Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 Ins and Outs - The Stats

Another year comes to an end, another year in reading (and reviewing, although there has been very little of that this past month). After spending this week looking back, making these lists of things I liked, and things I want for the next year, it's only right that I make a summary of my reading, isn't it? (Even if it isn't, I'll do it anyway.)

So, here they are, the Ins and Outs of 2011 (that come before the December ones, I'm afraid).

Total books acquired: 111

Breakdown by source
Bought (65)
New: 41
In a Bookfair: 18
Used: 5
Ebook: 1

Swapsites (32)
Bookmooch: 28
WinkingBooks: 4

Freebies (14)
Gifts: 7
Won on a giveaway: 1
For Review - physical book: 2
For Review - ebook: 4

Not included: Kindle freebies

Total books read: 86!

Out of these 86, 9 were review copies. 70 books were actual, paper and ink and cover, books. 16 were ebooks. (I did juggle 2 books between book, ebook and audiobook) 17 were graphic novels or mangas (and 3 of those were digital galleys). 2 were short stories.

Languages: I read 70 books in English, 11 in Portuguese and 5 in Spanish.

I liked most of the books I've read this year: 57 received a rating of 4 stars or more. But there were some that didn't impressed me: 6 books received a rating of 2 stars or less. The average rating was 3.81.

Now, with ebooks this won't be accurate - I took the value of a paperback edition of the same book in the cases there was one, but some of the books pages were calculated based on the number of pages on pdf, or Adobe digital editions, or using the simple rule of number of pages on my cellphone divided by 4.

Longest book: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin with 835 pages
Average length: 286 pages
Total number of pages: 24611 pages
16 books were 500 pages or longer
45 books had 250 pages or less

Time to read:
Average time it takes to read one book: 9 days - but reading multiple books at the same time.
A book was finished, on average, every 4.2 days (this is completely bogus - some days I read more than one books, especially if was it mangas, some months I finished only one book.)
Average number of pages read each day: 68

Start value: 170 books
End value: 201 books

I have 31 more books in my TBR list than at the end of last year. SHAME! I'll be working on clearing it on 2012.
Taking into account my rate of reading of the last 2 and a half years, and if I read nothing but books on my TBR, and add nothing to it, I should clear it on July of 2014. See you then!

Oh, wait, there is more!

Next year I will be doing some Challenges - trying to read more, and just clear the TBR list mount. And an unofficial challenge will be also to cut down a bit on the getting more books side (I foresee that I'll fail this one). Maybe keep things on a 1:1 ratio?

I still have lots of books to review (from November and December), but those also will come next year.

Until then, I hope you have a lot fun on New Year's Eve, and make the best out of 2012 (unless the world ends on the first day)!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Enchantment by Pati Nagle

I received this book in ebook format from the Author, through LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Holly Parker’s life changes forever when she visits Enchantment Spring with her older sister Madison. They hike through the woods, and when they reach the spring, Holly’s disappointed. A concrete coffin full of water? She expected a pool surrounded by flowers, birds, dancing dragonflies.

But fine. They eat the lunch they packed, and lounge around in the sunshine a while. As they get ready to leave, Holly dabbles her fingers in the water.

And sees a face beneath the surface.

The joy of first love fills her, but Holly’s happiness turns to horror when she learns that the government plans to demolish Enchantment Spring. Her passion for Ohlan — the beautiful water spirit who inhabits the spring — is so strong that she’ll gladly risk her life, standing between the spring and the backhoes, to save him.

The description does tell what happens in this book – at least until the part I gave up on it.

And why did I give up, you would ask. For starters, I didn't really like Holly, the main character. Was she a bad girl? No, of course not. But she never left the page – she was just words, and never made me believe she was real. The pacing of the beginning had a lot to do with it – it doesn't take long for the face to appear in the spring – it must have been one or two pages, just slightly longer than in the description. But that would have been fine, if the main character wasn't suddenly head over heels over this face – before she even establishes he is real.

From then on it was hard to take anything seriously in this book. There was much of Holly's research that felt badly organized, and a tad bit too easy. And then the girl goes on jumping into conclusions that were 99% wishful thinking (just not to call it delusion) on her part, and 1% logic.

