Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves, NaNoWriMo, Recent Reads

Bookshelf Roundup is a feature I do every other weekend which fills the role of several blog memes, like Stacking the Shelves where I talk about the new books I’ve added to my library or received for review, as well as It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? where I round up what I’ve read since the last update and what I’m planning to read soon. Mostly it also serves as a recap post, so sometimes I’ll throw in stuff like reading challenge progress reports, book lists, and other random bookish thoughts or announcements.

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Ah, November, November, everything is happening in November! On the blogging front, you may have noticed The BiblioSanctum has kicked off its Sci-Fi Month event, alongside dozens of participants across the blogosphere. The party’s just getting started! On the real life front, I’ve also started NaNoWriMo, but more about that later. First though, on to the books. Some great looking titles found their way to my shelves these last two weeks, and I just happen to be insanely excited about a lot of them. My thanks to all the wonderful publishers and authors who sent me review copies!

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW

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The Palace of Glass by Django Wexler – A huge thanks to Django Wexler, who sent a signed ARC my way and made my entire week! I’m a big fan of his work. Whether he’s writing epic fantasy or middle grade fiction, you just know it’s going to be great. I’m loving the Forbidden Library series, and I can’t wait to read this third book.

Winterwood by Jacey Bedford – When this ARC arrived, I almost flailed out of my seat. OMG you guys, if there’s one thing that makes me even more excited about a girl-disguised-as-a-guy story, it’s a girl-disguised-as-a-guy story WITH MAGIC AND PIRATES.

Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney – Print ARC, with thanks to Roc. Another flail-worthy arrival, this is one of my most anticipated titles coming out next year. The cover is so beautiful! Plus, I’m very eager to get into a new series by J. Kathleen Cheney; I fell in love with her writing when I read her Golden City trilogy and  I want more.

Son of the Morning by Mark Alder – When Pegasus Publishing contacted me about this book, I just about tripped over myself to reply. Do you know how long I’ve waited for this book to be published in the US?! Next February will be when it finally happens! In the meantime, the publisher was kind enough to send me this beautiful ARC. That on the cover is the painting “St. Michael” by Luca Giordano. I’m a big fan of classical art, so you can understand why I prefer the US cover over the UK version for once.

Blue Darker than Black by Mike Jenne – Print ARC, with thanks to Yucca Publishing. This is the second book in the Blue Gemini series which is new to me, but the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive so it appears I’ve been missing out! I’ll have to remedy that.

Weighing Shadows by Lisa Goldstein – My thanks to Night Shade for this gorgeous paperback. I am new to this book and to the author, but the story sounds like something I want to try!

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The Wheel of Time Companion by Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, Maria Simons – Hardcover, with thanks to Tor. The post dropped off this heavy box last week, and at first I thought it might be power tools my husband ordered or something. But nope, inside was actually this 800+ page comprehensive Wheel of Time encyclopedia. I’ve only read the first book of Jordan’s celebrated series, but I do so love these “compendium” type books! I could probably spend hours perusing the information in here.

Mystic by Jason Denzel – A finished copy of Mystic also arrived from Tor last week. I really enjoyed this book! In case you missed it, here’s the review and also a Q&A with Jason. Don’t forget to enter our Mystic giveaway if you live in the US or Canada!

Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind edited by Travis Langley – Paperback, with thanks to Sterling Publishing. I don’t typically read a lot of nonfiction, but DUDE COME ON, STAR WARS! Actually, I’m really glad I read this. It is an incredibly fascinating book of essays looking at Star Wars from a psychological perspective. If this sounds interesting to you, be sure to keep an eye out for my review next week along with a chance to win your own copy of Star Wars Psychology in an upcoming giveaway!

Invasive Species and Slavemakers by Joseph Wallace – Speaking of giveaways, I’ll also be reviewing Invasive Species and hosting a giveaway for it later this month to celebrate the release of its sequel Slavemakers, due out in December!  A newly evolved predator emerges from the jungles to take over humanity? Sounds positively chilling. My thanks to Penguin (Berkley and Ace) for review copies, I can’t wait to read these.

Graveyard by William C. Dietz – Print ARC, with thanks to Ace. This was an unexpected arrival, but I’m very interested because I’ve read the first book. Seems like there was an installment in between that I missed though (I had no idea the books in this series were coming out in such quick succession) so once I catch up, I am definitely giving this a read.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins – Gah, after much hemming and hawing I have finally decided to give this book a try because I just couldn’t ignore all the rave reviews anymore. Thanks to an offer of a review copy from HighBridge and Audiobook Jukebox, I’ll be experiencing it in audio! I am so excited for this!

