Shelf Control #193: Witchmark by C. J. Polk

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Witchmark
Author: C. L. Polk
Published: 2018
Length: 318 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.
 

How and when I got it:

I picked up a copy last summer on a visit to a beloved neighborhood bookstore.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve heard such good things about this book! I love the sound of the witchcraft elements mixed with the historical setting. And now seems like a good time to read Witchmark, as the sequel will be out in February.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!

__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Shelf Control #192: Poison: A Wicked Snow White Tale by Sarah Pinborough

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Poison: A Wicked Snow White Tale
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Published: 2013
Length: 187 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

A beautiful, sexy, contemporary retelling of the classic Snow White fairy tale, illustrated by Les Edwards.

Poison is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairy tale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. It’s fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of Once Upon a TimeGrimmSnow White and the Huntsman and more.

How and when I got it:

Who says brick and mortar bookstores can’t survive? I wandered into a local bookstore last year, saw this book on the shelf, and had to buy not just this one, but the two other volumes in the series (Tales From the Kingdoms) as well.

Why I want to read it:

It just checks all my boxes! I may be a little burned out from too many fairy tale retellings, but Poison and its companions (Charm and Beauty) sound different enough to make me want to read them. Plus, they’re short — and admitting my shallowness here — the editions are so pretty and look so nice together! No wonder I had to get all three.

Also, I’ve been meaning to check out this author for a while now, so these books appeal to me for that reason too.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!

__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: The more things change, the more things stay the same

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Changes In My Reading Life, with the explanation maybe you like different genres or topics, maybe you read faster than you used to, maybe you only like standalones now.

Here are some ways my reading preferences and habits have changed over the years:

1. I read on my Kindle much more frequently than I use to. Probably because it’s so easy and portable (especially since it syncs with my phone app, so I never have to wonder where I left off). Also, my husband is strictly a Kindle reader, and I end up purchasing the Kindle format more often for our shared library.

2. I think I’ve burned out when it comes to reading historical fiction set during the World Wars. I’ve read some amazing novels set during these times, but for right now, other time periods and settings are much more appealing to me.

3. Not so much a fan of high fantasy these days. I can’t be bothered learning entirely new systems of magic or the rules of new kingdoms.

4. I have less patience for books that don’t grab me within the first chapter or so. I have the power to DNF, and I’m not afraid to use it!

5. I’m trying to be much more cautious about requesting ARCs — I need to preserve time for me to read on a whim, and not based on publication date or other commitments.

And here are some things about me as a reader that have not changed at all:

1. I never, ever, ever leave the house without a book — or at the very least, without access to my Kindle app.

 

2. I continue to buy more books than I can possibly read in a year… or a lifetime.

3. I’m a complete mood reader. Having to stick to a reading plan makes me grumpy.

4. If you want to make friends with me, ask me what I’ve read recently.

5. I skip from genre to genre whenever possible — if I read too many of any one type of book, I can feel myself losing interest and have to switch it up.

 

 

How about you? Have you changed as a reader?

If you did a TTT post this week, please share your link!

Shelf Control #191: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: The Grapes of Wrath
Author: John Steinbeck
Published: 1939
Length: 468 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.

How and when I got it:

I had (and then lost) a copy years ago, but just got a new one earlier this year.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve always meant to read this book. I know a lot of folks ended up having this on a school required reading list, but I never did. This year, my book group decided to do a reading challenge based on the PBS Great American Reads list, and this is one of the books I chose for my challenge. Now if only I’d actually crack it open and get started!

What do you think? Have you ever read The Grapes of Wrath, and if so, do you recommend it?

Please share your thoughts!

__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: My best loved bookmarks

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is  Favorite Bookmarks. I’m not afraid to admit I’m somewhat of a bookmark hoarder — I just never feel like I have enough!

My favorites tend not to be fancy or expensive. I love going into souvenir shops when I travel and picking up the simple touristy paper bookmarks that can usually be found on the postcard racks. I do have a few other odds and ends as well, so without further ado, here’s a guide to my bookmark collection!

1. Outlander love. You didn’t actually think I’d do a TTT post that doesn’t mention my favorite book series, did you? Here’s a little magnetic Jamie and Claire, who never fail to make me smile while they’re marking my page.

2. It’s Nessie! Isn’t she cute? Not the most practical of bookmarks — she only stays in place when the book is placed carefully on my nightstand. Certainly not a good candidate for reading on the go. Still, she’s just so darn adorable! (Available from Animi Causa)

3. Sassy grandmother — the translation from Hebrew is basically: Bored? Go read a book! (Resting on a copy of Pride and Prejudice — always a good choice.)

4. A super cool leather bookmark with a glamorous masked vampire, a gift from a friend who brought this back for me from New Orleans.

 

5. Pretty and fancy! Silver and beads, lace and a dragonfly charm, and a golden chamsah. All gifts, all very much appreciated.

6. Travel bookmarks! Just plain paper bookmarks, but I do love bringing them home with me from everywhere I go.

 

7. A little Ice and Fire is always welcome…

8. This is so true. Heavy books are tough!

9. Girl Power! This bookmark is sold by She Is Booked, and all purchases support charities and women’s causes. Feel good, change the world, and get a great bookmark!

 

10. Couldn’t resist: Here are just a few of the random items I’ve used as bookmarks in moments of desperation. Because the first and only rule of bookmarks is… always use a bookmark! Dog-earing is for savages.

