Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

 

I can’t believe it’s time to say goodbye to Harry Dresden. He’s been part of my life for most of two years! I remember when Ender was my best friend for so many audiobooks and it was hard to let him go, too. Well, at least I can tell you about this last book before we close the pages.

Skin Game was the first of Jim Butcher’s titles I didn’t “get” from context. I wasn’t familiar with the phrase (I didn’t even know it was a phrase, a shortening of “skin in the game”) and I didn’t remember to look it up until I’d finished the book. It basically means a trick or scam.

This book brings together characters who wouldn’t normally work together—Nicodemus and Dresden on terse terms and at cross purposes at either end of the table, and a bunch of unknown quantities with a bunch of unknown  allegiances between them. Characters run the gamut from familiar faces like Binder and Karrin Murphy (I’ve been listening to the audiobooks and only just recently realized it isn’t spelled Karen) to new-to-us faces like Hannah Ascher (who is a young, literally-fiery redhead) and Goodman Grey (who has the sexiest Looziana Bayou drawl). Now we all know Dresden would never willingly work with the evilest of evils—Ole Daddy Nickelhead Himself—but Queen Mab essentially puts Harry in a do-or-die armbar. So the team assembles to steal the Holy Grail out from under the nose of Hades. (Because, why not, right?) This book is just as exciting and snark-filled as all those before it, but it’s tender exchanges like the ones between Harry and Maggie that really kick ya in the feels. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!) If you’re new to my reviewing style, I try to avoid spoiling stuff, so if you want to know more, you should just read it already! (But start with book 1, okay?)

James Marsters has now read me all fifteen Jim Butcher books in the Harry Dresden series so far. Book 15 came out almost 4 years ago, and Butcher has been putting out other books in the meantime. I’m a little lost as to where to go from here!

Reading Challenges
And here are the reading challenge updates:

Hashtags for the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017
#AnneReadAlong2017

Love,
Jobe

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Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

Cold Days by Jim Butcher

After thirteen books of building up a life, Harry’s had everything is destroyed. In the rubble of book fourteen, he has to relearn everything, starting with a very pretty physical therapist named Sarissa who will teach him the basics before Mab gives him some hands-on daily experience of how not to die. By, you know, trying to kill him on the daily. Harry gets to meet Santa Claus and is a total fanboy. We also meet Cait Sith and Lacuna, another of the tiny folk. Molly lets Harry know that there’s something really wrong with Demonreach. Harry gains some serious insider knowledge on the workings of the fae world, talks with about a million important fae peeps, and visits the Knight’s Watch–er, well, The Wall, anyway. There are a surprising number of boat fights. And in the end SOME REALLY CRAZY STUFF HAPPENS!!!

Reading Challenges
Here we go for reading challenge updates:

Well that was a bit sparse. Shoot. I’ll have to find a real zinger for my next one…

Hashtags for the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017
#AnneReadAlong2017

Love,
Jobe

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Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

 

 

Usually there is a year of downtime in the universe of the series before the characters get into a new adventure of mischief. Ghost Story, by contrast, follows Changes by only moments, in a grand continuation. The readers follow the Ghost of the story as he attempts to solve his own murder, and he entreats the help of all of our usual suspects. I kept wracking my brain, wondering if the ghost is “really dead” or if there would be some time magic hijinks to just rewind the world for an “and then he woke up” effect. And I’m typing this before I’ve reached the end, specifically so I couldn’t accidentally give anything away about the resolution of the story. In addition to the excellent writing you’ve come to expect, spooky book 13 of the Dresden Files departs from the regular Harry-saves-the-day story and shows a lot of the other characters in their own right and/or coming into their own.

There were two things that happened during my reading experience. First, the audiobook that I checked out from the library was narrated by someone other than James Marsters. WHAT?!?!?!? I just could not get over it and I could not get into it! This wasn’t my narrator! You can’t just have someone narrate TWELVE WHOLE BOOKS and then switch. It’s too jarring! Too traumatic! When I searched the web, I found I was not the only one who’d complained. In fact, poor audiobook performer John Glover, whose only crime was not being James Marsters, was the new most hated man on the internet since Jaqen H’gar changed faces on Season 2 of Game of Thrones. (Poor guy.) 30 MOST SHOCKING MOMENTS IN GAME OF THRONES 17. CHANGING FACE

Well I only made it through a disc and a half before I decided I just couldn’t do it, I signed up for a free trial of Audible and listened to it to completion on my phone. (I’ve also been tinkering with ebooks in my iPhone’s Kindle app, so maybe there’s hope for me yet.) The other thing that occurred during my read (and this figuratively never happens) is that I cried. Not gonna lie. The first time Harry and Molly talk, I just couldn’t take it. Now I don’t know if that’s because it was audio instead paper, whether it was because I had earphones in instead of car stereo. All I know is that that scene hit me hard.

