Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Musing Mondays - #WhyIReadRomance days 7-9 | #30DaysofReadathon days 29-27 | thoughts on book clubs

Musing Monday, September 11, 2017

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

I'm super excited to tell you about Parajunkee's #whyIreadromance event & the 24 hours of Dewey #readathon #30daysofreadathon event

I decided to nix daily posts in favour of grouping a couple of days together at a time so this is going to be a slightly longer Musing Monday post than normal.

Day 7 - Best Happily Ever After

The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) by Gena Showalter

At long last, New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter unveils the story of Paris, the darkest and most tormented Lord of the Underworld.

Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive — but his potent allure comes at a terrible price. Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die. And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he'd thought was forever beyond his reach... until now.

Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet in Paris's arms, the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up.

Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally — or tear them apart?
After eight, EIGHT, books of build up Gena Showalter FINALLY resolved Paris's storyline in 2012, 4 years after introducing him in The Darkest Night in 2008. The reason that Paris's story out of all of the Lords (and out of all the happy endings I've read) is, in my opinion, the best happily ever after is partly because of how long he had to suffer. Paris is the Keeper of Promiscuity so he starts off as a sex fiend ladies man, but then he meets Sienna and everything changes for him. She's taken from him too soon and he devolves into a books long depression that has all of his friends concerned for his immortal existence. He becomes addicted to drugs and danger and everything sets his anger off. So the fact that he manages to actually get a happily ever after with Sienna in this book is soooooooo incredibly satisfying.

Day 8 - Most Kickbutt Females

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Claire doesn't necessarily do a whole lot of physical ass-kicking, there is a little bit of that, but that's not what makes her the most kick-butt female. She's tough, resilient, adaptable, resourceful and clever. She doesn't lose her head in emergency situations. Claire actually saves Jamie almost, if not just as often, as she saves him. Jamie does acknowledge her as an equal mainly because of her cleverness and resourcefulness. She kicks butt because she manages to not only survive travelling back in time 200 years but because she begins to thrive in her new time.

Day 9 - Best Thrills...

Betrayals by Kelley Armstrong
When Olivia's life exploded--after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers--she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents' crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn't enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.
     Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel's help to clear Ricky's name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

This entire series is full of thrills, but as we get further into the series the stakes get higher and the stories get even more thrilling. Betrayals is the most recent entry having been released in August of last year. It definitely delivered on the thrills front. With her boyfriend wanted for murder and her bost/best-friend/potential-3rd-side-of-a-love-triangle is a little bit tempted to let him take the fall so he can have Olivia all to himself again Olivia's life is clearly complicated and she's caught right in the middle of everything. The mysteries that swirl around this whole series deepen and simultaneously get more revealed in this book. It's very exciting.

I'm dropping a cut because this post is getting super long...

Day 29 - A short book

Six-gun Snow White by Catherynne M Valente
A New York Times bestselling author offers a brilliant reinvention of one of the best-known fairy tales of all time with Snow White as a gunslinger in the mythical Wild West.

Forget the dark, enchanted forest. Picture instead a masterfully evoked Old West where you are more likely to find coyotes as the seven dwarves. Insert into this scene a plain-spoken, appealing narrator who relates the history of our heroine’s parents—a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. Although her mother’s life ended as hers began, so begins a remarkable tale: equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, this is an utterly enchanting story…at once familiar and entirely new.
At 168 pages it's definitely short, but don't let that fool you, it is not light, nor fluffy, nor easy. It's not even fast. For a 168 page book, I found it a very slow read, which was annoying because I was trying to read it during a read-a-thon because it was short haha. It's an interesting spin on the Snow White tale, but I just didn't dig the author's writing style. Not recommended for a read-a-thon!

Day 28 - A red book

Redshirts by John Scalzi
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that: 
(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces 
(2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations 
(3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives. 
A satirical take down of the red-shirt trope in Sci-fi tv shows, named for it's most famous example the red shirted crewmen who always got killed on the original Star Trek series. If you're a fan of any sci-fi show that makes use of this trope you will love this book. And if you're not a fan you will still love this book because of how much it lambastes those shows and the trope as a whole. If you can I highly recommend the audiobook as it's narrated by Wil Wheaton. Why wouldn't you want to listen to a Star Trek parado narrated by Weasley Crusher himself?!

Day 27 - Reading snacks

My go-to reading snacks tend to be chocolate or cookies or chips. But I could just as equally and happily read and eat cut up vegetables. Basically if it can be absent-minded picked up with one hand and consumed without interrupting my reading it is a reading snack.

        THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you like book clubs or not?

I like the idea of book clubs better than I like the reality of them. There are two aspects to the reality of a book club that I hate, being told what specifically to read and being told what timeline to read it. But the concept of coming together and talking about books and what works and doesn't work in them is a fantastic idea. When I was in teacher's college studying for my BEd we did a lot of stuff on reading groups which is similar to book clubs. Students read the same book and then get into small groups to discuss it. One thing that we discussed was how to accommodate differentiation into group reading because that is a thing you need to do. Not all books will work for all students so the trick isn't to pick a single book but multiple books at multiple levels/across multiple genres that have the same themes and then have the students discuss the themes. I want a book club like that and I am willing to start it myself if I have to haha.

Do you think a thematically based book club could work? Would you join one?

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