Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Fandom Items

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube.

So this week's topic is all about those fandom merchandise, like what you receive in subscription boxes (and more of course).  I admit that I am a bit of a subscription box fiend, but I have really started to narrow down the items that I like in those boxes and have started branching out and just searching for those items on my own.   For this prompt you could list the types of items that you love, or you could list items you desperately want.  I thought I would list both my favorite types of items and another list of the items that I am wishing and searching for currently.

Top 5 Fandom Items I LOVE

As I am sure you all know, I have a bit of a tea addiction and I especially love book themed teas and often seek them out.  I also love book themed mugs and cups, but Hubby swears if I bring one more in the house he will start getting rid of my books (so I will have to start hiding them in cupboards he doesn't look in lol). 

I am also a bit of a notebook and pen hoarder, some of my favorite items from book boxes are the notebooks and when Owlcrate sent a fountain pen I nearly died!  Of course I never write in these notebooks because I don't want to ruin them with pointless writing.  There does need to be more pens in the fandom world, I don't have nearly enough!

What bookworm doesn't love bookmarks?! Of course I rarely actually use bookmarks and instead just remember the page I am on but I do love collecting beautiful bookmarks.

Of course I also love comfy socks and have really accumulated a bunch of themed ones.  I do have to say though that often these fandom socks are not of the best quality and wear out quickly.

I might also have a bit of a Star Wars clothing problem too. I love how many unique designs and way to show my love of it.  I had to search for quite a while to find something that was work appropriate to wear to the office.  I also have to say that I have never felt more confident and beautiful than when I am wearing my Star Wars clothes, the shirt on the top left in particular. 

Honorable Mentions:

Pillows, I love fandom pillows (and blankets)! They are comfy and unique and help support you while reading.  You can cuddle them when a book or movie rips out your soul.  But the down fall is that you really can have too many! They take up space and if the rest of the people in the house aren't into the same fandom they will get sick of them floating around the house and on every piece of furniture.  I have 4 or 5 blankets and 6 or 8 pillows and I think that is all I will be allowed. 

I also oddly enough really, really love when I receive these little glasses cleaning cloths from authors. I know it is a totally weird, random and small thing but I love them.  Nothing cleans the kid finger prints, dog kisses, etc from the lenses than these cloths; and I keep them stashed everywhere, my car, my desk, my purse, by the bed, on my bookshelf and even as bookmarks sometimes.  I love them!

Finally, even though I couldn't get a picture because it is all packed up, John Wayne memorabilia! I am a huge John Wayne fan! I have playing cards, all the movies, Breyer Horses of his movie horses, books, even a life size cardboard cutout! 

5 Fandom Items I am Wishing For:

I have been wanting these Ember in the Ashes character cards for a couple of years now, they are available through Thread Bound Studios on Etsy. 

Because I need more tea cups and infusers right?! But I have been wanting this cup and plate set forever and who wouldn't want that book infuser?! I think it might be essential for me!

And I need a wine glass with Tyrion's quote from Game of Thrones, I am thinking it will be necessary for the final season!

And because I don't have enough Star Wars clothing . . .


So what are some of your favorite fandom items or memoribilia? What is on your wish list?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Release Day Review of Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Read for: Vikings! & Netgalley/Requested Review


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating."

My Review: I have really been anticipating this book but yet was hesitant to pick it up because of so many disappointing Viking books recently. I shouldn't have waited to read it because it was fantastic! I was instantly sucked into the story and was right there with the characters for all the emotions. This was a real page turner and I did not want to put it down until complete. I really appreciated the honest brutality, yet still showed the loyalty, honor and love of the viking community. There were some really fantastic lines throughout the book that I will keep in my favorite quotes book. I loved the character development throughout the story, there is some romance but I really appreciate how it doesn't take center stage, it builds and grows but there are more pressing matters that take priority (and if I remember correctly one of the characters even points that out). The religious and political aspects of the story were also great, though I think they could have used a bit more development and explanation. All in all a book that I am very excited for others to read, and one I will definitely be wanting to re-read again!

My Rating: I was so there for all the emotions in this book, I think that is what really captured me, how raw everything was.  This is definitely going on my favorites list and I am giving it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!   Please go and read this one so I can discuss it with you, I am dying to chat with someone about it!!

