Literary Musings

Keeping Track of Books

Blog post idea taken from “Lit Chat: Conversations Starters About Books & Life,” a book/game/ice breaker box produced by Book Riot. The question was: “How do you keep track of your reading queue? Name three books you have on your list.”

I’ve had used my Goodreads account pretty much every day since I first activated it in (*quickly logs into said account to check my profile) in 2011. I use it to keep track of books I’ve read and to keep track of books that I want to read sometime in the future and I love it. I like that it gives me a chance to rate the books I’ve read and even add a review if I’d like and then I can go through and see what my highest rated books are. This helps me to keep track of series I’ve started and decided whether or not I want to finish and it helps me to know what books I’ve read that may also work out well for the teen book club I run. I also like to read reviews of other people to get an idea of whether or not a book that sounds interesting by the blurb will actually be one that I like.

(Though some comments I see on other people’s book reviews are just downright crazy. For example- someone wrote a very well thought out review, a negative one, about a particular book that I also didn’t like. I pretty much agreed with their review 100%. Someone commented on that book review by saying “your an idiot and you should die.” Um, really?)

Before Goodreads I really can’t remember how I kept track. Probably along the lines of “see a book, read and like the blurb, so I then checked it out of the library/bought it/forgot about it.”

Three books that are on my list right now.

  1. Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas. (I loved Dangerous Girls and hope this packs a similar punch.
  2. Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (I have heard so many good things about this series and it sounds like it’s right up my alley but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.)
  3. Starflight duology by Melissa Landers
To Read or Not to Read?

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Into the Drowning Deep is set seven years after its prequel novella, Rolling in the Deep, which was the story of how the ship the Atargatis was taken out by a group of man eating mermaids in the Mariana Trench, though a lot of people who had heard of the Atargatis thought the mermaids were just a hoax. In Into the Drowning Deep a new crew of scientists is asked to return to the Trench and prove what had happened to the Atargatis once and for all.

We have a whole slew of characters from reporters from the Imagine Network, to various kinds of scientists (some of whom actually believe in mermaids and want to prove their existence to others who just want the chance to study a part of the ocean which is vastly unknown) to a pair of big game hunters who want to find mermaids and kill them.

Now I absolutely loved the prequel Rolling in the Deep. I thought it had a cast of characters that was just right, with a wide range of different types of people and who stood out. I also felt that the tone was just right with the hints of what was going to happen and the creepy feeling that kind of pervaded through the whole thing. And that was also present in Into the Drowning Deep but it wasn’t quite the same.

Into was bogged down with too many different main characters, the story jumping back and forth too often. Also, the science aspect was so heavy handed at times. I know it was primarily a science vessel but there was just so much science mumbo-jumbo that it really took away from the horror. And another gripe was the repetition. There were just too many uses of the phrase “lovely ladies of the sea” even when that phrase was proven to be false in a multitude of ways.

Overall, I really liked the story though I wish it would have retained more of the ambiance of the prequel.

To Read or Not to Read?

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant

Now I know the title of this blog post may seem misleading but it is, in fact, a review of a book and not about a song by Adele though when I read this novella I did have to stop myself from mentally singing the song every time my eyes glanced across the title. But, moving on…

A little over a month ago I received an email with a list of suggested books for fans of mermaids and sirens and Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant was one of the books listed, though it warned that the science fiction/horror book wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows like Disney’s The Little Mermaid. And murderous mermaids sounded interesting to me. With a bit of searching I found out that Into the Drowning Deep actually had a prequel novella called Rolling in the Deep and so, being the “must read everything in order” type of person that I am, I knew I had to start there.

Rolling in the Deep was interesting because the premise is that the Imagine Network, a kind of network that features documentaries on mythical creatures as well as cheesy science fiction movies and the like, hired a group of people take the Atargatis, a cruise ship, out to the Mariana Trench to look for mermaids. The novella opens up with news articles, etc. mentioning that the Atargatis was lost at sea and people are unsure if twas a hoax perpetrated by the Imagine Network or if it was actually a maritime tragedy. So this is the kind of book that starts at the end of the story and then works its way back through the story.

We’re shown snippets of the crew, etc. as the journey gets on it’s way, proving that not only are there scientists on board the Atargatis but that Imagine also hired a troupe of mermaids so that regardless of what they find out there, they will have “evidence” that mermaids are real. And most of the crew suspect something like this will happen, that the network will create what isn’t there if they have to. That’s why when people start going missing they maybe don’t get as scared as they should because they think it’s just a series of stunts.

Then the blood starts to pour and the crew realizes that not only are the mermaids real, but that they have a taste for human flesh.

