Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves & 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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RECEIVED FOR REVIEW

I was out of town during my last Bookshelf Roundup, so while this may seem like a big update, it’s actually three week’s worth of new books. With the holidays over, publishers must be back to working at full steam because I held all my mail while I was away and I came home last week to a pile of packages on my doorstep–mostly unsolicited review copies (but that doesn’t make them any less welcome!) and also a couple requested ARCs that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time:

Bookshelf Roundup

Almost Infamous by Matt Carter – I’m long overdue for another superhero novel…or in this case, a supervillain novel. Or rather, it seems a lot more complicated than that. A regular kid gets superpowers, but decides to hire himself out as a pocket supervillain to superheroes who want to keep themselves relevant.  Any way you look at it, it sounds like a fun and quirky adventure, and this book has rocketed up my lists to become one of my must-read titles for this spring. My thanks to Talos for the ARC!

Arena by Holly Jennings – I was practically jumping up and down when this ARC turned up, as this book is one of my most highly anticipated reads for 2016. Competitive virtual gaming? I am so there. Can’t wait to dive into this dark and gritty world with a heroine who kicks ass. With thanks to Ace Books.

Masks and Shadows by Stephanie Burgis – My thanks to Pyr for this ARC, which showed up as an unexpected but very welcome surprise in the mail. Another one of my must-reads for this spring; something about it just draws me in, and it’s not just because of that gorgeous cover. Historical fiction and fantasy, magic, music and espionage…an irresistible mix.

The Chimes by Anna Smaill – Print ARC with thanks to Quercus. Unsolicited, but man, I AM INTRIGUED! I hadn’t even heard of this book before, and so the first thing I did was look it up. It’s been published in the UK already to great acclaim and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Reviewers have called it an unconventional but beautiful and cerebral sci-fi dystopian. Well, now I have to read it. What do you think? Anyone heard of The Chimes and can tell me more about it?

The Reburialists by J. C. Nelson – I’ve heard of the author but never read his books, though I did see The Reburialists on NetGalley a while ago and was interested. So even though this ARC was a surprise arrival, I may have to find a way to work it into my reading schedule! The first book in an all-new urban fantasy series sounds like a good chance to jump on board. With my thanks to Ace Books.

Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair Reynolds – Another surprise ARC from Ace Books, and I was so excited when I saw that it because I’ve wanted to read Alastair Reynolds for a long time. Then I found out Poseidon’s Wake is actually the third book in a series, and the concluding volume at that. Well, guess that means I’ll have to pick up the first two books! My thanks to the publisher!

Bookshelf Roundup 2

In Constant Fear by Peter Liney – Hardcover, with thanks to Quercus. A reminder that I really need to finish this trilogy. It’s actually a really unique, because when was the last time you read a dystopian where all the main characters are over 65? I really enjoyed the first two books.

Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson – My thanks to Tor Books for this finished copy! It’s always a pleasure to read Sanderson, especially a Mistborn novel. As of this writing I’m a quarter of the way through the book and it’s great so far.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard – Well, I caved! I’ve been hearing so much about this book now that it’s released, I just had to take a look for myself. Thanks to Tor Books for approving my request and sending me a copy. I’ve already devoured it, and despite some mixed feelings, I had a really good time. For the book’s details and my thoughts, keep an eye out for my review, coming soon.

Eleanor by Jason Gurley – Another book that I didn’t know anything about when it first arrived, but the more I discovered about it, the more interested I was. That’s what I love about surprise arrivals; I’m always learning so much about titles I never would have heard about otherwise. From some of the reviews I glimpsed, it sounds like  Eleanor is a tragic, emotional fantasy/magical realism tale which means I’ll likely have to prepare myself for some sadness when I check it out. My thanks to Crown for introducing me to this one.

City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett – AHHH THIS BOOK!!! I already finished the ARC a couple weeks ago and holy crap you guys, IT IS SO. DAMN. GOOD. My raving 5 star review is coming soon, but to my surprise, two copies of this book arrived in my mailbox in the last week of 2015, the first a finished copy from Crown. The second actually floored me. It’s the UK edition, from the lovely folks at Jo Fletcher Books, and at first I was perplexed because the package came wrapped in Super Mario gift wrapping paper. Then I opened it and saw the note (written on a Luigi gift tag, of course) which said, “Because you enjoyed City of Stairs…Merry Christmas!” Aww I swear, JFB, you guys are the sweetest! Thank you to the publishers, I love this book so much.

The Dark Side Drake Pieces of Hate

The Dark Side by Anthony O’Neill – I’ve been aware that a film adaptation of this book is in the works, but as usual, I’m way more curious about the source material. I’ve always had good luck with the sci-fi noir genre, so when I saw this pop up at Edelweiss, I requested it. My thanks to Simon & Schuster for approving me.

Drake by Peter McLean – I’ve heard such great things about this! I’m also in the mood for a fun new urban fantasy. Needless to day, when I saw the audiobook offered for review, I requested it and didn’t even hesitate. My thanks to Audible Studios!