I got to the point where I asked myself “Do you care about the main character?” The answer was no. “Do you want to know if Ohlan is real or not?” Not really. “Do you want to know why he is weak?” Couldn't care less. “Do you want to read about Holly's first love?” Love? That's not love. “Do you care at all about what is going to happen next?” No, not really. So that's why I gave up on the book, even though I tried, for the sake of making a proper review. I just didn't care enough about any of it.

Rating: 1 out of 5 - Did not Finish

This Book on: LibraryThing | GoodReads | Amazon US (Kindle)

Top 10 of 2011 - Top 10 Books I'm looking forward to in 2012

The last day of the week of the Top 10 of 2011, hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic, A Life Bound By Books, Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books. Today we look forward and see what books I am waiting for in 2012.

Only there is a slight problem. It won't be only books coming out in 2012, because I tend to read oldies, and obscure series that have been published for a while. There are just a few books that make me rush to the bookstore (ie. Bookdepository). But here they are, the books I want to read in 2012

Top 10 Books I'm looking forward to in 2012
Books coming out in 2012:

1 - Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past.
I have been waiting for so long for this book! I loved Graceling and Fire, so I really want Bitterblue to be published!

Expected to be out: May 2012

2 - Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
The series is set in Alban, an imagined version of ancient Scotland. Until recent times, a wary tolerance has existed between the human residents of Alban and the uncanny Good Folk. Then Keldec ascends the throne, and the kingdom becomes a place of fear where magic is shunned, neighbour turns on neighbour and no secret is safe. When fifteen-year-old Nevyn suffers an unthinkable betrayal of trust, she finds herself all alone in a world turned hostile. The secret she guards so closely could be her doom. It could also be the key to Alban's future.

Shadowfell is a story of tyranny and rebellion; of magic and of human courage.
Another series by Juliet Marillier! Squee! Set in Scotland! Double Squee!

Expected to be out: Fall 2012

3 - Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
There is no proper description for this one (it's not like I need it - it's Juliet Marillier and Sevenwaters, I'll read it no matter what the backcover says). But I found this, posted by the author:
"I am pleased with Return to Sevenwaters [Previous, temporary title - it has changed to Flame of Sevenwaters] so far. Maeve is an interesting narrator. Her character has been shaped by the traumatic accident in her childhood and her resulting injury, and also by the fact that she has spent ten years living at Harrowfield as a foster daughter of Bran and Liadan before returning home at the age of 20. Young Finbar, aged 7, also has a major part to play in the story."

Expected to be out: November 2012

4 - Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow
In the world of Sorrow’s Knot, the dead do not rest easy. Every patch of shadow might be home to something hungry and nearly invisible, something deadly. The dead can only be repelled or destroyed with magically knotted cords and yarns. The women who tie these knots are called binders.

Otter is the daughter of Willow, a binder of great power. She’s a proud and privileged girl who takes it for granted that she will be a binder some day herself. But when Willow’s power begins to turn inward and tear her apart, Otter finds herself trapped with a responsibility she’s not ready for, and a power she no longer wants.

Plain Kate surprised me so much that I really want to keep reading this author!

Expected to be out: Sometime 2012

Already Published - Not Owned/Still waiting for them

5 - The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin
For two thousand years the Arameri family has ruled the world by enslaving the very gods that created mortalkind. Now the gods are free, and the Arameri’s ruthless grip is slipping. Yet they are all that stands between peace and world-spanning, unending war.

Shahar, last scion of the family, must choose her loyalties. She yearns to trust Sieh, the godling she loves. Yet her duty as Arameri heir is to uphold the family’s interests, even if that means using and destroying everyone she cares for.

As long-suppressed rage and terrible new magics consume the world, the Maelstrom — which even gods fear — is summoned forth. Shahar and Sieh: mortal and god, lovers and enemies. Can they stand together against the chaos that threatens the Kingdom of the Gods?
The final book in the Inheritance Trilogy, and it features Sieh! Of course I want it!

Status: Still on the wishlist.

6 - The Poison Eaters: and Other Stories by Holly Black
Poisonous girls whose kisses will kill. A fateful eating contest with the devil. Faeries who return to Ironside, searching for love. A junior prom turned bacchanalia. In twelve short stories, eerie and brimming with suspense and unexpected humor, Holly Black twists the fantastical creatures you thought you knew in ways you’ll never expect.

A collection of short stories by Holly Black, and one of the stories has spinned of as a new book (still to be published, sometime in 2013).

Status: Still on the wishlist.

