Saturday, 31 December 2016

Stacking the Shelves #162


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! Click on the link under the book to find its page on Goodreads or Smashwords. 

Please note that I always leave a message on your STS/SP if you visit me, but if you use DISQUS or a similar third party I will not be able to leave a comment on your page. I don't allow any company access to my social media accounts and I certainly don't allow them to edit and take over my accounts the way DISQUS does. So if you use DISQUS, I can't leave comments on your page so I can't really follow you back, sorry! I'm noticing that some blogs set with Google Plus are trying to force you to open a Google Plus or Facebook account before you can leave a comment. Well, I have no interest in rejoining Google Plus or joining Facebook so if your blog uses this set up, I won't be following it or commenting! And sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me so there might not be a message from me some weeks or you might get a double message sometimes! Blame them, not me!
         
This is it, the last STS of the year, the last post of the year and I'm so glad that I'm about to start the new year with an ebook blitz challenge because I've been hunting the darn ebooks down over the festive season and it's getting a bit crazy! Stop book grabbing!!! I have big plans for increasing my reading next year to get more done so I hope I can do it but all these book grabs are not helping! I've also been busy preparing my posts for the first week of the year which is Vampire Week at The Book Cave-lots of posts and reviews of all things fanged in books, TV and film so if you like vampires look out for 7-10 days of fang fun from Jan 1st! There will also be my usual STS, Top Ten Tuesday, and the start of my monthly and yearly challenges so lots going on next week! I might be joining a few more memes this year if I find some I like. I also plan more time for blog visits so I'll be lurking around your blogs quite a lot!

Away from the blog I have been loving the darts and Big Bash cricket, fitting in a few favourite dvds like Aliens, Jaws, The Fog, Barnyard and Mamma Mia. I do need to get more TV and films watched next year so it's going to be a busy year! I don't party at any time of the year and I particularly hate New Year with all the noise and fireworks that stop me hearing the TV and getting to sleep. Gah! If you are partying, have fun, watch your drinks and get home safe, ok? If you are having a quiet TV night, enjoy! See you on January 1st!

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Friday, 30 December 2016

Chuckles December Review


Welcome to my December review! I previously shared my plans and mid month update for what I intended to read this month along with any TV series I hoped to get to.It was a good month actually, getting lots of reading done and catching up with two series and choosing not to continue with a third. I'm pretty happy with how things went overall and I'm looking forward to a great year of reading ahead!

EBOOKS:
Noah Mann-Bugging Out (read-3 star)
Lou Cadle-Saber Tooth (read-3 star)
Scott M Baker-RotterWorld (abandoned)
Glenn Bullion-Dead Living (abandoned)
Peter Cawdron-What we left behind (abandoned)
Matthew Dennion-Polar Yeti (read-3 star)
Rich Hawkins-The Last Plague (abandoned)
Rick Chesler-Landing Party (read-3 star)
Viktor Zarkov-Jurassic Sea (read-3 star)
TN Uner-Kill Zombies (abandoned)
ZJC & GTC-The Undead Plague (read-3 star)
Joshua Guess-With Spring comes the fall (abandoned)

BOOK SERIES (Deacon Chalk by James R Tuck)

#0.5 That thing at the zoo (previously read-5 star)
#1 Blood and Bullets (read-5 star)
#1.5 Spider's Lullaby (read-5 star)
#2 Blood and Silver (read-5 star)
#2.5 Circus of Blood (read-5 star)
#3 Blood and Magick (read-5 star)
anthology-Special Features (read-4 star)

(Yancy Lazarus by James A Hunter)
#1 Strange Magic (read-2.5 star)
#1.5 Flashback:Siren Song (previously read-4 star)
#2 Cold Hearted (DNR)
#3 Wendigo Rising (DNR)
#3.5 Flashback:The Morrigan (DNR)
#4 Savage Prophet (DNR)

(Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs)
#0.5 Alpha and Omega (previously read-4 star)
#1 Cry Wolf (read-4 star)
#2 Hunting Ground (read-4 star)
#3 Fair Game (read-5 star)
#4 Dead Heat (read-4 star)

BOOKS:
Patricia Briggs-Shifting Shadows (read-4 star)

TV SERIES:
Game of Thrones series 6 (finished)
Masterchef The Professionals series 9 (finished)

EXTRAS:
DelSheree Gladden-Something Wicked This Way Comes 
#2 Wicked Power (read-4 star)
#3 Wicked Glory (read- 4 star)
#4 Wicked Revenge (read-4 star)

So how did you guys get on with your December goals? Thanks to everyone who cheered me on with my goals this year and hopefully we can all get some great reading done in 2017!

Annual End Of Year Survey- 2016 Edition!

It's another chance to look back at the booky year and a thank you to Jamie for hosting this event again. You can find the post and link here:
http://www.perpetualpageturner.com/2016/12/7th-annual-end-of-year-survey-2016-edition.html

I have chosen not to answer the blogging section of the survey as I don't focus on blog stats or visitor numbers etc. To see the missing questions go to Jamie's page. My answers all relate to books read in 2016 not books published.