Pieces of Hate by Tim Lebbon – Once more, I have Tor.com to thank for brightening up my inbox with a shiny new eARC of another one of their brilliant upcoming novellas. I don’t think I’ve ever read Tim Lebbon, even though his name is huge in horror and dark fantasy circles, two genres I love. I can’t wait to read this.

PURCHASED:

I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan ever since I was a wee tyke, and one of my biggest regrets is having been born years too late to experience the original movie on the big screen back when it was new in 1977. The Force Awakens was a huge deal for me because I saw that as my second chance (sorry, I’m not counting the prequels) and it was so good that my husband and I even brought our 3-year-old to watch it with us on our second time around. Going to the theater to watch Star Wars with my kids has always been a dream of mine, so even though she may be too young to remember this, I know I will treasure the memory always.

Anyhoo, I’ve always collected the Star Wars movie novelizations (yes, even for the three prequels, so I guess I can’t really pretend they don’t exist). Therefore, even though I’ve already listened to the audiobook, picking up the hardcover of Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens was a no brainer.

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REVIEWS

Here are all my reviews since the last update, gathered together and listed here for your convenience and viewing pleasure. Most of what I read over the holiday break has now been written up and posted!

City of Light by Keri Arthur (4 of 5 stars)
The Rising by Ian Tregillis (4 of 5 stars)
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore (4 of 5 stars)
Angel of Storms by Trudi Canavan (3.5 of 5 stars)
Nightwise by R.S. Belcher (3.5 of 5 stars)
The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher (3.5 of 5 stars)
Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older (3 of 5 stars)
Infinity Lost by S. Harrison (3 of 5 stars)
An Apprentice to Elves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear (3 of 5 stars) 

WHAT I’VE READ SINCE THE LAST UPDATE

I’m mostly done catching up with review books from last year (like The Aeronaut’s WindlassThe King’s Justice) so now you’ll probably start seeing me read more 2016 releases. My February TBR is huge, so I’m already trying to get a jump on things and hoping to keep my head start (like with Winterwood).

Also, you might have noticed books like Gathering Darkness, The Winner’s Crime,  and End of Days in my list. There are a ton of YA series I started but completely neglected last year, and so I’ve made it my unofficial 2016 resolution to catch up with all of them. I went to the library and borrowed everything I could in audio format, because that’s my favorite and quickest way to enjoy YA. Case in point, I was listening while I took the Christmas tree down last weekend, and when all the work was done I was already more than halfway through a book. I’m not sure what I’ll do with these YA reads yet, or if I’ll even review all of them, but for the time being it’s one way I’m chiseling down my backlist pile, and I just want to keep it my guilty pleasure and a stress-free challenge.

City of Blades The Aeronaut's Windlass The King's Justice Truthwitch Winterwood

Bands of Mourning End of Days The Winner's Crime Gathering Darkness The Rogue Retrieval

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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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46 Comments on “Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads

  1. I am really intrigued by the Chimes, I have an ebook copy because I meant to read as much as the Man Booker 2015 longlist as I could and, of course, I still haven’t read one. Well done me. 😛
    The guys at Jo Fletcher are really nice, I like the Luigi sticker haha !
    Arena and Mask and Shadows both sounds really cool 🙂

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    • Oh that’s great, I was hoping someone who knew more about the book could chime in (heh) about it. That’s a really cool challenge, I don’t even know what else is on the Man Booker longlist, so I might have to check it out now to see what else I can discover. Looking forward to your thoughts on The Chimes!

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      • I don’t know if I’ll get to all of the longlist but I am definitely interested by a lot of titles like A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (the winner), A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami, Satin Island by Tom McCarthy, Lila by Marylinne Robinson, The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma and also obviously the Chimes by Anne Enright.

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    • Yay, I’m so excited for everyone to read City of Blades. TEAM MULAGHESH!!!

      And thanks, I hope to have my Truthwitch review up next week 🙂

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    • Falling Kingdom is a great series, if nothing else for the rich setting and the vibrant cast of characters. It’s one of my favorite YA series right now, even though I haven’t been following it as actively as I’d like. Hoping to change that this year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Masks and Shadows” has already crossed my attention threshold, and it promises to be quite intriguing, while the little you said about “Chimes” piqued my curiosity in a *major* way: I’ll keep an eye out for your review! And a new Reynolds… one can never go wrong with A. Reynolds 🙂

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    • I know, I’ve seen your reviews of Reynolds’ books and every time I just kick myself because I know I have to read him. Maybe I’ll pick up the first book of Poseidon’s Children and give it a whirl 🙂

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  3. I started the first Poseidon’s book from Alastair Reynolds, but just wasn’t in the right mood for it. At some point I’ll have to revisit it. Tor has been kind enough to send me the last 2 Mistborn novels, so it looks like I have some catching up to do there.

    I’m reading City of Blades right now and loving it. Took a while for the first book to click with me, but this had me from page one.