7 - I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Meet Ed Kennedy — underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger...
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

Good reviews left me curious, and after reading the Book Thief, I know I'll keep reading this author.

Status: Still on the wishlist.

8 - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Everyone is saying this book is great, and I'm not a girl to say no to a great book!

Status: On its way!

9 - The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.
Another book everyone is singing it's praises, and I want to know what all the fuss is about!

Status: On its way!

Already Owned - New Year's Resolution (I needed a 10th book!)

10 - The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko
Set in modern day Moscow, Night Watch is a world as elaborate and imaginative as Tolkien or the best Asimov. Living among us are the "Others," an ancient race of humans with supernatural powers who swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light. A thousand-year treaty has maintained the balance of power, and the two sides coexist in an uneasy truce. But an ancient prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will rise up and tip the balance, plunging the world into a catastrophic war between the Dark and the Light. When a young boy with extraordinary powers emerges, fulfilling the first half of the prophecy, will the forces of the Light be able to keep the Dark from corrupting the boy and destroying the world?
Not the book that has been on my TBR longest, but it has been there for a long, long time. I keep saying I'll read it, but I never do. So here is my New Year's Resolution. I'll finally read The Night Watch!

Any book published by Megan Whalen Turner will make me run to the bookshop, and although there are two more books planned in the Queen's Thief series, they will not be coming any time soon. But if they do, I'll buy them! And then read them! And then read them again, and again, and again.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Top 10 of 2011 - Top 10 Characters in 2011

The fourth day of the week of the Top 10 of 2011, hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic, A Life Bound By Books, Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books. Today's theme is Awesome Characters!

This is made a little differently - I tried to find categories, and have a winner for each. Also, I tried to keep yesterday's characters out of this one, so no category for best boyfriend material. You can see the winner and the nominees for that one here.

Top 10 Characters in 2011

Rae by Jen7watersBest Female Character of 2011: Rae/Sunshine in Sunshine
This was not an easy pick. So many awesome female characters this year! It was a close fight between Rae/Sunshine, Oree and Katsa. And if it had come to blows, I'm sure Katsa would win (ie. survive), but since I am picking, I chose Rae. Why? Because I love the way she thinks, and because I connected the most with her. Of all the characters, she felt the most real, the most human.

Runner-ups:Oree in The Broken Kingdoms
Katsa in Graceling

Best Male Character of 2011: Gen in The Thief
I said I wouldn't repeat yesterday's post, but you know what? Though luck. Gen is simply amazing and he deserves this spot. Best Male Character! He is just awesome. And let's leave it at that.

Runner-ups:Luis in Valiant/Ironside
Fool in The Assassin's Apprentice
Zander in Transformation/Revelation
Everyone in yesterday's post

Best Villain of 2011: Gollum in The Hobbit
This is a bit a cheating, because Gollum is not that much of a Villain, and not on The Hobbit anyway. But Best Villain doesn't mean the most villainous of characters - it means characters that I love so much even if they are on the dark side (they do have cookies). Gollum is one of my favourites, especially in Lord of the Rings, but the chapter "Riddles in the Dark" is my favourite, and this is a way of paying homage to Gollum.

Runner-ups:Linay in Plain Kate
Loethar in King's Wrath

Best Sidekick of 2011: Rudy in The Book Thief
It was a close call on whether to put Rudy in the Sidekick category or the Brat one, because he most certainly is a brat. He would most certainly win on both categories. He is Liesel friend and companion in her thieving activities, and all he asks in return is: A kiss! Even if he is covered in mud (or other foul things) and insults her from time to time (meaning: in an almost everyday basis)

Proof of Awesomeness:
A book floated down the Amper River. A boy jumped in, caught up to it, and held it in his right hand. He grinned. He stood waist-deep in the icy, Decemberish water.
“How about a kiss, Saumensch?” he said.

Best Brat of 2011: Mina in My Name is Mina
And now for the brats. I could put Gen in here, because he most certainly a brat. Rudy would give him a run for his money in bratiness. And Artemis wouldn't be far behind, and he would play dirty to come out on top. But I have to give Mina the first place on this. She is the female version of Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes), the terror for any teacher because she is smart, and she knows it, but she thinks so outside the box that there is no box anymore - which translate as being extremely weird. But that's why I adore her!

