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December 24, 2019

Books I'm currently (sort of) reading & a reader's expectation

This week's Top Ten Tuesday is 'Books I Hope to Find Under My Tree' which I have a short list so I turn this into: 'Books I got that I keep putting off reading but I still want to read somehow.' The more accurate title probably should be 'A reader's expectation.' I don't know about other people but when I read a book, I form certain expectations along the way which usually is not met but if the book ends well, then I would probably think the book is worth reading. If it ends badly, that doesn't mean the book is not worth reading. It's all a matter of perspective and preference and also whether the book is actually good or not. If you have read these books, let me know what you think of them.

01 | The Ballroom by Anna Hope > link
After I started reading the first few pages, I realized I hate reading about people in asylums because no one ever get treated nicely in asylums and you know something terrible is going to happen. I haven't exactly read far considering the second main character has not been introduced yet. But I really want to finish reading this book because I like the premise about two people meeting in a ballroom in an asylum and because I have a paperback copy and because I think it's a bit of a waste not to read it. I will try to read it but it's going to take a few weeks or months, maybe years.

02 | A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer  > link
Another Beauty and the Beast retelling (if you don't know Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairytale which I now think it's not as true as before) but that's really the only reason I got interested. This book started out pretty good but it keeps making detours and I'm 165 pages in and still, they keep doing other things that does not involve the curse or the monster that they often refer to but we don't get to see. Why does it take so long to get to that part of the story which is really the only interesting thing at the moment? I get this feeling that the author is trying to prolong the story and put in unnecessary storylines but I could be wrong but maybe it will get back on track if I read farther?

And also, it seems there might be a strange love triangle going on — the beast aka the prince is twenty or older and beauty aka Harper is probably sixteen or seventeen and the prince's guard is a few years older than the prince — tell me why they make the main three characters about the same age if not for a love triangle? And there are some instances that somehow make it seems like it could happen. I really hate love triangles. But that's just speculation because I haven't finish the book but I'm hoping it doesn't happen because it's a little creepy to me because the two men are indeed a lot older than the girl since they have been stuck in the curse for some years so they are like probably 50+ years older than she (if I remember correctly since they refer years as seasons and it had been about a hundred seasons since the curse started) but I guess we are supposed to ignore that. So basically, this is a YA book which I kind of regret picking up even though the whole idea of the books sound really good. But even with all that, I will finish reading this book because I have placed it in a giveaway (which is here if you want to check it out) and I gave myself at the end of December to finish. But it's unlikely I'll like this book after I finish.

03 | The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman > link
I thought I try another Alice Hoffman book because I really like to get back to reading her books but after reading the first few chapters that included a rape scene, I just could not go on. Hoffman's books are heavy in subject matter and kind of hard to enjoy because of said subject matter and also I really hate reading rape scenes. I know no one likes them but sometimes it completely turns me off from continuing a book. This is magical realism which I sometimes like and sometimes hate. I haven't read far enough for any type of magic to turn up but I think this is the sort of book that starts out slow so I'm willing to give it a try. I do have a hardcover signed by the author so it's almost a pity not to read it. But maybe I'll finish reading this next year.

04 | Kilmeny of the Orchard by L.M. Montgomery > link
I brought the ebook version from Amazon which cost nothing. They have a few classic books that are pretty cheap. I have started on this but somehow it seems boring and a bit confusing because I didn't actually remember what is about but I'll definitely read this because it's the only novel of Montgomery's I haven't read. Of course that's not a good reason to read a book but what the heck. I expect to like this but not as much as Anne of Green Gables though.

05 | Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer > link
I read a sample of Echo North (I had mistaken this to be Echoes North at one time which I thought sounded better) and that made me want to read more so brought the ebook. This is a East of the sun and west of the moon retelling which is like Beauty and the Beast but with more story toward the end. I have started this and it's pretty good but it seems to be detouring a bit but I think if I read more, it might just get better.

06 | Deadgirl by B.C. Johnson > link
I saw this book (which is the first in a series) on Roberta's Offbeat YA blog and I really want to read it because of the premise and it has no zombies so that's always a plus for me. I have started it and it is pretty good. This is the one time that I don't mind reading about teenagers that act like teenager because most books I read that has teenagers don't act like teenagers until they start with the angst. This book has angst but it suits the characters. I do like the unknown fantasy bits like the mystery which I haven't read enough to know why this girl has become this strange entity — not alive and yet kind of dead and who is chasing her but I don't know because haven't read that far. I'm starting to think this might be a horror which I really don't like reading so even if end up liking this book, I might not read the rest of the series.

07 | Sherwood by Meagan Spooner > link
I have wanted to read this since I read Spooner's Beauty and the Beast retelling, Haunted and that was a pretty good book. And I also like Robin Hood stories and this Robin Hood is a girl. There are a lot of negative reviews for this but I thought what the heck, it isn't a long book and I already like the first bits I read with the sample and it was a pretty cheap ebook. So being cheap is not a good reason to buy a book or read a book but to me, it is. Plus I like Spooner's writing. I know I'll probably hate the ending so I have low expectation for this but hopefully, I'll enjoy reading some of it if not the whole of it.

