Take Control of Your TBR pile is back for its third year, but this will be the first time I’m participating. For the month of March I’ll read books in my TBR pile that were released before March 1, 2015.
I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran is listed as a Fantasy book, in addition to the general category of Adult Literature/Fiction, but it’s not Fantasy. I suppose the publisher is choosing to market it as Fantasy because it doesn’t really fit into any other genre. It’s not Historical Fiction, despite the fact that it takes place during the 19th century, and it’s not YA, even though the main character is 10 to 13 years old. It does have some fantastical elements, and even a little bit of Magical Realism; however, just because the story is set in an “exotic” locale (read: not in the western world), and there happens to be a circus, and a character that is supposed to be Erik from The Phantom of the Opera, that doesn’t mean it’s Fantasy.
Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed in this book since I was expecting Fantasy. I’m not taking away stars for that, though, since that’s not the fault of the author. I doubt she had very little, if any, say in what genre(s) the publisher chose to list the book as being. However, I hated the story, and the characters. Afsar and Vachon are psychopaths, but not “Dexter” psychopaths. No, they not only have no qualms about killing innocent people, they do it with a sick sort of pleasure, and that’s what this book is mostly about: who and how they murder. At first, I felt sorry for Afsar. I even pitied her. The first couple of chapters show her as being a young girl who has been raised to hate, forced to be wiser than her years, yet is still clearly naive about how the world works. My feelings changed as she became more and more cruel, petty, hateful, and jealous. I waited, and continued reading, in the hope that something would happen for her to change, or she would do something that would be redeeming, even if only a little bit. Unfortunately, she remains the same despicable person all the way to the end.
If you enjoy stories about psychopaths who discover each other’s love for toying with their human prey before brutally murdering them, then this book is the perfect one for you. Otherwise, you might be better off reading a different book. As much as I thought a story about Erik before he became the Phantom would be great, it just isn’t so.
This check-in is for Feb. 16th – 22th. My goal for this week was an average of 8K steps per day. I didn’t meet my goal, not even close, so I’ll be repeating the week.
I’ll add 1K steps each week that I meet my goal, until I’m completing 12K steps per day. After that, I’ll add in resistance training and/or jogging. I didn’t go to any hot yoga classes this week.
I felt physically, emotionally, and mentally drained most of this week, and didn’t have the willpower to get off my butt or eat healthy. I’m proud of myself for recognizing what was happening, and not forcing myself to stick to my goals or seeing it as a major setback. I didn’t eat mindlessly or allow myself to forget that I needed to workout. Instead, I made a conscious decision to let this week go and not beat myself up about it. Sometimes I just need to be a slob.
If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
For those of you who don’t know what 5HTP is, it’s one of the building blocks of serotonin, and a dietary supplement that is sold as an antidepressant. It also happens to be the title of my go-to playlist for anytime I’m feeling down. Since last week beat me up emotionally and mentally, I’ve decided to share it with you. In addition to taking breaks to read anything not related to WWII, I’ve been listening to this playlist quite a bit, usually on my commute to school, and it has helped tremendously.
What songs do you listen to that help you get out of the dumps?
Currently Reading: The Burning Land by Victoria Strauss, a review book, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott for The Classics Club, The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, and The Essential Feminist Reader.
Finished: Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran by Marion Grace Woolley, which I’ll be reviewing on Wednesday.
Winter 2014-2015 COYER Progress: I’ve read 9 books towards my goal of 10, and participated in 2 read-a-thons towards my goal of 3. I’ve been keeping up with the Facebook group, and I did a mini-challenge.
SF/F Bingo: Since I’ve already finished this challenge, I’m working on filling in the whole card.
Total pages read for the week: 376
Total number of books for the year: 10. I’m still a little bit behind schedule. I had 3 papers to write this week, and I’m busy writing 2 more that are due by Friday, so I’m not likely to finish my one remaining review book for the month before the 28th. I’m hoping I’ll finish it by March 6th, though, since it’s the last book I need to meet my goal for COYER.
Top Commenters: This week, my Top Commenter was Shaina from Shaina Reads.
Bloggers who don’t edit for grammatical and spelling errors. It’s one thing to have a typo every once in a while, but if the majority of posts are so full of errors that I have difficulty reading them, then I’m going to stop reading and move on to another blog.
4. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST NON-BLOG RELATED PET-PEEVE?
Bullies on I-35.
5. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SONG?
There’s no way I could ever pick just one favorite song, since my musical tastes go across all genres and eras/decades.
6. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ETSY SHOP?