Runner-ups:Artemis in Artemis Fowl
Arya in A Song of Ice and Fire series

Best Royalty of 2011: Attolia in The Queen of Attolia
There is always some royalty in fantasy, and with this year's batch it was no different. I had plenty of minor lords and ladies, princes and princesses, kings and queens to choose from, but the award goes to Attolia. She comes off cold and dangerous, and maybe she is both, a bit. But that is a result of her life and of the betrayals she suffered. She is strong and intelligent, and not devoid of heart. It was an amazing character to discover, and to unravel.

Runner-ups:Eddis in The Queen of Attolia

Best Parental Figure of 2011: Hans Hubermann in The Book Thief
Not necessarily a parent, but that one character that teaches and helps the Hero/Heroine to stay on the good Path. You know, Dumbledore to Harry, or Bilbo to Frodo, or Gandalf to pretty much everyone... But the award goes to Hans Hubermann, because there is no one quite like him: from late night reading lessons to accordion music, he made everything in his power to be the best father to Liesel. And in my opinion, he was.

Runner-ups:Yvonne in Sunshine
Chade in The Assassin's Apprentice

Best Talking Cat of 2011: Taggle in Plain Kate
I like cats, so I enjoy seeing felines in my books, and this year had quite a few of them. From Varjak Paw to Bedtime stories for Cats, with at least two re-tellings of Puss-on-Boots in between, there was no shortage of cats (not all of them talkative, true), but it was Taggle that stole my heart. Not only did I wish to have a cat like him, I wish to have a friend like him.

Proof of Awesomeness:
Taggle was absorbed in the meat pie. ‘It’s covered in BREAD,’ he huffed. ‘What fool has covered MEAT with BREAD?'

Best Magical Being of 2011: Temeraire in His Majesty's Dragon
Another hard category. First, what is a Magical Being? Would Rae/Sunshine be one? She is not entirely human, is she? What about Death? And all the Gods in the Inheritance Series? And Talking Cats would probably also fit in here. So, who to choose? Well, you can never go wrong with dragons, and Temeraire is a very fun dragon. He loves to read, well to be read to, since there aren't any books being published for dragons. And he is very smart, very loyal, and very compassionate.

Proof of Awesomeness:
“Does he read to you?” Lady Allendale asked Temeraire, amused.
“Yes; you see, I cannot hold them myself, for they are too small, and also I cannot turn the pages very well,” Temeraire said.

Best Dwarf of 2011: Tyrion in A Game of Thones and A Clash of Kings
You could say I created this category just for Tyrion, after all there aren't that many dwarfs in literature. But you would be forgetting that I re-read the Hobbit this year, and if there is something that book isn't lacking, it is dwarfs. Still, Tyrion tops them all (all 13 of them), even if I adore that book. Why? Because Tyrion is made of pure win, with only that not-so-minor flaw that he is a Lannister.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Challenges, Challenges

In 2010 I challenged myself to read 75 books - I barely made it, but because I didn't count the graphic novels towards that goal. In 2011 I decided not to do any challenge - this, until Goodreads decided to do the 2011 reading challenge. I chose 80, because it was about the number of books I had read the year before (with graphic novels, that is). I have completed it (I am, at the moment, at 84 books read and I hope to get to 86, or at least 85 before the year ends).

Next year I'll be back to the challenges. Not one, not two, but three!

Challenge 1:
2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
hosted by The Book Vixen

2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge


  • Runs January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012 (books read prior to 1/1/12 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2012 than you did in 2011. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you could track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.

I'm going for level: Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
Which means, I'm challenging myself to read 96 books (supposing I read 86 this year). Why 96?, well, I quite like the number, that's it!

Challenge 2:
Off The Shelf 2012
hosted by Bookish Ardour

Off The Shelf 2012

The Deets
  • The Main Rule: Do not include books acquired during 2012, it defeats the purpose, read those books from before 2012 started!
  • Running Dates: 1st of January – 31st of December 2012
  • When Can I Sign Up: All the way up to the last two weeks of December 2012!
  • Crossover Genres: Anything! The name of the game is to turn those unread books into read ones.
  • Mr Linky: To use the Mr Linky you’ll need to click on the graphic then enter your link. These will be updated and posted into this page every couple of weeks or so.
  • Further Details: Crossover challenges are fine, you can change levels at any time, this is eBook, short story, and graphic novel friendly, and you don’t need a blog to join in (read further for details).