This was a really fun story. It’s a novella so it’s not really very long and there’s a bit of a slow burn. But I thought it worked perfectly because we already knew the shit was going to hit the fan, it was just a matter of figuring out when and how bad it was going to get. It created a tense atmosphere and I really enjoyed it.

Literary Musings


Blog post idea taken from “Lit Chat: Conversations Starters About Books & Life,” a book/game/ice breaker box produced by Book Riot. The question was: “Do you have a to-be-read (TBR) pile?”

Ha ha ha….wait, you mean that wasn’t a trick question? Well, okay then, here’s my answer: YES!!!! Not only do I have books that I’ve purchased and still need to read physically falling off of my bookshelf at home because there are too many of them, I also have an overflowing shelf of library books to read and I have an even larger TBR list online.

Now, my problem is two-fold. First, I’m a librarian which means that I have access to almost every book that I could ever want and lots of times I can grab things on the day that they were released. Secondly, whenever I pass a bookstore I have to go in and 99% of the time I don’t feel complete unless I come walking out of the store with a purchased book in my hand.

This leads to a pretty big problem. Like I said earlier, my bookshelves at home are literally overflowing with books I still need to read. But even though I have all those books I still check out library books which I feel the need to read first because they have due dates. While I’m reading said library books I sometimes go to a bookstore and buy even more books and the cycle continues. It’s a problem…

(Or is it?)

Literary Musings

Reading Preferences

Blog post idea taken from “Lit Chat: Conversations Starters About Books & Life,” a book/game/ice breaker box produced by Book Riot. The question was: “What’s your preferred reading style? Are you a fan of hardcovers? Paperbacks? Ebooks? What determines your choice?”

There are two main factors that determine my choice in reading style as pertains to this question. The first is availability and the second is the size of the book.

If I really, really want to read a book then I will take it in whatever form that I can get my hands on the fastest. So that usually means hardcover or ebook if the book is brand new, given that paperbacks usually aren’t released until some time later, oftentimes six months or more behind the book’s release date.

Size also matters. A smaller book can be read in paperback easily enough but I feel as though a book that is over two hundred pages should be in a different format. Thick paperbacks just fall apart so fast because you have to break the binding in order to read all the words on a page and the font can also end up horrendously small. Just generally bad for ease of reading.

But, at the same time, a massive hardcover can be hard to hold as well. Especially if you’re reading in bed and need to rest said book against your stomach or if you’re reading on the couch with a dog in your lap and no good place to lay the book. In that case, ebooks are the way to go. (This is why I have multiple copies of some of my books that I know I’ll be re-reading in the future. Like “Pride and Prejudice” and the Harry Potter series.)

To Read or Not to Read?

Normally, This Would be Cause for Concern by Danielle Fishel

Every so often I like to pick up a celebrity biography even though I usually don’t end up enjoying them as much as I assume I will. I almost always pick things by “funny” people, celebrities who are most well known for their humorous characters and quotes on their Twitter feeds and then I’m disappointed when their biographies aren’t so funny. In this case I wasn’t expecting funny necessarily. I was expecting the girl next door feeling from the girl who brought Topanga to life in Boy Meets World.

Fortunately, that’s exactly what I got. Little stories that made me feel all nostalgic for the 90s and that just made Danielle so real and so normal. It seems like a lot of celebrity bios try to convince you that the person is a normal person but then their personal stories are so far removed from anything I’ve experienced that I just can’t connect. With Danielle there weren’t a lot of crazy, messed up teenage escapades like a lot of celebrities write about (which is maybe why I liked it…I wasn’t the type to go crazy when I was younger either so some of those “I did all the drugs” kind of stories just aren’t things I can relate to) and most of what she wrote about was so normal.

There were also lots of mentions of Boy Meets World and her castmates from the show and some gossip I don’t remember hearing about which made me smile and feel all young at heart again. It was very nice.

Literary Musings

For the Love of Books

Blog post idea taken from “Lit Chat: Conversations Starters About Books & Life,” a book/game/ice breaker box produced by Book Riot. The question was: “what do you love most about books?”

I have always had a very active imagination. To the point where I still had imaginary friends and was trying to get my fellow recess goers playing pretend far past when they were interested in that type of play. And those imaginary friends that I pictured hanging out with were usually based on movie or television characters and, once I started reading, book characters. I felt like they were alive and that I could have conversations and adventures with them. I think this is one of the reasons why I’ve been reading and writing fanfiction for over a decade.

That’s what I love most about books and reading. That even fictional places seem real and that I feel like I personally know characters just as well as I know people in real life. And now with social media I know that other readers feel the same way. That there are others out there who know all the answers to Harry Potter trivia and sink money into different fandoms because it’s important to them.

It’s kind of cool that nowadays reading a book can be such a personal thing and yet it’s a thing that other readers identify with. And that’s why I love books.