Tome Topple Round 12

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s that time again! Tome Topple has announced a new round starting this Saturday (8/8), running until Friday, August 21st. If you aren’t familiar with Tome Topple, the premise is simple: Read tomes! A “tome,” for the purposes of this read-a-thon, is is any book over 500 pages.

Similar to Round 11, the “bingo card” format is making a return to help participants track their completed reading prompts. While some of my books align with the prompts, I’m not going to force myself into it this round. I think by reading what I want to read, I’m going to have more success! While I don’t have an exact TBR, I have several books queued up and I’m going to read whatever fits my mood!

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

  • I have been looking forward to starting the Dark Artifices trilogy for quite some time (unfortunately, I had quite a few books to read to get to this point). I officially caught up and am able to start reading Lady Midnight! I am absolutely kicking off Tome Topple with this book. I’m excited to return this world and have heard phenomenal things about this book and series! Reading Prompts: Tome with the most Pages; Read 1 Tome

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

  • I’ve seen a ton of Mariary’s books but never picked one up. A few years ago, HBO announced that they were turning Big Little Lies into a 1 season, mini-series. I had no intentions of watching the show but for some reason ended up catching a couple episodes and was hooked! The TV show had an incredible cast and storyline was so wild you couldn’t wait to see what happened next! Definitely not my typical TV show (or book) but I’m looking forward to digging into this one. Reading Prompts: Tome from a genre you don’t typical read; Standalone tome

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

  • The first book I read this year was Scythe and I absolutely loved it! Shortly after I finished that, I moved onto Thunderhead which was also a stellar entry in the series. The Toll is the third and final book in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. I am anxious to see how this all ends but I’m also not ready for the conclusion. Based on the Shusterman books that I’ve read, I have high expectations for this finale (and I have a feeling it’s going to deliver). Reading Prompts: A tome by a Black author; Most recent tome

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

  • I read Strange the Dreamer last year and did a quick reread (listen) during the last round of Tome Topple as a refresher. I already know this is going to be an incredible read and I’m ready to have my emotions thrown into a blender. Taylor doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to writing a heart-wrenching story. I’m looking forward to revisiting these characters and them getting, hopefully, some semblance of a happy ending! Reading Prompt: Tome audiobook (partially); Tome started during a past round

Twilight by Stephanie Meyers

  • I am not afraid to rag on Twilight. I’ve never read these books before because I thought the premise was silly and it wasn’t something I would enjoy. I’ve contemplated reading these for the last several years (to put facts behind my opinions) but have always decided against it. I think I am going to attempt to read the first book in this series and write a funny, honest (sort of parody) review for the book afterwords. If nothing else, I think it will make good blog material! Not sure if this will make it into my Tome Topple TBR but be on the look out for a funny review coming soon!

Well, that’s my alleged TBR for this round of Tome Topple. Like the previous round, I’ll be doing a check-in (or two) and a wrap up after the read-a-thon has concluded. Be sure to stop back and follow my reading journey! Are you participating in this round of Tome Topple? What’s on your TBR? Share your books in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

Tome Topple Round 11: Wrap Up

Well Tome Topple officially concluded last night at midnight. This was my second soiree into the Tome Topple Read-A-Thon and I had more success this round than I did in Round 10. I set a pretty aggressive TBR for this round and was not able to complete all of the books (not surprising). I was able to finish “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor and a good portion of “Eldest” by Christopher Paolini. As I was working out my TBR, I didn’t factor in that “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” by Suzanne Collins was coming out in the middle of this read-a-thon (which absolutely sabotaged my plan). I’m going to go ahead and give myself the “Scholar” status hitting the following prompts:

I finished “Strange The Dreamer” on audiobook yesterday afternoon. I originally read this book on my Kindle in January 2019. I didn’t think it was possible to enjoy a book more the second time through than the original read (outside of Harry Potter, of course). The book summary really keeps you in the dark for the most part (which is absolutely part of the charm). I’m not sure if having a better grasp of the plot helped my enjoyment or what, but I thoroughly enjoyed my re-read! The audiobook was extremely well down with excellent production value. I typically listen to audiobook whenever I go for walks – each time I turned on this audiobook, I became instantly engrossed in the plot. The narrator did a fantastic job as well and really added another dimension to this story. If you haven’t picked up “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor, do yourself a favor and add this to your TBR. While the ending does provide some closure, you’ll be incredibly eager to start the sequel, Muse of Nightmares, as soon as possible!

The other book I semi-toppled, was “Eldest” by Christopher Paolini. I still have a bit left of this book to go, so I want to reserve my final judgement until then! I have been enjoying what I’ve read so far but the slightly overly detailed descriptions, really slow down the pacing. I have an idea of where this story is going and anticipate there to be quite a bit of action (I think I’m on the cusp of this happening). I definitely could have finished this book, if my pre-order of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” didn’t show up almost a week early!

I have been anticipating the release of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” for months. I was late to reading “The Hunger Games,” I started them around when “Mockingjay” was released. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series and was anxious to return to this world. There was a lot of negativity and skepticism around this new entry being a President Snow origin story but I was interested in seeing Collins continue to build that character. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to purchase the Kindle edition because it was $17.99 (which is ludicrous) or a hardback for $19.99. Target ended up running a couple deals a few weeks back that all stacked, so I was about to get the hardback for ~$13 + tax. The only downside here was Target doesn’t provide free release-day shipping – my original delivery date was 5/26. While I was disappointed, I was also subliminally thankful because this gave me a chance to finish “Eldest” and chip away at a couple of the Shadowhunter novella bindups I’ve been working through (in preparation to read The Dark Artifices series). I was surprised when my delivery date was updated to this past Wednesday (5/20). I’ve been staring at this book since it came and finally broke down last night, abandoning “Eldest” and starting “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” I’m about 75 pages in so far and absolutely loving it! I’m planning to fully review this book once I’m finished (which, at this rate, will be soon)!