The How To

  • Choose Your Level: These are listed further down and you can change levels at any time.
  • Grab The Badge: Place it somewhere on your blog, profile, or in a signature where possible and link back (main page or this page, it’s up to you).
  • Sign Up Post: Create a post on your blog, in a group, or on a forum (only if allowed) to let others see what you’re aiming for (a predefined list of books is optional).
  • Link Up: Grab the direct URL to your sign up post, not your blog, click the Mr Linky graphic and enter your link!
  • Blogless? Don’t worry, you can sign up with your social network profile (YouTube, Twitter, GoodReads, Shelfari included), just make sure you link to your review list, shelf, tweet, or category. If you don’t have any of those feel free to comment!

I'm going for level: Flying Off – Choose 75 books to read
75 books that are already cluttering my shelves. I have lots of those, so it should be easy, no? Combining with Challenge 1 it leaves still about 20 books that can be acquired next year.

Challenge 3:
Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012
hosted by Reading the Paranormal and The Unread Reader

Here is how it works:
  • Should you choose to participate in this challenge, your goal is to read at least twelve (12) legally obtained FREE e-books. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit.
  • Anyone can join. You don't have to be a blogger, and you don't have to live in the United States. 
  • Any E-Reader will work for this challenge, including: iPad, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, enTourage. 
  • Please Note: If you don't have an e-reading device, you can still join in with Amazon's Free Kindle Reading Apps which you can download for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Blackberry and more.
  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. You can join at anytime.
  • e-books in ANY genre count for this challenge as long as it was FREE at the time that you downloaded it.
  • Every month in 2012, I will make a post for the Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012 so you can link your reviews.  Based on participation, monthly link ups may be combined.
  • Those that link their reviews will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a different prize each month, such as an Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card, a bookmark, or a GelaSkins for your e-Reader.

Challenge Guidelines:
  • If you have a blog, create a post announcing your participation in the challenge. Please include a link back to this post.
  • Non bloggers: participate by linking up your profile URL from the site you plan to post your reviews on such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.
  • When you post your book review, you MUST reveal how you obtained the free & legal download. Please make your source clear.
  • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them.
  • Crossovers to other reading challenges is acceptable, but ARCs/galley e-books DO NOT count. Again, this is a Reading Challenge to read as many of the FREE e-books legally offered for your e-reader. To get started, check out the Top 100 Free books on Amazon, or the Free e-books on Barnes & Noble.
  • Any linked reviews that do not meet the guidelines will not be entered into the monthly drawing for the prize of the month.

I'm going for level: Coupon Clipper: 12 Books
Yep, on this challenge I'm going for the basic level. It's not that there aren't plenty of free ebooks (I have downloaded tons!). It's just that this one goes a bit against Challenge 2 - I never count these freebies as To Be Read. And since they are digital, they don't really clutter the bookshelf, do they?

And that's it. For now... If I find any more interesting Challenges (that I can mash with these) I might joined them too.

Top 10 of 2011 - Top 10 Book Boyfriends in 2011

The third day of the week of the Top 10 of 2011, hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic, A Life Bound By Books, Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books. Today's theme: Book Boyfriends!

This is not an easy top for me. It's not that there aren't characters who I wish for a boyfriend, because there are! But I'm usually drawn to the morally grey (and dark grey, and black) characters, and let's face it, most of those I wouldn't want to spend that much time with. But, let's just see what I can come up with.

Top 10 Book Boyfriends in 2011

1 - Mr. Thornton in North and South
This was the easiest part of the list, the number 1. There is no doubt that John Thornton gets the lead. If most young ladies wish for a Darcy of their own, I much prefer this Northman. He works for a living, for a start. And albeit his cold exterior, and stiff manners, he is not devoid of emotions, quite the opposite, actually. He is fair, and he keeps his promises. Really, what more could a girl want?

Bonus: On the little screen he was amazingly portrayed by Richard Armitage. Really, what more could a girl want?

...and that's it. Because there no one else but Thornton.

Okay, okay, I'll add 9 more to complete the list. But they won't be as good as Thornton.

2 - Po in Graceling
Po is just awesome. He is sure of himself, and with reason (he does know what you think of him).
Pros: Mismatched eyes, Fighting skills, Tatts, a very good heart, the ability to make Katsa blush with his shirt open. And with his shirt closed as well.
Cons: Way too much bling (The rings, OMG, so many rings), knows what you think of him, always. And I wouldn't want to fight Katsa to have him.

