All posts tagged reading

Um, Books and Stuff

Published March 27, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

I’ve been seriously slacking in the reading (and blog) department. But! I have read! Has anyone else been in a reading slump? Or better yet, does anyone have any good recommendations? I need some good sci-fi recommendations.

Anyways, so here is what I’ve been reading.





After waffling for a few weeks, I’ve finally decided on a theme for the A to Z challenge, which will be Culture. Each day will focus on a different culture/ empire/ whatever I could find to fit the letter of the day for your world-building inspirational pleasures.

There is an overwhelming trend to write fantasy in some sort of European Middle Ages Default setting, and while I dearly love some of these books, Middles Ages I do not. I mean, it’s so boring stacked against the WHOLE OF HISTORY. Lately, I’ve been veering towards more Asian inspired settings because they are different, refreshing, and well, interestinger. I would also really love to read a fantasy book based on an ancient or Native American culture. So, if you know any, you would make me an extremely happy person.

I will also post book recs and whatever else I deem relevant. Which, knowing me, will be completely random.


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Historical Fiction Books

Published March 13, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

This meme is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.


10. The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

This is about Mary, Queen of Scots and her years in captivity. I’m not usually a fan of Philippa Gregory, but I really liked this book, mainly because of the subject.

9. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

This book was so fun! It’s an alternate history where a British noble saves the French aristocrats during the French Revolution.

8. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Gutterson

The book is basically about the hardships Japanese-Americans had to face during WWII.

7. Shinju by Laura Joh Rowland

Shinju is a murder mystery that takes place in feudal Japan. The protagonist is a detective, trying to unravel the mystery of a suspicious suicide. Shinju is the term for a double suicide between lovers. For comparison, Romeo and Juliet committed Shinju.

6. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I personally preferred old Jacob to young Jacob, but it is a fascinating look into circus life during the Great Depression. Plus, Rosie is so charming! *Wants a pet elephant*.

5. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

This a about two girls growing up in 19th century China who become Laotung, or “old sames”, which is a permanent bond of friendship. And, ah, the foot binding!

4. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I loved how vivid and lush this book was.

3. Angelique and the King By Anne Golon

This is the second book in a series that takes place in 17th century France, during Louis XIV reign, but it is my favorite of all of them. I wish they would translate the last 3 into English…

2. The Book thief by Markus Zusak

I’ve pretty much already said before why I love this book.


1. The Silmarrion by J.R.R. Tolkien

Wait, that’s not historical fiction? Fine.

1. Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa

So, Miyamoto Musashi is my favorite historical figure. Ever. He was such a bad-ass. He is also widely considered to be one of the greatest swordsman who ever lived. Also, this book was the basis for one of my favorite mangas, Vagabond.


I sense a theme here…

top ten Favorite Book Quotes

Published February 29, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

10. “The North remembers.” Various people, A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin

9. “Time is the longest distance between two places.” The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams

8. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.” Rhett Butler, Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

7. “Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get.” the Wizard of Oz, the Wizard of Oz, Frank L. Baum

6. “The Fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Cassius, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare.

5. “Vengeance is the pleasure of the gods.” The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas

4.“I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly, and then all at once.” Hazel Grace Lancaster, the Fault in our stars, John Green

3. “Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.” Hamlet, Hamlet, Shakespeare

2. “Words are so heavy.” The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak

1. “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride, William Goldman

I am waiting for the day when I can say that to somebody. Seriously. You have also been warned.

What are some of your favorites?

Is It Really February?

Published February 13, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

Heh. Hi!

So I’ve taken a short writing break from my blog, to you know, write and stuff. And read. I’ve been doing lots of reading.

Speaking of reading, how is everyone doing on their challenges?

I’ve been reading mostly fantasy, but I have squeezed in a few sci-fi books. Here is a short list of what I’ve read. In pictures.


The last two aren’t strictly fantasy, but they do have strong fantasy elements.



And I know this isn’t fantasy or sci-fi, but READ IT! Seriously.


If anyone is stuck wondering what to read next for their challenges, I’ve compiled a list of book recs on Goodreads. They are by no means exhaustive, but they’re a good start!



I’ve also created a Pinterest board of inspirational things for my wip. Cuz, you know, I like to procrastinate and stuff.


Happy reading!

2012 Reading Challenge Update

Published January 6, 2012 by caitlinnicoll

I meant to post this at the beginning of the week, but there was a THING that insisted on acting like a rabid porcupine. *glares at computer*

So, is everyone excited about their fantasy and sci-fi reading challenges? I AM!