None. I stay far, far away from Etsy because there are way too many lovely things that I want to buy, but I have no money to spend.
7. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME WHEN YOU’RE ALONE?
I spend whatever free time I have reading when the Boyfriend isn’t home. If he is home, I’m writing or gaming.
8. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE JUNK FOOD?
I would say dark chocolate, but since chocolate comes from a plant, it’s really salad, right?
9. DO YOU HAVE PETS?
10. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FICTION AND NONFICTION BOOKS?
I have no idea what brand it is, but it’s a vanilla flavored lip balm that I got in my Christmas stocking from Santa (aka the Boyfriend’s Mom). I use it everyday.
12. WHEN WERE YOU LAST EMBARRASSED?
I mispronounced the word “collegiate” in front of the Boyfriend and his Mom because I had never heard the word spoken out loud.
13. IF YOU COULD DRINK ONE BEVERAGE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Water. Hydration is important. If it’s not the only beverage I can drink, then a daily Chai Latte would be awesome.
14. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
“The Princess Bride”. I have many other favorites, but I could watch that one everyday and not get tired of it.
15. WHAT WERE YOU IN HIGH SCHOOL? PROM QUEEN, NERD, CHEERLEADER, JOCK, VALEDICTORIAN, BAND GEEK, LONER, ARTIST, ETC?
I was a loner nerd.
16. IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE?
I have traveled to many parts of the world throughout my life, and, so far, my favorite place has been South Korea. However, I don’t know if I would want to live there permanently. I lived there for 3 years, and while I loved it, I enjoyed coming back to the U.S. So, maybe some place in Western Europe, like Scotland, England, or France.
17. PC OR MAC?
PC. I despise Apple.
18. LAST ROMANTIC GESTURE FROM A CRUSH, DATE, BOYFRIEND?
The Boyfriend took me to a fondue restaurant for Valentine’s Day.
19. FAVORITE CELEB?
Hmmm….I don’t keep up with celebrities, but for years I greatly admired Angelina Jolie. I suppose I still do, but I also love Emma Watson, J.K. Rowling, and Henry Rollins.
20. WHICH BLOGGER DO YOU SECRETLY WANT TO BE BEST FRIENDS WITH?
Well, if I gave an answer, it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, now would it? She’s one of the bloggers I’ve tagged…
Tag 11 other bloggers who have 200 followers or less.
Ask the 11 bloggers you nominated 11 questions and let them know you nominated them.
11 Questions From Sara:
What is the first book you remember reading? Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
Where do you like to read? Do you have a quiet little hideout where you can read undisturbed? I usually read on the couch or in bed. I don’t have a hideout right now, but I’m hoping the next apartment the boyfriend and I move to will have a bit more space for me to create a mini Hobbit Hole.
Starting at the very top of your bookcase, what are the first five books you have on your shelves? A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, Prince Lestat by Anne Rice, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, Arabian Nights by Richard R. Burton, and Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales.
If you could meet one author, living or dead, for coffee, whom would you meet? I have no idea, and here’s why: authors are real people, and just because you love their writing doesn’t mean you’ll love them. My “idols” need to stay that way. I don’t want to inadvertently find out they’re arrogant jerks or completely different than how the media portrays them, or that they’re just not likeable. If that happened, I probably wouldn’t ever be able to read their books again, and that would be horrible. All of that being said, I still would love to interview authors who wrote books I love, but that aren’t big names yet.
How do you feel about seeing a movie adaptation before you’ve read the book? I’ve had this happen many times because I was unaware that the movie was an adaptation. If I really enjoyed the movie, I’ll get the book since it’s usually even better.
What is your favourite adaptation of a book? On the one hand, I want to say the Harry Potter movies, or The Princess Bride, but on the other hand, Hugo was amazing considering the book sucked.
Which character from fiction would you most like to be? I want to be a Hobbit. I wouldn’t necessarily say one of the Hobbits from either The Hobbit or LOTR, but a Hobbit nonetheless.
Which book do you recommend to others the most? Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Which book have you re-read the most? Surprisingly, the one book I have read the most times is not The Hobbit, but The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
How do you feel about eBooks? I love ebooks and my e-reader. They allow me to be able to get review books without giving out my address, they take away the packing dilemma when I travel, I can read them on my phone when I’m out and about, and with all the online sources for free ebooks (including the public library), I haven’t felt deprived of books when I don’t have the money to spend on them, and I don’t even need to leave home to get them.
Where do you get most of your books from? Library, bookstore, online? Since I started college, and even more so since I started blogging, I’ve been getting most of my books online (see above).