3 - Kenshin (Yeah, I'm bringing in the mangas for this top)
Former assassin, likes to play dumb and enjoy the calm countryside.
Pros: Loves children and does the laundry. Can protect the house from enemies (although he might destroy it in process). Red-head, long hair, swords and scars \o/.
Cons: Has lots of enemies. Might be bi-polar. Used to kill tons of people (and was very good at it).

4 - Gen in The Thief
He is probably NOT my type, but I would be unable to resist his charm, because, really, I imagine him like this:

...and I just can't resist the smoulder.

But can I have him around? Because I can't really trust him to stay out of trouble even if he is within sight, and I much rather have the adventures with him myself than read about it afterwards!

5 - Sianadh in The Ill-Made Mute
Sianadh is a pirate that saves our Ill-Made Mute, and then goes on to have adventures with her. He is a lot of fun and a rather remarkable man in spite of his rude talking and manners (waaaay better than that creep Thorn).
Pros: He is a Pirate! He plays something like chess and is good at it. He can tell the difference between a boy and a girl (unlike pretty much everyone else). He gives a name to the Mute. He teaches her to count. He even teaches her to talk with her hands.
Cons: There is something that is written on the pages of the book, but that I still say didn't happen. But if it did happen, it's definitely a con.

Selling point: “Nay, it ain't got fleas, and 'tis a girl.”

6 - Vidanric in Crown Duel
Vidanric is the Hero in Crown Duel. Well, kind of. He is, but it takes a long time for the Heroine to notice it.
Pros: Doesn't mind being the target for candle-holder throwing practise. Has a subtle and smart sense of humour. Can be really romantic when he puts his mind into it. Is good in politics and battle.
Cons: Uses kisses as payment of wagers. It should be fine if he only makes them with you, but you never know. Blond (just not my type, I'm afraid).

7 - Mel in Sunshine
Mel is a bit of a mystery. Well, strike that. Mel is a mystery. He is Sunshine's boyfriend (which doesn't stop her from getting too friendly with mushroom-skined vampires. Well, vampire, it was just the one).
Pros: He has mysterious tattoos that seemed to indicate that he is/was a wizard of some sort. He bakes yummy food. He rides a bike. And he's solid as a tree in the sense that he will stand by you and help you, no matter what.
Cons: He could be the Evil Overlord who rules the Universe with Pain and Torture, since I know very little about him. Also, he is taken.

8 - Shiny in The Broken Kingdoms
Shiny is a God in a Human body, put there as punishment for bad behaviour to and by his siblings.
Pros: He is a God. He is shiny, as in, he shines (but only in the morning, which might be great as an alarm clock). He might not say much, but when he talks, it matters.
Cons: He is a God. He is rather resistance to change, he might need a decade to accept it.

9 - Linay in Plain Kate
He is strange, and weird and not altogether good. But I really liked him, and felt he just needed some loving. And I am willing to do that... Please, Ms. Bow, let me have him! I'll take good care of him and will not let him go around stealing shadows!

10 - Maeniel in The Silver Wolf
Maeniel is a mountain lord, a kind-of former barbarian that managed to get a dominion which to rule. In times of peace he is adorable, because he worries too much about everything. About the grain, and the servants, and the weather... But he can keep a clear head in times of peril, and think quickly. And since he has a furry situation, he is quite formidable in battle. But what his really cool about him, is that he has a long history (and I only got mere glimpses of it), and an unusual version of lycanthropy.

Third time killed the charm: Both the Kushiel series and the Study series have great characters that are boyfriend material, but since the books that I read this year were not even close to my liking, I couldn't quite bring myself to include them on the top. So, honourable mentions are:

Valek in the Study Series
Pros: Good looking, protective, has a hobby that is not related to work. Is a gentleman and doesn't take advantage of drunken criminals maidens.
Cons: Tendency to poison loved ones. Works as an assassin.

Joscelin in the Kushiel Series
Pros: Awesome fighter. Tends to not break vows, unless they get in the way of being with whom he loves. Long hair. Quite passionate, even if he tries to appear stoic.
Cons: Chastity vow, blond, too much of a priest.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Top 10 of 2011 - Top 10 Book Covers of 2011

The second day of the week of the Top 10 of 2011, hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic, A Life Bound By Books, Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books. Today's theme: Pretty Covers! Ohhh... Shiny! *.*

I had a bit of trouble on this top. Not because there was any lack of pretty covers, but because I couldn't decide whether to be books I've read this year or books I acquired this year. I went with the last option, but just one book in this list is yet to be read.