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

Tome Topple Round 11: Check In

Tome Topple began this past Saturday and I hit the ground running. I set an aggressive TBR, filled with books that I’ve been wanting to read! I wanted to give a quick update and outline my plan for the next few weeks. Usually I review books immediately upon finishing them. Instead, I’ll be focusing on reading and providing quick updates here with full reviews to come after the read-a-thon has ended.

The first book I’m starting off with is Eldest by Christopher Paolini. Eldest is the second book in the Inheritance Cycle. Book on in this series, Eragon, is named after main character. In this first installment, we meet Eragon, an orphaned boy living with his uncle and cousin on their farm. One day while Eragon is hunting, he finds a mysterious blue stone in the woods and that’s when his adventure begins. Eldest picks up immediately after the concluding events of Eragon (which I won’t get into, to keep this spoiler free). I am really enjoying this entry so far! I have always been a fan of multiple perspectives in a book and Eldest alternated back and forth between Eragon’s and Ronan’s respective storylines. At about 200 pages in, I feel much more vest in Ronan’s story than I do with Eragon. A lot more is currently happening with Ronan and there’s a bit more action – I full anticipate this to flip in the coming chapters.

The other book I decided to read (listen to) was Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor on audiobook. This one is a re-read for me. Early last year, I read Strange the Dreamer on my Kindle and absolutely loved it. The world and characters that Taylor creates is nothing short of magical. I honestly don’t want to share any details about this book because part of the charm and experience is unpacking all of those details as you read. The writing is so captivating that it literally sweeps you away. If you’ve wanted to try audiobooks, I highly recommend Strange the Dreamer. The production value here is top notch and the narrator is absolutely superb! Definitely the perfect gateway to entering the world of audiobooks.

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

PS – Are we friends on GoodReads? Add me: @ItsMrGeekToYou

Tome Topple Round 11

Over the last couple years, I started to really enjoy watching book reviews and discussions on YouTube (specifically these channels: Thoughts On Tomes, PersueProject and Daniel Greene).  Late last year, I saw a video for the “Tome Topple Read-A-Thon,” which was started by Sam from Thoughts On Tomes.  The main objective is simple, to read books with more than 500 pages.  I’ve always loved the idea of a read-a-thon or reading prompts (i.e. read a book with a red cover), but I never took the plunge until recently.  In February, I decided to participate in Round 10 of Tome Topple.  I created my TBR (To Be Read) to align with their reading prompts and was ready to roll.  Unfortunately, it didn’t end (or start) well for me.  I wasn’t done with my current book when the read-a-thon began, so I got off to a late start.  In the end, I didn’t even finish one book (granted, I was reading City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare and that book is near 750 pages).  For Round 11, which started this Saturday (May 9th), I have a whole new plan and I’m ready to read!

Tome Topple uses a “Bingo Card” style format for tracking the prompts (which I’ll share below).  These prompts help you to create your TBR, stay engaged and just lighten up the read-a-thon. This is run by a great group of people and they are constantly encouraging you to “read more.” They host reading sprints on Twitter and also have several other ways to interact (like a GoodReads group).

This format is strictly for tracking your prompts, no need to get “bingo.”

I’m, aggressively, aiming for Sage status which I can accomplish if I read all of the following books (but let’s be honest, I’ll be thrilled if I reach Student):

Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2) by Christopher Paolini

  • It has been years since I first read Eragon but I thoroughly enjoyed the story and have been looking to get back into this series.  This book will count for the “tome that has been on my TBR for the longest” and “a tome that’s part of a series” prompts.  

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

  • Last year I decided I wanted to start reading Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles.  Little did I know that this was going to become an epic journey.  I decided to read the books the way that Clare recommends (The Mortal Instruments 1-3, The Infernal Devices trilogy then The Mortal Instruments 4-6).  The Bane Chronicles will be the last of the 3 supplemental books I have to read before I can move on to The Dark Artifices (this series has received nothing but praise, so I’m really looking forward to it).  This book will count for the “standalone tome” and a tome with an “AAPI main character” prompts.

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

  • I have been seeing nothing but great feedback and praise for Priory of the Orange Tree.  This is quite the tome and I’ve been a little intimidated by how long it is (coming in at nearly 850 pages).  A good friend of mine read this not too long ago and she raved about how great it was! Definitely looking forward to this one!  This book will be counting for the “adult tome” and “a genre I don’t typically read” (adult epic fantasy) prompts.

Strange the Dream (Strange the Dream Duology, #1) by Laini Taylor

  • This will actually be a re-read for me and I’ll be listening to this via audiobook. I read this early last year and absolutely loved it.  The whole concept of this novel was so unique and engrossing but the end was pretty traumatizing.  I’d like to read the sequel, Muse of Nightmares, later this year so I thought brushing up on the story with an audiobook was the perfect choice!  This book will count towards the “tome audiobook” prompt.

Like I previously mentioned, Tome Topple starts this Saturday (May 9th) and runs through May 22nd.  For more information, check out their Twitter account (@TomeTopple) or Sam’s YouTube Channel (Thoughts On Tomes).  If you’re able, grab a tome and read along with me!  I’ll be providing quick updates on my progress and thoughts on my current reads, both here and on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou), over the coming weeks.  Have you read any of the books I mentioned?  Feel free to leave some thoughts or feelings about them in the comments but, please, no spoilers!

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

PS – I am not affiliated with Tome Topple. I think it’s an excellent idea and wanted to help spread the word!