Closed. Cerrado. Kaput.

In case you couldn’t tell from the dearth of of posts over the past year, this blog is kaput. I haven’t stopped reading, but there will be no more Lusty Reader around the blogosphere. I just have no more inspiration or inclination to post about books, despite all the great ones I’ve read and am still reading.

Time to close up shop here!

I may still be on GR, but am also closing my Lusty Reader twitter. Happy reading to you all!

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Summer Vacation 2012 – Seattle!

so. poor abandoned blog…to pick up where i left off many months ago, i got a HUGE stack of library books for our trip across the country to seattle. this was one of my best vacations of all time (i had to include a ton of pictures in this post) and all the books lasted me the whole trip and then some. not all of them worked for me, i didn’t like the Anne Aguirre space books ( i didn’t think i would, but wanted to try them anyways!) and i got SO VERY VERY annoyed at The Maze Runner and the second book, just so contrived cliffhanger-y, i felt way too manipulated as a reader. i reached a plateau of jacked up adrenaline levels that left me exhausted and then bored.

i also polled twitter for some books set in seattle to get ready for my trip (google yielded F*fty Shades and Tw*light as top results…this displeased me greatly) and was SO happy i took the suggestion of Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker (review to come), i loved it. i also brought one of my favorite books of all time along for a re-read.

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and i went on the undergrad tour of seattle not knowing that it would be the absolutely perfection of all perfect activities to accompany the book.

we were pretty touristy, here is a list of things we did on our trip (with some pictures, it is GORGEOUS THERE) and i highly recommend all these activities if you can visit:

  • biked around lake washington
  • visited Redhook beer brewery
  • walked around Green Lake
  • visited the Ballard Locks to see the salmon swimming upstream
  • went on the underground tour
  • went to a Mariner’s game

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  • went shopping in pike’s place to cook a big dinner
  • got a coffee at the first starbucks
  • took a ferry up to Victoria, BC, Canada for a quick 2 day trip

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  • toured the Parliament Building and walked all over Victoria
  • took a sea plane back to seattle (below taken from out of the plane window)

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  • went to the top of the space needle
  • went to the Chihuly glass exhibit (had not heard of him before, i was blown away, have a million i could post, but these Niijima floats are my favorite)

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  • watched the 4th of july fireworks from a friend of the family’s house boat (while wearing a puffy vest and jeans…it was chilly at night! the whole trip had the most perfect weather possible, 70-75ish and sunny every day, nary a drop of rain)
  • i definitely have way too many pictures of this part of the trip to ever post…but we ate our faces off the whole trip at a million awesome restaurants.

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in conclusion, the Pacific Northwest is unbelievably beautiful with some of the most delicious food i’ve ever eaten. i loved that there was just a huge variety of experiences (from different cuisines to different landscapes) to all in one corner of the country. one of my favorite trips of all time.

Late Library Loot

I’m a day late on this weekly meme, but mainly because I got my library books for the week pretty late – at 8:30pm last night. This is a cause for celebration for me (hence my huge smile in this pic when i got home with my books last night) as my library is pretty much never open when I can go. It closes every night at 5:30 except on Wednesdays when it closes at 9, it’s open on Saturday but closed on Sunday. So any weekday I can’t go since I have a job, and I’m usually busy living my real life on Saturday. So Wednesdays before 9 it is! I’m not joking when I say I’ve skipped a happy hour or dinner on a Wednesday before to go to the library…

I expecially needed to make time to get my loot since I’m going to Seattle for vacation next week. It’s a 1 hour flight from DC to Philly and then a 5 and a half hour flight from Philly to Seattle. I’ve brought my ereader on plane trips before, but just get so annoyed with having nothing to read when all electronics have to be off. That’s a significant enough loss of reading time for me (and time to be bored with nothing to do) that I’d rather pack lots of dead tree books and take up suitcase space than have an ereader I can’t use for part of the flight.