Top 10 Book Covers of 2011

1 - Plain Kate
So pretty! One of the biggest reasons I got this book. (Bonus: This is another idea for the cover - but it didn't get picked)

2 - Sunshine
Again, so pretty! I got this edition because it's prettier than the others (Spirals!). And once I got it, I realized: it sparkles! Shiny!

3 - My Name is Mina
Never mind that it's a prequel of sorts to Skellig. This cover jumped right at me!

4 - Contos Carnivoros
Another one that jumped right at me in the bookshop because of the cover. Pretty!

5 - Jane Eyre
This one was not bought solely because of the cover, but this edition caught my once, twice, three times in the bookshop, so I ended it up buying it.

6 - The Inheritance books: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms
The beautiful cover of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was the reason I started paying attention to this series. Then came the good reviews. And The Broken Kingdoms keeps with the theme of good covers.

7 - The Queen's Thief collection - The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia and A Conspiracy of Kings
Not the reason for buying or reading these books, but the illustrations on the covers are gorgeous.

8 - Shatter
This was a freebie on Amazon, but there are plenty of ebooks free there, so why did I even "buy" it? The cover, sirs, the cover.

9 - King's Wrath
The previous two books in the Valisar trilogy had beautiful covers, and the last instalment could be no different.

10 - The Field Guide
The Spiderwick books being pretty much the only non-comic, non-compulsory books my little cousin has read (and I mean, really read. The whole series!), I decided to give it a try (in this case, acquiring them, I have yet to read). No, it wasn't Holly Black writing it (although now it was a certain weight in the decision), nor the illustrations by Tony DiTerlizzi (although I very much fond of those). But the cover is really pretty.

Today's extra: Varjak Paw

The cover is pretty, but not as much as the ones on the Top 10. But the illustrations inside. pretty.

Monday, 26 December 2011

"Let's help the elves" Giveaway - Winner

So, Christmas has come and gone, and it's time for cleaning up, eating the leftovers and coo over the amazing presents I'm sure everyone received. Oh, wait, there is something else that has to be done, isn't there?

Of course there is! The winner of the Let's help the elves giveaway!

But before I tell you actually won this one, here are some stats:

Most people said they were good or at least more good than naughty, but there are quite a lot that were naughty and proud of it! But since I always like the naughty ones in books, I won't crossed them from Santa's list.

And what people wanted the most for Christmas? Well, it was rather surprising. People asked for books. Or bookshelves. Or eReaders. Really, people? All you want for Christmas is books and book related stuff? Great! Me too!

So, now that these stats are over with, it's time for a winner. Let's click the button on the Rafflethingy and cross my fingers that I get picked...oh wait, I'm the hostess in this one.

And....drumroll please... wait, it seems there's more clicking involved, keep on with that drumroll, for a while and...

Here it is! The winner is:

Veronika who wanted books for Christmas, so she'll get one more from Spoilers and Nuts. I will be emailing you soon!

And that's all for now. There will be reviews coming (hopefully, I'm soooooo behind those) and during this week I'm doing the Top 10 of 2011 - so, a post every day - speaking of which, I have to prepare some of those...

Top 10 of 2011 - Top 10 Books I've read in 2011

Ahh... The last week of the year starts, and so starts the week of the Top 10 of 2011, hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic, A Life Bound By Books, Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books.

Each day there will be a Top 10. The first one The Top 10 Books of 2011, which is also the theme for this week's Top Ten Tuesday, so I'll be mashing these two memes into one (Yeah, I know it's still Monday, but it's Tuesday somewhere).

It's hard to get an order in this list - it was hard enough to find the Top 10. It was a good year in reading - a lot of good books, even if there were a few rotten ones as well.

I decided not to make a commentary on this top - I have reviewed most of these books (except one, but worry not, that review will come), and I think I wouldn't be able to manage much more than a Squee! I loved it! So, Squee! I loved them all!

Top 10 Books I've read in 2011

A Game of ThronesReview
The ThiefReview
The Queen of AttoliaReview
Plain KateReview
My Name is MinaReview
North and SouthReview
Crown DuelReview
The Broken KingdomsReview

These two books were so good that I re-read them this year:

The HobbitReview