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Reading Challenges
Here we go for reading challenge updates:

Hashtags for the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017
#AnneReadAlong2017

So there’s my August atm, how’s yours?
Love,
Jobe

Posted in Jobe Update

Predictive Text

It occurred to me that it was something of a sweet little list to go through what web addresses appear for the numbers and letters I often use. What’s your list look like?

5 – www.50bookpledge.ca
6 – https://6inklings.wordpress.com/

a – amazon.com
b – behindthename.com
c – campnanowrimo.org
d – dictionary.com
e – eBay.com, etsy.com
f – facebook.com
g – gmail.com, goodreads.com
h – hedgebrook.org
i – https://intentioninspired.com/
j – www.jim-butcher.com
l – http://lrfpc.com
m – miniaturemarket.com
n – netflix.comhttp://www.neilgaiman.com/
p – paypal.com
s – simple.com
t – turbotax.comhttp://theghastlygrimoire.com
y – youtube.com
z – https://www.zillow.com

 

 

Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

Changes by Jim Butcher

 

 

Wow. Just. FREAKING WOW! This book completely blew my mind. Changes is book 12 in the Dresden Files series and Jim Butcher is not messing around. This is absolutely my new favorite so far, and I’m likely to agree with Lesa by the end, a blogger who states it is the best in the series. I definitely won’t argue with LoveVampires who said this is a “defining” book in the series containing some of Butcher’s best writing.

Without giving away any of the incredible twists and turns of this book, here are some things in Harry’s life that encounter “changes”: home; office; car; family; status; position; staff; coat; knowledge; the world. Plus, who lives and who dies!!! Did I mention Butcher isn’t pussy-footing? Yeah. This installment of the Dresden Files will have you rolling in the aisles, dropping your jaw, biting off your nails, and scooping up the bits of your broken heart.

Reading Challenges
Here we go for reading challenge updates:

Hashtags for the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

Okay, that’s really, actually my last read for July.
Love,
Jobe

 

Posted in Jobe Update, Reading Challenge, Reviews

Reading Challenges Progress Report

With the end of June our 2017 reading year is officially half over! I’ve read 18 books so far this year, with piles of TBR and just bought stacking up everywhere (of course).

PopSugar #popsugarreadingchallenge Full List

No. 4 An audiobook Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
No. 10 cat on cover Abarat by Clive Barker
No. 11 pseudonym The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey
No. 15 subtitle Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker (Abarat book 2)
No. 17 mythical creature Tithe by Holly Black
No. 39 first book in series you haven’t read yet Divergent by Veronica Roth
No. 35 set in a hotel Lost Girls by Alan Moore, illustrated by Melinda Gebbie
No. 29 unreliable narrator Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files book 7)
No. 28 a novel set during war time Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent book 2)
No. 13 a book by or about a person who has a disability Cinder by Marissa Meyer
No. 14 a book involving travel Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent book 3)
No. 47 a book with an eccentric character Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files book 8)
No. 51 a book about a difficult topic Autonomy and Rigid Character by David Shapiro
No. 17 mythical creature White Night (Dresden Files book 9)
No. 46 genre you’ve never heard of (“men’s adventure”) The Destroyer #46: Next of Kin by Warren Murphy
No. 16 book published in 2017 Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
No. 27 a book with a title that’s a character’s name Ash by Malinda Lo
No. 52 a book based on mythology Small Favor by Jim Butcher (Dresden Files book 10)

 

Challenge Completed Status
PopSugar 18 45% main
35% advanced
Audiobooks 7 70% Byte
28% Megabyte
Pages 6,920 58% Bonsai
29% Shrub
Colors 9 of 9 100% completed!
Reread 2 50% Déjà Vu
25% Feeling Nostalgic
TBR 6 50% Pike’s Peak
25% Mount Blanc
Rock My TBR 6 50% completed
Diversity 6 50% completed
Full House 18 72% completed
Books You Buy 8 35% Making Inroads
Memoirs 0 of 25 Dropping out
What’s in a Name 3 50% completed

Book Dragon’s Lair Audiobooks 7 books
Book Dragon’s Lair Pages Read 6,920 pgs

My Reader’s Block Colors & Read it again, Sam Colors Challenge is completed. 2 of my books count as re-reads.
My Reader’s Block TBR Pile 6 books, half way to Pike’s Peak.