Here is what I got for the trip:

Wanderlust by Anne Aguirre – I’ve heard good things about the Sirantha Jax series but just dismissed it as true sci-fi doesn’t typically appeal to me. I need to get the first in the series soon before I start this one, but I’m less scared by books set in space after falling in love with Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series and also trying Gina Koch’s Touched by an Alien.

Storm Front and Fool Moon, by Jim Butcher – So I’ve never tried this Dresden Files series and my library had the first two in the series in mass market paperpack just tempting me to give them a try. They weren’t even on my wish list. I’m scared I’ll love these because I don’t need to be addicted to another long series!

Not That Kind of Girl, by Siobhan Vivian – AnimeJune’s review here put this right on my wishlist, I think a few other YA readers have mentioned the author here and there too.

The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials, by James Dashner – yes yes another YA dystopian series. The first book The Maze Runner came out in 2009 and this has been way down on my wish list for a while…but 10 hours of sitting on a plane in my future means I have plenty of time to read plenty of books on my wish list, whether they are near the top or not!

I’m also planning on buying a few new releases to read on my trip in addition to these library books…ummm wow thinking about this now I am clearly over-packing on books. *shoulder shrug* I’ll over-pack on books, clothes, shoes, and accessories no matter what, I’m sure! Although I don’t think it’s possible to have too many books or too many outfit choices on a trip, let’s be honest.

Library loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader and Claire from The Captive Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library

March 2012 Reading List

Seriously y’all, I’m on the best reading streak ever, knock on wood I didn’t just jinx myself. As a follow-up to my January and February finished read lists I posted over the past two days, check out my March list – all A’s and B’s! :) I am a happy little lusty reader

Silk is for Seduction, Loretta Chase A

Shards of Honor, Lois McMaster Bujold A- Cordelia and Aral *swoon* My first foray in reading sci-fi is going great!

Barrayar, Lois McMaster Bujold A-

Beka Cooper: Terrier, Tamora Pierce A- Adored this first book in the Beka Cooper series, loved the quirks of her character (very shy, family issues, trying to find her place in the world) and the police crime drama plot. However, after reading the reviews of the next books in the series I will DEFINITELY not be picking them up, they sound awful with horrible love interests, dragging storylines, favorite characters given no page time and unbelievable twists. But this first one was great!

Where She Went, Gayle Forman B+

The Next Always (Inn Boonsboro #1), Nora Roberts  B

Trickster’s Choice, Tamora Pierce B- I am an Alanna and Daine fangirl for life, but for some reason Tamora Pierce’s more recent books just don’t work for me as well.

Trickster’s Queen, Tamora Pierce B-

Touched by an Alien, Gina Koch B-

Something Wonderful, Judith McNaught A reread I try to reread this every year, and it’s always still amazing! :)

February 2012 Reading List

My great reading streak continued into February with 8 B+ or above grades out of my 11 total reads!  Also of note, 10 out of the 11 books have paranormal elements, I have been on such a PNR/Fantasy kick recently and I’m loving it!

Speaking of grading…all of these “letter grades” are just my personal system, so *I* personally can remember if I liked the book or not. Like if I would want to re-read it or recommend it in the future. It’s not a reflection of anything being wrong with a book if I don’t give it the best grade. My grading is not “fair” in that sense, it’s completely a personal reaction based on whether or not I hate love triangles, or I’m so totally over shapeshifters, or despise mind-reading angst-filled adolescents who fall in love with the only person whose mind they can’t read. Now if there is something more subjective, like plot holes, poor editing, etc I will certainly mention it! Otherwise these “grades” are a direct reflection of my personal tastes and liking/not liking the story.

