2016 Read Tamora Pierce Challenge (FANGIRL ALERT!)

Tamora Pierce ChallengeI’ve ranted about my love for TP before (but in a more philosophical way), so imagine my utter joy when I found out that there are other TP fans in the online book community! Nori, another huge TP fan, is doing a Read Tamora Pierce Challenge in 2016, and she has kindly shared her challenge with the rest of us Internet dwellers. What this means is that there will be a good amount of Tamora Pierce here over the next few months, starting this month. TP fans, come forth and celebrate with me! 🎉🎉🎉

My personal goal for this challenge is to review all major Tamora Pierce books by the end of 2016. I’ll update this post with my progress. I also want to generate some TP-related discussion (but not necessarily TP-centric), such as what constitutes good heroines in fiction, imaginary casting for TP movie adaptations, fanart(!!!), if-you-like-TP-books-you’ll-also-like-these-other-books, etc. etc. etc.

PROGRESS

TORTALL
☐ Beka Cooper trilogy
☑ Song of the Lioness quartet
☐ The Immortals quartet
☑ Protector of the Small quartet
☐ Daughter of the Lioness series
☑ Tortall and Other Lands anthology

EMELAN
☑ Circle of Magic quartet
☑ The Circle Opens quartet
☐ The Circle Reforged series

For new TP readers – welcome! Please join Nori’s challenge and get ready for some potentially life-changing moments! Here are some Tamora Pierce resources for you to get started:

For old TP readers – Goddess bless you all! If you aren’t already aware of TP fanart or other unofficial TP stuff… HERE YOU GO. But I’ll let you find the fanfiction on your own.

What are you waiting for? Go read TP!

Paper Puffs (48): December Recap

newsI totally disappeared again this holiday break, and I think I’ll have to accept the fact that my winters will be mostly Internet-less – but not book-less! I reviewed lots of wonderful books in December, and I’m so excited to list them all here. 😊

BOOKS, RANKED

DID NOT FINISH

Jessica Lemmon’s A Bad Boy for Christmas started off wonderfully (“Glitter. Glitter everywhere.”) but the pacing was too slow for me. I dropped David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day and came to the conclusion that I’m so much more engaged and interested when I listen to humor audiobooks compared to when I read the physical books… I couldn’t get into Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You – I quit a few pages in, and now I’m doubting my interest in parallel universe stuff as a whole. The final book is one that I really, really wanted to continue but didn’t was Tanya Huff’s Sing the Four Quarters. I remember being obsessed with the second and third books of the Quarters series years ago, but never read the first book. This first book felt a bit convoluted, and I had a hard time immersing myself in the book-world. I guess I’ll try the second book, Fifth Quarter, and hope that I like it as much as I did before!

BOOKS TO READ IN 2016

Moving forward into the new year, I already know that I’ll be reading a lot less than previous years because of school, so I’m setting a very conservative goal of 52 books (compared to 94 books in 2014 and 89 books in 2015).

How did your holidays go?
What books did you enjoy reading this month?
What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

Review: My Year of Running Dangerously by Tom Foreman

My Year of Running Dangerously
No running book will escape my grasp, muahaha! I knew I needed to give this one a try when the cover mentioned a dad and a daughter, because my dad’s the one who pushed me to take up running. Tom Foreman’s narrative is humorous, his running experiences distressing (but addicting), and overall, this is a great book about a personal account of someone older who takes up running again. I’m definitely giving this book to my dad – but with a warning that I’ll never approve of him running an ultra. 🙅Read More »

Review: Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder

Storm Glass

Gasp, a love triangle that I actually ENJOYED?! (Well, okay, “enjoyed” might be too strong of a word. Maybe “didn’t make me want to tear my hair out” is a more accurate feeling.) This isn’t the first Maria V. Snyder book I’ve read, and this won’t be my last – Storm Glass is action-packed and so engrossing that I just want to keep reading more! The characters, the plot, and the world-building are all fantastic, although there are moments when I didn’t like certain characters or certain events. But at the end of the day, my pros list is definitely longer than my cons list for this book, and I’m excited to find out what happens next!

Read More »

Review: Tortall and Other Lands by Tamora Pierce

Tortall and Other Lands

TAMORA PIERCEEEE!!! This anthology includes 11 short stories, most of which are AMAZING, some of which are unfortunately not so amazing. Still, this is a great supplement to what I already know about the Tortall universe, although there are stories not set in Tortall that are just as good. However, I know that certain short stories have appeared in other multi-author anthologies, so it kind of sucked when I reread certain stories, especially if they’re ones that I didn’t like as much. I think most (if not all) of the stories made me feel hope and strength, so I’d say it’s typical Tamora Pierce feels for me, haha.Read More »

Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything

My first Sarah Dessen book, and it was amazing and heart-wrenching and soooo good! It made me want to break out into Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, because this book was definitely killing me in the gentlest of manners… I loved the interwoven elements of self, family, and romance, and this is the type of YA contemporary romance that everyone needs a bit of in their lives.Read More »

Mini Reviews: The Circle of Magic Quartet by Tamora Pierce

I’m the happiest thing on two feet right now. And when I’m feeling good, I want to review good books. SO YAY TAMORA PIERCE (again)!!!! 😀 The Circle of Magic is set in a universe as cool and amazing as Tortall-verse – this time, Tammy brings out the magic of everyday crafts (ambient magic), like gardening, knitting, and metalworking. I’m totally in love with the characters, the world, and the simple and strong storylines throughout this quartet. I think 4X the main characters means 4X the emotions, because I’m so invested in all of them, despite (or because of) the Fearsome Foursome’s different personalities and beliefs. Also included here is awesome fanart because urghhh too awesome.