Number Of Books You Read: 267
Number of Re-Reads: 5
Genre You Read The Most From: apocalypse dystopia

BEST IN BOOKS:

Best Book You Read In 2016? 
No way I can narrow this down. Too many great books this year. OK I'll try...
best UF: James R Tuck's Deacon Chalk series
best mythology-Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series
best apocalypse-anything by Darrell Maloney
best zombies-Michael Stephen Fuchs-Arisen series

Book you were excited about & thought you were going to love more but didn't?
Patricia Briggs-Shifting Shadows. I loved the Pack related stories from both werewolf series but the rest were about characters I couldn't remember so were a bit of a waste. Hate that.

Most surprising book (in a good or bad way) you read?
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I didn't think I was going to get swept away by a screenplay the way I am with a book but I loved this! Want more!!!

Book you pushed the most people to read (and they did)?
I've been telling everyone about Melanie Karsak-The Harvesting and a few people have grabbed a copy so far. Zombies! And a lot more...

Best series you started in 2016? 
Robert Boren-Bug Out!

Best sequel of 2016?
James R Tuck-Blood and Silver (Deacon Chalk #2)

Best series ender of 2016?
I think I only read one which was Kelley Armstrong-Driven. Decent read but expected more. It wasn't the finish I expected.

Favourite new author you discovered in 2016?
Darrell Maloney. His prepper apocalypse books are so good! Great plot, great characters!

Best book from a genre you don't typically read/was out of your comfort zone? 
I only read genres I like. I don't read outside my comfort zone.Too many tbrs!

Most action packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
Michael Stephen Fuchs-Maximum Violence (Arisen #4) This zombie series is mad!

Book you read in 2016 that you are most likely to reread next year? 
I won't be re-reading anything I read this year anytime soon. Too many tbrs to tackle!

Favourite cover of a book you read in 2016?
Rick Jones-The Valley. Love dinosaurs!

Most memorable character of 2016?
Oberon from The Iron Druid series. I love that dog!

Most beautifully written book read in 2016?
When you read zombies and apocalypse disasters 'beautiful' doesn't really feature!

Most thought-provoking/life changing book of 2016?
Franklin Horton-Borrowed World. This opened my eyes up to how a disaster could unfold if you aren't prepared for it. It began my love of prepper fiction.

Book you can't believe you waited until 2016 to finally read?
Nicholas Sansbury Smith-Extinction Horizon. Loved this zombiefest!

Favourite passage/quote from a book you read in 2016?
"I also know a were-pomeranian named Phoebe Fluffenstuff that will gut someone with her samurai sword as casually as you would slice a pie" James R. Tuck-Deacon Chalk series

Shortest book you read in 2016?
Shauna Klein-We interrupt this program 7 pages

Longest book you read in 2016?
I'm guessing at Patricia Briggs-Shifting Shadows 451 pages

Book that shocked you the most?
I can't say I was shocked by anything I read.

One True Pairing of the year?
Anna and Charles. Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs.

Favourite non romantic relationship of the year?
Atticus and Oberon. Iron Druid by Kevin Hearne.

Favourite book you read in 2016 from an author you've read previously?
Patricia Briggs-Fair Game (Alpha & Omega #3)

Best book you read in 2016 that you read based solely on a recommendation from somebody else?
None. I don't read solely on a recommendation. I get recs from friends or blogs but only read it if I think it sounds good. I must want to read it for myself.

Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?
Not into this book boyfriend thing.

Best 2016 debut you read?
I don't think I read anything published as a debut this year.

Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting you read this year?
Most of my books were urban fantasy or apocalypse books so not much worldbuilding. I'd maybe pick The Iron Druid series here as it is the most complex and covers several different worlds-Celtic and Norse as examples.

Book that put a smile on your face/was the most fun to read?
Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series had the most humour. I loved Hexed.

Book that made you cry or nearly cry in 2016?
I did shed tears at Patricia Briggs-Dead Heat at the end.

Hidden gem of the year?
Nicholas Olivo-Imperium. 

Book that crushed your soul?
Um, none. I don't take books personally.

Most unique book you read in 2016?
I'll go with James R. Tuck's Deacon Chalk books. The range of shifters appearing in the books are pretty unique-Were-gorillas, dinosaurs, spiders, sharks,  komodo dragons! Also Robert Boren's Bug Out series where all the heroes were aged mostly 60-80 years old. I loved that!

Book that made you the most mad (you can still like it)? 
Marla Braziel-Zombie Wars Online. I hate plots with a character 'liking' being raped.  It spoiled the book for me.

LOOKING AHEAD: 

Book you didn't get to in 2016 that will be priority in 2017?
Lots! Probably My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand. I spent the summer looking for it then never managed to get it read!

Book you are most anticipating in 2017? (non-debut)
Craig Oliver-Unleashing Demons. Want this, waiting for paperback!

2017 debut you are most anticipating?
Don't know what's coming out next year that I'd want to read until I see it.

Series ending/sequel you are most anticipating in 2017?
The arrival of my next Mercy Thompson book. I hate waiting for paperback releases like this.