Here is my February 2012 Reading List:

  1. The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (#1), Lois McMaster Bujold A-
  2. The Sharing Knife: Legacy (#2), Lois McMaster Bujold A-
  3. Graceling, Kristin Cashore A-
  4. A Hunger Like No Other, Kresley Cole B+
  5. To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis B+ Still not sure what a bishop’s bird stump is, but this was a highly entertaining read!
  6. Chime, Franny Billingsley B+
  7. Paper Towns, John Green B
  8. The Sharing Knife: Passage (#3), Lois McMaster Bujold B-
  9. The Sharing Knife: Horizon (#4), Lois McMaster Bujold C+
  10. There Is No Dog, Meg Rosoff…can’t really give this a grade and this ranking is not about being poorly written or anything like that, just personally didn’t like it! Grading books is horrible, this story about a world where each planet has a “God” as a job they apply for to manage the planet just like any other job didn’t suit me. Especially as the “God” in this story, for earth, was an irresponsible, spoiled, selfish, teenager who was just SO good-looking and seduced mortal girls as frequently as he caused natural disasters for entertainment…which is to say – frequently for both! It just wasn’t to my taste.
  11. Fire, Kristin Cashore DNF I was SUPER into Graceling (even though it really reminded me of MWT Queen’s Thief series) but I had to put this one down after 40ish pages due to animal torture, never wanting to read about Leck again, and not really enjoying the protagonist’s voice…I can like flawed characters but Fire didn’t do it for me.

January 2012 Reading List

Soooooo…….I’ve been keeping track of what I’ve been reading in Excel and on my Goodreads page, but not posting it here. Time to change that! Especially because I am reading lots and lots and SO VERY MUCH of it is amazingly good. Mainly because everything on my TBR is a recommendation from twitter or other blogs.

I’ll post February tomorrow and March the next day, but here is a little bit of a teaser – the stats from my 3 months worth of reading. Lots of YA and lots of Fantasy (quite a few of the YA’s I read were fantasy too!)

January through March 2012 Lusty Reading Stats:

And here are all the books I read in January this year:

  1. If I Stay, Gayle Forman A+
  2. A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness A
  3. Behemoth and
  4. Goliath (#2 and #3 in Leviathan trilogy), Scott Westerfeld A for each One sick day at home = finishing all 560 pgs of Goliath in one sitting = PURE BLISS. best YA fantasy/adventure books ive read in years
  5. Good Girls Don’t, Victoria Dahl A-
  6. Just Like Heaven, Julia Quinn A-
  7. Warlord Wants Forever, Kresley Cole A- I wanted to hate this book, it was so…so…bad and wrong to me in some ways, so over the top controlling alpha behavior (borderline non-consensual), fated-mates, ridiculously unbelievable and yet…I LOVED it and immediately got the next two in the series. sigh. literary-feminist-reader fail.
  8. Dead Witch Walking, Kim Harrison B+
  9. The Good, the Bad, the Undead, Kim Harrison B+
  10. Every Which Way but Dead, B
  11. Legend, Marie Lu B
  12. The Iron King, Julie Kagawa B- The second half of this book was awesome, and anything to do with the mysterious new Iron King and the evolution of the Iron fey were my favorite parts. However I’m just not a big “faery” person, and I’m not into even a HINT of a love triangle, and I read a really AWESOME book right before and right after the Iron King…so what I guess I’m saying is this is not a bad book, it is a good book but these are just personal thoughts for me. This is a fun read for people into faeryland set books.
  13. Texas Hold Him, Lisa Cooke C+ Surprising not horrible for a free read on my iphone, not great, but not horrible!
  14. A Fistful of Charms, Kim Harrison C- Rachel Morgan annoyed me more than Sookie ever has by the time I got to this 4th book in the series! As a reader, I don’t enjoy being jerked around so much, make up your mind about what you want, Rachel! And I didn’t get any of the other characters’ motivations either. So confusing.
  15. Bad Blood, L.A. Banks D Unfortunately it was more the editing I think that made this not work for me – as in the story jumped all over the place, there were run on sentences and poorly phrased dialogue galore, and it just overall read as very unprofessional. Let alone the characters making horrible choices with no reasons behind their actions. I did not enjoy reading this book and can’t believe I finished it.

