Sunday, January 7, 2018

This Week's Bookbag: Jan 31- Jan 6, 2018

Hallo, fellow readers! Welcome to the first weekly post of 2018. I hope you're ready to share some serious booklove with me this year. Let's get going!   

In the Bookbag:
Erika Johansen might be new to publishing, but she's a wise old storyteller on the inside. I spent the last three days in a bookish fever, reading Johansen's The Queen of the Tearling trilogy. I'm not quite finished with it yet, but it's only a matter of an hour or two. Is THIS why I couldn't sleep last night? Because every time I closed my eyes, I could just feel that book burning to be read on my nightstand? Perhaps, my friends. Purrrrrr-haps.  

Behold! I have reviewed each book!

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Inherit her kingdom yourself

The heroine of The Queen of the Tearling, 19 year old Kelsea, is a protagonist built for readers like me: a little dreamy, not used to hard physical exertion, a devoted lover of books and literacy , a bit too pragmatic to be bewildered for long, bright enough to keep herself upright. Unlike me, though, she inherits a kingdom in a fantasy world that’s somehow posited in the future, after the Americans and British have been forced to flee via boat due to...Well, I’m still working on that part. Anyway, Kelsea’s efforts to gain - and keep - her throne despite long odds is a refreshing, uncluttered, and sophisticated tale. The characters spark and sing; the plot unspools itself as it should, moving faster and faster as the end approaches. And all along, something dark is is gathering...An excellent tale. Thank goodness it’s a trilogy!

View all my reviews

The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #2)The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Plots Thicken

So much revealed here in Book Two, including much of what I was working to figure out as I finished Book One. The Invasion of the Tearling picks up exactly where The Queen of the Tearling left off - no years going by in a twinkle, nothing solved or shoved aside. Queen Kelsea remains on the throne, but it’s a precarious perch, to be sure: the invasion of the Tearling by the Mortmesne Army is close at hand. As war beckons and breaks, however, the Glynn Queen’s own power grows. Her transformation from child to Queen dominates the book’s narrative arc, of course. But other important stories swell alongside Kelsea’s own, and more than a few characters - some already well established, others new - become essential, lively, complicated. This book offers a much darker vision than the first, but don’t let that scare you away, because there’s still room for wonder, and second chances abound.
Erika Johansen is a marvelous talent. I thought I’d made good time reading through Book One - I couldn’t put it down - but I *blazed* through Book Two. I’m afraid to even open Book Three, because I really need to go to bed...but a little peek, just at the first chapter won’t take long, right? Just a couple of pages...

View all my reviews

Check back tomorrow!

It wasn't all fantasy world books this week. I also read Edwidge Danicat's lyrical slip of a novel, Claire of the Sea Light, and Andy Weir's Artemis, which was lots of fun but had some disappointing limitations. Alas.

Bookish News and Views:
Seriously, how wonderful is this??  Nina Riggs's widower and Paul Kalanithi's widow are falling in lurv!

Did you promise yourself you'd read more books this year? HBR has some excellent advice about how to be the bookie monster that you've always dreamed you'd be. (Spoiler alert: first suggestion is to move your TVs to an undisclosed location...or at least an uncomfortable one. I'm totally down with that.)

Our previous President, Barack Obama, may have left the politics, but he's still in my heart, because he's a book nerd just like me. You've probably already seen this, but just in case you haven't - here's his list of favorite books and songs in 2017. I guess this means I'll have to read Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing. I know, I know. The entire world has read it and she's ahhhh-mazing...but I really have preferred her non-fiction over her fiction until now. I guess it couldn't hurt to try it...

Finally, take a minute to check out the other posts I made last week and admire my new layout! I'm so excited to share my book life with you!

My Personal Book Forecast for the Week Ahead: 
Well, my week ahead will be full of fun vacation reading, because WE ARE GOING TO MAUI!! Aloha! This is our first visit outside the continental US as a family. I'm so excited! 

In other news, two books that I've preordered drop on January 9th: Chloe Benjamin's The Immortalists and Seanan McGuire's Beneath the Sugar Sky. I know what I'll be doing on the plane!  

What are you reading right now? 

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