I normally only wear them like never – emergency only). My sister has a similar problem that’s been diagnosed as wonky cells covering her cornea like scales – I’m really hoping I’m not developing the same thing. We’ll see how the next few days go! I’m hoping it’s just tiredness to blame.

In case you missed it, last week I…

What’s coming up this week?

  • Monday – Review of Free to Fall by Lauren Miller
  • Tuesday – Top Ten authors I own the most books from
  • Wednesday – Saturated Reads: Peeta Mellark
  • Thursday – Best books of 2014
  • Friday – Not quite sure yet… We’ll see!

Hope you all have a good week!

Review: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

Title: Love and Other Foreign Words
Author: Erin McCahan
Genre: YA, contemporary
Publisher/Publication Date: Dial / May 1, 2014
How Did I Get It? Gifted!
Format? Hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads: Perfect for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell, Love and Other Foreign Words is equal parts comedy and coming of age–a whip-smart, big-hearted, laugh-out-loud love story about sisters, friends, and what it means to love at all.

Can anyone be truly herself–or truly in love–in a language that’s not her own?

Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue — the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn’t always like, and the best friend who hasn’t said a word — at least not in a language Josie understands.

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My rating for this book is actually a bit odd – I’ve given it four stars, but it’s actually earned a spot on my favorites shelf. Objectively, it’s four stars, because there we some flaws in the book which I’ll detail later. But personally, I connected with this book so much, especially with Josie. I swear, it was like McCahan took 15 year old me and shoved her into a hardback cover. I wasn’t gripping the pages, rushing to see what would happen next, but this story was one of those slow, meandering ones that I enjoyed a few chapters of before bed.

Like I said – Josie could practically be my twin. The confusion of how to communicate with her peers in high school, starting college at 15, the sensory issues, all of it! Especially the sensory issues; I was FREAKING out, yelling at my mom and shoving the book in her face to say MA SHE GETS IT WITH THE SOCK SEAMS AND THE TOUCHING AND THE HAIR BRUSHING AND THE PONYTAILS. I’ve never read a book before where the protagonist has sensory overloads, and honestly I’m finally starting to understand the whole “representation in YA” issue. Because this is such a little thing, but I was able to say, “she understands,” and that’s something every reader should be able to experience. /soapbox

In identifying with Josie so much, I had a really hard time being objective with the rest of the characters. I thought Geoff was the biggest douche-wad ever and I just wanted to tell him to stick it where the sun don’t shine, and it was such a struggle to step back and realize, hey, maybe he’s just a bit nervous and has the best intentions but doesn’t communicate that well to Josie. But the one issue that I really couldn’t get over was Kate’s attitude towards Josie’s physical appearance. I mean, forcing someone to wear contacts because “glasses won’t look right in pictures” and insisting that she get her ears pierced? Way too much for me. I was just flabbergasted that Kate had the gall to say that to her sister, especially in front of other people.

But I think that was the best part of the novel – the reconciliation and strengthening of relationships after hardship. It was really refreshing to see a strong family unit stick together even in their arguments. Plus, I just really have to give a round of applause to Josie’s parents for making sure she was as challenged as could be, and encouraging her to embrace her intelligence in a healthy way. It reminded me of my parents, and how they made sure I was able to go to college at such a young age. Like I said; so many of Josie’s experiences are ones I shared as well.

But there was one pitfall to the book: the ending. I felt like the romance came out of nowhere (even though I knew it was going to happen sooner or later), and was resolved a bit too quickly. Like I was going on all these twists and turns at a nice steady pace, then the last 30 pages came at me all at once, then hit a wall abruptly. I was a bit startled to find that it had ended, but I guess that just means that I loved it so much that I wanted more!

In the end, I stick with my 4 star rating. I think it’s suitable for the story, since I’m not keyboard smashing from excitement or anything, but it’s going to stay with me for a long time in a special little place in my heart. It’s one of those books that I’ll walk past on my shelf and smile fondly because it’s a special baby of mine.

My Final Rating:

Four stars