Ok, I’ll be back soon with my February and March lists! How as your reading been going so far this year???

Goliath, by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Goliath

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Published: September 2011

Pages: 560 pages (hardcover)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Standalone or series: Third and final book in the Leviathan trilogy.

Why I read it: Loved the first two in the series (review of 1st book, Leviathan, here)

Source: The library

Let’s start out with a bold statement, shall we? This is the best YA adventure series I’ve read in years. Seriously. I glommed the 1000+ pages of the final two books in this series in 2 days and even live tweeted my reading of Goliath. (While it could be called YA steampunk, fantasy, historical, etc I’m just going to call it adventure ;)

So why is this is the best YA series I’ve read in years? Well, I love adventures with scenes that make sense, scenes that are necessary to move the action of the story forward, as well as the growth of the characters as well as the development of their relationships with each other. Sometimes action scenes can seem redundant, or the travel/road journey parts too long, but in this series, and Goliath especially, every scene and interaction absolutely served a purpose to the overall arc of the story. The timing of revelations, the way Alek, or Deryn, or the lady boffin Dr. Barlow all reacted were so poignant they kept me so engaged as a reader.

There is absolutely something for everyone, there are battles between bats dropping metal spikes and giant squids, blimps made of fabricated whales versus a rubberized ship with electricity shooting cannon, Deryn with naught but a handful of spices against dangerous men hijacking super-sized elephants. There’s political intrigue, a reimagined World War I, travel to turn-of-the century Japan, New York and even Mexico.

There’s romance…oh the romance! Subtle but powerful! I mean, how could I not adore this series with a dedication page like this?

Alek and Deryn were faced with some difficult choices, and were separated for some important, and dangerous events, but I loved how they were always thinking of each other, and although young, I was continuously impressed on how they handled themselves in the war-torn world. Their behavior was believable as Westerfeld deftly portrayed their struggles on how they would handle the tough situations as they talked it out with each other (their deep friendship is another of my favorite parts) or we got inside each of their heads as well.

And of course the steampunk and science behind fabricated animals. It really was amazing how Westerfeld was able to draw on true-life scientific ideas and re-imagine them for the purpose of the series, Telsa especially was fascinating, I had no idea how much of his electricity experiments were real! I mentioned in my review of the first book that I’m not personally particularly into steampunk, so while I was continuously impressed by the imagination in this world of twisted DNA strands and steam powered robots it’s just not something I geek out over, but it added a LOT to the story obviously.

Ok the only part I really geeked out over was the perspicacious lorises. I could quote Bovril all day, what clever, hilarious little beasties!

With my limited knowledge of steampunk fantasy it seemed like Westerfeld took no shortcuts, the setting, the science, the technology were fully created and detailed, and sometimes illustrated (oh the Keith Thompson drawings were to die for).

Even though Goliath ended with one revelation left somewhat unresolved my imagination absolutely took over after the last page and I’m more than satisfied with my own little fan-fic reel playing in my head. (I also read the bonus chapter on Westerfeld’s blog)

Alek watching The Perils of Pauling moving picture at Hearst's dinner

Oh and the last quote? UTTER PERFECTION.

“Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria, nube.”  Let others wage war. You, lucky Austria, shall marry.

Genius series. Absolutely genius. I got all 3 from the library but am ABSOLUTELY going to invest in buying the trilogy in hard cover so I can lend them to my friends, my future children, my future children’s friends, and re-read them myself all. the. time.

So obviously this post isn’t so much of a formal review, I’m just one of millions of fans and would love to hear if you are too! And if you haven’t read them? Well, barking spiders, why not? Don’t be a Dummkopf, sorry to be a sticky-beak but you need to read them immediately!

A- overall to Goliath  and the whole Leviathan series.

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