Friday, January 22, 2016

The Literary Nunnery, Ep. 49: in which Leslie does a footage dump

Both of these videos were filmed before Christmas, if you're wondering how I'm doing. Also I apologize for the phone shakiness on the second half (but I do not apologize for the double chins -- I accept my life).

Books featured in this video:

Soundless by Richelle Mead

Jeweled Fire by Sharon Shinn

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Literary Nunnery, Ep. 48: in which Leslie likes other books better

NEWS FLASH!! If you read this before January 10th you can get "My Double Life" by Janette Rallison for FREE on Amazon.

Sometimes I like books but I more like how they remind me of other books I liked better.

Books featured in this video:

Rook by Sharon Cameron

Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

The Truth about My Sucess by Dyan Sheldon

My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Literary Nunnery, Ep. 47: in which Leslie keeps it short

If you feel like this was too short, feel free to watch my 2015 recap which is too long (but it's NOT too long).

Books featured in this video:
Pretending to be Erica by Michelle Painchaud

Monday, January 4, 2016

followers of my faith [Mormon Monday 90]

Yesterday was J.R.R. Tolkien's birthday! To celebrate I got together with my little Tolkien book club and we watched all the special features about him and how he came to write Lord of the Rings. It was so fascinating to see how his education and interests synergized to create the mythology of Middle Earth, and how his life experiences prepared him to write the story. A story of hope beyond guarantees.

(The only time for despair is when the outcome is 100% certain. We never know for sure how things will turn out -- there is always hope.)

It reminded me of this very nice BYU devotional that was given last month. (Last year, whatever.) I actually recommend reading or listening to the whole thing, but here's a nice paragraph.

The Lord of the Rings, written by J. R. R. Tolkien, is another fantasy classic that tells of a quest to destroy the powerful and evil One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. It too seems to be about creatures and places that never existed. And yet what has made it the most popular book in the twentieth century, second only to the Bible, is not its fantasy but its realism. It is not just about brave hobbits fighting the armies of Mordor but about the universal heroism of all of us—seemingly little people—who must fight against the evil of our own day in whatever way we can, calling on an inner strength we didn’t know we had as we do our part in the great struggle that is always going on between ultimate good and ultimate evil.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us.

Friday, January 1, 2016

I can trace all my books [2015]

Happy New Year! Right now I'm uploading a 2015 book recap for my vlog. It's taking forever -- not sure if it's the phone or the internet at home (both unusual quantities for my videos). So I have plenty of time to write a blog post about books too.

Of the ~150 books I checked out this year, I can single out ~30 that I really enjoyed and recommend. Man am I ever grateful I learned how to be picky and not force myself to finish every single book I try.

I am pretty sure I filmed myself liking more than 30 books. And I am kind of regretting not mentioning Bone Gap in my video. Oh well. I guess it's not the be-all end-all 2015 recap. You can also just watch all my vlogs to give you a good sense of the books I liked.

But here's a list. Lists are fun.

In the category of ongoing/finished series that I have enjoyed this year are the following:

  • The Glamourist Histories by Mary Robinette Kowal -- complete (I haven't completed it but the series is complete). First book is Shades of Milk and Honey
  • The Paper Magician Series by Charlie N. Holmberg -- complete
  • Finishing School by Gail Carriger -- complete (I have the final book on hold)
  • Tales of Arilland by Alethea Kontis -- complete (? I think). The first book is Enchanted (and that's the best one)
  • The Otherworld Series by Skylar Dorset -- complete. The first book is The Girl Who Never Was
  • Duplexity by Amy K. Nichols -- complete (I have the final book checked out). The first book is Now that You're Here
  • Tyme Series by Megan Morrison -- just starting. The first book is Grounded
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey -- just starting.
  • The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows -- just starting
  • The Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson -- just starting. First book "Walk on Earth a Stranger"
  • The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff -- just starting
  • The Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner -- complete (I have the final book on hold). First book is 'These Broken Stars"
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer -- complete.
  • Elemental Blessings by Sharon Shinn -- complete? First book is Troubled Waters
Haha that's not a ton of books or anything. And I'm not even done.

Here's a list of fairytale adaptations I read this year and also other books by the same author that are not necessarily in a series (how's that for a specific list):

  • Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay. Also the author of Of Beast and Beauty which I really liked when I read it in 201...4. Nope, 2013.
  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Also Crimson Bound! I read them both this year
  • Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis. I have Spinning Starlight checked out right now and I'm excited
Here's a list of other books I really liked. They're either fairytale adaptations or have heavy elements of fairy and folk tale. I know who I am:
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • Valiant by Sarah McGuire
  • Illusionarium by Heather Dixon (actually this one is not an adaptation as far as I can tell -- it wins)
  • Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (actually this is the most original -- but it didn't come out this year either, so...)
Hey my video is finished uploading! Here it is! If you're wondering why it's worth watching when I've already listed everything right here for you I have two compelling reasons:
  1. My face
  2. I discuss my reading resolution for 2016! Don't you want to know what it is?