08 | The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie > link
I don't have this book but I want to read an Agatha Christie mystery so I'm thinking I should start with this one or perhaps And Then There Were None but there are so many to choose from, it's a bit hard to decide. I love watching mystery shows and movies but rarely do I like reading about them. Maybe a cozy mystery where the characters are likable but Agatha Christie's books aren't cozy mysterious so I have very low expectation of them. But I am determine to read at least one Agatha Christie book in my lifetime even if I might not like it.

09 | The Witchlands Series (Truthwitch/Windwitch/Bloodwitch) by Susan Dennard > link
I don't own this series yet but I really like the idea of the story but mostly I kind of want to read this series because of the Bloodwitch character (I forgot his name) and he sounds the most interesting character of the whole series and it's too bad his character didn't start the series. Truthwitch's magic is really her being able to tell if someone's lying which is a really useful talent but kind of boring when you think about it. Truthwitch does start with action but it was boring to me and I just couldn't decide if this is taking place in the modern world or not. The way they talk about things, it sounds like they are in the modern world and yet not really. I would like that to be clear plus why have covers like these if you're going to set this in the modern world, right? As much as I like to read this series because of Bloodwitch, I fear I can't get pass Truthwitch. I'm wondering if I should just read Bloodwitch and forget the other two books but then I might miss something so it's a conundrum. We'll see if I can stand finishing reading the sample excerpt of Truthwitch first.

10 | Winternight trilogy (The Bear and the Nightingale/The Girl in the Tower/The Winter of the Witch) by Katherine Arden > link
I don't have any copies of this series but I really want to read this since two years ago. I had wanted to read the first book, The Bear and the Nightingale because it seems to be a  Beauty and the Beast retelling which does get me interested but I think all my reading of reviews has formed too much expectations that I might end up not liking it. But I'm going to keep this on my 'Check it out later' list because there's a part of me that really wants to read this.

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, visit That Artsy Reader Girl here.


  1. I haven't read any of these - except the Agatha Christie. I am not a fan of her murder mysteries and prefer Ngaio Marsh. Interestingly I much preferred Agatha's autobiography to Ngaio's.
    I like Alice Hoffman's work - though they are often not easy reads. I haven't come across this one though.
    I have found that some books need me to be in a particular mood/mind space before I can finish them. And I usually have two or three books on the go at any one time.
    Good luck with your reading.

    1. @Elephant's Child: 'The world that we knew' is a recent new release of Alice Hoffman's so it's probably why you haven't heard of it. Reading is really a preference but like you said, I think it's also whether you are in the mood for a certain book.

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

  2. Replies
    1. @Christine: I love reading so my enthusiasm for books never fail unless it's a book I really don't like.

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

  3. I'll be reading Kemmerer's book really soon.

    Check out my TTT and my Popsugar Reading Challenge TBR

    1. @Lauen Stoolfire: I just decided not to finish reading 'A curse so dark and lonely' - I don't think the book is for me. But I hope you'll enjoy it.

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

  4. I haven't read any of those books and like Elephant's Child, I sometimes have to be in the "right mood" to get through certain books. I have one on my bedside right now that I started a few months ago and put aside in favour of a few easier books and when I get back to it, I'll probably read right through to the end and wonder why I set it aside.
    I think if you really want to read something, ignore expectations and just read it, don't put it aside and maybe never get back to it. And perhaps don't expect them to be like something else you really liked just because they sound similar. For instance, you've referenced Beauty and the Beast a few times saying some books are a re-telling of the story and that's why you want to read them. But if they don't live up to expectations, you might be disappointed and in that case why not just read Beauty and the Beast again instead.

    1. @River: Yes, some books are definitely needs to be read in a certain mood.

      I am trying to ignore exceptions when I read but sometimes it's hard. I like reading retellings of Beauty and the Beast as the original story wasn't that great. I do re-read a lot of my favorite books when the book I'm currently reading doesn't seem particularly good.

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day.

  5. Shame to hear you didn't like A Curse so Dark and Lonely! I just started it, and I'm loving it so far, but I'm not a huge B&tB fan, so I don't really expect it to follow that storyline. I'm interested in Sherwood, too! Looking forward to seeing what you think of it. I really want to read Witchlands and Winternight series, too. Maybe that should be my goal in 2020, to finally read those. xD Happy reading!

    1. @Sammie: I just stopped reading 'a curse so dark and lonely' it just wasn't for me. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

      I've started on 'Sherwood' and so far, it's pretty good.

      The Witchlands series has a really slow start with 'Truthwitch' so I might not read them all.

      I have decided to put Winternight series on my 'to be read' list because why not?

      I hope you'll enjoying reading all these books.

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day.


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