The YA Book Traveler Rock My TBR #ROCKMYTBR   6 books

Diverse Reads from Read Sleep Repeat and Chasing Faerytales #DiverseReads2017   6 of 12, right on schedule.

Book Date Full House 18 of 25

Non Fiction On TBR for 2+ years: Divergent by Veronica Roth More than 500 pages: Allegiant by Veronica Roth Page Turner: The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey Middle Grade book: Ash by Malinda Lo
2017 published: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan Published pre 2000: Autonomy and Rigid Character by David Shapiro UK/European author: Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker Back List book from fav author: White Night by Jim Butcher book 9 Dresden Files Book from a list: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Award Winner: Abarat by Clive Barker Books about books Size word in title: Small Favor by Jim Butcher book 10 Dresden Files Two Word Title: Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher book 8 Dresden Files Debut book: Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Food on cover or title Cozy Mystery: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher, book 7 in the Dresden Files Book from childhood Diversity book: Lost Girls by Alan Moore, illustrated by Melinda Gebbie Australian/NZ author
Western USA/Canadian author: Insurgent by Veronica Roth Not really for you: The Destroyer #46 Next of Kin by Warren Murphy Attractive cover: Tithe by Holly Black Borrowed

purch
Book Date Read What You Buy 8 of 23 or 35%, which keeps me in the Making Inroads category. This is the hardest challenge to make progress on because I can’t stop buying books, so even when I’m reading books I’ve bought I’m still just keeping afloat in the lowest categories. I decided that if I buy a book after I’ve read it—but in the same year—then I can count it as bought and read. That’s fair, right? Possibly the most fun aside from buying the books and reading them has been organizing all my purchases with a shelf on 50bookpledge.ca.

The Cutest Blog on the Block Memoirs ZERO! I agreed that if I hadn’t read any memoirs by the midway point then I would drop this challenge. Sad to say goodbye but I wasn’t doing it justice. Memoirs just wasn’t in the cards for me this year.

The Worm Hole What’s In a Name #whatsinaname2017   3 of 6
Halfway through the year and halfway through the challenge. Pretty good since I have yet to choose a title based on one of these categories specifically (which I imagine I will have to do before the year is up.) Are you having better luck than I am?

Readers Forever,

Jobe

 

Posted in Reading Challenge, Reviews

Small Favor by Jim Butcher

Small Favor by Jim Butcher, book 10 in the Harry Dresden Files series (Butcher says it’s “just a small favor” that is being asked, but I think it’s small because Ivy is a kid. Get it? Small?)

Okay, one of the things that I truly, madly, deeply (sorry not sorry) love about Butcher’s book-writing style is that he includes a lot of information and summary to mull over between now and the next book AFTER the pinnacle of action that the story surrounds. In writing classes in college, we were often told to end the story sooner than we thought we should (sooner than we had in the first drafts). I guess the sentiment is that most people overwrite the ending instead of just letting it be…enough. But sometimes that really irks me, because sometimes the ending isn’t enough, and the readers deserve more, doggone it!!! Okay, that’s my soapbox. Just wanted to say I think Butcher does a superior job of Resolution that actually resolves stuff!

Remember this one, yall
Remember this one, y’all? Borrowed from Nanowrimo.org materials.

Now on to the actual story content. This volume features Ivy, aka The Archive, who is one of my favorite characters. The archetype of the lovable, weird genius girl kid is pretty common, but that doesn’t mean it can’t continue to be done well (Claudia from Interview with a Vampire, River from Firefly/Serenity, Tiny Tina from Borderlands, to name a few). Other characters like Queen Mab of the Winter Court, mob boss gentleman Johnny Marcone, and Luccio captain of the wardens, are also in the book. But, yanno, aren’t my favorite. (Heh heh heh). The main enemies of the novel are the Denarians—otherwise known as Nickleheads, a super-powerful group of evil demon-human symbiotes—headed up by the terrifyingly powerful Nicodemus. And of course since the demons are there, so too are the demon hunters, Big Ole Heart-a-gold Daddy Carpenter and unexplainedly black Russia, Sanya. And all through this bunch are sprinkled some surprisingly scary goat monsters, too! Called Gruffs. Who knew. Is it weird to anybody else that we have no Gog to go with our Magog? Pondersome…

 

Reading Challenges
Here we go for reading challenge updates:

Hashtags for the challenges that had them:
#popsugarreadingchallenge
#rockmytbr
#diversereads2017
#whatsinaname2017

Half way through the year, can you believe it???

Love,
Jobe