One thing you hope to accomplish or do in your reading/blogging life in 2017?
Reduce that darn tbr!!!

A 2017 release you've already read and recommend to everyone? 
Don't read ARCs.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: 2016 News Roundup


It's time to take a quick look back at a few of the news events that made the year in good ways and bad ways. I won't be writing about everything of course, and I won't be giving my opinions on everything. This is more of a small roundup but people are welcome to express opinions on the comments bit. Funny and interesting links are included.



There were two big political stories this year-British exit from the EU (Brexit) which led to a new Prime Minister, and the US Presidential Election. Lets start with Trump v Clinton which, lets admit, allowed the media to have a field day with their coverage. There were the Crooked Hillary and her email stories, and every offensive thing Trump managed to say along with the women lined up to accuse him of being a pervert basically. I loved this article at The Daily Sheeple which has a laugh at all the candidates and gives the election in fifty funny memes: 


http://www.thedailysheeple.com/election-2016-in-xx-memes_122016 


Yes I voted for Brexit and I object to being called racist for wanting my country to be run by our democratically elected government and not the faceless in Europe. I don't want hard working law-abiding EU migrants living here to be deported or a ban on all migrants. I just want the UK to decide who/how many can stay here, which criminals we deport, what our laws are, who we pay benefits to, how long we can jail people for, who we can trade with, who can fish in our waters etc. We ran our own affairs before the EU, we can do it again. I am hopeful of overcoming the challenges and seeing what the future holds.


On the brighter side of politics former Labour MP Ed Balls became the most popular politician in the country with his performances on Strictly Come Dancing. I loved this!




Lets move on to the highlight of the summer-the Rio Olympics and Paralympics. I loved watching both especially the cycling, gymnastics, athletics, diving, swimming and triathlon. So many great performances and beautiful scenery to enjoy! 


This year that were a lot of terrible terrorist attacks around the world, images which shocked and horrified the decent human beings amongst us. In the UK we are blessed to have an excellent security service who work day and night to foil plots but we are not immune to lone wolf attacks and I really do fear for the future. I don't think things will get better on that front in 2017. Wherever you live, be vigilant, report anything suspicious and be aware of your surroundings at all times. I have security training so every building I enter, I know where exits and toilets are and I do people-watch for anything that bothers me or looks suspicious. You can call me paranoid and at times I admit I am but it might save my life some day.


The Fake News scandal did not surprise me. How do we really know what is true and what is fake? Simple answer is we don't. I do read a mainstream newspaper online but I also read alternative news. I don't believe every story I read in either source but I like to look at what is there and make up my own mind. The alternative news does give some wild conspiracy stories but they do give you different topics the mainstream media won't cover. which is useful.

This was also a year of celebrity deaths. I'm not going to name all of them obviously, so don't be upset if I don't mention a favourite of yours. These are people whose death affected me most because I liked their work. David Bowie, Andrew Sachs, Prince, Alan Rickman, George Kennedy, Rick Parfitt, George Michael, Larry Drake, Carrie Fisher, Frank Kelly, Jean Alexander, Ronnie Corbett, Kenny Baker, Robert Vaughn, Peter Vaughan. 

And now their watch has ended.

 




There are others who could have been mentioned but I had to stop somewhere. Which celebrity deaths affected you most? I got the most upset over Alan Rickman, whose work I have loved for years and for Peter Vaughan who I loved so much in Game of Thrones. Finding out what an amazing human being George Michael was, was quite emotional, as people came forward to tell of his generous nature which he kept quiet while he was alive. 

I don't want to finish the year on a sad note so lets look at some very cute pandas to make us smile! Who doesn't love a panda?

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Chuckles Favourite Reads of 2016


A good book is like a perfect Christmas gift isn't it! So what better way to finish off the year than by looking back at my favourite books in each genre that I read this year. Strap yourself in for the ultimate booky journey and you will be hearing more about these books as I review or spotlight them in future posts. Only three choices for each category chuckles? Arrgghh!

BEST DINOSAURS:
I bought all three of these, Excellent non stop dinosaur horror and tension and death!
 

BEST ZOMBIES:
A couple of book twos in a series as I started a series catch up and a totally new series in Extinction Horizon that I have high hopes for. High octane zombies!


BEST PREPPERS:
Only three? Are you serious? Gah I'll need to rave about the books on other posts then...


BEST CONTEMPORARY:
Is that how you spell it? It doesn't look right! Not really my genre so not a lot to choose from.












BEST NON FICTION:
A few good mountain climbing books this year! Into Thin Air was a re-read.
 

BEST URBAN FANTASY:
Urban fantasy and mythology fun!


BEST MAGIC & MYTHOLOGY:
A few Gods and a bit of Harry Potter!


BEST HISTORICAL FICTION:
I can never resist The Tudors or some War of the Roses stuff!


BEST SHORT STORIES:
Another excuse for zombies I guess...


BEST APOCALYPSE:
You didn't think there would only be three prepper books and three zombie books did you! I can squeeze three more in here...


That was my best of the year and I think 2017 is going to have some REALLY good reads!