The Immortals Skyborn

The Ballad of Black Tom Bands of Mourning

The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky and Skyborn by David Dalglish – This week, Orbit unleashed armageddon on my NetGalley TBR. ARMAGEDDON, I TELL YOU. They have a lot of good stuff coming out this winter, but I couldn’t accept every invite without imploding my stats. I heard tons of great stuff about The Immortals and Skyborn already, so I decided to read these  two first.

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle – My thanks to Tor.com for sending me this eARC. I’ve not heard of this book before it hit my inbox, but I’m always happy to check out any of their new novellas.

The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson – Eee! Finally, much love and gratitude to Tor for sending me this eARC. When I saw the invitation email, it was like early Christmas in November! Can’t wait to read this next Mistborn novel.

NANOWRIMO

If I am slower to visit your blogs and read your reviews this month, or if I miss replying to your comments here, please don’t take it personally! It’s just me going completely off my rocker by deciding to take part in NaNoWriMo. I really shouldn’t have done it. I mean, there’s just too much going on in my life right now to take on another project.  Thing is though, I’ve taken part in NaNo for the last four years and it just didn’t feel right to break tradition. And I guess the best part about NaNo is that it never hurts to try. You already win when you do. Still, I’m a student of the philosophy of Yoda. I’m not in this just to try. So, even if it will mean less free time this month–less reading, less reviews and less sleep–I’m giving it my all. Wish me luck!

Here’s my progress so far. As you can see, I took advantage of the energy and excitement of the first week and hit the ground running. My goal is to write every day, even if I don’t hit the daily word count.

nano chart

REVIEWS

Here are the reviews I’ve written and posted since the last update, gathered together and listed here for your convenience and viewing pleasure. We’re all over the board with the ratings this time.

The Fifth House of the Heart by Ben Tripp (5 of 5 stars)
Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier (5 of 5 stars)
The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone (4 of 5 stars)
The Geomancer by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith (4 of 5 stars)
Tremontaine Ep. 1: Arrivals by Ellen Kushner (4 of 5 stars)
Mystic by Jason Denzel (4 of 5 stars)
Planetfall by Emma Newman (3.5 of 5 stars)
The Builders by Daniel Polansky (3.5 of 5 stars)
Soundless by Richelle Mead (2.5 of 5 stars)

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHTS

My thanks to the wonderful authors who stopped by these last couple of weeks and took their time to speak with me:

Getting Mystical: An Interview with Author Jason Denzel

WHAT I’VE READ SINCE THE LAST UPDATE

We’re definitely sci-fi heavy this Roundup! My reading also slowed down last week. More likely than not, next update will show fewer reviews/books completed as I shift my focus to NaNo. However, my co-bloggers and I did manage to get some reviews scheduled in advance, along with more cool stuff planned for later in the month, so it’s going to stay pretty busy here at the BiblioSanctum.

Planetfall Print Dreamseeker A Borrowed Man

Luna New Moon Star Wars Battlefront Twilight Company Binti

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Have you heard of or read any of the books featured this week? What caught your eye? Any new discoveries? Nothing makes me happier than sharing my love for books, so let me know what you plan on checking out.  I hope you found something interesting for a future read! Until next time, see you next Roundup! 🙂

~Mogsy/Steff~

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38 Comments on “Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves, NaNoWriMo, Recent Reads

  1. Good luck with your NaNoWriMo!
    Star Wars Psychology actually sounds interesting.
    There is a sadistic killer wearing lavender tutu because he wants “to blend in”- you have to read The Library at Mount Char. 😀

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  2. Good luck with Nanowrimo, I had a feeling November would be a quiet month blogging wise as half the bloggers are writers as well!
    I also just got Dreaming Death off NG, really excited to read it! I can’t wait to hear what you think of Library at Mt Char, the reviews have me curious but I don’t know whether it’ll be my kind of book!

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    • Thanks! I was pleased too see how many bloggers are doing NaNo too, means plenty of motivation for me 🙂

      I’ve heard such bizarre things about Mount Char, I wasn’t sure it was my kind of book either, but I have to give it a try now 🙂

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  3. Looking forward to the reviews of Planetfall, Luna, and Binti. Those three are on my list. The Borrowed Man will be interesting, too, but I’ll wait on that until I grasp some of Wolfe’s other stuff

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    • Planetfall I reviewed last week, but Luna and Binti are coming up! Luna was VERY impressive. Admittedly, it’s a bit hard to get into because of the complex storyline and huge cast, but soon after the into I was hooked. Binti and the Borrowed Man on the other hand were not as great as I’d hoped.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Magic and pirates in one book??? *promptly adds Winterwood to her Goodreads TBR list*

    And I need to read J. Kathleen Cheney’s work at some point, too. The Golden City caught my eye a while ago, but I haven’t gotten around to getting a copy yet.

