The Caffeinated Bibliophile

Procrastination at its finest; a hot cup of coffee and a good book.

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

The tale of Nobody Owens, raised by ghosts after his family was murdered by the man Jack. Bod lives a life full of adventure within his own piece of the world, learning all he can about life, and death from the many living-impaired inhabitants of the graveyard turned nature reserve into which he toddled when he slipped through the grasp of his would be killer...


It's no secret that I'm a fan of Gaiman's writing. The dark, but not too dark, way that he conveys his stories, the little twists along the way that keep you guessing. The satisfying, but not quite happy endings, that linger in your thoughts long after the story has finished.


Highly recommended, definitely one I'll encourage my kids to read (even though they'll refuse to read it on the grounds that I enjoyed it)


5/5 stars

Kinslayer (The Lotus War 2) - Jay Kristoff

Kinslayer - Jay Kristoff

This second part of the Lotus War was much easier to get into than its predecessor, though some parts still dragged a little, I found myself not wanting to put this book down (but hey, we all have to sleep sometime).

There was some predictability, some twists and, a few slaps in the face just to keep you on your toes. Enjoyed this more than Stormdancer, and look forward to reading book 3, Endsinger, at some point (after I track down a copy...) this year.


One question still bugs me though, what did Buruu do to earn the hatred of his brethren and the name of kinslayer... 

4/5 stars.

Call of the Wild - Jack London

The Call of the Wild - Peter Husmann, Jack London

The story of Buck, a St. Bernard/Shepherd cross family pet, stolen and subsequently sold to become a sled dog in the harsh environments of the Alaskan wild.  Passed from owner to owner, Buck soon learns that the only way to survive is to use his sheer size to overpower any would be attackers and show them who's boss. 


Told from an odd combination of Buck's perspective in third person, we slowly see Buck transform from beloved family pet to the savage mutt, fighting to survive in the (excuse the pun) dog eat dog world,  finally to the wild and free dog, adopted by the local wolf population. 


I have to admit, I'm fond of books told from an animals perspective (Black Beauty being one of my all time favourite books), horrified at the way people treat them, heart melting when they at last have a happy ending.  Though the setting wasn't really appealing to me, I still enjoyed the story.


4 stars.

Empire of Storms - Sarah J Maas

Empire of Storms - Sarah J. Maas

OMG, this arrived Friday, I absolutely devoured it. I won't bore you with the gushing about how much I love this series, and how much I'm going to hate waiting for the rest of it to be published (and how thankful I am that SJM isn't GRRM when it comes to publishing the next novel in a series, hence why I've been in no hurry to finish that series).


That said, the passivity of Aelin's followers bothered me a little, especially the way Dorian took a back seat to much of the planning and scheming that went on during the book, but not enough that it detracted from my enjoyment of the book.


5 stars.

Smile - Raina Telgemeier

Smile - Raina Telgemeier

Cute graphic novel based on the authors childhood, and the struggles faced in the tween/early teen years, especially when braces are involved.  It almost felt like a walk down memory lane, though I was very lucky to have less-judgmental friends than poor Raina.  The lessons learned in this book are some that all children deal with at some point in their lives, lessons on self, friendship and accidents. 


After finishing this I immediately handed it to my 10yo (who happened to be home from school sick) and encouraged my 12yo to also read it when her sister had finished.  Highly recommend to girls in the same age group. 


4 stars.

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Wow, just wow... This is quite the prophetic read.  


In a world where ignorance is indeed bliss; fast cars, inane chattering and 'the family' are all everyone needs. The threat of war is treated with such blasé disregard that no one even thinks twice about how it will affect them, because bad things only ever happen to someone else.  The parallels between the book and modern society are scary, and a stark reminder of the direction the world is headed...


4 stars

Ms. Marvel (2015)

Ms. Marvel (2015-) #1 - G. Willow Wilson, Cliff Chiang, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona Ms. Marvel (2015-) #2 - G. Willow Wilson, Cliff Chiang, Takeshi Miyazawa

I love, Love, LOVE Kamala Khan, I just can't get enough.  The 16 year old inhuman tries her best to deal with the strain of celebrity, a pang of jealousy toward her best friend's new girlfriend, while keeping her grades up and doing her best to keep in line with her Pakistani roots.  

5 Ronin

5 Ronin - Laurence Campbell, Dalibor Talajić, Tom Coker, Leandro Fernández, Goran Parlov, Peter Milligan

Eeeh, not awful, but not great either... Follows 5 Ronin (Though I'm not sure how Psylocke counts as one) on the road for vengeance... Each story based on a different character: Wolverine, Hulk, Punisher, the previously mention Psylocke and Deadpool.


3 stars, though I may be feeling a little generous.

Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll, B.J. Harrison

I'm a sucker for Alice's adventures, I feel believing in impossible things is a good mantra for life in general. It was nice to revisit a childhood favourite and spend some time in wonderland, instead of the real world. 


5/5 stars

Somebody Stop Me...

Nightmares! - Jason Segel, Karl Kwasny, Kirsten Miller The 78-Storey Treehouse - Andy Griffiths, Stig Wemyss, Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

I'm beginning to think I need rehab, but for books.  I keep telling myself that I won't buy any more, but then I find something that I 'really need' or that my girls 'really need' and before I blink I'm through the checkout and out the door with the books in hand...