I received Sky in the Deep via Netgalley, this is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Adrienne Young and her new book on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Sky in the Deep is being released TODAY, so go pick up your copy in digital or print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or check your local bookstore, if they don't have it yet just ask and I am sure they will order if for you!

And if all of that isn't enough to convince you, check out this trailer for the book!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Sleepy Dog by Harriet Ziefert (Early Reader)
The Park Bench by Christopher Chaboute (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

An Enchanted April
Sky in the Deep
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

Currently Reading:

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston - Print - on page 246 of 480
Here Comes the Sun by Marie Force - Audio - 32%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
190:40 Hours Listened (19:15 listened this week)
12,663 Pages Read (352 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Luck Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Ravenous by MarcyKate Connolly
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly UNHAUL
The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
Smuggler's Run by Greg Ruka
The Lost Stone by Jordan Quinn
The Scarlet Dragon by Jordan Quinn
Sea Monster by Jordan Quinn
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
Heaven on Earth by Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr
Into the Fire by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Still Waters by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Here Comes the Sun by Marie Force
Hermes: Tales of a Trickster by George O'Connor
The Witch's Curse by Jordan Quinn
Emma's Dream by M. Lee Prescott
Eko by Loren Walker
Moving Targets by Cecil Castellucci
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Greedy Pigs by Matt Wallace
Lustlocked by Matt Wallace
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Ladycastle by Delilah Dawson
Frankenstein Alive! Alive! Trio by Steve Niles
Frankenstein, Alive! Alive! #4 by Steve Niles
The Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely
The Joy of Less by Francine Jay
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Circe by Madeline Miller
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Death by P.K. Norton


What a whirlwind week and weekend! I need more days and more hours in the days! I have been reading some really fantastic books lately and I feel like there might be a slump coming, I am trying my best to avoid it but it may happen anyway.  We also had a ton going on this weekend with Tball practice, soccer game, a local author event and an order of Mother's Day cards to get out the door. Thankfully, Spring has finally decided to make an appearance so we are able to get outside and not freeze!

This week will be another full week with more Tball, Dewey's Readathon and Opening Day for Tball this weekend.  And I need to start prepping for Star Wars Day!

Hope you all have a fun filled week.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Dewey's Spring 2018 - 24 Hour Readathon - Sign Up

Spring is in the air so it is once again time for Dewey's 4 Hour Readathon!

 So like last year, it just so happens that the Dewey Readathon lands on Tball opening day, Saturday the 28th, so once again I will unofficially be signing up.  Like last year I will have to break it up (even though that isn't what you are supposed to do but it is the best I can do) and I will plan to ready for 24 hours total over 3 days, starting Friday and ending Sunday.   As a result of being busy I won't be updating the blog on that day but I will try to update on Twitter (@Easternsunset9) or on Instagram (@Easternsunset9)

Some Goals:
Read for a total of 24 hours over 3 days
Read 7 books total
Read 1,200  Pages

TBR Pile
The Beginning of Armadillos - 32 pages (Audio)
The Joy of Less -  298 pages (Audio)
I Got It - 32 pages
The Red Racecar - 192 pages
Still Waters - 198 pages
Moving Target - 231 pages
From a Certain Point of View - 479 pages
Emma's Dream - 241 pages
Heir to the Jedi - 291 pages

I am using this readathon to try to knock out some of those more recent purchases that seem to keep accumulating (I wonder how that happens :P )

 Are you participating? What are you reading?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Graphic Novel Review of The Park Bench by Christopher Chaboute

Read for: Recent Purchase/ Graphic Novel Challenge

Synopsis: "Chabouté's enchanting story of a park bench was first published to critical acclaim in France in 2012. Faber now brings his work to the English-speaking world for the first time.

Through Chabout√©'s elegant graphic style, we watch people pass, stop, meet, return, wait and play out the strange and funny choreography of life. "

My Review: This is an entirely wordless graphic novel that will really capture your attention. I really enjoyed the monotone art style, the small details of the story really pop out as the story goes on. I can definitely relate to many of the situations throughout the book and the ones I can't directly relate to I have definitely witnessed. I really like how this novel, without saying a single word, managed to convey many stories and makes you pause to think about your own life. A simple bench plays a role in so many lives, even in tiny ways, what can a person do?