The Winding Circle kids: Daja, Sandry, Tris, and Briar, via Nest of Straight Lines.

To commemorate yet another TP series review, I shall henceforth weave poetic praise for The Circle of Magic. Literally. Because I have nothing better to do and because I love TP. SORRY FOR THE BAD POETRY.
Sandry's Book

The Winding Circle gets new students
With stronger ambient magic than ever seen before.
The story of these four, I’ll never get bored of –
These child-mages are ones I will always adore!

The button-nosed noble who makes thread glow;
The merchant girl who makes the winds blow;
The Trader outcast who works hot iron with bare hands;
And also, the thief who has a soft spot for plants.

At ten years of age, these young’uns are left torn
By devastating natural and man-made disasters,
And it’s only through Winding Circle that they are reborn
And woven together tightly like brother and sisters.

Tris's Book

Title: Tris’s Book
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Circle of Magic #2
Publication Date: April 1, 1998
Genre: (Middle Grade) Fantasy

But it seems that the weaving was too tight
And their magics were too tangled,
So amidst pirate season, the four try
To save Emelan and also get de-tangled.

Seeing the Fearsome Foursome grow
In magic and into their own selves, I’d
Say I’ve grown to care for them all, although
At the top, Tris and Briar are almost tied!

Daja's Book

Title: Daja’s Book
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Circle of Magic #3
Publication Date: October 1, 1998
Genre: (Middle Grade) Fantasy

Tying for second place isn’t bad either,
And Daja is just as strong as the others.
Tammy’s great at putting these four
In situations that bring out their best and truest colors.

The underestimated and overpowered
Are often children, outcasts, and commoners.
But Daja is obviously no coward, and
She wins me over with her resilience and honor.

Briar's Book

Title: Briar’s Book
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Circle of Magic #4
Publication Date: April 1, 1999
Genre: (Young Adult) Fantasy

As with most Tamora Pierce quartets,
(Except for The Immortals) this last book is my favorite –
So much friendshipping involved #noregrets
And now I reread from Sandry’s Book, I’m elated!

Quiet place, via minuiko.

Is there a book friendship that makes you squeal with glee?
If you had ambient magic, what form would yours be?

(Oh look, even my questions rhymed! #naturalpoet 😋)

Paper Puffs (47): November Recap

newsSorry for the super late November recap – I’ve been busy with school, and have somehow caught a very bad cold despite all of my hand-washing and germaphobe behaviors… my brain feels like mush, and mush isn’t really productive. But November was such an awesome book month in the book community, especially with Sci-Fi Month and Nonfic November… my book ratings prove it! During Thanksgiving break, I also marathoned through the Cat Who mystery books like a fiend. I actually got behind in reading/ranting because of school, so I wasn’t present as much as I hoped, but thanks for still stopping by and sharing your opinions about the books I’ve reviewed! 😊

SCI-FI REVIEWS, RANKED

NON-FICTION REVIEWS, RANKED

DID NOT (AND WILL NOT) FINISH

I DNF’ed quite a lot of the books this month, and I don’t know if it’s because I was super busy or because I’m running out of patience.  I tried really hard to get through Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), but the book version just didn’t do it for me. I might try the audiobook at some point, since I seem to enjoy humor audiobooks more than physical books. And Silver Bells was the holiday book that I started but dropped after reading, like, 5 pages. The writing style was a little boring, and maybe it’s too early to start holiday books… Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? was also a no-go, because it seems as though the answers to the questions are provided by readers of the New Scientist magazine, and sometimes one question has multiple readers’ answers/opinions and I don’t know if it’s pure fact or what. Also, this one might work better as a bathroom reader. The Avery Shaw Experiment was a Friday Find, but I just couldn’t stand the oh-so-perfect male protagonist and the why-didn’t-I-realize-how-beautiful-she-was female protagonist.

BOOKS TO START IN DECEMBER

HOLIDAY BOOKS YEAHHH! Or, that’s the plan if my brain resolidifies itself sometime soon… 😷

How did your November go?
What books did you enjoy reading this month?
What books are you looking forward to reading in December?

Review: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

This book made me fall in love with snails and I was so ready to get a pet snail… until I looked up pictures of snails and realized that they’re icky and slimy. Any book that can make me see snails as beautiful and sophisticated creatures is an amazing book! Elisabeth Tova Bailey weaves a poignant and touching tale of a rough period in her life and how a snail helped her through it. 🐌Read More »