And a bonus bookmark… because I finished this post and forgot that I took a picture of my magnetic sloth in action! Everyone needs a sloth to hold their page, right?

I’m clearly not a gifted photographer, but I do love my bookmarks, and had lots of fun tracking these down from all their little hiding places around my house.

It’s your turn! Show me your bookmarks!

Or, you know, just go ahead and share your TTT link…

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Shelf Control #190: Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: Haunting Bombay
Author: Shilpa Agarwal
Published: 2009
Length: 362 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

After her mother’s death crossing the border from Pakistan to India during Partition, baby Pinky was taken in by her grandmother, Maji, the matriarch of the powerful Mittal family. Now thirteen years old, Pinky lives with her grandmother and her uncle’s family in a bungalow on the Malabar Heights in Bombay. While she has never really been accepted by her uncle’s family, she has always had Maji’s love.

One day, as monsoons engulf the city, Pinky opens a mysteriously bolted door, unleashing the ghosts of an infant who drowned shortly before Pinky’s arrival and of the nursemaid who cared for the child. Three generations of the Mittal family must struggle to come to terms with their secrets amidst hidden shame, forbidden love, and a call for absolute sacrifice.

How and when I got it:

When my book group did a secret book swap a few years ago, this was one of the books in my super-fun package. Thank you, book-giver friend of mine!

Why I want to read it:

Well, first of all, it was a gift, and I always feel terrible when I don’t get around to reading gift books. And on top of that, I think it sounds terrific! Between the ghost story and the family saga and the Bombay setting, it seems to have a lot going for it. I really do need to get to this one soon.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!

__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers That Give Off Autumn Vibes

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is  Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes.

I’m going by cover art here, not necessarily anything to do with the books’ content. Here are 10 book covers that make me think of autumn!

 

 

I haven’t actually read all of these, but I do have copies of them all on my shelves! Are any of these familiar to you?

What books make you think of autumn? Please share your TTT link!

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Shelf Control #189: Wraith by Joe Hill

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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I thought I’d go with something appropriately terrifying for the eve of Halloween:

Title: Wraith
Author: Joe Hill
Published: 2014
Length: 204 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Joe Hill’s New York Times Bestselling novel, NOS4A2, introduced readers to the terrifying funhouse world of Christmasland, and the mad man who rules there: Charlie Talent Manx III. Now, in an original new comic miniseries, Hill throws wide the candy cane gates to tell a standalone story that is at once both accessible to new readers, and sure to delight fans of the book.

How and when I got it:

I bought it back in 2014 when it was first released.

Why I want to read it:

NOS4A2 was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever read. Okay, most Joe Hill books scare the daylights out of me — but at the same time, I enjoy every horrible, super-scary moment! Wraith is a graphic novel set in the same world as NOS4A2, and I knew I had to have it… but I haven’t quite psyched myself up to read it yet!

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!

__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween freebie — Ten horror books on my TBR list

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Happy Halloween!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is a Halloween freebie! For past Halloween freebies, I’ve done lists about witches and lists about ghosts, as well as some really icky, gross horror novels. This time, I thought I’d keep it simple and just list a bunch of horror novels on my to-read list that I really do need to get around to reading! (Too late to read them in time for this Halloween, but there’s always next year!)

To top ten to-read horror books are:

 

  1. We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
  2. Needful Things by Stephen King
  3. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
  4. Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig
  5. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
  6. We Are Where the Nightmares Go by C. Robert Cargill
  7. Full Throttle and Strange Weather by Joe Hill (okay, those are two separate books, but since they’re both story collections by Joe Hill, I’m counting them as one!)
  8. Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
  9. The Hunger by Alma Katsu
  10. The Terror by Dan Simmons

Have you read any of these? Which one should I read first?

So what’s on your Halloween TTT this week? Share your link, please, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I host a Book Blog Meme Directory, and I’m always looking for new additions! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info.

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Shelf Control #188: Firebird by Mercedes Lackey

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

cropped-flourish-31609_1280-e1421474289435.pngTitle: Firebird
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Published: 1996
Length: 352 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

In Mercedes Lackey’s Firebird, Ilya, son of a Russian prince, is largely ignored by his father and tormented by his larger, older brothers. His only friends are three old people: a priest, a magician, and a woman who toils in the palace dairy. From them Ilya learns faith, a smattering of magic, and the power of love–all of which he will need desperately, for his life is about to be turned upside-down.

The prince’s magnificent cherry orchard is visited at midnight by the legendary Firebird, whose wings are made of flame. Ilya’s brothers’ attempts to capture the magical creature fail. When Ilya tries to catch the Firebird, he sees her as a beautiful woman and earns a magical gift: the speech of animals.

Banished, the young man journeys through a fantastical Russia full of magical mazes, enchanted creatures, and untold dangers. As happens in the best fairy tales, Ilya falls in love with an enchanted princess, but to win her freedom will be no easy task.

How and when I got it:

Yet another find at a library book sale! No idea when — but probably in the last two years at some point.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve never read anything by Mercedes Lackey, and I know I should! She’s one of those authors whose books I’ve been wanting to read, yet there are so many that I never know where to start. Any suggestions? I grabbed Firebird when I saw it, and I do think it sounds great — but as someone new to this author, I wonder if this is representative of her works, or if there’s a different book (or set of books) that I should try first. Any recommendations?

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!

__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!