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    • Good to know that the first Poseidon book is a “mood” book because I do have plans on picking up a copy. I’ll have to keep my eye out for it and your comment in mind 🙂

      And so happy to hear about City of Blades. I felt the same way about book 1, but book 2 had a pretty great intro, haha.

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  4. Ooh nice! Those are some new to me reads! Though I am still waiting for my copy of Truthwitch! Looking forward to it though! Hope you enjoy all the new reads!

    My STS will be up tomorrow, so stop by then if you can!

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower 🙂

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  5. That must’ve been fun returning to all of those packages! I most want to read Truthwitch, so I look forward to your review. I’m starting Mistborn soon! I just read Warbreaker and it was amazing!

    I’m a huge Star Wars fan too, so I was excited to see the new movie! So much better than the prequel! What did you think? That’s so cool that you got to bring your daughter to see it. I hope she enjoyed it too. (The little kids who sat next to us did not haha!)

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    • Heh heh, the UPS guy dropped off like an armful of packages and was like, “looks like you hit the jackpot!” I had to explain I had been away on vacation.

      And hooray, Star Wars fans unite! And yeah, the new movie just highlighted how dreadfully BAD the prequels were. I liked The Force Awakens a lot, even if it was derivative of the original film, but it was fun and that’s all that mattered. I think it’s the perfect introduction to the franchise for a whole new generation of fans like my kiddo 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I really want to read Truthwitch, I’ll be curious to read your review. And I’m very interested in Eleanor, I know it started life self published, so yay for finding a new home with a traditional publisher! And I LOVE that UK City of Blades! So cool, I’m reading it now and will probably finish it up this weekend. Have a great weekend!

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    • I didn’t know Eleanor started self-pubbed! Now I’m doubly curious. I’m always interested in those self-pubbed gems that break out, because you know they got popular for a reason, and it always makes me happy to see indie author success stories.

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  7. I also had mixed feelings about Truthwitch but overall I enjoyed it. I’m glad I’m not the only one because when my review went up, I was like the only one without a GLOWING review for that one #blacksheep I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying Bands of Mourning – I’m planning on reading Shadows of Self VERY soon 😀 Sanderson is fantastic! LOTS of gorgeous books here, enjoy all your goodies!

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    • I know how you feel! It’s always so weird when I review something early to see everyone else love it to bits but me. I often find myself in that position too with YA, so I’m glad to see someone echo me on Truthwitch. It really was an enjoyable book, just weak in some areas which I’m sure will be better in the sequel, because I definitely enjoyed enough to want the next book!

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  8. Tammy’s comment above just reminded me – I’d meant to comment on your theme change all week, and totally forgot. *lol* It looks great!

    To the books: I love the cover for Masks and Shadows, and the blurb sounds intriguing, so I’m definitely interested to hear (or rather, read) your thoughts on it once you read it. Also, I’m going to start Truthwitch tonight, so we’ll see how that goes. (Well, I hope!)

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    • I had mixed feelings about Truthwitch, so I’m afraid maybe my review won’t be entirely helpful, lol! Hopefully I’ll have it up next week. And I agree, the cover for Eleanor is striking. Very stark and melancholy too, which I imagine is what the story will be like.

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    • I was slower with City of Blades too, but it’s because it was one of those books I wanted to savor…every word and every page 🙂 Oh man, I loved it so much.

      And Arena looks like a boatload of fun!

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  9. I’ve not heard of The Chimes, but yes! It does sound intriguing. I am looking forward to reading Eleanor, sounds like it has great potential. And the gift wrapped copy of City of Blades is so much fun!! I was so confused when I saw Mario on top of the cover and wondered why you had that there. Now I know!

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    • You’ll probably get to Eleanor before me, so I await your thoughts on pins and needles. I hear from others it’s a really emotional book though, quite sad and depressing at times, so I will need to prepare myself for that.

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  10. woah, you got some beauties! and omg, City of Blades!! my “this book changed my life” review is set to go up in the new few days as well, I’m sure we’ll have a lot to talk about!

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  11. WHAT HAPPENED!?!?! I leave the internet for a couple weeks and suddenly your blog’s look has changed?! I like it though 🙂

    Doesn’t look like I’m going to get to City of Blades in time (oops!), but I’m happy to see you received a copy of Arena!

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    • Yep, we decided it was high time for a new look. Wendy did a great job choosing the new theme, I think! I love having a wider space to blog 🙂

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    • Finding an unsolicited book in the mail always makes my heart leap. Even though there’s a good chance I haven’t heard of the book or it’s something that’s not my cup of tea, I like surprises 🙂

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  12. I just caved and bought Truthwitch. 😀 It just arrived yesterday at the same time Winter was available for me to pick up at the library. So after I finish that doorstopper, I am going to read Truthwitch. I’m looking forward to it!

    And the cover of Eleanor is creeping me out, haha. I would so read that with caution.

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    • Despite my mixed feelings on Truthwitch, I did like it and think it’s worth reading – and a lot of the positive reviews are spot on about some things, so it’s no wonder that you and I both caved to it 😀

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