Today was again one of those days, this time I've managed to pass of today's haul off as being super prepared for Christmas, but that still doesn't solve my lack of book shelf space... nor find homes for the stacks of books currently taking over my coffee table. So Santa, if you're watching, I'd love some book cases this year, even if I have been a little wicked as far as my books are concerned.


(ETA side note: the 78 Storey Treehouse is the paperback version by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, not the audiobook version that Booklikes linked here... I'll change that when I get a chance)

Guess who's back, back again...

It feels like forever since I've posted, and I suppose it has been several months.  But hopefully that will change, now that I once again have a working, or at least mostly working, computer, hooray! 


Though I've been able to get online with my phone, I hated trying to do anything more than list books I was reading, trying to post was just awful. 


My reading seems to have taken a back seat this year, I'm many books behind where I wished to be, but I have Uni (and to an extent life in general) to thank for that. Now that I'm a third of the way into my second semester I'm hoping that things are settled enough that I can catch up on all the books I intended to have read by now.


I'm hoping to get some time to catch up on review writing too, since I have a multitude of books that are missing reviews, but those will take a while and will be second to the numerous essays, assignments and exams I have to complete over the next few months.

Biological Psychology: An Introduction to Behavioral, Cognitive, and Clinical Neuroscience (Looseleaf), Seventh Edition - S. Marc Breedlove, Neil V. Watson

Now that I've finished with my Behavioural Neuroscience unit I no longer need to read this, that is until I pick up another Psychology unit.


An interesting read, if you are interested in psychology and the inner workings of the great grey lump that keeps us going.  

Cress - Marissa Meyer

Cress - Marissa Meyer

I had a whole post typed out ready to post and... lost it in transit between home and Uni.  And since it's my first week back at Uni after 3 months off, and each of my kids have been sick over the last week, I'm just too tired to try and rewrite it, so here's the condensed version.  

Devoured this in a couple of days, beginning to wonder if I shouldn't have read this weeks ago to get out of my slump, or if it was just the realisation that my free time was over and this was my last chance for some non-prescribed reading. 


Loved this book just as much as the previous two, reviews for those are here and here.  Still following with Cinder on her quest to learn more about herself and the secret identity she recently learned she had, we add in Cress, a Lunar shell imprisoned in a satellite by Thaumaturge Sybil. 


More adventure, a daring rescue, and the unfortunate loss of some of their members.  I'm dying to read the next book, Winter, but I'll have to wait until I'm not so tired at the end of the day.


Cress gets 5/5 stars.


Alchemy: Turning Silver to Gold

Alchemy: turning Silver to Gold - an historical psychological mystery thriller - Chris James

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.


Mr James has done it again!  Another fantastic historical crime novel following the story of Jacob Silver.  Spanning the 20 odd years since Jacob Silver was hanged for the murders of his beloved models and his love's Sister, Rebecca. This story begins with Lizzie Weston convinced that Jacob was innocent of all the murders and may well be alive and well after she discovered his grave empty.


Within 3 years of setting out to clear his name, Miss Weston has convinced the police and convinced them to have him posthumously pardoned by Queen Victoria.  Unbeknownst to Lizzie and almost every other person on the planet, the Queen and Lizzie's father had their own plan to save Jacob from the hangman's noose. One that remains undiscovered for many years after both had passed away...


Crime is what Chris James knows, and his knowledge certainly shows with both this and the first novel in the series, Alchemy: A Perfect Murder.  I'm definitely eager to learn when the 3rd book in the series will be published.


This the second book in the Alchemy series gets 5/5 stars.

Freak Out - Ella Emerson

Freak Out - Ella Emerson

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


As I've said numerous times, I'm not a huge fan of the romance genre, even less so of "mummy porn", but I did enjoy this one...  The follow up to Ella Emerson's short story Freak , this novella is hot and heavy right from the start. Told from the perspective of Chelsea Davenport, a 26 year old woman who lives with her sister Abbi and was raised by her Uncle Al (who is also her boss) after her parents were killed in a car accident when she was younger.  

While at work, Chelsea is pulled into a broom cupboard by one of the mechanics, Freak Phillips, tattooed bad boy with a reputation that proceeds him.  Following this 'one-time' encounter is a whirlwind of passion, confusion and plenty of sex. 


Fast paced and short, I give this novella 4/5 stars.  


My now annual post holiday reading slump and this years challenge(s)

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but this is the second year running (that I've actually acknowledged) where I hit a reading slump as soon as it ticks over to January 1...

I don't know whether it's the heat frying my brain, or the kids being home from school, a post holiday slump or just the migraine I had on and off since Christmas eve that's thrown me off, but I'm sure I'll get back on track again soon, no doubt I'll get my reading bug back right when I start uni for the year and wont have the time.


On the cards for this year are the challenges I did last year (Goodreads, PopSugar & BookRiot), and a PopSugar spin-off challenge Around the Year in 52 books, but this year I will be overlapping categories within challenges instead of reading a separate book for each.  I just don't have it in me to read another 90+ books on top of Uni and my parenting duties, but I will try and at least read 52 books for the year, I figure one a week is doable, without overtaxing myself. 


I did pretty well on the challenges from last year, finished the PopSugar reading challenge new years eve, and had one book left (which I'm plodding through now) on the BookRiot read harder challenge, I also surpassed my Goodreads challenge of 60 by reading a total of 92 books for the year... I don't think I've read that many in a year since I was in high school, many moons ago.