My Rating: I really enjoyed this one, it makes you think and creates an enjoyable story.  I am definitely going to be picking up more of his books! I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Sleepy Dog by Harriet Ziefert

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "It is time for Sleepy Dog to go to bed.
He gets a good-night kiss from Mom.
Sweet dreams, Sleepy Dog!"

My Review: The cover of this book reminded me of the show Kipper that Munchkin really enjoys on occasion, but the story is nothing like it. It is a very basic Level 1 book, it has great repetition and simple words for the young readers. It also does have a story line that will goes through a bedtime routine, including a nightmare and going back to sleep, which is great for us, and on into waking up again; all is set up with chapters, which does a good job of introducing young readers to the concept of chapters. The thing it lacks is a solid character, the dog is present throughout but is only referred to as dog with no name, so it lacks a bit of a personal connection and a character young readers can get excited about, there isn't much to draw them back to reading this one again.

My Rating: While this is good for those really just beginning to read, it is more on a level of pre-reader.  There also wasn't much to capture and keep those young readers attention.  We give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Fantasy Fun Book Tag

It has been ages since I have last done a tag post and thought it would be a nice break from all the reviews I have been posting.  So I saw the Fantasy Fun tag on Piera Ford's Channel recently and thought it would be fun to participate since I have been reading so much fantasy lately.  The original tag was created by A World of Words  so check out the video and participate if you like.

1. What fantasy series would you want to be a part of? (You would be yourself, but a character in the series. Whether you survive would depend on your own abilities or abilities you could potentially learn in that world)

So I always have trouble with this question because I am rather ill-suited to any kind of fantasy world, usually there is magic needed or at least some kind of survival skills and the only thing I might be good at in that area is horseback riding.  I do think I would do okay in the Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore, particularly the Dells (Kingdom featured in Fire) because I think I am pretty good at making myself seem invisible and would not be eaten by the Monsters.

2. What type of fantasy being do you want to be? Could be a human-like one; Elf, Shadowhunter, wizard, OR a mythological creature like a dragon or unicorn

Again a tough question, I think I would go with Centaur, the have the speed of a horse but can talk and use weapons like a human, and from the impression I get from books, they are rather large and intimidating so no one messes with a group of them.  The other option would be a shape shifting witch like Prof. McGunagall, to have magic and be able to sneak around like a cat, yes please!

3. Living your everyday life, would you rather have magic powers or have a mythological creature for a pet/BFF? (For example, have a dragon you could ride around)

Pet definitely a pet, can I have multiples?! I want a shadow pet like Mr. Kindly and a dragon and a unicorn and I want to be able to communicate mentally with them.

4. Who is your favorite fictional dragon? 

I think I kind of have to go with the first dragon I encountered and say Kazul from Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. Mainly because I am drawing a blank, I know I have read books with great dragons, I love the sarcastic ones but am totally at a loss, clearly I need to read more dragon books!

5. What is your favorite fantasy movie? (This, of course, includes movies where modern-day people end up in fantasy worlds) 

Does Beauty and the Beast count?! If not then I have to go with Narnia.  I honestly don't watch a lot of fantasy movies, I read the books.

6. If you could pull any character out of a fantasy series, to live in the normal world (as your friend, or maybe love interest, who knows), who would you choose? (Note: this means they would no longer be in their book world--so think about what that might mean) 

Did you have to put consequences on this?! I kind of want to say Sal from Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller because they seem like a good person to have as a friend, if you can get them to be loyal.  I also want to say Rhys in ACOTAR because who wouldn't want that all to themselves or even Azriel, but Mor would also be a great option for a best pal, yeah I think I am going to go with Mor so that most of the storylines can stay relatively intact.  Or again, can I have Mr. Kindly?! Mia has more help now and can let him go right?!

7. If you could make a supporting character in any fantasy series the protagonist of that series, who would you make the new star?

I would love to have at least a full length novel if not a trilogy or series featuring Ari & Janco from the Ixian Chronicles by Maria V. Snyder, yes I know they do kind of have a novella and they are often in the books but I want so much more of them!


Helene from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, she really got the short end of the stick in all aspects, though that is what she signed up for. I would love to have a book all about her, yes we do get her POV in Torch and I think we might be getting more in Reaper but she deserves her own book!

I would love to hear some of your answers so let me know if you participate too!