    You’re a brave soul for doing NaNoWriMo. Working full-time already makes it impossible for me to do it without sacrificing sleep, meals, etc. – and Sara doesn’t do well when she’s chronically hungry and overtired. *lol* Good job so far with the word count, btw! Is that about 12,000 to 13,000 words in 6 days?

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    • I know, right?!? I also forgot to mention, a closer look at the description hints at being werewolves in Winterwood too. Where has this book been all my life? 🙂

      And thanks! Yeah that’s about that many words for the first week. If I feel I can write more, I also try to push myself to do it, because I know it’ll make it easier for me later on in the month when motivation usually takes a dive. That’s when I’ll need your cheerleading most, I think 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have quite a few that I need to look up, especially The Immortals and Skyborn. I’m definitely going to read The Library at Mount Char as well:-) You’re doing great with NaNo! When I did it a few years ago I found the middle part of the month to be the hardest, keeping the excitement going. But it looks like you’re ahead a bit:-D

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    • In the past years I’ve done NaNo, I’ve found the middle of the month is hardest for me too. Hence trying to get ahead and building plenty of “padding” for myself to help me ride through the tough patches 😀

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  6. I think I’ll finally start Battlefront tonight. For some reason just haven’t been quite excited for it. So jealous you got Bands of Mourning though -.-

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    • If I weren’t so excited for the game, I doubt I would have been that excited about Battlefront either. I’m trying to keep up with all the new canon stuff though.

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      • Same here! The adult novels, at least. Which is the only reason I picked it up, lol. Still expecting a decent read even if I’m not excited for it though.

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        • I was originally going to keep up with the adult stuff only too, but I gave the YA novel Lost Stars by Claudia Gray a shot and it was amazing! Probably one of the best SW books I’ve ever read, give it a look if you have a chance!

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  7. Reading books, writing reviews, and now writing a novel? You are going to have busy month! That is really awesome though. Hope your story comes out good 🙂

    And I have been waiting for Son of the Morning for ever too! I read a review for it the start of last year and instantly went to buy it, but it was only UK! And there was no US release date. Super bummed – but now supper happy that is has a US release date!

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    • Yep, isn’t that disappointing, when you see a really cool book only to find out that it’s not out in the US yet? At least these days I can hit up the Book Depository 😀 Frequently happens to me with books from Gollancz and Headline; whenever I see a new book announced by them I also check to see if there’s a US publisher too and a release date. Good thing a US edition usually arrives a few months to a year later, though SotM did take longer!

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  8. Winterwood! I just added this to my TBR last week because yes it looks like it is all the favorite things ever in one book! I hope it can deliver on that promise – I’ll be keeping an eye out for your eventual thoughts. Son of the Morning also catches my eye – looks interesting.

    A huge good luck to you on NaNoWriMo – Write some words and Kick some ass!

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    • I know, right? Werewolves, magic, and a cross-dressing privateer protagonist. Wow, I was drooling all over the book even before the reveal of that gorgeous cover.

      And thank you for your encouragement! Speaking of which, I should get to writing soon 😀

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  9. Jealous you got Mystic. 🙂

    Congrats, and best of luck with NaNoWriMo. I don’t know that I could operate so well under that pressure, and even if I was tempted, I’m working hard on final edits to get my WIP novel ready for Angry Robot’s open submission window.

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  10. Some great looking books. I like the sound of Winterwood. And I love the cover for mystic – pity that give away isn’t UK too – I’d definitely chuck my hat in the ring for that.
    The Immortals sounds very good too.
    Good luck with your writing.
    Lynn 😀

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  11. Just one tiny question: where do you find the *time* for all these books and reviews AND manage to find space for NaNoWriMo as well? Do you possess an alien time-dilation device that stretches your days? If so, please, tell me where you acquired it 😀 😀

    Good luck with NaNo, you started at a very nice pace! ((*thumbs up*))

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    • Sad to say, but a big part of that is being a neurotic type-A personality who has some OCD tendencies and is a frequent insomniac, lol! To tell the truth, I don’t sleep much and I keep a running to-do list and hit nearly everything on a strict schedule, for better and for worse! 😛

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  12. Good luck with your NaNo! 🙂 I’ve been all but absent from the blog(osphere) these past weeks and it’s horrible, I miss it so much, but life keeps getting in the way. Adding NaNo to the list might not have been the brightest idea on my part but I seem to be doing fairly well (even though I’m behind on my word count) so I’m happy I started it.
    I’d love to hear more about your novel – have you written about it anywhere?

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