Already, I’m 3 books into my fantasy challenge (it’s amazing how much one can accomplish with no internet for a week. Seriously. You should see my notebook. FULL of words). I haven’t read any sci-fi books though. Yet. SHATTER ME is waiting quite impatiently. But so isn’t ANGELFALL. We’ll see which one can scream louder.

How is everyone else doing with their challenges? Are there any books you’re excited to read this year?

Here are a few of mine:

I’m sure I’ll think of about 500 more throughout the course of the year.

Also, I’m going to do monthly (maybe more) updates on my progress, and I would love to see how everyone else is doing.


Favorite Books of 2011

Published December 28, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

I’ve read a lot of books this year. And I mean a lot. And I read a lot of really good books. Needless to say, this list was really hard to compile.

Note: there is a lot of YA on this list, not because I think YA is better than adult fiction, or that I prefer one over the other, it just happens that most of the books I read this year were YA.

10. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Riggs came up with the idea for this book from a collection of strange and creepy black and white photos (some of them will make your skin crawl), which are in the book. I love how he combined to different medias to come up with a haunting and creepy story.

9. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

It’s a murder-mystery. In space. In the future. I love this book. I love the cover (look at the COVER! LOOK AT IT). I love Beth.


8. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I think I like this book even more than ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. And Cricket, oh Cricket. Why can’t you be real? As much as I love bad boys, there will always be a place in my heart for sexy nerd boys.

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This would have been higher on my list if she didn’t introduce the stupid love triangle at the end. Teenage love triangles drive me insane. Insane, I tell you.

6. White Cat by Holly Black

Mafia and magic. Need I say more?


5. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

I love how this story unfolds through a series of flashbacks, with each one revealing a little tidbit about the characters and the plot. Plus, I love Atwood’s writing. It’s a dystopian written as literary fiction. Or is it literary fiction written as a dystopian? Either way, I don’t know why more genre fiction isn’t written like this.

4. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

As a history buff, I think what I like the most about GAME OF THRONES the realism of the courts. Royal life can be bloody brutal; what with all the back-stabbing and scheming and murder. Random thought: Is homicidal a genetic trait? Must be all the inbreeding.

3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

I had a hard time choosing which Harry Potter book was my favorite, because they are all amazeballs, however, if I had to choose one, it would be HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE simply for Snape’s redeemability. I love how you spend the first 5 books loathing Snape like some loathing thing, and then you get to the HALF BLOOD PRINCE, and suddenly you get heart punched by a big dose of compassion. You FEEL for Snape, which is a hard thing to accomplish considering is repulsiveness throughout the series. Perception, people. It is a powerful thing.

2. Eon by Alison Goodman

EON is one of the best fantasies I’ve read in a while. The world-building is fantastic, and it doesn’t take place in the “Middle Ages Default”, but is a combination of Chinese and Japanese cultures. Anyone who knows me, knows I love my Asian culture.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Holy crabsticks was this book good. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful the writing, the story, the everything was. It contains one of my favorite lines in book history: “Words are so heavy.”


What were your favorite books this year?

2012 Science Fiction Reading Challenge

Published November 24, 2011 by caitlinnicoll

the science fiction reading challenge will run from January 1st, 2012 – December 31st, 2012. Sign up begins today and lasts until February 1st, 2012.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

1. Sign up with the link below. If you don’t have a blog, you can link your Goodreads  account.

2. Grab the image on the left for your site.

3. Choose your level.

4. Leave a comment letting me know what level you’ve chosen.

Challenge Levels:

Hacker: 5 books

Android: 10 books

Alien cyborg: 15 books

Bladerunner: 30 books

Torchwood: 50 books

Captain of the Starfleet: 75 books

Jedi Master: 100 books

Timelord: 130+ books

More info: the books you choose can be in any sub-genre of science fiction (dystopian and steampunk included), and can be adult, YA, or MG. Comics and graphic novels also count.

Bonus if the book is by a 2012 debut author.

If you need suggestions, click here.

Related Reading Challenges:

Bonnie from Bookish Ardour has a fantastic Dystopian and Steampunk challenge. Click on the images below to go to her site for more details. I did both this year, but will probably only do the dystopian challenge next year.

I’m again going to go for the Bladerunner challenge; 30 books.

What level are you going for? Do you have any great sci-fi suggestions?